Between INT and AGI, INT is your friend at lower levels, and AGI is your friend at higher levels.
Skip the following section if you can't understand mid-level mathematics.
INT increases Magical Power. AGI increases critical rate.
5% increased crit chance is something that returns its usefulness at all levels. INT, however, is something with diminishing returns.
Hypothetically, with a 0-5% crit rate increase, we're dealing with from 0 to 100 crits out of 2000 attacks.
Whereas with a 20-25% crit rate increaes, we're dealing with from 400 to 500 crits out of 2000 attacks. The damage increase is constant, as a % of your total damage.
In contrast, with an increase of, say, 50 INT, 1-51 INT is a difference of 100 Magical Power, which in the case of a non-crit Frost Driven Jupiter Thunder, is 256 damage.
If your gear is at 0 and you have no +Magical attack from a weapon, (for argument's sake, this isn't gonna be true unless you remove everything), the damage you'll do is 2 MP * 256% = 5.12 damage at 1 INT, or 102 MP * 256% = 261 damage at 51 int. That's a whopping 51 times more damage.
If your gear is at... +400 INT, 802 MP * 256% = 2053 damage if you had 1 INT base stat. Whereas if you had 51 INT, that would be 902 MP * 256% = 2309 damage if you had 51 INT base stat. That's a difference of only 12.5% damage.
If that is true, then the following applies:
Damage improvement per point of Int must beat the points of Agi in order for Int to be worth raising.
The point of equivalence is where each int point raises magic power by more than 0.0916%.
This means x+2/x > 1.000916
Therefore x+2 > 1.000916x
Therefore 0.000916x < 2
Therefore x < 2183.4 ~ 2184. Int is better than Agi if they take the same amount of stat points to raise, and your magic power is less than 2184.
If your magic power is greater than 2184, Agi is better.
So if your Magic Power is, say, 2200, it would be best to have essentially a 1:1 Agi:Int build, and use Agi pots/cards/buffs.
Since INT is far more powerful at low levels, pump INT at low levels up to the point of equivalence, then pump AGI until they are equal in terms of how much you spent to get that last point. This might be at 41/41/0/0/0, from what I heard.
Your secondary job should be an Alchemist. You will need a lot of a blue potions, and the +30s boost and +30min buff potions will also serve you well. Blacksmiths and Artisans are underpowered at the moment since all the blue+ equips are boss drops, making the main point of their profession essentially pointless. They've been known to complain about being glorified holepunchers/runecrafters.
Skills to NEVER take beyond level 1:
1. Water Arms. Because of the nerf, the main use of Water Arms (as a way to increase survivability on healers, as a dead healer isn't a healer at all) is now destroyed. Leave this at 1 only if you need later skills.
2. Soul Cleansing. If it's a status that needs to be removed from the whole party like paralysis, you can't remove it since you're also paralysed yourself. If it's a single target debuff, which will almost always hit your tank (and occasionally the priest), level 1 works.
3. Soul Binding. Even maxed, it takes 30 minutes to recast it. That's too long to be useful in any fight more than level 1 already is.
4. The entire Fire tree. At best, it's useless relative to your Lightning tree skills. At worst, if you take Level 1 Fire Ball, your Level 1 may overwrite a Wizard's Fire Ball, which actually reduces party damage.
Skills you MUST take to level 5:
1. Earth Shield, because it buffs your entire party and improves all of their survivability.
2. Land of Recovery, because it is the strongest Sorcerer heal, and if you just want to do DPS without ANY heals at all, you should probably play a Ranger instead. Not that the build wouldn't work at all, but you'd be forcing the class to do something it wasn't designed for. Like shaving using a kitchen cleaver.
3. Either Wind or Earth Arms.
Other possible builds include taking two Arms spells at level 5 (Wind and Earth), and using Wind for everything except bosses, Earth for bosses only. It's possible, but will gimp you in both DPS and Healing roles somewhat. You could do that, but you'd probably be less useful to most parties than the Full Support build. You might still be more in demand than the full DPS build however, because of how few classes can heal, and how important healing is at later stages.
I STILL don't recommend using two Arms at the moment. But since it seems that people do like to hybrid quite a bit, this would be my double-Arms recommendation:
Your Deluge will be weaker than an FS Sorc as payment for wanting to use 2 Arms. You have one point to allocate. If you want to do more Support, add to Deluge. If you want to go more down the DPS route, add to Varetyr Spear. If you can't decide, add to Meditation.
You will have the hardest time of any Sorc since you may have to switch Arms often. If using only one at a time but different Arms against different enemies, then you'd use Wind against the weak ones and Earth against the strong ones.
If you're going to dare to use both in the same fight against a boss, then use Earth Arms pre-emptively whenever the boss summons, and drop LoR before using your Frost Driver->Varetyr Spear->Jupiter Thunder combination on a summon. Switch to Wind Arms after all summons are dead. Use Earth Arms pre-emptively near the end of the fight when it enters Enrage status, the amount of extra damage you can do with Wind Arms' benefits (+10% to total party damage or less, probably) will not justify the loss of 25% of the party's healing output.
1. verxified for information on Critical Rate per point AGI at lvl 50.
2. Altariel for challenging the initial recommendations enough to motivate me to do that Meditation test. I understand Meditation far more than I did at the outset now.
This post has been edited by HayashiRS: 27 January 2013 - 01:53 AM