Combat Game Mechanics
Battle Arts are expressed through Skills common to a variety of weapons. The Battle Arts feature allows players to use special attacks with weapons and boost the damage of spells.
Using a weapon's Skill will consume Focus Points, which is displayed through the blue gauge on the HUD. Skills can still be performed without the requisite Focus Points, but the skill will not yield any of the enhanced properties it provides.
A list of Battle Arts is available here
Hyper Armor refers to a window during an attack when you cannot be staggered.
If timed right, one can, with the right weapon, deflect an incoming projectile like a Firebomb by swinging a melee weapon.
Casting and Movement
Certain spells can be cast whilst moving for an unique casting animation. These are:
Certain Battle Arts and items increase spell casting speed. These are the following:
Resistance is a damage absorption modifier applied to the elemental damage types upon taking damage. This applies both to the player and to enemies.
Weakeness is a damage absorption modifier applied to the type of physical damage taken. It can either be Standard, Slash, Strike or Thrust.
Counter attacks occur when you attack an enemy mid-attack animation. These attacks have their damage multiplied by your weapon's counter damage modifier (which is hidden). For example, a weapon with a Counter Damage modifier of 110 would deal 110% damage during a counter attack.
A critical is when you riposte or backstab an enemy. A riposte can either be done through parrying, or by attacking after poise-breaking an enemy. The latter is often called a "visceral" attack.
Your weapon's Critical modifier will be applied to your weapon's damage during any of these attacks, increasing damage dealt.
If an enemy is shot in the head by an enemy projectile (i.e. with a bow/crossbow), its poise will be broken and will be temporarily stunned.
The damage applied is also increased by 50%. This also applies to many humanoid enemies with little or no protection on their head.
The scythe skill Neck Swipe also counts as a headshot.
Falling is gravity calling your name for either a safe fall, a proportionate amount of damage, or death. What determines this, is based on an older Dark Souls falling system.
- Determining Damage and Death
You will always take damage on a relatively moderate/far drop down, unless Silvercat Ring is used. However, the falling system in Dark Souls works in a way that will automatically defy your falling damage protective items and kill you if you jump just a meter too far down than you should have. Even if there's landable ground under you.
Example: Fall down off the cliff next to Undead Settlement) and you'll live with a sliver of health at max health. Fall down much farther than that with falling damage protection on, and you'll automatically die.