Guide to Approach and Combat



Get over here!
Before you can trade with someone or fight/spar with them with close-range combat, you need to get close. To do that, you use the Approach command that you can see as part of the Chat screen drop down command list. In the city streets, the default range is 50 paces. Indoors it's 25 and in rooms the default distance is set according to the room size.

Ok here's... Hey! Where did you go?
To perform close-range actions with someone you need to be face to face with them, that means you need to be two paces or closer. You have two types of distance modifiers: Fixed (i.e. Running = 5 paces, Jumping is 3 paces and Stepping is 1 pace) and variable; the latter are your Displacement Superpowers (Teleport, Warp, Superspeed, Flight, etc.), which means that you have to be in your Super Ego to be able to perform Superpower Displacement actions. The distance modifier is calculated by one and a half times your superpower points and half your quickness, this rate is then multiplied by the maximum range modification for that superpower (e.g. Teleport/Warp has upto 99 Paces per Turn, Turbo-Boost has 20 and Flight has 30, etc.) For example, if my quickness was 15 and my teleportation was 10, the rate of movement will be 27%. Multiplied by 99, that will be 26 Paces displaced per turn. No random factors take part in this equation. Movement will give you a 1 turn penalty (i.e. you can't perform any movements or combat-related actions for 1 minute) and X number of TU (Turn Units) the longer it takes to perform an action, the more TU you're penalized off your Time Units bank. Your other movement (or basically any other combat related action) penalty is a decrease in willpower. The higher your endurance, the harder it is for you to get tired. So if you have low endurance, even running can lower your Willpower by upto 5 points.


Neo: "I know kung fu!" Morpheus: "Show me." (The Matrix, 1999)
Unlike superpowers, your hand to hand combat techniques are always on "stand-by" ready to block or dodge sudden attacks from your enemies (subject to your dodging skills of course). Some fighting techniques are better with blocking blows (e.g. Atemi), some, (e.g. Jiujitsu, Kung Fu), are more of the aggressive type, some are faster than others (e.g. Acrobatics) and some are mapped to weapons (e.g. Samurai). And some of them are unique and are needed in special cases (e.g. Blind Combat). In any case, you need to master your fighting skill to deliver effective attacks in combat. The primary modifier for calculating how effective you are in combat is the generic Hand to Hand combat skill. Unlike individual combat skill expertise, the conceptual skill gives you an understanding of why martial arts came to be, when you need to use them, and which moves will be the most effective in what situation. So it is imperative that you heighten this skill periodically as you increase your actual martial art skill.

Hand-to-hand 101
Hand to hand combat has three stages: Stance, Offense and Defence. Defence is automatically turned on when you have your fighting Stance set (Go to Stats - Combat, scroll down and set your default style). Changing your default stance will give you a 1 turn penalty (i.e. you can't perform any movements or combat-related actions for 1 minute). How well you dodge depends primarily on your Dodge skill and Quickness [COMPARED TO THE ATTACKER'S], followed by your Martial Art skills and a random factor. Read the Superpower combat section to learn about Superpower Auto-Defences. Note that even if you're surrounded by multiple players, as long as you have willpower, you should be able to hit each of them per turn. Your one-turn penalty is only counted towards a combat move on each opponent.

The Hand-to-hand formula
To fight using your martial art, approach your character till you are close enough and pick Attack on the chat command list drop down and pick the person you want to attack. That character must be walking in your vicinity in a combat zone (e.g. The Bronx, The Matador), otherwise you can't fight them. Note that you must not have any weapons wielded if you want to do martial arts. An exception are glove weapons (e.g. Knuckle-Duster, Power Fist, Saw Fist, etc.). You should now see a combat control screen. Pick a martial art attack (varies according to your martial art) and examine how much Willpower it uses, how much damage it causes and what's the minimum range needed (note that damage and willpower indicators are average). How strong you hit depends on the specific combat move (e.g. Strike is much stronger than a mere punch, and a Boxing punch is as strong as a Tae-kwon-do Kick.) when you hit a character, you randomly go for a specific part of their body (Torso is almost half the times you hit, the other times you hit the legs, head or arms; except if it's a body-part targetted move, such as vital-part kicking or the leg-paralyze kick). The character absorbs damage according to their endurance AND what kind of armor they may be wearing on those body parts.

Oh yeah? Dodge THIS!
There's two types of unsuccessful attacks: Dodge (when the second player has high quickness and dodge skills), or Weapon-Attack Misses (That is, either your aim was bad or you were too slow for the other player and you missed). The two formulas work thus:
Attacker's Advantage Points: Average Percentage of their Aim (if shooting) or Agility + A Random modifier + Inverse of the Time Units spent in the attack move.
Defender's Advantage Points: Average Percentage of their Quickness + Dodge + Default Hand to Hand skill
If the defender has higher advantage points, he or she dodges or the Attacker misses.
Aim is calculated by distance (the further away it is the harder it is to aim) and marksmanship skills (Blade Skill if it's a blade, Archery if it's a missile launcher or Gun Combat if it's a gun, etc.)
The inverse of the Time Units spent means that the more time units it takes to execute the move, the higher the chances for missing. So for example, swinging a hammer takes more TU than shooting a gun. So you have more chances of missing with a hammer than with a gun.


Axe? What Axe?
Melee weapon combat is close-range combat using melee weapons such as blunts, axes, staffs, clubs, whips, etc. Wield your weapon by going to your inventory and picking the weapon in the Carried Item list and clicking on "Access". After that, click on Wield (or Reload if the weapon uses ammo or power and needs to be recharged/reloaded). If you get close enough you'll be able to perform a "Cut", "Slash", "Blow" or "Strike" command depending on what kind of weapon it is. The way damage is calculated varies by the weapon, but almost always Strength is a primary modifier for the effect of the attack (Read the Weapons Compendium for more info) and the speed you perform your attack depends greatly on how heavy the item is (e.g. a Heavy Axe is harder to control than a Bo Staff), so the heavier your weapon the more likely it is for your opponent to dodge the attack.


Shut up or I'll blow your head off!
Need to vent some anger? Blast an innocent bystander off the street with your gauss blaster (note that this doesn't apply if you're idealist or karmic). This is the advantage of guns: Range. You can be far away and not notice a gun going off at you. Note that unless your gun or archery combat skill is high, you'll need to concentrate on your target by aiming at them. The more you aim, the more accurately you can hit your mark. Unlike melee weapons, the damage caused doesn't depend on any attributes, rather a random factor and how much damage the gun causes on average. Note that some high-profile weapons like Lazer Blasters need to be recharged every time you make a shot. You recharge when you Access your Carried Items screen in your Inventory. Missile Launchers are different from standard Firearms because Missile Launchers usually have a longer range than fire-arms, and sometimes they can cause devastating surround-damage such as the Rocket Launcher. Note that firearms directly affect your HEALTH points in a much larger scale than BODY points. So watch your health if you're being hit by a fire-arm, because when the HEALTH counter reaches zero, you're dead.


HALT, villain! Or I'll blast you with my, uhh... Blaster.
Superpower combat is a superhero's preferred choice of combat, not because it is cool, but because most superpower attacks are used to render the assailant unconscious (they affect the BODY more than HEALTH), where they can then be carried off to Jail, etc. And of course, there's the fact that a superhero's morale is greatly affected when killing someone. Unlike malignant characters, who enjoy killing because it boosts their morale. Other than that, superpowers do not need to be recharged, unlike weapons, so you have an unlimited supply. The only caveat though is that superpowers sap your WILLPOWER. So you need to be careful, especially when using devastating superpower actions such as the Storm.

Shield ON!... I said... SHIELD ON!
To turn on your superpower defences, click on Stats - Superpower, scroll down and "Ready" a primary superpower. Readying will sap your willpower, but only once. After that, your superpower defences are on as long as you can keep on your super ego mode. Whenever you switch back to normal mode, your superpower defences automatically go offline. Superpower defences rarely block martial art attacks, but are useful against enemy superpower attacks and ESPECIALLY firearm attacks.


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