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The Chronicles of Spellborn

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Developer: Khaeon Games

About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'The Chronicles of Spellborn' Developer Interview

by Rainier on Sept. 29, 2007 @ 12:58 p.m. PDT

The Chronicles of Spellborn is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in the Enclave of the Five Sacrifices, and uses the Unreal 2.5 Engine.

Players will be able to interact with each other in an original fantasy setting, experienced through a unique graphics style. Players can fight with or against each other, forge alliances and control parts of the world. The players’ strength is not determined by the sword that he or she wields, but by the skill with which it is wielded. This is one of the things that allows players to create varying but recognizable identities for their characters. In addition, players are free to use a wide variety of faces, clothes, armors and symbols to customize their characters in the game. Players will change the world with their actions, from unlocking entire new parts of the world, to putting a personal lasting mark on a small part of the world. High adventure is offered even at the lower levels: Hidden doors can be found, conquering clans can be joined; you will make a difference even at lower levels.

Developed by Spellborn International, The Chronicles of Spellborn will introduce gameplay that challenges MMO gaming conventions. No longer will back stories be irrelevant, players will move back and forth in time to experience the storyline. The Spellborn team has thrown out the old "auto lock" MMO attack system. Players will actively maneuver and aim in combat while they manipulate a "skill deck" that allows them to string together hundreds of different possible attack combinations. Also, armour and weapons do NOT affect combat so players can dress exactly how they like from the very start. Finally, the successes and failures of every player from the lowest to the highest levels will determine the fate of their House and the rest of the world.

Combos:

Q: How many different combo effects will each class generally have? Will some classes have more options for combos then others?

E'S'D: All classes have an equal amount of combo possibilities, 3 openers and 3 finishers.

Q: Will there be arch type based combos used only with arch type skills and sub-class combos special for each of the nine classes?

E'S'D: The openers are based on archetype; the finishers are based on subclass.

Q: What's the current highest number of skills that can be performed creating one chain?

E'S'D: 8

Q: Do the skills between the finished and starter also need a specific sequence? Will combo chains be broken if you make another move in between the opening move and the end move, that's not a "middle" move? For example, you do opener and then 3 random skills and then finish off... Will the combo then be valid or will the combo fail?

E'S'D: No, any attack following a combo opener is considered part of the combo sequence. The only skill type that cannot be executed while in a combo string is combo opener. After starting a combo sequence, using an opener, other openers will be disabled. This is something that needs to be considered when building your deck. The combo length is variable, if you execute a finishing move after building 3 combo points, the combo is executed succesfully, but the bonus will be lower.

Q: Will there be skills that can be used for multiple combos?

E'S'D: Each finisher can be used in combination with each opener. All skills can be used for combos. Skills can even be used multiple times within the same combo sequence.

Q: Will using different combo skills within the combo change the outcome? Or are combos only aimed at the finisher?

E'S'D: No, the opener and finisher determine the buffs/benefits.

Q: Are there plans for combos for groups? Or special combos for different factions? Or even combos which you will need a partner for, to execute it?

E'S'D: No, apart from the obvious benefit that some combo's might drastically lower a stat which might benefit your teammates more then yourself.

Q: Does combo's work for healing spell? Say if I choose to be a sort of "healer" and stay in the background and heal the group, will I then be able to pull of combos using only healing spells which increases amount of health healed?

E'S'D: Yes, any skill can be used for combo points, some of the openers and finishers are aimed towards healing benefits as well.

Q: Will we see which spells are starters/finisher? Does it say in the spell tooltip if the spell is Combo Starter/Linker/Finisher etc?

E'S'D: An icon in the spellbook indicates the combo type, the effect is listed in the tooltip.

Q: It was said that combos will not be needed to win battles. So how much of an advantage say would I have if I used them against a person who didn't? Taking into account we are both on a level playing field in terms of skill.

E'S'D: How much? About a liter. What I mean is, the advantage depends per opener/finisher and how it's being used. I can't really express the "optimal" effect one can achieve.

Skills:

Q: It said that at level 50 characters could purchase the skills of the other archetypes. How will this work and how many of those skills can be purchased?

E'S'D: As you can read in the Skill trainer journal, they can't simply be bought, the original designer/master skill trainer of the skill needs to be found. Not all skill trainers live on the shards that are in release.

Q: Will there be a system in place for counterattacks? (Like deflections, disarming, throwing your opponent off balance, etc. Will shields affect game play, i.e. will I be able to use some kind of Block ability or are shields just for show?

E'S'D: No. We?ve had a combo system in place with "counters", but this turned out to be too hard and too complex in our fast paced combat. Shields have no effects for the simple reason that all our gear is purely cosmetic.

Q: Will the range differ per ranged skill?

E'S'D: In general, all bow (ranged) skills have the same range. Some bow and ranged magic attacks differ though.

Q: Ancestral mage questions: Will there be variations to pets, that have a specific role (like have a tiger instead of a hyena for melee damage) and what kind of roles will these pets fill (all of them, even healing roles?)?

E'S'D: There will be different pets who cover a similar role, but there are no different appearances for the same role/pet. All roles will be covered, I guess most pets cover 1 role well and might cover a second or third partially.

Q: Will skills have varying selectable levels? As in, if I purchase a fireball skill (lvl 1), then the next most powerful version (lvl 2), will I be able to assign any level of my choosing to the skill bar, or will it default to the most powerful version?

E'S'D: No, skills scale with your level, so there's only "your current level".

Q: Does the rune mage have casting time and how long it takes to create a rune? Will creating different runes take longer cast times?

E'S'D: Not longer then casts from other classes might take, there's no "cast bar" that needs to be completed, cast time is a set length.

Q: How you can obtain items (sigil, rune, etc.) which can be placed into skill slot? How do these sigils affect skills?

E'S'D: Both Skill- as Gear sigils are obtained via drops, crafting recipes or quest rewards. There's a very wide variety of skill sigils, they range from increasing the damage, reducing the cooldown to increasing the range.

Q: Will there be any off-combat skills (for example: sprint, hide, track, seek for hidden treasure.....)?

E'S'D: No, all though a skinshifter shifting into a boar so he can cross a dense forest untouched, might count as one.

Q: If you find a skill trainer, but you aren't ready for the skill yet, can you learn it immediately but can't use it, or do you have to return later when you are ready?

E'S'D: The skill trainer will not reveal it's identity until you are ready to learn and use the skill.

Q: When I enter combat my skillbar starts at 1 rotating through the different layers as I use skills. What does reset the bar to 1 again? Target death? Switching targets? How quickly does it reset?

E'S'D: The first tier is reached again when: a skill on all following tiers was executed or when the skilldeck timed out. Time out occurs after about 8 seconds of no skill usage. It does not reset to tier 1 upon target death/switch.

Q: If I got that right, the aura of the Wrathguard affects enemies and team members alike. Will the Wrathguard have an ability to keep single targets (a single enemy for example) out?

E'S'D: No, choose your aura wisely

Q: Will there be team abilities/combos that need more than one player or will benefit from more players cooperating? "Team Abilities"?

E'S'D: No, like mentioned before, only the obvious, for example: one player lowering enemy physique while the other executes "crushing" attacks, which benefit from having a higher physique then your target. The system of these types of benefits is quite intricate.

Q: There won't be any class with skills that can resurrect players. Will it be possible to teleport a player to the position of another using a special skill? (Will there be items that can resurrect players?)

E'S'D: No, don't die.

Q: Will there be any form of Crowd Control and if so, how will it work?

E'S'D: One of the key elements of combat in Spellborn is the always present combat effectiveness of a player. There are no skills which reduce a players? combat effectiveness to 0, so you will always be part of the combat until you're dead. No traditional mechanics to stun-lock, root, fear and polymorph. However, it is possible to influence player movement speed, disarm etc. but these skills merely reduce the combat effectiveness, not nullify.

Q: Do all abilities, except of self buffs, have the same effect in PvP and PvE?

E'S'D: Yes, players might react different to certain skills then mobs though

Q: Can players successfully fight enemies of higher levels? Can a lvl 5 group for example win a fight versus a lvl 23 enemy? Will the enemy resist or evade most attacks? Or is a higher level just stronger and has more hit points than a lower level?

E'S'D: Yes, although the difference in damage and hitpoints will be significant with a level difference of 18 (as in your example), so that'll probably be very hard. There are no ?unfair? mechanics in place, like reduced hit chances or damage modifiers, that would go against Spellborn combat policy.

Bodyslots:

Q: How many bodyslots will one receive and how many can be visible on any given time (on the blood warrior and the runemage for example)?

E'S'D: It's different per subclass, ranging from 10 to 15 bodyslot items per subclass. Only 5 can be equipped in the bodyslot-bar at any time, though. Tattoo's and Scars show on torso, arms and head.

Q: The rune mages body slots are tattoo's.. Will it be looking like normal tattoos or will they have some glow particle effect, etc.?

E'S'D: They'll look like normal tattoos, but with specific shapes. Glows and particle's, however awesome, are on the post release to-do(/wish) list. It's one of those things I really want, but then again there are many of those.

Q: Will the skinshifter be able to move while using all his bodyslots... like the one that turns him into a bush... will it be the walking bush or does it set roots? Will the different appearances of the Skinshifter have any real advantages except camouflage?

E'S'D: As a plant, no, as a Boar (or whatever), yes. Skills are being tuned to benefit from shapeshifting. Another great, PvE, advantage is that a skinshifter shifting to an Arionite, will actually be considered an Arionite by all NPC's, mobs and wildlife around him, draw your own conclusions?

Q: Skinshifter ?in disguise? will 'skin out? as soon as someone targets him (even if Skinshifter is OOC), or as soon as it directly participates to the combat?

E'S'D: When the skinshifter attacks or is hit by an attack.

Q: It was said in the Dev Journal that a player could buy the bodyslots items at the appropriate shops in game. I'm just wondering if this will be the case for all the body slots items or will be able to loot, find, craft and win them also?

E'S'D: All can be bought, no crafting, looting etc.

Q: Will you have to buy bodyslots for Bloodwarrior too? It seems a bit strange to buy scars?

E'S'D: The Bloodwarrior doesn't buy scars, he buys bodyslots with combat experience of battles fought long ago. When wielded, these magical powers manifest themselves through scars like they were experienced first hand when they were created.

Q: Is there any cooldown to using bodyslots?

E'S'D: Yes, it differs per subclass and per bodyslot.

Q: Is it possible to blend bodyslots in a combo? For Example, can a Deathhand use 2-5 other skills and then a finisher which will add 50% to the poison on the Bodyslot?

E'S'D: Depends on the class, but to some extend yes. Deathhand poisonous attacks can be used in combo strings and will award normal combo points. However, there are no bodyslot-combo-finishers, or openers for that matter. They won't have a different effect on the combo then regular skills have. Not all bodyslot related actions award combo points though, like the ancestral mage ordering his pet to attack, which will have no effect on the combo string.

Q: Will certain combos only be available when using certain bodyslots?

E'S'D: No

Q: Will there be reagents needed to execute some of the skills, such as ammo?

E'S'D: Was being considered, but no.

Q: Will Bodyslots offer abilities that are permanent, without time limits?

E'S'D: No

Q: Are the Bodyslots as we have seen them so far final or will there be more, with content patches for example?

E'S'D: What lies hidden must be found. (Sorry I was forced to use this line once, really, no really, it's just a coincidence that it's this question, seriously?)

Q: How will tattoos and scars work on players that have already tattoos? Will they overlap each other or are there defined free areas on the body?

E'S'D: Regular tattoo's will be diminished (temporarily) by the presence magical body tattoos.


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