Friday, September 04, 2009

Morning in Vana'diel: Coming Correct.

Morning in Vana'diel is your daily dose of FFXI and all things Vana'diel. Give us your thoughts on the interesting topics of the day! Level correction, the stat that you almost definitely never even cared about!

I was thinking about why there seems to be so many simple answers to gear questions in FFXI, but why they never seem to pan out. Why do I seem to have enough accuracy, but I can't see to cap it when I am fighting NMs? Why aren't I criting as much as I should be? I think that reason may be that there is level correction for more than just damage.

Right now we know that level correction applies to damage because we can see observable differences in damage based on level and because the formulas that we got a long time ago tell us that is the case. The formulas are taken on faith but they do fit the empirical evidence so there is good reason to accept them. Although the level correction functions differently, it is known to apply in some manner to both melee and magical damage.

My question is if we know that level correction applies to damage, why do we not make the same assumptions for other stats like accuracy/evasion and critical hits? Is it simply because we can see no way to test it? Should we be giving advice on gearing based on the current level of testing if it does not include level correction? Does level correction even exist for these statistics?

I have considered some hypothetical situations that may demonstrate the need to reconsider how some people currently look at the previously mentioned stats.

Scenario 1: Evasion - A long time ago it was suggested that Evasion being a melee stat may scale like a melee stat above skill level 200. Meaning that above that level each level of skill only gives .9 of a skill instead of a whole point. This would mean that flat Evasion would be better to decrease the accuracy of an opponent than Evasion skill. Even if this was not the case, then shouldn't flat Evasion be at least equal to Evasion skill? The problem is that this observation generally did not pan out, and it did indeed look like Evasion skill had a larger effect than Evasion. This could be because there is a check between a mob's "weapon" skill level and the target's Evasion skill level before the actual chance to hit is determined. I believe there are several places where a similar skill vs. skill check is made. This may not be as much of a "level correction" situation but it serves the same function.

Scenario 2: Accuracy - The current trend for many accuracy estimates is to look at currently known information for some mobs (almost always XP level mobs) and then extrapolate them out to higher level mobs. I do not know how accurately this has been tested, but I have definitely found that the accuracy drop for higher level mobs does not seem to correlate. If there was no correction then there should be a simple linear curve for accuracy against mobs, but theorycrafting here and most evidence points to a more dramatic curve against higher level mobs. This could also be a situation of skill vs. skill checks, as opposed to a direction level correction function, but the result is the same.

Scenario 3: Crit hit rate - Again, another area where the current trend seems to function off of one set of tests on Greater Colibri, while against higher level mobs the level of critical hits does not follow the assumed linear curve. It would seem this is the most obvious case where a level correction function is occurring, because a simple DEX v. AGI check would even against high level mobs should be resulting in very high crit rates that are not currently being observed. It would seem just like the melee damage formula the crit hit rate formula is based on a level correction first before the DEX v. AGI check is made.

These are all hypothetical explanations of how level correction may exist for these stats (and others like enfeebling and elemental) but may not necessarily be noticed because all of the testing is being done on XP mobs, so there is a dearth of comparable information that we can use to check if level correction is occurring or not. What we need is more parsing of higher level mobs, but the difficulties of that are obvious as there are many more factors that occur when dealing with higher level mobs than a normal XP camp. But parses to gather this kind of information is probably a good place to start.

Are some people giving poor information when they use a simple linear extrapolation for accuracy and crit hit rate? How would we even construct a model to take level correction into account?

1 comment:

JESS said...

This where I value skill over the others. Lol Ga Ring seems good for me especially when I can not merit it because of the merit qty caps or even a lack of a Fortitude Torque.