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Combat is real-time, with the ability to pause at any time to issue commands to a party of up to 4 characters, including your own. In addition to the spells and abilities each character can use, we've also added companion combos – abilities that allow your character and a companion to work together in concert to create a powerful effect. Abilities use a cooldown system, allowing you to use most of your abilities multiple times per encounter. Combat is based on your character's skills, and the more you use those skills, the more experience you'll gain.

Attack Resolution[edit | edit source]

Attack Resolution.

When you perform an attack in Tyranny – whether it's a basic weapon attack, casting a spell, or using an ability – your Accuracy is compared to the target's Defense to determine how well the attack does. As with Pillars of Eternity, each attack can have one of four possible results: Miss, Graze (attacks deal less damage, status effects are applied for a shorter duration), Hit, or Crit (attacks deal greater damage, and status effects are applied for a longer duration). But unlike in PoE these possible outcomes cannot be reduced below 5% chance of occurring by having high enough accuracy (at least not without Precision - the hit quality conversion).

Your Accuracy is determined by one or more character skills. A basic attack will use the skill associated with the weapon you're attacking with. A spell will use the magic skill for that type of spell and the character's Lore skill. If more than one skill is used, their values are averaged together to produce the final skill value. Accuracy bonuses from weapons or abilities are added to that base value to determine the final Accuracy for the attack. The skills used to determine Accuracy are also the skills you gain experience in for that attack.

Each attack targets one of five possible Defenses: Parry, Dodge, Endurance, Will, or Magic. Enemies and party members have different strengths and weaknesses in these defenses, making some attacks better options against one type of enemy than another.

Accuracy vs. Defense[edit | edit source]

Accuracy is compared to Defense, and the resulting difference is used to modify the combat result table. Higher Accuracy results in a greater chance to Crit or Hit, reducing the chance to Graze or Miss. A lower Accuracy has the opposite effect, making you Graze or Miss more often.

Specifics are approximately as follows:

  1. Take the difference of accuracy and defense to get the advantage (accuracy higher) or disadvantage (defense higher).
  2. Compute the chance to Miss/Graze vs. Hit/Crit. At base this is 35% chance for the former and 65% chance for the latter.
    • Every point of advantage decreases the Miss/Graze chance by 0.5% and increases the Hit/Crit chance by the same.
    • Every point of disadvantage increases the Miss/Graze chance by 0.8% and decreases the Hit/Crit chance by the same.
  3. Compute the chance to Miss/Crit vs. Graze/Hit (per attack, not per Miss/Graze or Hit/Crit).
    • Crit chance is a quarter of the advantage, but not less than 5%.
    • Miss chance is 5%, plus 0.5% per point of disadvantage.

Beneficial effects always score at least a Hit result and can Crit. They operate against an effective defense of 0?

Crit Chance and Crit Threshold[edit | edit source]

Crit chance has minimum and maximum allowed values. At the moment (v1.0.0.0008) it cannot be lower than 5% or higher than 99% (technically 80% due to miss, graze and hit having hardcoded minimum chance of occurring).

The exact formula for crit threshold value is:

  • CritChance = AttackSkill * CombatCritChanceSkillPercent / 100 + (AttackerEffectiveAccuracy - DefenderDefense) * CombatCritChanceMult
  • CritThreshold = 101 - CritChance (e.g. in the screenshot from above it has value of 90)

Where AttackSkill is attacker's skill with: current weapon (in case of physical attack); control fire/frost/etc (in case of spell); or lore (in case of magical talents like Lantry's Renewal).

While CombatCritChanceSkillPercent and CombatCritChanceMult are two hardcoded variables which have the following values:


  • CombatCritChanceSkillPercent = 15
  • CombatCritChanceMult = 0.5

Currently: (v1.0.0.0008) (mathematically calculated based on combat log values)

  • CombatCritChanceSkillPercent = 5.7
  • CombatCritChanceMult = 0.179


  • You have EffectiveAccuracy of 120; 90 from WeaponSkill plus 30 Bonus
  • Enemy has Defence of 80; 70 from Parry plus 10 Bonus
  • Your CritChance will be: 90 * 5.7 / 100 + (120 - 80) * 0.179 = 5.13 + 7.16 = 12.29 (decimal part is stripped; so the result is 12%)
  • Your CritThreshold will be: 89 (i.e. if your roll is in 89-100 range - you will score a crit)

Miss Chance and Miss Threshold[edit | edit source]

Miss chance has minimum and maximum allowed values. At the moment (v1.0.0.0008) it cannot be lower than 5% or higher than 90%.

The exact formula for miss threshold value is:

  • MissChance = CombatBaseMiss - (AttackerEffectiveAccuracy - DefenderDefense) * CombatMissChanceMult
  • MissThreshold = MissChance (e.g. in the screenshot from above it has value of 5)

Where CombatBaseMiss and CombatMissChanceMult are two hardcoded variables which have the following values:

Default: (and still actual as of v1.0.0.0008)

  • CombatBaseMiss = 5
  • CombatMissChanceMult = 0.5

Graze Chance and Graze Threshold[edit | edit source]

Graze chance has minimum allowed value. At the moment (v1.0.0.0008) it cannot be lower than 10%. While graze threshold cannot be higher than 95 (technically 80 due to hit and crit having hardcoded minimum chance of occurring)

The exact formula for graze threshold value is:

  • GrazeChance = CombatBaseGraze - (AttackerEffectiveAccuracy - DefenderDefense) * CombatGrazeChanceMult
  • GrazeThreshold = MissThreshold + GrazeChance (e.g. in the screenshot from above it has value of 29)

Where CombatBaseGraze and CombatGrazeChanceMultare two hardcoded variables which have the following values:

Default: (and still actual as of v1.0.0.0008)

  • CombatBaseGraze = 30
  • CombatGrazeChanceMultare = 0.4

Hit Resolution (Roll and Adjustment)[edit | edit source]

Once an attack is performed a set of instructions is executed in the following order:

  1. A [1..100] Roll is made
  2. Are computed Crit, Miss and Graze thresholds
  3. Is computed hit range (as the difference between crit and graze thresholds) and adjusted accordingly:
    • If hit range is less than minimum allowed (5%) and there is room in crit range (and it won't get lower than 5%) - then crit chance is reduced
    • Otherwise it tries to fit by reducing graze range, unless it will get reduced to lower value than minimum (currently 10%)
    • Otherwise an error message will be displayed in your combat log
  4. A check if ability should suppress misses is made. If yes then MissThreshold is set to 0 (zero). The attack can still graze through.
  5. Hit quality adjustments are made by checking following conditions:
    • if the Roll is above CritThreshold, enemy's BonusCritToHitPercent is checked.
    • else if the Roll is below MissThreshold, attacker's BonusMissToGrazePercent plus BonusPrecision have a chance to transform result to Graze. Note: enemy's GrazeToMiss is not checked.
    • else if the Roll is below GrazeThreshold, attacker's BonusGrazeToHitPercentminus enemy's BonusGrazeToMissPercent have a chance to transform result to Miss.
    • if the target is below 10% HP, attacker's BonusHitToCritPercentEnemyBelow10Percent is added to his hitToCrit chance, which gives a chance to upgrade Hit to Crit.
    • if the result is not a Crit, a chance to downgrade the result to Graze is made, based on enemy's BonusHitToGrazePercent
    • if enemy is set to evade everything, result is transformed to Miss
    • if result is a Crit, a chance to downgrade the result to Hit is made, based on enemy's CritToHit

Taking Damage[edit | edit source]

Damage in Tyranny works similarly to Pillars. We have multiple damage types based on the armor a character wears: Slash, Pierce, Crush, Burn, Shock, Frost, Corrode, and Arcane. Different enemies have strengths and weaknesses against different types of damage. To maximize the pain you inflict, you'll want to target your enemies with damage types they are weak against.

Armor is still important to mitigate damage, but we also wanted to give more options for different character builds. Heavier armors (bronze or iron) provide Armor, which reduces damage dealt down to a minimum of 1. We've also added a new stat to lighter armors called Deflection. Deflection provides a chance that an attack will be downgraded one level (IE: a Crit becomes a Hit, a Hit becomes a Graze, or a Graze becomes a Miss). Deflection can be increased by the Finesse stat, and by talents and other items you can find in the game.

Tyranny handles hit points differently than Pillars did. Instead of the combination of Health and Endurance, we have a single Health bar to focus on. As attacks deal damage, your character's Health is reduced. When it reaches 0, a character falls unconscious (or dies, depending on game options). Characters can be revived using special abilities or consumables, or they will regain consciousness at the end of combat and begin regenerating Health.

We've also added the Wound system. When your character falls unconscious, they will gain a Wound – more than one on the hardest difficulty settings. On harder difficulties, you'll also gain a Wound when a character reaches low health. When a character is Wounded, their max health is reduced and all of their skills suffer a small penalty. Wounds can stack and will remain on a character until they rest.

Game Difficulty[edit | edit source]

Tyranny will ship with four difficulty settings for the game: Story Mode, Normal, Hard, and Path of the Damned. Each of these difficulty settings will affect how challenging combat is with Story Mode being for players who mainly want to experience the story and reactivity of the game. If you watched any of the videos from E3, this is the difficulty setting you saw.

As difficulty increases, we focus more on the AI and tactics of enemies rather than just adding more enemies to each encounter. On harder difficulties enemies will choose targets more effectively as well as use their abilities more frequently and strategically. We also replace some weaker units with more challenging ones at higher difficulties.

Other[edit | edit source]

Interrupt: We still have interrupt in Tyranny, but we've simplified this a bit. Unlike Pillars, we don't have a separate Interrupt roll. Only some abilities will interrupt the target. When those abilities Hit or Crit, they will interrupt (Grazes and Misses do not interrupt). An interrupted target has any queued actions cleared and enters recovery. The length of their recovery depends on how strong the ability's interrupt was.

Consumables: We've changed how consumables work in Tyranny. They're now an instant action, meaning the effects apply as soon as you use the consumable, even if the character is on recovery. Once a character uses a consumable, all consumables for that character are on cooldown for a short duration. This allows you to rescue a character at low health, but you can't just spam healing potions to make your party members invincible.

Friendly Fire: We've removed friendly fire from abilities in Tyranny. I wanted players to be able to focus on maximizing their damage to enemies, without worrying about harming their own party members in the process.