Tuesday 2 March 2021

Advanced guide of Grim Dawn's Conversion system, how damage type conversions happen.


Hello. I've made this guide to help people understand how conversion system works in this game. All info that you see here has been verified as true by testing things in the game. Grim Dawn's build Calculator was also being used to make things easier while testing.

If you see something in this guide that I may have missed, please let me know. Leave a comment or two, write info that is not included in this guide, write the testing method that verifies that info so we can also test it and know for sure that it is correct and then I will include your info to this guide along with some credits to those who would share knowledge.

Also remember, i'm just a casual Grim Dawn player and mathematics is my weakness. If you think that I have miscalculated something, please let me know. I am just human (i'm also the god of bone piles)!

If you'd rather watch this guide as video instead of reading, please CLICK ME!


To better understand how conversions work first we need to know some basic things about how the game calculates the numbers. Lets start from attribute points.
Attribute points increase many stats including those that deal damage such as physical pierce etc. When we apply attribute points we see some numbers as percentages, for instance we can see here Bonus to pierce damage +137.6%
This is a buff to our pierce dealing skills and attacks and it is added to other percentages that we get to pierce type of damage from items, constellations and passive skills. If for example we get +27% to pierce from an item then we get overall 137,6 + 27=164.6% and then this number increases the pierce damage of our attacks and skills that deal pierce damage.
So, these multipliers stack additively. Another thing to remember is that the game rounds up the numbers to the closer integer number so if you have for example a damage number 5,91192 then it will become 6.

What is converted

 The most importand thing about conversions is to know what exactly gets converted. In this game we have 2 things that get converted.

The *base damage of our weapons.
The *base damage of our skills.

*In case you don't have any weapons equipped, conversions can still happen if you get flat numbers of damage from other items-skills! (look at weapon attack sheet stats). The same happens also to weapons that have extra flat numbers of damage or DOT types, these can also get converted.

*Conversions never take into account any buffs that come from items, attribute points, constellations or skills. They always convert the base numbers of weapons and skills and after the conversion has happened then buffs to the converted type of damage apply and increase it's numbers.

Another thing is that we can only convert to a type of damage only once, for example, we convert a skill from physical damage to chaos damage, now we can not convert the chaos damage of this skill to another type of damage again we can only remove this chaos conversion by removing the source that converts the damage type.

Calculation Formulas


on weapons with no extra Flat types of damage
(if there is a DOT source, it doesn't count in this example)
1. Weapon Base damage (X) x 0,15 if conversion is 15% = X
-example 13-108 x 0,15 = 1,95-16,2
2. Attribute points type of damage (+%) + modifiers added together = X
-example 23,5 + 86 = 109,5%
3. Converted numbers + stacked multipliers = X
-example 1,95 + 109,5% = 4
16,2 + 109,5% = 33,9 → Cold damage 4-34


on weapons with extra Flat types of damage
when the extra is the same as the converter.
(base weapons dmg physical, extra flat vitality, physical to vitality conversion)
1. Weapon Base damage (X) x 0,15 if conversion is 15% = X
-example 32-105 x 0,15 = 4,8-15,75
2. Add extra flat dmg number to converted numbers
-example if Flat=9 then 4,8+9= 13,8 // 15,75+9= 24,75
3. Attribute points type of damage (+%) + multipliers added together = X
-example 23,5 + 54 = 77,5%
4. Converted numbers + stacked multipliers = X
-example 13,8 + 77,5% = 24,495-> 25
24,75 + 77,5% = 43,931-> 44 → Vitality damage 25-44

[extra off video info]

 on weapons with same base and extra flat damage (not min-max type) and conversion
from this type to another.
(item's used in Build calculator for this example: Warden's Judgement green mace, Fleshwarped Pauldrons green shoulders)

The weapon has Base physical, Base Aether 9-13 and Flat 9 Aether damage types.
First we add the extra flat number to the base number of the same type (Aether)
9 + 9 = 18 / 9 + 13 = 22

Then we get the sum of modifiers from other sources and attribute points:
16% + 23,5% = 39,5%

Then we multiply the minimum-maximum numbers with this multiplier:
18 + 39,5% = 25,11
22 + 39,5% = 30,69

Then we use the converter on these numbers, if converter is 30%:
25,11 x 0,30 = 7,533
30,69 x 0,30 = 9,207

Then we remove these numbers from the minimum-maximum numbers:
25,11 – 7,533 = 17,577
30,69 – 9,207 = 21,483

So, after the conversion we deal 17-21 Aether damage.

Conversion Caps

Conversions have a cap which is 100%. If you equip items providing for instance 125% conversion to one type then only 100% applies, the other 25% is useless.
It is possible though to have more than 100% conversion of one type to 2 other types. For example we have 100% conversion from Chaos to Aether damage and 25% from Chaos to Vitality. In this case both conversions happen but they yield smaller numbers to fit the full amount of the damage type that gets converted.

So, this is how calculation works:
100% to Aether is divided by the sum 125 of both conversions: 100/(100+25) = 0,8 → 80%
25% to Vitality is divided by the sum 125 of both conversions: 25/(100+25) = 0,2 → 20%
This means that now the conversion from Chaos to Aether is 80% instead of 100% and the conversion from Chaos to Vitality is 20% instead of 25%.

Dual Wielding Conversions 


The conversion stacks additively, then calculates the base weapon damage of both weapons separately and the number after the conversion is added to the weapon attack of each weapon.
So, if we get 15% physical to cold from these 2 weapons, then we convert 30% physical to cold from each one of the weapons and the result is added as cold damage to each weapon separately.

In the off hand damage here we see bigger numbers because the base damage of the off hand is bigger than main hand's weapon and of course because off hand has a bigger amount of frostburn damage. (Legendary Beacon of the winters veil + mythical version of the same item were used for this example)


- The conversions work on both main weapons and offhands base damage and they are calculated by the full amount of the base damage.


-The main weapon provides 15% conversion from Physical to Cold,
-The off hand weapon provides 15% from Physical to Fire,
-THE 15% to cold conversion works with the main weapons and offhands base damage
numbers and results in COLD Damage 4-34 for the main weapon and 10-31 for the off hand.
-THE 15% to fire conversion works with the main weapons and off hands base damage
numbers and results in FIRE Damage 5-35 for the main weapon and 10-33 for the offhand.

Then, these numbers are added all together to the attacks of both our weapons so the main weapon deals the numbers that we see here Physical-Fire-Cold and Frostburn while the off hand deals the Physical-Fire-Cold and Burn. Frostburn applies only with the main weapons attacks because it is provided by this item while Burn applies only from off hand attacks.

The Weapon Damage that we see here is the numbers of each item and the off hand has a bigger minimum number because the base damage is higher than the base damage of the main hand weapon so the conversion of this item gives bigger numbers.

Conversions work the same even with shields but they only matter if we use skills that use shields to attack with, with no such skills we can not attack with shields so conversions do nothing.

Skill conversions 

1. As with items, conversions work only with the base damage of skills before any buffs from other skills or items are counted into the calculation. Let's see an example:

The skill Ring of Steel initially deals 135 piercing damage.

My character's Ring of Steel initiall damage is 321 piercing. This number includes the bonus pierce damage that we get from Cunning attribute which is +137,6%.

By putting 1 point in Ring of Frost modifier we convert the full amount of pierce damage to Cold damage.

Now we see that the cold damage of this skill is a lower number than before, it is 269.

This happens because the conversion affects only the base number of the skill which is initially 135 pierce damage and after this conversion the buff from the Spirit attribute applies and the calculation is 135 + 99,1% = 268,785 which rounds up to 269.

1a. Some skills do increase the base damage of skills and they can give bigger numbers after the conversion.

A.These are add on skills to base skills:


We have used the modifier Discord to completely convert the physical base damage of Cadense skill to elemental. Now this skill deals 97 elemental damage. The fighting form skill is an addon for Cadense and if we put 1 point we gain some stats including +12% physical damage.

This buff increases the base physical damage of Cadense before conversion and any other buffs from other sources apply and this is why when we put more points into this, the elemental damage of Cadense increases. It increases because the convertion to elemental now happens to a higher base damage number which came to be from this addon.

B. Aura skills. 

Skills that we activate once and they work constantly like Mogdrogens Pact of Shaman mastery. This skill provides a minimum and maximum number of physical damage. These numbers are added to the base minimum-maximum damage of our weapons before the conversion happens and then conversion yields even bigger numbers for the converted type of damage. In general, skills and devotion nodes that provide this type of minimum-maximum damage work on the base weapon damage before the conversion applies.

Also, when we convert to other types of damage including elemental then we not only convert the instant damage of those types but we also convert the damage over time types.


Deadly Momentum, this skill triggers some times, it is not a constant effect and when it triggers it deals the types of damage that we see here. This skill initially applies Internal trauma damage, this one is the damage over time type of physical damage. When we convert our Cadense skill to elemental, then, when this skill triggers all physical damage attacks turn to elemental and this Internal trauma over 2 seconds becomes elemental over 2 seconds. The same happens with all types of damage that have respective damage over time effects.

Elemental Conversion 

We can also convert types of damage to elemental damage. When we do that we convert the weapons base damage to elemental and we get all 3 elemental types added to our weapon attacks and all elemental types deal 1 third of the number that comes after the conversion.

- example

We get 12% physical to elemental from this shield. Now the calculation is this:

Step 1. 34 weapons base damage x 0,12 = 4,08
Now we add 284,7% from Spirit bonus plus 50% modifier to elemental from the shield:

Step 2. 284,7 + 50=334,7%

Now we do this:
Step 3. 4,08 + 334,7% = 17,7

This number is the elemental that we get after the conversion but it gets divided by 3 so we get:
Step 4. 17,7 / 3= 5,9 which rounds up to 6. So the minimum damage that gets added to our weapons attack after the conversion is 6 for each one of the 3 elemental types of damage.
So, when we get flat numbers of elemental damage after conversions of skills and items, these numbers are getting divided by 3.

Armor Piercing Conversions 

For this type of conversion the same general rules apply as for the other types, we calculate the numbers the same way.

(General rules Meaning:
Bonus to pierce x% from Attributes
x% from modifiers.
Then this number multiplies the number after pierce conversion.)

So, for example if we equip the common Tarnished Carver weapon then our weapon's attack shows Physical 13-36 and pierce 1-4.

Now, if we equip the amulet Alazra's Ruby which provides 10% physical damage converted to fire then our weapon's attack still shows 1-4 pierce damage, this happens because once again Pierce conversion happens on the full amount of the weapons base damage, it doesn't come before or after conversions of other types happen.

There is only a difference in calculation when we equip 2 weapons that provide Pierce Armor.
As we said before, for other types of conversion while dual wielding, if we get the same type from both weapons then these 2 stack additively. For Armor Piercing though this doesn't happen.
When we equip 2 weapons with armor piercing on each one then the conversion happens only for the respective weapon, it doesn't stack as with other types.


On main hand we equip the sword that provides 10% armor piercing. We see that the pierce damage we gain from this conversion is 1-4.
In off hand we equip an item that provides 21% armor piercing and when we go to see the stats we still see pierce 1-4. Should the conversion of the 2 items stack, we would have seen bigger pierce numbers here and not the same.

Calculation formula:

When weapons have extra flat min-max piercing damage:

calculation: If weapon base damage is 64-105 and we have 33% Armor piercing then we do:
64 x 0.33 = 21,12
105 x 0.33 = 34,65

Then we multiply these results with bonus pierce dmg from attributes and modifiers so:
6) 21,12 + 216,8% = 66,9
7) 34,65 + 216,8% = 109,7

After that we take the extra flat piercing damage and multiply it with bonus pierce dmg from attributes and modifiers so:
12 + 216,8% = 38,016
25 + 216,8% = 79,2

Then we add the results from 6 and 7 and we stack them together so:
66,9 + 38,016 = 105
109,7 + 79,2 = 189

Armor Piercing VS Pierce Damage conversion 

1. When we have weapons providing Armor Piercing and at the same time we have X% Pierce conversion from other sources, then only the Armor Piercing converts a portion of the base damage of that weapon and after that conversion, the % pierce conversion will not work on the pierce damage that we get from Armor Piercing because conversions happen only once.


Weapon provides Base physical damage, Armor Piercing, Flat piercing damage, Belt provides 50% Pierce to fire conversion.


-Step 1. Armor Piercing converts Weapons Base dmg.
-Step 2. x% to Pierce from Attributes/Modifiers applies to the resulting number.
-Step 3. %Pierce conversion to fire happens on the flat piercing damage.
-Step 4. x% to Pierce from Attributes/Modifiers applies to the resulting number.
-Step 5. Add together the numbers from steps 2 and 4 and get the number of pierce damage you deal.

2. If we get flat numbers of Piercing damage on items and we have a % Of Pierce conversion, then first we add the flat numbers of damage together and then the pierce conversion happens on the sum of the piercing damage.

Attack Damage Converted to Health Conversion 

1. It works only with weapon attack damage when NOT found on specific skills.
2. Some skills that come with % weapons damage or Main Hand damage can also life steal.
3. Some skills provide life steal without relying on % weapon damage/main hand damage.

This is also called Life steal. When you get it on items it works only with the Weapon attack Damage meaning the attacks of our weapons. We can also find it in some skills which means that when we use those skills it works again. We can stack attack damage converted to health if we get it on many items but when we get it on weapons, the life steal percentages on weapons do not stack with each other, they only stack with those from other items or skills that provide it to weapon attacks, actually there is only one skill from masteries that provides life steal to weapon attacks and that's the Harbinger of Souls skill of Necromancer mastery.


My Life steal is 12%, I get 8% from an amulet and 4% from a node of Ghoul constellation. Looking at this stat we see that both main and off-hand weapons deal the same 12% life steal. None of my current weapons provide life steal.
If I replace one of my weapons with another with life steal we can see now that one is at 12% and the new one deals 17% so if we have 2 weapons with life steal equipped, the life steal of each weapon works only for that weapon, not for both.
Also, Shields are weapons too and whatever said for dual wielding weapons applies also to shields.
One last thing to remember is that Life steal works only with direct attacks, it does not work with damage over time attacks such as bleeding, frostburn e.t.c.

The End!

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