Basic Combat Mechanics
In this world everybody and everything hits harder. You, the wildlife and NPCs. You will die faster and kill faster. It changes the game, it’s deadlier and each strike feels harder than the last. It’s really Fun, with a real sence of achievement when you kill a difficult creature for the first time. But at the same time there is less room for mistakes - one wrong move and your staring at your enemies feet. Killing stuff isnt as simple as wading in and slapping enemies til they fall over, chugging the occasional health potion when you get a bit low. In simple terms you need planning & tactics. Never underestimate the power of scouting first. The main reason for this is: if you don’t, you die. And you don’t even know how it happened.
The questions you should ask yourself - What kinds of enemies do I face? Where are they? How will they try to kill me? How can I kill them? The first two of those questions you can usually answer by opening your eyes and liberal use of the instincts skill and identify target abilities. Use your ears to locate things we cant see. Luckily for us, almost everything in Skyrim sees it as a necessity to constantly make one noise or another. For the third and fourth question, I put humanoid NPCs in categories based on what they are wielding, and what armor they are wearing. Charging in Hacking and slashing without proper target planning will generally kill you. Trading blows is all well and good if your armor is better that theirs but if its the opposite way around - thats quick trip to the morgue (on in a vampire’s case - the buffet table). You need to understand each opponent tactics an behavior in order to use the right tactics against them.
The most important thing is to know their strengths (so you don’t die) and the second most important thing is knowing their weaknesses (so they die).
Unless you invest in the respective perk (which you usually can’t at low levels, due to skill requirements) arrows do nothing to heavy armor. Try it once, so you can learn from that mistake.
If you stay too still for too long too close, archers will kill you. Heavy armor helps, but also makes you slower.
Anything with a shield will very successfully block all your attacks, given the chance.
Anything that requires two hands to wield will kill you. Even when blocked, those power attacks take a big toll. And if not blocked, you better not be there when that hammer comes down.
Never underestimate the benefits of side-step-dodging - 2 handed power attacks leave the opposition vulnerable to a quick slash in the back as they fly past you.
It is very hard to outrun guys in light or no armor, especially when you are wearing heavy armor. You can, for a short while, but they will catch up. Because you run slower with less stamina.
Mudcrabs power attack can and does knock you down.
Wolves generally hunt in numbers and will try to flank you.
Low-quality bows break - when you hit the guy who holds them. Yes. If you manage to close in fast enough, you can knock the bow, that would have killed you a split second later, right out of that archer’s hands! (you won’t be able to use it afterward, though, so keep that in mind)
Lightly armored bandits die so satisfyingly quickly when caught off guard. (like with an arrow, at close distance)
Heavy’s are slow. Seriously. When one of those tries a power attack on you, you can dodge the attack, circle around him, and hit him as hard as you can in the back (unless, of course, you are just as slow)
Archers have a hard time keeping up with zig-zagging, ones with a crossbow have a long reload time, so use this wisely.
For those carrying two-handed weapons, there is a long time between the strike of the power attack, and the time they can do anything again. This means free, unblocked hits for you, which means death for a lot of not so heavy bandits.
Mudcrabs hunch up right before doing the power attack - if you see this it makes it easy to dodge.
A single wolf will always retreat, focus your attacks rather than trying to kill all at once.
Any other types of the enemy not covered above have their strengths and weaknesses covered in the “Bestiary of Skyrim” (or in the Mechanic Analysis\Advanced Combat Mechanics section of this wiki). Some require specialist weapons or spells, others take less damage from certain types of damage, or have health regeneration.
Kill order and tactics
The first thing I always think about is ranged enemies, and because of them, cover. Where are they now? Where will they go when I go behind this cover? How long can I stay behind that stone before the melees reach me and I have to move?
The second thing is the armor. Or, more importantly, who wears which kind? Because lightly armored bandits are squishy. Even with no perks invested, a few slashes with a one-hander, or a few arrows at medium range, and they go down. They don’t necessarily die, but surrenders are more permanent than vanilla.
Another important factor is speed. If you have enough ground between you and the bandits, and you play your cards right, you can kill off the evasion melee faction before the heavy melee faction even gets there. You could even go so far and try to rush to the ranged guys after killing the light melees, leaving the heavy’s panting in the middle. But your speed is important as well. Mostly, because speed usually costs more stamina, and power attacks do as well. And power attacks are useful.
There is no shame in cheesy tactics like kiting stronger enemies to guards and letting them deal with them.
Don’t be afraid to run away - if the content is too hard - recruit some friends or temper/enchant your gear (or get a mage or blacksmith to do it for you) and come back later. Enemies in Wildlander stay the same level, so there is no shame in getting more levels and skills under your belt and coming back later.
There’s power in numbers and Wildlander is no exception, if you find somewhere too challenging go recruit some friends!
The weight of your currently equipped gear has a significant impact on many things you do. It affects mobility, spell casting and combat effectiveness. (Requiem outdated manual p122-123 Located in Mods\Requiem\Documentation)
Mass effect isn’t directly linked to the type of armor you are wearing, but rather its weight. Your weapon is also taken in account.
What you need to remember :
High mass (wearing HA most of the time) cons :
- Less movement speed
- Higher casting cost
- Higher stamina cost for attack
- noise, it makes sneaking harder (but not impossible)
High mass pros :
- better resistance to stagger and knock back effect
- better chance to trigger stagger and knock back effect on enemies. Charge mechanics are your friend.
- high level of AR (‘cause you are wearing heavier armor)