Node progression

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Citizen and non-citizen player activity (questing, gathering, raiding, etc.) within a node's ZOI counts toward that particular node’s advancement (progression).[1] Nodes have seven (7) stages of advancement, with experience thresholds for each stage. When a Node reaches the experience required for its current stage, it advances to the next stage.[2]

Node stage.[1] Alternate name.[3] Timeframe to advance.[1] Player housing.[4]
0. Wilderness -
1. Expedition Crossroads Few hours -
2. Encampment Camp Many hours -
3. Village - Few days Freeholds, Static housing
4. Town - Many days Freeholds, Static housing, Apartments
5. City - Few weeks Freeholds, Static housing, Apartments
6. Metropolis Metro Many weeks Freeholds, Static housing, Apartments
Conceptual illustration. Nodes that are in the ZOI of more advanced nodes have their progression capped by the more advanced node.[5]

Beginning at Node Stage 3, when a Node advances, it enslaves nearby Nodes and makes them into its Vassals. Vassal Nodes are owned by a Parent Node and must always be at least one Node Stage below the Parent Node. This means that the Vassal Node cannot grow until the Parent Node advances in stage. Vassal Nodes give excess experience to their Parent Node, and are able to have their own Vassals, as long as they fit within the Parent Node’s Zone of Influence. They are subject to the government, alliances, wars, taxes, and trade of their Parent Node, and are able to receive federal aid from them. A Vassal Node cannot declare war on their Parent Node or any of its Vassals. Citizens of Vassals are bound by the diplomatic states of the Parent Node.[2]Margaret Krohn

The advancement of a node unlocks its unique content, which comes at the cost of locking out an increasing ring of neighboring nodes from progressing to the next stage.[6]

  • Nodes advance to the first stage quickly. This enables NPC services such as vending or banking items.[7]
  • The more advanced the node is, the larger its ZOI becomes.[4]
  • 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.[5]
  • A node does not receive XP from the nodes within its ZOI until these nodes have reached their cap.[5]
  • Players are moved to safety if they intersect with newly spawned assets during node advancement.[8]
  • Citizens of one node can contribute to the advancement of other nodes.[9]
  • The exact percentage of advancement from obtaining items or killing monsters is not going to be explicitly known to avoid "gaming" the system.[10]

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.[10]Steven Sharif

Storyline quests

Storyline quests can have multiple stages. These quest stages can actually be failed.[11]

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.[11]Steven Sharif


Node relic.[13] This is a protective relic that is preventing an attack. Once stolen, it enables a siege against the metropolis.[14]

Relics are achievements for a node that unlock over time. They allow node citizens to craft certain legendary items and progress in certain legendary quest lines.[15]

Node development

Racial architecture styles in an Alpha-0 village node. Empyrean Elven influence (top). Kaelar Human influence (bottom).[16]

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.[2]Margaret Krohn

Node layout and style is determined by several factors:[17]

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.[17]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.[20]Steven Sharif

There is an attrition mechanic that affects experience and influence to curb a single race from dominating the entire world.[21]

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.[21]Steven Sharif

Node buildings

Node governments decide the location and types of node buildings to be constructed within sectors of a node.[23][24][25]

When the building types are determined, the community will then need to bring resources into the node (using caravans) and come together to construct the buildings (via quests and the like).[23]

The government decides how to specialize their node. Once they choose certain things they won't be able to choose other things.[23]

Different governments may change the buildings within a node.[23]

And there could be regime change... If somebody doesn't like the fact that a market was built and they want to re-elect a new government next cycle, they can do so... and that market could be destroyed and a new building take its place.[23]

Pre-defined parameters limit the number of buildings at in-node locations.[24]

Racial quests

Quests may be based on a character's race.[26]

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.[26]

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.[26]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.[21]Steven Sharif

Trophy park

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.[27]

  • Server announcements and achievements are designed to encourage groups to experience new content.[27]

Node government

Node governments are chosen from a node's citizenry when a node reaches stage 3 (Village).[28] The method of choosing the government and its mayor depends on the node's type.[4][2]

Leadership powers

Government officials will have wide-ranging abilities to influence their node.[31]

  • Mark foreign citizens of other nodes as enemies of the state.[32][33]
  • Declare war on another node and rally citizens to the cause.[32]
  • Enter into trade agreements.[32]
  • Directing assets.[28]
  • Defensive ability.[28]
  • Governments may be able to choose a node name from a predetermined list.[34][35]

We have conditions that you can set between nodes with regards to either nodes being friendly with each other and acting trade alliances, or they can declare war on nodes similar to how guild wars may function in different games, where those citizens become hostile to each other based on the player government that's elected in the particular node. So those systems all kind of cater to allowing a conflict that's meaningful and that also provides a non-imbalanced relationship between stronger guilds and not as strong guilds.[36]Steven Sharif

The government has a lot of say in the direction of the nodes development. Directing assets, building projects, tax allocation, defensive ability etc. Players have the ability to not only create these cities, but they have the right of self-governance.[28]

There are levers and dials that are present to both the owners of Castles as well as the elected officials of Nodes that during their administration they have the ability to impact and influence the region around them.[20]Steven Sharif

Guilds do not control nodes. Guild leaders will likely not be able to be mayors of nodes.[37][38]

  • Guilds hold separate roles in the direction of the node than the roles held by private citizens.[28]
  • Only a certain number of guilds may participate in these roles.[28]
  • Separate guild roles are reserved for small, medium and large guilds.[28]

Guild’s also hold separate roles in the direction of the node, than the roles held by private citizens, and only a certain number of guilds may participate in these roles. Separate guild roles are reserved for Small size guilds, medium size guilds and large size guilds.[28]

Node taxes

Mayors/Node governments allocate resources, taxes, and quests to help develop node defenses.[39]

Parent nodes take a cut of all taxes from the housing and any services that occur within their ZOI.[41]

  • 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.[41]


Ashes of Creation may have specific content that revolves around Alliances.[42]

Content that revolves around alliances specifically and progression within the development of that alliance; and the ability to share some common services between guilds that are part of that alliance. I think that additionally allowing alliances to toggle certain relationships with nodes as an interaction is beneficial. That's going to provide an interesting dynamic for players who are either members of the particular node that has the relationship established or members of the Alliance. So I think that obviously building systems is is about creating the channels by which these players can form bonds and the more layers you have around those you know channels of bonding between the different guilds or players, the more sustainable that relationship.[42]Steven Sharif


As nodes develop, player governments may open a Stock exchange (also called Stock markets and Sharemarkets) where players can buy and sell shares in Nodes, Guilds and Social organizations.[43][44]

  • There is no regulatory commission to restrict the purchase and sale of stocks.[45]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 A reactive world - Nodes.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Blog - Know Your Nodes - The Basics.
  3. Livestream, 12 December 2018 (14:48).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Node series part II – the Metropolis.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Livestream, 16 October 2017 (50:20).
  6. Video, 20 April 2017 (0:02).
  7. Npc vending.jpg
  8. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (55:27).
  9. node xp.png
  10. 10.0 10.1 Livestream, 26 May 2017 (28:16).
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Interview, 20 October 2018 (2:36:25).
  12. reliquary-concept.png
  13. Livestream, 5 May 2017 (28:09).
  14. Livestream, 12 May 2017 (49:50).
  15. Livestream, 9 February 2018 (29:26).
  16. Livestream, 9 February 2018 (33:50).
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 Livestream, 27 September 2018 (53:06).
  18. 18.0 18.1 Interview, 11 May 2018 (54:34).
  19. Livestream, 26 May 2017 (21:23).
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Interview, 11 May 2018 (47:27).
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Interview, 11 May 2018 (1:00:19).
  22. Livestream, 1 September 2018 (36:28).
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 Livestream, 19 May 2017 (33:57).
  24. 24.0 24.1 Livestream, 20 January 2018 (38:17).
  25. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (51:49).
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Podcast, 23 April 2018 (29:56).
  27. 27.0 27.1 Podcast, 4 August 2018 (1:35:58).
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 28.6 28.7 28.8 28.9 MMOGames interview, January 2017
  29. gladiators.jpg
  30. Podcast, 11 May 2018 (52:20).
  31. government.jpeg
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 City hall.
  33. assassination.jpg
  34. node naming.png
  35. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (36:05).
  36. Video, 5 April 2018 (41:48).
  37. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (36:09).
  38. steven guild leader mayor.JPG
  39. siege equipment.png
  40. Tax spending.png
  41. 41.0 41.1 Interview, 11 May 2018 (57:02).
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 42.3 42.4 Podcast, 11 May 2018 (21:07).
  43. 43.0 43.1 Livestream, 17 May 2017 (11:27).
  44. 44.0 44.1 Stock Exchange.jpg
  45. 45.0 45.1 Interview, 20 October 2018 (5:51).