Hunting grounds

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Hunting grounds are open-world PvP corruption-enabled areas that encompass most of the map.[1]

One of the interesting components of Ashes of Creation and our flagging system is that it presents the potential for two conflicting parties to have open conflict in the open world over pretty much anything that they may want or disagree with; and if that pertains to a hunting ground, not just the caravan or the castles or the nodes or whatever, it can exist in that area.[4]Steven Sharif

Outside of PvP for certain things like caravans, sieges of nodes and/or castles is that you're going to have those open-world hunting ground fights that may occur. You're going to have resources fights that may occur. You're going to have political fights that may occur between members of guilds; and we're taking the guild politics to a whole new direction in regards to playing those conflicts out.[3]Steven Sharif

Our PvP mechanics follow a flagging system, as well as static PvP zones at certain points of interest; fight for control over cities, castles, caravans, or hunting grounds. Our PvP is designed to offer the players a well-balanced and fair world to shape through the pen, or sword should they choose.[5]

Adaptive content

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New points of interest (such as dungeons and world bosses) spawn as nodes develop.[6] This content adapts to the development of the zone it is in.[7]

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.[8]

Loot tables

Monsters drop hunting certificates, Items and crafting materials rather than gold.[10][11]

A wolf is not going to be carrying a sack of gold. It may instead drop "pelts" that can be traded for gold.[11]
  • Hunting certificates will also drop on a character's death.[10]
  • Hunting certificates can be traded with hunter NPCs within nodes.[10]
    • The level of the node and the distance of the node from the drop will determine the value of the certificate. Certificates redeemed from distant economic regions via the caravan system will provide higher returns (4 to 5 times greater in some cases) than certificates collected from the same region.[12][10]
    • The value of the certificates are also calculated (by the world manager algorithm) based on the volume of certificates being redeemed in each region.[12]
  • Hunting certificates can also be stored within node warehouses.[10]

Loot tables of world bosses or dungeon bosses have a small RNG chance of dropping gear (completed items).[13][14]

Loot tables are disabled for player controlled monsters.[19]

Experience debt decreases the drop rate percentages from monsters.[20]

Player flagging

The open world PvP flagging system is designed to deter people from griefing other players.[21]

  • Players can participate in open world PvP with one another without having to resort to murder.[22]
  • The penalties are intended to be severe enough to deter any type of spawn camping.[23]

pvp flagging diagram.png

There are three levels of flagging for world PvP in Ashes of Creation.[8]

  • Non-combatant (green)
    • All players start as non-combatants.[24]
    • Non-forced attacks (such as AoE) will not hit non-combatant players.[25]
  • Combatant (purple)
    • Non-combatants entering an open world battleground are automatically flagged as combatant and remain flagged for a period of time after leaving that battleground.[8]
    • Players are flagged as combatants if they attack another player. If the attacked players fight back, they are also flagged as combatants, otherwise the attacked player will remain flagged as a non-combatant.[24]
    • Non-combatants who heal, buff or otherwise interact with combatants will be flagged as combatants.[26]
    • Non-combatants who attack a player using combat pets (or any other player-controlled entities) will be flagged as combatants.[27]
    • Players can kill combatants without repercussions, and are encouraged to do so, since dying while a combatant has reduced death penalties.[24]
  • Corrupt (red)
    • If a combatant player kills a non-combatant player, they will be flagged as corrupt.[21]
    • Corruption multiplies death penalties and reveals a corrupt player's location to bounty hunters.[21]
    • A player’s corruption score increases with each non-combatant player killed.[8]
    • If a non-combatant attacks a corrupt player, the non-combatant will not flag as a combatant.[24]
    • Corrupted players may kill bounty hunters without acquiring additional corruption score.[28]

A player may not flag on members of the same party, raid, guild or alliance.[29]

  • Players will be able to opt-in (via a checkbox) to allow their beneficial or non-beneficial AoEs to hit flagged players. If this is checked then AoE heals or damage will affect flagged players. If it is not checked then the AoE will not damage or heal any flagged players, and as such will not cause the caster to be flagged themselves (if they are not already).[30]

If you have that check-box for flagging with your AOEs and heals available then you will flag. If you do not have that box checked then on completion of the skill it will not flag you because the check was made at the start that there was a flagged party member; and then he will not he or she will not receive the beneficial effect as a result or the damage, if it's an offensive spell.[30]Steven Sharif

Sieges, caravans and guild wars do not use the flagging system.[31]

You're not going to see griefing in the game very often; and that's because our flagging system. The corruption mechanics are based around disincentivizing a griefer or PKer but still offering the opportunity, should the occasion arise, where the benefits outweigh the risk, you have the ability to do so. If you gain corruption, which is killing a non-combatant - a player who is not fighting back basically - if you gain that corruption, your world has changed. It is not going to be a very beneficial place to be and you have the potential of losing your gear. Your combat efficacy decreases based on the amount of corruption you accrue. It is a comfortable balance between player agency and grief and basically removing player agency for other players.[32]Steven Sharif

Player corruption

When you gain that corruption you have the potential of losing your completed items, your weapon, your armor, stuff that is very difficult to achieve; and then the other aspect of that is, that in order to deter basically players taking alternate characters and saying this is my PK alt, the more players you kill, the more corruption you gain, the higher your combat efficacy in PVP diminishes. If you're out there and you killed you know 20 players... you will not be able to perform in PVP any longer. You will need to take that character and go work off that corruption. The other aspect of corruption is that if you kill another player, who is a non-combatant and the level disparity between you and that player is great, you will gain a higher amount of corruption from that single kill. To the point where you should not be killing a level one character.[33]Steven Sharif

If a combatant (purple) player kills a non-combatant (green) player in PvP, they will be flagged as corrupt (red).[21]

  • A player’s corruption score increases with each non-combatant player killed.[34][8]
  • The wider the level disparity between the players, the more corruption will be gained.[34][8]
  • Corruption penalties occur as the corruption is gained.[35] The higher the corruption score:
  • Corruption has a visible effect on a player’s appearance.[39]
  • If a non-combatant attacks a corrupt player, the non-combatant will not flag as a combatant.[24]
  • A corrupt player’s location is revealed to bounty hunters on their world map.[34][21]
  • Corrupted players may kill bounty hunters without acquiring additional corruption score.[40][28]
    • Corrupted player's combat penalties do not apply when battling bounty hunters.[40]

The more corruption you gain, the less effective you become in PvP and there's going to be a certain period at which point you have gained enough corruption that you're going to be gearless and you're also going to have a massive reduction in your PvP efficacy.[41]Steven Sharif

Reward without risk is meaningless... Corruption is just another word for risk.[42]Steven Sharif

You can't necessarily time perfectly you know the damage or understand even the health of the player. Unless you were in their party you cannot see an opponent's health as well so that's another component that you know adds risk.[43]Steven Sharif

Removing corruption

The primary means to remove corruption is through death. Multiple deaths may be necessary to remove all corruption.[45][24]

  • Dying removes a significant portion of a player's corruption score.[46]
  • Gaining experience will also slowly reduce a player's corruption score.[45]
    That creates a fun kind of experience for the bounty hunters to try to catch you while you're working it off.[45]Steven Sharif
  • A quest may be utilized to reduce the player kill (PK) count of a corrupt player in order for them to accumulate less corruption score in the future.[47][46]
    • This is a design shift from a religious quest being used to directly reduce the corruption score.[48]
  • Corruption duration is reduced in military nodes.[49]

Player death

We don't have deleveling, instead what we have is experience debt. Now the more experience debt you accrue, the greater the detriment to your character; not to the point where you can not get out of the debt. There will always be a way forward to remove your debt.[32]Steven Sharif

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Livestream, 9 July 2018 (44:56).
  2. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (45:17).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Livestream, 1 June 2017 (35:42).
  4. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (24:17).
  5. pvp about.png
  6. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (36:22).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Livestream, 17 November 2017 (18:29).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 MMOGames interview, January 2017
  9. dungeons-leak.png
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Interview, 18 July 2020 (27:11).
  11. 11.0 11.1 Livestream, 24 May 2017 (44:14).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Interview, 19 July 2020 (1:08:22).
  13. 13.0 13.1 Interview, 19 July 2020 (8:43).
  14. February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
  15. Interview, 20 July 2020 (21:57).
  16. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (55:49).
  17. Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:00:15).
  18. Livestream, 25 July 2020 (46:08).
  19. Livestream, 3 May 2017 (35:25).
  20. 20.0 20.1 Ashes of Creation Forums - Former Lineage 2 PvP'er wanting to discuss PvP loopholes.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 pvp flagging.png
  22. Livestream, 12 May 2017 (24:52).
  23. pvp camping.png
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 Interview, 27 April 2017 (0:17).
  25. PvP.jpg
  26. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (29:45).
  27. Livestream, 31 October 2018 (44:12).
  28. 28.0 28.1 Interview, 27 April 2017 (1:18).
  29. pvp flagging lockouts.png
  30. 30.0 30.1 Interview, 8 July 2020 (1:05:27).
  31. flagging.jpg
  32. 32.0 32.1 Podcast, 23 April 2018 (49:21).
  33. Podcast, 23 April 2018 (51:31).
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 34.4 34.5 34.6 Interview, 18 July 2020 (41:54).
  35. corruption.jpg
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 36.4 36.5 36.6 36.7 36.8 Podcast, 5 May 2017 (43:05).
  37. Interview, 11 May 2018 (5:05).
  38. 38.0 38.1 Livestream, 17 November 2017 (35:20).
  39. Interview, February 2017 (39:33).
  40. 40.0 40.1 steven-bounty-hunters-1.png
  41. Livestream, 22 May 2017 (42:33).
  42. corruption2.jpg
  43. Livestream, 30 January 2020 (1:40:48).
  44. Livestream, 9 July 2018 (20:41).
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 Interview, 18 July 2020 (44:35).
  46. 46.0 46.1 Interview, 19 July 2020 (30:51).
  47. steven-removing-corruption.png
  48. Livestream, 4 June 2018 (2:18).
  49. pvp corruption duration.png
  50. Livestream, 28 March 2020 (1:58:24).
  51. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (13:37).
  52. Livestream, 27 September 2018 (47:46).
  53. Interview, 11 May 2018 (15:41).
  54. Interview, 27 April 2017 (9:28).
  55. Interview, 11 May 2018 (3:43).
  56. Livestream, 15 May 2017 (36:23).
  57. Livestream, 28 July 2017 (50:22).