The character sheet shows two numbers under the damage heading: primary and secondary. However it seems that what the secondary damage is is not explained anywhere, or at least I could not find it. Logically is that the damage the you deal with your off-hand, but it is not clear how often is it dealt comparing to the primary, how it relates to recovery and if it has a percentage that it's being reduced by (like in WoW) so that you are not twice as dangerous if you have two weapons....

So how does secondary damage work?


Secondary Damage is definitely your off-hand weapon's damage range. There are a few things to note about how Dual Weilding works in Pillars of Eternity. Should be noted that there are a lot of different stats, talents, etc that can effect some of the more specific numbers used as examples below.

  1. Only active abilities that have the "Full Attack" attribute will utilize both weapons (e.g. Blinding Strike for Rogues says, "Full Attack + 1.25x Damage") Otherwise the ability will state "Primary Attack", which is self-explanitory.
  2. Dual wielding is a rotating attack system, where each weapon takes turns hitting and recovering. The recovery depends on a number of things, the speed of the weapon, your armor penalty to Recovery (heavier armor, slower recovery between attacks). So for instance a 1handed sword is an Average speed weapon. So it takes 1 second to attack, 1 second to recovery period, and then an additional recovery period of 1 second (apx). With dual weilding, you get to replace the second recovery period with the second weapon's attack.

Example of 1-Hand Weapon fighting. (Average speed weapon)

1s Attack (animation), 1s Recovery, 1s Recovery (3 second cycle)

Example of Dual-Weilding weapon fighting. (Average speed weapons)

1s Primary Attack (animation), 1s Recovery, 1s Secondary Attack, 1s Recovery

Other Notes:

The offset is that you actually get an accuracy boost for having a single weapon for not being able to attack as quickly as you can with dual weapons.

Because "Recovery" stat is so important, it is important to note that for each Damage Reduction (DR) your armor has your recovery time is decreased by 5%. So Scale Armor, which has DR 7, gives you a -35% Recovery detriment.

  • Similarly, recovery time can be reduced by increasing Dexterity. Mar 28 '15 at 14:15
  • Thank you. In game cyclopedia says that primary attack is the same as the full attack. That's just confusing. Mar 28 '15 at 21:56
  • Also I did not mention it in the question - because I wanted a nore general answer as the one that you provided, but I was particularly looking at bare handed monk - that guy gets Primary and Secondary damage stats, but for obvious reasons you cannot look at his weapon stats. Mar 28 '15 at 21:59
  • Finally, with this complexity it is unclear why designers opted for not displaying the final weapons dps. Without it, how can you tell what weapon set has better dps? Actually forget weapon sets, I'm having trouble determining what single weapon is better between just two of them. Mar 28 '15 at 22:02
  • @zespri DPS is not that useful due to damage reduction - hypotetical dagger with damage 1-1 able to attack 100 times per second would have a dps of 100 and not be able to damage anything that wears something better than clothes.
    – Deltharis
    Mar 29 '15 at 18:36

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