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.
- Certain node buildings and organizations offer quests that can be initiated by a mentor to assist new players. Rewards are offered to both the mentor and the mentee upon completion.
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 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
The mentorship program provides individual quests that can be initiated by the mentor based off of what node that they are part of. So these are like quests that are determined by either certain buildings and/or organizations or the mayor; and there are specific ones that are available for mentors to provide mentees; and they can also participate in some of those quest lines as well: Whether that be leading your mentee through a dungeon or providing a location for them to arrive with you at, or escort quests for the NPC caravans. These types of things, when done together with your mentor, will provide benefits both for the mentor and the mentee as well, so you're incentivized to participate with new players. – Steven Sharif
- The race "seeds" a player's base stats.
- The primary archetype grows the base stats.
- The secondary archetype (class) does not contribute to stat growth. This is a revision of an earlier statement.
Different races have different stat compositions. Those stats can be important, but we also don't want them to dictate any kind of meta for what classes are best used with different races. – Steven Sharif
- The developers anticipate max level should be attainable in approximately 45 days if you play roughly 4-6 hours per day.
- Alpha-1 has progression to level 15.
Lower level characters will have usefulness in mass combat (such as Node sieges) that is not directly dependent on their level, such as manning siege weapons, helping repair fortifications, bringing proximity-based buffs to key positions, using stealth or scaling walls. These types of things are relevant to the tide of battle and do not require the player to be max-level or have high combat stats.
The idea is not to be a game where somebody can essentially no life for a week and be max level. The idea is to incorporate some significant chunk of time but still respect the casual player, because you know the way we respect the casual player is not everything is driven in our game through the adventuring progression line. Not everything is driven through your class level per-se. There's a lot of different progression paths that are available and make you relevant within certain systems and mechanics within the game; and some of those paths are more casual friendly and some of those paths are more hardcore friendly. So with regards to the adventuring class, the idea is to make sure that investment needs to be pretty significant and that the reward then is respective of that investment. – Steven Sharif
- Experience gained from killing mobs and bosses when in a group is divided by the number of party members based on damage done by the group (compared to any other parties attacking that mob or boss).
- Experience gained from quest rewards is not shared with other party members.
People who put more time and effort into it are definitely going to get more out of it but that doesn't mean that person who logs in once a week won't be able to have fun so it's just a matter of the scale of stuff that you're going after... Running a caravan is not gonna be the same thing every time you do it. You might be able to find like a super secret path that nobody knows about... and you exploit it for a while and nobody knows and then eventually somebody sees you and suddenly that route becomes a lot more difficult so you know that's kind of the way we really want that emergent gameplay to kind of come out of those options that we give you guys; and a lot of it is gonna come down to other players making it more or less difficult for you. – Jeffrey Bard
- Higher performance in earlier phases will increase the difficulty of subsequent phases of the encounter.
- The higher the difficulty, the better the loot tables will be.
- Bosses and mobs will not auto-scale based on group size.
My stance on participation trophies is that things should be hard, people should fail, the bitter taste of defeat is what makes success that much more rewarding. Helping other players learn encounter strategy, and fine tuning their play style for high end content is an important part of eliminating participation trophy. Growing together is a good thing, and that include failing together as a means to drive for success together. – Steven Sharif
I think our target demographic, obviously we have a very high graphic fidelity in the game that's attractive to younger players, but at the same time we have a very roleplay game orientation - a kind of a play back to that pen-and-paper Dungeons & Dragons feel that perhaps younger generations may not know but is very near and dear to the hearts of older gamers. So I think we have a broad appeal from a demographic standpoint. – Steven Sharif
A guy who wrote a book on game design, called Bartle, breaks gamers up into different categories. We will often talk about the different categories of gamers and trying to satisfy their needs. – Akil Hooper
The most compelling design argument for how those different sects of gamers interact with each other is dependant from the design standpoint of interdependencies in the systems. So, for example if as a Raider or as a PvPer you're looking for the best gear, you're going to devote your time towards leveling up and going out and participating in the things you enjoy like pvping, perhaps going for caravans or sieging cities and castles and all that type stuff. If you want the best gear, you're going to have to rely on a person who's devoted their time towards crafting potentially; and they may not be a PvPer but they have a place in your wheelhouse because you need their services. And then that crafter is going to need a person who is either a gatherer or plays the economy as a merchant in the nodes with the auction houses that are regionalized. They're going to have to work with a person who specializes in trade that takes caravans with either mercenary groups or other guilds that are PvPers between the nodes to get the resources they need. Building dependencies on different groups or factions of players that exist within a large world like this MMORPG is what kind of solidifies the bonds that allow for them to exist either harmoniously, or at least in a way that they know you need those types of players. – Steven Sharif
Casual vs. hardcore players
- Some progression paths will be more immediately achievable, which are more suited to casual players.
- Triggered events such as cravans and sieges will allow casual players to participate in impactful events without significant time investment.
- Lower level characters will have usefulness in mass combat that does not depend on their level, such as manning siege weapons, helping repair fortifications, bringing proximity-based buffs to key positions, using stealth or scaling walls. These types of things are relevant to the tide of battle and do not require the player to be max-level or have high combat stats.
There are events that are happening in the world in the game that you won't need to be a hardcore player to impact and join. For example, the triggered events from the PvE standpoint against the cities; the trades of the caravans; those natural battlegrounds that exist; the castle sieges you can login for. There is a lot of systems that are at play where a person can simply log in, participate, have fun, be impactful and then log out. – Steven Sharif
- Other progression paths will require a significant time investment, which casual players will take longer to achieve than hardcore players.
- The contribution of a large mass of casual players working together may have a greater impact on node progression than hardcore players. Hardcore players may be able to progress into to late-game content faster than casual players, but may lack the numbers to influence the nodes in those locations as quickly as the larger population of casual players.
Traditionally in MMORPGs you're going to see a larger population of casual players than you do of hardcore players; and that's just the way the cookie crumbles from a population standpoint. And because of that and the way that nodes collect experience and advance as a result of player activity, those casual players will actually have more impact on node progression than the hardcore players will: at least as I predict, because of the sheer quantity disproportionate between the two different groups of people... You may see in Ashes the smaller hardcore group of players progress further into the late-game content, right. But they don't have the numbers to influence the nodes in those locations as quickly as the more casual... larger population has near the outskirts. – Steven Sharif
Part of the whole experience with nodes is that there is no real end-game, in that the world is constantly shifting every day. Month one is going to be really different from month two; and that's for the level 50s and level 1s. – Jeffrey Bard
We want the game to be a living game, which means that all content should be relevant at all times. I’d say that we try to make as little distinction between the leveling up experience and the end game experience as possible. The whole journey is important to us, in order to maximize the fun people have during different stages of the game. – Sarah Flanagan
- There will be no "grindy" quests.
- There will not be repetitive quest lines through a single dungeon to obtain gear.
- The aspiration is to have more things to do in the game than a player has time to do.
- Video, 5 April 2018 (40:08).
- Livestream, 30 September 2020 (1:07:22).
- Interview, 24 August 2018 (8:52).
- Livestream, 18 July 2017 (35:58).
- Livestream, November 22 2019 (1:4:56).
- Livestream, 8 April 2018 (AM) (25:52).
- Livestream, 18 July 2017 (37:25).
- Interview, 19 July 2020 (53:59).
- Livestream, 15 December 2017 (58:48).
- Interview, 8 July 2020 (1:07:59).
- Livestream, 24 May 2017 (19:25).
- Livestream, 30 April 2021 (41:18).
- Interview, 8 July 2020 (1:12:51).
- Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:22:23).
- Livestream, 25 July 2020 (44:46).
- Livestream, 4 June 2018 (7:25).
- Interview, 19 July 2020 (14:51).
- Interview, 19 July 2020 (17:12).
- Podcast, 11 May 2018 (33:09).
- Ashes of Creation Forums - No participation trophy.
- Video, 5 April 2018 (44:06).
- Podcast, 11 April 2021 (18:35).
- Video, 5 April 2018 (48:03).
- February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
- Livestream, 15 May 2017 (26:13).
- Interview, 24 August 2018 (4:15).
- Livestream, 27 September 2018 (52:41).