Character development usually is mostly linear with a large amount of options available to a player. This takes away from the free choice where a character may start out as a swordsman, but down the road decided he wants to become an archer or something else.
Character development in ACO is just like character creation; free in choice and influenced by magic, spirits and skills. The only fixed choice is the initial choice of the character class to present a player with a set of starting skills.
There are different skill systems in place, some are usage based, and others are time based. Some need knowledge and teachers, while others make use of different systems.
Available skills are not just focused on magic and spirit beasts, but take a much broader form. There are many skills in the game, many of which affect different aspects of a character apart from combat or crafting abilities.
Skills will be added throughout the different ages, as new skills will become needed to further the development of individuals and settlements alike.
No two characters are the same when it comes to skills and talents present in a character. This is reflected in ACO by the fact that the skill caps imposed inside the game are tightly bound to different game systems including the Live DM teams.
It will be hard to find two characters which are the same in the later ages of the game.
ACO will feature a new type of skill system which augments existing spirit skills of all types. It’s a system which is driven by music and sound samples which can be put together to form scores. These scores are used in the game in the form of runes and have many different effects.
Runes are drawn real time, similar to ACO’s magic system and more complex scores will contain multiple runes. The Score crafting system allows for experimentation which can result in different effects.
Combining different samples into a score will create a score with unique effects. As an example, creating a score which contains drain life and transfer effects could result in a normal skill damaging a creature or player and transferring health to the casting player. Another example is the usage of group scores in settlement defense.
General Skill Development
ACO will use several systems when it comes to skill development. These will be divided in the more statistical numbers, perks and more.
- There will be no fixed character classes or character levels. Classes and levels only apply to some skills and when initially creating a character.
- The skills can be generally divided in the following categories:
- Time based skill training
- Usage based skill training
- Spirit Essence System
- Academy Training
- Character attributes increase by using them and are affected by the Spirit Essence System
- Skills and stats may decay when they are not used
- Any skill can be mastered by any character, with enough effort and dedication
- The karma system also plays a role in skills that a character can learn
Spirit Essence System
Spirit Essence forms a corner stone in the development of characters and in return settlements. In other words, ACO is a game where characters can grow specific traits obtained from bonded spirits through something that is called Spirit Essence.
Spirit Essence comes from both spirit beasts as well as the environment they live in. These locations are known as The Spirit Beasts Forests. Spirit Beast Forests are the prime locations for anything having to do with Spirit essence.
- When a character chooses the path of spirit mages, it uses Spirit Traits of the initial bonded spirit beast.
- During growth, traits will become more dominant or less dominant depending on the characters environment, Spirit Essence development and other bonded or absorbed spirit beasts.
- Traits can be trained, which will be reflected in the characters genetic pool and enable character appearance to evolve, much like evolving mounts, weapons and armor.
- Players and settlements can use the Spirit Essence System to best match characters, settlement defense and more.
- Characters can evolve through the Spirit Essence System.