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GUIDE Comprehensive PvP Guide

#1
Wrote this a long time ago and managed to find a copy over on the runuo forums, updated for Outlands.

Comprehensive PvP Guide

1. Combat Mechanics and Skills
2. Important Spells
3. Templates
4. Equipment
5. Hot-keys
6. Basic Tactics
7. Advanced Tactics

1. Combat Mechanics and Skills

The combat mechanics of the era are most accurately represented by the t2a (The Ultima Online Second Age) combat mechanics. This is most often categorized by two main combat mechanics which includes insta-hit weapons and being able to heal through poison.

UO Outlands has a great deal of customization that provides bonuses to skills that otherwise would not be found on a classic t2a ruleset. The custom mechanics for things like mining, lumbejacking, inscription are in no way "OP" but provides fun bonuses to these skills. This guide will touch on what each skill does in PvP but for exact mechanics and numbers, go to http://forums.uooutlands.com/index.php?threads/skills-summary-version-3-0.557/

Ultimately this is a t2a based shard, so your standard tank mages, archery and poison dexers will still be the most dominant PvP templates.

Resisting Spells - Increase your chance to resist magic spells that are cast against you. This is the most common skill found in any pvp template and whether your character is based around weapons or magic you will generally always want this skill on a PvP template.

Magery - Allows you to cast a variety of different spells that are extremely useful in pvp. It is highly recommended to have magery in a combat template for the spells that you will be able to cast. Important spells and their uses will be expanded upon further.

Evaluating Intelligence - This skill will up the amount of damage your spells do, very useful for nearly all magery based templates.

Meditation - Increases the rate in which you will recover mana, needed skill if your combat template plans to do heavy spell casting. There is a passive regen component and an 'active' regen when you use the skill.

Wrestling - Reduces your chance to be hit by meele attacks, very important for making sure your spells do not get interrupted.

Tactics - Increases the damage done by your meele weapons, having 100 tactics is needed if you plan to use weapons as a damage source.

Swordsmanship - Increases your chance to land a hit with swords weapons.

Archery - Increases your chance to land a hit with archer weapons.

Mace Fighting - Increases your chance to land a hit with mace weapons. Adds additional stamina drain per hit.

Fencing - Increases your chance to land a hit with fencing weapons.

Healing - Increases your chance and the amount you heal while using bandages, also allows you to cure poison and resurrect others with a high enough skill.

Anatomy - Increases your ability to heal with bandages (synergy with healing skill) and also increases the amount of damage you deal with physical weapons. Important for warrior based templates.

Parrying - Gives you a boost to your defensive abilities when using a shield.

Poisoning - Allows you poison your weapons as well as allows you to re-apply poison to your weapons mid battle. Allows you a chance to cast greater and deadly poison.

Alchemy - Increases the duration of strength and agility potions. Increases the effectiveness of healing, cure, and refresh and explosion potions.

Inscription - Improves the effectiveness of magic reflect, increases the max number of trapped pouches a player can carry.

Arms Lore - With 80 arms lore and 80 weapon skills, allows you to toggle a disarm attack that gives a chance to drop the players equipped weapon into their backpack.

Blacksmithing - Provides a minor damage bonus when using player-crafted blacksmith weapons.

Carpentry - Provides a minor damage bonus when using player-crafted carpentry items.

Fishing - Provides a minor damage bonus when using a long spear and short spear.

Lumberjacking - Provides a minor damage bonus when using axe type weapons.

Mining - Provides a minor damage bonus when using macing weapons.

Herding - Provides a minor damage bonus when using tamed and summoned creatures.

Spirit Speak - Increases your summoned creatures chances of resisting dispel and mass dispel.

2. Important Spells

The magery skill provides a whole range of different spells that will be needed on nearly every template that wants to PvP. Whether you are a mage or a dex based template 9/10 times you are going to want to have GM magery to cast your spells at full power. Full dex based templates without magery can work but they will need to be supported by other full mages. There are 64 spells available on the shard and this section will take you through the ones that will be critical for use in PvP.

First Circle
[Magic arrow]: Lowest damage nuke but very fast casting. Good for targeting and breaking magic reflect.
[Heal]: Restores a minor amount of hitpoints. Low mana cost, fast cast speed.
[Reactive Armor]: Provides a buff that absorbs melee damage.
[Clumsy]: Reduces your targets dexterity
[Feeblemind]: Reduces your targets intelligence
[Weaken]: Reduces your targets strength

Second Circle
[Harm]: Does damage depending on the distance you are from your target. Strong interrupt spell.
[Cure]: Fast casting spell which removes poison.
[Protection]: Self buff that reduces your chance to be interrupted while casting.
[Magic Trap]: Needed spell to trap your pouches, not used in battle but in preparation before a fight. Trap a pouch then open the pouch to deal 1 damage to yourself and break paralyze.

Third Circle
[Poison]: Casts a poison on your target.
[Fireball]: Faster than a lightning, slower then a harm, fireball has its uses for offensive and defensive disrupts.
[Bless]: Increases your strength, dex, and int by 11 points with GM magery. Good buff spell try to cast before battle.
[Teleport]: Allows you to cast a teleport up to 10 tiles away. Useful for chasing or escaping (can tele over fences or water ways).
[Wall of Stone]: Cast a 3 tile long wall of stone. Lets you block runes or provide you with an opportunity to escape.

Fourth Circle
[Lighting]: Solid medium damage nuke, versatile spell, very good follow up spell after an explosion-ebolt combo.
[Greater Heal]: Your bred and butter heal spell, will heal for approx 35-45 health points. Very important spell that you will get the most use out of to save yourself or cross heal a teammate.
[Arch Protection]: An area of effect buff spell that increases your armor.
[Recall]: Travel spell, recall is needed to move around the world. Try to break the line of sight by running behind a wall or obstacle then cast recall to avoid death.

Fifth Circle
[Magic Reflection]: Self Buff spell that allows you to reflect magic spells.
[Paralyze]: Zero damage offensive spell that freezes your target in place. If the target takes damage this effect is broken. Use trapped pouches to counter the paralyze spell.
[Dispel Field]: Cast this spell to remove walls of stone or summoned gates. Important utility spell to stop a runner from taking a gate or walling your group.

Sixth Circle
[Explosion]: Main nuke spell. Applies damage once cast on your target after a 2 second delay.
[Energy bolt]: Main nuke spell. EB is the bread and butter damage spell used by any mage, it simply releases a bolt of energy at your target that deals high damage. Combo by casting explosion then followed up by an energy bolt to do a large amount of damage at the same time.
[Mark]: Lets you mark a rune to the place you are standing, you can then recall to that rune.
[Invisibility]: Cast this spell to hide yourself, only lasts a few minutes.
[Reveal]: Cast this spell to reveal hidden players.
[Dispel]: Use this to dispel summoned creatures such as energy vortex or daemons.

Seventh Circle
[Flame Strike]: Heavy hitting, high mana cast and high cast time spell.
[Gate Travel]: Travel spell used to open a gate anyone can travel through.

Eighth Circle
[Resurrection]: Cast this spell to resurrect your fallen allies.

3. PvP Templates

A template refers to a character that has 700 skill points and 225 stat points that are allocated. The first step to being successful on the field is ensuring that you have a proper template. The most common template found on this era of Ultima Online is the Tank Mage. This type of template combines the use of the 5x mage skills (magery, resisting spells, evaluating int, meditation, wrestling) combining it with tactics and a weapon skill. (Often swords for the massive upfront hit of a Halberd).

Tank Mage

100 Str 100 Int 25 Dex
100 Evaluating Intelligence
100 Resisting Spells
100 Magery
100 Meditation
100 Wrestling
100 Tactics
100 Swordsmanship, Macing, Fencing, Archery

Healing Mage

100 Str 100 Int 25 Dex
100 Evaluating Intelligence
100 Resisting Spells
100 Magery
100 Meditation
100 Wrestling
100 Healing
100 Anatomy

Poisoning Dexer

100 Str 25 Int 100 Dex
100 Healing
100 Anatomy
100 Resisting Spells
100 Magery
100 Tactics
100 Swordsmanship, Fencing
100 Poisoning

Archery Dexer

100 Str 25 Int 100 Dex
100 Healing
100 Anatomy
100 Resisting Spells
100 Magery
100 Tactics
100 Swordsmanship, Fencing, Mace Fighting
100 Archery

4. Equipment

There are many items that you are always going to want to be carrying if you wish to prevail on the battlefield. The biggest downfall you can have is not properly equipping yourself. By doing so, you are just setting yourself up for failure right from the start. Here are some supplies that you should always carry when stocking for a fight. The main importance is always having an abundance of potions to use. Ideally potions should not be a limiting factor during your fights on the field and you want to be using them as much as possible. if you are not using potions more then likely your opponent is which will be giving him the advantage.

Greater Strength potions can be undervalued by a lot of newer players. You always want to keep yourself under the effect of a greater strength potion as it will up your health pool making it easier for your to get cross healed out of a synch dump.

Mage Stock

Exceptional Halberd and Katana (If swords)
Full suit exceptional leather armor
75 of each reagent
10 healing potions
10 refresh potions
10 greater strength potions
5 greater agility potions
5 greater cure potions
10 trapped boxes

Dexer Stock

When it comes to equipping your dexer you are going to use many of the same items that a mage would equip. Ideally a dexer looking to pvp is using a magical weapon that is power + or stronger. You generally always want to use whatever your best quality magic weapon is. A dexer is highly gear dependent and your weapon will make or break you. A good dexer can be devastating on the field but they need to be stocked to the brim with potions while using a magic wep. Aim for power or ideally vanq.

Power, Vanq magic weapon
Full suit exceptional dexer armor
50 of each reagent
10 healing potions
10 refresh potions
8 greater strength potions
8 greater agility potions
10 greater cure potions
15 trapped boxes
150 bandages

Magic Weapon Breakdown

Ruin: +1 damage
Might: +3 damage (equivalent to exceptionally crafted)
Force +5 damage
Power + 7 damage
Vanquishing +9 damage

5. Hotkey Layout

One of the most important aspects of being good at Ultima Online PvP is having a proper spell layout. If you want to hold your own on the field you are going to need a good hotkey layout that you can become well adjusted to. There are a lot of spells out there, however, you don't need to hotkey all of them only the spells that are most used. Less used spells can be clicked through a spell gump dragged out of your spell book. Here's an example of my specific hot-key layout, while this may seem complex for the starters having a proper hot-key layout is mandatory for success in PvP.

How to set your hotkeys through Razor: Open Razor, click on Hot Keys tab, find what you want to hotkey and set it.

F9 - Enable/Disable Razor Hotkeys (Lets you turn off the hotkey functions, so you can set hotkeys to your basic keyboard commands such as (1, 2, 3, a, b, c) but when you want to use these keys in game to talk to a player you can toggle them off so they aren't using your razor hotkeys for these keys.

Targeting:
Side mouse button 1 - Last target (after casting a spell, hit this key to drop your pre-loaded spell on your last target. Casting on a player will automatically set them as your last target.
Mouse wheel up - Set last target (use this to bring up a cursor to set your last target, or tagging someone on a spell sets them as your last target.
Mouse wheel down - Target self (same deal as last target but you will target yourself with a spell).

Items
Ctrl + 1 - Use Greater Healing Potion
Ctrl + 2 - Use Greater Cure Potion
Ctrl + 3 - Use Total Refresh Potion
Ctrl + 4 - Use Greater Strength Potion
Ctrl + 5 - Use Greater Agility Potion
Ctrl + e - Use Greater Explosion Potion
b - Use Bandages
`[tilde] - Arm/Disarm right hand macro (hally)
Alt + `[tilde] - Arm/Disarm left hand macro (katana)
Side mouse button 2 - Use trapped pouches

Spell Layout
F1 - Magic Reflect
F2 - Reactive Armor
F3 - Arch Protection
F4 - Bless

1 - Greater Heal
2 - Heal
3 - Cure
4 - Paralyze
5 - Teleport
6 - Wall of stone

q - Explosion
w - Energy bolt
e - Harm
r - Magic arrow
t - Fireball

a - Weaken
s - Feeblemind
d - Clumsy
f - Lightning
g - Poison

z - Invisibility
x - Reveal
c - Dispel Field
v - Flamestrike

shift + r - Recall
shift + g - Gate
shift + f - Mark

Misc
Tab - War mode (default in game)
F10 - Re-synchronize client
F11 - Show/hide map
F12 - Accept party invitation
shift + b - Show all names on screen
shift + space - Use meditation skill

That covers nearly everything important you would want to hotkey. Keep in mind this is only an example of my personal hotkeys and what works for me. Plenty of people have different styles and I'm just putting this out as an example.

6. Basic PvP Tactics

Find a group to play with

Unless you're planning to play exclusively a gimmicky hiding/stealth template chances are that as a solo player you will not do well on the field. It is highly recommended to find a group of like-minded players that you can PvP with. I do not advise trying to be an anti-social lone wolf, your best bet will be to find a crew that you can roll with. This will let you get better as well as let you practice dueling or grouping vs each-other as a guild. Having back up and people you can play with will increase your enjoyment of the PvP 10 fold. Head over to the guild recruitment section, ask around in discord, or better yet bring some old pals to play.

Targeting

The first thing you are going to need to do is set the target of whoever it is you wish to fight or cast on. There are a few different ways in which you can set your last target. The most common way of targeting another person is by "pulling the bars" of whoever it is your fighting. To pull the health bar of a player or npc hold down the left left mouse button directly on the monster or npc and then drag your mouse away. Holding down ctrl+shift will make pull bars easier to do at certain times. Also, casting a spell on the persons or on a persons hp bar will set them as your last target. Besides this method you can set a hotkey for "select last target" which brings up a cursor allowing you to select your last target without actually casting any spells on that person. You can also set a hotkey in razor that cycles through targets at random on your screen.

Pre casting

When you cast a spell you can hold the spell on your cursor letting you use this spell at a later time. Pre casting allows you to hold a spell "pre cast" on your cursor letting you use the spell at the exact moment you want. Lets say for example you're playing a dexer fighting a mage, you can precast the greater heal spell and then equip your weapon and begin attacking him with the greater heal spell pre-casted. Once you get nuked by the mage you can then drop your pre-casted heal on yourself without the fear of your greater heal spell being interrupted mid cast. This tactic is also important for mages in nearly every aspect. You will want to pre-cast important opener spells such as explosion or magic arrow before encountering others on the field. This will let yourself or the group get the first opening with pre-casted spells.

Spell combos

Being good in PvP in Ultima Online is all about the timing of your spells and your weapon hits. This means knowing what spells to cast and when to cast them. The simplest combo you can do is a basic explode-energy bolt combo. This means pre-casting your explosion and then once you drop your pre-casted spell on your target immodestly follow up by casting an energy bolt. The explosion times up with the energy bolt delivering a powerful nuke. Further adding to that you can do a combo such as explosion-energybolt-harm. The harm thrown in there will interrupt your opponents greater heal if he goes for it after being hit by your eb/explode.

Disrupt spell casts

By casting a damage spell or by hitting your opponent with a meele weapon when they are attempting to cast a spell you can disrupt their spell cast. This will make that person have to recast that spell potentially resulting in you killing them or you saving your life by interrupting a finishing move. Interrupting spell casts is a basic tactic that is employed by anyone decent at pvp so you must always be mindful of it. Harm, magic arrow, fireball, poison, and lightning are the most common spells used for interrupting spell casts. This is because they are all lower level circle spells so they have a higher cast time. For example, the cast speed on harm will always beat out the cast time on an energy bolt. You can use harm defensively to interrupt an energy bolt somebody is casting on you. Harm will also beat the speed of a greater heal preventing your opponent from healing up and allowing you to swoop in for the kill shot.

Insta Hits

One of the most important combat mechanics of this era is what is known as insta-hit. After you swing your weapon a timer is started before another swing will land, this timer continues counting down even when your weapon is unequipped. This allows you to land a hit, unequip your weapon, cast a few spells or other actions and then when you re-equip your weapon the timer will have reset and you can instantly swing your weapon once you re-equip it. Every weapon has its own delay regarding how often it can be swung.

Focus damage

This is basic UO group fighting tactics, if you are up against somebody or a group of players who know how to cross heal you will simply not kill anybody unless you focus your damage. At the most basic level this means having your guild master/leader call a 'target' that everyone is supposed to be attacking. At a more advanced level this means using voice chat to synch the casting of your spells to land at the same time. Not focusing your damage leads to a bunch of random non-burst damage on a bunch of targets which is easy to heal.

Cross-healing

I really can't stress this part enough, keeping yourself and your friends healed should be the number one priority in pvp. You should always be making sure you and your buddy(s) aren't going to die before attempting any sort of offensive action. As stated before greater healing is your bread and butter heal spell and you should be quick to hit your GH key if you see any sort of damage incoming. Mini heal and greater healing potions can work well in a pinch but greater healing does all the heavy lifting.

Defensive buffs

Before you enter a fight, or before you even begin looking for a fight it is highly recommended that you cast all the self buffs you possibly can. This means casting magic reflect, arch protection, bless, then use a greater strength and greater dexterity potion. These buffs very often can mean the difference between life or death.

Potions

When you encounter somebody on FIELD you must understand that there are no rules and anything goes. You have to expect that the player you are about to fight will use everything in their advantage to win. This will likely mean the frequent use of all sort of potions. It should become second nature for you to be using your potions frequently. For example, every template will want to keep themselves under the effect of a greater strength potion (+20str). If you are a tank mage, use greater dexterity on top of this for more weapon hits (+20dex). Get weakened? Use a greater str pot immediately, lose stam, get poisoned, take some damage? Use the correct potions asap.

7. Advanced PvP Tactics

Synch dumps

Many PvP groups can easily heal through the damage dealt by players unless that damage is being delivered by a group of players at the exact same time. This is what is known as a "synch dump". The basis behind a synch dump is that you are using voice chat to coordinate everyone casting their spells at the same time. This means having a caller who is going to let everyone know when to cast their spells and on what target so spells hit at generally the same time. This is done most commonly by having a group of mages pre-cast explosion and then once ready the caller will call down the synch such as "2 1 drop". Then everyone casts their pre-loaded explosion followed up by an energy bolt.

Paralyze synch dump

As many players use the tactics of "off-screening" a dump, this can be combated through the use of paralyze. Have everyone pre-cast explosion except for one person who will have paralyze pre-loaded. Then the caller calls down the dump and the person with para pre-loaded will synch their para cast with everyone's explodes and then go for an energy bolt. The person will be paralyzed the exact second everyone drops explodes and starts casting energy bolts. The 1-2 seconds it takes before they realize whats happened to pop their pouches will be just enough to prevent them from running off screen from your ebolt casts.

Quick dump

This type of dump is called a quick dump because you do not want to have any spells precasted when your caller calls this down. For example if you are being chased by a group of players and they are all strung out with 1 player clearly in the lead you can do a quick dump on them by everyone clearing their pre-casts and then when your caller calls down the dump, everyone casts energy bolt and immediately drops it on that person. This works well if you're outnumbered, lets say one guy is rushing in the lead ahead of his group and is around 3/4ths hp, have your group quick dump e-bolt this person and if they don't turn right away they will be dead. You can also mix this up with what I call the "FULL" quick dump. where the goal here is to have everyone cast explode-eb right on the call with nothing pre-loaded.

Kiting

This works very well against the groups who do not mobilize well. If you are with 3 or so friends and you are fighting a larger group if your smaller group has better mobility while the larger group does not you can eventually string out the larger groups members by kiting or running away. More often then not 1-2 people will eventually break and get ahead of the group which gives you an easy target out of cross heal range. Disorganized larger groups can eventually be picked apart by smaller ones if the larger group has members with poor mobility. They will just get ahead of the pack and eat a dump, this happens all the time, more times then I can count.

Group mobility

I cant stress this part enough but its important to make sure that everyone in your party/group/guild are all generally on the same page and not running around, putting themselves in bad locations, and breaking away from the main group. This definitely requires a degree of discipline with your group and will only come with practice. For the most part you should ALWAYS be on the same screen (ideally within 5 tiles) as whoever your caller is. Never get too far ahead of your caller, large groups are the most likely to fail at this. You have a bunch of people who don't stick together well it just makes them a prime target to kite/quick dump. Anyone out in the open away from their group and in a bad spot is going to be an easy kill.

Off-screening

There is no glory in sitting on one tile and eating explodes/ebolts from 5 different people. If you have a bunch of people about to cast on you always make sure that you try to run off screen so you can outrange some of the ebolt casts and don't get hit with the full force of the dump. If you know the dump is on you, don't stop to cast anything, run back towards your group, out range some of the spell casts and pray to god some of your guild members can cross heal.

Reading and faking synch dumps

People who are experienced in Ultima Online combat can over time develop a sense of who a synch-dump is going to land on because of the direction people face when casting a spell. If you cast a spell on someone your chars feet/body will be pointed towards that player. So you can watch the movement of a player to get a read of who they're dropping on. To counter this you need to "fake" the spell cast. You can fake who you are targeting by purposefully pointed yourself to the person who you are NOT intending to cast on at the moment you do cast your spell. This makes it look like you're about to hit a target who you really aren't actually casting on. A group that does not fake/turn is very predictable, making it easier to heal out of their synchs.
 
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#2
Looks good, everything here should still be relevant, just needs some of the outlands-specific info to be fully up-to-date. This does make me think whether we should have actually done distance-based harm damage though. lol.