Active skills

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Players can build their characters with the active skills they want on their action bar (hotbar).[2][3][4]

  • The number of skills on the action bar will be contained (fewer than 30).[5]
  • There will be an option to include multiple hotbars.[2][4]
  • For example: One Fighter will be different from another based on what active skills they have chosen.[5]
  • Through skill choice, players can customize their combat experience to focus on tab targeted skills, action targeted skills, or a mix of both.[6]
  • Players are not given skills as they level up, they must choose what skills they take.[7]
  • There is no spellbook requiring memorization.[8]

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.[2]Steven Sharif

Primary skills

Alpha-1 preview primary skills.[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.[16][17][13][18] Each augment school affects a primary archetype's skills in different ways.[19]
    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.[20]Steven Sharif
  • Choosing the same primary and secondary archetype increases focus on that archetype.[21]
  • 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.[22]
  • Changing the augmentations on your skills will require you to go to a NPC in a Village node or higher.[24]
  • Some spell colors and general FX change based on augments.[25]
    • Active skills could look totally different after an augment gets applied.[26]

Primary skills in Alpha-2 are expected to be very different to those in Alpha-1.[28]

The ability list in Alpha One is nowhere near what the ability list will be, especially from like a level/progression standpoint. So you can expect it to be incredibly different.[28]Steven Sharif

Skill points

Alpha-1 preview skills user interface.[29]

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.[30]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.[31][32][33][34]

  • It will not be possible to max all skills in a skill tree.[34]
  • 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.[7]
  • Players are able to reset and reallocate their skill points.[35]

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.[36]Steven Sharif

Combat abilities

The aspiration for combat is for abilities to have corresponding counter-play abilities.[37]

  • The goal is to have special animations for parrying, blocking and evading.[38]

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.[38]Jeffrey Bard

Crowd control

Crowd control (CC/mezzing) abilities include root, snare, stun, sleep and slow.[39][37]

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.[37]Steven Sharif

  • Hard CC's are stuns, knock downs, sleeps, paralysis, some roots, some silences.[43]

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.[37]Jeffrey Bard

  • Soft CC's are in the tab-targeted abilities [45]
  • Some crowd-control abilities can dismount a mounted player. In that case the mount would persist with its own health pool and other stats.[46]
    • In current Alpha-1 testing mounts are not separate from the player.[46]

There's also going to be effects that just stun the mount or stun you on the mount.[46]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.[48][9][49][50] Deals damage and generates a great amount of threat.[48][50] Reduces cooldown by 5 seconds.[48][50]
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]
Onslaught Onslaught Icon.jpg Charge and deal damage to your target.[52][9][53][54] Reduce the target's attack damage temporarily.[52][54] Knock down the target.[52][54]
Snare snare icon.png Foot pin roots target in place.[55][56] Adds a bleed.[56] Snares after root expires.[56]
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.[57] Traps stun instead of root.[57] Place up to two traps.[57]


Revamped Alpha-1 Mage Fireball ability.[58][59]

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.[58]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.[70]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.[71][9][72][73] Now deals damage to enemies surrounding your departure location.[74][73] Reduced cooldown.[71][74][73]
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.[12] - -
Sprint sprint icon.png Increases movement speed. Using an ability ends sprint.[75] Increased resistance to disable abilities.[75] Clears crowd control when sprint starts and removes silence.[75]

Player movement

  • Sprinting will consume a percentage of a character's mana pool. Sprinting will not be permitted while in combat.[77]
    • A sprinting/dash skill with a cooldown was confirmed to be part of a class kit.[78]
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.[77]Steven Sharif
  • There is a toggleable walk/run (autorun) capability.[79]
  • There is not going to be any "go to waypoint" (auto-pathing) mechanics.[80]


There are player and spell collision mechanics in Ashes of Creation.[82]

  • 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.[83][82]


Dodging in Alpha-1 early combat.[36]

Another thing that's important about these action combats is the ability to dodge and moving out of the way of certain skill shots.[36]Steven Sharif

Evasion moves such as dodging and weaving will be present in Ashes of Creation combat.[84][85]

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.[84]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.[85]Steven Sharif

Active blocking

The developers have yet to finalize designs for active blocking in Ashes of Creation.[87][88]

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.[87]Steven Sharif

  • The developers are considering the inclusion of active blocking in a subset of universal skills that apply to all classes.[27]
    • 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.[88]

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.[88]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.[88]Steven Sharif


Abilities with a cast bar can be interrupted during the cast.[65]

  • There are abilities to counter interrupts.
  • Some interrupts are better than others.
info-orange.pngThis section contains information from Alpha-1 testing. It will be updated when new information is made available.
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.[90][9][91][92] Additional increased block chance.[90][92] The second attack knocks down enemies.[90][92]
Onslaught Onslaught Icon.jpg Charge and deal damage to your target.[52][9][53][54] Reduce the target's attack damage temporarily.[52][54] Knock down the target.[52][54]
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.[12] - -
Thundershock Lightning Bolt Icon.jpg Shoots forward a beam of lightning that damages enemies in a line in front of you.[93][9][94] Increased damage.[93][95] Now knocks down hit targets.[93][95]

Animation cancelling

Animation cancelling will not be a combat mechanic.[96][97]

Combat stances

The use of weapon stances in game is likely.[98]


RNG elements pertain to combat relating to stats such as Critical hit, Evasion, Blocking chance.[99]

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.[100]Jeffrey Bard

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.[42]Steven Sharif

Hybrid combat refers to the choice between tab targeted and action targeted combat in the Ashes of Creation MMORPG.[101][102][103][6]

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.[101]Steven Sharif
  • Targeting modes are able to be achieved through choice of skills/abilities.[104][105][42]
    • 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.[42]
    • Different ranks of the same skill can change the skill from tab to action targeted or vice-versa.[30]
    • 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.[106]
    • In future the user will have the ability to choose from different reticle appearances.[107]
  • Action oriented and tab oriented versions of skills will have different characteristics. Variables will change based on which version is chosen.[108]
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. [108]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:[44]

  • Hard CCs may be housed in action oriented skills because they are skill shots that are more difficult to land.[44][42]
  • Softer CC's would be housed in tab-targeted abilities.[44]


The developers are testing different approaches to accommodate varying hitboxes between the races.[110]

  • There may be a single unified hitbox with some exceptions or some special collision rules as opposed to having different sized hitboxes.[110]

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.[110]Jeffrey Bard

There aren't separate types of hitbox categories in the Ashes of Creation MMORPG as there were in Ashes of Creation Apocalypse.[110]

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.[110]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.[111]


Weapon attack cone in Alpha-1.[112]

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.[112]Steven Sharif

All weapons have a forward attack cone, regardless of being in tab or action mode.[112]

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.[112]Steven Sharif

This is described as a weapon attack not an active skill.[112]

Headshot mechanics

There are no headshot mechanics in the Ashes of Creation MMORPG.[110][114][115]

See also


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  6. 6.0 6.1 Livestream, 16 November 2017 (30:45).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Livestream, 16 November 2017 (30:02).
  8. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (43:09).
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 toast-keybinds-skills.png
  10. Livestream, 16 October 2017 (1:00:44).
  11. Interview, 8 August 2018 (22:27).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 progression.png
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:05:04).
  14. class secondary.png
  15. Livestream, 25 July 2020 (1:47:55).
  16. Podcast, 29 September 2021 (30:04).
  17. Livestream, 25 June 2021 (1:05:01).
  18. Livestream, 9 February 2018 (41:56).
  19. 19.0 19.1 Livestream, 17 December 2019 (1:13:14).
  20. 20.0 20.1 Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:07:06).
  21. class same.png
  22. February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
  23. Livestream, 26 July 2019 (1:09:22).
  24. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (20:45).
  25. augmentcolors.png
  26. Interview, 11 May 2018 (53:15).
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Livestream, 19 November 2021 (50:38).
  28. 28.0 28.1 Livestream, 24 September 2021 (1:18:06).
  29. Livestream, 25 June 2021 (23:08).
  30. 30.0 30.1 Livestream, 28 August 2020 (1:12:50).
  31. Interview, 29 July 2020 (55:44).
  32. Interview, 19 July 2020 (53:59).
  33. Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:07:51).
  34. 34.0 34.1 Livestream, 28 July 2017 (19:05).
  35. Interview, 29 July 2020 (54:44).
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  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 37.4 Livestream, 24 May 2017 (45:12).
  38. 38.0 38.1 Livestream, 26 June 2020 (1:50:01).
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  40. Livestream, 9 February 2018 (28:17).
  41. Livestream, November 22 2019 (1:06:25).
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  43. steven-hard-ccs.png
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  45. Podcast, 4 August 2018 (1:11:52).
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  47. summons-ccs.png
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 Alpha-1 screenshot.
  49. Video, 9 February 2021 (1:02).
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  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 52.3 52.4 52.5 Alpha-1 screenshot.
  53. 53.0 53.1 Video, 9 February 2021 (1:26).
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  55. PAX West 2017 Ranger poster.
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  58. 58.0 58.1 Livestream, 26 February 2021 (27:41).
  59. Video, 26 February 2021 (6:17).
  60. 60.0 60.1 Livestream, 30 June 2022 (46:30).
  61. Livestream, 30 July 2021 (31:22).
  62. Interview, 13 June 2021 (4:12).
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  64. Livestream, 30 April 2020 (1:17:13).
  65. 65.0 65.1 Livestream, 8 May 2017 (43:30).
  66. 66.0 66.1 Livestream, 23 December 2021 (55:32).
  67. 67.0 67.1 Video, 23 December 2021 (23:53).
  68. 68.0 68.1 stevenclarification.png
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  70. 70.0 70.1 Livestream, 30 June 2022 (49:42).
  71. Video, 23 December 2020 (1:17).
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  75. Video, 25 May 2017 (0:02).
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  77. Reddit - Developer response to unique ability visuals.
  78. autorun.jpg
  79. Livestream, 4 May 2018 (51:57).
  80. Livestream, 15 December 2017 (1:35:38).
  81. 82.0 82.1 collision.jpg
  82. Interview, 27 March 2020 (15:20).
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  84. 85.0 85.1 85.2 Livestream, 30 January 2020 (1:34:12).
  85. Livestream, 26 June 2020 (1:24:06).
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  88. shieldactiveblockA1.png
  89. 90.0 90.1 90.2 Alpha-1 screenshot.
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  92. 93.0 93.1 93.2 Alpha-1 screenshot.
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  108. steven-action-tab-attack-range.png
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  111. 112.0 112.1 112.2 112.3 112.4 112.5 Livestream, 28 August 2020 (1:15:39).
  112. class cleaving.png
  113. steven-headshots-1.png
  114. 115.0 115.1 steven-headshots-2.png
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