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Alter Aeon
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This article was written by the god Shadowfax, and posted on July 25, 2011.
It was updated May 14, 2013.

Introduction

A hitter is a player who deals out damage via melee combat. Hitters are an important part of any group, whether the goal is equipment, fame, or just running some experience. This article will help you prepare for the role of hitting by discussing character options and equipment and by explaining what is generally expected of a hitter.

Character Strategies

Hitting is a task best suited for the fighter classes, namely thieves and warriors, because they have higher intrinsic to-hit bonuses and skills suited for melee combat.

Thieves have trip, which deals damage and impedes the target's ability to cast spells or flee. Shadow bind lowers a target's defenses and also prevents fleeing. They also have knife throwing and other throwing options, such as potions or grenades. Thieves would be remiss if they didn't backstab to start a fight and use shadow strike or bloodletting stab to keep it going.

Warriors have several special attacks designed to deal extra damage, such as kick, bash, and leap attack. They also have moves like double attack, cleave and whirlwind, which allow warriors to hit multiple enemies at once. Specialized skills like feint or riposte disorientate opponents. Berserk is a signature class skill especially suited for hitting, and revenge drives a warrior into hitting as hard as possible. Warriors also have unarmed combat options at their disposal, like jab and lunge.

Most of these skills require movement to use, so having a lot of movement is ideal for any hitter. Shadow skills also consume mana.

Despite the skill optimization of fighters, the role of hitter tends to transcend class because of the widespread availability of hitter eq, especially at higher levels. Also, while it is true that hitters can deal more damage using movement to fuel special attacks, they aren't completely dependent on movement in the way casters depend on mana. A player who is out of mana cannot cast any spells whatsoever, but a hitter out of movement is still just as effective at ordinary melee combat as he is at full movement...he just can't use any skills.

High strength is vital for increased damage while hitting and the ability to wield heavy weapons, since weapons tend to be more powerful the heavier they are. A higher dexterity allows one to attack more often, and constitution gives you more movement for skills.

Equipment Sets

Here we'll describe a few common hitter equipment sets. Keep in mind that, for the most part, a hitter set is typically used in a group setting, with a tank responsible for the hitter's defense and healers to cure damage and provide refreshes. It is usually too risky to use a hitter suit while alone due to its lack of armor.

Hitroll/Damroll

Sometimes abbreviated "hitdam", this is often the default option for a hitter equipment set. It features a mix of attacks, hitroll and damroll, sacrificing defense and spellcasting when necessary. Eq improving str, dex, con, movement, moveregen or warrior skill level may also be in set.

Balancing attacks, hitroll and damroll depends somewhat on personal preference and is a subject of some debate. Some like lots of attacks because they get more chances to hit in a fight, and it can help defeat an enemy with high parry and/or dodge. Some favor hitroll because they like to consistently deal damage, even against heavily armored mobs, while others find a higher damroll more satisfying due to the high damage sends that they tend to bring. Others will use eq with the warrior skill level effect in order to increase their combat power while berserking. Try to find the balance that works for your tactics; you may even find it helpful to build a set for each effect so that you are prepared for anything.

Damroll

A set focused completely on maximum damroll serves two purposes. The more common reason is for backstabbing, because that skill doesn't factor speed or hitroll into the equation to land, so a high damroll is preferable at the expense of all other eq effects so that backstab can do the most damage possible. Thieves also can accessorize with eq bestowing thief skill level bonuses in order to increase the probability of a higher backstab multiplier.

The other reason for such a set is for fighting mobs with poor AC where a high hitroll isn't necessary.

Battlecaster

A lot of eq orientated toward hitters offers its power at the expense of spellcasting, but, in certain situations, some find it beneficial to have eq that improves both hitting power and the ability to cast spells. Clerics can cure wounds without cast level because healing spells are not effected by level. Mages might hit while blasting to increase damage to an enemy. Necromancers can hit while assisting their constructs and while using spells to manage other minions. Battlecasting is more common in small groups where players are filling more than one role.

Solo

Most solo suits are designed to not only balance attacks, hitroll and damroll, but armor and possibly spellsave as well. Though such a set seems an unlikely candidate for a a group setting, it can prove to be a useful set for hitters who are danger of being attacked but still need to dish out a respectable amount of damage. Some mobs use special attacks, area spells, or are notank and affect hitters in spite of a tank's protection.


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