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Racial architecture of the same Village (stage 3) node on different servers. Dünir Dwarven influence (top). Kaelar Human influence (bottom). Screenshot from non-NDA Alpha-1 preview weekend testing.

The layout and architecture within a Node’s development area are determined by influential race. For example, a stage 3 Node with the majority of player contribution being Py’rai would have a Py’rai village with Py’rai architecture. Most NPCs would be Py’rai elves, and offer questlines within the Py’rai narrative.[1]Margaret Krohn

Each player’s contributed experience is flagged with their character race and other identifiers. When a Node advances, the race with the highest experience contribution determines the Node’s style and culture. This style and culture change can happen at every Node Stage. For example, if a Node advances to Level 2 - Encampment Stage and 51% of all experience was earned by Ren’Kai players, the Node will be a Level 2 Ren’Kai Node. If that same Node advances to a Level 3 - Village Stage Node, but the Py’Rai contributed 62% of all the experience earned, then the Node will be a Level 3 Py’Rai Node.[2]Margaret Krohn

Node layout and style is determined by several factors:[3][4]

  • Environment and location of the node.[3][4]
    • Nodes will adjust the local topography to fit the aesthetic and mechanical requirements of the node.[5]
    • Local topography also has some influence on node construction.[6]

Currently the way that the platform system is set up, is it's capable of adjusting the topography of the node's footprint, regardless of the surrounding terrain. So the reason for that is we want to have flexibility in the presentation of the node's layout and how it is essentially both from an aesthetic standpoint as well as a mechanical standpoint with node sieges- how it's constructed and that construction should have the ability to take on a variance of different types of topography. So it shouldn't be dependent on the surrounding area. Now that's not to say that the surrounding area isn't going to have some influence over. So for example... we're experimenting a little bit with the platform tech and putting up a node up against the side of a mountain or on the edge of a cliff or something that has a beautiful vista. Those are things that we're going to test out obviously as we continue to work on the node tool and how that platform system works, but the idea is to have the node independent of the surrounding terrain.[6]Steven Sharif

Some parts are determined by the area it's in. Some parts are determined by the type it is. Some parts are determined by the race it is; and then the rest of it is determined by the mayor.[4]Jeffrey Bard

All nodes whether they're associated with a castle or associated with normal node structure has cultural influences that replicate over to the buildings that are produced and the NPCs that are present.[11]Steven Sharif

  • The rest is determined by the node's mayor.[4]

Node buildings

Constructible node buildings

Node governments decide the location and types of constructible node buildings to be constructed within sectors of a node.[14][15][16]

These are buildings that the mayor has agency over determining whether or not they should be a constructed project. Constructible buildings can be selected at open plots that are gained as the node advances. If they elect to begin construction of one of these types of buildings- one of which is the marketplace- it'll grant certain trade benefits as well as some stalls that the citizens may participate in.[17]Steven Sharif

When the building types are determined, the community will then need to bring resources into the node (using caravans) and come together to construct the buildings (via quests and the like).[14]

  • Materials contributed toward building a node building are lost if the mayor decides to scrap the project.[18]

The government decides how to specialize their node. Once they choose certain things they won't be able to choose other things.[14]

And there could be regime change... If somebody doesn't like the fact that a market was built and they want to re-elect a new government next cycle, they can do so... and that market could be destroyed and a new building take its place.[14]

Unique node buildings

Each node type has a unique node building associated with it that can be activated at the Village stage of node advancement. The unique building plays a central role in the progress of civilization for a server.[20]

Freehold buildings

Freehold buildings can be placed on a freehold plot.[22][23]

Buildings will require blueprints and materials.[24]

  • Basements in freehold buildings are to be decided.[25]

Freehold buildings will not change in terms of footprint (within a specific tier of that building) but may increase in height.[26]

  • Certain buildings will have multiple tiers, with different footprint sizes. For example: Small, medium, large, to mansion-sized homes.[26]
    • A mansion sized home may occupy up to 50% of a freehold plot.[26]

Freehold building architecture is based on the blueprint for the building.[27]

  • Cosmetics can also be applied to a blueprint based on the type of building.[27]
  • Players are not locked into any particular race for freehold blueprints.[28]

The way we look at it is the freehold is your space so we want you to be able to make it look the way you want it to.[27]Jeffrey Bard

Artistic style

Ashes of Creation will have a higher graphical fidelity than most western games. It will not be too stylized or "cartoony".[29]

We can push the limits a little bit on the graphical fidelity, especially using Unreal Engine 4... My desire was not to see very cartoony games. I'm not a big fan of highly stylized art.[29]Steven Sharif

Artistic influences

You will see in the different races that are available from a player character standpoint a lot of different influences that reflect many cultures in the world: Not just European, not just Africa, not Mesoamerican. These cultures are going to be present in many of the races.[36]Steven Sharif

The idea is just to find a base component in the real world as a starting point and then to begin to fantasize.[30]Steven Sharif


See also


  1. Blog - Know Your Nodes - The Basics.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Blog - Know Your Nodes - Advance and Destroy.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Livestream, 30 October 2020 (39:17).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Livestream, 27 September 2018 (53:06).
  5. Livestream, 26 February 2021 (1:10:28).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Livestream, 26 February 2021 (1:12:18).
  7. Podcast, 11 April 2021 (29:47).
  8. Interview, 11 May 2018 (54:34).
  9. Livestream, 26 May 2017 (21:23).
  10. Podcast, 11 April 2021 (23:36).
  11. 11.0 11.1 Interview, 11 May 2018 (47:27).
  12. Livestream, 28 March 2020 (1:16:03).
  13. Video, 23 March 2020 (0:24).
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Livestream, 19 May 2017 (33:57).
  15. 15.0 15.1 Livestream, 20 January 2018 (38:17).
  16. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (51:49).
  17. Interview, 8 July 2020 (55:05).
  18. Livestream, 30 July 2021 (1:10:09).
  19. Livestream, 1 September 2018 (36:28).
  20. Know Your Nodes: Economic Node Type.
  21. Ashes of Creation Store: Velkor's Eye.
  22. Node series part II – the Metropolis.
  23. Livestream, 24 May 2017 (9:58).
  24. stevenclarification.png
  25. Livestream, 28 June 2019 (1:09:22).
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Interview, 8 July 2020 (45:23).
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Livestream, 28 August 2020 (2:14:06).
  28. Livestream, 26 May 2017 (44:11).
  29. 29.0 29.1 Interview, 20 October 2018 (2:17:43).
  30. 30.0 30.1 Interview, 20 October 2018 (3:47:17).
  31. dunirinfluence.png
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Interview, 11 May 2018 (1:03:21).
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Podcast, 11 May 2018 (31:35).
  34. py'rai archetecture.jpg
  35. Livestream, 16 October 2017 (15:58).
  36. Interview, 11 May 2018 (1:04:27).