Gameplay: Shadowlands Perks System
  If you're getting Shadowlands we're sure you know there is something in there called Perks. Perks are part of the profession specializations of Shadowlands and will greatly contribute to your character being able to reach for the sky skillswise. We take a look at perks and what they are.      
  What are perks?
Perks are profession-based skill-additions that allows you to train (specialize) in various areas that your profession can reach into. Perks can also unlock special powers such as special attacks or abilities. Lets open the perk-window by pressing SHIFT-P and looking at the selection we have.

There are Profession perks, Group perks and General perks. The Profession perks are the perks that are available to your profession solely. The Group Perks are perks that you share with a handful of other professions and the General perks are perks everyone can pick.

The more specialized the perk is the more powerful it becomes. Profession perks are by far the most powerful ones.

Gaining perks
You gain perks by levelling. Every 10 levels until you hit level 200 you will gain a perkpoint which you can spend in one of the great many perk-lines available to you. After level 200, you will gain one perk every single level, for a grand total of 40 perks. Some perks will have a level-requirement for you to reach in order to be able to train the perk in question. While you might think that the amount of perks are abundant it greatly depends on how you intend to specialize.

Planning your perks
Before you start spending valuable perkpoints into your various perks, it might be a good idea to plan what perks will be good to you right now, as well as in the near / distant future. There is nothing wrong with looking ahead. Also keep in mind that some perks will be most useful later on - so keep a look out for perks that seem good but wont give you anything real to work with until the next perklevel. A perfect example of this is the Adventurer only perk called Ferocity of Nature which requires you to be level 150 to train the first perkpoint, however, its not until level 200 and 205 that it really becomes useful with the later perklevel additions, so you might do well to save those perk points up for something else in the meantime, perhaps you want to be able to level a bit faster so you spend some perkpoints into the "non-important" Training Seminar perkline or perhaps you would like to save some IP by uploading the maps, so you train Explorer. Its all about planning.

Training perks
Spending perkpoints into your chosen perks will allow you to train higher perklevels. The bonuses you gain from all the perklevels within a perkline and from between the various perklines stack. This means that if Perkline A - Level 1 gives you 10 HP, Level 2 gives you 20 HP, and Perkline B - Level 1 gives you 30 HP, you will get a total of 60 HP for training all three perks.. Training additional perklevels in a perkline has another beneficial effect, in that special attacks acquired from the perkline will increase in strength as you train higher perklevels.

If you want to simulate how your perks will look like you can always head over to Anarchy Mainframe and check out Jayde's perk-simulating tool there or to Auno to check out his version of the perk simulator.

Untraining perks
Its possible to untrain perks, however it takes time. You can use this to your advantage if time is something you have plenty of however. It takes 72 hours (not played hours, you don't have to be ingame with your character, this is a realtime(tm) timer, not an ingame one) to untrain a single perk point. If you wish, its possible for you to spend this time training up general perks in order to squeeze into armor or implants, however you might want to make sure you want to spend 3 days per perkpoint, as many of the perklines go all the way up to 10, the professionperks in particular.

Perks Skill-Bonus system
The bonuses that the perks gives out has an upper limit as you might have noticed. Skills-bonuses goes up to +200 from a singular perkline, ability bonuses reaches a total of +100. Some perkline have limits as to high up you can train depending on your selected profession. For instance, Martial Artists cannot train the 1HE perkline as high up as say an Adventurer is able to. Yet some other perklines are split up - most notably here are the rifle perks and the 2HE perks which exists in more than one perkline, however -generally speaking, the perks system rewards you more the more you specialize. If your skills are too spread out, the perks get diluted and you might end up with 12 special attacks sure, but each one will do 10 points of damage instead of 3 special attacks that does 2000. Specialization is the key to reaching your full potential.

Perk Bonuses and Perk Special Attacks
Most of the special attacks given to you by perks will be dealt with passively, IE, you wont have to execute any special command in order to get the bonuses. However, the special attacks are different in a number of ways. Special attacks will locate themselves inside your Actions-menu as icons. These work like any other icons, simply put them in your hotbar and off you go.

Some special attacks are different though and require other actions to have been applied to the mob instead. They can require you to stand behind the mob in question, or it might be the case that someone else has to run a special attack on the mob in order for yours to land properly. Most of these special attacks will your soloing efforts less viable in comparison to a team-effort, so if you intend to solo, perhaps you should look at what the perk special attacks require.

Last word
While it is possible to untrain perks, it takes time, like mentioned before. If you feel you have specialized in the wrong way, you will need to wait until you can untrain the perk you don't want. Generally speaking a lot of perks are designed that way that they will help your general IP-spendings if you are only willing to submit to some time untraining them later. Examples of such perks are First Aid for implants, Explorer for uploading those pesky Rubi-Ka maps etc. Most of the General Perks can be put to good use as long as you are willing to invest the time and effort of training / untraining them.

Last updated 09. September 2003

Krystanova, Atlantean