Figuring out what Traits you want on Survivors and Gear requires knowledge of how the combat mechanics work, along with what type of player you are. If you want to get as many Stars in Challenges as possible, understanding these mechanics is vital.
- There are 3 types of attacks in the game:
- Normal Attack
- Body Shot – does about 50% of the damage of a normal attack
- Critical Attack – does about 150% of the damage of a normal attack (without the Destructive Trait)
I will discuss two aspects of the combat mechanics: Survivors attacking Walkers, and Walkers attacking Survivors. Both of these aspects require an understanding of your “Actual Survivor Level” (ASL). The “Actual” level of your Survivor is the sum of the Survivor’s Level and the number of Pink Stars that Survivor has. Here are a few examples:
- A level 10 Survivor with zero Pink Stars has an ASL of 10 (10 + 0).
- A level 15 Survivor with one Pink Star has an ASL of 16 (15 +1).
- A level 20 Survivor with two Pink Stars has an ASL of 22 (20 + 2).
- A level 21 Survivor with three Pink Stars has an ASL of 24 (21 + 3).
Survivors attacking Walkers
When a Survivor attacks a Walker, the first “decision” made by the game is whether or not the attack is a Body Shot.
Ranged Survivors can get a Body Shot against any level of Walker, but the “Body Shot” text will not pop up if the damage dealt is enough to kill the Walker.
Melee Survivors will only start getting Body Shots against Walkers that are 3 levels above your ASL.
Once Walkers get 5 levels above your ASL, Body Shots will happen 100% of the time, unless you have the Piercing Trait (currently only available on guns and the Michonne Katana sold for $$). This is why Piercing is the most important ranged weapon trait if you want to earn as many Stars as possible in Challenges. Without Piercing, traits like Accurate and Sure Shot have no chance of activating against Walkers 5 or more levels above your ASL.
If the attack is deemed to be a Body Shot, then there are no more calculations to make.
If a Body Shot does not occur, then the next decision is whether or not that attack will be a Normal or a Critical Attack. Traits like Accurate, Sure Shot, Power Strike help increase the chance that your attack will be a Critical Attack
Walkers attacking Survivors
It appears that the first “decision” made when a Walker attacks your Survivor is whether or not the Walker’s attack will be a Critical Attack. Walkers will start to get Critical Attacks against your Survivors when they are 3 levels above your ASL. At 5 levels above your ASL, Critical Attacks will happen 100% of the time.
- The Dodge trait is very important to discuss here. Dodge appears to be the second “decision” made by the game. A Critical Attack can NOT be completely dodged for no damage. Instead, if Dodge activates on a Critical Attack, the attack is reduced to a Normal attack. So, once the Walkers are 5 or more levels above your ASL, there is no way to completely avoid an attack for zero damage from a Walker. Dodge can still be useful by having the chance to reduce the damage taken against high level Walkers, but Iron Skin and Defensive Stance become very important if you want to take as little damage as possible.