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Threat range

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Each weapon has a threat range for critical hits.

A critical threat is obtained when you roll a d20 to hit your opponent and the result (before applying any bonus or penalty) is within the threat range of your weapon (even if your modified attack roll wouldn't beat the opponent's AC).

A critical threat means you have a chance to score a critical hit. To do so, a confirmation roll is made, with the same to-hit bonus being applied (plus extra confirmation bonuses such as Seeker, Kensei enhancements, Fighter Critical Accuracy, etc.); in this roll, 1's do not automatically fail to hit. This roll must beat the target's AC in order to "confirm" the critical hit.

In DDO, a confirmation roll can still succeed on a roll of 1; it does not auto-miss on such a roll.

If that roll also results in a hit against the target's AC, the critical hit is confirmed, and the base damage is rolled once for every critical hit multiplier. If the confirmation roll is a miss, then the attack is not a critical hit and is rolled as a normal attack (IE, auto-success on natural 20 or test vs. AC for non-20).

All weapons create a critical threat on a roll of 20, but some have a larger threat range, extending down to 19-20 or even 18-20.

Common weapons' threat range/multiplier[edit]

18-20 19-20 20
x2
x3
x4

Ways to increase threat range[edit]

  • The Keen (slashing/piercing) or Impact (bludgeoning) weapon prefixes double the weapon's base threat range. A Kukri (base threat range 18-20) with Keen, for example, will have a threat range of 15-20. This does not stack with Improved Critical.
  • The Improved Critical feat doubles the base threat range for any equipped weapon in a specific category (slashing/piercing/bludgeoning/ranged/thrown). This does not stack with Keen/Impact.
  • Competence bonus to threat range can come from various sources. Bonuses to critical threat range usually are not doubled Improved Critical. Multiple effects granting competence bonus don't stack.
    • Barbarian's Critical Rage gives a +2 bonus while raging.
    • Bard's Swashbuckling enhancement modifies the threat / multiplier as follows
      • Dagger, Shortsword, Throwing Dagger: +1 Threat, +1 Multiplier
      • Light Mace, Light Hammer, Kama, Sickle, Dart, Shuriken, Throwing Axe, Throwing Hammer: +2 Threat, +1 Multiplier
      • Kukri, Rapier: +1 Multiplier
      • Handaxe: +2 Threat
      • Light Pick: +1 Threat
        Unlike most bonuses, Swashbuckling bonus to threat is doubled by Improved Critical.
    • Fighter's Keen Edge enhancement adds 1 to the threat range of a his/her selected weapon group.
    • Gnome's and Deep Gnome's Weapon Training adds +1 for light hammers, light maces, light picks, shortswords, shortbows, light crossbows, and light repeating crossbows.
    • Paladin spell: Holy Sword: +1 to threat and multiplier for all weapons, but not shields.
    • Staff Specialization, available for Rogues and Monks, adds +1 to threat and multiplier for quarterstaves
    • Knife Specialization, available for Assassins, adds +1 to threat for daggers. Additionally, it adds +1 multiplier for daggers and kukris.
      Unlike most bonuses, Assassin's bonus to threat is doubled by Improved Critical.
    • Master Thrower (Halfling): +1 threat for thrown weapons
    • Deadly Striker: while centered: +2 for Kama/Shuriken, +0 Handwraps/Quarterstaff, +1 with any weapon
    • Empty Hand Mastery: +1 threat and multiplier for Handwraps
    • Advanced Sneak Attack, available for Rangers, adds +1 to threat with all weapons (not shields/unarmed).
  • Divine Crusader's Celestial Champion provides +1 critical threat range with all weapons. (Does not apply to handwraps or while in an animal form.)
  • Vanguard's 5th core ability increases the threat range and multiplier of your shield by 1.
  • Violence Begets Violence - While Centered, when an opponent misses you in melee, you gain +1 critical threat range for 6 seconds. This stacks up to 5 times and is reset if you critically hit.

Many active attacks, often coming from enhancements, feats, or epic destiny abilities, modify the critical threat and/or multiplier of a single attack. These effects usually stack with everything else. For example:

Weapon damage comparison[edit]

Note that this calculation does not include additional damage from strength modifier, weapon enhancement bonus, weapon prefix/suffix effects, etc., resulting in x2 multiplier weapons looking better than they really are. This calculation also assumes a 100% critical confirmation roll, in this case resulting in lower threat weapons (which usually carry a better multiplier) looking better.
To understand the breaking point, besides the obvious critical effects, consider how often you hit an opponent. The harder it is to hit (attack roll vs AC), the better it is to have a higher threat range weapon as you always hit on a non-confirmed critical.


STR modifier example:
(on hit with vanilla weapons, does not consider glancing blows, feats or enhancements)

  • a strength 10 (+0) fighter
    • Bastard Sword: 5.5 base expected, 11 on crit → 6.1 avg
    • Khopesh: 4.5 base expected, 13.5 on crit → 5.4 avg
  • a strength 30 (+10) fighter
    • Bastard Sword: 15.5 base expected, 31 on crit → 17.05 avg
    • Khopesh: 14.5 base expected, 43.5 on crit → 17.4 avg
  • a strength 30 (+10) fighter
    • Bastard Sword: 20.5 base expected, 41 on crit → 22.55 avg
    • Khopesh: 19.5 base expected, 58.5 on crit → 23.4 avg
Weapon Type Base
Damage
Type
Base
Damage
Expected
Damage
Crit range Crit
multiplier
Avg Dmg Keen / Impact /
Improved Critical
Avg Dmg
Kensei III /
Paladin Exalted Smite II /
Deepwood Sniper I
with Impr. Crit
Paladin Exalted
Smite IV
with Impr. Crit
Shuriken Slashing 1d2 1.5 20 (5%) x2 1.6 1.7 1.7 1.8
Dagger Piercing 1d4 2.5 19-20 (10%) x2 2.8 3.0 3.1 3.3
Dart Piercing 1d4 2.5 20 (5%) x2 2.6 2.8 2.9 3.0
Throwing Dagger Piercing 1d4 2.5 20 (5%) x2 2.6 2.8 2.9 3.0
Throwing Hammer Bludgeon 1d4 2.5 20 (5%) x2 2.6 2.8 2.9 3.0
Light Hammer Bludgeon 1d4 2.5 20 (5%) x2 2.6 2.8 2.9 3.0
Kukri Slashing 1d4 2.5 18-20 (15%) x2 2.9 3.3 3.4 3.5
Light Pick Piercing 1d4 2.5 20 (5%) x4 2.9 3.3 3.6 4.0
Scepter (Club) Bludgeon 1d6 3.5 20 (5%) x2 3.7 3.9 4.0 4.2
Light Mace Bludgeon 1d6 3.5 20 (5%) x2 3.7 3.9 4.0 4.2
Quarterstaff Bludgeon 1d6 3.5 20 (5%) x2 3.7 3.9 4.0 4.2
Sickle Slashing 1d6 3.5 20 (5%) x2 3.7 3.9 4.0 4.2
Handaxe Slashing 1d6 3.5 20 (5%) x3 3.9 4.2 4.6 4.9
Scimitar Slashing 1d6 3.5 18-20 (15%) x2 4.0 4.6 4.7 4.9
Shortsword Piercing 1d6 3.5 19-20 (10%) x2 3.9 4.2 4.4 4.6
Rapier Piercing 1d6 3.5 18-20 (15%) x2 4.0 4.6 4.7 4.9
Heavy Pick Piercing 1d6 3.5 20 (5%) x4 4.0 4.6 5.1 5.6
Shortbow Piercing 1d6 3.5 20 (5%) x3 3.9 4.2 4.6 4.9
Throwing Axe Slashing 1d6 3.5 20 (5%) x3 3.9 4.2 4.6 4.9
Kama Slashing 1d6 3.5 20 (5%) x2 3.7 3.9 4.0 4.2
Heavy Mace Bludgeon 1d8 4.5 20 (5%) x2 4.7 5.0 5.2 5.4
Morningstar Bludgeon 1d8 4.5 20 (5%) x2 4.7 5.0 5.2 5.4
Light Crossbow Piercing 1d8 4.5 19-20 (10%) x2 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.9
Warhammer Bludgeon 1d8 4.5 20 (5%) x3 5.0 5.4 5.9 6.3
Battleaxe Slashing 1d8 4.5 20 (5%) x3 5.0 5.4 5.9 6.3
Longsword Slashing 1d8 4.5 19-20 (10%) x2 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.9
Longbow Piercing 1d8 4.5 20 (5%) x3 5.0 5.4 5.9 6.3
Khopesh Slashing 1d8 4.5 19-20 (10%) x3 5.4 6.3 6.8 7.2
Repeating Light Crossbow Piercing 1d8 4.5 19-20 (10%) x2 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.9
Falchion Slashing 2d4 5 18-20 (15%) x2 5.8 6.5 6.8 7.0
Heavy Crossbow Piercing 1d10 5.5 19-20 (10%) x2 6.1 6.6 6.9 7.2
Greatclub Bludgeon 1d10 5.5 20 (5%) x2 5.8 6.1 6.3 6.6
Maul Bludgeon 1d10 5.5 20 (5%) x3 6.1 6.6 7.2 7.7
Dwarven Axe Slashing 1d10 5.5 20 (5%) x3 6.1 6.6 7.2 7.7
Bastard Sword Slashing 1d10 5.5 19-20 (10%) x2 6.1 6.6 6.9 7.2
Repeating Heavy Crossbow Piercing 1d10 5.5 19-20 (10%) x2 6.1 6.6 6.9 7.2
Greataxe Slashing 1d12 6.5 20 (5%) x3 7.2 7.8 8.5 9.1
Greatsword Slashing 2d6 7 19-20 (10%) x2 7.7 8.4 8.8 9.1
Great Crossbow Piercing 2d8 9 18-20 (15%) x2 10.4 11.7 12.2 12.6

Named weapons[edit]

Certain named weapons have better critical profile than default. (List originally from DDO Forums.)

Bastard Swords[edit]
Battleaxes[edit]
  • Axe of Adaxus [ML 12 -> 25] - 1.5[1d10]+5, 20/x4 -> 3[1d10]+7, 20/x4
Daggers[edit]
Darts[edit]
Dwarven Axes[edit]
Falchions[edit]
Great Axes[edit]
Great Clubs[edit]
Great Swords[edit]
Handaxes[edit]
Heavy Crossbows[edit]
Heavy Maces[edit]
  • Phosphor [ML 14] - 1.5[2d4]+5, 18-20/x2
  • Forgotten Light [ML 23 -> 25] - 2.5[1d8]+6, 19-20/x2 -> 2.5[1d8]+7, 19-20/x2
Heavy Picks[edit]
  • Deathnip [ML 14] - 1.5[1d6]+5, 18-20/x4
Kamas[edit]
Khopeshes[edit]
Light Crossbows[edit]
Light Maces[edit]
Longbows[edit]
Longswords[edit]
Mauls[edit]
Morningstars[edit]
Quarterstaves[edit]
Rapiers[edit]
Repeating Light Crossbows[edit]
Scimitars[edit]
Shortbows[edit]
Shortswords[edit]
Shurikens[edit]
  • Snowstar [ML 8] - 1.5[1d4]+4, 18-20/x2
Sickles[edit]
Warhammers[edit]