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  1. #1
    Master Sotc's Avatar
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    Theatrics Guide for New Players

    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% Theatrics Guide For New Players (Version 1.1) %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%


    A.0 REVISION HISTORY:
    Version 1.0 - Document Created: 11/27/13
    Version 1.1 - Race, Weapon Sections added: 11/28/13


    1.0 PURPOSE:
    This document is meant to give new players a starting point to building their theatrics gladiators. It is by no means comprehensive and anyone is welcome to post their input.


    2.0 INTRODUCTION:
    Theatrics gladiators are a versatile, medium armor wearing fighter than can wield a wide variety of weapons. Along with more mundane choices like blades, axes, and shields, Theatrics have the unique ability to wield exotic-type weapons. Theatrics also have a unique fighting style called counterattack. If you want a gladiator that can disable his opponents while delivering a beating with a flourish, you want a Theatrics!


    3.0 STATS:
    The statistics on your glad's overview page affect everything from damage output to how much armor you can carry. They also influence how effective your skills are. For example, Adrenaline Rush with low strength and chi will reduce less damage than Adrenaline Rush with high strength and chi. You can add to your starting stats via your gear choices and achievement choices. You can also train your starting stats up to 9 more than their original values; it is recommended to do this AFTER you finish training your skills.

    Strength: Used in 7/12 non weapon skills. Very influential stat. It factors into your hp (~1.58hp/str), how much armor weight you can carry before becoming encumbered, and your raw damage, especially if you use axe/mace/shield.

    Intelligence: Used in 4/12 non weapon skills. Important stat that influences how likely you are to use a skill rather than a vanilla attack.

    Agility: Used in 12/12 non weapon skills. The most influential stat for theatrics. It increases your initiative and if you are using blades or exotics, it adds a bit to your damage.

    Stamina: Used in 0/12 non weapon skills. Nevertheless, still important. It not only affects your hp total (~6hp/stam) it also increases your endurance. Counterattack eats the most endurance, followed by bash/lunge/slash, followed by the parry styles.

    Size: Used in 1/12 non weapon skills. The biggest influence on your total hp (~10hp/size!) and the most difficult to change. The bigger size you are the more medium armor pieces you can wear before becoming encumbered (slowed down by weight making you attack less and attack second).

    Presence: Used in 9/12 non weapon skills. Very influential stat. It is responsible for reducing your opponents initiative (increasing the chance you have to strike first) as well as increasing the likelihood you will kill your opponent and decreasing the likelihood that you will be killed by your opponent.

    Chi: Used in 1/12 non weapon skills. Not particularly important, but higher chi will increase the chance of critical effects occurring among other things. Critical effects include stuns, knockdowns, and disarms which have a game changing effect on the outcome of the battle. However, it is NOT guaranteed that any of these will happen.

    Stat Priorities:
    Always prioritize your weapon attribute first (Ex. Blade -> Agility, Axe -> Strength). After grouping the stats by importance, you can see which stats are valuable for theatrics.

    Category 1: Agility, Presence, Strength
    Category 2: Intelligence
    Category 3: Stamina, Size, Chi


    4.0 WEAPONS:
    Before you decide on a weapon, think about what you want your glad to be able to do: take a look at the Archetypes section and the recommended weapons to get a feel for how these two choices sync together. When you choose a weapon type, look through the available speeds and weights. Want to attack more? Then choose weapons with higher speeds. Want to lower your chance of getting hits deflected by armor? Choose weapons with higher weight. Finally take a look at the weapons' damage values: is the fast weapon with low damage what you prefer or the slow weapon with big damage.

    Blades - These have a wide variety of speeds available. So you can mix and match to customize your glad's weapon set so that your damage is consistent from round to round hit to hit. They scale well with agility and have a inherent chance to cause bleeding.

    Axes and Mace - These are strength based weapons. You generally will attack less than if you used blades or exotics, but you will hit significantly harder. Only axe type weapons have an inherent low chance to cause bleed.

    Shield - This weapon scales with strength and stamina. It offers a huge global defensive boost to increase your chance to parry attacks.

    Exotics - These agility based weapons offer an improved native bleed chance over blades. However, they have a lesser variety of speed choices available. Cestus, Trident, and Scimtar are markedly different than their Blade counterparts. The Scimtar is slightly lighter and has better dps values than the Bastard Sword. The Cestus penetrates armor better (on account of being slightly heavier) than a dagger (you will also get flavorful text like 'your glad executes a devastating backfist!'). The Trident is a strange weapon: it is 5 weight, as heavy as some two handed weapons and has damage numbers and speed similar to a War's spear (a type of Polearm) but is main-hand only as opposed to 2-handed.


    5.0 SKILLS:
    The skills you choose form your skill build. Each skill has 10 ranks. Since skills grow exponentially in power, ten rank 10 skills is generally considered a complete build (sample builds are listed in the Archetypes section). The following is an overview of skills within the Theatrics tree.

    Weapon: This ties greatly into what type of theatrics you are aiming to build (See Archetypes section for some general ideas). This is your most important skill and one that you should consider getting to rank 10 a priority. Low weapon levels will greatly increase the chance to fumble or miss attacks.

    Tier 1
    Feint: This skill gives an attack power boost for the offensive attack it activates on. This is good for punching through and hitting defensive glads that parry a lot.

    Called Shot: This skill gives you the increased chance to attack the targeted area. This works well in combination with Knockout. It also can help you hit an injured limb repeatedly or target a weak piece of armor repeatedly.

    Tier 2
    Signature Move: This skill gives you the chance to inflict 3 powerful statuses that can decide the match. Blind - The opponent will miss most of his attacks while allowing you to hit him easier, lasts 1-2 rounds. Sweep - The opponent will be knocked down, reducing the number of his offensive attacks. Disarm - The opponent will lose one of his weapons; if he picks up a weapon that he doesn't have a weapon skill in his damage will be greatly reduced. A word of warning: signature move does no damage by itself (and CAN be parried or deflected to no effect) so it is advised that you choose weapons that will allow you to attack many times per round so that sacrificing one attack's worth of damage is not so significant.

    Crowd Pleaser: This skill gives you a buff to defense every time you parry an attack (increased defense increases the chance to parry attacks). This is ideal for defensive glads who plan to parry or counterattack.

    Gratuitous Violence: This skill lets every damaging attack you make have a chance of causing bleed. Even a 3 damage poke could result in 30 bleed which will remain for the rest of the match. Bleed damage is subtracted at the beginning of each round. This skill is ideal for long drawn out matches.

    Tier 3
    Armor Movement: This skill gives you the chance to deflect (totally negate) attacks against you. Additionally, it reduces the initiative penalty for wearing medium armor which increases your chance of attacking first.

    Strength of the Crowd: When this skill activates, it gives you a sizable boost to attack power and defense (~60 attack, 90 defense). It also can reduce the damage of the attack it activates against, and in rare occasions can even reduce the attack damage to 0.

    Hamstring: When this skill activates, it reduces the opponent's number of attacks by 50% for two rounds. This is essential to reduce incoming damage from opponents.
    Last edited by Sotc; 12-08-2013 at 10:07 AM. Reason: clarifying weapons section

  2. #2
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    5.0 SKILLS (CONTINUED):

    Tier 4
    Knockout: When you attack opponents to the head, this skill gives a slight additional chance to knock them out, winning you the match. Please be advised that the chance is rather small (hitting opponents in the head without this skill also has a small chance to knock them out) and may not be worth the training points. Additionally, opponents you knock out will not be killed, so your kill numbers will suffer (i.e. in matches you would have won without the help of knockout you do not get to roll on the chance to kill your opponent).

    Overwhelming Presence: This skill suppresses the initiative of your opponent giving you a better chance to strike first.

    Surprise Ending: This skill will reflect incoming attacks and all their effects back onto the opponent. This skill can definitely turn the tide of a match around. It seems to activate rarely using a purely offensive strategy like thrust/slash/bash and more often with a defensive strategy like parry.

    Tier 5
    Bloody Spectacle: This skill buffs your attack power/defense/bleed numbers. The extra effect at rank 10 generally means that any bleed damage you inflict will do ~15% of that number as immediate damage. This certainly adds up over time, but given that bleed damage is usually less than 30 at a time without buffs (sniveler, bleed ranks), 15% of 30 is a mere 4.5. Moreover, I have always noticed significant improvement in performance for theatrics glads upon completing training in this skill (likely due to the buff to attack power/defense).


    6.0 MAJOR BUILD ARCHETYPES:

    *Build Archetypes are meant to be broad introduction to the metagame, not an exhaustive or restrictive list.*

    Counterattack Theatrics (Hybrid Theatrics/Rage)
    Sample Build: Axes and Mace/Feint/Called Shot/Hamstring/Armor Movement/Strength of the Crowd/Devastating Power/Blood Drunk/Brute Force/Adrenaline Rush
    Usually done with Axes+Mace, this build wants to exchange blow for blow with an opponent. The goal is to take less damage from the opponent (Adren Rush, Hamstring, Armor Movement) while doing more to him. This build mainly uses the counterattack style and prioritizes strength on his gear.

    Speed Theatrics (Pure Theatrics)
    Sample Build: Blades/Feint/Called Shot/Signature Move/Gratuitous Violence/Armor Movement/Strength of the Crowd/Hamstring/Overwhelming Presence/Bloody Spectacle
    Usually done with either Exotics or Blades, this build depends on superior initiative to attack the opponent before he can respond, hopefully disabling him or doing enough damage to win the fight. For longer fights you have two skills that increase bleeding (Gratuitous Violence, Bloody Spectacle) which will wear down tough opponents (provided they don't just beat you up first). This build mainly uses the lunge style and prioritizes agility on his gear.

    Defensive Theatrics (Pure Theatrics)
    Sample Build: Exotic/Shield/Feint/Crowd Pleaser/Gratuitous Violence/Armor Movement/Strength of the Crowd/Hamstring/Surprise Ending/Bloody Spectacle
    Usually done with Exotic and Shield, this build depends on superior defense to block the majority of the opponents attacks while bleeding him out. You have two key activated defensive skills (Strength of the Crowd, Surprise Ending) that have the potential to lessen or even reflect big damaging attacks. This build mainly uses the parry style and prioritizes defense on his gear.


    7.0 FIGHT STRATEGIES:

    Fighting Styles:
    Lunge/Bash/Slash - Your vanilla attack: Axes and Maces can Bash, Blades can Lunge or Slash, Exotics can Lunge/Slash/Bash. Primarily used for offense.

    Parry-Lunge/Parry-Bash/Parry-Slash - you will reduce your offensive attacks while increasing your defense giving you a better chance to block attacks. Primarily used for defensive theatrics trying to reduce incoming damage.

    Counterattack - this style behaves very differently. Primarily used when your opponent attacks more times per round than you.

    Here's a scenario to illustrate how it works.
    - You normally make 4 attacks per round with lunge.
    - Your opponent normally attacks 6 times per round.
    - You have much higher initiative than your opponent (high agil/pres)

    You will make 4 attacks first. Your opponent will then attack 6 times. You will then attack two times after he has finished.

    Takeaway:
    -Your total number of attacks per round is capped by the total number of attacks your opponent could have made under normal conditions
    -If your initiative is much lower than your opponent's you will still match him in number of attacks per round, but they will come AFTER he has finished attacking (For the example above, he will attack 6 times then you will attack 6 times).

    Activity Settings:
    Activity - the effect of this setting will depend on whether you are using an offensive or defensive fighting style. For high activity: offensive - you will attack more but be more likely to miss especially vs defensive glads, defensive - you will be able to parry a greater amount of attacks per turn. The converse applies for low activity setting.

    Bloodlust - higher settings will pump your damage at the expense of accuracy, lower settings will increase your accuracy but significantly reduce your damage. This is applicable for both offensive and defensive styles. Ex. If your goal is accuracy, lower activity and bloodlust.


    8.0 RACES:

    Human - Neutral race; the attack bonus is pretty minor. If you want to avoid negative racial penalties this is a pretty safe bet.

    Elaar - One of the more popular races. It is more suited for offensive types like speed or counterattack theatrics. The armor penetration bonus gives a better chance of avoiding deflections due to armor (good vs warriors). The crit effects resistance gives you a better chance of resisting nasty crit effects like knockdown, stun, and disarm. In my experience, the health penalty amounts to roughly a 300 hp drop (it is probably actually % based).

    Spite - A good race for a defensive gladiator. The defensive boost feels significant; the crit effects boost seems to scale well with chi. The damage penalty isn't too bad.

    Dunder - This race is generally better for wars, but could make a decent counterattack glad if you are planning to attack second anyway (initiative penalty). The damage boost is significant and noticeable; the kd resist can be pretty valuable though it is difficult to gauge when/if it triggers.

    Urk - The endurance bonus is a % bonus. The stun resist could be valuable but again, it is difficult to tell if successful stun resists are due to this attribute or other factors. This race is generally better for rages who are endurance pits and don't care about defense. Anything that burns tons of endurance (ex. counterattack theatric) could be suited for this race. However, it is not difficult to stack enough stamina to run any type of theatrics comfortably; adding urk bonus endurance is kind of overkill

    Snivler - A good race for offensive glads. You should outspeed any other glad to get the first few blows in (hopefully landing a hamstring or debilitating signature move) and the bleed bonus is definitely significant. A snivler bleeder also has the advantage in matchups vs defensive glads nullifying many hits; the snivler's hits that do get through will add more bleed and thus more dps over time than any other race. In my experience, the health penalty is slightly more severe than the elaar penalty.

    Trug - This might make a decent defensive gladiator. The hp boost is % based and pretty massive and the bleed resist seems to reduce most bleed numbers to single digits. The initiative penalty would also be a non-issue for a defensive parry based glad.


    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% END OF DOCUMENT %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    Last edited by Sotc; 11-28-2013 at 10:12 AM.

  3. #3
    Master Sotc's Avatar
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    Reserved for additions

  4. #4
    Elite Master crow's Avatar
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    Wow I have to say this is one of the best guides written in this game. Very comprehensive and detailed.
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  5. #5
    Training Dummy MaTianLong's Avatar
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    You haven't mentioned races.. but I suppose Humans or Elaar (despite theyr penalty in less health ) are the most suited
    Last edited by MaTianLong; 11-27-2013 at 10:42 PM.
    Stable:

    New Malebranche: Kallistrate,Eurybia

  6. #6
    Master Sotc's Avatar
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    Added race info

  7. #7
    Training Dummy MaTianLong's Avatar
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    you can add a note on Exotic weapons since that includes a nice mix of different weapons a Theatric can use simoultaneously
    Stable:

    New Malebranche: Kallistrate,Eurybia

  8. #8
    Nicely done Sotc! Now we have guides for all specs of Arms & Armour!

  9. #9
    Training Dummy MaTianLong's Avatar
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    Well done, but I would add something, that is: explain how different stats in strenght or agility could affect Theatric and a note like others guide have into stats looking.

    what I mean is: a theatrical with a very good agility but a low strenght could still be good?
    Stable:

    New Malebranche: Kallistrate,Eurybia

  10. #10
    Master Sotc's Avatar
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    Take a look at the stat priorities section. If the glad you described (high agility, low str) is trained in an agility based weapon it could work well. Just remember you can add some str from gear as well.

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