Stoneshard - Upcoming Leveling System Changes

Ink Stains Games will be releasing the City of Gold early access update for their turn-based RPG Stoneshard in November. And when that update goes live, the game's leveling system will be drastically overhauled in order to make it more engaging and less restrictive. Here's a quick overview of the upcoming changes:

Hello everyone!

In today’s devlog we’ll tell you about changes to the leveling system that will be introduced with the City of Gold update.


As we observed choices made by players when building their characters, we found out the following things:
  • Players rarely spread points between multiple Attributes - both stat points gained upon leveling up are usually invested into a single Attribute to receive a more noticeable increase in power.
  • Primary Attributes affect too many secondary stats: it’s difficult to keep track of them for most players, and leveling usually comes down to focusing on 1 or 2 build-defining stats.
  • Some primary Attributes are way too important for certain archetypes while being pretty much ignored by others.
That’s why we decided to revise our old Attributes system:
  • All Attributes are now capped at 30 points.
  • Each Attribute governs only two secondary stats.
  • You only gain one stat point upon leveling up, but its impact is now much more noticeable.
  • Each primary Attribute now also has thresholds - upon reaching them your character will receive a powerful bonus to 3 additional stats. Each Attribute has 4 thresholds that you can reach - 15, 20, 25, and 30 points.

    We noticed that many players enjoy investing into Perception for much-desired Bonus Range breakpoints - it’s one of the reasons why we’re introducing a similar twist to other Attributes, making leveling more engaging and providing players with goals to pursue.
  • The bonuses to characters’ starting Attributes were reduced.
All these changes will require you to put more thought into building your characters - many important stats are only increased upon reaching an Attribute threshold, so you’ll have a lot of things to consider: shall you put your precious SP into Vitality to gain bonus Health? Perhaps it’s more worthwhile to invest into Perception for Accuracy and Crit Chance? Or maybe the best course of action is to continue pushing Strength, hoping that its bonus Damage will offset the characters’ shortcomings? The decision is yours to make.


We closely monitor our community’s feedback, and it’s apparent that many players consider the existing treatise system to be way too restrictive and irritating. Unsurprisingly, many people try to circumvent it by resetting traders’ stock or even by editing save files. It’s not the most desirable outcome, so that’s why we’re also making important changes to another key mechanic - how Abilities are learned.
  • We’ve reworked the structure of every Ability tree in the game. They now look cleaner and should provide better indication about which tier each Ability belongs to.
  • Most Ability trees now have significantly more starting paths. This should make early combat more fun and reduce the frequency of situations when players are forced to stockpile points because they run out of Abilities to invest them into.
  • Some Ability trees have a new type of link - a node. Nodes indicate that in order to unlock Abilities below them, you’ll first have to unlock every Ability linked to them.

    This change will reduce highly prominent power spikes that are detrimental to the overall balance - you will no longer be able to quickly cherry-pick active abilities while ignoring everything else. Before the rework, the deadly combo of “Incineration” and “Melting Ray” could be unlocked just after putting 2 points into Pyromancy, but now you’ll have to learn all 8 prerequisite Abilities before you gain access to it. To sum it up, expect mages to become less overpowered.
  • At the same time, the opening tiers are much more flexible - the new system will provide you with more opportunities to grab a few starting Abilities to round up your build, but if you plan to gain access to high-level Abilities, you’ll need to actually invest.
  • With the exception of the first tier, Abilities now have Attribute requirements as an alternative to learning them from treatises. Still, we don’t want the system to be too restrictive, so the requirements are fairly adaptable: as a general rule, you’ll have to invest a certain amount of points into a combined sum of relevant Attributes in any combination you want. For instance, if an Ability requires 6 points invested into Strength or Agility, you can unlock it by putting all 6 points into either Strength or Agility, by putting 2 points into Strength and 4 into Agility, and so on.

    To put it simply, you have a choice between unlocking Abilities on your own by fulfilling their Attribute requirements and searching for a treatise if you want to unlock them earlier or plan to forego Attribute requirements entirely (in case they aren’t supported by your build)
  • In addition to treatises, starting Abilities can also be unlocked by trainers - for a price, of course. Most trainers are Osbrook and Mannshire NPCs whom you’re already familiar with, which means that you’ll be able to unlock all Ability trees (except for magic and Dual Wielding, the trainers for which are located in Brynn) right from the beginning without specifically looking for a relevant treatise.
  • These changes will elevate treatises back to their intended place as rare and valuable loot. In addition to that, treatises are no longer sold by village merchants - you’ll have to search for them in dungeons, points of interest, or buy them from designated traders in Brynn. The Mannshire scribe’s stock was also reduced: instead of selling every single book in Aldor, he’ll only have a small selection of tomes that survived the siege.
  • Many passives (as well as some active Abilities) were massively reworked to increase their usefulness and versatility, making them a better fit for the reworked Ability trees, so don’t be too swift to judge the presented changes.