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Taron May 18, 2017 @ 12:12pm
Advanced combat techniques
If you are like me and like to not only beat a game but master the nuances of its mechanics, you might find something in here helpful or at least interesting. Below I outline several unique combat mechanics in this game not found in other games in the Souls-like genre. Granted, many of these are revealed by loading screen hints anyway, but it may take many hours of play before a particular hint pops up, so this can help get you a head start practicing these techniques right from the start of the game.

Ducking under and Jumping over attacks:

* Hold your Block button and press your right stick up to jump or down to duck.

* There are actually a surprising number of enemy attacks that can be ducked under or jumped over, most notably some un-block-able attacks like leap attacks or drone lasers. The timing can be tricky sometimes though (you have to initiate the duck a bit earlier than you might think sometimes) so don't assume that because it failed the first time you tried it that the attack can't be ducked or jumped over, you may just need to time it better.

* If you attack during the duck or jump, you will execute a counter-attack (a rising knee or a down punch with your off-hand). Be careful not to do this too early or you might get hit by the tail end of the enemy's attack though. These attacks have a high Impact value, meaning they often stagger the enemy (and they stun Arc robots long enough to get behind them and attack). Their damage seems to be based on what attack you just ducked under/jumped over as well more than the weapon. If you just try using the counter-attacks directly without dodging an attack with the duck/jump first, they do no damage at all, however they still gain Energy, which is actually useful if you are in a situation where an enemy is so weak that any attack will kill them but you don't have enough Energy to do your Execution.

* Once you do duck or jump, you need to release and re-press the block button to block or duck or jump again. For example, the hammer wielding enemies in area 2 have a spin attack where you can duck the first hit and then jump over the second hit, but you need to release and re-press your block button between the hits to do this.

* Combined with blocking, these moves allow one to fight most enemies in a "hold your ground" style without dodging around, which can be useful to avoid accidentally dodging back into a pit or getting yourself wedged into a corner.

Blocking mechanics (including timed blocks):

* Blocking completely negates all damage when successful, rather than only reducing damage. However, some attacks can't be blocked at all, meaning you will take full damage (notably charging/leaping attacks in particular).

* When an attack is blocked, the enemy may stagger in response, interrupting their combo. The chance of this happening is dependent on your current Impact rating, including armor bonuses to Impact (but Stability seems to have no effect as far as I can tell). I'm not sure the exact mechanism (random chance? based on previous hits lowering their stagger resistance?), but I do know I had an enemy attack me over 30 times with the same attack and only got them to stagger twice with timed blocks using a low-impact weapon, but with a high-impact weapon or using armor bonuses I could cause them to stagger 100% of the time with timed blocks.

* Timing your block button press to the moment just before the attack hits you greatly increases the chance of the enemy staggering in response to being blocked.

* Pressing an attack button immediately after blocking an attack (whether or not the enemy was staggered by it) will perform a special counter attack (each weapon has a Horizontal and Vertical version of the block-then-counter attack). These are often the most powerful attack in your weapon has!

* The amount of stamina consumed when blocking an attack is completely dependent on the attack and, as far as I can tell, no player stats affect it in any way. Using a non-timed block with a weak double-rigged weapon and no armor against an attack used up the same amount of stamina as a timed block using a heavy-duty weapon with full Rhino gear and the Rhino set bonus with an active injection boost against the same attack. The only difference you can make is that initiating the block pose uses up a small amount of stamina, which will not be used with a perfectly timed block.

Special attacks:

* For most weapons, there is a 4-hit horizontal combo and a 4-hit vertical combo. Changing which button is pressed next just changes which combo the next hit comes from. For example, if we call the horizontal combo attacks H1, H2, H3, and H4 and the vertical combo attacks V1, V2, V3, and V4, and you just alternate the button presses, you will get the folllowing combo:

H1->V2->H3->V4

You can mix and match the four attacks in any order, they all flow smoothly into each other.
However, there are 2 special alternate combo attacks by using these specific combinations:

S1 = H->H->V OR V->H->H
S2 = H->V->V OR V->V->H

Note how the same move is performed even though the last button pressed can be either H or V depending on what came before. These moves are often extra-fancy such as spinning attacks, a backflip kick, or pole-vaulting using your weapon to kick forward, though in most cases they finish the combo.

* Most weapons (exception being twin-rigged) allow a charged-up attack for both Horizontal and Vertical, but only as the first hit in the combo, by simply holding the button. After the charged attack, you can often do one more follow-up attack which will be the last hit of the basic combo (H4 or V4).

* Some weapons (particularly more simplistic brute-force style weapons, like the Reclaimed Piston, Reinforced Pipe, or the Equalizer) do not have 4-hit combos and special combo moves like above, but instead have essentially infinite combos that just repeat a few attacks over and over until you run out of stamina. Unlike other weapons, this also means if you start with a charged attack you can continue to combo from it with repeated attacks rather than only having a single follow-up.

* Targeting body parts can change your combo attacks and charged attacks, and in some cases have attack animations you won't see otherwise. Note that targeting the Body is NOT the same as targeting the enemy as a whole, and can change your combos. In some cases the combo may even be shorter by skipping the first hit in the combo. It is a good idea to figure out how the combos are changed by targeting body parts from a distance on an enemy that won't close in on you and just swinging at the air to see what changes.

* You can use a slide-in attack by attacking while sprinting, and I'm pretty sure the slide itself works like the duck and can avoid some attacks.

* You can use a jumping attack by sprinting, jumping, and then attacking in the air (either attack button, they both do the same move), rather than pressing Forward+R2 like in Souls games. However, this requires a LOT of stamina, such that often you won't have enough after the jump to actually do the attack, and it is difficult to aim, so is rarely worth the effort IMHO.

* Like in Souls games, you of course also have unique attacks after dodging to the side, forward, back, or after using a backstep (pressing no direction + dodge button), though there is no difference between the Horizontal and Vertical versions of these attacks.

Reducing stamina cost of attacks with timed presses:

* When performing a combo, if you avoid button mashing and press the button with just the right timing for the next hit in the combo, you will greatly reduce the stamina cost of the next attack. You can tell when you did this right by watching your stamina bar - it will flash when the button was pressed with the correct timing. Practice until the timing is instinctual so you aren't busy watching your stamina bar while fighting actual enemies!

Purposefully not targeting body parts:

If you don't target a body part (just target the enemy as a whole or don't lock on at all), you'll do "base" damage, indicated by white damage numbers. Targeting a body part either does armored (low) damage, indicated by orange damage numbers, or unarmored (high) damage, indicated by blue damage numbers. Base damage is between those values. What's interesting is, if every single body part of a target is armored, you can do more damage by purposefully not targeting any individual part and just dealing your base damage instead!

Storing Drone attack energy for later:

If you have no enemy targeted but enough energy for a Drone module, press your Drone button and you will store the energy in the currently-selected Drone module for use later (indicated by a little lightning bolt next to the module icon). When next use that Drone module, the stored energy will be used first. This is a good use of extra energy after a fight when you won't have another fight right away and the energy would otherwise drain uselessly away. You can even store energy in multiple modules at once this way.

Backstab (kick in the back):

There is a "backstab" mechanic by pressing Horizontal attack while directly behind an enemy, which causes you to kick them and make them drop to their knees. This then makes the next hit they take deal 3x the normal damage. This obviously works best for weapons with powerful single-hit charged attacks. You can tell when you are in position to do the kick in the back by the color of the selection box around the enemy changing from blue to yellow (pointed out by Vulture).

yentass explained that targeting a body part for the follow-up attack while they are on their knees will automatically sever that part for you if the attack deals enough damage to kill them.

Immortal enemies while preparing for an Execution:

Once an enemy is low enough health to be executed, and you have enough energy, and you've pressed the interact button to start preparing the execution, the enemy can't be killed until the execution meter is full and the animation starts or you let go of the button, so feel free to continue staggering them with attacks while holding the interact button without fear of them dying too soon.

BONUS non-combat tips:

* You can quick-swap weapons by assigning multiple "favorite" weapons in your gear menu and pressing whatever button you have assigned to weapon switch.

* Every enemy you use an Execution on adds an extra +10% multiplier to any tech scrap (souls) you get from future kills, and this multiplier continues to increase the more enemies you Execute until it starts going up by 3% and finally maxes out at 300% (thanks to Nagumo for pointing out only Executions add to the multiplier, not just kills). The multiplier resets to 1.0 if you die or use the Medbay.

* Bosses grant a boss weapon, but defeating them in a different (usually more difficult) way gets you a special more-powerful version of the boss weapon.

* Being near the tech scrap pile you dropped when you died grants a small health regen buff (explained by dev).

* Killing enemies while you have a lot of tech scrap on you increases your random chance of getting a stamina-recharge buff (green icon) (explained by dev).

* Getting enough tech scrap to gain a level (filling the tech scrap bar on the HUD) will grant you back some of your currently-selected injectible. If you don't have an injectible selected or it is already full anyway, you will instead be awarded free Energy with a long decay (explained by dev).

Anyone have any other unique/advanced combat mechanics in this game to share?
Last edited by Taron; Jun 12, 2017 @ 9:32am
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Showing 1-15 of 133 comments
LiDDeRz May 18, 2017 @ 12:28pm 
Thumbs up.
BrutHammer May 18, 2017 @ 12:39pm 
+
Deatonis May 18, 2017 @ 12:43pm 
Make this a guide so we can upvote it. thumbs up and bump.
Zeux May 18, 2017 @ 12:52pm 
Good work!!!!
Nagumo May 18, 2017 @ 1:12pm 
Good work. But to one point i need a clarification: "The more enemies you kill, the more tech scrap (souls) you get via a multiplier that resets when you die or use the Medbay."

Imo the multiplier only increase if you have killed an enemy by a execution. If you kill an enemy without the hold x finisher the multiplier is not increasing. The multiplier starts with 1,00 and is increased with every finisher by 0,10.
Ginrikuzuma May 18, 2017 @ 1:38pm 
I never knew you could store drone energy or reduce stamina on correct timing. I'll have to try these things.


Make this a guide indeed. :ducky:
DaLagga May 18, 2017 @ 1:53pm 
How do you duck and jump while blocking with M&K?
LoboFH May 18, 2017 @ 1:58pm 
Nice tips, I didn't know some of them.
schnitzelpit  [developer] May 18, 2017 @ 1:59pm 
This is an awesome post :)

I've got a thing to add: If you are close to the pile of tech scrap you've dropped, you will gain a heal over time buff. there is a buff icon appearing at the upper left corner of the screen (the range is ~12m).

You jump/duck with the mouse wheel while holding 'Q' (default bindings).
Last edited by schnitzelpit; May 18, 2017 @ 2:00pm
Taron May 18, 2017 @ 2:04pm 
Originally posted by schnitzelpit:
This is an awesome post :)

I've got a thing to add: If you are close to the pile of tech scrap you've dropped, you will gain a heal over time buff. there is a buff icon appearing at the upper left corner of the screen (the range is ~12m).

You jump/duck with the mouse wheel while holding 'Q' (default bindings).

Is THAT what that is? I was wondering what that buff icon that popped up near a tech scrap pile meant (and it took me a while to realize it was proximity to my dropped tech scrap that caused it to appear). Thanks!

Is there any way to tell what exactly the buff is you got when you randomly get a buff from killing an enemy while you are holding on to a large pile of tech scrap? I can't find anything on the status screen that lists "currently active buffs" or anything (besides the gear set bonus).
schnitzelpit  [developer] May 18, 2017 @ 2:17pm 
We made these things vague/hidden on purpose, but watching more and more people play and reading more and more comments, clearing up some concepts might not be the worst idea.

You actually get awarded implant injections whenever you fill up your tech scrap bar (there is actually a bar appearing while scrap is being awarded which fills up, it's corresponding to the scrap you need to level up). If you don't have injectable implants equipped (or you did not use any charges), you will be awarded with a full energy bar instead with a pretty long decay delay (precious energy that you could use to charge up your drone or use energy based implants, for example).
Vulture May 18, 2017 @ 2:24pm 
why isnt this in guides section? i learned so much that i didnt know.

also one addition: when you are in position to backstab the frame around the enemy that targets him turns yellow, if you press horizontal attack then, it will kick him down.

look for that orange frame then its kinda easier to do ^^
Vulture May 18, 2017 @ 2:25pm 
Originally posted by schnitzelpit:
This is an awesome post :)

I've got a thing to add: If you are close to the pile of tech scrap you've dropped, you will gain a heal over time buff. there is a buff icon appearing at the upper left corner of the screen (the range is ~12m).

You jump/duck with the mouse wheel while holding 'Q' (default bindings).

zomg a dev.. talking of default bindings.. can we for pc get bindings for the different injectable implants please? would be so much easier for k&m when you dont have to switch through them but just can press 3-9 or so.

also maybe one for walking slowly, i think there is none? so sneaking is like little pushes of keyboard keys ^^
Last edited by Vulture; May 18, 2017 @ 2:34pm
Dr. Snodgrass May 18, 2017 @ 2:53pm 
This is very illuminating, please do as others have suggested and turn it into a guide.
Ginrikuzuma May 18, 2017 @ 3:01pm 
Originally posted by schnitzelpit:
We made these things vague/hidden on purpose, but watching more and more people play and reading more and more comments, clearing up some concepts might not be the worst idea.

You actually get awarded implant injections whenever you fill up your tech scrap bar (there is actually a bar appearing while scrap is being awarded which fills up, it's corresponding to the scrap you need to level up). If you don't have injectable implants equipped (or you did not use any charges), you will be awarded with a full energy bar instead with a pretty long decay delay (precious energy that you could use to charge up your drone or use energy based implants, for example).

oooooo so that's why at times I would go from 0 injectables to something like 3 or 4. I knew it was after killing enemies but I figured it was as invisible random checkpoints. I didn't know it was based on tech scrap gathered.
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