[Guide] The Dueling Compendium

Discussion in 'Tutorials and Guides' started by SeV, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. SeV

    SeV EU Official Server Admin Internal Beta Team

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    The aim of this guide
    The path one must take to master dueling is simple but not easy. Mastery requires that you obtain an understanding of the various mechanics relevant to dueling, aswell as the interplay between them. It also requires constant practice and polishing of technique and finally to go the extra mile you must strive to elimitate any small problems from your dueling style. Gimmicks will only take you so far. They come and go and change with the times. Solid fundamentals however, are eternally relevant.

    I aim to cover these things detail in this guide. When you're finished reading this, you should have a good understanding of the mechanics of lightsaber dueling, and an idea of how to go about practicing and getting better. It may require several read-throughs for you to grasp most of what is in this guide, as it is more densely packed by ideas and focuses on details. You can head over to Noel's guide for a more tl;dr style guide with an easy to read presentation. I recommend reading noel's guide in its entirety before reading my guide, as I've structured it so that it is more complementary to his rather than repeating everything. This is especially true when it comes to basics like how to perform different special attacks, so if you are a new player definitely read noel's guide before you read this guide.

    I also have to thank noel for helping me with gifs, and give credit to him for the idea of imbedding gifs in documents. I hope the gifs used in this guide will help make it easier to understand and grasp concepts.

    Introduction to dueling
    The aim is to kill your opponent and avoid death yourself. The essential mechanic that governs life and death in a duel is blocking points (BP), represented by a red bar near your FP counter. With this resource, you are able to block incoming lightsaber strikes. If you are to defeat your opponent, the surest way to do so is to exhaust his BP, which makes him vulnerable to attack. Therefore, we can say that fundamentally, there are two different phases of dueling that you constantly cycle between.

    They are Attack and Defense and it's all with the aim of exhausting your opponents blocking points so that your attack can get through his defense and kill him.

    It's a tug of war between the two duelists and if you fall too far behind and the other side gains too much momentum making it hard to make a comeback. Thus you must always strive to push back! Beginners often make the mistake of not attacking enough and thus simply lose without ever posing a real threat to their opponent.

    Imagine that you stand on one side of an old-style scale, your opponent on the other and each attack, each skillful defense, each little mechanic and detail subtly shifts the scale in either your or your opponents favour.

    It's a fairly easy to understand concept when you consider this: Defense being equal, the person that attacks the most and in the best way wins. He gains more weight on his scale than his opponents, he has more momentum. But for every attack, there is a defense and sometimes a counter-attack. So we can also say that attacks being equal, the one with the best defense will win.

    Dueling is a complex exchange of swings, of attacking and defending constantly. Therefore, to master dueling, we must divide attack and defense into their respective single elements and study each little mechanic in detail, understand it and know how it affects the grand scale of things.

    That is why this first section is devoted to comprehensively understanding the mechanics of MBII dueling.

    Lightsaber mechanics
    Table of contents
    Perfect Blocking
    Manual Blocking (Disarm)
    Swingblocking
    Parrying
    Counter attacking (Mblock Counters + Bodyhit & PB Counters)
    Attacking (Halfswinging, Comboing, Yawing etc)
    Knockdown techniques
    The Force in dueling
    List of Style AP/BP and damage modifiers




    Perfect Blocking (PB)
    [​IMG]

    To get similar PB effect, use a small crosshair with a large crosshairsize (cg_crosshairsize 45)
    When receiving an attack, you can either take it as a bodyhit, parry it with one of your own attacks or perfect block it with mouse aim. Pbing is extremely important and has many benefits.

    First of all, each PB you perform will block all damage received from the enemy attack and give you 8 BP which is technically two ticks of BP regen, almost a whole second of BP regen. This makes a big difference if added up over the course of a fight. In other words, Perfect blocking is directly related to your ability to sustain in a duel, and being skilled at PB means you have high sustain and can often outlast your opponents.


    Against someone who attacks frivolously, you can easily keep your BP tank healthy as long as you have strong PB fundamentals. Another benefit of Pbing is that it allows you to block in returns, meaning right after you finish attacking but before you can continue attacking. If you can PB well, you can close that gap. A strong ability to PB will allow you to go on the offensive more freely aswell.


    So, how do you PB? It is fairly simple. Around and attached to the enemy player model, there are 7 zones in which you aim to PB different attacks. You can view where these zones are in-game by using /pbindicator 1 and aiming with your crosshair in the space around the enemy model, straight above the head, over either shoulder, to the left and right of the head and crotch/knee level to either side. The pbindicator 1 command will show clearly where the zones are, and what attacks you will be able to block by aiming there. It is a useful new command added to the game for the benefit of beginners seeking to learn the ways of dueling. With practice, even the newest youngling can become a force to be reckoned with. So train the fundamental mechanics of dueling if you wish to become better.

    [​IMG]
    /pbindicator 1 aiming to show PB zones.



    Manual Blocking (Mblock, Disarm)
    [​IMG]
    Mblock Disarm by itself, then Mblock Counter.​

    This is another important mechanic and it's related to perfect blocking. When you PB an attack, you have the opportunity to also attempt to disarm your opponent. This is done by holding both mouse buttons and the direction button(s) corresponding to the swing you wish to disarm. It is easy to see visually, just hold walk and both mouse buttons and play around with WASD to see which Mblock direction blocks what swing, it is fairly intuitive.

    So what you do is you aim at the correct PB zone, then hold SD for example and then tap attack ( so that you are holding down both mouse buttons). You do this right as the swing hits you and the PB is supposed to hit. Not before the PB or after it, but right when you anticipate the PB will happen.

    Mblock has a short cooldown of 1.5s so you cant just spam it in the hope of getting a lucky disarm. It is worth attempting Mblocks frequently, not just because of how often you can disarm noobs and even fairly seasoned duelists, but also because an Mblock allows you to perform a fast counter attack afterwards. This helps you kill the opponent quickly after you disarm him, but even if you don't, it can often interrupt the opponent mid-swing to deals a lot of damage.


    Swingblocking (SB)

    It'd be bad if there wasn't a way to counter disarms, but luckily for us there is! However, swingblocking is not just beneficial for avoiding disarms and instant death, it is also a defensive technique that helps alleviate the considerable damage you receive when you get interrupted.

    An interrupt is when you get hit during a swing start-up animation. This causes you to take alot more damage than you normally would. A whole1.6x if you aren't holding block, but only 1.2x if you are holding block. 1.0x is the normal amount of damage taken from a bodyhit if you were to simply hold block and do nothing.


    1.6x is huge, but 1.2x is bearable in small doses, so swingblocking is extremely important. We are talking about a 40 percent difference in interrupt damage here! Although you shouldn't go around making a habit of getting interrupted, since no matter how you turn the issue, getting interrupted is bad. It is just a lot less bad if you swingblock.


    Furthermore, swingblocking prevents you from being knocked down. It is truly an important fundamental mechanic that even alot of mid-tier duelists overlook practicing in favour of more PB and Mblock training, but swingblocking is really just as fundamental to dueling as PB is.


    So how do you SB? It's simple. SBing simply means that you are holding block during a swing.


    The best way is to tap every single attack and hold block after you tap. So a two hit combo would look like this: tap attack, let go, quickly hold block down until the attack winds up, then tap again at the correct timing to start another attack. Then rinse repeat.


    This timing is difficult in the beginning, so alot of people hold mouse 1 when they combo, leaving them open to disarms, knockdowns and interrupts. Basically easy pickings for any decently skilled duelist.


    To attain sound swingblocking fundamentals, first start by making sure you always swingblock your first attack. Whether it's a single swing or part of a combo, it doesn't matter. You MUST swingblock the first attack in your combo unless your opponent is knocked down or otherwise incapable of responding.


    An alternative way of swingblocking, utilized by very few duelists over the years, the most well known being KillinG, is called using Mblock style. This removes your ability to disarm your opponent, but has the benefit of covering your 4 hit combos more fully with tighter swingblocks, thus it's a good choice for people who wish to use a combo heavy style.


    With Mblock style, you basically do the opposite of normal swingblocking. That is, you hold both mouse buttons at all times, and release block to attack, then quickly hold block again after you start the attack. To combo with this uber-safety oriented swingblock style, you tap-release block instead of mouse 1. It is an advanced technique you can use if you want to stand out and style on your opponent. It is also good for style switching if you use it while holding block, as it hides your saber style in mblock animations. This means you can change from yellow to red without your opponent knowing, and hit him with a meaty red counter when he least expects it.

    Parrying
    Parrying is something that happens naturally over the course of a duel. It can be used to prevent taking excessive damage from certain special attacks aswell as combos you have a hard time PBing.


    A parry occurs when two swings/attacks hit each other mid-air within a certain timing window. Outside of this window, the attacks don't clash but one attack causes the other to get interrupted or you hit someone in the return part of their swing (after their attacking window is gone). Anything other than that will become a parry.


    When you parry someone, you deal 20% of what your attack would normally do as a bodyhit to your opponent and the opponents parry works the same way. Thus you often end up with parry numbers like 2-6 BP damage dealt/taken for a single parry. Styles with different AP/BP will generate different parry numbers, refer to the damage modifiers section to see how you can calculcate these numbers.


    This includes special attacks aswell and since you cannot PB special attacks like RDFA or butterfly, parrying them will reduce the damage they deal to you significantly because 20% of 75 is alot better than 100% of 75.


    To give you an example of how to utilize parries to block special attacks. When you are about to be hit by a yellow DFA move and you don't have time to dodge it, start a swing instead and you will parry it. You still take some BP damage, but it becomes 20% which is a significant reduction.


    Another example is if you are in a tight corridor and someone does a staff butterfly attack towards you. You can combo into the butterfly attack and parry the a lot of the damage, thus reducing the amount of BP you lose in the exchange.


    It's always best to dodge specials if you can, since the person in a special attack takes 0.5x less BP damage and usually also deals more damage than you due to how much BP damage specials deal in general.


    Also, when you are 0 BP, you can parry once but will then be combo broken, meaning you can only parry one attack and then die unless you jump out of the way. This means that when someone is low BP, you can combo them to try and make the kill more certain.



    Counter attacking
    [​IMG]
    Bodyhit counters and PB counters. Basically just attacking back after getting hit. Different from MBC showed above.​

    There are three fundamental forms of counter attacking. The first is counter attacking from a bodyhit. The second is counter attacking from a PB. The third is counter attacking from an Mblock. This is called an Mblock counter (MBC), and is the most powerful of all the counters due to its potential to quickly interrupt the opponent often when he isn't swingblocking, thus dealing 1.6x normal swing damage. If you hit one of those MBC's with red style, you will absolutely decimate the opponents BP and be on the fast-track to victory.


    So what are counter attacks and how do they work?


    First of all, the purpose of counters is to retaliate against an opponent to maintain momentum or take back momentum. Remember the scale? A counter is a swift response to an opponents aggression, a way to break through and to fight back.


    First form of countering we shall cover is bodyhit countering. I found that many people, even high level duelists, don't know this. Bodyhit countering is only possible if your opponent does a single swing or a halfswing and bodyhits you. If he is comboing, attempting to use a bodyhit counter will result in you getting interrupted, thus this is a technique that you must deploy with care and it is actually fairly high level to use it effectively as it requires reading the opponent. But it is good vs people whose styles you know, and ppl that use alot of single swings carelessly.


    To perform a bodyhit counter, you simple attack back as soon as you can after getting bodyhit. You can go back and forth forever with someone like shown in the gif below. WA is my favorite bodyhit counter choice for attack, but you can use other swings aswell.



    A PB counter is what the name implies, attacking back after you get a PB. When you do this with the correct timing, it can often allow you to start your own attack afterwards without getting interrupted, which enables you to start parrying defensively.



    Thus a PB counter doesn't have the same weakness as a bodyhit counter. It is most often used to start a series of parries to defend against a combo and get last hits, but it is also good to use on single hits. You could say that a bodyhit counter is a failed PB counter. They both function the same way, but one is superior to the other. However, it is important to know that Bodyhit countering exists, as it is something that even high level players often overlook. So if you master all of these forms of countering you will have some great tools in your dueling toolbox with which to work.



    Mblock countering has been briefly touched on before, but basically you perform a disarm and make sure to activate an attack right after, usually by letting go of block in the same way that one attacks when using Mblock-style. The timing is tight and it isn't easy to hit MBCs, but they are strong and should be one of those things you work on continuously as you hit disarms. It should be a natural part of your dueling style to go for these whenever you can.



    Attacking (Halfswinging, Comboing, Yawing etc)
    [​IMG]
    A combination of halfswinging and chaining with yellow style.
    Just like there are different ways to defend such as Pbing, Mblocking and parrying or different ways to counter like PB counter and MBC, so too are there different ways of attacking! It's not just about holding mouse 1 and adad and suddenly you got a god-tier attack going. Dueling is not that barbaric. Skillfully attacking is something that requires finesse and a feel for timing in much the same way that skillfully defending does.

    First, there are three standard swing types. First swing, halfswing and consecutives.

    First swing is self-explanatory. A halfswing is named thusly because it cuts out part of the wind-up animation, making it hit slightly faster than first swing as a general rule. Atleast that used to be the case, though now the first swing and halfswing have been normalized to a more even speed. Both first swings and halfswings deal 1.0x damage, the standard amount.

    [​IMG]
    Some Yellow style halfswings demonstrated on a training dummy.


    Consecutive swings, also known as combos or chain swings deal 0.5x. If you were to 4 hit combo someone, you would deal 1.0x damage from the first swing, then three times 0.5x from the following consecutive swings. If instead you did two hits, pause, two hits, you would deal 1.0x, 0.5x, 1.0x, 0.5x. Simple enough, right?

    By the same logic, if you did 4 single swings, you would do 1.0x, 1.0x, 1.0x, 1.0x

    So since consecutive swings deal less damage, does that mean they are suboptimal? No!

    Consecutive swings happen in more rapid succession than halfswings, meaning they are useful for barraging your enemy with attacks and their main purpose is to put pressure on the opponent and try to catch him in a swing and get that sweet, sweet interrupt damage I've mentioned before in the swingblock section. Consecutive swings also help protect you against immediate retaliation from bodyhit and PB counters by interrupting the counter attack or by parrying the counter attack.

    So the judgement of whether you should use single attacks or consecutives is a bit muddy and it depends on who you are facing, aswell as your own playstyle. As a general rule, it is good to mix every single type of attack aswell as every single type of combo you can think of to remain as unpredictable as humanly possible.

    If someone only does single hits, he becomes susceptible to bodyhit and PB counters and if someone only does 4 hit combos he also becomes more predictable and easy to deal with since you can just save your slap and time it well to deal with the 4 hit combo spam.

    Also, if you take care to not get interrupted by the 4 hit combo, it doesn't deal that much damage, the same amount as two and a half single hits in fact. This means that when you play against someone that has a combo heavy style, you should be careful and not overextend yourself, as the main aim of heavy comboing is to annoy the opponent into making timing mistakes.

    So how exactly do you go about halfswinging?

    To get a feel for the timing, all you need to do is hold a direction and mouse 1. I recommend yellow D swing as it is decently fast and one of my old favorites. You basically start holding the attack button right when the bounce/return animation of the last swing ends. That means there is a gap between swings that is larger than the gap between consecutive attacks.

    Luckily, if you are skilled at Perfect Blocking you can now PB during those gaps, making single hits a viable choice especially for skilled players. I should mention here that a common pitfall for new players is to wait for too long until they start their halfswing, thus they end up resetting their combo and doing two first hits instead of a halfswing, which is slightly slower and this small gap in speed actually matters a lot. This is especially true with styles like blue, where the halfswing timing is even faster than other styles.

    There is another way of speeding up your attacks.

    This method relies on aiming in such a way that your swing ends up inside the opponents model right at the moment when it can 'attack'. If you aim swings properly, they will always hit at the earliest possible moment, but if you do not aim properly some of the swing directions will hit later than others due to their animations. This speed difference is noticable when you observe a beginner vs a master of attacking.


    As a general principle, you should aim to one side of the opponents model or the other, in the direction of your swing. So if you are doing a yellow D swing, you should aim to the right of the enemy. If you do a WA swing, you should aim down and to the left of the opponent. If you do a SD, you should aim to the right and maybe slightly up. The main goal is to aim so that your lightsaber blade is close to or inside the opponents model at the moment it can attack.

    Once you get that basic principle, you can attack at the speed of a 1337 duelist without raping your mouse like a retard.

    But speaking of that, there is something else you can do with mouse aimed attacks, namely what is colloqually called yawing. The main purpose of yawing as opposed to simply aiming your attacks properly, is to obfuscate what swing you are doing, thus making it harder to PB you. There are many different ways of doing this, but one of the most common ones is to aim far into the ground and twitch left or right depending on what attack you are using, as per the aimed attack principle described above.

    The twitch blurs the attack more than simply aiming at the spot to begin with, and aiming into the ground also helps with obfuscating the swing. However, if you are doing this alot you will find it harder to PB during returns, which is also an important consideration when deciding whether or not to yaw an attack.

    You should never just yaw for the sake of yawing, as that can leave you open to side and backwhacks and also makes it harder for you to PB in returns. I also caution against spinning your mouse with high sens when attacking for the same reasons, and this sort of spin spam cannot be called true yawing, merely a noobs interpretation of what yawing actually is. The people who spin excessively, likely do not know how to aim their attacks, but they've seen some skilled player yawing and figure that it's just about mouse speed when it is infact more about where you aim.

    There are also a few other ways of making yourself harder to PB when attacking, especially from a distance.

    The first one is to purposefully miss one attack in the air and follow up with the same attack or another one as you run forward. This could be SD(airswing from distance, missed), run forward SD (hit). Or when chasing someone you could do WA halfswings as you run forward, missing one or two in the air, but reaching the opponent and smacking him.

    Another way of doing this would be to use the feint/swing cancel mechanic. Pressing the reload button (I bind it to R), cancels your swing. Useful for open mode when you swing close to your friends and have to stop your swing lest you kill them. But feinting in dueling by using reload to cancel your swings is an inferior version of simply airswing faking, so it shouldn't really be used unless you want to incorporate it to throw the opponents rhythm off. In general, it's not recommended though.

    The other way to make yourself harder to PB is by using jumps. If you have jump 3, you can hold +use whilst jumping to get a non-force jump 2, which is the best for engaging with jump from a distance. The way this is normally used is that you start from a distance, jump and start your attack in the air, timing it so that your attack hits the opponent right when you land infront of him. Damage from jump attacks is 1.2x, but you also take 1.3x more damage while in the air so it's not a way to receive free cookies.

    You can of course also combine jumping and airswinging to further obfuscate your initiation attack, but this is rarely needed and rather than going through the trouble and potential risk, you are sometimes better off simply wandering into range, Pbing and starting the engagement that way.

    Finally, it is important to make mention of the fact that if you're dueling yellow vs yellow and you 4 hit combo the opponent, he Pbs your first hit and also starts a 4 hit combo, his last hit will obviously hit you, since he has one more swing than you. But there is a hidden mechanic that can allow you to attack him back and get a 5th hit as a halfswing after such a combo exchange. This was added to the game to encourage people to be more aggressive, and so it is good to know about if you are an aggressive player.


    Basically, having exhausted your chain count (can't combo any longer), doesn't mean you can't bodyhit counter if you get attacked. Thus it seems like you can pull a 5th hit as a halfswing out of nowhere. This is an advanced technique often used to skilled players to keep the pressure high in a duel. It's important to know that you can get these swings off of bodyhit counters even if you have just used up all your swings in your combo.


    Take red as another example, you parry the yellow players first 3 swings but his 4th yellow swing hits you. That is not the end of your offensive with red! Since he hit you last, you can bodyhit counter him with a red halfswing. This can catch alot of people off guard.


    If they are wise to this, they can dodge away or counter you back, and in theory you can keep going back and forth with single bodyhit counters like this until you run out of BP. It is just another mechanic that you should be aware of in the pursuit of solid fundamentals.


    So with this in mind you now know that it's not necessarily disadvantageous to attack first, you just have to be careful about Pbs and making your attacks too easy to predict. Trying to be the aggressor in a duel has its advantages, so aggressive styles are not out of vogue or anything.


    Knockdown techniques
    This section really should just be called slap 101, but there are some other methods of knockdown available aswell. First of all, slap is activated by Moviebattles II special 2, usually players bind this to E or a button on their mouse. It has a 4 second cooldown represented by a white bar in the lower right part of your ui next to your force points. During the slap animation, you cannot PB or parry, so getting hit while you attempt to slap someone is always a bodyhit.


    When you get knocked down, there are five different ways you can get back on your feet. First, you can tap the jump button to do a quick-getup during which you are vulnerable to lightsaber attacks.


    This getup is used in open-mode versus gunners, and only very rarely in duel mode when you are not at risk of getting sabered, like when your opponent is far away or is using a heavy style and his attack is a bit slow in coming.


    Next, you have the side roll of either D or A + jump. A lot of people turn their camera 90 degrees away from the opponent as they roll, so that they are rolling sideways away from the opponent, thus putting the maximum possible distance between the opponent and themselves to make it harder to punish.


    The last way to get up is to either use W or S. This can knock down an opponent that isn't blocking. Meaning if someone is just holding mouse 1 and not swingblocking, he will get knocked over by the W or S getup. This getup, especially with S, is also a useful counter to the +use downstab punish discussed below.


    As before, we shall discuss why knockdowns are important. The first and most obvious is that someone on the ground cannot PB and cannot attack back. This means every swing you hit them with while they are down, will be a bodyhit, and you don't have to worry about getting countered or disarmed. When you knock someone down, there are many different ways to 'punish'. The most common is to simply 4 hit combo someone with yellow style, and while that isn't bad, it's quite ordinary. The second most common way is probably to get off two single hits on the downed opponent. This is also a viable option.



    One detail of note here is that walking non-swingblocks deal 1.1x damage, meaning that if you are not under threat from your opponent you can deal more damage by not swingblocking. This is one of the only times I recommend not swingblocking. However, if the opponent does a getup like W or S that can knock you over, you must swingblock. Crouching makes you deal half the damage you normally would, so it is inferior to simply swingblocking.


    In addition to walking + not swingblocking to deal 1.1x damage, you can also jump attack them on the ground for an extra 1.2x. These damage bonuses stack by the way, so if you can manage to hit a walking, jumping non-swingblocked attack, its damage will be buffed up quite nicely. This is mostly useful with red style punishes.

    When you slap someone down, you can also punish them by attempting to hit them with special attacks such as the +use downstab, a YDFA or one of the many crouched backattack variants depending on what getup your opponent chooses.

    You can also use the knockdown time to distance yourself from the opponent and make him run to you. This will often instigate noobs to attack from a distance, making it easier to PB their attack and filling your BP tank.

    But attack punishes are generally preferred over simply distancing yourself. So take note of what getup your opponent likes to do, and then pick an appropriate punish.


    Now that we know why knockdowns are important to know about as one of the fundamental mechanics of dueling, the question is how do we go about effectively knocking our opponents down?

    Slap, the bread and butter knockdown of every common duelist, requires that you hit someone when they aren't holding block, to be effective. Thus, the best times to slap is right when the opponent starts a swing, whether that is his first swing on the next one in a chain. Swingblocking a 4 hit combo is very difficult, and if you have the right slap timing you can knock most people down consistently. Sometimes, you will see duels in which one person is constantly on the ground. This is common when someone with sound slap and swingblock fundamentals faces off against a person without sound slap and swingblock fundamentals and the difference this makes is absolutely huge.


    The next method, one that I also recommend trying, is to slap right after your first swing has hit the opponent. As you know from the countering section, it is often the case that someone will try to bodyhit or PB counter you, especially if you are using a single-hit heavy style, but if they attempt this and you hit slap right after your attack hits the opponent, you will knock them down 95% of the time assuming they started a counter (which is likely the case if you single hit a lot).


    Many lazy duelists hit slap after a 4 hit combo every single time. These people do not have sound slap fundamentals. They do not save slap for the important timings, but just hit the button on cooldown as muscle memory. It goes without saying that this is bad. If you master slap restraint, you can mindfuck your opponents and seize the advantage.


    This is because it is a common tactic to use single hits to try and bait out a slap from the opponent, because if the opponents slap is on cooldown you can unload a full walking non-swingblocked combo on them without worrying about getting knocked down. Saving your slap can throw these sort of people off.


    And if you're facing an aggressive facehugger, it's a very bad idea to panic and slam spam the slap button. It's often better to forget that it exists than to constantly spam slap, because slap spam gives the opponent a clear opening to exploit. If your slap is on cooldown, your opponent is free to attack in any way he wants. Omitting slap for a long time can make the opponent wary and give you an advantage in the duel, especially if he is firing off slaps and giving you clear free-attack timings.


    There are other techniques to knock someone down and they have their pros and cons. The techniques below have a longer cooldown of 6 seconds as opposed to slap's 4 second cooldown, but they make the opponent stagger in return for the longer cooldown.


    +w +use +slap is my favorite. It makes you do a forward jump kick. This can often catch people off-guard and is useful on opponents that are slightly distanced from you and preparing to attack.

    When you duel long enough, you will get a feel for when someone is about to attack, and you can pre-emptively use a forward jumpkick. Even if you don't knock them down, you will atleast stagger them, and this stagger is also longer than the stagger from legsweep and side kick, so this is worth incorporating into your dueling style, if only to use on occasion. It is also a great way to knock people off ledges in open mode on maps like Deathstar @ the bridges, or in generator on Duel of the fates.

    If you want to knock down someone that is crouching and attacking, you can do +use +crouch +slap to perform a legsweep. Other variations include +use +wsd +slap to perform kicks. Forward kick does not work so if you want to kick someone in place of slapping them, turn to the side with either a D or an A kick. The only reason why you'd use the side kicks over a normal slap would be if you need the stagger for momentum reasons or if you want to throw the opponent off his rhythm.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  2. SeV

    SeV EU Official Server Admin Internal Beta Team

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    Attack Chain Multiplier (ACM)
    ACM significantly boosts the damage you deal, but you can only obtain it if you have quite a lead on your opponent. You know that you have ACM if the glow around your lightsaber style (yellow etc), starts expanding or by toggling on the simplehud to see the raw ACM numbers. Characters also auto-taunt when they get ACM, so that is a tell to watch out for.

    For Heavy styles (Red, Purple), it takes a 4 hit advantage to get ACM. (Hit advantage = ACC (Attack chain count). In other words, to get a damage boost with red, you must have 4 more ACC than your opponent. ACC is gained on bodyhits that aren't chains (first swings and halfswings), and lost on bodyhits. Light styles lose 2 ACC per bodyhit as opposed to the normal 1 ACC per bodyhit.

    For Medium styles (Yellow, Staff), you need a 6 hit advantage, and for Light styles (Blue, Cyan, Duals), you need an 8 hit advantage.

    1 ACM is 1.2x dmg, 2 ACM 1.4x, 3 ACM 1.6x, etc. Max 9 ACM for 2.6x dmg.

    Also, it is important to remember that you auto-taunt when you get ACM. This means that if the opponent suddenly taunts you should be careful since he might have ACM. Sometimes, you can mindgame your opponent by taunting manually to try and trick them into thinking you have ACM, thus making them change style to a more defensive hit and run affair to try and drain your ACM. A minor mindgame, but still useful.


    Essentially, ACM won't normally occur much during duels, but may play a factor in very prolonged affairs. However, under normal circumstances it is rarely something you need to pay too much attention to, just be careful when you hear a taunt.

    For training purposes, you can remove ACM from yourself by bowing.​

    List of Style AP/BP and damage modifiers
    This is a reference section for the attack power (AP) and blocking power (BP) of each style, aswell as what things affect the damage you take and deal aka damage modifiers.


    Base calculation for BP drains:
    BP drain = 100 * (AP of attacker's style) / (BP of defender's style)​

    Style AP/BP:
    Blue 6/75
    Cyan 9/60
    Yellow 12/55
    Red 20/40
    Purple 16/45
    Staff 10/70
    Duals 11/50.

    Additional overall multiplier:
    0.8x BP drain.​

    :Basic movement factors:

    Attacker non-swingblocking and walking or standing still: 1.1x BP dealt.
    Attacker swingblocking: 1.0x BP dealt.
    Attacker running: 0.8x BP dealt.
    Defender knocked down or in a roll or slapping: 1.0x BP taken.
    Defender holding block and not in an attack: 1.0x BP taken.
    Defender holding block and in an attack: 1.2x BP taken.
    Defender not holding block and not in an attack(hit while running): 1.4x BP taken.
    Defender not holding block and in an attack: 1.6x BP taken.

    :Additional factors:

    Attacker doing consecutive swings (also known as chains): 0.5x BP dealt.
    Defender in a special move: 0.5x BP taken.
    Defender crouching: 1.5x BP taken.
    Attacker crouching: (1 / 1.5)x BP dealt.
    Defender jumping: 1.3x BP taken.
    Attacker jumping: 1.2x BP dealt.
    Defender has Saber Defense 1: 1.4x BP taken.
    Attacker/Defender parried each other: 0.2x BP dealt/taken.

    Technique & Theory section

    Table of Contents

    Lightsaber Styles
    Movement & Mindgaming
    Rhythm & Predictability
    Training

    Lightsaber Styles
    This section will briefly describe each lightsaber style in the hope that you will be able to more easily play with and against these styles. It is also useful for those who are new and seek to choose their first style to master. Feel is the most important thing, so pick a style that feels good to play and learn it thoroughly.


    Blue (Light style)
    [​IMG]
    Blue style has the best defense out of all styles, the weakest attacks in the game, but also the fastest attacks in the game. Just from that alone, you can guess it's an interesting style to play with, and by no means weak. It is a very versatile style capable of both putting pressure on the opponent with quick swing barrages, but it can also shine in defensive and reactive play. It has typically been linked to Form III in lore due to how brilliant it is at defensive play.

    Form III is a lightsaber style that focuses on defense and counter-attacking to exploit the opponents weaknesses. In MBII blue style works very well if played this way. It's initial damage may be the lowest ouf of all the styles, but because of its speed, it is far easier to get interrupts with.

    Getting these interrupts in with blues eminently fast halfswings and combos is the bread and butter of how to play the style.

    Halfswinging with blue may feel unnatural at first, especially with halfswings such as WA and WD. To get a feel for blue's extra fast halfswing timing potential, go to a training dummy and hold WA and other directions to see just how early you can start compared to other styles.

    Essentially, a good blue style user makes sure to harass the opponent with a never-ending stream of pokes and prods combined with well-timed 4 hit combos. You should combo with blue when the opponent plays single hit style against you, but it can also work against 2 hit combo style. But the main thing you're looking for when you play blue style is to slowly grind down the opponent, and interrupt as much as possible. Optimize your playstyle around interrupts and you will do well with blue.

    From that we can draw the conclusion that to fight against blue style you must try to avoid getting interrupted. It is probably inevitable, but you must minimize the interrupts and be very mindful of your attack timing vs blue. This is why alot of new players have trouble vs blue.

    They cannot get a hold of a timing to attack back, and thus it feels like they are getting locked down vs blue. This is not the case, as even a style as tight and compact as blue has gaps and while it is difficult, it is still possible to beat blue using the slowest style in the game.

    There is not much else to say about blue style other than the fact that it works extremely well when coupled with red style. This is an old synergetic combination where you use blue for defense and interrupt pokes, then switch to red at opportune moments to hit the opponent extremely hard with big chunky bursts of BP damage. Blue and Red also share the fast swing recovery times as the only two. This is what allows blue to halfswing so fast, and what allows red to instantly counter attack with good timing. These two styles were made for each other. They share many characteristics and are like two halfs of a whole unit. One side for defense and interrupts, the other style for counter attacks and high powered attacks and slap punishes.


    Cyan (Light style)
    [​IMG]
    Compared to blue, cyan has slower combos and less defensive capabilities, but it has harder hitting attacks. It's unique swing animations also make it difficult to Perfect block, but this is offset by its strict 3 quadrant combo restrictions. If you are in doubt what this means, it is the same as red style.

    You have to skip two swing directions in either direction with cyan and red. You cannot do WA+WD like other styles. That is known as 2 quadrant restriction (the normal for other styles). Cyan and red has 3 quadrant restrictions. This means that you will be using combos like diagonals or WA+D+SA to skip zones. It is not really a disadvantage if you play well and stay unpredictable, especially since single hitting with cyan is also a crucial part of its strength and it has very fast and hard to PB single hits. It's probably its defining feature.

    Cyan is a great style for players that want to attack alot. Cyans swift first swings are its bread and butter. You can use them to parry almost anything off of reactions, making your PB skill less relevant so you can focus on attacking more. It relies less on interrupts than blue as it has 9 AP whereas blue only has 6 AP.

    It also has a combo limit of 6, meaning cyan can string together more attacks than any other style. This means you can parry entire combos and still get the last hit as cyan. You can think of it as the more offense oriented version of blue, focused more on the raw drain plus parrying than blue, which focuses more on interrupts and Pbs.

    Of course, you can also play cyan using mostly single hits and focusing your efforts on hitting Pbs. If done well and you occasionally weave some parries into that style, you should still be able to have a great defensive playstyle. So like blue, cyan can be used in a variety of ways, [strikethrough]some considered to be unnatural.[/strikethrough]
    Green (Light style)
    [​IMG]
    Finally we have the most aggressive and offense oriented of the light & fast styles.

    Dual lightsaber style has fast and powerful attacks, but low defense. Dueling with duals is about bursts of high damage aggression to pressure your opponent. It can halfswing harass or go into full combo mode aswell, but the quintessential duals style is to get up close and personal and start grinding down the opponents BP with persistent halfswings into combo attacks and whenever you are about to take big BP damage (for example, you ran out of parries), you use a dual stab +use+asd+attack to push the opponent away from you, giving you breathing space to orchestrate your next offense.


    Duals work well with blue, as blue makes up for duals' lack of defense. Burst the opponent with duals high DPS, then switch to blue and poke around, and back to duals for another big burst of damage. This is a powerful and dangerous playstyle similar in principle to the blue/red combination, but where blue/red has more counter damage potential, the blue/duals combination is more about the pure raw attack power of duals balanced out by blues high defense. Another difference between red and duals in terms of how they deal damage, is that while red has few, slow but strong attacks, duals have very fast and hard to block attacks that deal less damage by themselves, but when combined with comboing and interrupts, can deal absurd amounts of damage just like red counters/interrupts. It also has a combo limit at 5, second only to cyan. This means duals can also play the parrying game very well.

    Yellow (Medium style)
    [​IMG]

    Yellow style is the quintessential moviebattles II lightsaber style and probably most people's favorite. It is the very embodiment of balance. It's speed is in the middle between the fast and the slow styles. It's damage is in the middle and so is it's defense level.

    Yellow style can be played in a multitude of different ways, as it is an extremely well-balanced style. Whether you want to play aggressively or use a counter-oriented defensively focused style, yellow will accomodate you.

    Unlike blue style or cyan or red, yellow doesn't have one or two stand-out things that define it. Instead, it is defined by its balance and its versatility. That means that to play yellow well, you need to be a well-rounded player with a good fundamental understanding of all aspects of dueling. There's nothing to carry you towards victory other than yourself.

    I've previously used the lore lightsaber form of Soresu (Form III) when covering blue. I think the most apt Form to describe yellow would be Form VI aka Niman.
    "For superior balance, use the Niman form. This form has no specific strengths, but no weaknesses either."
    Kavar
    That is yellow style in a nutshell.

    So to play yellow well, you need to understand the basics of all MBII mechanics. It is therefore a style oft recommended to new players, as it can help them get to grips with different aspects of the game more quickly.

    The long and short of it is that yellow can do almost anything and it depends on how you use it. One of yellows greatests strengths is its ability to switch seamlessly between offense and defense, counters and shadowswinging, weaving in and out with movement, and advancing forward with facehug. If you become predictable with yellow, there are no strengths to pull you through so victory becomes harder.

    Therefore, to get better at yellow, practice the fundamentals of the game. There is no secret here, only skill and ability to read your opponent and adapt. As for combinations with other styles, it goes well with anything. The old classic combination of blue, yellow and red is one of my favorites, but you can also combine yellow with duals or staff for either more offensive potential or more defensive potential.

    White (Medium style)
    [​IMG]

    Think about staff as a defensive variant of yellow. It deals less damage with its attacks, but has higher defense (almost as high as blue!). So staff is a very powerful choice for anyone. It is also good in scenarios where you have to fight multiple opponents due to its offense(AP) and defense(BP) numbers. With blue, you will have a hard time draining people in 1vX, but with staff you have decently strong attacks. Similarly, with red style you can attack and drain someone quickly but your defense is weak. Staffs defense is strong. So if you are in a 1vx staff can do the work of two styles instead of one. If you use blue/red you have to style switch alot and it can get hairy. Staff brings a sort of balance to that, and since it is part of the medium styles, balance is also a key part of it.

    I think the best way to think about staff style is as a solid fort that can attack back well when met with enemy assault. Your bread and butter playstyle is close up and personal, relying on singleswings and careful two hit combos combined with Perfect blocks. It is relatively hard to PB staff, especially if you facehug. So one of the most common playstyles with staff is to get up close and use WA and SA halfswings. It is a very strong style when you play for bodyhit counters and PB counters and focus on never getting slapped but always just attacking back in exchanges. Staff will rarely lose swing exchanges since it has good AP and High BP.

    The way to counter such a playstyle, in case you are one of those unfortunate enough to meet a skilled staff user... is to combo when he halfswings and try to to get as many interrupts as possible to drain his meaty BP reserves. Also style switch alot between high defense and high offense styles like blue and red.

    Styles like cyan may be quite useful vs staff too, if it's used to parry those hard to see staff attacks and out combo staff with its higher 6 chain limit, just as long as you make sure to dodge slaps first.

    So yeah, bottom line is, staff is quite strong and a viable choice for any duelist. When you think about 1vx, you usually picture a staff user, right? Though that may just be due to Episode 1... but still.

    Red (Heavy style)
    [​IMG]
    Red style has slow but very damaging attacks, and very weak defenses. Like blue it is quicker than normal in some respects. This fast swing reset timer allows red to bodyhit and PB counter faster than a normal style. Playing red as a stand alone style is very difficult and requires immense skill, mainly due to its weak defenses. However, it is very rewarding to hit a huge red attack and destroy your opponents BP. Acrobatics are often incorporated into stand alone red styles, as they help make it less predictable, and also help with dodging attacks to retain BP.

    Red also works great as a style that accompanies other styles and compliments them. I talked about blue/red before and it really is one of the best combinations.

    One of the things you must learn in order to become a competent red style user, is to take advantage of its specially fast timing to attack back at the opponent. Even just one red style counter of that sort can leave opponents with half BP.

    As for tips to fight against red style. It's very simple, parry red combos and make sure to count its swings and dodge its attacks whenever possible. Red is most dangerous as a tool of surprise and as a slap punisher, but in the hands of a skilled duelist it can be a formidable dueling style aswell.

    Very few people in MBII history has truly mastered the use of red style, so if you are a new player looking for a challenge, you can try red. Though I recommend to couple it with blue, cyan or staff for less frustration and more versatility.


    Purple (Heavy style)
    [​IMG]

    Purple is an interesting style. It deals a bit less damage than red, but also has slightly more defense. On top of that, it is a 2 quadrant style like yellow, meaning it can combo attack in more directions than red style, which on the whole makes it harder to PB than red. It also has access to a special stab attack +crouch +w +attack. Think of purple stab as its version of blue lunge.

    This purple stab is an integral part of playing purple, as deploying it well can help defend yourself against taking too much damage, and using stab quickly with good timing can also interrupt the opponent.

    Yawing/aiming your attacks with purple is extremely important, and certain start attacks are better for this than others. An aimed SA with purple to start with, flowing into a WA+WD with proper mouse aim, can actually be quite fast, especially if its in response to a bodyhit or a PB. So like with red, playing purple requires a good fundamental understanding of counters. But purple is less about instant brutal counters like red, and more about yawing your attacks with perfect timing whilst using the stab here and there.

    Combining purple with a fast style is good, but you can also combine it with yellow or red, and use it mostly for its stab to change rhythms. Combining purple with staff is also interesting as you get a good mix of attack and defense.

    Purple is not a weak style at all, but like red it has a lower margin for error, making it a harder style to use for new players than say, cyan. Like red, pick it if you want a challenge and to stand out.

    Movement & Mindgames
    Many people underestimate just how useful good movement is both in dueling and in open mode. A simple open mode example to illustrate my point: You approach a gunner that is shooting at you.

    Good movement would be to zigzag, crouch, jump and wallrun to make yourself harder to hit. Bad movement would be to just charge straight at the gunner by holding +forward, making yourself an easy target.

    In dueling it's a bit different, but consider this for a second.

    Your Perfect Blocking zones are attached to your character model, so moving also moves your PB zones. Doing this skillfully can throw someone's PB off and make you harder to hit.

    Another part of movement has to do with distancing. If you are very close to your opponent, not only does it become harder to see what swings he is attacking you with, but you also have to aim further to reach the PB zones. These things combined make it alot harder to PB someone up close than it is to PB someone far away.

    This is why you often see really aggressive players facehugging their opponents, while more balanced and defense-oriented players will strafe sideways to create distance from them and the opponent. This gap makes it harder to attack effectively and often when someone tries to close the gap, the guy on defense can exploit it by attacking first. Dealing with these things is all about movement techniques. However, that isn't even the whole story. When you become an experienced duelist, you will also be able to tell what swings are coming from people who telegraph swings via their movement.

    This is part of the reason why so many people are easy to PB.

    First they attack from far away and second they telegraph their swing directions by holding movement buttons down. The counter to this telegraphing is to only tap your movement key to start your swing. You can even combine this so that you tap D to start a D swing, but instead of moving right as the opponent expects, you run left with A. This movement trick offsets your PB zones and mindgames the opponent, and it's just one of many subtle things you can do in a duel using movement. Incorporating even a few such tricks can make you a very hard duelist to deal with.

    Another thing you can do if you are facing off against someone and there is a gap between you, is to fake attack by running forward, then strafing back to dodge their swing, coming in with an attack of your own. This fake run attack to provoke a response attack from range can also be used to make someone susceptible to the forward jump kick (w+use+slap) aswell as make someone release block to chase you, thus giving you the ability to disarm them. So it is quite a useful mindgame and one of the oldest tricks in the book.

    Let us consider how we can counter a facehugger with movement. First, we must realize that simply backpedalling with S against a facehugger will not result in any creation of distance between you.

    If you want a defensive gap to form, you must use strafing effectively, as strafing is just as fast as walking forward whilst backpedalling is slower. Another thing that affects your movement speed here is whether or not you are holding down walk + block, or simply holding block without walk. Ideally, you should never hold walk when defending, but only when attacking, because holding walk + block slows you down more.

    You can also simply stand stock still as a counter to facehuggers, as they rely on you continuing to backpedal for the creation of their defense gaps and also rely on reading your movement to predict your swings and attack rhythms.

    Another important thing to be mindful of when fighting facehuggers is to not keep your slap on cooldown, but to hold it in reserve and use it sparingly. Facehug aggressors often rely on you panic spamming slap, but all this does is make you vulnerable to their offensive, especially if you just hold S and backpedal slowly. You become easy pickings, defenseless as a baby.

    Now when you fight against someone that has proper footwork, you will often find yourself at a distance from your opponent when it is your turn to attack, since people who are skilled at movement will weave in and out of attack range, float like a butterfly, sting like a bee sort of deal.

    If you carelessly attack from far away you will end up at a disadvantage in every single exchange, while they always get close to you and pressure you with hard to PB attacks. You need to mind the gap! And if you need gap closers, refer to the attack section where I mentioned things like airswings, feints, yaws and jump attacks.


    Another detail I should mention is that when someone is advancing towards you, they are most likely to use overhead attacks like WA, but when they are strafing and backpedalling away from you, they will most likely be using more uppercuts and horizontals like SA+D. Knowing this can help you get more Perfect Blocks off due to reading your opponent. As always, there is a flipside to this coin to counter this. You practice the attack tapping I mentioned before so that you can advance quickly whilst effortlessly throwing out uppercuts.


    This is one of the things I like to do, and it's very effective because people expect overheads when you advance, and uppercuts when you walk backwards. If you do the reverse of what they expect, it becomes almost impossible to PB you.


    The way to do this sort of thing is to tap SD for example, then quickly hold W to run forward while your swing plays out. Just make sure to tap block right before impact for swingblocking and to convert the runhit into a normal damage attack, since as you saw in the damage modifier section above, runhits deal only 0.8x damage where a normal attack deals 1.0x. Sometimes the opponent runs away, but you can keep repeating the tap SD, start attack, hold W to continuously throw out uppercut halfswings while advancing. Useful advanced technique for those that seek to perfect their dueling finésse.


    Another useful thing to know to create distance from a facehugger is what attacks are best to run-strafe away on. I recommend the uppercuts. Learn a few combos that end up with an uppercut, and then strafe away on that uppercut either right when or right before it hits.You can get surprisingly far away from the opponent if he isn't expecting you to do this, creating a decently sized defense gap and giving yourself some breathing room Even if he is wise to this tactic, you can pretend to run away on an uppercut but pre-emptively airslap, and if he is quick to chase, you can instagib him with a slap. Everything in MBII has a counter and a way to mindgame around it.

    You should also practice Perfect blocking whilst strafing, as this is a way of creating a defense gap while under attack and is often used by skilled defensive players.

    It is also extremely useful to know that abrupt direction changes can result in backwhacking someone. For example, attacking someone with SA+WA+SA+WA while moving to the left makes them turn their camera constantly to keep up with you.

    But what if you did SA+WA+SA+D and made sure to strafe far on the D? They would keep turning their camera away from you, and this will often result in you backwhacking someone.

    Another variation of this trick is the simple SA+D or SD+A combos while running to either side, but they only work against people with fast reactions that don't move alot. Finally, you can also use jumps to backwhack someone if you are skilled enough, but this usually only works in open mode as regular duelists can react to it in time. The way you'd do this is to jump over someones head and use an uppercut to hit the back of their head as you pass by above.

    The same side diagonal combo + strafe movement is also useful in 1v2 situations where you need to parry on the move to prevent being backwhacked. You will of course come out behind if you play like this in the long run due to runhits being only 0.8x so you will lose out on parries, but it is a useful tool nonetheless.

    A variation of this sort of movement trick is to try and trick your opponent into believing that you are low BP. This is done by strafing away from him as quickly as you can for 0.5-1 second, then stopping to hold block and repeating this movement a few times, all the while trying to maintain your BP by hitting Perfect Blocks and the occasional counter. If you started this routine when you were low BP and he was high BP, it would be difficult to recover because the opponent can just burn his BP more liberally to pressure you.

    However, if you have a decent amount of BP but start doing this technique to trick people, alot of people will instinctively start chasing you and overextending and this can bring you many easy victories. However, it is not something to be overused due to how it loses its efficiency when the opponent is wise to the trick and plays more carefully. However, it's excellent against those ultra aggressive people that can't do anything but attack you mindlessly.


    There is another common movement technique that people call shadow swinging, although this term used to refer to a different mechanic no longer present in the game. Shadow swinging has just become a fancy word for running away after hitting someone, but don't dismiss it out of hand because of how gay it sounds. It is in-fact a valid way of playing if you do it right. The best way is to use shadowswinging to dodge a counter swing, then come back with a 2 hit combo right when your opponents swing has missed you and he is in his return animation.


    He can of course still PB you, but since you're moving around and being dynamic, this can help change the pace of a duel if you do this a few times. I don't recommend over-reliance on this technique however, as it fosters the bad habit of running instead of holding block, which lowers your base regen throughout the duel and limits the amount of BP you regenerate compared to a steadily walking opponent.


    I hope you now see some of the depth that skillful movement can bring to duels, and why it is very important to be mindful of the gap between you and your opponent. You should try to create your own unique movement tricks and techniques to diversify your style and make you more unpredictable, but mastering the basics of distance (close vs far) is of utmost importance, so do not overlook this if you wish to become a master duelist.

    Rhythm & Predictability
    Rhythm in this case, refers to how someone attacks, defends and moves in a duel. Take Player A as an example. Player A has just learned how to duel a few weeks ago, and has only practiced a few combos that he is comfortable with. Let's say he uses yellow and his preferred combos are A,D,A,D and WA,WD. Then let us say that Player A likes to walk backwards with S when he tries to PB the opponent.

    Knowing these things enables us to completely dismantle player A, because if you know what combos he likes to do and combine that with knowledge of the way he likes to move, you can PB his entire combo on prediction every time or slap to knock him down consistently.


    What Player A thus needs to do to make his rhythm more unpredictable, is to practice a more wide variety of different attack styles. A person that only does 4 hit combos falls into the same sort of predictable rhythm trap as Player A, and thus becomes easier to deal with.

    The same sort of problem arises if you only use single swings. You become too predictable, thus the opponent can actively counter you in the appropriate way. You get more unpredictable by mixing up your attacks, and making your movements more irratic and random and incorporating more fakes and mindgames into your style. If you can make your opponent believe you are going to do something, only to do the opposite, you can easily take the lead in a duel.


    A good example of this sort of thing is a player that really likes to use single swings. He always starts with yellow D when he wants to lay down a barrage of single swings. A simple thing he can do is to sometimes 2 hit combo off of D instead of single hit combo. He can also shadowswing the first D swing into a 2 hit combo, which would interrupt the counter that someone has thrown out because he anticipated another single hit instead of a 2 hit combo.

    I talked about this in the counter section, but if you get bodyhit from a single hit, you can attack back before the second single swing hits you. However, if the opponent does a 2 hit combo and you bodyhit counter expecting a single hit, you get interrupted quite possibly losing 1.6x BP but at the very least 1.2x BP.

    This sort of intricacy is what makes dueling such a beautiful artform, because it is a dance between two individuals each seeking to outmaneuver and out mindgame the other person. It is not just a contest of raw mechanical skill, but also a mental contest. This is especially true if you know your opponent well and have dueled them alot. You will know their ins and outs and how they like to attack. If you can adapt to them without them adapting to you, it will be a sure thing that you can defeat them more than they can defeat you. This forces them to change, to adapt.


    Dueling in MBII is dynamic like that, and a stagnant duelist is a dead duelist. It is only a matter of time. So change, adapt and grow. Stay constantly on the move and never let yourself fall into a pattern or a rut. Always seek to break the pattern and the rhythm and try to read your opponent the best you can. Don't mechanically repeat things and go through the motions, but strive to let yourself be free from restraints and dogma.

    Speaking of rhythm-breaking. You can use style switching to change your rhythm, but also movement to change your rhythm. These two things are the easiest rhythm-breakers to incorporate, as it takes more practice and effort to change your playstyle on the fly from a single hit heavy style to a combo heavy facehug style and back again fluidly. It is easier to just change to another lightsaber style for awhile to throw your opponent off.

    In any case, remaining unpredictable whilst trying to predict your opponent, is key to winning duels in MBII, especially in the long run. So stay mindful of how you play, and try not to fall into simple, predictable patterns.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  3. SeV

    SeV EU Official Server Admin Internal Beta Team

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    Tips and Training
    When it comes to training your skill in MBII, the single most useful exercise is to isolate an area to work on and then focus on it. Below I will suggest a few fundamental things to work on, and some training techniques you might find useful.



    PB, MB, MBC
    Don't fret because I combine alot of things here. They are all related so it makes sense.

    First, when it comes to perfect blocking there are a few very crucial things to understand.

    Using pbindicator 1 you should be able to see that some areas are covered more than others. These are areas of overlap, which means that it is one spot that can be used to block two different types of swings such as WA and A at the same time. This is extremely useful to know, because those zones of overlap are where you should be aiming most of the time to get the best bang for your buck. It helps to block attacks that you can't see well.

    For example, it's quite difficult to see the difference between a yawed D swing and a yawed SD swing when the attacker also aims into the ground, further obscuring the attack. So knowing that zones overlap, you see an attack coming and can identify which side. Then you try for one of two overlap zones on the correct side. It cuts down the number of angles you have to aim at, but it is also difficult to hit the overlap zone. Just knowing that it exists is enough for now, and you can then practice pbing with pbindicator 1 to get a better feel for where those overlap zones are and try to make it a habit for you to gravitate towards those zones more frequently.

    The second thing to know about Perfect blocking is the swing restrictions. If you know that red style can't combo WA with WD, you don't need to worry about that zone. This helps you isolate areas to aim at.

    Against yellow for example, once you block a WA swing, you don't need to worry about combos like W into A as that is simply not possible. This knowledge plus familiarity with the commonly used combos and your opponent, will help to increase your Perfect blocks per duel quite drastically once you get in a little bit of practice.

    Speaking of practice. I am not a fan of static PB practice, but it is undoubtedly useful. Just find a partner and have them attack you with single and dual hits until you die. Then switch. Rinse repeat. Easy drill for practicing both swingblocking and attacking. Try to move around when you're defending, as standing still is unnatural. It also makes it more challenging to attack you when you move around, so it's a good habit to get into.

    Another way to practice, which I prefer, is to do so in duels. Play a single hit heavy style with yellow and rely on Perfect blocking in returns up close. Try not to use any full combos, at most two hit combos. This playstyle is actually quite viable, especially if your opponent doesn't know how to counter it.

    Once you've gotten a decent handle on Perfect blocking, incorporate Mblocks and Mblock counters into your routine. Can use the same practice drills as with PB.




    Swingblock
    I see alot of people that are quite sloppy with their swingblocks. It is a common ailment of even mid-tier duelists to skimp on swingblock practice.

    The basic way to get a feel for swingblocking is to never use walk, but rely on holding block to slow you down. First start out doing single hits on a dummy, then start doing two hit combos. Never hold walk, but use only mouse 1 and mouse two and move sideways as you attack. That way you can tell exactly how crisp and tight your swingblocks are.

    Then work up to 3 and 4 hit combos from there. Most people stop at being able to swingblock 2 hits well, and that is acceptable enough. Just make sure you get swingblocking down pat.


    Attack
    Practicing attacks is all about not forming bad habits. Pick something like a specific chain of singleswings and combos to work on. Perfect the yaw aim on them and play around with movement. Practice aiming at PB zones in returns when attacking. All of this can be done on a dummy. The most important thing is to not space out and just attack randomly, thinking that this is practice. It's not really practice, just you showing off your already learned skills. Basically, dummy attack practice serves to polish up every attack you can perform to make the process smoother.

    You should be mindful of aiming your swings properly when practicing attacking. You can also incorporate style switches into your practice so you can flow more smoothly between different lightsaber styles.


    Knockdown
    Practicing proper slap timing is perhaps one of the single most useful things you can do with your time after you get decent at dueling.

    Remember. In order for a slap to be effective, it must hit the opponent when he isn't holding block. Therefore, slap when he is just at the beginning of an attack (especially in a combo). And practice single swing + slap to deter people that are good at bodyhit and Pb countering single swings.

    There isn't really any one way to practice this slap timing stuff. You should just duel whilst keeping it in the forefront of your mind at all times and never ever auto-slapping. You should be mindful of every single slap you do, and let the rest of your dueling run on auto-pilot as you focus on slap timing. Once you do this enough, you will notice that your passive slap timing will improve dramatically. But it takes time and effort, and it is a bit annoying to duel whilst focusing only on slap. But it is effective, and something I can recommend if you wish to become a better duelist.

    Demo viewing
    One of the best ways to figure out what to work on and get better at, is to duel a strong opponent and take a demo of it. Then rewatch the demo and try to see where you went wrong. Note down your mistakes in a notepad for later, then pick them out one by one and improve on them. Say you notice that you get slapped around alot in the demo. You would pick out swingblocking to work on. And if you see you get interrupted alot, you pick that out and focus intensely on not getting interrupted, and not just randomly starting attacks but controlling yourself.


    Enabling cheats with devmapall before running the demo makes the /timescale command work. This can slow down the replay speed. So if you are having a hard time spotting mistakes, you can do /timescale 0.8 (1 is normal speed). Or /timescale 0.75 for example.

    You can also try to take demos of very good players from spectator, and try to copy their movements and attacks. This is how I became a strong duelist quickly after I found moviebattles in b17. I simply recorded demos and imitated the best players of the day. Eventually I got a good understanding of what worked and what didn't work, but the imitation stage was quite useful for me so it may also be a useful trick for you. Of course, you ultimately want to end up with your own unique playstyle, so take this advice with a grain of salt.



    Binds, console commands and general setup
    This last section is not directly linked to your dueling skill, but it can be very helpful nontheless.

    I like to bind push and pull to my scroll wheel, speed to 3, sense to 4 and use 5 and g for other force powers like mindtrick/grip/lightning. I have two buttons on the side of my mouse that I bind to +use and saber style change. You can also bind the mousewheel click to a force power if you wish. I use 2 for weapon next, so I can cycle through weapons easily.

    Camera commands to make the view 'stick'

    /seta cg_thirdpersontargetdamp 1
    /seta cg_thirdpersoncameradamp 1
    --- (changing this to 0.09 can unstick your xhair from your model, making it easier for you to yaw at the expense of it being alot harder to PB. This can be useful if you wish to practice yawing specifically, or you want to develop a unique style. Otherwise I recommend setting it to 1 so your view doesn't bob about.

    Network/lag related basic settings.

    /cg_fov 97Max view distance. A few players like to play more zoomed in for focus. If you want that, you can try 80 instead, but I recommend 97.
    /rate 25000Not sure if MBII can make use of more bandwidth than 25000, but you could try setting it to 35000 or even 50000 or 100000 if you want.
    /snaps 4040 is the usual server max setting, no point in going higher.
    /cl_maxpackets 63/100 --- (63 is middle setting. If you've got bad ping, go lower, excellent ping go higher. If your internet is good, but unstable you want more packets. If the ping is bad, but your connection is stable, you want lower packets)

    /com_maxfps 60/125/145

    /Pbindicator 1Shows PB zones. Very useful. Recommended to always have active.

    /cg_crosshairsize 45(when used with a small dot style crosshair, it enlarges the PB and bodyhit effect that plays on your crosshair, potentially increasing your reaction time).


    /cg_drawhiteffects 0,1,2
    (this command can be used to turn off various effects on your crosshair. If you set this to 0, you can turn off all crosshair PB effects if you somehow find this better.


    /cg_teamchatsonly 1
    (1 to make it so only team chat will be seen, and 0 to return it to normal). Useful command if you want to duel without being chatspammed. Can still see whispers and team chat so you aren't totally isolated.

    /ignore playername(sometimes it doens't work, but this command can help you ignore players with annoying chat spam binds).

    /cl_Yawspeed 9999(or another value). This will make you spin fast when you press the arrow keys aka 'turn left' and 'turn right' This can be used by binding turn left or turn right to an easily accessible button. Then you can just press that to spin.


    /cg_drawoldfuelbar 1
    This command adds an additional bar on the right side of your screen that you can use to track your BP. I like this more than the new BP bar, as I find it easier to see.


    cg_hudfiles 1
    – Enables simple hud. This shows your ACM as a counter and shows your force points as a number aswell. It eliminates most of the graphical elements of UI. You need to use oldfuelbar with this or you wont be able to see your BP.

    If there are other commands you think are worth adding, please let me know and I will consider adding them to this list.




    Afterword
    I hope that this guide made the fundamental mechanics of dueling in MBII clear to you, and gave you some tools to use for furthering your skills and taking your dueling skills to the next level. I packed alot of information into this, so it might be a good idea to re-read it several times over to really grasp the details. Remember the age old formula of theory + practice = proficiency. You wont get good by simply knowing what is in this guide. You must also deliberately practice your lightsaber skills to improve.


    About me:

    I first took the name SeV after I played republic commando then straight into Moviebattles II. At first I was a gunner, but I quickly got bitten by the dueling bug. This was back in 2006-2007. Before that, I was a skilled duelist in basejka for many years, and won several tournaments with a high level dueling team. I was also an avid roleplayer back in 2003-2004...

    The first time I played the jedi knight series was in the late 90's as a small child, when I got my hands on Dark forces II.
    Lightsabers and dueling have been with me for most of my life at this point, and I hope you will have gained a better understanding of dueling after reading my humble guide. By the way, the first iteration of my guide was published in 2009 and it has changed many times since then.

    I think this is the best version of my guide to date, and hopefully it will be a worthy handbook for the new and improved dueling system in 1.5 and beyond.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  4. Flooven

    Flooven

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    I think I could try and make a series of videos showcasing these, as I know some people see this as a "wall of text" and might look past something very viable :)
     
  5. Hexodious

    Hexodious Donator Movie Battles II Team

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    Sticky please.
     
  6. hleV

    hleV

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    By writing a guide you're just approving of current system and encouraging people to play it.
    Better to leave nubs in darkness and let the hate for the current system flow through them.
     
  7. Chaos the Chaotic

    Chaos the Chaotic Nerd

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    Point and click. Strafe, crouch and jump. Win.
     
    Flooven likes this.
  8. krech

    krech

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    Hey! Does animation (walk+lmb+rmb) needed to perform mblock? To disarm or to use staff stagger? Or just lmb and rmb is enough?
     
  9. Helix

    Helix Movie Battles II Team Retired

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    No, animation isn't required. You don't have to walk to perform the mblock/disarm.
     
  10. krech

    krech

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    but... if you walk, animation will be used.
     
  11. SeV

    SeV EU Official Server Admin Internal Beta Team

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    Yeah, they changed it so that you can hold both mouse buttons without walk and not show that you're Mblocking. as Helix said, it doesn't make a difference in terms of disarm, you can do it with or without walk.
     
  12. krech

    krech

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    How can i understand that i parrying( and how to do it)? What animation i must expect? And cyan overhead is very ... unaimfull. I cant damage even afking guys. Its supposed to be like that?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  13. SeV

    SeV EU Official Server Admin Internal Beta Team

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    Yeah, don't use cyan overhead it's not good.

    When you parry, your swings hit the opponents swings in mid-air and they clash. There is a clash sound and a white flash. The sound is quite distinct so it should be easy to see when you parry or are parried.
     
  14. SeV

    SeV EU Official Server Admin Internal Beta Team

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    Thinking about adding this to the guide. Do you find this useful?

    /cg_fov 97
    /rate 25000
    /snaps 40
    /cl_maxpackets 63/100 (63 is middle setting. If you've got bad ping, go lower, excellent ping go higher. If your internet is good, but unstable you want more packets. If the ping is bad, but your connection is stable, you want lower packets)
    /com_maxfps 125

    /seta cl_timenudge -50 (optional) - Makes enemies choppier in exchange for being able to react earlier/quicker. Experiment with -25 or -15 if you feel 50 is too much. This is not necessary, but it might help you if you've got a higher ping than the norm.


    // Camera commands to make your aim stable and crisp. It makes the xhair feel connected to the aim/model and gives a snappier feel. I prefer this over default (0.3) or cg_thirdpersoncameradamp 0.09

    /seta cg_thirdpersoncameradamp 1
    /seta cg_thirdpersontargetdamp 1
     
  15. krech

    krech

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    Hewllo guys, its me again) I think it would be great if someone give some screens with pblocking areas. Even me, trying for many hours to understand this areas, can hardly see what direction i need to block. Thank you!
     
  16. Ghost

    Ghost

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    Sure :D you welcome
     
  17. krech

    krech

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    Im agree but im noob, i dont know where to aim)
     
  18. Taxmaster

    Taxmaster

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    Thank you, this is extremely helpful. Literally didn't even know about half of this stuff. No wonder I was doing so poorly...
     
  19. SeV

    SeV EU Official Server Admin Internal Beta Team

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    You're welcome! It's always a pleasure to be of assistance. About the screenshot, there was something in the russian section some time ago. Maybe helix has it somewhere? In any case, a new one can be made I just cba right now :)
     
  20. M@crobyte

    [email protected]

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    Cat Lady and Starushka like this.

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