So recently I've been trying to calculate for myself which amp has the best DPS versus Eidolon shields, but immediately I hit a very weird problem. The Eidolon's shields have damage reduction, which is weird in itself because shields don't normally reduce damage. But the weirder thing was that different amps got reduced by a different amount, which shouldn't happen since you're hitting the same enemy with the same damage type (void damage) no matter which amp you use.
As an example of this weirdness, the Raplak prism has 3000 base damage and deals 174 damage to the Teralyst per shot, meaning it only does 5.8% of the amp's listed damage. The Propa scaffold on the other hand has 9000 base damage and does 369 damage to the Teralyst, meaning it does 4.1% of the listed damage. The difference between 5.8% and 4.1% might not seem big at first, but if the Propa scaffold did 5.8% damage like the Raplak prism does, the Propa scaffold would be doing 522 damage per shot instead of 369. That's 40% more damage, which is definitely a significant difference.
Another strange problem was that critical hits don't do the amount of damage they are supposed to. For example, the Raplak prism has a 2.6 crit multiplier. If we multiply the weapon's previously mentioned 174 damage by its 2.6 crit multiplier, we get a critical hit damage of 452. However if we actually go and test this on the Teralyst, the weapon does 679 damage on critical hits, which is 50% more damage than expected!
So what the hell is going on here? Not only is the damage reduction inconsistent, but critical hits are randomly dealing more damage than they should. Well to figure out the problem, I used a focus ability called Void Strike (in the Madurai focus school) to do some testing. Void strike lets me charge up my damage while in void mode, and I can stack it as high as I want (as long as I'm patient). I used void strike to test different amps' damage with varying damage buffs, and then plotted them on graphs. Here are my results from my void strike damage testing.
I'll walk you through the first image, which shows my data from testing the Raplak prism. I tested the weapon's damage with a void strike damage multiplier of 2x, 3x, 4x, … all the way up to 17x damage. I recorded the damage numbers (in "observed damage") that I got at each damage multiplier value, and graphed it versus the damage multiplier itself. I then found the equation for the line that goes through the points, which came out to 120x + 54, where x is the damage multiplier.
Here's where things get interesting. If you're math savvy, you might immediately see a problem with the equation for the line. The y-intercept is 54 instead of 0, meaning that using this equation, if we multiplied our amp damage by 0 we would still do 54 damage per hit. That's obviously strange since 0 times any number should be 0! So this immediately tells us something very odd is happening to our damage. The 120x part of the equation tells us that our damage is increasing by 120 for every extra 1 added to our void strike damage multiplier. This is also strange, since you would think it would increase by 174 since that is our weapon's damage. This equation is telling us that if we multiply our 174 damage by 2, we add 120 more damage to our amp instead of 174.
So you can see some weird mechanics are at work here. In order to make sure this strangeness wasn't a unique problem with the Raplak prism, I also did extensive testing with the Rahn prism and Propa scaffold, shown in the second image of the same link used above. I found similar results, with the Rahn's 1000 damage becoming 40x + 19 (with x again just being the damage multiplier), and Propa's 9000 damage becoming 360x + 7. If we call the first number of the equation (the one being multiplied by x) the "base damage" and the other number the "flat damage", you'll notice that the base damage is 1/25 of the weapon's listed damage. For example, the Raplak prism is listed as having 3000 damage, and deals 3000/25 = 120 "base damage" versus the eidolon, with 54 flat damage added on top for a total of 174 damage per hit.
The other thing about my data that I haven't gone over yet is critical hits. Most of my crit testing was done with the Propa scaffold and Rahn prism, both shown in the second image. The behavior here is very similar to what I talked about above, and even further confirms my theory of having a "base damage" that is affected by buffs and a "flat damage" that is simply added on top afterwards. I found that on critical hits, a weapon's base damage is multiplied by twice its listed critical multiplier, and then the flat damage is added on top. For example, the Raplak prism does 120x + 54 damage on normal hits and has a 2.6 crit multiplier, so on a crit it would deal (120 * 2 * 2.6) + 54 = 678, which is extremely close to the 679 damage that I observed in my testing!
Conclusion / TL:DR: When attacking an Eidolon with an operator amp, divide the amp's listed damage by 25. This is the weapon's "base damage." When calculating your damage versus the Eidolon, all damage buffs (void strike, unairu wisp, critical damage) are applied to this base damage, and then a "flat damage" value is added on afterwards. This flat damage value is not affected by any buffs, and does not seem to be related to the weapon's listed damage, meaning it can only be found through testing. To put it simply, amp damage versus Eidolon shields acts entirely how you'd expect it to, except you deal 1/25 damage, crits deal twice as much damage as expected, and you get a flat amount of damage (not affected by any buffs) added on top of your regular damage after all buffs have been taken into account.
As a final example so that things are hopefully (somewhat) clear, let's use the Raplak prism, a void strike multiplier of 3, and calculate the critical hit damage versus an Eidolon. The weapon has a crit multiplier of 2.6 and listed damage of 3000, so our "base damage" is 3000/25 = 120. Through testing, the weapon's flat damage has been found to be 54. So on a critical hit, we deal (120 * 5.2 * 3) + 54 = 1872 + 54 = 1926 damage.
If anyone has any questions about my methods are how any of this works, feel free to ask in the comments. I've tested all of the prisms/scaffolds, buffs, arcanes, etc pretty extensively so hopefully I can shed light on any mysteries you might have about Eidolon shields.
All I want to know is, is this "flat damage" behavior intentional? It almost seems like a bug with how random the damage values are. Or it could be a behind the scenes balancing tool they use, but if that's the case then this should really be made clearer.
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