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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 will not be level boosts or auto-leveling.[5]

As part of our ideals as a game we're not going to give boosts away. We're not going to auto-level up a character. You have to spend time acclimating yourself to what this game is, to what the world that you're part of is; and that's an investment- a time investment; and that plays towards our ideas of risk-versus-reward; and I've always said our game's not going to be for everybody and that's okay.[5]Steven Sharif

There won't be any damage dampening due to differences in levels in either PvP or PvE.[6]

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.[6]Steven Sharif

Level cap

The level cap at launch is expected to be approximately level 50.[7]

  • The developers anticipate max level should be attainable in approximately 45 days if you play roughly 4-6 hours per day.[8][9]
  • Alpha-1 has progression to level 15.[10]

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.[11]

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.[8]Steven Sharif


Repetition will not be part of progression in Ashes of Creation.[12]

  • There will be no "grindy" quests.[12]
  • There will not be repetitive quest lines through a single dungeon to obtain gear.[13]
  • The aspiration is to have more things to do in the game than a player has time to do.[12]

Class progression

  • The player can then augment their primary skills with effects from their secondary archetype.[14][15]
    • Each skill in the primary tree will have several augment options from the secondary tree. This is an example of horizontal progression.[15]
    • 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.[22]

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.[15]

Class progression does not relate to a player's artisan progression.[23]

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

Elite monster 3D render.[29]

It's a really big dude and the idea behind him is you're gonna see big monsters- I think that the character comes up to like his elbow maybe, or just beneath the elbow I'm not sure- but you're going to see these big elites kind of just roaming and wandering through the world. They're not assigned any to to any particular hunting ground, they just kind of roam; and I think that component is pretty cool especially when you have an open world where you can see something unique that's not matching the monsters you're hunting in a certain area but just strolls by.[29]Steven Sharif

Goblin 3D render by Chris Atkins.[30]

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.[31]Steven Sharif

There will be a mix of different monsters and difficulty levels throughout the world that are tied to the development of nearby nodes. As nodes advance, mobs will present new and increasing dangers that players can participate in.[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.[32]Steven Sharif

We will have flying monsters but essentially what that means is there's going to be rotations either in the behavior tree that might make them inaccessible to targets, or they might do some like swooping attacks; they might come and land on the ground and fight you. But generally monsters are going to be accessible from on the ground, so we're not creating content for the limited number of individuals who are going to have access to a flying mount.[33]Steven Sharif

Class abilities

Alpha-1 preview primary skills.[34]

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.[35]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.[36]Steven Sharif

Primary skills (class abilities) are based on a player's archetype.[15] Players can personalize their primary skills with augmentation from a secondary archetype.[14][15][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.[14][39] Each augment school affects a primary archetype's skills in different ways.[40]
    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.[22]
  • 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]

Primary skills in Alpha-2 are expected to be very different to those in Alpha-1.[48]

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.[48]Steven Sharif

Rested experience

Taverns offer rested experience (rested XP) for those who rent rooms or spend time as patrons of the tavern.[49]

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

Pet progression

Combat pets will be levelable and will have gear available to them.[50][51]

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 Interview, 13 June 2021 (48:27).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Livestream, 25 July 2020 (1:34:55).
  7. Livestream, 15 December 2017 (58:48).
  8. 8.0 8.1 Interview, 8 July 2020 (1:07:59).
  9. Livestream, 24 May 2017 (19:25).
  10. Livestream, 30 April 2021 (41:18).
  11. Interview, 8 July 2020 (1:12:51).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Livestream, 15 May 2017 (26:13).
  13. Interview, 24 August 2018 (4:15).
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:05:04).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 progression.png
  16. 16.0 16.1 Interview, 29 July 2020 (54:44).
  17. 17.0 17.1 Ashes of Creation class list.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Livestream, 28 July 2017 (19:05).
  19. archetypeclass.png
  20. Livestream, 3 May 2017 (50:50).
  21. Livestream, 18 July 2017 (37:43).
  22. 22.0 22.1 February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
  23. Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:31:11).
  24. Podcast, 11 April 2021 (54:35).
  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. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Livestream, 26 March 2021 (54:26).
  30. Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:45:40).
  31. Livestream, 26 June 2020 (1:14:42).
  32. 32.0 32.1 Livestream, 26 May 2017 (24:33).
  33. 33.0 33.1 Livestream, 25 June 2021 (1:28:02).
  34. toast-keybinds-skills.png
  35. Livestream, 16 October 2017 (1:00:44).
  36. Interview, 8 August 2018 (22:27).
  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. Livestream, 19 November 2021 (50:38).
  48. 48.0 48.1 Livestream, 24 September 2021 (1:18:06).
  49. The mighty beard!
  50. 50.0 50.1 Livestream, 30 November 2020 (1:26:00).
  51. Pets.jpg
  52. Livestream, 28 June 2019 (1:24:27).