Weapon combinations are counterindicated until the player has a really good idea what they are doing with Affinities. See Combinations
Only one thing is necessary to do with weapons at the start, and it should be done as soon as possible. Designate (renaming helps) each of three weapons a separate task. One is for killing Human and Phantom Class enemies. One is for killing Beast and Dragon. The third is for killing Undead and Evil. As long as this format is adhered to, Ashley's weapons will never ever lose Class points. Elemental affinities will come and go, perhaps making Physical dwindle away to a minus, or Physical may grow and push out hard-won Elemental affinities, but the most precious resource of all, Class, will only get stronger and stronger.
Affinity and Class bonuses of an item in the beginning, when it is first dropped, are fairly predictable, based on its material. Note that this is not true of all drops, and items from Chests, which can vary in their bonuses.
Type bonuses of armor, by contrast, almost always vary from one Equipment to another, and one Tier to another, when first dropped; they are unique to each Equipment at a particular tier, and bear no relation to material, although they do have an overall tendency to increase with Tier. For example, each Chain Sleeve always drops with a bonus of zero to Blunt, and Piercing and a bonus of four to Edged. And while the relatively weak Rondanche always drops with a bonus of eight to Blunt, six to Piercing and zero to Edged, the next tier up Tilt Glove, has bonuses of twelve to all three Types. All the best armor pieces in the game: Tilt Glove and Missaglia, both 12/12/12, Plate Mail, 10/10/10, and Fluted Armor, 15/15/15, are all well advanced in Tier.
- Main article: Class
When one Class of enemy attacks a body part, armor on that body part may gain a bonus to that Class, or the value of either of the next two Classes may decrease. When Ashley attacks one Class of enemy with a weapon, that weapon may gain a bonus to that Class, or either of the two next Classes may decrease. The same thing may happen to enemy armor and weapons; the bonus gained by enemy armor is, of course, Human.
Class bonuses are affected according to their position in the continuum:
Evil > Human > Beast > Undead > Phantom > Dragon > Evil > Human
and so on. For example, in a battle with an Ogre, which is a Beast, Ashley's armor may increase in Beast Class protection, but Undead or Phantom Class, or even both, may decrease. In this example, Dragon and Evil and Human would never be affected; hence the Three Weapon strategy
Decreases are less likely; the tendency is for bonuses to increase, but the chance for an increase is not much more than double the chance for a decrease. Gain two, lose one, amounting to an increase of one overall, is pretty near the formula, based on anecdotal evidence. There is no way to increase Class outside of combat, as there is with Affinity.
- Main article: Affinity
"Elemental" affinities are the traditional elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. This distinguishes them from the affinities of Light and Dark, which among other differences, do not have spells for armor or weapon affinity bonuses.
Affinity is affected as Class, but rather than a continuum, it is based on a set of opposites.
- Physical is opposed to all the Elemental affinities and Light and Dark too. When Physical goes up, it has a tendency to be very destructive to other affinities, sometimes reducing two or more at a time
- Air and Earth are opposed Elements: Air-based attacks can reduce Earth affinity and vice versa
- Fire and Water are opposed Elements
- Light and Dark are an opposed pair. They could be called Elements, but for the purposes of these guides, the distinction of Elements is valuable
- Main article: Type
Type is a distinct quality of weapons, but a variable set of attributes for armor. Weapons are always one Type; Armor give protection against each of three of the Types that remains the same value from the time it is dropped, found, or forged. The three Types are Blunt, Edged, and Piercing. Type bonuses of armor vary from piece to piece; it is thus advantageous to forge armor from stronger pieces. For example, Armets drop and are usually found at 4/6/4 (Blunt/Edged/Piercing). A 19/19/19 Armet can be made by combining a Tilt Glove, with its 12/12/12 bonuses, with a Missaglia, also 12/12/12.
Armor is immensely more difficult to maximize than weapons. It is very hard to overstate this; Weapons can be maximized by beating on dummies to get their affinities and class. Even that job is arguably more difficult to achieve with armor, but there is a whole other variable statistic on armor that comes ready-made on weapons: Type. Maximizing Type on armor multiplies the difficulties of obtaining weapon blades by multiples of ten or even a hundred, depending on the recipe. Maximizing is not necessary to complete the game, and in fact it is less effective at the primary purpose of damage reduction (not dying) than Affinity is, inasmuch as the most dangerous killers in Vagrant Story tend to be spellcasters.
Type bonuses combine with formulas very similar to affinity bonuses. Bonuses are added together and multiplied by a percentage. The more similar the equipment ingredients are, the better the bonus. Similar materials, same equipments, and similar bonuses are multiplied by higher percentages.
- Main article: Materials
Two items of the same Design and Tier but of different Materials will have different Strength and Intelligence bonuses. Thus it can be seen that Strength and Intelligence are intrinsic properties of Material types. The values of Class and Affinity bonuses are also inherent properties of a particular Material, for the most part. However, items from Chests often exceed the norm for their materials, and drops also can exceed the norm; for example, the Crossbow-wielding Crimson Blade Knavier in Town Center East can drop a SILVER Brigandine with -1 to Elemental and Light Affinities, rather than -5.
Type bonuses for armor are another thing altogether; they vary from one piece to another. There are generally speaking better bonuses for higher Tiers, but this cannot be counted on. Regardless of material: at eighth Tier, a Breastplate has more resists than a Sallet, with 1/3/3 (Blunt/Slashing/Piercing), and a Vambrace, with 0/5/10, but by 10th Tier, Scale armor is the low one with 0/5/10 to Basinet's 6/6/4 and Rondanche's 8/6/0. So Type bonuses are not a function of material at all, and are not uniform in quality for a specific Equipment (Equip location) either, but vary by individual pieces, and as a whole, grow better by Tier. Type bonuses can only be increased with Combine.
The player can affect Affinity and Class during combat, of course, and with Combine as well. Just as enemies affect Ashley's armor and weapons during battle, enemy armor and weapons can be altered during combat, and drop with the changes intact, but all dropped items of a certain material, with only slight variation, have a certain set of Affinity and Class bonuses. For example, Silver and Damascus Armor:
SILVER Armor: Affinity: Physical +5; Elemental -5; Light -5, Dark +20
DAMASCUS Armor: Affinity: Physical +20; Elemental -5; Light +20, Dark -20
Now compare armor with weapons:
The difference is equivalent to Affinity affecting armor differently than it does weapons. Affinities opposite to those of the enemy are more effective with weapons; affinities the same as the enemy protect against it. So while Class remains the same, Affinities are backwards (with the exception of Physical, which has no opposite), and in the case of SILVER, exactly the reverse (again, with the exception of Physical).
Note that SILVER weapons and armor combine very effectively to increase Undead and Phantom Class. The highest bonus remains the same, but the other increases to above the highest, giving a leapfrogging effect. +20, +15 becomes +20, +24, at which point 24 is the highest and two 20s combine to make +32, +24. In order to maintain maximum increases, the items must have been combined the same number of times, e.g. two weapons both of +20, +24.
Class and Affinities when Combining Edit
Two Class and Affinity values are always retained when Combining Items; the highest number, and the lowest number, with one exception. If the lowest number on one piece is met with the highest number on another piece, the highest number prevails.
In this way, bonuses of 100 on everything can be created easily. In the Three Weapon strategy, one blade or equipment specializes in Human and Phantom Class, another Beast and Dragon, and a third Undead and Evil. In the same way, a blade or equipment specializes in either of the opposing affinities, but not the other: Air or Earth, Fire or Water, and Light or Dark. Ideally, another specializes in the opposing affinities, and a third specializes in Physical, but this must be balanced with the Class.
Class will be impacted if two or less items must be combined, and any time Physical must be on the same item as other affinities, they will be. Class, can be simpler, if the classes are raised in order. Raising Human, for example, will impact some Undead points, and Undead, many Phantom points, but at least there is no switching back. Physical points should be gained first, if the number of affinities potentially lost is two or more, to avoid travel time. Physical lost to subsequent Affinity gains must be regained, potentially losing affinities again. The gains will, on average, outstrip the losses, however, and saving and reloading in the event of unwanted losses can help.
Combine Rate Edit
All High combines aside, there is a set rate for the additional Affinity, Class and Type bonuses given to crafted items.
- They get a 78.7% bonus if the material is the same and the bonuses are similar.
- They get a 57.2% rate if either the material is different, or the bonuses are significantly different
- If both the material and bonuses are deficient as above, the lowest bonus rate of 38.5% results
See Also Edit
- Raising armor affinities and class in Vagrant Story
- Raising weapon affinities and class in Vagrant Story