The combat system relies equally on the advancement of fighting skills and good equipment. The quality of weapons and armor has an impact on attack as well as defense, but the proper use of the characters skill set is equally important. For normal attacks it is important to master the weapon skills like two handed swords, bows or staffs, because they are directly responsible for the accuracy with that weapon. You will have difficulties with a weapon you are not accustomed to. While you are inflicting primarily physical damage to your enemies when using a weapon, spells of mages and priests deal magical damage. This is due to the mage having control over the elements fire and wind, while the priest can call upon Narfas, the god of spring water, who gives his followers control over the element water.
The core of the combat system consists of the many different attacking skills, which give each character class its own distinctive strength. Combat is not only about beating down the opponent's vitality with brute force, expert adventurers use special effects to win a fight. Roots or chains of light can tactically be used to buy time or to retreat from a hopeless fight. Bleeding wounds are not only painful, but can become a dangerous problem and there are sinister professions specializing in blinding, stunning and poisoning enemies. A lot of fighting skills depend on another and demand constant attention and fast reaction. Warriors can use opening attacks to position their enemies in a way, where special follow up attacks are possible. However you need to realize which attacking possibility has opened up quickly. Knights can place Glowing Seals that can release certain effects depending on which skills are followed up with and mages can protect themselves by Electrostatic Charges first, before they hurl those charges as an attack spell against their enemies. These Masters of elements should also watch out for any resistance an enemy may have against the base element of their magic. A spotted weakness here can be utilized to turn a fight around very quickly.
It is important in any case to keep an eye on the interaction of the elements. Every attack is assigned to a hidden element and certain sequences of elements have magical effects. They are quite inconspicuous for short combinations, but the longer the sequence is the more spectacular they become. The mixture of elements on the target is essential and groups of adventurers can work together tactically to generate extra damage and special effects ranging from fear to fields of flames. But first they have to find out which combinations have an effect at all.
Building a group
Together with the selection of primary and secondary class, the specialization in certain skills determines the role of a character in combat. A solo player will use a wide range of melee attacks, ranged attacks and healing skills, while in contrast groups work best with strict task-sharing. In a well-built group, warriors, knights and their variations should stand in the front line to stop the enemy from breaking through and reaching the mages and priests, who are very vulnerable to physical attacks. While doing that, they need to keep the attention of the enemies by using their attacks and skills and of course have to deal as much damage as possible with their swords and axes. The ranged combatants like mages and scouts are doing damage from the much safer second line with volleys of arrows and fire. The priest can join in combat action too from time to time, but most of the times he is busy healing the front line fighters and keeping them alive. While the scout can help in the front line if the need arises, rogues are mostly on the move. They can deal a lot of damage, but must always be alert to evade incoming attacks. In this position, you don’t have a chance to make mistakes a second time.
An approved method for defeating many strong enemies is to lure single fighters out of the group by well directed taunts or ranged attacks. If their rush is stopped by the front line of a well organized group, is usually doesn’t take long before they meet their demise. Combat groups can repeat this again and again, but it’s not always so easy to separate leaders from their bodyguards. In this case, the best tactic is to keep the most dangerous enemy busy, until his helpers have met their maker. Character classes like knight or scout are suited for this task, because they can root an enemy to a place and delay a fight that way. They always have to keep the attention of their opponent – but that can be arranged by one or two well directed attacks. This game of attack, root and retreat has to be kept up long enough for the group to get their hands free to sort out the situation once and for all.
The fruits of victory
Being victorious over dangerous monsters not only means experience and fame for the winning hero, but he might find interesting items as well. Loot can range from the proverbial bear-skin and other hunting trophies, rune stones, tools, bits and pieces and clothing up to weapons and armor, which in certain cases might have special properties. Furthermore, from time to time glowing magical spheres emerge from the fallen enemies. These spheres grant the adventurer special powers for a certain period of time.
When an adventurer loses a battle and dies, Ayvenas summons him to his realm. After what seems to be only a short time, the deceased finds himself at one of the holy stone circles. They can never remember their voyage through the realm of the dead, and they are generally quite dizzy and weak, and should rest a while. Usually it is quite a good idea to use this recovery time to check armor and weapons and visit the local blacksmith for repairs. The presence of a priest who is familiar with the Ritual of Resurrection can be a great help when there are fatalities. The voyage through the halls of Ayvenas can be shortened considerably and the effects of death can be alleviated. And for groups exploring ancient catacombs deep underground, it is very important that dead adventurers can be resurrected on location.