Originally Posted by Tycho
To my understanding it's similar to other PS games -- a 50% fire weapon would get a 50% attack multiplier when hitting a monster weak to it. E.g. Damage = (Player attack + (weapon attack * element) - monster DFP)/5, ignoring ABL because I've no idea how it goes into the formula.
I think that's also why the OP concluded elements to be useless, as monster DFP did not quite seem negligible under these circumstances. Elements would likely perform better using high-attack weapons versus low-defense monsters.
Well, "lower defense" is kind of a rough call - not much at lv38 that is considered low without using a weak point of some kind, and using a lower level mob also bring in the variable of level difference...
I went and beat up some lv16 Sil-Dinians (the jumpy melee ones) using the same method and throwing out the 600+ numbers (since that means I hit their head while I was jumping x<). 264 max damage with Ice50 launcher(weakness), 250 crit with the Thunder50, 207ish with a non-ele, which ends up being roughly the same ratio as with the Gilnatches using a Shifta EX drink (the 990 R-ATK one), just reversing which weapon is the weakness.
So high R-ATK seems helps out non-elemental damage a little, but doesn't seem to change the element damage ratio much. Granted, I only got off around 40 shots between the non-ele/ice50 launchers, but the damage seemed within the 96% variance range.
Also, I didn't say they were "useless" (especially not compared to a non-element weapon), just not enough for someone like me to build up more than one good weapon to 50 and
tailor the element to the mob weakness. That +3-5% gets magnified with PAs and supposedly PSE Boosts increase elemental damage (though I did not observe this in the testing I did during a Thunder Boost lv3 effect). In this kind of game with no apparent soft caps on damage other than the 9999 single-hit hard cap, anything like this is good.
It COULD be that elemental modifiers are meant mainly for FOs who can easily switch up elements with almost no sacrifice whatsoever, and that HU/RA are meant to be penalized less for using an off-element weapon which can require a huge investment (not that there is a "penalty"... just not given as much incentive to grind up an arsenal). But that's just theorizing.