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Slartanalysis: Classes


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One of the first things I noticed about G4 is that the relationship between class strengths and various statistics is not as obvious as you might expect. This is an attempt at clearing things up a bit.

 

Disclaimer: I haven't played through most of the game, so some of my conclusions may be suspect. The data I do have is solid, however.

 

HEALTH, SPELL ENERGY, and ESSENCE FORMULAS BY CLASS

           Warr  Serv  S.T.  Life  Infl

HP (Mult)  10/8  10/8   8/8   7/8   8/8
   (Base)    28    30    28    20    20

SP (Mult)   8/8  12/8  14/8  12/8  14/8
   (Base)    20    16    28    28    28

EP (Mult)   6/8   6/8   8/8   8/8   7/8
   (Base)    10    10    10    10    10

 

The basic formula for all three stats is:

Stat = Base + ((Level + 1) * Int/End * Multiplier)

 

HP uses Endurance while SP and EP use Intelligence.

 

The important thing to note is that the multiplier is far, far more important than the base score, once you are past the first few experience levels. (I am not 100% sure I have the exact multipliers, but they are very close.)

 

EFFECTIVE SKILL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CLASSES

           Warr  Serv  S.T.  Life  Infl

Melee #      11    11     8     3     7
Missile #     9     9     6     5     8
Quick Act.    7     7     3     1     3
Parry         8     8     3     0     3

Battle M.     1     4     1     4     6
Mental M.     1     3     1     3     6
Bless  M.     1     4     1     4     6
Spellcraft    0     1     0     1     3

Fire   S.     3     1     4     4     1
Battle S.     2     1     4     4     1
Magic  S.     2     0     3     3     0
Heal   M.     4     2     6     6     2

Intelligence  2     2     4     4     3

 

This table basically represents several things with one number:

(1) Base stats

(2) Practical impact of cheaper/more expensive skills for different classes

(3) For melee and missile attacks, base Strength and Dexterity stats

 

It basically tells you "For the same investment of skill points, a Warrior will have 5 more points of Parry than an Infiltrator," for example.

 

For #2, if you do out the math, you will discover that the difference between two classes in how much of a stat they can get for a given skill point investment remains relatively constant across any number of skill points. The differences vary depending on how base cost of the skill. That is a simplification, but one that offers a good representation of things.

 

Observations:

 

(1) The two fighting classes get rather significant statistical bonuses related to melee combat. They also get about a 25% HP bonus over the other classes and a sizeable Parry bonus. Large bonuses! The existence of the Servile means that (unlike with the Agent) there is really no reason to make a melee-oriented Infiltrator.

 

(2) The Infiltrator's magic bonus is real, but not gigantic. Compared to the Servile and Lifecrafter, she gets a bonus of about +4 for any given spell.

 

(3) The Warrior is nearly as good at shaping as the shaping classes, especially if you want Fire Shaping. He does however have a 25% essence penalty, and has 2 fewer points in Intelligence. So his creations are good, he just can't have as many. Seems like nice balancing!

 

(4) Despite being awful at magic, the Shock Trooper gets loads of Spell Energy. However, I still can't see any compelling reason to use this character! If you pump shaping skills a Lifecrafter will be better -- it's easy to snag some useful points in magic but you won't have enough skill points to pump all your melee skills to a relevant level. If you don't pump shaping skills much, a Warrior seems like a better deal.

 

(5) If, as suggested elsewhere, the late game creations are very powerful even at low levels, an Infiltrator with shaping skills and high Int might actually be one of the most powerful builds. On the other hand, if the advanced versions (which still require shaping skills of 5 or 6 for the top three tiers) are the best, Lifecrafters will still come out far ahead.

 

Thoughts? Observations?

 

Tomorrow: data on all of the creations.

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Shock Trooper.

 

Much was already said on her either being a weak warrior or a weak shaper. The lack of magic hurts quite a bit. She is well, the challenge class.

 

Jeff and I exchanged quite a few emails. The Shock Trooper now is a LOT better than she was. Earlier in beta, she started with 2 str, 2 dex, and only 2 endurance. She didn't get many hit points either at that stage. She was basically just a shaper with melee skills, and a strong breeze was more than enough to finish her off. She had 2 in melee, 2 in missiles, and that was it. Her cheap melee skill costs wore out quickly, and pumping those skills left her critically weak in other areas.

 

As she is now, she does have some strength. She is NOT a true melee class. You are free to pump shaping out the wazoo. It is possible to make creations strong enough that they don't need magic support. Add some dex, crank missile weapons, and you have a reasonably powerful character. She does not do well in the thick of melee, but at range, she can indeed, hold her own. Outfit her with the Tyrant pant thingies, that add +3 to melee skills and vampiric effect for those moments when you must melee, and give her the Captian's Shiv to swap to when she needs to cast blessing magic. And it is possible to shut down everything on the screen with a pack of vlish and a submission baton.

 

I will stick my tentacle out here and say it right now, the Servile is now the strongest class. Warrior hit points, buffs, mental magic to shut down the bane of all warriors, mobs, and the ability to literally buff themselves up to Godlike levels for melee. The ability to clear 500 or 600 hit points. With strong blessing magic and reasonable investment in melee skills, you can zip off 200 or more damage with a reaper baton. Or go to town with the oozing blade. Most of the endgame drakons were biting me for like 30 damage when they managed to connect, once I had all my protective buffs up and running.

 

Good stuff I tells ya.

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My first whole game through, I used an Infiltrator loyal to the Rebels (well, the Trakovites, actually.) I buffed her in melee and in magic. She was a killer magically and was insanely powerful by the fifth chapter. This was the character I used to clean out shaper camps that were not supposed to be beatable. The only thing she was unable to do was to beat the drakonish Southern Sentinel in the Titan's Lair because it gets 2-3 attacks per turn and any one hit is slowing. It was too lethal to contend with as a singleton. I was forced to make a couple of creations.

 

Magic is extremely useful and powerful in this game. The infiltrator puts it to very good use, and with all the buffs and good armor, she was quite good in melee too.

 

-S-

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That data is really useful. Thanks!

 

Regarding (5), I have precisely been putting my bet on an Infiltrator with somewhat decent magic shaping, and no melee (the reasoning being that magic probably still rules -which Synergy67 confirms-, but a pure spell-weaver might now be too vulnerable because of the more potent melee range - and boosting melee itself would require too many distinct high stats). So if you need any kind of data collecting, I'll be happy to help.

 

Also, while we are on the topic of stats, what would you beta-testers say is a "useful minimum" for mechanics? (although I suppose that may depend on whether your character is interested in canisters.)

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LET THE SLARTISTICS BEGIN!

 

One of my last and most successful games was with a Shock Trooper who wound up with 14 Strength, 21 Intelligence, 4 Fire and 4 Magic Shaping, 11 Healing Craft, and 7 Blessing Magic. At endgame, she had an Eyebeast and two Drakons assisting her, and it was a romp at that point. Clearing out the entire Titan's Lair with this foursome was almost too easy.

 

While not quite as potent consistently through the entire game like my Infiltrator had been, my Shock Trooper was very satisfying and effective by endgame and made it to Level 40. She could deal a good wallop by melee or baton due to her Strength alone, but had tons of essence for potent creations. A hasted Eyebeast delivering two bursts of Aura of Flames on all surrounding foes at once is wickedly delicious. For me it invoked the equivalent joy RETRIBUTION!!!! afforded Ephesos and me and many others in A4.

 

I have found the Lifecrafter to be the most challenging build to play with. They are so delicate. With the new AP system, it is a real challenge to keep them safely out of harm's way. Shock Troopers and Infiltrators were much beefier, but also able to do decent magic and/or shaping. Being surrounded by creations isn't always enough to save you when one round of attacks is enough to do you in.

 

I haven't played a Servile since early betas which I never played past Burwood, but my next game will test out the sick meat shield melee potential of these sturdy little tanks. They seem pretty bulletproof. Too bad they look so forlorn all hunched over in brown monk robes. You may look humble playing a Servile, but you will speak softly and carry a very big stick indeed. As I intend to confirm next.

 

This game offers some real mileage.

 

-S-

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There are more items to raise Fire shaping than any other shaping class. Between the Shaper's cloak (+1 in all shaping classes) and the shaping artifact (+2 in all shaping classes) it's not that hard at the end to make whatever creation that you want after Chapter 4.

 

Lifecrafters can easily make an army. I sent Jeff a generic lifecrafter that could wait until finishing the first 9 areas to decide upon shaping class since there is a creation available that will accompany you near the start. So you can have decent mechanics (8) and leadership (6) skills with high intelligence and shaping skills to when you choose. By Chapter 3 when you get tier 3 and 4 creations you can have shaping at 10 and intelligence over 12 for plenty of essence. Seeing a kyshakk with over 800 health in Chapter 3 is awesome since you don't need to augment him for combat.

 

I finished the game at level 42 with an effective 22 intelligence and fire shaping at 15 when I wanted to create. 1000+ health kyshakks and only 3 level behind drakons make a terrifying army. The creation buffing items can add 8 or more to creation strength.

 

Having too few creations makes it tough to run a lifecrafter. Push intelligence all through the game and it doesn't matter that your endurance is 1 for most of the game. The extra essence will make enough creations to kill most everything that you can't daze.

 

Serviles are almost gods in the game. Strong fighting skills and health plus almost as good magic make them nasty. You can easily switch from melee to missle as needed. They have better to hit for missle spells like essence shackles (slow) than lifecrafters or infiltrators. Shaping is weak, but you can easily get the minimum for fire shaping from equipment so all you need is essence.

 

Mental spells are the most important category. Starting with daze and ending with mass madness this is one category to get almost all the spells. A servile doesn't need battle magic since he can fight and blessing spells can use Captain's Shiv for +2 when needed to get the higher level spells for buffing. Some healing spells are nice to preserve pods for during combat.

 

I wasn't too thrilled with the Vampiric touch items but I'll wait to try the full set. You get some health back from time to time in combat.

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Something I did not take into account is the difference in item bonuses. Later in the game, there are some pretty ridiculous melee bonuses available (+2 Str, +2 Melee Weapons and +4 QA, to start with one item) whereas the spellcasting bonuses are smaller, just a few that net +1 to +4 per item between Battle Magic and Spellcraft.

 

All told a Servile can accrue, from items alone:

+14 Strength

+10 Melee

+1 Levels Damage

+6 QA

+1 Parry

+12 Vampiric Touch

 

while still making sure to get +2 AP. Throw in starting stats and a meager investment of skill points and you are hard pressed to avoid ending up with a melee machine. Of course, you also have a nice selection of ancillary effects -- poison, acid, curse, and stun -- at your disposal.

 

So we are back to the G1 paradigm of "if you reach it, it dies" -- except that now you can always reach it, you have Parry, better HP, and much better access to much better buffs. Plus, since you didn't have to spend lots of skill points getting there, you can pump Mental Magic to high heaven and never worry about a thing.

 

That said, I'm still not sure that a well-planned regiment of creations won't do better.

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You probably missed a few items that can make a Servile an even bigger killing machine. Still with better health and the second best magic path he can make an infiltrator not as worthwhile. It's easy to use skill points to get mental magic at 9 without items like the mindwarp seal (+2 mental magic) and get blessing magic using the Captain's Shiv and Captain's Boots (each give +2 blessing magic) so he just needs healing craft at 7 for major heal (he already starts at 2).

 

A high intelligence lifecrafter can create an army (see the screenshot your own army for the one I created long before I maxed out at effective intelligence of 22. I gave up the girdle of genius for the projection belt so my creations could be even nastier. You don't even need to raise your shaping skill as high as mine since the Shaper's robe (kill Monarch in chapter 3) and the Shapemaster's Boots will combine for +3 in all shaping skills. A few points to each shaping class and with training and the right canisters you can make all 30 creations.

 

You spend your life as a deadweight lifecrafter doing buffing, healing, daze, and finally mass madness with no real fighting after chapter 2. In chapter 3 you can make creations with high enough health that you rarely need to even augment and essence armor them most of the time. You can get create kyshakk in chapter 3 from the Shapers and have them at over 1000 base health before the end.

 

An infiltrator can be effective, but you need quick action to go ahead of the worst special encounters. You don't have the luxury of 500+ health that a servile can get or the creation shields of a lifecrafter/shock trooper. You also should get high leadership to help in the worst encounters.

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I think that with time, and some refinement, the Servile will come out as the Red Mage / Red Wizard of G4.

 

Melee skills? Don't need them. Really. There are items that will boost your melee skills. Missile skills? A few points are worth having. Leadership could probably be kept at 8 and then rely on items. Blessing magic may be able to be kept at base. Items will boost it considerably. Mechanics is probably safe at 10 or 12. Mental magic out the wazoo, a couple of points in to battle magic and some items, and everything else in to physical stats. Int and endurance probably.

 

Provided you get the right items, what you end up with:

 

High health, hard hitting melee ability, reasonable buffing abilities, a decent energy pool, enough mental fireworks to scramble an entire colony of shapers, and no real weaknesses. With a couple of swap out items, you can shape anything really. I can not find a single drawback.

 

You wind up with a long nosed terminator.

 

Ideal gear is still up for discussion, but the Legs of the Tyrant are the first item up for mention.

 

And you know, you could even skip out on missile weapon skills and just stick with swords... Sure, batons are powerful, but it is painfully easy to reach lightning aura and essence orbs as a Servile. Really, even though I haven't done it yet, it shouldn't be that hard to get 9/9 battle magic mental magic. You don't need jacked battle magic like the Agents of long ago, you just need an opening volley to soften up the crowd.

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From Mechanics and Leadership the maximum mechanics to train with skill point is 10 and if you aren't into opening everything you could make do with less. You need leadership of at least 7 and 8 or more might be better.

 

There are enough places to improve dexterity and missle weapons that you can minimize raising it for those time that you need to use them. It does help with casting essence shackles since that is considered a missle spell.

 

I'd go with nimble sandal and later stability boots for +2 dexterity with swapping Captain's boots for casting blessing spells when you enter an area. It's a tossup between Guardian Claymore for +2 strength or one of the elemental damaging blades for the to hit bonus and resistance.

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Suppose you tried to do the same thing with a Lifecrafter.

 

You'd have weaker melee skills. You'd have about 1/3 less Health and more than 1/3 more Essence. So as far as being less survivable goes, the difference isn't that huge -- maybe 12% of your Parry rate probably made up for by having creation meatshields, and 1/3 less Health. In practice you'd wear more suitable items to buff your creations, so your melee skills wouldn't be amazing at all. And a Servile can certainly do more damage than any single creation. But far less than even a group of cheap tier 3 creations, if we're talking about Drayks.

 

Randomizer, when you say you maxxed out at 22 Int, are you talking about an essence cap, or just how much you needed?

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22 intelligence is a combination of skill points and items at level 42 near the end of the game. Skein of wisdom, gruesome charm, essence charm, and omnicharm give 5 points of intelligence. I had over 800 essence and 1200 spell energy. In hindsight it coud have been higher if I had not put so much towards fire shaping. I don't think you can reach a limit in this game.

 

This much essence allowed me to use about 600 towards 5 or 6 creations depending upon which ones you pick. Plenty left over to cast buffing spells without having to use essence pods. For the expert areas and a few others I would use 5-6 pods for spell casting and buffing.

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  • 6 years later...

This is a sick necro, but I think it belongs here and not in a new thread. Mods, if you disagree just make my post a new thread.

 

I'm getting quite a bit different HP values the farther I get into the game. By level 44 my servile had 10 END and 463 hitpoints. According to the formula in the first post he should have 30 + ((44 + 1) * 10 * 10/8) = 592,5. That's a substantial difference isn't it ? I've noted HP values every time I remembered and put them up

 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AuQyxmkc3neTdGlVNFN0aHBlREs0Qi1pTDhHS0VwUXc&usp=sharing

 

I'm not really good enough to do anything more with it but if anyone is interested in trying to figure out the real formula I would be willing to get more data.

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For the servile with your data points the formula seems to be :

HP= 38 + (level * endurance) - ( abs (((level+10)/10)*(end-5)))

You can ignore the third term though because:-

1. It's really small and doesn't affect the formula much. (about 10 hp max. in your case)

2. I kinda guessed it instead of calculating. :p

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Yeah, I figured about lvl*end but there are a few points early on where you get more (lvl4->5 @3END is 4 HPs more, same at lvl 9 or 10) and then at higher END levels you actually get less every once in a while (lvl 27->28/ 35-> 36 @9 END going up only 8 HPs).

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Well, yeah, evidently the formula is not a simple base + (lvl * end) thing, there's a third term which is from what I can see, highly non-linear and most probably non-integral,it is dependent on both endurance and level and seems to achieve a minima in the middle of your table, most probably there is also some rounding up going on, which means that one can't really find the exact formula whatever the no. of data points. I don't see much problem with that either since the effect is really noticeable only at very high level and endurance.

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