I’m returning after not having played since like 2000. It feels like a brand-new game to me – I’m lost. I’ve been playing and researching a LOT, having tons of fun – but I don’t really know what I’m doing. I feel very disorganized – like I don’t have a plan. So I need to learn more so I at least know what to work towards. First, some info. My only non-crafter character is a paladin. My plan was to run these skills (they’re not there yet but this was my plan): 120 swords 100 anatomy 100 tactics 100 healing 100 parry 100 chivalry 100 resist My last skill was a toss-up between bushido and resist. I kind of wanted to play a “pure” paladin, and I’ve got some nice shields that I hate to forego, so I ditched bushido at around 85 and switched to resist. I’m just not sure it’s worth it. Would I be better off running five of those six skills to 120 each, or keeping resist? With bushido it felt like I was a half-sampire – which I want to try later as another character. I kind of want to make this character more of a tank – not someone who relies on leeching to stay alive. But I’m not terribly powerful right now, so maybe my plan just doesn’t work. What I’m hoping for is a very survivable character that takes a little (or a lot) longer to kill things but has a slightly higher margin for error since this is my first character in over a decade. I don’t remember my exact stats, but I’ve used the +25 stat scroll so I’m capped at 250. They are somewhere around 95 str / 130 dex / 25 int. I have a blacksmith at around 97 skill, and an imbuer at around 100 skill. I have used a 120 imbuing scroll, and plan to run his skill up to 120. I don’t see much benefit to getting my blacksmithing skill any higher (some of my questions have to do with crafting skills). I’m just not sure what I’m doing. I’ve spent a lot of time in the first level of Wrong, and can kill everything there – even those human executioners and the red mages – but they take a long time. I stay away from level 2. I’ve also taken to hunting on the second level of Shame – the flame elementals and poison elementals sometimes drop some very nice things. I can handle these fairly easily – the air ones are harder as I don’t have a great air elemental slayer. I stay away from the human mages as they hit really hard and the earth elementals on that level are also very annoying. I’m a pack rat, and keep everything I find – so I’ve accumulated a few decent slayer weapons. I carry specific slayer weapons for lizard men, ogres, trolls, and each type of elemental. I have a soul seeker that I use for things that don’t have a slayer. I ride one of those armored swamp dragons, which as I understand it absorbs some physical damage that would otherwise hit me. I’d love to get to where I can venture deeper into Shame – although it sucks dying way down in there as that’s pretty much a guaranteed lost corpse. I’ve learned the hard way not to use cursed gear, as I can’t get back to my body in time to recover it after a level-2 Shame death. I haven’t been to the Abyss yet at all, as I suspect I would get massacred there. I’ve done some spawns in Ilsenar, and have fun there even though the spawn rates are very high. I’ve killed some balrons, which was a huge high for me as back in 1998 those things terrified me when we’d run into them in Hythloth – which back then was the only place they existed. I have an undying hatred for liches – having been killed by them many times – and that dry laugh still makes me shudder even though I’ve managed to kill a few lich lords in Ilsenar and can handle normal liches no problem. Like I mentioned, I have a decent blacksmith and imbuer. I have enough raw materials (ingots and unraveled “stuff”) to get both to 120. I’m just not sure what to do when I get there. I know this post is already long – I’m just trying to explain where I’m at so my questions don’t seem so stupid. I’ll just list them here and anyone who feels like it can answer any questions they want. 1. 1. If my skill is at 100, and I haven’t used a scroll to allow it to go higher than that, is there any value in wearing items that increase that skill? I’m already at 100 anatomy, so is there any point in wearing a ring that increases my anatomy skill? 2. 2. What is the value of using re-forging, or runic hammers, when I can imbue the exact properties that I want (once I get my skill high enough)? It seems that the randomness of runics and re-forging must come with some sort of additional benefit; I just don’t understand what it is. I just don’t understand how to make good weapons or armor – so I’m stuck using what I can find as loot. 3. 3. Is there any difference (other than in the difficulty in raising the corresponding skill) between blacksmithing armor and tailoring armor? I see most people seem to use leather armor, but I don’t understand why unless you’re a mage who needs the “Mage Armor” property. Is that the only benefit to leather, or is there something I’m missing? 4. 4. I have some runic hammers. What is the best way to use them? Make weapons (presumably with normal iron ingots as I have chivalry and thus don’t care about elemental damage)? Make metal armor (presumably with colored ingots to get better resists)? Or use them with re-forging – which I don’t really understand per an earlier question? 5. 5. With re-forging, is there any difference between using a low-level hammer like dull copper versus a high-level hammer like verite or valorite? I know those higher-level hammers add more (and more powerful) properties when crafting – but I don’t understand the difference when using them in re-forging. 6. 6. What is 4/6? I see lots of references to it but I don’t really understand what it is. I gather it has something to do with faster cast recovery; is it some sort of threshold where things get easier with chivalry-based spells? I can almost never get off a healing spell when fighting, unless I run away a bit – so bandaging is my primary source of healing right now. 7. 7. Enemy of one doesn’t seem to increase my damage at all. I can be fighting a cave troll in Wrong, and my damage doesn’t seem to move at all after I cast it. I don’t understand why that is – is my chivalry too low? It’s around 75 right now, I think. 8. 8. What is a dexxer? I see references to this, but I don’t understand what it is. Is it someone who simply maxes dex to get faster swing speed and healing speed? 9. 9. What should be my priority for stats on my gear? I’m guessing it’s something like this: a. 70 resists b. Enough mana to keep up with chivalry needs, with the rest in dex and strength c. Swing speed d. Damage increase e. Hit chance f. Defense chance g. Hit lower attack h. Hit lower defense Just today I was reading some posts from people who seem to advocate lots of lower mana cost. I would never have guessed that mattered with a non-mage. Is that a higher priority even for a paladin type character? Even if I have to sacrifice my other skills in order to get there? 10. 10. I have a blacksmith, but have had zero luck crafting anything worth using. Without bushido, I can’t use the special attacks on some of the weapons I’ve found. I should be crafting a specific weapon and imbuing it with slayer properties – but I don’t know which one to go with. A lot of people seem to like the radiant scimitar (I think my soul seeker is one of these) and the katana. But, as I mentioned in an earlier quest, I don’t “get” crafting - imbuing, re-forging, enhancing, etc. – so the weapons I’ve made have been pretty bad. I did burn a bronze hammer on some katanas, but none were better than the Shame weapons I’ve found. 11. 11. Speaking of enhancing, is this something people only do with that tool you buy on the UO store? From what I’ve read, enhancing is just a way to break things – so without a guaranteed success it seems like a way to get extremely frustrated. At $10 a pop for 10 charges, I think that’s an option I need to forego. But maybe I’m misunderstanding enhancing and how it’s done. Well, this is already longer than it should have been. Any specific answers or advice you can offer a returning player would be much appreciated. I’m on Lake Superior, even though I played on Pacific “back in the day”.