Hey everyone, just going to be posting my skill/stat build for my SM, Karia, up for anyone who is confused as to what skills/stats they should get when playing an SM.
First and foremost I want to say that everything after this point in this guide is 100% opinion, my explanations and reasons for choosing certain things are my own.
Secondly I want to clarify that I'm not capped in this game, in fact I'm barely level 20 and this guide will definitely be a work in progress. I will be trying different skill builds on other characters and updating this guide to what I feel is the best for optimal performance at each level.
Thirdly, if there are any questions please feel free to leave them as comments, I will take any and all comments into consideration when conducting research.
Alright, now that those "disclaimers" are out of the way, let's get this small guide started.
We're going to begin with stat choice:
I personally run with a 2/1 Int to Con build. Reason being quite simple:
Int increases your overall M. Atk and M. Crit (damage, not the rate in which you actually crit)
Con increases your overall HP and HP Regen
Now, I'm not 100% opposed to people replacing Con with Wis, but the way I see it is that you're going Wis for the overall MP not so much the regen, since (for now, anyway) the regens for both HP and MP are decent enough for you to sustain just fine early game without putting points into Wis, also your maximum MP scales as you level so this is why I personally skip over it, and although your HP also scales as you level, raising Con will give you some more beefiness when you start mob gathering.
Next thing we're going to go over are the skills, in which there is a big controversy over which ones are the best and why the healing tree is better than the DPS tree, yada yada etc etc. Personally I find that they are both amazing skill trees and will explain why.
DPS Skill Tree (Left side): The reason I think this skill tree is good is because it has a lot of single target spells, DOTs and status effect spells and buffs (which are always great). Some people (for whatever reasons) aren't fans of AoE's and party mobbing, so this skill tree is better for them. It allows for quick burst damage as well as some nice DoT and a good MP sustain.
Healer Skill Tree (Right side): This tree is great for some pretty obvious reasons, major ones being: Poison and Heals. For an SM these are pretty much the BnB (Bread and Butter for you non gaming folk) of mobbing. The Poison Arrow is a single target 100% poisoning spell while Poison cloud is an AoE that CAN poison (supposedly it's not 100% but I've never seen it not poison, maybe I don't pay too much attention though). This coupled with some single target spells from the DPS side are great for the lone wolf who just wants to do his/her own thing. Next you have the heals, which are always a lovely addition to any skill list and highly recommended if you want to be a sufficient enough self sustaining SM. Now, there are things like Group Heal, Crit Heal and Healer (which increases the potency of your heals in general) but unless you're going for the full support/healer route, you can leave these alone. If you're going to be solo oriented, take 2 points into it early (I'd say levels 1-8 ) and then max it later on (early 20's). If you're going for a party oriented build, max your heals and move on to the next ones. All up to choice.
The next portion of this build guide will be my actual skill build on Karia. Seeing as how she is my first SM it was/and is, a very experimental build, but so far I haven't seen any extremely gaping holes in it. It mixes a blend of Solo/Party capabilities with self sustain for both HP and MP as well as damage.
On the DPS side:
: 18/39 skill points used (currently this will always be updated as I update this guide)
Unholy Spear Level 3- You start off with this skill at level 1, it's your very first one and I think it is great solo target damage. Between this and Poison Arrow, your first 3 levels should be 2 into this skill (so max it by level 4, and have 1 point in P.A). Reason for this is: it's early game, you're not going to be put against any monsters that are going to straight demolish you, so put the points here for some extra damage early game, they're great skills for kiting later on anyway.
Wolf Aspect Level 1- I took this for the 4 point requirement for Sacrifice, but it's a great buff. This buff increases your health and your parties health by 5% for 20 minutes (10% at level 2 and 15 and level 3). If you're going for that party oriented build I was discussing, then pick this up early and max it early also. Doing so will unlock the next aspect spell which is Golem Aspect.
Sacrifice Level 3- To me, this spell is hands down one of the best in the game. It converts a portion of your HP into MP and has a fairly low CD (1 minute, which may seem like a lot but the amount of MP you get returned is more than enough to sustain for an extra minute) I HIGHLY recommend getting your 4 skill points into the DPS tree and then at least putting 1 point into this. Max it as you please, but I maxed mine fairly early.
Dark Circle Level 1- This skill isn't so bad, it's a burst damage single target spell that has a chance of stunning the target(they call it shock but it's essentially the same thing). This is great kiting skill in my opinion, and for those of you who don't know what kiting is here's a quick definition of it:
The act of kiting, is a combat tactic of a player character keeping a mob or another player at a certain distance, usually out of melee distance but within ranged attack, and luring the pursuer toward your direction while dealing damage at the same time.
It's also a fairly decent escape tool, let's say you aggro the wrong mob (or a boss by chance) the stun after impact is long enough for you to run away safely(or at least make that particular mob stop chasing you). In any case, I plan on maxing this by level 21 and moving onto Dark Scourge.
27 Jan 13 Updates:
Dark Circle Level 3- I maxed this skill to increase the potency of it in 1v1 situations(higher burst damage and stun ratio[untested but from what I gather, that's the case with this skill]).
Dark Scourge Level 3- Alright for this skill I just want to say that people are giving it WAY too little credit. This is a burst damage AoE that doesn't offer a DoT. However, the skill has a lower CD than Poison Cloud at the cost of a slightly longer cast time (2 seconds). This skill is amazing for bursting down mobs, coupled with your cloud you can make quick work of most(if not all) mobs at your level. The arguments you're going to get with this skill is that PC does more damage. You can't compare the damages of a burst and a DoT skill; that's like comparing the speed of a car to someone who's running. DoT is just that, damage over time, so overall the damage from PC will be higher(in almost every instance), however if you were to compare the initial burst damage from both skill you'll find that Scourge does much more damage. I highly recommend picking this skill up and maxing it, between PC casts I can usually get 1-2 of these in, so it's great for applying that extra damage and slimming down mobs.
Night Terrors Level 1- Ok I personally misread this skill, and thought that it was an AoE; that's my fault for sucking at reading. However, this skill is still pretty good; it's a single target spell that has great initial burst damage as well as applying a darkness DoT. It's very similar to another early level skill of ours (Poison Arrow if you couldn't tell), with the difference being it has a higher skill damage base. I recommend putting a point into this if you're going for the lone wolf/solo 1v1 type of build and maxing it later. What you're going to start to see is that this side of the skill tree offers a lot more later game than it did early game, so the points you're putting in these skills now are going to pay off.
5 Feb 13 Updates:
Night Terrors Level 3- I maxed out this skill for it's great DoT and burst damage; really helps for solo grinding or focusing in mobs and great for bosses.
Darkness Level 1- I got this skill to test it out and see how it works. Truth be told I don't see myself using it all that much. Yes it adds a good boost to your damage but the MP cost per second isn't really worth it IMO. Now take note that I'm Int/Con so my MP Reg per 5 is only about 105. If you have Wis and want an extra burst of damage, then definitely take this skill.
Wolf Aspect Level 2- I honestly don't remember why I put that second point in this skill. I think because I was going to switch builds midway but that didn't really happen. Oh well.
-That concludes the updates. Please check back for further information.-
Now for the Healing (or right side) skill tree:
: 13/36 skill points used
Poison Arrow Level 3- A great skill, recommend putting 2 points into this early on (Levels 2-8 ) and having it max by level 13. The reason being, is because you're going to putting points into other skills to make way for the Poison Cloud (which I actually picked up at level 15-16; a little later than some SM's I know of, but you'll be fine without it). Not a lot needs to be said about this skill in depth, it's a single target 100% chance poisoning skill. It's amazing DoT and stacks well with P.C.
Heal Level 2- As I said before, throw some points into this skill early if you're going for a more party oriented build, to make way for your Party Heal; if you're not throw a point in this skill at level 6 or so. It's some good early sustain and you don't need an extra level of it until level 11+ or if you start mobbing.
Death's Mantle level 3- This skill alone is the reason I HIGHLY recommend the 2/1 Int/Con build. This skill will give you your tankiness, and the Con will give you your beefiness. This skill increases your defense by +270 at level 3 (I'm not 100% on the values of 1 and 2 but they're still great bonuses) for a total of 30 minutes. Needless to say, this is a must have skill for any build. It's also low cost and low cooldown (although I don't know why you'd be spamming this skill anyway it's only self targeting).
Poison Cloud Level 2- This lovely little skill right here does AoE burst damage with a chance of poisoning the targets for approximately 10 seconds. It's a great skill for any repertoire and I recommend getting it. The earliest you can pick this up is level 10 so it's up to you if you want to rush this, but I waited until 16 since hybrid builds are little of both skill trees and it sucks building one all the way up and leaving the other stumped at a low skill. This is also your mobbing skill, since the area that it casts around is yourself, I'd suggest running INTO the crowd of monster you want to gather and then use it, because this skill does NOT cast around the mob you are highlighting, but rather roughly 8m's in all directions around you. Combo this skill with some poison arrows to hit ranged mobs while still damage melee mobs, or you can use it kite mobs(though it's not REALLY kiting, you're keeping constant damage on them while gathering more mobs).
27 Jan 13 Updates:
Poison Cloud Level 3- This is the only update to this side of the skill tree. I've looked at the other skills on this side of the tree and have decided that as utilitarian as they are, I don't see myself using them much. If at this point you wish to no longer follow this guide and branch out and pick these skills up, then by all means please do; I just don't see myself using them for the build.
5 Feb 13 Updates:
Heal Level 3- I maxed this for solo/party grinding in temple. It's a great heal with a low cost allowing me to either focus heal or self sustain.
Group Heal Level 1- I put a point into this to help with my party sustain. I would like to note that if you're playing this build(or a similar one) you are NOT primary healer/supporter. You are a back up healer with DPS, your main focus should almost never be healing/supporting solely, but rather damaging and focus healing when your healer is busy, OOM'ed (Out of mana), or their heals are on cooldown. A very good skill, but like I said, don't think you're going to be a great with only 1 point in this; you're not quite healer material yet.
-That concludes the updates. Come back for further information.-
Equipment: I'm not going to go too much into equipment (mostly because mine sucks). So for now I'm just going to advise that you go with what's available for you as you play the game. Green and Blue named items are better than White named items and use runes/enchant as you see fit.
That's all for now everyone! I hope you enjoyed reading this guide, and I hope it helps. If you decide to use this build/follow the build as I'm building it then that's awesome; if not, well I appreciate you taking the time out to at least look at it. Please feel free to leave any questions, comments, concerns, ideas, feedback, etc in the reply sections below. I would ask that no one flames, as I stated before this entire guide is opinionated and geared toward my preferences in the game.
On a last side note: If you enjoyed this guide and would like to see my playing/testing in action please feel free to ask for my twitch.tv stream link and I will happily let you know.
Thanks again and happy gaming everyone!
Quick edit for the skills: If you want more information on all the skills available, please check out this post by Ona http://www.aeriagames.com/forums/en/viewtopic.php?t=1869517