Friday, August 7

Back to Basics: Traps, Shields, Prisms and Absorbs

The Mechanics of how Traps, Shields, Prisms and Absorbs Get Applied:
For those of you familiar with inventory control systems, the usage of traps, shields, etc, would be likened to a FILO (First In Last Out) system. When you cast a spell, the traps that have been placed around your target will be used in the reverse order from the the way they were applied, so we'll call this the FOLO (First On Last Off) system.

If you place a set of Elemental Traps (One each of Ice, Fire and Storm) on your opponent, then your opponent places a Storm shield up. When you use your next Storm spell, the results would appear like this:
  • The Storm Shield would be consumed.
  • The Storm Trap from the Elemental Traps would be consumed.
Notice how the last item placed was the first item off. That scenario would still result in some damage making it through to the target. Let's change the scenario now, to include an Absorb.

If you placed a Fire Trap on your target, and then they dropped an Absorb (Life or Ice), then you hit them with a Firecat, the result would be as follows:
  • The Firecat would hit the Absorb, and the damage would be reduced to 0...that's right, a big goose egg.
  • The Fire Trap would still be consumed.
You did not misread that. Even though there was no damage remaining, and the Absorb is still in place, all Traps that should be triggered will be, even if they have no damage to increase and are behind the Absorb.

Now, I know that Prisms are one of the items that trip people up the most. The trick with Prisms it to keep in mind the FOLO (First On Last Off), and remember that when the Prism gets triggered, all of the damage from that point on registers as the opposite school.

So apply your traps from the opposite school first. We'll say we have just applied a set of Spirit Traps (One each from Death, Myth and Life). One of our team mates then applies a Myth Trap. We then put our Storm Prism on, which will convert Storm damage to Myth damage. Then we apply a Windstorm. Once we use our attack, Kraken, the result would be:
  • The Windstorm would trigger.
  • The Storm Prism would trigger (and everything will be Myth from here on)
  • The Myth Trap would trigger.
  • The Myth Trap from the Spirit Trap set would trigger.
And there you have it, the way to use your Prisms.

The Mechanics of how Traps, Shields, Prisms and Absorbs Effect a Spell:
There is a big difference in how traps react and effect our damage, compared to how our blades operated. Our blades would effect all damage from a spell, but a trap will only modify one pulse of damage.

If we return to the Fire Elf example, if you have placed 2 Fire Traps on your opponent, and then use a Fire Elf, the damage would be effected like this:
  • The first Fire Trap would get consumed with the initial damage hit.
  • The second Fire Trap would get consumed with the first damage pulse.
  • The second and third damage pulses would each produce normal damage.
This difference is important to note, especially for our Myth friends. They have a few attacks that do a double hit. If they have only applied a single Myth Trap prior to using Minotaur, then the smaller hit will use the trap up, and the larger hit will not receive any boost. This is one of the reasons that I would suggest that Myth persons not worry about Feint. To really be effective with their best hits, they have to get two of them in place, and that allows time for multiple Myth Shields to be dropped as well by the opponent.

The next item to note is how Absorbs effect spells. For the most part, they do exactly what they say they will do. A 400 point absorb, will reduce the spell, or spells until it has buffered 400 points of damage from you. If the first spell that its it only does 250 points of damage, then the Absorb will stay in place until it has reduced another 150 points of damage. These can be quite nice.

However, both the Life and Ice absorbs have a weakness. Sap Health spells. That's right, our friends the Necromancers can slip right through these special shields and drain our life away to heal themselves. The Absorbs will have absolutely NO EFFECT on...Ghoul, Vampire, Wraith or Scarecrow. So if you see one of those coming, you had better hope that you have a Tower Shield, or some form of Death Shield up, or it is going to hurt.

The Mechanics of how to Maximize Your Traps:
Stacking multiple Traps of the same type will only trigger one of them at a time. For example, if you put up two Myth Traps, when you throw your spell, only one of them will get triggered. The trick to increasing your Trap damage, is to stack traps, for the same damage school, of different types.

For example if you have trained the Spirit Traps from Niles, and you have purchased a set of Spirit Traps from the Library, then you can stack those together, and BOTH Myth Traps will get triggered when you attack. Even though they are both Spirit Traps, they are considered in game to be of different types.

You may also be able to pick up an extra trap from an amulet (Thank you Alex) for example that will stack in with your normal school traps for increased damage.

Another special note would be those special traps, Hex, Curse and Feint, which will stack with any other schools traps for increased damage.

So, you could have an amulet that give you a special Myth Trap, shoes that give you Hex or Curse, could have trained Feint and could generate a stack of traps like this:

Myth Trap (from School)
Myth Trap (from Amulet)
Spirit Trap (from Niles)
Spirit Trap (from Library )
Hex (from Shoes)
Feint (from Secondary School)

And ALL of the Myth Traps would trigger on attack, as well as the Hex and Feint, giving you 6 boosts from your Trap set. And to increase that more you could have started with a few Storm Traps, and set your Myth Prism on there before you Myth Traps to add a couple more boosts in there as well.

A Note on Calculating Damage:
For the vast majority of items in game, rounding is not used. Everything truncates to the lower number. There are some occasional exceptions, but I have not been able to pinpoint what causes those to manifest themselves. So as a general rule, always round down.

I hope that this helps you gain a firm grip on how Traps, Shields, Prisms and Absorbs can effect your spells.

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