Of Light and Darkness - The varied uses of skills

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Of Light and Darkness - The varied uses of skills

Postby Naxos » Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:42 pm

I've been thinking of writing this for the NUA forum, but since it takes a lot of time, I dont want to submit something that is Too unpolished, so I figured I'd write down some things first, then slowly add up to it until it looks decent enough to be presented. Since I needed a place to write it down, and since it might be useful to some, I figured I'd put it there :

Wall of text ahoy btw

Disclaimer : The writer of this page is positively bonkers. Follow these tactics at your own risk, Holy water of lymilark and phoenix feathers will not be distributed as a compensation for the potentially resulting deaths.

I'm back, with yet another over the top ye oldie title. This one is a shameless reference to Worms, and it's Lightside and Darkside. Let me detail.

Lightside essentially is how things are most commonly done, it is a direct approach, almost predictible, but reliably efficient. It is essentially how everyone tends to use the skill when they look at what it can do. A straight exemple here would be Smash, able to bypass an enemy defense, pushback and deal increased damage compared to a normal hit.

Darkside refers to unconventional use or methods of a skill that is either frowned upon, ignored or flat out was not made for that purpose. Basically, playing dirty. You horrible horrible person.

I like to think of myself as a shameless Darksider. Unconventional tricks and ridiculous stunts, tactics that are sometime so complex people dont know or dont care to use are my speciality.


This treatise is essentially my attempt at showcasing some of the least known uses skills can have, and occasionally their misuses or non-use by most. See it mostly as something of a potential or experimental text. Some of the tactics I'll describe here are Very specific and simply do not apply outside of specific contexts. That also means that the context in which they Do work tend to let them be Very useful.


Let's start with a relatively well known skill, Shock, an alchemy skill. Shock is technically meant to have two self admitted uses, one is to deal light damage, and the other is to stun opponents around the Target. During your training, you're encouraged to target yourself with it. As many who trained it will tell you, this often has more bad results than good, as anything hit by the shock will aggro whoever is using it. In short, if you wanted to avoid getting hit by stunning monsters near you every second, you'll be sorely disappointed to notice that 6 monsters have aggroed you and are now mauling you, shocked or not.
What the game does not tell you, but is still rather well known from other players is that you can actually target a monster with the skill. This will indeed negate the potential aggro, as a monster will not aggro another monster.
Normally, it would stop there, you'd be using the stun of the skill and make the best of it to curb stomp the opposition.
Two things to note about Shock that is not actually mentionned and are actually key to make the best use of it : The first is how Ludicrously long ranged the skill is. By that I do not mean how far the lightning errupting from the shocked target reach, but how far you can launch the skill onto your target. The distance of a Shock is actually longer than Fireball. That means you can actually launch the skill well outside of most aggro range with complete impunity, as it will generate absolutely no aggro. This in turn will allow you to deal constant chipping damage if you so wish, and the enemy AI will not react to it at all. The damage is small, but can be globally increased to reach around 400 per hit through ranking Fire and Wind Alchemy Mastery, the skill itself, and using Elemental Wave. Elemental Wave will increase the range of the lightning strikes, and the duration of the skill, which can quickly turn the skill as an efficient whistling damage to any group of enemies.
The second use is very practical and often ignored : Shock stuns the unstunnable. Well, not exactly, but all those monsters with Advanced Heavy Stander who do not flinch when you attack them ? Shock will stun them, complete with the stunning animation. It is extremely efficient in taking those monsters down with ease.
One bad side of Shock should be mentionned, however limited it's effect is : An enemy targeted by Shock cannot itself be shocked. That means if two alchemists were to use Shock on two different targets nearby, the lightning of one wouldn't strike the other. Think of it as Shock insulating the target.

That one was a bit complex, let's go with a simpler one Wire Pull, the puppetry skill. It's use is very simplistic, you use your control bars to pull an enemy directly toward you with force, knocking them back. Aside from training, few people have used this skill, because it is inherently impractical. Normally, you dont exactly Want an enemy closer to you. It was designed to quickly seperate a monster from it's group, but it has seen little use in most cases. There is however one thing it is extremely efficient in : Seperating healers from their groups.
Healers have a very simplistic AI, especially monsters who use Party Healing. They will essentially put almost All their focus unto Healing and thus will not actually attack even when actively aggroed. In some cases such as the Martial Art Tournament in Avon and Grandmaster Missions, you will encounter NPCs who heal their allies, often for a lot, and greatly lenghtening the fight. There is a trick to it however. The Healer cannot heal if they are not in range, especially Party Healing users. A few uses of Wire Pull are generally enough to get an enemy out of Healing range, and haplessly Healing only themselves, leaving their allies to be mauled by yours. In a few clicks, you've disabled their healer. The higher the rank, the farther you can reach with the skill, making it easier to seperate them from the group.

Another rather simple one, and one which I referenced in my other guide, involve Barrier Spikes. Barrier spikes are generally looked down on when you reach a high level and have a strong character, as it doesn't scale properly with your character's progress. It has a fixed amount of health, which can only be increased by so much, lacks defense and protection, and is generally quick to fall down, even when maxed out. Normally, people would use it to hide behind. That's it's obvious function. However, it can be used in a few original ways.
One of which was thought of by the devs, but in a limited way. Once you've reached a specific rank, your Barriers will deal retaliation damage, the monsters hitting them will take damage per hits in melee, proportionnal to their damage. That seems straightforward. An old trick, used by veterans of times past revolved around this single feature : It damages what hits it. And it does not take into account the attacking enemy's defense or protection. This used to be a favorite method of players to whistle down the health of Melee Immune monsters, like the Demi Lich and the Banshee of Peaca. repeatedly placing barriers between the monster and themselves, and letting them slowly kill themselves on it.
What is less commonly suspected is that it is affected by Splash damage as well, making the skill a bit more efficient than it supposedly could be against enemies with a wide Splash. It's still pretty limited though, what good does it do ? Well, think big. Think very big. Girgashyi big. That's right, the big chicken's Staff attack counts as a melee attack, and has a deliciously large splash area. At rank 1 Barrier Spikes, an alchemist may place 4 barriers, with a rather high health, further bolstered by any Clay Mastery bonus. If you have 4 alchemists with those skills, you have 16 barriers. All of them if hit will deal retaliatory damage, ignoring the monster's protection and defense. It turns out that annoying Staff attack of his may have atleast a little bit of use to you. Girgashyi is easy to trick into aggro, it react strongly to Healing in particular, and anything that hits it, so it would be rather simple to have someone act as a distraction while the rest set up the barrier field. Again, this has Limited use, but it's possible, most importantly, this help for any group who want to rake up damage where they can find it. Someone has to be crazy enough to try eventually. Any monster with similarly wide range melee attacks are equally affected.
Not done with barrier spikes. Nope. There is one more thing. Most people use barriers to hide behind. One must wonder though. Is it their real use ? Barriers, by definition are meant to Hinder, not directly protect. Sometime, you dont want the barrier to be close to you, but close to your enemy rather, pinning them, and hindering Their movement. Any instances in which you can set up barriers before spawning enemies in a specific, predictible location actually makes these barriers useful, as it give you time to act depending on what spawns. In the case of instant aggro, this is doubly useful, as it allows you to react properly : even if destroyed in one hit, the barriers cannot be crossed as long as they've not disappeared from the ground fully, and this takes an extra second. Valuable time to anyone in a tight spot.
There is also the use which I mentionned in the other guide : Since barriers can be attacked by anyone, players included, one can actually use a barrier to either trigger a jump attack to a nearby enemy (Thunder) or use it to hit a monster behind a different obstacle or at range (Fireball). In the case of the jump attack, this is particularly useful, as it ignores obstacles. A barrier placed against a tangible wall, with an enemy behind said wall will be hit by the area of effect of a thunder used on the barrier, even through the wall. Again a trick of veterans of old when it came to Peaca.

Let's follow up with Support Shot. This one was looked down upon for many years, mostly as a rather useless skill, who didn't deal much damage. Pah ! No damage ! No good ! This has changed considerably when melee damage saw another use, particularly because of Support Shot's property to apply from 70 (rank 1) up to 100% (master) increased melee damage to the target for the next melee hit. Percents have a high tendency to go crescendo with a player's progress. Raids in particular saw a great use for this rediscovered feature, and Support Shot found some use once more.
And in all of that, many missed another little feature of Support Shot. Stun. That's right, the skill has a strangely long stun time for an Arrow based skill. An enemy hit by Support Shot will actually be stopped in it's tracks for a short few seconds, long enough for an archer to load a nice little Magnum Shot at a full 100%. The fact that Support shot has an almost non existent cooldown, and is fast to aim makes this skill doubly efficient for archers with said Magnum, letting them Knock an enemy about with no risks. Keep in mind this is full Stun, that is the enemy while hit will neither move nor activate a skill for this time period. This is equally useful to impair a mage or alchemist monster.

Let's continue with everyone's latest favorite Final Hit. It's use is meant to be a final skill to utterly crush an opponent or a large group, with dual wield weapons (and knuckles) negating pushback for the enemy and stun for the user ,although you can still be pushed back/frozen/etc. It's very high damage and ease of use has been very attractive to all it's human users. In some cases though, it can be used as something completely different to great effect.
That's where you ask if I'm nuts to use it for anything else than it's intended purpose (Yes, Yes I am, but that's beside the point). It has in fact a secondary use, if you use it with anything else but Dual Wield weapons. If you do, what happens is you'll actually Knockback an enemy on each strike, which can lead to some trouble for the user if used without care, as hitting an enemy already on the ground lead to instant retaliation, and none likes that. There comes a time however, when you face 2 to 3 magic users loading high damage skills, such as Fireball and Thunder, both seperated by a non negligible distance, and with passive melee resistance. The knocking effect of non dual wield Final Hit is constant, even if the enemy has Heavy Stander. That means you can easily juggle with two of such monsters while your allies focus the third through normal means. In short, you would be using it as a delaying skill. Properly timed, you'll not even get hit, and still deal significant damage to both even. The difference with the conventional use is that you will basically lack the normal damage output, and really now you terrible terrible person, why would you want to deal less damage if it means giving your party a reprieve ?
Joke aside, this little bonus does not apply to monsters who have Advanced Heavy Stander, and thus will not be knocked back by your onslaught. However, the fact that you yourself will be temporarily immune to stuns, and attack Much faster can actually reverse the tendency if you use a heavy duty two handed weapon with high damage and/or crits, just be careful not to die in the process.

And lastly (for now) let's talk about everyone Least favorite skill when it comes to Fighter, Respite. Everyone looks at how the skill is supposed to work, and feel very disappointed at the result. Indeed, the skill doesn't regenerate your health all that much, and stamina is rather common to get. Nevermind the fact that both are basically free, but I will not judge.
Respite has the evil little tendency to apply a debuff on the user with a rather nasty penalty if they were to use Magic or Alchemy after Respite. The debuff lasts a while too, what a horrible thing to do. It takes away part of your health, stamina and mana, and slows down it's regeneration for a little while. Awful stuff. Well in some cases, you actually want it to happen. Yus, you do want to hurt yourself. Because there is one skill that require you to be hurt to use it, Life Drain, and Life Drain comes with it's own little benefits. Life drain ignores protection and defense when it steals the target's life. That means again, some monsters that would be immune to damage will actually see their health sapped all the same. But those monsters tend to have Highly damaging attacks as well, so if you try to get hurt on purpose to fuel Life Drain, you might just get yourself killed. What better way to get hurt in a controllable manner than using Respite and then literally any magic oriented skill ? Woosh ! Instant life Drain at the ready all in the safety of your.... anywhere you're currently doing it !

There are so many more, that I want to keep listing, but I need a fresh mind to come up with them all, and so I'll stop there for the time being.

Link to my other guide for references : http://mabinogi.nexon.net/Community/for ... 6nxid%3D10
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Re: Of Light and Darkness - The varied uses of skills

Postby Naxos » Wed Apr 20, 2016 8:34 am

Let's continue onward on this less than fantastic journey in the world of Dark Mabi then. Yeah I know that's a lame title, but it's a placeholder.

Defense is often looked down as an inefficient skill, mainly because you're taking time cowering and not dealing damage, what's wrong with you ? It's not like using Defense does anything useful right ? Right ? ...
Just so happen, that it does. It does something ludicrously useful for Everyone involved when fighting Advanced Heavy Stander, monsters that are the bane of everyone else. Stunning them, much like Shock does, makes fighting them tactically actually possible it just requires finesse, and a good sense of timing. You see, while a monster is actually unstunnable when you attack them, it does not apply to how They get stunned when they hit you in Defense with a normal attack. Hence, you'll get a window of aproximatively 1 second to lend a hit, during which that monster will be in Recovery animation, from the attack it launched and failed. During this time, it also will not attack anyone who strikes it. This work Wonders with a Tank and Mage combo, with the tank drawing the attention of the monster and goading it into hitting his defense, and the mage, waiting for that window to unleash a powerful barrage of Ice-Fire Fusion. Two melees can do this with one in defense, and the other in Smash waiting for the window, provided the smasher is in the relative vicinity of the defender. Best of all if the monster splashes : remember that Splash dyathribe I made on the other guide ? That means that as long as the person hit is the guy in Defense, the Smasher will not be harmed. It's a darn near perfect combo as far as I can see it. This can also apply to other monsters of course, but when it come to Advanced heavy stander, that's one of the other method you can use when Shock is not available.

Let's pursue with one that is technically no longer ignored as much, but is still not that well known and ought to be : Sandburst. Innocent enough, you throw a speck of dust into the enemy's eyes, you monster. I wanted you to fight dirty, you cant play anymore dirty than that, the game even point it out. Now it also happen to be the only direct damage skill for Clay Mastery, hence any alchemist will have atleast used it a couple thousand times on average to finish mobs off. This skill has the insalubrious effect on working on almost Any monster, barring Field bosses (and sometime it still works) and make it lose aggro. Instantly. And it has a short cooldown. And it lasts a while. What more could you want ?
Well, it does have downsides, fair is fair. It's short range makes it impractical when you want to use it again an archer or mage monster, and once applied, you cant apply it on the same monster for roughly 10 seconds. But still, compared to lullaby who can only be applied once, and raincast who cant be recast easily once the fight has begun, this is a pretty big boon into all fights, especially if the monsters are strong, and you need frequent breathers. Arguably, it's biggest downside might be that you need to use it on 1 monster at a time, making it of limited use in a multi aggro situation when you're alone. It's highly effective as a group skill however, allowing a mage friend some reprieve to launch a high powered skill that takes time to load.

And that's it for now, before the comp goes nuts and terminate my session before I saved it up
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Re: Of Light and Darkness - The varied uses of skills

Postby Naxos » Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:27 am

Because I do want to put this out eventually, I've decided to work a little more on it.

Let's talk about Puppet snare this time. That punny skill that does almost no damage and immobolize the user just to keep the enemy still a while. Plus if the enemy gets knocked back in any way the skill stops ! That's lame !
Well, I did say skills that knockback. Which means skills like Bash actually dont break the full stun of the skill. Bash is highly damaging but doesn't pushback, it also tend to trigger Passive melee defense, which can lead a warrior to an early grave if they targetted the wrong enemy with bash. The idea is rather simple : Puppet Snare prevent the monster from moving Completely, letting a warrior Bash with impunity, passive defense or not. This also apply to any other skill that does not generate normal pushback, but with the highly damaging Bash, the effects are particularly devastating, not to mention you make your ally's life a great deal easier.

Following it up with another great synergy, this one a bit more used, but still not often enough recognized. Everyone tend to say golems became useless after their windmill got nerfed. To this I say... well plenty of nasty things you can be sure.
The golem was never made to deal damage, but to take it. He's your tank, while you dish out the pain. However controlling it and using it effectively can be cumbersome, and the AI offered by Dual Cylinder is often highly ineffective. However, the golem has an automatic response that makes it hit Anything that targets it. The only trick now is to get the enemies to aggro it instead of you... Remember what I said about Shock having the bad effect of causing aggro toward Anything player controlled with Shock on it ? This is where the weakness turns into a strenght. By using shock on your golem in the middle of a group of monsters, your golem will act as a literal lightning rod, directing all the attacks on itself, generally in melee. A high ranked golem with high rank Clay and Alchemy mastery is actually scarily tough, and boast insane passive defense rates. It can take a Lot of abuse from a large group of monsters. Best of all ? losing your golem cost you only some alchemy crystals, which is easily more replaceable and cheaper to recover than whatever Equipment you had that would take a beating from that group.
Similarly, this tactic can be adapted in areas where Barrier Spikes cannot be used, by keeping the golem and shocking it to make it act as a Net, rather than a barrier, and keeping the aggro off you (or stun the monster enough that you can easily dispatch them).

That's roughly what I could quickly came up with. And I'm forgetting a few more.
The final word here is rather simple : Dont underestimate skills. Any of them. They all have tricks and hidden mechanics, some of them Actually planned by the devs for you to use and it would make your life a great deal easier if you knew about them and used them.
Lastly, I hope my sarcasm about the whole "Must.Deal.Damage.Ungh" came across :p . If you can kill anything without thinking then good for you, you dont need tricks such as those I mentionned. Unfortunately, there are still some people who Believe they can do that, try and often make a very poor display of their martial prowess, and need to be rescued by their teammates. Power without control or thought is Efficient Power. As I often pointed out to beginners and friends, you cant kill anything if you're dead yourself. Therefore planning your combat and knowing what's available to you is far more crucial that this fancy looking sword with the big numbers.

I hope that helps in giving you a renewed perspective toward those often forgotten skills.


Aaaand finally posted it, final version is there : http://mabinogi.nexon.net/Community/for ... 6nxid%3D10
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Up to date : Of Light and Darkness - The varied uses of skil

Postby Naxos » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:23 pm

The old forums are going to be deleted, so I'm making a save of both my guides there just in case they became useful again :

Post Of Light and Darkness - The varied uses of skills



WIP

Wall of text ahoy. This post will be heavily edited to remove parts where I mention pausing between redactions. It also currently lack videos that I will try to provide at a later time.

Parts in bold are there to facilitate your reading.

Grab a sammich and a bottle of whatever keeps you awake, cause it's a long one. I may break it down into smaller parts if people find it too difficult to read.


Disclaimer : The writer of this page is positively bonkers. Follow these tactics at your own risk, Holy water of lymilark and phoenix feathers will not be distributed as a compensation for the potentially resulting deaths.

I'm back, with yet another over the top ye oldie title. This one is a shameless reference to Worms, and it's Lightside and Darkside. Let me detail.

-Lightside essentially is how things are most commonly done, it is a direct approach, almost predictible, but reliably efficient. It is essentially how everyone tends to use the skill when they look at what it can do. A straight exemple here would be Smash, able to bypass an enemy defense, pushback and deal increased damage compared to a normal hit.

-Darkside refers to unconventional use or methods of a skill that is either frowned upon, ignored or flat out was not made for that purpose. Basically, playing dirty. You horrible horrible person.
I like to think of myself as a shameless Darksider. Unconventional tricks and ridiculous stunts, tactics that are sometime so complex people dont know or dont care to use are my speciality.


This treatise is essentially my attempt at showcasing some of the least known uses skills can have, and occasionally their misuses or non-use by most. See it mostly as something of a potential or experimental text. Some of the tactics I'll describe here are Very specific and simply do not apply outside of specific contexts. That also means that the context in which they Do work tend to let them be Very useful.


-Let's start with a relatively well known skill, Shock, an alchemy skill. Shock is technically meant to have two self admitted uses, one is to deal light damage, and the other is to stun opponents around the Target. During your training, you're encouraged to target yourself with it. As many who trained it will tell you, this often has more bad results than good, as anything hit by the shock will aggro whoever is using it. In short, if you wanted to avoid getting hit by stunning monsters near you every second, you'll be sorely disappointed to notice that 6 monsters have aggroed you and are now mauling you, shocked or not.
-What the game does not tell you, but is still rather well known from other players is that you can actually target a monster with the skill. This will indeed negate the potential aggro, as a monster will not aggro another monster. Normally, it would stop there, you'd be using the stun of the skill and make the best of it to curb stomp the opposition.
-Two things to note about Shock that is not actually mentionned and are actually key to make the best use of it : The first is how Ludicrously long ranged the skill is. By that I do not mean how far the lightning errupting from the shocked target reach, but how far you can launch the skill onto your target. The distance of a Shock is actually longer than Fireball. That means you can actually launch the skill well outside of most aggro range with complete impunity, as it will generate absolutely no aggro. This in turn will allow you to deal constant chipping damage if you so wish, and the enemy AI will not react to it at all. The damage is small, but can be globally increased to reach around 400 per hit through ranking Fire and Wind Alchemy Mastery, the skill itself, and using Elemental Wave. Elemental Wave will increase the range of the lightning strikes, and the duration of the skill, which can quickly turn the skill as an efficient whistling damage to any group of enemies.
-The second use is very practical and often ignored : Shock stuns the unstunnable. Well, not exactly, but all those monsters with Advanced Heavy Stander who do not flinch when you attack them ? Shock will stun them, complete with the stunning animation. It is extremely efficient in taking those monsters down with ease.
One bad side of Shock should be mentionned, however limited it's effect is : An enemy targeted by Shock cannot itself be shocked. That means if two alchemists were to use Shock on two different targets nearby, the lightning of one wouldn't strike the other. Think of it as Shock insulating the target.



That one was a bit complex, let's go with a simpler one Wire Pull, the puppetry skill. It's use is very simplistic, you use your control bars to pull an enemy directly toward you with force, knocking them back. Aside from training, few people have used this skill, because it is inherently impractical. Normally, you dont exactly Want an enemy closer to you. It was designed to quickly seperate a monster from it's group, but it has seen little use in most cases. There is however one thing it is extremely efficient in : Seperating healers from their groups.
-Healers have a very simplistic AI, especially monsters who use Party Healing. They will essentially put almost All their focus unto Healing and thus will not actually attack even when actively aggroed. In some cases such as the Martial Art Tournament in Avon and Grandmaster Missions, you will encounter NPCs who heal their allies, often for a lot, and greatly lenghtening the fight. There is a trick to it however. The Healer cannot heal if they are not in range, especially Party Healing users. A few uses of Wire Pull are generally enough to get an enemy out of Healing range, and haplessly Healing only themselves, leaving their allies to be mauled by yours. In a few clicks, you've disabled their healer. The higher the rank, the farther you can reach with the skill, making it easier to seperate them from the group.



Another rather simple one, and one which I referenced in my other guide, involve Barrier Spikes. Barrier spikes are generally looked down on when you reach a high level and have a strong character, as it doesn't scale properly with your character's progress. It has a fixed amount of health, which can only be increased by so much, lacks defense and protection, and is generally quick to fall down, even when maxed out. Normally, people would use it to hide behind. That's it's obvious function. However, it can be used in a few original ways.
-One of which was thought of by the devs, but in a limited way. Once you've reached a specific rank, your Barriers will deal retaliation damage, the monsters hitting them will take damage per hits in melee, proportionnal to their damage. That seems straightforward. An old trick, used by veterans of times past revolved around this single feature : It damages what hits it. And it does not take into account the attacking enemy's immunities. This used to be a favorite method of players to whistle down the health of Melee Immune monsters, like the Demi Lich and the Banshee of Peaca. repeatedly placing barriers between the monster and themselves, and letting them slowly kill themselves on it.
What is less commonly suspected is that it is affected by Splash damage as well, making the skill a bit more efficient than it supposedly could be against enemies with a wide Splash. It's still pretty limited though, what good does it do ? Well, think big. Think very big. Girgashyi big. That's right, the big chicken's Staff attack counts as a melee attack, and has a deliciously large splash area. At rank 1 Barrier Spikes, an alchemist may place 4 barriers, with a rather high health, further bolstered by any Clay Mastery bonus. If you have 4 alchemists with those skills, you have 16 barriers. All of them if hit will deal retaliatory damage, ignoring the monster's protection and defense. It turns out that annoying Staff attack of his may have atleast a little bit of use to you. Girgashyi is easy to trick into aggro, it react strongly to Healing in particular, and anything that hits it, so it would be rather simple to have someone act as a distraction while the rest set up the barrier field. Again, this has Limited use, but it's possible, most importantly, this help for any group who want to rake up damage where they can find it. Someone has to be crazy enough to try eventually. Any monster with similarly wide range melee attacks are equally affected.
-Not done with barrier spikes. Nope. There is one more thing. Most people use barriers to hide behind. One must wonder though. Is it their real use ? Barriers, by definition are meant to Hinder, not directly protect. Sometime, you dont want the barrier to be close to you, but close to your enemy rather, pinning them, and hindering Their movement. Any instances in which you can set up barriers before spawning enemies in a specific, predictible location actually makes these barriers useful, as it give you time to act depending on what spawns. In the case of instant aggro, this is doubly useful, as it allows you to react properly : even if destroyed in one hit, the barriers cannot be crossed as long as they've not disappeared from the ground fully, and this takes an extra second. Valuable time to anyone in a tight spot.
-There is also the use which I mentionned in the other guide : Since barriers can be attacked by anyone, players included, one can actually use a barrier to either trigger a jumping attack to a nearby enemy (Thunder) or use it to hit a monster behind a different obstacle or at range (Fireball). In the case of the jumping attack, this is particularly useful, as it ignores obstacles. A barrier placed against a tangible wall, with an enemy behind said wall will be hit by the area of effect of a thunder used on the barrier, even through the wall. Again a trick of veterans of old when it came to Peaca.
-Lastly, Barrier Spikes also block teleporting monsters dead in their tracks, messing heavily with their AIs and pathfinding. This can make the normally nasty Alban Golem teleport on the spot without ever reaching you.



Let's follow up with Support Shot. This one was looked down upon for many years, mostly as a rather useless skill, who didn't deal much damage. Pah ! No damage ! No good ! This has changed considerably when melee damage saw another use, particularly because of Support Shot's property to apply from 70 (rank 1) up to 100% (master) increased melee damage to the target for the next melee hit. Percents have a high tendency to go crescendo with a player's progress. Raids in particular saw a great use for this rediscovered feature, and Support Shot found some use once more.
-And in all of that, many missed another little feature of Support Shot. Stun. That's right, the skill has a strangely long stun time for an Arrow based skill. An enemy hit by Support Shot will actually be stopped in it's tracks for a short few seconds, long enough for an archer to load a nice little Magnum Shot at a full 100%. The fact that Support shot has an almost non existent cooldown, and is fast to aim makes this skill doubly efficient for archers with said Magnum, letting them Knock an enemy about with no risks. Keep in mind this is full Stun, that is the enemy while hit will neither move nor activate a skill for this time period. This is equally useful to impair a mage or alchemist monster.



Let's continue with everyone's latest favorite Final Hit. It's use is meant to be a final skill to utterly crush an opponent or a large group, with dual wield weapons (and knuckles) negating pushback for the enemy and stun for the user ,although you can still be pushed back/frozen/etc. It's very high damage and ease of use has been very attractive to all it's human users. In some cases though, it can be used as something completely different to great effect.
-That's where you ask if I'm nuts to use it for anything else than it's intended purpose (Yes, Yes I am, but that's beside the point). It has in fact a secondary use, if you use it with anything else but Dual Wield weapons. If you do, what happens is you'll actually Knockback an enemy on each strike, which can lead to some trouble for the user if used without care, as hitting an enemy already on the ground lead to instant retaliation, and none likes that. There comes a time however, when you face 2 to 3 magic users loading high damage skills, such as Fireball and Thunder, both seperated by a non negligible distance, and with passive melee resistance. The knocking effect of non dual wield Final Hit is constant, even if the enemy has Heavy Stander. That means you can easily juggle with two of such monsters while your allies focus the third through normal means. In short, you would be using it as a delaying skill. Properly timed, you'll not even get hit, and still deal significant damage to both even. The difference with the conventional use is that you will basically lack the normal damage output, and really now you terrible terrible person, why would you want to deal less damage if it means giving your party a reprieve ? Note that this can be used to your advantage with wide splash weapons against very large groups of enemies, letting you keep off 6 to 8 monsters tightly grouped at once, with careful timing and accuracy.
-Joke aside, this little bonus does not apply to monsters who have Advanced Heavy Stander, and thus will not be knocked back by your onslaught. However, the fact that you yourself will be temporarily immune to stuns (this can be a bad thing, since you wont be pushed back and thus constantly attacked), and attack Much faster can actually reverse the tendency if you use a heavy duty two handed weapon with high damage and/or crits, just be careful not to die in the process.



And let's talk about everyone Least favorite skill when it comes to Fighter, Respite. Everyone looks at how the skill is supposed to work, and feel very disappointed at the result. Indeed, the skill doesn't regenerate your health all that much, and stamina is rather common to get. Nevermind the fact that both are basically free, but I will not judge.
-Respite has the evil little tendency to apply a debuff on the user with a rather nasty penalty if they were to use Magic or Alchemy after Respite. The debuff lasts a while too, what a horrible thing to do. It takes away part of your health, stamina and mana, and slows down it's regeneration for a little while. Awful stuff. Well in some cases, you actually want it to happen. Yus, you do want to hurt yourself. Because there is one skill that require you to be hurt to use it, Life Drain, and Life Drain comes with it's own little benefits. Life drain ignores protection and defense when it steals the target's life. That means again, some monsters that would be immune to damage will actually see their health sapped all the same. But those monsters tend to have Highly damaging attacks as well, so if you try to get hurt on purpose to fuel Life Drain, you might just get yourself killed. What better way to get hurt in a controllable manner than using Respite and then literally any magic oriented skill ? Woosh ! Instant life Drain at the ready all in the safety of your.... anywhere you're currently doing it !



Defense is often looked down as an inefficient skill, mainly because you're taking time cowering and not dealing damage, what's wrong with you ? It's not like using Defense does anything useful right ? Right ? ...
-Just so happen, that it does. It does something ludicrously useful for Everyone involved when fighting Advanced Heavy Stander monsters that are the bane of everyone else. Stunning them, much like Shock does, makes fighting them tactically actually possible it just requires finesse, and a good sense of timing. You see, while a monster is actually unstunnable when you attack them, it does not apply to how They get stunned when they hit you in Defense with a normal attack. Hence, you'll get a window of aproximatively 1 second to land a hit, during which that monster will be in Recovery animation, from the attack it launched and failed. During this time, it also will not attack anyone who strikes it. This work Wonders with a Tank and Mage combo, with the tank drawing the attention of the monster and goading it into hitting his defense, and the mage, waiting for that window to unleash a powerful barrage of Ice-Fire Fusion. Two melees can do this with one in defense, and the other in Smash waiting for the window, provided the smasher is in the relative vicinity of the defender. Best of all if the monster splashes : remember that Splash dyathribe I made on the other guide ? That means that as long as the person hit is the guy in Defense, the Smasher will not be harmed. It's a darn near perfect combo as far as I can see it. This can also apply to other monsters of course, but when it come to Advanced heavy stander, that's one of the other method you can use when Shock is not available.



-Let's pursue with one that is technically no longer ignored as much, but is still not that well known and ought to be : Sandburst. Innocent enough, you throw a speck of dust into the enemy's eyes, you monster. I wanted you to fight dirty, you cant play anymore dirty than that, the game even point it out. Now it also happen to be the only direct damage skill for Clay Mastery, hence any alchemist will have atleast used it a couple thousand times on average to finish mobs off. This skill has the insalubrious effect on working on almost Any monster, barring Field bosses (and sometime it still works) and make it lose aggro. Instantly. And it has a short cooldown. And it lasts a while. What more could you want ?
Well, it does have downsides, fair is fair. It's short range makes it impractical when you want to use it again an archer or mage monster, and once applied, you cant apply it on the same monster for roughly 10 seconds. But still, compared to lullaby who can only be applied once, and raincast who cant be recast easily once the fight has begun, this is a pretty big boon into all fights, especially if the monsters are strong, and you need frequent breathers. Arguably, it's biggest downside might be that you need to use it on 1 monster at a time, making it of limited use in a multi aggro situation when you're alone. It's highly effective as a group skill however, allowing a mage friend some reprieve to launch a high powered skill that takes time to load.



Let's talk about Puppet Snare this time. That punny skill that does almost no damage and immobilize the user just to keep the enemy still a while. Plus if the enemy gets knocked back in any way the skill stops ! That's lame !
-Well, I did say skills that knockback. Which means skills like Bash actually dont break the full stun of the skill. Bash is highly damaging but doesn't pushback, it also tend to trigger Passive melee defense, which can lead a warrior to an early grave if they targetted the wrong enemy with bash. The idea is rather simple : Puppet Snare prevent the monster from moving Completely, letting a warrior Bash with impunity, passive defense or not. This also apply to any other skill that does not generate normal pushback, but with the highly damaging Bash, the effects are particularly devastating, not to mention you make your ally's life a great deal easier.



Following it up with another great synergy, this one a bit more used, but still not often enough recognized. Everyone tend to say Golems became useless after their windmill got nerfed. To this I say... well plenty of nasty things you can be sure.
-The golem was never made to deal damage, but to take it. He's your tank, while you dish out the pain. However controlling it and using it effectively can be cumbersome, and the AI offered by Dual Cylinder is often highly ineffective. However, the golem has an automatic response that makes it hit Anything that targets it. The only trick now is to get the enemies to aggro it instead of you... Remember what I said about Shock having the bad effect of causing aggro toward Anything player controlled with Shock on it ? This is where the weakness turns into a strenght. By using shock on your golem in the middle of a group of monsters, your golem will act as a literal lightning rod, directing all the attacks on itself, generally in melee... and cause it to automatically retaliate each time it is hit placing it in a semi automated mode. A high ranked golem with high rank Clay and Alchemy mastery is actually scarily tough, and boast insane passive defense rates. It can take a Lot of abuse from a large group of monsters. Best of all ? losing your golem cost you only some alchemy crystals, which is easily more replaceable and cheaper to recover than whatever Equipment you had that would take a beating from that group.
-Similarly, this tactic can be adapted in areas where Barrier Spikes cannot be used, by keeping the golem close to the area you want to defend and shocking it to make it act as a Net, rather than a barrier, and keeping the aggro off you (or stun the monster enough that you can easily dispatch them).



That's roughly what I could quickly come up with. And I'm forgetting a few more.
The final word here is rather simple : Dont underestimate skills. Any of them. They all have tricks and hidden mechanics, some of them Actually planned by the devs for you to use and it would make your life a great deal easier if you knew about them and used them.
Lastly, I hope my sarcasm about the whole "Must.Deal.Damage.Ungh" came across . If you can kill anything without thinking then good for you, you dont need tricks such as those I mentionned. Unfortunately, there are still some people who Believe they can do that, try and often make a very poor display of their martial prowess, and need to be rescued by their teammates. Power without control or thought is not Efficient Power. As I often pointed out to beginners and friends, you cant kill anything if you're dead yourself. Therefore planning your combat and knowing what's available to you is far more crucial that this fancy looking sword with the big numbers.

I hope that helps in giving you a renewed perspective toward those often forgotten skills.
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Up to date : Of Monsters and Miletians pt1

Postby Naxos » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:24 pm

Of Monsters and Milletians - Early Monsters Specifics and AIs

[WIP]

Mabinogi started as a rather unforgiving tactical game, in which Skills used worked as a Rock Paper Scissor game, and as such, using the right skill at the right time against the right monster was pretty much the only way to go.
The game has become much more lenient in that regard, although it still works to the player's advantage to know in advance which monster tends to do what in a specific situation. There are a Lot of monsters in Mabinogi, but AI Wise, you could class all those monsters into "Families", which tend to share a similar set of skills and predetermined actions.

This guide is more suited to people who enjoy playing "Chess" with their opponent, plan every move and adapt to changing situations accordingly. You will be the Chessmaster, by knowing the movement range of your opponents, you make them act the way You want.

Before we go straight to monster, we need to briefly mention Aggro. Not all monsters share the same aggroing speed or range, nor even the same aggro pattern. The only way to differenciate them is simply to experiment and observe, however here is a short list with examples of what you can expect. You'll have to forgive me if I use my own vocabulary compared maybe to what is most commonly acknowledged as "the right word for it".

-Aggroing types

Passive :
This monster will actively ignore the player's presence until harmed. The least common type of monster, and believe it or not, not actually near starting areas.
-Use : Quite practical when you need to use a fighting skill for training that requires long preparation, and are easy to interrupt, as those monsters will not harm you until it is too late.
-Example : Mongooses (located throughout Maiz prairie and around Filia, Connous) Kiwis (located in Rano's ravines, and a special green one in Cor, Courcle) Armadillos and Porcupines (outside Filia, Connous) Gray, Brown, Country, Snowfield Rats (Be careful, as other Rats are part of the Wary or Aggressive category).
Video : https://youtu.be/NpSfkdtbA8g

Wary : This monster will notice the player, but will not actively aggro until harmed. Mostly found near starting areas. In some cases, these monsters will aggro upon being aimed at with a ranged weapon (bow/crossbow)
-Use : Similar to Passive, these monsters are commonly used as target practice for skills that require to not be interrupted, or prepared. They are however slightly less practical, as they will circle the player constantly after they have noticed him, which can make aiming specific skills more difficult.
-Example : Foxes (Throughout Ulaidh and Iria, most commonly near towns, though the ones in Iria can be tougher and more scattered. Physis have large herds of them for nearly all regions) Raccoons (Around Dugald Aisle and Tailtean for the most part. Be careful, as the Black Racoons of Dunbarton, as a field Boss are Aggressive), Bats (In most dungeons, with the exceptions of Hardmode dungeons, in which they are Aggressive, and Giant Bats), Buffalos (Courcle).
Video : https://youtu.be/6_s3-DvlEXw

Defensive : This monster will notice the player, but will aggro only when they go into Combat Mode (default key SPACE), ontop of aggroing when harmed, like any other.
-Use : Limited, this type of monster is actually quite rare, but can be used to train defensive skills, such as Defense and Counter whenever you're prepared, by simply loading the skill and Then going into Combat Mode to trigger the monster's attack. Also useful in order to train Mana Shield.
-Example : Gray Wolves (South of Tir Chonail), Succubus (Rabbie Dungeon)
Video : https://youtu.be/PaUnX6Zxs-4

Aggressive : The bulk of Mabinogi's monster database is located here. This monster will first notice, then aggro the player after a set amount of time. It will aggro faster if the player is in Combat Mode. Like all others, it also automatically aggro if harmed.
-Use : FUN ! These are the monster you specifically need to learn about in order to counter properly.
-Example : The earliest would be all wolves beside Gray, Bears in general, Goblins, Kobolds, and essentially everything inside dungeons and Shadow Missions, aside from examples listed in previous sections.

Mimics : Mimics are special in that they dont aggro upon a set amount of time, and ignore the player Completely until they are activated by touch and attacked.
-Use : Training skills that do not draw aggro, such as Stomp for Giants, Shockwave, Smoke screen... They are generally weak, and can also be used to be attacked safely either to increase proficiency on a shield or armor, or train Critical Hit and Defense, as well as Armor and Shield masteries, or even Mana Shield
-Example : Literally all mimics (Inside Dungeons), Strange Books behave similarly (Ghost of Partholon Shadow Mission).
Video : https://youtu.be/rGQSPIiTagI


-Number of Aggro

For the most part, early on, you will deal with Monsters that essentially "duel" you, by going 1v1 against you. Depending on the type of aggro above, they may organize in various ways however, specifically the Aggressive type, as the rest will often keep to a 1v1 basis. Aggressive types are tricky by definition.

Some monsters will actually stay in 1v1, like Werewolves in Fiodh, who will only notice and aggro one at a time. There is an exception to that, in that if you attack a second monster while not having killed the first one, the two of them will aggro you.
-Tactic : Be careful to finish your first fight before picking another. Do not panic and anticipate the second fight, by being ready to repeat what you did with the first one. Use a defensive skill like Counter and Defense after the first monster has died, as it will increases your chances of staying unhindered and give you some early advantage.
Video : http://youtu.be/zajgjpLrV4s

Some monsters will actually Notice you while another is already aggroed, and that will be your cue to know that Immediately after you've dealt with the first one, you need to be ready to meet the assault of the second. Wolves do this a lot, as well as Gargoyles later on. They are essentially "Queuing", so you know which one will attack next, which makes it easier to ready for in consequence.
-Tactic : Same as above, do not attempt to attack another before the first have died, even if you've been Noticed. Ready a defensive skill as soon as the first one has died, as these monsters attack Much faster.

And finally, some monsters know no courtesy, and will attack you, even while you're already fighting, this is refered to as Multi Aggro by the playerbase, and the reason many players die early on. Several type of Multi Aggro exist. Some monsters will simply team up with another of the same type, like Poison Goblins in Ciar, and Sprites of Coil. Others will actually be organized in their Aggro, specifically Archers and Mages will always be able to multi aggro with any type of monsters, the earliest thing you will encounter is Goblin Archers in Ciar, teaming up with normal goblins. Likewise Kobolds, of the same family will do the same in Math dungeon. Shadow Archers and Shadow Wizards and Alchemists in Shadow Missions will also act similarly. These will be your first tough challenges, especially if you try fighting them alone.
-Tactic :
If grouped with other players : distribute the monsters between party members, this will decrease the likelyhood that an individual player will be ganged on, and increase everyone's survival chance. Focus on Mages and Archers, before you're pinned down by melee monsters.
-If alone : DO NOT PANIC. You Will take hits, so panicking and doing random things will actually make you far less efficient. Limit the amount of hits you're going to take by using Counter and Defense as much as possible. If you know in advance you will face this sort of aggro, equip in consequence, with heavy armor and a shield, to mitigate the damage. This will essentially be a battle of attrition, in which you must last longer than the enemies. If you have an opportunity to deal early strikes before you're completely surrounded, focus on Archers and Mages, as they deal most of the damage, and are harder to dispatch otherwise, use Charge to get quickly in range, if you have it.

Finally, some monsters will actively gang on the player with no apparent limit. You may be simultaneously aggroed by as many as 12 monsters, although you wont face this sort of nightmare early on. There is still a limit of monsters that will go after you, so if you're particularly daring, you can essentially aggro as many as possible, before walking unhindered near monsters of the same type and staying unmolested (Do not risk this early on. Matter of fact, do not risk this at all, as it's a very very specific tactic).

-Monster Non Skill Based Behaviour

These encompass actions taken by monsters that are not actual skills, but part of their AIs, and are often family specific. There are more than initially listed, and I will complete the list accordingly.

Circling : The monster will actually circle around the player while walking, usually in Defense. This makes it harder to Smash them, especially if they walk fast. Most commonly used by Wolves of all types, but also adopted by Bears.
-Tactic : You may want to actually avoid Smashing, especially if you have high latency (delays), and instead keep your Defense or Counter up, to wait for the assault.

Feinting : Yes ! Some monsters will Actively try to deceive you by switching skills at the last moment. It may take the form of simply loading smash before cancelling it and striking normally, loading Defense after getting Knocked Back, only to immediately stand up and rush you to attack, or rush you then stop just in front of you and walk away for a time, before resuming the attack. Most common offenders : Bears(Cancels Defense and Smash), Crag Cows Gorgons and Ratmen (all three use all of the above tricks).
-Tactic : The monster does so to get you to Cancel your Defensive skill before attacking them, either normally or with Smash, at which point they will attack in turn, and most assuredly hit you. Therefore keep your Defensive skills up.

Flanking : To a degree, a large amount of monsters will do so, that is instead of coming directly in a straight line to attack (both melee and range attack) the monster will take a curve to strike you on the side. In which case, directional skills such as Lightning Rod, Focused Fist, Barrier spikes or Flameburst may fail to reach. The faster the monster is (read distance covered in average per second) the wider his angle is likely to be, with monsters such as Shadow Fighters and Shadow Lancers occasionally circling all around you to attack from the rear. This put an alchemist who uses Barrier Spikes in jeopardy if you didn't cover your flank efficiently.
-Tactic : Melee have it more easy, as Defense, Counter and Windmill will still trigger. Fighters should take the offensive back, by using Charging Strike (an Targeted skill) to home in on the flanking enemy before they're reached. All ranged attacks, including magic and alchemy may interrupt the flanking manoeuver with a single hit of whatever attack they prefer, prompting the enemy to charge in a straight line, from which point the use of directional skill become more predictable.
Should you be using barrier spikes, arrange their position so that you either have all flanks and rear covered (3 barrier made into a triangle around the user) or use existing barriers (walls, trees, obstacles in general) to cover your flanks. Putting a single barrier at an angle in the corner of a dungeon room is generally sufficient to keep you safe. (I'll provide a video for such positions in a bit)

Staring : The monster will essentially load either Smash or Defense and slowly walk up to the player. If Smash was loaded, expect the monster to use it after a short delay (this delay starts after they have Loaded the skill, not after they've reached the player). Most commonly used by Goblins of all sorts, Bandits and Shadow Fighters/Warriors among others.
-Tactic : This "scare" tactic is supposed to give the player time to try and take the monster down before it has reached them. If you can time it well, you may attack with a Smash (against enemy Defense) or normal attacks (against enemy Smash) with relative safety

Fleeing : Bird-like monsters (such as Kiwis) will indulge in this very often, to your constant frustration, as this makes it very hard for you to continue your assault. The monster will constantly run away from you, without trying to attack you in any way. The most known offenders are Kiwis in Iria.
-Tactic : Force their aggro by using a ranged attack or magic, being hit Once by Anything is a sure way for any monster to attack normally whoever attacked it, which in turns makes it easier for you to Counter them, to deal further damage.

Retreat : Mages and Archers are very fond of this, as they will try to keep their distance away from you, in order to line up more shots, and essentially ruin your day. Compared to the above Fleeing, these monsters will stop to fire at you, which makes them not only frustrating but dangerous.
-Tactic : Abuse Charge against them, to quickly close the distance. Focus on them until dead.

Feigned Attack : Rare, but occurs. The monster will attack you without aggro, generally only once, to make you try to attack them in turn, and doing so aggro them for real. Gargoyles will indulge in this very often. Succubuses are the only Defensive monster to indulge in this.
-Tactic : If already aggroed (Gargoyles), keep your cool and finish the first one first, even if you must take several hits, several gargoyles are hard to deal with. If you're not already aggroed (Succubus) feel free to indulge in your sudden outburst of rage and reciprocate with a hard felt Windmill or normal attack.


-Monsters with Equipment

Weapons :
Maybe you may have noticed some monsters appear to have weapons equipped, weapons that players can use, specifically. That would include Goblins' axes, Skeletons Broad sticks and Longswords and Gargoyle's Machetes and Gargoyle's Swords. That also include monsters with weapons players cannot access, such as Shadow Fighters, Lancers Warriors and Commanders or Ogre Warriors.
This detail is not just graphic actually, and has various effects in Combat, that as a player you need to watch out for.

Increased criticals : Most monsters with a weapon equipped will actually hit in critical hits much more often than a monster who does not, which early on tend to translate as an early death, for whoever doesn't have the required protection defense and health to mitigate the strong increase in damage.
-Tactic : First and foremost, have some good armor and/or a shield, to make sure you can take a few hits just in case. When you're confident you can take that damage without, do as you fancy equipment wise. Secondly, these monsters tend to be very prone to dealing more damage than they can take, namely a well placed Counter (which uses a fraction of their damage) will have a great effect against them. Counter will also ensure you completely cancel out the possibility of taking a crit yourself.

Splash Damage : What is refered to as Splash Damage is the tendency to hit nearby opponents next to the Target when you attack. Players have access to it, with specific weapons, but so do monsters. This may be a problem if two players stand close to each other, and a monster by attacking one also stun and damage the second (who might have been preparing a skill). However, there are ways to turn this to your advantage tactic wise.
-Tactic : If you're the target, Countering or Defending will negate the Splash for yourself and your allies. If however the target is a partymember next to you, Defense will only protect You from the splash (it will however stun the monster, and allow your ally to strike back). If you however decide to Counter instead, you will negate the damage for your ally as well. This is called Counter Stacking, where a player essentially Counter a splashing enemy for his ally. It's quite helpful if your ally either has his Counter in cooldown, or is loading a slow skill (like magic).
Note : Be aware that Counter Stacking can Also be used against you by monsters, if you strike one monster next to another, if your weapon splashes, you may get Countered by a monster next to your original target. Splash is mostly dealt from the side and in front of your original target, and not behind. So you can avoid this by positioning yourself such that the Countering monster is behind your actual target.


Shields :
Likewise, a monster shown with a shield actually gets bonuses that are shield specific because of it. Enemies with Shields include some Melee Goblins and Kobolds found in Dungeons, Shadow Fighters Warriors and Commanders (in Shadow Missions) and their Bone counterparts. The most noticeable problem this cause is for Archers, specifically when they use Magnum Shot.
Magnum Shot works like a Smash at range, by knocking the enemy away in one shot. It however doesn't work Strictly like Smash, in that Defense with a Shield will actually Block the shot entirely, and cause the monster to rush at you, only having been slightly delayed (not even stunned).
-Tactic : You must carefully time your Magnum Shot to fire when the monster is Not using Defense, or work in Tandem with a friend that will Trigger the monster's Defense on purpose for you to shoot, by attacking it with something else.

I will pursue this at various time, as the topic can end up being quite extensive.

I will also add videos to better display what is referred to, however Youtube uploads very slowly for me, even for short videos. It may take some time until I have everything ready.
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Up to date : Of Monsters and Miletians pt2

Postby Naxos » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:26 pm

Post Of Monsters and Miletians - The Game of Lines and Circles


Now, behind that somewhat puzzling title lies a very simple principle. It essentially means that while the game is graphically different and appear quite complex, most of it's combat is actually extremely basic if you strip it down to it's core. It refers to viewing elements of the game that are purposefully hidden, but are still very much present.

For the purpose of this page, the term Monster, will also include Allied NPCs, and Pets, who are virtually Monsters in game term.

Let's start by the circles. When it comes to monsters and players, it refers to a few basic elements :

-Foremost, and common to both players and mobs, is the Hitcase, that is the area around your character that arbitrarily count as your character getting hit. Contrary to what it appears, Hitcase doesn't not Perfectly match your character. A bigger character or monster (in term of size) generally means an increased Hitcase. That means the surface you can be hit is wider, which has a few consequence. One of the best documented one is Windmill, both delivered and received by your character. A bigger hitcase will mean your Windmill will reach Farther, but also that an enemy Windmill will also reach you more easily. A smaller character will thus suffer and benefit from the opposite.

-Secondly, For both again the Field of View, which is fully circular, and you'd think "Well, what good does it do for me to know that ?". Well, the game has actually a few little tricks which revolve around Field of View. You will have the option to customize your Field of View, and thus it has little incidence for you as a Player. However, monsters also have a Field of View, which actually comes into play in the game's engine itself. Namely, if a monster isn't seeing Any players in it's Field of View, the monster will not move. Now, the key word is the Monster's Field of View, not yours, not the Player's. That means some skills with and extremely long range (some bows, or Magic skills, such as Meteor Strike) WILL actually reach those enemies while they're fully static. For this to work however, means that No players, not just yourself is within their Field of View.

-The last and third circle that I want to elaborate on, is the Aggro Range which is a Monster only circle. It refers to the arbitrary area in which a monster will aggro a player if they stay within it for a set amount of time. Each monster tend to have it's own Aggro Range, and it's own speed at which the Player will get Aggroed. Of course, here a few possibilities to exploit this consist in striking from Outside the Aggro Range of the monster, to give you a first strike advantage. A less straightforward tactic you can employ is to Voluntarily step into the Aggro Range, to get the monster to move away from it's fellow monsters. This is rather useful if your ranged means are too short, or inexistent but you still need to isolate powerful monsters. In which case, gauge the range and approach them slowly, always ready to retreat as soon as you see yourself aggroed by your target.
You may also use a Lure (Here, a Puppet or Pet) and voluntarily place it within the aggro range to get the monster to aggro it, while you yourself have safely retreated. You may think that isn't actually very useful, but Aggro Range actually Ignore obstacles. That means you may place a Lure behind an obstacle, for example a tree, while you yourself can then mind a different monster, and your Lure will remain in place until you decide to remove it. In short, you've manipulated the monster to move in a way you've wanted to.

This last Circle is actually the most critical to know and get familiar with, because monsters all have a different Aggro Range, and thus must be approached in a different way. I highly suggest, when you meet a monster you've not seen much, to study their actual Aggro Range. Remember that each Monster have it's own, and as such, Aggro Ranges overlap. If you practice, you may be able to visualize those circles and that will allow you to planify your attacks much more safely and efficiently, by avoiding them, or triggering one without tripping the others. Observation and experimentation is rewarding.


Now for lines. Again, this actually refers to two simple concepts :

-The first is Distance. It's not very hard to understand, basically Everything in the game will actually gauge distances between moving objects, be they players or monsters. Melee itself has a distance, which is minimal. How to calculate distance is quite hard. The game will actually reference to it either in numerics (generally by increments of 100, which isn't actually much) or meters (written "m" ingame) in which case 1m -generally- means 100. Longbows for example have an effective range of 2000, while crossbows have a Much lower range at 1300. Evaluating the situation in which you will find yourself is important to your preparations. That means Longbows favorise sniping and thus capitalize on open grounds, while Crossbows favorise hard punches and mobile close combat. You can Roughly estimate those distances. For example, a Crossbow range will be equal to 3/4 a dungeon room's width from door to door, whereas a Longbow will be almost equal to dungeon room's width from corner to corner. Learn to gauge your distances, and consider that Monsters are similarly limited by those same distances. Magic and Alchemy skills, used by monsters or players have a fixed range. Knockback range will are equally fixed depending on the skill you use. When using such skills, the knockback you get from Smashing a Fox will be the same when Smashing a Golem.

-The second is Trajectory. It refers to the fact most skills actually use a straight line to determine whether something can target and hit something. Some skills are more evident than others, and even display such line, like Focus Fist, or Climactic Crash.
Trajectory also counts as the direction in which an enemy is pushed back. You Can actually aim Where an enemy will land (toward a teammate's Sakura Abyss, or where their Fireball will land).
You can essentially consider All skills work in such a way, but simply do not display it. All Archery skills target in a straight line (it makes sense), as do all magics and alchemy skills. Therefore, again you may ask, what is the use in this paragraph ? Well aside from visualizing and Aiming your skills... Some skills actually Create more lines, allowing you to strike from corners, those skills actually make use of both concepts of line and circle, where the Range of the attack is a circle, and the hit itself a line : Thunder Fireball and Crash Shot are best used with the following implement. Strategic placement of a Barrier spike at an angle can allow you to use it as a target, from which to strike monsters behind obstacles, while safely behind said obstacle yourself. In the case of Crash Shot, you need to use another monster, as Barrier spike will not split the shot.
https://youtu.be/76JLxedgD1s


As usual, I have a few videos, but in some cases, those mechanics aren't easily displayed. I'll upload whenever able to give more examples. As such, this page isn't yet fully functionnal.
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Naxos
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