As inspired by Matt B.’s helpful comments on Arena weaponry, this (short) post will examine some of the nice weapons that one can use particularly for this game mode. Do note that this list is just a recommended list and is non-exhaustive. If you have any suggestions you would like to share, kindly write them in the comments below.
It will also have a discussion on what traits are great for Arena-based weaponry and also a brief discussion of Melee and Ranged weapons when in Arena. More importantly, do note that these is my subjective take on the weapon selection and in no way definite.
*Notice: Due to some technical faults, I won’t be posting new screenshots at this time till much later. Thanks for the understanding!
More importantly, many thanks to Matt B. for all the insightful weapon suggestions for Arena; Book, Josh for providing much-needed info of where certain items can be found; Aqve, Glembi for adding to the list of suggestions. 🙂
Before we begin, let’s examine some of the magical properties/traits which we wish to seek out in these weapons. This is because while Arena degrades the base stat of gears, traits are not subject to degradation and will be relied (heavily) upon. In context of this post, this will focus on primarily traits found on weapons….so don’t go crazy if you don’t see dodge or run speed here.
For a complete list of the traits and explanations of their effect, do refer to this post.
These traits are those which have a great impact in the Arena by bolstering one’s chance of victory. Having a few of these traits on your weapon alone does make it inherently excellent when fighting in these battles.
Damage over 3secs (DOT) – The ultimate trait for the hit-and-run strategy. Damage is influenced by elemental advantage and is fixed per tick. This can be reapplied easily and continuously. Gets the crowd boo-ing at you, but who cares about that if you emerge victorious at the end.
Attack Speed (Atk Spd) – Boosting your rate of attack essentially means more damage per second. This can be supplemented by Haste, but still a good trait to possess.
Stun/Fear – Effective for disabling opponents, enabling damage to be dealt safely on your end. Fear being particularly useful for Ranged users since it increases the distance between you and the enemy.
Less useful traits
These traits are not so useful in the Arena setting but nonetheless still beneficial. These might be marred by lower innate values and thus do not have as large an impact compared to the above traits.
HP/Hit – Recovers HP on the go. However, you might need higher values (>30) before this becomes actually useful in the case of short Arena battles. Also less effective for slower and hard-hitting weapons (eg. Greatsword).
Update (05/12/17): HP/Hit (HPH) is now actually very useful with a revised value of 90+ for T7 weapons and more legendary armors having HPH as well. Do note that it still remains less effective for slower weapons (eg. Greatswords without attack speed) and does not activate during ongoing DOT.
Slow/Pushback – Less effective disabling skills but they still have their uses – Slow decreases both the enemy’s attack speed and run speed; Pushback forces the enemy away from you slightly. Neither actually stops the enemy from attacking you entirely though, but just make it harder for the enemy to deal damage as consistently as before.
Critical Hit Chance/Damage (Crit Chn/Dmg) – These values need to come in a pair (Chance: >40%; Damage: >200%) but multiplies damage to excellent levels. Not too useful when your damage is inherently low though (due to degradation).
Berserker – Great for a comeback but not entirely useful for any time other than when your screen is flashing with blood stains. Thus, it might be risky to rely on it during Arena, especially if your opponent is hitting you for over 2k damage on average.
Additionally, traits which are completely negligible in Arena would include Health Potion Damage, HP/Kill, Bloodrage. These do not have effect due to the nature of Arena battles and/or have its effect disabled to not intentionally result in an unfair one-sided match (ie. Bloodrage).
Good – DOT, Atk Spd, Fear/Stun
HPH,Slow/Pushback, Crit Hit Chn/Dmg, Berserker
Useless – HPK, Bloodrage, HPD
Ranged vs Melee
Both Ranged and Melee weaponry have their merits in Arena, but I’m leaning more so to Ranged for this one. Melee, while it offers direct damage and more damage per hit, subjects the user to the risk of getting damaged more frequently. Thus, this might be detrimental especially if your armor values have been degraded and rendered unable to withstand incoming damage.
On the other hand, ranged users have it safe from a distance – escaping potential fatal scenarios of getting stunned followed by a Mist of Death. However, they lack the equivalent damage per hit compared to melee weapons and might result in a lengthy battle.
Here’s a short (TL;DR) summary of Ranged vs Melee weaponry in relation to Arena battles:
+ Deals damage from a distance, allowing you to potentially not get hurt
+ Less likely to get hit often, less chance to get disabled (eg. stunned/feared)
+ Keeping distance means easier to escape AoE/Persistent zone skills
+ Easy to implement Hit-and-Run
– Damage is dealt slower since projectiles need to travel, and might miss
– Damage per hit is lower than Melee
+ Damage per hit is generally higher than Ranged
+ Great for getting in free damage against Cyclone-Frost Shield spammers (see here)
+ More direct damage dealt, potentially leading to a faster battle
– Get hit more often, resulting in higher chance to get stunned/feared
– More easily caught in enemy AoE/ Persistent Zone skills
Of course, the weapon selection ultimately boils down to weapon availability and play style. Having good weapons does immediately equate to an instant victory, but certainly does increases the chances. Thus, it’s best to get used to all weapon types first before making your pick.
These weapons have been chosen according to preferred traits above, the numerical values attached to those traits, and via player suggestions. The list will be updated as more items become available (esp. the free gear in missions)…and if I’m able to discover which mission certain recommended items drop.
It is also broken down into two categories: Non-mission (which only are obtained through paid or earned chests) and Mission-based (which is exactly as its name implies). Non-mission weapons naturally give higher properties than their mission-based counterparts.
Moreover, weaker weapons (ie. those available from bounty chests) will not be considered unless they have recommended traits which are of high value. This is because their attack stats are rather low to survive more than a few degradations.
That’s about it for the quick post and good luck with the Ultimate Arena season!