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Attack power (AP) is a physical damage attribute derived from strength and/or agility and character level, that serves to increase your base weapon damage by an amount relative to this statistic. There are two forms of attack power: Melee attack power, and Ranged attack power. These can be found on your character sheet in the Melee and Ranged sections, and each form only affects the related type of weapon damage.
By increasing the player's base weapon damage, attack power improves the player's auto-attacks. Many abilities also add some percentage of attack power to the damage they deal (the attack power coefficient).
Although characters of every class will have a listed amount of ranged attack power, the statistic is wholly meaningless to all except Hunters, Rogues and Warriors, as these are the only classes that can use ranged weapons other than wands (wands do not benefit from attack power). Hunters benefit greatly from ranged attack power, while rogues and warriors' benefit is marginal, affecting only a few abilities such as , and .
Likewise, both types of attack power can be considered irrelevant for priests, mages, warlocks, and is generally not acquired by these specs due to gear and talent choices.
|Class||Melee Base||Ranged Base|
|Death Knight||(Level x 3) + (Strength x 2 - 20)|
|Druid||(Level x 3) + (Strength x 2 - 20)|
|Druid (Bear)||[(Level x 3) + (Strength x 2 - 20)
+ (Agility x 2 - 20)] x 125%
|Druid (Cat)||[(Level x 3) + (Strength x 2 - 20)
+ (Agility x 2 - 20)] x 125%
|Hunter||(Level x 2) + (Strength - 10) + (Agility - 10)||(Level x 2)
+ (Agility x 2 - 20)
|Mage||Strength x 2 - 20|
|Paladin||(Level x 3) + (Strength x 2 - 20)|
|Priest||Strength x 2 - 20|
|Rogue||(Level x 2) + (Strength - 10) + (Agility x 2 - 20)||Level + (Agility - 10)|
|Shaman||(Level x 2) + (Strength - 10) + (Agility x 2 - 20)|
|Warlock||Strength x 2 - 20|
|Warrior||(Level x 3) + (Strength x 2 - 20)||Level + (Agility - 10)|
Attack power can be obtained from a number of sources:
- Character level contributes attack power to all classes except mages, priests and warlocks
- Strength increases melee attack power for the heavy armor classes Warrior, Paladin and Death Knight, and also for the cloth wearing classes (strangely enough), and by a lesser amount for the agility based classes Rogue, Hunter and Shaman.
- Agility increases melee attack power for Rogues and Shamans, while Hunters, Rogues and Warriors gain ranged AP for every point of agility. *Druids gain AP from both strength and agility, while in feral form.
- Gear at or below level 80 can offer attack power bonuses
- Enchantments can offer a permanent AP bonus () while some enchants offer procs that temporarily increase AP by large amounts (). Gems generally do not offer AP (although a few older Meta gems do) but gemming for strength will cause a corresponding increase in AP
- Numerous talents and buffs can increase AP, permanently () or temporarily ( )
- Other players' buffs can increase AP. Note that the raid-wide AP buffs , , and are identical, and do not stack.
- Potions and elixirs can increase AP. Potions tend to provide temporary effects, while elixirs' benefits can be maintained indefinitely ()
- Trinkets and some other items can also provide temporary AP through on-use effects ()
Attack power from gear, items and permanent enchantments contributes equally to melee and ranged AP. Most buffs, talents and enchantment procs either increase melee and ranged attack power separately, or only increase one kind.
With patch 4.0.1, AP is no longer found on gear, instead being provided via the items' agility and strength bonuses. However, pre-4.0.1 gear often provides attack power bonuses.
The base DPS of your auto-attacks (including ranged attacks made using Shoot or Auto-Shot) is increased by 1 for every 14 attack power you have. For example, an AP of 28 will give you 2 DPS. Your DPS is then multiplied by weapon speed to give the real per-attack melee or ranged damage:
Weapon Damage = (Weapon DPS + AP/14) * Weapon Speed
If dual wielding, an off-hand weapon will also receive DPS from AP with the normal damage penalty of 50% by default. Disregarding dual wield specialization talents, the offhand damage is then:
Offhand Damage = [(Weapon DPS + AP/14) * Weapon Speed] / 2.
The bonus from attack power uses the weapon's base speed, not your attack speed (which is often faster because of haste). Thus, attack power and haste will give a greater DPS increase together than separately.
Mob attack power
Mobs have different attack power formulas than players. Damage done per second of mobs is given by:
(DPS_from_AttackPower + Base_DPS) * Multiplier.
For most mobs, attack power is about 30% of total damage; bosses have higher multiplier than trash mobs. That means -attack power debuffs have significant effect on raid mobs. The -AP debuff is capped at -30% total damage effect, as the formula suggests.
Player attack power
Before patch 2.0.1, hunters received 2 Ranged AP per agility, whereas now they receive 1 RAP per agility. Some of this loss was made up for in AP increases from items. The reason given for this change was to keep agility from being the be-all and end-all of hunter stats, allowing for flexibility into intellect or stamina without sacrificing a large amount of AP. However, this is slated to be changed back to 2 AP along with the release of Cataclysm.
After Patch 3.0.2, hunters can gain RAP from intellect or/and stamina by Survival and Marksmanship Talent. (See and )
Before Patch 3.0.8, many weapons listed feral attack power, making these weapons highly tailored to druids and making other weapons unusable for druids. After the patch, specific feral attack power bonuses were removed. Instead, all weapons with more than 54.8 DPS grant feral attack power equal to [(DPS - 54.8) * 14], rounded down.
Only druids see feral attack power in weapon tooltips.
Druids now gain feral attack power from both agility and strength, whether in cat or bear form. This means that agility is always preferred over strength, even for a bear, which is ironic considering that the "of the Bear" suffix denotes strength and stamina. Agility gives dodge which is essential for a bear, given that a bear cannot block or parry.
Cat feral attack power can be increased further with the talent by 10%. Feral druids gain a 25% bonus to their total Attack Power due to the Aggression talent acquired as part of the Feral Combat specialization.