Expedition

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An expedition (also referred to as Crossroads[2]) is the first stage of node advancement.[1]

When a Node becomes an Expedition, a small group of NPCs and their compatriots will show up. The Development Area feels temporary at this level, reflective of what a group of people would carry with them - tents, campfires, etc.[3]Margaret Krohn

Node advancement

Illustration of node advancement from Wilderness (stage 0) to Metropolis (stage 6).

Nodes advance by collecting experience from the actions of players nearby. As players complete content inside of a Node’s Zone of Influence (the area around the node), they contribute that experience toward the Node’s development. The experience given to the Node may then be modified based on certain Events and Accomplishments. When a Node reaches the experience required, it undergoes the process of advancing to the next stage. There are a few exceptions where a Node cannot advance even though it has the required experience - most commonly, a Node can not advance if a Node is a Vassal of another Node and would advance to the same stage as its Parent Node.[3]Margaret Krohn

Citizen and non-citizen player activity (questing, gathering, raiding, etc.) within a node's ZOI counts toward that particular node’s advancement (progression).[4] Nodes have seven (7) stages of advancement, with experience thresholds for each stage. When a Node reaches the experience required for its current stage, it advances to the next stage.[5]

Node stage.[4] Alternate name.[2] Timeframe to advance.[4] Player housing.[1]
0. Wilderness -
1. Expedition Crossroads Few hours -
2. Encampment Camp Many hours -
3. Village - Few days Freeholds, Static housing
4. Town - Many days Freeholds, Static housing, Apartments
5. City - Few weeks Freeholds, Static housing, Apartments
6. Metropolis Metro Many weeks Freeholds, Static housing, Apartments

The Development Area of a Node is where civilization will appear as the Node advances. As the Node Stage increases, different buildings, NPCs, and services will become available in the Development Area. The higher the Node Stage, the more complex and populated the Development Area becomes. Development Areas will also vary depending on the Node Type - Economic, Military, Scientific, or Divine; we’ll go into further details on each of those Node Types in future posts in this series.[3]Margaret Krohn

Conceptual illustration. Nodes that are in the ZOI of more advanced nodes have their progression capped by the more advanced node.[6]

Beginning at Node Stage 3, when a Node advances, it enslaves nearby Nodes and makes them into its Vassals. Vassal Nodes are owned by a Parent Node and must always be at least one Node Stage below the Parent Node. This means that the Vassal Node cannot grow until the Parent Node advances in stage. Vassal Nodes give excess experience to their Parent Node, and are able to have their own Vassals, as long as they fit within the Parent Node’s Zone of Influence. They are subject to the government, alliances, wars, taxes, and trade of their Parent Node, and are able to receive federal aid from them. A Vassal Node cannot declare war on their Parent Node or any of its Vassals. Citizens of Vassals are bound by the diplomatic states of the Parent Node.[5]Margaret Krohn

The advancement of a node unlocks its unique content, which comes at the cost of locking out an increasing ring of neighboring nodes from progressing to the next stage.[7]

  • Nodes advance to the first stage quickly. This enables NPC services such as vending or banking items.[8]
  • The more advanced the node is, the larger its ZOI becomes.[1]
  • Less advanced nodes (referred to as vassal nodes) that fall within a more advanced node's ZOI can still gain XP, but must remain at a lower advancement stage than the dominant node.[6]
  • A node does not receive XP from the nodes within its ZOI until these nodes have reached their cap.[6]
  • Players are moved to safety if they intersect with newly spawned assets during node advancement.[9]
  • Citizens of one node can contribute to the advancement of other nodes.[10]
  • The exact percentage of advancement from obtaining items or killing monsters is not going to be explicitly known to avoid "gaming" the system.[11]

Different people have different resources invested in nodes progressing and it would be a little "gamey" if you could know exactly what was necessary at that point because that would disincentivize people from participating.[11]Steven Sharif

Vassal nodes

Nodes greater than stage 3 (Village) enslave nearby nodes, converting them into vassal nodes.[5]

  • Vassal nodes must remain one node stage below their parent node.[5]
    • Vassal nodes first apply any experience earned to their own deficit (see Node atrophy). It then applies excess experience earned to its parent node.[3]
    • If the parent node advances, the vassal is once again able to advance.[5]
  • Vassal nodes give excess experience to their parent node and may have their own vassals; so long as they fall within the parent node’s zone of influence.[5]
    • If a node is capped and is both a vassal and has its own vassals, any experience earned from itself or its Vassals is first applied to its own deficit. Experience beyond that is then sent to its parent node.[3]
  • Vassals are subject to the government, alliances, wars, taxes, and trade of their parent node, and are able to receive federal aid from them.[5]
  • Vassal nodes cannot declare war on their parent node or any of their vassals.[5]
  • Citizens of vassals are bound by the diplomatic states of the parent node.[5]

If a Node is a Vassal Node and is capped from advancing further, it first applies any experience earned to its own deficit (see Node Atrophy section), and then applies excess experience earned to its Parent Node. If the Parent Node advances and the Vassal is able to grow, it becomes uncapped. If a Node is capped and is both a Vassal and has its own Vassals, any experience earned from itself or its Vassals is first applied to their own deficit. Any experience beyond that is then sent to its Parent Node.[3]Margaret Krohn

Node development

Racial architecture styles in an Alpha-0 village node. Empyrean Elven influence (top). Kaelar Human influence (bottom).[12]

The layout and architecture within a Node’s development area are determined by influential race. For example, a stage 3 Node with the majority of player contribution being Py’rai would have a Py’rai village with Py’rai architecture. Most NPCs would be Py’rai elves, and offer questlines within the Py’rai narrative.[5]Margaret Krohn

Each player’s contributed experience is flagged with their character race and other identifiers. When a Node advances, the race with the highest experience contribution determines the Node’s style and culture. This style and culture change can happen at every Node Stage. For example, if a Node advances to Level 2 - Encampment Stage and 51% of all experience was earned by Ren’Kai players, the Node will be a Level 2 Ren’Kai Node. If that same Node advances to a Level 3 - Village Stage Node, but the Py’Rai contributed 62% of all the experience earned, then the Node will be a Level 3 Py’Rai Node. Cultural influences bring more than just the aesthetic and storyline changes - benefits are granted to the dominant culture within that Node’s Zone of Influence.[3]Margaret Krohn

Node layout and style is determined by several factors:[13]

Some parts are determined by the area it's in. Some parts are determined by the type it is. Some parts are determined by the race it is; and then the rest of it is determined by the mayor.[13]Jeffrey Bard

All nodes whether they're associated with a castle or associated with normal node structure has cultural influences that replicate over to the buildings that are produced and the NPCs that are present.[16]Steven Sharif

There is an attrition mechanic that affects experience and influence to curb a single race from dominating the entire world.[17]

There is an attrition and that attrition on experience and influence is heightened based on the performance of the race in the world. So if all these nodes are Orc nodes then their attrition rate is very high to compete with the cultural establishment of new nodes because they have more influence in the world and a popular opinion is against them in their outlying regions that they do not have influence in.[17]Steven Sharif

Monster coin events

Legion monster coin events are common events that occur for Nodes up to the Village stage. This might include a horde of zombies rolling across the countryside finding something or someone to feast on. Players who wish to keep their advancements will need to be vigilant.[18]

Artwork

See also

References