Combat revamp

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

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.[1]Steven Sharif

A revamped combat system will be rolled out during and post Alpha-1 testing based on player feedback.[2][3][4]

  • The goal is to give more agency to the player and achieve a more fluid flow of combat with greater mobility when using abilities.[5][6]
  • The current hybrid tab and action combat system will remain after the revamp.[5]
  • This revamp will not represent the final form of combat, but will set the general direction that combat will be taking.[7]
  • The revamp will be iterative and will be rolled out to testers in different phases.[6]

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.[1][8][9]

You'll be able to move forward while swinging your weapon; and this will allow you complete control over your weapon attacks for melee.[1]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 testing is initially focused on core functionality rather than combat balance.[9]

Q: Based on recent feedback, what direction are you leaning towards in regards to split-body versus root-motion?
A: We are leaning towards split body.[10]Steven Sharif

Mobility

Revamped Alpha-1 Mage Fireball ability.[6][4]

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.[6]Tradd Thompson

Skills with the greatest power may require the caster to remain stationary while channeling them. This is a risk vs. reward mechanic.[11][12]

  • Prone and crouch will likely not be in the game.[13]
  • Moving backward will likely not affect block and parry.[14]

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.[11]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.[11]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.[1][8][9]

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.[15][16][17][18] Now deals damage to enemies surrounding your departure location.[19][18] Reduced cooldown.[15][19][18]
Jump jump icon.png Dash with cooldown.[20] Cooldown is replaced by charges with individual cooldown.[20] Drops a bear trap at the location the ranger dashed from.[20]
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.[21] - -
Sprint sprint icon.png Increases movement speed. Using an ability ends sprint.[22] Increased resistance to disable abilities.[22] Clears crowd control when sprint starts and removes silence.[22]

PvP

Alpha-1 open world caravan PvP.[24]

Player combat in Ashes of Creation is both vast and intimate. It spans many aspects of the game itself. From great political battles held on the fields of massive castles, to open world conflicts fought for the pride of Guild Leaders. A player can choose to participate in the fate of the world by swaying the tide of battle with his or her combat prowess. Our PvP mechanics follow a flagging system, as well as static PvP zones at certain points of interest; fight for control over cities, castles, caravans, or hunting grounds. Our PvP is designed to offer the players a well-balanced and fair world to shape through the pen, or sword should they choose.[25]

PvP (Player versus player combat) is the catalyst for change in Ashes of Creation.[26] Player combat is intended to be meaningful, ranging from Caravan battles to vast open world conflicts fought for the pride of Kings and Queens.[27]

Because players are motivated by different things, because they want something from the game that other players don't want, that's going to cause people to butt heads. Different players are going to want different experiences and the conflict between the two of them will create a bigger and better thing. Out of strife comes rebirth and that's a core symbol, it's a core theme that occurs throughout the game.[28]Jeffrey Bard

There are many reasons to engage in open world PvP in Ashes of Creation.[29]

Just because our flagging system gives corruption to pkers, doesn't mean PvP won't happen. There is plenty of reason for PvP to occur open-world. Scarce resources, open world hunting grounds, caravans, sieges, guild wars etc.[29]Steven Sharif

Death penalties do not apply to objective-based events (such as caravans, guild wars, and node sieges).[30]

Alpha-1 testing

Hail and well met glorious Ashes of Creation testers. My name is Sean Farrens. I am the manager of quality assurance on Ashes of Creation and on behalf of the Ashes QA team I would like to extend a deep and heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated in testing Ashes of Creation during the weekend of May 14 through May 16th for our Alpha 1 build. In spite of instability and uncertainty you have all proven to be invaluable in regards to your feedback and bug reports; and for that I cannot express my gratitude enough. As many of you know, developing an MMORPG is an epic endeavor that is filled with trials and tribulations that no other kind of game will ever encounter; and your illustrated dedication has proven to our team that we are on a high road to the best MMORPG gaming experience to date. During this most recent testing period we received over 2,600 bug reports, which have been an absolute boon to our testing process. We review each report individually and I continue to be impressed with how detailed and helpful each of these reports has been. Like seriously you guys give repro steps and everything. Super duper handy. I greatly look forward to your feedback in the future and hope you enjoy our content so far, so thank you so much everybody.[31]Sean Farrens

While we will have specific spot tests for certain systems as we develop them post the Alpha one month, it should be expected and understood that after this Alpha one month there will be probably a significant amount of downtime where there won't be spot testing as we kind of break apart a lot of systems, take what we learned from alpha one month and implement and iterate upon those learnings. So there's gonna be several months probably worth of significant downtime where there will not be access to spot testing, where we are going to go in and really rejigger a lot of systems[32]Steven Sharif

Phase Release Estimated/Actual date
Alpha-1 Alpha-1 early preview livestream.[33] March 27, 2020.[34]
Alpha-1 limited QA testing (NDA).[35][36] May 28, 2020.[37][38]
Alpha-1 preview pre-test 1 (NDA).[39] Dec 18 - Dec 21 2020.[39]
Alpha-1 preview pre-test 2 (NDA).[39] Feb 19 - Feb 22 2021.[40][41]
Alpha-1 preview intermittent spot testing (NDA).[42][43] Mar 19 - Jul 9 2021.[42][43]
Alpha-1 preview weekend (no NDA).[42] July 9 - July 11 2021.[44][45][42]
Alpha-1 (no NDA).[42] July 14 - August 15 2021.[46][47]
Alpha-1 intermittent spot testing.[32][48] After August 15 2021.[32][47]

Read more...

The term "alpha" is a tricky one, and it typically has 2 meanings in gaming. The development meaning for alpha is a point in the process where we are ready to test the fundamental systems in their core form, without polish and without much of the content. Then, there is the external or "marketing" term for alpha. This is typically applied to Eastern-ported MMORPGs, when in fact that is a completed game being localized for a region, and not really indicative of a true development alpha. As you may know by now, game development has many stages - from the initial tech demos to the pre-production and pre-alpha states, then on to the alphas and betas and eventually launch.[39]Steven Sharif

I want to make emphatically clear, our alphas and betas are true development alphas and betas, and some have said I am crazy to allow these phases to be seen without an NDA…maybe I am crazy? lol… But I am trusting the community of gamers out there to get a glimpse into the process, and understand the long road ahead for what will eventually be worth the wait. Given time and talent, amazing things can happen, so make sure you help us in communicating that we are in open development which means people get to see the bare bones before the meat. And look, I know people see our 4K footage and say, "This looks better than most released games!", but trust me when I say, you ain't seen nothin’ yet.[39]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 testing goals

Server deployment and performance testing
  • Stress-test our server deployments and player concurrency numbers with high volumes of player activity and interactions.[42]
  • Stand up multiple world server deployments across different geographical regions.[42]
  • Soak test server grid health over a continuous period of production use.[42]
  • Evaluate current networking architecture, and identify non-performant code and areas for additional optimizations or refactoring.[42]
  • Test our build strategy and hot-fix deployment procedures, account services, web-based systems, launcher and patcher stability, and cloud-based infrastructure.[42]
System functionalities and behavior testing (in their core state)
Player character systems (in their core state)
Ancillary systems (in their core state)

The above is not a comprehensive list of everything being tested in Alpha One, but it hits the primary points. There are many other data metrics being collected for our approach to the content production pipelines, system definitions, and refactoring as well. Not to mention a plethora of technical art implications and optimizations, but you get the gist. This is a very fundamental test that will impact the direction of development post-Alpha One, so you can understand the importance of testing and its need for player participation, attention, and feedback.[42]Steven Sharif

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Livestream, 30 July 2021 (31:22).
  2. Livestream, 28 May 2021 (1:14:50).
  3. steven-combat-revamp-update.png
  4. 4.0 4.1 Video, 26 February 2021 (6:17).
  5. 5.0 5.1 steven-combat-revamp-update-2.png
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Livestream, 26 February 2021 (27:41).
  7. Interview, 7 February 2021 (49:18).
  8. 8.0 8.1 Interview, 13 June 2021 (4:12).
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Livestream, 28 May 2021 (1:13:05).
  10. Livestream, 27 August 2021 (1:15:39).
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Livestream, 30 April 2020 (1:17:13).
  12. Livestream, 8 May 2017 (43:30).
  13. stevenclarification.png
  14. Livestream, 26 June 2020 (1:30:40).
  15. toast-keybinds-skills.png
  16. Video, 23 December 2020 (1:17).
  17. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Livestream, 31 July 2020 (57:33).
  18. 19.0 19.1 Video, 22 December 2020 (7:35).
  19. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Livestream, 16 October 2017 (45:52).
  20. progression.png
  21. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Livestream, 16 October 2017 (46:22).
  22. Video, 28 May 2021 (25:44).
  23. Video, 31 May 2020 (1:09:50).
  24. About Ashes of Creation.
  25. pvp catalyst.png
  26. Ashes of Creation FAQ.
  27. Video, 30 April 2017 (5:31).
  28. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 29.4 29.5 29.6 pvp meaningful.png
  29. Livestream, 22 December 2020 (1:13:51).
  30. Livestream, 28 May 2021 (1:36:43).
  31. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Livestream, 30 July 2021 (20:30).
  32. March 2020 newsletter.
  33. Video, 23 March 2020 (0:01).
  34. alpha-1-nda-2.png
  35. alpha-1-nda-1.png
  36. steven-a1-testing-start.png
  37. Creative Director's Letter, 1 April 2020.
  38. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 Blog: Creative Director's Letter, October 16 2020
  39. Livestream, 26 February 2021 (14:58).
  40. Blog: Creative Director's Letter, January 2021.
  41. 42.00 42.01 42.02 42.03 42.04 42.05 42.06 42.07 42.08 42.09 42.10 42.11 42.12 42.13 42.14 42.15 Alpha One Schedule Update, May 10 2021.
  42. 43.0 43.1 An Update on Alpha One Schedule, March 12 2021
  43. steven-a1preview-end.png
  44. Ashes of Creation Twitter - Alpha-1 Preview Weekend Begins
  45. alpha-1-end.png
  46. 47.0 47.1 release-dates.png
  47. alpha-1-tests.png