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Grokking Round Progression

As my Ward trudges towards godhood--and, specifically, since Time Stop and Improved Alacrity (+vecrobe) entered the picture--combat is condensing down to just a handful of rounds, making it seem increasingly important to know what's going to happen when. (I also just ran through Black Pits II, where you're deposited pretty close to your opponent and don't have a chance to pre-buff, so your time ends up being particularly precious.)

Spellcasting seems relatively straightforward: As I understand it, you have to be uninterrupted from tick 0 to tick [insert casting speed]. (Or would it be more precise to track frames? Since there seems to be a fraction-of-a-tick minimum casting speed, for IA-vecna shenanigans.)

Potion-drinking seems to have a "casting time" of 0. Using other quickslot items, though, seem to be significantly slower. Does each usable item have a hidden "use time" variable? Is the same true of daily/charge abilities of equipped items?

What's particularly unclear to me is how attacking fits into this. The fact that my bruisers never have to wait to chug a potion (if all they've been doing is whaling on something) suggests to me that there isn't an actual framework of "rounds", but rather just a 6-second cooldown that most actions (spells/items/abilities) share. Is this accurate?

If I ask my fighter to chug a 2nd potion immediately, they'll just stand there stupidly for 6 seconds... and yet they seem willing to get back to fighting immediately. Does attacking have its own separate "swing" cooldown that's simply the inverse of your APR? (I remember reading somewhere--perhaps the semi-reliable old manual--that "5/2" meant 2-then-3-then-2-etc, but that seems like a dumb way to actually implement it...) Will attacks just kind of "fill in the gaps" between the end of one round-bounded action's "casting time" and the beginning of the next? What huh halp

(Surely this information is already compiled somewhere! But I haven't figured out how to google it in a way that doesn't just find peoples' confusion differentiating rounds from turns from hours >_< )

Also, a couple tangential questions:
When dual-wielding, if my APR is listed as 5/2, how are those attacks split between the two weapons? I've heard that only 1 is from the off-hand, but don't know whether to conclude that
  • (A) every 2 rounds, I get 5 attacks: 4 main and 1 off-hand (i.e., 20% of my swings are with my off-hand); OR
  • (B) every round, I get 2.5 attacks: 1.5 main and 1 off-hand (i.e., 40% of my swings are with my off-hand)
(I've been assuming it's (A), but (B) might explain why it's formatted as 5/2 rather than 2.5)
Also, regardless of how the swings are distributed, how is that distribution implemented? Is there just one swing timer (at which point the game just checks on which weapon's "turn" it is), or are the two weapons essentially swinging independently?
(Can you make ALL your attacks come from your primary weapon, if you reinitialize the attack command after every swing?)

And finally: I've seen several modern games (maybe WoW?) visually signal buff or cooldown duration by having the effect icon overlay a timer. Are there any mods that implement that sort of thing, or is it beyond the limitations of the IE engine?


  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 4,213
    The way rounds work is complicated, but here's some information that may be of use.

    - a round represents 6 seconds of real time at 30 frames per second (you can play at less than that or up to a maximum of 60 fps, where a round is only 3 seconds). In the game rounds are split into 10 segments.
    - within a round it's possible to do all of the following: attack, move and take one other action (cast a spell, drink a potion, activate a magic item etc).
    - rounds are calculated individually for each character, i.e. the round for your PC will not coincide with the round for an NPC or an enemy.
    - a new round will start at the point you either attack or take another action (excluding movement).
    - you won't be able to take another action until at least a full round has elapsed, but if you order such an action that will keep your round counter running constantly. If you stop taking any action (except movement), however, your round counter will soon come to an end and won't restart until you take another action. One of the autopause functions is to tell you when a round comes to an end and that can be used to help ensure characters don't waste time doing nothing.
    - let's say you are a mage and start being chased by an ogre. You can fire your sling at him at say segment 2 and then cast a magic missile at him in segment 3 (it's a spell with casting time 1, which means 1 segment). You only have 1 APR and you've taken your action for the round, so nothing else you do will have any effect for the next 7 segments. Rather than keep trying to attack therefore it's more sensible to run back to prevent the ogre attacking you. Don't turn and try and attack again until the rest of the round has elapsed or you will do nothing except give him the chance to attack.
    - different weapons have different speeds. A 2-handed sword has a speed of 10, so at 1 APR will only attack at the end of a round (meaning you can't generally attack and then cast a spell afterwards - it's then more efficient to cast a spell first, then attack). A +2 dagger has a speed of 0, so will attack at the start of a round.
    - weapon speeds are varied by a random initiative role. This isn't displayed in the game, but varies speed by about 2 segments (meaning that a weapon with speed 4 could actually attack after anything from 2 to 6 segments). One effect of this is that if your weapon is much quicker than an opponents you can attack them and retreat without ever taking any risk of being hit.
    - when you have multiple APR the way rounds work starts getting more complicated. In principle your first attack will still come based on weapon speed and then any further attacks in the round get jammed into whatever's left of the round. That can lead to odd-seeming effects, e.g. when an enemy with 3 APR attacks you with a halberd and doesn't strike until segment 8, the other 2 attacks would come very quickly in segments 9 and 10. With very high APR though the game is forced to overcome speed effects as no more than 1 attack takes place each segment. Thus if you use a GWW to give you 10 APR, you will attack immediately whether using a dagger or a 2-handed sword.
    - potions do take effect with a speed of 0, though that's not quite the same as instant (it is possible to activate a potion, but die before it takes effect for instance). Most magic items though take around a couple of segments to activate.
    - 5/2 APR does mean that some rounds you will have 2 APR and some rounds 3 APR. In both cases you will only have 1 attack from your off-hand weapon. You can't start a new round by changing weapons or re-attacking, so can't avoid attacking with your off-hand weapon once each round (unless you're prepared to forgo any attacks at all).
    - there is at least one mod I've come across that gives you text based information about things like spell duration. I can't immediately remember which that is - @semiticgod has a much more reliable memory and may be able to help.

  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 1,465
    Grond0 said:

    - within a round it's possible to do all of the following: attack, move and take one other action (cast a spell, drink a potion, activate a magic item etc).

    You can also use a modal ability (Stealth/Turn/Dance/Sing/Detect) within the same round.

  • semiticgodsemiticgod Member, Moderator Posts: 11,291
    The mod that gives notifications for spell duration is Jimfix.

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 9,834
    tl;dr: there is a cooldown timer until your next weapon attack, and a separate cooldown timer until your next spell/potion/item/etc. They are independent from each other and can get out of sync. (Which is fine.)

  • VinnyBVinnyB Member Posts: 8
    Thank you for that veritable waterfall of information!

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