Avalon - online RPG world

The Theory of PvP Combat

Fighting is a complex affair which requires wits, creativity and strength of character. When you fight a person, it is not just to test your latest macro, your latest trigger, your latest ability. It is a confrontation of the highest order. It is you versus them, in all the splendour that includes. This is why it is so painful to lose and so joyous to win. Combat in Avalon is unique; it does not favour anyone, not the quick-fingered, not the trigger-happy, not the pacifist or the aggressive, not individual professions. Know that everything is balanced. No matter what Guild you have chosen, you can win. It is up to you whether you do.


The concept of fighting in Avalon is simple, but for a hack-and-slash addict, it may seem overwhelmingly complex. There is an obvious reason for this: just hacking away at a person is seldom realistic. Avalon utilises a diversity of physical, psychological and magical afflictions, such as ricketts and rabies, confusion and forgetfulness, and being turned into a shimmering mist rendered helpless to fireballs. In addition to attacks with voodoo dolls, demons, daggers and dragons, the player must be ever aware of his own condition. The text comes thick and fast, so real-time reaction is vital.

In endeavouring to learn the system (which becomes much less daunting after a while -- the game has seen some good fighters even among the blind), the player pits his character against others in intense combat. Both sides learn, return to the fray with new ideas, and one of them dies. After riding the Ship of Death, the player is ressurrected, maybe missing an item or two, and learns from his mistakes again, finds another niche of attack or improves his own defence, and challenges his foe once more. This cycle can continue forever, each battle proving more frenetic than the one before it.

Equilibrium and Balance: The Great Levellers

The reason why all professions are equal is because of the rules of equilibrium and balance. It is not the 'power' of an ability, but how long it takes to execute. This is the great leveller, stopping all complaints of one profession being stronger than another. We shall see that not everything has the same length of balance or equilibrium and why these differences promote rather than diminish the rules of fairness.

So many abilities (not all) will take your balance or equilibrium, which need time to regain. It depends on the ability how long this period of time is. Not everything will last the same amount of time and some abilities will have advantages over others. Know that there is a reason why you are unbalanced and you are slower at regaining equilibrium than another profession.

You must watch how quickly you regain balance or equilibrium for every single ability you have. They are often different, some faster, some slower. Pay attention to these timings, react to them and be careful of your opponent's blinking and attacks. Whether they blink, hit or cast a spell, they used equilibrium or balance. Watch for it and time your attacks or defences accordingly.

Certain forms of healing also have their own 'balance', during which you can't heal again. For example, the health and mana potions have their own special balance which means you can only sip one of them for a duration. Healing herbs, the delayed effects of certain runes, the special equilibrium of the Voice and the many other instances you should find, are all things you must watch for and understand. There are so many different timings that a comprehensive list would be impossible.

What is important for you to understand is that there is a general rule applied to everything in the realm: you can cure and heal faster than you can afflict and damage. It may be tight, but it should always weigh on the side of survival. In a perfectly equal fight, both sides can last forever. However, fights are never equal and there are ways of tipping the scales one way or the other.

Changing the speed of combat is something not all professions can do easily, but every profession is capable. The mists of Mages, idylls of Bards, slothful curses of Seers, nann and despair, moving and disrupting the flow of combat, heaping on poisons or curses. These are all ways of changing the pace and you should be aware that these play an integral part in the way you use equilibrium and balance. Controlling the pace of the fight and use of equilibrium/balance are to control half the fight itself.

If the speed of combat is worrisome, you may recourse to a variety of 'pausing' tactics. One of these is pentacle. No matter what your profession, pentacle and alkar should be used only when necessary. The more you pentacle, the more equilibrium you waste. You must use your equilibrium wisely, rather than squander it on being safe. Being safe and surviving are two vastly different things. Your equilibrium and balance are primarily for attacking your opponent. When you omit your attacks, you give your enemy greater time to prepare and ensnare you in their pace.

"On the back of a thousand losses do the best rise from their ashes and become legends"

Becoming The Best

There is a simple and very natural way to become the best. The first prerequisite is an undying curiosity in the inner workings, advantages and disadvantages of every ability, herb, poison, potion,rune or trap you have, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Everything has a use and the smaller the ability, the more a surprise it will prove to your enemy. Many abilities have nuances that take a long time to find by tireless experimentation; these nuances are your trick cards and what will set you above the rest.

The second prerequisite is a thick skin for dying. You'll be falling more times than snow has hit the earth. The important thing is to know how to get back up, even if it means you'll fall over again. It is better to die against someone bigger than yourself than to win; it means you're learning, despite how hopeless it seems. Keep a log of all of your fights to review where you failed and where you excelled, what they did and how it looked.