So I've been playing around with atma since I got my third Lunar Abyssite, and wanted to share my findings because some of them are rather surprising. Of course most of you know I'm more on the physical side, so I haven't played with any magical atma yet. Sounds like people are running into a possible MAB cap, so the magic side sounds interesting too, but that will be outside the topic of this thread.
Before I start, keep in mind that I'm specifically talking about Predator Claws as that's what I'm doing my testing with, but I assume most conclusions will apply to the other physical BPs as well. Also, I'll list the various atma that I mention in this article so you know what their stats are:
Razed Ruins: DEX +50, Crit Rate +30%, Crit Damage +30%
Stout Arm: STR +40, Attack +50, R.Attack +50
Sanguine Scythe: HP +Major, Crit Damage +Major, Enmity +Minor
Harvester: STR +40, Double Attack +Minor, Resist Sleep +Major
Dark Depths: AGI +20, Evasion +Minor, Crit Rate +Major
Anyway, the first and most important finding I've discovered is that Crit Rate seems to cap extremely high, my guess is 95% just like accuracy, and that the BP has a native crit rate bonus of at least +30% or so. Up until I got my third abyssite, I had been using mainly Razed Ruins + Stout Arm. This produced fairly widely varying results, I had a pretty even split between 1-2k damage, 2-3k damage, and 3-4k damage. Once I got a third, I added Dark Depths for even more crit rate. Suddenly almost every single Pred Claws was now doing 3-4k range. I'm talking 9/10 of them were over 3k damage, even on NMs (Tunga & Whiro). I believe this was a result of capped crit rate, about 30% from Razed Ruins, another 30% I assume from Dark Depths, and 6% from equipment. This is why I believe BPs have a native crit rate bonus of at least 30% or so.
The second finding is a result of a suggestion Rakshaka had, which was to drop Stout Arm since Kegsay's testing had showed attack was not that useful. Instead, I tried Sanguine Scythe for even more crit damage bonus. So I was now using Razed Ruins + Dark Depths + Sanguine Scythe, full focus on crits. The results were very surprising. My BPs plummeted from consistent 3-4k damage down to frequent 1k or even less. As best I can figure, the only explanation for this is that crit damage bonus also has a cap, and that BPs also have a native crit damage boost that's fairly high. High enough that Razed Ruins alone puts you at the cap, thus Sanguine Scythe wasn't helping. Assuming the cap is +100% damage, BPs probably have a native boost around the +70% mark. (Note for Kegs: This could affect your calculation of M for BPs?)
However, even capped crit damage wasn't enough to explain the immense drop in damage when I switched to Sanguine Scythe. It had to also be that Stout Arm was helping more than I'd realized. Kegsay proved attack was not very effective, so we thought it must've been the STR+40 from Stout Arm that was having such a big effect. So I dropped Sanguine Scythe and swapped over to Harvester which has the same STR boost as Stout Arm, but no attack boost. As soon as I did this, my BP damage shot up into the consistent 3-4k range once again. In fact, I even did a Chaotic Strike on Kharon (skeleton NM in Attohwa) for over 4900 damage. This leads me to believe that STR has a huge effect on physical BPs, primarily due to the native crit rate & crit damage boost that the BPs have.
The one thing I have yet to test is what happens if you stack nothing but STR, but I suspect it would lead to insane spike damage that's very inconsistent. Based on my experience, it seems like there's a hump to get over right around the +70 STR mark which is the most important.
I'd say this is the priority for physical BPs:
1. Accuracy, duh. Gotta make sure you're landing those hits. Shouldn't require any atma for this.
2. STR. You need to reach that magical point right around +70 where the damage from a good BP jumps by about 1000. With some good furtherance abyssite, you should only need one atma to do this (Stout Arm, Voracious Violet, Harvester, etc).
3. Crit Rate. Need about +60% to cap. Probably will use the last 2 atma for this (e.g. Razed Ruins & Dark Depths).
4. Crit Dmg. Need about +30% to cap. If you don't have Razed Ruins, something like Sanguine Scythe will help.
5. Double Attack & Triple Attack. These are low on the list because additional strikes added to the BP seem more like normal attacks doing only about 100-150 damage each.
5. Attack is last. The only attack boost I've ever seen make a significant difference is that from Sacrifice Torque.
Edited, Dec 13th 2010 10:10am by Pergatory