Ice Pick and WoE

From TalonRO Wiki

Acknowledgements: Guide written and formulas calculated by Willis.

References from How Attacks and Damage Calculation Works, Refinement System's Effect on Weapons, Ice Pick Damage, CRIT Stat.

The Ice Pick, WoE, and Emperium Breaking - what makes for a good Emp Breaking Weapon?


Behold, the Ice Pick. Known throughout Ragnarok Online for its properties as a solid weapon, it has been primarily lauded for its ability to be the choice of Emperium Breakers everywhere due to the fact that it deals more damage depending on the target's defense. In TalonROhowever, this item has undergone a modification: it deals 30% less damage to demi-humans, castle guardians, and the Emperium. Does this mean that it is a bad weapon for breaking the Emperium? Not necessarily! This guide is intended to show what builds can take advantage of the Ice Pick, which builds should consider a different type altogether, and how to unpack the math behind dealing damage to the Emp.

Differences in the TalonRO Version

In normal RO, the Ice Pick's description is that it deals damage based on defense. In scripting language, this is represented as the following:

{ bonus bDefRatioAtkRace,RC_Boss; bonus bDefRatioAtkRace,RC_NonBoss; },{},{}

Where bDefRatioAtkRace is a proportion of damage dealt relative to defense, separated into a Boss and Non-Boss class.

The TalonRO Ice Pick item script, however, is different:

{ bonus bDefRatioAtkRace,RC_Boss; bonus bDefRatioAtkRace,RC_NonBoss; bonus2 bAddRace2,5,-30; bonus2 bAddRace2,6,-30; bonus2 bAddRace,7,-30; }, {},{}

Where bDefRatioAtkRace is still a proportional equation, but where bAddRace2,(5,6,7) all correspond to Demi-Humans, Emperiums, and Castle Guardians. If the monster race meets those conditions, then damage is -30% less (as indicated by the "-30"). A positive value (e.g.: 40% more damage) would read "bonus2 bAddRace2,x,40"

However, your build will actually determine if this is the right weapon for you to use in Emperium Breaking. The rest of this guide only applies for Emperium breaking. The equations can still be used for calculating damage to other mobs though.[1]

Summary: It Depends!

If you have double attackthen an Ice Pick is BETTER than a carded Mes.


  1. If you crit (Critical Status is higher than 13), 2x Orc 1x Desert Wolf, +7 Mes is better.
  2. If you don't crit (Your Critical Status is like 7 or less), it depends. It depends on your baseAtk which comes mainly from your character's Str/dex.

If you don't have double attack and you fall into one of these two scenarions, look at your baseAtk.

To see your baseAtk unequip all weapons, look at your Atk. If it is less than 450, use a +4 ice pick. Otherwise, use a 2x Orc 1x Desert Wolf, +7 Mes.

In Depth: Understanding Your Damage

Non-Crit Builds

Important values are color coded. Footnotes are assumptions detailed at the bottom.


Here's the formula for normal damage with weapons.

NonIPDamage = Atk*(1-DEF/100) - VIT DEF


So Emperium has 40 Def and 80 Vit. Plugging these numbers into our formulas, we get...

NonIPdamage = Atk*(1-40/100) - 87 0.6*Atk - 87[2]

Here's the formula for IP damage.

IPdamage = Atk*(DEF + VIT DEF)/100

As you can see, IP follows a very different set of rules since higher defense and vitincreases its damage rather than decreases its damage. (Formulas from iROwiki and other sites)

IPdamage=Atk*(40 + 87)/100=1.2*Atk

Note: These numbers only apply to Emperium. You would have to plug in the different vit and def of other monsters/players to find out that damage. (I'm sure there's a calculator out there, or we could make one if someone has the time and skills)

That's how it would work out normally. However, since we have the modified IP with a -30% against Emperium and Players, we have to reduce the IPdamage by 30%

FinalDamage = IPdamage*[(1-RaceReductionsTotal/100)]

or through substitution of IPdamage = 1.2*Atk...

FinalDamagee = (1.2*Atk)*0.7 = 0.84*Atk

So let's compare:

IP: 0.84*Atk
NonIP: 0.6*Atk-87

So at this point, you have to plug in your Atk into the equations to figure out which is better. Atk depends on your: STR/DEX/etc. and the weapon's Atk. This part can get a little messy with the calculation but can be done if...

  1. You removed your weapon from your character, take the Atk value in your status window (gives you baseAtk), and
  2. Add the Weapon's atk+ upgrade modifiers

#1 gives you your baseAtk and #2 gives you an estimate of your weaponAtk. The two combined give you Atk which we have been using in the earlier equations. Atk = weaponAtk + baseAtk

To simplify things, let's assume you are using 2x mes[3] with 2x Orc Skeleton and 1x Desert Wolf on right hand. The card modifiers change our NonIPdamage calculation to:

FinalNonIPdamage =  NonIPdamage*[(1+RaceBonusesTotal/100)*(1+SizeBonusesTotal/100)]
= (0.6*Atk-87)*[(1+40/100)*(1+15/100)]
= (0.6*Atk-87)*[(1.40)*(1.15)]
= 0.966*Atk - 140

Knowing that our IP has 80 weaponAtk and an additional 28 if +4, and a Mes has 120 weaponAtk with an additional ~58 if +7, our comparison now is...

IP: 0.84*(80+28+baseAtk)

CardedMes: 0.966*(120+58+baseAtk) - 140

Where baseAtk is dependent on your STR/DEX/etc. and can be estimated by unequipping all weapons.

This boils down to a few scenarios...

  1. A Carded Mes is better than an Ice Pick if you Crit since it'll ignore all defense modifiers
  2. An Ice pick is better than a carded mes if your baseAtk is less than ~450 and you don't crit that often (<5%) (calculated from the intersection of those two equations).
  3. A Carded Mes is better than an Ice Pick if your baseAtk is greater than 460, regardless of whether you crit or not.

Keep in mind that these scenarios do not take into account classes with level 10 double attack. More on that later.

Crit Builds

If you Crit often enough you can ignore almost everything above since Crits ignore both DEF and VIT DEF. The damage for a normal weapon would be...


Atk*[(1-DEF/100) - VIT DEF]

Atk*[1-0/100 - 0] = 1.0*Atk

With a Carded Mes, this means that the final damage will look like...

CardedMesDamage = 1.61*1.0*(120+58+baseAtk)

Where 1.61 comes from the card modifiers.

This is just flat out better than an IP assuming you crit often enough.[3]

To do the maximum amount of damage, you have to trade-off between baseAtk and Crit. Having 99 LUK and all Crit means you would have a lower baseAtk and your maximum damage will suffer.[4] Conversely if you pour too much into STR and DEX, and not enough into LUK and Crit, you won't get the most damage either.

Double Attack

Double Attack modifies the above scenarios by lowering (1) Lowering the occurrence of Critical Hits and (2) doubling the naturally higher normal hits from the ice pick.

Builds with really high crit rates or higher baseAtk could out-damage an IP, but would require more work imo. However, the +7 carded Mes still could find use as a left-hand weapon since double attack only occurs for the right-hand, and as shown earlier, the Mes can out-damage an IP with a small amount of crit rate (12+).

To explain how I made my estimates, I looked at normal damage and critical damage in terms of... if 10% of attacks are critical and 90% are normal, then on average the damage for the carded mes is...

Damage =  0.10*CritDamage+0.90*CardedMesDamage.

How the CritDamage and CardedMesDamage are calculated is explained in the earlier post.

In order to account for double attack, it look like we would modify it so that average damage for a carded mes is.

Damage =  0.50*(0.10*CritDamage+0.90*CardedMesDamage)+0.50*(2*CardedMesDamage)

Assuming level 10 double attack with a 50% chance to trigger for the right hand, and the other 50% of the time split between normal and critical hits (90/10 split). Similarly the IP damage calculation would need a 2x multiplier for when it double attacks half the time.


Assuming you are playing a character with double attack level 10 (stalker or sin), your damage will follow something like these equations.

Crit Build
Damage =  0.50*(0.15*CritDamage+0.85*CardedMesDamage)+0.50*(2*CardedMesDamage)
IP Build
Damage =  0.50*(IPdamage)+0.50*(2*IPdamage) =  1.5*IPdamage

Again, the CritDamage, CardedMesDamage, and IPdamage are explained in more detail in the previous section. Plugging in 270 baseAtk and 21 crit rate (15% Crit), the +4 IP does about 4-5% more damage than the Carded +7 Mes. Bumping up the Crit rate or increasing your baseAtk can bring the Carded Mes closer, but you would need around 375 baseAtk and 21 Crit or 270 baseAtk and 43 Crit to match the +4 IP. So yes!

The IP is in fact BETTER for sins and stalkers in Emp breaking.

The Reason

Ok, so the reason an IP becomes better than a carded Mes is due largely to (1)breakdown of damage for the weapons and (2)double attack.

In terms of damage, Crits with the Mes do about 50-60% more damage than the IP, but the IP consistently does about 6-10% more damage than normal hits with a carded Mes.

(1) Crits with Mes > Normal IP hits > Normal Mes hits

With the 50-60% more damage with the Crits from Mes, and a mere 7-10% more from IP over normal Mes hits, it's easy to imagine that even with a low crit rate, a Mes will out-damage an IP. (And this is what we saw in the earlier section for characters without double attack)

(2) However, this is where double attack comes in. As GM Shiris has stated, if double attack triggers, critical hits cannot occur. Because of that, there is a much higher ratio of normal Mes hits occurring and a lower chance for Critical hits to occur since they might only trigger about 20% of the time out of the 50% of attacks that are not Double Attacks (0.50*0.2 = 0.10, although you have 20% Crit Rate, only 10% of your attacks are actually crits). On the other hand, double attacks for IP are just multipliers of the marginally higher IP damage, so that seemingly inconsequential 7-10% higher damage starts building up a lot faster.

The only way for the crit Mes build to beat an IP is too either raise the crit rate high enough so that a majority of the non-double attacks are crits, or to increase baseAtk more so that the difference between normal Mes hits and IP hits is smaller and critical hits deal more damage. (If you wish to attempt this, crit rate increase is the better way to go over baseAtk) Again, my estimates are that around 375 baseAtk and 21 Crit or 270 baseAtk and 43 Crit would be needed to match the +4 IP with 270 baseAtk.

So again, builds with really high crit rates or higher baseAtk could out-damage an IP, but would require more work imo. However, a +7 carded Mes still could find use as a left-hand weapon since double attack only occurs for the right-hand, and as shown earlier, the Mes can out-damage an IP with a small amount of crit rate (12+)

NB: If you have a slotted Ice Pick with an Orc Skeleton in it, the FinalDamage would look like 1.0*Atk rather than 0.84*Atk.[5] This get pretty comparable to a 28 Critical build with 240 baseAtk

  1. Kudos to Willis for posting this in the forums!
  2. We are using the max atk from a weapon so that your Atk value is consistent and it's weaponAtk portion doesn't fluctuate between it's min and max attack values. (Uses the crit value) If you aren't criting, it gets more complicated to calculate/estimate, but the turning point will be lower than 378 since a +7 Mes has a smaller fluctuation window. Also you have to add about 7 to the VIT Def modifier for the random amount of vit defense that is normally ignored by crits.
    1. Only looking at two weapons for comparison in the final scenario: 2xOrcSk 1xDesertW, +7Mes and +4 Ice Pick.
    2. Removing your weapons is a rough estimate of your baseAtk. Actual baseAtk can be calculated with...
      STR + [STR/10]^2 + [DEX/5] + [LUK/5] + UpgradeBonus + ImpositioManus + ATKCards.
    3. Not so much an assumption, but I simplified damage modification equations so I didn't display superfluous information. The full damage modification formula is this:
    4. FinalDamage = Damage*[(1+SizeBonusesTotal/100) * (1+RaceBonusesTotal/100) * (1+ElementBonusesTotal/100) * (1+SpecialBonusesTotal/100)]*[(1-SizeReductionsTotal/100) * (1-RaceReductionsTotal/100) * (1-ElementReductionsTotal/100) * (1+SpecialReductionsTotal/100)]
    5. So this is a major assumption. I have not accounted for other Race/Element/Size damage modifiers that would come from other equipment like a Gloom carded armor, etc. If you have something that does additional % damage against Angel or Holy, take that fraction and add 1 to it (e.g. 20% = 1.2) and multiply your Atk by that number. (E.g. for an Ice pick, the new mod is 0.84*1.2*Atk. You will also have to do the same with the Mes equation and figure out which is better for your base attack since ~450 won't be the turning point.
  3. Honestly, I don't have a good grasp on how high people manage to get their Crit and baseAtk for Emp breaking. I will look up some numbers and get back to you on that. Assuming you have 270 baseAtk, the numbers work out so you would only need to crit 6% of the time to have about equal damage output to an IP. Having more baseAtk would or crit would put the numbers further in the Mes's favor with a heavier emphasis on the Crit Rate increasing damage output. Keep in mind that Crit Rate is a little weird since the Emperium's LUK reduces your crit rate (by 4) and the Crit Rate in the status window is not completely accurate. As far as I know, Ice Pick's get 0 benefit from crits.
  4. That Ice Picks get 0 benefit from Critical Hits since they benefit from DEF and VIT rather than suffer to it as normal weapons do.
  5. That Damage Bonuses and Damage Reductions multiply with each other rather than add to each other. This was only encountered in the Extra case where you have a slotted IP with an Orc Skeleton. I assume it is [0.84*1.2*Atk=1.0*Atk] rather than [-30% from IP script + 20% from OrcSkeleton = -10%, therefore 1.2*0.9*Atk = 1.08*Atk]. In case anyone wants to confirm or correct it, let me know. Maybe people would just throw a doppel in there, who knows.