BASIC PRINCIPLES OF COMBAT IN LUSTERNIA - Lusternia Online Help

13.1 BASIC PRINCIPLES OF COMBAT IN LUSTERNIA

Combat in Lusternia 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
Lusternia 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 manouvers 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 Lusternia, 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.

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

Damage type           Example
-----------           -------
Cutting physical      a sword's strike
Blunt physical        a hit from a mace
Cold                  the Aquamancer's icefloe
Heat                  being ignited by a companion
Drowning              drowning to a watery death
Electric              lightning strikes by a Hartstone
Magic                 the "blast" ability in Elementalism
Poison                the poisonous fumes released by Geomancers
Divinus               the holy fire of a Paladin
Excorable             the dark powers wielded by Nihilists

For each type of damage, there exists defences. For instance, the higher 
your Magic skill, the more easily you will be able to reduce the damage you 
take from them. Furthermore, you may find potions 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 successfully 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