A guide to Melee DPS Gear A Melee class in Archeage is loosely understood as a class who derives the majority of its damage from the "Battlerage" skill tree. Battlerage combos well with a multitude of other skilltrees, but it's the cornerstone of a good melee build. When choosing gear for this class it behooves us to take a closer look at stats which directly affect Battlerage skills (Parry) or which affect melee damage as a whole (Crit/ArP). In optimizing your character it's important to focus your stats specifically for the build and function you have in mind. In this guide I am not covering tank gear builds (Defense skill tree). They are effective and some of them can do a lot of damage, but they are not traditional dps roles. Gear in Archeage can be harder to understand than even the complex crafting system that creates it. Not only do you have to find out what gear combinations are best for your style, you also have to understand a complex gemming, enchanting, regrading and tempering system to improve the gear your obtain. This guide will give step by step instructions on going from quest gear to 4000+ equipment score (enough for most game content). Gearing up is not easy. Expect to spend a lot of time grinding materials and a lot of time making in game gold. Our First Question: Two Hander vs Dual Wield A big part of gearing is preference... how would you like to play? Armor has different strengths and weaknesses to damage type. Column1[TR][TD][/TD][TD]Slashing[/TD][TD]Piercing[/TD][TD]Blunt[/TD][/TR][TR][TD] Plate[/TD][TD] Normal[/TD][TD] Lower[/TD][TD] Higher[/TD][/TR][TR][TD] Leather[/TD][TD] Lower[/TD][TD] Higher[/TD][TD] Normal[/TD][/TR][TR][TD] Cloth[/TD][TD] Higher[/TD][TD] Normal[/TD][TD] Lower[/TD][/TR] Two Hander Pros: Heavy melee attack damage bonus Cons: Reduced defenses (glass cannon) Column1[TR][TH]Weapon[/TH][TH] Damage Type[/TH][TH] Description[/TH][/TR][TR][TD] Greatsword[/TD][TD] Slashing[/TD][TD] When receiving damage there is a chance to parry next attack[/TD][/TR][TR][TD] Axe[/TD][TD] Slashing[/TD][TD] When inflicting damage there is chance to cause bleeding on 14 sec[/TD][/TR][TR][TD] Bow[/TD][TD] Piercing[/TD][TD] When inflicting damage there is chance to poison target and to increase your DPS by 15, 15 sec duration (60 sec cooldown)[/TD][/TR][TR][TD] Greatclub[/TD][TD] Blunt[/TD][TD] When inflicting damage there is chance to stun enemy on 1.5 sec[/TD][/TR][TR][TD] Longspear[/TD][TD] Piercing[/TD][TD] When inflicting damage there is chance to ignore enemies Physical defense[/TD][/TR][TR][TD] Nodachi[/TD][TD] Slashing[/TD][TD] When inflicting damage there is a chance that next attack will hit critically[/TD][/TR][TR][TD] Staff[/TD][TD] Blunt[/TD][TD] When inflicting magic damage there is chance to heal yourself on certain amount of MP[/TD][/TR] The most typical weapon type for 2h melee dps in the current meta is the Nodachi. These players will typically gear to increase their crit % and crit damage by picking gear with specific bonuses and even stacking agility. Dual Wield Pros: Bonus weapon procs, can equip shield Cons: Melee attack damage is only based on the mainhand weapon Column1[TR][TH]Weapon[/TH][TH] Damage Type[/TH][TH] Description[/TH][/TR][TR][TD] Axe[/TD][TD] Slashing[/TD][TD] When inflicting damage there is chance to cause bleeding on 14 sec[/TD][/TR][TR][TD] Club[/TD][TD] Blunt[/TD][TD] When inflicting damage there is chance to stun enemy on 1.5 sec[/TD][/TR][TR][TD] Dagger[/TD][TD] Piercing[/TD][TD] When inflicting damage there is a chance to increases attack speed by 21 % on 7 sec[/TD][/TR][TR][TD] Katana[/TD][TD] Slashing[/TD][TD] When inflicting damage there is a chance that next attack will hit critically[/TD][/TR][TR][TD] Scepter[/TD][TD] Blunt[/TD][TD] When inflicting magic damage there is chance to heal yourself on certain amount of HP[/TD][/TR][TR][TD] Spear[/TD][TD] Piercing[/TD][TD] When inflicting damage there is chance to ignore enemies Physical defense[/TD][/TR][TR][TD] Sword[/TD][TD] Piercing / Slashing (depends on craft)[/TD][TD] When receiving damage there is a chance to parry next attack[/TD][/TR] Typical dual wields vary widely based on preference. The special procs are believed to have an internal CD to prevent double proccing, so the general consensus is to have two different weapon types. Most common is a shortspear mainhand and sword offhand. Dual wield builds typically build up additional stamina for parry (resets battlerage skills) and attack speed for quicker GCD/white hits instead of the crit % or crit damage from the addition of item bonuses and agility in most 2H melee dps builds. First Step: Fresh lvl 50!Ok, so lets say you are a fresh faced lvl 50. You have your quest gear but you've noticed most everyone around you has much better gear than you. This is every players experience at some point. You are not alone! Some people will suggest running dungeons for gear, others saving up money to buy the gear you want. No matter what you decide to do, the first goal is to get gear good enough to kill Auroria mobs without difficulty. To do this there are two methods I would typically suggest. #1. Running Dungeons. Dungeons can be rewarding if you run enough of them. Doing this will get gear good enough to move on to the next stage, but the price you pay for free gear is a long grindy wait. You will be best served finding a group of friends who want to run dungeons but don't need your specific gear type. If you can run the dungeons back to back with a good group you may find yourself geared quickly, but generally the gear in these dungeons is too low for established players to want to bother with running them. #2. Auroria/Lost Garden gear. Auroria armor and Lost Garden weapons are a regular drop from Auroria mobs. They drop in a sealed crate and the items are random, so your best bet is going to be the Auction house. Armor and weapons can go anywhere from 5g to 50g per item depending on the popularity/grade of the item, supply & demand and sellers preference. To get a full set may take several days or longer of watching the AH for the pieces you want, but this gear should be affordable to any lvl 50+ Patron on a legacy server. The Auroria/Lost Garden gear will be more than enough to prepare you to farm out materials for your next set. The gear for melee can be leather or plate, no need to be picky at this stage as you will hopefully be upgrading soon. Example of Lost Garden/Auroria gear set low grade obtainable affordably from AH: http://archeagecalculator.com/?a=011m0J6I1d2409 Second Step: Ready to grind! Tier 1-3 Now it's time to build your first tier Obsidian set. Without purchasing expensive pre-crafted items this is the way to go. This is actually a pretty easy process, but grinding the materials can take some time. All of the grinding done in this stage of gearing up is done in open pvp zones, so unfortunately you can expect to be killed be enemy players occasionally. Death in this game isn't much more than a minor inconvenience so try not to let the occasional pvp discourage you. Crafting your Obsidian Weapon! *Refer to the information above when picking out your weapon. Your weapon is your #1 most important piece of equipment, as its quality directly increases your Melee Attack stat. If you have been a farmer/trader for a while and are just wanting to get geared up then I would advise purchasing a weapon based on what item grade you can afford. If you can manage ~20k gold then get an epic obsidian or a divine Ayanad. If you can manage ~5k gold get a divine obsidian weapon. If you can manage ~1k gold then buy a T1-3 obsidian weapon at celestial and upgrade it from there. If you can't afford that keep in mind you will eventually want to regrade the weapon, and will need to save up gold. Tier 1: Obsidian weapons cost: 10x Malevolent Obsidian, 1x Mana Wisp. The easiest and safest place to farm out Malevolent Obsidian is Diamond Shores. You can go there in peacetime to avoid pvp, or go in war to get a bonus 50% droprate. The mana wisp you need will depend on the weapon type you are planning to build. Mana wisps are made by using an [Evenstone] on a piece of crafted Illustrious/Magnificent/Epherium/Delphinad/Ayanad gear, and are thus expensive to craft in both materials and labor. If you have the extra time you can save a bit of money by making your own mana wisps, but I believe it best to simply purchase them from the AH. Tier 2: Ominious Obsidian weapons cost: 1x T1 weapon, 24x Malevolent Obsidian, 5x Haunted Obsidian, 1x Mana Wisp, 1x Tainted Jewel (melee weapons) or 1x Ritual Aquamarine (Shield/Bow/Instrument). For this stage you will want to farm mobs in Sungold Fields for your Haunted Obsidian. New Tooltips since 3.0 indicate Tainted Jewels and Ritual Aquamarines drop in Exeloch - although in the past they also dropped in Sungold (and may still, I've not farmed there in a long time so let me know). Tier 3: Cursed Obsidian weapons cost: 1x T2 weapon, 30x Malevolent Obsidian, 12x Haunted Obsidian, 2x Mana Wisp, 3x Tainted Jewel or 3x Ritual Aquamarine. Crafting your Obsidian Armor! *As a melee DPS I strongly suggest you use leather armor for maximizing damage with well balanced mitigation. Obsidian armor have individual bonuses on each piece, and only can make up a maximum of 5 of your 7 pieces of armor. Your Waist and Wrist slots will need to be filled with other items, usually Flame or Desert set gear. Some builds (2h crit in particular) prefer to also swap out chest and leg slots (which have purely defensive bonuses) for Flame pieces, thus getting the Flame 4 piece crit damage bonus. In building your obsidian set remember that you will need to regrade your gear before you are done. Look at your finances and make a decision on whether you can afford buying the gear from the AH already regraded for you to avoid the hassle farther down the line. Tier 1: Obsidian armor cost: 10x Possessed Topaz, 2-4x Mana Wisp. (depending on piece. Example: Gloves are 2 wisps, chest is 4 wisps) Possessed Topaz is a regular drop off of mobs in Golden Ruins. The best place to farm materials in Golden ruins for me has always been the turtle mobs down by the water. Tier 2: Ominious Obsidian armor cost: 1x T1 armor, 24x Possessed Topaz, 5x Bone Chip, 2-4x Mana Wisp, 1x Forbidden Spellgem or 1x Shadow Orb. Materials (except the mana wisps) all farmed in Golden ruins. Tier 3: Cursed Obsidian armor cost: 1x T2 armor, 30x Possessed Topaz, 12x Bone Chip, 5-8x Mana Wisp, 3x Forbidden Spellgem or 3x Shadow Orb. Third Step: The Ayanad Library! Tier 3-6 Now we are going to the library! This area does not allow pvp, so ganking is no longer a problem. Each floor of the Ayanad Library has the same general floorplan. You start near the middle, the corners are portals to the next floor's waiting room (bosses and minidungeons are available at the between floor waiting room). Each room has doors with passages leading to another room. Don't get confused as it's not a maze, it's just a grid. Orient yourself on the minimap and you wont get lost. Each floor drops specific items used in crafting your obsidian high tier pieces. For many of them you will have to farm mobs on all three floors, check the item's tooltip in your folio to determine which floor you need to grind for that material. The Ayanad Library is always faster and more fun with a group! Find people in your guild, on your friendslist, in your guild or in faction chat who need different materials than you do. With a full group you will find your materials will come in really fast! Crafting obsidian weapons and armor beyond tier 3 (Cursed) requires you to kill mobs inside the Ayanad library to obtain the materials. At this point the variety of materials required expands quite a bit. Make sure to check your folio (keybinding "o") to see the appropriate materials for upgrading your item. In checking your folio you will also notice all T4 and higher items have unique names. Most obsidian items offer two different upgrade paths at tier 4. Make sure to read the stats on the item before deciding what is right for you! When choosing the upgrade paths you will want to pick the pieces that give stat bonuses appropriate for your primary classes and skillsets. Floor one: Any material of a [Grand] quality will drop here. If you already have your Tier 3 gear and have regraded it a bit (Heroic/Unique) then you will be fine soloing here... but try and get a group if you can! It goes faster with a team no matter how much gear you have! Floor two: Any material of a [Rare] quality will drop here. A group is highly recommended. Floor three: Any materials of an [Arcane] quality will drop here. A group is necessary. If you are over 5k gs you can handle floor 3 solo without real issues, but you will still wish you had a group. So the question is... How high should I craft it? The answer to this question isn't directly related to how many mana wisps you can afford (they get expensive at higher tiers). You craft an item up to a higher tier based on how high you are willing to regrade that item. The difference in item strength going up one tier sometimes isn't worth the money at your grade of item. I will give a general idea here of where most people tend to stop with their upgrades. Celestial: People usually stop at Tier 4, but sometimes will go for Tier 5. Click HERE for an example of how most people upgrade if they have full celestial. T4 on armor, T5 on weapon (biggest upgrade, though typically people will save up for a while and buy a divine weapon to upgrade to T5, keeping their celestial at T4) Divine: People usually stop at Tier 4 (if they want to sell it someday) or Tier 5 (if they intend to use it and gem it out). Epic: People usually stop at Tier 5 (if they want to sell it someday) or Tier 6 (if they intend to use it and gem it out). Legendary/Mythic: If you had that you wouldn't be reading this. Usually T6 or T7. Gear Improvements! Soon to Come: Information on the proper Enchants and gems as well as Regrading and Tempering!