Its not DISPEL!!! /drool, its "I get 3 dispels in 15 minutes. Is that worth only getting 2 guaranteed TAs in 15 minutes?" That is the basis of opportunity cost.
It's really not. If we could create an apples to apples comparison like that this debate would be easy and nice, but that's not possible. When you put a merit into aura steal you are not decreasing a timer. You are giving yourself a functionality. If you're riding timers constantly and mobs have buffs up constantly then yes your scenario comes into play. But only paying attention to that scenario and ignoring all the other ones is being incredibly biased. You have
to consider every situation your thief is going to be in. Putting one merit into Aura Steal gives you the ability to dispel when solo. It gives you the ability to take off an evasion boost that the mages weren't going to dispel that decreased the dot of all 6 melees hitting the mob. Etc. Its effectiveness doesn't become completely useless if you don't use it less than every 7.5 minutes.
If we do your comparison and Aura Steal wins, then it's clear who the victor is. But if we do your comparison and Aura Steal loses, it's still not clear which is better.
The point of contention here is that Aurasteal is also very very marginal, much less consistent, and much less practically useful (for reasons already stated in other posts).
5/5 AC is consistent damage every 5 minutes. Aurasteal is not useful every 5 minutes. Especially when you aren't fighting things that give themselves dispellable buffs.
We've both agreed slightly, and disagreed slightly. We all concur that both are a marginal increase. However, you are wrong in saying that it's consistent damage every 5 minutes, the ability has only tricked you into thinking that. Every time you use it, and triple attack would have procced anyway, it was useless. This is an observation that you can't make from eyeballing because you can't tell if it would have procced or not. You can only take a mathematical approach and say what percent of the time it'll happen over time.
We've done the math and told you all exactly how small the damage increase actually is. We've made the point that the damage gain you get from one forced TA every 15 minutes is at the very least equaled by dispelling three defense buff or three evasion buff on a mob that doesn't die instantly. (Or 3x other buffs like Shadows) And that was simply if we're the only one attacking it. If multiple people are attacking it then the damage increase from removing that buff multiplies greatly.
And then you can also account for miscellaneous stuff that's harder to measure. Like removing a magical defense buff that increases the damage of the mages. Or removing an attack buff, or a magical attack buff, or an accuracy buff, that increases the MP of the mages indirectly. If you actually end up stealing an attack buff, that's going to end up increasing your damage just as much as Assassin's Charge would have easily.
And don't forget to account for how truly finicky Assassin's Charge is. In order for it to be effective when it's timer ends you need to have either SA or TA ready, and you need to have 100+TP. Every time you don't it's wasted time that makes that last merit useless. Even then, if you manage to do that, it will have done nothing 10-45% of the time.
Still. Missing. The. Point.
No. You're ignoring ours. Edited, Jun 15th 2011 11:57am by Deadgye