The state of combat is a time when your character is actively fighting against an opponent, whether it is a computer-generated enemy or another player. Combat at the most basic level involves a player inputting a series of commands for their character to carry out. On a deeper level, combat involves a variety of factors, including proficiencies, skills and abilities, environmental factors and other things.
Contrary to many other MMOs, there is no inherent reward for "killing" creatures or other players such as experience or rewards. Exceptions may be where it is required for training in abilities, or for objectives pertaining to missions and storybooks. Due to the unique character-progression system in AOL, combat has taken its place as a more meaningful experience, rather than a mindless venture without any context to the story.
Combat is primarily driven by a simple damage-health ratio, insofar as dealing damage to a health pool will cause harm to the victim, until eventually the victim cannot handle any further damage and dies. This is essentially a more complex system than that however, as other factors affect the way damage interacts with characters' health pools and what utlimately causes death.
Because AOL draws from tabletop influence, the combat takes some initiative from such games. This is primarily seen through the use of die formulae to determine outcomes, and DC (Difficulty Class) that all tabletop gamers should be familiar with. AOL is able to make use of rapid computation technology however, so combat is able to become a lot more complex without giving the player more things to do.
An important factor to consider is the type of damage in question. Different types have different rules of interaction, ie: damage dealt by bullets (piercing) has a very high 'Volatile Damage Rating' (VDR), meaning that the bulk of the damage is dealt rapidly. Contrarily, damage dealt by poisons (chemical) has a much lower VDR, resulting in damage dealt very slowly over a long period of time. Knowing the characteristics of damage types is important for players in knowing how to deal with it.
A list of damage classes and their characteristics can be found here.
There are a number of innate statistics that will have a bearing on your character's performance in combat. These statistics are 'below the hood', meaning that characters are not able to view the direct ratings of each