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Combat Mechanics

Since EQ2 is an adventure game, sooner or later combat is inevitable. Death has its consequences, so you'll want to choose your opponents wisely.

Selecting a Target[]

Target ring

The target ring and target arrow.

To judge a creature or interact with it, you must first target the creature. Target a creature by clicking on it with the mouse arrow. You can also press the TAB key to cycle through all potential targets in your field of view. Clear your target by pressing the ESC key, or by clicking on the background scene.

Your current target is highlighted in a few ways - a targeting ring rotates around its feet, and a targeting arrow hovers over its head. The name of your target is also shown in your Target Window. The Target Window gives you several pieces of information to help you decide whether to get involved with it:

  • The creature's name and level.
  • Whether it wants to attack you. A red outline means the creature is aggressive toward you.
  • Whether it is unusually weak or strong. (See "How To Judge Your Target" below.)
  • Whether it is worth bonus AA Experience to you. A white star means you have never killed it before.

How To Judge Your Target[]

Tooltip nonheroic

This creature could be killed by you alone.

Tooltip heroic

You wouldn't survive a fight with this creature on your own.

Point your mouse cursor at the Target Window to see additional hints about the creature's strength and disposition. These hints are basically just spelling out the information that was already visible in the Target Window. The most valuable hint is the one that tells you whether the encounter is suited to an individual or a group.

Reading the Target Tooltips will help you to judge whether you want to mess with each creature that you run across. Here are some things that you'll want to consider when you read the Target Tooltips:

  • You want to fight creatures who are equal to your level, or weaker.
  • You don't want to fight Heroic creatures unless you're grouped with other players.
  • Some creatures are grouped together into groups; you'll have to fight the whole encounter at once.

You can rely on the tooltips until you get more accustomed to the details of EQ2's "consider system". We'll dive into this topic in more detail in the next section, below.

Judging your Target in More Detail[]

Main Article: Consider Guide

Level Colors[]

The monster's level is shown beside its name. The monster's name is also color-coded to tell you whether it is higher or lower level than you. EQ2 combat is well-balanced for fighting monsters at your level. When you fight higher or lower level monsters, the difficulty changes significantly.

Below Your Level At Your Level Above Your Level
Gray Green Blue White Yellow Orange Red
No Reward Easier Well-matched Harder Impossible

Level dictates a monster's health and offense and defense, but EQ2 also magnifies any level differences. When two combatants attack each other, the higher level combatant gets bonuses to his performance, and the lower level combatant suffers penalties to his performance. No self-respecting player (or monster) chooses to fight an enemy who is red to them!

Difficulty Indicators[]

Target 1up yellow

This monster is as strong as one average level 40 character.

Target 3up white

This heroic monster will take 3 players near level 68 to defeat.

When you target a monster, it may have up-arrows in the target window. The arrows indicate how powerful it is for its level. Here's a simplistic way of understanding the difficulty arrows:

  1. If there are no arrows, then an average player of the same level will usually defeat it.
  2. A ▲ one-up-arrow monster is an even match for 1 average player of the same level.
  3. Each additional ▲ up-arrow means you need one more player to fight it.

The label "Heroic" is added when there are ▲▲ two up-arrows or more.

What Does Heroic Mean?[]

In simple terms, a Heroic creature is extra-strong for its level, and will put up a grand fight. A Heroic encounter could also be several normal creatures grouped together. If you were above its level or a strong solo class, then you might defeat it by yourself; but typically players group together to fight Heroic encounters. The target tooltips will tell you that Heroic encounters are well-matched for groups of 3 or more players.

Heroic encounters are more rewarding than non-heroic encounters, both in terms of experience points and treasure. In particular, the best tier of loot (Fabled equipment and Master spells) tends to only drop from Heroic encounters. With great risk comes great reward.

What does Epic Mean?[]

The most powerful creatures on Norrath are even stronger than a group of six players. These creatures are labelled as "Epic" rather than "Heroic", and are intended to be fought by 2-4 groups of players (i.e. 12-24 players) joined together in a raid. The creature's label will indicate how many groups are appropriate. For example, "Epic X4" means the creature is as strong as four groups of players. These creatures are usually only of interest to an organized guild of players.

Unattackable Targets[]

Some NPCs and special creatures cannot be attacked. These targets have a plain white name, and no level associated with them. You won't get any information about their difficulty or aggressiveness, because these creatures don't engage in combat.

Alternate Advancement (AA) Experience[]

A white star on the target window indicates that the creature will give you Alternate Advancement (AA) Experience if you kill it. You will only collect AA Experience the first time that you kill a noteworthy creature. Mundane creatures are not worth AA Experience. (For details about Alternate Advancement, see the Character Development guide.) http://coolonlinegames.tumblr.com/

Will It Attack Me?[]

Main Article: Faction

The enemy's name is outlined in red if it's aggressive toward you. An aggressive enemy will attack you automatically if you get too close.

Aggression is governed by the Faction system. Each creature belongs to a faction, and you have a standing with each faction. Faction is described by a number, but is also simplified into several tiers.

Scowls Threatening Dubious Apprehensive Indifferent Amiable Kindly Warmly Ally
-40K -30K -20K -10K 10K 20K 30K 40K
  • If you have the worst faction (Scowling) with a creature, then the creature will attack you whenever it detects you.
  • When you target a creature, the Targeting Tooltip will tell you whether the creature is Scowling, Threatening, etc.
  • During your adventures, your actions may raise or lower this faction: when you complete quests or kill creatures, you may see messages indicating that certain factions improved or worsened.
  • Some dull-witted creatures have fixed factions: they will always scowl at you, or they will never hate you no matter how many of them you kill. Sentient creatures tend to have factions that you can worsen or improve.

Aggression Radius[]

Each creature has a detection radius. If you walk inside that radius, then the creature will notice you, and attack if it is scowling. Players commonly call this the aggro radius. Different creatures may have a different aggro radius. Early in your adventures, you'll notice that certain types of creatures attack from a greater distance than others. There's no indirect way to measure the aggro radius; you can only determine the aggro radius by testing it.

  • Tip: on average, most creatures become aggressive around the same distance that the names fade into view over their heads. So if you can read the creature's name without targeting it, then chances are that you're close to drawing its attention.


Some creatures will notice if one of their allies is under attack nearby, and will automatically join the fight against you. Creatures who are not otherwise aggressive may assist each other, making it risky to fight them in the vicinity of each other.

  • Generally sentient creatures assist each other, while non-sentient creatures do not. Creatures in low-level zones tend not to assist each other; you'll see more assistance at levels 20 and higher.
  • The assist radius can be different from the aggression radius. A monster may assist from a greater distance than it would aggro, or it may only assist from a very close proximity.

Can It See Me?[]

If you are a Rogue class, then you will get the Stealth ability. If you are a Mage class (or a few others), then you will get an Invisibility spell. Both of these abilities serve to hide your presence from monsters who would otherwise attack you. However, you still need to be vigilant while Stealthed or Invisible, because some monsters are not fooled by these tricks. Always check each nearby monster to see whether it notices you or not:

  • Monsters that are Red to you (i.e. far above your level) will always see through your Stealth or Invisibility.
  • If a monster has the ability to See Stealth, then it will see through your Stealth skill.
  • If a monster has the ability to See Invisible, then it will see through your Invisibility spell.

Monsters that are fooled by your ability will not be shown as aggressive (i.e. their name is not outlined in red). Monsters that see through your tricks will show as being aggressive (i.e. their name is outlined in red).

Calming Monsters: There is another way to prevent an aggressive monster from noticing you. A few classes get the ability to calm monsters. Some classes can calm any creature, while other classes are limited to affecting certain types, such as animals or undead. When you "calm" a monster, it remains aggressive, but its detection radius is reduced to nearly zero. You can walk past a calmed monster without it noticing you - as long as you don't brush right up against it!

Judging Encounters[]

Target encounter

These three orcs are a single Heroic encounter. Notice that all three have targeting rings.

Just as players can be grouped, sometimes monsters will be grouped. You'll notice that you've targeted a monster encounter because two or more monsters light up with target rings, even though you only clicked on one of them. EQ2 calls this an encounter.

Encounters cannot be split up. You must fight the whole encounter at once. The monsters in the encounter will work together and protect each other. If a treasure chest drops, then it won't drop until the last monster in the encounter dies.

  • Some encounters are "soloable" encounters, which contain very weak monsters that a single player can defeat.
  • Many encounters are "Heroic" encounters, which are groups of "normal" monsters that would outpower any single player. Dungeons are mostly filled with "Heroic" encounters.

Depending on your class, you might have Spells or Combat Arts that are designed specifically for fighting several monsters at a time. Some classes are particularly suited for groups of monsters. Look for icons with blue or green backgrounds in your Knowledge book: these are your multi-target spells.

The Implied Target[]

As an extra bonus, EQ2 shows you who the creature is currently targeting. The Implied Target is a valuable piece of information whenever other players are around, or if you have a pet. It tells you who is the victim of the creature's actions. The Implied Target window only appears when it's useful - generally when the creature is in combat. It'll show up when you target other players, too.

bgcolor="lightblue" Tip: If you cast a spell that's inappropriate for your target (e.g. a heal spell on an enemy), your spell will automatically land on the implied target instead.

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