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Old 06-02-2014, 04:08 AM
  • Rank: Kromede's Blade
  • Posts: 2,907
Default Advanced Game Mechanics: Altered States & Stunlocking

Stunlocking is sort of one of those things that people know how to do from watching others, and through pure experience, while never truly understanding the mechanics behind it. These things aren't really written down anywhere but I think people are really missing a lot if they don't know it.

There are two categories of altered states in Aion, physical and magical.

  • Knockdown
  • Aether's Hold
  • Pull (Templar)
  • Knockback
  • Spin (Assassin)

  • Stun
  • Paralyze

Out of these states, pull and paralyze are the only ones not escapable via Remove Shock. The parentheses denote when a state is exclusive to one class.

It is also important to know that while classes such as sorcs and gunners have aetherhold and knockback skills which do magical damage, they are still classified as physical altered states.

From experience, we know things such as that Templars cannot pull and then immediately Sword Storm, or that you cannot knockdown someone who is in aether's hold.

But we also see other things like using Divine Justice (templar stun) on someone who is pulled, and Assassins using Pain Rune (stun) on someone who is in Aether's Hold to continue the lock.

Well this is because there are 3 ways to chain altered states in Aion to create what we call a stunlock, which is why it is important to understand which altered states are physical and which are magical.
  1. Magical -> Physical
  2. Physical -> Magical
  3. Magical -> Magical
Note however, that there is not Physical -> Physical in the list.
These 3 transitions are the key to seamlessly locking your opponent. Why do we want to do this? Well if we leave even the slightest opening a cleric could potentially flash heal, your opponent could use a shield or an evasion skill, which would really screw with you when you're trying to finish them off in one go.

Chanters can stun with Inescapable Justice and then chain it into Soul Crush. This is a stun (Magical) into Knockdown (Physical).

We also see Assassins using Aether's Hold and then Pain Rune. Referring to the first 2 lists, this is Physical to Magical.

When chaining from Magical to Physical, the physical state will end the magical state and put the target into the physical state.

However, when chaining from Physical to Magical, the physical state will continue on for its full duration while being in the magical state simultaneously for a period of time.

The above 2 rules are why we have familiar situations like knockdowns ending para procs, and why a target can be knocked down and then para'd and still be open to skills like Crippling Cut or Break Power.

Physical to Physical does not work, which is why a target that is pulled and immediately Sword Stormed will not be knocked down. The reason that templars have to wait a second before using Sword Storm is because they must wait for the target to return to a neutral state after the Pull state ends.

Special section: Magical to Magical; (this one isn't as common and the mechanics behind it can get pretty hairy so be warned):
Paralyze wasn't actually usable as a skill outside of godstones until after 4.0 (and even then Songweavers couldn't stun so we know very little about the nature of this type of chain).

However, if my postulate is correct, magical states can be active on a target at the same time as long as they are not of the same type (eg. stun and paralyze can be simultaneous with each other similar to physical > magical chains but you can't have 2 stuns or 2 paralyzes active at the same time). (*)

Therefore when chaining from magical to magical, if the 2 states used are different, then they will not interfere with each other's durations. If the 2 states being chained are the same, the second one can either 1) override the first one, or 2) not land at all, in which case the first state continues on with its duration as though nothing happened. There are 2 factors which determines which situation occurs, which are: The internal "priority"(**) of the skill/godstone/etc. and the remaining duration on the first state compared to the full duration of the second state. For example, since Apply Deadly Poison (Assassin) will penetrate all stun resists (see altered state resist buffs section), it comes with a very high priority. Even if a longer stun is already on the target, if Apply Deadly Poison procs, it will probably override the longer stun. Likewise, if a very long stun (eg. Soul Strike (chanter)) lands while a high priority stun has little duration remaining, the long stun will override the high priority one.

Therefore, you must be careful while chaining from magical to magical and have a good feel for the duration of your states. This is because if you use the next state too early and the previous state still has a decent percentage of its time left, it will cause your 2nd stun to essentially not land on the target. In addition, you need to have an understanding of your available magical states and which ones have high/low priority. I don't have any math to show you guys for the exact balance between priority and remaining duration so this is the only part which is just going to have to come down to experience.

(*)We cannot confirm whether or not my assumption is true, because paralyze (having originated as a godstone-exclusive state) could very well just be an anomaly among magical states. Unless we get a third magical state that is skill-based, which is highly unlikely, this will remain an unconfirmed.

(**)Priority is a hierarchy for when 2 statuses of the exact same type (either debuff or altered state, or even your own buffs) clash with each other. Without considering the remaining duration, if a higher priority status is applied when a lower priority status is already on the target, the lower priority one will be removed and the higher priority will be applied. If a lower priority status is used when a higher priority status is already on the target, the higher priority status will remain and the lower priority status will be wasted (nothing happens).

Provided you have sufficient MA to land things, magical altered states are superior(***) to physical ones. This is because physical altered states are blocked if the damage does not land. This is referring in particular to shields. ie. You cannot Aetherhold a sorc/SM through stone skin, but you can stun them through it. This is an important way to prevent yourself from getting stunlocked, ie. putting up a shield when you see Sword Storm casting.

(***) I will state this explicitly just for clarity since it keeps coming up, but magical altered states require MA to land even if the skill itself does physical damage (ie. Ambush). Likewise, physical altered states like knockdown do not require an MA check, but if you are using a knockdown skill that does magic damage (ie. Kinetic Slam) then you will need MA but only because physical altered states are blocked if damage does not land.

Chaining from a magical state to a physical state is rather powerful for its ability, when timed well, to essentially cancel part of the duration of Remove Shock. Skills like Soul Crush (Chanter) and Shadowfall (Assassin) are especially good at this. When a templar stuns and pulls, the timing is a lot easier since pulls are not affected by Remove Shock. If a templar gets a knockdown and then pulls, they will not be able to cancel the remove shock.

How do Altered State resist buffs work?
These buffs, ie. Unwavering Devotion, Remove Shock, Rise, Break Away, Calming Whisper, Mvt. 3 Autumn, etc. work on a scale where 10 points = 1% resist, and the same is true for the resist penetration stats. UD which is 800, provides 80% resist to these altered states.

Penetration is subtracted directly from the resist stat. ie. Chanter's Unstoppable provides +300 Penetration, and against a Glad/Temp's UD 800-300 = 500, essentially 50% to land stuns and KD's.

Calming Whisper (Ranger/Assassin) is the only way to "resist" a pull without avoiding the damage.

Special Stuns
These are stuns that will land through anything, UD, remove shock, xform, you name it.
  • Apply Deadly Poison (Assassin)
  • Determination (Gladiator)
  • Commander Stun (Abyss Transform, cannot be remove shocked either)

Shield Counter used to be one of these special stuns but with the 4.8 update it is a normal stun now.

Skills with higher penetration include Dazzling Fire (Gunner) and Lightning Arrow (Ranger) but they are not on the same level as the above 3.

Unfortunately for glads, because the class is the most purely physical out of all the physical classes, they have no way to seamlessly chain altered states, because well, physical to physical doesn't work.

Anyways, happy stunlocking.

Fang Strike/Beast Kick (Assassin):

I'm going to have a special section just for this because it's a bit of an anomaly.

You may have noticed that when assassin uses Fang Strike/Beast Kick it pulls people back towards them. So why does this happen? Well Fang Strike and Beast Kick actually trigger what I'm going to refer to as an instantaneous physical altered state. It has no duration and thus you can't remove shock it, but if you attempt to use a skill at the same time that the assassin uses Fang Strike/Beast Kick you will find yourself unable to use skills, just as if you were stuck in a stun or some other state.

You may have also noticed that, for example, if a gladiator knocks down a sorcerer who just teleported, they will be returned to their previous location right next to the gladiator. This is another property of physical altered states. Since they cause a change in the target's physical status/position, they force the target back to a fixed position when used, resulting in a rubberbanding/pullback effect when the target moves too far.

If you don't get what I'm saying, the game basically needs to calculate the new position of a character after a skill is used, using the previous position before the skill was used. ie. If you knockback somebody, the game is going to take into account where they were standing when you used the knockback skill, and then push them backwards of that spot by say 0.5 meters. Thus, if they were moving past the 0.5 range during that time, the game is going to place them back in the original spot + 0.5 meters.

Anyways this is the same effect that all physical altered states including Fang Strike/Beast Kick share, and this is why it causes a pullback effect towards you.

Aerial Holds are pretty glitchy though, so it'll often result in a "target too far away" instead.

You may also notice that Fang Strike/Beast Kick do not work on UD/Remove Shock and shields. Yup, that's a property of physical altered states. *mind blown*
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Last edited by Aethyria - Siel; 04-02-2016 at 05:09 PM.
Old 06-02-2014, 04:51 AM
  • Rank: King Fat
  • Posts: 2,543
Default Re: Aion For Dummies: Altered States & Stunlocking

Write a For Dummies book on this and put it on the market.

You have my money. :3
"I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant. It's what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are." -Mewtwo (Still under construction)
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Old 06-02-2014, 12:41 PM
  • Rank: General
  • Posts: 109
Default Re: Aion For Dummies: Altered States & Stunlocking

This is good. Well done
Civero(しヴぇろ) of Siel
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:36 AM
  • Rank: Sielís Tribune
  • Posts: 3,786
Default Re: Aion For Dummies: Altered States & Stunlocking

+1 write a pvp guide here. The one ting I loved about my templar was using divine justice then pulling them and then getting to use shield counter or any other stun <3. The only thing that confounds me is why when using doom lure and another templar using doom lure.... the 2nd doom lure doesn't seem to want to yank while they're still para'd. Is that just bad timing or?...

I always wondered why my dazzling fire never ends para but my trunk shot did. I'm glad there's a thorough explanation now though <3. Could you maybe mention random status effects a lil more like form a bow critting, greatswords, polearms, and whatnot?
-Retired Captain-

Last edited by 1s1CA815 -; 06-04-2014 at 11:59 AM.
Old 06-04-2014, 11:53 AM
  • Rank: Kromede's Blade
  • Posts: 2,907
Default Re: Aion For Dummies: Altered States & Stunlocking

You can not pull twice in a row because pull is a physical altered state; therefore pull #2 will be ignored if used before the pull state ends (or what we commonly call the "para" part of the pull even though this state is not magical). To use one physical state after another, you must wait for the first state to end and for the target to return to the neutral state before using the next, the same as with pull > sword storm. In essence, yes, it is bad timing.

On all physical 2 handed weapons there is I believe something like a 10% chance to KD (PA, GS, Staff) or Knockback (Bow) whenever you crit. There's the myth that PA has a higher KD rate than GS, but this is because glads have a passive KD penetration skill which templars, who are the main users of GS, do not have.
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:14 PM
  • Rank: Sielís Tribune
  • Posts: 3,786
Default Re: Aion For Dummies: Altered States & Stunlocking

What about this crap I keep hearing about MA increasing the ability to passively knockdown/stun/etc with crits? I have people who make MA/Crit strike builds so that every crit supposedly has a super high chance of having that proc... is that true or baloney?
-Retired Captain-
Old 06-04-2014, 02:30 PM
  • Rank: Vaizelís Arrow
  • Posts: 5,570
Default Re: Aion For Dummies: Altered States & Stunlocking

knockdown no, stn yes. go fight MR cleric heroes with sin, see how many stuns you can fail xD
although its some common knowledge, very nice guide, but you forgot stun godstones. as short time as they last, seems like they stack with other stuns.
Old 06-04-2014, 03:54 PM
  • Rank: Kromede's Blade
  • Posts: 2,907
Default Re: Aion For Dummies: Altered States & Stunlocking

Well it works kind of intuitively. Magical Accuracy will better enable you to land the magical states, while the physical states are unaffected. However, if the activation method is magical, you need MA to land it even if the state is physical. ie. sorc/gunner/sin's aetherhold.
Most of the stuff you hear about glads using MA to KD more is BS lol, it just helps you land lockdown/snares etc.
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Last edited by Aethyria - Siel; 06-04-2014 at 03:55 PM.
Old 06-04-2014, 04:39 PM
  • Rank: Sielís Tribune
  • Posts: 3,786
Default Re: Aion For Dummies: Altered States & Stunlocking

Ty lol

Also if I tried showing my thread what you just said.. he'd think this game was more complicated than he originally thought XD.
-Retired Captain-
Old 06-04-2014, 05:37 PM
  • Rank: Israphelís Adjutant
  • Posts: 4,685
Default Re: Aion For Dummies: Altered States & Stunlocking

This is great! Thank you so much for writing this!! =D

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