The choice of damage boosting in Dragon Nest is indeed an interesting one.
I summarize the pros and cons of various options below.
* affect all the other 3 stats. it is the mother of all damage. Boosting base attack= indirectly boosting critical damage, elemental damage, and final damage as well.
* For mages & cleric, boosting it through INT also boosts other stats, such as mag defence and Max MP
* For archer, boosting it through AGI also boosts critical and critical resist
* For warrior & cleric, boosting it through STR also boosts stun, delay, etc.
* potential boost is the least (5.8%) as compared with critical (17%) and elemental attack (8%)
* highest potential boost (17%).
* highest heraldry boost (20%) as compared to base attack (10%) and final damage (fixed value, not %)
* ignore the defence of target.
* the critical chance is dependant on target's level. Need more critical stats for higher level targets to get the same critical chance.
* damage can be resisted with crit resist stats.
* the damage does not dependant on target's level.
* additional damage can be induced if the target is weak against certain elements.
* damage can be resisted with elemental resist stats.
* cannot be boosted through heraldry.
* only restricted to skills with elemental attribute or skills that comes with weapon-triggered elemental attribute.
* non-linear nature. Highly effective damage boost at high final damage stats.
* damage boost due to final damage cannot be resisted.
* non-linear nature. Low damage boost at low final damage stats.
* the critical chance is dependant on target's level. Need more final damage for higher level targets to get the same damage boost.
Each option has its pros and cons.
It is this variety of choices that makes the game interesting.
Gameplay style, skill build and personal preference dictate the final choice of damage boost options.
Find out more on the calculation and mechanics of final damage, crit and elemental attack from the guide compilation in my signature.