Ashes HQ

Development Update: January 28, 2022

Discussion & Outline Summary

Community & Reminders

  • Cosmetics swapping over on Feb 9th 2022 11AM PST
  • Upcoming dev discussion on RNG
  • The content creator program is still open although they are not processing apps yet.

Studio Update

  • Steven stated they hired 6 additional new employees in January and the team has aggressive goals for growth moving forward. 
  • The studio’s teams have been hard at work with the migration to UE5. At this time the entire studio team is moved over. 
  • The team has made changes on the project management structure and moved to a more story based system. Margaret stated this uses a fibonacci sequence and breaks down tasks with more flexibility for predictive measures internally.
  • They are still preparing for a studio tour. Once more furniture is placed and the studio is ready the studio will be showcased for the community.


  • Steven shared plans for max level being 35 in Alpha 2, however, this subject to change. There has been a lot of work on network changes in preparation for Alpha 2. They are expecting this will have a large gain in better performance.
  • Since Alpha 1 the team has had a lot of meetings on what they would like to make changes to. These discussions included combat, class structure, class progression, node development, economic influences of nodes, and Alpha 2 plans for the augmentation system. 
  • The team is excited about debuting planned combat changes. The team has a goal of adjusting the augmentation system to ensure each class has a signature style. Steven shared that in addition to weapon effects from enchantments some weapon visual effects could exist from other status conditions such as crowd control effects.
  • There was discussion around how instancing can be a great tool to help manage zergs. As castle sieges are planned to have two large groups competing over a castle they are debating short instanced battles during that time that could be vital to the greater siege taking place. This could include a 10min long instanced battle on a smaller scale while major sieges are happening in the background.
  • There was discussion on aggro tables and leashing and how this works behind UI’s and the variable for certain skills, abilities, and how ability usage by NPCs that aren’t predictable can make for more fluidity in combat.. Steven expressed how this is of a high level of importance presenting a different moment to moment combat most players may not be used to. Less predictive.
  • Steven expressed that basic starter boats likely won’t need a harbor joined to a coastal node, and could possibly be used to travel along the coast instead of traveling on land.
  • The road system tech was showcased in a short video and showcased the volumes manipulated to show how roads can shift to connect based on node developments. Showed progress from dirt road up to metro roads. Steven shared that road types would include dirt, brick, and ornate. They would not just visually beautiful but would also impact the speed of caravans and speed of mounts between nodes.
  • Steven shared that the character creator is in development and that some elements of Character Creator will be shown on livestream in February – they cautioned that UI will be a placeholder for this preview. The goal is to have one of the most customizable options in an mmorpg and players will likely be able to choose a non combat idle stance and movements as part of the character creator. 
  • They shared that some mounts may carry multiple players. He also mentioned that positions for additional players on a mount could maybe be outfitted with weapon placements on the extra player riding points.
  • Steven mentioned that scientific node mayor elections could also be reliant on reputation based quest elements that provide another alternative to influence on mayoral elections aside from specifically just voting.
  • The team shared the first visual art showcase of the Vek race. They also showcased 3d renders of the Kaelar, Ren’kai, Dünir, and Niküa. Showcases of boats and other props for the world were also showcased in the environment and character design showcases. For more on these be sure to check out the included video of the livestream above.


  • Once a node goes into lock out after a siege can the quest to obtain a siege scroll still be completed or is it locked out for the time period?
    • As it stands now the quest for the node can still be completed but there is a time limit for those scrolls. If you select that node as a target for that scroll it’s possible that the lifetime of the scroll would be under the lockout of the node. So it is possible you could waste that.
  • Will there be a dark lake, rivers, or any expanse of naval content included within the Underrealms?
    • Not for now. I wouldn’t rule out the opportunity for something along those lines in the future with an expansion or an update but at the moment there are no plans for that.
  • In the interview with MMORPG Steven mentioned again the formations for Bards. Will this be primarily a way that bards buff their teams?
    • I’m not sure if it’s going to be primarily. It is definitely going to be incorporated for certain skills and certain abilities. Those might be more key abilities or higher tier abilities but it will probably not be the primary function of the bards role requiring formation related buffs every time they decide to buff the party.
  • Could you elaborate on the potential of stealth when it comes to both utility and combat?
    • I think one of the things about stealth that is really important is if we take other games we have played and take an encounter with a boss or NPCs. If you draw aggro or hate as part of the damage you are doing or you need to clear that hate or dip out of the fight momentarily then stealth would be a great utility component to achieve that goal. Additionally, from a combat perspective of course stealth is a huge tool when it comes to sneaking up on a target and not being easily detected while staying on the fringes of a fight and choosing your time to engage. Those are the elements of stealth we want to incorporate. If you’re trying to navigate past NPC enemies to make it down  to a group in a dungeon and you’re a class that has stealth available to you then it is a great utility mechanic for you to avoid the aggro of those monsters as you’re moving down.
  • How are group mounts different from regular mounts in regard to unlocking or obtaining them?
    • When it comes to unlocking or obtaining you can probably imagine that group mounts are going to be a bit more in-depth and rare. These are mounts that have additional mechanics associated with the number of people that can ride them. They might have certain types of weapon systems on those riding points that players can utilize. In that sense they are going to be more rare and difficult to obtain.
  • How will homestead skins affect the space available for furniture?
    • So the space available for furniture should be relatively similar between building types and we’ll try to make sure that’s the case. When it comes to how furniture is incorporated as part of your layout and allotment these are going to be hard numerical values based on the building type you have. So the larger the home the more furniture pieces you can have. From a space perspective that is something accounted for in the modeling of the actual buildings.
  • Will we be given naming conventions based on the individual races and cultures?
    • At some point yes. Again, we’re wanting to keep a lot of that stuff pretty close to the chest. Of course that’s not something we can keep close to the chest forever. As we enter Alpha 2 and betas that stuff is going to be revealed.
  • Will mounts have the ability to charge and trample or will players be able to use lances or mounts?
    • Yes there will be a number of different combat feature skills on mounts. It kind of depends on the particular mount, its breed, and sometimes a little bit of RNG aspects to the creation of these mounts and your acquisition of them.
  • To what extent will the corrupted areas affect the node if the players decide not to deal with it and does it have a limit or can corruption go as far as to destroy nodes?
    • If players don’t address corruption then corruption can go as far as to increase the level of NPC driven events against the node. Those NPC driven events can disable node buildings, features, and services. Disabling those things can make a node susceptible to sieges and the ability for players to destroy nodes. That’s the intent of corruption. To present a challenge to the players that if it is not addressed it becomes exacerbated and really a problem over time.
  • When it comes to the transition to UE5 what is your favorite armor set you are excited to see in the new engine?
    • Visually the interaction with the lighting in lumen is going to change the appearance of materials and assets in game as we could have seen with our December presentation of the UE5 level. It was hard for Steven to answer a specific set so he stated that he really likes more cloth based sets as he likes the movement and simulation of cloth within the game.
  • Can I create my own original potion and keep the recipe secretly for myself?
    • There have been some designers who have advocated for that specifically. There is a level of  complexity that adds to the crafting system. I’m not opposed to that and it’s possible we may see something like that in the future.

Outline Contributors: Simurgh, Wembley

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