Alpha-2

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Alpha-2 launcher teaser video.[1]

Alpha-2 is really the testing grounds for a lot of the more minute details of how a particular system works; and you can change a lot of those details without actually needing to change the feature that's been developed. These are variables that exist within the code that we have control over so that when we want to iterate upon it it's easy to do iterations: and some of those iterations can feel very impactful to the system overall. So Alpha-2 really is meant to gauge this initial approach and then we're afforded the ability to change that drastically by tuning and changing some of the aspects of the specifics of the system.[2]Steven Sharif

Alpha-2 character creator user interface (first pass).[3]

When we talk about Alpha-2's perspective, it's really focused around core systems and their ancillary counterparts. When we talk about what those core systems are, it's the siege systems; it's the guild war systems; it's the node advancements; it's the story arcs; it's the character class progression; it's the augments; it's our artisanship loops and the gathering, processing and crafting cycles; it's homeownership; it's vehicles and mounts; and any number of professions that exist there; and then also a big chunk of Alpha-2 is obviously content: The ability to ensure that the hooks for these quest hubs within the nodes; the points-of-interest are stood up and reflective of the content necessary to facilitate that those story arcs; and commissions and buy orders. That's really the CORE of what we need to achieve in order to demonstrate the loops, collect feedback from those loops and the players who are play testing them; and then make iteration as necessary based off of the feedback we've received.[4]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation's core game systems are expected to be in place at the start of Alpha-2.[4][5] By the end of Alpha-2, the game is expected to be feature complete, but it will not be content complete until launch.[6][7] Alpha-2 will last until launch and will run in parallel with Beta-1 and Beta-2.[6][8]

Alpha-2 is intended to be a true functional representation of all the core systems and features.[9]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 and Alpha-2 testers may be invited to participate in spot testing prior to the Alpha-2 release.[50][51]

Alpha-2 is known as the persistent alpha.[8][52]

Q: What systems are still needed to be rolled out before Alpha two?
A: I don't think it's at a core level that there's a particular system that has yet to be feature developed. Right now, it's more along the lines of expanding on those features, getting UI support for those features... UI, VFX, audio effects: Those are all big bottlenecks because they tend to occur at the end of the pipeline of content development; and then also ensuring that the interactions are polished and working. So from a large feature perspective- let me think about that, what large feature endeavor is still outstanding on the Alpha-2 front? A lot of it is content. I'm not sure that it's a feature one. I can't think of any large system features that haven't been stood up from a core functional perspective that don't just need expanding on, slash content development on.[53]Steven Sharif
Q: And when you say content, that's like art and implementation and so on?
A: Narrative quests, the assets, the modelling, the particular types of buildings, the armor sets, the creatures, the visual effects, audibility systems. Those are all content that accompany what the code is creating from a mechanical perspective.[54]Steven Sharif

Alpha-2 core features list.[4]

Alpha-2 availability

Phase Release Estimated/Actual date
Alpha-2 Alpha-2 spot testing (NDA).[55][56][50][57] November 2023.[58]
Alpha-2 (No NDA).[55][50][8][52] Q3 2024.[59][55][60]

Read more...

Pre-order-packs with Alpha-2 access have ended

September 2023 - January 2024 (The Unseen Order) were the final pre-order packs for Ashes of Creation as the developers have reached their desired number of testers for Alpha-2.[61]

Why are the pre-order packs ending?
Our pre-order packs were intended to be a way for players to support the project by providing an opportunity to collect exclusive cosmetic appearances that are used in creating the world of Verra, while respecting our commitment to zero-tolerance pay-to-win whatsoever. As we draw closer to our Alpha Two and Beta testing periods, we want to ensure a glorious experience for our players who have signed up to help make Ashes of Creation the MMORPG it deserves to be. To that end, we have decided to discontinue the packs until such time as our internal and/or external testing supports the admission of additional testers. We will continue to update our community when more ways become available to access Alpha Two or Beta testing through our communication channels.[62]
When will the final pre-order packs end?
The final Pre-Order Packs will end on January 17, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific in order to ensure everyone has enough time and notice with regards to the final Pre-Order Packs’ availability.[62]
Does this include the Beta-1 and Beta-2 pre-order packages as well?
Yes. While we anticipate we will reopen the ability to purchase Beta packages in the future, these options will not adopt the same format of regularly recurring monthly exclusive cosmetics as our existing Pre-Order Packages currently offer.[62]
If I do not get a pre-order pack, does that mean I will not be able to join Alpha-2, Beta-1, or Beta-2 in the future?
Not necessarily. We will continue to engage with our community and content creators to offer various giveaways that players will have an opportunity to participate in. After our internal and/or external testing satisfies the admission of additional testers, we may provide alternate methods of purchasing access into testing periods.[62]
When the pre-order packs end, will there be other items on the Ashes of Creation shop?
We may provide cosmetic items and merchandise in the shop at a future date.[62]
I purchased a previous pre-order pack, but I like The Unseen Order cosmetics better. Can I switch out my cosmetics for these?
Previously purchased cosmetics may not be exchanged, though we do provide a 90-day return policy. If you own an existing Pre-Order Pack, you may also purchase individual cosmetics offered in the current pack a-la-cart.[62]
Can I upgrade my pre-order pack after sales for the pre-order packs end?
Yes. You will continue to have the option to upgrade your Pre-Order Pack to a higher-tier package after sales of Pre-Order Packs end. If you upgrade, it will not give you the cosmetic items of the same type (Accessory, Pet, Mount, etc.) that came with the previous pack you purchased. Only the additional cosmetic items from the upgrade to The Unseen Order Pre-Order Pack will be granted.[62]
Can I purchase add-on cosmetics from The Unseen Order after pre-order packs are removed from the shop?
Yes. You will continue to have the option to purchase add-on cosmetics from The Unseen Order, based on what your Pre-Order Package level gives you access to.[62]
How long will I be able to upgrade my pre-order pack or purchase The Unseen Order add-on cosmetics?
We don’t have a date to share for this yet, but we’ll give everyone plenty of notice before ending the ability for them to upgrade their Pre-Order Packs or purchase add-on cosmetics from The Unseen Order.[62]
What about upgrading Kickstarter packages? When do those end?
You will still be able to upgrade Kickstarter and Summer Backer Packages. We’ll give plenty of notice before ending the ability for people to upgrade their packs.[62]

Persistent alpha

Alpha-2 is known as the persistent alpha.[8][52] Persistent means that the Alpha-2 servers will be kept up all day and night until launch.[6][8]

  • There will be downtime for patches.[6][7]
  • Alpha-2 servers will become the public test servers (PTS) post-launch that are used to test patches and updates.[65][63][8]
Alpha-2 will remain even post launch as our public test server.[65]Steven Sharif
The ultimate goal for A2 is to be persistent and the PTS, but before we get that far there's gonna be some wipes I would expect.[63]Steven Sharif

Alpha-2 server wipes

Alpha and Beta servers will be wiped prior to launch.[64]

As a general rule, if the testing phase contains the word Alpha, it is safe to assume there will likely be wipes.[63]Steven Sharif

Alpha testing system requirements

Alpha-1 stress testing, March 17, 2021.[68]

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?[68]Steven Sharif

These are fully operational NPCs. They have behavior trees, they have AI blackboards; 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.[69]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation alpha testing minimum system specification.[70] These system specs have not changed for Unreal Engine 5.[71][72]

  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-Bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-2125 3.3GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 3.3GHz
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti or AMD Radeon R9 270
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 50 GB of available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card

Recommended specification.[70]

  • 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: 50 GB of available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card

Tulnar race

The Tulnar race is expected to be in place for Alpha-2.[30]

Naval schedule

Naval content will be introduced into Alpha-2 as an update.[38][75][5]

Naval will be an Alpha-2 in the sense that at after we launch Alpha-2, at some point in Alpha-2, naval will be implemented as an update; and that naval will be the ability to acquire components, construct those components, acquire recipes, construct certain types of ships, navigate those ships on the water, and engage in certain ship-to-ship interactions and ship-to-player interactions and ship-to-content interactions. Now, it won't be the aspect of that, meaning all ships won't be present: all types of those ships, all attachments of those ships. And it will be maybe a little bit janky to start because it's going to be an alpha version of it. But the intent there is to provide the loop where players get to go and interact with content in the ocean. That won't be at the start of Alpha-2, but it will be in Alpha-2.[38]Steven Sharif

Artisan classes timeline

Artisan classes (Gathering, Processing, Crafting) is expected to come online fully in Alpha-2 and the Betas.[78][40]

Crafting honestly will not come online in any sense of its true form until Alpha-2. Alpha-1 has essentially what are intended to be the core gameplay loop of crafting, meaning the collection of materials, the translation of those materials into processed goods, and the use of those processed goods into item acquisition. That's the core gameplay loop that is currently present in Alpha-1. But those are mostly facilitated piggy backing the merchant systems right now and not actually using the real crafting system; and that's because crafting hasn't been completed in a form that can be implemented in Alpha-1, but will be for Alpha-2. What's present in Alpha-1 doesn't even really scratch the surface for crafting.[40]Steven Sharif

Alpha-2 NDA

Alpha-1, Alpha-2, Beta-1, Beta-2 releases are not covered by NDA (non-disclosure agreement).[80]

We may not always announce when the NDA testing is, because we're not definitive how that testing is going to influence the future testing schedule; and we don't want to set the wrong expectation from a broader audience perspective on what they should be expecting with regards to testing.[56]Steven Sharif

Participation

  • Alpha-0 had over 2,500 participants.[83]
  • Alpha-1 testing had approximately 9,600 participants as of August, 2018.[84][85] There were slightly over 13k participants as of May 31, 2021.[84] There were 5,300 unique logins during the 3 day weekend test of May 27, 2021.[84]
info-orange.pngThis section will be updated as soon as information is made available by the developers.

Testing phases

Ashes of Creation testing phases.

Q: What will happen to early access that was purchased from mail.ru?
A: Players who purchased through Mail.ru will have access to testing periods they were entitled to with their purchases from Mail.ru. There are some complexities to this matter, please ensure you have a registered account with Intrepid, and submit a support ticket with your original Mail.ru email, and our support team will help you out.[98]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation's core game systems are expected to be in place at the start of Alpha-2.[4][5] By the end of Alpha-2, the game is expected to be feature complete, but it will not be content complete until launch.[6][7]

The game will be feature complete before Beta... Beta really is intended to identify last minute bugs to make sure that everything is ready for launch; it's important that all features are complete by Beta-1. Alpha-2 will not be feature complete at the start of Alpha-2. There are going to be updates that are going to be incorporated as part of the Alpha-2 process and there are going to be additional features that come online that get fleshed out between that time and Beta-1. There's going to be regions of the maps that aren't going to be accessible of course during Alpha-2.[7]Steven Sharif
Alpha-2 is intended to exist up until launch. There's going to be different testing periods that we will be releasing either new content locations or zones or systems that we want to have players focus in on. In those situations, if we're having participation drought because of the length of Alpha-2, we can set them up in a more focused setting. We can even incentivize that. We can offer unique testing to potentially new testers as well.[6]Steven Sharif
  • The developers will not necessarily announce NDA testing periods.[56]

Alpha-2 videos

See also

References

  1. roshen-a2-launcher-teaser.png
  2. Podcast, July 15, 2023 (5:23).
  3. Video, March 31, 2022 (34:16).
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 Livestream, March 31, 2023 (1:24:21).
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 Podcast, September 29, 2021 (59:29).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Livestream, April 7, 2023 (28:08).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Livestream, July 29, 2022 (1:08:49).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 Livestream, January 18, 2018 (25:22).
  9. Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:30:10).
  10. Livestream, April 29, 2022 (56:24).
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Livestream, October 14, 2022 (6:38).
  12. Livestream, April 29, 2022 (32:29).
  13. 13.0 13.1 Blog: Creative Director's Letter, October 16 2020
  14. Newsletter, 2018-08-7
  15. 15.0 15.1 Livestream, April 7, 2023 (13:35).
  16. Livestream, April 7, 2023 (22:15).
  17. Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:49:39).
  18. Video, March 31, 2022 (0:00).
  19. Livestream, April 7, 2023 (54:02).
  20. Livestream, December 19, 2023 (1:41:54).
  21. Livestream, January 28, 2022 (15:35).
  22. Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:11:29).
  23. 23.0 23.1 Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:06:53).
  24. 24.0 24.1 Livestream, April 7, 2023 (1:14:05).
  25. Livestream, October 14, 2022 (15:44).
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 Podcast, September 29, 2021 (23:00).
  27. Livestream, March 28, 2020 (1:41:11).
  28. Interview, October 20, 2018 (12:38).
  29. steven-a2-summoner.png
  30. 30.0 30.1 Livestream, 2018-04-8 (AM) (2:17).
  31. steven-family-summon-2.png
  32. Interview, October 20, 2018 (0:00).
  33. Livestream, September 24, 2021 (1:18:06).
  34. Livestream, September 24, 2021 (1:19:17).
  35. steven--town-vs-city.jpeg
  36. Steven Quote 5.png
  37. Livestream, April 29, 2022 (21:00).
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:28:32).
  39. 39.0 39.1 Livestream, September 27, 2018 (54:02).
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 Interview, February 7, 2021 (35:30).
  41. Livestream, June 30, 2022 (1:17:34).
  42. Livestream, April 29, 2022 (25:16).
  43. Livestream, February 25, 2022 (1:10:00).
  44. Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:52:20).
  45. Livestream, January 28, 2022 (7:26).
  46. Livestream, December 23, 2021 (40:53).
  47. Livestream, December 23, 2021 (50:50).
  48. steven-bear-a2.png
  49. Livestream, October 31, 2018 (47:44).
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 50.3 Livestream, March 31, 2023 (5:57).
  51. 51.0 51.1 Livestream, July 30, 2021 (45:11).
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 alpha and beta phases.png
  53. Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:11:53).
  54. Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:13:08).
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 55.3 Livestream, September 29, 2023 (55:34).
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 56.3 Interview, July 9, 2023 (26:35).
  57. Livestream, October 14, 2022 (17:05).
  58. steven-a2-spot-testing-started.png
  59. Intrepid Studios Support - What are the Alpha/Beta Release dates?
  60. vaknar-a2.png
  61. Ashes of Creation Store: August cosmetics.
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 62.3 62.4 62.5 62.6 62.7 62.8 62.9 Ashes of Creation Store: September cosmetics.
  63. 63.0 63.1 63.2 63.3 63.4 server-wipes.png
  64. 64.0 64.1 64.2 server wipe.jpg
  65. 65.0 65.1 Livestream, July 29, 2022 (1:10:05).
  66. Alpha one test schedule, Mar 12, 2021.
  67. Livestream, November 30, 2020 (7:27).
  68. 68.0 68.1 steven-a1-stress-test.png
  69. Livestream, March 26, 2021 (12:34).
  70. 70.0 70.1 What are the minimum requirements for Alpha?
  71. Livestream, December 23, 2021 (49:39).
  72. Livestream, December 23, 2021 (42:09).
  73. Livestream, July 29, 2022 (59:00).
  74. Livestream, September 30, 2020 (41:13).
  75. 75.0 75.1 Livestream, March 31, 2022 (1:10:43).
  76. 76.0 76.1 Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:17:48).
  77. Livestream, November 30, 2020 (24:51).
  78. 78.0 78.1 Livestream, March 26, 2021 (42:28).
  79. Livestream, April 30, 2021 (41:18).
  80. Livestream, January 18, 2018 (49:26).
  81. Livestream, May 29, 2020 (31:37).
  82. alpha-1-nda-1.png
  83. Interview, August 24, 2018 (12:18).
  84. 84.0 84.1 84.2 steven-a1-participation.png
  85. Livestream, August 17, 2018 (24:07).
  86. 86.0 86.1 86.2 Livestream, November 17, 2017 (28:50).
  87. a2-participants.png
  88. Livestream, January 27, 2023 (11:05).
  89. 89.0 89.1 Kickstarter packages.
  90. MMOGAMES Interview, 2017-09-8.
  91. beta 0.png
  92. Intrepid pre-order pack.
  93. Adventurer pre-order pack.
  94. PAX West 2017 Alpha package.
  95. PAX West 2017 Beta package.
  96. Newsletter - Pre-order packages are ending reminder.
  97. Ashes of Creation cosmetic store.
  98. 98.0 98.1 steven-mail-ru.png