Ashes HQ

Development Update: Oct 28, 2022

Discussion & Outline Summary

Community & Reminders

  • They are spotlighting one Youtube comment per development update.
    • The comment led Steven to explain that customization of UI elements especially on the HUD is a top desired aspect of the UI team. Being able to quickly change that on the fly, given the PvX nature of the game and the different styles of combat that are available is something that is highly desired.
  • Extra Life & Rady Children stream will happen through November 4th and November 6th
    • The Extra Life campaign will tie in the scope of the campaign from a story perspective to be driven by one of the major points of interest that is present near one of the divine gateways on Verra, giving insights to a lot of quests, and the Tower of Carphin (teased in the September Dev Update), there are a lot of events that will be in A2 for that point of the world. It is set during the fall so there will be lots of information. Donations are already being accepted at
  •  Cosmetics swapping over on November 9th 2022, at 11 AM PST.
  • Dev Discussion on Gathering and PVP is still open on the forum for feedback.

PvP & Griefing

  • One thing that Steven wants to be clear about in the Ashes of Creation community is that they are always polite, and they are willing to explain, and direct people to information (like the Wiki)
  • The open world flagging system has a very strong emphasis on how PvP and risk are represented within Ashes of Creation, it is meaningful, it has the ability to catalyze change within the world through both opt-in systems that are designated, timed and more control, to elements of PvP that are more outside of your control. The community concern lies more with the latter when PvP lies outside of your control. The reason for others, outside of our control/consent to affect gameplay is because often times in games where that is the case you run into a state of griefing it is often expressed that you can implements systems and rules in such a way that you curtail the level or frequency of griefing, but you can’t completely eliminate. What Steven has tried to do, is take systems from his past experience and refine it in such a way that the large portion of griefing is mitigated. Griefing is not the realization of risk, risk is healthy, it makes us value reward, and risk makes us have a sense of thrill and anxiety, so the risk is good not just in PvP but in PvE when you can’t always predict the encounter and environment, like when seeing a new boss for the first time. This will keep gameplay less stale and more dynamic, and introduce environments where the unexpected can occur. But if that risk becomes something that doesn’t stop other players from impacting your gameplay in a negative, harassing, and repetitive manner that modification is less about their personal advancement and more about impacting your gameplay because when they elicit the response from anger and rage from a player they feel a sense of accomplishment, that is how Steven defines Griefing. It is outside of the expectation of the gameplay behavior that is being communicated and the design philosophy. The Ashes system is intended to stop that while maintaining risk. There is a fine line between the two because they need to provide for the environment where player actions are unpredictable but deter that player from repeating a reward from greifing. Because when you deter them from that the occasion in which griefing happens gets mitigated, as a player does not want a loss for affecting others’ gameplay. Steven believes that the systems in place will stop that behavior to a significant degree, to the point where it is a minor if not at all experienced by many players, but the risk is still there. But all of this requires significant testing, to see how the dials of corruption are modified and how it can be further refined.
  • When and How will players encounter PvP?
    • The majority of PvP will be through conceptual systems, like sieges, caravans, wars, or the open seas, these are conscious decisions a player will make knowing the risk potential and assessing that. But as we discussed with the open world flagging system there is a possibility that players will contest dungeons or raids and that is a decision point to a degree since most players won’t go Red since the risk is so high, as well as a cost, by raising the cumulative PK score, which increases the future corruptions you may gain, which dampens skill efficacy, you gain 4 times the death penalties when dying as red, you can’t trade or interact with vendors and NPC or store gear while you are Red while increasing the potential to drop items and gear while corrupt, a very negative return on the investment of going corrupt.
  • Other games have tried implementing anti-griefing systems but still have issues, what makes you believe this system will work?
    • The majority of cases where the corruption system doesn’t accurately address the potential for griefing is when the system has failure points, examples included players having the ability to create a PK alt (with the same damage output and no risk of loss), this is addressed by having the skill dampening so that an alt is ineffective in PvP and doesn’t have the ability to kill, you have the ability to kill a Red and not go Purple so that you aren’t a valid target for PvP, the Red Targets will have to continue to accrue that negative corruption if they wish to defend themselves, there is a logout timer assigned for players that have corruption that is significant, even if they force close their client during that time they still in the game for the timer, there is the potential to drop gear, there are the 4 times the death penalties that are accrued through negative experience that is gained, these are all things to help close and loopholes within the game. However, they don’t want to 100% remove the ability for that risk to be realized, but they do want that those occasions are few and infrequent and not the majority of a player’s experience in the open world, this happens by incorporating all those risk and costs into a decision to gain corruption and PK another player in the open world.
  • How will Intrepid handle targeted harassment (Example: Streamers)
    • Again, when a player takes their play experience to the point of harassing another player and doing so repeatedly in order to diminish their play experience, it is a breach of the code of conduct in the game and is a ticketable offense. Warnings are given, and actions can be taken against the account holder of an individual whose sole purpose is to disrupt and negatively affect the gameplay of others. Risk doesn’t mean harassment; risk is a healthy thing that increases the value of reward and achievement.
  • It is important to remember that the identity of Ashes of Creation’s core philosophical tenant is Risk vs Rewards, what that means is they will refine and reiterate systems, but they will never change the core identity of the intent and philosophical approach to what AoC as an MMO brings to the genre space that is not currently represented or has not been represented properly in a while. Ashes of Creation is endeavoring to build a risk vs reward-centric PvX style MMO game and that intent and purpose will be delivered upon and will not change. 

Gathering Update

  •  There have been some changes with regard to the intent and purpose of the gathering and harvesting systems within the game since we last saw it during Alpha 1 over a year ago. The visual of harvesting is the biggest thing about the update. There were also system changes with respect to what is available and gatherable.
  • The first major reveal is that in Ashes of Creation, the resources and gathering system has been expanded to include a great many of what the world is showing, most trees and rocks can be harvested.
  • A fallen tree kicks up dust during its fall and has collision-based physics for the whole tree during falling.
  • For the dev update, the time has been increased from decomposition to new growth, to old growth.
  • From an economy design perspective, by increasing the number of things that can be gathered decisions will need to be made about what and when to harvest things.
  • For mining, you do not see what’s inside of a rock before it is harvested.
  • There are additional systems like surveying, that can play a key role that can help players identify where resources are in a location.
  • Surveying is a way that players can check out an area for resources, players can learn where resources are that are static, but surveying helps players find resources that can spawn anywhere. This allows players to find the location of desired resources. Surveying also allows players to hunt down hidden resources that players wouldn’t be able to see with their naked eye.
  • Surveying also provides information on the resources of the area. For example, if there are plants in your survey area you may learn what season that plant likes to grow in, or if it likes to be watered in the winter vs the summer.
  • For players to interact with surveying in Verra, players will put down a surveying tool and that tool has a specific area in which it is able to uncover and extract information on the resources in the area. As you progress in the gathering profession you may be able to extend the area of your survey, thus able to make more strategic survey plots.
  • Surveying is part of the land management system, where resources spawn at a set rate, and that rate can be influenced by how other players are interfacing with the resource systems in a given area. If there is a traffic or volume of interaction that is yielding general or specific resources, that can have a deleterious effect on the land management score of the area.
  • There is a land value that ties into the health of a specific ecosystem that can scale with different segments sizes of the world, either the whole world, a node, or a freehold. The things that a player does in those areas will contribute to the health of that area in either a positive or negative way, doing something like rotating your crops might increase the health of your land, and apprehending poachers that are hunting a specific species could be helpful to the land. The mayor can even put out a request to remove an invasive species of plants that are overgrowing a valuable area.
  •  If you overhunt predators, the prey has no predators, and thus the spawn rates of the prey may increase, if you overhunt the prey, the spawn rate of the predators may go down.
  • This is in order to root the player in the world and for them to learn about their surroundings, learn about what repercussions their actions have and work together in order to manage that system.
  • Players can thus affect the supply chain of resources within their local or larger area, which may create the need for traveling (caravans).
  • Each state of a resource will have different physics profile, for example sapling stages of trees do not have collision but older trees do.
  • Unreal 5 provided foliage tools which allows the artist to populate the world in a more immersive and believable way.
  • Professions will introduce layers of accessibility based on the type and size of the resources.  The progression within the profession will take into account what tools you can use, and the potential to gather with other players. This may be something like a friend helping you with a 2 person saw to cut down a tree. Or using a pan to pan for minerals instead of just a pickaxe.
  • Your progression in the profession may also speed up the time require to harvest or allow you to harvest resources earlier during that resource’s development.
  • Steven provided some clarity on the following:
    • Surveying is a component of different gathering professions that require materials and tools to create in order to utilize the survey system, but when you deploy that survey (depending on the profession you have access to different types of surveys. In the case of mining you can know locations rarities, chance to proc different pulls out of the rock.) in a specific area for a certain time (depending on your level), it will indicate to your locations of certain hidden resource nodes, or different types of resource nodes. Example: Gold can be demonstrated in the world in 3 ways: 1. In the rocks that are being mined (as seen in the video), through a vein appearing in a cavern, or panned for in different river environments. You may also get a breakdown of the potential rarity of those noes, such as “Pure gold” when trying to mine a particle rock, surveying will help you know the highest chance location.
    • Accessing different tools or harvesting certain-sized trees will require players to achieve different professional levels.
    • Team resource gathering was mentioned in the example of a large fell tree, once fell the tree will stay there for a period of time, during that time if you have a 2 person saw you can have another player saw the tree with you in order to achieve different tree resources (for both players). The performance of the teamwork, for example, synchronization will yield a greater potential outcome.
    • Land management is a way to take certain zones and radiuses in the world that are undergoing interactions from players and depending on when they are gathering certain things, if they are gathering things too young, it can impact the land management score of the zone. When the land management score starts to dip, and there is no reciprocal action that increases its value, it can cause a detrimental effect on respawn timers and may lower the return rate of certain gatherable events. This can be an offensive action from a neighboring node that is at war with your node and want to impact your ability to level up your node faster than them. So, they send their citizens to your area to decrease the land’s health. Policies could be enacted that might protect certain actions
    • Is surveying only for the gathering branch of the artisan system?
      • Surveying is only for the gathering branch. All the professions that live under gathering will have some form of surveying.
    • Will you be able to chop down saplings?
      • There are different lifespans of different resources, and your progression and rank and skill point allocation within that profession that is relevant to that gathering action, will help increase your gathering speed, make it possible to gather something earlier in its lifespan, increase the yield, or gain access.
    • How do rocks grow back?
      • In a mechanical answer, the resource node respawns and the respawn location may be variable.
    • If a player is standing on a tree while it’s growing what happens to the collision?
      • When the collision would intersect with the player capsule it would offset the player capsule. Or the collision will be disabled until the player capsule moves.
    • What happens if a tree falls (damage-wise)
      • Fallen trees will not deal damage.
    • Can mobs knock down trees?
      • Absolutely, this tech provides for an interesting interaction where it can be influenced by non-player characters which may help set a scene as far as a giant monster moving through the forest, or being able to track a world boss.
    • Will sound be multidirectional?
      • Yes. How it extenuates with distance, or how it may echo depending on the region, are all being worked on by the team.
  • Steven would like feedback on 3 things:
    • How do you feel about the change that is incorporating a much higher amount of gatherable in the environment? (most may be general resources that are primarily geared towards the construction and development of nodes, the transit of materials through the nodes, and repairs.)
    • How do you feel about the visual fidelity of the trees and the rocks and the collision?
    • How do you feel about the interaction of surveying with revealing resources within the world, and without that element you may not know what you are going to get without completing those harvesting interactions. 

Character Art

  • Skeleton Warrior turntable
  • Bandit Slaver
  • Bandits
  • Spear, Shield, and Mace weapons

Studio Update

  • Design has been getting into the playable area of A2 with the design, content, node layout.
  • Engineering has undertaken some serious network optimizing for a merge. 


  • How will you address the possibility of players purposely having a low-level character with max-level professions to mitigate against being ganked via giving more corruption, unbalancing the risk vs reward idea?
    • It is important to note that there are certain requirements that come with professions, those requirements take into account the ganders of locations that are level depending, there are also some requirements when it comes to the ability to use certain toolsets or surveying options that make that more difficult. The intent of the corruption system is to deter PKing, especially with the level disparity.
  • Are there currently plan for skills that reduce/absorb enemy mana? And if so, has it been decided on if these skills have their effects on green players?
    • That would be considered a form of status affect and those types of status affects would not be conferred along with the abilities damage outcomes so if the target player were not flagged as a combatant, then they will not be subject to the status affect.
  • Will killing a player’s mount/battle pet/beast of burden give corruption?
    • If you kill any controlled entity of another target (including summons) you will suffer the consequences of gaining corruption, however a lower level than you would if you killed a player.
  • Can two player caravans travel together to share in the defense?
    • Each caravan is its own bespoke event that you would choose to participate in, and you wouldn’t participate in more than one at a time.
  • How will a ship firing system work? For example: will the shell hit where the curser indicates, or will they need to calculate the projectile drop?
    • It depends on the weapon, there will absolutely be projectile-based weapons that will require leading the target. And then there are faster type projectile weapons that would reduce the predictive nature of the longer projectile time, such as a harpoon that reaches its destination in a matter of a second, whereas a potion launcher may take multiple seconds.
  • Will the games PvP instance content such as Arenas have level bracket caps since the level process is intended to take a while?
    • They will have level requirements in order to participate in the arena, but they will not have brackets that would have separate player pools. There will likely be a system that gets flushed on a seasonal basis for the arena as well.
  • Now that the ship-building profession no longer exists, how will we build ships?
    • Ships are built in adherence to a recipe that recipe requires components, those components adhere to different crafting professions that require that player to intersect or craft/purchase those components from different professions, then once those are accumulated they can do the construction process through the recipe system at a harbor.
  • Will a party of gathers be able to extract more resources in a dungeon than a single gatherer?
    • Situationally yes, it depends on the resource we are talking about. With the introduction of the group-based resource gathering options, depending on the type of resource and if it interfaces with a group resource options then yes, but if there is a limited amount of resources that are available within the location and it is achievable for a single player to harvest them as efficiently as a group, then no.
  • Will weapon size apply differently to each race?
    • Weapons will stay the same visually from their components, but their size will be adapted to the player’s race.
  • With risk vs reward as a central design element will there be better materials/elements/resources with auto flagged PvP zones.
    • Yes, better things, in more abundance, can be found in the open sea zone, as a result that is why there is an added level of risk associated with opting-in to those location. 

Outline Contributors: Skylarck The Botanist, Simurgh

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