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Skill
Deck construction in Spellborn can help determine the flow of combat.

With a distinct lack of auto-attack options, combat in href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/116"
target="_blank"> style="font-style: italic;">The Chronicles of
Spellborn
can be a bit tricky to learn at first for players more accustomed to
industry standards such as the ability to open up a multitude of
hotbars. But by removing all of the unnecessary UI clutter and adding
in elements of FPS gameplay, players are able to fully immerse
themselves in the action of combat to a degree rarely seen in MMOs. To
help ease players into the experience, we’ve put together a
handy guide to the basic elements to be aware of in
Spellborn’s unique spin on MMO combat.



Movement



The tutorial in The Chronicles of Spellborn places a strong emphasis on
movement right from the start, and with good reason. Enemy AI behaves
quite differently than what you might be accustomed to, using group
tactics and social behaviors that give combat the same immersive depth
typically reserved for PvP arenas. While a familiar WASD control scheme
is still employed, getting used to dodging enemy attacks while keeping
them in your crosshairs is something you will want to master early on.



The same mapping for movement keys will be used regardless of being in
or out of combat, but upon entering combat you’ll typically
be holding down the right mouse button (RMB) which essentially
‘arms’ attacks for use which you then execute with
the left mouse button (LMB). The key is getting used to aiming with
your mouse while shifting your position with the keyboard, which will
be covered a bit more in depth later in the guide. The important thing
to remember here is simply that the old school method of tanking mobs
or firing off spells from a stationary position has gone the way of the
dinosaur in Spellborn.



Targeting



Targeting is another element to combat that deserves some attention, as
this is where Spellborn’s link to the realm of FPS is most
obvious. Using the TAB key will allow you to cycle through nearby
enemies, but what ultimately matters is keeping them in the targeting
reticule that appears when hitting the F key to enter combat. Holding
down the RMB will allow you to quickly aim directly at your target
whether you’re using ranged or melee attacks, with a red
indicator appearing in your crosshair showing that your attacks will
land.



Combat
Basics




As mentioned above, targets can be selected via a quick press of the
TAB key, but what ultimately matters is where your attacks land. For
example, thanks to the social behaviors of wolves who like to dash off
to round up a few friends before returning to nip at your shins
you’ll often find yourself in combat situations against
multiple enemies. While the target indicator at the top left of the
screen will show the health bar of the new pack’s leader,
with proper positioning it’s possible for a single attack to
strike multiple enemies at once.



This is particularly useful against humanoid NPCs who will react to
combat much like their human counterparts; fighters will attempt to
‘tank’ players so that casters can fire off
damaging spells from a safe distance. Remaining stationary in this type
of situation will see your hitpoints diminish rather quickly, so to
avoid a quick trip to the resurrection shrine you’ll want to
stay on the move, taking out softer targets first before getting caught
up in a toe-to-toe smack down with that fighter who’s intent
on putting a sizable dent in your skull. Enemy NPCs also conform to the
same rules of manual FPS style targeting, which means that
it’s entirely possible to avoid some or even all of their
attacks by constantly positioning yourself out of harm’s way.



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Hovering
the mouse over the skill book reveals important details.

The
Skill Deck




Replacing the static hotbars of previous MMOs, the rotating skill deck
in Spellborn is a unique feature that allows you to decide the flow of
combat before ever stepping into battle, keeping the focus on action
rather than flooding you with options while in the thick of it. Upon
entering combat mode via a quick tap of the F key, the skill deck will
appear at the bottom of your screen, presenting you with a short
horizontal row of up to 5 skill options. Executing your initial attack
will then rotate the deck vertically, presenting you with a second row
of skills.



Initially, players start out with 2 rows of 3 skill slots each but as
you advance through Fame ranks, new rows and columns open up to help
round out which tactics you want to employ.  You’ll
eventually be able to chain together different types of attacks which
grant increased benefits so long as you successfully land each attack
in the chain.



Navigating the skill deck can be done in a couple of different ways,
allowing you to find a method that works best for your particular
playstyle. Each horizontal row will have 1 to 5 skills which are mapped
to the number keys on your keyboard. Pressing the number key for that
particular row will ‘arm’ that row of attacks, or
alternately you can use the scroll wheel on your mouse to navigate
horizontally across the row in either direction. I’ve found
that using the scroll wheel works best for me, as it allows me to
constantly move during battle rather than momentarily stopping to
switch which row of skills is active. Thankfully some of the earlier
NPCs you’ll square off against will be easy to dispatch, so
it’s a good idea to get comfortable with whichever method
works best for you early on.



To use the skills themselves, hold down your RMB – think of
this as ‘arming’ your skills for attack. Once the
red indicator on your crosshair is lit up, a LMB click will then fire
off whichever skill is currently active, indicated by a glowing boarder
around its icon. The skill deck then rotates, presenting you with your
next set of options.



The
Skill Book




By selectively placing where different skills reside in the skill deck,
you can minimize the time it takes between attacks, setting up each
vertical column for different attack types or situations. So for
example, the first column (mapped to the ‘1’ key)
could be all melee attacks, column 2 (mapped to the
‘2’ key) could be all ranged attacks while column 3
(mapped to the ‘3’ key) could be buffs and debuffs.




To set up your skill deck to your liking, open up both the Skill Book
and Skill Deck UI windows, and from there it’s a simple
matter of dragging and dropping skills in whichever slots you prefer.
The skill book itself will provide some useful “at a
glance” information making deck construction a breeze. Small
icons to the right of the window will inform you of the attack type,
linked attributes and even what the cooldown for a particular ability
is. Cooldowns are something you’ll definitely want to take
into account when constructing your deck, as a good set-up will allow
you to avoid waiting on timers between attacks, keeping a nice flow to
combat.


To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our The Chronicles of Spellborn Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Sardu 1
Reuben "Sardu" Waters has been writing professionally about the MMOG industry for eight years, and is the current Editor-in-Chief and Director of Development for Ten Ton Hammer.

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