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Combat in WoW follows a somewhat unintuitive system known as the Hit Table in order to generate largely intuitive results. As a practical rule, this means that anyone casually using the system will understand perfectly well what occurs, but people who are just starting to understand how it works tend to greatly misunderstand the rules under which it operates.

This article will present both a general overview of the Hit Table as well as the mechanics behind it, and should be suitable for both intermediate and advanced players.

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## Understanding the Hit Table: The Basics

(Note: All examples used assume the game uses a 100-sided die or equivalent; in actuality, the game rolls a number that is at least as accurate as 0-9999 (for four-digit results), but these examples are easier to read.

Every time you cast an offensive spell, use a special attack or even just autoattack with a melee weapon, WoW uses the hit table to determine the results of the attack. Instead of performing a roll for each possible outcome, the game will roll one die and then see what that number means in terms of results. Newcomers to the system tend to believe that the system works as a variation on the following;

Alice attacks Bob with her +1 Sword of Smiting. Bob has a 10% chance to dodge the attack, a 5% chance to parry the attack, and Alice has a 5% chance to flat-out miss the attack. The game will roll three results; if the game rolls a 10 or lower on the first roll, Bob dodges. If it rolls a 5 or lower on the second roll, Bob parries. If it rolls a 5 or lower on the third roll, Alice misses. If all three rolls succeed, Alice connects with her attack.

In fact, what the game does is compile all possible results of the attack into a single list, and then rolls the die once.

Result % Chance Dice Roll
Miss 5 1-5
Dodge 10 6-15
Parry 5 16-20
Glancing Blow 0
Block 0
Critical 0
Crushing Blow 0
Hit Rest (80) 21-100
Alice attacks Bob with her +1 Sword of Smiting. Bob has a 10% chance to dodge the attack, a 5% chance to parry the attack, and Alice has a 5% chance to flat-out miss the attack. The game creates a list; a result of 1-5 will result in a miss, a result of 6-15 will result in a dodge, a result of 16-20 will result in a parry, and a result of 21-100 will result in a hit.

This leads to some major divergences from a multiple-roll system. Some of the more important include;

1. Stacking avoidance is much, much more effective than it would be otherwise. For example, with one roll per possible effect (first example) a character with a 50% dodge chance and a 45% parry chance (and Alice at a 5% chance to miss) would get hit on ~26% of all incoming attacks. With a one-roll system, you will never be hit with the same stats.
2. Because the chances of each event are added together, and there is only a limited amount of space on the attack table (as well as a set order in which the results are considered), it is possible to push off certain events to prevent them from ever occurring. Covered in more detail later in the article.

## One Roll or Two? Critical Hits

I have yet to include critical hits in the attack table because they are something of a special case for the attack table, depending upon what kind of attack you're using. For any special attack that appears in yellow damage (including spells and physical special attacks) the chance to crit is rolled once the attack has been confirmed to land, turning the attack table into a two-roll system. For any damage that shows up in white (melee and hunter autoattacks/autoshot), the chance to crit is included in the original table and there is only a single roll performed.

Result % Chance Dice Roll
Miss 5 1-5
Dodge 0
Parry 0
Glancing Blow 0
Block 0
Critical 0
Crushing Blow 0
Hit Rest (95) 6-100
Bob, having been somewhat bloodied by Alice in our introductory section, is looking for revenge. Bob is a spellcaster, so he lets loose a nuke on Alice. Bob has a 5% chance for his spell to be resisted, and a 30% chance for it to crit.

After his first spell goes off, assuming it doesn't miss outright, the game then rolls once more to determine if it crits. As a practical matter, this means that if your opponent has sufficient evasion (or your miss chance is high enough) your chance to crit will be significantly lower than the critical strike chance on your character sheet.

Result % Chance Dice Roll
Miss 5 1-5
Dodge 65 6-70
Parry 0
Glancing Blow 0
Block 0
Critical 30 71-100
Crushing Blow 0
Hit Rest (0)
Alice, having gained a crit chance in the past four seconds, retaliates at Bob with an autoattack. Bob has mysteriously gained a 65% chance to dodge this next attack - but if Alice connects at all, the attack will be a Critical Strike. There are enough potential results on the hit table to completely push off any results other than an outright miss or a critical strike. If Alice were using a special attack (or a spell), though, her chance to land a critical strike would be much lower - 9%, instead of 30%.

## Pushing Off Results

One of the most useful implications of the attack table is the potential to push certain (undesirable) results off the attack table; the most common implementation of this is a Warrior using Shield Block to prevent Crushing Blows from boss mobs.

Result % Chance Dice Roll
Miss 10 1-10
Dodge 20 11-30
Parry 15 31-45
Glancing Blow 0
Block 15 56-60
Critical 0
Crushing Blow 15 61-75
Hit Rest (25) 76-100
Zed, our friendly neighborhood boss mob, has a 15% chance to land a Crushing Blow with every attack. Alice has a 20% chance to dodge, a 15% chance to parry, a 10% chance to be missed by Zed's attacks and a 15% chance to block, as well as enough Defense to prevent Zed from landing a Crit. Still, Zed hurts... a lot, and every time he attacks there's a 15% chance for Alice to take 150% of normal damage.

Result % Chance Dice Roll
Miss 10 1-10
Dodge 20 11-30
Parry 15 31-45
Glancing Blow 0
Block 80 56-100
Critical 0
Crushing Blow 15
Hit Rest (0)
But once Alice uses Shield Block, Zed can't land those nasty crushing blows anymore (or, for that matter, normal hits). As long as Shield Block is up enough room is consumed by Block so as to prevent anything that would come after it - no Crits, no Crushing Blows, and no Hits. All of Zeds attacks are either missed, dodged, parried or blocked. This ability is extremely powerful, as it allows Warriors and properly-equipped Paladins to prevent a large amount of incoming damage they would otherwise receive.

## Mechanics Details

### Attack Order

The potential attacks are evaluated in the order of Miss, Dodge, Parry, Glancing Blow, Block, Critical Hit, Crushing Blow, Normal Hit. No one table uses all of these potential results, of course; Glancing Blows are exclusive to players attacking mobs, and Crushing Blows are exclusive to mobs attacking players, but select the applicable results when calculating a table and in this order. This is only relevant when there are enough results to start pushing potential events off the table.

### Special Rules

#### Mob Interactions

Players attacking a mob three levels above them will have a 25% chance for the attack to be a glancing blow. Mobs attacking a player three levels below them will have a 15% chance for the attack to be a crushing blow. For more details on these calculations, check their individual articles.

#### Attacking from Behind

For melee attackers swinging from behind, the rules are different for players and mobs. Mobs lose their parry and block events when attacked from behind; players lose their parry, block and dodge events when attacked from behind.

#### Hunters and Autoshot

Ranged attacks can only miss, be blocked, crit or hit. They cannot glance, be dodged or parried.

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