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Thread: Character Creation Guide

  1. #1

    Character Creation Guide

    Updated: 10/26/2012

    Stats
    All of the stats are important in CoQ and prioritizing them will most likely depend on your character build. Here's a quick overview, however:

    Strength: Most melee weapon skills use strength for their minimum requirements. Further, your strength modifier is added to your penetration rolls when determining how many dice you'll roll for damage on a melee attack. An average or low strength score (17 or lower) will let you deal with common monsters in melee (minions), but you will likely need other means to deal with monsters that have higher AVs. If you plan on basing your character around melee attacks, this will likely be your primary place for stat investment after toughness.

    Agility: Your agility modifier is added to your melee to-hit rolls against a targets DV, is used to calculate your own base DV (6 + agi mod), and significantly factors into the angular variance of missile and thrown attacks. Agility is also the primary stat for all missile skills, some melee skills (daggers and swords), dual-wield, block, acrobatics, and tactics. A high agility is a must-have if you plan on focusing on any of the aforementioned skills or if you are trying for the rare, high-DV build, but an average agility will suffice for most characters.

    Toughness: Toughness is the most generally useful stat for all characters, as your toughness modifier is used to calculate your hit points, is a factor (along with willpower) in regeneration rate, is the primary stat of the Endurance skill, and is used in most saving-throws against physical effects (stun, drug resistance, poison, etc). Most characters will want the highest investment in toughness that they can spare and mutants should consider spending most of their attribute points here when leveling up. Note: HP gains from toughness increases are retroactive.

    Intelligence: Another universally important stat, Intelligence is used to calculate skill-point gain (gains are also retroactive from increases), is used for artifact examination rolls, and serves as the primary stat for many important skills, including Tinkering and all of the survival skills. Most characters can only afford average investment in intelligence, but Tinkers and characters with voracious skill point requirements will probably want to consider a greater focus here.

    Willpower: An easy stat to overlook during earlier levels, willpower is used to determine your base MA (4 + willmod, used as an armor score against mental attacks), affects HP regeneration rate (along with toughness), and factors into saving throws against certain mental effects (Avoiding confusion effect when applying witchwood bark, for example). Further, Willpower is the primary stat for Self Discipline, a useful tree for survival and mental defense. [B]Update - Willpower is even more useful for espers, as each point of Willpower bonus will result in a 3% reduction on the cooldown of mental mutations. This stat becomes increasingly useful as the game progresses, as the frequency of enemies with mental attacks escalates with later tiers. Characters can usually afford an average investment here, with the exception of characters focusing on mental mutations, who want this stat to be as high as possible.

    Ego: Ego drastically affects your exchange rates with merchants while trading, is used to calculate the penetration of mental attacks against MA (similar to Str and AV), is the primary stat of the Persuasion skill tree, and affects true men's ability to Rebuke Robots. Characters with a number of mental mutations will absolutely want to consider a high Ego, as your ego mod is added as a bonus to the mutation level for all of your mental mutations.

    True Men vs Mutated Humans
    The major decision in character creation. Either path is viable and ultimately depends on your preferred playstyle:

    True Men: True men receive superior starting stats, skills, and equipment when compared to their mutant counterparts, making them great for learning the mechanics of the game system. Furthermore, all true-men have the unique ability to rebuke robots and receive extra resistances based on their starting arcology (Ekuemekiyye - Bleeding Resist; Ibul - Cold Resist; Yawningmoon - Fire Resist). True men are the only eligible race for receiving cybernetic upgrades.

    Play a true man if you:
    • Are just starting CoQ and want to learn the basic game mechanics, without having to worry about the viability of a character.
    • Want to play a character based around the skill system.
    • Want to dominate the early game with superior stats and equipment.


    Mutated Humans: The strength of mutants is, of course, their mutations! Unlike true men who are often forced to rely on purely physical attack methods, powers gained from mutations can allow for a nearly limitless combination of methods to deal with encounters in the game. These powers tend to be cooldown-based, allowing for your characters to utilize unique and fun tactics on a frequent basis. And, while mutants are often forced to specialize in a couple skill trees due to their lower stats, they tend to do so better than their true men counterparts if they have mutations that synergize well with their stat and skill selections.

    Play a mutated human if you:
    • Would like to be super-specialized in a given role.
    • Want a non-physical method of overcoming challenges.
    • Want to wield a truly devastating array of attack powers.
    • Want significantly varied gameplay from character to character.


    Character Roles and Builds
    Following are a some starting builds to help accommodate for common playstyles. They're mostly designed to serve as a solid launching point for new players and are obviously subject to your own experimentation!

    Bruiser
    Type: True Man or Chimera
    Kit - True Man: Child of the Hearth, Priest of all Moons, Child of the Deep
    Kit - Mutant: Marauder, Watervine Farmer
    Primary Stats: Strength, Toughness
    Recommended Mutations: Regeneration, Carapace, Double-muscled, Horns, Two-hearted
    Skill Investment: Cudgel or Axe, Endurance

    Skirmisher
    Type: True Man or Chimera
    Kit - True Man: Syzygyrior, Child of the Wheel;
    Kit - Mutant: Nomad, Arconaut, Warden
    Primary Stats: Agility, Strength, Toughness
    Recommended Mutations: Triple-jointed, Multiple Arms, Heightened Speed, Adrenal Control, Quills
    Skill Investment: Dagger, Dual-wield, Long sword, Tactics

    Knight
    Type: True Man or Chimera
    Kit - True Man: Praetorian
    Kit - Mutant: Warden
    Primary Stats: Agility, Strength, Toughness
    Recommended Mutations: Triple-jointed, Multiple Arms, Doubled-muscled, Carapace or Quills, Multiple Legs
    Skill Investment: Long sword, Shield, Bows and Rifles, Tactics

    Gunfighter
    Type: True Man or Mutant Human (Any)
    Kit - True Men: Eunuch
    Kit - Mutant: Gunslinger
    Primary Stats: Agility, Toughness
    Recommended Mutations: Triple-jointed, Multiple Legs, Heightened Hearing, Force Wall/Bubble, Spinnerets, Cryokinesis/Freezing Hands, Confusion
    Skill Investment: Pistol, Tactics, Acrobatics

    Mentalist
    Type: Esper
    Kit: Greybeard, Water Merchant, Apostle, Pilgrim
    Primary Stats: Ego, Willpower, Toughness
    Recommended Mutations: Pyro/Cryokinesis, Stunning Force, Temporal Fugue, Teleportation, Ego Projection, Sunder Mind, Force Wall/Bubble
    Skill Investment: Persuasion -- Berate for lowering enemies' willpower, Proselytize for meat shields.

    Artificer
    Type: True Man or Mutant Human (Any)
    Kit - True Men: Artifex
    Kit - Mutants: Tinker, Arconaut
    Primary Stats: Intelligence, Agility, Toughness
    Recommended Mutations: Psychometry. Otherwise, similar to gunfighters.
    Skill Investment: Tinkering, Pistols, Rifles

    Leader
    Type: True Man or Mutant Human (Any)
    Kit - True Men: Priest of All Suns, Consul
    Kit - Mutants: Apostle
    Primary Stats: Ego, Toughness
    Recommended Mutations: Domination, Beguiling, Ego Projection, Sunder Mind, Confusion, Force Wall
    Skill Investment: Persuasion -- Berate for lowering enemies' willpower, Proselytize for meat shields.

  2. #2
    Weapon Selection

    Cudgels
    Attack: Highest penetration, lowest damage. Good choice on average against high AV opponents.
    Skills: Strength-based, low variety of tactical options. Largely dazing and stunning procs, multiple dazes can stack and become stuns after a few have accumulated, so the tree definitely promotes stunlocking. Bonecrusher is insanely powerful if you can afford it.

    Axes
    Attack: Medium penetration (*See skills), medium damage. Good choice on average against medium AV opponents.
    Skills: Strength-based, medium-low variety of tactical options. Trip/Whack provide useful debuffs, Cleave* can effectively give axes the highest penetration in the game if stacked a few times, Hook/Drag is a solid positional skill, and Dismember/Decapitate can end any fight outright (of course it's fun to collect various boss heads as trophies, too).

    Long Blades
    Attack: Low penetration, highest damage. Good choice on average against low AV opponents.
    Skills: Strength and/or Agility-based, greatest variety of tactical options. This is basically 4 mini skilltrees, providing the greatest degree of build flexibility, but "flattening out" much sooner than Axes or Cudgels. Due to the fact that these skills tend to require good positional advantage (Swipe), mobility (Intercept), and because of the shared cooldown on stances, these skills require more planning, though are often extremely effective if the right stance is chosen for a given situation.

    Short Blades
    Attack: Low penetration, high damage. Good choice on average against low AV opponents, though effective than Long Blades.
    Skills: Agility-based, low variety of tactical options. Great synergy tree for Agility-based characters. Jab and Shank make Short Blades the best off-hand weapon choice (even better when stacked with Dual-Wield), and Pointed Circle + Juke + Tumble is one of the most fun skill combos in the game.

  3. #3
    A few suggestions:

    I would heavily suggest Clairvoyance for anyone who intends to fight at range, especially dedicated Espers. (Really, it's a good mutation for anyone.) It allows you to determine your opposition ahead of time so you can approach from an angle that will give you the most time at long range, and allows you to see (and therefore attack) at much longer range than you would otherwise. But most importantly for Espers, it has a strong synergy with many of their best mutations -- allowing you to spot areas to teleport to without visiting them, and letting you target many mutations through walls. Additionally, it only costs three mutation points, meaning it doesn't cost you anything to take it at chargen vs taking Unstable Genome.

    For an Esper, I would also strongly recommend Apostle over the other options -- the skills it gets can help a lot in the early game before your Ego and Unstable Genome advantages kick in, and in the long run maxing your Ego is far more important than anything else. Having a Proselytized ally to cover for you can save you many many times, and even watervine farmers are stronger than you might expect in the early areas.

    I also noticed you left off Light Manipulation for Espers -- any reason? It loses a bit of utility in the very late game (because late game Espers try to avoid ever giving enemies a clear line of fire anyway, and Clairvoyance ultimately renders the light radius obsolete), but is still a powerful backup option, and will help a huge amount for survival early on.

    Finally, while Espers benefit from high Willpower, I would generally recommend against raising it above 18 -- the benefit isn't high enough to be worth the sacrifices; raising Constitution to 18 and dropping another 18 in either Intelligence or a physical stat is worth a lot more than the small reduction in cooldowns you'll gain from the extra Willpower, especially since many of the best mutations cool down faster at high levels anyway (meaning your Ego will be able to handle it.) Ego, of course, should be maxed out, and increased whenever possible.

    As a general rule, Willpower helps in the early game, while Ego helps in the late game, because Ego is capped by level and Willpower isn't. I would still recommend not raising Willpower above 18, though, and putting all your level-ups in Ego -- between Proselytize, Clairvoyance, Force Wall and Light Manipulation, you should be able to handle just about anything in the early levels without too much difficulty as long as you're careful, especially if you invest the stat points you saved into raising Toughness. (Also, as far as I know, Light Manipulation is not affected by Willpower; early on, it will give you a decent weapon while your other powers are on cooldown.)
    Last edited by Aquillion; 07-07-2014 at 04:54 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquillion View Post
    A few suggestions:
    Indeed, great tips! If this guide feels a little broad and oversimplified, it's because I'd originally written it as a starting point for new players. One thing that I love about this game is the vastness of the character creation system, and all of the myriad, creative combinations that it entails -- if I started going down that rabbit-hole, I'd be way out of scope. But yeah - there's absolutely room for discussion of more nuanced strategies, many of which deserving of guides themselves -- it'd be super-cool if there was more high-level strategy chatter in the community.

    On to specifics:
    -Clairvoyance is one of my favorite abilities, and, as you noted combos well with a ton of stuff in the game (ranged attacks, myopic, sunder mind, teleport is a personal fav of mine, too). Combos like this are going to be even more fun / easier to play after the newest mutation balance patch is live, as it's 1 point cheaper, I believe.

    -I agree that apostle is the top class for a pure esper, and really, most ego characters. Intimidate and Proselytize are excellent crowd control (important if your physical stats are all 10s), and berate synergizes with Espers better than most people realize, due to the Willpower debuff.

    -Light manipulation is a great power and it's not on the list for any deficiency. Rather, I don't recommend it on pure esper builds merely because there are so many other great mental attack mutations which synergize better with the buffs from high Ego/Will. Light manipulation is something of an oddball in that its cooldown isn't enhanced/damaged by Willpower modifiers, and the early, extra offhand slot isn't really beneficial to a pure esper. By the same token, I think those attributes make it one of the best choices on physical/mental generalist builds.

    -Yup, ego > willpower on esper builds unless you're aiming to max cooldown speed early-on for fun (the returns on higher and higher Will drop off more quickly, as you noticed -- and yeah, it's even less important if you're using Light Manipulation).

  5. #5
    In my humble opinion, the best setup for beginners is:
    Mutant, farmer (or Marauder) with multiple legs, regeneration and sleep gas.
    The reason being, death can occur often in CoQ and once you die it's game over.
    With this build, you can easily sprint away, recover quickly and go back into the fight.
    Even if you can't sprint, you can use sleep gas and retreat. If things are terrible, you can use both. Sleep gas is also useful against crowds.
    Sure, you can still die but it is far less likely with this build. Not to mention, you can carry more stuff to trade.

    I've focused on Axes & Acrobatics. Getting Butchery could help complement harvesting for food gathering.

    Obviously, you want to invest points in STR (Axes), AGILITY (def + hit), TOUGH (don't get killed unexpectedly). Int is important, not only for skill learning but for masterful harvesting and masterful butchery (food). Ego is purely for water (trade). Will power, did not seem important with this build. Trading is an important part of the game but I suggest you slack on Will & Ego with this build.

    This build would work great with the Warden too but then you'd need to figure out the food part yourself. Eating corpses?

    Everything else is too unimportant for beginners. The most important thing is how quickly you can get out and back into a fight.

    Doing Gunslinger for instance, sounds great but beginners will have trouble looking for ammunition. Gunslingers without ammo are no fun...
    The pure Ego + Toughness builds could work too.. but they smell like you'd need more strategy and patience. Melee is a very good compromise between mindless killing and an occasional strategic retreat. I strongly suggest upgrading multiple legs first, regen is a strong second. Sleeping gas shouldn't be neglected too much. It is a life saver.
    Last edited by Zehelvion; 08-03-2015 at 07:12 PM.

  6. #6

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