Satrina's Hits, Misses, and Crits


#1

Hits, Misses, and Crits

Originally posted on the Evil Empire guild website as a part of Satrina’s warrior guides. This was excavated from an archive made by the Wayback Machine. As such, offsite links will likely not work.

Satrina@Stormrage - Last updated 19 August 2006

How Does It All Work?

Hitting, missing and critting is a pretty important aspect of the warrior, most would agree. How does it all work, though? There’s a common belief amongst players that when you swing your weapon, a series of checks takes place:

  • Random to see if your attack misses
  • Random to see if your attack is dodged
  • Random to see if your attack is parried
  • Random to see if your attack is blocked
  • Random to see if your attack is a critical hit
  • If you get here, your attack is a normal hit

This is a short-circuit evaluation - you run down the possibilities, and jump out at the first point that one of the conditions comes true. In this case, you jump out when a generated random number is less than or equal to the chance to miss/dodge/parry/block/crit, and if you get past crit, you have made a regular hit. When you first consider it, this is the idea that makes sense right away. It can’t possibly be what actually happens, though, for two reasons. The first is mathematical, and ties into this statement from Blizzard: The way WoW calculates crit rate is over ALL attacks. Crit rate is not based on hits only. In other words, if you have a 5% crit rate, that 5% chance includes misses. (From here. Read it all, we’ll refer to it later). If we determined the result of an attack using the above method, then the dodge, parry, block, and critical hit numbers would be wrong - you would not get your 5% critical hit rate over all swings - and so the above statement would be false (proof here). That’s the real showstopper.

The second reason is technical. Consider this: How many attacks are being made every second on the server, when you count all players and mobs in combat at a given time? Thousands, certainly. The calculation power needed for thousands of simultaneous players adds up quickly, and if you throw in five random number calculations (six for mobs with crushing blows) for every combat action, you will very quickly bog down the server by sheer number of calculations. You definitely need a better, faster, way.

What’s The Answer Then?

Most likely table based combat - the stalwart mainstay of pen and paper games. EverQuest uses it, and so does every other MMO so far as we know, so we’ll make an educated assumption that WoW does, too, for the same reasons of programming efficiency that everyone else does - not to mention it is mathematically impossible for it to be short-circuit evaluation given what Blizzard has told us about how combat works. In a table based combat system, every possible outcome for an attack is, well, put in a table. Each entry in the table is assigned a numeric range. Now when you make an attack, a single random number is generated and the result is looked up on the table. It’s definitely less costly for the server to generate tables as needed before combat starts, and tables are likely kept around for a period of time for efficiency before being deleted. A table might look like this:

  • 000-049 = Miss (5%)
  • 050-149 = Dodge (10%)
  • 150-249 = Parry (10%)
  • 250-349 = Block (10%)
  • 350-499 = Critical Hit (15%)
  • 500-999 = Hit (50%)

For this table we generate a single random number between 0 and 999 and look up what happens. If it’s not a miss, dodge, or parry, then generate the damage done. If it was a block, subtract the block value from it. If it is a critical hit, double it. And so on.

+ToHit +Crit

Since you read the blue post linked above, you know that when you add +1% to hit, you lose 1% to miss. Similarly, adding 1% to critical hit will remove 1% to hit - we know this because it’s the only place it can come off. You aren’t going to reduce the chance to dodge, block, or parry, so it leaves only your chance to hit to take it out of. Fair trade. Let’s add 1% to hit and see what happens:

  • 000-039 = Miss (4%)
  • 040-139 = Dodge (10%)
  • 140-239 = Parry (10%)
  • 240-339 = Block (10%)
  • 340-489 = Critical Hit (15%)
  • 490-999 = Hit (51%)

Or, 1% critical hit chance:

  • 000-049 = Miss (5%)
  • 050-149 = Dodge (10%)
  • 150-249 = Parry (10%)
  • 250-349 = Block (10%)
  • 350-509 = Critical Hit (16%)
  • 510-999 = Hit (49%)

How about both:

  • 000-039 = Miss (4%)
  • 040-139 = Dodge (10%)
  • 140-239 = Parry (10%)
  • 240-339 = Block (10%)
  • 340-499 = Critical Hit (16%)
  • 500-999 = Hit (50%)

Adding items with +dodge, +parry, and +block will similarly affect the table when it is generated.

Overpower And Other Special Cases

Overpower is a pretty special case. It can’t be dodged, blocked, or parried - it can only miss, crit, or hit. With talents, you can get an additional 50% chance to critically hit. Overpower will have its own special table. Let’s assume we still have a base 15% chance to crit:

  • 000-049 = Miss (5%)
  • 050-699 = Critical Hit (65%)
  • 700-999 = Hit (30%)

If we had a 45% chance to crit as well as the overpower talents, the table would be either miss or critical hit…

Blocks and Critical Hits

Here we speak to the blocked critical hit. Actually, we speak to it here: (Go read about blocking)

Conclusion

We’ve definitely proved that WoW cannot be using a short-circuit evaluation, and given a compelling argument for table based combat. What does that give to you? Not much, really =) It doesn’t change the way the game plays for you, but hey, you have learned a bit more about how the game works! More seriously, you’ve got a clearer idea of what happens when you put on a piece of gear with +crit or +hit.