Each successful hit adds a number of stacks, depending on the Supercharge of the weapon. Generally speaking, 1 hit = 1 stack. Weapons like the Death Scythe have the Supercharge x3 bonus, so each successful hit = 3 stacks.
Every stack deals an amount of damage over time (DoT). So, every tick, a ship is affected by a Corrosive stack, it will take standard amount of damage.
There is a maximum number of stacks that can be applied from a weapon, depending on the weapon (Styx Torpedoes can apply a different maximum amount of stacks than the Death Scythe, for example).
Obviously, the more stacks that are applied to a ship, the more damage that ship will take with every second. Corrosive DoTs are cumulative.
The stat you see in the Stat block when looking at a Corrosive weapon is the maximum stacks times the damage dealt per DoT. It is the highest amount of damage the weapon can deal. In its current iteration, the stat block ain't the greatest. We're looking into changing the way the stats display in the stat blocks to be more clear in the near future.
It is important to note that ships with the Unreactive stat do not affect the Corrosive stacks, ie, stacks do not fall off as quickly as they do with, say, a radioactive stack applied by a Launcher weapon.
Player weapons that have Corrosive damage type have the same Corrosive DoT dmg, but each weapon has a different maximum stack and Supercharge. This means that some weapons can apply more stacks than others.
Each applied stack diminishes over time. Each stack lasts 6 seconds. So, if a Corrosive weapon applies a stack with its first volley, it will start to count down. The second volley creates a new set of 6 seconds. Obviously, the ideal situation is to rapidly hit a target with many projectiles to maximize the amount of damage per second.
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