Ashes HQ

Development Update: February 25, 2022

Discussion & Outline Summary

Community & Reminders

  • Character creator was not presented (as was referenced in the January Development Update), it requires a little more time before released to the general public. 
  • Cosmetics swapping over on March 9th, 2022, 11AM PST.
  • Race model feedback forum threads are still available to provide feedback
  • Feedback has already been taken into consideration and subsequent adjustments and changes have already been made. 
  • The content creator program is still open although they are not processing applications yet.

Studio Update

  • Steven stated they hired 11-12 additional new employees this month. Their contributions were already displayed in this Development Update.
  • Alpha 2 work has made considerable progress. 
  • Prototyping has begun on the combat side for Alpha 2 which may be displayed in the March or April live streams.  
  • Character teams are continuing to improve character races.
  • Environment team has done a lot of work in the biomes for the playable area in Alpha 2. 
  • Production is continuing to work the roadmap for Alpha 2, looking into navigational tools 
  • Engineering has been working on the features sets for Alpha 2, the network side of character customization and the backend.
  • A new user interface was deployed for the HR side of Intrepid. 
  • They are still preparing for a studio tour, some studio areas have been set up, but not all areas are ready just yet.


  • What does production provide the development team at Intrepid?
  • Support the development team and the process of development.
  • Setting up dependencies (time, resources, features)
  • Quality assurance across teams
  • Create opportunity maps: including risk and opportunities. 
  • Be at the forefront of visibility and communication, by ensuring issues are addressed proactively instead of reactively.    

Design & Engineering

  • In preparation of Alpha 2 a lot of the work has been going focusing on the systems. This includes class design, combat, hybrid class changes, nodes, economy, artisanship which includes animal husbandry. 
  • Steven shared that Alpha 2 will include the roll out of the animal husbandry system.  This work requires a significant amount of scientific research because the animal husbandry system will have its roots in reality. 
  • Taming will be a big part of animal husbandry. Taming is one of the gathering professions which players can use to locate, capture and tame wild creatures in Verra. Tamed creatures can be trained, bred and refined with the animal husbandry profession. Genetics in animal husbandry will follow a Mendelian model of real-life genetics overlaid with magical tools that help understand and influence the processes of breeding of said creatures. Creatures will have characteristics that are determined by their genetics. There will be a multitude of traits that are related to their appearance, performance, combat efficacy that breeders can bring forward in a particular mount or pet. No two creatures will be the exact same, there will be a stat block (ex: speed, endurance) and ability systems. You can breed creatures and study the offspring and make informed decisions when the features you want to pursue in the next generation become apparent in the offspring you have created.
  • Species will have different traits; creatures will have a wide variety of traits and characteristics strength and weakness within their species. 
  • The best version of a species will need to be blended from many creatures across Verra, so there will be an element of geographic location being relevant for the creation of certain types of breeds. For example, the best horse would need speed from desert horses, the health from tundra horses, and the size and strength of Riverland horses. 
  • Powerful traits will be hidden in rare spawns as well as through rare mutations.
  • Mastery in Animal Husbandry will involve unlocking greater cross breeding potential in different species to create more fantastical creatures, and potentially even new species when breeders push the limits. 
  • Once these creatures are born, there is an element of raising them, animals must be raised from berth to adulthood and trained for their intended purposes. Either as a mount, a pet, a beast of burden or livestock. 
  • You can specialize within the Animal Husbandry profession to one of the four creature types (mount, pet, beast of burden, livestock).
  • There are a multitude of activities which include feeding, cleaning the creatures, taking them out for practice rides, training them to fight monsters. This period is very important, because it will have the greatest influence on the resulting quality of the genetically determined stats of the creatures once they reach adulthood.
  • To further this, as you are discovering different genetic paths when pairing different animals, the offspring will have a window of where a stat block may land, but where it specifically lands will be determined by the training phase.
  • Following a question form chat on whether animal husbandry will be a deeper profession vs the other professions, Steven clarified that the equity across professions was something discussed at length within the team. By offering specialization within the four types of creatures (mount, pet, beast of burden, livestock) will mitigate the comprehensive nature of the profession as a whole. You may only be able to specialize in one of the four creature types.
  • Aquatic creatures can be bred from a pet and mount perspective. 
  • There will be recessive and dominant genes and the discovery of certain types of characteristics that creatures you breed will have an RNG element to them. However, you can increase the chances of the development of a specific characteristic based on profession, based on method (resources).
  • There may be a user interface panel that gives a record of your successes and failures of breeding attempts which can be shared to others. 

Environment Art

  • Margaret stated that the Riverlands, the ancestral home of the Aela human, is currently the home of the Kaelar humans. 
  • The Riverlands is a fertile river plan, with lakes, rivers and estuaries, pictured hills surrounded by vast river networks. The land is broken up with modest forest and rock outcrops. This biome may be favorable to those within the animal husbandry systems because the biome can provide abundant crops to feed their creatures.
  • Py’Rai node concept art is still in its early stages, where they are experimenting with structure and material types, node layout. 
  • The team is working on the difficult task of creating a seamless transition between the influence of the cultures and the biomes in which they exist. Because node architecture is influenced by the culture of a race, cultural influence existing across 18 biomes is difficult. This is exemplified by the Py’Rai, whose architecture is infused with the surrounding trees and vegetation, it is difficult to encapsulate that same feeling in nodes that are not forest oriented. Similarly, the biome that the Ren’Kai are most accustomed to are swamp or marsh oriented, leading to buildings on stilts to stay above the water table.
  • The team shared the first visual art showcase of the Py’Rai race. Showcases of costumes (including the summer backer Majesty pack), Vaelune wagon, moss and banners 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.


  • Will enemy AI be aware of the environmental surrounding and would range NPCs be able to use cover when fighter players?
    • Some encounter design will use the environment, but will likely not be implemented across the general population 
  • Will any classes or archetypes have buffs or restrictions in naval combat, or will they behave the same as they do on land?
    • There will be elements of utility in class design that will be beneficial for naval game play, but will not be highly focused on naval ability, rather circumstantial overlap. An example includes a certain class that may be able to hold their breath longer underwater.
  • Assuming certain abilities are stronger or weaker in certain climates, does that extend to the weekly seasons and the more varied weather changes across Verra?
    • The descriptors used to define mechanically what a particular climate offers from: cold, arid, hot are also going to be descriptors which are going to be incorporated as part of weather events. During those weather events, the areas affected by weather events will likely have their climate description overwritten by whatever the event is specifically. Example: an arctic dragon will bring with it cold weather which can interact with skills, abilities and functions such as farms
  • Will you be able to negate fall damage while mounted?
    • The damage will still occur, but it will first be absorbed by the mount, if there is overflow (and the mount dies) the damage may continue to the character but that will be something that needs testing.
  • You’ve mentioned the procedurally generated catacombs under a divine metropolis, do you currently have plans to use procedural generation for any other content? Specifically, I mean like dungeons, raid, islands etc.
    • As long as procedural tools are well defined and have specific parameters for which it exists and is not going to be visually or mechanically perceived as procedural. Wherever we can leverage procedural mechanics in such a way that does not appear procedural we should. The predominance of what is designed is curated or by design. 
  • How much larger will a metropolis warehouse’s inventory be vs a caravan inventory?
    • Resources are placed in crates, and caravans have crate capacities. But crates have different levels of quality, the higher the quality of the crate the greater diversity of material can be stored in the crate and the greater the capacity (potentially). However, you would need a crate to transfer supplies back to a caravan or node from which then you have the storage capacity in your warehouse or your inventories. So transported goods via caravans required crate capacity first, then can be translated into storage capacity within a warehouse inventory management system or a personal inventory management system.  
  • Will processing within freeholds be passive or require some kind of activity or minigame to work?
    • As it stands now, the proposal isn’t that it’s a minigame, but rather an opt-in. For Alpha 2, there will be a certain amount of prep work required first for the industry specific component. That prep work might be finding a certain amount of lumber to light the fire in a kiln to a certain temperature in order to process a certain grade of ore. Within that process there is a gathering component, a prep phase, a time related component and possibilities that the machinery itself will have a gameplay layer. There will be game play opportunities, and not just a time sink, but time sink is also a component of it as well because that’s the throttle of the introduction of processed materials from raw gatherable into the economy. 
  • Will there be skills for mounts dedicated to making long distances fun.
    • The ability to do really big jumps and gliding mechanics are elements that break up the monotony of a steady pace or a consistent path. Travel between nodes is more automated which can run along a defined path, at a faster pace.
  • What do you think about adding additional satellites surrounding Verra:
    • There are multiple moons, the element of the day/night sky is a fantastical touch that is often a missed opportunity in other games. The skybox is a place where there are a lot of fun and visually appealing things that can be done, such as an aurora borealis, or a colorful moon for scene setting.
  • What kind attachments will we be able to place on our ships:
    • There are three categories: offensive, defensive, utility. 
    • Ships will have classes which dictate the type of attachments that can be applied and the quantity. An example is a military vessel which may have more capacity for weapon-based attachments, whereas a transport ship may have more capacity for defense based attachments. Each ship will be customizable depending on the situation required. 

Outline Contributors: Simurgh, Skylarck The Botanist

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