Final Fantasy XV Guide to Ascension and AP System

After the announce of the delay back in August, Final Fantasy developer team has been releasing new video footages to fans continuously showing game development, stories, combat system, and more. This time in Pax West, a new video was released talking about one of prominent features we want to know the most, the skill progression.

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Final Fantasy fans actually have a glimpse of “Ascension” system before from the 50-minute gameplay but still have no idea much about it. This time Hajime Tabata and his team explained further what it is about. Weapon, magic, and battle styles were discussed here as well.

Character Progression through AP

Skills system in Final Fantasy XV can be progressed under “Ascension” in the main menu. It is pretty similar to “Sphere Grid” system in Final Fantasy X. Each skill node is unlocked with AP point which can be earned by levelling up, conversation and complete specific objectives during combat.

Gaining AP through levelling is pretty straightforward. For a conversation, sometimes if a player answers something during conversation, either with other NPCs or buddies, AP will be rewarded. For completing objectives, some combat have additional adjectives such as performing something 3 times. AP is given if a player succeeds it.

AP points are shared to all 4 characters. If a player currently has 59 AP points, it does not mean that he has 59 points for Noctis, 59 for Gladiolus, and so on. These points need to be spent between all four characters.

If one player invests too much in Noctis’ skill, it can result in other members not being skilful enough in tern of what they have equipped. This might create a further problem later in the game.

A freedom in FFXV character progression is one of the charms in this game.

Active and Passive Skills

Since Final Fantasy XV is an action game, there are both active and passive abilities. For example, passive ability can be about spending 24 AP to equip two accessories which active skill is about dodging in midair by pressing “X” or performing an airstep. There’s even a skill node to do an airstep unlimitedly in battle with the cost of MP.

Libra, locking on to an enemy while in cover and scan for weaknesses, is another example. Some enemies, a player need to use an advanced level of Libra called “Enhanced Libra” to scan for weaknesses. Damage can be boosted based on enemy weaknesses as well. This creates more depth to gameplay combat.

In addition, each person in the four party members has their own specific skill tree. Gladiolus, for example, is a shield of the party. He can activate “Equip Shield” allowing him to equip a shield for his secondary weapon. Without this skill, Gladiolus is unable to wear a shield.

Ignis, on the other hand, has a skill to analyse enemies’ weaknesses called “Libra”.

The skill system displayed in the Pax West 2016 is still under development. The final stage might be different.

Skill Nodes

There are several categories of these skill nodes that a player can activate making that character to be good at different thing. Some character can be a heavy hitter, another might be good at magic, some is a hybrid, and more. The developer team is improving the skill system to make it easier for a player to predict what kind of characters they are building.

Character progression can be done in anyway a player want. Some might want to play strategically by planning everything up ahead. Some might want to only focus on action. Because of this, they are many way to play Final Fantasy XV. It is recommended to activate skills that will support each player playstyle the most. Each style has pros and cons.

Weapon and Upgrade Options

Equipment is another important part of combat gameplay in Final Fantasy XV. It is under “Gear” menu. As mentioned earlier, some secondary weapon requires a certain skill. If a player wants to equip a shield for Gladious, the skill to equip shield need to be activated first.

Noctis can be an exception since he can equip almost all of the available weapons in the game.

Weapons in Final Fantasy can be upgraded as well. It indicates by a “yellow plus sign”. If any weapon has it, it is upgradeable. Machinery weapons such as a “Bio Blaster” or an “Auto Crossbow” can be upgraded as well.

Throughout the main story, a player needs to collect royal arms, a powerful weapon only available to the king of Lucis bloodline. It consumes MP when attacks.

Since a lot of weapons will be available later in the game, royal arms included, there is no need to stick only a single weapon. It is better to collect all of them and try to equip the one that suit to a player’s battle style the most.

Warp Strike

Warp Strike is a core part in FFXV combat allowing Noctis to freely warp instantly to various locations with amount of MP consumption. To execute, a player need to simply press a “Y” button (in XBox) and warp there to attack an enemy. Warp out can be performed in a similar manner. This makes the combat in Final Fantasy XV really fun.

One thing to keep in mind is a player cannot keep warp striking continuously without stop. It causes a player to quickly run out of MP and in a “Statis” mode.

Warp strike attack will be different based on a weapon that is currently equipped.

Battle Styles and Magic

There are many battle styles Final Fantasy. This includes “showing off”. A player can invest skill nodes having multiple visual effects. For example, one skill allows a player to creating a character shade when dodge successfully making it very flashy.

There’s a caster style as well by focusing on magic. Magic can be crafted through “Magic” in a main menu by combining elemental energies: fire, ice, and lightning together can create a hybrid magic. Moreover, a player can fuse elemental energies with an item to create an addition effect. For example, mixing magic with a potion is resulted in a heal cast. Some effect includes a “Tri-Cast” by casting magic three times.

Each magic has different effects based on environment and it should be equipped in a weapon slot the same way as other weapons.

The full interview can be seen below:


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