Active blocking

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The developers have yet to finalize designs for active blocking in Ashes of Creation.[1][2]

We're going to be discussing internally amongst the designers and the combat team and then we will likely share with the community once we've nailed down a few approaches and prototype them out.[1]Steven Sharif

  • The developers are considering the inclusion of active blocking in a subset of universal skills that apply to all classes.[3]
    • The developers were previously leaning toward using more traditional buff-oriented universal damage mitigation for the MMO, and were also considering interaction between action-based blocking and a passive block stat.[2]

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.[2]Steven Sharif

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.[2]Steven Sharif

Combat revamp

Alpha-1 split-body melee weapon combat sneak peek.[5]

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.[5]Steven Sharif

A revamped combat system will be rolled out during and post Alpha-1 testing based on player feedback.[6][7][8]

  • The goal is to give more agency to the player and achieve a more fluid flow of combat with greater mobility when using abilities.[9][10]
  • The current hybrid tab and action combat system will remain after the revamp.[9]
  • This revamp will not represent the final form of combat, but will set the general direction that combat will be taking.[11]
  • The revamp will be iterative and will be rolled out to testers in different phases.[10]
  • The developers will be testing whether or not to use global cooldowns GCDs on different types of abilities during Alpha-2.[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.[5][13][14]

You'll be able to move forward while swinging your weapon; and this will allow you complete control over your weapon attacks for melee.[5]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 combat was focused on core functionality rather than combat balance.[14] Alpha-2 combat will include archetypes, significant ability support, augments, split-body combat, weapon attacks, and many additional items, among other things.[15]

  • Changes that allow templated abilities to apply to 3D positions in the air or water will be prototyped and may be included in Alpha-2.[16]

Combat targeting

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.[17]Steven Sharif

Hybrid combat refers to the choice between tab targeted and action targeted combat in the Ashes of Creation MMORPG.[18][19][20][21]

To clarify any questions, we are still approaching combat from a hybrid design perspective. In today's stream we focused on the "look and feel" of the basic melee attacks, because historically the feedback has been critical of the look and feel of combat. The systems and mechanics around targeting continue to live in both a tab target and action targeting approach. More on those mechanics will be showcased in the future.[18]Steven Sharif
  • Targeting modes are able to be achieved through choice of skills/abilities.[22][23][17]
    • 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.[17]
    • Different ranks of the same skill can change the skill from tab to action targeted or vice-versa.[24]
    • 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.[25]
    • In future the user will have the ability to choose from different reticle appearances.[26]
  • Action oriented and tab oriented versions of skills will have different characteristics. Variables will change based on which version is chosen.[27]
    • Damage.[27]
    • Charge up time.[27]
    • CC effects.[27]
    • Cooldown.[28]
    • Energy consumption.[28]
    • Cost to spec.[28]
    • Attack range will likely remain the same; as it is driven by the weapon or skill itself.[29]
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. [27]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 the purposes of balance, certain skill types will be either tab or action oriented skills. For example:[28]

  • Hard CCs may be housed in action oriented skills because they are skill shots that are more difficult to land.[28][17]
  • Softer CC's would be housed in tab-targeted abilities.[28]

Alpha-1 combat

Alpha-1 early hybrid combat demo.[30]

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.[20]Steven Sharif

Hybrid combat was tested in Alpha-1.[20][23]

  • 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.[22][9][30][31]
  • The action mode utilizes a targeting reticle and is very close to a third-person action game.[20][30][31][32]
    • The player does not have to be in reticle mode to use an action combat ability.[33]
    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.[33]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.[20][30]
    • 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.[22][20]
    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.[22]Steven Sharif
    • Holding Tab while in action mode will alternate between targets.[20]
    • Pressing right-click while in action mode will switch to tab mode for the currently highlighted target.[30]
  • The tab mode (MMO mode) facilitates tab targeted combat.[30][31] A tab-targeted ability requires a target in order to utilize that skill.[22][32]
    • Pressing left-click in tab mode will attack the target (with the currently selected weapon).[30]
    • There will be a "target of target" capability on the user interface.[34]


The developers are testing different approaches to accommodate varying hitboxes between the races.[35]

  • There may be a single unified hitbox with some exceptions or some special collision rules as opposed to having different sized hitboxes.[35]

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.[35]Jeffrey Bard

There aren't separate types of hitbox categories in the Ashes of Creation MMORPG as there were in Ashes of Creation Apocalypse.[35]

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.[35]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.[36]


Weapon attack cone in Alpha-1.[30]

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.[30]Steven Sharif

All weapons have a forward attack cone, regardless of being in tab or action mode.[30]

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.[30]Steven Sharif

This is described as a weapon attack not an active skill.[30]


Revamped Alpha-1 Mage Fireball ability.[10][8]

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.[10]Tradd Thompson

There's a balance in the game design between your movement speed on attack and the movement speed of your opponent. When you have a game that is both PvE centric as well as PvP centric, you have to make sure that combat is blended for both approaches; and we can always run into problems where, if you're significantly hampered in your movement speed, that has an effect on how we expect player versus player engagements to interact; and we don't want to restrict a player's ability to be mobile if they're the target of an attack. And as a result of that we need to make sure that we don't restrict the movement abilities of the player who is doing the attacking as well. So we want it to be relatively free for you to stay with each other. Your opponents move around the battlefield together and if we're hampering you on the attack action, we have to then implement some type of snare, or slow, or cc effect essentially on your opposing target; and that's not the approach we want to take for for PvP.[45]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
Blink Blink Icon.jpg Blinks forward in the direction you are traveling.[46][47][48][49] Now deals damage to enemies surrounding your departure location.[50][49] Reduced cooldown.[46][50][49]
Jump jump icon.png Dash with cooldown.[51] Cooldown is replaced by charges with individual cooldown.[51] Drops a bear trap at the location the ranger dashed from.[51]
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.[52] - -
Sprint sprint icon.png Increases movement speed. Using an ability ends sprint.[53] Increased resistance to disable abilities.[53] Clears crowd control when sprint starts and removes silence.[53]

Player movement

  • Sprinting will consume a percentage of a character's mana pool. Sprinting will not be permitted while in combat.[55]
    • A sprinting/dash skill with a cooldown was confirmed to be part of a class kit.[56]
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.[55]Steven Sharif
  • There is a toggleable walk/run (autorun) capability.[57]
  • There is not going to be any "go to waypoint" (auto-pathing) mechanics.[58]


There are player and spell collision mechanics in Ashes of Creation.[60]

  • 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.[61][60]


Dodging in Alpha-1 early combat.[62]

Another thing that's important about these action combats is the ability to dodge and moving out of the way of certain skill shots.[62]Steven Sharif

Evasion moves such as dodging and weaving will be present in Ashes of Creation combat.[63][64]

So you see an animation windup that's a telegraph on what's coming; and then you have response actions that you can take as a result of that in order to dodge, weave, move, do whatever. It is both a combination of what your rotation is but also how you have reaction abilities ready to go that you save for certain circumstances that are important.[63]Steven Sharif
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.[64]Steven Sharif


Alpha-2 work-in-progress combat animations and decals.[66]

The intensity of those weapon trailings; how they scale based on the type of weapon, the level of weapon, that you have; but not just the trailing on the weapon per-se but also the ground decals. Like for this heavy weapon, that first strike you see that decal in the ground is- I love that look- and even on the backswing when I hit the ground behind me, it's causing that decal.[66]Steven Sharif

We really wanted to build the combat system to- like i said earlier- be as physical as possible. So we have it very animation driven. Everything is handled based on a reference of animation as opposed to nebulous timings, which allows it to feel very impactful and very responsive.[67]Keenan Reimer
  • Races will not have unique combat animations, but will have unique non-combat animations.[68][69]
We're not going to be having I think unique combat animations. However we will have unique non-combat animations, such as your idle, your walk, your run cycle: things that the combat attacks do not have to blend back into.[68]Steven Sharif

Animation cancelling

Animation cancelling will not be a combat mechanic.[70][71]

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.[73][74]

  • The cooldown will be in the range of a few seconds.[74]

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.[74]Steven Sharif

Players cannot switch armor while in combat.[73][75]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Livestream, September 24, 2021 (1:22:46).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:19:50).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Livestream, November 19, 2021 (50:38).
  4. shieldactiveblockA1.png
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Livestream, July 30, 2021 (31:22).
  6. Livestream, May 28, 2021 (1:14:50).
  7. steven-combat-revamp-update.png
  8. 8.0 8.1 Video, February 26, 2021 (6:17).
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 steven-combat-revamp-update-2.png
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Livestream, February 26, 2021 (27:41).
  11. Interview, February 7, 2021 (49:18).
  12. Livestream, July 29, 2022 (1:05:20).
  13. 13.0 13.1 Interview, June 13, 2021 (4:12).
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Livestream, May 28, 2021 (1:13:05).
  15. Livestream, May 27, 2022 (1:11:41).
  16. Livestream, May 27, 2022 (1:16:17).
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Livestream, 2018-04-8 (PM) (37:57).
  18. 18.0 18.1 steven-hybrid.png
  19. Livestream, August 27, 2021 (1:16:04).
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 Livestream, June 25, 2021 (22:34).
  21. Livestream, November 16, 2017 (30:45).
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 Livestream, June 25, 2021 (27:43).
  23. 23.0 23.1 Newsletter, 2018-08-7
  24. Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:12:50).
  25. Livestream, March 26, 2021 (59:21).
  26. Livestream, June 25, 2021 (26:11).
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 Podcast, August 4, 2018 (1:07:59).
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 Podcast, August 4, 2018 (1:11:05).
  29. steven-action-tab-attack-range.png
  30. 30.00 30.01 30.02 30.03 30.04 30.05 30.06 30.07 30.08 30.09 30.10 30.11 30.12 Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:15:39).
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Livestream, April 30, 2020 (1:09:51).
  32. 32.0 32.1 Interview, April 15, 2019 (38:03).
  33. 33.0 33.1 Livestream, June 25, 2021 (27:10).
  34. Livestream, April 30, 2020 (40:19).
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 Livestream, October 30, 2020 (1:15:59).
  36. 36.0 36.1 Livestream, March 26, 2021 (1:11:25).
  37. class cleaving.png
  38. 38.0 38.1 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (46:30).
  39. Livestream, April 30, 2020 (1:17:13).
  40. Livestream, May 8, 2017 (43:30).
  41. 41.0 41.1 Livestream, December 23, 2021 (55:32).
  42. 42.0 42.1 Video, December 23, 2021 (23:53).
  43. 43.0 43.1 stevenclarification.png
  44. Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:30:40).
  45. 45.0 45.1 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (49:42).
  46. toast-keybinds-skills.png
  47. Video, December 23, 2020 (1:17).
  48. 49.0 49.1 49.2 Livestream, July 31, 2020 (57:33).
  49. 50.0 50.1 Video, December 22, 2020 (7:35).
  50. 51.0 51.1 51.2 Livestream, October 16, 2017 (45:52).
  51. progression.png
  52. 53.0 53.1 53.2 Livestream, October 16, 2017 (46:22).
  53. Video, May 25, 2017 (0:02).
  54. 55.0 55.1 Livestream, July 30, 2021 (1:11:29).
  55. Reddit - Developer response to unique ability visuals.
  56. autorun.jpg
  57. Livestream, May 4, 2018 (51:57).
  58. Livestream, December 15, 2017 (1:35:38).
  59. 60.0 60.1 collision.jpg
  60. Interview, March 27, 2020 (15:20).
  61. 62.0 62.1 62.2 Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:19:24).
  62. 63.0 63.1 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (51:17).
  63. 64.0 64.1 64.2 Livestream, January 30, 2020 (1:34:12).
  64. Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:24:06).
  65. 66.0 66.1 Video, June 30, 2022 (20:29).
  66. 67.0 67.1 Video, June 30, 2022 (21:19).
  67. 68.0 68.1 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (53:33).
  68. Livestream, December 22, 2020 (1:12:56).
  69. 70.0 70.1 Livestream, November 22, 2019 (1:09:37).
  70. Livestream, May 17, 2017 (1:05:11).
  71. Video, August 17, 2018 (0:01).
  72. 73.0 73.1 Interview, July 18, 2020 (1:03:45).
  73. 74.0 74.1 74.2 Livestream, May 30, 2019 (1:15:58).
  74. Livestream, July 28, 2017 (34:32).