Lost Pages of Taborea: Tinkering with standard classes and my Priest/Rogue

Aside from some ancillary problems, one of the things I love so much about Runes of Magic is that it gives me ability to augment weapons and equipment via the arcane transmutor. When that is coupled with a dual-class system, players are given a lot of room to bend traditional classes to their wills.

I've been running a Priest/Rogue for a while now and loving it. The selection of offensive spells, the Rogue's skills, and the weapons I can wield have me wanting to push the boundaries of typical class specifications. I'm building a hammer-wielding Priest that's specced much like I'd spec a Mage, but the class can also pump out adequate melee damage. In this week's Lost Pages of Taborea, I want to give you a run-down of the gear, weapons, and stats I'm choosing. It should serve as a good guide to some unique possibilities for classes in RoM.

My Priest/Rogue is 58/45 right now, and I always play on the Priest side. I have to settle for cloth gear, but I can't find pre-statted gear regularly on the auction house since I want to spec slightly differently from a standard Mage. I'm combining pieces from two armor sets (to pick up some set bonuses) with a few standalone pieces thrown in. I'm also looking at dual-wielding a wand with a hammer to pick up extra stats and output that melee damage I spoke of.

Gear choice

I consulted the RoM forum frequently while browsing the RoM database to pick out my armor. I looked and compared different pieces extensively to get the best magical defense with minimum magical critical hit-rate bonuses. I have three damage-over-time spells that I use a lot, and they don't benefit from the extra crit bonuses. I couldn't get away from the crit completely, and that's all right. I do have other spells, like rising tide, that can land critical hits. I also paid close attention to the set bonuses.

I chose the headdress, robe and shoulders from the level 55 Elemental Flame Set. I'll be using those set pieces in conjunction with Kawak's belt, gloves, and leg guards from the level 62 Blessing of Death set. That leaves level 62 Tempered Terrorweave Boots and level 62 Aoth Nature Cape as my two standalone pieces. For accessories, I'm sticking with the Vahtos' Spell set.

Some other pieces, like the Tempered Terrorweave Helmet, look juicy, but I'll be getting lots of magic attack and intelligence from ghost stats and set bonuses with what I've chosen. Keep in mind that I'm aiming to build a Priest that can dish out some damage. It does seem like I'm under-gearing with the level 55 pieces, but those sets actually have some of the best armor in the game right now. The physical and magical defenses are really nice, if not as nice as those on some level 62 pieces, but they have excellent ghost stats and set bonuses that the level 62 gear is missing. Well. Almost. The Blessing of Death set is pretty nice. That's why I chose it.

I concentrated on bleeding a lot of magic attack and intelligence from set bonuses and ghost stats while eking out good physical and magical defenses.

The Anubis Wand seemed a fairly straightforward choice with its high damage. I'll couple that with Tomb Hammer. I doubt I'll add any melee stats to them. Tiering and overall increased strength through my level and other modifiers will hopefully be adequate for going toe to toe with mobs and maybe even some bosses.

Stat-choosing

Stats are a bit of an ancillary problem I hinted at. While currently I wouldn't trade the upgrade system for anything, RoM's content largely funnels you into a few obvious choices on how to upgrade equipment. Right now, you pretty much look at the basic use of your class -- DPS, healer, or tank -- and stat in a straightforward manner. Healers choose from things like wisdom and intelligence; rogues use dexterity; and tanks use stamina and strength. The dungeon content can put a damper on creatively upgrading your gear somewhat when you consider how difficult surviving those dungeons can be.

I still have some wiggle-room, and I've been working with it as I can. I've been using a lot of typical Mage-oriented Tomb stats that drop from Kawak's Tomb. They're some of the best stats currently available. I have been stacking mostly intelligence and magic attack, but the minimum HP requirements of the dungeons are forcing me to keep a close eye on my stamina. It has been a slow upgrading process as I stat each piece, inspect my attributes, and decide how to stat the next piece. I've only statted one accessory and two pieces of armor so far. After intelligence and magic attack, I've got a mix of magic defense, stamina, and wisdom. There's a couple of oddball stats like defense that were attached to some of the Temple stats. I plan on replacing them later on, but for now, they aren't a total waste.

Basically, I'm stacking a lot of intelligence and magic attack to turn a predominantly healing Priest into a somewhat decent damage-dealer. I'm trying to get a slightly wider mix of defense than can usually be found on pre-statted Mage gear. It's the same direction I took with my gear. I am going to continue to watch my HP but also look into throwing some magical defense into the mix. I'll be using two weapons, which will give me an extra six stats. That'll give me an edge over casters who generally take a two-handed staff, and it should help offset some deficiencies naturally found in a healer trying to play Mage.

Everything else

There's still a lot left over to upgrade. I can drill four slots in each weapon, accessory, and piece of armor. Everything can be refined, and the tiers can be raised. I've been collecting all my gear with over-durability to get that 20% bonus to the base attributes of the items. I haven't been too picky about how high the over-durability is because I can add temporary over-durability using hammers.

I want to play around a lot with which runes I put into each slot. Much of it will depend on the final numbers on my character's attributes after I finish adding stats to everything. Whether HP, defense, or attack is lacking, I'll bump those up with appropriate runes, like an atonement or block. I have a fountain IV that really helps my mana regenerate a lot faster, but I'd like to tier it up some more. I'm also looking to add a reconciliation (which will reduce my aggro), an experience for added experience from killing mobs, a potential to boost all my attributes, a fearless for added resistance, a miracle for added damage points, a passion for faster HP recovery, and even a wrath for added damage. The experience, miracle, and wrath aren't in the game, last I checked. Hopefully they'll be activated in Chapter 4.

There's a long way to go, but I look forward to updating you on my progress the closer I get to gear glory.

Each Monday, Jeremy Stratton delivers Lost Pages of Taborea, a column filled with guides, news, and opinions for Runes of Magic. Whether it's a community roundup for new players or an in-depth look at the Rogue/Priest combo, you'll find it all here. Send your questions to jeremy@massively.com.

This article was originally published on Massively.