Ashes HQ

Development Update: Dec 2, 2022

Discussion & Outline Summary

Community & Reminders 

  • They are spotlighting 1 YouTube comment per development update.
    • The comment led Steven to explain that the open world PvP system requires a forced function in order to initiate an attack against another player, by default that is against players who are already flagged, though not against players who are corrupt. In the settings you will have options by which you can persist that force function if you wish through another keystroke input and then additionally you can set your AoE so that if you initiate an AoE attack against a location and there are flagged players there you will either automatically hit those flagged players, but by default you will not.  
  • The Aoc Community raised over 77.9k for the The Extra Life & Rady Children
  • Cosmetics swapping over on December 14th 2022, at 11AM PST.

Cleric Update  

  • There are class synergies, where you can stagger the enemy with a fighter ability and then restrain any staggered enemy using the cleric “Chains” ability.
  • Many different combat mechanics that work between the different archetype and classes, rely on synergy in the progress of certain types of status affects. This emphasis the need for certain party composition to exist.
  • The clerics main heal can be used to damage, if the target is enemy, which will also generate “convictions”
  • Convictions are a class resource for the Cleric, certain abilities will generate it based on certain criteria.
  • If you have convictions your heals are more powerful, this could mean healing one additional target for each conviction stack.
  • Steven requested feedback on the darkness of the video for the night
  • Steven also requested feedback on the sitting emote (used to regenerate resources quicker)

Day & Night Cycle

  • The Day and Night Cycles are over a course of a few hours.
  • Constellations have a very relevant purpose across a whole host of different systems, including the narrative side, mechanics including acquiring certain relics for your node, empowering certain abilities and/or items you have access to. And relevant to your Race. The Vek worship  and study the stars.
  • What was once known as “Bagormal” (Spelling?), or now called Dawnbreaker is a constellation displayed in the video.
  • The Great Sundal (Spelling?) was another constellation that was displayed during the livestream.
  • There are certain environments that can prevent you from seeing the stars, the example in the stream was the foggy cemetery.

Character Art

  • Low level Shield, mace and staff displayed
  • Globin Slaver (which can capture player characters, forcing you to play a ‘minigame’ to get your freedom)
  • Zombie Scholar
  • Winter Nyth
  • The Cultist, and their dagger (These NPC were some of the first people who crossed the divine gateway and decided to go on a different path)


  • Will you be using Unreal Engine 5.1?
    • Yes, they are currently moving to 5.1 and it should be complete in January.
  • Can you elaborate the staggering interactions?
    • Staggering is a type of status condition that can applied through certain skilled. The type of synergy system they are going for are that certain archetypes and class kits will have access to a number of first tear status conditions, those types of status conditions are general status conditions that can applied across a host of skills and a number of different archetypes and class kits and they can progress when synergized with other types of status effects and abilities to tier 2 status affects. For example, one of the abilities that a cleric has at level 125 is “Chains of Restraints”, which ticks for damage in an area as well as applies the staggered affect. However, if the target was already subject to the staggered conditions, then it gets promoted to the stunned condition. The difference between staggered and stunned are that in a staggered state, the creature may not use abilities, they can use basic attack functions and use spells if they have access to spells, but their physical abilities will be muted and inaccessible during the staggered affect. The stunned condition is a more amplified condition where you can not take any actions.
  • Will Stuns work on all enemy types?
    • Generally, status conditions will apply to all create and player types. However, there are some creatures, such as bosses, that have very high resistances, or can not be affected by certain status conditions.
  • Will status abilities stack?
    • There are unique rules for stacking based on the type of status condition, in the event that the status condition may not stack, there are certain stacking rules that might increase the longevity of the status condition with the second application. However, there is the concept of diminishing returns and that certain types of conditions share certain dimension return groupings so that obviously a character can’t be completely locked out.
  • Can you cast in movement, or do you need to stand still?
    • Most abilities can be cast while moving, some of those abilities may slow your movement during cast. Very rarely, depending on the importance/power level of the ability you may be rooted in place.
  • What are the ways that be used to interact as a healer?
    • One of the big goals of the UI/Design team is to accommodate a huge host of different options that can be set because we all have different play styles, in that regard that includes things like hover over casting or double tap application effects on cursor.
  • Can you heal enemy mobs?
    • No you can not heal enemy mobs because there is not a relevant use case within the design mechanics (since griefing other players, which would likely be the case of healings enemy mobs, is not intending in Ashes.)
  • Will you be able to heal yourself as other archetypes, like a paladin.
    • Yes, it depends on the secondary class selection, no one will fill the primary role of the healer, but there will be secondary class options which will provide you with some level of sustainability and restoration. Most of that will be centralized to yourself, especially in the case of a paladin.
  • Will we see more nameplates and health bars in the world?
    • Yes, Steven chose to remove player character nameplates in this dev stream video. This includes party nameplate, raid nameplate, specialization, hit point bard under the name plate, and many others.
  • Will there be special area buffs you can use that will last longer periods of time.
    • The bard archetype has not been shown, but it along with others will have other buffs. They have only shown up to level 15, but when you get to level 50 you can have at least 20 different buffs.
  • Is there a shield charge attack?
    • Steven got distracted and did not answer that. Instead, he went on to talk about stamina. It is an active design discussion around dogging and blocking using a separate energy mechanic. It is something they will be actively testing during A2 and would love your feedback on it.
  • The enemy health and difficulty seems a little easy, will the difficulty be rebalanced?
    • Alpha 2, and especially now, is not meant to be displaying balancing from an engagement or encounter perspective. That will be done once populations are in place and encountered designs are more understood. The intent is that AoC will be on the higher side of difficulty.
  • Are some abilities going to have voice abilities when casting?
    • That is the desire, some of the casting abilities will have incantations that are done but they are not implemented yet.
  • Is the day/night cycle tied to server time?
    • The day night cycle is tied to server time. There is a number of hours that exist between the cycles which will be fine tuned during A2, but it in intended for players to interact with certain systems based on in game time.
  • Are there going to different light levels tied to time of day/environment/moons
    • Generally, you can see the lighting levels are pretty consistence from a game mechanic perspective, the type of lightning you are seeing changes based on night/day. The level of luminosity that is desired for MMO open gameplay is still up for debate and Steven wants feedback on.
  • Do constellation rise and set, and do those times rotate?
    • Yes, constellations do rotate and change throughout the night.
  • Does nighttime boost power of undead?
    • Certain creatures will react differently during nighttime and different day/night cycles, they may also influence things like abilities, buffs, or debuffs.
  • Are there any details about the to be Verran Gods influence on our gameplay?
    • Steven does not want to explain that as it may take away from all the work from the team. The only context he gave was that the Gods are an active part of the story, and each culture has their own interpretations of the whims of the Gods
  • Have you given any thought to giving to debuffs protections, so as immunity to stuns.
    • There is the mechanic of diminishing return where you get a passive resistance to specific status conditions if you have suffered from that specific status condition previously (in a short period of time)
  • Will there be a way to produce enough XP for a node for those who want to spend the majority of their time on the open seas?
    • Yeah absolutely, the open seas have a good amount of content and that content when completed will give its contribution to a nearby node. That is something that live on the sea will be able to contribute.  
  • What benefits do players receive for taking on the role of a tavern owner?
    • You will get noticeable with regards to your creations, because that will be displayed to the characters that will consume those things. You will also get certain types of itemizations rewards depending on the number of players you serve. You will also get economic rewards such as gold from the Inn that you are selling your goods at. And you can unlock access to certain recipes or vendors based on the level of reputation you build up in that node.
  • Which game systems do you think present the biggest challenge to the Intrepid team with regard to construction, testing, implementation and balance.
    • It depends on which type of challenge, from a feasibility standpoint, one of the challenges that will always accompany a MMO is optimization around network players and the ability to host a large number of concurrent players. In order to create a compelling world, you require a lot of content, that includes all the classes, NPC, creatures, and all of their abilities. Abilities have a variety of chokepoints including the ideation, the game design document, the function design path, the animation, VFX, sound design. There is a lot that needs to get for content generation, especially for AoC where this is being done transparently.
  • Given that you drop processed goods when you die, and alchemy and cooking are now in the processing category, does that mean you drop food, potions, beverages etc.
    • No, you do not drop those. The things that you drop are the things that are material and gatherable that are used in the generation of something else. Because alchemy and cooking has reached its finale stage product, it is a protected item.
  • Bards will have the ability to play musical instruments, but will they be the only archetypes with that ability, or will anyone be able to play instruments for recreation and roleplaying?

The desire is that there will be system of instrument usage that accompanies a non particular archetype requirement. Obviously, bards have the ability to play certain dances and songs which will give buffs. But there is a cool skill opportunity when it comes to players making and playing music in instruments in the game. It is not something that they have worked on in the game.

Outline Contributors: Skylarck The Botanist, Simurgh

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