Basic attacks

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Basic attacks are triggered for the equipped primary weapon by pressing Q or left-clicking the mouse (these buttons can be re-bound by the player).[2][3][4]

  • Players can select which weapon they wish to use as their primary weapon for basic attacks.[2][3][5]
  • Different weapon types have different basic attacks.[6][7]
  • Weapons with projectile attacks are capable of blind firing without having a target.[8]
    • If the player is in action camera mode and their reticle is over a target, they will be able to soft lock onto that target, causing projectiles to home to targets who are within the correct range/angle.[8]
When you have your weapon and you utilize a basic attack, you can blind fire that weapon, if it has a projectile associated with it, without having to have a target. In addition, if your reticle in action camera mode is over a target, you will have a soft target lock and projectiles will home to that target if within the right angle of direction.[8]Steven Sharif
Skill Icon Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Longbow basic attack Bow basic attack.png A slower, powerful, longer range basic ranged attack. Tapping the basic attack button will shoot normally. Holding the basic attack button will charge the shot (and root the player) to cause added damage.[11][6][7]
Shortbow basic attack Bow basic attack.png A fast, low power, short range basic ranged attack. Holding down the basic attack button will repeatedly fire.[6][7]

Weapon use combo system

Alpha-2 Mage demonstrating a Frostbolt, Lightning Strike, and Wand weapon attack combo.[12]

This is a single Target projectile attack that applies two stacks of Chilled to the enemy; and then after that hit him with a few wand attacks. Now you'll see that you've gotten a Frozen status effect on him and then he timed that really well there... in that very last frame you'll see that he hit him with a lightning effect... So that's a good way to get your burst damage if you're rotating your spells and your elements the correct way.[12]Keenan Reimer

Work-in-progress Alpha-2 basic weapon attack combos.[13]

The ability for for a spell Caster or just any player with their archetype having the option to weave in-between those rotations and those spells and to create successful combinations within their kit that you amplify the DPS or the status conditions or the control effects, or whatever it is your is your end goal. Having a rotation that emphasizes your ability to succeed or fail in those combos I think is compelling from a gameplay perspective.[14]Steven Sharif

A weapon use combo system (also referred to as Weapon attack combo, Weapon combo, Combo system[15], and Weapon use ability[16]) is utilized instead of a traditional auto-attack ability in Ashes of Creation.[17][15][18]

Let's say for example you're using a two-handed warhammer or something and you have a number of weapon combos that play animation style based on how many combos deep you go into an attack with that warhammer. So the first is going to be like a forward swing. Second is going to be a back swing. The third is going to be swing down and the fourth is going to be some twirl that you do; and that's what we call the combo animation montage.[4]Steven Sharif
The way that the weapon skill tree works is that at different stages of that combat montage you have available procs that can occur. The first swing might be a small stagger that decreases your opponent's accuracy by 15, that could be a proc that you could that you could spec into that decrease in accuracy- might be a status condition called stagger or bewildered or whatever- and that might exist for three or four seconds. Your second option from a skill tree perspective might be on the swing back. You have some type of tapering slow effect that lasts over three seconds- some type of tapering snare; and then the third step strike down might be some potential one second stun status modifier; and each of these you can spec into additional points to increase the chance that these proc.[4]Steven Sharif
Depending on what your class skill choice has been those are going to have synergy effects with the weapon skill tree. So my skill called spin-to-win might do 30 additional damage on a staggered target. So I see when my proc occurs with the stagger effect on my first swing, like for me as a player I might be only interested in landing that first swing, so every now and then I'm gonna swing once and then I'm gonna use a skill and then I'm gonna come back and swing again because that'll play my first swing montage, because it's been interrupted. So I won't move to the second one because I'm really just wanna hit that stagger effect. So that's going to be how my rotation lines up. However I might have some skill that on a stun target it might be an immediate cast and it's like some power you push or power hit; and that does- it knocks back a stun target. So if the target's stunned when this skill plays, it has an added effect of knock down and now they're gonna get knocked down for an additional two seconds. Now I might spec into that and as a result I want to finish through: swing, swing, and then knock down. So I get my chance at stunning that target with that weapon skill.[4]Steven Sharif
You may have items or set bonuses that change at what level those proc occurs. So I may have a full set of battle armor that changes all third hit combo procs to second hit requirements and now I have a chance not only on my second hit to land that tapering slow but I also have a chance to land my one second stun proc because I have the full set that changes my weapon progression. So that's the way itemization works with your weapon skill tree, is you can enhance when those weapon skill trees become available in your combat montage and that can be a relevant factor in how your skill rotations come to play; and mixes with your weapon attacks.
  • Weapon skill choices and rotations will vary based on whether the player is more focused on PvP or PvE.[4]
Right now some people might just say, "I don't care at all about my weapon attacks. I'm not going to invest a lot of points into that. And if I do, it's going to be primarily PvE focused where I'm more comfortable using just swinging my weapon, and I may not use them as much in PvP. I'm just going to be focused on skill rotations." That's okay, but the reason for those skill montages- back to your question- is they have a very relevant role in when certain procs come online from a weapons skill tree perspective.[4]Steven Sharif
  • Using a skill/ability other than a basic attack will in general reset the combo.[9]
    • The developers are considering specific abilities that might be able to be used without resetting the combo system.[9]
It acts similar in the sense of the core loop of what an auto attack is so to speak; where typically your other skills have a cooldown period, they have a rotation or whatever: Our combo system is a repeatable skill effect that you can continually attack with but it's a little bit more involved than what a traditional auto attack is; and it has components from a from an advancement standpoint when it comes to the types of procs that your weapon can have during that combo system... It's not going to have the quick time event that you guys saw early on in PAX and gave great feedback on, but it is going to have development with regards to the power of the weapon the type of weapon you're using, the additional proc effects that you can skill into: Those types of things are going to make it a little bit more complex of a system capture.[15]Steven Sharif

Weapon skills

Basic weapon attack livestream teaser.[20]

Part of the plan with each of these weapons is they'll each have a unique skill tree associated with them to differentiate them, not only in terms of feel, but also in terms of mechanics. And an important thing that we really want to capture in Ashes is the important ability basically so the player can build their character how they want; and that extends beyond just their classkits. So for example, if I'm the ranger I can spec into my shortbow or I can spec into my longbow; and those will be two very different builds for example made specialized or have have a part of its tree that specializes and bleeds that might synergize with specific ranger abilities that the longbow might not necessarily synergize with. Their weapon choice will play into what abilities the archetype is specializing in.[21]Tradd Thompson

Weapon skills grant passive skills and proc effects and other status conditions rather than usable skills on a player's action bar.[22] The more skill points that are allocated to the weapon tree, the greater a player's weapon familiarity. This influences things like the number of attacks, attack speed, and increased chances of proc effects from carrying out basic attacks with that weapon. These procs may offer synergy with the player's active skills.[23][24][25][26][17][21][4][27][28][29][15][30][31] This synergy also applies to active skills from other characters.[23][32]

Our approach is not going to be providing skills through weapons. It's going to be providing skills through classes.[25]Steven Sharif
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.[29]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.[28]Steven Sharif

Hybrid combat

Ranger hybrid combat in Alpha-2.[35]

Our desire has always and continues to be how we can create a mixture of tab target abilities and skill-shot oriented positional, directional-based ability usage and make something cohesive in that design. And I think that what we're achieving with that regard may not fully feel like an action-oriented game, but we've always intended to be more hybrid-oriented, leaning towards tab target. So you're going to see a mixture of abilities that require the targets and that don't; and then you're going to have an option as the player's perspective to utilize an action camera mode, which utilizes a soft target lock feature and our reticle.[36]Steven Sharif

Hard-locked friendly player target.[37]

Hybrid combat refers to the choice between tab and action combat in Ashes of Creation.[36][38][39][40][41][42] A toggle button (default Z, but can be re-bound to another key) allows the player to switch between action and tab combat modes.[36][43][44][45][46]

  • The action mode camera is tied to the to the player's reticle (crosshair).[36][47][48]
    • There will likely be a hotkey that when held down will allow free camera movement in action mode.[48]
    • In future the user will have the ability to choose from different reticle appearances.[49]
  • Targeted skills require either a soft or hard locked target.[36][47]
    • Soft locking is when the reticle moves over a valid target while in action mode. The targeting plate will appear slightly grayed out to indicate that this is a soft-lock target. If the reticle moves away from the target or the target moves away from the reticle, the target is lost.[47]
    • Hard locking is when the player uses right-mouse on a soft-locked target in action mode, or when the player selects a valid target in tab mode. The targeting plate will not be grayed-out to indicate that a hard-lock target is selected. Unlike soft locking, if the target moves out of the reticle, the target is not lost. Tab will still cycle between hard-locked targets in action mode based on proximity priority.[2][47]
Q: Is the development team moving away from action combat, or is action combat more prevalent with the melee classes, and the healing/range classes are more tab-target other than AoE spells?
A: We have not moved away from our hybrid approach to the development of Ashes of Creation's combat; and specifically to reiterate: that approach is incorporating elements of skill shots, fast and reactive gameplay that is situationally relevant, and incorporates the camera mode of both tab-targeting as well as action combat reticle. That's something that is still in progress. We haven't moved away from that however. To note, our approach of that hybridization is going to incorporate things like templated skill-shots, directionally relevant activated abilities, along with the ability to dodge to roll projectiles that can impact collision. Those are elements of action combat that are present.[52]Steven Sharif

Templated and targeted versions of skills will have different characteristics.[53][43][54][55][56]

Skill progressions, skill point allocation is determined by the player. The player will be able to choose either more tab-target oriented skills or more action-based skills and customize their playable experience to what accommodates their preference. From a balancing standpoint for us developers, we need to make sure that certain abilities house certain functions so that there's a balance between skill shots and tab-target abilities.[55]Steven Sharif
  • Targeted skills will be greyed out if the target is not within a valid range but templated skills will generally require the player to assess the correct range for the skill.[57]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
  • It may not be possible to be able to fully spec into just action or tab targeted skills. There might be a 75% cap on choosing skills from any one type.[55]
  • For the purposes of balance, certain skill types will be either tab or action oriented skills.[59]
    • Hard CCs may be housed in action oriented skills because they are skill shots that are more difficult to land.[59][55]
    • Softer CC's would be housed in tab-targeted abilities.[59]
As an example: Let's say you're playing a ranged class. You could have an action-oriented power shot in your skill tree or you could have a single target power shot that ramps up and does more damage.[56]Steven Sharif

See also


  1. Video, April 28, 2023 (14:55).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Livestream, September 30, 2022 (49:16).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Podcast, September 29, 2021 (40:50).
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Podcast, September 29, 2021 (47:57).
  5. Interview, May 11, 2018 (16:32).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Video, September 30, 2022 (19:32).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Video, September 30, 2022 (10:44).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Livestream, April 28, 2023 (55:55).
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Livestream, February 28, 2020 (1:10:21).
  10. Livestream, September 30, 2022 (46:17).
  11. Livestream, September 30, 2022 (26:42).
  12. 12.0 12.1 Video, April 28, 2023 (15:35).
  13. Twitter - Take a look at our new basic weapon attack combos!
  14. Video, April 28, 2023 (16:35).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 Livestream, January 30, 2020 (1:28:40).
  16. Livestream, January 18, 2018 (22:46).
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Livestream, September 30, 2022 (43:45).
  18. steven-auto-attack-definition.png
  19. Livestream, September 24, 2021 (1:19:17).
  20. Twitter - What’s your go-to weapon?
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Video, September 30, 2022 (24:49).
  22. Livestream, October 14, 2022 (18:34).
  23. 23.0 23.1 Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:14:09).
  24. Livestream, December 2, 2022 (56:09).
  25. 25.0 25.1 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (1:12:38).
  26. 26.0 26.1 Livestream, September 30, 2022 (53:15).
  27. 27.0 27.1 Interview, February 7, 2021 (49:18).
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 Interview, July 19, 2020 (53:59).
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 Interview, July 18, 2020 (1:07:51).
  30. February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
  31. 31.0 31.1 Livestream, June 4, 2018 (1:11:19).
  32. Interview, July 29, 2020 (55:44).
  33. 33.0 33.1 Livestream, May 31, 2023 (1:12:58).
  34. Livestream, September 30, 2022 (1:13:23).
  35. Video, September 30, 2022 (17:03).
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 36.4 36.5 Livestream, April 28, 2023 (53:58).
  37. Video, May 31, 2023 (11:20).
  38. Livestream, April 7, 2023 (49:45).
  39. steven-hybrid.png
  40. Livestream, August 27, 2021 (1:16:04).
  41. Livestream, June 25, 2021 (22:34).
  42. Livestream, November 16, 2017 (30:45).
  43. 43.0 43.1 Livestream, June 25, 2021 (27:43).
  44. steven-combat-revamp-update-2.png
  45. Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:15:39).
  46. Livestream, April 30, 2020 (1:09:51).
  47. 47.0 47.1 47.2 47.3 47.4 Video, September 30, 2022 (17:00).
  48. 48.0 48.1 Livestream, March 26, 2021 (59:21).
  49. Livestream, June 25, 2021 (26:11).
  50. Livestream, September 30, 2022 (52:33).
  51. Livestream, September 30, 2022 (48:10).
  52. Livestream, August 31, 2023 (2:22:01).
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 53.3 Livestream, September 30, 2022 (41:06).
  54. Newsletter, 2018-08-7
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 55.3 Livestream, 2018-04-8 (PM) (37:57).
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 56.3 56.4 56.5 Podcast, August 4, 2018 (1:07:59).
  57. Livestream, January 27, 2023 (1:11:07).
  58. Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:12:50).
  59. 59.0 59.1 59.2 59.3 59.4 59.5 Podcast, August 4, 2018 (1:11:05).
  60. steven-action-tab-attack-range.png