Posted by: shatteredblog | April 12, 2009

Spellborn Combat – The Skill Deck

Been playing some Spellborn recently, and I’m enjoying the combat system. It’s challenging without being frustrating, and the way you cycle through available skills using the Skill Deck is worth mentioning in more detail.

sb_skills_lvl7The Skill Book window displays the skills you’ve learned, as well as information about what statistic they rely on and what type of damage they do. Tooltips are displayed when you mouseover an individual skill that gives you specific information about the effects of each skill. When setting up my skill deck I paid attention to what the skill’s effect was (buff, debuff, single or multiple target melee) and also to the rightmost item on each line, which is the cooldown for the skill.

My plan was to make a balanced skill deck where I had access to my main combat buff (Battle Cry), a fast melee attack (Hack) and a ranged attack for pulling (Shoot) all on the first tier. The skill deck is set up in rows (tiers) where you can select a skill in the first tier when combat begins, and then after using the first tier skill you can select one from the second tier and then the third. The window is large so I assume as you advance in levels you have access to more tiers than three and also more skills per tier. My goal with my setup for tiers two and three was to give myself a pattern of attacks and debuffs I could cycle through so that I would always be able to attack and not be stuck waiting on a cooldown to select a skill. In Spellborn there is no autoattack, so if you aren’t actively using skills you aren’t doing any damage.


With a little calculation it isn’t too difficult to avoid cooldown issues, and the nice thing about the setup I have now is that my opening buff Battle Cry is close to being available again when I’ve cycled through the three tiers three times. Battle Cry gives me melee resistance while it is active and keeping that up is important I’ve found for my damage mitigation. Something else I’ve done to make changing skills within a tier easier is bind those keys to the scroll wheel on my mouse, so I can select available skills just by scrolling instead of having to hit the number keys and take my hand off the movement keys.

Special treat for you, here’s a short video to show you how it works. Watch the highlighted skills as I use them and the cooldown timers as they recycle. Don’t forget too that at the same time you can be dodging enemy attacks by moving to avoid them, as well as aiming at the enemy you wish to attack using the mouse. The combat is quite tactical and feels very fluid once you’ve had a chance to plan out your strategy in detail.

My Bloodwarrior is now level 9, and the setup in these screenshots has changed very little since I took them when I was level 7. When things do change due to new skills I’ll make an update post. 🙂


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