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There's no one shoe fits all answer. It depends on the pker and it depends on the rper. It also depends on how many other pkers you have: i.e. can I afford to kick this arrogant little... where was I.
Tldr: I don't think its fair to say rpers or pkers are more advantaged or disadvantaged in this situation. It very much depends on the faction and the individual.
1. Top tier one v one, top tier teams. Shaman is a very strong class.
2. Really doesn't matter unless you can start investing into ancestral races later (these are special races available through special items who tend to have better racial inherents). For stat purposes, irrelevant. Clever statpack is generally optimal for shaman.
3. Reallistically it is more team based. You can find one v one if you look for it.
4. Tank, tank, tank. After skills (get miniskills, these are hugely underrated and better bang for your buck than basically any mitigation artefact), but for pk:
- Bracelets. Level 2 is good, level 3 is great.
- Surcoat, ring of magics bane. Both huge upgrades against their relevant classes. As an Antimagick player I'd recommend you take the Magics bane first, as you'll tend to run into non phys classes more often generally speaking. The surcoat is great but you'll probably impulse buy it after experiencing some artefact knight or druid.
- Artefact shield, depending on your statpack selection (regular shields are gated by your strength stat here). Basically decide if it works out being worth it for you, it likely will be.
- Con is good, but more pricy compared to bracelets for what you get. Definitely don't go higher than two until you have other stuff.
- Health regen is great value, particularly level 1.
- Sip rings are also good, again I'd not go higher than level 2 until you have other stuff.
- Resist rings are good for optimising your tank against certain classes and relatively cheap, but on a budget I'd wait until you know what classes you struggle with before investing in those.
- Acrobatic boots. People will hate you, it means they're good, I promise.
- Druidic robes. Think robes of the magi from Achaea, great here because clotting can quickly become expensive. Buff your health and damage mitigation first, however. These do you no good if you can't live long enough for them to matter.
Once you have got enough tank that you feel you can toe to toe reasonably, an artefact runestone is a great investment. Artefacts that can boost your offense (again, I do not recommend buffing your offense until you have invested in tanking):
- Artefact runestone technically, depending on how you rune it. Also defensive for the same reason.
- Shamanistic gloves.
- Magic damage enhancing collars.
- Int artefacts.
- Artefact fetish. This shines more for teams as shaman, generally for one v one 6 slots will do just as well, as you lack the upfront burst a runeguard has.
The utility list that will change your life:
- A foreboding stone, tells you whenever an unveiled enemy moves in your area.
- The token monocle that removes the eq cost from glance/observe, I forget its full name.
- Ring of Flying (this is good here, it is not as huge a deal as in Achaea so don't buy this until you're sure you need it).
Probably more things that I'm forgetting, but this is the list that immediately jumps to mind.
5. You will want aspect. Silver lining: getting aspect here is comparitively very easy. Join a sect, make sure to always have double experience (you get these bonuses from achievements, many of which you can do pretty trivially early on), make sure to have an owl tattoo, ask your sect for highfavours so you constantly have one up while bashing. I can't overstate the joining a sect part enough, shrines in your local area -significantly- boost your damage output. Saying that, don't get too hung up on it. There's no point in being that guy who never jumps into combat because they're not aspect yet - you won't lose xp from pk deaths, so even in the worst case you come out net neutral (and you'll almost certainly come out net positive).
My personal preference would be something like:
- Swap all tier 1 and tier 2 powers across the board, so gaze is always the tier one power for each aspect type.
- Make it so you can only have one of each permanent monolith type.
If you can get the good powers off of permanent monoliths, the system will never be relevant.
Shackles were bad for combat because if I bring two friends and have five minutes to work something out there is noone in imperian past or present who isn't going to die. Its a licence for a free kill and that is dumb. There is no degree of quick reactions or smart play that is going to save a person in that situation. Personally I used to just doomworm because why bother.
Chains are actually (slightly) more balanced because 1 minute is somewhat more reasonable - this means if the people attacking you are incompetent you do have a shot at surviving. The problem is chains last too long - I have enough chain charges that I probably would not have ran out within 5 years of active play and I did not buy heavily into chain rewarding promotions. Shackles are a (very debatable) limited resource. Chains are a staple that superceeds every other hinder skill in the game.
Personally I'm opposed to mechanics like this in general though - I'm of the mind that you should have to exert some degree of effort to force someone into a fight that they have no mechanical recourse of evading. Its why I went out of my way to make greensharding me as miserable an experience as possible.
Making shackles/chains block exclusively special forms of travel is a superb solution, imo. It preserves the use against powerful artefact escapes (and skill escapes too, but that's probably fine) while meaning people will still be able to escape the situation if they play well.