The Samurai

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Way of the Samurai
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A Guide to Bushido in Ultima Online™
Created by Ravenspyre

Welcome to Way of the Samurai; a guide for Bushido that states, describes, and attempts to answer various questions concerning this warrior based skill. Now, before we get started, I am going to state up front that this guide is not a guide on how to make a killer template, or how to make the ultimate PWNing machine. At best, this guide will give pointers on template combos, item combos, and what skills go well together and what skills do not.

What you can expect in this guide is an explanation of the various abilities, weapon specials that require Bushido to use, Honor and Perfection, and various other aspects of the Samurai described here.



How to Learn Bushido and Ways to Train

You have several methods open to you in how to learn Bushido when you decide to take up the road to becoming a samurai. The first method, and perhaps the easiest, is to create a new samurai character. However, that option is not always open to some players. So in those cases, you have the following methods to introducing your path on the way of the samurai.

First method, you can go to either New Haven or the city of Zento located in the Tokuno Islands, which is located on the island Mokata-jima. From there you will locate a samurai and ask to be trained in the art of Bushido. In Zento, just about any guard or warrior looking character can train in Bushido, while in New Haven, the samurai trainer is located in the very far north of the city, in a lone Asian-esque shrine. The fee will be 250 gold, minimum, to train, as you need at least 25 skill to begin your pursuits of Bushido. Just open the context menu and select Train Bushido, then drag the requisite gold onto the NPC in question, and your skill will automatically be elevated. Another method, and about the only choice for murderer’s on production shards, is to find 25 points worth of skill jewelry. This will get you to the requisite 25 skill to begin your training as a samurai.

But that doesn’t finish your beginning steps on the road of Bushido; you also need a Book of Bushido which can be gotten one of three separate ways. The first, and probably the easiest for all but murderer characters, is to go to a scribe in Zento, or the Samurai trainer in New Haven, and buy a Book of Bushido from him. This will probably be the cheapest method as well.

Your second choice is to shop around at player vendors, though finding one might be difficult and many players tend to charge more for these rather common items.

The final method, and the most difficult, is to find a ronin samurai in Tokuno, typically found wandering around Isamu-jima near the castle or by the Fan Dancer Dojo. This final method proves the most difficult as the ronin will employ a number of different weapons, all their weapon specials, as well as use bushido moves. However, the reward for defeating them nets you several hundred gold, a Book of Bushido, and probably some very nice gear and equipment especially if you are hunting for samurai style look for your character.

Now, once you have acquired the necessary base skill, and a Book of Bushido, the method of training to become a samurai is pretty straight forward. Much like any other skill in the game, you will be employing skills that you can possibly succeed at, of course, the best skill gains are when you have about a 50/50 chance of success or failure. However, starting out in a skill, this is not going to be something readily available to a samurai.

Since most starting samurai will most likely be below 50 skill your basic choice at this time is using Confidence. This skill is pretty easy to spam, but it costs 10 mana per use, so be sure your intelligence is decent enough to begin with. Having focus and/or meditation can help as well as a a lot of Mana Regeneration gear on. This can carry you to 50, though gains will start coming less and less frequently.

Starting at 50 skill, you can finally dump the Confidence spam and move into the heart of the samurai moves; in this case lightning strike. This easily spam-able move is only limited on two things; your chance to hit and how fast your weapon swings. Basically, go out and start whacking away at this with Lightning Strike and you will watch gains come pretty straight forward; Lightning Strike is even capable of taking you all the way up to 120 skill, but make no mistake, it’s a very slow process doing so.

At 60 skill, you can opt to use Evasion, however I will make this clear; the method using this has now been nerfed due to the PvP changes. There is a 20 second recharge time on Evasion, so the best method would be to include Evasion in your Lightning Strike attacks every so often to attempt to help and accelerate your gains. Of course, Evasion seems to have a quirk in it, where it caps out on how much skill you gain based on the Bushido Skill Scroll you have used on your character; mid 90s for no scroll, and roughly 107 skill for those with a 120 scroll.

At 70 skill you can opt to start using Momentum Strike to start taking down foes, however this presents several problems. One, Momentum Strike is very mana intensive attack, 10 mana per use in fact which will necessitate high focus and meditation or lots of Mana Regeneration gear. Two, to even have a chance of working, you must always have two or more targets around you at all times. Three, since you are basically attacking twice in one action and the nature of needing multiple opponents at a time, which will cause a lot of durability damage to your weapons and armor in the long run, so you can expect to be carrying a number of weapons at a time or using a lot of armor. This ability can net you a lot of skill points fast, like Lightning Strike did, but make no mistake, it is the hardest method to use to gain skill.

The titles for samurai who achieve 110 skill points in Bushido is Tatsujin, and those samurai who achieve 120 skill points in Bushido are called Kengo.

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Bushido Moves and How They Work

The following is a list of the Bushido specific moves, their mana cost, the skill necessary to use the ability, and whether if it is an attack or a stance, and the duration for the stance. In parenthesis () will be the game description followed by an explanation of what the move actually does. It should be noted, that an attack which also includes weapon special moves, cannot be used at the same time as another attack. A stance cannot be used with another stance either. However you can have a stance active while using an attack.

Honorable Execution ~ 0 Mana ~ 25 Bushido ~ (Attack)
(Attempts to deliver a killing blow to your opponent, gaining a swing speed boost afterwards. Failing a killing blow results in massive resistance penalties for a short duration.)
What it Does – Honorable execution is a killing move like it describes. You use this as the final attack on your opponent which makes timing very critical for this. Outside of its normal use, you also gain hit points back for honorably executing your opponent, which is also dependant on your perfection. Executing your opponent gives the following perks;
†Swing Speed Increased by 0.25s – Duration 10s
† Restore Health by roughly 8 to 10 + additional per level of perfection.

Failing to execute your opponent has the following penalties;
† Magic Resistance skill set to 0
† All your resistances suffer a -40 penalty
† You are unable to use any Bushido attacks for the duration of the failed execution
These penalties persist for roughly 6 seconds after a failed execution, or until you successfully parry an attack, whichever comes first.

Ability Usefulness:

This move is damnably hard to time and place; the penalties are outrageous, and even if you do get successful in using it, the duration of the swing speed increase is negligible, and hardly noticeable.

Confidence ~ 10 Mana ~ 25 Bushido ~ (Stance) ~ Duration 20s
(Places you in a defensive stance of confidence, allowing you to gain stamina and health each time you parry.)
What it Does – Every time you parry with confidence active you gain the following health and stamina back.
Stamina Regain : 1 to (Bushido / 5)
Health Regain : 1 to (Bushido / 12)
Example – If you have 100 Bushido, and you activate Confidence and parry an attack, you will get 1 to 20 stamina back and 1 to 8 health back.

Outside of this, Confidence also has an innate health regeneration bonus when the stance is first activated, restoring a phenomenal amount of health based upon your actual bushido skill. This health regeneration persists until the amount of health it would restore is reached, or until you are struck by a damaging effect or other effects;

  • Confidence Heal : (Bushido * Bushido) / 576 + 15

Example – If you have 100 Bushido, upon activating Confidence your HP will start to gain 32 Health over the next several seconds in an accelerated HP Regeneration. However, if during this time period you take any damage, the health regeneration will immediately stop.

This move is useful in rebuilding health fast. It’s cheap to cast, especially after a death you can go from 0 to near full very quickly. Also in a fight with tough opponents you can use this on the run or stand toe-to-toe and get the benefits.

Evasion ~ 10 Mana ~ 60 Bushido ~ (Stance) ~ Duration 3s to 7s ~ Recharge 20 s
(Puts you in a evasive stance for a short duration, allowing you to parry magical attacks like dragon’s breath and energy bolt.)
What it Does – Evasion dramatically increases your parry chance, also giving you the ability to parry direct damage attacks from other sources, such as spells, and dragons breath. This does not give the evader the chance to parry status effecting spells and abilities, however, if the effect does damage over time, which can be parried, such as poison or bleed ticks.

As of publish 43, Evasion formula underwent some changes and no longer multiplies your block chance by a flat 50%. Instead it is based on your Bushido, Anatomy, and Tactics skills. The duration of Evasion is also influenced by these skills. Examples of the multiplier to the evasion bonus to your parry skill are as follows.

  • Evasion Bonus : 16% – 40% without GM Anatomy or Tactics
    † 42% – 50% depending on level of Anatomy and Tactics skill starting at Grandmaster.

Example – If you have a 30% chance to parry, and your skill combinations net you a 40% parry bonus, your parry chance will increase to (30 * 1.4) = 42% for the duration of Evasion.

† It should be noted that as of the PvP Publish, Evasion has a 20 second recharge associated with it now, thus it can no longer be used back to back.

This move has been on the receiving end of alot of nerfs lately. The first was to nerf down it’s parry bonus and duration by making it reliant on bushido, anatomy and tactics skill, and the second slapped a recharge timer on it of 20 seconds. This move has gone from useable 5 cool points to a situational power that you only put up when you know the explosion falmestrike is coming.

Counter Attack ~ 5 Mana ~ 40 Bushido ~ (Stance) ~ Duration 40s or next successful parry
(Places you in a defensive stance that automatically allows you to counter attack the next time you successfully parry.)
What it Does : For all intents and purposes this move does exactly what it says. Your next parried attack will deliver a counter attack that does not interrupt your normal swing timer. This attack takes normal hit and miss ratios into account, so can miss. The bonus of this stance, is that it uses any attack that you had ready at the time, delivering that attack on a successful counter attack.

The usefulness of this stance is so situational and so problematic that it becomes more or less a waste of mana, unless you think you are lucky enough to parry and to get a successful hit check after the attack. Better than Honorable Execution honestly, it’s still far off the list of usefulness.

Lightning Strike ~ 5 Mana ~ 50 Bushido ~ (Attack)
(An attack with a large bonus to your hit chance.)
What it Does – This increases your hit chance by a large percent, and in effect, acts like hit chance increase jewelry.

  • Hit Chance Increase : 50% Hit Chance Increase (caps apply)

Lightning Strike also has another function outside of the normal one provided above. It gives a chance at a critical strike, which is a direct damage attack that bypasses armor, delivering the full damage you are capable of to your opponent.

  • Critical Strike Chance : (Bushido * Bushido) / 72,00020% at 120 skill (1 in 5)
    18% at 115 (1 in 5.5)
    16% at 110 (1 in 6.25)
    13% at 100 (1 in 7.7)

Example – If you have 100 Bushido and attempt to use Lightning Strike on a target, you have a 13% chance to do a critical strike. This critical strike will ignore any resistance the target has, delivering your maximum possible damage (this includes slayer, Damage Increase, Perfection, Enemy of One and any other applicable effects) directly to the targets Health Points.
† The damage from this critical strike is capped at 35 in player versus player situations.

There should be no questions asked on how useful Lightning Strike is. It’s probably the most common attack you will see if a template possesses Bushido. It’s inherent HCI plus it’s chance to crit (aka ignore all resistances) make this attack very useful, but overly used too much.

Momentum Strike ~ 10 Mana ~ 70 Bushido ~ (Attack)
(If you strike your opponent with this ability, you will automatically strike a nearby opponent. You receive a damage boost if you kill your first opponent.)
What it Does – Pretty much does what it says. This move only works if you are fighting more than one opponent at a time. If you hit your first opponent with this, you will attempt to attack another nearby opponent, with normal hit and miss ratios applying. Damage bonus seems to always be in effect, regardless if the first opponent dies or not, however, any bonuses on your first opponent you receive do not apply to the second one, unless they meet the stipulations such as enemy of one the same monster type or same monster type for slayer weapons. Honor perfection bonus damage does not transfer to a secondary target.

  • Damage Increase to Secondary Target : Roughly 100% increase, doubling the normal damage delivered.

Situational attack, again, it’s usefulness will rely solely on how many mobs are around you. The secondary target always seems to get flattened fast, but if you have a weapon with Hit Chance property on it, you could very well end up swapping targets alot because of that. It’s a good crowd clearing move, but no where near as useful as a weapon with Whirlwind on it.

The Editor of this guide would like to note that Momentum strike is very useful when facing exactly two opponents because of the double damage on the second hit. It’s also very handy for crowd clearing with weapons that dont have Whirlwind: the Pixie Swatter comes to mind. Usefulness:


Bushido Based Enhancements

The following list is an example of Bushido based enhancements to already in place abilities and skills. All these enhancements are passive effects, and thus are going to be based on your actual bushido skill, as well as their inherent power effects.

Parrying : The strength of the samurai lies in the fact he can parry with weapon alone and forsakes the use of shields. As a result, concerning the samurai and his weapon use, the parry formulas work as follows;

Bushido Based Parry

  • One-Handed Parry (shieldless) : Parry * Bushido / 48,000 = Chance to Block
  • Two-Handed Parry (shieldless) : Parry * Bushido / 41,140 = Chance to Block
  • Parry with a Shield Equipped : (Parry – Bushido) / 4
  • Legacy Parry Chance (without Bushido and shieldless) : Parry / 8

Note: For a skill of 100.0 or greater in either Bushido or Parry, a 5% bonus is added to parry chance. This is a one time bonus, thus you will not get 5% for Bushido at or over 100 skill and another 5% for parry at or over 100 skill. You only receive the bonus once for one or the other as long as they remain at or over the 100 skill mark.

Example: If you have a Bushido skill of 90 and a parry skill of 100, your base chance to block with a one handed weapon will be 18.75% chance to block, plus 5% for parry being 100, for a total of 23.75% chance to block. Your two handed parry at the same skill will be 21.88% chance to block, plus 5% more for a total of 26.88% chance to block with a two handed weapon. If you use a shield with the same figures, your chance to block will be 2.5% plus 5% for a total of 7.5% chance to block with a shield. In other words, as a samurai, your chance to block worsens with a shield.

  • Best Methods for Gaining Parry – There are many guides on this, but for samurai, it’s a tricky thing to do. The best way to train parry is to do it before you pick up Bushido, that way you can use a shield, and do the atypical sheep method. However, if that option is not available, the next best thing is to get a weapon in a weapon skill you have no skill in, like macing if you are a sword user, and use that to parry. Like any parry training, you will want to bring alot of back up shields (or weapons) as parrying can tear out alot of the items durability.

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Whirlwind : ((# of opponents * Bushido) * (# of opponents * Bushido) / 3600) = Bonus Damage
Note: Damage Bonus for Whirlwind caps at 100. Also, Bushido counts as a weapon skill towards the reduction of the mana cost of weapon specific moves and abilities.
Example: If you are using a weapon with Whirlwind on it, and you are surrounded by 4 enemies, and have a Bushido skill of 90, the additional damage you do to each of those enemies will be 36 points of additional damage.

Though this move is dependant on how many mobs are near you, go someplace, say Doom and fight renderer’s with a fire or cold damage based weapon (or consecrate weapon if you are a paladin samurai) and just watch the damage climb and climb from that alone. Jump in the middle of a bunch of spawn and whirlwind once and watch how fast the mobs drop; it almost feels like a requirement to have Whirlwind based weapons.

Editor’s note: If you can, target the monster within the group that has the lowest wrestling skill. For example, if surrounded by 3 Titans and one Ettin, whirlwind the Ettin.


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Honor and Perfection

Honor is the life blood of a samurai, so much that it can help dictate how a fight turns out; it can even dictate his health, mana, and stamina after prolonged fights as well. This determination is known as the perfection for samurais, as they strive to perfect their techniques and adherence to Bushido as they continue about their daily lives.

Honor, at its most basic, offers a user the ability to increase their potential damage output by up to 25%, just by simply honoring yourself. However, for those who are following the path of Bushido (those with a skill of 50 or greater) they gain a new advantage. The opponent they have honored, they start to improve in their perfection. This perfection makes a samurai even more deadly to his opponents.

Perfection has a system known as Steps of Perfection that are also based on the samurai’s skill in Bushido. At 50 skill a samurai is at his least understanding of his goal of perfection and thus has to work harder to attain his perfection. In this case, the samurai has to gain 20 steps in perfection to Achieve Perfection. A samurai at 100 skill, however, understands perfection better, and thus only needs to gain 10 steps to Achieve Perfection. A Kengo samurai, is at the height of his understanding of perfection and will only need 9 steps to Achieve Perfection.

Now, what do these steps of perfection do? Well that depends on your relative Bushido skill honestly. Achieving Perfection nets you a bonus of 100% to damage and a luck bonus for the creature you honored equivalent to 1,000 luck. Basically put, for a samurai of 50 skill, each step is a 5% bonus and a 50 luck bonus to the target he honored, while to a Grandmaster samurai, it’s 10% damage bonus and 100 luck per hit. A Kengo samurai it’s roughly 11% damage bonus and 110 luck, though once Perfection is achieved the damage bonus is always 100% and the luck bonus for that target is always 1,000.

However, the benefits of perfection do not end there either. For each step of perfection you have, at the defeat of your opponent, you also gain back some health, stamina, and mana based on the level of perfection you have. Low perfection, low returns, achieved perfection however, you can almost expect to get fully restored in all relevant states fairly easily. Remember, the amount of your luck bonus, and stat replenishment is based on your current level of perfection, not the highest you achieved in a fight.

However, perfection isn’t easy to attain, or maintain. To gain perfection one must strike his opponent. To keep perfection, one must not miss. Basically this is how it works. Each time you strike your foe, you gain a step of perfection, just one step. For any miss, whether it’s natural miss or parried attack, you will lose three steps of perfection. This means that if you struck your opponent 5 times, but missed once, you would be back on step 2 of perfection. If you miss again, you will be back at step 0, and a message will state you have lost all perfection.

Of course there are rules when it governs the use of honor and perfection. First rule, you must be able to have a clear line of sight, and thus your opponent must have a clear line of sight as well, to honor them (flying mobs must be grounded before they can be honored). Second, Your opponent can not have been wounded in any way, whether this is from natural damage, or from health boosting spells or abilities. They must be in top shape before they can be honored. Finally, only one person can honor an opponent at a time, so if someone else already has the honor, no one else can honor that same target.

Editor’s Note: Embracing Honor is also very handy.



The Good and the Bad; Common Template Combos

There are a multitude of template suggestions out there, as well as possible templates. This part of the guide will examine skill combinations with Bushido and the relative good and bad side effects of either. Remember, this is just one persons view point as others can possibly have other relative view points that are just as valid based on their play experience, and remember;your play experience may very well be different from everyone else’s. If template questions pop up I will try to answer the question as best as possible or allow others with more experience to do so.

  • Archery
    Archery and Bushido can be good together, in fact a lot of archers make great use of Bushido. However, archery has one major drawback; parry does not work with it. This means that any parry based moves will never work for your archer, ever. However, this drawback comes with a few perks; the lack of needing parry gives you free skill points to cram into a template that is typical over-crowded, and as archery is a ranged attack, you have a bit more freedom on your item preferences since you will be less likely to be in melee. Remember, though, that moves like Momentum Strike require you to be near two opponents (that means right next to them) for it to work.
  • Chivalry
    Chivalry and Bushido almost seem to go hand-in-hand together, especially with the concerns of a very crowded template. One of the boons of chivalry is that it is highly effective at low skill, as most of the spells of chivalry are based more on your karma than on your actual skill, thus making chivalry a very cheap and effective skill to cram into tight template builds. 

    The drawback in chivalry is that you will need some magery based items to make it effective. Fast Cast, Faster Cast Recovery, and Mana Regeneration. This can make for some frustrating hunts in the decent suits and gear for your character to achieve the full effectiveness of this combo, though when it is achieved, it is quite powerful.

    Enemy of One combined with Perfection can produce some massive damage to enemy targets you are facing in PvE. You can even expect to level quite a number of foes this way.

    Consecrate Weapon lends to the fact you can really deliver some damage to the weakest resist of an enemy in a short amount of time.

    Divine Fury coupled with the samurai’s ability to parry, and you can pretty much never have to worry about stamina issues again.

  • Magery
    Magery and Bushido can work well together, but the drawback in this field is that you not only need warrior based gear for melee, but also magery based gear with Fast Cast, Faster Cast Recovery, Spell Channeling weapons and SDI to make it effective. Cramping in Evaluate Intelligence as well and you are looking at a very cramped template. More than likely, to be effective, your template will probably have to give up tactics, which means no weapon special moves, but other’s may have suggestions on that field to make it work.
  • Necromancy
    Necromancy seems to be a premiere skill for PvP, especially given the potent nature of some of the curses. However, necromancies drawback, again, is the simple fact that Bushido is a very cramped template, and you maybe looking at giving up tactics again to have an effective build, which means no weapon specials. Make no mistake, the forms and curses, utilized correctly, are very powerful. Any necromancer worth his salt will be able to utilize the skills and combos very effectively to delivering devastating impact damage in a short period of time. 

    Curse Weapon is good for the samurai with our ability to hit more accurately than most builds, with a good life stealing weapon you can probably keep yourself topped out in life, even through lethal poison.

    Wraith Form is good for regaining mana, also ontop of that add in the simple fact that Wraith Form can also recall 100% of the time as long as you have a mage book with recall and the regs to use it.

    Vampire Form is also looked at as a premiere ability, with the inherrant mana regneration and life drain attack.

    All other Necro spells are just gravy ontop of those effects.

  • Pure Warrior
    The pure warrior is the most handicapped concerning the changes made recently. To be the most successful with his build the pure warrior will most likely have to give up magic resist to gain tactics. Though there are a plethora of items that pretty much negate curses, and such, falling back and relying on those items can be just as costly as not having magic resistance to begin with. Basically put, the current system rules in the game for Ultima Online as they are right now, makes playing a pure samurai warrior past a one trick pony almost a moot point.
  • Paladin Necro Samurai
    Make no mistake, this is a powerful template combination, but it is definitely not a template for beginners. The requirements of balancing out the extremes of necro and chivalry are dificult, as chivalry is highly karma based in it’s powers, while necromancy produces massive negative effects on your karma. 

    Close Wounds is very susceptible to this,a s the amount healed by Close Wounds is affected by your karma level. If you end up bottoming out karma, you could very well be healing about as much as a mage heal spell or less.

    Cleanse by Fire is affected by Karma in the sense that the fire damage you take is decreased by higher karma, and increased by lower karma. The exact amount varies, but based on karma you can expect anywhere from 9 to 55 fire damage from this effect based on your karma.

    Remove Curse is also Karma based in the fact the higher your karma, the better chance you have of removing the curse. If you are negative karma, you pretty much almost have no chance to remove the curse.

    The duration of enemy of one, consecrate weapon, and divine fury also are affected by karma. If you have low karma, then the affects are very short, while with high karma they last for quite a bit longer.

  • Spellweaving Samurai
    I’ve not heard alot about this type of template, and my experience with spellweaving is actually quite limited. On one hand, the combination looks quite viable, however, in my experience with spellweaving and the pre-emptive nature of many of the spells in that set, it doesn’t seem like it would lend itself well to the samurai type of playstyle. However, that should not dissuade someone who is curious or thinks it might be a good combination. 

    Of note should be Gift of Renewal, Immolating Weapon, and Attune Weapon spells from Spellweaving. Gift of Renewal is a Heal Over Time effect, with an added bonus that it can attempt to cure poison, which most likely is similar to all other effects that can cure poison; the amount of skill in Spellweaving determines what level of poison this effect can attempt to cure. However, the drawback is that it seems to have a recharge effect in place till it can be cast again. The duration of this is based on your skill level as well.

    Immolating Weapon adds additional fire damage to your weapon attack for a few seconds based on your Spellweaving skill. This can be useful to add extra damage to your attacks in a given time period, and especially useful against those types of critters weak to fire damage.

    Attune Weapon is a protective spell that is auto cast on yourself. This spell will reduce all weapon based damage by 50% for a short duration. Fighting Peerless bosses this can probably prove to be quite useful, and these are starting spells to boot, so should be fairly easy to attain and use.

    Gift of Life would also be quite useful to pre-empt cast on yourself, or your pet Hiryu, if you use one. If you die while the spell is active you can auto res yourself, though there is a recharge on this.

    Word of Death is probably another spell that might prove useful on those Peerless boss fights, but since most Samurai spend their time in Melee, with the exception of archer samurai, this maybe rather dificult to pull off.

    I will note, Arcane Empowerment may also affect Bushido’s Confidence power, though I will state I am not sure at all on this since I have never attempted it. Arcane Empowerment basically increased the effectiveness of spell damage and healing, but since we do not do spell damage we are left with the healing aspect. If anyone tests this and finds that Arcane Empowerment does indeed affect Confidence send me a PM and I will edit this part of the FAQ accordingly.

  • Alchemist Samurai
    This template seems rather bizarre at first, but it actually has a sound approach. With the ability to create potions at a whim, provided you have the proper reagents and bottles handy, you also get an extra benefit in that your potions are more readily powerful than someone who does not possess alchemy. The drawback of such a template is you will rely more on your potions for healing and curing. This gives a slight benefit in that you will have a few skill points free to play around with in your template build. Just remember, to utilize many potions you will rely more on single handed weapons over two handed ones.
  • Elf versus Human
    Both have their flaws and their strengths, however in my personal opinion, the elf comes out far weaker to the human in these regards. An elf’s advantage is he has inherent night sight as well as additional base mana, however he lack’s in strength and the additional mana comes at the cost of the human’s inherent mana regneration from his bonus skills. 

    A human comes with the 20 bonus skills, of course, as well as additional carrying capacity. This ontop of the plethora of night sight items with the right properties you do want makes the slight mana boost of an elf seem paltry, especially given the nature humans have a natural mana regneration thanks to the invisible 20 skill points in focus and meditation. Personally, I would make a human samurai over an elven one, but personal taste is what it boils down to.

    Another drawback to elves is that alot of worn gear, esepcially head gear, kills a look for your elf, especially if you were going for a certain look and appearance, you could end up wearing the unsightly elven helm instead of the samurai one, or a circlet instead of a kasa.

  • Gargoyle Samurai: (the following information is based on what is readily known about Gargoyles found on the Stygian Abyss site.)
    The gargoyle will soon be added to the UO client, and from the looks of what racial abilities that they will possess they will bring some interesting additions to the samurai profession. First up is their beserker state. That can be a handy trait to have for a samurai giving more speed and power, with the samurais ability to parry making up the defense deficit. Ontop of that the mystical insight can help lads to a lot of cramped templates when it comes to cramming in rudimentary things like recall power. The downside I see in the gargoyle is their need to have specific armor crafted for them. This could be difficult in terms of gear and equipment. One I am up in the air about (no pun intended) is flying. Not needing a mount is nice, but then again, not being able to mount on a hiryu can be a bit of a pain in the long run.

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How to Set Up in Kingdom Reborn

  • Making Spells/Items Self Target
    Drag a spell or an item (such as bandages) to a hot bar location. Right click the spell or item to pull up the context menu. On the menu, at the bottom, you will see the menu item Target; select that. A new context menu will open, and you will have three choices;
  • Self – Automatically uses the item or spell on yourself.
  • Cursor – Calls up the classic cursor option thus allowing you to target first.
  • Target – Automatically attempts to cast the spell or use the item on your target, the one you have highlighted with the circle.Select self from the menu and every time you push that action button, you will automatically use the spell or the item on yourself without having to retarget yourself or setting up a special macro.

    This can even work for Skills and Virtues, though Virtues seem to be damnably picky and not letting you use the target function. Only skills that have a Green button are useable however, so it’s not a good thing to clutter your bar with a bunch of brown skills.

  • Creating a New Hot Bar
    Right click any action bar you have active to open the context menu. Select Create New Hot Bar. A new 12 slot hot bar will be placed on your game screen which you can drag anywhere on screen. You can adjust the size and even the angle of the bar by grabbing the little triangle in the lower right corner of the action bar down to as little as one box. If you wish to change the bar from vertical to horizontal, take the arrow and pull down on it instead and the bar will switch to vertical then.
  • Binding a Hot Key
    To bind a hot key to a specific action spot on the action bar, to avoid clicking, right click the action bar to pull up the context menu. Select Assign Hotkey and a message box will appear that tells you either to push ESCAPE to cancel or to hit the key you wish to assign to the hot box. Note; in order to bind a key be sure that it isn’t already assigned to another action in game, such as the function keys, which are assigned to you and your party, respectively.
  • Creating an Disarm/Arm Macro
    Creating a macro is pretty easy and straight forward in UOKR. Nothing simpler than just dragging and dropping a bunch of images onto the main area. First, you will want to open up the Main Menu, which can be done one of two ways; first you can hit escape, unless you have something targeted, this should call up the Main Menu immediately. If something is targeted, it will take a second push of Escape to call it up. The second way is to push the little house icon right next to your back pack on the tool bar. This will call up the Main Menu as well. 

    Next, Scroll down the menu and click on Macros/Actions option, this will open up the macro dialogue; two boxes, one is the macro list, the other is the actions list. Now, the macros list will probably be empty for you unless you already been experimenting. At the bottom you will see Create, click that now and a new dialogue box will open up.

    This new box is called edit macro; what we want to do is create a weapon disarm/arm macro. First, click the NO ICON SET box, and scroll through the list of icons. I suggest an icon that can help you easily identify the weapon you wish to arm. For instance, for my demon slayer weapon, I chose the 8th circle icon, Summon Daemon, as my icon. Where it says macro name, I chose to put in the spot Demon Slayer Blade, but you can choose to name it whatever you want or leave it as macro1, though a name makes it easier to identify.

    Now, naming and setting an icon is definitely not the last step. Next you will look over in the actions. Currently it’s set to All Actions, which is perfect, because the first two actions are the ones we want actually. In this case, they will be equip and unequip items. But they need to be placed in a specific order. First, take and drag unequip items into the first box. This will open a new dialogue, and in this dialogue you will want to choose the main hand and off hand slots and put an X mark in the box. This part of the macro tells that any current item, if applicable, you want disarmed and taken off immediately.

    Now, before you can put the equip item action into the macro you must first put in a delay. You can either scroll down the list or hit the left arrow right next to All Actions that will take you to a list called Other. Just below the Salute action, you will see Delay. Drag that into the second box next to equip. A dialogue will ask for an amount of time to delay. Leave it at 0, as that seems to work in my macros just fine.

    Now, comes the final part. Go back to the All Actions page, which can be reached by hitting the right arrow next to Other, if you swapped pages. Now, drag Equip Item to the third box in the macro, and a new dialogue will open. In this dialogue, you will want to drag your weapon into that slot. In this case, the demon slayer bladed staff of mine, since that’s what the macro is being named for. Hit the okay button, and it is done.

    At this point you can choose to either bind the macro to a key or drag it into a hot bar and click it from there. Anytime you use this macro, it will automatically disarm any weapon you are using and re-equip the weapon you want in this macro. You can basically make as many of these macros as you think you need, but remember that the item you wish to arm has to be in your pack if you want it to work.

    Also note, this macro can work for multiple items at a time as well. On the equip portion of the macro, for instance, you can enter both a sword and a shield. You can even take the macro further to have it change your clothes entirely, but that also requires a bit of editing of the unequip portion of the macro to.

  • Counting Resources
    To count resources, all you have to do is drag a countable resource to your hot bar. Anything that can be counted normally (potions, reagents, gold, ingots, etc.) will automatically get counted here. Note, it’s always easier to make another hot bar to do this instead.
  • Instant Looting
    To instantly loot an item in a monsters corpse, right click it. That’s it. You can also choose to place items on your mouse cursor directly in your inventory by hitting the inventory key while the item is still on your cursor. By default, this should be the ‘I’ key, but for instance I changed it to my ‘B’ key, so if I want to do that I will have to hit the ‘B’ key.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This portion of the Guide is a constant work in progress. I implore that any new questions that have answers be directed to me in PM, or a possible mod asking them politely to modify this portion of the Guide to include the answers to the FAQ as needed.

  • Does Archery Work with Bushido?
    This is a trick question. Yes, Archery works with Bushido, however specific Bushido moves will not work without parry skill. In this case, Counter Attack and Evasion both will not work without parry, and the secondary aspects of Confidence will not either. Momentum Strike also will require the archer to be next to two opponents to get it to work effectively and the parry stipulation of a failed honorable execution will not work with archery either. The reason these do not work with archery is because you cannot ever parry with a bow, and the likelihood of this changing is pretty low.
  • Can Bushido Attacks/Stances fail to execute?
    Yes, they can. Just because you have the pre-requisite skill value does not mean they will automatically work. There are tell tale sound effects that let you know when the Attack/Stance has fired off. If you do not hear any of these, then the action failed to happen. The amount of skill necessary to have 100% chance of success at an Attack/Stance is roughly 40 skill over the minimum to use.
  • Why do I need more Bushido than the amount necessary to have 100% success if I just want X move?
    Good question. Do you really need high Bushido if all you are after is that one move or stance? No. However, Bushido is much like any other skill in the game, it not only decides the chance of success, it decides the over-all effectiveness of your attacks and stances. It also effects your passive abilities such as parry, whirlwind, and Perfection. Basically put, the greater your knowledge of Bushido, the greater the effect it has.
  • Why can’t I use my Lesser Hiryu anymore/it’s failing to bond to me?
    Lesser Hiryu code was changed. For a long time, anyone could command and bond a Lesser Hiryu without any Bushido or taming skill, they just couldn’t ride it. However, a recent changed now makes it a requirement that you either having taming or a minimum of 90 Bushido skill in order to command and bond a Lesser Hiryu.
  • I can’t use my weapon specials anymore, what happened?
    A recent change put in a requirement of 70 Tactics for the primary weapon special and 90 Tactics for the secondary weapon special, on-top of other requirements. This change was mostly aimed at PvP balances, however, it has damaged a lot of valid templates that are too cramped to fit in Tactics normally.
  • I am a Paladin/Samurai, and damage doesn’t seem to increase from perfection.
    Damage is capped at 300% from DI based enhancements. A slayer weapon against the appropriate type of critters will give you a 200% damage increase. Enemy of One itself will give another 50% increase. That’s 250%. Damage increase from weapons and jewerly can easily add an additional 50% at this point to. The result is basically just too easy to cap damage with the samurai/paladin build.
  • If I don’t get the Perfection damage bonus, what good is Perfection then?
    Two reasons to still attempt to Achieve Perfection; First, your level of Perfection acts as a sort of luck towards your target. The higher your perfection the greater luck value for that target only, you get, thus the increased chance of better loot. Secondly, Perfection levels also restore heaps of lost health, mana, and stamina versus your target. Especially tough fights, like certain Paragons, it would be wise to be able to restore what was lost to you.
  • Why is my parry crap when I use a shield?
    Because samurai do not use shields, plain and simple. Though some will try to point out the fan as such a thing, the reality of that weapon was it was used to communicate troop movement in battle, and also used to parry incoming attacks. It is also a weapon in UO, thus those who wish to fall back on the fan can do so. However if you want a mind set to reason it, think of it this way, hiding behind a shield is cowardly, and it would insult a samurai’s honor to be considered a coward, thus the reason why shields hurt a samurais parry chances instead of helping it.
  • Does Human inherent +20 skill effect my chance to parry with a shield?
    No, it has no effect on your inherent chances to parry with a shield, as long as you do not have any real Bushido skill.
  • Does Bushido skill jewelry effect my chances to parry with a shield?
    Yes, it does. Skill jewelry, for all intents and purposes, acts as real skill, thus if you are carrying 30 points of Bushido skill jewelry, then the system thinks you have 30 real skill of Bushido. This will negatively impact your parry chances with a shield, so suggest finding other jewelry if you plan on playing with a sword and board.
  • If Lightning Strike gives 50% Hit Chance Increase, and the cap is 45%, why do I need Hit Chance Increase Items?
    Overflow; plain and simple. Despite having a high inherent accuracy, things like hit lower attack will lower that chance tremendously, and having overflow can help negate some of that effect. Furthermore, relying solely on Lightning Strike, though a powerful attack, is relying solely on luck and is not going to be 100% when other moves, such as Concussion Blow or Armor Ignore maybe more useful, and more reliable when you need an instant burst of damage.
  • How come I don’t get Perfection in PvP?
    A while back ago, they changed the honor code to be unable to honor targets in PvP situations. You can honor yourself and get the 25% damage increase from that, but you cna not honor another player and get Perfection in PvP. It was basically stated as a balance change.
  • Lightning Strike doesn’t seem to hit hard at all in PvP.
    Again, another change for the sake of PvP balancing. This change came before the Perfection nerf for PvP, and Lightning Strike damage was capped at 35 maximum. Honestly, this rule should be lightened up, since many attacks and other weapons outshine Lightning Strike in this regard now, especially since Samurai can no longer get the Perfection bonus in PvP.
  • Why do I randomly get the dismounted debuff when my Lesser Hiryu is fighting?
    A code was recently introduced that acts as if you had used a dismount yourself if your pet uses a dismount move on your target. This is mostly a PvP change, however, the Lesser Hiryu’s chance of dismounting was drastically nerfed to only 20% chance.
  • If I have X Bushido value, can I still parry if I don’t have parry skill?
    Anything multiplied by 0 is still going to be 0. That’s a fundamental fact of mathematics. The only time this might not be true is in the situation when you have 100 or greater skill in Bushido. At that point you are given a base of 5% chance to block. Anything less than 100 skill and you have a 0% chance to block. 

    It should also be noted that human character’s may also not have to contend with this issue as deeply, as they get an invisible +20 skill points. Therefor you would place all the formulas above with 20 skill parry.

  • If I have X parry skill, can I still parry with only a weapon and without bushido?
    Yes, you can. If you look in the above post on Parrying, you will see a value called Legacy Parry Chance. This value describes the chance for someone using a weapon without a shield, and no bushido skills, ability to block an attack with weapon alone. Again, this might not be true for human characters, however, who get an invisible +20 bushido skill, so that maybe taking into the equation on block chance with weapon alone.
  • Does Perfection give luck bonus or not?
    This has been hotly debated since the first time Jeremy stated that Perfection luck bonus was turned off. However, Jeremy ate her words when she stated in the August 17th, 2007 Five on Friday that her and the team were in error and that Perfection was indeed giving bonus luck.
  • What’s with the difference in Steps of Perfection based on skill?
    I honestly don’t know. I’ve been testing and working with Bushido ever since Samurai Empire came out, and this was a new thing to me as pointed out to me by Fisher King in the older Samurai FAQ (before the new forums). I tested it myself just recently, and this change is indeed the case. However, I must also stress another factor that it is quite possible that I may have been in error, despite my talking wtih Leurocian when comprising the original fact and this may have always been the case. However, I will also digress that this may have also been an undocumented change as well.
  • Can I use a UBWS weapon I don’t have skill in to use Evasion?
    No, you can not. To combat PvP twinking, this change was put in a long time ago. If you are using a weapon that you have no skill in but has Use Best Weapon Skill as a modifier, and especially those mages who try to use Mage Weapons, Evasion will not work with it. I believe this goes for all parry based skills using those weapons as well.
  • Does using a shield on my Bushido only (no parry) character ruin my DCI chance?
    I have no idea where this came from, but lately I have been seeing alot of people getting confused on this notion. Defence Chance Increase is not even in the same ballpark as parrying. Plain and simple. Defense Chance Increase affects the initial Hit/Miss calculations when comparing weapon versus weapon skill, not your parry chances. When parrying is taken into account, in other words blocking, that is figured after the hit/miss calculation is done as a seperate check. So short answer, no wearing a shield on your samurai will not affect your Defense Chance Increase, though it will gimp the crap out of your parry.
  • How much will Defense Chance Increase affect Bushido Stances?
    First, as in the previous Question, Defense Chance Increase has no affect on your parry. Zero, Zilch, Nada. Parry is a seperate check from the Hit/Miss calculation performed by the system when attacks are performed. What DCI affects is your defense based value of your weapon skill versus their weapon skill. At equal skill, you and your opponent have a 50/50 base chance of hitting or missing. If you have 25% DCI, you would get (50 * 1.25 = 62.5) chance of them missing you. 

    Now, how this affects things like parry. Higher DCI means that your stances are less likely to occur. Stances like counter attack, which rely on the parry check, would see less use. However this is not a bad thing actually. Parry’s intent is to be there when a melee attack bypasses your primary defenses and that becomes your secondary defense. The armor you are wearing, the resistance, is your tertiary defense, and basically the final step before damage is applied.

    So basically, in short, the higher DCI you have, the less useful powers like Counter Attack are, and the secondary effects of Confidence. However, Evasion and the primary effect of confidence is still quite useful.

Bushido Issues

The following list is just a comprised list of issues with Bushido and it’s abilities, and weapon specials.

  • The new tactics requirement for weapon specials hurts pure warrior based samurai templates, requiring them to dump necessary skills in order to be able to use their weapon specials again.
  • Using Riding Swipe, because of the rules of the weapon, can turn the weapon special user grey, thus attackable or guard whacked in a guard zone because the secondary hit to the mount which is counted as a separate entity instead of being appropriately flagged to the target. Killing the users mount also does not work until the target has dismounted from his mount. (need to test for confirmation)
  • Counter Attack is near worthless in its current form. It requires the user to parry an attack, then a hit miss calculation is taken into effect. Despite Counter Attack will use the recent readied weapon special, it’s no guarantee of a hit. Counter Attack either needs to counter all parried attacks for the duration of the stance or the countered attack needs to be a guaranteed hit.
  • Honorable Execution is totally worthless for samurai. The duration of the swing speed increase is hardly worth the gauging and deciding if a target is damaged enough that your next hit will kill them. This attack needs to be changed to be more useful for samurai and the penalties associated with it reduced dramatically. A change is in order to make this attack more worthy instead of making us fall back on constant Lightning Strike spam.
  • Momentum Strike is also a tough one to gauge on its worthiness as an attack. The stipulation of two targets standing next to plus anytime a To Hit effect goes off on a target other than your primary target, you will automatically retarget the critter that got hit by the To Hit effect instead and start attacking it. A change to make this more useful is in order, so as to stop making Lightning Strike our only move we use.
  • Frenzied Whirlwind does not benefit at all from the samurai whirlwind damage bonus, despite it being a whirlwind attack. This makes the move absolutely worthless compared to it’s big brother whirlwind.
  • The removal of Perfection in PvP makes the Lightning strike damage cap of 35 redundant now. This damage cap needs to be loosened up a bit as other moves are more devastating than Lightning Strike.
  • More of a general concern, but tactics skill jewelry will not let you use weapon specials, even if they take your skill past the requisite 70 or 90 skill to use the primary or secondary weapon special. This is high contradiction versus every other skill in the game that benefits from skill jewelry.

Written by Ravenspyre. August 2007. Last edit September 2008.
Copied to Stratics and Edited by Stupid Miner. June 2009.
Last Edit: January 2010.

Last modified: October 18, 2011

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