Medievia Mudslinger

March 28, 2004

Understanding Equipment by Cildanor

Contents

Introduction
Base stats and tweaks
Deterioration
Working with equipment modes
What to put in a mode
A word about location
Building a mode
Planning ahead, upgrading, and replacing equipment
Equipment value
Conclusion

Introduction

So you want to know the basics about equipment (EQ) in Medievia? You've come to the right place! There is a lot of different equipment available, and having a better understanding of how it works and what to do with it will help you to succeed and enjoy the world of Medievia.

Base stats and tweaks

The first thing to note is that not all equipment is created equal. "a diamond ring" is not always the same as "a diamond ring", even though technically they are the same item. This is because the stats (all the numbers you see when you identify an item) vary between each instance of the item. Each item has a set of "base stats" that serve as the basis for how good or bad it can become, and a "tweak", which is an up-or-down adjustment on the base values. Keep in mind that this only happens when the game first creates the item, and once the item exists, the values it has do not change (until it deteriorates, see below). Also note that while most items tweak, there are some that do not, and those will always have the same stats.

Example: a certain type of ring has the base stats of +2HR and +2DR. When an individual copy of that ring is created and loaded into the world, the numbers on the item can tweak to be as bad as only +1HR and +1DR or as good as +3HR and +3DR, or anywhere in between. Each stat tweaks independently as well, so you could get something like +1HR and +3DR.

Most stats only go up or down by a maximum of one from the base, except hit points, mana, and AC, which tweak with sort of an exponential probability. That is, if an item has a base of 25mana, chances are pretty good whenever you find one it will be between say 20mana and 30mana, but occasionally you could get one with only 5mana or as much as 45mana.

Generally, but not always, any item that tweaks below base for every stat is pretty much junk. The exception is some of the really good equipment in the game where a below-base value can still be better than any other item for that location. This is especially true of items like those that have both HP and mana, and that are only one or two away from base. For example a HELD item with 39HP and 39mana is still very good, even though base stats are 40HP and 40mana.

So, how do you know what the base stats on an item are? Well, one way is by finding or identifying different copies of the same item with different stats and finding where the middle is. If you see an item once and it has +3 HITROLL, and you see it again with only +1 HITROLL, you can infer that the base is +2 HITROLL. This works very well with those items that only tweak +/- 1, but it's a little bit harder with mana, hit points, and AC. So you need a bigger sample size. Generally after looking at enough copies, you have an idea what the base is. To know for sure, the most reliable way is to watch how it deteriorates (see below for the answer). If you're really impatient, you can just ask for the answer. Friends or clannies may know, and chances are pretty good that the item will also be in the searchable EQ database on clangersidi.com.

Related help topics: "TWEAK"

Deterioration

One thing about equipment in Medievia is that, over time, it will deteriorate. That is, if you have a ring with a base stat of 35mana that tweaked to 37mana, its condition will slowly get worse, from pristine to excellent to fair and so on, until eventually it starts to crumble. Up until the day it starts to crumble, its stats do not change. But once the crumbling begins, the item will slowly lose its stats.

This loss of stats may stop at any one of several different points, depending on what flags the item has. Normally, if the item doesn't specifically say otherwise, the item will deteriorate no farther than its base stats (so our ring would end up as 35mana). HALF-DET items will go to half their base stats (18mana for the ring). At this point, all of these types of items will stop deteriorating and eventually return to pristine condition with Infinity days left. However, items with the det flag FRAGILE will continue deteriorating until the stats are reduced to nothing, then the item will disappear entirely (no more ring!). One other det flag you might see is NODET, meaning that the item will not suffer any of the effects of deterioration - it's basically invincible.

As mentioned above, if you know the base stats of an item, you can often determine ahead of time where it will stop deteriorating. The reverse is also true. If you have an item (normal items and HALF-DET items anyway) that crumbles, loses stats, and then stabilizes, that new number is its base value, or half its base value in the case of HALF-DET items. You can use this method to confirm the base stats for an item.

As a final note about deterioration, there are ways you can extend the life of an item beyond its normal time. With the eggs recovered from the catacombs, you can add life back to most items (except those that are NOEGG) and prevent them from deteriorating. Head into Medievia Castle and find the wizard Marious who works in the War Room. For two hundred eggs, Marious will give you another forty-five days of life on the item, and you can do this up to twelve times. This isn't exactly a cheap solution, especially if you have multiple items you want to save, but it can be a lot cheaper than replacing some rare and expensive items. For those *really* rare and expensive items, take a look at HELP UNEGG.

Here's a quick summary of the different types of deterioration we just talked about and their effects:

Flag Dets to? End result after det is done?
NODET n/a pristine condition, infinity days
normal base stats pristine condition, infinity days
HALF-DET 1/2 base stats pristine condition, infinity days
FRAGILE no stats Disappears, removed from game

Related help topics: "DETERIORATION", "FRAGILE", "HALF-DET", "CONDITION", "EGG", "UNEGG"

Working with equipment modes

So you've been playing a while and found a bunch of equipment to use, but the problem is trying to keep everything straight. The easy solution to this is to use the MODE command. With mode, you wear all the equipment you want, think up a name for that particular arrangement (), and then type "mode lock". Now that particular arrangement of equipment is stored, and you can instantly switch back to it by typing "mode ". Note that you can't switch modes while fighting, just like you can't take off most equipment during battle. You can have up to 10 different modes this way.

The next question you'll probably ask is, "How do I decide what modes I need?" The answer depends on what class you are, what equipment you have, and what situations you think you'll be encountering. In general, some of the following can be handy:

Solo - A somewhat balanced set of EQ to wear when you're off on your own.
Mana - For spellcasters, maximum mana for when you're in a form.
HP - Extra hit points for fighting especially strong mobs.
DR - For melee characters, full attack mode.

Additional modes like "regen" (wearing regen rings and maybe some extra mana equipment) or "loot" (wearing several containers) may also be helpful, depending on your situation.

Related help topics: "MODE"

What to put in a mode

What to put in a particular mode depends largely on what class(es) you are, what items you have, and what you're trying to accomplish. The first mode you should really focus on is one that plays to the strengths of your current class. For warriors and thieves, this means HR/DR, hit points, AC, and -SS. For clerics and mages, ignore HR/DR and go for hit points and mana instead. Once you get a basic mode built, you can build up other modes to support your primary role.

Some modes may be very focused, such as a cleric going for as much mana as possible so they can heal their form. These are comparatively simple to make, as they generally exclude all other considerations in favor of one attribute. To make one, you simply find the item for each location that provides the most bonus in that attribute and use it. The only warning here is to avoid stretching yourself too thin, such as taking lots of -HP/+mana equipment, which would leave you very vulnerable if you get hit by a stray attack.

Related help topics: "WARRIOR", "THIEF", "MAGE", "CLERIC" (all four of those under their "Equipment" sections).

A word about location

Just as all equipment is not created equal, all equipment locations are not equal. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses in terms of availability of equipment with a given stat, and some slots are in general stronger or weaker than others. For example, on-body triples whatever value an item has for ACAP, there are a fair number of decent HP items for that location, but it's not particularly noted for good -SS or DR. So instead of trying to shoehorn some weak +DR armor on your body, it might be better to use that location for something with good ACAP and a decent amount of HP. It's generally best to play to the strengths of your equipment locations instead of trying to fight them; you'll usually come out way ahead that way.

Building a mode

There are generally five steps involved in building up your mode:

  1. Figure out your role
  2. Order of priority (Not really a step)
  3. Set your target values and acceptable ranges
  4. Find your key equipment and build the skeleton of the mode
  5. Fill in the body of the mode
  6. Adjust

We'll go over each of them in detail.

Step 1: Figure out your role

The first thing you need to do in building a mode is to figure out what exactly you want to do with it. The more specific you can be here, the better your final mode will end up. For example, though you may call your mode simply "solo", you might want to think of it more as "solo in a zone where there are no spellcasters and the mobs have a lot of HP but don't hit hard". This will give you a much better idea of where you're going and make your choices a lot clearer.

Step 2: Order of priority

This section is always the same. It's not really a step, per-se, but a set of principles to understand, and this is where it fits into the process. Once you understand this information, you can skip the step when making modes.

There are two kinds of stats involved with building an equipment mode: helper stats and primary stats. Helper stats are STR/DEX/WIS/INT, -SS, -AC, and special things like -SAVING_BREATH. There are two things that make these stats unique. First there is a pretty solid upper limit to how much of them you need, and you can usually hit that limit with only a small number of items. For STR/DEX/WIS/INT, that value is 18. For -SS, it depends on your class, but even the worst case is in the single digits. For -AC, anything beyond -100 doesn't provide any additional benefit.

The second thing that is unique is that these stats can either affect class skills or primary stats. For example 18STR provides more HR/DR than 16STR, and it will provide better success rates for things like "bash". -SS can prevent your sanc and armor spells from being dispelled, which can directly translate into effectively having more HP (you get hit less often because of armor and you take less damage when you do get hit because of sanc). "Special considerations" such as -SAVING_BREATH or -SAVING_PETRI also fall into the category of helper stats because you only need a small amount of them to be effective.

Primary stats are HP, mana, HR, and DR. Items with these stats will make up the bulk of your equipment, and there is really no upper limit on how much they will help. Whereas you might only need one item to take care of a helper stat, your primary stats will generally require more than one item's worth of bonus to truly make an impact. Note that your DR is essentially worthless without a decent amount of HR, so you should always set your HR target first. That said, HR/DR, HP, and mana can otherwise be considered in any order.

So you always want to take care of your helper stats first, then move on to your primary stats. Generally, the following order for considering stats should work well: STR/DEX/WIS/INT, (special considerations), -SS, -AC, HP, mana, HR, DR.

Step 3: Set your target values and acceptable ranges

For each stat, in the order we worked out in Step 2, make an estimate of the minimum acceptable value, your target value, and the maximum acceptable value. These are rough ideas of what you're aiming for. The minimum value should be the absolute worst you'll accept for the mode, and your mode won't be complete unless you hit all of your minimum values. The target value is what you'd like to get, and generally anything close to the target value is OK. The maximum value is the point where adding more really won't make a difference, and anything above this value is an indication that you're wasting space on something unnecessary.

Here are a couple of examples:

Example 1: Warrior (Lv 20) solo mode target values

Stat: min target max
STR 18 18 18
DEX 18 18 18
WIS -- -- --
INT -- -- --
-SS -3 -5 -7
-AC -50 -75 -100
HP 500 600 no limit
Mana -- -- --
HR 35 45 55
DR 20 30 no limit

Example 2: Cleric (lv 20) healing mode target values

Stat: min target max
STR -- -- --
DEX -- -- --
WIS 18 18 18
INT -- -- --
-SS -3 -4 -5
-AC -- -- --
HP 350 400 450
Mana 300 -- no limit
HR -- -- --
DR -- -- --

Note that a value of "--" means that the value isn't important, and a value of "no limit" means that stat is the main one we're going after. So for the warrior, we're making a HP/DR mode, and for the cleric we're making a mana mode.

Step 4: Find your key equipment and build a skeleton for the mode

The first part of this involves finding out which pieces of equipment you will need to take care of your helper stats and which pieces of EQ are so good that you just have to include them in this mode. So if a cleric with 15WIS has a +3WIS/+mana item, that's something to note, because it takes care of a helper stat AND provides the primary stat we want the most. If a warrior were to have a +HR/+HP diamond orb of Tyche, that would be perfect as well because it's such a good item and provides stats the warrior needs. Generally your skeleton will be no more than maybe half a dozen pieces, which can probably take care of most of your helper stats and provide a good base for some of your primary stats as well.

Once you have your key items identified, start wearing them and make sure there aren't any location conflicts. Note that there may be items that you've seen but don't yet own that would really play a key role here, so this is where you might consider investing in some stuff. For example, instead of using a -SS fetal dragon skull for your -SS, maybe you could buy a -SS/+HP belt. At any rate, once you get all of these items in place, it will be the skeleton of your mode.

This is also an opportune time to account for any spells and potions you plan on using. For example, if you have ready access to the "armor" spell, make sure you have it active when you're building your mode. Sometimes one of these spells is enough to eliminate a whole piece of equipment ("bless" is a great example, as it provides +5HR/-1SS, which is on par with what a piece of equipment might provide).

Step 5: Fill in the body of the mode

Now you should have some locations filled up, and your helper stats should be at their desired values. If you have any primary stats that aren't at their minimum or target values yet, fill those in first, then fill in the remaining slots with items that provide the stats you are really looking for. So for our example cleric, make sure to get to 300-350HP before starting in heavily with the mana.

Step 6: Adjust

Sometimes you just can't quite get to your targets with the equipment you have. This may be because you didn't accurately estimate the stats that you could get, or it could be that you didn't take into account the fact that three of your key items all go in the same slot. At this point, you can either start looking for new equipment, or go back and adjust your target values a bit. Don't worry if you didn't guess accurately though - often times the outcome will still be OK, like maybe you're just 5HP away from your minimum, or you ended up with a few extra HP instead of mana.

Often, you have something really cool that conflicts with another requirement and messes everything up. Many times this conflict revolves around a relatively worthless item that just happens to have that last +1WIS you need. This is a great time to see if you can find a different item for a different location to get that stat back, or head to the training grounds and train it up if you've got some practices to spare. Cool items inspire growth and change, so don't be afraid to make room in your mode for something that's good or cool.

Planning ahead, upgrading, and replacing equipment

As you find equipment throughout the land, or see stuff on auction, try to plan ahead for your future needs. If you're level twenty-three and see something that's better than what you're wearing, but it's level twenty-five, it's OK to get it and put it in your locker for a while until you can use it. In the meantime, since you know you have that location taken care of, you can focus your energy and money on other locations to improve them instead.

Many times, new doors can open up and allow you to rethink your equipment modes. For example if you finally get your STR trained to eighteen, you can get rid of that pesky +STR item that's been holding you back, or if you get a new item that lowers your AC to -130 you could get rid of that belt of protection and wear some HP gear instead. So periodically check your modes and see if there's anything that can be replaced because it's no longer needed. Look at your AC, -SS, STR/DEX/WIS/CON/INT, and evaluate the equipment you're wearing to see if you can maintain your target numbers without it.

Equipment value

Up until now, we haven't really covered anything involving how much equipment is really worth. The most visible indication of an item's worth is of course its market value, given in gold pieces. Whether an item is really worth that much to *you* is for you to decide.

As mentioned earlier, sometimes one item can be the key that unlocks several doors to better EQ modes, so often very special key items are worth lots of money. Sometimes it's a uniqueness about the item itself, such as the helm of the high forest's ability to farsight, which provides value because it's the only item available that can do a certain thing. Often these kinds of items are worth every coin, as there may not be any way to get around having one.

Other times items are worth money because of some extreme amount of a stat that they provide, like a 60mana ring. The thing to watch out for with these items is that the impact of one item alone is not very drastic. As an example, a 60mana ring is 50% better than a 40mana ring. But taken in the context of a mana mode, where all eighteen locations have mana EQ, the difference might be something like 820mana vs. 800mana, which makes the overall mode only 2.5% better. Is 2.5% efficiency worth a few million to you? That said, being 50% better on all locations makes you 50% better overall, which is certainly desirable. So while you may decide to go for the best item in each location, make sure you understand why you're doing it and be prepared to pay for the privilege.

In terms of actual cash value, as a general rule the best equipment in the game, as of the time this article was written, runs from 10mil to over 60mil on auction. Really good EQ is usually in the 1mil to 10mil range. Anything under 1mil is usually either very good for lower levels (and usually replaced as one becomes higher level) or mediocre for high levels.

Don't be afraid to spend money to equip yourself, but don't go overboard either. A single class cleric doesn't really need a 40mil fire-diamond ring when a decent 1mil 50mana ring will do. In general, the most expensive EQ is most likely to be purchased by Hero-type characters. Since they won't be advancing or changing classes any time soon, and because they've had time to build up cash reserves, they're usually in a much better position to own the "good stuff".

Related help topics: "AUCTION"

Conclusion

Equipment in Medievia can seem overwhelming at times, as there is a lot to learn about it. But with an understanding of how it works and how to manage it, it's fairly easy to tame. Hopefully now you'll have at least some of that understanding and can start putting equipment to work for you.

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