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About Weapons Mastery Edit

Weapons Mastery is the first and most fundamental skill that Scarlett can learn for each weapon class. There are four weapon classes,

  • Scythes (the most important one being the Moonblade)
  • Swords
  • War hammers and battle axes
  • Spear & Shield

Each weapon category comes with a unique skill set that Scarlett can learn by investing Skill Points. The most basic skill is the mastery for each weapon class, which determines how many different moves Scarlett can chain during an attack. Applying at least one Skill Point to the mastery of any class opens up the higher-level skills, such as blocking, attack from a blocking stance, and the powerful combinations of weapon attacks with necromantic skills.

With no mastery (Weapons Mastery level is zero for any class), Scarlett can chain two moves, with the exception of the Moonblade, which initially allows three moves. Each Skill point added (and thus each level increase in Weapons Mastery for a class) allows one more move in an attack chain. During an attack chain, each chained move is more powerful than the previous one, and the damage inflicted increases considerably. The following equation describes the damage inflicted by a single (non-chained strike),

Hitpoints eq1

where B is the weapon's base strength and A_s is Scarlett's present Strength attribute value. (Side note: This equation holds also for necromantic attacks, whereby B is the base damage of the attack and A_s is Scarlett's Mental Strength).

Examples:

  • Initially, Scarlett starts with a strength of 20. Therefore, the term (A_s - 20)/100 = 0 and the damage inflicted is that of the weapon's base damage.
  • A weapon has the base strength of B=36 and Scarlett's Strength attribute is A_s = 48. The result of the above equation is 46.08, which would be truncated to 46. In this situation, a single strike would inflict 46 points of damage.

When strikes are chained, the damage is increased by a new term s_k, which depends on the weapon class and on the strike k in a chain. Values for s_k are listed under their respective weapons class below. The damage inflicted by chained strikes is computed through

Hitpoints eq2

The chain starts with k=0. The first chained strike (i.e., the second strike in a chain) has k=1 followed by the second strike with k=2 and so on. For the first strike (k=0 we find s_{k=0}=0, and the second equation reduces to that of the single strike. The single one exception is the spear, where s_{k=0}>0.

Examples:

  • The basic Dervish Sword has a base damage of 12. With sword mastery at zero (and with a low value for strength, Scarlett can chain two moves with 12 and 16 hit points, respectively.
  • The same Dervish Sword, but with increased Strength (A_s = 27) and Sword Mastery of 3 allows five moves to be chained that inflict damage of 12, 17, 25, 34, and 42 hit points, respectively.
  • The Moonblade (base damage 16) with strength at level 31, but mastery level zero, allows three moves to be chained, which inflict damage of 17, 20, and 31 hit points, respectively.
  • The Hammer of Truth has a base damage of 98. At a very high level of strength -- 97 --, and with one level of Hammer Mastery, three chained moves inflict damage of 173, 311, and 623 hit points, respectively.
  • The Holy Spear of Chiefs has a base damage of 85. With a strength attribute of 80 the five chained strikes inflict damage of 272, 340, 544, 748, and 952, respectively. Note that this is the only weapons class that starts with an augmented strike of s_{k=0}=1.

To achieve a chain, the attacks need to be timed carefully. At the end of any strike, the sword hand glows; this is the moment when the next attack must be started, otherwise the chain is broken. The timing is highly weapon-specific, and it also differs by moves. This is a skill that the player needs to learn -- paying 10 Skill Points and then doing some button-mashing is not sufficient.

Sword Mastery Edit

The sword is probably the most versatile weapon in the game. A large number of different swords can be found in the course of the game. In the early stages only swords with relatively low damage potential (12 to 20 base hit points) are available, but swords found or purchased in advanced stages can have base hit points as high as 60 (Chantori) or 75 (balanced long sword). At a high strength level, such a weapon can inflict considerable damage even at the first strike. Swords balance strength with speed. While both scythes and spears are faster, a sword fighter can easily take down an enemy equipped with an axe, despite the superior strength of the axe. In such a situation, it is important to relentlessly attack the stronger (but slower) enemy to deny him the opportunity for even a single strike. Sword Mastery involves chaining two moves (level zero) and up to five moves (level three, the highest level). Damage inflicted by chained sword strikes increases with s_1 = 1/3, s_2 = 3/3, s_3 = 5/3, and s_4 = 7/3.

Note: The Chantori, available from the Trade Center Administrator in the Amphitheater, might be one of the few weapons worth their money. The Chantori gives Scarlett a very strong weapon at a relatively early stage. It is possible, for example, to take down a Rogue with only three chained strikes -- before he even knows what hit him.


Sword strike 1

The first move in a sword attack is a simple right-to-left upward diagonal slash.

Sword strike 2

The second move in a sword attack reverses the direction of the first move to produce a more powerful left-to-right upward slash.

Sword strike 3

The third move in a sword attack continues the momentum of the second move to produce a damaging horizontal semicircular strike. Yngvar, who is watching this demonstration in the background, teaches chaining of strikes up to the third move.

Sword strike 4

The fourth move in a sword attack continues the third and produces virtually the same movement, but with more hit points.

Sword strike 5

The fifth (and last possible) move in a sword attack is a damaging forward stab, very similar to the fencing lunge.

Scythe Mastery Edit

There are few scythes in the game. The most important one is the Moonblade, which is a one-of-a-type weapon carried only by Scarlett. Apart from this, Necromancers use a darkside scythe with 20 base damage points. At the stage of the game where Necromancers are first encountered, the Moonblade is most likely enhanced by Rings of Loyalty and therefore far stronger than the Necromancer's blade. Therefore, there is little point in using the Necromancer's blade, and any looted darkside scythes are best sold for cash. At its highest enhancement level, Scarlett's Moonblade has 56 base damage points, which compares well with some of the stronger swords. On top of this, the Moonblade features some of the strongest necromantic skills (Deadly Injection and the Deathburst), which make it quite obvious that this is Death's personal weapon.

Scythes are viciously fast, which allows somebody who is skilled wielding a scythe gain the upper hand on enemies with axes and even swords. Moreover, the scythe allows up to six moves to be chained, which provides for one additional high-strength hit in any chain. Scythe Mastery involves chaining three moves (level zero) and up to six moves (level three, the highest level). Damage inflicted by chained scythe strikes increases with s_1 = 1/4, s_2 = 3/4, s_3 = 5/4, s_4 = 7/4,and s_5 = 10/4. While the hit points do not increase as fast as with the sword, the scythe offers a sixth chained strike with a particularly high damage factor.

Scythe strike 1

The first move in a scythe attack is a fast right-to-left downward cut.

Scythe strike 2

The second move in a scythe attack reverses the direction for a painful left-to-right diagonal upward cut, much like the second sword move.

Scythe strike 3

The third move in a scythe attack is a left-to-right horizontal whirl.

Scythe strike 4

The fourth move in a scythe attack is a sideways left-to-right diagonal downward cut, somewhat similar to the second move, but much more damaging.

Scythe strike 5

The fifth move in a scythe attack continues the previous move into a vicious upward slash.

Scythe strike 6

The sixth (and last possible) move ends the chain in a murderous downward stab.

Hammer and Axe Mastery Edit

War hammers and axes belong to the same class of weapons. Hammers and axes are useful for their brutal strength and for their ability to break through armor (such as the Gripper's shell). The first hammer that Scarlett encounters, the Inferior Warhammer, is just that -- inferior. It has 38 base damage points, which at this stage of the game (i.e., the Water Gateway) is more powerful than the Moonblade and any sword that Scarlett may have acquired, but its slowness makes it a poor choice against the Assassins. Its main use is, at first, breaking down doors. As soon as Scarlett reaches the Inner City, several stronger hammers become available, such as the Persian War Axe (76 base damage points) or the Lion's Claw (92 base damage points) that make the hammers class much more useful.

A strong hammer provides a welcome defense not only against Grippers, but also against Stone Gargoyles and Baka Beasts. Moreover, an axe swing from the relative safety of The Passage (especially in combination with Deadly Silence) can put an enemy instantly into a world of hurt.

On the other hand, any hammer move is comparatively slow, and any enemy with a faster weapon (sword, spear) rapidly gains the upper hand by disrupting the hammer wielder's swing. This is a high price for the superior damage capability of the hammer class, and the number of enemies against which hammers or axes are useful is limited.

One axe deserves special mention -- The Harvester, which is an axe that collects additional experience points (between 50% and 100% of the XP on top of the regular XP for sending an enemy Father's way). At the late stage of the game where the Harvester becomes available, the necessary XP to reach another level are so insanely high that the Harvester really helps -- especially when collecting XP by spending a few nights annoying Rogues or Marauders.

Hammer Mastery has only one level. Initially, two moves can be chained. The one level of Hammer Mastery (apart from opening up the necromantic combinations) provides only one, albeit very powerful, additional move. Damage inflicted by chained hammer strikes increases with s_1 = 0.8, and s_2 = 2.59 (interestingly, I was unable to find a clear sequence of fractions similar to the ones found in all other weapons classes).

Axe strike 1

The first move is a right-to-left upward swing that resembles the first sword move.

Axe strike 2

The second move is a horizontal cut in the opposite direction with almost twice the damage inflicted.

Axe strike 3

The third (and last) move is a brutal and extremely powerful downward chop. Notice the ground tremor (nice effect!). After this move, the axe wielder is immobilized for a fraction of a second as it appears that the axe has to be dislodged from the ground.



Spear Mastery Edit

Spear and shield are always carried and used simultaneously, and they form a formidable combination. With the shield, sword and scythe attacks can be blocked (although a hammer can break through the defenses), and the spear's strength is its combination of blistering speed and long reach. In fact, keeping an enemy just at the far range of the spear's reach makes it almost impossible for the enemy to retaliate. This includes, interestingly, even the Necromancers that are encountered in large numbers late in the game.

Spears of diverse provenance are available. The earliest point in the game where they become available is probably the Outer City, sold by Crowe or the Trade Center Administrator in the Amphitheater. Both early spears are comparatively weak with 20 to 24 base damage points, and Scarlett will most likely find that her swords and hammers are more than adequate for aggressive negotiations at this stage of the game (see note on Chantori above). The spear becomes indispensable, however, once she encounters the first Juma Warriors in the Arsenal District. The Jumas are masterful spear wielders, and their warrior spears pack an unpleasant punch with 40 base damage points and possibly 80 or more hit points -- see below.

The spear is the only weapon that starts with an augmented strike even with a single strike, and we find s_0 = 2/2. Damage inflicted by chained spear strikes then further increases with s_1 = 3/2, s_2 = 6/2, s_3 = 9/2, and s_4 = 12/2. The steep increase of the s_k allows the spear to easily exceed the damage of a comparable hammer, provided that a long uninterrupted chain is achieved.

It may not be necessary for Scarlett to buy a spear at any point in the game -- the first Juma Warrior can be vanquished with the sword (hint: Titan's Blow or Deadly Injection from the Passage), providing the spear as loot, Unworldly Clutch or not. In the Juma Tribal Area, Scarlett has the opportunity to gain two very noteworthy spears: The Holy Spear of Chiefs with a base damage of 85, which puts it in the damage range of mid-level hammers and axes -- but with the spear's speed, and the Spear of the Screaming Souls with more moderate 46 base damage points, but the ability to replenish Scarlett's Mental Energy from vanquished enemies.

The Spear Fury skill is also worth mentioning, because it is arguably one of the strongest necromantic combination attacks that combines several successive strikes in a slow motion style, and it needs no casting time or cooldown. Dealt with the Spear of the Screaming Souls to replenish Mental Energy, there is almost no limit to its use -- and those pesky Palace Necromancers don't stand a chance.

Spear Mastery has three levels. Initially, two moves can be chained. With increasing levels of Spear Mastery, up to five moves can be chained. Interestingly, the spear moves are combinations of stabs and slashes, something not always intuitively associated with a spear.

Spear move 1

The first move is a forward stab that punches a neat hole in any enemy.


Spear move 2

The second move is a right-to-left slash with greater damage and increased range, which hurts multiple enemies in range.


Spear move 3

The third move reverses the direction of the second move and leads to a left-to-right semicircle slash.

Spear move 4

The fourth move continues the third move in the same direction for a full circle.

Spear move 5

The fifth (and last) move reverses the direction of the fourth move, and a right-to-left slash is performed that turns Scarlett backward.

See Also Edit

More details can be found on the following pages:

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