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Warrior, Hunter or Seer? ACO Skill Tree

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Whether you like it or not, RPG-elements are here to stay in Assassin's Creed. This thread is not to debate the merits of such things, only for us to talk about the actual skills and thoughts on how you might play the game.

The overall skill tree seems to be split into 3 main branches corresponding to generic RPG character classes:
1) Master Hunter Branch: West side of the tree; most similar to a Ranger with hints of a Rogue. This branch contains all your Archery skills as well as skills dealing with your pet eagle, Senu. So it includes the Eagle Vision type skills of past AC games. Finally, this branch also includes all the stealth/assassination skills for a Rogue character. This will probably be the most popular branch for those on this forum.
2) Master Warrior Branch: North side of the tree; most similar to a Barbarian or Tank character. This branch contains all the melee powers, kill chains, and adrenaline based skills needed for hand to hand combat.
3) Master Seer Branch: East side of the tree; a nebulous class most similar to the other half of a Rogue with character aspects of Bards (charisma based) and Mages (elemental based). This branch contains the tools a Rogue would need his toolkit, which could be considered the elemental Mage class dealing with fire, smoke and poison. You also find here the economy based persuasion-like skills of a charismatic character: discounts and good availability. Finally, the ability to sit and wait for things to happen.

[6/21/17: above "class" ideas expanded and edited for clarity]

Essentially you need to unlock something next to a skill to be able to unlock that skill AND have required skill points available. I've linked with skills they are linked to. [my comments or guesses are in brackets]. For linked skills, I will simply put what a skill is linked to and what "direction" to go on the tree to get to the linked skill from the current skill.

See images for all the skills here, but I've tried to order them in the order you're likely to be able to get them.


Hunter Tree west side of tree

Eagle Tagging [highlighted in above image with blue hover]
[my guess is no prereq needed, and this is an opening skill you can get]
linked to: Assassination Loot [SW]; Arrow Retriever [NW]
Use Senu in stationary mode to tag enemies and various points of interest in activity locations
[Eagle Vision, or Eagle Drone]

Assassination Loot
linked to: Eagle Tagging [NE]; Assassination XP [S]
Passive: Automatically loot an enemy after assassinating them

Assassination XP
linked to: Assassination Loot [N]; Headshot XP [NW]; Tool Kill XP [NE - Seer Tree]
Passive: Assassinating an enemy grants you bonus XP

Headshot XP
linked to: Assassination XP [SE]; Stealth Kill Streak [W]
Passive: Killing an enemy with a headshot grants you bonus XP

Stealth Kill Streak
linked to: Headshot XP [E]; Bow Fury [N]; Master Hunter [NW]
Passive: Chained stealth kills increase XP granted

[that completes the southern arm of Hunter, back to the North]

Arrow Retiever
linked to: Eagle Tagging [E]; Bow Bearer [N]
Passive: Loot arrows stuck in your shield back into your inventory

Hunter's Instinct
linked to: ???; no links on screen, but it's S of Arrow Retriever, and it asks to unlock a linked skill, so again, ???
While in stationary mode with Senu, press Xbox A button to mark a civilian, enemy or animal to see the path they are currently taking
[sort of like an AC Revelations Eagle Sense?]

Bow Bearer
linked to: Arrow Retriever [S]; Eagle Harass [N]; Enhanced Warrior Bow [SW]; Enhanced Hunter Bow [W-SW]; Enhanced Predator Bow [W-W]; Enhanced Light Bow [W-NW]; Weapon Bearer [E - Warrior Tree]
[holy shit is this skill connected!]
You can equip a second bow. Press D-padLeft to switch equipped bows

Eagle Harass
linked to: Bow Bearer [S]; Weapon Bearer [E - Warrior Tree]
While in stationary mode, look at an enemy and press Xbox Y button to have Senu stun them.
Passive: Senu will also help you harass enemies during combat

Enhanced Light Bow
linked to: Bow Bearer [SE]; Elite Ranger [SW]
Passive: Increase stability while shooting

Enhanced Predator Bow
linked to: Bow Bearer [E]; Elite Ranger [W]
Hold Xbox right trigger to control a predator arrow in the air

Enhanced Hunter Bow
linked to: Bow Bearer [NE]; Elite Ranger [NW]
Holding Xbox right trigger to charge your shot will additionally break shield defense

Enhanced Warrior Bow
linked to: Bow Bearer [NE]; Elite Ranger [NW]
Holding Xbox right trigger to charge your shot will reduce its dispersion zone

Elite Ranger
linked to: Enhanced Light Bow [E-NE]; Enhanced Predator Bow [E-E]; Enhanced Hunter Bow [E-SE]; Enhanced Warrior Bow [SE]; Bow Fury [S]; Master Hunter [SW]
[another well connected skill]
Aiming with your bow while in the air will trigger slow-mo

Bow Fury
linked to: Elite Ranger [N]; Chain Assassination [E]; Stealth Kill Streak [S]; Master Hunter [W]
After getting a stealth kill with your bow, you have a 3s window of slow-mo while still aiming with your bow

Chain Assassination
linked to: Bow Fury [NW]
After assassinating an enemy, press Xbox Y button to throw their weapon at another target

Master Hunter
linked to: Elite Ranger [NE]; Bow Fury [E]; Stealth Kill Streak [S]
Passive: Increase the damage of all your bows by an additional +1%


Warrior Tree north side of tree

Overpower
[my guess is no prereq needed, and this is an opening skill you can get]
linked to: Regeneration [N]
When your adrenaline bar is full you can unleash the power of your weapon by pressing Xbox right bumper + Xbox right trigger. Every weapon class has its own unique ability.

Regeneration
linked to: Overpower [S]; Weapon Bearer [W]; Parry [N]; Hijack [E]
Passive: Your life can regenerate during combat

Weapon Bearer
linked to: Regeneration [E]; Bow Bearer [W - Hunter Tree]; Eagle Harass [NW - Hunter Tree]
You can equip a second melee weapon. Press D-padRight to switch equipped melee weapons

Hijack
linked to: Regeneration [W]; Air Attack [NE]
Pull enemy drivers off their vehicle and take control of it

Air Attack
linked to: Hijack [SW]; Smoke Screen [E - Seer Tree]
You can perform an attack while in the air

Parry
linked to: Regeneration [S]; Charge Heavy Attack [N]
Deflect an incoming attack by tapping {b} while in Shield Mode

Charge Heavy Attack
linked to: Parry [S]; Overpower Ultra [SW]; Overpower Combo [W]; Overpower XP [NW]; Attack & Push [NE]; Adrenaline 1 [E]
[another extremely well connected skill]
Hold Xbox right trigger to charge your Heavy Attack. A fully charged Heavy Attack will shield break tower shields and knock enemies to the ground

Overpower Ultra
linked to: Charge Heavy Attack [NE]; Overpower Combo [N]; Overpower Chain Throw [NW]
Passive: Double the damage of your Overpower ability

Overpower Combo
linked to: Charge Heavy Attack [E]; Overpower Ultra [S]; Overpower Chain Throw [W]; Overpower XP [N]
After an Overpower attack you can chain with a combo of light attacks

Overpower XP
linked to: Charge Heavy Attack [SE]; Overpower Combo [S]; Overpower Chain Throw [SW]
Passive: Killing enemies with your Overpower active gives you XP

Overpower Chain Throw
linked to: Overpower XP [NE]; Overpower Combo [E]; Overpower Ultra [SE]; Master Warrior [N]
After killing an enemy with an Overpower attack, press Xbox right bumper to throw that enemy's weapon at another target

[on to the eastern arm of the Warrior tree]

Attack & Push
linked to: Charge Heavy Attack [SW]
Hold Xbox right bumper after a light attack to perform a push attack combo

Adrenaline 1
linked to: Charge Heavy Attack [W]; Extend Combo [N]; Shield Charge [E]
Passive: Your adrenaline is filled by +25% at the start of conflict

Extend Combo
linked to: Adrenaline 1 [S]; Kill Loot [E]
You can deal 1 more melee attack to an enemy before they can recover

Kill Loot
linked to: Extend Combo [W]; Master Warrior [N]
Passive: Automatically loot an enemy after a melee kill

Shield Charge
linked to: Adrenaline 1 [W]; Adrenaline 2 [NE]
When locked on an enemy, hold {b} to run faster and bash enemies in your way. This will consume adrenaline

Adrenaline 2
linked to: Shield Charge [SW]; Master Warrior [N]
Passive: Your adrenaline is filled by +25% at the start of conflict

Master Warrior
linked to: Adrenaline 2 [E-E]; Kill Loot [E-S]; Overpower Chain Throw [W]
Passive: Increase the damage of all your melee weapons by an additional +1%
[note: listed at only 1 ability point]


Seer Tree east side of tree

Call Mount
[my guess is no prereq needed, and this is an opening skill you can get]
linked to: Dawn & Dusk
Hold D-padDown to call your vehicle

Dawn & Dusk
linked to: Call Mount [W]; Breath Holding Champion [N]; Sleep Darts [E]; Backstore [S]
Hold Analog stick to sit, contemplate and make time speed forward

Breath Holding Champion
linked to: Dawn & Dusk [S]; Smoke Screen [NE]
Passive: You can stay underwater longer

Smoke Screen
linked to: Breath Holding Champion [SW]; Pyromaniac [NE]; Smoke Screen Damage [SE]; Air Attack [W - Warrior Tree]
Press Xbox Y button after melee attacking or rolling to drop this powder. It stuns nearby enemies and creates a smoke screen.
Smoke screens can break line of sight

Smoke Screen Damage
linked to: Smoke Screen [NW]; Fire Bomb [E]
Passive: Enemies caught in the smoke screen will take damage and be knocked to the ground

Pyromaniac
linked to: Smoke Screen [SW]; Fire Bomb [SE]
Passive: Your fire damage is increased by an additional 50%

Fire Bomb
linked to: Pyromaniac [N]; Smoke Screen Damage [W]; Poison Darts [S]; Master Seer [E]
Throw this bomb to set your enemies ablaze. When equipped, switch to them by holding D-padLeft

Sleep Darts
linked to: Dawn & Dusk [E]; Flesh Decay [S]
Throw this dart to put lower rank enemies or animals to sleep and sneak by without being detected. When equipped, switch to them by holding D-padLeft

Flesh Decay
linked to: Sleep Darts [N]; Berserk [E]
Use this substance to infect a dead body and allow it to contaminate nearby enemies

Berserk
linked to: Flesh Decay [W]; Poison Darts [NE]
Use this substance on an unaware enemy to turn him against his allies

Poison Darts
linked to: Berserk [SW]; Fire Bomb [N]
Throw this dart to poison and contaminate nearby enemies. When equipped, switch to them by holding D-padLeft

[on to the lower part of the Seer tree]

Backstore
linked to: Dawn & Dusk [N]; Tool Kill XP [SW]; Chariot Owner [E]
You can purchase rare quality gear in shops

Tool Kill XP
linked to: Backstore [NE]; Salesman [E]; Assassination XP [NW - Hunter Tree]
Passive: Killing enemies with a tool grants XP. Tools: Flesh Decay, Poison Darts, Fire Bombs, Fire

Salesman
linked to: Tool Kill XP [W]; Chariot Owner [NE]; Buy Materials [E]
Passive: Animal goods and trinkets can be sold at +25% price

Chariot Owner
linked to: Backstore [W]; Salesman [SW]; Animal Taming [NE]
You can purchase war chariots from stable shops

Animal Taming
linked to: Chariot Owner [SW]; Master Seer [E]
After putting an animal to sleep with a sleep dart, you can tame them to have them follow you

Buy Materials
linked to: Salesman [W]; Master Seer [NE]
You can purchase crafting materials from shops

Master Seer
linked to: Fire Bomb [NW]; Animal Taming [SW]; Buy Materials [S]
Passive: Increase the damage of all your tools by an additional +1% (Flesh Decay, Poison Darts, Fire Bombs, Fire)


Phew. Tired

I'll put my thoughts in the next post. I'll write them up after i take lunch here...

"Victorian values meant brutalizing people who were often poor." - Charles Palliser

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My thoughts:

Initial Abilities
I think the three initial abilities (Eagle Tagging, Overpower, and Call Mount) will be auto-unlocked. I don't think we'll have to unlock them ourselves. They are too key to the game to not be unlocked in tutorial like missions.

Eagle Tagging = Eagle Sense. It will be introduced in the beginning of the game somehow.
Call Mount seems like another basic ability that you will get right from the beginning, as soon as you learn how to use horses in game.
Overpower introduces Adrenaline, a second ability resource similar to Action Points or Stamina in other games. I doubt we'd start the game without this added resource bar on the screen.

Another possibility is that Dawn & Dusk is an initial ability instead of Call Mount. It would make sense.

Abilities are cheaper than previous AC games
The most expensive ability (with a visible cost) is 3 ability points. There might be some at 4, but I doubt anything will approach the 6 and 8 in previous games.

You're never really a Master
My guess is that the 3 Master abilities are not one time abilities and instead are continual training that you can take in perpetuity. I guess this for 2 reasons: first, the Master Warrior screenshot shows a price of 1 Ability Point; second, the wording says "+1% damage to" weapon class. I'm guess this is cumulative when you compare other skills that give you +25%, +50% or even DOUBLE damage in some cases. If they aren't repeatable, they seem very underpowered on first glance.

Abilities that shouldn't be abilities
Dusk & Dawn: the ability to sit and wait. This is actually a good thing for the series, as it allows you to easily manipulate the day/night cycle. However, why should this be an unlockable ability? It could be an autounlocked ability as a start point for the tree. I would be fine with that.
Call Mount: seems logical that this will be an intro ability, and you need start points on the tree... but if it's not, it's really stupid that you have to unlock whistling for a horse.
Slow-mo in the Hunter Tree (Bow Fury and Elite Ranger): Man is this gimmicky. Simply in the game for highlights. Potential to totally break flow, which matters because Chain Assassination can't be accessed without Bow Fury (according to current tree).
Predator Bow: heat seeking arrows... okay. I guess they aren't even going to try to explain this with lore... just just get to buy heat-seeking arrows... okay.

Revamped combat system dependent on abilities you choose
This I don't like, on first glance anyway. Looking at the warrior tree, instead of getting a combat system and learning to master it... you simply buy the ability to kill-chain, etc. This seems antithetical to some of the original games in the series, with complex combat that you could actually master with practice. Many of the abilities look like new things, which should make combat much less static though.

Replayability
Ultimately, the question I ask when I see RPG elements introduced to a game is "will this increase replayability?" In this case, I think the answer is "Yes." A lot of RPGs increase replayability by giving you too many skills such that you can't get them all in a single playthrough. I do NOT think that is the case here. There are few skills (only 53, relative to the 270 levels you'd have to get in Fallout 4, for example), so I think one character can get them all. However, because of the way they are branched, I can see myself playing this game a few times. First, how I want and think it should be played. Second, restricting myself to ONLY skills of one tree (Seer tree seems most fun for this type of challenge). Third, maybe trying to tank my way through with those skills.

"Victorian values meant brutalizing people who were often poor." - Charles Palliser

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I'm guaranteed going a hybrid of Hunter and Seer. Gotta be Rogue as hell. ;]

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DarkAlphabetZoup wrote:
I'm guaranteed going a hybrid of Hunter and Seer. Gotta be Rogue as hell. ;]

Of course I will be as well... the first time I play at least.

I'm glad the skill tree loops back on itself. I can go through tools/bombs and through Master Seer to get to Animal Taming instead of through the Economy skills. It doesn't make sense to me to have Animal Taming there anyway, but I certainly want to play with it.

But yes, a Rogue would be the lower half of Hunter and upper half of Seer. Stealth and Tools.

"Victorian values meant brutalizing people who were often poor." - Charles Palliser

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Double McStab with Cheese wrote:
Dusk & Dawn: the ability to sit and wait. This is actually a good thing for the series, as it allows you to easily manipulate the day/night cycle. However, why should this be an unlockable ability? It could be an autounlocked ability as a start point for the tree. I would be fine with that.

This could be a pretty cool and immersive way of fast-travelling if it's tied to horses/carriages. And doubling as a way to change the time of day, similar to advancing time in Shadow of Mordor. But to spend an ability point on something so basic would be odd.

The slow-mo I'm actually okay with. I reckon this wil be used like the Archery perk in Skyrim that slows down time when you zoom in at the cost of stamina. That's powerful mid-to-late game for taking down moving enemies more easily (allowing more time to line up the shot). It's not like a killcam or slow-mo replay, so I'd say it has actual value in the game besides highlights.

Heat-seeking arrows, oh boy. There are so many other things that you could unlock as a powerful bow extra that DO make a slight bit of sense. Looking at SoM again, they could have it be more of a weapon against groups:

Headshotting an unaware enemy causes enemies around him to be terrified and flee.

Shooting two or three arrows at the same time, but drawing your bow takes longer.

Shooting an arrow with an explosive attached, which does AoE damage.

Despite these flaws, this system does look very good for replayability. It could be interesting to see how a full Seer run, a full Hunter run and a full Warrior run compare with regard to certain missions. This game might pull me back into AC after having skipped Unity and Syndicate, even though I know it will run like dogshit on my laptop, if it runs at all.


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Time to talk about what I think is the most misplaced Ability in the tree: Air Attack

Some Ability chains make sense:
Bow Bearer >> Enhanced [player's choice] Bow >> Elite Ranger >> Bow Fury

Some Ability chains make less sense:
Dawn & Dusk >> Backstore >> Tool Kill XP >> Salesman

I understand that the tree must have all the skills and some won't make perfect sense. Hell, I'd rather that be the case than to go full RPG and have 20 Skyrim-like trees that are very specific.

But the one chain that makes NO SENSE to me AT ALL is:
Hijack >> Air Attack >> Smoke Screen

Air Attack seems to bridge the Warrior/intimidation-centric skill of Hijacking [vehicles] and the Assassin's Toolkit through Smoke Screen. I can understand that Air Attack can belong in the Warrior Tree in order to jump off something and use a melee weapon in the air is definitely Warrior-based. HOWEVER, this is mostly a STEALTH skill because this is the skill that unlocks air assassinations! This ability will used by 99%, nay, 100% of players more as a stealth skill than a melee skill. Every single person that plays this game will use this skill primarily to assassinate rather than to launch in with a massive melee weapon.

So there it is: A stealth skill in the Warrior tree leading to Seer tree toolkit. These 3 abilities are crucial for the game and they had to be somewhere. But it's so odd that this is the placement.

How would I like to see it made better?
Actually, adding a SEPARATE Air Assassinate to the lower half of the Hunter Tree.
Put Air Assassinate where Headshot XP is.
Put Headshot XP off of Arrow Retriever in place of Hunter's Instinct.
Put Hunter's Instinct off of Elite Ranger. (since it's not connected to anything right now)

This would give all trees the same amount of skills (the Hunter tree has one fewer skill right now), and would streamline the stealth skills along the bottom and the bow skills at the top of the Hunter Tree.

All the XP generation skills should be early in the tree to facilitate generation of XP to level your character. I appreciate putting Headshot XP and Tool Kill XP off off Assassination XP to keep them together, but Overpower XP is already separate, so I'm fine moving Headshot XP to its natural branch as well.

"Victorian values meant brutalizing people who were often poor." - Charles Palliser

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Thanks for replying, Gerund. Nice to discuss with everyone possible rather than to ramble incoherently to myself all day.

gerund wrote:
The slow-mo I'm actually okay with. I reckon this wil be used like the Archery perk in Skyrim that slows down time when you zoom in at the cost of stamina. That's powerful mid-to-late game for taking down moving enemies more easily (allowing more time to line up the shot). It's not like a killcam or slow-mo replay, so I'd say it has actual value in the game besides highlights.

It would make sense that it could run off of your Adrenaline meter like some of the powerful Warrior skills. But it doesn't mention that it does like those Warrior skills do (see Shield Charge). It also does make sense like you say as the skills only work while aiming. Maybe it will be tied to Adrenaline. This would make sense to me.

Heat-seeking arrows, oh boy. There are so many other things that you could unlock as a powerful bow extra that DO make a slight bit of sense. Looking at SoM again, they could have it be more of a weapon against groups:

Headshotting an unaware enemy causes enemies around him to be terrified and flee.

Shooting two or three arrows at the same time, but drawing your bow takes longer.

Shooting an arrow with an explosive attached, which does AoE damage.

I'm not sure how many of the promo or gameplay videos you've seen, but they actually do show "shotgun" bows with multiple arrows as out in the world. Since they aren't in the tree, I'd imagine there's no related skill to use them. Maybe you can launch 5 heat-seaking arrows at once. haha. I had just wished that there was an underlying AC Lore reason for the "Predator" arrows to exist. Maybe there is.

Despite these flaws, this system does look very good for replayability. It could be interesting to see how a full Seer run, a full Hunter run and a full Warrior run compare with regard to certain missions. This game might pull me back into AC after having skipped Unity and Syndicate, even though I know it will run like dogshit on my laptop, if it runs at all.

I completely agree that runs staying within a single tree could be fun. Might be a reason to actually start using my Twitch to stream video instead of just watch.


One final thought/question/note: do you think these are ALL the skills? Or do you think there's some missing? Hunter's Instinct has got to be connected to something... Maybe it's a story mission unlockable thing though.

"Victorian values meant brutalizing people who were often poor." - Charles Palliser

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Linking slow-mo to the adrenaline resource would make the most sense, absolutely.

Hunter's Instinct is either linked to Eagle Tagging (east) and they messed up the linking (it's an Alpha build after all), OR it's just unlocked through the story. If that's the case, is it a logical conclusion to say that except for the three base abilities in the three trees and Hunter's Instinct, all other skills in this image are NOT story-unlocked?


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