Exclusive: Shards Online’s skill system dev diary

Indie sandbox Shards Online is barreling toward its 2016 launch, promising a creator’s paradise for those willing to steer their very own servers. Today, Citadel Studios is giving Massively OP readers an exclusive look at the game’s elaborate skill system. Wanna be a regen/dodge rogue who dabbles in lumberjacking on the side? Yep, you can do that! Read on for Citadel’s full dev diary, including the list of player skills and how Shards aims to balance their use.


Shards Online: A game of skills

When we finally launch Shards Online later this year, we know there will be a fair amount of people out there who are instantly reminded of a few games – Ultima Online and Neverwinter Nights. That makes sense, especially the former, as our founder and CEO Derek Brinkmann worked for many years on UO. We believe that RPGs are at their best when they reward you for the activities you enjoy doing. And that same rule goes for our character progression system. Crafting, exploring, and looting are all big parts of Shards, but none of it means a lick if you’re not out there building your character through dozens of skills.

How does our skill system work?

There are no set classes in Shards Online. Instead, there are skills that everyone can learn and use from the word go. However, just because you know how to use a fireball doesn’t mean you’re going to be any good at doing so. The more you use any skill, the better you become at wielding it. It’s that simple. Like anything, practice makes perfect. Some skills are found easily in your opening moments with the game, while others are found through adventuring in Celador.

The Skills of Shards Online

At launch, we’ll have 30 skills for players to train in, each with their own unique uses and effects on gameplay. From swords to fireballs, animal taming to lumberjacking and potion making, we’ve got a whole lot of skills to master. At launch, each one of these skills can be leveled up in effectiveness to level 50. Certain stats boost the effectiveness of each skill too: Throwing is bolstered by Agility, while Bashing is bolstered by Strength and so on.
Each one of these skills have separate abilities ties to them, which you’ll place on your hotbar as well. For instance, in the magic line, Manifestation allows Fireball, Lightning, Heal, Resurrect, Teleport and others. Meanwhile the Animal Ken skill line will grant you Calm, Tame, Shared Existence, and more. Each skill line opens up a whole new way to play the game and fight your enemies. We’ll take a deeper look at each skill line further down the road.

COMBAT SKILLS

  • Melee
  • Piercing
  • Slashing
  • Bashing
  • Dodge
  • Blocking
  • Regeneration
  • Endurance
  • Marksmanship
  • Throwing

MAGIC SKILLS

  • Manifestation
  • Magic Affinity
  • Channeling

UTILITY SKILLS

  • Rogue
  • Animal Ken
  • Assassination
  • Ranger
  • Beast Mastery

HARVEST SKILLS

  • Foraging
  • Butchery
  • Lumberjack
  • Mining
  • Fishing

TRADE SKILLS

  • Salvage
  • Metalsmith
  • Woodsmith
  • Cooking
  • Fabrication
  • Apothecary

Think about that list above for a second. Each one of those skills has several abilities tied to it, and each one of those skills can be leveled independently up to 50. The higher your tradeskills, the better stuff you can make. The higher your harvesting, the better goods you can gather. Magic skill high? Melt faces. Assassination boosted? Say hello to deadly poisons. There are literally hundreds of ways you can build your character in Shards Online, and there are no limits to what you can learn and unlock. If you’ve got the time and the patience, you could unlock and level up every single skill and ability in the game.

In the coming weeks we’ll detail each of these skill lines, how they’re used, and we’ll provide some player and developer suggested builds as well. We often say that Shards Online is a game about the worlds you’ll visit and the places you’ll create. But just as well, it’s about your character and the live he or she leads. A big part of that is just who you choose to be in the world of Celador and beyond. And we can’t wait to see who you become…

Massively OP would like to thank Citadel Studios for sharing insight on Shards Online’s skill systems with our community.

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2 Comments on "Exclusive: Shards Online’s skill system dev diary"

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Trekkan
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Trekkan

I pledged at a level that would allow me to run my own server and can’t wait to do so!  That being said, I can’t say how the botting/spamming/whatever will be handled on the official servers, but on personal servers, you can be sure the ban hammers will be many (they will be on mine) for such actions.  Letting us run our own servers and configure them how we want… it’s just awesome.

HDHarris
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HDHarris

That’s pretty cool, although I wonder if they have plans to stop spamming to increase levels and botting

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