- Open world dungeons will be populated to facilitate multiple groups within the dungeon.
- Instanced dungeons will also be present and will cater for solo and group questlines.
- There are going to be smaller, simpler, linear dungeons. There's going to be bigger, more complex, nonlinear dungeons. So, It's a little bit of both. We want the environment to be a character. In order for the environment to be a character, these places need to be interesting and there needs to be a dynamicism to them. – Jeffrey Bard
Dungeon difficulty will increase the further a player ventures into the dungeon.
- Mobs and mob mechanics will become more difficult.
- Terrain and environmental dangers will increase.
- As nodes advance and expand they will influence nearby points-of-interest such as dungeon bosses, regional bosses and Raid bosses.
- Multiple nearby nodes may collectively influence larger POIs.
- POIs of this size do not normally attach to just a single node. Usually there are multiple nodes that can potentially influence a large POI. The theming within the node occurs around storylines or NPC spawns and events. – Steven Sharif
- The difficulty level and loot tables of these encounters will change based on this influence.
List of notable dungeons
- Breaker's Penitentiary
- Cerulean Grotto
- Deepheart Cove
- Drythorne Gulch
- Dünzenkell Crypt
- Fallow's Hold
- Hungering Maw
- Illwind Ruins
- Manaspring Hollow
- Ruins of Restless Spirits
- Sporelight Caverns
- The Tower of Carphin
- The Underroost
- Underrealm Entrance
- Volcano dungeon
- Massive caverns and open world spaces.
- Places to suit larger and smaller commitments.
- Where people with 30 minutes can participate.
- Dungeons are vast and have room for multiple groups.
- Hunting ground bosses.
- Dungeon bosses.
- Raid bosses.
- Regional/world bosses.
- Boss respawns will be randomized within certain windows and over variable locations.
- Generally in my experiences, when you have a fixed respawn time, you run into the potential situations where the powerhouses of the server can keep a particular boss on lockdown; and you don't want to create that type of a situation; and so one of the ways that we can help to alleviate that is by having windows of respawn times- and we've all experienced this in the MMOs that we've played. It's not necessarily known when exactly to coordinate with your large guild who needs to be online when; and this can give a little bit of a leg up on the competitive advantage front for other guilds that might be more smaller knit, or more niche to organize quickly in response to the time window of a respawn. – Steven Sharif
- Certain bosses and creatures will have voice lines along with other audio cues.
- Some bosses and encounters will feature specific original sound tracks composed by Bear McCreary.
List of dungeon bosses
- The Ancients and The Others used the Harbingers to travel to Verra, thus beginning the Apocalypse.
- Harbingers exist on Verra as dungeons that the Ancients use to push their influence into the material plane under the guise of the effects of corruption as it spreads.
- The worst thing the Harbingers bought to Verra was corruption, which twists and distorts everything it touches.
- The worst thing that the Harbingers brought was not the Others, but the corruption that they spread. It twists and distorts everything it touches. It whispers in the ears of men, and guides their hands toward terrible ends. There does not seem a means to stop it - our prayers do nothing, our spells are ineffectual. The awful truth is that the Others could simply watch as we burned Verra to ash ourselves.
- 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.
- These numbers will be balanced based on testing.
- At the end of the fight, the party with the highest damage done, including first tagging bonus, will be granted looting rights.
- 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 – Steven Sharif
- Q: If looting rights are based on a blended tag and damage done system, will there be any mechanics in place to ensure roles like tanks and healers have an equal shot even when they haven't dealt as much damage?
- A: That's the reason for the blended approach. The reason that we're doing a hybrid system between tag and damage done is for the purposes of those classes who may not be as DPS oriented as other classes. The tag system- all classes are going to have a sprinkling of immediate effects- of instantaneous casts and they can use that to tag a target, and that'll give them a modifier on the looting rights: So plus 10 or plus 15 will balance that, but it'll give them plus 10 to 15 on overall damage done if they tag the target and then their damage will make up the remainder of that percentage completion. So if I do 50 damage to a target but someone else has the tag I'm not going to be able to claim that looting right. They'll have done the other 50 plus 10 or 15. – Steven Sharif
- 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. – Steven Sharif
Loot tables (drop tables) of world bosses or dungeon bosses have a small RNG chance of dropping gear (completed items). Monsters drop hunting certificates, Items and crafting materials rather than gold.
- There is a much higher chance that materials and unique recipes are dropped that can be used to craft items of equitable value.
- 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.
- Crafted gear is the best gear in Ashes of Creation.
- Legendary equipment is only dropped by Legendary world bosses.
- Stats on dropped items will vary based on the rarity of the item.
- Loot tables are disabled for player controlled monsters.
- Experience debt decreases the drop rate percentages from monsters.
- Loot tables will likely not be affected by weather conditions. This was previously listed as a possible effect.
Hunting certificates are bound items that house the value of a mob's death and are also provided as rewards for completing certain quests, events, and achievements. These are intended to be the primary method to generate gold in the Ashes of Creation economy.
- When you kill certain monsters or when you complete certain events and/or achievements, you will be granted some number of certificates; and you will take those certificates to Hunting Lodges that exist within different nodes around the world, and you will trade those certificates in either for a direct gold value or for commodities; and if you're trading them in for commodities, those commodities are tied to the economic region where the commodity is granted; and that commodity can only be traded in at a nearby economic region; and the greater the distance is from the originating location of the commodity to the turn in location of the commodity is what determines the ratio of return for gold given. – Steven Sharif
- Hunting certificates are specific to an economic region and may be traded with hunter NPCs at hunting lodges within nodes for commodities. These commodities can then be transported to nodes in other economic regions (via caravan or merchant ship) where they can be traded for gold.
- The level of the node and the distance of the node from where the commodity was obtained will determine the gold value of the commodity.
- Commodities are provided in sealed crates, which can become unsealed if the caravan or merchant ship transporting them is destroyed, or if the crate is dropped on the ground and broken into. Once unsealed the crates may yield stolen certificates, which may get redeemed for a lesser value at black market locations.
- The value of certificates is calculated (by the world manager algorithm) based on the volume of certificates being redeemed in each region.
- Hunting certificates will drop as stolen certificates on a character's death based on applicable death penalties. Stolen certificates are not bound to the character.
- The important thing to note about these certificates is that they are also the basis of your tax economy. So you don't turn in certificates if you intend to use them for either citizenship dues or your land taxes and housing taxes. That means that you are not going to have the ability for players to RMT gold or to land baron essentially without them directly engaging with the game in some way shape or form, because those certificates are bound. – Steven Sharif
- Additional buildings will spawn.
- Additional mobs will spawn.
- Content difficulty will change.
- Dungeons will be unlocked when certain nodes advance to certain stages.
- Drop tables in areas and dungeons will be tied into the progression of certain areas.
- POI events are events that relate to specific points-of-interest (POI).
- The location of points of interest will be the same on each server, but some servers may have limited or no access to them.
- 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.
- Jumping puzzles were shown in the Alpha-2 Tower of Carphin preview.
- Jumping puzzles were present in early Alpha-1 dungeon gameplay footage.
- Jumping puzzles were present in the Alpha-0 Dünheim dungeon.
- Higher performance in earlier phases will increase the difficulty of subsequent phases of the encounter.
- Bosses and mobs will not auto-scale based on group size, but AI behaviors may dynamically adapt to the number and types of combattants in proximity to the encounter.
- 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. – 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. – Steven Sharif
- Q: Will world bosses scale when it comes to player levels and is it based on players or the zone itself leveling?
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.
- Certain node buildings and organizations offer quests that can be initiated by a mentor to assist new players. Rewards are offered to both the mentor and the mentee upon completion.
- 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. – 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. – Steven Sharif
- The idea behind an 8-person group is to allow us to really amplify party roles, and to create a need for each of the archetypes in every party.
- Raids will have 40 man groups.
- Content will be tailored for 40, 16 and 8 person group sizes.
- Arenas will have 1 man, 3 man, 5 man and possibly 20 man Free-For-All (Deathmatch) group sizes.
- Castle sieges are expected to have at minimum 250x250 players to be on a single battlefield, with the possibility of increasing this to 500x500 over time.
- The minimum goal is 500 players on a single battlefield. I think we will be able to hit 500vs500 but we shall see. – Steven Sharif
Encounters are designed to have meaning in terms of how boss skills and abilities relate to group compositions, tactics and strategies. Zerging is not experiencing content. There are different ways to make a fight more difficult for larger sized groups without relying solely on stat buffs or making the boss a "damage sponge".
- Raid and dungeon bosses have specific mechanics and abilities that players need to learn and react to. Zergs that are not aware of these mechanics or react to them appropriately will be wiped.
- There may be environmental hazards and AoE effects that cause more damage based on the number of players present.
- There is a give-and-take for guilds that want to see a larger number of members as opposed to a more focused group that may be a part of an alliance.
We're very cognizant of the fact that we don't want to see zerging be a mechanic that's utilized by guilds to accomplish content or just to steamroll over sieges... There are specific mechanics that we are working on that will be seen through the testing phases that relate to a degree of understanding of certain systems that can't just be overrun with numbers. – Steven Sharif
The best way that I found in games I played previously to take down a zerg is to cause drama from within... It's that conflict inside of the politicking that happens in that big organization. If we provide opportunities for division to occur then it also provides stability to keep a server healthy away from that zerg mentality also... If we approach the castle siege and we've destroyed the walls and we're in the throne room and we're about to cast on the penultimate thing and I at this time am just so excited from what's happening that I'm like "screw it I'm gonna go for it". It's gonna be mine. I'm gonna take the taxes for the next month. I'm gonna take all the gear from the castle. I'm gonna take everything... We want that political intrigue to be present in the game. – Steven Sharif
Objective-based game play helps to balance the zerg mentality.
I always feel that if you balance based on groups that in your balance focus is to incorporate features that play well from a player versus player perspective as well as a player versus environment perspective: Having support classes, having DPS and tanks that can obstruct movement and/or create bottlenecks on the field and stuff like that. I think a well-rounded raid it will perform better against a non well-rounded raid, however then you incorporate the second aspect of numbers; and that's where again mobility, organization, leadership tactics. Having objectives in gameplay that make those important helps to balance the zerg mentality that a lot of guilds can tend to have. – Steven Sharif
- There may be instanced locations within castle and node sieges where specific groups can participate in certain objective-based waypoints.
Zerging is always a problem in a lot of these MMORPGs where you really can't control the number of participants in certain open-world systems; and in that sense instancing is a great tool that designers can sometimes use to curate a particular number of participants that you want. But the predominant amount of content within Ashes of Creation, over 80% of which is is open-world content, so instancing is very limited. – Steven Sharif
- Dungeons completed.
- Raids completed.
- PvP kills.
- Caravans raided.
- Gathering activity.
- We have many dreams that we want to do with game-to-web and game-to-mobile in regards to showing stats and being making things shareable for you. We know how social media works; how sharing content with friends works. But those things will come in due time. – Margaret Krohn
- 2016-12-15 Video - Dungeons First Look - Water Temple
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