What is Ashes of Creation?
Ashes of Creation is an open world, non faction based MMORPG set in a high fantasy world. It aims to bring the massive back to massively multiplayer. It is developed by Intrepid Studios and originated from a home brewed Pathfinder campaign created by Steven Sharif who is the games CEO/Creative Director.
Core Design Pillars
The Node System is an integral part of how the world works and responds to us as the players. When we as players arrive in the world, think of it as a blank slate with wilderness. It will be up to the players to bring civilization to the world. The node system is how players will achieve this. These nodes are spread all over the world. At the time of this video Intrepid Studios plans to have 103 regular node locations at launch with an additional 5 castles that include 3 castle nodes each for a total of 118 nodes. Each node has a zone of influence that captures all player activity and experience linked to anything like crafting, fighting, gathering, and anything else you could gain experience from. As players level their characters the node also levels up. As it levels so does the attraction of civilization to that area. The goal here is that the world reacts to the player. Different nodes will attract different events and civilization will awaken or disturb dark things that lie hidden within Verra. These disturbances will be different based on where and how the node develops and progresses. As a result each server will evolve differently with its own story. This at its core is what makes this game so very different from others and how they aim to be innovative with Ashes of Creation.
Meaningful Conflict exists via PvP and how you can catalyze change in the environment around you. As you are helping to develop civilization, the game mechanic for change and how that relates to meaningful conflict between the player base exists as a result of how players are motivated by different things from the game. This will naturally cause players to have different points of conflict between one another. These types of conflict include the castle system, node sieges, guild wars, battlegrounds, and the caravan system. The focus is that players are invested in what is happening in the world. For example, if a player owns a home in a node while it is under siege and they don’t want to see it destroyed they will have reason to help fight to protect it. This element of Risk vs Reward is a major part of the game and gives meaning to why players participate in many of the games systems.
The Economy focuses on incentivizing you as the player to interact with the world and really engage with being a part of it. It gives players a reason to gather resources and develop the world. The focus is that the marketplaces are regionalized so that these different regions are focused independently while also working together. Buying, selling, and trading will often be focused around towns and cities. This allows for a competitive advantage much like different cities and towns in the real world do. Some communities will be better at certain things while others will be worse. The most important part of this is that the player base will have a choice to influence this. If a player wants to be the best at something then the opportunity exists for them to be exactly that. For example, the area you choose for your community may also be close to a particular resource that isn’t found anywhere else and while you gather this resource you may need to transport it for the purpose of trade. This will bolster your community and also give you reasons to trade outside of it. For this reason the caravan system exists to allow the players to transport to other marketplaces in other regions. In many games the economy and systems such as this happens in the background but in Ashes of Creation this is placed at the forefront.
The narrative really holds all the systems together and keeps you as the player interested in the different outcomes that can come about. This is the story and how it relates to you both as an individual and greater member of the community. Within Ashes of Creation exists three main ways in which this story will be told and this is done via tasks, events, and the overarching narrative. The narrative is the place you will find most of the story. Each server will tell a different story which will be told by the players. This is because players will experience things differently due to how the world develops and events unfold. Again, the node system is really what will drive how different story line branches unfold for different players. How different NPC’s are attracted to different nodes. How different protagonists and antagonists rise as a result of how the players develop and build their world. Think of this as the same world with the same possibilities but as a result of the uniquely different player culture on each server you may have a different version of reality for the same world at the same time. These differences will be prompted by how the players uncover things, when, and how these events are playing out. So different servers will be able to communicate with one another building upon the overall meta story that exists within Ashes of Creation. This is a style of storytelling that isn’t really done in other games.