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Defensive Statistics

Michael Dennis Posted:
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Please note all the numerical amounts and equations provided have been worked out by the game's players and, while they represent a very approximate estimation, are not confirmed by Mythic and may vary.

We've covered the eight basic statistics that govern many elements of game play, but it is an easy thing to forget about those other eight statistics, the defensive stats. There are eight defensive stats in Warhammer Online, they are:

  1. Armor
  2. Corporeal Resistance
  3. Spiritual Resistance
  4. Elemental Resistance
  5. Block
  6. Parry
  7. Dodge
  8. Disrupt

For players new to the game, there is something of a learning curve when trying to work out just which attacks deal corporeal damage and which deal spiritual or elemental damage. Hopefully I'll be able to dispel some of uncertainty below:


Armor represents the amount by which what you are wearing protects you. Seems simple? It is. If you are a career that only has access to light robes, this stat will be a lot lower than a career that has access to heavy armor. In the game Armor has the following effect:

  1. Reduces physical damage taken.

Physical damage in this case counts as any physical or melee damage you take. The amount by which armor reduces damage is based on your armor stat.

How does this differ from you toughness stat, which surely does the exact same thing? The difference is a nuanced one. You see the toughness stat reduces damage produced by your opponent's stats. For example a Marauder hits you with auto-attack. It is a melee attack, so it receives a damage bonus from the Marauder's strength statistic. Your toughness reduces the amount of bonus damage generated by the Maruader's strength, but not the base damage of the weapon he hit you with. Once all of the mathematics of the attack have been worked out, the last thing applied is damage reduction from armor. Ever look at the combat log and see a line that looks something like this:

Your attack hits Marauder for 387 damage (69 mitigated).,

That 69 damage that your opponent has avoided was mitigated by his armor statistic. His toughness was applied first and reduced the total damage of your attack, then his armor subtracted from the total.

A lot of the game's players suspect that armor based damage reduction is capped at 75%. It is also worth noting that, while this is the only stat that is consistently affected by pieces of armor, these equipment parts are items and your armor could very easily provide bonuses for other stats as well.

Corporeal Resistance

"How does corporeal resistance differ from armor and toughness?" is a question I hear my guild members ask a lot. That and "how does armor differ from toughness?", which we just covered. Corporeal resistance actually has very little to do with corporeal things like having your nose chewed off by a squig or getting a crossbow bolt through an eye. Corporeal resistance actually affects abilities used against you that have a basis in what Mythic has defined as the "corporeal". In game it has the following effect:

  1. Reduces corporeal damage.

The damage reduction, simply put, is worked out using your resistance stat divided by roughly half of your opponent's career rank. If you have ever wondered; how does one figure out which abilities are affected by corporeal resistance and which are not? Well the answer's not an easy one but I'll try and set you on the right path. The following are examples of abilities affected by corporeal resistance:

  1. Black Orc - WAAAAAAARGH!
  2. Zealot - Scourge
  3. Squig Herder - Poison Arrer
  4. Sorceress - Doombolt
  5. Engineer - Firebomb
  6. Bright Wizard - Scorched Earth
  7. Shadow Warrior - Festering Arrow

Note this is just a selection of example abilities. Some buffs even add corporeal damage to attacks, for example, the Bright Wizard's Flames of Rhuin or Sorceress' Daemonic Chill. Essentially Corporeal abilities are ones that, once cast, affect your character physically; fire, ice, poison, face-melting chaos magic. It is difficult to classify especially as ice and fire seem like they should be elemental attacks. Why are Firebomb and Scorched Earth corporeal while Fireball and Rune of Fire are elemental? It comes down to balancing the mechanics of the game rather than logic and is just something you must learn.

Spiritual Resistance

Spiritual resistance works in much the same way as corporeal resistance,but don't get them confused. Where corporeal damage represents physical damage caused by magic, spiritual damage harms your immortal soul! But that is about it in terms of subtleties. In essence:

  1. Reduces spiritual damage.

It does this in the exact same way as corporeal resistance. The careers that specialize in spiritual damage are the Archmage, Magus and Sorceress. The Chosen and Swordmaster also have their fair share of spiritual abilities.

Elemental Resistance

This is a special notice to all Destruction players; do you ever wonder where all those hit-points went? I'll tell you. They were seared away by that Bright Wizard because you felt that elemental resistance was a dump stat. It is not. It is a very esoteric stat, but, before I explain myself, I just want to say that elemental resistance has the following in-game effect:

  1. Reduces elemental damage.

There are two classes on each side that specialize in elemental damage. For Order; Rune Priest and Bright Wizard, for Destruction: Shaman and Magus. Seeing as the Rune Priest has essentially negligible damage you must ask yourself: How bad is the Bright Wizard infestation on your server? As for Order players, well a Shaman that knows what he is doing can certainly outstrip a Rune Priest in terms of DPS (at least pre patch 1.3) and Magus' are obviously DPS based so any damage reduction against them is a good thing.

At early levels, you will find items tend to have bonuses for all three resistances if they have bonuses at all. Later, you will find that one of the resistances has a higher bonus than the others and toward the end of the game items have seemingly arbitrary resistance bonuses. In the end it comes down to your play style and what classes you feel present the most threat to your character.


Block is a stat that is married to shields. Only careers that are of the Tank archetype can use shields. So Tanks, pay attention; no shield means no block. Block is activated against any offensive ability be it magical, physical or ranged physical in origin. The effect is:

  1. Provides a chance to completely nullify any incoming attack.

This chance is worked out as a percentage by the block rating of your shield divided by your opponent's career rank.

Parry, Dodge and Disrupt

These three stats, much like the three resistance stats share a common purpose. They are all the same except they protect against different types of attack.

  1. Parry: Chance to completely deflect an incoming physical melee attack.
  2. Dodge: Chance to completely deflect an incoming physical ranged attack.
  3. Disrupt: Chance to completely deflect an incoming magical attack.

We discussed their root stats that increase these defences last time but I've summarised them here for your convenience:

  1. Parry - Weapon Skill
  2. Dodge - Initiative
  3. Disrupt - Willpower

And that's it. I hope this will help you to survive on the battlefields of The Old World.


Michael Dennis