Not A Guide: Gladiator Background
This is not a guide or step by step planner. It's just some notes from leveling an alt character that I thought new players might find helpful. I'll go through my thoughts and goals so others can see what I think about and how I decide to progress and rank up. This will be lots of words and is not for everyone (it's not a guide after all). I will include a TLDR on all posts.
This, Not a Guide, will only focus on PvE content as that is what is required to hit rank 50. I'm only focusing on ranking up. If I say a skill is good/useful it's only in the PvE context or to rank up.
TLDR: Iridra, Gladiator with 17 STR/CON 18 PER. (You might want to read the reasons for the race in non TLDR.) Axe for Bloodlust synergy. END TLDR
Introduction: I will not be using any help or items from my other characters so it is a fair representation of a new player starting the game. I will post updates as replies to this thread as I continue forward and go as long as I feel like I'm achieving something.
I wont refuse to party with people, but I will try to make sure that if I do, it's someone that is around the same level as I am, and not some uber character just powering me through.
I think a lot of advice is to start as a mage and then move out from there (I did that on my first character). I want to show something other than what the common advice is so I wont go for a mage background. There are a lot of people that want to play a tanky melee character and when asked I usually point them towards Gladiator as a solid background so I will start as a Gladiator.
For weapons: Original Sin has some videos showcasing a 2h Sword build from just before EA release. Some stuff got rebalanced, but if you wanted to be 2H sword, most everything is still good. Someone recently asked me about an axe build and I had no good answer so I'll be starting out with an axe build.
For Stats: I'm going to max STR and CON for health, damage with axes, bandage healing, and because CON will help with some future abilities. For the 3rd stat, most would reccomend one of two options.
- DEX is attack speed and evasion, but with the recent changes to encumbrance (now lowering your evasion on top of all other stuff) I'm not as keen on DEX for a STR based melee build. I would not choose DEX.
- PER is crit damage and accuracy (which helps a lot since you rely on auto attacks). This is more damage. No downsides.
I'm not most people so here is a 3rd option:
- WIS is only an option because of the Leadership ability school. It has several buffs and debuffs that I think make WIS a possible contender because their uptime depend on WIS. (This is mostly an option that will make you tankier, but only after you have managed to track down all the skills. This is something that may become an option later. Do not take it starting out.
I would recommend people choose PER. I picked PER.
For Race: With STR/CON/PER I lean towards either Human or Iridra (Wildfolk Human). Nheedra (Bear Wildfolk), when they are added, could also be a good choice. Until then:
Humans are good because it would allow me a +18 in the three stats that I want while having 8 in the rest. Luck is also a bonus for all combat related rolls. Humans also have two more total attribute points to spend over any of the Wildfolk races.
Iridra, at first glance, look like a weaker Human... And they kinda are. I would only be able to get 17 max in STR and CON and 18 in PER while having 8 in the others. I would only get 50 luck, but I would gain 5 HP and 5 Mana regen as well as the use of Primal Form. Iridra's Primal Form gives +200 mana and health regen for about 10 seconds. They have 5 Primal Form charges which can only be charged on Terra.
Objectively, I think Humans are the better choice for in this specific build, because, of Iridra maxing out at 17 STR and CON which are the primary two stats on a melee tank build. I would recommend Humans to new players. However, I'd picking Iridra. The reason for this is because I've never played one and never really given them a chance. Their Primal Form sounds good, but with the recharge limits, we'll see if it actually is. I will make an effort to point out times when I used it and if it helped.
That's the basic introduction. From here on out, I'll probably make 1-2 posts a day talking about my general goals and what I actually managed to accomplish.
Day 1 Plan:
TLDR: Get 2k for house. Decide if I want to craft myself or just farm and buy. Decide house location based on previous choice.
Ability targets: Hunter's Mark is my #1 goal (Goblin Trapper and Groko Hunter). I think Goblin Warchief (Inspire, Staggering Shout, Enrage) and Groko Chieftans (Shields up, Ram Through, Challenge, Execute) are the secondary goals. End TLDR
My first real milestone will be getting a house. That means 2k gold and an idea of where I want to put it. While I'm working on those, I need to decide if I want to craft myself or just farm and sell to buy gear. I know that with EA just starting that there could be a lot of low prices on buying stuff. Crafting myself is cheaper in terms of gold, but it will take far longer in time spend gathering. I will decide later.
The first thing I think about is what abilities I want to focus on. No axe has Spell Channeling so that immediately cuts out all he magic stuff. That leaves me with Axe Fighting, Warfare, Leadership, and... Hunting as my options. <Reminder that this is a PvE guide.>
Leadership: Possibly useful later, but not focusing on: Aura of Oppression, Challenge, Crushing Shout, Inspire, Intimidate, Shields Up, Staggering Shout. Note: Call to Tenacity is bugged and does not remove bleed. It would be a top priority if it did since bleed is common on Terra.
Warfare: Not a lot here that I definitely want that I don't get from Gladiator or the tutorial - Bloodlust and Shockwave. Frenzy and Vicious Attacks cannot be used with Bloodlust. Overpower has poor uptime and I'd rather have accuracy built in. Resolve does not clear bleed, but it's an easy obtain when killing bandits. Second Wind and Enrage are two oh shit options that have long cooldowns for PvP reasons - skippable.
Axe Fighting: We start with Sharp Strike, Lacerate, and Cleave Armor. The first two have bleed built in so that is our Bloodlust synergy.
Execute seems like it's the key to upping our damage. Groko Chieftans (100), Direwolves (80), and Polar Bears (80) are our options. The best option is probably the Groko because they have a few other abilities we might find beneficial.
Decimate kinda looks terrible and has no super good farm options. Skipping for now.
Hack & Slash I don't know if this will be good or not, probably better on a 2h. The problem is Felghouls are the only option to learn it and they f'ing suck to fight (mostly because of this ability.
Hunting: Spike Trap is not going to be good damage for me, but it is an extra source of bleed if I need it for Bloodlust. Hunter's Mark negates target evasion which can help my auto attacks land. It's restricted to Light and Medium armors, but it might be good early on. Groko Hunters have both skills (40 and 80). Goblin Trappers have Hunter's Mark (80).
Not gonna lie, the skill options don't knock my socks off. As long as I am not using heavy armor, I may use a weapon toggle to something with spell channeling so that I can pop off a couple of very good spells. I have not considered what, just that it's an option.
Day 1 Results:
TLDR: I ended Day 1 after 6 hours, at Rank 17, with 63k Knowledge Points, 8k in the bank. Went way better than expected. Made money, bought cheap gear, made more money, and bough good gear that I imbued. No long term House yet. Went to Aerhen, maxed Goblin Warchief, and came immediately back. Full cleared the southern Groko POI and maxed all Groko. There are some images below showing my end of day skills and some reagents for imbues. I did not get any recipes or orbs from divines. END TLDR
Edit: I never used my primal powers. Was either not in danger or I forgot (it would have saved me in the Goblin death mentioned later.)
Made a full Hide set in the tutorial. Post tutorial, I immediately checked the market in the starter town (I picked south) for buy orders that paid well. I also checked for the prices around Terra for a Great Axe (Using the Find / Buy Item tab). I went horse hunting west towards the beach and then north towards Lotus Garten. I made sure that I got knowledge on every single resource I saw and picked up the ones that had good buy orders. I killed random low level stuff and looted everything. No horse, but I checked the buy orders in Lotus Garten and made enough (~400g) to buy a horse (65g).
From there I rode up and around towards The Shire, repeating what I had done before. Made 800g in The Shire (who had some nice buy orders), and I returned to the starter town to buy an Iron Great Axe (400g). At this point I scanned the markets and found the cheapest Plate set I could find and it was back in the Shire. Went back to the Shire, focused on getting items for buy orders from all three towns. Bought a Tin Plate set (450g) which sucks, but it was dirt cheap. I continued using hide because it was working well enough, but kept the Plate with me just in case.
At this point I had about 1200g in the bank after all my purchases. I was close to rank 10 just from resources, and killing random newbie monsters around the described area. No changes from the tutorial skill set with bandages for healing.
I decided to farm more buy order materials around the Stargate, hoping to catch a free ride to Aerhen. Within about 20 minutes I had one. I immediately went to the snowy Goblin area. I got a little cocky and died almost immediately and decided to swap to my cheapo Plate. I decided to ignore everything and focus on Goblin Warchiefs for their skills. I found two close to each other and just rode back and forth killing them until I maxed them out. I also killed Goblin Trappers that were in my path to unlock Hunter's Mark at 80%. I ignored all POI except the ones I rode past coming and going. Note: I don't think I needed the plate to kill goblin Warchiefs. I just had it and didn't want to risk dying again which would cost me more time.
At this point I considered humping all over Aerhen to kill some monsters to get some skills, but I decided to try and hop a free ride back to Terra. Had one that actually waited for me to get there.
Back on Terra, I swapped back to my hide set and added Hunter's Mark to my skills then went for the southern Groko Camp. I found 3 Groko Chieftains that were close together, with a Sage for fun, and just farmed them until Chieftains were maxed for the skills, namely Execute. I dropped Shockwave for Execute and finished exploring the southern Groko camp and got all of them to 100%.
My skillset then and until the end of Day 1:
At this point I had ~7k in gold and decided that my hide was doing great, but that a leather set would be better (less encumbrance, higher durability, reasonably similar stats). I bought a leather body, gloves, and boots for ~300g and kept my wolf helmet that I picked up somewhere along the way. I decided that I wanted to get some imbues and good axes to put them on. This lead me to various places on eastern Terra.
With the leather set, wolf helm, and the above skills, I was able to kill Forest Trolls easily, Earth Elementals easily, and Elder Mountain Trolls fairly easily (Don't forget Hunter's Mark and bandages). Elder Mountain Troll was for Aura of Oppression at 40% (I found two of them and just rode back and forth farming them.) The other two were for Troll Livers and Primal Dust.
I bought two green Steel great Axes for 650g each and a purple bear helm for 150g. I made a Bear Claw necklace along the way.
I chose simple imbues: t2 mana regen on my armor, t2 life leech on each axe, T2 strength on my necklace.
My gear at the end of Day 1 (with reagents for imbues):
T2 Mana Regen: Bluth Sparks, Bitterleaf, Anthuruim, Anthurium, Primordial Dust.
T2 Life Steal: Troll Liver, Living Wood, Boar Tusk, Grog Tongue, Necrotic Bone.
T2 Strength: Quicksilver, Mandrake, Troll Liver, Heavy Dust, Holy Water.
All of those materials are super easy to get except for the Necrotic Bone. Those can be found on Terra from Ogre Witches (not easy) or from undead on Aerhen. I bought them for 10g each. Most of the others you will have gotten from resource farming on Terra for money or from the mobs I said I killed. (You can also choose to buy the Troll Livers and Primal Dust, they too were cheap.)
My talents are:
I went Two Weapon Mastery, Armor Mastery, and then into INT. I will probably drop INT tomorrow due to imbues.
I ended Day 1 after 6 hours, at Rank 17, with 63k Knowledge Points, 8k in the bank.
Note: I had 10k by the time my imbues were ready so instead of fishing around for a city that would let me imbue, I bought a random house plot for 2k that was right next to trees and stone. I built a imbuing table, which can go outside, imbued my gear, and dropped the plot. It cost 2k, but it was way easier than other options since I had not decided where to put my permanent house at.
@Yalah Very interesting, thanks for sharing
This post is deleted!
Day 2 Plan:
TDLR: I will continue thinking about a house, but I think it's unlikely for me to spend time on it with how well things are going. I'm missing two Axe skills, but I don't know if I need them and both are on Aerhen. (Hack & Slash, Decimate). There are no other skills that I want, but a few (from the Day 1 Plan) that I might try to get while just getting knowledge. I'm confident I can clear all green and yellow POI on Terra so that will be my primary plan while also maxing monster knowledge in those areas. No planned changes to my gear or skills from Day 1. END TLDR
With 63k Knowledge (out of 80k to lose my newbie protection) this is where I would be very strongly considering what skills I need from Aerhen and getting them before I lose the newbie protection. This will be your last chance to freely camp anything on Aerhen and if your build has things you absolutely want, you should be considering dropping everything to go get them for their boost to your power. I don't have any of those for this build so I will continue on Terra for now.
I logged out on the east side of Terra so I think I'm going to give Ogre Watchers a try (Call to Tenacity 40%). The double shield Ogre (both varieties) are actually on the harder end of Ogres in my experience. I don't need Call to Tenacity, but I'm in the area so I want to poke some Ogre and see how it goes. (I may try Aura of Oppression against the Ogre Watchers, we'll see and I'll report. I will not rely on my Primal Form to clear them because I think most of you will not be Iridra.)
Even if I get Call to Tenacity, I wont do any more Ogre, because there is much more easily obtained KP out there, than what I can get from Ogre. Unless you need skills from them, moving on to harder content when there is still large amount of lower level KP, is a trap. Fun to do and cool to see, but you're slowing your KP progress down at this point.
The plan after my Ogre test is to clear the other green and yellow POI. (North Groko area, Bandits, and then Termidians.) I'm pretty confident I can handle these areas without any issue. I will have to watch my warm stacks against the Crazy Pyromancers because those hurt, but I think I will kill them in a single rotation. I do still have my Passion Flower Tincture and those should work on warm stacks if I get desperate.
When I'm at Groko and or Bandits, I will reassess the need for the mana regen nodes that I have on the talent tree. 4x T2 enchants is 20 total mana regen so I might be good with all or some of these points elsewhere. Quick Rest solves a lot of mana problems, but it's still extra time that you could save if you balance your regen a little better. Since I do not have a second enchant on my weapons, I could try out a mana leech imbue. I've never tried them before, but a cheaper imbue option should be: Boar Tusks, Mandrake, Ogre Horn, Ogre Horn. (You may need to buy Ogre horns at this point, but they should be cheap on Terra.)
I actually want to test the mana leech, but since I did not save my temporary imbue station from Day 1, I would have to drop 2k to get it added to a weapon or find someone else to do it for me. (I really was not expecting to do any more enchants for a good while and did not want to have to run out and delete my house plot if I found a spot I wanted.) I may allow myself to cheat this once at let my main account do the imbue for me in the interest of testing out the mana leech option.
If I end up dropping the mana regen from my talent tree, I am not sure what I will get instead (or work on as I continue to rank up).
Talent Options (anything not listed is not worth it imho):
- Stay INT, but get 10% mana cost reduction and 10% cooldown reduction. Neither of these are super good for me, but they do legitimately improve damage.
- CON: All options can be argued to be worthwhile.
-HP is HP.
-Fortitude protects against all the most common debuffs (poison, bleed, Elemental stacks, etc). Since we wont be able to rely on protection spells or debuff clears this could be handy.
-More magic res will help once we start getting into the higher magic damage monsters.
-The shield nodes are not useful since we're 2H Axe right now. They are a defensive option if you really need it and want to swap to 1h and shield.
-Thick Skinned and Natural Shield are good for anyone if you need defenses. I don't think I need them at this point so I doubt I'll get them.
- STR: Mixed bag past what we have already.
-HP regen sounds meh, but... Our heals are currently Bandages and Bloodlust. There is a world where 20 flat hp regen and 20% more hp regen might actually make a difference. You could also put a HP regen imbue on your armor. I've never actually tried a HP regen stacker, but like I said, our heals are bandages and Bloodlust. I might try it sometime. (A cheaper T2 Health regen would be: Amanita, Anthurium, Anthurium, Living Wood, Troll Liver.)
-Most people would never suggest getting Carry Weight for a combat build, but I'm not most people. Since I'm max looting everything and trying to sell it, being able to carry even more stuff could help me make money by letting me stay out longer with few or no trips to town and no deleting items to get under the carry limit. I'm not going to use this unless I reach the point where I'm actually reaching my carry limit. I wont recommend this, but I did want to explain why you might consider it.
- DEX/STR: Movement speed is useless for us in PvE combat, but it would help us move around more quickly and thus farm faster.
-Evasion is a defensive option as long as we're in Leather Armor and not Hide/Chain/Plate.
-Armor Pen is a solid damage boost.
- DEX/PER Feint and The One are the same as Evasion. The accuracy from Feint is not bad for evasion builds that use accuracy.
-Accuracy is good for us, but as long as we can use Hunter's Mark this is completely skippable.
-Crit is crit. Very viable.
I do not need anymore defenses for the mid to low level content that I still need to do (even for some higher level). I will probably get Armor Pen and or Crit. Those will help me blow through the lower level content much more quickly. I can change to something more defensive later if I want.
A note on Bandits: Aerhen has two bandit camps so while you are doing them on Terra, you do not need to 100% all of them if you do not want. You could finish them when you get the Aerhen POI. I will 100% them on Terra for a couple of reasons. First, I know the spawns on Terra much better than Aerhen so I can more easily target the rarer monsters. Second, no one is going to kill me and take my stuff when I'm on Terra. I don't think the Aerhen bandit caps get many reds, but I'm not super confident in my build's current ability to kill evil mages or escape.
Another note on Bandits: Any chest event you see on Terra's beaches will have bandits and there are a lot of beaches and chest events. If you struggle with bandits (regardless of build) you can try these out. It's much easier to get them solo or run if things go south.
Day 2 Results:
TLDR: I ended day 2 after a little over 5 hours at rank 26, with 126k Knowledge Points, and 24k in the bank. Another day way better than expected. Other than Talents (there will be a pic below) I've made no changes to the build. Full Cleared the north Groko camp (mostly rode thru) and then cleared all the Bandit POI and 100% all bandits. Still no house and no plans for one yet. I got four orbs and two recipes from divines. END TLDR
Before Day 2 starts, I want to add something from yesterday. Whenever I'm riding around, if I find a Primal Crystal that I think is out of the way and not many people will show up to, I collect the first set and then find stuff to farm locally while waiting for respawns. Not super important, but it's something you can do to help with Energy Crystals. I'm somewhere around 100 saved now.
I made no changes to skills or equipment today from the end of Day 1. I did change talents, more on that soon.
I decided to try a mana leech imbue, for science, but it turns out you're limited to one leech per weapon so I skipped trying mana leech. Per the plan, I went strait or Ogre Watchers. On the first one I forgot to use my new axe with HP leech and I still had mana regen talents from Day 1. I died, but my bleed dot killed it. For the second try I swapped out to my new axe, but kept the mana regen talens. I killed it with bandage spam and has about 15% health left. I decided to drop all my mana regen nodes and picked up all the Armor Penetration that I could get. Killed the 3rd with bandage spam and 50% health left. On the 4th I dropped Execute and added Aura of Oppression. It helped, some, but my wisdom is 8, the radius sucks, and Ogre Watchers do knockbacks.
I dropped the Aura, got Ogre Watchers to 40%, and promptly left per the plan. (On the way out I easily killed a greater earth elemental.) I went strait to the northern Groko camp and basically just rode thru it to get the POI. I did stop to kill Chieftains and Sages, but it was pretty quick. My next destination was Bandits, but on the way I found a Frog Legendary and decided to give it a try. It spammed acid, which is cancer, and I ran away 3 times while getting it to various levels of 20-50%. Finally I was able to bravely die to it when it had like 3 pixels of health left. When I got back up I popped it and got my rewards (gold and dust). I forgot about my Primal Form. I would have beat it first shot if I wasn't dumb.
After that I went to Bandits. I should be arrested for the crimes I committed against them. Basically everything but the Leaders when down in 3 hits and nothing was remotely a challenge. It was, by far, the easiest time I've ever had against bandits. Massacre does not begin to cover it. I was routinely pulling 2-4 and or chain-pulling and the only time I got in trouble, I remembered my Primal Form, and was totally fine. I did focus Mages -> Rogues/bows -> the ones that have a skullcap and atrophy you. My mana regen was excellent and I basically just bandage spammed while non-stop slaughtering them. The only time I died was when a Emerald (poison) Huskworm was hiding behind a wall and slapped 100 stacks of poison on me. I would have live, but I forgot I had my Primal Form >.<
Bandits are gonna drop you two useful and or important items. Bitterleaf Tea restores some energy and can save you in a pinch. Arnica Tea will clear poison. (They also drop the raw leaves for each.) Keeping Bitterleaf is up to you. Keep Arnica. We will use it later because we don't really have any poison clears.
I guess the only other thing is to say that I ended up with 4 orbs and 2 recipes which is just stupidly incredibly lucky. My main, who is rank 50, has gotten 1 orb the entire time. I wont be counting the gold from selling any of these in my gold totals, because it's not reasonable to expect people to have that kinda luck. I want my numbers to reflect what you'd get low end or at a minimum.
I did not make it to Termidians today, but Groko and Bandits, on Terra, are now full completed. I ended day 2 after a little over 5 hours (11 total) at rank 26, with 126k Knowledge Points, and 24k in the bank. No changes to my gear or skills from yesterday.
My talents are now:
Day 3 Plan:
TLDR: Maxing Termidians and getting all of their POI. Then I need to decide if I want to head to Ogres or go to Aerhen. I'm not sure which. I need to continue to think about a house location if any. END TLDR
The plan for today is pretty short. For sure, Termidians to 100% then either Ogre or Aerhen. I might give Ogre a try to see how they go and if it's not bad, get the POI and probably finish the 100% on them later. Aerhen has a ton of very easy KP out there for my build and it's hard to delay that for, "maybe Ogres will be good enough to clear." We will just have to see how I'm feeling.
I do not foresee any changes to gear or skills today. If Ogre are too much, I will just leave and I don't think I'd have enough time on Aerhen, After Termidians, to get into anything difficult. If this were my first character, I would probably be putting more effort into getting the KP from all of the random monsters out in the wilds (i.e. not in POIs). I have been popping them when I've been collecting materials, but I'm definitely not doing it as much as I did on my first character. My goal on this character is to hit rank 50 or at least get it to the point where I can say, "this character is fully strong enough to hit rank 50, it's just time grinding more to 100%."
One thing I might do before, going to Aerhen, is just ride around collecting the red POI (that are not in Ogres). That's a lot of knowledge just sitting there and I can also try killing various things in those areas to show that they can be killed by my build.
For talents, I'm going to finish the Crit Damage node and get the extra perception and then I'm not sure. Not a lot of options left to help me offensively and I'm nearing the point where magic defenses might be important. I'm leaning towards that to help keep me in leather armor for as long as possible. I may end up in a Plate Set before the end of the day - I do have money to buy a good one and pop enchants on it.
At some point in time, I do want to get Crushing Shout, Hack & Slash, and Decimate (all on Aerhen), if for nothing else than to just try em out. It might not be on Day 3 tho.
Extremely interesting read. I'm anxiously awaiting the next update!
Glad you're liking it. I hope it's helping people with thinking about progress.
I think my next one will be an Bowman start, but we'll see.
I love this, being a new player, being able to SEE(Read) your thought process helps me get a grasp on how I can/should look at things. Looking forward to updates!
Day 3 Results:
TLDR: Today was about 5 hours. I ended at rank 32, with 182k Knowledge Points, and 36k in the bank. Today went as expected. I finished the Crit talents, put a second point into PER, and then started putting points into magic defense. I also ended the day using Aura of Oppression more. Full Cleared Termidians and got all the POI in both Ogre areas of Terra. I also tested killing a bunch of the stronger monsters in the game (it went well). Nothing notable from drops. I intend to call this project a success and move on to the next one. END TLDR
Basically, no changes to the build from the previous day. By the end of the day, I did work in Aura of Oppression more, but I'll talk about that later. Today I waded into the stronger side of PvE and you should assume that I spammed bandages and used Hunter's Mark on anything that took more than one rotation of skills to kill (which was basically everything except the weakest Termidians).
Termidians went well to easy except for the Matrons. Spitters will knock off your Bloodlust so keep an eye on that. Acid is a debuff that we have no way of dealing with so you also want to keep an eye on that. When you are killing Matrons, they will knock you around with their Eruption ability. Make sure that you clear the area, do not get any adds, and let your corrosion stacks drop off. Even a single Larva will be enough to make this a very close fight. As long as I got them alone and had no adds, I killed them with 25-50% health left. Do not be afraid to reset. I did it several times.
After Termidians, I decided to target the higher level monsters and see how well I could manage against them. As a general rule, I tried to kill 2-4 of them to make sure I wasn't just getting good RNG, but I did not bother farming any of them. This was the point where I dropped Execute and popped in Aura of Oppression. I don't think I needed it for most stuff, but I already had it memorized and was too lazy to try a bunch of stuff when I basically was not failing.
I was able to kill all of the Treehugger Ogres, including the Archdruid. The Archdruid was a close fight. More magic defenses would have made them easier, but they were still dead at the end of it. Ogre Witches were not easy and would have been easier with the same extra magic defenses. I did collect all the POI from this area.
I was able to kill all of the Industrial Ogres except the Ogre Master and Ogre Lord. The Master just does too much Fire damage and I have no way to deal with that currently (more on this in the final post). I knew Ogre Lords would wreck me and they did not disappoint. It was not even close. I did collect all the POI from this area.
Miscellaneous monsters on Terra:
Colossal Huskworms - They are immune to bleeds, but Bandage spam got them fine. Anything with Bleed Immunity will be harder than otherwise so keep that in mind.
Obsidian Crabs - I swapped in Call of Tenacity to deal with their bleeds and they were pretty easy.
Arboreal Dragonlings - I had Arnica Tea on hand and they were very easy.
Mountain Dragonlings - Tough, but doable. Never had to reset.
Ember Dragonlings - Somewhere between the other two Dragonlings.
Wild Behemut - hit far too hard. Not a chance.
All 3 big Dragons - didn't even bother. From prior experience, they would be too hard.
All Trolls - easy
Earth Elementals - easy
Forge Snapper and Fire elementals - too much fire damage. (More on this in the final post.)
Edit: I forgot about Acid Elementals. The small ones would definitely be no problem and I think I could do the greaters as long as I watched my acid stacks before going in.
I think that's kills or attempts at every monster on Terra.
At this point I was ready to head to Aerhen. My Bear Claw Necklace had degraded at this point, my armor was ~90/350, and I still had the second axe I made earlier. The gear that I had would have been fine for what I planned, but I went ahead and got a new set anyway so that I could wear a new set into Aerhen instead of taking a replacement set in my inventory.
I decided to use Reptile Leather for the 3 Leather pieces so that it would have more durability and last a bit longer. I could not find any Leather pieces made of Reptile leather so I shopped around and bought the refined leather and crafted the pieces myself. It was all Poor quality, but I spent less than 2k to do it plus buy a replacement bear head. I put all the same enchants on them as I did on Day 1 (and this time I had all the materials needed from farming).
My goal heading into Aerhen was to target all the strongest non-elemental monsters (elementals talked about in the final post). I skipped the undead because other than the Dragon and Spider Lich, none are remotely hard. I also skipped Sea Trolls because I knew they would be easy. Both Mammoths went down without too much hassle. Wolves and bears posed, also, no problem. That basically leaves the Jotunn. All of them went down without too much trouble, except for the Jotunn Stormborn. They hit like a truck and I wasn't even close to getting them.
I finished today after about 5 hours (16 total), at rank 32, with 182k Knowledge Points, and 36k in the bank. (Still no house.) I'm also going to say that this, Not a Guide, is going to be shelved because I'm very comfortable that the build is at a point that it could easily hit rank 50 without any serious modifications (read as, just by more grinding).
There are two main categories of things that I cannot currently solo: Hits too hard and too much elemental damage. If you farm out all the rest of the KP (total, there is about 300k on Terra and 250k on Aerhen) you should be able to hit rank 50, 421k KP, without killing the stuff I skipped by maxing the other stuff and hitting all the POI and resources. I am going to do one more post after this where I talk about how I would improve upon the build from this point and maybe finish off some of those harder things.
One last talents pic:
Not a Guide: Gladiator Background - Conclusion:
As I said earlier, I think this build is currently able to hit rank 50 (421k KP) without further improvements. There is about 300k KP on Terra and about 250k on Aerhen. If we skip the, "hits too hard," and the fire/ice/storm/crystal elementals (and a couple of monsters that just do too much elemental damage), we should be able to 100% everything else while grabbing all of the POI and resources and be good. If I wanted to kill those other monsters anyway, here's how I'd improve the build...
Edit: I compared the KP of my main and this Gladiator. My Glad has 182k KP and can get another 45.5k from exploration and at least another 5.5k from resources. That would put them up to 233k KP without any more creature KP.
The very first thing would be proficiency imbues. I purposefully did not use a single proficiency imbue so I could demonstrate what the base power level is capable of. If proficiency imbues are still available by the time you're reading this, they are a massive damage boost.
Since I've prefaced this by saying that we could hit rank 50 without killing these remaining monsters, I'll assume we have the 60 talents and include those when talking about the different groups.
Since we do not have access to Protection from <element> spells, to kill the various elementals we should be able to make a new leather set with full imbues for each of the elements. Wearing each specific set, the elementals and monsters that use too much elemental damage, should go down without too much problem - none of them are especially tanky. I have not done this myself, but I know people that have and they were fine. Additional Fortitude should help here as well.
For the elementals and talents: I would stick with what Day 3 ended at and fill out the magic defense talents (and 2nd point on CON). You should be sitting pretty at this point. There's not a lot more offense we could get out of talents so I'd probably go for Thick Skinned/Natural Shield then HP or Fort.
You shouldn't need any significant skill changes for these. There's not much that would actually help.
For the monsters that hit too hard, there are some options. The most obvious change is to get a chain or plate set made of Blood Iron (increased physical defenses) or Mithril (less encumbrance). Because of our limited healing capabilities, I don't know which would be enough to get the job done. I've simply not tried these highest level monsters without healing capabilities. If we stick with Chain, we can continue to rely on Hunter's Mark. If we go to plate, I'd start thinking about getting some Accuracy so our Bloodlust is still providing heals.
For shit that hits too hard and talents: You can drop the magic defense and put it all into health and Thick Skinned/Natural Shield then if you got anything left, Fort.
For skills... I can't say for certain what would or wouldn't work. It's something I'd have to test to see if it was worth it. The three starter Axe skills feel like enough damage so I wouldn't drop them or add to them. For new skills:
Challenge could help, but it cannot be used with Hunter's Mark (If you've gone to plate, this would be less of a problem). WIS makes this much better.
Inspire gives a lot of defensive stats, but needs WIS to be really effective and have uptime
Intimidate lets us apply the Frightened debuff which is a great debuff. It requires WIS to have any real uptime.
Did you notice the theme?
Until now we've been a melee damage dealer and then a melee damage dealer that is kinda tanky. If we want to push our tank to the max, we gotta consider maxing WIS (either by respect or imbues/potions/whatever). Increasing the power on the above skills is more tank - either on flat numbers or by having much better uptime. If we end up dropping PER to get WIS, we'll notice the damage loss.
STR/CON/WIS as a full tank axe user is not a build that I've personally tried so I cannot say exactly how it would perform. Keep that in mind.
Second to last, you can go 1h and a shield, but I don't think this is more solo viable than a 2h. You're going to lose a ton of damage.
Some final options would be to upgrade to Cotton Bandages (3x con verus 2x on linen). Alchemy Potions when they come out (but this is probably too expensive.
Ogre Lord, Jotunn Stormborn, Wild Behemut (and Ridge when it's added again), plus the three big dragons (Arboreal, Ember, and Mountain - in that order) are probably the toughest non-legendary monsters out there. I would not expect to solo them and if you do solo them, expect your build to get nerfed if a GM sees it.
That's about all I can think of. If you have any questions about this specific build, I'll watch and can try to answer them. I'm pretty confident that what has been shown here can hit rank 50 without any real issues from this point.
For other questions about the game, #player-help on the Discord is a good place for questions.
I'll probably start another, Not a Guide tomorrow. I'm leaning towards Bowman, but we'll see how it goes.
Not a Guide: Gladiator Background - Postscript:
TLDR: I had time so I put 4x t2 fire imbues on my leather set to test out the elemental clear plan. Worked perfectly with no issues. END TLDR
There was supposed to be a patch with archery improvements and I was going to start a Bowman after that. The patch was delayed so I decided to go ahead and run the Gladiator through an elemental area, with resist imbues, just to confirm that there wouldn't be any major issues.
I decided that fire was the hardest to deal with so I popped on four T2 fire resist imbues, 400 resist each, and went to the volcano on Aerhen. (Bloodvein, Bloodvein, Fire Essence, Goblin tongue, Rogue stone.) I just bought the materials because I'd left my own on Terra. They were not terribly expensive given the cash I'd made so far, but ore importantly they were all available in the northern starter city where I was standing at the time. Less than 2k total. Once again I bought a house plot, built a quick imbue table, and then dropped it after.
No changes to skills or talents from the end of Day 3. Just the fire resistance imbues for gear changes. To make a long story short, the imbues put me over 2k fire resistance, which is the cap, and I blew everything out of the water. I basically ignored warm stacks and burning and just killed anything I ran into. The only time I dropped below ~75% health was on a Greater Fire Elemental that I charged into with 4 primelings around him. They got me to ~40%.
I'm very confident in my plan of leather set + resist imbues to full clear the various elementals (note: you can only have one resist imbue on a single item.) Shock and Frost might not be as smooth as Fire, because of the nature of their debuffs, but as long as no one attacks you while you're mid fight, I don't really anticipate problems.
I picked up all the POI of the Aerhen Volcano and then went up north to farm some furs and wool (for future projects). Maybe 90 minutes worth of time and got up to 207k KP. After buying imbue materials, and paying for boats, I probably only ended up making 2k plus materials (~150 furs and 100 wool). Oh, I did end up dropping my magic defense nodes to get more carry weight - that stuff is heavy.
Once again, a great read Thanks for the post!
@Yalah thank you so much for your builds, I wanted to know if you had tried the build using str with win and if you found much difference on the damage