UPDATE Patch 1.21: Tested on R52, new WS caps with Ifrit's Bow are DEX 295-300 and PIE 330-335. Both affect WS damage now, but cap really early with light shot.
Hello, after trying out the BG parser, I decided to do some testing on Archer to try and see which stats I should focus on. I wanted to see which of the 4 damage stats (DEX, PIE, STR, ATK) increased Light Shot and Heavy shot the most since in Moogle those 2 skills comprise ~40-50% of ARC damage. I would also like to point out that I have never done any stat testing before, so take my data/advice with a grain of salt. And any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
Materials and Methods
In order to check the stat effects, I first created a “base” stat-line where I was naked. I performed ~100-300 Light Shots and ~70-100 Heavy Shots to get a min/max and average damage. After getting a solid base damage, I increased one stat at a time, usually in 20-30 increments and recorded the new min/max and average. I then repeated parts of this data sampling on R1, R50, R52, and R55 enemies. Due to gear/material limitations, some unwanted stat changes had to occur, ie +4 attack on my +34 DEX gloves, so there is a small degree of error for some data. Also, I generally saw a trend of +/- 8% on the max/min for melee damage. For some reason R50 Drubbers fell outside this norm, so I excluded their data from my analysis. (So focus most of your attention on the R55 Feretrar and R52 Halbedier tabs on the spreadsheet, and the graphs/trendlines didn't transfer to google docs well)
Dexterity could be the least or most important stat for Archer depending on several factors. If your primary concern is only instanced content where accuracy is 100%, then Dexterity is probably the worst stat to invest in as an Archer. First of all, DEX appears to have almost no influence on Heavy Shot damage, and has a marginally better return than STR on Light Shot damage. Also, there appears to be some sort of “cap” on Dexterity. After reaching a threshold of 280 Dexterity, adding any more dexterity (up to 325 in my data collection) appeared to add no damage whatsoever to Light Shot or Heavy Shot. However, it should be noted that I experienced a relatively higher accuracy with high Dex gear, so if your focus is on out-of-instance content, then DEX may still be a viable option for stat focus.
Piety appears to be the most important stat for Archer from my testing. While it has a similar increase in light shot damage as Dexterity, Piety seemed to have, by far, the biggest influence on Heavy Shot. Also, similar to Dexterity, Piety seemed to “cap” at 280. I’m not sure if this is some special number, but it does not appear to be heavily Rank/monster dependent as I tested the cap value on R1 Corroded Coblyns and on the R55 Feretrar and found a similar cap at roughly ~280.
Strength and Attack Power
I’ve read a few posts over STR/ATK recently and there seems to be some controversy over their influence on ARC damage. I’m hesitant to make any definitive statements, but based on my testing of R52 and R55 mobs, I think STR and ATK have a relationship of 2:3 (ATK:STR). So for every 3 points of Strength, you will gain 2 Attack Power. Also, there appears to be a different kind of “cap” for Strength and Attack Power. On R52/55 monsters I never experienced any kind of a “cap” for Strength or Attack Power on Light Shot or Heavy Shot. However, one of my LS mates tested STR/ATK on R1 Coblyns and noted no increased min/max/avg damage on Light Shot. So there appears to be some weird kind of stat checking going on (he suggested perhaps some STR/ATK – VIT check on the enemy).
Since Vitality can be equipped to ARC weapons, I decided to test the damage on Light Shot and Heavy Shot. There did not appear to be any increase in min/max/avg.
Based off this preliminary testing, I would have to argue that the order of stat preference would be PIE>ATK>STR>DEX (for <280). I would recommend getting PIE to 280 with a double socket body and paragon’s crown, then spend the rest of your resources maxing STR/ATK. I know a lot of people are looking for the “best” ARC gear right now, and this is my best guess as how to outfit yourself with double socketing for instanced content:
Weapon: Ifrit Bow
Head: Paragon Crown
Body: Rainmaker Tunic with 2x PIE (haven’t tested Savage Might, but wasn’t impressed in Instance Fights from eyeballing)
Belt: Doesn’t really matter, but there is a +1 STR belt if you care. I’d rather 2x HP or –Enmity
Hands: Fingerless Raptorskin Gloves of Slaying with 2x ATK Power
Legs: Felt Trousers with 2x STR/DEX material (for economy you can try 2x STR/VIT or +11 ATK pants from GC)
Feet: Cobalt-Plated Caligae with 2x HP (HP is my preference)
Rings: get 280 PIE, then wear STR rings
Contrary to what most people would expect, Dexterity is, in my opinion, the worst stat for ARC damage wise. Also, there seems to be a “cap” for DEX and PIE at 280; you won’t do any more Light Shot or Heavy Shot damage if you stack higher DEX/PIE. I’m not sure if this is intentional to avoid overpowered material players. I also want to point out that this 280 cap is a rough estimate and I think there is like a 10-20 variation depending on the mob. I still need to test more, but I think 280 is about the right cap for R52-R55 (which is around endgame content rank). I think it’s also important to note that I only tested Light Shot and Heavy Shot. DEX/PIE/STR might affect all the other weapon skills differently.
Future Testing Plans
I’m probably going to work on the rest of the weapon skills to check PIE/DEX/STR influence. I’m not, however, going to test combos and the stat influence on them because honestly that’s too much work for me atm. I’ll also try to test on higher mobs to see how much stat influence diminishes and if the rate of decay is equal across DEX/PIE/STR (probably not equal). After these tests I’ll probably work on LNC or MRD and repeat all my data ; ;
For Light Shot
ATK>PIE>DEX>STR (Up until 272-280 cap)
ATK>STR>>PIE/DEX (Above 272-280 cap)
For Heavy Shot
PIE>ATK>STR>>DEX (Up until 288-290 cap)
ATK>STR>>PIE/DEX (Above 288-290 cap)
Special thanks to Kaeko Leta, Anzu Mazaki, Miko Neversleeps, and Artanis Bluestone for testing and advice on testing.
Updated since January 22, 2012
Following a similar methodology I tested the PIE/DEX relationship on the other weaponskills, specifically Piercing Shot, Gloom Arrow, Quick Nock, and Shadowbind. Just like Heavy Shot, these four weaponskills are all PIE based. They are not influenced by the DEX stat at all. Interestingly Heavy Shot and Piercing shot do exactly the same damage and follow the same linear increase with PIE. The same is true for Shadowbind and Gloom Arrow. I think the developers just copy/pasted damage formulas -_-. Also I did more experimenting on the PIE cap for Light Shot and the other WS. My final assessment is that Light shot caps somewhere between 272-280 and all WS cap somewhere between 288-290. I think this might be either completely independent of enemy rank or very slightly altered since roughly the same caps were present on R1, R50, R52, R55, and R65-70 enemies.
Just as a side note, I did a little bit of extrapolation with my data to reach some of my conclusions. I only did ~20-40 shots of any WS and just used the +/-8% damage as a guideline to be within +/- 1-2 of the min/max. It takes a realllly long time to get ~100 of each WS at different stat values. The google doc spreadsheet has been updated as well.
As a final note, I think I’m done testing archer for now. There isn’t much left to test for the class except “confirming” the other WS are PIE and STR/ATK based. That being said, I know the server mergers are coming up and if any testers or players who are interested in stat/class testing want to join with me on Figaro, I’d be more than appreciative. I know I’ve worn my 2 current testing buddies out :3
Dancing Mad LS, Figaro