Action points

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Action points are what determine how often someone is able to physically attack or defend during combat.

Overview

During combat, each participant has an action point deficit associated with them. Whenever that participant physically attacks or defends, their deficit increases, with the cost depending on various different factors. Action points are replenished - reducing the deficit - at a (usually) constant rate with each round that passes.

Note that unlike all the other 'points' counters, action points levels can not be directly viewed by a player - there is no counter that will show up with 'score' or any other command. The only way to gauge action point levels is via seeing the effects of having overly large or small deficits, as detailed below.

Deficits, surpluses and running out of action points

As action points are used, players acquire offensive and defensive action point defecits, equal to the difference between their current and maximum action point levels.

There are critical deficit thresholds associated with offensive and defensive actions, which are affected purely by the participant's tactics-attitude. The more aggressive attitudes permit the player to reach a higher deficit before Bad Things happen to their offense, but a lower deficit before Bad Things happen to their defence. The more defensive attitudes cause the converse effect.

Critical attacking level effects

  • If a participant has a significantly small deficit in relation to the critical offensive level, then they will make two attacks in a round.
  • If a participant's deficit increases past the critical offensive level, then they will not attack at all that round.

Critical defending level effects

  • Small deficits in relation to the critical defensive level do not confer any direct benefits (though it's always nice to have a surplus...).
  • If a participant's defensive deficit increases beyond the critical defensive level, then that participant does not attempt to defend incoming attacks (the attacks automatically hit).

Note that the deficit level is to a certain extent self-correcting - if a fighter has used up too many action points, then their attack and defense rate will decrease, causing them to use less action points for a while. Conversely, if they have plenty of action points to spare, then they will attack faster, using up action points at a faster rate.

Action point cost and regeneration

Barring effects from special attacks and spellcasting, all participants regenerate action points at the same constant rate. However, the action point cost of attacking and defending is variable based on the following modifiers.

Attacking cost

The following factors affect the cost of attacking:

  • The attacker's bonus in fighting.special.tactics - higher levels reduce the action point cost.
  • Their bonus in the appropriate melee or ranged weapon skill. Again, higher levels reduce the cost.
  • The attack cost is increased in relation to the weight of the attacker's weapon. This penalty is mitigated somewhat if the weapon is held in both hands.
  • The attack cost is reduced if attacking with multiple weapons.

Defending cost

The following factors affect the cost of defending:

  • The defender's bonus in fighting.special.tactics - higher levels reduce the action point cost.
  • Their bonus in the appropriate defence skill. Again, higher levels reduce the cost.
  • Various factors associated with their specific means of defense, ranging from burden to weapon weight. See dodge, parry and block for more details.
  • If the defender defeats the attacker's 'to-hit' skillcheck by a large margin (ie. they 'easily' parry/dodge/block), then the cost of that defence is halved or (in extreme cases) zeroed. Conversely, if they defeat the attacker by a very small margin ('only just manage to...'), then the cost of that defence is doubled.

Spellcasting

While spellcasting, a character regenerates no action points. Note, however, that a player can spellcast no matter how great their action point deficit is.

Other ways to affect one's own action points

In general, performing almost any action will increase one's action point deficit - the more time you spend doing other things, the less time you have to engage in combat. The following are particularly worthy of mention:

  • Performing most forms of special attack will cause a significant increase in action point deficit.
  • Casting spells also significantly increases action point deficit (in addition to not regenerating them).
  • Berserk drastically increases either action point regeneration or the critical deficit levelsresearch.
  • Attacking an opponent will increase your opponent's action points deficit if they try to defend. If they have less action points, they can make fewer attacks. If they are making fewer attacks, you will spend fewer action points on defense. This will let you make more atacks...
    • If you're being attacked by a group of NPCs, you may have a huge action point deficit; this may make it difficult, if not nearly impossible, to fight back.
    • Traveling in a group of players or using minions can cause your opponent to have a high action points deficit.

Ways to affect one's opponent's action points

There are various special commands which specifically act to consume an opponent's action points:

Defending and protecting other players

Defending or protecting others incurs a significant extra action point cost, above and beyond the standard cost of performing a defensive action. This reflects the time taken to leap in front of the person being defend/protected.

  • Protecting incurs a set action point cost, very roughly equivalent to the cost of two attacks with reasonable skills.
  • Defending incurs twice this cost (because it's a lot harder to get in the way and parry than just get in the way and be hit), in addition to the cost involved in parrying the attack.

See also