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Lady in Black, the unknown member of MiB


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#1 chattius

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 05:16 AM

Lady in Black
I had no good name for this character. It is a bit like Schot's Bolting Terror, but without the ice aspect. But at level 51 she was wielding a energy pistol which had its german name close to the tiny pistol Will Smith is using in 'Men in Black'. She was wearing the full adornments of the ancestors which is black.

So we had the name. Now we come to the most important part of each new character: a fitting music. Even I am old enough to remember the orginal version of 'Lady in Black' from Uriah Heep I decided to listen to the version of Gregorian, a german experimental group with changing members. They adapted several modern songs into Gregorian Chant. I had the luck to hear them years back at a concert at Hamburg, it was amazing. I didn't found a good video of their version quickly, so I just took one:
'Lady in Black' sung by Gregorian

This is not a guide for a beginner.
It is more an example that you can play away from mainstream and still have a funny to play and robust character.


Why was this character started?
I am re-writing horse combat arts, so that my kids can play on a horse without the frustrating bugged regeneration times. Horse-Combat Art's are spells and the character was made to test them. So we had to take riding, ancient magic and combat discipline to boost the horse damage. On a horse we will not have any buff's, so all the protection has to come from skills: armour, shield lore, constitution and even alchemy. So we were at 7 skills already. Alchemy trophies would be a buff replacement so we had to increase their duration if needed. We would need hand selected stuff late levels, so we played with just 9 skills as long as possible and left the 10th skill open for bargaining. We have a trader chain till level 135 so we didn't need it early on.
So we are at 8 skills for the horse combat and all we had to fight bosses indoors would be a shield to hide behind and alchemy boosted shurikens to do damage. This would not be enough. But there were only 2 skills left, and we had no concentration yet. So the idea was to play without concentration and play pure arcane. The idea was: an enemy can't hit what he cannot see. So now the character idea was done.

The Skills
02 armour lore
03 arcane lore
05 arcane focus
08 combat discipline
12 shield lore
18 ancient magic
25 riding
35 alchemy
50 constitution
65 open for bargaining at high levels
Why a melee elf doesn't need a weapon lore is discussed in the link.

The playstyle
Phase 1: The beginning
As long we have shadow step not fully modified, we read runes into blazing tempest and frostblaze till they reach their malus. We use a bow and whichever combat art is recharged. This will keep us alive till we have modified shadow step.
Attributes: We will put every attribute point into vitality. At Level 75 we start to put them into intelligence.

Phase 2: Hording for Shadow Step
Shadow Step and its modifiers
Phase Shift: We want to stay invisible all the time late game. If we are invisible enemies with rooting spells won't see us. In mid game we use alchemies trophies to have a block chance versus rooting.
Vanish: If we are invisible we will not be hit and don't need just physical invulnerability.
Explosion: If we are invisible we will have time to quaff a heal potion, which is boosted in effect because of alchemy. So no need for modifying to mend.
Shadow step will always do an explosion in difference to magic coup and cobalt strike, which need higher Combat Art-levels to reach 100% explosion chance. Shadow step has a cooldown which gets less with higher Combat Art-level. So it's no mistake to read runes into shadow step till its malus and above. We will do a combination of shadow step and frostblaze. Survivors will be targeted with blazing tempest. As soon we have a shield with block chance melee scaling with shield lore we will swap to a one hand ranged weapon.
We do every skill point in arcane lore, arcane focus and shield lore (in this order) till we reach mastery. Skills which are needed to unlock another skill will receive 5 points. We will read every spare rune into grand invigoration but we will have unmodified crystal skin early on as the one and only buff.

Phase 3: Blink and shoot with Magic Coup
Magic Coup and its modifiers
Heavy Damage: The main damage will be done with weapons. The explosions of shadow step and cobalt strike are mainly to weaken the targets so that magic coup can deal double damage with deathblow. So we can optimize for weapon damage and get our hit chance from trophies and jewelry.
Life Leech: There is Regeneration per Hit (RpH). So no need to modify for steal mana. Life leech is unresisted damage and will heal us.
Stray damage: Our goal is to have a combination with 3 combat arts doing Area of Effect.

We will now use a combination of shadow step, cobalt strike ( read runes till it matches the regeneration of shadow step) and magic coup. Magic coup should have a regeneration which allows spamming. So keep its regeneration time below your RpH plus animation time. Use magic coup while the combination is recharging versus survivors of the horded group. Using some jewelry which lowers the enemy chance to evade will be needed.

Phase 4: Lightning from nowhere
Cobalt strike and its modifiers
Heavy damage: We have collected a group, there is no need to have a chain lightning to distant enemies
Chain reaction: we have only attacks which do magical damage. So there is a high chance that a target is allready weakened.
Explosion: We want the whole group weakened so that magic coup can do a death blow effect with its explosion.

Our attack combination remains the same, but we do a second with just cobalt strike and magic coup. It will be used while the first one is recharging. We put remaining skill points into combat discipline.

Phase 5: Vade retro Satanas!
Expulse Magic and its modifiers:
Expansion: We fight with combinations and we want a bigger radius if the AI decides to run for magic coup. We want to stay inside the circle.
Pentagram: Our combination is good enough to fight undeads already.
Protection: we use this when we fight bosses with nasty Combat Art's and enemies which can see through invisibility.

As long we won't have mastered combat discipline (around level 85) we will cast it manually. Later we will use it in a 4 Combat Art combination. The playing is still the same, gather a group and ignite the combination.

Phase 6: It's magic, if it's ancient magic
There is a spell missing, why we don't modify it? The reason is that we don't need to modify it this early. Ancient magic is way more important than modifying grand invigoration at this time. This is an arcane build, no need for bronce modifier. This is an invisible build with alchemy healing and RpH regenerating, no need for silver modifier. To get the gold modifier we would need 198 +/- modifier points if I remember right. Arcane lore will stay at 75 and so we would need 125 in focus to boost Combat Art-levels. So we can't modify it before level 125. And what we will get? Run speed for a horse character? Or decreasing debuffs which we can reach with expulse magic too. The 50 points into arcane focus will be done after having some more skill mastered, starting with ancient magic to fight magic immunes.

How to stay alive
Building up a good defense is a complex theory. For the elf half of the defense comes from her spells. I created a check list for my kids what they have too look for when designing a character and in which order the hit and damage calculation seems to be done. I put this stuff in an extra article: The 9 lines of defense

The equipment
There was a funny thread somewhere claiming that a good psychologist may guess the age and the country of a player by looking at the character and how it is played in a mud (old text based multi user dungeon game). So I am obviously german and starting my army time before re-union. Being outnumbered the tactic was to be able to withstand damage, deal out some damage and doing a delaying retreat. So guess what the most important piece of equipment is in this build?
No not the 120mm Leopard gun, it is a shield.

The shield
The character has Shield_Lore. Also shield lore is nice, the main reason for me to take shield lore is not mentioned in the wiki yet. It are the modifiers on shields which can be unlocked with shield lore: block chance melee, block chance ranged and defense value. Such an unlocked modifier can start with 24.8% block chance for just one point in shield lore. The higher shield lore is the more block chance the shield gets. A Level 2 shield may have more than 80% block chance with high shield lore in niob.
So we look for a nice yellow shield with scaling block chance melee. There are some really nice ones:
My favourite is a shield which has 300 physical armour and 50 each in fire, ice and magic. It has 2 silver sockets and a fix 13.3% chance to block combat arts. But the best is: it has a 80.4% chance to block melee.
Now add the mastery effect of shield lore which is around 37% at 200 shield lore. Even the block chances are not directly added but dampened, they will sum up to something close to 100%.
Be consequent if you take shield lore as an elf, take a yellow shield with scaling block chance. And because shield lore is so important in this build it will be mastered as one of the first 3 masteries.
What about Kira's Protection. You need a lot of luck to find one. We germans have a saying: 'Pech im Spiel, Glück in der Liebe'- 'no luck in gambling means lucky in love'. I am married, we have 5 Kids, so guess how many Kira's I found yet :P

The disadvantage of a shield is that it never reaches 100% block chance --- and Murphy is a cruel god. So the next item I always use is an defensive one too:

Artamark's Star
Why to use the Artamark's Star I have explained in the link.
Dieses Lied ist für einen guten Kumpel der seinen letzten Kampf gegen seine Krankheit verloren hat:
Über den Wolken

This song is for a good friend from my aero-club who lost his final battle against cancer.

#2 gogoblender

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 06:33 AM

Great read Chattius. I love the detail on your guides, even more, I love the imagination you put into all your build's histories with myth and story.

I moved your newest creation into the High Elf Builds section for documenting.

Magical secret agent huh ^^

Posted Image


:P

gogo

#3 Dobster

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Posted 20 April 2010 - 07:46 AM

Nice build, love reading your out of the ordinary ideas :P

Are you sure that magic coup stray damage works with energy pistols? I tried to build one a few months back but had to change to swords because pistols would only hit single enemies(probably another bug).

#4 chattius

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Posted 21 April 2010 - 04:20 AM

@Dobster: Yes energy pistols can trigger stray damage in the AddOn.

I added an equipment list, with only 2 items right now: a shield and the artamark star.

Someday I will learn how these nice icons for skills and attributes are made into a guide. But as a dinosaur who grew uo with emacs , outch.
Dieses Lied ist für einen guten Kumpel der seinen letzten Kampf gegen seine Krankheit verloren hat:
Über den Wolken

This song is for a good friend from my aero-club who lost his final battle against cancer.

#5 chattius

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 02:54 AM

If you do a combination (shadow step, expulse magic, cobalt strike, magic coup) you may wonder if the expulse may scare the group away so that the follow up combat arts don't fire their explosions into a tight group.

There are 2 factors preventing this:
Teleport can stun and (not fully proved yet):
scaring monsters away works only if you are visible.

I noticed that the beasts start running as soon as my invisibility has gone. So if you are no longer protected by invisibility, most of the beasts are running away and can't hit you.

Since we are an evil elf it doesn't bother as much that at early levels the invisibility may have went off before the combination is finished. We just use our gun to shoot their backs.
Dieses Lied ist für einen guten Kumpel der seinen letzten Kampf gegen seine Krankheit verloren hat:
Über den Wolken

This song is for a good friend from my aero-club who lost his final battle against cancer.

#6 chattius

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Posted 22 April 2010 - 05:12 AM

The Artamark's Star and why to use it
We have to understand how damage is affected by armour to understand why I think that an Artamark's Star is so important. We had a long discussion in Dobri's thread how to become a demi-god how to find out the formula behind it.

But all we need is the graph Posted Image

I did it in a thread in the GSF.: Schaden= damage, Rüstung= armour.

Understanding the graph:
We had always the same beast bashing on us at niob difficulty. Last kill showed that it had a damage of 224. Then we varied our armour, naked, only torso,... . At around 1750 armour it was dealing 224 damage, the same amount as was shown in last kill. I defined this as Fix-Point-Armour (FPA). The amount of armour which is needed to receive the same damage than the enemy is actually dealing. FPA varies with damage, difficulty, level..... But I wanted the formula easy so I invented FPA. Then I did calculations with the new term FPA for a fixed level, a fixed diffulty and a fixed damage to reduce the number of variables.
The result is the function you see in the link. If an enemy is dealing 224 damage in niob, it shows how much damage you receive at your armour class. At 0 armour it is 744. So the original damage is multiplied by a factor of more than 3. In silver the damage multiplier at zero is close to 1.5.
Because the graph of the function accelerates quickly the closer you are to zero I always have an artamark star socketed in niob. So even if I forgot to adjust my relicts, I am enough away from the y-axis to prevent a factor 3. So instead a factor of more than 3 I might only have 1,5. This means that I may receive only half the damage with a single amulet, given that it is boosted with armour lore or other x% armour.

Hope it was not to mathematically.
Dieses Lied ist für einen guten Kumpel der seinen letzten Kampf gegen seine Krankheit verloren hat:
Über den Wolken

This song is for a good friend from my aero-club who lost his final battle against cancer.

#7 chattius

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 06:36 AM

Why to take no weapon lore with Magic Coup
Several combat arts have a buildin attack value which scales with the level and is not shown in the weapon tooltipp. So if you want to test your hit chance using GoGo's chance to hit calculator you have to know that the 'calculator' is only for the left-click normal attacks. The chance to hit which is buildin into weapon combat arts is not used.
Unmodified magic coup adds 20+35*CA_level base attack value and 50%+2%*ca_level relative attack value. So here are some numbers for magic coup, based on this thread: understanding spells.txt
level   1:   55 base attack value and  52% relative attack value
level  10:  370 base attack value and  70% relative attack value
level  50: 1770 base attack value and 150% relative attack value
level 100: 3520 base attack value and 250% relative attack value

Now look at sacredwiki what sword lore with 200 points will give: 377 base attack value, 42.7% chance to do a double hit and 75.5% attack speed.

But Magic Coup, Archangel's Wrath and Spectral Hand are a sort of special weapon attacks. The doublehits are not working, the attack speed is boosted by the magical lore of the combat arts and a high-level weapon only reduces attack speed which these combat arts are not using. So all what is left from a weapon lore is a base attack value which equals 10 levels in magic coup and the ability to unlock modifiers on a weapon. Most unique single hand weapons don't have anything unlocked.
So I play without a weapon lore. In beginning there is a bit smaller hit chance but I win a skill which I can use to push up defense or add bargaining. Regeneration per Hit allows us to bring magic coup to really high levels. So the Magic Coup level 100 values are no longer unrealistic.

Edited by chattius, 27 April 2010 - 06:55 AM.

Dieses Lied ist für einen guten Kumpel der seinen letzten Kampf gegen seine Krankheit verloren hat:
Über den Wolken

This song is for a good friend from my aero-club who lost his final battle against cancer.

#8 chattius

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 07:05 AM

The 9 lines of defense
I translate a summary of what I did at my first melee elf and a collection of Cobaltur from GSF
http://forum.sacred-...ead.php?t=61773
The collection will grow when I find time to do all the translation and work. The different defenses seem to be applied in following order:

Line 1: Capoeira
Move to dictate the combat
Use your speed! Approach mages by using the terrain so they can't directly attack you! Try to avoid being surrounded!
- High Elf: grand invigoration modified for fleetness
- High Elf: cascading shroud modified for facileness
- Skills: speed lore
- Skills: riding
You can get run speed from equipment, but not riding speed .

Teleport away if you are surrounded!
- High Elf: shadow step
You can't get the ability to teleport from equipment.

Keep staying mobile! Don't get rooted!
- High Elf: shadow step modied for escape
- High Elf: cascading shroud modified for intangible
- Alchemy : branch trophy
- Godpower: Forens can reflect root effects
There is equipment with block chance root. Remember that most root effects are caused by enemy spells. So blocking or reflecting spells affects this too.

Don't get stunned!
- Godpower: Forens can reflect stun effects
There is equipment with block chance stun. Stun effects can be caused by enemy spells. So blocking or reflecting spells affects this too. Also stunning melee blows can be prevented by avoiding to be hit.

Line 2: Ninjitsu
Enemies don't attack what they cannot see

- Shadow Warrior: shadow veil
- High Elf: shadow step modified for vanish
- High Elf: cascading shroud modified for inconspicuous
There is no equipment to give this defense line.

Line 3: Aikido
Reflect the damage back to your opponent.

Melee
- High Elf: incandescent skin modified for revenge
- God Power: Forens
Projectiles
- God Power: Forens
Spells
- High Elf: crystal skin modified for glacial mirror
- God Power: Forens
Root effects
- God Power: Forens
Stun effects
- God Power: Forens
You can find all of this on equipment.


Line 4: Hapkido
Learn do defend and evade.

Evasion
- High Elf: cascading shround (better when modified for faint)
base defense value
- Attribute: dexterity
relative defense value
- Skills: shield lore
- Skills: speed lore
All of the above can be found on equipment.

Line 5: Deutsche Fechtschule
Block attacks which you can't evade.

To see why I put this name for this defense line look at the pictures starting at page 198. These guys really knew how to fight with a shield. Shield Combat in Talhoffer book. I am always fascinated how far developed chivalry was.

Melee
- Shield Lore: mastery bonus
Ranged
- High Elf: incandescent skin modified for combusting arrows
Spells
- High Elf: expulse magic modified for protection
Root effect
- Alchemy: branch trophy
Stun effects
All of the boni can be found on equipment.

Line 6: T=mc²
Use T-Energy to build an energy shield

There is equipment to boost the effects, but none to get the e-energy shield.


Line 7: Gemology for elves, armour for the rest
The art how an almost naked elf parries a sword with a gem on her dress.

Base armour
- High Elf: crystal skin
- Alchemy: iron ore trophy
- Toughness
Percentual armour boost
- Armour Lore
All this can be found on equipment and relicts too.


Line 8: Qi
Use your inner power to reduce the damage.
Damage mitigation:
- High Elf: crystal skin (ice mitigation)
- High Elf: incandescent skin (fire mitigation)
- High Elf: cascading shround (physical), better if modified for mist.
- Toughness
Damage mitigation can be found on equipment.

Line 9: Ökotrophologie
Live healthy, no fat, no smoking and your body may thank you.

If all 8 lines before fail we will be hit. Now only our hitpoints will keep us alive.
- Constitution
- Vitality
And how fast we get them back
- Constitution
- Alchemy : heal potions
- High Elf: magic coup mofified for life leech
- High Elf: grand invigoration, better if modified for life energy
There is equipment t push hitpoints and regaining them.

In red what the Lady in Black will use. You see that building up a defense is very complex.

Edited by chattius, 05 May 2010 - 05:22 AM.

Dieses Lied ist für einen guten Kumpel der seinen letzten Kampf gegen seine Krankheit verloren hat:
Über den Wolken

This song is for a good friend from my aero-club who lost his final battle against cancer.

#9 gogoblender

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 08:09 PM

We're in sore need of ice and blood builds, and yours is one of the best for details. Schot has just created a new ice and blood indicator/stamp.

It will show up beside your topic if you press view new posts or look at the index.

:drinks:

gogo

#10 super-avianti

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 01:06 PM

Looks like an awesome built. Powerful and focusing and being viable (latter on) while relying on one single aspect, kudos :xmastree:

I'm willing to try it.

#11 claudius

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 02:10 PM

Could you say something about the horse part of the build? I thought the use of combat arts very informative about the capability of delphic arcana, but I wondered if you used the horse combat or if it was just a proof of concept to make a viable horse fighter (optimized) who could also function without the horse?
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#12 chattius

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 03:08 AM

The horse part is played in LAN with modified horse combat arts. The damage of the horse-Combat Arts are same but I removed all regeneration times and replaced them by cooldown. I compared the regeneration times of horse Combat Arts with ones from other Combat Arts and noticed that they are way to high. So I did a quick try out, using tangled vine with the regeneration numbers of horse ca and wrote down what regeneration time was probably planed. Then I put linear regression on cooldown to make the horse ca 'regeneration' as close as possible to these numbers.

So in my modification horse ca have a long cooldown first but are around 2.5s at horse ca-level 100. Don't know if CM-patch will touc horse Combat Arts, but my daughters asked for playable horse characters for quite a long time, so all my erading and trying in sacred2 formula's was mainly to understand how to do horse Combat Arts.
Dieses Lied ist für einen guten Kumpel der seinen letzten Kampf gegen seine Krankheit verloren hat:
Über den Wolken

This song is for a good friend from my aero-club who lost his final battle against cancer.

#13 gogoblender

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 09:39 AM

Chattius, heya!

Do you have a copy of this build as a file? We're canvassing builds items, gear, you name it for Sacred 2 Downloads. As well, we are beginning to add Download buttons to SacredWiki beside items and guides.

If you have this build on file anywhere or any of your other builds, would you consider sharing?

:)

gogo

#14 chattius

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 04:06 AM

I don't have access currently to any of our game computers. Our second -she is the one who played this horse build- is currewntly in a hospital at Munich for 2 more weeks and probably a rehabilation time after. Our oldest is doing a practica at Leica-microsope building. She visits a dual school, highschool degree and training at job at one school and is at home only weekends. So it was a bit too late for me this weekend, just reading this article.

I think I have some backup's from last year on a stick, probably the Kungfu-dryad builds and my dragon-magic dragon-mage are on it. Will look what I have at home, for the uptodate files I have to wait.

For the horse part of this build the changed spells.txt and another file would be needed.
Dieses Lied ist für einen guten Kumpel der seinen letzten Kampf gegen seine Krankheit verloren hat:
Über den Wolken

This song is for a good friend from my aero-club who lost his final battle against cancer.




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