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CapnNoc (Legendary) 12/23/2009 5:59 PM EST : Militia PvP Handbook
S. General
CapnNoc
Posts: 6108
Yewian Veteran

06.12.09: Alright, due to popular demand, I updated the handbook with a bunch of stuff regarding mounted combat. Now when I read it I realize it's not exactly reeking with specific information, but it is something people can go by if they feel like it. Truth is, mounted combat isn't for everyone, and people might get more frustration than joy if they don't figure out that fact for themselves early on.
Anyway, I hope it helps some of you.


Old: Expect screenshoot goodness, hadware tips, regular updates, and corrections to the following text. The purpose of it is to guide you through the PvP "knowhow" of DF, and prepare you for whatever team fights you are about to encounter with the Yew Milita at your side.
Suggestions are always welcomed since there are many things still not covered here. Check in often.

Here it goes:


Yew Militia's PvP Handbook:

1) Training:

- First thing you need to do, if you never had PvP experience in the game yet, is to get a grip of your movement, your positioning, turn speed and sensitivity. Learn what you are capable of, without any of the skills you're about the aquire at some point. If you haven't went deep in your chosen weapon skill, pick some weapons of every type and try them, examine their range, overall damage output, their speed. Learn to switch from horizontal to vertical attacks (with "T" by default), according to the situation.
While character skill is the more deciding factor in a fight, coordination and player skills need to be tuned, in order for you to use all of your hero's abilities to their fullest. That's why you need to be in full control of your movement, as well as be fully aware how your control affects your character in the world.

- Learn to sprint-hit people from the sides while you pass by them. Don't do unessesary running though, try to be as close as possible to your opponents, while evading their attacks at the same time. And stop looking at the ground while doing it.
Learn to let go the sprint button from time to time too, otherwise you'll burn through your stamina too fast, and that means you're dead in most cases. When you aren't side hitting your enemy, try to keep him in view all the time. 

- Grab a shield and a one-hander and learn to parry. Even if you don't plan on gaining the skill, you'll still need to use it in many situations. A shield could literally save your life.
If you're new and are still getting used to the controls, try swapping the default "V" for block with the right mouse button, and place the GUI somewhere else (another mouse button, for instance). That'll even free the "V" for something else. It's best to learn to block only when you're going to get a hit, in order to perserve stamina.

- Learn ranged combat. If you have the option, try playing around with different staffs. While the low level ones are almost identical, the high ranked vary in damage output and casting speed. Again - see what fits you best here, and try sticking with it.
Archery is mandatory. At the least, you need to carry a bow and some arrows in you, even if you don't want to level it. Practice shooting at mobs, or people, to get a general feel of the bow's trajectory and parabola. Learn to avoid hitting friendlies, be it with arrows, or AOE's of spells.

- Learn bunny-hopping. Sprint-run -> jump -> do 180 degrees turn while midair -> shoot with a ranged attack at your target -> turn back on your original path -> repeat. While you probably won't need it that much often, there are some situations, in which you would. Counter that by just switching to ranged attacks yourself. Since your opponent has his back turned to you half of the time, you should deal more damage then him, which would compensate for any misses on your end, if we presume that he's not using a rank 60 bow with all archery skills maxed, and you - a dawnstaff with MMs.

- Once you do all of the above, use every available opportunity to train with your clanmates. No amount of macroing, or mob farming, will give you the knowledge to fight real life opponents, and since this is a PvP game, appearently you'll be meeting alot of those.
Start off with small fights, 1v1's, to get a handle of the flow. Try fighting opponents with varying skill levels, in order to mesure your own level and see where you lack or shine: If you can't parry that well - fight more with a shield and learn. Your aim sucks? Use more ranged attacks on the next couple of fights. Concentrate on your problems and weed them out.
After a while start bringing in more people in the fights - 2v2's, 3v3's, even 2v2v2's. Do battles with uneven numbers - 1v2's, 2v3's, and so on.

- Don't just bash-out, put some thought in your sparring - do focused training: place 3 people in one of our towers, and try to either kill them, or remove them from it in 5 minutes; fight only with one-handers or two-handers; use only magic or archery; protect someone, while the other team goes out to kill him, etc.. Those types of training might not sound very useful, but they do give your team a purpose, which in turn taughts you coordination. 

- Learn to manage your mana, stamina, and health. Don't go healing yourself just after you've lost 90% of your hit points, do it at 50-60% mark, unless you are certain you can survive the fight. Never go into a battle without eating some food in advance.
Don't get blood greedy for that last hit on an almost-dead enemy or you might hurt yourself more in the process, sustaining hits and loosing stamina while on a frenzy. Try thinking beyond the current battle.

- The above doesn't mean to play like a whimp, however. Be aggresive when the need arises, but always keep a level of precision.

2) Preparation:

- At all times keep a supply bag of the following in your personal bank:
2 sets of armour, corresponding to your specific role and division, as well as 2 shields; 2 units of one-handed, and two-handed weapons of your choice, 2 bows, 2 staffs; 200 arrows, 20 of each reagent, 10 moderate potions that you regulary use, 2 mounts and 50 units of food.
Use that stock whenever you're out for a fight with people. Do not use it when you are PvE-ing. You are required to refill your bag whenever you have the chance, do so by asking your division commander for supplies, or just refill it with your own stuff. Don't wait for a fight to happen to ask, do it beforehand.
Your supply should sustain you for at least two fights, giving you all of the tools you would need in a fight. Do not take out more than one weapon of each type, one shield, a staff, and a bow, more than a hundred arrows, one mount, 10 units of food, and 3-4 potions of whatever type you are using. Take out only reagents you will need.

- Always set up a party before heading out. The highest ranking participant would create those, by calling out for people in Clan chat, or Vent. If you intend to go, you are required to answer the call in one or the other, or both. Since your name is needed to get an invite, it's better to type out "Aye" in Clan chat.

- Keep extra attention to Clan, Party, and Clan Alliance chats, and try getting in Vent. Follow whatever commands your superiors give you without questions. In fights, or when preparing, try to keep chats and vent clear of useless information and discussions. Whenever you have something important or helpful to relay, do not hesitate to do it(in whatever form you can).

- If you have IRL matters to attend to, of which you are aware beforhand, try to warn commanders, so that they can take that into account for future activities. No one is going to get mad at you, for not being there for a game, but it would be helpful if we know our force's capabilities for at least 5-10 minutes in advance.

- Do not take with you any useless items that would only go to our opponents if you get killed. Skinning knives, pick-axes and all of that should stay at your bank, unless we're out to drain our enemie's resource nodes.

- Keep a cool head, and don't get separated from the group.

3) On the field:

- Depending on the number of your group, always keep scouts in the front, at the sides, and the rearguard of the main force. Appearently, if you're out with 5 people, go with only one or two scouts. Those people should be rangers, or, preferably, players that know the layout of the map well enough. The distance between the scouts and the group depends on the geography of the area: if you're in an open field with little to no objects obscuring your vision, try spreading the rangers far out, getting eyes on a bigger area; in areas with more varying relief keep 'em close and tight, for easier navigation. Scouts should always be in a party with at least one person in the main force.

- Listen to your commanders. Do anything you are told to do, and do it strictly.

- When fighting single opponents, try to keep a safe distance from your teammates, in order to avoid friendly hits. Play on the defence, unless you're certain your hit is going to land on it's target, and don't waste your stamina.

- Whenever you notice your stamina or health dropping to 50% try to get it up quickly, especially if you're fighting in a group vs. groups scenario. Drink potions, cast Mana to Stamina, Stamina to Health, Heal self, or, alternatively go to your designated group healers, if they are any.

- Always try to pick your battles, rather then the other way around. Try not to go into battles without stuffing your mouth with food first. Do buffs, and draw out a plan for the fight. Assess the situation, designate targets, set goals, and stick to them.

- Don't fight when you are outnumbered, unless you're certain you are going to win, or you're waiting for reinforcements.

- Know your enemy. Notice what they wear, what weapons do they use, how they behave on the battlefield, what magic are they using. Fire mages are usually the biggest threat, doing massive damage, so, naturally, try downing them first. Try killing individual people, rather then spreading out.
Since you can't know your enemies names in advance, but you still need to designate targets, call them out by their roles, races, or position, when in Vent. 

- Gank and revive. Try ganking immediately after you down someone. Revive only when you're certain you won't get hit. Keep an eye on downed allies, and knockback all enemies that try to gank them.
When revived do not unsheath any weapons, unless you're safe.

- Set ambushes. Find places to hide, elevations, ridges, whatever you can, and position yourself. Don't send more than two people to call out the enemy, and try not to reveal your positions, before the actual ambush. Don't do buffs and don't noch arrows, unless you are certain the target is too far to hear your spells. Prepare attacking magic and draw arrows only when you actually see the enemy getting into your trap.

- Get better visual around you, by switching to third-person view. If you want to see something just around that corner, unsheath a melee weapon and look it up, rather then going there and revealing yourself.

- Do not type in public chat.

- Don't go into obvious ambushes, unless you have a plan. If your scouts are doing their job, you should be aware of any ambushes in advance.

- When raiding always move around, never stay at one spot for more than 2-3 minutes, to rest up. When rallying try to not make unnecessary noices. Learn to crouch-walk.

- Use the geography of the battle area to your advantage. If there are rocks, hills, or elevations, use them to get high ground, or to break the line of sight of your enemies. If there are buildings and you're outnumbered get in there and block the entrances, knockback people, and seperate your opponents force.

- Do not summon mounts infront of your foes, and do not dismount around them, unless you the situation calls for it. 

- When chasing people on mounts, shoot at the raiders, rather then their mounts, unless they're too far away, or the mount is almost dead (and easily killable).  

- When being chased by a larger force try separating. You can lower their numbers that way, and gather later on. Always try to outnumber your enemy, whenever you have the chance.

- Try to coordinate your roles, when fighting. Who is going to shoot arrows, who is going to do magic, who is going to block and tank? Sort those things before going in to battle.

- While you may want to be a melee fighter, or something else, exclusively, that's not very smart in DF. Sometimes there's only few viable tactics in a fight, and being stubborn doesn't help your team. If a situation calls for a ranged-only combat, you need to do that. You need to block stuff? Pull your shield and block.

- Remember that even if your character skills aren't that high, you still can be useful to a group. If you can't deal much damage with melee or spells, you still can effectively block attacks, and keep the attention of your opponents. The essence here is to stay alive and remain a unit of the force.

4) Mounted combat:

- Essentially all mounts, exept the Battlehorn, are same in size, available swing arcs, speed, and base health. A Garmir might seem a bit large, but in practice his hit box and size are identical to the ones of other mounts (again, the Battlehorn is the exeption here). The Battlehorn itself has a slightly larger hitbox, limited view around its rider, but runs at the same speed as other mounts. All mounts should have a base heatlh of around 400 HP, and as far as I can tell 1 point in taming adds 1 hit point to every mount you make. Battlehorns should have about 650 base HP (50 added from the required taming). Every mount has a sound of its own, Garmirs and Eredans being the loudest, the Death Pig - quietest. 

- When picking a mount, you need to anticipate the situation you're going into. If you are, say, rushing through a hail of magic, arrows, and other nasty shit, you'll need a Battlehorn, since it will be able to take on a lot more damage then a regular mount. Some people might argue that every situation should be faced with a Horn under you, but I noticed that (as with the Garmir) you eventually get a limited sight on things around you, and you also get a bigger hitbox which is harder to maneuver with. Not to mention that every person seeing a Battlehorn on the field would put it and its rider high on his targets list (as it is easy as fuck to hit). In any case, a BH is good for an additional meatshield, as a lot of people can't seem to shoot the rider through it. It certainly gives you a better chance at surviving an angry mob of spellcasters.
If you were me, however, in a fight, you'd want to take a normal mount, preferably a Horse, a Death Pig, or an Eredan (from best to suckiest). A Horse is ideal for a mounted fight as it provides a pretty straightforward visual representation of what it can do - swing reach is closest to the animated one, for starters - and it also allows for a nice view of the rider's near surroundings (so you can eventually evaluate who's health is low, who is friendly, etc.). The Death Pig is nice because it comes second closest, and it is relatively quiet, followed by the Eredan, who's sound makes it a suck, unless you don't have better options. And not having better options means you're stuck with either a Garmir, with which you have limited size, or a Drake, which puts the rider in some kind of leaned position that reveals his back way too much (althought the Pig does this a bit too). Also, both mounts have highly misleading visuals for their swing arcs and can lead to a lot of mistakes on the battlefield.
Apparently you want a mount made by a high level tamer.  

- Now, to be honest, mounted combat is probably the one challange in Df that requires actual player skill. From start (0 riding, 0 weapon skill) to finish (100 riding, at least 50 one hander mastery) you do one thing without any change or variation. You cannot cast spells on a mount, nor you can shoot a bow; you can only cast Rage or drink potions. It's sounds pretty simple, as your only option is to get close to your enemy and hit him repeatedly until he's dead. In fact it requres a lot of practice.   
First off, you have to realize (and I have pointed out that somewhere before) that a high classed PvPer on the ground will
always defeat a high classed PvPer on a mount. In any moment the person on the ground can outmaneuver, outheal, and outdamage the person on the mount, simply because of his access to magic and arrows. Also, a good PvPer will always aim for the rider, instead of the mount.
There are ways to outsmart almost anyone, however:
 a) For starters - block. Always, when riding against someone, bring up your shield. It can literally save your life, and has done so for me in the past.
 b) Learn to anticipate your targets movements. Even if you happen to fight one of those rare breed of people that seem to phase in and out of the game at will, you'll still be able to land a hit or two on them if you realize their movement pattern. Most people are like bots, and their reactions can be pretty obvious, if you learn to control them: if you lean to the left, they'll move to the right, etc.
 c) I say mounted combat requires player skill because it's highly reaction based. So you need good ping, first. Then, when that guy decides to move to the right once he saw your left lean, you need to quickly double tap the right lean button, and hope you were fast enough and your attack went to the right. 
So, either you hit, or the guy is really a top PvPer and doesn't rely on memorized movement patterns (the downfall of most people fighting with me) but rather adapts to his enemy and truly anticipates your movement. Just like you try to do, with the only difference you're still outmaneuvered, outhealed, and outdamaged in the end. 

<@SekMorag> Anubis is oped now eh?

<@Anubis[Yew]> Thats Captain Anubis to you son

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Crindle34 (Leadership) 2/23/2011 1:28 PM EST : RE: Militia PvP Handbook
Crindle

Crindle34
Posts: 747
Yewian Veteran

This is being updated.


Characters: Crindle Novikhs
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