Angelmar's Comprehensive Newb Guide V2
Angelmar's Comprehensive Newb Guide is a Shadowbane newbie tutorial.
The following is a greatly expanded version of my newbie guide I created for the launch of Vindication. New players will benefit from a cover to cover read, returning vets might want to use the index to locate what they need.
Special thanks go out to Teer of Lys and Byr for their comments and editing.
Welcome to the World of Shadowbane. First, let's explore Character Creation.
Step one for any new player is of course deciding on what their first character should be. Shadowbane employs a three-tiered character system. New players must first choose a base class (fighter, healer, rogue, mage), then promote to a profession (warriors, wizards, nightstalkers, crusader, ect.), and then select any disciplines they wish to take that will further customize their character. It is important to make sure you choose the correct base class for your profession.
Character Customization is one of the strengths of Shadowbane. There are 12 races, 31 base class/profession combinations and 46 disciplines.
Available Professions by Class
Generally the fighter base class is straight forward. Characters that take this route will find themselves slashing and bashing on their enemies until there are piles of corpses at their feet. Exceptions to this rule are Sentinels, Templars, Warlocks, and some Huntress builds. Practitioners of these professions often emphasize their magical or divine casting abilities over their melee prowess.
Save Priests, all of the other healer based classes have spells that give them the ability to deal damage. Healer casters don't deal as much damage as a mage based caster, but usually have more hit points, as well as access to various heals. All healer based characters have access to the summon spell, which is extremely useful allowing you to teleport another character to your location.
Mages are the hardest hitting spell users in the game, but also suffer from having some of the lowest hit points. They do however have damage absorbers and magical spells to buff their melee resists to offset this. Assassins, Channelers, Necromancers, and Wizards also have magical means with which they can stealth. Save the Doomsayer, Bard and Assassin all of the other mage casters have the ability to make their enemies more vulnerable to their damage type.
Rogues trade the higher hit points pools for ambidexterity (the ability to wield two weapons), the dodge skill and the ability to hide (stealth without moving) and sneak (mobile stealth). The ability to stealth really transports you into your own separate world in Shadowbane, shared only by yourself and scouts. If there is no enemy scout around, a rogue can walk right into a full group of enemies. Rogues, especially scouts, are the eyes and ears of every guild.
Before we go further in the Character creation process it's important to understand what all these numbers and attributes do!
Increases the maximum damage and attack rating on Strength based weapons, and increases the minimum damage on Dexterity based weapons. It also increases the amount of items that you can carry in your inventory, and increases trains in Block, Medium Armor, and Heavy Armor. Strength Based Weapons: Axes, Great Axes, Hammers, Great Hammers, Swords, Great Swords, Pole Arms, and Spears.
Increases the maximum damage and attack rating on Dexterity based weapons, and increases the minimum damage on Strength based weapons. It also increases base defense, grants free trains in Light Armor, and the Dexterity based weapon focuses. Dexterity Based Weapons: Daggers, Staves, Bows, Crossbows, Ranger Class Swords, Blademaster Longblades, and Bladeweaver Swords.
Increases the maximum amount of trains that can be put into all percentage skills (Armors, weapon skills, focus lines) and increases maximum power damage on spells.
Primarily increases the mana pool with varying returns for the different base classes. It also increases the rate at which mana is regenerated, and to a lesser degree than intelligence increases minimum damage on spells.
The Numbers That Matter
There are really seven different numbers that matter in Shadowbane, these are your total health points, total mana points, total stamina points, attack rating, defense rating, damage range, and resists.
This represents how much damage you can take before you die. It increases as your constitution points increase. You also gain hit points for every level you gain.
Represents how many spells you can cast; it increases with your spirit points increase. You also gain mana points for every level you gain
Represents how long you can run or swing your weapon; this also increases with your constitution. You also gain stamina points for every level you gain.
Represents how likely you are to hit someone with your weapon or spell.
represents the likelihood of someone missing you. The higher the more likely they will miss. Based of defense rating of your armor, armor skill, and dexterity.
Represents how much damage you can do. For rogues and fighters it is based off strength or dexterity. For healers and mages it is based of intelligence and spirit (but mostly intelligence).
Both Melee and Magical. These represent a direct percentage decrease to the amount of damage received.
For later, once in game this information can be found through the character menu (defaulted to the S key).
Now that we have some idea of what the character stats do!
After double checking that you have selected a valid race/base class combination for your desired profession class:
Starting traits can be applied to characters to tweak them towards a specific build. Stat runes (runes that increase you dex/str/con/int/spr) are also available in game up to a +40 _(insert attribute)_ rune. The starting traits though aren't available in game. Some starting runes also have trade offs such as Warlords Page, which grants +10 con/+10 maximum con, but comes at the cost of spr/max spr and/or dex/max dex.
Everyone starts with 30 attributes points, selecting a race costs between 5 and 25 points. You can also subtract up to five points from any of your five attributes. The remainder of points you have after selecting a race and subtracting from attributes can be spent on creation trait runes. Subtracting points from attributes you don't use, such as strength and dexterity for a mage, will allow you get the most out of your attribute points.
Here are some runes based on which stats you intend to focus:
Runes for Dexterity Based Characters
Lightning Reflexes: +10 dex/+10max dex Taught by Master Thief: +10/+10 dex/max dex, -5/5 con/max con, 5/5 str/max str Lucky: +5% def Military Training: +5 Light armor
Runes for Constitution Based Characters
Healthy as an Ox: +10 con/+10 max con Warlords Page: +10 con/+10 max con -5/5 spr/max spr and -5/5 dex/max dex Tough as Nails: +200 HP +20% Health Regen
Runes for Intelligence Based Characters
Wizards Apprentice: +10 int/ +10 max int, 5/5 con/max con, 5/5 spr/max spr Brilliant Mind: +10int/+10 max int
Runes for Strength Based Characters
Heroes Strength: +10 str/ +10 max str Blacksmith's Apprentice: +10 str/ +10 max str, 5 int/5 max int, 5 dex/5 max dex
Humans and Elves also have access to subrace runes that grant +5 stat/+10 max stat +10 % regeneration to mana/stam or health.
Runes for Various Weapon Types
- Bowyer Born: +5 Crossbow
- Brawler: +10 unarmed, unlocks unarmed mastery
- Bruiser: +5 hammer
- Eyes of the Eagle: +5 bow
- Hunter: +5 spear
- Knife Fighter: +5 dagger
- Knights Squire: +5 Medium Armor
- Precise: +5% attack rating
- Raised by Barbarians: +5 axe
- Raised by Centaurs: +5 spear
- Raised by Dwarves: +5 hammer
- Raised by elves: +5 sword
- Raised by Elves: +5 sword
- Raised by Thieves' Guild: +5 dagger
- Raised in the Woods: +5 bow
- Sellsword: +5 sword
- Sharpshooter: +5 crossbow
- Sold to the Pits: +10 unarmed combat
- Trained by MasterofArms: +5 block
- Woodsman: +5 axe
Precise: +5% Attack Rating to any focus skill (melee or spell)
Other Noteworthy Runes
Two Runes that deserve special attention are Tough as Nails (TaN) and Warlords Page: Tough as Nails costs 10 points and grants 200 hp and +20% Health Regeneration. For any nonFighter based character this is a more efficient HP return. For Rogues they get no stamina, so it is perhaps debatable. For Healers and Mages, this is a better expenditure of 10 points. You will get more HP than putting those 10 points in Constitution.
Warlords Page costs 8 points and grants 10 Con, 10 Max Con and 5 Spr/5 Max Spr, 5 Dex/5 Max Dex. If you aren't putting any points into Spirit or Dex and have points at creation for this rune, there is absolutely no reason not to take it. You essentially get two free points of Constitution. For Strength based melee characters that don't use dex or spr this is a very popular choice.
Example: An example of starting rune selection might be Wizard's Apprentice and Brilliant Mind, for a Centaur Prelate. A debatable third rune might be precise and would represent the kind of trade off character creation is about, 5% more attack rating on my Liturgy nuke vs 8 more points in Int or Con. The Prelate's damage comes from casting spell casting and so the build overall focuses on boosting the maximum Intelligence.
These are runes that open up extra abilities for characters that can take them. A few can define the character such as blademaster, bladeweaver, or sundancer. Most however just grant some extra ability. The ability to track enemies (granted by either the huntsman or bounty hunter rune) is especially common. Characters get four disciplines slots, three are available before level 70 and one is opened at level 70. More information on disciplines can be found at: 
So your character is all planned out, it's time to log in.
The User Interface
Shadowbane's UI can be customized in many ways some common basics are:
Any window on your screen is moveable by shiftleft clicking them and dragging them around your interface. Most windows can also be resized by clicking a button in the bottom right of the each window and dragging it to the desired size.
Windows can be faded so that the text seems to appear out of no where, and allow the player to see that much more of the world around him. This can be done by ctrl=left clicking the window and selecting transparency.
The text style and size can also be edited by ctrlclicking and selecting the font or font size options.
Every skill, weapon power or spell has its own icon in Shadowbane. These icons can be dragged onto the interface. By clicking on one of the icons it will cause your character to use that skill. The skill icons can be found in the character info menu under powers it is also defaulted to the hotkey "P"
It is also possible to bind spells to keys on the keyboard. This is especially useful for commonly used spells.
Example: Here's an old screenshot from my Centaur Prelate at what appears to be a bane crash against Shadivak. It's using the old default skin. Not the cleanest layout I ever had, but might give an idea for how to set up your UIs.
Combat, XP, and Consider System
Combat system is pretty basic. For melee you enter combat mode by hitting ctrla and you start swinging your weapon (alternatively hit "C" and then "F"). Hit your weapon powers to interrupt and kill your target. Casters just need to select something and hit their spell.
Your position relative to the target is irrelevant so long as the target is in range. Characters sitting down will take increased damage (x2+ ) from melee and spells. This however also includes heals, which means a well timed sit while the priest hits a group percent heal can take you from near death to almost full health. Sitting also increases, mana, health and stamina regeneration. While running you do not regen at all.
Two types of powers are very important in the Shadowbane combat system, stuns and powerblocks. Stuns come in melee and caster varieties. A stun will interrupt the spell of someone if he is stunned while casting and it will cause his spell to go on cool down. Stun also immobilize a character for their duration. Powerblocks prevent a character from using any of his powers. When either of these powers effect a character they grant that character an immunity to further stuns or powerblocks respectively. This immunity lasts for three times the length of the stun/powerblock.
Many MMORPGS in the past have had consider systems. Shadowbane has one as well, built into the targeting system. When a person or npc is selected its name in the selection box will show as one of several colors: white, green, light blue, blue, yellow, orange, red. White mobs will offer you no experience gains and should be easy kills. Green offers very little experience, light blue slightly more than that. Blue npcs are those that are near your level and offer some of the best experience gains. Yellow and orange npcs are increasing in difficulty and also offer more experience. All npcs that are significantly above your level, whether they are 10 levels or 50 levels above you will show as red. They still can be killed for experience.
Shadowbane also has another layer to its consider system. Every class and npc type has its own icon that appears beneath its name in the selection window. The number of icons represents its level range. One icon is equal to 10 levels, so an npc or player that has three icons under their name would be between level 30 or 39. This player or npc would also commonly be referred to as a rank three or R3.
Shadowbane is all about pvp and that means everyone ends up losing sometime. Here are a few points about death in Shadowbane:
- Being killed by a player or a mob results in no experience loss.
- Being killed puts a player in death shroud (a debuff to all your stats and it blocks you from using any spells or abilities)
- When a player is killed all items they had in their inventory can be looted off their corpse or grave. All equipped items (items on your paperdoll, defaulted to your "e" key) will be retained on your character, but will suffer a durability penalty.
- On the starting island players won't get a death shroud nor can their inventories be looted. They are automatically retained until they leave the starting island.
In many MMORPGS grouping is an ingame system, Shadowbane is no exception, unlike some games (most notably World of Warcraft), there are no huge penalty for leveling in groups. Experience is only very slightly decreased by adding members to your group and the degree to which it decreases also factors in the level difference between the players, but even here Shadowbane is very lax. Players ten levels ahead of you will not significantly alter your group experience rate. Shadowbane is about pvp not making you sit in the leveling treadmill for one to three months. Grouping is the rule, not the exception. To form a group type /invite "name". Where "name" is the first name of the character. E.g. /invite Angelmar. You can also flag yourself as looking for group and this will place a icon over your head visible to other players. This is done under group options where you toggle "looking for group".
Everything in Shadowbane centers around your guild. The decision for which guild to join is as important as your character selection. Your guild is how you will get gear, be able to train your skills at higher levels and who you will be pvping with. The enlistment boards are always an excellent place to start, but there is often a delay before you can get a guild there; so start ahead of time, before you are getting kicked out of your safehold at level 56 (48 on normal servers). Another effective method is finding a guild that your character can join (for the lore play ruleset) and visit their guild website and petition to join on their forums. (There is an excellent thread listing most of the guilds going to the lore server and which charter they are going. Many of listings also contain links to guild websites). Less used, but still worth trying is the ingame "looking for guild" system. This functions much like the looking for group system mentioned earlier, except you toggle the icon in the menu "guild options". Flagging yourself as "looking for guild" also adds a notation to your entry on the /who list. The /who list is covered in advanced topics. Lastly, a guild is better than no guild, especially for new players. Many guilds don't accept new players or players that are immature. Don't give up after your first guild. Find one that fits you and your style of play and then stick it out with them. In Shadowbane it is about groups struggling together to achieve a goal. Remember it's not always about "me". As an absolute last resort, pull up the world map and look for cities with the largest populations. These guilds have a high probability of having open recruiting policies: if you're living, breathing, and speaking the right language (and sometimes just something close) then you're in. These guilds are rarely very good or organized but it does provide a new player with a home while he gets started. This shouldn't be your final resting place though unless you just like being a number. For players strapped for time this arrangement may be ideal.
As a recruiter my last advice is this: play it straight and speak as much truth as you can in your petitioning posts. For a while there has been an epidemic of spies joining guilds to get an edge in pvp. Petitioners have a fairly large wall to scale in order to get in the top ranked pvp guilds. Finally, don't be afraid to talk with your new guild members whether in IRC, teamspeak, ventrillo or the in game chat system. I find myself disliking recruits for not trying to get to know their new guildmates as often as I find myself disliking new recruits for being plain loud and obnoxious. Good Luck guys, It's worth it to get in a good guild.
There are four ranks in the Shadowbane guild system: petitioner, full member, inner council, and guild leader. Petitioners are the lowest ranking members. They cannot invite others to join the guild and cannot access buildings friended to the guild in general. Full members can invite others to join the guild and can access buildings friended to the guild in general. Inner council members are the officers of the guild they can promote players and have access to buildings friended to only the inner council. Guild leader is the highest rank, occupied by only one person, he owns the tree and often all the buildings in the city. He is the only person that can raise players to inner council status.
Useful Default Keys
- S = "Self" Player Information
- K = Focus Lines and available trains
- P = Powers/Spells
- C = Combat Mode Toggle
- I = Inventory
- E = Equipped Items
- ctrlA = Attack
- F = Attack Toggle
- W = Who menu
- T = Tell
- R = Reply to previous tell
- M = World Map
- N = Toggle Names
- CtrlN = Toggle Shields (Guild Tags)
- Z = Toggle Sit/Stand
- Page Up/Down = Fly Up or Down a Tier
These keys can be rebound by going to Options >> Hotkeys.
BLUE DOTS!=Hostile Players. Note: there are no longer blue dots, however some still use the old phrase when they see people incoming without warning from the tracker. By some I mean relics like myself. coord = map coordinates DS = death shroud EVAC = player is asking for an emergency summons. Inc = incoming summon or sometimes incoming enemy INC! or Incoming = Hostile players incoming to the group. kite = engaging a target without actually ever allowing them to close to melee range, through the use of snares NSRFS = NonSummoner Ready For summons Ot = Hostiles on track pks = hostile players RFS = Ready for Summon. This means you are out of combat mode and watching the screen for the summon. SRFS = Summoner Ready For Summons Tc = Track Clear Track Hot = Hostiles on Track
AoE= Area of Effect atr = attack rating bot = a character that as a toon that is not actively played but is there to give a group or player an advantage unavailable without it. brt = be right there CN = Asian Zerg disc = discipline DoT= damage over time FoG = flesh of granite FoL = flesh of lead Gimp = a character or player that isn't very good or has poorly assigned its trains/stat points. GM = Grand Master or 40 trains in a skill grp = group HoT = Heal over time Imho = in my humble/honest opinion Imo = in my opinion Instacast = Instant cast, technically .02s. lfg = Looking for group or Looking for guild. JM = Journeyman or 20 trains in a skill. Loc = coordinates of a location mob = any killable npc Nuke = direct damage spell Oblivion= throne of oblivion expansion island usually refers to the island itself. omw = on my way Open tree= a city that allows anyone to repledge to it. PB = powerblock PBAoE = Point Black AoE PL = powerlevel plbot = character designed only to power level. R1= Character that is between level 1019 R2= Character that is between level 2029 R3= Character that is between level 3039 R4= Character that is between level 4049 R5= Character that is between level 5059 R6= Character that is between level 6069 R7= Character that is between level 7075 RoC = Rise of Chaos expansion island. Refers to the island Maelstrom on the map. stack = large number of players in one small area TaN = Tough as Nails ToL = tree of life. Toon = a character Tree hoping = repledging to open ToLs looking for pvp. Zerg = A situation in which one side of a conflict vastly outnumbers the other
DISCLAIMER: I wrote this for Vindication. The names and cords may NOT be accurate if the Vorringia mapset was changed for Saedron.
While following this guide make sure to take advantage of the buff pots available at any alchemist. They grant +55 to a single attribute for only 1k gold and have 5 charges, or get a concoction for 10k that does all the buffs.
Locate the nearby camp of frost walkers/frost spiders and start killing. If there are other people ask to group to make it go faster. The level 1 to 4 camps are always adjacent to the starting hamlets so if you don't see it right off go to the edge of the hamlet and just start walking the perimeter till you find it. It's often on the North edge.
To attack a mob using a weapon, enter combat mode and double click the your target or the more convenient way is to just hit ctrla while targeting a person or mob.
Once you hit level two or three (or four) it is time to do your first training train. The hamlet you started in should have a base class trainer (fighter, healer, mage, rogue) that you can use to train some basic skills. Refiners, or NPC trainers that can untrain skills and stat(int/dex/str/ect.) points, have been implemented, so don't be afraid to train skills early on; you can always untrain them later. For characters using a weapon there are also rank two weaponsmiths in the hamlet where you can purchase up to 3539% weapons that will make future leveling easier. Make sure you only train your weapon skill(fighters/rogues) or focus skill such as sorcery(mages) to get the best return for your trains early on. Healers are very weak on the starting island, I suggest training hammer skill and planning on untraining later or just train some points into blessed mending and pray you find someone to kill stuff for you while you heal them.
Same as level 1 to 4 except mobs you should be killing are ice spiders, white Wolf Pups and Huldas. Check the map for good locations. Might even put on your looking for guild icon; maybe get lucky and be in a group with a friendly guild Inner Council member.
These are some of the more difficult levels on the starting island, especially on the Vorringia mapset. Repledge to Valkirche or Scraefahl (this is done by going to the runemaster in the nearest town and selecting "How do I leave this village" and then "Repledge to new city) and run to the west. Look for some camps with low R1s and R0s. Most of the camps spawn somewhat slow so bear that in mind. When you hit 10 you will be told you need to promote to a profession. Don't. Your experience bar will go negative and continue going negative until you hit 110 exp. When this happens you stop gaining exp as if you were a level 10 and gain only 1 exp per mob. At this point promote at Starkholm. The fastest way to get to Starkholm will be to run back to a hamlet and repledge. While in Starkholm make sure you promote at the correct trainer! You can talk to all of the trainers, but once you promote your decision is final. Your next three kills will automatically convert your negative exp to positive exp and grant you a level each, getting you to lvl 13.
13 - 22
Repledge to AllFather's Rest and run to the northeast the Snow Orc Village (251, 762) there is very large and I have seen it support up to six groups while the map was on test server. Some other camps that are commonly used are Draugs at (228, 769) and Minotaurs at (224, 761) (See minimap tutorial in advanced topics for coordinate system). Mind the minotaurs some of them have learned some basic form of teleportation from their elven masters.
20 - 30
Teleport via Runemaster to your respective freeholds. On the normal servers you can pick and choose the zones to level in, on the lore server players don't have this luxury. Ask for groups, but don't give your location in the freehold guild or nation chat. If possible summon people to you or send them the coordinates in tells. Posting a group's coordinates in general chat channels can attract hostile players. I've created maps for two of the zones outside of the freeholds, these zones can be accessed from the Centaur Cohort, Cathedral, Military Legion, Mercenary Band, and Noble House charter holds.
Most the freehold zones can get you into the 40s if you find the right camps. From 40 on the name of the game is really to get a guild and to level with them. Players can definitely get to level 60 or even 75 without a guild by utilizing the runegates and the RoC and oblivion islands, it just wont be as easy as it could be or near as fun.
Lore Server specific conditions
- All members of safe holds are now full members
- All groups must be made of nation members
- On the starting island all characters can pledge to any city
- Summons can be cast on members of the same charter even if they aren't in the same nation.
- There is a 1 hour timer to rejoin a player guild you quit.
ServerUp Training or Solo Start Training
At server up when there are no trainers, or when you are new, have no connections and need to get the most out of your gold. The best way to train is to not put a single point into intelligence as you level. Once you've leveled enough to be able to train your skills as high as the NPCs can train them, then put you stat points into intelligence allowing you to train beyond the NPC trainer cap.
Spec groups or "specialized groups" are exactly that. Groups of characters specially designed to support each other in order to maximize effectiveness of the group. Almost every guild will be running a couple of spec for open field and for banes. Common examples are the holy spec: two Sentinels, a Bard, Dwarf Priest, Prelates and Crusaders to taste, mostly Prelates. The Sentinels debuff for the Crusaders and Prelates, the Prelates and Crusader group heal to help the Priest and Bards there for resists. The characters support each other, and focus on one damage type .
The Mini Map: A tutorial
Up at the top right of the screen you will see a mini map. It acts as a radar, effectively, for every person in the game. It's also a very useful tool for finding things in Shadowbane. The mini map has four major components: the map itself, the little dots on the map, the name at the top of the map and the five digit coordinates (latitude and longitude). The map is mostly for navigation, finding experience camps or other players (dots) and getting around obstacles and buildings in game. by right clicking on the mini map your character will move to the indicated location. The dots represent players and NPCs (nonplayer characters). The mini map gives you a birds eye view so that you can move towards or away players and npcs depending on the situation. All attackable and hostile NPCs are red dots. This include NPCs that can be killed for experience (a.k.a. mobs) and city guards. All other NPCs are yellow and represent trainers, merchants and lore NPCs. Player dots come in two colors. Players that are part of your guild or nation, but are not currently grouped with you show up as green dots. Members of your group regardless of their guild or nation show up as light blue dots. Note: Ashen removed the dark blue dots for hostile players. There is no more Blue Dots.
The name at the top of the mini map give the name of most specific zone your character currently stands in. There are there ranks of zones: Continent, Macro and Micro. Continental zones are the most broad where micro zones are the most specific. For most new players to the world of Shadowbane they begin in Starkholm. Starkholm is a micro zone, mob camps also have names and are micro zones. If you step out of Starkholm the name changes to Starkenvald, the name of the Continent that the starting hamlets are located on. Starkenvald is a continental zone. Later once players are level seven or eight and must find higher level monsters to fight they will head into the macro zone Huldring's Vald and fight monsters in micro zones (which is the specific name of each monster spawn point in the game).
Ya got that all right?
Now the most IMPORTANT part. The coordinate system. In Shadowbane it is customary to denote ones position by stating the first three numbers of their longitude and latitude such as: 716, 198 anyone who runs to the point where their mini map numbers read the coordinates 716, 198 will be standing on top of you or nearly on top of you. These cords can also be used for movement so that you know where your going. In Shadowbane to change your latitude you must move east or west from your current position. The farther east you go the larger the LT number will get. To alter your longitude you must travel north or south. The more north you go the higher the longitude number will get.
Yes. For those who are sharp, the SB developers mixed up longitude and latitude when they coded the coordinate system.
One Last note about experience macro zones in Shadowbane. If you hit the "M" key you will pull up a map of the world. Each shield represents a city and each symbol an experience zone (if its hard to see the zone symbols go to the top left of the map and hit the "Z" key, third button from the left, and choose zone filter). You will notice that some of the symbols show up more than once. In most cases this is because they actually are the SAME zone only in a different location. They also generally share a naming scheme and WILL have the exact same description in their mouse over. There is no difference between the Braedoch Highlands and the Aedroch Highlands beyond their physical coordinate locations. The red arrow on the map represents your location.
The coordinate system is not as important as it was when this guide first came out. Today a gold arrow on your mini map will constantly point you toward your group leader and by selecting a name in the group window a blue arrow will appear pointing you toward that person.
Weapons and Stances
Eventually stances and weapon power lines will become all but memorized for many Shadowbane players. A few basics for new players to keep in mind:
What is a "stance"? A stance modifies the abilities and how a character handles. It's akin to putting your character in different "modes". Each stance has bonuses and negatives attached to it. There are four stances: Offensive, Defensive, Normal and Precise. What each stance in general does varies depending on the base class. For example mage base defensive stance adds magical resistances but rogue base defensive stance does not. In general offensive stance increases your damage per second at the cost of defense, defensive stance increases your defense but lowers your attack rating and attack speed, precise increases your attack rating at the cost of attack speed. Normal stance has no effects. Each class get its own proficiency with each stance (measured from in ranks from 0 to 40). For example a healer based prelate get a rank 35 defensive stance, 25 offensive stance, and a rank 20 precise stance. The "core" professions of each base class (Warrior, Priest, Wizard, Thief) all have grandmaster (rank 40) stances in offensive, defensive, and precise stances.
Shadowbane has many different kinds of weapons; practitioners of each type of weapon also gain weapon powers and greater attack ratings as they train their ability points into their weapon foci. For every weapon there are two weapon foci, a base focus such as hammer, sword, dagger, and a mastery such as hammer mastery, great hammer mastery, sword mastery etc. For mages and healers that use their minds as weapons their spells are based of usually one focus (though many can train multiple foci). Much like stances each class has a unique set of ranks in each weapon type. It should be noted that all attack rating bonuses one weapon powers have been removed and they now all do bonus damage as well as their special ability. Also some classes have access to class based weapons that use their casting focus line as the weapon mastery, such as the Crusaders holy blade that uses the liturgy line for its mastery.
Types of weapon powers
- Stun: interrupts spell casting and the target cannot move, cast or react to anything for the stun's duration. After a player is hit with a stun they are applied with a stun immunitity that lasts three times as long as the original stun.
- Powerblock: doesn't interrupt a spell or weapon power but prevents another from being used for the duration of the powerblock. After a player is hit with a powerblock they are applied with a powerblock immunitity that lasts twice as long as the original powerblock
- Attack debuff: lowers targets attack rating, reducing the chance of them hitting their target.
- Defense debuff: lowers the targets defense rating making him easier to hit
- Bleed: causes the target to bleed for a small amount of damage over a period of time. The damage interrupts certain spells and prevents stealthing.
- Attack speed debuff: slows the rate at which the target attacks
- Damage debuff: reduces the amount of damage the target deals
- Slashing/piercing/crushing expose: increases the targets vulnerability to a specific type of melee damage. Increases the damage dealt to the target by such weapons.
- Snare: reduces the targets movement speed.
Weapon types and their powers
Base weapon lines
- Swords: bleed, slashing debuff
- Hammer: stun, crushing expose, powerblock
- Axe: def debuff, dmg debuff, powerblock,
- Dagger: piercing expose, bleed, crushing expose
- Bow: bleed, attack debuff,
- Crossbow: attack debuff, bleed
- Polearm: piercing expose, def debuff, powerblock,
- Spear: pierce expose, atr debuff, stun
- Unarmed: bleed, def debuff,
- Staves: stuns, expose to crushing
- Sword: atr debuff, crushing debuff, attack speed debuff, pierceing expose, snare
- Greatsword: atr debuff, piercing debuff, attack speed debuff, crushing debuff, dmg debuff
- Hammer: stun, piercing expose, slashing expose, powerblock, stun,
- Great Hammer: powerblock, slashing expose, piercing expose, powerblock, stun
- Axe: slashing expose, pierce expose, dmg debuff, crushing expose, power block
- Greataxe: slashing expose, piercing expose, attack debuff, crushing debuff, stun
- Dagger: atr debuff, attack speed debuff, slashing expose, atr debuff, bleed
- Archery (bow): def debuff, snare, bleed, attack speed debuff, def debuff, grounding shot(removes flight)
- Archery (xbow): def debuff, snare, attack speed debuff, bleed, grounding shot(removes flight)
- Polearm: slashing expose, dmg debuff, crushing expose, atr debuff, stun
- Spear: slashing expose, atr debuff, crushing expose, dmg debuff, powerblock
- Unarmed: crushing expose, piercing expose, attack speed debuff, stun, powerblock
- Throwing (axe): slashing expose, powerblock, snare, attack speed debuff, atr debuff
- Throwing(dagger): Piercing expose, bleed, snare, attack speed debuff, atr debuff
- Throwing(hammer): crushing expose, stun, snare, attack speed debuff, atr debuff
- Staff: powerbloc, atr debuff, attack speed debuff, stun
- Blademastery: stun, def debuff, atr debuff, powerblock, bleed
- Bladeweaving: stun, def debuff, atr debuff, powerblock, bleed
The true power of many melee lines isn't fully utilized until you start chaining, powerblocks, stuns, and debuffs to optimize your effectiveness and shut down your opponents ability to act.
Very basic skill that everyone should know. Summon Chains are a method for decreasing the time it takes to summon a large group of people in. Instead of summoning someone, waiting for them to go through the "tunnel" (load their new location), and then that person casting the next summon, Summon Chaining cuts down the time spent waiting for people in "tunnel" by having each person cast summon BEFORE they enter the loading phase. Leaders will post a chain of summoners like Angelmar >> Merek >> Teer >> Cool >> Byr. The last is a nonsummoner all the others are summoners. Angelmar would summon Merek, who accepts his summons and casts the summon on Teer before entering the tunnel. This greatly reduces the time required to summon in large groups. Messing up the summon chain will get everyone pissed off at you, and its not hard to figure out who messed up.
After being the victim of a stun, you receive a stun immunity buff that lasts three times the length of the stun. For a 9 second stun you would get 27 seconds of immunity. If you are stunned while immune the immunity refreshes to its full duration. For classes with a stun, especially priests, keeping themselves permastun immune is key. This is done by prestunning yourself before a fight and then casting your stun on yourself often enough to keep the stun immunity refreshed and always up. Prestunning in some ways defines a good priest.
The who system allows you to gather information about a person based on their name. If someone is on track and you want to know what you're facing a quick ./who Angelmar will tell you my level and class. Scouts relaying the names to chat or voice comm for nationmates to ./who is also a efficient system to get the information quicker. ./who also allows you to search for all characters of a certain class or race that are currently in game or limit the search to your own guild or nation.
Three methods for cutting down lag.
- Turn off "combat spam" by going into options on your combat window and turning off powers and damage.
- Get the Asian character set for Windows. For more information go here: http://www.straybulletgames.com/foru...read.php?t=213
- Turn down graphics and effects, especially particle effects.
Has been removed.
I see a lot of confusion amongst new players as to how these work. Vampire fortitudes aren't resists or damage absorbers. They create a threshold at certain percentage of your health. Any damage taken from the damage types the fortitude effects that is OVER the threshold are effective by the fortitudes high resistances. Any damage effect that is UNDER the threshold is unaffected by the fortitude.
For example I'll use 1000 hit points vampire with the racial "Dark Fortitude" at JM. Dark Fortitude creates a damage cap at +10%, meaning, any piercing, crushing or slashing damage greater than 100 points triggers the fortitude and is reduced to 50% of the threshold or 50 points of damage. However if the Vampire is hit for 90 points of damage, by say a dagger, the damage goes through unresisted by the fortitude and kills the vampire in 11 swings.
All the melee debuffs (piercing, crushing, slashing) will stack (be applied to a character at the same time) however the castable nuking debuffs (holy debuff or magic debuff)will not stack. Addtionally the mage debuffs have been made instacast.
Some characters are designed to perform well in multiple stances. This is commonly referred to as stance dancing. Its use varies mostly on the base class type.
Rogues are usually high defense characters and as such usually sit in defensive stance. Depending on the enemy though they may be better off in other stances such as precise against another rogue then switching back to defensive stance when a fighter base attacks them. Offensive stance can also be used to quickly bring down healer base targets.
Fighter based stance dancers are usually switching between offensive stance and defensive stance. The defensive stance helps when they are called as targets or in small one on one fights and the offensive stance can be used in larger scale battles to put out copious amounts of damage on a target. Keep in mind this is only to be used on characters designed to have reasonably high defense in defensive stance.
Some healer classes have high defense options. In this case they handle much like a fighter. Defensive stance in small fights and when called as a target, offensive stance to increase nuke damage when in larger groups. Keep in mind this is only to be used on characters designed to have reasonably high defense in defensive stance.
Mostly stay in offensive stance, in one vs one fighting some classes they can use defensive stance for the added resistances and defense.
All classes with a DoT, damage over time, (mostly healers/mages): Go into precise to get the DoT off on a high defense character then switch back into offensive stance. All ticks of the DoT after you switch to offensive stance will be modified by the offensive stance damage modifer.
Stance dancing had become much easier as the casting time on stances has become instant.
The Ashen Era
For those returning for the reboot, by far the greatest and most numerous changes happened under Ashen and SBG. Ashen's changes have been sweeping and fundamental the following is a list of the changes, I will likely miss some.
- Blue dots removed.
- ./Tar Removed.
- Run buffs removed.
- Running Stance added.
- Stances Instant.
- Concoction pots added. (+55 buffs, alac and MR)
- Snares reduced to for both magical and melee varieties. 30 and 25 percent at GM, respectively.
- Centaur Speed, ninjanerfed, "fixed", then nerfed, but we now get WINDLORDS again.
- HalfGiants now get a rage, boosts str, atk speed, dmg, and immunity to stun and powerblock
- HalfGiants now get racial access to Toughness.
- Attack Rating has been removed from all weapon powers.
- Style Casting Removed (see above).
- Full City Grid is now flattened.
- Siege Spire Radius increased to cover banestone.
- Guard Captain Minions reduced in number.
- Wall Archers removed.
- Siege Engines can no longer deal dmg to players.
- No longer able to dispel Trebs (breaking command).
- Group Members break follow for 60s on being attacked or attacking.
- Damage Absorbers were added and buffed for most casting classes (They actually rolled back melee bane a little). So they got nerfed again back to near uselessness. (were at ~2k of dmg, back to 800 or so)
- Siege Weapons reduced in weight.
- Mob Dmg and HP nerfed.
- Fewer R57 Camps.
- Added Rogue Backstab Poisons.
- Health Regen Buff stackability nerfed.
- Rat Catcher HR debuff boosted, and MR debuff/dispel granted.
- Instacast debuffs.
- MAGE stealth reduced to JM (20 trains at max). Anyone with a BH trained can see them. They can also made stealth instacast. Camouflage is also now a group spell.
The biggest ones are no blue dots, no /target, no run buffs, conc pots, HG rage, instacast debuffs, adding damage absorbs (enough to make it less of melee bane), and nerfing Health regen (regen grps where FotM for about a year there). This is an incomplete list, I was going to attempt to try to convey the changes, under advanced topics but trial by fires going to have to cut it. They're too fundamental.