Universal skills

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Universal skills, such as active blocking and dodge rolling, are able to be unlocked by all archetypes.[1][2]

Outside of your class-specific skill tree, there's going to be a subsection of a few skills that are universal, like active block, like dodge; and I think what we're going to do- or at least what we're going to be discussing here- is those universal skills will have progressions that might align with your passive tree; and you can spec skill points into progressing additional features of those universal abilities that you will have access to. So I think that's probably going to be the direction that we're going to take.[2]Steven Sharif
  • Skill points can be used to unlock universal skills at the expense of unlocking class-specific skills.[1]
Q: Will each archetype be equally efficient with universal skills, like dodging and active blocking, or will each of them have their own versions and flavors, or will some people be more powerful than others?
A: We want to provide a progression path that's shared for those universal skills across all the archetypes. So when you spend skill points, you can choose to spend them within the universal skill set and unlock particular ability types for the universal skills as well, but you will be spending them from the skill points that you would normally spend within your class-specific skill tree; and this offers again a different wheel of customization that I think is interesting.[1]Steven Sharif
  • The developers will be testing the use of separate energy mechanics for universal skills in Alpha-2.[3]
  • Universal skill progression may align with a player's passive skill tree.[2]

Active blocking

Tank active blocking with a Shield in Alpha-2.[4]

The shield version would probably be better but you'd still be able to parry or whatnot with a two-handed weapon, or even maybe a dual wield.[5]Tradd Thompson

Active blocking is a universal skill that applies to all classes.[7][8][9][10][5][2]

Active blocking might be an ability that- it's universal, of course it's universal- but it might be consuming mana; and you'll be able to adjust that mana consumption based off of your passive spec into your skill trees. In addition, it might also consume stamina, where that's something we're going to be testing as part of Alpha-2.[10]Steven Sharif
Q: How are you designing encounters around active blocking? Will it be situational use, or would I expect to be laying on my block keybind for most of the fight to prevent getting deleted by bosses?
A: It depends really on the type of adversary you're facing. Some of them are going to have indicators or tells that a big attack is coming. It's an animation wind up where you'll have an opportunity to use active block in very unique situations that are based on timing and additional mitigation for those incoming one-off attacks. In other occasions you'll be able to use it off of rotational cooldowns, or if you're waiting for a particular ability or you're during the use of your Aegis. There's different situations for when active block is a relevant use-case.[12]Steven Sharif
  • Some abilities may be able to overcome, surpass, or cancel active blocking.[8]
If a player is in a state, such as an active block, or an active tumble state, there will likely be some types of abilities that interact with reacting to those types of states and will either overcome surpass or cancel out those states, particularly as it relates to not just active blocking, but also potentially passive blocking as well; and that would be something probably related to physical penetration values as a stat, or even CC breaks that could be relevant as well for those types of things. I think that's on the radar for the combat team.[8]Steven Sharif
  • Previously the developers had not finalized designs for active blocking and were 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.[13][14]


Dodging in Alpha-1 early combat.[16]

Another thing that's important about these action combats is the ability to dodge and moving out of the way of certain skill shots.[16]Steven Sharif

Evasion moves such as dodging and weaving will be present in Ashes of Creation combat.[9][17][18]

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.[17]Steven Sharif

Passive skills

Passive skills are used to augment weapon usage, armor usage, health regeneration, and passive stats.[20]

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.[22]Steven Sharif
Passive skill Icon Archetype(s) Base skill
Caravan Trail Speed Bonus Trail Speed Bonus.png Minor speed boost for travelling on a simple trail.[24]


Revamped Alpha-1 Mage Fireball ability.[25][26]

The general approach that we're 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 the general design philosophy we're using to approach the overhaul.[25]Tradd Thompson

A lot of abilities you have the capability of moving while casting. It's going to decrease your movement speed significantly or depending on the type of ability. We do reserve the cost- and that's really what it is when you tie ability usage to mobility- we do reserve the cost of requiring the character to remain stationary on some big effect type abilities.[27]Steven Sharif
  • Most abilities in Ashes of Creation are capable of being cast while moving. Some abilities may slow the caster down during the cast, but only rarely will the player be rooted in place.[27][32]
Most abilities you'll find in Ashes of Creation are capable of being cast while moving. Some of those abilities might slow your movement during the cast, but you can continue to move. Very rarely, and depending on obviously the importance of the ability or the power level of that ability, you might be rooted in place. So, for example, the AoE ability [Chains of Restraint] has a lot going on. It has damage ticking over time, it is an area of effect, it also has a status condition application; and in those instances the player character gets rooted.[32]Steven Sharif
That's the cat-and-mouse of these abilities. Like we've seen with the Ranger, they have a backflip, they have their Airdrop [sic] ability. The Mage has teleportation. There are going to be abilities that are tit-for-tat; and managing the resource of those abilities and the timing of when you use them to either correlate to your opponent's use of those things, or to save them for yourself when you want to get away, that's part of what makes the engagements dynamic and different each time.[35]Steven Sharif
  • Unreal Engine 5 has enabled improved forms of locomotion, such as crouching, tilting and mantling.[36][37]
    • Crouching may or may not be in the game.[38][39]
  • The ability to prone is not be in the game.[38][39]
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.[41]Steven Sharif
If we're talking about Fighter, they're going to have a lot of heavy gap closers. They can probably be a little bit more liberal in the use of their gap closers because they have so many of them, versus let's say a Ranger that needs to choose when to use their escape abilities, because they have fewer of them. The same would be true for a melee character like a rogue. Their approach vector is going to be more stealth-driven than it would be perhaps let's say from a gap-closer perspective.[42]Steven Sharif
Q: If a ranger is super mobile, what are the melee's options in order to catch them?
A: Different class kits will provide different gap closers. They'll provide different mobility skills. They'll have lockdowns. They'll have chains to pull back. They'll have a lot of different things in the rotation. That's part of what an MMORPG experience is. You're not just restricted to three or six skills, you have a rotational suite; and depending on the type of challenges you face is going to help determine which of those rotations you spec into from your skill tree.[43]Steven Sharif
Skill Icon Primary Description
Air Strike Air Strike New.png Ranger Leap a great distance forward and into the air while firing three projectiles in a line along the path, each dealing area damage and rooting targets hit for 3 seconds. Rotation control is enabled during cast.[44] The root effect is nature based.[45]
Blink Blink.png Mage Instantly teleport a set distance in the direction you are moving.[46][47]
Blitz Blitz.png Fighter Charge directly toward target enemy, dealing Physical damage to the target on arrival.[48]
Call of the Wild Call of the Wild Icon.png Ranger Remove all movement impairing effects and increase movement speed by 20% for 8 seconds. Snares and Roots effects applied to the caster are ignored.[49]
Caravan Trail Speed Bonus Trail Speed Bonus.png Carovana Minor speed boost for travelling on a simple trail.[24]
Exert Exert.png Fighter Consume your Combat Momentum rapidly, gaining 20% increased attack and movement speed and immunity to disabling effects while active. Must have at least 20 Combat Momentum to activate, and the effect ends when all Combat Momentum is fully depleted.[50]
Form Of Celerity Form of Celerity.png Fighter While in this form, the caster receives +2% Movement Speed per 10 Combat Momentum, up to a maximum of +20%. Shifting form costs 20% of current Combat Momentum and triggers cooldown for all Combat Forms.[51]
Form Of Fluidity Form of Fluidity.png Fighter While in this form, the caster receives +4% Disable Resistance Chance per 10 Combat Momentum, up to a maximum of +40%. Shifting form costs 20% of current Combat Momentum and triggers cooldown for all Combat Forms.[52]
Leap Strike Leap Strike.png Fighter Leap to target location and deal damage around you, snaring targets hit for 3 seconds.[53]
Lunging Assault Lunging Assault.png Fighter Spend 15 Combat Momentum to lunge in a direction a short distance and perform an upward swing upon arrival, dealing damage to enemies in front of you. You are immune to hard crowd control effects while performing this ability.[54]
Recharging Lunging Assault Recharging Lunging Assault Skill Tree IconAlpha.png Fighter Lunging Assault gains an additional charge and generates 5 additional Combat Momentum when dealing damage to one or more enemies.[55]
Shield Assault ShieldAssaultIcon.png Tank Bashes the target with your shield, dealing damage and applying the shaken condition. If the target is already suffering from the shaken condition, stun the target instead.[56]
Speed Boost Speed Boost.png Carovana Gives the caravan a temporary speed boost.[57]
Unstoppable Exert Reinvigorating Exert Skill Tree IconAlpha.png Fighter Exert additionally breaks all hard control effects on the caster, and may be used any time while under a hard controlling effect.[58]
Whirlwind Whirlwind.png Fighter Channeled Ability: Deal physical damage to all enemies around the caster with each spin while channeled, increasing the spin rate the longer it is channeled. The caster is immune to hard disabling effects while spinning. Activate the ability again to end channeling early.[59]
Wings of Salvation Wings of Salvation.png Cleric Sprout phoenix-like wings and leap to target ally, then grant a small amount of temporary health to that target on arrival.[60][61] An ally is defined as any non-combatant player or non-mob NPC.[62]

Player movement

  • Sprinting will consume a percentage of a character's mana pool. Sprinting will not be permitted while in combat.[64]
    • A sprinting/dash skill with a cooldown was confirmed to be part of a class kit.[65]
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.[64]Steven Sharif
  • There is a toggleable walk/run (autorun) capability.[66]
  • There is not going to be any "go to waypoint" (auto-pathing) mechanics.[67]

Weapon weights

Weapon weight refers to how the mass of a weapon affects its performance during combat.[28]

There is a balance between player motion and agency as we call it and weapon weightedness- that almost locked-in-place rooted position- the heavier the weapon is, the more restrictions you want to place on that player agency to showcase the rooted effect: That weight- that heavyweight aspect; and so what we've done by presenting you guys with both the dual daggers and the two-handed weapon is we've shown the range between that complete player agency: a player agency in the light weapon attacks that's the dual daggers, and the maximum range of of rootedness or weightedness that's present on the two-handed weapon; and that's the spectrum in which our basic melee combat will exist within. So if there are medium weapon groups that exist in-between there, it's going to be somewhere in between that spectrum.[72]Steven Sharif

See also


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  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Trasmissione in diretta, 2021-11-19 (50:38).
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  4. 4.0 4.1 Video, 2023-01-27 (35:51).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Video, 2022-12-02 (34:41).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Video, 2022-12-02 (16:55).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Trasmissione in diretta, 2024-03-29 (2:38:15).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Trasmissione in diretta, 2023-09-29 (1:12:16).
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Trasmissione in diretta, 2023-01-27 (1:06:02).
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Video, 2023-01-27 (40:24).
  11. Trasmissione in diretta, 2023-01-27 (15:22).
  12. Trasmissione in diretta, 2023-01-27 (1:13:29).
  13. Trasmissione in diretta, 2021-09-24 (1:22:46).
  14. Trasmissione in diretta, 2020-06-26 (1:19:50).
  15. shieldactiveblockA1.png
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Trasmissione in diretta, 2020-08-28 (1:19:24).
  17. 17.0 17.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2022-06-30 (51:17).
  18. 18.0 18.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2020-01-30 (1:34:12).
  19. Trasmissione in diretta, 2020-06-26 (1:24:06).
  20. 20.0 20.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2020-08-28 (1:12:50).
  21. February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2021-06-25 (23:08).
  23. Trasmissione in diretta, 2023-03-31 (1:30:07).
  24. 24.0 24.1 Trail Speed Bonus Description.png
  25. 25.0 25.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2021-02-26 (27:41).
  26. Video, 2021-02-26 (6:17).
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 27.4 Trasmissione in diretta, 2023-07-28 (1:02:23).
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Trasmissione in diretta, 2022-06-30 (46:30).
  29. Trasmissione in diretta, 2021-07-30 (31:22).
  30. Colloquio, 2021-06-13 (4:12).
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  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Trasmissione in diretta, 2022-12-02 (59:47).
  33. Trasmissione in diretta, 2020-04-30 (1:17:13).
  34. Trasmissione in diretta, 2017-05-08 (43:30).
  35. 35.0 35.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2024-03-29 (2:01:57).
  36. 36.0 36.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2021-12-23 (55:32).
  37. Video, 2021-12-23 (23:53).
  38. 38.0 38.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2022-10-14 (48:45).
  39. 39.0 39.1 stevenclarification.png
  40. Trasmissione in diretta, 2020-06-26 (1:30:40).
  41. 41.0 41.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2022-06-30 (49:42).
  42. 42.0 42.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2023-12-19 (1:16:19).
  43. 43.0 43.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2022-09-30 (51:28).
  44. Air Strike New Description.png
  45. Video, 2022-09-30 (15:28).
  46. Video, 2023-04-28 (4:40).
  47. Blitz Description.png
  48. Call of the Wild Description.png
  49. Exert Description.png
  50. Form of Celerity Description.png
  51. Form of Fluidity Skill Tree Description.png
  52. Leap Strike Description.png
  53. Lunging Assault Description.png
  54. Recharging Lunging Assault Description.png
  55. Video, 2023-01-27 (5:07).
  56. Speed Boost Description New.png
  57. Unstoppable Exert Skill Tree Description.png
  58. Whirlwind Description.png
  59. Video, 2023-07-28 (24:03).
  60. Wings of Salvation Info Panel.png
  61. Video, 2023-07-28 (24:16).
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  64. Reddit - Developer response to unique ability visuals.
  65. autorun.jpg
  66. Trasmissione in diretta, 2018-05-04 (51:57).
  67. Trasmissione in diretta, 2017-12-15 (1:35:38).
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