The Class System in Ashes of Creation is going to be a little different from what players encounter in other games. In most games you either have a fixed class (World of Warcraft, Blade and Soul) or you have the ability to totally change your class to any of the unique combinations available (Final Fantasy XIV, Archeage). In Ashes of Creation it is sort of a blend between both systems.
Ashes of Creation has 8 unique archetypes: Fighter, Tank, Rogue, Ranger, Mage, Summoner, Cleric, Bard.
At character creation the player will have to choose one of the eight archetypes to be their primary archetype. This decision is permanent and final, at present there is no plan to allow players to change their primary archetype.
Your primary archetype is basically your role and responsibility in parties and group play, be it tank, healer, support, or damage dealer. While it has been stated that Ashes of Creation is going to be following the traditional trinity, it has also been stated that only Cleric will have direct heals. With that, it is up to you if you consider support and heals being separated as breaking the traditional trinity model.
Note: The staff at Intrepid has a sort of bad habit of using the terms Archetype and Class interchangeable, so in some places you may see the word class, but make sure to read/watch everything before and after the use of the word class for context clues if they mean Archetype or Class.
Through the course of gameplay, the player will have the option to choose a secondary archetype. This will provide the character a range of augments for their primary archetype skills. The secondary archetype is changeable, however, there will be strict and rigid conditions for the player to be able to change their secondary archetype, you won’t be changing secondary archetype on the fly in a dungeon in between bosses. In this regard the player is given some freedom in their character. Although they can never change their primary archetype and thus will alway be filling the same role, the ability to change their secondary archetype does provide flexibility in how they fulfill that role. The combination of Primary Archetype and Secondary Archetype is what creates the player’s Class.
Note: Characters only receive abilities from their primary archetype. The secondary archetype only provides agments to the skills, not new skills.
Even though the primary Archetype of a character is locked, every character actually has access to eight different classes. These classes will not change the role the characters fill and perform, but it will add flavor to how they perform their role.
At face value it seems like the entire class system might be a waste, given that you do not get any skills or abilities from your secondary class. It might appear that Intrepid would be better just doing the 8 base Archetypes and moving on from there. The key, is understanding how the secondary class provides access to a unique set of augments, and how those augments change the base abilities.
Someone who takes the Tank Primary Archetype and the Cleric Secondary Archetype ends up as the Class Paladin. While in other games a Paladin often has both melee attack, tanking, and healing abilities, in Ashes of Creation, a Paladin will only have the abilities from the Tank Archetype. Being a secondary Cleric will provide him arguments that will provide self-healing or other healing changes, but he will not have access to the direct abilities the Cleric has.
It is also possible to double down on your Primary and Secondary Class. If you wanted to be the most potent Cleric with the least flexibility you might Choose Cleric + Cleric = High Priest. This would make you the most potent healer at the expense of diversity and utility.
The most common example of this Augment system is the Fighter's Rush ability when Augmented with Mage's Teleport or Rogue's Stealth.
The base ability is that the Fighter rushes from Point A to Point B. You see the fighter making this movement.
If the Rush is augmented with Mage’s Teleport, then instead of seeing the fighter move, he would teleport from Point A and arrive at Point B to deliver the Rush attack.
If the Rush is augmented with Rogue’s Stealth, then the fighter would temporarily shroud with the Stealth ability (breaking any tab targeting locks) and then arrive at Point B to deliver the attack.
As you can see, there is no new ability added, but the different Augments offer custom tweaks to the skill that change how the skill functions.
At the present time we are waiting to hear more about the class, skills, and augments.
In Ashes of Creation, any class can use any weapon and wear any armor. There are no hard limitations on what classes can wear, however, classes do get preferred armor and weapons through their passives. Tanks for example have passive bonuses to Longsword and Heavy Armor and Cleric have Staff and Medium armor.
We also know that each weapon will have its own skill tree unlocking a weapon specific ability. We are waiting for more information from Intrepid on this.