Avowed Combat System Preview

After the Developer_Direct livestream, Obsidian joined the Official Xbox Podcast to showcase extended Avowed gameplay preview and more of the combat system.

Avowed is an upcoming action role-playing game, developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Xbox Game Studios. Yes, that means you will be able to play Avowed on day one with Xbox Game Pass. Recently, Obsidian announced a Fall release and showed our first look at gameplay footage during the Developer-Direct livestream.

After the livestream, Obsidian joined Xbox to show an extended look at Avowed gameplay. During the extended look, Obsidian gave us a much more in-depth look at the Avowed combat system.

Avowed Combat System: Builds and Skills

During the extended look, Obsidian Entertainment dove into some additional information on builds and skills in their combat system.

Skill Trees in Avowed’s Combat System

During the extended preview, Obsidian confirmed that there are skill trees in Avowed, but they won’t look like what you might expect.

In most games, skill trees are semi-permanent and build defining. You place points into the tree as you level up, and that continues to shape your play style. If you’re creating a video game build, the skill tree is usually the place you start. The points you slot give you the highest damage potential for your intended play style. Too many games make respecs difficult or near-impossible. Even if you can technically respec skills, your character is often confined to a specific class that cannot change.

In Avowed, you have a skill tree, but they’re designing the combat system in a way that makes respecs and adjustments easy. Throughout your time exploring the Living Lands, you might pick up a fantastic weapon you haven’t built your skill tree for. Instead of foregoing an upgrade, like you might do in many games, Obsidian wants you to be able to quickly adjust your build to be able to swap and use that new and powerful weapon in combat.

There are also no traditional classes to choose from. That means, for example, you can fully change your play-style to a battle axe without worrying about your character actually being a mage. You’ll make those changes in the skill tree.

While some people will still want to choose a build and stick with it, the combat system flexibility to play only one character is something many players will appreciate. You don’t have to be stuck wanting to start another play-through with a different build. You can just respec your character and keep playing.

Avowed Combat Skills

In our Developer_Direct recap article, we covered the ability “Tangle-Foot.” Using this ability, you can root enemies in place. Tangle-Foot is great against melee enemies, since you can root them before they can get close enough to you to attack you.

We also saw a new ability in the extended look that works in the opposite way.

“Into the Fray” is a ranged ability that pulls enemies to you. This gives you the option to pull ranged enemies to you and kill them before they can run away. The developers also mentioned interesting mechanics that would allow you to synergize these abilities with other skills in the Avowed combat system. One of the Obsidian team members was able to use a skill to summon a lava pool. They then used Into the Fray to pull enemies into the lava pool.

As more and more abilities are unveiled, we expect to uncover even more creative and unique synergies, whether or not they are intended.

Elemental Damage in Avowed

Elemental damage is a major part of the Avowed combat system.

You will use various weapon types during combat, but each of these weapons can also have different enchantments.

By far the most showcased enchantment is frost, giving your attacks a chance to freeze enemies. We also know, however, there are shock and flame enchantments, and Obsidian teased that there will be many more types of enchantments available. These will likely be similar to many games, where weapons can apply poison or bleed damage

Using Damage Types to Explore

Damage types are also important for more than just combat.

Obsidian Entertainment also mentioned you can use your weapons and skills to explore other areas in Avowed. For example, there might be a collection of brambles that you can either burn or hack through to explore a new area. You might also use a frost wand to freeze a body of water to walk across it.

Utilizing Terrain in Avowed Combat

Avowed has a lot of verticality, as we saw in the extended gameplay footage.

You can climb up ledges, giving you options for how to engage packs of enemies. It is also your choice whether you engage certain enemies or not, as is true in many RPGs. The terrain often allows you to work upwards and traverse above, below, or around packs of enemies.

You can even swim underwater, exploring caves and reaching areas you might not notice right away. It still isn’t clear is swimming will be used in combat or not.

Overall, the verticality, dynamic weapon types, skills, elemental effects, and flexible builds in Avowed make for a “choose your own adventure” combat system. You can expect many different fun and unique builds, and you don’t have to start new characters to use those builds.

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