Mercenaries are professional soldiers; they have the widest variety of weapon skills and can train in any armor skill that might be significant to them. Typically, a Mercenary will have one or more melee combat weapon skills plus one or more other weapon skills that allow them to attack from behind the line of battle.

The stat that is most important to a Mercenary, be it Strength, Agility or Constitution, really depends on what armor you want to wear and what weapons you plan on using. Strength is important in every case, but if you plan on wearing plate armor, then a Constitution of at least 17 is needed and an 18 is desired if possible. High Agility is also helpful, defensively and in using many weapons, as is a high Willpower which affects combat abilities and your resistance to getting dazed, etc., in combat.

Mercenaries do not dedicate to any particular weapon skill. However, their weapon skills cover a larger variety of weapons as noted below. They can specialize in armor skills, weapon skills and Kite Shield. They start with a number of specialization points and often gain additional points at each level (if you ask your trainer about 'specialize' with no parameters, he will tell you what your current specializations are, their level, and how many specialization points you have). These points can then be used to specialize in any armor skill (4 points), any weapon skill (3 points), or Kite Shield (1 point). The one constraint on these specializations is that the highest-level specialization can be no more than 2 levels higher than the lowest specialization.

The advantage of these specializations is that they decrease the cost, in training points, by one skill level for every level of specialization that you have in that skill. Thus the cost for L20 Maul, when having 2 levels of specialization in Maul, would only be the cost of training in Maul at L18.

When specializing in a new armor or weapon skill, all specializations in previous skills of that type now apply to the new specialization. Thus, if you have 4 levels in Chainmail and specialize in Plate Armor, you will then have no levels in Chainmail but will instead have 5 levels (the original 4, plus the new one) in Plate Armor. Thus, when going to a higher armor skill, it is best to get the specialization points necessary to specialize in that armor skill (and make sure your weapon and shield specialization are no more than one level less than your armor specialization), then retrain to the higher armor skill and specialize in that higher armor skill at the same time.

When specializing in a weapon skill, Mercenaries actually get two specializations for the price of one. The first must be in Sword, Axe or Maul, while the second must be in Spear or Crossbow. The Mercenary trainers give this to facilitate Mercenaries applying themselves both in close melee combat and ranged combat. The cost of the first is the 3 specialization points mentioned previously, while the second is gained at no cost - it is automatically brought up to the level of the first. When specializing in Kite Shield, the specialization applies to the Dodge skill as well.

When first starting, Mercenaries should concentrate on their Armor, Weapon and Shield skills, their Dodge skill, and on increasing their Stamina. As you increase your Stamina you should be able to add armor, which usually means armor 'add-ons' (helm, wristbands, epaulettes, kilt, etc.) when first starting.

Long term you will probably want to retrain to a heavier armor skill, add more weapon skills, and use Combat Intensity to the extent that you so desire.

Mercenary Armor Skills: Breastplate, Chainmail, Plate Armor

Mercenary Weapon Skills: Axe, Bow, Crossbow, Dagger, Flail, Greatsword, Halberd, Hammer, Longsword, Mace, Maul, Pike, Rapier, Scimitar, Sword, Staff, Spear, Shortbow, Longbow, Sling

Mercenary Combat Skills: Round Shield, Kite Shield, Dodge, Combat Intensity, Precision Attacking

Optimized Mercenary List

  • Dwarven Mercenary with Greataxe
  • Dwarven Mercenary (f) with Battle Axe
  • Dwarven Mercenary with Hammer
  • Nobleman Mercenary with Morning Star
  • Villager Mercenary with Lucern Hammer
  • Barbarian Mercenary with Spear
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