Getting to Know Melee Skill Trees in EiF

In today’s Friday Feature, we feature a write-up by long-time community member Randolo. In this article, Randolo goes into detail on the four different melee combat skill trees, outlining pros and cons to each, as well as some tips and tricks to make the most of the skills. Thank you Randolo!

Hello, my name is Randolo, I’ve been a member of Empire in Flames since Launch Day, playing off and on casually until taking a much more active role in the community over the past year or so. With the variety of players we have on Empire in Flames (EiF), I wanted to address some questions and constructive conversations I’ve seen popping up over the last few months in the general chat. To make things a bit clearer and assist newer players, I decided to take a thorough examination of all the unique iterations of Melee skill trees available in EiF, detailing their strengths, weaknesses, and some fun tips for each one.

Before we begin, let’s go over a few terms you should learn about Melee Combat on EiF and phrases we will use throughout this article. These universal tips should also prove helpful to you in any combat scenario.

  • Center of Being (CoB) is a defensive buff that every Melee Skill Tree can use. It’s an ability you can activate manually, or create a macro to ensure it’s constantly running and always in effect. CoB reduces the damage you take (efficacy skill mod divided by three, every melee tree has 60 efficacy, so 20% damage reduction) though you deal 25% less damage while it is active. You cannot activate CoB with another active melee buff known as Berserk.
  • Berserk is a more aggressive melee buff that increases damage output by 25% and provides an accuracy bonus, but reduces Melee and Ranged Defense by 50 and halves your secondary Defense. While Berserk is active on your character, you are immune to Intimidate – a state that would otherwise reduce your outgoing damage and reduce your secondary defense. If you activate Berserk while Intimidated, you can immediately clear the Intimidate state. While the trade off of more outgoing damage at the cost of being more susceptible to incoming damage may seem risky in some situations, you can reduce the Defense penalty and further enhance the accuracy bonuses by using Armor and/or Clothing attachments with the Berserk skill mod. Again, you will not be able to activate Berserk if you are already running CoB.
  • Toughness is a direct Melee damage reduction. One point of Toughness is 1% damage reduction incoming Melee Damage while wielding that particular weapon. For example, if you have 20 polearm Toughness, you receive a 20% damage reduction using any polearm weapon but that Toughness goes away if you pull out your pistol, carbine, one-handed sword, etc.

Another thing to keep in mind are standard location hit attacks. You have Body Hit, Leg Hit, and Head Hit, all of which have been modified to attack your target’s Health pool. Teras Kasi’s Leg and Head Hit are the only exceptions to this which each target an opponent’s Action and Mind, respectively. Bleed attacks still target their original respective pools as well, however, Fencer has quite a few additional bleeds that we’ll get into later.

You can increase your damage up to 5% by utilizing a total of +25 [Weapon] Damage mods from Skill Enhancing Attachments (also known as tapes or SEAs) and GCW Planetary Bonuses.  Teras Kasi Artists get this automatically as part of their unarmed damage skill as they level, automatically granting +25 to Unarmed Damage at Master. You will not benefit from any additional Unarmed Damage SEAs. 

Before we get into the specifics of each Melee Skill Tree, here is a brief overview of how they relate to one another in terms of Overall Damage Potential and Tanking Potential/Toughness. Our Melee Skill Trees are Fencer, Swordsman, Polearm, and Teras Kasi Artist (TKA).

Damage Capability

  1. Fencer
  2. Swordsman
  3. Pikeman
  4. Teras Kasi Artist

Tanking Capability

  1. Teras Kasi Artist
  2. Pikeman 
  3. Swordsman
  4. Fencer

Fencers have some of the best damage output of the game, but they take a significant amount of damage if they receive a hit and have to rely on Dodge to avoid incoming damage. Swordsman is second for potential damage output but is slightly tougher than Fencers. Pikeman does not deal as much damage as Swordsman and Fencer but its Toughness and sweeping area attacks are second to none, making them reliable tanks. Finally, we have Teras Kasi Artist, which does the least amount of overall damage but makes up for it by having the most significant tanking potential and access to all states. 

It is important to note that there are some specific use cases where Pikeman may be a better choice for tanking a particular fight than TKA, or Swords might be better to bring along than a Fencer. We will get into those specifics as we break down each tree; the above lists are a comprehensive overview of how they relate to damage potential and defensive potential.

Let’s jump right into it, and focus first on Fencer.

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EiF Patch Notes 11/24/2021

Here are the notes for today’s patch on 11/24/2021

General

  • Upstream merges from SWGEmu.
  • Art updates for several basic SWG swords.
  • Entertainer/Musician instruments can now be moved to a character’s back with /shoulder. (This command is also bindable in keymap, but by default does not have a key.)
  • New characters, on creation, now have at least one skill to accompany their starting profession.
  • Fixed several broken mounts.
  • Fixed TCG bunker ceiling shader.

Profession Updates 

Jedi

  • Force abilities now require mind to execute. Mind is not consumed when a Force ability is used, but a Jedi must have enough mind available to use the Force. Different abilities require different amounts of mind to execute.
  • Crackling energy buff now has a buff icon indicating how many stacks of crackling energy the player has.
  • Crackling energy buff now lasts six seconds and refreshes when another lightning ability is cast.
  • Force Lightning Blast is now available at master Jedi for a wide-cone AOE with high damage, but requires and consumes five crackling energy buffs.
  • Force attacks are now much stronger, but have a PvP damage reduction.
  • Fixes made to multiple Force abilities which were no longer working correctly due to upstream SWGEmu merges.
  • States added to several Force attacks.
  • Jedi lightsabers now execute a Ricochet on a successful defensive roll. While lightsabers still require appropriate secondary defense (for example, Block on a polearm lightsaber), the actual defensive reaction is now Ricochet (which works analogously to Counterattack).

Commando

  • Commando flame and acid specials now properly DoT, including wounding and battle fatigue.

Doctor

  • Doctor specials now use the combat queue

Misc

  • Player-to-player holocomm is now available. When using /holocomm, a new option will now appear to <Call Player>. If a player accepts an incoming holocomm, both players will be able to see a holographic simulacrum of the other player and speak to each other via spatial chat.

 

EiF Patch Notes 10/15/21

Here are the notes for the game patch released 10/15/2021

Content

  • New Halloween heroic: The Temple of Exar Kun!
    • Reports of disappearing archeologists have begun to swirl around a dark temple on Yavin 4. Others whisper about a shade haunting the temple – a shade that must be confronted before the temple’s depths can be plumbed.
    • Three players are required to begin the instance. The instance can be run once per day, per character.
    • The Temple of Exar Kun will only be accessible for a short time for the Halloween season. Conquer it to acquire unique, limited-time weapons and items!
    • New Exchange location added. (Mina)

Fixes/Changes

  • SWGEmu fixes, including combat now ending appropriately.
  • Tweaked more system messages to remove leading spaces.
  • Multipassenger waypoints should be working again.
  • All trainers are now visible on the planetary map, under appropriate categories.
  • Begun implementation of “utility” objects for new content development.

EiF Patch notes 08/28/2021 

Patch notes 08/28/2021 

The one with a lot of bug fixes
—————————

Fixes

  • Airspeeders should now correctly have high-altitude hovering.
  • Fixed broken base alarm appearances.
  • Equipping jackets or armor should no longer cause belts and bandoleers to hoola-hoop.
  • Removed hair appearance from character creation that shouldn’t have been allowed.
  • Fixed Chiss poacher backpack appearance.
  • Added a couple of missing Jedi strings.
  • Login UI now shows “LOGIN” and “EXIT” instead of “EXIT” and “BACK”.
  • Fixed an issue with battle-damaged assault armor chestplates.
  • Fixed a broadcast issue which required leading spaces on sent messages. (Not all such messages have been fixed yet to remove the leading space.)
  • Multipassenger tweak for more stability.
  • Fixed small memory leak.
  • Fixed weapon crate types.
  • Fixed weapon component crate types.
  • Fixed munition crate types.
  • Fixed armor subcomponent crate types.
  • Fixed armor crate types.
  • Junkshops can now be used for buffs. (Abi)

General

  • Guilds can now use numbers in their names.
  • Firing a cannon while piloting a walker now puts the pilot in combat.
  • /holster can now be bound. New players (or players who reset their control map) will have it automatically bound.

Friday Feature: Schisms of the Force Dev Q&A!

Schisms of the Force: Dev Q&A

Schisms of the Force was the highly anticipated update many moons in the making that debuted on May 4th, 2021, and brought the long-awaited Jedi profession to Empire in Flames. Since then, players – both new and returning – have had the opportunity to embark on the journey to becoming a Jedi and choose the path of light, dark, or somewhere in-between. As is the norm here on EiF however, the process to become a Jedi was new, different, and the profession itself differs from what someone might remember from Live. The secrets of the unlock and progression journey were also kept a complete secret to everyone but Lead Developer Halyn. After weeks of community trial and error, exploration, and crazy theory crafting, the first Master Jedi entered EiF on June 3rd but much of the intricacies of the profession, and what it took to being released, were as yet unknown. In this iteration of the Friday Feature, we got a more in-depth look behind the scenes with developers Halyn, Anishor, Abi, and Demiurge, and learned just what went into the making of Schisms of the Force, and what players can expect to see in the future. For those of you that have not completed the unlock process and want to maintain the mystery, be aware that there are significant spoilers ahead. If not, read on!

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