Combat Styles

In Dungeon Siege, there are three combat styles; melee, range and your hocus pocus magic combat.

The fine folks at GPG have done an extraordinary job with combat animation. They have taken combat animation to new heights. Whether it is melee, range or magic, each of the animations for a particular weapon or combat style are very unique in their own way.


Hand to hand combat is the oldest form of warfare. The traditional hand-to-hand slashing, thrusting and crushing are ALL present in Dungeon Siege. You will be able to pick up many of the available melee weapons in Dungeon Siege and wave or swing it around like a madman.


When range is mentioned, the first range weapon that comes to mind is the bow and arrow. In Dungeon Siege this is no exception. The ranged combat style is JUST as deadly as any of the other styles in Dungeon Siege. Some of the bows you can pick up along the way are jaw dropping and the animations are awesome (you’ll know what I mean once you have seen them in action). You will be able to use the standard bow and arrow, crossbow or one of the delightful guns that shoot bolts of lightning or a flurry of arrows. In Dungeon Siege there is an infinite supply of arrows so you can shot to your heart’s content!


Once again there are two different schools of magic, Nature and Combat. One can choose to go either Nature or Combat, or even both schools. In Dungeon Siege, the sky’s the limit.

Mages in Dungeon Siege are able to do the traditional things that a mage can do. They can cast buffs, heal a party member or an entire party, summon creatures, blast enemies and resurrect fallen comrades. The more you use a certain school of magic, the higher your magic abilities become, thus enabling you to cast better and more power spells as you progress on your quest.

Mages in Dungeon Siege can keep multiple spell books and *most* spells in Dungeon Siege can be cast as chain spells.


Formations, stances attacks and movements


GPG has done it again! They’ve added another ingenious element missing in most RPG games — formations. Formations that are usually found in RTS games are now prevalent in Dungeon Siege. Players will have the option of selecting from the six in-game formations or create their own formations.

In-game formations are as follows:

  • Row Formation
  • Double Row Formation
  • Column Formation
  • Double Column Formation
  • Wedge Formation
  • Circle Formation


GPG has separated stances into three subheadings, movement, attack and targeting.

Within these subheadings players decided the combat aspect of each character or party. Characters will react this way on their own when the player issues no commands.

  • Movement: Move Freely, Engage, Hold Ground
  • Attack: Attack Freely, Defend, Hold Fire
  • Targeting: Target Closest, Target Strongest, Target Weakest

Attacks & Movement

Clickity-click, how do characters react when you click a mouse a certain way?

  • Left-Click on terrain – move
  • Right-click-hold on terrain – align formation direction
  • Scroll mouse wheel while holding right mouse button – resize formation & align formation direction
  • Left-click on enemy – attack
  • Right-click on enemy – attack but stand ground
  • Left-click on party member – select
  • Right-click on party member – cast spell (if a spell is selected)
  • Left-click-hold & drag – characters within the rectangle drawn on the screen will be selected
  • Left-click on party member portrait – follow & guard party member

For a better understanding of combat, I suggest you have a glance at our Interface.

Who’s in control?

Single Player:

Although you start out alone you will eventually be able to control up to eight characters in combat. You’ll have the option to manage each action of each character, or give group commands and formations to your party, or some combination of both. Commands include group stances, such as offensive or defensive, and other details. Formations include the standard line and the traditional fighting wedge, among others.

From “Each character you control has a set of rules of engagement. You can tell them either to stand still or move around or to hold attacks or to attack freely. This eases the management issues that would arise if you were trying to control up to eight characters in a battle. You can still control them individually if you like, but the small degree of autonomy is pretty convenient.”

Fastest draw in the Kingdom of Ehb

If you’ve every played an RPG before you know how irritating it can be to switch between weapons. Most times it just seems too much of a bother and you try to avoid it unless you absolutely have to have a ranged weapon for this combat, or that nice two-handed halberd against this foe. In Dungeon Siege the player is able to select user assigned hotkeys. “What does that mean?” GPG has incorporated an RTS element of grouping into Dungeon Siege. For example you could select three archers in your party and assign them to the F1 key and then take your mages and assign them to the F2 key and assign your front line meleers to the F3 key. This way you can control individual elements of your party without having to manually click on each character.

He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword

With combat comes death. Here’s what Chris Taylor, Game designer, GPG, has to say about how Dungeon Siege handles death.

“Death is handled a little differently than in most games. Death is not the first thing that happens to your character when they suffer from too much damage. First they fall to the ground unconscious. They might have been killed if the blow was too big, but in most cases they effectively fall to the ground and cannot continue to fight. This alleviated the save/load problem most of the time, because in a typical battle with multiple characters, as long as one survives the battle and emerges victorious, the others can simply be healed and not the lengthy resurrection process that has much costlier implications.” – Chris Taylor

As more about commands and tactics becomes known this page will be updated.