The combat system in Skyforge combines many elements that may be familiar to MMO gamers with plenty of new concepts in the mix. The net result is an engaging combat experience that will no doubt prove to be influential on the continued evolution of MMO combat systems over time.
This guide will be focusing on a number of areas where combat in Skyforge deviates from the norm. Getting a handle on these areas early on will make for a smooth transition into the game, and insure that you’re primed and ready for the more difficult challenges that await the further you progress.
Progression and Access to New Content
Before we dive into some of the more specific mechanics of combat, it is worth touching on character progression and how it ties into accessing new or more challenging content. There are technically no levels in Skyforge, so the standard enemy scaling and color-coded difficulty indicators won’t apply here.
Instead, you will want to be conscious of two major statistics: Prestige and Proficiency.
Replaces character levels, and indicates the overall progression and relative power of your character. For the sake of a combat guide, it is important to note that creature kills will not increase your Prestige, at least not directly. Once you’ve advanced a given class to a certain point in the Atlas, class Sparks will begin dropping that can be spent on unlocking new class nodes, thus feeding into your Prestige total indirectly.
Since Skyforge does not have traditional levels to help determine what gear you are able to equip, it uses a statistic called Proficiency instead. Proficiency is primarily increased by actively unlocking certain nodes within the Class and Ascension Atlas. Each piece of gear you obtain (weapons, rings, amulets, etc.) will have a Proficiency Rating shown in the tooltip when you hover your mouse over the item in the Character window.
These two statistics will be important to keep in mind as they will directly factor into what gear you are able to equip, and when you are able to access new maps. As your Prestige goes up, new areas will begin to appear, and you will also gain access to higher difficulty levels of previously unlocked maps.
Enemy Types and Prioritization
Each enemy you encounter in Skyforge will have a special indicator shown above it. These symbols will give you direct visual feedback on the type of enemy it is to help you make some decisions in terms of kill order.
Indicates weaker enemies. These will typically come in larger groups and can quickly be defeated by AoE attacks.
Indicates enemies that can deal significant damage. Will be higher priority targets when found in groups of enemies.
Indicates support-type enemies and will typically be your highest priority target. They can heal, or otherwise make the fight more difficult.
Indicates tougher enemies with higher HP. When found in groups you’ll typically want to deal with these last.
Most combat encounters will involve a mix of the various enemy types. You’ll want to get into the habit of prioritizing targets as it will greatly increase your survivability as content and combat becomes more challenging. When playing solo, you will most likely also want to select a class with strong AoE abilities to help burn down swarms of weaker enemies quickly. Alone they don’t pose much of a threat, but in larger numbers they can still cause significant damage.
Melee versus Ranged
Even if your primary goal is to unlock a specific class within the Ascension Atlas, it is a good idea to become proficient with at least one melee, and one ranged class early on. Unlocking the first few skills for any class is very cheap in terms of Spark consumption, and doing so will give you some flexibility when needed.
When not actively engaged in combat, you can freely switch between any class you have unlocked on your account. Having basic functional knowledge of at least one melee and ranged class means you can swap your class when needed to deal with specific encounters.
A good example would be the mini-boss and boss encounters found in most adventure zones. Bosses tend to have unique combat abilities, and adjusting for these can make a big difference in terms of your survivability. Some bosses may be into spamming AoE ground attacks that make melee against them very difficult, so being able to temporarily switch to a ranged class can be highly beneficial.
Likewise, certain enemies will use stronger attacks when engaged at range, so for these you might want to consider switching to a melee class.
Have some combat tips of your own to share? Let us know in the comments, or you can also discuss combat or other aspects of Skyforge on our forums.
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