Defense Page / White Knight FAQ version 1.3 Written by Shassia (Laurie Jones), Windia server. === I. Table of Contents ================================================ I. Table of Contents II. Version History III. Overview FAQ IV. Getting Started: Ability Points and Beginner Skills V. Warrior Skills and Point Allocation VI. Page Skills and Point Allocation VII. White Knight Skills and Point Allocation VIII. Equipment and Scrolling IX. Fighting Style and Techniques X. Appendix of Silly Arguements XI. A Final Note XII. Acknowledgements XIII. Legal Disclaimer === II. Version History ================================================= 5-13-07 v0.1 Finished basic template. 5-14-07 v0.2 Completed FAQ and ability/skill sections, excluding detailed WK skill descriptions. 5-15-07 v0.3 Fully finished the guide. Waiting to be proofread before distribution. 5-17-07 v0.4 Spelling and minor errors corrected, WK allocation adjusted. 5-20-07 v1.0 First complete version ready for distribution. 5-23-07 v1.1 More elaborate explanations for some equipment choices. Adjusted Table of Contents and adjusted the formatting. 5-29-07 v1.2 Last tweaking of WK Allocation and added Appendix. 6-02-07 v1.3 Numerous small clarifications. Added Final Note. === III. Overview FAQ =================================================== Q: What is a Defense Page? A: It is exactly what it sounds like. Traditionally, Warriors sacrifice defense for any means possible to improve their attack power. A Defense Page is more of a tank, striving for a competitive damage output while taking only a fraction of the damage that other character builds take. If you are serious about learning about how this works, PLEASE read the entire guide. People approach me in-game quite regularly, asking me questions that have all been answered here. Do not expect to just skip to the skill point allocation sections and know what this build is like. Q: Taking a lot less damage sounds nice, but how much power do you give up? A: Not as much as people think, but there are sacrifices to be made. It is hard to put it into concrete numbers, but if you still want some ball-park figures, then expect about a 20% drop in your max damage numbers. This does not take into account that you will be swinging faster (Fast, sometimes Faster attack speed), with more accuracy than many other builds, and does not account for the extra damage done by Power Guard. It is not a surprise that people tend to have a preconceived notion that Defense Pages do grossly inferior damage to other builds. Done correctly, the people you meet and party with won't know the difference. Q: What do you get in return? I had always thought that extra WDEF didn't do much. A: Again, there are many factors, most importantly your level, your equips, and the attack power of the monster you're facing. Going by prior experience, many monsters that are considered appropriate to your level, the same ones that do triple-digit damage to others, will do 1 point of touch damage to you. Higher attack monsters that get over 1 point of damage (what I like to call your "attack threshold") will still do a fraction of the damage that it otherwise would. For example, in your 40s at Drake's Meal Table, Wild Cargos will be doing less damage to you than Cold Eyes do to someone else at the same level. You'll be invulnerable to Cold Eyes. More to the point, you will be able to defeat creatures that others wouldn't dare to try, let alone be successful against. The trend will be that whatever list you see for monsters to train against for your level, you will be able to do so ten to twenty levels earlier than other builds. With preparation, you will be able to defeat creatures up to thirty levels sooner than many of your counterparts. Defense Pages often wander around areas that they have no business being in just because they lose their fear of dying. You become impossible to kill under normal circumstances. It is a good partying build, but an absolute soloing powerhouse. Q: We've been talking about WDEF, but what about enemies that use strong magic attacks? A: If you are on top of an enemy touching it with your Power Guard while meleeing, then their magic strikes and other special attacks won't connect. This is a much different build than most are accustomed to, so your fighting strategy has to change with it. Please see section VI, "Fighting Style and Techniques." Q: Is this build expensive for those that are unfunded? Can I improve performance if I am funded? A: This is another nice trait about this build. One-handed weapons, especially Blunt Weapons, are as cheap as they come. Scrolls adding Weapon Defense are also as cheap as they come. Because you are taking a lot less damage, you will spend far less on potions. So for unfunded characters, I can't think of a less expensive build. For those that are funded, WDEF scrolls can be purchased at a reasonable price even for low-level equipment. Scrolling low-level gear makes you an impenetrable beast right from the start. Q: So, why a Page? Why not any Warrior? A: Despite having Hyper Body, Spearmen don't use shields and don't have Power Guard, making them ill-suited for this build. Fighters are a more reasonable alternative, having Power Guard and later Shield Mastery just like Pages, along with useful abilities as a Crusader that stun groups of mobs, but Rage reduces Defense, if only by ten points. Pages instead get Threaten, which is often the difference between taking some damage and no damage at all. White Knights can render groups of enemies helpless with area stun or freeze, with a repeatable six-monster area-effect 90%-stun 250%-base-damage element-infused attack. So while I'd love to see a Defense Fighter in action, I feel that Pages lend themselves a bit better for this build, and will concentrate on them exclusively. Q: I'm still not sold on this idea. Doesn't effective training revolve around killing mobs as quickly as possible? A: This build allows you to hunt tougher monsters and reap the greater experience point rewards that come with them. Not dying as often (or at all) as well as a reduced need to restock your health potions further increases your training efficiency. This guide is not about convincing anyone that this build is better than any other. Rather, it is to offer a fun, effective, distinctive alternative to what is currently out there. I've done it, made FRAPS movies about it, performed demonstrations of it, and it works. Period. Any gaps in my knowledge were filled in by high-level White Knights. This guide will explain in detail every reason behind the strategies involved, but I refuse to lace every part of it with defensiveness. The bottom line is, if your mantra is that the best defense is a good offense, look elsewhere. *******If there's anything you learn from this guide, learn this:******** * * * In a traditional Warrior build, a little extra defense won't do much. * * But when you have a LOT of defense, it makes a LOT of difference! * * * ************************************************************************* === IV. Getting Started: Ability Points and Beginner Skills ============ Ability Points: At character generation, attempt to get your INT and LUK as close to 4 as possible, just like any other Warrior. STR and DEX will not matter as much, since you level so fast early in your career that you can even things out in no time. As you level, allocate points so that your DEX is twice your level, and put STR into everything else. Continue doing this until at least level 40 when you have 80 base DEX. Increasing it more is based on personal preference, but I find this to be more than enough. You don't want any less because one of the big plusses of this build is the ability to take on creatures many, many levels above you... but what good is being able to withstand their attacks if you can't hit it and kill it? On the other hand, putting much more than that will compromise your damage totals even further against all creatures, not just ones that are hard to hit. Breaking out +accuracy equipment and using sniper pills as needed is preferable to nerfing your damage against everything. Beginner Skills: Same old story here, and not worth fussing over. All three skills are useful early in your career, but become forgettable rather quickly. I recommend Recovery because it's useful early even if the amount is laughable, and Nimble Feet can help you catch boats on time. === V. Warrior Skills and Point Allocation ============================= Improving HP Recovery: A passive skill that adds hit point regeneration when you're standing still. Everyone has 10 hp base regen; this skill adds to that. At the max level of 16, you would regen 10 + 50 = 60 hp per ten seconds, which is better than sitting in any chair. Regardless, compared to your other skills this is of minimal importance. When you have thousands of hit points, no one wants to stand around for ten minutes waiting to heal. You'll be using potions. Regardless, five levels are needed as a prerequisite for Improving Max HP Increase. Improving Max HP Increase: A passive skill that at max level 10 gets you 40 extra hit points when you level up. Max level also grants you 30 extra hit points if you choose to raise your hit points upon level-up instead of STR or DEX, though only HP Warriors do that. Endure: Normally you do not regenerate hit points while on a ladder or rope. Endure is a passive skill that allows you to do so at whatever your current standing regen amount is. At level 1, you will regen once every 31 seconds; at max level 8 you regen at the normal standing rate of 10 seconds per increment. Three levels are needed as a prerequisite to put points into Iron Body. Iron Body: This is a skill that you have to activate. Each level adds two to your Weapon Defense, and adds more duration to the effect. Max level 20 gives you 40 extra Defense and lasts for five full minutes. Power Strike: An active attack skill that increases the strength of your normal swing, at the cost of magic points. Max level 20 is 260% of your base damage, so if your swing would have done 1000 damage, then it gets increased to 2600. Eventually you will be weaning yourself off normal attacks and using this as your default swing. Slash Blast: An active attack skill that hits multiple creatures in a line that starts just behind you and stretches forward a few paces. It is weaker than Power Strike against single creatures, maxing out at 130% damage at level 20, but it becomes far more effective when you find yourself surrounded by foes. Best used if you are able to hit three or more enemies with it. Note: This build goes on the assumption that you are unfunded. If you are funded, you can spend money on stacks of Pain Relievers instead of putting points into Iron Body so soon. They are found only in Omega Sector, cost 1200 meso each, last a half hour and raise your WDEF by 30. The costs are obviously prohibitive to new players, but for those with a lot of money to throw around, it's another tool in your early-career arsenal. First point: Improving HP Recovery (prerequisite for Improving Max HP Increase) Level 11: 3 points to Improving HP Recovery (total: 4) Level 12: 1 point to Improving HP Recovery (total: 5), 2 points to Max HP Increase Level 13: 3 points to Max HP Increase (total: 5) Level 14: 3 points to Max HP Increase (total: 8) Level 15: 2 points to Max HP Increase (total: maxed at 10), 1 point to Slash Blast Level 16: 3 points to Endure (prerequisite for Iron Body) Level 17: 2 points to Power Strike, 1 point to Iron Body Level 18: 2 points to Power Strike (total: 4), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 2) Level 19: 2 points to Power Strike (total: 6), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 3) Level 20: 2 points to Power Strike (total: 8), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 4) Level 21: 2 points to Power Strike (total: 10), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 5) Level 22: 2 points to Power Strike (total: 12), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 6) Level 23: 2 points to Power Strike (total: 14), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 7) Level 24: 2 points to Power Strike (total: 16), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 8) Level 25: 2 points to Power Strike (total: 18), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 9) Level 26: 2 points to Power Strike (total: maxed at 20), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 10) Level 27: 2 points to Slash Blast (total: 3), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 11) Level 28: 2 points to Slash Blast (total: 5), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 12) Level 29: 2 points to Slash Blast (total: 7), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 13) Level 30: 2 points to Slash Blast (total: 9), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 14) For more than forty levels, starting with level 17, your skill points will be used to improve your defense AND your offense at every level. First, you have to put points into Max HP Increase as early as possible or it will haunt you for the rest of your career in the form of having lower hit point totals. All builds should start this way. I grant you that having to waste an early level to spend points on Endure looks wrong, at first. I personally think Endure is the worst skill in the game. However, getting Iron Body started early works better than you might think. You get to see noticeable damage reduction every single level, not just the levels where you can get new gear. Power Strike only gets started one level late and finishes four levels late by doing this. One point is allocated early to Slash Blast purely as a way to clear out groups of weak creatures, and will be finished up along with Iron Body during your second job. Pausing Slash Blast at skill level 9 is a good spot, as it only costs 10 hit points and 8 magic points for 85% damage. This is more than sufficient for the occasions that you will need it. Notice that we are and will continue to stagger Slash Blast at the "sweet spot" levels where they cost no more to use than at the previous level but do more damage. See the Appendix in section ten for further explanation, if you wish for one. === VI. Page Skills and Point Allocation ============================== Sword Mastery: A passive skill that increases the base damage and accuracy while using a sword. At max level 20, your base damage is increased 60% and you will have +20 accuracy. Although swords are generally fine weapons, and offer more stable damage, I discourage them for the use of this build because you will not have access to the Maple Doom Singer or the Tubes unless you go hybrid (maxing both sword and blunt weapons). Going hybrid spends many, many more points for minimal benefit, while the loss of being able to use Doom Singers for their added accuracy effectively will negate any advantage you have against high-level creatures with a lot of avoidance. Swords are more common, making them easier to find in the Free Market, but also making them more expensive as the demand is higher. The same can be said for the scrolls, too. Blunt Weapon Mastery: The passive skill that increases the base damage and accuracy while using blunt weapons. This also maxes out at level 20 with 60% increased base damage and +20 accuracy. Blunt weapons have a larger damage spread than swords, meaning that they have lower minimum damage and higher maximum damage. As explained earlier, they are less common but cheaper to buy and scroll than their sword counterparts. There is also a far better selection of one-handed blunt weapons than there are swords. For the purposes of this guide, we will assume that you are choosing the blunt weapons route. Final Attack Sword: We won’t be using swords, so let's skip to the blunt weapon version, below. Final Attack Blunt Weapon: Final attack is an automatic follow-up to either Power Strike or Slash Blast. At its best at max level 30, it goes off 60% of the time, at 250% of your base damage. Note that this does not combine with your original skill; this second attack uses its own, separate modifier. Slash Blast is calculated a bit differently, as the damage from Final Attack is divided between the number of creatures that you hit. An attack skill plus Final Attack is faster than two separate attacks, and it uses no extra magic points. It is useful in many Warrior builds, but not this one. More on this later. Sword Booster: Huh? What are swords? Blunt Weapon Booster: A skill that needs to be activated. It kicks up your weapon speed by one notch, so slow becomes normal, normal becomes fast, and fast becomes faster. Adding extra points increases its duration and decreases the hit point and magic point cost. At the max level of 20, it costs ten hp and mp, and lasts for three minutes and twenty seconds. Threaten: An active skill that affects all creatures in a circular radius around you. It lowers both their attack power and their defense. Whether this is by a straight amount or a percentage continues to rage on as a debate to this very day, but either way the difference is noticeable. At the max level of 20 it lasts for a full minute, and the radius of effect gets larger as you level it too, something not mentioned in the description. The common perception is that Pages do not have a party skill. Well, by increasing everyone's damage done and decreasing their damage taken, that is most definitely a valuable skill for everyone in your party. It looks cool, too. Nothing screams, "I'm a Page!!" more than using this. Power Guard: This skill is the foundation of our build. It is not just damage reduction; it is damage reflection. At max level 30, 40% of any damage that you would have taken instead strikes the creature. If that weren't enough, it greatly reduces the distance you get knocked back after getting hit, allowing you to stay close to your target. HP Warriors use this skill as their main form of attack. Defense Pages use this to augment their weapon damage, further reduce their own damage, and stick to their enemies like glue. First Point: Blunt Weapon Mastery Level 31: 2 points to Blunt Weapon Mastery (total: 3), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 15) Level 32: 2 points to Blunt Weapon Mastery (total: 5), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 16) Level 33: 2 points to Blunt Weapon Mastery (total: 7), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 17) Level 34: 2 points to Blunt Weapon Mastery (total: 9), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 18) Level 35: 2 points to Blunt Weapon Mastery (total: 11), 1 point to Iron Body (total: 19) Level 36: 2 points to Blunt Weapon Mastery (total: 13), 1 point to Iron Body (total: maxed at 20) Level 37: 2 points to Blunt Weapon Mastery (total: 15), 1 point to Threaten (prerequisite for Power Guard) Level 38: 2 points to Blunt Weapon Mastery (total: 17), 1 point to Threaten (total: 2) Level 39: 2 points to Blunt Weapon Mastery (total: 19), 1 point to Threaten (total: 3) Level 40: 2 points to Slash Blast (total: 11), 1 point to Power Guard Level 41: 2 points to Slash Blast (total: 13), 1 point to Power Guard (total: 2) Level 42: 2 points to Slash Blast (total: 15), 1 point to Power Guard (total: 3) Level 43: 2 points to Slash Blast (total: 17), 1 point to Power Guard (total: 4) Level 44: 2 points to Slash Blast (total: 19), 1 point to Power Guard (total: 5) Level 45: 1 point to Slash Blast (total: maxed at 20), 2 points to Power Guard (total: 7) Level 46: 3 points to Power Guard (total: 10) Level 47: 3 points to Power Guard (total: 13) Level 48: 3 points to Power Guard (total: 16) Level 49: 3 points to Power Guard (total: 19) Level 50: 3 points to Power Guard (total: 22) Level 51: 3 points to Power Guard (total: 25) Level 52: 3 points to Power Guard (total: 28) Level 53: 2 points to Power Guard (total: maxed at 30), 1 point to Blunt Weapon Mastery (total: maxed at 20) Level 54: 3 points to Threaten (total: 6) Level 55: 3 points to Threaten (total: 9) Level 56: 3 points to Threaten (total: 12) Level 57: 3 points to Threaten (total: 15) Level 58: 3 points to Threaten (total: 18) Level 59: 2 points to Threaten (total: maxed at 20), 1 point to Booster Level 60: 3 points to Booster (total: 4) Level 61: 3 points to Booster (total: 7) Level 62: 3 points to Booster (total: 10) Level 63: 3 points to Booster (total: 13) Level 64: 3 points to Booster (total: 16) Level 65: 3 points to Booster (total: 19) Level 66: 1 point to Booster (total: maxed at 20), 2 points to Improving HP Recovery (total: 7) Level 67: 3 points to Improving HP Recovery (total: 10) Level 68: 3 points to Improving HP Recovery (total: 13) Level 69: 3 points to Improving HP Recovery (total: maxed at 16) Level 70: 3 points to Endure (total: 6) I mentioned earlier that this build totally forgoes Final Attack. Now we explore why: First of all, you will be using one-handed weapons which are fast to begin with, let alone when we start putting points into Booster. Second, Final Attack is inconsistent and uncontrollable. It goes off when it feels like it, and when our strategy is to stay on top of a monster using touch damage to avoid being pounded by long range or magic attacks, randomly being unable to move due to Final Attack going off is a bad thing, especially if said creature is already dead and there are more ready to put a hurt on you. Final Attack is not useless, but leaving it half-baked is a detriment to your damage output, slowing your training considerably. You could put 30 into into Final Attack and not max Booster, but again, you will be left open for a pounding at crucial times. Also, at the time of this writing, the fourth jobs that are available in other versions have new attack skills that are incompatible with Final Attack. HP Recovery, Endure, and a maxed Booster, as nominally useful as they are, will at least be as fully functional at level 120+ as they are at level 70. The same can not be said for Final Attack. As for the order of the other skills, we are continuing the trend of improving both your offense and your defense at every level. Mastery is developed earliest, as it helps your damage output considerably, both in raw damage increase and improved accuracy. Finishing up the useful Slash Blast is next. Following that, we work on Power Guard, as its damage reflection and knockback reduction is essential to this build's fighting style. Threaten is raised afterwards, because at lower levels Power Guard will do more for you. Threaten is a targeted skill used only against the big fellas that need to be kicked down a notch, while Power Guard will always be on and the less you have to keep refreshing it and the more damage it can reflect, the better. Booster is next, making your fast weapon even faster (especially if you chose to use a Tube), and then the last few levels are pretty much throwaways. Well, at least from now on just standing will get you better hit point recovery than using a Relaxer to sit on. === VII. White Knight Skills and Point Allocation ====================== Increased MP Recovery: Magic Points replenish at a base of 4 per ten seconds when sitting, 3 elsewise. This passive skill adds to that, but there are diminishing returns after level 10. Up until then, you get an extra +2 mp per tick. From level 11 on, you get another +1. This skill will save you millions upon millions of mesos over the long haul. Shield Mastery: A passive skill that adds 5% to the weapon defense of your shield per level, effectively doubling its defense at the max level of 20. At level 90 you can, with scrolling, definitely add 80+ defense, and with luck even add 90+. That's a sizeable difference. It stands to reason that they will release higher level, better shields in the future, as well. Charge Blow: For this skill to work, you need to be charged with any element. Activating it "blows" your charge... you will have to recharge after... but in the process it will damage up to six enemies, and often stunning them as well. At max level 30, it costs 25 hp and 26 mp, has a 250% damage modifier (10% short of a Power Strike but against multiple enemies!), PLUS any elemental weakness modifier, and stuns 90% of the time for a duration of four seconds. Yes, by this point you will be able to keep your enemies stun-locked as you recharge. Yes, this is as awesome as it sounds. Fire Charge: A skill that adds a fire element to swords, whatever those are. Flame Charge: Adds fire element to your blunt weapons and all your attacks. Its duration (max of three minutes and twenty seconds), damage modifier, and effectiveness against creatures weak to fire increases with each level. There are other guides that can tell you the exact calculations, but here's the gist of it. Let's use max Power Strike and max Flame Charge as an example: Power Strike is 260% base damage. Level 30 Fire Charge starts out as a 120% modifier, just as the description says, regardless of what their weakness is, which alone makes your Power Strike 312% base. But if the creature is weak against fire, there is a modifier to your 120% modifier... it starts at 106.5% at level 1, and climbs 1.5% per level until it reaches 150% at level 30. So now your 120% modifier to Power Strike becomes a 180% modifier to Power Strike, which now makes it 468% damage to creatures weak against fire. Ice Charge: Adds ice element to swords, if we used them. We would if we could, but we can't so we won't! Blizzard Charge: Adds an ice element to all your attacks with blunt weapons. While the raw damage is less than fire charge (max base modifier of 105%, with the same elemental weakness progression of max 150% as the other charges, making the Power Strike we used in the last example 409.5% damage at charge level 30 against creatures weak to ice), there is an added benefit. Most creatures, whether they are weak to ice or not, are frozen for a random amount of time, but for a minimum of one second, increasing to a minimum of two seconds at level 16, and up to a maximum of six seconds. Remember, this can be used in conjunction with Slash Blast to continually keep a group of enemies on ice as you pummel them. This is also as awesome as it sounds. One thing worth noting: if you Charge Blow your Blizzard Charge, the freeze effect overrides stun. That's okay, though, since they amount to the same thing. Thunder Charge: Those crazy sword-users! Such kidders! Lightning Charge: Adds a lightning element to all your attacks. Although its max level 30 base modifier is the highest of the elements at 125%, making it the best choice for elementally neutral attacks (neither weak nor strong), the list of mobs that you can train on during your third job that are weak to lightning is shockingly short at this time. Well, it's basically limited to Spirit Vikings. But hey, your Power Strike does 487.5% damage to them at charge level 30. Magic Crash: Some creatures, such as Grim Phantom Watches (often called Grims for short), as well as some bosses like Zakum cast Magic Defense Up buffs on themselves. This is an active skill that removes it. Increasing the skill level both decreases the mp cost of using it, as well as increasing the likeliness that it will work. Max level 30 costs 7 mp and will work 100% of the time. Note that this is only going to be used in parties, as we don't cast offensive magic, and sparingly at that. This build ignores it completely in favor of stronger skills. First Point: Blizzard Charge Level 71: 3 points to Flame Charge (total: 3) Level 72: 3 points to Flame Charge (total: 6) Level 73: 3 points to Flame Charge (total: 9) Level 74: 3 points to Flame Charge (total: 12) Level 75: 3 points to Flame Charge (total: 15) Level 76: 3 points to Flame Charge (total: 18) Level 77: 3 points to Flame Charge (total: 21) Level 78: 3 points to Flame Charge (total: 24) Level 79: 3 points to Flame Charge (total: 27) Level 80: 3 points to Flame Charge (total: maxed at 30) Level 81: 3 points to Charge Blow (total: 3) Level 82: 3 points to Charge Blow (total: 6) Level 83: 3 points to Charge Blow (total: 9) Level 84: 3 points to Charge Blow (total: 12) Level 85: 3 points to Charge Blow (total: 15) Level 86: 3 points to Charge Blow (total: 18) Level 87: 3 points to Charge Blow (total: 21) Level 88: 3 points to Charge Blow (total: 24) Level 89: 3 points to Charge Blow (total: 27) Level 90: 3 points to Charge Blow (total: maxed at 30) Level 91: 3 points to Lightning Charge Level 92: 3 points to Lightning Charge (total: 6) Level 93: 3 points to Lightning Charge (total: 9) Level 94: 3 points to Lightning Charge (total: 12) Level 95: 3 points to Lightning Charge (total: 15) Level 96: 3 points to Lightning Charge (total: 18) Level 97: 3 points to Lightning Charge (total: 21) Level 98: 3 points to Lightning Charge (total: 24) Level 99: 3 points to Lightning Charge (total: 27) Level 100: 3 points to Lightning Charge (total: maxed at 30) Level 101: 3 points to Blizzard Charge (total: 4) Level 102: 3 points to Blizzard Charge (total: 7) Level 103: 3 points to Blizzard Charge (total: 10) Level 104: 3 points to Blizzard Charge (total: 13) Level 105: 3 points to Blizzard Charge (total: 16) Level 106: 3 points to Blizzard Charge (total: 19) Level 107: 3 points to Blizzard Charge (total: 22) Level 108: 3 points to Blizzard Charge (total: 25) Level 109: 3 points to Blizzard Charge (total: 28) Level 110: 2 points to Blizzard Charge (total: maxed at 30), 1 point to Shield Mastery Level 111: 3 points to Shield Mastery (total: 4) Level 112: 3 points to Shield Mastery (total: 7) Level 113: 3 points to Shield Mastery (total: 10) Level 114: 3 points to Shield Mastery (total: 13) Level 115: 3 points to Shield Mastery (total: 16) Level 116: 3 points to Shield Mastery (total: 19) Level 117: 1 point to Shield Mastery (total: maxed at 20), 2 points to Increased MP Recovery Level 118: 3 points to Increased MP Recovery (total: 5) Level 119: 3 points to Increased MP Recovery (total: 8) Level 120: 3 points to Increased MP Recovery (total: 11) This part of the build is actually not all that radical. The first point we will put into Blizzard Charge, because its ability to freeze an enemy is far more useful than any tiny damage boost that you get from level 1 Flame Charge. We just got promoted to White Knight, and Charges are cool, but let's face it: they only last for 12 seconds at this point, so you won't be using it all the time. So why are we learning the skills in this order? Why not Blizzard Charge first? It is the most defensive of the three Charges, after all, and we are now Defense Knights! Well, you actually could do Blizzard first, but know this: You will level a lot slower. There is just no way around this fact. Despite its useful freezing effect, Blizzard Charge has inferior damage, and an inferior list of enemies that are weak to it when compared to Flame Charge. One of our goals, remember, is to remain competitive damage-wise with other builds. Without maxing Flame Charge first, we will be left too far behind, unless you want to be fighting Red Drakes, Bains, and Death Teddies (who are not ice-weak but can be frozen) for forty levels or more. Whenever the maps for Zipangu are available, this may change because of the better Bain maps found there, but for now Flame Charge is your best bet. Charge Blow is next. You will find the stunning effect to Charge Blow to be invaluable. The vast majority of the high-level White Knights that I have talked to that put off learning Charge Blow in favor of learning other elements first have regretted their decision. Your maxed Flame Charge will have to tide you over for a while, as Charge Blow is not terribly useful at a low level. Once maxed, it is a beast of a skill. The reason Lightning is not learned first has already been explained: The list of training-calibur enemies that are weak to Lightning is short. Well, there's only one: Spirit Vikings, an enemy you certainly won't be facing as a new Knight. However, by learning this second, you'll have it maxed for when you are finally ready. You can actually learn Lightning Charge and Blizzard Charge in either order. Really, you can't go wrong. You may also optionally take Blizzard to 16, and then max out Lightning, then return to max out Blizzard. What you choose will make a difference in where your most effective hunting spots are, but either way you will not have a lack of places to go. The passive skills are learned last. If for some reason you chose to be a 2-handed Defense Knight (kind of a contradiction but hey, it could happen) then substitute Increased MP Recovery for Shield Mastery and save Magic Crash for last. === VIII. Equipment and Scrolling ======================================= The quality of equipment that you wear will greatly affect your effectiveness. There is really no need to go into detail for every ten levels as to what you should be wearing. Instead, lets instead prioritize what we are looking for in our armor, piece by piece. Note: One thing that is commonly done in other multiplayer RPGs but not so common in MapleStory is to have different sets of gear. Yes, this is more expensive, and if you can't afford it, or are not willing to spend the money for it... well then, you'll manage. But at all times throughout your Mapling career, there will be some monsters that you will be facing where you will need more accuracy to hit. Or maybe they are easy to hit but they hit hard so you will need more defense. Or maybe you slice through them like warm butter, meaning you can go with STR and attack gear. The more options you give yourself through differently scrolled equipment, the more effective and efficient you will be no matter what situation you are faced with. I have my normal defense plus accuracy gear, and my power gear. At times we will be diverting from our everyday gear to look at some backup choices. In general: Our focus is on WDEF, accuracy, and avoidability. STR and DEX are more than welcome, with DEX being more important as a Page and STR becoming more and more important as you make the transition to White Knight and start making your march toward level 100. The difference in level between you and the monster is the single greatest factor in determining how often you hit something. As you level, you will get a good feel as to what you can and cannot hit. As a Page, I often found my magic number to be 40. If the monster's avoidance plus the amount of levels higher he was than me reached 40, then I would start to miss, but it would be manageable (sites such as BasilMarket or HiddenStreet will have this information for you). The higher that difference got, the harder it got for me to make up the difference. So in other words, if you love hunting the big guys, nudge your DEX a little higher. If you are content with your current capability, by all means choose STR instead. One last thing: do your quests! Lots of great armor and weapons are obtained through questing. Tops, Bottoms, Hats, and Shields: You can rely on store-bought items early in your career. If you are funded, go ahead and 100% WDEF scroll everything as it makes a humongous difference in the early stages. These scroll sellers are found in the swamp outside Kerning, the forest outside the northern part of Ellinia, and in Orbis Tower. If you are using the Free Market or an auction site like Basil, be sure to be aware of what the average WDEF, STR and DEX is for each item. Extra STR and DEX usually cost a lot of money; WDEF does not. Using 100% scrolls on new armor as you get it continues to work well until later when the armor stores don't carry anything for your level anymore. At this point you will be switching to 60% scrolls. If you have a duplicate piece of armor, go ahead and try a 10% or two. If they fail, you can NPC it, but if one works then you can continue with 60%s to be safe, or more 10%s if you're feeling lucky. As cursed (dark) scrolls become more readily available, then we can scroll some gear for our power set, as well. Gloves: If you want to have an attack-scrolled Warrior Glove for when you don't need the extra accuracy, then be my guest, especially early in your career if you're funded. But as you move on, you'll want to keep regular Warrior gloves updated, and scroll for DEX rather than attack. The extra accuracy helps greatly for the big-game monsters that we like to hunt, and the small amount of avoidability that comes with the DEX helps, too. Not to mention that DEX scrolls are far cheaper than attack scrolls! As for finding gloves in the first place, keep checking the Free Market or Basil, because making them on your own is a losing proposition monetarily. Shoes: As we have discussed before, whether you want STR, DEX, or a little of each is up to you and depends on what else you have on. As for scrolling, DEX scrolls again play to our strengths here, adding more accuracy and avoidability than Jump scrolls at a lower price. If you can afford shoes scrolled with Speed for your power gear, go ahead. No, it won't make you do extra damage, but moving faster increases your training speed. Capes: Your choices are limited early. Old Raggedy Cape will be your first at level 25 via a quest. It has 10 avoidability which is perfect; scroll for WDEF or DEX, your choice. I took the WDEF route. Your next cape will also come via a quest at level 42. The Icarus Cape comes in three different versions. You want version (1) with 15 avoidability. If you don't get it initially, trade until you do. From 50 onward the capes you will be using are straight WDEF/MDEF capes from quests and monster drops. Keep in mind that the black capes often have more defense than other versions. Since we already have Tubes at our disposal if you like Fast weapons, your best bet is to go ahead and get the +5 STR cape like every other Warrior does at level 60 after completing the Goblin quest in Korean Folk Town. Go ahead and scroll it with STR, and that will make it your offense-oriented cape for when you don't need the extra defense. Earrings: Keep your earrings updated for the extra Magic Defense. At the time of this writing, Gachapon-only DEX scrolls are just becoming available, but they are horribly expensive due to them being so new, and thus rare. Weapons: Keep your weapons updated and scroll with 60%s as soon as possible. If you have the money, always strive to make a better version of what you have. At level 43 you will absolutely need a Maple Doom Singer and its +30 accuracy for big-game hunting, but one-handers will continue to be your default weapon of choice. Okay, about Tubes: They are more rare and expensive than your normal, run- of-the-mill blunt weapon. They are usually (but not always) a little weaker, too. However, they are Fast weapon speed, which becomes Faster when combined with BW Booster. This is very, very useful and the crazy attack speed will spoil you for other weapons. They also come with various other handy bonuses depending on which version you get. At level 70, the Colorful Tube is more powerful than The Judgement mace, and it's the sole reason why I discourage BW users from choosing the Goblin Bat after doing the three Goblin quest. Tubes are expensive! But oh, so worth it. === IX. Fighting Style and Techniques =================================== Until you get Power Guard, your way of going about engaging mobs won't be much different than your typical warrior. You'll just take a lot less damage, and occasionally have to swing one extra time to finish something off as compared to a more traditional build. At level 40 is where you will start making your metamorphosis with this build. At level 40 you will have your first few levels of Threaten and first get Power Guard. At 43, your Power Guard will be a bit stronger and you will be able to equip your big-game specialist, the Maple Doom Singer. You will have a few different ways of going about your business, depending on your situation. Against normal, easy to hit enemies with no strong magic attacks you will stick with your 1-handed weapon plus shield configuration. Threaten will not be necessary for these easier enemies, and Power Guard is really only used for it's very nice reduced knockback effect. For enemies that are easy to hit but have ranged magical attacks, stay with the same equips but keep bumping into them with Power Guard as you attack. Jumping at the mobs will allow you to get in closer without stopping your weapon swings. Purposely getting hit with touch damage plays right into your strength, and you will reflect damage right back at them as added damage. When you are hit, you are temporarily invincible, represented by your character blinking. During this time, offensive magic and any other special attacks will go harmlessly through you. Make sure that when the blinking wears off that you are in contact with the creature again, and repeat this process until it dies. This technique that I call the bump n' melee is essential to master. For the big nasty creatures that are far above you in level and impossible to hit with your normal setup, you need your survival kit. This includes your Doom Singer, any extra DEX and accuracy gear you can get a hold of to replace STR gear with, and Sniper, Warrior, and Dexterity pills from Ludibrium. Use Threaten before engaging the enemy and charge in jump- swinging. These are battles of attrition whereby you will slowly wear them down with Power Guard and hopefully the more-than-occasional weapon hit. These battles are too expensive and laborious to be used as efficient training, but they can be done to fulfill quest requirements or used just for bragging rights. It is vitally necessary that you continue to use the bump n' melee technique to avoid taking any more damage than you should be. Because of all your defense, you are safe from dying unless you do something suicidal such as attacking a Bone Fish at level 40 or something, but obviously if you still have 0% accuracy then you are in over your head and should retreat. But let's put it this way. At level 56 I went exploring for fun, cutting a path from El Nath all the way to Zakum's doorstep. There was not one creature that I couldn't defeat, and most I beat handily. This includes both versions of Yeti & Pepe, Werewolves, Lycanthropes, Cerebus and Bains. Bains were the only mobs that gave me much trouble at all; I pretty much had to wear it down with Power Guard, which I did just to complete my grand tour. Never did I feel like I was in any imminent danger of dying, and that, my friends, is the true beauty of a Defense Page. === X. Appendix of Silly Arguements ===================================== As I said in the beginning, I would explain everything that went into the choices made for this build, but I would not lace this guide with defensiveness. Well, I saved that for this part, haha! I have gotten a ton of support, guidance, and constructive criticism in assembling this build, and this guide. But then there are those who instead just tend to blindly claim that their way is the one best way, and this isn't it. They will drone on about "proven" methods and belittle other approaches to training without really listening to new, effective methods. I've heard it all, and if you choose to be a Defense Page/Knight, you will too. Here's what you can say to them, if they're worth talking reason to. Otherwise, just smile, nod, and go on with your awesome self. "I'd rather do more damage than use a few less potions." That's fine, but I get to spend all that potion money on better equipment. Or optionally, use my potions on harder monsters that give better experience points. "Why bother with a Defense build when all Warriors are tanks." That's like saying that Hyundais and Porsches are both fast; these statements are half-truths. Traditional Warrior builds get smacked around like everyone else; they just have more hit points. What does big damage to them, making some monsters untrainable on, are scratches to us. "Extra defense is only worth it if it saves you from being one-shot KO'd" I've heard this a few times, and it isn't even logical. What percentage of your deaths are from being killed in one hit? It almost never happens. "I never die anyway." That's great! By the way, "seldom" does not mean "never". "Your damage is gonna suck." It just doesn't. Will we get outdamaged by other Warrior builds? Usually. Especially low/no-DEX Warrior builds, which is to be expected even over traditional Warrior builds. But cmon, I was just back at the Lycanthropes today at level 71, and they die in less than ten seconds. I two-hit zombies just like every other warrior, except I do it at Faster attack speed. I hunt Ghost Pirates now, too. Which leads to the next statement: "I can kill all the stuff you can and do more damage too." Yes, other Warriors can kill high level mobs, but no, it's not worth it to them because they take way too much damage. This is exactly what I try to get through to the critics. They say, "I can do that too but its stupid, other stuff is easier." They don't get what I've been trying to say: the harder stuff to you IS our easy stuff. If I want to wade into a group of Dark Yetis and Pepes at 71, I can, and be not much worse for the wear. A lot of Warriors spend level upon level upon level upon LEVEL at Field of Golem. Who the heck wants to stay there for thirty freaking levels? Maybe someone else enjoys that, but I sure don't. There are literally twenty other places I can go to get comparable or better experience. One Ghost Pirate is worth five Golems, that's all I gotta say. This is not conceit; it's just the truth. "With this build you're going to level really slow." It took me exactly two months to reach Knighthood. That's not slow. "Why don't you max out Slash Blast? I don't get that at all." This is a very commonly asked question. First of all, it is eventually maxed out. Secondly, you should be using Power Strike unless you have three or more enemies you can hit, even if Slash Blast is maxed out, or you are compromising your damage output and wasting potions. Slash Blast is a great skill. Slash Blast is a necessary skill. But Slash Blast should be generally taking a backseat to Power Strike in most situations, even if you love sitting in densely spawned areas like the Ant Tunnel and Field of Golem for most of your career. For these minority of situations where you do have a line of creatures to line up and hit all at once, the levels you have in this skill are sufficient to suit your needs. Now... in a perfect world, I'd love to have supreme tanking ability and outdamage everyone else simultaneously. But as we all know, that is not possible. The first sacrifice Defense Pages make is having to waste a level putting points into a worthless skill like Endure just to get Iron Body going. The second sacrifice is that Slash Blast levels slower. When all is said and done, your extra durability will be far more noticible than your half- levelled Slash Blast. === XI. A Final Note===================================================== Understandably, a new build in any MMORPG (online RPGs like MapleStory) is met with a certain amount of skepticism. Being a veteran of such games since their birth in the mid-90's, and a player of numerous MUDs before then, the ranges of public reaction to such new strategies are very familiar to me. People often have very strong opinions about the "right way" of doing things. The tiniest fraction of new character builds (or whatever new strategies are involved) gain immediate acceptance. Most require elaborate, prolonged demonstration that they work. Even if being a tank isn't your cup of tea, let me assure you that this build works as advertised. Your damage will, all other factors being equal, be a little lower. But the discrepancy is slight enough that very few (if any) people will take notice. The reward is that you are invulnerable to all enemies that are listed in guides as being appropriate for a Warrior of your level. You can either choose to follow these hunting guide locations and take your 1 point of touch damage from mobs, or do what I did and spend your potions like everyone else but use them fighting tougher, more rewarding creatures. My last comment has less to do with this guide and more to do with the Mapling community at large. Many people bemoan the general population as being obnoxious, immature, and generally stupid. Of course, this never seems to apply to the person complaining. I encourage everyone to contribute to their community, both in Maple and out in the real world, by spending a little time each week helping or mentoring someone who needs a hand. Not only will it improve the world around us, but it also creates some very special moments that you will treasure forever. === XII. Acknowledgements =============================================== I'd like to take the time to thank all the members of my guild, Transcend, for their support and wisdom as I trekked along this path less travelled. In particular, I'd like to give special thanks to Patrick (Piaculus) and Chris (OminousArrow) for the time they spent with me both discussing game mechanics and adventuring alongside me. Special thanks also to the following people: Louise (Coquille) for the extra proofreading. Stephan (Hiarch) for reminding me that using Pain Relievers are better than using a low-level Iron Body skill. I'd like to thank the members of the Basil community, especially TmanTrex and LordRaid from Bera, and zashim4 from Khaini who most graciously answered questions regarding certain White Knight skills. Finally, at the risk of sounding trite, I'd like to thank you, the reader. Seeing more people be open-minded about how MapleStory can be enjoyed makes me happy. === XIII. Legal Disclaimer ============================================== This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited. The ONLY websites that have this permission currently are basilmarket.com and gamefaqs.com. The author is in no way affiliated with Wizet or Nexon, the companies responsible for MapleStory. Copyright 2007, Laurie Jones.