Level scaling

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Levels, stats, or skills will not be scaled to allow low level players to participate in encounters with higher level players or world bosses.[1][2][3]

Q: Will world bosses scale when it comes to player levels and is it based on players or the zone itself leveling?
A: They will not scale based on player level, no.[1]Steven Sharif

Mentor program

info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

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.[3]

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.[5]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.[4]Steven Sharif

Stat growth

  • Stats can be improved based on gear, tattoos, and other enhancements, such as socketed items.[6]
  • Players will have significant agency over the allocation of their stat progression.[6]
  • Gear has approximately a 40-50% influence on a players overall power in the game.[7]
  • Artisan profession does not affect a player's stats.[8]
  • Previously it was stated that race "seeds" a player's base stats, then the primary archetype grows the base stats.[9][10][11] Any contribution by the secondary archetype was later removed.[9]

Level cap

The level cap at launch is expected to be level 50.[12][13]

  • On release the developers anticipate max level should be attainable in approximately 45 days if playing 4-6 hours per day.[14][15]
  • The developers estimate that players will reach level cap before a quarter of nodes reach Village (stage 3).[12]
  • Alpha-1 had progression to level 15.[16]
  • Alpha-2 expects progression to level 30 (subject to change).[17] Previously this was stated to be level 35.[18][19]

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.[20]

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 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.[14]Steven Sharif


Experience (XP) is gained through a variety of vertical and horizontal progression paths, such as PvP, PvE, Exploration, Gathering/Processing/Crafting, Events/Quests, Grinding mobs.[21][22][23][24]

  • XP will be awarded for participating in objective-based PvP on a diminishing returns basis.[23]
  • 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).[25]
    • A multiplier is then applied that increases with the number of party members.[26] The multiplier is between 1.3 and 1.4 (approximately).[27]
    • Experience gained also takes into account the difference between the party's highest and lowest level characters.[26]
    • Experience gained from quest rewards is not shared with other party members.[27]
  • Experience gained is not affected by looting rights.[25]

Game difficulty

Ashes of Creation will be on the higher side of difficulty when it comes to engagements.[28][29][30]

Adventuring is not easy in Ashes... The intent is that encounters are difficult. The world is dangerous. It is not a cakewalk to progress within Ashes.[28]Steven Sharif

PvE difficulty

Tumok the Wretched Alpha-2 world boss.[31]

Raid bosses are aware of the number of combatants within an area in proximity to them and that awareness is part of an indicator to which behaviors they're going to utilize as part of their behavior tree. So as it's assessing the types of combatants that are facing it, the number of those combatants, the position of those combatants, the abilities and totals of those combatants, it weighs certain actions in its behavior tree and then it acts on those actions; and in the scenario where you're bringing overwhelming odds to a particular fight, that might weigh heavier the AoE options that the boss has access to, where they're utilizing a lot more AoE abilities during an engagement due to that overage of of players. So in that sense it's a bit adaptive. It's a bit dynamic based on the encounter scenario.[32]Steven Sharif

The difficulty of PvE content, such as raids and dungeons will adapt based on the performance of the raid or group against previous bosses in that encounter.[33]

  • Higher performance in earlier phases will increase the difficulty of subsequent phases of the encounter.[33]
  • There will be mobs who's level is above the player level cap.[36]
Both in Alpha-2 and when the game launches, there will be monsters whose technical level is above that of the cap; and the intent there is obviously again to provide some level of challenge that exceeds a comparable level challenge rating.{livestream|2023-11-30|1h53m50|V9F_AJl9ozY}}Steven Sharif
Q: How challenging will raid boss mechanics be given the given that players may need to simultaneously fight other players while also fighting the boss?
A: It depends. The great thing about our encounter system is that it has a wide scalability from encounters that some might consider easy given their composition to encounters that some might consider impossible until they get their gear level to a certain stage. The level of interaction with other players is really predicated on the encounter itself. We may have some encounters that are in instances although the predominant portion of those will be in the open world, in which case they do have the potential being contested; and these encounters, especially the big ones that might land in contention, are giving some of the best-in-slot gear you can get in the game. So it's important that they are contested because it is a significant victory point; and one of our core pillars is risk versus reward: and the higher that risk the higher that reward should be. So those two things seem fitting and then in addition we do have the concept of winners and losers. Not everybody in Ashes of Creation is going to be a winner; and that sucks if you're not I guess, but there is opportunity for you to continue to excel and become one. But it gives much more meaning to an achievement when not everybody gets the achievement. That's our philosophy.[37]Steven Sharif
Q: So it's the sort of thing where it might be, we're going do a dungeon that's oops, all fire golems, so if everybody straps up with plate armor and fire resistance, you don't have to worry about the magic fire: you've got the fire resistance for. And when you start getting punched around, that's why everyone's come in with plate?
A: The encounters design team presents a particular type of challenge rating- for those you're familiar with playing DnD or whatever, challenge rating gets informed by a few different vertical power levels, but then there's also the horizontal perspective: That is, what tools does your party have to address the challenge rating of the situation and some of the horizontal progression exists within how you kit your equipment slots. Some of those can be enhancements or stones, as you're discussing with fire resistance. Some of those are base stats that exist on a particular item, such as physical damage mitigation versus magical damage mitigation and what subtype of damage is incoming based on that. These are the ways that we emphasize that more rock-paper-scissors type of interaction with balance to where it's okay to have asymmetric imbalance if there are horizontal methods by which you achieve the challenge rating.[38]Steven Sharif

Learning curve

Ashes of Creation will be easy to understand yet hard to master.[39]

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.[40]Steven Sharif

Target demographic

The developers want Ashes of Creation to appeal to both younger and older generations of MMO gamers.[41]

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 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.[41]Steven Sharif

Player types

Ashes of Creation will cater for a variety of player types from Raiders or PvPers to Role players and Crafters.[42]

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 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.[42]Steven Sharif

Casual vs. hardcore players

The multiple progression paths in Ashes of Creation are designed to suit different playstyles and offer different "lanes" for players depending on the time they have available to play.[43][44][45][46]

  • Some progression paths will be more immediately achievable, which are more suited to casual players.[44]
    • Triggered events such as cravans and sieges will allow casual players to participate in impactful events without significant time investment.[47]
    • 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.[20]
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.[47]Steven Sharif
  • Other progression paths will require a significant time investment, which casual players will take longer to achieve than hardcore players.[44]
    • 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.[44]
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.[44]Steven Sharif

End game

Ashes of Creation will not have a typical end-game where content is essentially static and repetitive. Instead, max-level characters will be able to engage with many different gameplay loops that open up based on how the world progresses over time.[48][3]

Endgame to me communicates static. It is static structure. Okay, you've entered this loop, now and this is your end-game loop that you will repeat over and over. Whereas instead, the approach for Ashes is you have now reached a point where all of these loops are relevant; and the loops are present to you depending on how the community engages the world. And it's up to you to identify the most promising loops because you have a finite amount of time and resources in which you can engage with them. And that's then where strategy becomes a part of the picture: How will I choose to engage with these loops to maximize my return, or to maximize the specific benefit I wish to bring in individual, group, myself, or guild.[48]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.[3]Jeffrey Bard


Repetition will not be part of progression in Ashes of Creation.[49]

  • There will be no "grindy" quests.[49]
  • There will not be repetitive quest lines through a single dungeon to obtain gear.[50]
  • The aspiration is to have more things to do in the game than a player has time to do.[49]

AFK leveling

There will not be AFK leveling (auto-leveling) in Ashes of Creation.[51][52]

We want this game to be played. If there are things that you can do to not play the game and still progress, we've done something wrong.[52]Jeffrey Bard

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Livestream, May 31, 2023 (43:55).
  2. Interview, June 13, 2021 (24:14).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Video, April 5, 2018 (40:08).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Livestream, September 30, 2020 (1:07:22).
  5. Interview, August 24, 2018 (8:52).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Livestream, January 27, 2023 (1:27:42).
  7. Interview, July 19, 2020 (53:59).
  8. Livestream, July 18, 2017 (37:25).
  9. 9.0 9.1 Livestream, November 22, 2019 (1:4:56).
  10. Livestream, July 18, 2017 (35:58).
  11. Livestream, May 8, 2017 (43:30).
  12. 12.0 12.1 Podcast, July 15, 2023 (11:21).
  13. Livestream, December 15, 2017 (58:48).
  14. 14.0 14.1 Interview, July 8, 2020 (1:07:59).
  15. Livestream, May 24, 2017 (19:25).
  16. Livestream, April 30, 2021 (41:18).
  17. Livestream, December 19, 2023 (1:41:54).
  18. Livestream, March 31, 2023 (1:24:21).
  19. Livestream, January 28, 2022 (15:35).
  20. 20.0 20.1 Interview, July 8, 2020 (1:12:51).
  21. Podcast, December 3, 2023 (15:05).
  22. Livestream, October 14, 2022 (23:15).
  23. 23.0 23.1 Livestream, May 27, 2022 (1:11:10).
  24. Livestream, May 24, 2017 (46:27).
  25. 25.0 25.1 Livestream, July 31, 2020 (1:22:23).
  26. 26.0 26.1 Video, January 27, 2023 (30:00).
  27. 27.0 27.1 Livestream, July 25, 2020 (44:46).
  28. 28.0 28.1 Livestream, February 29, 2024 (1:24:31).
  29. Livestream, December 2, 2022 (1:05:51).
  30. Livestream, June 4, 2018 (7:25).
  31. Newsletter - June 2023.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Livestream, January 27, 2023 (1:34:06).
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Interview, July 19, 2020 (14:51).
  34. Interview, June 13, 2021 (22:20).
  35. Interview, July 19, 2020 (17:12).
  36. Livestream, November 30, 2023 (1:53:50).
  37. Livestream, May 27, 2022 (1:20:35).
  38. Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:40:41).
  39. Podcast, May 11, 2018 (33:09).
  40. Ashes of Creation Forums - No participation trophy.
  41. 41.0 41.1 Podcast, May 11, 2018 (33:09).
  42. 42.0 42.1 Video, April 5, 2018 (44:06).
  43. Livestream, December 23, 2021 (1:32:10).
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 44.3 44.4 Podcast, April 11, 2021 (18:35).
  45. Livestream, 2018-04-8 (PM) (28:38).
  46. Livestream, May 19, 2017 (51:52).
  47. 47.0 47.1 Video, April 5, 2018 (48:03).
  48. 48.0 48.1 Interview, July 9, 2023 (42:51).
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 Livestream, May 15, 2017 (26:13).
  50. Interview, August 24, 2018 (4:15).
  51. Interview, June 13, 2021 (48:27).
  52. 52.0 52.1 Livestream, September 27, 2018 (52:41).