Knowing Your Role

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Know Your Role

Today we are talking about maximizing your effectiveness by knowing your role. Based upon how you want to play, there are certain inalienable truths that are applied to your Hero. These truths span all game systems – paper and computers, and cross all genres from fantasy to steam punk to high technology. Games designed upon the concept of the “Holy Trinity” roles–the Tank/Healer/Damage Dealer–are widespread and popular. In Unchained Heroes, these roles are matched by the Champion, Sentinel, and Vanguards respectively, so I will discuss game-play theory here. These theories are broad and can be applied to games other than Unchained Heroes as well.

Don’t Get Killed

The number one guideline to remember is: “Don’t get killed, a dead Hero deals no damage.” (or does anything for that matter). Heroes are removed from the fight by taking too much damage. In Unchained Heroes, damage can be the damage to Health or to the Trauma Chart. It’s not good to suffer too much of either! If you are a Champion, take this section to heart. This is the most important aspect of your role, since you most often control the battle more than anyone else. Preventing yourself from taking damage leads us to some obvious conclusions: reduce the amount of damage you take and increase the overall amount of damage you are capable of handling. This is performed in a few ways:

  • Damage Avoidance
  • Damage Mitigation
  • Increasing Maximum Health
  • Increasing Effective Health

Damage Avoidance is avoiding getting hit. You will need to identify the statistics involved with your game that calculate “Chance to Hit,” then increase the those Statistics that will make it harder for you to be hit. They are often called Defense, Parry, Dodge, Block, Spell Resistance, Resist, Willpower, and other defensive related words.

Damage Mitigation is the process of reducing the impact of the action against you. You will inevitably take damage, so you make the amount you take as small as possible. Damage Mitigation can come in the form of nullifying damage, subtracting damage, and similar effects that would reduce the damage you take. In Unchained Heroes, damage mitigation comes from Resilience and Damage Reduction. Damage Reduction is rare, but Resilience is common.

Increasing Health is the idea is that if you have a large health pool you will be able to weather the hits against you over a longer period of time. Things like Health, Hit Points, Temporary Health, Trauma, and similar stats are often used for this. Increasing them will allow you to take more hits (and bigger hits) so you can live to see another day.

Increasing Effective Health is your ability to use other resources available to you to increase your longevity. They usually require the use of a resource pool other than health such as energy, magical items, your personal fortune, and similar things. Increasing Effective Health is done by by forcing the opponent to miss you, perform a glancing hit, or redirecting the attack. They can also be things like potions, medicines, and healing abilities that require resources. Your 5 potions in your bag that heal for 100 health each are equal to 500 Effective Health. Your energy pool that allows you to use your Self-heal 10 times with an average of 77 healing per use is equal to 770 Effective Health. If you are forcing your opponent to miss you 5 times and they could have hit you for 90 damage each time, you just gained 450 Effective Health.

Maximize Damage

Damage reduces the primary statistic used to determine whether a Hero is alive or dead, Health. A dead anything deals no damage. If you finish off your foe before they finish off you, you win, no matter what your own health may be. Learning how to deal damage effectively is an important aspect of every RPG. Some people may think they need to maximize the damage statistics and they are partially right, but there is more to the equation than bonus damage statistics. You could deal 1,000,000 damage per hit, but if you only hit once every now and again, it is not going to do you much good (or be very fun.) As a Vanguard, this is your role. You need to know how to Maximize Damage, so pay close attention to this section.

Being an effective damage dealer is a delicate balancing act involving all of these factors:

  • Chance to Hit
  • Damage Dealt
  • Number/Frequency of Attacks

“You can’t kill what you can’t hit.” This saying is a round about way of reminding you to maximize your Chance to Hit. Following this rule is the first step on your path to being the best damage dealer in your group. Search for every means available to you to approach 100% Chance to Hit. The Chance to Hit statistic is often called Hit Chance, Attack, To Hit, Spell Hit, Power, and similar sounding stats. At a certain point, you will have attained enough “hit” to strike your target at every opportunity. When this occurs, you can stop increasing this stat and it is time to start thinking about Damage Dealt.

Now that we are hitting our targets close to 100% of the time, it is now time to make sure that every hit we perform really counts. Maximizing Damage Dealt involves statistics often named: Attack Power, Spell Potency, Spell Damage, Damage, Physical Damage, or Spell Potency. It may be divided into physical damage from weapons and magical damage from spells, so make sure you increase the type of damage that best suits your Hero Class. As you increase your Damage Dealing statistic, when you hit, you will maximize your potential damage done.

When you have figured out how to make sure every attack hits and reached the maximum allowed bonuses to damage, the only way you can further increase your damage is by increasing the frequency of your attacks. In real-time games you should find ways to make your attacks faster, in turn-based games you should find ways to give you more attacks per turn. Either way the result is the same; you get more attacks and thereby deal more damage.

Maximize Healing

Maximizing your Ability to heal your Allies is much like maximizing your damage, so apply many of those concepts to healing and you will be off to a good start. There are a few more details that are involved. As a Sentinel, this section will teach you important concepts for your role in combat that will make you a better player.

  • Minimize Over-healing
  • Setup your Heals
  • Conserve Energy
  • Triage

The first aspect to remember about Healing is to Minimize Over-healing. Over-healing occurs when your heal restores more Health than is required to get your target to maximum Health. If, for example, your Ally had 80 out of 100 Health and you used a heal that averages 50 Health, you would have Over-healed him by 30 Health. This is inefficient and a waste. It is much wiser to use a spell that costs less energy that may heal for less.

The next way to maximize your healing is to Setup your Heals for maximum efficiency. This can be done by getting a feel for how much damage the Foe will be doing and then factoring in that damage into the amount you need to heal your Ally. If you time your heal for just after your Foe does their attack, you will have setup your heal to utilize its maximum efficiency. For example: say your Ally had 80 out of 100 Health. You could use a 20 Health healing spell to restore them to full Health, but if your Foe is going to hit them for 30 very soon, it would be better to use a 50 Health heal on them that lands just afterwards. In that scenario, your Ally would be down to 50 Health out of 100 Maximum Health for only a short period of time before she was healed for 50 and back to Maximum Health.

Over-healing wastes your Energy and healing needlessly does so as well. Without Energy, you can’t use your spells, so Conserving Energy is very important–not only to keep your Allies alive, but also to allow you to perform other Abilities in combat. Conserving Energy stretches your resource pool and allows you to live to fight another day. Don’t keep using the fast heals that cost a lot of Energy when you could be using one or two slower–but very big heals–that restore a lot of Health. Knowing what to do in each situation will take some balancing at first, but as you get used to your tools available, it will come more naturally to you.

Triage means you heal those in the worst condition first. The Ally at Death’s Door needs a heal much more than the Ally that is in no immediate danger. Triage in Role-Playing games can also be based on the needs of the group. When two players may be about to die, such as a Vanguard and a Champion, you will need to determine which one of the two needs to live so that the battle can be won. The Vanguard may need to live because they are the only one that can get through the Foe’s defenses, but the Champion may need to stay alive because they are the only one that can take the hits of the monster attacking you. The choice is yours and it is important to make the right one!

Conclusions

These are just guidelines and may not be true in all cases, but they should help you get a much better understanding of game systems and how to attain a win condition over your opponent. Remember, don’t get killed, maximize your damage, and maximize your healing. Those three aspects will fit your class role to varying degrees. A Champion will do the best job at “Don’t Get Killed”. A Vanguard will do the best at “Maximize Damage.” A Sentinel will do the best job at “Maximize Healing.” There is quite a bit of crossover for each role, so you should also be mindful of the other tips, even if they are not what your class is best at performing.

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