Four primary damage types exist within Star Wars: The Old Republic:
The type of damage, Attack Type, current attributes, stats and effects of attacker and target, as well as in-game positioning, all come together to determine the actual damage received from an attack. This article focuses on aspects surrounding the damage types.
You will often see reference to Weapon Damage in tooltips on abilities and skills. This simply refers to whatever type of damage your weapon will use. Lightsabers and blaster weapons do Energy Damage. Vibro weapons do Kinetic Damage. In all cases, the weapon will state the damage type it applies when used.
Defense refers to a targets handling of an incoming attack. There are various aspects to this depending on the Damage Type and the Attack Type. It also has multiple steps to it:
This is often referred to as Avoidance. It refers to the targets ability to not get hit at all by the attack. This is entirely based on the Attack Type.
This is often referred to as Mitigation. It refers to how much the damage from the attack actually impacts the target and reduces its health. This can come from Abilities, such as Mark of Power of the Sith Inquisitor or Skills, such as Chem-resistant Inlays of the Operative. For Kinetic and Energy Damage, an additional reduction is included based on the target's Armor Rating and the attacker's relative level. So its important to understand this potential added level of reduction for these damage types vs Elemental and Internal Damage.
Identifying Damage Type
Generally, the tooltip of an ability will describe the damage type it uses. As mentioned previously, when Weapon Damage is referenced, it simply refers to whatever damage type the weapon lists. If the tooltip refers to damage generically, it will either reference another ability or imply an association with a weapon. So the referenced ability or weapon would determine the damage type.
Mutliple Damage Types
Some attacks may include multiple types of damage, for example an attack may do Energy Damage from a weapon and as a side effect do Elemental Damage over time. In this case, differt reductions will apply to the initial Energy Damage than the periodic Elemental Damage.
|Kinetic Damage||Energy Damage||Elemental Damage||Internal Damage|
|Diminished by Armor||✓||✓||✗||✗|
|Occurs Over Time*||✗||✗||✓||✓|
|Takes Immediate Effect*||✓||✓||✗||✗|
|Weapon Damage Types*||✓||✓||✗||✗|
*(This only represents common typical cases and is not a guaranteed rule.)