As you read skill descriptions, you'll notice some similarities between them. Each skill has a "type," usually listed at the beginning of the skill description. For instance, Charge! and I Will Avenge You! are both Shouts, so each of their descriptions begins with the word "Shout." If a skill doesn't have a specific type, its description begins with the word "Skill" instead.
When you first start learning the game, you don't need to learn all of the skill types, but after you see the same terms used again and again, the following list should be helpful.
Attack: Attack skills help you inflict additional damage (and other effects) with your profession's weapons. Most attack skills require a character to have a specific type of weapon equipped. When you look at a weapon's description in your inventory, you'll see a listing of its weapon type.
- Axe Attack, Hammer Attack, Sword Attack. Your character must have the right weapon equipped -- axe, hammer, or sword -- to use one of these skills. Only Warriors can use these skills
- Bow Attack. Your character must have a bow equipped to use one of these skills. Only Rangers can use these skills.
- Lead Attack, Off-Hand Attack, Dual Attack. Assassins first used these three types of skills in Factions. Each of these skills requires a dagger to use, and these three skills can be used as a chain of attacks. Only an Assassin can use these skills.
- You must successfully strike with a Lead Attack before using any skill that says "Must follow a Lead Attack" in the description.
- You must successfully strike with an Off-Hand Attack before using any skill that says "Must follow an Off-Hand Attack" in the description.
- All Dual Attacks cause you to attack twice in rapid succession. Both of these attacks will cause whatever effect the skill's description describes if they hit. You must successfully strike with at least one part of a Dual Attack before using any skill that says "Must follow a Dual Attack" in the description.
- Scythe Attack. Your character must be a Dervish equipped with a scythe to use one of these skills from Nightfall.
- Spear Attack. Your character must be a Paragon equipped with a spear to use one of these skills from Nightfall.
Chant: A Chant bestows a one-time benefit (or "buff") to another character, hero, or henchman within earshot who meets its requirements. (Earshot is the longest range in the game.) Chants cannot be removed by enemies. In Nightfall, Dervishes and Paragons use Chants.
Echo: An Echo is placed on a single character, bestowing a benefit when that character is affected by a Shout or Chant. In Nightfall, Paragons use Echoes.
Form: A Form skill alters the appearance of your character as it bestows benefits to your character. In Nightfall, the five "god forms" of the Dervish (such as Form of Dwayna) are examples of Form skills.
Glyph: An Elementalist can use a Glyph to enhance the next spell that character casts. Only one Glyph can be active at a time. After a Glyph affects a spell, it ends.
Pet Attack: A Ranger can capture and train a wild animal using Beast Mastery skills, recruiting a dedicated "pet." A Pet Attack is a type of skill that allows a Ranger's pet to perform a focused, specialized attack. This skill can be activated instantaneously (like a Shout skill), but it won't effect until the next time the pet attacks an enemy. The pet cannot carry out more than one pet attack at the same time. If you try to use a second pet attack before the first one has resolved, only the second skill will be used.
Preparation: Rangers use preparation skills to modify their normal weapon attacks. A Preparation skill can only affect the character who uses it. You can only be under the effects of one Preparation skill at a time. Apply Poison is an example of a Preparation skill.
Ritual: A Ritual skill creates a Spirit, a ghostly incarnation that has a magical effect on nearby allies or enemies. Each Spirit has a Health trait. Spirits can be attacked and destroyed, but they cannot be healed, Hexed, or Enchanted. If character creates a Spirit within range of an identical Spirit, and both were summoned by characters on the same team, the first Spirit will be destroyed.
Rituals include two subtypes of skills: Binding Rituals and Nature Rituals. A Ritual skill's description always begins with the name of its subtype.
- Nature Ritual. Rangers use this type of skill. In general, Spirits created with this type of skill affect all creature types, including both allied creatures and enemy creatures. The term "creature" includes characters, henchmen, and allies – Nature Rituals affect all of them.
- Binding Ritual. Ritualists first used this type of skill in Factions. In general, Spirits created with Binding Rituals harm foes or help allies.
Shout: This type of skill can be used instantaneously, even when the character using it has been knocked down or is busy using another skill. Shouts often affect more than one target. The name of a Shout skill (almost always) end in an exclamation point! When a character uses a Shout skill, the name of the skill appears in a speech balloon over the character's head. "I Will Avenge You!" is an example of a Shout skill.
Signet: Signets are skills with no Energy cost. All other skills either cost Energy or require another resource, such as adrenaline. Some skills are designed to only affect Signets (such as Ignorance and Rust). The Resurrection Signet can be used by characters from any profession.
Spell: A spell is a skill based on a character's magical abilities. There are three subtypes of spells. A spell's subtype is listed at the beginning of its description.
- Enchantment Spell. These are usually cast on allies, bestowing a positive effect on the target.
- Hex Spell. These are usually cast on enemies, bestowing a negative effect on the target.
- Weapon Spell. Ritualists used this type of spell in Factions. A Weapon spell changes the way another character's weapon looks and performs.
Stance: Like Shouts, Stances can be used instantaneously, even when the user has been knocked down or is busy using another skill. A Stance represents a character taking on a particular posture that provides benefits to the user in combat. You can only be under the effects of one Stance at a time.
Trap: A Ranger can use a Trap skill to place a hazard on the ground that cannot be seen by foes. When an enemy gets too close to a Trap, the enemy triggers the effect of that skill. Traps do not affect allies. Most Trap skills have a long activation time. A Trap skill usually has a long activation time. Most are easily interrupted – even being hit by normal damage will stop a Ranger from completing the use of the skill.