This is a comparison between Weapon Skill & Ballistic Skill: which you should stack and when! Firstly, I am going to lay down the base formulae for all of the stats I am going to use. Next, I'll pump out some basic data using a simple calculator and the formulae. Then, since I'm such a nice guy, I'll organize the data into charts for ya'! Ain't I great?
Note, this is for Rifleman. I'll likely do a Grenadier rundown later, but Rifleman is more demanding at this time.
So, the formulae:
Weapon Skill: Armor Penetration % = ( ( ( Weapon Skill / ( ( Level * 5 ) +50 ) ) * .25 ) * 100 )All we care about on this one is the Armor Penetration. This makes it so our Rifle shots go through some of the targets armor, effectively dealing more damage. Is it good? Better than Ballistics? Got you on the seat of your pants? Lets read on!
Ballistic Skill: +DPS = ( Ballistic SKill / 5 )Easy one! +DPS means that you can multiply casttime * +DPS to figure out how much damage will be added to said skill. For instance, say Gun Blast deals 400 damage base. With +100 Ballistic Skill, you get +20 DPS. 20 * 2 seconds = 40. Gun Blast now deals 440 damage. Easy enough? Good!
Armor Mitigation: Physical Damage Reduction% = ( ( .9083 / 40 ) * Armor Value )The above formula is calculated assuming level 40. So, 1000 armor at level 40 will give you ~22.7% damage reduction.
Right! SO we got the boring stuff out of the way! Let's create a chart of test values which we can apply these formulae to! Since I'm so awesome, I already have the charts!
-Number on the top row are Armor Values
-Numbers on the far left column is the test +value to the stat in question
-For the Ballistics Chart, just pick an armor value, look down the rows till the appropriate +stat, and you have the +damage modifier after mitigation at level 40.
-For the Weapon Skill Chart, the values given are the amount of armor reduced by each point, given the above armor value.
Easy enough? I hope so. It's pretty elementary so far! The key is interpreting it! And for that, I have us a special guest! Here are the above charts organized in a visual manner;
Ballistic Skill(top) and Weapon Skill(bottom):
So what do these charts and raw data mean? Well, here's the gist of it in case you weren't following along; the higher the armor value, the less damage return you get from Ballistic Skill, while the higher the armor value, the larger return you get on Weapon Skill! The Ballistic Skill chart above shows how much extra DPS you get for each 10 points of Ballistics Skill. The Weapon Skill chart shows how much additional armor is bypassed for each point of Weapon Skill, given the above armor value.
Doing a quick calculation in me 'ead, it's at around 2000ish armor that Weapon Skill begins to give a better damage, point for point, than Ballistic Skill!
If, as a Rifleman, you want to focus primarily on low armor classes such as non-melee healers and other RDPS classes, stack as much Ballistic skill as you can! If, however, you want to be more well rounded, dealing more damage to tank classes, medium RDPS, and Melee Healers try to stack Weapon Skill. In any case, +WS on higher level items is not in nearly as much abundance as +BS, so stack accordingly.
Remember, 2000 armor, where the Weapon Skill stat seems to succeed Ballistic Skill in damage is a decent amount of armor! Basically, this is Medium Armor and up. RDPS careers and non-melee healers have Light Armor, as do the Light Melee careers like WItch Elf and Witch Hunter. So, to kill everything but tanks and brawlers, stack Ballistics!
I hope this has been a help to some, I will eventually do a writeup on all Engineer skills and their coefficients, which will give you a better idea of what to stack.
Addendum - Weapon Skill Chart
I was pondering over this post the other day, realizing how poorly the Weapon Skill chart was made out. Sure, it shows how much armor is negated at said level and armor value, but it shows little in terms actual damage mitigated and bypassed. And so, I have created this new chart!
-First Row is Armor Values
-First(left) column is +weapon skill
-Find the armor value you are hitting against, add the weapon skill, and that shows how much more damage you will deal against your target
I think this shows, more clearly, the bonus of Weapon Skill over Ballistic Skill. I left the main post alone to the fledglings can easily see the direct Armor Negation chart. As you can see, this supports my main supposition that Weapon Skill surpasses Ballistic Skill point for point at about 2000+ armor.