What are Traits?
Traits are passive attributes that you can assign to your bloodline. There are 6 attributes and each attribute affects the game in a unique way:
- Power: Increases your damage output. Also increases your healing output and max HP of shield spells, but not quite as much as it increases damage.
- Vitality: Increases your maximum HP and maximum Recovery HP.
- Expertise: Increases your maximum energy pool and rate of energy gain from spells.
- Speed: Increases your movement speed.
- Focus: Decreases your spell cooldowns as long as they are over 1 second long.
- Swiftness: Decreases the cast time for your spells.
Each attribute can be filled up to 400 points. You can put points into certain attributes through the Traits tree (more on that later) and by equipping your Medallions with Gems (more on that later, too). The impact of attributes are noticeable but not immense; for example, 400 points in Power will increase your damage output by 12%. Good luck getting 400 points in any attribute, though, as maxing can be difficult.
Traits also include a few passive abilities that you can unlock through the Traits tree. These abilities can be useful, such as reducing debuff durations by a minor amount or increasing damage when your health drops below a certain amount. Again, useful but not necessary.
How does the Traits tree work?
The Traits tree is not so much a tree as it is a grid with 3 rows and 8 columns.
Each column is a tier where the lowest tier is at the left. Everyone begins with the first tier available and each subsequent tier must be unlocked by gaining account levels. Not to worry, though, because once you reach the appropriate level, the tier unlock is free.
Each cell on the Traits tree is either an attribute cell or an ability cell. On odd-numbered tiers, the cells are attributes; on even-numbered tiers, the cells are abilities. For every account level that you’ve earned, you can put 1 point into a cell. Attribute cells can hold 3 points while ability cells can only hold 1 point.
Each row is assigned a color: top row is red (mainly Power and damage-related abilities), middle row is green (mainly Vitality and survival-related abilities), and bottom row is blue (mainly Focus and cooldown-related abilities). These colors are just there to help you with a general sense of order.
Traits specs can be saved. Everyone starts with 1 spec slot; additional spec slots must be purchased with Funcom points.
The system is much easier in execution than it looks on paper. One thing to note is that one point in a higher-tier cell will be more valuable because each cell grows considerably more powerful. For example, a point in a tier 7 cell grants 24 of an attribute while a tier 1 cell grants 10.
What are Medallions?
Medallions are items that you can buy with bloodcoins. Equipping a Medallion will grant you an extra ability that you can use during a match. Certain Medallions can help cover a bloodline’s weaknesses or bolster its strengths. Each Medallion grants a single ability.
There are 4 types of Medallions and you may only equip one Medallion of each type:
- Crimson. Red medallions. These grant offensive abilities and require energy to cast.
- Cobalt. Blue medallions. These grant defensive abilities and require energy to cast.
- Passive. Purple medallions. These grant passive abilities. No energy required.
- Troll. Yellow medallions. Cosmetic or silly effects that have no impact on actual gameplay. Only purchasable with Funcom points.
Every Medallion also has 4 sockets that can be filled with Gems.
What are Gems?
Gems are items that you can buy with bloodcoins. They are placed into Medallions and grant attribute bonuses, like Traits.
Each Gem type grants a primary attribute and 2 secondary attributes. There are 6 types of Gems:
- Diamond: Grants Swiftness, Vitality, and Speed.
- Sapphire: Grants Speed, Swiftness, and Power.
- Emerald: Grants Vitality, Focus, and Power.
- Amethyst: Grants Focus, Vitality, and Expertise.
- Topaz: Grants Expertise, Focus, and Power.
- Ruby: Grants Power, Speed, and Expertise.
On top of that, there are 3 tiers of Gems:
- Rough: Grants +12 primary attribute, +6 secondary attributes.
- Fine: Grants +14 primary attribute, +8 secondary attributes.
- Perfect: Grants +16 primary attribute, +10 secondary attributes.
These Gem types can be mixed and matched regardless of the type of Medallion. This allows for some customization in the way you build and play your bloodlines.
When a Gem is socketed into a Medallion, the action is final. You cannot remove Gems from Medallions. Therefore, if you want to make slight tweaks to a build or if you make a mistake in socketing, the effort is wasted. Always make sure that you will be happy with the resulting Medallion whenever you socket a Gem.
Which Medallions should I use?
There are 3 considerations when choosing which Medallions you’re going to equip:
- Traits: You could go about this in 2 ways: maximizing your Traits or covering their weaknesses. For example, if you max Power, you could go with Meteor Shard and Mark of the Assassin so you can do tons of damage OR you can get Arcane Disruptor and Aegis of Gergan to buff up your lacking defenses.
- Bloodline: Medallion sets will differ depending on bloodline, of course. If you’re an Alchemist, the Talisman of Teleportation is extremely useful for crossing gaps and walls while Igniter probably wouldn’t need it. Like Traits, use Medallions to maximizing your abilities (e.g., Void Stone for AoE spells) or to cover your weaknesses (e.g., Breakstone for healers who are CC’d a lot).
- Playstyle: Perhaps the most important consideration is to choose Medallions that you’ll actually use. It’s nice to have a Breakstone equipped, but if you’re never getting CC’d or if you never remember to use Breakstone, then it’s going to waste. Aggressive players gain more use out of Meteor Shard and Mark of the Assassin. Match your Medallions to your playstyle.
For playing aggressively:
- Meteor Shard lets you combo damage spells. Plus, it goes through trance abilities.
- Lord Smorg’s Heirloom is great for melee bloodlines and M1 spammers.
- Aegis of Gergan lets you dive deep on enemies if necessary.
- Frost Shard can be used in a damage combo, especially if you’re a melee bloodline.
- Void Stone is great if you can combo it with big AoE spells.
- Mark of the Assassin is the best passive Medallion for aggression.
For playing defensively:
- Sergan’s Finest can help you make a mad dash to escape if your other outs are gone.
- Talisman of Teleportation is also good for escaping, but the energy cost is steep.
- Arcane Disruptor can be game-changing if you can purge debuffs on time.
- Frost Shard can temporarily relieve pressure from melee attackers.
- Breakstone is great if you are consistently caught with big CC spells.
Which Gems should I use?
There are two popular ways to build your Gem sets: go all-in and maximize one attribute OR gain as much as you can between two attributes.
On the one hand, there are no diminishing returns on attributes so each additional point grants the same exact bonus. Going from 0 to 10 Power is just as beneficial as going from 390 to 400 Power. You gain the same bonus, therefore, if you want to be a one trick pony, going for a full attribute can work.
On the other hand, the actual cost in bloodcoins gets steeper when you want more points. Going from 0 to 10 Power is MUCH cheaper and easier than going from 390 to 400 Power. Plus, you’ll have to sacrifice more points in other attributes if you want to max one.
Each Gem type helps you to accomplish a different purpose:
- Diamond: Decreases your spell cast times (faster cast times = each miss is less impactful) and increases your passive survivability (with faster movespeed and more HP). Useful in a defensive build.
- Sapphire: Increases your movespeed and damage while decreasing your cast times. Very good for aggressive players who want to put out a lot of pressure.
- Emerald: Increases your HP and damage and reduces cooldown times. Can be useful for aggressive players who want to focus entirely on dishing out damage and not on dodging.
- Amethyst: Decreases cooldown times and increases HP and energy gain. Useful if you have a turtle playstyle, allowing you to play passively and build energy for your ultimate.
- Topaz: Increases energy gain and damage and reduces cooldown times. Extremely good for aggressive energy building.
- Ruby: Increases damage, movespeed, and energy gain. Good for DPS bloodlines with powerful M1 spam.
Ultimately, your combo of Traits, Medallions, and Gems are there to help YOU. Some people need their weaknesses covered while others need just a little more damage or survivability. You decide what you need, then build to specification accordingly.