- This is a guide on playing Barbarian Assault. For the main article, see Barbarian Assault.
Cannoning does not lose any points for any players. Penance runners have low life points, and thus, die with 2 red egg hits, 3 green eggs, 2 green eggs followed by a blue egg or 1 red egg followed by either a green or blue egg. Killing penance runners will often cut down the times in games.
There are two further main strategies for maximizing the points you gain as a team, in the shortest amount of time:
Since Evolution of Combat players can unequip and equip their armour for a life point boost. However the boosted life points won't be healed yet, so the healer should heal you for extra points.
Two healers are suggested, as killing both the penance healers and constantly healing team members will take longer time than the other roles. Those with Defence levels of less than 80 should be wearing armour to avoid death.
While playing Barbarian Assault, players may only suffer melee, ranged or poison damage from the Penance monsters. As such, wearing melee armour with both high melee and ranged defence bonus is recommended. During wave ten, the Penance Queen will attack with a ranged attack when distant and a melee attack when in range. She can also use a strong group ranged attack at any time, even if you are not in her view, so using armour with high ranged defence is the best choice. Bandos is ideal armour to bring to Barbarian Assault as it gives very high ranged defence, good melee defence and does not degrade. Any melee armour is a good substitute.
Many players wear penance armour for visual appeal or as a sign of experience in the activity, it may be worthwhile wearing any penance armour you have to help yourself get recruited into better teams.
Since Evolution of Combat players don't have to take weapons for every combat style or special attack weapons. Thus they should take fast and strong weapons. The following weapons are often used:
- Chaotic Rapier and Off-hand chaotic rapier
- Chaotic longsword and Off-hand chaotic longsword
- Chaotic crossbow and Off-hand chaotic crossbow with Broad bolts (This is by far the best option at level 5)
- Abbysal whip and Off-hand dragon scimitar
Since Evolution of Combat there is no need for special armour because you one hit all monsters with semi-decent weapons and you'll barely be hit, even if you equip nothing.
- Bring fast and strong weapons (Crossbows are best as you can attack from a distance to save time)
- At the beginning of each wave, run west of the leftmost cannon, not up the center of the arena.
- Teams should not have two attackers, as many people think this.
- At the start of the wave, run west with the attacker. Do not run up the center of the arena.
- Call quickly. Calls change every 30 seconds, attempt to get a feel for when this will happen.
- Load eggs at the end of the first call, or at the end of the second call on later waves.
- Call verbally using chat at start of wave, allowing you to get to the dispenser quickly without failing to call.
- Two healers is a must.
- Watch players health, fill vial when any players health falls under 1000.
- Don't poison a healer and walk to the next. Spam food on it untill it's (near) dead.
- Learn the Spawns of Penance healers.
- Call verbally using chat at start of wave, allowing you to get to the dispenser quickly without failing to call.
- Run up the center once you have collected your food, drop four incorrect food west of the cannon, and 2 correct food at the hammer.
- Create a trail from the runners' spawn (one from the right on waves 1-9).
- Standing on food by a trap will prevent runners from getting it. This will allow you to get multiple runners to be killed at once with a single piece of food.
- Learn the Spawns of Penance runners.
Barbarian Assault gameplay is not quite as straightforward as it sounds. There are many ways your team can maximise the number of points earned. The following outlines some tactics players may employ in order to earn a high number of points each round.
The most basic rule of Barbarian Assault, and one of the easiest ways of avoiding penalties, is to remember to continually call with the horn given to each player at the beginning of the wave. Players should always promptly call out the correct action or item name to their teammates each time it changes. If players do not call, their team-mates are likely to perform the wrong action and, thus, incur penalties. Players should also remember that if they find themselves idle after completing their tasks, using the Horn of Glory is an excellent way of making sure that all members of a team are kept up-to-date. Using the cannon's red eggs to kill off penance runners is also efficient help for teams where everyone is being called. Red eggs should be used only on runners until all runners are dead—otherwise, they would be wasted, as the other Penance monsters can be killed rather quickly and easily.
Auto-retaliate should also be turned off, to prevent accidental incorrect attacks. The higher wave you are in, the more points you can get. That's why most people rush through the first waves as fast as possible.
A way to avoid penalties is to keep track of the time after the style changes. This means that you stop attacking after a certain time and wait until the style changes. In order to do this effectively, count the number of actual attacks you can do with your weapon between style changes on average (for example, with a Scimitar this should be about 12 hits). Keep in mind that it is better to skip a potential hit in the right style than to hit a wrong style. These methods are not foolproof, so there is still a chance of getting penalties.
In wave 10, you should switch to a faster weapon because there are no penalties. It is also recommended to have a high attack level (more damage = faster kills). After you kill all of the monsters, gather near the healing pool and allow the healer to replenish your life points more efficiently. It would also be a good idea to collect spikes to save time when the queen comes.
If the Collector does not call, you should try different styles, but this can be risky for your health. It is best to kill all the Penance before the Queen arrives, so they won't bother you or your teammates anymore and will not slow the Queen-killing-process down.
One must-have for the attacker is to have the styles in your "hotkey bar" so you can switch by simply pressing the number. The first thing to do in the first wave is to call the collector. As soon as you've done this run North-West and select the style you should use as soon as it is called to you. Click on a Penance Ranger or Fighter to start fighting. Keep your eyes on what you should call. As soon as it turns white (try to predict this a little by timing or counting the number of hits you've done), click anywhere to stop fighting, call the collector, and wait for the style to be called. Most collectors are slower to call due to the fact that you are constantly keeping an eye on the call to turn white. Click on the appropriate style when it gets called, click on a Penance Ranger/Fighter to start fighting again and repeat the cycle. This cycle ensures that you can always attack as soon as the style gets called, while not forgetting to call the collector. Combine this with counting your hits (or use other techniques for timing) as to know when styles will change and you will end up with one of the best strategies for the attacker role, losing next to no time and avoiding all penalties.
By collecting as many eggs as possible, you earn more honour points, so collect every correct egg you see until the wave ends. Call out to the attacker when the style changes if you want the egg colour called to you. When you have 5+ poison and explosive eggs, deposit into the egg launcher for the defender and other idle teammates to use against the penance runners. If you have a full inventory but cannot deposit into the egg launcher since it's full simply right-click and chose the option "destroy". Note that with "destroy", it destroys the first egg of that type in your inventory, which makes it easy to quickly destroy plenty of eggs, but the eggs in the bag are not destroyed. The best way to do this is to drag any egg of the colour you would like to destroy, to the last position of your inventory. Then, right click that egg in the bottom-right hand corner just right so that if you right click it once more, your cursor is already on “destroy”. This makes it as previously stated, easy to destroy a whole inventory of eggs in a matter of seconds so you can begin collecting more. You can also drag an egg to the 'hotkey bar' to drop it with hotkeys. During gameplay, it is important that the egg launcher is used to kill runners whenever possible, in order to prevent high penalties from runners that get away. The egg launcher almost completely useless against other monsters (except against Penance healers and, of course, the Penance Queen) due to their high LP, however, if they are hit by a large amount of poison and/or explosive eggs, it does help. If the penance group together as attacking penance often do, hitting one will cause an area effect damage, hitting them all. During wave 10, before the queen arrives, you can stand at the horn of glory to call for teammates and/or collect, convert, and fire eggs to kill penance because you cannot attack the queen until they are all killed.
There are times though that level 5 collector does come in handy, as you can pick up any egg type and convert the eggs into red; getting red eggs into the cannon faster than a normal level 2 collector who has to wait for the cycle to give him/her red eggs. This 100% red egg feedback function can be very helpful if the Defender is either away-from-keyboard or is inexperienced at their job. Red explosives can save a lot of points for your team when used on runners.
Collectors in wave 10 should start picking yellow eggs as quickly as they can, always watching their own health and keep trying to pick the eggs that are close to the pool, so the healer doesn't have to run and fight to be able to click on the collector. Before the queen arrives, it can be useful just to stay at the horn of glory and call out to team-mates as you will not get any extra points for collecting normal eggs. Take into account however, you must kill all other penance before you can damage the Queen so it could be useful to collect a few eggs for the purpose of killing the last one or two. Only a single egg is required to kill the queen, but up to 8 can be used.
This is perhaps one of the most difficult jobs to master. But, as impossible as it may seem, a skilled defender can easily be finished far before any of the other teammates. The defender level of a player greatly affects performance, since the lure range determined if runners are stopped or not. One way to stop runners from reaching the lure cave is by dropping a straight line of random types of bait parallel to the south wall, as it is almost an impenetrable barrier that stops runners from getting past. Important: There is no penalty for using the wrong type of bait, and there is also no penalty for using the egg launcher, so you can put up a line of bait and use explosive/poison eggs instead. Two explosive eggs or three poison eggs kill a runner. Remember to call to the healer frequently. Blocking the caves using planks will only slow your team down and will not be required if you play defender properly and keep the bait line in place. Keep an eye out for the occasional single runner that gets past on the far left side. In wave 10 you will not lose points if the runners go through the lure cave. Because the collector may not get the eggs loaded fast enough, here is a good strategy for actually getting them to the trap:
As soon as the wave starts, get the food and run straight for the trap, dropping incorrect food on the way. If runners eat the wrong type of food, they automatically run 5 squares back north, giving you time to get them to the trap. Low level defenders may want to "barricade", zigzagging east to west before going to the trap. Drop some of the correct food on the trap or on a square next to it. If you make a sort of a square around the trap with correct food, you have a chance of killing several runners at a time. An easier way to get multiple kills at the same time is to place a few pieces of correctfood on the same spot next to the trap, and stand on it until you have 4-5 runners standing around you (you may want to lay a lure or two by their entrance to lure them to the trap first), waiting to feast on the lures. After you deem there are enough runners to be killed, move off the food, and successfully watch five lines of "Chomp, chomp" appear next to the trap. Remember that the trap will then be broken, so you'll have to fix it Place a line of food from the trap to the hammer. This will distract and lure runners coming out of the cave. Grab a hammer and logs and head right back for the trap to fix it and lay more food. Amount of logs per wave needed:
- wave 1: 0
- wave 2 & 3: 1
- wave 4 & 5: 2
- wave 6 & 7: 3
- wave 8 & 9: 4
- wave 10: 2
Note: As said above, if you lure several runners at a time to a correct food next to the trap, the trap will kill them all, even if it should have been broken. This way, you can kill, for example, 3 runners before you need to repair the trap.
After repairing the traps, look for any runners which may have gotten past and lure them back to the trap with a trail of wrong food, which is faster than good food, since they run north immediately instead of trying to go south. Note: you need to drop the correct food on the traps, otherwise the trap will not spring! The trap is good for killing 2 runners before it needs to be repaired. It's also a good idea to stick to one trap so that you don't have to run back and forth. As the runners spawn in the northeast cave, the eastern trap is ideal. The western trap should hardly ever be used. The amount of runners you will have is one more than the wave you are on. For instance... in wave one, you will have 2 runners, in wave two, 3 runners, and so on. Note however that wave four has the same number of runners as wave three (i.e. 4), though the number of runners increments by the same rate after that wave. Tips for when healers don't call (or don't call correctly):
- If, after you're at the trap, the food type has not changed yet, only drop tofu and worms. One of these 2 is surely correct. Otherwise, try to drop all 3 types of food equally, the runners are sure to pick up the right one eventually.
- Don't forget to make the runners recoil by dropping food if they're getting to much south. You've got a 2/3 chance that they'll run back north once they come across your food.
- Always call the healer, even if he doesn't. It is possible he just isn't good at calling, or only forgot for once. Chances are he'll get kicked out of the team on the next wave for not calling or not killing the Penance Healers.
- The most important calls to the healer are the second and third calls. By the time the healer is ready to poison the penance healers, the first call is usually about to expire. A good healer poisons as many penance healers as possible on the second and third calls before players start needing healing. This is the healer's only chance to get ahead of the penance healers. After players start needing healing, the poisoning takes a lower priority Having penance healers uncontrolled results in heavier player damage due to poisoning as well as making the attacker's job much more difficult. This in turn makes the healer even less able to deal with the penance healers as he is healing players.
Note: this will surely slow your defending down, but it is still better than just letting them all go south (making you lose points). Your teammates might get angry at you for being slow, but don't mind them.
A slight variation to the above method is to barricade the Runner’s cave (The third cave, going west to east) before checking on the trap. This gives you time to grab more logs, repair your trap and bait it again, before letting another 2 runners through and re-barricading the cave. This way is slower but better for points because it is unlikely many runners will reach the south cave. It should also be pointed out that this method is redundant for Wave 10, where you lose no points to Runners getting past.
Here's another method, which works very well for some people. It is quite easy to do, and does not require a higher defender level. First, you should call and get the bait. Then, run to the right platform and use up all but 12 baits. Use ALL types, in a few different locations above the platform. Then, use ALL 12 of the other baits right on top of the trap. Now, go refuel baits and pick up logs/hammer. Repair as necessary, and keep stocking the baits as indicated above. Since the wrong bait only causes the runners to recoil, you can ensure that they all stay in the top right corner of the map. It seems as though the runners "pick" one bait within their range to go eat, and they will eat/recoil based on what type it is. This method may seem slow, however it usually finishes faster than most other defender methods. Essentially, this method traps all the runners in one spot so they can't escape, and some of them end up running to the trap. As long as the defender restocks all the bait and repairs the trap, this method will allow the defender to get through all the waves with no escaped runners. Don't forget to call often! Another good thing about the above method is that it does not require the defender to know what type of bait is called.
At wave 10, speed is of the essence, so don't mind Runners getting past as much (though it might slow you down). Make sure they're dead before the Queen shows up, since it will be very risky for you to kill them when she's shooting at you. Not to mention how stressed the Healers will be if they need to keep running between you and the pool.
When you get the 8 spiked eggs, dip them into lava (preferably the pools west of the healer pool, since it's the closest) and pass them on to the collector. Remember: the collector is the only one who can load the Omega Eggs.
Also on wave 10 the defender's job will get very easy as the east hill will be gone and the runners cave will now be the last one on the right instead of the second last one. This will make it possible to just put food on or around the trap and wait for runners to pass. Plus, there is a spot just south of the trap that runners might get stuck in, making it easy to pull the runners back to the trap by putting food behind them.
It is best if you work out your own method, like less barricading or luring the defenders from their cave to the trap with only correct food. Changing your methods often result to faster killing, but might let one runner slip. You will notice for example that a more defensive tactic is needed when doing higher waves, while you don't need to nearly drop as much incorrect food when in wave 1.
The healer level is only second in importance compared to the defender level. The amount of LP restored per dose can greatly affect a team's survival chances. If the team does not have two healers, it is important for you to generally heal first and kill healers later on in Waves 9 and 10.
You can drop a poison pack into healers when you are near one, but by concentrating on healing you ensure the team's survival. On a team with two healers, the higher levelled healer should concentrate on healing while the lower levelled healer should kill the penance healers. In most teams though, both Healers try to both kill Penance and healing. On every wave except wave 10, the more life points healed, the more honour points earned from healing (It's capped at 5120 LP and 28 points.) For that reason, it's a good idea to heal every teammate to the maximum after the Penance Healers are dead. If you are confident in your healing skills, you can concentrate more on killing the Healers. One way to balance poisoning-healing, is to wait to heal teammates until their health drops below 400. This gives you plenty of time to find and patch them up. This is a bad idea though if you are only a level 1 Healer or if your teammates are rather low-levelled (level 1 can only heal 100 life points per dose).
Because of the complexity of the Defender's job, Healers are often the ones who need to keep up on their calling the most. Although healing is top priority to avoid losing a teammate, failing to update the Defender on proper bait can result in the loss of a lot of points and a long time waiting for all Runners to be killed. It would be a good idea to check every 7 or so seconds to see if you need to call for the Defender again. Remember that calls change every 30 seconds, so it may even be smart to count in your head the seconds that pass as you either poison or heal.
On wave 10, two healers, or one maxed healer, is recommended since the penance queen damages quite frequently. It is a good idea to kill the Penance Healers as fast as possible, so you don't need to search them when the Queen is there (which is generally a bad idea). You only need to use 2 packs on them for them to be dead, so it's best to use them both fast and then go on to the other healers. When you receive the eggs, first, make sure your teammates will not die before poisoning the eggs. Do not bother to poison more than 8 eggs, since all above that amount is a waste of time. If all eggs are poisoned, heal your teammates again and then pass the eggs to the Attacker. Keep track of your teammates' LP until the queen is dead.
The attacker role, is one of the most important roles to finish first, due to the more powerful attacks of the penenace fighters and rangers. If you have a relatively low combat level, perhaps below 100, consider having two attacks, depending on the combat of other teammates. Now, since you want to be done fast, melee is the best route to take: with range and magic, you have to get arrows/runes out of the dispenser which takes about 5 seconds, which is crucial. The best weapons to take are fast, well hitting weapons, which have all four combat styles; accurate, aggressive, controlled, and defensive. Now, most weapons have three out of four of these styles, for example, the saradomin sword, abyssal whip, and the dragon dagger (p++). So, your best all around weapon is the dragon scimitar, which is fast with all four attack styles, but has low accuracy and power. You may also want to consider bringing a second weapon, a weapon which you could use for the special only, or you may choose to use it as a attack weapon as well. Some examples for a secondary weapon would be a dragon dagger (p++), enchanted excalibur, or any godsword. Just be sure that you can attack with all four styles within your weapons. If your team has two attackers, you may want to talk with the other attacker in the wave room to discuss splitting up jobs, one kills rangers, while the other kills fighters. This technique is to eliminate the possibility of you both using a special on a monster, which may waste the special. This technique is also fun if you want to compete with the other attacker for who finishes first. By default on more advanced teams, whichever attacker has a higher combat level will kill fighters, and the lower will kill rangers.
The collector's job is to pick up the eggs that the attacker calls, which are dropped from fallen monsters, and, if needed, to load them into the cannon. If you notice on the advanced part of the screen for the points you received after a wave, it shows for collector, "eggs picked up, minus eggs exploded." So, this role is unlike any other role, in that the penalties that you receive from this role are not permanent. Meaning, it is possible to "get out of debt."
As soon as the wave starts, get the food and run straight to the top of the room, dropping two incorrect food by the cannon - If runners eat the wrong type of food, they automatically run 5 squares back north, which when they are northern again they will be lured by the right food that you will place. Once you are at the top of the room by the runner cave, drop 1 right food and then go straight down to the trap dropping 4 pieces of food as a lure, when you get to the trap don't place the food on the trap, place it one square above the trap. You should stand on the food until you have piled up all of the current runners, if one has gone off west, grab the hammer and wood, place a wrong food 3 steps under the escapee runner and it should go back to the trail of right food you placed at the start. Once you have killed all of the piled runners, grab the hammer and wood, on the way back down to the trap drop the rest of your right food leaving one left for you to pile them, drop the last piece of right food under you when you are 1 square above the trap, repair the trap and pile them up. Using this method you can be first on every wave.
Number of runners to kill on each wave using this method:
- Wave one: 2
- Wave two: 2 then 1 (1 then 2 - This way you don't need to repair the trap)
- Wave 3: 2 then 2
- Wave 4: 3 then 1 (1 then 3 - This way you don't need to repair the trap)
- Wave 5: 4 then 1 (1 then 4 - This way you don't need to repair the trap)
- Wave 6: 4 then 2 (2 then 4 - If you are quick enough to get the repair)
- Wave 7: 5 then 1 (1 then 5 - This way you don't need to repair the trap)
- Wave 8: 5 then 2 (2 then 5 - If you are quick enough to get the reapair)
- Wave 9: 5 then 4 (4 then 5 - if you are quick enough to get the repair)
- Wave 10: 5 then 1 (1 then 5 - This way you don't need to repair the trap)
Healing is actually much easier than it seems. A good solo healer can be finished killing off the opposing Penance Healers before anybody else finishes on waves 1-7. Waves 1 - 7 feed each Penance Healer one piece of food ASAP. Once all have been poisoned, find one near you that is lower on its lifepoints than the others. Concentrate on feeding it until it is nearly dead. After that, run to the Healer Cave where they spawn, and begin to poison the incoming Penance Healers with one food each. Be sure to heal team-mates as needed, though this shouldn't be as prevalent until Wave 8ish.
For waves 8 - 9 feed each healer one piece of food initially, then feed any healer who is receiving 40 or less damage from poison a second piece of food. This will ensure enough damage will be dealt to each healer to kill them. Then, simply repeat with new incoming spawns as the first group of them dies off. It's best not to bother with the vial unless absolutely necessary. Also, doing this method, you'll never need to restock on food if done properly.
If you are done, call on the Glory Horn if another team-mate is calling too slowly, or make your way to the cannon and help out whoever's falling behind. Remember, the team still gets full points when using one of the cannons.
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