Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

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    Back Lot Basher
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    Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by Back Lot Basher on Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:16 pm

    I've seen many posts about how you should ALWAYS make +15 weapons, rather than follow any upgrade path. I know that the logic behid this is that the damage only has to penetrate 1 layer of defenses. But when I look through the wiki stats on damage, something doesn't add up. I'm going to use the example of the Balder SS.

    At +15 the stats say it does 200 damage.

    At +5 Lightning the stats say 200 + 200

    At +5 Enchanted the stats say 144 + 148

    At +10 Fire the stats say 192 + 192

    The first thing that jumps out at me is that making this a lightning sword should be a no brainer. You get the same 200 physical damage, plus another 200 lightning. Fire seems very close to this. Do you assume that, no matter what someone's fire or lightning defense is, at least SOME of it will get through?

    I'm guessing that the Enchanted stat is skewed by the Intelligence scaling.

    Now, I understand that the Balder has Dex scaling as a B. So, is there some way to calculate what having say, a level 40 in Dex would add to the physical attack, so that a comparison can be more accurately made?

    The other side of this coin is, if someone is wearing armor that has, say, 210 in Lightning defense, does this mean that a lightning Balder (with 200 lightning damage) would have no elemental effect on that person?

    Thanks, and sorry for the convoluted question.

    EDIT: If you were going for a Vit build, and weren't planning on having any of the 4 "attack" skills very high, do I assume that elemental would be the best way to go?


    Last edited by Back Lot Basher on Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by Strudul on Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:18 pm

    Attack Rating, not damage.

    Attack Rating = before defence modifiers
    Damage = the actual damage the enemy receives after going through the damage calculation formula (which is complicated and I don't think we have access to)

    Use this to calculate attack ratings.

    In general:
    -If you have a decent amount of souls in a stat that weapon scales with -> go +15
    -If you don't have souls in that stat (e.g you are going all vit/end etc) -> go with an element / enchant etc.

    So yes, if someone has lots of lightning defense, suddenly your lightning weapon is terrible, but a +15 would still be awesome sauce.

    If you want more info, just do a google for "+15 vs +5 lightning" or soemthing and there a absolutely loads of explanations.


    Last edited by Strudul on Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:26 pm; edited 5 times in total
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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by Back Lot Basher on Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:21 pm

    Strudul wrote:Attack Rating, not damage.

    Sorry, can you elaborate...? Are there two different stats that I should be looking at?
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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by skarekrow13 on Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:29 pm

    It's the same stat but the term generally used is Attack Rating or AR. That's the reason to go +15 though if the stat it scales with is something you pumped up. From a general conceptual standpoint (or use his link for exacts) if you have the right stat high enough the AR total will be similar between paths. So for example, my Great Scythe with 45 dex and 40 str does about 500 damage. Roughly half is the base damaage and the other is the bonus I get for having high dex and str. Lightning +5 is again almost equal split between base and elemental and comes out to 555 total. Fire +5 is again split equally between base and elemental and is 560 total. Your first post has it right. If I'm going up against someone with say 200 physical defense and 100 of both lightning and fire defense my +15 weapon only is going against the 200 physical for a damage output of just over 300. The lightning has to go against both physical and lighting defense meaning the 555 is now 255. Fire is 260. So right away there's some benefit.

    Then the added bonus is that I can buff my +15 which will tack on even more damage.

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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by Seignar on Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:29 pm

    A good reason is actually because AR has increasing returns, meaning the defendant will guard less damage IF your AR is higher. Likewise, if your AR is lower, then the defendant will guard more damage, because of your rating.

    If your weapons splits 2 damage types, then those ratings are lower and would be severely diminished against an opponent with equal or (even worse) higher defenses. Taking in the fact this would serve the same for 2 damage types, it gets nerfed a lot twice. On the other hand, a +15 weapon has to only penetrate 1 damage type and has higher AR, meaning it doesn't get heavily diminished.

    On the topic of scaling, most weapons that can reach +15 almost double their AR when they are fully scaled before severe diminishing returns kick in, so they are equals in terms of AR with elemental only having slightly higher values

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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by Back Lot Basher on Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:37 pm

    Okay, I think I understand now. What I'm not seeing in the stats section is the attack rating that can actually double the damage done through scaling. So, in many ways, an elemental weapon COULD be useful, depending on the enemy you meet. Would you agree that this might almost come down to a roll of the dice, meaning that in a sequence of arena matches, you might get lucky on one enemy, and the next, your lightning wep is weak?

    Got me to thinking about how effective it might be to use the Steel Protection and the Speckled rings, upping defense in all categories.
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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by Back Lot Basher on Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:39 pm

    On this same topic, I noticed that both Enchanted and Divine weapons had fairly low damage ratings. So if someone has put only a moderate amount of points in, say, Faith, are they still better off with a +15 even if they don't have enough for a buffing spell?
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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by skarekrow13 on Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:43 pm

    A lot is going to depend on the weapon you choose. Magic and Enchanted can be quite useful in PvP as common shields often have low magic resistance so they do the most damage while the person is blocking. Fire and lightning tend to be a little higher on the shields. Since I use all physical (unless lemon buffing) I don't do any damage through a shield. Around 40 in the applicable primary stat will usually close to double the AR. So my Great Scythe with 40 dex is high 400 AR with the str. adding only a little more damage potential.

    It was stated above too but if you're really into that dex weapon but don't have the stats to maximize it, elemental would be the way to go for that weapon. +15 is only the best option if you have the applicable primary stat pretty high

    The sorcery buffing spells add a good amount of AR with little commitment to int. and resins can be a blessing as well.


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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by Strudul on Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:44 pm

    I could never really find answer to whether, for example if someone is weak to lightning, would lightning or normal be better. However, I believe they are very similar and you can always buff your normal +15 (gold pine / sunlight blade).

    +15 is safer overall.
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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by Back Lot Basher on Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:50 pm

    The only reason I'm asking this is because I have a variety of Dex, Fai, Int, and Str characters. I wanted to try a Vit build. Divine is the only real stat I have, but it's only at 24 for some healing spells. Another approach I thought of for this sort of build is to either dual wield two different elements, or have two equipped in one had for swapping.

    Anyone remember the Sticky White Stuff in Demon's Souls? Magic buffing with the best...name...ever!
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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by skarekrow13 on Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:54 pm

    Lol....I do remember that. You could definitely do two elementals in one hand. I used two great scythes once and it can create some panic. The +15 was getting blocked so I quickly switched to enchanted.....mwah ha ha haaa....

    The only difficulty would be knowing which shields and armors are weak against what.

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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by aceluby on Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:23 pm

    Str/Dex chars should almost always use a +15 w/ a weapon in the stat they chose and buff it. This way you maximize physical damage and also add in another type of damage on top of the physical damage.

    Int/Fth chars will get the most damage from divine/magic or from elemental weapons unless paired w/ Str/Dex in which case a buffed +15 makes the most sense.

    Any others should stick w/ elementals (and the above can use them as well, just not as optimal and could get boring if all your chars use elementals) as they will get little use out of the stat boosts from the weapon.


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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by TheBigLebowski on Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:43 pm

    Hmmz. Interesting stuff. While I have a mage now with a high int, I get more damage from my +15 buffed sword (crystal magic weapon) than with a +5 enchanted one.

    For example I use a BSS (I have 3, 1 elemental, 1 enchanted and 1 +15). The buffed +15 does the most damage. Dex is 16 and str 10. int +50.
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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by reim0027 on Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:50 pm

    In virtually every case, +15 will outdamage any other upgrade path (assuming appropriate stats), and it can be buffed.


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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by fujiphoenix on Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:48 pm

    It should say how much damage the scaling adds right next to the base damage. So that BSS you have that says 200, should have a number to the right of that one that says +"number". The "number" being the added damage.
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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by Back Lot Basher on Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:31 pm

    I agree that the lack of scaling information renders the stats section quite incomplete. But in all fairness, the effort required to collate that amount of data would be staggering, so I don't really think it's a criticism of the wiki.

    It also seems like, if you're going to use elemental weapons, you'll get more out of them if they are larger weapons where the damage is in bigger doses. For instance, the added fire damage is much bigger on a Zwiehander than an estoc. If an estoc has, say an extra 100 fire damage, no matter how many times I hit someone with 150 fire defense, NONE of it will get through. But if I have a Zwiehander with 250 fire damage, then I should hit for an extra 100 points on each strike. Correct me if I'm wrong on any of this....

    I noticed that on Divine and Enchanted weapons, the scaling is in three categories (albeit, the str and dex was really low). I've always made out pretty well with these, and I assume it's because a lot of people don't bring decent magic protection.

    I've never really found buffing all that viable in PvP, mostly because I've made a career of avoiding people while the buff runs out. Seems like there's no end of options.
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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by FruitPunchNinja on Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:55 pm

    I'm not sure what you mean, all the information on how much damage you gain from scaling is right there. Also you are somewhat right about STR weapons, some more then others that is true. But, for instance the Great Axe or Large club. They have fairly high stat requirements(most STR weapons do) so you already have enough STR to get a good amount of AR from scaling. Especially when the weapon is two-handed.

    EX. Large Club +15(26STR req) with min req the AR is 622 while twohanding it
    Large Club Lightning +5 AR is 666(split damage 330/336) so it goes threw two defenses.

    A better example might have been the Demon Great Machete, it reqs 40str. Making an elemental DGM is kind of a waste. Even if you only have 28STR and plan on twohanding it. If you are a STR build with low dex(at least 13) making an elemental Murakumo can also be worth it.


    It ends up being fairly close, but in a lot of cases, depending on your opponents armor the +15 will still be better even with bare min req. A good example of a STR(ish) weapon that benefits a lot from elemental, is the Zweihander. Mainly because it scales C/D, and only reqs 24STR/10DEX. So it is more the heavy "quality" weapons that benefit most from being elemental, even still sometimes it is better to be using a +15. Say if your opponent is wearing mainly light armor, but has wolf ring on ext.
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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by Back Lot Basher on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:08 pm

    FruitPunchNinja wrote:I'm not sure what you mean, all the information on how much damage you gain from scaling is right there.

    The kind of information I'm talking out would be a chart that shows not just a letter scale, but a listing with a weapon showing all the damage amounts for both the upgrade level AND the stat level combined. Even if this was done every 5 upgrade levels (+5, +10, +15). Example: Balder SS at +5 with 10 dex, 11 dex, 12 dex, 13 dex, and so on. It's not something you'd put on a page chart, but rather into a database (unless it's already there and I'm looking in the wrong place).

    EDIT: I think I found what you're referring to...on the planner site/page. Each time you change a stat it changes what the damage output is. Is that correct?
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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by FruitPunchNinja on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:23 pm

    You press square with the weapon hi-lighted, the information will be on the left. There should be Attack type,ParamBonus,and Aux Effects. Hope that helps.
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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by Back Lot Basher on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:48 pm

    FruitPunchNinja wrote:You press square with the weapon hi-lighted, the information will be on the left. There should be Attack type,ParamBonus,and Aux Effects. Hope that helps.

    Not sure why I haven't seen this before....guess I wasn't paying attention in class happy

    Since we're on this topic, how would you build an Iaito for a toon with 20 dex and 32 int? I punched it into the builder and got 309 at +15 and 424 at Enchanted +5.
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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by FruitPunchNinja on Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:02 pm

    well if 20dex/32int is your stats, and you don't plan on LVLing up anymore....i would still go +15 and use crystal magic weapon. I assume you are using the tin crystalization catalyst, since the req is 32INT. It would be much better to have a little more dex, but it isn't the worst stat layout. Might not be a horrible idea to make an enchanted uchi +5 for backup, or maybe try out velkas rapier(not the best AR but a cool weapon, and you have fitting stats).
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    Re: Help me understand why +15 is the way to go...

    Post by Back Lot Basher on Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:27 pm

    FruitPunchNinja wrote:well if 20dex/32int is your stats, and you don't plan on LVLing up anymore....i would still go +15 and use crystal magic weapon. I assume you are using the tin crystalization catalyst, since the req is 32INT. It would be much better to have a little more dex, but it isn't the worst stat layout. Might not be a horrible idea to make an enchanted uchi +5 for backup, or maybe try out velkas rapier(not the best AR but a cool weapon, and you have fitting stats).

    Cool...thanks for the feedback. I was kind of testing this out as a level 50 arena build (scary-low vitality, however). Haven't seen a lot of level 50 action, so I may eventually raise it to 100, in which case I'll add more dex.

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