All monsters in BDO have an “AP Soft Cap”. When you reach these AP caps, the damage you deal is reduced by a certain amount. The monster AP caps and data were recently collected and shared by BDO Maehwa Player “ACN/Mats” through thorough testing at various popular grind spots.
This guide aims to explain the AP Caps, how to understand the Google Sheet, and how to take advantage of them. The data will be referenced throughout the guide and can be found at its original source.
How to check your total AP
All numbers in the Google Sheet are based on your total AP.
To work out your total AP, click the “My Stats” button in your character inventory.
Your total AP is your AP + Extra AP Against Monsters.
- Use AP if you use Succession skills
- Use Awakening AP if you use Awakening skills
For example, my total AP is 598 AP + 142 Extra AP Against Monsters = 740 total AP
When calculating your total AP, use your PVE gear, all of your normal grinding buffs, and any other regular sources of AP or Monster Damage:
- Villa Buff
- Church Buff
- Furniture Buff
Don’t forget to also check your “Extra Damage to Monsters” skill add-on and include this number afterward. Use your highest skill add-on since they don’t stack.
For example, I have a Tier 3 skill add-on that gives +30 Monster Damage.
How to understand the Google Sheet
“Initial 5%” and “100%” Columns
The numbers in the “Initial 5%” column refer to the Monster’s Damage Reduction. For example, the monsters at Sycraia Underwater Ruins (Lower) have 400 DR.
For each Damage Reduction that your AP is countered by, you only deal 5% damage.
This means that if your total AP is lower than the Monster DR, then your AP is reduced to 5% effective (1 AP is actually only equal to having 0.05 AP).
It also means that if your total AP is higher than the Monster DR, all your damage up to the Monster DR is 5% effective, then your AP over the Monster DR is 100% effective.
For example, using the Sycraia Underwater Ruins (Lower) grind spot, where monsters have 400 DR:
- If you have 350 total AP, you are only dealing 5% damage
- If you have 450 total AP, the first 400 AP is dealing 5% damage, then the 50 AP is dealing 100% damage
Damage Reduction debuffs on monsters are particularly strong here since they are always 100% effective. This means that for every -1 DR, you are basically gaining 1 AP.
Although all of this is interesting and may be useful to know, it is likely not going to affect you since you should be able to easily surpass the Initial 5% for most grind spots.
“70% Soft Cap” – “3% Soft Cap” Columns
The “Soft Cap” columns in the Google Sheet show the total AP at which your damage becomes reduced again.
For example, at Sycraia Underwater Ruins (Lower) the 70% Softcap is 490 AP.
- If you have 490 total AP, then every additional AP you gain is now only 70% effective.
- This means that for every 1 AP you gain (over 490) in your stat window, it is actually only equal to gaining 0.7 AP.
- Eg. if you have 500 total AP at Sycraia (Lower), then this is actually equal to only having 497 AP.
The total AP and the Soft Cap % is different for each spot, for example, all Eliva grind spots (Serendia and Calpheon) have a 5% Soft Cap, meaning that any AP over the cap is 5% effective.
Extra Species Damage
Species Damage is your Extra Damage to Kamaslyvian monsters, Demihumans or Humans.
You can view this number in your “My Stats” window.
Species Damage is always 85% effective (except in the initial 5%).
For example, if you have Extra Damage to Humans +1, it is actually only 0.85 AP.
However, Species Damage is unaffected by the Monster AP Caps.
This is very important to know because any AP you gain after reaching the 70% Soft Cap is equal to 0.7 AP. Meaning that Species Damage is more effective if you have reached the Soft Cap.
How to effectively use the Monster AP Caps
Now that we know what all these different numbers mean, we can effectively use them to min-max our damage at certain grind spots or swap AP for DP when it is needed.
Damage Reduction debuffs on monsters also increase your damage even after the soft cap.
Therefore, the goal is to reach the AP soft caps, whilst also using as much Species Damage and Damage Reduction debuffs as possible.
Elvia Orc Camp is a great example, here the soft cap is 856. The soft cap is also a 5% soft cap, so any AP over 856 is only 5% effective.
Since the 5% Soft Cap is so harsh, any AP gains you make that are over 856 will barely increase your damage. If you are over the cap, you can start to swap out your extra AP for Species Damage instead and will see a bigger difference.
Orc Camp monsters are Demihuman monsters, so you can take advantage of the [The Wild: Demihumans] Lightstone set to gain +30 Demihuman Damage.
Information about how to obtain these Lightstones can be found in our Artifacts and Lighstones guide.
Species Damage Artifacts
Green Mainhand Weapons
Green mainhand weapons are now an option as well and may be worth investing in if you can use them whilst still being at the Monster AP caps, since these have high amounts of Species Damage.
At most grind spots, you are also recommended to use Exquisite Cron Meal and Giant’s Draught.
These two buffs give lots of juicy stats and if you are over the AP cap, you will get more out of them than the Extra AP Against Monsters that Simple Cron and Frenzy Draught provide.
There are some specific scenarios where Simple Cron Meal and Frenzy Draught are better:
- Simple Cron Meal is better if you are under the AP cap and grinding monsters that can be knocked down (such as Star’s End) because of the Down Attack Damage +5%.
- Frenzy Draught has higher HP regen and is a good option if you are lacking DP to grind comfortably with Giant’s Draught.
You can compare the stats of all items below: