Penetration is the act of bypassing the PV of a creature in combat, dealing additional damage, or in some cases, dealing damage at all.
The PC does not normally penetrate the PV of monsters. Several possibilities exist to achieve this effect.
- The magical suffix "of penetration", or prefix "penetrating" for missiles, confers this effect on the weapon in question. There is no special message to signify this in combat, but the difference is easy to recognize when fighting high PV creatures.
- The phase dagger has this effect and displays a special message each hit to signify it.
- The level 40 Archer class power adds a chance of 20% to bypass the enemy's armor using a missile.
- Duelists fighting unencumbered (i.e. the same conditions required to activate their class powers) can sometimes "locate a weak spot in the armor" of humanoid opponents. Their chance to do so increases at level 25.
Monsters appear to follow different rules. While there seems to be a chance for any monster to "punch through the armor" (in-game message) of the player, some monsters seem to be equipped with attacks than will always bypass armor. This includes, but is not limited to, ratling duelists and the family of claw bug monsters. In battle against these monsters your PV is of no use. A full list of such monsters can be found on the PV page.
Penetration is an effect seperate from critical hits. A hit that bypasses PV has no greater or lower chance to be a critical hit and vice versa. Against monsters with high PV scores, both will lead to significantly increased damage output; combined they are simply even more powerful.