Alright, I have actually not started thinking about this until about 30 minutes after I had made my Witchdoctor.
Up until that point, I had always assumed that the +damage from equipment and from Rough (Swashbuckler talent) would apply to both weapon damage and powers. Now, I started to question myself.
See, powers from any class other than Witchdoctor involve weapons (except for gunnery, stat boosts, etc). Even the traps multiply your basic damage by whatever amount. Witchdoctor powers, on the other hand, involve hoodoo. Hoodoo does not really involve staff damage, except maybe Ghostwail, which is equivalent to 1x basic damage on a target.
Now, does the +damage from equipment and Rough actually boost power damage? Or does ONLY the power boost (from Witchdoctor talent) and Will boost powers?
Before I actually try and experiment with my swashbuckler (which may not even provide me conclusive results due to different fighting mechanics) and then turn around and test that on my Witchdoctor (who is only level 6 and whose +damage boost modifiers may not even make a difference enough for any noticable results), I would want to ask here for official answers.
Either staff, or the players that are way more knowledgable and experienced than me, so anyone can chime in and give their thoughts. I also asked Talkin' the Plank, host of the podcast Talkin' the Plank, and one of our community leaders.
Powers= staffy weapons damage is compiled by adding your will power and the staff damage along with your rough modifier. Spell damage is compiled by your pirates mojo effects ie: 5% boosts to damage the max you can have is currently 15% boost, from leveling Overpower 5% boost x3. What would be nice is a damage range on spells, currently these are not listed on the spell so when you play ghost wail you dont know what amount of damage will be done : ie: 50-100 all we see is a number when the spell hits x 5 (21,21, 21, 23 ,25) for example thats 111 damage. This spell generates a very random number every time its cast so no 2 castings are identical for any given level. I would like to see in the future a damage range for spells so we can see the good from the bad. Like with musketeer guns the spells they use dont list a damage range other than 2x or 1x damage for your gun damage range. Id like to see how much more damage case shot does than blusterbuss shot. The sad thing is randomness often interjects in this game so a level 40 ability does less damage than a level 1 ability which i find weird. Most notably when using a swashbucklers poison attack the 3 turn poison attack always seems to do more damage than the 5 turn one and at times does not. I guess the mobs you are facing make a difference too with their resistance modifiers, So i understand whay spells dont hit for as much as they do at other times. Last thing: game developers need to incorporate mob stats that we can see ie: resistances and armor class etc. etc. like they do the abitlities when we put the cursor over them ( riposte, vengeance strike etc etc). This would be great for strategizing further using melee against high resistance mobs and spells against weak resistance mobs. Witch doctors have spells that ignore armor so wouldnt it seem logical to be able to see the ac stat on a mob.
Yea. With Talkin' the Plank's insight on this subject matter confirming what you said, I believe I understand the differences. I did decide to go a different route with my witchdoctor. Thanks to you, I am much less indecisive about what to do, and therefore much more enthustiastic about playing that class.