Ashes HQ

Development Update: December 23, 2021

Discussion & Outline Summary

Community & Reminders

  • Web update Dec 14: This may require users to input their information due to SSO optimization.
  • Web Update Fixes Include:
    • Updates with user email for smoother sso, shifted away from legacy.
    • Error message and copy changes to ensure changes are more clear.
    • Bugs fixed from previous updates on the website.
  • Future SSO updates expected in coming months.
  • Support page update coming soon.
  • If you have issues contact Intrepid Studios via support / tickets.
  • Cosmetic changeover on Jan 12 2022 11AM PST.
  • New emotes on AoC discord.
  • Next Dev Discussion: Griefing
  • Next Guild Gathering: Spies and Intrigue
  • Content Creator Program: Open status, however, this may change in the future. 

Studio Update

  • The creative director Steven Sharif stated that the Intrepid Studios team morale is incredibly high.
  • Intrepid Studios is planning a significant hiring phase moving into 2022.
  • No new lead game designer has been announced at this time. Steven has spearheaded this role and delegated that to other senior designers. Steven reinforces that he is very calculated and will not settle. Steven considers Ashes of Creation to be his baby and wants it to be the right person and is taking the time to ensure it is the right fit.


  • Ashes of Creation will be moving from Unreal Engine 4 to Unreal Engine 5. This has been a decision Steven and the team have contemplated since 2020.
  • After Alpha 1 ended in August Steven assembled a strike team to determine if a move to UE5 would be the best choice for the future of the game. After two months the decision was unanimous to move forward with the initial migration.
  • In October of 2021 the team began moving from UE4 to UE 5 and the move was spearheaded by lead programmer Kevin McPherson.
  • During the development live stream on Twitch Steven made a point to discuss and showcase some of how lumin and nanite would better bring Ashes of Creation to life. This was visually showcased in the video above.
    • Lumin is a global illumination feature and is mostly noticeable in caves and dungeons as it is a realistic approach to lighting. It is a UE5 core feature and its impact could be seen on the snow falling in the cave and light bouncing off the surface of the terrain and bouncing inside the cave.
  • Noticeable environment differences in the video included:
    • Higher quality textures for creatures showcased in UE5 versus the UE4 counterparts.
    • Falling rocks and dirt impact the player and roll off the back.
    • Players can engage in parkour and scale nearby walls or surfaces. This can work when falling off a ledge or mountain.
    • Altered AoE templates visible from monster attacks.
    • Noticeable difference in sound effects and the weather.
  • Implications on the development timeline moving from UE4 to UE5
    • The process of moving from UE4 to UE5 is much more of a front end change and doesn’t impact back end code.
    • They have a close working relationship with Epic who are very helpful and the entire Intrepid team will be on UE5 by Jan/Feb 2022. Lumen and Nanite will be added to the majority of the world around that time as the team gets onboarded more fully.
    • In UE5 as the world loads in cells, it allows the team to work in the world unlike previous engines. This makes the team’s workflow process a lot easier and far more productive. As a result the games overall development and development updates are expected to be much quicker and far more efficient. It is expected this will significantly reduce production time for Ashes of Creation.
    • Previously the Intrepid team was supplementing the world size with an underrealm to support a larger world where UE4 had limitations 20 kilometers squared. The large world support that will exist in UE5 and this is another major bonus of working in UE5 as this allows for a larger open world game.
  • A significant character customization update is planned to be showcased in the combining months and they plan to engage with the Ashes of Creation community to utilize and test it to explore its depth.
  • Video showcase of 1300 simulated players in combat with a variety of different outfits, classes, and effects to showcase efficiency of game performance.


  • What is the process of upgrading from UE4 to UE5?
    • The process begins with vetting the codebase and project and what bugs it might face during migration to UE5. It’s a comprehensive process and it will have implications on the art side. We have a significant amount of assets that need to be taken stock of to see which are compatible with Nanite.
  • Will upgrading to UE5 affect the current supported operating systems? [Linux]
    • No. Unfortunately the reality is there aren’t many linux users and they make up less than 1% of our PC users.
  • Will the upgrade to UE5 affect recommended specs?
    • We want to make the game as accessible as we can to everyone. UE5 will allow us to scale down the graphics. The scalability settings built into the game will help manage these things. As to the full extent we don’t know yet. If there are changes to the recommended specs we will let you know.
  • What is Lumen and how will that improve the lighting?
    • Lumen gives us a much more realistic approach to lighting utilizing global dynamic illumination which brings the world to life. Old lighting was more expensive and lumen helps to eliminate that cost. Better job then the skylight actor. Will greatly improves the visual fidelity and performance of the game. Reduced effort to the art team making it much more beautiful then in UE4.
  • What is nanite and how will that improve the visual aspects of the game?
    • Nanite brings a new approach to rendering art and workflows. More actors with higher detail. Fort artists this is great for importing high quality messages without reducing poly count. Tower scene in the video is an example of this. Helps drastically in workflow.
  • How do they expect locomotion changes will impact PvP?
    • PvP is an important aspect of Ashes of Creation. We don’t want these changes to have a negative impact. We want it to add additional dynamics to combat. This new feature is something they plan to balance over the course of the game’s life span.
  • Is UE5 going to change any aspects related to class abilities or require changes?
    • Nothing comes to mind, however, from a VFX standpoint we will be implementing lumen into the skill effects.

Outline Contributors: Simurgh, Wembley, Zodd

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