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A Very Rough Guide for Making a Combat Character

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  • A Very Rough Guide for Making a Combat Character

    A Very Rough "How To Combat Character" Guide

    This is a simplified, basic overview for folks wishing to make a combat character, with very little discussion of "advanced" stuff. I am hoping to consolidate some fundamental, widespread information in one place, as I think this stuff should be accessible to anyone. The massive bunch of stuff to untangle and understand in TEC can be overwhelming, and frustrating. TEC makes testing as characters an absolute nightmare, so those of use who have learned from others or tested it ourselves - let's help each other out here.

    As I will assume some understanding of terminology, this is not a guide meant for complete newbies. What's discussed is based on the gathered experience of a few players, and not meant to be comprehensive, or remotely the "only" way. There is no substitute for learning, researching, testing and experimenting with the countless options in TEC on your own.

    Lastly, keep in mind that you should know better than to make game decisions based solely on mechanics, as every character should be a unique, interesting addition to the gameworld, created for role play, not merely to hack at rats.

    - What should I do when rolling a combat character? Why pick certain Attributes or Traits over others in the beginning?

    http://eternal-city.wikidot.com/character-generator

    Your CharGen roll is of utmost important because you're going to be stuck with many choices that are permanent, period. Namely Traits. ( http://eternal-city.wikidot.com/traits .) Unless you know what you're doing with Traits and you want to get experimental, try not to pick Traits that permanently harm your Stats, such as the Finesse or Shaky Hands traits. Positive Traits such as Athletic, Adrenaline Rush, and negative Traits such as Introverted, Gullible, etc., on the other hand, are very popular for combat characters.

    Attributes (also known as "Stats") on the other hand, are "fixable," up to a point. ( http://eternal-city.wikidot.com/stats .) The default is for your character to exit the CharGen with an "existing" attribute value, and a "potential" attribute value, which are, by default, out of a value of 200. You may exit CharGen (example: 190/200 Strength) and have the potential to increase it by about +10 more points without buying any, (example: to 200/200) via runs of the courses. On your character's STAT sheet, these values are not shown as "190/200" but instead have have words reflecting your character's level - such as "average," "very good," and so on (example: the word "outstanding" reflects that your character has about 191-200 points in an attribute.) It is possible, via Traits or IG temporary bonuses, to decrease/increase your existing and potential Stat value under or over /200.

    Some very common beginner advice when rolling a combat character, whom you intend to "max out," is to steer the generator towards the stats Strength and Endurance. This is because other combat stats have "Stat Skills" you can learn IG with SP. Without too much effort nor detail knowledge of every CharGen choice, you will have your Character exiting CharGen with decent Strength and Endurance - and bad Agility/Speed/etc., which you will "fix" later by learning Stat Skills to Rank 90. Reaching 90 in a Stat Skill is effectively the same as having about 175/200 points in that attribute, without having to purchase Attribute increases.

    Eventually, if you like this character, you can further "fix" your stats with Attribute Increases via Story or Role Points. You just won't be able to "fix" stats which you've penalized the maximum "potential" of with chosen Traits.

    Again, this is merely a common option, with a discussion of the reasoning behind it.

    - What's an efficient way to earn SP in the beginning? 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 you need to be dressed with the expectations that your clothes will be permanently ruined.

    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.)

    - 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. They are a tad heavier than regular pants, but leather provides some protection.
    - A paenula or sagum, to protect your crap from thieves.
    - A lorica hamata, which covers the chest, back, waist, and thighs.
    - A bronze helmet, to protect your head.
    - 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 are "homework ranks" and why do I need them?

    Homework ranks are the annoying but essential fundamental Combat Ranks you need, which more or less have a "done" milestone. I call them so because they are like "homework" - tedious stuff to get out of the way before you move on to fun stuff.

    - 50 ranks in Recovery to stop dropping your weapon.
    - 90 in the Stat Skills you need, to reach about 175/200 effectively in the given Stat.
    - 75 Feint Awareness
    - 90 Missile Awareness (and 90 in Missile Defenses for those of you with shields.) 90 Ranks does not make your character immune to arrows. Each Rank here begins to apply your Combat Maneuver ranks to protecting you from arrows, not just regular attacks. 90 Ranks merely is the maximum number of ranks that will have this application effect.
    - 120-125 or so Ranks in Simple or Rolling Rise, depending on your character's natural Agility. This level of ranks will protect you 100% from NPC sweeps - but not PC ones.
    - Optional: 30 ranks in Combat Guarding to be decent at it.

    - 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.
    Last edited by Elowynn; 03-21-2018, 07:40 PM.

  • #2
    With a lot of Vet Chars being rolled by current and returning players, thought this is a good time to post something like this.

    I could use some help on making this comprehensive, informative, yet readable. The scope of information to provide to a new player is absolutely massive. What's too little, too much? What parts are confusing?

    What other basics questions do folks have about combat?

    Anyone have tips on hunting areas for characters with 1-2k combat ranks?

    Thanks to Roast, Felisin, Syden and many others for reads and input.
    Last edited by Elowynn; 03-13-2018, 03:43 PM.

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    • #3
      This is very cool!
      Thank you for writing this up for everyone!

      (Wish I could go back in time a little, but I'll be okay)
      TEC Discord Link!

      VOTE FOR TEC!

      Originally posted by Dyro
      "Good RP is consistency."


      Originally posted by Cloudy
      "Shiloboy wins.
      Fatality.
      Keep up the good work."

      Comment


      • #4
        You can pick Finesse and still roll VG-Great in every stat, including strength, it's a good neutral trait. You can entirely avoid having to waste SP on the stat skills if you're patient and intelligent about your roll and choosing your adjectives. Never take Hand of Fate, though. It severely lowers your crit quality. My character has never crit killed a single NPC.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ssjflint View Post
          You can pick Finesse and still roll VG-Great in every stat, including strength, it's a good neutral trait. You can entirely avoid having to waste SP on the stat skills if you're patient and intelligent about your roll and choosing your adjectives. Never take Hand of Fate, though. It severely lowers your crit quality. My character has never crit killed a single NPC.
          Hand of Fate does that? I figured from the wording it just increases the odds of crits happening - both to you and your opponent. I mean, I always pick it because crits are cool, and while I don't get any cool crits, I tend to believe that's because my characters are always rubbish, and you don't get cool crits without high ranks.

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          • #6
            Great stuff! Thanks, Elowynn, et al. Would you be kind enough to give the complete list of attribute descriptors and their corresponding numerical values? Thanks!
            [color=dark yellow]Verbal Crushings[/color]
                   &nbsp ;[color=dark yellow]Now Serving #[/color][color=royal blue]7[/color]


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            • #7
              Also, can you confirm that it is possible to pick too may similar adjectives in the CharGen, causing the attribute to "roll over"? And, if confirmed, can you suggest how to best avoid this?
              [color=dark yellow]Verbal Crushings[/color]
                     &nbsp ;[color=dark yellow]Now Serving #[/color][color=royal blue]7[/color]


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              • #8
                It's been a long time since I've matched up the numerical values myself. The ones I recall with mostly firm certainty are:

                Inhuman
                Incredible
                Phenomenal
                Extraordinary
                Remarkable
                191-200: Outstanding (old word: inhuman)
                181-190: Exceptional (old word: phenomenal)
                166-180: Great (old word: exceptional)
                151-165: Very Good

                The ones I don't recall the values for:

                Good
                Fairly Good
                Above Average
                Slightly Above Average
                100-110: Average

                Slightly Below Average
                Below Average
                Poor
                Very Poor
                Abysmal

                I will check around to see if I can get a better list.

                As for "rolling over" stat potential in the CharGen, by choosing, for example, too many "Strength" type words: I've heard this but I've not seen it happen myself.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by krisslanza View Post

                  Hand of Fate does that? I figured from the wording it just increases the odds of crits happening - both to you and your opponent. I mean, I always pick it because crits are cool, and while I don't get any cool crits, I tend to believe that's because my characters are always rubbish, and you don't get cool crits without high ranks.
                  Yeah, and I believe it makes your opponent have BETTER crits. Inhuman str/dex and my char still does rubbish crits for the most part, yet I know people who get 30 crit kills a day. I haven't gotten a single one on my character in 8 years.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ssjflint View Post
                    You can pick Finesse and still roll VG-Great in every stat, including strength, it's a good neutral trait. You can entirely avoid having to waste SP on the stat skills if you're patient and intelligent about your roll and choosing your adjectives. Never take Hand of Fate, though. It severely lowers your crit quality. My character has never crit killed a single NPC.
                    The problem with Finesse and other skills that say "penalty to.." is that your max for that stat can now -never- be 200 or higher unless you have other bonuses to bring that stat up. So taking Finesse without another strength bonus will put your max strength at like 180 or so, meaning maximum carry weight before significant is about 91 pounds instead of 101. And this can -never- be fixed.


                    Also here's a breakdown of at least what I believe are the stat ranges

                    101-110 - Average
                    111-120 - Slightly Above Average
                    121-130 - Above Average
                    131-140 - Fairly Good
                    141-150 - Good
                    151-165 - Very Good
                    166-180 - Great
                    181-190 - Exceptional
                    191-200 - Outstanding
                    201-210 - Remarkable
                    211-220 - Extraordinary
                    221-235? - Phenomenal
                    250?-2?? - Incredible

                    I -believe- the phenom/incredible break is 235, and then inhuman is 250+ but I could be wrong on those last 2

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ssjflint View Post

                      Yeah, and I believe it makes your opponent have BETTER crits. Inhuman str/dex and my char still does rubbish crits for the most part, yet I know people who get 30 crit kills a day. I haven't gotten a single one on my character in 8 years.
                      Huh. That's a real shame, because crits are some of the coolest part to TEC. Seems odd that a 'neutral' trait penalizes you more then it 'benefits' though.

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                      • #12
                        Would be great if Strength affected the likelihood of certain crits (beheadings, bone breaking, that puncture that cracks the thigh, etc) and dex increased others (severe bleeders, status effects like sending to one knee, blood in the eyes, disarms)

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ilkilyn View Post

                          The problem with Finesse and other skills that say "penalty to.." is that your max for that stat can now -never- be 200 or higher unless you have other bonuses to bring that stat up. So taking Finesse without another strength bonus will put your max strength at like 180 or so, meaning maximum carry weight before significant is about 91 pounds instead of 101. And this can -never- be fixed.


                          Also here's a breakdown of at least what I believe are the stat ranges

                          101-110 - Average
                          111-120 - Slightly Above Average
                          121-130 - Above Average
                          131-140 - Fairly Good
                          141-150 - Good
                          151-165 - Very Good
                          166-180 - Great
                          181-190 - Exceptional
                          191-200 - Outstanding
                          201-210 - Remarkable
                          211-220 - Extraordinary
                          221-235? - Phenomenal
                          250?-2?? - Incredible

                          I -believe- the phenom/incredible break is 235, and then inhuman is 250+ but I could be wrong on those last 2
                          True. I forgot about that.

                          If people were truly min-maxing they'd take nimble feet/steady hands to try and get up to incredible. I dunno if they truly help that much beyond 200 until someone thoroughly tests that out. I never cared to put more stat points into my character despite having one of those traits. Regardless, I am curious to see how much finesse really 'improves' crits.

                          Don't Sostaeran's get like a +5 to hit across the board with their national trait as well? That's pretty massive.

                          People should take what makes sense for RP, and not focus too much on the ins and outs of 1v1 PvP. It gets pretty boring after a while.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ssjflint View Post

                            True. I forgot about that.

                            If people were truly min-maxing they'd take nimble feet/steady hands to try and get up to incredible. I dunno if they truly help that much beyond 200 until someone thoroughly tests that out. I never cared to put more stat points into my character despite having one of those traits. Regardless, I am curious to see how much finesse really 'improves' crits.

                            Don't Sostaeran's get like a +5 to hit across the board with their national trait as well? That's pretty massive.

                            People should take what makes sense for RP, and not focus too much on the ins and outs of 1v1 PvP. It gets pretty boring after a while.
                            I took my first roll and said the heck with min/maxing.

                            I'm not here for a long time baby I'm here for a good time
                            TEC Discord Link!

                            VOTE FOR TEC!

                            Originally posted by Dyro
                            "Good RP is consistency."


                            Originally posted by Cloudy
                            "Shiloboy wins.
                            Fatality.
                            Keep up the good work."

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                            • #15
                              Can always go into the Eastern Steps Gardens for some fighting after the ludus. There is nothing to knock you down ,besides those animals and no impales to worry about once you're there. Not a bad stepping stone to get the ranks for jump, rolling rise etc to get you out killing bandits. The NPC auto-5 success on weapon trap is annoying, but it just means you need to change target and take them out first.

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