To those that have them and will have them in the future, the lance, bow, axe, and fist weapons are rather beastly since the proc rate and dmg rate of the proc is so high, buckled with the high raw damage. It would take a bit to out parse these weapons even with materia'd crafted gear.
However, when it comes to the caster items (and sort of the sword) I'm left wondering what the hell is wrong with the itemization team of SE.
First and for most, the caster weapons seem to follow the path of FFXI weapons (for the added effect); ala Claustrum and Mjollnir. I really don't know what SE's obsession is with mages meleeing, but why is this still in place? It's true the fire effect proc's off of Spirit Dart and Phantom Dart, but again what mage is spamming that every 10 seconds? Let alone, on some targets, the add effect actually does more then the regular hit, whats up with that lol?
Secondly, the additional 20 magic potency isn't comparable to the NQ + zero materia weapons out there. If anything, the Ifrit weapons are for overall nuking (nuking of multiple elements), but when you look at your alternatives, it actually isn't even that much better then the NQ + zero materia weapons.
You have the conjurer wands which are +3 to +4 magic potency then +20 to +24 of its elemental potency and then you have the brands which are +12 to +22 magic potency with +6 to +11 additional elemental potency.
So what exactly are the caster weapons for? Looks?
If the melee weapons are rather useful and not just for looks, then why aren't the caster weapons? Shouldn't the added fire effect be changed to something like +10 or +20 additional fire element potency?
It seems that as long as you're sticking to 1 nuke family (Ancient Magic/Shadow Sear > Tier2 Element > Scourge/Banish 2) then the NQ weapons with no materia are clearly a better fit.
I'm a healer, none of this matters to me since nothing from the encounter benefits me and I'm fine with crafted weapons + materia'd being better, but this isn't the case. It just bugs me that SE is still stuck in their XI ways with itemization. Is there one guy or a team that looks at these things? Do they even play D:?