Monday, 14 December 2009

Builds part 2: the recipes

Unproperly titled article, but still.

Hybrids and Healers

For both these roles, you may pick either a melee or a ck build. CK means chi kung and refers to anything related to vital essence, the game's "mana" as opposed to kung fu techniques which rely on physical strength. I've played both roles to a relatively high level but I've never tried ck so I will refrain from making too many remarks about that. The only thing I will say is that for both, it is hard to go ck from a low level because of the drawbacks of the two classes. Nevertheless, there are some great ck hybs and healers out there.

Healers only have two rather weak low level nukes and only gain a third one at FC10. Hybrids have quite some nukes to choose from, including one that paralyses the target which always come in handy and they are the only class apart from nukers who have a ck aoe attack (area of effect, that is). However, wisdom is the hybs' penalty stat costing them double the chi points, which hurts when you go ck. So I'd say if you're not in for mind boggling stat mathematics and seeking out strong sensations at low levels, leave the ck build at least until you get the free 2nd role restat at EC6. Hybrids from the League of Beggars are at an advantage here as they are the only clan for which one particular nuke works as it should, reducing the target's defense and allowing them for nice damage even at lower levels.

So, that leaves us with the melee build.

The cookie cutter build states as follows: ess, wis and con for relics, dex for your weapon, rest of points go to str. Relics in this case refers to the karma relics for various levels in game (blue and red stones, depending on whether they require good or bad karma to use) which have some stat requirements. Translated, that recommendation reads 10 points at RC, 12 points at FD and 14 points at EC.

Also this build stems from the "old days" when [New] and Blood Dragon (BD) weapons were not released. Old weapons have in general much lower dexterity requirements as well as lower damage range. So following the cookie cutter build back that would get your hyb / healer to the pre-2nd role maximum of 250 stat points at mid-high SM. A nice, but in my personal view pretty useless achievement.

Plainly put, melee damage for healers and hybrids sucks. Skill damage sucks, weapon damage sucks and those fast extra points won't make much of a difference. As said, personal point of view and if that low ess and con don't bother you, by all means, go for it. Of course, you can make up for it with con/ess relics. At RL12 you can wear hp returning hats and at FD12 the ve leech ones. Also, you should always keep your buffs and heals to the cap and grind with them - that goes without saying.

Personally, I am lazy. I do not like to cast a heal upon myself after every mob save when I train it, nor do I like to med every 10 mobs because my ve is running low. So I leave wis at relic requirements (you only need wis if you extensively use nukes) but do throw in some extra points in ess and con, even bearing in mind that constitution is the healers' penalty stat. I do like comfortable grinding even if that means only maxing my str at GB levels.

That being said, I start out with 20-25 ess and con, depending on class. If I really feel I need it, I tweak them some more on the way but I usually don't worry about them anymore until EC levels when I take them into the 30s with the FC pq in mind. Especially if you are not a premium user and do not benefit from the extra +25 stat points the cavity press gives, some more con is in order when those dungeon bosses keep stripping you of every buff, including heals and throw some silence to top it off.

Keep your dex decent. Loads of misses and few crits won't help you grind faster. I'd say any str-dex ratio of 3:1 to 2:1 would be ok, it is up to you really. Again, tweaking along the way usually does it. Try to keep that annoying message about weapon durability off your screen - you don't only get it from not meeting the level but also not meeting the stats. Apart from needing repair more often and some damage penalty, it also keeps you from taking in ew pills, kg or any other stuff like that while it is on screen. Again, it is not a must.


Now, while my hyb and healer have a decent level, my warrior and nuker don't. Any kind of input to this topic is more than welcome (not that for hyb or healer it isn't).

Again, cookie cutter build says ess and wis for relics, con to grind comfortably (whatever that means to you) , dex for weapon, max str as soon as possible. The situation sort of changes in the Ice map (GL levels upwards or CS if you like adrenaline) and dex becomes more important.

Def clothes (as high as possible) and dodge ornaments on your clothes (ideally, you could get as much as 440 dodge packed on a deco alone; add shoes and wristbands with 220 more each and it makes some nice dodge there) as well as hp leech from hat, epithets (you don't get that until Icy and they also need unsealing) and weapons are nice things to have as a warrior but they can get expensive. You can wear the 1/1000 hp leech hat starting from RL12. The RL and GB Wan Daye weapons have nice hp leech among other stat boosts and the EC WD offers 320 extra def so those are nice to have. Other good choices are slotted BD weapons - the more slots the better. The two main things I'd personally recommend for the slots are 10% crit nuggets and hp leech - the proportion of which depending largely on the map you're on and the money you have to spend.

With decent hp leech on the weapon you can switch to the FD12 ve hat to save some more meditation time. Otherwise, build essence from relics as it is the warrior's penalty stat. You don't have nukes so leave wis at relic requirement indeed. Now comes the fun part.

What I did on my warrior, was throw in 15 ess and wis - that means I won't ever touch those stats again as I'm covered up to EC relic requirement. Of course you can raise them on the way there, but I usually forget so I get a load off my mind. And I like round or half-round numbers hence the 15 instead of 14. We all have our whims and fads. :)

The for con... I love con. I love healthy hp. So what I do is raise con with 10 points for every level set in game. I add points to the stat at ch12 and ch1 of each level set. That will get my warrior to 100 con points at EC1.

As for dex and str, I do follow weapon requirement, only that I go with the BD weapons that ask for a lot of dex. So my two little warriors have an almost 1:1 str-dex ratio and I don't really have any complaints while grinding. With buffs it's actually smooth even on the one who doesn't have a RL WD weapon and I do not use premium on that account.


And now to my least favourite build (and class, for that matter). I have quite little to say about nukers. My little one is GB8 and I have had a very smooth and fast grind without any ultra-expensive gear. I've used classical speed clothes until FD12 when I changed to def set from the cave hawker, cheap ck dmg wristbands (or speed), 10%, 15% and 20% speed boots, speed hat (changed that to the halloween one as it also gives some extra stats) or ar hat. I've recently made him GB WD bracers using the elixirs from completing the collections.

Strength is the nukers' penalty stat and they don't really need dex as mobs shouldn't come close (or so the classical view says - I've seen nukers standing toe to toe with mobs or even grinding melee with EC WD weapons so nothing's impossible). Thus, I've left those at 15 (yes, my whims again) and I've thrown in 25 con for the heck of it. I used BD bracer requirements as a guide to get ess and wis up and when those were fulfilled, I threw all the remaining points into wis.

I plan to keep it this way as even at FD-GB levels without 2nd role skills the grind was much faster than on any melee char I've played. Maxed buffs and shields (ok, ok, I admit, my ve shield is still ch6 but I do not use that for grinding) go without saying and the only times I ever died was by a guard in HZ when getting my Yellow Dragon epi and from the ranged high EC mobs in NN when I went sightseeing.


So, that was about it on my part. Again, any input is welcome. And again, all this stuff refers to PVE only. Leave it, take it, use it, tweak it to your convenience and... how was that? May the seeds of the dragon within you thrive.

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