The Chronicles of Spellborn

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

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'The Chronicles of Spellborn' Combat System Explained

by Rainier on March 27, 2008 @ 12:57 a.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.

Gamedesign Journal: Combat For Beginners

Aiming, clicking: check. But the rest?

This document should give quick insight in all things related to spellborn combat. Please note that this is just an example on how to set-up one's skilldeck. Players are advised to adapt it at their own discretion.

Organizing Skilldeck

There's nearly an unlimited amount of possibilities to arrange your skilldeck. There is no best arrangement, however, there is a worst arrangement. This will be discussed later in the combo section.
The arrangement of your skilldeck is not something you'll have sorted in 1 minute, especially at high level. It's a process of finding what works best for your own style. I'll try to explain some basic strategies in building your deck. For these strategies I'll assume that all tiers and slots are available. (6 tiers, 5 slots/tier)


I think this will be the most used arrangement to start with, since it's fairly basic to pickup and doesn't require specific knowledge of every skill. The skilldeck is only viewed in columns, so on any tier, the same can be expected from each slot. In the example below, the player will at all time know that he can go from using slot 1 and 2 to slot 4 when ranged attacks are needed.

A setup could be:

  • Column 1: Melee
  • Column 2: Melee, with specialized buffs/debuffs
  • Column 3: Magic attacks
  • Column 4: Ranged attacks
  • Column 5: Healing / Panic


This arrangement assumes more knowledge of individual skill and also requires more thought. A player can set up to use 1 column for a certain string of attacks, not necessarily combos, for a complete or partial sequence. For example, the first column could contain a melee buff followed by a couple of melee attacks and melee related heals so a player would only have to stick to column 1 for a complete package of melee combat.

Of course there are numerous variations, ordering by damage type or maybe even damage amount. It's up to the player.

Working with combos
Adding combo's to the skilldeck is also completely up to the player. However, combo openers are the only thing that can really destroy your skilldeck setup. This is because it's not possible to use a combo opener when you?re already in a combo string. If a single tier consists entirely of combo openers, this will complete block you from doing any skills while the combo is active, since all skills of that tier can't be executed.

A tip is to put a combo finisher on a diagonal in your skilldeck, that way you always have an optional finisher at your disposal, this is called the ?Hesselian diagonal?.

Numbers and factors


States are 3 factors, which allow players to add another dimension to their tactics. Correctly manipulating your own as well as your targets? states will result in a more favorable outcome. The three states are Physique, Morale and Concentration, affecting movement speed, damage output and resistance respectively.
The states start at a default 0 and can be raised as well as lowered, resulting in bonus or penalty for the associated effect.


Your magic affinity determines your damage reduction for specific magic types. It's split up three ways in Rune, Soul and Spirit. Affinity is increased by the attribute associated with it, these are Body, Focus and Mind respectively.


Resistance makes up the second part damage reduction players can achieve. It reduces all damage from a certain attack type. These attack types are distinguished as Melee, Ranged and Magic. Resistance is 0 by default, players receive about 2% resistance for every type for drawing their weapon and thus being ?combat ready?. Resistance can be influenced by skills, sigils, consumables and by the Concentration State, like mentioned above.

Basic Skill Characteristics

Above is part of a screenshot from the skillbook. It displays information about the skill Dance of Blades.

Associated Attribute (1 in the screenshot):
In the above case it's Focus (text is shown on mouse over), this means that the skill benefits from having a high amount of Focus attribute points. The higher the amount, the more damage the skill will do. This is the only effect of the associated attribute on a skill.

Attack Types (2 in the screenshot):
The attack type basically defines what kind of weapon is needed for the attack, Melee, Ranged, or Magic. In case of Magic, no weapon is required. When Disarmed, Melee attacks won't work, Blind disables Ranged and Silenced disables Magic attacks.
The above attack is a Melee attack, this also means it is reduced by the Melee Resistance of the target.

Magic Type (3 in the screenshot):
This is the Damage type of the skill. It can be Rune, Spirit, Soul or None. In the above screenshot, the magic type is Rune. This means the damage inflicted with this attack is counted as Rune damage. This means it's reduced by the Rune Affinity of the target (as well as the Melee Resistance.)

Cooldown (4 in the screenshot):
This is the cooldown time (in seconds) of the skill before it can be re-used.

Choosing attribute points

Choosing which attribute points to increase when leveling up is fairly free as well. Much can be said for different strategies. The most basic one is to choose the attribute which most of your attacks are related to. Simply open your skillbook and check what the majority of your skills are associated with.

If you check the screenshot, you can clearly see that Focus is the main attribute for this class to pick at this moment, with Body coming in as secondary.

See you next time !

by El Drijver

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.

Players selected to participate in the closed beta will be the first ones to experience this new model in MMO gaming. They will assist the developers in testing gameplay and provide feedback directly to the developers. The closed beta test began with a limited number of applicants. More beta testers will be added periodically over the next few months. In early 2006, the Spellborn International team plans to hold a large-scale open/stress beta test.

What differentiates ‘The Chronicles of Spellborn’ from other MMORPG?

  • Dress to impress: From day 1 you will be able to look cool by choosing and changing clothes, armors, weapons, skills.
  • Influencing the world with your actions: This ranges from lifelike statues of your character in Quarterstone to unlocking and owning new parts of the worlds through questing, politics and conquest.
  • ‘Join and play’, you don’t have to walk whole marathons before the fun starts.
  • ‘The Chronicles of Spellborn’ combat system based on skill decks. You will be able to create your own individual fighting style.

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