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I hope this wall of text isn't too obnoxious for everyone with all the questions but after much deliberation between Serpent, Jester, Shaman, and Runewarden I believe I've finally settled on Serpent. I haven't played since an extremely brief stint in Ashtan around 2010 and with all the changes I am in need of planning the best route when it comes to my Serpent. I've read quite a bit on the forums but a lot of my information might be quite out of date and I'd rather not waste too much money on stuff that won't really help in the long run. I'd like to make bashing up to dragon a bit easier (as I'm sure Serpent is still pretty squish) while also maximizing my PvP potential as I get around to focusing on combat, AND getting the most use should I decide to Multiclass into one of the above!
I'll have about a total of 7500 Credits to spend with 2000 extra lessons although I'm sure a Veil/Hood is still required so more like 5500 and will likely have just a little less after Tr-Transing, plus some Survival, Vision, and Avoidance.
Spec/Trait: So far I believe I can spec to 15 Dex but would take a hit down to 11 Con and I will likely choose Nimble trait to help just not sure if the loss in Con is worth the Dex gain?
Dirk: I was under the assumption that a L3 was required to be competitive at the higher levels but recently told the L1/L2 dirks will work just fine due to a cap with the right Dex to match, so which would you personally go with?
Lash: I've read that some forged lashes can get close to 170-180 speed which would make me favor the L2 lash since I believe the L1 is at 187 and L2 209, is the extra 450 credits worth the 22 points in speed?
Silver Fangs: An increase to the damage of shielded mobs when bashing at higher levels or so I've read but also quite expensive at 500 credits.
Bow: Pretty much to help out group combat. I haven't read too much into the benefit of the increased speed so at the moment I'm considering just picking up a Ranger's Bow so as not to have to worry about the decay of a Dark Bow.
Shiny Charm: I've spoken with a few Serpents and they've made note that with the changes to server side curing illusions aren't used as often and instead a few have switched to Hypnosis. With the 33% increase how drastic of a difference could this make?
SoA: Pretty much a given plus I can use it if I multiclass, should also help in both bashing and PvP.
Wings: Almost as popular as the Veil/Hood so I'm sure I'll pick up a pair of Eagle Wings too. I don't see much benefit to the Atavian ones.
Of course I'm also looking at getting a Wyrmskin Pack, DragonSkin Quiver, Sip Ring, and some vials/pipes but should I also look at going for better defensive Artefacts as well such as Shackles and Buckawn Amulet? Or should I spend the remaining on a stat increase to Dex and Con like Boots and Belts?
Whew that was a ton of questions, and I hope not overly obnoxious. Thanks for any opinions you guys can offer.