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- Combat timers are countdowns the combat UI activates after the use of a skill. These timers must expire before the next player-selected skill is executed. Sometimes these timers are long enough for an auto-attack to execute between skills, increasing overall player damage output.
- Various Lua Plugins (such as BuffBars) as well as the main game UI can track the expiration of these timers.
- Part of LOTRO's combat system since its beginning, this effect was originally described by developer Phivex as follows:
- "I will attempt to shed a little more light on how our combat works with regards to skill executions and the delays you're seeing.
- All of our skills have two different types of delays that they can incur on your character.
- The first is the recovery time; this is usually displayed in the skill examination and applies to the executed skill in particular. Recovery times can range from a few seconds to many minutes. Sometimes multiple skills share the same recovery channel, so using one will cause the recovery time to apply to all of the skills on the same channel.
- The second delay type is what we call the global reset time. This is usually based on your weapon speed, but sometimes the skill itself has its own global reset defined. This is usually a shorter delay, to the tune of a few seconds at most. The reset time is the amount of time that must pass before you can execute another skill, any skill. This is part of how we gate the frequency of skill executions, and it also contributes to the cadence of combat, allowing auto-attacks to interleave with your chosen skills.
- One of the UI improvements we're working on for the first update to the game is a "skill queue display", a small UI component that will display not only the next skill you've queued up, but also a timer to count down the remaining reset time that must pass before that skill will be executed. The reset times are in use right now, but unfortunately we didn't have a good method to convey this to you for the current version of the game. In most cases it's probably not internet lag or poor server performance that is causing your skills to take some time to fire off, it's the reset time from your previously executed skill that is finishing ticking down.
- A quick note on the auto-attacks; since they're generally less powerful than your chosen skills we never allow an auto-attack to execute if it would prevent a chosen skill from executing. We always give your skill choices priority, so if you're able to find a rhythm to your combat that lets you work an auto-attack in between skill executions you may find that your damage output will improve. This will be easier with slower weaponry as there are larger reset times, but finding the cadence that matches your weapon choices can make you a more efficient fighter. Auto-attacks have their own reset times that are independent of the chosen skill reset times, and they are based exclusively on the weapon(s) you are wielding.
- Think of your auto-attack strikes as 'bonus attacks' if you're able to find a good rhythm to your chosen skill executions that allows them through; firing off your skills as fast as you can may not always be the most efficient way to approach a fight. Hopefully the new UI component we'll be sending your way will help to illustrate the reset times and assist you in finding your rhythm."