Distributing your Attribute Points
Upon character creation you receive 30 points to distribute among your attributes. Which attributes you decide to invest points in largely determines how effective your character will be when in combat, when casting force powers, when using skills and so on and so forth.
Attributes are hardly ever used directly, rather it is the modifier which is used constantly, and affects practically every facet of the game. Your attribute modifier is displayed in the right hand column next to your attribute on the Character Info Screen. Your modifier is determined by the following equation: Modifier = (Attribute - 10) / 2 rounded down. This means that the modifier increases only when your attribute is at an even number. For the most part a value of 11 Strength is the same as a value of 10, therefore it is desirable to have all of your attributes at even numbers.
When investing points in any attribute you should note that the more points you invest in a single attribute, the higher the requirements will be to continue investing in that same attribute. For example to raise strength from 10 to 11 costs 1 point, but to raise it from 17 to 18 costs 3 points. There is a cap of 18 points on any attribute at character creation.
Also there is a cap to how high you can increase your attributes via gear, stims, and force powers at +20 points as well. This also includes attribute gains from Light side mastery as well, so if you overload yourself with + to Str items and use stims on a Light side Jedi Guardian, part of their Strength bonus can actually go to waste.
Depending on your alignment you will have different bonuses to your attributes from equipment which you should keep in mind. Remember that the Master Valor force power adds +5 to all attributes, so it can be a good thing to purposefully leave an attribute at an odd number, especially if you are light sided.
As you level up every four levels you will receive another point to invest into your attributes for a total of 5 points when you reach level 20, which is the level cap. Upon leveling up there is no difference between increasing a high or low attribute, nor is there a cap of 18 for your attributes, meaning that you can potentially reach as high as 23 before bonuses.
Due to the way attribute distribution is designed it is inadvisable to invest too heavily in one attribute upon character creation. Increasing any single above 16 is very costly, and in most cases it is inadvisable. There are rare occasions where I would invest 17 points into an attribute, but never 18, for the price just gets far too steep. It is better to leave an attribute at 15 or 16, and invest heavily in that attribute upon leveling up and increasing it that way.
|Modifies: Critical Strike's DC, Damage and Attack bonus for melee and lightsaber attacks.|
Important to: Guardians
When you are distributing your points, your character type will largely determine where you invest the most points. If he or she is going to attack mainly with a lightsaber, then one should heavily invest in either strength or dexterity. Which you prefer is a matter of playing style.
Dexterity will also increase AC and reflex saves and thus is a favorite for more cautious and defense oriented characters. While some consider investing in strength as foolish, I would disagree, as it is the only means of increasing damage output, and it is guaranteed damage.
For Light Sided Jedi Guardians your strength can be increased all the way to 40, with an initial investment of 16 points. This means each hit does a whopping +15 damage, which is even more damage than a normal light saber does on average. This of course adds up with combat feats, and can add more than 60 damage a round! Remember that strength modifies every strike, and as you progress you will gain the ability to add more strikes per round, making each extra point in damage multiply.
Therefore not only is it a viable option, it is one of the more powerful builds available. What it comes down to is play style. Characters with high strength may be slightly weaker at defense, but if everything you attack dies in a few rounds anyways it doesn't matter. With a Dexterity based combatant, you can basically survive almost anything thrown at you, but killing the opponent may take a few more rounds.
I have played both ways and find both enjoyable. The feeling of invulnerability that comes from having high dexterity is very nice indeed. In the same token it is great fun to take down a boss in a single flurry. Only Consulars and Blaster wielders should ever consider taking Strength below 10, as you will have a damage penalty which is not a good thing for other characters.
|Modifies: Reflex Save, AC, ranged attack bonus, Stealth skill, lightsaber attack bonus if higher than Strength (no change in damage).|
Important to: All
I recommend Dexterity for ALL builds regardless of whether they are combatants or force power users. The Consular's naturally low VP total means that they need every ounce of protection they can afford. Guardians and Sentinels will be on the front line meaning that unless they have a High AC, they will be taking a lot of hits.
Dexterity is the easiest attribute to increase, therefore even with 14 points to start, and not investing as you level, you can still end up with 32 points if you buff your character before a fight and with decent gear. Most of my characters start with 14 or more in Dexterity.
|Modifies: Fortitude Save, Modifier x Level to Vitality Points.|
Important to: None
Constitution is really a rather useless attribute in my opinion. By level 20 you will have plenty of VP, and I rarely die despite playing on the highest difficulty setting. I have never had a need to increase my Constitution above 11 for any of my characters. Light sided characters will have access to Master Valor, so I usually set my Constitution at 11 for my light side characters, and 10 for darksiders.
While increases to Fortitude saves is a good thing, it is usually the highest of your saves anyways. The only class that doesn't have a high fortitude save is the scoundrel, and once you get your Jedi class that won't matter as much. Also the only offensive force power that uses fortitude saves are the Choke line of force powers, which enemies rarely use. Poison resistance is based on fortitude saves, but poison immunity is commonly granted by force powers so that becomes unnecessary, therefore the normal bonuses granted by Master Valor and Force Aura are usually enough.
|Modifies: Sniper Shot's DC, Computer Use, Demolitions, and Repair skills, Modifier halved and rounded down added to skill points upon leveling up.|
Important to: Those that use Sniper Shot, or want more skill points per level.
Unlike most other games based on the D20 ruleset you only get extra skill points for every 4 points of intelligence, except at character creation where you get one point for every 2 points in intelligence (confusing I know). Unfortunately this make intelligence even more useless. As above I set it to 11 for my light side characters and 10 for my dark. See the Repair skill for more details as to why.
|Modifies: Will Save, Force Power DC, Awareness, Security, Treat Injury, Modifier x Jedi Level to FP.|
Important to: All, Consulars more than others
For those that cast Force Powers often, Wisdom will be your favorite attribute. Wisdom is vital
for consulars, since it not only increases your force point total, but also the DC of your force powers. Wisdom is relatively easy for light sided Jedi to increase, but devilishly difficult for darksiders.
Light sided Jedi can easily hit over 35 points in wisdom without trying, whereas for darksiders even with a starting investment of 18 points in wisdom, along with casting Master Valor (which will cost them an arm and a leg to cast) they can only hope to reach 28 points.
Another reason to increase this stat is that most dark side force powers have a Will Save. Will saves are dependant upon the Wisdom and this will help you resist their force powers. More force points, higher resist capacity, and higher Force Power DC means that any Points I do not put into Strength or Dexterity all go here. As a Consular my first priority is getting this up to at least 15 or 16.
|Modifies: Persuade, Force Power DC, Modifier x Jedi Level to FP.|
Important to: Consulars. others can also benefit.
The Charisma attribute is interesting, for while it does not modify hardly anything it still takes precedence over Intelligence and Constitution. This is the secondary stat for Consulars and they will want to invest 14 or so points in this. While it isn't as high a priority as Wisdom, it is a secondary method of increasing both total FP and Force Power DC. Dexterity based combatants may have a few points left over which they could always put in Charisma. If you don't have enough points to increase your Wisdom further I usually dump the remaining points here.
When all is said and done, you will be the one to decide what you like and dislike, so make sure you invest as you see fit. The information presented here is merely to help you understand the benefits that each attribute has. There is always an opportunity cost when you invest points, so make sure you know what you want before building your character. For sample characters of builds that I have used personally click here:
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