Sunday, September 5, 2010

Magian Katanas in practice

I believe it's been two weeks since I finished the Lv80 STR Great Katana. Since then I haven't had the chance to go out and compare it to the Store TP Keitonotach until last friday. My expectations going into this were that the STR GK would win by a small margin. The reason for this were the broad conclusions I made after calculating DoT in my blog post a while back. There the STR GK won the contest over a 5-hit Keito because of its higher melee DoT and ability to wear Dusk Gloves while maintining a 6-hit.

The conditions were as follows. I went out to Boyahda to help Kingcem with his trial. I started with the STR GK (Hyogugusarinotachi) wearing Hachiman Domaru and Haste in all the regular places (W.Turban, Swift, Byakko's, Dusk, Fuma). After about 30 kills (4 of which I removed from the parse below) I switched to Store TP Keito and swapped out Dusk Gloves for Hachiman Kote. Target mobs were Elder Goobbues. These were the results for the STR GK:

And this was for the sTP GK:

As you can tell, the Store TP Keito won the comparisson. There are some interfering factors like the Paralyze gaze attack slowing down Kingcem or me, but I believe it's overall a fair comparisson. So why did the sTP GK win? The first thing I noticed going from 6-hit to a 5-hit was how efficiently I could use Meditate. Since there is no room for lowered Store TP in this setup, I WS in the same (albeit it slightly higher) Store TP as I melee in. Each Meditate tic is 20 TP and each swing is 20 TP. When I'm 1 Tic or Swing away from 100 TP I spam my WS macro and WS at the first possible instant. "Wouldn't this mean you could get a slower swing if you do a melee swing while wearing your WS gear?". Good point! However, think about it this way. The extra 20 TP you have left over now that you didn't wait for a visual confirmation of 100% TP is worth one swing, which takes much longer than the bit of time you may or may not have sacrificed by swapping in your WS gear before reaching 100% TP. So, it's a net gain as far as I'm concerned. In addition to the increased Meditate efficiency, there is also the benefit of higher WS rate. Look at the Kparser performance tabs and you'll see the balance of Melee and WS DPS is shifted in favor of WS on the 5-hit build by "a lot". This is pretty obvious considering you need 1 less swing to WS.

This farming level of mobs is not the typical scenario where you'll find yourself worrying about DoT. We lacked any magic haste and I didnt' use Hasso at all since we were both tanking so much and had no healer. The sacrifice in Haste would weigh much heavier if we had other forms of Haste. This is another reason why the 5-hit build gets a boost. Since my average attack damage was around 111, one can not argue that my pdif was capped and that the STR GK's DoT suffered because of it.

The most important thing this experiment taught me was that I completely underestimated the effect of a 5-hit on WS rate. It's not just one less swing, it's also a considerable boost in Meditate efficiency. The most important question this experiment raises is: At what point is the 3% Haste sacrifice enough to make the STR GK take the lead.

An interesting thing I discovered was that Store TP affected my Double Attack procs on WS. Apparently this has been known for a long time, but I just never realised it. With 68 Store TP during WS I got a 22 TP return after a WS where Double Attack proc'd. With 68 Store TP my WS return is 20.4. Add to that an extra attack at 68 TP it's 1.6 added for a total of exactly 22.0 TP after WS.

Now if you were able to play perfectly, you could swap out gear pieces so that you are left with 60 Store TP total and still maintain a 5-hit, unfortunately it's not enough to simply remove Hachiman Kote, as you only have room to remove 4 sTP total, because

(100 - 22.0)/4 = 19.5

for which you still need 60 Store TP to achieve. Considering the relative infrequency of DA procs I'm not going to try and make such a situational gear-set. WS rate is THE determining factor for a SAM DoT calculation. Since Meditate influences this and its effect on WS rate is also dependant on what your WS rate was like BEFORE considering it, it's a difficult thing to account for. I'd like to repeat this comparisson in a situation with less down time and more buffs to see if the STR GK does indeed catch up and/or beat the 5-hit build.

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