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Thread: Aelynns guide to the Shadows.

  1. #1

    Aelynns guide to the Shadows.

    Updated: 21st Sept -03.

    Also Chronitas Martialartist compendium contains some good info about the Aggdef slider and how multiwield works.

    And take a good look in this thread for some links to good info.

    Please Remember that this guide is mostly my own thoughts and experiences, you are by no means forced to follow this mindlessly. There might very well be alot more paths and twists to take, so feel free to post about it, what you did and how it turned out. This is merely a guide to point you in the right direction so to say. The Shade is still a very new profession and will most likely be tuned some in the coming months.

    1: What breed should I choose?

    Opifex is in my opinion the best choise for the powergamer. Pretty much everything associated(found so far) with the Shade is Agility and Sense based. But like with everything else you are not forced to use this, and playing a diffrent breed could be fun. A warning tho, Atrox and Nanomages will have some problems meeting the requirements for the absolute highest QL armor/spirits.

    Past level 200 (shadowlevels), the stats are raised with:
    Green 25 / Shadowlevel.
    Blue 15 / Shadowlevel.
    Dark Blue 10 / Shadowlevel.
    So consider this also upon choosing breed if you intent to level past 200.

    2: What stats should I raise?

    Strength: Good for some skill points and to put on certain armos.
    Agility: Very important, for lots of skills as well as spirits and armor.
    Stamina: Also very important for Hitpoints.
    Intelligence: Used for Nano skills.
    Sense: Very important, for skills, spirits and armor.
    Psychic: Used for Spirit Siphons.

    3: What skills should I raise?

    Skills to max out:
    Piercing for equipping better weapons and get better AR. Piercing weapons is the main choice.
    Sneak Attack To get, backstab and it's backstab mods.
    Evade-Clsc all mobs in SL go on this evade.
    Run Speed only way of travel in SL, handy if you have to flee.
    Melee Init to increase attackspeed on our daggers, they are fairly quick to begin with, max this eventually to fight at lower aggdef setting. Our daggers use this Init.
    Psychological Modifications and Sensory Improvementsfor our stat buffs, they use these two skills.
    Body Dev because we have low hitpoints and need all the help we can get.

    Skills to raise, and eventually max out.
    Martial Arts fist damage, good at low levels when you have no weapons, and later when you have the ip weapons will work with MA attacks. Also needed for the Shade Touch perk specials.
    Dimach useful sometimes, does not get much better after 600 skill. Shade dimach skill is totally diffrent from other professions. It's a Lifedrain special with a "fast" recycle of five minutes. It's very weak compared to some of the perk special drains we do get.
    Riposte and Parry for equipping weapons, possibly useful at higher skill levels, Parry also useful for deflector shields. For Riposte there are deflection shield projectors which add a damage shield.
    Mult Melee for equipping two daggers, can be buffed and our weapons often have low mult melee reqs.
    Fast Attack i don't normally raise this, but some of our weapons use it, as well as Flurry of Blows which can be useful.
    Computer Literancy to equip better NCU, Good idea to keep this high so you can equip better NCU. while our Nanos are fairly low in costs equipping better ncu opens up more room for outside buffs, specially nano skill boosting buffs so we can buff ourselves better.
    Phys init our fist attacks use this one. see above. Fist attacks can be used in conjuction with some weapons.
    dodge-rng, duck-exp will be crucial to raise of you venture beyond Shadowlands to rubi-ka and/or pvp.
    Nano resist raise this if you plan to pvp, also useful for Shadowland mobs as they cast some relatively nasty nanos.
    Bio Metamophosis and Time&Space are used for our "proc" nanos. Keep maxed if you want to use these. Time&space also used for nano kits/coils.
    Map Navigation and Adventuring put map navi to 130ish to use the monster map upgrade and adventuring to 150 to get the elysium map nano.
    Treatment i'd raise this some, no need to honestly max it. Use it for Coils and tratment kits. No real point keeping it maxed unless you want the best possible kits/coils.
    First Aid is a skill i'd try keep raised. Darkblue, but this is a welcome addition with some first aid spindles and stims, can be diffrence between life and death.
    Nanopool should be maxed eventually. the Proc buff nanos are very heavy on the NP cost.

    (colors to symbolize blue and dark blue is a little misshowing, but was too hard to read with their darker counterparts).

    Small notice: Shades have a green concealment skill, but Backstab attack does not require you to be concealed, so you do not have to buy this skill to use sneak attack.
    Also: Shades a huge issue with Comp Lit, as we cannot use token board and it's a dark blue skill we will have some issues getting into decent QL NCU's.

    There are of course alot of other skills which you can raise for usefulness or just to play diffrent, this is my suggestions tho.
    Shade is very heavy on the IP, and personally i had problems with spending it. level 1-100 is going to be sweaty.

    4: Weapons?

    A typical Shade weapon is a pure piercer, has sneak attack and dimach, fairly low mult.melee and often works with Martial Arts attacks. They also often have requirements like Fast attack, riposte and parry. In Shadowlands there's "faction vendors" (NPC's aligned to a certain faction, which you need positive faction to deal with them), who sell some Shade specific weapons. These sell particually two of them, called Sigd and Bronto Vet Lancet.
    There are also Profession/side specific weapons for us, but where these are obtained is not yet known. Generally finding the good shade weapon seem so far to be fairly difficult.

    That some weapons work with MA skill can be a benefit at higher levels for some extra damage and more attacks = higher chance to get off procs.

    For the newbie: It's possible to make Silvertail daggers from components dropping in the Jobe training grounds. Here's how to do it:
    Obtain "Snake Bile" (drops from snakes, duh. Forgot full name, think it was something Coiler). "Gofle Shaped Toe Bone" (drops from Beit Gras) and a "Silvertail Horn" (Drops off Silvertails). Combine the bile with the toe bone, then use that product on the horn to get the finished dagger.
    The Dagger QL's is based on your weapon smithing skill, however this in not a big issue. a QL3 horn made a QL5 dagger for me with putting zero IP in the weapon smithing skill. These daggers exsist up to a max of QL 15. They are very good for you at the newbie levels.

    The faction vendors are in the redeemed/unredeemed camps (check map). And the melee weapons vendor have a name similar to "xxx-xx of the Furious Fists". There's also vendors in the gardens. Nanscence and Elysium vendors hold quality levels 1 to 75.

    There is also the old world selection of daggers like Tango Dirks, Sqibblers, Tantos etc. Most of these use brawling as a requirement which is a dark blue skill for us, and some lack Sneak Attack which we need to backstab. Alot of the old school AO players will think Tango Dirks, but for a shade this is a poor choise in my opinion, high ip cost on brawl and no backstabs.

    If the weapon is lacking Sneak Attack you will be unable to backstab and give up a large portion of your damage.

    5: Armor?

    Contrary to popular beliefs, Shades are allowed to use normal armor but limited not to use standard helmets and back items (like tank armor). There are some armor sets which are entirely offlimits to us.
    But despair not. Shades are able to use helms and back items which have "no graphic". Like circlets and weblcloaks.

    We get to use "magical" tattoes. These are dropping in game off various monsters in SL. They are however VERY rare and all are no drop. But give a fairly nice boost to AC's and some skills and look stunning.

    There's also the profession suit. starts at QL 100. Built from the base Jobe Suit. The Shade of IPS has detailed info on how to proceed with this(a hint: save all insignias you find).

    Shades also are unable to use the sided token board. Currently i've yet to see a neck item as a replacement. We shall see which course this will take.

    6: Perks?

    Perks are attained for every 10 levels and every shadowlevel, which will result in a total of 40.
    Shades are meant to do most damage thru their perk specials. And quite frankly they do if you spend them in the Shade only perks. Perk Specials also have to be used in combat, cannot initiate combat with them.

    The Shade Perk specials now all run off Piercing skill EXCEPT Shade Touch which is based on Martial Arts skill, Meaning for your chance to hit and how much damage it does, they scale with added skill in their respective skill.
    You also have to wield at least one Piercing based weapon, even for Shade Touch.

    Quick breakdown of the Shade specific perk lines.

    Totemic Rites
    Passive boosts: add all damage types, Martial Arts and Sneak attack.
    Intended to be used in a progresive chain: Ritual of Devotion -> Devour Vigor -> Ritual of Zeal, and so on.
    1: Ritual of Devotion : DD to target and puts a +15 dmg buff on you.
    2: Devour Vigor : Lifedrain. big DD, low heal. Cold damage.
    4: Ritual of Zeal : DD to target and puts a +35 dmg buff on you.
    5: Devour Essence : Lifedrain. big DD, low heal. Cold damage.
    7: Ritual of Spirit : DD to target and puts a +50 dmg buff on you.
    8: Devour Vitality : Lifedrain. big DD, low heal. Cold damage.
    10: Ritual of Blood : DD to target and puts a +180 dmg buff on you.

    Piercing Mastery
    A must have, since Shades revolve around the use of piercers .
    Passive boosts: Piercing Skill.
    Specials: (The specials are all intended to be used from behind the target)
    1: Stab - DD.
    2: Double Stab - DD+DoT, requires Stab.
    4: Perforate - DD, bonus damage with Double Stab.
    5: Lacerate - DD+DoT, requires Perforate, bonus damage with Double Stab.
    7: Impale - DD, bonus damage with Lacerate.
    8: Gore - DD+DoT, requires Impale, bonus damage with Lacerate..
    10: Hecatomb - Huge DD+DoT, requires Gore, bonus damage with Lacerate..

    Shade Touch
    Passive boosts: Martial Arts skill and evades.
    Specials: (based on MA skill)
    1: Apathy - DD+small DoT+init debuff.
    2: Consume the Soul - "finishing move". Can use when target below 15%, does little damage to mob, big heal to us. Sorta a "I win" special. Fast reuse.
    4: Doom Touch - DD and ac debuf.
    7: Spirit Dissolution - big DD. requires Ritual of Spirit.

    Sublime Rapport
    Passive boosts: Dimach, parry and Evades.
    1: Exultation - Lifedrain. gets better with more ranks. Instant use. Fast reuse. Hard to evade.
    2: Etherial Touch - Ac debuff, Longer duration than reuse, can keep it on target permanent.
    4: Dimensional Fist - DD, requires Etherial Touch.
    6: Disorient - DD+Stun
    8: Convulse Tremor - DD+DoT+init debuff.
    10: Symbiosis - Improves the Ritual(totemic rites line) specials making you do even more damage. Four diffrent symbiosis, all at rank 10. Not sure how they sposed to work.

    Spirit Phylateracy
    Passive Boosts Max health + AMS/DMS and sneak attack.
    1: Capture Vigor - AMS/DMS Leech. This special comes with a de-aggro effect, very handy as Shades generate ALOT of aggro.
    2: Unsealed Blight - Hp/Nano DoT.
    4: Capture Essence - AMS/DMS Leech. This special comes with a de-aggro effect.
    5: Unsealed Pestilence - Hp/Nano DoT.
    7: Capture Spirit - AMS/DMS Leech. This special comes with a de-aggro effect.
    9: Unsealed Contagion - Hp/Nano DoT.
    10: Capture Vitality - AMS/DMS Leech. This special comes with a de-aggro effect.

    Specials inteded to be used in a chain ala totemic rites.

    Perk Specials Scale with added skill in piercing (MA for Shade Touch), or with more ranks in that perk.
    Perk specials scaling with skill have damage templates like the fist item for Martial Arts. one template for 1-1000 skill (ql 1-500). another for 1001-2000 skill(ql1-500), and a third for 2001-3000 skill(ql1-500). You can see this if you look in a database there's three perkspecials with same ql range, where they represent diffrent skill levels.

    The Shade is designed alot around her perks, which means if you want all the Shade abilities you have to train these perk lines.

    I'm also not going to say in this guide which perks are the best or which suck. Having Shade designed around perks might very well make for some intresting varietys. With per reset being 72 hours per perk point, you should really sit down and plan how to progress your perk points. Think how you want your shade to evolve, want to go full defence, gear for solo, offensive, little mix of everything, etc.


    A solo Shade may want to train perks in Sublime Rapport and Shade Touch for the lifedrains and ac debuffs.

    A full offensive Shade might go with Totemic Rites and Piercing Mastery.

    A Defensive Shade maybe goes with Sublime rapport and Acrobat.

    I do not think there is a ideal path to take here, it all depends how you want to eventually play your shade.
    Levels 10-200 you might want to pick two lines to focus in, and a third to put the "leftover" points in, and bother with a 4th in the shadowlevels.

    Perk special hotkeying:
    The Shade get alot of Specials with her perks. A good way is the to set them up on their own hotkey menus in a increasing line. When i played my Shade in beta i had three hotkey bars reserved for specials and attacks.
    looked something like: hotbar1: Piercing Mastery, hotbar2: totemic rites, etc.

    Perk Special damage is shown as Nano damage. so turn on that filter if you want to see it(very spammy, but fun to see ).

    Also alot of players seem to like Acrobat for the boost to evades and agility, and Spatial Displacement for the root/snare resist.

    To be cont.
    Last edited by Aelynn; Sep 25th, 2003 at 16:41:32.
    Aelynn of the Shadows
    Pain so close to pleasure...

  2. #2
    7: Implants?

    We cannot use implants. Instead we have access to special Spirits. These works like implants, expcept they are premade and we don't need a surgery clinic to install them, which gives a nice advantage for hotswapping spirits for certain situations.
    Spirits are very similar to implants, but very very diffrent. You cannot customize the spirits, they come premade in various shapes and forms. Spirits overall boost more skills total than implants and gives a biggest boost for an equal level to QL implant.
    Spirits are not defined by Quality Levels like implants, but are classed by their Prefix names which indicate a specific level requirement to use. hence you cannot overequip these as you could with implants.
    You will notice some spirits tend to be pretty much useless, while others you will end up having a hard time which to equip in the designated slot. Most slows have three diffrent spirit-types, but some slots only have two and others four.

    How to attain spirits. The easy way(?), is to simply kill Spirit-type mobs in shadowlands and hope they drop.
    Or, get a Spirit Siphon, either loot from spirits, or bought from Yuttos Tools. Use this on a monster when it's close to death and there's a chance a spirit will drop when it's killed. Only useable in the Shadowlands.

    The one big advantage with spirits, is just that you need no clinic to switch. So you essentially swap in some nano spirits to buff, then swap back into combat spirits, etc.

    Munkeezon have put up a spreadsheet which gives a fairly good overlook on the spirits and what they add. you can find it here.

    8: Nanos

    What nanos does Shades use, and what skills do they require?

    You could say we have two kinds of nanos. One is our skill buffs, self only. And the other is our "proc" buffs, also self only.
    Requirements also very high.

    First off the Skill Buffs. These use Psy.Mod and Sens.Impr.
    Our lines in this are:
    1: Piercing, and at higher levels also add damage+mult melee.
    2: Dimach and Martial Arts.
    3: Sneak Attack and Fast attack.
    4: Evade + agility.
    5: Mult.Melee and parry.

    And our other line is "proc" buffs. These use Psy.Mod,Bio.Met and T&S
    Proc is short for Process. meaning your attacks will get a chance to do a special effect. These effects are:
    1: DD.
    2: HP/NP DoT (ticks 5 times, not stackable).
    3: Stun.
    4: Init debuff.
    They all on the same Nanoline so you can only have one running at a time.

    These nanos require various ranks of Specialization and are quested for.
    Every Shade should MAKE SURE to get specced as soon as possible to utilize these buffs.

    Notice: The Shade buffs have a fairly high requiremnt, as they are meant to be castable with some outside help, aka mochams and such, plus side is they have fairly long durations

    Our nanos are few and selfish. Our profession does not seem to circle around nanos as much as others do. We're a more "perkish" profession so to say

    9: what is Backstab?

    Backstab is a unique ability Shades(Well adventurers get it too, but we're better at it!) get access to at 101 base skill in sneak attack. It's an alternative attack which does not require us to be concealed to use. Backstab is based on your sneak attack skill, so higher skill = better backstabs.
    At 235 base skill a damage multipler is applied. will always add 2x damage minimum, and can randomly add more. at 420 base skill a Crit bonus in applied. The multipler and crits get better with more skill.

    To use it you need to have a weapon capable of sneak attack. As well as be behind what you're fighting while it fights someone else. This means you cannot use this skill solo. Backstab is quite a damage attack once you got all the mods applied to it.

    More detailed Backstab info found here.

    10: Solo?

    Shades are "poor" soloers. If you solo make sure to use everything in your perk special arsenal. When i say poor soloers i mean we're not designed to be soloers, but with the right specials we can be quite good at it even if it means waiting on special recycling.
    It is possible to use the peircing mastery specials while solo. It takes some practise tho until you get the right feel in to do it. Trick is to run past the mob and then back up when it turn to you, this should give you an opportunity to get the specials in if you keep doing this. However it takes time, and you may lose some attacks, and get distracted from your HP bar doing this.

    Shades who like to solo often have trained Acrobat perk line, as it's very helpful for this. Also may want to spend your perk points to aquire all the lifedrain specials as they help alot. (Note: I trained Shade specific perks and could solo fairly well, so if you want to solo you don't have to buy acrobat, just saying it helps, and alot of ppl liked it just for that).

    But if you really want to solo, i'd probably suggest you find a more suited profession to play than the Shade.

    11: Teaming?

    Shades are designed to be a teaming profession, and right now we are a valuable asset to a team. Unfortunatly alot of players do not realise this yet. But we're massive damage dealers (if perks spent right), and backstab is also very powerful. Not to mention the perk specials and the benefits they add in terms of damage and effects.
    One reason might be that in beta, Shades never got a real opportunity to shine, alot of players didn't know how to play it because it was so diffrent, so there's alot of diffrent opinions on how the shade is as a profession.

    And our Stun proc is a very useful tool to cut the damage the tank takes as well and disrupt any nano casting the target tries.

    Shades might not look like much asset to a team, but i can assure you that we are . And i think that some teams will shun the shade for something more well established. However the teams i joined were overall very impressed with my damage output as well as my ability to stun the target. in one team Doc said he was suddenly healing less, and in a "pet only" group, the engineer said his pet was taking less damage. So when people find out, we should have a easier time getting groups

    12: PVP

    I have not tested PVP awhole lot. I suspect we suffer the same as any melee profession, being rooted.
    However Shade is quite the damage dealer, and should we get close we can do some serious damage fairly quick thry our perk specials.

    Feel free to come with suggestions and feedback and correct me if i'm wrong somewhere

    I do not mind answering questions in game. So feel free to shoot me a tell. Aelynn on RK1.
    However, i'm allergic to leet/dood speak, and talking in numbers. I will ignore your tell if it contains this.

    Also i will not tell you what perks to pick and what skills to train. I don't want to play the shade for you. I'd be happy to provide my feedback on them tho if it'd help you to make your own choise.

    Also i'm not a personal guide to everyone, meaning i'm not going to walk ppl around shadowlands to find vendors. I've had several ppl asking me this already. I also do not write down locs of places. There's also info on this forums about the vendors, if i told you the vendor in the garden and i get a tell one minute later that you can't find it, i know you didn't look.
    Last edited by Aelynn; Sep 19th, 2003 at 15:35:22.
    Aelynn of the Shadows
    Pain so close to pleasure...

  3. #3
    This is great. Thank you so much for reposting and updating it
    Last edited by Gogliostro; Sep 9th, 2003 at 16:47:43.

  4. #4

  5. #5
    what is this??
    shades really look fun to play.
    maybe eaven roll one, a while after everybody else that is,
    just wanna sneek peak a while...
    Igratx RK2 Trader 206+ *Main again*
    WhildChild RK2 Advy 130 *alt*

    "Because the mother fukr is heading your way!"

  6. #6
    great job on the guide
    BettyRoss (A) dont ever turn yer back on a shady motha backstab4lyfe
    Gwend (A) The original complete healing engineer
    wtts :: prof ring quests

    the "i dont need punctuation" army

  7. #7
    EvadesClose was only beta, they shud hit all evades when it come a live or soon.

    and i really vonder the dimach, is that 600 for old ma rule?
    becouse ma dimach and shade dimach work totally different way.

    220 Dictator & Adept
    220 Field Marshal & Talented
    216 Eternalist & Adept
    204 Saint & Intermediate

    --Total Levels Gained--
    Rubi-Ka: 2000+ | Shadow: 50+ | Alien: 40+ | Very old Member of the Grumpy Old Crat Bunch

  8. #8
    the 600 dimach is for the shade, i have zero clue on the MA dimach. When my dimach passed 600 skill the progression in damage/heal became sorta stagnant.
    Aelynn of the Shadows
    Pain so close to pleasure...

  9. #9
    I see.

    good job at guide...and i wan play shade.....i want play.

    220 Dictator & Adept
    220 Field Marshal & Talented
    216 Eternalist & Adept
    204 Saint & Intermediate

    --Total Levels Gained--
    Rubi-Ka: 2000+ | Shadow: 50+ | Alien: 40+ | Very old Member of the Grumpy Old Crat Bunch

  10. #10
    I sincerely doubt that the monsters will hit against anything else than evade/clsc - except for the nanowielding ones. They are, after all, monsters - they don't tote any guns that I've seen.
    Stabdude Opifex Shade, Atlantean (and my new MAIN!) - native of the Shadowlands
    Slapster - Retired
    Retriever - Retired

    This is it

  11. #11
    did you mention ghosting in order to use the piercing mastery perks while soloing? that's a cool trick.

  12. #12
    read #10

    As for the evades. Even if they do chem/melee/energy/projectile/etc damage types, they all based on the evade-clsc evade.

    Until we actually see a SL mob with a gun
    Aelynn of the Shadows
    Pain so close to pleasure...

  13. #13

    Great to see this guide go back up. Again , nice job compiling all the info!

    Hopefully the research we all did will pay off for others beginning the journey with this dark mysterious new Profession.

    Can't wait to jump in and see what changes they made for live!

    -- Munkee
    Active chars:
    My Shade MunkeeShrike - Named for a Bird with the habit of catching other birds and small animals and impaling the uneaten portions of their bodies on thorns - of the Huge, Inc. family.
    Munkeezon - of The Dojo
    Munkeezon & Alts on Testlive - of The Bratpack

    Fellow Shade? Creep over to us in the Shadows

  14. #14

    Rewrote the perk section some per request.
    Aelynn of the Shadows
    Pain so close to pleasure...

  15. #15


    Thanks for the beginners guide. It is good to have some sort of foundation to start with.

    cant wait to start!

  16. #16
    I like it, great work!!
    Veteran of Testlive
    Anarchy Online Test Community
    Getting Started on Test!
    Exploits is considered cheating, no one likes a cheater, so don't do it.
    Kill one man, and your a muderer,
    Kill many, and your a conquerer,
    Kill them all, and your a god.

  17. #17
    Thanks for the guide... dont think im going to be using a shade expecially considering the lack of imps and the fact that I have never used a wpn bought from the shops so far.. They always appear to gimpy.. Kinda dissapointed that we have no buffs that will benifit others in our team seems like FC gave shades the short side of the stick, sucks they seem very interesting.. O well to bad but Gl to all you who will be making shades I hope it goes well for you..

  18. #18
    Could we make this the first sticky of the shade forum?
    Kayl - Adventurer
    Niomay - Shade
    Barenn - Soldier <--- retired due to being extremely gimpy

    8Proud members of Tiger Claw7

  19. #19
    Yup, we should sticky this baby! It's a wonderful guide and I'm glad you wrote it up. Thank you! ^-^

  20. #20
    A quick question about the max skill for dimach. I saw this in the patch notes:

    Dimach now increase in power above 1000 in skill. Martial Artists will also notice the attack recycling faster above 1000 in skill.

    Anyone knows if this applies to us Shades?
    Last edited by Eleven; Sep 10th, 2003 at 13:05:10.
    Never thought the mind was flat, but maybe it's logical. You never do get back to where you started.
    -> Ken Macleod (The Star Fraction)

    *Vir honeste, tuus tonsus novus est squalor flebilis!*

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