BASIC PRINCIPLES OF COMBAT IN IMPERIAN - Imperian Online Help

13.1 BASIC PRINCIPLES OF COMBAT IN IMPERIAN

Combat in Imperian is handled different for mobile vs. player combat and player
vs. player combat. This document will explain, further down in it, why this
is. In the meantime, however, it will briefly review how combat in Imperian is
resolved.

To read about Player vs. Mobile combat, please read HELP MOBCOMBAT.

Player vs. Player Combat
------------------------
Player combat is an entirely more complicated affair. This is what our combat
system is primarily geared to, and few, if any games, can match the intensity
and complex nature of our combat.

It can be difficult to fully describe player combat, as there are so many
different approaches to it. It is possible to fight with your goal as death of
the opponent, crippling of your opponent, re-arrangement of items (for
instance, stealing things from him), or even just as a demonstration or lesson.

Generally, the details of your offensive combat manoeuvers will be covered in
the help files for your class-specific skills, as this is where the majority
of offensive abilities lie. Some of your defensive abilities (more for some
classes, less for others) will also lie in your class-specific skills, but
probably the majority of defensive equipment and abilities are available to
everyone who has high enough general (ie non-class-specific) skills and enough
money to purchase the proper equipment.

Player combat generally involves much more than simply inflicting damage on
your opponent. Not only can individual body parts be damaged, with different,
harmful effects resulting from enough cumulative damage on a body part, but
there are hundreds of afflictions that can be inflicted on an opponent.

If we take the most general goal of combat, which is to kill your opponent,
then combat can be said to generally consist of:

1) Locating your opponent and finding him or bringing him to you.
2) Pinning him into place so that he cannot escape.
3) Damaging him until he dies.

This is an over-simplification insofar as only with a very surprised or
helpless opponent will you simply execute 1, then 2, then 3. Usually there
will be much moving around, healing of the things that pin you, healing of the
damage done to you, etc. Combat is therefore a give-and-take process. For many
offences, there are defences, and for many defences, there are methods of
removing the defences. There are many afflictions (the general term for
anything that affects you in a negative way aside from damage), ranging from
the classic web spell to paralysis, to anorexia, to the aeon curse, which
slows your movement through time.

EFFICIENT USE OF EQUILIBRIUM AND BALANCE
----------------------------------------

Most of the damage and afflicting-dealing abilities in Imperian, as well as
some defensive and movement ones, will require that you have equilibrium and
balance and will, after you use the ability, take equilibrium or balance away
from you for a certain number of seconds. How many depends entirely on the
ability.

Perhaps the single most important factor in mounting a successful attack
against another player, and even against a mobile, is the efficient use of
equilibrium and balance. When engaged in combat, you _always_ want to be
making the most out of every second of combat. If you recover equilibrium and
balance, and your opponent is in the room with you, there is no reason not to
immediately use another ability that will use these up, unless you wish to
flee.

The process of being as efficient as possible in your use of equilibrium and
balance is referred to as "chasing equilibrium" or "chasing balance".


PROPER HEALING TECHNIQUE
------------------------

Just as using most offensive abilities requires equilibrium and/or balance,
many healing abilities or equipment have their own type of balance. These are
often referred to as "healing balances". For instance, you are limited as to
how often a health or mana elixir can be drunk with a beneficial effect. Since
they both use the same "balance", you must choose which to heal while in the
midst of combat.

THE TYPES OF DAMAGE
-------------------

There are nine types of damage in Imperian. These are:

Damage type           Example
-----------           -------
Cutting physical      a sword's strike
Blunt physical        someone punching you
Cold                  the Necromantic "chill" spell
Fire                  the fiery breath of Wyvern-bonded Arboreals
Asphyxiation          the garrote ability used by Saboteurs
Electric              lightning strikes by an Arboreals
Magick                the "decay" ability in Necromancy
Poison                the dioxin toxin used by Saboteurs
Psychic               the "mind crush" ability used by telepaths

For each type of damage, there exists defences. For instance, the higher your
Evasion skill, the more easily you will avoid physical (both blunt and
cutting) attacks, or be able to reduce the damage you take from them. There
are mini-skills for defending against all other types of damage.

Furthermore, you may find elixirs or particular defences that help you with a
certain kind of damage. We will leave it up to you to discover these, however.


A GENERAL NOTE
--------------

As you read the following help files on combat, keep in mind that the _only_
way you will ever learn to attack successfully and defend successful is to
practice. Just like in any sport, reading and thinking about it will only get
you so far. Reactions must be ingrained through experience, and strategies can
only be successfully tested in the field.

Can you expect to ever become good at combat without dying over and over? No.
The only path to greatness in combat is through repeated death. It is
difficult, but then, all good things are difficult to attain.

See also: HELP MOBCOMBAT, HELP 13