Final Fantasy XIV: Lets Talk About Skill Points

written by Chrono

When it comes to the mechanics of Final Fantasy 14, a lot of left to the imagination. In particular, there is a lot of confusion over the influence of stat points such as Strength and Intelligence. I touched on this some in our Final Fantasy 14 Guide but wanted to expand on the topic in this post as there still seems to be some player concerns with our recommendations.

In this post, I will be explaining what each particular stat point does and more importantly, relating the best way to allot your points in order to earn more experience, kill more monsters, and get more loot.

Master Final Fantasy XIV, with Chrono's FFXIV Guide

What Skill Points are Supposed to Do

In an ideal world, skill points work as follows:

Strength – Increases Physical Damage
Dexterity – Increases Accuracy and Critical Rate of Physical Attacks
Vitality – Reduces Physical Damage taken and Increases Max HP
Mind – Reduces Magic Damage taken, increases Cure Potency, and increases Max MP
Piety – Increases the Accuracy of Magic Attacks
Intelligence – Increases the Potency of Magic Attacks

I believe most players already know this. However, I still believe that most players do not assign their stats correctly. Simply by looking at the descriptions, you can see that two stats have a unique function; Vitality (increases max HP) and Mind (increases max MP).

The weird thing about skill points is they seem to have a very minor contribution to your damage done, damage received, crit rate, miss rate, magic hit rate, magic damage.. essentially all the combat formulas.

While we do not know the exact coefficients or how the damage is calculated, but your physical damage done to an enemy follows some sort of formula which involves the following factors:

Your Strength vs Your Enemy’s Vitality – This is a very unusual aspect to the formula. It seems that if your enemy’s Vitality vastly exceeds your strength, you face a mild damage penalty. However, if your Strength vastly exceeds your enemy’s Vitality, no bonus points seem to be awarded.

I tested this by having only 40 points in strength at a class level of 28. On a high Vitality target (Crabs with a Yellow Con), when I moved from 40 to 48 strength, my damage increased by about 10%. However, my damage on Blue/Green difficulty Puks increased only about 3%.

The practical application of this is that you can get by with minimal strength (40) until a class level of about 30. At this point, you start to feel it if you fall behind in strength.

Your Attack Score This is your attack rating on your character panel:

FFXIV attributes

Notice that my attack is rated as 69. This is the attack rating of my weapon. In other words, Strength nor any other stat seems to contribute to your attack rating.

When you upgrade your weapon, you notice a large improvement in your damage dealt (assuming the weapon is appropriate in level). As a result, we can only conclude that your “attack” score is a very important contributor to damage dealt.

Your Current Class Level vs Your Enemy’s Level – This one is pretty simple. If you fight “red” con enemies (i.e. incredibly tough), you receive a significant damage penalty, regardless of gear or debuffs on the enemy.

Likewise, if you fight a very low level enemy, you get a significant boost in damage. Try fighting a Star Marmot outside of Ul’dah once you hit level 25. You can often hit them for well over 1,000 damage with weaponskills.

Practical Application

Strength has a very minor contribution to strength, at least until higher levels. When it comes to the amount of damage you deal, the most important factors are your Weapon (Attack) and the comparison of your level versus the monster you are fighting.

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