GCW: Q & A with the Devs!

Question: What was the inspiration for the GCW? Why did you decide to take this massive undertaking of making a completely new system? (I love it btw )
Dev Answer: Empire in Flames is built as “the SWG we want to play” – and a critical element of that is an active Galactic Civil War. From well before we launched, we knew we wanted a GCW system that encouraged all players to participate rather than just the hardcore PvPers.


Senate

Question: How often will the elections for senator/traitor be? And will there be a limit to terms?
Dev Answer: Elections will happen on a 28-day cycle. There are no term limits. If you want to buy a Senator or Councilor, you’d better start stockpiling credits.

Question: Are there any benefits other than voting for being on the senate or Council?Dev Answer: Senators and Councilors get a unique title and access to their faction’s war room, where voting takes place.

Question: Will there be any plans to expand the system later on?
Dev Answer: We’ve already planned an expansion for the GCW revolving around “planetary loyalty”, which is separate from factional control. A planet could be occupied by the New Republic but loyal to the Empire, for example. Loyalty levels open up different missions and quests for players to swing a planet’s population in their favor, which in turn affects the difficulty of invasions.

Question: Does senator require a specific faction rank?
Dev Answer: No. It does require certain skill boxes in politician, however – New Republic Senators must be Statesmen, while Imperial Councilors must be Warmasters.

Question: Will Senators and Council get a special title or badge?
Dev Answer:  Titles will be Senator for NR and Councilor for Imperials

Question: Can there be more than just picking the target planet to invade, like picking a target planet to defend?
Dev Answer: Defensive positioning will also be a role for Senate /Council when we have JTL.

Question: What is required to become a Senator?
Dev Answer: 1.)Be a citizen in a city of the planet you wish to run on. 2.) Be NR faction 3.) have Politician xx4x 4.) register to run for Senator and win the most votes for Senator on the planet you registered.

Question: What is required to become a Councilor?
Dev Answer: 1.)Be a citizen in a city of the planet you wish to run on. 2.) Be Imperial faction 3.) have Politician x4xx 4.) register to run for Councilor and win the most votes for Councilor on the planet you registered.

Question: What is the term for Senator or Councilor?
Dev Answer: 28 days

Question: Can you have more than one Senator or Councilor per account?
Dev Answer: Yes , as long as you qualify and are voted in legally. In the event of suspicious activity, elections can be audited as all information is logged.

Question: How do I get politician skill?
Dev Answer: Train novice politician. Run for mayor of an existing player city , or create your own. For each vote you have you get 300xp at election (awarded when mayor is elected 3 week cycles).
Each week as Mayor when city maintenance is due, and when/if you win election you will received an extra/automatic 750xp. Even if you do not win the mayor election , you still will get xp for each vote you received.


Question: What will decide which planet to invade?
Dev Answer: Senators and Councilors will have independent votes. The planet that has the most votes for each group will be the planet to be invaded in the upcoming GCW for that faction. Access to the planet is determined by hyperlanes, so planets can only be attacked if a connecting planet is also controlled.

Question: How many Councilors and Senators will there be?
Dev Answer: There will be 1 Councilor and 1 Senator per inhabited planet.

Question: What if no one lives on x Planet?
Dev Answer: If no one runs, the seat will remain vacant for that planet.

Question: Do you have to be mayor of a player city to run for Senator or Councilor?
Dev Answer: No

Question: How / where will I register to run for Senator or Councilor?
Dev Answer: A voting center will be placed by a city’s mayor – the city must be at least rank 2. In the city you are a citizen of you can register to run if you meet perquisites at these tests.
(details to be clarified)


Invasions

Question:  How are GCW battles different than traditional PVP?
Dev Answer: GCW battles are designed with tangible goals, strict timelines, and PvP rewards – it’s designed to be a focused, fast-paced experience that rewards planning and teamwork. Oh, and combat walkers that players pilot into battle! Walkers allow those who normally don’t enjoy PvP to get involved.  Use /takeCommand and /fireCanons to use a walker.

Question: Can we practice piloting the big AT-AT walkers? Please?
Dev Answer: This has been a common request, actually – piloting the various combat walkers, from the New Republic’s little AT-PT to the Empire’s overpowering AT-AT is ridiculously fun. We’re looking at an event our storytellers can kick off to allow players some walker vs walker combat for live events. It’s not ready yet, but it’s been tinkered with and will become available sometime soon.

Question: Will my gear decay from all the extra fighting?
Dev Answer: Use decay still happens – so as you take and do damage, your armor and weapons will decay. However, you won’t suffer decay for death and cloning.

Question: What is War Fame, how do we get it and what will it be used for?
Dev Answer: War fame is the “currency” you acquire while you participate in invasions. All players participating get a “tick” regularly while they’re in the invasion zone; accomplishing objectives will give you much larger windfalls. Successful defense of a planet will give the defenders a giant bonus, too.

Question: What will war fame be used for?
Dev Answer: War Fame will be used to purchase GCW specific rewards, like the battle damaged versions of armor and more.

Question: Is there a listing of costs?
Dev Answer: Yep. Not anywhere you can find it though.*nod* (Yet.)

Question: How is war fame earned?
Dev Answer: For now, War Fame is earned through active participation in Invasions, but once the Planetary Loyalty missions are rolled out, players will be able to earn War Fame that way as well, but with a much smaller return than actually fighting in the war.

Question: Will war fame remain or get lost if you change factions?
Dev Answer: If you choose to defect, your war fame will follow you.

Question: What can you tell us about the new armor and weapons?
Dev Answer: We’re using GCW to bring in armor and weapons that have been requested practically since we launched the server. The big obvious star is the New Republic’s A280 – the iconic BlasTech blaster is going to be available for Riflemen, Carbineers, and Pistoleers! But we’re adding more than just the A280.

We’re also bringing in the war-scuffed versions of the six factional armors at minimum…and a few surprises.

Question: Can all of the new items be traded?
Dev Answer: All of the Factional items and War Fame rewards will be crafting schematics, so you will *need* to trade them to your friendly local crafter.

Question: Are there any restrictions to equipping some of the new weapons or armor?Dev Answer: The armor will generally be factionally-restricted for now – a character must be Imperial to wear stormtrooper armor, for example.

Question: Can non-combat characters help their faction?
Dev Answer: At launch, non-combat characters are useful both in providing equipment – rocket launchers, for example, are critical – and healing during invasions as combat and death begins to accumulate wounds and battle fatigue.

We have further plans to allow non-combat characters (and characters who can’t participate in invasions directly) to both help their faction and acquire war fame, but that system isn’t ready at GCW launch.

Non-Combat can also contribute with the walkers as explained above.

Question: Will non-PvPers be able to contribute in any way?
Dev Answer: At launch, only indirectly. The planetary loyalty expansion will change that – we’re ensuring that even crafters and entertainers can participate.

Question: when will the invasions happen?
Dev Answer: The current system schedules battles for 9:30 PM EST. This can be adjusted as necessary, depending on attendance and other variables. Because the system runs on a 6-day schedule, the day-of-week always changes.

Question: are there going to be any EU-friendly battles, or are there plans to include some if the European population grows large enough?
Dev Answer: If the European population on EiF grows to the point where EU-friendly invasions are more plausible, the system is flexible enough for us to schedule them.

Question: Will there be ranks higher than Colonel added?
Dev Answer: Yes, but high ranks also come with drawbacks like being permanently Special Forces


Planets

Question: Which planets will be involved?
Dev Answer: Most of the planets currently on the server will be used. More than half of our planned additions will also be part of the GCW when they’re ready.

Question: Which will not, and why?
Dev Answer: The “no” planets currently on the server are Tatooine and Lok. Both have very much an underworld/edge of the galaxy vibe, and in time of open war they don’t provide much to either the New Republic or the Empire.

Hoth will also be left out, for two reasons. From a technical perspective, Echo Base doesn’t work very well on pre-CU and has issues that Takhomasak has not been able to solve in spite of over a year of work. Story-wise, Hoth is of no further interest to the GCW warring factions after the Rebel Alliance evacuated.

Question: Will there be new planets added in the future that will be included?
Dev Answer: Absolutely

Question: What are some of the incentives for controlling a planet?
Dev Answer: That’s the trick, isn’t it?

For launch, we’ve designed a series of skill bonuses that apply to all members of the controlling factions. These launch bonuses include things like weapon accuracy and crafting assembly bonuses. Those bonuses also scale based on a character’s rank in the faction.

Question: What are some of the penalties for losing a planet?
Dev Answer: Losing bonuses! We opted not to directly penalize players losing a planet – hurt pride is generally reason enough for players to come out again. Not gaining the control bonus is penalty enough


Neutral Players

Question: What are some reasons that neutral players may want to participate?
Dev Answer: Neutral players miss out on the rewards that participants receive. The rewards range from armor, weapons, decorations, and vehicles, to skill bonuses for factional characters.

Question: Can neutral characters participate?
Dev Answer: Not directly.

Question: If not, can you temporarily join a faction and then go back to being neutral later?
Dev Answer: Only through standard game mechanics – e.g. having enough faction points to reach 200, and sign up with a faction via a recruiter. At this time, we’re not looking at adding mercenary functionality.

Question: Will a neutral character be aware that a planet is under factional control? Dev Answer: Planet control determines a number of troop spawns on a planet, most noticeably in starports but around cities as well. If a player is paying attention, they’ll definitely notice.

Question: I mean will there be effects of planetary control which apply to non-aligned chars? (I would like to see some. even if they are detrimental).
Dev Answer: Neutral characters suffer from having neither bonuses nor drawbacks.


EIF Community!

Question: What is the EIF pvp community like?
Dev Answer: Surprisingly chill. While there are always some emotions that run high, during the Week of War testing phase players on the losing side generally came away both with some satisfaction for having fun and with determination to win the next battle.

Question: Is there lots of trash talk and spitting on corpses?
Dev Answer: I’ve seen a little, and I don’t think it’s possible to get completely away from it. On the other hand, it’s a fraction of the toxicity you’ll find on servers with a self-proclaimed PvP focus.

Question: Will a novice feel intimidated or unwelcome?
Dev Answer: I don’t think it’s possible to not be intimidated. On the other hand, both factions’ leadership tends to really take new players in under their wings to equip and train them to get ready to fight.

Question: I’ve heard there is lots of RP on that server, how does that affect GCW battles?
Dev Answer: Oddly, it leads to better turnout. It’s a trend the EiF staff has noted going back to the live Starsider server, when the largest turnout for space PvP events consisted of RPers who were interested in advancing the story and fighting for their faction. If PvP isn’t constant – and with EiF’s system, we’re on a six-day cycle – RPers tend to come out and enjoy it.


General

Question: Are there any plans for when Jump to Lightspeed goes live?
Dev Answer: Very much so. And yes, we will be integrating JtL into our GCW system. Planetary blockades, anyone?

Question: Will Boris and Natasha ever catch that pesky moose and squirrel?
Dev Answer: “Military intelligence. That phrase mean anything to you?”  “It sounds like a contradiction of terms.”

Question: What will the impact of Jedi be on the GCW and vice versa?
Dev Answer: Indirect. When Jedi goes live, they will be able to participate in the GCW, but they will not have a special role per se. However, the Jedi system relies on a substantial part of the code we’ve written for GCW. Jedi development in earnest will be starting not long after the GCW launch.

Question: An important aspect of factional conflict, especially in Star Wars, is looking the role.  What steps are being taken to make sure that from the lowliest grunt in the Imperial Army, to a sergeant in the Stormtrooper Corps, to a Grand Admiral in the Imperial Navy, have access to appropriate gear?
Dev Answer: A large part of this is simply the combat and crafting redesign Empire in Flames underwent before launching. The distance between “top tier” and “entry level” isn’t nearly as large as it is on, say, Basilisk.

Question: “Is @Sandi the best CM?”

Dev Answer

  • Of course. Without her, Empire in Flames wouldn’t be the awesome place it is!
  • What kind of stupid question is that? Sandi is awesome!
  • Sandi’s leagues better than people paid to do the job
  • Without Sandi, you’d be stuck with Abi as CM. Daily floggings to keep morale high.  The beatings will continue until morale improves
  • *Threatens to rip some arms off for anyone that thinks otherwise*

(Sandi rolls her eyes and hugs the devs)

Friday Feature 1/26/2018 – Base Busting EiF Style!

Tensions are mounting. Imperials and the New Republic alike are setting the stage for invasions. Armies are in training, troops being dispatched, leaders are coordinating the survival of their planet or the take over of another one. Bases and Outposts are being placed in preparation. Some are  placed to intimidate small cities, others located more stealthily in the lesser traveled areas of planets. Training is underway to take out these bases, some preemptively in hopes of turning back an invasion.

Join your faction today and start preparing. Below is the training manual to take out a base. Learn it. Use it. Don’t let the other side take over your planet!

OOC:

Base busting was a very popular PvP event in SWG Live. It was content driven by players. A faction could plop down a base, complete with NPCs and those deadly turrets, to protect a city or outpost. The opposing faction would search out these bases and then make plans to bust the base wide open.

The planetary invasions in Starports are designed around the base busting model as well.

Below is a guide I found from the old SWG Live forums. It’s been tweaked to explain the new base busting design of EiF’s developers.

Required Professions:

Bounty Hunter 2000 (Investigation II)

Smuggler 0100 (Slicing I)

Novice Doctor

Commando 0200 (Heavy Weapons II)

Novice Squad Leader

Equipment:

The smuggler must have Molecular Clamps and Laser Knives.

Base Vulnerability Times:

Find an opposite faction spy who is at least a Warrant Officer II. They can enter any base and look for the Main terminal to check its status. The base’s terminal will indicate how much time is left before the base is vulnerable to attack. For those placing bases, the countdown starts when the base is dropped.  The base will be vulnerable to attack for two hours.

If a spy is not available, use /tar power. If the base is vulnerable, you will be able to target its power regulator.

Starport Note: These are only vulnerable when an invasion is active.

Base Entry:

When the team gets to the base/starport, turrets should be taken down first.

You cannot enter the base while the turrets are up.

Base Only Note: You can blow up the turrets prior to the vulnerability window. However the defenders can replace them. Only one turret can be added during the vulnerability window.

Take Down Procedures:

Remember there is a timer ticking down!

Make sure that system messages are enabled in your options

First slice: The Bounty Hunter on the Uplink Terminal

Goal: Find the numbers

  • Stand next to the Uplink to begin the process of jamming the uplink.
  • Open up the radial menu and click on the jam uplink.
  • A set of numbers  (1-10) appears and you need to guess the number. A system message appears indicating of your choice is too high or too low.
    • Repeat selecting numbers until you find the first one.
  • Repeat until you find all the numbers.
  • You will get 1000 xp and a successful slice when you’re finished.

Second slice: The Smuggler on the Security Terminal:

Goal: Successful slice using smuggler slicing skills

  • Stand next to the Security Terminal
  • Open up the radial menu and choose to Slice Terminal
  • Use the molecular clamp
  • Follow directions for the slice
  • Check spatial for the message that you were successful or received XP for the slice.
  • If you get a failed message, start the process over once the cooldown ends

Third slice: The Doctor on the Override Terminal

Goal: Break the code.

  • Stand next to the Override Terminal
  • Open up the radial menu and choose DNA Sample
  • A box with 44 letters appears.
  • Look at the sample at the box of the opened box. It shows the 4 letters in the DNA sequence
  • Each of the letters matches up with one of the others letters.
    • For example: If the DNA Sample code is ACGT
    • ACGT would match with TGCA (notice the code is reversed)
    • a with t, c with g, g with c, t with a
  • In the box below is 22 code sequences. Using the information above enter the corresponding code
    • For example: if the box displays ACAC, the answer is TGTG
  • When all 22 codes are decrypted, you will get XP or a message in spatial indicating you completed the slice.

Fourth slice: The Commando on the Power Regulator

Goal: Turn off the power at the base

  • Stand next to the power regulator.
  • Open the radial menu
  • 8 power switches appear, which are either set to on or off
  • Click on the “on” buttons until the buttons are off
    • It’s possible that clicking one button to off will turn another one on. Just keep clicking until a system message appears indicating the power has been shut down, or you receive 1000 heavy weapons XP

Fifth slice: The Squad Leader on the Primary Terminal:

  • Go to the top of the base if it’s a large or the front entrance of the smaller ones
  • Stand next to the Primary Terminal
  • Open the radial menu
  • If all the slicing was done properly, select the activate overload. In 60 seconds the base/starport will be shut down/destroyed. 🙂

Defend, Defend, Defend!

Defend the base for 60 seconds to protect the countdown. An overt defender can shut down the activation sequence. (The 60 second countdown is subject to change.)


Special thank you to Halyn, Abi, Anishor, Kelta, and Alhai for their help in reviewing this, making suggestions, and clarifying things for me!

Sandarie, Community Manager

Clearly Not Combat Princess!

Friday Feature 1/5/2018: Commands in SWG

Happy New Year! 2018 is going to be an exciting time for EiF. Our population are numbers are rising. The roleplaying community is burgeoning. The GCW is around the corner and players are getting ready and helping with live testing of the invasion portion of the system!

SWG is rich with action players can use either from the command line or placed into macros. This week we’ll focus on some useful commands. Some of our earlier Friday Features utilized a few, such as with macros.

Basic Commands

//
Complete list of commands in game. Note many commands may need a target.

/afk
Sets your character to “Away From Keyboard” so others know you are not currently available.

/anon
Sets your character to anonymous for the purpose of searches.

/consider (/con)
Displays the difficulty rating of a targeted creature or NPC compared to your skill with your currently equipped weapon.

/earth
Displays the earth (real) time.

/find
Brings up list of commonly searched for locations. Selecting a location will create a waypoint to the nearest one of that type and will produce a lighted path leading you to it. To remove the waypoint you created, type /find clear.

I personally use this ALL THE TIME! /find starport when I’m out in the middle of no where searching for the best resource spawn, allows me to get a waypoint to the nearest starport.

/findfriend
Locates your friend by name and creates an active waypoint for them. You must have the person in your friends list and you must also be on their friendslist for this to work.

/follow
Auto-follows your target; use /stopfollow to cease following.

/gallop
Urge your mount go faster for a short time. Don’t expect to use this command continuously! This is useful if you are mounted on a pet and get into combat and the pet slows down to fight.

/logout
Logs your character off the server; you should be in a city, house or campsite for a safe logout, otherwise your character will be at the mercy of the world for 3 additional minutes.

/notepad
Allows modifications to a text file that gets saved as “notes.txt” in your base profile directory. I use this to enter notes about what foods I can make and the max stats I can hit.

/quit
Exit the game immediately. Your character will remain vulnerable to attack for three more minutes.

/tip
Automatically transfers a specified number of credits to your target; you can also use /tip bank to send money directly to their bank, but there is a 5% transfer fee to do this.

/unstick
If you are stuck in a building or other feature of the landscape, this should unstick you. You cannot be moving in order for the command to work. If this command does not free your character, then please contact an admin.

/waypoint
By typing /waypoint and the coordinates, you will create a waypoint in your datapad at location of the current planet’s coordinatate or at your present location if nothing is entered. Note: targeting something and typing /waypoint does not function.

Chat

/groupchat (/g)
Sends message to group channel.

/guild (/gu)
Sends the message typed after the command to your guild channel.

/retell (/rt)
Sends tell to the last person you sent a tell to.

/reply (/r)
Sends a tell to the last person to send a tell to you.

/say
Puts your message in a chat bubble and in the main chat window.

/tell (/t)
Sends an instant message to the character indicated; you can send the message to multiple people by separating their names with a comma.

/tellpet
Sends a command privately to your pet.

Combat Players

/listen
You actively listen to the targeted musician. Heals mind wounds and battle fatigue

/loot
Loots targeted corpse. Don’t forget the Auto Loot Corpses option within Options – Misc!

/watch
You actively listen to the targeted dancer. Heals mind wounds and battle fatigue

/unstick
If you are stuck in a building or other feature of the landscape, this should unstick you. You cannot be moving in order for the command to work. If this command does not free your character, then please contact an admin.

Digging in the Dirt!

/forage
Rangers: Searches the area for anything useful.

/me
Medics: Use to forage items useful for Medics and Doctors

Entertainer/Dancer/Musician

/flourish <#>
Plays indicated musical or dance flourish.

/bandflourish
Synchronizes flourishes of everyone in the group (however, this does not grant the XP of normal flourishes). Using this command allows you to show some style alongside fellow entertainers! Only band leaders can use this command.

/bandleader
Transfers Band Leader status to indicated character.

/sing
Chat bubble that is unique to Entertainers.

/startdance
Begins the dance style that you specify.

/startmusic
Skill and instrument required – begins playing song that you specify.

/tip
Automatically transfers a specified number of credits to your target; you can also use /tip bank to send money directly to their bank, but there is a 5% transfer fee to do this.

Grouping Commands

/invite
Invite the named or targeted player to a group (only group leaders can invite additional people into an existing group).

You cannot /invite while you are in combat or the invitee is in combat. You cannot /join while you are in combat or the inviter/group leader is in combat\

/uninvite
Cancel the group invitation to the named or targeted player.

/join
Joins group or band if you have been invited.

/makeLeader
Group leader only – transfers leadership to named or targeted group member.

/groupchat
Sends message to group channel.

/dismissGroupMember
Dismiss the named or targeted player from the group.

/disband
Group leader only – disbands current target, or entire group if no target is named.

Guild

/guild
Sends the message typed after the command to your guild channel.

/guildremove
Removes target or self from your current guild.

Management: Structures (Houses, Harvesters, Factories

/addpower
Adds power to selected structure.

/setpermission
Sets which players are allowed to move and pick-up items within a structure, as well as the ability to destroy that structure. You must be in or near your building or installation to do this.

/setprivacy
Sets your structure to private or public. You must be in a building to use this.

Merchant/Crafters/Resource Gatherers

/mailsave
Saves your game mail on your computer

/sample
Used by Surveyors to take a resource sample after surveying.

Roleplay

/emote
Displays whatever text you follow it with as an action of your character. For example, if I want to say: Megan is serving free chocolate mousse cake on Port Jato, then the following would accomplish that:  “/emote Megan is serving free chocolate mousse cake on Port Jato. 

/kneel
Changes stance to kneeling. Great for RP!

/moods
Displays list of moods.

/mood none
Returns your default mood to neutral.

/prone
Changes stance to prone.

/roleplay
Sets your character to “Role Player.”

/say
Puts your message in a chat bubble and in the main chat window.

/sing
Chat bubble that is unique to Entertainers.

/stand
Changes stance to standing.

Emote Commands: On the Abilities and Commands menu (Ctrl + A) there is a Social tab with all the emotes you can use with your characters. Most emotes each have three states:

For example, in the list you’ll see an emote for “About Dang Time!” By hovering over it, you’ll see the command for it. /adn. By clicking on it, you’ll see the three states:

  • Without a modifie:
    • /adn : You openly show that your patience has expired
  • With the self modifier to apply it to yourself:
    • /adn self: A bit frustrated with yourself?
  • Targeting a player, or adding player name as a modifier:
    • /adn Megan: You encourage Megan to hurry. Any day now!

Next week we look at more commands to improve communications.

Sandarie Coron, Community Manager

Clearly Not Combat Princess!

EiF New Year’s Eve – GCW EVENT!

If you aren’t doing much on New Year’s Eve, come bring in the New Year with an Empire in Flames! Normally Sunday evenings at 9:00 pm EST is our weekly EiF RP Campaign installment. On 12/31/2017, a live test of the Galactic Civil War will take place on EiF’s live server with a planetary invasion! The planet is yet to be determined, but will likely be announced in the 12/29/2017 Friday Feature “Anatomy of an Invasion” which will provide a breakdown of how invasions work.

What can you do to prepare? I thought you’d never ask!

One thing we definitely know about the invasions is starports can be flipped via the base busting system. You’ll need a busting team with:

  • Bounty Hunter
    Commando
    Smuggler
    Doc (this replaces the BE required in Live)
    Squad Leader

    AND A support group to keep the defending faction from killing your base busters!

If you are an Armorsmith, Weaponsmith, or Chef: get your vendors stocked!

If you haven’t finished your template, or have been waiting for the GCW so you can PvP, wait no more! You have just over a week to prepare!

If you are thinking, “Bleh, I don’t PvP…” Well neither do I, at least not very well, but I’m definitely going to plan to be in a walker pew, pewing!

The EiF GCW is unique and original content. You have never experienced Star Wars Galaxies like this before.

Sandarie
Community Manager, Empire in Flames

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.