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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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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Empire in Flames New Player Guide and FAQ

New Player Guide and Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to Empire in Flames! Below you’ll find answers to the most common questions our new players have. It also contains helpful information and references to other player guides you may find useful in your adventures.


How do I start playing?

Getting Set-Up

Step 0) Before you install Empire in Flames, you need to install SWGEmu and ensure that it works. You can find their instructions here.

Step 1) After you have installed SWGEmu (and verified that the game runs), download the Empire in Flames launcher here.

Step 2) Install the Empire in Flames launcher. Depending on which version of Windows you are running and your settings you may have some additional approvals based on UAC.

Step 3) After the installation of the launcher has completed, run the launcher.

Step 3a) You’ll have to point the EiF launcher at your SWGEmu install, so click on “SWG Install” and navigate to where you’ve installed SWGEmu – this is not the location of their launcher, but a directory that contains swgemu.exe

Step 4) After you have completed the above, the game will begin to patch. This may take a while depending on your connection speed.

Step 5) Once you get to 100%, read our Terms of Service, check the “Agree” box, and launch the game.

Step 6) Create a game account by simply entering in a username and a secure password. This does not need to be the exact same as your forum account, but it is helpful in case you forget so that we can track it down. Remember your name and password, and don’t share this information with anyone else.

Step 7) Create your first character and have fun.

Troubleshooting:

  • If you are having issues with the launcher, try running it as an administrator.
  • Occasionally you will need to whitelist the launcher in your antivirus software before it can run. This is less common, but still something to be aware of.
  • You will need to run the launcher as administrator every time if you set your EiF install directory as C:\Program Files\ or C:\Program Files (x86)\ – we have found the best result is to install it on a second drive or in its own folder outside Program Files.

Help! I logged into my account and none of my characters are here! What do I do?

Try not to panic. In almost every case, this is caused by accidentally mistyping your username. Log out, check your syntax and caps-lock key, and make sure you are logging into the correct account that you previously played on. If you cannot remember your username, search your game install directory for a file called “characterlist_youraccountname” – the listing here will show your account information. If you have forgotten your password, please reach out to an administrator via Discord. 

How many characters can I make, and what options do I have?

Characters

  • Characters: You can make 3 characters on your account, and have all 3 online at the same time.
  • Races: EiF features many new species/races that you may not have seen before. Be sure to check out all the options before you decide. We’ve also recently added Feeorin, too!
  • Character customizations: We have limitations on what customizations EiF is able to implement, but if it’s possible in the future, we’ll add more customizations
  • Racial Bonuses: Each race has different bonuses that may help you with combat or crafting. You can find them all listed at character select, or by reading up on the posting https://www.empireinflames.com/?p=282
  • Languages: Players start with one or more and can teach them to each other. EiF has added more languages and may add more going forward.

Can I have multiple accounts?

No. Multiple Empire in Flames Accounts are not permitted. Each user may only have one account per household unless approved by our staff. Measures are incorporated to detect multiple user accounts. If you would like to submit a request for another member of the household for the staff to review, you can do so at https://empireinflames.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=50

I’ve made my character. What do I do now?

Starting Out

  • Utilize EiF’s Social Media to connect with staff and players outside of the game. You can find the connection information here.
  • In game, the galaxychat channel is an excellent place to chat, connect, and ask questions
  • Start in a Player City. The NPC cities are not nearly as active as our player cities. Ask in Discord for recommendations. If you lean Imperial or NR, we have those! If you want to craft, some cities are excellent locations. If you are more of a roleplayer, there are cities with a lot of RP possibilities. Here is a listing of the current player cities in EiF.

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Friday Feature! Powerups: Cornerstone of an Empire

In today’s Friday Feature, Demiurge once again provides insight into another important aspect of crafting – powerups! So without further ado…

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Powerups: Cornerstone of an Empire

Last week, I wrote about Armorsmithing on EiF.  This week I wanted to write another article to address questions, opinions, and concerns about crafting in general in SWG.  Crafting comes in many forms in this game.  More and more often, I hear people commenting on how it’s impossible to gain a foothold into it or compete with established players.  This article is intended to specifically address that misconception.

Most people who have played on EiF for any length of time know who I am.  I am primarily associated with the crafting of armor, even though I also make weapons, artisan wares, some architect items, and every now and then clothing, BE, and medical items too.  But here’s one of my biggest secrets: I make a large chunk of my credits crafting an item that a new player can make within a day or two of character creation… Powerups.

So just like with last week’s write-up, I will break down what it takes to craft them.  As you might suspect, Powerups are one of the easiest items to craft in the game.  There are no subcomponents and each craft takes a combined 10 resources: 6 minerals and 4 chemicals.

Here are the essential factors that will determine your success or failure:

  1. Your resources – This is the single most important factor in determining a Powerup’s statistics.
  2. The crafter – Are you a Master Artisan?  That’s all you need.  No need for any extra tapes.  No need to be anything other than a 10 point crafter.
  3. Your crafting tool – The stats of your crafting tool matter (again, the crafting station does not). You will want a Weapon, Droid, and General Item crafting tool.
  4. Where are you performing the craft – Crafting in a player city is always the most desirable way to make something.  As with other types of crafting, Research Centers are the best location to craft a powerup (as each individual craft will use a ton of single-point experimentation rolls).
  5. PATIENCE – I mention this one last, but it is really just as important as the resources you use.  This is because it takes a tremendous amount of patience to craft, scrap a craft that isn’t exactly what you want, and try again.  I have been known to scrap over a thousand attempts for a single one I like enough to turn into a factory schematic.

Food and Drink are irrelevant for crafting powerups, as are Skill Enhancing Attachments.  They are not needed, and even without them, you will still be able to craft server-capped powerups. Please note: while it is not important to have more than 10 experimentation points for powerup crafting, having +25s to both assembly and especially experimentation will still be beneficial in the sense of improving each experimentation roll to help with its quality… but it is not mandatory. Before I get into the discussion on how to make a powerup, I would like to share an old website that has a lot of valuable information pertaining to the crafting of powerups.  I will fill in the blanks as they apply to EiF, since the website’s data is not 100% accurate for us.  Nevertheless, Agock wrote an excellent guide for its time, and I still reference it on occasion to remind myself what stat combinations are possible.

https://www.swgemu.com/archive/scrapbookv51/data/20070205033706/index.html

What Exactly is a Powerup?

A powerup is a simple crafted item that is added to any normal weapon you might want to use (heavy Commando weapons such as a flame thrower or acid rifle and a Bounty Hunter’s Light Lightning Cannon are examples of weapons that can not be augmented with a powerup).  A powerup consists of a primary stat modification, and any number of smaller, secondary stat modifications (anywhere from zero to five, depending on the type of powerup crafted).  The primary stat modification is the major upgrade.  For purposes of example, please see the picture below:

This is a basic, 4-stat melee powerup.  The primary modification is the first stat listed (Attack Speed).  The other stats listed below are secondary modifications.  EiF has modified the “uses left” stat for our server.  On any other server I’ve seen (including live), powerups each have 100 uses.  Here, they last 10 times as long (1000 uses).  This is a major quality of life improvement for players because, for some end-game content (or PvP), it would be extremely easy to blow through those 100 uses and have to worry about placing another PuP (short for Powerup) on your weapon, mid-battle.  As someone who has crafted them for years, I will also tell you that they still sell daily.. so it is not a market killer (as you simply sell them for more than elsewhere).

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EiF Armor Crafting 101

In today’s feature, we bring you a very in-depth write-up on armorsmithing by the illustrious armor crafter Demiurge. In this article, Demi outlines what it takes to be a successful armorsmith on Empire in Flames as well as give insight into the changed systems you’ll find, some best practices, and tools of the trade to help any aspiring crafters become the best they can be and in his words, “knock him off of his pedestal”. Thank you, Demiurge!

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EiF Armor Crafting 101

Artwork courtesy of AgentOrangeJuice

Introduction

The purpose of this guide is to explain how armor crafting works on EiF and demonstrate how it is different from any other server you might have played on.  I intend to explain every important aspect and consideration in order to teach you how to craft armor with the exact same stats that I am able to currently make.  I have been making armor continuously on our server for the last three years.  In that time, due to the among of sheer work I’ve put into it, I believe I have become the dominant armor crafter here.  I hope to teach and inspire you to be able to match what I am capable of, and ultimately to surpass me.

For those of you who have experience crafting armor on any other SWG server, a good bit of this will be familiar or previously understood the content.  But what makes armor different on EiF is the usage of armor cores.  The purpose of an armor core is to allow all types of armor to be of similar or equal stats.  A core consists of up to three armor segments, with each segment containing zero to nine armor layers.  Armor on EiF requires one to five armor cores, depending on the armor type.  This means that, unlike other servers where specific segment types are required for its corresponding armor type (composite or advanced composite segments to go into any piece of composite), the same armor core can be used in ANY armor type.  This modification to the system allows basically all armor types to be craftable within a very tight range of stats between one another (I will explain further below) and opens the door to a wide array of looks, styles, and viable options.  You won’t just see people running around in RIS or Composite.

Before I break down layers, segments, and cores further, it is important for you to understand how a piece of armor gets its stats.  On EIF, 95% of the stats provided to a final, crafted piece of armor comes from the armor core itself.  The remaining 5% are derived from the final assembly resources that are specific to a type of armor.  For example, crafting a piece of RIS would require (among other things), a specific resource like Platinite Copper, while a piece of Bone armor would require a generic resource such as “metal”.  This fact alone allows Bone armor to have a much wider array of possible resources to satisfy that requirement.  This is critical because all resources have min and max possible stats in several key areas that are very important to armor.  Plantinite has a less advantageous range of stats than many other types of metal, such as steel, iron, or even other types of copper.  This deviation in final assembly resource requirements is what allows a range of 1-5% variance between what you might see on the final crafted product (speaking specifically on the final types of damage resistances).  The maximum craftable resist per damage type is a theoretical 55%.  If perfectly sliced by a Smuggler, this value can reach 60%.

Halyn, and sometimes in conjunction with various staff members, has made numerous design decisions that set EiF apart from how things are done elsewhere.  In an attempt to completely eliminate spawn camping, the team has removed the ability to use looted components from various mobs as augments to crafted armor pieces.  Items like Janta Hides, Rancor Hides, etc, are not used in armor crafting here.  Therefore, the essential factors that determine your final product are:

  1. Your resources – This is the single most important factor in determining armor’s final quality.
  2. The crafter – Are you a 12 point smith, fully taped for assembly and experimentation?
  3. Your crafting tool – The stats of your crafting tool matter (while the stats on the crafting station itself does not).  The maximum stat of a crafting tool is a 15.0
  4. Food/Drink – Foods such as Pyollian Cake will offer a decent assembly bonus to your crafting roll, helping your chances of crafting an amazing assembly.  Drinks such as Bespin Port will do the exact same thing for each of your experimentation rolls.  Experimentation is the more desired buff of the two (though both can be utilized at the same time).
  5. Where you perform the craft – Crafting in a player city is always the most desirable way to make something.  A level 5 player city gains the ability to set a “city bonus”.  Two of these (Manufacturing Center = Assembly bonus, and Research Center = Experimentation bonus) grants bonuses to every craft that occurs within its city limits.

These are the five factors to keep in mind when you craft something.  Other factors, such as a crafter’s current battle fatigue or wounds do not factor into the crafting equation!  With this in mind, let’s look at the single most important factor in your crafting process: the resources used.

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