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Guide to becoming an epic swordswoman

Discussion in 'Player Created Resources' started by Sara Dreygon, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. Sara Dreygon

    Sara Dreygon Avatar

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    I'll be writing up other trees that help to complement a blades user (tactics, subterfuge, focus) in the coming weeks. If a skill isn't listed below then I either don't use it or it's magic.

    I'll also be adding where I would put my first 1m, 2m, 10m, 20m, etc. XP starting out, equipment opinions, etc. as well.

    The below words are my opinions. Thanks so much for any feedback!

    Blades Tree: Blades are very versatile and useful in both PVE and PVP. The best weapon to use against unarmored targets and in 1-3 mob fights as most glyphs hit 2-3 targets depending on attack and type of blade used. The main attacks in the Blades tree - Thrust and Rend - use low focus compared to attacks from other melee trees. Great for boss hunting due to Rend DOTs, healing modifier debuffs from Rend and Blade Specialized Thrust, and Coup de Grace doing 5x damage when an enemy is low on health.

    Bladed Combat: Leveling this skill is obviously a good start for any swordswoman as it affects the damage of every bladed attack. Every ten levels give an additional 3.225% damage on all glyph attacks and 6.45% damage on charged and auto attacks. This should be your highest blades skill at around ten levels higher than Thrust and Rend. Experience costs are 180k for 80, 467k for 90, 1.2m for 100, 3.1m for 110, 8.2m for 120, 21m for 130, 55m for 140, and 142m for 150.

    Thrust: One of the best skills in the game and easily the best blades glyph. Is very cheap to level, the cooldown for the skill is a measly 5 seconds, and the focus cost to use the skill is very low so leveling Thrust early in your adventures is in your best interest. Does 125% the "base" blades damage that all bladed damage is calculated from and with Blade Specialization also gives a small chance to apply a -5% healing modifier debuff to the target that can stack twice. Every ten levels give an additional 3.225% damage to the glyph. You'll want to use the maximum number of unlocked glyphs in every one of your decks and make it your most used attack. You'll want Thrust - along with Rend - to be your highest level blade attack glyph at around ten levels behind the base Bladed Combat skill. Experience costs are 467k for 90, 1.2m for 100, 3.1m for 110, 8.2m for 120, 21m for 130, and 55m for 140. Tip: Having a sword - or two - with a bonus to thrust damage is a must for any highly advanced swordswoman.

    Blade Speed: This skill only affects auto attack so if you use charged attack, this innate won't help you at all. Because this innate only affects auto attack and is very spendy, I'd suggest taking it to 70 and leave it there for a long, long time. Increases are only 0.65% more for every additional ten levels so it does not scale well given the experience costs of 278k for 70, 721k for 80, 1.9m for 90, and 4.8m for 100.

    Vital Points: This is a great skill and the cheapest innate you'll find in any tree so having this skill at 100 is a great deal. This is one of the two skills - Armor Weak Points being the other - that give straight critical hit percent (i.e. 6 percent is actually 6 percent and not rolled into a formula). Increases are only 0.65% more for every additional ten levels however due to the low cost of the skill and the massive DPS bonus higher critical hit chance gives; it is well worth the cost of taking this skill high. Experience costs are 1.2m for 100, 3.1m for 110, 8.2m for 120, 21m for 130, and 37m for 136 (at which time you'll be at 8.5% crit). Tip: For cheapest critical hit percent per experience spent, you'll want to keep this skill sixteen levels higher than Armor Weak Points.

    Blade Mastery: This innate helps the base weapon damage of all bladed weapons but is fairly expensive given the bonus and scales poorly at higher levels given the experience cost. Having this skill at 76 for 1.0 weapon damage will be enough to start. Every eight levels give an additional 0.1 weapon damage, but I would not raise this above 100 unless you're a level 120 adventurer. Experience costs are 492k for 76, 1.1m for 84, 2.3m for 92, 4.8m for 100, 10.4m for 108, and 22m for 116.

    Riposte: A situational skill that does 75% the "base" blades damage that all bladed damage is calculated from (50% less than Thrust) however does 200% if used immediately after parrying an attack with Blade Specialization increasing the window of time you have to use the attack after a parry. Every ten levels give an additional 3.225% damage to the glyph. Is only good if combined with the Parry skill when fighting 1-2 individual melee mobs (especially polearm users) that are attacking quickly so you're parrying often. Only hits one target so not good when fighting multiple mobs as you're better going with another attack that hits more targets. Has a short cooldown of only 1.2x more than thrust, however the focus cost to use the glyph is around 1.5x more than Thrust. Experience costs are 180k at 80, 467k for 90, 1.2m for 100, 3.1m for 110, and 8.2m for 120 but is best left at 80 until further into your journey. Tip: Against polearm users and fast attacking solo melee mobs, try using a deck high in Riposte and Parry.

    Double Slash: One of the better blades glyphs. Does two quick attacks at 75% the "base" blades damage that all bladed damage is calculated from. Is very cheap to level, however the focus cost and cooldown of the skill is very high when compared to other blades skills, at around 2x the focus cost and 1.6x the cooldown of Thrust and Rend. At level 80 Blade Specialization, Double Slash has a 25% chance to instead be a triple slash! Every ten levels give an additional 3.225% damage to the glyph. You'll want to use the maximum number of unlocked glyphs in most of your decks as the overall damage is very close to Thrust, however be sure to watch your focus pool. To keep the focus cost low, you'll want Double Slash to be around ten levels behind Thrust and Rend. Experience costs are 467k for 90, 1.2m for 100, 3.1m for 110, 8.2m for 120, 21m for 130, and 55m for 140.

    Rend: This is a great skill that applies a damage-over-time (DOT) and healing modifier debuff to targets that stacks three times. A must use in PVP or against high hit point (HP) non-undead mobs such as dragons and trolls. Is very cheap to level, the cooldown for the skill is short at a measly 5 seconds, and the focus cost to use the skill is very low. Blade Specialization increases the healing modifier debuff. Every ten levels give an additional 3.225% damage to the glyph. Rend can combine with Trip for the combo Hamstring which does the same approximate damage as Rend but also applies a move rate debuff to the target. Rend can also combine with Whirling Blades for the combo Sawblade Sweep which damages multiple targets when used and also has a chance to apply a DOT that does the same approximate damage as Rend. Every twenty levels of Rend at 81, 101, 121, and 141 will add an additional "tick" (two seconds) of damage to the target. You'll want Rend - along with Thrust - to be your highest level blade attack glyph at around ten levels behind the base Bladed Combat skill. Experience costs are 198k for 81, 1.3m for 101, 9m for 121, and 8.2m for 120, 21m for 130, and 60m for 141. Tip: Try locking Rend in your deck and charging up multiple nastier, longer duration DOTs on your target.

    Whirling Blades: A great skill that does area-of-effect (AOE) damage to multiple targets when used. Best utilized when attacking multiple, closely packed mobs such as a pack of wolves or gang of bandits. Does 100% the "base" blades damage that all bladed damage is calculated from (25% less than Thrust). The cooldown is low at 1.2x that of Thrust and Rend. The focus cost is high, at 1.5x that of Thrust, however Blade Specialization does decrease the glyph's focus cost slightly. Every ten levels give an additional 3.225% damage to the glyph. Whirling Blades can combine with Rend for the combo Sawblade Sweep which damages multiple targets when used and also has a chance to apply a DOT that does the same approximate damage as Rend. Due to the high cost, you'll want Whirling Blades to be around twenty levels behind Thrust and Rend. Experience costs are 360k for 80, 935k for 90, 2.4m for 100, 6.3m for 110, and 16m for 120.

    Coup de Grace: A situational skill that does 5x damage to mobs that are at 20% or less health. Coup de Grace is best utilized in your deck as a locked glyph and only against high HP mobs such as a dragon or daemon so it can be used multiple times very quickly at the end of a fight when your enemy is weakest. Blade Specialization increases the amount of health a mob can have for Coup de Grace to be effective working at only 30% or less health at level 80 Blade Specialization. Every ten levels give an additional 3.225% damage to the glyph. The skill is fairly expensive and situational so given how effective it is at even low levels, I would never level this skill above 100. Experience costs are 360k for 80, 935k for 90, and 2.4m for 100.

    Blade Specialization: A must have for any serious swordswoman. Benefits include a small chance for Thrust to apply a -5% healing modifier debuff to a target that can stack twice, increasing the window of time after a parry you have to use Riposte for a vicious attack, a 25% chance at level 80 to have Double Slash be a triple slash, increasing the healing modifier debuff for Rend, decreasing the focus cost of Whirling Blades, and increasing the amount of health a mob can have for Coup de Grace to be effective working at only 30% or less health at level 80. Is EXTREMELY spendy with experience costs of 3.6m for 80, 9.3m for 90, 24m for 100, 94m for 110, and 163m for 120. Only a crazy person would take this innate above 100 and 80 will do you just fine.

    Heavy Armor Tree: Heavy armor is the armor of choice for a swordswoman who is looking for high survivability in combat as it gives great damage avoidance (increasing the number of glancing blows received) as well as high damage resistance (amount of physical damage negated). Skills in this tree such as Glancing Blow and Body Slam are indispensable and the innates are some of the best of any tree in the game. The strength granted from Inner Strength, the Endurance innate, and heavy armor masterworks easily adds an additional 10% damage to all attacks. Of note, you only get the benefits of the heavy armor innates when wearing a heavy armor chest.

    Glancing Blow: One of the better defensive skills in the game as it gives a large increase to damage avoidance for a lengthy amount of time which increases the number of glancing blows received from targets. Due to the duration and flexibility of the skill, this should always be in your deck as a locked glyph that you always have active, or use immediately upon starting a fight. The damage avoidance of Glancing Blow will be tripled for the initial two seconds after using the skill. You'll want Glancing Blow to be around ten levels lower than Defensive Stance. Experience costs are 467k for 90, 1.2m for 100, 3.1m for 110, 8.2m for 120, and 21m for 130.

    Body Slam: One of the best skills in the game. Using the glyph initiates an attack that quickly closes the distance on enemies (very helpful when fighting faster foes) however it also increases the amount of damage that your armor takes by 100%. Body Slam also does damage to the target but the main benefit is that it stuns the target so long as the enemy’s stun resistance isn’t too high or you haven’t used the skill on them too often in a short period of time. The cooldown for the skill is short at 5 seconds, and the focus cost to use the skill is very low so leveling Body Slam early in your adventures is in your best interest. You can either use Body Slam in your deck as a locked glyph or as 2-3 unlocked glyphs if you’re worried about over-using the skill accruing greater and greater focus costs each time. Despite the relatively high cost of the glyph, Body Slam is an extremely useful skill so take up to 100 early on in your adventuring and initiate every fight with it. To combat the additional armor damage from using the skill, as well as to take less damage yourself, slide behind and attack a mob from behind after body slamming and stunning it for a bonus to critical hit percent. You can usually repeat this tactic on a mob twice before the enemy becomes resistant to it and if used thrice in a short period of time, will most likely not stun. The skill is fairly expensive so leveling this skill above 100 isn’t necessary or recommended. Experience costs are 360k for 80, 935k for 90, and 2.4m for 100. Tip: If you have Body Slam locked and 5-stack it (i.e. charge it to 5 by holding it down) you can stun mobs for up to seven seconds around two times. Some mobs can't even get an attack off.

    Inner Strength: The only non-magic strength buff available (not counting Berserk’s Stance), Inner Strength is a good skill and can be used to increase strength, +22 strength at level 100. Best utilized in your utility bar and used immediately before entering combat for a long-duration increase in strength that doesn't take up a spot in your deck. Every one strength increases blade damage by 0.33%, your hit point total by 2-3 HP, as well as resistance to immobilizing effects such as stuns so taking Inner Strength to 80 early on in your adventuring will greatly increase your survivability. Every ten levels of Inner Strength adds one strength and a small increase to duration so there isn’t much benefit in leveling past 100 as there are usually cheaper and more permanent sources of strength available in other trees. The skill is fairly expensive so leveling this skill above 100 isn’t necessary or recommended. Experience costs are 360k for 80, 935k for 90, and 2.4m for 100. Tip: Because Inner Strength can be placed in your utility bar, it can be used on the overworld map to increase carrying capacity.

    Deflection: This innate increases your maximum damage resistance so you’re able deflect a larger percentage of incoming physical damage. While the amount of maximum damage resistance gained from the Deflection innate is relatively small, it is also one of the cheapest innates so leveling it to at least 80 early in your adventuring, and eventually to 100 is still beneficial. Due to the relatively small gains of the skill, I wouldn’t recommend leveling the skill past 100. Experience costs are 180k for 80, 467k for 90, and 1.2m for 100.

    Absorb Impacts: This skill is very situational as it only affects physical damage and when active will damage your armor an additional 100%. The resistance granted from the use of this skill is best utilized against archers and quick attacking melee users as the benefit is very minor when seldom being hit and non-existent against magic users. Best utilized in your deck as a locked glyph if you’re just starting out, are wearing disposable armor or armor that does not take maximum durability damage, or going against non-magic users in PVP, this skill only helps. Absorb Impacts is best left at 70 until further into your journey and I would never level this skill above 100. Experience costs are 70k at 70, 180k at 80, 467k for 90, and 1.2m for 100.

    Hard Headed: This innate grants stun resistance, which is extremely useful when fighting enemies using stunning attacks such as lightning, bludgeons, body slams, etc. Due to the relatively small gains of the skill and the cost of leveling this innate, I wouldn’t recommend leveling it past 100. Experience costs are 278k for 70, 721k for 80, 1.9m for 90, and 4.8m for 100.

    Endurance: Being one of the handful of innates that grant strength, it is a must have for any heavy armor wearing swordswoman. Every additional one strength increases carrying capacity, blade damage by 0.33%, your hit point total by 2-3 HP, as well as resistance to immobilizing effects such as stuns. This is a costly innate to level however, and the gains diminish greatly at only one strength every eight levels so there isn’t much benefit in leveling past 76 early on in your adventuring and not past 100 unless it is the cheapest source of strength available to you. Experience costs are 492k for 76, 1.1m for 84, 2.3m for 92, 4.8m for 100, and 10.4m for 108.

    Valiant Warden:

    Shields Tree: While you'll lose some DPS from using a one-handed sword and shield, the additional blocking ability, damage avoidance, and damage resistance is especially useful against bludgeon users and archers, or with Berserker's Stance active against high magic arrow/bolt using mages.

    Deflect: The best shield skill for solo bladed combat as it gives a large increase to combat block modifier for a lengthy amount of time, increasing the number of blocked attacks from all blades attacks (except for Riposte after a successful parry), bludgeon attacks, and certain ranged archer and magic attacks, such as fire arrow, stone arrow, etc. Deflect is best utilized in your deck as a locked glyph used immediately before a fight against these types of enemies. The block bonus of Deflect will be tripled for the initial two seconds after using the skill so whenever you see an archer about to shoot or a dragon about to bite, use Deflect for a high chance at blocking the attack. How high you level this skill will depend on how often you use a one-handed sword and shield versus using a two-handed sword or dual-wielding. Experience costs are 180k at 80, 467k for 90, 1.2m for 100, 3.1m for 110, and 8.2m for 120.

    Bolster Balance: This glyph increases your stun resistance for a for a lengthy amount of time which helps to keep you on your feet and off the ground. The only other skill in the Shields tree that I utilize, and even then only sparingly as it is fairly situational. Best utilized in your deck as a locked glyph against lightning attacks and against bosses who use stun attacks, such as the dragon's bite. How high you level this skill will depend on how often you use a one-handed sword and shield and how often you fight dragons or air mages but taking this skill above 100 isn't recommended. Experience costs are 180k at 80, 467k for 90, and 1.2m for 100.

    Angles: This innate increases your damage resistance when a shield is equipped. Damage resistance stops a certain amount of damage from most physical attacks, +6.3 damage resistance at level 100 Angles. I would not raise this innate above 100 unless you're a level 120 adventurer. Experience costs are 278k for 70, 721k for 80, 1.9m for 90, and 4.8m for 100, 13m for 110, and 33m for 120.

    Redirection: This innate increases the damage avoidance when a shield is equipped giving a greater chance of glancing a physical attack and only take 1/3 of the damage from that attack, +5 damage avoidance at level 100 Redirection. Due to the relatively small gains of the skill and the cost of leveling this innate, I wouldn’t recommend leveling it past 100. Experience costs are 278k for 70, 721k for 80, 1.9m for 90, and 4.8m for 100.

    Shield Preservation: This innate decreases the durability loss that your shield receives, -20% durability loss at level 100 Shield Preservation. Due to the relatively small gains of the skill, the cost of leveling this innate, and the lack of combat effectiveness, I wouldn’t recommend leveling it past 80. Experience costs are 107k for 60, 278k for 70, and 721k for 80.

    Stand Your Ground: This innate increases your stun resistance as well as increasing the amount of damage that blocked when blocking an attack when a shield is equipped, +31.3 stun resistance and +100 shield block power at level 100 Stand Your Ground. I would not raise this innate above 100 unless you're a level 120 adventurer. Experience costs are 278k for 70, 721k for 80, 1.9m for 90, and 4.8m for 100, 13m for 110, and 33m for 120.

    Tactics Tree: Easily the most versatile tree in the game, there's something for everyone and most skills in the tactics tree are helpful to most players whether they're a swordswoman, mage, archer, or tamer. Right behind - or possibly even tied with - the Blades tree for the best tree for any serious swordswoman as most all skills in Tactics will solve some problem you're having whether it's with speed, damage, offense, defense, focus issues... you name it and Tactics has the answer.

    Healthy: This innate raises the maximum hit points of your adventurer by one hit point per one level of Healthy. This skill is very important upon starting out as it will greatly increase your survivability in combat for relatively little experience. However, this innate is one of the most expensive skills so each hit point becomes extremely expensive at higher levels until you'd be better off leveling strength, upgrading equipment, or simply raising your adventuring level to increase your hit points further. Experience costs are 133k for 60, 347k for 70, 900k for 80, 2.3m for 90, 6.1m for 100, 16m for 110, and 41m for 120.

    Armor Preservation:
    This innate decreases the durability loss that your armor receives, -20% durability loss at level 100 Armor Preservation. Due to the relatively small gains of the skill, the cost of leveling this innate, and the lack of combat effectiveness, I wouldn’t recommend leveling it past 80. Experience costs are 107k for 60, 278k for 70, and 721k for 80.

    Defensive Stance:
    This is easily the best non-magic defensive skill in the game and using it will often be the difference between a quick death and a hard-fought victory. The skill increases the effectiveness of many other defensive buffs such as Parry, Glancing Blow, Fortify Defenses, Deflect, etc. but also had the downfall of decreasing your move rate and attack speed. Defensive Stance is best utilized in your deck as a locked glyph that you always have active, or use immediately upon starting a fight against high damage melee enemies. Tactics Specialization has the benefit of decreasing the attack speed penalty when using Defensive Stance at only -10% at level 80 Tactics Specialization. Due to the low cost of this skill, and its ability to make most other defensive skills better, I'd have this as your highest buff skill. Experience costs are 467k for 90, 1.2m for 100, 3.1m for 110, 8.2m for 120, 21m for 130, and 55m for 140. Tip: Try combining Defensive Stance, Parry, Glancing Blow, Fortify Defenses, and Deflect into a tanky swordswoman who can take on and wear down most high hit point opponents with Rend.

    Train Strength: Being one of the handful of innates that grant strength, it is a must have for any swordswoman. Every additional one strength increases carrying capacity, blade damage by 0.33%, your hit point total by 2-3 HP, as well as resistance to immobilizing effects such as stuns. Along with Train Dexterity and Trail Intelligence, this innate is extremely costly to level however so you'll need to consistently be checking what the cheapest source of strength is going to be between Train Strength, Endurance, and Bulwark of Earth but as every two levels of Train Strength give one strength and only every eight levels of Endurance, and Bulwark of Earth give one strength, Train Strength is often the best value. Experience costs are 267k for 60, 694k for 70, 1.8m for 80, 4.7m for 90, 12m for 100, 31m for 110, and 82m for 120.

    Parry:
    A situational defensive buff that when successful, avoids some damage from melee attacks and some close-quarters magic attacks such as Stone Fist equal to the total amount of parry damage reduction on all equipped weapons. Parry is best utilized in your deck as a locked glyph used immediately before fighting quick attacking melee users (especially when using Riposte immediately after a successful Parry), alongside Offhand Attack for the increased parry modifier from Offhand Defense and from using Offhand Attack if you have Tactics Specialization as well as the additional parry damage reduction from the second equipped weapon. Benefits are non-existent against archers and most magic attacks. The parry bonus is tripled for the initial two seconds after using the skill so whenever you see some liches about to using their spinning attack or get jumped by 15 elite skeletons, use Parry for a high chance at parrying all/most attacks during that time. Tactics Specialization increases the time you receive the triple parry bonus to four seconds at level 80 Tactics Specialization. This skill is very inexpensive with experience costs of 467k for 90, 1.2m for 100, 3.1m for 110, and 8.2m for 120. Due to the low cost of this skill, I'd have this one of your highest buff skills, around twenty levels below Defensive Stance. Tip: Against polearm users, shields don't block so try dual-wielding weapons and using a deck high in Parry, Offhand Attack, Thrust, and Riposte to agitate and slaughter them.

    Weapon Preservation:
    This innate decreases the durability loss that your weapons receive, -20% durability loss at level 100 Weapon Preservation. Due to the relatively small gains of the skill, the cost of leveling this innate, and the lack of combat effectiveness, I wouldn’t recommend leveling it past 80. Experience costs are 107k for 60, 278k for 70, and 721k for 80.

    Berserker's Stance: An amazing buff that when active, increases attack speed, move rate, and strength although decreases your damage resistance by 50 - usually down to zero - so that you take the full damage from all incoming physical and ranged attacks, but has no downside from fighting mages damage resistance doesn't mitigate most magical damage. Berserker's Stance is best utilized in your deck as a locked glyph that you always have active or immediately before a fight with weaker mobs or against mages as the increased move rate helps to keep pace with them. Also can be used if you prefer more of a blitzkrieg style of demolishing your opponent before they have a chance to fight back. Tactics Specialization has the benefit of adding a bonus multiplier to all critical hits when using Berserker's Stance, 75% at level 80 Tactics Specialization. Due to the low cost of this skill, how high you level it depends on your playstyle as it is a dangerous skill to use but is extremely useful against some opponents so I personally would have it at the same level as Defensive Stance. Experience costs are 467k for 90, 1.2m for 100, 3.1m for 110, 8.2m for 120, 21m for 130, and 55m for 140. Tip: Always have either Defensive Stance or Berserker's Stance in your deck and times, or - along with Parry, Glancing Blow, and Fortify Defenses - lock both and switch to Defensive Stance when you're in terrible.

    Heavy Lifter: This innate increases carrying capacity which is extremely useful when carrying around multiple weapons and different sets of armor as it allows you to be more flexible in the field. Carrying various sorcery warding chests, swords, and jewelry allow you to better handle fire mages, however carrying an additional necromancy warding set allows you to better handle the occasional death mage you may come across. If you're flagged for player-vs-player (PVP) combat or are venturing into a PVP zone, it's usually beneficial to have sorcery, gaiaism, tempestry, necromancy, and theurgy warding equipment on you at all times, JUST WATCH OUT FOR THIEVES! Due to the relatively small gains of the skill and the cost of leveling this innate, I wouldn’t recommend leveling it past 100. Experience costs are 278k for 70, 721k for 80, 1.9m for 90, and 4.8m for 100.

    Offhand Attack: A very good combat glyph that when used in an unlocked deck slot costs zero focus and has a non-existent cooldown so another glyph - such as Thrust - can be used immediately afterward. The glyph does relatively low damage when compared to other combat glyphs but using it will keep your focus usage low for longer fights as it replaces a more focus expensive, and longer cooldown glyphs you would otherwise use. Another benefit of using offhand is that all masterworks and enchantments on equipped one-handed weapons stack so while a two-handed sword may have 6 strength and +17% Thrust damage, dual-wielding two one-handed swords can be twice that. Tactics Specialization has the benefit of applying a non-stacking parry modifier for ten seconds that resets each time Offhand Attack is used, +10 parry modifier at level 80 Tactics Specialization. Every additional ten levels give an additional 3.225% damage to the glyph. You'll want Offhand Attack to be your highest level attack glyphs at around ten levels behind Thrust and Rend. Experience costs are 467k for 90, 1.2m for 100, 3.1m for 110, 8.2m for 120, 21m for 130, and 55m for 140. Tip: The damage from Offhand is only determined by the base weapon damage of the weapon equipped in your off hand and not from what school that weapon is from. This means a blades user can have a spear (the highest damage one-handed weapon class at 7-22) equipped in their offhand although you will lose the stacking ability of all blade specific masterworks but still receive the non-blades specific masterworks such as weapon damage, critical hit damage, critical hit percent, etc. so play around with other options.

    Fortify Defenses: This defensive buff increases your adventurer's damage avoidance for 30 seconds, +15 damage avoidance at level 100, giving a greater chance of glancing a physical attack and only take 1/3 of the damage from that attack as well as granting an extremely large critical hit protection if used immediately after being on the receiving end of a critical hit. Fortify Defenses is best utilized in your deck as a locked glyph used immediately before most fights or immediately after getting hit with a critical attack. Tactics Specialization has the benefit of increasing the duration of both the damage avoidance and critical hit protection buffs, double the duration of both effects at level 80 Tactics Specialization. Although the cost of this skill is low, I'd have this around twenty to forty levels below Defensive Stance as the main benefit of Fortify Defenses from the critical hit protection which is already more than sufficient even at level 80 although cheap damage avoidance can he had up to around level 120. Experience costs are 467k for 90, 1.2m for 100, 3.1m for 110, and 8.2m for 120. Tip: Have your finger on the Fortify Defenses skill when fighting a dragon and use after receiving the first critical attack so he can't continue to mercilessly slaughter you.

    Offhand Defense:
    This innate increases your adventurer's parry modifier when a weapon is equipped in your offhand, +5 parry modifier at level 100, allowing you to parry more attacks. Due to the relatively small gains of the skill and the cost of leveling this innate, I wouldn’t recommend leveling it past 100. Experience costs are 278k for 70, 721k for 80, 1.9m for 90, and 4.8m for 100.

    Offhand Power:
    This innate increases your adventurer's Offhand Attack damage with every ten levels giving an additional 2.5% damage to the Offhand Attack glyph. Experience costs are 278k for 70, 721k for 80, 1.9m for 90, and 4.8m for 100, 13m for 110, and 33m for 120. Tip: For cheapest Offhand Attack increase per experience spent, you'll want to keep this skill twenty levels lower than Offhand Attack.

    Tactics Specialization: For any blade specialized swordswoman who doesn't dally in taming or the magical arts, Tactics Specialization is a fairly easy chose to choose as your second specialization. Benefits at level 80 include halving the attack speed penalty of Defensive Stance to only -10%, increasing the duration of the initial triple parry modifier from two to four seconds after using Parry, adding a 75% bonus multiplier to all critical hits when using Berserker's Stance, applying a non-stacking +10 parry modifier for ten seconds that resets each time Offhand Attack is used, doubling the duration of both the damage avoidance and critical hit protection buffs for Fortify Defenses, halving the damage resistance penalty for Reckless Stance, and decreasing the movement speed penalty when using Passive Stance by 2/3. Is EXTREMELY spendy with experience costs of 3.6m for 80, 9.3m for 90, and 24m for 100. Only a crazy person would take this innate above 100 and 80 will do you just fine.

    Subterfuge Tree:

    Engage Opponent: A situational skill that quickly closes vast distances on enemies. Engage Opponent is best utilized in your deck as a locked glyph along with Body Slam for a second distance-closing attack against quicker foes such as mages and archers who are trying to stay out of range. Due to the relatively small gains of the skill and perfectly acceptable effectiveness at lower levels, level 60 will work just fine and leveling it past 80 is a luxury. Experience costs are 107k for 60, 278k for 70, and 180k for 80, 467k for 90, and 1.2m for 100. Tip: If you're a very efficient and impatient mob grinder, Engage Opponent will allow you to cross huge chasms and even allows you to climb levels so long as you can target a mob to activate the skill.

    Trip: This skill knocks an opponent down for a short period of time but it's main use for a swordswoman is that it combines with Rend for the combo Hamstring which does the same approximate damage as Rend but also applies a move rate debuff to the target. Trip is best utilized in your deck as a locked glyph in a deck that contains unlocked Rends so that they can be combined and used in combat against non-undead enemies. The level of the combo Hamstring is determined by averaging the level of Trip and Rend with every twenty levels at 81, 101, and 121 adding an additional "tick" (two seconds) of damage to the target. It is best to keep Trip at either 40-60 levels lower than Rend but I'd recommend not leveling Trip above 81. Experience costs are 29k for 61 and 198k for 81.

    Train Dexterity: Being one of two innates that grant dexterity (the other being Moon Worship), it is a must have for any swordswoman. Every additional 1 dexterity increases chance to dodge an attack, chance to hit, and chance to land a critical hit by 0.05%. Along with Train Strength and Trail Intelligence, this innate is extremely costly to level. Experience costs are 267k for 60, 694k for 70, 1.8m for 80, 4.7m for 90, 12m for 100, 31m for 110, and 82m for 120.

    Poison Weapon:

    Silent Movement: A great skill for ensuring you always get the opening attack in a fight. Silent Movement is best utilized as a locked glyph in a deck so you can easily stealth immediately before or immediately after demolishing a mob with a sneak attack. The skill is reasonably expensive and fairly effective at even lower levels, so leveling it to 80 or 100 will suit you well. Experience costs are 360k for 80, 935k for 90, 2.4m for 100, 6.3m for 110, and 16m for 120. Tip: The percent stealthed that you are affects sneak attack damage so while it does charge slowly, a 5-stack of Silent Movement or utilizing Embry's Harp will increase your sneak attack greatly.

    Armor Weak Points: This is one of the two skills - Vital Points being the other - that give straight critical hit percent (i.e. 6 percent is actually 6 percent and not rolled into a formula). Increases are only 0.65% more for every additional ten levels however due to the low cost of the skill and the massive DPS bonus higher critical hit chance gives; it is well worth the cost of taking this skill fairly high. Unlike the relative inexpensiveness of Vital Points, Armor Weak Points is very costly to level. Experience costs are 1.1m for 84, 2.7m for 94, 7.1m for 104, 18m for 114, and 33m for 120 (at which time you'll be at 7.5% crit). Tip: For cheapest critical hit percent per experience spent, you'll want to keep this skill sixteen levels lower than Vital Points.

    Safe Fall:

    Sneak Attack: A great skill when used correctly that does very good damage - slightly less than Thrust - when behind mobs and an extreme amount of damage when both stealthed and behind. Sneak attack is best utilized as a locked glyph in a deck when you're running around stealthed so you can easily charge up a 5-stack and unleash it into a mobs back OR as your first attack after body slamming and sliding behind a mob. Every ten levels give an additional 3.225% damage to the glyph. The skill is reasonably expensive and fairly effective at even lower levels, so leveling it to 80 or 100 will suit you well however if you're a master rogue, leveling to 120 can net you an additional 100 or more damage on your most savage attacks. Experience costs are 360k for 80, 935k for 90, 2.4m for 100, 6.3m for 110, and 16m for 120. Tip: Try using a Swashbuckler as it gives +25% to sneak attack damage and for extra good measure, use a weapon in your offhand that gives additional crit damage (such as a rock maple/bronze spear) for even more savage attacks.


    Focus Tree:

    Heightened Awereness: This innate raises the maximum focus of your adventurer by one focus per level of Heightened Awareness. This skill is fairly important upon starting out as it will greatly increase the amount of damage you’ll be able to do to enemies. However, this innate is one of the most expensive skills so each one focus becomes extremely expensive at higher levels until you'd be better off leveling Train Intelligence, upgrading equipment, or simply raising your adventuring level to further increase your focus. I wouldn’t recommend raising this skill above 100 unless you’re also a caster and are using focus-costly spells. Experience costs are 133k for 60, 347k for 70, 900k for 80, 2.3m for 90, and 6.1m for 100. Tip: If you’re having focus issues, try going with a dual-wield build and throwing some unlocked zero focus cost Offhand Attacks in your deck (NOT locked Offhand Attacks as after the first use it begins costing focus). Also, try limiting the rate at which you use locked glyphs as the focus cost can get over 100 focus if you spam certain locked glyphs too often (i.e. budget your focus!).

    Train Intelligence: Being the only innate that grants intelligence, this innate is extremely useful for any swordswoman as most of your damage will come from using glyphs as opposed to auto of free attacks so the more focus the more DPS. Every additional one intelligence increases your focus total by 2-3 focus as well as some casting-specific bonuses if you also cast magic. Along with Train Dexterity and Trail Strength, this innate is extremely costly to level however as every two levels of Train Intelligence give one intelligence which only equates to 2-3 focus so you'd be better off leveling Train Intelligence, upgrading equipment, or simply raising your adventuring level to increase your focus further. I wouldn’t recommend raising this skill above 100 unless you’re also a caster and are using focus-costly spells. Experience costs are 267k for 60, 694k for 70, 1.8m for 80, 4.7m for 90, 12m for 100.

    Inner Calm: This innate decreases the cost of all glyphs by a small amount however even this small amount can add up over a long fight. This is a very costly innate to level however, and the gains diminish immensely and experience cost increases greatly at higher levels. The highest you’ll probably ever want to level this innate is 113 and even then this is only if you have Thrust and Rend to 140 and 141 respectively as it will decrease the focus costs of both of those glyphs from 16 to 15. Experience costs are 278k for 70, 721k for 80, 1.9m for 90, 4.8m for 100, and __m for 113. Tip: It is nearly impossible to see at what level raising Inner Calm to will lower the cost of many of your glyphs but this can be tested in offline mode by altering the same game file. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check with a tech-savvy friend to see if they can help you out by testing it for you.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  2. Sara Dreygon

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    My Dual Wield Deck - 4 Offhand Attack, 6 Thrust, 6 Double-Slash. Offhand Attack in 1, Thrust in 2, 3, Double-Slash in 3. Can switch out Beserker's Stance for Defensive Stance for more defense or Inner Strength for Aetheric Feedback for more focus.

    [​IMG]

    My Shield Deck - 6 Thrust, 6 Double-Slash, 4 Whirling Blades. Thrust in 1, Double-slash in 2, Whirling Blades in 3. Can switch out Defensive Stance for Berserker's Stance for more offense or Inner Strength for Bolster Balance for more stun resist.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  3. Innascual Inch

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    It's very generous of you Sara to share your knowledge with the community; thank you!
     
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  4. Gravidy

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    This post is a wonderful gift. Thank you! I'm pretty sure my DPS went up by just reading it. I can't even imagine what's going to happen when I apply what I've learned here.
     
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  5. chenti

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    Wow, this is definitely one of the best post in this forum. I'm really really looking forward to seeing the next update esp. the Berserker's stance. If possible, please let us know how you manage the DR loss in Berserker's stance in detail. And if you have more time, please also mention about the tank mage (or maybe another Best post??)

    Thank you so much for this excellent post.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
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  6. Nikko

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    This is an amazing guide! Thanks.
     
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  7. Duffrey Blake

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  8. Sephros

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    Thank you
     
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  9. ElMaximo

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    Great post full of useful info. I am sure that long time players as well as all the new "launch" players will benefit from this. I know I will. Thanks a lot Sara.
     
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  10. Numa

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    This guide arrived just in time for my alt paladin character. Many thanks! :)
     
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  11. Elrond

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    From a crafter point of view if you had to pick between 3 sword masterworks which would you pick in priority order (as being most important for a sword fighter to have on his sword) :
    1. crit chance
    2.+8 str
    3.crit dmg
    4.sword skill (thrust... so on)
     
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  12. Kain Darkmoor

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    Any sword without a thrust bonus is a sword I'm not interested in, so that's my first priority when making a sword. From there it get's a little bit more hazy. If I am using a two hander I will also want double slash and strength as the other 2 masterworks. If it's a 1hander I will want strength and either crit chance or damage.

    That's just me though, and I hardly ever use rend because everywhere that I hunt has undead.
     
  13. Sara Dreygon

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    @Elrond For me: Thrust, Rend/D-Slash depending on what you're killing, crit damage (if you're using it), str(if you're selling it), Whirling Blades, crit chance.
     
  14. Numa

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    I'd like to see the Life tree have a talent that can imbue a weapon with an aura which damages the undead. It would complement the banish undead spell quite nicely.
     
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  15. Yipp

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    @Sara Dreygon Looking forward to you finishing this post it has been very helpful for me. I am a returning player (took a year off) and your guide made my return better!
    Especially want to know pros/cons on 2 handed weapon vs 2 weapons vs weapon and shield, in damage, defense & utility. Would love to truly understand the trade offs.
     
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  16. Anendrue

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    Awesome post, I modified my deck to incorporate some of your suggestions (many I already used). My damage output is higher than ever. Thank You!
     
  17. Danaboo

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    Thanks so much for this sara, it's amazing. What would help me hugely as a newb would be a bit of advice on which type of swords to use and which advantages of the different metal types. And is there a big difference between using dual wield or a two handed sword ?
     
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  18. Sara Dreygon

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    As far as sword type and metal I prefer bronze hilt bronze blade for the sword but might be trying out meteoric hilt bronze blade soon. The difference between the two is that meteoric gives straight weapon damage so it makes the 7-21 damage of a longsword higher while bronze adds crit chance and crit damage. I prefer the higher crits over the more consistent damage however Chris just nixed the 2x crit chance from behind which is why I may go meteoric hilt and bronze blade.

    For type of sword, longsword. Shortsword and dagger attack faster and give a poison bonus but I'm a big hits type of player.
     
  19. Abi Dhalzim

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    @Sara Dreygon

    Thank you, so much for this awesome guide that is helping me build my Paladin character!
     
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  20. ErikRulez

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    A = (Dex/20)
    B = (Weak Points + Vital Points)
    C = Item Crit
    D = Weapon Crit Bonus
    ((A+B+C)/100)*(1+(D/100))=Crit%

    I switched to all meteoric after I saw this formula. Though I am assuming the material bonuses fall under D instead of C. I could be wrong about that.