PvP-mechanics for beginners
Since I've experienced several CoA-players being wrecked by veteran- and efu-players I decided to make this to make pvp less one-sided on the server. As I do think the losing side who got utterly owned end up with a sad face :( and might even ruin their rp-fun. Not to mention some players got an overwhelming knowledge in pvp and those guys might want a challenge themselves.
I won't fill in all Cons and Pros but people are welcome to follow up and even suggest something which needs changed or removed from here (I'm more than willing to edit). But I'll follow KISS (keep it simple stupid)
First off, I want to point out that almost anyone can take out anyone, regardless of lvl if they have the consumables required. There are certain items dropped on quests or pc-made consumables that make even a lvl 1 capable of besting a lvl 10.
Those certain items are: Attuned gems, wands and items dropped on quests.
Another factor is readiness.
1. Intel: Knowing your opponents strengths and weaknesses. Their AB and AC, special perks or items. Hitpoints. Class and saves.
2. Preparation: Are you in possesion of what needs to take the opponent out and does your foe know whats about to happen? Is it a foe walking around with stoneskin, death ward and elemental protection 24/7?
How to use potions? First off, ALWAYS HAVE POTIONS AND CONSUMABLES IN YOUR QUICKBAR (though if you have them in your "main" quickbar you may risk using one on accident when tabbing in windows mode). When you get savy you start just drinking the less important potions from inventory (meaning you order them nicely) due to having more different potions than you can manage in your quickbar.
Now, with potions a lvl 6 fighter can beat up a none-buffed lvl 12 fighter (Believe it or not but they're actually made for balancing). Even if the build is "rp-based". Many have the view that you need great strength and con stats to prevail in pvp-fights. That can't be further from the truth though it does help. Factors of importance are: readiness, allies and consumables. We'll address the latter now;
It depends on the situation;
If you're sorrounded by none-magic/wand users it's possible to discard protection from good/evil and clarity even at first and then just buff your survivability, which is AC, hp, dr (damage reduction) and concealment followed by buffing AB. Order of taking those in general is placed below.
PvP'ing magic requires you to have protection against mind affecting and evocation spells (lightning bolt, fireball etc.) and so insultation potions and protection from good/evil and clarity will be needed. But if you're having a dispute with a mage just beside you it's better to react fast and smack them before they cast anything.
The general trend of drinking potions in order as melee-class:
Set in order:
Mind-affecting: Protection from good/evil and clarity
AC-boosting: Barkskin, shield, (blur) and haste. –------> 3-4 ac + 4 ac + (5/+1 dr and 10% concealment) + 4 ac
AB-boosting: bull's strength, aid, divine favor, bless, blood frenzy. –-------> 1-2 ab, 1 ab, 1 ab, 1 ab, 1 ab (divine favor even gives extra damage and so does bull's strength and blood frenzy too)
Special potions/consumables: Stoneskin, displacement, improved invisibility, ethereal essence, death armor, darkness, truestrike and heal. Note, there are more.
I'll leave the order of when to use these yourself as it's class dependent and obvious like the "heal" potion.
On the offensive part there are several items for close and ranged fights like crafted wands of lightning bolt or firebombs found on quests etc. Make sure to quick slot these or you won't remember in the middle of combat.
- Start with the potions that last the longest.
- If sorrounded drink an invis or displacement potion first as it gives you time to drink a few potions. Even darkness helps.
- Monks are a special case as they can even use mage armor and other potions boosting their ac.
Caster-class and ranged:
Again depends on situation but as ranged- and caster classes have less hp it's a great benefit having wands prepared which don't draw attack of opportunity (aoo) like a hold-person wand, compared to when casting yourself which can even be disrupted. And don't forget to buff your ac. A caster can easily go beyond 25 ac protecting against a lot of knockdowns, disarm and called shots. Retributive shields (death armor etc.) work wonders for casters coupled with stoneskin.
But potions aren't wasted as caster and it lets you have greater casting capacity as you don't have to use your own spell-slots to boost but can spare it on something else. Even having 22 ac caster is still something unless your opponent has that very ab. But most often your fights either end quickly or you stay behind in a group supporting with dispel, mind-affecting and heal. But casters are more versatile so what is stated here are just a few suggestions though buffing AC as caster isn't hurting but if you're ranged without spells ab-buffing will help too. Don't forget endurance, buffs the low hp greatly too.
Haste: Great benefit for anyone but it makes casters use 2 spells a round instead of one making them very efficient nukers and also feared by most.
Dispel: Some casters should definetly have this prepared, particularly in group-fights besides buffing own party or something entirely else. You can even counter-spell enemy casters with this if you got enough SP in spellcraft.
1. You can drink 2 potions a round compared to wands that can only be used once a round. Haste doesn't affect the number of potions you drink nor wand-casting.
2. Grenade-like weapons:
- Tanglefoot bags have your opponent stuck for two rounds even lowering their ac and it can prevent them from escaping or catching up to you.
- Thunderstones. Great benefit against arcane casters as it deafens them and it's even AoE affecting more than one if they're clustered. Also negates bard songs since they can't hear them.
- Choking powder Works wonders on classes who have low fortitude save like rogues and wizards. Just make sure you have fort. saves of 10+ by boosting it with iron guts etc..
- Dispel, do not underestimate dispel. No one can take down an army with just buffs and rampage if the others have dispel on their side. It's great for counter-spelling other casters too. You can rip off so much ab and ac from a melee-class that he becomes very vulnerable. But even so buff yourself since you might run out of dispels against certain players who've hoarded up an enormeous stack of potions and just keep drinking the lost buffs back but it will still weaken them A LOT.
4. Saves: saves are very important, particularly when you get dispelled or is taken with your pants down from assasination. Imagine saving against that 10d6 lightning bolt of dc 19 and only taking half dmg instead of the full 45. Thats almost 25 damage you avoid.
5. Blindfight feat is quite essential for melee as it lowers the evasion of blur from 10% to 1 and 50% from invisibility to 25% followed by other perks. See: NWN Blindfight wiki
6. Remember to change tactics to avoid readiness from your future opponent unless you wish for an epithet-move etc..
7. Everyone panicks. It takes lots of experience in PvP to avoid the trembling and adrenalin or to just have it on a minimum.
You don't have to incorperate ALL the stuff mentioned here, perhaps make it fit your character somehow?
- mage who only use enchantment school to toy his opponents and next time he meet them he uses entirely different spells bypassing the opponent's preparation against the enchantment spells.
- Barbarian who doesn't buff his ac as he sees it weak or he never fights opponents that are strong with his special consumables as he wants to savour the battle.
- Fighter who won't fight a battle unless he has buffed with all buffs, even if not necessary. Making him vulnerable as he does, or giving time to escape.
- Infernalist/heretic who forsakes all divine and so doesn't use any divine potions like aid and divine favor, even barkskin. (In return he may focus more on trinkets doing the dmg for him etc.)
My experience from others are that most people have higher fear of losing pvp than the joy of having fun moments with PvP and intrigue since they've been stomped or are too afraid of losing their pc. Enjoy the ride I'd say. There will be beatings for anyone but you will also give beatings if you improve your PvP.
I didn't make this topic for sport of pvp but to decrease the likeliness of certain players one-manning 10 players making them feel defeated with a bad taste in mouth afterwards. Also it'll be more fun for both parts as the weak won't feel stomped and the experienced have more challenge. PvP is a part of rp and so, should be incorperated into your rp, not to become the sole part of your rp walking around fighting others but if it escalates to brawl, you're prepared having read this. Next is just getting experienced.
To defeat one strong of arm you bring a weapon. To defeat a skilled warrior you bring a group and dispel. To defeat another group you have tactics.
I didn't make this topic for sport of pvp but to decrease the likeliness of certain players one-manning 10 players making them feel defeated with a bad taste in mouth afterwards. Also it'll be more fun for both parts as the weak won't feel stomped and the experienced have more challenge.
Essentially by making more people aware of how to do one-man PvP? I say let the build fiends get their jollies. I like the idea that characters can build their flavor/spell selection based on IC terms rather than OOC ones coming from NWNwiki. The more people adhere to "the most potent way to fight", the larger the gap between that one methodology and all the other ways to play.
That is your opinion H (though I'm sure there are others with a view like yours). I made this for "beginners". Obviously ppl will find out about more if they try pvp and this is just the basics. You mention ppl having their own flavor? Sure they can but it wouldn't hurt knowing this at least. Obviously I tell IC too but it's not like my chars speak with every pc on the server about how to fend off an opponent or assasinate, not to mention the setting for when to address it. Doubt you tell them either.
One-man PvP is when you buff yourself, knowing mechanics? It's a common consensus that ppl who aren't experienced with pvp or refrain from it call the buffers build fiends etc.. and just make "role-play builds" but I'm trying to say here is that you can have a rp-build and even pick your very specific spells/buffs your character use for pvp, this is not a MUST DO guide but a guide with basics and it can be altered.
EDIT: This link sums up a bit of ppl's view on pvp besides my own knowledge from talk on irc and IG with others.
I was addressing the purported goal of the thread, which was to lessen the instances where mechanic-oriented players dominate others in PvP.
In regard to that goal, my opinion is that it's favorable to have IC-defined character mechanics rather than OOC ones. I'm not saying all mechanical consideration is OOC, but that using the dominant players as the measuring stick lends to decrease the variety of builds and mechanics that have any efficacy (the more people stick to win buttons, the less the traditionally "useless" spells see any use if people don't want to get their asses kicked; less flavor unless you're prepared to be vulnerable to most others and lose PvP, which you suggest leaves a bad taste). Hence "let the build fiends have their jollies"; I'd prefer seeing notoriously skilled PvP players retain a distance above the norm, so that the norm remains flexible enough to accommodate less performant builds without dooming them to failure in confrontations.
None of what's suggested in the OP should be secret. I'm just against saying that people who don't enjoy PvP don't enjoy it because they don't know the above. It seems to be taken as a matter of fact that if people strived to be more effective at enacting what is suggested, they would enjoy PvP more (by dying less easily) - again, favoring that handful of "good" playstyles.
A kind of implied contempt encapsulated by:
It's a common consensus that ppl who aren't experienced with pvp or refrain from it call the buffers build fiends etc..
i.e. "They lost so they're whining"?
My personal opinion on it? I don't avoid PvP because I don't know mechanics, I avoid it because what leaves a bitter taste in my mouth is losing to a character that uses every trick methodically; at that point when a memorization of NWNwiki is more at play than any personal uniqueness, the PvP is indeed OOC mechanics.
I once pvped with a poor mechanically build character against three people.
I did not drink a single potion nor used a single spell.
I asked a War Wizard to hide invisible in the room next to me and when necromantic attack started I sat down and watched.
Apart from that from my experience in pvp "wins" the one that is fully prepared, in particular if the other is not.
If both are prepared usually is boring, like the spar amongst two high lvl chars both waiting to roll the 20 to hit.
There are several builds and variety in pvp that can be IC-defined but the things I mention are the basics which can be further altered depending on class, rp and skill-points.
I purposefully mentioned less than half the knowledge in pvp I've gathered so far to have people learn themselves through IG-experience or testing themselves creating their own style as you mention.
For that I'll edit it making it clear that one does not have to include all the aspects mentioned so it's clear the basics are something one can alter into the role-play when in combat against another pc.
According to the poll done by Arkhamwarlock I linked above, many players state they don't like pvp because as you, they lose, and none likes losing unless they're prepared for it or know how to cope with it, particularly when they feel it's ooc. Other reasons state a lack of knowledge on the matter. Strangely enough those who know pvp like it, though they started hating it.
I find it IC to use every power necessary to avoid death when in pvp but it should be done with rp, not for the pvp but as a tool for rp.
The consumables aren't here for ooc'ness but actually to give even weak builds a chance and to have a greater variety in pvp, since there's a lot more approaches to pvp when consumables enter the fray.
One can either take it or leave it.
I myself have had great thrills in pvp-fights or pvp-dialogues almost leading up to pvp-fight. Many of my chars have fallen in pvp or alike and even so when losing I found having fun with my characters as I looked back, even the hours leading up to executions etc. was fun since I did give it a go, had no regrets as I did put up a fight (mostly), tried moving plots, had intrigue in various ways and made allies and foes, (not nessecarily through fights) which all made a fun ride that was different from questing and exploring. That made the game less stale for me at least. I've only once FD'ed another pc as I'd rather have intrigue then grow bored of not having any enemies at the end, though I'm of the mind that FD is a tool for rp too.
NWN -is- a mechanical game and it is what, 8 years old now? That's plenty of time to get at least the basics of it. And H, PvP adds a big element to the game once you get comfortable with it. Most people do not actively seek it out, but once you stop being scared of it, it adds a lot the the game.
And calling it "build fiends get their jollies" shows you do not know much about this part of the game because your "build" is one the the least important things when it comes to mechanical pvp. Most people think it's an automatic loss because someone knows their mechanics.
Honestly, there are tools in the game now that will make three level 1 players take out just about any level 10 out there. Build -is- a factor, but it is definitely one of the least important ones.
It is also not a methodical or any sort of secret that if you do not want to be a victim to hold person, you will wish to protect yourself against it, if you do not want to be cut down quickly, you find a way to avoid the hits or protect yourself against the incoming damage.
Ironically, as in real life, the one who manages to surprise the other, most often "wins".
Broken Gunblade last edited by
I don't think avoiding PvP entirely because people use the "tricks" when every "trick" in the book has a counter or two. Perhaps it's not IC to warrant certain preparations but that is the trade-off you get with these type of games. Besides, DnD has always been 50% mechanics, 50% story-telling. Telling yourself otherwise is kinda silly.
I agree with alot H wrote and understand where he is coming from as im guilty of it.
If your goal is to win pvp then you don't act IC you just use your oc knowledge of the game mechanics to do that,if a character is such a bad ass why do they drink a dozen potions before attacking..it's not because it's ic for them it's because the player knows what he has to do to win, so it is at that point the character stops being a character and is just a toon.
Like i said im guilty of it i know how to win in pvp i just alot of times don't bother as it's boring as hell to quaff potions x,y,z to win and it sure as hell isn't an in character action most of the time no matter how I try and justify it.
In -MY- humble opinion, that would be like a modern day soldier not using a gun because it makes him less badass. Few adventurers, who are used to fighting for their lives, intentionally fight to lose. So they, like soldiers in real life, would use tools at their disposal to win a fight.
Every time a topic like this emerges, someone starts a pointless RP vs. mechanics holy war.
Come on people, let us not bury good advice under pages of flood.
I agree, this guide is pretty good and people should take tips from it instead of turning the direction towards something unintended.
oh I don't mind, H actually had me edit something into the post (one of the last things about incorperating buffing into rp in an ic-ly way). Besides the replies work like advertisement :p
Every time a topic like this emerges, someone starts a pointless RP vs. mechanics holy war.
Where? I have a folder full of builds. I an not against mechanics or knowledge thereof. It's silly to have to repeat that. I'll stop pussyfooting, then: I think it would be preferable for the few who are "good" at PvP to tone it down rather than everyone else be expected to operate within narrow margins of what constitutes good builds. After all it isn't about the win? Or is it?
With everything in this thread having been available information for several years from various other sources, I'm suggesting maybe people who avoid PvP do so because of the way this information is used by some players.
To sum it up:
In -MY- humble opinion, that would be like a modern day soldier not using a gun because it makes him less badass.
I'm saying it would be like a LARP where you are pretending to be lost, but there's that one guy who ignores the suspended disbelief and "knows" where everything is cause he went camping there once.
Few adventurers, who are used to fighting for their lives, intentionally fight to lose. So they, like soldiers in real life, would use tools at their disposal to win a fight.
Your OOC knowledge of mechanics is not your character's: this is sort of endemic of my point.
khammy last edited by
Good advise. But I honestly PvP with whatever consumables/wands/spells I happen to have on-hand. And usually lose. But as long as it makes fun for the victors, I don't complain.
So, a character with, let's say, 12 wis, 14 int (above average in both and borderline genius intelligence), who, because of his profession, is forced to fight for his life on a daily basis should not be expected to know what is well suited to keeping him alive?
" I think it would be preferable for the few who are "good" at PvP to tone it down rather than everyone else be expected to operate within narrow margins of what constitutes good builds. After all it isn't about the win? Or is it?"
I just told you earlier, a BUILD is near the bottom of importance on CoA's mechanical PvP. And "teh win" don't mean shit. However, trying to lose makes it just as cheap as doing EVERYTHING for the win.
As BG said, mechanics are a big part of D&D in general, NWN being no exception. And i think your suggestion of everyone who happens to be decent at it be expected to tone it down instead of others being expected to read this guide, maybe read up on a spell or two to get comfortable at the same things, i find it to encourage …. what's a good word... i think it encourages people being utter wimps. If you want to be a terrifying barbarian with a double bladed axe, you will NEED to be at least half decent at maiming people should someone call your bluff.
If you believe said barbarian can beat you to a puddle with teeth, you can -choose- to fight him or go along with his demands, even if you intend to betray him later. But most people will not do so in my experience, most people will rather take the beating and then complain about mechanical pvp when they could have avoided it all along (yes, by knowing a bit themselves). If you want to be known as a badass swordsman, you actually need to know the basics of swinging that sword and how to be good at it, your char should as well.
Zool last edited by
I'd prefer people start another thread to discuss pvp philosophies, this one seems to be about pure mechanics, and trying to helpfully collate some information if people wish to have it, and has been put in off topic for that reason. Your entitled to like the thread or dislike it, or not care about it, but it'd be great if people stuck to it's purpose.
This is all just my preference though, you can really do what you want I guess.
yup, thought of making one of those many other pvp-philosophy topics already when H started as I saw none might come with real suggestions. How about stickying it?
I state a view as to why the point of the topic is to dismiss anyone's non-enjoyment of PvP as whining; as usual this prompts a pile-on of borderline flaming insults of character instead of even addressing anything, missing the point entirely; hence the re-iteration of the exact same thing in each post. Clearly there isn't room for difference according to some. Stay the course; do what you enjoy and avoid those that enjoy making your playtime a waste of anything you want to do.
Teaching you how you do not need to limit your playing experience is hardly insulting.