Saturday, May 31, 2008

Barbarian Stats (Attributes) and Gear guide

Hello everyone, as a quick follow up to the Skills guide posted earlier, I have put together the following, a guide to Stats, specifically those found on items, and how to handle them. As with the skills guide, this will be focused on solo PvE, mostly leveling, and solo PvP as those are the most important aspects of the game, currently. As the game progresses, and group or end game PvP becomes more prevalent, updates will be made.

To begin, let's take a loot at the "Stats" window. The P key will bring this up on your screen and allow you to look at various aspects of your barbarian. Mousing over any aspect will provide a useful description of what you can expect from which stats. At the bottom is a simple "At a glance" summary, if you are simply looking for a quick reference.

(Click for a larger view)

As you can see, there are a lot of influences on your performance as a barbarian that are displayed here. For the time being, we will be covering the stats under the "Attribute" and "Protection" headings. Skills are covered here and as Attack, Defense and Magic Rating aren't fully understood at the moment, I will hold off on talking about them.

Stats displayed in white are represent your base value, once you pick up a piece of gear or get a buff that raises a stat, it will turn green.

I will start with health and stamina, since they are somewhat unique in how you can acquire them on gear. Gear will have +Maximum Health/Stam and/or out of combat Health or Stamina regeneration. These formats can have different applications, personally, I tend to prefer gear that increases the maximum as opposed to that which provides regen (though a nice mix is good, too) due to the fact that resting pretty much negates the need for additional out of combat regen, and a bigger Stamina or Health pool is a great help during a tough fight.

Italicized text represents the description given in-game.
  • Health - Your characters Health points. If your Health points reach zero, you will die. Health points automatically regenerate when you are out of combat.
    • Health is life. You cannot live without this. While health on gear can be considered more of a tank (Guardian, Dark Templar) stat, it helps barbarians out also. Especially beneficial for those who solo often, for those harder hitting mobs.
  • Stamina - Your characters Stamina points. Stamina is used to execute combo attacks, and to sprint. Stamina points automatically regenerate when you are out of combat.
    • Stamina is what allows melee based classes to perform combos, without which we are rather useless. Stam is great, and one of our two main stats, if you find gear with stamina or stam regen on it, chances are, it's a good piece for you.

  • Strength - Strength increases your Attack Rating while using melee weapons. Daggers are the exception to this bonus.
    • I will start off by noting that, currently, adding or removing strength has no impact on the numerical value for one's attack rating, as displayed in the Attributes window. Whether this is a display bug or strength being useless is unknown, we are hoping the former. For the purpose of this guide, I will assume strength is functioning properly.

      Strength is the barbarians PRIMARY stat. Above all else, strength is what allows us to dish out the damage, and should almost always be given preference over other stats.

  • Intelligence - Intelligence increases a Mage's Magical Rating and the number of Mana points available for spell-casting.
    • We have no mana, we cast no spells. Useless.

  • Constitution - Constitution increases your Life and Stamina.
    • Apart from the in-game discrepency of referring to Health as Life, Constitution is a great attribute for us. Increase in Stamina is always wonderful, and more health never hurts.
      • 2 hit points per point of Con
      • ~4 Stamina per point of Con (11 stam for 2.5 con)

  • Dexterity - Dexterity increases your Defense Rating and adds to Stamina. Dexterity also increases your Attack Rating with ranged weapons and daggers.
    • Dexterity is very similar to constitution in that it increases our Stamina along with providing an accompanying bonus to our defenses. As with Con, anything that adds to stam is something we are interested in. The actual impact of defense rating, as mentioned above is currently unknown, so I would tend to go for Con over Dex, simply because the Health bonus is currently more tangible. Barbarians cannot use daggers, so that damage bonus is meaningless (unless you're a fan of using your ranged weapon.. but that probably means you aren't using Hide enough).
  • Wisdom - Wisdom increases a Priest's Magic Rating, and increases the number of Mana points available for spell-casting.
    • A Priest class's version of Intelligence, equally useless for us.
Apart from Magical Resist which is worded almost exactly as Defense Rating, as the counter for Magic Rating, the various elemental resists are listed on a percentage basis. The reasonable assumption is that these will reduce damage taken from spells falling into those categories by those amounts. This will be important in end game PvP, for which this guide is not intended.

Other Attributes
This is where I will cover a few other important stats that you may come across as you pick up gear in the world, if anyone knows any that I have missed, please let me know and they will be added!

  • Hiding - Often you will find a piece of gear with +Hiding on it. I will not go over Hiding in detail, as I have already covered that in the skill guide, but I will say that this is a great stat to pick up. As you can see in my screen shot above, when that was taken I had +20 hiding from gear (now it is closer to +30). This is something that each individual will weight in their own way, and that is fine. Personally, I like to be sneaky.
  • Out of Combat Run Speed - Just what it says, increases your run speed out of combat. As with +Hiding, different people will perceive different benefits from this. I like it, and take it when I can.
Armor Types
As a barbarian, we have access to cloth and light armors. Assassins, who can only wear cloth, share a good deal of our "beneficial" stats (though, they get a bit more out of Dex, since they often use daggers) which means that often we will come across some cloth armor that looks like it would be great for us. I would caution you about taking cloth over light armor, as you WILL get hit harder, but sometimes it seems that is the better way to go.

Occasionally (this increases at higher levels) you will find a gear with some text similar to "Has a change to inflict damage when struck in combat." This can be found on armor or items. I have yet to see the full extent of what types of procs exist in Age of Conan, but anything that causes bonus damage or an increase to our important stats, go for it!

Weapons have a few different stats that are not found on armor based items. They will be covered below.
  • Damage/Second
    • Abbreviated DPS (Damage per Second), this stat reflects how much damage, on average, you will inflict per second while swinging this weapon. The display of DPS on a weapon is real time and influenced by both your feats and (if working properly) your Strength attribute. That is to say, if you have the 10% bonus to damage for 2H feat, this will be reflected when looking at the DPS in a weapon's tooltip.

      The nice bonus about this is that you do not have to speculate if a 70 DPS 2H with 5 strength is better than a 72DPS 2H with 0 strength, because clearly the 72 DPS weapon will hit harder. As DPS directly translates to the damage done by your combos, this alone should be how you determine which weapon to use.

  • Damage Range (#.##s)
    • This number indicated what your weapon will hit for normally, per swing. That is to say, if you simply hit a directional attack on an area where the enemy has 1 shield (normal damage) it should do damage that falls into this range. The number in parenthesis reflects the swing timer, or how long you must wait before swings.

  • + #.# Damage
    • When you get an Item with a stat such as +2.4 1H Blunt Damage, you will notice that the DPS of any 1H blunt weapons you have around will go up by 2.4 as you equip it. Great stat for any DPSers, just make sure your weapons match.

  • ##.##% Stamina/Health Tap
    • Noone seems to be fully sure (and this will be updated when someone does) but the most logical assumption is that the indicated percentage of damage done will be returned to you in the form of a heal or stamina regen.

  • +/- Hate Modifier
    • To understand this stat, one must be aware of what a mob's "Hate" is. As you do damage to a mob, you generate hate, meaning you are making it unhappy. The target of the mob, who it attacks, is determined by who is at the top of its hate list. As a high DPS light armor wearing class, when given the opportunity, -% Hate Modifier is great. Keep the mob on the Guardian, not you. Do not that this does not work on players in PvP and that outside of a group setting, it useless in PvE.

  • +% Evade Chance
    • Pretty self explanatory. Good stat when it comes to you, don't go out of your way for it though.

  • + Natural Health/Stamina Regeneration
    • This could be located under the Health and Stam section, but it works here. Apart from Max and Out of Combat Regen, a 3rd form of Health and Stam may be found on gear, this is natural regeneration. Unlike Out of Combat Regen, Natural Regeneration occurs even in combat. Great to pick up, especially stam.

Ok, for those of you who do not wish to wade through that quite large post on a regular basis, here is my preferred order of stats on gear:

  1. Strength
  2. Maximum Stamina
  3. Natural Stamina Regen
  4. Weapon Damage
  5. Constitution
  6. Dexterity
  7. Maximum Health
  8. Natural Health Regen
  9. Hiding
  10. Run speed
  11. Out of Combat Regen
No, I did not list Int or Wis, as they are useless :P

Thank you, and good luck with your barb!

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Clay said...

I know this is something not well understood yet, but this breakdown could be easily turned on its head once it's figured out how fatal blow calculations work. It wouldn't be surprising if dexterity and attack rating were involved somehow.

What's the reason to believe that dexterity would affect stamina? It seems odd that it would.

Gokex said...

IF you bring up your attributes window and mouse over Dex, you'll see that it does. The italicized text up there is the in-game description :)

nautik said...

nice blog bro

Oniphire said...

If you have points dedicated to Berserker & Unstoppable, would that change the importance of Health/Con?

Gokex said...

I can see your point about Health when taking those feats. I'm honestly not sure as I've not played a Reaver build how useful they are, but I'd say you're still better off ensuring your survivability instead of trying to ride the border at 30%

Let me know if you find otherwise though :)

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