Reckoning with the Warlord
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is all about your destiny; that, and wild combat. Mix them together, and you have a fluid system that rewards you with Destiny Cards, symbols of your greatness, your essence. Of the seven destinies that await the player, only one focuses solely on martial mayhem: The Warlord.
Rogues hide in the shadows and flee, whenever a real challenge presents itself. And Acolytes, in their prissy robes with their wordy tomes, are so frail the mere sight of battle could send them into a panic. No, no such nonsense for you. The Warlord keeps things straight and direct with only one guide: the pointy end goes in the other man. If satisfying your inner-monster sounds like wish fulfillment at its greatest, then don your heaviest armor, shield, and weapon and get ready to rip enemies to shreds.
From Brawler to Warlord
Of course, you can't simply walk onto the field and start slaying Giants. You're not David (not that one, anyway). Before becoming a Warlord, you'll start as a Brawler and have to earn 109 points to invest in might, points bought with the corpses of your fallen enemies, eventually reaching level 36 and the coveted Warlord title. Before you rush to the fields, keep a few things in mind.
- Select the Brawler destiny to increase melee damage and blocking efficiency.
- Focus on the Longsword (speed), Hammer (damage), or Greatsword (both).
- Block, don't dodge. Shields are always usable, and you have the best blocking in-game.
- Physical, melee damage is your game. Take caution against ranged or quick mobs.
- Mana is scarce, so don't rely too heavily on active abilities.
- Use Amalur Foundry's talent calculator to plan your progression.
These concepts apply for all Brawlers. Of course, different players have different playstyles and benefit from different abilities. Here's a full rundown of all the abilities available to the Warlord.
Tier 1: The Brawler
Brawler Destiny: Requiring only one point in Might, all players begin with access to this destiny. It increases the Brawler's melee attack damage and block efficiency.
Brutal Weaponry I: Charged attacks are powerful options for the Brawler, especially given his heavy-handed tendencies. Invest a point soon for the option, then slowly invest after to improve your charged attacks.
Longsword Mastery: Like most Weapon Mastery talents, investing here is a question of weapon choice. If you favor the longsword's speed, invest here early and often. If not, just a point, if even that. (Remember, Greatsword Mastery isn't far away.)
Hammer Mastery: If you favor the raw damage of the hammer, invest here early and often. Otherwise, save your points for something else (like Greatsword Mastery).
Harpoon: Since the Brawler has no real ranged option, Harpoon is a solid skill for pulling ranged enemies into melee range. The damage, however, is never that great, so don't go far beyond the first rank, at least not until later.
Skillful Defense: Focusing on Might grants access to the best blocking in the game. Unless you have no patience or skill for blocking, this should be your primary focus within the first tier.
Tier 2: The Fighter
Fighter Destiny: This destiny requires 11 points invest in Might and improves upon the benefits of The Brawler Destiny.
Brutal Weaponry II: Another nice melee option, this talent provides a special attack-from-block. Buy the first point immediately. From there, decide if you prefer charge-attacks or block-attacks and invest in your preference first.
Greatsword Mastery: Bringing the Hammer's damage with the Longsword's speed, the Greatsword is an ideal weapon for any fighter. The first three ranks should be an instant purchase. Afterwards, invest one point every level or so.
Quake: Eh. All Fighters benefit from an AoE, however weak, and Quake leads to decent abilities and chains. It's far from great, though, especially for Tier 2. Invest only a point, and let your shield and weapon do the bulk of your damage dealing.
Adrenaline Surge: When maximized, this passive talent turns the Fighter into a mobs nightmare. Knowing when to invest is tricky, though, because the talent isn't so useful in the first two or three ranks. If you notice your life often dropping below 25%, then invest quickly. Otherwise, wait 'til you feel the required pain.
Hardy Constitution: Health is never a bad thing, even if that means fewer uses of Adrenaline Surge, and the elemental resistance is nice, too. Plus, health is a constant bonus, unlike blocking bonuses, which require...well, blocking. So, this ability takes priority in both Tier 2 and Tier 1.
Tier 3: The Soldier
Soldier Destiny: With 28 points allotted to Might, the Soldier Destiny is available. Improving upon the benefits of the Fighter destiny, this destiny also provides a 10% increase to stun duration, essentially giving you free hits.
Concussive Force: With this talent, the Soldier can deal some massive damage to stunned foes. Unfortunately, most Soldiers won't be stunning many foes this early. Unless you've found/made a weapon with a high chance to stun, avoid this talent until later.
Aftershock: Even when maxed, this talent isn't that great. Being an upgrade of Quake, this talent is limited by Quake's mediocrity and a poor chance to stun. A point is reasonable, just for the sudden boost, but it's not worth heavy investment until much later.
Relentless Assault: Prepare for awesomeness. Even with the temporary armor decrease, the ability to ignore most enemy hits is invaluable to the greatsword-slinging Soldier. Invest early and heavy; each rank increases the duration while decreasing the armor penalty.
Power Strike: If you haven't started ranking Adrenaline Surge, then skip this talent. If you have, look at your weapon loadouts. If you have a few weapons with critical hit or damage bonuses, grab a point or two. Don't maximize until later, though.
Tier 4: The Warrior
Warrior Destiny: This destiny simply improves upon the benefits of the Soldier Destiny. It is available with 49 points invested in Might.
Brutal Weaponry III: The Warrior's talent with blocking effectively eliminates the need for dodging, even more so for attacking from dodging. Don't invest until later, and only a single point even then, all to gain access to Brutal Weaponry IV.
Bulwark: Thoughts vary, but I find this talent lackluster. The passive ability to stun an attacking enemy on each attack sounds great, but the percentage is too minor to warrant the investment.
Battle Frenzy: With Battle Frenzy, the Warrior gains damage momentum with each kill, using the high mob counts to your advantage. It does favor faster Warriors (those with longswords), but it's a solid benefit for any Warrior, and the real priority in Tier 4.
Vengeance: Like Bulwark, a passive ability that harms (damages) attacking enemies with each attack is great, but the percentages here still aren't good. Buy the first point for the initial 10% reflection chance and the option to upgrade to Bloodlust. After that, spend elsewhere.
Tier 5: The Conqueror
Conqueror Destiny: With 76 points invested in Might (technically, granting access to Tier 6), this destiny becomes available. Like all destinies, this one improves upon the benefits of its predecessors. The Conqueror also gains a 17% chance to stun an enemy, making Concussive Force viable.
Brutal Weaponry IV: Although a technical player, I didn't use this talent. Those with patience and a knack for blocking absolutely benefit from the parry-attack, but the Conqueror is dangerous enough when focus solely on smashing, so why bother parrying?
Stoneskin: A passive boost to physical/piercing resistance (via Battle Frenzy) is nice, but the boost is small. Given the use of Battle Frenzy, a point is fine. After that, invest with caution.
Bloodlust: Let's be honest. 20% chance to steal health isn't great, even though it applies to each hit, and the 30 health gained at Rank 5 won't likely make a difference to a Conqueror. If, however, like me, you love Relentless Assault, it's still worth the investment.
Battle Cry: This talent is a useful debuff, neutering most mobs, especially with the knockdown at Rank 4. It will drain mana quickly, however, especially if used with Relentless Assault, Quake, and Battle Frenzy. After the first point, invest only if you favor this talent to other mana-drains.
Tier 6: The Warlord
Warlord Destiny: The pinnacle of butt kicking, the Warlord increases melee damage and block efficiency by 30%, increases all stun durations by 20% while providing a 20% chance to stun, and unlocks Last Stand, a resurrection that restores 25% health and drains until an enemy is killed. Without question, the Warlord is the horror of the battlefield. I mean, c'mon, he's on the blasted game cover!
Celerity: The maximized 15% increase to speed (via Battle Frenzy) isn't huge, but I appreciate it, especially when wielding a Greatsword. Only ignore this if you ignore Battle Frenzy. Otherwise, invest early and fully.
Wrath: Bleh. Although visually impressive and fairly powerful, this AoE comes too late. By now, the Warlord has enough power and chutzpah to charge multiple mobs with weapons swinging. Why spend mana (or points) on Wrath when Battle Frenzy, Relentless Assault, and Battle Cry work just fine?
Terror: With this upgrade to Battle Cry, enemies go from naked to neutered, losing armor bonuses on top of Battle Cry's damage debuff. This is a must buy...unless you're crazy and abhor Battle Cry.
The Summary at the End
With the power of the Warlord at your command, no enemy of any size can stand before you. But, if you should ever (however unlikely) find yourself bored, just visit a Fateweaver and test the Archmage or the Nightblade. For guides to those destinies, check my Kingdoms of Amalur collection. And be sure to post your own suggestions and stories of success here.