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ne of the key objectives of Shadows of Winter is to deliver an innovative and engaging combat system that is both easy to pick up and play but extremely difficult to master. This dichotomous complex-simplicity will allow players from a variety of skill-levels to enjoy the game on multiple levels.

Combat is handled in 5 fashions: Melee, Missile, Magical, Mounted & Manned. These "5 M's" are described in more detail below and are the hallmark of Shadows of Winter's combat system.

This area defines any hand-held weapon a player uses to inflict damage upon his/her opponents within a set proximity in relation to their position. Combat is defined by strikes, parries, ripostes & counterstrikes and can yield an intricate ballet of maneuvers when skilled combatants face one another. This fast and frenetic action is not without skill and strategy however. Certain weapons possess more desirable attributes when confronting a variety of opponents and some weapons may be rendered completely impotent when faced with certain scenarios.

Exempli Gratia: The Light Weaponry may possess faster attack speeds but produce the least amount of damage potential to their wielders and cannot be used to parry incoming blows. Two-Handed Weaponry possesses the greatest potential to inflict damage but is also the slowest category when striking and shields may not be employed when a two-handed weapon is equipped.

Archery and projectile warfare have always been among the most powerful of tactics when dealing with heavily armoured opponents. Within TLP:SoW, bows & crossbows deliver some of the most potentially damaging attacks. The main drawback to this form of combat is its extremely time-consuming reload/aim/fire requirements. When dealing with melee-based opponents in close quarters, an archer will face certain death. These weapons require a certain amount of distance to be utilized properly and are best used by players who can avoid direct confrontation at close range.

Exempli Gratia: A group of longbowmen launch a volley of arrows upon cavalry with great effect but are easily cut down when confronted by the charge of sword-wielding infantry nearby.

Beyond mundane means of inflicting great injury upon opponents, the spells within magical grimoires (spell-books) can deal extensive damage in the form of fiery projectiles that explode on impact, bolts of electricity that can leap from one target to another and blasts of potent energy to knock back groups of surrounding adversaries. Similar to Missile-Based combat, these spells require concentration and proper time to be used effectively. One of the biggest weaknesses to magi who employ spells on the battlefield exists in their inability to wield weaponry while they recite their ancient incantations from the pages of their grimoires. This makes parries and quick strikes impossible.

Exempli Gratia: A book-wielding spellcaster unleashes a surge of electricity upon a group of charging enemies. The bolt impacts upon one of the targets and subsequently leaps toward one of the nearby members of the charging group standing close by. Eventually, all members that were closely packed together within the charge are electrocuted. The spellcaster is then ambushed by an enemy within close range and is overtaken before she is able to switch weapons to something more appropriate to defend herself with.

Treated like the vehicles from the modified game Shadows of Winter is being based off of, steeds within this game can trample opponents, grant riders additional speed for retreating purposes and give higher vantages that help to protect riders from certain forms of weaponry. There are a variety of mounts the player may occupy within this game and their strengths and weakness will become immediately apparent once the player grabs the reins.

Exempli Gratia: Mounted atop a heavily armoured Destrier, a rider charges through a small crowd of opponents - killing several while sending most into the air with the sheer force of the mighty steed. The rider is then engaged by opponents who cannot reach him with strikes from their Light Weaponry but the tide is quickly turned when pike wielding enemies appear with a small contingent of archers to their rear.

Some forms of weaponry require a small group to man them. This artillery comes in the form of mighty Ballista and Mangonels used for large targets. Some are employed as siege engines while other are intended for defense against creatures of great size. While manning these weapons, the users are left prone to attacks and must quickly abandon their use if they wish to defend themselves.

Exempli Gratia: A Mangonel has been positioned to destroy a curtain wall to allow enemy forces to invade a city. The team manning the siege engine slowly loads and aims their strike before they launch a massive boulder onto their intended target. Knowing that the destruction of the wall would mean certain defeat, the defenders charge the Mangonel and attack the team manning it. Unable to defend themselves while manning the siege engine, the team quickly abandons it and draws their weapons.

The image below displays a small example of how our combat system may appear in action. The key frames are labeled with an "A", "B" & "C" that denote the initial start, effective position & follow-through respectively.

A Red spark upon the blade respresents an impact while a Green spark represents a window when the parry maneuver is effective. Different weapons possess different "delays" that may increase or decrease the response time of an attack or parry.

Please be patient while the above image loads.

More details will be made available in the coming months…


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