hide results

    Solo Role Play Guide by HCTwinJava

    Version: 1.02 | Updated: 08/29/04 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

    =======================================================================
                      Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
       Solo Role Play Guide - Efficiently Build Strong Characters V1.0.2
                              By HCTwinJava
    =======================================================================
    
    Copyright (C) 2004 HCTwinJava (a.k.a., H. Qiu).  For reproducing parts or 
    the whole of the guide, please email hxqiu@yahoo.com for permission. 
    
    
    =================
    Table of Contents
    =================
    
    Glossary
    
    Introduction
    
    Chapter 1. Solo Role Play
    
    1.1 Definition of Solo Character
    1.2 Solo Role Play vs. Party Role Play
    1.3 Ultimate Challenge of KotOR
    1.4 Situations in which Solo Role Play is Mandatory
    1.5 Situations in which Solo Role Play is Impossible
    1.6 How Difficult Solo Role Play Can Be
    
    Chapter 2. Character Build Templates
    
    2.1 Special Requirements and Considerations
    2.2 Build Option Comparisons
    2.3 Build Template #1: The Most Efficient Build
    2.4 Build Template #2: The Strongest Build
    2.5 Other Possible Builds
    
    Chapter 3. Gear Choices and Optimization
    
    3.1 Weapons
    3.2 Body Armors and Robes
    3.3 Required Modifiers and Items
    3.4 Gear Template #1: Strength-Oriented
    3.5 Gear Template #2: Protection-Oriented
    3.6 Practical Considerations
    
    Chapter 4. Game Play and My Solo Character
    
    4.1 Suggestions for Solo Role Players
    4.2 My Solo Char: Complete Statistics
    4.3 My Solo Char: End-Game Gear
    4.4 Character Stress Test Results
    
    Chapter 5. Conclusions
    
    Acknowledgement
    
    Updates
    
    
    
    =======================================================================
                      Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
       Solo Role Play Guide - Efficiently Build Strong Characters V1.0.1
                              By HCTwinJava
    =======================================================================
    
    Copyright (C) 2004 HCTwinJava (a.k.a., H. Qiu).  For reproducing parts or 
    the whole of the guide, please email hxqiu@yahoo.com for permission.
    
    
    
    ========
    Glossary
    ========
    
    NPC = non-player character
    
    STR = strength
    DEX = dexterity
    CON = constitution
    INT = intelligence
    WIS = wisdom
    CHA = charisma
    
    Fort = fortitude
    Ref = reflexive
    
    LS = light side
    DS = dark side
    
    BAB = base attack bonus
    
    
    
    ============
    Introduction
    ============
    
    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR) is a great game that I 
    have enjoyed and have spent many hours playing.  However, no matter how I 
    played it using a party, it felt easy even during my initial go-through.  
    So I decided that I would check out the ultimate challenge that I could 
    ever imagine with this game: 
    
    - Solo role-play on "Difficult", light side, no death, no cheats.
    
    I did some research and tested over a dozen different builds by actually 
    solo playing them in the game.  Finally I successfully role played a 
    couple of solo characters through the entire game without dying even once.  
    Not easy at all, but it was great fun - definitely!
    
    I have read some character build guides that I could find on the Internet, 
    but only one of them mentioned the subject of solo role play with a 
    suggested build not fully optimized for solo role play with no death.  So 
    I felt I could write a guide on this subject to discuss how to 
    efficiently build a diehard character capable of the ultimate challenge 
    of the game.
    
    A solo build can certainly be played with a party.  So this guide is also 
    about how to efficiently build strong characters for party role play.
    
    Special Notes
    -------------
    
    Throughout the guide:
    
    - Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (KotOR) = Star Wars: Knights of 
    the Old Republic, Windows edition, published by Lucas Arts, developed by 
    BioWare, released in 2003, upgraded to version 1.03.
    
    - Unless otherwise indicated, this guide assumes player character is 
    female.
    
    Intended Audience
    -----------------
    
    This guide is written for those who
    
    - are not totally new to the D20 RPG rules and related terminologies;
    - are familiar with the combat system in the game;
    - want to build a tough character for either solo or party role play.
    
    This guide does not assume more than 10 or 20 hours' hands-on experience 
    with the game.  But if you have trouble understanding anything in this 
    guide, I'd suggest you read and try to understand the game manual that 
    comes with your game package, which should usually be enough.
    
    This guide is NOT for those veterans who can beat the game however they 
    want.  However, if you are a hard-core game player who enjoys KotOR but 
    has not solo role played the game, I'd strongly recommend that you check 
    out chapter 1, go through the game with a solo character and try to stay 
    alive all the time.  As a hard-core player, you would never regret that 
    you have met the ultimate challenge of the game at least once.
    
    Promise of the Guide
    --------------------
    
    If you want to build a character that matches the real name given to her 
    by the game in every sense of it, here it is.  By following the guide, 
    you'll have an ultimate Jedi to play along with, who
    
    - can survive anywhere without dying once (solo or not is up to you).
    - is a best killing machine in close quarters.
    - has the mind power that very few enemies can resist.
    
    Organization of the Guide
    -------------------------
    
    - Chapter 1 discusses the concept of solo role play, as compared to party 
    role play, and the reasons why this fits the spirit of KotOR's main story 
    lines just as well as party role play.
    
    - Chapter 2 discusses how to build a solo character.  Two build templates 
    are provided for you to customize to fit into your own play style.
    
    - Chapter 3 discusses various gear choices.  Two gear templates are 
    provided for you to customize according to your own preferences.
    
    - Chapter 4 discusses the strategic part of solo role play.  It includes 
    the complete build information of a most successful solo character I 
    played.
    
    If you don't like the builds outlined in the guide, you may still find 
    the guide helpful (at least so have I hoped) to check out the rules I 
    laid down behind the build templates.  Those rules should be good enough 
    to help anyone build a more efficient character with a better chance to 
    survive to kill in the game.
    
    
    
    =========================
    Chapter 1. Solo Role Play
    =========================
    
    Chapter 1 discusses the concept of solo role play, as compared to party 
    role play, and the reasons why this fits the spirit of KotOR's main story 
    lines just as well as party role play.
    
    
    --------------------------------
    1.1 Definition of Solo Character
    --------------------------------
    
    A solo character is a player character that elects to
    
    - play through the entire game solo, except when and where the game 
    requires a party.
    
    - complete all the side quests that the character is able to activate, 
    except for the side quests unsuitable to her alignment or the side quests 
    that you the ultimate player consider to be too trivial to bother.
    
    Note: a solo character is NOT meant to skip as many side quests as 
    possible just so as to beat the game as quickly as possible.  On the 
    contrary, it is meant for role play just as it would in a party.  There 
    are challenging side quests, particularly to a hardcore solo character.  
    If a solo character cannot handle them all, it's probably not a really 
    good build, or at least not played very well.
    
    - set the game difficulty level to "Difficult", because it would be 
    meaningless to solo on "Normal" or "Easy".
    
    - play the game with no cheating, because it would be pretty silly to 
    solo on cheat codes, bugs or glitches.
    
    - make every effort to stay alive all the time, because it would be silly 
    to die 100 times just so as to play the game without relying on a party.
    
    Note: completing all the side quests without even an "accidental" death 
    can be anything but easy.  So, up to you the ultimate player, a few of 
    accidental deaths may optionally be accepted.
    
    Alignment
    ---------
    
    A solo character may choose to play light side (LS), dark side (DS), or 
    stay neutral.  Playing 100% LS throughout the game adds extra difficulty 
    - typically in the first half of the game - for the following reasons:
    
    - She has fewer credits when she is still young, weak, and poorly 
    equipped.  This is because 100% following LS means she has to give up all 
    quest rewards if possible, give away even her last penny to help others, 
    and accept the higher merchant prices that could otherwise have been 
    lowered or removed by threatening the merchants.  By character level 8, 
    she generally should have about 5000 fewer credits than she would 
    otherwise have by going for pure DS - this means a lot to a starting 
    character.
    
    - Her experience accumulates at a slightly slower rate, because there are 
    a small number of rewarding side quests and game play options that she 
    should not complete or explore.  Based on my observation, by the time she 
    has reached level 9, she could be level 10 if played on pure DS.  And by 
    the time she has reached level 18, she could be level 20 if played on 
    pure DS.
    
    - She does not have very good crowd control in combat until she can use 
    Force Push level 3, which requires character level 15.
    
    Note: the above arguments do not apply to characters that stay on the LS 
    but do not always = 100% follow LS.  Unlike pure LS characters, for 
    example, non-pure LS characters may take or even demand rewards instead 
    of unconditionally giving them up.
    
    Note: thanks to high-level defensive Force Powers, pure LS characters 
    have a slightly easier time in the final 1% of the game as long as the 
    defensive Force Powers remain active.
    
    Solo Mode
    ---------
    
    A solo character is not equivalent to a party character in solo mode.  
    The essential difference is: your game is over once your solo character 
    dies for the very first time, while you can continue with the same game 
    even if your player character has died numerous times in solo mode.
    
    
    --------------------------------------
    1.2 Solo Role Play vs. Party Role Play
    --------------------------------------
    
    - Like party role play, solo role play is equally allowed by the game.
    
    This might be surprising to many players, who are so used to party role 
    play, because the game encourages players to take advantage of party and 
    teaches the importance of a party whenever you create a new character.
    
    In fact, the game does not only allow both types of role play, but also 
    mixes them up to a certain extent.  When you think you are doing 100% 
    party role play, the game "forces" you to go for solo once in a while.  
    Also, there are side quests that you can only activate when solo.  One 
    the other hand, when you are playing a solo character, the game "forces" 
    you to form a party once in while.  There are side quests that you can 
    only activate when you have formed a particular party.
    
    - Like party role play, solo role play is in line with the main story 
    line of the game.
    
    --------------------------------------------------
    [The following text contains substantial spoilers]
    --------------------------------------------------
    
    Your player character was Darth Revan, who was given a new life after her 
    mind was destroyed.  So, your player character will eventually become 
    Revan Reborn no matter what.  On the one hand, Revan Reborn can't be born 
    of a new powerful mistress without the help of others.  She needs a solid 
    supporting crew to replace her old apprentice and early followers.  So 
    the game grants her a formidable crew.  But her crew does not have to 
    directly fight by her side.  Throughout the game, Malak's apprentices, 
    old or new, have never directly fought by Malak's side in the game - 
    Malak is always a solo fighter!  So, understandably, it is in line with 
    the spirit of the main story line that Malak's old master, Darth Revan, 
    was in all possibilities a solo fighter too.  And there is nothing in the 
    game that suggests that Revan Reborn shall not become a solo fighter 
    again.
    
    Furthermore, the main story line states that in the end, Revan Reborn has 
    gained more power than ever before, and is destined to shape the fate of 
    the entire galaxy once again on her own.  If she always needs a couple of 
    helping hands (or even worse, needs to cowardly hide behind a party), she 
    can't be considered a powerful mistress who can single-handedly change 
    the fate of the galaxy once and once again.  If she does not need much 
    help, then it won't be against the main story line at all to build Revan 
    Reborn as a solo character, with a supporting crew behind her.
    
    Compared to her party-dependent builds, a solo Revan build will be truer 
    in every sense of the name the game gives her.
    
    - Unlike party role play, solo role play is not for everyone.
    
    Solo role play makes the game more difficult.  It is more or less 
    equivalent to putting your favorite character under a prolonged stress 
    test.  Any big mistake or an accident may put an end to the life of your 
    solo character, forcing you to reload the game from a saved point.  It is 
    not for everyone.  Nor is it for many experienced players.  It is only 
    for the players who wish to have some ultimate challenges with the game - 
    for a handful of hard-core players in particular.
    
    - The goal of party role play is NOT PARTY, but role play; likewise, the 
    goal of solo role play is not solo, but ROLE PLAY.
    
    Your goal is always role play the game.  Solo role play and party role 
    play are just two different approaches to the same goal, albeit one is 
    much more challenging than the other.
    
    
    -------------------------------
    1.3 Ultimate Challenge of KotOR
    -------------------------------
    
    The ultimate challenge of the game is role play a solo character on the 
    light side without dying even once throughout the game, with the game set 
    to "Difficult", no cheats used, no bugs or glitches ever exploited.
    
    The best reward for playing such a hardcore solo character is the feeling 
    of accomplishment: that you have defeated the game in a way it is meant 
    for, with every (or almost every if you go non-hardcore) possible bit of 
    difficulty added to the game.
    
    
    ---------------------------
    1.3  Situations in which
    Solo Role Play is Mandatory
    ---------------------------
    
    --------------------------------------------------
    [The following text contains substantial spoilers]
    --------------------------------------------------
    
    You must go for solo role play in the following places:
    
    - Endar Spire (after Trask leaves)
    - Duel Ring Arena
    - Naga Sadow's Tomb
    - Krakert Rift
    - Mysterous Box
    
    As well as when you have to complete the following tasks:
    
    - Rescue Bastila after winning the swoop race
    - Genoharadan side quests
    - Meet the Jedi Council for the first time
    - Fight Juhani on Dantooine
    - Rescue captured crew on Leviathan
    - Pass Jorak Uln's "test"
    - Return to the Sith Academy after your final test
    - Fight Bastila and the last wave of battle droids on the Star Forge
    - Fight Malak (every time - no exception)
    
    I wish the above list is complete.
    
    
    ----------------------------
    1.4  Situations in which
    Solo Role Play is Impossible
    ----------------------------
    
    --------------------------------------------------
    [The following text contains substantial spoilers]
    --------------------------------------------------
    
    A party is required in the following places
    
    - Endar Spire (until Trask leaves)
    - Davik's Estate
    - Dantooine Ruins
    - Shadowlands (whenever you need to go past the Force field)
    - Sand People Enclave (unless you only wish to fight there)
    - Leviathan (after your crew is set free)
    - Ancient Temple
    - Star Forge (if you follow DS - until you are very close to the top)
    
    Or whenever you wish to use certain special skills of your crew or do 
    something else that requires a party - for example, when you must
    
    - leave your Taris Hideout for the first time
    - pick up the lock to rescue Zaalbar
    - shut down the Force field in the Taris sewers
    - break the security door to enter the Taris Sith Base
    
    The following NPC-triggered side quests require a special party to be 
    formed before you can trigger them:
    
    - Griff
    - Sunry
    - Helena
    - Dustil
    - Jagi
    - Dak Vesser
    
    Additionally, you can't dismiss a party in the middle of a conversation 
    or at the moment the game is adding a new NPC to your crew.
    
    I wish the above list is complete.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------
    1.6 How Difficult Can Solo Role Play Be
    ---------------------------------------
    
    --------------------------------------------------
    [The following text contains substantial spoilers]
    --------------------------------------------------
    
    Below are some actual numbers I observed in my solo games.  They can give 
    you some ideas about what kind of survivability a solo character must 
    have in order to stay alive ALL THE TIME early in the game.  They were 
    all taken in my solo games with game setting = "Difficult".
    
    - The first time your character descends to the Taris Lower City, you 
    will see 3 Vulkar thugs.  The observed highest damage of their Power 
    Attack = 37.  At that time your character level should be just 3.
    
    - In the Taris sewers, you have to defeat a group of elite warriors.  If 
    you do not use help, your enemy chief may land a critical strike = 61 
    damage and may also stun you.  At that time your level is about 6.
    
    - Your solo character will be forced into solo after winning her first 
    swoop race.  The observed highest damage she might get in one hit = 58.  
    At that time, your character level is about 6.
    
    - You may choose to kill Gadon.  He and his assistant can do damage = 80 
    in one round.  Your character level is most likely just 7 at that time.
    
    
    
    ====================================
    Chapter 2. Character Build Templates
    ====================================
    
    In chapter 2, I will discuss how to build a solo character, and provide 
    two build templates for you to customize to fit into your own play style.
    
    
    -------------------------------------------
    2.1 Special Requirements and Considerations
    -------------------------------------------
    
    Based on the definition of solo character in the guide, there are a few 
    special requirements when it comes to actually building a solo character: 
    
    She must
    
    - be powerful enough to kill every enemy;
    - be strong enough to survive everywhere;
    - be able to handle all combat alone.
    
    Obviously, not many characters can satisfy such requirements very well. 
    Based on the requirements, we should set up a few rules for building and 
    optimizing our solo character, among which the most important one is this:
    
    1) Survive to kill
    
    Which means: survivability should be our top priority in building our 
    solo character.  If she can't survive, she just can't kill.
    
    Side note: actually, this is the most important rule for those who play 
    Diablo legit in hardcore mode on Blizzard's closed realms.  Obviously, it 
    applies here very well.
    
    This rule dictates that we'll have to ensure our solo character is able 
    to survive throughout the game regardless what happens to her.  This rule 
    will dictate our build choice, our gear choice, and our game play 
    strategy choice.
    
    2) Be quick in combat
    
    Which means: having high attack, high damage, and great mobility.
    
    If we can satisfy this rule, our solo character will have a much easier 
    time to survive even when she is fully surrounded with tough enemies.  
    Since she'll have to kill every single enemy, being quick makes short 
    work of any possible large number of enemies.
    
    3) Be protected all the time
    
    Which means: high defense, high saving throws.
    
    A solo character will encounter many "surprises" in the game: grenades, 
    mines, failures to save against vicious Force Powers, surprisingly high 
    damage of a single attack, etc.  Without decent protection, she will 
    sooner or later bite dust when "surprised".
    
    
    ---------------------------
    2.2 Build Option Comparison
    ---------------------------
    
    Everyone familiar with the game or having carefully studied the game 
    manual knows there are only 9 different class combinations.  Let's do a 
    comparison to find out which class combination suits our needs best.
    
    If we play the game and don't delay level-up, our character will very 
    likely end up being a level 8 non-Jedi / level 12 Jedi.  So, for 
    simplicity, I am only going to compare nine level 8/12 class combinations.
    
    For simplicity, we assume modifiers from attributes, equipment, skills, 
    feats, and Force Powers are all zero.
    
    Soldier/Guardian level 8/12
    ---------------------------
    Total vitality = 200
    Total feats = 14
    Total Force Points = 88
    Total Force Powers = 13
    Total skills = 23
    Saving throws Fort/Ref/Will = 14/10/8
    Base attack bonus (BAB) = +20
    Total free feats (at final levels) = 0
    
    Soldier/Sentinel level 8/12
    ---------------------------
    Total vitality = 176
    Total feats = 13
    Total Force Points = 112
    Total Force Powers = 13
    Total skills = 35
    Saving throws Fort/Ref/Will = 14/10/8
    Base attack bonus (BAB) = +17
    Total free feats (at final levels) = 1:
    - Immune to fear, stun, paralysis
    
    Soldier/Consular level 8/12
    ---------------------------
    Total vitality = 152
    Total feats = 13
    Total Force Points = 136
    Total Force Powers = 15
    Total skills = 23
    Saving throws Fort/Ref/Will = 14/8/10
    Base attack bonus (BAB) = +17
    Total free feats (at final levels) = 0
    
    Scout/Guardian level 8/12
    -------------------------
    Total vitality = 184
    Total feats = 11
    Total Force Points = 88
    Total Force Powers = 13
    Total skills = 45
    Saving throws Fort/Ref/Will = 14/14/12
    Base attack bonus (BAB) = +18
    Total free feats (at final levels) = 2:
    - Implant level 1, 2, 3
    - Uncanny Dodge level 1, 2
    
    Scout/Sentinel level 8/12
    -------------------------
    Total vitality = 160
    Total feats = 10
    Total Force Points = 112
    Total Force Powers = 13
    Total skills = 57
    Saving throws Fort/Ref/Will = 14/14/12
    Base attack bonus (BAB) = +15
    Total free feats (at final levels) = 2:
    - Implant level 1, 2, 3
    - Uncanny Dodge level 1, 2
    
    Scout/Consular level 8/12
    -------------------------
    Total vitality = 136
    Total feats = 10
    Total Force Points = 136
    Total Force Powers = 15
    Total skills = 45
    Saving throws Fort/Ref/Will = 14/12/14
    Base attack bonus (BAB) = +15
    Total free feats (at final levels) = 2:
    - Implant level 1, 2, 3
    - Uncanny Dodge level 1, 2
    
    Scoundrel/Guardian level 8/12
    -----------------------------
    Total vitality = 168
    Total feats = 10
    Total Force Points = 88
    Total Force Powers = 13
    Total skills = 56
    Saving throws Fort/Ref/Will = 10/14/8
    Base attack bonus (BAB) = +18
    Total free feats (at final levels) = 2:
    - sneak attack +4d6
    - defense +4
    
    Scoundrel/Sentinel level 8/12
    -----------------------------
    Total vitality = 144
    Total feats = 9
    Total Force Points = 112
    Total Force Powers = 13
    Total skills = 68
    Saving throws Fort/Ref/Will = 10/14/8
    Base attack bonus (BAB) = +15
    Total free feats (at final levels) = 2:
    - sneak attack +4d6
    - defense +4
    
    Scoundrel/Consular level 8/12
    -----------------------------
    Total vitality = 120
    Total feats = 9
    Total Force Points = 136
    Total Force Powers = 15
    Total skills = 56
    Saving throws Fort/Ref/Will = 10/12/10
    Base attack bonus (BAB) = +15
    Total free feats (at final levels) = 2:
    - sneak attack +4d6
    - defense +4
    
    Based on the numbers above, which class combination should be our choice?
    
    The correct answer is: we don't know yet (surprising to you?).  No 
    character can automatically become a Jedi.  She will have to fight many 
    enemies before she can survive to be a Jedi.  So, the above numbers alone 
    are somewhat misleading.  We shall continue to compare how those builds 
    survive prior to being a Jedi.
    
    Soldier level 8
    ---------------
    Total vitality = 80
    Total feats = 8
    Total skills = 11
    Saving throws Fort/Ref/Will = 6/2/2
    Base attack bonus (BAB) = +8
    Total free feats (at final levels) = 0
    
    Scout level 8
    -------------
    Total vitality = 64
    Total feats = 5
    Total skills = 33
    Saving throws Fort/Ref/Will = 6/6/6
    Base attack bonus (BAB) = +6
    Total free feats (at final levels) = 2
    - Implant level 1, 2, 3
    - Uncanny Dodge level 2
    
    Scoundrel level 8
    -----------------
    Total vitality = 48
    Total feats = 4
    Total skills = 44
    Saving throws Fort/Ref/Will = 2/6/2
    Base attack bonus (BAB) = +6
    Total free feats (at final levels) = 2:
    - Sneak Attack IV = +4d6 damage
    - defense bonus = 4
    
    Based on the numbers above, which class has the best chance to survive to 
    kill prior to being a Jedi?
    
    Apparently it has to be Soldier.  This does not mean Scout and Scoundrel 
    don't have a chance to survive to be a Jedi.  If you accept a few 
    "accidental" deaths, and/or take full advantage of personal shields and 
    stimulants, and/or do something else that is equivalent to effectively 
    lowering the game difficulty, no doubt they may very well have a good 
    chance to survive to be a Jedi.
    
    Scout as against
    Soldier, level 8
    ----------------
    -16 (or -20%) vitality
    -2 (or -25%) BAB
    -3 feats
    +3 useful free feats
    +22 skill points
    +0/+4/+4 Fort/Ref/Will saving throws
    
    Comparison: scout is weaker in combat, and is slower in disposing of 
    enemies.  Her free feats, 3 levels of Implant, may be very attractive, 
    but Soldier has enough "spare" feats to get the same feats if needed.  
    Scout has many more skills than Soldier.  But "surviving to kill" is our 
    motto here, which has nothing to do with all skills but Treat Injury.
    
    Scoundrel as against
    Soldier, level 8
    --------------------
    -32 (or -40%) vitality
    -2 (or -25%) BAB
    -4 feats
    +33 skill points
    -4/+4/+0 Fort/Ref/Will saving throws
    +4d6 sneak attack
    +4 defense
    
    Comparison: Scoundrel is very weak in combat due to her very low vitality, 
    and is slower in disposing of enemies especially if played solo.
    
    It can be argued that Scoundrel's Sneak Attack can significantly boost 
    her damage output.  But for a solo Scoundrel, that can hardly be true 
    most of the time.  The Sneak Attack bonus can only be triggered if she 
    can "sneak" attack = attack on the flank, from the shadows, or at 
    immobilized targets.  Since a solo Scoundrel is the hot spot itself, 
    Sneak Attack can't be frequently triggered, unless it is the first round 
    of fight after her Stealth mode or if she has somehow immobilized her 
    target.  The Sneak Attack bonus can't make a big difference in a solo 
    Scoundrel's overall damage output.  Compared to Scoundrel, Soldier can 
    consistently do more damage, regardless solo or party.
    
    A critical issue with Scoundrel as solo character is: how does a young 
    solo Scoundrel survive an attack that does an amount of damage equal to 
    or greater than her max vitality?  Indeed, Scoundrel has best defense 
    when naked or in a robe, and can have very high Stealth skill level.  But 
    good defense only reduces the total number of enemy hits that she has to 
    take over time.  It does not reduce the damage done to her of each 
    successful such hit.  And Stealth can't help with anything once a fight 
    has started.
    
    Nevertheless, Scout and Scoundrel are weaker than Soldier, and will have 
    a harder time to stay alive ALL THE TIME.  I will discuss a bit more on 
    this later in the guide.
    
    Once we decide to go for Soldier, we have only 3 class combinations left.  
    Let's do a detailed comparison.
    
    Soldier/Sentinel as against
    Soldier/Guardian, level 8/12
    ----------------------------
    -24 (or -12%) vitality
    -3 BAB
    -1 feat
    +24 (or +25%) Force Points
    +12 skill points
    +immunities to fear, stun, paralysis
    
    Soldier/Consular as against
    Soldier/Guardian, level 8/12
    ----------------------------
    -48 (or -24%) vitality
    -3 BAB
    -1 feat
    +2 Force Powers
    +48 (or +51%) Force Points
    +0/-2/+2 Fort/Ref/Will saving throws
    
    Based on the numbers above, Soldier/Guardian and Soldier/Sentinel are 
    pretty close: one has somewhat higher vitality, but the other has 
    somewhat more Force Points and has 3 nice-to-have (but not really needed) 
    immunities.  Soldier/Consular is significantly weaker than 
    Soldier/Guardian.  The extra Force Points and Force Powers with 
    Soldier/Consular won't really help much (even if you play pure DS), and 
    they can't really make up for the gap of vitality from the point of view 
    of "surviving to kill".
    
    No doubt, we have to pick up Soldier/Guardian.  I will try to discuss a 
    bit more about other class combinations later in the guide.
    
    
    ------------------------
    2.3 Build Template #1:
    The Most Efficient Build
    ------------------------
    
    This is a Soldier/Guardian.  We aim to most efficiently use her ability 
    points, skill points, feats, and Force Powers for the purpose of 
    "surviving to kill" in solo role play.
    
    Level Allocation
    ----------------
    
    We will not build a level 8/12 Soldier/Guardian (14 feats, 13 Force 
    Powers).  Instead, by comparing final build results, we will choose to 
    build a level 7/13 character (14 feats, 14 Force Powers).  Since level 7 
    Soldier - if built and played properly - won't have much more trouble 
    surviving to kill compared to level 8 Soldier, level 7/13 is our 
    optimized level allocation.
    
    Ability Point Allocation
    ------------------------
    
    STR = 14
    DEX = 14
    CON = 14
    INT = 8
    WIS = 14
    CHA = 14
    
    Explanation: This is the most efficient way of allocating her initial 30 
    ability points.  Any change will result in certain inefficiency.  Do not 
    "customize" this allocation, since we are aiming at efficiency.
    
    Attribute Progression
    ---------------------
    
    This character has only one efficient attribute progression here: put all 
    the 5 remaining ability points into WIS.
    
    STR = 14 --> either same or 15 end game*
    DEX = 14
    CON = 14
    INT = 8
    WIS = 14 --> either 19 or 18 end game*
    CHA = 14
    
    * Note: if you don't have or don't plan to use any gear to boost WIS, you 
    should cap WIS at 18.  Put the last ability point into STR or DEX.  
    Typically, if you play DS, you can leave WIS at 18.
    
    Why WIS, not STR or DEX?  Good question!
    
    It can be argued that specialization can result in higher efficiency and 
    for that reason, a Soldier/Guardian should be better developed along the 
    dimension of Soldier + Guardian = fighter-type character, so we should 
    consider boosting her STR or DEX, instead of WIS.
    
    However, "efficiency" in this guide is measured from the point of view of 
    surviving to kill in SOLO role play.  No doubt, specialization can help 
    boost efficiency (= giving us best fighters).  But without cooperation 
    (=highly specialized non-fighter builds complementing highly specialized 
    fighters), specialization ALONE does not lead to efficiency.  For a solo 
    character, she can only have one part of her to complement the other part 
    of her.  Thus, building our solo character as a specialized fighter is 
    not the right choice for achieving highest possible efficiency for solo 
    role play.
    
    Furthermore, if we develop her along the single dimension of being a 
    fighter, we will eventually accumulate/amplify most (if not all) of the 
    weaknesses of being a fighter-type character.  This will not lead to a 
    most efficient build in the end.
    
    The right thing to do towards highest possible efficiency is develop this 
    character by hiding/correcting her weaknesses of being a fighter.  For 
    this purpose, the only choice is to develop her as if she were a spell 
    caster = a consular.  Therefore, we choose to boost her WIS score, 
    leaving STR/DEX at base.
    
    Note: Later in the guide, many other decisions about how to build and 
    equip this character shall also be based on this non-specialization rule.
     
    The major weaknesses of a fighter are her relatively weak mind power, her 
    relative small pool of Force Points, and her relatively low Ref/Will 
    saving throws.  But with 19 WIS and right gear, her weaknesses can be 
    effectively mitigated or corrected.  She will eventually have 150-200 or 
    more Force Points, more than enough for her to use in virtually every 
    battle.  Her offensive Force Powers will also have pretty high DC, 
    especially if played on pure LS.  For example, with Master Force Valor 
    and right gear, she can eventually have 34 WIS and 19 CHA if played on LS, 
    close to the highest possible WIS/CHA of a top Consular.  Finally, her 
    high score in WIS will boost her Will save by a great margin throughout 
    the game.
    
    Note: generally, our solo character's relatively low Ref save only 
    implies that she will take a little more damage over time.  This is not 
    really an issue, because we are building her for survival (= taking 
    damage without dying).
    
    Skill Point Allocation
    ----------------------
    
    Treat Injury = 1 point/level
    
    Explanation: no other skills are needed for "surviving to kill".  So, 
    Treat Injury at every level-up is our only efficient choice.
    
    Feat Allocation
    ---------------
    
    Dueling: level 1
    Toughness: level 1, 2, 3
    Flurry: level 1, 2, 3
    Two Weapon Fighting: level 1, 2, 3
    Implant: level 1, 2, 3
    Lightsaber Specialization: level 2 (you get level 1 for free)
    
    Total feats = 14 used.  If you want to customize this build, try to only 
    change Lightsaber Specialization level 2 to something else, leaving all 
    other feats untouched.
    
    Explanation for Feat Allocation
    -------------------------------
    
    The feat allocation is highly optimized for this build.  It's the most 
    efficient way of allocating those 14 feats for a solo level 7/13 
    Soldier/Guardian.  I will not prove this.  An explanation should be 
    enough.
    
    Note: if you are not very familiar with the feats, you should read their 
    in-game descriptions or consult the game manual that comes with your game 
    package.
    
    Why no conditioning?  Every spare feat you dump into Conditioning can 
    only give your character +1 to all saving throws.  Very inefficient, once 
    you see how many +saving throws she can eventually get from her gear.  In 
    fact, if built properly, she eventually will not need high saving throws 
    for surviving to kill everywhere.
    
    For her main offensive feats, there are 3 different choices: Power Attack 
    level 3 (PA), Critical Strike level 3 (CS), Flurry level 3 (FL).  PA is 
    best at low-defense targets; its -3 to-hit makes it inefficient against 
    high-defense foes.  Also, without Force Speed level 2 or 3, PA will only 
    allow up to 1 hit per round with a one-hand weapon or up to 2 hits per 
    round with a double weapon or two dual-wielded weapons.  This is simply 
    too slow in disposing of each and every enemy in the game.  CS would be a 
    nice choice were it not for its built-in penalty of -5 defense.  We are 
    building a solo character for surviving to kill, so -5 defense is 
    unacceptable.  FL can be used against any enemy without losing over 5% 
    efficiency (-1 attack).  Its -1 defense penalty can safely be ignored.
    
    Combined with Master Speed and Two Weapon Fighting, FL will eventually 
    allow up to 5 hits per round.  At the end of the game, with high to-hit 
    your solo character will have, not many enemies can survive more than one 
    round at such an attacking rate.  FL can potentially deliver 100-200 or 
    more damage per round.  Even the toughest enemies you will meet late in 
    the game will quickly die under no more than a few of such swift attacks.
    
    As for Two Weapon Fighting, this is the only efficient choice for a solo 
    Soldier.  It is equivalent to having an extra weapon fight by your side 
    along with your main-hand weapon.
    
    Feat Progression
    ----------------
    
    Char level - which feat to get
    1 - Dueling level 1
    2 - Toughness level 1
    3 - Flurry level 1
    4 - Toughness level 2
    5 - Flurry level 2
    6 - Implant level 1
    7 - Implant level 2
    8 - Toughness level 3
    10 - Flurry level 3
    13 - Two Weapon Fighting level 1
    14 - Two Weapon Fighting level 2
    16 - Two Weapon Fighting level 3
    19 - Implant level 3
    20 - Lightsaber Specialization level 2
    
    Note: due to the built-in penalties of Flurry, you should never use 
    Flurry level 1 in solo games.  The level 1 version of Two Weapon Fighting 
    is not recommended either.
    
    Explanation for Feat Progression
    --------------------------------
    
    This feat progression is a highly optimized sequence of which feats to 
    get at what levels.  Notice our solo character starts with CON = 14, 
    which means she has only 12 vitality /level.  That's not really enough 
    for survival.  So, right after she gets Dueling level 1, she gets 
    Toughness level 1, so as to make 13 vitality /level.  But still, she may 
    feel a bit fragile.  So, she gets Toughness level 2 before she starts to 
    use Flurry level 2.  This will best optimize her survivability early in 
    the game.
    
    Dueling level 1 helps her survive to kill before she gets the first 2 Two 
    Weapon Fighting feats.
    
    With Implant level 2 at character level 7, she can buy a pretty cheap 
    implant to make herself either immune to critical hits or immune to mind 
    effects.  She can only use one implant at a time, but I suggest you buy 
    both implants as soon as she gets enough credits, and switch between the 
    two implants based on what enemies she fights (Tip: you can swap out her 
    implant in the middle of a fight).  Both immunities (especially the mind 
    effect immunity) are extremely important in helping her survive to kill 
    throughout the rest of the game.  You should never use other implants 
    unless she can get the same immunities from the rest of her gear.
    
    Force Power Allocation (LS)
    --------------------------
    
    - Force Cure: level 1 (saving med packs)
    - Force Push: level 1, 2, 3 (excellent for crowd control)
    - Force Speed: level 1, 2, 3 (+2 extra hits per round, haste, and +4 to 
    defense)
    - Force Valor: level 1, 2, 3 (+5 to all attributes)
    - Force Armor: level 1, 2 (+4 to defense and all saving throws)
    - Stun Droid: level 1 (immobilizing a droid with bonus damage)
    - Force Resist: level 1 (roughly 50% resist to hostile Force Powers - 
    except Force Breach level 1 and 2)
    
    Total Force Powers = 14 used.  If you want to customize, try to only 
    change Stun Droid to something else.
    
    Explanation for Force Powers (LS)
    ---------------------------------
    
    Force Resist level 1 will grant this solo character roughly 50% resist to 
    any offensive hostile Force Powers.  This is very nice to have when 
    fighting Dark Jedi, but useless against all other enemies.
    
    Why not Force Immunity?  Two reasons: 1) Force Resist should be good 
    enough in almost all situations, assuming you actually use it.  2) Force 
    Immunity is not immunity per se.  It only grants roughly additional 50% 
    resist on top of Force Resist against offensive hostile Force Powers.  
    Your enemy can always immediately remove it by casting Force Breach on 
    your character.
    
    Stun Droid is not really necessary.  Optionally, you can change Stun 
    Droid to Affect Mind for getting your role play a bit more rewarding.  
    But Stun Droid can effectively relieve this solo character of some 
    pressure, when she is attacked by a good number of droids.  Note: since 
    she will have a pretty high WIS level, very few droids can save against 
    her Stun Droid.
    
    Force Cure level 2 = Heal is not needed at all.  If you (like me) always 
    have the temptation to get Heal, I would say: by all means resist the 
    temptation!  We are aiming at highest possible efficiency, so do not let 
    that temptation ruin our goal.
    
    Why not Resist Energy?  The in-game description says it removes the first 
    15 points of total elemental damage done to your character, and such 
    damages include: Fire, Cold, Electrical, and Sonic.  But the real-time 
    feedback of the game clearly shows that Resist Energy level 2 also 
    applies to energy damage from lightsabers.  This might be a good reason 
    for having two levels of this Force Power on a solo character.  My 
    opinion is: very likely this is either a bug or something close, and we 
    shall not exploit bugs or glitches in solo role play, shall we?
    
    Force Power Progression (LS)
    ----------------------------
    
    Char level - which Force Power to get
    8 - Cure level 1 and Force Push level 1 (<-- Stick to this!)
    9 - Force Push level 2 (<-- Stick to this!)
    10 - Stun Droid level 1
    11 - Force Speed level 1
    12 - Force Speed level 2
    13 - Force Valor level 1
    14 - Force Resist level 1
    15 - Force Push level 3 (<-- Stick to this!)
    16 - Force Speed level 2
    17 - Force Speed level 3
    18 - Force Valor level 3
    19 - Force Armor level 1
    20 - Force Armor level 2
    
    Comment: you should get Cure immediately.  After that, try to get all 
    Force Push and all the non-armor restricted Force Powers as soon as 
    possible.  This will allow your character to use Force Powers while 
    wearing armor.  As to when she gets Force Speed/Valor/Armor, it'll be 
    more or less up to you the player.  That is because until level 20 or 
    close, she has no compelling reason to wear a robe into a battle (I'll 
    discuss this later in the guide).
    
    Note: before she starts to wear a robe, make sure she has already got 
    Master Force Speed - this is very important.  Were it not for Master 
    Force Speed, she has absolutely no real reason to wear a robe into a 
    battle, unless you just enjoy seeing her in an ugly robe.
    
    Force Power Allocation (DS)
    --------------------------
    
    - Drain Life: level 1 (must have; damaging your foe to heal yourself)
    - Force Speed: level 1, 2, 3 (must have; +2 extra hits per round, haste, 
    and +4 to defense)
    - Force Push: level 1, 2, 3 (must have for crowd control, unless you just 
    hate it)
    
    Total Force Powers = 7 used.  There are 7 left for you to customize with.  
    
    A nice allocation of the 7 spare Force Powers is like the following, 
    which is what I used with my DS solo character:
    
    - Kill: level 1, 2, 3 (choking, damaging and/or killing an enemy) 
    - Horror: level 1, 2 (causing your enemies to be unable to attack - 
    getting this to level 3 only increase its area of effect and is not 
    necessary)
    - Force Resist: level 1 (roughly 50% resist to hostile Force Powers - 
    except Force Breach level 1 and 2)
    - Death Field: level 2 (damaging your enemies to heal yourself in the 
    middle of a fight)
    
    Note: before she starts to wear a robe, make sure she has already got 
    Master Force Speed - this is very important.  Were it not for Master 
    Force Speed, she has absolutely no real reason to wear a robe into a 
    battle.
    
    Since you have at least 7 spare Force Powers to customize with, you can 
    do however you want.  As a DS Jedi, she will not get the same WIS boosts 
    as a LS Jedi can always get.  So her offensive Force Powers may appear to 
    be losing steam at the end of the game.  As a DS Jedi, she'll be a 
    vicious fighter that few can even get close to, so she does not have to 
    rely on Force Powers for doing anything in the game.  I suggest you go 
    more defensive than offensive on acquiring Force Powers, to ensure that 
    her dangerous mind power will serve her very well throughout the game.
    
    End-game Stats
    --------------
    
    Base vitality = 280
    Base Force Points = 170
    BAB = +22
    
    Game Play
    ---------
    
    We have aimed at efficiency when designing this character.  We will also 
    aim at efficiency when it comes to playing with her.
    
    Generally, this character will seek efficiency everywhere.  She fully 
    understands that there is not a single universal gear, a single universal 
    weapon, a single universal tactic that is applicable to every fight or 
    battle.  She will have a number of weapon and gear combinations to use at 
    different times, for different purposes, in different situations, or to 
    solve different puzzles or problems.  She will also try to turn to 
    different tactics to fight different enemies in different battles.
    
    At the end of the game, this solo character - if played 100% LS - will 
    eventually possess all the essential characteristics of being a tough 
    fighter and being a powerful Force user.  Typically, with LS Mastery = +3 
    STR, she can eventually get average damage = 25 from her double-bladed 
    lightsaber, in addition to her offensive Force Powers of DC = 36, which 
    can be temporarily boosted to 41 by Master Force Valor.
    
    If played 100% DS, she will eventually become a "darkest" Dark Lord that 
    no one can face without horror: typically, with DS Mastery = +1d8 damage, 
    she can get average damage = 30 from her double-bladed lightsaber, in 
    addition to her offensive Force Powers of DC = 31.  Wielding this power, 
    she can kill her best armed best friends at the end of the game by just 
    waving her hand a few times.
    
    
    ----------------------
    2.4 Build Template #2:
    The Strongest Build
    ----------------------
    
    Now we are going to build the strongest possible character for solo role 
    play.  Obviously, this has to be a level 7/13 Soldier/Guardian again.  
    But we're no longer focused on efficiency.  We will trade a little 
    efficiency for making her even harder to die, thereby to enable a more 
    melee combat-oriented play style.
    
    Ability Points
    --------------
    
    STR = 12 --> either same or 13 end game*
    DEX = 14
    CON = 16
    INT = 8
    WIS = 14 --> either 19 or 18 end game*
    CHA = 12
    
    * Note: if you don't have or don't plan to use any gear to boost WIS, you 
    should cap WIS at 18.  Put the last ability point into STR or DEX.  
    Typically, if you play DS, you can keep WIS at 18.
    
    Feats
    -----
    
    Dueling: level 1
    Toughness: level 1, 2, 3
    Flurry: level 1, 2, 3
    Two Weapon Fighting: level 1, 2, 3
    Implant: level 1, 2, 3
    Conditioning: level 1, or Lightsaber Specialization: level 2
    
    Total feats = 14 used.  If you want to customize, try to only change 
    Conditioning to something else (to Lightsaber Specialization level 2, for 
    example), leaving everything else untouched.
    
    Why Conditioning suggested?  We are trying to make this character as 
    tough as possible, thereby to enable a more combat-oriented style of game 
    play.  Conditioning helps with this goal.  However, if you think you 
    don't want to waste a feat on just +1 extra saving throws, by all means 
    get either Lightsaber Specialization level 2 or something else you prefer 
    to have.
    
    Feat Progression
    ----------------
    
    Since highest possible efficiency is not our goal now and this character 
    starts with 13 vita /level, you have some leeway to decide how to handle 
    feat progression.  My suggestion is like this:
    
    Char level - which feat to get
    1 - Dueling level 1
    2 - Flurry level 1
    3 - Two Weapon Fighting level 1
    4 - Flurry level 2
    5 - Two Weapon Fighting level 2
    6 - Implant level 1
    7 - Implant level 2
    8 - Flurry level 3
    10 - Two Weapon Fighting level 3
    13 - Implant level 3
    14 - Toughness level 1
    16 - Toughness level 2
    19 - Toughness level 3
    20 - Conditioning level 1 or Lightsaber Specialization level 2
    
    This suggestion focuses on getting her main offensive feats as soon as 
    possible, by taking advantage of CON = 16.  But if you don't feel she is 
    strong enough early in the game, you should get Toughness level 1 and 2 
    as early as you like.  Regardless of how you change the feat progression, 
    I strongly suggest that you get Implant level 2 no later than character 
    level 7.  This will make her life considerably easier early in the game - 
    I do mean considerably!
    
    Force Powers (LS & DS)
    ----------------------
    
    This part is basically the same as with the Most Efficient Build.
    
    End-Game Stats
    --------------
    
    Base vitality = 300
    Base Force Points = 157
    BAB = +21
    
    Game Play
    ---------
    
    If you play this character exactly as you would do the Most Efficient 
    Build, you should not have played this build in the first place.
     
    Among all of the possible character builds (except very inefficient 
    Soldier/Guardian builds with CON>=18 and with at least one level of 
    Toughness), this character will have the highest possible vitality: 300 
    at level 20 without any modifiers!  You should take full advantage of 
    that, and even "abuse" it if you wish.  You should make her as strong as 
    possible with various types of gear, use Force Powers to boost her combat 
    prowess, and effectively turn her into a more melee-oriented fighter.
    
    Note: don't forget she will still be a very decent spell caster, as long 
    as you follow this guide for building her.
    
    At the end of the game, with the right gear, this solo character - if 
    played 100% LS (LS Mastery = +3 STR) - will eventually become an 
    extremely tough fighter.  She will typically have an average of damage = 
    25 from her double-bladed lightsaber and DC 35 offensive Force Powers, 
    both of which can be temporarily boosted by Master Force Valor.
    
    If played 100% DS (DS Mastery = +1d8 damage), she will eventually become 
    an unbridled Dark Lord Reborn.  She will typically have an average 30 
    damage from her double-bladed lightsaber and DC 30 offensive Force Powers.
    
    
    -------------------------
    2.5 Other Possible Builds
    -------------------------
    
    There are certainly a number of other class combinations that are viable 
    for solo role play.  In particular, as we found early, Soldier/Sentinel 
    is a class combination very close to Soldier/Guardian in term of 
    "surviving to kill".  If we optimize that class combination, we may very 
    well end up with a different yet decent build for solo role play.
    
    Unfortunately, compared to the two build templates outlined in this guide, 
    almost none of other builds can survive throughout the game without 
    having you the ultimate player do special twinking and/or take advantage 
    of pre-game experience and/or do whatever else that is equivalent to 
    lowering the difficulty of the game.  In terms of "surviving to kill", 
    almost none of those builds can be compared to either the Most Efficient 
    or the Strongest Build outlined in this guide, especially if you don't 
    know all the "surprises" in the game that can instantly put your solo 
    character in big trouble.
    
    However, you may still want to try out some other builds and may very 
    well even find one or a few not only viable but also entertaining enough.
    
    Here, instead of going into details about any such builds, I'm going to 
    outline some strategies for you to use, in case you have not obtained 
    substantial experience with the game.
    
    - Personal Shields
    
    The game will introduce personal shields to you after it's done with your 
    in-game training.  From time to time, you will find shields of many 
    different types.  You can buy them everywhere and most shields are cheap.
    
    There are two types of personal shields: energy shields and melee shields.  
    There are many different energy shields, but only one type of melee 
    shields.  All energy shields can absorb a set amount of energy plus one 
    or more types of elemental damage done to your character.  Melee shields 
    (much more expensive than energy shields) absorb physical damage.  The 
    protection of an active shield always lasts 200 seconds.
    
    Note: you can find all technical details about personal shields in your 
    game manual.
    
    Obviously, if your solo character does not have high vitality, you should 
    try to activate shields to help your character stay alive in combat. 
    
    Note: the two character builds outlined in this guide do not need to use 
    personal shields.  There is absolutely no such necessity, unless you just 
    want to do something different.
    
    - Combat Stimulants
    
    There are quite several types of stimulates that can be used to boost 
    your character's STR, DEX, CON, damage, to-hit, and/or moving speed for 
    120 seconds, or give your solo character (or your party character's 
    entire party) extra healing.  You can find them, buy them, or ask one of 
    your NPCs to make one or two for you.  Most of them are very cheap.
    
    If your solo character is not strong enough, you can use stimulants to 
    temporarily and effectively turn her into a formidable combatant.
    
    Note: the two character builds outlined in this guide do not need to use 
    combat stimulants.  Perhaps except for two extremely difficult fights to 
    a character holding up on level-up, there is no such necessity unless you 
    just want to do something different.
    
    - Mines and Grenades
    
    Grenades can be your solo character's good friends, especially when your 
    character is still very young and very weak.
    
    If your solo character has good demolition skills, she can set mines and 
    then lure enemies through the mines she set.  (With a few exceptions such 
    as Scoundrel/Sentinel, I strongly doubt a survival-oriented solo 
    character can have a high enough level of demolition skill to lay 
    relatively powerful mines.)
    
    Grenades and mines don't do good damage past the very early stage of the 
    game.  When you use them later, consider using them to achieve special 
    effects: for example, stunning, poison, and knockdown.
    
    Note: the two character builds outlined in this guide do not need to use 
    grenades, and are unable to set mines.  To disable a mine, she just needs 
    to run over it.  The highest damage from a mine in the game is 105.
    
    - Special Skills
    
    Computer skills: every character can hack computers, given enough 
    computer spikes.  If your solo character can't safely destroy a room full 
    of enemies, hacking into a nearby terminal may very well save you all 
    such troubles.
    
    Stealth and Sneak Attack: a solo Scoundrel can, should, and has to 
    heavily rely on Stealth.  Once you have placed your stealthy character in 
    a right position, she'll be able to attack an enemy with full Sneak 
    Attack bonus, as long as she hits the target.
    
    - Hit and Run
    
    If you can't safely kill your enemies, hit and run can certainly save you 
    a few game reloads.
    
    - Skip Enemies
    
    You don't have to kill all enemies to complete most quests.  If you feel 
    too hard, leaving some enemies behind might be a smart choice.
    
    Note: the two character builds outlined in this guide do not have to 
    cowardly skip enemies.  However, if you play LS, you may very well try to 
    avoid hostility as much as you can - this has nothing to do with your 
    character's combat prowess.
    
    
    
    ========================================
    Chapter 3. Gear Choices and Optimization
    ========================================
    
    This chapter will discuss various gear choices and offer two gear 
    templates for you to customize based on your own preferences.
    
    
    -----------
    3.1 Weapons
    -----------
    
    Rule #1
    -------
    
    We shall NOT stick with one weapon or one type of weapon, until we have 
    custom built our best end-game lightsabers.
    
    Rule #2
    -------
    
    We shall have multiple weapon combinations on switch and use different 
    weapons for handling different situations, until after we have custom 
    built our best end-game lightsabers.
    
    Weapon Switch
    -------------
    
    I suggest that you get the following weapons ready, the earlier the 
    better:
    
    - 1x 28m rifle with highest to-hit
    - 1x 25-28m ion rifle for destroying droids from a distance
    - 2x best available pistols with highest to-hit
    - 2x best available ion pistols for destroying droids
    - 2x 1-hand melee weapon, or 1x lightsaber + 1x short lightsaber
    - 1x double-bladed lightsabers
    - 1x double-bladed lightsaberfor destroying droids
    
    You use rifles to shoot at your enemies from a distance - this can save 
    you the trouble running up while getting attacked. 
    
    You use dual pistols to shoot at your enemies when they try to approach 
    you for melee attacking. 
    
    If you are lucky enough, you will kill one enemy before any of them gets 
    to you.  This works great against melee enemies.  Ranged fighters will 
    unlikely run towards you.  Instead, they may exchange fire with you or 
    toss grenades towards you.
    
    Once you start to use Force Jump, you will probably not want to use 
    pistols or rifles again, which is an absolutely good decision.
    
    You use 1-hand melee weapon or 1-hand lightsaber in melee combat before 
    you have the Improved Two Weapon Fighting feat.  You switch to a 1-hand 
    weapon whenever you wish to have higher to-hit to fight high-defense 
    enemies (Don't forget you have Dueling level 1 to boost your 1-hand 
    attack). 
    
    You use 2 weapons or double-bladed lightsaber in melee combat once you 
    have got the Improved Two Weapon Fighting feat.
    
    Note: Dueling level 1 gives you +1 attack and +1 defense, so the 
    difference between 1-weapon and 2-weapon fighting (along with Master 
    Flurry & Master Two Weapon Fighting) is whether or not you wish to have 
    roughly +3 average attack and +2 extra defense.
    
    Note: if you can't successfully land at least 1 hit per round using 
    double-bladed lightsabers, you should immediately switch to your 1-hand 
    weapon to ensure you'll continue to damage your enemy.
    
    Double-Bladed Lightsabers
    -------------------------
    
    This is our final main weapon of choice.  This weapon will give your 
    character three special bonuses:
    
    - It has highest built-in damage among all weapons and it is 
    automatically treated as "balanced" (= zero main-hand penalty and only -2 
    off-hand penalty when used in conjunction with Master Two Weapon 
    Fighting).
    
    - It allows its wielder to use Force Jump and Throw Lightsabers and to 
    "dodge bullets" (= deflect blaster bolts).
    
    - It doubles the effects of the embedded crystals.  Putting 3 best 
    crystals in it and you'll be effectively using 6 on two hands.
    
    Note: for the Most Efficient Build, you should not use double-bladed 
    lightsaber in a hurry.  Wait until you get at least Improved Two Weapon 
    Fighting.  For the Strongest Build, you could use double-bladed 
    lightsaber once you have got the level 1 Two Weapon Fighting feat in the 
    game, though I don't recommend using the level 1 version of the feat.
    
    Best Lightsabers
    ----------------
    
    Once you have started to use double-bladed lightsabers, you should start 
    to consider which crystals to socket into the lightsabers.  You will come 
    across a number of crystals in the game.  The two most powerful crystals 
    will be available at a merchant shop after halfway into the game.
    
    For the most part of the game, the two character builds outlined in this 
    guide can use any crystals that you think are the best to them, though 
    I'd strongly suggest you consider +attack above of all other bonuses.
    
    For your character's primary double-bladed lightsabers, I'd suggest that 
    you use the following crystal combinations (Note: you are not able to get 
    all of them until more than halfway into the game, but you can always use 
    one or two of them together with other lesser crystals):
    
    Best Crystal Combo #1
    ---------------------
    - Pearl: standalone bonus = +3 attack, +2 damage
    - Solari: standalone bonus = +3 attack, +3 damage, +1d8 vs. DS enemies
    - Mantle of the Force: 
      Pearl w/ Mantle = +4 attack, +3 Blaster Bolt Deflection
      Solari w/ Mantle = +4 attack, +1d8 damage, +2d6 LS vs. DS enemies
    
    Overall bonus = +8 attack, +1d8 damage, +2d6 vs. DS enemies, +3 
    deflection
    Note: This is the only combination that can yield as high as +8 attack 
    bonus - huge!
    
    Note: Solari, when used without Mantle of the Force or Heart of the 
    Guardian, is restricted to LS characters.
    
    Best Crystal Combo #2
    ---------------------
    - Upari: standalone bonus = +3 attack, +1d8 damage
    - Solari: standalone bonus = +3 attack, +3 damage, +1d8 vs. DS enemies
    - Mantle of the Force: 
      Upari w/ Mantle = +2 attack, +1d6 damage, +8 Blaster Bolt Deflection
      Solari w/ Mantle = +4 attack, +1d8 damage, +2d6 vs. DS enemies
    
    Overall bonus = +6 attack, +2-14 damage, +2-12 vs. DS enemies, +8 
    deflection
    Double-bladed lightsaber with these crystals = 4-34 damage, +2-12 vs. DS, 
    +8 deflection
    
    Combo #1 is available in the game well ahead of Combo #2, and is the best 
    until Combo #2 is available.  Combo #2 gives you decent damage bonus, 
    decent attack bonus, and decent deflection bonus.  With a Combo #2 
    double-bladed lightsaber, your solo character will be sort of immune to 
    all blaster weapons, including blaster pistols, blaster rifles, battle 
    droids' blaster guns, and blaster gun turrets.  As a result, your 
    character will be able to cast any Force Powers under heavy fire of 10+ 
    blaster weapons without taking more than a little nominal damage.  With 
    the damage boosts from Combo #2, she will eventually be able to strike 
    down Dark Jedi one per attack most of the time.
    
    Best Crystal Combo #3
    ---------------------
    - Luxum: standalone bonus = +2 attack, +1D6 Ion damage vs. Droids
    - Firkrann: standalone bonus = +2 attack, +2D6 Ion damage vs. Droids
    - Either Mantle of the Force or Heart of the Guardian:
      Luxum upgraded bonus = +3 attack, +2D6 Ion damage vs. Droids
      Firkrann upgraded bonus = +3 attack, +3D6 Ion damage vs. Droids
    
    Overall bonus = +6 attack, +5-30 Ion damage vs. Droids.
    
    Note: if you take my advice and use Combo #2, you can only use Heart of 
    the Guardian in Combo #3.
    
    Obviously, a double-bladed lightsaber with these 3 crystals makes short 
    work of all hostile droids.  It is the best crystal combo for your 
    secondary double-bladed lightsabers.
    
    Note: for the two builds outlined in this guide, it is not absolutely 
    necessary to switch to a Combo #3 double-bladed lightsaber.  This is 
    because regardless, your solo character will be able to destroy all 
    droids quickly, not to mention Combo #2 offers very nice protection 
    against battle droids' most attacks.
    
    
    -------------------------
    3.2 Body Armors and Robes
    -------------------------
    
    Armor Rule #1
    -------------
    
    - We shall wear the best body armor we get in the game, until we can 
    safely replace it with the best robe in the game.
    
    If she does not rely on armor-restricted Force Powers, your solo 
    character does NOT have to wear a robe into final battles.  Nothing can 
    stop her from destroying her enemies when wearing body armor.  
    Additionally, until the end of the game, every robe she can wear is 
    extremely ugly on a female, whereas every character in best body armor in 
    the game looks cool.
    
    Note: this rule only applies to Soldier, because only Soldier can wear 
    any body armor and can wear the very best armor in the game with no 
    problem.  Scout can wear light and medium body armor.  Scoundrel can only 
    wear light body armor.  If you play a solo Scoundrel, you won't get real 
    sweet benefits from wearing armor once you find good enough robes.  
    You'll have to ditch armor early in favor of robes.  The idea behind this 
    rule is: think about which option gives your solo character more and 
    better benefits, and choose the right option.
    
    Armor Rule #2
    -------------
    
    - We'd better wear our best robe to fight large numbers of Dark Jedi.
    
    When fighting groups of Dark Jedi, I strongly recommend that you switch 
    to the best robe your character has got, especially if she's played on LS.  
    In a robe, she will have the convenience of refreshing Master Speed as 
    well as any armor-restricted Force Powers even in the middle of a fight.  
    Master Speed + armor-restricted defensive Force Powers will allow her to 
    defeat all Dark Jedi in the game quick and easy - yes, I do mean 100% of 
    them with no exception!  You'll see some demonstrations on this in 
    Chapter 4.
    
    Best Body Armor
    ----------------
    
    Calo Nord's Battle Armor*
    ------------------------
    Defense = 12
    +1 max DEX
    10/- vs. Cold or Fire or Sonic damage
    Immunities: Mind-Affecting, Critical Hits
    
    *Note: throughout this guide it is assumed that Calo Nord's Battle Armor 
    is always fully upgraded.
    
    As a Soldier/Guardian, you really don't have better body armor than this 
    one.  You can get this body armor as a free reward for a fight that might 
    be extremely tough if your solo character is level 11 or lower (At your 
    character level 12+, this fight won't be hard any more, and at character 
    level 15+, your solo character can kill Calo Nord in no time).
    
    - Upgraded Heave Exoskeleton Armor (Medium armor)
    Defense = 13
    +1 max DEX
    +3 extra CON
    +3 extra STR
    
    This is not heavy armor but provides a very high defense bonus plus +3 to 
    two ability scores.  It can be purchased late in the game.  A DS 
    character may find this expensive armor usable even in the final battles.
    
    Note: this skeleton armor plus a dark mask cast a shadow of death on my 
    DS solo character whose white face was rotten and darkened due to DS 
    Mastery.  She actually wore this armor into the final battles and I 
    didn't feel there was anything not right with her gear.
    
    - Mandalorian Battle Armor
    Defense = 11
    +0 max DEX
    25/- vs. electrical damage
    
    You can wear this body armor, together with the implant you purchased 
    early in the game, when fighting some Dark Jedi, because Dark Jedi always 
    enjoy using Force Lightening to fry your character.  But obviously this 
    one does not provide good protection for other use.
    
    Note: if you play a solo Scout or a solo Scoundrel who has not switched 
    to robes, I'd recommend the following armor, or SIMILAR, if you can get 
    your hands on:
    
    - Upgraded Darth Bandon's Fiber Armor (Light armor)
    Defense = 7
    +5 max DEX
    25/- vs. Fire
    Immunity: Mind-Affecting
    
    This armor is good on a Scoundrel.  She can only get this armor from the 
    corpse of a Dark Jedi that she has to kill.  Whether or not the fight is 
    hard depends on how successfully he uses Force Powers against her.
    
    - Jamah Hogra's Battle Armor (Medium armor)
    Defense = 11
    +2 max DEX
    +1 STR
    Immunity: Critical Hits
    
    - Upgraded Heave Exoskeleton Armor (Medium armor)
    Defense = 13
    +1 max DEX
    +3 extra CON
    +3 extra STR
    
    Jamah Hogra's Battle Armor is sweet on a Scout who is still looking for 
    good enough robes to wear.  Heave Exoskeleton can be worn into the final 
    battles even after you have obtained the robes you were looking for.
    
    As for Jedi robes, there are only three that deserve mentioning.  If 
    played LS, your solo character may wear Qel-Droma Robes for quite a while, 
    and replace it at the end of the game.  If played DS, your solo character 
    won't really have a good Jedi robe to wear until the end of the game.
    
    Qel-Droma Robes
    ----------------
    Defense = 5
    +8 max DEX
    +2 WIS
    Restricted to LS
    
    Note: not recommend for use until your character is either at, or very 
    close to, level 20, or no earlier than your solo character can use Master 
    Force Speed.
    
    Star Forge Robes
    -----------------
    Defense = 5
    +8 max DEX
    +5 WIS
    +2 all saving throws
    Restricted to LS
    
    Note: not recommended for, NOR recommended against, wearing in the final 
    battles.   For the character builds outlined in this guide, Calo Nord's 
    Battle Armor provides excellent protection even in the very final battles.  
    However, if you think you just have to use Master Force Speed, by all 
    means put the robe on your solo character as soon as you get it.
    
    Darth Revan's Robes
    ------------------
    Defense = 5
    +8 max DEX
    +4 STR
    +1 regeneration
    Restricted to DS
    
    Note: recommended, but not STRONGLY recommended, for wearing in the final 
    battles.  For the character builds outlined in this guide, Calo Nord's 
    Battle Armor provides excellent protection even in the final battles.  
    However, your solo character may have been waiting long for using Master 
    Force Speed along with this robe, and +4 STR is indeed hard to miss.
    
    Robe not required for the two template builds in this guide is good news 
    if you prefer your solo character going for DS.  As a result, your DS 
    solo character can't complain of lack of a good enough robe early in the 
    game.  On the other hand, it also means that having a good robe 
    relatively early in the game is no longer taken as a bonus of staying on 
    LS.  That said, regardless of her alignment, it makes no difference in 
    the end whether she wears a robe or body armor.
    
    
    --------------------------------
    3.3 Required Modifiers and Items
    --------------------------------
    
    Required Modifiers
    ------------------
    
    When selecting equipment for your solo character, the following three 
    modifiers should always be your primary considerations (in the order of 
    their priorities):
    
    - High defense
    - Immune to Mind-Affecting*
    - Immune to Critical Hits**
    
    * Note: once having this modifier, under no circumstances shall we let it 
    go!  This is very important to our solo character.
    
    ** Note: late in the game, you may occasionally let go this modifier as 
    long as you fully understand that your solo character is going to take 
    noticeably more damage in the upcoming fights.
    
    Once you have got all those three modifiers from your gear, your gear is 
    actually already COMPLETE!  That is because if you follow this guide, 
    your solo character will not need anything else from her gear to survive 
    to kill through the entire game.  However, on the other hand, we are 
    certainly not planning to waste most of our equipment slots.  So, I'm 
    going to show you how to assemble two suites of highly optimized battle 
    gear.
    
    Required Items
    --------------
    
    The required items in optimized battle gear are
    
    - Either Calo Nord's Battle Armor
    - Or one of those three Jedi Robes plus two extra items that provide 
    immunities to mind effects and critical hits.
    
    Since Calo Nord's Battle Armor alone provides all the three modifiers, 
    once you have got the armor, you have got everything you need (other than 
    your end-game lightsabers) to solo role play throughout the rest of the 
    game.
    
    However, you can't get Calo Nord's Battle Armor or Qel-Droma Robes very 
    early in the game.  Before having the armor or the robe, you should use 
    whatever armor and gear combination that gives you highest possible 
    defense without losing at least one of those two immunities.
    
    Early Game Gear
    ---------------
    
    Early in the game, before you have a good item base for optimizing your 
    gear, try to find and wear the following for street fights and early game 
    battles:
    
    - Upgraded Echani Fiber Armor: defense = 7, 20-/ vs. Fire & Cold damage
    - A cheap implant with immunity to Critical Hits
    
    The very first optimized gear you can get in the game consists of:
    
    - Upgraded Republic Mod Armor: defense = 6, Immunity to Mind-Affecting
    - A cheap implant with Immunity to Critical Hits
    
    Whenever you have a chance to fight a Jedi-affiliated enemy, you should 
    switch to your first optimized gear, which you can get pretty early in 
    the game.  (Tip: you can always switch everything on your character body 
    right after you have spotted your enemies but before the fight actually 
    starts.)
    
    As your character progresses through the game, you'll have better and 
    better items to re-organize her gear.  I'd suggest that you shuffle and 
    optimize her gear every once in a while, which will ensure that you 
    always get the best possible bonuses from your item base.  I'd also 
    suggest that you visit and revisit non-droid shops as often as you like.  
    The items for sale may vary as your character progresses through the game.  
    Anyway, you'll eventually be able to get all the items needed to fully 
    optimize your character's gear.
    
    
    -----------------------------------------
    3.4 Gear Template #1: Protection-Oriented
    -----------------------------------------
    
    Any gear template should have two versions: one for use before the final 
    battles, the other for use in the final battles.  I am going to first 
    discuss the gear that your solo character can use most of the time, and 
    then show you what adjustments to make for the final battles.
    
    Battle Gear #1
    --------------
    
    - Body Armor:
    As you have guessed, there is only one choice here: Calo Nord's Battle 
    Armor.  As a result, battle gear #1 is centered on Calo Nord's body armor. 
    Since this armor has given all the three required modifiers, we are free 
    to pick up whatever items we think best to fill up other equipment slots.
    
    - Gloves:  Karakan Gauntlets
    Bonus = +3 to all saving throws, +1 to DEX.
    
    - Belt: Adrenaline Stimulator
    Bonus = +4 to all saving throws, +2 to DEX.
    
    - Headgear:  Advanced Bio-Stabilizer Mask *
    Bonus = Immunity to Mind-Affecting & Poison, +1 to all saving throws.
    
    * Note: there is another headgear, Stabilizer Mask, which gives you 
    slightly better protection.  But the problem is that I just can't look at 
    that headgear for more than a few moments... sigh...  I doubt many 
    players can stand its look and feel.  If you don't mind using that at all, 
    then by all means go for it!
    
    - Implant (recommended for use in combat): Advanced Alacrity Implant *
    Bonus = +5 DEX.
    
    * Note: if you play a DS character and cannot use Force Cure, I strongly 
    recommend Sith Regenerator (Bonus = +2 regeneration) for use when not in 
    combat.  It will save you lots of medic packs.
    
    - Personal shield 1: Brejik's Arm Band
    Bonus = 5-/ vs. Slashing
    
    - Personal shield 2: not used.
    You could stick whatever you like into the empty shield slot.
    
    Overall Bonuses
    ---------------
    +12 defense
    +8 to all saving throws
    +8 to DEX
    5-/ vs. slashing damage
    Immunities to mind effects, Critical Hits, poison
    
    Warning: given so much protection, your character will still be 
    vulnerable to one type of attack: Force Choke/Kill.  She will have high 
    resist to that, but not immunity.  The best way of handling this is kill 
    every hostile Dark Jedi the faster the better.  More often than not, you 
    should ignore all other enemies to take out Dark Jedi first at all costs.
    
    Battle Gear #2
    --------------
    
    This gear is for the final battles.  If you decide to wear your armor 
    into the final battles, then Gear #2 is the same as Gear #1.  If you 
    decide to wear a robe into the final battles, then make the following 
    adjustments to Gear #1 as detailed below:
    
    - If LS, body armor -> (Qel-Droma -> Star Forge Robes) 
    Bonus: +5 to defense, +5 to WIS, +2 to all saving throws
    
    - If LS, headgear -> Circlet of Saresh
    Bonus: +5 to WIS
    
    - If DS, body armor -> (Dark Jedi Master Robes -> Darth Revan's Robes)
    Bonus: +5 to defense, +4 to STR, +1 to regeneration
    
    - If DS, headgear -> Bothan Sensory Visor (optional)*
    Bonus: Immunity to Critical Hits, some +skills
    
    - For both LS & DS, Implant -> Nerve Enhancement Package (optional)*
    Bonus: Immunity to Mind-Affecting
    
    - For both LS & DS, belt: Adrenaline Stimulator (no change)
    Bonus = +4 to all saving throws. +1 to DEX.
    
    - For both LS & DS, personal shield 1: Brejik?s Arm Band (no change)
    Bonus = 5-/ vs. slashing
    
    * Note: if you don't mind taking Critical Hits, then use the same 
    headgear (Advanced Bio-Stabilizer Mask) and the same implant (+5 DEX).
    
    The overall bonus is that in a good robe, your solo character will be 
    able to quickly dispose of a large number of Dark Jedi and/or other 
    enemies.  The downside is that she will have lower defense and so will 
    have to take more hits.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------
    3.5 Gear Template #2: Strength-Oriented
    ---------------------------------------
    
    The STR-oriented gear template also has two versions: one for pre-final 
    battles, the other for the final.
    
    Battle Gear #3
    --------------
    
    - Body Armor:
    As you have guessed, there is again only one choice: Calo Nord's Battle 
    Armor.  And Battle gear #3 is centered on Calo Nord's body armor too.  
    Since this armor has given all the three required modifiers, feel free to 
    pick up whatever items you think best to fill up other equipment slots 
    with.  The following are my suggestions:
    
    - Gloves: Dominator Gauntlets
    Bonus = +5 to STR
    
    - Belt: CNS Strength Enhancer
    Bonus = +2 to all saving throws. +2 to STR.
    
    - Headgear:  Advanced Bio-Stabilizer Mask *
    Bonus = immunities to mind effects & poison, +1 to all saving throws.
    
    * Note: there is another headgear, Stabilizer Mask, which gives you 
    slightly better protection.  If you don't mind using it, by all means go 
    for it!  But I just can't look at that one for more than a few moments.
    
    - Implant: Advanced Alacrity Implant
    Bonus = +5 DEX.
    
    - Personal shield 1: Brejik's Arm Band
    Bonus = 5-/ vs. Slashing
    
    - Personal shield 2: not used.
    You could stick whatever you like into the empty shield slot.
    
    Overall Bonuses
    ---------------
    
    +12 to defense
    +7 to STR
    +5 to DEX
    +1 to all saving throws
    5-/ vs. slashing
    Immunities to mind effects, Critical Hits, poison
    Some +skill bonuses
    
    Warning: with less protection, your solo character will be vulnerable to 
    some types of damage: grenades and mines of high DC and Force Choke/Kill.  
    The best way of handling all this is take advantage of Force Jump (= 
    fewer mines or grenades), close in to the melee range of her enemies (= 
    no more grenades), and kill every hostile Dark Jedi as fast as possible 
    (= less chance to get choked).  With the extra STR, she will eventually 
    be able to strike down every target in a blink of your eyes most of the 
    time.
    
    Battle Gear #4
    --------------
    
    If you don't mind wearing body armor into the final battles, then Gear #4 
    is really just Gear #3.  If you do wish to finally use a robe, then make 
    the following adjustments based on Gear #3:
    
    - If LS, body armor -> (Qel-Droma -> Star Forge Robes) 
    Bonus: +5 to defense, +5 to WIS, +2 to all saving throws
    
    - If LS, headgear -> Circlet of Saresh (assuming you'll use offensive 
    Force Powers)
    Bonus: +5 to WIS
    
    - If DS, body armor -> (Master Dark Jedi Robe -> Darth Revan's Robe)
    Bonus: +5 to defense, +4 to STR, +1 to regeneration
    
    - If DS, headgear -> Bothan Sensory Visor (optional)*
    Bonus: Immunity to Critical Hits
    
    - For both LS & DS, implant -> Nerve Enhancement Package (optional)*
    Bonus: Immunity to Mind-Affecting
    
    * Note: if you don't mind taking Critical Hits, then use the same 
    headgear (Advanced Bio-Stabilizer Mask) and the same implant (+5 DEX).
    
    - For both LS & DS, belt: CNS Strength Enhancer (no change)
    Bonus = +2 to all saving throws. +2 to STR.
    
    - For both LS & DS, personal shield 1: Brejik's Arm Band (no change)
    Bonus = 5-/ vs. slashing
    
    
    ----------------------------
    3.6 Practical Considerations
    ----------------------------
    
    Collect Credits
    ---------------
    
    Some of the best items in the game are very expensive.  If you really 
    need something but can't afford it, that's too bad.  As a result, you 
    should get used to clicking most, if not all, of the clickable containers 
    in the game, and trying to collect as many items as possible.  This way, 
    when time comes to fulfilling your destiny in the game, you'll be 
    guaranteed that you can sell items for enough credits to buy whatever 
    gear you wish to take with you on your final journey.
    
    Upgrade Frequently
    ------------------
    
    By upgrade, I mean two things to do:
    
    - Some of the best items are high-quality upgradeable ones.  If you ever 
    wish to use them, you'll need to upgrade them as soon as you can.
    
    - Replace your old gear and re-shuffle your gear as frequently as you can.  
    This way, you can keep your gear in a most optimal state given the 
    constraints of your item pool.
    
    Revisit Non-Droid Shops
    -----------------------
    
    Check out non-droid shops as often as you like, including general shops 
    that sell droid items.  Take a note of the items you like but can't 
    afford for the moment, and revisit the same merchants once you have got 
    enough credits.  The items for sale in some shops vary as your character 
    progresses through the game; that's also a reason why you need to revisit 
    some of the merchants.  Once you have reached a certain point in the game, 
    you'll also find a new shop open to you in the game, where you can find a 
    few most expensive sweet items in the game.
    
    Further Customization
    ---------------------
    
    Since there are so many different items in the game, the gear templates 
    outlined in this guide may or may not fit into your particular character.  
    I'd suggest that you try to understand the ideas behind my gear 
    recommendations.  This way, you'll be able to design and optimize your 
    own gear, and do so in a way that will best fit into your own character 
    and your personal game play style.
    
    Bugs and Glitches
    -----------------
    
    There are quite several bugs and glitches that players can easily 
    identify and exploit to "improve" (= ruin, in my book) their game 
    experience.  Here is a glitch that can be exploited to ensure that once 
    your solo character becomes a Jedi, she can rip all the Force Power 
    bonuses she has got after each level-up, as if they were permanently 
    active on her:
    
    Cast all of the available defensive Force Powers right before your solo 
    character enters another game area.  After that, as long as you don't 
    refresh those Force Powers, they will be active on your character for 
    ever.  Such Force Powers include all levels of Force Speed, Force Valor, 
    Force Armor, Force Resist, and Resist Energy.  Once the Force Powers 
    become "permanently" active, you can switch to armor or leave your robe 
    on your character.
    
    This glitch once drove me to nuts: just think about what kind of strong 
    characters I could build by following my own guide.  Once they 
    "permanently" got +5 to all attributes, +12 to defense, +11 saving throws, 
    +2 attacks per round, as well as permanent haste and other bonuses, the 
    game had just been completely ruined.
    
    Solution: if you see this glitch, try to refresh all of your active Force 
    Powers.  This way you reset their timers and allow them to go off.
    
    Note: in my opinion, it would be really SILLY to solo role play the game 
    based on making use of bugs, glitches, cheat codes or anything similar.
    
    
    
    =========================================
    Chapter 4. Game Play and My Solo Character
    =========================================
    
    This chapter will discuss the strategic part of solo role play and 
    provide you with tips and suggestions based on my experience.  It will 
    let you have complete character build information about my most 
    successful solo character, as well as some character stress test results.
    
    
    -------------------------------------
    4.1 Suggestions for Solo Role Players
    -------------------------------------
    
    Weapon Switch
    -------------
    
    Generally, a solo character has to take care of everything that a party 
    would otherwise do.  As a result, when it comes to fight, she can't use 
    just 1 weapon for all combat situations.
    
    The game does not provide a shortcut way of doing weapon switch.  I know, 
    what a pain if you have 8 weapon combinations to switch to!  But if you 
    aim at efficiency or at no death, you will still need to do the weapon 
    switch, regardless of the "cost" of doing so.
    
    Brutal Force
    ------------
    
    If you follow my guide, most of the time your solo character can resort 
    to brutal force to finish off enemies.  But we are not primitive beings 
    or beasts.  Think about this: can we do something different?  Say, your 
    solo character has been thrown into a closed room, with 2 savage beats on 
    the room's other side.  What would you do?  Would you be able to find a 
    way of delivering high enough damage without being badly wounded?
    
    If you don't always resort to brutal force, you'll effectively reduce the 
    chance of "accidental" death.
    
    Hit and Run
    -----------
    
    With a tough character under your control, you might frown upon the "hit 
    and run" tactics.  However, if you can lure a tough boss away from his 
    company, there is no reason for fighting the boss in the surrounding of 
    10+ weapons all shooting at your solo character - despite she may very 
    well survive such heavy fire with no problem at all.
    
    Occasionally doing "hit and run" will effectively help reduce the chance 
    of "accidental" death.
    
    Maximize Defenses
    -----------------
    
    - Get total defense as high as you can.
    - Get saving throws as high as you can.
    
    Sometimes, you may have to sacrifice your attack / damage a bit to ensure 
    your solo character will have overall decent defenses.  Our motto is 
    always "survive to kill".  If you can't survive, you just can't kill.
    
    Stay Alive at All Costs
    -----------------------
    
    Absolutely!  If you don't try very hard to stay alive all the time, it 
    would really not make much sense playing a solo character through the 
    game.
    
    
    -------------------------------------
    4.2 My Solo Char: Complete Statistics
    -------------------------------------
    
    - Introduction:  this is the most successful solo role player that I have 
    ever made using the Most Efficient Build outlined in this guide.  He 
    completed all the side quests in the game, except for the assassination 
    quests and a few minor side quests that I felt too trivial to bother.  
    When playing him, I pretended I had very little knowledge about the game, 
    so I never did anything special to prepare for supposedly unexpected 
    "surprises".  No cheats ever used.  No bugs or glitches ever exploited.  
    Default game setting was always "Difficult".  He did not die once in the 
    game.
    
    - Name: Ben Zora, if you must know.
    
    - Gender: male
    He's the only male solo character I have developed.
    
    - Portrait: the bald, bearded guy with big forehead
    Side note: ever watched Last Samurai?  This guy in his final gear looks 
    very close to the last samurai in the movie (not Tom Cruise though).
    
    - Alignment: 100% LS
    
    - Base ability scores at level 1:
    
    STR = 14
    DEX = 14
    CON = 14
    INT = 8
    WIS = 14
    CHA = 14
    
    - Ability scores at level 20 (when naked):
    
    STR = 14 + LS Mastery bonus = 17
    DEX = 14
    CON = 14
    INT = 8
    WIS = 19
    CHA = 14
    
    - Attributes at level 20 (when naked):
    
    Defense = 18
    Vitality = 280
    Force Points = 170
    Fort/Ref/Will saving throws = 15/12/12
    BAB = +23
    
    - Feats:
    
    Dueling: level 1
    Toughness: level 1, 2, 3
    Flurry: level 1, 2, 3
    Two Weapon Fighting: level 1, 2, 3
    Implant: level 1, 2, 3
    Lightsaber Specialization: level 2
    
    - Force Powers:
    
    Force Cure: level 1
    Force Push: level 1, 2, 3
    Force Speed: level 1, 2, 3
    Force Valor: level 1, 2, 3
    Force Armor: level 1, 2
    Stun Droid: level 1
    Force Resist: level 1
    
    - Stats at level 20 (fully armed with Master Force Valor on)*:
    
    Vitality = 320
    Force points = 300
    Defense = 30
    STR = 27
    DEX = 21
    CON = 19
    INT = 13
    WIS = 34
    CHA = 19
    Fort/Ref/Will = 28/26/31
    DC of Force Wave = 41
    
    * Note: Force Shield can give him additional +4 to defense and to all 
    saving throws.
    
    Judging by these stats, it's obvious that this character is a highly 
    optimized character with virtually no chance to die in the game 
    regardless solo or in a party.
    
    
    -------------------------------
    4.3 My Solo Char: End-Game Gear
    -------------------------------
    
    This is the complete gear that my only male solo character used when he 
    defeated the entire game.  The gear was modeled after the Protection-
    Oriented Gear template outlined in this guide.
    
    Note: I didn't optimize his gear as fully as I suggested in this guide.  
    Notably, his implant slot was completely wasted when wearing armor and I 
    didn't put Brejik's Arm Band into his shield slot.
    
    - Body Armor / Robe:  Calo Nord's Battle Armor / Star Forge Robes
    
    - Gloves:  Karakan / Dominator Gauntlets
    
    - Belt: Adrenaline Stimulator
    
    - Headgear:  Advanced Bio-Stabilizer Mask / Circlet of Saresh
    
    - Implant: Nerve Enhancement Package
    
    Note: I didn't buy Advanced Alacrity Package for I thought it would 
    "overpower" my solo character (I could afford it with no problem at all).  
    So this equipment slot was wasted whenever I switched to Calo Nord's 
    armor.
    
    - Personal shield 1: not used
    
    - Personal shield 2: not used.
    
    - Main weapon: double-bladed lightsaber upgraded using crystal Combo #2 
    outlined in chapter 3 of this guide.
    
    
    ---------------------------------
    4.4 Character Stress Test Results
    ---------------------------------
    
    --------------------------------------------------
    [The following text contains substantial spoilers]
    --------------------------------------------------
    
    I did some stress tests by taking my only male solo character to go 
    through the very last battles once and once again.  I wrote down the 
    numbers I got from the tests.  They can show you how a character, built 
    using one of the character temples in this guide, survives extreme combat 
    stress.
    
    Test Settings
    -------------
    
    - Game setting = "Difficult"
    - No cheating, no bugs/glitch exploitation
    - No personal shields, no stimulants, no grenades, no mines ever used
    - Saved games were used for testing
    - Combat feat = Master Flurry, always
    - Weapon = double-bladed lightsabers, upgraded using Crystal Combo #2 as 
    detailed in this guide
    
    Against Bastila
    ---------------
    
    Bastila's observed stats:
    
    - Defense = 24
    - Max vitality = unknown to me
    
    Test results:
    
    After casting Master Speed while being attacked by Bastila, my solo 
    character could always finish Bastila off with one Master Flurry attack.  
    I tested this many times, no exception.  Without Master Speed, however, 
    Bastila could survive his first attack with just enough vitality to keep 
    doing what she was doing.  Bastila could do a total of less than 150 to 
    2xx damage by the time it was over.  In terms of combat capabilities, she 
    was like a regular Dark Jedi with a total of 3 extra lives.
    
    Against Malak
    --------------
    
    Malak's observed stats
    
    - Defense = 38
    - Max vitality = 261-312 (a random # in a probable range of 260-320)
    
    - Feats/Force Powers he used: Master Critical Strike, Master Power Attack, 
    Force Jump, Master Flurry, Force Immunity, Force Breach, Throw 
    Lightsabers (level 2?), and Master Force Lightening.
    
    - Force Powers that I expected but didn't see him use: Force Kill.
    
    - Malak was always allowed to get healed for a total of 8 times.
    
    Vs Malak Test #1 - Robe
    -----------------------
    
    My solo character:
    
    - Fully armed, wearing Star Forge Robes
    - Rely as much on Cure for healing as possible
    - Rely on Master Flurry to get the job down
    - Use Master Speed if Malak allows (He likes to use Force Breach)
    
    Typical test results (I repeated this test several times):
    
    - Overall result: victory
    - Med pack used: 0
    - Advanced med pack used: 1
    - Life support packs used: 0
    
    Comment:
    
    - Very easy.  Roughly 3 rounds per fight.
    
    Vs Malak Test #2 - Body Armor
    -----------------------------
    
    My solo character:
    
    - Fully armed, with Star Forge Robes swapped out for Calo Nord's armor.
    - Rely as much on Cure for healing as possible
    - Rely on Master Flurry to get the job down
    - No Force Powers used other than Cure
    
    Typical test results:
    
    - Overall result: victory
    - Med pack used: 0
    - Advanced med pack used: 0
    - Life support packs used: 0
    
    Comment:
    
    - Very easy.  Typically 4-5 rounds per fight.
    
    Vs Malak Test #3 - Naked
    ------------------------
    
    My solo character:
    
    - Completely naked, except underwear & Nerve Enhancement Package (for the 
    Immunity to Mind-Affecting bonus only)*
    - Rely as much on Cure for healing as possible
    - Rely on Master Flurry to get the job down
    - No Force Powers used other than Cure
    
    * Note: as I made it very clear earlier in this guide: once we get this 
    immunity, under no circumstances shall we let it go from our gear.
    
    - Defense = 18 vs. Malak?s 37-38
    - Weapon = 7-37 damage (or 22 average), with +28-30 attack
    - Base attributes and base saving throws + LS Mastery (+3 STR)
    
    All test results:
    
    - Overall result: victory
    - Med pack used: 0
    - Advanced med pack used: 15-18
    - Life support packs used: 0-1
    - Remaining vitality when battle was over: 55 to 1xx
    
    Comments:
    
    - Very hard, but still manageable.  When my character was naked, he was 
    virtually defenseless (= 18 defense).  Almost every attack by Malak hurt.  
    One hit of his Power Attack did whopping 93 damage!  And in just a short 
    moment, another 90 damage!
    
    - On the other hand, many of my character's attacks completely missed 
    target.  This resulted in longer fights and more medic packs used.
    
    Vs Malak Test #4 - Half Naked without LS Mastery
    ------------------------------------------------
    
    My solo character:
    
    - Light-Side Mastery was intentionally removed (= loss of 3 STR)
    - Stripped of everything except for underwear, implant (for Immunity to 
    Mind-Affecting), and Mandalorian Battle Armor
    - Rely as much on Cure for healing as possible
    - Rely on Master Flurry to get the job down
    - No Force Powers used, other than Cure
    
    Test results:
    
    - Overall result: victory
    - Med pack used: some were used because Malak's healing animation 
    repeatedly interrupted my character's casting Cure.
    - Advanced med pack used: 12
    - Life support packs used: 0
    - Remaining vitality when battle was over: 63
    
    Comments:
    
    - Not easy.  But compared to complete nakedness, Mandalorian Battle Armor 
    provided significant help, so the number of total medic packs used was 
    nearly halved.
    
    - Without LS Mastery, his to-hit was even lowered than if just naked.  
    Half attacks completely missed Malak (average 27 to-hit vs. 37-38 
    defense).
    
    Overall Test Implications
    -------------------------
    
    - My solo character should have no problem defending him against the 
    equivalent of 3 (or even 4) Malak's attacking at him at the same time, 
    without worrying about dying.  Not 5 though ? because he would be very 
    likely dead in the first round of fight if 5.
    
    - When fully armed with optimized gear and hasted with Master Speed, my 
    solo character could do a total of 57 + 26 + 29 + 66 = 178 damage in just 
    one attack (those were actual numbers reported by a running game).  He 
    could strike Malak down in as few as two rounds.  However, to ensure this 
    is always the case, he would need to use the Strength-Oriented Gear, 
    instead of the Protection-Oriented Gear he actually used, to boost his 
    average damage per attack to 30 per hit * 5 hits + critical hits > 150.
    
    - I also solo role played a pure DS character.  Compared to my LS solo 
    characters, the game was easier to her most of the time.  Based on 
    character attributes, the game might be anticipated to be a bit more 
    challenging to her in the end than to a typical LS solo character.  But 
    based on my actual game play, that did not happen.
    
    
    ======================
    Chapter 5. Conclusions
    ======================
    
    - Both solo role play and party role play fit the spirit of the main 
    story line of the game very well.
    
    - Solo role play is definitely more challenging than party role play.  If 
    you wish to have some ultimate challenges with this game and have not yet 
    done so, try solo role play at least once.
    
    - Since many party played characters are not suitable to solo role play, 
    you'll need to efficiently build a strong character for solo role play 
    without the frustration of finding it too hard.
    
    - If you follow this guide, you'll have at least one or two efficiently 
    built strong characters - ultimate Jedi - to play along with.  One the 
    one hand, they are strong enough to meet every challenge during solo role 
    play.  On the other hand, nothing can stop them from being played in a 
    party.  Just play them however you the ultimate player wish.
    
    May the Force be with you!
    
    
    ===============
    Acknowledgement
    ===============
    
    My thanks shall especially go to:
    
    - BioWare Corp., for developing such an enjoyable game, as well as for 
    hosting free online forums for game players to chit-chat.
    
    - gamefaqs.com, for gathering and making so many game resources available 
    free to game players.
    
    - Erik Fasterius, for posting "Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic: 
    'GCH-Jedi' Guide" on gamefaqs.com.
    
    Among all the KotOR guides I read, this was the only one that contained a 
    brief discussion on solo role play.  It was under the inspiration of that 
    discussion as well as his GCH-Jedi build that I decided to go solo 
    through KotOR and eventually tried out a number of solo role play 
    characters.
    
    - SirCerberus, for posting "Player Character and Party Optimizing Guide" 
    on gamefaq.com, from which I learned a lot.
    
    - Sherwin Tam, for posting "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 
    Gameplay Guide v1.4" on gamefaqs.com.  His mathematical comparison 
    between Master Flurry and Master Power Attack/Critical Strike finally 
    confirmed my in-game observations about the superiority of Master Flurry 
    for a solo role player.
    
    - All other authors whose guides I have read.
    
    
    
    =======
    Updates
    =======
    
    Version 1.0.2: released 2004-08-28
    - Corrected typos and other mistakes
    - Expanded explanations for feat selections
    - Incorporated additional testing results
    - Added information about Scout and Scoundrel
    - Made a number of other minor changes
    - Reformatted the whole text
    
    Version 1.0.1: initial release 2004-08-20
    
    
    
    =======================================================================
                      Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
         Solo Role Play Guide - Efficiently Build Strong Characters
                              -- The End --                          
    =======================================================================