Chapter 2, Basic Mechanics:
Those of you who began the game already, and played it for at least few hours, won't have use for majority of this.
First, a little explanation. A mechanic (as far as this guide is concerned) is anything that is shared between all classes or by whole attack type. There are four attack types. Physical melee, physical range, magical and debuffs (which often are given along with damage). Everything that is part of a specific class (like gear available to it) is that classes mechanic, and is explained on the guide for the proper class on it's own section of gameplay help forum.
So, now, let's begin.
1) Mode of Play:
When a character is made, the creation window asks to choose a difficulty mode. As this is a MMORPG game (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), changing the monsters strength depending on the character is out of the question. Instead, the mode changes the characters strength. Unlike in most games, higher difficulties give stronger characters compared to lower ones (and compared to monsters), but they level slower or even risk deletion.
In Shaiya there are four modes of play, each with it's own characteristics.
Easy Mode (EM):
Stat points/lvl: 5
Skill points/lvl: 3
The weakest characters. They have no access to the best skills or items, and can't join (or create) a guild. Easy mode characters get experience twice as fast as normal mode, but can level only to 30lvl after which, they are pretty useless. This is tutorial mode, to show someone as much of the game as possible in short time. Anyway, it's advised to not use EM to play, ever. Leveling it have no purpose, as they are too weak and can't unlock anything.
Easy mode thanks to the fast exp can be used as a scrap character simply to check the stats effects, builds or get low level quest items.
Normal Mode (NM):
Stat points/lvl: 5
Skill points/lvl: 3
One of two modes available from beginning. It have access to special skills tab, which hold the most powerful skills. It's leveling rates are normal, and it can use more items than easy mode. Maximum level is 60. After obtaining 40 level, account is flagged as one with unlocked hard mode (on the server you did reach it only). It's advised for everyone to always start with NM character.
Hard Mode (HM):
Stat points/lvl: 7
Skill points/lvl: 4
Locked mode. It's unlocked after leveling NM character to lvl40. Maximum level is 60. HM characters have additional skills, additional quests, and can use some of the gear that is not accessible to NM. They need up to 4 times as much exp to next level as NM characters. This mode is hard, only due to very slow levels. If you can play only rarely, you may think they are simply too hard to level, so this mode is not really casual player friendly. I advise though at least giving it a shot for some time. After obtaining 40 level, UM is unlocked for the account.
Ultimate Mode (UM):
Stat points/lvl: 9
Skill points/lvl: 5
Locked mode. It's unlocked after leveling HM character to lvl40. Maximum level is 60. UM characters have even more skills (with a lvl60 skill of huge power), I suppose additional quests, and can use every piece of gear in game. They need up to 4 times as much exp to next level as NM characters, but as they are almost double as strong (and have far easier start), it doesn't take so much time, and is actually easier to level than HM. This mode have one catch though. After death, you have 3min counter for resurrection, like on every other mode, but on this one, you must either use AP (Aeria Points) item or be resurrected by a priest with lvl2 resurrection (which is obtained at 31 level), or it will be deleted. Death during duels or Goddess Battle does not risk deletion. There is no reward obtained after getting any level of UM. It's the highest mode.
When you unlock one of the modes on a server, you don't need the character you used for that. That matters when you want to use that characters slot again or simply want to change faction, which forces you to delete all your characters. In such situation, you still keep the unlocked mode.
Each server must have modes unlocked separately. That means that unlocking Hard Mode on Lailah doesn't allow you to make Hard Mode characters on Teos or Etain, unless you unlock it on those servers as well.
2) Starting Character:
One of the first mechanics a player gets into contact with, is rarely noticed. It's a weapon dependability. Though it is possible to unequip weapon, no action is possible but movement unless one is used. This is true also for buffs, even though they are not attacks. Character should start with a weapon, and if it did not, delete it and make a new one.
Important part of the game are the three bars visible on a small box. They are HP (Health Points, red bar), MP (Mana Points, blue bar) and SP (Stamina Points, yellow bar). Every player have all three. Some NPC's (Non-Player Character) have HP. Those NPC's are called mobs. There is no NPC that have MP or SP.
When a character levels, it gets bonus HP/MP/SP points to their total amount. Every armor also gives HP and at least one of MP and SP.
When a characters HP goes down to 0, it dies. If that character is NPC, it vanishes, to return after specific time passes (which is called mob spawn). Mobs spawn always in the same place, and the time after they respawn depends on the mob and place.
If the character that dies is a PC (Player Character), it's body falls on ground and from it a ghost emerges, until the character is resurrected (see next point).
Only characters with Health Points can be attacked.
Mana points are used to power specific skills. Every spell, every buff and great majority of debuffs uses MP. Some other powerful attacks also consume mana. If MP drops to 0, nothing special happens.
Stamina points are used to power specific skills. Every non-spell, every buff and every debuff uses SP. If stamina drops to 0, nothing special happens.
Standing or moving character that doesn't use skills or attack heals 4 of each after each 3 seconds. This isn't much, but there are ways to heal these faster. The most important of them is a bless (more information on it in next chapter). The more bless a faction have, the larger amounts of HP, MP and SP is healed naturally. Second most important is rest (sitting). A resting character heals larger amount of each after each 3 seconds. Every class have a passive skill called body relax that increases HP/MP/SP healed while resting, and Mage/Pagan have a party buff that increases MP healing rate while resting. All these methods are cumulative with each other.
Unless the bless is high, natural healing is possible only after few seconds of not issuing any non-move command (whether or not the action will succeed or be actually used), but a high bless allows to regenerate MP and SP even during battle (when actions are used). This also takes place each 3 seconds. There is no natural regeneration of HP during battle though. One thing to know though is, that the character being attacked doesn't affect it's natural healing. Only whether or not that character attacks does.
Third way of healing restoring these are potions. Under the definition of "potion" hidden is every item that helps to restore either or all of them, or that removes debuffs. These heal various amounts, depending on the particular item. Each have recharge time. Until recharge on item expires, it can't be used again. Some similar items share recharge with each other (as example can be taken all potions that heal only one of these). Debuff removing potions don't have recharge.
Last way of healing, is through skills. Priests/Oracles can heal HP of any character which depends on the type of the skill they use, as well as it's level and the healers wisdom stat. Multiple characters also have other restoring skills, but neither can be used often, with only one of them being able to heal someone other than the user.
3) Death and Reviving:
Character dies when it's HP reaches 0. Every player and most NPC's found outside towns have HP bar, and therefore may be killed. Dead mobs respawn ("revive") automatically after set amount of time depending on the mob in question. No player involvement is needed.
Dead players can be revived with options depending on the mode of that character.
EM, NM and HM:
When they are dead they get option of reviving at town with full HP/MP/SP. If nothing is done for 3 minutes after death, this is the default option. If they are in a party, they have option of reviving at the party leaders position. Reviving in town is instant, but reviving at party leader takes 30sec before it takes place. In both cases, the character may lose experience. If the bless is below 25%, the experience lost is 5%. If the bless is at 25-50%, experience lost is 2,5%. With bless at 50% and above, no experience is lost.
There are three more ways these characters could be revived.
1) Priests skill, Resurrection. It's a skill available at 11lvl, which resurrects the target at the priests position with no experience lost, and with full HP/MP/SP.
2) Target resurrection rune. It's an item that allows to resurrect anyone at the position of user. It's a one-time use item.
3) Normal Resurrection Rune. When a character in one of these modes have a normal resurrection rune in inventory, normal options are changed for those given by rune. Those are resurrection in town with 50% of HP/MP/SP, or resurrection on the spot the character died. Neither takes any experience, but both consume the rune. I don't know whether leader resurrection is available though. Obviously, if rune won't be used within the 3 minutes, the character will be resurrected in town with all HP/MP/SP, possibly losing experience, but without consuming the rune.
UM characters don't have innate resurrection options. If they are not resurrected by some means within the 3 minute limit, they are permanently deleted. There is no way for UM to lose any amount of experience. That said, these are the reviving options UM's possess:
1) Priests skill, Resurrection, but only lvl2 and lvl3. This means that UM's can be resurrected only by lvl31+ priests.
2) Resurrection rune. Unlike EM/NM/HM, UM's don't get the option of resurrecting on spot. They can be resurrected in town with 50% of HP, MP and SP though, which consumes the rune. This is the default resurrection method after 3 minute timer runs out (if rune is available), which saves characters of players that get disconnected or are away from keyboard when dead. (There is an option that Small Resurrection Rune in Premium Package gives option of resurrection on spot, but I cannot guarantee it being true.)
3) Continuous Resurrection Rune. If a UM character uses continuous resurrection rune, as long as that rune works, they can revive in town with 50% of HP/MP/SP any amount of times. (This rune must be activated BEFORE death.)
4) Target resurrection rune. It works like for every other character.
Deleted characters (whether UM's without runes not resurrected in time, or simply characters deleted when they were seen as no longer needed) may not be lost. GM's on occasions offer character revival promotion. In such case, if the account on which the character originally was made have at least one slot open, and the proper information is sent, the character is brought back to life with all items it had at the time of death (and all buffs that didn't yet run out).
4) Battle Basics:
Battle is the main focus of this game. There are few mechanics that affect it though.
Offensive: Attacks (overall), Physical Melee, Physical Ranged, Magic, Critical Hits, Fixed Damage, Debuffs.
Defensive: Defense, Resistance, Physical Evasion, Magical Evasion, Critical Evasion
Other: Party, Aggro and Mobs Attacks, Loot.
Attacking is basically any action that have the potential to hinder or harm at least one enemy.
Normal attack (physical, basic attack with held weapon) is used by targeting any opponent (with left mouse button or ~), then clicking on it again, with left mouse button. Alternatively, "Attack" action can be used through the use of hotkeys.
Skill attacks are used by targeting the enemy and then either left-clicking on a skill in the skill-tab, left clicking on the hotkey bar or using the hotkey to which it corresponds.
All attacks have specific range. If the target is outside the range, the character will automatically try to get into the border of range before using the attack.
Normal attack is used continuously until canceled (which is done by moving) or the target is dead. As this is server-based, attack occurs even if the player heavily lags. Skills will be used only once. If the skill is used after the character began attacking normally, it will continue to use basic attacks after the skill is used.
Physical melee damage is dealt by great majority of weapons. Exceptions to this are bow (archer/hunter), crossbow (archer) and javelin (hunter). As physical damage, it's accuracy is dexterity-based, and it is affected by Darkness debuff. All Physical Melee attacks are instantaneous (no casting time).
Physical Melee damage is based on Physical Attack Rating (ATK on character tab), which in this case is derived in this manner: Str*1.3 + Dex*0.2 + Weapon Attack. (Also note that there are skills which increase it, but these are hidden values not seen on the character screen.)
Physical ranged damage is dealt only by bow (archer/hunter), crossbow (archer) and javelin (hunter). As physical damage, it's accuracy is dexterity-based, and it is affected by Darkness debuff. Also, it is given a penalty. In melee, the damage dealt by ranged weapons is halved. Most Physical Ranged attacks are instantaneous (no casting time). Exception to this is Nuke Shot.
Physical Melee damage is based on Physical Attack Rating (ATK on character tab), which in this case is derived in this manner: Str*1 + Dex*0.2 + Luc*0.3 + Weapon Attack. (Also note that there are skills which increase it, but these are hidden values not seen on the character screen.)
All magic attacks are exactly the same (there's no melee or ranged), mechanic-wise. Only mages/pagans and priests/oracles can use magic. As magical damage, it's accuracy is wisdom-based, and it's affected by Silence debuff. Many spells have casting times. When a caster uses a spell, a specific amount of time must pass before the spell is finished and have effect. In this time, any movement or successful attack on the caster will cancel it (if you did move, you can't start casting another spell until the canceled spells cast time is finished, even granted that the cast time bar is no longer active). After spell is casted, weapons speed still limits the time before next attack.
Magical damage is based on Magical Attack Rating (Magic on character tab), which is derived in this manner: Int*1.3 + Wis*0.2 + Weapon Attack. (Also note that there are skills which increase weapon attack, that also increase magical damage. Also, each spell adds it's own bonus to attack rating.)
Critical damage is a special, two-part bonus that can take place for any non-fixed damage dealing attack. Note that all the information here is to the best knowledge of community, but it still may not be proper.
When attack hits (through normal means) it have a chance of „critting” (higher luck stat increases the chance). Then a hit did crit, there are two things happening. First, the attack rating of the attack is multiplied by 1.5. This part of the critical hit is affected by the proper defensive stat. After that, to the damage dealt, added is a random value derived from this formula: Luck*(random # between 0 and 1.5). This part of damage is fixed. The whole formula is as follows:
Attack Rating*Elemental Factor - Defensive Stat (depending on attack type) + Luck*(random # between 0 and 1.5)
Fixed damage skills are explained separately, because they have their own rules.
Fixed damage is not reduced or increased by anything (including defense and resistance). It's always the same. That means that after the skill takes full effect, it always takes the same amount of HP (either in specific number, or %). For some attacks, damage is instant, while for others, it's dealt over time.
Fixed damage can't crit. If attack deals normal damage + fixed damage, the normal damage part may crit, but the fixed damage will not be affected.
Many of the fixed damage skills are in form of debuffs, as their power would be unbalancing against bosses. Debuffs that fit this category are...Poison, Venom (Venom is not typed), Burn (Burn is not typed), Dying and Death. Other than HP damage, they may also deal MP/SP damage, which are taken by Disease and Sickness debuffs.
Debuff is a type of attacks that can be separated in two ways, each into two categories. First way is: Instant debuffs or debuffs over time. Second way is, typed or not typed debuffs.
Debuff is a general term for effects that hinder character over course of some time, in any way (with exceptions that have full effect instantly). Bosses are always immune to at least some debuffs. Greater bosses are immune to all debuffs. Wyverns are immune to all debuffs, while many other mobs have usually one or two immunities.
Debuffs either have fixed chance of hitting (varying from debuff to debuff, example are majority of defenders/guardians debuffs), are brought on along with attack, but only if that attack doesn't miss (majority of ranger/assassin debuffs), or have a chance of being brought on from an attack, and only if that attack didn't miss (Debuff Lapis).
Instant Debuffs: Those are fixed damage dealing debuffs. Majority, if not all of them, are either Death or Dying debuffs. Instant debuffs can't be dispelled by any level of dispel or any type of pots.
Debuffs Over Time: Everything that have it's effect for a specific amount of time fits into this category. All of them can be dispelled, though many only by level 3 Dispel.
Typed Debuffs: Those are debuffs that are given a type from a list. Lvl1 and 2 Dispel, as well as pots (with exception of Venom Cure), can remove some of those. Examples include Unconsciousness, Poison, Sickness, Slow, Dying or Death. All typed debuffs have the name of the debuff type they belong to in their description ("Condition" line).
Un-typed Debuffs: Those are debuffs that (assuming they are not instant) can only be dispelled by lvl3 Dispel. There is one exception (possibly a bug, maybe was fixed) called Venom. Many (if not all) poisonous attacks of mobs, are actually venom debuffs, and they can be cured by Venom Cure pot and Dispel lvl3, but not by anything else (even if it would cure poison). Most of the un-typed debuffs are uniquely used by special mobs (like Dark Sigil), are fighter/warrior debuffs or are fire's DoT damage (Damage over Time), which I'd call Burn. Un-typed debuffs have no type name in their description.
Defense is a stat derived from rec (1 rec = 1 defense) and armors. Some lapis also add bonus to defense. Each point of defense lowers physical damage by 1.
Resistance is a stat derived from wis (1 wis = 2 resistance) and armors. Some lapis also add large bonuses to resistance. Each point of resistance lowers magical damage by 2.
Physical evasion is % chance of attack negating all effects of physical attack, including both damage and debuffs that would be brought in by the attack. The chance of evading an attack depends on dexterity of both the defending and the attacking character and on the skills that give bonus evasion (defending character) or bonus hit rate (attacking character. It seems that the latter take priority over dexterity effect, aka. no matter your how much dexterity the opponent have, that dexterity can't negate bonus evasion. Physical evasion helps at least partially in evading critical hits (attack that can't hit, can't crit).
There is NO formula to count evasion rate, which was proved through testing to work correctly.
It have the same effect as physical evasion, but towards spells. Instead of dex, wis is used, and there are no skills that would give bonus magical evasion or magical hit rate.
If attack hits, it may become critical. Critical evasion have the same effect as the two above, but miss means the attack is normal, while hit means the attack is critical. Currently the only effect additional to damage crits have, is lowering the endurance the weapon with which crit was dealt, and the armors of the person which was critically hit. It's affected by luc of the attacker and defender.
Party: I'll update it at some point when I'll be able to take screenshots, most likely at end of may.
Aggro is term used to describe aggression of mobs. Basically, if a mob does anything other than move, it's aggroed.
Most mobs aggro on proximity, aka. they start attacking themselves when a player gets close to them. Various mobs, have different ranges of vision in which they aggro. Some mobs (mostly the lowest levels mobs meant for beginning players) don't aggro on proximity.
Any action taken against a mob builds up aggro, as long as it hits. Misses don't affect aggro. Actions not affecting mobs directly, like using buffs, does not generate aggro. There is some kind of aggro system for heals, but it's not as clear on how it works (there are two major versions for that).
Strength of aggro depends on characters defense rating. Each action towards mobs seems to build up some aggro rating, which is stronger the higher the defense character have. Various attacks have various aggro bonuses. Mobs attack the player that generated the highest aggro.
Mobs lose all aggro, and return to their original spot if the person who have the highest aggro goes outside specific range from their starting point. This makes it impossible to aggro or attack the mob until it reaches that spot, at which point it becomes fully healed.
All mobs use either physical melee attack (most common) or physical ranged attack (uncommon). Some mobs have one or two skills that may deal magical damage and/or debuff character. Special mobs and bosses may have more skills.
Mobs have no MP or SP ratings. That means that their skills are not limited in resources, so skills that deplete MP or SP have no effect on use of them. All mob skills have recharge, even if they emulate class skill without one.
Mobs skills seem to have far greater accuracy than their normal attacks. Whether this is a feature or a bug, I don't know, but it's the only explanation on how a mob which always misses with normal attacks (mob 40 levels lower, on a 200dex ranger), almost always hits with physical damage skills (like the various Wood Spirits using Slasher).
Currently there are two loot systems, depending on whether the player is in party or solo.
When solo player kills a mob, that mob may drop loot in either gold or items. The loot stays on ground for limited time, and only the player that killed the mob can pick it up. After some time have passed, any player can pick up the loot. Moment later, the loot is permanently lost. Those rules also apply to items dropped by the player on ground.
When player in a party kills a mob, the loot does not drop on ground. Instead, items are given one-by-one to the party members, in the order from the oldest member (person on the top of party member tabs) to the newest member (the person on the bottom of the party tabs) after which it cycles. Gold instead is shared equally among party members.
EP4 brings master looter system, that can be changed by party leader. When it is turned on, all items (with exception of low quality or quest items) are given to party leader instead, as long as he/she have space in the backpack. Not sure, but I think it also brings random system as well.
5) Leveling and Levels:
There are two means of gaining experience in theory. Quests, and kills. That said, quests always include killing and quite often for experienced players bring experience at slower pace, as well as they never give enough experience to level. That gets worse with each level you gain. Killing cannot be avoided, either mob NPC's or players.
Important during the leveling is relative mob level. It is clearly visible by colors of their name, depending on their level.
White: Six or more levels lower. The mob gets extreme penalty to rates of attack and evasion. It gives no experience at all.
Light Blue: Four or five levels lower. The mob gets large penalty to rates of attack and evasion. The experience is minimal.
Dark Blue: Two or three levels lower. The mob gets penalty to rates of attack and evasion. The experience is noticeably lowered.
Green: Of players level or one level lower/higher. Experience is and strength is normal or very close to it.
Yellow: Two or three levels higher. The mob gets very slight bonus to most stats, and gives slightly more experience.
Orange: Four or five levels higher. The mob gets large bonus to most stats, and gives slightly more experience than yellow. It's not advised to grind on orange mobs.
Red: Six or seven levels higher. The mobs get very large bonus to most stats, and gives large experience. It's not advised to grind on red mobs.
Purple: Eight or nine levels higher. The mobs get very large bonus to most stats, and gives very large experience, but it's strength make it worthless for grinding.
Gray: Ten or more levels higher. The mobs get immense bonus to most stats, and gives no experience. Unless the mob is a boss, there is no reason whatsoever to get close to it.
Mobs: Each mob have hidden stats, including level. Each mob gives experience depending primarily on it's level and secondarily on it's "class". Unique mobs (like bosses) are stronger, and give slightly better experience. Each mob have a base amount they always give, regardless of player or his party.
Players get normal experience (without bonuses or penalties) only if their level is equal to the mobs level, and they are not in party.
Party does change experience gained. Experience gained from mob is shared equally between all players, after which all bonuses/penalties are applied (experience stones, level difference from mob etc.) and a slight bonus for partying. That means that you'll get slightly more than half of what you would normally, when you duo, for example.
Quests: Each quest, when completed, gives gold and experience (with exception of six per faction, which are called Favor quests and are repeatable). If the quest does not have time limit, it's fixed. No matter how many mobs will be killed/items gotten, the experience gained will not increase. If the quest does have a time limit, the reward in experience and gold will increase, and chances are that additional reward will be given, that would normally not have place.
When a player levels, there are few things that happen.
- Experience bar drops to 0%. That means, level can't be lost by dying.
- That players HP/MP/SP are fully restored.
- Mobs relative level changes. Their strength is reduced (only towards player! Their stats are unchanged!), and experience they give is lessened. Those decreases are greater at specific level differences, which is symbolized by color coding (look above).
- One stat point is added to the characters stats, depending on the class (Str for fighter/warrior, Rec for defender/guardian, Wis for priest/oracle, Int for mage/pagan, Dex for ranger/assassin or Luc for archer/hunter).
- Max HP/MP/SP increase, depending on the class and mode (higher mode gain more HP/MP/SP, and it's not linear).
- That player gains stat points to freely distribute depending on it's mode (5/5/7/9 respectively for EM, NM, HM and UM).
- That player gains skill points to freely distribute depending on it's mode (3/3/4/5 respectively for EM, NM, HM and UM).
All these, with the exception of points #6 and #7, are done automatically.
To add stat points, open the status window. On the left part of it, there's a tab titled "Stat Point Setting" which opens a small, additional part of the status tab.
If you have usable points, "+" allows you to add them to corresponding stats. If you added too much, you can use "-" to undo adding of that stat, and return it to the pool of usable points (you can only remove those stats, that weren't final). When you're done, OK finalizes the stat adding (WARNING! You can't later change those stats if you click OK. Be sure that you didn't make mistake.). Cancel returns all the points to the pool of unused stat points.
1) Current stat points, along with number of points that can be distributed.
2) Button to open stat distribution tab.
1) Current stat points, along with number of points that can be distributed. They are changed only after OK was pushed.
2) Number of usable points that is updated through allocating points in the tab.
3) Stats to which points can be added, as well as "+" and "-" buttons to allocate stats. Hovering mouse over abbreviation of stat will give short description of what it does.
4) OK and Cancel buttons, to finalize the selection, or returning all points to unused pool.
To add skill points, open the skill tab. On the left part of it, there are four tabs named "Passive", "Basic", "Combat" and "Special" respectively. Clicking on one of those will show the corresponding tabs skills. "Special" can't be opened on Easy Mode.
On the right of the skill there is arrow up. If it's yellow, the skill can be leveled. Clicking on it will automatically add the level, and it can't be undone. Player can't use the skill at level lower than the maximum he/she bought.
1) Number of skill points that can be used.
2) Unselected skill tab category.
3) Selected skill tab category.
4) Active skill level up button (using it will level the skill by spending points on it).
5) Inactive skill level up button (requirements aren't met, there's not enough skill points to spend on it or maximum level already obtained).
6) Name of the next level of the skill (name of lvl1 if the skill is not bought yet, or name of last level if the skill is maxed), along with level requirements before it can be bought (written in red if character is too low, or with white if character meets them) and skill point cost. Hovering over this part shows that levels skill description.
7) Icon of the skill. If it's grayed out, the skill is not yet bought at all. Hovering over it (if it's active) will show the currently possessed levels skill description. The icon can be dragged and dropped onto the hot-key bars.
) Scroll bar, if there are more skills in the category than the skill tab can show.
IMPORTANT: If level requirements of skills lvl1 aren't met, it's not shown in the skill tab until the level they are unlocked.