Universal skills

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Outside of class-specific skills there may be a subset of universal skills, such as active block and dodge.[1]

  • The developers will be testing the use of separate energy mechanics for universal skills in Alpha-2.[2]
  • Universal skill progression may align with a player's passive skill tree.[1]
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.[1]Steven Sharif

Active blocking

Tank active blocking with a Shield in Alpha-2.[3]

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.[4]Tradd Thompson

Active blocking is a universal skill that applies to all classes.[6][7][4][1]

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.[7]
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.[9]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.[10][11]


Dodging in Alpha-1 early combat.[13]

Another thing that's important about these action combats is the ability to dodge and moving out of the way of certain skill shots.[13]Steven Sharif

Evasion moves such as dodging and weaving will be present in Ashes of Creation combat.[6][14][15]

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.[14]Steven Sharif

Passive skills

Passive skills are used to augment weapon usage, armor usage, health regeneration, and passive stats.[17]

  • Passive skills can be levelled up by allocating skill points on the skills UI.[17]
  • Passive skills enable players to work toward mastery of a weapon.[18]

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.[19]Steven Sharif

info-orange.pngThis section contains information from Alpha-1 testing. It will be updated when new information is made available.
Passive skill Icon Archetype(s) Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Attack Damage Attack Damage.png Mage Increases attack damage by 5.[20]
Block Chance Block Chance.png Tank Increase chance to block attacks by 20% (Blocked attacks deal 20% reduced damage).[21]
Cooldown Reduction Cooldown Reduction.png Cleric Mage Tank Reduce all ability cooldowns by 5%.[20]
Critical Hit Damage Critical Hit Damage.png Mage Increase the damage and healing bonus from critical hits by 20%.[20]
Critical Hit Rate Critical Hit Rate.png Cleric Mage Tank Increase the chance for damage and healing abilities to critically hit by 5%.[20]
Defense Mitigation Defense Mitigation.png Cleric Mage Tank Increase defense mitigation by 4.[20]
Disable Chance Disable Chance.png Mage Increase chance to disable by 15%.[20]
Disable Defense Disable Defense.png Cleric Reduce chance of being disabled by crowd control effects by 10%.[22]
Healing Received Healing Received.png Tank Increase the amount of healing received by 10%.[23]
Health Regeneration Health Regeneration.png Cleric Mage Tank Generate an additional 1.5% of your maximum health per second.[20]
Increased Healing Increased Healing.png Cleric Increase healing done by 10%.[24]
Mana Regeneration Mana Regeneration.png Cleric Mage Tank Generate an additional 1% of your maximum mana per second.[20]
Maximum Health Maximum Health.png Cleric Mage Tank Increase maximum health by 75.[20]
Maximum Mana Maximum Mana.png Cleric Increase maximum mana by 100.[25]
Movement Speed Movement Speed.png Cleric Mage Tank Increase movement speed by 5%.[20]
Physical Evasion Bonus Physical Evasion Bonus.png Tank Increase physical evasion bonus by 5.[26]


Revamped Alpha-1 Mage Fireball ability.[27][28]

The general approach that we're kind of 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 kind of the general design philosophy we're using to approach the overhaul.[27]Tradd Thompson

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.[33]Steven Sharif
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
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.[42]Steven Sharif
info-orange.pngThis section contains information from early testing phases. It will be updated as soon as new information is made available.
Skill Icon Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Blink Blink Icon.jpg Blinks forward in the direction you are traveling.[43][44][45][46] Now deals damage to enemies surrounding your departure location.[47][46] Reduced cooldown.[43][47][46]
Rush rush icon.png Rush toward a target; and upon reaching the target, deal an amount damage with a chance to knock the target down.[48] - -

Player movement

  • Sprinting will consume a percentage of a character's mana pool. Sprinting will not be permitted while in combat.[50]
    • A sprinting/dash skill with a cooldown was confirmed to be part of a class kit.[51]
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.[50]Steven Sharif
  • There is a toggleable walk/run (autorun) capability.[52]
  • There is not going to be any "go to waypoint" (auto-pathing) mechanics.[53]

Weapon weights

Weapon weight refers to how the mass of a weapon affects its performance during combat.[29]

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 kind of aspect; and so what we've done by presenting you guys with both the dual daggers and the two-handed weapon is we've kind of 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.[57]Steven Sharif

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Livestream, November 19, 2021 (50:38).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Livestream, December 2, 2022 (1:05:08).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Video, January 27, 2023 (35:51).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Video, December 2, 2022 (34:41).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Video, December 2, 2022 (16:55).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Livestream, January 27, 2023 (1:06:02).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Video, January 27, 2023 (40:24).
  8. Livestream, January 27, 2023 (15:22).
  9. Livestream, January 27, 2023 (1:13:29).
  10. Livestream, September 24, 2021 (1:22:46).
  11. Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:19:50).
  12. shieldactiveblockA1.png
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:19:24).
  14. 14.0 14.1 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (51:17).
  15. 15.0 15.1 Livestream, January 30, 2020 (1:34:12).
  16. Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:24:06).
  17. 17.0 17.1 Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:12:50).
  18. February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
  19. Livestream, June 25, 2021 (23:08).
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 20.7 20.8 20.9 Livestream, June 25, 2021 (23:08).
  21. Alpha-1 screenshot.
  22. Alpha-1 screenshot.
  23. Alpha-1 screenshot.
  24. Alpha-1 screenshot.
  25. Alpha-1 screenshot.
  26. Alpha-1 screenshot.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Livestream, February 26, 2021 (27:41).
  28. Video, February 26, 2021 (6:17).
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (46:30).
  30. Livestream, July 30, 2021 (31:22).
  31. Interview, June 13, 2021 (4:12).
  32. Livestream, May 28, 2021 (1:13:05).
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Livestream, December 2, 2022 (59:47).
  34. Livestream, April 30, 2020 (1:17:13).
  35. Livestream, May 8, 2017 (43:30).
  36. 36.0 36.1 Livestream, December 23, 2021 (55:32).
  37. Video, December 23, 2021 (23:53).
  38. 38.0 38.1 Livestream, October 14, 2022 (48:45).
  39. 39.0 39.1 stevenclarification.png
  40. Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:30:40).
  41. 41.0 41.1 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (49:42).
  42. Livestream, September 30, 2022 (51:28).
  43. toast-keybinds-skills.png
  44. Video, December 23, 2020 (1:17).
  45. 46.0 46.1 46.2 Livestream, July 31, 2020 (57:33).
  46. 47.0 47.1 Video, December 22, 2020 (7:35).
  47. progression.png
  48. Video, May 25, 2017 (0:02).
  49. 50.0 50.1 Livestream, July 30, 2021 (1:11:29).
  50. Reddit - Developer response to unique ability visuals.
  51. autorun.jpg
  52. Livestream, May 4, 2018 (51:57).
  53. Livestream, December 15, 2017 (1:35:38).
  54. Video, December 23, 2021 (7:05).
  55. Livestream, October 28, 2022 (1:29:48).
  56. 57.0 57.1 57.2 57.3 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (42:29).