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05-21-2009   #3 (permalink)
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4. Need to know items
-a.Hammer Spamming

Note that i do not condemn the use of Hammer Crush as it's used for its stun effect.
This paragraph is solely devoted to discuss repeated use of hammers, commonly referred to as Hammer Spam. If you are 100% resolutely for hammer spam, i'll hold a hammer to your head and make you read this pargraph repeatedly until you conform to my ideas. For those who have already seen the 'light', feel free to pick up a hammer and join me as well.

I will first address the benefits of hammer spamming.
1. Best way (before advancing to 2nd job) to inflict damage on mobs that cannot be launched and bosses, at the cost of very high mp and immobility which results in you taking damage.
2. Hammer Crush hits enemies in air or fallen or falling in air and puts them into a standing stun state. This allows you to continue combos or cancels the need for re-launching.

For the record, Stormblade deals the highest damage, but can only hits mobs that are in the air.
This is the only point that i will concede with regards to the benefits of Hammer Spam. That the damage output of hammer spam cannot be matched due to lack of 2nd job skills.

Another argument is that stun hammer + other hammers combo will keep monsters in a loop of being stunned and continously receive damage. This is especially useful if you have someone doing this to farrel's minibosses. While this is a logical argument, it doesnt apply much to regular mobs. Hammers at level 1 only hit FIVE mobs and THIRTEEN at max. At the Toto/Tutu maps you would have noticed there are quite a large number of mobs, especially ranged. In order to effectively hit all the mobs and protect yourself you would have to max the Hammer skills to be able to hit all the units. That's 100 or 150 skill points.(depending on the number of hammers you have) And sometimes 13 just isn't enough.

The first time you use hammers you would be awed with the damage. After you get hit a few times you'd be awed with how much hp you lost when you were rendered immobile by the skill casting.

Since the benefits of hammers mostly apply to first class, i shall avoid references to 2nd class skills where possible. Instead of using hammers, one can launch mobs into the air and jump XXX. The three hits deal more damage than a single hit from a hammer, and no monster can jump up and attack you. ( Except for bosses with their weird skills. ) That is to say, you would be doing damage to the mob while not taking any damage at all. OR you can simply launch the mobs and do a stormblade. Much less painful than hammer spamming and more easy on the mp and eyes. ( red and blue and red and blue and red and blue ARGHHHHHH MY EYES!!! )

Hammers in PVP:
It is quite impossible to get off a hammer hit by itself unless the opponent was trying to hit you with a hammer as well. Stun hammers are usually used after a Stormblade hit or if the opponent is lying on the ground, forcing him back up to a standing stunned position. Blazing Youth and Icecold Heart do not have this advantage.

The MP burn from Blazing Youth can be a factor in PVP as mp doesn't regen, but MP is not really an issue if you are playing elimination matches where your hp and mp is refilled after every round. With Deathmatch, one would only run out of mp only when he or she has already scored like 4 or 5 kills without dying.
If you were relying on the MP burn to defeat enemies in PVP, i suggest that the effort to hit enemies with Blazing Youth is better spent on Hammer Crush or Cutdown.

Hammer spam in PVP only works in two cases.

1. You have reliable teamates who are able to keep the opponent trapped in the air. I was once cornered by a thief and warrior in PVP. The thief repeatedly launched me and using his air combo while the warrior kept Hammer Spamming. Since i was already stuck in the theif's loop of attacks, the extra hammers added the damage to pummel me into my doom. When i managed to escape (god knows how i did it ) I had 40 hp left and was burning. In this case, hammer spam was effective because i was essentially a 'mob' that doesnt know how to move away or rather unable move away in this case.

2. Small maps or when theres a lot of people. The confusion makes it hard to escape even regular attacks, hence Hammer spam would be effective here. However, by that argument, any other attacks (by that i mean better ones ) would also be able to connect.

-b. Bro Lee Skills
Bro Lee skills are your typical maple skills. Everything is pre-calculated at the instant when you cast. Bro Lee skills are actually a single hit spell, with the damage applied immediately to the mob that's hit. The hits combo and animation come later.
There are two ways to prove this:

1. If you use a Bro Lee skill on a mob that dies from the hit, you would see the hp bar disappear and items drop from the mob once you finish casting the spell. You will then see Bro Lee doing damage to a dead mob and still giving you a skill combo. This may sound like nothing unusual, but consider Stormblade. Mobs that die halfway through Stormblade stop taking damage and simply fall through the storm and no longer adds to your combo counter. Thus, Stormblade is a true multi-hit skill while the two Bro Lee skills are not.

2. If you ever see a critical Bro Lee hit, you would notice ALL hits of the skill are critical, which implies that the skill is actually a single hit that is calculated and then divided by the number of hits and further randomised. (Back in pre-CBT or V-day preview, Each of Bro Lee's hits dealt exactly the same damage. They improved it this time round by making it vary slightly ) Same thing for a missed hit. You'll see that favourite word of yours repeated.

I shall provide a step by step of how i think Bro Lee skills work.
1. Once you cast, the skill checks for units in range AT THE INSTANT when you cast. Meaning, if you cast when no one was in range, but after you cast someone walks into the range of Bro Lee's supposed hitting range, they would not be damaged one bit. Not one bit at all.

2. The damage is applied to the mobs that are affected by the skill immediately after the skill is cast. If the mob dies, you would see the money or items drop out as though the mob has already died, but you would see Bro Lee appear and deal the hits and damage, with the hits still accumulating in your combo counter.

3. On regular mobs you would notice that the Bro Lee skills knockdown at the end of their hits. This creates a paradox if the damage is applied immediately. Don't worry, both are true. When the damage is applied but the mob/person does not die, he or she is free to move until Bro Lee starts to attack. The mob/person will start receiving damage ( only numbers shown, no damage applied as the damage has already been applied at the start of the skill ) and receive the knockdown regardless of where they are. That is to say, if you cast Incoming Bro! on someone on the instant while he is in range, even if he dash jumps three miles away he will still receive the damage at the start of the spell and receive the knockdown effect whent he skill ends.

It would be better to have a video to explain, but well OBT isn't here yet. I'll get a video up and running once OBT starts and i become a Gladiator.

As you can see, CptBravo died immediately after i cast my Incoming Bro!. This proves that the damage IS applied the isntant you cast, and the PVP system even recognises it by putting the "XXX has Killed me". He has still not received the knockdown effect, as Bro Lee hasn't even fully materialized and attacked.
Note that i did not take this screenshot, i just happened to be in it.
Now that you know how it works, I can explain more about how to use them.

Given that the skill is instant, Incoming Bro! can be used as a long range option to catch your opponents. The instant you are lined up with someone in range, cast the skill and follow him. Obviously he would not wait to be hit by Bro Lee, but that's what he thinks. Imagine his shock when jumping away, he suddenly takes the 3 hits from Bro Lee and falls down. You would be able to follow up with a Cutdown and Stormblade.

Similarly, I'm Gone Bro can also be used in this way, except that the range is much shorter. Thus the reason you use would be different. If your opponent is getting up from a fall, cast this immediately and prepare to chase after him. Just as i mentioned above, halfway during his movement he will suddenly receive the 8 hits and knockdown, which you can follow up.

Due to people running away and not being able to see Bro Lee, most do not anticipate the Bro Lee hit and cannot roll in time.

Nothing much, except that you can cast both spells in succession and have both hit, due to the fact that they are not knocked down immediately, making them valid targets in the eyes of the skill, which decides if a unit is hit or not at that very instant.

5. Combo

Lvl 20 and below / Warrior combos:

Very simple.
Launch using ACL or Cutdown.
For air combos, use Stormblade or Jump XXX
When the mobs are fallen, either use Relaunch, Cutdown to relaunch the mob back into the air
OR use Down XXX to deal additional damage without relaunching.

As you can see, warriors have more than 1 option at every stage of the combo, basically allowing an infinite combo. How hard can it be?

in PVP though, it would be different.
Launch using ACL or Cutdown. (ACL's harder to pull off in PVP )
For air combos, Stormblade. Jump XXX can be dodged easily in PVP, but should be done if Stormblade AND Hammer Crush is in cooldown.
Use Hammer Crush when the person is falling down or lying on the ground OR time a Relaunch to hit just right when the person reaches the ground. Or jump and use Cutdown.
Down XXX is not recommended unless all your pickup skills are in cooldown. ( Hammer Crush, Relaunch, Cutdown )

For first job Warrior PVP, things depend on how good you are at catching your opponents with Cutdown or ACL. In PVP you will be jumping a lot, and hence Cutdown will most likely be used most often. Just keep track of what skills have you just used and use the alternative when you try to repeat the loop.

Lvl 20 Gladiators and above.
For PVE:
Almost the same as above. Only new skills that you get for attacking are Aerial Blow to replace the 3rd X in your air combo. The two Bro Lee skills are skills on their own which leave you free to move around, so i'll let you experiment what to do with ur freedom when the mobs are being hit. Wrath of Earth is just a huge AOE skill with a huge delay that makes comboing with impossible.

for PVP:
With regards to catching and knocking down your opponent a Gladiator has increased number of options.
Incoming Bro! can be used to knock down people due to its insta-cast ability (as discussed in the Bro Lee section ). Wrath of Earth is a huge AOE skill that just by predicting vaguely where your opponents will be you will be able to hit them as it even hits jumping people.
Air combos are still the same, as we do not get any new air skills except Aerial blow.
Stumblebum should be used whenever possible to get in a free stun every 10 seconds.
Annihilation can be used to get more damage in on the first hit.

6. Skeleton Skill Build

Originally i decided not to provide a skill build as i believed Dragonica was unique in this aspect, that it could accomodate many players of different playing styles.. After seeing the number of people asking about builds on the Dragonica forum i decided to do a 'bare-bones' build. This build will consist of skills that i consider are ESSENTIAL and from there you should build upon this to create your own build and playing style.
This build of mine emphasis on air combos. (Although there are practically ZERO air skills as a Gladiator, though we get an extra nado at 3rd job)
Warriors :

Gladiators :

Above is the two diagrams for the 'Bare-bones' skeleton build, for an easy way to see what i mean. Word explanations will be provided below.

Blow 1_________________(pre-requisite purposes)
Cutdown 3*_____________( enough to launch )
Stormblade 5____________( MAX for damage )
Air Combo Launch 1_______( basic launcher )
Relaunch 1______________( additional re-launch option when Cutdown isn't avaliable )
Hammer Crush 1**_______( Lvl 1 is a stun option, MAX for a reliable stun )

*Some people like to max Cutdown as they use it very often and it increases the number of units hit, making it more effectively used with Stormblade.
**At Lvl 1, it is an additional skill in your arsernal. At MAX, you might rely on it for PVP. Not really useful for PVE except for unlaunchable mobs

This build is for skills that you will still use after promoting to a Gladiator, hence if in OBT the lvl 19 rookie skill resets are still being given out, you can play around till lvl 19 and then reset to a build you want ( or this build ).

Sword Dance is skipped over in favor of Incoming Bro! at 2nd job as it is a more reliable ranged skill in PVP that is easier to connect, although not 'truly' instant ( refer to Bro Lee section if you STILL don't know what i'm talking about ).

If you crave a second hammer, go for Blazing Youth, since you have already met the pre-requisites and need not waste 2 points on Sword Dance to get Icecold Heart.

Extra points in this build might go to maxing Hammer Crush for a reliable stun option. You WILL have a lot of skill points for 2nd job with this build.

Grizzly MAX______________( % based, relevant no matter your level )
Adv. Sword Mastery MAX___( same as above )
Acceleration 1____________( pre-requisite )
Hp Recovery MAX_________( hp recovery increases, pot recovery increases by %, saves you money AND max hp to compete with knights)
Annihilation 2*___________( pre-requisite, decent skill that extra skill points can be devoted to )
Dashing Blow MAX or 1____(if you can see the difference...)
Aerial Blow MAX or 1______(if you can see the difference...)
I'm Gone Bro! 1**________(not a pre-requisite, but deals GOOD damage, decent skill that extra skill points can be devoted to )
Incoming Bro! 1__________(long range option in pvp, low damage)
Gamble 1_______________(decent buffs but high mp cost and not worth the additional points )
Stumblebum 1___________( AOE stun option and debuff in pvp and for minibosses )
Wrath of Earth MAX______( Huge AOE skill with 13 units hit at max and whopping damage)

*Annihilation makes for a good damage booster in PVP, kind of a waste of mp in PVE. MAX if you have the extra skill points since you can use it in conjunction with 3rd job skills as well <-- anyone can prove otherwise? although its unlikely
**I'm Gone Bro! is a very good ground damaging skill that's great against bosses and an extra option in PVP although chances of using it are rare due to its limited range. MAX would hit more units and deal more damage and goes very well with Annihilation due to its high damage output.

Acceleration is not pumped simply because we don't need the additional attack speed. Most skills are not affected by the decrease in attack speed. The only advantage you gain from using this skill is that you can do AIR XXX without having to adjust to the slower attack speed OR land more hits when the mob is on the ground with DOWN XXX. Note that with 0% increase in attack speed, you can only DOWN X once on a mob, it will get up before your second X can land. With a 14% increase in attack speed ( I was wearing the set armour + some title for doing 100 adventure quests ) I was able to DOWN XX twice, the 3rd one still wouldn't connect.

I don't know what else to explain, maybe you should re-read the skills section if you don't understand anything here. Or ask me why.

Last edited by MadSJJ; 06-02-2009 at 08:24 PM.