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For Blood and Glory (A PVP Guide)

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For Blood and Glory (A PVP Guide)

Postby Real » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:13 pm

From time to time, other players are going to try to kill you with weapons. Player wargs may hunt you down, orcs might show up while you're cutting logs, or you may even be someone who gets a rush from chasing PVP (ahem). But it is no simple matter. PVP in SOI has been studied by scholars, researched by teams of scientists, debated upon by forumers, it's a pretty dense topic. Mercifully, we're leaving the contentious behind and focusing on the heart of the matter; how to win, and how to build competitively.

If you lose, you die, or worse. So to be good at PVP you need to win consecutively, it sounds obvious but the cost of failure is exclusion from further contest. You're facing the hardest opponents you will face across the game, they'll use advanced rescue/guard tactics, vary their stances and ward/bash you. If you thought wargs at the bog were tough, wait until you face a couple skilled characters with clear heads behind them.

It's a daunting thing to get into but the thrill of the hunt is real and monetary rewards are remarkably high for taking down characters from the opposing spheres. On the opposite side of that coin, I think it'll be good to know this stuff if you're trying to stay alive on a defensive patrol or when you get ambushed while hunting.

So...

<==}- BUILDS -{==>

When you design a character to be competitive for PVP, you're really working with three stats more than any others, with a fourth (Willpower) being of moderate importance. These stats are Strength, Constitution, and Agility. How your points are invested is going to heavily determine what sort of role you play in a fight, but more than that, they determine how well you do in related stuff like crossing the wilderness and healing.

Notable strength perks:
- Carrying capacity. This dramatically affects what kind of armor and how many weapons you can carry into fights. If you're unencumbered you can swim indefinitely, which is a wonderful thing. You also fight better unencumbered than light, never go around encumbered/heavily encumbered.

-Damage bonus. The main reason you worry about strength for a fighter; it gives a flat increase to all damage. Note that higher strength scales best with fast, low-damage weapons. +2 is far more of a difference on a quick 1d4 than a slow 2d6.

Notable constitution perks:
- HP. Where others would bleed, you won't. A grievous becomes a severe, a mod becomes a minor, and you can last a few more hits than others, or sometimes a lot more if you have peak.

- Stamina/Stamina Regen. Rarely important in combat unless it's a long fight where you're being attacked by tons of enemies at once. Where stamina comes in is ease of travel - You have to take far fewer breaks when you're hiking across the woods, and more importantly you can escape or chase others over long distances before you have to stop or slow down.

- Healing. Spar often, heal multiple points during wilderness trips without a treat from a medic, sleep through severes and wake up with a minor. Quite convenient.

- A large, aggressive wolf bites you glancingly on the right eye. <3 Sorry wolf too tank for you

Notable agility perks:
- Attack Speed. Moderately improves the rate of your combat rounds. Big-time synergy with strength, one or the other invested heavily is pretty good but combined your DPS will skyrocket.

- Reaction Speed. When you get disarmed or tripped in combat, there's a delay before you pick up the weapon and wield it or stand up. In a 1v1 agility will heavily determine who wins based on that - Being tripped and on the floor while your opponent has a greataxe or something is gonna be a bad time. Almost as bad if you can no longer use your talented deflect cause your sword's on the floor, you now have to rely on your novice dodge skill :l

- Movement Speed. Huge difference between average and peak agi here. If your opponent is not that fast, you can get the original distance you need to break line of sight, or stay right up with them as they run away and maybe even get a kill command in before they finish traveling. Highly important in those moment-to-moment chases toward the end of a fight.

- Sneak Speed. Same as movement speed, but deserves a special mention. Being able to sneak quickly across distances is surprisingly useful. When you're navigating between packs of wolves and wargs and so on, you don't want them to walk into the room you're going by and sometimes you have to go right in the danger zone to travel through a tight spot on the map or something. Being able to zip by quickly makes all the difference.

- Skill Caps. Most if not all combat skills rely on agility. With higher agi comes the ability to reach mastery in stuff like the wield skills.

----- ----- ----- -----

Your main consideration is how much DPS you want versus damage absorption and endurance. Keep in mind that tanks are relative and the way armor works now, we tend to dish out much more damage than players can take. If you intend on winning 1v1s, you definitely need to lean toward a DPS role to properly compete, and also...

Dual wielding wins, most of the time.

I'm sure there are many and varied reasons why sole-wield is of note and worth building into, but to be quite honest there are very few instances where I can see single weapons putting out the kind of damage that two can with proper strength investment. Special mention goes to heavy spear, warhammer.

That said,
SW: Ward lets you reduce the heat on you, often dramatically so and is a life-saver if you happen to bog run solo
DW: Bash drives up your DPS and lets you keep that nice shield bonus with your offhand, but it can trip you / Feint is good if someone just hit the ground and you wanna set them up for a brutal stab-while-they-are-helpless moment. It lowers the accuracy of one swipe and boosts the other - only by a small bit but it can make your damage a bit more consistent if used properly

Use any weapon you want, they're pretty balanced.

Swords: Moderate Damage, Moderate Speed, Bleeding
Blunts: Low Damage, High Speed, Concussion
Spears: High Damage, Low Speed, Bleeding

<==}- DEFEATING THINE FOE -{==>

Come to the table prepared. Fed, watered, with competitive weapons and armor. That means mail or oiled leather and at least honed bog-iron or sharp iron. Anything else is kid's stuff. Make sure you're not encumbered. All systems go? Begin takeoff.

Hide and hunting are so important. Ambush tactics and unseen patrols are what you have to worry about. Twelve guys with hide could move across the map completely unseen and show up to kill you if they get your trail. The moment you leave your gates and start wandering, track the area around and use the time since the tracks were laid to determine how long ago things were in the area. You can get a vague idea of how far you are behind them. How fast they were moving lends further to this.

Always remember that patrols can track you. This becomes moderately stressful, you're pretty much always vulnerable in the Mirkwood and there are barely any safe spots.

So you track around the right chokepoints and commonly-used roads and you get the scent of some dude who's not too far ahead and spot him...Just one. You should probably rush him, right?

Nope, and you get no supper for even thinking that was true.

You watch that room for a while and double-check your tracks. If it's clear that there's only one set you're probably in the clear. If your mark moves and he has someone concealed with him, they have to do an opposed check of their sneak vs your int, and if they fail you get a 'far to the east, you see some dude stealthily leave to the east'

You've made the choice to engage. Now you have to decide...do I want to march up and growl and wave my weapon menacingly and then attack, or do I want to plug them with an arrow. Both of these paths are legitimate, but you'll receive varying responses in temperament for using them. As a rule, if you loose an arrow at someone expect them to rush you with weapons drawn and engage you the moment they can.

Depending how your character is built you'll want something between Aggressive and Careful for a 1v1. Group tactics are another story but fairly straightforward, the one taking hits on Defensive, the others on Aggressive. Hope for the best, plan for the worst. Start working on your escape route for contingency, even though your heart is racing and you're watching for that crit to your neck that you always expect when people are taking aim at your head.

Aim sometimes, especially when someone gets tripped to the ground. If you're already aiming at their head and they fall, you can pull off a destructive punish. Otherwise, go for body shots against fallen opponents. Only sometimes though, cause aiming noticeably reduces accuracy and thus DPS.

In the end, it's the damage they do vs the damage you do. You can only affect the outcome so much. Deflect mitigates this dramatically, and is the very strongest combat skill. Deflect is the holy grail of skills, and always gets my biggest boost.

If you need to flee, jog to the river and then swim off, you're pretty much in the clear. Remember to surface now and again if you're crawling along the bottom to dodge arrows. This is our namesake, do it with pride, but hopefully with more success.

If your opponent flees overland, set jog and track them, searching each room. Keep your bow out and drawn if you're feeling intense and aren't afraid of ambush.

Try to keep them alive, for many reasons, but if you need a real motivator the bounties are much higher for live captures.

<==}- THE AFTERMATH -{==>

You have some dude in tow.

Be careful of mobs, they have ruined prisoner captures and will do it again. Once you get engaged you're stuck there taking hits while you protect the guy who was trying to kill you a few minutes ago. There's no easy way to get prisoners back home, but if you do the rewards are dramatic.

You can take <item> <person> to disarm them of any weapons and remove any loot of note in case of escape or animal saviors. Once they wake up, you can drag them along in silence or RP with them, the latter is always the better choice, they probably don't feel too great at the moment.

Which is a big, key thing. If you're going to capture someone, RP with them a bit, keep them at least lightly entertained through some means or another. Treating them like total crap, that's fine, but being curt and brusque and leaving them in a cell to rot for RL days is super harsh. If they're gonna die, interrogate them and kill them right away or soon after. If you're gonna ransom them, involve them in the RP. etc, etc...

Remember that the character you're capturing/killing may have lived for many RL months, they might be storied, having friends, family, a whole life leading up to this encounter, so try to give them a good death. Sometimes, deaths by PVP or the events that follow are some of the most memorable scenes in the game.

Kill them all...
Everything gets smaller now the further that I go
Towards the mouth and the reunion of the known and the unknown
Consider yourself lucky if you think of it as home
You can move mountains with your misery if you don't
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Re: For Blood and Glory (A PVP Guide)

Postby MrT2G » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:30 pm

Step 1: Roll high agi/str, pick sole-wield, dual-wield, bludgeon + your choice of extra skill.

Step 2: Win against everyone except those with the same build. Unfortunately for you, this is most everyone.

:twisted:
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Re: For Blood and Glory (A PVP Guide)

Postby Gobbo » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:47 pm

I assume there is no value to daggers or knives since they were not mentioned?
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Re: For Blood and Glory (A PVP Guide)

Postby MrT2G » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:47 pm

Gobbo wrote:I assume there is no value to daggers or knives since they were not mentioned?


They work pretty good against low/unarmored stuff.

Of course, all the other weapon skills would probably work better against the same targets.
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Re: For Blood and Glory (A PVP Guide)

Postby Hawkwind » Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:57 pm

Is this sanctioned as true by the staff or will there be observer bias?
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Re: For Blood and Glory (A PVP Guide)

Postby Songweaver » Thu Apr 23, 2015 4:54 pm

All of the above is mostly true, and it's a lot of valuable information for people unfamiliar with what to expect in these situations.

I disagree with the common dual-wield build being the strongest, though. Having faced it with an ambush warhammer build, and using different strategies as what's written above, I've defeated it in-game again and again.

Also, dual-wielding medium-sized weapons is really, really silly, and that's coming from someone with a large tolerance of silliness.

The truth is, that because of the absurd strength of the guncode/bowcode, and the commonality of bows, sneak/hide may just be the two most important defensive combat skills in the game.
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Re: For Blood and Glory (A PVP Guide)

Postby Icarus » Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:38 pm

This guide is Icarus sanctioned and approved. It might make wiki if you and Song hash out things.

That said, if you ever want that Dwarf, when staff do that RPP review they are going to look first at the guy who died because he RPed while the twink swam across the river and sprinted back to his homebase gate to gank him. Staff are going to be much more aggressive about RPP deductions in the coming months for outlandish twinkery. Tracking your skillgains by the hour, for example, is considered outlandish twinkery.
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Re: For Blood and Glory (A PVP Guide)

Postby Hawkwind » Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:53 pm

^My fears are calmed.
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Re: For Blood and Glory (A PVP Guide)

Postby radioactivejesus » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:21 pm

the part about striking at body parts when your opponent falls is wrong. Soon as your enemy hits the floor, aimed strikes are codedly impossible until he gets back up on his feet. Only way to do it is if you type in your aimed attack right before he falls, but there's no way to know when your opponent is going to fall.

In response to Gobbo, here are some reasons why knives are still a relevant weaponskill.
1) You get the skill for free.
2) you attack extremely fast.
3) the skill will rise far faster than any of the other weapon skills.
4) they annihilate unarmoured beasts, wargs, and PCs in basic leather armour.
If you are a dedicated crafter (meaning you probably took high dexterity, which is conveniently the stat for small-blades) who did not take a weaponskill in chargen, has no intention of devoting a large amount of time to training but still wants to not get eaten by stray wolves and boars, small-blades are the route to go. In the time it takes to reach novice longsword from 0, you can generally have your small-blade from the starting level up to talented, which makes you far more potent in the short-term than if you had tried to learn a new skill up from scratch.
A really bad sword with a short blade lies here.
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This sword hardly even a sword. It's kind of really just a piece of metal bent like a sword. Its blade is rather short. Kind of pathetic, really.
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Re: For Blood and Glory (A PVP Guide)

Postby Real » Fri Apr 24, 2015 4:04 am

Image

Curse you twinking thread! However glorious, you have cost me the day.
Really though I knew it was a mistake to reveal my top-secret charts :P

I'll see about fixing this up. I swear I've used strike body after someone has hit the floor many times before, you just can't strike head. And I did make special mention of warhammers, which get the job done.

As for outlandish twinkery, I find it hard to imagine how someone would react differently in that circumstance, except to kneel and surrender. It was...die, or escape. I was a bit loath to halt my fishing and accept a three-pronged attack so that I could die a glorious death. I used the means available to me, it was a close call, and...just for the record, running in and blocking exits around me didn't exactly give me a "we're going to RP this out" kind of vibe.

Still, if you're a twink either way it's best to wear it proudly, no?
Last edited by Real on Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: For Blood and Glory (A PVP Guide)

Postby Songweaver » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:14 am

I'll see about fixing this up. I swear I've used strike body after someone has hit the floor many times before, you just can't strike head.


Yeah, you can strike body while they're on the ground.
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