The caravan system is an open-world PvP initiative that is the definition of risk vs reward in Ashes of Creation. Caravans facilitate the transfer of goods for players who aim to turn a profit. These can be used to transport personal goods or even to complete quests. Caravans will often be used to ensure supplies are delivered to castles or in between nodes. As a result of their usefulness and importance, they will often be targeted by players wanting to turn a bit of profit as a reward for their ability to successfully destroy them.
Personal or player-driven caravans are initiated by the player, who essentially “becomes the caravan”. These are land-based and water-based caravans that the player drives and directs. These are currently designed for a single driver and will come in varying sizes and capacities. By default, player caravans will have a racial appearance that influences the types of animals that are moving the caravan. Players have the capability to apply caravan skins to change their default appearance.
Naval caravans or trade ships are part of Ashes of Creation’s naval content and allow for the transportation of trade goods. Caravans are capable of transitioning from land to water and also come in varying sizes and capacities. Naval caravans are capable of transitioning to and from land caravans at the point of intersection of land and ocean. So if a player’s caravan starts out as a land-based caravan and moves to the coast and wants to move into the water there will be a short transition period. At this time there will be a construction site with a timer applied to it before it can fully transition into a naval caravan. By default naval caravans have a racial appearance. Much like personal caravans, players will be able to apply caravan skins to change their appearance.
Personal inventory limits are tied to a backpack. Material and gatherable items are subject to quantity rather than weight limits. Caravans and Mules are intended to be the primary mode of transportation of goods beyond these limits. Mules can carry roughly 10 times more than backpacks. Caravans can carry roughly 10 times more than mules. Caravans will have carrying capacity limits and customizable stats, such as defensive points, speed, and the number of hired NPC guards. In addition to expanded inventory capacity, caravans also provide ancillary benefits relating to successfully completing trade routes and other quests. Inventory capacity will be relatively limited for new characters. Inventory expansion and weight management training certificates are available in the Galleria at City stage economic nodes.
Certificates to create a caravan are issued by certain NPCs within nodes or at certain points of interest in the world. These certificates are comprised of multiple components such as Axles, Armor Rating (damage mitigation), Capacity, Chassis, Hit Points, Maneuverability, NPC Guards (# hired), Speed, Steeds, and Wheels. Caravan components obtained from crafters will have stats according to the skill of each artisan and mounts bred through the Animal husbandry profession can be applied as certificates toward the construction of caravans.
Players can initiate caravans via certain NPCs with the following parameters: (1) The resources it will carry. (2) If it is initiated for a specific quest in a nearby node. (3) If the goods are intended for trade or warehousing in a regional market. (4) The recipient of the caravan (e.g. a Temple within the nearby node). When you initiate a caravan you’ll be able to determine the resources the caravan is going to have in it and determine whether or not this caravan has been initiated for a specific quest in a nearby node. Players will be able to deliver goods for trade or to just warehouse in a new region so that they have access to that local market.
Caravans create an open PvP zone that flags players for combat. Players will be able to state their intentions to attack, defend or ignore via a user interface window. The proximity that the UI window appears is determined by the player’s performance as either a defender or an attacker in previous caravan raids. A group will be required to successfully carry out an attack against a caravan. It should be noted that caravans will persist in the world for a period of 5 to 10 minutes from the time its owner logs out or is disconnected from the server.
If a caravan is destroyed and becomes wreckage it will drop a portion of the goods it was transporting. That wreckage is an interfaceable item that players can loot and receive certificates for a portion of the goods inside the caravan. Caravan components may also drop when a caravan is destroyed. In the case of high-grade components, these components may be salvageable by the caravan owner or by other players. Caravans drop certificates for heavy goods that are redeemable at the origin node for a portion of the goods.