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Safety Wall and Vertical Fire Wall


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#1 Anchors

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 01:14 PM

Rather than just copying and pasting this in each topic where someone asks about one skill or the other, I'll post this as a mini-guide.

To find out what Safety Wall and Fire Wall do, please check out their skill descriptions in game or on the iRO wiki.

Using Safety Wall:

It's a spell with a very direct purpose: to save a character from taking a few hits as long as he or she stands on it. That said, the best general advice for this spell is to either cast it on a spot and then walk into it or to come to a full stop before casting it on yourself. (More details below.)

The three issues that a SWer must always keep in mind to use this spell effectively are:

1) Very high aspd monsters. The monsters it'd help best against are the ones that chew through it the fastest. For instance, more than one Rideword on your SW may mean you should just plain FWing/Teleport away. Alternatively, if you must fight the monster, it also pays to either learn to use the mousewheel to scroll to a faster version of your usual spell, or just hotkey faster spells or versions of spells (using level 3 Fire Bolt instead of level 10, for instance).

2) Positional lag. If you sustain a hit, go around certain small obstacles on the ground, or use a skill while walking, where your sprite is may not be where your character is. If you lay down a SW on where your sprite is and still take hits, you have to plant another somewhere else (nearby, hopefully) and walk into it, risking more positional lag.

Skills that pretty much guarantee positional lag for mages when used are all in the Sorcerer skill tree; namely, Cast Cancel (when not being used to actually cancel a spell. Try walking somewhere far away and then using Cast Cancel to see what I mean) and any AoE Sorcerer spells.

3) Large mobs. It's difficult to tank these with SW alone. Warp away. If you try, your wall will run out very quickly, whether it's because you're casting something else or you just lag for a moment, and all those small hits will interrupt your next attempt at casting even another SW until you die. >.>

Some smaller but noteworthy issues include:

4) Certain skills can push you out of it.
5) Once vacant, monsters or other players can use it til it expires (not that it'll protect them from your magic).
6) It does not protect against ranged attacks.

A note to any SW user partied with a priest type character: SW and Kyrie Eleison do stack. SW is shorter than and will be used up before KE is, so a SW occupant has a bit of extra time once SW expires if he or she is also sporting KE. Furthermore, KE also protects against ranged attacks, so a combination of the two skills together can make a stationary player last for a good amount of time of near immunity to physical damage against any monsters.

Safety Wall, however, does not stack with Pneuma.


That said, it can take a lot of trial and error to get used to... which becomes very expensive at 450z (5 rogue discount)/456z (10 merch discount)/600z (no discount) a pop (unless you farmed BGems like a fiend). Not worth it unless you either really want to invest in it (it's also a lot of points of pre-reqs for any class that has access to it) or you already know how to use it...

In my case, I worked at it despite the costs and problems and I love it. You can chain SWs next to each other similar to how a Pneuma priest might chain Pneumas together to make a range-immune walkway for his/her party (hello old Waterball parties at the old Penomenas map), or just when you think your current SW will expire. You can also plan ahead the same way you plan FWs ahead - before you walk into a monster's range of sight, plant a Wall between it and you. Walk into it and monster comes to you, but you're okay for a bunch of hits. Just as long as you don't cast it too far over and the monster walks into it before you do.

I also rather like the fact that it can be used on others, allowing SW mages to play a small support role when offensive magic won't be very helpful.


--------------------------------------------------


Regarding Fire Wall:

It's actually much more practical than SW in most PvM situations and can counter or negate the problem situations 1, 3, 4, and 5 listed above since it also pushes most monsters away. Vertical FW (aka vFW) partially counters normal FW's problems of fire-strong or undead monsters just walking through it, as long as the monster still takes damage, as well as maximizing the economy of each fire wall you cast by utilizing all three cells of each vFW as a barrier/damage spell.

According to the iRO wiki, like undead and certain fire types, boss-flagged monsters are also not pushed back by FW. However, apparently, a boss-flagged monster not immune to fire is still stalled by cells of FW until those cells of FW run out, buying a mage a little bit of extra time.

VFW is actually very easy to use, and, in my opinion, even easier to use when you understand why it works. It's based on the fact that RO monster-following-character path-finding in 99% of situations forces the monster to follow you in a row or column 1 cell displaced from your own row. The only exceptions are either when there is at least one obstacle between you and the monster preventing this, or if you and the monster were already in the same row/column/diagonal.

{This includes ranged monsters such as 3-cell attack range monsters (I know Clock and Merman used to be examples of this) and long-ranged monsters (e.g. Penomena, Antique Firelock, etc). A lot of the long-ranged monsters will lose sight of you at the edge of their range, but it is possible to get a monster like Archer Skeleton to go through your vFW when they try to follow you as you step just out of their attack range. This was best against undead because they would not get pushed back and, consequently, lose sight of your character (which means of course that they would stop following you and stop damaging themselves on your cleverly placed FW).}

This means that, since FW is always oriented (approximately) orthogonal to the your line of sight to the target cell, placing the FW next to yourself in the line of cells the monster is using to follow you very nearly always yields 3 cells of FW protecting you from the monster. (The one big exception: casting FW on yourself will always yield a north/south FW.)

Two side notes:
A: Although monsters follow not just in columns and rows but also diagonals, it's MUCH easier to just use rows and columns for two reasons:
- Diagonal lines are actually nested about 29% more closely than the lines following the cardinal directions because RO operates on a square grid system, and this makes targeting the correct line a little more difficult, whether you're targeting the cell as a cell to walk towards, or as a cell to cast FW on;
- RO path-finding seems to dictate order of movement vectors as diagonal (NE, NW, SE, SW) first, cardinal directions (N, E, S, W) second. This combined with the above point means that you and your enemy must both already be walking EXACTLY in adjacent diagonals before you can cast a vFW. Otherwise, if you and your enemy are divided by at least 2 (possible even just 1) diagonal line of cells, your enemy will just move parallel to your diagonal vFW and only then walk along whichever cardinal direction it must walk along to finally reach you.
That said, when training your mob into a single line, try to travel either more horizontally or more vertically (i.e. not at 45-degree angles to a cardinal direction), depending on which kind of vFW is easier for you to use.

B: In the case that you and your target occupy the same row (that is, east/west lines of cells), casting a vFW is impossible, as casting anywhere along that row yields a FW that will also be perpendicular to your target's path, and attempting to cast it on yourself results in that one exception FW oriented north/south. That said, move into an adjacent row before casting FW to achieve vFW.

B.1: In the case that you and your target occupy the same column, however, vFW is still possible as casting on yourself (difficult when you're moving due to positional lag; come to a full stop first) always yields that north/south FW.


Here's a crappy text-based example scenario:

Y = current caster position (your character)
y = former caster position
M = current monster position
m = former monster position
F = where caster is placing Fire Wall
O = 1 cell of FW
<, ^, >, v = direction of movement
. = a cell on the RO map grid
/ = a cell occupied by the items on each side of the '/'

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . F . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . < M . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This results in:
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . O O O . . . . . . . . . . . . < M . . . . m . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Move over to keep the monster from hitting you once it takes out the first FW cell:
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . O O O . . . . . . . < M . . . . m . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . Y < y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

You can chain vFWs against large mobs (I've killed mobs of 8+ Alarms this way with nothing but FWs, although it takes a while), against undead monsters with high HP, or against obnoxiously fast monsters:
Spoiler


To see the situations outlined in the "Two side notes":
Spoiler


I have not yet tried the simulator (there was no need), so I can't say how useful that is, but in-game I'd recommend trying the vFW technique out on Bigfoots @ 2 maps north of Geffen. There are long paths, a few open spaces, and lots of slow, plodding, cast-sensitive Bigfoots for you to use as your guinea pigs. Caramels also have cast sense and are good practice against a somewhat faster monster. But neither mob is so strong that you won't be able to save yourself with a normal FW if you screw up.

If you screw up and get an awkwardly positioned FW, no worries, because you can use that 1 cell of FW protection to take your time setting up your real vFW. :x

Example of a common error due to positional lag and/or bad timing and/or miscoordinated hand-eye coordination~
Spoiler


More about positional lag:
This issue is does not happen only to players, but also to monsters. Of particular note are very fast monsters blocked by a fire wall of any type... The monster's sprite will sometimes appear to move into or even past the fire wall, and, despite the fact that it never technically can pass it until the cell of fire wall blocking it expires, for some reason, the game will occasionally register its location as past your fire wall. Much like how a position-lagged player can pick up items from which he or she is actually a few cells away, if you're very close to wherever the game is showing the monster, there is still a chance you will take hits. Therefore, it still pays to move a little extra farther away for this kind of monster.

Hope people find this of some use~

If anyone finds anything wrong with the information, please post as such so I can make the proper changes!
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#2 CeruleanGamer

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 04:52 PM

tl;dr but Sticky requested.
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