I am receptive to new ideas and will consider any techs/vids you'd like to contribute. Post away please, fuel a discussion!
*As of G9 DMS no longer works. Do not attempt it in battle or you will get pwn'd.
1. Pets can manipulate monster aggro and stun conditions. They can hold off or turn on aggro as convenience dictates.
2. Nobody cares if a pet dies (100 gold and 0.1 inv space per res). That is, if a player's third hand is chopped off, he can simply throw out another one. At the end of the battle dead pets can be ressed. It can be fatal for the party if one player dies, but merely inconvenient if a pet dies.
The really nice thing about actively using pets in battle is that they break you out of constraints that enemies normally impose on you. Take the typical solo loop, icecounter. Hit the enemy with an icebolt. Now you have to counter. After you counter, you have to hit them with an icebolt. It’s not so much that you want to icebolt or counter but that you have to. Imagine after hitting the enemy with an icebolt you inject a pet ram. Suddenly you don’t have to do anything, there is no incoming monster to counter. You can load smash, grab a bow, play song, do a dance. The enemy loses its hold over you. You’re free to do as you wish.
In multi-aggro situations you’ll have a replaceable and life- and time-saving partner (kinda like a third hand!), and when double teaming a single enemy you’ll find it easy to slip in powerful attacks such as smash, wm and magnum instead of laming it up with weaksauce, eg icecounter.
1. You’ll want fast access to pet commands, namely summon, unsummon, sit and call. Pet heal, bandage, smash and cancel skill are also useful to shortcut (accessible via right click on pet\skills, drag to hotkey bar). You can make keyboard shortcuts of all of these. Start\Options\Game\Hotkey Settings, assign a shortcut to the commands you want. I personally use the 2nd row (~ and 12345...).
2. Icebolt, lightningbolt, firebolt, wm, counter and defense for you microing freaks. :)
3. Shift + left click will give the pet a target and it’ll try to melee combo its target. You can also use ctrl to help pick a target.
4. Mount should be hotkeyed as well. It is "r" by default, although it might be unassigned if you have modded your client. Easily fixed.
A few definitions, because I like making up words
*pet ram: pet melees enemy until knockback
- pet in post combo recovery
- enemy in knockback stun
*pet swipe: pet melees enemy but disengages before knockback
- easy ways to disengage pet include sitting it, calling it, unsummoning it, and giving it another target to attack.
- pet ready to move
- enemy in hit stun (shorter than knockback stun)
*nailing: keeping an enemy in stun via repeated pet swipes
*auto-retaliate: when a character comes in to melee a monster that is targeting someone else, but the monster pauses to counter-melee the character, after which it pursues its original target
- Seems to only occur with focused monsters
- Must be accounted for, some monsters that successfully auto-retaliate will only pause for 200 ms
- A pet one hit away from death will force an auto-retaliating enemy into post-combo recovery (vulnerable for ~1000 ms, much longer than the aforementioned 200 ms), basically guaranteeing that the enemy is bogged down, even if the pet's melee fails.
*DMS: demount scrambling, an aggro-cancelling technique that I get into later
*focus: a little known property of monster's that must be understood to properly execute various maneuvers
- A monster will focus on a player/pet who strikes the monster with any move besides wm.
- A monster can only focus on one target and possesses no memory. That is, if it loses focus, it will not re-focus on its last focusee.
- A simple way to drop focus is to pet swipe the enemy and then unsummon the pet. Playing dead will also drop focus.
- Striking an enemy in defense with ANY move that doesn't pierce defense will not cause it to focus on you.
- Note: focus is distinct from aggro. A monster can be aggro'd on someone without focusing on him, eg a player stands by a monster and it detects and then aggros him, but it has not yet focused on him because he has not yet struck it with a non-wm move.
*late aggro: a quirk in the aggro system
- A term coined by Neikie
- Late aggro occurs when monsters sense a player, who then hops on a mount before being aggro'd, and stays within sensory range long enough that he would be aggro'd if he had not prevented the aggro by mounting.
- After dismounting, the player will receive the aggro.
- Late aggro WILL survive DMS's wipe.
- In lower level play pet damage can be significant. Preceding a wm or smash with 2 pet swipes can cut a 2 turn kill in half. Horses and bears excel here.
- In higher level play, dps comes mainly from the player. Pet damage becomes less important. Frivolous pet swipes are more likely to cost the player his life against enemies with higher levels of heavy stander. Stopping ranged and magic attacks and awkward charges (ie, keeping the player afloat) takes priority over chip damage.
- Speed is very important, allowing a player’s third hand to reach farther and do more. Thoroughbreds and black cotton ostriches win here.
- The number of attacks in a melee combo determines when a pet swipe becomes a pet ram. Very, very important. A 3 hit combo allows a pet to swipe an enemy who has just recovered from knockback (whereas a clumsier pet can only ram), and also allows more variation in swiping to lengthen nail time. Thoroughbreds (3 hit) beat black ostriches (2 hit).
- Mounts are invaluable as they allow you to DMS.
- Odd qualities for odd jobs. r9 ice (mini skels and albino king snakes). Firebolt of any rank for firemill. Counter battery.
- Overall I recommend an army of speedy 3 hit pets for swipemill play, assorted mounts to fuel DMS, and random pets to fill odd jobs (perhaps 1 pet placed on a firebolt spamming ai). The thoroughbred is the best combat pet, excelling in all categories.
The windmiller’s third hand
As an aoe attack that protects the user for a full 2 seconds, windmill has huge potential when paired with the aggro manipulation of aggressive pet play. Some strategies detailed below.
* Swipemilling, a strategy that relies on heavy use of pet swipes (and the occasional ram) in conjunction with wm
- Pets can 2 swipe enemies to coax them to trail after the pet and 1 swipe enemies to quickly nail them in place.
- The player should locate himself in an optimal position to wm. This is usually in the middle of all the trailing and nailed mobs.
- The player's wm should blow away all of the pet's pursuers, allowing it to continue swiping choicy targets.
- Because wm does not specifically target monsters, it will not usually aggro enemies (leaving them non-alert or still targeting your pet, and yourself free to weave about). This is especially important because monsters that lack focus tend not to auto-retaliate against pets.
- Choicy targets include monsters that are casting or aiming, have smash loaded, are loading skills, are scrambling (running around randomly or walking without defense), and have not yet aggro'd, and unfocused monsters aggro'd on the player.
- Typically, monsters that break on your wm (as you are spinning and invincible) are also vulnerable to pet swipes.
- Feel free to load smash out of wm. You can open up the enemy with a pet swipe.
- After the pet has accrued some serious grudges (ie, aggro), you can unsummon it and cycle on to another pet. This has the added benefit of dropping all aggro on your third hand and unfocusing monsters that have been swiped.
- Swipemilling is the highest dps strategy because the pet clumps enemies, making for spectacular wms. It is extremely aggressive, calling for domination of all enemies on the field. When properly executed, enemies will not have a chance to cast magic or aim death at the player or his third hand. Attempted melees against the player are swiped away, and attempted melees against the pet are wm'd away.
- Swipemilling runs into difficulties against heavy stander enemies, as a ping will kill the third hand and unravel the player's aggro domination.
* Firemilling, a simple alternation of a pet's firebolt and the player's wm against a single target
- Player and pet can safely advance under each other's cover, until the target is walled, after which movement is no longer necessary.
- Completely shuts down one target; solves all single aggro situations
- Works against tele monsters (such as ghosts and ciar adv golems) as well, the player just has to stand near his pet so that he can wm the monster after it teleports in response to the pet's firebolt
- Firebolt spamming ai recommended.
- Will fail when pet runs out of mp
YouTube - [tactic] Firemill
* Demount scrambling (DMS), a difficult to perform maneuver that wipes the memories of monsters
- This move is performed by hopping on a mount and then unsummoning it. All monsters focused on the player will immediately drop aggro and run in random directions. They will re-aggro as normal (as if the player had never existed before that moment).
- Caution: you lose the invincibility from wm when you mount a pet. Enemies will hit you.
- This move is incredibly potent, but is difficult to consistently perform without camping a mount next to yourself.
- Relying on DMS is difficult if you routinely draw focus from enemies. You should abandon maneuvers like 1+wm that draw focus frivolously.
- Beware of late aggro; do not dilly dally on your mount, lest you garner late aggro that will spring on you after you DMS.
This is a pretty unintuitive move, so here's a video that demonstrates various aspects of DMS.
YouTube - [clip] DMS vs bug bears
DMS fails at 0:13 against the bug bear to my left because I drew its focus earlier by thundering it. It works perfectly against the other 2 bug bears because I never touched them with a non-wm move.
At 0:17 I drop focus by swiping the bug bear with my horse. DMS succeeds 100%, unlike at 0:13, because the bug bear is focused on my horse, not on me, when I DMS'd.
DMS does not appear to have any effect against an enemy if executed entirely before the enemy would normally aggro. Warrants further research.
Applications in battle
*Excerpts from ciar adv: swipemilling through everyone's favorite dungeon
YouTube - Excerpts from Ciar Adv
*Pickaxe run of ciar adv: swipemilling through everyone's favorite dungeon, using a really retarded weapon to place emphasis on consistency and technique rather than raw statistical strength
YouTube - Handling multi aggro using pets
*L-rod run of maiz garg part: swipemilling up to 7 multi aggros at a time
YouTube - Naked L-Rod run of Maiz Garg Part
*Sweeping bug bears: swipemilling and DMS in combat to juggle multi aggro heavy standers
YouTube - Sweeping Bug Bears
A smattering of techniques
*Windmill baiting: preparing a stunned enemy that you can use to trigger wm in the face of enemy magic and range
- Position your initial wm so that it does not touch a nearby enemy.
- This enemy should be on the other side of the wm’d enemies so that reaching it will not involve running through an angry mob.
- Fire the wm and swipe the chosen enemy.
- Move to enemy and wm.
- Having found safe haven, you can then use your seconds of invulnerability to manipulate the wave of incoming enemies.
- In this picture, the black circle represents the 1st wm.
- After knocking back the 5 enemies in range, you send a pet out to whack the enemy on the right.
- Follow up by moving into range of enemy bait and then wm’ing.
- The 5 enemies hit by the 1st wm will not be able to interfere in time, even if they charge magic, pull out a bow or chase for melee (unless they have heavy stander). The enemy not hit by the 1st wm will be stunned by pet. Nothing stands in the way of your 2nd wm, and the resulting 2 seconds of invincibility will make victory inevitable (imo).
YouTube - Windmill baiting in action
- Green arrows indicate primary wm bait.
- I make extra pet swipes to pull aggro on pet, nail rats in desirable formations and to free up my own character's movement.
*1 swipe --> 1 swipe --> wm, a building block of swipemilling
- Prevents surprise aggro and undesirable enemy movement
YouTube - [tactic] swipe+(swipe)+wm
*2 swipe --> 1 swipe --> wm, the other building block of swipemilling
- The 2 swipe will almost always provoke the enemy to follow pet, right into your wm (hopefully).
YouTube - [tactic] 2xswipe+(swipe)+wm
*smash --> ice --> mill --> swipe
- Simple loop that links smash and wm.
- Pet casualties likely on the swipe, unfortunately, due to risk of auto-retaliation.
- A heavily damaged pet that will not survive the next blow is recommended, as then it will either die or deadly, forcing enemy into combo recovery. The player can then land smash in a window of ~3 seconds instead of possibly a window of lower than 300 ms (against enemies with fast speed melee who choose to one swipe the pet and continue on to the player).
YouTube - [tactic] smash+ice+mill+swipe
*Pet’s n+1, in case you ever need to buy more time or want that extra damage
- This is what it looks like (just like a human N+1’ing with any old 3 hit weapon, such as Eiry).
- I am issuing my pet a single sit command after each swipe, which in this case stops the melee combo but does not actually result in pet resting.
YouTube - [tactic] Pet's n+1
*swipe --> smash
- The pet swipe stuns the enemy and kills the enemy’s counter or intuition, leaving it open to a smash.
- Inelegant against enemy wm, although smash is landable after enemy stops spinning even if enemy is aggro'd on the player
- A pet’s 2 swipe tends to collapse position lag, very useful for awkward situations and laggy people!
YouTube - [tactic] swipe+smash
*ice --> swipe --> smash
- Ice stuns the enemy and disables defenses and the swipe keeps the enemy down under for the smash.
- Perfect way to link 2 smashes together as ice loads during smash recovery
- Good approach to stale mobs
YouTube - [tactic] ice+swipe+smash
*1x2 --> swipe --> (1x2) --> wm
- The 2nd 1x2 in parentheses is an attack on another enemy.
- The dual wield equivalent of 1+(1)+wm; pet swipe is needed because dual wield melees are slower.
YouTube - [tactic] 1x2+swipe+(1x2)+wm
*smash --> ice --> ram --> smash
- Fastest way to land 2 smashes w/o danger
- Combo does not continue after the 2nd smash; the smash leaves you open to punishment unless pet redown is possible.
- Perfect if enemy dies in 2 smashes.
YouTube - [tactic] smash+ice+ram+smash
*1 --> swipe --> smash
- Most useful when the 1 is needed for reasons other than damage, such as to prevent surprise aggro or to counter enemy's smash (because smash does not load during the 1 dps suffers).
YouTube - [tactic] 1+swipe+smash (using very slow weapon)
*wm --> swipe --> smash, against defending enemies
- Sure beats 2x wm.
- Works against heavy stander
YouTube - [tactic] wm+smash on defense
*p_ib --> wm, aka icemill
- As used against bug bears (which ping to magic), pet's icebolt kills any skill the bug bear loads and causes it to rush into the player's wm; speeds up wm spam
- Ice spamming ai recommended.
- Because the bug bear will never have time to load a skill, it is much more likely to outspeed the player's wm spam when it pings; pet ram preemptively to avoid splash.
- Credit goes to Nyo for the tactic and the video
YouTube - Mabinogi - Pet's icebolt and human windmill VS bugbears
*Pet melees with ib support
- Pet melees enemies around the room.
- Player protects pet from retaliation by stunning and kb'ing with tactical icebolts.
- Great if you want to rely on pet melee dmg
- Note how effective the switchoff is here in circumventing aggro
- Credit goes to Nyo for the tactic and the video
YouTube - Mabinogi - Pet's melee attack + icebolt stunner
* Some magnum & pet play: pet plays vanguard to stop enemy aggro and open up aiming cap to 99%
YouYube - Some magnum & pet play