Lore

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Ashes of Creation logo.[1]

Ashes of Creation is a direct reference to the storyline. Without giving too much away, the phoenix is going to be a persistent symbol throughout the first phase of the storyline, and the world that the players will be inhabiting is a long-lost world that has suffered devastating calamity.[2]Jeffrey Bard

There are different parts to the Lore in Ashes of Creation.[3]

These story arcs drive one or more quest lines.[3]

We're keeping lore very close to the chest and the reason for that is because it is very rich. It is diverse. It will have applications outside of just the MMORPG. We intend to take it much further, but I want it to be something that the players get to reveal themselves, that's not just handed to them and then the experience is lost. They should feel when they're experiencing this that it relates to them on a personal level.[4]Steven Sharif

It is about mythology and discovering what truths mythologies are talking about and finding out what really happened on this world so long ago; and that's part of that discovery process; and we want people to feel that throughout the game, not just in terms of lore but in terms of the world itself .[5]Jeffrey Bard

Origin

Pantheon of gods

"Planetarium" concept art by Ryan Richmond.[6]

The ten deities within Ashes of Creation formed a pantheon of gods.[7] There was a celestial struggle among the gods that fractured them into good and evil.[8]

  • It is possible for some storylines to relate to a darker/evil path, if a character should choose to.[8]

The beginning of the creation of the universe that exists within Ashes of Creation was a result of a group of god beings. There were ten of them and there was a celestial struggle in this universe that resulted in a fraction of those gods. And there exists within this story two components of good and evil.[8]Steven Sharif

Early in the creation of the Universe the pantheon of gods was split. Some gods influence the corrupt side of beings that exist in the Universe. It is possible through questing and player decision to join or worship those gods.[9]

We have a very rich lore on the pantheon of gods, but it's something that I want to make sure players discover in-game, not told about.[10]Steven Sharif

Religion

There are six religions in Ashes of Creation.[12]

We're talking about a pantheon here, not necessarily separate religions. They're all kind of offshoots of who is the better god, or who is the god who identifies best with you.[8]Jeffrey Bard

The gods in Ashes of Creation represent different aspects of the Universe, and feelings as well. For example:[10]

  • God of creation.[10]
  • Goddess of love.[10]

Each god... has a specific realm that they relate to in the world and its creation.[8]Steven Sharif

Dünheim history

During the great calamity that befell Verra, the inhabitants of Dünheim elected to remain in their mountain keep. This didn't work out well for them. In the wake of the destruction many artifacts and treasures were left behind.[13]

Dillia's diary

Dillia's diary.[15]

I was a child when they first appeared in the night’s sky. At first there were three distinct lights. Not quite the brightest in the sky, but they were bright enough. My mother told me that they were a sign from the Gods, that the world was about to change. She had a sense for these types of things. A long line of women in my mother’s family were Oracles. Written on one of the many tablets in the Great Halls of King Grimlaey, is the story of my Great-Grandmother, the Royal Court’s Regent Oracle, and how she foretold the rise of the Undying during the Great War.

As the days grew to months, and months into years, the lights in the night’s sky grew in number. The priests in the temples began to refer to the lights as Harbingers. Upon my graduation from the Master Stonecutters University, the lights numbered 16. Each passing month, the lights grew in brightness and size.

It didn’t take long for things to change in Dünheim. Families that I had grown up with, began to move away from the city in the heart of the Mountain. Travelers became less common, and temple services were filled every day with new converts seeking answers about the Harbingers and what they meant. My mother wanted to leave the city as well, but my father wouldn’t hear it. His auction house is what kept food on the table, and my brothers were both in the Council Guard. There was no way my father was going to be seen leaving the mountain. Honor and respect meant more than life itself, and my father had great pride in my brothers. Despite my mother’s persistence to leave the city, we stayed.

Read more...

The fall

Concept art showing the citizens of Verra escaping a besieged city through a divine gateway.[16]

Long ago, the world of Verra was besieged by a great calamity. A corruption befell the land, twisting and perverting every facet of nature, spawning hideous beings of every description; from troll-like creatures to towering behemoths. Nothing escaped its touch.[17]

Granted by divine intervention, eight of the nine races fled Verra through towering gateways, seeking refuge in a world void of magic.[16] That world is called Sanctus.[18] Only one race remained behind: The Tulnar fled to the Underrealm to escape the corruption.[19]

Soon after the exodus, the gateways dimmed and became dormant. Centuries turned to millennia, burying them beneath myriad calamities. Over eons, history became legend, then even the great legends were at last forgotten.[16]

The world in Ashes has been void of civilization for centuries.[17]

The world in Ashes lay devoid of civilization for centuries. Until now.[17]

Sanctus

Sanctus is the world where the people of Verra found their sanctuary.[20]

A long long long time ago, everybody lived on a planet called Verra. Something cataclysmic happened that forced people from that world to another world called Sanctus. Vera is a place of really high magic. Sanctus is a place with no magic whatsoever. People escaped through these portals into the world of Sanctus. They had to rediscover technology, because so much of their current technology was based on magic, so they had to figure out how to interact with the world. Thousands and thousands of years go by. A long dark age passes. This history that I just told you falls into myth and legend. After this time passes, these portals reopen and the players are going to take the part of people who are coming through those portals once again back to the world of Verra to rediscover that magic, rediscover their history, and try to figure out what happened to this world to force them out of it.[18]Jeffrey Bard

Alpha-1 battleground lore

Alpha-1 battlegrounds take place during the exodus from Verra.[21]

  • Some unlucky citizens didn't quite make it through the gateways in time and fell back to the planet.

This lobby area where you see players load into- this is unfinished- but this will be one of the capital cities that you are about to enter through the great divine gateways... You're trying to flee; and in this particular game mode you are a part of some unlucky few who didn't quite make it out. And unfortunately after entering the great divine gateway fell back to the planet.[21]Steven Sharif

The return

Adventurers arrive on Verra through great divine gateways.[16]

What was once buried has risen again. The gateways have opened, reigniting the link to the ancient world.[16]

Vast expeditions were sent through the gateways to discover this beautiful and perilous magical realm.[16]

Ancient evils lie in wait for hapless adventurers.[16]

Players arrive in Verra to explore, rebuild and repopulate their place of origin. Ancient treasures and wondrous adventures await those who dare to disturb the dark remnants of evil that inhabit this land.[16]

From now on, the choices of these adventurers will influence how the story unfolds.[22]

I heard a lot of people asking was you know from a technological standpoint where do the people returning stand in relation to what their civilization was before the fall and I think that in some regards they haven't quite even attained what their people were able to achieve before the exodus.[23]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.[24]

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.[25]

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.[26]Steven Sharif

Storyline quests

Storyline quests can have multiple stages. These quest stages can actually be failed.[27]

There will be many different quests that actually have stages of the storyline; and these stages can actually be failed. You can actually fail a storyline; which sucks when you think about it, but at the same time that risk makes your investment that much more important.[27]Steven Sharif

Story arcs

Story arcs drive one or more quest lines in Ashes of Creation.[3]

  • Personal quest lines.
  • Cultural quest lines.
  • Regional quest lines.

Every stage a node develops it's unlocking narratives, storylines, it's changing the spawn population of the area around it, changing what bosses exist, it's triggering events where you may have legendary dragons attack the city. It's basically writing the story of the server based on the actions and determination of the players. So, you may experience a dungeon one month earlier and have a completely different story that relates to this location the next month, because something has changed either geopolitically or from the node standpoint.[28]Steven Sharif

Certain story arcs can be unlocked through the bulletin board system. Certain requirements would need to be met in order to access story arc quests.[29]

Racial quests

Quests may be based on a character's race.[30]

Different quests may relate to who the primary cultural contributor is to a node. This won't lock out content, but will add flavor to the quests.[30]

There might even be different directories of the quest that exist for specific races, and even though you're sharing a quest to kill a boss, if you're human and I'm an elf, I will have a different arc potentially that leads in a different direction than you, even though we took the same quest; and this can relate to who the primary cultural contributor is to a node unlocking different arcs for cultures that share the primary culture of a node - not that locks out content but it gives a flavor in a different direction so that not everything is so cookie cutter.[30]Steven Sharif

Race matters because narratives have paths that also are influenced based on the primary contributing culture to the node... If you're a Niküa and you have you're in a Niküa node that's predominantly Niküa, you're going to have certain services and/or abilities as a member of the Niküa race that other races may not have access to... They may have alternative quest lines, but they won't have specific ones. Now those specific Niküa quests will then relate to the meta-narrative that's present in the world and they'll start to direct some of that meta-narrative; and that'll be beneficial for your kind because it will unlock certain content for your race that other races haven't unlocked yet. So there is an incentive there to see progression along that line now in order to curb the progress of a dominant race.[31]Steven Sharif

Server history

The history of each server will be tracked and visible to players.[32]

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.[32]Jeffrey Bard

Legendary items

Discovery of legendary items will unlock further chapters of the Lore.[33]

There are absolutely legendary items and they're not items that are attained easily nor are they granted out in a volume. There might even be items that are single items that will exist on the server at any given time.[34]

A legendary weapon is easily distinguished by its visual appearance.[35]

It will be a very ornate and detailed weapon, more so than any other weapon or piece of equipment in the game. It will also include some awesome looking effects that won't too gaudy, you know they won't be too bright and shiny so that it doesn't look good, but they will be subtle and people will notice it and know wow that guy has this weapon.[35]Steven Sharif

Obtaining a legendary item will not be RNG based. It will entail obtaining construction components from various progression pathways.[35]

The amount of effort needed and interdependencies across the different types of players – between raiders and PvPers and crafters and even role players and the taverns and businesses: the processors and gatherers – all of those systems will likely have a component that lends toward creating or crafting that legendary item... We want to stay away from the highly RNGd system, and instead take our multiple progression paths that we are offering the players and put the construction components for achieving these legendary items within them so it encourages communities to work together because it's going to be difficult for just one person by themselves to gather everything. Not to say that they couldn't in an economic sense, by buying those components, that's possible. But achieving them from a time investment standpoint we want it to be considerably less RNG focussed.[35]Steven Sharif

Legendary items are not intended to be temporary.[36]

The fact there is only one of them... or very very few of them depending on what it is. I think that in and of itself is a balance component right and you need to make sure that the players who are striving for those legendary things and who are devoting the time energy, resources in order to achieve them are accurately rewarded... We do not intend on having legendary items that are temporary.[36]Steven Sharif

Scribes

Scribes are members of a potential crafting profession in Ashes of Creation.[38]

  • Scribes can create scrolls or books.[38]

They want to be able to collect information about the events of the world as they see it from their point of view. For instance: Nodes leveling up, they want to be able to take that information down and be the one to distribute it.[38]

Respawn lore

There is a storyline that relates to how and why characters respawn and the locations in which they respawn. This will be revealed as players explore the game.[39]

World history

The history of each server will be tracked and visible to players.[32]

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.[32]Jeffrey Bard

Role playing

There are different systems that allow stories to be told in Ashes of Creation.[41]

A MMO lives and breathes on its community and we don't really want to give short shrift to any one of those types. All of them are important: the RPers are important, the people who just want to hang out in the Inn and talk are important, they all add to the game and so we want to make sure that we take care of all of them... You can run a business based on RPing.[43]Jeffrey Bard

See also

References

  1. Ashes of Creation Press Kit.
  2. Interview, 7 December 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Livestream, 18 January 2018 (39:08).
  4. Video, 5 April 2018 (37:50).
  5. Video, 5 April 2018 (37:13).
  6. May newsletter.
  7. Livestream, 26 May 2017 (10:58).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Livestream, 26 May 2017 (15:37).
  9. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (AM) (16:50).
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Livestream, 8 April 2018 (AM) (10:02).
  11. Node series part II – the Metropolis.
  12. religions2.jpg
  13. Livestream, 9 February 2018 (13:47).
  14. Livestream, 18 January 2018 (21:18).
  15. Dillias diary.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 16.7 Unreal Engine Interview, 23 May 2017.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Ashes of Creation - A world with consequences.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Interview, 20 April 2018 (5:46).
  19. Livestream, 17 May 2017 (5:49).
  20. Official Livestream - May 4th @ 3 PM PST - Q&A
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Livestream, 27 September 2018 (6:22).
  22. A reactive world - Nodes.
  23. Livestream, 16 October 2017 (17:09).
  24. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (37:03).
  25. Interview: Ashes of Creation on Building Their Virtual World, 13 April 2017.
  26. Livestream, 22 May 2017 (28:02).
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Interview, 20 October 2018 (2:36:25).
  28. Video, 5 April 2018 (35:01).
  29. Livestream, 31 October 2017 (29:50).
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 Podcast, 23 April 2018 (29:56).
  31. Interview, 11 May 2018 (1:00:19).
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 Interview, 20 April 2018 (9:20).
  33. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (44:18).
  34. Livestream, 15 May 2017 (38:08).
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (55:49).
  36. 36.0 36.1 Livestream, 9 July 2018 (25:34).
  37. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (51:49).
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Livestream, 26 May 2017 (51:37).
  39. Podcast, 11 May 2018 (51:39).
  40. Ashes of Creation - The visuals.
  41. Livestream, 17 May 2017 (44:42).
  42. Livestream, 28 July 2017 (37:25).
  43. 43.0 43.1 Video, 5 April 2018 (44:06).