Melee combat involves four directions of attack that corresponds with four directions of blocking. When a player is moving, his or her movement direction will decide which direction their unit attacks in.
When strafing, the weapon is readied in a position to swing in the same direction the player is moving. For example: If the player is strafing in the left direction and holds the attack button, their weapon will be readied on the right side of the screen and will swing from the right to the left when attack is let go.
Overhead Swings and Stab
The forward direction is used for overhead chops while the back direction is used for readying a stab attack.
All melee weapons register their hits in an arc detection system. In other words, the sword will deliver multiple hits as the swing is taking place, through the arc of the swing. For this reason, it is often easier to get damage in on an opponent when swinging side to side, but the player is more likely to do more damage when engaging in an overhead or stabbing motion.
As you ready your weapon, you'll notice a small charge bar on the bottom of the screen. This indicates how much damage the swing will inflict on the opponent when it lands. A fully charged attack will damage the opponent for the maximum allowed by each hit, whereas an uncharged hit will do less damage. A fully charged attack will also do damage through shields and can break through blocks.
There are four directions of block; the direction will be chosen automatically, according to your nearest opponent's attack direction. The objective is to block in the correct direction of the attacker for maximum effect. This "Perfect Parry" will not only stun the opponent, but will also allow a quick counter-attack to do some damage. If your enemy's weapon is glowing, it means they're at full charge; blocking a fully charged attack will only mitigate some damage and has a chance of stunning you. You must take weapon sizes into consideration. For example, a small weapon cannot perfect parry a heavy weapon.
The effect of blocking is also based on the sizes of each weapon. A large two-handed weapon will reduce damage more effectively from a one-handed weapon, whereas a one-handed weapon will not fair so well at blocking a two-handed weapon.
A Counter-Attack is a quick attack (much quicker than a normal swing) that can be used after a "Perfect Parry". You can achieve a perfect parry by blocking in the correct direction, then use the attack button within a second to quickly counter-attack your stunned opponent.
Shields can be used to block both melee and ranged weapons. Shields have a certain number of hit points depending on the class. Once a shield runs out of hit points, it will be unusable until repaired. You can repair your shield by picking up armor throughout the map. Shields can also be used to bash opponents by attacking (mouse1) while blocking (mouse2) with the shield. A shield bash can be charged like a normal attack; a fully charged shield bash can knock a chest from your opponent's hands. The greater the charge of your shield bash, the further an enemy will be knocked back.
Ranged weapons are exactly what the name says, weapons that can be used to damage your opponent from a distance. The most effective ranged weapons are the Bows, Javelins and Throwing Axes, though these weapons are affected by gravity. The best way to get used to their arc is by practicing with them.
The flintlock pistols are not affected by gravity, but have a bit of a random spread to them; this makes them difficult to hit with at longer distances. They become even less accurately while running, making them mostly good for closer ranged skirmishes.
The Blunderbuss is like the Shotgun of the Pirates' team. This weapon's spread makes it only useful at close ranged, but deadly when pulled off.
All ranged weapons do more damage from further away. Shooting an enemy that is right next to you will do the least damage.
Every class has a special attack that can be used when the meter is filled. You can fill the meter by doing damage to your opponents. When the meter is full, you use the special button to unleash your special. These are powerful attacks that can easily be used to finish off one or more enemies in the right circumstances. Specials for 2.3 include:
- Heavy Knight: A 360 degree spin attack with the two-handed sword.
- Archer: A triple-arrow shot that deals extra damage.
- Skirmisher: A forward lunge with the cutlass that deals extra damage to anyone in the way.
- Captain: An exploding cannonball loaded into the blunderbuss.
- Berserker: The berserker enrages, increases damage and speed for 15 seconds. Can be used with either weapon.
- Huscarl: A shield charge that knocks players back and deals damage to anyone in its path.
- Gestir: A powerful charge with the spear, just watch out for walls!
Your special can also be used when carrying a chest; this will give you a temporary boost in speed, which allows you to quickly escape.