The Development Area of a Node is where civilization will appear as the Node advances. As the Node Stage increases, different buildings, NPCs, and services will become available in the Development Area. The higher the Node Stage, the more complex and populated the Development Area becomes. Development Areas will also vary depending on the Node Type - Economic, Military, Scientific, or Divine; we’ll go into further details on each of those Node Types in future posts in this series. – Margaret Krohn
- Nodes advance to the first stage quickly. This enables NPC services such as vending or banking items.
- The more advanced the node is, the larger its ZOI becomes.
- Less advanced nodes (referred to as vassal nodes) that fall within a more advanced node's ZOI can still gain XP, but must remain at a lower advancement stage than the dominant node.
- The territory expansion algorithm takes into account the nearest coast, neighboring nodes, and the heatmap of players in surrounding areas over the last weeks or month.
The way that the algorithm expands the territories takes into account a few things: One it takes into account the coast like where's the closest coast. Two it takes into account the neighboring nodes so it can take over and essentially vassal state those nodes, but what's more important is essentially the initial population based on like how players choose their races. Because we have nine different races and four different starting points that branch out, each server's population density is going to dictate essentially the first few nodes that are highly populated and then that initial seed is what's going to determine the node structure as it moves inland into the into the world essentially; and based on the performance and successes of different sieges will determine which nodes that got locked out from the previous the initial advancements what nodes can now be available to advance further. So I really think that with so many variables that are present in the equation of how nodes advance and stay existing with the more variables you have, the higher likelihood there is for there to be a significant diversion in world progression. – Steven Sharif
Normally the algorithm that's applied to the node territorial expansion will prevent significant nodes from being in close proximity to each other... There could be a perfect storm where all of the algorithmic progression of territory leads to having these nodes very close to each other because there's certain requirements that should that need to be available to satisfy node vassal takeovers; and it's possible that two nodes would never take each other over as vassals and end up kind of close together and spanning their territories in kind of opposite directions: The Tale of Two Cities kind of thing. – Steven Sharif
- A node does not receive XP from the nodes within its ZOI until these nodes have reached their cap.
- Players are moved to safety if they intersect with newly spawned assets during node advancement.
- Citizens of one node can contribute to the advancement of other nodes.
- The exact percentage of advancement from obtaining items or killing monsters is not going to be explicitly known to avoid "gaming" the system.
Different people have different resources invested in nodes progressing and it would be a little "gamey" if you could know exactly what was necessary at that point because that would disincentivize people from participating. – Steven Sharif
- 1 Node stages
- 2 Vassal nodes
- 3 Zones and progression
- 4 World manager
- 5 Nodes
- 6 Roads
- 7 Storyline quests
- 8 Player housing
- 9 Trophy park
- 10 Adaptive content
- 11 See also
- 12 References
|Node stage.||Symbol||Alternate name.||Timeframe to advance.||Player housing.|
|3.||Village||-||Few days||Small houses|
|4.||Town||-||Many days||Medium houses|
|5.||City||-||Few weeks||Large houses|
- Vassal nodes must remain at least one node stage below their parent node.
- Neighboring/Adjacent nodes from Expedition (stage 1) upward block the growth of their immediate neighbors. This is intended to be tested in Alpha-1.
- Vassal nodes first apply any experience earned to their own deficit (see Node atrophy). It then applies excess experience earned to its parent node.
- If the parent node advances, the vassal is once again able to advance.
- Vassal nodes give excess experience to their parent node and may have their own vassals; so long as they fall within the parent node’s zone of influence.
- If a node is capped and is both a vassal and has its own vassals, any experience earned from itself or its Vassals is first applied to its own deficit. Experience beyond that is then sent to its parent node.
- Vassals are subject to the government, alliances, wars, taxes, and trade of their parent node, and are able to receive federal aid from them.
- Vassal nodes cannot declare war on their parent node or any of their vassals.
- Citizens of vassals are bound by the diplomatic states of the parent node.
If a Node is a Vassal Node and is capped from advancing further, it first applies any experience earned to its own deficit (see Node Atrophy section), and then applies excess experience earned to its Parent Node. If the Parent Node advances and the Vassal is able to grow, it becomes uncapped. If a Node is capped and is both a Vassal and has its own Vassals, any experience earned from itself or its Vassals is first applied to their own deficit. Any experience beyond that is then sent to its Parent Node. – Margaret Krohn
- This is intended to be tested in Alpha-1.
- Vassal nodes must remain at least one node stage below their parent node.
Zones and progression
Dungeons, Raids, World bosses, Mobs, Quests, Events, Resources, Narratives and other content within a node's ZOI will have a diverse level range; but will scale with the advancement of that node and its racial influence.
We don’t have a strictly level 25 zone. Instead, that zone might have some level 10 creatures near the road, some level 20 creatures deep in the forest, and some level 30 creatures up the mountain. These ratios will change based on the Nodes that inform them, becoming generally more dangerous as the Node grows. All this civilization attracts the attention of Things-That-Should-Not-Be. This does not mean that wilderness areas are safe, by any means. Some may be safe-er, but all will have dangers that even the most experienced traveler needs to watch out for. – Steven Sharif
You can show the initial territories on the Verran map of what these particular nodes have governance over, or their Zones of Influence as we like to call them... As the simulation of this begins to advance and nodes begin to expand their territory and they begin to take over nearby nodes as a result of their of their growth, you start to see these power level ratings that are applied here on specific nodes that determines what type of takeover power it has and and what it pushes back against for other nodes that are looking to take over new territory as they advance. – Steven Sharif
- It also simulates events, such as NPCs attacking and disabling certain node buildings and services. Failure to successfully respond to these will reduce the node's "health ticker", which will slow down the XP gains from the node.
It also simulates events: So each of these nodes will have a health ticker: when that health ticker is impacted it'll stop gaining power or gaining or slow down in its gaining of experience; and that's because certain events can affect a node by disabling certain services, disabling buildings. Players don't respond to that horde of zombies that have come out of the nearby ravine then those zombies can attack stables, they can attack service buildings, and prevent particular types of quests or activities and services from happening until it's repaired. – Steven Sharif
- Node sieges are simulated, with successful sieges destroying the nodes, and where unsuccessful sieges won't destroy the node but may result in disabled buildings or services, similar to events.
It simulates the sieges if a particular node has a certain frequency that's set where we want to see randomization of how nodes get affected by sieges. Sometimes they'll be destroyed in the simulation. Sometimes they'll have disabled services again, similar to an event, because they didn't succeed necessarily at sieging the node but they did succeed at disabling some of the buildings as part of that siege. – Steven Sharif
- It simulates what outcomes may happen in the live game as a result of player activity, such as splitting up a particular ZOI across a waterway, or having territories expand out to islands or across continents.
It simulates what players could potentially do as well when the game goes live; and that might include things like splitting up a particular Zone of Influence across a waterway, having your territory expand out to an island, or across continents. These are these are the types of things that we want to see players do eventually obviously but this tool provides the design team the opportunity to see it repetitively and over a fast period of time so they see these different types of outcomes. – Steven Sharif
The World manager is an algorithm in Ashes of Creation that controls dynamic world elements. It acts as both a throttle and an incentive system for various activities to ensure certain parameters are within acceptable thresholds.
- Prices of hunting certificates.
- A heatmap of experience being gained to apply to node advancement.
- The territory expansion algorithm takes into account the nearest coast, neighboring nodes, and the heatmap of players in surrounding areas over the last weeks or month.
- Due to the way the progression algorithm calculates territorial (ZOI) expansion during node advancement, there is a small possibility that two nodes of the same stage end up being close to each other.
- Transit of resources and goods between regions to drive quest rewards for nodes.
For example if you know iron is being used as a raw resource for a specific crafting path that might drive up the price of mithril or silver; and that will incentivize the market to course correct a little bit. The idea is to provide soft incentives that help to alleviate the demand and also to prop up the supply that might not be present from the economic systems. – Steven Sharif
Population based scaling
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. – Jeffrey Bard
Loot tables of world bosses or dungeon bosses have a small RNG chance of dropping gear (completed items). Monsters drop hunting certificates, Items and crafting materials rather than gold.
- There is a much higher chance that materials and unique recipes are dropped that can be used to craft items of equitable value.
- There is a small RNG chance of looting rare and legendary items or crafting materials from mobs based on the level, status and type of mob. This also applies to harvesting resources with a gathering profession.
- Legendary equipment is only dropped by Legendary world bosses.
- Stats on dropped items will vary based on the rarity of the item.
- Loot tables are disabled for player controlled monsters.
- Experience debt decreases the drop rate percentages from monsters.
- There will be 103 regular node locations at launch with 15 additional castle nodes (5 castles x 3 castle nodes each) for a total of 118 nodes.
- There were 9 node locations in Alpha-1.
Nodes are the heart of the world, they create the ebb and flow of life. At their core, Nodes are pre-set points in the world, wrapped in a Zone of Influence and surrounded by geographic areas that change over time based upon player participation. The world map is divided into regions, with each region containing multiple Nodes. As a Node advances, it influences the types of content within itself and the surrounding areas. Players do not create Nodes, but if they are a part of the government for a specific Node, they have the ability to influence diplomacy, and modify building types/construction and services within that Node. There will be 103 Node locations at launch, each with its own impact on the narrative and development of the world. – Margaret Krohn
- This is a preliminary design and may change based on testing. This may be changed to an atrophy points system, where accumulated points will progressively disable services within a node. The node may be destroyed (instead of deleveling) if a significant points threshold is reached.
There are intrinsic problems with reducing a nodes level as opposed to removing the node and it may be possible I'm just gonna say now that we don't actually atrophy nodes to delevel but rather accrue atrophy points that must be replenished over time; and if not it begins to disable services and further compound the atrophy problem; at which point when it reaches a certain atrophy point then the node would just disappear. – Steven Sharif
- Nodes accumulate an experience deficit each day based on the node's level. The deficit is subtracted from any experience earned that day. If any deficit remains, then this is subtracted from the node’s experience pool.
- Mayors are able to initiate quest-driven systems that non-citizens can participate in. The mayor can use a portion of the node's treasury or goods as rewards for quest completion. Players will be able to interface with the node to view the quests that are available to them.
- Certain flags will appear to notify node citizens if their node has dropped below the required experience for its current stage. After a short period, if the atrophy is not addressed, the Node will then delevel.
- A node cannot delevel more than a single level at a time.
- When a Node delevels it enters a safe period, during which the deficit is temporarily reduced to 0.
- It may be possible through node atrophy for two nodes of the same stage to be adjacent to each other.
If a Node delevels, it returns to the previous Stage, but keeps the racial style it had before deleveling. A Node cannot delevel more than a single level at a time. For example, a Level 2 Node would become a Level 1, or a Level 1 Node would become a Level 0. If deleveling would cause a Node to lose its Vassals, it does so. When a Node delevels it enters a “safe period,” during which the deficit is temporarily reduced to 0. Once the safe period expires, the Node can once again begin losing experience based on its deficit. – Margaret Krohn
Node layout and style
- Environment and location of the node.
Currently the way that the platform system is set up, is it's capable of adjusting the topography of the node's footprint, regardless of the surrounding terrain. So the reason for that is we want to have flexibility in the presentation of the node's layout and how it is essentially both from an aesthetic standpoint as well as a mechanical standpoint with node sieges- how it's constructed and that construction should have the ability to take on a variance of different types of topography. So it shouldn't be dependent on the surrounding area. Now that's not to say that the surrounding area isn't going to have some influence over. So for example... we're experimenting a little bit with the platform tech and putting up a node up against the side of a mountain or on the edge of a cliff or something that has a beautiful vista. Those are things that we're going to test out obviously as we continue to work on the node tool and how that platform system works, but the idea is to have the node independent of the surrounding terrain. – Steven Sharif
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. – Jeffrey Bard
- Race that contributed the highest percentage to the node's advancement will alter the racial appearance of its buildings and NPCs.
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. – Steven Sharif
- These benefits apply to citizens of the dominant culture but they also apply to mechanics of the node and can also be of benefit to members of other races.
- There is an attrition mechanic that affects experience and influence to curb a single race from dominating the entire world.
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. – Steven Sharif
- Tax money only goes toward funding node development.
- Taxation rates scale based on when a player joined a node as a citizen. The goal is to exert financial pressure on node populations by making taxes increasingly expensive as nodes advance, rather than putting in place hard population caps.
- This tax doesn't necessarily impact the individual citizen, because citizen's tax levels are determined by their node, but the node's finances are affected by the taxation levied by its parent nodes.
Announcements and notifications
- Castle sieges.
- Node sieges.
- Legendary world boss spawns.
- Monster coin events.
- Dungeon opportunities.
- Expedition (stage 1) and Encampment (stage 2) nodes will announce within proximity of the node.
- Village (stage 3) nodes will have region-wide announcements.
- Town (stage 4) and higher will likely broadcast world-wide.
Whether it be like a siege or a triggered event against a city or like a unique dungeon opportunity... those types of things are going to involve notifications. Especially to the citizens of the city; where you'll be informed of an impending event. Basically it will give you time. – Steven Sharif
- The largest roads are referred to as arteries. These are remnants of what was once the ancient highway system of Verra.
- As nodes advance smaller roads, referred to as veins, connect the arteries to the nodes.
- Depending on the stages of node advancement, capillary roads will stem off the node to connect to points of interest.
- Roads or pathways are not worn into the landscape by repeated traffic over the same area.
- Pathways that are open during summer may be closed during winter.
- Seasonal affects may cause obstacles or blockages to the transit of goods via caravan.
- Water turning to ice in winter, enabling players to walk over the water but blocking access to what is underneath.
- Ice will make roads bumpy and slippery.
- The ability to retry a failed quest depends on Node progression.
- Quests involving citizens from multiple nodes are unlocked based on the alliances and other relationships between the nodes and their progression.
- Quests may differ based on the stages of nearby nodes, seasonal influences, and events such as world bosses.
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. – Steven Sharif
|Player housing||Type.||Availability.||Starting count.||Ownership limit.|
|Apartments||Instanced.||Village stage and higher.||50.||One per character per server.|
|Freeholds||Open world.||Village stage and higher.||Ample.||One per account.|
|Static housing||In-node.||Village stage and higher.||8.||One per character per server.|
Trophy park is an area within Town, City or Metropolis nodes that has available spots for trophies. These trophies show the character names of players who are the first to complete world bosses and dungeon bosses that were spawned as the result of the development of that particular node.
- Server announcements and achievements are designed to encourage groups to experience new content.
- Additional buildings will spawn.
- Additional mobs will spawn.
- Content difficulty will change.
- Dungeons will be unlocked when certain nodes advance to certain stages.
- Drop tables in areas and dungeons will be tied into the progression of certain areas.
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.
- Harbingers that exist on Verra as dungeons are where The Ancients are capable of pushing into the material plane. They can continue to do so under the guise of the effects of corruption as it spreads.
- These are sources of NPC events that players need to address before they grow out of hand.
- Players need to participate in these events to stop the spread of corruption and hold back the intrusion on the material plane.
- Corrupted areas do not confer corruption onto a player.
There are certain things that can happen, such as the spawning of dragons or hordes of zombies that are going to come out and attack those installations, those nodes, those points of interest; and... communities that don't respond to those in an effective way might see the disabling of certain services, the reduction of certain quest lines for particular organizations. The idea is to keep this as part of a believable living response from world, so those can get pretty significant the bad effects that can happen for the community. – Steven Sharif
- Livestream, 16 October 2017 (50:20).
- Blog - Know Your Nodes - The Basics.
- Blog - Know Your Nodes - Advance and Destroy.
- A reactive world - Nodes.
- Video, 20 April 2017 (0:02).
- Node series part II – the Metropolis.
- Interview, 18 July 2020 (10:04).
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- Livestream, 17 November 2017 (55:27).
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- Interview: Ashes of Creation on Building Their Virtual World, 13 April 2017.
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- February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
- Interview, 18 July 2020 (27:11).
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- Ashes of Creation Forums - Former Lineage 2 PvP'er wanting to discuss PvP loopholes.
- Node series part I
- Ashes of Creation - Screenshots.
- Blog: 10 facts about castle sieges in the MMORPG.
- Podcast, 23 April 2018 (15:14).
- Interview, 24 August 2018 (3:44).
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- Video, 25 May 2017 (1:07).
- About Ashes of Creation.
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