Medievia Mudslinger
August 10, 1999

A Few Words of Advice (mainly) to Warriors & Thieves-By Amaziah

Here are a few words of advice for you warriors and thieves out there.


It seems to me that melee players (current class warriors or thieves) are more concerned with getting their damroll up and seeing verbs like Annihilate, Horribly Maim and Visciously Rend when they hit things than with actually doing a lot of damage every round. They're the same thing, you say. Well, yes. Sort of. There's not much point in Visciusly Rending every single time you hit if you only hit once every 5 rounds. If your hitroll is below 45 (absolute minimum) then you should forget about that massive damroll you have and concentrate on actually being able to hit things.

Choosing Weapons

What is the best weapon to use? One's answer would probably be: "the one that does the most damage". This I agree with. What I find surprising is the number of people that don't actually bother to check how much damage a weapon will do. There are two ways to calculate weapon damage, a right way which will tell you how much damage you will do in the long run, and a wrong way which will tell you the maximum damage of a weapon. Average damage is very different from maximum damage. Average damage is NOT half of the maximum damage. For example, you have in your possession a 2d14 and a 8d3 weapon. Both of these weapons are identical except for their damage dice. Which should you use? The 2d14 has a maximum damage of 28 (2 * 14) whereas the 8d3 has a maximum damage of 24 (8 * 3). So you choose the 2d14 because it can do more damage. That's the wrong thing to do. You should choose a weapon based on average damgage, not maximum damage. The 2d14 weapon will AVERAGE 15 (not 14) damage and the 8d3 will AVERAGE 16 (not 12) damage. A weapon that seems to do 4 more damage actually does 1 less. Why is this you ask? It's basically because you can't roll a 0. I'm not going to go into all the mathematics for it (if you know basic statistics you should be able to work it out for yourself) because it could take a while to explain fully. I'll just say that the average damage an xdy weapon will do is x*(y+1)/2. If you really don't believe that I'm correct then consider this: a 1d100 has the same maximum damage as a 100d1. Think about which one you'd rather be wielding.


People don't seem to realize how incredibly good offhand really is. Yes, all the Heroes out there won't be able to triple maim if they use an offhand weapon as opposed to a shield or a two-handed weapon but they will do more damage. The higher your damroll is they greater the advantage of offhand weapons are. For example, let's suppose you have a damroll of 55 and have a choice between a two-handed sword that averages 60 damage per hit and two daggers, each which average 20 damage per hit. The 60 seems like more damage, and it would be if you have a damroll of 0. Each hit with the two-handed sword will average 115 damage (Horribly Maim) and each hit with the daggers will average 75 damage (Mangle). Still more damage per combat round? No. You get up to 3 attacks per round with the two-handed sword which will inflict an average of 345 damage but you get 5 attacks with an offhand weapon (3 with primary weapon and 2 with offhand weapon) which will inflict an average of 375 damage. Almost a 10% increase in damage with weapons you can pick up for 1/100th the cost of a good two-handed sword. This difference is even greater if you're a current-class warrior as you can wield a good one-handed sword as your primary weapon bringing average damage in this example over 400.

There's another advantage to offhanding weapons that I especially like. I offhand a -4ss dagger. It drops my average damage per round slightly but my increased resistance to spells more than makes up for it. Offhanding a weapon with +dex is also very useful as you can wear -dex eq that increases your damroll and still have 18 dex. Since your offhand weapon only gets up to 2 attacks per round the decrease in the damage you do is not that much. Backstabs will do slightly less damage but this will be counteracted by the hits you make with your offhand weapon during the three combat rounds of lag after the backstab. The only time that using an offhand weapon is possibly not really a good thing is when fighting other backstabbing players and not many melee rounds are actually fought because both of you are fleeing/backstabbing all the time.

All of the figures that I've given above are dependant on hitting with every attack and getting all possible attacks. This is not usually what happens but that doesn't make a difference to which weapon is better. You are equally likely to miss whether you offhand of not (assuming you have the same hitroll with each weapon) and as such my argument does not change except to say that actual average damage is less than the scenario that I gave above.

There are many creative way to increase your damage just remember one thing: you are trying to increase your average damage, not your maximum.

With the new changes to ticking and the introduction of vitality, a little known and even less frequently used skill has become slightly more useful. Meditate. Any player that has heal will probably start ignoring me now but there is a use for it. Meditate requires that you be resting and alone in the room before you can use it. It also has a fairly long wait state after using it. This proved to be very annoying whenever I tried to use it as I didn't have a tick timer and whenever I used it I almost inevitibly missed the tick as I couldn't sleep in time. Now that we rest when we want to tick, that disadvantage has gone. Instead of just sitting there and doing nothing while waiting to tick up, meditate if you're solo. 100 extra hp can never go astray, especially just after you've fled from a mobile. Yes, your movement will decrease slightly but look at it this way: a refresh costs you 10 mana (mass refresh in a form of 3 or less) and increase your vitality a little bit whereas a heal will drain you of 50 mana.

Speaking of vitality, I think it is a very good thing to make sure that your vitality stays up. I'd give 75% as a lower limit. As it decreases, you slowly become worse and worse, hitting less and failing more spells. If you don't keep your vitality up or you forget about it, you are at a disadvantage. I shall give an example of my own. On 27% vitality (It had only just been introduced and I had forgotten about it) I failed 7 of 9 heals. That sort of spellcasting rate cannot be sustain and I died soon afterwards. So what should you do when your vitality is a bit low? There are two options: 1) sleep 2) refresh. Refresh doesn't increase your vitality at a very fast rate (each refresh will increase vitality by 0.5%) but then again, neither does sleeping. If you are in a form, it is much easier to get your vitality back up. All non-spellcasters (which usually means all single class warriors and thieves) should sleep and everyone else cast mass refresh many times. When you have 3 or 4 players all spamming mass refresh until they run out of mana, vitality increases quite quickly. The sleeping players won't slow down the form for the full 3 minutes required before they can wake up, any player, just as before, can wake another player thereby rendering the 3 minutes required viod if in form.

Another skill that I think is underused (although not as much as meditate) is trap. Any sort of mage/thief multi has two choices when they want to keep a mobile out of the room they're in. Shield Room or trap. Shield Room is, in my opinion overused compared to trap. Shield Room cost 75 mana, so if you're fighting a mob, you must have at least 75 mana before you flee and you hope that you don't fail the spell. Trapping on the other hand is much easier. By storing traps in their inventory, the player can flee quite safely with very little mana. It is true that mobs can aviod the traps when they enter the room but with 3 traps in there, that occurs very infrequently. This technique is especially useful when fighting aggresive mobs that can detect invisibility, or to slow down the annoying wilderness mobs when on a trade run.

A word of warning about traps: some mobs cannot be trapped and the above technique will not be very useful in the event that one of them enters the room.

And if you still don't believe that 5 mangles does more than 3 horribly maims then here is a damage table to try and convince you otherwise:

Damage Verb shown in Combat
1-2 Barely Touch
3 Scratch
4 Bruise
5 Hit
6-7 Injure
8-9 Wound
10-11 Draw Blood From
12-14 Smite
15-20 Massacre
21-25 Decimate
26-30 Devastate
31-40 Maim
41-50 Mutilate
51-60 Pulverise
61-70 Demolish
71-80 Mangle
81-90 Obliterate
91-100 Annihilate
101-130 Horribly Maim
131+ Visciously Rend

And these 4 others usually appear near the end of the fight:

The percentages refer to the current hp of the target, not the total.