Friday, February 18, 2011

Gearing Thief for Speed (Haste and Dual Wield)

Raider's Bonnet +2 versus Zelus Tiara
It's not always fair to make a straight comparisson like this without taking into account the context. In this case I'll try to consider the extreme situations. The haste difference is 2% between the two. The benefit of Zelus if you got the full benefit of that 2% at the highest possible Haste values (going from 78% to 80%) you'd see a benefit of 10% to your melee DoT. However, this situation is unrealistic because you have DW that will guarantee that you reach the delay reduction cap before 78% haste. If you assume 33% DW (I'll get back to that later) then you'd cap at 70% haste so we'd need to consider going from 68% to 70%.

(1/0.3) / (1/0.32) = ~1.07

So roughly a 7% melee DoT increase. Now I don't know about you, but I'm not Dboxing my own mage and BRD nor do I have the support to get to that 70% haste. With only haste spell the 2% haste scales down to only 3% DoT increase. So from 10% in an unrealistic situation all the way down to 3% depending on my own personal common situation. That just goes to show how your playstyle and assumptions factor in to how good any one stat is.

AF3's 3% Triple Attack would almost immediately seem like the winner. To be sure, let's assume a very high multi-attack rate with 3% quad attack, 33% triple (traits, Apoc atma, triplus) and 15% double (VV, Brutal). Now adding 3% triple attack to a setup that has an average of 1.9 attacks per swing is

1.96/1.9 = 1.03

So 3% versus 3% in a situation that greatly reduces Triple Attack's value. Outside of Abyssea this would be less of a contest and AF3 seems like the better overall piece.

Nusku's Sash versus Twilight Belt
This question actually has a context for me. I'm namely comparing these two setups.

It's hard to see because Nusku's and Twilight have the same Icon, but the first setup is capped haste using Loki's and Twilight Belt, and the second setup is 23% haste using AF3+2 body With Nusku's Sash.

Now these setups boil down to a rather subtle difference of:
Dagger skill +5 and Dual Wield +5
DEX+1, Store TP +7, Haste +3, Dbl. Atk +2, Crit hit damage +5%

Time to make some assumptions. Let's scrap 1 DEX. Let's assume Haste spell only. Assuming the 25% haste cap and going from 23% to 26% in gear is a 5% increase in melee DoT. The small extra step need to truly cap haste which you wouldn't with just 25% in gear is explained in Kirschy's post on BG which I linked to in the right side of this Blog's layout. Double attack varies a lot, but I'd like to put it at 1.5% DoT increase to keep things simple.

Now Critical hit-rate will influence Loki's boost to your Crit damage. A critical hit's contribution to your melee damage is greatly influenced by how high your p-dif is. If you were low in atk/def ratio and p-dif was around 0.5 then a critical hit would be a whopping 300% boost to that hit's damage. Again, an assumption is needed. Let's stick to p-dif = 1 because this makes things easy and it's not that far removed from common situations. Given my SAM's p-dif on Abyssea mobs, I think it's fair to say THF's would be a tad lower around 1. With this assumption your boost to melee DoT (without damage boost) would be approximated with 1 + crit-rate * 1. Easy, yes? Add to this damage boost of RR and you're looking at crit-rate * 1.3 . Now the 5% is starting to look a bit "meh". Crit-rate parses around 65% for me usually, so that'd make my 5% damage boost stacked on top of 30% from RR and 5% from job trait (possibly 8%) contribute this much:

(1 + 0.65 * 1.40) / (1 + 0.65 * 1.35) = 1.017

So less than a 2% damage boost. Since they're all seperate and multiplicative, setup with Loki's would be a 1.05 * 1.015 * 1.017 = 1.08 boost to melee DoT. Store TP factors in to WS frequency, but this is dragging out enough already!

Now setup with AF3+2 body has 5 ATK (assuming the skill does nothing for Acc) which would do anywhere from 1.2% to 0.9% extra damage assuming my low ATK on THF.

The big thing is of course "Is Nusku's worth it?". Well, I'm currently at 33% DW before Nusku's from Suppa, Raider's Boomerang and /NIN traits at 90. This means Nusku's alone will boost my damage by 8%. The great thing about this is that the two setups turn out to be very close given my assumptions. When is one better than the other? Well the variables such as which atmas you're using (if any) and how much Haste you're getting from Samba and spells will influence things in too many ways for me to want to redo the calculations.

The Verdict
Go for the 23% haste + Nusku's setup when you're often solo or otherwise low on buffs. Why? Because if you're soloing the Subtle Blow and evasion matter. Not only that, but due to not having a lot of haste, your DoT is also higher with this setup. When you're highly buffed you'll most likley be delay reduction capped anyway while Crit dmg boost as well as Dbl. Atk. will keep their value. In a situation like this, you'll end up getting more out of the Loki's setup.

Awesome music tip #2

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