Mounted Combat: Basic Training

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You have finally made it to Rohan, been granted a Warsteed and have completed the riding tutorial at Harwick, now what? This guide will help you to understand the basics of combat while on horseback. Before we begin combat training, you should have at least an understanding of how to control your steed.

Understand that what is found in this guide is not the only way to handle mounted combat, but one set of methods to handle your foes.

 

Movement

The key to being successful in mounted combat is in controlling the steed and knowing how to position yourself in relation to the target as well as managing Fury. If you’ve followed the in-game tutorial and looked at our Riding Lesson (linked above) you should have a good understanding of how to make your steed move. This includes not only knowing how your steed is going to react to your commands and knowing how to control your speed.

It is very important to understand that running around at a full 15mps gallop all the time is not necessarily the best strategy to be used.

 

Fury

If you look at your Warsteed’s vitals icon, you’ll see it has Morale and Power just like you do, and then a third bar which indicates fury. Fury is basically a damage multiplier: the more fury you have, the more damage you will do on the next attack. This is the mechanic that the game uses to simulate momentum in your attacks. Think about a real life rider on horseback with a club – the force generated by the swing of his arm alone is less than the force of his arm in addition to the forward momentum of the horse. That is essentially what Fury is producing in-game.

You can see fury in action by checking your combat logs. You will see a message similar to:
[Your character] scored a hit with [skill name] on the Mordor Orc for 2,826 (2,040 from 1,000 Fury) common damage to Morale.

Fury is reduced after each attack and starts to regenerate from forward movement. The less fury you have, the smaller the bonus listed in the “from fury” portion of the log.

 

Attack Techniques 

Jousting: This is making a high speed run in a straight line towards the target, striking it as you pass and continuing on to create distance between you and the target before slowing down, wheeling around and repeating. Sometimes players will do this by making very long figure 8s with the target being at the intersect in the middle, or it may be done in a long narrow oval pattern. This is best performed on a stationary or slow moving target. This method allows you to build full fury and hit your target as hard as possible though with less frequency than other techniques. This is generally used by a melee class.

Tight Wheel: This is running in a slow, tight circle around your target, staying inside melee range. This method offers an increased frequency of hits on the target in trade for less fury build up due to your slower speed. You will also take more hits from a melee based target this way. This will likely be the bread and butter technique used by melee classes in singles combat. Even though you are hitting with less fury, your more frequent attacks will produce more DPS over a shorter period of time.

Wheel: This is running in a fast, wide circle around your target, staying out of melee range. This method is most likely going to be the bread and butter technique for ranged damage classes as it will keep you out of a melee based target’s range and offer you faster fury generation. Just like the Tight Wheel, this method will increase your frequency of attacks producing more DPS over time than the Joust.

Ranged Figure 8: This is running a quick and loose  Figure 8 pattern on the ground while engaging the target at multiple points of each loop. Generally you’ll have attack opportunities as you pass, at the top of the loop, as you pass again, and at the bottom of the next loop, and so on. This technique is probably best used against a mounted enemy who will be moving fast and following you. Since the target will be moving your attack opportunities may present themselves at different times, and you will be moving all over the map and your figure 8 will look sloppy if it were drawn on the ground, but once you get the hang of it, it seems to be the best compromise between fury generation, and keeping a gap between you and the mounted target.

Flanking: Flanking can be accomplished by either following a mounted target that is currently aggro’d on a fellow player, or by using a Warsteed trait skill that forces a mounted target to ride beside you for a duration of time. This is a great method for melee classes going up against mounted targets and allows for more hits on target than using the Jousting technique.

Standing: This should be your least used (if at all) method. Standing in place offers no fury generation and is very slow compared to the other methods. If you find yourself in a situation where standing still seems like the right thing to do, it is probably best to dismount and fight on foot.

Multiple Targets: This is where it gets very interesting. There are going to be a lot of factors at play here: how many targets, how many fellow players on the field, are targets mounted or not, etc. Depending on what is happening you may find yourself able to single out a specific target and use one of the techniques above. On the contrary you may have to address two or more targets simultaneously (especially if you are solo) and run the field using a combination of Jousting and Figure 8s.

 

Basic Attack Sequence

Melee Classes: To open an attack as a melee class, start off with as much distance as you need to get up to full fury before you queue up your first attack. Charge toward your target, if you have any sort of ranged attack that does damage you might use it before you are in melee range, and make your melee attack on the first pass. After the initial high fury attack, start to slow your steed and wheel around for another attack. At this point you will want to be slowing enough to start using the Tight Wheel technique to circle your opponent. If your steed’s agility training is high enough you should be able to circle around at a high enough speed to generate some fury while keeping your steed’s nose pointed towards the enemy as it side-steps in a circle around it.

Ranged Classes: To open as a ranged class, start with as much distance as you need to have full fury before you are ready to queue your first shot or spell. Direct your steed to pass your target with at least 10 meters or so of space in between you and the target. Immediately after passing the target begin making a Wheel around it, keeping as much distance as needed to keep the target out of melee range while keeping the steed’s nose turned in towards the target enough to allow you line of sight for firing your arrows, throwing your javelin or using your ranged tactical spells.

 

Go forth and practice what you’ve learned!

After taking this all into consideration, mount up, head out and find some orc to hunt. With practice these techniques will become instinctual and you’ll be able to think more about what attacks to use and when, as well as Discipline Dancing and other bits of advanced combat techniques that we will be covering in the near future.

You will probably find that one technique suits you best, but don’t ignore the others. Make sure you learn them and keep them in your toolbox so that when the need arises, you’ll be able to meet any foe in the fields of Rohan with confidence!

6 comments

  1. Ylowyn /

    > Wheel: This is running in a fast, wide circle around your target, staying out of melee range.
    > This method is most likely going to be the bread and butter technique for ranged damage
    > classes as it will keep you out of a melee based target’s range and offer you faster fury generation.

    This can also be used by melee classes. Melee skills have an increased range if you ride faster and will top around 15 yard range at max speed. This is more than enough to circle the target at max speed and staying outside of his melee range. So you can get all the advantage of an ranged class if you ride on max speed as an melee class.

    • I probably could have written that just a bit differently to include melee. Thanks!

      I do however find it not to work as well, at least for my guardian. His best DPS is in a tight wheel around the opponent,

  2. Jonathan Baron /

    Also it appears they left in an autopilot for mounted combat – Spur On: a toggleable combat mode. Turn it on, ride to the enemy, target one, select an attack and it will be executed for you automatically without your having to do a thing. And it will deliver that attack at max fury….sounds like the name of a comic book hero eh? 😉 You can even trot up to enemies as you target them. Then, the moment you hit your attack key your steed….well….acts like you’ve put the spurs to it.

    I expect they’ll remove Spur On at some point, once folks get over the shock, awe, or horror of mounted combat. It’s certainly not fun once you get past the basics. It is useful though for people suffering from MC block and provides a useful training tool.

    • I think Spur On will do very little in the way of helping someone learn how to be good at mounted combat, so I don’t even consider it. Just as autopilot will never teach someone to fly a plane. This is why it has been omitted from guides to help people learn to, rather than let the game do it for them.

      That’s not to say there is not a time and a place for it. (I use it when recording youtube so I can focus more on camera work than steering), and I can see it helping in certain situations but with the associated power costs and ongoing power drain, it’s not viable long-term.

  3. Jonathan Baron /

    I was simply shocked to discover the silly thing. I’m not convinced it’s useless though for training.

    The reason autopilot is not useful for pilot training is because you have a live (well…let’s hope so) flight instructor sitting in the right seat. And they will demonstrate certain maneuvers before they let you try. This is how I view Spur On. Reading an article or watching a video is simply not the same as seeing it executed, live on your computer screen.

    I wonder if the reason it is omitted from guides is because players who love the mounted combat are a bit embarrassed that it’s there.

  4. Thanks for the great video – very helpful for those of us new to mounted combat.

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