A battle sprite is a combat companion for a Spiral Knight. A knight may own more than one sprite, although only one can be equipped at a time. Each sprite has one, two, or three skills that the knight can deploy in combat. Skills range from direct attacks to party buffs and monster debuffs. Sprites also offer perks, which give the knight offensive and defensive bonuses, much like trinkets. They are intended to provide players with the ability to specialize their role in a party. The choices that you make for your sprite act like a class for your knight, augmenting your weapons and armor in special ways. For example, you may choose an attack-oriented sprite or a sprite that bolsters your party's defense.
Prior to the Skylark crash, the Spiral Knights used small field robots called E-class battle sprites for reconnaissance. (Biotech Morlin still owns one.) When the Skylark crashed, sprites were apparently dispersed throughout the Clockworks, where the Core's energy signal caused them to mutate into three new forms:
- The smoldering Drakon resembles a dragon and delivers powerful, fiery blasts to foes. Because of its immense firepower focusing on direct assault, it may be considered the most offensive out of the three starter battle sprites.
- The divine Seraphynx resembles an angelic cat-like creature and uses its luminous powers to defend the party from attacks. Although a support sprite, it can attack enemies directly, dealing enough damage to weaken or vanquish an enemy.
- The shadowy Maskeraith resembles a masked phantom and uses its toxic powers to debilitate enemies. This sprite has a healthy mix of offensive abilities as well as the ability to debuff enemies.
Obtaining and Using
A series of rank missions is available to knights as soon as they reach Haven. Rhendon and Morlin teach them about skills, perks, harnesses, and leveling, while Biscotti explains how to feed and care for battle sprites. These missions also allow knights to try out each of the three starter sprites.
A knight's first battle sprite is awarded after completion of An Eternal Bond. Knights should take their time to know a little about sprites or see them in action before choosing. Once a selection is made, there's no going back, although knights can obtain more battle sprites through the Supply Depot by purchasing Pods that contain a level-1 battle sprite of their choosing.
All sprites that you own appear in the Battle Sprite section of your arsenal. Clicking on a sprite's icon brings up a menu allowing you to equip, unequip, or rename the sprite.
Once a sprite is equipped, you can examine and configure it by clicking on the character button (default hotkey: P) and selecting the Battle Sprite tab. This interface shows options for feeding the sprite, allocating skill points, equipping a harness, and activating a perk.
Key shortcuts for using battle sprite powers are not configured in this interface. Instead, those keys are configured with all other keys, in the Controls section of the Options screen (hotkey: Escape).
A sprite progresses through a sequence of 100 heat levels. Like all equippable items, a sprite gains heat when it is equipped for combat in the Clockworks. However, this method of heating is very slow.
A sprite can be heated faster by feeding the sprite materials. To feed your sprite, bring up the character panel, select the Battle Sprite tab, click on the feeding sub-tab, choose any material from your arsenal, and click the Feed Sprite button. The rate at which a sprite can be fed is limited by its appetite. Appetite is rated on a scale from zero to five. When the appetite is zero, the sprite cannot eat. When the sprite does have some appetite, feeding the sprite a material decreases its appetite by one point. Appetite regenerates at a rate of roughly five points per hour of real time, whether or not the knight is online. Playing with the sprite in the Clockworks regenerates its appetite a bit faster.
Although any material can be fed to a sprite, the sprite always has a favored food, as shown in the table below. Favored foods can be crafted using Sprite Food Alchemy Machines, found in the Laboratory and the Town Square. Food thus crafted is unbound and can be traded among knights.
|1-14||Power Mote||Shadow Mote||Divine Mote|
|15-29||Power Dust||Shadow Dust||Divine Dust|
|30-49||Power Stone||Shadow Stone||Divine Stone|
|50-74||Power Orb||Shadow Orb||Divine Orb|
|75-100||Power Star||Shadow Star||Divine Star|
Quantifying heat is difficult, but some patterns are clear. High levels require more heat than low levels do. High-star materials give more heat than low-star materials do. Favored food gives more heat than other materials of that star level do. Here is an example for heating a sprite over level 75, based on data collected by some players. One level's worth of heat amounts to roughly 65 3-star materials, 35 4-star materials, 20 5-star materials, or 4 5-star favored foods. Therefore, feeding favored food is efficient in terms of time and materials, while feeding other materials is efficient in terms of crowns and minerals.
When the sprite's heat meter is filled, the sprite is ready for promotion to the next heat level. The sprite must be fed a required item. For most levels, the required item is the favored food, and the sprite gains a skill point or a perk upon promotion. The knight allocates skill points to the sprite's skills, to augment (enhance) their speed, duration, intensity, etc. Unallocated skill points are saved, so knights who delay or forget to allocate points are not penalized in any way. By the time a sprite reaches level 100, it will have gained enough skill points to max out every augment, so there is no "wrong" strategy for allocation.
Battle sprites cannot be leveled when their new level would surpass the knight's own equip limit. For example, an Apprentice (rank 2) knight is permitted to equip only 0- and 1-star gear. The knight is not permitted to level a sprite from level 14 to level 15, because the latter is considered 2-star.
At certain special levels, the sprite undergoes dramatic changes. The required item is not the favored food, but rather an Evo Catalyst of the appropriate star level.
- 15: The sprite gains its second skill and changes its appearance.
- 50: The sprite gains its third skill and changes its appearance.
- 90: The sprite's first skill evolves into one of two ultimate forms, chosen by the knight. This choice alters part of the sprite's appearance, while leaving other parts unchanged.
- 95: The sprite's second skill evolves into one of two ultimate forms. One aspect of the sprite's appearance changes.
- 100: The sprite's third skill evolves into one of two ultimate forms. One aspect of the appearance changes.
There are 23 = 8 possible ultimate appearances for a sprite, based on the two choices for each of the three skills. Just as skill point allocation can be delayed, so can the choice of ultimate form. In fact, the knight may elect not to choose either ultimate form of a skill, leaving the skill in its ordinary form forever. Taking this possibility into account, there are 33 = 27 possible end-game appearances for a sprite.
At level 100, there are still five perks to be gained. The knight may continue leveling the sprite through extra heat levels. These levels could be called 101-105, although they are all displayed as "100" in the user interface. At level 105, the sprite is functionally complete. The sprite continues to gain heat until its heat meter is filled, but the user interface does not allow the sprite to be promoted to level 106.
A special material called a Reset Star is sold in the Supply Depot. When a Reset Star is fed to a sprite, all of its skill point allocations and ultimate skill choices are reset. The sprite's level is retained. Except for Reset Stars, there is no way to change or undo your allocation of skill points or choice of ultimate form.
Harnesses are items that a battle sprite can equip to gain bonuses or to deal a certain type of damage. Some harnesses can also reduce skill cooldown by a certain percentage. Harnesses can be acquired only by purchase from Riley, the harness merchant in the Lab.
When a knight owns multiple sprites, the knight's harnesses are shared among the sprites. However, some harnesses cannot be equipped on certain sprites. For example, Drakons cannot be equipped with the Golden Harness.
The Drakon, Maskeraith, and Seraphynx Battle sprites were added to the game in release 2013-07-30.