General "guide" for choosing stats for builds

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General "guide" for choosing stats for builds

Postby rkzhao » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:20 pm

Alright it's been a while since I've actually been helpful on here so I guess I'll make this one "contribution" for now. I can't remember if anyone has ever posted something like this. Anyways it seems people like making "unique" builds but more often than not, the stat decisions are just...bad. Then people spend entire threads arguing about why etc. I figure a general guide for how to choose stats for a build should help people at least make more logical builds. I'll just put down what I do so feel free to modify or add anything you want.

First off, we know that stats are all a trade off. What's important to have when making a build is minimums for all stats that don't relate to damage since obviously you want to pump up the damage stat. Also while "standard PvP SL" nowadays is SL125, realize that if you do red stone duels, your build should be able to function at lower SLs depending on how often you want to relevel. I generally design my builds for SL110-115 since below 110, you're gonna get less of the higher SL hosts. On that, As a host, you may want your build to be SL130 so you can more invaders but I don't believe in "host only" builds especially since I only drop red signs.

Now I'll go stat by stat. I'll start with a basic guideline for each stat and then go into some more "advanced" things to consider. This is gonna be long........

VIT
Vit is a stat that really just need to meet minimum "benchmarks" You really just want vit at a level where you can avoid getting OHKOed by weapons. 50 is the standard because at 50 vit, a lot of matchups won't OHKO anymore. Theres really no reason to go higher unless you can get to another OHKO benchmark since small increases barely do anything and are not really worth the investment. For example a 55vit faith build isn't gonna survive and better than a 50 vit one. Personally, I wouldn't bother gouging vit unless you can get it to 70. There another benchmark around 63ish (i can't remember) but you'll likely not notice much of a difference since it only prevent OHKO by one more weapon i believe. Lower vit builds are possible but realize that you'll get OHKOed by many more weapons so it's not really recommended.

Some more "advanced" things to consider, armor does play a role in preventing OHKOs so the stopping points aren't exactly set in stone and testing would need to be done to find stopping points for specific armor combinations. 48-50vit may not get OHKOed by a weapon at full hp but if you're using curse weapon, even cracked, it still drains 2-3hp per second, so you might still get "OHKOed" due to the HP drain. Same for makoto or hiltless.

Vit is a stat you can dump leftover points into if you want but remember vit can't be deleveled so when you're red dueling, the stat that gets deleveled will still be your other highest stat. That stat should therefore be higher than your minimum comfort level so that you can lose a few red duels without releveling. For example, my makoto build has 75vit, I could go higher but I don't feel it needs to, 85-90 vit is nice but mako will also drain more hp so it's kinda pointless. It's only at SL110ish at this point even with some wasted points in mag and int. So to get it up to "PvP SL" I just increase end above 40. That way, I can lose and the build would not change in how it plays.


INT
Int minimum stopping points should generally just be spell slot and mp minimums. Minimum is obviously 100mp for second chance. That means 11 int if you want to use silver cat and coronet to boost your mp, 13 int if you want to use only silver coronet, 14 int if you want 2 spell slots for things like fireball or light weapon and you use silver coronet, 15 int for no coronet usage, 18 int for 3 spell slots for things like curse weapon. Really the only time you would ever go above 18 int is if you really wanted a major spell caster and it's for the spell slots more than for mp most of the time. 5 slots at 30 int is generally the maximum you would need for pvp since it give you 200mp (enough for an ICat firestorm). Fireball (2 spell slots), Soulray (1), Firespray (1), Ignite(2), Firestorm(3), HSA (2) is the order i would list offensive spells in terms of usefulness. People have different preferences on this of course but remember that it's generally hard to hit people with ignite, firestorm, or HSA. You can always swap spells around if you like but you'll likely find that there are only a few spell combinations you use and there's really not a need to carry every single spell that you want. For example, I like soulray and Fireball but barely use ignite or firespray, that means I only need 18 int for this and theres not much point in going 24int or 30int to carry more spells. The extra MP is pointless cause the meta hasn't imposed a limit on spice yet.

Some more "advanced" things to consider, you may want to get 1 or 2 more int that the minimum for spell slots if you can get a major benefit from that. For example, Fireball uses 20mp, at 14 int, (if you plan on switching out coronet/cat after casting SC) you get something like 97mp. That means 4 fireballs before you have to respice. At 15 int with 106mp, you can cast 5 fireballs, so that extra 1 point is worth it. Another, more applicable example, in geegee's DBS mage, using Icat, 24 int leaves you with something like 78mp, that's 3 fireballs. Adding one more point to int gives you enough to cast 4 fireballs. Even 45 int for 3 firestorms may be justified depending on how "extra" those points are.

As "useless" as mp regen generally is, it's not completely useless, if you use a crescent weapon, and have the 14int 97mp, within a few seconds after casting your first fireball, you would have regened those 3 mp points and can then cast that 5th fireball. Similarly phos pole regens 1mp/sec, that's 1 fireball every 20 seconds or 3 fireballs in the duration of a weapon buff.

END
endurance is a simple stat to choose but it's also a tricky one to recommend specific values. Generally end is to have the appropriate stamina for your weapon. At minimum, you want to be able to roll, r1, roll from a full stamina bar and that means end can be quite low and still work fine for a lot of weapons. Low end takes more experience to play but is certainly doable.

You increase end when you really want to have enough for "combos" or "spams". For example, on a GAxe, many people would like to be able to roll, r1, roll, r1 then roll away. On dual kats, you really want to be able to dash, r1, l1, r1. Some people say you should use straight swords like BBS with enough end to do a 5-6hit 2h stunlock or with dual kats, to do the full 5 hit pushlock. Realize though that with stunlock escape, you really are only likely to get around 3 hits in so whether or not to invest in the extra end is up to you. For larger weapons, you really only ever do single attacks unless you want to "spam" something twice in a row to catch people off guard ie GAxe roll r1. This means that even something like the DBS can be played successfully with around 25 end if you manage your stamina properly.

Finally, End can be increased to justify armor choices if you want. For example my DBS mage has 26 end so he can wear full black leather intead of no mask. It's about 10 def for 1 stat point and arguable whether it's really worth it or not. (most often this isn't worth it)

STR, DEX
I'll cover str and dex together since they pretty much are the same ideas, unless they're you damage stat, (dex or str weapons) just keep them the minimum for the weapon and stance you want.

EDIT: I forgot to add this but choosing attack stat minimums is like choosing vit. You want to minimize the number of stat points invested to achieve the same result. This means if you're killing people in three hits, there's no reason to increase that stat any higher unless you can reduce that to 2 hits, which is why alot of str and dex builds are just as good at 40 as 50. Obviously it depends on the opponents vit so use 50 vit hp as a "guide" for damage since most people have 50 vit builds.

Some comments about str and 2h vs 1h. 2h movesets pretty much all gets a slight damage bonus just for being the 2h moveset. This is not the bonus for str scaling but rather inherent to the moveset. As such even none stat scaling weapons like NR and Makoto do more damage per swing 2h than 1h. Many weapons you want to be able to 1h though because the movesets are useful. Weapons that are useful 1h are GS, straight sword/mace/axe, kat, spear, daggers and rapiers (but minimum str you can have is 9 which is enough to use these 1h most cases anyways). For weapons like GAxe, Clay/NR, Pole, Kilij, the 1h movesets are generally inferior enough to the 2h movesets that you never really use them so you might as well just go for minimum str.

If you want to be able to 1h and use a shield for blocking, you'll likely want to use DSS which requires 16 str anyways. So that means you would only need to increase str for stuff like 1h GAxe, or 1h Clay/NR. 1h clay is actually decent but it's pretty much the same as 2h clay, slightly slower and weaker since it's 1h. 1h Gaxe is very mediocre. So then why would you want be able to attack 1h these weapons? Well, one reason is for parrying, 1h is much easier to riposte with. It's possible to parry, switch to 2h stance, then riposte but the timing required and the online lag makes this much harder and you don't really want to waste your hard earned parry with a whiff do you? Another reason is to turtle and harass with 1h attacks which can then set up parry opportunities.

MAG, FAI
Faith minimum is 16 for SC, pretty standard. Mag minimum is 6 for anything that doesn't need offensive spells and 30+ for anything that uses spells or light weapon. Again pretty standard. Remember that blessed weapons (and crescent weapons) only get a A for scaling so you really do want those stats at 50 to do decent melee damage. 40 will generally feel weak but it's still doable. Less than 40 is probably not recommended if you plan on using mag or faith weapons. If you're just increasing mag for light weapon or even spells, 30 is a good stopping point if you're short on points.

BBS may use a crescent uchi and only 30 mag but realize they also have the high damaging LW BBS. The uchi is mostly for pushlock, which are direct hits and get the appropriate damage increase, or for stunlocking enough for a follow up BBS strike. Also the lack of damage on the off hand kat during pushlock is mitigated somewhat by the fact that LW adds some damage to the actual push component (which is why people have LW dex builds etc). Even then, I like to have more points in mag so that my crescent uchi does better damage.

The main thing to discuss with mag and faith is for mages and mage hybrids. This is a discussion more of ToB vs ICat. Essentially it comes down to this, for builds ICat will ALWAYS out damage the comparable ToB build. Actually at 30 mag ICat just flat out out damages 30/30 ToB. For pure mages, SL120 ToB mage with 50vit 30int get about a 42/42 mag/faith. A ICat mage can get even 45int and still have more than enough for 50 mag. 42/42 ToB does NOT outdamage 50 mag ICat.

So why is ToB so popular you may ask, well the main benefit is the mp. To get the same amount of mp as a ToB mage with an ICat mage requires substantially more stat investment into int which is kind of otherwise useless after you get the desired amount of spell slots. So on a pure mage where 45/45 does comparable damage as a 50mag ICat and you really need no more than 5 spell slots, the ToB mage is a better choice. Also blessed weapons are better than moon.

ICat allows for more stat points to be distributed at other places with the penalty being placed on spellcasting mp. On Hybrids, you pretty much want to use ICat unless you're already increasing faith for some reason (ie faith spellsword). The extra stat points are needed likely for other stats.

*One thing to note about ToB /"cracked" Tob: meeting the mag requirements (>18) is enough to boost the spell assist back up to normal levels which means curse weapon is no longer cracked. This may also mean that spells do decent damage even a 16faith ToB but i haven't tested it so I'm not sure.

Luck
Aka the BBS stat. pretty much a useless stat. The only reason to increase it is to increase the damage of the BBS, but the actual damaging part of a BBS lies in the light weapon buff so you can completely ignore luck without losing much if you so choose and should ignore it if you are making a BBS hybrid.


Well that's everything I can think of for now. Hope it helps.
Last edited by rkzhao on Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:43 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: General "guide" for choosing stats for builds

Postby mmghouse » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:38 pm

Very nice rundown, rk.
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Re: General "guide" for choosing stats for builds

Postby LostMyHeadache » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:38 pm

This nice post gives me hope for the future.
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Re: General "guide" for choosing stats for builds

Postby Juli » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:10 pm

50 is the standard because it stops scaling well after that and EWGF didn't know shit about break points because everybody was retarded in '09.
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Re: General "guide" for choosing stats for builds

Postby rkzhao » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:43 pm

Onlettuce wrote:50 is the standard because it stops scaling well after that and EWGF didn't know shit about break points because everybody was retarded in '09.


Lol and when did you discover "break points" ssaint. I wouldn't necessarily say EWGF "didn't know shit" about them but there was definitely less experience with everything back in 09. You know i gotta start oldfagging and talking about the old days now after a post like yours right? :P

50 vit has always been the standard. The builds that EWGF and Variety included in their guide have also always been the standard because they were the most logical progressions for every stat. 50 vit, 40 end, 50 in attack stat and that puts you at about 120. Back then, every other post on the gfaqs board was asking how to build the same things over and over again and it was only a few people like EWGF, TMRaven, Damoene (VarietyX) that actually knew what they were talking about repeatedly having to post the same builds and so the pvp guide thread was born.

I can say I had my NR, dex build, MC, faith build, BBS, str build, pure mage, mag melee, all before the guide was even published and these builds haven't really changed since then. And I can say since NR was my 1st build, I've always told people that vit gouging is pointless unless you can get to something like 70-75 vit. I knew this because of experiences using a 55 vit faith build (had the points left over) and a 60 vit str build and they didn't feel any different than 50 vit builds. I've also played at lower vit ranging from 25-45 and always felt that i died more easily so i didn't like them. I judge my builds based on how they feel rather than doing specific damage testing. I can only assume that other players knew these things as well but what do i know, I thought everyone knew counter BS too...

quite honestly, really the only changes in stat making now from back then is that we've realized that melee can still easily be played with low end and that SL has moved up to 125 from 120/115. That's what really gave people the incentive to shave points off here and there to vit gouge or hybrid or whatever. 40 dex or 34 str and stuff like that aren't really new since people had always played with those. IIRC Slegan's dex build had something like 40-45 dex. The attack stats just served kind of as the place to dump leftover points into for losing red stone duels or atleast it was for me.
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Re: General "guide" for choosing stats for builds

Postby Segofax » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:22 pm

Wow very informative. Good stuff
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Re: General "guide" for choosing stats for builds

Postby mmghouse » Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:59 pm

I'm bumping this. I actually think it should be stickied. A lot of people have questions about builds that could be answered by this general discussion. It may be a little tl;dr for some people's tastes, but it is more helpful for a lot of people than simply jumping into a builds library without knowing why.
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Re: General "guide" for choosing stats for builds

Postby FerretStrike » Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:32 pm

Yes please sticky this!
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