Handling and learning the basics of combat - May 30, 2020
While The Demon Rush: Legends Corrupt is an action RPG and the basics are simple on the surface -- attacking, blocking, dodging and abilities -- there are some aspects of combat that are important to keep in mind.
Defense needs as much focus as offense
Early on in most modes, there is a grace period where the enemies do not have their abilities, just normal attacks. In Story Mode, the player will be notified when this grace period ends. Other modes have it end when enemies hit level 20 (Endless Dungeon bases this on current dungeon level, Onslaught on enemies killed, Conquest on days passed). While this grace period is active, it can feel as though only offense is needed through attacks and abilities.
However, when the grace period does end, enemy abilities can change the flow of combat, mainly through status ailments of Stagger, Stun, Knockdown and Knockback. While these last no longer than a few seconds at most, those seconds can be killer.
Blocking and dodging BOTH give that character full immunity to these status effects while doing either of these actions, so defense is important. Dodging gives the player full damage immunity during the dodge, but does not have any protection in the final few frames, while blocking causes the player to take half damage, but has no gap in frames for status ailment immunity.
Blocking - Block Heal and Stagger Tag
Blocking provides two additional benefits aside from cutting damage by half and preventing status ailments. The first is that blocking heals a character for 4 HP/second. While this may sound powerful, against stronger enemies and/or on Legend Difficulty, those 4 HP/second will not be enough to sit still and block. However, Block Heal can be used in such scenarios effectively with precise timing on the part of the player.
A new mechanic added to blocking is Stagger Tag. When an enemy uses a basic melee attack against your blocking character, they are Staggered for half a second. During a Stagger caused by an enemy hitting a blocking character, that blocking character can do double damage with their basic attacks during that one Stagger -- to put it simply, the enemy attacks a blocking character, the blocking character can counter for double damage.
Stagger Tag was added mainly for players to get more mileage out of both basic attacks and blocking. Characters with powerful single attacks (Tara, Cook) can make great use of Stagger Tag. Characters with combos cannot use it as effectively (due to Stagger's half second being too quick for some combos), but faster melee attackers (Alberto, Claire, Jimmy) can benefit as well if the player is fast.
Dodging - Dodge Cancel
Another new mechanic that was added was the Dodge Cancel. At any time in the middle of a basic attack or combo, the player can dodge out of that basic attack or combo -- this cannot be done with abilities, even melee abilities. Its addition was added to make basic attacks more effective by giving the player an easy escape that they themselves have full control over, especially with Onslaught/Conquest/Heist where the player has fewer abilities and need to count on basic attacks more. With proper timing, the player can deal damage while suffering none in return from the enemy.
In Story Mode, Endless Dungeon and Heist, when a character's HP reaches 0, they will revive in 20 seconds with 1 HP. This is meant to give the player more of a fighting chance when things take a sudden turn for the worst, but keep in mind that those newly revived characters are fragile with 1 HP -- they need immediate healing, either through abilities or swapping to them and Block Healing.
Field Effects and Influencers
In Story Mode and Endless Dungeon, there are 6 different Field Effects that can be active: Body, Mind, Fire Siphon, Water Siphon, Wind Siphon and Earth Siphon. One or none of these can be active, and almost all abilities when used influence towards their respective Field Effect. Field Effects typically have positive and negative aspects to them as follows:
Body Field Effect - All characters (ally and enemy) deal double damage and Stagger lasts for one second
Mind Field Effect - All characters (ally and enemy) deal half damage, Stagger lasts for one quarter second and ability cooldowns recover at double speed
Fire Field Effect - Flames that deal 5 damage/second appear over time, and all characters that are not Fire elemental or equipped with a Fire Elemental weapon suffer damage from these flames
Water Field Effect - Pools of water appear immediately along with new ones over time, and all characters that are not Water elemental or equipped with a Water Elemental weapon suffer Knockdown from these waterpools
Wind Field Effect - Windbursts appear in groups at random, and all characters that are not Wind elemental or equipped with a Wind Elemental weapon suffer Knockback from these windbursts
Earth Field Effect - A sandstorm begins, and all characters that are not Earth elemental or equipped with a Earth Elemental weapon suffer heavily reduced movement speed (making dodging or getting away from Earth elemental enemies harder)
For example, Cherry's Violent Gust is a Wind Siphon type ability, and using it pushes the Field Effect closer to Wind Siphon. Her Tornado is a Wind Siphon type ability and will do the same on use. Her Hyper Blade is a Body type ability and will push the Field Effect to Body, while her Mind-type Line Overdrive, Cover and Fortify abilities will all make the Field Effect become closer to the Mind Field Effect.
Enemy abilities can also influence a Field Effect towards something that may or may not be desired by the player, and enemies with low cooldowns on their abilities in particular can influence a Field Effect more strongly than others.
A Field Effect Influencer is a character that can use an elemental weapon or abilities with low cooldowns to more quickly and efficiently bring about a desired Field Effect or to remove a Field Effect forced by the enemy. Since there are passive abilities that can power up certain active abilities under a specific Field Effect, certain team builds benefit greatly from a Field Effect Influencer.
Elemental Field Effects can be brought by enemy hordes in Conquest, and function in the same fashion as Story/Endless Dungeon, with the exception being that they cannot be removed -- and being an element different from the player character and their army makes it always negative for the player.
In contrast, Heist Mode allows the player to apply Fire and Water Field Effects inside the building during getaway that benefit only the player and not enemies.