- The goal is to give more agency to the player and achieve a more fluid flow of combat with greater mobility when using abilities.
- The current hybrid tab and action combat system will remain after the revamp.
- This revamp will not represent the final form of combat, but will set the general direction that combat will be taking.
- The revamp will be iterative and will be rolled out to testers in different phases.
- The developers will be testing whether or not to use global cooldowns GCDs on different types of abilities during Alpha-2.
- You'll be able to move forward while swinging your weapon; and this will allow you complete control over your weapon attacks for melee. – Steven Sharif
Alpha-1 combat was focused on core functionality rather than combat balance. Alpha-2 combat will include archetypes, significant ability support, augments, split-body combat, weapon attacks, and many additional items, among other things.
- Changes that allow templated abilities to apply to 3D positions in the air or water will be prototyped and may be included in Alpha-2.
Hybrid combat refers to the choice between tab and action combat in Ashes of Creation. A toggle button (default Z, but can be re-bound to another key) allows the player to switch between action and tab combat modes.
- The action mode camera is tied to the to the player's reticle (crosshair).
- Targeted skills require either a soft or hard locked target.
- 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.
- 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.
- Templated skills allow "blind firing" without a target while in action mode. If an entity moves into the path of the attack they can be struck.
- 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. – Steven Sharif
- 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. – 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.
- Different ranks of the same skill can change the skill from tab to action or vice-versa.
- Variables will change based on which version of a skill is chosen.
- 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.
- For the purposes of balance, certain skill types will be either tab or action oriented skills.
- 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. – Steven Sharif
Weapon use combo system (Combat animation montage)
A weapon use combo system (also referred to as Weapon attack combo, Weapon combo, Combo system, and Weapon use ability) is utilized instead of a traditional auto-attack ability in Ashes of Creation.
- The combo system consists of a sequence of combat animations based on the weapon type, referred to as a combat animation montage.
- 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. – Steven Sharif
- This system plays heavily into the weapon skill trees, which are planned for Alpha-2 and beyond.
- 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. – 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. – Steven Sharif
- Weapon progression such as set bonuses may change at what level any proc effects occur and therefore enable different combo rotations.
- 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.
- 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. – Steven Sharif
- Using a skill/ability other than a basic attack will in general reset the combo.
- The developers are considering specific abilities that might be able to be used without resetting the combo system.
- 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. – Steven Sharif
Instant cast abilities
|Skill||Icon||Rank 1||Rank 2||Rank 3|
|Divine Infusion||Consume Divine Power to instantly complete the remaining cast time of any healing spell currently being cast. The amount of Divine Power consumed is proportional to the amount of cast time remaining upon activation.||-||-|
|Flash Cure||Instantly heal target ally. This may be used during other ability activations.|
|Healing Touch||Heal target ally in melee range for a large amount of health.|
- The revamped combat system features split-body animations, where the character's upper body can be locked by weapon attack animations while the lower body is free to continue moving.
- 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. – 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.
- 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. – Steven Sharif
- Unreal Engine 5 has enabled improved forms of locomotion, such as crouching, tilting and mantling.
- 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. – 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. – Steven Sharif
|Skill||Icon||Rank 1||Rank 2||Rank 3|
|Air Strike||Leap a great distance forward and into the air while firing three projectiles in a line along the path, each dealing area damage and inflicting snare to targets hit. Enemies already snared will become briefly rooted. The root effect is nature based.|
|Blink||Instantly teleport a set distance in the direction you are moving.||-||-|
|Caravan Speed Boost||Gives the caravan a temporary speed boost.||-||-|
|Caravan Trail Speed Bonus||Minor speed boost for travelling on a simple trail.||-||-|
|Rush||Rush toward a target; and upon reaching the target, deal an amount damage with a chance to knock the target down.||-||-|
|Wings of Salvation||Sprout phoenix-like wings and leap to target ally, then grant a small amount of temporary health to that target on arrival. An ally is defined as any non-combatant player or non-mob NPC.|
- Light weapons have fewer restrictions on player agency and motion.
- Medium weapons exist on a spectrum between light and heavy weapons.
- Heavy weapons will increasingly lock the player in place during portions of the combat animation.
- 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. – Steven Sharif
- The developers are considering the inclusion of dodging in a subset of universal skills that apply to all classes.
- Dodging will not use I-frames (invincibility frames), but it may affect accuracy and mitigation stats when used.
- 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. – Steven Sharif
- Active blocking is present in Alpha-2. At present the developers are using a universal stamina-based energy system, but they will be testing the use of separate energy mechanics for universal skills in Alpha-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. – Steven Sharif
- Shields are better for active blocking, but any melee weapon can also be used to parry with a lesser amount of mitigation.
- 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. – Steven Sharif
- Some abilities may be able to overcome, surpass, or cancel active blocking.
- 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. – 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.
Floating combat text
- Damage taken appears in red and floats to the left.
- Damage dealt appears in yellow and floats to the right.
- Crits appear larger and are slightly above the other numbers.
- XP appears in white and is slightly lower on the UI.
- Color composition.
- Text size and boldness.
- Damage icons to indicate the ability used.
- Providing maximum flexibility and player customization options for these floating texts I think is super important. – Steven Sharif
- 2022-06-30 Video - Ashes of Creation Alpha Two Basic Melee Weapon Attack Update
- 2022-09-30 Video - Ashes of Creation Alpha Two Basic Ranged Weapon Attack Update
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- Twitter - Take a look at our new basic weapon attack combos!
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