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Author Topic: Guide of Shadows - PART I - STARTING YOUR BLADE (Beginner)  (Read 3816 times)

Xiang

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Guide of Shadows - PART I - STARTING YOUR BLADE (Beginner)
« on: February 12, 2013, 11:12:49 am »

Guide of Shadows - PART I - STARTING YOUR BLADE (Beginner)

So you have decided to roll a Shadowblade... Welcome to the family! Will you be overly obsessed with numbers? An average Shadowblade? A well balanced Blade? That is up to you, read on...


RACE SELECTION - STATS EXPLAINED

Upon hitting character creation, you have 4 races to choose from as a Shadowblade : Norseman, Frostalf, Kobold, Valkyn

Besides from the looks, there is stats (also referred to as Attributes) difference between all races. Your primary stats are: STRength, CONstitution, DEXterity and QUIckness. All referred to as their first 3rd letters. Before moving deeper into race selection, you should know what stat does basically what, not getting into numbers and much details just yet...

STR : Affects your melee damage and weapon skill (WS) directly. The higher you have it the more damage you will do. Weapon Skill determines the likelihood of your attacks missing, being evaded, parried, blocked by your target. (Also increases your weight carry capacity, which we are not really concerned about, that is a mule's job)

CON : This is your health pool, the more you have, the more health points.

DEX : %50 of your evade chance is affected by your dexterity, more your dexterity, more you will evade.

QUI : Yes, you guessed right, the other %50 of your evasion comes from your quickness, yet more importantly quickness determines your attack speed. Dont get your hopes, you cant have 300 QUI and swing 3 times a second, there is a cap to your attack speed and above 250 quickness affects your attack speed so little that it is a waste of points having it above 250.

Now that we know what our stats do, moving onto races and their starting stats. Upon creation you will be given 30 stat points to distribute as you see fit, but we will come to that later.

NORSEMAN : STR 70 - CON 70 - DEX 50 - QUI 50
FROSTALF  : STR 55 - CON 55 - DEX 55 - QUI 60
KOBOLD     : STR 50 - CON 50 - DEX 70 - QUI 70
VALKYN     : STR 55 - CON 45 - DEX 65 - QUI 75


At level 50 your base stats will be increased by the following amounts: +15 STR , +45 DEX , +23 QUI, notice your CON does not increase. Which in my opinion puts races with low CON at a disadvantage.

PROS / CONS of RACES:
FROSTALF's useful stats Sum up to 225 whereas other races' sum up to 240, hence making Frostalf a useless race for a SB.
VALKYN's high QUI is easily capped to 250 by only adding 59 QUI in your template at 50 however you cant make up for the lack of CON (and you need lots of HP) hence they are not a preferred SB race either.

Now the real question is, KOBOLD or NORSEMAN?

NORSEMAN : You will need 84 QUI in your template to cap it at level 50, which is a bit challenging and hence harder to template than a Kobold. However you can dedicate 9 of your starting points to QUI and only need 75 QUI in your template and still have more STR and CON than a KOBOLD can even dream of. If you want more damage and more hit points, Norseman is the way to go, even though templating is a bit more difficult.

KOBOLD : You will need only 64 QUI in your template to cap swing speed at level 50, hence making it easier to template. With typically high DEX and QUI, Kobolds are better at evading attacks (very slightly) than NORSEMAN, but they can never reach same hit points or strength as a Norse.

Between the Norse and Kobold, it is a personal choice most will say, my personal opinion, Norse is a superior race for a Blade.



SPENDING YOUR 30 POINTS AT STARTUP:

Once you are done creating your character, go to "customize", choose "adjust attributes" A menu will pop, where you can increase any stat you wish. Important thing to remember: You can increase any attribute by 1 spending only 1 out of your 30 points up to +10 on a single stat. That means if you increased your strength by 10, you still have 20 points to spend, if you want to increase your STR 1 more it will cost you 2 points per increase.

As a Norse, most common way is increasing your STR, CON and QUI 10 by each, to get max attribute points out of it (and also decrease sum of QUI you will need in your template by 10)

As a Kobold, you can increase STR, CON and QUI by 10 or increase STR by 10, CON by 15 to make up for the lack of hp, or increase STR by 15 and CON by 10 to make up for lack of STR.

When you are 50 and start to make your template you will have a better understanding of this and adjust your attributes depending on your need.

Now that our character is created lets have a look at our skills...




SKILLS EXPLAINED

Shadowblades get Sword and Axe skills (referred to as Primary Melee), Left Axe (referred to as Dual Wielding Melee) skill, Envenom, Poisoning and Critical Strike skills.

First you should know some things... Every time you get a Realm Rank, you will gain +1 to all your skills. At level 50 you can imbue +11 of any skill in your template, therefore if you imbue +11 of any skill into your template you will have 11 in that skill even if you dont spec in it, you will benefit from your +11 points however for melee skills only specced points will unlock new attack styles.

SWORD : This is your primary melee skill, if you spec into this you can use Sword type weapons as your Main Hand and 2 Handed weapons. Increasing this will unlock new Sword styles and also increase your Weapon Skill. Useless to have it more than 51 including +skill from your Realm Rank and items. Must have it 51 at level 50 to maximize your hit chance.

AXE : This is your other primary melee skill, if you spec into this you can use Axe type weapons as your Main Hand and 2 Handed weapons. (However there are more swords to choose from in the game than axes as your MH) Increasing this will unlock new Axe styles and also increase your Weapon Skill. Useless to have it more than 51 including +skill from your Realm Rank and items. Must have it 51 at level 50 to maximize your hit chance.

You must choose SWORD or AXE as your Primary Melee Skill.

LEFTAXE : This is Midgard's unique skill that allows us to Dual Wield, use an axe as our off hand weapon. Good thing about Left Axe is that your offhand weapon will always swing regardless of whether you miss your main hand attack or not. Increasing Left Axe will increase your overall melee damage output and unlock new Left Axe Styles

ENVENOM : Thanks to Envenom we can coat our weapons with various poisons that can decrease target's hp, do damage over time, prevent healing, snare, etc... I will explain poisons much more detailed later. At level 50, must have 50 in total including +skill from Realm Ranks and items to be able to use the level 50 poison.

STEALTH : Your sneak skill that makes you run around unnoticed. The higher it is, less likely you will be seen. Preferred to have it 50 at level 50 including +skill from Realm Ranks and items. Speccing past 50 is useless.

CRITICAL STRIKE : Melee skill unique to assassin classes, with melee styles. Highest damage styles available to use only from stealth. We will get into more detail later.
 
As a Shadowblade, at level 50 you will have 3253 total skill points to spend, which is less than other assassins but dont worry, we will make it work ;)





LEVELING & BASIC GEAR

Leveling is much faster than what it used to be novadays. You can level in many different ways such as: RvR ing in BG's, doing dungeon tasks, doing PvE quests, doing RvR quests. I will only explain the fastest way to level without being powerleveled by another player. Some of you might want to take it slow and go through all levels of battlegrounds, leveling and getting up in Realm Ranks at the same time.

This is not a complete leveling guide, I will just point you in the general direction briefly.


BATTLEGROUNDS

You can reach battleground for your level through the Battleground Channelers in each village. Once in a battleground take all quests, 3 of them will be repeatable PvE kill quests, those are what you are looking for. Check objectives on minimap and make yourself a quick kill route, sometimes you might want to chain just one or 2 of them if you deem it faster. Try get a group for these quests decreases your chance of being ganked and especially if you get a character with speed in group it goes way faster.

There are bounty merchants that sell decent armor for Bounty Points (points you get for RvR kills and battleground quest completions) However I advise not to spend your bounty points on these since you will need them later. Instead buy armor for money in villages from quartermaster.

VILLAGES

Once you reach cap level for a battleground you cant get anymore quests in there, the channeler in the battleground can teleport you to the village appropriate for your level, once in village you can get all quests, some of them are just talk to this talk to that quests and they give decent xp. When you are sure to have finished all quick do quests in a town head for next Battleground.

In villages there are quartermasters that sell cheap items for your level, upgrading your equipment in each new town will help you do battleground kill quests faster.



Level 1-8 Fastest way is doing the starting town quests, follow quest givers, quest objectives in minimap. This will also get you some gear.

Level 8-10 Battleground

Level 10-14 Mularn, finish quick quests, buy your new armor, teleport to battleground, repeat quests.

Level 15-19 Fort Veldon, finish quick quests, buy your new armor, teleport to battleground, repeat quests.

Level 20-24 Audliten finish quick quests, buy your new armor, teleport to battleground, repeat quests. (This one may be tricky as the battleground is Thidranki and often zerged or played by templated toons, try to get a group and bedone here quick.

Level 25-29 Huginfel finish quick quests, buy your new armor, teleport to battleground, repeat quests.

Level 30-35 Fort Atla finish quick quests, buy your new armor, teleport to battleground, repeat quests.

Level 35-39 Vindsaul Faste (Refugee Camp just outside) This is another painful BG called Molvik, much like Thidranki, only meaner people.

Level 40-45 Vindsaul Faste (Refugee Camp just outside) Notice there is no new town, however you have a different quartermaster that sells all level gear in this camp and you teleport to your appropriate level battleground.

Level 45-48 Atlantis! There are 3 repeatable quests in Aerus and in Stygia, I personally find Stygia one better but Aerus has always many groups doing it, so your chances are high finding a Green Glades group. This way you will also get some Atlantean Glasses from quest rewards that you will need for buying Master Levels or Artifacts.

Level 48-50 Vindsaul Faste (Refugee Camp just outside) Yet again... There is a Pictish encampment and people farming it for the repeatable quest at all times, just go to Svasud Faste get the quest from guy standing next to pad, teleport to Vindsaul Faste (Refugee Camp just outside), join the battlegroup that is doing it, every 25 kills, return quest, retake and come back, you will be 50 in no time!





SPECS FOR LEVELING

The whole leveling part is assuming you are not doing proper RvR in battelgrounds and just chaining quests, therefore, for all specs I will give you max damage output.

Level 10 : Sword or Axe : 10 - Left Axe : 9
Level 15 : Sword or Axe : 15 - Left Axe : 15
Level 20 : Sword or Axe : 20 - Left Axe : 20 - Critical Strike : 5
Level 25 : Sword or Axe : 25 - Left Axe : 25 - Critical Strike : 8
Level 30 : Sword or Axe : 30 - Left Axe : 30 - Critical Strike : 11
Level 35 : Sword or Axe : 35 - Left Axe : 35 - Critical Strike : 13
Level 40 : Sword or Axe : 36 - Left Axe : 39 - Critical Strike : 25
Level 45 : Sword or Axe : 39 - Left Axe : 44 - Critical Strike : 34 - Envenom : 14
Generally stick to using your LA styles, if you went Swords as your Primary, you can use Northern Lights once a fight to decrease ennemy's attack speed.

Level 50 : We are getting serious... Check Guide of Shadows - PART II - POLISHING YOUR BLADE

Why I didn't give a single point into stealth or envenom? I have let your stealth auto train, gaining you 12 levels of free stealth on top of your 3253 skill points, which is like 77 points more that you can spec. You didnt need stealth anyways since you weren't RvR ing, same reason goes for Envenom, you don't want to re-poison your weapons every time when you PvE.


CONGRATULATIONS ON DINGING 50

Well now that you are 50, the journey begins, we still have lot to work on yet before we can hit Frontiers!



See you in Frontiers,

Xiang
« Last Edit: February 13, 2013, 11:37:55 pm by Xiang »
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Alfhild

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Re: Guide of Shadows - PART I - STARTING YOUR BLADE (Beginner)
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2013, 02:01:22 pm »

Nice! Good job!

One thing people sometimes forget when talking about swing speed, and maxing it, is the weapon speed, and the haste (and celerity) you'll be running. The fastest you can swing, is once every 1.5 seconds.

A Norse SB will have 83 Quickness at level 50, with 10 points put in QUI at creation.  Put 75 QUI into template brings you to 158, get fully buffed and you're at 251.  Above the "soft cap" for QUI. (If you have 85 QUI in your template, you don't need to put anything into QUI at creation.)

If you use NPC Haste buff (17) and a celerity charge, you'll be at the magic 1.5 seconds/swing if you're duel-wielding astrals (4.2 speed).

I like Norse for SB, too, due to the superior STR. I'd say at creation, put 15 into STR and 10 into CON, or visa-versa depending on if you want to hit a tiny bit harder, vs. having a tiny bit more HP.

DAOC Charplan is a good tool for figuring out swing speed, etc. While it's calculations on HP don't seem to be right (for any class...), the other calculations appear spot-on.
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Xiang

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Re: Guide of Shadows - PART I - STARTING YOUR BLADE (Beginner)
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2013, 04:45:54 am »

I will get into more detail and numbers / formulas in advanced guides about swing speed. On a Norse SB, I prefer squeezing in the needed qui in template and spend my points on 15 STR, 10 CON, but as you stated, 9  points can be put into QUI at start therefore avoiding having to add +qui cap in your template and you can get away with just putting 75 QUI in it. If one were to choose this option, I would go 11 STR, 9 CON, 9 QUI.
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Alfhild

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Re: Guide of Shadows - PART I - STARTING YOUR BLADE (Beginner)
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2013, 09:50:35 am »

Posting this, to set it in position #2.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 09:53:33 am by Alfhild »
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