5. Notable Skills

Aeris

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While there are hundreds, if not thousands of skills in the Shardworld to make every character truly unique, a few skills that are of particular noteworthiness are listed below. These can typically be acquired like any other skill in the game, though some have special requirements listed.
Among others a variety of ‘special’ skills as well as Job skills focused on gathering and crafting are considered notable and will be elaborated on below.
Note: While the notable skills here have names, you can name and flavor your skills differently if you like. For instance the ‘Analysis’ skill that allows you to glean detailed information about a monster could be reflavored as a ‘Detect Weakpoints’ skill or it could be rolled into a skill giving a variety of eyesight enhancements. Likewise a Pokemon-Trainer-esque character could have an ‘Infuse Power’ skill instead of Fusion that transfers their powers into the monster fighting for them, while the trainer stays on the sidelines.

Job-type skills
Not all skills in the game serve a combat-related purpose. Many skills are based on some form of work such as gathering and foraging for items, craftsperson/artesan work where someone turns materials into equipment and consumables, performing services, raising and caring for livestock, performing research, archeology, teaching…
These skills can be used to acquire ingame money and equipment and may bring with them all sorts of perks and benefits, though they do not aid in an actual battle.


Immunity skills
(Skill Name -- Protects from -- Example areas where hazard is encountered)

Volcanic Guard -- Heat/Drought/Burning (e.g. lava) -- Desert, volcano, magma stream, proximity to star
Arctic Insulation --Cold -- Snowy, arctic, frozen caves, high mountains
Antitoxins -- Poison/Venom -- Swamps, jungles
Vaccine -- Disease -- Contaminated areas, mass graves, laboratories
Gamma Shield -- Radiation -- Irradiated areas, Shards near radioactive star
Inner Order -- Chaotic energy -- Areas with unstable space, “Immaterium”
Space Travels -- Space/Vacuums -- Vacuums (protects from suffocating outside of water)
Chrono Lock -- Disruptions in the flow of time -- Time loops, time freezes, time dilation...
Rebellion -- Brainwashing/Hypnosis by certain enemies --(no areas)

The Immunity skills are pretty much the same as the Adaptation skill lines in Multerra: they grant your character resistance to environmental hazards, but don’t mitigate combat damage. They are necessary to visit certain hazardous areas: entering those areas without the prerequisite skill is a very bad idea, though the rewards tend to be well worth it.
Immunity skills have just one level. They are acquired by doing a short Dynamic Quest to obtain them, which can often be started near a hazard zone. Having the skill makes the player immune to the hazards of that type.
Some races also automatically have one or several immunity skills due to adapting the environments they live in.

Limit Break
As the ‘Power of Legends’, the Limit Break skill is wielded only by a few accomplished champions across the world. By transcending their limits beyond what any mortal should be capable of, that individual performs some kind of incredible feat. Many religions in the Shardworld theorize that the skill is bestowed upon people by the gods themselves (in particular those religions that believe the Voice who informs them of skill acquisition and level ups), others claim that Limit Break is the power to defeat a god.

The Limit Break skill is acquired when a player has at least three level 10 combat-related skills of any kind, and has only one level. When used with a level 10 skill it elevates its effects beyond Rank 10. Multiple level 10 skills can also be combined for more creative applications. The results of the feat performed depend on the skill(s) used: a healing spell might single-handedly resurrect the dead across a large area in perfect condition, an offensive mage might be able to cast a catastrophic spell that razes an entire town, a berserker’s rage could be amplified to make them buffer than the Hulk, and so on. The effects tend to differ from one user to another, making it a very unique skill.

Though it is immensely powerful Limit Break has its limits, ironically. Not only can few accomplished fighters ever hope to wield its immense power (which is to say dedicated players and the rare NPC), but using it greatly drains the user, so it can only be used sparsely. Certain creatures are also resistant to Limit Break’s effects, though even a demon of the abyss or an ancient dragon could not shrug it off.

The skill also has a number of social repercussions if used too openly: not only is the usage of Limit Break heavily sanctioned in most cities (like most skills that cause heavy collateral damage), but every moderately powerful faction in the Shardworld keeps their eyes out for Limit Break users, for the better or the worse. Many groups will attempt to recruit or manipulate Limit Break users or try to eliminate them if they refuse to join forces, and in a battle they are high priority targets ranked just below commanders. As such Limit Break users tend to keep their skill a secret unless they are backed by a powerful enough faction.

Note: There is no real gauge to how strong a Limit Broken skill can be, it’s more of a ‘go crazy but not TOO crazy’ thing - you can live out your DBZ and One Punch Man power level fantasies without leveling cities or cracking planets. The same goes for deciding on what the Limit Break does as long as it vaguely corresponds to the skills used, e.g. a fistfighting skill should not have a Limit Break that casts healing magic.
For the sake of keeping the game interesting, bosses are somewhat resistant to Limit Breaks. They will still take great damage, but cannot be one-shotted.

Fusion
Two become one! This is mostly used between two players, though a few NPCs can partner up with player characters (typically with a certain friendship level required). Fusion has only one level. Using it allows an individual to merge with another - only one needs the skill for the Fusion to be done. The default version has both players sharing control of the body, so coordination is required unless one player is okay with just letting the other control their actions. Either way, Fusion can be undone at any time.

By fusing, players combine their skills, adding their proficiency up to skill level 10 - so if the players have bowmanship at level 4 and 2, the Fusion would have it at level 6. The trade-offs are that the Fusion character only has one body, thus limiting strategies like spreading out or pincer attacks, and that both characters take the full damage taken by the Fusion when they split apart again. As such it’s recommendable that a healer restores the Fusion’s health before the characters split.

There are a variety of Fusion-esque skills such as Mind Control, Beastfighting and Power Transfer that allow a character to pass their skill levels to another character temporarily and, in some cases, take control of that character, without merging into their body. However the character that does so is unable to use their own body to contribute to the fight, making its effects much the same.

Friendly Fire
Attacks may be misaimed or accidentally directed at the wrong target, you might mistake a friend for a foe, they might stand in the AoE of your attack or they might just get in your way - the Friendly Fire Skill counters these adverse effects. Anyone you would not want to be hit will take reduced damage from your attacks. This includes if you aim at a ‘shadowy figure’ at night that turns out to be a friend. For each level of the skill a 10% damage reduction is applied on any damage you deal to friendlies - and yes, that means that at level 10

The unfortunate part is that the only way to level Friendly Fire is by dealing damage to others in a ‘real’ battle: despite many studies attempting to set up training scenarios where someone is set up to ‘accidentally’ damage someone else, no way was found to safely level this skill. Even so it’s borderline mandatory for users of high-power AoE spells or other skills with collateral damage.

Note that Friendly Fire only covers damage directly dealt by its user: if an opponent catches a projectile and throws it back that projectile will count as the opponent’s. The same goes for secondary effects of an attack, such as if the ceiling collapses as the result of an explosion spell, the falling blocks will not deal reduced damage. It also doesn’t protect the user from harm inflicted by their own attacks. Lastly, emphasis on damage: ‘hostile healing’ is not covered, you may still accidentally heal or buff your enemies or debuff your friends.

Slayer
Some monsters in the Shardworld are either invulnerable or cannot be reduced beyond 1 HP without employing specific methods to defeat them, while some others will deal immense damage or inflict unfairly potent debuffs. While the game can be played without ever encountering these monsters (they tend to be tucked away somewhat), they offer greater rewards for being defeated than the regular dime-a-dozen mooks. Taking them on requires the Slayer skill.

Unlike most skills, Slayer can only be acquired and leveled up by learning through a book or someone knowledgeable in the skill (there are some NPC trainers) to learn what techniques or equipment to employ against what monsters to injure or defeat them or to negate their damaging attacks, and then employing those techniques against the monsters. Simply throwing oneself at the monsters, even with the right equipment but without unlocking the correct techniques by learning first, does not work.

By killing enough of a specific monster type (usually 100 or so) players gain the Slayer Codex entry for that type of monster, which is visible through the Slayer skill. With this entry players can battle Slayer monsters without the need for special equipment to negate the adverse effects or to damage the monsters. For example, cockatrices can use Petrifying Gaze to petrify anyone that meets their eyes so they need to be fought with mirror shields. With the Slayer Codex entry players can fight any monster that would need to be fought with a mirror shield.

Analysis and Genius
Analysis is a passive skill that allows users to obtain information from their opponents by battling them. It comes with a Bestiary tome that automatically records data every time a specific creature is slain. After a sufficient number are defeated the entry will be complete, containing details such as the HP, skills and weakpoints that the creature has. Each completed entry levels Analysis a bit.

Genius can only be acquired when Analysis is at level 10. It has only one level. This skill allows the user to understand new creatures on first sight after just a few seconds of observation. More importantly, it displays weakpoints as marks on the creature’s body, and in a foresight-like fashion warns the user when a monster is preparing or using a skill. Because players can memorize a monster’s weakpoints and read the animations to telegraph skills, some consider it a “crutch”.


Mind Expansion and Mind Split
While technically these are two independant skills, Mind Expansion and Mind Split deserve to be mentioned together.
Mind Expansion increases a player’s mental capabilities (this is done by adding computer processing power to add to existing mental capability) by 20% per level up to 200% - effectively making you think three times as fast at max level.
When Level 1 of this skill is acquired a warning is displayed that this Skill is likely to cause addiction and should be used with great care, as the feeling of being three times faster at thinking will definitely be missed once you exit the Shardworld. Players can opt to permanently disable this skill or to toggle it off. Because of how powerful it is, the skill is also auto-disabled in contests and general PvP.

Mind Split allows a player to split their consciousness into multiples. One more ‘mind’ unlocks at level 1, level 5 and level 10 so up to 4 'minds' which are each capable of independant thought and can even process problems and perform tasks can exist simultaneously. For instance one ‘mind’ could handle physical movement while another takes care of spellcasting. Players can distribute their mental capabilities however they like (such as giving one mind only 10% and 50% to another). While it has limited usefulness by itself as 11 minds at ~9% intellect are arguably worse than one mind at 100%, in conjunction with Mind Expansion a player would effectively be able to have three copies of themselves cooperating, each at 100%.
Similarly to Mind Expansion an ingame warning is displayed warning players that usage of this skill may cause mental health issues, especially if you’re schizophrenic. As for Mind Expansion the skill does not work in PvP and other contests.

Shapeshift, Mimic and Doppelganger
The Shapeshift skill line stands out as being a powerful yet difficult-to-acquire and situational Skill. Most who have it obtained it via a racial class, though there are some other methods. The Shapeshift skill stands out for its utility, allowing users not only to change their appearance, but also to imitate skills.
With the base skill Shapeshift a user is able to change their appearance. At low levels this is limited to small-scale things like colors and minor adjustments, whereas at level 10 one could completely change their appearance freely.

Mimic allows the user to imitate the skills of monsters and even other players after witnessing them once, for up to 1 hour after they last saw that skill.

Once both Shapeshift and Mimic are at level 10 a player can learn Doppelganger. This skill has only one level. It maximizes the effects of both Shapeshift and Mimic, allowing a player to commit mimicked skills to memory, to acquire them at level 1. Because Doppelganger allows them to perform deep changes to their body moreso than Shapeshift can, the user can also imitate racial skills. If the skills belong to a class that the user does not yet have they will acquire that too, including Race classes.

Doppelganger cannot acquire Sub-Race classes or the Touched or Gifted skills.

Corpse Absorption
A similar skill to Doppelganger, Corpse Absorption has only one level. The user can absorb the bodies of the dead to either acquire one of their non-racial skills at level 1, or one of their race classes at level 1. Choosing the latter will give the player that race class and a random racial skill of that race class at level 1.
Corpse Absorption is somewhat random and has a 50% chance to fail every time it is used, and if the player chooses to absorb a skill it will be a random one. These two factors make many players consider Corpse Absorption a ‘stepping stone’ until they can get Doppelganger.

Like Doppelganger, Corpse Absorption can not be used to acquire Sub-Race classes or the Gifted skill (however the Touched skill may be obtained).

Mentor
Mentor is a skill categorized into the same ‘family’ as the Shapeshift/Mimic/Doppelganger and Corpse Absorption Skill lines. A player that acquires the Mentor Skill will be able to temporarily pass up to 10 Skills to someone else, increasing by one with each level that the player gains in Mentor. At level 10, Mentor also allows players to teach someone else their skills permanently.

Mentor can only pass half the levels of the Skill that the user has: at most, they could pass 5 levels of their Level 10 skill. Transmitting a skill takes one second of ingame time per skill level for temporary passing, and the same time in minutes for permanent teaching.

As a result of Mentor’s powers the community is split on whether it’s a ‘combat’ or a ‘job’ skill, despite the official categorization as a combat skill. Upon first obtaining the Skill, players must agree to a notification that they’re strictly forbidden from using Mentor for Real-world money trading.

Touched and Gifted
When getting bitten and ‘infected’ by a vampire, a werebeast, an undead or a similar creature capable of transmitting their status, there is a chance that the player is given the single-level skill Touched along with a special quest, which gives a player the option of healing the ‘curse’ before it consumes them, or to embrace that curse and unlock its power. Completing the quest and choosing to embrace the curse turns the Touched skill into the Gifted skill at level 1 and gives the player a Sub-Race Class. This also locks out all infections from other creatures. For instance, a werebeast can not become a vampire as well.

The Gifted skill line expresses the power of the character’s curse and gives new abilities such as blood-drinking for vampires. However it also comes with a variety of drawbacks such as weaknesses to some attack types, being hunted by NPC groups or needing to perform certain actions or getting hit with a debuff (like drinking blood or staying indoors when the sun is out).

If a player wishes to cure their character of the curse when they have the Gifted skill, a “Cure” quest can be done. This will remove the Gifted skill and the Sub-Race Class.

Summoning-based skills
There are a number of skills allowing a player to summon allies to their aid, whether it be a Warlock summoning demons through a pact, a Necromancer raising the dead, a Psychic mind-controlling people or a Ninja using a Cloning technique à la Naruto. By default these summons are autonomous individuals that can assist the user. They can be anything from remotely controlled constructs like golems to fully conscious individuals with their own life who are summoned from a different realm. While these summons can be ‘banished’ by inflicting sufficient damage they cannot be killed permanently; the skill user can simply re-summon them.

Each skill has an individual ‘cap’ of summons that can be up at the same time, equal to the number of levels that the player has in that skill. Because this cap only applies to that specific skill, it would in theory be possible for a player to get a number of summoning-type skills, level them up, then summon a small army.

Summoned assists can have up to 5 Skills, with a cap of Level 5 on each skill - players may assign these however they like, but they can only assign skills that they themselves have. For simplicity, all summons summoned by one skill have the same skills and levels.


The Lore and The Truth?
The Lore is a supportive skill that’s leveled through ingame conversations, reading books, exploring the world and generally gaining an understanding of the game world. It functions as a sort of ingame encyclopedia where all your snippets of knowledge are logged (initially it looks like a text full of gaps that are filled in as they’re uncovered) and sometimes gives additional dialogue options when speaking with NPCs.
Not only does this skill level very slowly, but players are unable to level it past level 3 at which point the encyclopedia is completed anyway, leading many to believe that it teases towards future expansions and content patches.

Furthermore, an anonymous self-proclaimed ‘master hacker’ in the Medium claims that they found a skill called The Truth in the game’s code but were unable to read its contents. Because the only two skills with “The” in their name are The Lore and The Truth, theories go around that The Truth is the higher tier version of The Lore, containing some sort of ‘truth’ about the ingame history that contains lies, inaccuracies and the like. Some tinfoil hat conspirationists that believe the game to be the creation of an Illuminati-esque organization plotting world dominance by imprisoning everyone in the Shardworld videogame à la Matrix even claim that it’s a secret folder containing the ‘truth’ about the game. More down-to-earth developers remark that it may just be leftovers of old code for the skill that was renamed into The Lore. Given that skill’s contents published by the anonymous hacker are either encrypted or just nonsensical amalgamations of letters, numbers and symbols, there’s no way to really know.
 
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