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 11/17/2017: A Chat with Wefi

Good Mythi… wait.. .Good Friday everyone! In the spirit of it being Friday, I bring you a feature! The EiF Friday Feature is an interview with Wefi! Enjoy getting to know him better!

EiF: Which versions of SWG did you play? pre-CU, CU, NGE?
Wefi: All three versions of the game
EiF: If you played in the pre-CU live, approximately how long did you play in the pre-CU?
Wefi: Started right after Jump to lightspeed was released. My folks bought me the expansion thinking it was the full game, so I had to wait for a while to be able to play.
EiF: Which server did you play on?
Wefi: I started on bria, moved to Radiant during the CU, Naritus when the NGE hit due to a character bug, and finally Starsider after the Server merges.
EiF: Which classes and which was your favorite?
Wefi: Pre-cu/CU I liked Combat Medic, It was an interesting class to me. I played Jedi during the NGE as I liked Melee Combat…. and also Jedi.
EiF: How many accounts did you own/manage?
Wefi: I had 2 Accounts, My  Nge Jedi, and Medic. My 2nd Was a BH/Jedi and a Tailor.
EiF: What type of gameplay style do you most enjoy?
Wefi: I enjoyed PvP the most, but I prefer to Rp now days as I can work on other things at the saame time.
EiF: What’s a typical gaming session for you, what activities?
Wefi: On and off during the day. At night I tend to play EIF a bit more now. Otherwise I play League of Legends, or some VR game.
EiF: What do you most enjoy about SWG?
Wefi: The Open space. A friend of mine showed me Everquest, and how large it was. When SWG was announced, I was excited for it. Being my own Star Wars character is very attractive. I can be A Jedi, or a Tailor. Most MMO’s have a hard time keeping me in due to the lack of freedom. FFXIV comes close.
EiF: What do you enjoy most about Empire in Flames?
Wefi: New Items being added, and the Open RP community.
EiF: When you are not ingame, what do you enjoy doing?
Wefi: Gaming, Or working on new stuff for SWG. Other than that is really just watching TV.
EiF: What do you do outside of EiF / do for a living?
Wefi: Tow Truck driver.
EiF: What is your role with EiF? What does that entail?
Wefi: I am more of a Content Creator for the client. I every so Often I help with adding new things, Like Models, or something I made that impresses our Dear Leader Halyn
EiF: If you could have ANYTHING instantly in EiF, what would it be?]
Wefi: Jedi, 😛 I need to have my lightsaber for Wefi to be Wefi
EiF: If you could find out one thing about our EiF Community, what would it be?
Wefi: Their favorite Star Wars item.
EiF: What gives you Developer’s Crack?
Wefi: Uhh, I often see things in Star Wars games, or shows, and think that be cool to have. Also I like to challenge myself, and try to do things that were thought impossible, or hard to do.
I look forward to see the upcoming updates to EIF, and see where the story goes. With new ways of editing the client, and the work that goes into the Server code. I assure that EIF will be one of the most Unique Server out there.

Sandarie, Community Manager

((for those wondering about the opening… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Mythical_Morning ))

Friday Feature 11/10/2017 – A Chat with BluePyros

This week is another installment in the EiF chats with staff, featuring BluePyros!

EiF: Which versions of SWG did you play? pre-CU, CU, NGE?

Blue: I played from mid CU all the way through the NGE

EiF: Which server did you play on?

Blue: I started on Intrepid but transferred to Starsider, as that server faded a little over a year before the free transfer initiative.

EiF: Which classes and which was your favorite?

Blue: In the CU I was Rifleman/Commando and NGE I favored commando early, but quickly became and stayed smuggler for the majority.

EiF: How many accounts did you own/manage?

Blue: Like many I had 2 accounts and often had both going at once.

EiF: What type of gameplay style do you most enjoy?

Blue: Almost everything, but PVP is my jam and I can find enjoyment in.

EiF: What’s a typical gaming session for you, what activities?

Blue: Its varies from days to days, but I try to set long term objectives and work towards them.

EiF: What do you most enjoy about SWG?

Blue: It’s one of the last real sandboxes out there.  Enough structure that it’s not all DIY, but free enough that almost anything is possible.

EiF: What do you enjoy most about Empire in Flames?

Blue: That we have a chance to do things long thought impossible and make a better galaxy with our own hands.

EiF:  When you are not ingame, what do you enjoy doing?

Blue: I’m still a nerd at heart, so I can usually be found playing some manner of game.

EiF: What do you do outside of EiF / do for a living?

Blue: I work for the IT department of a Health and Human Services org.

EiF: What is your role with EiF? What does that entail?

Blue: Jack of many trades.  The biggest thing I did was converting all the houses into miniature versions, as part of the holo deeds.

EiF: If you could have ANYTHING instantly in EiF, what would it be?

Blue: All the old friends and players we’ve lost and left behind over the years.

EiF: If you could find out one thing about our EiF Community, what would it be?

Blue: What draws in the people who never played SWG when it was live.

EiF: What gives you Developer’s Crack?

Blue: I’m not really a dev, more of a modder at this point.  Bending things to my will so they work how I want.

 

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!