In combat, targets can be put into states that make them more vulnerable to certain skills. These targets can be either hostile or friendly.
An example of a state is one player using a skill to put an enemy on fire, and another player using a skill that does extra damage to targets on fire.
Hindered represents inflicted leg injuries, difficult terrain, or else some other means of slowing down the enemy. While Hindered, enemies are slowed or even Rooted, based on the strength of the ability, the Attack Rating of the player, and the Defensive stats of the enemy or enemies being targeted. Hindering abilities are best used at a distance, and are preferred by characters focusing on ranged Damage-per-Second (DPS) and Crowd Control ability builds.
Afflicted state represents poison, bleeding injuries, being on fire or electrocuted, or any number of other effects that might cause continuing damage to an enemy. While Afflicted, enemies will continue to take small hits of damage every second (Damage-over-Time, or DoT) until the state has worn off. Afflicted is incorporated into both Melee and Ranged DPS builds, as a way of supplementing existing damage effects.
Impaired state represents concussions, blinding or deafening, and other effects that would diminish an enemy's ability to react to the world around them. This lowers their defenses, allowing attacks to Penetrate more often, and deal better damage. Stuns, knockbacks and silences are typically used in conjunction with the Impaired state. Impaired state is incorporated into Ability Builds that focus on Crowd Control, as well as Melee DPS builds.
Weakened state represents lowering an enemy's strength and ability to fight, which causes them to deal less damage, and inflict Glancing blows more often. Weakened state, in other words, represents the classical MMO 'debuff' effect. While all builds can potentially benefit from Weakened state, Healer/Support builds in particular like to use it, especially in combination with Leech attacks.
- Fists - Afflicted, Impaired
- Hammers - Impaired, Weakened
- Blades - Afflicted, Impaired
- Assault Rifles - Hindered, Afflicted
- Pistols - Hindered, Weakened
- Shotguns - Hindered, Weakened
- Elementalism - Hindered, Afflicted
- Blood Magic - Afflicted, Impaired
- Chaos - Impaired, Weakened
Certain abilities work in concert with states to perform secondary effects. For example, if an ability performs a secondary effect on a target that has been Hindered, that ability is said to 'exploit Hindered state'. The most common secondary effect for abilities is additional damage; for example, the Shotgun ability Powder Burn exploits Hindered enemies to deal additional damage.
Other abilities may have very specific effects that trigger upon exploiting a state, including: costing less Weapon Focus, generating new or additional Weapon Focus, adding additional states to the enemy, or even purging beneficial states (buffs) from them.