Version 0.3 / updated on 2002JN09
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Note 1: This scroll and those that are related to it (about raids and exploration for example) are not yet finished. By that I don't just mean that I am not through improving them, I mean that the first draft is not finished yet. I decided to put them up anyway because there is still some useful information to be found in them, but be sure to check back regularly to see the additions as it is completed. When I consider that the first draft is completed I will set the version number to 1.0.
Note 2: This guide is intended for newer exiles, or exiles of low fighting ranks. Higher level hunts follow slightly different rules, with different accepted behaviors.
In this scroll you'll find some basic facts and observations about hunts. I will try to define the terms used and describe the different types of hunts/raids and some tactics that are useful to know.
There is a lot of variability involved in any hunt as many things affect the situation. The level and experience of each person in the group, the knowledge of each other's strengths and weaknesses, the geographical location, the relative strenght of the creatures compared to that of the hunting party, etc. All these variables must be taken into account. I will try to describe as many situations as I can, but mostly my goal is to give the guiding principles so that each person has a good knowledge base and can adapt easily to any situation.
A hunt is any group of exiles trying to kill creatures. A raid is a group of exiles trying to accomplish a goal. In a raid the group will probably kill creatures too but it is not the primary goal. An example of a raid is a group heading to Tenebrion's Keep [TK] to fetch an ethereal amulet. They will have to deal with the keep's guards and many creatures, but they will not stray from their goal to seek creatures to kill. An exploration expedition would fall inbetween those two categories most of the time. In an exploration the goal is to visit new areas and search for paths, etc. Often the way to do this is to clear the snell of creatures first, that is why I say that exploration may fall into either category depending on the group. I talk about raids and explorations in separate scrolls.
There are actually many types of hunts but most follow some common rules. These rules can change a bit depending on circumstances as I will explain later. To simplify I will categorise hunts in two groups: static and dynamic.
Static hunts are like hunts in undine hut for those who have done that. In a static hunt everyone is waiting in an area while someone lures creatures. Luring mean someone goes to an area where there are creatures and brings one toward those who are waiting to kill it. Usually the person luring is the brick.
A brick is a person that cannot be damaged by the creatures that are lured. Usually it is a high ranked fighter with good defense but it can also be a healer. The brick lures the creature to those waiting and just stands there while all those present try to hit it. All those present try to tag the creature.
Tagging mean to hit the creature once. If you tag a creature you will get a message when that creature is defeated that "You helped kill/vanquish a creature." You only need to hit once to get this message. It means that you get 50% of the experience value of that creature regardless of the number of people who tagged. You do not lose anything if more people tag. The only exception to this is if there are more than ten people tagging: only the last ten people who tagged get experience. So unless there are more than ten people tagging, you don't need to hit more than once, and won't get more exp by doing so. The only effect to tagging more than once is that you may prevent someone else from tagging. This is because the creature may be killed before everyone has a chance to tag. So it is a good idea to tag the creature quickly and to retreat so that others can have access to the creature to tag. Also to reduce the damage you do to the creature it is a good idea to use a light weapon. A good weapon to tag is the dagger for exemple. Tagging is also much easier from the back of the creature, and you should try to hit just as the creature is attacking the brick since it will loose balance and be easier to hit at that precise moment. And more importantly, if you tag after the creature swings, chances are better that it won't hurt you.
You should share the brick and the healers and if possible one mystic. It is important to understand that most of the time the bricks do not gain exp from the creatures you kill. They get exp from your shares and so it is important to share them. Same thing applies to healers most of the time. Bricks and healers often slaughter creatures and so get no exp from defeating them. On the other hand many of you will vanquish creatures, meaning that you get more than the usual amount of exp from defeating it (because that creature is tough for your skill level). By sharing with the brick and healers they will get 10% of what you get in terms of exp. That 10% is not taken from your expeirience, you loose nothing by sharing others. It's a synergy bonus. And if you are sharing with 5 people you get an additional 5% bonus on exp yourself. So it's all about collaboration and everyone is happy. See also my separate scroll on sharing.
What I call a dynamic hunt is a hunt where the group moves together within a snell or even across several snells. Dynamic hunts are much more demanding on each member of the hunting party because the situation is very fluid and a lot can happen all at once. The situation is a lot less controlled than in a static hunt. There are also a few tactic/skills that are required to be successful in a dynamic hunt.
Because creatures can arrive from any direction it will more often than not appear next to someone else than the brick. The first thing to do if that happens to be next to you is to drop the creature on the brick. Droping means to bring the creature to the brick so that the creature sticks to the brick. Then everyone tags as in a static hunt. The best way to drop a beast is to run toward the brick, passing as close as possible to the brick, and to just continu running part him/her. The others in the group should make sure not to prevent the drop, either by crowding the brick so that running past is hard, or by trying to tag before the drop is completed. It is often tempting to try to tag first and then drop a creature, but the only thing that will do is put everyone in danger as you'll get hits you should not receive and the healer will have to help you instead of the brick and will put himself at risk too.
Another important consideration in any hunt is to evaluate the creatures that are being bricked. Always tag the most dangerous creatures first because they're the ones that need to be killed first to reduce the danger to the brick. If a tough creature shows up and the brick is taking damage everyone should concentrate on tagging that same creature first. If all the creatures on the brick are about the same strength and pose no danger to the brick then people should tag different creatures so that everyone can work at the same time without interferring with one another. It's all about judging the situation. The two most important considerations are to keep the healer(s) up and to keep the brick up.
As much as you want it, as much as it bugs you not to get a tag on some creature, NEVER TRY TO TAG WHEN RED. This is a fundamental rule that must be followed by everyone. There are two reasons for that rule and they are very simple to understand. First: obviously if you tag on red then the chance of you falling are greater. Secondly: this one may be less obvious to some, if you get hit while red you will be more difficult to raise and the healer(s) in your party might not be able to raise you without calling some other healer(s) to help. This means delays and also increases the risks to everyone in the party so it's simply not worth it to tag on red.
The only exception to this rule is when the situation seems desparate and the healer is in danger of falling and you want to get in the way of the creature chasing him/her. As always keeping the healer up is the most important thing and sometimes it is worth falling to keep him/her up.
Remember that hunts are all about collaboration so try to always be courteous to others in your party. This means more than just saying thank you when you are being raised, it means showing consideration for the others in the party and to respect their strengths and weaknesses. For example try to use a light weapon when tagging so that others have a chance of tagging also. You might let lower level exiles try to tag first or those with less combat skills. Let healers tag first if they want to tag because once you tag and get injured they will have to heal you before tagging and might loose their chance. Try not to block the access to a creature or the escape routes of other exiles. Listen to what the more experienced exiles tell you.
One of the key to success in any kind of venture is knowing when to run away. Even when the situation seems under control there might be a back spawn and you suddenly find yourself surrounded, or the undines might be stronger than expected and threaten the brick, etc. It is often obstination or reluctance to run that causes disasters. Always try to evaluate the situation and be ready to run for it if it seems too tough for the group. Sometimes just staying out of trouble is the best way for you to help, because it means one less worry for the brick and healer(s). If possible try to always know where you are and where the safe areas are so that you can run there to safety. When running, try to unequip your weapon so that you won't be stopped by rats. Ideally the whole group should run to the same place or risk getting split up and killed indvidually. If that isn't possible then at least try to indicate where you are going so that the others can find you when things calm down, but do this only if you can do so without risking to fall. A very good guide on how to run is found here and should be read by everyone.
More to come (specially tough hunts, hunts in odd places (zerk wood, Snaggy, etc)...