Combat

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Mo-mo-mo-mo-MONSTER KILL!

In any post-apocalyptic scenario, there will be violence and bloodshed. Guess what? Now YOU get to be a part of the action!

HellMOO combat is RNG-heavy and has many moving parts. On top of that, part of the game's design philosophy is to avoid showing players numbers where possible, so there are a lot of hidden modifiers and poorly understood mechanics. Nevertheless, this guide is long and loaded with information. It won't tell you everything there is to know, or even everything you might need to know, but it's a good start and can be used in tandem with many other pages on the wiki. Remember to use ctrl+f and the contents page if you're looking for something specific.

Note that this guide will not touch on how combat interplays with the Challenge System in any great depth. The challenge system is a very important mechanic surrounding combat, but it's not part of combat itself, and if this guide tried to cover both it would just never end.

This guide is also less useful to carebear players. Most PvE combat in HellMOO is pretty simple and, frankly, rather easy. There's no need for anywhere near as much depth as this guide provides there.

The Basics

Absolute noob to HellMOO combat? Grab a weapon, head to the orphanage, and start here.

In its simplest form, combat involves walking up to whatever you want to attack and typing k thing. You'll then smack the thing until it's dead or you are. Try that now.

You'll see some fancy red text marking the beginning and end of the battle, and lots of spammy stuff in the middle. Hopefully you didn't die to an orphan.

The many lines in the middle mark attempts at you and the orphan trying to hit eachother. A miss will look something like this:

   [b/P][  100%] baby Buffy throws a kick high over Pathfinder.

And a hit will look like this:

   [P###b][  0%] Pathfinder blasts baby Buffy's arm flesh into the air.

Anatomy of a Combat Line

Both of the above examples are lines of combat. They're not intuitive, so here's an explanation, left to right:

   [P
  • This is the initial of whoever is making a play in this line. In the above example, Pathfinder is smacking the orphan, so it's P for Pathfinder.
   ###
  • This is a symbol that's supposed to act as a graphical indication of how much damage the hit did (if any). There are other symbols to mark misses, dodges and parries too. The symbols aren't very easy to understand, so it's easier to look at other parts of the line to see how much damage you did.
   b]
  • This is the initial of whoever is on the receiving end of this line's play. In this case, baby Buffy is getting hit, so the initial is b for baby.
   [  0%]
  • This is the most important part of the line; it shows how much health the line's receiver has left. This orphan has 0% health after being hit, and is therefore dead.
   Pathfinder blasts blah blah blah
  • This is a flavor message telling you what your hit did in gory detail. Looking at the health percentage is usually enough, but this is a nice cosmetic feature with often hilarious mismatches between the text and results - observe as you "barely graze" basilisks for 40% of their health!

Basic combat is just many, many lines like this one until you win or lose. If you win, the enemy dies. If you lose, you die. See Death. It's worth poking around the orphanage and killing things until you get used to seeing this combat interface.

Other Messages

In many of your orphanage scrapes, you'll see other messages in your fights:

   [|||||||||||||||***************] [ -15 15/30 ]  YEOUCH!  Your groin!
  • Orphans will never hit you this hard, but a message like this with red asterisks marks your character losing health - usually from getting hit. Reach zero health and you die.
   You're feeling more faded.
  • As a fight wears on, your character gets more tired, especially if your Endurance stat is low. Get higher endurance or finish fights fast, as this will debuff your stats as more time passes.
   Blood pulses weakly from someone's wounds.
  • This marks someone taking damage from the bleeding status effect, which makes them periodically take damage. If you have low Endurance, you can also pass out from blood loss, so watch out!

Running Away

In the orphanage, you're pretty safe, but elsewhere in the gameworld you will eventually run into a fight and rather you hadn't. When that happens, you should run away! To run away from a fight, enter any of the directions available on your tile, such as e or nw. Running away uses your Dodge skill, and against many enemies it has a pretty good chance to succeed.

If you're in a real scrape and happen to be on a tile with a downward climb on it, you can also jump direction to jump down the climb and away from the fight. This will complete almost instantly and remove you from the fight with no rolls involved. Then again, if the climb is too large, you will die a horrible splattery death. Emergencies only!

Combat Building Blocks

Now that you know what combat looks like, here are some important concepts to get your head around for future fights. Note that some of these concepts are more intermediate, and you don't have to understand them all to bash stuff dead.

Combat Abilities & Cooldowns

There are many abilities you can use mid-fight to help your chances of winning. Many cost stress to use. Most of them also have a cooldown attached, and debuff dodge while you are in the process of using them.

Checking cooldowns is important for many fighters, though some are more cooldown-dependent than others. To see your current cooldowns, try cooldown. Make an alias for this, like cd, so you don't have to type so much mid-fight.

Note that there are many other abilities outside of the ones listed here - these are just the basic ones available to any player. For specific abilities granted by mutations, check the mutation's relevant page.

Here's a listing of common combat abilities:

  • feint rolls your brains against the opponent's brains. If you win, you stun them. If you lose, nothing happens. Feint is powerful; it's quite fast and has a short cooldown, and if the brains difference is high, your opponent will be stunned for a long time. Feint is countered by Bleeder's frenzy, Hooligan's stun resist, debuffing the feinter's brains, and having high brains. Feint costs no stress.
  • grab rolls your Wrestle against the opponent's Dodge. If you win, you lock the opponent in a grab, which debuffs their dodge and renders them unable to attack. After that, it's brawn vs. brawn; if your opponent's brawn is higher than yours, they'll break out really fast. If it's much lower, they'll be stuck for a long time. Grab is hard to set up unless your Wrestle skill is truly excellent or your opponent's dodge is truly terrible - the roll to dodge the grab is very much in dodge's favor. Grabbing costs stress, and is also a common precursor to rape.
  • pow is a bread-and-butter ability that everyone gets. It costs no stress and has a short cooldown. It uses your weapon skill against the opponent's dodge - you take roughly 1.5 times the time of your regular attack speed to wind up, after which you unleash an extra-powerful hit that will probably do a great deal of damage and crit your opponent. Powerattacks are also more accurate than regular attacks. Pow can't be used by gunners.
  • cover is exclusive to gunners. It costs no stress and has no cooldown, though it cannot (normally) be used mid-combat. Using cover will "hide" you on the current tile behind some random object, which will force melee opponents to spend time rushing you out of your cover (essentially doing nothing) for a time before they hit you. In some special tiles where there is nothing around, you cannot take cover. Use common sense for this - there are no foreign obstructions on the ocean surface, in the sky, or inside an elevator.
  • dodge has a short cooldown and costs no stress. In exchange for being unable to take any other action while dodge is being executed, you get a buff of +5 dodge. Note that this is a very bad idea if you're trying to rely on your parry class to defend yourself, because this will force you to dodge rather than parry. dodge will cancel as soon as you actually dodge an attack, or wear off on its own after a time. Be careful of getting baited into using dodge. If you dodge, your opponent is free to simply stop attacking and use any other abilities they like - meanwhile, you're very hard to hit, but essentially locked in place and unable to act for several seconds.
  • rescue is a very situational command used in emergencies in group combat. If a mob is attacking your friend, you can rescue friend to jump in front of your friend. This will cancel any attack or ability that your friend was in the process of using, and also stop them from attacking altogether unless they re-engage with k mob. However, the mob will not stop attacking your friend; they will continue to wind up for their attack and then hit it on your buddy, and then re-focus their attention on you so you can act as a tank. The best way to use this is to stun or grab a mob first, then rescue; this will prevent the mob from having a chance to land that last attack on your friend.
    • This works the same in PvP, just replace "mob" with "player".

Parry and Dodge

There are four ways of avoiding damage in combat. The first is to soak it - if your armor tanks a hit for you, great, but it often won't. The second is for your opponent to miss. No matter their accuracy, any player or mob has at least a very small chance of missing.

The third and fourth methods are to dodge or parry an attack, and these are the most important methods.

Dodge

Dodge is vastly superior to parry, and an excellent means of avoiding damage. If you dodge an attack, you will take no damage from it. Dodging works passively - if you type sk dodge, you will see something like this:

   dodge       2.44  +1  +1 [15] ref,sen  1058xp Capable combat reflexes. (-3 tohit)

The -3 tohit is the important part - at this level, you are directly subtracting 3 from your opponent's accuracy. This also reduces their ability to parry you, since parry rolls with tohit.

If you reach somewhere in the range of 38-42+ total dodge, only a tiny percentage of even the most accurate melee attacks will ever hit you.

Dodge can be buffed by wearing certain armors - see the List of Armor. Wearing other armors will also impose a penalty, so keep an eye on your dodge penalty if you're trying to mix dodge and soaks. Dodge gear is essentially free, and very easy to replace. This makes it much better than armor in a lot of situations, because armor can often be very expensive to replace.

Dodge is not perfect. If you are a melee character and facing another melee opponent, smart weapon selection on the opponent's part can force you to parry with the parry class system. Dodge is also almost completely ineffective against guns. Finally, the weight of your wielded weapon rounded up to the nearest kilogram will impose a penalty of that much on your dodge - so if you're wielding a 1.8kg weapon, your dodge will be debuffed by 2.

Parry

Parry is inferior to dodge, but still situationally strong. The Spears class also gets a bonus to parry rate, which is nice for PvE, and weapons with slower speeds also get a small passive buff to their parry rates. Parry rolls your to-hit against the enemies to-hit. If your to-hit wins when they attack, you will block the attack with your weapon. Succeeding at this roll is a lot harder than succeeding with a dodge roll, partly because most classes get pretty good to-hit, and partly because against dodgy opponents, your to-hit (and thus your parrying ability) is passively reduced by the opponent's dodge.

Parrying regularly will damage your weapon quite quickly. Parrying is also only an option if your parry class is the same as or higher than your opponent's. Parry class 3 weapons are found on some PvE mobs, such as ice yetis - these mobs can always parry you (unless you're a gunner), but can never be parried themselves.

Critical Hits

If you hit and score a crit, you'll do a bunch of bonus damage and also apply the critical effect of whichever damage-type you hit with. If you're using slash damage, for example, your crits will apply a bleed. For more information on which damage-types apply which crit effects, see Weaponry.

Every weapon has an innate crit chance - you can see it by typing gear. Crit chances on certain melee weapons can be buffed by your Torture skill - again, see the weaponry page for more information. Guns can never have their crit chances boosted, but are granted free crits in certain situations. Shots fired with aim have very high crit chances if they connect, and the Rifles class specifically will get a free crit on their first attack against anybody who using the berserk fightstyle.

Status Effects

Attacks can do more than reduce your health. There are many ailments in the game that can mess you or your opponents up without reducing their healthbar directly. You can read more about many status effects at Buffs and Debuffs, but here's a very brief overview of some common ones you'll see in combat:

  • Shock comes from getting hit hard with low Endurance, as well as Screech. It debuffs your brains but makes you unfeintable, and also reduces your to-hit.
  • Stunned is when you are, well, stunned. While you're stunned, you can't take any actions, and your stats (such as dodge) are heavily debuffed. This can come from getting hit with a pow, getting feinted, and many other things. Avoid this, it usually ends badly. Note that players and mobs alike have a "stun cooldown" where they can't be stunned for a short time after recovering from a stun, so you can't stunlock someone forever.
  • Grabbed is when you are restrained by someone else. This reduces your stats and renders you unable to do anything except try to wrestle your way out with your Brawn score. Also very un-fun!
  • Bleeding comes from certain damage-types. It'll slowly dink away your health, so be sure to fix it when you can with a suture kit.
  • Broken limbs come from getting hit with nasty beat damage. Having a break will debuff your stats and put you into shock periodically (or if the same limb gets hit again). If it's a broken leg, it'll also slow your movement speed and damage you whenever you move. Get these fixed quickly.
  • Unconscious is one of the worst status effects, and comes from bleeding too much or getting hit too hard in the head or groin with low Endurance. If you're unconscious, odds are that the end is nigh. Smart players will take all your weapons while you're KO'd, and mobs will have plenty of time to line up a big finish.

Tac

Hit tac to see the health of everyone in the room at a glance. By default, this is represented with meters and numbers; depending on your @prefs, such as @prefs notacmeters, this can be changed to your liking. Make sure you get used to looking at it at a glance and assessing the situation. Tac will also show whether someone in the room is wanted by the law, as well as any status effects they are under the influence of. Note that you will not be able to see the status effects of people who have Enigma.

Parties

Partying is much like partying up in other RPGs, and is HellMOO's system for gang rape group combat.

To start a party, enter p-invite x (or pin x, where x is one of your friends. If you're the one who's invited, p-join or pj to accept. Once you've done that, you can talk in partychat by typing p message. Partychat has no delay, making it handy for coordinating fights, but it also has no history function. If you want to leave a party, p-quit or pq.

Mechanics and the Party System

Party's handling of group mechanics is sloppy and hard to manage in its default state. Most players who use parties regularly enter @prefs followleader is 0, which will stop you from automatically following whoever happens to be the party leader. That way, you can follow the intended leader with follow person manually. This is much simpler to stop in an emergency; just stop follow.

There is also the p-tank or pt command, which will make you auto-attack anything that attacks a party member. Whether this is a good thing depends on personal preference and what you're fighting, but it helps more often than it hurts. Be careful about using pt in conjunction with hunt, however; this will cause you to double-up on attacks, which will mess up your rhythm and generally get in the way. You should use hunt or p-tank, not both.

Finally, p-list (pl) will show the health of everyone in your group. This is a handy replacement for tac even though tac shows more detail - the party system supports party members being spread out in different areas, so if you've got two people half the map away from one another, they can still check eachother's health with p-list.

Fighting in a Party

Fighting in groups does a lot for your combat effectiveness - one person fighting multiple targets gets hit with many invisible debuffs that hamstring their fighting. As such, fighting in groups is a great way to stack fights in your favor, and is all but required for lots of endgame PvE. However, in-depth discussion of party combat is beyond the scope of this guide - and besides, for all the merits of group combat, most fighting in HellMOO is still 1v1. Nevertheless, here are a few pointers:

  • Usually, someone in the group should be designated as the tank. This ironically has nothing to do with p-tank. The tank should:
    • have a good way of mitigating damage (good parry, good dodge, etc.).
    • lead the group (everyone follows them).
    • move either faster or at the same move speed as everyone else in the group, but never slower, or else other party members will draw aggro before the tank arrives.
    • be ready to rescue in emergencies.
    • generally ensure squishier party members don't shit themselves and die.
  • grab is very strong in groups. One member of the group grabs the target (optionally stunning them first to debuff their dodge), and while the wrestler keeps a grip on him, the rest of the party beats the stuffing out of the poor guy. Note that this only works if your wrestler's brawn is appreciably higher than the target's.
  • Someone in your group should be able to use a defibrillator, and if there's only one person like this, they ideally shouldn't be the tank. Nobody likes dying.
  • If someone does die and needs to be defibbed, be sure to drag them away from immediate danger before picking them up again. Note that if they have been fatalitied, they cannot be defibrillated.
  • Unlike in other RPGs, a healer is not typically necessary beyond defib use because of how self-healing is balanced - though they are still very helpful! If you have a healer with a medigun, you're in for a treat. Medics with high skill can use this toy to heal players faster than any other healing source in the game. It also has an ubercharge function which buffs dodge very high.

Combat, Blow by Blow

Knocked around your share of orphans? It's time to move on. There's much more to learn about the combat system, so keep reading and experimenting!

The following subsections will break down factors for you to consider in your future fights before, during and after the actual combat.

This area of the guide has heaps of independent information, some of it relatively advanced, so feel free to browse it as a listing rather than trawling through it in order.

Before the Fight

Walking up to an orphan and smacking it takes little forethought. For more serious fights, however, there's a lot to think about. In practical HellMOO combat, you'll never make use of all the things listed below - nobody has time for that. However, the more you take into account, the more you stack the odds in your favor.

Sizing People Up

Before you fight someone, you'll want to know if you can safely beat them. HellMOO combat is high stakes (incredibly high when the Challenge System is involved), so combat favors the jackal mentality - only take a fight you're sure you can win!

There's a few ways to check whether you'll be able to fight someone:

  • Appraise them. Appraise is notoriously unreliable, but it's something. appraise is supposed to measure how you stack up against someone in a fight, but very weak mobs and players sometimes have very high threat ratings, and very strong ones lower ratings. What appraise will tell you is whether something will give you XP if you kill it, which is worth knowing. It may also tell you about the target's soaks, though this is unreliable.
  • Ask in corpnet. Other players are inconsistent, but they're more likely to be right than appraise is. See a red chud for the first time? Ask how they stack up against regular chuds and see what people say. This is also true for PvP - ask more experienced corpmates what they know about the power levels of other players, and how you'd probably stack up against them. However, remember that huge swathes of the HellMOO playerbase are very apathetic and egotistical. Take advice with a grain of salt, and don't be offended if your questions are met with flat silence.
  • Check the wiki. This website does not have a complete listing of all the game's mobs, and besides, many of them are spoiler territory, but a quick use of the searchbar can often tell you something useful.
  • Look at the enemy, assuming it won't smack you as soon as you stand on its tile. This requires more game knowledge, but it allows you to see what armors and weapons players (and some mobs) are using. If you know what damage types those weapons and armors deal/soak, then you can adjust your equipment accordingly. Later in the game, you can take the immensely powerful Clairvoyance mutation, and scout this information out without people even knowing you're there.

Ready up!

Once you've decided to take a fight, you should make sure you have the right gear for the job.
Many of these points involve thinking about gear. For more information on various items you can equip, see Weaponry, List of Armor.

  • Prepare for dodge or soaks. If you want to rely on your dodge to not take damage, either use dodge-boosting items or fight naked. If you want to soak the damage instead, wear the right armor; if you're facing an enemy that uses guns, you should wear bullet-soaking armor, for instance. Not using armor is one of the most common causes of N-tag doom!
  • Bring the right weapon. Usually, you want to bring your strongest weapon, but if your strongest weapon does beat damage and you're fighting an enemy that soaks a lot of beat, you'll want to switch to a different weapon instead. Rock, paper, scissors. Gunners mostly use the same weapons for everything; if you're a gunner, instead check that you're bringing the right ammo type for the job.
  • Bring the right weapon, pt. 2 As you progress in the game, you'll come to wield more expensive weapons, which are harder to replace. As a PvP player, losing these weapons can be a real kick in the teeth. Use common sense; don't bring your Super-Deathinator 9000 to knock down a couple small-time mobs, because someone far more powerful than you might come and kill you for it. This doesn't apply to carebears; short of the most astronomical fuck-ups, it's pretty hard for pinks to actually lose gear.
  • ready your weapon(s). Once you've picked your weapon of choice, type ready weapon to ready that weapon for combat. If you're planning on using two weapons with the same name, use ready weapon and 2.weapon instead. If you don't do this, you'll put away your super cool katana and start swinging with your fists as soon as you enter the fight.

Rig the Fight

There are lots of ways you can tip fights in your favor before they even start. Most of these are very situational, but if applied at the right time they are also very powerful.

  • Setup triggers, macros and aliases. This will save you a lot of typing, and every second counts in a fight. For instance: who has time to type grab or restrain and then hit return when you could just set up a macro and hit Alt+R instead? There are many other helpful triggers and macros like this, but in-depth discussion is too advanced for this guide. Experiment, ask around, figure out what works for you.
  • Check for dangerous climbs. This is a rare one, but it catches people out really badly sometimes. A small selection of mobs and an even smaller selection of players will have the presence of mind to grab you and then literally throw you down the nearest cliff.
  • Use bombs. Hardly anyone does this, but bombs can win a fight before it even starts if you have the skill and means to use them. Some players (read: suckers) will accuse you of being gay for using these. These are mostly useless in PvE because mobs have great explosive soaks built in to prevent cheese like this.
  • Adjust your parry class. If you don't know what a parry class is, see here. Are you fighting an opponent with high dodge? If so, you will want to match their parry class or be below it, which will force them to parry you and lose the advantage of their high dodge. Do you have poor dodge yourself? You may want to bring a higher parry class to keep yourself defended with parrying, especially if you are Spears.
  • Check for guns. Guns are harder to fight against than other weapon classes. You can't force them to parry you, so they're harder to hit, and they also rarely miss. If you want to fight a gunner, remember to bring lots of soaks and to have a trick up your sleeve - Focus, a friend or two, or a gun of your own.
  • Predict what they'll do. This takes some practice, but you can often guess how an opponent will react to you in PvP. If you're fighting an opponent with high Brains, for instance, you can expect to face a feint, and should be ready to react to that. If this advice flies over your head for now, don't worry about it, you'll pick it up with time and practice.
  • Buff up. You can use Drugs to increase your stats before a fight, but be cautious - if your Endurance is low, drugs can be very dangerous. This is rarely worthwhile for carebears, or PvE in general, unless you are facing a boss.
  • Use aim. If you aim a gun at a door, you'll get a free opening shot at the next person who walks through that door. This is obviously great for gunners, but aim is very forgiving: most any build can grab a sawn-off, point it at a door, and expect a fat free hit. Remember to ready the weapon you want for actual combat and then hold the gun you want to aim with, then aim the gun. This will make you shoot your shot, and then instantly pull out your regular weapon and start swinging. This only works if your tile has a door on it (and the enemy doesn't see this strat coming). This tactic is almost useless for carebears because only a small pool of mobs in the game actually walk through doors regularly.
  • Use aim on players. This doesn't work with mobs, but in PvP you can directly aim at another player to score a free headshot on them or lock them down. Landing aim here is based on your Quickdraw vs. your target's Dodge, and generally favors dodge at the top-end.
  • Use cover. Gunners can use cover before a fight to force opponents to spend several seconds rushing them out of cover (i.e. doing nothing at all) before they actually get a chance to hit you. If you have high Rifles skill and high speed, you can also stun-lock people using the duck and weave mechanic.

Picking a Fightstyle

Fightstyles affect how your character attacks. There are five fightstyles in the game. You can check your current fightstyle with fight, and change to fighting cautious (for instance) by typing fight cautious.

Here's a listing of the fightstyles:

  • fight pacifist to run away from things or max out your dodge at the expense of your accuracy and speed.
  • fight cautious to boost your dodge and accuracy in exchange for speed. Good against dodgy opponents.
  • fight normal for no modifiers.
  • fight aggressive for a little extra accuracy and speed in exchange for poorer defence/parry rate.
  • fight berserk to trade accuracy and defence for all-out speed.

And here's a handy table with numerical modifiers:

Style Hit Speed Defense Dodge Powerattack Fatality
Berserk -3 +0.4 -2 No Yes Yes
Aggressive +1 +0.2 -2 Yes Yes Yes
Normal 0 0 0 Yes Yes No
Cautious +2 -0.3 +1 Yes Yes No
Pacifist -1 -0.3 +4 Yes No No

This table also tells you whether you can use the pow and dodge abilities, and whether you can fatality. A fatality is a reward for overkill - if your damage on your final blow exceeds the remaining health of your opponent, you have a chance to score a big, red, gory kill message, which will also give you a dose of frenzy.

Note that guns cannot pow, so losing that ability with pacifist and cautious doesn't matter for them. In addition, berserk fighters are locked out of certain abilities - they cannot use cover, for instance. Fightstyle also affects some really odd stuff outside of combat, such as your ride distance on your skateboard.


The Fight

Kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out.

Opening the Fight

Back in the orphanage, you mostly killed people by typing k orphan. That's fine, but there are better ways to do it:

  • Pick your moment. If you have time to spare for whatever reason, hang around on the tile until the opponent is busy (being attacked by someone else, having sex with something, whatever) and then k them.
  • Use hunt. If you enter hunt orphan, you'll aggro any orphans you come across and start smacking them faster than your real-life reactions could hope to. This is very handy for PvP, where people tend to move around a lot. It's also good for general laziness in PvP.
  • Open with an ability. Abilities are covered more in the next section, but it can be worthwhile to open a fight with an ability rather than an attack. Getting an early screech in, for instance, can be very strong.

Winning the Fight

In most fights (i.e. 70% of PvE) you can just pow whenever it's off cooldown and win. If you're still at the orphan-bashing phase, don't worry about this subsection until you progress further in the game - and if you're carebear, you can probably ignore it for the vast majority of your gameplay. Otherwise...

  • Use mob strategies if you need to. Some mobs have some really dangerous ability or attack that you need to play around, especially bosses. This is a specific, case-by-case thing that's outside this guide's scope, but if you need to do it, you'll know (or find out very quickly!).
  • Remove the other guy's health. Don't screw around, just smack 'em. If you're having trouble hitting your opponent, it's possible that your accuracy is too low. If that's the case, try fight cautious (you can swap fightstyles mid-fight), or switching from dual-wielding to a one-handed grip. You can also use some of your mutation abilities and power-attacks to reduce dodge and increase your accuracy.
    • If you're having massive trouble hitting someone, you're probably punching above your weight. New players often encounter this problem with serial killers, for example. If this happens, just run away and come back when you're more accurate.
    • Missing is rarely a problem for gunners unless they're very low-level, but make sure you're punching through soaks, too. If you're not damaging someone through their soaks, either switch weapons/ammo types or run away.
  • Don't let the other guy remove your health. Beyond just hoping that your dodge/soaks tank for you, you can also react to enemy abilities. However, reacting to enemy cooldown usage takes a lot of practice; you have to know what counters what, and have the presence of mind to do it fast. As long as you prepared well and brought good soaks, dodge or parry, however, you should be alright.
    • Playing against gunners is harder because they can't be dodged and can often blast right through your soaks. Using Focus debuffs will make them miss you though, unless the gunfighter is minmaxed well.
    • Specific reactions and counters to enemy ability usage is too advanced a topic for this guide, but there are two key examples:
      • Against PvE enemies (especially early-game ones like prisoners) who pow, you may want to grab. Their dodge is reduced while pow-ing and it's bad in the first place, making it easier for you to interrupt their scary hit. They may break out instantly, but this isn't a big deal - at least they won't pow you.
      • Against enemy players who headbutt, do not panic. Headbutt takes forever and debuffs dodge by a whopping -15, so you've got a generous window to use any stun you like - or, with just a little wrestle you can grab to interrupt the hb. Headbutt is also so comically slow that you literally just flee the tile; assuming you escape, you'll do it before the hb lands. After that, either run like the clappers or wait for the headbutt to finish before re-engaging.
  • React to status effects. Most status effects in HellMOO are very unpleasant. If you clock someone in the dome and KO them, don't just keep smacking them - take all their weapons while they're passed out! This often doesn't work in PvE because most mobs have their weapons attached to them; you can't pull off an ant's mandibles while it sleeps.
    • Also react to status effects on yourself. Use tac; if you're bleeding and have a broken arm, you may be in trouble. Try to run away and live to fight another day unless your opponent is close to death.
  • Mind your manners - or don't. Emotes such as laugh, flirt and snort have no effect on combat, so if you want to, you can belittle your opponents mid-fight. Note that if you get cocky and then get destroyed, this can backfire spectacularly. For a rather hilarious example of this, @read 468 on *chat.
    • Note that spamming something mid-fight to obstruct your opponent's gameplay or emoting abilities that you're not actually using is against the rules and will get you in trouble.


After the Fight: You Won!

So, you won, and killed your opponent - or ran away and didn't die in the process. Congrats! What next?

There's actually a lot to do right after a big fight, and it can be somewhat overwhelming, especially after your first PvP kill. Don't panic! Keep your head - you've done the hard part, now you just have to finish up.

Note that most of this stuff only applies after big or tough fights. If you're taking down a routine dog in Freedom City, you do not need to worry about status effects, health management, looting and area safety.

Be Safe!

  • Stabilize your healthbar. Whether you caught a nasty dink from a chobo's pipe or took a shiver sword to the gut, not dying is usually priority number one. If you don't resist nanites (many builds do), use them immediately. Chug alcohol if you have Iron Liver, use trauma kits with your Medic skill, all that stuff. Be sure to bandage any bleeding wounds. If you are on fire, either piss on yourself, walk into a water tile, use a fire extinguisher, or stop drop and roll. Don't die!
  • Watch for auto-defibs. This only applies to PvP. Players with an autodefibrillator or three will revive after being put down. The time window is short, but long enough for you to stick yourself with some nanites. Be ready to face your opponent again if you need to - you can also try to loot the autodefibs from your opponent's corpse before they can activate.
    • This is also true for all zombie players to a lesser extent. Zombies will eventually get back up if you just leave them lying around. Be sure to cut off their heads after you kill them. PvE zombies will never revive.
  • Check your safety. Your immediate opponent is dead and not getting back up - good. What else is in the area? Are you expecting backup from your opponent's PvP friends, or an attack from another nearby mob? If the answer to any of this is "yes", act immediately after stabilizing your health. Use Phaser or Flight, scarper back to your plane or house, get into cover, or prepare for a fight - whatever, don't get caught unawares!
  • Remove other status effects. Bleed and fire are the most important ones because they directly subtract from your health, but after that, get rid of broken legs and the like if you can. These can cripple you if you need to do something or fight someone else.
    • Some status effects can't be easily removed on the spot, like brain damage. If you're stuck with those, decide whether you ought to carry on. It may be better to retreat and seek treatment from a proper Medic, or die in a controlled fashion to get rid of your debuffs with minimal losses. On the other hand, maybe you don't care and will just keep smacking things anyway!
  • Watch for stress. High stress levels are reasonably rare, but if you end up at critical stress after a fight, be sure to remedy that with any of the bajillion stress cures available before moving on.
  • Re-engage, possibly! If you ran away from a fight because it was going bad, fixed up your health and status effects, and are back at full strength, you may want to head back into the fight. You're smart enough to heal yourself - most mobs aren't! You can win the war of attrition if you feel capable.

Manage loot!

This obviously only applies if you won the fight.

  • In PvE, there's usually only one or two things you're taking from a corpse, if there's anything at all. No rush. You may need some Scavenge skill to cut off body parts, however.
  • In PvP, the order is more complicated:
    • Weapons first. A weapon that's in your hand is a weapon that can't be used to shoot you.
    • Bags and misc items after. You're usually pushed for time after a kill, so snag the bags and the smaller stuff. You can comb through it and get rid of what you don't want later.
    • Get armor if you want it. Lots of people just run dodge gear, but if someone's carrying nice armor, then of course you should snag it.
    • Cut implants if you have good Scavenge. Only a small pool of well-hidden endgame mobs have a chance of having implants, so this is a PvP thing for the most part.
  • Cut the head, if you want to either add it to your noggin rack or prevent your opponent from being revived.
  • Do what you want with the loot. If it's PvE loot, you're probably collecting it for a job or something. Stick it in a bag and try not to lose it. If it's PvP, you can...
    • Sell it back to the person you took it from. They'll page you if they want your stuff. It's considered good form to sell stuff back at a reduced price - 1/4 of the market price is a commonly cited figure.
    • Leave it. Perhaps you don't care about the loot; perhaps you're just killing for fun.
    • Get rid of it. junk gets rid of random garbage you picked up by accident, but won't work with expensive items. munch, courtesy of Billygoat, gets rid of most things but takes ages. Finally, an incinerator will get rid of just about anything for good. Note that this is the most extreme option, and is not likely to win you friends - but then again, you did just kill someone.
  • Think about XP! If you won a PvE fight against a viable mob, odds are you got some XP from it unless it was a total steamroll. HellMOO's XP drop balancing is quite inconsistent - there are some mobs who are very difficult but give zero XP, especially bosses - but if you did get some, then you'll want to think about what you're working towards and how you intend to spend it!

After the Fight: You Died!

Happens to the best of us.

Get Your Stuff Back!

  • If you died in PvE, this is very straightforward. Go back to where you died and pick up all your stuff. This can sometimes be a pain in the neck if you died somewhere like Stormfront Island, but if you got there once, you can get there again.
    • You may run into aggressive mobs camping your body or other problems. In these situations, either ask a corpmate for help or use musk from the Stench mutation to avoid aggro.
  • If you died in PvP, don't be a bitch about it. If you want your stuff back, page the guy that killed you - "wtb stuff" is fine. Negotiate a price and buy it back. If you didn't lose anything of note, don't bother.
    • Do not whine to the person that killed you over pages, accuse them of being the worst person in the world, or generally abloobloo all over their screen. If you are the kind of person who does this, PvP is probably not for you and you should consider Carebear or just playing another game. This is incredibly obnoxious behavior. If you genuinely feel you are being griefed beyond what is reasonable in a PvP game, refer to this guide.
  • Consider why you died. HellMOO's design is such that sometimes you just die for no real reason, but this situation is fairly rare. Save logs of all your fights, especially the ones you don't win, and chew them over. What could you have done better? This is how most people become genuinely better players in any game, not just HellMOO, and is worth doing.
    • Consider asking corpmates for input too, but remember that the HellMOO playerbase is hardly a melting pot of positivity. If you ask for input on your logs, you've got a good chance that everyone will either just tell you to git gud or launch into some self-congratulatory monologue on their own PvP expertise. Don't take it personally.

Fighting Over!

This guide is very long (well done for getting to the end), and still it links to yet more pages and topics for you to read up on. Crazy, right? Don't worry about it. Practice makes perfect, and HellMOO, despite its problems, is a very moreish game. You have plenty of time to practice. No matter what, by putting the stuff in this guide into practice, you'll come a long way from smacking orphans around. Good luck in future combat! And remember:

A gladiator's goal is to get the most frags.