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. This guide won't tell you everything there is to know, but it's a good start, and it 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.
This guide doesn't touch on how combat interplays with the Challenge System much; see the dedicated page for that. This guide is also less useful to carebear players, since PvE combat is much simpler and easier than PvP.
- 1 The Basics
- 2 Combat Building Blocks
- 3 Combat, Blow by Blow
- 4 Fighting Over!
Absolute noob to HellMOO combat? Grab a weapon, head to the orphanage, and start here.
Combat is initiated by typing. You'll then smack the thing until it's dead or you are. Try that now with .
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.
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. Here's an explanation, left to right:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. 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're dead or the enemy is. See Death. It's worth poking around the orphanage and killing things until you get used to seeing this combat interface.
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. 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!
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 Dodge skill, and against many enemies it has a pretty good chance to succeed.or . Running away uses your
If there's a downward climb on your tile, you canin the direction of your climb to jump down the climb. This is almost instantaneous and requires no dodge skill, but it'll cost health or even your life if the climb is large. 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 kill stuff.
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, and debuff dodge while you are in the process of using them. Checking cooldowns is important for many fighters. To see your current cooldowns, try .
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 basic combat abilities:
- brains against the opponent's brains. If you win, you stun them. If you lose, nothing happens. Feint is 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. 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 in dodge's favor. Grabbing costs stress. rolls your
- 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.
- 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 (on the open ocean, in the sky, in elevators), you cannot take cover.
- 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. will cancel as soon as you actually dodge an attack, or wear off on its own after a time. Be careful! 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 locked in place and unable to act for several seconds.
- is a situational command used in emergencies in group combat. If a mob is attacking your friend, you can 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 . 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 a mob first, then ; this will prevent the mob from having a chance to land that last attack on your friend.
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 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 , you will see something like this:
dodge 2.44 +1 +1  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 useless 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 is inferior to dodge, but still situationally strong. The Spears class also gets a bonus to parry rate, 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, you will block the attack with your weapon. Succeeding 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. 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.
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 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 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.. Crit chances on certain melee weapons can be buffed by your
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:
- 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 , getting feinted, and many other things. 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.
- 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 crit with 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.
- Unconscious 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.
Hit Enigma.to see the health of everyone in the room at a glance. By default, this is represented with meters and numbers; depending on your , such as , this can be changed to your liking. 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. You will not be able to see the status effects of people who have
Partying is much like partying up in other RPGs, and is HellMOO's system for
gang rape group combat.
To start a party, enter, where x is one of your friends. If you're the one who's invited, to accept. Once you've done that, you can talk in partychat by typing . Partychat has no delay, making it handy for coordinating fights, but it also has no history function. If you want to leave a party, .
Mechanics and the Party System
Most players who use parties regularly enter, which will stop you from automatically following whoever happens to be the party leader. That way, you can follow the intended leader with manually. This is much simpler to stop in an emergency; just .
There is also thecommand, which will make you auto-attack anything that attacks a party member. Depending on the situation, sometimes this is useful and sometimes it isn't. Be careful about using in conjunction with , however, because this will mess up your attack rhythm.
Finally,will show the health of everyone in your group. This is sometimes handy in place of , because it doesn't require that all your party members are on the same tile to work.
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. Here are a few pointers:
- Usually, someone in the group should be designated as the tank. This ironically has nothing to do with
. The tank should:
- have a good way of mitigating damage (good parry, good dodge, etc.).
- lead the group (everyone s 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 in emergencies.
- 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 in case someone dies.
- If someone needs to be defibbed, it's often best to them away from immediate danger before picking them up again. If someone's been fatalitied, they cannot be defibrillated.
Combat, Blow by Blow
The following subsections will break down factors for you to consider in your future fights before, during and after the actual combat.
Before the Fight
For more serious fights, however, there's a lot to think about before the fight to stack it in your favor. Above all, remember that HellMOO combat favors the jackal mentality - only take fights that you know you can win!
Sizing People Up
There's a few ways to check whether you'll be able to beat someone. The appraise command does exist, but it's buggy and inconsistent, so use it in conjunction with your brain:
- Ask in corpnet. Other players are inconsistent, but they're more likely to be right than 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. Unfortunately, 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, if you can. This 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.
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. 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. Also consider how you want to play around your opponent's parry class.
- 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, 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.
- your weapon(s). Once you've picked your weapon of choice, type to ready that weapon for combat. If you're planning on using two weapons with the same name, use 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 or and then hit return when you could just set up a macro and hit Alt+R instead?
- Use bombs. Bombs can win a fight before it even starts if you have the skill and means to use them. These are mostly useless in PvE because mobs have great explosive soaks built in to prevent cheese like this.
- 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. 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 , 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 . If you 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 the weapon you want for actual combat and then the gun you want to aim with, then 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.
- Use Quickdraw vs. your target's Dodge, and generally favors dodge. 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 here is based on your
- Use Rifles skill and high speed, you can also stun-lock people using the duck and weave mechanic. . Gunners can use 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
Picking a Fightstyle
Fightstyles affect how your character attacks. There are five fightstyles in the game. You can check your current fightstyle with, and change to fighting cautious (for instance) by typing .
Here's a listing of the fightstyles:
- to run away from things or max out your dodge at the expense of your accuracy and speed.
- to boost your dodge and accuracy in exchange for speed. Good against dodgy opponents.
- for no modifiers.
- for a little extra accuracy and speed in exchange for poorer defence/parry rate.
- to trade accuracy and defence for all-out speed.
And here's a handy table with numerical modifiers:
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 ride distance on your skateboard., 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
Kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out.
Opening the Fight
- Use . If you enter , 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 in, for instance, can be very strong.
Winning the Fight
In most fights (i.e. 70% of PvE) you can justwhenever it's off cooldown and win. 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.
- Remove the other guy's health. If you're having trouble hitting your opponent, it's possible that your accuracy is too low. If that's the case, try
, 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. If this happens, just run away and come back when you're more accurate.
- 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. This takes some practice, but when fighting low-level prisoners and stuff, try to
when they pow, since pow debuffs their dodge!
- Playing against gunners is harder because they can't be dodged and can often blast right through your soaks. Using Focus debuffs will make some gunners miss.
- In PvP, you may face . Don't panic, this ability is trivial to play against. It's so slow that you can just leave the tile before it hits, and if you don't want to do that, them - headbutt debuffs dodge by -15 while in progress.
- React to status effects. 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 doesn't work in PvE because most mobs have their weapons attached to them.
- Also react to status effects on yourself. Use ; 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.
After the Fight: You Won!
So, you won, and killed your opponent - or ran away and didn't die. Congrats! What next?
- 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. Be sure to bandage any bleeding wounds. If you are on fire, either on yourself, walk into a water tile, use a fire extinguisher, or stop drop and .
- 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.
- Zombies will eventually get back up if you just leave them lying around. Cut off their heads after you kill them. PvE zombies will never revive.
- Check your safety. 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!
- 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.
- 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 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!
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. 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. gets rid of random garbage you picked up by accident, but won't work with expensive items. , courtesy of
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 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 Stench mutation to avoid aggro. from the
- 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. If you genuinely feel you are being griefed beyond what is reasonable in a PvP game, refer to this guide.
- Consider why you died. Save logs of all your fights, especially the ones you don't win, and chew them over. What could you have done better?
- Consider asking corpmates for input too, but don't worry about this too much. 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.
Good luck in future combat! And remember:
A gladiator's goal is to get the most frags.