Please note that we will be mostly waiting for the full NDA drop before we post updated information on Alpha-1, but we will continue to post information that has specific citeable sources from Intrepid.

Castle nodes

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Should you be deft enough to take a Castle, you’ll now be responsible for managing it. Castles will have their own Nodes associated with them, and developing and defending those Nodes will determine the state of your Castle during the next siege. If you’ve done a good job managing your kingdom, then you’ll have more and better options available for deployment during the next siege. If you let your populace fall to ruin, you may have to rely solely on your own devices.[1]

Guild castles have three adjacent nodes in close proximity.[2][3]

  • Castle nodes exist outside of the node system. They are independent of anything that's happening outside in the world with other nodes shutting off certain nodes from progressing.[3]
  • Castle nodes do not have Citizenship, Zones of Influence, Freeholds, Node governments, or Social organizations.[4]
  • Castle nodes cannot exceed stage 3 (Village).[3]
  • Castle nodes are always military node types.[2]
  • Each of the dedicated castle nodes is barren at the start of the castle ownership period.[5]
  • The guild must develop those nodes to enhance the defenses of the castle.[2]
    • It will be possible, but very difficult for a single guild to fully develop these nodes. They will likely need assistance from the broader community.[6]
  • Mercenary NPCs of different types and strengths can also be hired to participate in castle sieges and defend caravans during these events based on the allocation made by the governing castle and how successful they have been defending their castle nodes.[7][8]

Once the castle is owned by a guild that's when the supporting castle nodes start to come online and spawn each week prior to the fourth week castle siege. They'll have to form alliances, they'll have to get support, they'll have to get resources, they'll be able to allocate funds that have been collected through taxation in order to strengthen the defenses as well as hiring additional NPC mercenaries.[8]Steven Sharif

Castle nodes are leveled through questing by the owning guild or alliance guilds.[3]

  • Levelling castle nodes is a hastened process compared to regular nodes.[5]
  • At the end of each week leading up to a castle siege there is a period of time in the weekend where NPC generated caravans start moving toward one of the castle nodes carrying castle taxes from the nodes that fall under the castle's purview.[9][10]
    • During this time it is incumbent upon the owning guild, its allies, and citizens of the nodes to escort these caravans to the castle node.[9]
    • The enemies of the guild have incentive to attack these caravans to reap the rewards from the caravan and to sabotage the tax collection, which will reduce the defensive capability of the castle nodes and hence the castle itself.[9][3]
    • Citizens of nodes that fall under the purview of the castle are automatically registered as defenders of these caravans and may not participate in attacks against them.[9]
  • Completing these quests unlocks services and functions that are useful to the occupying guild and its allies as well as boosting the defenses the castle.[3]

If they fail to to level up those nodes or complete those quests within the three prior weeks before the declaration week, then the castle will be at a disadvantage.[3]Steven Sharif

Being a member of the occupying guild automatically makes you a garrison of the castle nodes and castle itself.[2]

  • Only members of the occupying guild are citizens of these nodes.[11]
  • This citizenship is different to normal node citizenship. Castle nodes don't operate like normal nodes.

Guild castles

Guild castle Alpha-1 early preview.[9]

With five Castles in the world, and each having been owned by different civilizations from the far-flung past of Verra, you can expect that each Castle has its own character. Different terrains and different layouts will result in each Castle having its own advantages and disadvantages. Just because you have managed to take one Castle will not mean that your strategies will pan out in the next. Commanders will have to take into consideration the lay of the land, time of day, weather, and even seasons into account when forming their battle plans.[1]

These Castles are occupied when players arrive on Verra, and their current inhabitants will have to be removed before any player can claim them. Castles will be dangerous and high-level raid zones until they can be cleared, and the first group of players to do so will gain the Castle as their reward.[1]

Five guild castles exist in Ashes of Creation.[1][2] Castles will initially be occupied by an NPC adversary. These are the primary antagonists in the storyline.[5]

Benefits of guild castles

Guild castle concept art.[1]

It's a reciprocal relationship between the castle and its nodes essentially. There are benefits granted to citizens of the castle; and the longer that the castle remains in the hands of its incumbent guild, the stronger the benefits become overall. But at the same time that represents a greater incentive to attack the castle because the rewards will get greater over time also.[9]Steven Sharif

Guild castles provide benefits and trophies for guilds that capture and control them.[9][17]

  • These benefits increase the longer a guild holds its castle.[9]

There are levers and dials that are present to both the owners of Castles as well as the elected officials of Nodes that during their administration they have the ability to impact and influence the region around them.[18]Steven Sharif

Guild castles exert a King or Queen's presence over nodes within their region.[9][18][19]

Castle sieges

Castle Sieges are intended to be massive events with hundreds of people involved in a single Siege. One of the reasons that Ashes of Creation Apocalypse exists is so we can address the challenges in ramping up the number of bodies that we can handle simultaneously. With our latest test hitting over 200 simultaneous players, we’re ready to push that number even further. Our goal is to have the largest organized PVP battles of any MMORPG.[1]

Guilds participate in Castle sieges in an effort to capture and occupy one of the five guild castles in Ashes of Creation.[2]

Each week leading up to the siege week... is a week that's dedicated to one of the three castle dedicated nodes. So around the castle there are three nodes. They represent week, one, two, and three; and then the fourth week is the siege against the castle. Those can only be elevated up to stage three. We've discussed this in the past and there's definitely information out there on the community ran wiki.[23]Steven Sharif

A guild that captures a castle will own that castle for a month before it is sieged again.[23][5]

  • In the first three weeks that a guild occupies a castle they will need to level up each of their castle nodes to Village stage through questing.[23][5]
    • Each of the three castle nodes have a siege against it at the end of each of these three weeks.[5][11]
  • The fourth week is declaration week, where other guilds have the opportunity to lay down their declaration flag or to sign up as a defender of the castle.[23][5]
  • Depending on how well the guild defends their castle nodes results in better defenses for the castle.[5][11]
  • Different siege weaponry will grant the attackers the ability to destroy walls, doors and sections of the castle in order to gain access to the inner keep area.[3]
  • When castles change hands (following a siege), some taxes stay with the castle and some stay with the guild.[24]

There will be benefits to attracting people... even if they're not in your guild or alliance – kind of a feudal like system, where you can attract other players who are just independent of this whole politic. They will have things to do there - benefits to receive - and there will be a reciprocal relationship between who you can attract, what they do for you; and how that benefits you and them.[5]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 castle sieges

Trebuchets in the Alpha-1 preview castle siege attackers headquarter camp.[26]

An initial implementation of castle sieges based on Ashes of Creation Apocalypse castle sieges is being tested by the developers.[28][15]

  • Players will be able to join guilds. These guilds can register for the siege events.[26]
  • Castle siege events will be 100v100 battles that occur daily and will last for three hours.[26]
  • Attackers will start on the opposite end of the map (from the defenders).[26]
  • Attackers will be able to use trebuchets to drive to and assault the castle.[26]
    • Trebuchets have a single primary fire that does a small amount of damage to players and heavy damage to buildings.[26]
    • Trebuchets will be fully physical when they are being driven.[26]
  • When the attackers have breached the castle they will be able to channel a cast on the relic in the throne room to try to capture the castle from the defenders.[26]
  • The victors of castle sieges will receive benefits, such as cloaks, flying mounts for guild leaders and potentially also for guild officers.[26]
  • Alpha-1 castle sieges are in a separate zone that is accessible via a NPC teleporter.[13][14][12]
    Currently the siege zone is actually in the open world, but separated by mountains and off in the sea a bit. There is actually no instancing in A1, although the siege zone will only be accessible in A1 through a registration NPC teleporter.[13]Steven Sharif
  • The opposing team is notified when these raid bosses are being attacked.[28]
  • Teams who get the last hit on these bosses will receive buffs that will help them in the siege battle.[28]

Last year, I spoke of attempting to incorporate sieges into the Alpha One experience. This has obviously been a goal of mine because it provides considerable data and a consistent event within the world that players can participate in to help stress test the deployment. Well, I am happy to say that it is appearing more and more likely by the day! Initial implementation of the Apocalypse siege code has been migrated into the Alpha One client, and we should begin internal testing next month. I will caveat this expectation with the fact that we are cutting it a bit close from an internal QA standpoint, but I have some confidence that the system will be online and capable of inclusion for the Alpha One test in the month of June. The siege component will obviously not be representative of what the siege system will be at launch, or even in Alpha Two.[15]Steven Sharif

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Guild housing

The term "guild housing" refers to guild buildings and not guild owned player housing.[30]

Guild halls

Guild halls serve as a focal point for a guild, offering a host of benefits and customization options.[32]

  • Guild halls may be placed on guild freeholds or within nodes.[33][34][35]
    • In-node guild halls may only be claimed by patron guilds of that node. These have different perks and benefits to halls placed on freehold plots.[35]
    • When a guild reaches a certain level, its guild master is granted a guild freehold certificate to enable placement of a guild hall.[33]
  • A guild hall only houses a single guild.[38]

Guildhalls are the ultimate expression of a guild's power! In Ashes these structures will serve as focal points for a guild, offering any guilds who construct them a whole host of benefits as well as customization options.[32]

Guild fortresses

Guild fortresses are siegable guild halls within Ashes of Creation. These are different from nodes and castles.[37]

  • Guild fortresses are objectives in guild wars.[36] These are contested on a regular basis.[33]
  • The developers will decide if guild fortresses will be implemented in the game or shelved.[33]

The fortress design is also something that might be on the shelf. We haven't decided yet. We're going to look into it, but the the idea behind the fortress is that this is a competitive kind of guild hall so to speak where you have to contend for it on a regular basis so to speak; or can be taken from you necessarily. Whereas the guild hall is a structure similar to freehold structure can only be taken through successful sieges against a node per-se are not taken but destroyed.[33]Steven Sharif

Undermounts

The guild leader of a castle can grant the use of flying undermounts (such as wyrmlings) to guild officers during a castle siege.[40][41][42][43]

  • These may only be granted if the castle nodes are successfully established prior to the siege.[43]
    • Node A grants 1 undermount, Node B grants 2 undermounts, and Node C grants 2 undermounts.[44]
  • This system is subject to change during testing.[44]

Little wyrmlings that you can grant to officers if you're a castle owner, and they can fly around too.[41]Steven Sharif

Node layout and style

Racial architecture styles in an Alpha-0 village node. Empyrean Elven influence (top). Kaelar Human influence (bottom).[45]

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.[46]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.[47]Margaret Krohn

Node layout and style is determined by several factors:[48][49]

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.[51]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.[49]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.[18]Steven Sharif

  • The rest is determined by the node's mayor.[49]

Racial influences

Alpha-1 Village node layout.[56]

What has kind of been unlocked is the ability to do things more dynamically and more procedurally so that when a node spawns there is the opportunity to have different layouts and have different buildings and have different architectures; and each node starts to feel like its own place, so it's not the same node over and over again. Now we've got a node that kind of evolves and changes depending on where it's at and what the environment is and what race has procced it.[48]Jeffrey Bard

Cultural influences bring more than just the aesthetic and storyline changes - benefits are granted to the dominant culture within that node's Zone of influence.[57][47]

  • These benefits apply to citizens of the dominant culture but they also apply to mechanics of the node and can also be of benefit to members of other races.[57]
  • There is an attrition mechanic that affects experience and influence to curb a single race from dominating the entire world.[58]

There is an attrition and that attrition on experience and influence is heightened based on the performance of the race in the world. So if all these nodes are Orc nodes then their attrition rate is very high to compete with the cultural establishment of new nodes because they have more influence in the world and a popular opinion is against them in their outlying regions that they do not have influence in.[58]Steven Sharif

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Blog: 10 facts about castle sieges in the MMORPG.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 castle nodes.png
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Podcast, 23 April 2018 (15:14).
  4. castle-systems.png
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 Podcast, 23 April 2018 (21:55).
  6. Livestream, 26 July 2019 (1:29:00).
  7. Livestream, 30 April 2021 (1:01:10).
  8. 8.0 8.1 Livestream, 28 August 2020 (1:41:24).
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 Livestream, 28 August 2020 (1:39:02).
  10. castle-node-caravans.png
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Livestream, 23 August 2017 (23:00).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Podcast, 11 April 2021 (49:40).
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 steven-siege-zone.png
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Livestream, 30 April 2021 (41:18).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Blog: Creative Director's Letter, April 14 2021
  16. 16.0 16.1 Livestream, 28 August 2020 (1:31:11).
  17. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (49:30).
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Interview, 11 May 2018 (47:27).
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Podcast, 5 May 2017 (52:32).
  20. Interview, 29 July 2020 (31:05).
  21. Interview, 18 July 2020 (13:13).
  22. castle-siege-scale.png
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Livestream, 28 August 2020 (1:43:03).
  24. castle-taxes5.png
  25. Video, 28 May 2021 (24:44).
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 26.5 26.6 26.7 26.8 Video, 30 April 2021 (19:25).
  27. Video, 28 May 2021 (19:04).
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 Video, 30 April 2021 (13:02).
  29. 29.0 29.1 Livestream, 28 May 2021 (1:04:29).
  30. Livestream, 28 July 2017 (18:07).
  31. Summer Leader of Men.png
  32. 32.0 32.1 kickstarter guild halls.png
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 33.5 Interview, 21 April 2019 (45:45).
  34. Podcast, 18 August 2018 (1:12:34).
  35. 35.0 35.1 Livestream, 28 February 2020 (1:06:51).
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 Podcast, 4 August 2018 (1:54:15).
  37. 37.0 37.1 kickstarter fortress.png
  38. Livestream, 22 May 2017 (56:48).
  39. Ashes of Creation Store: Ochre Legion Wyrmling.
  40. Interview, 19 July 2020 (1:05:41).
  41. 41.0 41.1 Livestream, 26 July 2019 (56:06).
  42. wyrmlings1.png
  43. 43.0 43.1 wyrmlings2.png
  44. 44.0 44.1 wyrmlings3.png
  45. Livestream, 9 February 2018 (33:50).
  46. Blog - Know Your Nodes - The Basics.
  47. 47.0 47.1 47.2 47.3 Blog - Know Your Nodes - Advance and Destroy.
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 48.3 Livestream, 30 October 2020 (39:17).
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 49.3 49.4 49.5 Livestream, 27 September 2018 (53:06).
  50. Livestream, 26 February 2021 (1:10:28).
  51. 51.0 51.1 Livestream, 26 February 2021 (1:12:18).
  52. Podcast, 11 April 2021 (29:47).
  53. Interview, 11 May 2018 (54:34).
  54. Livestream, 26 May 2017 (21:23).
  55. Podcast, 11 April 2021 (23:36).
  56. Livestream, 26 June 2020 (45:32).
  57. 57.0 57.1 Interview, 7 February 2021 (33:00).
  58. 58.0 58.1 Interview, 11 May 2018 (1:00:19).