Guide is now on Steam, please throw it a vote if you find the resource useful http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=609210378 UNDER CONSTRUCTION Eternal Crusade Melee Tutorial Alpha Patch #12 (updated 18/2) These are my assessments of the basics of melee combat and a few more detailed pointers I've learned from better players than myself. I'll add more clips if requested, some of the changes may be confusing. Apologies for the clip quality, my PC is middle-road so I've turned off a lot of shadow/post-processing quality Compulsory Caveats: I've got a lot of gaming experience. I'm not anywhere close to leet. I ask questions and test stuff. Can't help you with basic twitch or accuracy skills. Tons of guides for those elsewhere. Disagreement welcome ! Back it up though. Edge cases and strange inconsistencies aside I'm dealing with the “when everything works” attitude to an Alpha. Don't piss and moan about how the system is too complex. This isn't the place to debate what needs to be fixed or give suggestions. This is all How and When of the system, not the Why. My opinion is "I like it", it's getting better every patch (as of #12). If you want to link to something thread contributors or I discuss in here then go right ahead. This is so subject to change I shouldn't have bothered but it didn't take long and I forgot to get the forum Christmas presents So then, Eternal Crusade's Thwappy-mode: Is it harder than ranged combat ? No. Yes, atm it is in certain matchups. Is it more complex than ranged combat ? Certainly. Is it viable against ranged combat ? Yes. Even more so played right. Is it more than just spam ? If you want to beat good players, yes. The Basics i.e TL;DR: Laaaame. I do recommend reading on for more clarity/examples. So, EC's melee system has a few core basics that are easy enough to explain. The Attacks: Fast Attack, RMB (by default) - No cast time, fastest attack, average damage, minimal stagger. Charged Attack, Hold RMB - Has a cast time, maximum damage, maximum stagger. Defensive Bash, LMB+RMB - Longest cast time, minimal damage, average stagger. Evade Attack, SPACE then RMB - Rolling/Boosting Fast Attack, great for slower weapons. Sprint Attack, SHIFT then RMB - Strong Lunge attack (melee) or shoulder charge (ranged). Attack Rules: 2 attacks of the same type will counter each other, resulting in no damage or stagger. Repeated "Clangs" will eventually result in a win for the character with the largest weapon. 2 attacks of different types will interupt or be interrupted by the alternate attack. This is a paper-scissors-rock(ish) where Fast Attack > Charged Attack > Defensive Bash > Fast Attack (etc). You can trigger a Fast Attack while Sprinting creating a Shoulder Bash or Lunge (depending on weapons) for extra damage/stagger. You can trigger a Fast Attack while Evading for an Evade Attack that closes range more safely and can be used to flank an opponent. Using Lock-On: With a Smart Pistol or Storm Shield equipped you can hold ALT or CTRL to lock on to an enemy within range ala Dark Souls. Your movement will now be rotational and relative to the target. You cannot Sprint while locked on so it works best at melee range. This is not necessary but will help guide movement, attacks and defensive actions. Note: It does not guarentee a hit, movement of either player affects the direction of the attacks greatly. [UPDATE] State of the Patch (#12): What's good: Patch 12 is an aggressive step away from the 1-and-done results that have been typical for several patches now. Previously a single attack could be enough to either kill an engaged opponent or leave them stunned for long enough to kill them without any chance of recovery. There are still a few attacks, weapons and attack interaction that can still end combat very quickly but they are the acceptable outliers and not the norm. What is most common is that a single mistake or incorrect move will rarely result in a guaranteed death. This is an excellent move that maximizes player agency. Although you come out of losing the first round of combat weaker than your opponent it is still largely feasible to make a comeback through smart play and turn the tables. What's meh: The Defensive Bash is still completely broken, or rather the cast window of the Bash is broken. If you use a Fast Attack against the Bash as it's being cast you will lose ALL Stamina. Not good for anyone, but particularly fatal for Mark of Nurgle Traitors and Storm Shield ASMs as they rely on Stamina for offensive and defensive capabilities. I have no idea what the kick from the Defensive Bash actually does. The cast period still soaks Fast Attacks well however the Bash itself doesn't stagger at all. It does cue the high pitched SFX and camera wave that can be disorienting but it still allows the victim to attack, including spamming Fast Attacks. I get the above 2 paragraphs are strange ... It's this weird dichotomy where the Bash is UP but the Bash's Guard is OP The Mitigation part of the on-hit buffs generated by Assault classes has been removed temporarily. This means that an Assault player who makes it into combat does not have nearly as much ability to progress to the next combat or escape. This buff will return attached to wargear later but for now it is a sizable nerf coming out of patch 11. The weapon Force values (talked about further down) are not balanced at all just yet. This continues to make Clanging less favourable to larger weapons than it should be. The new Meltagun is over powered presently (typical for new Alpha weapons) but it's horrible against melee opponents given it's ease of use and low TTK. Weapon Attack Properties: Patch #12 Melee Weapons: Narthecium (Apothecary) Combat Knife (Tactical) Heavy Combat Knife (Tactical) Chainsword (Assault) Force Sword (Aspiring Sorcerer) Power Sword (Assault) Power Axe (Assault) Power Fist (Assault) *Apothecary Chain Sword temporarily removed.Weapons have different Force values, damage output, penetration, attack speeds, charge time (for the Charged Attack) and recovery delays after each attack. General rule #1 - Weapons Clang: The Clang ! Underline that. Clang! It is the result of an action rather than an action itself, but understanding Clanging is a crucial part of melee. Luckily it's very intuitive: Think of it as a timed Block added to your basic attack action. If your melee attack collides with the attack of an enemy who is facing you, then both attacks will fail, no damage will be dealt (providing you have Stamina) and both combatants will be penalized some Stamina. Easy. General rule #2 - Size Dictates Approach: the smaller the weapon is, the faster it can be wielded and the least punishing a mistake will be. The larger the weapon is, the slower and more unwieldy it becomes but each strike is considerably more brutal. The simplest rule of thumb is if you're equipping a smaller weapon then more agile movement and more attacks are required where a larger weapon relies more on making every sluggish attack as clean and accurate as possible. A larger weapon with a higher Force value will also break through an opponent's Stamina quicker when Clanged and can therefore be spammed more reliably, wearing the opponent down until they fail and their weapons can no longer block. That's good because the Charged Attack cast time on the largest weapons is horrifically long and all but implausible in most 1v1 melee situations. This is a fundamental advantage common to slower weapons. What isn't great is that the current build's tuning makes this largely redundant. A Combat Knife or Narthecium can presently Clang a long time versus even a Power Weapon (6-8 hits). This is slated for a revamp but in the current build it isn't great. General rule #3 - Anti-Vehicle Properties: Weapons with the 'Power' property bypass character armour/toughness much more easily than their mundane counterparts. They can also be used for anti-vehicle duty where a Chainsword or Combat Knife attack will simply rebound harmlessly. The order of damage potency being Power Fist > Power Axe > Power Sword. Power Fist Charged Attacks do not automatically trigger while being cast. Instead the player can hold the 'charge' indefinitely until they release the key. Power Fists are able to effectively punch tanks and send them flying with their Charged Attack and induces a couple of seconds Suppression on all vehicle weapons. The Power Fist Charged Attack is also unique in that a player can not be run over by a vehicle after executing the attack (after releasing the attack from the cast). View: https://youtu.be/7SS8XcEpn24 - Sound effects courtesy of @DJPenguin General rule #4 - Melee Friendly Fire: There is no melee friendly fire active as far as damage BUT (big but) you will severely Stagger friendly characters by hitting them, making them prone to any enemies they were engaged with. It's better to avoid “helping” people engaged in active melee unless you can get to the enemy's flanks. Ground Slams, an action unique to Jump Pack characters, are the only friendly melee attacks that deal actual HP damage, on top of stunning the hell out of team mates too. Don't do it unless you're sure it will help, even a Heavy can solo a Ground Assault on their own.Attack & Actions: The Good Stuff Going to list the Paper-Scissors-Rock triumvirate first: Fast, Charged and Bash. The reason being that they are the foundation of the melee system in a lot of ways. Each has a direct counter and is in turn the counter of one of the others. Any class can use them (including Heavy classes). Do remember that each weapon will alter the speed and animation lock of each of these so the name "Fast Attack" can be very subjective depending on weapon. Also, there are additional combat actions and attack moves discussed later (Evade-Attack, Guarding, Sprint Attack etc). Fast Attack – The basic attack, tap LMB, profit (not really). Good damage, small travel distance. Fast and with the shortest action lock (how long you're committed once activating). The most easily spammed attack and given the frequency of use by everyone it is a reliable opener as it counters other spammers by Clanging. It's smart to open with it and then adjust based on the enemy's response, altering your tactics to suit what you see. Interestingly the Fast Attack of larger weapons comes with an inbuilt delay from when the input is received and when the attack damage actually triggers. The Narthecium, Knives and Sword all trigger instantly, but after activating the attack the Axe and Fist can actually rotate. This delay makes them terrible for trying to clip an escaping target, so you need to be in there face, but it does allow you to aim your attack right up until the damage occurs. It will interrupt a Charged Attack being cast, as long as you're in range (enemies using the Charged Attack's leap component cleverly cannot be stopped or Clanged) but it is useless against the Defensive Bash and can rob you of Stamina, making you extremely vulnerable. A bug that exists atm will often cause you to lose ALL your Stam when attacking the bash, so be wary of mashing it. The Fast Attack is very easy to chain into fast combos as shown here: View: https://youtu.be/mLgH7fJBFNQ Charged Attack – The heaviest attack. While not moving, hold LMB until it activates and enjoy the ride. Great damage (can 1-shot in certain cases) but slow and leaves you vulnerable especially with larger weapons like the Power Axe and Fist. Presently the iframes on the attack create a cushion that can help you soak up some ranged damage even without the melee buffs active, but you are vulnerable for a second or two while it charges up. If you miss it can travel a long way past the target (not good) so you have to be accurate with timing and aim. The Lock-On is unreliable against side/circle-strafing opponents. It will interrupt a Defensive Bash and can be charged quickly with faster weapons to be performed during the enemy's Defensive Bash cast time, with enough twitch skill. Previously the Charged Attack would bypass the Defensive Bash entirely, but now it seems to Clang and cancel the attack, doing minimal damage but allowing enough time to follow up with 2 Fast Attacks or a 2nd Charged Attack (potentially staggering the enemy indefinitely). It can however be canceled by a Fast Attack and so is the attack most prone to spam. Using it's long travel distance and timing it to strike while not yet in melee range is wise, as only the charge period can be countered. Takes practice and you can not be Sprinting when executing the manouver or you will engage a Lunge/Shoulder Bash. View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XliAXwka0ho Defensive Bash – The slowest attack and the best anti-spam weapon. Executed by hitting LMB & RMB together (causes all sorts of problems). It has a long cast length and can be evaded or countered more easily than most attacks but does allow the character to mitigate a large chunk of Fast Attack damage while being cast. The Defensive Bash has received a major revamp as of Patch #12 in that it should no longer stuns an enemy for several seconds but rather open up a brief window for the user to land a Fast Attack, queue up another Defensive Bash or Evade. I say "should" because presently the only affect generated by landing the kick part is a high-pitched sound and some camera drift. It still allows the victim to attack straight after eating a boot with no attack advantage for the user. It's natural counter is the Charged Attack, but timed well to exploit the Stamina drain it can allow any class to turn the tables on bigger melee threats (I do feel bad typing that advice). Atm two Defensive Bashs will cancel each other with the person who cast it first winning a brief respite. The cast time for Defensive Bashes and the effects it generates are not presently affected by weapon choice. All classes and loadouts execute the attack in the same way: View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ew5Ky8RlWI Note: Presently the "cast" window of Defensive Bash is completely bugged. Quite frequently it will not only absorb the damage of a Fast Attack but will completely drain the enemy's Stamina as well. This leaves the enemy unable to perform Charged Attacks, Evades (unless they have a Jump Pack) and unable to Clang nearly as well. View: https://youtu.be/oRB7O-TBrww - Also I hate Predators A Common Myth: Paper-Scissors-Rock: There is a frequently repeated falsity I read on the forums, usually as the predicate for lambasting the system. It's as much a miscommunication of the core melee system as much as it is player misunderstanding, because the Devs themselves use the terms very often, HOWEVER: The Melee system is not really a game of Paper-Scissors-Rock Why is it totally similar ?: Because there are 3 attacks, each one counters one and is in turn countered by the other. "Sounds like Paper-Scissors-Rock to me, dumb arse" you might say. Well ... Why is it totally different ?: Easy. Paper-Scissors-Rock is an apt starting point because of the above factors ^ but it's not accurate, especially now. Smaller weapons lose when 2 players Clang and you can tear through enemy stamina with a larger weapon. Therefore an Axe throwing a Fast Attack (let's say Scissors) against a Chainsword's Fast Attack helps the Axe, rather than draws. The Axe wins on both Rock AND Scissors to a lesser degree. This isn't fully balanced yet so the pay off are not as obvious as they should be, but in the upcoming melee/weapon revamp it will be crucial. Rock-Paper-Scissors relies on a "blind" throw with both players revealing their cast at the same time. EC attacks on the other hand has different attack speeds and cast length, effectively it would be like having to reveal Paper a split second before you throw Scissors and Rock just after that. It's not easy to see the cast but it does favour twitch skills vs guess/spam.