Meter How-To and Tips
Combat in Uruk uses the CornerStone combat system made by FadeOut Razorfen. The meter is available for free on the SL Marketplace HERE.
and doesn't require any sort of purchase to be used to its fullest. There is a small area set aside for the testing of the meter in the entry area of the sim. Feel free to try it out there if you like.
Now, down to business! CornerStone is similar to the combat of the Souls series of games (Dark Souls, etc), built around the concept of quick attacks, heavy attacks, dodging, blocking, and parrying. It sounds complicated at first glance but it really isn't.
When you first attach the CornerStone system, you'll be given a folder containing a sword, its sheath, the system/HUD itself, and a couple of gestures. Right-click and activate the gestures, making sure that you don't have any other gestures hotkeyed to those keys. Feel free to change the keys to whatever you like, whatever is comfortable for you.
The HUD: When you first attach the HUD, you'll see it loading two bars (red and yellow). The red bar is your health, the yellow is your stamina. For now, you should click the center of the HUD which will bring up a small menu. The options are as follows:
1) Same Group are allies: This setting will prevent friendly fire from combatants with the same group active. This can be used in group confrontations between player factions, or team fights in the arena. If you have the same SL group active as another combatant, you can't damage them and vice versa. DO NOT ABUSE THIS SETTING -- it should be OFF at all times unless there are special circumstances, such as the ones spelled out above, and should only be used under those conditions if both parties are aware that it is to be used.
2) Switch over "C" and "E": This option lets you change the function of the C and E keys. By default, E will block and C will attack. Checking this option lets you use E to attack and C to block, which might be more comfortable for some players. Mess around with it and figure out what works best for you.
3) "C" draws the weapon: Checking this option will allow your attack key to also draw your weapon.
4) Gender: pretty self-explanatory. This will change the meter's sound set to male or female to better suit your character's gender.
The sword: Pretty self-explanatory. A sword is necessary to do damage to other players. You can use the standard Rusty Long Sword that comes with the meter if you like, or you can get a transparent version of it in the entry area of the sim which will allow you to use any unscripted weapon model that you like as a prop in your character's hands. All swords function the same in this meter. They do the same damage, they have the same range, everything is the same. The scabbard is just for the sake of appearances as well. The model isn't too bad either, so use it if you like!
There are two ways to move and control your avatar while fighting with CornerStone. 3rd person, and 1st person. You're welcome to fight however you like, whichever you find the most comfortable. Using 1st Person mode will slightly affect the use of the meter in a way that I'll detail below.
3rd Person: This is the standard means of control of your avatar in the meter. To properly control your character in 3rd Person mode in a way that offers a full range of movement, you'll first want to make sure that you have these settings enabled.
- Firestorm: CTRL+P -> Move & View -> Movement -> Make sure "Pressing letter keys affects movement" checkbox is ticked on.
- Default SL Viewer: CTRL+P -> Move & View -> Single click on land: (bottom of the window) -> Set it to "No action".
Once that's taken care of, the easiest way to move about is to HOLD left click (using your mouse) on your avatar's back and use the WASD keys to move, keeping left click held down. Moving your mouse will rotate/control your camera. You can still move without holding left click on your avatar but you won't be able to control and rotate your camera. I definitely don't recommend it.
1st Person: You can scroll your mouse all the way in or tap the "M" key to enter mouselook/1st person mode if you like. Everything will still work as detailed in the rest of this guide, but mouselook/1st Person also adds the option of using your mouse's left click as your attack button. Some people prefer fighting like this but I personally prefer 3rd Person because it offers a more broad view of my surroundings. It's entirely up to you, though! Use whatever is most comfortable for you.
Health / HP: Your health in the meter is represented by the red bar on your HUD. Once you're out of it, you've been defeated. If it's a live fight on the sim, this means that you've taken a wound and are unable to continue fighting. For more details on winning/losing as they relate to RP, check the combat page.
Health WILL regenerate slowly when you are standing still. This feature is designed to curb the impulse to simply run away when you have less health than your opponent. If you're moving, your health will NOT regenerate. Something to keep in mind!
Stamina: Stamina in the meter is represented by the yellow bar on your HUD. It takes stamina to swing your weapon and it takes stamina to block. When you take damage to your HP, you will also take damage to your stamina! Watch it closely. You can't attack OR block when you're out of stamina. But you can run. And you should run.
Drawing your weapon: You can either use the function outlined in the HUD to draw your weapon ("C" Draws the weapon) which makes the attack key double as a draw key. Or, you can activate and use the 'Draw/Sling - F' gesture that comes with the meter to draw. The default key for this command is 'F'. Feel free to change it as you like.
Hitting and being hit: To hit other plays in the CS system, the scripted sword will need to actually path through and connect with your opponent's avatar. There are no broad directional attacks like other combat systems. You'll actually need to strike someone, which I find to be one of the more satisfying parts of the system as a whole. First, we'll go over basic attacks
There are four types of attacks total in the CS system. Pretty simple, right? These are based off of the two standard commands: the standard attack and the heavy attack. Movement will modify either of these, meaning that whether you are standing still or moving will dictate what kind of attack you will perform.
Standard Attacks: Tapping the "C" or "E" keys (depending on your preference in the HUD) while standing still will perform the basic, standard attacks in the system. These are quick horizontal attacks with a wide hit path which are easy to land. In rapid succession, they can be quite devastating. I'd highly recommend focusing on using these sorts of attacks if you're new to the system and are trying to get used to it. There's merit to spamming quick attacks in CornerStone, as I have often learned to my sorrow. These attacks can be blocked for a decent amount of stamina, allowing enough time to use the Dodge Roll to get out of range.
Heavy Attacks: To perform heavier attacks that do more damage, you'll briefly hold down the "C" or "E" keys (again, depending on your preference in the HUD) while standing still. These are stronger attacks along the horizontal plane that will take A LOT more stamina to block. These, too, can be chained together like the light attacks and can quickly dispatch your opponent if they land. They also take more stamina to perform, so keep an eye on your bars!
The Lunging Stab: In CornerStone, you can perform a lunging stab with a very narrow hit window that is difficult to land. This attack will send you rushing forward and can take your opponent at unawares if they are not expecting it. As stated above, it is much more difficult to hit considering your weapon actually needs to strike someone in this system and the stab is a thrusting attack rather than a sweeping slash. It can be blocked normally but can only be parried by a standing heavy attack. This attack has the longest range of any attack in the system and can be performed at the end of a forward dodge roll to cover a lot of distance and surprise the other combatant.
The Spinning Power Attack: A devastating charging attack that is performed by holding the attack key while moving. The blade comes around diagonally and delivers a ton of damage to your opponent, but the animation / wind-up of the attack is pretty slow and makes it predictable and easy to avoid. If it lands, however, it can turn a fight around in an instant. The spinning power attack takes the ENTIRE stamina bar to block, and will even take a small portion of health on top of it. It can only be parried by a mirrored spinning power attack.
Blocking: To block in the CS system, you'll use either the "C" or "E" key depending on your preference in the HUD. This will block all attacks in front of you for the cost of stamina (the yellow bar). Blocking an attack will present a small window of opportunity for you to roll or move away to gain distance. If you try to attack during this window, you MAY be able to get a hit in, but your opponent will recover quickly enough to swing as well in most cases. NOTE: When you are out of stamina, you can't block anymore. If you have no stamina, an opponent's attack will take your health instead. ALSO: blocking does not make you invincible. You can still get hit from behind.
Parrying: Parrying in the CornerStone system occurs (most often) when both fighters perform the same type of attack at the same time. For example: if a standard light attack hits the sword of an opponent also doing a standard light attack, both attacks will be repelled and will do no damage. The lunging stab requires a standing power attack to parry most effectively, however. You'll have to play around with the system to really learn all of the ins and outs of parrying, but I will say that seeking out parries has no innate advantage. Most parries should be coincidental.
Dodge Roll: The CornerStone system DOES have a dodge roll similar to that of the Dark Souls franchise which can be performed by pressing the key assigned to the 'CornerStone Dodgeroll - Space' gesture that comes with the meter. The spacebar is the default key. Unlike the Souls games, CS' dodge roll does not offer of invincibility while rolling. You CAN still take damage by rolling. In CS, it's more a means of moving quickly. It cannot be spammed, however! When you dodge roll, you'll notice a yellow comet trailing around the circle in the middle of your CornerStone HUD which represents its cooldown. During this time, another dodge roll cannot be performed. Once it disappears, you're good to roll again.
CornerStone is not a spammy, button-clicking bonanza like other combat systems on SL. It's more strategic, more of a mind-game. Try to do the unexpected! If your opponent is expecting you to run away because you have less health than them, turn and do a lunging stab to catch them off guard! Risk a spinning power attack! Focusing on spamming quick, standard attacks while standing still is a very valid strategy getting started. CS is a system where even the most wily veteran can be beaten by a beginner with luck on their side. Besides, there really aren't any wily veterans because the system has never been used in a RP sim before! Don't underestimate yourself! And DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, SPAM THE LUNGING STAB. It is the most difficult attack to hit and leaves you vulnerable!
That's it. We've covered the basic functionality of fighting in the system. The best way to learn is to get out there and mess around! Keep in mind: this is a RP sim. Winning should not be an obsession here. Losing often presents more interesting circumstances and opportunities for character development. Meter-whoring will not be tolerated here.
If you'd like to know more about Uruk's combat rules, see the combat page.
Now, on to a few basic tips/tricks to increase your quality of life while using a combat meter!
Framerate / FPS: If you're having trouble with your framerate on our sim, consider lowering a few settings! Lowering Objects & Sculpts to 2.0 can help a lot, as can dramatically lowering your Draw Distance during combat. Considering CS is a melee system, you don't need to see objects 300 meters away to fight properly. Make sure you have Basic Shaders checked (not having this enabled results in a pretty large FPS drop for most GPUs), Bump mapping and shiny as well.
Actually, I'll just gyazo my Graphics preferences at the time of writing this guide!
Another way to dramatically increase your framerate during combat is to use the DERENDER function. Derendering avatars that are not directly involved in your fight can lead to DRAMATIC framerate improvements and these will always reset when you relog. Something to consider during games in the arena when you don't really need to see everyone spectating in the stands! To derender other avatars, right-click them, click More > Derender > Temporary. Try derendering 10 people on a sim and watch your framerate soar like an angel.
Ping: Move closer to San Fransisco, California, USA where the servers are located. To be honest, there really aren't any other ways to cut down on input lag when it comes to SecondLife. It's a sad fact of our tortured existence on the grid. You can fight just fine with a higher ping, however. Don't give up! Like anything else, you can become accustomed to it (unless you're from Australia, in which case you're boned).