Mechanics: Ailments and Binds

Ailments and binds have been a key part of the Etrian Odyssey series from the very beginning, and EO5 is no exception. Ailments and binds can very easily swing fights--even a single bind on a single party member or enemy can be the difference between victory and loss. That can be said for ailments in most RPGs, though. What makes EO different is that it doesn't make it impractical and/or impossible for the player to inflict disables on bosses and FOEs; in fact, disables are often the preferred method of making said enemies considerably easier to deal with, and a party that's completely devoid of being able to effectively inflict disables is at a massive disadvantage compared to the opposite.

As for infliction mechanics, they're relatively simple. Every enemy has a set of resistances to disables, much like they do for damage. Remember that "resistances" means "multipliers," effectively--an enemy with 150% resistance to paralysis, for example, multiplies paralysis infliction chances by 1.5x. A 0% resistance, on the other hand, means "complete immunity." For stats used in calculating infliction chances, EO5 takes after EO2U and solely uses LUC. The way LUC is actually used beyond that is unknown, but it's generally safe to assume that an inflictor having lower LUC than the inflictee means the base chance will be reduced, equal LUC means no adjustment, and higher LUC means the base chance being increased.

Each time an ailment/bind is inflicted, that enemy gains 30% resistance to that given bind/ailment for 8 turns--a mechanic known as "accumulative resistance." Accumulative resistance was introduced in EO3 as a way to compensate for ailments/binds becoming much easier to inflict compared to EO1/2. Accumulative resistance basically means that it becomes harder, if not impossible, to chain-disable a given enemy, and if you inflict a disable they're innately really resistant to (usually 25%), you just straight-up can't inflict that disable again until the accumulative resistance runs out.

Now that that's out of the way, let's discuss the actual ailments and binds themselves! These are organized based on the ailment hierarchy, from lowest to highest. An ailment that's higher on the hierarchy cannot be overwritten with one that's lower. Binds are exempt from this hierarchy altogether.

Blind: Blinded entities have their accuracy heavily reduced, and their evasion completely disabled when not being attacked by other blinded targets.

Skills that inflict blind: Blind is one of the more unreliable and, dare I say it, boring disables. Lowering accuracy and disabling evasion is nice and all, but it's just not exciting. Also, it's unreliable, and it's almost always a serious mistake to assume that a blinded enemy can't still be a threat. On the other hand, having a party member be blinded pretty effectively shuts them down, since you should always assume a blinded party member will miss.
That said, if you're using a Fencer to dodge-tank, blind can turn that tiny chance of getting hit into a 0%. And you can use it offensively as well, with low accuracy attacks.
Poison: Poisoned entities take damage at the end of every turn. The damage is based on the skill's base damage, and scales based on an unknown factor (in EO2U, the scaling was based on level). Poison damage cannot be reduced.

Skills that inflict poison: Poison is almost always far deadlier to our party than it is for enemies, although that mostly depends on which poison skill you're using and what enemies you're using it on. Scythe of Cruel Poison's actually an example of a really good poison skill, since 440 base damage means it ticks for a lot once your Reaper starts getting more and more levels--it's really damn good for bosses with adds, and hell, even inflicting it on bosses themselves can rack up quite a bit of damage. Poison Bomb's more useful for random encounters, due to its higher base chance but lower base damage. Poison Smoke is really "eh" between its low base chance and low base damage.

Paralysis: Paralyzed entities have a 50% chance to not act on a given turn. If that enemy fails to act, their evasion is disabled for that turn.

Skills that inflict paralysis: Paralysis is unreliable now that we don't have the "no action chance is now 99%" from EO2U. It's still decent, don't get me wrong, and it's not too heavily resisted by EO5's monster roster, but don't plan on the enemy losing all of their actions until it wears off. Paralysis when inflicted on your party members is a slightly bigger deal, since that can seriously screw with your action economy, and a support losing their turn can be a major problem.

Panic: Panicked entities will only perform normal attacks. The attacks can be on opposing entities, allies, or themself.

Skills that inflict panic: Panic is extremely dangerous for both the player and the enemy, for reasons I really shouldn't have to state. The only real difference is that panicked enemies, depending on how hard they hit normally, are still very big dangers, just less big dangers than before.

Sleep: Asleep entities will not do anything. Taking damage will dispel the sleep ailment. If the damage is STR-based, it will be multiplied by 1.5x.

Skills that inflict sleep: Sleep is pretty dangerous for both the player and the enemy, although quite a bit more for the player. Not only do asleep targets lose one or more turns, but taking amplified damage from STR-based sources can very easily kill a player character. For enemies, sleep's effectiveness mostly comes down to "how quickly does the sleep inflictor act", since you, fairly obviously, want to take advantage of the bonus damage. Sleep inflictors that act too fast basically just make enemies waste one turn, which isn't that great.

Curse: Cursed entities will take half of any damage they do as backlash damage. The backlash damage cannot be resisted, but also counts as the original damage type (for conditional drop purposes). If a cursed entity kills someone, they do not take backlash from the fatal damage.

Skills that inflict curse: Curse is almost useless for the player due to how much damage enemies have to do kill us--half of that ends up being a pittance. Curse for the enemy, however, can SERIOUSLY screw us over, especially if it happens early in the turn and I queued up damage skills on damage dealers.

Petrification: Petrified entities cannot act at all, and take half damage from STR-based sources.

Skills that can inflict petrification: Petrification is a 100% complete disable, and incredibly dangerous for both the player and the enemy. Yes, it did get heavily reworked to be an actual ailment instead of glorified instant death, and it replaces curse (EO4) and fear (EOU/EO2U) as the highest ailment in the hierarchy. It's an absolute pain to inflict due to how powerful it can be--Alter requires that you wait 3 turns after casting before it hits, Gravestone Binding's base chance depends on how many ghosts the Necromancer destroys to cast it, and Smoke Solid requires that the enemy have a Smoke debuff.

Death: It's...death. Do I really need to explain it? Instant death is a special type of "disable"--it still uses the ailment infliction formula, but has no place in the hierarchy, and will instantly kill an entity, regardless of their HP or endure effects. All bosses in the game are immune to instant death.

Skills that can instantly kill: Instant death is near useless for the player unless you're doing some fun cheese strategies with Zombie Powder. For the enemy, instant death, in EO5, is basically almost always brought out as a way to ensure that the player dies to skills that only come out when they've screwed up. It's incredibly rare, even compared to past EOs.
Fun fact: one of the FOEs in this game is especially weak against instant death. Personally, I've also found it pretty useful in random battles, since it's cheap and fairly reliable against a number of high HP enemies.
Stun: Stun is a special disable. It has no place in the hierarchy, and only lasts for one turn. Enemies that are stunned before they take their turn do not act. Enemies that are stunned after they take their turn, effectively, are not affected.

Skills that can stun: Stun is...interesting. Its effectiveness depends entirely on how quickly the user can act before their target. For enemies, anything they do that can stun usually has some stupidly high speed modifier. For the player, all of the skills listed there have higher speed modifiers, but Warlocks and Herbalists have to contend with their base races' low/semi-low AGI. Stun Shot, on the other hand, is a 200% speed modifier on a race and class that's already super quick to begin with.

Inflicting stun is another problem, though, since most bosses have 10% resistance to it.

Head bind: Targets that have their heads bound cannot use skills that require the head. Reduces the bound entity's accuracy.

Skills that can inflict head bind: Head binds affect basically all INT-based attacks, as well as some support skills. Head binds are usually incredibly crucial for some bosses (the 3rd Stratum boss can literally do nothing but basic attacks if you bind its head), and quite a few FOEs. For the player, head binds sting a little less than they used to, since Herbalist healing skills use the arms instead of the head now.

Arm bind: Targets that have their arms bound cannot use skills that require the arms. Reduces the bound entity's STR.

Skills that can inflict arm bind: Arm binds are quite a bit more dangerous for the player than they were in previous games, due to the fact that they shut down every damage dealer (except for Warlocks), and now also disable Herbalist healing skills. They're about the same for bosses as before--that is, arm binds shut early bosses down really hard, but lategame bosses start having a lot more head-based skills while still having some dangerous arm-based ones.

Leg bind: Targets that have their legs bound cannot use skills that require the legs. Reduces the bound entity's AGI. Disables the bound entity's ability to escape.

Skills that can inflict leg bind: Leg binds are slightly more dangerous than they were in previous EOs due to the fact that they now just full-on reduce AGI (meaning that they affect accuracy as well as turn order), but there's still the big problem of "very few skills for both the player and the enemy use the legs."
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