Newbie Guide - Melee 101 View next topic
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solar
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Location: Kalajoki/Oulu, Finland

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 02:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

This introductory howto sums up melee in Icesus. It may not contain guild specific aspects of melee, such as sorcerer's 'pain threshold' or ranger/gaesati 'melee massacre', but it should explain the system for a newcomer to the game, revealing aspects of melee that are available at the beginning.

Happened a long time ago:

Student: Master! You promised to teach me about melee combat today!

Master: Ah, quite right! Let's see if you're ready to begin.

<the student looks unsure as to what he should do>

Master: Oh, almost forgot. I'm not teaching you how to brawl, so you'll need a weapon!

<the master gives his student a wooden shortsword>

Master: There you go, much better! Now, 'wield' it so we can begin.

<the newbie types 'wield shortsword' and lo and behold, it is now wielded in his right hand!>

Master: Now let me take a quick look at you... Hmm, something's not quite right. You don't seem to be concentrating enough! Keep your mind at the task at hand!

<the newbie types 'battle -a offence' and now is concentrating mostly on offensive combat, with rest of his points in defence. None in casting.>

Master: Good! Let's see now, you've got a weapon and now you have that killing intent to go with it!

Master: Alas! The way you're holding your shortsword shows that you don't really know how to use it! Have you taught yourself 'melee' and 'piercing weapons' yet?

Student: What! Melee? Melee is the skill that makes my attacks generally more accurate?

Master: Correct! At least you haven't been sleeping in all of my classes!

Student: But what is this 'piercing weapons' you mentioned? Why is it piercing weapons and not just weapons?

Master: Because there are many kinds of weapons! Weapons are divided in two ways. The first way is according to the type of weapon: Slashing, piercing and bludgeoning weapons. Some weapons belong to a weapon family, such as swords or axes. Weapon families have their own skills to go with them.

For now, your training does not yet teach you specific weapon families, so we'll just ignore them until later.

Master: Let's see how you fare against this target dummy here! Hit it a few times and we'll see if we can make a soldier out of you yet!

Student tries to hit dummy but misses embarassingly.

Master: That's no good. You're not hitting it. You need to raise your 'melee' skill higher to score more hits!

Dummy bends down and dodges the attack.

Master: Ack, not only does this dummy have enough 'avoid hits' to make you miss, it also actively dodges with 'dodge' skill, evading attacks that would have otherwise hit!

Student thrusts dummy hitting its body with his shortsword causing small marks.
Student impales dummy hitting its head with his shortsword causing large marks.

Master: Ha! That certainly showed him! You'll see that at first you had great difficulties scoring a hit, since the dummy was too skilled in 'avoid hits' compared to your current skill levels. So I downtuned him a bit, but I forgot about his dodge, which he used to evade your next one! The next two hits connected and you did some damage to it. The latter one dealt more, since you hit a particularly sensitive bodypart. Heads and necks of monsters are usually more vulnerable to damage, so it's very nice to hit them, although you cannot really aim them in the melee. It is said that larger races are more likely to hit the head of their opponent, while smaller races have difficulties with it.

Master: Now observe closely, my student. I may be old but I know a few tricks!

Master violently rends dummy hitting its left arm causing MASSIVE structural damage.
..and he turns around for another hit!
Master skillfully slits dummy hitting its body causing blood to spray everywhere!

Master: Haa! My first hit was really powerful since I used my knowledge of 'find weakness' to find an opening and then my 'enhance criticals' allowed me to exploit it further, giving me a critical hit with extra stars for lethality! But that wasn't all, since my hitstyle 'slash', which I use with 'aiming' combat style, also increased my damage! You also saw me hit it one more time. That's because of my 'continuous assault' technique which sometimes give me extra hits. You'll do well to master all of these one day!

Student: Combat what? How do I use a combat style, master?

Master: Ah, yes. It is also used with 'battle' command, was it 'battle -c <style>', I cannot really remember. The styles differ from each other, some are more offensive, some are defensive. They work in conjunction with the hitstyles. You can see what hitstyles are associated with what kind of weapons and styles. see 'help combat styles' for a nice clean table of information. Any style at any % is better than no style at all.

Student: Wait a moment! Did you just say that there are other kinds of weapons? I have this shortsword you gave me, are there other options available?

Master: My apologies, student. Sometimes I forget just how confounding the system can be for a first-timer. There are indeed other weapons. See 'help weapon types' for further information. It'll also show the size of the weapons in question. Some weapons may be too large for your race, or your strength, so you won't be able to wield them, or if you can - it'll be in two hands.

Student: Two hands? My shortsword only takes my right hand! Does that mean I can use two of these and be more dangerous?

Master: Quite right. Although you'll need racial ambidexterity, or special blessing of ambidexterity to be able to use your offhand more effectively - since offhand is penalized. Some guilds teach 'twin weapons' that also improve offhand abilities. However, since you don't have it, it might be more effective for you to wield your weapon in two hands, even though you can wield it in one hand. Some guilds get 'two-handed weapons' skill that improve fighting abilities with weapons which are wielded in both hands.

To wield a weapon in both hands, you can 'wield sword in right hand,left hand'. Some guilds prefer to use a shield as well. Shields are usually wielded in left hand, and can help defend yourself against opponents. The army and templar knights are fond of shields. Either way, if you wield a weapon in both of your hands, you won't waste any time trying to punch them with your fist! Even though your fists may have been enough to pulverise those rats in the warehouse, eventually they'll become useless.

Student: I browsed through 'help weapon types' and saw that there was a greatsword in it. I just may be able to wield it, so wouldn't it be the best weapon of choice for me?

Master: Not necessarily. Although single hits are powerful, your attack speed or accuracy are not that great. Smaller weapons are generally more faster and more accurate, although their damage is less.

Student: And shields? They aren't real weapons, right? Even though one needs to wield them?

Master: No, although you can do some tricks with them. Shields are used because they allow you to 'shield parry'

Student: Parry? I know that one! By using my weapon, I can fend off attacks that threaten me!

Master: That is true, parrying involves three skills: Weapon parry, which is parry skill for weapons. Then there's shield parry, which is the parry skill for shields. Then there's 'block' which is a sort of half-parry for both weapons and shields. Swords of medium size are usually favoured as parrying weapons. People who have mastered parrying are also taught how to 'counter-attack' enabling them to attack after a succesful parry.

Master: Real warriors have also mental edge over their opponents, since they use their mind to plan out their moves. Skills 'offensive battle strategy' and 'defensive battle strategy' are very important skills in melee, and you'd do well to master them one day.

Student: I'll try to keep that in mind. But What if my foe hits me and I am unable to defend myself? Do I die, or what happens?

Master: Well, uh, you may die. But on the other hand, you may survive. That depends mostly on how dangerous a foe you have, and if you are either lucky or good. Wearing armour is an obvious way to reduce damage you take. Some people with 'pain tolerance', or dwarves, are also resistant to physical damage. Sometimes they can almost shrug off blows! Then some people roll with the blow with their 'contact reflexes' reducing the damage they take. Then there are those warriors with keen 'combat sense' that avoid the most deadliest blows and only take normal amounts of damage from what would have been a critical hit. The races are not equal either, since some have natural armour that stacks with the protection you get from armours.

Armours protect according to their type, material and quality. They are divided into three categories: The light armours, medium armours and heavy armours. Light armours are favored by offensive warriors, since they don't restrict movement that much and also provide some protection. Medium armour is the middle ground, but most people use either heavy or light armours. Heavy armours include plate mails and such. They are quite cumbersome but reduce damage sufficiently enough to compensate for their bulk. These armour types have their own skills, which reduce the penalties for wearing such armour as well as improve their armour class, making you able to increase their protection. Even though you were to wear either light or heavy armour, you'd do well to train yourself medium armours as well, since knowledge of medium armours aids you as well.

Not all of your bodyparts are hitslots either! You don't need to worry about armour class in slots such as rings, amulets, earrings, belts, boots, cloaks, clothes and miscellaneous. Some races have different bodyparts, though, and their hitslots are different as well. A good way to see what bodyparts are hitslots
is to 'aim at <yournamehere>' and see what it lists.

Student: But how can I remember to use all of these skills, since my combat point assigns are still low?

Master: Your combat points are not final. Training 'concentrated attack/defence/casting' gives you more points to allocate, as well as raises the point max in individual areas. Your intelligence and wisdom will also give you more points, as will some other skills, magical effects and equipment. Your level also gives you more combat points.

Student: I see. I remember when I broke my mother's vase as a child and how she boxed my ears so hard I couldn't do anything but weep! Real warriors can withstand more punishment than children, right?

Master: Sure! Warriors with 'determination' keep their wits about them and are resistant to effects of stunning. Although larger races also recover faster from stuns. Stunning is really dangerous for you, since it can momentarily cripple your fighting abilities. Sometimes it's better to flee than stay and fight while being stunned. Your 'controlled retreat' or 'wilderness retreat' may speed up your withdrawal, but because stunning reduces your skills to one third of their real values, they are not as effective.

Student: What if I'm not fighting an ordinary opponent? What if my foe knows magic and casts a spell at me!

Master: You'd be wise not to pick fights with mages, my student. But if you really have to, you may find the skill 'magical defences' helpful. Some guilds with a shield can also block arrow spells and more powerful single-target mage spells. We haven't learned how to block spell darts yet, and those are particularly nasty since they tend to cause bleeding wounds.

Student: Wounds, most dreadful!

Master: Indeed they are. Not only do they prevent you from healing naturally, they also last for quite a while, and the more dangerous wounds can kill you if left untreated. Luckily, using 'first aid' with bandages or cloth armour can save your life, if there's no healer around.

Student: Healer? Do you mean a priest of Air?

Master: While most healers are priests of air, there are other ways to heal yourself. The most obvious way is to 'sleep'. You'll wake up after a while, so don't worry. But if you sleep with low hitpoints, the sleep will last longer. It is usually a bad idea to let your hitpoints drop low, since your natural healing will also become weaker at that point. You can use 'camp' command to build a fire place and then light it to speed up your regeneration further. If you have ample amounts of time, building a camping place won't hurt either. Sleeping bag makes your sleep more comfortable, so it is a good idea to carry one with you.

Student: So all I need to do is wait until I've killed my opponent, then recover my hitpoints and find someone else to beat?

Master: Not quite. You can do other things than just wait in battle. There are battle maneuvers you can use to augment your fighting abilities. Each guild has their own maneuver or maneuvers, but some are common and usable by all. For example, 'kick' maneuver is an easy skill to use. It also rises through use, so you don't have to train it. A good kick can sometimes give you a chance for a double kick, which gives it some extra damage, although kick isn't really the most dangerous of maneuvers. Another maneuver to use is 'headbutt',
which is really nice since a good headbutt can momentarily lower your opponent's combat abilities. There's always a danger of fumble, though, if you use a maneuver you're not comfortable with. Fumbles can make you hurt yourself or your fighting abilities for a while.

Student: I need to ask this, but when I hit the dummy, I got a message in brown that said that I had an opening to perform a quick strike maneuver. I tried to type 'strike' but nothing happened! What was it about?

Master: You just stumbled upon a combat momentum. Momentums are openings in battle that can be used to perform an instant maneuver at low epcost. You need to act fast, though, since the opportunity window for a momentum is only 6 seconds. I suggest using an 'alias' for your combat maneuvers, so you can execute them faster! Momentums are used with 'use <skill>' syntax, with no target or other fancy stuff involved. Some guilds teach 'situation awareness' which improves the chance to gain a combat momentum, and 'chaotic assault' which
can give you a new momentum after executing one!

Student: Then how will I know what I can beat?

Master: You can 'consider' monsters to see how they compare to you and find out their general power level. Although it won't say for sure if you can defeat them. Look at what kind of equipment they have, or their size. Smaller opponents have less hitpoints as large ones of their level range. Consider skill isn't perfect, though, since it won't tell you if the monster has nasty tricks up its sleeve. Best way is to try and see. Monsters without weapons won't be able to use hitstyles, though, unless they know martial arts, but that's entirely different story!

Master: Remember, once you become more powerful, your natural stats will also increase. Your race will influence how easily your stats raise. Larger races are usually faster to gain in strength and slower in dexterity and vice versa. If you ask me, dexterity is more useful than strength, since it also improves attack speed, accuracy and defensive abilities in addition to influencing melee damage with smaller weapons more than strength does.


Following in-game helpfiles are useful:

help weapons
help weapon types
help armour
help armour types
help combat
help battle
help skill <skill>
help combat styles
help stats

_________________
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Icesus is not just my life - it's the lack of it.
iluth


Posts: 164
Location: Blighty

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 23:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

While the internet is a confusing place, do not be fooled. The avatar means nothing, I assure you, that is not infact Chuck Norris giving out advice on how to melee properly in Icesus.
suron


Posts: 147
Location: Oulu/Kalajoki, Finland

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 08:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

And just how would you know that for sure?! Wink
yoz
Supporting Member 2009

Posts: 226

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:19 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

suron wrote:
And just how would you know that for sure?! Wink


I've seen solar... Nothing as gorgeous as chuck would be!

This is a nice RP'ish way to teach how melee works, except that its too long and i only bothered to read few 2 "chapters" Sad

Thumbs up anyways!
breg
Supporting Member 2008

Posts: 25
Location: Lahti, Finland

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 11:46 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Read the whole howto, it was really nice! I actually learned something new about a few things even though I have been playing for a while.. Applause
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