Combat in Dawntide revolves heavily around the three Combat Attributes: Speed, Force and Balance. These will all trend towards zero when not in combat, and go up or down in combat based on your own stances, equipment and other factors as well as those of your target. After entering combat (through a keystroke or hotkey) a character will continually attack their target with either their melee weapon or ranged weapon, based on which they have chosen.

All characters, NPCs and monsters have these Combat Attributes. In the UI, they are presented as colored dots.



Stances determine the focus of your character in combat, and will affect all forms of combat from melee[1] to sorcery[2]. All characters start with the basic balanced stance, and more stances can be unlocked through perks as you raise your skills. A few examples are the Aggressive stance which increases your force and lowers your enemy’s balance at the expense of your own balance and the Channeling stance which improves your focus greatly but makes you practically defenseless in combat.

Changing stances is a combat action that takes around 1 second and costs a chunk of all your combat factors.

Numbers are baselines. The baseline attack speed is two seconds per attack, or Delay 20. If the listed modification value is 0.5, then you would +0.5 per attack with a Delay 20 weapon, +0.25 with a Delay 10 weapon and +1 with a Delay 40 weapon.


These stances are inherent to all characters.

  • Normal Stance - Reduce all damage done to your combat attributes by 25% without raising SFB, and allow switching to any other stance without the usual cost of SFB.
  • Speed Stance - Increases own Speed by 0.5 for every hit, but reduces own Balance by 0.25
  • Balanced Stance - Increases own Balance by 0.5 for every hit, but reduces own Force by 0.25.
  • Force Stance - Increases own Force by 0.5 for every hit, but reduces own Speed by 0.25


Counter-Stances are stances that attempt to regain the initiative.

  • Defensive Stance - Reduces target’s Force by 0.75 for every hit, but reduces own Balance by 0.5.
  • Evasive Stance - Reduces target’s Speed by 0.75 for every hit, but reduces own Balance by 0.5.
  • Reckless Stance - Reduces target’s Balance by 0.75 for every hit, but reduces own Balance by 0.5.

Stance & Ability DesignEdit

Abilities and stances have a skill requirements based on how frequently players encounter them in regular playing circumstances. This prevents the problem in a linear ability progression system, where lower level abilities become obsolete as new ones are gained.

Currently all ability levels are set for Beta Balancing.

  • 1-25 will be the abilities you would most often use and have the least requirements.
  • 26-50 will require certain constellations that could be achieved with skill.
  • 51-75 will require either a helper or high levels of tactical skill.
  • 76-90 will require skilled help or top-end skill and a good batch of luck.
  • 91-100 will be extremely circumstantial, i.e. "Turn Cold based enchantments against target".

Combat ActionsEdit

Combat Actions are special actions and attacks that will momentarily pause your auto attacking. Casting spells in combat counts as a combat action, and so do special attacks which usually cost a chunk of your combat focuses and endurance in exchange for delivering a powerful attack or causing a special effect on yourself or your foe. Combat effects can have a wide number of attributes and requirements.

Circumstantial RequirementEdit

Must be behind the enemy, Must be on the enemy's side, sun must be shining, etc...

Own Combat AttributesEdit

Requirement for your Speed, Force and Balance to execute a given ability. Many abilities require you to have certain levels in one or more Combat Attributes

Target Combat AttributesEdit

Requirments for the targets Speed, Force or Balance to execute a given ability against them. Many abilities require your target to have certain levels in one or more Combat Attributes


Effects of the Attack, such as Damage or Defensive Bonuses. There are many different effects and effect types.


Mana, Endurance, Combat factor, resource or other costs associated with performing the ability.


Anticipation allows you to gauge an enemy’s Speed, Force and Balance, as well as read which stance they are using. At high skill levels, it will allow you to read multiple nearby enemies instead of just your target. As you can see, top-end combat can get quite complicated with anticipating enemy maneuvers.

Combat MechanicsEdit

Anticipation Abilities (Stances) alter Combat Attributes on yourself and the target. Offensive Abilities exploit a given constellation of own and target Combat Attributes to achieve an effect on the target. Defensive Abilities exploit a given constellation of own and target Combat Attributes to achieve an effect on the target.

There are six weapon groups, the mainstay of any fighting force, currently planned. Each weapon group will have a primary, secondary and weak attribute out of Speed, Force and Balance.

  • Short Blades
  • Long Blades
  • Axes
  • Maces
  • Polearms
  • Marksmanship

Additionally, there are the two supporting weapon groups.

  • Throwing
  • Unarmed