Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade
                              Character FAQ V.1.1
                                 23 March 2006

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- 0 - Introduction ------------------------------------------------------------
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UL: BotB, released by Sony Online Entertainment back in March 2005, is the 
first Hack-and-Slash RPG to come out for the PSP.  If you are familiar with any 
game from either the Champions of Norrath Series or the Baldurs Gate Dark 
Alliance Series, then you will notice the first time you start this up that the 
gameplay is very similar if not identical to these PS2 games (the former moreso 
than the latter).

There are some major differences though.  Following is a rundown of the more 
releveant ones:

*  There are only four characters to choose from:  the Knight (which can be 
   played either as the standard tank or, surprisingly, as an archer), the 
   Berserker (a melee character that sacrifices defense for offense), the 
   Alchemist (your standard spellcaster), and the Druid (a more kind of mixed 
   melee and spellcaster class).  This is not a major deal breaker though since 
   with numerous playthroughs I found that each class can be played in very 
   different ways through a different mix of skills.

*  Aside from the starting town, every dungeon map is random.  This means that 
   the location of treasures and monsters change with every play through.  The 
   quests remain the same though and the monsters and bosses you encounter for 
   every map is pretty much the same.  
   
*  Lastly, given the design choices Sony has made on the PSP, the developers 
   had to make some compromises on the control scheme.  It takes time to get 
   used to blocking because of the unorthodox button combination for example.

All in all, this is a great game and is a nice addition to every PSP owner's 
collection.

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- 1 - Thoughts on Stats -------------------------------------------------------
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For this section, note that I won't repeat anything from the manual as I tend 
to believe that stuff like that only makes it hard for those non-DSL readers to 
get this FAQ so don't expect anything of that nature here.  I will provide my 
own personal opinion on skills and stats based on my own playing experience.  
Let me then begin with some explanation on the stats:

All characters have the same basic attributes:  Strength (STR), Dexterity 
(DEX), Intelligence (INT), and Stamina (STA).  This in turn affects the 
character's stats (i.e., Health, Power, Damage, carry capacity, etc).  The 
basic effects of each attribute is as follows:

  +3 STR will net you +1 melee damage
  +1 STR will up your carry capacity by some amount (I will need to get the
              exact value though)
  +3 DEX will net you +1 bow damage
  +3 DEX will increase your spell damage by 1 (both  direct spell damage or
              per second damage depending on spell selection)
  +1 STA will net you +1 Health
  +1 INT will net you +1 Power

I may get flamed for this but please hear me out first.  From the table above, 
you will see that the additional increase is quite minimal.  As you level up, 
you also receive additional health and power (the value of which depends on 
your class selection), and the increase in amount is most likely more than 
enough to survive.  Take this example:

A Druid receives +14 health per level up (if I'm not mistaken).  At level ten 
this gives you 126 health points.  At this level, enemieS do around 30 to 50 
damage so you will be hit 4 to 6 times before you die.  Now if you put one of 
your three points per level to STA, you will get an additional 9 health.  That 
won't do jack for you...  If you then put all your points to STA, you should 
have an additional 27 points which may increase your survivability by another 
hit which is noticable but again is not much.

Taking the same druid, at each level you should receive +17 power per level up. 
At level 15, when you get "Thunder Strike", you will have around 600 power.  
Thunder Strike, at level 1, uses around 350 power! so you can't cast it more 
than once.  Even if you put all your points in INT, the power increase would 
only be around 60 points.  This won't even give you enough for another casting. 
That's not to say that it's no big help but don't expect much.

The damage increase from increased STR, though welcome, is also not that much.  
At base STR, a level 15 druid, can do around 60 or so damage depending on your 
weapon and mods.  With this, you need to hit your standard skeleton about three 
times before his hit points are depleted.  If you choose to maximize strength, 
your damage goes up by 15.  This improves your damage by 25% but that is still 
not enough to usually lower the number of times you need to hit the enemy.  Not 
maxing strength would be much worse as the increase won't be noticable.  This 
would be more noticable for a Knight or Berserker, but still that is not 
significant enough to have any impact.  For most cases, you will increase STR 
only to improve your carry capacity.  

For spellcasters, maxing DEX may be a good option though, since while it 
doesn't affect your direct damage much, it does improve your damage over time 
spells (like the lowly "Sting").  At level 15, your 9 to 11 base damage per 
second for sting at base damage is improved in that it is now 24 to 26 per 
second!  This doesn't compare to increasing skill points to sting but at least 
it helps a bit.

To summarize, I would recommend that you choose one stat and max it so that the 
effect, however minimal, is at least noticable.  For casters, it's either max 
your power (INT) or your damage (DEX) (I tend to pick DEX).  For melee, 
maximize health (STA) or damage (STR) (I tend to pick STR).

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- 3 - Thoughts on Skills ------------------------------------------------------
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Skills can be categorized as Active or Passive Skills.  Active Skills can then 
be further sub categorized as offensive (direct damage, area damage, area 
damage over time, damage over time, or combination of the above) and defensive 
(restoration and buffs).

- 3.1 - Thoughts on Passive Skills --------------------------------------------

At first glance, players will view passive skills as being much better than 
active skills in that you don't need to expend power to utilize it.  I must 
note however that the improvement provided by passive skills are too low in 
that you will not see any benefit unless you put more than a few points into 
it.  For the most passives, I would recommend putting off placing points until 
you have maxed your other skills.  Of course if your chosen skills are either 
maxed for that level already or are still unavailable and the necessary 
prerequisite skills have been selected already, it may be better to put in 
those spare points into the passives already.

That said, there are a few passive skills that are worth the early point 
allocation (Druid's "Nature's Medicine", and Knight's "Dual-Wield comes to 
mind").

- 3.2 - Thoughts on Active Skills ---------------------------------------------

One thing I noted is for some classes, there are some Active Skills that 
require a lot of Power to cast.  There are some skills that, at the time that 
you first get it and even with maxed INT, require more than half of your Power 
to cast!  For these skills, try to hold off putting skills points as (1) they 
are impossible to cast constantly anyway so you won't be using them and (2) if 
you do use them, the increase in skill points might actually make them 
uncastable as their Power utilization is above your existing pool.

- 3.3 - Thoughts on Skill Selection -------------------------------------------

This part is more personal preference so your opinion may vary.

Active skills does damage based on either a fixed amount depending on skill 
allocation (i.e., 15-20 damage per hit +10 points damage per level) or applies 
a percent multiplier to your base damage. In my experience, the latter is 
better than the former in that it does not have any damage cap.  As long as you 
can increase your STR and get better weapons, your damage will increase.  
That's not to say that the former is not that good.  Some have some good 
effects (i.e., chance to stun, etc) that might be worthwhile.  But in that 
case, you don't need much points in it.  Even one might be sufficient if you 
only need it for the effect.  

For spells, damage is improved by allocating stat points into DEX.  For most 
players, it might be best to just put one point in skills that you won't be 
using in the long run and rely on the damage increase provided by DEX.  
"Sting", for example, is good at skill level 1 until you get "Stone Storm" 
because your DEX is not only applied on the initial hit but also on the damage 
over time.  By the time you get "Stone Storm" the DEX allocation will also 
benefit it.  As I've said, there's no point in putting INT since the benefit is 
minimal at best so focus on damage instead.

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- 4 - Build Recommendations ---------------------------------------------------
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From the above, you should be able to create your own builds.  I suggest that 
you put one point in one skill, and observe the following: (1) is it power 
intensive? (2) does it scale well with levels (this can be noted by checking 
the next level stats in the skill tree)? (3) is the skill improved by putting 
in ponits into STR/DEX (you need to test this out by saving, allocating stats, 
and reloading if needed)? (4) most importantly, is it fun and easy to use and 
does it mix well with other skills?

Note that for the most part, you will only be using two active skills at a time 
so it might be prudent to max those that you use often (and only those that you 
use often) first.

That said, here are a few combinations that I liked:

Melee Knight:
   Aura of Valor  - for increased XP!
   Flurry         - your main attack, supplement with gems in weapons
   Dual-Wield     - best if you can remove the penalty soon
   Melee Attack
   Aura of Wounds - your main crowd control skill
   Aura of Might  - your only buff

Alternatively, you can use block instead of Aura of Wounds but I think the 
 latter is better.

Ranged Knight:
   Aura of Valor - for increased XP!
   Archery   
   Multishot     - your main attack, supplement with gems in weapons
   Recover Arrows- when everything else is maxxed
   
You can also make a sort of hybrid melee ranged knight.  With this, just use 
the same skill selection as in the above but of course splitting the stat 
points prioritizing either melee or ranged first, whichever you use
more or often.  Since improvement is very low per point investment, there's
no point splitting the points equally.  I recommend putting points in STR
and not in DEX due to the weight of Knight Armour.

Berserker:
   Ravage       - your main attack 
   Scent of the Pack
   Dual-Wield   - at least one point when it becomes available and add points 
                  later.
   Melee Attack   
   Savage Strike - your best buff (be sure to check power usage before 
                  increasing points).  Due to cost of using, this won't be
                  viable until much later on when the duration is high enough.
   Infect with Madness - a very good crowd control skill.  Prioritize the
                  stronger enemies in bigger crowds.  

You may also want to put points into Thrown Weapon and Recover Weapon if you 
want a ranged attack but I wouldn't bother.

Druid:
   Nature's Medicine - definitely a life saver.  At later levels, the regen 
                  rate is great.
   Tempest      - your best crowd control skill.  I tend to go melee and I
                  with this cast, you won't be mobbed.  Just make sure that
                  it attacks enemies first.  It is superior to Golem because 
                  both this and you can stay in the same spot so it can act as 
                  a sort of shield.  Both you and the Tempest can damage 
                  enemies at the same time and you will benefit from the 
                  knockback effect it provides.
   Tranquil Thoughts - same as above except for Power.  Some of your spells
                  will be free to cast with this maxed.
   Cleanse the Land - your attack spell.  Pretty good casting cost as well.
   Stone Storm  - Nice spell, max it later though since the +5 damage per
                  level is negligible and you need Nature's Medicine maxed
                  first.
   Breath of the North - another life saver.  One point is enough early on.
                  Add points later either before or after Stone Storm is
                  maxed.

With Druids I tend to put all my points into DEX.  Survivability is still
average to high.  Just keep your minion cast at all times.  There will be tough 
spots (those rhino mobs come to mind) but it is very feasible if you take your 
time.

Alchemist:
   Chain Lightning - your main attack skill.
   Build Golem  - your main crowd control spell.  And it attacks too!  Pity
                  its not as good as Tempest.
   Detonate Golem - cast your golem, let it attack and before it dies
                  detonate it!
   Quagmire     - assist your golem with this spell,  One point is ok at
                  early levels.
   Stone Gaze   - assist your golem with this spell,  One point is ok at
                  early levels.

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- 6 - Contact Info ------------------------------------------------------------
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For any questions, clarications or God-forbid violent reactions, please 
contact e-mail me at techie.pinoy@yahoo.com.  Please write the nature of your 
e-mail in the Subject line.  

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- 7 - Version Info ------------------------------------------------------------
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 27 January 2006  1.0   First release of the FAQ.
 23 March 2006    1.1   Minor revisions and change in e-mail address. 

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- 8 - Legal Info --------------------------------------------------------------
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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, and a
violation of copyright.

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders.

Copyright 2006 Michael Madriņan