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Skill points

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Alpha-1 preview skills user interface.[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.[2]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.[3][4][5][6]

  • It will not be possible to max all skills in a skill tree.[6]
  • 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.[8]

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.[9]Steven Sharif

Primary skills

Alpha-1 preview primary skills.[10]

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.[11]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.[12]Steven Sharif

Primary skills (class abilities) are based on a player's archetype.[13] Players can personalize their primary skills with augmentation from a secondary archetype.[14][13][15]

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.[16]Steven Sharif

  • Each secondary archetype offers four different schools of augmentation.[14][17] Each augment school affects a primary archetype's skills in different ways.[18]
    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.[19]Steven Sharif
  • Choosing the same primary and secondary archetype increases focus on that archetype.[20]
  • 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.[21]
  • Changing the augmentations on your skills will require you to go to a NPC in a Village node or higher.[23]
  • Some spell colors and general FX change based on augments.[24]
    • Active skills could look totally different after an augment gets applied.[25]

Primary skills in Alpha-2 are expected to be very different to those in Alpha-1.[26]

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.[26]Steven Sharif

Active skills

Players can build their characters with the active skills they want on their action bar.[28][29]

  • The number of skills on the action bar will be contained (fewer than 30).[30]
  • There will be an option to include multiple hotbars (action bars).[9][29]
  • For example: One Fighter will be different from another based on what active skills they have chosen.[30]
  • Through skill choice, players can customize their combat experience to focus on tab targeted skills, action targeted skills, or a mix of both.[31]
  • Players are not given skills as they level up, they must choose what skills they take.[7]
  • There is no spellbook requiring memorization.[32]

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.[9]Steven Sharif

Class progression

  • Players receive skill points as they level. These can be used to level up skills within their skill tree.[6]
    • It will not be possible to max all skills in a skill tree.[6]
  • The player can then augment their primary skills with effects from their secondary archetype.[14][13]
    • Each skill in the primary tree will have several augment options from the secondary tree. This is an example of horizontal progression.[13]
    • 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.[21]

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.[13]

Class progression does not relate to a player's artisan progression.[37]

World events do not directly impact class effectiveness but there may be ancillary effects in terms of availability of equipment, enchantments or tattoos.[38]

Weapon skills

Players can spec into weapon abilities on their weapon skill tree (also referred to as Combat skills[4], and Combat tree[5]) based on their preferred weapon classes (weapon types/weapon groups) and the grade of the weapon.[39][5][4][40]

  • The more skill points that are allocated to the 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.[41][5][40] This synergy also applies to active skills from other characters.[3]
    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.[5]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.[4]Steven Sharif
  • Weapon progression such as set bonuses may change at what level any proc effects occur.[41]
  • These procs may reduce or reset cooldowns on other skills on the player's hotbar.[42]
  • Using a weapon skill will in general reset the weapon use combo system.[42]

Weapon progression

Weapons will have their own progression paths and their own applicable types of skills.[40][44]

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.[21]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 impacts the world... We kind of want the weapon system [to] add an element of that as well... You can determine special effects that proc from currently the combo system; 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.[45]Steven Sharif

Passive skills

Passive skills are used to augment weapon usage, armor usage, health regeneration, and passive stats.[2]

  • Passive skills can be levelled up by allocating skill points on the skills UI.[2]
  • Passive skills enable players to work toward mastery of a weapon.[21]

All these passive abilities: mana regen, attack damage, critical hit damage, health regeneration, defense mitigation, maximum health: A lot of different changes from the passive side of things and these are based on what archetype you've chosen.[1]Steven Sharif

Passive skill Icon Archetype(s) Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Attack Damage Attack Damage.png Mage Increases attack damage by 5.[1]
Block Chance Block Chance.png Tank Increase chance to block attacks by 20% (Blocked attacks deal 20% reduced damage).[47]
Cooldown Reduction Cooldown Reduction.png Cleric Mage Tank Reduce all ability cooldowns by 5%.[1]
Critical Hit Damage Critical Hit Damage.png Mage Increase the damage and healing bonus from critical hits by 20%.[1]
Critical Hit Rate Critical Hit Rate.png Cleric Mage Tank Increase the chance for damage and healing abilities to critically hit by 5%.[1]
Defense Mitigation Defense Mitigation.png Cleric Mage Tank Increase defense mitigation by 4.[1]
Disable Chance Disable Chance.png Mage Increase chance to disable by 15%.[1]
Disable Defense Disable Defense.png Cleric Increase maximum mana by 100.[48]
Healing Received Healing Received.png Tank Increase the amount of healing received by 10%.[49]
Health Regeneration Health Regeneration.png Cleric Mage Tank Generate an additional 1.5% of your maximum health per second.[1]
Increased Healing Increased Healing.png Cleric Increase healing done by 10%.[50]
Mana Regeneration Mana Regeneration.png Cleric Mage Tank Generate an additional 1% of your maximum mana per second.[1]
Maximum Health Maximum Health.png Cleric Mage Tank Increase maximum health by 75.[1]
Maximum Mana Maximum Mana.png Cleric Increase maximum mana by 100.[51]
Movement Speed Movement Speed.png Cleric Mage Tank Increase movement speed by 5%.[1]
Physical Evasion Bonus Physical Evasion Bonus.png Tank Increase physical evasion bonus by 5.[52]

See also


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Livestream, 25 June 2021 (23:08).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Livestream, 28 August 2020 (1:12:50).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Interview, 29 July 2020 (55:44).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Interview, 19 July 2020 (53:59).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:07:51).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Livestream, 28 July 2017 (19:05).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Livestream, 16 November 2017 (30:02).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Interview, 29 July 2020 (54:44).
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Livestream, 28 August 2020 (1:19:24).
  10. toast-keybinds-skills.png
  11. Livestream, 16 October 2017 (1:00:44).
  12. Interview, 8 August 2018 (22:27).
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 progression.png
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:05:04).
  15. class secondary.png
  16. Livestream, 25 July 2020 (1:47:55).
  17. Livestream, 9 February 2018 (41:56).
  18. 18.0 18.1 Livestream, 17 December 2019 (1:13:14).
  19. 19.0 19.1 Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:07:06).
  20. class same.png
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
  22. Livestream, 26 July 2019 (1:09:22).
  23. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (20:45).
  24. augmentcolors.png
  25. Interview, 11 May 2018 (53:15).
  26. 26.0 26.1 Livestream, 24 September 2021 (1:18:06).
  27. Livestream, 28 August 2020 (1:21:03).
  28. Livestream, 3 May 2017 (15:15).
  29. 29.0 29.1 Livestream, 28 March 2020 (1:41:42).
  30. 30.0 30.1 Livestream, 3 May 2017 (17:59).
  31. Livestream, 16 November 2017 (30:45).
  32. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (43:09).
  33. 33.0 33.1 Ashes of Creation class list.
  34. archetypeclass.png
  35. Livestream, 3 May 2017 (50:50).
  36. Livestream, 18 July 2017 (37:43).
  37. Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:31:11).
  38. Podcast, 11 April 2021 (54:35).
  39. Interview, 7 February 2021 (49:18).
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 40.4 40.5 Livestream, 30 January 2020 (1:28:40).
  41. 41.0 41.1 Podcast, 29 September 2021 (47:57).
  42. 42.0 42.1 Livestream, 28 February 2020 (1:10:21).
  43. Livestream, 30 May 2019 (58:28).
  44. Livestream, 4 May 2018 (45:37).
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 45.3 45.4 Livestream, 4 June 2018 (1:11:19).
  46. Livestream, 25 June 2021 (1:29:39).
  47. Alpha-1 screenshot.
  48. Alpha-1 screenshot.
  49. Alpha-1 screenshot.
  50. Alpha-1 screenshot.
  51. Alpha-1 screenshot.
  52. Alpha-1 screenshot.