Combat in The Elder Scrolls: Blades has four general aspects; melee combat, spells, potions, and character abilities.
Combat involves a rock paper-scissors mechanic for causing and receiving damage. This involves two different categories of damage: elemental and physical damage, being paired to different creatures with different susceptibility to different kinds of damage. Armor can also be rock paper-scissor paired to damage giving a creature with weaknesses some much needed protection. Causing status effects is also a major part of combat in Blades. While status effects depend on type, and are effected by rock paper scissors, stat damages have no resistances or weaknesses attached. If a weapon deals stat damage, only by reducing frequency of damage done, and amount of damage done- by blocking, for example- can stat damage be reduced. Stat damage also is dealt in higher amounts than elemental damage as well, but they do not do any health damage.
In Blades, absorbing damage is more done with negation via armor than just by having a high amount of raw health. The Fugitive can regenerate more quickly than most enemies, but not all (like trolls and other blades).
Many players may find success in the game's combat by combining patterns of moves together, either chaining particular moves or switching between various different items based on the tactical situation. For example, Paralyze's long casting time and Magicka Surge's long wait time may make them difficult to justify using on their own, but when combined, they can be a very effective tactic; Magicka Surge allows for Paralyze to be used more frequently and without prevention (except by user's death), hampering the enemy's ability to fight back. Likewise, Power Strike is a relatively slow, low-damage, but if used to turn a high block into a normal block, then the Fugitive can chain hits, countering the enemy's use of their shield.
Description[edit | edit source]
Combat starts automatically when you and an enemy are close to each other.
To attack, first hold on either side of the enemy. A red circle will appear and grow quickly. When it turns gold, release or swipe towards your foe.
Release or swipe when the circle is full to strike with a powerful critical hit.
After attacking from one direction, you can perform a combo attack by immediately attacking again from the other side of the screen. Combo attacks are faster and deal extra damage.
If the circle is gold but you no longer want to strike, you can swipe down to cancel your attack.
Swarming enemies like Skeevers and Spiders stay out of reach. You can only hit them with weapon attacks when they charge in to attack.
Attacking[edit | edit source]
To attack in Blades, you need to hold down on either the right or left side of the screen and attempt to let go when the two circles overlap. Switching sides every attack will give you combo attacks, which massively increase damage output. Alternatively, you can hold down on either side of the screen and attempt to drag your finger to the opposite side when the circles overlap; this will slightly increase attack speed, but makes it more difficult to use abilities, spells, and potions.
Damages are dealt via melee, abilities, spells, as well as enabled, or boosted or negated by enchantments and potions.
Countering enemy damage[edit | edit source]
There are many different ways to handle the enemy in The Elder Scrolls: Blades. In the fight, none of them involve running away from the enemy across the map or controlling the characters movements as normal, although avoiding a fight in general is possible at times.
Blocking, Enchantments- ones that negate or deal damage for example, armor that counters enemies' weapons or spells/ enchantments, and weapons that counter the enemy's armor and resistances.
Melee[edit | edit source]
Melee in Blades follows a rock paper scissors mechanic for both physical and elemental damage.
It also, unlike some titles games, damages the armor and weapons, which need to be repaired.
Blocking[edit | edit source]
Blocking will reduce damage, High blocking will cause a stagger or stun, which prevents enemies from blocking unless they use an ability and thus spend stamina. This is very useful, and plays a pivotal role in positioning an enemy into a pain or death kata.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
You can have three active abilities at a time in Blades. To use them, go to the Menu → Character → Skills → Abilities and then choose which abilities you would like to equip. Abilities in combat are outlined in green and require stamina to cast. Stamina regenerates passively and can be boosted using armor and jewelry enchantments.
Staggering and stunning the enemy can be achieved through effective use of abilities and high block. It is advised to do this as it can be a drastic benefit.
Spells[edit | edit source]
You can have three active spells at a time in Blades. To use them, go to the Menu → Character → Skills → Spells and then choose which spells you would like to equip. Spells in combat are outlined in blue and require magicka to cast. Magicka regenerates passively and can be boosted using armor and jewelry enchantments.
Stunned, Blinded, and paralyzed are status effects caused by spells.
Potions[edit | edit source]
Potions in Blades can be used during combat and out of combat in missions. They can be accessed in two different ways during combat; either click on the health bar, or go through the menu using Menu → Character → Potions. To access potions while out of combat in quests, you will have to go through the menu option.
Potions can be used to regenerate health, stamina, and magicka, or to give the fugitive resistances to certain types of damage for a few seconds.
Poisons can be used to temporarily poison your weapons for a few seconds; this will reduce enemy resistances for the duration of the potion's effect.
Status effects[edit | edit source]
These are a big part of combat.
Similar and different to damage being inflicted, status effects are conditions being inflicted to the enemy. Instead of having their magic, stamina, or health reduced, they are subject to circumstances that are undesirable, be it impairing or disarming, or in some cases, damage resulting.
They include: Stunned, Staggered, Blinded, Paralyzed, Poisoned, Frozen, On Fire, and Shocked.
The First four are major and temporarily cripple the target in some way.
The Last four are minor, except for perhaps blizzard (in terms of effect) and involve a small cloud of the element in question (much smaller than spell elemental clouds) that cause minor damage in their respective element type over a short period of time
- Stunned is caused by ice spike and a few abilities and prevents the enemy from being able to block for a short time. A similar effect can be achieved by staggering or using abilities like staggering bash. This can be gotten out of by using an ability however, and the enemy can save abilities for this purpose.
- Is a stun caused by using the shield with user skill or using a non stunning ability with user skill like shield bash, rather than character skill (which involve abilities, spells, and perks), and is caused by good timing- or a high block. The distinction is useful because one can stagger while timing an ability that stuns, and helps convey the distinction better to the learner.
This can be gotten out of by using an ability.
- Blinded is a little different for the main character and the creatures. The creatures loose their ability to be reactive and become random for a short time. That becomes more distinct in contrast at higher levels.
- The player can basically squint there eyes and try to discern the difference between a swirling green cloud over the images behind, giving him or her an advantage over creatures.
- The player can be essentially blinded in a non status effect way by fighting inside a tree or the fact that the storm atronach is a cloud at times, masking it's movements.
- This is not to be confused when it is impossible to hit an enemy with it's mouth is in one's face because of invisible hit boxes or it is literally tunneling through the ground or a wall because it's will to connect a hit is so strong.
- This can not be gotten out of by using an ability, but some spells can still be used. This is caused by the spell paralyze. It works like stun, but if it can actually be administered, it works a little better as the enemy will not counter it well once they are stuck.
- One of the four minor ones, but frozen can be more annoying if the recipient (and enjoyable if not) and can be a bit more deadly. In fact, it can be as effective as the four major ones in practice. This is because it is like being half stunned and is being unable to undo it, and can last too long. This means that half speed in swinging itself and half the swings over all end up crippling the poor effected soul. A slower enemy can be reacted to and can't react very well. It is hard to combo and damage and by the time it is over there can be another one about to be caused. This one can be the difference between a hard and easy fight. It also saps stamina, meaning the hard to block and swing stuff is compounded by no dodging and probably no healing.
- The other ones sap their respective things too, but these minor effects do minor damage over a period of time and typically don't have enough time to stop a spell or ability, but this one compensates. This is also not warrior specific, meaning it is effective across the board as it slows the enemy, except, enemies requiring stamina will be hit harder, especially bandits, that require moves to be effective and just have daggers.
- It would still be minor despite it being high powered, as relying on these effects is more tenuous than the major four as they can be caused on purpose, while secondary effects might not be trigger-able intentionally or perhaps some of the time- or not- if clever enough.
- On Fire, Shocked, poisoned
- These are minor and don't really do much, except for maybe shocked (of course relatively speaking- to the last three), which does a bit more than damage to health. It saps magicka, but over all isn't nearly as crippling in general as frozen, except for perhaps against mages, but it usually isn't enough to stop them from casting spells in general except for reducing the amount that can be cast (often times by zero). Poisoned is not like poison cloud, it won't usually be the tipping point or even end things quicker as it is pretty week in terms of damage output and not instant. Unless a fight is going to be long enough to trigger three times. Fire is just as bad, but slightly more damage. They can feel good to cause but...
- More on the four minor status effects
- In order to cause them, it requires many hits over a short period of time, having poison cloud, for example, can help by constantly hitting the enemy, and in the case of a bandit will hit a shield many times. Either way, shield blocking or hitting the enemy, this causes vulnerability, so relying on them should usually be paired with some other strategies to be effective.
- On the major effects
- These are refereed to as major effects because of their reliability (they can predictably caused) and their over all effectiveness. Status effects in general are mainly 'damage gateways' and lead to damage. When the effect themselves causes damage it is going to be a minor amount as directly causing damage is not the point of status effects. This does not mean that the damage they lead to (prevent) or enable is minor. They are actually strategic conditions inflicted on the enemy, rather than raw damage inflected on the enemy (generally), and are meant to be used strategically.