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 Post subject: Counterstriking your way to victory (PvP/Humor build)
PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:11 am
Posts: 941
This build is designed to do exactly one thing - win fights in one hit utilizing the Barbarian ability Counterstrike... consistently.

Pros:
- Counterstrike kills are hilarious. One of the funniest things in the game.
- Counterstrike is easy to master once you have access to it (compared to some skills, at least).
- Very little to zero combat prep, and this build is not gear-reliant.
Counterstrike kills are hilarious.

Cons:
- Your number one skill with this build will be deception, mostly from an IC standpoint, we'll get to that more in a minute.
- The best Race/Cabal combination for this build is Griffon/Harlequin - while not unheard of, can be difficult or impossible based on the IC leader. Griffons also come with their own limitations because of their alignment requirements.
- Human, Minotaur, Centaur, and Giant are acceptable substitutions, but this guide will be written with Griffons in mind.
- Combat will require some quick thinking if your Counterstrike doesn't finish off your opponent, or when fighting in groups.
- You are now playing a hybrid class, as you'll be utilizing Harlequin spells immensely (though I understand how little I'm allowed to talk about them in this section).
- By playing a hybrid class, your character will be quite a bit squishier than most barbarians (even moreso if you end up wearing cloth armor like I'm about to suggest below).
- Leveling might be more difficult than usual: you'll want to try to avoid people to keep your class a secret.

The Build:
Alright so, here's the plan: We want to get you a Griffon, go scrupulous, get into the Harlequins, secretly level all the way up, wear a bunch of cloth-armor, have something in your title about being a spellcaster (maybe join Marfik to round things off?), master your counterstrike, then have fun with Harlequin abilities.

The Griffon can fly on their own power, allowing them to better pretend to be -any- race with their special Harlequin powers. (Imagine someone trying to backstab or cleave a sprite, then Whammo!, Counterstrike kill!) The Griffon also has good stats for what we need, and since this is kind of a humor build, we don't want to get all stressed out about gear. Griffons can pull this off naked, if need be.

Your stats: (max in this order)
Strength - get this all the way up, then wear something that will raise it by even a little bit. This will help when you're buffing yourself before a fight. If you end up playing a giant, just get strength all the way up.

Intelligence - What!? Yeah, I know. Griffons get pretty smart. This is to master Counterstrike quicker (so you can min/max your fun), but you'll also be holding 1 or more spells during PvP (spells you'll get from the harlequin Cabal). Especially if you end up in the front row, you'll want your spells to last (last time I checked, it's difficult to concentrate while taking damage).

Wisdom -WHAT!? Yeah, I know, just listen: what we really want here is mana trains, but Barbarians don't get any. Increasing your wisdom is the -only- way to increase your character's mana pool, and you won't be getting meditation or trance. You might need to keep one or more spells up for a long time.

Constitution, then HP - If you're in a prolonged PvP fight, after the initial counterstrike, you'll want to get to the front row fast (so that you can help with damage).. so this will help you survive more than a few rounds. This should use up the rest of your trains. If you happen to have any left over, get Dex, Move, and Cha - we don't want any MR on this build.

More testing is required to see if Mana or Spellpower equipment does anything for this build. Since barbarians can't train them in the first place, I'm not sure if wearing things that increase these make any impact at all. (If you know offhand, or do some testing, let me know and I'll update the guide!)

Grab any religion you feel appropriate for the character, or stay out of religion for Spirit Aura... I'd probably try to go Marfik as a griffon, because that just feels -right- for this build.

If you end up doing a race other than Griffon, I recommend going with either a selfish alignment or a dark one. If you're feeling really cheesy, maybe join Sargas' religion for more buffs prior to combat.

I recommend not joining a Tribunal, as that would shrink your character's list of possible victims, and it would increase the number of people who know your character's true class (your Cabal and Tribunal mates will always have their class displayed to one another). The more people who know your character's class, the bigger chance of everybody finding out.

This build all but requires you to have your character join the Harlequins.
Dulrik wrote:
You can name the specific abilities that are relevant for the build and why, but should avoid unnecessary specifics about what they do.
You'll be using Mimic to make yourself look like a more appealing target. You'll be using Babble from the third row to be like a caster in combat, in group fights where things are already on your side, when no counterstrike happened (more on that in PvP strategies, below). You'll be using Warp Room frequently to help control group fights, but also occasionally (without Mimic) when you're leveling in a popular area (more on that in leveling strategies, below).

Leveling up and class deception
Your character won't get Counterstrike until expert. Some of the people reading this already know secondary leveling paths (less common places), for when you want to level your character secretly. I'm not one of those people. Aside from logging in at odd hours, I actually suggest trying to go for a Harlequin membership early on, and use their assistance to level quickly and secretively.

Since the harlequins will know your character's true class, they are also the only ones she should be going to for mentors, aside from NPC trainers.

Your barbarian should pretend to be a sorceress (until they're found out, at least). That means misleading title and always staying behind your pet. Also have plenty of excuses for not being able to provide enchantments, scribes, and gates. Find some wands to carry around. Maybe a stave.

Once you're a higher enough level, you might consider putting a Room Warp in or near your leveling place; that way, if anybody sees you leveling by ripping NPCs apart with your claws/weapons instead of spamming color spray (or acid spray), you'll have the option of playing it off that you were never there (pretending that they must have seen somebody pretending to be you...).

Mastering Counterstrike in 6 steps.
Step 0) Learn Counterstrike from trainers, enhance learning with an advanced trainer.
Step 1) find yourself a buddy for you to RP with (probably a harlequin, since they're going to see a lot of counterstrikes really soon)
Step 2) find yourself a NPCs
Step 3) >mode stun
Step 4) >kill NPC
Step 5) Hang out and RP with maxed out intelligence. The NPC should keep waking up, attacking you, and getting stunned from either counterstrike or the combat.
Step 6) Profit

Mimic strategies
I am not allowed to tell you what mimic does or how it works. That being said it's a very important part of this build, and this section really needs to be here. These notes will make more sense after your character learns what mimic does.

Pay attention to your character's speaking style - grammar, favorite languages, punctuation and capitalization. Mimic is enhanced when you put those things into practice differently.

Occasionally use quiet mode in public when not using mimic. Say it's because you're tired of people asking for gates, enchants, identifies, and so forth.

PvP Strategies
Your strategy will differ depend whether you're in a group or not, if you think your team has the advantage or not, and how the fight starts (aka, if the "jig is up").

1) Cleavebait/backstabbait/Hammerbait: when you are alone or in a small group of 1 or 2 others.
- Get buffed (giant's strength, frenzy, berserk if nobody's watching, hopefully mimic, and I guess bless. Sargas' special buff if you end up joining them as a not-a-griffon)
- Get in the back row if you're baiting a backstab, get in the second row or be alone if you're baiting a cleave. (If you're in a group, make sure they know what the plan in. We don't want them to start the fight)
- Determine who (if anybody) in your group in the front row either has a reaching weapon, or can be in the second row without ruining things (such as a pet).
- (optional and extra risky) leave the group after you meet the enemy, but before combat starts.
One of two things will happen:
- Counterstrike! (The jig is up!) If not everybody on the enemy's team is dead, your next goal is to immediately get to the front row. Rescue is one way, having the bard tumble behind you is another (if you're in the second row directly behind her), I think you can leave the group mid-combat, or if all else fails, flee, then run back into the same room. berserk if you hadn't already, and if you're not using mimic, pretend that you're someone else who is.
- Combat starts without counterstrike! You've got two smart options, depending on your group, and your group's chances of winning... option one is cut your losses (Spam Scatterport, warp room & flee, quaff recall). Option two is to set up for another counterstrike (generally by fleeing and telling your teammate to flee also or by leaving the group).

2) Group PvP: You're in a group, and so are they.
- Get buffed (giant's strength, frenzy, berserk if nobody's watching, and I guess bless. Sargas' special buff if you end up joining them as a not-a-griffon. You do not want sanctuary, though most PvP groups use a staff of sanctuary, so try to step out of the room when it happens)
- Use Mimic on the juiciest target, or don't use mimic if you think you're the juiciest target (and the other group still thinks you're a spellcaster).
- Determine who (if anybody) in your group in the front row either has a reaching weapon, or can be in the second row without ruining things (such as a pet) and stand in the third row of that person's column.
- (optional and extremely risky) leave the group after you meet the enemy, but before combat starts.
One of two things will happen:
- The jig is up! (Counterstrike!) get to the front row using rescue! Be a barbarian and BMK (Burn Maim Kill).
- Combat starts without counterstrike! You've got three jobs, in this order:
1st job - use the info command often to keep track of party members' hp, if the fight's going too far south too fast, a lucky scatterport might save everone. Or not. Should be funny either way.
2nd job - use the info command often to keep track of party members' hp, if the person in the first row of your column dies, use rescue on the person who is now in that position. If you find yourself in the front row, be a barbarian and BMK (Burn Maim Kill).
3rd job - use the info command often to keep track of party members' hp, if everything seems okay at the moment, systematically cast babble on every single person in their group, starting with the bard, then casters, then scouts, then anybody with a pet, then everybody else. This will be most of your team PvP fights.

3) You just got jumped: Oh jeez, oh crap, oh crap, oh jeez
- Panic! Are you dead? No? Good. Now then, stop panicking.
- I guess counterstrike probably happened. Are they dead? No? Okay.
- How bad are the odds? Maybe just BMK? You might actually be winning if you get jumped and your opponent is still alive. Consider berserking, bashing, and furying (and bashing some more), until they're dead.
- Oh, the odds are bad? Mood defensive and Spam scatterport until you can win the fight.

4) People try to kill you from a range
- Warp room, flee, warp room, then manually run away until everything nearby is warp room. Then get outta there! Quaffing recall is for chumps when you get attacked from a range! (But maybe do it if they're about to get you.)

Wombo Combo

Befriend a bard. Hopefully a harlequin Bard. By using mimic on them (while they don't use mimic), your opponents can't properly target the one they'll want to start the fight with (this can hold true for any duo group). The Bard will also be able to work with you for Row management (in case you need to get to the front row quickly), and if your opponents refuse to throw the first punch, your bard friend's songs of sleep while dancing can actually just put them to sleep.

Final thoughts
Your character's class is your (the player's) biggest secret. If you'd have to choose for your character to be found out that she's a harlequin or that she's a barbarian, you'll be able to squeeze out a few more surprise counterstrikes if you keep people thinking she's literally any other class.

After your character has been outed as both a Harlequin and a Barbarian, the only times you'll probably get counterstrike kills in PvP is with the harlequin Mimic ability. Experiment between pretending to be a bard or a sorcerer or a priest from the back row.

Feel free to make enemies with rogues before your character's class is found out - it's just comedy waiting to happen.

Before fights, change your rescue alias (if you use one) to target the position of the front row in your column.

Feel free to experiment with the build - fights where your opponent starts out with a spell is clearly this build's weakness, so some people might think MR trains would be the way to go. In my opinion, getting those buffs on before a fight to get that one-shot counterstrike is too important.

Lastly, I'd like to remind the reader that this build is not good at everything, and it is especially bad at PvE. Don't expect to be of much help in groups going to the outer planes, the dreamscape, or anywhere terribly intense. Especially if your character hasn't been outed as a barbarian yet.

Thank you for reading.


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