Economy

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Currency concept art.[1]

The economy is usually something that happens in the background of other games. From day one we knew that the economy was going to be something really important to us.[2]Jeffrey Bard

Markets in Ashes of Creation are regional, which means that each market has its own character. Because resources will shift locations as they’re exhausted, this will keep people moving about the world, seeking out the best resources for their crafting builds, and the best markets for their goods.[3]

One major feature in our economy that differs from most fantasy style MMOs is that we're not approaching it from a global scale. Rather, we're trying to carve the world up into regions and make each one focus independently, while of course at the same time working together.[8]Peter Pilone

Economic regions

We want our players to have a reason to explore the wilderness, to travel with purpose, and much of that will be driven by our resource system. Transporting these goods might just be more difficult than gathering them. Our regional market system allows players to participate in creating pocket economies that will reinforce the stability of goods in particular regions. Players will be able to move resources and set up shop in other areas to take advantage of the varied markets. With resources spawning dynamically, certain regions will naturally become important trading hubs for the transportation of goods throughout the world.[9]

Economic regions are static areas defined by geographic points of interest.[10][11]

  • Castle regions are larger and encompass multiple economic regions.[10]
  • Nodes are the glue that hold castle and economic regions together in potential synergy or chaos.[12]
    • Node ZOIs are fluid and change their area based on the progression of the node and its neighbors.[10]
  • Castle regions, Economic regions, and Node ZOI (Zones of Influence) can overlap.[13]

The whole map would be under the influence of 1 of 5 castle regions. However, castle regions aren't the only TYPE of region - there are also economic regions, among other things.[11]Sarah Flanagan

Buying and selling

Personal shops, player stalls, and auction houses have different properties.[14]

Player stalls Personal shops Auction houses
Cost
Location
Player presence
  • An attendant NPC is assigned to the stall. Character does not need to be online or at the stall.[23][15][16]
  • Player must be online and present at the shop.[23][16]
N/A
Storage
Advertising
PvP
  • Players may be killed while occupying their personal shop and are subject to material loss due to normal death penalties.[24]
N/A

Player stalls

Niküan player stall concept art.[30]

If there were ever a cornerstone serving as the bedrock of Niküan trade, then this modest stall would be it. Stacked from floor to thatched roof with all manner of catch, it is prepped for a full day of commerce and trade. Here, haggling is not merely a suggestion, but a requirement.[30]

Player stalls (also called Kiosks and rental stalls) are rentable locations near the unique building in an Economic node[20] or in Marketplaces (the constructible building available for placement by mayors of any Town (stage 4) node or higher).[21]

All nodes do have the ability to spawn player stalls. If you're not an economic node and you don't have a market- that's essentially your unique building- then you can construct essentially what is I guess would be called a... marketplace; and that marketplace will then come with certain services and it will come with a certain number of stalls. The economic node as I recall has the ability to construct an auction house and the auction house serves through the economic means the ability to list and sell items and that comes with additional stalls as well for the players.[21]Steven Sharif

Renting a player stall enables players to sell items as well as provide repair and enchanting services, even when they are not online.[15]

  • Player stalls are rentable by node citizens.[16]
    • Player stalls may be utilized for a period of time based on the price paid to rent the stall.[15]
  • Player stalls are linked to a player's warehouse.[24]
  • Players are not able to be attacked or robbed while occupying their player stall inside the limits of a node.[18]
  • Player stalls do not require the attendance of the character or for that character to be online.[16]
    • An attendant NPC is assigned to the stall.[24][15] This may be an "image" of the player.[26]
  • Bulletin boards that list the items available in player stalls can be accessed from anywhere in the region.[26]
    • These give the location of the stall so players can travel there and purchase the items.
  • Stall sales are also listed in auction houses.[14]
    • This may no longer be accurate.[17]
  • Players are able to input required items for repair and also purchase required materials for that repair.[32]
  • Player stalls may still operate during node siege declaration. This is subject to testing.[33]

Personal shops

Certificates to place Personal shops (player-owned shops) may be purchased by citizens and non-citizens from Economic nodes.[17][18][19]

  • When a character creates a personal shop, a billboard pops up above them with a custom advertisement message for items or services available on that character's person. Purchasers can interact directly with the character to purchase these items or services.[23]

A player shop is where you have a certificate to essentially create a shop with your character and a little billboard will pop up above you as you sit down for that shop and advertise a custom message that you want say that has to sell things and/or services that are on your person. So players can then come up to you and they can interact with you. So you reside yourself to that shop.[23]Steven Sharif

Auction house

Auction houses accompany unique node buildings in Economic nodes.[22]

If a Node is the Vassal Node of an Economic Node, an Auctioneer NPC appears in that Vassal Node. The Auctioneer allows players to list non-resource/processed materials in the Parent Node’s Auction House, but players cannot bid on items from this Auctioneer. These resources and processed materials must be stored within an Economic Node in order to be listed in that Node’s Auction House. In order to bid, they must still travel to the Auction House in the Parent Node.[22]

Auction houses enable players to list items at the Economic node in which the auction house is located.[20]

  • A listing fee will be charged to list items in the auction house.[20]
  • Vassal nodes of the auction house node will be able to view items that are listed on that auction house, regardless of node type of the vassal node.[20]
    • This will be possible through an auctioneer emissary NPC in that node.[20]
    • Items cannot be listed in non-economic vassal nodes.[20]
  • Items listed are also visible in community boards (bulletin boards).[17]

Bulletin boards

Bulletin boards are available within nodes[38] and player taverns.[39]

Player to player trading

There will be player to player trading in Ashes of Creation.[6][7]

Q: Will Ashes of Creation have player-to-player trading? Will there be anything stopping me from gifting a friend that's fresh to the game a bunch of in-game money to help them get on their feet quickly?
A: There won't be anything to stop you from doing that.[6]Steven Sharif

Escrow system

An escrow system is planned to prevent griefing in the crafting system.[43]

We're going to have a UI... you're gonna put the resources in or they're gonna put the resources in. It'll be like an escrow system and then once [the job] is complete you'll get the item they'll get the money.[43]

Mailing items

Items and resources are not able to be mailed by players.[44][45]

Purchases of anything other than materials and gatherables from integrated auction houses will be mailed to the purchaser.[25]

Gear binding

There may be some gear binding (BoE or BoP) but it will be an exception rather than the rule, as this doesn't facilitate the objectives for the economy.[46]

A lot of what we experienced in games that usually come before us is that many things are account bound and they're soulbound to your character... Instead very little here is character bound. Very very little. The vast majority of gear- yes you will get quest related gear as rewards- but it won't be let's say one set in one dungeon and you must run the dungeon over and over. Instead we want to really emphasize the reliance on the economy and crafters and gatherers and processors to support a majority of the gear structure in-game, combined with that of world raid bosses and dungeon bosses; not a repetitive quest line through a single dungeon.[48]Steven Sharif

Theft

There will not be a theft (stealing/pickpocketing) mechanic in Ashes of Creation in regards to living players.[49]

  • Players are not able to be robbed while occupying their player stall inside the limits of a node.[18]

There is not a theft mechanic for you to walk up to a player that's alive and steal something.[49]Steven Sharif

Storage

Storage points exist at warehouses within nodes and in chests (storage containers) that can be placed in freeholds and static in-node housing.[51][52]

Warehouses

Warehouses may enable a player to transfer non-material goods between alts. This excludes resources, materials or anything that relies on the caravan system.[53]

Player housing storage

Chests (storage containers) are a type of furniture in Ashes of Creation.[52][56]

  • Players must obtain and place storage containers in their player-owned housing.[52]
  • Different grades of storage containers have different inventory capacities.[52]
    • There are restrictions on the grades of storage containers available in different types of houses.[52]
  • Access permissions can be set to allow others to access a player's personal storage devices.[57][58]
  • Players are prohibited from moving goods out of depositories within a node following a siege declaration against that node.[28]

Banking

Nodes advance to the first stage quickly. This enables NPC services such as vending or banking items.[60]

Caravans

Caravans facilitate the transfer of goods for players wishing to turn a profit.[9]

The caravan system is an open world PvP system that revolves around opportunity and risk. Caravans facilitate the transfer of goods for players wishing to turn a profit.[9]

  • Caravans can transport goods for more than one player.[65]

Caravan types

There are different types of Caravans in Ashes of Creation.[68][69]

The caravan system is another very big part of the node system. They are the main driver of economic activity and there is a bunch of different types of caravan.[69]Jeffrey Bard

Naval caravans

Alpha-1 Niküa naval caravan 3D render.[70]

Caravans are capable of transitioning from land to naval caravans. So if you start out as a land-based Caravan and you move to the coast and you want to move into the water there's gonna be a little transition period there; it's gonna be a little construction kind of site: You're not gonna have to do anything it's just gonna be a timer right so that you can't quickly move between land and water. It's gonna be probably in the matter of you know a minute to two minutes. There's a little bit of vulnerability in that regard.[71]Steven Sharif

Naval caravans (Trade ships) are part of Ashes of Creation naval content.[72] Naval caravans allow the transportation of trading goods.[73]

 

Artisan classes

Artisan classes allow a player to specialize in one or more of the following skill trees.[75]

Within each of these three artisan classes lies different professions.[76]

A character may only master one of the three parent artisan classes.[76]

  • It is possible to master multiple professions (but not all) within this mastered artisan class.[78][76][79]

Artisan classes and their professions are not affected by a character's race, religion, or class.[80]

Crafting and gathering is a very important component of the economy that players will have direct control over. Whether you wish to build a sprawling plantation around your house, or wish to travel the vast wilderness in search of treasure and resources.[9]

The crafting systems and artisanship in general is pretty complex.[83]Steven Sharif

Gathering professions

Processing professions

Crafting professions

Artisan supply chain

AshesOfCreation Screenshot 009.jpg

Artisans within Ashes of Creation must choose a path in their artisan skill tree. This inter-dependency establishes a supply chain from raw materials to finished product.[85][86] Each stage of the chain may require caravans to transport goods from one artisan to another.[87]

  1. Obtaining raw materials:[88]
  2. Refining the raw materials with the Processing profession.[86]
  3. Crafting the finished product using its crafting recipe.

As a crafter you're going to want to know where certain recipes can be fulfilled; which nodes have the capability of creating what you've processed material that you've gathered for; and then you're going to want to plan out your route to either transit the goods there or make sure that you're situated in the area so that you can go out collect and build in that area as well. So there's a lot of planning that's going to be necessary.[91]Steven Sharif

Player owned businesses

Shop sign concept art.[92]

Our business owner system... grants players a meaningful existence in the world and rewards them for their persistence, dedication and survivability.[93]Steven Sharif

Taverns

Taverns provide tiered services.[93]

  • Quests that might only be gathered from the player-owned taverns.
  • Meals that grant buffs for a period of time after a player leaves.
  • Recipes that could potentially be sold to cooking professions, that may only be obtained from a player-owned business in a certain area.

The longer the tavern is in business and the more patrons served, the faster the tavern will level up.[93]

Business chains

There's no reason why you couldn't license your name to somebody else who also has a freehold and who also has an Inn and work together.[94]Jeffrey Bard

Taxes

Node taxes

Mayors/Node governments allocate resources, taxes, and quests to help develop node defenses.[96]

  • Tax money only goes toward funding node development.[97]
  • Taxation rates scale based on when a player joined a node as a citizen. The goal is to exert financial pressure on node populations by making taxes increasingly expensive as nodes advance, rather than putting in place hard population caps.[98]

Parent nodes take a cut of all taxes from the housing and any services that occur within their ZOI.[99]

  • This tax doesn't necessarily impact the individual citizen, because citizen's tax levels are determined by their node, but the node's finances are affected by the taxation levied by its parent nodes.[99]

Housing taxes

When a node reaches stage 3 (Village) and a player run government has formed, all player housing will pay taxes.[100]

  • A player's tax charge will be determined by the number of structures built on their plot.[97]

Item sinks

It's important for a healthy economy to have item sinks, so that anything that can be crafted can also be destroyed. There are four kinds of item sinks in Ashes of Creation:[5]

  1. Item durability (item decay).[101] Zero percent durability will unequip an item, increasing its repair costs.[102]
  2. Over-enchanting carries the risk of destroying that item.[88]
  3. Players gain craftable items and recipes from deconstructing (salvaging) completed items.[88]
  4. A portion of resources and materials are lost when caravans or nodes are destroyed.[103]

An important aspect of a healthy economy is having some item sinks available... There are three kinds of item sinks: You can gain craftable items from deconstructing completed items; You can have decay... and if you want to over-enchant that item there will be a potential to destroy it as well. It's important for an economy to experience those types of emphasis on what can be crafted as well as seeing those items that are crafted be destroyed as well..[101]

Item durability

There is item durability (item decay) in Ashes of Creation.[101]

The decay system is not going to be some worthless "Oh I'm just going to throw some gold into this and it's a simple gold sink". It's actually going to require some base materials in order to repair decayed items; and decay occurs from death and also the destruction and disable system. For the weapons over the over-enchanting will require those materials as well. So creating that dependency I think is healthy for the crafting economy.[104]Steven Sharif

There is durability in the game... It's not going to be a trivial durability. There is a potential to destroy gear (weapons and armor), but there is also an ability to reforge that destroyed gear using a portion of the materials necessary as well as finding an item creator who can reforge it.[101]Steven Sharif

Item deconstruction

Players gain craftable items and recipes from deconstructing (salvaging, dismantling, disenchanting) completed items.[88]

There's salvaging where you can deconstruct an item to get components only capable of retrieving from salvaging an item that can be used in crafting other types of items.[5]Steven Sharif

Power creep

Power creep is a balance issue... When it comes to gear progression specifically, the idea is to create an open market that is not heavily dependent on soulbound items; and having many item sinks and gold sinks within that economy that allows for the potential degradation and loss of assets within that closed economy; and not introduce items from the market that companies put in from a pay-to-win perspective or from a pay-to-convenience perspective that undermines the economy that players have built. That is a huge mistake that companies have made in the past and that lends to the imbalancing of what designers maybe have actually balanced well.[109]Steven Sharif

Security systems

Security systems will be in place to combat cheating, exploiting, botting, gold selling, item duplication and other things that affect the economy starting from Alpha-0.[110][111][112]

  • These systems collect user data and flag abnormal activities for inspection. This combined with player reporting functions generates a live "heat map" that draws attention to unusual behavior.[112]
  • Players caught cheating will be banned.[112]

Game masters

Game masters (GMs) will be present and active on Ashes of Creation servers.[113]

  • There will be a standard escalation system, where different actions are taken based on the seriousness of each infraction. Actions could range anywhere from being stripped (of the illegitimate items or currency) to being banned for a period of time, or being permanently banned.[113]

The direction that I'm taking Intrepid as a company in is that a significant portion of the revenue created by the game goes into not only creating additional content and updates for the game but also goes into I think caretaking, as I like to call it; and that caretaking is multiple things: It's having active and present GM's on servers. It's having a an interacting community team that is always present and on-call for participating in forum discussions and streams and updates.[113]Steven Sharif

Following a standard approach to an escalation system where certain infractions are immediate and automatic bans and some infractions provide a path forward where action is taken that might ban the account or strip the account or provide some chat bans or the ability to play over a week or so... If you buy gold and depending on the the seriousness of the infraction you could go anywhere from being stripped and to being banned for a period of time to being permanently banned.[113]Steven Sharif

Two-factor authentication

Token-based two-factor authentication (2FA) may be in place for Alpha-1.[114]

World manager

The World manager is an algorithm in Ashes of Creation that controls dynamic world elements. It acts as both a throttle and an incentive system for various activities to ensure certain parameters are within acceptable thresholds.[115]

For example if you know iron is being used as a raw resource for a specific crafting path that might drive up the price of mithril or silver; and that will incentivize the market to course correct a little bit. The idea is to provide soft incentives that help to alleviate the demand and also to prop up the supply that might not be present from the economic systems.[116]Steven Sharif

Loot tables

Monsters drop hunting certificates, Items and crafting materials rather than gold.[118][119]

A wolf is not going to be carrying a sack of gold. It may instead drop "pelts" that can be traded for gold.[119]
  • Hunting certificates will also drop on a character's death.[118]
  • Hunting certificates can be traded with hunter NPCs within nodes.[118]
    • The level of the node and the distance of the node from the drop will determine the value of the certificate. Certificates redeemed from distant economic regions via the caravan system will provide higher returns (4 to 5 times greater in some cases) than certificates collected from the same region.[116][118]
    • The value of the certificates are also calculated (by the world manager algorithm) based on the volume of certificates being redeemed in each region.[116]
  • Hunting certificates can also be stored within node warehouses.[118]

Loot tables of world bosses or dungeon bosses have a small RNG chance of dropping gear (completed items).[120][121]

Loot tables are disabled for player controlled monsters.[126]

Experience debt decreases the drop rate percentages from monsters.[127]

Population based scaling

The prices that NPCs sell items for will scale based on the economic activity on a server. Prices will rise to combat inflation and fall as a population diminishes.[128]

The node system allows the developers to scale the experience needed to level a node and the attrition that delevels a node based on activity.[128]

Things that NPCs buy and sell kind of scale based on the economic activity that exists on that server... As inflation rises, prices rise and everything kind of ends up being equal, even though there might be a couple of extra zeros. So that can go up and it can also go down so as a population leaves, things become less expensive and players don't have to do as much to earn that. On the other side of things we look at the node system and the node system is set up in this really flexible way that allows us to scale the experience needed to level a node and the attrition that delevels a node to scale based on activity too. So you know it's just a matter of adjusting a couple of constants and that goes up and down and the server can watch it and change those on the fly as it needs to.[128]Jeffrey Bard

Trade agreements

Node governments can enter into trade agreements with other nodes. Each node entering into the agreement can designate caravans with materials to be sent to the other; improving the economy of both nodes. This gives experience to all involved, contributes to the node’s growth and helps to construct buildings.[129]

Mercenary guilds will be a viable way forward for different organizations. I think there will be a lot of business to be had with that; and one of the systems in our trade agreements is creating an escrow for those particular type of arrangements that we're looking into.[130]Steven Sharif

Trade routes

Mayoral caravan launched by a mayor to establish a trade route with another node.[69]

Trade routes in Ashes of Creation refer to.

Sharemarket

As nodes develop, player governments may open a Stock exchange (also called Stock markets and Sharemarkets) where players can buy and sell shares in Nodes, Guilds and Social organizations.[133][134]

  • There is no regulatory commission to restrict the purchase and sale of stocks.[135]

Real estate

Players buy the deeds for housing from the node itself.[136] Players can also buy and sell properties from other players.[137]

  • Housing will have a base price that scales with the number of citizens in the node.[138]
  • The developers are considering an auction-based method for listing new properties that become available for purchase when a node advances.[140]
    • A grace period will occur before the housing becomes available for auction.[140]
    • Bids will then be accepted starting at a minimum reserve value that is based on the number of citizens in that node.[140]
    • At the end of the auction, the highest bidder will win the house.[140]
  • Static housing and apartments can be listed and sold to other players.[141][142]

There's no cap essentially in player originated sales. Those are determined essentially by supply and demand as it is within the game and there's no artificial barrier to how high that demand can go.[143]Steven Sharif

  • Housing ownership can default back to the node if the owner fails to pay their property taxes. A balance and penalties will be charged to the new purchaser of the home in the manner of a "foreclosure process".[138]
  • Players will not be able to exceed their allotment of housing in the game.[146]

This will allow players to transfer real property goods. This includes ... static housing, this includes apartments that they may own; and they can sell those because those will have a limited and finite quantity.[146]Steven Sharif

Rental and leasing concepts are currently under consideration.[146]

Some concepts that we have is going to be rental or leases that could be had allowing players to kind of lease a property for a period of time where they will have control rights over utilizing storage based on the area, controlling the furniture or access point; all that kind of stuff.[146]Steven Sharif

Artwork

See also

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  104. 104.0 104.1 104.2 104.3 Interview, 29 July 2020 (16:46).
  105. Livestream, 28 August 2020 (2:05:07).
  106. Interview, 29 July 2020 (15:04).
  107. Livestream, 5 May 2017 (20:41).
  108. Interview, 19 July 2020 (51:11).
  109. Interview, 20 October 2018 (2:53:52).
  110. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (38:35).
  111. Massively OP, 1 June 2017
  112. 112.0 112.1 112.2 Livestream, 9 February 2018 (20:40).
  113. 113.0 113.1 113.2 113.3 Interview, 8 July 2020 (48:30).
  114. Interview, 21 August 2018 (40:44).
  115. Interview, 19 July 2020 (1:10:55).
  116. 116.0 116.1 116.2 116.3 116.4 116.5 116.6 Interview, 19 July 2020 (1:08:22).
  117. dungeons-leak.png
  118. 118.0 118.1 118.2 118.3 118.4 Interview, 18 July 2020 (27:11).
  119. 119.0 119.1 Livestream, 24 May 2017 (44:14).
  120. 120.0 120.1 Interview, 19 July 2020 (8:43).
  121. February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
  122. Interview, 20 July 2020 (21:57).
  123. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (55:49).
  124. Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:00:15).
  125. Livestream, 25 July 2020 (46:08).
  126. Livestream, 3 May 2017 (35:25).
  127. Ashes of Creation Forums - Former Lineage 2 PvP'er wanting to discuss PvP loopholes.
  128. 128.0 128.1 128.2 Livestream, 4 June 2018 (39:15).
  129. City hall.
  130. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (AM) (18:59).
  131. Livestream, 17 May 2017 (30:53).
  132. Kickstarter - We Just Broke $1,500,000!
  133. 133.0 133.1 Livestream, 17 May 2017 (11:27).
  134. 134.0 134.1 Stock Exchange.jpg
  135. 135.0 135.1 Interview, 20 October 2018 (5:51).
  136. MMOGames interview, January 2017
  137. 137.0 137.1 Node series part II – the Metropolis.
  138. 138.0 138.1 Livestream, 26 June 2020 (53:41).
  139. Livestream, 12 May 2017 (52:01).
  140. 140.0 140.1 140.2 140.3 Livestream, 12 May 2017 (55:01).
  141. 141.0 141.1 Livestream, 26 June 2020 (47:32).
  142. Livestream, 26 June 2020 (54:03).
  143. 143.0 143.1 Interview, 8 July 2020 (33:34).
  144. Livestream, 26 June 2020 (1:02:12).
  145. Livestream, 26 June 2020 (56:08).
  146. 146.0 146.1 146.2 146.3 Livestream, 30 May 2019 (1:23:41).