Hello! Those of you who talk to me know I probably get a little too into bashing mechanics in Aet and am on a constant quest to min/max any class I bash in to squeeze out its maximum capabilities. I was always fairly dismissive of the Praenomen class as a viable bashing class because it just seemed to lag behind in every area. DPS was mediocre and they were too squishy. I initially switched the Carnifex because, with zero artifacts
, I was outperforming a fully-artied Praenomen.
However, right before I took a break from the game, I discovered a couple mechanics in the Praenomen class that completely flipped the script in my book, and took Prae from a class that I absolutely generally hated into one that, quite honestly, competes with Carnifex for my affection now. After discussing things with veterans of both the game and the class, I also discovered that I wasn’t the only person who was in the dark about the potential of this class, so I’m going to do my best to concisely summarize how to get the most out of PVE with the Praenomen class.
This guide will presume that you already understand the very basics of bashing in general, but I also see folk sleep on a lot of this stuff so I might as well put it here:
NOTE: I’ve decided to put the tl;dr on what you should be doing here, since the explanations for the mechanics are fairly long-winded, and if anybody is here that just wants the quick explanation to how to bash vamp and doesn’t care about why it works, I want it to be readily accessible without scrolling too far. WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING TO BASH AS VAMPPRIMARY ATTACK:
- Get a ring with all four elemental resists - these will beef up your resistance to really damaging stuff.
- Trans your miniskills - PVE damage used to be tied to how much you’d learned in the specific skill tree, but it’s now tied to how far you’ve advanced in HUNTING, so once you have all the skills you need in order to def up properly, if you’re primarily interested in PVE, you’re going to want to dump all extra lessons into your miniskills to further increase your audit tankiness (and reduce your endurance/willpower drain). For PVE Praenomen, I would say the order of importance would be roughly as follows: Fitness, Thermology, Galvanism, Frost, and then all the rest are kinda equal.
- Avoidance - this skill is incredibly helpful for reducing your average damage taken over time. DIVERT and DODGE (and later you can do both at the same time) make a huge difference. DIVERT decreases incoming damage, DODGE completely negates it. Almost all PVE attacks are MELEE, so DODGE/DIVERT MELEE should be part of your defup This skill is very worth transing out.
- Vigor - vigor is a fairly expensive elixir you can drink that will give you a small boost to your health whenever you achieve a critical. It’s useless pretty much below level 80, and Praenomen see minimal returns from it, being a single-hit class, but it can still be that tiny bit of an edge you need, especially if you use the vigor-boosting orbs and/or artifacts.
- Amulets and Orbs - both amulets and orbs are fairly expensive gold-and-effort-wise, and are a bit too much to get into comprehensively here, but both red orbs and red amulets stack with each other AND artifacts, so they’re a great way to boost your DPS. Personally I think all the orbs are worth using while bashing, but I only use a couple of the amulets, but if you’re not an artiwhale like me, they’re definitely worth looking into, and bashing gold can actually start to cover your costs if you do it fast enough.
- Chocolates - chocolates good, chocolates expensive. That’s all I have to say about that.
Frenzy (Corpus, 0 Lessons) - scales with strength, uses balanceDEFENCES
- Shield (buy a shield, and don’t forget to WIELD it)
- Scale Armor (buy it, wear it)
- Fortify (Corpus, 215 lessons)
- Ward (Corpus, 600 lessons)
- Potence [strength, unless str is 21, then Constitution. If both are 21 somehow, do Dexterity. If all three are 21, I’m issuing you for hacking] (Corpus, 1289 lessons)
- Elusion On (Corpus, 16 lessons)
- Celerity (Corpus, 289 Lessons)
- Lifevision (Mentis, 0 Lessons) - not technically necessary but nice to have.
BLOOD LEVELspec into Phreneses to see maximum pve benefit with BLOOD PATH PHRENESES
- Mend (corpus, 481 lessons) - heals you for a decent amount at a pretty heavy balance recovery cost
- BLOOD DELUGE (Sanguis, 1625 lessons) - will prevent you from dying for a short period of time. I’m not adept at using it yet, but it can really save your donkey if you utilize it properly.
- PATH (Sanguis, 1289 lessons) - necessary for maximum blood level bonuses mentioned below, you must path into Phreneses with BLOOD PATH PHRENESES
Under 10%. This will give you +2 strength and reduce your balance and incoming elemental damage dramatically. Grab something sharp, think about the state of America right now, and SLIT WRISTS
until you’re under 10% blood. Choose your statpack accordingly (powerful can get a base str of 18 using this + potence.)EXCEPTION: I
f you’re going to bashing somewhere you know will have fire damage, might be best to top up, since the fire resistance really tanks at low blood. ENHANCEMENTS
PVP and PVE vamp enhancements are a bit at odds, but here are my recommendations for PVE Vamp Enhancements:
- ENHANCE STATS 2: 1 strength, 1 constitution
- ENHANCE SPEED: Balance
- ENHANCE RESISTANCE: statpack dependent. I choose cutting with Athletic, blunt with powerful
- ENHANCE RESISTANCE: FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE FIRE
I don’t actually have suggestions, the most heated arguments I’ve been apart of have all been about augmetic enhancements. The only thing we know for certain is that Crit Strength is absolutely garbage and should be the absolute last ones you get ever.
Okay, now onto the mechanic explanations, and specifically the two skills that are slept on by most people playing the class, and how to best utilize them: ENRAGE
is specific to Phreneses, and SANGUINE
, kind of hilariously for how overlooked it is, is the very first skill in the SANGUIS tree, and both of them work as follows:
, as your blood levels (%) drop, your balance and equilibrium time will go down slightly.
, as your blood levels (%) drop, your strength will increase and your overall resistances will increase. There is a cost, however, in that your resistance to fire will decrease, as will your intelligence.
What does this mean in real terms? It means as your blood levels drop, you’ll hit certain thresholds. At those thresholds, your balance will decrease and your audit resistances will increase. At two thresholds, your stats will also swap around, to a maximum of +2 strength and -2 intelligence.But What Blood Level is best? Don’t worry! I did the testing so you don’t have to!
You get the most out of your stat bonuses at around 20% blood, but your audit and your balance will continue to improve all the way down to 10% blood, with balance capping out at 2.93 seconds (this is with the endgame balance enhancement), down from 3.16 seconds, a 7% improvement to your balance, which in turn is a 7% improvement to DPS. That may not sound like a lot, but combined with everything else, this is absolutely huge. As far as Audits go, this is what mine looks like (keep in mind that I’m a whale and I have an artie shield with fire resist): 100% BLOOD
Cutting | 61%
Blunt | 54%
Magic | 58%
Fire | 51%
Cold | 47%
Electric | 39%
Poison | 39%
Psychic | 32%
Asphyxiation | 32%
Spirit | 10%
Shadow | 20%
Cutting | 61%
Blunt | 54%
Magic | 58%
Fire | 20%
Cold | 62%
Electric | 54%
Poison | 54%
Psychic | 32%
Asphyxiation | 47%
Spirit | 10%
Shadow | 20%
As you can see, overall across the board there’s a huge increase in your tankiness, with the exception of fire damage (which is, frankly, a pretty rare damage source in PVE save for a few zones). Vampires are exempt from the low-blood penalties of other classes like reduced healing, making this prospect a no-brainer, imo. Low blood, all the time while PVEing. I used to top up when I was bashing during daytime, but honestly the sun doesn’t hurt that much and hasn’t made a significant difference in my experience.But what about mending and deluge?
These actually aren’t that big of a deal, especially at endgame. At 5% blood, I still have ~1200 blood points. Deluge only uses 500, so even at really low levels of blood percent, you can afford both mend and deluge. I recommend if you get to about 3-4% that you feed on something (you’re bashing after all) and then slit your wrists back down to under 10% again. Here’s a quick shot for proof:
H:7700 M:3706 E:100% W:102% B:4% [b eb]blood deluge
You grow pale as the last of your life force flows from your body.
As you unleash your sanguine reserves, blood surges through you in a wild deluge
and its boundless power renders you temporarily among the ranks of the immortal.
You have gained the deluge defence.
H:7700 M:3505 E:100% W:101% B:3% [b eb]
As the lifeblood is consumed, you start to feel rather cold.
Your deluge defence has been stripped.
H:7700 M:3706 E:100% W:101% B:3% [b eb]feed nazetu
With a lustful grin you drive your fangs into a vein of the corpse of a Nazetu
crossbowman and, slurping greedily, draw out its still-warm blood from the wound
in long, deep, sucking pulls. The fluid replenishes and invigorates you.
Satisfied, you casually discard the corpse.
Balance Used: 4.28 seconds
H:7700 M:3706 E:100% W:93% B:35% [b e-]
You have recovered balance on all limbs.
With all these minor adjustments, Praenomen becomes one of the best bashing classes in the game. Reasonably tanky (not the best), decent health recovery (not the best, but pretty good!), and REALLY good DPS. I can break 900 dps without resorting to caramel chocolates (at 21 str, hunting 3, and knuckles 3), which is a really tough line for a lot of classes to pass over. Here is a spreadsheet
to mess with for vamps specifically. You’ll need to make a copy to use the dropdowns (I think), but it illustrates all these points a lot more concisely than this post, but I kinda wanted to make it for people who bash as Praenomen, since it seems like an underutilized class.
Let me know if I missed something and I’ll add it in.