Go with mighty. Every 1% increase in piercing increases your dps by roughly 0.14%
Hey @hardcore_gmr , from my previous testing in Cyrodiil, I found that the following equation is reasonably accurate in calculating the base damage done
Base damage = Tooltip * Attacker Bonus * Defender Bonus * (1-MItigation)
where Attacker Bonus is usually champion point related like Mighty, Thaumathurge or Elemental Expert and Defender Bonus is champion points like Hardy and Elemental Defender.
The mitigation formula I use is
Mitigation = Defender_Resist * (1-Penetration) / 66000 - Attacker_Focus/66000 - 0.12*Piercing
Here is an example in Cyrodiil for spell damage but I found that a similar calculation can be done for physical damage. I am using a V16 Altmer sorcerer and casting force pulse on a target with 21511 spell resistance and 40 points in Elemental Defender(13.2%). The tooltip value of force pulse is 2058. I have 75 points in Elemental Expert (20.4%) and 25 points in Spell Erosion (9.5%). I also have 3 points in Elemental Talent and 2 points in penetrating magic. My focus is 4984
Damage=2058/2[Battle Spirit] *1.204[Elemental Expert]*1.04[Elemental Talent]*(1-Mitigation)*(1-0.132[Elemental Defender])=887
Where
%Mitigation=21511/66000*0.9[Penetrating Magic]-4984/66000-0.12*0.095
The actual damage is 890.
Side note: For Attacker_Focus, I do not use the Focus value provided by Harven's Extended Stats. I use a base focus of 100 and then add things that specifically add a flat amount of penetration. For example the Light Armour Concentration passive increases focus by 4884.
Back on topic, if we assume that Attacker Bonus and Defender Bonus are 1, we can then seperate the influence of mitigation from Piercing like so
Base damage = Tooltip * (1- Mit" + 0.12*Spell Erosion) = Tooltip * (1-Mit") + 0.12*Tooltip*Piercing
Mit" = Defender_Resist * (1-Penetration) / 66000 - Attacker_Focus/66000
So every 1% increase in the Piercing tooltip results in Tooltip*0.0012 increase in Base Damage. If we then take a low'ish crit rating of 40% and a crit multiplier of 1.5 then the average damage increase for every 1% in Piercing is 0.0012*(1+0.4*0.5) = 0.00144 which leads to my comment that a 1% increase in Piercing leads to a dps increase of ~0.14%
Hey @hardcore_gmr , thanks for your sharing your perspective on the mechanics of Piercing! I really appreciate your explanation and understand that sometimes my equations may be wrong due to conclusions drawn from limited data and always value other people's thoughts on what equation should be used to calculate the base damage.
From my understanding of your post, you would use the following equation to calculate the base damage.
Base Damage = Tooltip * Attacker_Bonus * Defender_Bonus * (1-Mitigation+Penetration)
where
Mitigation = Resistance/66000 - Focus/66000
and Penetration is the sum of Penetration from weapon and Penetration from Piercing
This is in contrast to the equation I previously used which was
Base Damage = Tooltip * Attacker_Bonus * Defender_Bonus * (1-Mitigation)
where
Mitigation = Resistance*(1-Penetration)/66000 - Focus/66000 - 0.0012*Piercing
where Penetration does not include Piercing
We'll ignore Attacker_Bonus and Defender_Bonus for now.
I redid my testing in Cyrodiil in the PTS 2.1.3 today. I don't have two accounts with a V16 in Live and didn't want to bother anyone with testing in Live and also I just want to save virtual money. I've included a picture of my results as well as a link for anyone to view the data. Please let me know if the spreadsheet link isn't working as I don't often use that feature of Google Drive.
A bit of explanation of what I did for the test and what the columns mean. I had a V16 character equipped with various bits of armour to obtain a physical resistance of 21088. I then used another V16 character equipped with 4 pieces of medium armour and either a V16 axe or a V14 sharpened greatsword (6% penetration, white). I then use Uppercut on the target while increasing the value of Piercing. There are two columns under Piercing, one is labelled 'Point' which means how many points is in it and 'Value' is the tooltip value of Piercing. Damage is the actual recorded damage by Foundry Tactical Combat. 'Calc damage 1' uses the formula that I proposed while 'Calc Damage 2' uses the formula you proposed. So from my testing it seems Calc damage 1 conforms more closely to the recorded damage. I would appreciate your thoughts on this matter and I apologise in advance if I misunderstood your interpretation of Piercing.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/127gviz07DCTQj_T56s7NnKqHGQ-UgfPDiZv-42JZVpo/edit?usp=sharing