Ascension Skill System/saved posts

The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
Jump to: navigation, search

Ascension (03/01/2020)

Category: Combat, Magic, and Character Mechanics
Topic: Ascension
Message #: 2
Author: GS4-ESTILD
Date: 03/01/2020 10:14 PM CST
Subject: Ascension

As Product Manager Wyrom noted his in Creating Adventure (, we are making some dramatic changes to how Development works going forward. A big part of that change is how we will communicate and engage players. Up until this point, we always held back any details of what we were working on or hoped to work on in the near future. A lot of that was due to situations were something was announced as an intention, then failed to come to fruition, due to any number of reasons. I hope that it's perfectly clear that things we're willing to discuss going forward are strictly goals and not promises. Having said that, I think this approach is better than not announcing any details until something is going out the door. I'd much rather Development work with players to refine ideas and consider all viewpoints during the design phase than after we've spent a considerable amount of time designing and implementing something. With that in mind, this is what we have in the plan for the Ascension system.

The Ascension system will be Post-Cap Development, but it will not be restricted to level 100 characters. A lot of the exact details are still being worked out, such as the mechanism to earn points, so any or all of this could change. However, the current plan is for you to earn experience through your normal hunting grounds. That experience can then be diverted into a special pool for Ascension Training Points (ATPs) that that are then spent to unlock a number of passive and active abilities. It will function very similar to the Combat Maneuver List (CML) system.

There are 3 tiers of abilities: Common, Elite, and Legendary. The Common abilities are intended to be very generic and apply to things that most characters might be interested in. It includes things like boosts to stats, skills, resistances, etc. Just those 3 different areas represent 71 different abilities, since each stat/skill/damage type is a separate ability. Elite abilities are designed for certain builds and character types (such as Squares, Semis, Pures, archers, locksmiths, etc). It includes things like rapid health/mana/stamina/spirit regeneration, elemental arrows for archers, locksmiths detecting traps when being handed a box, etc. Finally, Legendary abilities are designed for specific abilities/spells and usually tailored to a specific profession. It includes things like Rangers being able to tame one of each animal companion type (and separate ability to temporarily summon them all in combat), Warriors being able to manually stop a Berserk, Bards being able to create higher enchant sonic armaments, double attacks/spells, etc.

Characters will be required to invest a certain amount of points into the Common tier before they can access the Elite tier. They will then also be required to invest a certain amount of points into the Elite tier before they can access the Legendary tier. The abilities in each tier will get more expensive to unlock as the power those abilities represent grows. In addition, we intend to have a lot of chained abilities to promote certain builds. Some abilities may be exclusive of each other (so if you learn X, you can't learn Y).

Right now, we're spending a lot of time brainstorming the different abilities that will exist in this system and we're very interested in your thoughts and ideas. We're mostly just after ideas, so feel free to respond with anything you can think of. Rough concepts are okay. Development will work out most of the actual numbers and restrictions to keep everything in check.

GameMaster Estild

Ascension (03/01/2020)

Category: Combat, Magic, and Character Mechanics
Topic: Ascension
Message #: 6
Author: GS4-ESTILD
Date: 03/01/2020 10:14 PM CST
Subject: Ascension

To help give you an idea of what we're planning, here are some rough ideas. Please keep in mind that some of these may or may not happen.


Strength Training Gain +1 Strength statistic per rank.
Constitution Training Gain +1 Constitution statistic per rank.
Dexterity Training Gain +1 Dexterity statistic per rank.
Agility Training Gain +1 Agility statistic per rank.
Discipline Training Gain +1 Discipline statistic per rank.
Aura Training Gain +1 Aura statistic per rank.
Logic Training Gain +1 Logic statistic per rank.
Intuition Training Gain +1 Intuition statistic per rank.
Wisdom Training Gain +1 Wisdom statistic per rank.
Influence Training Gain +1 Influence statistic per rank.
Two Weapon Combat Training Gain +1 Two Weapon Combat skill rank per rank.
Armor Use Training Gain +1 Armor Use skill rank per rank.
Shield Use Training Gain +1 Shield Use skill rank per rank.
Combat Maneuvers Training Gain +1 Combat Maneuvers skill rank per rank.
Edged Weapons Training Gain +1 Edged Weapons skill rank per rank.
Blunt Weapons Training Gain +1 Blunt Weapons skill rank per rank.
Two-Handed Weapons Training Gain +1 Two-Handed Weapons skill rank per rank.
Ranged Weapons Training Gain +1 Ranged Weapons skill rank per rank.
Thrown Weapons Training Gain +1 Thrown Weapons skill rank per rank.
Polearm Weapons Training Gain +1 Polearm Weapons skill rank per rank.
Brawling Training Gain +1 Brawling skill rank per rank.
Ambush Training Gain +1 Ambush skill rank per rank.
Multi Opponent Combat Training Gain +1 Multi Opponent Combat skill rank per rank.
Physical Fitness Training Gain +1 Physical Fitness skill rank per rank.
Dodging Training Gain +1 Dodging skill rank per rank.
Arcane Symbols Training Gain +1 Arcane Symbols skill rank per rank.
Magic Item Use Training Gain +1 Magic Item Use skill rank per rank.
Spell Aiming Training Gain +1 Spell Aiming skill rank per rank.
Harness Power Training Gain +1 Harness Power skill rank per rank.
Elemental Mana Control Training Gain +1 Elemental Mana Control skill rank per rank.
Mental Mana Control Training Gain +1 Mental Mana Control skill rank per rank.
Spirit Mana Control Training Gain +1 Spirit Mana Control skill rank per rank.
Elemental Lore - Air Training Gain +1 Elemental Lore - Air skill rank per rank.
Elemental Lore - Earth Training Gain +1 Elemental Lore - Earth skill rank per rank.
Elemental Lore - Fire Training Gain +1 Elemental Lore - Fire skill rank per rank.
Elemental Lore - Water Training Gain +1 Elemental Lore - Water skill rank per rank.
Spiritual Lore - Blessings Training Gain +1 Spiritual Lore - Blessings skill rank per rank.
Spiritual Lore - Religion Training Gain +1 Spiritual Lore - Religion skill rank per rank.
Spiritual Lore - Summoning Training Gain +1 Spiritual Lore - Summoning skill rank per rank.
Sorcerous Lore - Demonology Training Gain +1 Sorcerous Lore - Demonology skill rank per rank.
Sorcerous Lore - Necromancy Training Gain +1 Sorcerous Lore - Necromancy skill rank per rank.
Mental Lore - Divination Training Gain +1 Mental Lore - Divination skill rank per rank.
Mental Lore - Manipulation Training Gain +1 Mental Lore - Manipulation skill rank per rank.
Mental Lore - Telepathy Training Gain +1 Mental Lore - Telepathy skill rank per rank.
Mental Lore - Transference Training Gain +1 Mental Lore - Transference skill rank per rank.
Mental Lore - Transformation Training Gain +1 Mental Lore - Transformation skill rank per rank.
Survival Training Gain +1 Survival skill rank per rank.
Disarming Traps Training Gain +1 Disarming Traps skill rank per rank.
Picking Locks Training Gain +1 Picking Locks skill rank per rank.
Stalking and Hiding Training Gain +1 Stalking and Hiding skill rank per rank.
Perception Training Gain +1 Perception skill rank per rank.
Climbing Training Gain +1 Climbing skill rank per rank.
Swimming Training Gain +1 Swimming skill rank per rank.
First Aid Training Gain +1 First Aid skill rank per rank.
Trading Training Gain +1 Trading skill rank per rank.
Pickpocketing Training Gain +1 Pickpocketing skill rank per rank.
Acid Resistance Gain 1% acid damage resistance per rank.
Cold Resistance Gain 1% cold damage resistance per rank.
Disruption Resistance Gain 1% disruption damage resistance per rank.
Electrical Resistance Gain 1% electrical damage resistance per rank.
Grapple Resistance Gain 1% grapple damage resistance per rank.
Heat Resistance Gain 1% heat damage resistance per rank.
Impact Resistance Gain 1% impact damage resistance per rank.
Crush Resistance Gain 1% crush damage resistance per rank.
Plasma Resistance Gain 1% plasma damage resistance per rank.
Puncture Resistance Gain 1% puncture damage resistance per rank.
Slash Resistance Gain 1% slash damage resistance per rank.
Steam Resistance Gain 1% steam damage resistance per rank.
Unbalance Gain 1% unbalance damage resistance per rank.
Vacuum Resistance Gain 1% vacuum damage resistance per rank.
Disintegration Resistance Gain 1% disintegration damage resistance per rank.
Health Regeneration Increases passive health regeneration.
Mana Regeneration Increases passive mana regeneration.
Stamina Regeneration Increases passive stamina regeneration.
Spirit Regeneration Increases passive spirit regeneration.


Elemental Arrows Allows the archer to imbue their arrows with elemental (heat, cold, impact, vacuum, or electricity) energy instead of using puncture criticals.
Voln Avenger JABs automatically apply a Kai's Smite pre-flare effect against the undead. UCS gear provides full bonus/special abilities against the undead.
Hybrid Offense When a physical attack is performed, the next magical attack receives a boost, and vice versa.
Health Renewal A manually activated ability to rapidly regenerate health with a long cooldown.
Mana Renewal A manually activated ability to rapidly regenerate mana with a long cooldown.
Stamina Renewal A manually activated ability to rapidly regenerate stamina with a long cooldown.
Spirit Renewal A manually activated ability to rapidly regenerate spirit with a long cooldown.
Mana Adept Reduces mana cost of spells.
Diverse Caster Increases Casting Strength for secondary and tertiary spell circles only.
Armored Caster Reduces spell hindrance.
Spell Resistance A chance to resist all spells (beneficial and harmful).
Focused Redux Training Reduces the spell penalty for redux calculations.
Artificer A chance to not expend a charge when invoking a magical item.
Arcane Scribe A chance to not expend a charge when invoking a scroll.
Fire Elementalist Boost to fire damage/crits via fire based spells.
Earth Elementalist Boost to earth damage/crits via earth based spells.
Water Elementalist Boost to water damage/crits via water based spells
Air Elementalist Boost to air damage/crits via air based spells
Lightning Elementalist Boost to lightning damage/crits via lightning based spells
Marksman Increases chance to hit aimed location. This is applied after any location modifiers.
TWC Specialist The off-hand penalty for being outleveled is increased by 1 level. At rank 5, there is no longer a penalty.
UCS Specialist The tier up penalty for being outleveled is increased by 1 level. At rank 5, there is no longer a penalty.
Arcane Crafter Each rank grants the equivalent of 20% of the workshop bonus to the success roll of 420, 517, 714, 735, 925, and RECALL. Stacks with actual workshop bonuses.
Danger Sense When you GET or ACCEPT a treasure box, there is a 20% chance per rank to immediately sense if a trap is present (0 RT). You still need to DETECT and DISARM when a trap is present, though. (But this saves you from having to DETECT every box).
Improvisational Fighter You can maintain two martial stances at once.
Lucky Caster You no longer fumble warding rolls (i.e. you roll a 1 + d99 instead of a d100).


Advanced Enchanting Increases the wizard's Enchanting (925) skill.
Advanced Ensorcelling Increases the sorcerer's Ensorcell (735) skill.
Advanced Loresinging Increases the bard's loresong unlocking skill.
Beastmaster Allows a Ranger to maintain up to 4 animal companion bonds (one of each subtype). Only one companion may be active at a time. Each rank unlocks a new slot.
Wild Stampede Allows a Ranger to temporary summon all of their animal companions to attack.
Beast Whisperer Allows a Ranger to unlock more specific animal companion combat options (aimed attacks, faster attacks, combination attacks with the Ranger or other companions temporarily brought in with Beastmaster).
One With Nature Assume Aspect becomes innate, allowing one aspect to be active at a time indefinitely. Animal creatures receive a Sheer Fear-like check to be automatically calmed in the Ranger's presence.
Natural Harmony At rank 1, Resist Nature requires half as many potions to complete. At rank 2, luminescent indigo mushroom potions are no longer required to affect higher armor groups. At rank 3, the shack herbalist will now be willing to craft potions for the Ranger out of Confluence forgeables, which also introduces lightning resistance.
Battle Lorekeeper Allows a Bard to loresing to creatures to identify their stats, spells, potential attacks, and allies that naturally spawn in the area. This would use the ::target syntax, lyrics optional.
Anger Management Allows the Warrior to manually end a Berserk.
Griffin's Focus Allows the Warrior to use warcries during Berserk
Improvised Pick Allows rogue to pick locks with a found item. Each rank provides X picking mod, depending on the total number of ranks and the max ability (probably a mid-range pick)
Deadfall Use trap components to set a trap in a room that is triggered by a creature entering. Strong enough attack to disable like-level creatures for a potent ambush on a good result. Additional ranks unlock the ability to use additional components and increase effectiveness.
Hot Potato Toss a dangerous trap component at a target, if successful they catch it and it blows up in their hands.
Song Mastery Lowers the multi-song penalty for renewals.
Raise Dead Mastery Reduces the cooldown from Raise Dead (318).
Persistent Demon Summoner Increases the duration of Minor Summoning (725) with each rank and lasts indefinitely at rank 5.
Persistent Animator Increases the duration of Animate Dead (730) with each rank and lasts indefinitely at rank 5.
Persistent Familiar Summoner Increases the duration of Call Familiar (920) with each rank and lasts indefinitely at rank 5.
Persistent Spirit Summoner Increases the duration of Spirit Servant (218) with each rank and lasts indefinitely at rank 5.
Naturalist Nature's Touch is always passively active.
Assessor Ability to assess gear outside of trained weapon types
Musical Group Sync instrument playing while in the same room
Booming Voice Lowers the spell failure associated with head-worn armors
Holy Crusader Allows unlimited uses of Divine Word
Consecrated Touch Consecrate adds guiding light flares (instead of holy) to blesses
Pitch Perfect Shield Increases the enchant of Sonic Shield (1009) by +5 per rank.
Pitch Perfect Sword Increases the enchant of Sonic Sword (1012) by +5 per rank.
Pitch Perfect Armor Increases the enchant of Sonic Armor (1014) by +5 per rank.
Pitch Perfect Singing Sword Increases the enchant of Singing Sword Song (1025) by +5 per rank.
Endurance Singer Increases the duration of your bardic spellsong renewal cycle.
Double Attack Once every 30 seconds, your single target physical attacks (ATTACK, AMBUSH, FIRE, etc) will flare a double attack for no extra RT similar to rank 5 of weapon bonding. Stacks with the weapon bonding flare.
Double Cast Once every 30 seconds, a single target attack spell with be cast twice for no additional mana or cast RT.

Ascension Update (06/17/2020)

Category: Combat, Magic, and Character Mechanics
Topic: Ascension
Message #: 318
Author: GS4-ESTILD
Date: 06/17/2020 08:37 PM CDT
Subject: Ascension Update

The team met last night and finalized some additional details regarding Ascension, which I’m now opening up for player discussion.

  • A character can’t participate in the Ascension system until level 20. After that point, they can divert a percent of their normal experience toward Ascension experience at the rate of 1 percent per level (e.g. 20% at level 20, 50% at level 50, and 100% at level 100).
  • Characters will be able to earn milestone Ascension Training Points (ATPs) for completing certain activities, in addition to earning ATPs by converting a certain amount of field experience to Ascension experience. Our goal is that the average character will easily earn 10 ATPs by level 100, with an additional 5 or so ATPs being possible for more dedicated characters. As an example, you might be able to earn 1 milestone ATP per 20 levels earned on your character. When possible, any credit for these activities will be retroactively applied.
  • Characters will earn 1 ATP per 50,000 Ascension experience earned.
  • Common abilities, which include +stat/skill/resists, act as enhancives, that stack with enhancive items, but are not subject to the enhancive limit and require no recharging.
  • Each rank of +stat ability is +1 stat, not bonus. Each +skill rank is +1 skill bonus. Each +resist is +1% resist, but resist items and abilities do not stack and only use the largest bonus from all categories.
  • The first 5 ranks of each +stat/skill/resist Common ability will cost 1 ATP each. Every 5 ranks after that, the cost increases by +1 ATP. As such, it will require approximately 9 million Ascension experience just to reach rank 40 in any one individual Common ability, and there are over 70 of them.

Please keep in mind, this system is mainly intended for post-cap development and to ensure longevity in the game. It’s our goal that no character should ever maximize every ability, or even more than a handful of them. In addition, this represents just the Common abilities. The Elite and Legendary will potentially be significantly more expensive, but also more impactful and character defining. Lastly, once we have most of this system in place, we hope to introduce new post-capped hunting grounds that are significantly more difficult, but offer greater rewards for the effort (more Ascension experience and treasure) compared to existing options. Let us know what you think!

GameMaster Estild