Ye Olde Fixer Guide

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Ye Olde Fixer Guide

Post by Tarradax » Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:39 pm

First thing's first: Welcome to the least defined profession on Rubi-Ka. Every other profession has a more-or-less distinctive role to play - All but the fixer. So, depending on your preference and style, you can expect to: Tank, Backup Heal, Crowd control, Buffwhore, and of course just add damage. I'll get to the details further down, but I'm going to assume that whoever reads this has at least basic knowledge of AO and its game mechanics (That includes ClickSaver).

I'll just add that I've been playing this lil' game here for slightly over 2 years, and in the course of that time I've rolled (And rerolled) at least 10 fixers. A fixer was the first toon I've ever made, and each time I've rerolled it I've learned something new. My main is Tarradax, a 207 Fixer on Rimor, currently undergoing a massive overhaul and gear-gathering session before I make the push to 210 and start the endgame raids.

This guide is not designed to hold your hand throughout your fixer's life. If anything, consider it a checklist or a reference guide as to what you should expect to be able to do - The standards I've set are not hard to meet, they do not require deep pockets, they do not require hordes of buffers or tradeskillers. They do require you to be able to think, though, so to anyone who's reading this hoping to learn all there is to learn, I'm sorry, you're reading the wrong guide. However, if you're reading this guide to get a general idea and advice, you're at the right place.

And last before we get down to it: A lot of this guide reflects my personal opinion and experience with the profession, gathered (sometimes painfully) from my own toons and the blundering mistakes I've made with them - I've always said I'll write a fixer guide eventually, so here it is. If you find anything wrong or wish to share your opinion (That includes mistakes you believe I've made), feel free to either PM me or reply here. Right then, enough with the intro, let's get crackin'.

As most people will tell you, every breed can perform well in every profession if played well. This mostly applies to fixers as well - The endgame result for fr00b fixers is mostly similar between breeds, but the endgame is far away. Don't choose a breed just because you'll want to play it at 200 (Or 220), choose a breed because it fits your style and view of how you want to play your fixer. Having said that, my personal recommendation is to not choose nanomage unless you either want to be really unique, or are having a masochistic streak.

With that in mind, let's review the breeds:

Opifex: As an Opi fixer, your obvious advantage is going to be in armor (More on that later) and in agility-based implants. Your HP is going to be somewhat low since stamina is going to cost you more IP, and your base evades are going to be higher simply due to a higher and cheaper agility.
With SL: Some support symbiants (Most important would be the Brain, Eye & Ear) require Sense/Agility as 2 of their requirements, giving Opis another advantage at both pre-SL and post-SL levels. A lower strength and stamina will make it a little hard to wear artillery symbiants, but it's still doable.
With AI: An Opifex will have no problem selfing Combined Sharpshooter (CSS) Armor.
Overall, Opifex are the prime choice for fixers with 1062 TL7 Opifex Fixers across all 3 dimensions.

Solitus: Solitus are your average standard-issue breed. No special strengths, no special weaknesses. Cheaper stamina than an Opifex means relatively more HP, but a higher agility cost means less base evades. There's really not alot I can say about this breed, other than express my personal dislike for it.
With SL: With a higher stamina than an Opifex past level 200, a Solitus can expect an easier job fitting into artillery symbiants at the higher shadowlevels (Most important would be the Right Arm, Waist and Thigh).
With AI: Solitus will find little difficulty selfing CSS, but it's still very much doable with little effort.
Overall, Solitus are the 2nd choice for fixers with 378 TL7 Solitus Fixers across all 3 dimensios.

Atrox: Big, Strong, Stupid. In a profession that relies on an approach more subtle than "ME SMASH!", Atrox are a little out of place. However, their higher stamina and overall endurance might give you that little extra edge in raw HP that other breeds lack. Still very popular for lowbie and tower twinks, Atrox do have their qualities.
With SL: Artillery symbs require strength, Atrox have plenty. However, an Atrox WILL NOT be able to wear the high-end Support symbs due to their limited sense.
With AI: Atrox will have some hard time selfing and twinking on CSS Armor (Although QL300 CSS is still possible as a trox), but they do have Mongo Rage.
Overall, Atrox are the 3rd choice for fixers with 84 TL7 Atrox Fixers across all 3 dimensions.

NanoMage: There is something called "Being too smart for your own good", and this is it. Fixer nanoskills are all dark blue, and nanomages do have a very nice advantage in that department with a higher and cheaper intel score (As well as some breed-locked goodies), but their shortcomings are far greater: Low agility combined with low HP make this a remarkably undesirable fixer breed.
With SL: Symbiant twinking will be hell. Chosen/Faithful twinking will be hell. Overall, twinking will be hell.
With AI: Same as above, expect a very bumpy ride on the armor and endgame goodies front.
Overall, Nanomages are the least favourite choice for a fixer with only 31 TL7 Nanomage Fixers across all 3 dimensions, and only 6 at 220.

General Leveling Overview
This is a down-and-dirty guide of the highlights at various level ranges. Its purpose is to give you a general overview of what you can expect and what you should be able to do at the various stages of your growth (Implants, Symbiants, Grid Armor and Weapons are not covered here, I will get to them in-depth later):

Levels 1 - 24
Prepare to be weak. Hell, prepare to be feeble. Evades don't carry much weight yet, your HoT is hardly enough to keep you going, and even though IP isn't very tight yet you'll start to feel the pain at around level 20. Overall, this is not a good time to be a fixer - Grind your teeth and push through, it'll be worth it eventually. These levels are not a very good testing stage to the fixer style.
Skills: IP isn't going to be hard until after level 20-25, but that doesn't mean you can just waste it - Nanoskills being the main problem, don't raise them unless you absolutely must: Always raise intel first, level your NCU Hacker Interface, upgrade your implants - Spending IP on nanoskills is your final resort. Other IP expenses include Treatment (5 points/level, on par with doctors, you ought to know how critical it is) evades (With DodgeRng and EvadeClsc take priority over DuckExp and NanoResist) and your offense skills - SMG and Burst. Leftover IP can be put into CL, Inits, RS, B&E, First Aid... You'll always have places to spend your IP, but think carefully before you do.
Armor: Carb works. The extra NCU is always handy, a little extra nanopool never hurts, and the ACs are solid.
Tools: NCU Hacker Interface (Guide) is a MUST HAVE. Don't raise your B&E/NP skills, instead ask a fellow fixer for a B&E buff and anyone for the general Nanoprogramming Expertise buff. I can't stress this enough: THIS TOOL IS A MUST HAVE.
Weapons: The upgraded starter SMG can be dual-wielded, it will last you until level 15-20. Past that, see below for the weapons guide.
Nanos (In order of importance): Push your TS/BM/MM to the point where you'll be able to cast your first long-term HoT (Relieving Salve) - These are going to be your main source of healing throughout your life, and keeping these at the best you can is going to be the most important thing to your survival. Secondary importance is your short-term HoT, by level 24 aim to cast Medical Claim. Raise your PM/SI to 66 to cast the general Burst/SMG Expertise nanos, as well as Lesser Suppressor.
Perks: At level 10, I'd suggest Enhance DNA - +4 attribs is +1 all skills, and you honestly don't have much going for you right now. At level 20, SMG Mastery.
Misc: At level 15, you can recieve a Composite Teachings buff from your friendly neighborhood MP. Also, your first AI perks become available - Dark Kin is a decent line, even though the specials are pretty horrible, the mods are not half bad.

Level 25 - 49
At level 25, you suddenly get access to a whole lot of goodies: 2 new Long-Term HoTs, 2 NCU buffs, A new SMG Buff. You're suddenly not as weak, but don't expect too much.
Skills: IP is starting to hurt, so prioritize! A new Long-Term HoT is a must have, spending a little IP to get an NCU buff will save you IP on CL, and a new short HoT is a good idea as you near level 30 and venture into ToTW. A new SMG buff is less important, as you can get a wrangle to temporarily cast it if you're after a new gun.
Armor: Carb still works, although as you near level 50 it is a good idea to start looking for something else - Apocalypse Leather / Omni-Tek Steel Ribbed are both good options for Neutrals/Clanners / Omnis. Prowler is also an option, and because I'm lazy I'll simply forward you to this little comparison between the two that I've done some time ago: Clicky. Exarch Robes are the backpiece of choice for a fr00b, while SL fixers are going to have to cry as they spend their last IP on the very first ShadowWeb Spinner.
Tools: Level your NCU Hacker Interface. I mean it.
Nanos: Once more, in order of importance: Hacked Diagnosis at around level 40 is a good idea, and while you're at it you should have the skills to upload Falsify Medical Records as well. If you have the spare IP, upgrading your RS buff is not a bad idea, especially if you want to outrun those ToTW trains. And of course, your very first grid nano (Aim to cast it by level 35 self-buffed) Grid Phreak.
Perks: At level 25, the "Champion Of" AI perk series become available and I strongly recommend resetting Dark Kin in favour of Champion of Nano Combat - Especially if you don't like running around begging for wrangles or Composites. The first "Acrobat" perk becomes available at level 30 offering a little agility and evades but no specials. At level 40, the first Defensive Stance perk becomes available, unlocking the "Defensive Stance" special - This 60-minute long special is a constant AllDef and Crit Reduction boost, providing both a decrease to your chance to be hit, as well as a reduction to the chance you'll be critted. Also at 40, SMG Mastery 2 unlocks the "Reinforce Slugs" special - A damage boost that will improve as you train more SMG Mastery perks.
Misc: At level 25 you can cast the basic composites all by yourself (Assuming your nanoskills are up to it, of course - I suggest making sure they are, simply as a matter of convenience). At level 40, you can recieve a Composite Mastery buff. Also at level 40, you may now attempt the Fixer Grid Part 1 quest - I'll forward you to another forum thread, containing a very good guide/discussion about the quest. Clicky.

Level 50 - 79
A new title level, a load of new goodies, and the hardest stretch in your fixer's life. IP at this point is going to vanish into non-existance, and you'll be hard-pressed to keep your skills up - But, stay positive. Despite the hardships, this is also the level stretch where your fixer is going to finally start shining.
Skills: IP? What IP? Evades, Intel, SMG, Burst. Little nanoskills. At this point, get ready for serious cutbacks on the less critical things, because your IP is going to vanish almost the second you ding.
Armor: If you're still wearing carb by level 60, time to dump it. As you check out of ToTW with your goodies, fire up clicksaver and roll yourself a nice set of steel-ribbed or leather (Depending on your alligment) to be upgraded into Apocalypse/Omni Steel-Ribbed. For you SL fixers, T1 armor can be considered as you approach the 75-80 mark, but it's a waste of time and money. What can I say... First Tier Fixer is just horrible.
Tools: NCU Hacker Interface, up up up! The bonus from it is well past the single negligble points now.
Nanos: A new Long-Term HoT, a new short term, you should know how it works by now - There is no level 50 SMG buff, but the first root-breaker nano becomes available. Mostly useless in PvM, it's still a nice toy to have - Available in the Advanced Nano Shop, don't rely on it too much because odds are the root will break on its own by the time you get that 10s nano executed. With SL, the first SL speed aura is available but your chances of self-casting it at 50 are slim to none... Hope you like begging for a CM, because you'll be doing it often.
Perks: Now things get interesting. At 60, Acrobat2 becomes available with the Limber special (+200 evades for 40s, 65s recharge time). Defensive Stance2 unlocks at 70, increasing the AllDef and Crit Reduction mods as well as providing a new special - "Deceptive Stance", a short-duration long-recharge AllDef buff, mostly for emergencies with its 10min recharge time.

Level 80 - 125
Congratulations. The hard part is behind you, time to kick back and enjoy. IP is going to be less of a drag, and by 120 you can finally breathe freely. Many new nanos, new weapons, the Fixer Grid Part 2 quest, this level stretch is quite fun.
Skills: With your IP slowly returning, make sure you pick up the slack on anything you've neglected during the previous level stretch - By 125 you can really relax with your IP spending, boost your secondary skills (Such as B&E and RunSpeed) and generally pick up the slack on what you've been neglecting.
Armor: Upgrading your Apocalypse/Steel-Ribbed, going for Cyborg Death Squad, maybe experimenting with other less popular armors - Now is the time.
Tools: NCU Hacker Interface, a TIM Scope/Crit Scope, Spirit Helpers... There are some nice toys to find and play with as you close up on TL4 and beyond.
Nanos: Aside from the usual, this is a time to get those less critical nanos you might've neglected - RS buffs, Damage Clouds, Roots and Snares. Don't go all crazy with your nanoskills though, they are still dark-blue and still expensive.
Perks: At 120, Defensive Stance/Acrobat/SMG Mastery can all be maxed with a perk point to spare - Spend it as you see fit, there are quite a few options worth exploring for both PvP and PvM builds.
Misc: At 100, the second part of the Fixer Grid quest becomes available - The team version of the nano can be a nice money maker, or just something to help your friends move around. Not as critical as the single version, you should still consider doing it. At 125, you can take your first steps into IS - Keep in mind that the RK speed buffs don't work there, but the SL aura buff does: You will get the evade "Base", but the speed part will still not work. Also, level 90 is the minimum level to recieve a Composite Infuse.

Level 126 - 159
Welcome to the easy life. IP should really be no problem, and your evades/HoTs/speed should allow you to take on some pretty tough mobs. Time to kick back and enjoy.
Skills: Your fixer skills can all be maxed now, and you can consider raising other skills such as AS for PvP or your tradeskills.
Armor: QL200 Sets of your favourite RK armor can be twinked on around now, and Tier2 armor is a possibility with SL.
Tools: Nothing new here, except a bigger and better hacker interface.
Nanos: You should really have no trouble keeping your nanoskills at a good level here, GSF and Omni-Med Incursion both become possible as you near TL5 as well as the top Roots/Snares.
Perks: The highlight here is no doubt Acrobat4, unlocking "Dance of Fools" at level 140 - +800 Evades for 40s, with a 65s recharge. Stacking this with limber provides a whopping +1k evades, what else can I say? Get used to seeing things miss you.

Level 160 - 200
Easy Life, part 2. Really not much to say here for a fr00b.
Skills: IP problems are going to seem like a bad dream now, one that's finally over. If you're a fr00b, feel free to spend some on tradeskills/PvP skills, or whatever else suits your fancy. If you've got SL, make sure you have atleast 3 mil IP as you ding 200. You're going to need it, and you're going to need it soon.
Armor: Sadly, nothing new for the fr00bs here - With SL, Chosen/Faithful upgrades are a good investment (Especially the Sleeves/Chest) or a little AI armor.
Tools: At TL5, the SMG Figurine from Mercs. At TL6, Lockpick of Eight from Hollow Island.
Nanos: 195 is when your final RK nanos can be uploaded - Hack 'n Quack, Frenzy of Shells, Sentient Viral Recoder.
Perks: Level 200 is the last perk you'll recieve every 10 levels. From this point on, each level is a perk.
Misc: At 175, you can recieve the 1-hour Composite Mocham buff. If you haven't done so yet, now is the time to complete the 2nd part of the Fgrid quest.

Level 201 - 205
The rush to TL7. IP becomes tight again as your spending almost quadruples, but so do the rewards. Needless to say, this part only applies to people with the SL expansion pack, and as such I don't see a point to write about it here (Unless someone really wants me to, heh) - There are plenty post-200 guides.
Last edited by Tarradax on Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:32 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Ye' Olde Fixer Guide, By Me.

/Tarradax, Proud Owner of Questionable Morals.
/Baene, It's Like A Beanbag Chair. With a Gun. And a Temper.
/Bonekrakka, Get Your Choppas Ready, Boyz! Time For A WAAAAAAGH!
/Happythought, Hand-Made Silk Kites! Beautiful Strings!
/Littleshank, Choose Difficulty: []Hard []Medium []Easy []Very Easy [X]Atrox Melee Adventurer.

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Post by Tarradax » Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:40 pm

Below you'll find a list of the weapons you can expect to be using during your fixer's lifetime - Each weapon has its (Attack/Recharge) speed, damage type, as well as ways to obtain it.

Fr00b Weapons - The Easy List:
This list contains the fr00b-equippable SMGs that are easiest and cheapest to acquire.
  • Solar Powered Submachine Gun (1.5/1), Projectile - The starting weapon, not much to say about it. Can't be dual-wielded, requires no skill to use.
  • Stabilized Silent Spitter (1.5/1), Projectile - Starting weap, upgraded version. Boosts HP by 20 points, this weapon can be dual wielded.
  • OT Kerans Automatic Grinner QL1/QL200 (1.5/1.45), Poison - One of the easiest guns to acquire, can be both purchased at OT weapon vendors and clicksaved. Boosts sense. Can't be dual-wielded.
  • Mausser Particle Streamer (The MPS) QL1/QL200 (1/3), Projectile - Probably the single easiest weapon to get, as it can be rolled using Clicksaver, bought from weapon vendors and built from scratch using an SMG construction kit. No mods, can't be dual wielded.
  • Mausser Chemical Streamer (The MCS) QL1/QL200 (3/1), Chemical - This weapon is made by upgrading an MPS (Guide) and as such, is also rather easy to get a hold of. No mods, can't be dual wielded.
  • Russian Good Day (The RGD) QL1/QL200 (2/1), Projectile - Little hard to get a hold of, this weapon can be bought at the trader shop or rolled with Clicksaver. QL50 and below have no mods, while QL51 and up boost DodgeRng. Can be dual wielded.

Fr00b Weapons - The Medium List:
Expect to spend some cred or time camping if you want to obtain the weapons on this list.
  • Gamma Ejector (The GE) (1/3), Radiation - This toy can be a little hard to get, dropping from Bodyguard mobs in the Biomare (Foreman's) dungeon. No mods, can be dual-wielded although the requirements to do so are very high. The important thing to note is that this gun has no MBS, and as such maintains usefullness for a longer period of time.
  • SOL Chironis Systems QL1/QL200 (1.5/1.5), Energy - The only way to get this weapon is to find it in Sealed Receptacle form and complete it by adding an Energy Pack Interface. Boosts RunSpeed, cannot be dual-wielded.
  • Manex Catastrophe QL1/QL200 (3.5/3.5), Projectile - A Dyna-Only weapon, the droprate is very low and there aren't many of those in circulation... Mostly added for sentimental value - This used to be "The Gun" for fixers. At QL41 and up it boosts burst, can't be dual-wielded.

Fr00b Weapons - The Hard List:
Expensive and rare, the guns on this list are anything but cheap or easy to get.
  • Light Miasma Beamer - QL40/QL50 (1.15/1.65), Poison - The fixer counterpart to the trader's pump, about as rare but unfortunatly nowhere near as usefull. More a novelty piece than a real weapon, the QL40-49 versions only add a little RunSpeed while the QL50 version adds RunSpeed, B&E and DodgeRng. Can be dual-wielded.
  • Superjolt - QL140/QL150 (2.5/2.5), Energy - Another dyna-only weapon, QL140-149 buff a little DodgeRng and CL while the QL150 version buffs DodgeRng, CL and HP. Can be dual-wielded.
  • Turn Spirit SMGs - While requiring SL items to assemble, the final gun can be equipped by a fr00b - If you want to know more, check out this handy guide - Clicky
  • BlackBirds - Link This weapon comes in 5 QLs, with the general rule that the lower the QL the more you'll pay for it - As things stand right now, a pair of Blinded Blackbirds is the absolute best a fr00b fixer can equip for PvM purposes.

Expansion Weapons:
The variety is smaller here and every fixer goes through roughly the same phases:
  • Perennium Beamers - QL50/QL200/Rebuilt (1/1), Energy - A Guide To Making Perennium Guns. Peren guns boost XP by 1% every 50 QLs, starting at +1 at QL50 up to +4 at QL200. The "Rebuilt" version is a recent addition, requiring a weapon that drops from The Beast and resulting in a "Rebuilt" weapon that has an MBS of 2500 (Compared to the 1500 of the "Normal" SPBeamer). Can't be dual-wielded.
  • Syndicate Messenger Gun - QL240/QL260 (1/1), Chemical - This gun is a rare drop from Inferno bossmobs - Boosts RS, can't be dual wielded. Note that the only difference between QLs is the MBS.
  • Kyr'Ozch Submachine Gun (1.2/1.2), Energy - Random drop from alien mobs, can be upgraded with either a Type 4 BioMaterial (Burst), a Type 5 BioMatrial (Fling Shot + Burst) or a Type 12 BioMaterial (Burst + Full Auto). Comes in all QLs from 1 to 300, but isn't really worth the effort until QL240+. No mods, Glory Proc, Can't be dual-wielded.
  • Kyr'Ozch Machine Pistol (1.2/1.2), Energy - The endgame weapon for fixers, this is a single-handed SMG that can fit either a Type 4 (Burst) or a Type 5 (Burst + Fling) BioMaterial. Comes in all QLs from 1 to 300, massive jump in Multi-Ranged reqs past QL199. No mods, Glory Proc, Can be dual-wielded.

The Oddballs:
The weaps on this list aren't your typical fixer fare, but some do have their uses.
  • MTI Aleph - While mostly useless as a weapon, the QL200 version adds +27 Stamina with lower QLs giving a smaller bonus. Can be built from an SMG Construction Kit, it's a lovely twink toy when you need that extra STA.
  • OneHander - It's a shotgun. While utterly useless in PvM, this is the PvP standard for both fr00bs and expansion fixers - Wielded off-hand with your Blinded Blackbird or KMP, it provides Aimed Shot.
  • Fantaghiro BBI-Viral Gold Star - Another oddball weapon, this SMG has FullAuto potential and is easier to equip than a similar Type 12. There was a long discussion about this weapon in the fixer subforum of the official AO boards, but it's buried so deep I can't find it. If you feel like experimenting, this weapon is made by adding a Viral Weapon Upgrade to a regular BBI AS-90 Gold Star.
  • Sleekmaster Classic - QL1/QL200 (1.8/1.8), Energy - This weapon is fairly easy to get, being both rollable and available from weapon vendors - Its main downside, however, is its dual requirement of SMG/Ranged Energy, which requires you to keep a dark-blue skill at a decent level to maintain a reasonable attack rating. Mostly useful for lower levels, this is not a gun worth cosidering past TL3. Buffs perception, can be dual-wielded.
  • Illicit Laser Backup - QL1/QL21/QL180/QL200 (3/1.35), Energy - A rollable weapon similar to the Sleekmaster in its split req, SMG/Pistol this time. While pistol is a light-blue skill for fixers, there is still no real justification to using this weapon - Especially considering its 8 round clip. The buffs vary between QLs, from Agility/Intel/Nano to HP/Strength/Sense to Stamina/DuckExp/EvadeClsC. Can be dual-wielded.

As I said earlier, playing a fixer often requires a more subtle approach than just standing up to a mob and fighting it face-to-face - Gathered here are just some basic survival techniques that might just save your skin.

Root n' Shoot
As simple as it sounds: You root a mob, take your distance away from its attack range, and start shooting. When your root breaks (And eventually it will), you recast and move back some more. Rinse and repeat.
Pros: You don't get hit.
Cons: Constantly rooting is not easy on the nanopool - Make sure you don't run out in an embarassing moment.
Most Effective: Against melee mobs that can pound you to a pulp, such as slayers or Enforcer/MA mobs.
Least Effective: Ranged mobs, due to a bug in the AO Pathfinding system, will sometimes still be able to gun you down even from great distances - So on a ranged mob, a snare works better than a root.

Not just for NTs, a viable replacement to rooting: Aggro the mob, run a short distance out of its range, stop and fire off a few shots while it catches up with you. Then run again, rinse and repeat.
Pros: You don't get hit. You don't use nano.
Cons: You need space to pull it off - Don't expect to be able to kite very well in a small room or a narrow corridor.
Most Effective: Bossmobs, Dyna bosses, and any other mob that's got enough space around it.
Least Effective: Other than the space issue, the only time this tactic won't work is when the mob you're kiting has the ability to warp you.

Dyna Camps
Only reason I feel compelled to add this is because I've seen many a fixer just rush into a dyna camp and get ripped to shreds. Here's the important part: Assuming the ads are anything but grey, they will aggro you, and even with GA and the best evades your safety is not guaranteed if there's 10+ mobs pounding you. So, how to? Introducing AoE Snares. The concept is simple: Instead of charging towards a dynacamp all guns blazing, you start by firing off an AoE snare on the dynaboss - The boss itself will not be affected, but all the ads will. This gives you a nice opening to draw the bossmob away and then either tank or kite it.
Pros: You don't get hit.
Cons: None really, unless you lament the loss of the XP from killing the ads.
Most Effective: Dynacamps, Groups of mobs.
Least Effective: Bit pointless to do this on a single mob or in a situation where ads aren't a concern.

It's going to happen. You can't play this game without atleast a few visits to reclaim. However, a fixer is equipped better than anyone else to make sure that those visits are few and far between: I'm obviously talking about meeping. When you're soloing, there really is no point in just attacking a mob to die. Losing XP aside, rezzing sucks. And, dying in some places has some extra weight such as loss of AXP or loss of towers - Your defense is much better if instead of dying you just meep, heal in 20 seconds, and jump right back into the fight. Same goes for team evacs - Every now and then you end up at a point where everyone's gonna wipe out, and it's time to cut the losses: Usually, just talking to the team/raid leader will give you a good understanding of how you are expected to act.
Last edited by Tarradax on Tue Sep 18, 2007 11:05 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Ye' Olde Fixer Guide, By Me.

/Tarradax, Proud Owner of Questionable Morals.
/Baene, It's Like A Beanbag Chair. With a Gun. And a Temper.
/Bonekrakka, Get Your Choppas Ready, Boyz! Time For A WAAAAAAGH!
/Happythought, Hand-Made Silk Kites! Beautiful Strings!
/Littleshank, Choose Difficulty: []Hard []Medium []Easy []Very Easy [X]Atrox Melee Adventurer.

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Post by Tarradax » Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:40 pm

Grid Armor (GA)
First of all: I'm not going to go into the whole "GA roxxorz! vs. GA suxxorz!" debate here. I think it'll be enough to say that the GA question is easily one of the most debated issues of the fixer's equipment (With strong arguments both for and against it), as well as add that I've had most of my GA experience at the 140-190 stretch on Tarradax, as well as GA1-2 experience with both PvM and PvP twinks. Overall, I loved it - Some people will agree, some won't, good for you.
This section of my guide is aimed to help you decide for yourself and give you the answers to the more common GA questions, but you won't find a "Get GA" or "Don't get GA" here. I leave that for you to decide.

Quick Introduction To GA
The concept is simple: By giving up almost all of your other armor/clothing items, you can wear a single backpiece that has a massive AllDef boost (GA has other benefits as well, but the AllDef boost is what we're here for).

The point behind GA is not to absorb damage as a proper suit of armor does, but rather make you a very hard target to hit - While wearing GA, attackers (And this applies to both PvP and PvM with a few exceptions) will have trouble hitting you at all, not to mention inflicting any serious damage on you - High-power specials such as FullAuto or even AimedShot lose a great deal of their punch, but more on all of this later. For now, the important thing is this: Grid Armor is not armor. It's a 6-hour buff that combines +AllDef with +Nanoresist and +Damage - GA requires nanoskills both to be cast and to be worn, unlike the ShadowWeb Spinner that requires Sense/Agility to be worn.

Oh, and this is what a GA Fixer looks like. A Smurf.

Getting It
GA is not rollable and does not drop from a specific mob. Instead, you're going to have to either buy it (The easy way) or find your own (The harder way). If you've decided on getting your own, get ready to go farming mobs at around the ID's level (GA doesn't drop in NanoCrystal form, only as an Instruction Disc that you'll need to get made) for a pretty long time (Depending on your luck and patience, it may take you anywhere from 1 day to months).

If you're going to buy it, things are much easier - Expect to pay anything from 10mil for GA1 to 100mil and up for GA4. Prices fluctuate quite wildly at times, much like the price for any other rare piece of gear.

GA In PvM - Advantages
This is the common use of the GA - Either as an all-around PvM setup, or as something designed for a specific purpose like a Subway/ToTW/Foreman's twink.

Wearing GA in PvM gives you the rather obvious advantage of consistent evades, which should protect you from most regular hits - Since mobs barely use any special attacks (The most you can expect from a mob is burst, but even that is pretty rare) it's a good bet that they are no match for you, especially when dealing with level-capped dungeons in which the mobs are designed to combat a certain amount of evades (An amount which you will greatly exceed).

Outside the level-capped instances, GA can still keep you alive against pretty tough mobs without the need to kite - A TL5 GA4 fixer can solo almost everything RK has to offer, aside from mobs that are obvious raid content. The toughest mob I've solo'ed with my GA4 was the Obedience Enforcer at around level 180. It wasn't easy and I did have to pop a first aid stim on occasion, but I still did it.

In team mishes, GA makes you prime tanking material - The hits you'll take will be few and far between, easy to heal even with just a MA or MP as healers.

One last note: It is the common belief that GA4 is the best PvM fr00b armor available. While it may not always hold true, GA does make things much much easier, reducing the need for player input (AFK-killing of powerful mobs is pretty common) and making the tactics I've mentioned earlier obsolete, or atleast reduces their usefullness by a great deal.

GA In PvM - Disadvantages
Good things rarely come for free, GA is no exception. A quick rundown of issues you can expect to encounter if you're going after a PvM GA setup:
  • First and most basic, credits - GA is expensive and if you're just starting out it's not likely you'll be able to afford one.
  • IP cost - I'll remind you again that your nanoskills are all dark-blue and very costly, and MatterCreations is not used for any of your other nanolines which makes matters even worse. Before reaching the higher levels where IP is less of a pain, GA means even more cutbacks on your other spendings.
  • ACs - As I said, GA is not really an armor, consider it a serious evade buff that has a little bit of AC built into it as well (Mostly for the lolz). So, if you're wearing GA, each hit that does land on you will hurt. Alot. Right here is the balance: Sustaining hits is not likely, sustaining crits is even less likely, so 99 out of 100 times you'll come out on top. However, that one last time, reclaim express.
  • Duration - GA fades after 6 hours and needs to be recast. Aside from having to hunt down MPs or Traders (Which is a hassle on it's own right), if your GA gives up on you while you're going against some big bad mob... Well... POP goes the fixer.
  • Nano ShutDown (NSD) - Some MP mobs cast it, and sometimes it will stick to you. Luckily, the AR of MP mobs is not exactly life-threatening - Rely on your natural evades and you should be just fine (Or if push comes to shove, run out of the mish and wait it out).
GA In PvP - Advantages
Now is where things get interesting. Aside from the AllDef, GA also offers a good deal of NanoResist and an innate resistance to roots/snares ontop of it - Even graft roots have a chance of not working on a smurf, a definite advantage.

Same as PvM, your heavy AllDef is going to make you very hard to hit - Forget about specials like FullAuto that would cripple most profs and are pretty harmless for a smurf, and even AimedShot will rarely hit for it's full potential.

Overall, GA is still a common PvP tool - From 20ish to 60ish, GA1-2 twinks are almost as common as 20ish Pump Traders.

GA In PvP - Disadvantages
Nasty things that might happen to PvP'ing Smurfs, starting at the worst and going down:
  • Nano Technicians - Meet your worst enemy. Starting at level 75, NTs get access to nukes designed for the single purpose of killing smurfs. Disabling your Long-Term HoT while inflicting massive damage, there isn't much to do. If you see a NT coming for you, you turn the other way and run.
  • Traders - Not as horrible as a NT, a couple drains to your nanoskills and your GA will lose effectiveness and compromise your defense, making you an easy target. While the NR bonus from GA does give you a better fighting chance than most (And the Worm ICE Perkline for those who have SL), drains will still be the death of you if you let them.
  • Metaphysicists - The Unmake/Dominate nanolines are a worry (Although not as bad as drains) and they can still hurt. Again, extra NR offered by your GA gives you a better fighting chance (And the Worm ICE perkline is handy here as well), but be prepared... NSD is worth another mention, although nowhere near as common as it is in PvM.
  • Agents and Martial Artists(And other AimedShot/Dimach users) - AS Always lands. Same for Dimach. While AS damage will be mostly reduced as a smurf is fairly resistant to crits, dimach will still hit hard.
GA & The Shadowlands
In SL, Grid Armor is TOTALLY USELESS. I want everyone to be clear on this. If you walk into SL while wearing GA, it disappears from your character (Not your wear screen, though) and it is as if it's not there at all. So, if you're planning on going to SL with your smurf, make a habit of carrying a set of real armor.

The "Defensive Stance" and "Deceptive Stance" specials don't work if you've got GA on. You'll get an error, and the perk won't execute... Since you can't exactly carry a spare set of perks with you, you should consider giving up on the "Stance" line entirely - Or give up your GA. The middle road of having a few perks there and a few perks elsewhere is mostly no good, not when there are other places you can spend perk points on.

GA & Aliens
I've tanked a couple AI raids in my smurf days, worked pretty well, that's about all there is to it. Aliens (Both the LE Missions and AI Ships) are RK content, so don't be afraid to pull out that GA.

General Notes On GA
Just a few things that don't fit anywhere else, but are worth a mention. There's no particular order here:
  • First and foremost. Even with GA, YOU CAN STILL DIE. It's not instant Godmode. This goes for both PvP and PvM.
  • There's a bug with the Alien Tech Expertise #3 perk, it sometimes won't train if you have GA on. To get around it: Take your GA off, put it back on, take it off again, zone, relog. I know this seems idiotic, but aside from GM interference this is the only way to get it to work.
  • GA is not the end-all equip, even for fr00bs. Both PvP and PvM builds have many other options at all levels, don't be afraid to look around.
  • To make the most out of your GA, make sure you supplement it with other AllDef/Evade items such as implants as well as a good placing on the Agg/Def bar. Your GA loses a great portion of it's functionality at full AGG and with no other boosters.
  • A GA-Friendly Item List can be found here.
Last edited by Tarradax on Sat Jan 13, 2007 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ye' Olde Fixer Guide, By Me.

/Tarradax, Proud Owner of Questionable Morals.
/Baene, It's Like A Beanbag Chair. With a Gun. And a Temper.
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Post by Tarradax » Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:41 pm

Implants & Symbiants
First thing's first: Through out your fixer's life, be prepared to make a great deal of implants. Both for every-day leveling use, as well as special-purpose sets that you'll swap in and out as needed (Like PvP imps, Twinkage imps, GA imps... There's quite a few). As all other things with fixers, your implants are yet another case of bargaining with the game for the benefits you want most - Some fixers favour the weapon path with emphasis on SMG/Burst, Others will prefer Nanoskills above all, and yet other variations include HP/Attribs... And then, there's the "Balanced" setup with a bit of everything.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you won't always be able to create the exact implant you want because the end result might have a requirement you can't meet (Like Psychic, which most fixers keep at a very low level).

So, the things you'll find in this section of my guide:
  • A list of Imps/Clusters along with my personal recommendation for which one is better for which build.
  • Symbiant Reference.
Just remember, there is no one setup to rule them all, it's entirely up to your personal style to choose what suits you most.

The slot titles name the most common or major benefits of the clusters in this slot, so while it says "Head - Nano Skills" it doesn't mean Nano Skills is the only thing you can get out of it, it just means that Nano Skills are the main reason you're making it, and any other bonuses are secondary or not as important.

Head - Nano Skills
Shining: One of the most important clusters as it contains the shiny nanoskill boost - I suggest a MM cluster here, as MM is the highest skill required for HoTs. Other choices would be MC for the smurfs out there, or any other nanoskill you need. This is also the Shining spot for both CompLit and Treat.
Bright: Only 2 choices worth considering here, NanoPool or Ranged Init. Pretty self-explanatory here, my vote goes for Ranged Init for a better defensive position.
Faded: Nothing useful here except Sense, although some may disagree and place some importance on Trap Disarm or Perception. I'd suggest Sense for the couple extra evade points you'd get as well as a little extra help in armor equipping.
Default: [Psychic] / [Nanopool] / [Tutoring]
Symbiant: Support Unit brains are superior to their artillery counterparts in every way, so this one is really a no-brainer (I promise, this is the only bad pun I'll make in this guide).

Eye - Nano Skills
Shining: Aimed Shot for a PvP setup, not much else here.
Bright: 2 nanoskill choices (PsyMod or SenseImp) as well as Intel. PM is required for Root, Evac and SMG Buffs while SI is required for Snares, Area Snares, SMG Buffs, Snare/Root Reducers, Cloud Buffs and NCU buffs. This is also the Bright CompLit/Treatment slot.
Faded: Again 2 nanoskill choices (TS and MC) - MC mostly for the smurfs, TS for everyone else. Multi-Ranged doesn't OE so there's no real point in adding it to the permanent implant setup.
Default: [Tutoring] / [SI] / [TS]
Symbiant: Artillery eye adds a nice bit of weapon skills, most notably AS/Sharp Obj. for the PvP setup. Support eyes provide a more PvM-Oriented setup with added INT as well as some tradeskill and NanoInit boosts. Exterminator Occular Enhancment offers a boost to all ranged skills as well as crit chance, but no other boosts. Overall, starting with a support eye is a good idea in the early stages and then moving to an Exterminator when your nanoskills have improved.

Ear - Support Skills
Shining: +XP is the obvious winner here, no reason to put anything here pre-TL4.
Bright: Once again, nothing really handy pre-TL4, NanoCost clusters are handy for the heavy root/snare users.
Faded: Intel or Psy, as well as PM. A faded PM here is a nice way to compensate if you've used SI in the bright eye slot, otherwise intel is a good investment for a little extra to all nanoskills.
Default: [Empty] / [Tutoring] / [Psychic]
Symbiant: Once again, no real reason to use an Artillery symb when the Support is a far better choice.

Chest - Little of everything
Shining: Body Dev, Max Health, NanoPool, Sense, Stamina - MaxHP or Nanopool is a good every-day choice as well as sense for a few points of evade trickledown. Stamina is mostly for twinking purposes.
Bright: 2 Nanoskills (BM and MM) or Psychic - Consider filling this slot with what you didn't choose for the shining head slot to bridge the gap a little.
Faded: SMG Cluster is the obvious choice if you're looking for a little extra bang although SI is a fairly common nanoskill that's used in a lot of nanos (From SMG buffs to Snares to RunSpeed) and might be worth sacrificing a little SMG for.
Default: [MaxHealth] / [MM] / [SI]
Symbiant: Artillery is the obvious winner that while lacking the NanoInit/Pool boosts of a Support symb it does have SMG.

Right Arm - Offensive/Defensive Skills
Shining: The shining slot for almost all weapons, including SMG and Burst. Personally, I would prefer to use Burst in this slot early on (As in, pre-BlackBird) and then switch to SMG (Post-BlackBird). The reason is simple: Blackbirds have a very fast cycle as it is, while the weapons prior to them don't. The point is debatable though, it's a matter of personal preference.
Bright: Not much too say here early on, but once you pass TL4 and can wear Jobe Implants this slot holds the AllOff and AllDef clusters - AllDef is the favourite for the evade junky, a lovely addition to both GA and non-GA fixers.
Faded: Yet another of those "Utterly Useless" slots, not much to say.
Default: [SMG] / [Chem AC] / [Rad AC]
Symbiant: Once more, artillery unit is the clear and obvious winner here with all the boosts you'll want out of these slots.

Left Arm - Offensive/Defensive Skills
Shining: Same thing as the Bright R-Arm slot, with nothing of interest until you can plug some Jobe Clusters in.
Bright: Another pretty useless slot, Breaking & Entering isn't really needed for every-day leveling but neither is STR.
Faded: Matter Met, nothing else of any real value or use.
Default: [Empty] / [BnE] / [MM]
Symbiant: This one is an interesting choice: Both symbs have MM and HealDelta, but Artillery has AllOff while Support has AllDef. If you don't know what to choose yet, you're reading the wrong section of the guide.

Waist - Little of everything
Shining: Some ACs, Nanocost reduction modifier... Yup. Another useless slot.
Bright: DuckExp is nice for a lowbie PvP-Oriented build, MaxHP makes a good every-day cluster and Max Nano might be worth a cluster if you find yourself running low too often.
Faded: Agility/Stamina on the twinkage front, BioMet for the nanoskill-impaired and EvadeClsC/DodgeRng for the evade junky on the go, lots of goodies in this slot.
Default: [Fire AC] / [MaxHP] / [STA]
Symbiant: Artillery wins by virtue of the evades which Support lacks.

Right Wrist - Damage and Support Skills
Shining: Ranged Init is the favourite with RunSpeed a close 2nd, not much else to look at here.
Bright: AimedShot and NanoResist are both important for a PvP build, while the average fixer will no doubt go for the Burst.
Faded: The faded +Damage slot - Keep this empty until you're TL4, and then find the type you need and plug that sucker in.
Default: [RunSpeed] / [Burst] / [Empty]
Symbiant: Another obvious victory to the Artillery Unit, if you can stomach the price tag.

Left Wrist - Damage and Support Skills
Shining: Multi-Ranged is what you're after before TL4 as well as in your twinking imps set. Past TL4, Shield Projectile is not a bad bonus to have - Especially considering how common it is in PvM.
Bright: The bright +Damage slot - RunSpeed is the RK cluster of choice until TL4, and +Damage goodness once you can get it.
Faded: NanoResist once more, as well as a couple other "Shield" types including melee.
Default: [Empty] / [RunSpeed] / [NanoRes]
Symbiant: Artillery for the damage once more.

Leg - Defensive Skills
Shining: DodgeRng and DuckExp, A shiny DuckExp is a good way to balance neglecting it in other places, DodgeRng if you have GA or don't care for shotgun-swinging opponents.
Bright: EvadeClsC is the only thing worth looking at here, although earlier in your life you might want to consider stamina to keep a better set of Carb from OE.
Faded: Pre-TL4, MaxHP/BodyDev is the only useful cluster here. Past TL4, it gets interesting with the HP Delta Cluster as well as +NCU or +XP. I'd suggest the HP Delta cluster, but I'm sure atleast one person is going to say "Use +XP!" so there.
Default: [DodgeRng] / [EvadeClsC] / [RunSpeed]
Symbiant: Artillery Unit is the every-day choice, although I know a few 220 fixers who choose to use the Support instead because of the STA boost as well as the shields. Personally, I stick to Artillery because I love seeing my evades as high as possible.

Right Hand - Damage and Offense
Shining: Useless Pre-TL4, this is the Shiny +Damage cluster. Same routine as the wrists, consider investing here as soon as possible.
Bright: SMG, TS, MC. If you chose to use Burst in the Shining R-Arm slot, this is the spot to compensate for it. If not, pushing TS might help you on the HoT and RS front while MC is strictly for the Smurfs.
Faded: Burst or RangedInit as well as some tradeskills, you should take a moment to seriously consider Ranged Init - Remember that every bit of inits is another bit towards the DEF position you can move without losing attack speed. This is also the Faded slot for CompLit and Treat.
Default: [Empty] / [TS] / [Burst]
Symbiant: Same as with the Wrists, Artillery Unit has the damage while Support doesn't. Note that there is no +Energy Damage on either symbiant so all you Perennium users might consider a good ol' imp instead.

Left Hand - Support Skills
Shining: Shields.
Bright: More Shields.
Faded: Oh, the futility.
Default: [Empty] / [Trap Disarm] / [First Aid]
Symbiant: This is the most useless implant slot. Artillery has some shields, Support doesn't, whatever. There's really very little of use here, you can forget this slot exists.

Feet - Offensive/Defensive Skills
Shining: EvadeClsC is the only cluster you'll have here on your every-day going. Some fixers (PvP'ers & Sufferers of serious head trauma) think they're agents and use Concealment.
Bright: Pre-TL4, DodgeRng is about the only good thing here. Past TL4, HealDelta and +XP clusters are an option. Personally, I suggest the HP Delta once it becomes an option.
Faded: Pre-TL4, DuckExp. Past TL4, AllDef and AllOff.
Default: [Evade ClsC] / [Agility] / [DuckExp]
Symbiant: Another point where there's no obvious best - Artillery adds Evades and AllOff but no AllDef and no HP Delta. Support is the exact opposite.
Last edited by Tarradax on Sun Jul 01, 2007 5:54 am, edited 8 times in total.
Ye' Olde Fixer Guide, By Me.

/Tarradax, Proud Owner of Questionable Morals.
/Baene, It's Like A Beanbag Chair. With a Gun. And a Temper.
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Post by Tarradax » Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:15 am

Survival of the Fittest: Ye’ Basic Fixer PvP Guidelines

Just in case the header didn't tip you off, this section is all about PvP. Or rather, about how one (1) fixer can go out and kill one (1) other player in a fair or atleast semi-fair fight (We're talking mostly duels or 1-on-1 FT fights. Obviously, very little of what's written here applies to mass combat, I'll get to it later on). Before we get down to the gory details, I'll point out that as a rule, fixers fight dirty. We don't stand face-to-face with people, we don't give 'em a chance at a fair shot, and we sure as hell don't let them actually get the kill even if things start going their way. Those of you with a sense of "Fair" should stop reading now, and go roll an Enforcer. Everyone else, read on.

The Basics:

Before we get into the details, there's some universal truths to remember about PvP in general:

One: All PvP damage is halved. No exceptions.
What does that mean? That means that HoTs are twice as effective, and evades are even more so. A 3k Burst in PvM is just 1.5k in PvP, and even less than that if the target is a low-HP setup (More on that later).

Two: AimedShot is not King. AimedShot is God.
A strike that cannot be dodged, almost always caps max possible damage and can get boosted by ALOT even for the most non combat-oriented profs. Fear it.

Three: Fixers never die.
When the going gets tough, someone else dies. A fixer just meeps.

Building for PvP:

Again, as a very general rule, toons built for PvP vary greatly from toons built for PvM: PvP toons will have various skills raised or even maxed that PvM toons will have no use for, and vice versa. Skills like Sharp Objects, AimedShot, Perception - Those are mostly PvP-oriented skills. In the IP-Tight reality of a fixer, you're going to find it a real chore to get these other skills up. As a result, PvP fixers often lack other basic skills such as BnE and RS as well as having severely reduced levels of Treatment / CL or even nanoskills. When you're making a PvP toon, spending too much IP is just as bad as not spending any at all: Set your goals and achieve them, don't go overboard.

Tools of the Trade:
  • For the lowbie PvP'er, Kizzermole Gumboils are a must-have. Used like a stim (Only, on your opponenet) these things do nasty damage and are very hard to dodge (100% SharpObj vs. 50% DodgeRng). They drop in stacks of 5 from Kizzermoles in the Crypt of Home dungeon and are usually pretty cheap on the free market, the only downside is that they require some investment in the Sharp Objects skill as well as a bit of psychology. Still, a little implant fiddling and you can cover most of the cost.
  • OneHanders come in all QLs up to 188 (QL1 - QL188), so you can always find something to suit your fancy. They add a very valuable attack to your arsenal - AimedShot. Make sure you equip them off-hand though, so that your Burst will still fire from your main-hand weapon. Even a low-damage alpha of Burst + Fling + AS has the power to seriously hurt your target. QL188 Onehanders go for 3-5mil on Rk2.
  • Root Grafts, in particular this one, are also nice additions - A root with a 100% success rate under most circumstances (Read: All circumstances unless the target has some innate root/snare resists such as what's offered by ToTW gear or the "Spatial Displacement" perkline), using the graft locks up your PsyMod skill for a little over 13mins (For the QL200 Boosted Version) - Nice to use on a running target or if your own root breaks a tad too soon. Careful though, rooting yourself is entirely possible.
  • Grid Armor - Has been covered in it's own section, read a few posts up.
The Fighting:

Now we get to the good stuff. You're all set with your twink and just looking for something to test it on - First thing I suggest is a test run with a friend or orgmate in your city's silo or the local arena. It's a nice way to get used to the feel and style of your twink, try out various tactics, and most importantly get used to your hotbar layout - You're not going to have time to fish for items in your inv, so make sure you know where everything is at. Or atleast, don't forget where did you put that bloody meep button.

Anyway, the main purpose of this section is currently being overhauled. Be patient while I try to figure out something more encouraging than "Fixer PvP? lul wut?".

Code: Select all

Move along. Nothing to see here.
Mass PvP
Or "10 Easy Steps To Burn A Tower". Circumstances being what they are, fixers have a surprising multitude of roles in mass PvP - Not all of them even involve fighting, as it turns out. There's no general "Do this, don't do that" thing in mass PvP because it's all so wonderfully chaotic, so all you'll find in this section is what you CAN do. It'll be up to you to decide what you WANT to do:
  • Buffing: You're not even IN the fight, for crying out loud. Hiding outside the gas area to dispense HoTs/RS/NCU Buffage, it's about as non-combat as a fight can be. Still, if you're too high of level (Or too low of courage) to actually participate, rest easy knowing you're helping out by perpetuating one of the most annoying PvP truths.
  • Scouting: Yaaaaawn. Put that RS to good use by running around a tower field to help plan the attack, find out where the pocket healers are, spot the weakest tower or the easiest approach. If you don't want to actually fight but still want to help out, you won't be a complete sissy by doing just scout duty. At least you're not a buffbot.
  • Calling: Now that's a good piece of the action - You get to decide who dies first. All you have to do is spot a target of priority (Docs or Pet Owners) and press Q - A colored "Kill %F" macro is a good idea if your force is bigger than a single team, or just scream "ASSIST PLAX!!!!" at the top of your lungs. Whatever suits your fancy.
  • Chasing: My favorite role in the whole mess - When someone is going to die, that someone is going to try and run. Yeah, right. Nobody outruns a fixer, so you get to chase down half-limping cowards and pop a few slugs in 'em. As long as you're careful not to stumble into the enemy's main force, chasing people down can be pretty hilarious - There's something almost poetic in watching a soldier trying to scamper away with no TMS and with a -1.5k snare weighing him down.
  • Goofing Around: That can be roughly summed up in: AoE snare the whole enemy force. Extra points if they don't have a crat. Harass the docs and keep running out of their range. Start attacking an agent and then run halfway across the zone, making it impossible for the agent to re-conceal. There's lots of stuff that can fit this category, be creative and you'll be fine.
  • Fighting: Absolutely nothing special to say about this. The caller calls a target, you assist and do your best to make the target dead. Since everyone can do this, you don't really have to, but if you don't feel like doing anything else, it's fine.
Last edited by Tarradax on Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:49 am, edited 3 times in total.
Ye' Olde Fixer Guide, By Me.

/Tarradax, Proud Owner of Questionable Morals.
/Baene, It's Like A Beanbag Chair. With a Gun. And a Temper.
/Bonekrakka, Get Your Choppas Ready, Boyz! Time For A WAAAAAAGH!
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Post by Tarradax » Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:15 am

Moneymaking 101 & The Fine Art of Blitzing
Ah yes. Credits. You can never have enough of those - At least not until you're the sole owner of a couple cities and preferably a couple solid-price items like DChests or RBPs. Forgot the whole "Courage, Honor, Respect" nonsense. Creds make the world go 'round, and anyone who tells you differently is a liar that probably wants your stuff.

Before we get down to it, a little note: There are no free rides in the land. It's true that a fixer has some very lucrative money-making options, but you are going to have to work for it. If you think that just by rolling a fixer your financial problems are all over and you can feed yourself and a starving family of 7 alts, you are terribly wrong.

Part 1 - General Nonsense you've already heard elsewhere
These are the bare-bone basics of AO finances, applicable to just about everyone:
  • Loot *EVERYTHING*: And I do mean EVERY SINGLE THING. If it's not nailed down, you take it and throw it into your pack. If it is nailed down but the nails are loose, your pry it off and THEN put it into your pack. The only exception here, of course, are NODROP items - If you can't use it, don't take it. It can't be sold, it can't be traded, it can't be used, leave it for someone else, and preferably make them pay for loot rights.
  • Recycle: Going to reroll an alt? Got an old set of pre-made imps? Lowbie armor or weapons left over? Put them on a mule, and don't forget about them. A couple pre-made sets of carb at various QLs can save you millions in the not so long run. Pre-made imp sets can be sold to other players, not for profit but atleast to make up a part of the cost. All sorts of lowbie gear can be re-re-re-re-used by your newborn alts.
  • Know Your Phats: Everyone knows that Pump Masters are great, or that GA discs are instant cash. Great, if you find a GA you got some money. But there are lots of other items that may not be worth the 10mil of a GA disc and still net very nice sums - Nanos, especially, even rollable ones. Special-Interest weapons or armor that go for buffing gear. Loot of specific QLs that only a lowbie can come across.
Part 2 - The Advanced Course
Now this is going to take some effort but land you better profits:
  • The Buyer's Market: Spend some of your weekly play time doing nothing but watching the trade channels. Don't participate, just watch. Make a list of things people want and you can get. Note the prices they're paying. Especially if you're still new to it all, don't rush into deals. What might look like a good transaction to you might be a total ripoff, and vice versa.
  • Socialize: Now there's something I doubt you'll see in many cred-making How-To's. Aside from meeting new people and making friends, contacts are incredibly important for your purposes: I've sold quite a lot of items I was sure I'd be stuck with by just spreading the word. Eventually you get a tell with the approximate nature of "X told me you're selling Y", and more often than not you can negotiate a friendly deal.
  • Prices: Nothing is set in stone. Personally, the part I enjoy most in the whole game is the bargaining. Obviously, you're not going to sell a 100mil piece of gear for 10mil, and not pay 100mil for something worth 10. Find the middle ground - If it's worth 10, let it go for 9 or even 8. Consider the extra mils as an investment in your reputation - The more deals you close, the easier it will be for you to sell even more. So you'll earn 10% less than someone else, but you'll sell much faster. The end result? You get rich.
Part 3 - The Good Stuff
Some dirty tricks, some not-so-clean tricks and some fixer-special love:
  • Undercutting Prices: Never feel bad about this. Really. Someone is selling an item for 10mil? You have that same item for sale? Offer it for 9. Aggressive marketing is fun.
  • Player Shops: Find yourself a Neutral buddy with expansions and shop space. Ask nicely if they can toss a few of your items into the shop for a small share of the profit. Good way to get rid of the hard-to-sell stuff or the bulk-trade items, with the added bonus of not needing to spam it around. There's even some orgs that rent out entire shops for a small fee (At least on Rk2) so ask around.
Now, this is hardly everything you need to know - AO's economy is constantly shifting, creds come and go, so you'd better learn to adapt. As with all the previous parts of this guide, this is just a small taste of the more common things to aim for... Live and learn.

The Fine Art of Blitzing
The bread and butter of any moneymaking plan is the ability to acquire items of high value with little cost and then selling these items for as close to 100% profit as possible. Now you're probably thinking we'll discuss the fine points of shanking old ladies in the dark alleys of Rubi Ka, but we won't (Not yet, anyway). Instead, let's talk about the fastest and easiest way for a fixer to get rich: Blitzing.

For those unfamiliar with the term, "Blitzing" is the process of:
1. Rolling for a mission.
2. Getting to the mission.
3. Completing the mission.
4. Getting back to a mission booth.
5. Rinse and repeat until blue in the face.

Before you get down to business, some things worth having: The "Machines" and "Monsters" map-reader upgrades. "Free Movement" stims. An Evac on your hotbar. A good AoE snare on your hotbar. A lockpick in clear sight and easy reach. At least 3 free slots in your main inventory.
Oh, almost forgot... Enough RunSpeed to have the paint peel off walls as you shoot by.

Rolling for a mission: Meet your new best friend: Clicksaver. This nifty little utility has just one purpose: Automatically rolling missions for you until a specified objective has been reached (Usually, a specific item has been found). Since the process of setting up Clicksaver and getting used to it has been covered in this guide, I'll just assume that you click that link and read the guide.

Right then! You're all set with your shiney new clicksaver, now you just need something to roll for... Hmmm. For the first-time-ever user, I suggest starting with rolling for some very common term to make sure that everything is in working order (Try rolling for "Nano" or any of the weapon/armor name prefixes like "Worn" or the like). You should score a hit in a couple rolls, which means you're all ready to have some fun.

Let's talk about what to roll for: Almost all crystals named "Nano crystal" (Not "NanoCrystal"!) are fair play. All common RK weaps and buffwear (Pillows, buffguns/swords/armor, you get the idea). All Rubi-Ka clusters and implants... And many many MANY more items. Rule of thumb is this: If you're not sure it can't be rolled (As in, obvious dyna or boss loot), try rolling it. Some items (Like NCU Belts or Chips) are harder to score than others, so have some patience - 100 rolls is rarely enough for an item.

Mission type is worth another mention: Set your bars to get "Repair" or "Find Person" missions. "Find Item" is another good mission type, but you might miss it if it's a small item in a room stuffed with decorations (Not to mention the distraction of an angry horde chasing you down). Avoid "Assassinate" mishes as much as possible unless you're doing low-level mishes. "Retrieve" is a decent type, although I personally dislike it as it means I have an item that'll be sitting in my inv until I get back to the booth and return it.

Getting to the mission: Okay, you got yourself some nice anima or high-end heal or some other nifty toy rolled. Now comes the part where most fixers go horribly wrong: LOOK AT THE LOCATION OF YOUR MISSION. A few pointers for an ideal mission spot:
1. Right on top of a Grid or FGrid exit.
2. Good gas levels (75% or 100%).
3. Mobs around the mish entrance should not be "Much higher than you".
4. And for you sided fixers: An OT Fixer rolling for a mish in Clanland can survive better than a Clanner Fixer rolling for something in Rome, but still. Below TL4, don't go around to the enemy's city to score an item unless it's something that you won't be kicking yourself in the head for spending a rezzing session over.

Most high-level missions from almost all locations are rolled into the City of Home for these reasons: It's got a grid exit, it's mostly 100% gas, there are no mobs around town and the guards are neutral. If you can live with doing mishes inside the same hut over and over again, CoH is the spot. Sadly, it's pretty hard to get mishes there below QL140ish or so, which means you will get to run around the wilderness a whole lot.

Completing the mission: First, a disclaimer: If you're going to chime in with how other profs do their blitzing, I will shoot you in the neck.
More on-topic: SAVE BEFORE GOING TO BLITZ. Always. Nobody has a perfect blitzing record, and you are bound to meet a bloody death at the hands of an angry horde of mobs every now and then. Sure, with some practice, bloody deaths will be rare and far between - But you do not want to lose half a level just because you didn't save before going for that shiny high-priced nano.

There are several components to a good blitz, I'll cover the main ones (As in, everything except mooning in the face of a train of 210+ slayers):
1. Running: Stating the obvious here, but it's got to be said. Don't stop for ANYTHING. Especially in mishes that are made up of long straight hallways, you can lose your train by just going forward fast enough.
2. Snaring: There are two situations when using an AoE snare is good practice. First, when your train catches up to you for some reason - Having to stop to crack open a door is a good example but also things like stepping on a snare mine or getting stuck in the geometry. Second, when you have to double back for some reason - Taking the wrong turn and ending up in a dead-end is a good example of when snaring your train is crucial.
3. Rounding: This is a life-saver in times when a mish is composed of high-level and high-speed mobs. Basically, you lead them all into the largest room you can find in the mish. While sticking to the walls and making sharp turns you have the mobs follow you along the walls. You then fire off your AoE snare in rapid succession. If you get it right, you have a whole lot of mobs snared for a long time along the walls, which gives you some nice choices - Most important, you can leave the mish to lose aggro and then re-enter to loot chests and the like.
4. Bailing: Once you got your hands on whatever objective you had, you can either meep or run out like a commoner. Usually I prefer meeping because it saves time zoning, but this is really a matter of personal taste - Meeping does kill off all the nanopool you had, so sometimes just running out is good enough. One way or another, once you got your goody, you make with the tactical advance to the rear.

Getting back to civilization: Unless you've meeped, you're now most likely standing outside an entrance to some cave in the middle of nowhere. Aside from meeping, this is the time to pull up your map and find where is the nearest "Neuters 'R Us" wompah. Run there, you'll end up at Newland City. Pick up a refresher from the bartender, and you're ready to go on another round. Rinse and repeat a few times and you can land some decent cash - The main things I used to blitz for were high-end heals like Life Channeler or Complete Healing, various pets and other assorted high-end buffs like TMS or Mochies. You can have some quick cash if you roll several crystals and sell them in a package deal, or just keep some common sought-after nanos in stock.

Added Richness
This is worth a special mention as this is a fixer-only feature: When you recieve a mission (Starting back at the ICC Shuttleport) you will recieve a message saying "You received a new mission with X% added richness (QL) to the treasures." - X can be anything from 5 to 10, depending on your BASE BnE skill (IP put into the skill directly or IP put into abilities affecting the skill), and is a universal bonus applied to ALL LOOT within the mission. That means anything you find inside the mish will be X% higher QL than it would've been otherwise - Chest loot, mob loot, mission rewards, everything. For example, a QL100 chest will yield a QL100 item for everyone, but it will yield a QL105 item for a fixer if the "Added Richness" is 5%. This is the main method of scoring some highly sought-after goodies like QL270+ scopes and other high-level items, or just a nice way to make a little extra credit if you're gridning mishes for tokens and shopfood.
Last edited by Tarradax on Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ye' Olde Fixer Guide, By Me.

/Tarradax, Proud Owner of Questionable Morals.
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Post by Tarradax » Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:15 am

Patch 17.xx Additions: Miy Armor (Or: An update? WHAT?)
Before we get down to business, take a moment and go here. Take your time, skim the thread, I'll wait. No rush.

Back? Good. Moving along.

As you now know, patch 17 brought on a nice addition to the game world and it's even fr00b-friendly: Miy Armor. Why should you care? Because while most of it is quite useless to a Fixer, some of it is still nice to have or, at the very least, better than whatever alternative you've got on right now. Miy Armor follows the "Unit" template - Instead of having a hard profession lock, the armor's requirements and bonuses are geared to be useful for a certain group of professions. Of course, sometimes said "Gearing" is completely insane and makes no sense but we'll get to that some time in the future (Read: Never). Before we go take a look at the specifics for the sets, some global rules:
  • Every Miy Armor piece boosts health.
  • All Miy Helmet pieces add NCU and Intelligence.
  • All Miy Body Armor pieces add Nanopool, NCU and STA.
  • All Miy Sleeve pieces add PSY and Dodge.
  • All Miy Glove pieces add SENSE and EvadeClsc.
  • All Miy Pants pieces add NCU and AGI.
  • All Miy Boots pieces add STR.
So, as you can see, no matter what Miy you mix and match, a full set composed entirely of Miy armor will give you, AT THE VERY LEAST, the following bonuses: Health (On every piece), NCU (Helmet, Body and Pants), Intelligence (Helmet), Nanopool (Body), Stamina (Body), Psychic (Sleeve), Dodge Ranged (Sleeve), Sense (Gloves), Evade Close Combat (Gloves), Agility (Pants) and Strength (Boots). This is just the lowest common denominator, regardless of other, type-specific bonuses - If you wondered WHY Miy armor was so well received, this is it. It's really hard to beat in terms of all-out improvement. But enough about that "One size fits all" nonsense, let's look into it from a Fixer's point of view!

Nano Armor
If the name didn't tip you off, let me shock you: This is intended for those squishy meatbag casters. It requires Intelligence and Psychic to equip and its special "Theme" as it were is the +Nanoskill bonus on each piece. Every piece has a different skill boost:

Helmet - BM. Used exclusively in HoT nanos (And SWS if you've got SL).
Body Armor - TS. Used almost everywhere: HoTs, RS buffs, Roots/Snares (As well as the removal of).
Sleeves - MatMet. Another fairly common requirement: HoTs, NCU Buffs, Damage Buffs and more.
Gloves - MC. Actually useless since GA is the only MC-required line you should care about but useless anyway since you can't hotswap it.
Pants - PM. Used all over: SMG Buffs, Roots and more.
Boots - SI. Used in buffs, snares and more.

What you could use: It can be handy to have a set of Miy Nano around to swap for nanos you can't quite self-cast yet but the bonuses aren't that great, the requirements aren't very friendly and the bonuses really aren't that great. Still, it's there, you can use it - It could even be your regular outfit for at least a while, just don't overdo it.

Melee Armor
Intended for... Melee! Except, not quite. While the bonuses are melee-oriented, the requirements to equip this set are actually Sense/Agility. Don't ask. While the bonuses are mostly useless (And if you're going to argue that they are in fact awesome for a 1H-using Fixer, I don't want to hear about it) there's one little gem worth noting:

Gloves - Agility. QL160 is the lowest QL that provides a +10pt bonus (Requiring 442 Sense and 409 Agility to equip), if you need those extra points for something - Here they are.

What you could use: Outside of twinking Agility with the gloves, nothing really worthwhile. Still, the requirements are Fixer-friendly so if you're really desperate you could equip it for the non-set-specific bonuses. The boots get an honorable mention just because the Boots bonuses are overall rubbish so you might as well get a big ol' helping.

Ranged Armor
Intended for the ranged weapon users (Although it requires Agility/Strength), no self-respecting Fixer will be seen without an ever-fashionable a pair of...

Sleeves: They add to your SMG skill. You are using an SMG. See where I'm going with this?

What you could use: Sleeves.

Tank Armor
I'm not even going to bother here. It requires STR/STA, it boosts such useful stats like 2HE, 2HB and Melee Energy, if that's your idea of a good weapon then you're reading the wrong guide. Shoo!

What you could use: If you're a Fixer caught wearing this? I'll say "A Clue" is at the top of the list.

Scary Armor
The set requires Intelligence and Sense of all things. The bonuses aren't lending towards any particular profession and just about everyone can find better pieces in other sets. Still, the sleeves add Perception so they can do in a pinch if you're trying to upgrade your scope and end up a bit short.

What you could use: The sleeves but ONLY as a temporary twinking aid. See "Ranged Armor".

To Summarize:
Miy Armor is good stuff. It's not very rare (Except when you need that specific piece at that exact QL, in which case it instantly becomes so rare you're more likely to loot a GA4 ready-to-upload NanoCrystal from a Backyard Leet), it's not every expensive and it's not bad. Problem is, it's also not very good - Apart from the obvious Miy Ranged Sleeves, the set is more of a "One size fits all" deal than something aimed at a specific target group. Still, you'll encounter it during your leveling and it's nice for variety and far too many people asked why I haven't added a section about it to the guide. So there. I hope you're happy.
Last edited by Tarradax on Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Tarradax » Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:15 am

Update and Changelog:

~Updated December 14th, 2006 - First Post.
~Updated January 7th - Added GA section.
~Updated January 13th - Moved stuff around.
~Updated February 9th - Fixed the old Anarcy Arcanum links to the new mirror site.
~Updated March 8th - IMPLANT SECTION! WHEEEEEEEE!!!!
~Updated June 26th - PvP section, singles department.
~Updated June 29th - PvP section, towers and the such.
~Updated July 1st - Grammar and spelling fixes on a couple sections.
~Updated September 4th - Moneymaking 101 & The Fine Art of Blitzing
~Updated September 19th - Fixed links that somehow broke again. Grrrrr.
~Updated September 21st - The End!!!
~Updated January 31st, 2011 - Holy ancient guide, Batman! An update! Miy Armor section and breakdown added.
~Updated June 21st, 2012 - Holy antique guide, Batman! An update (again)! Some stuff about composites. Also stark realization that this guide is almost SIX YEARS OLD. Thanks to everyone reading it!
~Updated February 8th, 2015 - Believe it or not, I done fixed me up some bad grammar.

To-do List (aka "Will only be done once I'm on a desert island with my laptop and the only other alternative is fighting the local wildlife for coconuts, using other coconuts):

~Overhaul PvP Section.
~OFAB armor and weapons.
~Possibly replace PvP Section with "LUL WUT".
Last edited by Tarradax on Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:49 am, edited 19 times in total.
Ye' Olde Fixer Guide, By Me.

/Tarradax, Proud Owner of Questionable Morals.
/Baene, It's Like A Beanbag Chair. With a Gun. And a Temper.
/Bonekrakka, Get Your Choppas Ready, Boyz! Time For A WAAAAAAGH!
/Happythought, Hand-Made Silk Kites! Beautiful Strings!
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Post by itninja » Sat Dec 16, 2006 6:21 am

Wow . . . I wish I had this guide starting out. I really don't have any suggestions for you mate. Breaking it down by level range is a good idea, and also breaking it down into availabiltiy to froob/paid players was great too.

Tactics! Awesome!

I look forward to the rest of the guide :-) Good work thus far!
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Post by Vabla » Sat Dec 16, 2006 1:02 pm

You forgot Illicit Laser Backup and Superjolt in the weapon listing.
Not uber weapons but still something you might use when bored.
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Post by Tarradax » Sun Dec 17, 2006 1:47 am

Vabla wrote:You forgot Illicit Laser Backup and Superjolt in the weapon listing.
Not uber weapons but still something you might use when bored.
Added the SuperJolt, not adding the ILB because it's really got no use with it's split-req.
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Post by Tyranii » Sun Dec 17, 2006 7:11 am

Psh.... ILB was in most Fixers weapon racks back in the day :)
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Post by LaraCroftsLeftBoob » Sun Dec 17, 2006 4:23 pm

very cool. i'll probably be using this very soon.

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Post by naideck » Sun Dec 17, 2006 8:05 pm

tarra u really need 2 add in a section for GA fixers :D...

...and a section on how to get money for GAII -.-
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Post by LotusJake » Sun Dec 17, 2006 8:18 pm

tarra u really need 2 add in a section for GA fixers...

...and a section on how to get money for GAII -.-
Tarradax wrote:[Reserved for an In-Depth GA Guide/Twink Guide]

Looks like he is already planning just that :lol:
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