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Huntress DPS Theorycrafting and Guide -- need community help as well!


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Intro:
There is an appalling lack of pro mathematical breakdown applied to this game thus far, from what I've seen. I'll share my knowledge and try to start a small compendium of attaining the "mega deeps", specifically tailored to my main and favorite character, the huntress, who I am fairly confident has the highest AOE and boss-DPS potential in the game, even without using any Defense Units.

If you have solid formulaic knowledge, with grounded empirical evidence, please contribute to fill missing gaps, I do not claim to know everything.


Weapon Types / Splash Effects:
Bone Bow (looks like a skeleton): pierces ONE monster (thus hits 2 total) -- changed in patch 7.05 or 7.06

Blunderbuss/Shotgun: pierces through small monsters

Lava Beetle/Soul Focuser: pierces monsters and shoots through walls

Crystal Tracker/"EMP guns"/"ray guns" (looks like an LCD screen with a cone or drill on the front of it): projectile explodes on contact or after short distance, providing AOE splash.

Grenade Launcher / The Dancing Cavalier / M-32 / The Incubator: Projectile shell/chicken affected by gravity, explodes on contact or after time, providing AOE splash, always deals fire damage. Best weapon to out-range the range cap on Assault challenge.

Disc shooter: Shoots two discs at annoying side-angles, pierces all monsters

Tri-shooter: Shoots three(?) arrows. (Does it pierce?)

Phoenix-bow: Though listed as base damage, all shots deal fire damage

Dragon-mouth-blaster: Shoots explosive particle, resulting in AOE splash damage.

Flamethrower: Always deals fire damage (except in the case of the Goblin Douser, which is a poison-thrower), shoots at a fixed extremely fast rate.

Halloween special weapon, "Van Wolfstein": Shoots projectiles that pierce and go through walls, shots always deal electric damage, # of projectiles is upgradeable to a maximum of +4, where you shoot a focused '+' of 5 projectiles. Recently nerfed, but still capable of 50k+ single-target DPS. Max of +40 base damage per upgrade, instead of the usual +80.

Halloween Insane difficulty special weapon, "Sicarius": gun itself looks like a spider, shoots multiple webs that pierce mobs, always deal poison damage, and has multiple projectiles that shoot in a wide-fan (absolutely inconvenient compared to Van Wolfstein). Has much better potential stats than a Van Wolfstein, but the upgrades are extremely costly for some reason, and the projectile spread makes the weapon surprisingly disappointing.

ALL OTHER WEAPONS: no pierce, no splash, simply single-target (are there weapon types / effects I'm forgetting about? Are there hidden weapon variables between slightly different weapon types -- Royal Crossbow versus an Arcubalista versus a Basic Shooter etc?)


Weapon Upgrading / Base Damage:
Upgrading base damage increases it by +15% or +80, whichever is less (exception: Van Wolfstein). By the time your weapon reaches 534 damage, each additional upgrade to base damage increases it by 80 damage. The higher a weapon's un-upgraded base damage, the more quickly you leave the 15% rule, and the faster you'll get to +80 damage a level. After that point, it is simply the number of remaining upgrades that determines a weapon's final damage.

Weapon base damage determines weapon damage per hit (multiplied by Hero Attack skill, with diminishing returns) as well as Piercing Shot damage (multiplied by Piercing Shot skill, with diminishing returns).

Due to the scaling with your Attack stat and Piercing Shot damage, it makes no sense to increase the elemental damage on a weapon instead of the base damage (unless possibly if the base damage is completely horrible, in which case your use of the bow is frowned upon in general).


Weapon Attack Speed:
Once your weapon hits level 4 (?), you can occasionally (every 5 levels? 4,9,14 - confirm?) choose to upgrade weapon attack speed. Certain weapons have attack speed limits (Blasticus is 10? Bone Bow is 7?). Different weapon types at the same weapon attack speed fire at different rates (i.e. rocket launcher versus shotgun, both at 3 attack speed, very noticeably fire at different speeds). Assumedly the attack speed stat is a multiplier to the base speed of the weapon type. (Does a 4 speed weapon shoot twice as fast as a 2 speed weapon of the same type?)

Though not fully explored numerically, I believe that increasing weapon Attack Speed from X->Y is a [(Y/X)-1]% increase in BURST DPS, though it also makes you reload more often, decreasing your effective %uptime, which is particularly important when you don't have downtime opportunities to reload -- such as when the monster you're attacking does not die in one clip without reloading (ogres/bosses). Increasing attack rate is still usually a large increase in effective DPS.

Simple numerical example:
I do 200 burst DPS (DPS while firing, not including reloads), I shoot for 30 seconds straight and then have to reload for 10 seconds (75% uptime). Effective personal DPS = 150.

If I then increase my attack speed by 50% (which I believe is the scenario of upgrading from 2 speed to 3 speed), my burst DPS increases to 300, I now shoot through my clip in only 20 seconds, and still reload for 10 seconds, dropping my uptime to 66%. Effective personal DPS = 200, a net increase of 33%, but not 50%.

Note that attack speed has very high diminishing returns -- even if you had INFINITE attack speed, your DPS would simply cap out at (Clip_size*Dmg_per_hit)/Reload_time, which is certainly not infinite -- you would also be horrible at dealing with waves of monsters, but great at boss DPS. Whereas if you had infinite weapon damage, your DPS would certainly be infinite.

Finally, attack speed does not affect Piercing Shot DPS.


# of Projectiles:
Certain rare weapons, most notably the Van Wolfstein, have an upgradeable number of bonus projectiles, a concept which I'm sure Monks and Apprentices are already familiar with. It stands to reason that if you currently shoot 3 projectiles, and upgrade to shooting 4, you are increasing your DPS directly by 33% without increasing your uptime, assuming all 4 projectiles will successfully hit your target(s). Increasing the number of projectiles is the highest priority upgrade on a Van Wolfstein for certain, and possibly for other multiple-projectile weapons if their projectile spread mechanics / accuracy are tolerable. Similar to Attack Speed, you can only upgrade projectiles every couple levels.


Projectile Speed:
Projectile Speed is primarily an accuracy helper. Obviously if your projectile is very fast traveling, you'll know immediately that you killed the monster when your crosshairs are on it, slow projectiles will miss a moving monster more often. Projectile speed is especially handy when shooting wyverns, who often change direction, and you might not notice one until it is attacking your crystal already, meaning the projectile speed will kill it more quickly and prevent further damage. Projectile speed also helps grenade launchers to increase their overall range -- note Assault challenge, where grenade launchers of sufficient (750+) projectile speed can break crystals without getting in to the thick of things (rest assured, I've still done assault on insane without using a grenade launcher, but the 3rd crystal is a total nightmare).

Upgrading Projectile Speed increases it by +250 if the weapon already has ~500 Projectile Speed. (What about less?)

(Does projectile speed increase the total range of any weapon type excluding grenade launcher?)


Piercing Shot:
Shoots large purple bird that damages and pierces through enemies, travels a very long (but not infinite) distance, unfortunately slow projectile speed, and costs 40 mana. Scales with Weapon HIT damage (thus it scales with both Base Damage on the weapon, as well as your Hero Attack stat, which increases it) and Piercing Shot skill (personal + gear).

While spamming the button, I can shoot about 60 Piercing Shots a minute, or once every second (nerf in Patch 7.06 or 7.07), approximately (maybe you can do better). I have no reason to believe different weapons or gear allow you to shoot Piercing Shot more often.

Using Piercing Shot while reloading cancels the reload and forces you to start reloading again. Hence your weapon %uptime, a factor determined by clip size, attack speed and reload bonus, actually affects your Piercing Shot DPS.


Weapon Upgrading Strategy:
1) First, determine what your plans are with this weapon:
Need an immediate / cheap increase in DPS?
Making an uber powerful weapon for the most difficult challenges?
Piercing Shot build?
Boss DPS build?
Splash damage or monster-piercing necessary?

Note that successive upgrades past weapon level 10 start to become quite costly. Expect to drop millions of mana on simply upgrading a 25+ upgrade item -- make sure you have a great base weapon to start with.

2) Acquire a good base weapon -- the key factors are Type (i.e. Bone Bow for pierce), Base Damage, Attack Speed, Clip Size, Reload Bonus, and Max Upgrade levels. Occasionally projectile speed is helpful and convenient. The other stats, such as normal skill levels, can be provided with your other pieces of gear and should not be large factors in choosing an excellent weapon.

An excellent mini-guide on certain weapons/items, and what "great" starting stats are can be found in this thread: http://forums.trendyent.com/showthread.php?15785-perfect-drop-compendium

3) Max single-target DPS weapons (lots of further testing required, but general ranking):
Van Wolfstein -- Halloween challenge on Medium or Hard
Blasticus -- Assault challenge on Insane
Soul Focuser(?)
Goblin Douser(? not sure of its max potential base dmg) -- Zippy Terror on Insane
Other bows (note that bone bows are particularly popular because they are accurate and they pierce)

Situational weapons:
Crystal Tracker/EMP Gun -- AOE splash
Grenade Launcher/The Incubator/The Dancing Cavalier -- AOE / projectile retains range on Assault challenge

4) Comparing weapons -- determine the MAX POTENTIAL if you're looking to invest in upgrading an awesome weapon. All other stats being equal, a 60 base dmg weapon with a max of 10 upgrades is much better than a 100 damage weapon with a max of 5 upgrade levels, except that you have to spend the mana to upgrade it. As stated before, Base Damage is upgraded by 15% or +80, whichever is lower (again, Van Wolfstein is an exception, it has a max of +40 per base damage upgrade) -- crunch the numbers ahead of time and determine what the weapon's maxed out stats would be.

Note that if the base attack speed or # of projectiles is not at max potential in the un-upgraded weapon, you will probably want to upgrade those instead of base damage, meaning you should account for only using X upgrades towards base damage in your max damage calculation.

5) Upgrade Base Damage, or something else? : Lots of factors contribute into what the "right decision" to upgrade is.

The typical rule of thumb is:
Upgrade # of projectiles > Atk Speed > Base Damage, never upgrade anything else.

This is a rule of thumb because it SEEMS to be correct in maximizing personal weapon DPS, not including Piercing Shot. There are cases where it makes sense to diverge from this rule of thumb. To date, very few people who make suggestions to people about which stats to upgrade have any supporting math to back it up -- there is a good chance that upgrading the speed on your Blasticus from 9 to 10 is not going to max your DPS, especially if you factor in lower %uptime.

If you have a very Piercing Shot centric build, as in you started with a high-base damage weapon with bad supporting stats (clip size, reload bonus, attack type) you will probably ONLY EVER want to upgrade Base Damage.

Upgrading Elemental Damage is nearly always the wrong choice. It does not scale with Personal Attack stat, it does not increase Piercing Shot Damage, and it is resisted by some monsters. When I look at weapons, or am advertising selling weapons, I am not concerned with the elemental damage at all unless it is very noticeably high. There are some specific builds for other classes where they ignore Hero Attack skill and get a big-elemental damage weapon (i.e. Flamewarder) and only upgrade the Elemental damage, due to it not being capped by the +80 rule (I believe it is instead +400?) but this logic does not work well for Huntresses.

Upgrading Clip Size or Reload Bonus (if your weapon has one) will increase your effective weapon %uptime -- the % of time you actually get to shoot. This might prove to be important when fighting large targets, such as bosses and ogres, who require multiple clips of ammo to kill. This can also be important in Piercing Shot builds, as shooting a Piercing Shot interrupts reloading (though if your weapon is horrible you might consider simply NOT reloading and purely using Piercing Shot). At the moment, with no definitive numbers to back it up, it seems Base Damage is always a superior choice to Clip Size or Reload Bonus.


Armor Upgrading Strategy:
Your options for upgrading armor are simply to choose a stat or a resistance.

Stats:
You simply get +1 to a stat for levelling it up. DPS Stats include Hero Attack (which will increase weapon damage and Piercing Shot) and Piercing Shot Skill. One point in Piercing Shot skill increases Piercing Shot damage by a much larger amount that one point in Hero Skill, so the appropriate choice for maximum DPS is dependent on the % of damage you deal with your weapon versus Piercing Shot, which is often a very situational calculation.

I have solid evidence to suggest that both Hero Attack skill and Piercing Shot Skill suffer from diminishing returns -- the higher your skill is, the less effective each additional point will be. The specific details of the curve, and how quickly additional points diminish in effectiveness is yet to be determined.

Note that Resistances, Hero Health and Hero Speed can also be considered supplementary DPS stats -- the less you die and more aggressive you can be, and the faster you can reach monsters, the higher your total DPS -- this is not a trivial point. You might even argue that Hero Cast speed is also supplementary, as you'll heal yourself more quickly, repair towers more quickly, and get back into the fight more quickly.

Resistances:
Your total character resistances are shown at the bottom of your character sheet -- each resistance is 75% of the sum of the resistances on your four pieces of armor. The wiki says "On the PC, the effective resistance is 75% of the stated resistance on your gear. So, if you have 80% resistance on your gear, you will get 60% resistance." Source here: http://dungeondefenders.wikia.com/wiki/Armor_Resistance_Guide
Maintaining an armor set bonus will essentially counter-balance that "penalty" by granting a bonus of 25%.


Upgrade Hero Attack or Piercing Shot for max DPS? My situation with a Van Wolfstein:
Fortunately, with the recent nerfs, keeping a focus on your DPS stats is still important (yes, I said, I appreciate the nerfs -- game balance is critical), whereas I was on the verge of saying that I already had excessive DPS, and it would make sense to focus on my supplementary stats instead now, due to the high diminishing returns.

The following maths are OUTDATED as patches 7.06/7.07 have hit: Van Wolfsteins everywhere have about half the total Base Damage they used to, and Piercing Shot does 30% less DPS (though 7.06b is going to increase it by another 15%) and has a longer cooldown -- the originally suggested cooldown of 1 second.

10/28/11:
My most recent evaluation of my stats and DPS went as follows, some numbers rounded-off (with the assumption that I am trying to maximize pure single-target boss DPS):

Current Situation:
I have 132 Hero Attack skill, levels+gear
I have 110 Piercing Shot skill, levels+gear
My Van Wolfstein has 1640 base dmg
One single shot with my Van Wolfstein does 4430 damage, 5 times (multiple projectiles)
One Piercing Shot does 26,020 damage
I do 130k DPS with my Van Wolfstein while shooting.
I do 33k DPS with my Piercing Shot, spamming it as fast as I can.

If I add +1 Hero Attack skill:
I will do 130250 DPS with my Van Wolfstein while shooting.
I will do 33030 DPS with my Piercing Shot, spamming it as fast as I can. (small increase)
Net DPS increase: 280

If I add +1 Piercing Shot skill:
I will do 130k DPS with my Van Wolfstein while shooting. (no increase)
I will do 33090 DPS with my Piercing Shot, spamming it as fast as I can. (better than with +1 Hero Attack)
Net DPS increase: 90

For me, in a single-target boss shooting scenario, the choice is clear. However this is probably not usually the case. In my example I have a ridiculously overpowered, multiple-projectile-shooting weapon, where Piercing shot only does 20% of my single target DPS. For most DPS Huntresses, Piercing Shot is probably more than half of their single-target DPS, and probably the majority of their damage in general, considering that it Pierces, is non-elemental damage and thus never resisted, has enormous range, and is the top pick for dominating huge waves of monsters, etc.

If my Van Wolfstein did not shoot 5 projectiles and instead shot only 1, then adding +1 Hero Attack would be a net increase of only 80 DPS, while Piercing Shot would be 90 DPS, which makes good sense considering I have more Hero Attack than Piercing Shot already, and I'm suffering greater diminishing returns on the each successive point in Hero Attack. If I were still using my Dancing Cavalier or bone bow, I would say stacking Piercing Shot skill is certainly my top pick.

In my current case, I'm on the fence as to what I'll actually upgrade. I honestly think my goal at this point is not to maximize my single-target DPS (as boss fights are relatively rare, and honestly pretty trivial with my DPS), but rather to focus on either increasing my Piercing Shot so that it one-shots Dark Elf Warrior Ninjas on Monster Fest-Insane in the case that they are electric immune, or just get armor resistances / health, so I don't get 2 or 3-shotted. Maybe even additional speed or casting speed, to help area coverage / repair rate.


Armor Set Bonus!
Wearing all 4 pieces (hat/chest/gloves/boots) of similar armor material (leather/chain/mail/plate/pristine) results in a 20-25% increase of all stats and resistances on those 4 pieces of equipment. You will see a glowing blue border around your armor icons in your character-sheet, and the stats on the armor will glow blue, unless they are negative (in which case they will still be red). When you upgrade a stat or resistance on a set-bonused piece of armor, sometimes you will get +2 points due to rounding, which I believe first happens at 3->5, and again at 8->10, etc.


Pets:
Pets are similar to weapons -- you can upgrade Base Damage, Attack Speed (or the equivalent values for Guardians/Genies/Fairies/Imps/etc), or stats.

Bird(Lizard/Robot/Hawk/Weasel/other?): Shoots and deals damage, has stats.

Tiger (?): Deals melee attack, has stats.

Dragon/Chicken: Shoots ranged projectile that explodes.

Giraffe on a Treadmill: only has stats, no attack -- the stats are reportedly very high.

Huntress Guardian: Increases the reset-rate of the most nearby trap and gives stats. Currently near-useless in my opinion, but slated to be buffed in patch 7.08 to buff multiple nearby traps, potentially bringing this back on the table as a utility option.

Genie: "Base damage" stat is now upgradeable (as of patch 7.06) and corresponds to rate or amount of mana given when dealing greater than 0 damage to a mob (immune mobs do not trigger genie). My genie with 188 base damage gives 72 mana on approximately 2 second cooldown -- additional experiences needed. Upgrading a Genie's base damage seems nigh useless to me, your mana supply with most any genie will be near infinite, especially considering the patch 7.06/7.07 nerf to Piercing Shot cooldown -- it is surprisingly hard to use all of your mana.

Huntress Animus: Only usable by Huntress, seems to have greater DPS capability than other pets (multiple projectiles, high damage in general, recently fixed attack speed scaling). People say it scales with your base damage, but I have not yet tested what exactly it scales with, if anything. My level 30 animus is capable of about 21k DPS, assuming all three projectiles were hitting targets. When upgrading, Base Damage is increased by 15% or +64, whichever is less. Now that the Huntress' personal DPS is more in line with the recent 7.06 nerfs to Van Wolfstein and Piercing Shot, an Animus likely provides at least 20% additional DPS -- not trivial.

Fairy: Heals you based on its "Base Damage", with a greater frequency based on "Attack Speed" stat. The amount healed is exactly the Base Damage shown on the pet. When upgrading, Base Damage is increased by 15% or +10, whichever is less.

Demon/Imp: I've heard these supposedly repair nearby towers/traps/walls, which I have not confirmed and have no details about.


DPS Formulae:

Legend:
DMG -- Current Weapon Damage
DMG_Skill -- # of points in Attack skill, personal+gear
DMG_Skill_mod -- % increase that 1 point in Attack skill increases weapon damage
ELE -- Elemental Weapon Damage
Type_SPD -- BASE firing rate, in seconds, of the type of weapon you're using
SPD -- Speed stat on the weapon
SPD_mod -- % increase in one speed stat on the weapon
Type_RL -- BASE reload time, in seconds, of the type of weapon you're using
RL -- Reload bonus stat on the weapon
RL_mod -- % decrease in time reloading per point of reload bonus stat

[(DMG*DMG_Skill*DMG_Skill_mod)+ELE]*(Type_SPD*SPD*SPD_mod) = DPS while firing

Clip_Size/(Type_SPD*SPD*SPD_mod)/[Clip_Size/(Type_SPD*SPD*SPD_mod)+(Type_RL*RL*RL_mod)] = % uptime to account for time reloading

DPS while firing * % uptime = Personal DPS, no Piercing Shot

Piercing Shot DPS:
(DMG*DMG_Skill*DMG_Skill_mod)*PS_Stat*PS_Stat_Mod*PS_Rate*%uptime (you can't piercing shot and reload at the same time)

I have numerical evidence to suggest that PS_Stat_Mod DECREASES as PS_Stat increases -- stacking many ranks of Piercing Shot suffers from Diminishing Returns. I have now also found very similar results with the Hero Attack stat. Details will be provided when I'm confident in the tests.

Personal DPS + Piercing Shot DPS = Total DPS


Simple Numerical Example of DPS formulae:

I have 70 points in Attack, 110 in Piercing Shot.
I have a crossbow: 50 damage, 5 atk rate, 60 clip.

[(50*70*DMG_Skill_mod)+0]*(Type_SPD*5*SPD_mod) = DPS while firing

While I don't know some of these underlying variables' values yet, let's say each shot does 100 damage, and I shoot 2 times per second.

100 * 2 = 200 DPS while firing

With the clip of 60, shooting through a whole clip takes 30 seconds, and let's say reloading takes 10 seconds.

30 / (30+10) = 75% uptime

200 * 75% uptime = 150 personal DPS, which accounts for reloading.

My piercing shot's damage is based on what my base weapon hit damage, times a multiplier based on how high my Piercing Shot skill is. I happen to know that around 110 Piercing Shot skill, a single Piercing Shot does almost exactly six times the hit-damage. Thus it shoots for 600 damage each time, as quickly as I can shoot it (which my guess is once per 0.79 seconds):

100*6/0.79 sec = 759.5 DPS

Factoring in %uptime, because I can't reload while using Piercing Shot:

759.5*75% = 569.62 DPS

My total DPS at the moment is 150 + 569.62 = 719.62 DPS, which assumes I reload immediately (don't clip reloads with Piercing Shot), spam Piercing Shot exactly every 0.79 seconds when not reloading, and always have mana to spam Piercing Shot.

Notice the holes in the above practical example, I am missing key weapon statistics.


On not reloading, in a Piercing Shot build:
If your Piercing Shot contributes a very large portion of your DPS, there might be situations where reloading does not make sense, as you can't reload while using Piercing Shot. The break even point would be thus:

Piercing Shot DPS*%downtime = Weapon DPS*%uptime

Where the Piercing Shot DPS that you're missing by reloading exactly matches the DPS you regain by firing another clip of your weapon.

My character at one point did about 8k weapon DPS, 34k DPS Piercing Shot, with about 97% uptime (huge clip size, fast reload). That 3% of the time that I had to reload, I missed about 1k DPS from Piercing Shot, but obviously the near-8k DPS of using the weapon as well was totally worth it, at least in single-target scenarios. If your weapon has huge base damage, but terrible clip size and reload time in a Piercing Shot build, you might never want to reload. Another factor to consider is the range/piercing/aoe components of your weapon and the monster/AOE situation -- Piercing Shot might contribute an enormous % of your total damage due to AOE/range, further emphasizing not reloading.


Unanswered Questions:

Personal DPS Stat -- seems to multiply base damage and suffers from diminishing returns... specific formula/curve?

Piercing Shot Stat -- seems to multiply Piercing Shot damage relative to non-elemental Weapon HIT damage, and suffers from diminishing returns... specific formula/curve?

Weapon Type statistics -- what are the base firing rate and reload times for different weapons, and the % increases/decreases for attack speed and reload time? Does a weapon with 4 Attack Speed shoot twice as fast as it did with only 2 Attack Speed? Does a weapon with +4 Reload bonus reload twice as quickly as with +2 Reload?


My current build (if you're curious), 10/28/11 -- now outdated due to several patches:
Weapon: Legendary Van Wolfstein

Skills:
+70 Hero Damage
+70 Piercing Shot
+70 Hero Speed
+70 Hero Health
+19 Hero Casting

Gear:
Nothing worth bragging about, focuses on Hero Attack skill and Piercing Shot skill. Slightly more emphasis on Hero Attack. Full set of Legendary-Godly Pristine.

Max BURST DPS: 70k, or 91k with animus.

Estimated sustained DPS (where is the target dummy that calculates average DPS over the course of a minute?): 55k, potentially an additional 21k from animus.

Outro:
Thanks for reading, hope the math doesn't scare you and you feel motivated to contribute! Big thanks to the people who have new info to report and message me or post in the thread.

If you feel compelled to message me directly for some reason, my SteamID is MangDynasty. I do not plan on answering thousands of questions that are already discussed in this thread.

-Mang

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My standard bow's Speed was upgradeable at level 3 then 8, if that helps. Also, I love the pure maths on whether upgrading Reload Speed or Clip size give a weapon the best boost to its "up" time, if you see what I mean. Out of curiosity more than anything, I know you are never recommended to tinker with either. Good luck with the guide!

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When you say "upgradeable at level 3" do you mean that once you clicked the "upgrade attack speed" icon, it became a level 4 bow? Just clarifying.

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My initial guess on improving your weapon's %uptime through clip / reload bonus is that it's very rarely worth it. Base damage scales with too many other variables. That and the fact that you're not necessarily shooting 100% of the time, people will consider it a waste except in pure boss-DPS scenarios.

Still a good point though. Eventually we'll have the numbers to explore the idea.

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When you say "upgradeable at level 3" do you mean that once you clicked the "upgrade attack speed" icon, it became a level 4 bow? Just clarifying.


Correct, and on 2nd upgrade it became level 9.

Edit: Let me check that, I just did the 2nd upgrade a moment ago but I turned the game off.

Further Edit: Yes it's level 9

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Some unconfirmed observations from me:

Shots per seconds stat is ROUNDED. You might have a weapon with 4.49 attack speed or 3.51, and both'll show 4. (Unknown what upgrading it does, I'm assuming +1/second.)

Piercing Shot also scales from Hero Damage.

Hero Damage stat adds n% to base damage.

I have seen around 18-19% damage increases from weapon upgrades.

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Shots per seconds stat is ROUNDED. You might have a weapon with 4.49 attack speed or 3.51, and both'll show 4. (Unknown what upgrading it does, I'm assuming +1/second.)

Piercing Shot also scales from Hero Damage.

Hero Damage stat adds n% to base damage.

I have seen around 18-19% damage increases from weapon upgrades.


Interesting observations.

How would you know if a weapon has "3.51" attack speed? Have you parsed/FRAPSed something? What situation suggests this rounding -- two weapons of the same type with the same attack speed listed shooting at noticeably different speeds?

The hero damage stat increases piercing shot damage? Are you certain? Is it just that Piercing Shot damage is based off of the Weapon Damage AFTER applying hero damage stat?

What is n%? My initial (lame) tests have been "slightly more than 1%".

Would love a screenshot of a weapon getting more than 15% base damage increase -- I've certainly never seen it. There is certainly minor rounding sometimes.

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Interesting observations.

How would you know if a weapon has "3.51" attack speed? Have you parsed/FRAPSed something? What situation suggests this rounding -- two weapons of the same type with the same attack speed listed shooting at noticeably different speeds?

The hero damage stat increases piercing shot damage? Are you certain? Is it just that Piercing Shot damage is based off of the Weapon Damage AFTER applying hero damage stat?

What is n%? My initial (lame) tests have been "slightly more than 1%".

Would love a screenshot of a weapon getting more than 15% base damage increase -- I've certainly never seen it. There is certainly minor rounding sometimes.


- 2 weapons with the same listed attack speed shooting at noticeably different speeds. The numbers were examples.

- Hero damage affects ranged damage. Piercing shot's damage is based on this modified ranged damage + piercing shot stat. This is easy to test with simple gear swap.

- I don't know what the n% is, just confirming that is is %-based instead of fixed number. Probably around your 1%.

- I picked the numbers from an old guide. To be exact, I've seen 18-19% DPS increases from weapon upgrades. Haven't paid attention to base damage increases.

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- 2 weapons with the same listed attack speed shooting at noticeably different speeds. The numbers were examples.

- Hero damage affects ranged damage. Piercing shot's damage is based on this modified ranged damage + piercing shot stat. This is easy to test with simple gear swap.

- I don't know what the n% is, just confirming that is is %-based instead of fixed number. Probably around your 1%.

- I picked the numbers from an old guide. To be exact, I've seen 18-19% DPS increases from weapon upgrades. Haven't paid attention to base damage increases.


2 weapons of the SAME TYPE with the same attack speed, shooting at different speeds? I've noticed that grenade launchers, for example, are very slow, and a 4 attack speed is still slower than a 3 shotgun.

The 18-19% DPS increase is due to the 15% base damage increase, plus the extra % from player attack stats. Important to differentiate the two -- base damage is not DPS. I am fairly certain the 15% base damage increase (max of +80) per level up is a fixed rule, subject to rounding.

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2 weapons of the SAME TYPE with the same attack speed, shooting at different speeds? I've noticed that grenade launchers, for example, are very slow, and a 4 attack speed is still slower than a 3 shotgun.

The 18-19% DPS increase is due to the 15% base damage increase, plus the extra % from player attack stats. Important to differentiate the two -- base damage is not DPS. I am fairly certain the 15% base damage increase (max of +80) per level up is a fixed rule, subject to rounding.


I'm not sure what weapons are considered the same type by the game mechanics - I've seen this a a few times with "normal" bows (your "all other weapons" category)

I recall seeing the +18/19% DPS increase on a pure tower build character, who doesn't have any points in hero damage. But this might be my error or just rounding. You are most likely correct on the 15%/80 if your observations suggest it.

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I'm not sure what weapons are considered the same type by the game mechanics - I've seen this a a few times with "normal" bows (your "all other weapons" category)


Ok, must investigate.

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There are some weapons with specific types of shots. The Soul Focuser from insane Alchemical Laboratory pierces mobs AND the environment. Shooting through walls is awesome.

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I've been playing around with the huntress guardian. The effect is actually very noticeable. Sitting on an ethereal spike trap, she cut the reset time in half. I used her in Ramparts, and one trap could take out a whole chain of wyverns, excepting the electric ones.

There are some downsides though, she can only affect one trap at a time, so upgrading her range past a certain point is pointless, unless it's needed to buff her bonus (I seem to be able to do this every 3 levels or so while upgrading range, but I haven't tried upgrading her main stats). Also, the only way to choose which trap she buffs is to be closest to it. This is okay in some circumstances, but I don't usually want to be sitting on my traps.

You get one for free for doing The Summit, though the stats seem to be better if you're in a group or on a harder difficulty.

About weapons: if your reload speed is fast, there really is no point in not buffing your shots per second. If it's slow, buffing it is still an overall dps buff.

--Does anyone know how to get animi to start showing up in the store? Do I have to beat a certain map, or something (pc version)?

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I've been playing around with the huntress guardian. The effect is actually very noticeable. Sitting on an ethereal spike trap, she cut the reset time in half. I used her in Ramparts, and one trap could take out a whole chain of wyverns, excepting the electric ones.

There are some downsides though, she can only affect one trap at a time, so upgrading her range past a certain point is pointless, unless it's needed to buff her bonus (I seem to be able to do this every 3 levels or so while upgrading range, but I haven't tried upgrading her main stats). Also, the only way to choose which trap she buffs is to be closest to it. This is okay in some circumstances, but I don't usually want to be sitting on my traps.

You get one for free for doing The Summit, though the stats seem to be better if you're in a group or on a harder difficulty.

About weapons: if your reload speed is fast, there really is no point in not buffing your shots per second. If it's slow, buffing it is still an overall dps buff.

--Does anyone know how to get animi to start showing up in the store? Do I have to beat a certain map, or something (pc version)?


Good info about Huntress guardian, will include it.

Buffing shots per second is not necessarily always the best option for maximum DPS. Consider all other factors, one of which as you mentioned is % of time spent reloading.

Animi have a chance to show up in the shop for doing hard or insane tier-3 maps, though your question is not on topic with my thread.

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No mention of Angel pet?


Apparently not, by all means tell me about it and I'll include it in the list.

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I apologize for being off topic with my question. It's been bugging me for a while now though. I've been farming ramparts on hard mode and I've never seen one.

About the Guardian. Her range, when you invest in it, goes up very quickly. It wasn't long before I could be pretty far from the trap she was buffing and she'd still be casting her spell. My biggest gripe about her was, if I have to sit here to buff this trap, why don't I just shoot the wyverns myself?

And while buffing shots per second isn't always the biggest dps increase, it's always a dps increase. I mean, it doesn't lower your dps by making you reload more. I guess that's a small point, but it seemed lost in your guide/original post. If you like burst, but don't want to lower your overall dps, it's a good thing to know.

The scorpion guns (disc shooters) pierce the target dummy. I haven't played around with one, but I've read that the bird bows pierce as well.

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Apparently not, by all means tell me about it and I'll include it in the list.


I have a nice one locked in my bank at the moment. It increases defence attack rate, which I guess translates to trap reset speed.

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Just curious, what do you recommend upgrading on armor ? Do people upgrade the resistances, or should I upgrade physical attack or pierce shot (is that possible?) for a DPS build ?

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Do you have any feeling for how much weight Projectile Speed might count for? Say I can build 2 Bonies right now, and the one with the better damage (call it 600) has projectile speed +10, while the lesser damage (call it 500) has projectile speed 575.

Edit: I'm actually thinking it counts for almost nothing.

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