Skill points

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Alpha-1 early preview skills UI.[1]

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.[1]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.[2][3][4][5]

  • It will not be possible to max all skills in a skill tree.[5]
  • 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.[6]
  • Players are able to reset and reallocate their skill points.[7]

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.[8]Steven Sharif

Primary skills

Alpha-1 Tank primary skills early user interface design.[9]

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.[10]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.[11]Steven Sharif

Primary skills (class abilities) are based on a player's archetype.[12] Players can personalize their primary skills with augmentation from a secondary archetype.[13][12][14]

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.[15]Steven Sharif

  • Each secondary archetype offers four different schools of augmentation.[13][16] Each augment school affects a primary archetype's skills in different ways.[17]
    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.[18]Steven Sharif
  • Choosing the same primary and secondary archetype increases focus on that archetype.[19]
  • 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.[20]
  • Changing the augmentations on your skills will require you to go to a NPC in a Village node or higher.[22]
  • Some spell colors and general FX change based on augments.[23]
    • Active skills could look totally different after an augment gets applied.[24]

Active skills

Players can build their characters with the active skills they want on their action bar.[26][27]

  • The number of skills on the action bar will be contained (fewer than 30).[28]
  • There will be an option to include multiple hotbars (action bars).[8][27]
  • For example: One Fighter will be different from another based on what active skills they have chosen.[28]
  • Through skill choice, players can customize their combat experience to focus on tab targeted skills, action targeted skills, or a mix of both.[29]
  • Players are not given skills as they level up, they must choose what skills they take.[6]
  • There is no spellbook requiring memorization.[30]

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.[8]Steven Sharif

Class progression

  • Players receive skill points as they level. These can be used to level up skills within their skill tree.[5]
    • It will not be possible to max all skills in a skill tree.[5]
  • The player can then augment their primary skills with effects from their secondary archetype.[13][12]
    • Each skill in the primary tree will have several augment options from the secondary tree. This is an example of horizontal progression.[12]
    • Augments to primary skills can fundamentally change the way the ability works - adapting what the ability once did to incorporate the identity of the secondary archetype/class.[20]

If a Fighter were to choose Mage as a secondary archetype, the fighter would become a Spellsword. This combination opens up augments that can be applied to skills in their primary skill tree. Fighters have a Rush skill that allows them to rush towards a target; and upon reaching the target, deal an amount damage with a chance to knock the target down. A Mage's escape augment could be applied to the rush skill, which would now teleport the player to the target; thus eliminating the charge time on the skill.[12]

Class progression does not relate to a player's artisan progression.[35]

World events do not directly impact class effectiveness but there may be ancillary effects in terms of availability of equipment, enchantments or tattoos.[36]

Weapon skills

A weapon use combo system (also referred to as Combo system[37], Combat skills[3], and Combat tree[4]) is utilized instead of a traditional auto-attack ability in Ashes of Creation.[37] No traditional auto-attack system is present in Alpha-1.[38]

  • 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.[39][4][3][37]
  • 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.[4][37] This synergy also applies to active skills from other characters.[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.[4]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.[3]Steven Sharif
    • These procs may reduce or reset cooldowns on other skills on the player's hotbar.[40]
  • Using a skill/ability will in general reset the combo.[40]
    • The developers are considering specific abilities might be able to be used without resetting the combo system.[40]
  • The combo system will not have the quicktime event that was seen at PAX West 2017.[37]

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.[37]Steven Sharif

Classes of weapons

Weapon classes (also referred to as weapon types and weapon groups) in Ashes of Creation.[39]

  • Blunt weapons
  • Slashing weapons
  • Piercing weapons

Weapon progression

Weapons will have their own progression paths and their own applicable types of skills.[37][42]

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.[20]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 that impacts the world... We kind of want the the weapon system and add an element of that as well... You can determine special effects that proc from currently the combo system right; 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.[43]Steven Sharif

Passive skills

Passive skills are used to augment weapon usage, armor usage, health regeneration, and passive stats.[1]

  • Passive skills can be levelled up by allocating skill points on the skills UI.[1]
  • Passive skills enable players to work toward mastery of a weapon.[20]
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
Light armor (passive) Increases armor given by light armor.[44] Further increases armor given by light armor.[44] Each piece of light armor increases damage.[44]
Ranged passive Reduces minimum range of all abilities.[45] Increases max range of all abilities.[45] Increases crit chance. This effect has a cooldown.[45]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Livestream, 28 August 2020 (1:12:50).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Interview, 29 July 2020 (55:44).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Interview, 19 July 2020 (53:59).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:07:51).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Livestream, 28 July 2017 (19:05).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Livestream, 16 November 2017 (30:02).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Interview, 29 July 2020 (54:44).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Livestream, 28 August 2020 (1:19:24).
  9. Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:14:26).
  10. Livestream, 16 October 2017 (1:00:44).
  11. Interview, 8 August 2018 (22:27).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 progression.png
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:05:04).
  14. class secondary.png
  15. Livestream, 25 July 2020 (1:47:55).
  16. Livestream, 9 February 2018 (41:56).
  17. 17.0 17.1 Livestream, 17 December 2019 (1:13:14).
  18. 18.0 18.1 Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:07:06).
  19. class same.png
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
  21. Livestream, 26 July 2019 (1:09:22).
  22. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (20:45).
  23. augmentcolors.png
  24. Interview, 11 May 2018 (53:15).
  25. Livestream, 28 August 2020 (1:21:03).
  26. Livestream, 3 May 2017 (15:15).
  27. 27.0 27.1 Livestream, 28 March 2020 (1:41:42).
  28. 28.0 28.1 Livestream, 3 May 2017 (17:59).
  29. Livestream, 16 November 2017 (30:45).
  30. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (43:09).
  31. 31.0 31.1 Ashes of Creation class list.
  32. archetypeclass.png
  33. Livestream, 3 May 2017 (50:50).
  34. Livestream, 18 July 2017 (37:43).
  35. Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:31:11).
  36. Podcast, 11 April 2021 (54:35).
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 37.4 37.5 37.6 37.7 37.8 37.9 Livestream, 30 January 2020 (1:28:40).
  38. steven-auto-attack-definition.png
  39. 39.0 39.1 Interview, 7 February 2021 (49:18).
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 Livestream, 28 February 2020 (1:10:21).
  41. Livestream, 30 May 2019 (58:28).
  42. Livestream, 4 May 2018 (45:37).
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 43.4 Livestream, 4 June 2018 (1:11:19).
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 Livestream, 16 October 2017 (47:55).
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 Livestream, 16 October 2017 (48:04).