Combat system itself is simple enough: attack rating, defence rating, armor, targeted shots. But what makes it difficult is unfairness, and a great deal of random included. The unfairness consists of:
- Monsters having unlimited fatique. That means no limit to running or casting spells.
- Monsters never "losing" you. Even if you try to run, they will eventually catch up.
- Monsters generally running faster, which means they continue hitting you even while you run.
Add on top the fact that there are no defensive spells, no invisibility, no way to disengage, and you got a recipe for desperation if you ever find yourself losing the fight. The only way to escape is by leaving the zone, which is why it's preferred to fight strong monsters near the exit.
There's one area where the player has got the advantage, and that is sight. PCs generally see farther than the monsters, and with Eagle Sight spell on top, it's double to triple the distance of most mobs. Due to that, and considering that most monsters are stronger than the PC at the time when you first encounter them, the gameplay is wired to be stealth, pick-your-fights Commandos style. So that's what you do, pick the fights.
- Always have 2-3 healing potions handy. Wands will not cut it, because they need casting time, and potions are instant. This is your contingency plan.
- Fight stronger monsters near an exit area. Lead them with Fireworks, if needed. That allows you to disengage if things go south.
- Do not neglect a backstab, even against weaker monsters.
- Switch to the best defence weapon (Ancient Sword, once you get it) when casting.
- While you'll probably want to play mostly on Fast speed, don't hesitate to switch to Slow during hard fights. Unfortunately, there's no autopause like in Baldur's Gate, so it's all down to your reaction.
Common death scenarios and solutions
Head shots do triple damage. 2-3 head shots in a row often mean death.
Solution: Protect your head the most. Always have the best available armor for it, no matter how much does it cost you.
The second most important area is hands, since damaged hands will slow down figthing and casting considerably.
Solution: the same. Always craft the best armor for hands.
Pulling too many mobs at once
Monsters will notify other monsters of the same type, and while finishing one off could be easy, multiple could pose a serious threat. There's danger in numbers.
- Always have Eagle Sight up.
- Be aware of the surroundings. Don't pull a monster unless you're sure can handle it and its posse.
- But when you're sure, don't pass an opportunity. Kill as many monsters as you can, as soon as you can. Even weak monsters can alert others, or turn the tide of the battle with the stronger ones.
- Master Fireworks, it's the spell for pulling.
Missing a monster
Some monsters like bats or toads are just small, and easy to miss. Which doesn't correlate with "easy to kill" at all.
Solution: keep an eye on the map, and the tracks. Even when you're in combat. Especially you're in combat.
Mistaking a monster
Most monsters come in several varieties - usually, "young", "adult" and "veteran", which differ in power considerably, but look similar, or the same. A character who takes out 3-5 young bats easily may find himself owned by a veteran one as a matter of seconds.
Solution: make sure to notice the type of the monster. Especially bats and will-o-wisps.
By the end of each allod, you'll find yourself powerful enough to walk around freely and kill most anything easily. This may lead to carelessness. Trying to "ride through" the fight without healing ASAP, etc.
Solution: Do not let yourself fall into this trap. Some luck on monster's side is all that it takes. Stay alert, keep your HP up. Take no chances, burn potions or/and run away as needed.
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