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I was getting sick of being oblivious to the formulas that make the wheels turn, so I decided to take on theorycrafting today.

In order to do that, I removed all my gear and runes, and swapped all my team with my collection of 3-star, level 30/30, tier 1, Awakened (S) heroes. Then I took all my heroes to the final boss of Desert, Draghultan. I chose an AoE boss, because everyone hits it, and then it hits everyone at once; making calculations all that easier.

Here are my findings.

Day 1

I started with a team of 2 Warriors, 2 Hunters, and a Mage. I will vary this in the future.

Today's heroes and their values are:

Day 1, 3*, Lvl 30, Tier 1, Awakened Team (Level 97 Main hero)
HP DEF ATK CRIT
Barister 32972 7104 7471 6940
Reinston 32972 7104 7226 7226
Manston 32972 6451 8287 7267
Alexi 31340 6247 8410 7267
Gerinald 29055 6328 8328 7797


And here are 12 consecutive battles' first AoE hits against my team, with Barister leading (Crit bonus, not affecting damage dealt to my team):













Here are the screenshot values in a table. The lowest and highest damage dealt to each hero are emphasized:

Barister Reinston Manston Alexi Gerinald
AoE 1 8281 3324 13278 7462 15370
AoE 2 6755 10686 Dodge 9498 10397
AoE 3 3421 3267 Dodge 10395 5011
AoE 4 4813 7017 Dodge 9735 5907
AoE 5 9828 7219 8513 8102 9486
AoE 6 3290 6946 14385 7162 12641
AoE 7 7168 4380 Dodge 8333 5065
AoE 8 8330 10311 7992 9324 15492
AoE 9 2929 3255 12626 10217 7708
AoE 10 7134 5446 5441 10621 11144
AoE 11 8307 8975 15041 11014 10161
AoE 12 3386 8673 14470 14213 6482

Average (w/Dodge)

6137 6625

11468 (7646)

9673 9572

Average + DEF

13241 13729

17919 (14097)

15920 15900


That's some variation! The variations are probably the result of two things: Randomization, and chance abilities. The abilities to consider are: Rage/Pacify (assuming Pacify pacifies Rage), Crit, Block, and Hit/Dodge (assuming Hit modifies how much a target can Dodge). If enemy's Crit/Rage and team's Pacify/Block can double-double stack with several permutations, that would easily create wild fluctuations like the ones above.

When we look at the average damage dealt to the team, going by DEF values alone, we would expect Barister and Reinston to be equal and lowest of the bunch, Manston and Alexi close with Manston receiving less damage, and Gerinald to be between the two Hunters. The picture isn't too wildly off, especially when we factor dodges into averages (counting them as 0 damage), instead of taking them out of the average altogether.

However, when Manston can't dodge (which she does suspiciously often) she can't defend well, and takes the most damage. This is suspicious. Is it a coincidence that the Hunter with the higher DEF dodges all the time? Is Dodge a separate, unseen skill with a specific point value per hero, is it a skill point of the main hero (us, the player) that applies to each Hunter, or is it a value calculated directly from DEF? This pool of 12 shows that it is not a player skill. Whether it is a separate skill or a derivative of DEF is up for grabs. [UPDATE: It is a separate skill.]

If DEF is directly subtracted from the damage dealt (which is a big assumption), the Average+DEF cells must be equal for each hero, with slight variation caused by class skills like Block, Pacifist, and Dodge. Again, we get a picture that is not too far off. The two Warriors with Block and Pacifist are almost equal. The Mage and the Hunter who didn't dodge are almost equal. Manston with her incredible dodging skills complicates the picture, we need to compare her to another Hunter with comparable Dodge skills.

Day 2

Next up: Does CRIT really determine the ferocity of the Special Attack? Do Special Attacks that do not bring up a CRIT symbol on heroes depend on CRIT? Does ATT only scale the normal hit, or does it factor into the Special Attack too?

Coming soon... In the interim, chew on these thoughts on hidden skills.

Findings

The game throws dice!: The window for randomness is considerable. Check out how the Draghultan damages the same team in 12 consecutive battles (Day 1).

AoE damage to every target is rolled individually: Two warriors with same DEF values can have seriously differing damage done to them. This suggest one blocked or one had a crit on, while the other didn't (Day 1).

All heroes might not be created equally: Notice how Manston dodges 4 while Alexi dodges none (Day 1). The pool of 12 attacks is too small to make a determination, but heroes might have invisible stats that vary. Or, more interestingly...

Dodge might directly be related to DEF: The Hunter with the higher DEF dodged 4 out of 12 attacks, while the one with the lower DEF didn't dodge at all (Day 1). Coincidence? [UPDATE: Yes, coincidence! Official info from the EU version of Pocket Knights, Hero Dreams, suggests that heroes have skills we can't see yet, but will see soon.]

DEF might be a straight subtraction from damage dealt: I do not see any non-linear variation as DEF increases or decreases. For now, it appears that DEF is just a straight damage dampener that gets subtracted from a total damage dealt.

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