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Alpha-1 early iteration of the level-up effect by Jim Sanders.[1]

One of the cool abilities we all love seeing and gives us a major dopamine response is when our character levels up.[1]Steven Sharif

Leveling won't follow a traditional linear path, although classic mechanics for leveling exist.[2] Experience (XP) is gained through a variety of activities:[3]

A character's level will be visible to other players.[4]

There won't be any damage dampening due to differences in levels in either PvP or PvE.[5]

If I have a skill that does a thousand damage to a target of equal level I don't want my skill to do zero damage to a target that's five levels above me.[5]Steven Sharif

Level cap

The level cap at launch is expected to be around level 50.[6]

The developers anticipate max level should be attainable in approximately 45 days if you play roughly 4-6 hours per day.[7][8]

  • Lower level characters will have usefulness in mass combat (such as Node sieges) that is not directly dependent on their level, such as manning siege weapons, helping repair fortifications, bringing proximity-based buffs to key positions, using stealth or scaling walls. These types of things are relevant to the tide of battle and do not require the player to be max-level or have high combat stats.[9]

The idea is not to be a game where somebody can essentially no life for a week and be max level. The idea is to incorporate some significant chunk of time but still respect the casual player, because you know the way we respect the casual player is not everything is driven in our game through the adventuring progression line. Not everything is driven through your class level per-se. There's a lot of different progression paths that are available and make you relevant within certain systems and mechanics within the game; and some of those paths are more casual friendly and some of those paths are more hardcore friendly. So with regards to the adventuring class, the idea is to make sure that investment needs to be pretty significant and that the reward then is respective of that investment.[7]Steven Sharif


  • Experience gained from killing mobs and bosses when in a group is divided by the number of party members based on damage done.[10] A multiplier is then applied that increases with the number of party members. The multiplier is between 1.3 and 1.4 (approximately).[11] Experience gained is not affected by looting rights.[10]
  • Experience gained from quest rewards is not shared with other party members.[11]

End game

There is not going to be a typical end-game in Ashes of Creation.[12]

Part of the whole experience with nodes is that there is no real end-game, in that the world is constantly shifting every day. Month one is going to be really different from month two; and that's for the level 50s and level 1s.[12]Jeffrey Bard

We want the game to be a living game, which means that all content should be relevant at all times. I’d say that we try to make as little distinction between the leveling up experience and the end game experience as possible. The whole journey is important to us, in order to maximize the fun people have during different stages of the game.[13]Sarah Flanagan


Repetition will not be part of progression in Ashes of Creation.[14]

  • There will be no "grindy" quests.[14]
  • There will not be repetitive quest lines through a single dungeon to obtain gear.[15]
  • The aspiration is to have more things to do in the game than a player has time to do.[14]

Mentor program/ level scaling

Levels or skills will not be scaled to allow low level players to participate in dungeons with higher level players.[12]

  • There will be a mentorship program where upper-level players are able to benefit from partying and/or helping lower level players; and getting them situated in the game.[12]

There will be activities that are present for higher level players to mentor lower level players. Let's say you have a friend who joins later on and you still want to do things with them, there will be things to do. Will you he be able to enter a dungeon of your level and participate? No, because we don't want to inflate or deflate characters and manipulate that type of skill or power. We want that to be something that makes sense for them in a progression standpoint.[16]Steven Sharif

AFK leveling

There will not be AFK leveling in Ashes of Creation.[17]

We want this game to be played. If there are things that you can do to not play the game and still progress, we've done something wrong.[17]Jeffrey Bard

Class progression

As a player progresses with their primary archetype, they will have the opportunity to choose a secondary archetype to augment their primary skills with effects from their secondary archetype.[18][19] The combination of primary and secondary archetypes is referred to as a class.[18][20][21]

  • A player may choose their secondary archetype when they reach level 25.[18]

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.[19]

Each skill in the primary tree will have several augment options from the secondary tree. This is an example of horizontal progression.[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/class.[13]
  • A secondary class does not provide additional skills.[22]

Players receive skill points as they level. These can be used to level up skills within their skill tree.[23]

  • It will not be possible to max all skills in a skill tree.[23]

Class progression does not relate to a player's artisan progression.[24]

Zones and progression

Dungeons, Raids, World bosses, Mobs, Quests, Events, Resources, Narratives and other content within a node's ZOI will have a diverse level range; but will scale with the advancement of that node and its racial influence.[25][26][27]

We don’t have a strictly level 25 zone. Instead, that zone might have some level 10 creatures near the road, some level 20 creatures deep in the forest, and some level 30 creatures up the mountain. These ratios will change based on the Nodes that inform them, becoming generally more dangerous as the Node grows. All this civilization attracts the attention of Things-That-Should-Not-Be. This does not mean that wilderness areas are safe, by any means. Some may be safe-er, but all will have dangers that even the most experienced traveler needs to watch out for.[28]Steven Sharif

Goblin 3D render by Chris Atkins.[29]

There are going to be different types of "Goblinesque" creatures; and this one has not skipped out on his leg or arm day, which is a good thing for him because he's probably going to be in a lot of fights.[30]Steven Sharif

Alpha-0 cat mob from the flood plains environment.[32]

In the world naturally there will be locations that are going to have a mix of different levels of monsters and difficulty levels; and then those spawn tables relate to the development of nearby nodes. So as nodes develop they'll be changing the spawn tables around them to reflect their further development in the world, presenting new and more difficult dangers that the players can participate in.[33]Steven Sharif

Class abilities

Alpha-1 placeholder skills UI.[34]

The purpose of secondary archetypes and the augment system is to blur the line a little bit with the class roles. So while we're following a traditional trinity type system in class roles, we are utilizing the secondary augment system to allow players to move the dial a little bit in one direction with the augments.[35]Steven Sharif

Primary skills (class abilities) are based on a player's archetype.[19] Players can personalize their primary skills with augmentation from a secondary archetype.[18][19][37]

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.[38]Steven Sharif

  • Each secondary archetype offers four different schools of augmentation.[18][39] Each augment school affects a primary archetype's skills in different ways.[40]
    • For example: A Mage offers Teleportation and elemental schools of augments. These augments will affect a Fighter's primary skills differently than a Cleric's.[18][40]
    • Each augmentation has a level requirement and number of skill points required to activate it.[41]
    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.[41]Steven Sharif
  • Choosing the same primary and secondary archetype increases focus on that archetype.[42]
  • 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.[13]
  • Changing the augmentations on your skills will require you to go to a NPC in a Village node or higher.[44]
  • Some spell colors and general FX change based on augments.[45]
    • Active skills could look totally different after an augment gets applied.[46]

Players receive skill points as they level. These can be used to level up skills within their active, passive or combat skill trees.[47][48][23]

  • It will not be possible to max all skills in a skill tree.[23]
  • 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.[49]

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.[50]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.[51]Steven Sharif

Rested experience

Taverns offer rested experience (rested XP) for those who rent rooms or spend time as patrons of the tavern.[52]

  • Rested experience allows players to gain experience at a faster rate for a period of time.

Pet progression

Some pets will be levelable and will have gear available to them.[53]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:05:58).
  2. leveling.png
  3. Livestream, 24 May 2017 (46:27).
  4. Livestream, 25 July 2020 (1:33:37).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Livestream, 25 July 2020 (1:34:55).
  6. Livestream, 15 December 2017 (58:48).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Interview, 8 July 2020 (1:07:59).
  8. Livestream, 24 May 2017 (19:25).
  9. Interview, 8 July 2020 (1:12:51).
  10. 10.0 10.1 Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:22:23).
  11. 11.0 11.1 Livestream, 25 July 2020 (44:46).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Video, 5 April 2018 (40:08).
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Livestream, 15 May 2017 (26:13).
  15. Interview, 24 August 2018 (4:15).
  16. Interview, 24 August 2018 (8:52).
  17. 17.0 17.1 Livestream, 27 September 2018 (52:41).
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:05:04).
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 progression.png
  20. Ashes of Creation class list.
  21. archetypeclass.png
  22. Livestream, 3 May 2017 (50:50).
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Livestream, 28 July 2017 (19:05).
  24. Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:31:11).
  25. Interview, 19 July 2020 (19:35).
  26. Livestream, 15 May 2017 (30:53).
  27. Blog - Know Your Nodes - The Basics.
  28. Interview: Ashes of Creation on Building Their Virtual World, 13 April 2017.
  29. Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:45:40).
  30. Livestream, 26 June 2020 (1:14:42).
  31. A world with consequences.
  32. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (15:56).
  33. Livestream, 26 May 2017 (24:33).
  34. Livestream, 28 March 2020 (1:25:32).
  35. Livestream, 25 July 2020 (58:38).
  36. Video, 7 February 2017 (0:02s).
  37. class secondary.png
  38. Livestream, 25 July 2020 (1:47:55).
  39. Livestream, 9 February 2018 (41:56).
  40. 40.0 40.1 Livestream, 17 December 2019 (1:13:14).
  41. 41.0 41.1 Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:07:06).
  42. class same.png
  43. Livestream, 26 July 2019 (1:09:22).
  44. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (20:45).
  45. augmentcolors.png
  46. Interview, 11 May 2018 (53:15).
  47. Interview, 19 July 2020 (53:59).
  48. Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:07:51).
  49. Livestream, 16 November 2017 (30:02).
  50. Livestream, 16 October 2017 (1:00:44).
  51. Interview, 8 August 2018 (22:27).
  52. The mighty beard!
  53. Pets.jpg
  54. Livestream, 28 June 2019 (1:24:27).