Environments

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Information on the environments (biomes) in Ashes of Creation.

We are a high fantasy game... That means that outside of the traditional sorts of environments you're going to start seeing some pretty crazy and wild stuff that will also change based on seasons.[4]Jeffrey Bard

Climate

Some Environments (Biomes) have fixed climates and others are variable.[6]

  • Weather conditions change with the Seasons.
  • There will be dynamic weather that varies in intensity.[7]
    • For example: Drizzle to/from storm, or Blizzard to/from snow.

Seasons

Zones (environments/biomes) change season on a weekly basis during scheduled downtime. Each month in real-life will effectively be a full seasonal rotation in the game.[9]

In Ashes of Creation the world will change on a regular basis. Zones will progress in a seasonal cycle, which will alter the very nature of the environment around you. Snow may block pathways that are accessible in warmer months, spring may encourage creatures otherwise unseen to come to the surface, and fall might be the only time that certain crops thrive. This cycle can then take in the state of the world’s Nodes and shift depending on their progression.[10]

Environments (Zones/biomes) experience different seasons based on their location in the world.[11]

  • There will be regions of the map with seasons that are less (or more) temperate.[12]
    For example: Northern, Southern and Tropical regions.[12]
  • There will also be magical seasons where you might be in a tropical zone and suddenly it's snowing.[12]
  • Different crop cycles.[11]
  • Pathing that are open during summer and closed during winter.[11]
  • Water turning to ice in winter, enabling players to walk over the water but blocking access to what is underneath.[11]
  • Certain Events can bring seasonal/weather changes.[11]

We want to really make the environment immersive and actually affect gameplay.[11]Steven Sharif

Seasonal events

Seasonal events (holidays) in Ashes of Creation are not a direct parallel with real world events. Instead, there will be in-game lore behind seasonal events that can relate to the real-world in some way.[13][14]

For example, this upcoming cosmetic bundle that's going to be available during the time of Halloween won't necessarily be pumpkins and candy corn type of cosmetics, but instead will be a bit darker. That way it can still be relevant to real world. And then additionally it may be possible as we localize and culturalize for other territories that we have the same philosophy with region-specific events.[13]Steven Sharif

Events may bring seasonal change.[11]

  • A winter dragon may appear because a node has developed to stage 4. That dragon may bring eternal winter until it is killed.

Alpha-0

Alpha-0 river that runs through the center of the map.[15]
Alpha-0 flood plains environment.[16]

There are four over-world environments (climates/biomes) in Alpha-0.[15]

  • Flood plains
  • Forest
  • Desert
  • Snowy mountains

Alpha-0 has a bio-luminescent Underrealm environment.[19]

One of the important aspects of color play is going to be the distinguishing factor between different Underrealms and the regions that exist in the world: Their color influences set them apart from different regions.[20]Steven Sharif

Day/night cycle

There is a day/night cycle in Ashes of Creation.[22]

Fifteen minutes may be one hour in game time.[24]

Darkness

Pre-alpha Mage's detection utility skill casts light and reveals magical explosive hazards.[25]

Darkness as an environmental obstacle is being considered as part of the game mechanics.[26]

How deeply we take this though is really going to come down to how much fun it actually is, which we’re still in the process of discovering. As long as we can nail some interesting mechanics, and it’s not more frustrating than fun, make sure you bring your torch.

Elements

There will be elements (such as Fire, Water) in Ashes of Creation each with their own resistances.[27]

  • Elements may have more influence in certain seasons and environments. For example, frost abilities may be stronger in winter.
  • This affects both PvE and PvP.[28]

We've discussed a little bit about how the seasons and biomes will react with different types of skills. Like if you have a fireball and it's summer it might be a little bit different. If it's winter and you have a frost ability it might be different.[28]Steven Sharif

We want to get a nice spread of abilities that that are influenced by what's going on your zone.[28]Jeffrey Bard

Landmarks

200 foot tall Pyrian statues in Alpha-1.[29]

Landmarks are scattered throughout the world, allowing players to judge their position on the map.[29]

From a lore perspective these statues have been around for a long time; and they are representative of the civilizations that existed once on this world before.[29]Steven Sharif

Major visual landmarks. You can look all the way across the horizon have an idea where you're going or where to meet friends or where to meet just based on these huge landmarks in the world.[29]Mat Broome

Underrealm

The Underrealm is a rich environment where bio-luminescence abounds in the fauna and flora that exist here. These deep caverns and underground valleys provide new destinations for civilization to develop. Bringing the node system into the depths of the world may awaken darker creatures than the surface.[31]

We plan to have the Underrealm really pervasive throughout the game itself, a part of the open world. It will introduce some unique elements such as the type of monsters you see, the type of crops you can grow and houses you can have.[32]Steven Sharif

Environment

Alpha-0 Underrealm environment.[30]

Underrealm environments are vast.[33]

  • Caravans should be able to operate as they do above ground.[33]
  • If there's insufficient room for Dragons, another mount type may be utilized.[33]
  • Burrowing mounts are being considered as an alternative to flying mounts in the Underrealm.[34]

One of the important aspects of color play is going to be the distinguishing factor between different Underrealms and the regions that exist in the world: Their color influences set them apart from different regions.[20]Steven Sharif

Seasons above ground will affect the Underrealm.[33]

  • This will not be a one-to-one correlation: for example, it won't snow in the Underrealm.
  • Tunnel flooding and other effects will be related to the weather above ground.

The seasons above ground will kind of inform what happens underneath. I mean, it's not going to be a direct one-to-one correlation right, not like it's going to be raining in the underworld, but you will see the effects from above happen down below: You might find tunnels being flooded.[33]Jeffrey Bard

Coastal/island nodes

There will be nodes along the coast and on islands.[35]

  • These nodes will have specific water oriented influences and abilities, services, questlines, that relate to the seas.[35]
  • It may be possible to siege a coastal city by sea.[36]

Island chains are part of Ashes of Creation naval content.[37][38]

Underwater

Underwater content will be accessible, not cumbersome.[39]

Underwater nodes

Underwater points of interest that have NPC structures may appear to be like cities, but they will not be nodes.[40]

  • There won't be nodes underwater or in the water.[35]

Artwork

Ashes of Creation will have a higher graphical fidelity than most western games. It will not be too stylized or "cartoony".[41]

We can push the limits a little bit on the graphical fidelity, especially using Unreal Engine 4... My desire was not to see very cartoony games. I'm not a big fan of highly stylized art.[41]Steven Sharif

See also

References

  1. julyleak.png
  2. Video, 9 July 2018 (0:01s).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Livestream, 17 August 2018 (58:53).
  4. Livestream, 1 June 2017 (29:33).
  5. Video, 30 May 2017 (0:01).
  6. Livestream, 18 July 2017 (36:47).
  7. Livestream, 28 July 2017 (41:25).
  8. Video, 22 January 2017 (0:02).
  9. seasons.png
  10. Our immersive world - Environments.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Livestream, 8 May 2017 (20:27).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Livestream, 27 September 2018 (41:33).
  13. 13.0 13.1 Interview, 20 October 2018 (1:31:48).
  14. Livestream, 5 May 2017 (40:36).
  15. 15.0 15.1 Livestream, 16 October 2017 (11:41).
  16. Livestream, 16 October 2017 (11:51).
  17. Livestream, 16 October 2017 (12:08).
  18. Video, 22 January 2018 (0:01).
  19. Livestream, 15 December 2017 (1:36:53).
  20. 20.0 20.1 Livestream, 18 January 2018 (14:00).
  21. Ashes of Creation - Screenshots.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Livestream, 12 May 2017 (57:41).
  23. day cycle.jpg
  24. time.jpg
  25. Video, 7 February 2017 (0:02s).
  26. Interview: Ashes of Creation on Building Their Virtual World, 13 April 2017.
  27. Livestream, 24 May 2017 (27:47).
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Livestream, 1 June 2017 (20:23).
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 Livestream, 17 August 2018 (10:01).
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Ashes of Creation - The visuals.
  31. Kickstarter $1,750,000 Stretch Goal Unlocked, 13 May 2017.
  32. A chat with Ashes of Creation's Steven Sharif, 7 June 2017.
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 33.4 Livestream, 1 June 2017 (24:30).
  34. Interview, 17 August 2018 (8:57).
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (1:01:28).
  36. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (37:51).
  37. Livestream, 17 May 2017 (30:53).
  38. Kickstarter - We Just Broke $1,500,000!
  39. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (38:46).
  40. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (AM) (18:29).
  41. 41.0 41.1 Interview, 20 October 2018 (2:17:43).
  42. Interview, 20 October 2018 (2:28:08).