Introduction to SH PK
This document aims to provide an overview of the basics of pk at SH. It does not aim to encompass all pk situations, but instead is meant to be a starter guide for new SHs interested in pking.
Should I be OPK at SH?
Maybe. In exchange for some modest xp and qp bonuses, you will, at times, be hunted by much stronger players and even large groups of hostiles in manners that will severely restrict your gameplay. However, the OPK experience can also be very rewarding and provides an opportunity for teamwork and strategy.
In general, I would not recommend toggling into OPK at SH and leaving it on (or even at all) before you have a minimum of 40k pups. Even at 40k pups the power discrepancy will be massive as compared to some hostiles that will be hunting you, but at least by that time you should be able to survive long enough to attempt an escape. Around 70-80k pups you can start thinking of leaving opk on full time depending on your patience for running.
There is no requirement for a Light member to be OPK whether at SH or otherwise.
Stating the obvious, but being aware of your situation is the number one key to effective pk. Ideally, at all times you would be aware of (i) who is in your area, (ii) which opk hostiles are active and (iii) which opk allies/clannies are active in case you need help. The outcome of most SH pk battles is a foregone conclusion once engagement starts, so the key is knowing whether you want to engage or run.
At least for me, the only actual effective way to monitor who is in the area is via a plugin. I use the who_here plugin, but I’m sure there are others such as the Masaki Third Eye plugin. The key is to automate checking for people in the area on a consistent basis.
If I am not OPK, can I still help/participate in pk?
You can absolutely be a huge help by fulfilling a support role.
First and most obvious, there is pk that happens in traditional pk rooms that you can fully participate in. So you can help gank ppl in icefall pk rooms and terra pk rooms (among others).
In non-pk flagged rooms, you can still help via healing and other utility actions. For example, non-pk people can help heal opk people that are engaged in a fight. This will give revenge so you will need to be active to be most productive. Ideally, you would be either reciting an inc scroll (see below) on the tank and then running to an adjoining room to avoid being strangled or otherwise engaged. If you don’t have any inc scrolls (shame shame), just cast incomplete heal on the tank and then run to next room to avoid engagement. You can then run back into the group fight room, heal and then dart back out.out and then rinse and repeat until fight is over. The reason for darting in and out is because once you give revenge as a healer, the hostile will immediately try to strangle you to put you out of the fight. If you are engaged you have the choice to either stay and fight with your tank or try and flee off and re-engage in the healing strategy.
A non-opk can also strategically remove curse/web from tanks. Just as above, though, this will give revenge so be prepared to get engaged if you stick around.
A mean guy continues to chase me, should I just hide in the clan hall?
Maybe. There are absolutely times to manor/clan hall sit as an opk if you have a large group persistently hunting you. Alternatively, you could just temporarily remove opk, but sometimes if you just walk away from the keyboard for 20 minutes the hostile will move on to something else.
Campaigns are a good option to continue progressing while you are being hunted so long as you are careful. Running from area to area hunting campaign mobs make you a harder target to find. Just be careful you don’t go to an area where you are easily found and trapped.
Areas for Hiding
The best places to pup while being hunted have some combination of (i) the target not being able to be seen on the map upon a hostile’s entry in the area and (ii) a path to the target that makes it difficult to get there quickly (e.g., aggressive mobs in the way).
The cube in Nebulous Horizon (requires area goal) is one of my favorite areas to hide in when I am being hunted. Retreat through the first level and pup the bottom two levels of the cube. You should then have time to see anyone coming on area check as they try to retreat through the cube to find you. You can use this time to recall from the second level of the cube (third level is non-recall, but you should be able to use your headstart to retreat up to the second level and recall quite easily). If they do catch you in the cube, because the area is aggro (i.e., the hostiles will be engaged by the mobs and will need to retreat toward you) you should be able to use a combination of retreat and flee to escape them even if you are cursed and it means retreating all the way through the cube.
The goal portion of Wyrm (L3 and L4) is a great place to hideout once you’ve done the goal since you can use the home command to get out before people can get to you.
Nyne (either goal area or through all the portals, but be careful because you can’t recall)
Less desirable, but still workable: Dungeon of Doom, portions of Earthlords, portions of Realm of Sacred Flame, Oceanpark evil mob pup area, Qong
Areas to Avoid if Being Hunted
Note that there is a trick to escaping the pk rooms in the slopes. These rooms do not allow you to recall and have a mobprog that attempts to stop you from retreating through, with two important caveats: 1) The mobprog that traps you by stopping retreat is able to be bypassed sometimes (i..e, you can slip through) and 2) there is no lag on retreat in these rooms. This means you can SPAM retreat if in combat until you finally get through (spam as in multiple multiple times per round trying retreat) .
Gypsy (easily found, although not terrible to escape)
Pinning/Holding and Escaping:
I’ve attacked someone I think I can kill, how do I keep them from running away?
First, just to set expectations, holding someone in a 1v1 pk fight on Aardwolf that does not want to stay is currently extremely hard. People will escape frequently, and depending on the targets subclass, they may escape almost every time.
If you have high strength relative to your target, you may consider opening with a strangle attempt. Of course, you can’t strangle if they are in combat, but you can sneak in and attempt a strangle as soon as they are done fighting mobs. Once you have your target strangled, you will have a short period of time to best prepare yourself to kill them. Don’t overstack commands here or the target will simply wake up and recall if you wait too long.
The following will not wake a strangled target and are good ideas: curse spellcasts, web, hex/sloth, dispel magic/dampening field
Note that reciting a curse scroll on a strangled target will wake the target and initiate combat. A triple curse scroll is a good way to initiate combat assuming you were not able to get curse on the target while they were strangled.
If you do not have high strength relative to your target or if the target knows they are being hunted and will recall out at first opportunity of seeing you, a quick initiation via curse scroll may be the best way to initiate combat.
Web & Sloth
Web and sloth operate similarly, but there are important differences. Web can be easily removed with dissolve, but there is no way to remove sloth. Web is stronger in preventing word of recall as compared to sloth, but both can cause you to fail (and even web can be recalled through depending on strength of web).
If you are webbed and slothed, try to stack a dissolve and a word of recall. If you are also cursed, well good luck.
If you are webbed and slothed, one tactic people try is to heal (via restore life) long enough to have sloth wear out (approx 2 mins). By that time many people forget that they need to hold you and you can do a quick dissolve and run.
Web and sloth can also be used defensively. For example, if a stronger hostile attacks, you can use sloth to limit their movement and either word or retreat out. It will make chasing you much harder. Web can be used similarly, although it is not as effective in some circumstances since it is easily removed. A third option is blind, which will make following you much harder.
We are engaged in a group fight, what do we do?
Most importantly, listen to the group leader for directions. Everything will move quickly and coordination is key.
The group leader should be calling out aim priorities. In general, the aim priority should be squishiest/weakest hostile first absent special considerations, with the caveat that you should try and avoid granting avengers RA if you can. Once you take down the first target, leader will call second target.
Do not overstack commands. Sometimes I find it helpful to sneak in a look to make sure you know where you are with command stacking.
If you are a paladin, prepare for terminate (so you should especially not be stacking commands).
What should I do if I’m low on hp?
First, let’s define what it means to be low on hp. Once you get into roughly 40-45% hp you should start thinking of an exit strategy to get healed and back into the fight quickly. A good tactic is to retreat off, use a couple of quick inc scrolls/incomp potions on yourself and pop right back into the room.
Once you are in the room, quickly do two things: (i) study the room to see who is the lowest hostile (hopefully everyone is engaged on that hostile) and (ii) look at your group report to see if anyone in your group is low on hp. Once you have that input, recite an incomp scroll or two on your low group members and then engage the lowest hp hostile. If you are losing the group fight and people are trying to escape, you can also use this opportunity to remove curse/web from people needing to escape (just be fast as you will need to get out as well).
In any event, make sure you stay above 20% if at all possible. Otherwise you are a prime target for being terminated instantly by a paladin, which will take you out of the fight for quite some time.
I died, what now?
That sucks. Get up, spam some heals (not even necessarily all the way to 100%) and get back in the fight asap. Tons of fights are won/lost over which group actually makes an effort to get their deads back.
We were pupping and my group got ganked, what do I do?
First, hopefully you were aware of the possibility due to area scanner and knowing who is active. If this is the case the group may already have a plan to execute on (whether to run/stay and fight, who to aim).
If your group is caught off-guard, first,evaluate how many people there are attacking. They probably have multiple people hitting one person in your group, so rescue the target once and by that time people in group should have made a decision to stay and fight or run. If you are out of combat at the time the gank occurs, you may consider throwing an incomplete on the tank in lieu of rescuing, but will need to quickly decide whether to engage or help the target escape.
What do I need to fare better in pk fights?
The current fastest way to power in pk is to max resistances. This means trying to acquire as much epic gear as you can get your hands on.
After epic gear, unfortunately it is all instinct/mastery/potential and as much as you can get of all of it.
Are there any items to keep on hand that help in pk?
You should always keep on hand a few triple incomplete scrolls. These can be used in emergency situations to heal you or your tank in pk.
Similarly, remove curse scrolls can be used to great effect. For example, if a hostile lands curse on you in an area of aggressive mobs,, when you retreat you will be engaged by the mobs. With the remove curse scroll you can try to recite while still engaged to mobs and remove the curse to aid your escape.
Triple curse scrolls – these are in the shop one north of recall. As described above, very useful to begin fights.
What are a good subclasses for SH PK?
Sorc – sloth, good damage and straightforward instincts
Avenger – Righteous Anger currently gives stupid damage increase, although possible nerfing on horizon [edit: this just got nerfed today to 60% from double damage – TBD]
Navigator – Good escapability
Should I keep autopk on?
No, it messes up too much utility such as healing, removing curse etc. Also you want to be able to pick your target with precision.