Combat Style

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Hermit.gif The Hermit humbly requests that this page be rewritten or expanded.

Almost the entire page is defunct now, thanks to revamps.

Basic Combat Strategy

There are a few basic forms of combat that are applicable to any class.

Melee

This is the combat style that comes most easily to low-skilled muscle classes, but can be employed by other classes as well. Combat is simple--you equip the strongest melee weapon you can, and you kill stuff with it before it kills you. Players can use generic attack or some other melee-based attack skills to fight this way.

Strengths of Melee

  • Does not need any permed skills to use
  • Does more damage per round than plinking
  • Is the simplest combat style for new players to understand

Weaknesses of Melee

  • Muscle is not a defensive stat, so without Hero of the Half-Shell, players can take a lot of damage
  • Using normal attack is not effective against higher level monsters
  • It can be hard for non-muscle classes to boost their muscle enough to hit reliably


Basic Theory

First, the player must ensure that they can hit the monster they are fighting. To land hits consistently with normal attack, their muscle must be higher than the monster's defense stat. This will not always be the case for players questing in level-appropriate zones, but choosing gear which boosts muscle will make it easier. Other useful boosts are listed below.

Some combat skills offer a bonus to the player's chance to hit. Kneebutt, Thrust-Smack, and Lunging Thrust-Smack have to-hit bonuses, and the skill Eye of the Stoat further boosts the to-hit of Thrust-Smack, and Lunging Thrust-Smack. Shieldbutt and Seal Clubbers wielding 2-handed clubs using either Thrust-Smack or Lunging Thrust-Smack will always hit, regardless of the player's muscle or the monster's defense stat. Fighting with these skills is more effective than using normal attack, especially when fighting tougher monsters, but comes at the cost of MP (and necessitates having the skill). Turtle Tamers are uniquely able to combine the -butt skills into more powerful attacks, for a higher MP cost.


Melee without Hero of the Half-Shell

Players who do not have the skill Hero of the Half-Shell, or those who choose to melee without a shield equipped, will tend to have to consider their survivability more than players making use of the skill. For these players, it is particularly important to end combats as quickly as possible, and boosts to HP and damage are critical. These players can also make very good use of Damage Absorption by using higher powered armor and skills such as Tao of the Terrapin, Ghostly Shell, Astral Shell, Hide of the Walrus and Hide of the Otter.


Melee with Hero of the Half-Shell

This skill allows players to use muscle as both their defensive and offensive stat, assuming of course that their muscle is higher than their moxie. This allows players to take advantage of some of plinking's strengths (such as boosting just one stat and taking little damage) while keeping the advantages of melee (easy for muscle classes to do and does more damage than plinking). The main drawbacks are needing the skill and needing to equip a shield, which forces the player to use a one-handed weapon.


Other helpful buffs and skills for Melee

Plinking

Hermit.gif The Hermit humbly requests that this page be rewritten or expanded.

As of May 22, 2013, the ranged damage formula has changed. Ranged weapons now deal bonus damage based on how much the attacker out-moxies the target rather than depending on muscle, with the result that moxie-based classes now deal much more damage with their basic attacks. Plinking as described below no longer truly exists.


"Plinking" refers to the combat style that focuses on avoiding damage while slowly wearing away at a target with a ranged weapon. The term comes from one of the combat messages when using a crossbow:

There's a quiet plink sound as your bolt hits <it>, dealing X damage. ZAP! ZAP! WHAMMO!

Plinking is the combat style of choice for many low-skilled players, especially moxie classes. The basic principle is based on the fact that when the player has a ranged weapon equipped, Moxie is used to determine your chance to hit a monster, whether that monster can hit the player with regular attacks, and how much damage the player would take when hit. This allows players to focus on raising just one stat in order to attack and defend.

Strengths of Plinking

  • Combat requires no MP
  • No permed skills required
  • Requires very little effort for moxie classes
  • Often the only option for low-skilled players

Weaknesses of Plinking

  • Combat is tedious and repetitive
  • Fumbling becomes a significant hazard during extended combats
  • Adding Monster Level can making plinking challenging or impossible
  • Boosting moxie is more difficult for non-moxie classes
  • Monsters can still land critical hits on the player, which can add up during long combats
  • Can only be used with ranged weapons (in most cases)


Basic Theory

The player boosts their moxie to the point where they will minimize the hits they take, and then wears down a monster with a ranged weapon while taking nearly no damage. The concept of safe moxie is somewhat misleading because monsters can still land critical hits at any amount of moxie, and there is some evidence that the originally spaded formula of monster attack + 7 is incorrect. However, with that amount of moxie, players will take very few hits, and the damage from those hits will be as lower than it would be with less moxie. Moxie is also the stat used to determine whether a ranged weapon hits, so Muscle can mostly be ignored.

Since plinking implies the player would not have a higher muscle than the monster's defense stat, the damage formula shows that ranged weapons will do relatively low damage. They get no bonus damage for moxie above a monster's defense, and they receive a penalty to their base damage that makes ranged weapons do only 75% as much damage as a melee weapon of the same power. This can lead to combat lasting many rounds, which can be tedious and increases the damage a player takes from fumbles and monster criticals. Boosting damage done, boosting Damage Absorption, and perming a skill such as Eye of the Stoat can alleviate some of these problems, although plinking is still possible without any of these measures.

Common ways to boost moxie

Advanced Combat Strategy

There are also several advanced or specialized strategies to choose from.


Hermit.gif The Hermit humbly requests that this page be rewritten or expanded.

Disco Combos no longer exist in the form discussed here since the Disco Bandit class revamp of October 21, 2013.

Disco Combos

For information on Disco Combos, see that page. However, these skills also provide a de-leveling effect, which can help greatly with killing a monster. Stealth Mistletoe doubles this de-leveling effect, and does not consume a combat round. If Mistletoe is used before doing the Disco Concentration Combo, then the monster will get de-leveled by 30 Attack/Defense. This makes the monster much, much easier to kill, and the Combo also provides a +20% item drop bonus, which is not something one should take lightly. Another strategy could be to use Mistletoe and then hit the monster with Disco Face Stab; both actions use only 1 total combat round, 15 MP, and de-level the monster by 18, making it much easier to hit, especially if you are running additional Monster Level, and still wish to plink.

The biggest drawback to this combat style is that combos are available only to Disco Bandits, but all classes can use the skills for their de-leveling effect. Another drawback is the potentially high MP cost of using the skills, but with enough de-leveling, it is much cheaper to complete the combat.

Pasta-slinging

While less prevalent than shieldbutting, Pastamancer-based spellslinging offers a powerful alternative for combat. Though it is often more expensive than shieldbutt against regular monsters, it is incredibly effective - and usually cheaper than shieldbutt - against elemental monsters.

Necessary Skills

Skill Class Description
Flavour of Magic Class3.gif Tunes Pastamancer spells to a specific elemental type of damage, as well as gives +10 spell damage.
Cannelloni Cannon Class3.gif Primary attack skill, does quite a bit of damage to monsters at low MP cost.
Ravioli Shurikens Class3.gif Secondary attack skill, is sometimes more efficient in terms of Damage done per MP used, but is weaker in raw damage than Cannon.
Entangling Noodles Class3.gif Stops the monster from attacking for 2-4 rounds.

The basic strategy is to cast the appropriate version of Flavour of Magic to cause double damage against the monsters you'll be fighting. Combat consists of casting entangling noodles to prevent the monster from attacking, and then hitting it with elementally tuned cannon blasts to kill it, ideally before it breaks free of the noodles.

Additional Skills

Skill Class Description
Jackasses' Symphony of Destruction Class6.gif An Accordion Thief buff that gives +12 spell damage. Stronger spells can often result in combat taking fewer turns, saving on healing costs and greatly reducing the chances of being beaten up.
Ur-Kel's Aria of Annoyance Class6.gif Lets the player boost monster level, which earns them better stat gains. The auto-hit nature of spellslinging means that the tougher monsters can still be defeated.
Spirit of Rigatoni Class3.gif Allows to equip chefstaves, which boost spell damage by a certain percentage and have other beneficial effects. High-level chefstaves boost spell damage by more than 100%, making spellslinging very effective regardless of class.
Springy Fusilli Class3.gif Helps the player win initiative, which allows them to cast noodles without taking a hit
Overdeveloped Sense of Self Preservation Class5.gif Another initiative skill, but less powerful than Springy Fusilli. However, it is passive, which is an advantage.
Slimy Shoulders Slimesweat.gif Identical in effect to Overdeveloped Sense of Self Preservation once at full strength, but requires the player to use 10 slime-soaked sweat glands in addition to completing an ascension to perm the skill.

While Flavour of Magic gives +10 to spell damage, this is often not enough to make spellslinging strong enough to easily defeat monsters. Players will want to further boost their spell damage; buying or finding a cookbook can provide a significant boost, as well as casting Jackasses' and using Spirit of Rigatoni to wield a chefstaff. Combining the two can even make spellslinging a viable combat option for an entire ascension, especially for mysticality classes who have access to MMJ.

This strategy has significant synergy with the Frumious Bandersnatch; not only does the Bandersnatch give longer-lasting noodles to further protect adventurers, but casting cannon gives the Bandersnatch additional experience. This additional weight results in more stats from the Bandersnatch, as well as potentially increasing the number of runaways it will grant.

Sauce-Slinging

This strategy gets complicated due to it being extremely powerful for Saucerors. It uses a whole lot of skills in conjunction with each other, and is probably the most powerful combat strategy there is, even if it's only seriously strong for Saucerors. See Sauce Synergy for details on this style of combat.


Shieldbutt

Shieldbutting, sometimes known as "noodlebutting" because it is really a combination of entangling noodles and shieldbutt, is a melee-based combat style designed to fight monsters at a higher monster level than the player's attack and defense stats.

Strengths of Shieldbutting

  • Can be used against monsters that the player cannot otherwise hit
  • Does not require a large MP pool and is often the most MP-efficient combat style when boosting ML
  • Requires a minimal set of perms to get started

Weaknesses of Shieldbutting

  • Requires the player to use a shield
  • Shieldbutt by itself does not do a lot of damage
  • Cannot be done using a ranged weapon


Skills which are critical to this combat style:

Skill Class Description
Shieldbutt Class2.gif Primary attack skill, causes you to attack with your weapon, then attack with your shield. Does not miss.
Entangling Noodles Class3.gif Stops the monster from attacking for 2-4 rounds.

In its simplest form, the player casts entangling noodles on a monster so that they will not die while taking down the monster's life, and then shieldbutts the monster until dies. Shieldbutt is a skill which always hits, but does not do as much damage as some other skills. The noodles will allow the player to survive the multiple rounds of combat needed to kill this way.

Skills which are complementary to this combat style:

Skill Class Description
Ur-Kel's Aria of Annoyance Class6.gif Lets the player boost monster level, which earns them better stat gains.
Springy Fusilli Class3.gif Helps the player win initiative, which allows them to cast noodles without taking a hit
Overdeveloped Sense of Self Preservation Class5.gif Another initiative skill, but less powerful than Springy Fusilli. However, it is passive, which is an advantage.
Slimy Shoulders Slimesweat.gif Identical in effect to Overdeveloped Sense of Self Preservation once at full strength, but requires the player to use 10 slime-soaked sweat glands in addition to completing an ascension to perm the skill.
Jackasses' Symphony of Destruction Class6.gif An Accordion Thief buff that gives +12 damage. Stronger attacks can often result in combat taking fewer turns, saving on healing costs and greatly reducing the chances of being beaten up.
Armorcraftiness Class2.gif Allows the player to craft shields when they may not readily find any during a run. It also allows players to craft a Hipposkin poncho which is a good source of +ML, provided the player also has Torso Awaregness
Rage of the Reindeer Class1.gif Gives +10% Muscle, which adds to the player's HP and also adds +10 damage.
Snarl of the Timberwolf Class1.gif Adds +10 Spooky damage.
Claws of the Walrus Class1.gif Adds +4 damage passively.
Claws of the Otter Class1.gif Adds +3 damage passively.
Tenacity of the Snapper Class2.gif Adds +8 damage, but requires a turtle totem to cast.
Hero of the Half-Shell Class2.gif This is not really a skill in this combat suite, but since the player will be using a shield anyway, it is a useful defensive passive. It is especially helpful when playing muscle classes.

Shieldbutting with a Frumious Bandersnatch familiar allows the player to get longer-lasting noodles combined with the smust (stun) from shieldbutt and added damage. This is a powerful combat combination that is often employed by low-level players wanting to gain stats in a challenging high-level area such as the Hobopolis sewer. As long as the player gains initiative and has enough damage skills or damage-adding Stickers, even low-level Hardcore players can make use of sewer leveling.

Starfishing

Another commonly used combat strategy is to use a starfish type familiar for an adventure or two, in order to replenish MP. This combat style is usually done only intermittently, as there are better familiars to use in most areas, such as stat-giving familiars or item-drop boosting familiars. Combat is elongated (using a seal tooth, or fat stacks of cash, or some other infinite-use item that does 0-1 damage), and then the starfish kills the monster, and gives you MP in the process. Certain elemental starfish types are useful for this purpose.

If the player does little or no damage to the monster themselves and lets the starfish-type familiar kill the monster, then the player can receive about as many MP from one combat as the monster had HP (limited by the player's MP pool size). Later in the game and at higher +ML, this can equate to hundreds if not thousands of meat saved, which can be an excellent trade-off at the expense of using a different familiar for a turn.

Versus Hot or Stench-aligned monsters, a Midget Clownfish shines, as it does double damage to those monsters. A Rock Lobster is extremely effective versus Spooky or Cold-aligned monsters. A Snow Angel is strong versus Sleaze or Stench-aligned monsters. Useful skills for this style of combat include Amphibian Sympathy, Leash of Linguini, and Empathy of the Newt for increased starfish damage, which equates to increased MP for you. Other skills of note are those which help with Damage Absorption, such as Tao of the Terrapin, Astral Shell, and Ghostly Shell. Another potentially useful skill here is Jingle Bells, which increases the starfish's actions by 10%, causing it to give MP on about 43% of combat rounds, rather than 33%.

A Slimeling is another starfish-like familiar, though it has a different rate of MP-recharging actions (50%), which is unaffected by Jingle Jangle Jingle. This is, however, an extremely popular choice among ascenders, as it is a Fairy-type familiar that is also a Starfish when it has been fed equipment, making it a very effective Combat familiar, as well as an item-drop familiar, which is very desirable. Other starfish hybrids that require feeding are the Gluttonous Green Ghost, which eats and steals food and gives stats like a Blood-faced volleyball, and the Spirit Hobo, which drinks booze and also gives stats like a volleyball.

V-Crisis

V-Crisis stands for “V for Vivala mask critical hit stasis”, and is a way of attempting to maximize your stat gain per combat. The V mask provides 1-3 substats per combat, plus an additional 4 substats if you kill the monster with a critical hit. The idea is to boost ML as high as you can so that normal attacks will never hit the monster, then use auto-hit attacks (such as shieldbutt or spells) to weaken it until a single critical hit will kill, then keep attacking with your weapon until you get a critical.

The difficulty is that monsters will be hitting you the whole time, so if the RNG is fickle and takes a long time to give a critical you can take quite a bit of damage. The navel ring mitigates that somewhat, but doesn’t provide enough stats to justify wearing if you’re going all-out (which you have to be to justify using V-Crisis).

Since the other on-crit effects from the V for Vivala mask are also powerful, such as gaining extra turns or pickpocketing items, some players may choose to use nothing but normal attacks (which must be crits if they hit) rather than weakening the monster first. This variation makes the player take even more damage, and runs the risk of having a crit not kill the monster, but bombs or knives triggered by the crit dealing the last blow, which prevents the player from receiving the 4 bonus stats. The chance of hitting the round limit is also increased, especially at high monster HP and/or low player damage.

Naturally, any item that can increase critical hit rates will be invaluable in this strategy. One of the most useful is the haiku katana, as it gives the skill Summer Siesta, which gives a critical hit for 10MP. If you can kill the monster using just that crit, this strategy shines. (If not, at least the katana itself increases chances.)