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Oct 21 2006 05:26pm
I would like to thank Divine Knights International, eagle_fs, and the folks on the IRC channel #Ladderslasher for their support; you all know who you are and I greatly appreciated it. The previous guilde can be found here

Hi everyone, I am writing and updating this Ladder Slasher guide to give advice to novice and even experienced players. For those of you that do not know me, my character is RaraStab and I was the first person to reach level 61. It took me roughly 4 days, the last two of which I played 20 hours each, to accomplish this and I have gained much knowledge from my experiences in this game. The original guide and this guide will be dedicated to the fundamentals of the game, and for you to get a better grasp of what you are doing, what you should be doing, and why you should be doing what you are doing. If you can read through this guide and understand it, I guarantee you will have a much better understand of this game.

I will try to keep this guide as organized as possible. Please feel free to add comments, recommendations, questions and whatnot. I will update this guide as needed and answer questions as best as I can. If you choose to leave recommendations, questions, and feedback, make sure that you have read the entire guide first.

Before reading on please take time to read and keep these post for reference:
Ladder Slasher - Game Mechanics Explained by njaguar
“Weapons, Armors & Charms Class Mechanics” by ragnaroks

Table of Contents
I. Forward for New Players
II. Statistical Attributes
___1. Strength
___2. Dexterity
___3. Intelligence
___4. Vitality
___5. Where should I put my statistical attributes into?
III. Classes
___1. Fighter
___2. Barbarian
___3. Rogue
___4. Mage
___5. Secret characters
___6. What character is right for me?
___7. OK, where do I put my statistical attributes into now?
IV. Gear
___1. Base statistics
___2. Enhanced effect
___3. Statistic abilities
___4. Averages
___5. Melee gear
___6. Mage gear
V. Combat
___1. Basic strategy
___2. Paths to leveling
___1. How important is regeneration?
___2. How important is max life?
___3. Should I put my first 10 points (or more) into vitality?
___4. Strength or dexterity as a melee character?
___5. Hybrid characters?
___6. Is defense important?
VII. Master Quest
VIII. Conclusion

I. Forward for New Players
"Every battle is won before it is ever fought.”
- Sun Tzu, Art of War
Ladder Slasher is a web based hack and slash game. The concept, design, and play are simple; you kill monsters, find gear, and kill more monsters. As simple as it sounds though, leveling up your character will be another story. This is where this guide will come in. There is no “trick” or “exploit” to this game, and no amount of number crunching will get you to high levels. This game revolves and is based on gear; the better gear you have, the better you will do; surviving more fights, killing more monsters, finding more gear.
In my opinion, Ladder Slasher is roughly 90% gear and 10% fundamentals. Why than would you want to read a 7 page (single space, size 10 font) paper on this game if it only affects 10% of your play? Because that 10% may make or break your character, your time and play, and without an understanding of what this game is about, you won’t know what gear to look for.

II. Statistical Attributes
There are four different statistical attributes in this game – strength, dexterity, intelligence, and vitality. You are given 10 statistical attributes when you start a new character and 1 statistical attribute for every level you gain; by level 60 you should have 70 points. Statistical attributes are important because each attribute will have a focus in a certain area and by you putting points into one of these, you are focusing your character in a certain area. Please read “Ladder Slasher - Game Mechanics Explained by njaguar,” now if you have not done so, the link is provided above the table of contents. I will not be covering what is covered there but what is not covered there or a deeper understanding of it.
1. Strength: 1 point of strength gives you roughly 10% increased weapon damage (1% enhanced effect)
2. Dexterity: If you have higher dexterity than your opponent (of which you cannot see), you are more likely to attack first or run away before they can attack. Landing the first blow and killing your opponent before they can deal damage to you is a very powerful ability indeed and running away without your opponent having the last (and usually final) blow is just as important. In addition, more dexterity means a higher chance to critical and a higher critical damage.
3. Intelligence: This statistical ability is basically for caster types only and in most chases, the mage class.
4. Vitality: Every time your character levels, your base hit points increases by the amount of vitality you have. Each time you put in 1 point into vitality you gain 2 hit points and all cumulative base hit points thereafter. Example: putting 1 point into vitality at level 1 means that by level 60 you have an additional 60 points.
5. Where should I put my statistical attributes into?
This is your decision of where to put points into. You may want to look at section three “Classes” because you decide but remember what I said about focus. Focusing (putting all or most) your statistical attributes will make your character more focused in a certain aspect. More strength means more consistent due to higher weapon damage, more dexterity will mean more chances of critical strikes and critical damage, and so forth. Put your statistical attributes into the area that most suits your character. More information will be provided in that section.

III. Classes
There are four basic classes and each are powerful in their own right. It is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of all classes so that you have a better understanding of what you are getting yourself into. When choosing a character, choose one that best suits your needs and personality.
1. Fighter
(Weapons: sword, club, axe) (Armor: Heavy)
Stats: 50 strength, 40 dexterity, 10 intelligence, 50 vitality.
Good balanced melee character with no focus in consistent weapon damage, critical damage or overall hit points, but they are weak against mage type opponents.
It lacks focus and really has nothing going for it; if you want consistent damage or more hit points, the barbarian would be a better choice and if you wanted to critical more often and deal more critical damage, the rogue is a better choice. If you want a character that is in the middle ground, this is the character for you.
2. Barbarian
(Weapons: sword, club, axe) (Armor: Heavy)
Stats: 60 strength, 25 dexterity, 5 intelligence, 60 vitality.
Melee character focused on consistent damage and has the highest base hit points but its chances of critical strikes are slim and the critical damage low, they are also weak against mage type opponents.
This character has the best consistent damage of all characters and coupled with a good amount of hit points, can whittle away opponents before they themselves die (usually). If your mental projection of this game is bashing down doors and swinging axes, this is the character for you.
3. Rogue
(Weapons: sword, club, axe, dagger, staff) (Armor: Medium)
Stats: 30 strength, 60 dexterity, 25 intelligence, 35 vitality. All points into dexterity.
Melee character that is focused on critical strikes and critical damage, lacks consistent damage and has the lowest hit points of all melee classes, also is weak against mage type opponents but that’s true for all base class melees if you have not realized by now.
There are 4 things going for this character: attacking first, hitting hard, running away first, and short fights. You will have no where near the hit points of a fighter or barbarian nor will you have the protection of their armors since you cannot wear heavy type armor. But you do have damage and lots of it. If you want quick kills and are willing to gamble with your low hit points (and possibly lots of running away), this is the character for you.
4. Mage
(Weapons: dagger, staff) (Armor: Light)
Stats: 20 strength, 50 dexterity, 60 intelligence, 20 vitality. All points into intelligence.
The only true caster in the game with little to no melee capabilities and the lowest hit points of all base characters, but they do have a very good defense against other mage type characters.
Mages are similar to barbarians in that they have consistent but with a good charm, you have the potential to be a barbarian on crack wielding spells that can blast opponents back to level 1. Unlike melee characters, mages use charms to cause damage and instead of vying for weapons that 3 classes can use, you rely on charms that are more easily accessible and usually cheaper.
5. Secret characters
There are 5 secret characters in all: samurai, paladin, monk, ninja, and warlock. Each secret character is unlocked by completing the Master Quest with the newest character available to you. Example: to become a samurai, you must complete the Master Quest with the 4 base character; to become a paladin, you must complete the Master Quest with the samurai and so on.
6. What character is right for me?
It’s up to you on what you want to play and how much forum gold you have. Melee weapons are more expensive than caster charms because there are just more melee around and therefore more demand for melee weapons. Casters though really need a good weapon and armor that both have low level requirements and either give intelligence or max life. It all comes down to what is available in the market: if there are a lot of melee weapons and gear, make a melee character, and if there is a lot of caster gear, make a mage.
If you are a new character, you best bet is to make a rogue. Rogues can use all weapons meaning that your options are much more open than fighters or barbarians, most notably in the areas of staffs and daggers. Remember that this is a gear based game and you gain nothing from running from battles, only from killing monsters. Fighters and barbarians have more armor but as the old saying goes, “the best defense is a good offense,” so grab a weapon and start clicking.
7. OK, where do I put my statistical attributes into now?
What class are you? What do you want to focus in? What do you want to do? If your looking to do consistent melee damage, strength. Want more critical strikes and critical damage? Dexterity. If you’re a mage, intelligence.
What about a fighter or barbarian that focuses in dexterity or a rogue that focuses into strength? The question of “hybrid characters” will be brought up later in the FAQ section. Skip down to section six “FAQ” for more information.

IV. Gear
As said earlier, this game is basically 90% about gear so knowing what gear to look for and get is very important. There is some important information to know before we dive right into what gear to get.
1. Base Statistics (aka Perm Link): The base statistics is what the item would be without any statistical attributes; it takes out your strength when looking at a weapon, your vitality when looking at armor, and intelligence when looking at charm damage. You can see the base statistics, or “perm link” by clicking on the item and clicking on the “perm link” button. Base statistics are important because it shows what a weapon with no modifications. Image a barbarian and mage holding the same weapon; the weapon on the barbarian would look a lot better than what the mage would be holding but it is the same exact weapon.
2. Enhanced Effect (referring to “Weapons, Armors & Charms Class Mechanics” by ragnaroks): A weapon or charm with enhanced effect is usually 99% better than a weapon or charm without enhanced effect because it not only does more damage but can be used more effectively at lower levels. Enhanced effect improves the damage on a weapon or charm by the percentage amount as shown so a 50% enhanced effect means 50% more damage (multiply by 1.5), a 100% enhanced effect means 100% more damage (multiply by 2). Let us take a level 15 weapon with 100% enhanced effect and a level 45 sword with no enhanced effect. We see a level 15 weapon is base 6-60 while a level 45 weapon is base 12-120. Now apply the enhanced effect: 6*2 – 60*2 = 12-120 weapon, the same damage as the level 45 weapon with no enhanced effect. But imagine this: you are wielding a weapon with the same power as a level 45 weapon but at level 15.
3. Statistic abilities: These are the four abilities that I spoke about before: strength, dexterity, intelligence, and vitality. The focus of your character and therefore gear should be that of killing monsters, and as quickly as possible. You get no experience from running away from monsters, only killing them so any statistical abilities that will increase your killing ability is what you want.
4. Averages: How do you tell if an axe or sword is better? Or for that reason, how any weapon is better than other? Simply find the average of the weapon by addition the minimum and maximum damage together than dividing the sum by two. Why averages though? It takes about 2,000 kills fighting monsters the same level as you to get to level 61 so in the long run, averages on a weapon will balance out.

5. Melee Gear
Before I get into gear, I would like to explain that this is a simple outline of what might be best for you. It might not be possible to get everything, and there are many other attributes on weapons that are worth looking at. I will not be covering many of these attributes because it would only complicate things more than they already are. In addition, regeneration gear is very important, please refer to section six “FAQ” for further information about this.
When looking for melee gear, look for these items below:
Weapon: Enhanced effect (but use averages to see if another weapon with less or no enhanced effect is better), statistical ability that you are focused in, life leech, experience gain
Armor: Statistical ability that you are focused in, life leech, experience gain, level requirement
Charms: Statistical ability that you are focused in, life leech, experience gain, level requirement

Weapon: a weapon without enhanced effect better have an insane amount of good statistical abilities otherwise it is pretty much useless for melees.
Armor and defense for melee gear is very tricky. You probably will not get good defense armor unless it is a higher level armor with a lot of enhanced effect, but you do want armor that has no level requirement so that you can start at level 1 and level immediately. Personally, I do not think defense is very important but please refer to section six “FAQ” for a further explanation.
Charm: Do not overlook the level requirement on charms. I personally would prefer a charm I can use a level 1 so that I can level immediately. Remember, charms do not matter for a melee so you can use the same charm all the way to level 61 if you wish, if the charm is good enough!

6. Mage Gear
When looking for mage gear, look for these items below:
Weapon: Intelligence, low level requirement, and max life (damage does not matter)
Armor: Intelligence, low level requirement, and max life (defense does not matter)
Charms: Enhanced effect (but use averages to see if another weapon with less or no enhanced effect is better), intelligence, max life

Weapon & Armor: More intelligence means more damage and you only gain experience from killing monsters. Level requirement is also very important because higher level weapons and armor do not matter so if you can, use gear that you can start immediately with, preferably level 1.

V. Combat:
By understanding statistical abilities, classes, and gear, you should be much more aware and knowledge of what you are doing. Now it is time to actually get into the game and start killing monsters.
1. Basic Strategy
Battles are more than fight or die, you actually need to think if you want to play efficiently. Here is my simply guideline for when to fight or flight.
- Beginning of combat: if you see the first 3 hits of the monster do near or more than 10% of your life, run
- Middle of combat: if you are at less than 50% and the monster still has 75% or more life, run
- Near end of combat: if you have less than 10% of your life and the monster has 10%, run unless you are a rogue, than stay and fight
- Fight till the monster dies in all other scenarios
Learn to cut your losses as soon as possible, and prepare for the next fight. Also understand that dying is part of the game but you want to minimize that risk without running from every single battle.
2. Paths to leveling
I will not tell you how to level, that is much too simple. I’m sure there are guides out there that tell you what to do at certain levels, but that is not important. This game is so simple you should figure out leveling in 5 minutes of actual play. What you will not know and what I will try to do is explain how you can level faster.
As I have said numerous times, this game is about gear. You need good gear to level. You may understand the game a lot better, know when to fight or run, but in the end if you don’t have good gear, leveling will be very difficult. A buffoon with good gear will level faster than an experienced player with horrible gear; an experienced player with good gear will rape everything in the game. So how do you get good gear? Well you find it (rare, nearly impossible if you just started), or you buy gear. I will give three paths to leveling: 1) those that do not wish to spend any forum gold or do not have any or little forum gold, 2) are willing to spend a moderate amount of forum gold; 3) are willing to spend as much forum gold as possible to level as fast as possible.

Paupers Path – I want to spend as little as possible or do not have any or little forum gold
This is going to be tough, real tough. What can I say? You understand the game, good job. But you don’t have the gear to complete the game. You will just need to kill monsters and find better weapons (or charms) using averages until you either make forum gold or find a very good weapon. It might take you weeks at this rate so just tough it out. Before I would send forum gold to players with little to no forum gold but I am no longer doing this, I get too many private messages and have donated quite a tidy sum.

Merchants Path – I will spend a moderate amount of forum gold
Start yourself by buying good but cheap start weapon (or charm) from anywhere from 1-10 forum gold, same for the armor and charm. Look at the gear section as to what you should be looking for. Buy new weapons or charms (and be sure to look at the averages) every 10-15 levels, or until you can barely kill any monsters. You might be looking to spend 100 forum gold at mid levels and up to 200 or 300 forum gold at higher levels. You will level pretty fast with this path, a week at most with a few hours a day and playing well.

Kings Path – I’ve got a ton of forum gold, tell me what to buy
Start yourself by either going to the trading forum and buying high enhanced effect weapon (or charm) or on the market place, 50% enhanced effect minimum for all weapons (or charms). Buy the best armor and charm you see available, and upgrade whenever you have a chance to get better. You’ll go through a ton of forum gold, thousands probably but you’ll beat the game in a day or two.
I took this path and have spent a good amount of forum gold to get my current gear (though I have made 10 times this by finding and selling gear). It takes me roughly 5-6 hours to get to level 61 from level 1. I use the same armor and charm from level 1 to 61, and have weapons for level 1-5, 5-15, 15-35, and 35-61.

This is the “Frequently Asked Questions” section with a bit of information. I added this section to clarify some ideas or assumptions that people have made. I have all tested and used these so this is purely from my experience and opinion.
1. How important is regeneration?
Very important; besides gear, this is what separates those that have gotten to level 61 numerous times to those that have not. You regenerate 1 extra point every 5 levels, and you regenerate your regeneration amount every second; i.e. level 10 has 3 regenerate (1, 5, 10), and every second will regenerate 3 hit points. If you had to regenerate 300 hit points at 3 hit points at a time, it will take you 100 seconds to regenerate that difference. If you used regeneration gear though, let’s say on all 3 pieces of equipment and with 5 regeneration on each piece for 15 regeneration totaling 18 regeneration with your base rate, 300 hit points will take you 17 seconds. Now image instead of 300, imagine 3000 hit points.

2. How important is max life?
Max life in gear is not very important unless you cannot survive a single battle, in which case it is probably your weapon or charm that is not dealing enough damage. Simply put, if you can survive more than one fight, why do you need max life? So that you can kill more monsters at once? It just means more time regenerating, and from the information above, it can be a slow processes. So either way, you will fight the same amount of monsters, it is just how many monsters you will fight in a row and how long it takes to regenerate – more max life, few more monsters but long regeneration wait; no max life, few less monsters but short regeneration wait.

3. Should I put my first 10 points (or more) into vitality?
Putting the first 10 points into vitality will net you an additional 10 hit points every level so by level 30, you will have 300 extra hit points. The question is, as with max life, will you honestly need those extra 300 hit points? Chances are you probably will not, but let us say that you put those 10 more hit points into dexterity as a rogue or intelligence as a mage. You will now have more critical strikes and critical damage as a rogue, and more damage through charms as a mage.
The only time you might want more hit points is doing high level well boss monsters because they are much harder than regular monsters. But if you are having difficulties with high level well bosses, chances are it is your damage and not your hit points.

4. Strength or dexterity as a melee character?
I have tried strength based characters and I really did not care much for it. I play melee (sorry mages) and I always go dexterity because dexterity gear is just so easy to find. Coupled a good weapon with dexterity boasting armor and charms, your critical strike chances will shoot up and so will your damage.

5. Hybrid characters?
Hybrid characters are characters that do not fall into the general category or template that others might use. Some common examples of this are dexterity based barbarians or strength based rogues. While many feel these can be very powerful (anything can be with good gear), it really makes no logical in a statistical attribute point of view. Let us take the dexterity based barbarian and a rogue:
Barbarian: 25 dexterity, 60 vitality *
Rogue: 60 dexterity, 25 vitality
* Strength is not important since you will be focused on critical strikes
The statistical attributes are flipped, but the main difference is the number in vitality. Do you honestly need that much vitality, and referring to the two post above about max life, you honestly do not need to spend that many points in vitality (if you did, 10 points maximum). So you basically gained hit points you may never need for 25-35 less dexterity that would have greatly improved your critical strike chance and critical damage. The point is that as I tried to say in the statistical attribute section, focus is what specializes your character. A character already focused in a general area (rogues with their naturally high dexterity) are likely candidates for better specialization and focus (putting even more points into dexterity as a rogue).

6. Is defense important?
No. The best defense is a good offense. Kill the monster before it can harm you enough. Your goal is to kill monsters as quickly as possible since 1) you gain experience by killing only, 2) you cannot regenerate during battles.

VII. Master Quest
Finally, you reached the Master Quest. No information will be provided on this nor should you seek information on this subject.

VIII. Conclusion
I know there are probably spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes but I have not proofread all this. I am tired so I will just post it as it is. But if you have read this far, I congratulate you. I would also like to thank njaguar for an excellent game and the continuous and constant work and improvements he has done. Good luck to everyone and remember, this is a game so have fun.
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Oct 21 2006 05:29pm
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Oct 21 2006 05:36pm
Nice guide as usually.
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Oct 21 2006 06:17pm
i mean no disrespect to raraliths time and effort on this guide, however i pray you who arent well into the game take this guide with a grain of salt.

enhanced effect equipment is expensive and often u will wind up wasting fg unless u are buying overpowered weapons (100+ ee) which costs well over 100fg in most cases. defense may not be the most affective means of powering through the game, but it is a cheap cost effective way of insuring you will beat the game without wasting/loosing tons of fg in frustration.

that being said with the right amount of fg this is a very effective guide to becoming hte best of the best on ladder slasher, congratz.
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Oct 21 2006 06:37pm
I disagree, enhanced effect equipment is not too expensive now, and it is definately not a waste. Looking at the market place right now, there are 16 weapons between level 10-25 with 20% or more enhanced effect for sale.7 of those are lower than 20fg, all but 4 are under 100fg. There is a full page of weapons from level 1-45 with over 20% enhanced effect, 75% of which are less than 20fg.

Additionally, in the gear section of my guide is a guideline of what to look for. Coupled with the information that explains why enhanced effect is important, you can see why even a some enhanced effect is important to come by.

Furthermore, this guide has very little to do with forum gold but teaches the funamentals of the game. As I clearly explained, having gear is 90% of the game but this guide is to teach you the fundamentals. I can not help for that 90% of the game, but I can help with the 10%.
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Oct 22 2006 11:07am
Bump - Requested that my old one to switched with this updated version
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Oct 23 2006 10:41am
Quote (Raralith @ Sun, Oct 22 2006, 10:07am)
Bump - Requested that my old one to switched with this updated version

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Oct 23 2006 10:51am
Very nice. I think this is a good candidate for a sticky. I learned something tongue.gif so that's good enough for me. I appreciate the hybrid mini-guide, too. Good job!
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Oct 23 2006 11:50am
nice guide very interesting u discribed all very well
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Oct 24 2006 09:00am
i learned summit new woo

god that font is a bit small though
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