Kanican (kanican) wrote,
Kanican
kanican

The Mechanics of Combat SP (Part II)

Overview

Continuing where we left off in Part I, I want to focus on 3 aspects of combat SP in this post...

      (1) The EXP/SP gain at levels below 24, which is enhanced by an additional "low level" modifier.
      (2) Another look at Base SP, particularly targeting popular SP sites and leveling Leves.
      (3) Another quick look at the Party SP system, especially given the new
1.15b patch update.

I'll again try to summarize the important aspects of the post at the end, leaving the actual data collection process in the body of the post.  A lot of information talked about here will refer back to Part I, so I highly recommend at least reading the results summary if you haven't yet, or some of this may not make sense.

By the end of this post, I hope that a good deal of this information will become useful in actual practice and with game-play decisions.  Regarding Base SP, which is the factor that most affects the overall SP gain in parties and Leve runs, I tried to focus on the most popular targets and offer tables for advice on how to approach the star ratings on the popular leveling Leves.

The Mechanics of Combat SP (Part I)


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Low Level EXP/SP Bonus

It's well known just by simple observation that the SP values at low levels are incredibly high relative to later levels.  I made a pretty safe hypothesis that these higher SP values is due to a simple modifier increase of the EXP/SP system already elucidated in the previous post.  I set a very basic set of trials where I ran essentially the same thing as before, but with jobs ranked 1-24.  These trials included both power-leveling on Giant Crabs as well as group Leve runs. 

The raw data is as follows and includes (1) level of the player in question, (2) the actual SP gained by the player, (3) the 'predicted SP' calculated using the formulas given in the previous post, (4) the 'modifier' or the actual SP divided by the predicted SP.











Based on these results we can see a clear trend.  It does seem that the low level increase in SP is a simple multiplier increase.  At level 24, the modifier decreases to 1.0, or the amount received in the previous tests.  This corresponds nicely with SE's 1.15a patch notes which stated "the amount of skill and experience points awarded for solo battle between ranks 20 and 24 has been balanced to facilitate leveling."  Condensing these results in a nicer table...

The "Low Level Bonus" is arbitrarily set to 1.0 at 24 and above.





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Open World Mob Base SP Data Collection

In the previous post, we talked a bit about how every mob seems to have its own "Base SP", but with the limited data collected, it was difficult to discern any possible patterns.  At this point, I still think there is a way to predict each mob's "Base SP" without manually fighting and collecting an SP value, but a lot more work still needs to be done to get there.  I think that both mob level and mob type or "race" play a large role.

Below is a table showing every mob I've been able to test and their base SP values.  This list only includes open world mobs and not Leve mobs (which I will get into later).  The important thing here with this list is that mobs with a higher Base SP make for better SP party targets.  I tried to pick some popular party SP targets such as Grass Raptors in Boulder Downs or Blind Efts in Mistbeard Cove.





Based on the limited data, it does seem that the most popular non-Leve SP camps have the highest Base SP values I've seen so far with the exception of the Sundrakes in Ul'dah.  It would be interesting to see how a Sundrake SP party would go, but it would depend on multiple factors such as kill speed and respawn time.  I think that the camp just east of the popular Sphene Doblyn solo camp (at 33X,34Y) has some potential, but I have not tried this yet nor have I heard about others trying it.  At this point, I'm trying to find some more open world camps with mobs in the 30-40 range.  I think the 40-60ish camps are pretty well established already.

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Leve Mob Base SP Data Collection

Without going into detailed testing (because I didn't feel some of the basic mechanics of this system warranted it), I can say that the Leve system works basically like this:

          [ Final SP ]  =  [ Normal SP Gained ]  x  0.5  x   { [ Number of Leve Links ]  +  2  }


You get 1.0x (or normal EXP/SP) for no links, 1.5x the SP for 1 link, 2.0x for 2 links, and 2.5x for 3 links.


There is a cap at 3 links.  You will receive no additional bonus past 2.5x normal EXP/SP if you do 3+ links.


Guardian's Favor gives you 1.5x the
[ Final SP ] at the end of all other calculations.  It only increases the SP by 1.5x, and will not affect the amount of EXP gained.

Just based on these facts, one can see why the Leve-linking system makes for good SP parties.  With a 3 link Leve along with Guardian's Favor, you are looking at a 3.75x the normal SP bonus on every mob.  The current fastest way to level to rank 50 involves the use of Leve linking on a set of particular Leves, the 6 most popular being:

          Necrologos: Ranine Reveries (LV40 Broken Water)
          Dunesfolk for Dinner (LV40 Broken Water)
          Necrologos: Levinshower (LV30 Nophica's Wells)
          Necrologos: The Moon's Mistress (LV30 Mun-Tuy Cellars)
          Necrologos: Inferno (LV30 Cassiopeia)
          Necrologos: Lightsome Verdure (LV30 Cedarwood)

These are generally popular due to the high number of potential mobs fought on every Leve.  Because of their popularity, I tested each of the 6 mentioned above out in order to find the base SP of the mobs involved.  The testing procedure was fairly simple - I would start on 5 star solo, kill a mob to note SP, and if necessary for calculation purposes, kill another on a different rank job.  I would then lower the star rating and repeat.  Using the amount of SP received, I could back calculate for the mobs' level at each star rating as well as the mob's base SP.  The table below summarizes the results for the 6 Leves mentioned.





The red marked values are only predictions based on Yellow Gremlin and the apparent pattern of level increase per star.  I could not formally calculate the exact level of the red values since the rank cap is 50 and I can only really tell if something is 59 or below.

The usefulness of this table comes in the form of its level per star rating.  We know from the previous post that you will cap SP at dLVL>=10, so with this table, you can tell exactly what star rating you need to cap everyone in your group (basically the level at a star ranking minus 10).  For instance, if you have a Leve group at 20-24, you would need 2 stars on the Rank 30 Leves to cap everyone.  Also, there is never a need to 5 star either of the Broken Water Leves since 4 stars caps rank 50.  Your R30 Leves will fail to cap past 45, even on 5 stars.

Another interesting note is just high how the Base SP on the Blotched Mongrels in Dunesfolk for Dinner is at 125 base.  If we were to kill one of these Leve mobs at dLVL=10 solo at 3 link and Guardian's Favor, we would get a crazy 125 x 3 x 2.5 x 1.5 = 1407 SP per mob!  If we take an average sized Leve group of 8, this would give roughly 915 SP per kill still.  Again, as mentioned previously, the Base SP is the key factor to determining which mobs will be the best SP targets.


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Updates to the Party Leveling System

With the recent 1.15b patch on February 17th, SE announced that it would make adjustments "to skill and experience point bonuses for parties with more than eight members. Party bonuses will decrease with each member over eight."  Given this change and the lack of good data in my own data sets beyond 8 party members, I took another look at this after the patch.  I assumed that all the values for 8 party members or less were kept the same and only focused on data with 9 or more party members.  A quick summary of the 4 points of data collected is below.




Placing these 4 new values (and replacing those values above 9 members) in the previous table shown in Part I...





Based on just those 4 new data points, I think this chart is a pretty safe extrapolation.  It seems that the pattern of denominators remained the same, but that the numerators are now capped at the 8 party member mark.  Essentially, you will no longer get credit for having more than 8 players within your -10/+5 level range.  The oddity here is that say you have 15 members in party; it doesn't matter if everyone in the party is within the correct range or if only 8 of the 15 are in range... you will net the same EXP/SP because you can only get 'credit' for 8 players in range.

I'll need to check to verify that the old values make sense.  It is possible that the old patterns found in Part I no longer apply.  So I'll need to collect more data.




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Results Summary

Briefly summarizing the new information in this post...

(1) There is an additional "Low Level Modifier" for players below rank 24.  The bonuses are summarized below...





(2) Leve Linking grants a 50% EXP/SP bonus per link to the amount normally gained.  There is a cap at 3 links.
 

          [ Final SP ]  =  [ Normal SP Gained ]  x  0.5  x   { [ Number of Leve Links ]  +  2  }



(3) Guardian's Aspect grants a 50% SP bonus on top of all other modifiers.  It does NOT grant bonus EXP, only SP.



(4) The table of party modifiers has been updated (but not verified) for the 1.15b patch update, but the current table shown below makes some assumptions that the patterns found in Part I were not changed in the patch.  Because of this, more data will be need to verify points on the table.  Basically, the overall concept that above 8 party members, you only get "credit" for having 8 in range of -10/+5 holds true (grayed boxes), but the exact values will need work.





(5) The table below summarizes the level of the mobs in the 6 most popular SP Leves and the level of the mobs for each star rating.  This table should be very helpful in determining what star rating is needed to cap everyone in your group.  The rule of thumb is you need to be 10 below the mob level to cap.




At this point, there are still 4 "unknowns" to the combat SP system -

(1) How fighting mobs claimed not at full HP affect the end EXP/SP.
(2) How the color or "con" system works for both individual mobs as well as grouped mobs.
(3) How Base SP works - is there a pattern or will all mobs need to be manually tested?

(4) Completing and verifying the Party Modifier Table.

I think after completing the party modifiers table, my next big focus will be regarding the color/"con" system, as it is probably the easiest thing left that has relevance to game-play and strategy.  I feel that how non-full-HP mobs affect SP is a pretty minor topic.  The Base SP issue will likely require a large data set and take a lot of time to assemble unless a clear pattern shows itself.  At this point, I am taking requests and recommendations as to which open world mobs or Leve mobs players would like for me to test as potential SP targets.  Just please post back here or on BG with any requests.  I would also appreciate any data on party sizes.  I basically need to know (1) what level you are, (2) what you fought, (3) the number in party, (4) the number in party in -10/+5 range, (5) the SP value gained.

Til next time!

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