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Physical damage is the normal damage type dealt by standard weapons and comes in three flavors: Slashing, Bludgeoning, and Piercing. While normally interchangeable, some creatures and opponents have special weakness or resistance to one flavor or another, and all can be partially or wholly mitigated by Armor.
Certain attacks and abilities have the capacity to perform Armor Penetrating attacks, which are subject to the same benefits and limitations of normal physical damage, but Armor Mitigation is bypassed. It is still subject to weakness and resistance.
Wounding Damage is dealt by Sneak Attacks, vicious strikes, and other abilities that focus on causing lasting debilitating damage. The total damage of wounding attacks is remarked in the Combat Log, and applied over time in the form of distinctive Magical Damage.
Wounding damage is a "Pool" damage, which means that the damage is delayed and dealt in increments. Resistance is only applied to the initial application of a Pool damage, and any 'ticks' are based purely off the total quantity of that damage remaining on the target, so you don't need to worry about resistance applying twice.
Wounding damage is applied in increments twice a round (once every 3 seconds), equal to around one fifth (20%) of the current pool total up to a maximum of 20. We've yet to confirm specific values, so additional feedback is appreciated.
Wounding Pool on a target can be reduced before it gets applied through the use of the Emergency Care talents or application of a Tourniquet provided by the Medicology (1) talent.
Fire damage is, surprisingly enough, dealt by flame attacks of various forms. Fire Damage comes in two varieties: Direct and Indirect.
Direct fire damage comes from attacks that deal a lot of fire damage all at once such as the blast of an Igniter module, and increase the Fire Pool on a target by about the same value as was dealt up-front.
Indirect fire damage comes from persistent sources such as the fire-field left behind by an Incendiary Grenade and add to the target's Fire Pool in many smaller increments over time.
A given attack will often only apply one or the other, but some special cases do both. Fire Damage gets applied from the Fire Pool at a rate of about 25% per three seconds, rounding up. Damage converted from the Pool into actual Damage does not increment the pool.
Fire Pool on a target can be reduced before it gets applied by dealing Cold Damage which seems to remove Fire Pool at a 1-to-1 ratio (this is how the Extinguisher works), or through the use of Wash Bombs or the Emergency Care talent.
Acid damage is much like Fire Damage but is dealt by corrosive sources like chemical attacks and acidic spittle. It is similar in that it has both Direct and Indirect damage sources (explained above), but is significantly different when it comes to applying the damage from the pool.
Acid Pool damage is applied in increments twice a round, but unlike Wounding and Fire damage has a variable component. Every time the Damage Increment converts the Acid Pool into actual Damage, it is increased by a random amount (I would estimate up to 50% more). Acid Damage can also build up much faster than Fire Damage for the same length of exposure, but the Damage Increments will stop before the entire pool is empty.
The latent Acid Pool on a target is visible in the form of acid-drip vfx, and lasts for a couple rounds after the last Damage Increment occurred. If the Acid Pool on the target increases for any reason, it will be added to the existing pool and restart the Damage Increments with the new higher value. This makes Acid Damage particularly potent if it can be reapplied consistently every few rounds, as the damage application will increase significantly.
Acid Pool on a target can be reduced before it gets applied through the use of Wash Bombs or the Emergency Care talent.
Cold Damage is dealt by various Cryosine devices and creatures that naturally produce it, as well as various weather effects. It is a Direct damage that applies a lasting detriment to targets affected by the attack.
Cold Damage applies a series of stacking debuffs that increasingly reduce the target's Speed, Attack Bonus, and Dodge Rating, and finally freeze them solid. Applying more cold damage while the debuff is active on a target will proportionally increase the level of debuff on the target.
The first three levels of debuff apply a respective penalty to the appropriate combat numbers, and will slowly reduce in severity over time. The fourth level of debuff will freeze a target solid, fixing their Dodge Rating at 10, leave them immobile and helpless, and make the target practically immune to most damage. Once a target is unfrozen, ALL levels of the Cold Debuff is removed.
Cold Debuff can be reduced through the application of Fire Damage, which seems to instantly clear all levels of debuff when applied.
Electrical damage is dealt by technological devices and unusual phenomina. It is a Direct damage that deals increased damage to conductive targets.
In some ways, it is the simplest elemental damage type as it has no lingering effects. However, calculating expected Electrical damage is complicated in that it deals proportionally more damage against targets with higher armor. As most Electrical attacks are Beams rather than Area attacks, this damage type is doubly useful against low-Dodge Rating armored opponents, and less effective against nimble light opponents.
Poison Damage is a subtle damage that strikes at a target's Metabolism rather than their Hit-Points, and is dealt by dangerous creatures and the venom extracted from them. Poisons apply similar outcomes against PCs and NPCs, though the mechanics work slightly differently.
Against a player, a Poison will turn your Metabolism bar purple, and slowly increase your currently Toxicity level and apply a minor penalty to Attack Bonus. At various breakpoints such as reaching maximum Toxicity, the poison will deal a large amount of direct Hit-Point damage to the player. Additional strikes from a poison source will increase the rate of Toxicity and cause the breakpoints to occur faster. These breakpoints occur regardless of what caused the toxicity to increase to the appropriate level, making drinking potions while poisoned a very dangerous task.
Against an NPC, a Poison will apply the Poison debuff to Attack Bonus, and at various increments deal large quantities of direct Hit-Point damage to the target. Additional poisoned strikes will likewise increase the frequency of damage, but the total damage and frequency is dependent on the target. In effect, though NPCs do not have a Metabolism stat, they will act similarly to a poisoned player but do not have potion limitations.
Poison can be countered by imbibing an Antidote, and the toxicity gain can be reduced through use of the Combat Reconstitution talent or application of a Gas Cloth provided by the Medicology (2) talent.