Events

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The world of Verra is a dynamic and ever-changing landscape filled with wonder, adventure, and danger. One of the many mechanics that allow us to achieve this adaptability is Events. Events are one of the primary ways that players will experience content. Events focus on delivering a reactive world that keeps players on their toes while changing up gameplay in a fun and unique way, providing challenges, and shaping the world around them. Players will encounter events throughout their entire time on Verra - from early progression to high-level dungeons and raids.[1]Peter Bisulca

Corrupted area in Alpha-1, design by Mia DelCasino.[2]

I think Ashes' whole premise is to incorporate events and changes and evolution that not only represents player activity but also incorporates random story driven interruptions to the normal flow of the world; and whether that be through blocking off specific roadways that are the lifeblood of a particular node's incoming resources, or having random raid boss appear in a zone that never traditionally they did before; and as a result it incurs a complete change of climate that's now affecting crop rotations; and only specific crop can come from that zone; and now the whole economy of the world has been thrown into chaos because no one's been able to down this boss yet, we can't get the corn we need in order to build the reagents on the alchemical side to create this craft- That's the type of domino effect system or event you want that appears in a natural non-injunction way, but it presents a problem to the players to that they have to accomplish something at least if they want to change it back to the status quo. Those I think are compelling events and those I think are ways that the world can introduce an element of randomness that reflects what we experience in the real world.[3]Steven Sharif

Events are things that happen in Ashes of Creation as the result of development in the world.[3][4] They can take the form of quests, pop-up triggered events or other narratives that happen throughout the world.[1][5] Events are scaled to fit local, regional, and global needs.[6][7]

Events are where you’ll find your public quests, though these will be scaled to fit local, regional, and global needs. They’ll also have consequences locally, regionally, and globally, for good (if they’re taken care of successfully) or for ill (if a fail condition is reached).[7]
Events... can be local, regional or global, and consist of boons or banes. They’re triggered based on a lot of different variables, and some may be one-off Events that occur once, and never again. If an Event is handled successfully, then something good happens to the local, regional, or global area. If it fails, then something bad befalls the local, regional or global area. They’ll relate to the overall Narrative, but don’t fall into its overall structure (for the most part). These are the things that will be written into history, and we imagine that as time grows, each server’s history will diverge more and more.[12]
Some of the events that spawn have consequences that lead to node attacks; and enemies have a particular type of hate list on certain buildings that a node may have access to when they attack during an event; and that hate list might relate to- or that building choice might relate to something that is indicative of the storyline for that particular event; or it could be something that is more pivotal to the defense of the city. If the city doesn't respond to these types of things that might weaken them for potential player attacks afterwards.[15]Steven Sharif
  • There are events that lead to the spreading of corruption that players will have to fight back against. When these events occur players will need to participate to keep the intrusion on the material plane back.[13][19][20]
There are certain effects that can happen in a world that does not have a proper response from the player population and that's the whole idea behind these events that can happen; that you know feel like these are natural world progression events if corruption starts to show itself as a response- as a push back to the player's development of nodes in the world itself.[13]Steven Sharif
  • If events don't occur within a certain time period, they could occur randomly.[4]
  • There may be one-off events.[12]

Events do not directly impact class effectiveness but there may be ancillary effects in terms of availability of equipment, enchantments or tattoos.[21]

Event types

There are a variety of different types of events that occur based on random chance and other interdependencies.[1]

Event levels

The level of a particular event can be based on the level of the content that triggers it, or it can be set to a higher level in order to drive traffic back to lower level zones.[6]

For example, if the event takes place in a zone that has a base population of let's say average level 25, then one of the trigger conditions might be that 10 monsters of level 25 have been killed recently in that zone and the level 25 event will now spawn additional content designed for level 25 players. So these events aren't always going to be end-game they're going to be obviously appropriate based on the content in which the predicate system is informing, but they also could be something completely top level that is introduced at a lower-level area and brings population traffic of the players back to those types of things.[6]Steven Sharif

Seasonal events

Calendar Events can be seen as holiday-related celebrations or other seasonal content. Imagine these Events as things you may experience annually, based on the cultures within the world. Some of these may derive from the seasons, and how the nodes in those areas are affected by them. These will most often be server-wide and provide unique content for a specific duration of time during the calendar year.[1]

Calendar events (seasonal events/holidays) in Ashes of Creation can be in-game events or they can relate to the real-world in some way.[23][27][24]

  • Events 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.[23][27][24]
  • Certain calendar events will incorporate the cultural identity of the various character races.[28]
Part of the things that they're working on is creating a lot of cultural identity for these character races and how we can bring about these calendar events from the perspective of each individual race. That's something that I think is going to be really helping identify or giving identity to each of the character races.[28]Steven Sharif
  • Seasonal events in-game may not exactly align with real-world seasons due to the different in-game seasonal cycle.[29]
Will seasonal events in the real-world align with the seasonal rotation in the game world? And I think in that sense probably not. That's going to require a little bit of suspension of disbelief in understanding that. But it's also fair that in-game events do not need to be perfectly cyclical like let's say seasonal events are in the real world. They could have a non-uniform cycle associated with them... There is something to be said for having that represented in the game as long as it's immersive; as long as it's contextualized within the story and the world and the universe that we've created; and isn't a direct homage to Santa Claus in the real-world, just to use a prime example of something.[29]Steven Sharif
  • Holiday events are not going be "campy" or immersion-breaking.[23]
We have a lot of ideas on how certain real-world holidays can be contextualized within the game world and seem fitting.[23]Steven Sharif

Events may bring seasonal change.[3][11]

Cinematic events

There will be cinematic events in Ashes of Creation.[30]

Adaptive content

Alpha-1 preview pirate themed dynamic point of interest.[31]

This is actually a dynamic POI. This one will evolve as players evolve the node that it's attached to. So this is kind of its final state.[31]Jeffrey Bard

New points of interest (such as dungeons, world bosses, and corrupted areas) spawn as nodes develop.[32][33] This content adapts to the node progression of the zone it is in.[31][34]

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.[7]

Corrupted areas

Work-in-progress Alpha-1 preview corrupted area on Alpha island by Mia DelCasino.[32]

How the world kind of reacts and changes to the nodes, you see these intrusions of corruption beginning to pervert and infest the lands; and these are obviously going to be sources by which NPC events are driven based on player progression within the world. And these sources of evil need to be addressed by the players, or else they'll grow out of hand.[19]Steven Sharif

All of our POIs and kind of just the world in general can react to the node- we don't have to but we can- and this is one of those places where as civilization grows this will grow kind of in contest with it.[32]Jeffrey Bard

Corrupted areas (zones/points of interest) can dynamically evolve with the progression of nodes.[19][32]

  • Harbingers that exist on Verra as dungeons are where The Ancients are capable of pushing into the material plane. They can continue to do so under the guise of the effects of corruption as it spreads.[20]
  • These are sources of NPC events that players need to address before they grow out of hand.[13][19]
    • Players need to participate in these events to stop the spread of corruption and hold back the intrusion on the material plane.[20]
    • If players fail to address these corrupted areas, the frequency of NPC events against their node will increase. These can lead to node buildings and services being disabled, increasing the node's vulnerability to node sieges.[35]
    It can be a very detrimental thing if corruption is not addressed; and that's the intent of corruption, is to present a challenge to the players that if not addressed it becomes exacerbated and a problem over time.[35]Steven Sharif
  • Corrupted areas do not confer corruption onto a player.[36]

There are certain things that can happen, such as the spawning of dragons or hordes of zombies that are going to come out and attack those installations, those nodes, those points of interest; and... communities that don't respond to those in an effective way might see the disabling of certain services, the reduction of certain quest lines for particular organizations. The idea is to keep this as part of a believable living response from world, so those can get pretty significant the bad effects that can happen for the community.[13]Steven Sharif

Player driven narrative

The world of Verra will be the same on each server, but Nodes will develop differently. Different servers will have different narratives. Things that happen on one server may not happen on another.[37]

We want as many people as possible to experience the main server Narrative. These will branch at different scales, but largely at the personal level. Where things change is at the Node level – different parts of the story will be unlocked based on where and when Nodes grow. Unlocking a part of the story in a certain way locks out progression of the story in a different way. You’ll see different antagonists, different NPCs, and different calls to action depending on what’s happening with the server at that time.[12]

It kind of redefines what the players will experience in an MMORPG to come into a wilderness that is devoid of really any structure outside of what the community creates themselves; and then what can be created can be changed, if they want to experience a storyline that's been seen on another server, but you know you're fighting a dragon because you're near a mountain and the other server's fighting a Kraken because they're near the coast and you want to fight that Kraken because of its drop table. If you want to meta it or because you just want that under your belt: to be the server first to take out that Kraken and you have yet to develop the node there, you know it's incumbent upon you to manifest that in the game.[39]Steven Sharif

Monster coin events

Pre-alpha monster coin system.[40]

Sometimes the disturbed beings could take the form of packs of dire wolves, hordes of zombies roused from their graveyard, or even, rarely, an epic-tier dragon flying out of a volcano once a node reaches its maximum level. In any case, the disturbed monsters have to tackle a series of destructive objectives, which can either be handled by the the AI or, more interestingly, by a player. The player in turn would attempt to complete all those actions much as in a multi-objective quest, hopefully before other players brought him or her down.[41]

Monster coins enable players to play as monsters within the monster coin event system. This ranges from playing as a horde of zombies, to becoming a massive dragon.[15][18]

During a Monster Coin Event, players will be able to activate Monster Coins, allowing them to become monsters and wreak havoc! These Events can be triggered in a variety of different ways, and in some cases they may even provide cosmetic rewards.[1]

Monster coin events are system spawned events.[15][17]

  • They are structured in a way to prevent groups from gaming the system.[17]
  • Monster coin events are triggered by activity in the world, such as node advancement, defeating a boss or constructing certain types of buildings within a node.[42]
  • Server messages appear for players in the vicinity of these dynamic events.[43]
  • Drop tables are disabled for player controlled monsters.[44]
  • The Ancients are not going to be part of the monster coin system.[45]
  • Monster coins only allow a character to participate in events on their own server.[46]

Traditionally, the Ancients are not going to be part of the Monster Coin system. These are the primary antagonists of the story. From a lore perspective, and one of the reasons why they're not a part of the Monster Coin system, is because their souls have really developed almost to the point of perfection in manipulating the Essence for more corrupt uses. They haven't quite gotten there, and who knows if they ever will, but that kind of attunes them out of the possibility: The reason why the monster coin system is possible with other creatures.[47]Steven Sharif

Monster coin progression

There is a progression system that levels a player's monster skills based on how often they participate in monster events.[48]

In Ashes of Creation a large portion of world events revolve around the environment reacting to the player. This means that as players are exploring the world and developing civilization around them the environment is responding to this encroachment by spawning dynamic events and creatures to attack those developing cities. These events occur in 3 different types: the Legion level the Elite level and the Epic level.[49]Steven Sharif

As nodes advance, so does the scale of the monsters.[43] There are tiers of events denoting the caliber of the monsters being spawned.[18]

  • The tier of the monster coin dictates how powerful the monster is.[50]

GM run events

There will not be Game master (GM) run events initially, but the systems are in place to add these in the future.[51]

Server prime-time

Objective-based events such as Node sieges, Castle sieges, Guild wars, and Node wars will occur within a prime-time window somewhere between 3PM and 9PM server time. This is subject to testing.[52][53][54]

Event states

There are five types of states that exist for events.[55]

Events are driven by what we call a state machine; and there are essentially five types of states that exist for events: There's the in-progress state; there's the active state; inactive; on cooldown; or disabled. And that is essentially a way that we inform what types of elements- what stage of activity things are coming online based on what event state is currently active at the moment. We talked a little bit about triggers. We have world conditions like node levels. We have seasons and climates and calendar; the service building activation relics; and completed raids. All of these things can be part of what informs- I'm not going to go into what everything can be. I don't want to dish out the nitty-gritties of the system per-se, but I'm just giving you an idea of what essentially allows events to become a thing; and then once those things are addressed or not addressed, certain cooldowns get triggered. Other conditions might trigger: It could form as a predicate for an additional event- there could be concurrent events.[55]Steven Sharif

Server history

The history of each server will be tracked and visible to players in a node's library.[57][58]

  • Scribes may be able to collect and record information about the events of the world as they see it from their point of view.[59]
We're gonna keep track of the history of the world so that we can tell people the story up to the current day. A player who's brand new, who's come in at the six-month mark can take a look at each server, what each server has done, how each server has tackled the storyline; and they can decide for themselves what community they want to join; what version of the world that they want to take part in.[58]Jeffrey Bard

Libraries

At Village (stage 3) the scientific node's unique building is the Library. Players can use the Library to access information, including (but not limited to) the following:[57]

Reports of information to the library may expire after a period of time (say one week). After which new reports will be required to update the existing information.[60]

You'll get that shroud of war functionality for the week after a report but if it doesn't receive a follow-up report after that expiration period then it will not be updating real time.[60]Steven Sharif

Announcements/Notifications

Goblins attacking a Town (stage 4) node due to a triggered event.[1][8]

Enemies can only really grow stronger as the node grows, becoming outposts essentially for exiled or rivals of the existing order.[16]Steven Sharif

There will be local, regional, or global (server-wide) announcements/notifications of important events.[16][61]

Event notifications will utilize different methods depending on the stage (scope and level) of the event.[16]

  • Local events
    • Local events (such as caravan PvP)[63][64][65] may prompt players via the UI asking if they wish to participate or not.[16]
    • Other local events may offer audible or visual cues without any UI notifications.[16]
    • Local events that have not been addressed may start to expand regionally or even globally.[16]
One important thing to note about events in general is notifications are sent to the players. Players can opt into these events in a similar way that you would into a quest. You're going to be presented with a 'would you like to participate' but they might not always be that way. You might hear trees falling in the forest and that may be an audio cue to tell you something's happening over there. It's out of the ordinary. This is not normally an audio cue that I hear in this area and i'm gonna go investigate that thing. So it might not just be always that kind of UI window represented with a 'participate or not' but I'm going to go investigate and in that sense it could be stage driven. So you might have the more local stage where it is just the visual or audio cues and you get to go participate in that stage; and then when it advances, or if you don't answer the problem in time, then it starts to expand regionally and then it might send out particular notifications to either citizens of the node from which it falls under its purview or even broader than that. It could be global driven events and then it could have things that are are visual cues that are really big like a giant blizzard that's affecting the zone, because the event hasn't been addressed; and that can affect the crop rotations or it can affect passages and roads and how caravans move. There's a lot that the predicate system informs to the event system and then the event system reacts to those types of predicates.[16]Steven Sharif
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.[62]Steven Sharif
  • Regional or global events
    • Wider events may be broadcast regionally or even globally.[16][61]

Artwork

See also

References

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