Alpha island

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Alpha-1 testing tropical zone featuring a war beast and a tribe of pigmy goblins.[2]

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.[3]Jeffrey Bard

Alpha-1 testing takes place in a zone to the north west of the world map.[4] This zone has many islands and a mainland area.[5]

  • There are 12 different (sub)zones in the Alpha-1 testing location.[3]
  • The Alpha-1 zone is almost 100 km2 in size.[3][5] This is approximately 20-25% of the total world size.[3][6]
    • 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.[7]
    • Traversing the width of the zone (10 km) on a mount would take about 30 minutes.[8]
  • Alpha island (also called Alpha-0 island) was the first open-world testing zone for Alpha-1 participants.[9]
  • There are approximately 4 biomes in Alpha-1: Flood plains, Sahara (Desert), Snowy mountains.[10]
    • A tropical/jungle zone was added for the December 2020 Alpha-1 preview tests.[4][2][3]
  • Temporary teleportation points will be present in early tests until ships are introduced later in the alpha testing.[11]

Alpha-1 nodes

There will be 103 regular node locations at launch with 15 additional castle nodes (5 castles x 3 castle nodes each)[12][13][14] for a total of 118 nodes.[15][16]

  • There will be 9 node locations in Alpha-1.[17]
    • This was previously stated to be 8 node locations.[18]
    • Normally there would be 18-20 nodes in the same area.[18]
    • The node ZOI's in alpha-1 will be larger than the final map.[19]
    • Node locations are subject to change prior to Beta-1.[17]

World map

Ashes of Creation map.[20] The circles on the map are divine gateways that are located in the ruined cities of the four great races of Verra. The diamonds are the starting settlements for the returning races.[21]

If you have tuned into our live streams and update videos, you may have caught glimpses of Verra. The world is very large and meant to hold around 10,000 concurrent players. With elaborate trade routes and sea-play, the Verran landscapes must provide complex obstacles and intricate passages between its regions. Alpha One will be the first test phase in the actual world map of Verra. For the first time ever, our community will step foot on the world we hope you'll call home.[20]Steven Sharif

The original Ashes map from my pathfinder world of Ashes made 10 years ago. Obviously some adjustments had to be made for the mmorpg. But the main two continents and their points of interest have a lot of the same.[22]Steven Sharif

The world of Verra features an in-game viewable world map. This map is not randomly generated, and begins covered in a fog of war.[23] Players will not be able to see the world until they have explored it or gathered information about it. The world is also full of imperfect information, which will require the player to act on it for verification.[24]

For example, you may hear a rumor in a tavern that tells you the location of a cave full of weak Kobolds, but this was not accurate as the rumor was started by well-equipped bandits in order to waylay overconfident adventurers.[24]

When information is gathered, or the player has successfully explored an area, points of interest are marked on the map.[25]

  • These points of interest are determined by Node progression; and not every server will share the same map, as player decisions will vary server to server.[25]

In addition to node progression being a factor on map generation, zones in Ashes of Creation will cater to all levels.[26]

The map will have geographical choke points (such as Mountains) that are not traversable by players.[27]

Even though we're an open-world that doesn't mean that from a design perspective, especially with the way our economic systems work, that we will want to create Geographic choke points.[27]Steven Sharif

World size

480 km2 (square kilometers) is the approximate world size at launch.[28] This includes water and land content.[29]

  • Water area is considered playable area, but the exact area of land versus water is not known at this time.[30]

I don't know the exact the exact amount that is land versus water but the water is playable area as well and it's gonna have content...[30]Steven Sharif

480 square kilometers; which is pretty large comparatively to other MMORPGs out there. Now that does not include the lapped spaces: So that is the Underrealm and the portion of the world that it encompasses, which could probably easily take up an additional hundredish square kilometers I would imagine.[31]Steven Sharif

  • It is anticipated that a mounted player can traverse the entire map in a matter of hours.[32]

The Alpha One map will be many islands and mainland area, roughly 100sqkm.[5]Steven Sharif

Starting areas

Alpha-1 preview reworked alpha island starting area.[36]

There's been some significant lighting changes here in this area. There's been some work on the foliage, on the trees that are available, toned down some of the ruins, rearranged some of the tents and it's starting to look pretty good.[36]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 early preview starting area.[37]

There is no railroaded driven theme park experience here. You will have the opportunity to create your own destiny in that regard, which means you don't have to necessarily follow the quest line nor do you have to participate in events or experiences around the starting area. Now it may be more beneficial to do that; and in that regard I guess there could be a meta around doing that, but you could branch out proceed to other areas and do different content.[38]Steven Sharif

Starting areas (starting zones) are located in the ruined cities of the four ancient races of Verra.[21]

  • Starting areas include expeditionary NPC settlements that serve as initial quest origination points.[39] Lore-wise, these settlements represent scouts that were sent ahead of the main expedition back to Verra.[45]
    • These settlements are designed to acclimatize new players entering the world.[45]
    • While it may be advantageous to do so, there is no requirement for players to play through any specific starter zone content.[38]

A problem that a lot of MMOs have is that those starting areas become just kind of vacant of players and it's so sad because the greatest aspect of an MMO is that community that you get to experience, so one of the great things about the node system is that it really works from new player acquisition standpoint, where these nodes tend to develop larger near the starting location areas around the world; and it brings these players back to those locations if they're citizens and want services within those cities. So, as new players enter the world they're going to actually be surrounded most likely by more population because people are coming back to those larger nodes.[46]Steven Sharif

Divine gateways

Empyrean divine gateway concept art.

When you play the MMORPG you're going to be stepping through what are called these divine gateways from a planet called Sanctus and Sanctus was really a safe haven that was forethought by the Goddess of Fate and Creation as a sanctuary to provide the people of Verra who could survive the fall, the apocalypse, the exodus essentially.[47]Steven Sharif

Divine gateways are portals located in the ruined cities of the four ancient races of Verra.[21]

Where players start, they enter this portal from another world called Sanctus. Sanctus is a place of no magic, low technology; and players are the first expeditioners that are coming through this portal into the world of Verra.[49]Jeffrey Bard

Alpha-1

Alpha-1 early preview.[50]

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.[51]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 preview ancients mobs.[1]

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.[52]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 is a testing release of the Ashes of Creation MMORPG.[54] Alpha-1 will test:

Alpha-1 availability

Alpha-1 sales will resume in May 2021.[64] Pre-order pack upgrades will be possible for current pack holders.[79][80]

  • In Feburary 2021, the developers stated that sales will not be re-opened until stability issues have been addressed with Alpha-1 testing.[81][82][83]

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.[81]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.[52]

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.[52]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.[64]Steven Sharif

Coastal nodes

Pre-alpha naval concept.[84]

There will be nodes along the coast and on islands.[85]

  • These nodes will have specific water oriented influences and abilities, services, questlines, that relate to the seas.[85]
  • Coastal nodes change the spawn tables of the nearby water content and can also trigger specific events.[86]
  • Harbors in coastal nodes will have quest lines that relate to the ocean and nearby islands.[86]
  • It may be possible to siege a coastal city by sea.[87]

Island chains are part of Ashes of Creation naval content.[88][89]

Artwork

See also

References

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  29. waterlandsize.png
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  89. Kickstarter - We Just Broke $1,500,000!