RPG Games: A Deeper Look at Midkemia Online Combat

rpg game pvp midkemia online

by Ryan Richardson

One of the biggest attractions of Iron Realms rpg games is the PvP combat, with fluid, dynamic systems that leads to battles that are never fought the same way twice. Midkemia Online, the newest member of the Iron Realms rpg game family, has taken a decidedly unique approach to this gameplay staple, and given us a system in which everything you've come to expect from rpg game combat is turned around!


PvP Attacks

Almost every attack in Midkemia Online has two messages associated with it: the telegraph, and the hit. The distance between the two varies with attack, character stats and weapon quality. This actually slows the pace of  PvP down, making those all-too-familiar walls of scrolling rpg game text a bit more manageable!



Every rpg game player learns a set of five defenses that, applied at the right time, will usually prevent another player's attack. Each corresponds with an attack type that it blocks appropriately, and each lasts for one second before dropping. This means that, as you fight, you have a one-second window in which to defend, if you wish to stop your opponent's attack.


Healing and Curing

There are a great many afflictions in Midkemia Online, ranging from the frivolous (being forced to speak a different language) to the crippling (being unable to heal). These, along with your standard want of health, means a lot of stocking up on herbs and vials, right? Wrong! Healing in Midkemia Online is handled through the use of skills, either Overdrive (an ability to recover a percentage of your maximum health or, in certain instances, magic) or Focus (A set of three abilities that cure a random affliction of a given type). That's all! No searching for someone who has that elusive herb in stock, or spending thousands of gold on vials, just a few lessons in Fighting!



Now, as with everything, Midkemia Online's combat system isn't nearly as simple as it sounds. One reason for this is the gain and use of adrenaline, a combat value not seen in any other IRE role playing game. Higher adrenaline gives certain advantages, like slightly boosting attack speed, while lower adrenaline can leave you susceptible to certain attacks. Your base value is 50%, and each attack you make increases that. Some abilities (like the previously discussed healing abilities) cost adrenaline to use, making this value one of the most important numbers in rpg game PvP!


As you can see, Midkemia Online has taken a vastly different approach to role playing game combat, one which many players have come to enjoy! This article can only teach you the basics, though. If you truly wish to learn about how complex this rpg game system really is, trying it is the best way to find out!


Ryan Richardson is a role playing game enthusiast who plays the best online rpg games from Iron Realms!


Combat in MKO isn't entirely as simple as it sounds. There are tons of skills available to each class, which works in a great deal of strategy. The best PvPers make use of the proper combinations to take away healing abilities and then go in for the kill after they've made their victims helpless.


It's actually a very good system. If you're into PvP and HAVEN'T tried MKO yet, you're missing out.

It's not as simple as it sounds, but it's also not as hard as some people make it out to be, from what I remember of it.


It was fun when I tried it, I just was too into other games at the time. Maybe again some time.

Sounds fun... if I ever get the time, I'll try it!

This sounds way different than what I'm used to. I may just have to try it! It sounds a lot cheaper as well, which is good for me!

Midkemia combat sounds very awesome. 

It sounds unique.

sounds interesting


sounds very unique, and sorta interesting if I was interested in PvP Combat

Yea...I think the word is definitely unique. Seems pretty fun as well.

I fully agree insofar as it is different to other IRE games.

I'll admit I learned more about computers and how stuff works from getting involved in combat heh.


Best way TO learn

I'd say it's lame elsewhere.

The advantage of Midkemian combat is that it is extremely easy to get involved in, yet it still requires skill and quick thinking to be extremely good at.


Definitely, and since there are free systems around all you have to worry about is offense.

i think that everyone should play a Mudd i mean how can you not like bashing and killing and living a alternate life i think i would like to become Agron and live his life yep i am ADDICTED


It is worth mentioning there are a few free systems available on MKO's forums, so people who want to try it out without working on their own can snag one and dive right in. Then if you like it you can either start tweaking the system you picked up or develop you own.

I'm a big fan of MKO's combat system; it seems very realistic to me and as Zylo said, allows for a lot of strategy. In addition to combinations to try and open up your opponent, you can choose what qualities to emphasize in your attacks, between speed, damage, and precision.

Soldiers and rogues use crafted weapons that have these stats based on the quality ingredients you use (which are usually bought at city trade stores), while priests and magicians have these qualities determined through their statistics distributions (so there is no maintenance fee, but then it is harder to switch between setups).

Akaxi is a soldier, so he has access to the biggest and best weapon types. I've typically used a high speed weapon to try and overwhelm my opponents with a flurry of attacks, but with the good free systems that have been released (and private systems being improved as their owner's gain in experience), that hasn't been working as well, so I'll be switching to either a high precision weapon (which occasionally bypasses defenses), or perhaps dual wielding, which is a soldier only skill that lets you use a second weapon ever 20 seconds or so on a separate balance timer, which makes possible all sorts of combinations that are very difficult to fully avoid.


Anyway. MKO Combat is indeed a lot of fun, and well worth checking out!

Combat in Midkemia sounds like it would be a lot of fun and perhaps a good place for people new to IRE games to start.  

I am unaware of the skills and everything associated with Midkemia but it does sound like the combat aspect would get somewhat tedious and boring after a while.

Just my thoughts...I imagine I will check it out eventually either way.

I agree that this seems like it will get boring after a while, or extremely annoying. I'm really not sure if I'd enjoy this combat style, but it can't hurt to try.

With the lesson sales going on, and a lot of combat in MKO being based on skills more than having to acquire constant supplies of herbs, it's a great time to give the game a try! If you like it and want to get in deeper, you can learn up your skills at a greatly reduced cost from the usual credit prices!

I've bought credits and lessons in the past to make certain my mage is as knowlegable as possible and the lesson sales saved me a lot of real world money when they were held in the past.

This really is the perfect time to get involved and see if you enjoy MKO, if you do and you're the type who purchases credits, you'll save a lot going through the lesson packages instead. For those who are iffy about spending a lot of money on a character in a game, there are smaller packages that you can buy just to give your guy or gal a boost. Plus, there's almost always some kind of in character type of sale to help newer players, and loads of people who spend the majority of their time dedicated to helping newbies out.

Interesting, sounds like they don't have problems with perma-paralysis, at least not to the extent it's so easy to do in Imperian. But I'm too broke now to check it out and too busy working on another aspect to have time.

Bleh, accidental double post.

especially if you put it through the Samuel L. Jacksonizer


That's funny!

True, it even seems appropriate in most of the comments too.


Nice article though, MKO seems to have taken quite a different approach.


It actually sounds quite interesting.. sounds like it's easier to compete in mko without using extensive systems or anything alike.. is this true?

If you want to excel at combat in MkO, you will most likely require a system. However, a system which is perhaps the best in existence is freely available on the forums. You -can- get by without a system, but don't expect to be the best without one.

Being forced to speak another language? What is the name of that affliction?

I don't know the name off the top of my head, but it is a skill which forces the victim to speak in Demonic, which almost no-one can understand.

The victim will speak Demonic as long as she is afflicted. She won't understand it, though.

A rather funny thing is that a Warlock can speak Demonic over the city channel, everyone will understand, but someone afflicted will only be understood by other Warlocks (in SAY or CT or ...)

sounds like a bug to me.

Not a bug. A demonologist can speak all of the languages they know. When someone has curse of toungues, demoinic is the ONLY language they can speak.

This is pretty interesting; a variation to the combat.

Sounds pretty cool.

...to experience combat and learn it. Learn it in Midkemia first and then broaden to learn it  in other games. Sorta like the difference between playing acoustic and electric?

I don't think that will work. Combat in MKO is looks to be very different from the others, so the principles won't extend to the other games in the same way that the principles of, say, Achaeas combat can be extended to Lusternia's combat.

I'm happy with my Cleave :3

Adrenaline sounds kind of neat.

It was precisely the 'strange' combat in MKO that kept me here long enough to -really- get into the game as much as I have.  Honestly, before coming here I thought 'play one IRE, played them all'.  MKO combat is, very, very different, deceptively simple yet a biatch to master.

Anyone who thinks that only hardcore coders can PvP should also take a look at the free system that one of the players has posted to the forums (no, I cannot figure out for the life of me why he isn't charging 100cr a pop, but I guess he's just a nicer guy than me).


I think I still prefer what Lusternia does with its power system.

The slow combat does help to read text

Gagging everything that's not essential helps in Lusternia! The timing idea in MKO does sound interesting.

Only reason I wouldn't play is the fact that you'd have to start over, make a new system just for this game. 

But you can use one of the free systems on the forums! Though if you're a stickler for writing your own, I understand, I'm the same way. :)

an IRE game based on a completely different combat system.

Midkemia's combat is great to try and code around and great to learn...it's quite shockingly different from say, Achaean one. Only drawback I find of it is that lag/latency makes a bigger difference here than in other IRE combat styles. :(

MKO combat, in my opinion is far superior to the other games.

That's a really interesting approach to combat. Imperian's current combat mantra is speed-of-paralysis and really hampers newer players. It seems as if the slower system would be easier to grasp.

Combat is one of those things that I struggle with, so maybe a different way of doing things is just what I need...

I feel the same way, but I'm pretty content not getting too involved in combat. Still, it would be neat to try.

wow! Combat really sounds like its unique in mko.

It certainly does.

Nice article.

Thanks for the article.

For people using mobile devices, mko combat is by far easier to handle than the other games.  


I wouldn't want to be in any sort of combat on a mobile device.

This was very fun to read, I think I might have to try it sometime soon. 

... on Aetolia, Achaea, and Imperian in turn, I can safely say I'm hooked on Midkemia's combat system. It really is the most fun (for me at least).




Good to see the different IRE games using completely different combat systems.

Compared to Achaea and it's dozens of afflictions and attacks that give afflictions and pets and all that, MKO combat is surprisingly simple but still remaining complex enough to be fun for some people.

sounds really interesting

Combat in Midkemia seems very interesting.  Nice to be different than the other IRE games.

It's refreshing to see IRE overhaul the formula of their games. I got the feeling most of the other games were just using an Achaea template with new areas and similar classes. I tried MKO and it's pretty impressive so far. I didn't participate in much combat but from playing with the skills it seemed more logical and less system driven. In Achaea I feel like I can't get involved in anything serious without first getting a masters in computer programming.

I tried to combat in Achaea when I was more foolhardy, but gave up soon after remembering the nightmares of C++ programming from high school and realising that I had to start it all over again.

Now, the combat in MKO seems quite different than it is anywhere else, I might give it a try!

I love zmud and like to stick to it, but this free system you keep speaking of. I cant seem to find it. If its that redwood thing. It freezes when you register. Can you point someone in the right part of the forums for the system to help a newb to miki out?

The system that most of us are mentioning is for Mudlet. It can be found in the Scripting subsection of the Art of War subforum.

Sounds nice but I am still a die hard Lusternia fan and the combat there is pretty tough to master. This one sounds a little easier. But how does the "telegraph" work, do you parry something based off a timer, or just set your reflex to parry off the telegraph line?

... is to just say "use a timer". The more complex answer, though, would point out that the delay between telegraph and hit/missed/defended depends on a base value, weapon speed, adrenaline level, and can be changed a bit by a number of various other abilities being in effect. I've heard tell of people generating a table of speeds per-enemy, per-weapon (where that info's available in the right lines), with modifiers on the fly for timewarp and such... but, then, there are some wonderfully zealous coders out there.

I am starting out here in Midkemia and it seems fun. I wish there were more people playing and of course learning a new way to combat is a bit wierd but hopefully I will get the hang of it.

If I ever get bored of trying to develop (or attempt to) my own system in Lusty, I'll definitely give MKO a try.



I've never enjoyed PVP, not sure why. I guess it was always because other players who like to combat always beat me. I'm also not very competative so the motivation to beat others isn't there either.

I don't really enjoy duels, but group fighting is quite nice as even if you are not very good, you can help your group to win

Very interesting. At times I regret switching over from Aetolia to Achaea... combat mechanics were way too similar. This Midkemia bears some investigation!

Wow, sounds cool. Something even I could write a system to cope with...

Everything's easier than Lusternia's combat system!

But seriously, I found Midkemia's to be the, by far, the most enjoyable (imo), and the easiest to be able to jump into and begin actually being able to do things, and I've fought in Achaea, Lusternia, and MKO.

I don't really have anything to say, but I want my bound credit.

I agree completely... In fact I am renting this space to anyone interested... Payment 1 bound credit. 

time to give it a shot!

...create a character there now!

Frivolous - that sounds fun!

That is all. =)

IRE has certainly come a long long way from just Achaea that had two cities and about 30 active players on at any given time.  Makes me proud!

I'll check this out sometime.

In the end, I'm sure skill in combat will be heavily dependent on how well constructed an automated system is, like the other games.

Of course, though I know a couple of people who can manual well enough to kill even some people with systems.

like the other IRE games eh? =/ Coding is what it often comes down to...

and fun

I might just have to check it out!


I definitely would like to see the adrenaline feature in action.


It's worth noting that there is no XP-loss for PK death in MKO, either. Which makes it essentially risk-free.

There are some players spells, like supernova or stillwater, that will make to lose XP if you die to them.

Wow, sounds pretty different from the way we do things in Achaea. Unsurprising, since iron realms has developed a lot since the backbone of achaea was put in place.


I'm too diehard an Achaean. I tried Lusty for a very brief time but wasn't too impressed.

I've tried it, the combat system seems easier to get into, but it is also very deep. I like how you do not have to worry so much on curatives, but I do wish the playerbase was bigger!

To make the playerbase larger have more friends join! I love MKO and never realized how good the combat was until I tried the other IRE games.

the combat was way easy.. to easy infact really. But the game is still fun.

I've just killed my first centipede in Aetolia. Don't think I've got a lock on the combat there so I'll cut my teeth over there ;)

Sounds interesting.  Think i'll give it a shot.


Makes me want to play Midkemia... Must.Resit. Must... 

"MKO combat, in my opinion is far superior to the other games."


Finally a combat system that isnt dependent on who has the best automated combat defense program, with the fact you must time your defense skills against the oppents attack thru a 1 sec window, with multiple incomming messages, and skill based cure system it will be some time before anyone has a full coded system that they are trying to sell. Now new players are not goning to be dependent on the credit market in order to get past the mid 40-50's.

The part about not using herbs seems interesting


The Adrenaline part sounds interesting, although I'm still trying to get use to Imperian's fighting.

I'm not a huge fighter, but I'm slowly getting use to the scrolling. I think that's the hardest thing for me. Slower scrolling would help.

I had no idea combat between the different IRE games was as unique to the game itself. Great article!

Midkemian combat seems so relaxed compared to Achaea.


That sounds pretty interesting. Maybe I should give it a spin.


Might look into this game sometime...

But what's the reason behind Midkemia's low playerbase?

Midkemia's playerbase is steadily increasing, if you haven't checked it out then do so! I <3 the combat system, it is miles better than the standard herbs/elixirs system found on every other IRE.

That does actually sound kind of fun.

Can I relate Midkemia as trying to be the text-based "Street-fighter" kind of game, since it is trying to move over from the complicated multi-affliction/herb curing design in other IRE games, which force players to either get a "system" or create their own. In other words, how well you can combat is often a measure of how good a programmer you are (or your system's seller is). 

This reminded me of a forum post where someone commented that another IRE game wasn't like what it is today. In the past "systems" were rare and even non-existent. Today, everyone in the game with a decent character has some systems of their own or imported from others. Will Midkemia follow that path eventually? If so, what is the incentive for new players to join Midkemia? They might as well join the existing IRE games available?

I'm very, very inexperienced in MUDs, so I'm not sure if all other MUDs with PVP are like this (which, to me, is more a battle of wits amongst programming-hobbyists, pitting their scripting skills against one another)? Or are there some MUDs that actually encourage simpler combat systems so that it will be more like a text-based "Street Fighter"? (Players without "systems" will not be disadvantaged. It's the choice of usage of skills at different times that will determine the outcome of the battle. Yes I know even with a "system" you still need to choose your input of sorts. But for those who has experience with arcade games, imagine if you have different "systems" for executing fireballs, or even worse, maybe with a certain "system" you just have to press a hotkey and you will unleash a otherwise hard to execute uber-godly combo, while your opponent is still frantically turning his joystick 720 degrees...)

Most successful combatants in MKO have a system. Being a good combatant is a combination of your system and how you use it, and MKO has a very nice free system available on its forums, so everyone can, at minimum, defend effectively. A lot of strategy goes in to how you use your skills; I tend to think of combat as more like chess than Street Fighter. Evenly balanced people can fight for a long time, trying to get openings inside their opponent's guard, and slowly turn the tide in their favor to the point that they can finish the fight.

I don't play any of the other IREs, but from what I have gathered, a key difference is that you don't need to maintain a constant supply of materials to be a fighter in MKO. Depending on your class, you'll have a few things to maintain, but they last a long time, and it isn't a huge hassle to replace them. I also find MKO's system a bit more realistic, as the idea of constantly sipping potions and the like during combat seems a bit odd to me. The emphasis on timing defenses smacks of realism and contributes to a nice combat dynamic.

I gather that combat is less complicated than in the other IREs, as well, as people tend to say that MKO's is easier to get into.

Then of course there are the RP reasons to play MKO; all of the IREs have their own draws in that regard.

I played Achaea for a few years and never really got into PvP.  I didn't use a coded system, so I'm sure that was a big part of the issue.  However, another part for me was the complexity of the herbs/vials Achaean combat system.  When I started MKO it took a bit to get used to the difference, but once I did, I loved it.  As someone (Akaxi, I believe, but am too lazy to check) said above, it is simple enough to get into without much effort or even a coded system, but complex enough to be interesting.


I especially like the telegraph, which is included in most attacks (and is occasionally hidden, depending on various factors).  It seems to add two things to combat: 1) a slightly more realistic feel (If I were to grab a sword and try to stab someone, I imagine that person would most likely see and think, if only for a split second, "I should do something about this") and 2) the interesting feature of interaction with the five avoidance techniques, which are part of the Fighting skill.  Additionally and as noted in the article, it does help with the scrolling wall of death.


Also, as several have said, there are free coded systems for a few different MUD clients.  I use one myself.  The beauty is that with MKO's system it still seems like there is a lot of room for variation, complexity, and strategy.


The last thing I would say is that the way that MKO handles PvP seems a lot more relaxed to me. It is still an important aspect to be considered (who wants their character to die??), but there seems to be more opportunity for group battles, especially with the new aspects of fighting for control of certain villages.  This offers a lot more comfortability and other benefits to those who are intimidated by PvP, which definitely is a partial description of my experience with Achaea.

I would personally encourage anyone who enjoys IRE games to try it out even if you don't want to stick around, especially for those new to text-based MUDs.




This system sounds pretty cool actually.

I would agree thi is intresting but a little more complex too you've got to attack/defend/keep track of your ederenilin similtaniously.

It's hard with just one cure. :C

RPG game = role playing game game.

You writers, I swear.

I have no problem with a player who doesn't defend getting stomped quickly - that's how combat is supposed to work. - - Ishap, The Matrix (13/5/11)

It sounds a bit like a game of ching-chong-cha. But I'm sure it's more complex and nuanced than I'm getting from this article.


for combat they have over there.  It is a little different than the usual IRE as far as coding a system goes (you spend a lot more effort trying NOT to get hit at all, rather than on curing efficiently) but it gives a refreshing new perspective.  Definitely recommend it to those who have not tried it.