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.  

Friday Feature 11/3/2017: The Friday Feature Archives!

Empire in Flames turns six months old tomorrow! Since we launched EiF a Friday Feature has been put together nearly every week! (except one, oops.) The staff and community has found over the past months that we’ve referred to these posts over and over and over! So now you have an archive of them to easily reference for personal use or to direct a new player to the information!

Sandarie, Community Manager

Friday Features: The Archives!
By the Numbers 5/5/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=330
Pauleh Plays! 5/12/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=361
Planetary Factional Alignment in EiF 5/19/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=376
Decorating in Empire in Flames 5/26/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=391
Enter the Cats! 6/2/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=415
EiF Character Builder Beta Testing! 6/9/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=424
Player Cities 6/16/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=433
Server Hardware 6/23/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=456
Player Goods and Services 6/30/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=461
Port Jato 7/7/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=474
Player Events 7/14/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=492
Creature Resources 7/21/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=505
Macros 7/28/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=514
Badges 8/4/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=527
Old Content – Racetracks 8/11/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=535
Teaser! 8/18/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=541
oops… 8/25/2017
Heavy Weapons Y’all! 9/1/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=560
A Chat with Halyn 9/8/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=586
Loot Kits/Recyclers 9/15/17 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=595
A Chat with Anishor 9/22/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=599
Invasion 9/29/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=609
RP on EiF 10/06/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=623
A Chat with Abi/Gail 10/13/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=628
A Chat with Kelta 10/20/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=638
EiF Combat 10/27/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=647
The Friday Feature Archives!  11/3/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=659
A Chat with BluePyros 11/10/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=667
 A Chat with Wefi  11/17/2017  http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=680
Bonus Posts!
Question and Answer Time with the Devs! 5/2/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=291
Racial Bonuses 5/1/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=282
Professions and Skills 5/1/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=271
Housing in EiF 4/27/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=245
Empire in Flames Contact and Social Media Information 4/22/2017 http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=216

Friday Feature 10/27/2017: EiF’s Combat!

EiF knew combat would not be fully balanced when we went live. Over the past months we’ve had a much larger player base using our system than the 5-10 players pre-launch on the test center. Our community’s feedback has been invaluable. I reviewed the Q & A with the Devs, to be sure this was the most accurate and up-to-date information. There are a few changes, such as with the armor. 

Below is the current state of EiF’s combat systems, as it relates to Professions and Skills.

General

  • EiF is about player choice and counter play in our balance.
  • Professions vs Skills
    • The New Profession System and Skill Trees: One of the core ideas of EiF was to separate “What you do” from “How you do it”. “What you do” are your Professions – Bounty Hunter, Commando, Doctor, Entertainer, Merchant, Ranger, Smuggler, and Squad Leader. Any person can pick any profession; they cost 0 skill points, but a person can only have one of those professions at a time. Professions grant non-combat abilities and some combat specials, but no combat modifiers – for example, picking Smuggler doesn’t give you extra pistol speed/accuracy/etc.
    • Skills are the “How you do it”, and it’s almost everything else from the original skill trees. Pistoleer, Carbineer, Rifleman, TKA, Fencer, etc, plus your crafting skills and dancer/musician/image designer. Those do require skill points, so you mix-and-match to your heart’s content, up to 250 points worth. The trees are recalculated so that you can basically take two and a half skill trees; I suspect most players will have a line or two of Medic in their builds, but some of our testers already surprised me on that point by forgoing it for more defensive modifiers.
  • No Legendaries
    • Weapons or Armor
  • Core Based Crafting System
    • Separates the appearance from the performance
    • Crafting revamped -Damage is substantially higher and resists cap much lower than 90%
    • Weapons
      • All stats have been revamped to actually matter on a weapon. Assuming similar crafting, pistols will be faster than carbines which are faster than rifles. Rifles have higher damage than carbines which have more damage than pistols.
      • Accuracy calculations come into play; a melee character on top of a rifleman will absolutely destroy him, but at 64 meters the rifleman will shred a melee character.
      • Additional weapons, including some from the NGE will be added as EiF progresses
      • A recent tease from Halyn was an A280-CFE which is a convertible weapon. With the proper certifications (details coming soon(™)) it can be switched between a pistol, carbine, or rifle.
      • Armor piercing/armor level have been removed from calculations, as it pushed players to AP3-only weapons (or stun!)
    • Armor
      • Not all about Composite anymore, appearance is separated from performance
      • Armor is capped at 60% resists
      • Suits of factional armor will come in with the GCW patch. The Imperial and Rebel variants of Mandalorian armor will be part of the Mandalore patch
    • All armor and weapons decay
      • An armorsmith can best repair armor
      • A weaponsmith can best repair weapons
      • Any player can use a repair kit, but the master AS and WS have better chance of not breaking the piece and getting a better repair
      • Crafting stations improve chances of a good repair
  • HAM
    • The HAM/buff system has been inverted. Pre-CU features low base HAM and extremely strong buffs; EiF flipped that, so players start with high HAM and buffs add around 10% total.
    • Starting HAM is closer to 5000
    • No longer incapped by depletion of:
      • Mind
      • Action
      • PvP
        • Action and mind bars can still be targeted by other players, even if they can’t force an incap. During, say, a 4v4, a valid tactic may be for one or two players on each side to focus on keeping the enemy healer’s mind bar locked down to prevent them from throwing heals.
      • Players only incap on the health bar.
    • Action and Mind regenerates faster
      • 3-4 sec from empty to full
      • Action and mind regen very fast, but specials actually /use/ action and mind – firing a pistol special, for example, might take 30% of your action bar, but a few seconds later you’ll be back at full action.
      • Health is regenned faster by sitting
    • No species starting differentiation for HAM
  • Speed
    • Not capped at 1 atk/sec, but 75% reduction of weapon speed
    • With a focus on speed all the way down (speed crafted, speed sliced, speed PuPed) pistols can fire well faster than once per second…but given HAM costs for specials, it’s not real practical.
    • Speed is calculated differently. HAM costs and encumbrance matter. AP is no longer factored into damage calcs. High HAM and low buffs. Lower armor protections.
  • Dizzy
    • Dizzy/KD doesn’t work the same way here.
    • Dizzy is only a 15% chance to K/D you on posture change, not 85% that is is traditionally
    • Dizzy however affects you offensively, reduces your accuracy
    • Stacks with Blind
    • Reduces your primary defenses by 20%
  • Primary Defense – caps at 125
    • Melee/Range
    • SL bonus pushes the cap above 125
    • Pikatta Pie – pushes the cap about 125 too
  • Secondary Defenses – caps at 125
    • Dodge – Pistols/ 1H mele
    • Counter attack – Carbines/2H Melee
    • Block – Rifles/Pikeman
    • Defensive Acuity – Unarmed
    • In the future we’ve talked about adding in schematics that drop with different combinations, such as a dodging polearm.
    • SEAs help to reach Cap, but not push above the cap. Still keeps the cap of +25 to one stat from all your attachments.
  • Buffs
    • Doc buffs
    • Moved status from doc buffs into base stats, so now unbuffed you are close to what a doc buffed character was. Doc buffs only increase stats by about an additional 5% ( as was intended in Raph Koster’s initial design )
    • No longer required for play, intended to be at same power as other buffs such as food and drinks
    • No Doc Bots
    • Buffs are weak on EiF
    • Ent Buffs are reduced from Live
    • The classic SWG model is “low HAM, high buffs” – we’ve swapped that around, so you natively have high HAM with buffs providing far less of an increase. Playing without buffs is perfectly feasible; in PvP, buffs give an edge.
    • Further tweaking to ensure Doc buffs are viable is planned, but not outside the scope of current design. Atm they’re a bit underpowered.
  • Professions – Profession skills require the ‘mind’ pool to activate.
  • Racial Bonuses – Some bonuses do affect combat.

Thank you, Anishor, for helping me to put this together!

-Sandarie, Community Manager

Clearly Not Combat Princess!

Friday Feature: 9/1/2017: Heavy Weapons Y’all!

The Empire in Flames Heavy Weapons Revamp has arrived! Commandos everywhere are rejoicing, or should be! New Entertainers should rejoice too, lots of healing XP should be available soon, from all the damage! The weapons were created unique to EiF by our lead developer and project owner, Halyn. All of the weapons require newly designed munitions components,as well.

In addition, in keeping with EiF’s mission to value crafters and interdependency, the munitions components will require items from an Artisan.

The revamp brings in four categories of weapons:

  • Heavy Weapons (40 Uses)
    • Acid Stream Launcher (this one’s gonna hurt!)
    • Heavy Particle Beam Cannon (starts singing, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s mah Particle Beam…)
    • Lightning Beam Cannon (Get out your Solar Eclipse glasses for this one folks! It’s Shiny!)
    • Rocket Launcher

Acid Stream Launcher, Heavy Particle Beam Cannon, Lightning Beam Cannon, Rocket Launcher

 

  • Special Heavy Weapons (Usable until it decays)
    • Heavy Acid Rifle (This one’s really, really gonna hurt!)

Heavy Acid Rifle

    • Light Lightning Rifle (Not as “heavy” as it’s brother…)

Light Lightning Cannon

    • Plasma Flame Thrower (‘cause who doesn’t want to shoot flames at a bad guy!)

Plasma Flame Thrower

  • Mines (5 Uses)
    • Anti-Vehicular Mine (Now we can seek retribution on the NPCs for all the vehicles they’ve destroyed of ours!)
    • DRX Mine (DRX? Dirty Rusty eX?)
    • XG Mine (XG – okay, I’m stumped)
  • Throwable Weapons (5 Uses)
    • C12 Fragmentation Grenade (Blow those suckers to tiny bits!)
    • C22 Fragmentation Grenade (Blow them to even tinier bits!)
    • CryoBan Grenade (brrr, now that’s just cold)
    • Glop Grenade (My personal favorite. Who wouldn’t want to toss a glop grenade at someone.)
    • Imperial Detonator (NR’s take your personal Imp pet out for a “spin” ahahahhaha!)
    • Proton Grenade (‘Cause who doesn’t want a mini proton topedo!?)
    • Thermal Detonator (BANG!)

All of the sub components are found in the Munition Component section of the Weapons crafting tab.

So, there ya have it! All the ‘splodie, acidy, streamy, screamy goodness any commando could desire. Go git em! Take down those arrogant Imps or dirty, rebel… erm New Republic scum.

Sandarie
Community Manager

Clearly Not Combat Princess!

Patch Notes: Client Patch 8/30/2017

The much anticipated CLIENT PATCH arrives tomorrow! Patch notes follow down below. The brand spanking new EiF Launcher will be available to load up the patch, as well! Instructions will be available. I’m sure you will all be grateful  I didn’t add my *squees* and *happy dances* throughout these notes, you’ll just have to guess at which ones are my favorites!

  • 4 new player races:
    • Devaronian Females
    • IG-100
    • Mirialans
    • Zeltron
  • New creature mounts have been introduced! Note that not all variants of a creature can necessarily be mounted – only the largest, toughest versions of some of these animals can carry a rider.
    • Narglatches
    • Gurrecks
    • Greater Sludge Panthers
    • Tusk Cats
    • Gualamas
    • Bordoks
    • Blurrgs
  • Entertainer Missions have been reworked using the new Fame system, which replaces the old Image Designer line in the Entertainer Profession. Entertainers with more fame can command higher payouts, particularly for gigs that require travel.
    • Fame-enhancing clothing and attachments will be coming at a future time.
    • Fame is not retroactive for already-established entertainers. The SWGEmu code that should force an update does not work, and we are investigating and will patch as soon as we have a solution.
    • Only a single entertainer mission can be taken at a time.
  • Munitions crafting has been re-added to the game. See the next Friday Feature to learn more about the Heavy Weapons revamp.
    • Weaponsmiths now have a number of new cores and components to craft to create heavy weapons.
    • Grenades, mines, and rocket launchers use explosive cores.
    • Flamethrowers and acid rifles use tanks.
    • Heavy beam weapons use capacitors.
    • Light lightning cannons use static cores.
  • Armor slicing has been re-added to the game.
  • Races that previously lacked customization now have basic morphs and palettes available, including:
    • Abyssin
    • Cerean
    • Duros
    • Gungan
    • Iktotchi
    • Kel Dor
    • Kubaz
    • Togruta
  • The first stage of the GCW has been implemented. All planets participating in the GCW now have factional troops present. (See this Friday Feature!) Planetary control scripting is still in process and has not yet been enabled, but is coming soon.
  • Port Jato, an underworld-themed player hub, can now be visited via friendly smugglers who take cash in advance. These smugglers generally don’t like being found anywhere near law enforcement, but can likely be found at the watering hole of criminal-infested hives of scum and villainy.
  • Devaronians and Kel Dor no longer appear headless when wearing hats or hoods.
  • Paintings now have backs.
  • Cats can now swim.
  • Ubese armor jackets now correctly offer chest protection.
  • Two-strap bandoleers now use the correct color palette.
  • Up to six missions can be taken from a standard mission terminal.
  • BER rates on harvesters have been changed from pre-CU BER calculations to NGE BER calculations.

Sandarie
Community Manager

One Happy Twi’lek!