The Cautious Warrior: How to Survive in the Lost Lands while Still Killing Things

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Marcuson
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The Cautious Warrior: How to Survive in the Lost Lands while Still Killing Things

Post by Marcuson » Sun May 08, 2022 1:26 pm

I'll preface this by saying that I am by no means an expert on combat or numbers. This is a out-of-character general advice guide based on my own experiences and intended for new players to help them reduce the number of deaths their characters go through. (If you've been playing COGG for a while, most of this advice is self-evident and will probably bore you.)

1. Armor, shields, and fending are your friends. You will get hit in combat.

Other players might vehemently disagree with me, but in my opinion, Dodge-based characters are difficult to play because their defense rolls are suppressed by how much weight they're carrying, with dodge rolls being heavily influenced by encumbrance. Parry is second, and block rolls are the least affected by weight. (You can check your weight with the 'encumbrance' command and your defense rolls with the 'combat' command.)

Many players find it challenging to manage their character's gear well enough to avoid suppressing their dodge rolls. Armor especially weighs them down -- but wearing armor, even light armor, can potentially save their life, even if it's just a few pieces to cover their vitals (a helmet, a gorget, and a cuirass).

Fending is a method of defense that uses a separate, hidden roll from the defense rolls; it's meant to simulate holding off an enemy and is typically based on weapon length. Your character can hold a long weapon in their left hand to help them fend off enemy attacks. For example, my Physicker uses his cane in his left hand while in combat.

2. Always carry bandages.

This one is pretty obvious, but you'd be surprised at how many characters have bled to death because they forgot to bring bandages with them. Bandages aren't too expensive and they hardly weigh anything -- why not bring a few?

I'd also suggest bringing a jar of unguent as well in order to keep your character's health topped off, but that's up to you. The jars are heavy and can be expensive for new characters. Your character can always bandage themselves and run back to town for healing.

3. Keep your morale high.

High morale grants characters rerolls in combat -- 'help morale' has plenty of good advice -- and rerolls give your character a better chance at offense and defense. I won't go into specific numbers, but this thread may be of interest: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=711

4. "It's all in the reflexes."

When your character is in a dangerous area, be ready at all times to enter their next command. Don't get distracted. Don't play while sleepy or otherwise impaired. Be ready to have your character fight, run, or hide.

5. Have realistic assessments of risks.

You'll want your character to know what they're fighting beforehand in order to make sure the enemy can't simply flatline them. Speak to other characters, gather information, and spy on the situation. You can 'hide', sneak, and use the 'consider' command to study enemies before charging in. Use the 'peer' command before moving into other rooms in order to avoid being overwhelmed.

6. Always have an exit.

Familiarize yourself with the area your character is in. Know the directions and commands to leave and be ready to hastily withdraw (or 'flee' or even 'crawl' away) as soon as something goes awry. If your character is starting to bleed, or if more enemies than expected show up, run away. Don't try to tough it out.

7. Pay attention to energy levels.

Once your character gets below 100 energy, they won't be able to perform most actions, and their defense will be impaired. At 0 energy, your character will fall unconscious, which usually leads to death. If they have access to Channel Adrenaline, always be using it during combat. The best practice is not to push your character to the point of exhaustion; as soon as they're tired, leave and rest.

8. Don't join events.

This is probably the most controversial item in this guide, but I'm just going to come out and say it: GM events are where characters go to die. If something weird is going on, run the other way. If you still want your character to participate, don't lead and don't guard. Run away as soon as things turn grim. Cowards live longer.

Final Thoughts

I hope this guide helps your characters survive a bit better in the Lost Lands. There are probably some things I forgot, and maybe some of you have questions, observations, or additions. Feel free to reply. I'll reply, too, if I think of something I overlooked.

Navi
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Re: The Cautious Warrior: How to Survive in the Lost Lands while Still Killing Things

Post by Navi » Sun May 08, 2022 1:40 pm

These are all very useful. I can't count how many times I've been injured and didn't have a bandage on me, or remembered I left them in my other pants. Ha. If there's one other thing I can think of to add, it's getting your opponents off balance should be a priority when fighting things that are equally skilled or more skilled than yourself. It's the only way to buy yourself some time before their really dangerous abilities can be pulled off. Feint is a perfect way to do this as a non-warrior, and can be chained into other abilities like staggering blow for warriors.
wander without wanting, thrust into lands unknown. the shadows shift and change, and the worlds with them.
I'm not a soldier but I'm fighting
Can you hear me through the silence?
I won't give up 'cause there will be a day
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Serity
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Re: The Cautious Warrior: How to Survive in the Lost Lands while Still Killing Things

Post by Serity » Sun May 08, 2022 2:27 pm

Know the directions and commands to leave and be ready to hastily withdraw (or 'flee' or even 'crawl' away) as soon as something goes awry.
I just want to bring special attention to this bit - crawling, specifically. If you have multiple foes attacking you, or even a single one if your legs are broken, then, if you are knocked to the ground, it is almost always better to try to crawl away in a safe direction and regroup and recover than to try to stand. Standing induces round-time, and may just result in you being knocked down again, and should your legs be injured, you may fail to stand anyways. This is especially important during Events where there are a lot of players and a lot of text and things going on. Crawling has saved my life many times, and some of my own deaths could have been avoided had I remembered this.

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Marcuson
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Re: The Cautious Warrior: How to Survive in the Lost Lands while Still Killing Things

Post by Marcuson » Thu Jun 30, 2022 5:55 pm

Your character can hold a long weapon in their left hand to help them fend off enemy attacks. For example, my Physicker uses his cane in his left hand while in combat.
This part of the guide is no longer applicable. I meant to post an update to this guide a month ago, but I'm only just now getting around to it. Sorry about that. Here are the relevant changelogs from 05/23/22:
Combat

A target in Avoid combat mode is no longer automatically switched to Engage combat mode upon failure to avoid a melee attack.
Holding a ranged weapon no longer provides a virtual weapon reach bonus, as ranged combatants can now simply remain in the Avoid combat mode which does the same thing.
When determining weapon reach for both attackers and defenders, a main-hand (right) weapon will always take preference over an off-hand (left) one. (Having a non-weapon (including shields) in the main hand will NOT prevent using an off-hand weapon for reach calculations.)
The chance to avoid melee attacks via Avoid combat mode or to fend off melee attacks via weapon reach is now more heavily penalized by the amount of roundtime the target is currently in.
Avoiding melee attacks via Avoid combat mode or fending off via weapon reach now has a 7-second cooldown.
Making unarmed attacks will now remove the attacker's ability to fend off attacks with any other weapons they might be holding for the duration of their attack.
Certain unarmed attacks that can potentially land multiple strikes now require both hands to be free in order to get more than one strike.
To maximize your character's chance of avoiding combat, set them to Combat Avoid, give them a long weapon (and, optionally, a shield), get their encumbrance as low as possible (high encumbrance penalizes dodge, parry, and block rolls), and try not to put them in roundtime.

Gorth
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Re: The Cautious Warrior: How to Survive in the Lost Lands while Still Killing Things

Post by Gorth » Fri Jul 01, 2022 10:20 am

and try not to put them in roundtime.
Yes, roundtime! Roundtime is important. If you are in Roundtime, most if not all Combat Actions against you will have you rolling at negative rerolls. This is bad, really bad. Pay attention, try your best to strike as soon as an enemy enteres roundtime or stagger time. The faster you kill something, the slower you die.
Blue on black—tears on a river, push on a shove—it don't mean much
Joker on jack—match on a fire, cold on ice—a dead man's touch
Whisper on a scream—never change a thing, doesn't bring you back
It's like blue on black

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Lexx416
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Re: The Cautious Warrior: How to Survive in the Lost Lands while Still Killing Things

Post by Lexx416 » Fri Jul 01, 2022 12:13 pm

Marcuson wrote: Sun May 08, 2022 1:26 pm 5. Have realistic assessments of risks.

You'll want your character to know what they're fighting beforehand in order to make sure the enemy can't simply flatline them. Speak to other characters, gather information, and spy on the situation. You can 'hide', sneak, and use the 'consider' command to study enemies before charging in. Use the 'peer' command before moving into other rooms in order to avoid being overwhelmed.

6. Always have an exit.

Familiarize yourself with the area your character is in. Know the directions and commands to leave and be ready to hastily withdraw (or 'flee' or even 'crawl' away) as soon as something goes awry. If your character is starting to bleed, or if more enemies than expected show up, run away. Don't try to tough it out.
I can't stress these two enough, personally, for people that want to avoid dying. I've played my ranger for something like 2 years, and she only has a single death because I utilize stealth, and I make sure to use the peer command constantly (even in areas I'm familiar with). Being forewarned of danger will go miles towards avoiding deaths and injury.
"You hear the Woses, the Wild Men of the Woods... Remnants of an older time they be, living few and secretly, wild and wary as beasts."

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Xandrea
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Re: The Cautious Warrior: How to Survive in the Lost Lands while Still Killing Things

Post by Xandrea » Fri Jul 01, 2022 1:48 pm

This is me doubling down on item numero 5.

Situational awareness saves lives. I always have my numpad set as my mode of movement in the game. I've doubled down on this by adding an entire keyset dedicated to peering. Simply hitting SHIFT then compass direction on the numpad let's me check things in virtually every direction. Even in situations where I'm moving through an area rather quickly. It has saved me from running into most situations uninformed.

1 and 2 a bit.

Apply armour. While I'm not privy to wearing armour I cannot. Ever. Understate how that extra layer of skin can save your life. I've got a few different sets of armour that are on standby. This way I can armour up depending on the amount of abuse I can potentially expect out of an encounter. If you feel confident against certain enemies. Slowly wean your loadout to a lighter set and see how it goes. If it doesn't you can always switch back.

Understand your Pain Tolerance. This is a personal rule of thumb I've come up with. Armoured or not. I have fought certain enemies enough that I have a really good idea of what the maximum damage they can deal to me in one turn. Prepare for that scenario. I will not tend my own minor or sleight wounds until one of these wounds becomes moderate. Because for the enemies I fight a moderate wound becomes a major wound or death the worst of defensive rolls. Minors and sleights I know will put me to severe in one bad roll. (That's based on my experience with one enemy type. You can and will differ.)

Don't get complacent if you take up the pain tolerance idea however. This doesn't account for fighting enemies that can chain-stagger you. Or even worse. Critical hits to your legs. Don't be afraid to CRAWL away on your hands and knee to avoid being attacked whilst prone. That is 'the' worst situation anyone can face.

EXTRA CREDIT

I'm putting this in here because it's such a strict rule that I have. HIDE WHEN YOU HEAL. For the love of The Trident if you have unguent on your person. Don't volunteer 20 seconds of roundtime for an enemy to stumble upon you and get in possibly three devastating blows while your pants are down. I've seen this happen to people who aren't thinking.

Keep thinking. Long culls of fighting can often leave you in a state where you're doing things automatically. The modern MUD man's highway hipnosis. You don't have to be taut as a bowstring all the time all day but, remember. Your character doesn't know if it's next death will be the last or not. Keep yourself grounded just a little. Do the things your character does when nobody's watching! Grunt on getting hard hits. Hiss when you bleed. Swear in the shadows bandaging up those "lucky hits" they scored on you. You may be surprised what rapport you build with your character while keeping eachother engaged.
How many Sorcerers does it take to read a book?

Gorth
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Re: The Cautious Warrior: How to Survive in the Lost Lands while Still Killing Things

Post by Gorth » Mon Nov 07, 2022 11:09 am

As noted in Discord, Combat Avoid is a better fend. It isn't all saving, but it goes off more often than even extreme reach weapons.
Blue on black—tears on a river, push on a shove—it don't mean much
Joker on jack—match on a fire, cold on ice—a dead man's touch
Whisper on a scream—never change a thing, doesn't bring you back
It's like blue on black

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Re: The Cautious Warrior: How to Survive in the Lost Lands while Still Killing Things

Post by Rias » Mon Nov 07, 2022 11:22 am

Combat Avoid is equivalent to polearm-level reach for normal attack fending (when it happens it is restrung as avoiding melee range rather than fending off the attack). Combat Avoid is less effective against charge-type maneuvers (mount charge, tackle, shield charge, mobs that pounce, etc). In the case of these charge-type maneuvers you're better off having a long-reach melee weapon between you and your attacker to physically fend them off with.
<Rias> PUT ON PANTS
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