- Populations will change.
- Content difficulty will change.
- The content may be different altogether, depending on what is developed and how.
- Different types of antagonists with different story lines.
- Some dungeons will only be unlocked if nodes are developed to certain stages.
- Storyline objectives for players inside dungeons will depend on the story arc paths chosen through the node system.
- Drop tables in areas and dungeons will be tied into the progression of certain areas.
Certain dungeons and other points of interest across the map will all be affected by the server’s node development. Some dungeons will only be unlocked if nodes are developed to certain stages. The storyline objectives for players inside dungeons will also be dependent on the story arc paths chosen through the node system. The drop tables in area and dungeons will also be tied into the progression of certain areas. For example, let’s say that the humans have developed a node in Region A, and a storyline has opened up that leads players to inspect the ruins (dungeon) of a nearby area. And let’s say that this node was developed in a scientific (crafting) zone… Well before the node developed, this dungeon was accessible… But now the dungeon has propagated new monster assets that include a drop table catering to a crafting emphasis because of the development of that scientific node. And perhaps, a new boss appears in different rooms of the dungeon that includes different adventure quest starts, like a mysterious item with a storyline that can only be progressed if a node develops to the metropolis stage in a certain region, across the world. Our system is so vast, when it comes to interconnectivity and how the world reacts to the players.
Raids will also have dynamic elements that can change from session to session.
- The types and numbers of bosses and mobs present in the raid and their skill repertoire.
- Variables are manifested based on node progression.
One of the design elements that we're implementing into our raids is that the raid will not be exactly the same every single time. You're going to have variables that can't necessarily be pre-planned out for. You can pre-plan out for a lot of the raid like how many DPS do you need and healers and support; where the key position and all that kind of stuff; but I think the compelling aspect of Ashes raiding will be the difficulty in achieving this content and having that content change from session to session as well. We want there to be variables that get manifested by you know what type of node got developed elsewhere. Is he going to have acolytes or cultists? What will the acolytes have skills [available] to them? What kit is the boss gonna have? What available skill repertoire will the boss be able to [wield]? ... A lot of those systems are influenced obviously by world development. So the raid kind of takes into account at what stage has the world developed: Are there two metropolises now available in the world? Okay well let's activate this skill in this skill. Now you have five metropolises, well now all these skills have been activated. Are there are they all economic nodes? Are they all military nodes? That we can change things based on that stuff. And it really is a threat assessment from the environment against the players. – Steven Sharif
Player driven narrative
The world of Verra will be the same on each server, but Nodes will develop differently. Different servers will have different narratives. Things that happen on one server may not happen on another.
We want as many people as possible to experience the main server Narrative. These will branch at different scales, but largely at the personal level. Where things change is at the Node level – different parts of the story will be unlocked based on where and when Nodes grow. Unlocking a part of the story in a certain way locks out progression of the story in a different way. You’ll see different antagonists, different NPCs, and different calls to action depending on what’s happening with the server at that time.
It kind of redefines what the players will experience in an MMORPG to come into a wilderness that is devoid of really any structure outside of what the community creates themselves; and then what can be created can be changed, if they want to experience a storyline that's been seen on another server, but you know you're fighting a dragon because you're near a mountain and the other server's fighting a Kraken because they're near the coast and you want to fight that Kraken because of its drop table. If you want to meta it or because you just want that under your belt: to be the server first to take out that Kraken and you have yet to develop the node there, you know it's incumbent upon you to manifest that in the game. – Steven Sharif
We're gonna keep track of the history of the world so that we can tell people the story up to the current day. A player who's brand new, who's come in at the six-month mark can take a look at each server, what each server has done, how each server has tackled the storyline; and they can decide for themselves what community they want to join; what version of the world that they want to take part in. – Jeffrey Bard
There is a small RNG chance of looting rare and legendary items or crafting materials from mobs based on the level, status and type of mob. This also applies to harvesting resources with a gathering profession.
- There is a much higher chance that materials and unique recipes are dropped that can be used to craft items of equitable value.
- Legendary equipment is only dropped by Legendary world bosses.
At each stage from Gatherer to Processor to Crafter you are required to have certain prerequisites before those elite types of materials can be essentially gathered, processed, or crafted. – Steven Sharif
- Gatherers must have high quality tools to gather rare resources.
- Processors must have high tier processing buildings on their freehold to produce rare materials.
- Crafters must also satisfy certain prerequisites to craft legendary equipment.
The amount of effort needed and interdependencies across the different types of players – between raiders and PvPers and crafters and even role players and the taverns and businesses: the processors and gatherers – all of those systems will likely have a component that lends toward creating or crafting that legendary item... We want to stay away from the highly RNGd system, and instead take our multiple progression paths that we are offering the players and put the construction components for achieving these legendary items within them so it encourages communities to work together because it's going to be difficult for just one person by themselves to gather everything. Not to say that they couldn't in an economic sense, by buying those components, that's possible. But achieving them from a time investment standpoint we want it to be considerably less RNG focussed. – Steven Sharif
There are absolutely legendary items and they're not items that are attained easily nor are they granted out in a volume. There might even be items that are single items that will exist on the server at any given time.
It will be a very ornate and detailed weapon, more so than any other weapon or piece of equipment in the game. It will also include some awesome looking effects that won't too gaudy, you know they won't be too bright and shiny so that it doesn't look good, but they will be subtle and people will notice it and know wow that guy has this weapon. – Steven Sharif
Legendary items are not intended to be temporary.
The fact there is only one of them... or very very few of them depending on what it is. I think that in and of itself is a balance component right and you need to make sure that the players who are striving for those legendary things and who are devoting the time energy, resources in order to achieve them are accurately rewarded... We do not intend on having legendary items that are temporary. – Steven Sharif
- Utilizing new AI technology that hasn't been seen in other MMORPG projects.
- Bosses are scripted and make decisions dynamically during boss fights.
- NPCs performing "idle actions" to make the world seem more alive has been discussed by the developers but is not confirmed.
There are some additional AI parameters that are set that don't relate necessarily to controlling NPCs. There are AIs with regards to the development of the borders for nodes in the direction and also the decisions that are made of which lower nodes to enslave as vassal states. There's AI that relates to a little bit of the stock market that's going to be present in the economy. There's some AI systems that are going to be announced also that are pretty innovative I think with regards to the MMORPG genre and that's going to make the triggered event system very interesting I think; and that's you know with regards to how nodes kind of develop and the environment reacts to that development by you know spawning these triggered events of you know a horde of zombies attacking a city or a legendary raid boss coming out of the mountain. I think there's a lot of opportunity for some of the innovations that's been in the AI sector of game development too to come out in Ashes. – Steven Sharif
- Livestream, 17 November 2017 (36:22).
- Livestream, 17 November 2017 (18:29).
- MMOGames interview, January 2017
- Podcast, 9 July 2018 (22:24).
- Livestream, 19 May 2017 (37:03).
- Interview: Ashes of Creation on Building Their Virtual World, 13 April 2017.
- Livestream, 22 May 2017 (28:02).
- Interview, 20 April 2018 (9:20).
- Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:00:15).
- Interview, 19 July 2020 (8:43).
- Interview, 20 July 2020 (21:57).
- Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (55:49).
- Livestream, 25 July 2020 (46:08).
- Livestream, 19 May 2017 (44:18).
- Livestream, 15 May 2017 (38:08).
- Livestream, 9 July 2018 (25:34).
- Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (51:49).
- Livestream, 15 May 2017 (20:58).
- Livestream, 8 May 2017 (50:32).
- About Ashes of Creation.
- Livestream, 5 May 2017 (11:55).
- Livestream, 28 July 2017 (43:57).
- Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (3:56).
- Podcast, 11 May 2018 (24:23).