Leather armor progression Edit

See Progression
"WOOD LEATHER and BRONZE can be crafted here."

So says the 'sign above the door as you come in' in the Work of Art Workshop, anyway. But the fourth Tier of Leather (Bone Helm, Cuirass, Knuckles, Cuisse) is missing two crucial drops: Knuckles and Cuisse. They will not be in Ashley's inventory, now or ever, unless they are crafted. This tends to make "Work of Art" more of a place where Bronze and Wood can be crafted, but there are a few ways around it. One is to just forget Leather, and combine it with Bronze. The other is to make use of Bone Helms to create the Knuckles and Cuisses; once these are made, the third Tier Reinforced Glove and Long Boots can be made into something a little special: Fifth Tier Leather. A player that manages to make these is definitely one of a pretty select group. Leather Chainmail, anyone?

Bone Helm + Cuirass = Cuisse. Cuisse + Bone Helm = Knuckles. And Cuise + Knuckles = Bone Helm. Just kidding on the last part, seeing if the readers are paying attention. So do not do that. Just the first two.

And then the third Tier stuff added to make the fifth: Cuisse (4th) + Long Boots (3rd) = Light Greave (5th).

Pretty nifty, but the next bunch of combination can get a lot of mileage out of Reinforced Gloves. Chances are there will not be enough of them.

Knuckles + Reinforced Glove = Ring Sleeve
Ring Sleeve + a new Knuckles = Chain Sleeve
Back to Reinforced Glove again with:
Chain Sleeve + Reinforced Glove = Gauntlet

The stuff below third Tier is pretty much useless for progressing, but it is best for Mismatch; a Jazeraint Glove of any material with Sandals makes a LEATHER Freiturnier, and a Dread Glove of any material with Sandals makes a Fluted Glove, thus Hoplite is possible with two high level pieces and two pieces of LEATHER, Jazeraint four each, and Dread with eight. Few if any of the combinations below third Tier actually make anything other than a Same combination, where the result is the same as one of the ingredients. First and second Tier Leather cannot be combined for an increase in Tier like third and fourth do, nor does second + third make fourth.

The following combinations of LEATHER enable the creation of any type of Leather armor: Bone Helm + Cuirass = Cuisse, Long Boots + Cuisse = Light Greave, and Light Greave + (L)Cuisse = (L)Ring Leggings.[1] This is only half the solution, however, as the normal progression requires nearly two thousand pieces to make Divine Hoplite, possibly more to make Dread (although usually, the type ends up very nearly the same whether pieces are combined four times as much before becoming Hoplite, or combining four stacks of equipment at 1/4 the strength).

The process of obtaining Type bonuses can be speeded up considerably by using the prevalence of Leggings to imbue combinations with their material. Thus, the equipments with more Type bonuses: Fluted Armor, Tilt Glove, Plate Mail and Missaglia.[2]

Leather Bone Helms, the lowest that can be made, cannot be manufactured efficiently. It requires a Bone Helm to make a Cuisse, and a Cuisse and a third Bone Helm to make a Knuckles, which together make a Bone Helm. Leather Knuckles and Cuisses drop nowhere in the game.[3] Once a Cuisse is made, and combined with another Bone Helm, however, the resulting Light Greave and preceeding Equipments can together make any piece in the game. Eventually. Any lower leather helm is impossible to manufacture, and there are no occurrences of higher leather items in the game; they have to start with these items. Cuisses will allow the production of higher level leather items, which have two points more Intelligence protection against magic than Damascus. Since it is two points no matter which Equipment, the extremities are a better choice for Leather; less Strength will be lost with Head, Arm, and Leg pieces of Leather than on Body pieces.

Cuirass and Bone Helm will soak up the bonuses from the tough Reinforced Gloves and Long Boots and still remain the same item. For example, Bone Helms (resists 0/2/0) can be toughened up by adding Long Boots (2/2/2) and Reinforced Gloves (5/0/3); the result is always a Bone Helm.

Guides tend to do combinations like the Cuirass + Bone Helm = Cuisse without toughening up the Cuirass or Bone Helm first. Leather seems to be very forgiving of high resistance + low or zero resistance combinations, but it still seems as though the earlier the combinations are equal, the sooner the combinations stop being reduced in resistance and start gaining resistance. More testing is needed to see which of these strategies is superior.

Notably, Silver foot armor combines with Hagane foot armor to make Damascus foot armor, which because of the hierarchy noted above, will almost always convert other armor to Damascus.

However liberating it may be to be able to transmute base materials into precious ones, there are some serious drawbacks to including Leather in any combination. It is almost entire bereft of resistances to weapon Types, and it is also only available in the first four Tiers, so any combination of it with Tiers below four will be reduced significantly in Tier.

Any transmutation strategy that employs Leather will have to take the behaviour of low Type resistances in combinations, which seem to be heavily punitive, into account. The most obvious is to mostly use it to transmute items that would otherwise be scrapped, with the Leather + Hagane and Leather + Silver rare combinations.

Divine Leather Armor Edit

Divine Armor is crafted only; its Type bonuses are 100/100/100, and it is the most difficult crafting task in Vagrant Story. Divine Leather Armor is a variation that affords a small extra amount of magic protection, the maximum that can be obtained, with compensatory disadvantages to physical protection.

Prevalence can bridge the gap between Leather pieces and other materials, making use of tens of high-Type Tilt Glove (Blunt/Piercing/Edged 12/12/12), Missaglia (12/12/12), Plate Mail (10/10/10) and Fluted Armor (15/15/15).[2] All of these can be transmuted by Leather Leggings, which of course have prevalence over other armor Equipment types. Sandals, because of the Prevalence of foot armor over other types, are a very good piece for Transmuting to LEATHER. For example, Jazeraint Armor plus Sandals results in LEATHER Plate Mail and Dread Armor plus Sandals equals LEATHER Fluted Armor, for a second result of LEATHER Hoplite Armor. The process twice yields Jazeraint and four times, Dread.

One of few FAQs on the subject of Divine Leather Armor takes another approach, gaining a crucial advantage from Morphs originally proposed by 'river phoenix', that finds the only bridge across the gap between available LEATHER pieces and higher Tiers other than rare combinations and Prevalence; creating Sixth Tier leather.[1]

Critique Edit

It is the developer's fault that the Leather progression is so easily trounced by transmuted high-tier HAGANE. Nearly seventeen-hundred 2/2/2 Long Boots are used by the Ultimate Leather Recipe to laboriously build up Type; instead, because Leggings all act like little Hand of Light / Rhomphaia / Holy Win for armor, turning any piece (other than leggings, more on that shortly) into the same material as the Leggings, only one Long Boot is required each time the crafter wishes to turn a piece into Leather. The Type bonus gets hammered really hard (approximately 60% loss), but the total of pieces required is still only around 2.5 as many as for SRiesterer's Damascus Dread. When Leggings are required, and Long Boots cannot be used to transmute them, the crafter merely makes final Helm and Body pieces at around 50/50/50 each and combines them.

The solution would have been to change the ratio between the Type values of the lowest tiers and that of the highest tiers. Leather and Hagane the same, but increase the numerical values. Instead of 2/2/2 Leather Long Boots, 6/6/6 ones. Hagane Missaglias are still twice as good as that in Type and because of both Equipment and Material bonuses, over twice as good in magic defense (Intelligence) and five times as good in physical defense (Strength), see Armor and Materials' Bonuses.[4] With twice as many Long Boots being required for the same bonus, but the bonus of Hagane of being halved when adding the Leather, the two would seem to be even, which makes the Leather progression viable as well as fun, but the hidden benefit of adding the Long Boots themselves would give crafty crafters the edge, by taking the Hagane route.

See also Edit

Citations Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Vagrant Story: Ultimate Recipe FAQ by JungleJim
  2. 2.0 2.1 Vagrant Story: Ultimate Armor FAQ by SRiesterer
  3. Vagrant Story: Enemy FAQ by JTilton More testing is needed to say for certain whether Leather material type can be the result of combinations with non-leather items and leather, or two non-leather items, but the chances are against it
  4. Vagrant Story: Armor Stats FAQ by Garrison