Once you are in melee range of your opponent, your character will begin attacking, the speed at which your character attacks is dependant on your mainly your equipped weapon, heavier weapons have a longer recovery time. Once your character has recovered, they will automatically strike again, this will continue until either victory or defeat. You are able to strafe in combat mode, it is unclear whether this affects evasion or accuracy, the attacks certainly have different animation, for the time being, it is recommended for getting a good view of the surroundings while in battle, as it is vital you are in control of battle and prevent any surprise attacks from the same enemy type.
Magic and abilities shape the course of battle. You can cast a magic spell any time you are engaged in combat mode. After confirming the spell, you select who you are casting the spell on. Once finalised, your character will begin charge time. The amount of time it takes to cast the spell is mostly dependant on the quality of the spell, stronger spells take longer to cast. Spells can be interrupted by enemy abilities and magic, so be careful. Your resistance on spell casting is also apparently dependant on your casting skill. So if you are frequent user of a particular spell, it is harder for your opponent to break the charge time. After the spell process is complete, your character will resume attacking. Abilities are job and weapon dependent.
Job abilities can be executed at any given time, however there is a time lock once you have used your ability, which varies per ability. Job abilities are mostly indirect abilities, such as taunting your opponent. Weapon skill abilities require tactical points. During battle, you can raise your TP by making a successful attack and it also rises by taking damage in. Once your character has reached the required percentage for the particular WS, you can select the ability within the menu and once the target is confirm, the ability is executed. You gain more WS’s by continuous training on a particular weapon style. TP can also be banked during battle and used to make your WS more powerful/effective. You can store your TP up to 300%.
Escaping is a last resort. It is quite difficult to run from a enemy, because as with many MMORPGs, even though the enemy is not in the appropriate range for a melee attack in real life, they seem capable of attacking you from a unfair distance. What the escape option does is break your attack cycle; you will need to manually unlock the target if you wish to flee. Alternatively you can call for help, once this button is activated even once during a battle you will not gain experience for the fight. The help option alerts nearby players that you require assistance, once activated, other players are allowed to go for your target, in order to save yourself.
If the worse comes to worse and you are defeated, your character will lay on the floor and you will have the option to either return to your last save point or wait for help. You can be raised by a passing White mage if you chose to stay but if you havent been helped after 60 minutes you will automatically be warped back. Dying brings penaltys as well as a rest, If you die, you lose 10% of the full EXP needed for the next level. For instance: If you are at level 2, you need 750 EXP to get to level 3. If you die when you have 720 EXP, you will only have 645. (720-75) (10% of 750 is 75) If you are recovered by a mage from where you fall you only lose 7.5% Also you never lose items when you die.
You can team up with up to 5 other people in a Party, When in a party EXP is equally shared, no matter how involved in the fight you were. This is a lot fairer for the more defensive type characters like White Mage though those that do nothing at all and get free exp will quickly become disliked. Items are also shared out with each person selecting what they would like. Up to three groups can ally together to become an allience, this will give you a massive 18 man squad! This will certainly be needed against some of the larger boss’es.