Roma Victor: Character Systems Part Two
MMORPG.com Roma Victor Correspondent Phil Zieg writes this overview of the character system in the roman-era based game.
Creating a Character
To create a character, a player must login to the RV forums and go to the Participant Menu>Account Page. Characters can be either Roma (Roman) or Barbaricum (barbarian).
Roman characters begin the game as “slaves” at Corstopitum, a Roman town south of Hadrian’s Wall. Being a slave does not mean the character must serve other players. It is a class designation for Roman characters who have not achieved citizen status. There is very little real difference between a Roman slave and a Roman citizen, although it may be a factor in roleplay. But citizenship, and its benefits and advantages, is another topic. Romans can also choose from a much greater number of ethnicities, as the Roman Empire ruled many areas, and included peoples of a wide array of cultural and ethnic origin. Character ethnicity is for roleplay purposes only. There are no inherent benefits or bonuses for any character ethnicity. Roman characters begin with white undergarments. The undergarments change to red when citizenship is attained.
Barbarian characters begin as “free” in the town of Erring, a barbarian town north of the Wall. Barbarians have a small bonus in the form of a slightly higher chance of being able to approach a non-hostile animal (cow, pig, chicken, goat) without being detected than a Roman of equal skill. This is a factor in hunting (animal-handling and handling-domestic are the skills that affect being able to approach an animal without “aggroing” it and causing it to flee). Barbarians begin with gray undergarments.
Barbarians are currently limited to starting the game as one of the ethnicities native to Britain in the 2nd century. Playfields for other areas of the Roman Empire and its frontier (Gaul, Germania, Iberia, Dacia, etc.) are planned, but the South Caledonia region of Britannia (along Hadrian’s Wall) is the only available playfield as of this writing (October of 2008).
If a player wishes to be a barbarian (or “free”) as an ethnicity that is not available for barbarians at character creation, the player can simply create their character and “run away,” becoming a barbarian. Running away and becoming free is a game mechanic available to slaves, even though there is no actual slavery involved in RV.
There is also a work-around that allows a character to be created as barbarian using the Roman ethnicities. On the Character Creation screen, click the ethnicity drop-down (shown in image), then change the class from Roma to Barbaricum with drop-down still displaying. The player can then choose one of the Roman ethnicities.
At the top of the Character Creation page are three fields for the character name. The MIDDLE field is the name that will be displayed for that character in game. There is a random generate tab on the right of the three name fields. Clicking this tab generates a new name of Latin, Germanic, or Celtic origin, according to which origin is specified in the check boxes next to the name generator.
Players may forego the generated name and enter a name of their choosing in the middle name field. It should be noted that non-roleplay names (such as “Leetsniper”) are often not well received by the RV community.
On the Character Creation screen there are sliders for Attributes on the left-hand side. Each "tick" or click on the left/right arrows of the slider moves the slider 1 point. The maximum for all attributes is 95. The sliders starts at a different value for each attribute based upon gender:
MALES Muscle - 20 Vision - 15 Dexterity - 15 Agility - 15 Intuition - 5 Stamina - 30.
FEMALES Muscle - 10 Vision - 15 Dexterity - 15 Agility - 20 Intuition - 20 Stamina - 20
These values cannot be lowered below their starting value. The player has 200 additional points available to distribute amongst the attributes as they please. Given the roles of the Attributes and Characteristics (in previous post), players must decide how to distribute the points based upon their goals for their character, or weighing positives versus negatives.
At the bottom right of the Character Creation page is the character skills section. A player gets 10 skill points to allot for a variety of skills with which to start. These are mostly irrelevant, as other characters can teach any implemented skill to higher than 10. Many players put the starting skill points into deception skill, which is not currently implemented.
Character Appearance, at the bottom left of the Character Creation page, consists of options for face, body type (not currently implemented), and skin tone. IMPORTANT NOTE: Players creating a barbarian character should not darken skin tone at all if they wish to use face paint on their character. Face paint cannot be used on characters whose skin tone has been darkened.
Other Factors to Consider
Combat is very vigour-intensive, which means that a high Stamina is almost essential. Opinions vary, but it is best for any character to have 80 Stamina or higher.
Players should plan on a successful attack by a player opponent doing approximately 40-50 damage to the body part that is struck. Although it is possible to be hit for more or less damage, an exposed (unarmored) body part should be able to withstand 50 points of damage to ensure being incapacitated is unlikely from one hit to that area of the body.
The face is easy to target. There is currently only one type of helm that provides coverage for the face: the mirmillo helm. It requires the 'gladiator' badge to be equipped. The 'gladiator' badge must be renewed by training in a RedBedlam-owned arena (in Corstopitum or Milecastle 27 areas only) each time it is lost due to expiry or death (one badge is lost each character death) in order for the helmet to be equipped.
Female characters cannot currently equip any type of body armor, and only one type of helmet, the mirmillo helm (see point above).
Armor types have various vigor usage penalties for dodging. This means that when wearing heavier armor, dodging uses more vigor than for lighter armor types or no armor at all. Dodge can be turned off, but this eliminates 1/3 of the character's total defense, and 1/2 the defense available to arms and legs (see DEFENSE in previous post for details about the coverage of defensive skills).
If a character is going to be used with dodge off in combat, they should probably be capable of withstanding a hit to the arm (that damages both Muscle and Dexterity) or leg (which damages Agility) and not incapacitate.
Greaves or boots can help protect legs, particularly if a character has low Agility. Greaves are metal armor that covers from the ankle to over the knee in RomaVictor. The foot is not covered by greaves.
Vision and Dexterity are desirable for any character that will specialize in ranged weapons.
Lower arms and head have TWO Attributes that are damaged when those areas are hit. One low Attribute can cause the character to be incapacitated even if one of the Attributes is high.
Review all the information on Attributes for how each affects combat and other activities.
Although characters can certainly function and be effective while having weaknesses, attaining maximum performance may require either developing the skills and putting in the time for any measures to compensate for weaknesses in character build, or spending money in game to do so. Fruit is free. Everything else (armor, cooked food) takes time, resources, skills, or money.
Sample Character Builds
Example Character Build A This is a typical combat build. The character will incapacitate from a hit to any unarmored portion of the head. The high Muscle and Dexterity mean that this character will be able to withstand a hit to the arm (which is only covered by 2 of 3 defenses with dodge on, and 1 of 3 with dodge off. The 50 Agility will be a factor in dodging, and mean the character will be able to withstand almost any single hit to the legs without incapacitating. The low Intuition will be a factor in learning, but can be offset with fish buffs and by building up the Sense attribute. The low Vision can be offset by apple buffs and training up the Aim characteristic.
Muscle - 60 Vision - 20 Dexterity - 60 Agility - 50 Intuition - 20 Stamina - 90
Example Character Build B
This character will have a very good chance of withstanding a full-damage hit anywhere on their body except legs. The character is well rounded, but may need to wear greaves to compensate for low Agility, to reduce or negate damage from any hit to the legs (which damages Agility).
Muscle - 50 Vision - 50 Dexterity - 50 Agility - 15 Intuition - 50 Stamina - 85
Example Character Build C
This is an example of a character geared toward high hit rate while using no armor or light armor. The high Dexterity increases hit rate. The 50 Muscle (along with 50+ Dexterity) ensures this character will be able to withstand most single hits to the arm without incapacitating. The high Agility aids dodging skill. The low Vision can be buffed with apples. This character would want to work on raising Aim, as it may aid in hit rate. This character has a weak head, which is offset by high dodge modifier for the high Agility, and good modifier for the parry skill with high Dexterity. This character also will suffer from slower learning quicker than other characters because of low Intuition.
Muscle - 50 Vision - 15 Dexterity - 70 Agility - 70 Intuition - 5 Stamina - 90
Example Character Build D
This character is an example crafter build. The high Intuition will increase the number of skills the character can master before learning becomes slower, and may increase the rate of skill gains. Muscle and Dexterity of 50 provide decent modifiers for crafting skills governed by Muscle or Dexterity Attributes. The maxed Stamina is great to have for all crafting tasks that use vigor, loading and unloading carts, foraging and gathering, and the general running around that some crafting tasks require. Muscle - 50 Vision - 15 Dexterity - 50 Agility - 15 Intuition - 75 Stamina - 95
Many other character builds are possible. Some players may have 95 in an Attribute that they think will bring the most benefit, such as agility for dodging or dexterity for hit rate while others go with very balanced builds.
Thanks to the RomaVictor community members for their input in this article.