The Mechanics of Fighting
By: Sophokles Son Of Oddysseus

Another One Bites The Dust, or A Hands On Guide to Fighting This essay is dedicated my dear father, Oddysseus, who was taken away from us all too soon. May the gods have mercy with him... And to my companion Indrarani, who has brought light and warmth again into my heart, where for all too long only darkness and coldness resided.

It is also dedicated to all my friends in the lands, who have helped me after my fathers death, especially Vayu, Rrand, Lissa, Connour, Kyera, Arwen, Ryph, and many others who have truly touched my heart by your support in such a hard time.

Everyone does it, but all too many don't really know how to do it right... And this is not only true in fighting in Elanthia. Before I will go into the hands on part, (for the hands off part ask a Sorcerer, they kill just by wiggling their fingers), lets go into the basics of fighting. The basic requirement of fighting with some monster is that you are actually able to hit it. Don't laugh, I have seen all too many people hacking at monsters they had no chance what so ever of hitting. So how do you hit? We all have seen this encryptic line there after you have entered your ATTACK :

AS 100 vs. DS 86 + AvD of 36 + Roll D100: 50 = 100
Clear Miss!
7 seconds round time

So what do the Gods want to tell us there, besides that you have missed the monster and that you have to wait for 7 seconds until you can do a thing. I am glad you asked. Maybe you should try to get your round time down to 5 seconds? Lets use these valuable 7 seconds to reflect on what we observe on the screen. We can see that the result of this whole long equation has to be 101 or more to be a "hit." Okay, we know now that the result has to be above 100. How do we get there? So what is this first part of the equation? It is basically your Attack Strength (AS) minus the Defense Strength (DS) of the monster plus an Attack versus Defense value (AvD) plus a random roll, which is between 1 and 100. And as we see above our friend rolled a 50 and did just miss the monster. With a roll of 51 he or she (he from now on) would have just scratched it, this means he has a 50/50 chance of hitting. Just for argument sake, what would be the highest DS our friend could theoretically hope to hit?

Max. DS to be able to hit
= AS + AvD + (Roll D100 - 100) - 1<=>
= AS + AvD - 1
= 100 + 36 - 1
= 135

We know that the best our friend can hope for hitting is a 135, and he will just scratch the monster. Better we can now tell that he has a 1% chance of hitting a monster with a DS of 135, a 25% chance of hitting or better 1 out of 4 swings wounds or kills the monster. Do that little exercise for yourself, it will help you to figure out if it actually makes sense for you to fight a certain monster or not. It is a very good idea to know your AS and DS in every stance to effectively tune your stance to the appropriate monster.

Okay, now we know if and how often we can hit a monster. Now we should look at what happens when a monster actually hits back. Basically, look at the equation above from the perspective of the monster and you got the idea. Hold on my friends, do we actually need to defend ourselves with a DS that prevents us from being hurt all the time? The answer is that obviously we only need our DS at the moment when that nasty, bloodthirsty, critter actually swings its malicious weapon at us. Therefore, wouldn't it be a good idea how often such a critter tried to swing at us? I would say definitely yes. The best way to test this is to stand in front of your favorite monster, smile at it, and take the time between two swings, preferably in Stance Defensive.

Generally monster round times are between 5 and 15 seconds. Say, you are attacking a troll, which has a round time of 15 seconds, and you have a round time of 5 seconds, that means you have 2 swings free before you would stance back into defensive. Then you wait for that friendly troll to swing at you, and repeat the procedure. Obviously this tactic, commonly called stance dancing, is only useful against single monsters which have a slower round time than you have. At least I could never safely keep track of the round times of two monsters in one room.

The other tactic is to set your DS to a level where you get hit with only a certain probability and therefore severity, and still hit the monster with sufficient force to ultimately kill it. The number crunching works like in the above example. Personally, I am comfortable in most areas with a 75 or above safety margin. You should adjust this level according to how crowded the area is and how likely you are going to stun or crit the monster with 1 hit. In other areas, especially the Glatoph Ruins, Krolvin Warfarer Mine and some areas in the Broken Lands, you have to include significant safety margins to your DS, because some monsters there are hunting in groups and are very generous with e-wave or quake. This spell will pin you to the ground for up to 20 seconds and lower your DS by 50.

Another bit of very helpful information, character round time (that is yours and mine) occurs after the swing, monster round time occurs before it swings. That means you have some valuable seconds after the monster entered the room, which you can use to instantly stun, maim, or kill that unfriendly intruder.

More unconventional ways to overcome an opponent involve the use of magic, hiding, and/or ambushing. Hiding and ambushing is the way of the rogue to eliminate the opposition and hopefully kill the enemy with one well-aimed stroke, avoiding lengthy combat. For this undertaking a lot of training in hiding, ambush, and combat maneuvers is essential. Combat Maneuver is a skill any sword fighter should train in anyway. A critted weapon increases the lethal effect of the hit even more. To fight like that you just hide, and then ambush the monster aiming at a specific body part. Good targets are head, neck, legs, or the back. The reason for head and neck is pretty obvious; you simply can't live without them. The reason for legs or the back is that sometimes you are simply too small to reach the neck or head of a monster and have to find a body part you can actually reach. Legs flatten the monster and reduce their DS considerably, the back is a pretty large target and will take a lot of HP out of the monster and possibly break the back and you have it on the ground as well.

A little variation on that theme is to use just hiding. Ever so often we have fought a monster and have almost killed it, but the monster went into defense, making it impossible for us to hit it. You can still kill it by leaving the room for about 15 seconds, depending on the monster, or hiding in front of it. Its wounds will make it very hard to spot you hiding, because it is preoccupied with its wounds. The moment the monster does not detect you in the room anymore, it will sit down and tend its wounds. Voila! The DS just dropped from 200 or 300+ to about 30 to 50. You should be able to relieve that poor monster from its pains. See it as a mercy kill. Another way of overcoming this all so defensive monster is the use of a little magic. A spell, like Elemental Blast 409 or Elemental Strike 415, usually puts an end to the fight, (as long as your Casting Strength (CS) is actually high enough to touch it) once the monster is sufficiently weakened. Please observe that the Target Defense (TD) of a monster is independent of its stance; it is always the same, as long as it is not spelled up of course.

My preferred way of fighting is using Elemental Wave (410), or better known as e-wave, as the prelude to fighting. E-wave will pin everyone not joined to your group to the ground for up to 20 seconds. This is quite handy because your opposition will be on the ground and not fight back for some time. On the other hand, don't do that in a crowded area, because your non-joined friends will not be happy, being pinned to the ground. They will be especially angry if you cause bodily harm or death because a monster came in and whopped them while they were e-waved. Always cast e-wave at yourself, without a target specified, because later on there are monsters that reflect magic upon you and you would hate to be pinned to the ground facing a gargoyle. Rangers have also a wonderful spell at their disposal called Tangle Weed. This spell created vines that drag everyone not joined and younger than the caster to the ground. Same effect at e-wave just a different flavor.

Tangle weed lasts longer than e-wave, but you have to stay with the vines until they die off, because other people get really angry if they get caught up in your vines, you left so carelessly around. Bards have, besides the 4xx spells, also their little holding (1001) and disarm songs (1002 and 1008), I found those songs not to be really used by most bards, including myself. Most fights, in which I am involved in right now, are rather short and violent, resulting the monster to be either stunned or dead within one or two swings. This reduces the need for non-lethal magic quite drastically.

This should give you a rough overview on how to fight and what all that "number stuff" means.

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