- 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
- No loading time or loading screens between regions.
- Instancing is only going to happen in certain dungeons where the desire is to have greater narrative appeal. Outside of these and arenas there will not be too much instancing anywhere else.
- 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.
- Populations will change.
- Content difficulty will change.
- The content may be different altogether, depending on what is developed and how.
- Different types of antagonists with different story lines.
- Some dungeons will only be unlocked if nodes are developed to certain stages.
- Storyline objectives for players inside dungeons will depend on the story arc paths chosen through the node system.
- Drop tables in areas and dungeons will be tied into the progression of certain areas.
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.
Raids will also have dynamic elements that can change from session to session.
- The types and numbers of bosses and mobs present in the raid and their skill repertoire.
- Variables are manifested based on node progression.
One of the design elements that we're implementing into our raids is that the raid will not be exactly the same every single time. You're going to have variables that can't necessarily be pre-planned out for. You can pre-plan out for a lot of the raid like how many DPS do you need and healers and support; where the key position and all that kind of stuff; but I think the compelling aspect of Ashes raiding will be the difficulty in achieving this content and having that content change from session to session as well. We want there to be variables that get manifested by you know what type of node got developed elsewhere. Is he going to have acolytes or cultists? What will the acolytes have skills [available] to them? What kit is the boss gonna have? What available skill repertoire will the boss be able to [wield]? ... A lot of those systems are influenced obviously by world development. So the raid kind of takes into account at what stage has the world developed: Are there two metropolises now available in the world? Okay well let's activate this skill in this skill. Now you have five metropolises, well now all these skills have been activated. Are there are they all economic nodes? Are they all military nodes? That we can change things based on that stuff. And it really is a threat assessment from the environment against the players. – Steven Sharif
- The party size is eight (8) players for a single group.
- Raids will have 40 man groups.
- Arenas will have 1 man, 3 man, 5 man and possibly 20 man Free-For-All (Deathmatch) group sizes.
- Mechanics exist within larger conflicts for small groups and even solo players to impact the battle.
- This includes systems that will likely focus on single group sized participants while the larger battle is occurring.
Alpha-1 group sizes
- Alpha-1 battlegrounds will have party sizes of up to 5.
- Guild mode will have parties of raids of up to 20.
- Alpha-1 castle sieges will have parties of 5 within a raid, with 5 raids for each of the two teams.
- Horde mode will have a party size of 5 with a total of ten groups, making for 50 players.
Mobs and Bosses will drop Gold, Items and crafting materials based on the type of mob or boss. For example, a wolf is not going to be carrying a sack of gold. It may instead drop "pelts" that can be traded for gold.
- Loot tables will favor dropping crafting materials as opposed to trash items.
- Loot tables are disabled for player controlled monsters.
- Raid and dungeon bosses have specific mechanics 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 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 kind of want that political intrigue to be present in the game. – Steven Sharif
Having objectives in gameplay make helps to balance the zerg mentality.
I always feel that if you 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 you know 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
Jumping puzzles will occasionally feature in the world.
- Castle sieges.
- Node sieges.
- Legendary world boss spawns.
- Monster coin events.
- Dungeon opportunities.
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. – Steven Sharif
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.
- Levels or skills will not be adjusted to allow low level players to participate in dungeons with higher level players.
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 you 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
- Livestream, 18 January 2018 (16:34).
- Livestream, 9 February 2018 (4:42).
- Livestream, 17 November 2017 (17:50).
- Livestream, 1 June 2017 (39:21).
- Livestream, 22 May 2017 (20:59).
- Livestream, 27 September 2018 (43:21).
- Livestream, 16 October 2017 (11:51).
- Livestream, 19 May 2017 (24:17).
- Livestream, 19 May 2017 (23:00).
- Livestream, 9 February 2018 (45:30).
- Livestream, 17 November 2017 (36:22).
- Livestream, 17 November 2017 (18:29).
- MMOGames interview, January 2017
- Podcast, 9 July 2018 (22:24).
- Group dynamics blog.
- Livestream, 9 May 2017 (34:38).
- Livestream, 26 May 2017 (48:12).
- Livestream, 8 May 2017 (28:48).
- Interview, 17 August 2018 (18:53).
- Livestream, 24 May 2017 (44:14).
- Livestream, 3 May 2017 (35:25).
- Livestream, 17 May 2017 (30:53).
- Livestream, 5 May 2017 (23:26).
- Livestream, 19 May 2017 (25:18).
- Livestream, 22 May 2017 (57:37).
- Interview, 11 May 2018 (44:20).
- Interview, 8 August 2018 (11:52).
- Livestream, 18 July 2017 (58:50).
- Livestream, 15 May 2017 (44:10).
- Livestream, 9 February 2018 (10:42).
- Livestream, 28 July 2017 (39:49).
- Livestream, 4 May 2018 (48:14).
- Interview, 17 August 2018 (24:48).
- Video, 5 April 2018 (40:08).
- Interview, 24 August 2018 (8:52).