Simple character building guide
This is supposed to be a basic guide to making a fighter-type character in HellMOO. It is not the end-all authority on HellMOO minmaxing, but as a collaboration between poopsockers it has more authority than any other document touching the subject. There are ways to enjoy yourself without minmaxing the crap out of your stats and skills. Brains characters can ignore this, as well as gimmick characters like Merlin. If you have any wisdom to add, share it for the good of new players. We as a community want to have players who aren't scrubs, so everyone can have more fun.
Character Generation and Building
Planning Out Your Character
Review the Weapon Specialization and Stat Importance sections. Figure out what kind of build and what weapons interest you, and then proceed through character generation.
Dreams of Before/Below
In Dreams of Before, pick items representing the skills you think you will take to the highest levels. If a skill is tagged it will be cheaper to advance in. So if you want to use blades and pistols, make sure you tag them, or you will spend a fortunate to learn from the 6 raw grinding cap to 15.
In Dreams of Below, you likely want to go for a 14/14 roll for the weapon you want. The other stat raws are suited for companion stats, or stats you think you might need to give you an edge.
When you are gyming your character, remember that you want to set yourself up so that your endgame stats have even totals. For example, if you use Blades, you want your endgame cool total and reflexes total to both be odd or even numbers, to get the most out of your unbuffed stats. Based on your usage of drugs and implants, you may be able to get an extra total by nature of having the most minmaxed, uneven stats.
You also get 70 gym IP per mutation you receive. This means you have quite a bit of stat raws you can juggle around. If you're a purely combat character, you could easily get 18 raw in both weapon stats (starting with 14 each) and spread the remaining mutation stat IP in complementary stats, such as brawn or endurance, depending on your weapon type. According to help gym you can get +16 to stats total, meaning 3 stats at 18 and 3 at 8 once you hit 360,000 XP (do not count on ever doing this).
Having higher totals makes it harder to gain skill. Keep in mind that you'll only get IP from performing actions that are suitable in difficulty to your current total. Performing actions that are too easy or too hard will not grant any IP. This is very important to make note of with regard to your weapons skills since weapon skill grinding may be based on your weapon's to-hit vs the opponent's dodge rating. Similar to stat grinding, you would want to avoid any gyming or mutating that benefits your weapons totals, lest you have a harder time grinding them. Generally it's not too bad to reach the 6 raw grinding cap, even with mutations. It's recommended to grind to it to avoid spending too much XP. After that you'd seek out players who can teach you. You pay no money as opposed to paying NPC teachers, and the player teaching you gets absolutely nothing and in fact has no incentive to actually teach you. However, high exp players may find it cheaper to learn a skill from an npc for the update than updating their clone.
Melee weapons are the most popular weapons. You have a lot of options available, and you should choose the one best suited to your starting stats, as a primary, dependable weapon. You should also understand the parry system. There are weapons that have a blank in the parry column, as well as weapons that have a * or **. You would call the blank parry class 0, or PC0, the * PC1, and the ** PC2. PC2 weapons can parry PC2, PC1, and PC0 weapons. PC1 weapons can parry PC1 and PC0 weapons. PC0 weapons can only parry PC0. While stunned, you cannot parry. Having higher hit than your opponent allows more room for parrying and less room for your opponent.
Clubs — Brawn and Reflexes. Use Brawn for damage, Reflexes for weapon speed, and Brawn and Reflexes for hit. The only weapon class that requires 2 stats all the way through. Extremely easy to minmax; just get really high Brawn and Reflexes and dump everything else. The third best stat could be anything, making clubs pretty versatile weapons. Brains for doing nerdy stuff, senses for dodge and track, endurance for, well, endurance and focus, and cool if you want to double up with pistols or rifles. Clubs have two-handed PC2 weapons and one-handed PC1 weapons.
Spears — Endurance and Reflexes. Use Brawn for damage, Reflexes for weapon speed, and Endurance+Reflexes to hit. Benefits greatly from speed. I am not sure of the ideal stat balance. You can use meth for a +2 bonus to Endurance, +2 to Reflexes at all times, really helping your to-hit and weapon speed. You definitely want at least 17-18 Endurance. High brawn can really jack up the damage on these, so don't neglect it too much. Balancing brawn, reflexes and endurance when using spears is a matter everyone has their own way of dealing with. Many spears are PC2, so you could get away with having less dodge.
Fists — Brawn and Endurance. Use Brawn for damage, Reflexes for weapon speed, and Brawn and Endurance to hit. Also can use meth for +2 to Endurance +2 to Reflexes. Jawbreakers and claws and fangs really shine with high Brawn, so to be a pro fists user you would want to max it. Tesla Gauntlets are a good option if you have lower Brawn, because they are entirely skill-based. Reflexes do not need to be so high as you can use speed and implants for +6 to get a decent weapon speed on jawbreakers and claws and fangs. Endurance should be at least 17-18. The highest parrying fists weapons are PC1, so you should not only have great dodge, but you should be using the fastest weapons you can. Consider spears as a backup weapon if you want to be competent in PVP. I would recommend fists mostly for characters who wish to go abomination.
Whips — Reflexes and Senses. This is mainly a crafter weapon, as blacklashes/flash whips do not require Brawn to do damage. For combat-oriented whips users there really is not much way around getting Vampire or Hideous Freak, which both boost certain whips stats by a good margin. Most whips use skill for the majority of their damage, but the damage simply cannot keep up with piston hammers, shiver swords, jawbreakers and the like. The idea would be to max Reflexes and Senses. Brawn is important for flame chains, and Endurance should be decent to be able to use drugs. Another advantage of whips is that you would have a really high Dodge skill, since Dodge uses Reflexes and Senses. Depending on dodge skill is rather risky, however, and guns will completely ruin your day.
For the above 4 weapons, you can dump Cool for the most part.
Blades — Cool and Reflexes. All blades additionally use Brawn for damage. Blades are very dangerous, but ridiculously equipment dependent. The best blade, the shiver sword, is a pain to craft, far more so than any other blade, whereas most of the other weapon classes have an easily available weapon that does just a little less damage then the very best in the class. Shiver swords are not all that fast either, and you need a lot of reflexes to max speed on them. This is made up for by insane damage, but be wary of stuns from powerattacks. Your goal should be to be able to maintain around 27-28 rfx for near maximum weapon speed (very difficult to do as a blades user). The other blades cap their damage at 16-18 brawn or so, except for the bruce which seems to cap at 20. If you have 16 brawn you can do acceptable damage with most blades. Blades have mostly PC1 options, as the daikatana is now very hard to obtain (probably harder then getting a shiver sword made). Since there are so many things that boost cool and reflexes, ability to parry is a major upside of using blades.
Guns cannot parry, with few exceptions, but at the same time you cannot parry a gun user (no, you faggot weeaboos you cannot block bullets with your katana). Guns also ignore a lot of dodge skill, meaning that they will mess up that annoying dude who wears no armor and makes every one of your melee swings miss. Put these two together, and you quickly realize the only protection against guns are 1. stunning your opponent and 2. armor. NOBODY likes to fight a high level guns user; at the very least they'll smash up your armor pretty badly.
Rifles — Cool and Reflexes to hit and damage. Brawn for weapon speed. You want to have 17 Brawn to use the top end rifles (AK, bullpup, plasma rifle). You want max Reflexes, 17 Brawn, and as much Cool as you can spare. Rifles have a nice advantage in that most of them are pretty easy to obtain, especially the AK-7 rifle (which is a pretty dangerous weapon that is even viable in the endgame). Rifles have a stun effect - duck & weave - based on the wielder's weapon skill that make them very useful, however the exact mechanics behind it are still uncertain and it should not be relied on completely.
Pistols — Cool and Reflexes to hit and damage. Brawn for weapon speed. Pistols are just as good as rifles. Hammerhead speed caps at 12 brawn, so that's what you want to shoot for, and lasblaster caps at 13. The nerfed Super Shorty caps at much higher brawn - a massive 21. Pistols overall shoot faster and require less brawn then rifles, but this is counterbalanced by the difficulty of obtaining high level pistol ammunition, and pistols are more expensive. Pistols can be a good weapon for nerd characters, the low brawn requirement means that someone without the brute strength mutation can use pistols. Alternatively you can go for using the Super Shorty and get high brawn/rfx/cool. An advantage of pistols is that you don't need super high skill, so you can get away without maxing cool or reflexes, making the stat requirements for pistols very generous, and allowing you to skip mutations otherwise thought of as must-have mutes such as twitchy nerves.
Reflexes — One of the better stats in the game because of what all it factors into. Blades, rifles, pistols, clubs and whips users will want to maximize this unless you can get enough endurance to use speed. Spears users will also want high reflexes. Fists users are notable in that reflexes only affects their weapon speed, not their to-hit, so they can get away with skimping a little. Affects weapon speed and/or to-hit for every weapon. Also stops rampaging retards from grabbing you and punching the shit out of you. High weapon speed is very important as the game goes by. Don't be tempted by the +2 reflexes offered by the Nimble Fingers mutation. Chances are the endurance you lose will push you right over the edge of being able to reasonably use drugs, and the beat damage nerf will be a slap in the face, telling you "Haha! You took Nimble Fingers!"
Brawn — Damage for almost all weapons, speed for guns. This needs to be high for everyone except whips/pistols users. This also affects carrying capacity and max armor thickness worn (caps at 15). Notable exceptions are the shiver sword and some whips, which do not use brawn in any way and as such make good weapons for brains-type characters. Fists characters especially want to raise brawn to maximum. Clubs and spears also want really high brawn. With clubs this is easier as they only need 2 stats, but spears users need to think a little harder about how they should distribute their stats.
Endurance — This is probably the most underrated and best stat in the game. Endurance is important for resisting stuns from spew and resisting adverse conditions such as shock, knockout, and zombie rot. It also determines what drug dosages you can handle without getting strung. If you are going to be on it for extended periods of time (such as if you are a fists user with a reflexes dump stat) then you likely want to have at least 17-18 raw endurance. Having too high (usually about 18+) of endurance can be very bad if you are not a Hideous Freak because the stress will quickly become unmanageable without having an arsenal of THC grenades and hypos at your command. If you have extremely high endurance, you can get away with doing 4 doses of coke in one bite of food, just like an abomination can, with minimal coke strung. Consider this before dumping endurance for reflexes. Nobody wants to fight a high endurance character. They can overcome just about any weakness.
Brains — More brains is less chance to get feinted. Not a total waste for a combat character, due to the Medic and Repair skills which are so amazingly useful not only to you but the rest of your corporation.
Cool — This stat became a lot more useful recently, when it became a modifier for stress. Higher cool means that stressful events will give you less stress. If you have high enough cool you may not even get the periodic stress ticks of wearing an implant or two. Being a cool-based character is very attractive due to this fact, that you can actually be implanted with no more penalty than an un-implanted low cool character. If you're a Hideous Freak it is not as important because you can still easily destress. If you're an Empath, high cool can help quite a bit, but chances are that you wouldn't have it.