Adventuring Attribute Points
One of the most important and exciting parts of the game, at least for adventurer characters, is combat. Through combat you gain adventuring experience and treasure. Victory in battle is frequently necessary to complete a quest, and sometimes combat is necessary just to survive to the end of your journey.
Shift+C or I to Consider an enemy
~ (Tilde) toggles auto-attack on or off
Tab cycles through available targets
X allows you to rest (once combat is complete)
F is for Chains
G is for Counter
Y is for Sympathetic
V is for Rescue
Number Keys. The abilities on your Quick Bar are automatically mapped to the number keys (including the - and = keys) across the top of your alphanumeric keyboard. Shift + 1 - 0 will open the corresponding Quick bar banks from among the 10 available.
Know Your Enemy
If possible, before engaging an enemy (or whenever an enemy engages you), it is always a good idea to first determine how strong your attacker is relative to yourself.
First mouse over your potential target to display its name and level. Look for a level near your own — fighting foes too far above you is foolhardy, of course, while foes much weaker than you will offer so little reward that they’re not worth your time. A well-organized adventuring group can successfully take on enemies well above them in level, if the group has the advantage of numbers.
Click on an aggressive or neutral person or creature to target it. When you target an enemy, a display appears on the upper right side of the screen with a wealth of useful tactical information to help you determine whether to attack or break off combat.
The enemy’s name is displayed, and beneath that a bar showing how much damage the opponent has taken relative to its total hit points. There’s also a bar displaying how much Energy the enemy has expended, if the enemy is a spell caster.
A radial display shows where the enemy is relative to the direction you’re facing (useful when engaged from the back, or when attacked by more than one foe), and the range in meters between you and your target. .By far the most important part of the enemy’s display, however, are the six dots arrayed around the top of the radial display. These dots display both the approximate level difference and the Challenge Level of your target. The color of the illuminated dots provides a quick assessment of the level difference between you and your target (The color is based on your level; other characters may see a different dot color for the same enemy if their level differs from yours.)
Grey is significantly lower in level than you, grey NPC’s provide no experience
Green is significantly lower in level to you, however, it still provides a small amount of experience when killed.
Light Blue is moderately below your level.
Blue is slightly below your level
White is equal in level to you.
Yellow is slightly higher in level to you
Red is moderately higher in level to you.
Purple is significantly higher in level to you, while purple monsters do yield experience they are extremely powerful in comparison to your level range.
The challenge level is an accurate assessment of how challenging an encounter will be if you and your target are of equal level. The challenge level is equal to the number of dots displayed.
In general, the dots indicate the following information (although your class and character development will of course have a strong impact on your effectiveness in battle):
Challenge Level 1. These NPC’s provide little opposition to any adventurer. Many classes can handle multiple encounters of this Challenge Level
Challenge Level 2. These NPC’s are intended to be killed by 1 or 2 players. Depending on level difference you may be able to take on multiple opponents, however it will be difficult.
Challenge Level 3. These NPC’s are appropriate for a group of 3 or for a group of 2 with a healer,
Challenge Level 4. These NPC’s are intended for a full group of 6. They may range greatly in strength and difficulty for the group.
Challenge Level 5. These NPC’s are “boss” type encounters that will provide a significant challenge for a full group.
Challenge Level 6. These NPC’s are designed for multiple groups and are much more powerful than Challenge Level 5.
To enter combat, launch an attack against your targeted opponent (or just move into close proximity to an aggressive foe). The most basic way to do this is to click on Auto Attack in your Quick Bar and then close to striking distance. Auto Attack represents your most basic attack, and once engaged you will continue to Auto Attack at a consistent pace as long as your enemy remains in reach.
Your base damage is determined by the weapon you’re using, modified by your stats and level.
You may also initiate a special attack to begin combat. Tactically, it’s often a good idea to begin combat with a ranged attack or spell.
If you’re attacked by an aggressive enemy, your passive defenses (armor, dodge and parry) are always active, but you will have to actively turn to face the opponent to counterattack. For this reason it’s never a good idea to leave the computer unattended while Vanguard is running, unless you’re sure you’re in a safe place.
Be careful about attacking foes in crowds. They can quickly overwhelm you if you get too close to a group of aggressive enemies. Try to confine your attacks to single foes or small, manageable groups.
While dealing out damage, you also must defend yourself. Some of your defenses, like your Parry ability, have a chance to stop an enemy attack from doing any damage whatsoever. Other defenses, notably your armor, reduce the amount of damage a given attack inflicts when it hits you. Lightly armored spell casters can use defensive spells to ward off and mitigate enemy damage.
You always want to wear the best armor you can find or afford in all your armor slots.
Enemy Aggression (“Aggro,” in gamer slang) is that part of the enemy AI which determines when the enemy attacks, and who. Particularly in group combat, channeling aggro towards those adventurers who can withstand the attacks and away from those who can’t is a vital part of battle tactics.
Enemies are not foolish — they might aggro on characters who are using non-damaging but tactically significant abilities like heals, buffs and debuffs.
Be especially cautious of area-effect spells and abilities, which can cause a whole slew of enemies to aggro on a single character en masse.
Taunts. During battle you may want to induce an enemy to turn away from a wounded or poorly defended ally and attack you instead. The most direct way to do this is to attack the enemy, but you can also use Taunts to focus an opponent’s rage on you. A Taunt is a special attack that, if successful, greatly increases the enemy’s aggro towards you. Whether you get Taunt abilities, and when, is determined by your class.
As you go up in level, you will begin to acquire an assortment of powerful special attacks or offensive spells. It is important to learn the best timing for using your abilities — different players will have different combat strategies, and some will work better than others. Relying on Auto Attack when there are other options available is a sure recipe for a short life.
Most special attacks go off immediately when triggered, after which there is a timer before that attack can be triggered again. There will often also be a shorter time after the attack that must elapse before any other spell or ability can be engaged.
Most special attacks drain Endurance (some drain Energy). You cannot use a special attack if the Endurance (or Energy) bar is below the level required for that attack. If your Endurance is completely drained, you will be restricted to Auto Attack until some Endurance is regained.
Your most powerful and efficient special attacks should be placed on your Quick Bar. Remember to replace early spells and special attacks as newer and more effective attacks become available.
When selecting special attacks, remember to look at more than max damage. A moderate-damage attack that can be used several times in quick succession is often more valuable tactically than a massive attack that leaves you drained of energy and can only be used once per battle (the gods help you if it misses). Always try to have an assorted arsenal of special attacks on hand.
Some special attacks may also have unique effects, for example slowing a target, or stunning it so it can’t counterattack for a time.
Heals, Buffs and Debuffs
Attacks aren’t the only kind of combat action.
The only way to heal damage during combat is to use healing spells and items. A well-timed heal frequently defines the margin between victory and defeat.
Buffs are spells or abilities that increase combat effectiveness — for example, giving you a bonus to your attributes, or increasing your speed or defenses. Debuffs are spells or abilities that decrease your enemies’ combat effectiveness — weakening them, slowing them down or rooting them in one place. Some Debuffs can occur as secondary effects of damaging special attacks.
In solo combat, the effective use of self-heals, self-buffs and debuffs can often be crucial, but healing and buffing become more important by an order of magnitude in group combat, where specialized characters can concentrate on healing, buffing and debuffing while other members of the group focus on dealing damage. Remember that your opponents may also be using their special abilities to heal and buff themselves, and to try to debuff you and your allies.
A ranged attack is often the most practical way to engage an enemy in combat. Not only does this allow you to damage the enemy before it can damage you, it also often provides a way to “pull” the target away from its aggressive friends and into a position where you have a tactical advantage.
Ranged attacks function similarly to melee combat, upon activating the ability your character will shoot a projectile at your offensive target. Ranged attacks require ammunition (such as arrows or throwing knives) this ammunition can be found on most general merchants or while adventuring.
Once the target is shot at, it will close as rapidly as possible to counterattack. This will usually mean that after one or two ranged shots you’ll want to switch to quicker melee attacks, but if the target also relies on ranged combat, it’s possible that the two of you can volley attacks back and forth for some time.
Offensive spells are, overall, the most devastating attacks in the game, but they require thought, practice and preparation to use effectively. Spells drain energy when cast, and managing your energy consumption so that you don’t completely run out at the most fatal moment is a large part of the spell caster’s art.
Spell casting is slow compared to physical attacks. Spells have various cast times, ranging from instantaneous to 6 or 7 seconds. Longer casting times are dangerous, because a spell in preparation may be interrupted by a successful attack against the caster, preventing him from getting the spell off. Furthermore, dedicated spell casters must remain lightly armed and armored, making them practically defenseless without their spells. Solo spell casters are playing a very dangerous game, and should limit themselves to targets they can usually take down in one or two shots — because that’s often all they get.
Some spells affect their target in multiple ways — for example, damaging the target, rooting it in place, and stunning it with a single hit. There are also area-of-effect spells that affect all enemies within a specified area.
Some melee weapons, like spears and large swords, require both hands to wield. Most, however, are single-hand weapons, leaving your off-hand free to carry something else.
Many fighter types carry a shield to increase their defenses. Some offensive fighters, with the Duel Wield skill, can carry a secondary weapon in their off hand, to increase their damage output. Casters can often carry a dagger or other small melee weapon in one hand, with a wand or other magical item in the other.
A character has space to carry one primary weapon, one ranged weapon, and perhaps a shield or secondary weapon if the primary does not require both hands.
You can change freely between your ranged and melee weapons as the enemy closes in range. It requires no time to put away your ranged weapon and begin melee attacks.
If you actually want to change from one ranged or hand weapon to a different one, the best way to quickly do so is to create a hotkey for the weapons you want to switch between (drag a weapon from your Inventory or weapon slot to the hotkey bar at the bottom of your screen to create a hotkey to use or equip that weapon). Otherwise, you will need to drag your new weapon out of your Inventory and onto your weapon slot. This can be a time-consuming process that is best performed between combats, rather than during.
Chained and Responsive Attacks
A unique and challenging aspect of combat in Vanguard is that certain attacks and abilities can only be used to full effect in very specific circumstances. Others are specifically designed to counter and interrupt an enemy’s spells or attack chains.
You don’t have to guess or memorize which attacks apply in which situation, however. The game provides up to four buttons at the lower center of your screen that show you exactly when a special attack can be used as part of a chain (most attacks that are part of a chain can be used by themselves as well, but some can only be used in a chain). The button will light up when the interface detects a good time to start a chain. When you begin a chain, the button will change to the next step in the chain, guiding you through Chained Attacks, Counters, Rescue Actions and Sympathetic Actions.
Of course, foes with the proper abilities can disrupt your chains and spells just like you can disrupt theirs. Chained Attacks. Chained Attacks are programmed sequences of specific attacks that, when performed sequentially in the correct order, can have a devastating cumulative effect. When you initiate the first attack in a chained sequence, the Chained Attack button changes to the next attack in the sequence. There is a red bar next to the attack icon in the window … you must get the attack off before the bar goes down in order to keep the chain going. You can trigger the next attack in a chain by clicking on the attack either in the Chained Attack window or on the Quick Bar. Counters. There are two kinds of attack that are controlled by the Counters window. Counter attacks are attacks which can only be performed after you successfully block, dodge or parry an enemy attack. Counterspells apply only to magical combat, and can neutralize an enemy spell or even turn it back against its caster.
Rescue Actions. Rescues are abilities that hit the attacker of your defensive target. If your defensive target were being attacked by a giant spider and you executed a rescue, the rescue would hit the spider. You wouldn’t have to have the spider targeted to make this work, and performing the rescue does not change your offensive target. Rescues generally force the NPC to target your for a time, so they are perfect for saving the life of a weaker ally without having to swap targets.
Sympathetic Actions. Sympathetic effects can be created when characters use special abilities in combination with each other. The effects of these combinations are generally quite powerful.
If you are the first or only player or party to attack an enemy, you have tagged that enemy. When that enemy falls, its experience and loot from that enemy will go to you, even if other come along and help you kill it. Of course, if you flee or otherwise break off your attack, you will lose your tag also.
Often, there will be several ungrouped characters hunting in the same general area. If another player (who is not part of your group) is winning a fight, or at least holding his own, it’s generally considered rude to attack his target. Furthermore, such behavior gets you nothing, since the monster has already been tagged by the first player.
On the other hand, if the character is obviously about to take a fall, or is being ganged up on by numerous
strong foes, it’s usually OK to step in and lend a hand. Of course, if a character runs from the combat or calls for help, that’s a pretty strong clue that it’s OK for you to take over his combat.
Knowing the difference between a welcome rescue and an unwanted intrusion is a call that will become easier to make as your skill in the game increases.
It’s usually fine to heal or buff a stranger in the wilderness between combats. In fact, this is often a good way to make new friends.
When you reduce your enemy to 0 hit points, it dies. When an enemy falls before your attacks, you will immediately be credited with an adventuring experience reward for your victory. The corpse will emit a glowing particle effect to let you know if it has loot. Double-click on your victim’s corpse to open a window showing what it was carrying. You can transfer this loot to your Inventory, either by clicking on each item you want individually, or by clicking on the Take All button to grab everything.
Loot rights are assigned to the player or group that received “kill credit” for the mob. When an enemy is killed by multiple combatants who are not all grouped together, the kill credit goes to the group or player that tagged the foe first.
Within a group, there are various group looting modes that can be chosen by the group leader. These are described in detail under Grouping.
You can loot the bodies of fallen enemies and dress hunted creatures for their fur, meat or other useful bits.
The corpse will emit a glowing particle effect to let you know if it has loot. Double-click on your victim’s corpse to open a window showing what it was carrying. You can transfer this loot to your Inventory, either by clicking on each item you want individually, or by clicking on the Take All button to grab everything. Loot rights are assigned to the player or group that received “kill credit” for the mob. When an enemy is killed by multiple combatants who are not all grouped together, the kill credit goes to the group or player that tagged the foe first. Within a group, there are various group looting modes that can be chosen by the group leader. These are described in detail under Grouping
The group leader can select one of several options for dividing up loot from fallen enemies among the group. Free For All. Basically no looting priority at all — whoever is fastest to the corpse gets the loot.
Master Looter. One person is in charge of removing items from the corpse. However, this character may click a button to allow anyone in the group to pick up items from the corpse (particularly in the case of no-drop items).
Round Robin. The group specifies a rarity threshold. The right to any items above that threshold rotates through the group, one character at a time. Any items below that threshold are Free For All.
Random for Magical. Rare items are awarded randomly (but characters who meet the item’s race and class requirements have priority). After an opponent dies, any group member may open the corpse — items below the specified threshold are Free For All. If there are rare items, one of the group must press the “Start Item Rolling” button to begin the process. You must specify that you want to be considered press the “Need” button for a chance at items for which you qualify; press the “Greed” button for a chance at items for which no one presses “Need.” If you don’t want it, press “Pass.” Please make your choice quickly, so it doesn’t hold up the distribution process.
Once everyone has pressed one of the three buttons for the current item, the game makes a percentage roll for each character involved — the highest roll wins, but Need overrides Greed. Items awarded this way go directly into the winner’s Inventory.
Share Loot Rights. This is a button available to the Master Looter or the current Round Robin looter. Pressing it allows others in your group to take loot.
Source: Vanguard User Manual.pdf found in the install directory.
Healing and Death
An adventurer has to be able to take it as well as dish it out. This section describes the process of taking damage and recovering from it, and what happens when you’re killed.
You have a certain number of hit points, derived from your class and level, and modified by your Constitution. When all your hit points are exhausted, you die. You can lose hit points from combat, and from natural hazards like falls and drowning. The red bar under your name in the upper left corner of the screen measures your current hit points relative to your current max health. The shorter the bar, the closer you are to death.
Endurance and Energy
Endurance and Energy are the measure of your ability to sustain exhausting activity. Endurance is based on Vitality and measures your ability to perform physical actions like special attacks, while Energy is based on Wisdom and measures your capacity to perform mental and spiritual exertions, like spells. Whenever you execute a special attack, spell or action with an Endurance or Energy cost, that much Endurance or Energy is deducted from your current total. Bars measuring your current levels of Endurance or Energy are beneath your hit point bar in the upper right corner of your screen. The Endurance bar is green, and the Energy bar is blue. You cannot perform an action if your current pool of Endurance or Energy is less than that action’s cost.
Whenever you lose Hit Points, Endurance or Energy, they start to regenerate.
Hit points regeneration is rather slow, at least compared to the rate at which you’ll probably take damage in combat. If your hit points are very depleted, it can take several minutes to fully recover. Energy also regenerates rather slowly, while Endurance returns much faster, but can be very quickly depleted as well. Both can be depleted much faster than they regenerate, and Energy and Endurance conservation are a major part of a successful strategy for survival.
Spells and magic items can be used when instantaneous healing or healing during combat is needed.
Food. You can give your natural recovery rates a small but significant boost by eating while you’re recovering.
Resting. When not in combat, you can accelerate your natural regeneration rates by using the Rest ability
(this ability is placed on the Quick Bar of every new character by default).
While resting, you cannot move, look around or physically interact with any other object. You can talk to your companions and make adjustments to your Equipment and Inventory.
To stop resting, just press the forward arrow key to move forward. You will also automatically drop out of rest if you’re attacked.
When your Hit Points are totally exhausted, you die. However in Vanguard, death is only a temporary setback — though there is a cost.
Note: These rules are subject to change on alternate ruleset servers
Altars & Resurrection
When you’re killed, you have two choices. First, you can lie there and wait for an ally or passing player character to use a resurrection spell on you. This is the best option if such a healer is at hand. You will be raised near the spot where you were killed (watch out for hostile creatures that might try to ambush you while still weak from resurrection) and you won’t have to worry about recovering your body.
If there’s nobody around to raise you from the dead, you can click on Release Your Body and raise yourself at the nearest altar. This option drains more Experience than second-party resurrection, but you can mitigate some of this experience loss by recovering your body (see below).
If you lie dead for 10 minutes without being raised, your body will automatically release to the nearest altar. New Characters. Note that new characters (Levels 1-10) do not suffer experience penalties from death, nor do they leave behind bodies when they release to an altar. As soon as you reach Level 11 you will start to suffer body loss and experience penalties.
Body & Equipment Recovery
If you release your body to resurrect at an altar, you leave your body behind in the place you died. Your body is marked with a tombstone, and you automatically have its location recorded in your Quest Journal.
If you return to the place of your death and recover your body (double-click or right-click on your tombstone) you will regain some lost Experience.
It takes a few uninterrupted seconds to recover a body in the wild, so make sure the area is secure before you double-click on your tombstone.
There is no limit to the number of tombstones that you have, but tombstones will disappear after a while (two hours). If you lost any equipment at a tombstone that has disappeared, you can buy it back at any altar, for a percentage of its original value.
Altar Recovery. As an alternative to visiting your gravesite to retrieve your belongings, you may also have your remains summoned to you at an altar. The gods do demand a high price for this service, so don’t expect this option to be easy on your pocketbook.
Soulbinding. Most equipment in the game is “Bindable”. This means is that you may use a Binding Crystal (obtainable at General Goods Merchants throughout Telon) on an item, which will cause it to become Soulbound. Soulbound items may not be traded to other players, but when you die and appear at an altar, your soulbound items will still be with you rather than at the site of your death.
Experience Penalties & Debt
When you die, you lose some of the Adventuring experience you have accrued. This is true whether you are raised on site or release to an altar. Recovering your body can reduce this penalty, but won’t eliminate it. You can’t lose an earned level due to experience penalties, but if you forfeit all the experience you’ve earned in your current level, you will start to go into experience debt. This debt will have to be worked off with new earned experience before you can resume progress towards the next level. Currently you respawn without equipment. All of your equipment that is either soulbound (magically linked to you) or in your saddlebags will still be with you. You have the option of paying an additional penalty at the altar to retrieve your belongings back, or re-equipping (with gear in your saddlebags, or wherever else you can get it) and doing a corpse recovery. Recovering your corpse will always be the better choice, if you have the time and resources to get back to where you died. Paying the penalty and regaining your equipment at the altar forfeits the opportunity to get experience back by recovering your corpse.
In-Game Combat Commands / Macros
Source: Vanguard Manual.doc