Hello, I recently did some Archer testing a few weeks ago (posted in the ARC forums) and decided to do similar testing for Lancer. Lancer has 3 stat modifiers, STR/PIE/ATK, and I wanted to see each stat’s influence on auto attack and weapon skills. I would like to emphasize that I am focused on which stats do the most damage. Accuracy, Enfeebling, etc are all not factors in my recommendations/conclusions. Interestingly, I found some results that mirrored what I saw with my Archer testing. Once again, any feedback would be appreciated.
Materials and Methods
In order to check the stat effects, I first created a “base” stat-line to be the control. I then tested auto attack, True Thrust, Heavy Thrust, Leg Sweep, Doom Spike, and Chaos Thrust. Following the +/- 8% for min/max damage, I used each weapon skill until I got within +/- 1 of the predicted min/max. After getting a control value for each attack, I increased one stat at a time and repeated my testing. I did all of my Lancer testing on 2 mobs, the R52 Zahar’ak Halberdier and the R65+ Branded Drake (leve mob). This was to insure that any trends I saw at R52 could be tested on a mob with a supposedly higher Def/VIT.
*note: Excel charts didn’t transfer well to google docs so if you want the original excel spreadsheet with the trendlines/equations, send me an email at email@example.com
Piety appears to be the least important attribute when trying to increase LNC damage. Piety only increases auto-attack damage while having no influence on weapon skills. Furthermore, the rate of increase for (dDamage/dPIE) seems to be lower than STR or ATK on higher ranked enemies. Also, similar to ARC, Piety has a cap somewhere between 282-290. After you reach this cap, adding additional Piety will yield no increase in auto-attack damage. This appears to be almost independent of monster rank. I have capped on R1-R65 on both Archer and Lancer testing and the cap is still around +/- 10 of 280. Piety may still have an important role when trying to land stuns from Leg Sweep and Heavy Thrust, but in terms of damage, Piety is the worst of the 3 major stats.
Strength appears to have the greatest influence on auto-attack and weapon skills when Strength is below 290. For STR<290, Strength has the highest return (dDamage/dSTR) for any attribute. Also, unlike Piety, Strength does have an influence on weapon skills. The strength testing was a bit difficult as Strength also influences Attack Power. However, since Strength and Attack Power both follow linear relationships, separating the influence of each was not overly difficult.
Attack Power appears to have the greatest influence on auto-attack and weapon skills when Strength has been “capped” at 290. Unlike Piety and Strength, Attack Power does not have specific value at which it caps. However, based on my Archer testing where Attack Power capped on R1 Corroded Coblyns, I would venture to say that if you got your Attack Power high enough on Lancer, you will cap against the monster’s Def/Vit/Lvl (I’m not sure which influences ATK). Also, similar to Archer, Strength and Attack Power seem to have a 3:2 ratio (STR:ATK). Any additional damage that STR above 290 adds is from its 3:2 Attack Power influence.
Based off the R52/65 enemy testing, I would advocate getting STR to ~285-290 and then maxing ATK. As for Piety vs Strength when STR>290, it is a little more complicated. For R52 Halberdiers, (dDamage/dPIE) is greater than (dDamage/dSTR) when STR>290. For the R65+ Branded Drakes, however, (dDamage/dSTR) is greater than (dDamage/dPIE) when STR>290. Most of the current endgame content is R55-58 which is somewhere between the two tested mobs. However, Piety only influences auto-attack while Strength influences both auto-attack and weapon skills. So as it stands, I would have to recommend stacking Strength over Piety.
Also, unlike my ARC stat post, I am not going to write a recommended gear set. The reason for this is that I believe on Lancer, a Crit Attack build might be a viable build for Lancer. I have not tested Crit materia/damage at all, but based on the Lancer’s WS and the use of a Mog Fork and Savage Might socketed body, I could very easily see a Crit Lancer being stronger than a LNC with a PIE socketed body and Ifrit Harpoon.
I recently read a post on the forums about “threshold” values for stats. The post mentioned 2 threshold values at 280 and 340 and once you pass those, you will see a damage bonus. From 272->290->340->368 Strength, I saw the predicted linear increase in damage when tested on R65+ Drakes. The post was a little vague on whether you need both stat modifiers (in the case of lancer, both PIE and STR) or just one stat above the threshold. I tested with STR at 368 PIE 247 and also with STR 307 PIE 307 and have seen no evidence of any threshold values in my testing. The only remarkable values I’ve found are caps, which ironically, are around 280. However, I know on Thaumaturge INT does not cap at 280 (based on Ifrit and Moogle fights). So I’m not going to rule the idea completely out, but I think it is unfounded superstition.
I am done testing Lancer for now. There are still a few loose ends that should be tested such as Power Surge’s attack modifier, Blood for Blood’s damage modifier, etc. As I get deeper into my school semester, my testing will probably become more and more limited. So, with the server merger coming up soon, I’ll make my plug-in that if any serious/mature (18+y.o.) players who are interested in being the best in the server/game at their job want to join Figaro and help me and my LS-mate Kaeko do hardcore testing, I’d be more than appreciative. Following my ARC testing, I increased my DPS from ~65-70 to 77-83 DPS on Moogle (Using BG parser). It may be boring, but the dividends pay off!
Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjI8PTbz39xPdE0zYUU5bHp5S3NUbEdldzBsbHZDbWc
Archer Testing Reference: http://forum.square-enix.com/ffxiv/threads/35795-STR-DEX-PIE-ATK-Testing
Stat Threshold Reference (Not my work): http://forum.square-enix.com/ffxiv/threads/35033-Stats-threshold