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Corruption in Ashes of Creation refers to:

Corruption tarnishes the character’s spiritual essence. Their ability to utilize the Verra’s magic found within them is diminished.[2]Steven Sharif

Player corruption

When you gain that corruption you have the potential of losing your completed items, your weapon, your armor, stuff that is very difficult to achieve; and then the other aspect of that is, that in order to deter basically players taking alternate characters and saying this is my PK alt, the more players you kill, the more corruption you gain, the higher your combat efficacy in PVP diminishes. If you're out there and you killed you know 20 players... you will not be able to perform in PVP any longer. You will need to take that character and go work off that corruption. The other aspect of corruption is that if you kill another player, who is a non-combatant and the level disparity between you and that player is great, you will gain a higher amount of corruption from that single kill. To the point where you should not be killing a level one character.[3]Steven Sharif

If a combatant (purple) player kills a non-combatant (green) player in PvP, they will be flagged as corrupt (red).[4]

  • A player’s corruption score increases with each non-combatant player killed.[5][6]
  • The wider the level disparity between the players, the more corruption will be gained.[5][6]
  • Corruption penalties occur as the corruption is gained.[7] The higher the corruption score:
  • Corruption has a visible effect on a player’s appearance.[11]
  • If a non-combatant attacks a corrupt player, the non-combatant will not flag as a combatant.[12]
  • A corrupt player’s location is revealed to bounty hunters on their world map.[5][4]
  • Corrupted players may kill bounty hunters without acquiring additional corruption score.[13][14]
    • Corrupted player's combat penalties do not apply when battling bounty hunters.[13]

The more corruption you gain, the less effective you become in PvP and there's going to be a certain period at which point you have gained enough corruption that you're going to be gearless and you're also going to have a massive reduction in your PvP efficacy.[15]Steven Sharif

Reward without risk is meaningless... Corruption is just another word for risk.[16]Steven Sharif

You can't necessarily time perfectly you know the damage or understand even the health of the player. Unless you were in their party you cannot see an opponent's health as well so that's another component that you know adds risk.[17]Steven Sharif


Player flagging

The open world PvP flagging system is designed to deter people from griefing other players.[4]

  • Players can participate in open world PvP with one another without having to resort to murder.[18]
  • The penalties are intended to be severe enough to deter any type of spawn camping.[19]

pvp flagging diagram.png

There are three levels of flagging for world PvP in Ashes of Creation.[6]

  • Non-combatant (green)
    • All players start as non-combatants.[12]
    • Non-forced attacks (such as AoE) will not hit non-combatant players.[20]
  • Combatant (purple)
    • Non-combatants entering an open world battleground are automatically flagged as combatant and remain flagged for a period of time after leaving that battleground.[6]
    • Players are flagged as combatants if they attack another player. If the attacked players fight back, they are also flagged as combatants, otherwise the attacked player will remain flagged as a non-combatant.[12]
    • Non-combatants who heal, buff or otherwise interact with combatants will be flagged as combatants.[21]
    • Non-combatants who attack a player using combat pets (or any other player-controlled entities) will be flagged as combatants.[22]
    • Players can kill combatants without repercussions, and are encouraged to do so, since dying while a combatant has reduced death penalties.[12]
  • Corrupt (red)
    • If a combatant player kills a non-combatant player, they will be flagged as corrupt.[4]
    • Corruption multiplies death penalties and reveals a corrupt player's location to bounty hunters.[4]
    • A player’s corruption score increases with each non-combatant player killed.[6]
    • If a non-combatant attacks a corrupt player, the non-combatant will not flag as a combatant.[12]
    • Corrupted players may kill bounty hunters without acquiring additional corruption score.[14]

A player may not flag on members of the same party, raid, guild or alliance.[23]

  • Players will be able to opt-in (via a checkbox) to allow their beneficial or non-beneficial AoEs to hit flagged players. If this is checked then AoE heals or damage will affect flagged players. If it is not checked then the AoE will not damage or heal any flagged players, and as such will not cause the caster to be flagged themselves (if they are not already).[24]

If you have that check-box for flagging with your AOEs and heals available then you will flag. If you do not have that box checked then on completion of the skill it will not flag you because the check was made at the start that there was a flagged party member; and then he will not he or she will not receive the beneficial effect as a result or the damage, if it's an offensive spell.[24]Steven Sharif

Sieges, caravans and guild wars do not use the flagging system.[25]

You're not going to see griefing in the game very often; and that's because our flagging system. The corruption mechanics are based around disincentivizing a griefer or PKer but still offering the opportunity, should the occasion arise, where the benefits outweigh the risk, you have the ability to do so. If you gain corruption, which is killing a non-combatant - a player who is not fighting back basically - if you gain that corruption, your world has changed. It is not going to be a very beneficial place to be and you have the potential of losing your gear. Your combat efficacy decreases based on the amount of corruption you accrue. It is a comfortable balance between player agency and grief and basically removing player agency for other players.[26]Steven Sharif

Removing corruption

The primary means to remove corruption is through death. Multiple deaths may be necessary to remove all corruption.[28][12]

  • Dying removes a significant portion of a player's corruption score.[29]
  • Gaining experience will also slowly reduce a player's corruption score.[28]
    That creates a fun kind of experience for the bounty hunters to try to catch you while you're working it off.[28]Steven Sharif
  • A quest may be utilized to reduce the player kill (PK) count of a corrupt player in order for them to accumulate less corruption score in the future.[30][29]
    • This is a design shift from a religious quest being used to directly reduce the corruption score.[31]
  • Corruption duration is reduced in military nodes.[32]

Player death

We don't have deleveling, instead what we have is experience debt. Now the more experience debt you accrue, the greater the detriment to your character; not to the point where you can not get out of the debt. There will always be a way forward to remove your debt.[26]Steven Sharif

Bounty hunter maps

Players with a high enough corruption score will be visible on the world and mini maps. These players will have markers posted on the map by an NPC from a Military node of at least stage 4 (Town), and will only be granted to players who have the Bounty hunter title.[43] The accuracy of bounty hunter maps is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.[44]

Taverns are one of the locations that bounties will be posted. As players gain corruption, taverns may offer bounties to eliminate those players; or have a specific area cleared of problem players, thus giving a POI (point of interest) on the world map.[45]

Bounty hunter Pathfinding ability

Skill Icon Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Pathfinding Reveals corrupted player locations on the bounty hunter's map.[46][39] Activating this ability will flag the bounty hunter for combat only to corrupted players for a period of one hour from the time of activation.[46] The pathfinding ability can be toggled on or off.[46][47] The accuracy of the pathfinding skill is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.[44] The accuracy of the pathfinding skill is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.[44]

A great calamity

Concept art showing the citizens of Verra escaping a besieged city through a divine gateway.[48]

Long ago, the world of Verra was besieged by a great calamity brought about by the primary antagonists of the world: The Ancients, and The Others.[49] A corruption befell the land, twisting and perverting every facet of nature, spawning hideous beings of every description; from troll-like creatures to towering behemoths. Nothing escaped its touch.[50]

Granted by divine intervention from the Goddess of Creation[51], much of the population fled Verra through towering gateways, seeking refuge in a world void of magic.[48] The world of Sanctus.[52]

Some unlucky citizens didn't make it through the gateways in time and fell back to the planet to fight for survival.[53]

Soon after the exodus, the gateways dimmed and became dormant. Centuries turned to millennia, burying them beneath myriad calamities. Over eons, history became legend, then even the great legends were at last forgotten.[48]

The Tulnar evolved as a combination of the four parent races that were left behind on Verra.[54]


Ashes of Creation Apocalypse lore

Divine gateway in the Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale (BR mode) staging area.[53]

This lobby area where you see players load into- this is unfinished- but this will be one of the capital cities that you are about to enter through the great divine gateways... You're trying to flee; and in this particular game mode you are a part of some unlucky few who didn't quite make it out. And unfortunately after entering the great divine gateway fell back to the planet.[53]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation Apocalypse lore takes place during the exodus from Verra.[53][55][56]

  • Some unlucky citizens didn't quite make it through the gateways in time and fell back to the planet to fight for survival.[53] This underpins the battle royale mode.[55]
  • Certain citizens are fighting for control over Castles that they believe to be last bastions of defense against the forces of corruption. This underpins the castle siege mode.[55]
  • The last stand against the forces of corruption takes place in the horde mode.[55]

Initially you're playing the Battle Royale you're a part of the last group of survivors to try to leave Verra. And as you're leaving you get cut off. The slipstream ends and you start falling back to the planet. Now the activities that occur and the fighting amongst yourselves is a result of the influence of corruption: Corrupting your soul basically; and as we move into the Castle Siege mode that's where you see the survivors now trying to seek refuge in some of the last defendable bastions of of society. So you're kind of fighting over those for your families and your friends to get into that keep to try to ride out the storm so to say; and that's what the Castle Siege is predicated on. Then moving into the Hordes is this is now the final showdown. How long can you last? And that's kind of the narrative behind Apocalypse as a whole.[57]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation Apocalypse lore is split into chapters.[57]

  • Chapter 1 is called The Exodus. It takes part in the initial stages of the fall and sets the scene for upcoming chapters.[57]

What happened before you came back? What did your ancestors have to go through? What did these civilizations have to endure? ... You get to experience the world of Ashes of Creation. You get to take a peek under the hood of the art assets and the style that that art will be when you play the game; and at the same time while you're doing all of that and we're hitting the servers with as many people as possible, we are continuing production and implementing new art; and we are updating those those chapters of this story; and that's what each season so speak is called for us is a chapter. In fact the first chapter of Apocalypse will be titled the Exodus. So chapter one is the Exodus and players will have an opportunity to earn unique rewards in each chapter. So that chapter's period of time is roughly ten weeks- between eight and twelve. We'll see how those go, but right now it's set for ten weeks; and every ten weeks you're going to see an introduction of new content.[57]Steven Sharif


Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale corruption storm

Corruption storm circle timings in Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale.[ citation needed ]

Circle number Duration (mm:ss) Shrink time (mm:ss)
1 0:30 0:05
2 0:60 0:60
3 0:60 0:30
4 0:60 0:30
5 0:60 0:20
6 0:60 0:15
7 0:60 0:05
8 0:30 ?


See also


  1. A world with consequences.
  2. corruption lore.png
  3. Podcast, 23 April 2018 (51:31).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 pvp flagging.png
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Interview, 18 July 2020 (41:54).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 MMOGames interview, January 2017
  7. corruption.jpg
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 Podcast, 5 May 2017 (43:05).
  9. Interview, 11 May 2018 (5:05).
  10. 10.0 10.1 Livestream, 17 November 2017 (35:20).
  11. Interview, February 2017 (39:33).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Interview, 27 April 2017 (0:17).
  13. 13.0 13.1 steven-bounty-hunters-1.png
  14. 14.0 14.1 Interview, 27 April 2017 (1:18).
  15. Livestream, 22 May 2017 (42:33).
  16. corruption2.jpg
  17. Livestream, 30 January 2020 (1:40:48).
  18. Livestream, 12 May 2017 (24:52).
  19. pvp camping.png
  20. PvP.jpg
  21. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (29:45).
  22. Livestream, 31 October 2018 (44:12).
  23. pvp flagging lockouts.png
  24. 24.0 24.1 Interview, 8 July 2020 (1:05:27).
  25. flagging.jpg
  26. 26.0 26.1 Podcast, 23 April 2018 (49:21).
  27. Livestream, 9 July 2018 (20:41).
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Interview, 18 July 2020 (44:35).
  29. 29.0 29.1 Interview, 19 July 2020 (30:51).
  30. steven-removing-corruption.png
  31. Livestream, 4 June 2018 (2:18).
  32. pvp corruption duration.png
  33. Livestream, 28 March 2020 (1:58:24).
  34. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (13:37).
  35. Ashes of Creation Forums - Former Lineage 2 PvP'er wanting to discuss PvP loopholes.
  36. Livestream, 27 September 2018 (47:46).
  37. Interview, 18 July 2020 (27:11).
  38. Interview, 11 May 2018 (15:41).
  39. 39.0 39.1 Interview, 27 April 2017 (9:28).
  40. Interview, 11 May 2018 (3:43).
  41. Livestream, 15 May 2017 (36:23).
  42. Livestream, 28 July 2017 (50:22).
  43. Interview, 20 January 2017 (06:12).
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 Livestream, 24 May 2017 (48:00).
  45. The mighty beard!
  46. 46.0 46.1 46.2 steven-bounty-hunters-2.png
  47. corruption toggle.png
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 Unreal Engine Interview, 23 May 2017.
  49. Interview, 19 July 2020 (50:10).
  50. Ashes of Creation - A world with consequences.
  51. Interview, 20 July 2020 (13:33).
  52. Interview, 20 April 2018 (5:46).
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 53.3 53.4 Livestream, 27 September 2018 (6:22).
  54. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (23:04).
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 55.3 Livestream, 31 October 2018 (36:59).
  56. Livestream, 6 December 2018 (14:32).
  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 57.3 Livestream, 6 December 2018 (28:45).
  58. Livestream, 27 September 2018 (24:09).