Best-in-slot items

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What is considered best-in-slot is based on a character's role and the type of encounter they are facing.[1][2]

  • The goal is to not have overarching best-in-slot items that are meta for all situations.[1]
  • Instanced content will contain scripted and difficult boss fights that drop gear, but the gear drops will not be best-in-slot. These can only be found in the open world.[5]

Crafted items

Crafting UI. Alpha-1 screenshot. Image credit: Guild:Overlord

Crafted items (also referred to as Completed items, Finished goods, or Final products) are items produced by crafter artisans using crafting stations.[6][7][8][3][9][10]

Crafted gear in the game is the best gear... One thing that I'm not a fan of is that you develop a crafting system in a game and you've spent a lot of time making this from a material and resource perspective. All the tables that you can receive, all the connectivity in the economy and how crafting is associated with the game; and then you undermine the crafting entirely by presenting a separate route of gear acquisition that is on-par with the crafting efforts. So here you have these people who are acquiring all of the resources getting, all the recipes, leveling up their professions and then everything they make is less or equal to anything you could just have chosen the easier path of and gone down the questing and received the best gear. So what we do focus on is that crafters make the best shit. Excuse me, the best things.[3]Steven Sharif
That plays into our crafting system in and of itself. The idea is for those stats to be variables that can be dictated based on the mastery level of the particular crafter; and the higher they become a master of those professions, whether it be for armor or for weapons or for accessories, they're going to have some agency and put their mark on essentially what items they're introducing into the economy.[18]Steven Sharif
We believe that every item that exists in the world should in some way reflect its creator. As such, there will be extreme versatility in our crafting system – giving crafters the ability to create unique items that represent their strengths and weaknesses.[23]

Loot tables

Loot tables (drop tables) of world bosses or dungeon bosses have a small RNG chance of dropping gear (completed items).[25][13]


Alpha-2 looting UI preview.[24]

In the group loot obviously there's a lot of functionality here that parties have the ability to customize. There can be loot master, there can be round-robin, there can be need/greed/pass that's applied on a per rarity basis depending on the party's choices.[24]Steven Sharif

Alpha-2 vote to change loot allocation method UI.[42]

Ashes of Creation intends to use traditional loot rules, selected by the party or raid leader.[43][44][45]

  • Group loot rules are defined on a per-rarity basis.[24]
  • A majority of party members must vote to approve any changes to group loot allocation changes.[42]
  • The developers are considering using a double-tap interaction to loot all containers within a close proximity radius.[46]
  • There won't be auto-looting pets.[47]
  • It will be possible to kick a player from a party prior to them acquiring loot.[48]
Yes, technically it would be possible for you to kick a player prior to acquiring loot. However, again because we are a game that relies on social interactions, there are reputations to be had; and if you acquire a reputation as a raid leader, or as a party leader, of doing something dirty like that, then it's unlikely you'll be able to Garner the support of future party members and/or raids to lead efforts against these raid bosses.[48]Steven Sharif
  • Whoever is first to loot gets the loot.[43]
  • A master looter (or lootmaster) is a player designated by the party leader to decide how loot is distributed in a dungeon or raid party.[45]
Need or greed.[24][45]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
Bidding system.[45]
  • Intrepid are investigating a potential bidding system, which allows players to bid on items instead of rolling for them.[45]
    • The highest bidder wins the item.[45]
    • The gold then goes into a pool that is split among the rest of the party members.[45]

Gear sets

Equipping the Titanbark gear set in Alpha-2.[51]

We're going relatively traditional in the gear access points by being driven by level tier that players will have access to. So as you advance in your adventuring class you will begin to unlock the ability to equip gear of a higher level.[52]Steven Sharif

Gear sets (also known as tier sets) are a part of Ashes of Creation.[53][52][54]

Q: How often will armor be part of an entire armor set with other cosmetically matching pieces versus unique armor pieces that don't match or go along with anything else in the game?
A: There is a balance of both set pieces and non-set pieces and usually you're going to see at higher grades within a tier are going to be more predominantly set driven; and the lower interstitial power levels of the gear for that tier are the potentially bespoke pieces; and obviously those pieces are catered around a number of different interactions, such as ones you get from quests, ones that you get from drops, ones that you can craft, ones that you get from legendary bosses, ones that you get from guild-oriented tasks, or in-game favor and unique currencies. So there's different types of acquisition models and each of them has a spattering of either bespoke pieces or set-oriented pieces; and there are even varying levels of set pieces as well. So you might have a full eight piece set, or a three-piece set, or a five piece set, depending on where it lives within the tier.[53]Steven Sharif
  • Players gain bonuses depending on the number and tier of pieces they have equipped.[53][52][54]
    • An overarching set effect is granted to wearers of exclusively one "type" of armor, for example: all cloth, or all plate.[55]
    • There may be set bonuses that members of certain communities will obtain based on gear set type.[53][54]
    • Set bonuses will not provide new abilities, but certain higher-end weapons and armor will have active abilities, but the intention is that these abilities will not radically redefine the way an archetype is played.[56]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
  • Certain set bonuses may trade off core gear stats.[61]
  • There are passive abilities that can be chosen to become more adept with certain set types.[54]
  • There will be viable non-set builds.[61]

Item rarities

Item rarities in Ashes of Creation.

Tumok the Wretched Alpha-2 world boss.[70]

Raid bosses are aware of the number of combatants within an area in proximity to them and that awareness is part of an indicator to which behaviors they're going to utilize as part of their behavior tree. So as it's assessing the types of combatants that are facing it, the number of those combatants, the position of those combatants, the abilities and totals of those combatants, it weighs certain actions in its behavior tree and then it acts on those actions; and in the scenario where you're bringing overwhelming odds to a particular fight, that might weigh heavier the AoE options that the boss has access to, where they're utilizing a lot more AoE abilities during an engagement due to that overage of of players. So in that sense it's a bit adaptive. It's a bit dynamic based on the encounter scenario.[71]Steven Sharif

The difficulty of PvE content, such as raids and dungeons will adapt based on the performance of the raid or group against previous bosses in that encounter.[72]

  • Higher performance in earlier phases will increase the difficulty of subsequent phases of the encounter.[72]
  • There will be mobs who's level is above the player level cap.[75]
Both in Alpha-2 and when the game launches, there will be monsters whose technical level is above that of the cap; and the intent there is obviously again to provide some level of challenge that exceeds a comparable level challenge rating.{livestream|2023-11-30|1h53m50|V9F_AJl9ozY}}Steven Sharif
Q: How challenging will raid boss mechanics be given the given that players may need to simultaneously fight other players while also fighting the boss?
A: It depends. The great thing about our encounter system is that it has a wide scalability from encounters that some might consider easy given their composition to encounters that some might consider impossible until they get their gear level to a certain stage. The level of interaction with other players is really predicated on the encounter itself. We may have some encounters that are in instances although the predominant portion of those will be in the open world, in which case they do have the potential being contested; and these encounters, especially the big ones that might land in contention, are giving some of the best-in-slot gear you can get in the game. So it's important that they are contested because it is a significant victory point; and one of our core pillars is risk versus reward: and the higher that risk the higher that reward should be. So those two things seem fitting and then in addition we do have the concept of winners and losers. Not everybody in Ashes of Creation is going to be a winner; and that sucks if you're not I guess, but there is opportunity for you to continue to excel and become one. But it gives much more meaning to an achievement when not everybody gets the achievement. That's our philosophy.[76]Steven Sharif
Q: So it's the sort of thing where it might be, we're going do a dungeon that's oops, all fire golems, so if everybody straps up with plate armor and fire resistance, you don't have to worry about the magic fire: you've got the fire resistance for. And when you start getting punched around, that's why everyone's come in with plate?
A: The encounters design team presents a particular type of challenge rating- for those you're familiar with playing DnD or whatever, challenge rating gets informed by a few different vertical power levels, but then there's also the horizontal perspective: That is, what tools does your party have to address the challenge rating of the situation and some of the horizontal progression exists within how you kit your equipment slots. Some of those can be enhancements or stones, as you're discussing with fire resistance. Some of those are base stats that exist on a particular item, such as physical damage mitigation versus magical damage mitigation and what subtype of damage is incoming based on that. These are the ways that we emphasize that more rock-paper-scissors type of interaction with balance to where it's okay to have asymmetric imbalance if there are horizontal methods by which you achieve the challenge rating.[77]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation will be easy to understand yet hard to master.[78]

My stance on participation trophies is that things should be hard, people should fail, the bitter taste of defeat is what makes success that much more rewarding. Helping other players learn encounter strategy, and fine tuning their play style for high end content is an important part of eliminating participation trophy. Growing together is a good thing, and that include failing together as a means to drive for success together.[79]Steven Sharif


A goal of Ashes of Creation is to emphasise micro metas that work for specific encounters, and de-emphasize macro metas that work for everything.[1]

What we're doing with this approach is we're de-emphasizing a macro meta and instead emphasizing a micro meta. And the difference between the macro/micro is that on the micro level you have metas that might form based on each individual type of encounter or experience. And in those senses, yes, there's going to be a most optimal: There's going to be a best in slot. There's going to be whatever that pertains to that particular challenge rating. But there won't we there will not be an overarching meta that says from a macro level, hey, if you got this shit, you're good to go for everything. That's boring, that's unfulfilling, that is not interesting; and it is just something that that dumbifies the experience.[1]Steven Sharif
  • Increasing difficulty ratings inspire more of a traditional vertical power progression that is common in other MMOs.[77][80]
Oftentimes you just have a very vertical power scale and that determines chase, but when you have a variety of relevance across certain types of adversaries and that variety changes over time because of player activity- and then that affects the economy and the crafter system and who was producing what for what demand- and everything gets shaken up. That's a very fun environment to exist in. It presents a more dynamic situation rather than a quote-unquote cookie-cutter type selection.[80]Steven Sharif
  • The intricacies of how nodes interact with predicates in the world means that it may be possible but difficult to achieve meta server builds.[81]
Q: Do you have any concerns on players eventually discovering a meta server build with nodes due to players heading to specific nodes and regions because they find that content more enjoyable; and if so how would you go about getting players to shift around the world to break up the meta?
A: I think it's interesting if players have a concerted effort across a server to interact with one another, learn from their actions, mistakes, successes, and effectuate that on the server. That's interesting, but I don't believe we'll see a meta form. I think that the intricacies are too great when it comes to how predicates are formed in order to elicit world state changes.[81]Steven Sharif

Game balance

The way that the systems are being designed from a balancing standpoint we're taking into account how we would like the nodes to change per-se how often and we've designed attrition systems for certain cultures that may have more dominance over others. These are things that in Alpha and Beta we will be testing and watching and making sure that our objective is achieved from a gameplay standpoint and if it's not we'll come back and recalculate.[82]Steven Sharif

Class balance

There will be match ups in 1v1s where one class will be superior to another; and that application should be a rock-paper-scissors dynamic. We want there to be counter-play between the different classes... Instead it's going to be a group focused balance, where as long as you have the diversity of classes present, that's going to be an equal level playing field. It's going to be very dependent on skill and strategy.[85]Steven Sharif
Balance-wise, there's a number of different interactions mechanically that you have within an ability that you can adjust in order to balance its power. The most most common ones are: Cooldown, Mana consumption, Damage done, Effect status conferred, Promotion of that effect status, Range.[86]Steven Sharif
When we move into Alpha 2 and we have a lot of data that's supporting the use of these particular abilities in combat settings, how often they're used, how often they result in death, what the average damage done by this archetype is comparatively to other damage done by different archetypes: All of that data gets logged and all of that data gets queried in order for us to refine the abilities so that they live in the environment we want them to. Now, that's not to mean that we're going to have a perfect balance across the board between the archetypes. Again, we're taking a rock-paper-scissor approach to balance, which means that some archetypes will do better against other archetypes and vice versa; and we're also not creating an environment where we want to have 1v1 balance. We are focused around group balance. Group composition is important.[83]Steven Sharif
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
Even though augments do radically change the way your active skills provide you abilities, there's still a primary focus on the base archetype itself and not the 64 whole classes.[84]Steven Sharif
Certain archetypes are capable of moving the gap between their counterpart per-se. If I am a Tank archetype and a Mage is my counter, I can take a Mage secondary and bridge the divide slightly; and then move my identity that direction ever so slightly.[94]Steven Sharif

See also


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  23. About Ashes of Creation.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 24.6 Video, January 27, 2023 (16:44).
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