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Active abilities are found on most staffs, usually along with a Passive ability. It should be noted here that one is not dependant on the other; a staff can have an Active ability and no Passive ability, and vice versa. Some weapons could be considered to have Active abilities, such as the Blade of Chill, because an attack must be made with the weapon to create the cold blast the weapon is useful for.
An active ability can be used at any time the wizard chooses, except for a few conditions.
- A wizard cannot be knocked down.
- A wizard cannot be panicked or frozen.
- A wizard cannot have any elements queued when attempting to activate the ability.
- A wizard cannot have used an active ability recently.
If any of the above conditions are in effect when attempting to use an Active ability, then nothing will happen (except in the case of queued elements, in which case the queued elements will be cast on the wizard). There ARE some, but few, exceptions to being knocked down, panicked or frozen (needs to be tested to see which are and aren't, and if animations play a role).
The effect of an Active ability varies from staff to staff, but all are beneficial to the user (only most are useful). Some Active abilities have a force casted equivalent, such as the Staff of War, Shield Staff, and Staff of Fire. Other Active abilities cannot be used any other way, and must be used through the Active ability of the staff. Examples include the Righteous Rod of Runes, Scythe of Malevolence, and Gnarled Staff. For information on what Active ability does what, visit the Items page for a list of all staves and a summary of effects.
Once an Active ability has been used, the staff automatically begins recharging. Recharge rates vary greatly from staff to staff - a Staff of War has a very short recharge time, while a Goblin Staff has a long recharge time. Once a staff has finished recharging, a flash of light emits from the gem/top and a short sound is played. Summoning elements and casting magicks does not change the recharge time. Staffs continue to recharge even when dropped. Dropping and picking a staff back up will not reset the recharge timer, nor will it end it.