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Goblin 3D render by Chris Atkins.[3]

There are going to be different types of "Goblinesque" creatures; and this one has not skipped out on his leg or arm day, which is a good thing for him because he's probably going to be in a lot of fights.[4]Steven Sharif

Alpha-0 cat mob from the flood plains environment.[6]

In the world naturally there will be locations that are going to have a mix of different levels of monsters and difficulty levels; and then those spawn tables relate to the development of nearby nodes. So as nodes develop they'll be changing the spawn tables around them to reflect their further development in the world, presenting new and more difficult dangers that the players can participate in.[7]Steven Sharif

NPC types


NPCs react differently to players based on their contributions to a node.[8]

NPCs will add a player to their hate list if that player heals, buffs or otherwise assists any player on their hate list.[9]

NPC race

NPCs are going to react differently to different tags on a character.[10]

  • For example, Elven NPCs may interact differently with Humans compared to Elves.

NPC perception

There are different perception modes for different NPCs.[11]

The best was Final Fantasy 11 back in the day where you had scent, you had sight, you had magic. Like there's all sorts of different things that you had to like protect yourself against so that certain mobs couldn't see you; and you could maintain that ability to like kind of sneak past easily... It made those monsters unique and gave them character outside of just how much damage they did to me.[11]Jeffrey Bard

Voice acting

NPCs will have voice acted audio greetings.[12][13]

  • Narrated quest lines are not currently planned.[12]
  • Adding voice acting into the game at a later point is a fairly cosmetic change.[12]

Is it difficult to add voice acting later? No, it's definitely not... It's a fairly cosmetic change.[12]Steven Sharif

Voice acting is a fun luxury to have, but it is not only a costly one, but it is also one that takes a lot of logistics.[14]Steven Sharif

NPC languages

Languages in Ashes of Creation may refer to:

  • Language-specific lexicons in the game from a lore and immersion standpoint. These do not have real player-to-player implications.[15]

Node types

Nodes exist all throughout the world and the location of said node will determine its type; but this type will be... seen at the first stage of development when the first stage when a node propagates real-time assets in the world; is basically these NPCs, these merchants that come into an area and they offer services and/or you know of stores or whatever the deal may be. You will see the flavor of the node from those merchants. So if it's a military node you'll see military people. If it's... an economic node you'll see merchants. If it's a scientific one you'll see scholars; and if it's a divine one you'll see priests and clerics. So players will have a very firm understanding of which node is which type in order to know how they want to progress.[17]Steven Sharif

Nodes are assigned one of four (4) node types, each of which contain unique specializations.[18]

  • Players will be able to identify the type of a node at its first stage of development (Expedition) based on its NPC population.[17]
Node type.[18] Specialization.[18] NPCs.[18]
Divine nodes Faith and skill/equipment augment focuses Priests
Economic nodes Trade and merchant focuses Merchants
Military nodes Combat and class training focuses Guards
Scientific nodes Artisan and construction focuses Scholars

Ashes of Creation allows you, the player, to decide the fate of the world around you. With each Node Type, you can change the flow of resources and goods in the world. Will you grow the largest Economic Metropolis and help guide the riches of Verra, or will you choose another path unlocking new stories filled with allies and enemies?[19]

Node types are predetermined and are the same across all servers.[18]

For example, if a level 4 Scientific Node is destroyed, it will become a Level 0 Scientific Node. It will never be any other Node Type other than a Scientific Node. The location of these Types relates to the influences of the area around the Node.[18]Margaret Krohn

Node types affect various services and systems at each level of node advancement.[18]

Node development

Alpha-1 Village node layout.[20]

Even at the stage 3 development as a village, it's a fairly sizable layout; and part of these layouts include essentially static in-node housing for players to be able to purchase.[20]Steven Sharif

Racial architecture styles in an Alpha-0 village node. Empyrean Elven influence (top). Kaelar Human influence (bottom).[21]

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.[18]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.[22]Margaret Krohn

Node layout and style is determined by several factors:[23]

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.[23]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.[26]Steven Sharif

There is an attrition mechanic that affects experience and influence to curb a single race from dominating the entire world.[27]

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.[27]Steven Sharif

Player stalls

Niküan player stall concept art.[28]

If there were ever a cornerstone serving as the bedrock of Niküan trade, then this modest stall would be it. Stacked from floor to thatched roof with all manner of catch, it is prepped for a full day of commerce and trade. Here, haggling is not merely a suggestion, but a requirement.[28]

Player stalls (also called Kiosks and rental stalls) are rentable locations near the unique building in an Economic node[30] or in Marketplaces (the constructible building available for placement by mayors of any Town (stage 4) node or higher).[31]

All nodes do have the ability to spawn player stalls. If you're not an economic node and you don't have a market- that's essentially your unique building- then you can construct essentially what is I guess would be called a... marketplace; and that marketplace will then come with certain services and it will come with a certain number of stalls. The economic node as I recall has the ability to construct an auction house and the auction house serves through the economic means the ability to list and sell items and that comes with additional stalls as well for the players.[31]Steven Sharif

Renting a player stall enables players to sell items as well as provide repair and enchanting services, even when they are not online.[32]

  • Player stalls are rentable by node citizens.[33]
    • Player stalls may be utilized for a period of time based on the price paid to rent the stall.[32]
  • Players are not able to be attacked or robbed while occupying their player stall inside the limits of a node.[34]
  • Player stalls do not require the attendance of the character or for that character to be online.[33]
    • An attendant NPC is assigned to the stall.[32] This may be an "image" of the player.[35]
  • Bulletin boards that list the items available in player stalls can be accessed from anywhere in the region.[35]
    • These give the location of the stall so players can travel there and purchase the items.
  • Stall sales are also listed in auction houses.[36]
    • This may no longer be accurate.[37]
  • Players are able to input required items for repair and also purchase required materials for that repair.[38]

Player stalls are different from personal shops and auction houses.[36]


Nodes advance to the first stage quickly. This enables NPC services such as vending or banking items.[39]

Day and night cycle

There is a day/night cycle in Ashes of Creation.[43]

Fifteen minutes may be one hour in game time.[45]

Transportation of goods

Personal inventory limits[47][48] are tied to a backpack.[49] Material and gatherable items are subject to quantity rather than weight limits. Caravans and Mules are intended to be the primary mode of transportation of goods beyond these limits.[50][51]

  • Mules can carry roughly 10 times more than backpacks. Caravans can carry roughly 10 times more than mules.[52]
  • Caravans will have carrying capacity limits and customizable stats, such as defensive points, speed and number of hired NPC guards.[53]
    • In addition to expanded inventory capacity, caravans also provide ancillary benefits relating to successfully completing trade routes and other quests.[54]

Inventory capacity will be relatively limited for new characters.[54]

  • Inventory expansion and weight management training certificates are available in the Galleria at City stage economic nodes.[54][19]
  • A player's inventory has sections for different types of items. Quest items for example will not fill a player's regular inventory capacity.[54]

Item stacks will in general have quantity limits based on the type of item.[50]

  • The stacking limit of potions might be one hundred. The stacking limit of food items might be 999 or 1000.[50]

Artificial intelligence

Ashes of Creation utilizes an adaptive artificial intelligence (AI), which means that different encounters with similar creatures will yield different player experiences.[55]

  • Utilizing new AI technology that hasn't been seen in other MMORPG projects.[56]
  • Bosses are scripted and make decisions dynamically during boss fights.[57]
  • NPCs performing "idle actions" to make the world seem more alive has been discussed by the developers but is not confirmed.[58]

There are AI systems that don't relate to controlling NPCs.[59]

There are some additional AI parameters that are set that don't relate necessarily to controlling NPCs. There are AIs with regards to the development of the borders for nodes in the direction and also the decisions that are made of which lower nodes to enslave as vassal states. There's AI that relates to a little bit of the stock market that's going to be present in the economy. There's some AI systems that are going to be announced also that are pretty innovative I think with regards to the MMORPG genre and that's going to make the triggered event system very interesting I think; and that's you know with regards to how nodes kind of develop and the environment reacts to that development by you know spawning these triggered events of you know a horde of zombies attacking a city or a legendary raid boss coming out of the mountain. I think there's a lot of opportunity for some of the innovations that's been in the AI sector of game development too to come out in Ashes.[59]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation Apocalypse horde mode

Ashes of Creation Apocalypse horde mode is an Ashes of Creation Apocalypse testing mode where 50 players defend a city against waves of incoming NPCs and player controlled monsters.[60][61][62]

  • Each wave is more difficult than the last.[62]
  • Between waves, players collect experience, money and weapons to take back to their hold to defend against the next wave.[63]
  • Monster coins enable players to join the game as part of the horde.[62]

Horde mode will include adaptive AI boss mechanics.[61] Rewards are obtained dependent on progress against these NPCs.[64]

Horde mode will absolutely include boss mechanics, so some of the ideas behind that is going to have a wave mode of a variety of NPCs will likely include some achievable cosmetics as well in that mode depending on how far you can get and those cosmetics will include pets of the NPCs that you face, so like a little miniature version of the NPC's and we'll update those as well, that you'll have in the MMO.[64]Steven Sharif

Horde mode is specifically for testing.[64]

It's a way that we thought it would be kind of fun to implement AI mechanics that we're looking to implement. Testing the you know the blackboard for the AI. Being able to have variable types of NPCs that have roles whether it be like a sniper, ranged, melee, boss, heroic you know kind of different AI focuses for those monsters during interesting situations.[64]Steven Sharif

Population based scaling

The prices that NPCs sell items for will scale based on the economic activity on a server. Prices will rise to combat inflation and fall as a population diminishes.[65]

The node system allows the developers to scale the experience needed to level a node and the attrition that delevels a node based on activity.[65]

Things that NPCs buy and sell kind of scale based on the economic activity that exists on that server... As inflation rises, prices rise and everything kind of ends up being equal, even though there might be a couple of extra zeros. So that can go up and it can also go down so as a population leaves, things become less expensive and players don't have to do as much to earn that. On the other side of things we look at the node system and the node system is set up in this really flexible way that allows us to scale the experience needed to level a node and the attrition that delevels a node to scale based on activity too. So you know it's just a matter of adjusting a couple of constants and that goes up and down and the server can watch it and change those on the fly as it needs to.[65]Jeffrey Bard


See also


  1. Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:54:45).
  2. Livestream, 28 February 2020 (47:45).
  3. Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:45:40).
  4. Livestream, 26 June 2020 (1:14:42).
  5. A world with consequences.
  6. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (15:56).
  7. Livestream, 26 May 2017 (24:33).
  8. npc rep.jpg
  9. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (29:45).
  10. Podcast, 23 April 2018 (29:56).
  11. 11.0 11.1 Livestream, 4 June 2018 (29:28).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Interview, 20 October 2018 (2:22:09).
  13. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (AM) (25:12).
  14. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (AM) (24:14).
  15. steven-lore-languages.png
  16. What languages will Ashes of Creation be in?
  17. 17.0 17.1 Livestream, 4 May 2017 (15:15).
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 18.7 18.8 Blog - Know Your Nodes - The Basics.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Know Your Nodes: Economic Node Type.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Livestream, 26 June 2020 (45:32).
  21. Livestream, 9 February 2018 (33:50).
  22. Blog - Know Your Nodes - Advance and Destroy.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 23.5 Livestream, 27 September 2018 (53:06).
  24. 24.0 24.1 Interview, 11 May 2018 (54:34).
  25. Livestream, 26 May 2017 (21:23).
  26. 26.0 26.1 Interview, 11 May 2018 (47:27).
  27. 27.0 27.1 Interview, 11 May 2018 (1:00:19).
  28. 28.0 28.1 Ashes of Creation Instagram, 19 August 2020.
  29. Livestream, 29 May 2020 (1:00:57).
  30. Livestream, 30 May 2019 (1:26:16).
  31. 31.0 31.1 Interview, 8 July 2020 (55:05).
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Livestream, 5 May 2017 (16:36).
  33. 33.0 33.1 steven-player-stalls-shops-online.png
  34. Livestream, 16 October 2017 (59:39).
  35. 35.0 35.1 Livestream, 5 May 2017 (35:16).
  36. 36.0 36.1 steven-player-stalls-shops.png
  37. Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:34:06).
  38. player stall repair.png
  39. Npc vending.jpg
  40. Livestream, 28 June 2019 (1:23:31).
  41. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (AM) (23:18).
  42. Ashes of Creation - Screenshots.
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 Livestream, 12 May 2017 (57:41).
  44. day cycle.jpg
  45. time.jpg
  46. Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:17:45).
  47. Livestream, 15 May 2017 (45:19).
  48. Livestream, 27 April 2017 (6:11).
  49. inventory backpack.png
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 Livestream, 29 May 2020 (1:27:18).
  51. carrying capacity.png
  52. Livestream, 18 July 2017 (44:57).
  53. Livestream, 22 May 2017 (40:41).
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 54.3 Livestream, 25 July 2020 (1:14:13).
  55. About Ashes of Creation.
  56. Livestream, 5 May 2017 (11:55).
  57. Livestream, 28 July 2017 (43:57).
  58. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (3:56).
  59. 59.0 59.1 59.2 59.3 59.4 Podcast, 11 May 2018 (24:23).
  60. Interview, 24 August 2018 (13:17).
  61. 61.0 61.1 Newsletter, 7 August 2018
  62. 62.0 62.1 62.2 62.3 Livestream, 1 September 2018 (54:06).
  63. Livestream, 17 August 2018 (30:29).
  64. 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.3 64.4 64.5 64.6 64.7 Interview, 8 August 2018 (4:00).
  65. 65.0 65.1 65.2 Livestream, 4 June 2018 (39:15).