Friday, June 25, 2010

Weapon of choice

The recent 'epic' update that raised the level cap also introduced new weapons up to level 80. My first impression after parsing the list of new items is that armor pieces aren't being eclipsed as much as weapons are. I like the idea of working for a strong weapon through the Magian trials. SE tried to make half-decent craftable alternatives through Synergy as well as numerous RA/EX weapons with unique stats. We don't know where all these come from yet, so only time will tell how realistic obtaining them is.

I personally am still only persuing one Magian trial path. That of the PDT sword. Some of the requirements were lowered and the path itself extends all the way up to a 8% PDT Samshir at level 80. Since PDT is a stat that scales so well I'll keep at it. Thanks to an extremely long sandstorm a pair of friendly Monks that I could level synch to, I managed to make some good progress after putting the trial on the backburner for a while.

However, this sword is purely for my own personal obsession with PDT. It probably won't see much application outside of unimportant melee solos. What about Samurai? People say Hagun at level 80 compared to other weapons comes up short. By how much? It's hard to quantify these things without making certain assumptions about your stats and the mob you're fighting. I wanted to compare Hagun to Masamune to see how big the gap was. When I reached the important component of weaponskill damage I made the following equation:

Hagun WS = Masamune WS
75+fSTR+WSC * 1.875 * P-Dif = 97+fSTR+WSC * 1.5625 * P-Dif

So basically asking: "when are the WS damages of Hagun and Masamune equal?"

p-dif is the same on both sides and the difference in fTP can be represented simpler. So you get:

75+fSTR+WSC * 1.2 = 97+fSTR+WSC
90 + 1.2 fSTR + 1.2 WSC = 97+fSTR+WSC
0.2 fSTR + 0.2 WSC = 7
fSTR+WSC = 35

Masamune and Hagun WS damage will be the same when fSTR together with secondary modifiers add up to 35. The moment it adds up to MORE than 35, hagun actually wins. So, when stacking fSTR you're always going to have at least +4 fSTR when you're at the same STR as mob VIT. So in a worst case scenario you need WSC to add up to 31.

With level correction you get 0.83 x mods = 31 => mods = 37.3 STR

With a 75% STR mod, you only need around 50 STR to reach this goal. Considering you can do a Sneak Attack+Gekko to a Sky god for over 1K damage, that means that even on high level mobs (assuming p-dif of 3) fSTR+WSC can add up to more than 100. Base damage on a weapon seems to play a much smaller part in a Samurai's weaponskill damage than I expected.

Yesterday I obtained this beauty:

Its effect on fTP makes Hagun's WS boost slightly smaller relative to that of any other weapon at 100 TP (18.7% instead of 20%), but still puts Hagun's WS damage higher than that of Masamune's when you can stack a lot of STR. In turn Masamune's damage on regular melee hits as well as its lower delay makes up for its 'likely' lower WS damage.

Hagun will eventually be fully eclipsed, but until the next update it's still a strong competitor.

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