Weapon use combo system

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A weapon use combo system (also referred to as Combo system[2], and Weapon use ability[3]) is utilized instead of a traditional auto-attack ability in Ashes of Creation.[2][4]

Let's say for example you're using a two-handed warhammer or something and you have a number of weapon combos that play animation style based on how many combos deep you go into an attack with that warhammer. So the first is going to be like a forward swing. Second is going to be a back swing. The third is going to be swing down and the fourth is going to be some twirl that you do; and that's what we call the combo animation montage.[5]Steven Sharif
The way that the weapon skill tree works is that at different stages of that combat montage you have available procs that can occur. The first swing might be a small stagger that decreases your opponent's accuracy by 15, that could be a proc that you could that you could spec into that decrease in accuracy- might be a status condition called stagger or bewildered or whatever- and that might exist for three or four seconds. Your second option from a skill tree perspective might be on the swing back. You have some type of tapering slow effect that lasts over three seconds- some type of tapering snare; and then the third step strike down might be some potential one second stun status modifier; and each of these you can spec into additional points to increase the chance that these proc.[5]Steven Sharif
  • Depending on class skill choice these effects will have synergy effects with the combat montage.[5]
Depending on what your class skill choice has been those are going to have synergy effects with the weapon skill tree. So my skill called spin-to-win might do 30 additional damage on a staggered target. So I see when my proc occurs with the stagger effect on my first swing, like for me as a player I might be only interested in landing that first swing, so every now and then I'm gonna swing once and then I'm gonna use a skill and then I'm gonna come back and swing again because that'll play my first swing montage, because it's been interrupted. So I won't move to the second one because I'm really just wanna hit that stagger effect. So that's going to be how my rotation lines up. However I might have some skill that on a stun target it might be an immediate cast and it's like some power you push or power hit; and that does- it knocks back a stun target. So if the target's stunned when this skill plays, it has an added effect of knock down and now they're gonna get knocked down for an additional two seconds. Now I might spec into that and as a result I want to finish through: swing, swing, and then knock down. So I get my chance at stunning that target with that weapon skill.[5]Steven Sharif
You may have items or set bonuses that change at what level those proc occurs. So I may have a full set of battle armor that changes all third hit combo procs to second hit requirements and now I have a chance not only on my second hit to land that tapering slow but I also have a chance to land my one second stun proc because I have the full set that changes my weapon progression. So that's the way itemization works with your weapon skill tree, is you can enhance when those weapon skill trees become available in your combat montage and that can be a relevant factor in how your skill rotations come to play; and mixes with your weapon attacks.
  • Weapon skill choices and rotations will vary based on whether the player is more focused on PvP or PvE.[5]
Right now some people might just say, "I don't care at all about my weapon attacks. I'm not going to invest a lot of points into that. And if I do, it's going to be primarily PvE focused where I'm more comfortable using just swinging my weapon, and I may not use them as much in PvP. I'm just going to be focused on skill rotations." That's okay, but the reason for those skill montages- back to your question- is they have a very relevant role in when certain procs come online from a weapons skill tree perspective.[5]Steven Sharif
  • Using a skill/ability (other than the weapon attack Q or left-mouse-click) will in general reset the combo.[7]
    • The developers are considering specific abilities might be able to be used without resetting the combo system.[7]

It acts similar in the sense of the core loop of what an auto attack is so to speak; where typically your other skills have a cooldown period, they have a rotation or whatever: Our combo system is a repeatable 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 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.[2]Steven Sharif

Weapon use combo system status

The weapon use combo system plays heavily into the weapon skill trees, which are planned for Alpha-2 and beyond.[6]

Weapon progression

Sword and polearm 3D renders.[11]

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.[12]Steven Sharif

Weapons will have their own progression paths and their own applicable types of skills.[2][13]

Q: Are weapons balanced towards a proficiency system (i.e. the longer I use a sword, the better my damage will be), or will it be a normal RPG stat system with no long-term scaling?
A: We will not be using a proficiency system as described, but players will have passives available in their skill tree that will increase effectiveness of certain weapons. Becoming a master of swords will be something that is possible, just not in that particular manner.[15]Sarah Flanagan

Ashes of Creation is all about providing many progression paths... The reason why we don't like the term endgame is because with the amount of progression that's available with the amount of diversity and player agency that impacts the world... We kind of want the weapon system [to] add an element of that as well... You can determine special effects that proc from currently the combo system; you can determine ancillary effects that proc based on enchantment types; you can power stone weapons to add different either elemental types of damage and/or energy that kind of play rock-paper-scissor with player defenses ... and then you can skill tree out how those effects that are granted ... you can make them better you can branch them off into a different direction.[14]Steven Sharif

Weapon skill tree

Basic weapon attack livestream teaser.[17]

Our approach is not going to be providing skills through weapons. It's going to be providing skills through classes.[18]Steven Sharif

Players can spec into weapon abilities on their weapon skill tree (also referred to as Combat skills[9], and Combat tree[10]) based on their preferred weapon classes (weapon types/weapon groups) and the grade of the weapon.[19][10][9][2]

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.[10]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.[9]Steven Sharif

Classes of weapons

In-game achievable weapons concept art.[11]

Weapon classes (also referred to as weapon types and weapon groups) in Ashes of Creation.[19]

  • Blunt weapons
  • Slashing weapons
  • Piercing weapons

Weapon weights

Weapon weight refers to how the mass of a weapon affects its performance during combat.[21]

There is a balance between player motion and agency as we call it and weapon weightedness- that almost locked-in-place rooted position- the heavier the weapon is, the more restrictions you want to place on that player agency to showcase the rooted effect: That weight- that heavyweight kind of aspect; and so what we've done by presenting you guys with both the dual daggers and the two-handed weapon is we've kind of shown the range between that complete player agency: a player agency in the light weapon attacks that's the dual daggers, and the maximum range of of rootedness or weightedness that's present on the two-handed weapon; and that's the spectrum in which our basic melee combat will exist within. So if there are medium weapon groups that exist in-between there, it's going to be somewhere in between that spectrum.[22]Steven Sharif

Ultimate skill

info-orange.pngThis section contains information from early testing phases. It will be updated as soon as new information is made available.

The ultimate skill is a very powerful skill.[23]

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.[24][25] Adds movement slow.[25] Adds damage over time to targets in the area.[25]
Ultimate Defense Ultimate Defense Icon.jpg Become immune to damage for 3 seconds.[26][27][28][29] Duration is increased to 5 seconds.[29] Grant damage mitigation to all party members.[29]

Ranged weapons

info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
Pre-alpha Ranger bow modeled by Jon Arellano and concepted by Jeff Delierre.

A character may equip up to two hand weapons and also wear a ranged weapon on their back.[30][31][32]

  • Characters performing ranged abilities will switch to the ranged weapon, then can switch back to the melee weapon and shield or two-handed melee weapon.[30][31]
  • There will be a setting to determine if the ranged weapon or main/offhand selection is your primary weapon to use for Q or left-mouse-button attacks.[30][31]

Let's say you use Power shot: You click Power shot, you quickly switch over to the ranged weapon, execute the skill, and you're back to your primary focus, which is the the sword and shield; and then for weapon attacks like your Q or your left mouse button, you would have the option to to set which is your focus, the ranged weapon, or the main offhand selection and you can swap back and forth between that as you want.[30]Steven Sharif

Rangers are going to have a minimum distance requirement where they are eligible to use their ranged weapons.[33]

While melee characters have a max distance proximity where they're eligible to use their sword and melee weapons, Rangers are going to have a minimum distance requirement.[33]Steven Sharif

Q: Will we get any a longer range free aim weapons like we had in APOC, able to snipe players from long distances?
A: It's probably unlikely that you're going to see in a similar way to what we had in APOC with a long bow or the short bow, that type of distance traveled. I think in APOC we had a 250 meter cut off for the long bows.[35]Steven Sharif

See also


  1. Twitter - Take a look at our new basic weapon attack combos!
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Livestream, 30 January 2020 (1:28:40).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Livestream, 18 January 2018 (22:46).
  4. steven-auto-attack-definition.png
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 Podcast, 29 September 2021 (47:57).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Livestream, 24 September 2021 (1:19:17).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Livestream, 28 February 2020 (1:10:21).
  8. Podcast, 11 May 2018 (57:42).
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Interview, 19 July 2020 (53:59).
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:07:51).
  11. 11.0 11.1 Livestream, 30 April 2021 (53:08).
  12. Interview, 20 October 2018 (2:53:52).
  13. Livestream, 4 May 2018 (45:37).
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Livestream, 4 June 2018 (1:11:19).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
  16. Livestream, 25 June 2021 (1:29:39).
  17. Twitter - What’s your go-to weapon?
  18. 18.0 18.1 Livestream, 30 June 2022 (1:12:38).
  19. 19.0 19.1 Interview, 7 February 2021 (49:18).
  20. Interview, 29 July 2020 (55:44).
  21. Livestream, 30 June 2022 (46:30).
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Livestream, 30 June 2022 (42:29).
  23. Livestream, 30 June 2017 (29:13).
  24. PAX West 2017 Ranger poster.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Livestream, 16 October 2017 (45:37).
  26. Alpha-1 screenshot.
  27. toast-keybinds-skills.png
  28. Video, 9 February 2021 (0:49).
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:14:33).
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 Podcast, 29 September 2021 (40:50).
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Interview, 11 May 2018 (16:32).
  32. weaponslots.png
  33. 33.0 33.1 Livestream, 30 June 2017 (47:14).
  34. Podcast, 29 September 2021 (46:20).
  35. Podcast, 29 September 2021 (43:02).