How damage types and stats interact to increase or decrease the amount of damage that is dealt.
Popup Dungeon has a diverse stat and damage system that is not easy to interpret at first glance.
This is meant to be an introductory guide to explain the basics, so it won’t get into min/maxing or the math behind how many points of stat X will cause Y damage. Instead, it is intended to explain how damage is generally impacted through the use of character and loot stats.
For those who are new to the game, or those still trying to understand how damage and stats work – hopefully this guide helps you connect the dots so you get get back into your dungeon delving and craft that perfect fireball.
Character Sheet Basics
Before we get into how stats affect damage, let’s take a quick look at our character sheet and how stats are displayed.
Character stats come in two main flavours – Defenses and Statistics.
You can see these labelled on your character sheet directly.
Defenses are stats that help you stay alive longer. They tend to boost your health and reduce damage received from various sources.
Statistics affect your offensive prowess, like damage boosts, but they also have stats that affect AP gain, movement, etc..
Your character sheet is also divided into Strengths and Weaknesses, where text is coloured green and red accordingly.
It is worth noting that only stats that provide a strength (positive adjustment) or a weakness (negative adjustment) are displayed. Technically the game has many, many stats – but if nothing is affecting them from their neutral position, they are hidden.
Stats are also given an adjective to describe how far its score is from its neutral position. Some stats use a % system, while others use a fixed number system. Not everything is apples to apples, so the game helps by assigning words like Good, Decent, Great, Abysmal, etc..
Damage Categories & Types
Every source of damage is made up of 3 categories – let’s call them Primary, Secondary and Tertiary.
There are 17 damage types in the game, but it is important to note that they each fit into one of those three categories. Let’s sort them so you can see how this looks:
Primary: Mundane or Magical.
Secondary: Elemental, Physical or Energy.
Tertiary: Air, Blunt, Body, Dark, Earth, Fire, Light, Mind, Piercing, Slashing, Spirit, or Water.
So every damage source must have one damage type from each of the three categories above.
For example, a Fireball is: Magical and Elemental and Fire.
How to Tell a Damage Type
You can tell the primary type of damage (mundane or magical) by the shape of the icon on the ability card. A square icon denotes mundane. A circle icon is magical.
You can tell the secondary type of damage (physical, energy or elemental) because these are fixed to the tertiary type. For example, Air is always Elemental. Slashing is always Physical. Light is always Energy. Etc..
You can tell the tertiary type of damage (fire, slashing, etc..) by the icon image on the ability card. Each has their own unique picture.
If you right-click on an ability card, and hover over the card info with your mouse – tool-tips will pop-up and explain all this info, plus ability definitions, range, usage, etc.. But you have to right-click on the ability card to get this info. It does not show on the card normally.
Impact of Stats on Damage
Now that we know every damage source is made up of three types (Primary -> Secondary -> Tertiary), it helps us understand how stat boosts affect damage.
Let’s go back to our Fireball example. Any stat that affects the attacker’s Statistics of either Magical, Elemental or Fire will affect the damage output of the fireball. If it is a Strength, it will boost the damage. It it is a Weakness, it will reduce the damage.
Likewise, any stat that affects the target’s Defense of those 3 types will affect how much damage is received on that target. If it is a Strength, it will reduce the damage. It it is a Weakness, it will increase the damage.
Other Stats That Impact Damage
We talked about stats that are connected to the damage source (Primary -> Secondary -> Tertiary). But there is a second stat system which is independent of all that.
These stats are not concerned with whether an ability is mundane, or elemental, or fire, or anything to do with its source. It doesn’t care if your fireball is made out of luke warm cat vomit (though your opponent might).
Let’s review these stats. The first one is the grand-daddy of them all:
Power is a Statistic that increases the damage of just about every source. It doesn’t matter what category, type, or the range of where the target is – if your target is going to receive damage, Power will boost that damage.
Power is your friend. That said, because Power is so wide reaching in terms of its affect – you’ll tend to find that when you find loot with Power on it, the number boost isn’t as high as a boost with something more specific, like Fire.
For example, the same level equipment might give you +100 Fire Power (1/12) , +65 Elemental Power (1/3), +60 Magical Power (1/2), or +50 Power (1/1).
Let’s get back to reviewing the remaining stats that affect damage.
The final group of stats are best reviewed in pairs, as each combo has a counter-stat that tends to offset the other. It also helps you remember them a bit more when you view them this way.
Defense <-> Armor Penetration
Defense – Decreases the damage of just about every damage source. In some respects, it is the anti-thesis to Power because it has the same versatility, just in a defensive format. It is definitely the best defense stat you can get as it reduces all damage types.
Armor Penetration – This stat is the real counter to Defense. In fact, if your target does not have any Defense, your Armor Penetration is useless. It is an offensive Statistic where every point of Armor Penetration deducts one point of Defence.
Aim <-> Cover
Aim – A powerful damage booster, similar to Power in that is applies to any category and type of damage source. Its only caveat is that the target must be 2+ squares away, so it only applies to ranged attacks. Aim is represented as a %, and caps at 100%. However, the counter to Aim is Cover (explained below), and Aim values that exceed 100% overflow to reduce a target’s Cover, if it has any.
Cover – Decreases the damage of every source, but requires the damage to be a ranged attack (at least 2 squares away). As mentioned above, Aim scores greater than 100% also remove Cover points.
Focus <-> Reflexes
Focus – is a damage booster that applies to all types of damage but they have to be Area of Effect (AoE) damage. Similar to how Aim and Cover work, Focus is a % which caps at 100%. The counter to Focus is Reflexes (explained below), and Focus values that exceed 100% overflow to reduce a target’s Reflexes, if it has any.
Reflexes – Decreases the damage of every source, but requires the damage to be AoE in nature. As mentioned above, Focus scores greater than 100% also remove Reflexes points.
Critical Chance <-> Evasion
Critical Chance – Is a RNG chance to multiply the power of actions by 1.5x (after the defense calculation). It is a % score, and values over 100% increase this damage further by an additional 0.5% for every 100%.
Evasion – Is a RNG chance to lower the power of actions against you to 66% (after the defense calculation). It is a % score, and values over 100% decreases power further. (power reduced to 50% at Evasion of 200%, 40% at 300%, etc..).
Front Power <-> Back Power
These are positional conditions that can be both a Statistic and a Defense, where units deal more damage to a target, or receive less damage when hit, depending on whether it strikes the front or back of the target.
Let’s conclude this guide by building that perfect fireball.
We know the Fireball is an AoE attack that is Magical + Elemental + Fire. So we will want to focus on the following stats, as they all stack to improve the damage of the attack:
- Aim (we will position the blast so the enemy is at least 2 squares away)
- Focus (we will position the blast so that the AoE strikes the enemy)
- Back Power (we will position the blast so it strikes the rear of the enemy)
Add in a Critical Chance to see if lady luck will really boost your damage output.
If the enemy has Weaknesses to these stats as well, the damage becomes increased even more so.
That’s it! Your opponent is cinder. Congratulations, you have charged up your spell from luke warm cat vomit to a blazing ball of death.
Happy adventuring and hope you found this intro guide helpful.