Alpha-1

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Alpha-1 early preview.[1]

This is a true development alpha. This is not a marketing alpha; and what that means is as you know part of the process here in developing Ashes of Creation is being open with that development so you guys can see that progress; and it is a double-edged sword. There are going to be a spectrum of people that exists who are very involved with the game's development and those who are just completely at an arm's length away in understanding the process; and they may look at alpha one- the people who don't really understand the development process or haven't been a part of it- they may look at it and they may think oh you know this is trash, looks like trash, you know whatever it's the end-product. But at the end of the day what's important for us and what yields the best possible product is for us to include as much as possible the community in that development process with no NDA so that you guys give valuable feedback; and as we go through the iterative process in further defining the game and fleshing out that content were doing so with the player in mind and their voice in our ear. That is I think one of the key distinguishing factors between our development and many developments that you guys may have seen in the past.[2]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 preview ancients mobs.[3]

What this experience for Alpha one is going to be- that month-long experience- it is not intended to be a content experience... It is not intended to be a game experience. It is not intended to be a fully-fledged content experience. So keep that in mind.[4]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 is a testing release of the Ashes of Creation MMORPG.[6] Alpha-1 will test:

Alpha-1 availability

Alpha-1 sales will resume in May 2021.[23] Pre-order pack upgrades will be possible for current pack holders.[39][40]

  • In Feburary 2021, the developers stated that sales will not be re-opened until stability issues have been addressed with Alpha-1 testing.[41][42][43]

We did have our second preview test that was last weekend, and we did hit some snags. That's okay that's a good thing in my opinion and right now this week we have spent the majority of this week- countless hours deep diving into those snags and deploying fixes for them. We will likely be having some additional spot testing with our NDA alpha 1 testers probably starting early next week I'm going to imagine, in order to address some of those issues. As a result I know that I had mentioned I would give an update on the reopening of alpha one sales: At this moment in time I cannot commit to reopening alpha one sales. So we're gonna wait to see if we can get over those issues in a relatively short period of time and then I will come back and give you guys an update on that front- mainly to speak a little bit about you know what we experienced. You know we are obviously trying to push as much as possible getting higher concurrencies on the servers and with that you know we do some changes on the networking side in order to facilitate those those goals and it's a step-by-step process where you know we make changes, we collect data, we analyze the data, we deploy fixes, we make additional changes. This is what the iteration process looks like at least from a technical perspective and how we want to accommodate what our overarching architecture goals are.[41]Steven Sharif

  • In March 2021, the developers stated that they have overcome the obstacles found in the February testing; and will be considering reopening Alpha-1 following an internal review over the next month. No date for reopening the sales has yet been given.[4]

I said I was going to be considering opening up Alpha One sales again once if we hit a certain level of achievement that I was waiting for. It is looking very good that that's going to be the case here. Over the next month we're going to evaluate internally but with the testing that was done over the past couple of weeks I am very, very happy to see where we've gotten to overcome those February obstacles; and we'll be considering opening alpha one sales again.[4]Steven Sharif

I know that for the past several months we have received a considerable number of requests with regards to opening Alpha One sales again. Well, I am happy to announce that we will be reintroducing Alpha One options sometime in May. More information on this will be posted to our website around the end of April and we will announce this across our socials, so make sure to keep an eye out if you are interested in participating. I do, however, want to give a stern warning - participating in our Alpha One test should not be regarded as playing a game. You are helping to test our work in progress. You will be expected to provide feedback to help us iterate on systems and designs. We love and appreciate our testers and the support they provide Ashes, and each and every one of our Alpha One testers will have a special place in Ashes’ history. So, if you plan to participate, take the commitment seriously and know you have our respect and appreciation. This will not be everyone’s cup of tea.[23]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation

Ashes of Creation website redesign preview (WIP).[44]

Ashes of Creation takes place within a medieval fantasy setting, blending imagination with cutting-edge graphics. We are putting the word massive back into massively multiplayer with unique and novel mechanics that will bring meaning to player action. Ashes of Creation will incorporate the best parts of traditional MMORPGs with innovative sandbox concepts. You will choose your fate at every opportunity. Questlines will open and close based on the interactions of the players with their world, because this is a world where choice is consequential. Monsters will roam and grow in ferocity as civilization disrupts the natural order of things. From the location of towns to the size of cities, you will determine the landscape of your world. It will be unique in culture, ecology, and economy.[45]

Ashes of Creation is an upcoming MMORPG set in a world of high fantasy where player’s choices will shape and define the world around them.[46]

Ashes of Creation is a unique take on the MMO experience. Our world structure is dynamic and built to react to the actions of our players. Cities will rise and fall, their populations based on the history of the world as the players create it. Quests will unlock as these populations gather, their needs grow, and secrets are unlocked. As the world’s NPC structure is established in real time, players will have the ability to destroy what they’ve created, paving the way for new development, new populations, and real change. Political strife and intrigue will play a very real role in the structure of your world. Gone are the days of static worlds, change is here to stay.[45]

The original code-name for Ashes of Creation was The World of Origins.[47]

Alpha-1 playtest schedule

In our February testing, we hit some challenges and have spent the last few weeks addressing those issues. Of course, at the onset of our Alpha One schedule we acknowledged that we may see some changes as we move through the different phases and undiscovered work becomes visible. As we have been addressing these challenges, my team has determined that additional polish is needed in order to guarantee a smoother Alpha One testing phase, and yesterday I approved this NDA extension. I know that is not what you want to hear, but my team and I are committed to excellence for Ashes of Creation, and honestly, this is the purpose of these Alphas and Betas - to discover issues and address them as early as possible. I am committed to bringing you along on that journey, regardless of the good, bad, or ugly.[48]Steven Sharif

In the meantime, we will continue with our periodic spot testing under NDA with our Glorious Alpha One testers, as we work to deploy updates between now and May's testing. We, of course, will continue to show footage of testing in our March and April live stream updates, so please make sure to tune in there and on our socials for more updates! It’s been a thrill to see the world of Verra take shape with each update - this would not be possible without the help of our glorious community and hard work of our incredible Alpha One testers. Thank you all for your continued support, patience, and feedback as we march forward towards our major Alpha One milestone.[48]Steven Sharif

Phase Release Estimated/Actual date
Alpha-1 Alpha-1 early preview livestream.[49] March 27, 2020.[1]
Alpha-1 limited QA testing (NDA).[50][51] May 28, 2020.[52][53]
Alpha-1 preview pre-test 1 (NDA).[36] Dec 18 - Dec 21 2020.[36]
Alpha-1 preview pre-test 2 (NDA).[36] Feb 19 - Feb 22 2021.[41][54]
Alpha-1 preview intermittent spot testing (NDA).[48] Mar 19 - June 1 2021.[48]
Alpha-1 preview one week test (no NDA).[48] May 14 - May 21 2021.[48]
Alpha-1 one month test (no NDA).[48] June 1 - June 30 2021.[48]
Alpha-1 additional tests.[55] To be announced.[55]

Read more...

The term "alpha" is a tricky one, and it typically has 2 meanings in gaming. The development meaning for alpha is a point in the process where we are ready to test the fundamental systems in their core form, without polish and without much of the content. Then, there is the external or "marketing" term for alpha. This is typically applied to Eastern-ported MMORPGs, when in fact that is a completed game being localized for a region, and not really indicative of a true development alpha. As you may know by now, game development has many stages - from the initial tech demos to the pre-production and pre-alpha states, then on to the alphas and betas and eventually launch.[36]Steven Sharif

I want to make emphatically clear, our alphas and betas are true development alphas and betas, and some have said I am crazy to allow these phases to be seen without an NDA…maybe I am crazy? lol… But I am trusting the community of gamers out there to get a glimpse into the process, and understand the long road ahead for what will eventually be worth the wait. Given time and talent, amazing things can happen, so make sure you help us in communicating that we are in open development which means people get to see the bare bones before the meat. And look, I know people see our 4K footage and say, "This looks better than most released games!", but trust me when I say, you ain't seen nothin’ yet.[36]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 testing zone (Alpha island)

Alpha-1 testing tropical zone featuring a war beast and a tribe of pigmy goblins.[56]

This is a rather large tropical area; and what we use some of the creatures for is kind of like establishing character for different parts of this tropical place. So that even though it's the same biome, it feels different when you are going from place to place based on what's there and how those things are interacting with the environment.[11]Jeffrey Bard

Alpha-1 testing takes place in a zone to the north west of the world map.[57] This zone has many islands and a mainland area.[12]

  • There are 12 different (sub)zones in the Alpha-1 testing location.[11]
  • The Alpha-1 zone is almost 100 km2 in size.[11][12] This is approximately 20-25% of the total world size.[11][13]
    • This was estimated to be 70 km2 by Steven Sharif in a recent podcast. Since this was an estimate, the original sizing has not been updated.[14]
    • Traversing the width of the zone (10 km) on a mount would take about 30 minutes.[58]
  • Alpha island (also called Alpha-0 island) was the first open-world testing zone for Alpha-1 participants.[59]
  • There are approximately 4 biomes in Alpha-1: Flood plains, Sahara (Desert), Snowy mountains.[60]
    • A tropical/jungle zone was added for the December 2020 Alpha-1 preview tests.[57][56][11]
  • Temporary teleportation points will be present in early tests until ships are introduced later in the alpha testing.[34]

Alpha-1 participation

There are slightly under 10,000 participants in Alpha-1 testing.[61]

Intrepid packs were discontinued to keep the participating testers below the 10k threshold so as not to exceed potential issues on our backend. My statement just now was, if testing goes fine and we are able to handle the number of players fine, I do not see an issue in offering additional intrepid packs. Alpha One was not exclusive. We did indeed end sales for the past 2 years.[62]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 servers

Alpha-1 servers will support 1,500 concurrently connected users per server.[31][13][32]

Alpha-1 servers will be provisioned in the following regions.[64]

Server wipes

Alpha and Beta servers will be wiped prior to launch.[67]

  • Servers may also be wiped between individual tests, unless the developers require progression to be saved for certain spot tests.[68]

As a general rule, if the testing phase contains the word Alpha, it is safe to assume there will likely be wipes.[69]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 NDA

Alpha-1, Alpha-2, Beta-1, Beta-2 releases are not covered by NDA (non-disclosure agreement).[70]

  • QA testing prior to the full release of Alpha-1 is covered by NDA.[71][51]
    • The text and voice NDA was lifted from the PI QA testing phase on May 28, 2020.[71]
    • The NDA will be lifted for the May 2021 Alpha-1 preview spot tests.[48]

Our plan at the moment is for you to review and accept the NDA as part of the game client itself. Keep an eye out for emails in your inbox on how to test as we get closer![72]Sarah Flanagan

Alpha testing system requirements

Alpha-1 stress testing, March 17, 2021.[73]

Funny story; So yesterday as we are stress/density testing with our NDA testers, I accidentally summoned 5k bears around our few hundred players. But hey, it didn’t crash! Can you spot Lt. Toast here?[73]Steven Sharif

These are fully operational NPCs. They have behavior trees, they have AI blackboards; you know they are functioning as an NPC would; and to my surprise, to everyone's surprise actually, the server handled it quite well: 5000 entities all within a very dense area.[74]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation alpha testing minimum system specification.[75]

  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-Bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-2125 3.3GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 3.3GHz
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 or AMD Radeon 6870 HD with 1GB and DirectX 12
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 15 GB of available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card

Recommended specification.[75]

  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-Bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz / AMD FX-9590 4.7GHz
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon R9 Fury with 4GB and DirectX 12
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 15 GB of available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card

Alpha-1 player flagging/corruption

Player corruption is expected to be implemented in Alpha-1.[24]

Alpha-1 name reservation

Name reservations will begin during Alpha-1.[7]

Alpha-1 account management

Account management systems revamped for Alpha-1 are expected to be launched on 5 October 2018.[76]

Two-factor authentication

Token-based two-factor authentication (2FA) may be in place for Alpha-1.[77]

Alpha-1 easter eggs

Alpha-1 videos

Alpha-1 screenshots

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Video, 23 March 2020 (0:01).
  2. Livestream, 30 October 2020 (15:35).
  3. 3.0 3.1 steven-a1-testing-leaks.png
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Livestream, 26 March 2021 (40:19).
  5. Livestream, 28 March 2020 (54:48).
  6. Video, 5 April 2018 (1:01:40).
  7. 7.00 7.01 7.02 7.03 7.04 7.05 7.06 7.07 7.08 7.09 7.10 7.11 7.12 Newsletter, 7 August 2018
  8. Interview, 17 October 2020 (53:50).
  9. Livestream, 28 March 2020 (1:41:11).
  10. Interview, 20 October 2018 (12:38).
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Livestream, 30 November 2020 (22:43).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 alpha-1-map-size.png
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Interview, 19 July 2020 (1:21:49).
  14. 14.0 14.1 Podcast, 11 April 2021 (53:01).
  15. steven-alpha-1-map.png
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Livestream, 1 September 2018 (1:02:99).
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Livestream, 26 March 2021 (44:30).
  18. 18.0 18.1 Livestream, 30 November 2020 (37:16).
  19. 19.0 19.1 alpha-1-nodes.png
  20. alpha-1-zoi.png
  21. Livestream, 30 October 2020 (20:40).
  22. Livestream, 28 August 2020 (1:29:17).
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Blog: Creative Director's Letter, April 14 2021
  24. 24.0 24.1 Interview, 8 August 2018 (18:55).
  25. Livestream, 26 July 2019 (1:10:44).
  26. 26.0 26.1 Interview, 8 August 2018 (19:02).
  27. 27.0 27.1 Livestream, 26 March 2021 (43:55).
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Livestream, 26 March 2021 (42:28).
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 Interview, 7 February 2021 (35:30).
  30. Podcast, 11 May 2018 (59:25).
  31. 31.0 31.1 alpha-1-participation.png
  32. 32.0 32.1 alpha-1-phase-2.png
  33. Livestream, 30 January 2020 (35:12).
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Livestream, 30 November 2020 (24:51).
  35. steven-naval.png
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 36.4 36.5 36.6 Blog: Creative Director's Letter, October 16 2020
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 Livestream, 26 March 2021 (39:08).
  38. Livestream, 30 November 2020 (1:01:40).
  39. 39.0 39.1 steven-alpha-1-sales.png
  40. steven-a1-upgrade.png
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 Livestream, 26 February 2021 (14:58).
  42. Livestream, 29 January 2021 (1:27:05).
  43. steven-a1-sale.png
  44. Livestream, 29 January 2021 (46:48).
  45. 45.0 45.1 Ashes of Creation MMO.
  46. A reactive world - Nodes.
  47. Podcast, 11 April 2021 (46:44).
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 48.3 48.4 48.5 48.6 48.7 48.8 An Update on Alpha One Schedule, March 12 2021
  49. March 2020 newsletter.
  50. alpha-1-nda-2.png
  51. 51.0 51.1 alpha-1-nda-1.png
  52. steven-a1-testing-start.png
  53. Creative Director's Letter, 1 April 2020.
  54. Blog: Creative Director's Letter, January 2021.
  55. 55.0 55.1 alpha-1-tests.png
  56. 56.0 56.1 Livestream, 30 November 2020 (12:09).
  57. 57.0 57.1 Livestream, 30 November 2020 (9:51).
  58. Livestream, 30 November 2020 (25:45).
  59. steven-pi-not-alpha-island.png
  60. Livestream, 29 January 2021 (26:38).
  61. Livestream, 17 August 2018 (24:07).
  62. 62.0 62.1 alpha-1-sales-2.png
  63. alpha-1-sales-1.png
  64. 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.3 Livestream, 31 October 2018 (35:53).
  65. 65.0 65.1 65.2 steven-a1-servers.png
  66. eu-servers.png
  67. server wipe.jpg
  68. Livestream, 30 November 2020 (7:27).
  69. server-wipes.png
  70. Livestream, 18 January 2018 (49:26).
  71. 71.0 71.1 Livestream, 29 May 2020 (31:37).
  72. toast-nda.png
  73. 73.0 73.1 steven-a1-stress-test.png
  74. Livestream, 26 March 2021 (12:34).
  75. 75.0 75.1 What are the minimum requirements for Alpha?
  76. Livestream, 1 September 2018 (54:06).
  77. Interview, 21 August 2018 (40:44).
  78. 78.0 78.1 78.2 78.3 Ashes of Creation Twitter, April 4,2021.
  79. 79.0 79.1 Video, 26 February 2021 (11:03).
  80. 80.0 80.1 Livestream, 29 May 2020 (36:18).
  81. Livestream, 26 March 2021 (17:46).