Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Blades of Shade Raise Strange Questions

Pirate101 Blades of Shade

Duncan Stormthief, or in this case, Greedy Duncan, posted a very interesting question on the Pirate101 message boards. In an effort to test for an answer, we discovered something strange that led to more unanswered questions.

Angry Birds

There's no question that Cadmus is a farming hotspot. In the latest Pirate101 newsletter, One-Eyed Jack told us that on average, a player repeats Cadmus eight times over. That means that for every pirate who sped through him once, there was also a pirate who fought him at least fifteen times.

The boss and the enemies in the battle all have crazy heals - one cast for 1000 to 1500 health. And they aren't limited to one, either. It makes me happy that my Musketeer didn't particularly need anything from Cadmus. For those who do spent time farming him, they have a chance at the rare Blades of Shade that he wields.

What's so special about this weapon?

Besides the fact that the Blades of Shade look awesome, they also do 160-266 magical damage, give seven armor, and have 20% armor piercing capability. What's strange about this is that it's a melee weapon that isn't doing physical damage. It allows melee players to hit while ignoring armor.

Greedy Duncan, a member of the Petnome Pirates team, had an interesting question - if they do magical damage, what would be the purpose of piercing armor? Armor is for physical damage. He posted a question for Ratbeard in THIS thread on the official forums regarding the armor piercing, to which Ratbeard responded:

Pirate101 Blades of Shade1) Most of the "knife" weapons have a bit of armor penetration on them; it's one of the ways to make this weapon type distinct from all the others. 
2) Yes, the armor penetration will apply against the Resist value. 
3) You may enjoy the benefits of Armor Penetration in other ways, such as when a Swashbuckler uses his throwing blades power. Armor Penetration is a stat like any other, so boosting it is always of value-- even if you're not using the Blades of Shade themselves to make the attack.

Testing, Testing...

Before Ratbeard did respond, Duncan and I got in-game to test out the Blades of Shade. I would use a character with small amounts of resistance, small amounts of armor, and no armor. He would never hit above his carefully-recorded damage range, but would sometimes hit slightly below - a good indicator that my natural resistance was working.

Pirate101 Blades of Shade

However, there were two hits that threw us completely off. They did damage in the mid 100's, whereas his damage range was somewhere around 270-300. It is important to note that on each of these hits, he used an animation that swung only one of the swords, whereas the others all utilize both. Because I had only 18 natural resistance, and he had a much higher damage range, this opened a whole new can of worms.

The REAL Question

If that damage had been doubled in both instances, it would have fallen within his damage range. Duncan's first thought was that it had to do with the fact that the blades are a Slashy/Stabby weapon, and perhaps only the Slashy damage was being used. However, subtract my 18 resistance and the damage from Stabby attack bonuses, and you still don't come close to the damage that Duncan did. Could it be that with combination weapons, however, you have the potential to use only one?

I'm thinking of a more logical answer - damage outliers. Just as you can critical and hit 133%, 166%, or 200% of your original damage, so can you also hit lower than your range. In this case, 50% damage. It's somewhat confusing to me that they'd insert these in and not have them somehow included in the range or explained in combat. That in mind, I'm only posing this as a possible explanation and not one that I'm sure of by any stretch. 

I have left my own question concerning these results with Ratbeard on a thread HERE. He has yet to answer, but I thought I'd open up this question to the community - what could have caused this strangely low damage with the swing of a single sword?

Have an idea? Let me know! Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral! Credits: Thanks to Greedy Duncan for allowing me to assist in testing and for photos of his character. This topic and these photos are posted with his permission.


  1. Fast and Speedy Bucc but not a swashFebruary 25, 2014 at 9:45 PM

    I have no idea where I or most of us would be without you!

  2. Fast and Speedy Bucc but not a swashFebruary 25, 2014 at 9:47 PM

    What pirate class is Duncan?


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