Combat in Empire in Flames, or How I Spent My Summer Vacation

EiF brings you a player’s perspective’s on EiF’s combat system. This post isn’t fully fact checked. Thank you Pizza the Hutt! You are one of my all time favorite Hutts! Enjoy!

-Sandarie, Community Manager

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The combat in Star Wars Galaxies has gone through multiple iterations and changes in its lifetime. Empire in Flames is another such iteration aiming to improve upon some of the inadequacies of the original game in a fashion that differs from the Combat Upgrade (and the subsequent game-changing overhaul that was the NGE). 

While the fundamental mechanics of “Pre-CU” combat still stand, there have been numerous tweaks and changes to encourage a diversity of builds that was sorely lacking in the original game. These modifications to the base emulator take the form of adjustments to stat allocations for each profession, ability changes ranging from minor adjustments of multipliers to new behaviors, and some tinkering to the engine to make combat much more intuitive and interesting.   

Whether you’re an old-hand at Pre-CU combat, an NGE player visiting the past, or completely new to SWG, there are some things that you should know! But where should we begin?   First things first! Before you can fight you need a weapon! If you’re a bareknuckle brawler or an inveterate sniper, your attacks follow the same formula! So, here’s the rundown on your hardware:

1.       Weapon type – This one is the most obvious. A pistol, a carbine, a sword, et cetera. These weapons have their corresponding abilities in their respective professions but here at Empire in Flames we have some special-case scenarios! If you’re a Bounty Hunter, or a Smuggler, your weapon skills are “weapon agnostic” which means you can use these abilities with any weapon equipped! 

2.       Damage type – All incoming and outgoing damage in SWG is “typed” and is compared against a variety of resistances. Not all guns do energy damage, and not all melee weapons will do kinetic. To ensure maximum effectiveness, examine your target (in the case of PvE) to see your opponents’ resistances and equip yourself accordingly!   

3.       Armor Piercing – This is a stat you’ll see on all weapons but you can completely ignore this as Empire in Flames removed Armor Levels from all damage equations!   

4.       Attack speed – This is the base delay for your attacks (in seconds). The CDEF Pistol that you start with, for example, has a speed of 3. Without any skills, you will auto-attack every 3 seconds. But all weapon-specific professions come with a speed stat boost that modifies this value as a percentage. More on this later!   

5.       Damage range – Minimum and maximum damage is self-explanatory.   

6.       Wound chance – Whenever an attack lands, it has a chance to impart a wound to a specific HAM pool. While higher percentages are better, the actual effect is rather small.   

7.       Range modifiers – Ok, so this one might not be super clear as to how exactly it works but it is simply a +/- modification to your attack’s accuracy. Ideally you want to be at the ideal (hehe) range but in most cases you can get away with any spot that’s not a massive penalty (like the -120 @ 64 meters on the starter CDEF pistol).   

8.       Special Attack Cost – These are the base values for the consumption of your HAM pools when you use special attacks. Each special attack has a multiplier that can leave you with an empty action pool in the case of high special costs on your weapons.   

Okay! So that’s a quick review of the weapons and how their stats function. Let’s get started with the combat mechanics and how your skills tie into them. I’m going to start with the novice box of the Swordsman profession because it’s what I have in front of me and it gives me a wide variety of skills to use as examples. In the novice box we have the following skills:

Counterattack, Defense vs. Blind, Defense vs Dizzy, Defense vs Intimidate, Defense vs Stun, Melee Defense, Ranged Defense, Two-handed Melee Accuracy, Two-handed melee Center of Being [duration], Two-handed Melee Center of Being Efficacy, Two-handed Melee Speed, and Two-handed Melee Toughness… whew! That’s a lot of stats! It might be a bit overwhelming, but they’re very straightforward once you get the hang of it!   

Counterattack is one of the three “secondary” defense skills, alongside Dodge, and Block. The way these work is that upon receiving a “successful” attack, you have a chance to react to the incoming damage with these skills.

  • Counterattack allows you to make a free basic attack against your opponent.
  • Dodge always you to sidestep the incoming damage entirely.
  • Block reduces the incoming damage by 75% and has the added bonus on Empire in Flames of making a second block attempt if the first one fails.

These three defense skills are limited to their respective weapons – Counterattack for Carbineer and Swordsman, Dodge for Pistoleer and Fencer, Block for Rifleman and Pikeman.

Note: Heavy Weapons are considered as Rifles by the game and allow you to make use of Block when wielding the Commando’s arsenal. Teras Kasi Artists have a special defense stat called Defensive Acuity which allows you to react to incoming damage with either Counterattack, Dodge, or Block.   

Defense vs [XXXXXX] – These are stats that are generally referred to as “State Defense”. Certain abilities have the benefit of attempting to apply a variety of these states and that is compared against your state defense to determine whether or not it is successfully applied.             

You’re probably curious as to how these states affect you or your target – here’s the hot-skinny.           

    • Intimidate – This state reduces the maximum damage of outgoing attacks\
    • Dizzy – When dizzied, posture changes can cause you to be knocked down.
    • Knockdown– Flat on your back! You are incapable of acting while knocked down and you take extra damage. –          It’s important to note that the way Dizzy/KD works on Empire in Flames is different from SWGEmu in that it is impossible to lock anyone into a Dizzy/KD loop (because this is just no fun!)
    • Stun – Reduces outgoing damage by 10% and lowers Primary Defense (more on what that is in a bit).
    • Blind – Reduces accuracy. Posture change (up/down) – This causes the receiving party to change their posture (standing, kneeling, or prone). Coupled with dizzy, this has the chance to knockdown.   

Next on the list is Ranged/Melee Defense – These are your so-called primary defenses which is what your accuracy is compared against when attempting to hit something. These primary defenses reduce the likelihood of being hit by most, if not all, attacks.

  • Accuracy – This makes your attacks more likely to be successful.
  • Center of Being –  Duration and Efficacy are modifiers to the Center of Being skill (which has just received some interesting changes from Anishor). Duration is in seconds, and the efficacy now functions by way of reducing the players outgoing damage by 25% and increasing their toughness by [Efficacy / 3]. Weapon Speed – This is a percentage modifier to your weapon’s attack speed before ability multipliers. It caps out at +75 which translates to 75% * attack speed (or 1/4 of your weapons attack speed as your effective attack speed).
  • And finally we have Toughness – This is a flat percentage reduction on incoming damage. It makes you “tankier”.   

In addition to all of the above, an important consideration (especially for PvP) is the Ranged and Melee Mitigation skills that come with the combat professions. The way this works is it reduces the damage range of the attacker’s weapon making it less likely for you to receive random “big hits”. Ranged Mitigation applies to incoming ranged attacks, and Melee Mitigation applies to incoming melee attacks.

For the curious, or the mathematically inclined, the formula is [Max Damage = MinDmg + ((MaxDmg-MinDmg)*(<20% for Mitigation 1, 40% for Mitigation 2, and 60% for Mitigation 3>)]   

Now that we have all that out of the way you might be wondering “What the hell do all these abilities do?!” because the tooltips may not accurately reflect what is actually happening. Each special attack ability has a damage multiplier, and an attack delay modifier. Some attacks have a specific pool they target, while others will hit a random pool. Some attacks might even apply a state. Unfortunately due to the changes made by the Empire in Flames team, I don’t have access to the definitive numbers, or what abilities apply what states, but I can give a “broad-strokes” answer regarding the ability choices available.

Higher tiered attacks will generally do more damage, with a higher special ability cost, and a larger attack delay. This means you have the luxury of tailoring your attacks based on your playstyle! Like hitting hard, but maybe not so often? Use the higher tiered attacks! Want to spam specials, as much as possible, or slip in a few extras while your action or mind pool is low? The lower tier specials will fit that niche. Every special has a trade-off which makes using something like SpinAttack1 useful even when you have AreaAttack3.   

That’s all for now! I hope it answers more questions than it creates. Happy hunting and May the Force Be With You!

With Love,              Pizza The Hutt.  


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