April 9, 2000
The player killing in Xezadha is more balanced than other zones because everyone is a single. For the most part, everyone in the zone is on an even footing depending slightly on level. A thief's backstab, should the thief connect, is the most destructive attack a player can expect, but other classes have ways to stop that at least for a couple of minutes. The zone is a wonderful opportunity for inexperienced player killers to practice up, and I'm aiming this toward new players who will get their first taste of player killing in Xezadha. Many of the principles of player killing as a single under level 20 will apply to higher levels, but new players should take advantage of the opportunity to practice player killing without a hero hanging around to pick them off.
As a newbie player killing zone, players entering the zone should expect to be involved in a player killing attempt, especially when they see the likes of some eternal newbies, and they should be prepared to fight back. Characters like these don't care whether they cherry pick a PK or have to fight to get it. They'll try anyone, and just about anyone entering the zone will be attacked.
This should all go without saying, but it happens more than it should. It's a player killing zone. It's your chance to learn how to player kill. It's your chance to learn how to survive before facing higher level opponents in other zones.
Do call in bigger clannies if player killers are bloodhunting you. When hero friends of newbie characters come into the area to bloodhunt these predators, it's funny. It also makes them remember and target you later. It's even funnier when one of the level 20 characters can ice the cavalry.
Avoid using track in Xezadha. It slows thieves down way too much and is an excellent way to get dead.
Thieves must have high hitroll and damroll in addition to a good backstabber, like the tramix wakazashi, available in Xezadha, or the flaming short sword, available on auction or visiting Bloodstone, which is probably not a good idea for players under level 20. Moshata fur and black iron are good low-level equipment for thieves.
Armor class and hit points are secondary to the hitroll damroll for a thief. A thief is unlikely to reach enough hitpoints or armor class to survive a backstab without sacrificing his own ability to ice his quarry with his backstab. The best defense in the case of a thief is an offense that ensures his opponent is dead.
On offense, a thief's best weapon is his sneak and backstab. When facing any class, it's the best way to start a fight. Chances are, the thief will ice his quarry on the backstab, depending on characters being of similar level. Thieves should keep moving to avoid being detected as their targets move around in the cathedral.
Wait and watch with a cleric. When your target's sanctuary drops, backstab him. Of all the classes in Xezadha, clerics are among the toughest to kill outright when they're prepared. Their sanctuary, which cuts damage by half, can save them on a backstab. They likely will blind, which will take you out of any action for a half dozen ticks. To avoid being blinded, wear negative save spell equipment, such as the crimson belts from the wizards in the zone, when targeting clerics. Starting a fight with a sanced cleric will most likely require a flee and another backstab to finish the cleric. At the same time, the cleric has three rounds to respond with such delightful spells as harm.
Wizards die easily to a thief backstab, but their fireshields hurt a lot. You will kill yourself on the fireshield if you do more than double your own hitpoints in damage on the backstab. When a wizard gets mana shield, it gets tougher combined with fireshield. Wait for one to drop or try it just for fun or if you're in a giving mood.
Warriors don't always die quickly, especially if they're well equipped. They can pack a punch during backstab lag, and they've got hitpoints and armor class. They have no spells, so if a backstab fails to eliminate the warrior, flee and sneak back for another backstab. Don't worry too much about hit points. If you have time to heal, so does your quarry. If your opponent is hurt, a second backstab should finish him.
Against another well-equipped thief, chances are the first one to land a double backstab will win. The most important thing to do is keep moving, ready to backstab you opponent upon entering a room.
On the run, thieves have it made. They can hide better than the rest of the classes. Thieves go on the run most likely because they're blind and must tick it off. Even blind, thieves should remember to sneak, then kick back in a pew or even in the wilderness or the altar if not bloody. If still being hassled by a player killer, just flee and move away. Continue waiting out the blindness. When dealing with other thieves, hiding out in a pew doesn't work as well.
When fleeing an attack, it doesn't hurt to double back on the attacker, who likely will attempt to follow, then slip away in another direction.
A word of caution, sneak doesn't work below the first floor, but many of the rooms share the same name, making the lower levels work like a limited form of sneak for everyone.
Against mages and clerics, warriors should use the bash command to prevent spellcasting. The same saving spell equipment mentioned earlier will help prevent blindness, as well as protecting against other spells. Should the spellcaster flee, stay on him. If you lose the spellcaster, follow him and stay on him. Use the "where" command if necessary.
Against thieves, it is even more important to keep moving and stay on them when they flee. If a thief escapes, it's that much harder to track him down. Take advantage of the thief's backstab lag if you're hit by one. You've got three rounds to damage him as much as possible. Make sure you're not in lag from kicking when the thief's lag runs down and follow the thief. The warrior' s best approach is a constant aggressive attack against the thief. If you have the armor class, it's probably worth taking the backstab from a thief. The thief will try again. Every time the thief attacks, that's more opportunity for dealing out massive melee damage during backstab lag.
Against another warrior, a player killing attempt is most likely a slug it out to the death without all the fleeing, sneaking and healing. If you're losing to your opponent, it's okay to flee and heal with potions, but that should be done quickly before heading straight back to your opponent.
A warrior should keep healing potions (greens and golden seals) handy to help them heal quickly. On the defensive, the warrior doesn't have the luxury of hiding out unless he's not bloody. Keep moving or the attacker will catch up. On the run, the warrior should quaff potions to heal before turning about to face his attacker.
The mage's best friends are fireshield then manashield at level 19. Unfortunately, thieves can ice a mage through fireshield. Against thieves, mages should try to get the drop on them, looking within the room often and be ready to engage the thief before the thief can backstab. Once that's happened, stay on the thief. If you don't allow the thief to land a backstab, there's a good chance of winning. Against a thief, don't quit moving. Use potions to heal on the run.
Never let manashield or fireshield drop while in Xezadah. If resting, put them up before resting. Recharge the fireshield when done resting. Cast it again in three ticks. While manashield and fireshield are up, your opponent is hurting only himself, and you can make a quick offensive that should win the player kill. Colour Spray does nice damage and may blind your opponent.
Stay on them is the story for other classes too. Don't give a cleric a chance to cause damage, flee then heal up at all. Don't give a warrior a chance to get away and drink healing potions.
A cleric should get his hit points and mana up. Armor class is not really important. A cleric isn't likely to get it low enough to be effective and should rely on sanctuary and heal to stay in the game.
At all times, sanctuary should be cast. If resting, cast it before and after. Just never let it drop. As soon as you're attacked or to start an attack, you might blind your opponent. He's out of the game if it works. You can harass and attack the opponent at your leisure. Blinding is not required to win the player killing contest, but it can help. A cleric who keeps the harm spells flying can cause massive amounts of damage, especially when he can get off one or two, sometimes three, each round of combat.
The only trouble there is with mages, with their high save, and thieves, who will flee, sneak and hide. It may not be worth blinding a thief because a player killing thief is all hitroll and damroll, not hitpoints. With a couple of harm spells, the thief is dead or wounded badly and on the run.
The sanctuary protects against thief backstabs, which can go through just about anything else. The backstab can finish a cleric through sanctuary too, if the cleric has low hit points, so it doesn't hurt to cast a quick heal while the thief is in backstab lag. If hit points are high enough, the cleric can avoid that fate with sanctuary.
Warriors and mages are easy targets for clerics. They have no way to heal. Against warriors, clerics should blind. The warrior has a lousy save against spells and will become easy prey following him or using the "where" command to track him.
Without the ability to heal and sanctuary themselves and with their low hitpoints, nailing mages with a few harm spells will eliminate manashields, leaving them unable to cast and nearly dead.
Of course, the less bloodthirsty can blind a player killer then ignore him while he ticks off the blindness, providing a brief opportunity to gain experience instead.
The cleric should heal on the fly as much as possible rather than sitting around waiting for a backstab. Casting quick on yourself will help you catch or escape your opponent.