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### 4.10 Equilibrium and Balance

Many players who come from different backgrounds are not familiar with
the way that magic and fighting works in Aetolia. Here, the majority of
abilities (which, remember, encompasses magic, swordplay, and loads of
other things), use either balance or equilibrium. What these represent
is physical balance, and mental equilibrium. By physical balance, we do
not necessarily mean that without it you are going to fall to the
ground, but it is a convenient way of expressing the idea that after
doing certain physical things, like swinging a sword, you must recover
before you can do another.

For instance, if you throw a punch at someone, you must recover your
balance before throwing another punch, or before kicking, or swinging a
sword. The same goes for equilibrium. If I cast a fireball at you, or if
I use a psionic ability on you, my mind will momentarily reel from the
strain, and I must wait until I recover to do this again. Furthermore,
in most cases, not having balance prevents you from using an ability
that requires equilibrium, and vice versa. There are, however,
exceptions to this rule, which you must discover.

The game will let you know when you recover balance or equilibrium, so
you do not have to guess. And, generally speaking, the time it takes to
recover these ranges from about 2 to 5 seconds, depending on the
ability. Some very powerful abilities may take longer, however.

Recovering balance and equilibrium is handled by a continuos timer. This
timer fires every 0.25 seconds and checks whether or not you are meant
to have balance or equilibrium returned. For example:

You leap into the air and launch a flying kick at Ivoln.
You connect!
Balance Used: 5.25 seconds

Every time the above mentioned timer ticks, 0.25 seconds is going to be
removed from the taken balance time until 0 has been reached, at which
stage balance will be returned.

Obviously this means that balance and equilibrium will rarely be
returned at the -exact- time and will generally be returned on the tick
following, meaning that 5.25 seconds will end up being 5.25 to 5.50
seconds.

In order to know when you have balance and equilibrium, many players
find the command CONFIG PROMPT STATS very helpful. HELP PROMPT will tell