Newbie Combat Guide

Combat in the Eternal City is fast paced, in-depth, and unique. An advanced combat system of limb targeting, damage, armor absorption, and blocking contributes to your success or failure on the battlefield.

The Basics

Combat is based on a 100 sided die roll where a tie does not favor the aggressor. So in order to hit, you must roll 1 over the success. To engage in combat, you APPROACH your TARGET (ex. Approach Dummy) and use your preferred attack such as slashing or, in a new player's case, basic attack (ATTACK DUMMY). Ranged weapons do not need to approach their targets. When a successful roll is initiated, a number of factors, including how successful the roll was, your stats, your weapon, your aim target, and your opponent's stats and armor are taken into consideration to determine if the target takes damage and, if so, how much.

For example:

  • Success 50: Roll 51 - You hit a pod beetle! Its heavily armored shell absorbs the impact of the blow.
  • Success 50: Roll 99 - You hit a pod beetle! It suffers a bruise to it's head.
  • Success 50: Roll 50 - You miss a pod beetle! It leaps to the side, avoiding your attack.

Blocks and dodges only occur if a roll fails; they provide no skill points and are, essentially, passive skills that make your opponents success roll higher when engaging you.

Getting Started

As a new player, you will most likely begin with one rank of your primary weapon. Your first task must be to have five attacks to ensure you receive maximum skill point gain in a rotation and no penalty for using the same attack over and over. To do this, it is recommended you follow this course:

  1. Find the nearest Practice Dummy and begin by approaching it and ATTACK DUMMY until you gain 100 SP (the maximum amount allowed on the dummy).
  2. Locate your trainer and learn the easiest attacks first to 1, then spend the remaining on average attacks.

At this point, you are ready for more combat and improving your skills further. There are two courses to take:

  1. Proceed to Signal Tower Island until you gain enough Skill Points to raise your basics to 10 and all attacks available to you to 10.
  2. Continue to train at the island and learn Combat Maneuvers and Sidestep, Dodge, Duck, Jump, Leg Dodge, and Swaying Dodge to 10.
  1. Acquire armor to cover your shins, waist and chest, thighs, shoulders, and head (the Auxilii can help with this).
  2. Proceed to the Ludus and take an aggressive or berserk stance against the slaves in the southern portion
  3. Train as mentioned above and continue until you are proven too worthy of the southern, tier 1, opponents.

Ludus Valerius

It is important that you have a full compliment of armor, even basic leather armor, to survive. If you are knocked unconscious here, do not worry; the attendants will drag you from combat and heal you up.

Ludus Valerius attendants will automatically provide targets in the form of slaves of varying skill levels in each of its training areas. The easiest are in the southern portion and will be poorly armed and armored. As you progress through the Ludus, the opponents will help you understand more advanced techniques by providing openings in their defenses for you to target and take advantage of, changing their stances in combat so you can learn to adjust, and trying to disarm you. Please note that SP (and total ranks) is capped here and once you attain 200 SP per skill slot (for example, your character may save 200 SP in each of swords, cestus and brawling, for a total of 600 SP) - you will need to spend it to continue gaining SP.

Tier 1 caps at 250 total combat ranks. When reaching 251, you will be sent to tier 2.
Tier 2 caps at 500 total combat ranks. When reaching 501, you will be sent to tier 3.
Tier 3 caps at 750 total combat ranks. When reaching 751, you will no longer have access to Ludus Valerius.

As other players have recommended, and experience will show, the progression from each tier of opponents is not something you can easily walk into. Your character will need to train elsewhere in order to properly conquer each level of the Ludus. The suggested progression is:

Ludus Valerius tier 1>Iridine Pits>Ludus Valerius tier 2>Colosseum>Ludus Valerius tier 3>Colosseum

Moving Forward

Depending on your stats, you may want to focus your initial effort on improving your reflexes (speed) and your grip (to-hit bonus) as well as your basics in Combat Maneuvers and your weapon to 100. This will ensure you hit targets easier and more often, thus improving your overall training and game-play experience. You may also want to consider learning Recovery (fumble prevention) to 50 to reduce the chances of fumbling your weapon in combat.

Important Stat and Special Skills

Some skills will aid your character in their quest to surviving both PvE and PvP encounters. Stat skills are skills that characters can train to make up for poor stat rolls. These skills aid characters in combat only. Special Skills are skills that aid in defensive and offensive rolls and also include the ability to stop fumbling your weapon in combat.

Stat Skills

1 rank improves any below average stat in combat. Depending on your stats you will see minor improvements throughout but 90 ranks will max out the combat stat to low-end great equivalent. NOTE: This only effects combat. I.e. Reflexes won't make you heal faster.

  • Footwork - Defense Agility Bonus
  • Reflexes- Defensive Speed Bonus (reduces round-time)
  • Grip- Offensive Dexterity Bonus
  • Accuracy- Offensive Perception Bonus

What's an SP Cycle?

TEC has "SP cycles," which reset on Wednesdays, which lets you earn a lot of SP per attack (or whatever) in the beginning, and then increasingly less and less. Essentially, you have a bonus at the time of reset, which gets eaten away as you get closer to approximately 250 earned SP that week. Eventually, you will earn only 0.025 SP per attack (often called "minimum gains.") There are various things you can do to try to preserve or extend your bonus (discussed more below.) If you don't use all your SP cycle bonus in a given week, it "rolls over' to the next week, up to a maximum of… uh, maybe 3 weeks or so.

Additionally, a brand new character has a couple week's worth of a Rollover bonus - this means in the very beginning of your roll, you can easily earn 750 SP.

It is convenient and easy to stick to SignalTower Island, near the Stone Toga Inn for your first batches of SP. The critters are easy, it's fast to get to, and there are resting spots and cheap food there. If you need money, go pearl diving. If you want, keep your Ranks low, by learning just one rank in five moves and keep pounding gulls. The Island eventually penalizes characters with too many ranks, as critters will start dying after just one hit, making you have to run around a lot to find something else to train on.

After you have enough SP from the Island, use Think to politely find a PC trainer and learn some stuff more thoroughly. About 100-300 Ranks will have you comfortable in the Slave Ludus, located west of Bronze Lane. The Slave Ludus is a good place to train on because it has a bonus to SP, is limited to only low ranked characters which protects you from higher ranked predatory PCs, has a place to rest and cheap food.

The Slave Ludus has several tiers depending on your ranks. You will get kicked out once you have 750 total ranks. Some people squeeze in 90 Ranks in Stat Skills and other fundamental ranks in this 750, because they are a pain in the butt and it's nice to get them out of the way. Some people don't, because the higher level Slaves can really put the hurt on, and more defensive ranks are needed.

When I'm done with the Ludus, where can I hunt "for real"?

Each of these hunting grounds have been roughly evaluated for difficulty: ( http://eternal-city.wikidot.com/hunting-grounds .) Click on the individual links and check the "Difficulty" section.

The Old City has interesting critters to kill, but be wary of the occasional fire lizard that can pose a threat to combatants now well-versed in their defenses.

You can go to the Bandit Complex in the swamps with a group, but stay clear of levels with traps.

The Treehouse used to be a nice place to go, but that plank mechanic is yuck.

The Rat Pits by the Colosseum. Not very exciting, but accessible, fast spawn and good for min gains, if you don't mind being infected once in a while.

A little later, you can start doing Caravan runs, Vetallun Road Traps, and the Traevant. You will want your Rolling or Backwards rise developed, otherwise you'll find yourself chain impaled, looted and Arteus or Kered are going to have to come save you. ("Homework ranks" discussed more, below.)

Homework Ranks

  • Recovery - Decreases your chance of fumbling a weapon. Dexterity is taken into consideration, but generally between ranks 30 and 50, you will rarely, if ever, fumble. There is also a small chance of completing your attack. For characters with especially low Dexterity (below average or worse), additional ranks beyond 50 may be needed to fully prevent fumbles.
  • Fall Back- Immediate retreat without leaving openings if successful. Note: Failing can result in openings.
  • Simple Rolling Rise - Allows a character to rise after being swept or knocked down. Remains engaged to the target.
  • Backwards Rolling Rise - Allows a character to rise after being swept or knocked down. Character disengages from the target.
  • Missile Awareness - Adds a defensive bonus to a roll when a missile is shot at the character. This bonus is added to other combat maneuvers bonuses to determine if the arrow is dodged. Maximum bonus received at rank 90.
  • Feint Awareness - Combats the effects of a feint. Maximum bonus received at rank 75.

What gear should I get?

TEC attempts to affect some realism here, by having mid-striking injuries take more damage than extremity striking ones. In other words, you're gonna wanna protect your torso and head, more than your fingers. LOOK at and INSPECT your gear to see what areas it protects, and approximately how well.

- Some kind of shirt or tunic.
- Leather breeches/leggings. They are a tad heavier than regular pants, but leather provides some protection.
- A paenula or sagum, to protect your crap from thieves. Optionally, you can use a backpack with a cloak but a cloak will not cover other containers such as sheaths and scabbards.
- A lorica hamata, which covers the chest, back, waist, and thighs.
- A bronze helmet, to protect your head and neck. HINT: Ask shopkeepers to "show you" the helmet to make sure you are getting a helmet that covers both the head AND neck.
- Some boots. They're not all the same, so experiment IG with what you like.
- Bronze shin greaves. Good protection against many lowbie critters.

Less essential, but affordable and compatible with the above pieces:
- Waist ptergyes, effective and cheap.
- A leather waistguard.
- Shoulder guards, mail or solid
- Bronze or iron armillus.

Gear won't make or break your experience, so unless you're in the upper echelon of combat, don't stress too hard over perfecting your gear. Nice gear like faceplates, squamatas, etc. just make you very attractive to bandit. Live it a little, get a few bleeders, hang out with some of the various eager, bored healers IG. Melilia could always use another domus.

What stuff is important for SP for continued training?

The initial 250+ SP are easy to get, and take only approximately 2-4 fatigue bars to earn, if you're doing it efficiently. You want to take advantage of mechanics that give you "bonuses" during this period. After this, you will hit 0.025 SP per attack, which are called "Minimum Gains," at which time bonuses no longer apply. The more a particular move is repeated, the closer it gets to 0.025 per hit.

During the first 250+ SP of your cycle, try to:
- Rotate at least 5 attacks as you train. 5 attacks is the minimum for avoiding a repeat attack penalty. Check your weapon's wikidot page to find 5 attacks that would be easy to rotate. ( http://eternal-city.wikidot.com/combat-skills .) For your first 5 moves, avoid things like parting jab, or stance changing maneuvers, which are annoying to deal with during simple training.
- Your first skill slot seems to earn SP better.
- Humanoid opponents give you a bonus.
- More difficult opponents give more SP.
- Franlius has also been stated by Tale to give an SP earn bonus.

All in all, this is why you see many characters training in the Colosseum during Wednesdays, as gladiators are humanoid, difficult, and have a good spawn rate.

For the uber efficient powertrainer who wants to spend a minimum of attention/time on a combat alt - consider not doing anything on your char for a few weeks to accumulate some Rollover bonus. Then, train only about a bit over 200 SP a week via a few quick rounds at the Arena every week. This should only take you 60-90 minutes per week of mindless training.

Huurah. Welcome to TEC combat.

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