Advanced Combat Tactics
Ground combat on LOTJ varies drastically depending on who your opponent is and what tools you decide to use. This guide is meant to teach a regular combatant the trials and tribulations to fight another combatant while also trying to break the pvp cycle down for a new or intermediate pvper.
LOTJ ground combat is basically two mini games played around windows of opportunity much like a turn based strategy game. Those windows are the combat round and the stun round. The combat rounds in lotj make up a majority of the damage output.
Every 6-7 seconds you will take a number of attacks at your opponent and they will do the same to you. Understanding what you can do and what you should be doing in this time frame is paramount, but also understanding that 7 seconds is really a long time once you shake off the nerves will help you slow down combat to make wise decisions. We will talk more about this below.
The stun round is the other mini game played when you gouge or bash your opponent and they do the same to you. It's used to interrupt your commands and delay them. We will talk more about this below. The thing to know for now is that an opponent landing back to back bashes on you will allow you one lagless command, sometimes a second before you're lagged again. A back to back gouge will leave you with two to three lagless commands.
It's also to remember that PVP in LOTJ is either a marathon or a sprint. If the fight is in your favor with more teammates, it becomes a sprint. You want to down the other side as fast as possible. If you're on equal footing, the fights become more draw out battles where you wait for one side to make a mistake and capitalize on it.
Fight like General Grievous
Always have an escape plan
If you've watched any of the times that General Grievous was on screen, you know his strategy. He has a plan to dispatch his enemy, but if that fails, he has a backup plan to get away. In LOTJ this means understanding the planets, and knowing safe hiding places. If you rely on mappers to get around, you're already at a disadvantage to someone that doesn't. You want the world maps committed to muscle memory. Go to random spots on a planet, turn off your flashlight, close your eyes, whatever, and try to run back to a random spot like a spaceport. Do the same thing again, try a different route.
Never tell me the odds
Predictability will get you killed
Like the section above, if your actions are too easy to predict, you're going to be easy to run down. If we're fighting in the underworld on Coruscant, and you only know how to hail around to the different locations, it will be very easy to corner you. Many players will make a quick break for their ship on the Mrrsshenia landing platform. Very few players will make a break for the sewers, loop them around to the plaza, then sprint to the Manarai Heights landing pad to hop in a taxi. Tactics like this keep your opponent guessing. If your opponent is guessing, they are on the back foot.
Kick, kick, kick, kick, kick
Never spam your commands
Remember that on the surface combat on LOTJ feels fast paced, but it truly isn't. It's a system of action and reaction. If you're stuck in a command queue of useless commands, you can't react to anything else your opponent throws at you until that queue clears. Getting used to individually entering commands will allow you to increase your ability to react. At most, try to stay within two commands if your ping is awful.
Supplies, supplies, supplies
Running out of medpacs or ammo will end you.
Always make sure you have enough supplies to survive a long skirmish. Remember: marathon. Don't keep those supplies in a bag. Every extra command you have to input to react to your opponent, or worse, your own actions, leaves you that much further behind.
You're not Rocky Balboa
Don't face tank your opponent and hope to wear them out.
This tactic means standing there and letting them beat on you simply doesn't work most of the time in blaster to blaster combat. It might work against a hunter while holding a pike, in blaster to blaster combat, you want to reduce the amount of damage you're taking more than anything else. To reiterate a previous statement, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Beyond the basics of having as much dex, armor, and properly underlays, there are some strategies you can apply.
Don't forget about your shield and always have spares. Many people will tell you to just carry batteries, but remember how we touched on the part about lotj combat revolving around a small number of commands in a stun window? Shields have a warm up period on them. This can be as many as two minutes. The sooner you can wear a fully charged one, the sooner it will be usable again. Wear shield is one command. Conversely, remove shield, energize shield battery, wear shield is three. What happens if you get bashed after you type remove shield? Not only are you on the back foot in commands, but you're also now much slower at getting your shield cool down to run out.
A timely disarm can also be your friend. Remember, most of your combat damage comes from the combat round. While most players have triggers setup to grab their weapon and rewield it, think about what happens if you hit them with a disarm right before the combat round initiates, or even better, right before they try to gouge or bash you. This can be critical because bash and gouge lag them as well! Never underestimate a timely disarm.
Maximize Damage Intelligently
*Click!* in a combat round is a death sentence
Never, ever, ever let your blaster run out of ammo in a combat round. Doing so is making the previous section easier for your opponent. The ammo command is lagless. Use it often and don't wait for a trigger to do it for you. A common tactic is to wait for someone to run out of ammo and instantly gouge or bash them, leaving them to do no damage for multiple rounds. If this happens multiple times in a fight, you might as well type submit and save your opponent the hassle.
Combat is about taking calculated risks
While you always want to have a game plan, remember that you need to take risks to come out on top. Sometimes you're holding all the cards, other times your opponent may be setting you up to be the fool. Don't be afraid to fold and run away. Always assume they have friends coming.
Practice, and practice often
It takes 10,000 tries to master a skill.
If you're new to pvp, or just want to get better, spar everyone you can. Practice ambushing. Practice being the one ambushed. Practice on different planets. Heck, practice fighting many versus 1.
LOTJ is just a game, but never underestimate the adrenaline that comes about when your character's livelihood is on the line. We all get combat jitters, but trying to get over the initial panic response will help keep you alive and possibly put you on top.
Don't be afraid to retreat.
Learning when to retreat and hide to regroup is probably one of the most important skills you'll learn on LOTJ. There is no shame in running away so you can heal up while your opponent spends time chasing. They won't always heal first which puts you at an advantage. Some things to keep in mind though..
Corners and corridors are deadly
Never back yourself into a one exit room
If you run, never stop in a one exit room or a long straight away. Doing so can result in one of two endings: you will either get boxed in, or you'll get sniped to death. Look for advantage points that are around corners. This blocks scan and leaves you with an exit. It should be noted that UP and DOWN exits cannot be blocked. Use this to your advantage.
Flurry is not your friend
A lagged and exhausted fighter loses
In its current state, flurry is arguably useful at the beginning of the fight, but even then it is situational. You're exhausting yourself for little damage output while also giving your opponent a free gouge worth of lag on you. A really skilled opponent will use this window to either flee and snipe you, or disarm you to negate your damage more than you gained from the flurry in most cases. Use it sparingly.
Macros are your friend
Loose is fast and on the edge out of control
Many players use some form of home row typing and most clients offer the ability to setup aliases. My advice is to set up aliases like aa ss dd ff qq ww for the more important things like weapon switching, holstering, healing, wielding a sniper rifle, etc. Use them. Commit them to muscle memory. In the heat of battle with the aforementioned jitters, the less commands you have to mistype, the better off you’ll be
The following are sections that will be added in the future
Explain differences between weapons and benefits to each
Make it clear that they should take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt (including this guide)
Touch on Mental state
Add a section about berserk and how to use it properly.
Make sure to discuss blocking and shoving, including a section about NPC Blockers.