Ashes HQ

Development Update: Jan 27, 2023

Discussion & Outline Summary

Community & Reminders    

  • They are spotlighting 1 YouTube comment per development update.
    • The comment led Steven to explain that due to some budgetary restrictions of an independent studio, how they implement trailers and other things will be captured in the game. From a lore, narrative, and quest perspective, the story will be told from a player’s point of view since player interaction guides the game itself. Thus, spending a large amount of money on specific trailers would only capture a small portion of potential end games, as each server is different. “Memory shards” will be able to be acquired in the game to show server events. Alpha 2 already has 100,000 plans purchased.
  • Cosmetics swapping over on February 8th 2023, at 11 AM PST.

Tank Update

  • The team made a lot of progress on the UI, Looting Tables, Quest Journal, and Inventory Management (backpack)
  • The tank in Ashes of Creation will be familiar to most, defending that party, leading the charge, mitigating damage, and saving team members when the cleric can’t heal them.
  • Abilities:
    • Grapple Ability: Takes aim for a moment before hurling a hooked chain in a line, damaging the first target it contacts and immediately pulling them to the cater. The target suffers a tapering snare for 3 seconds.
    • Inciting Strike Ability: Slashes twice in a forward cone while adding additional threat.
    • Tremoring Bellow Ability: Releases a thundering shout in a forward cone applying the staggered condition on enemy targets. Also stomps the ground dealing damage around the caster and tripping enemies affected by the snared condition.
    • Aegis Ability: Instantly dispels all negative effects on the caster. Then creates a protective dome behind the tank for 15 seconds, transferring 50% of all damage received by targets within the area to the tank instead. All targets within the dome also receive increased status effect resistance for the duration.  
    • Grit Ability: Applies a buff to the caster, reducing incoming damage by 15%, but also reducing the movement speed by 30% and outgoing damage by 20%. Each incoming hit consumes a stack of Courage to reduce incoming damage by an additional 15%. Courage can’t be generated while Grit is active.  
    • Shield Assault Ability:  Bashes the target with your shield, dealing damage and applying the snared condition. If the target is already suffering from the snared condition, stun the target instead.
  • Courage is a passive mechanic currently on the tank it’s a resource specific to the tank where it can build it up by taking damage, each hit you take will generate a stack.
  • Highest “Threat” in the party will hold the aggro from NPCs.
  • The hammer weapon was displayed. The reiteration focused on holding the pose between hits in order to get the weightiness of the animation is truer.
  • Between Tab and Action mode abilities do not change, however, you can configure how an ability works in either Tab or Action mode.
  • Abilities have effects on surrounding foliage. Like imprinting on grass.
  • Active block is currently a direction mitigation, requiring the damage to come from the front. It currently reduces the damage by 50%.
  • The original trees in this area were once magical, but only a few exist.
  • Hunting certificates can be used to pay for your property, get gold, and many other economic benefits. They serve as the basis of the gold economy.
  • Threat is based on a lot of factors: Damage dealt, Abilities, and Healing Dealt.
  • Tank Specific Twitch Chat Questions:
    • Will all classes be able to have active blocking? And do you need a shield to active block?
      • Active block will not be as performant with non-shield weapons but is possible. All classes can actively block.
    • Are there iframes in doges?
      • They are not using iframes for dogging, but they are looking at dodging increasing certain states that are opposed checks such as accuracy vs evasion and potentially at boosting mitigation.
    • Although the foliage being affected by attacks is cool it may cause GPOU drain, can that be turned off?
      • There are lots of edits on the client side in order to turn some features on/off such as abilities affecting foliage.
    • Will there be an auto loot option?
      • There will not be a pet that auto loots, but the interaction of loot are being worked on currently.
    • Nameplates look very similar being enemy and party members, is that being worked on?
      • Nameplates are going to have a big revamp over the next month or so not only for performance reasons but also for a line of sight and visual appearance.
    • Will bosses look different than regular mobs?
      • It depends on the type of bosses, there are many types of bosses and as such elite spawns as seen in the video will be larger, but if it’s a named mob it will have a unique appearance.
    • Will there be a display if an enemy is (or is not) within range of the ability.
      • If a targeted ability, the indicator will let you know if you are with in distance. If it is a templated ability, you will need to have a good understanding on which area will be affected. But some skills will have indicators in order to aid that area identification.
    • Will it be primarily the tank archetype that can tank or can others tank?
      • Depending on the area of the game other classes can also tank, if we are talking about high end raiding and dungeons and other areas that require a tank, that role and responsibility will be on the tank archetype. Tank archetypes can take a secondary type to hybridize across different roles, which will give them horizontal utility/progression through the augment system. But the best tanks will be the tanks that double down in that role. The game is agency though, player agency is meant to provide unique build options.
    • Are you designing encounters around active blocking?
      •  The amount of time active blocking will be depending on the enemy you are facing.

Character Art

  • Cyclops weapons models were displayed (spears, staff, bows, clubs)
  • The tank long sword and hammer models were displayed
  • Carphin Shield model was displayed
  • Najash Enforcer model was shown
  • Najash 3D model was displayed
  • The Boulderstone Bulldog was displayed (Feb 2022- Mar 2022)
  • The Oak Stoat art was displayed (November 2020 – December 2020)
  • The risen guardian art was displayed (November 2018 – December 2018)
  • New Vek hairstyles were displayed

Studio Update

  • The studio has ambitious hiring goals for the year. Additional positions will be posted in the next 30-60 days.


  • Should a skilled tank be able to prevent all damage to a party?
    • It is depending on the encounter AI, as a tank, you will have some control over the encounter, but not entirely to make predictive gameplay.  There will be the introduction of chaos in order for there to be reactive gameplay.
  • Will tanks have some form of stance to increase damage dealt at the cost of defenses?
    • Yes, those are some hybridization options that should be available as part of the class kit, they can be further expanded upon with access to augments and the secondary class choice, but the idea here is player agency. The class role is dependent on how the player composes their skill tree.
  • Tanks need to do 2 things, mitigate damage and hold aggro. How will tank weapons, shields and armor, balance these two dynamics compared to other gear sets?
    • It does so in a few ways, stat composition and itemization choice are important, making sure you are driving up your constitution based stat allocation through a selection of certain set bonuses and stat modifiers. In addition, a big portion of that is not just itemization but through your skill tree selections, and they don’t need to be diametrically opposed the ability to garner additional threat is predicated on your rotation selection and how you are leveraging set bonuses that are catered towards that set specifically, so some set bonuses will have very targeted benefit like additional threat generation. In addition, if you are going to mitigate the damage you need to make sure you are focusing on your health pool, how much health pool you have available to you, and what type of damage are you mitigating (magic vs physical), that’s predicated on who your opponent is. Both of those are viable strategies.
  • Will I be able to have a ridiculously large health pool at the cost of other attributes?
    • You will have significant agency over the allocation of your stat progression. Some of that will be backed in based on the archetype selection but a large portion of that will come down to your itemization selection your selection of tattoos, and other ancillary augments and benefits you can apply to items such as socketing, but generally, if you want to make a very HP focused tank, you can do that.
  • What steps are being taken or considered to make the tank archetype viable in PvP engagement?
    • There is a whole host of things that are taken. It’s important to note that in a lot of MMOs that we have played PvP can feel like a slapped-on design consideration, and Intrepid’s approach is very holistic in the sense that they are taking into account that AoC is a PvX game. So when they are designing the class kits, they are making sure that the mechanics and designs are targeting applications in both PvE and PvP settings. There are also special mechanics like how Threat is used in PvP, and how Taunts are used in PvP, those things require testing, but they have ideas that will make them relevant, in order to avoid having abilities that aren’t relevancy in either PvP or PvE but have some cross application.
  • How will off-tanks remain useful in raids or dungeons when they don’t need to tank for a specific fight?
    • There are a few cases in which off-tanks are relevant, when you are fighting in a dungeon you have the occasion adds that come in, where the primary tank might be focused on keeping your party targets aggro, and the off-tank has the ability to hold aggro on adds until the main tank is finished with their target. In addition, you have certain types of abilities like Taunts that are immediate redirects on threat without having to acquire or accrue the appropriate threat to hold that aggro, that can utilize those taunts situationally based on the threats appearing to the party. There is a broad scope of applicability that applies to these types of roles that are relevant and part of the overall kit design.
  • Have you considered renaming the tank archetype?
    • Yes, they have considered it. There are a few thoughts on that, the tank name is a clear communicator of the role that is more common in the MMO vernacular. From a role play perspective, there are questions around keeping that name in the world/lore, and not adopting the MMO vernacular, those are valid concerns and it’s not something Steven is diametric opposed to but an update on that is not coming in the immediate future.
  • Will there be a mechanic on ships to allow players to higher or install NPCs to control sails or fire cannons?
    • No there is not a concept of NPCs/mercenaries on naval ships. They are elsewhere in the game but not intended for naval ships.
  • Will there be a level restriction on who can participate in the activation of these abilities (siege summons) other than for the group leader?
    • If the question is about vehicles and weaponry that is agnostic of class kits. Those will be predicated on individuals who have the items within their inventory in order to summon them and who are registered guild (for castle) or attack (for node). With regards to the summoner class and abilities that exist within that class kits, those types of summons will require that the summoner is an active summoner in the siege (node or castle) in order to utilize that ability. If the question is about group summons, then that ability is utilized solely by the party leaders. 
  • It was stated that raid bosses would change difficulties based on how fast a group was clearing them, if the raids are supposed to be open and not instances, how does this work or do rooms lock once a boss is pulled?
    • Raid bosses are aware of the number of combatants within the area, and awareness is part of an indicator of which behavior they are going to utilize are part of their behavior tree. As it is assessing the types of combatants, the number of combatants, the position of those combatants, and the abilities and life totals of those combatants, it weighs certain actions in its behavior tree, and then it acts on those actions. In the scenario where you are bringing overwhelming odds into a fight that might weigh heavier the AoE options that the boss has access to, where the utilizing a lot more AoE abilities during an engagement due to that overage of players. In that sense, it’s a bit more adaptive and dynamic based on the encounter scenario.
  • What limitation will we have with placing items we find in the world as decoration in our houses?
    • There are a few limitations, some of that limitation based on the type of housing that you own some of those limitations are at the recipe and workbench construction point, there is also an allotment quota based on the housing typing, and there is a grade restriction based on the type of housing. If you have a mansion, you can place the best furniture, the best furniture has game mechanics associated with it. In addition, there might be limitations base on how many of a particular type of furniture piece or decoration item you can place inside of a property.

Outline Contributors: Skylarck The Botanist, Simurgh

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