So I decided to test strength and weapon attributes. I did this using a candy cane sword because the damage is constant, and there's no req. Some of this is old hat, but I'm not sure I've seen all this info in one place, backed up with actual numbers, so here it is. Mayhap some will find it useful;
1. Weapon attribute increases critical hit rate, but only when using weapon skills.
2. Strength's armor reduction feature only works when using weapon skills. It has zero impact on normal hits.
3. Armor penetration from penetrating attack DOES NOT STACK with armor penetration from strength.
4. Critical hits do not increase additive damage from skills.
5. Armor does not affect additive damage from skills in any way.
For my first test, I started at 1 swordsmanship, 1 strength, and slowly increased swordsmanship to 12. As I did so, damage went up as expected, to 8 pts on a normal hit and 11 on a crit at 12 swords/1 strength. What is interesting is that my critical rate did not change at all.
Then, I increased strength, up to 12/12, and my damage stayed exactly the same, 8 normal, 11 crit. Critical rate did not change.
I repeated the test using savage slash, sever artery, and hamstring, as none of those skills add damage. This time I started with 12 swordsmanship, and just upped strength. At 1 strength, I got 1 pt of extra damage when using the skills; 9 normal, 12 crit. Raising strength to 12 only netted me another 2 pts; 11 normal, 14 crit.
I noticed my critical rate went way up tho, so I tried again with swords at 1, and upped it to 12, and the crit rate on the skills roughly doubled as I did so.
I tested again using Galrath, with 12 swords 12 strength. At 12 swordds, the skills dds 32 damage. My slashes were hitting for 43/46, which is exactly the 11/14 of the earlier test plus the expected 32. This proves that crits do not increases additive damage.
I repeated the above test with a candy cane AXE and penetrating attack. If that skills armor penetration stacked with strength, then I should get more damage as I raise my strength while using the skill. This did not happen. The damage stayed exactly the same. I tried again against enemies with higher armor, then lower armor, and even got strength up to 14 and no change. This can only be because the skills' 20% subsumes strenght's penetration.
Anyway, that's what i did today when I was bored of not getting greens on SF runs. :)