First I want to compare two pieces of gear: Harlequin's Cap versus Vintage Jester's Cap. Here are the stats for each set of gear.

Harlequin's Cap

Def: 42

Mg. Def: 89

Evas: 16

Res: 64

Mind: +4

Piety: +4

Optimal Rank: 50

Vintage Jester's Cap

Def: 39

Mg. Def: 83

Evas: 16

Res: 59

Mind: +4

Piety: +4

Optimal Rank: 46

Now I have read in several threads that +3 will give 3 stars for Def, Mg. Def, and Evasion. Each star is suppose to represent a 5% or 10% increase in that particular stat (read different numbers in different threads). For the sake of this calculation I choose 5% to be conservative. So a Vintage Jester's Cap +3 would be:

Vintage Jester's Cap +3

Def: 39*1.15 = 44.85

Mg. Def: 83*1.15 = 95.45

Evas: 16*1.15 = 18.4

Res: Unchanged

Mind/Piety: Unchanged

I didn't round because quite frankly I don't know if FF14 floors it or raises it to the next integer so I left as is. You can see a +3 cap will yield better stats that gear you get with a runestone. So what am I missing with this new gear?

Here is my list of assumptions:

1. 5% per star and 3 stars per Def, Mg. Def, and Evasion. I have never seen a star on resilence but if the 9 stars can be placed on all 4 stats the math will change on a case by case basis.

2. You can't get +3 runestone gear. You turn in your runestone with some assorted other pieces and get your gear. I'm not aware of any mechanism in which you can get +3 runestone gear. If you can that will invalidate everything.

3. Outside of optimal rank. One thing I don't know how to quantify (haven't read anywhere) is that you will be above the optimal rank of 46 when you are at 50. So hypothetically if you get a 5% decrease in stats for each level above/below optimal rank then the runestone gear becomes better at 50 (because the cap will be -20%). I simply don't know how to quantify this but could change the outcome as well. -

**This has been answered in post #2. There is no stat degradation for being past the optimal rank only below it.**

I do realize I am a ways off from the end game myself but I will get there. Any help would appreciated. I know this is just one comparison but I could compare Harlequin's Action to the Vintage Robe and draw the same conclusion. Maybe this is just a conjurer thing I don't know. I apologize for still being a noob and any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

*Edited, Dec 28th 2010 12:30pm by RoyalBrayden*

*Edited, Dec 28th 2010 4:05pm by RoyalBrayden*