Bosses

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A Lieutenant of The Ancients 3D render.[2]

These particular two models, with alpha one, they will be animated and present as adversaries in some of the dungeon locations within Ashes of Creation.[3]Steven Sharif

Bosses fall into the following types, with increasing levels of difficulty and loot tables, requiring greater numbers of players to kill.[4]

Certain bosses and encounters will feature specific original sound tracks composed by Bear McCreary.[5]

List of boss mobs

info-orange.pngThis section contains information from Alpha-1 testing. It will be updated when new information is made available.

Raid bosses

There will be between 12 to 15 raid bosses in the world.[4]

Particular world bosses have stages of progression, such as defeating acolytes, then lieutenants, then generals, then the world boss itself.[8]

  • At each stage there is increasing difficulty.[8]
  • This may be parsed out into different time periods and be behind a wall of development.[8]
  • A single digit percentage of the population will be capable of defeating certain content.[8]

There will be some in-depth raiding that has multiple stages that will be extremely difficult and... It would definitely be in the single digits of population that will be capable of defeating certain content... It doesn't mean that there won't be content available for the larger percentages as well... There should be a tiered level of content that players can constantly strive to accomplish. If there is no ladder of progression and everything is flat and all content can be experienced, then there is no drive to excel.[8]Steven Sharif

List of raid bosses

Raid tiers

Tiers of raid difficulty are in accordance with the world's node structure.[9][10]

The more developed a zone the more challenging the content; and we feel that's a good progression when it comes to actual adventuring class, because it will match both world development and it will also continue to allow for participation for new players, if they may go into a zone that's recently been reset by either a siege or some other event.[10]Steven Sharif

World bosses

There will be ancillary effects that happen as a result of downing certain world bosses.[12]

When a server downs a legendary boss, I want it to cost time, resources, dedication; and when you do that I want everyone to benefit from it.[13]Steven Sharif

Regional bosses

Regional/world bosses will change based on the types and locations of nodes.[4]

List of world bosses

info-orange.pngThis section contains information from Alpha-1 testing. It will be updated when new information is made available.

Dungeon bosses

info-orange.pngThis section contains information from Alpha-1 testing. It will be updated when new information is made available.

PvE difficulty

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.[15]

Artificial intelligence

Jermaine Torment of Illwind boss mob.[18]

You can see how we utilize some of the different armor pieces- you've probably seen some of these pieces on different outfits like that toast Corvid Castigator cloak is on him.[18]Margaret Krohn

Ashes of Creation utilizes an adaptive artificial intelligence (AI), which means that different encounters with similar creatures will yield different player experiences.[19]

  • Utilizing new AI technology that hasn't been seen in other MMORPG projects.[20]
  • Bosses are scripted and make decisions dynamically during boss fights.[21]
  • NPCs performing "idle actions" to make the world seem more alive has been discussed by the developers but is not confirmed.[22]
  • Certain AI behaviors might activate based on progress within an encounter.[16]
    • Higher frequency of AoE attacks depending on how many players are participating.[16]
    • Unlock rage, recovery effects and buffs.[16]
    • Additional adds and add classes.[16]
  • NPCs in certain encounters may be aware of their local environment and can seek cover behind obstacles, for example; but this will not be prevalent in general AI designs.[23]

There are AI systems that don't relate to controlling NPCs.[24]

There are some additional AI parameters that are set that don't relate necessarily to controlling NPCs. There are AIs with regards to the development of the borders for nodes in the direction and also the decisions that are made of which lower nodes to enslave as vassal states. There's AI that relates to a little bit of the stock market that's going to be present in the economy. There's some AI systems that are going to be announced also that are pretty innovative I think with regards to the MMORPG genre and that's going to make the triggered event system very interesting I think; and that's you know with regards to how nodes kind of develop and the environment reacts to that development by you know spawning these triggered events of you know a horde of zombies attacking a city or a legendary raid boss coming out of the mountain. I think there's a lot of opportunity for some of the innovations that's been in the AI sector of game development too to come out in Ashes.[24]Steven Sharif

Level scaling

Levels, stats, or skills will not be scaled to allow low level players to participate in encounters with higher level players.[25][26]

Mentor program

There will be a mentorship program where upper-level players are able to benefit from partying and/or helping lower level players; and getting them situated in the game.[26]

There will be activities that are present for higher level players to mentor lower level players. Let's say you have a friend who joins later on and you still want to do things with them, there will be things to do. Will he be able to enter a dungeon of your level and participate? No, because we don't want to inflate or deflate characters and manipulate that type of skill or power. We want that to be something that makes sense for them in a progression standpoint.[28]Steven Sharif

The mentorship program provides individual quests that can be initiated by the mentor based off of what node that they are part of. So these are like quests that are determined by either certain buildings and/or organizations or the mayor; and there are specific ones that are available for mentors to provide mentees; and they can also participate in some of those quest lines as well: Whether that be leading your mentee through a dungeon or providing a location for them to arrive with you at, or escort quests for the NPC caravans. These types of things, when done together with your mentor, will provide benefits both for the mentor and the mentee as well, so you're incentivized to participate with new players.[27]Steven Sharif

Announcements/Notifications

Goblins attacking a Town (stage 4) node due to a triggered event.[29][30]

Enemies can only really grow stronger as the node grows, becoming outposts essentially for exiled or rivals of the existing order.[31]Steven Sharif

There will be local, regional, or global (server-wide) announcements/notifications of important events.[31][32]

Event notifications will utilize different methods depending on the stage (scope and level) of the event.[31]

  • Local events
    • Local events (such as caravan PvP)[36][37][38] may prompt players via the UI asking if they wish to participate or not.[31]
    • Other local events may offer audible or visual cues without any UI notifications.[31]
    • Local events that have not been addressed may start to expand regionally or even globally.[31]
One important thing to note about events in general is notifications are sent to the players. Players can opt into these events in a similar way that you would into a quest. You're going to be presented with a 'would you like to participate' but they might not always be that way. You might hear trees falling in the forest and that may be an audio cue to tell you something's happening over there. It's out of the ordinary. This is not normally an audio cue that I hear in this area and i'm gonna go investigate that thing. So it might not just be always that kind of UI window represented with a 'participate or not' but I'm going to go investigate and in that sense it could be stage driven. So you might have the more local stage where it is just the visual or audio cues and you get to go participate in that stage; and then when it advances, or if you don't answer the problem in time, then it starts to expand regionally and then it might send out particular notifications to either citizens of the node from which it falls under its purview or even broader than that. It could be global driven events and then it could have things that are are visual cues that are really big like a giant blizzard that's affecting the zone, because the event hasn't been addressed; and that can affect the crop rotations or it can affect passages and roads and how caravans move. There's a lot that the predicate system informs to the event system and then the event system reacts to those types of predicates.[31]Steven Sharif
Whether it be like a siege or a triggered event against a city or like a unique dungeon opportunity... those types of things are going to involve notifications. Especially to the citizens of the city; where you'll be informed of an impending event. Basically it will give you time.[35]Steven Sharif
  • Regional or global events
    • Wider events may be broadcast regionally or even globally.[31][32]

Looting

Ashes of Creation intends to use traditional loot rules, selected by the party or raid leader.[42][43][44]

Free-for-all
Whoever is first to loot gets the loot.[42]
Lootmaster
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.[44]
Round-robin
With round-robin looting, party members take turns looting.[44]
Need before greed
This is a traditional need before greed system based on dice rolls.[44]
Since there is very little gear binding in Ashes of Creation, it's left to the party to deal with players who excessively roll Need on loot.[45]
Bidding system
Intrepid are investigating a potential bidding system, which allows players to bid on items instead of rolling for them.[44]
  • The highest bidder wins the item.[44]
  • The gold then goes into a pool that is split among the rest of the party members.[44]

Loot tables

Loot tables of world bosses or dungeon bosses have a small RNG chance of dropping gear (completed items).[47][48] Monsters drop hunting certificates, Items and crafting materials rather than gold.[49][50]

Hunting certificates

Hunting certificates is a term that covers items, such as Pelts that house the value of a mob's death. These certificates are specific to an economic region.[57] These are intended as an alternative mechanic to acquire gold.[58][49][50]

A wolf is not going to be carrying a sack of gold. It may instead drop "pelts" that can be traded for gold.[50]

Players drop hunting certificates and other items upon death, based on their applicable death penalties.[59][60][61][49]

Loot tagging

Looting rights (also known as Loot tagging) is based on a blended tag and damage done system.[62][43]

  • The first party to obtain a tag (on a mob or boss) will gain an approximately 5-10% edge over competing parties in terms of the total damage done when determining looting rights.[62][43]
    • These numbers will be balanced based on testing.[62]
  • At the end of the fight, the party with the highest damage done, including first tagging bonus, will be granted looting rights.[62][43]
We have a blended approach of damage done and a tag benefit. So if you tag the boss first, or you tag the loot- whatever the loot target is first- you're gonna get a benefit in the damage overall determination. So if you need to have 51% of damage done in order to qualify your raid, or the plurality of damage done if there's even three or four raids, then tagging first might give you a five or ten percent edge. We'll play with that number- balance it based on testing, but generally that's our approach in competing loot rights[62]Steven Sharif

Master gatherers may have the ability to "spoil" a boss' loot.[63]

If you want to be able to get those mats from the boss, they're just not going to drop for anybody. They will only drop for a master gatherer who is capable of extracting those resources from the creature itself... The reason why we say there's a lot of interdependencies between the crafters of the world and the raiders of the world and our PvPers of the world is because we don't want to house the capability to attain these things all within the adventuring class. We want there to be an influence necessary from the craftsmen's guild to come in to either come and participate and spoil the boss and gather the goods or something along those lines.[63]Steven Sharif

Crafted items

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

Crafted items will be on par with best in slot items.[64]

That plays into our crafting system in and of itself right. The idea is for those stats to be variables that can be kind of 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.[54]Steven Sharif

Crafters are able to influence what their crafted items will look like.[66][69]

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.[19]

Crafting and World Bosses will be the main way to obtain high-level gear. There are some exceptions to this in the form of Legendary items (single server drops or discoveries), and other equipment that may drop wholesale, but we want Artisans and top tier raiding to produce the lion’s share of high level, high effectiveness equipment.[48]Sarah Flanagan

Mount and pet drops

Mounts and pets are dropped by world bosses on a very rare basis.[72]

Temporary mounts

Temporary mounts that drop from bosses will age and eventually die.[73]

Adaptive content

Alpha-1 preview pirate themed dynamic point of interest.[74]

This is actually a dynamic POI. This one will evolve as players evolve the node that it's attached to. So this is kind of its final state.[74]Jeffrey Bard

New points of interest (such as dungeons, world bosses, and corrupted areas) spawn as nodes develop.[75][76] This content adapts to the node progression of the zone it is in.[74][77]

Certain dungeons and other points of interest across the map will all be affected by the server’s node development. Some dungeons will only be unlocked if nodes are developed to certain stages. The storyline objectives for players inside dungeons will also be dependent on the story arc paths chosen through the node system. The drop tables in area and dungeons will also be tied into the progression of certain areas. For example, let’s say that the humans have developed a node in Region A, and a storyline has opened up that leads players to inspect the ruins (dungeon) of a nearby area. And let’s say that this node was developed in a scientific (crafting) zone… Well before the node developed, this dungeon was accessible… But now the dungeon has propagated new monster assets that include a drop table catering to a crafting emphasis because of the development of that scientific node. And perhaps, a new boss appears in different rooms of the dungeon that includes different adventure quest starts, like a mysterious item with a storyline that can only be progressed if a node develops to the metropolis stage in a certain region, across the world. Our system is so vast, when it comes to interconnectivity and how the world reacts to the players.[78]

Player driven narrative

The world of Verra will be the same on each server, but Nodes will develop differently. Different servers will have different narratives. Things that happen on one server may not happen on another.[80]

We want as many people as possible to experience the main server Narrative. These will branch at different scales, but largely at the personal level. Where things change is at the Node level – different parts of the story will be unlocked based on where and when Nodes grow. Unlocking a part of the story in a certain way locks out progression of the story in a different way. You’ll see different antagonists, different NPCs, and different calls to action depending on what’s happening with the server at that time.[82]

It kind of redefines what the players will experience in an MMORPG to come into a wilderness that is devoid of really any structure outside of what the community creates themselves; and then what can be created can be changed, if they want to experience a storyline that's been seen on another server, but you know you're fighting a dragon because you're near a mountain and the other server's fighting a Kraken because they're near the coast and you want to fight that Kraken because of its drop table. If you want to meta it or because you just want that under your belt: to be the server first to take out that Kraken and you have yet to develop the node there, you know it's incumbent upon you to manifest that in the game.[83]Steven Sharif

Legendary items

There is a small RNG chance of looting rare and legendary items or crafting materials from mobs based on the level, status and type of mob. This also applies to harvesting resources with a gathering profession.[53]

At each stage from Gatherer to Processor to Crafter you are required to have certain prerequisites before those elite types of materials can be essentially gathered, processed, or crafted.[51]Steven Sharif

The amount of effort needed and interdependencies across the different types of players – between raiders and PvPers and crafters and even role players and the taverns and businesses: the processors and gatherers – all of those systems will likely have a component that lends toward creating or crafting that legendary item... We want to stay away from the highly RNGd system, and instead take our multiple progression paths that we are offering the players and put the construction components for achieving these legendary items within them so it encourages communities to work together because it's going to be difficult for just one person by themselves to gather everything. Not to say that they couldn't in an economic sense, by buying those components, that's possible. But achieving them from a time investment standpoint we want it to be considerably less RNG focussed.[52]Steven Sharif

Certain legendary items may be limited to one per server at any given time.[85][86]

  • If the player character leaves the server then the item will become available for acquisition through whatever means it was acquired previously.[85]

There are absolutely legendary items and they're not items that are attained easily nor are they granted out in a volume. There might even be items that are single items that will exist on the server at any given time.[86]

A legendary weapon is easily distinguished by its visual appearance.[52]

It will be a very ornate and detailed weapon, more so than any other weapon or piece of equipment in the game. It will also include some awesome looking effects that won't too gaudy, you know they won't be too bright and shiny so that it doesn't look good, but they will be subtle and people will notice it and know wow that guy has this weapon.[52]Steven Sharif

Legendary items are not intended to be temporary.[87]

The fact there is only one of them... or very very few of them depending on what it is. I think that in and of itself is a balance component right and you need to make sure that the players who are striving for those legendary things and who are devoting the time energy, resources in order to achieve them are accurately rewarded... We do not intend on having legendary items that are temporary.[87]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.

Discovery of legendary items will unlock further chapters of the Lore.[89]

Monster coins

Pre-alpha monster coin system.[90]

Sometimes the disturbed beings could take the form of packs of dire wolves, hordes of zombies roused from their graveyard, or even, rarely, an epic-tier dragon flying out of a volcano once a node reaches its maximum level. In any case, the disturbed monsters have to tackle a series of destructive objectives, which can either be handled by the the AI or, more interestingly, by a player. The player in turn would attempt to complete all those actions much as in a multi-objective quest, hopefully before other players brought him or her down.[91]

Monster coins enable players to play as monsters within the monster coin event system. This ranges from playing as a horde of zombies, to becoming a massive dragon.[33][92]

During a Monster Coin Event, players will be able to activate Monster Coins, allowing them to become monsters and wreak havoc! These Events can be triggered in a variety of different ways, and in some cases they may even provide cosmetic rewards.[29]

Monster coin events are system spawned events.[33][93]

  • They are structured in a way to prevent groups from gaming the system.[93]
  • Monster coin events are triggered by activity in the world, such as node advancement, defeating a boss or constructing certain types of buildings within a node.[94]
  • Server messages appear for players in the vicinity of these dynamic events.[95]
  • Drop tables are disabled for player controlled monsters.[55]
  • The Ancients are not going to be part of the monster coin system.[96]
  • Monster coins only allow a character to participate in events on their own server.[97]

Traditionally, the Ancients are not going to be part of the Monster Coin system. These are the primary antagonists of the story. From a lore perspective, and one of the reasons why they're not a part of the Monster Coin system, is because their souls have really developed almost to the point of perfection in manipulating the Essence for more corrupt uses. They haven't quite gotten there, and who knows if they ever will, but that kind of attunes them out of the possibility: The reason why the monster coin system is possible with other creatures.[98]Steven Sharif

Impact on nodes

Monster coin events (Bosses) cannot destroy or delevel nodes.[99] They can disable certain buildings, services and NPCs within a node.[100][95] Node sieges are the chief mechanic for destroying nodes.[99]

For example, if the service building that got disabled was a blacksmith's building that housed a workbench, which was the only workbench in the region capable of crafting a t5 (or tier 5), or high-tier quality equipment, then of course that would have ramifications economically, as those pieces of equipment that are already readily available would raise in prices; and because there would be a issue within the supply chain of those items being introduced into the economy, you would potentially have some supply and demand changes economically and that could span regions: that could be global even.[103]Steven Sharif

Day and night cycle

Early Alpha-1 dynamic lighting example.[104]

This has been some of the work done on the dynamic aspect of not just the clouds and the skyline, but also the different times of days that will be experienced through the world... We are not going with a 'baked' lighting aspect; we're going with a dynamic lighting aspect. So it can be a little bit costlier, but at the same time it really adds a type of mood that you would come to expect with the aesthetic you are seeing here in a game like Ashes of Creation.[105]Steven Sharif

There is a day/night cycle in Ashes of Creation.[107][108]

Fifteen minutes may be one hour in game time.[111]

Ashes of Creation Apocalypse horde mode

Ashes of Creation Apocalypse horde mode is an Ashes of Creation Apocalypse testing mode where 50 players defend a city against waves of incoming NPCs and player controlled monsters.[112][113][114]

  • Each wave is more difficult than the last.[114]
  • Between waves, players collect experience, money and weapons to take back to their hold to defend against the next wave.[115]
  • Monster coins enable players to join the game as part of the horde.[114]

Horde mode will include adaptive AI boss mechanics.[113] Rewards are obtained dependent on progress against these NPCs.[116]

Horde mode will absolutely include boss mechanics, so some of the ideas behind that is going to have a wave mode of a variety of NPCs will likely include some achievable cosmetics as well in that mode depending on how far you can get and those cosmetics will include pets of the NPCs that you face, so like a little miniature version of the NPC's and we'll update those as well, that you'll have in the MMO.[116]Steven Sharif

Horde mode is specifically for testing.[116]

It's a way that we thought it would be kind of fun to implement AI mechanics that we're looking to implement. Testing the you know the blackboard for the AI. Being able to have variable types of NPCs that have roles whether it be like a sniper, ranged, melee, boss, heroic you know kind of different AI focuses for those monsters during interesting situations.[116]Steven Sharif

Artwork

See also

References

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  112. Interview, 24 August 2018 (13:17).
  113. 113.0 113.1 Newsletter, 7 August 2018
  114. 114.0 114.1 114.2 114.3 Livestream, 1 September 2018 (54:06).
  115. Livestream, 17 August 2018 (30:29).
  116. 116.0 116.1 116.2 116.3 116.4 116.5 116.6 116.7 Interview, 8 August 2018 (4:00).