Video Game Combat Tactics
These are the most common tactics suggested in many strategy-guides, walkthroughs, and FA Qs.


(permanent link) added: 2011-08-05 06:28:26 sponsor: EternalNothingness (last reply: 2011-08-07 13:28:25)

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More often than not, video games usually have one of four different kinds of scenarios:

  • Duel, which pits one person against another single person, namely a boss or fighting-game character.
  • One-player vs. enemy-group, where a single player is outnumbered by a group of enemies, mostly minor-enemies.
  • Player-group vs. one-enemy, where a group of players outnumber one enemy, namely a boss.
  • Team-battle, where two or more teams fight each other.

The strategy-guides would then suggest the following tactics for each scenario:
  • In duels, each contender have to predict, defend against, and counter-attack the other.
  • When outnumbered by enemies, the player uses the following tactics:
    • Use the old "predict-defend-counter" tactic normally used in duels.
    • Prioritize threats in the following order:
      • Healers, such as clerics and medics.
      • Multi-targeting enemies, such as mages and auto-riflemen.
      • Single-targeting enemies, such as rogues and riflemen.
      • Defenders, such as "tanks" and grenadiers.
    • Use crowd-clearing attacks, weapons, and/or spells when necessary.
  • When part of a group fighting one enemy, who's usually a boss, players divide each other into the following combat-roles:
    • Defenders, whose job is to protect their allies with his own bulk, or at least lure enemies away from said allies when they're in danger.
    • Single-target fighters, who single out enemies based on threat-level, again in the same following order:
      • Healers.
      • Multi-target enemies.
      • Single-target enemies.
      • Defenders.
    • Multi-target fighters, who can use crowd-clearing spells, attacks, and weapons.
    • Healers, for replenishing lost health for each teammate.
  • When one group fights another, the same tactics for working with groups (namely assigning roles while sticking together), and fighting groups (namely through either the "predict-defend-counter" tactic, singling them out, or using multi-target attacks/weapons/spells), both apply.

See also An Adventurer Is You and Competitive Balance.

Examples:

  • Ancient/Medieval Warfare:
    • Defenders: Cavalry.
    • Single-Target Fighters: Infantry.
    • Multi-Target Fighters: Artillery and Siege-Engines.
    • Healers: Surgeons.
  • Battlefield: Bad Company:
    • Defender: The Soldier.
    • Single-Target Fighter: The Recon.
    • Multi-Target Fighter: The Engineer.
    • Healer: The Medic.
  • Dragon Age: Origins & Dragon Age 2:
    • Defender: Warrior.
    • Single-Target Fighter: Rogue.
    • Multi-Target Fighter/Healer: Mage.
  • Elder Scrolls:
    • Defender: Combat-specialty.
    • Single-Target Fighter: Stealth-specialty.
    • Multi-Target Fighter/Healer: Magic-specialty.
  • Fallout SPECIAL-system:
    • Defender: Strength and Endurance.
    • Single/Multi-Target Fighter: Perception and Agility.
    • Healer: Intelligence (for making medicine) and Charisma (for persuading Non Player Characters).
  • Final Fantasy 1:
    • Defender: Warrior/Knight.
    • Single-Target Fighter: Thief/Ninja; Monk/Master.
    • Multi-Target Fighter: Black-Mage/Black-Wizard.
    • Healer: White-Mage/White-Wizard.
    • Hybrid: Red-Mage/Red-Wizard.
  • Final Fantasy 2:
    • Hybrid: Firion, the balanced member of the party.
    • Defender/Single-Target Fighter: Guy, the physically-strongest member of the party.
    • Multi-Target Fighter/Healer: Maria, the magically-adept member of the party.
  • Mass Effect 2:
    • Defenders: Soldier and Sentinel.
    • Single-Target Fighters: Vanguard and Infiltrator.
    • Multi-Target Fighters: Adept and Engineer.
    • Healers: All six classes, who can revive allies with medigels.
  • Most First Person Shooters and Third Person Shooters:
    • Defenders: Pick-up armor (Pre-Halo shooters) and taking cover (Post-Halo shooters).
    • Multi-Target Fighters: Auto-rifles, submachine-guns, and launchers.
    • Single-Target Fighters: Shotguns, sniper-rifles, and pistols.
    • Healers: Health-packs (Pre-Halo shooters); Regenerating-health (Post-Halo shooters).
  • Most Real-Time Strategy and Turn-Based Strategy games:
    • Defenders: Infantry and Tanks.
    • Single-Target Fighters: Scout-Vehicles and Aerial-Units.
    • Multi-Target Fighters: Artillery and Naval-Units.
    • Healers: Buildings and Structures.
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • Defenders: Soldier and Heavy.
    • Single-Target Fighters: Scout, Sniper, and Spy.
    • Multi-Target Fighters: Pyro and Demoman.
    • Healers: Engineer and Medic.
  • Worldof Warcraft:
    • Defenders: Warrior and Paladin, due to their heavy bulks.
    • Single-Target Fighters: Rogue and Hunter, due to their single-target attacks.
    • Multi-Target Fighters: Mage and Warlock, due to their multi-target spells.
    • Healers: Priest and Shaman, even though they need no introduction.
    • Hybrids: Druid and Death-Knight, as they're well-balanced.
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