PKing with Mages
Winning a PK
How to Win a Fight Without Loosing Your Underwear, and Cook a Great Chicken Soup by Virigoth aka PRAGMA
In what I hope not be a vain effort, I have attempted to put down a few thoughts into a survival guide on general strategy on Player killing. This is meant for more of a beginner player of FL, with few things that more advanced players might find valuable. Comments and additions are welcome.
The following will attempt in some brevity to describe the thinking process involved in surviving in a Player Killing mud in reference to Forsaken Realms. It will focus only on player to player combat with some general basics followed by some more advanced material. The document will in brevity offer general strategies for staying alive then move on to some hints as applicable to the general archetypes (Mage and Warrior).
In order to balance the game play in FL,
Immortals have setup Pk ranges. PK range simply
determines what rank of players are allowed to be engaged in combat with
your character. If attempt is made to attack someone out of PK range
(henceforth referred as "range") a message about gods protecting
the target from your actions will pop up.
With higher difference between your
level and your opponent, your skills and spells work better and more
often. A difference of 3-4 ranks in noticeable and difference of 5-8
levels is devastating. The range is
calculated using a 30% overlap margin in the total experience
accumulated by the player, this particular fact combined with experience
penalties to class/race gives rise to the fact that the higher your
experience penalty for your class/race, the more disadvantaged PK range
will be for that character.
To illustrate with an example: A Human Warrior has a total exp penalty of 0+0=0. An Elf Paladin has a total exp penalty of 500+350=850. Without getting into the math of things, when the warrior reaches 30th level, he will be able to attack Elf Paladins as low as 25th level, giving him a tremendous advantage. Yet if an Elf Paladin reaches a 30th level, he will be lucky to find a human warrior that is in his range at level less then 28. This situation gets much worse at higher ranks, where 8 level differences are not uncommon.
What this illustrates is that as the
exp. penalties increase, the PK range becomes less and less favorable
for the character. The tradeoff is the fact that the high exp. penalty
characters, usually tend to be far more powerful at rank 50, when the
range disadvantage is no longer an issue.
You can practice a skill up to 75% at the guild. The remaining 25% can only be increased with practice. A skill is practiced every time it is used, successful or not, when your character has used it sufficient times, the proficiency increases. At times you character may learn from his/he mistakes, this translates to anywhere from 1% to 3% gain.
YOU CANNOT PRACTICE A SKILL PAST 80% UNTIL YOU ADVANCE PAST LEVEL 10.
When practicing combat skills, reduce the damage done by any means, and reduce chances to hit your target as well. You still have to hit a target to practice how to use a sword though. Try to fight small number of mobs that don't cause much damage, but have lots of hit points as to last longer.
If you want to practice defensive skills same as above applies except it is better to fight large amounts of very weak mobs. (remember you want the skill to be used as much as possible) Also to maximize the effort, practice the defensive skills in the inverse to the order they are applied in. So Riposte last, shield block first.
Very similar strategy applies to spells, except that some spells may be cast on sleeping mobs without waking them, and some spells are meant to be cast on yourself making act of practicing even easier.
In all cases, your Intelligence and Wisdom and luck affects how fast you learn. Some classes also have affinity for some skills, hence Warrior may learn Hand to Hand faster then a mage, and mage might learn invisibility faster then a DK.
And finally notice that leftover practices and training sessions can be converted into HP or Manna, hence there are ways to boost your character through diligent practice, or high intelligence.
To traverse some of the waterways on Thera a boat is required. Rafts, skiffs, and other magical devices such as rings will allow you to traverse deep water. ALWAYS have a boat in your inventory unless your race makes them unnecessary. It is quite possible for your character to be summoned into a water room making an attempt at retreat impossible without a boat.
Most physical actions in combat such as bash etc.. will cause you to be unable to perform actions for next 2 "phases" of combat. What this means is that after lets say tripping someone you will be unable to trip again, flee or do anything for next 2 rounds. This is referred to as Lag. Some actions such as trip or bash will cause you to be lagged. Hence if you are tripped you will not be able to perform any actions for next 2 rounds.
NOTICE: you can still type commands in, and they will be performed in the order you typed them. This is HIGHLY dangerous, as it leaves you unable to react to current situation. If suddenly battle turns against you, and you have already entered 3 trips, dirt kick, and disarm you will not be able to flee for a long while and will most likely die.
(1) Basically refers to your race/class. Know what weapons you are vulnerable to, maybe you have low dex. and small size, hence are vulnerable to bashing. Maybe you are a giant and mind spells will wreck havoc on you, or perhaps you are an elf and you don't have the most hit points or strength, but can avoid most bashes etc..
(2) Same goes for your enemy, if he is a mage, then he might have his protective shield up and you cannot bash him, he might be flying and you cannot trip him. He can dispel your standing spells, or blind you with magic perhaps? If he is a warrior he might disarm you after dirt kick etc.. You should always put yourself in your opponents shoes to think of what he might do.
(3) This refers to not only being
able to get from Solace to Mansion blind, but also knowing where
items of interest are, where can you rest as to give yourself the
easiest route of escape etc.. Knowing what items are useful, and
what can be used effectively by your class is VERY important. Do not
be afraid to ask for location of common items, as the ability to
re-equip quickly and efficiently is important.
The greatest part of PK is preparation.
- choosing appropriate weapon for the
opponent's class as to minimize defense. (Clerics cannot use swords,
ninjas can't use flails etc..)
- choosing appropriate weapon for the opponent's race (ice against fire giants, magic against giant, mundane/water against halfling/dwarf)
- Using scrolls or casting appropriate spells (Sanctuary, Protect from evil/good spells or potions, _fly_, bless etc..)
- MOST important and difficult: Choosing the battle ground (very easy with summon) for escape route, or to confuse enemy when he flees. Notice that on water or air there is no dirt to kick, and you need a boat to travel on water. (Summoning close to a powerful aggressive mob is a devious trick if you are sure of your advantage)
- Finally when applicable, preparing charmies by casting, reciting or brandishing.
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The FL Mage by VIRIGOTH a.k.a. PRAGMA
The following document (adapted from original written for AR) is meant to be an introduction into what are one of the more complicated difficult, powerful and rewarding classes to play on FL. The following will describe in brevity the mentality and general strategy of the 3 mage classes present in FL. Some thought will be given to races appropriate to each, and general purpose, thinking and stratagem for each mage class, as well as some very brief strengths and weaknesses.
Please feel free to comment.
The mage through the annals of roleplaying
games and environments have always been portrayed as the physically weak
class, yet gaining awesome magical powers late in the life cycle of the
character. In FL. Necromancers, Invokers, Battlemages and
Psionists have been built in that image, and have the traits of the
stereotypical mage. They are all weak in low ranks, the 1-30 range being the
least favorable, then rapidly increasing in power to 50 where they are some
of the most powerful classes. The price of this power is the terrible
weakness of the mage to the superior Warrior classes in the 1-30 stretch,
where most Mages will get torn to pieces by their better clad and armed
counterparts. Yet the key to the
Sorcerer's game has always to seek the pinnacle of their power and training
where the awesome totalitarian magics dwarf the feeble strength of the
warriors, this is true in FL where any of the Mages at pinnacle of their
abilities are a formidable danger to consider.
The mages of FL reflect different
philosophies on how to approach magical _combat_, which can be generally
classified into 3 "spheres".
Invokers belong in: Afflictive (V.
Strong) Necromancers belong in: Afflictive (Strong) , Maledictive
(Strong), Charmed (Strong) Battlemages belong in: Afflictive (Strong) ,
In order to truly understand your
respective mage class, one must realize the principle sphere that the
mage uses and what approach must be taken to best utilize the advantages
given by it, at the same time minimizing the weakness.
The second element, most importantly
is the crucial difference between a Mage and Warrior
class. That element is the ability to lag opponent in combat. Warrior
classes have the ability to bash or otherwise prevent the opponent from
executing his combat actions, effectively "lagging" him. Mage
classes due to "protective shield", "force field"
and "iron will" spells are immune to these actions, leaving
trip as the only other means to prevent them from casting. This leaves a
split between the methodologies of the two paths. Warriors can lag the
opponent and keep him from fleeing and/or casting spells. Mages can make
themselves immune to such, and be able to flee and cast their spells
freely. Hence two very much different fighting styles
are needed and required. This is something that most develop a feeling
for over time, as their experience with the game increases.
When considering the race for invoker,
Elf/Drow stand above all else. Their extreme intelligence
is perfect for the class, and the high dexterity will aid in avoiding
physical attacks. Finally both races have sneak, which allows for great
tactical advantage given the Invoker has no charmed mobs to announce his
entrance into the room. The clear
disadvantage is that of hit points, but with diligent training and
extreme intelligence of both races,
this can be easily remedied.
When looking at the level distribution, Invokers have the lowest slope of their power and learning curve. What this means is that they steadily gain in power, with a steady array of damage spells available to them at all times. At 1-22 while not capable of standing up to a well prepared warrior they hold up better then their cousins. There their power gain flattens out for few ranks, to rapidly pick up again at level 29 increasing ever rapidly from there on.
When you consider the arsenal of the damaging spells under your command, one thing becomes clear. Invoker is extremely versatile. From creation of food and water, to enchanting weapons and armor and the powerful defense spells (Sanctuary and Mana shield) Invoker has extremely solid defensive foundation. In fact from the four, they have the most defensive skills and ability. When looking for the offense, the Invoker has a spell for every race weakness. From flame arrow to jet steam and fire/ice storm, a smart player will be able to capitalize on his enemies weaknesses. Combined with powerful sanctuary and manashield a smart invoker player can use his enemies weakness and completely shred an unprepared target.
As invoker's sphere is Afflictive, you
should concentrate on those spells that express it (not that you have
much choice). Even before Hellstream, invoker has already fearsome
offensive capability with firestorm and his shields. With proper use of
the arsenal to exploit weaknesses of enemies, and the powerful damage
spells at his disposal, and Invoker is a well rounded mage with a
relatively undemanding strategy, even if some space for flare and style
Necromancer unlike his 3 cousins has a very considerable power spike around rank 33-35 which allows for some very effective niche Pk'ing. Due to this, two race choices present themselves as appropriate.. If you plan to take the Necro. to the high ranks and aim for 50, then choose an Avian. The average stats lend themselves to a mage class, with the constant flight being a savior given the Necros need for VERY fast movement, not to mention saving you from constantly buying scrolls of flying. If you plan to settle down in the Niche Pk range, then Human will give you maximum reach in the ranks, allowing you to maximize the Maledictive and Charmie component of the class. Finally if you wish a true challenge choose Illithid which will give you huge mana reserve, extreme intelligence and wisdom but at some very serious costs. (For advanced players only)
Looking at the ranks the Necromancer receives considerable array of maledictions early on, even if there is no defense to back them up, rendering this class utterly defenseless until rank 20 when they get the first golem. Up to this point the slope of the power curve is very shallow, with a small spike at 20, then once again going flat only to shoot up at 28 and even higher at 33-35. Basically Necromancer is all but defenseless all the way up to 28,when they rapidly gain power until 35, and steadily becoming stronger only to receive another spike at high 40's when some truly useful zombies become available.
Considering Necromancers spell layout, there is some sharp differences from the other two mages. First is the availability of summon, which is a very powerful spell, and improves the necromancers life significantly. Second is the stress upon maledictions. A Necromancer who has managed to sleep a victim, has all but assured his victory as he has a chance to place all of his spells on the target. If sleep failed, even in combat few choice picks from that selection are appropriate for each type of opponent (warrior, mage etc..)
In combat the Necromancer has a simple directive, to deliver more damage, and faster then his opponent. If the enemy has been slept this becomes childishly easy, if not, then blindness, weakness and curse can be the bane of most warrior classes. Finally especially at lower ranks Necromancer is capable of supporting his charmies with the acid blast. The price for these advantages is the fact that Necromancers charmies are significantly weaker then the original or charmed mobs. While Stone Golem does adequate damage, it is the only one of the charmies that will do so, until far up in ranks given the fact that a raised zombie, unlike a duplicate loses a part of its original's power resulting in a weakened copy and vulnerability to some very obvious spells. Add to that the fact that 5 charmies all of which can trip or bash, is a considerable threat to anyone. Unfortunately, unlike Battlemage who has mirrors to protect him against summoning, Necro has no such defense, resulting in the fact that summoned necromancer is all but defenseless. Furthermore, raising zombies, unlike charmed mobs takes time, hence necromancer requires far more start time. All in all, even with the weakness the class has the higher ranked spells such as ghoul touch and power word, combined with the unbelievable lag potential of 5 mobs combined with the maledictions or afflictive strength of the caster make for a powerful and interesting combo, unfortunately Necromancer is the weakest of all the mages on defense, requiring some considerable skill in escaping pursuit.
Yet BMG is truly at their peak at level 50, where you can being to choosing between: Bash protection (force field), Dispel Magic protection (Mana Lock) or extra damage and attacks. (Reflective Field)
Battlemage has a very wide race selection, yet few are very attractive:
Elf/Drow: With auto sneak and high intelligence you can makeup for low hp, AND have very deadly walking death machine. With no charmies to announce you, and plenty of mana to upkeep your spells both races are perfect.Gnome: With the powerful protection that BMG offers against mundane (non-magical) weapons, gnome have actually good pk options with this class, even if you become slightly limited in your choice of fields (force field mostly).
In combat you have a wealth of options, yet you must always remember that BMG is only as dangerous as his enchantments. You need to keep up with many many spells, lots of them will even drain mana each tick. Hence planning and strategy is a must. When alone, consider using Meteor Shower, its brute hitting power when the victim happens to get hit with more then couple of the large rocks is worth it. Flash fire is perfect if there is no mobs in area (it is an area spell), if you need to selectively blind, try using "Sear". It might be weakened by clouds, but its blinding power is still good, and its downright deadly at noon. Another good started is thunderclap which you may use to stun your victim and cause them to walk in random directions. Finally with battlemages "murder" is actually an excellent, with 5-7 attacks hasted, you can allow yourself to pound the victim down while you try to blind, thunderclap, or disarm them. (Don't forget rust, it has potent effects if more then few layers are applied). Choice!
BMG has some key weaknesses though, ones you should be aware: Many of their protective spells like air shield, and force field ignore magical damage completely! That means that magical weapons will wreck havoc on you. Furthermore, you have little to NO defense against magical spells at all! While "protection", "mana shield" or things like "pyramid of force" will protect their caster against all damage, BMG has potent defense but ONLY against non-spell or non-magical damage. This means you WILL take a beating from hellstream, acid blast and such. And while you can easily match most warriors, you will find that it is the pure mages that are your true enemies. Also, a dispelled BMG is a dead battlemage. When you get that screen full of spells dropping, flee and flee fast.
You DEPEND on your standing spells,
with out them you are weaker then a child.
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