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Optimal weapon and trait combination for 2H and DW

Often I come across the question of what is the best weapon and trait combination for stamina users with respect to 2H and DW. The case for 2H is relatively straightforward and I’ve seen a few answers on the forums with reasonable explanations however the DW case is much more complex as there are 18 possible combinations. Axes are not being considered since the Bleed effect is refreshed quite often and it appears unlikely that it will run its full course. In this post, I’ll give a rough estimate for the optimal weapon and trait combination for 2H and DW for both PvE and PvP. Boss resistance is assumed to be around 18200 as this is the resistance of the Blood Spawn in Spindleclutch. The conclusion for PvE Boss applies even when Major Fracture is applied. In the next post I’ll explain how I reached this conclusion.

2H

PvE

Bosses (Resistance ~18k): Sharpened Maul

Mobs (Resistance ~9k): Sharpened/Precise Greatsword

PvP

Light armour targets (Resistance ~10k): Precise Greatsword

Medium armour targets (Resistance ~13k): Sharpened/Precise Greatsword

Heavy armour targets (Resistance ~20k): Sharpened Maul

DW

PvE

Bosses (Resistance ~18k): Two Sharpened Mace

Mobs (Resistance ~9k): Two Sharpened Swords or Two Precise Daggers (Combination 7, 10, 12, 13, 14 are viable depending on exact Critical Chance and Critical Modifier)

PvP

Light armour targets (Resistance ~10k): Two Precise Sword or Two Precise Dagger

Medium armour targets (Resistance ~13k): Two Sharpened Sword Two Precise Dagger

Heavy armour targets (Resistance ~20k): Two Sharpened Mace

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24 Replies
  1. #1

    Asayre

    Member633 Posts

    To compare all possible combinations of weapons and traits for 2H and DW, it is worthwhile to consider the average damage formula with every bonus conceivable and then setting the relevant parameters and then calculating and determining when a certain weapon and trait combination is optimal. Axes are not being considered since the Bleed effect is refreshed quite often and it appears unlikely that it will run its full course.

    The average damage formula is

    None

    where

    None

    Tooltip is the tooltip value without any Champion Points and scales of Stamina and Weapon Damage. Attacker Bonus typically comes from Champion Point effect such as Mighty. While the effect of Mighty is now calculated in the Tooltip, I have separated in this formula since some Champion Point effects are not shown in the Tooltip (example: Force Pulse and Elemental Expert). Defender Bonus refers to racial and Champion Point bonuses that the Defender gains such as Thick Skinned for a physical DoT or the Nord Rugged Passive. Since k is always positive it can be ignored from now on but was included here for completeness.

    The formula for mitigation is

    None

    The effect of Major Fracture is to reduce the Resistance by 5280. The Focus value for most Stamina builds is 100 (base Focus value). Placing points in Piercing will alter the Focus Rating as reported by Harven’s Extended Stats but using that Focus value will result in errors with the formula provided above. The tooltip value of Piercing (in decimal form) should be used. For PvE involving a V16 character against any veteran level mob, Level should be 50000. Level should be set to 66000 for PvP involving a V16 attacker and a V16 Defender. I do not know what value of Level should be used in PvP if the Attacker or Defender is not V16.

    The increased penetration from using Mace or the Sharpened trait is additive. It is possible to separate the Mitigation equation into two components, a base mitigation component and a penetration mitigation component

    None

    Crit is the Weapon Critical Rating as reported in the Character Sheet. Here, it has been separated into a base component that does not take into account the benefit from Precise or Dual-Wielding daggers and a bonus component that includes only Precise and Dual-Wielding daggers. Mod is the Critical modifier and is defined as

    None

    For every weapon and trait combination it is sufficient to determine, f,

    None

    for most Stamina builds is 100 thus Mit_Base is only a function of Resistance. With this in mind, it can be seen that f depends on Resistance, Crit_Base and Mod.

    Thus for selected values of Resistance, it is possible to create graphs showing which weapon and trait combination is optimal as a function of Crit_Base and Mod.

    2H

    There are 4 possible combinations:

    1. Sharpened Greatsword

    2. Precise Greatsword

    3. Sharpened Maul

    4. Precise Maul

    The following colours will be used to represent each combination

    None

    PvE

    None

    PvP

    None

    DW

    There are 18 possible combinations:

    1. Two Sharpened Mace

    2. Sharpened Mace + Precise Mace

    3. Sharpened Mace + Sharpened Sword

    4. Sharpened Mace + Precise Sword

    5. Sharpened Mace + Sharpened Dagger

    6. Sharpened Mace + Precise Dagger

    7. Precise Mace + Precise Sword

    8. Precise Mace + Precise Dagger

    9. Two Precise Mace

    10. Two Sharpened Swords

    11. Sharpened Sword + Precise Sword

    12. Sharpened Sword + Sharpened Dagger

    13. Sharpened Sword + Precise Dagger

    14. Precise Sword + Precise Dagger

    15. Two Precise Swords

    16. Two Sharpened Daggers

    17. Sharpened Dagger + Precise Dagger

    18. Two Precise Daggers

    The following colours will be used to represent each combination

    None

    PvE

    None

    PvP

    None

    Introduction to PvE Damage Calculation

  2. #2

    Sylvion

    Member12 Posts

    Beautiful and thank you.

  3. #3

    mrowmrif2

    Moderator4609 Posts

    your penetration love triangle diagrams have me feeling filthy but also very satisfied.

  4. #4

    mrowmrif2

    Moderator4609 Posts

    also, it looks like for NB we should really be using either the balanced approach of sharpened mace + precise dagger, two precise mace, two sharpened daggers or precise mace + precise dagger.  any of those look to be acceptable options for DW stamina NB based on a balanced approach that leans a little in either direction based on need.  ideally, it would be nice to ignore armor penetration needs in favor of full crit, but at endgame the bosses and PVP turtles need to be addressed.  so either run a balanced approach or keep multiple combos of weapons to swap situationally.

  5. #5

    Asayre

    Member633 Posts

    I'm glad my penetration love triangles made someone happy =) I like the pretty patterns in the diagrams for dual wield. So many colours!

    Introduction to PvE Damage Calculation

  6. #6

    Latin

    Moderator1308 Posts

    I really like the matlab plots.

    Nice work, thank you for sharing.

    e pluribus unum

  7. #7

    Kutsuu

    Member727 Posts
    mrowmrif2 wrote on November 23, 2015

    also, it looks like for NB we should really be using either the balanced approach of sharpened mace + precise dagger, two precise mace, two sharpened daggers or precise mace + precise dagger. any of those look to be acceptable options for DW stamina NB based on a balanced approach that leans a little in either direction based on need. ideally, it would be nice to ignore armor penetration needs in favor of full crit, but at endgame the bosses and PVP turtles need to be addressed. so either run a balanced approach or keep multiple combos of weapons to swap situationally.

    Yeah I'm wondering how many people in PVP stay above 13k physical resistance once we've debuffed them with either surprise attack or mark target. I know on my NB I hit around ~15k buffed by shadow barrier, but I'm not V16 or geared properly. This makes me somewhat rethink my "always sharpened maul" approach, since the majority of my targets are light/medium armor wearers. This is making me consider a sharpened greatsword...

    @Kutsuu In game

    PVP videos – Youtube Channel

  8. #8

    Youmee

    Member14 Posts

    Superior job, well, as it has been with your other posts.

    So, nirnhorned is totally dead now?

  9. #9

    Asayre

    Member633 Posts

    I wasn't aware that Nirnhoned was being used for Stamina characters for dps. Doesn't nirnhoned only apply to spell penetration? I've never tested if it also works for physical penetration...

    Introduction to PvE Damage Calculation

  10. #10

    mrowmrif2

    Moderator4609 Posts
    Youmee wrote on November 24, 2015

    Superior job, well, as it has been with your other posts.

    So, nirnhorned is totally dead now?

    This is only for stamina builds.  Nirn is still superior for magicka users.

  11. #11

    Tekh

    Member5 Posts

    I have heard the dual precise daggers with thief stone is BiS for dual wield builds and came here to try to figure out why but Im having a difficult time interpreting the data.  Is the curve what would be considered optimal?  Is everything below the curve considered optimal? Is it possible to pause the gif?  Also trying to figure out where the 10% difference b/t crit damage and crit% concept came from.

  12. #12

    mrowmrif2

    Moderator4609 Posts
    Tekh wrote on January 14, 2016

    I have heard the dual precise daggers with thief stone is BiS for dual wield builds and came here to try to figure out why but Im having a difficult time interpreting the data. Is the curve what would be considered optimal? Is everything below the curve considered optimal? Is it possible to pause the gif? Also trying to figure out where the 10% difference b/t crit damage and crit% concept came from.

    Precise daggers is BiS against targets with low armor; sharpened maces is best vs high armor targets.  There is really no one good answer because there are mages and tanks everywhere in pve and pvp, and bosses have varied stats.  Asayre has a "resistance project" thread under mechanics forum that has attempted to collaborate among players to identify boss armor values so as to be able to have an idea of best setup vs them, but it is very hard to figure out even for PC users.

    if you look at the one graph showing the penetration/crit/damage triangle for dw, you see that in the middle on the bottom is precise dagger + sharpened mace / precise mace + sharpened dagger (same difference)...  That is recognized as the general balanced setup that gives you decent penetration and crit.  Two sharpened daggers is more toward crit from the average and two precise maces is more toward penetration, but all 3 setups are around the same.  I run 2x sharpened daggers most of the time in pve to get my crit up over 70%, but i also have a sharpened mace and precise dagger ready to go  should i need more penetration (drops my crit to like 60%, which is still great, but penetration goes up a bit).

    Now if you are not weaving and not running a crit build at all, you might consider 2x sharpened swords to get penetration and damage boost.  That is more of an execute setup, and for NB using killers blade (which deals magic damage vs a target's spell resistance even though it scales on weapon damage/crit and stamina) it is an interesting idea...  But for steel tornado you really want some crit for trash kill speed... And nobody runs 2x DW.  I may throw together a theorycraft that is nonclass specific dw/dw just for kicks :)

  13. #13

    Tekh

    Member5 Posts

    Thanks for the reply.  I currently run mace/dagger/shadow on my NB @64% crit with major savagery.  I use trap beast in most of my rotations and was wondering if i should drop shadow for thief?

  14. #14

    mrowmrif2

    Moderator4609 Posts
    Tekh wrote on January 15, 2016

    Thanks for the reply. I currently run mace/dagger/shadow on my NB @64% crit with major savagery. I use trap beast in most of my rotations and was wondering if i should drop shadow for thief?

    I think jeckll has gone thief, so that may be a good thing based on his cred alone...

  15. #15

    Asayre

    Member633 Posts

    @mrowmrif2 is spot on with regards to whether dual precise daggers is BiS. With regards to your other questions, the curve in the gif is a drawing artifact and should be ignored. But basically the colour in a square corresponds to what is the BiS given your critical chance and critical modifier. A graph can be created for any resistance but I did a gif to quickly describe how it works without having like ten pictures. You can always just print screen on the right resistance if you wanted a quick way to stop the gif.

    Tekh wrote on January 15, 2016

    Thanks for the reply. I currently run mace/dagger/shadow on my NB @64% crit with major savagery. I use trap beast in most of my rotations and was wondering if i should drop shadow for thief?

    I would probably still use Thief. If you are at the CP cap you should have 66 points in precise strikes. With trap beast active your critical multiplier will be 0.91 (0.5 [base] + 0.1 [Hemmorhage] + 0.19 [66 points in Precise Strikes] + 0.12 [Trap Beast]). Since Thief is better than Shadow when your critical modifier is at least ~10% greater than your critical chance I would go for Thief. I think this was your last question in your previous post.

    The explanation can be found in Sorcerer Arithmagic under the section Mundus Stone: Apprentice, Mage, Thief and Shadow. For your convenience I'll copy and paste the relevant section here. While the post and section was written with a Magicka Sorc in mind it applies equally in this case for stamina builds.

    Spoiler:

    it is possible to make a rough comparison between the Thief and Shadow mundus stones.

    None

    Thus the Thief is better ifThis is equivalent toIn the Orsinium PTS, the Shadow mundus increases Critical Modifier by 12% and the Thief increases Critical Chance by 11%. Putting this values in, we get the following inequalitywhich means that Thief is better than Shadow if your Critical Modifier is at least ~10% greater than your Critical Chance.

     

     

    Introduction to PvE Damage Calculation

  16. #16

    chillbe

    Member2 Posts

    Do we have any calculations to support the DPS spread on Maelstrom weapons for stamina builds?

    I'd assume that since Maces and Swords buff gives resistances, they'd actually be worse to use than a regular sharpened mace/sword with a poison enchant.  With Axes bleed being bugged currently (see Alcast's video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFVWcYp_eNM), it's not worth running Axes.

    This would leave us with daggers as the only viable option.  Assuming we don't use flurry as a skill, does the extra 94 weapon damage on a Sharpened dagger offset the loss of penetration from not using a mace?

  17. #17

    Asayre

    Member633 Posts

    I don’t play my stamima DK that much so I’m referring to Jeckll’s thread (http://tamrielfoundry.com/topic/stamina-nightblade-dps-guide/) for approximate endgame stamina and weapon damage values. From the link above, I would estimate endgame stamina and weapon damage to be around 38500 and 4100, respectively.

    This means that the 94 weapon damage will increase most abilities damage by about 1.2%

    None

    The damage with a Maelstrom dagger is then

    None

    Here I’ve assumed that both weapons have the same trait and can be ignored. Any other source of penetration whether percentage or flat can be ignored without any issues. Doing some maths we can rewrite the above as

    None

    where T, C, M, and R stand for Tooltip, Critical Chance, Critical Modifier and Resistance, respectively. Since the first two terms in both equations are the same we can just evaluate all other terms. I’ll assume a crit chance of 0.7 and a critical modifier of 0.69. Most bosses have around 18k resistance. This is reduced to about 13k by Major Fracture. Using these values

    None

    This means compared to an equivalent trait (let’s say axe), each Maelstrom dagger does 3.90% more damage on average whereas a non-maelstrom Mace does 3.85% more damage on average. So with the assumed stats, the Maelstrom dagger is marginally preferred.

    Introduction to PvE Damage Calculation

  18. #18

    wisej12

    Member4 Posts

    Two questions:

     

    Where is the 7920 coming from?

     

    Why are we multiplying the Piercing value by 7920? Doesn't the Piercing Champion Point bonus give flat penetration?

  19. #19

    Asayre

    Member633 Posts

    This is an old post. Piercing used to be a percent and it was a percent of 7920 so if you had 100 points of Piercing it would give 25% of 7920 or 1980. Piercing has been changed. With 100 points in Piercing it'll now give 5281 flat penetration.

    Introduction to PvE Damage Calculation

  20. #20

    wisej12

    Member4 Posts

    That makes sense. Thank you.

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