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Kaelin's Build-a-Build Workshop

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11/29/2011 21:25:19   
 Strange World

Look out, it's...

Kaelin's Build-a-Build Workshop

a.k.a. "Kaelin's Guide to Stats"

Table of Contents

[1] Introduction
[2] What do the stats do?
[3] What sort of effects do I get when I train two stats together?
[4] How much do I want to train each stat?
[5] How do I pick a build?
[6] How do I train my build?
[7] Ending
[8] Version 39 Note

[1] Introduction

Purpose: There are two main objectives for this guide.

First, this guide seeks to describe which stat combinations "work" in AdventureQuest. On the surface, this focus may appear to restrict players, and to some extent this is true. On the other hand, this approach can illuminate unconventional possibilities that are actually quite effective.

Second, the guide will help inform readers about what they can expect and get out of different builds. Many new players ask for build advice, but the recommendations they get, even if they are good builds, may not provide the player+build *fit*. While some preferences and goals are more common than others, players are a diverse bunch, and sometimes players that may be content with a cookie-cutter build are more satisfied with a build that's just a little different. In fact, a strength of this guide is that it helps provide you peace of mind -- you will not just know the strengths and limits of your build, but you will also have a better understanding of the strengths and limits of other builds that may hold your curiosity.

What a build is: A build is an allocation of stat points. These builds are often given labels to describe them, like "warrior," "mage," "beastmaster," "hybrid," "ranger," "tank," and so on. A label-based approach is convenient in certain ways, but there are problems: certain labels can describe multiple builds, certain builds can receive multiple labels, some builds may receive more favorable-sounding labels than others, and a few builds may be neglected entirely! Instead, this guide will focus more on the numbers and stats themselves.

How to use this guide: This guide attempts to bring to the surface what you can expect by training different stats together. While the guide points out different advantages, disadvantages, tricks, and pitfalls to help you make a good decision, you are not obligated to use the "best" build possible. In fact, if there is a clear-cut best build, then the game is doing something wrong. There should be many "best" (or nearly-best) builds, and you should find that there is a variety available to you. Even if find you have your heart set on using a build that is definitely not a "best" build, you are not obligated to use one that is "better." AdventureQuest is a single-player game, and no one else is "counting on you" to use a more efficient build. Granted, you may "struggle" a bit if you choose a STR/DEX/INT build instead of... almost anything else... but you should still be able to succeed as a player.

If you are new to AdventureQuest or to the idea of creating a build, there is a good chance that this information is a bit overwhelming. It's okay! This information will make more sense the more you explore and experience AQ. You also don't need to read it from start to finish. Just reference the parts of the guide that apply to you, take your time as you play the game, and hopefully you will grow to enjoy AQ with a style you find most satisfying.

On the flip side, as thorough as the guide tries to be, it will not be perfect. Many aspects of effectiveness are subjective or unclear, and you may have different priorities than I have laid out. Furthermore, AQ is always changing -- there are plans to improve balance that are in the works, but many of the plans still need to be implemented, and others have certain details that are still secret and/or still have to be worked out. While I will do my best to keep this guide up to date, the guide will momentarily become out of date as soon as any update or change is made. Still, for all that may change in the game, the general roles of each stat should mostly stay the same, so it is worth considering these interactions now.

[2] What do the stats do?

First, let's go over some basics:

Stat Damage: This is a quantity that adds to your total damage, and the calculation will depend on your attack type. Such quantities can and will receive additional multipliers to enhance their effect, but the main effects are listed below.

BtH: Bonus to Hit. One point translates to an increase in accuracy of one percent. Stat BtH is the portion of BtH that comes from your stats.

HP: Hit points. The more you have, the more damage your character can take before losing in battle.

MP: Mana points. The more you have, the more spells you can cast, and the longer that summoned guests will stay with you in battle.

L50: Level 50. If you see L attached to a number in this guide, it will usually describe a player at that level. It can also describe the level a player must reach to buy an item.

Special Note: The average effect of Lucky Strikes on stat damage is rolled into the formulas below. The actual damage bonus from LUK is actually 10 times as large, but its effect only occurs 10% of the time.

Strength (STR): It's the physical power stat. Strength is the primary damage stat for Melee weapons, as it enhances Melee power and accuracy. It also increases damage with Ranged weapons by increasing their power. Naturally, if you want to use Melee weapons effectively, you should train this stat to high levels. Strength is also useful for Ranged weapons, but Dexterity takes priority for those weapons. Obviously this stat only deals with offense, so it will tend to make battles shorter.

Melee Weapon Stat Damage: STR/8 + LUK*3/80
Melee Skill Stat Damage: STR/4 + LUK*3/80
Melee Weapon/Skill Stat BtH: STR*3/40 + DEX*3/40 + LUK/40

Ranged Weapon Stat Damage: STR/10 + DEX/40 + LUK*3/80
Ranged Skill Stat Damage: STR/5 + DEX/20 + LUK*3/80

Dexterity (DEX): It's the go-to stat for all things related to moving around. It improves accuracy for all player attack types (everything except pets and guests), but DEX provides an even greater accuracy boost for Ranged weapons, and it even improves the raw power of Ranged weapons a little bit. Even more, this stat also enhances the ability of a player to block (dodge) enemy attacks, giving a player more turns to survive and land more attacks. It is an essential stat for a player using Ranged weapons, but its general effect on accuracy and evading attacks makes DEX useful for everyone, particularly those who wish to adopt a more defensive style of play.

Melee Weapon/Skill Stat BtH: STR*3/40 + DEX*3/40 + LUK/40

Ranged Weapon Stat Damage: STR/10 + DEX/40 + LUK*3/80
Ranged Skill Stat Damage: STR/5 + DEX/20 + LUK*3/80
Ranged Weapon/Skill Stat BtH: DEX*3/20 + LUK/40

Magic Weapon/Skill/Spell Stat BtH: INT*3/40 + DEX*3/40 + LUK/40

Pet and Guest Stat BtH: CHA*3/40 + DEX*3/40 + LUK/40

Blocking Bonus from Stats: DEX/8 + LUK/40

Intellect (INT): It's the stat that fuels all things magical. It increases your damage with spells by boosting damage and accuracy. INT further enhances your ability to use spells by increasing your MP, allowing you to cast your spells more times. This stat also allows you to use Magic weapons effectively by boosting their power and accuracy. While INT generally facilitates the player's ability to do damage directly with spells, the extra MP can instead be used to support "summon" guests that require MP to aid the player. Whatever their reason, anyone who wants to use MP to great effect should look to train Intellect. If you want to use spells for direct damage, you should train INT to a high level, but you have the option of training INT to more moderate levels if you are only training it for the MP (to use for guests or other MP-based abilities that do not rely on INT directly). Like with STR, because this stat only deals with offense and offers nothing on defense (aside from allowing a character to wear defensive-leaning armors with impunity while casting spells), using INT will tend to make battles take fewer turns, even if some of the turns take longer due to spell animation length.

Magic Weapon Stat Damage: INT*3/32 + LUK*3/80
Magic Skill Stat Damage: INT*3/16 + LUK*3/80
Magic Weapon/Skill/Spell Stat BtH: INT*3/40 + DEX*3/40 + LUK/40

Spells: INT/4 + LUK*3/80

Player MP = [4.1 * (32 + (6.1 + 2.3375 * Level + 0.01125 * Level^2) * MIN(1, INT / MIN(Level * 2.1462 + 5.7076, 200)))]

Endurance (END): It's the stat for enduring pain. The more you train the END, the more damage your character can sustain before losing in battle. There are no additional effects, but the effect on HP is tremendous, and that boost translates into more turns to do damage. Because of its nature, END is the most "defensive" of all stats, so obviously battles will tend to take more turns when this stat is heavily trained. All characters benefit from this stat, although the ones that "stay strong" in other ways as the battle progresses -- notably ones not reliant on MP -- will get more out of their extra HP.

Player HP = [23.8 * ((5.25 + 0.5625 * Level + 0.00375 * Level^2) + (1 + 0.066 * Level) * END/16)]

Charisma (CHA): Charisma is the stat that inspires others to fight well on your behalf. This support comes in the form of pets and guests, and CHA greatly improves the power and accuracy of both companion types. While players are not expected to improve their pet's damage with CHA or to bring guests into battle, CHA nevertheless opens up great damage potential through these companions. A player who uses CHA should try to train it to a high level to maximize their investment. Generally your companions will focus on supporting you with damage rather than defense, so this stat will typically lead to battles taking fewer turns, even if each of those turns will take longer to complete because you are (usually) calling on a guest for help.

Pet and Guest Stat Damage: CHA/15
Pet and Guest Stat BtH: CHA*3/40 + DEX*3/40 + LUK/40

Luck (LUK): Luck is THE all-around stat. While DEX is still quite versatile, LUK goes even further. It boosts accuracy (although a little less than other weapon accuracy stats), it boosts blocking (although less than DEX), it improves your odds of going first in battle, and it has a 10% chance of providing a tremendous boost to your stat damage (except for pets and guests). Like DEX and END, this stat is useful for everyone, but LUK is geared more towards offense than the other two.

All Stat Damage (except pets and guests): + LUK*3/80
All Stat BtH: + LUK/40

Blocking Bonus from Stats: DEX/8 + LUK/40

Going First: You automatically go first if you have a 100+ LUK advantage and automatically fail to go first if you have a 100+ LUK disadvantage compared to the enemy. If your LUK values are equal, then you have a 50% chance of going first. For complete information, see [7] Who Strikes First?

[3] What sort of effects do I get when I train two stats together?

The power of stats does not come from what they do individually but rather what they can do together. Since you will be focusing on at least two stats at a time, it is important to understand how they interact, including how they can support and interfere with each other. At times this advice may seem contradictory, because while one stat may interact well with two other stats, those other two stats may not behave as well together! No matter what you do, some interactions you get will not work perfectly in your favor, so do not be fearful just because you can't find a perfect fit.

STR + INT: If you are looking to assemble the most potent character build possible, this pair is not for you. The problem with this pair is that these stats do not "work together" well. None of the usual attack types take contributions from both stats simultaneously, so you generally only benefit from one stat at a time. Granted, there are other stat pairs that do not work together directly, but one may support a player on offense while the other supports the player on defense or with an additional attack on the same turn.

Still, there are a couple exceptions that show some promise. One is to use the MP (from training INT) to bring in summon guests and to attack with Melee weapons. A player who trains CHA can benefit from good long-term results from their guest while doing acceptable damage with Melee weapons, although investing heavily in these three stats usually leaves the player with poor defenses. A player in this situation may get best results by training MP to a medium level, giving a guest sufficient MP so it can stick around to fight longer, but not so much MP that the guest will outlast the player. In this way, a player can benefit from both STR and INT simultaneously -- the STR is used to enhance the player attack, while the INT indirectly supports the guest's attack.

An alternative to making both stats work at the same time is to find some niche where no other stat serves as a great alternative to either the STR or the INT. Concerning INT, it has two prominent applications: feeding guests (like explained in the last paragraph) and enhancing spells. Generally speaking, if a player is in the business of using damage spells, the player wants to tap into the three stats that fuel spell damage: INT, DEX, and LUK. Besides the stats being effective for spell damage, they also confer decent Magic weapon power and attack blocking. Training STR at the expense of these other three stats undermine the mana dump itself (especially INT), and sacrificing DEX or LUK diminishes all accuracy and evasion to the point that the extra power potential of Melee weapons isn't that impressive. However, training STR as a fourth stat after maximizing DEX, INT, and LUK allows a player to do decent Ranged weapon damage after L120 without compromising the mana dump. Training CHA or END as a fourth stat is generally a better use of stat points, but partial CHA training tends to give average results, and END's mediocre synergy with INT and LUK give STR a better opening for STR + INT than is normally available.

STR + DEX: STR is the great driver of Melee damage, and DEX is the main force behind Ranged weapons, but both stats support each weapon type. In some ways this works out great, because you can call on either weapon type and have equal power at your disposal; if you encounter enemies that have better blocking against one type of weapon, you can call on a weapon of the other type to get the job done. Still, you can usually only carry one weapon of each element, and if your enemy has a single great elemental weakness and the weapon you have hits the enemy's stronger defense, then that versatility doesn't do you much good. Still, you can't maximize your effectiveness with either weapon type without using both stats (and LUK), and you get a good deal of blocking as well, so this pairing is definitely still good. Both stats also behave nicely with END because neither "deteriorates" as the battle moves on.

STR + END: Melee (and Ranged) attacks maintain full effectiveness no matter how long a fight proceeds, so these stats go together nicely.

STR + CHA: Melee (or Ranged) attacks do not interfere with a pet or guest, although they do not "enhance" each other either. Fortunately STR and CHA both tend to play well with DEX, END, and LUK, so both of them will benefit when trained with those stats.

STR + LUK: STR and LUK play together well enough, as each stat has accuracy and power contributions that multiply with each other. Furthermore, LUK's contribution to defense and getting the first strike further multiply the power available to players. On these benefits alone, and given that the Melee/Ranged versatility for STR + DEX is not that helpful in practice, LUK is probably second only to END in terms of enhancing the raw power of STR. The main problem with this pair is that STR's two best friends (LUK and END) have a more average relationship with each other (more on them later). On the other hand, LUK goes together great with DEX, and putting STR/DEX/LUK together offers ultimate Melee power, and the value of multiplying that power with just *some* END can mitigate the minor feud between END and LUK. Combining STR and LUK with CHA isn't a bad choice, especially since the player's lack of END enhances LUK a bit, but CHA's lack of synergy with STR does stand out a little bit here.

INT + DEX: Like STR + DEX, this pairing supports two proficiencies. Sort of. INT only helps Magic weapons, DEX helps Ranged more than Magic, but in the end both weapon types will be nearly equal assuming the player has 0 STR. However, this is merely "nearly" true. Ranged weapons will start out ahead, but Magic weapons will overtake them around the low L50s and even pull significantly ahead (+7%) around L88, when a player is expected to max out INT. The difference will gradually fall, hitting around (+3%) in the low L110s and getting closer after that point. However, what is of greater importance than the near-double proficiency of weapons is that both stats combine to do more damage with spell casting, making them a great pair. And the more damage you can do with your spells, the less you have to rely on your weapons after running out of MP! If you train CHA with this pair, you may find yourself investing MP into guests instead of spells, but that DEX offers extra survivability to let guests and pets do their part.

INT + END: INT provides players an MP charge, and whether that charge is used quickly with direct effect spells or with summons, that MP can run out. After that MP is gone, a player's performance slows down considerably. The catch with END is that if your charge is already exhausted, pumping up your HP further isn't going to help you out as much as with other stats; compared to a build that trains STR + END, you are better off using those points in END for some stat that enhances your damage production (whether it be DEX and LUK for spell damage, or CHA for more efficient MP to damage conversion). Regardless, the player may still find END useful. A player who maxes out DEX/INT/LUK to use damage spells will not gain a spectacular amount of power with partial amounts of STR or CHA, so END can fill in as a nice fourth stat. And a player who looks to CHA for guest damage may want to use END to stay alive long enough so guests have enough turns to convert all the player's MP into damage.

INT + CHA: On the surface, this pairing would seem to work a lot like STR + CHA. However, INT supplies a player MP, and that MP can be efficiently converted into power with summon guests. For a player who uses guests, this pairing can produce better results. On the other hand, a player who uses MP for spell damage can actually get worse results, because then there is no MP "fuel" left for guests -- at least a STR + CHA build can still freely use their modest yet "free" MP charge to fuel a guest for a short period while hacking away with high-powered weapons (although this feature may be removed in the future).

INT + LUK: These two stats have a healthy multiplicative effect on each other, as they both add power and accuracy. What a player may seem to lose with Lucky Strike power on spells (due to them not scaling up to the power of the spell) is made up with the relatively strong Lucky Strikes on weapon attacks -- which stands out a little more for builds that primarily use guests instead of spells. You can combine this pair with DEX for ultimate spell damage, or with CHA for robust weapon + guest damage. END is not so hot with either stat, but it becomes a solid option when magic power is maxed out anyway (INT + DEX + LUK).

DEX + END: These stats combine nicely. They do tend to draw out a battle, but with a patient player going up against an enemy that can't recover from damage in a hurry, this pair is very efficient. They become even more potent when grouped with stats that agree with the both of them (like STR).

DEX + CHA: These two work very well. The extra blocking keeps players standing longer, giving pets more turns to do damage -- a significant advantage. The same can be said of guests... but to a lesser extent. Summon guests will eventually eat up a player's MP, and while there are reliable guests that use SP to produce damage, higher-level players cannot yet regenerate enough SP to sustain their guests, which will hopefully be remedied in the future. In all, this pairing is quite strong.

DEX + LUK: These two are quite incredible. They combine to provide maximum blocking -- the boost to longevity is greater (often far greater) when they work together than when they work separately. Also, when it comes to player attacks, you need both stats (in addition to a third) to maximize damage, whether it is from weapons, skills, or spells. Even if a character lacks the INT for magic and STR for maximum Melee/Ranged power, these two stats are enough to provide a very acceptable Ranged attack, which becomes a very efficient means of delivering damage after accounting for their combined effect on blocking.

END + CHA: END's maximum focus on survival translates to a maximum boost to pets, and it'll have a nice effect for guests -- to the extent players can keep one bound to them. If you have the patience, you can do nice damage this way.

END + LUK: To some extent these work together simply because LUK is a source of damage and blocking, and END multiplies a player's output through longevity. Still, LUK's ability to win a player initiative is most important when a single turn makes a big difference -- and a single turn just does not have the same value when a player has high END (and a lot of HP for a long battle). If you want to train large quantities of both stats, be sure to train other stats that both have synergy with END and LUK. If you really like LUK but want some END for support, then END will make a decent low/medium-level stat.

CHA + LUK: On the surface, these stats don't have the best synergy. Lucky Strikes don't do anything to help out pet/guest damage (since pets and guests don't get these bonuses), and LUK only provides half the blocking bonus that DEX offers, which is in turn overwhelmed by END's contribution to longevity. However, LUK also improves a player's chance at a first strike, and an extra first strike in battle means more opportunities for the pet (and perhaps a guest) to do damage. Furthermore, many pets and guests that attempt status effects on enemies will take a small contribution to their success rate from a player's LUK. If you want to use this stat pair, consider combining them with other stats that interact well with both them.

[4] How much do I want to train each stat?

Generally speaking, if you train a stat at all, you want to "fully train" that stat. This philosophy does not mean you should have 200 points in one stat when you reach L40. However, you will generally want to steadily increase your rating in that stat so that it reaches 200 around the time you hit L90. You will find more information about this topic in [6] How do I train my build?

However, there are two major reasons you may not fully train stats.

1) You may have "leftover" stat points after training 200 in as many stats as you can. This outcome is unavoidable for most of the game.

2) You decide you don't benefit so much from training a stat higher. While stats generally improve the player more drastically each time the stat is increased, there are times where this effect does not hold. The rules below offer some guidance for partially training stats:

Endurance: END is the one stat where you are actually encouraged to train partially. While END's effect on HP is very powerful, its impact is also very flat, so continuously training the stat does not provide an increasing bonus. It is not uncommon for level-maxed Guardians (L150) to eventually train 150 END and for level-maxed Adventurers (L135) to train 75 END, as doing so allows players to train 200 points in three of their remaining stats.

Strength: If you are not fully training DEX, then STR is either all or nothing.

If you are fully training DEX, you may train Strength partway to still improve your Ranged weapon damage. However, if you are using damage spells (based on INT), you should not start with STR until you have fully trained your INT, DEX, and LUK, as all three stats are more important to a spell caster than STR when it comes to spell damage and weapon efficiency. Even if you are not using damage spells, you probably stand to gain more by focusing on DEX and then LUK before turning to STR -- if you really prefer what STR offers in terms of damage, then you are probably better off making STR your primary stat and using Melee weapons instead.

Intellect: If you are not fully training CHA, then INT is either all or nothing.

If you are fully training CHA, you may train Intellect partway to give your guests more MP so they aid you in battle longer. Be careful: it does not help you to have extra MP if you lose before your guests can use it.

Dexterity: If you are not fully training STR and are not fully training INT, you should consider fully training DEX to have acceptable Ranged weapon efficiency.

If you are fully training STR or INT, you may partially train DEX to support your use of Melee or Magic. However, you should not partially train LUK at the same time -- focus on one before continuing with the other.

Charisma: This stat is typically all or nothing. The only time you should consider partially training this stat is if you have STR/DEX/LUK for full Melee/Ranged damage or DEX/INT/LUK for Magic damage, and you absolutely must have more offense per turn instead of increasing your END. This direction is usually not recommended, as one of the two generally applies:

1) A player usually can get more offense per turn by using full CHA and instead sacrificing DEX or LUK, particularly through the use of guests.

2) A player realizes that s/he really cares about damage per second instead of damage per turn, in which case the player should not train CHA and spend time waiting for pets to take their turn. Rather, the player should train END and use equipment that maximizes offensive power and time efficiency; the player may pay a price by taking increased damage, but training END will allow the player to act with greater impunity, improving victory speed in the long run.

The exception to the rule is having a pet inventory with effects that predominately disregard pet accuracy. There is a multiplicative effect of damage and accuracy that generally makes CHA maximization preferable to partway training, but pets with effects that ignore pet accuracy tend to flatten this effect. If you use pets that perform healing, apply buffs, or attempt status effects without needing to hit the enemy, then medium levels of CHA tend to hold up better.

Luck: If either STR or DEX are partially trained, do not repeat this move with LUK.

If both STR and DEX are either 0 or fully-trained, you can partially train LUK. Doing so can carry some advantages or drawbacks for getting the "First Strike" in battle, but as a rule it is better to let the chips fall as they may. If using LUK's advantages are too important and you are not training CHA, then it is better to take away points from STR (unless primarily using Melee weapons), DEX (unless primarily using Ranged weapons), or END and instead fully train LUK.

[5] How do I pick a build?

I will use the term "strongly consider" when you stand to pay a significant price by not following the advice. Sometimes this drawback is temporary, but in some instances it can haunt your character even after s/he reaches the level cap.

There are two basic approaches you can take.

Option 1: Pick stats you like.

Follow these steps:

(A) List the four stats you like the most and rank them according to their priority. If you are having trouble deciding on which stats you like the most, read over [2] What do the stats do? If you are still stuck, refer to [3] What sort of effects do I get when I train two stats together?

(B) If you have listed CHA as your third or fourth choice, consider moving it up in rank to the top two -- especially if it is already your third favorite. If you can't live with it in the top two, consider replacing it with another stat.

(C) If you have listed INT as your third or fourth choice, but you are not using CHA, strongly consider moving it up in rank to the top two -- especially if it is already your third favorite. If you aren't using CHA and can't live with INT in the top two -- especially if it is your fourth favorite -- strongly consider replacing INT with another stat.

(D) If you have not listed STR, DEX, or INT as one of your top two stats, consider moving one of them to your top two. If you are using CHA as one of your top two, this will mean demoting either LUK or END. Don't worry -- you will still be able to get good use from that stat in the third position!

(E) If STR and INT are both on your list, strongly consider removing one of them. As a rule, their synergy is horrid, because you can generally only use one at a time. To best respond to this issue, consider *what* you want from your stats.

  • If you want to train INT so you can use lots of healing spells, consider training your END higher instead. Your health benefit will be larger, faster, and more reliable this way.

  • If you want to train INT so you can keep guests around longer, and you are training CHA to support them, then training a medium amount of INT is a reasonable approach (even though STR tends to be a somewhat poor alternative to DEX, LUK, and/or more INT). Keep in mind that you do not want to train INT so much that you run out of HP before your guest runs out of MP.

  • If you want to train STR and INT so you can use both damage spells and do strong weapon damage, strongly consider removing STR or ranking it behind INT, DEX, and LUK. While Melee weapons fueled by STR can be very strong, Magic weapons fueled by INT and an additional support stat from DEX or LUK (whichever is freed up by not training STR) are remarkably close in power. A L120 STR+DEX+INT character can deal about 204.8 damage per turn with Melee weapons under normal circumstances, but a L120 DEX+INT+LUK character can do about 198.2 damage per turn with Magic weapons! The DEX+INT+LUK build also has other advantages: stronger spells, more blocking, and a better chance of going first. If inflicting great spell and weapon damage is your priority, consider training in the order of INT, LUK, DEX, and STR. Up to L120, this character will deal great spell damage and respectable weapon damage with Magic weapons. After that point, the character can begin training STR and then use Ranged weapons -- which will start off almost as strong as fully-powered Magic weapons and will continue to grow from there.

    This last step may be frustrating for some players, but combining STR with INT usually fails to accomplish the goals it sets out do. Using very high STR for weapons and INT for spells does not make for an inferior setup because the character takes too much damage to offset an increase in damage dealt. The reality is even worse: because of diminished accuracy, the character simply does not do as much damage over 20 turns as a "pure" warrior or a "pure" mage. While the character may do more weapon damage than a mage, and the character may do more damage with spells than a warrior can do with a weapon, the character simply falls behind both over the course of the usual 20 turns between heals.

    Option 2: Decide what you want to do as a character.

    (A: Companions) Do you want to rely on your companions to do great damage on your behalf? If so, train CHA as your second stat.

    (B: Spells) Do you want to use spells to defeat your enemies? If so, train INT as your first stat.

    If you have answered "no" to both of these questions, you will want to train STR, DEX, LUK, and END, and as long as LUK and END aren't both of your first two stats, train them in whichever order you want.

    If you said "no" to (A: Companions) but "yes" to (B: Spells), strongly consider training DEX and LUK as your second and third stats (either order is fine), and strongly consider END as your fourth choice. If you have concerns about survival, promote END to your "third" stat until you train about 40-100 points and are satisfied with your character's health, and then proceed to train up your original third stat. If you absolutely must do as much damage as possible per turn while aiming to use spells, train in the order INT, LUK, and DEX, and then round out with STR (shifting to Ranged weapons) or CHA (to improve pets). Do not sacrifice any INT, LUK, or DEX in order to train more STR, because you will lose more damage than you will gain from your weapons.

    If you said "yes" to (A: Companions) but "no" to (B: Spells), strongly consider STR, DEX, or INT for your first stat -- STR offers you more weapon power, DEX gives greater longevity from blocking, and INT offers a greater MP charge that your guests can draw upon to convert to damage. Train DEX or LUK as your third stat. If you have concerns about survival, you may elevate END to your "third" stat until you train about 40-100 points and are satisfied with your character's health, and then proceed to train up your original third stat. If you have concerns about keeping guests around long enough to support you in battle, you may temporarily elevate INT to your third stat until you train about 40-100 points and are satisfied with your guest's longevity. If you finish training your standard first three stats but still have stat points remaining since you trained less than 150 points into END and INT (or 75 if you are an Adventurer), and you are not inclined to collectively train them up to 150 (or 75) now, then train your remain points according to this priority list: DEX, LUK, and STR.

    If you said "yes" to (A: Companions) and "yes" to (B: Spells), strongly consider training DEX and LUK as your third and fourth stats (either order is fine), but also interrupt DEX and LUK training if you have concerns about your character's survival by training END. Do be aware of the fact that saying "yes" to both questions creates some tension, because you cannot use your MP to full effect for both spells and guests at the same time. You may be able to draw upon SP to fuel guests or (less likely) cast spells, but this supply will not be strong enough at high levels enough to fully replace MP's role for either spells or guests. Since guests are more MP-efficient, they will usually take higher priority when it comes to MP use, but you can still call upon spells in a pinch when you really need damage in a hurry -- assuming you can find room in your inventory for summon guests and damage spells. However, you should not view this "competition" as a reason to avoid combining INT and CHA. The extra damage potential that comes from using MP summon guests backed by this much MP really is massive enough to make up for the fact that the player may have to settle for using regular Magic weapon attacks instead of damaging spells.

    [6] How do I train my build?

    The total number of stat points you can train is [5 * (Your Level)]. If you have this many trained, you cannot train until you level-up again. Alternatively, if you have points assigned to stats where you don't want them, then you can visit the Untrainer and lose in battle to remove those unwanted stat points; you will then be free to retrain those points somewhere else. This untraining service will cost you no gold, but you will not receive a "refund" for any gold you paid to train those stats in the first place. Once you are able to train stats, talk to Twilly and visit the Stat Trainers. If you have enough gold, you can train a stat of your choosing.

    AdventureQuest assumes that a player trains stats according to a certain pattern. This pattern is not a hard fast rule: it is okay to give the first stat a little more priority than the second stat. It is generally fine to save gold by training the second stat less and training the third stat more, although you should avoid compromising with CHA and especially INT.

    Edit Log:

    Dec 6, 2014: Applied more Version 39 updates. The WarpForce bit is removed since the engine has diverged too much.
    Nov 20, 2014: Version 39 update
    Oct 15, 2014: Fixed a typo. >_>
    Jul 20, 2014: Improved
    Jul 7, 2014: A HP correction and some informational/tonal updates and revisions.
    Jun 13, 2013: Hasty word-adjustments for AQ Version 37.6 update.
    Feb 20, 2013: Minor fixes and updates
    Dec 5, 2012: Minor fixes
    June 7, 2012: XP/Gold sweep appears to be in progress, so I'm getting the jump on things.
    Nov 29, 2011: Initial Release


    The Knights of Order and AQ staff, for publishing balance standards and formulas. This guide would not be possible otherwise.
    Formatting credit goes to Orion of the Stars.
    Dragonnightwolf, Dev, and Ward_Point for feedback and corrections.
    ruleandrew, ArchMagus Orodalf, and Bionic Bear for typo(s).
    DarkDevil, PyroPuppy, and In Media Res for the removed rounding to Stat BtH/Blocking.

    [7] Ending

    If you have questions, it is okay to ask. Aside from some formatting, I have written this guide from scratch, so I expect a few (or perhaps a few hundred) issues to pop up. I will probably not respond to any concerns immediately, but I should be able to address your concerns within a week. If you PM me, I may be able to look into the matter sooner.


    [8] Version 39 Note

    I am holding back on doing a full advice update for Version 39. As-is, high-level players will find that DEX is generally more effective than LUK. Besides DEX having extra blocking and granting Ranged proficiency, its strong accuracy component on all player-side attacks does more to improve raw damage than LUK does. In fact, DEX is strong enough to beat STR in raw damage when using CHA and guests. I don't want to commit to a full update, because I think these circumstances are unsustainable. Nevertheless, these changes at least deserve an acknowledgement -- hence the appearance of this note.

    < Message edited by Kaelin -- 12/6/2014 3:09:28 >
  • AQ  Post #: 1
    11/29/2011 21:40:32   
    Oh Bother.

    Approved and moved.
    AQW  Post #: 2
    11/30/2011 0:36:41   

    I thought this was going to just be another one of those "here is a list of builds and how they progress" threads, but it's not even close.
    Wonderful job.
    AQ DF AQW Epic  Post #: 3
    11/30/2011 7:59:14   

    There are a small number grammer issue in the guide. One of them.

    Certain stronger pets ("BM" pets) will not even attack consistently enough you possess enough CHA!

    Should be: Certain stronger pets ("BM" pets) will not even attack consistently enough, if you fail possess to enough CHA! for these pet.
    AQ  Post #: 4
    11/30/2011 12:04:53   
     Strange World

    ^ Your correction seems to have three problems of its own. ;)

    Anyway, I fixed the sentence. Thank you!

    < Also, I changed the title to an adorable shade of purple.

    v Done!

    < Message edited by Kaelin -- 12/2/2011 1:23:23 >
    AQ  Post #: 5
    12/1/2011 20:42:03   
    ArchMagus Orodalf

    Your "STR + LUK" section has a minor typo.


    END can mitigate the minor fued between END and LUK.

    "feud" between.

    A very good guide. Thanks for it. :)
    AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 6
    6/12/2014 18:42:52   

    Does the 200CHA is better than 200LUK argument still hold water? Given that pets nowadays attack all the time anyways?

    I'm 200STR/DEX/LUK & 150CHA - if otherwise, this should be updated.
    AQ  Post #: 7
    7/8/2014 1:14:22   
     Strange World

    It's a "yes" and "no" situation. CHA no longer has the ~cubic-ish damage behavior it had before, but its effect is still generally quadratic, and this penalizes partway training (even if the penalty is not as severe). It's still a stat you prefer to max out, but some poor stat has to be a partway stat at the cap, and unless it's END, then some stat that likes being maximized is going to lose out.

    I've tried to make revisions with this issue in mind, including toning down the urging to max out CHA (I still recommend using max CHA, but the emphasis is reduced). If you tend to acquire pets that disregard accuracy or play down accuracy, then the effect of CHA will more-closely resemble a linear relationship instead of a quadratic one, and that makes partway CHA a more-viable option.

    v Fixed

    < Message edited by Kaelin -- 10/15/2014 18:43:47 >
    AQ  Post #: 8
    8/4/2014 15:39:09   
    Bionic Bear

    Just a minor typo in the beginning of the fourth paragraph of section 3:

    And alternative to making both stats work at the same time

    Should be an alternative to making both stats work at the same time (cont.).
    A great guide otherwise!
    Post #: 9
    1/19/2015 23:37:56   
    Harold Saxon

    Small reminder that LUK now affects Pet/Guest BTH, which should improve the CHA + LUK synergy.
    AQ DF MQ  Post #: 10
    1/20/2015 0:03:23   
     Strange World

    Thank you for the feedback. I am putting an update to reflect version 39 on hold (please see the note at the end of the guide), but your are correct in identifying that LUK (in addition to DEX) have more synergy with CHA now.
    AQ  Post #: 11
    4/17/2015 21:01:11   

    Honour, Hope, Love

    Kaelin is now busy with life and has decided go give up ownership of this Guide. Please PM me if you're interested in updating it.
    AQ  Post #: 12
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