What is the Combat Test?
Beneath The Six mixes exploration, character progression, stories and combat. The first thing we want to test is the single-player combat, so we released the Combat Test to get some initial feedback from some players about what they do, and don't, like about it.
We see combat as the foundation on which the rest of the game is built. Once we're happy with the combat mechanics, we'll then add the basics of exploration, character creation and multiplayer, and roll that out to our tester community too.
The Combat Test launched on 12 October 2023. The only way to access it is to join our Discord Server.
What is in the Combat Test?
It's all about the combat. This takes place in The Arena, a small, self-contained play area.
A new Arena is generated every day. You'll be dropped into the Arena to face a variety of monsters. Defeating all the monsters on a level opens up a portal. Enter that portal and you'll descend into the next level of the Arena. If you manage to beat 10 levels, you'll have the option to escape the Arena with all the treasures you've collected. But you could carry on... if you dare.
Everyone's scores are added to the Discord leaderboard.
We have two daily leaderboards for the Arena:
- the escaped leaderboard, for those that managed to beat wave 10 and escape
- the perished leaderboard, for those that died on their run.
Both leaderboards are ordered in the same way: firstly, by the number of waves survived and secondly, by the number of turns taken. So, someone who reached a higher wave in many turns will appear above someone who reached a lower wave in fewer turns.
In the dNo universe, Characters are created by combining different dNo Dice together. Each dice has its own traits - affecting the skills, stats and equipment a character has, as well as that character's physical appearance.
For the Combat Test, we are providing a selection of pre-made characters for you to experiment with. Later releases of the game will let you create an almost infinite variety of characters, with far more variation in terms of skills, equipment, armor and physical appearance.
The game's arena is made up of hexagonal tiles. This can contain a player character, an enemy character, items, obstacles or traps. Tiles have multiple states - each with different effects:
Lava tiles Will cause 10 damage when moved across. Times out after 4 turns, reverting to stone.
Ice tiles You will continue to move across an ice tile until you hit an obstacle or a non-ice tile. Ice cracks when moved across. Times out after 3 turns, reverting to stone.
Water tiles Can be used by Water Elementals to teleport around the Arena or attack the player.
Poisonous Gas tiles Any character on poisonous gas tile will instantly become poisoned.
Beneath The Six is a turn-based game of strategy and exploration. Your character has limited action and skill points to use on their turn, which ends when their action points run out. This signals the beginning of the enemy's turn.
All enemies take 1 action per turn, whether that is performing an attack or moving to a strategic position.
How to use Shards
Defeating enemies provides Shards - small segments of old dice - which can be used to purchase items, armours and weapon upgrades from shops. The value of Shards varies depending on the enemy defeated.
Beneath The Six features a number of skills across the 3 starting classes in the game. Each class has a specific movement skill granted to them. This is determined by the class that appears most frequently in the 7 dice used to create the character. The other types of skills are offensive, defensive and utility skills. These skills are defined by 3 of these 7 dice.
Leap Lets you move 3 tiles away, avoiding any obstacles.
Bash Knock all enemies around you back 2 tiles, stunning them and dealing damage if they hit something.
Meathook Throw a Meathook into an enemy, pull them towards you and deal 5 damage for each tile they are pulled across. If they are 3+ tiles away, they will bleed.
Endure When triggered, grants a 100% damage reduction buff, which is reduced by 30% every time you are hit.
Death’s Sentence An enemy hit with Death’s Sentence will die 3 turns later.
Big Swing Attack all the surrounding tiles, dealing 75% of your attack damage to each.
Hurl Weapon Throw your weapon like a boomerang, hitting all enemies in the chosen direction for 10 damage. On its return to you, the Hurl Weapon deals another 10 damage.
Battle Rage Receive a 50% damage increase. This only remains active if you perform an attack on your turn.
Quake Strike Smash the ground in a chosen direction, causing 3 tiles in that direction to erupt. This will damage any enemies on those tiles, rooting their feet in earth so they cannot move. This attack ignores any damage resistances and deals 1.5x your normal attack damage.
Jousting Charge Charge forward towards a target enemy, dealing 30 damage and knocking them back by 1 tile.
Phase Teleport to any other tile within a 24 tile radius, ignoring obstacles.
Temporal Fissure Place a Fissure on the ground to mark where the skill was triggered. After 5 turns, you will return to the Fissure in the same state (health and statuses) you were in upon placing it. Whilst the Fissure is active, you will take 2x damage.
Ice Tomb Entomb an enemy in ice, stopping them from moving or attacking for 3 turns.
Volcanic Blast Blast an area with lava, turning all tiles to lava and dealing damage to anyone in the targeted area. This is a 2-stage attack, taking a turn to charge up. Once the target area is selected, a targeting highlight will remain on that area until the player's next turn.
Arcane Pillar Place up to 3 Arcane Pillars on the board, blocking passage on that tile. Enemies on a targeted tile are dealt 10 damage, rooted to that tile and stopped them moving. Pillars will despawn after 6 turns.
Homing Shards Shoot 3 Homing Shards out to seek and hit the 3 nearest targets within their attack radius, dealing 15 damage. If there are 3+ targets in range, you can choose which tile you target when triggering the skill.
Wind Torrent Blast a chosen direction with a torrent of air. The first enemy hit will be knocked as far back as they can go, causing them 3 damage per tile moved. If they collide with another enemy, both take 5 damage.
Electrify Shoot a target enemy with a bolt of lightning, dealing 20 damage and electrifying them. They will be stunned for 3 turns and deal 10 damage to anyone moving past them.
Teleport Other Switch places with any other character that is in range of this skill.
Smoke Bomb Turns invisible for 2 turns and increase your movement speed by 2.
Plunder Steal an item from an unsuspecting enemy. Has to be performed from behind the target. This attack deals 5 damage, but can never defeat a target. Instead, you will leave them on 1 health.
Healing Solution Have a 25% chance to locate Crimsontide Leaves on defeated enemies. Triggering this skill consumes 3 Crimsontide Leaves and heals 25% of your max health.
Venomous Strike For 5 turns, all your weapon attacks deal 5 extra damage and inflict poisoning.
Throwing Daggers Hit an enemy with a Throwing Dagger, granting the exposed status effect. The next attack received has a 100% critical hit chance.
Watch Your Back For 1 turn, your dodge chance becomes 100%. If you are attacked, you can attack back for free.
Decoy Figment Create an invulnerable illusion which moves away from its spawn tile. This attracts any enemies within a 3-tile radius for 5 turns.
Trap Tile Lay a trap on any tile around you. Enemies walking over the trap take 10 damage.
Beneath The Six features four main categories of enemy:
Small Stone Elementals
- Walk around planting seeds which grow into beautiful flowers that can power up fellow enemies.
- The Tier 3 version gains the ability to plant a tree. Once grown, these trees
Large Stone Elementals
- Rip up large chunks of earth and hurl them across the Arena at the player.
- As they power up, they gain the ability to summon walls of earth, which surround the player.
- In their final form, they can use roots to grab hold of the player, stopping them from moving.
- Spit lava at the player, surrounding them with puddles.
- Leave a trail of lava as they move around, making it hard to attack them from behind.
- As they power up to Tier 2, they can spawn a second Lava Elemental by splitting themselves in two.
- Freeze any tile they walk on, including lava. They have a chilling cold wind attack which blows the player back and freezes all the tiles along the way.
- A Tier 3 Ice Elemental can stomp on the ground, creating a knockback effect and a giant burst of ice that freezes many tiles.
- Use their own super magnetic field to hurl chunks of metal at the player from a distance.
- A Tier 2 Electric Elemental can launch a spike into the ground that may stun any passers-by.
- At Tier 3, they can create an electric fence which grows over time. Contact with the fence results in immediate stunning and loss of turn.
- Blast out jets of water, turning all tiles in their path into water and damaging the player.
- At Tier 2, they are capable of teleporting to any water tile.
- A Tier 3 Water Elemental can command all water tiles within a set radius to blast out jets of water. This will damage any character on these tiles.
- Low level leaders who command a few Goblins. They provide a damage resistance buff to all Goblins within a set radius.
- A Tier 2 Chief Goblin gains the skills to heal nearby allies.
- The foot soldiers to the Goblins.
- Carry a Meathook to drag victims towards them for other Goblins to beat on.
- Use bows to keep their distance whilst fighting.
- Will knock back anyone who tries to get close.
- At Tier 2, they have their own Meathooks, like the Butcher. However, they use it to pull themselves across the map to get away.
- Lay down traps that damage players who trigger them.
- At Tier 2, they will throw traps into awkward positions for the player.
- A Tier 3 Trapper Goblin has more powerful traps, which deal significantly more damage.
- Throw bombs at the player. These bombs will detonate on a subsequent turn.
- A Tier 2 Bomber Goblin may drop some bombs around themself when they die.
- At Tier 3, they have access to heavy-duty bombs, which are capable of destroying any walls upon detonation.
- What it says on the tin. They have a higher health stat than any other Goblin and a nasty swing.
- The Tier 3 Tank Goblin’s swing knocks back any targets and destroys walls.
- The colour of the flower on this Beast's head denotes a different power up:
- Red = damage bonus
- Green = damage resistance bonus
- Blue = movement speed increase
- At Tier 2, they can heal themselves if they begin their turn on a water tile.
- At Tier 3, they gain a vine attack. This can hit anyone 2 or 4 tiles away.
- Bite the player, poisoning them, then run away for 3 turns.
- At Tier 2, they can dig through walls.
- At Tier 3, they can bury themselves into the ground and reappear elsewhere on a subsequent turn.
- Can perform a leap from one tile to another.
- At Tier 2, Spiders will drop cobwebs around the tile they land on.
- A Tier 3 Spider can attack a player after landing next to them.
- Have the ability to fly over walls.
- At Tier 3, they gain the Jousting Charge skill to dash long distances.
- Can leap on the player’s head, biting them each turn and causing bleeding.
- When defeated, will turn into a pile of bones. However, they are still alive and will re-form. *To fully defeat them, attack whilst Skeletons are in this form.
- At Tier 2, Skeletons can throw their arms across the Arena, grab hold of a player with the detached arm and attack them.
- At Tier 3, they can bury themselves into the ground and re-emerge on another tile later on.
- Throw vials which create clouds of poisonous gas upon impact. These clouds will poison anyone who enters them.
- At Tier 2, they can heal themselves.
- At Tier 3, they can turn invisible using a cloud of smoke.
- Can summon three small Skeletons around themselves (small Skeletons have a weak attack and 1 hp).
- A Tier 2 Summoner Ghoul can bury themself into the ground and reappear elsewhere later on.
- At Tier 3, they summon full-sized Skeletons instead of small ones.
Ghosts of Chaos
- Tries to steal items from the player’s backpack and run away. They will move towards the player and try to reach them unnoticed. After three turns, they will drop the item.
- A Tier 2 Ghost of Chaos will try to steal a player’s equipped weapon instead of the contents of a player’s backpack.
- At Tier 3, they will no longer drop stolen items until they have been killed.
- All Ghosts have a possession mechanic to possess the corpse of a dead enemy. They will become a copy of that creature, mimicking their damage resistances and attacks.
- All Ghosts can fly over wall tiles.
- An experiment: a mixture of body parts and lab equipment. They cannot be defeated and will relentlessly pursue the player. If they start their turn next to a player, they will trigger, causing it to start to build up an electric charge. On their subsequent turn, they explode, stunning those within their attack radius.
- At Tier 2, their detonation will destroy walls and damage anything in the blast radius.
- A Tier 3 Abomination trails water. Their explosion will be chained through the water, damaging anyone standing on any connected water tiles.
Between random floors of the Arena, you will encounter shops selling items to aid your venture.
- Shops appear 2–3 times every 10 waves and never back-to-back.
- Shops sell a random variety of potions, armours and tomes.
- Shops always give you the option to upgrade your weapon (providing your weapon is not fully upgraded already).
- Shops will also pay good Shards for anything you wish to sell. To sell items, drag them into the shop inventory located above your own inventory and click the “sell” button.
End of Level Rewards
An important part of Beneath The Six is the generation of brand new dungeons every day. Eventually, we hope to allow players to own their own, unique dungeons. To help with this, we are building procedural and AI generation tools to create the environments, challenges, loot and stories in our worlds. One early test of this technology is our AI Narrator. The voice you hear in the game is AI generated, trained on the voice of actor Tom Canton, known around the world as Filavandrel, King of the Elves, in the Netflix TV Show The Witcher.
Tom Canton as Filavandrel in Netflix's The Witcher.
Tom Canton in the studio training Beneath The Six's AI Narrator.
How to play?
The Combat Test features a simple tutorial but we also advise players to check out the How To Play pages.
Player/Enemy Info Panel
The Info hover-over popup in the top right-hand corner has information about players and enemies, such as name, health, damage, skills and active status effects.
What platforms does the Combat Test support?
Currently PC and Mac, which are our lead platforms.
We do intend to release the full game on mobile formats too, but that will come later.
How is the Combat Test distributed?
We're using the Epic Game Store for distribution. Because it's a closed test, we'll need you to join our Discord Server, and register for the Combat Test. When we launch, we'll send you a code which you can redeem at the Epic Game Store to access the Combat Test.
Once you're on our Discord Server, please find the 'register-here' channel, and click on the 'REGISTER NOW!' to register for a code:
When you receive your code, you can redeem it at the Epic Game Store through your Epic Games launcher, if you already have it installed, or on the web via this link. Once you've redeemed it, install the Epic Games launcher if required. The Combat Test will then appear in your Epic Games launcher and can be installed and run.
Will it cost anything?
No. The Combat Test is free - it has no in-app purchases or download fee.
For notes on updates to the Combat Test please see Patch Notes.