Trials of Ascension is a MMORPG project that beats to a different drum. For souls brave enough to try something outside the traditional MMO box, ToA will deliver a gaming experience like no other. We mean it. Seriously.
Where else can you find combat with perma-death, an open-ended skill system without classes, innovations that are unique to the discoverer, dynamic spawning of fauna, flora and dungeons, player-made settlements and structures, a cooperative crafting system and a magic system that will feel as mysterious as magic itself?
See, we told you its different. The question is: are you brave enough to try it?
ToA will offer a skill system without classes. You will simply gain mastery of the skills that you practice.
Each skill will have one or more techniques that you can better as your skill increases. Techniques will be a way in which your character can specialize within their skill. For example the smithing skill will have forming, tempering and balancing techniques. A smith that focus on bettering herself in tempering will craft items that are far more durable than smiths without the tempering technique.
There are currently 40 skills slated for development.
Static spawning will be perma-killed in ToA. You will not see the same creatures spawning over and over again in a given location. Instead, creatures will spawn according to the local climate, their affinity to civilization and a host of other variables.
The trees and plants of TerVarus can be harvested so this same dynamic behavior will extend to the flora as well.
If that's not enough, our interactive GM team will be constantly dropping special spawn points throughout the world. These spawn points will have an incredible amount of flexibility in what they spawn, how long they spawn for and any special triggers the GM team might want to throw at you. A spawn point that generates an orc every 2 to 4 minutes for 24 hours? Childs play. A spawn point that will generate an encampment once the spawned orc count reaches 20? Easy. Placing that spawn point just outside your city walls? Now we're talking!
We will have an ever-growing number of dungeon maps that the GM team will prepopulate with spawn points then place into the world. A GM placed dungeon will not be a permanent fixture of TerVarus and will collapse after a given time.
Combat in ToA will be non-consensual, meaning you will be able to attack anyone without them needing to be flagged for PvP.
Use this freedom wisely as there will be no 'conning' system to determine combat prowess of others and if your character dies too many times its soul becomes too weak and the icy cold hand of perma-death will take him forever.
Fortunately we will have unconsciousness that will serve as a buffer between life and death so actually killing someone will almost always be a deliberate act.
Not convinced perma-death can work or is for you? Give it a chance.
Crafting items will not use the tired old 'combine, click, created' method. Nearly every item will require a multi-step process, each of which may offer the crafter options to enhance the item based on the techniques he has learned.
Since no one crafter will be able to master every technique in his crafting skill(s), crafting items of the highest caliber will require team work. Your character may be the best tempering smith in town but you'll need to work with another smith specialized in balancing and yet another specialized in forming to create that perfectly crafted sword.
Every time your character uses a skill there is a chance she will receive an innovation. An innovation is the sudden discovery -- available to only your character -- of how to enhance a craftable item, how to create a new item altogether, or a new skill technique.
Imagine your character being the only one in TerVarus that could craft a new style of armor or learned a new engineering technique that made all structures he builds 20% stronger?
What you do with your newly-found secret will be up to you. You can keep it to yourself or share it with others. Be warned - sharing an innovation with even one person means you no longer have control over its propagation as they can share it with others.
Innovations can also be shared involuntarily. A character with the right skills will be able to extract information from an unconscious target, including innovations.
Want to learn more? Read this article that goes into more depth about our innovation system.
Wish to delve into the arcane arts? Prepare yourself for a journey that will be as long and costly as it will be dangerous. You must craft your own spell book, come to learn arcane symbology, explore the world in search of rare components and dare to disturb powerful arcane creatures. That's just to get your first spell, which will be a weak version of what you can ehance it to.
You'll be able to enhance various aspects of your spell, based on your preference. Would you rather cast your fireball further or have it do more damage, or both?
Casting magic in ToA will not use 'mana'. Instead, it will use stamina, the same stat physical activities such as running and combat will use.
Here is a more in-depth article covering the details of the arcane.
Create your own settlement and control tax rates and where your citizens can build their own private homes or shops. Oversee the construction of settlement structures such as a treasury, town hall, walls and even keeps. Ensure your citizens are protected by hiring NPC guards and assign them to guard whatever areas you wish.
Expand your settlement by conquering neighboring lands. If another settlement happens to be in your way, let loose the dogs of war!
Players will be able to build structures ranging from a small wooden house to the largest of stone keeps. Building a structure is an involved process that will take significant resources and is sure to keep many talented craftsmen busy around the clock.
Here is some further reading detailing how building a structure is done.