Monday, 14 December 2009

Builds part 1: where do Chi Points go?

One of the most frequent questions that arises from players is "where do I put my Chi Points now?". Whether it's a new player trying to build up a character or an old player trying out a different build or role, that decision must be faced at every level-up.

This here is by no means meant to be an exhaustive guide about builds - it couldn't possibly be nor would I want it to. It just contains some general guidelines that might give you an idea to start with and my two cents about it. After all, half the fun in the game is exploring and trying out things and this includes your own personalised build.

Two more things before starting out on the builds themselves: first, all of this is PVE-related only. Apart from playing a bit around BP on a RL warrior, I haven't done any PVP, nor do I plan to start anytime soon, so I will not go into what. Second of all, build is not everything. Equipment (clothes, relics, weapons) plays a major role. Then, there are several other things to consider such as elixirs, buffs or whether you are a premium user or not.

Most of the players asking for tips on a build expect a good-for-all recipe answering the questions "How do I distribute the points when I choose the role?" and "Where do I put points when I level up?". Sadly (or luckily), there is no such a miracle recipe. One build for a class can't really cover all situations, all playing styles and would be really wasted if the player didn't understand the pros, cons and why's behind the various builds. So I'm afraid more general information is needed, like it or not.

The Roles

The first moment when you actually have to seriously consider how you want to distribute your chi points is when choosing a role (unless you decide to play a vagabond, which is a different business). While the level required for joining varies from clan to clan, all of them offer you the possibility to choose your role at OC1 upon completing a quest.

The are four different roles in 9Dragons:

  1. warrior, the primary melee role focusing on powerful attacks
  2. nuker (caster or chi kung artist), the class with powerful ranged "magic" attacks
  3. healer (or strategist), the main buffer of the game, though mediocre melee / ranged abilities
  4. hybrid, who learns a bit of everything (melee same as healer, similar heals, different buffs, more nukes than a healer but less powerful than a nuker)

I am not an adept of recommending clans or roles to players. Any recommendation of "this clan/role is the best" is both relative and subjective. Various roles suit various playing styles, different clans appeal to different players. The only recommendation I'd make is to make a character that you will still enjoy playing as time goes by. Once you get a hang of the game, try out clans and roles until you find the combination that you like best.

The Attributes

Once you choose your role, you have the option to reset your chi points to the initial 8 for every stat and redistribute them as you wish. I recommend doing that, unless you are really, really sure you have the right build for your role.

Should you mess this up, you have one free restat in your clan base that you can use any time before you reach FD - just look up the correct NPC. You may want to change your role completely or to pick the same role and just get a restat of your chi.

At EC6, when you reach 2nd role, you get another restat in your clan base, like it or not. This comes in handy as the maximum amount of chi points that you can invest in one particular stat grows from 250 to 300 so might want to rearrange.

Then, you can restat 3 times in Hefei with the help of a Road to Enlightenment quest from the girl by the well. I'd recommend saving those restats for higher levels, you never know when you may need them. The third time you do the quest, you also get a mastery restat but that's that then.

Once these 5 opportunities are exhausted, the only option you are left with is buying chakra purge from the item mall, which is costly and can be avoided. If you messed up really bad there is also a mastery restat there.

Back to where to put points then. Chi Points can be distributed to five attributes: strength (str), essence (ess), wisdom (wis), constitution (con) and dexterity (dex). These influence various "numbers" in game - either by themselves or in combination - such as health amount, vital energy amount, crit rate, dodge, attack rating, defense etc.

There are two things to keep in mind:

First, each role has a so called penalty stat, meaning that in order to raise that attribute by one point, you have to spend two actual points.

Secondly, the mathematics behind how the attributes influence the various stats varies from role to role. You can find a detailed spreadsheet of how the different roles benefit from the same amount of distributed chi points made by RedCross from the Disconnected Hero League here.

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