Character Customization Guide by JCtheArchangel

Version 4, Last Updated 2012-02-15

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Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Character Customization Guide

Introduction and Legal Info

Welcome to my little guide. Id write a full FAQ but quite frankly I dont have the patience to do every single little quest and write about it book report style, so instead Ill write about the part I enjoyed most, that being the customization you can do for your very own character. Another reason I shied away from writing a full FAQ is because of how simple the questing is in this game, just go into your quest log, pick a quest, and follow the little golden circle and you can get through almost all of the quests without having to even think about it. Ill also say that this FAQ is totally unnecessary, the game, as it is now anyways, is really quite simple once you get past the first few levels. Once you reach the second half of the game, even if youre playing on hard, youll find you can mop up even the most difficult battles without hesitation or danger. However, if youd like to get the skinny on all the abilities, weapon types and destinies without having to do the trial and error yourself Ill try to cover the essentials of all the trees so you can have a better picture of what to expect with each set of decisions.

Version 1: (13 Feb 2012) Game has been out for a week, really just trying to get a FAQ up for people to enjoy and plan on revising it once its posted and I get some feedback.

Version 2: (14 Feb 2012) First submission failed due to formatting issues. Did some reading on gamefaqs and remembered how to do the fancy Formatted FAQS, and how much better looking they are. Went ahead and redid the FAQ and divided up the sections better.

Version 3: (15-19ish Feb 2012) Cant remember when exactly I did this update, but added some info from emails received, specifically about Panic mostly. A surprisingly high volume of emails overall providing feedback, guess its cause the game is so new. Removed the table of contents since Gamefaqs seems to create one with Formatted FAQS like this one. Also added a brief summary of all the skills in order of preference, all my opinions of course.

Version 4: (24 Feb 2012) Going to remove some old falsehoods, I still get emails about panic so Ill try to set the record straight for Shadowcasters and fire-based spells once and for all, though I am guessing on some of it since my shadow caster experience is pretty brief, in spite of the fact that I loved it. May try to cut down on clutter and just reduce the size of the FAQ overall, make some things more concise. At some point in the future I may include some information about the Twist of Fate cards since, really, those are the only decisions you can make regarding character customization that you cant undo. Luckily though the differences are pretty minor and the game is never so challenging that youll kick yourself for not going one way or the other with any particular faction quest. But, if you do care about tweaking every little detail about your character its worth looking into the differences in twist of fate cards you can get from faction quests based one which decision you make, for the details go to http://uk.ign.com/wikis/kingdoms-of-amalur-reckoning/Twists_of_Fate to see which decisions get you which cards.

Ill keep the boring legal crap to a minimum. If you want to use this FAQ, feel free, but give credit where it is due please. Also if youd like to make additions or suggest revisions for any particular parts feel free to email me at Kairael@hotmail.com, would be happy to take a look, naturally giving credit if you make a good point I missed. Just keep flaming to a minimum please, I am doing this for free after all

Overview of designing a character

So heres the best way to design your character: Look through the top tiers of destinies, theres 7 of them, and choose one that fits you. Then decide which weapons from that tree or trees you want to use, pick which skills you want to prioritize, and then figure out which abilities youll need to put points in so you can put it all together, (http://www.38watch.com/calculator/#0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 has a good ability calculator you can use to see what Im talking about). One school of thought regarding splitting between trees is to put points into one tree until you hit 55, and then start bringing up the other. If you decide to do that youll want to start with the tree that holds the weapons youre using. So for a Shadowcaster using faeblades and longbows, start by dumping points into the finesse tree until you hit 55, and then start bringing up sorcery. The other school of thought, the one I enjoy more, is to try to keep them even so you gradually move up the destinies and grow accustomed to that style of play until you, at long last, reach the top tier destiny. Play however you want, fateweaving is very cheap and its never too difficult to redo your skills and ability points.

The soonest youll be able to reach top tier destinies is level 36, which takes a long time After deciding what destiny youd like, its time to pick weapons. The way I mainly played which worked out fairly well for me was to pick one class primarily for its weapons and another for its abilities. If the weapons you want and the abilities you want are in the same tree, gravy. In my first playthrough I used Faeblades and Longbows, while sporting mainly might abilities. I started as a might/finesse even split and played one all game until Blademaster at the very end, and by the time I reached the final boss I had it down pat, took out the final dungeons and bosses on hard without a problem, though through the course of making this guide Ive learned just how much fun some of the other classes are to play. Feel free to change things up, take it all in, and enjoy this beautiful game. In fact Id advise AGAINST doing what I did, which was to stay so dedicated to one class that it gets boring mopping up all the bad guys over and over again since youre just repeating the same strategies over and over again. So without further delay, lets take a look at the top tier destinies.

109 points in Might

30% Melee Attack Damage

30% Block Efficacy

20% Stun Duration

20% Chance to Stun

Last Stand- Automatically resurrect with 20% Health. Health drains until an enemy is killed.

Probably the most disappointing of the top tier destinies in my opinion. If this is your play style maybe youll enjoy it more than I did, but both the feel of it and the abilities for it really turned me off. Playing straight Might means you are limited to one of three weapons, the Long Sword, which is a good enough weapon, the Great Sword, which is just slow enough to frustrate the hell out of you in many situations, and the great hammer, which is even more frustratingly slow. The draw for going Warlord is really the survivability. You practically have to try to die. All of the gear for Might characters boosts survivability over anything else. You basically get to the point where all you need to do is hold the left shoulder button and youll be able to withstand just about anything. Not only that, but youll take greatly reduced damage, that is, when you actually take damage and it doesnt simply bounce back, stunning your attacker. You also retain your roll and do so even in the heaviest of armors, so theres really no difference between a finesse and might defensive roll other than that the rogue supposedly has higher defense during a roll well guess what, your defense and damage reduction is probably higher than the finesse player, even during a roll. Itd be one thing if the game was harder, maybe then I could see the mentality of absolute survivability, but it really doesnt mean squat when you take FOREVER to cut through a batch of enemies. Two of the three weapons are slow as constipated cat crap (for clarification, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOz2Sk0Lvq8), and none of them offer any range. Anyways, rant complete.

What I do like about warlord is the same thing I like with the other destinies that use the might tree, that being adrenaline rush and battle frenzy, plus the tier 6 upgrade for battle frenzy makes you attack faster, which is quite useful with those huge weapons youre swinging. The tier 6 abilities with the might tree are pretty nice, and while the Wrath ability is pretty expensive its nice to have in a crowded room. Keep in mind the damage during the late game isnt the greatest though.

As for Last Stand, it is very much like it sounds. When you die, you come back with 20% health, which may not help much if youre in the process of getting pelted with tons of spells and attacks, its basically a glorified adrenaline surge, which really isnt that great of an ability The good news is, after either adrenaline surge or Last Stand goes into effect you have the ability to use potions. The downside of Last Stand is that your health will dwindle VERY rapidly until you manage to kill something, which can be troublesome during a long boss battle with no minions left, leaving you to constantly chug potions while trying desperately to get in as much damage as possible before you run out. Its just one more tool that tries to guarantee the warrior wont die even if it takes him or her hours to clean up simple battles. If anyone has any wonderful experiences with the warlord and wants to share, feel free to email me or speak up on the message boards, just try to include some good details, like what weapons you used, how you dealt with not having ranged attacks, and possibly some redeeming qualities for Last Stand if there are any.

109 points in Finesse

30% Ranged Attack Damage

60% Damage Resistance While Dodging

12% Chance to Critical Hit

20% Piercing Damage

Assassination Guaranteed 300% Critical Hit after triggering Evasion

Evasion 11% Chance to Avoid Hit

Playing straight finesse is fairly enjoyable in some ways, but can get very tiresome in dungeons when youre trying to be stealthy between battles. Most people will get tired of it and just rush into battles without stealth as theres no way to enhance stealth speed. Plus investing in stealth means you arent investing skill points elsewhere, which is kind of a pain, especially considering points in stealth arent really all that noticeable. The best way to play finesse is to choose either faeblades or daggers as your main weapon, and use a longbow as your alt. Youll find you use that longbow a lot more than you thought you would, especially mid and late game. One thing of note about the bonuses of being a Nightblade, theres a bonus to ranged attack damage, a bonus chance to crit, and bonus piercing damage nothing in there said anything about bonus melee damage (Though to be fair piercing includes daggers and faeblades). So know up front this Destiny is setting you up for Longbows too.

The Assassination ability is pretty nice, one of the better Tier 6 Destiny Bonuses Id say. It lasts between 10-15 seconds, basically youll get hit with something, but instead of seeing the impact, youll glow white for a second and the word ASSASSINATION will pop up on the top of the screen, and youll see the little blue logo on the right like an ability or blessing with a time limit. What thats basically telling you is if you manage to get a hit in on something before that time runs out youll do a critical hit with 300% damage so basically a TON of damage, enough to insta-kill some bosses probably. Plus with 11% likelihood youll be seeing it pretty often. Just a nice combat bonus really, huge damage every so often, assuming youre engaged in a lot of melee fights or getting arrows shot at you. So basically if youre very evasive and dont get hit much (like myself) you wont really notice as it only comes into play when you get hit.

109 points in Sorcery

50% Elemental Damage

25% Mana Cost Reduction

3 Mana Regen Per Second

25% Duration of all Duration-Based Spells

Ice Blink 3 Short-Range teleport with Ice Effect. Replaces dodge

Echoes of Fate- Chance to Spawn Fate Echo Ally per Kill

Wow Just Wow I didnt play with any points in sorcery during my playthrough, but Im beginning to wish I had. I gave this a whirl, put all points into sorcery, and bought robes and a staff for the character and took a run through the final area. Shocking. I could not believe that with only some store-bought robes and a staff and the abilities in the sorcery tree I was able to DOMINATE everything I came across. Basically, regardless of gear, this build is damn near unstoppable. Normally if a build means not using abilities that piggyback on your weapon damage I see it as a major flaw, but thats definitely not the case with this build. You have so much mana and all your abilities do SO MUCH DAMAGE to SUCH A LARGE AREA that you dont even need to use your weapons really For a fun example, run into a group of elite enemies with the sorcery tree maxed out, specifically all the elemental abilities, then use all three hits of Elemental Rage, followed by a Meteor. The Elemental Rage will suck all the enemies into one neat little location and damage them with all three elements, and the meteor will deal CRUSHING fire damage to everything in that area. Elemental Rage has a small windup, but meteor has such a small delay before the attack its amazing it doesnt get more attention. Plus being an archmage means youll have the ability to heal yourself, which the other trees do not. Also the protection ability is nothing to sneeze at, it does a great job of keeping a modest amount of enemies from approaching, except the big ones. Flaws with Archmage? Ice Blink isnt really anything special, Im not a big fan, wouldve preferred the roll to be honest.

Echoes of Fate was kind of pointless I thought. I made sure to watch it a couple times, but it just doesnt have much utility When youre doing a lot of AOE spells chances are youre going to be killing a lot of things at once, so a little summon that sits in one area AFTER youre done killing something isnt all that useful. It kind of acts like a trap that occasionally pops up and hovers over a body you just killed. Unfortunate, but it can be useful if youve got a little luck and slay a couple minions during a major fight. Again though, I didnt play the Archmage for long, so if anyone has some redeeming qualities for Echoes of Fate theyd like to discuss Im all ears.

Might/Finesse split, 55 in each

25% Melee Attack Damage

20% Ranged Attack Damage

12% Chance to Critical Hit

15% Piercing Damage

25% Damage While in Stealth

Cut Throat- 15% Physical Damage, 1% Chance to Steal Health, and Gold Drops as 20% of Damage for 5 seconds when striking fallen enemies.

I played as Might/Finesse for about 40 hours or so and probably ten of those were as an actual blademaster, so I know it pretty well. It was not only the ideal setup for me as a player, but it was also a great approach to this game. In this game the main pastime is dungeons full of mobs with between 3-8 enemies. Youll see similar setups hundreds of times as you progress through the game, and itll get a bit repetitive over time. The only way to really enjoy the game is to develop a way to kill lots of enemies very quickly. You dont want to be wasting time sneaking up on enemies or finding yourself cornered without the ability to fight your way out as the pure might and pure sorcery builds sometimes do. The basic principles I used for playing blademaster were to use Faeblades and Bows, which made up most of my finesse points, and might abilities like harpoon (which I barely used), Quake (sometimes used), Relentless Assault (ROCKS, highly recommend it), and Battle Frenzy (Also very useful). It made for a great balance between melee and ranged, I had all of the bow abilities which meant I could do some killer AOE shots to tear up all the little guys and focus down the big enemies like it was nothing since Battle Frenzy meant my damage was doubled for about twenty seconds, and Relentless Assault meant my character wouldnt budge, no matter how hard I got hit, so I could tear the enemies up without a second thought, only keeping an eye on my health during the hairy moments of course. I suppose another approach wouldve been to use Might weapons and Finesse abilities. Theres some merit to that probably, but to be honest its almost foolish not to make use of the long bow with this build. Its your only real ranged possibility The other reason to use finesse weapons is for the stealth kills, theres nothing stealthy about a giant hammer

Another drawback with that approach is that you wont be able to get to the top tier finesse abilities, which include Paralytic Poisons and Execution, two abilities that completely reinvent all of the finesse abilities and make them viable options for late game. Your options for abilities with such a style of play would be Shadow Flare (Good, but diminished usefulness if you have a bow), Ice Trap (Ice Crap), Envenomed Edge (decent, but 25% mana cost, ugh), and of course smoke bomb which is AWESOME. During my playthrough I didnt use smoke bomb unfortunately, but I truly wish I had now that I know how great it is. If anyone has a good experience as Blademaster using Might weapons and finesse abilities feel free to share, but in the mean time Im going to say your best bet is picking either daggers or faeblades as your main, bow as your alt, and then looking at the might abilities you want to focus on.

Ugh, Cut Throat was a disappointment, even though I loved this class. The fact that you do more damage and steal more health is, of course, welcome. The part that was supposed to be unique about it though was the getting gold as you fight. Keep in mind youre at least level 36 Chances are your gold is in the millions, so when you see a couple hundred gold being added to your bank account over and over again when you already cant figure out what to do with all your gold its sort of a waste

Blademaster Recommended Abilities

Assassins Art

Envenomed Edge (maybe)

Shadow Flare (at least one for enduring agony)

Blade Honing

Smoke Bomb

All Longbow skills

Quake

Relentless Assault

Battle Frenzy

Finesse/Sorcery split, 55 in each

34% Elemental Damage

20% Piercing Damage

12% Chance to Critical Hit

2 Mana Regen Per Second

Dread Guaranteed to Critical Hit vs. enemies in Panic

Poison Blink 3 Short-range teleport with Poison Effect. Replaces dodge

Drain Mana- Critical Hits restore mana

This took me a LONG time to figure out, but when I did I quickly found out how to really make the most out of this Destiny, and it is AWESOME. The challenge with both Finesse and Sorcery is that the bulk of the power with these two trees lies between tiers 3-5 (Unlike might which hands you quake at 2, Relentless at 3 and Frenzy at 4), but somehow you have to wade through the first two or three tiers even though they really arent going to help your final build much. Ideally any good shadowcaster will have the following things going for them:

Stealth Kills (A MUST for any self respecting Finesse player, smoke bomb is just too awesome to ignore!)

Strong melee (Youve got access to daggers, faeblades, and chakrams, theres just no reason why you shouldnt be dangerous up close, and plus, if you want stealth kills, you HAVE to use daggers or faeblades)

Strong ranged (You have access to bows, Chakrams, Staffs, Scepters, and ranged spells. Plus your character is going to be a bit squishy, so you need to have a couple ways to back up and still do some damage while you recover health and assess the situation)

Fire Damage (Either with Mark of Flame, Elemental Rage, or fire based weapons, if you want to cause panic and deal auto crits to mobs youll want to focus on fire damage)

Ive gotten several emails from many different people now concerning dread and panic. Its based on fire damage only, so lightning can stun and pass to other enemies, ice can slow and freeze, and fire causes damage over time and can cause enemies to panic, basically theyll run around aimlessly in a state of panic, and during that time youll deal automatic critical hits as a tier 6 shadowcaster. From what Ive read from some emails panic doesnt seem to work on the bigger enemies (email me if Im mistaken), and also it seems to only kick in on heavily damaged enemies, so throwing light fire damage on an enemy that really isnt harmed all that much wont cut it (again, email me if Im mistaken, this is just what Ive gathered from emails).

So the big challenge is finding a good mix. Ill just assume youre going to use daggers or faeblades as not doing so would be most unwise. Ill also assume you want to get the most out of your sorcery tree. The strongest fire and ice abilities in the sorcery tree are, naturally, at the top, tier 6, where you will never reach. Meanwhile about half the sorcery tree is dedicated to elemental attacks and boosting elemental damage Grrr Seems like a problem, and it is, except for one beautiful ability which is every bit as strong as the Tier 6 attacks, that being Elemental Rage. You see, with only one point in Mark of Flame, Storm Bolt, and Ice Barrage you unlock the elemental boosts for those elements in tiers 3 and 4. So if you max all three of those out, Elemental Rage can become your bread and butter magic spell and be at full power, just as good as if an archmage was casting it, and whats more, the spell has a wicked short windup and cooldown! Plus the fire damage can cause enemies to panic.

The challenge with both trees then, is getting to tiers 3, 4 and 5 where the abilities you want are. The best way Ive found to do that is to use a finesse and a sorcery weapon. My choices were daggers (stealth kills, either this or faeblades, just go with it) and chakram since its a powerful weapon that has a long range. Downside was I didnt bother with blade honing, you can, but just know it wont impact your Chakram unfortunately. I also went ahead and dumped all the excess early tier points into both dagger mastery and chakram mastery. Weapons are really up to you, but make sure one of them is daggers or faeblades, and the other should have some range, then use the rest of the points how you want.

Also remember you can roll and blink while maintaining stealth, which makes getting all those stealth kills much quicker. Truthfully Im kicking myself for not checking this thing out earlier, its incredibly powerful, especially since you can max out Elemental Rage, an INCREDIBLY powerful spell with very little windup and a very short cooldown. Its disgusting how powerful a Shadowcaster can be. The Shadowcaster plays a lot differently than a straight finesse or straight sorcery character, but the two mix quite nicely once you get the hang of it.

Shadowcaster Recommended Abilities

Assassins Art

Shadow Flare (At least one point for Enduring Agony)

Envenomed Edge (Works on all edged weapons including chakram)

Smoke Bomb

Blade Honing (unless youre using primarily chakram)

Mark of Flame (For stall tactics and panic)

Healing Surge

Elemental Rage (Max out Smolder, Chain Lightning and Frost Shackle)

Might/Sorcery split, 55 in each

Gain 75% of Damage Received as Mana

25% Elemental Resistance

20% Melee Attack Damage

15% Total Armor

Blink- Short-range teleport. Replaces Dodge

Harmonic Overload- Chance to produce elemental projectiles per kill

This one has some flexibility. Unlike pure might you have options when it comes to ranged attacks, meaning you can use the might weapons as much as youd like, at the exclusion of sorcery weapons if youd like since you have spells. If you wanted to be cost efficient you have the option of having both your main and alt weapon belong to one tree or the other, meaning long sword in one hand and great sword in the other, or chakram in one and staff/scepter in the other. Doing so would free you to use more abilities in the other tree, assuming you wanted to.

The real beauty with this build is relentless assault. Its already one of my favorite abilities, but matched with magical spells its just stupid powerful. Picture this, a mage casting a huge spell that cant be interrupted Yeah, thats what a Champion is when under the effects of Relentless Assault. So whatever spells you get, and whatever spells you use, Elemental Rage, Tempest, or Healing Surge, if you pop Relentless Assault first, there wont be a damn thing they can do to stop you.

Another thing that makes this destiny stupid powerful is Battle Frenzy. If you read it carefully it increases TOTAL damage as you kill more enemies, which I assume includes spells. So as if you werent powerful enough, now your spells can do up to double damage as you kill off minions. Like I said, stupid powerful. If youve been paying attention youll notice that in none of these builds did I mention Summon Faer Gorta thats because it sucks and you shouldnt use it =p

Champion Recommended Abilities

Relentless Assault (PERFECT for this build)

Battle Frenzy (Boosts ALL damage each kill, allowing you to kill the adds before delivering the whopping blows with bonus damage)

Concussive Force (Lots of chances to stun with this build, may as well take advantage of it)

Storm Bolt/Tempest (Nice that you can bring it up all game until tier 5)

Healing Surge (very useful, especially with relentless assault on)

Elemental Rage (max out the elemental boosts if youre gonna use this)

Might/Finesse/Sorcery split, 37 points in each tree

20% Melee Attack Damage

20% Ranged Attack Damage

20% Magic Attack Damage

Equip Requirements reduced by 25%

3 to All Skills (NICE!)

12% Total Damage Resistance

10% Chance to Critical Hit

Master of Arms- Unlocks all weapon mastery abilities (NICE!)

So the Universalist is the universal badass. The beauty with this particular build is Master of Arms, which unfortunately doesnt hit until you get the top tier destiny at level 36. Its poorly worded so much people dont understand what it means, after all, arent weapon masteries already unlocked in the first two tiers of abilities for all three classes, rendering this useless? Well, what this ACTUALLY means, is that all the weapons have their weapon attacks unlocked and mastered to the third level. So Arcane Weaponry, Brutal Weaponry, and Precise Weaponry, 1-4, are all not only unlocked, but mastered. So lets do the math, if you fateweave into universalist and dont spend any points on weapon abilities, you have 3 trees with 4 weapon attack abilities times 3 points each, 3x4x3=36 points you no longer need to spend Thats a lot, FYI. So essentially if I were to break my rule about playing as one class all game, Universalist would be the exception. Fateweaving to Universalist later in the game is a great move.

Also, the 3 to all skills is referring to the blacksmithing, sagecrafting, stealth etc skills, not the abilities. So when you fateweave to Universalist be sure you have no more than 7 in any of the skills and youll max everything out. At level 37 fateweaving to Universalist after having used maybe 10 trainers in the world meant I was maxed out on all skills with a point to spare. So at higher levels the Universalist has all skills maxed and can use all the moves for every weapon except the longbow which unfortunately not included in the Master of Arms ability. Another thing to consider is that Master of Arms doesnt boost the Weapon Mastery abilities at all, which makes the description sort of misleading. So if you plan on using two weapons more than the others go ahead and plan on investing the 6 points into each of the masteries to boost the damage up.

The biggest drawback with going Universalist is never getting to the fifth tier of any tree, which is the tier where the fun starts really. Also youll barely break into the fourth tier, which means you wont get much out of each tree. A related issue I see with the Universalist is that theres just TOO MUCH to use! Youll suffer from ability overload and still only have the four ability buttons to use. Youll have all the attacks for all weapons (except bow) but only two weapon slots. Its not a problem that will provoke much sympathy, I know. But still, it is something to consider. Plan on only actually using 4 active abilities when youre designing your Universalist, and get every support ability you can to make those four abilities as strong as you can, because without the fifth or sixth tier support abilities (and barely the fourth) youll find that youll have a ton of abilities, but theyll mostly be quite underpowered. The only abilities you can achieve the maximum results with without getting into the fourth tier are the following: Harpoon, Adrenaline Surge (Garbage), Frost Trap (Frost Crap), Lunge (Garbage), and healing surge. The rest require you to get into the fourth tier before they start becoming great abilities. That said, the bread and butter of any good character is going to be their weapon attacks, so if you have weapon mastery maxed out for the weapons youre using youll find you can get by and beat the game just fine, even on hard, and even if your abilities wont cut it late game.

Universalist Recommended Abilities

Relentless Assault

Quake

Healing Surge

You are really quite limited on abilities Pick a couple weapons you really like and plan on using them almost exclusively

Hammer

My least favorite weapon, big and slow, very much like you would imagine. I did give it a fair chance though and found some nifty ways to use it. What I dont like about it is that there isnt a dodge move attached to it, as thats where the best attacks usually lie. With the war hammer you kind of need to get comfortable with the shield, which isnt my favorite thing to do but works for some people. What you generally wanna do with the hammer is start with a poke to knock them off balance, then follow up with the crushing blows. It works well if you start from blocking and also if you have a bit of distance so you can charge up the charging move. When you get into big crowds of fast enemies though, the hammer is one of the most frustrating weapons ever I can see the draw against bosses, but not mobs. For this reason the hammer makes a good second weapon, not your bread and butter, but fun to bring out when you really wanna do some damage. I have to admit though, it was pretty satisfying slamming a giant hammer against some really big monster heads.

Great Sword

My second least favorite weapon. Its also big and slow, but at least this one has a bigger attack arc and better crowd control. That said, every attack with the great sword has a windup, most notably the standing regular attack. Its quite a huge windup for a regular attack. I like the shield attack though, if youre blocking an attack from the front just wait for an opening and hit the attack button while blocking and a huge overhead cut hits whatevers right in front of you with a fairly short delay. Useful one on one, but it means youre using a shield which Im not a big fan of =p

Long Sword

Simple, easy to understand, and very beginner friendly. Its pretty clear why this is the first weapon they give you, its a balanced weapon with no major flaws or overwhelming strengths. You can tell its sort of the baseline the developers used to figure out how to make the other weapons. Decent range, decent speed, decent power, decent AOE arcs, and a fair amount of diversity with the various attacks it can do when fully developed. What kind of turned me off about this weapon, as stupid as it sounds, was the empty left hand Just an artistic pet peeve I guess If the shield had been there or he had grasped the sword with both hands, or could have a dagger in the offhand at the same time I probably wouldve loved it, but it just bugs me

Faeblades

My favorite! I played through most of the game with these, and they are really quite amazing. Some will look at the attack power of them and see the hammer as twice as high and think these will be weak, but the fact of the matter is you get in SO MANY HITS that it more than makes up for it. Faeblades have EXCELLENT crowd control, albeit at a short range. But if anything sneaks up behind you while youre attacking something chances are itll get hit by the combo for just as much as the one in front of you is getting hit for. Faeblades dominate melee range, 360 degrees of badass. The charge attack is pretty nice, the roll attack is the best though, its surprising how much damage it does. Most people using faeblades wont be using the shield much, but if you do manage to parry the counter attack, Savage Wing is one hell of a punishment.

Daggers

Classic, who doesnt like daggers? The stealth kills are definitely fun to watch with the daggers, unlike faeblades where the enemy just gets knocked on the head Theyre also incredibly fast and do amazing single target damage. Gun to my head Id still say I had a preference for faeblades over daggers for most situations, but if youre just looking for single target high damage, daggers rock. The fun factor with this is also pretty high, rapid stabs to the ribs during stealth attacks always brings a smile to my face for some reason.

Longbow

Pretty underrated. Any time youre using the finesse tree you should strongly consider using the bow. The fact that you dont have to buy arrows was a big selling point for me, even though physics is defied quite blatantly. At first the longbow gives you a great way to back up and keep doing damage from a distance, but after you invest some points into it youll get Arrow Storm, which pelts an area surrounding your target with tons of arrows, which all get the bonuses from your bow, abilities and sustainables. So if your Longbow and abilities are all boosting piercing damage and your general arrows are powerful as is, Arrow Storm is going to be quite a show stopper. Scattershot you get on the 5th tier, but honestly its very situational. The games world is very hilly, and if youre targeting an enemy on a slope youll see your main arrow hit him easy enough, but the others will likely just go through the ground. The ability really doesnt deal well with anything but flat land which is quite a shame. All of the finesse destinies feature boosted piercing damage though, plus longbows in this game are usually pretty powerful, this is a very solid weapon worth investing in.

Staff

Highly underrated. Just using the staff pretty much acts like 3 additional spells in your arsenal. The ability to draw several enemies together has amazing utility for any player, regardless of what tree youre using. If you can mass them all up into a group theyre vulnerable to large sweeping Might attacks or quake, theyre open to Shadow Flare, poison bomb, longbow and faeblade attacks, and of course theyre open to all the various AOE abilities anyone in the sorcery tree has access to. I cant really call it powerful necessarily, but the staff is probably the most useful of all the weapons.

Sceptre

This is a pretty simple weapon, but useful for sure. It doesnt really have the utility of most of the other weapons, but I still like it as a viable range weapon. Basically think of it like a gun, only each shot costs a percentage of your mana, the cost dropping with each tier of arcane weapons. At the highest weapon tier itll actually drop the cost by about half of what it was at the beginning. It fires pretty rapidly, and the charge attack you have with it from the beginning fires several shots at a pretty wide arc. Its not a very exciting, diverse, or complicated weapon, but effective none-the-less.

Chakram

If I had been playing with sorcery at all during my first playthrough, these wouldve become my weapon of choice. They arent a perfect weapon, but pretty close. The weapons themselves have a surprisingly long range, and lots of area of effect as well. So imagine the range of a bow (maybe a little less) and the area of effect of the faeblades and youve got some idea of how the chakram work. My favorite attack with the chakram is one you get right away too, the tier 1 arcane weaponry gives you the charge move for chakram which is a HUGE radial attack in a giant circle around your character, assuming you charge it fully. If youre playing Champion and can throw on relentless assault beforehand youll be able to blink into a crowded mass and charge this up fairly safely and tear everything up at once, then elemental rage out for some sick damage. It takes some playing with to figure out the best way to pull it off, but if the enemies give you a chance to fully charge the attack its quite devastating. Also against single enemies the roll/blink attack does a great job of juggling an enemy and dicing them to pieces. Just do it once and youll get the juggling achievement. The drawback I noticed with the chakram was the exposure of your main character during a lot of the attacks. You literally throw the weapon out toward a distant enemy, and while waiting for it to do its damage and return youre just standing there, which is bad news when you notice a sneaky enemy coming up from the side or a fireball being launched at you that you cant avoid or blink away from because youre still waiting for your chakram to come back. Its a great weapon, but when things get really hairy its better to put a little distance between you and the mobs or youll be in quite a bad spot.

Skills

Skills arent really designed very well in this game to be quite honest, half of them border on useless. Below are some guidelines in the order of importance, at least for me. Feel free to disagree or dispute, this are just suggestions:

1. Detect Hidden

Put five points into it right away so you can see all the hidden doors and treasures. Also each point means youll find more gold in game everywhere you go. Once you have an excess of points its definitely worth maxing out if you plan on getting the lorestones. When you do, any area you had revealed on the map will then show a glowing blue orb where the lorestones are.

2. Sagecraft

Its good to get this early because it means as youre playing, questing, and moving forward, youll have a great and greater chance of finding shards, which you can eventually start combining into higher quality shards, and later craft into some pretty nice gems, way better than the gems youll find in the world and at the shops. Gems in this game can be almost as powerful as the gear you socket them into at times, definitely worthwhile.

3. Blacksmithing

Put a point into it at least so you can get use of the repair kits. As you move later into the game it gets really expensive to get your gear repaired at the smiths in town. Another problem that pops up is you dont always get a warning before your gear runs out of durability, and if it happens mid fight (happened to me like 4 times), suddenly that gear will be worthless, but if you have repair kits and know how to use them you can just pause the fight, repair all the gear, and continue the fight right where you left off with everything at max durability. Also the gear youll be able to make from Blacksmithing will generally be higher quality than the store-bought stuff, and much more customizable since you put it all together out of parts youve salvaged from other gear.

4. Alchemy

Really not that important, you can buy and find all the potions you need. It is nice to have a couple points in it so you can use a potion to temporarily boost your alchemy and make all the four reagent potions, including the fate potion which, you guessed it, takes your fate to max and lets you go into reckoning mode whenever you want. Most people, including myself, dont take full advantage of alchemy in spite of some of the really cool stuff it can make, but it does have its uses. Just dont bother maxing it out for the recipes, all you need to do is go online to find the recipes and then go into experiment and make it, voila, recipe unlocked.

5. Dispelling

Having a couple points in this is helpful. If youre anything like me this mini game is kind of challenging actually, especially when theres a ton of wards and dark wards involved. Putting a few points into it and getting at least to the 4 point mark means itll be a bit easier and the dark wards wont show up. Youll see a lot more wards to dispel on chests as you move further and further into the game, and there is something frustrating about having to let a chest go unopened to avoid getting cursed in the middle of a dungeon.

6. Persuasion

Not a useful skill really, as youll probably see most people on the boards confirm. The only real draw of it is that youll get some free stuff here and there asking for help from NPCs, but when it comes to storyline moments persuasion never really alters anything in your favor that matters.

7. Mercantile

Better prices for buying and selling, kinda nice, but not that important when youre rich as all hell by mid game and really have no use for gold any more. You make your own gear, you make your own gems, and you can make your own potions. Why do you need gold?

8. Stealth

Not really worth putting points into unless youre trying to play strictly a finesse player and actually do a bunch of stealing and covert ops in town. Youll notice that each point into the skill doesnt have much effect. If youre standing behind people, regardless of skill level, you should be able to sneak around undetected. If youre in front of somebody, theyre gonna see you. Nuff said.

9. Lockpicking

Sucks, dont bother. Youll be able to pick all the locks in the game without any points into it. A major mistake by the designers. Save your points.

Ability Trees Overview

So heres the basics of how it works: Each of the three trees (Might, Finesse and Sorcery) has six tiers of abilities. The trees are structured in such a way that you need to decide how focused you want your character to be. Choosing to split between two ability trees with the aim of reaching the top tier destiny means youll never access the 6th (top) tier of abilities for either tree. So youve got 5 levels of abilities from each class. If you go Universalist it means youll never access the 5th or 6th tier of abilities for any of the three classes, and youll barely tap into the 4th tier actually.

Its really important to keep the late game in mind, when you see an ability say it does 100 damage it may sound great early on, but when you move forward if there arent upgrades for the ability or the upgrades dont boost damage by enough then the ability is going to get outdated and weak before you know it and youll gradually stop using it at all. In fact Ill wager that most abilities fall into this category, youll find on the Eastern Continent when you get there that most abilities that have damage not based on your weapons will quickly lose their luster. I wont bother covering the sustainables or passives since theyre pretty much self explanatory.

Also please note the grades I give each ability below are strictly my opinion. In fact Im willing to bet I got one or two completely wrong and theres some strategic use for an ability I hated that maybe one of you can point out for me. If you are going to stick up for an ability though please make sure you make sure the strategy you stand behind is something that will work late game, not just something you thought was cool while working your way through the early areas. These grades below are based on whats good through the whole game, not just a while, so youll notice I was pretty critical for many of them since late game it seems like the useful abilities are fewer and fewer.

Shield Bash

3/10

I experimented with this for a while, but didnt find a whole lot of use for it. The redeeming quality for it is that its unlocked in tier 1, but other than that it isnt a great ability. Its got a relatively short range, and requires some charging. The downside of that is the charge resets every time you get hit, even if your shield is facing the enemy. Also you seem to be a lot more vulnerable to staggering while charging the Shield Bash up, which is unfortunate. The damage is minimal, and stagger is minimal, and the area of effect isnt enough to be useful later in the game.

Harpoon

4/10

I like harpoon, reminds me of Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, clearly the intention of the designers I bet. It does a surprisingly good amount of damage early game also, piercing damage too, which means it bypasses armor and gets bonuses from the finesse tree, destinies and gear. The real usefulness of the ability is that it allows might users to have an answer for ranged attackers. The DOWNSIDE of that is that it pulls in one attacker at a time which, when youre wielding huge weapons with giant attack arcs kind of defeats the purpose of the weapons. When youre fighting groups you want to go to go to the enemies and tear them all up at once, not bring them in and pick them off one at a time. It also doesnt work well with quake for the same reasons, you want to hit mobs, not individuals. Youre really better off just having a ranged weapon, especially considering all the other ranged attacks usually have some area damage of some kind, and most of them can go a further distance.

Quake

6/10

I ended up using this more than I thought I would, up until around mid to mid-late game where the lack of damage made it kind of pointless, even with the stun chance. Maybe pointless isnt the right word, well say situational. Early game its a great short range AOE tool for might users, though the mana cost is kind of steep. Mid game and onward its mainly a tool used to stun a small group of enemies to open them up to bonus damage thanks to the passive which boosts damage to stunned foes. Its a bit odd that you have to put points into this and the upgrade to open the way to Wrath (tier 6), not sure how the two are related really Anyways, its useful, and the damage output is pretty good through most of the game, even if it is a bit slow. The frustrating part about it is that the character needs to be left alone for a couple of seconds in order to get through all three hits, but unfortunately it doesnt always stagger the larger enemies in front of you, so theyll just smack you aside while youre trying to get through it all, or youll take a fireball, arrow, or sneaky dagger to the side and itll interrupt the quakes. So by late game where the mob makeup includes a lot more big monsters as well as casters and bow users, you can see how quake becomes very situational, and cant be a reliable bread and butter any longer.

Adrenaline Surge

3/10

Not technically an active ability, but it needs to be covered. I cant tell you how many times I saw adrenaline surge pop and then Id die a second later. It seems like if you ever get to the point where adrenaline surge pops, youre already dead. Plus the fact that its got a 300 second cooldown is a bit excessive Id say. When youre playing on hard all the enemies will do bonus damage, so if youre in a fight thats dangerous enough to actually take your health down that low theres only a CHANCE that it will happen, no guarantees. Also when it does happen it only heals a tiny portion of your health, which isnt usually enough to help you survive whatever truck just hit you anyways. The upgrade looks tempting also, but boosting your crit chance doesnt mean squat if its only once in a blue moon when youre already most likely going to die, plus its a boost to an ability which is supposed to help you survive, not kill more stuff Just not what Id hoped when I first saw this ability, not worth investing in or counting on.

Relentless Assault

9/10

One of my favorites as Im sure youve figured out. Some will be frightened by the armor reduction, but dont worry, that goes away once you max it out, making this all pros and no cons. It isnt totally fool proof, there are some attacks that can hit you and stagger you out of whatever you were doing still, but it takes a whole lot of impact to make your character budge. The duration also goes way up with each level, to the point where the ability is almost completely cooled down by the time it wears off. The upgrades for it are pretty cool too, Im not crazy about the reflection one, but it has its uses. Put at least one point in it so it has a chance of happening, and also so you unlock the fifth tier upgrade which grants a pretty big life steal while under the effects of Relentless Assault. Great ability, any might user should have it in their arsenal and use it frequently.

Battle Frenzy

8/10

This is another great ability for any might user. The best way I found to use it was to put it on a button, turn it on, and then take it off the button. Leave it on all the time, when you load up a game itll still be in effect until you bind it to a button and undo it or fateweave. 30% mana is a pretty hefty cost though, which is really the only reason this isnt a 10/10. The duration goes up with each level up, as does the amount of enemies you can kill to keep boosting the damage bonus, up to 100% total damage. So kill a bunch of minions and get double damage for about 20 seconds, or longer if you manage to kill something else before it runs out. Game over bad guys. The upgrades are also pretty amazing, bonus to damage reductions while its under effect, which means pretty much all the time, and attack speed bonus at tier 6, which unfortunately means only warlords will enjoy this wonderful upgrade Too bad, wouldve been perfect for Blademasters and chakram users.

War Cry

5/10

This one kind of bugs me. It doesnt do great damage, and it reduces enemy damage. Might users arent typically debuffers, and with good reason. Plus, why would you want to cause panic? Youre trying to get enemies to come to you so you can swing that big tree trunk sized sword at them, not make them run away you dont get experience if they get away, RPG rule number 93. Plus the worst part about this ability is that the upgrade, the part that makes it a viable option as an ability, is up in Tier 6 where only one destiny out of 7 can ever get to. Its a decent enough ability when fully upgraded, quick, cheap, effective, but only warlords can use it the way its meant to be used, and by the time Warlords hit tier 6 chances are theyd prefer to put points in Wrath or boosting attack speed while in Battle Frenzy. So, while it is a decent ability, I gave it a so-so score more because of its awkward placement so high up on the might tree that its no longer desirable.

Wrath

8/10

This is a great ability for what it is. As a tier 6 might ability it means youre committed to a class and style of play with very limited range and area of effect, usually relying on weapon arcs and damage to clear all the mobs rather than spells or arrow storms/scattershots. The only AOE a Warlord has leading up to this is quake and war cry, but unlike those two, this one can do some serious damage, assuming youve got enough mana to actually pull it off without getting interrupted. The additional impulse waves it can do dont do a ton of damage, but its a nice addition.

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