Strife is the main part of the game, in which you and a series of enemies swing at each other until someone falls over. Fairly straightforward, but new mechanics are being introduced all the time.
Each round of strife, you may select two commands: one active command (offensive) and one passive command (usually defensive). Each command alters your effective power level either offensively or defensively, and both commands are performed one after the other. For example, Assault/Abstain will cancel each other out and you will use 100% of your power for both offense and defense.
- Aggrieve - Offensive power is increased to 1.05x. Defense is unaffected.
- Aggress - Offensive power is increased to 1.2x, and defense is lowered to 0.8x.
- Assail - Offensive power is increased to 1.5x, and defense is lowered to 0.6666x.
- Assault - Offensive power is doubled, and defense is halved.
- Abuse - Offensive power is increased by 10% of the leading enemy's power. Note that defense is completely unaffected by Abuse, and any combat bonuses to Abuse will go to offense instead.
- Accuse - Defensive power is increased to 1.05x. Offense is unaffected.
- Abjure - Defensive power is increased to 1.5x, and offense is lowered to 0.6666x.
- Abstain - Defensive power is doubled, and offense is halved.
Your weapons and Wearables may grant bonuses or inflict penalties to specific commands. This number is added to or subtracted from your effective power, after the standard command calculation. For example, if your power is 1000 and you have a +50 to Assault, using Assault will boost your offense to 2000 and then add 50 after that to total 2050.
Combat actions are simply the meat of strife; you can enhance your power and survivability by utilizing these other techniques.
Most consumable items are usable both inside or outside of strife, and can carry a wide variety of effects from healing to power increases to invulnerability. You can only use one consumable per round inside of strife, but one strategy is to stack as many consumables as possible outside of strife, as any boosts gained from consuming items outside of strife will stay with you into the next battle. Note, bosses relieve you of any bonuses before you start the strife with it.
When assisting a player, many consumables, such as the bandage and medkit, have an increased or altered effect. Aiding players can use as many consumables as they like per round.
Aspect Patterns utilize your Aspect Vial to perform a series of user-defined effects in battle. Their effectiveness increases with echeladder rung, and their specializations are different for each aspect. You can only use one aspect pattern every turn.
Fraymotifs are the most powerful attacks one can use, and also the most expensive. Each aspect has three solo fraymotifs associated with them, as well as one combination fraymotif for every other aspect. They cause a powerful effect that often lasts one round, and you can only have one Fraymotif active at a time.
There is no limit to the amount of players that can assist you in strife. Each new strifer is added to your "side" of Strife, and you can fight as a team, supporting each other with Fraymotifs and Aspect Patterns. However, each strife has a Leader, who controls when the rounds advance, so a team of players needs to plan their strategy accordingly. Note that if the leader is knocked out or flees, one of the assisting strifers will become the main strifer instead.