Sacred:Tharkane's guide to The Dwarven Trader...Part 2

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Originally posted at DarkMatters for review and discussion.

13th - 20th level

You should have made it to Porto Vallum by 12th level. Do every quest in town that you can. This a critical time for your Dwarven Trader. You will start making forays into the Khorad-Nur desert to become more powerful. You can do this alone before you rescue Wilbur, or with Wilbur tagging along. No matter, his presence doesn't make a difference one way or the other. You won't need him for help, since you're more than your enemies can handle anyway. Important: You must find and rescue the secret 2nd Merchant of Porto Vallum in order to unlock the power of your Trading skill. If you don't know where to find him, here's how:

When you receive the "Kill Ogalook the Orc Boss" quest, you are sent to the southeastern side of Porto Vallum. After you wipe him and cronies out, head directly south of your location and you will spot a cave on the edge of a copse of trees. Go in there and rescue the Merchant. It is defintely worth your time. On your way back to town, try to avoid combat when you can since the Merchant will suicidally attack your enemies. If combat happens, try to kill the enemies as quickly as possible to keep the Merchant safe. This isn't too difficult: I've never lost the Merchant that way.

This places a 2nd Merchant in town, making two in close proximity to each other. This will be your first real taste of why Trading is so worth having. This is due to game mechanics: during a game, a Merchant's inventory remains the same until the player interacts with another Merchant (or, if the game is saved and reloaded). Once that happens, accessing that same Merchant will result in an entirely new inventory! New inventories means more choices, and more chances of exceptional items appearing for sale.

After the 2nd Merchant is in place, run back and forth between them to keep a fresh selection of goods going. In doing this, you can collect better weapons, armor pieces, rings and amulets than you ever could through random monster drops. It will require you to spend some time doing it, but the results are sweet! Rings with life leech, big bonuses to damage, yellow-titled armor and name it, you'll find it.

I suggest doing the Merchant deal right after you lead him back to town. Spend some time upgrading your equipment this way. Use the Blacksmith in town to create your awesome gear. Then, work your way south to the Desert and start killing the crowds of Orcs along with those Orc bosses. This is an excellent way to level up, rack up your gold, and hopefully see some more unique/set items drop.

If you're sticking to the big axes, you kill 'em the same way you kill goblins. However, the Orcish archers are a pain in the butt and can hurt you if you don't work your battle strategy out to take care of them quickly. If there's only one or two of them, no big deal. Kill the crowd first before you take them out. But if there's four or more (and this happens), you need to snuff them out first because their damage adds up pretty quickly. If you have excellent life leech, that helps. I consider excellent life leech 20% or higher. This works fine because you should be able to kill the majority of an Orc crowd with one use of Vehemence. If you can't, socket some Vehemence CA runes, buy items that feature + to all combat arts, or simply look for weapons that offer a boost to Vehemence (you're a Trader, Ancaria is your oyster). Worst-case scenario: eat some Vehemence runes.

If you've worked on keeping RSM bonuses high, you should be able to spam Vehemence! Try to keep the regen time below 1.2 seconds. For players who love the Gladiator, you will definitely love the Dwarf. Vehemence works like Fist of the Gods only without the warm-up wind. It's not as powerful as FoTG, but is faster to use. That should appeal to any Glad player who didn't like FoTG because of that. Not me: I love FoTG, it rules.

Ideally, you should be able to kill the Orc boss after your 2nd use of Vehemence. This works out okay, because there will always be one or two Orcs in the crowd who didn't die the first time around. If for some reason the Boss is still standing, use Heavy Blow on him to finish him off. Remember this rule: Vehemence on a crowd, Heavy Blow on a single target. Your Heavy Blow regen time should be even lower than the Vehemence regen time. Try to keep your Heavy Blow regen time under 1 second, no more than 1.2 seconds.

20th level skill pick: Now is a good time to take Constitution. More health is a good thing!