Leafiara (prime)/Mechanical Musings/Choosing Your Ideal Weapon Script

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(Please note: This guide is still in progress. Balance and Frenzy, Duskbringer Weapons, Globus Naidem, Greater Rhimar, Nervestaves, Parasite Weapons, and Valence Weapons are still coming. I don't intend to bother with Bastard Axes, Chainspears, Ethereal Weapons, Poleaxe Flares, or Wand Bows due to how niche they are.)


Disclaimer

I'm striving to be objective and pragmatic, but there will (and must) inevitably be some subjectivity. My goal is to highlight what I consider to be the primary selling points of these scripts and explain why they're the primary selling points by exploring deeper mechanics and patterns in the overarching game.

This guide isn't meant as a comprehensive overview of everything that every weapon script does. The scripts' own wiki pages alone cover that, which is why I link to them. I'm here to sift through the chaff (or at least what I see as the chaff), so if you read this and find yourself asking "what about the X feature of Y script?", then the answer is I didn't talk about it because I don't think it adds much, if anything, to the overall value proposition of the weapon script.


Animalistic Spirit

(For details on this weapon script, see its wiki page.)

Which weapon types are allowed?

Melee weapons, ranged weapons, runestaves, and worn (not held) unarmed combat weapons.

Why decide on an Animalistic Spirit Weapon?

  • Animalistic Spirit has unsurpassed variety of flavor messaging, featuring dozens of animal groupings each with their own unique flare messaging, a dozen damage types that also append their own unique flare messaging to the animal grouping, and further granular customization to individualize on the item level so that even two weapons with the same animal and damage type will still look different in as many as four ways.
  • Animalistic Spirit is one of only two scripts to offer grapple crits off the shelf, which have a very high chance of knocking creatures down when they hit.
  • Animalistic Spirit offers a wide variety of fluff verbs, all of which incorporate the customizations mentioned above.
  • Its non-linear, a la carte upgrade path allows paying to unlock the perks you want and avoiding the perks you don't.
  • The unlockable Revenge Flare reactive when parrying (for melee weapons and runestaves) or evading (for brawling and ranged weapons) is unique among weapon scripts in its ability to contribute to combat even during moments when you're not inputting commands.
  • The unlockable Wild Backlash ability offers DS and TD debuffs that are unique among weapon scripts. While both have value, TD debuffs are especially rare in the context of how many options exist for them in the entire game.
  • While the full details are beyond the scope of this guide for now, these also have synergy with Animalistic Spirit Armor and/or Animalistic Spirit Headdresses.
  • You personally consider it appealing to have an animal spirit launch from your weapon to attack your foes.

Why decide against an Animalistic Spirit Weapon?

  • Completing the bonding process takes longer than Energy Weapons and significantly longer than Parasite or Sprite Weapons.
  • Grapple crits are the only Animalistic Spirit damage type offered off the shelf. This damage type has virtually no chance of killing a creature in and of itself and the value of its knockdowns is negated if your hunting style involves opening combat by reliably and manually knocking down creatures. As mentioned, the damage type can be changed, but most damage types you would change to could have been purchased off the shelf with a different weapon script to save on bloodscrip.
  • Handing down an Animalistic weapon to a different character (yours or someone else's) and getting full benefits out of it basically requires the new owner to go through the bonding process twice--once to essentially unbond it from the previous owner, bringing it back to neutral status, then again to bond it to themselves. Things like sharing it between multiple characters on a premium account or letting friends borrow it without being penalized on DS and TD are entirely out of the question.
  • You prefer the unique benefits or flavor of other weapon scripts.


Briar

(For details on this weapon script, see its wiki page.)

Which weapon types are allowed?

Melee weapons, ranged weapons, and worn unarmed combat weapons.

I assume that held unarmed combat weapons are allowed via the High End Scrip Shop, but simply not available off the shelf in A Twist of Briars, but that's unconfirmed.

I assume that runestaves aren't allowed because they're not available off the shelf, but that's unconfirmed. (Held unarmed combat weapons are the least used weapon category in the game, but runestaves are very common. Still, not being offered doesn't guarantee that briar runestaves are impossible.)

Why decide on Briar flares?

  • Briar flares have their own unique, extensive loresong.
  • Briar flaring claidhmores, katanas, and naginatas are offered off the shelf, which is very unusual.
  • The two-minute-long AS boost from tier 3 is easy to maintain nearly indefinitely for AS-based melee weapons. Players can and do treat tier 3 briar weapons as essentially an extra +25 of enchantments (alongside their grapple and poison flares) since the AS boost has no cooldown, nor is it luck-based like other scripts' flare perks.
  • This is one of only two scripts to offer grapple crits off the shelf, which have a very high chance of knocking creatures down when they hit. These grapple crits additionally poison the foe to cause damage over time and, at least at tier 3, have an increased damage ceiling that allows them to occasionally deal up to 175 damage instead of the typical grapple maximum of 55. (Note: 175 is the most I've seen, anyway.)
  • While the full details are beyond the scope of this guide for now, these also have synergy with Briar Accessories.
  • You personally consider it appealing to have a weapon bonded with vengeful vines that feed on the blood of you and your foes.

Why decide against Briar flares?

  • Frequent health drain has anti-synergy with Ensorcell flares, which will grant increased AS less often than normal since they'll be busy restoring health instead.
  • Grapple crits are the only briar damage type, but the value of grapple knockdowns is negated if your hunting style involves opening combat by reliably and manually knocking down creatures. Below tier 3, this damage type also has virtually no chance of killing a creature in and of itself. (At tier 3, the grapple criticals are still unlikely to kill on their own, but the sheer health damage enough can climb high enough that that can kill.)
  • Taking a briar weapon out of a container causes a rank 1 injury to that hand. That on its own doesn't hinder combat, but does make it easier for creatures to stack that hand up to a bleeder or stack up injuries in multiple locations to prevent casting. Alternatively, healing off the wound at the start of hunts adds minor RT and tedium to your routine.
  • Tapping a briar weapon before putting it away to avoid injuries adds minor RT and tedium to your routine.
  • The benefits of tier 1 and tier 2 are minimal, yet expensive at respectively 55,000 and 105,000 bloodscrip. A minute-long boost of +5 AS or +10 AS, respectively, is very little payoff given the time it takes the weapon (and accompanying accessories, if applicable) to have siphoned 50 or 75 health.
  • The benefits of tier 3 are immense, yet also immensely expensive at 355,000 bloodscrip (or more, but that's the cheapest possible path starting from fresh off the shelf).
  • You prefer the unique benefits or flavor of other weapon scripts.


Energy Weapon

(For... a non-zero level of details on this weapon script, see its wiki page. ...and then also see its saved posts page.)

Which weapon types are allowed?

Held (not worn) unarmed combat weapons, melee weapons, ranged weapons, and runestaves.

Why decide on an Energy Weapon?

  • Aside from Twin Weapons, which are exclusive to Two Weapon Combat builds, Energy Weapons are the only weapon script that offers a selection of damage types off the shelf: fire, ice, impact (earth), or lightning damage. The lightning crit table is noticeably more lethal in and of itself than off the shelf damage types offered by other scripts.
  • Energy Weapons as a whole are cost-effective, efficient, minimalistic, and powerful. (The "minimalistic" part could also be seen as a drawback; see below.) Even when using the flares at their default strength (neither the Drained Flares nor Surged Flares features), a tier 0 or tier 1 lightning-based Energy Weapon is the most universally applicable sheer power you could get in a weapon script for, respectively, a 10,000 or 15,000 bloodscrip price point. ...at least, not counting Twin Weapons.
  • The Surged Flares feature unlocked at tier 1 pushes the power ceiling of Energy Weapon flares above other script flares, albeit with the tradeoff that it needs to be used strategically. (You'd also need to make use of the Drained Flares feature afterward to have Surged Flares ready to go later.)
  • The Unleashing feature unlocked at tier 2 offers a way to get several minutes of AS and CS boost, albeit with the tradeoff that it needs to be used strategically. (Same setup as Surged Flares, requiring using Drained Flares to recharge at times as well.) While AS and CS both have value, CS boosting is among the most rare benefits through all means in the entire game.
  • You personally consider it appealing to have a basically "gimmick-free" weapon without mechanical obstacles like limitations on weapon types or flavor obstacles like sentient beings bound to an object.

Why decide against an Energy Weapon?

  • Energy Weapons trade style away for substance, having very little to offer on flavor other than minor customizations of two colors for the flares. Even what flavor they do have points at just how mechanical they are since their activations involve levers, switches, and energy stores built into the weapon.
  • Swapping between Drained Flares and either Surged Flares or Unleashing can be considered strategic, as mentioned above, but could also be considered cumbersome. If you know your tendencies well enough to believe you'd never use Surged Flares nor Unleashing, then Greater Elemental Flares would usually be preferable to going beyond tier 1. Greater Elemental Flares would be at least comparable to ("better" or "worse" is difficult to quantify) a tier 2 or tier 3 Energy Weapon on a sheer power basis, but would be less expensive and adds to existing weapons for access to perks that upgrading an off-the-shelf Energy Weapon wouldn't (as easily) have. There are corner cases, nonetheless, but for more on that, see the Greater Elemental Flares drawbacks section.
  • You prefer the unique benefits or flavor of other weapon scripts.


Fighting Knives

(For... a non-zero level of details on this weapon script, see its wiki page. ...and then also see its saved posts page.)

Which weapon types are allowed?

Daggers. Nothing else.

Why decide on Fighting Knives?

  • Fighting Knives' fluff verbs not only work as verbs, but introduce their own entire minigame of roshambo-like knife fights with other Fighting Knife owners.
  • Fighting Knives offer a variety of colorful, randomly selected flare messages that can depict your character getting gleams in their eyes, seizing on opportunities to land an additional strike, and more. Knockout flares are the only other other weapon script that operates on this kind of level by painting a verbal picture that highlights your character instead of your character's weapon.
  • In the specific niche of the dagger market, nothing approaches the cost-effectiveness of a T1 Fighting Knife, which historically has had one offering per Duskruin in which you can buy a +25 Fighting Knife that also has elemental flares for 3,500 bloodscrip. [Note: There's not such an offering during the February 2024 Duskruin, however.] That's about three times as efficient on cost as the next closest competitor, a T1 Valence Weapon dagger (5,000 bloodscrip, but only one set of flares), and about six times as efficient as anything beyond that (the typical 10,000 bloodscrip for one set of flares).
  • Overall, this is a rare case in which every tier from off the shelf to fully unlocked offers a strong value proposition. Being in the hyper-specific niche of daggers only, which aren't in and of themselves a powerful weapon base, allowed some real pushing of boundaries in regards to flare rate (by tier 2 and 3), flare power (by tier 4), and other miscellaneous abilities (by tier 3) in a compact, effective, straightforward package. Tier 4 costing only 36,000 bloodscrip seems shockingly low compared to almost every other alternative.
  • The tier 3 Jugular ability of sometimes increasing crit weighting is both powerful and unique among weapon scripts.
  • The tier 4 Rematch ability to sometimes strike again against a creature that dodged the first attack is unique among weapon scripts.
  • You personally consider it appealing to slash, slash some more, stab, stab some more, stab still more, stab even more, and keep on stabbing. Or you just plain like daggers!

Why decide against Fighting Knives?

  • As mentioned, only daggers can be Fighting Knives--and daggers are a very niche weapon type. They do excel at ambushing, but the better a character is at ambushing, the less useful most of the Fighting Knives' benefits are likely to be.
  • You prefer the unique benefits or flavor of other weapon scripts.


Greater Elemental Flares

(For details on this weapon script, see its wiki page.)

Which weapon types are allowed?

All of them.

Why decide on Greater Elemental Flares?

  • Greater Elemental Flares pack a mechanically strong punch of double elemental flares and yet are the least expensive script to add to an existing weapon, being priced at only 40,000 bloodscrip (if the weapon already has basic elemental flares) or 55,000 bloodscrip (if it doesn't, in which case you're actually adding as many as three flares per attack compared to a vanilla weapon). That's a fraction of the typical 250,000 cost for the large majority of scripts, even the 125,000-per-weapon cost for Twin Weapons, or even the 100,000 cost for Knockout.
  • While it's a fairly minor benefit, Greater Elemental Flares add 150 gear difficulty. Most competing options add 200 gear difficulty.
  • You personally consider it appealing to wield raw elemental force. (The fluff verbs are few in number, but what exists does well to portray a weapon infused with elemental power.)

Why decide against Greater Elemental Flares?

  • Greater Elemental Flares require that the ability slot ("flare slot") be filled with elemental flares, thus shutting out any plans that involve flares including (but not limited to) acuity, death, dispel, mana, mind wrack, or terror.
  • This is as cost-effective as it gets at the very specific 40,000 bloodscrip mark, but the low end can win out on efficiency per bloodscrip spent and the top end can, of course, win out on power.
  • You prefer the unique benefits or flavor of other weapon scripts.


Iasha Weapon

(For details on this weapon script, see its wiki page. ...however, please note that the description of "holy fire" flares from this legacy script has no relation to the modern holy fire flares from the cleric sanctification service.)

Which weapon types are allowed?

Held unarmed combat weapons, melee weapons, and worn unarmed combat weapons.

Strictly speaking, runestaves are "allowed" in that I'm fairly certain I remember the Iasha script being updated for them before the Commencement of Coraesine Forest silver event in May 2018. However, at least one of that event's two T3 Iasha auction winners (namely, I) didn't make a runestaff, Iasha runestaves have never been sold in The Blood Red Rose, and Iasha isn't available in the High End Scrip Shop to add to existing weapons, so in practice there might be zero Iasha runestaves in the Prime game instance and there are definitely no means to create new ones at the moment.

Why decide on an Iasha Weapon?

  • For clerics and paladins, off the shelf Iasha Weapons are among the cheapest flaring scripts around, priced at 4,000 bloodscrip to 7,000 bloodscrip for a +25 weapon instead of the more typical 10,000 bloodscrip for a +20 weapon. (For professions other than clerics or paladins, there's an additional 5,000 bloodscrip surcharge to buy a certificate that allows them to use the Iasha weapon's flares and fluff verbs.) Tier 3 Iasha weapons are likewise only another 25,000 bloodscrip.
  • Iasha flares feature a variety of randomly selected messages that depict creatures burning with theatrical flair.
  • Iasha weapons have their own unique loresong.
  • Iasha weapons only have 70 gear difficulty, which is very little. Since they're white ora and can't be anything else, 50 of that difficulty is also essentially cancelled out for the purpose of cleric sanctification (but not other services).
  • You personally consider it appealing to light creatures ablaze with divine flames.

Why decide against an Iasha Weapon?

  • Iasha weapons make very poor long-term projects due to A) inflexibility at both the low end and high end of pay event-based weapon upgrades and B) increased costs of player services. The low end of pay event upgrades is that they can't have additional flares added in the ability slot, which normally has great potential and versatility. The high end of pay event upgrades is that they can't be transmuted into materials other than white ora, which also normally has great potential and versatility, nor is tier 3 much mechanically stronger than tier 1 (which is reflected in its pricing of another 32,500 bloodscrip over tier 1); the boost of +3 Wisdom base only translates to 1.5 CS, which will generally round down to 1 unless you can get additional enhancive sources elsewhere. In short, Iasha weapons are good starter weapons, but lack a pathway to satisfactorily become more than that.
  • While being white ora does make cleric sanctification easier, as mentioned, that comes at the cost of requiring glowing ur'veneth potions for every cast of enchantment and inky black potions for every cast of ensorcellment.
  • You prefer the unique benefits or flavor of other weapon scripts. ...is what I've included as a bullet point for every other script on this page, because it's true, but in this case it's worth mentioning that the Daybringer half of Duskbringer weapons have near-identical flavor to Iasha Weapons while lacking any of their mechanical drawbacks. Unless the second, third, and fourth bullet points in the "why decide on an Iasha Weapon?" section strongly appeal to you or you're in the very specific niche of playing a melee cleric or a paladin who you're certain you'll never want to splurge on for gear improvement, looking at the Duskbringer script as an alternative comes highly recommended.


Knockout

(For details on this weapon script, see its wiki page.)

Which weapon types are allowed?

Weapons that do crush damage at least 50% of the time. That includes all blunt weapons, blackjacks, cestuses, claidhmores, flails, flamberges, handaxes, jeddart-axes, knuckle-dusters, quarterstaves, two-handed swords, and worn unarmed combat weapons. It might also include Hammers of Kai, jackblades, or paingrips, but the exact crush ratios on those are unknown. Runestaves are technically allowed, but knockout flares only work on them when swinging a runestaff as a melee weapon.

Why decide on Knockout flares?

  • Beyond even Fighting Knives, knockout flares portray a very dynamic vision of combat. Varied messaging chosen at random will vividly depict your character doing everything from double feinting to reversing the momentum of a strike to leaping into aerial attacks. Unlike Fighting Knives, knockout flares go beyond with still more nuance by having varied messaging depicting the attacked creatures doing things like collapsing to the ground, stumbling around trying to regain its bearings, or gibbering over the pain of the blow.
  • Knockout flares almost always knock the foe prone and can inflict other effects like rooted.
  • Knockout flares only hit the head as long as the creature has a head and doesn't already have a rank 3 wound there, which makes them comparatively very lethal. Even when they don't kill, causing rank 2 or rank 3 head wounds severely penalizes a creature's DS for the followup attacks.
  • Most weapon scripts cost 250,000 bloodscrip to add to an existing weapon, but knockout flares cost 100,000. In terms of mechanical power alone, even a vanilla +20 weapon with knockout flares added would compare favorably to the same amount of bloodscrip put into buying a different scripted weapon and taking it along its upgrade path; however, adding knockout flares to an existing weapon that already had other work done would push the value proposition to even greater heights.
  • While it's a fairly minor benefit, knockout flares add 150 gear difficulty. Most competing options add 200 gear difficulty.
  • You personally consider it appealing to relentlessly bash creatures' heads in.

Why decide against Knockout flares?

  • Only weapons that do crush damage at least 50% of the time can have knockout flares.
  • Randomly chosen flare messaging can be a point against knockout flares if you want absolute precision in your character portrayal.
  • Unlike more modern weapon scripts, knockout flares don't have an on-ramp to start small and give them a try before sinking in more currency if you find that you like them. 100,000 bloodscrip simply is the minimum buy-in cost since it can only be added to existing weapons, but simultaneously the maximum buy-in cost since there aren't any further upgrades. As with Greater Elemental Flares, knockout flares are very powerful for their specific price point, but lower price points can be more cost-effective and higher price points can be more powerful.
  • This script has three fluff verbs while most others have a double digit number of them.
  • You prefer the unique benefits or flavor of other weapon scripts.


Mechanical Crossbow

(For details on this weapon script, see its wiki page.)

Which weapon types are allowed?

Crossbows. Nothing else.

Why decide on a Mechanical Crossbow?

  • Mechanical Crossbows offer very strong fluff flavor with a slew of fluff verbs depicting the intricate workings and construction of a complex weapon. The alterations allow for further customization of invisible item properties which get incorporated into many of the verbs.
  • The tier 4 net flares immobilize foes, which is the strongest disabler and is unique among weapon scripts. It's difficult to overstate the power of that, despite its simplicity, as the nets can keep a single foe locked down or even serve as very effective crowd control when used with Volley. On top of this, the flares can fire off even when the shot itself misses, which is also almost unique among weapon scripts.
  • You personally consider it appealing to wield an archery weapon with fancy gadgetry. It's a tinkerer's dream!

Why decide against a Mechanical Crossbow?

  • Against single targets, all bows have a lower minimum RT than crossbows. The case can be made that, at least in combat, Mechanical Crossbows are very specifically tailored to crowd control (and are great at it) while bows with a different script would be more suitable for general purposes.
  • When Mechanical Crossbows were sold off the shelf, 58,500 bloodscrip for a fully unlocked weapon was a stellar value proposition, but that's not the current world. The Crosswinds and Crosshairs shop has been retired, so the only means to acquire Mechanical Crossbows now are finding someone willing to sell theirs or paying 250,000 bloodscrip to add the script to an existing crossbow and another 57,500 to fully unlock it.
  • You prefer the unique benefits or flavor of other weapon scripts.


Realm Flares

(For details on this weapon script, see its wiki page.)

Which weapon types are allowed?

Melee weapons, runestaves, and worn unarmed combat weapons.

I assume that nothing innate to the script blocks held unarmed combat weapons, but they're not available off the shelf in Rock Solid, nor does the High End Scrip Shop have means to add realm flares to existing weapons.

Why decide on Realm flares?

  • Realm Flares are the cheapest script available at just 2,000 bloodscrip. If evaluated strictly as an off-the-shelf item and strictly on the efficiency of mechanical improvement per bloodscrip spent, nothing offered at Duskruin compares other than the dagger-exclusive Fighting Knives that also come with elemental flares.
  • Realm Flares can spice up the variety of your hunting if you tend to roam since they'll flare different damage types depending where you are.
  • You personally consider it appealing to have an ever-changing set of flares to suit your wanderlust.

Why decide against Realm flares?

  • It's easy to illustrate the value proposition of Realm Flares compared to other pay event offerings with rhetorical questions like "is a tier 3 Energy Weapon really 62.5 times as powerful as a Realm Flaring weapon?" or even "is a tier 1 Daybringer really five times as powerful as a Realm Flaring weapon?" However, that's a double-edged sword that could simply be turned around: "is a Realm Flaring weapon really more than 50 times as powerful as a lightning flaring weapon you could find in a box that's worth 35,000 silver?" The answer to the first two questions is no. The answer to the last question is that the Realm Flaring Weapon is actually mechanically weaker because lightning is simply that much more powerful than most damage types.
  • Realm Flaring weapons make very poor long-term projects due to the inflexibility of being unable to add additional flares in the ability slot, which normally has great potential and versatility. They are good starter weapons at a reasonable starter price--and they're at least fancier, albeit not stronger, than the aforementioned random treasure system lightning flaring weapon--but lack the ability to satisfactorily become anything better in the future.
  • While the variable flares are designed to be good on average, they'll almost never be the best. (Occasional exceptions exist like hunting a troll warcamp in Icemule or Solhaven, where Realm Flares deal fire damage.) Realm Flares act like jacks of all trades and masters of none.
  • You prefer the unique benefits or flavor of other weapon scripts.


Sigil Staff

(For details on this weapon script, see its wiki page.)

Which weapon types are allowed?

Runestaves. Nothing else.

Why decide on a Sigil Staff?

  • Sigil Staves allow for a high degree of flavor personalization, featuring a slew of fluff verbs and even (at tier 4 and 5) ambient messaging that incorporate a customizable adjective to describe a staff's magic effects.
  • Starting at tier 2, Sigil Staves have dispel flares (in the script slot and not competing with dispel flares that can also be added in the ability slot). Unlike most flares, dispel flares resolve before the primary attack hits, either attempting to dispel up to one spell (up to two or three spells at tier 3 and 4, respectively) or, if the creature has no spells, then dealing maneuver-based disruption damage. The benefits of stripping off a spell are obvious, but even against creatures that have no spells, the possibility of stunning it with disruption before the main spell connects can result in a hidden bonus to the warding margin for some spells.
  • Starting at tier 3, the dispel flares can strip up to two spells at once. This can be especially potent against creatures that wear buffs of different spheres of magic (elemental, mental, and spiritual), since dispelling from two different spheres within a short window of time of one another causes a flux explosion that deals damage on top of removing the spells.
  • Tier 5 is undisputedly the runestaff script with the highest power ceiling (not counting one-off auction items), featuring a flare that casts your single-target spell a second time. The potential of this would be difficult to overstate, but suffice it to say that an entire offensive spell is many times more powerful than a single crit. It's not even as simple as saying that, for example, Dark Catalyst has (at least) five rounds of damage and is therefore (at least) five times as powerful an ordinary flare--that would actually be underselling it by a long shot since Dark Catalyst's crits can be weighted with lore training and/or by the creature being a magic user.
  • While the full details are beyond the scope of this guide for now, these also have synergy with Dramatic Drapery and/or Mana-Infused Armor.
  • You personally consider it appealing to a classical magic archetype with a staff of sigils, runes, and glowing energy.

Why decide against a Sigil Staff?

  • If we treat tier 2 as the true off the shelf version (since tier 1 is purely fluff), then 11,000 bloodscrip for a 1-spell dispel flares is very solid and in line with other scripts around the same price point that are focused on sheer power, like Energy Weapons, if not arguably better than them due to the pre-attack resolution. Tier 3 and especially 4 are far more questionable on bang for buck, though, at totals of 61,000 and 161,000 bloodscrip respectively. If you frequent hunting grounds where few, if any, creatures wear spells, then dispel flares will be good instead of great--but you could have had great, at least at those price points. In short, I'd argue that tier 2 Energy Weapons (45,000 bloodscrip) and Greater Elemental Flares (40,000) are on the same power level as, if not even stronger than, tier 3 Sigil Staves while being cheaper--and tier 3 Energy Weapons (125,000), tier 3 Sprite Weapons (125,000), and Animalistic Spirit Weapons with fully unlocked Animalistic Fury, Wild Backlash, and a flare damage type swap (95,000 or 105,000) are on the same power level as, if not even stronger than, tier 4 Sigil Staves while being cheaper.
  • Tier 5 is immensely powerful, yet also immensely expensive at a total of 411,000 bloodscrip (or more, but that's the cheapest possible path starting from fresh off the shelf).
  • The "power ceiling" qualifier in the pros section might seem to be downplaying the strength of a double cast flare, but it really does depend. People's thoughts immediately leap to their strongest spell being cast twice because that's the most exciting possibility and the most powerful possibility. There's no denying that and it's what they're paying for. Still, I'd recommend thinking over the scenarios carefully. How often you cast DoT spells, how often you cast disablers, which disablers you cast and whether they stack with themselves, how many attack spells it takes on average to kill a creature, and what average endroll margin you have are all factors to consider. They matter and they do cut into actual realized value of your flares. For more on this, please see the Sidebar on the Real Merit of Flares section near the end of this page.
  • You prefer the unique benefits or flavor of other weapon scripts.


Sprite Weapon

(For details on this weapon script, see its wiki page.)

Which weapon types are allowed?

Held (not worn) unarmed combat weapons, melee weapons, ranged weapons, and runestaves.

Why decide on a Sprite Weapon?

  • Alterations of (the active side of) Sprite Weapons have more leeway than most weapons to feature things like unworldly glowing or radiant light since they're infused with the sprite's magic.
  • Sprite Weapons' eponymous sprites exist in the game world as entities that have their own ambient messaging and most everyday verbs can interact with--many even with unique messaging that's not documented anywhere. As sentient, sapient, and speaking beings who toss out a lot of random remarks, teasing, quips, actions, and the occasional Zelda reference (no, not just Navi), the unpredictable fluff as well as the predictable fluff of this script create easy ins to be character-defining in a similar fashion as a ranger companion or a wizard familiar.
  • The tier 3 Sprite Drain ability is unique among weapon scripts, offering 10 minutes of increased mana regeneration equal to a tenth of your maximum mana.
  • The tier 3 Sprite Ward ability is unique among weapon scripts, offering 10 minutes of shielding the user from three minor dispels or one major dispel.
  • While the full details are beyond the scope of this guide for now, these also have synergy with Sprite Armor.
  • You personally consider it appealing to adventure with a sprite friend who's mischievous and playful, yet still shoots magic laser beams that can destroy giants.

Why decide against a Sprite Weapon?

  • Rogues and warriors are very likely to have trouble completing the bonding process, which involves infusing hundreds to thousands of mana into the weapon. (Semis and pures, conversely, can blow through it in relatively no time. As a sidenote, the wiki page shows that the thresholds range from 1,000 mana at tier 0 to 100,000 mana at tier 3, but this is only nominally true. Each point of mana you infuse counts as four points for the purposes of bonding, so the real thresholds are 250 to 25,000.)
  • Sprite Weapons' flares consume 1-2 mana per flare. At tier 3, that's sort of immaterial since the Sprite Ward ability supplies far more mana than the flares consume, but before that point, squares or even low level pures who don't have large mana pools yet might find that it gets in the way at times. Sprite flares can be turned on and off if needed, but doing so has RT.
  • Tier 3 introduces Sprite Weapons' unique mechanical selling points, but tiers 0, 1, and 2 can only really hang their hat on flavor. Their crush flares are good in a vacuum and have sufficient killing power, but are moderately outclassed by Energy Weapons, which use the same scaling power tier and same cost structure for upgrades while offering (off the shelf) different elemental options and a supercharge mechanic.
  • You prefer the unique benefits or flavor of other weapon scripts.


Stalwart Resilience (Bubble Flares)

(For details on this weapon script, see its wiki page.)

Which weapon types are allowed?

All of them.

Why decide on Stalwart Resilience?

  • Most weapon scripts cost 250,000 bloodscrip to add to an existing weapon, but Stalwart Resilience costs 100,000.
  • Stalwart Resilience offering a defense-oriented flare is almost entirely unique among weapon scripts. Twin Weapons can increase DS, but that's a flare chance.
  • The one-minute-long, refreshable damage padding is easy to maintain nearly indefinitely after the first time it flares during a hunt. With no cooldown, Stalwart Resilience is essentially a constant upgrade to damage padding.
  • You personally consider it appealing to minimize the chance of death.

Why decide against Stalwart Resilience?

  • At a high level, players' attacks connect against creatures far more often than creatures' attacks connect against players. Even assuming 100% uptime on the padding from Stalward Resilience, the facts of game design pose an intrinsic challenge to the merit of a defense-oriented script.
  • Maximizing the benefits of damage padding requires that a character regularly takes hits, but not hits that have the capacity to kill through crits instead of attrition. In short, Stalwart Resilience is broadly useful to Kroderine Soul squares or squares in full plate, but that's about it. Scenarios of maneuvers or spells that do many rounds of damage in one attack do exist, but these are very narrow applications in niche scenarios.
  • Unlike more modern weapon scripts, Stalwart Resilience doesn't have an on-ramp to start small and give it a try before sinking in more currency if you find that you like it. 100,000 bloodscrip simply is the minimum buy-in cost since it can only be added to existing weapons.
  • You prefer the unique benefits or flavor of other weapon scripts.


Twin Weapons

(For details on this weapon script, see its wiki page.)

Which weapon types are allowed?

Hand crossbows and one-handed melee weapons that aren't katanas or polearms.

Why decide on Twin Weapons?

  • As a script that requires two weapons, the pricing is adjusted somewhat correspondingly. This is difficult to quantify with exact precision, but suffice it to say that the off-the-shelf, tier 1, and tier 2 pricing would probably be justified at 25-40% more than it is. (Tier 3 is literally a different story since it didn't exist for the first two years that Twin Weapons existed. Flare strength caps at tier 2, so tier 3 was created more as a means for people who really liked their weapons to go even further beyond.) The High End Scrip Shop certificate to add the Twin Weapon script to existing weapons is also nominally the same 250,000 bloodscrip price as adding other scripts, but it could be argued that it's half the price in practice since it adds the script to both weapons at once.
  • Aside from Energy Weapons, Twin Weapons are the only weapon script that offer a selection of damage types off the shelf: fire, ice, impact (earth), or lightning damage. The lightning crit table is noticeably more lethal in and of itself than off the shelf damage types offered by other scripts.
  • Even at a maximum chance of 7%, double strikes are a very powerful perk compared to virtually all other scripts and are unique among them. (That is, unique unless we delve into the realm of coraesine relics, which cost 1,000,000 bloodscrip--more than four times the cost of two tier 3 Twin Weapons (235,000) and exactly eight times the cost of a tier 3 main hand Twin Weapon with a tier 0 offhand Twin Weapon (125,000), which still has the maximum double strike chance.)
  • Twin Weapons are among the relatively few weapon scripts that have scaling difficulty depending on the tier, starting at 50, moving to 100 at tier 2, and then 150 at tier 3. Even the 150 mark for being fully unlocked is below most scripts, which are 200 difficulty.
  • Twin Weapons offer different perks depending on which hand the weapon is in, how unlocked the individual weapon is, and how unlocked both weapons it is. Behind only Animalistic Spirit Weapons in flexibility, here you can pay for the perks you want and avoid the perks you don't.
  • You personally consider it appealing to have weapons that are designed to be paired as inseparable twins by the creator or to have extra strikes at times.

Why decide against Twin Weapons?

  • The alternative of using one script in the main hand and a different script in the offhand, while generally being more expensive, can provide more versatility and/or power. That does, of course, depend on exactly which scripts. Still, the overarching point is that Twin Weapons are very efficient at what they do, but their efficiency comes with the narrow scope of sheer force without utility nor much in the way of flavor.
  • You prefer the unique benefits or flavor of other weapon scripts.


Sidebar on the Real Merit of Flares

I was originally going to put this in the Sigil Staff section, but, truthfully, it's broadly applicable to the evaluation of any script.

Back in 2018, before Sigil Staves were released, they were originally planned to not allow multicasting while Rapid Fire was active. That decision would ultimately be changed before release. However, before the decision did change, Ragz questioned the value proposition to a wizard by drawing a comparison that he could either, with Rapid Fire active, use three seconds of casting RT to have three chances at greater elemental flares firing off or, without Rapid Fire active, he could use three seconds of casting RT to have a single chance at a multicast.

In case you didn't click that link, GM Estild went on to basically reply that an extra cast of Minor Steam or Earthen Fury is far more powerful than greater elemental flares going off. What he said right before that, though, is what I'd really like to focus on:

[Y]ou have to ask yourself how often does that flare actually make a difference in combat (i.e. kills the target, thus saves you time on a follow-up attack)?

In the specific context of greater elemental flares, the "i.e. kills the target" part makes sense, but what's more universally applicable is the "saves you time" part.

Many of the "Why decide against..." sections on this page use this kind of principle as a foundation. Animalistic Spirit grapple flares are great in the right context, but they're poor in the wrong one. How often is it that the first thing you do in combat is knock creatures prone with an attack whose only purpose is doing just that? Twin Weapons have an energy detonation mechanic I didn't bother mentioning (as pro nor con) until now because seeing it in action requires that you hit a creature eight times. How often does anything survive eight attacks--and then, even when it does happen, how often does the detonation either kill it or do enough damage that it saves at least one follow-up attack?

I've talked up the lethality of lightning flares, but even that's still said on a relative basis. How often does a lightning flare kill or do enough damage to save at least one follow-up attack? Compared to crush flares, slash flares, impact flares, disruption flares, or other things, it's a good percentage of the time more. Compared to grapple flares, it's a gigantic percentage of the time more. But make no mistake: the overall percentage of your attacks as a whole where a lightning flare does anything is really low. If I estimate that a lightning flare contributes sufficiently to combat 20% of the time it goes off, that's hidden behind only a 20% (melee) or 12.5% (runestaff) chance that it went off in the first place. That means it only did anything 4% or 2.5% of the time.

Sigil Staff multicasting itself gets the same scrutiny. It's easy for this ability to seem amazing if you only think about the best case scenario, but when an ability is 411,000 bloodscrip away from being in your hands, it's really reasonable to ask about every other scenario and how common it is. A tier 5 Sigil Staff recasting Condemn isn't actually an additional full spell worth of value; it's an additional 0.2 spells worth of value because the second cast cut off all the subsequent DoT rounds of the first cast. A tier 5 Sigil staff recasting a disabler like Unbalance or Web only matters if the first cast misses, which is probably unlikely if you're casting these spells at all. Obviously this isn't to say there's no value in the multicast ability, which has the strongest potential of any widely available script ability; it's just a reminder to temper expectations.

Even your ideal weapon script, whatever that might be, has to face nonideal situations.


Flipping the Script: A Real Mechanical Musing

Why decide against having any script at all?

As touched on in the Realm Flares section, evaluating scripts strictly from a bang-for-your-buck perspective makes everything look terrible compared to buying someone's lightning flaring falchion for 50,000 silver and calling it a day. A fully unlocked midrange script isn't ~1840 times as powerful as an unscripted weapon, nor even close. An off the shelf midrange script isn't ~160 times as powerful as an unscripted weapon, nor even close. Even an elemental flaring Fighting Knife, with its incredible-by-script-standards offering of two flares for 3,500 bloodscrip, isn't ~56 times as powerful as an unscripted weapon, nor even close.

That's all being pretty charitable to scripted weapons by assuming that you'd even have to pay 50,000 silver for a flaring falchion in the first place. People these days will often donate a weapon of that caliber for free.

All gear upgrades--not just scripts, but also enchantments, ensorcelling, sanctification, weighting, padding, sighting, luck talismans, ranger resistance, mystic tattoos, enhancives, and more--have diminishing returns at best. When people in the community contend that players can cap in vanilla +20 gear, this is why. All of these upgrades are optional, none of them are necessary, and people shouldn't kid themselves into believing that the amount they sink into improving their items will ever pay for itself by increasing their hunting efficiency to, therefore, increase their loot gains.

Silvers and even pay event currencies don't have to go to marginal mechanical improvements. They could instead go to the unique experiences offered by the hundreds of fluff items in the world, which have been getting ever more robust, or even to entire systems such as buying large ships for Open Sea Adventures.

Why decide on having any script at all?

Many players either play hard, play for a long time, or both, and in that process they eventually acquire a lot of silver. Simply amassing silvers and pay event currency in the game world does exactly nothing for a player. It's not until those currencies exchange hands to buy anything, even if marginal, that their value becomes realized. They must be spent on something, so the open questions are on what and why.

The what is simple. Hunting is the overwhelming majority of the mechanical side of the game and players go on the offensive against creatures more than the other way around, so weapon scripts are an easy means to spice up a recurring activity that takes up a large swathe of their time. It's actually very pragmatic.

Still, pragmatism isn't everything, which brings us to the why. Evaluating everything through the lens of return on investment is a stringent way to live that would preclude spending almost anything in any context. Despite the recent advances in AI, people aren't yet logic robots who pay for only the most cost-efficient food, the most cost-efficient housing, and the most cost-efficient entertainment; people want whatever strikes their fancy, suits their mood, or adds a touch of variety to everyday living. Reasoning like "that's fun" or "it makes me smile," although subjective, is all the justification one could ever need for splurging on a new purchase.

Ultimately, weapon scripts largely aren't about feeling more powerful. Power has its appeal, especially to the post-cap crowd that can only make increasingly slow and marginal improvements to their character through experience gains alone, but even then, it's only a small part of why people buy weapon scripts.

Weapon scripts are about excitement, flavor, style, character definition, flair, panache, progress, achievement, completionism, talking points, bragging rights, variety, nostalgia, and many other intangibles. And the players who know that--truly know that, feeling it deep down--would never be dissuaded by math or logic.

So go. You have all the information you need. Buy your ideal weapon script and make your mark on the world.