8-Bit Code Monkey
Join Date: May 2004
Location: A House
Current Game: SWTOR
There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding the stats and secondary stats, so I thought I'd try to clarify to the best of my ability and understanding.
The 5 main stats are Aim, Cunning, Strength, Willpower and Endurance. Each class has a separate main stat, Aim = BH/Trooper, Cunning = Smuggler/Agent, Strength = Knight/Warrior, Willpower = Consular/Inquisitor, and lastly Endurance is used by all classes and is directly related to your HP. There are exceptions, but generally speaking DPS and Healers want more main stat than Endurance and Tanks want more Endurance than main stat.
You do get secondary bonuses from other main stats, such as the Smuggler getting a bonus to Crit % from Aim, but you should not use gear/equipment with "secondary main stats" for this purpose as it isn't worth it.
There is a lot more confusion surrounding secondary stats than main stats for a variety of reasons. For one, diminishing returns play a much larger factor when you're talking about secondary stats, secondly you have to balance more stats instead of just stacking 1 like you would with your main stat. Secondary stats tend to break down nicely into groups.
Power and Critical Rating
Power is very simple to understand, for every 1 point in Power you gain a value of .24 to your Bonus Damage (and I think .17 Bonus Healing). So in layman's terms for every 100 points in power you will do on average 24 more damage to a target. It is important to note that Power has no diminishing returns, every point in Power will equal .24 bonus damage no matter how much Power you stack.
Critical Rating provides you with a bonus to the percentage that your attacks hit for critical damage. An easy concept to understand, but what is important here is that the Crit Rating is on a diminishing return curve so therefore past a certain point each point of Crit Rating gives you less and less benefit. Generally speaking the target range for a DPS/Heal class is around 285-350 points in crit.
Balancing Power and Critical Rating
You can get Power and Critical Rating from Mods, Enhancements, Color Crystals, Earpieces, Implants and Relics. However, you can never have both Power and Crit on the same modification, e.g. there is no Enhancement in the game that gives you +Power and +Crit. That makes stat balancing very simple! Once you get your Critical Rating around that 285-350 sweet spot range, everything else should go to Power.
Accuracy, Alacrity, and Surge
Accuracy is another simple stat to understand when you know the mechanics behind everything. All attacks in the game can be broken down into 2 different types, White Damage and Yellow Damage (colors are based on the flytext). There are sub-types of damage but that isn't important for this. What is important is that your % to hit/accuracy for White Damage is based on your standard/Weapon Accuracy %, and the % to hit/accuracy for Yellow Damage is based on your Tech/Force Accuracy %.
Now the real important part to know is that Weapon Accuracy starts at 90%, and Tech/Force Accuracy starts at 100%, so if your class/skill tree deals only Tech/Force damage, you don't need any points in Accuracy at all! DPS Sorceror's and Sage's fall into this category, and ALL healers don't need accuracy because heals are 100% to 'hit'. However, the classes that do deal in Weapon damage will want points in Accuracy. Depending on the class you tend to want around 250+ points in Accuracy which works out to 4 or 5 pieces of gear with Accuracy, some classes may be even less it depends on a lot of things, such as skill tree talent points that give accuracy and other factors.
Alacrity kind of works like 'haste' in other games, it lessens the total amount of time for any abilities with a cast bar, it does not matter if it is an activation cast or a channeled cast. In the case of a channeled cast, if an ability normally would do 1000 damage over 3 seconds, with Alacrity, you would still do 1000 damage, but maybe over the course of 2.7 seconds now. Basically although the channel time is less, the total damage is the same, so you can see how this would lead to a DPS increase. Oh and also very important, ALACRITY DOES NOT DECREASE THE LENGTH OF THE GLOBAL COOLDOWN.
Common sense would then dictate that the Stand and Cast DPS classes like Sages, Commandos and Gunslingers would gain a DPS boost from Alacrity, however that's really only true for Sages. If you put points into Alacrity as a Commando or Gunslinger, you run the risk of using your skills too fast without having enough time to regenerate your resource, be that Ammo or Energy, Commando's and Slingers get skill tree talents that boost Alacrity enough without spending stat points on it anyway, you are better off with your points in Accuracy or Surge.
Surge increases the bonus damage dealt by attack that are critical hits, so by default a Critical hit will deal 50% more damage than a standard hit of the same ability. Points in Surge further increase that 50% bonus damage, generally to the 70% and up range on most builds for classes. Similar to Crit Rating Surge reaches it's diminishing returns right around the 285+ points range.
Balancing Accuracy, Alacrity and Surge
Accuracy, Alacrity and Surge can be gained from the same pieces of equipment as Power and Critical Rating, with the exception that you cannot find these stats on Mods or Color Crystals. Although this group has 3 stats, you really only have to worry about balancing 2. Healers and DPS Sages don't need Accuracy, so then have to find the balance between Alacrity and Surge. All the other DPS classes don't use Alacrity so they are balancing Accuracy with Surge. Personally what I tend to do is "cap" my Accuracy or Alacrity and then dump the rest of my points into Surge, even though this means you are severely deep into the diminishing returns on Surge.
The Tanking Stats, Shield, Defense and Absorb
We'll talk about Shield first because you don't ever have to worry about Shield. What the Shield Rating does is boost your % chance that you will shield incoming damage, a shielded attack has its damage reduced by the % of Absorb. Not all attacks are shield-able, but that is a separate discussion from stat allocations. What you need to know about Shield is that when picking your stats as a tank you can choose between Shield and Accuracy, and since your role as a tank is damage mitigation and not specifically dealing damage, you don't care about accuracy so you will never take it. Therefore, you don't really need to 'manage' your shield rating, so lets move on to defense and absorb.
Defense and Absorb have the same stat relationship as Power and Critical Rating, so the stats can be found on all the pieces of gear and modifications with the exception of color crystals.
The Defense stat increases the Defense Chance %, this is the percentage chance that an incoming attack will completely miss you, dealing zero damage.
The Absorb stat increases your Shield Absorption %, so this stat works in tandem with your Shield percentage. As a quick example, let's say your shield has a 66% chance to proc with a 60% Shield Absorption rate. What this means is that 2/3rds of all incoming attack will be intercepted by your shield, and those intercepted attacks will do 60% less damage. So in effect you are taking 27% less damage than you would without a shield.
Anyway, tanking stats a lot more complicated than the stats for DPS as the desired values for tanks vary wildly depending on which class you are talking about, Guardian/Juggernaut, Vanguard/Powertech or Shadow/Assassin.
Speaking generically, Guardian's will want to be heavy on Defense, with less emphasis on Absorb because they have the lowest Shield chance. Vanguard's are the opposite, they rely the most on their shield and have the lowest innate defense chance so make less use of the defense stat. Shadow's tend to be in the middle and want a more even spread between Defense and Absorb. If you want to tank for end-game raids I highly suggest you do more in depth research for your specific class, and believe it or not the official SWTOR forums have topics with a wealth on information on tanking.
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