Sacred:Tharkane's Weapons & Armor: Figuring it Out

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Posted at DarkMatters for review and discussion

Weapons & Armor: Figuring it Out

If you're wondering about how to read and make sense of the various statistics of weapons and armor, and how that all translates into the game experience, then here is a generalized reference to help you out in that regard.

Note: The information here has been collected by yours truly over time playing the game. It is general in nature and, if you're new without alot of play-time under your belt, it's worth remembering that there are exceptions to virtually every rule in this game. Keep that in mind, and you'll know how to use this reference.


Considering the headache involved in accurately plotting out a realistic map of the actual damage your character does, here's some basic guidelines to use in judging the overall worth and performance of any given weapon:

The total damage figure: generally speaking, the higher that number is, the better. This is a relatively safe way of judging the average damage output of any weapon.

Presence of Attack and Defense rating bonuses: A weapon does not have to feature either attack or defense rating increases to be effective in combat. When you see either (or both) of these figures on a weapon, they represent bonuses. Bonuses are always a good long as they apply to your character. For example: +1 to Hard-Hit is entirely useless to a Battle Mage and a Daemon. Why? Both of those characters lack the Hard-Hit combat move.

What follows is a run-down of weapon types...remember, there are always exceptions to every rule, so take the following information as generalized stats:


Generally speaking, Longsword types feature a balanced attack and defense rating bonus. Attack Speed bonuses are also prone to appear on these kinds of swords. Damage is usually moderate to low, but many sport three slots, which can be used to amplify damage output. Sabers and Scimitars: these swords typically feature a numerical defense rating bonus, and feature a + % of Dexterity to Attack modifier. Slots are rare (sabers are more prone to have slots). Damage output is moderate. Two handed swords obviously are the heavy-hitters, and can have the most slots (4). While their damage output is not as high as two-handed axes, they generally offer more in the way of attack speed bonuses, specialized damage, and other nifty bonuses and mods. Daggers: daggers almost always offer superior attack rating modifiers, and a damage type modified by a statistic. While their end damage output is low, the potential for use by dual wielders is excellent. Note: Daemons perform very well with swords in melee. She swings a two-handed sword faster than any other character in the game at comparable attack speeds. Wood Elves swing daggers faster than any other character in the game at comparable attack speeds.


Overall, axe weapons offer the highest damage output of the melee weapons. One-handed axes: these almost always feature physical damage modified by a % Strength. Some use Dexterity instead. You will find that certain styles of axe conform to boosting by particular statistical scores. An attack rating bonus is usually present, though a defense rating bonus is rare to find. The average axe will deliver more damage than the average sword. One-handed maces and hammers: in my opinion, these weapons are ideal for use by dual wielders. The maces seem to swing slightly faster than the axes with most characters, and most offer excellent damage output. Battle Axes and Two-handed Hammers (generic, Gladiator, and Dwarf-only): the two-handed axes/hammers offer a very high damage output, and are ideally suited for demolishing foes in melee with the Hard-Hit CA. Some types of battle axe will feature both an attack and defense rating, though most feature only attack. Note:Only Gladiators and Dwarves can use the TH battle axes and hammers. Two weapons appear in the game that are two-handed axe weapons; these can be used by any character. One looks like a staff with a mace-head on the business end (strangely enough, these will also appear as long handled weapons...a Dwarf can use the Axe Lore version, but not the Long Handled Weapon version! ), and the other is a three-headed, two-handed flail (Orcs will employ these quite often in the game). Dwarves perform best with axe weapons; a Dwarf will swing both a one-handed axe AND a two-handed axe weapon faster than any other character in the game at comparable attack speeds.

Long Handled Weapons:

Generally speaking these weapons are two-handed, with one notable exception: Mage's Short Staff, a one-handed staff weapon. Staves typically offer either an attack rating, a defense rating, rarely both, and usually offer + % of Dexterity to Defense. Damage is typically physical with few or nod mods at all. Mage's Staves offer the anticipated bonuses to spell damage types, spells, Spell Regeneration, and so on, and are prone to feature two types of damage, usually physical and magic, or fire. Spears typically offer an attack rating, and usually do extra damage against mounted foes (useful on a limited basis in the Underworld campaign), and Dragons. Spears ordinarily offer just physical damage, but some might add fire or even poison to the mix. Several spears/polearms exist which are for Seraphims only - these can be ordinary, all the way to unique. Note: Seraphims perform very well with spear-type long handled weapons. Wood Elves perform very well with staves. Daemons perform well with non-Battle Mage Mages' Staves, and spears. The Mage's Short Staff is a Battle Mage-only weapon.

Ranged Weapons:

The addition of Underworld brought more variety in this area.


Short bows: Short bows offer the least amount of damage amongst the bows, but are handy since they often do a variety of damage types. They can be used by any character except for Daemons and Dwarves.

Long bows: Long bows offer better damage, but are less versatile in their damage offerings. Any character can use them except for Daemons and Dwarves. Polemides Bow of Terror, a WE set weapon, is this type of bow.

Wood Elf bows: As the name implies, these bows can only be used by a Wood Elf. Octanion's Rage and Arelfi's Glorious Retribution are WE set bows of this type. Two types exist: those with no Ranged Combat requirement, and those with Ranged Combat as a requirement. Generally speaking, the Ranged Combat bows are more powerful. In terms of damage, long bows actually have higher output in general, but Wood Elf bows compensate by (usually) offering Regeneration Special Move bonuses, bonuses to Arrow CAs, often sport two damage types (physical and magic the most common).

Crossbows: Crossbows have the highest damage potential of the bow weapons, but conversely have the slowest rate of fire. Crossbow damage is usually boosted by a % of Strength. There are a number of excellent crossbows in the game, including several outstanding uniques. Crossbows can be used by any character except Dwarves. Note: while in Soaring Daemon form, the Daemon has a ridiculously fast rate of fire with crossbows. On foot, she is a slow as everyone else. Crossbows are very likely to show up with 4 slots, making them a potentially powerful weapon. Because of the slow rate of fire, I suggest using them only to fire off CA hits (such as Hard Hit). This takes advantage of their excellent damage.


Guns can only be used by Dwarves. Two general types exist: pistols, and muskets. Pistols offer a slighty faster rate of fire than muskets, but do less damage. Muskets pack more punch, but are a bit slower to fire. Guns almost always feature physical damage modified by Dexterity. Pistols are more prone to feature fire damage in addition to the standard damage fare, making them useful against undead.

Blade Combat Weapons:

Click on the Dark Elf Weaponry link in my sig for a thorough run-down on Blade Combat weapons. All of the Blade Combat weapons (except for Dark Elf-only) can be used by any character, whether a Battle Mage or a Wood Elf. Generally speaking, most of the characters attack at a high rate of speed with claws. The Daemon is likely the fastest of the characters with claws. The Blade Combat weapon skill can only be taken by the Dark Elf. He is the fastest with fist blades, and amongst the 4 characters in the game who can dual wield (Dark Elf, Gladiator, Seraphim, and Daemon), is arguably the best-suited for it.

Unarmed Combat Weapons:

In version 2.24 of Sacred (Sacred Gold, i.e. Underworld), Combat Gauntlets are the only weapon in the game governed by the UA skill. A character's bare hands, of course, are as well. In versions past, only Gladiators could use these. Presently: combat gauntlets, unless specifically stated as Gladiator-only, can be used by any character in the game. Although many unique combat gauntlets are for use by the Gladiator only, there are some out there for use by any character (thanks to Hawklaser for the info!). Gladiators and Dwarves both perform very well with combat gauntlets. These typically do one kind of damage: either physical (most common), and rarely fire.

Attack Speed and how it figures into play

Here are some general rules:

Certain characters favor certain weapon types. They will attack more quickly than other characters using that kind of weapon, even when the others have higher attack speeds! A brief run-down of weapon synergies amongst the characters: Vampiress in Knight Form: all swords. Vampiress: is pretty fast with everything the Knight can equip since whatever weapon she was equipped with in Knight form becomes her "claws" in Vampire Form (the Vamp is a killing machine); Daemon: claws, and two-handed swords; Dwarf: all axe weapons; Wood Elf: bows, staves, and daggers; Gladiator: combat gauntlets; Dark Elf: fastest when dual wielding weapons, one-handed weapon: fist blade; Battle Mage: when on horseback, all of his attack speeds increase (swings a sword more quickly, swings a staff faster, etc); Seraphim: like the Battle Mage, her attack animation speed with weapons is faster when she is mounted.

Principles of Damage: Bonuses and Modifiers

As a rule, special weapons will feature more bonuses than "white-titled" weapons. There are exceptions to this, however, so beware: that white-titled two handed sword you left lying on the ground just might have four slots, and do incredible physical damage!

Types of weapon damage modifiers

Weapon Damage (Physical, Fire, Magic, Poison): sometimes a percentile of a statistic, other times a simple numerical value. Often, this modifier will specify a particular opponent it is effective against. Dragons: all dragons, and dragon-like monsters (fire lizards, wyverns, etc). Goblins: goblins, orcs, and ogres. Undead: skeletons, zombies, liches, ghouls, skeleton mages, ancarian trolls, animated conjurers, nuk nuks, etc. Energy Beings: ghosts, restless spirits, life leechers of the orcrus, tormented souls, etc. Monsters: certain creatures in the game fall under this category. This classification will appear as you hover your mouse pointer over the target. Hirelings: DeMordreyan Soldiers, Swordmasters, Bloodhunters, Valorian troop types, Marauders, etc. Tip: the Weapon Damage type of bonus is the most commonly occurring damage bonus type on weapons.

(Physical, Fire, Magic, Poison) Weapon: + X%: a simple modifier, exactly the same as the previous one, except it applies to weapon damage vs. any opponent. Tip: Physical Weapon: +X% is very prone to appearing on Dwarven backpacks.

(Physical, Fire, Magic, Poison) Damage: +X%: officially my favorite damage modifier, this handy bonus not only applies to the damage you do with weapons, but the damage you inflict with spells and traps, too. Tips: Physical Damage: +X% is very prone to appearing on white-titled swords and and axes. This sort of damage bonus is ideal for a "hybrid" sort of character that likes to mix melee with spells/traps/Dwarven Cannon moves.

(Physical, Fire, Magic, Poison) Spell: +X%: this type of damage modifier, usually found only on the various Mage staves, amplifies spell damage of the specified damage type. For example: the Poison Spell bonus will increase the poison damage done by the BM's Gust of Wind, the Daemon's Tentacles spell, and the Wood Elf's Thorn Bush and Poison Tendrils spells. Tip: The various Spell: +X% mods are very prone to appearing on Mage's Short Staves (typically Fire Spell), the generic Mage's Staff (usually Magic Spell on those), and certain swords with titles such as "Heavenly Sword of the Famous" (also Magic Spell).

Straight-up Numbers:

Sometimes, a weapon will lack any sort of damage modifiers. Do not despair: often, weapons like these will feature more than one damage type (sometimes up to three!), or offer excellent attack and defense bonuses, have plenty of slots, etc. Tip: I have tested some of these weapons before and have discovered that the raw numbers alone are actually higher in actual output than comparable weapons with, equip them and look at your output before dismissing them. I have found some real gems this way.


Protection: This figure is generally a good way to judge the overall worthiness of an armor piece. There are other details to consider, but this is the place to start.

Attack and Defense ratings: Both are desirable, though in the case of armor, I recommend focusing on defense. You can use weapons mainly to amplify attack. I normally use the following pattern: Helmets: defense. Shoulder Guards: attack & defense. Body Armor: defense and heavy on resists. Bracers: attack & defense. Gauntlets: defense. Belt: defense. Greaves: attack and defense. Boots: defense. Amulets: defense. Rings: if four slots on the fingers, two defense, two attack. If two slots: defense. However, ALL rings worn should add to damage somehow (avoid resistance rings unless they also do damage, are a set ring, or a very sweet unique).

I like to build a solid defense and great resistances with armor, and let weapons/CAs take care of attack ability.

Resistances: This is an important place to look. For general use, you want armor that provides excellent protection against physical damage. If you're wanting to design a suit of armor for a particular area of the game or, wisely, assemble a suit of armor that will work against dragons, then you will want to see other damage type resistances here. Here's my general tips regarding game areas (in Ancaria, anyway; I will add Underworld-specific later):

From Bellevue to Braverock: Physical resistance-heavy. Basically, the "green" and forested areas of the game west of the swamps and the Valley of Zhurag-Nar. If the various mage-type foes in these areas are a concern, then add fire and magic resistance to the armor.

Valley of Zhurag-Nar to Mystdale: Physical and poison resistance are key.

The southern deserts: Any modifier to help protect you against ranged attackers is something to get if you can, since there are lots and lots of archers in the Ancarian deserts.

Fire Plateau: Physical and Fire.

vs. Undead: Physical, Fire, and Poison. The Skeleton Mages shoot fireballs. The Animated Conjurers toss Explosive Charges. Liches toss Poison Mists and hit for physical + poison damage. Zombies, Ghouls, and Ancarian Trolls will do physical + poison damage. Skeletons generally do pure physical except for some of the archers, which often do fire damage with arrows.

vs. Dragon: Heavy on defense rating, physical resistance, and fire resistance. Dragons hit hard; usually the only way to escape being hit hard by one is to be buffed by a BM's Stoneskin and Flameskin. Flameskin, or a Daemon in Fire Daemon form, can generally stand in the middle of dragon breath with few problems unless your health is already low, or the CA/spell levels are low. My BMs buffed with both FS and SS have no problems with dragon-related damage. Those two (together) protect against breath, meteor storms, and melee hits.

vs. DeMordrey: Up until Gold, DeMordrey is easy. He starts becoming tough in Gold; by Niobium he is insanely tough and dishes out alot of damage very quickly. Very heavy on defense and physical resists.

vs. Sakarra Demon: good defense, and fire resistance. The Demon's eye beams can hurt if you don't have adequate fire resistance. His burning feet stomp attack can peck away at your health without a good resistance to fire.

Principles of Protection:

Resistance, Attack, and Defense Modifiers

You can use armor, rings, and amulets to boost virtually every aspect of your character: resistances, attack rating, defense rating, abilities, skills, CA & spell name it. The same also applies to weapons! Your style of play will ultimately reveal what works best for you. I will suggest a moderate/balanced approach to getting the most out of your armor and other items. Adjust it as you see fit.

Primary role of Armor: Resistance boost, defense rating boost, and receptacle for the following special modifiers: life leech, critical hit bonuses, open wounds modifiers, bonuses to all CA and Spell levels, etc. Why use armor pieces to house these bonuses? Chiefly so these modifiers will apply at all times, no matter what weapon you're using. It's difficult to replicate these bonuses/mods on every single weapon in your slots; very simple to have them always present on what you're wearing, so they're always there!

Primary role of Amulets: Defense rating boost, resistance boost, and hopefully will offer nice little perks like + X to all magic spells, + X to all combat arts, etc. These should be worn, and socketed into armor pieces. Amulets offer the highest contribution to resistances and defense rating bonuses in comparison to rings, CA runes, and Blacksmith Arts.

Primary role of Rings: Damage boost, attack and defense boost, additional source of desirable modifiers listed under Armor above, and statistic/skill boost. First and foremost, the rings your character wears should add damage to your attacks. Better that the damage boost takes the form of the <Damage Type> Damage: +X% modifier. Many rings feature that bonus type...go for those. Rings are best suited for wearing, or socketing into weapons since most add to damage.

Primary role of Shields: Resistance boost, defense rating boost, and receptacle of the modifiers found on Armor. Socket amulets into shields. Tip: As you will see by now, Armor is the best place to locate the "exotic" bonuses, since there are more places to wear armor on your character's body than there are weapons to wield in a weapon slot. Average places to wear armor on a character: 13 (rings and amulets included in that), not counting a shield. Maximum number of weapons you can equip at one time: two if you dual wield.

EDIT - more to come later (bonuses and mods, a master plan for both weapons and armor, etc.)