- Although traditional roles are present, players should not feel branded by their primary archetype.
- Skill augments available through the class system allow characters to be personalized outside of their primary role.
- Players can also double down on their archetype choice to strengthen their primary role.
We have our eight base archetypes; and the trinity is a pretty strong influence with regards to the eight base classes. However the area in which we actually begin to play with that line between the trinity is in the secondary classes that you can pick. That's where we begin to blend those spaces and allow people a little bit of influence over their role and whether or not they fit perfectly within a particular category within the trinity. – Steven Sharif
- 1v1 matchups will have a rock-paper-scissors dynamic, where one class will be superior to another.
- There will be match ups in 1v1s where one class will be superior to another; and that application should be a rock-paper-scissors dynamic. We want there to be counter-play between the different classes... Instead it's going to be a group focused balance, where as long as you have the diversity of classes present, that's going to be an equal level playing field. It's going to be very dependent on skill and strategy. – Steven Sharif
- Alpha-2 testing will begin to focus on balancing once populations and encounters have been put in place and are deep in testing.
- From an engagement or encounter perspective, obviously we do a finger-in-the wind kind of balance pass, but a lot of that stuff from our encounters team doesn't get done until populations are in place and those encounter designs get a little bit more time to bake. – Steven Sharif
- There are four primary groups of augments assigned to each base archetype. Balancing of augments relates to the four augment groups for each of the eight archetypes.
- Even though augments do radically change the way your active skills provide you abilities, there's still a primary focus on the base archetype itself and not the 64 whole classes. – Steven Sharif
- We're not really talking about 64 true classes, we're talking about eight classes with 64 variants... There isn't as much variance between the 64 classes as you might expect. It's not like there are you know 64 different versions of... radically different classes. – Jeffrey Bard
- Certain archetypes are capable of moving the gap between their counterpart per-se. If I am a Tank archetype and a Mage is my counter, I can take a Mage secondary and kind of bridge the divide slightly; and then move my identity that direction ever so slightly. – Steven Sharif
- 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. – Steven Sharif
- Each secondary archetype offers four different schools of augmentation. Each augment school affects a primary archetype's skills in different ways.
- 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.
- Each augmentation has a level requirement.
- 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. – Steven Sharif
- 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.
- Changing the augmentations on your skills will require you to go to a NPC in a Village node or higher.
- Some spell colors and general FX change based on augments.
- Active skills could look totally different after an augment gets applied.
- Outside of class-specific skills there may be a subset of universal skills, such as active block and dodge.
- Class skills are not affected by the type of weapon that is equipped.
- 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. – Steven Sharif
- It will not be possible to max all skills in a skill tree.
- 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.
- Players are able to reset and reallocate their skill points.
- Augments do not cost skill points. It was previously stated that certain augments will have more expense required on the skill point side.
- 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. – Steven Sharif
- Crafted items are best-in-slot in Ashes of Creation. Previously it was stated that crafted items will be on-par with best-in-slot items.
- What is considered best-in-slot is based on a character's role and the type of monster they are facing.
- Instanced content will contain scripted and difficult boss fights that drop gear, but the gear drops will not be best-in-slot. These can only be found in the open world.
The effectiveness of classes, skills and gear is going to depend on the adversary or the encounter. There will be optimal builds for different challenges and difficulty ratings. This design aims to avoid any obvious meta or "cookie-cutter" builds in Ashes of Creation.
- Different challenges are presented dynamically to players based on node progression and destruction. Situations that are based on a rock-paper-scissors design will inspire a horizontal gear chase. These dynamic challenges will change from month to month, causing a shift in demand in the economy as different builds are required by the new content.
- Increasing difficulty ratings inspire more of a traditional vertical power progression that is common in other MMOs.
Oftentimes you just have a very vertical power scale and that determines chase, but when you have a variety of relevance across certain types of adversaries and that variety changes over time because of player activity- and then that affects the economy and the crafter system and who was producing what for what demand- and everything gets shaken up. That's a very kind of fun environment to exist in. It presents a more dynamic situation rather than a quote-unquote cookie-cutter type selection. – Steven Sharif
Ashes of Creation Apocalypse class kits
- Skills/abilities are not tied specifically to weapons in castle siege mode.
- Base class skills may be able to be selected from a host of available skills for that class based on a player's progression within that season.
We had a little bit of an idea that we're going to explore with regards to each of the classes having a range of skills and abilities that players can customize that skill kit based on their progression within a season, let's say; and that progression can be gained from any of the modes and it would grant you the ability to kind of customize that skill kit for the before the siege mode or the horde mode. But that's something that might come at a later date. – Steven Sharif
Ashes of Creation Apocalypse healing
- Healing skills are proximity based: Centered on self or centered on projectile impact.
- There will be healing potion bursts (healing grenades) that will grant life to allies.
- Healing is part of Class kits that come into play during the testing of Ashes of Creation Apocalypse castle sieges.
We have a few design theories on action combat and healing to began with phase one. Part of that will be the implementation of a class system into the castle siege and horde mode of phase one. Those will be kits that play out as skills available from an action perspective. You'll be able to target in proximity, basically so positioning is going to matter. Importantly, for healers being close to the individual party members you wish to heal. Additionally, you'll have reticle based healing methods. This would be a template that could be launched in that direction as a pulse of heels or augments. So there's a lot of different systems are playing with that you'll see more of when we get to those when we get to the castle siege system and the Ashes of Creation Apocalypse horde mode. – Steven Sharif
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