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DD and Weapon Skill, Attack Factor[edit]

I can't find any real reliable info about how Weapon Skill interacts with statistical bonuses, aside from enabling unleashes at certain weapon skill levels. It'd be nice to have this discussed in the Weapons section. Some tentative data from a bit of experimenting I've done (with Tyrell and a variety of light blades that he has or has not mastered) seems to suggest that Weapon Skill adds a percentage bonus to the weapon's listed +atk; apparently up to 10% bonus attack for full weapon skill. I'm ignoring class and djinn for now since I'm fairly sure those are applied AFTER the skill bonus, but data can't hurt.

Here's a little data - all numbers are directly from my game here, though I had to guess on the skill %, since it doesn't actually tell you your skill level unless the weapon is mastered.

Tyrell, Level 52 Guard (100% attack multiplier from class): 201 Attack

Weapon Attack Weapon Skill Attack Factor Final Attack Apparent Bonus Skill Bonus?
Phaeton's Blade +151 100% +216 367 +166 +15
Verdant Sword +165 ~76% +212 377 +176 +11
Masamune +161 ~80% +213 374 +173 +12
Tisiphone Edge +178 ~60% +210 388 +187 +9

Additionally, a discussion of how weapon skill is gained (for every attack command? for every successful battle? proportionate to EXP gained?) might also be useful.

AlishaShatogi 17:08, 5 August 2011 (CDT)

I see. Trying to figure out what else weapon mastery is good for? Well, before you spend too much time on this project, I should probably point you towards a discussion about damage calculation started on the Elemental Power talk page. I've been meaning to add that info to the statistic articles (as well as Attack (command) and Defend), but I've been preoccupied by another project.
Basically, the damage dealt by a normal physical attack is half the difference between the attacker's Attack and the target's Defense. So, if you have an Attack of 300 and hit someone with a Defense of 200, the difference would be 100 and the damage dealt would be 50. This info may or may not have any impact on your research/findings, but I thought it was only fair to let you know. The World's Hungriest Paperweight 09:10, 6 August 2011 (CDT)
(that's one of the most bizarre damage calculation formulas I have EVER seen. o_o) AlishaShatogi 20:26, 6 August 2011 (CDT)
One thing I know I can do to help, though, is regarding how weapon mastery is increased. There have been several times (recently, too) when I get a message like "[Character] has mastered the [weapon]!" mid-battle, so victory isn't neccessary. Instead, mastery increases with each normal attack (I'd imagine Unleashes also work; the "normal attack" bit just means that Djinn and Attack-dependent Psynergy are no good). Although I can't say for sure, misses probably don't count. You do raise one important question, though: Do different targets speed up the mastery of weapons, or is it a constant "one point per attack"? Since I'm working on other projects, that's a question I'll leave up to another to answer. The World's Hungriest Paperweight 12:06, 6 August 2011 (CDT)
I noticed that, in your sandbox, one of your objectives is figuring out just what "Attack factor" is. I recently rediscovered that, if you tap the phrases Attack factor or Defense factor (via touchscreen), a short description pops up. Basically, both are affected by class and Djinn (and equipment, of course, but it doesn't say that), and Attack factor mentions that it's also affected by Weapon skill (which I keep forgetting has an in-game name ^_^;), so you're definitely on to something here.
Ever since you posted your findings, I've been keeping an eye on my own party's weapon skills and attack factors. Tyrell's AF increased from 78 to 80 once his WS passed the first tick mark* (25%), so I suspect that AF increases a bit at each tick mark. Of course, I've only just reached the Harapa Ruins on this playthrough, so maybe it increases more often and my AF is just too low for me to notice. At any rate, I'll try to monitor this and report my findings later. I just thought I should let you know ;)
*I noticed you said that "it doesn't actually tell you your skill level unless the weapon is mastered." Are you aware that there's a weapon skill gague above the list of Unleashes (when you're deciding whether to equip/remove, give, or drop the weapon)? Maybe you already know, but on the off-chance you didn't I felt you should. The World's Hungriest Paperweight 16:38, 6 August 2011 (CDT)
Yeah, that gauge is how I estimated the skill% - what I meant was that the game doesn't give you a hard number. There's no explicit "Light Blade weapon skill" etc that actually gives you a number. Likewise it also doesn't tell you exactly what the attack/defense factors explicitly DO or how they're calculated. I first noticed it when switching out the Masamune for the Sagittarius Bow on Amiti - The listed attack bonus for the Sagittarius Bow is clearly better than the Masamune, but his Attack (as in the final statistic, not AF - on the contrary, the SB's AF was higher than the Masamune's iirc) was going down, which prompted me to investigate.
The Unleash article mentions that a weaker weapon is mastered more quickly than a stronger weapon, and that mastering a stronger weapon will automatically master all weaker weapons in that category. This, to me, makes it seem like there's a hidden, point-based level system for each weapon category, and that the weapon skill gauge is just a percentage-based To Next Level sort of thing. I think my next part of this little investigation will be to see how attack factor varies with completely mastered weapons and how it interacts with Djinn/class and the actual Attack statistic. I think it's supposed to give you a proportionate idea of how much an equipment change will affect your performance in battle - which imo seems like a kind of... superfluous... number.
Also, the manual's description:

Weapon Skill: This is a gauge of how skilled a character has become with the equipped item. By hitting enemies and delivering killing strokes with a weapon, the gauge will fil up. As it does, the character will learn special attack techniques for that weapon. If the gauge becomes full, the chance of the character launching special attacks is increased.

I'm a horrible, horribly neurotic minmaxer in EVERY game I play, and returning to GS after an MMO that gives you damage calculation straight-up is a quietly maddening experience ("what do you MEAN I have to guess?!") even though the series is my one true love. XD AlishaShatogi 20:26, 6 August 2011 (CDT)
*Opens game case, flips through manual, stops at page 24* Ah, I see. I wonder if that means that you master weapons faster when you deliver the killing blow. I'm pretty sure weapon skill increases even if you don't defeat enemies, though. At any rate, we can ditch my "Attack increases at the 25% tick marks" theory, as Tyrell's AF went from 87 to 89 without passing a tick. Also, I wonder if weapon skill only provides a bonus to attack factor after the weapon skill gague begins to fill (and if each weapon reaches its max AF bonus when it's mastered). I tried testing this, but on the first test I forgot my starting point, then leveled up (I don't know if levels have an effect on attack factor, but the possibility can't be ignored). As for the second test, the weapon was simply mastered too soon to say. Of course, I have an overactive imagination, so I may very well be coming up with more possibilities than even Camelot thought of ^_^;
At any rate, it seems you and I have similar theories on how weapon skill is measured, and I'll agree that there needs to be a better way to represent it. Perhaps in GS4 weapon skill will take the form of "points" or "levels", with each weapon displaying the "max level" you can reach with that weapon and what levels each Unleash is learned at. The World's Hungriest Paperweight 22:35, 6 August 2011 (CDT)
Need... moar... data! In all seriousness though, what I'm seeing seems to be that WS grants 1% additional weapon Attack (not final Attack) for every 10% WS. This means that a stronger weapon can reap a greater WS bonus for full mastery. WS is then considered with other boosts (like... (base + (weapon*(1+WS)) + djinn)*class multiplier = Attack) and influenced with strange arcane magic to make the Attack Factor.
AF itself... is weird. Try putting all djinn on standby, and dequipping a fully mastered weapon, and make note of the AF... then set all djinn and try re-equipping the weapon. AF's a lot bigger in the second case - I think because it IS proportionate somehow.
Did Tyrell's Attack change with the change in AF? (He makes such a nice little guinea pig!)
AlishaShatogi 23:24, 6 August 2011 (CDT)
I didn't pay much attention to Tyrell's Attack, just the AF. However, I just picked up the Mystery Blade, which is about 30% mastered by Karis and Amiti (in all the confusion, I'd forgotten to improve Matthew's and Tyrell's Light Blade skill, so their skill with the weapon is in the negative ^_^;) and offers Karis an AF of 44. By comparison, her fully mastered Battle Rapier has an AF of 54 (which sounds like something you were saying earlier, but by this point there's so much text that I'm not gonna bother looking for it ;p). The base "attack bonus" (not AF) for the Battle Rapier is 58 and for the Mystery Blade is 84, yet Karis' Attack is 112 with the Battle Rapier and 128 with the Mystery Blade. Now, if you'll just give me a moment...
Mystery Blade vs. Battle Rapier
Attack Factor: 44 - 54 = -10
Weapon Attack: 84 - 58 = 26
Karis' Attack: 128 - 112 = 16
16 = 26 - 10
Make of that what you will.
Right now I'm more concerned with just figuring out the general behavior of WS and AF, so I'll leave the details of things like figuring out formulas to you. I will, however, try to keep an eye on everything (WS, AF, and actual Attack) while working with the Mystery Blade. My first priority, though, is seeing if mastering a stronger weapon will provide an even greater AF boost to an already-mastered weapon of the same class. I suspect it won't, especially if you're right about WS providing a max AF boost of 10% the weapon's base Attack boost, but it's best to be sure. And, on the off-chance a character's level has an influence on AF, I have Amiti's Psynergy Rod to act as a control (it's fully mastered by both Adepts and offers an AF of 53 to Karis, 87 to Amiti). The World's Hungriest Paperweight 11:25, 7 August 2011 (CDT)
It just occured to me that this info might also prove valuable: Without any weapons equipped, Karis' Attack is 59. Equipping the Battle Rapier increases that by 53 (112 - 59), and equipping the Mystery Blade increases it by 69 (128 - 59). She's in her base Wind Seer class (I'm doing a "no Djinn" challenge this time through), reducing her Attack to 80% what it would "normally" be. And, just in case it matters, here's the stats for the Psynergy Rod: Base Attack 64, Attack Factor 53, Total Attack 117 (increase of 58). Now let's see if it matches up with my findings above...
Psynergy Rod vs. Battle Rapier
Attack Factor: 53 - 54 = -1
Weapon Attack: 64 - 58 = 6
Karis' Attack: 117 - 112 = 5
5 = 6 - 1
Psynergy Rod vs. Mystery Blade
Attack Factor: 53 - 44 = 9
Weapon Attack: 64 - 84 = -20
Karis' Attack: 117 - 128 = -11
-11 = 9 - 20
Hope that's of some use! The World's Hungriest Paperweight 12:52, 7 August 2011 (CDT)
First: Lawl, our edits collided - I started this writeup something like 3 hours ago. Second: My post.
Oh now that's interesting. And when I say WS provides a boost, it's to the weapon's Attack, not AF, though that in turn provides AF. I think you've hit on what the AF is here, though - a relation of percent-based Attack bonuses after numerical boosts (that is to say, the adept's base stat and the weapon's base stat) - things like WS bonus and the Class multiplier.
Taking a look at Matthew in one file here, as a Level 56 Slayer (150% attack multiplier from class) with the Sol Blade (+200 attack, 100% WS, AF of +494), he has an attack of 694... and borrowing Eoleo's Herculean Axe (+186 attack, 0% WS, AF of +460), he has an attack of 646.
Sol Blade vs. Herculean Axe
AF: 494 - 460 = 34
+Atk: 200 - 186 = 14
Atk: 694 - 646 = 48
34+14 = 48
+Atk w/ WS: 220 - 186 = 34
But something else has caught my eye. Look up and down... let's call +Atk, Weapon, for ease of reading. AF + W = A... or is it, A - W = AF? As a note, Matthew's true base attack, before djinn, before the class modifier, etc, is somewhere around 235. AF seems to be the dependent here, from its description. Still. We've definitely hit on something.
  • Weapon Skill grants a scaling bonus to a weapon's +Attack, 1% of the weapon's attack for every 10% of Skill. It may also provide a boost to a weapon's unleash rate at full mastery, per the manual's description.
  • Weapon Skill is gained for making physical attacks and for making a killing blow.
  • Stronger weapons reap a greater numerical bonus from Weapon Skill, meaning that a stronger weapon will always be stronger in the end - one just has to take the time to master it.
  • Attack Factor relates various scaling bonuses already affecting the Attack stat of an adept.
  • A - W = AF
  • The difference of AFs between two weapons is the same as the difference between their bonuses after Weapon Skill; AF1 - AF2 = WS1 - WS2
  • The sum of the difference between AF and the difference between Weapon +Attack is the same as the difference between Attacks; (AF1-AF2) + (W1-W2) = A1 - A2
Anything else?... AlishaShatogi 14:48, 7 August 2011 (CDT)
(Resetting indent) Okay, so, if I understand what you're saying, Attack Factor is basically the difference between the character's final Attack rating (as seen on the Status submenu) and the weapon's base Attack rating. If that's not what you're saying, than you must have lost me somewhere, but let's test this theory with all the data we've collected so far:
That is in fact what I'm saying. I was a bit tired when I wrote that and was basically spilling out math relations I saw at a glance. :) AlishaShatogi 13:27, 15 August 2011 (CDT)
Weapon Weapon's Attack Attack Factor Final Attack
Phaeton's Blade 151 216 367
Verdant Sword 165 212 377
Masamune 161 213 374
Tisiphone Edge 178 210 388
Battle Rapier 58 54 112
Mystery Blade 84 44 128
Psynergy Rod 64 53 117
Sol Blade 200 494 694
Herculean Axe 186 460 646
Well, everything adds up. I think we finally figured out what Attack Factor is: A way for those with decent math skills to figure out what their Attack will be if they equip that weapon. You'd think it would be better to just show the final Attack rating, but whatever. I suspect that Defense Factor is something similar, just give me a moment to check what Matthew and Rief are wearing...
Armor Armor's Defense Defense Factor Final Defense
Ixion Mail 26 81 107
Dragon Shield 26 81 107
Iron Helm 20 87 107
Adept's Clothes 18 79 97
Leda's Bracelet (Dark Dawn) 17 80 97
Silver Circlet 16 81 97
...And removing some gear lowers the Defense Factor by the appropriate amount. Well, that's one mystery solved! But another one has surfaced recently: Exactly how Weapon Skill affects Attack Factor. I believe our current theory is that, when fully mastered, a weapon receives a 10% Attack boost when equipped (10% of the weapon's Attack, of course). Therefore, a stronger weapon would provide a greater boost, and therefore a greater Attack Factor. However, I've fully mastered the Mystery Blade with Karis and it has an AF of 54. Strangely enough, the Battle Rapier has an AF of 58; this doesn't even begin to make up for the raw power boost of the Mystery Blade, but you'd still expect the stronger weapon to have a higher AF. I wonder if Weapon Skill affects Artifacts and non-Artifacts differently...
P.S. I've confirmed that Weapon Skill doesn't provide an additional Attack boost if you use a stronger weapon to increase your Weapon Skill beyond what it can be with the weaker weapon. True, the Battle Rapier's AF increased compared to my original data, but I'm pretty sure that's just because Karis went up a level ;p I still want to test whether WS provides an Attack boost before the weapon is even 1% mastered (it probably won't, but I want to be sure), so I probably won't have Matthew or Tyrell touch Light Blades for a while.
P.S.S. (Or is it PPS?) I remember seeing outlines for potential articles for Weapon Skill, Attack Factor, and Defense Factor in your sandbox. Weapon Skill I think we can justify, considering our findings, although we may want to postpone that until we learn more. As for AF and DF, I don't think they deserve their own articles, but they should definitely be covered on the respective stat pages (Attack (statistic) and Defense). The World's Hungriest Paperweight 11:38, 8 August 2011 (CDT)
Alright. I'll get to writing some more coherent prose for Weapon Skill for a new article and look at how it can be linked to existing stuff. - I noticed that the stats pages are one of your projects so I'll leave that to you. Classes start for me in a couple weeks and because of that I have become suddenly busy with stuff, but I can definitely still make our findings presentable. AlishaShatogi 13:27, 15 August 2011 (CDT)
Well, it would probably be more accurate to say that working on the stat articles is on my to-do list, which is a bit longer than my out-of-date user page would suggest (I really need to update that thing, preferably cutting it down to size...) Although, if you get a Weapon Skill page up, I'll be sure to find a way to integrate it into the wiki, especially the other stat pages (and the Unleash page) ;) The World's Hungriest Paperweight 21:03, 15 August 2011 (CDT)
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