Joined: 17 Aug 2005
|Posted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 04:14 am Post subject: Newbie Guide - Arms and Armourment
|After watching the newbie channel for 3 years, and helping many new players (many of which now have x3 my total worth), I have decided to write a series of guides that condense the common knowledge of the people who actually play the game. This guide will expand on the information found in help files on armour and weapons, helping new players save money by being able to decide early what to buy, and what not to waste time with.
Armour comes in three types: Light, Medium and Heavy. A good armour set can be gained in any group, so choosing a type of armor should only be based on availablilty, magical enhancements, and class/skill.
Light - Light armors are non-metallic that may be reinforced that provides protection without weighing a player down. High weight and bulk cause a player to loose combat efficiency - you dodge, less, you parry less, you move slower, etc. - so light armours not only keep you in combat shape easier, they allow you to carry more before reaching critically overweight. It is used by lightweight fighters such as Rangers, Shadowdancers, and some Light Infantry.
There are three materials for light armor: Chitinium Silk (CS), Studded Chitinium Silk (SCS), and That Which Is Not Chitinum Silk.
SCS is an exceptionaly good type of protection, rivaling the armor class of some Heavy armors. Generally, SCS should be studded with Fine Steel (see Heavy armor materials), due to the fact that SCS is incredibly expensive in any case, so should be as good a protection as possible. It should be noted that many types of armor, such as vests (torso only) and scarf (neck only) cannot be made with studding.
CS is almost as good as studded variety, and is a good choice for early adventurers. Although quite expensive, it is well worth the money, and it can be used for any type of light armor.
Every other material for light armor is more or less trash. Better then bare skin, these armors are near worthless, often found on the ground because people can't bothered to pick them up off the ground. You will only use them (perferably cuir-broulli) until you can afford better.
My advice for light armor users is to pick up basic leather (or better) while you build money. After you gain about 20 - 50 k silver, travel to the smith and order as much CS armor as you can afford. Although it is preferred that you get better then poor quality, even poor quality is better then leather armor that is found off monsters, and poor quality CS is cheep enough to buy a number of pieces of it. If you have enough money, buy fine steel studded armor. Ordering a Fine Steel studded Chitinum Silk Hauberk is terribly expenisve early on, but it covers many of the most important hit slots.
Always remember that no matter what you use, even heavy armor, wearing leather armor is better then wearing nothing at all.
[Edit note: it should be noted that the above cash cost of CS armor is a guess. I haven't bought armor in a while, and it may cost more, espicaly for higher quality. Material versus quality is a sticky issue, because very low quality is sometimes less protection then a high quality, lesser material.]
Medium - MA's are metalic armor made of rings, chain, or scales. I don't know much about it since few people use it. Your best bet is to go all the way to heavy armor, or get Studded Chitinium Silk and save the weight.
[Edit note: it should be noted that some good magical armors are medium armor, but newbies wont be able to afford good magical items, so it is more of a side note. Also, medium armor skill gives a slight protection bonus to both light and heavy armors as well, so it don't hurt to train it if you have medium armor skill available]
Heavy - Heavy armor is symbolised by Full Plate. Although there are other heavy armors, it is the best and the most expensive. Made of hard matalic materials, it is used most obviously by the Army, specificly Heavy Infantry, also known as Def-tanks.
HA comes in 5 materials: Poor Junk, Good Junk, Steel, Fine Steel, and Dont Bother.
Poor Junk is the weak armors, such as stone, tin, wood, or lead. They are so cheap that they look like a good choice, but even brass is better protection, and it cost nearly the same.
Good Junk is armor that should be looked for by anyone from levels 1-15. It is cheap, relatively easy to obtain, and offers acceptable protection. Look for Iron, but Bronze is ok.
Steel is what all new players should hope for, because it offers great protection, but you pay for it.
Fine Steel is where the trouble is. It protects better then Steel, and is lighter. It is also harder to find, meaning you will probably have to order it from the smiths. It is also terribly expensive, especialy as Full Plate.
Before moving on, it should be noted that there are two important variables in choosing an armor: Material and Quality. Of the two, material is slightly more important. Poor Chitinium Silk is better (and cheaper) then Great Leather, but Great CS is MUCH better then poor CS. [the qualities are minimal, poor, low, basic, average, considerable, good, great, superb, superior. When you look at an item, it will say poor quality, below average, average, above average or good.]
Magic and Hit Slots
When it comes to how armour affects combat, Icesus has at least two main diffrences from most games: Magic Users, and Hit Slots.
Magic Users - MU's are (obviously) defined as anyone that uses magic. Unlike most games, priests and druid type charectors are considered MU's also. The defining characteristic of a MU (besides magic) is that they usually can't fight their way out of a paper bag. A MU that fights something bigger then a rabbit will soon need the help files for being dead (help death). Mages over level 10-15 will need to be in parties or kill monsters that will die to one spell. Since they will always be in the BACK of the party or the monster will already be dead, they will never get hit and will not need any armour at all.
Hit Slots - In many games, any armour worn helps protect the character. In Icesus however, each hit hits a specific place on the body, such as the head or the torso. These are called Hit Slots. Because some slots will never be hit, like say your earring, wearing armor on your ears has almost no effect on your protection.
Hit Slots are your head, neck, torso, (lower torso), legs, arms, and hands. Some races have additional/less/diffrent hit slots, so be warned, to see your hit slots do 'aim at <your name>'. [These races are usualy unusual, such as beholders who have no legs or arms]
It should also be noted that some races get hit in certin places more often. Giant races almost never get hit in the head, but get hit often on the legs, this is due to the size difference to the opponents. If a giant wears a cap, but not pants, he will still get hurt alot. Likewise, extremely small races, such as Mold Men, get hit in the head constantly (yet another reason that Mold Men make bad fighters). Also each hit slot has a different vulnerability factor, for instance getting hit in the neck hurts a lot more than being hit in the arm.
So with mages not needing armor at all, and even soldiers only needing it on some slots, what do you do with the rest? That is where magic equipment comes in. Magical rings, amulets, and earrings are incredibly popular, because they are usually quite magically powerful, and they do not affect the armour class, and therefore can be of any material at all.
It should be noted that if a melee charecter needs to pick between, say, a magical Cloth Vest, and a Steel Chain-mail Vest, the Chain-mail is almost always better. While useful, magical equipment is not designed to be so powerful that it can keep you alive. The only time that magical equipment should be worn on a Hit Slot is when it is obviouslly good - such as a magical Fine Steel Bracer - or when you know exactly what you are doing - as in level 50 +. One quick example is that when I wear my CS Vest, an animal will hit my torso for 2 % hp damage. When i wear my magical Leather Vest, the same animal does up to 10% damage on my torso.
Weapons are the life blood of a warrior, and absolutely useless to a MU. With a few exceptions, MU can't even USE weapons unless they are willing to give up their spells (can't cast and wield at same time). Melee classes however, almost define their abilities as a fighter by the weapon they wield. A level 10 Army can deal nearly the same damage with a Fine Steel Greatsword as a level 50 Army can deal with a Stone Dagger.
Piercing Weapons - These are stabbing weapons and are among (if not THE) fastest weapons in the game, due their size. They often have magical properties, and are often quite cheep to buy. However, they need the magical abilities because they almost always do less damage then any similar weapon of another damage type.
Bludgeoning Weapons - An exellent choice for many classes, Bludgeoing weapons are everything from massive Mauls, down to your own natural fist. These weapons are well loved by many Army players, and any other classes that prefer brute force over finess or skill. They are very easy to use, can deal MASSIVE damage, do full damage against undead (who often (always?) take less damage from pierceing/slashing, and are easy to find. They are however some of the slowest weapons available.
Slashing Weapons - Another exellent choice, SW are incredibly popular for their great damage, their utility, and their commoness. There are tons of swords and axe types to choose from.
Axes tend to deal more damage, but are medium to slow speed.
Swords run the gamet from huge Greatswords that can cut creatures almost in half and are incredibly slow, Broadswords and Falchions that are great for sword and shield Army types, and Longswords, and sabres for dexterous fighters and Rangers.
Like armour, materials and quality are greatly important. Unlike armor however, Titanium, Adamantium, and Iceron weapons are not that uncommon. Also unlike armour, it is reasonable to find Iron, Steel, or Fine Steel magical weapons for 200-800 k silver. Too much for most level 5's, but by level 25 it is reasonable to expect to own one.
I would suggest a good quality Steel or reasonable quality Fine Steel weapon until you can afford a good magical weapon. Fine Steel weapons can be bought in a shop for as little as 10k silver, and that much money can be obtained before level 5 if you know where to look. If you have an "older" friend, they likely can buy one out of spare change if they are feeling generous.
Last edited by osma on Sat May 10, 2008 01:51 am; edited 2 times in total