One of the most common questions I see on chat channels and in the forums both here and at SOE is this: “Is (weapon A) good with (power B)?” This guide is designed to answer that question.
Each of the ten Fighting Styles offer bonuses to your character’s Stats as well as bonuses to things like Critical Hit Chance or Critical Healing Effect. Certain stats are important to specific roles. So certain Fighting Styles offer bonuses to the stats which Healers, Tanks, Controllers or DPS characters are going to want. This guide lists all those bonuses and tries to provide a few different ways of seeing that information and using it to make wise Fighting Style choices.
It is important to remember that, in theory, you can eventually acquire a great many Fighting Styles. Skill points are automatically acquired every other level, but in addition you receive 1 skill point for every 100 Feat Points you earn. A wise player, or one who wants to make his character as strong as possible, earns Feats to collect Skill Points to buy all the bonuses which strengthen his role. For a complete listing of the Feats you have and don’t have, pull up the “Trophy” menu and “Feats” is the first item on the list.
Although developers have stated that the ability to switch weapons “on the fly” is a design goal for DCUO, it is not yet possible. If you have multiple Fighting Styles, you can switch between them by pulling up your inventory (I) and equipping a weapon for the new Style. Most people are not going to want to hassle with this, but it is perfectly viable to have, say, a Melee-focused style which you use solo, and a Ranged-focused style for groups. You can switch between these when you join the group and switch back when the raid is over.
Stat bonuses from your Fighting Styles are passive. They add all the time, even if you do not have that weapon equipped. If you have a bonus to Might from both Martial Arts and One-Handed, you gain the benefits of both, regardless of the weapon you have equipped.
The Short Answer
If you are a Controller (Gadgets/Mental): Select Brawling, Dual Wield, Hand Blaster or Staff for DOMINANCE. Select Rifle, Dual Pistol, One-handed or Two-Handed for VITALIZATION.
If you are a Healer (Nature/Sorcery): Select Dual Wield, Dual Pistol, or Martial Arts for RESTORATION. Select One-Handed, Staff, or Hand Blaster for CRITICAL HEALING EFFECT.
If you are a Tank (Fire/Ice): Select Brawling, Rifle, Hand Blaster, or Two-Handed for HEALTH. Select Bow or Staff for DEFENSE. If you are a Fire tank, and therefore rely on self-heals, see “Healer” above.
If you remain in DPS (Any Power): Select Martial Arts or One-Handed for MIGHT. Select Dual Pistol, Dual-Wield, Brawling, or Martial Arts for CRITICAL ATTACK DAMAGE.
If you are mostly concerned with PvP: Select Bow or Staff for TOUGHNESS. Select Bow or Martial Arts for STEALTH RATING.
When deciding between two Styles which both offer bonuses, think about your play style. Do you want to be Melee-focused (Brawling, Dual-Wield, One-Handed, Staff, Two-Handed), Ranged-focused (Bow, Dual Pistol, Rifle) or have a mix of both (Hand Blaster, Martial Arts). Eventually you will get both, but your first choice is important because you will rely on it while leveling to 30. You cannot even begin to purchase additional fighting styles until level 10.
What Stat is Important?
This is a brief reminder on the role of each stat. I have not gotten into math here; to see this for yourself, open up your Inventory panel (I on the PC, or the symbol that looks like a utility belt) and select the tab that says “Stats”, second along the top. Select each stat for a full explanation of how that stat affects you in play.
Health is your green bar. While every character wants to avoid death, Health is especially important to Tanks.
Power is your blue bar. No Fighting Style provides any bonus to Power.
Might adds to the damage of your powers; that is, the 6 abilities you have in your loadout. It’s most important for DPS characters.
Precision adds to the damage of your Fighting Style attacks. No Fighting Style provides any bonus to Precision.
Defense reduces the damage you take from NPCs. It is mostly important to Tanks.
Toughness reduces the damage you take from other players. It is important to those who focus on PvP. The bonuses to Defense & Toughness provided by Fighting Styles always come together; any Style which buffs Defense also buffs Toughness by the same amount.
Dominance determines the duration of your crowd control powers, such as stuns and confuses, on targets. Various endgame Raids and Alerts have recommended Dominance levels. This is required for Controllers.
Restoration affects your Healing powers. The higher your Restoration, the more you heal. Obviously it is important for Healers, but it is also key to Fire Tanks who use self-heals.
Vitalization affects your ability to restore the blue bar (Power). In DCUO, the ability to “heal power” is a Controller function, so Vitalization is mostly important to Controllers.
Critical Attack Chance and Damage is not listed on your stats and there is no way to really monitor it in battle. Presumably it increases the percentage chance of a critical hit, and increases your critical attack damage by a flat percentage as well. It is mostly important to DPS characters.
Critical Healing Chance and Effect is also not listed on your stats and there is no way to track it. Presumably it affects powers which you activate, whether they target you or someone else. Critical Healing Chance and Effect is important to Healers and to Fire-Tanks.
Stealth Rating affects your ability to go unseen when using Stealth/Hide, Disguise, or Canine Form (available in the Gadgets, Mental,or Shapeshifting trees, respectively). This stat is not tracked anywhere you can monitor, but is only important if you have a power which lets you enter Stealth.
Fighting Style Bonuses
I have listed here all the bonuses provided by each Fighting Style. Each Style has some small bonuses linked to its essential combos, but the real bonuses are available only after “drilling down” for three combos or so.
Bow: +30 Defense & Toughness; +60 Might; +3 Restoration; +4 Vitalization; +1% Critical Attack Chance; +2% Critical Attack Damage; +12% Critical Healing Effect; +3 Stealth Rating
Brawling: +18 Dominance; +3 Restoration; +70 Health; +1% Critical Attack Chance; +12% Critical Attack Damage; +3% Critical Healing Chance; +2% Critical Healing Effect
Dual Pistol: +70 Might; +45 Restoration; +15 Vitalization; +14% Critical Attack Damage; +1% Critical Healing Chance
Dual Wield: +18 Dominance; +60 Might; +48 Restoration; +4 Vitalization; +1% Critical Attack Chance; +14% Critical Attack Damage
Hand Blaster: +18 Dominance; +70 Health; +60 Might; +3 Restoration; +2% Critical Attack Damage; +1% Critical Healing Chance; +12% Critical Healing Effect
Martial Arts: +25 Health; +70 Might; +45 Restoration; +14% Critical Attack Damage; +2% Critical Healing Effect; +3 Stealth Rating
One-Handed: +45 Health; +70 Might; +3 Restoration; +15 Vitalization; +2% Critical Attack Chance; +14% Critical Healing Effect
Rifle: +70 Health; +10 Might; +19 Vitalization; +3% Critical Attack Chance; +3% Critical Healing Chance; +2% Critical Healing Effect
Staff: +30 Defense & Toughness; +18 Dominance; +25 Health; +10 Might; +4 Vitalization; +3% Critical Attack Chance; +14% Critical Healing Effect
Two-Handed: +70 Health; +15 Vitalization; +3% Critical Attack Chance; +2% Critical Attack Damage; +4% Critical Healing Chance; +2% Critical Healing Effect
Getting the Maximum Bonus
If you are looking to get every single bonus available for a particular stat, this is the place for you. I have listed each stat and all the possible bonuses from Fighting Style.
Health (up to 375): Brawling, Hand Blaster, Rifle, Two-Handed (70 each); One-Handed (45); Martial Arts, Staff (25 each)
Defense & Toughness (up to 60 each): Bow, Staff (30 each)
Dominance (up to 72): Brawling, Dual Wield, Hand Blaster and Staff (18 each)
Might (up to 410): Dual Pistol, Martial Arts, One-Handed (70 each); Bow, Dual Wield, Hand Blaster (60 each); Rifle, Staff (10 each)
Restoration (up to 150): Dual Wield (48; Dual Pistol, Martial Arts (45 each); Bow, Brawling, Hand Blaster, One-Handed (3 each)
Vitalization (up to 76): Rifle (19); Dual Pistol, One-Handed, Two-Handed (15 each); Bow, Dual Wield, Staff (4 each)
Critical Attack Chance (up to +14%): Rifle, Staff, Two-Handed (3% each); One-Handed (2%); Bow, Brawling, Dual Wield (1% each)
Critical Attack Damage (up to +60%): Dual Pistol, Dual Wield, Martial Arts (14% each); Brawling (12%); Bow, Hand Blaster, Two-Handed (2%)
Critical Heal Chance (up to +12%): Two-Handed (4%); Brawling, Rifle (+3% each); Dual Pistol, Hand Blaster (1% each)
Critical Healing Effect (up to +51%): One-Handed, Staff (14% each); Hand Blaster (12%); Bow (3%); Brawling, Martial Arts, Rifle, Two-Handed (2% each)
Stealth Rating (up to +6): Bow, Martial Arts (3 each)
I hope you find this guide useful. I’m sure there are errors in it, so comments, questions, and corrections are welcome.
In the meantime, you can find me at doctorcomics.blogspot.com, where I blog about comics in between classes.
We would like to say a big THANK YOU to Doctor Comics for writing this guide and allowing us to post it on our site. We think this will be extremely helpful for all of the DCUO community members and we hope you will enjoy it. You can also follow Doctor Comics’ blog here, he has some great articles on the topic of superheroes and he actually studies the subject in college.