I posted this in omegag's thread as a reply to his question about how good x's knife was, but by his request I'm turning it into a new thread. Credit goes to him for asking the question, the analysis and my answer is below.
Honestly X's knife isn't that great compared to blau/sirocco. Yes, yes, I know. Holy grounds, it's x's knife, I know. But honestly the 10% increase in critical damage isn't THAT much when you consider the 201 delay. I'm not even perusing getting one because I don't think it's worth my time, and that says a lot. I'll give a rough breakdown of what you get between the 2 daggers. There is a slight margin of error but the trend is pretty steadfast, and the numbers do show a clear choice in my mind about which dagger combo is actually better. I'm actually going to break this down by sections with clear headings this time, to ease the reading. As usal, if you want the answer, skip to the conclusion at the bottom. I also added a summary section this time to compile all the figures together in an easy to see fashion.
Part A: Notes on wind damage
First off x's/blau has no wind damage proc, so on anything not birds or puks that's a bad thing. In situations you wear the thief knife offhand you should still use blau mainhand. You don't sacrifice blau except for possibly gods, but it wouldn't do much more there than the 16 attack and 5 accuracy on blau (remember, 16 attack is also an increase in pDIF), and i'll get into that in a second. The 16 attack and 5 accuracy with good delay/damage is just too powerful to ignore. On not gods blau dolch is just ... well... blau dolch!!.
Part B: Notes on the critical pDIF increase of x's
That said I'll explain just how much that 10% critical increase on x's actually gives you. It adds 10% of your base damage when you crit by adding 0.3 to the pDIF, and that's it. The regular pDIF value applies by associativity. I'll give a few scenarios to exemplify this.
base damage 40 weapon with capped attack of 2.0. critical is 3.0
40 x 3.0 == 120 damage normally
base damage 44 weapon with capped attack of 2.0. critical is 3.0
44 x 3.0 == 132 damage after critical
base damage 40 weapon with 0.3 added to the critical pDIF
40 x 3.3 -- 132 damage after critical
As you can see the extra 10% is exactly that, 10% of your base damage. That really isn't THAT much when you consider the high delay of X's. Now in sneak attack and a stacked weaponskill it will be more, but again take BASE damage and add it (not multiplied by pDIF because of associativity). Example of that below.
My sneak attack base damage is ~~~185-190, so x's would add 18-19 damage on a solo sneak attack. In dancing edge it applies to the first hit, and only the first since the rest cannot critical, and again it's similar in overall effect but adds the WSC and etc, so add about 25 base damage every weaponskill if stacked (my wsc adds approximately 55 base damage, but is stronger than most thieves)
now if I maximize my timers useage (I won't)
50 second sneak attack (merited 5 times) == 72 sa/hr x 18 == 1296
60 second trick attack == 60 ta/hr x 18 == 1080
Realistically however I do NOT get these anywhere NEAR optimized. Using Kparser I can find how often I may realistically get these used. In an 80 minute party at mamool ja's I used sneak attack 67 times and trick attack 59 times, missing about 30% of all attempted uses. That leaves me at 126 attempts in 80 minutes, or a 1.575 ratio of uses/minute. But with whiffed attempts it's actually closer to 90 successes, or about a 1.125 succes/minute. This is very close to what I'm actually getting so I can use this as a more accurate figure, thus
1.125 x 25 x 60 == 1687, if I apply all stacked and
1.125 x 18 x 60 == 1215 if I apply unstacked. I'll average these and grant it a much more realistic 1450 damage per hour on combined sa and ta crit increase to base damage/hr
Total melee DoT increase of SA and TA of x's == 1450 /hr
Part C: Notes on delay differences and swings generated
Considering the above 2 concepts you have a better representation of what is happening in a live scenario with crits. Now it's time to calculate number of swings generated.
blau/sirocco. Delay 328, with dual wield and suppa 262.4. Base rate of swings is 823 rounds with no haste. With 15% magic haste and 10% gear haste it becomes 1097 rounds/hr
x's/blau == Delay 379, with dual wield with suppa 303.2, Base rate of swings is 712 rounds per hour with no haste. With 15% magic haste and 10% gear haste it becomes 950 rounds per hour.
The tradeoff is thus 111 attack rounds with no haste and 147 attack rounds with 25% haste.
Base damage of blau/sirocco is 59, base damage of x's/blau is 67.
(Note: This does NOT include fSTR, but this variable favors the blau/sirocco over x's/blau anyway because it's the same bonus every time it happens, so the faster weapon naturally benefits more because it happens more often.)
Note: Accuracy of 85% will be given for this scenario
blau/sirocco no haste
----59 x 823 x 0.85 == 41,273 base damage/hr
blau/sirocco 25% haste
----59 x 1097 x 0.85 = 55,014 base damage/hr
x's/blau no haste
----67 x 712 x 0.85 == 40,548 base damage/br
x's/blau with 25% haste
----67 x 950 == x0.85 54,102 base damage/hr
x's critical bonus would have to increase damage by 725 base damage in DoT to keep up with blau/sirocco with no haste, and 912 damage with 25% haste.
I'll give an extremely generous 20% crit rate in melee DoT (that's 1 in 5 swings). This is 142 rounds of crits with no haste, thus 6.7 x 142 == 951 base damage increase with x's. With haste it's 190 rounds, so 190 x 6.7 = 1273 base damage increase with x's.
Summary-- X's gain's a marginal increase in melee DoT of 316 damage with haste, and 226 damage with no haste. I intentionally set the crit rate near cap to favor the x's as much as possible because of the next section. In reality this is also high in favor of the x's.
Part D: How much damage does that dancing edge do again?
For the next section, that being weaponskill frequency, we must know how strong an average dancing edge will be in terms of base damage. I will give a low number that every thief should be capable of hitting, of 450 base damage. To give a more accurate example of what it's capable of using the below scenario
120 dex (seriously most competent thieves can do this)
46 charisma (base mithra charisma with no bonus)
(120 x .3 + 46 x .4) = 54 WSC
54 WSC x 0.83 alpha value == 44 bonus damage of wsc. fSTR should b at least 5-6 in most scenarios. Thus
33 + 44 + 5 == 82 base damage for 5 main hits, and 26 + 44 + 5 == 75 damage for the offhand hit of blau/sirocco. Thus (82 x 5) + 75 == 485 base damage. Realistically every dancing edge should average much closer to 500 base damage when you consider multi procs, but for this discussion I'll give a low number to further prove the discussion at hand. This accounts for anyone with a weaker weaponskill set, because it should never go much lower than 450 base damage (accuracy is unimportant here due to associativity of what is being compared).
Part E: Weaponskill Frequency and TP gain
Ahhh finally, the crux of the matter at hand. The biggest factor in this comparison is weaponskill frequency. The blau/sirocco with store tp + 5 of rajas will be getting 4.7 tp per swing (and two swings per round of course). The X's/blau combination will be getting 4.9 tp per hit with the rajas store tp + 5.
Blau/sirocco with no haste
823 x 2 x 4.7 x 0.85 == 6575 tp/hr
Blau/sirocco with 25% haste
1097 x 2 x 4.7 x 0.85 = 8765 tp/hr
X'a/blau with no haste
712 x 2 x 4.9 x 0.85 = 5930 tp/hr
X's/blau with 25% haste
950 x 2 x 4.9 x 0.85 == 7913 tp/hr
In terms of weaponskill potential the x's/blau will be performing 6-7 weaponskills LESS with no haste than blau/sirocco, and it will get 8-9 weaponskills LESS with 25% haste. The difference is 645 tp and 852 tp respectively.
There is one final difference is damage to be mentioned here. The damage 34 x's versus damage 33 blau in main hand hit of dancing edge, but this is only a potential 5 damage in main swings before accuracy. The 33 damage offhand blau versus 26 damage offhand sirocco is the other part to this so 12 base damage on every weaponskill and a bit more if the offhand procs a triple or double, averaging to about 15-16 damage per skill higher. At no haste x's/blau will will see about 59 weaponskills thus 59 x 16 == 944 damage extra from this component, and 25% haste will see about 79 weaponskills thus 79 x 16 = 1264 damage. This is countered by the frequency of weaponskills, and the x's loses big time here. If you average a weaponskill to only 450 base damage (and remember that this is extremely low as an average) you will find the blau/sirocco combo gaining 1981 damage with no haste and 2561 damage with haste as shown below.
450 x 6.5 == 2925
2925 - 944 == 1981 damage lost to blau/sirocco
450 x 8.5 == 3825
3825 - 1264 == 2651 damage lost to blau/sirocco
Note 1: Had you applied a dancing edge build with an average damage closer to 500 base damage blau/sirocco would have an even greater lead. With no haste blau/sirocco has an extra 6.5 weaponskills,
6.5 x 50 == 325 extra damage
With 25% haste blau/sirocco has an extra 8-9 weaponskills
8.5 x 50 == 425 extra damage
This base damage would be created by a superior weaponskill build, and is powered by rate of TP gain which is favored by blau/sirocco. My personal build is 92 base damage each main hit, and 85 per offhand, or 545 base damage without including multi procs at all!!
Note 2: The store tp + 0.1 on brutal earring will not affect the tp gained per hit on either combo whether you add the rajas, skadi's legs, or both. Because of this it can be omitted with no concequence to the verdict.
Part F: Summary
I favored this scenario to that of criticals giving x's some advantages in the case of a crit build, which is what it does best at. If I take the gains of x's below then
1450 (ability useage) + 226 (increased damage over beau/sirocco from normal melee DoT crits) + 944 (base damage increase of each dancing edge)
1450 + 226 + 994 == 2670 damage
Number of weaponskills lost to get this -- 6-7. At average 450 damage per weaponskill
6.5 x 450 == 2925 base damage, a net loss of 255 base damage over blau sirocco. This does NOT include wind damage OR a stronger weaponskill build.
1450 (ability useage) + 316 (increased damage over beau/sirocco from normal melee DoT crits) + 1264 (base damage increase of each dancing edge)
1450 + 316 + 126 == 3026 base damage
Number of weaponskills lost to get this -- 8-9
at 450 base damage average per weaponskill
450 x 8.5 == 3825 damage, a net loss of 799 base damage to the blau/sirocco. This does NOT include added wind damage proc of the sirocco OR a more powerful weaponskill build.
Realistically the melee portion of x's/blau will not be 20% crits for most people, and the sa and ta timers (and successful landings) are never close to optimized. If you then add wind proc the sirocco will beat out the x's hands down. While the 10% critical increase is nice the 201 delay of X's knife is too slow, and with a decent haste setup makes it a BAD choice. Even when I gave the x's a 20% critical hit rate in melee DoT (which is high for almost everyone) it could not pull ahead of the blau/sirocco. This does not even account for wind damage that will be going off on many mobs.
I know, I stomped on holy grounds here. I deserve to be drugged into the streets and burned at the stake for daring to question the might of X's. The X's knife has been viewed as the holy grail of the thiefhood for years, but it just is not so. The numbers do not lie, and this is why I haven't even bothered trying to get one. There are situational uses for it like ballista or certain gods, like khimaira or kirin if you deploy the SA and TA ONRY tactic, but on them with a HP pool of 50,000 that extra base damage wont make it die any faster considering you have an entire alliance next to you. In a realistic tp burn type scenario, the blau/sirocco will still outperform the x's/blau, and this is for the samae reason it has outshone everything else to date. It's a MONSTER TP gain, with awesome DoT, and if wind procs its even better.
To this date the only dagger combination I have found that can compare on toe to toe grounds with the blau/sirocco is Batardeau/blau. the Mandau/blau of course is far superior. However, short of stage 4 Batardeau/Blau I have not found anything that can stand up to the might of the blau/sirocco in a tp burn scenario. It's monstrous TP gain enhanced by haste, combined with great DoT and wind damage makes it a titan of titans. It may not be relic, but it's so damn close that nothing else even compares. The blau/sirocco is in a league of it's own, and in a tp burn scenario even the X's/blau cannot upstand that.
Edited, Feb 14th 2009 1:29am by Melphina