The first thing you should decide on when making any character is which second job you will be making. For swordsman the options are Warrior or Knight. Also, the generic question of what your focus is going to be: PVP, PVE, or Raiding. Each has its own specific tweak to optimize the build.
If you want more DPS, Warrior seems the better choice. As for tankthere is much debate on which is better at tanking. Well, when considering which one makes a better tank, this is what you should think about Shield OR Defender Skill.
Shields give a solid defense boost and stats.
Looking at desperate apostle equipment (Epic craftable equipment not the best but good for an example.) The shield alone gives 500 defense, 56 Str, and 47 Vit. The set gives 1,555 defense.
Defender boosts your defense, evasion, and block by 30%.
Apostle set gives 823 defense + 30% (247) = 1070.
That's just to get you thinking a little bit. In all honesty, I think both are great tanks with the possibility to do an equal job. I know there are many more factors to consider but I just wanted people to know that Knights are not left in the dust because of the Defender skill. If someone wants to do a better, in-depth analysis of which class with equal gear gets the most damage reduction I would be delighted to read it!
Knights can go:
DPS: I don't know many who go down this path, but more power to you! Share your results.
Sample: This would be my guess? Its really strange to think about a pure DPS Knight, but its always nice to break the mold and try and find something new and fantastic!
Tank: I mean pure tanky tankyness!
Sample: If you really must sacrifice some DPS then go for Battle Orders or Aura Strike. Provoke and Mass Provoke are necessary at one but optional to increase.
Hybrid: I think most people go down this path and it's a good idea.
Sample: Same as tank. Balancing this is hard so just consider all the options.
Warrior can go:
DPS: A definite possibility, but I personally think hybrid would be better.
Sample: Just basically pump everything that helps you damage I suppose
Tank: Its like a tank that bites.
Sample: Same as a knight no real room for innovation.
Hybrid: What most people will do and probably the better choice in my opinion.
Sample: Same as Knight...
Head Crush: A damage over time (DoT) skill. You should use it regularly, as it helps with DPS and threat. I don't personally put any points into it, and keep it at 1 because 3% more DoT doesn't seem worth 4 skill points. Your choice though, I don't judge.
Magnum Break: You will get a much better AoE in both job changes, so keep it at 0.
Battle Manual: I keep it at 0, unless you're going full DPS.
Bash: Max it, you will be mashing it from now on.
Battle Orders: Max it, great buff! Some will say to leave it, as all the other sword types will get it, but this can backfire very quickly in my opinion.
Aura Strike: Max it as it will be part of your main DPS rotation. You can take some out if you're desperate for skill points but I would not recommend it.
Aura Blade: Unless you're going pure DPS leave it at 1 as it will be a pre-requisite for other skills.
Provoke: Can be argued to increase it beyond 1, as it is very handy for raiding and PVE in general.
Wide Provoke: Can be argued to increase it beyond 1, as it is very handy for raiding and PVE in general.
Aura Armor: Max it. A permanent buff you will always want on, unless you're a pure DPS.
As for stats, here are a few options and opinions:
41 Str, 41 Agi: A nice build trying to balance crits and raw attack.
40 Str, 40Agi, 8Vit: Another nice build, 1 str + 1 agi for 8 vit? Not a bad deal for a little extra HP.
50 Str, 29 Agi, 2 Vit: A nice build aiming for maximized attack power. My personal favorite. You need some DPS to maintain threat, don't forget
29 Str, 50 Agi, 2 Vit: A nice build focusing on crits.
29 Str, 2 Agi, 50 Vit: For those who want an extra 250 hp, if TheUraharaShop's stickied post is accurate.
36 Str, 36 Agi, 25 Vit: Very balanced build trying to get the most out of stat points.
These are just a few stat builds to give you some ideas, although I personally don't think Vit is worth putting points into but some may disagree and it's fine. For tank/pure tank builds out there the extra HP may look enticing, but don't forget you need some DPS to keep threat up. I think most people will agree that Wis is completely useless to put points into. Also, you should know that in this game, crits are GOD, and will see many people trying to hit about 40% crit rate at level 50.
As for Int in a swordsman build is possible because of battle manual skill, which increases damage by a certain percentage for ever int you have. I have never tested it but you should know its a possibility.
Main Skill rotations:
Bash x 3 > Aura Strike
You could start off with head crush, and it would be a good idea, but most things would die before it's really useful. If it's a boss, then definitely use it.
When starting out, put points into Str as you'll see a bigger affect in the early game, save Agi stats for later in the game.
Max out your main combo if you're going DPS.
When deciding whether or not to get a certain skill, take its COOLDOWN and CAST TIME into consideration.
The skill simulator is not completely accurate. So double check cooldowns, cast times, and skill upgrade percentages before you invest in them.
If you are in a party and are not on tanking duty, take Aura Armor off lest you confuse the boss and cause chaos.
Anyone have anymore? I would love some! Also, if there is any other things that should go in here, do tell me please!
Full Knight Builds:
Full Warrior Builds:
Feel free to post and submit your own unique or cookie cutter builds to put in there! Variety is the spice of life after all. Also if I made a mistake in any of my "calculations" please tell me! I just used google and made guesses . Also go take a look at the stickied guides, they are very well made and most likely a lot more informative than mine .
Edited by LordLDF, 20 April 2013 - 09:00 PM.