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Help me decide on merits.Follow

#1 Dec 13 2010 at 1:20 PM Rating: Good
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I'm not sure if this is a good choice or not, but I'm thinking of maxing out sentinel recast but unsure what else I should put merits into for group 1. For group 2, I have 5/5 Chiv, and am thinking about 5/5 Guardian.

On the magic side of things, I'm thinking of 8/8 healing and enhancing. Is this a good plan?
#2 Dec 13 2010 at 3:14 PM Rating: Good
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SilentRip wrote:
I'm not sure if this is a good choice or not, but I'm thinking of maxing out sentinel recast but unsure what else I should put merits into for group 1. For group 2, I have 5/5 Chiv, and am thinking about 5/5 Guardian.

Shield Bash or Rampart are the typical group 1 options people pick after Sentinel. Both are useful in my opinion, but neither is game changing.

Chivalry is still useful outside of Abyssea and terrific when soloing, and Guardian goes well with your Sentinel merits, so all good. If you find yourself not using it, though, may want to switch most of Chivalry merits to Fealty, just for those situations where you'd like to be free from status ailments for a 30 sec breather, or when you know Mijin Gakure or Astral Flow may be coming soon, etc.


SilentRip wrote:
On the magic side of things, I'm thinking of 8/8 healing and enhancing. Is this a good plan?

Do you have other jobs you plan to play? Do they have magic skills? If PLD is absolutely the only job with magic, go with that plan, but unless your other job is WHM, they probably won't fit well with other jobs' needs.


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If I understand it correctly, full Divine Magic merits adds 2 points of damage to each proc of Enlight. That doesn't sound like much, but depending on how often you recast Enlight, the typical average damage figures hangs around 22-26 for most Lv.85 PLDs I've parsed. At an average of 20, 2 more points means a 10% increase--we love Brutal Earring for a measly 5% increase to melee damage, so 2 points there (for a 10% increase) is actually impressive. At 25 average Enlight damage, that drops to an 8% increase in damage, which is still pretty nice.

For Joyeuse + Shield users, Englight is a terrific way to tag on additional damage (which is good, even if it doesn't contribute to enmity). So while I personally wouldn't go with Divine magic merits, for those who do not have anything else to merit, it may be useful for bumping up one's damage a bit more. Keep in mind that the more often one recasts Enlight, the less of an upgrade Divine magic is. Same with increase in level and the increase in Divine magic skill it brings--this is worth less the better the player and higher the level goes.

As for Enhancing magic, each 10 skill equals 1 point of damage reduction from Phalanx; one would get either 1 or 2 points more damage reduction from full merits, depending on gear.

However, Phalanx is not doing any good unless one is getting damaged, and /NIN is still the standard SJ for PLD (at least, it is for me). I suppose it's nice for fighting things with spikes (and en-damage when PLD/WAR) that can't be dispelled, since additional effects are counted separately, but like most PLD merits, it won't make a huge difference.

Healing magic merits... Well. I'm just not a fan of it, I guess. If it affects spell interruption rate more (and more visibly), I may reconsider, but as it is, it really is for the "I've nothing else to merit!" situation.
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#3 Dec 13 2010 at 9:09 PM Rating: Good
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Wow thanks for all the info! Enlight is actually enhancing. DRK got their en as dark magic so I can see why it's easy to forget.

The only other job with magic skills that I have is BRD. And I don't really play that much. I mainly use it as a gear ***** when needed.
#4 Dec 14 2010 at 2:00 PM Rating: Good
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SilentRip wrote:
Enlight is actually enhancing.

Pretty sure Enlight is Divine Magic.

Edited, Dec 14th 2010 12:00pm by IfritnoItazura
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Itazura of Ifrit
#5 Dec 14 2010 at 4:11 PM Rating: Good
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IfritnoItazura wrote:
SilentRip wrote:
Enlight is actually enhancing.

Pretty sure Enlight is Divine Magic.

Edited, Dec 14th 2010 12:00pm by IfritnoItazura

Good to know. Thanks for the correction.
#6 Dec 15 2010 at 9:41 AM Rating: Good
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IfritnoItazura wrote:
Chivalry is still useful outside of Abyssea and terrific when soloing, and Guardian goes well with your Sentinel merits, so all good. If you find yourself not using it, though, may want to switch most of Chivalry merits to Fealty, just for those situations where you'd like to be free from status ailments for a 30 sec breather, or when you know Mijin Gakure or Astral Flow may be coming soon, etc.


Lots of good info in your post, Ifritno. I just thought I'd throw my 2 gil into the conversation on this point.

I actually found Guardian to not be useful at all. It's only active when Sentinel is up, and it only affects the damage taken part of the enmity loss. I.e., it doesn't slow down VE loss at all. So, with Sentinel up, you start with a 90% reduction in damage. So, a 100 damage hit hits for 10. This 10 will result in 1800*10/[MAX HP]. Outside Abyssea, my PLD sits on ~1600 hp. This would result in 11.25 CE loss. Since each point of damage we deal results in at least 1.25 CE, all we have to do is hit for 9 points of damage and we've made it up.

Guardian (fully merited) would reduce that 11.25 to .5625 CE loss. Sure, you can stay ahead of the game, but we're talking such low amounts of CE that I don't find it makes a difference in my tanking one way or the other.

I personally went with 5/5 Chivalry and 5/5 Fealty. Both have proven quite useful to me. Wish I could get the recast down to 5 minutes, though.
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#7 Dec 15 2010 at 12:19 PM Rating: Good
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Surprised no one here has mentioned Iron Will. Ever since I found out about the -Spell Interruption% rate has to be above 100% I've been trying to get this trait capped.

The idea behind it is, fully capped Iron Will gives 95% -Spell Interruption% while Rampart is up. Then you need to throw on something to bring you above the cap say Valor Breeches and voila for the duration of Rampart you cannot be interrupted. Still need to test it however, but in theory that's how it should work.

Why do this? Main thing that comes to mind is shadow recovery, but really you could use it for anything that has a long cast time.
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#8 Dec 15 2010 at 2:22 PM Rating: Good
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Dynas wrote:
Surprised no one here has mentioned Iron Will. Ever since I found out about the -Spell Interruption% rate has to be above 100% I've been trying to get this trait capped.

The idea behind it is, fully capped Iron Will gives 95% -Spell Interruption% while Rampart is up. Then you need to throw on something to bring you above the cap say Valor Breeches and voila for the duration of Rampart you cannot be interrupted. Still need to test it however, but in theory that's how it should work.

Why do this? Main thing that comes to mind is shadow recovery, but really you could use it for anything that has a long cast time.


While this isn't a bad idea (I certainly wouldn't turn my head up at someone who did it), being useful for 30 seconds out of every 5 minutes isn't going to cut it for me. With capped Enhancing skill, capped recast, Reprisal (which is up for 2 minutes out of every 3), and Flash, I'm not getting interrupted hardly at all. And, if I am, taking the time to put up Reprisal isn't going to help get them up faster - in the time it would've taken to get it up, I'd be able to get up Ichi or Ni.

Again, not a bad idea, and given how lackluster our Tier 2's are (at this stage of the game), it won't make a world of difference either way. Guardian just does too little. The other three choices at least have situational uses.
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Leviathan - PLD90, BLU90, MNK 90, DRG 78
#9 Dec 15 2010 at 7:53 PM Rating: Good
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Dracoth wrote:
I actually found Guardian to not be useful at all. It's only active when Sentinel is up, and it only affects the damage taken part of the enmity loss. I.e., it doesn't slow down VE loss at all.

I tend to save Sentinel for when Ni/Ichi are both down, so I probably get a bit more mileage out of Guardian than those who use it every time it's up. Where it makes the biggest difference is probably when facing Hundred Fists.

Dracoth wrote:
So, with Sentinel up, you start with a 90% reduction in damage. So, a 100 damage hit hits for 10. This 10 will result in 1800*10/[MAX HP].

Most things worth worrying about hits harder than 100 per swing, though. Plus, the damage mitigation is 90% -> 40%, so you're better off using the average, 65%, when doing quick calculations.

Still, as I said earlier, most PLD merits are not game changing.
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#10 Dec 16 2010 at 1:56 AM Rating: Good
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Hundred Fists is about the only thing I see it being valuable for.

And, at this point in the game, while you're absolutely correct about mobs dishing out more damage, you're still only multiplying my original numbers by whatever the difference is. Sentinel is already giving a HUGE discount on CE loss. The extra from Guardian really isn't worth it in my opinion. Again, if it affected VE, it's be a lot more useful.

For comparison:

Assume 1600 HP: 1800/1600=1.125 base CE lost per point of damage.
At 500 damage, that's 56.25 with the 90% reduction and 225 at 40% reduction. It would be 562.5 normally.
At 100 damage, that's 11.25 with the 90% reduction and 45 at 40% reduction. It would be 112.5 normally.

Add Guardian to this, and you get 56.25*.05=2.8125 at 90% and 11.25 at 40% reduction for 500 damage and .5625 at 90% and 2.25 at 40%.

Sure, that's a huge reduction from the 562.5 to 2.8 CE. It's a 99.5% reduction at 90% and a 60% reduction at 40% (thanks to Sentinel's effects first in reducing the damage). But, I don't see the impact being all that important. It's mostly resisting crits at that level. Using Sentinel to help get Shadows up is also a useful tool, but Guardian isn't specifically helping that. You're just reducing the CE loss. In this age of Abyssea, curing isn't a problem. And, relying on Sentinel for 30 seconds every 4:10 just doesn't compare with a DD who can go ******* with WS's and melee hits and stay ahead of the curve while dealing damage. As much as I love PLD, Abyssea has really turned it into a less mainstream drop.

I'm not really knocking the choice either (it IS a huge reduction to CE loss 12% of the time), I just personally don't see it matching my playstyle. As mentioned by both of us at some point, however, the choices of Tier 2's on PLD hasn't ever really been all that crucial for PLD - at least they're all equally lackluster at this point in time - situational uninterrupted spells at best 12% of the time, huge CE loss reduction 12% of the time, immunity to enfeebles 10% of the time, or the ability to turn TP into MP once every 10 minutes all look rather.... underwhelming.

Here's hoping they do something for us in the 90-99 cap.
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Leviathan - PLD90, BLU90, MNK 90, DRG 78
#11 Dec 16 2010 at 3:50 PM Rating: Good
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Oh, I don't disagree with the assertion it's not a big deal.

And, as you said merit choices really depends on play style, but I would also add the people you play with. If your PLD is always placed in the party with one (or more!) refresh source, Chivalry really isn't all that valuable--which was my situation, and led me to remove all but one merits in that.


p.s. I didn't mean to say using Sentinel to help get Utsusemi up--it's more like when the shadow images are striped twice in a row quickly (esp while you're slowed), and you know you won't have them for a while, pop Sentinel and just blood tank until the timers are up again.

Edited, Dec 16th 2010 1:52pm by IfritnoItazura
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#12 Dec 16 2010 at 4:37 PM Rating: Good
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Considering I've used Sentinel for the same reason, I should've thought through your comment more.

And that's a valid reason to drop Chivalry as well. Considering I full time a DB RDM, you'd think I'd have done the same thing, but Guardian and Iron Will just don't seem worth it to me.

It's also good to have a dialogue about the benefits of each so that people can make an informed decision.
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Leviathan - PLD90, BLU90, MNK 90, DRG 78
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