Basics of Combat
The Stick of Truth features combat that resembles that of the old-fashioned turn based JRPG’s, but it features a bit of a twist that requires its players to be a bit more active during the combat.
Melee attacks feature three levels.
1. A basic fast attack. These are fast attacks that can be executed more than once, depending on the weapon being used. They’re executed by pressing A on the Xbox 360 controller, and X on the PlayStation 3 controller.
Strong Against: Shields
Countered by: Riposte
2. A slower much stronger attack. These attacks only happen once during each attack phase and are executed by pressing X on the Xbox 360 Controller, and Square on the PlayStation 3 controller.
Strong Against: High amounts of armor
Countered By: Riposte
3. Fart Attacks! If you’re willing to sacrifice a sliver of your mana bar you’ll execute a heavy attack that does immense amounts of damage.
Strong Against: High Armor, and physical resistance enemies.
Countered By: Riposte
In addition to melee attacks characters have a variety of ranged weapons at their disposal as well. Some of these weapons mimic bows, shooting arrows or another projectile towards the enemy. Others offer only one throw, but bounce between a variety of enemies. These differences are indicated on the weapon description. These, like the melee attacks, have different options:
1. A basic fast attack that mimics its melee counterpart. Press the required button consecutively to execute multiple attacks.
Strong against: Units that are blocked/guarded by other units, Riposte, shielded enemies
Weak Against: Reflect
2. A strong ranged attack that is only used once per turn, but is stronger than its basic counterpart. These attacks should be used to pick off any pesky well-guarded ranged units as it can usually kill them in one or two shots.
Strong against: Units that are blocked/guarded by other units and Riposte
Weak Against: Reflect
All attacks can be blocked, whether they be magic or otherwise. Not all damage will be blocked, only a portion, but this still remains incredibly useful in fights. Remember to appropriately time your blocks for ultimate effectiveness.
If an enemy attacks you consecutively and you’re able to block all incoming attacks then you’ll have a brief opportunity to respond with an attack of your own. This is done by pressing the prompted button and is an excellent way to get in some extra damage and stack status effects.
Bleed: Indicated by a pool of blood that surrounds the unit, this is a DoT that is placed on the player or onto enemy units via one of the many modifiers available in the game. When inflicted with this enemies will take damage over time. This effect can be stacked up to five times to serious damage.
Gross-Out: This is another DoT ability that causes enemies to become revolted. This makes enemies unable to consume food or water and also does damage at the end of each turn. It’s indicated by the frowny-face icon with exed-out eyes and the vomit that takes place at the end of each turn.
Stun: Prevents units from performing any action that turn. This is indicated by the swirling stars that appear on top of the enemies head.
Pissed off: This is an incredibly useful effect. This effect causes the enemy to attack only the character that pissed them off for a set amount of turns. In addition, the enemy cannot cast, use consumables, or magic in any way until the effect has been removed or it times out.
Burning: Another simple DoT effect which can be stacked with others.
Freezing: This effect causes enemies to slow down and occasionally miss turns.
Tips and Strategies to Keep in Mind While in Combat:
- Remember to piss people off: As previously stated, this is probably the most useful spell in your entire library, especially when fighting groups. Immediately piss off any casters/support units to render them virtually useless, buying you time to either clear a path for your melee attacks, or to pick them off from a distance without any fear of healing or group buffs.
- If your enemy has high armor: Any DoT abilities are inflicted as pure damage. Effects such as Gross-Out, Bleed, and burning will continue to tick each turn for their full amount. You can equip weapons with Weapon Strap-Ons that will allow you to stack multiple effects with each hit. I found this to be incredibly useful, especially in the fight against Al Gore.
- Ways to gauge your blocks successfully: During fights you’ll have to do a lot of blocking in order to reduce your incoming damage. This can be a tough concept to master because enemies have varied attack animations and cast times so your timing will have to be different for the variety of battles you’re likely to encounter. If you stop trying to gauge enemy attack animations and pay attention to the white circle that appears under your character when attacks are about to impact you’ll be a lot better off and I guarantee you’ll find it a lot easier to block incoming attacks. Just hit the relavent block button when you see the circle appear under your characters and you’ll block perfectly 100% of the time.
- Cycle out your party members: The Stick of Truth allows you to cycle out your party members at any time during battle, doing so will take up your turn, but usually it’s a fair trade. Don’t hesitate to swap with another party member that could prove more useful if the odds are stacked against you.