A critical hit is a successful combat attack that deals more damage than a normal blow. Critical hits occur at random, based on a percentage chance.
Whenever a critical hit with a weapon* occurs, the damage done is equal to the maximum damage of the weapon multiplied by approximately √2 (or 1.41 approx), the equivalent of striking for maximum damage with a weapon attribute 4 higher than actually possessed or striking a foe with a -20 armor penalty. Non-critical hits are a random value chosen between the minimum and maximum damage values of the weapon. See Damage calculation for more information.
The critical hits of animal companions and minions use a different damage formula. The multiplier is unknown, but their critical hits have a damage range rather than using max damage * √2. The critical hit rate formulas for pets and minions are unknown.
* Critical hits with scythes do not follow this formula. They are instead only multiplied by approx 1.1
The Critical Strikes attribute increases the critical hit rate of all weapon attacks by 1% per rank.
Each martial weapon attack has an independent chance of dealing a critical hit. A higher weapon attribute increases this chance. Attacker and target levels are also factors. A few skills can cause or negate critical hits, as specified in their description. If you strike an opponent from behind with a melee weapon as they are moving, you will always score a critical hit. The Assassin's Critical Strikes attribute improves the critical hit chance with any weapon. This stacks with ranks in "weapon mastery" attributes such as Swordsmanship, Marksmanship, and Dagger Mastery, which affect critical hits as mentioned above.
Spellcasting weapons have an extremely low critical hit rate, even with 16 ranks of the weapon's attribute, and it is not known if their linked attributes have any effect on the critical hit rates. The critical hit rates of spellcasting weapons can be increased as usual by the Critical Strikes attribute and skills which affect the critical hit rate.
According to empirical research done by game players, it appears that each weapon attribute point increases the chance to critical hit by about 1.44%. The recorded critical hit rates with a 12 and a 16 weapon mastery were 15% and 23% respectively, while the best linear fit suggests approximately 17.5% and 23.5% (R2=0.953). A list was generated based on a study of over 8000 hits, with a result of about 1.3% per point in Weapon Mastery, or more precisely 0.0137x + 0.01 with the intercept forced to 0.01. This table shows his results:
|(Approximate) Critical Hit Probability||1.0%||2.1%||3.7%||3.7%||6.8%||7.7%||8.0%||8.4%||10.3%||16.8%||11.8%||17.0%||19.2%||21.1%||21.4%||22.1%||22.9%||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
From these observations, a linear progression table can be approximated:
|(Approximate) Critical Hit Probability||1.0%||2.3%||3.7%||5.0%||6.3%||7.7%||9.0%||10.3%||11.6%||13.0%||14.3%||15.6%||17.0%||18.3%||19.6%||21.0%||22.3%||23.6%||N/A||N/A||N/A|
For the above research, both the attacker and the target were level 20. Testing in Churrhir Fields indicates significantly higher critical hit rates for a level 20 player attacking level 5 practice targets; it is not clear whether this is based on just the target level or both the attacker and target levels.
With a rank of 16 in a wand's linked attribute against an armor 60, level 20 target in Isle of the Nameless, a critical hit rate of 0.4% was observed. It is currently not known if attributes affect critical hit rates.
These skills guarantee critical hits when they hit:
- Critical Strike
- Malicious Strike (if it hits a foe with a Condition)
- Decapitate (Elite)
- Wild Blow
- Keen Chop
These skills increase critical hit chance:
- Critical Eye raises critical hit chance and you gain +1 energy for every critical hit you make.
- Siphon Strength (Elite) raises critical hit chance against targeted foe.
- Way of the Assassin (Elite) raises critical hit chance and attack speed while wielding Daggers.
- Way of the Master raises critical hit chance while wielding a non-Dagger weapon.
- "Go for the Eyes!" raises critical hit chance for the next attack by allies within earshot.
- "Fear Me!" raises critical hit chance for melee attacks against stationary foes.
These skills prevent or protect against critical hits:
- Balanced Stance prevents extra damage from critical hits.
- Stone Sheath prevents the foe and adjacent foes from making critical hits.
- Stoneflesh Aura gives immunity to critical hits.
- Dulled Weapon prevents the foe and nearby foes from making critical hits.
These skills benefit from landing critical hits:
- Critical Chop will Interrupt target foe if a critical hit is achieved.
- Disrupting Accuracy critical hit arrows interrupt the target.
- Keen Arrow deals additional damage if it lands a critical hit.
- Critical Eye will gain you 1 energy whenever you land a critical hit.
- Critical Defenses provides a chance to block attacks, refreshes when you land a critical hit.
- Critical Agility increases attack speed and grants extra armor, refreshes when you land a critical hit.
- Dark Apostasy (Elite) removes one Enchantment from your target on critical hit.
- Way of Perfection heals when you make a critical hit.
- "Find Their Weakness!" (PvP) causes a party member to inflict a Deep Wound with their next critical hit.
- Vicious Attack will apply a Deep Wound if a critical hit is achieved.