Skills improve the hero's characteristics in many different ways. These abilities are very powerful and they should be chosen carefully depending on the character class and the preferred style of playing. There are a total of 32 skills and each character class gains access to 15 of them, of which 8 can be acquired as the character progresses. Every character starts with two default skills. On reaching subsequent experience levels, the player can distribute additional skill points in order to improve already acquired skills. The number of skill points gained in one level up depends on the level of the hero. As a hero develops they will be able to learn up to 6 additional skills; a new skill is available at each of the following levels: 3, 6, 12, 20, 30 and 50. By editing the Configuration File (Settings.cfg) entry for Default Skills from 1 to 0, new characters will be able to chose the two starting skills at level one.
Due to the number of options, for each character class, there are 1716 possible unique skill combinations with Default Skills enabled, and 6435 with Default Skills disabled. This does not include non-unique permutations, i.e. ignoring which skill is chosen at which level, only inspecting the unordered terminal skill sets. Of course, many of these combinations are strategically unwise.
Skill Availability Table by Character
Damage enhancing skills
These skills will increase weapon or spell damage by adding a certain percentage. Due to the incrementing returns of additional damage in the same instance, it is strongly advised to pick one of these, depending on your main damage source, while both should only be considered with caution (as it's generally more rewarding to focus on one source of damage, unless to specifically exploit enemy weaknesses).
Weapon Lore is a skill that is available to all classes, although it is most useful for melee characters.
Each skill point allocated to Weapon Lore increases the following stats:
Magic Lore is a skill available to character classes that are able to perform spells.
The skill increases the damage dealt by all types of magic spells by a percentage (physical, magical, fire, poison).
Survivability enhancing skills
Mainly defensive, these skills increase defense rating (decrease chance to be hit), resistance values (decrease suffered damage if hit), and boost maximum health and health regeneration. Since these three subcategories of effects are independent, the benefits of skills in different subcategories scale multiplicatively with each other. Only Agility and Parry will yield diminished returns due to their additive stacking, though it may be advantageous to pick both in spite of this due to the more severely diminishing returns of higher skill point investments in the same skill. Whether this is worth a skill slot has to be gauged in the individual case.
Agility improves both Defense (lower chance to get hit) and Attack Rating (higher chance to hit) values, making combat much easier.
The skill is best suited for characters that do not use a shield (since it provides almost the same defense bonus as Parrying). Of course, the skill stacks with item bonuses and the Parrying skill.
Increased levels of Armor provide greater resistance by enabling more effective use of equipment, and also permit increased movement speed by reducing the encumbrances imposed.
Armor reduces the damage taken when hit by increasing each resistance (physical, magical, fire, poison). Additionally, some equipment carries a minimum armor level to be equipped.
Wearing armor with specific resistances and damages can imbue the wearer with an armor glow which confers additional protection in the form of a resistance bonus. (15% per element)
Movement speed penalties from armor a with higher level than the character level are reduced.
Increases maximum health and improves its regeneration rate. This skill can make a character twice as durable with little investment. Constitution will not improve combat arts regeneration time.
Greatly increases a character's defense rating making him harder to hit. Attacks can be parried (deflected) with weapons and shields.
The skill stacks with Agility and bonuses from items.
Weapon focus skills
Choosing a weapon skill will allow the character to reach the maximum attack speed of 220. While the game lists the attack speed bonus as a percentage the values are actually just added to the character's attack speed. The skills also improve the attack rating increasing the chance to hit. Some weapons require skill points in their weapon type in order to be used. Since one can't benefit from multiple weapon focus skills at the same time or on the same weapon, these skills are generally considered practically mutually exclusive. The only reason why one might pick more than one of those is to allow for opportunistic equipment choices, especially different sets.
Axe Lore increases the chance to hit and attack speed of attacks made with axes. Additionally, certain axes carry a minimum Axe Lore requirement in order to be wielded. This skill may be chosen beginning with the skill selection at level 3.
Increases the attack speed and chance to hit of attacks executed with Dark Elven blade weapons.
Long-handled Weapons is both a skill and a classification of weapon type.
The skill enables a character to better utilize weapons of this type by increasing the chance to hit and attack speed.
The weapon types that are considered long-handled are:
The depiction of a weapon will indicate if the skill Long-handled Weapons will benefit its use.
Ranged Combat allow faster and more effective attacks with bows, crossbows & firearms (Dwarf only). Additionally, some weapons carry a minimum skill requirement, and as such cannot be used without Ranged Combat.
Sword Lore increases the chance to hit and attack speed of attacks made with swords. Additionally, certain swords carry a minimum skill requirement in order to be wielded. Swords can be both one-handed and two-handed.
Enables the wielding of two one-handed weapons during combat, also increases attack speed and chance to hit.
Increases the attack speed and chance to hit of hand to hand attacks (with bare hands or combat gauntlets).
Combat Arts regeneration skills
These skills provide a great improvement in Combat Arts regeneration rate.
Improves the regeneration rate of all combat arts.
To maximize Combat Art regeneration spread points as evenly as possible between Physical Regeneration (attribute), Concentration (skill) and Regeneration Special Move (from items) as these three modifiers multiply.
The skill is available to character classes that are able to cast spells. It improves the regeneration rate for all spells.
Contrary to what the game description says Meditation does not increase Mental Regeneration. There are 4 factors when calculating spell regeneration: Mental Regeneration (attribute), Meditation (skill), Regeneration Spells (from items) and a magic skill (e.g. Fire Magic, Heavenly Magic). Meditation and Regeneration Spells add to each other and them multiply with the remaining two factors. (the higher the Regeneration Spells bonus from items the smaller the impact the Meditation skill will have, this makes magic skills like Fire Magic more powerful than Meditation at higher levels). Hybrid characters that rely on combat arts more than spells could skip the Meditation skill.
Improves the Dwarf's Weapon Technology combat arts regeneration rate.
Affected combat arts:
Improves the regeneration rate of trap-laying abilities.
Affected combat arts:
Vampirism is a skill available to the Vampiress. It shortens the regeneration rate of all combat arts while in vampire form. It also reduces the damage taken in vampire form during daytime.
It should clearly be distinguished from Vampire Transformation, one of the Vampiress Runes or CAs.
"Spell" enhancing skills
While they provide a decent regeneration bonus the main reason to take one of these skills is the reduction in casting animation time. 51 points will shorten animations by 50%.
Improves the regeneration rate and the casting time of air magic.
Improves the regeneration rate and the casting time of earth magic.
Improves the regeneration rate and the casting time of fire magic.
Improves the regeneration rate and the casting time of water magic.
Heavenly Magic improves spell regeneration and casting time for the Seraphim's spells.
Improves the regeneration rate and casting times of Daemon spells.
Improves the regeneration rate and the casting time of the Wood Elf's Moon Magic.
Improves the regeneration rate and casting time for traps.
Affected combat arts:
Bloodlust improves the regeneration rate and casting speed of vampire arts or ('spells' available only in vampire form)
Affected combat arts:
Improves the regeneration rate and the casting time for Weapon Technology combat arts.
Affected combat arts:
These skills have various effects providing mostly indirect, utile benefits instead of straight up combat amplification.
Allows more effective use of Mounts. Some horses require the riding skill.
With Riding chosen as a skill, the character will gain the following bonuses:
Increases the chance to disarm opponents in combat. Amount of disarmed items depends on the foe. From most it can disarm weapons and shields, but some also carry armor and special items. The Battle Mage also can disarm opponents with the Whirlwind spell. Bonuses from Disarm and Whirlwind do not stack.
The chance to disarm will drop at every level up. For best results the skill should be kept at a high level to balance out this drop.
Forge Lore is a skill available only to Dwarves. It replicates the ability of the Smith to forge enhancements into weapons and armor.
As the level of lore increases, the dwarf becomes more skilled - able to forge better enhancements to equipment and to also work with higher quality items. Additionally, the cost in gold is reduced. The dwarf has the ability to insert all of the same types of items the Smith is able to (amulets, rings, runes and the special items such as Scale of a Dragon or the Orbus Dracos - Full. Additionally, the Dwarf can also forge:
The maximum item level increases with the character and skill level, but the exact formula is still unknown.