This is a general beginners guide to Mercenaries mod. I've decided to create this since there's quite often people on the servers asking for advice on basic things like builds or how to equip some items. Hope this is helpful for people new to the mod.
The Basics: What is Mercenaries?
Mercenaries is a Mount and Blade: Warband modification that enables you to create a persistent character with certain stats that you can assign yourself.
You can earn gold and achievements through killing other players and playing the mod. Gold gain is dependent on the amount of kills you manage to rack up per rounds and there's also an amount of gold you get depending on whether you're in the winning or losing team.
All character stats and equipment handling is done on the site and the in game servers are for playing only, you can't buy equipment nor change stats there.
There are no levels nor experience in this mod.
First things first. When you first register your account on the www.mbmerc.com site, you'll be directed to a characters screen. Creating a character can't be simpler. You type in the desired name and you'll be directed to your character stats page.
- Strength - Pretty self-explanatory: Enables you to hit harder, dealing more damage. Also required to equip heavier weapons. Each point in strength also increases your hitpoints(HP) by one point.
- Agility - Increases your speed with weapons by 0.5%. Doesn't affect moving speed.
Skills are divided in two sections - strength and agility based. Maximum amount of a single skill is 10.
Strength based skills are:
- Ironflesh (IF) - Each point in ironflesh adds two HP to your character's health and also decreases regeneration speed by 0.5 seconds.
- Power Strike (PS) - Increases damage dealt with melee weapons by 8% and allows you to equip heavier weapons.
- Power Throw (PT) - Increases damage dealt with throwing weapons by 10%.
- Power Draw (PD) - Increases bow damage by 8% and allows you to equip heavier bows. (Does not affect crossbows.)
- Reloading (RL) - Increases your crossbow reloading speed by 4% and allows you to equip heavier crossbows.
- Shield (SH) - Reduces damage taken to your shield by 8% and also increases your shield's protecting size.
- Athletics (ATH) - Increases your running speed.
- Riding (RID) - Increases your riding speed and allows you to mount better horses.
- Training (TRA) - Gives three additional weapon proficiency points.
Weapon proficiencies(WPF) play an important role in your character's ability to fight. The higher your melee weapon proficiency in a certain weapon type, the faster you'll be able to hit with it. Crossbows get an accuracy and wounding distance boost from WPF. Throwing weapons become more accurate with WPF.
The maximum amount of WPF points you can have is determined by your training skill. Having 18 WPF points requires 6 TRA which requires 18 AGI. Since each TRA point gives you 3 WPF points, 6x3=18 WPF points. Do note though, that WPF points can't all be put into one weapon type. If you have 18 WPF, you can put 12 into one and 6 into another weapon type and so forth.
You may have noticed there are several perks available for buying in the character screen. They cost from 1000g to 7000g and take off at least one skill point (SP) from your character. Perks are permanent and are reset when retraining without a refund. This means you must be very considerate about buying a perk.
- Strong Legs perk gives you 25% faster crouching speed (press V to crouch) and allows you to keep blocking and aiming while standing up.
- Fast Shooting allows you to take two crossbows on the battlefield and increases your crossbow wielding speed by 25%.
- If you wish to play as a horse archer, the Horse Archery perk is quite useful and almost mandatory. It does not, however, affect your skill with a crossbow on a horse.
- Horse Care can be useful for cavalry as it does regenerate your horse's HP at a slow ratio.
- Intensive Training is utterly useless, do not buy this perk.
- Pain Resistance increases the crossbow wounding distance and can prove useful if you're playing as a character without a shield. The gold and SP cost doesn't really weigh it up though.
- Pickpocketing allows you to steal your enemy's round earnings up to 20g if you successfully backstab him with any dagger.
- Strong Back allows you to carry more than one pack of throwing weapons.
The Marketplace is a pretty self-explanatory place. You can buy items and equipment from there and it's the main place to spend your gold.
There are a few things to keep in mind though:
- Think wisely before buying something - items are sold back for 70% of their original price.
- You have an inventory limit of 10 slots, this can be upgraded up to 40, but it'll cost you quite a bit.
- More expensive items don't necessarily mean they're better. Heavy armour has proficiency penalties* and heavier weapons require strength-heavy builds, which means you'll be dealing a lot of damage, but will also be slower and can't probably take a shield.
- There is a looting system in Mercenaries, which means there's a tiny chance of looting the item your enemy had equipped upon killing him. You can't loot armour nor rare items and the more expensive the item is, the lower the chance of looting it. Current top loots are around 6000g worth.
There's three types of proficiency penalties:
- The overall penalties - This is pretty straightforward. Any other WPF other than archery and one-handed weapons suffer from the shown penalty as marked on the armour.
- One-handed penalty - One-handed weapons get the least penalties when being used with heavy armour. They've been reduced by 50%. This means that when your armour has a 30% proficiencies penalty, it's only 15% for one-handed weapons.
- Archery penalty - Archery WPF penalty is considerably higher than any other. This is to prevent heavily armoured archers from dominating and to keep the mod somewhat balanced.
- Helmets with a visor also have an archery penalty.
There are a certain items with a small "upgrade" tag on them. This means you can upgrade or customize these items by paying extra gold for them once you've bought them. Customization is done in the inventory screen.
The Common Builds
Having learned what each stat does, you need to consider carefully before assigning points. Retraining your character costs relatively low (starting from 10g) and will get more expensive the more kills your rack up.
Most people in Mercenaries use builds that can be divided with 3. This is because each 3 points in a given attribute increase the maximum available skillpoints in the given skill. For an example, an 18/18 build means you can have a maximum of 6 AGI and 6 STR based skills. You always have 22 SP at your disposal so don't worry about them.
Here's the most common and most well balanced builds in my opinion for each class. I've only assigned WPF points to where you must put them, the extra 6 or 5 points can go wherever you want.
Typical two-handed weapon builds (replace two-handed WPF with polearms if you want to use a polearm instead):
Typical archery build:
Typical shielder build:
Typical cavalry build:
Of course there are other classes and you don't have to use the builds above, but these are just general guidelines to get people who have no idea what they're doing started.
Updating the mod
Navigate to your Mercenaries folder through Windows Start menu and choose 'Force Update' or 'Mercenaries'. Or just run the game via the 'Mercenaries' shortcut on your desktop.
Hope this proves helpful for anyone who's new to the mod. If you have any questions, problems or notice any errors, please post them in this thread.
Additional information about several features not explained in this thread can be found on the help page: Help.
Edited by Homer, 06 November 2014 - 21:57.
Edited formatting and updated certain constants.