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Combat

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Alpha-1 PvE combat early preview.[2]

Combat is the most tactile system in the game. It's the thing you will experience most often; and outside of the systems and mechanics that are going to be present for the overarching core gameplay loop, combat needs to feel responsive. It needs to not feel floaty. It needs to feel mobile. It needs to be fluid. It needs to give a feeling of satisfaction. The audio components, the effects components, the animations themselves, the types of skills and those types of things: All of those are really our objective in fine-tuning the approach for our combat in Ashes of Creation.[3]Steven Sharif

Combat in Ashes of Creation is focused on strategy and tactics.[4]

  • Combat is the most tactile system in the game. It needs to feel responsive, mobile and fluid. It needs to give a feeling of satisfaction.[3]

We want combat to be engaging, fun... Right now we've begun the sprint toward Alpha-1 first phase deployment, so we're really looking into the action side of combat right now; and we're building systems for that. And the reason why we are doing that is because tab-targeting has been a staple of MMORPGs for a very long time, even though there's a large interest now in action for MMORPGs and there has been some successful titles with action-oriented, like TERA and BDO. We want to be able to really delve into that development so that we can better understand how to merge tab and action together in the same game, because they are vastly different play-styles.[5]Steven Sharif

A revamped combat system will be rolled out during and post Alpha-1 testing.[6][7]

  • Alpha-1 testing is initially focused on core functionality rather than combat balance.[8]

Combat revamp

Alpha-1 split-body melee weapon combat sneak peek.[9]

I can move while swinging on this guy. I can back up then continue to attack him. Just have complete control over my character while attacking.[9]Steven Sharif

A revamped combat system will be rolled out during and post Alpha-1 testing based on player feedback.[10][6][7]

  • The goal is to give more agency to the player and achieve a more fluid flow of combat with greater mobility when using abilities.[11][12]
  • The current hybrid tab and action combat system will remain after the revamp.[11]
  • This revamp will not represent the final form of combat, but will set the general direction that combat will be taking.[13]
  • The revamp will be iterative and will be rolled out to testers in different phases.[12]

The revamped combat system will feature split-body animations, where the character's upper body can be locked by weapon attack animations while the lower body is free to continue moving.[9][14][8]

You'll be able to move forward while swinging your weapon; and this will allow you complete control over your weapon attacks for melee.[9]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 testing is initially focused on core functionality rather than combat balance.[8]

I noticed many of you are talking about like damage being done and like doesn't look like it's enough damage or hit points and stuff like that. Two things on that front: One is again this is not a content test, so balance is kind of finger-in-the-wind at the moment. Most of balancing comes out of actual testing around those particular systems and we're not focused on that at the moment. Again this is about the core functionality of these types of systems not about the refinement or getting them prettied up per-se. So I wouldn't take too much stock or concern in how the balance is gonna flesh out.[8]Steven Sharif

Combat targeting

Alpha-1 early hybrid combat demo.[15]

You'll notice as I go into action mode, I have my reticle and when my reticle hovers over an enemy target, it'll turn red, essentially showing like "hey we know you have a valid target hit" that you can see; and when you press 'Q' you can lock on to that target. You can also hold tab to alternate between targets. So like that's an important aspect of the combat that we're trying to incorporate, which is mixing and meshing between tab and action, so you still have that action component but also are available to use some of your tab targeted skills.[16]Steven Sharif

Hybrid combat refers to the choice between tab targeted and action targeted combat in the Ashes of Creation MMORPG.[16][17]

  • A toggle button (default Z, but can be re-bound to another key) allows the player to switch between action and tab targeted combat modes.[18][11][15][19]
  • The action mode utilizes a targeting reticle and is very close to a third-person action game.[16][15][19][20]
    • The player does not have to be in reticle mode to use an action combat ability.[21]
    If you use an action combat ability that's going to be directional focused, you do not have to be in reticle mode to use that. It will fire where that reticle would be. So if you play by feel and you're in tab target camera mode, you can still utilize your action-oriented skills and abilities.[21]Steven Sharif
    • The reticle will highlight/change color (to red) to indicate if the current target is able to be hit with the currently prepared skill.[16][15]
    • Action combat abilities will not have a lock-on feature but pressing Q while in action mode will lock on to the current target to enable the use of tab-oriented skills in action mode.[18][16]
    Action combat abilities will not have a lock-on feature so to speak. Some of those are going to be skill shot only. However because you can have a mix and match of tab abilities that require a target, you will be able to target lock in action mode as well. Right now that's delegated to the Q key as default, but you can obviously set that up you could put it on you know your left mouse button, or you could put it wherever you want; and when your reticle hovers over a target, it rapidly swaps your target ability and when you press your target lock it will then lock that target; and if you have tab-oriented skills, you can use your tab oriented skills and they will be used against that target.[18]Steven Sharif
    • Holding Tab while in action mode will alternate between targets.[16]
    • Pressing right-click while in action mode will switch to tab mode for the currently highlighted target.[15]
    • The action camera is tied to the to player's reticle. There will likely be a hotkey that when held down will allow free camera movement.[22]
    • In future the user will have the ability to choose from different reticle appearances.[23]
  • The tab mode (MMO mode) facilitates tab targeted combat.[15][19] A tab-targeted ability requires a target in order to utilize that skill.[18][20]
    • Pressing left-click in tab mode will attack the target (with the currently selected weapon).[15]
    • There will be a "target of target" capability on the user interface.[24]

Hybrid combat is being tested in Alpha-1.[16][25]

  • Targeting modes are able to be achieved through choice of skills/abilities.[18][25][26]
    • It may not be possible to be able to fully spec into just action or tab targeted skills. There might be a 75% cap on choosing skills from any one type.[26]
    • Different ranks of the same skill can change the skill from tab to action targeted or vice-versa.[27]

Skill progressions, skill point allocation is determined by the player. The player will be able to choose either more tab-target oriented skills or more action-based skills and customize their playable experience to what accommodates their preference. From a balancing standpoint for us developers, we need to make sure that certain abilities house certain functions so that there's a balance between skill shots and tab-target abilities.[26]Steven Sharif

Action oriented and tab oriented versions of skills will have different characteristics. Variables will change based on which version is chosen.[28]

  • Damage.[28]
  • Charge up time.[28]
  • CC effects.[28]
  • Cooldown.[29]
  • Energy consumption.[29]
  • Cost to spec.[29]
  • Attack range will likely remain the same; as it is driven by the weapon or skill itself.[30]

As an example: Let's say you're playing a ranged class. You could have an action-oriented power shot in your skill tree or you could have a single target power shot that ramps up and does more damage. [28]Steven Sharif

info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap for Alpha-1.

For the purposes of balance, certain skill types will be either tab or action oriented skills. For example:[29]

  • Hard CCs may be housed in action oriented skills because they are skill shots that are more difficult to land.[29][26]
  • Softer CC's would be housed in tab-targeted abilities.[29]

Hitboxes

The developers are testing different approaches to accommodate varying hitboxes between the races.[31]

  • There may be a single unified hitbox with some exceptions or some special collision rules as opposed to having different sized hitboxes.[31]

More than likely we'll have some sort of unified or unified-ish hitbox. But again it's going to probably have a unified hitbox with some exceptions or some special sort of collision rules based on them as opposed to kind of just making it smaller for one and not the other.[31]Jeffrey Bard

There aren't separate types of hitbox categories in the Ashes of Creation MMORPG as there were in Ashes of Creation Apocalypse.[31]

We don't have separate types of hitbox categories, for example. There's no head hit box in the MMORPG like there was in APOC. So from a critical standpoint you're not going to see a greater risk of critting for a larger hitbox.[31]Steven Sharif

Directional attacks

There will be directional attacks (back attacks, flanking attacks, frontal attacks) that deal additional damage depending on the positional context of the attack.[32]

Cleaving

Weapon attack cone in Alpha-1.[15]

As I attack I am hitting multiple numbers of these opponents; and that's important because all weapons, regardless of whether you are in reticle mode or tab-targeting mode will be able to have a action-based type weapon attack. Not active skill, but weapon attack.[15]Steven Sharif

All weapons have a forward attack cone, regardless of being in tab or action mode.[15]

Polearms for example will have a much wider arc and much further out. Daggers will have a more fine-tuned arc, so you have to be more precise in that regard.[15]Steven Sharif

This is described as a weapon attack not an active skill.[15]

Time to kill

info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap for Alpha-1.

The Ashes of Creation MMORPG will have a time-to-kill (TTK) of around 30 seconds to a minute.[34]

In the MMORPG we really don't want to see any one-shots. The time-to-kill needs to be strategic and tactical.[36]Steven Sharif

Headshot mechanics

There are no headshot mechanics in the Ashes of Creation MMORPG.[31][37][38]

Gear inspection/ Threat assessment

Players will have a buff on their nameplate that indicates the gear set they are wearing. Other players will be able to see this buff by targeting that player at a distance.[42][43][44]

  • This will indicate the type of gear (cloth, leather, plate) that they are predominantly wearing.[43]
  • The border will indicate the level and quality of the tier set.[42][43][45]
  • This also indicates if the gear is enchanted.[43][45]
  • The developers believe that inspecting gear to obtain an exact equipment list or gear score may lead to "unwelcome behavior".[46]

When you see a player approaching you and they're wearing a transmog you know you don't know if that person is a high damage mitigation against physical damage or against magical damage and essentially the way we overcome that is through you being able to target a player at a distance and they will have a buff that's present on them that you will see, which indicates that essentially the piece set that they are wearing. It is important for players to be able to ascertain from a threat assessment standpoint you know what they're going up against if they're actively checking that and that will be available.[44]Steven Sharif

Being by default able to see a person's "gear score" / equipment list... may cause unwelcome behavior.[46]

Character nameplate

A character's nameplate is displayed above their head.[47]

  • This can be the first, and optionally last name (surname).[47]
  • The name of the character's Guild is displayed next to their name.[48]
  • The character's nameplate will deteriorate to give an indication of how much damage they have taken.[49][50][51]
  • An icon will identify the character's class.[42]
  • Hovering over the user's nameplate will show information such as level, their class name and archetype combo.[42]
  • A buff icon indicates the character's gear and grade.[42][43][44]

Summoner summons' creature type appears in the nameplate above the summon. This cannot be changed by the player.[52]

Mobility

Revamped Alpha-1 Mage Fireball ability.[12][7]

The general approach that we're kind of taking based on a lot of feedback and just good combat design in general. You know philosophy is that we want to give more agency in the hands of the player and the antithesis of that is locking the player down for really long amounts of time. The sort of concept behind that is like you could make an animation effects as glorious looking as possible but if it's taking away control of the player, none of that really matters. Especially the 100th or thousandth time you're using the spell you're tired of that happening you don't feel powerful: You feel the opposite of powerful. So we're trying to like give a lot of control back to the player while they're using these abilities so they can still control their movements, they can react simultaneously while they're taking actions; and we just want to get overall more of a fluid flow, I guess, of combat. And that's kind of the general design philosophy we're using to approach the overhaul.[12]Tradd Thompson

Skills with the greatest power may require the caster to remain stationary while channeling them. This is a risk vs. reward mechanic.[53][54]

  • Prone and crouch will likely not be in the game.[55]
  • Moving backward will likely not affect block and parry.[56]

I think that that generally we want to tend to be more mobile in our classes. I think that it's a fundamentally old-school philosophy to have a lot of stuck in place type skills. That isn't to say we won't have skills that have mobility restriction on them- that require you to channel or require a casting time where you can't move; but I think it's a blend between the two. It's neither extreme.[53]Steven Sharif

It'll be something that you can spec around to. Again it's gonna be a risk/reward thing. We put a lot of thought into what skills are overpowered or have kind of this overpowering nature to them and those are the kinds of skills that will generally find that will be like in-place type of skills; where you are now at risk if you are going to cast this spell, but there's a big reward if you do manage to get it off.[53]Jeffrey Bard

The revamped combat system will feature split-body animations, where the character's upper body can be locked by weapon attack animations while the lower body is free to continue moving.[9][14][8]

info-orange.pngThis section contains information from early testing phases. It will be updated as soon as new information is made available.
Skill Icon Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Blink Blink Icon.jpg Blinks forward in the direction you are traveling.[57][58][59][60] Now deals damage to enemies surrounding your departure location.[61][60] Reduced cooldown.[57][61][60]
Jump jump icon.png Dash with cooldown.[62] Cooldown is replaced by charges with individual cooldown.[62] Drops a bear trap at the location the ranger dashed from.[62]
Rush rush icon.png Rush toward a target; and upon reaching the target, deal an amount damage with a chance to knock the target down.[63] - -
Sprint sprint icon.png Increases movement speed. Using an ability ends sprint.[64] Increased resistance to disable abilities.[64] Clears crowd control when sprint starts and removes silence.[64]

Player movement

Sprinting will consume a percentage of a character's mana pool. Sprinting will not be permitted while in combat.[66]

I've instructed design to incorporate a mana consumption that's percentage based for sprinting. So it'll be a similar amount of time that each class, regardless of their mana values, will have in order to sprint and it will not be accessible while in a combat.[66]Steven Sharif

There is a toggleable walk/run (autorun) capability.[67]

There is not going to be any "go to waypoint" (auto-pathing) mechanics.[68]

Back-peddling (walking backwards) and strafing are slower than normal movement speed.[69]

Collision

There are player and spell collision mechanics in Ashes of Creation.[70]

  • Inertia and momentum physics will help prevent blocking doorways/access points. This is based on a character's direction and movement speed, and can be used to push people out of the way.[71][70]

Dodging

Dodging in Alpha-1 early combat.[3]

Another thing that's important about these action combats is the ability to dodge and moving out of the way of certain skill shots.[3]Steven Sharif

Dodge rolling type skills is housed in the action skill sets of agile classes such as Rogues or Fighters.[3][72]

Q: Will there be evade frames/ I-frames on dodge?
A: I would say it's a safe bet with regards to how we're approaching the hybrid combat that not only are gonna have true evasion skills that apply to more action-oriented skills that are coming your way, but you'll also have you know I-frame type skills that would apply perhaps to a tab targetable skills coming your way. So I think you're gonna have a healthy balance of both with it when it comes to skills that you can spec into.[73]Steven Sharif

Active blocking

The Paladin's Might shield in Ashes of Creation Apocalypse had its own hit box with hit points (HP). It can actively block projectiles.[74]

  • The developers have not yet decided on whether active blocking will be part of the MMO. They are currently leaning toward using more traditional buff-oriented universal damage mitigation but are also considering interaction between action-based blocking and a passive block stat from the waterfall stat system.[75]

In APOC when we had the active shield stance- that was an active shield block action-based system; and when we collected design data on essentially the efficacy and essentially the accuracy of players who used that wasn't very high; and there is a concern at least on the front of implementing a action restricted type active shield block as opposed to what would traditionally be along the lines of activating a buff that grants a shield block rate adjustment and is universal on incoming damage- and interfaces with the stats- is really something that we're leaning towards in incorporating for the hybrid combat system.[75]Steven Sharif

This is something we're still actively iterating on and actively going to be testing in our hybrid system but you know as we're as we're doing that we are taking into consideration. Obviously we want action based components to also interact in some way shape or form with the waterfall stat system as well; and you know that seems like it might be an oxymoron from an action to tab sense, but it doesn't have to be. There can be components of action- so say for instance you could have a dual component where you activate that shield stance and if you accurately intercept an incoming projectile or a skill that's been initiated from the forward arc, you get 80% damage mitigation or 80% application of the physical defense of the shield; and if it comes from an area outside of that forward arc then you get a lesser bonus; and that essentially what would happen is let's say you take into account the stat of the shield's physical defense value, you apply it as a mitigating factor to the incoming damage, but in addition you augment that system with the waterfall stat that is responsible for shield damage mitigation or shield rate; and maybe you know the default skill says 80% damage mitigation from forward arc but that gets augmented up to 87% because of your stat essentially; and if it's not in your forward arc then it gets you know 50% efficacy- maybe it's 40 something percent. So just to give you kind of insight into what goes into kind of determining these skills and how they interact on an action-based front.[75]Steven Sharif

Animations

There will be some animations that add flavor to specific races and classes, but generally animations will be reused as much as possible to decrease development time.[76]

We will have things that are known as sort of like racial abilities which will key into the class that you've chosen and those will almost certainly have animations that are kind of like one-offs that are associated with that class. They'll help you get some more like you know Ren'Kai flavor or some more Empyrean flavor but we have to reuse animations as much as possible in order to get to the finish line here so it'd be a super nice thing to do but probably not in the cards.[76]Jeffrey Bard

Combat abilities

The aspiration for combat is for abilities to have corresponding counter-play abilities.[77]

  • The goal is to have special animations for parrying, blocking and evading.[78]

They can be a challenge to implement sort of really reliably so you might not see them on every evasion or every block, but we do want that kind of stuff to show up.[78]Jeffrey Bard

Crowd control

Crowd control (CC/mezzing) abilities include root, snare, stun, sleep and slow.[79][77]

  • There will be diminishing returns on stuns, sleep and slows so as to avoid stun locking.[77][80]
    • As of May 28, 2021, diminishing returns on CC effects have not yet been implemented in the Alpha-1 testing.[81]

Diminishing returns in regards to crowd control and conditions like stun and sleep and slows and that kind of thing: Yes we will have absolutely diminishing returns. I think it's a necessary component to balance out classes that have high control ability.[77]Steven Sharif

  • Hard CC's are stuns, knock downs, sleeps, paralysis, some roots, some silences.[82]

We're trying to stay away from hard locks as much as we possibly can. We want to have the system be very play, counter-play, counter-counter-play kind of feel.[77]Jeffrey Bard

  • Some crowd-control abilities can dismount a mounted player. In that case the mount would persist with its own health pool and other stats.[83]
    • In current Alpha-1 testing mounts are not separate from the player.[83]

There's also going to be effects that just stun the mount or stun you on the mount.[83]Steven Sharif

info-orange.pngThis section contains information from early testing phases. It will be updated as soon as new information is made available.
Skill Icon Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Javelin Javelin Icon.jpg Pulls a target enemy to your location.[85][58][86][87] Deals damage and generates a great amount of threat.[85][87] Reduces cooldown by 5 seconds.[85][87]
Jump jump icon.png Dash with cooldown.[62] Cooldown is replaced by charges with individual cooldown.[62] Drops a bear trap at the location the ranger dashed from.[62]
Onslaught Onslaught Icon.jpg Charge and deal damage to your target.[88][58][89][90] Reduce the target's attack damage temporarily.[88][90] Knock down the target.[88][90]
Snare snare icon.png Foot pin roots target in place.[91][92] Adds a bleed.[92] Snares after root expires.[92]
Trap trap icon.png Place a bear trap under the caster that holds them in place and does damage. Also holds targets in place and does damage.[93] Traps stun instead of root.[93] Place up to two traps.[93]

Interrupts

Abilities with a cast bar can be interrupted during the cast.[54]

  • There are abilities to counter interrupts.
  • Some interrupts are better than others.


Skill Icon Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Bulwark Bulwark Icon.jpg Bash enemies in front of you twice. The second attack temporarily increases block chance. You must have a shield equipped to block.[94][58][95][96] Additional increased block chance.[94][96] The second attack knocks down enemies.[94][96]
Onslaught Onslaught Icon.jpg Charge and deal damage to your target.[88][58][89][90] Reduce the target's attack damage temporarily.[88][90] Knock down the target.[88][90]
Rush rush icon.png Rush toward a target; and upon reaching the target, deal an amount damage with a chance to knock the target down.[63] - -
Thundershock Lightning Bolt Icon.jpg Shoots forward a beam of lightning that damages enemies in a line in front of you.[97][58][98] Increased damage.[97][99] Now knocks down hit targets.[97][99]

Aggro abilities

Aggro (Threat/Hate) will matter in the game.[100]

  • Aggro is based on a hate table.[100]
Skill Icon Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Javelin Javelin Icon.jpg Pulls a target enemy to your location.[85][58][86][87] Deals damage and generates a great amount of threat.[85][87] Reduces cooldown by 5 seconds.[85][87]

Animation cancelling

Animation cancelling will not be a combat mechanic.[101]

Combat stances

The use of weapon stances in game is likely.[102]

RNG

RNG elements pertain to combat relating to stats such as Critical hit, Evasion, Blocking chance.[103]

RNG is always going to play a role in Ashes of Creation whether that be in PvP or PvE, but one way to mitigate that is through the action system. The action system is going to be far less sort of dependent on those you know dice rolls and there'll be far more in your own hands. They won't ever completely eliminate that but it's a way for us to sort of reward skilled play versus sort of tactical strategies type play.[104]Jeffrey Bard

Primary skills

Alpha-1 preview primary skills.[58]

If from the eight archetypes whatever you choose as your secondary, you're going to receive a choice of augments that relate to some core ideal of that class. You know like a tank is about controlling the battlefield, is about surviving. The mage is about dealing damage and elements and ability in AoEs. The rogue is going to be about stealth and critical damage. So those augments are going to to play towards those identities.[105]Steven Sharif

The idea behind the system is that you're kind of skirting the line through these augmentations of your role, right. We have the traditional holy trinity that's present in class designs for MMOs and it's often that those either are not deviated at all or completely deviated from entirely. The augment is to kind of offer a balance between that where you still maintain the semblance of that trinity system while offering the opportunity to customize your play experience towards one of the other angles in the triangle.[106]Steven Sharif

Primary skills (class abilities) are based on a player's archetype.[63] Players can personalize their primary skills with augmentation from a secondary archetype.[107][63][108]

The design behind augments is to not just change the flavor so that it reflects the secondary archetype, but it also fundamentally changes the core components of a skill.[109]Steven Sharif

  • Each secondary archetype offers four different schools of augmentation.[107][110] Each augment school affects a primary archetype's skills in different ways.[111]
    There's going to be a certain threshold at which you can no longer augment your active abilities based on the decisions you've augmented previous abilities, so you'll have to pick and choose which ones you want to apply the augments towards; and certain augments will have more expense required on the skill point side.[112]Steven Sharif
  • Choosing the same primary and secondary archetype increases focus on that archetype.[113]
  • Augments to primary skills will fundamentally change the way the ability works: Adapting what the ability once did to incorporate the identity of the secondary archetype.[114]
  • Changing the augmentations on your skills will require you to go to a NPC in a Village node or higher.[116]
  • Some spell colors and general FX change based on augments.[117]
    • Active skills could look totally different after an augment gets applied.[118]

Skill points

Alpha-1 preview skills user interface.[119]

This is where players allocate skill points into either their active skills, their passive abilities- which can augment their usage of weapons and armors and health regeneration and passive stats and stuff like that-- but on the weapons side of things, that's where you will spec into certain types of procs based off of weapon groupings. So we've talked a little bit about this in the past: If you have a dagger, daggers might have a chance to proc a bleed on your weapon attack and that would synergize with an active skills' ability like let's say Backstab that does additional damage if the target is under a bleed effect. Now we have said in the past that players will be able to allocate skill points into their active skills that are more geared towards either action combat or tab targeting.[27]Steven Sharif

Players receive skill points as they level. These can be used to level up skills (increase their rank) within their active, passive or combat/weapon skill trees.[120][121][122][123]

  • It will not be possible to max all skills in a skill tree.[123]
  • In terms of skill progression, players can choose to go "wide" and get a number of different abilities, or go "deep" into a few specific abilities.[124]
  • Players are able to reset and reallocate their skill points.[125]

Making active skills capable of receiving additional skill point allocations and unlocking additional features so that from a player agency standpoint it's going to be up to you whether or not you want to be more diverse but less depth- wider and not taller, in some of these skill choices. Or if you want to be very very tall, that's going to be something that is up to the player in that regard.[3]Steven Sharif

Active skills

Players can build their characters with the active skills they want on their action bar.[127][128]

There will be multiple hot-bars that you obviously have available, because you're going to have consumables, you're going to have active skills and whatnot. But the number of active skills are not going to overwhelm necessarily the character and be irrelevant especially at certain stages.[3]Steven Sharif

Ultimate skill

The ultimate skill is a very powerful skill.[130]


Skill Icon Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Hail of arrows hail of arrows icon.png If your focus is at 80%, use this skill to summon a template and launch multiple arrows within the template.[91][131] Adds movement slow.[131] Adds damage over time to targets in the area.[131]
Ultimate Defense Ultimate Defense Icon.jpg Become immune to damage for 3 seconds.[132][58][133][134] Duration is increased to 5 seconds.[134] Grant damage mitigation to all party members.[134]

Elemental skills

The idea behind magic is you're manipulating the elements. They don't just have to be fire, ice, water and air. They can be darkness, they can be light, they can be planar; a lot of different types of "elemental influences".[135]Steven Sharif

info-orange.pngThis section contains information from early testing phases. It will be updated as soon as new information is made available.
Skill Icon Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Fireball Fireball Icon.jpg Hurl a ball of fire toward your target, dealing direct damage upon impact.[136][58][137] Increased damage.[136][138][139][140] Burns the target for additional damage over time.[136][138][139]
Flame line flame line icon.png Shoot an arrow that leaves behind a trail of flames.[141] Arrow explodes upon reaching the end of its distance.[141] Enemies take burning damage for entering the flames.[141]
Lava Storm Lava Storm Icon.jpg Creates a field of lava at the selected location. Deals area damage over time.[58][142][143] Increased damage. Increased duration.[142][138] Increased damage. Increased duration.[142][138]
Thundershock Lightning Bolt Icon.jpg Shoots forward a beam of lightning that damages enemies in a line in front of you.[97][58][98] Increased damage.[97][99] Now knocks down hit targets.[97][99]

Balancing

The sixty four (64) classes are partitioned into eight primary archetypes. Balancing of active skills only relates to these eight primary archetypes.[144][145]

  • There are four primary groups of augments assigned to each base archetype. Balancing of augments relates to the four augment groups for each of the eight archetypes.[145]

Even though augments do radically change the way your active skills provide you abilities, there's still a primary focus on the base archetype itself and not the 64 whole classes.[144]Steven Sharif

We're not really talking about 64 true classes, we're talking about eight classes with 64 variants... There isn't as much variance between the 64 classes as you might expect. It's not like there are you know 64 different versions of... radically different classes.[144]Jeffrey Bard

Balancing in Ashes of Creation is group focused not based on 1v1 combat.[144][146]

There will be match ups in 1v1s where one class will be superior to another; and that application should be a rock-paper-scissors dynamic. We want there to be counter-play between the different classes... Instead it's going to be a group focused balance, where as long as you have the diversity of classes present, that's going to be an equal level playing field. It's going to be very dependent on skill and strategy.[146]Steven Sharif

Certain secondary archetypes are capable of "bridging the gap" between their counterpart.[147]

Certain archetypes are capable of moving the gap between their counterpart per-se. If I am a Tank archetype and a Mage is my counter, I can take a Mage secondary and kind of bridge the divide slightly; and then move my identity that direction ever so slightly.[147]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 testing is initially focused on core functionality rather than combat balance.[8]

Roles

Ashes of Creation has the traditional trinity of Tank, DPS (damage dealers) and Support (healer or non-healer) roles.[148][149][150]

We have our eight base archetypes; and the trinity is a pretty strong influence with regards to the eight base classes. However the area in which we actually begin to play with that line between the trinity is in the secondary classes that you can pick. That's where we begin to blend those spaces and allow people a little bit of influence over their role and whether or not they fit perfectly within a particular category within the trinity.[151]Steven Sharif

Meta

The effectiveness of classes, skills and gear is going to depend on the adversary or the encounter. There will be optimal builds for different challenges and difficulty ratings. This design aims to avoid any obvious meta or "cookie-cutter" builds in Ashes of Creation.​[152]

  • Increasing difficulty ratings inspire more of a traditional vertical power progression that is common in other MMOs.[152]

Oftentimes you just have a very vertical power scale and that determines chase, but when you have a variety of relevance across certain types of adversaries and that variety changes over time because of player activity- and then that affects the economy and the crafter system and who was producing what for what demand- and everything gets shaken up. That's a very kind of fun environment to exist in. It presents a more dynamic situation rather than a quote-unquote cookie-cutter type selection.[152]Steven Sharif

Power creep

Power creep is a balance issue... When it comes to gear progression specifically, the idea is to create an open market that is not heavily dependent on soulbound items; and having many item sinks and gold sinks within that economy that allows for the potential degradation and loss of assets within that closed economy; and not introduce items from the market that companies put in from a pay-to-win perspective or from a pay-to-convenience perspective that undermines the economy that players have built. That is a huge mistake that companies have made in the past and that lends to the imbalancing of what designers maybe have actually balanced well.[153]Steven Sharif

Weapon use combo system

A weapon use combo system (also referred to as Combo system[154], Combat skills[121], and Combat tree[122]) is utilized instead of a traditional auto-attack ability in Ashes of Creation.[154] No traditional auto-attack system is present in Alpha-1.[155]

  • Players can spec into weapon abilities on their combat skill tree, based on their preferred weapon classes (weapon types/weapon groups) and the grade of the weapon.[13][122][121][154]
  • The more skill points that are allocated to the combat skill tree, the greater a player's weapon familiarity. This in turn unlocks various proc effects on weapon use that can offer synergy with other active skills.[122][154] This synergy also applies to active skills from other characters.[120]
    Let's say a dagger has some slashing effects that bleed the target or that cripple the target... Every time you attack you have a chance to proc that effect. That effect then can synergize with what your active skills tree has available to it. So let's say your backstab deals 30 additional damage to a bleeding target. If you attack with your main weapon first and the target gets the bleed proc off and you do your backstab skill then you're synergizing your effects.[122]Steven Sharif
    Let's say backstab that you can apply to deals damage to the target and it'll have a conditional modifier on that damage if you're behind the target, and it'll have a conditional modifier deal additional 50 damage if the target is under a bleed effect. So you want to synergize essentially your weapon proc conditions with your active skills so that you're timing your certain active skills appropriately with the status conditions that the target has taken.[121]Steven Sharif
    • These procs may reduce or reset cooldowns on other skills on the player's hotbar.[156]
  • Using a skill/ability will in general reset the combo.[156]
    • The developers are considering specific abilities might be able to be used without resetting the combo system.[156]
  • The combo system will not have the quicktime event that was seen at PAX West 2017.[154]

It acts similar in the sense of you know the core loop of what an auto attack is so to speak; where you know typically your other skills have a cooldown period, they have a rotation or whatever: Our combo system is a repeatable you know skill effect that you can continually attack with but it's a little bit more involved than what a traditional auto attack is; and it has components from a from an advancement standpoint when it comes to the types of procs that your weapon can have during that combo system... It's not going to have the quick time event that you know you guys saw early on in PAX and gave great feedback on, but it is going to have development with regards to the power of the weapon the type of weapon you're using, the additional proc effects that you can skill into: Those types of things are going to make it a little bit more complex of a system capture.[154]Steven Sharif

Classes of weapons

In-game achievable weapons concept art.[157]

Weapon classes (also referred to as weapon types and weapon groups) in Ashes of Creation.[13]

  • Blunt weapons
  • Slashing weapons
  • Piercing weapons

Weapon swapping

Weapon swapping in the Ashes of Creation MMORPG will be subject to a cooldown period following any damage taken or done by the player.[159][160]

  • The cooldown will be in the range of a few seconds.[160]

For the MMORPG we want there to be some time between damage received or damage done before you can swap your weapon. It's not going to be substantial. It will maybe be a few seconds.[160]Steven Sharif

Players cannot switch armor while in combat.[159][161]

Raid mechanics

Raids contain intricate combat mechanics.[162]

  • Multiple phase boss fights.
  • Adds.
  • Random oriented skill usage.
  • Telegraphed animations, but no obvious telegraphed templates on the ground.
  • Fights will require location, mobility and strategy.

Combat itself will be pretty intricate mechanics-wise. We're going to have different phases of the bosses, there's going to be a lot of adds stuff, there's going to be random oriented skill usage. We're not going to have telegraphed templates on the ground, but we will have telegraphed animations, so it's going to be location, mobility, strategic. It will be something that can not be repeatable in the exact same way from raid to raid, but has a variance between the combat, so raiders are going to have to be fluid in thinking on their feet.[162]Steven Sharif

Telegraphs

In specific circumstances there will be telegraphs (tells) to communicate something that's happening.[163]

  • Animation tells.
  • Templates.

List of raid bosses

Utility skill

Pre-alpha rogue climbing a Metropolis wall.[164]

We have what are called utility skills and a lot of MMORPGS really only focus on active combat skills, but some of the favorite things that I've had as a gamer is tabletop RPGs like Pathfinder or Dungeons and Dragons, and there are skills in those games that are relevant to either your environment or the quest line; and they're a little bit you know sometimes "story mode".[165]Steven Sharif

info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap for Alpha-1.

A utility skill is a non-combat skill that interacts with the environment.[166] Utility skills lend themselves toward how classes navigate and deal with hazards in the world.[167]

  • Different classes excel at different skills.[167]
  • All classes will have maneuverability/traversal utility abilities.[168]
    • There will be a grappling hook utility skill or item.[169]
  • Classes will have utility abilities, such as detecting traps and other hazards. For example: The Mage's detection spell casts light and reveals magical explosive hazards.[170]
  • Certain classes are able to climb/parkour in certain areas.[171][172]
    • Climbing/parkour ability is not free-form and will likely be restricted to certain quests, locations or objects.[173][174]
  • Certain classes (such as Rogues) will have stealth abilities.[175]
    • Rogues may also have a spyglass utility skill.[167]

We don't just have the approach of your class being reflected in your combat abilities but also there are utility abilities that certain classes have that other classes don't have.[176]Steven Sharif


Skill Icon Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Family summon Long duration cast (30 seconds to a minute) with an approximate 30 minute cooldown that slowly summons each of your family members to your location (up to eight members).[177][178] Players cannot be summoned in the following cases:
This will be tested in Alpha-2.[181]
- -
Pathfinding Reveals corrupted player locations on the bounty hunter's map.[182][183] Activating this ability will flag the bounty hunter for combat only to corrupted players for a period of one hour from the time of activation.[182] The pathfinding ability can be toggled on or off.[182][184] The accuracy of the pathfinding skill is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.[185] The accuracy of the pathfinding skill is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.[185]
Stealth This does not render a player completely invisible. Instead, there will be indicators that can help players "feel out" where stealthed individuals may be.[186] - -
Track track icon.png Use this skill to show nearby tracks, leading to unknown adventures.[91] - -

Player death

Player death in an open world dungeon in Alpha-1.[187]

We don't have deleveling, instead what we have is experience debt. Now the more experience debt you accrue, the greater the detriment to your character; not to the point where you can not get out of the debt. There will always be a way forward to remove your debt.[188]Steven Sharif

When a player dies they disintegrate into ash. The ashes contain any items lost by the player due to applicable death penalties.[189][190][191][192] These ash piles are immediately lootable by any player.[189] Player flagging is not triggered by looting.[193]

  • A non-combatant (green player) who dies suffers normal penalties, which include:[191]
    When players die and they take durability loss, our durability loss isn't like other games where it's a gold sink so to speak. It's a combination of both a gold sink and a material sink. So in a sense, even if you only have completed items, when you take that durability loss you are losing out on materials. It's just a debt to the materials that you are losing instead of the active loss of that material in your inventory. So now you are accruing a material debt if you want to repair and increase again the performance of those particular items that take that durability loss.[196]Steven Sharif
    • Dropping a percentage of carried gatherables and processed goods.[190][191]
      • This also includes a percentage of the certificates a player is carrying.[192]
      • If a player dies there will be a period of time before their mule despawns. Other players must kill that player's mule to be able to loot it.[198]
      • If a player's mule dies its corpse will contain the same percentage of lootable items as the player.[198][199]
  • A combatant (purple player) who dies suffers these same penalties, but at half the rate of a non-combatant.[191]
  • A corrupt (red player) suffers penalties at four times[200] the rate of a non-combatant, and has a chance to drop any carried/equipped items based on their current corruption score. This includes:[200][191]

Experience debt will scale to approximately 2 or 3 percent of the total XP for a max level player. These numbers are subject to change based on testing.[205]

  • As of May 28, 2021, the experience debt in Alpha-1 testing is "completely off mark" and will either be changed or disabled prior to the next spot test.[205]

Death penalties do not apply to objective-based events (such as caravans, guild wars, and node sieges).[206]

There will not be death penalties applied to event-based deaths. The penalties are in the outcome of the event. So your number of deaths is likely going to impact your ability to win that particular event and that's going to be the penalty. This is it to encourage players to opt in to the events right because the more participation we have the more fun it can be; and we understand that the community at large- there's already a risk versus reward component to these events. We don't need to stack on additional risk versus reward to inhibit kind of- to increase the barrier to entry for players who may not be as interested.[206]Steven Sharif
  • Death penalties do not differ between PvP and PvE, but this is subject to change.[207]

Death by drowning is possible.[208]

Mounted combat

Certain mounts will have combat abilities.[209][210]

  • Players can't use their class skills while mounted.[209]
  • Mounts can be targeted separately from the player while mounted.[211]
  • Mounts can be killed by players, but can be resurrected after a certain cooldown period.[211][212]

Mount abilities and stats

Noble Warhorn Sprint mount ability.[213]

All mounts will have certain types of abilities: Whether those abilities are utility, or sprint, or some type of combat charge through that knocks down players or something. It just depends on the type of mount and the skills associated with that mount. That's also one component of the animal husbandry system is in creating these mounts you can have unique skill sets associated with them that obviously creates an economy for mount types and and puts some relevancy on the profession of animal husbandry to present unique mounts.[83]Steven Sharif

Mounts have different core abilities, utility skills and stats.[83][214]

  • Based on skill choice, mounts can be used as initiation vehicles, escape vehicles, utility vehicles, and traversal vehicles.[215]

Mounts have obviously many different applications and that's also going to speak to its identity when it has a skill selection choice too. Like do you- are you more aggressive in initiation with your mount? Okay well you probably want the ones that are going to be able to charge through and do some type of CC effect on players in front of you. Are you more about kind of using them out to dodge and avoid you know different types of things? Well then you probably want some type of invulnerability skills or some type of protective skills that you can activate at certain times. Are you going to be more traversal and focus on kind of speed you use your mount just kind of go around the world and you don't really care about the combat aspect? Well then you probably want some skill sets on your mount that reflect that.[215]Steven Sharif

  • Mounts will have varied speeds.[217]

There's definitely a difficulty from a balance perspective obviously on the design side when you're having to incorporate speeds that are so radically different from the normal player movement speeds; and mounts do have a obviously a significantly faster component there. But that's why you build into the to the skill sets that players have obviously those types of cc's which can either, as we spoke about previously, knock the player off of their mount, kill them with some massive damage, or stun the player. Those are components that are taken into account when balancing out these skill selections.[215]Steven Sharif

  • A player can dismount and have their mount follow them.[83][211]

Dragon abilities

Dragons are epic flying mounts with strong battle abilities, such as AoE breath attacks, swooping flyby attacks, and others.[218][219]

The dragon will have a lot of capability in PvP. It's primarily its purpose, because as it relates to Castles and the sieges they're in, or Nodes and the sieges they're in. We want dragons to have large scale ramifications against player raids.[219]Steven Sharif

Combat pets

Combat pets (also referred to as Item pets or Universal combat pets) may be tamed from certain creatures in the world.[220]

  • Combat pets will not increase a player's power and will require a sacrifice from the player.[221]
    • Power is delegated to the pet when it is summoned and returned to the player immediately when the pet despawns.[222]
  • Combat pets have a horizontal progression, not a vertical one.[221]
  • Combat pets are categorized by class and will adhere to a simple trinity structure (Tank/DPS/Support).[223]
  • Combat pets will also be categorized into different rarities.[223]
  • Combat pets may not be able to be summoned in certain dungeons, instances or other spaces.[215]

It will participate in combat. It will allow you different options sometimes, but it won't necessarily increase your power and... you'll be sacrificing something for it.[221]Jeffrey Bard

Combat pets are not the same as Summoner summons.[223]

Naval combat

Tea transport PAX East 2018 exclusive cosmetic ship skin.[224]

Sailing will be pretty in-depth and it's going to be based on the size of the ship that you're using. So there will be components for seamanship that other players you will need to have on board if you want to operate a vessel to the best of it's abilities: Let's say in combat or traversing just the world.[225]Steven Sharif

Ships are owned by the player who has the ship item in their inventory. Only that player can summon the ship.[226]

  • Permissions will be present to allow other players to access ship functions who are in the same party or raid, such as weapons, anchors, utility items, and the ship's helm to navigate the ship.[226]
  • Players will have quests that navigate them toward creating a personal vessel at around level 10-15.[227]

Naval combat involves different types of Ships with varying capabilities, armaments and roles to play out on the high seas. There will be a balance and counterbalance between ships from PvP and PvE perspectives.[228]

Battles at sea will be epic. They will have some supreme rewards and/or losses if the battle succeeds or fails.[229]Steven Sharif

Addons/ DPS meters

My decision is not to allow DPS meters nor add-ons. I feel we have adequate measures in place to prevent a majority of potential third party trackers. I know this subject has passionate voices on both sides and I respect the various opinions and positions many of you have expressed.[230]Steven Sharif

Addons and DPS meters will not be allowed.[230][231]

  • The developers don't want addons/mods to be necessary to experience the game.[232]
  • The design of the game API is still under consideration.[233]
  • There will be integrations available for streaming services such as Twitch and a few other services, but it's not something that will be exposed through an API just yet.[234]
  • The developers believe that parsers (DPS meters) can have negative effects.[235][231]

The idea is to make a one-stop-shop from the company when it comes to in-game systems... We don't really want to have addons in my opinion.[232]Steven Sharif

There will be leader boards.[236]

Combat logs

There are combat logs in Ashes of Creation.[237]

We will be providing combat data for individual players in their chat window, that players can filter and analyze for themselves. The goal is to mitigate and make the practice less prevalent through the ease that DPS meters provide. Also to place actionable enforcement for players who attempt to circumvent the decision by use of 3rd party programs, for which we will be monitoring.[238]Steven Sharif

Factions

There are no predefined factions in Ashes of Creation.[239]

We present the player with these soft friction events and then that determines who your friends and your foes are.[240]Steven Sharif

Because we are non-faction based, you want to grant the user the ability to either do things that are "evil" or "good", so there has to be a plethora of choice on the evil side for them to participate in.[241]Steven Sharif

Videos

Community guides

See also

References

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  153. 154.0 154.1 154.2 154.3 154.4 154.5 Livestream, 30 January 2020 (1:28:40).
  154. steven-auto-attack-definition.png
  155. 156.0 156.1 156.2 Livestream, 28 February 2020 (1:10:21).
  156. Livestream, 30 April 2021 (53:08).
  157. Video, 17 August 2018 (0:01).
  158. 159.0 159.1 Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:03:45).
  159. 160.0 160.1 160.2 Livestream, 30 May 2019 (1:15:58).
  160. Livestream, 28 July 2017 (34:32).
  161. 162.0 162.1 Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (1:14:01).
  162. Livestream, 22 May 2017 (49:38).
  163. Video, 9 May 2017 (0:57).
  164. Livestream, 25 July 2020 (42:49).
  165. Livestream, 30 June 2017 (30:34).
  166. 167.0 167.1 167.2 Livestream, 12 May 2017 (33:10).
  167. class mobility.png
  168. Livestream, 12 May 2017 (18:00).
  169. class utilities.png
  170. Livestream, 15 May 2017 (15:10).
  171. utility skills.jpg
  172. Livestream, 18 January 2018 (34:56).
  173. Livestream, 28 June 2019 (1:21:46).
  174. class stealth.png
  175. Livestream, 24 May 2017 (57:41).
  176. Interview, 19 July 2020 (1:20:58).
  177. Podcast, 26 July 2020 (1:34:47).
  178. Podcast, 26 July 2020 (1:32:15).
  179. steven-family-summon.png
  180. steven-family-summon-2.png
  181. 182.0 182.1 182.2 steven-bounty-hunters-2.png
  182. 183.0 183.1 Interview, 27 April 2017 (9:28).
  183. corruption toggle.png
  184. 185.0 185.1 Livestream, 24 May 2017 (48:00).
  185. Livestream, 3 May 2017 (49:39).
  186. Livestream, 28 March 2020 (1:58:24).
  187. Podcast, 23 April 2018 (49:21).
  188. 189.0 189.1 Livestream, 26 March 2021 (1:07:33).
  189. 190.0 190.1 a419c5398b542a713545e4f393d67215.png
  190. 191.0 191.1 191.2 191.3 191.4 191.5 191.6 191.7 191.8 Podcast, 5 May 2017 (43:05).
  191. 192.0 192.1 Interview, 18 July 2020 (27:11).
  192. Podcast, 11 April 2021 (34:41).
  193. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (13:37).
  194. Ashes of Creation Forums - Former Lineage 2 PvP'er wanting to discuss PvP loopholes.
  195. 196.0 196.1 Interview, 7 February 2021 (13:14).
  196. Interview, 29 July 2020 (16:46).
  197. 198.0 198.1 Livestream, 29 January 2021 (1:24:27).
  198. Livestream, 27 September 2018 (47:46).
  199. 200.0 200.1 200.2 Interview, 18 July 2020 (41:54).
  200. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (35:20).
  201. Interview, 11 May 2018 (15:41).
  202. Livestream, 25 June 2021 (1:15:37).
  203. Interview, 11 May 2018 (3:43).
  204. 205.0 205.1 Livestream, 28 May 2021 (1:50:50).
  205. 206.0 206.1 Livestream, 22 December 2020 (1:13:51).
  206. Livestream, 15 May 2017 (36:23).
  207. Livestream, 28 July 2017 (50:22).
  208. 209.0 209.1 Livestream, 5 May 2017 (22:44).
  209. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (AM) (12:34).
  210. 211.0 211.1 211.2 211.3 Interview, 19 July 2020 (1:05:41).
  211. Livestream, 5 May 2017 (38:27).
  212. Video, 26 February 2021 (20:25).
  213. mount stats.png
  214. 215.0 215.1 215.2 215.3 215.4 Livestream, 30 April 2021 (1:10:04).
  215. mount abilities.png
  216. mount speeds.png
  217. dragon abilities.png
  218. 219.0 219.1 219.2 Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (51:49).
  219. Livestream, 18 January 2018 (33:09).
  220. 221.0 221.1 221.2 Livestream, 28 June 2019 (1:24:27).
  221. Livestream, 30 July 2021 (1:15:29).
  222. 223.0 223.1 223.2 Livestream, 30 October 2020 (1:21:14).
  223. Ashes of Creation Store: Tea transport.
  224. Livestream, 31 October 2018 (54:21).
  225. 226.0 226.1 Livestream, 28 May 2021 (1:52:15).
  226. Livestream, 30 July 2021 (1:14:04).
  227. 228.0 228.1 228.2 Livestream, 28 July 2017 (47:53).
  228. Livestream, 28 June 2019 (1:12:08).
  229. 230.0 230.1 Ashes of Creation Forums - No Damage Meter?
  230. 231.0 231.1 Livestream, 5 May 2017 (20:02).
  231. 232.0 232.1 Interview, 20 October 2018 (6:29).
  232. Livestream, 5 May 2017 (21:41).
  233. Interview, 11 May 2018 (49:03).
  234. Livestream, 30 April 2020 (1:28:19).
  235. Livestream, 5 May 2017 (43:27).
  236. Ashes of Creation Forums - No Damage Meter?
  237. Ashes of Creation Forums - No participation trophy.
  238. Livestream, 26 May 2017 (39:36).
  239. 240.0 240.1 240.2 240.3 240.4 Interview, 18 July 2020 (22:26).
  240. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (11:27).