I wrote up the following combat tips to include in the help file within the game. Hopefully, these tips provide some insight on how to devise a combat strategy within the game.
It is important to devise a strategy for combat based on the skill sets chosen. For example, your character could elect to defeat an opponents defenses by simply attacking faster than the enemy, utilizing low delay weapons like daggers in addition to skills like Speed, which not only provides a natural boost to attack speed but also contains quick attack abilities. Another strategy is to use feints to set up more damaging attacks. Feints are designed to force the enemy into committing to their defense, thus providing the character with an opening for attack.
Another tactic is to utilize skills that have increased accuracy against particular attacks or all attacks. For example, the tactics skill set provides weaponside and shieldside attacks. A shieldside attack is great right after an opponent blocks an attack, since the attack is naturally more difficult to be parried. The accuracy skill set has a setup skill that will boost the accuracy of the next attack or two.
Defense plays a pivotal role in combat, and while any character can dodge, parry or block (if they equip a shield), these provide only minor defense bonuses unless the character chooses to specialize in them. A melee character without any melee defense skills must employ a strategy of quickly defeating the enemy, since they will be unable to defend against many of the attacks leveled against them.
This type of combat system makes the basic choice of employing a two-handed weapon vs a one-handed weapon a much more important decision. Two-handed weapons can be extremely lethal, especially when paired with some of the special combat moves, but they also limit the character’s defenses. Not only can the character not block attacks (since they won’t have a shield equipped), but most two-handed weapons have a long delay, which means they will not parry as many attacks. Two-handed weapons are best for characters that intend to quickly overcome the enemy’s defenses.
Magic also plays its role. Not only can spells be blocked and dodged, but each school of magic also offers a melee attack for those who choose to create a hybrid character. Since each choice of melee skill provides a bonus to melee accuracy, it is important for hybird characters to plan accordingly. A character with only one melee skill may find it more difficult to hit the opponent, but if that skill is a core melee skill (slashing, crushing, piercing) or a skill that improves the chance to hit (accuracy), a hybrid character can be quite powerful.
Light magic users get a bonus when using crushing weapons and a spell to help both magical and melee accuracy. They can also equip holy symbols to help with their magical skills, thus negating the need for a mage staff. This makes them formidible melee opponents even without choosing a melee skill. But don’t discount Dark and Nature. Both of these magic types also provide a bonus to melee should the character decide to hybrid in that direction.