Player death

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Player death in an open world dungeon in Alpha-1.[1]

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.[2]Steven Sharif

When a player dies they disintegrate into ash. The ashes contain any items lost by the player due to applicable death penalties.[3][4][5][6][7] These ash piles are immediately lootable by any player.[4] Player flagging is not triggered by looting.[8]

  • A non-combatant (green player) who dies suffers normal penalties, which include:[6]
    When players die and they take durability loss, our durability loss isn't like other games where it's a gold sink so to speak. It's a combination of both a gold sink and a material sink. So in a sense, even if you only have completed items, when you take that durability loss you are losing out on materials. It's just a debt to the materials that you are losing instead of the active loss of that material in your inventory. So now you are accruing a material debt if you want to repair and increase again the performance of those particular items that take that durability loss.[11]Steven Sharif
    • Dropping a percentage of carried gatherables and materials that are used in the generation of something else.[13][5][6]
      • Items made for final consumption are not dropped, such as consumable items created by the Cooking and Alchemy professions.[13]
      • A percentage of the certificates a player is carrying are also dropped.[7]
      • If a player dies there will be a period of time before their mule despawns. Other players must kill that player's mule to be able to loot it.[14]
      • If a player's mule dies its corpse will contain the same percentage of lootable items as the player.[14][15]
  • A combatant (purple player) who dies suffers these same penalties, but at half the rate of a non-combatant.[6]
  • A corrupt (red player) suffers penalties at four times the rate of a non-combatant, and has a chance to drop any equipped items based on their current corruption score.[16][17] This includes:[17][6]
    Any amount of corruption allows a player to drop equipped gear upon death. The higher the corruption the greater the chances.[19]Steven Sharif
    • These dropped items may be looted by other players.[20]
    • Corrupt players respawn at random locations in the vicinity of their death, not at regular spawn points.[21]
      • Non-corrupt players always respawn at the closest active respawn point (to their death).[22]
    • Corruption penalties occur as the corruption is gained (not just at death).[23]
  • Experience debt will scale to approximately 2 or 3 percent of the total XP for a max level player. These numbers are subject to change based on testing.[24]
  • Death penalties (mostly) do not apply to objective-based PvP (also called sanctioned events).[25][26][27][28]
    There will not be death penalties applied to event-based deaths. The penalties are in the outcome of the event. So your number of deaths is likely going to impact your ability to win that particular event and that's going to be the penalty. This is it to encourage players to opt in to the events right because the more participation we have the more fun it can be; and we understand that the community at large- there's already a risk versus reward component to these events. We don't need to stack on additional risk versus reward to inhibit kind of- to increase the barrier to entry for players who may not be as interested.[28]Steven Sharif
  • Death penalties do not differ between PvP and PvE, but this is subject to change.[29]

Death by falling is possible.[30]

  • Fall damage that occurs while mounted will be first applied to the mount; and if the mount dies as a result, then the remaining damage may overflow onto the player, but this will be determined based on testing.[30]

Death by drowning is possible.[31][32]

  • Players that drown will respawn on shore.[31]

If a player dies there will be a period of time before their mule despawns. Other players must kill that player's mule to be able to loot it.[14]

Players do not lose gold upon death, no matter their corruption level.[33]

At the moment, the plan is for players to not lose gold upon death, no matter their corruption level.[33]Cody Peterson


Non-corrupt players always respawn at the closest active respawn point (to their death).[22]

  • Corrupt players respawn at random locations in the vicinity of their death, not at regular spawn points.[21]
  • Events in progress may disable certain respawn points in proximity to those events, which might cause players to respawn further away.[22]

That has to do with the lore behind death and resurrection and what it means to have your soul connected as a conduit of that spark of life given from the Goddess of Creation, being that phoenix type of avatar; and if corruption has moved into an area and an event has started, the access to those kind of ley line oriented respawn points may be obscured- might not be accessible. So that could create some additional distance that needs to be traveled as part of these types of events.[22]Steven Sharif

Respawn lore

Player death animation (WIP).[3]

The lore behind how death and resurrection exists within Ashes of Creation is the concept of this Avatar of the Phoenix being represented of the Goddess of Creation, from which all life on this plane has has come from essentially... Because when you do get reborn it's that connection with your soul to the essence that binds you with the Goddess of Creation that brings that spark of the of that Avatar of the Phoenix back and brings you to life through that manipulation of the essence. So this is a little update on the ash effect.[3]Steven Sharif

As characters enter into the world of Verra they are empowered with the spark of life that comes from the Goddess of Creation. This spark houses a portion of what represents their mortal coil/soul and their conduit to The Essence.[35][3][4][36] When a character dies they disintegrate into ashes, in accordance with the mythology of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth that is associated with the celestial avatar of the Goddess of Creation, the phoenix.[3][4]

  • The ash pile conveys the location of the body, so that the character may be selected for resurrection.[3]
  • The ash pile is also interractible to allow players to loot any dropped items.[3][4]
    • These ash piles are immediately lootable by any player.[4]
    • Player flagging is not triggered by looting.[8]
  • This effect applies to players and not mobs.[3]

The reason for why respawning occurs, as you guys know, the avatar of the Goddess of Creation is the phoenix; and the phoenix obviously has some very stable mythological lore to it with regards to the cycle of life and death and rebirth; and that type of thing. As you enter into the world of Verra you are in a way empowered with the spark of life that comes from the Goddess of Creation herself, and in that sense you're able to house a portion of what that represents in your soul and your... conduit to the essence.[4]Steven Sharif

Resurrection methods

Characters can be resurrected via abilities and scrolls.[37][38]

  • Class-based resurrection abilities allow greater recovery of experience debt than resurrection scrolls.[37]
There will be scrolls of resurrection available, although there is an element of resurrection that's important as it relates to experience debt and being able to recover portions of that experience debt when utilizing higher grade resurrections that are only available from classes; and then there are lower grade resurrections, which are can be granted through items like scrolls of resurrection that allows for parties who may not have access to a resurrection class.[37]Steven Sharif
Skill Icon Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Resurrection ResurrectionIcon.jpg Resurrects a dead ally with 25% health and 15% mana.[38][39][40][41] Target resurrects with 50% health and 20% mana.[38] Target resurrects with 75% health and 25% mana.[38]

Removing corruption

The primary means to remove corruption is through death. Multiple deaths may be necessary to remove all corruption.[43][44]

  • Dying removes a significant portion of a player's corruption score.[45]
  • Gaining experience will also slowly reduce a player's corruption score.[46][47][43]
    Any experience that's gained by the player, whether it be through achievements in crafting, or in adventuring, or through other types of achievements: All of that experience goes towards your adventuring class experience gained; and then some experience can dual purpose towards professions as well. So if I reach an achievement in my crafting profession and that grants me additional experience within that profession to rank up, it will also grant the same amount of experience over in my adventuring level; and to that point, anytime you gain adventuring experience you tick away at the corruption.[46]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.[48][45]
    • This is a design shift from a religious quest being used to directly reduce the corruption score.[49]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

Durability loss

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.[12]Steven Sharif

There is item durability (item decay) in Ashes of Creation.[51]

If you allow it to get to certain stages, or to get to a destructed stage then it requires a lot of material components in order to return back to its former glory.[53]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.[51]Steven Sharif

Player flagging

The open world PvP flagging system is designed to deter people from griefing other players without limiting opportunities for open conflict.[60][61][62][63]

We do incentivize players to fight back, or to participate in PvP through the flagging system, but not to PK. Not to go corrupt.[62]Steven Sharif
  • Players can participate in open world PvP with one another without having to resort to murder.[64]
  • The penalties are intended to be severe enough to deter any type of spawn camping.[65]
  • Summons follow the same PvP flagging rules as players and share the player's flag status.[66][67]

pvp flagging diagram.png

There are three levels of flagging for world PvP in Ashes of Creation.[68]

  • Non-combatant (green)
    • All players start as non-combatants.[44]
    • Non-forced attacks, including AoE and status effects, will not hit non-combatant players.[69][70]
    • Green players killed by mobs (the mob deals the killing blow) do not flag attacking players as corrupt, but since the exact health of another player is not known (outside of the same party, raid, alliance, or guild), attackers run the risk of killing the player and becoming corrupt.[71]
    • Player abilities with CC effects do not apply to non-combatants. The target of a CC ability must be flagged in order to suffer the CC effects. This prevents players from opening attacks that stun non-combatant players during a pull for example.[47]
    • Non-combatants will not be flagged for looting bodies.[8]
    • Players will be able to opt-in (via a checkbox) to allow their beneficial spells, or non-beneficial AoEs to hit combatants.[72][73]
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.[73]Steven Sharif
  • Combatant (purple)
    • Players are flagged as combatants if they attack another (non-corrupted) player when carrying out a forced attack. If the attacked player fights back, they are also flagged as combatants, otherwise the attacked player will remain flagged as a non-combatant.[72][74][44]
    • Non-combatants entering an open world battleground (PvP event) are automatically flagged as combatants and remain flagged for a period of time after leaving that battleground.[68]
    • Non-combatants who heal, buff, or otherwise (positively) interact with combatants or corrupted players will be flagged as combatants.[76][77][78][79]
    • Players can kill combatants without repercussions, and are encouraged to do so, since dying while a combatant has reduced death penalties.[44]
    • Players are not able to manually set their flagging status to combatant.[74]
    • Players remain flagged for a period of 90 seconds following their most recent attack on a non-combatant or another combatant.[80]
    • Players cannot log out while flagged as combatants.[81]
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.[2]Steven Sharif
  • Corrupted (red)
    • If a combatant player, or their summon, kills a non-combatant player, including any of their controlled entities, such as their battle pet, mount, or summon, the player's character will be flagged as corrupted.[82][66][63]
      • Corruption gained for killing controlled entities is a lower value than killing the players.[82]
    • A character's PK value increases with each non-combatant player killed over the lifetime of that character.[16][47][83][17][68]
    • The wider the level disparity between the players, and the higher the attacker's PK value, the more corruption score they gain.[16][47][83][17][68]
    • A character's corruption score multiplies their death penalties and reveals a their location to bounty hunters.[63]
    • If a non-combatant attacks a corrupt player, the non-combatant will not flag as a combatant.[44]
    • Corrupted players may kill bounty hunters without acquiring additional corruption score.[84]
    • There is a 60 second timer to logout while corrupt. Force-disconnecting the client during the cooldown will leave the character in-game.[76][81]
It's important to note that the idea is going to be that, unless a player is in your party, alliance, guild, or raid that you will not have definitive knowledge of their exact hit point values. So when you do something that's sketchy like that, where you want to bring them close to death and let a monster finish him off, you are taking the risk of overhitting and actually gaining the corruption.[71]Steven Sharif


An affiliation tree determines which entities can participate in attacks against other entities within its hierarchy.[87][88]

There's node citizenship. There's guild. There's alliance. There's party. There's raid. There's family. All of these types of affiliations have a hierarchy. The highest of which is your node affiliation: So your citizenship is your greatest superceding relationship, which means if you were a part of a guild and the guild has multiple nodes in which its members are citizens of, if there was a war between two of those nodes, the members of those nodes would be first and foremost citizens who defend that node, even against their own guild members.[87]Steven Sharif

All of these things have some hierarchy; and within that hierarchy there's the ability to participate within certain systems. So for example, if you have a node that has fallen under your vassal state and you're a citizen of the parent node, then you could participate in a siege against the vassal node but if you're a citizen of the vassal node you could not participate as an attacker against the parent node; so there's a hierarchy, unless you were to renounce your citizenship.[88]Steven Sharif

Mounted combat (death of mounts)

Certain mounts will have combat abilities.[90][91][92]

Mounts will have a variety of effective pvp abilities, some viable in larger scale encounters when organized correctly.[93]Steven Sharif
  • Mounts will have combat skills based on the breed and rarity. There will also be some RNG to the mount skills.[94]
    • Charging through opponents (to knock them down).[94]
    • Abilities to create a lance while mounted have been discussed as a potential design idea.[94]
    • Specific weapons systems may exist on different riding points on group mounts.[95]

Some crowd-control abilities can dismount a mounted player.[96] In that case the mount would persist with its own health pool and other stats.[97]

There is danger to traversing areas with enemies nearby; and there are specific abilities that knock a rider off of their mount should they venture too close to enemies.[96]Steven Sharif

Mounts can be killed by players, but can be resurrected after a certain cooldown period.[98][99][100]

  • Potions obtained from the Alchemy profession can be used to reduce the cooldown.[98][53][99]
  • Mounts that die a certain number of times within a set period might gain a debuff that requires a different material component to assist with their resurrection.[53]
  • Fall damage that occurs while mounted will be first applied to the mount; and if the mount dies as a result, then the remaining damage may overflow onto the player, but this will be determined based on testing.[30]

Mounts can be targeted separately from the player while mounted.[99]

  • If a player dies there will be a period of time before their mule despawns. Other players must kill that player's mule to be able to loot it.[14]
  • If a player's mule dies its corpse will contain the same percentage of lootable items as the player.[14][15]

Full loot

There will not be a full loot (full drop) system in Ashes of Creation.[101]

There will not be a full drop and the reason for that is because you know our intention when it comes to progression within the world is we want it to be meaningful and you know take some investment on behalf of the player; and if even if from a design standpoint we're like yeah but they have to choose to go to the area; we don't want a choice that a player can make where they delete their character so to speak.[101]Steven Sharif


See also


  1. Livestream, March 28, 2020 (1:58:24).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Podcast, April 23, 2018 (49:21).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Livestream, September 24, 2021 (51:20).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Livestream, March 26, 2021 (1:07:33).
  5. 5.0 5.1 a419c5398b542a713545e4f393d67215.png
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 Podcast, May 5, 2017 (43:05).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Interview, July 18, 2020 (27:11).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Podcast, April 11, 2021 (34:41).
  9. Livestream, May 19, 2017 (13:37).
  10. Ashes of Creation Forums - Former Lineage 2 PvP'er wanting to discuss PvP loopholes.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Interview, February 7, 2021 (13:14).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Interview, July 29, 2020 (16:46).
  13. 13.0 13.1 Livestream, December 2, 2022 (1:26:02).
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Livestream, January 29, 2021 (1:24:27).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Livestream, September 27, 2018 (47:46).
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Livestream, October 28, 2022 (24:28).
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 Interview, July 18, 2020 (41:54).
  18. Livestream, November 17, 2017 (35:20).
  19. steven-corruption-gear-drop.png
  20. Interview, May 11, 2018 (15:41).
  21. 21.0 21.1 Interview, April 27, 2017 (9:28).
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Livestream, June 25, 2021 (1:15:37).
  23. corruption.jpg
  24. Livestream, May 28, 2021 (1:50:50).
  25. Livestream, February 24, 2023 (1:29:45).
  26. 26.0 26.1 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (1:14:52).
  27. 27.0 27.1 Livestream, August 27, 2021 (1:22:56).
  28. 28.0 28.1 Livestream, December 22, 2020 (1:13:51).
  29. Livestream, May 15, 2017 (36:23).
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Livestream, February 25, 2022 (1:06:45).
  31. 31.0 31.1 Livestream, April 29, 2022 (1:08:27).
  32. Livestream, July 28, 2017 (50:22).
  33. 33.0 33.1 vaknar-gold.png
  34. Video, December 2, 2022 (16:29).
  35. Livestream, April 28, 2023 (1:19:56).
  36. Podcast, May 11, 2018 (51:39).
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 Livestream, April 28, 2023 (1:22:57).
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 a1resurrection.png
  39. toast-keybinds-skills.png
  40. Video, November 1, 2020 (0:55).
  41. alpha-1-cleric-spells.png
  42. Livestream, July 9, 2018 (20:41).
  43. 43.0 43.1 Interview, July 18, 2020 (44:35).
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 44.3 44.4 Interview, April 27, 2017 (0:17).
  45. 45.0 45.1 Interview, July 19, 2020 (30:51).
  46. 46.0 46.1 Livestream, April 28, 2023 (1:27:18).
  47. 47.0 47.1 47.2 47.3 CC effects do notapply to non-combatants.png
  48. steven-removing-corruption.png
  49. Livestream, June 4, 2018 (2:18).
  50. pvp corruption duration.png
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 Podcast, 2017-05-13 (25:55).
  52. Livestream, August 28, 2020 (2:05:07).
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 53.3 Podcast, September 29, 2021 (32:35).
  54. player stall repair.png
  55. Interview, July 19, 2020 (51:11).
  56. Livestream, May 28, 2021 (1:53:04).
  57. Durability.jpg
  58. Interview, July 29, 2020 (15:04).
  59. Livestream, May 5, 2017 (20:41).
  60. Livestream, April 28, 2023 (2:06).
  61. Livestream, March 31, 2023 (1:00:16).
  62. 62.0 62.1 Livestream, June 25, 2021 (23:08).
  63. 63.0 63.1 63.2 pvp flagging.png
  64. 64.0 64.1 Livestream, May 12, 2017 (24:52).
  65. pvp camping.png
  66. 66.0 66.1 66.2 steven-summons-pvp-1.png
  67. steven-summons-pvp-2.png
  68. 68.0 68.1 68.2 68.3 MMOGames interview, January 2017
  69. Livestream, October 28, 2022 (1:34:52).
  70. PvP.jpg
  71. 71.0 71.1 Livestream, July 30, 2021 (1:10:34).
  72. 72.0 72.1 Livestream, December 2, 2022 (2:41).
  73. 73.0 73.1 Interview, July 8, 2020 (1:05:27).
  74. 74.0 74.1 Livestream, November 30, 2020 (1:09:06).
  75. Livestream, October 31, 2018 (44:12).
  76. 76.0 76.1 Livestream, October 28, 2022 (26:48).
  77. steven-healing-corrupt.png
  78. Interview, April 22, 2019 (54:40).
  79. Livestream, November 17, 2017 (29:45).
  80. steven-flagging-duration.png
  81. 81.0 81.1 steven-flagging-logout.png
  82. 82.0 82.1 Livestream, October 28, 2022 (1:35:36).
  83. 83.0 83.1 steven-corruption-value.png
  84. Interview, April 27, 2017 (1:18).
  85. flagging.jpg
  86. pvp flagging lockouts.png
  87. 87.0 87.1 87.2 87.3 87.4 87.5 87.6 87.7 Livestream, March 29, 2019 (17:10).
  88. 88.0 88.1 88.2 88.3 88.4 88.5 88.6 88.7 88.8 Interview, May 11, 2018 (58:07).
  89. Livestream, July 29, 2022 (1:07:20).
  90. Livestream, January 28, 2022 (1:16:02).
  91. 91.0 91.1 Livestream, May 5, 2017 (22:44).
  92. Livestream, 2018-04-8 (AM) (12:34).
  93. steven-mount-pvp.png
  94. 94.0 94.1 94.2 Livestream, January 28, 2022 (1:15:30).
  95. Livestream, January 28, 2022 (1:11:40).
  96. 96.0 96.1 Livestream, July 29, 2022 (1:01:02).
  97. Livestream, April 30, 2021 (1:08:10).
  98. 98.0 98.1 Livestream, April 29, 2022 (1:11:24).
  99. 99.0 99.1 99.2 Interview, July 19, 2020 (1:05:41).
  100. Livestream, May 10, 2017 (38:27).
  101. 101.0 101.1 Livestream, July 26, 2019 (1:22:50).