Your weapon's damage (as well as other damage from source, accessories, etc) plays a large part on the DPS computation. The actual formula is quite complicated (especially if you factor in elemental bonuses, attack speed, and crit chance / crit damage) which might be too much for someone who's just starting out. But to keep it simple and give you an idea of how important base damage is, think of it this way:
1 dmg = +1 dmg
1 int = +1% dmg
So let's say you have 100 dmg & 1,000 int, you'll have 1,100 dps
If you increase your int by 100, you'll have 1,200 dps
If you increase your dmg by 100 instead, you'll have 2,200 dps
In the example above, a few additional dmg gives a large dps boost because the base dmg is low while int is high. If their values were reversed (high dmg low int), additional int would give a bigger boost. That's the basic idea anyway
Things might be a bit too much to absorb too quickly, but just play the game and you'll get better understanding of the mechanics eventually. Your character sheet will show you your current DPS (based on your dmg, int, speed, crit, etc). Putting sheet multipliers aside, that should serve as a pretty good guide on how much damage your spells can dish out.
Have fun playing!
Edited by Valcrist#6473 on 1/17/2013 3:57 AM PST