Edit 10/13/2021: Dark Deity’s 1.5 “Recurve” update has made changes to some weapon stats. The values below have not been updated to reflect those changes.
Dark Deity is an indie game developed by Sword & Axe LLC and published by Freedom Games. Fans of Fire Emblem will find the mechanics quite familiar, but one system which works differently than similar tactical RPGs is the weapon system. The purpose of this guide is to help you fully understand the weapon system and to make the most of it during your run. We’ll start with a broad overview of advantage and how weapons and armor relate to one another and then discuss my recommended approach for investing your weapon tokens. Both sections will include tables: the advantage section will have tables showing the breakdown of advantage bonuses while the tokens section will have weapon stats, so if those are what you’re looking for you can use the table of contents to navigate quickly to those sections.
In Dark Deity there are many different weapons: swords, spears, axes, knives, bows, hammers, and a number of different magic types. However, depending on your characters class your weapon will also have a damage type. The damage type of your weapon will fall into one of these categories:
Each character and enemy will also have one of four armor types. Again, this is based on your class. The armor types are as follows:
Rune Cloak (I will shorten this to “cloak” for the rest of the article)
Each damage type in the game interacts with the four armor types in different ways. There are no neutral relationships, just degrees of advantage or disadvantage. For example, slashing weapons are very ineffective against chainmail but very effective against leather while dealing slightly less damage to plate and slightly more damage to cloaks. The multipliers vary from weapon to weapon, with some damage types giving larger degrees of advantage in their most advantageous matchups. This value is further modified by the mastery stat of the attacker, and sometimes by class skills for player characters. The thief class, for example, has a skill that uses speed to further increase the degree of armor penetration.
So how do we take “advantage” of the information above? Dark Deity already gives you a bit of a hint when you hover over a character or enemy – you can see which targets they’ll have advantage against thanks to a little upward green arrow or a downward red arrow. Checking this for both the character you plan to use and the enemy you want to target will give you the best idea of how to approach the situation. The ideal relationship is high advantage on your side and high disadvantage on theirs – like a leather-clad arcane spellcaster blasting a plate-armored hammer wielder. In this situation you’re dealing somewhere between 30-40% more damage and taking 10% less. But there’s an important lesson to keep in mind, too – don’t disregard your core stats when factoring advantage into an encounter.
Here are a few examples of situations where advantage isn’t the only thing you need to think about. Say I’m a mage – arcane and cloak – and I’m moving into make an attack against an enemy ranger – projectile and chainmail. Technically speaking, I’ve got low advantage and the enemy has high disadvantage so this should theoretically be a good matchup for me. But let’s go back to the stats for a minute. Rangers generally have high aptitude in strength and mages lack in defense. So while yes, I will be taking 10% less damage than I would have before, that’s still likely to be a large chunk of damage. If I don’t kill right off, or if the enemy ranger gets a chance to move in on my mage first, I could be dealing with a significant amount of damage and a critical hit could be deadly. Another examples of stats factoring in would be sending in a drifter to take on a sentinel. Drifters have low advantage against sentinels due to their cleaving weapons versus the plate armor. But drifters tend to have low strength scores, relying primarily on their crit rate, while sentinels have massive defense. So say I have 20 power and the enemy has 30 defense. Even with my 20% bonus, I’m only doing roughly 24 damage (mastery gets involved too, I’m simplifying a bit for the example). So even though I have an advantage against the enemy in this scenario, I still can’t hurt them. Advantage is a useful tool for dealing with enemies but it never overrides your actual stats. Use it to inform your decisions but always remember to check the more practical relationships between your power and the enemy’s appropriate defense stat before making a decision about how to approach the situation.
As we discussed in the advantage section above, there are a variety of damage types in the game. Weapons are distinct to some degree from damage types, as some weapons (knives are a great example) may operate in a variety of damage types depending on the class you choose for your character. Weapons can be divided into types (what kind of weapon is it) or categories (what role does the weapon have for your character). These are the weapon types:
Based on the type of weapon your character wields, they’ll actually have four weapons – one for each of the weapon categories. For most characters, this will be four of the same weapon type, but there are at least two classes in the game which are exceptions to this rule and have different weapons types for certain categories. These are the weapon categories:
Power weapons focus on damage output. They have a high damage stat which gets added to either strength (for physical attacks) or magic (for magical attacks) to determine your final hitting power. Finesse weapons have a high critical hit rate, which gets added to your character’s luck to determine the likelihood that you will get a critical hit and deal double damage with your attack. Focus weapons are the most accurate, adding their accuracy stat directly to the dexterity and luck of the character to form the final accuracy modifier. Balance weapons have balanced stats across the board, and for many weapons types (but not all) they will be your most lightweight weapon choice. This is significant because weapon weight is subtracted from your character’s speed to determine their true speed, a stat which determines whether your character attacks once or twice and whether the enemy attacks once or twice as well as determining your ability to dodge.
Weapons in Dark Deity get better by investing weapon tokens into them. Weapons start at tier one and move up as high as tier four. When a weapon changes tier, it changes names and gets a significant stat bonus. Often, moving a weapon up to the next tier also makes it heavier. There is also a +1 state within each tier where the weapon gets milder bonuses but doesn’t increase to the next tier (and thus maintains the current name and weight). The tier of the weapons determines the type of token needed to improve it. Tier one weapons need tier one tokens to advance, tier two weapons need tier two tokens, and so on.
Weapon tokens, once invested, are locked to the character and category they were spent on. This means you cannot redistribute tokens off of a character who you no longer plan to use in your party, nor can you move tokens from their finesse weapon into their balance weapon. However, if a character’s weapon type changes, the tokens you invested in that category will remain. Here’s a practical example – I’ve got two tokens in Bianca’s power category while she is an adept, turning her trident into a dangpa and giving her a nice damage boost. When she promotes at level 10 I decide that I want to make her the blaze class, which uses fire magic. I don’t have the dangpa anymore, but instead I have a tier two fire spell in the power category to replace it. So you can change classes without fear of ruining your token investments, but once a token is committed to a person and a category it’s going to be there forever.
This is the big question. If token investment is permanent on a character, then deciding to bench that character means the token is gone forever. And if a category, once improved, cannot have its tokens moved to another category, how do I know which categories are the most important to invest in?
First let’s talk about investing in characters. Dark Deity is a game with 30 characters total, but your standard party size for the game will be 14 characters. This means that over the course of the game, you’ll want to be developing a core crew of 14 characters who have upgraded weapons to carry you through the endgame. The last character joins in chapter 19, and there are 28 total chapters in the game. While you probably don’t want to wait until chapter 19 to invest any weapon tokens, you can maintain a practice of holding back some tokens for potential new members of your crew. If there is someone on your team who isn’t performing great, tossing tokens onto them to try to get them caught up to the rest of the party will create a sunk-cost fallacy in your mind – now I have to keep using this character because I spent tokens on them and I don’t want to lose that investment. Instead, when there’s a character on your team you are excited about who you feel is performing well and you think “wow, I can see myself taking them all the way up to endgame,” that’s who you put some tokens on.
One consideration you can use to help you is the class breakdown of the game. There are six base classes on which there other 48 in the game are built, and each basic class has 5 characters representing it. If you want a “balanced” team, your party of 14 will have two characters from each base (that comes out to 12 characters) and then a couple extras to fill out a need for your party. So as you’re building your core crew, think about what classes you want to add to the party – “I need a tank,” “I don’t have enough healers,” “no one in my party uses arcane magic” – and save tokens for a character who will fill that gap. If you don’t have five mages yet then you can count on another mage showing up at some point. Holding tokens to get that character up to the level of the rest of your party is a viable way to utilize your weapon tokens, and helps you to avoid spending on someone you might regret later.
Now let’s get into categories. Every character has four different weapons on their person with unique stats and different areas of focus. Is there a certain type more important than the others? Do I need to keep all four weapons roughly equal on all of my characters? That’s certainly an approach, but what I’ve learned from my experience playing through Dark Deity is that you want to go back to basics when thinking about how to invest your tokens. What do I mean by “back to basics?” You can’t kill an enemy if you can’t damage them, and you can’t kill an enemy if you can’t hit them. And there are enemy classes that will absolutely put this concept to the test. Consider the mighty sentinel, a plate-armored warrior with extremely high defense and pretty solid fortitude as well. If you have not invested in the power weapon on your character, that character will not be able to touch the sentinel. Full stop. On the opposite end we have classes such as the trickster, a high-speed knife thrower with a very high dodge rate. If you don’t invest in your focus weapon, your highest rate of accuracy against a trickster will only be 50%, with most of your weapons more likely falling into the 20-30% range. So my recommendation for dealing with these classes and classes like them is to make sure that you prioritize token investment in power and focus for any character you plan to have in an offensive role on your team.
Keep in mind that not every weapon is going to need to be upgraded to the maximum rank. In my first playthrough I exclusively bought weapon tokens – I never purchased a healing item or a stat boosting item – and even with that I still ended up only having enough tier four tokens to max out one weapon on most of my core crew (not even all of them). Most of my characters had two tier four weapons, then one weapon on tier three or maybe tier three +1. It’s totally fine to let one or even two weapons fall by the wayside and not receive upgrades, especially on characters whose main role in your party is not attacking enemies. Most of my healers did not have any weapons above tier three, and only one of them had more than one weapon with any upgrades at all.
In short, my recommended weapon token investment plan goes like this. Invest tokens in characters you want to keep in your party, and save a few back to fill in roles you find yourself missing as you recruit additional characters. Aim for two weapons – your power and focus weapons – to reach tier four by endgame for your core team of offensive units. Once you’ve reached that goal, you can invest some spare tokens in whichever other weapon you feel will be useful. For classes that rely a lot on crits, investing in the finesse weapon will have some value. For characters who are having trouble getting two attacks with their heavier gear, powering up your balance weapon is a great way to mitigate that problem. Your balance weapon will generally have the best dodge stat as well, so you may prioritize that on characters whose main role is getting attacked rather than attacking.
I hope you found this weapon guide useful! The guide was created using version 1.07 of Dark Deity. At the time of writing, patches are being rolled out regularly and some details of the game are changing. If you notice that something in this guide is inaccurate, please leave a comment letting me know so I can fix it! Please feel free to use the comment section to ask any questions you have that aren’t currently covered by the guide – I’m not an expert on the game but I’ll do my best to help if I know the answer!