Table of Contents

Rufus On Grouping
and Group Dynamics


Rufus paces around looking for the chalkboard and the chalk.

Rufus says, 'Okay... where to begin...'

Rufus looks up into the sky and ponders.

'Grouping on legend is often looked on as almost a bad thing,' Rufus says. 'A lot of what defines a character and how 'good' a character is, often is mentioned in what mobs that said person can 'solo.'.'

Rufus says, 'Trust me on that one, I was one who intended to solo every mob on the mud as 'rufus' until someone suggested herne.'

'Grouping on Legend is often seen as pretty much a high-level activity, often as a means to benefit lower levels, rather than take advantage of what a group can actually do for all its members,' Rufus says.

'Granted, sometimes it may well seem that the exp gain from grouping is far from what one can do on their own and there are very few areas on legend that demand groups at all,' Rufus says.

'What I'm going to do is suggest a few ideas and a different way to look at grouping on different levels,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'For semantic purposes, i'll start by saying that when i say 'low level' I generally mean levels 1-12, 'mid level' levels 10-35, and 'high level' levels 32-50. .'

'Sometimes I get a little shakey on 'high level' groups, because some of the tactics and methods i've discovered have been made possible only in groups of level 49's and 50's,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Let me start off with low level groups.'

Rufus says, 'Low Level groups are generally seen as a waste of time. It's very difficult to see any real advantage when the exp gain is less than a equal split (you generally lose a few exp points here or there) and the abilities...'

Rufus says, 'Of the characters are such that it is impossible to take on mobiles that would give you a significant amount more exp.'

'Let me begin by saying that the reason I like low level groups, the MAIN reason I like low level groups is so I can have someone to talk to while I'm sleeping to regen mv points,' Rufus says. '=P.'

'I have this tendancy to smoke quite a bit while playing a newbie solo, just because of the amount of time spent doing nothing,' Rufus says.

'But grouping can, and does pay off for the low levellers,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'I tend to think of it this way...'

Rufus says, 'In low level groups, the mobs you are fighting are generally doing roughly the amount of damage that you are, roughly have the same number of hit points, and roughly have an equal amount of stats.'

Rufus says, 'A group of 3-4 individuals can, per se, 'spread the damage around.' Regardless of who is 'tanking' or taking the damage, the mobs are generally going to die about 4 times as fast.'

'Everyone familiar with the generic mud terms 'tank' 'fuller' 'hitter'?' Rufus says.

'Not fuller,' Shalleigh says.

Emilio says, 'Fuller or hitter no.'

Rufus says, 'Okay, I'll backtrac a bit.'

Ptah has never heard of the latter two, so they aren't THAT generic

Rufus says, 'A tank is the person who takes the damage.'

Rufus giggles.

Shalleigh giggles.

Rufus says to Ptah, 'Every other mud I've been on has used them.'

'A 'fuller' is a term usually given to generic diku style clerics who have the ability to 'fully heal' the tank,' Rufus says.

Ptah assumes you mean tank, healer, and monster dam char

Rufus nods his agreement with Ptah.

'Legend doesn't have that so when I say 'fuller' I'll be referring to anyone who can heal large amounts through spells, surgery, or poultices,' Rufus says.

''hitters' on other muds are as ptah said, monster dam characters,' Rufus says.

'They don't reallly exist on legend like they do on other diku muds because of the radically altered combat system,' Rufus says. 'So when I refer to a 'hitter' I'll be referring to someone who can hit most of the time... e.g. high perc chars.'

Rufus says, 'But... at lower levels these terms apply more than at any other time on legend.'

'Because as a general rule, you get single attacks, as do the mobs, so the actual damage of the weapon means quite a bit more than when you're swinging multiple times a round,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'And Ptah might well argue me on that point, but in a 'weapon damage per round to hit point of mob' comparison between low levels and high levels, I think it rings pretty true.'

'So a low level group of 3-4 individuals can generally consist of any set of types of characters,' Rufus says.

'The key in the lower level groups is not to let any single individual take all the damage,' Rufus says. 'As i said, 'spread the damage around' and the result, generally, is that you can take on 5-6 times more mobiles than you would solo.'

'Even after a small downgrade after the exp split, you're guaranteed to be that much farther ahead,' Rufus says.

'As the low levellers progress, certain roles can be defined,' Rufus says. 'Most people have an idea of what the character thay have made is supposed to be, but when it comes down to it, the person with the most hit points works best for a tank.'

'Especially at low levels,' Rufus says.

'At low levels other things are quite important,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Hit roll, and AC matter A LOT at the lower levels.'

Rufus says, 'So whoever happens to be 'tanking' should have the lowest AC in the group, the most hit points, and will generally have the highest hit roll.'

Rufus says, 'This is because of the way the aggressive/wary settings work.'

Rufus says, 'Everyone familliar with the agg/wary commands and what they do?'

Rufus says, 'Anyone NOT familliar with how they work?'

'Feel free to speak out, btw, I don't mind spam =P,' Rufus says.

Ptah coded them so is pretty sure he knows :)

Rufus bonks Ptah on the head!

'You're question?' Rufus says to Shalleigh.

Shalleigh says to Rufus, 'Whats does wary show??? or do???'

Rufus says, 'There's a contiuum(sp?) known as the agg/wary settings on legend.'

'They range from -3 to +3, when you enter the game, or when you sleep, or meditate or root, they default to 0,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'By typing in 'wary' you effectively decrease your 'hit roll' by 1...'

'And how's it affect AC?' Rufus says to Ptah.

Rufus was never sure on that part.

'It doesn't,' Ptah says.

'Doesn't it give the mob a -1 to hit you?' Diamanda says.

Rufus nods his agreement with Diamanda.

Rufus says, 'That's it.'

'One wary makes you harder to hit by that amount and also makes your opponent harder to hit by that amount,' Ptah says.

Rufus nods solemnly.

Shalleigh says, 'So by typing in wary you make it tougher to hit you??? whats the draw back to it??'

'It applies a -1 hitroll to you,' Rufus says. 'Making it harder for you to hit the mob.'

Carmen says, 'Its tougher for you to hit them.'

'Think of it as staying away from the enemy or moving in real close and agressive,' Ptah says to Shalleigh.

Shalleigh raises her hand again

'Yes?' Rufus says to Shalleigh.

Shalleigh says to Rufus, 'So in the reverse..if you are more agg you are easier to hit.'

Rufus says, 'You are easier to hit, plus it gives you a bonus to hit the mob.'

Ptah says to Shalleigh, 'Also easier for you to hit them.'

Shalleigh says, 'So if you have good enough armor..and can take the damage can be positive to be more agg..but for low level..'

Shalleigh says, 'Go wary.'

Rufus says, 'Not necessarily.'

'The person that you want as a tank should always be the most aggressive in the group,' Rufus says.

'Then I think I'm lost..whats the benifits for it then,' Shalleigh says to Rufus.

'As the mobs will tend to turn to attack the most aggressive person in the group,' Rufus says.

Brinn raises his hand.

Rufus says to Brinn, 'Yes?'

'Does the mob suffer a penalty when it switches?' Brinn says.

'So..if grouped..the person who "tanks" should have the highest agg???' Shalleigh says to Rufus.

Rufus nods his agreement with Shalindra.

'The nice thing about low level groups is that the fights usually last long enough that you can adjust mid-combat your wary/agg setting after you evaluate how well you are doing against the mob,' Rufus says.

'You had a question?' Rufus says to Brinn.

Brinn says to Rufus, 'Does the mob suffer a penalty when it switches?'

'As in, easier to hit, less able to hit during the switch-attack...' Brinn says to Rufus.

Rufus shakes his head.

'It only affects it when the actual hitrolls are made,' Rufus says.

'It does however keep you from doing any special attacks for a round,' Rufus says.

Brinn nods solemnly.

Rufus says, 'Once a low level group proceeds to gather a few skills, the combat tactics may need to be looked at a bit.'

'Skills like kick, bash, headbutt, entrance, backstab always change the way a group functions,' Rufus says.

'Entrance...what is that?' Myriad says.

'Entrance, entrance is a skill where you play or sing and are able to incapacitate your opponent by making them dance,' Rufus says.

Brinn chortles with amusement.

'It lasts for a tick, and causes the victim to take extra damage,' Rufus says.

Vladamir begins to dance helplessly, entranced by sound of Rufus' voice.

Rufus pets Vladamir lovingly.

Rufus says, 'One thing I've found, in low level groups as well as high level groups, is the alternating headbutt strategy... which I'm assuming most of you have heard of.'

Diamanda grins evilly.

'Nope,' Brinn says.

Rufus says, 'This requires at least 2 people, but I generally like to have 3 or 4 just in case anyone misses, or in case anyone happens to stun themselves.'

Rufus says, 'The first person leads with a headbutt, the second person waits a round and then headbutts.'

Brinn nods solemnly.

'Hoping to keep the mob stunned,' Brinn says.

'If both of you have been in the game and haven't rented for a while, you can literally go through mob after mob without getting hit at all,' Rufus says.

'What does rent have to do with it?' Brinn says to Rufus.

Croaker nods his agreement with Brinn.

'I'm not going to go into how who attacks who is evaluated,' Rufus says. 'But basically, if the mob popped up after the last time you rented, they get to attack you first, if you headbutt them, they don't get to pass go and collect $200.'

'Other skills like backstab, rearrange the combat order,' Rufus says.

'Backstabbers always have to attack first,' Rufus says.

Rufus holds up a giant sign reading 'EXCEPT'

'If you manage to stun a mob for more than one round and the message,' Rufus says.

is stunned, but will probably recover.

'Appears,' Rufus says.

'You can backstab again,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Provided you aren't currently fighting.'

Rufus says, 'As a general rule, the backstabber needs to attack first, though.'

Diamanda raises her hand

Rufus says to Diamanda, 'Yes?'

Diamanda says, 'If you're in a group, and the fight rages while the mob is stunned, but you are not fighting, can you backstab the stunned mob, even if the other player is fighting it?'

Rufus nods his agreement with Diamanda.

'Wow,' Diamanda says.

'That's all i wanted to know :),' Diamanda says.

Rufus says, 'Any attack against a stunned mob does double damage.'

Rufus says to Jean-Jaques, 'Eys?'

'Yes even,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Okay jean's a bit lagged so... I'll continue.'

'This includes attacks like kick, but kick wakes the mob up, after doing double damage =(,' Rufus says.

'But spells don't?' Vladamir says.

'Spells don't,' Rufus says.

Densiva nods his agreement with Rufus.

'Warcry the same as kick?' Vladamir says.

'Warcry won't wake a stunned victim up,' Rufus says.

'Nor can you entrance a stunned victim,' Rufus says.

Rufus is getting a little off track here... will try to pull it back in.

Rufus says, 'Lemme cover a few of the strategies that I've found that work well.'

'At low levels, agg wary is important, so decide on what agg level your tank can sit at,' Rufus says. 'Adjust everyone elses donward at least one, preferrably two, and if you have a weaker character in the party, even further.'

'Make sure before you start combat, that everyone knows who is doing what,' Rufus says. 'This goes across the board, but very crucial at low levels.'

Jean-Jaques says, 'How can I tell how much damage I'm doing? The "barely nicks" and "pierces" and "enters one side and exits the other" messages I see don't tell me much ...'

Jean-Jaques says, 'Sorry, lag.'

Rufus says, 'After you've fought quite a while, you'll begin to notice patterns, namely, how fast the mob dies in accordance to your messages.'

Rufus says, 'You can also have your weapon identified or armslored, take the average damage and then multiply that by the number of attacks you get with the weapon.'

Rufus says, 'That will give you an estimate of how much damage you're actually doing.'

Rufus says, 'Okay covered agg/wary...'

'After you learn some combat oriented skills, keep the agg wary settings going, that's generally a good thing,' Rufus says. 'But start looking at who has what skills. .'

Rufus says, 'In a group of three people, Backstab/headbutt/wait 1 round then headbutt is a deadly combination.'

'Low level spell casters, planning on grouping should focus more on healing than damage,' Rufus says. 'So if you have a spellcaster, get them healing spells early. If you have an herbalist, get him or her to get the healing thing going.'

'What seems like a small amount of curing at low levels is actually quite a bit when you consider the mobs are doing very very little damage to you,' Rufus says.

Myriad raises her hand.

Rufus says to Myriad, 'Yes?'

'I heard it is best to get stun at as low a level as this wrong?' Myriad says to Rufus.

'In general, getting all your spells as early as possible is best,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Mainly for success rate.'

'In general, if you learn all your words before anything else, by the time you reach level 40 or so you're never going to fail spells at all,' Rufus says.

'I'm going to move in to the mid-level groups now,' Rufus says. 'Unless there are any other questions or comments on low level groups?'

Jean-Jaques nods solemnly.

Sabella smiles at Rufus.

Rufus lies down and goes to sleep.

Rufus wakes and stands up.

Rufus peers around the room intently.

'Say does not begin with sl,' Rufus says.

Rufus peers around the room intently.

Carmen giggles.

Jean-Paul peers around the room intently.

Sabella giggles.

Shalindra laughs at Rufus.

Rufus falls asleep at his own lectures, how sad.

Gently picked nylon-string acoustic guitar drifts around you, probably from where Ptah is disturbing Rufus' lecture by playing in the background.

Vladamir smiles happily.

'Okay,' Rufus says.

Jean-Paul chuckles politely.

Densiva smiles at Rufus.

Rufus shuts his door.

Rufus ruffles Ptah's hair playfully.

'Okay, mid level groups become a little more beneficial,' Rufus says.

'Okay sorry about that slight delay,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Mid-level groups can start killing mobs a few levels higher, and sometimes, many levels higher than their own.'

'Mid level groups start seeing massive damage spells come into their members hands, and of course, you've generally got a lot more rent free and can rent better equipment,' Rufus says.

Rufus lags.

'Mid-level groups generally have a defined 'tank',' Rufus says.

'That person usually has the highest dex, lowest AC, and a hell of a lot of courage,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'It comes time for the tank to start learning the mobs.'

Rufus says, 'Let me go over some basic concepts that played a part in the low levels that are amplified in the high levels.'

Rufus says, 'Damage spells.'

Rufus says, 'I've just been informed that i'm long winded and ptah's hungry, so I'm going to finish off part of the mid-level grouping section and we'll split this in to a two part lecture.'

Diamanda giggles.

Rufus will finish it later this week or next.

Shalindra comforts Rufus.

Densiva sighs loudly.

'Anyway, damage spells against stunned mobs do twice as much damage,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'The damage these spells do is based primarily on the mind stat of the caster, so if you're going to be casting these spells, maximize that stat.'

Rufus says, 'My favorite tactic as far as this goes is the headbutt/damage spell/headbutt/damage spell.'

Rufus lags again.

'In general, this can take a mob a good 10-15 levels higher than the average in the group in about 2 rounds,' Rufus says. 'Sometimes three.'

Rufus says, 'But what makes a group effective, besides the sheer amount of damage it can do, is the fact that that group can persist almost continually for an extended period of time without resting.'

Rufus holds up a sign reading 'insert healers'

Rufus says, 'Surgeons and poulticers are a godsend to any group whose hit points are not that high, and who may be outmatched by a mob or group of mobs.'

'Poulticers can heal 100hps at a time, after leve 25 I believe,' Rufus says. 'They can do this during combat if they aren't fighting, so having one of these guys along not only gives you a free hand to wake people from stuns, but also.'

Rufus says, 'Gives a massive amount of on the fly healing.'

Rufus says, 'Surgeons, if I remember right, can't heal a person while that person is fighting, but the amount they can heal before and after a fight far outdoes what most spellcasters can.'

Rufus says, 'Mid levels are where i recommend groups to be in the 4-5 person range, sometimes even 6.'

Rufus says, 'Don't be afraid to take on mobs that would generally shoot you down in a second, use the force of the group to speed the battle, use the healers to prolong the tanks ability to fight.'

Rufus says, 'The one required skill for a tank this level (well two actually, one being dodge) is rescue.'

'Any time a mob is stunned and is woken up, it attacks the person who woke them up,' Rufus says. 'If that person happens not to be the tank, you can run in to some large problems.'

Rufus says, 'As a general rule, when groups get that large, the tank should NEVER use the headbutt skill, or bash, or anything that would keep him or her from minimizing the damage.'

Rufus says, 'If the tank ends up stunned, the mobs does double damage on the tank, or the mob turns to attack someone else in the group and the tank is lying there incapacitated.'

'Mid level groups become focused on the preservation of the tank in order to gain exp,' Rufus says. 'This includes healing, and beating the crap out of mobs faster so they don't get much time beat up the tank.'

Rufus says, 'Wheras this may sound very simple, and rather logical, I've seen many groups fail because they were too interested in showing off fancy skills, or trying solo tactics in groups.'

'When it comes to mid level groups, it's minimize damage to the group, maximize damage to the mob, and maximize healing at the lowest cost. ,' Rufus says.

Rufus thinks that this is probably a good breaking point, and will entertain any questions or comments that anyone has and continue with high level group strategies next tuesday.

'Okay, I left off last time at the end of midlevel groups... shall i recap some or all of what I said?' Rufus says.

McDougan says, 'Yes.'

'Recap that is,' Rufus says.

Conan nods his agreement with Rufus.

Thyme nods his agreement with Rufus.

'Please..for those of us that missed that part :),' Shalleigh says to Rufus.

'Okay, basically, low level groups, the idea is to spread the damage arounnd between the party's members, taking mobs of the same or lower level in great number in order to gain a lot of exp...' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Okay, basically, low level groups, the idea is to spread the damage arounnd between the party's members, taking mobs of the same or lower level in great number in order to gain a lot of exp...'

Rufus says, 'Three roles develop upon reaching mid level, those who can tank, those who can do damage and those who can heal.'

'Now we all know people that can do all three, but I'm lecturing on groups, not on superchars =P,' Rufus says.

'Alright..' McDougan says.

Conan flexes his muscles in an attempt to impress Rufus.

Thyme giggles at Conan.

'Did someone say Mandolin?' Conan says.

Shalleigh giggles at Conan.

Rufus says, 'My biggest encouraemnt for grouping at low level... and this may seem a little silly, but is to have someone to talk to while you sleep to regain move.'

Rufus says, 'Heh.'

Rufus pats Conan on the head.

Shalleigh giggles at Rufus.

Rufus says to Conan, 'Mandolin has no way to heal herself.'

Shalleigh nods her agreement with Rufus.

Malisa giggles.

'She can hit and tank, but as far as healing?' Rufus says. 'She blows goats.'

'Me either,' Conan says to Rufus.

'Big hairy ones,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Anyway...'

Malisa nods solemnly.

'Midlevel groups can start to take mobs of a higher level, relying on preserving the tank and doing a lot of damage to a mob,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'I recommend groups of at least 3, at most 6.'

Rufus says, 'Groups larger than that at mid level become a little unwieldy and the exp gain is minimal.'

'What's a tank?' McDougan says.

Rufus says, 'A tank is someone who takes all the damage.'

Thyme says, 'LOts of hps..'

McDougan says, 'Thanks!'

'Lots of hps, high dex, low ac, max agg setting, and rescue,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'As much as we all love headbutt...'

'A tank should NEVER headbutt, or use STUN, unless they are 100% sure they can stay awake,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Two reasons for this:'

Rufus says, 'First off, if the tank stuns him or herself, the mob runns a high risk of attacking someone else in the party.'

Rufus says, 'Secondly, if the tank fails, misses and ends up on the ground, or stuns himself or herself and then gets hit, they take additional damage.'

'I pulled this neat trick today and nearly got my groupmate killed...' Rufus says.

Rufus scuffles his feet around in the dirt.

Rufus headbutted otto.

Conan nods his agreement with Rufus.

'It was dumb,' Rufus says.

'Anyway...' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Moving on to high level groups.'

Rufus says, 'High level groups share some advantages, in that the spellcasters have next to no chance of failing spells, people have TONS of hitpoints.'

Rufus says, 'People can rent sanc rings...'

Rufus says, 'In this capacity, many characters attempt to 'do everything on their own'... mages compromize their primary fighting stat (Mind) in order to have a high standard fighting stat.'

Rufus says, 'Whereas this is great for solo'ing, in groups the opposite can be much much more deadly.'

'Let's take an example of a 5 member group,' Rufus says.

'We'll have 2 spellcasters, one cause one create,,' Rufus says.

'A tank, mid-high perc, 100dex, tons of hps,' Rufus says.

'Someone who can do a lot of damage... 100str 100dex str fighter...' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'And a 100spr herbalist.'

'Now lets take the best of all possible worlds, in that both cause and create (and I'm referring to 3rd circle here) have 100 mind,' Rufus says.

'This group goes up against a human mob, non agg of reasonably high level,' Rufus says.

Conan politely raises a hand.

Rufus says, 'Take time to prepare the mob, clumsy, weaken, idiocy...'

Rufus says to Conan, 'Yes?'

Conan says to Rufus, 'Will a 100str damager be worth having, or won't a standard dex fighter do just as much because of the damage cap?'

'Getting to that,' Rufus says to Conan.

Conan nods solemnly.

Rufus says, 'Okay..'

'The herbalist will generally sit out of a fight, or lend prep hands, keep the tank awake and keep the tank healthy,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'If possible, it's always a good idea for the tank to throw their nickel in the hat for a paralyzing backstab, so leading with backstab is always a good idea.'

Rufus says, 'The #1 biggest mistake a group member can make is to pretype.. .at any point in time.'

Conan nods solemnly.

Rufus says, 'If the paralyze lands, there's no need for an immediate headbutt or stun, nor should you ever kick a stunned mob.'

Rufus says, 'Headbutt does at most 5 poitns of damage, if the mob is already paralyzed, stunning it again doesn't do anything.'

'If the mob is stunned, either by the backstab or by the headbutt (coming of couruse from the damager) the mages should both use their most damaging spell immediately after the headbutt,' Rufus says.

'Currently spells ignore 1) the damcap, 2) sanctuary, and 3) they don't wake the mob,' Rufus says.

'If the mob is stunned, it does double damage,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Lemme give yo ua quick example then...'

Thyme says, 'Wow...'

Rufus says, 'Okay backstab lands, but no paralyze, headbutt lands, 100 mind create mage casts flamestrike, 100mind cause casts immolation.'

'Before the mob gets a CHANCE to attack, you've already done potentially, 225-240 hps of damage to the mob,' Rufus says.

'Back to the strength fighter...' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'The first thing after the backstab the damager should do is type kill , then RAGE, then any special attack.'

McDougan says, 'Um... what's rage?'

Rufus says, 'The reason for this is rage damage is calculated AFTER the damcap, and hence the hitters can actually do a lot more damage.'

'A mid-high level skill that gives a damage bonus,' Rufus says.

McDougan says, 'Oh!'

Rufus says, 'There's another funny thing about attacks against stunned mobs...'

Rufus says, 'You autohit all of your attacks, but...'

'Here's the clincher,' Rufus says.

'Only the first two to three attacks actually are calcuated as double the damage,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Usually.'

'Seeing as str fighters generally only get 2-3 attacks with a decent damage weapon, they're doubling all of those,' Rufus says.

Conan beams delightedly.

'Calculate rage on top of that, and the damcap changes from 30 doubled to 60, to a max of 72 points of damage per round,' Rufus says.

'Any questions before I continue?' Rufus says.

Shalleigh raises her hand

'Sure,' Rufus says to Shalleigh.

'Ok..I guess I dont understand the total much is that different from before..I missed that part,' Shalleigh says to Rufus.

Rufus says to Shalleigh, 'How is it different from mid level groups?'

Shalleigh nods her agreement with Rufus.

Rufus says, 'Bigger mobs.'

Rufus winks suggestively at Shalleigh.

Shalleigh giggles.

Rufus says, 'Higher levellers can go for a much longer time without resting.'

Shalleigh says to Rufus, 'So we can take higher level mobs with it?'

Rufus nods his agreement with Shalleigh.

Shalleigh thanks Rufus heartily.

Emilio raises his hand

Densiva raises his hand.

Rufus says, 'Let me cover some skills that I left out of that group.'

'Yes?' Rufus says to Emilio.

'How much more damage is the strength fighter likely to do than a dex or con?' Emilio says.

'Right now with the dam cap, not a whole hell of a lot,' Rufus says. 'The nice thing about str fighters is they hit the dam cap more easily, they also tend to keep mobs stunned longer because of their fewer attacks.'

'Yes?' Rufus says to Densiva.

Densiva says, 'What skill should i boost in order to increase the chance of getting a paralizing backstab?'

'Dex and perc,' Rufus says.

Densiva sighs loudly.

'What stats affect stun?' Zair says.

Thyme tugs on Rufus's sleeve imploringly.

McDougan bleeds quietly to himself.

Rufus says, 'Backstab is based on your perception vs their dex, (or your dex vs their perception, I can't remember) to hit, and the % chance of paralysis is based solely on your perception.'

'I ready had 100 on bioth, and it didnt seem to help much..' Densiva says to Rufus.

'Damage is based on your perception and the damage of the weapon (the single dice value),' Rufus says.

'Mind vs,' Rufus says to Zair. 'Mind.'

Zair says, 'Hmm.'

Rufus says to Thyme, 'Yes?'

'What stat should I raise to increase the chances of a paralyzing warcry?' Thyme says.

Zair says, 'I had 100 mind against a swarth and got stunned.'

Zair giggles.

Rufus says to Thyme, 'Con and strength.'

'Er swarthy captain i mean,' Zair says.

Elidan raises her hand.

'It's possible,' Rufus says to Zair.

Zair nods his agreement with Rufus.

'Yes?' Rufus says to Elidan.

Elidan says to Rufus, 'How about headbutt?'

Elidan says, 'I mean, what determines how well it works.'

Elidan hopes nobody asked that already.

'Headbutt is based on your dex vs their dex to hit and the chance of you stunning yourself is based on your con vs theirs,' Rufus says to Elidan.

'Okay, thanks,' Elidan says to Rufus.

Punish raises hand

'Hope that changes,' Zair says.

Rufus says to Punish, 'Yes?'

'Carry around an herbalist with you,' Rufus says to Conan. '=P.'

'Ok bash what is it makes it tick,' Punish says.

McDougan raises his hand

Malisa thought we were here to talk about grouping...

'I'll get to bash in a minute,' Rufus says.

Rufus says to Malisa, 'Unfortunately when you talk about skills in groups a lot of this comes up.'

Malisa nods solemnly.

Zair says, 'I know good grouping stratagy for cause mages...'

Rufus says to McDougan, 'Yes?'

Rufus will get to other skills in a sec.

McDougan waves his raised hand around wildly.

Malisa nods solemnly.

'Sorry...' McDougan says. 'I can't type and look at the screen at the same time... What if you just can't group? then what?'

Rufus says, 'Well we all need to function solo, to some degree... alistaire couldn't but that's another story...'

Thyme tugs on Rufus's sleeve imploringly.

Rufus says to Thyme, 'Yes?'

'Is all this going to change with the skill trees?' Thyme says.

Rufus says, 'Maybe I'll do a lecture on soloing mobs.'

'Damage cap...' Thyme says.

'ALL of it will,' Gail says. 'ALL of it.'

Thyme says, 'Stats that determine success of special attacks...'

'If anything else it will become infintely more apparent how well groups function after skill trees, but yes a lot of this will be changing,' Rufus says to Thyme.

Rufus nods his agreement with Thyme.

Densiva goes EEK! in distress.

Gail says, 'After skill trees, groups will be more efficient.'

'You trying to kill the "solo" fighter?' Thyme says.

Rufus says, 'No they'll still be around.'

Punish smiles happily.

Thyme says, 'Hm..'

'Okay lemme get back on topic,' Rufus says.

Sabella says, 'The basic strategies will be even more useful, the more specific things may need some modification.'

Rufus says, 'Anway... skills that I didn't cover..'

Thyme giggles.

Rufus says, 'First I'm incredibly fond of ancient characters... 3rd circle mages, full herbalists...'

Rufus says, 'And I've found they work the best in groups.'

'Shooting wakes mobs up,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'But it does do double damage if the mob is stunned.'

Rufus says to Thyme, 'Yes?'

'I have a question about the way the ex points are divided up amount the groups....' Thyme says.

Rufus says, 'Heh.'

'I have a lot of those,' Rufus says.

Rufus giggles.

Thyme says, 'Why do we get cheated?'

Rufus says, 'Actually I wouldn't put it as 'cheated'... you actually only lose about 1-2% of the entire kill.'

'No thats not true....' Thyme says.

Thyme says, 'Example....9k mob 2 people in group....'

'One gets 1.5k the other gets 4k...why?' Thyme says.

Rufus says, 'Level difference.'

'It divides up the exp then applies the level adjustment to it,' Rufus says.

Thyme says, '1.5k +4K doesnt equel 9k.'

I was soloing captains st 19 and never got even 1/2 their exp for it..' Densiva says to Rufus.

Thyme says, 'Ahh....'

Malisa thinks Rufus gets the missing xp

'You were less than 1/2 their level right?' Rufus says to Densiva.

Thyme says, 'Why does a low level charcter get less ex points for kill a high level mob than a high level....'

'They are 47th i think..' Densiva says.

'Technically, you shouldn't be able to kill them at all,' Rufus says.

Rufus says to Thyme, 'That's a whole nother subject.'

'But you can,' McDougan says.

'I can solo Mustapha........level 38 mob,' Thyme says.

'At level 9,' Thyme says.

'Ooh!' McDougan says. 'Where is he?'

Thyme says, 'Its gotta be harder for me than a level 38 character.....'

Sabella thinks we should listen to the lecturer :)

'I should get more ex points,' Thyme says.

'Technically it should be impossible, but I won't get in to that,' Rufus says.

Malisa nods her agreement with Sabella.

'Can we keep the topic to grouping....' Gail says.

Sabella says, 'And stay on subject.'

McDougan says, 'I want to hear this personally.'

Conan says, 'Gail's word is law, you mendicants...'

Thyme giggles.

Thyme falls to his knees and worships Gail's existence.

Rufus says, 'Anway, shooting does do double damage, but really can't compete with the damage a good spell caster can do. .'

Rufus says, 'Bash wakes a mob from stun.'

Rufus says, 'And entrance ...'

Rufus rolls his eyes heavenward.

Rufus hates that skill.

Rufus says, 'Has a low success rate, a terrible delay on it, and really is more of a solo tactic.'

McDougan says, 'Please explain what these skills are.'

'Bash sets your victim to sitting, in which case they take 1/3 extra damage,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Entrance makes your victim helpless and makes them take 2/3 extra damage.'

'Makes them dance,' Rufus says.

'What about kick?' Conan says. 'Just does extra damage? and what is that damage based on, level or str?'

Rufus stands on his tip-toes and does a Snoopy-like dance of joy!

'Dance???' McDougan says.

'Kick wakes them up... but it does do double damage,' Rufus says.

'To a max of 60 points,' Rufus says.

'Here's what I recommend as a 'good' strategy..' Rufus says.

'First round: tank backstabs, immediately followed by a headbutt and two damage spells, second round, tank kicks... alternate that and you can cause a hell of a lot of damage...' Rufus says.

Rufus will take questions in a moment.

'The other skills are not to be thrown out, however,' Rufus says.

'This is where knowledge comes in to play,' Rufus says. 'The tank should know each and every mob that they're fighting inside and out, what specials, what abilities they have, does the mob have sanctuary, how many hit points does the mob have.'

'Um, sorry again, but what's sanctuary,' McDougan says.

McDougan is not understanding this really.

'Sanctuary is an affect that players using certain items or mobs can have that enables them to take half damage from most attacks,' Rufus says.

'Ah!!!!!' McDougan says.

Rufus says, 'Your mages can come in handy here with things like aura sight (will let you see sanc'd mobs), etc..'

'Some mobs cannot be backstabbed, some can only if they're sleeping, some can't be headbutted, some can be stunned,' Rufus says.

McDougan says, 'Why?'

'Why know these thigns?' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'To plan strategy in advance.'

'No, why can't they be backstabbed, etc?' McDougan says.

Conan makes it his business to know nothing... Which is probably why he visits the wells in sidhe land so often.

'Some mobs are flagged so they can't be,' Rufus says.

'How do you tell?' McDougan says.

'Mobs like the shades in ireland are non corporeal, have no spines, where do you backstab them?' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'If you try and backstab them and it says 'You can't possibly backstab it.'.'

'As far as I'm concerned, any group with a 100 mind mage that is not tanking is up against stunnable mobs,' Rufus says.

'All mobs however, can be bashed,' Rufus says.

Punish cheers wildly!

'If all else fails, alternate bashes, this will at least keep the mob from doing special attacks,' Rufus says.

'Or most special attacks that are skills,' Rufus says.

Rufus says, 'Everything apparently has a solar plexus as well, *eyeroll* and can be kicked.'

Rufus says, 'I'm going to wrap up by saying a few more things about high level groups.'

Rufus says, 'I'm going to say a few things in conclusion...'

Rufus says, 'High level groups can persist and kill large numbers of high level mobs because 1) they don't need to stop and rest very often, 2) there are usually ample amounts of repairing skills in the group 3) any items that go the way of the wi.'

'The way of the wind can easily be replaced, and 4) they can do a ton of damage,' Rufus says.

'The keys to this are:' Rufus says.

'Agg wimpy settings, the tanks of high level groups should always be +3 agg, mages at -3, and everyone else inbetween,' Rufus says.

'Do agg warr affect the success of spells?' Thyme says.

Rufus says, 'A knoweldgable tank, one who knows what they'll be fighting.'

'No,' Rufus says to Thyme.

Rufus says, 'And finally, communication.'

'Knowing what each member is going to be doing before the fight begins is the primary reason groups succeed, not knowing is the primary reason groups fail,' Rufus says.

Rufus has surely missed a lot, and will entertain questions for a while, as long as the questions pertain to grouping, or relatively close to there.

McDougan says, 'How about DT and groups?'

'Only the leader goes in,' Rufus says.

'Ok..' McDougan says.

Malisa thanks Rufus heartily.