You dont need to spend so much in main weapon line. On uthgrad weaponskill is bugged and doesnt affect to chance to hit, so u can make 15-20 Axe/Sword for minimize scattering of base dmg just. I m sure you dont care about style dmg bonus, because of using LA styles.
Date Posted: 3/18/02 1:39pm Subject: Shadowblade Creation Guide: Rev 3.0 (In progress) Shadowblade Creation Guide: Rev 3.0 (In progress)
Rev 2 notes: Added Shadowzerker templates and discussion
Rev 3 notes: Added Soulblade templates and discussion, removed error referencing the ability for Critblades to branch to Shadowzerker, cleaned up overall formatting.
Section I: Introduction
Section II: Choosing a Path A. Shadowblade Races
Section III: The Critblade
Section IV: The Shadowzerker
Section V: The Soulblade
Section I: Introduction
I have seen a lot of templates posted here over the last few days and I wanted to post a collection of some of that wisdom along with some of my own thoughts. The most important thing I can note here is that I cannot take credit for all of this. Most of the material and ideas are derivatives of other posts here and the testing they have inspired me to do.
At this point I have little in the way of hard numbers to post as I have been a bit busy to take extensive logs, but I am a very experience DAoC player at this point, and after getting 5 characters to 40+ I have an excellent feel for the game.
I will try to update this guide occasionally with the feedback presented, and I would like to attach an updated on-going items list specific to Shadowblades at some point as well.
If you do not plan your exact path of development from level 1 you are not gimping your character completely by any means, but you may be giving up a slight edge. Of the three templates I am going to cover here, each has a different amount of flexibility to feed into one of the other templates at higher level. It’s my opinion that someone who starts as a Critblade really cannot go wrong, because you can switch templates effectively at any point until you get into the high 30s when you really have to commit to one of the templates. The disadvantage here is that the Shadowzerker is an easier template to level with, but loses the flexibility of ever being able to convert to a true Critblade.
Another important factor in choosing a path are patches to the game. It’s unfortunate, but a couple of patches have had sweeping changes in them to RvR and at least two patches have shifted the balance slightly toward the Critblade for overall effectiveness. The latest patch at the time of this writing is 1.48d on Pendragon currently.
With any of these Shadowblade templates you want to pick either Sword or Axe stick with that as your only weapon style. If you choose Axe you will want to make it to level 5 without training weapons at all as you cannot train Axe as a base Rogue and I would not suggest using any points on Sword if you intend to change to Axe later. Levels 1-4 are relatively fast even without weapon trains so don’t sweat it much. Once you choose a a weapon and get to level 5 you are ready to choose your template.
I’m going to start the template presentation with the Critblade, which I currently feel is the most flexible into the mid 30s for later template shifts, and without a doubt the most effective 1-shot killer in the game.
A. Shadowblade Races.
Another important decision is what race and starting stats to use. I’m going to give my two favorites:
If you are going Critblade I recommend the Norseman. For all of the other templates, either race works really, but I still tend to lean toward the Norseman because it emphasizes bigger hits over more frequent smaller ones, and a lot of the time with the movement in large RvR battles you may only get one hit on a given oppenent before they are dead or move away and you select another target.
The Critblade currently has the most effective 1-hit “hello” opener in Dark Age of Camelot. If you get a thrill out of taking some time and care to set up the perfect opportunity and then rolling the dice all on one shot, this may be the Shadowblade for you. Theoretical damage maximums without critcal hits (this means using a critical strike style, but not adding the additional possible “critical hit” damage) can exceed 1,000 damage with Perforate Artery. Critblades are also my choice for early game flexibility if you are not sure what type of Shadowblade you want to play in the endgame. A properly made Critblade has not committed to any template until the high 30s.
The Critblade template works of training Sword or Axe to maximum each level in the early levels, and putting the additional points left over in Critical Strike. Starting at level 12, both Sword and Critical Strike will hit 12 and extra points should be put into Envenom. This template maximizes your potential damage as a Critblade through the low levels. Let’s take a look at some progressing Critblade Templates:
This level 34 template is the point where a decision has to be made to commit to the Critblade Template, or begin branching off into a Soulblade. From here on out this section will be devoted to committed Critblades.
The template is going to split a bit here. You can either stay true to the full Critblade or mix in a bit of Envenom for utility purpose (high enough to get 50 envenom at some point with items and RPs). This is the Envenom version:
Or here is the pure Crit version which will gain a slight edge in base damage per hit at the loss of high level envenom potential (NOTE: this template will still be able to get enough envenom for basic utility use, i.e. snares)
It is important to note that with these last two templates, Items and RPs will take weapon skill and Critical Strike well in excess of 50, but both of these skills DO continue to provide a benefit past 50. Sword will impact your average damage per hit, and each point of Critical Strike continues to raise your damage cap by 9.
Note: This build is an exception to the ability to start as a Critblade and still convert at a later level. You really have to commit to this at the start, but you can switch to Soulblade in the 30s if you wish. The early templates here until 34 are exactly the ones I am going to use for the Soulblade.
Also known to Albions and Hibernians as, “Hey! Where did that Berserker come from?!” The Shadowzerker works in the principal of a Berserker with the ability to stealth and/or poison at the cost of some armor and a good chunk of base hit points. What they have going for them is fast attack speed and about 3-4 melee rounds into a given fight they will begin to outdamage any other Shadowblade template. The Left Axe fighting styles are also particularly effective with Skald or other damage adds because both weapons get the benefit, effectively doubling the damage add.
Shadowzerkers have a strong advantage in damage in Player vs. Environment fighting (especially against high purples), but may fall short in the more mobile RvR conflicts where it is hard to land a lot of attacks on a single target (this is very much dependant on what weapons they are using, I recommend 4.0 speed 1handers for this type of fighting).
I currently recommend Axe as the weapon choice for Shadowzerkers, as at high level the Axe in the mainhand may provide Left Axe bonuses, and the offhand Axe my provide Axe skill bonuses. Spellcraft may make it possible to get that overlapping benefit with the Sword-Axe combo, but for now I am going to discuss this template as Axe only.
A Shadowzerker should start their career by saving all of their training points until 5. At level 5, train Left Axe to 5, and then at level 6 train Left Axe to 6 and put the rest in Axe. From there Left Axe should stay maxed all the way to 44 where it will stop. Axe can either slip some in the 30s to allow for more Envenom and Stealth early, or keep it maxed all the way to 50 and use the extra points though the 40s to train Envenom and Stealth. Because they are not a stealth reliant build in order to do damage in RvR, I highly recommend auto-training stealth to at least 40 for the extra points; 48 if you can stand it. I began training stealth at 40 with the templates here, if you decide to go till 48 I would keep those extra points in Axe.
Your backstabs are replaced here by the Snowsqual (29 LA, position: back), and Icy Brilliance (44 LA, requires successful Snowsqual) combo. With the high envenom you can get the full use of 2 high end poisons which will be discussed later in the PvE and RvR strategy segments.
The Axe skill number is completely arbitrary and up to the amount of base damage you want to do. You can leave points out of it if you want higher Envenom or Stealth. If you choose to do this, I would suggest envenom. Stealth will eventually fall into line with with items and realm ranks, and although it’s a good utility for this build, it is not a requirement to be successful.
Meet Midgard’s answer to the Lurikeen infestation. This category covers a couple of distinct paths that create the most flexible Shadowblades around. They retain a limited ability for one shot kills while still getting a lot of the Shadowzerkers ability to lay the smack down in extended melee.
The damage edge that Soulblades give up is really probably only a single digit percentage for both 1-shot hits, and extended melee conflicts. They shine equally along with Shadowzerkers against high purple con NPCs through the use of damage add chants and spells.
I’m going to present a branched template that is based on quickly getting to high end RvR at the sacrifice of the Soulblades trademark flexibility along the way. While they can start as a Critblade as mentioned earlier, and Critblades in their low to mid 30s are still free to decide they want to be Soulblades, if you know this is the route for you from the start, I would suggest you start as a Shadowzerker. See the beginning of the section above for the early spec’ing theory.
The Critical strike here is somewhat flexible. With access to Doublefrost (Left Axe, level 34), the 39 Critical Strike Style (Stunning stab, 3rd chain off of Perforate Artery) is not really needed other than a low endurance use source of damage if you get the 3-chain off. These points could be reassigned to envenom to help get to the 26th level (with items and Ranks) in order to get a decent snare out of the disease poison.
The Critical strike here is somewhat flexible. With access to Doublefrost (Left Axe, level 34), the 39 Critical Strike Style (Stunning stab, 3rd chain off of Perforate Artery) is not really needed other than a low endurance use source of damage if you get the 3-chain off. Points could be reassigned to Envenom to help get Lifebane sooner in the RvR career.