Node sieges enable players to destroy nodes. This paves the way for new development and access to the locked content in surrounding nodes. Due to this dynamic, political strife and intrigue play an important role in the structure of the world.
- Sieging nodes will not be an easy task for the attackers. Cities and metropolises will have a considerable defensive advantage.
- There will be systems that mimic some of the mechanics of sieges, but there won't be practice sieges.
- If you own a home in a node and you don't want to see that home destroyed, you need to defend that city! – Steven Sharif
- The majority (~80%) of content in Ashes of Creation is open-world but there may be instanced battles within castle and node sieges where specific groups can participate in small, short-duration objective-based battles for specific waypoints.
- 1 Siege defenses
- 2 Declaring a node siege
- 3 Siege alliances
- 4 Siege participation
- 5 Siege mechanics
- 6 Completing a siege
- 7 Node destruction
- 8 Impact of monsters and world bosses
- 9 Impact on player stalls
- 10 Node atrophy (deleveling)
- 11 Siege abilities
- 12 Node wars
- 13 Zergs
- 14 Artwork
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- Treasury funds can be invested into improving node defensive structures, such as stronger walls and gates, traps, and siege equipment.
- Relics will offer area-of-effect buffs to damage, attack range or player health of the defenders.
- Race will not affect the defensive capability of a node.
There are points of balance that we want to incorporate, such as the defense mechanisms that the defenders have, the types of buffs that are acquired through completing killing the bosses, or capturing control points, the stages before a siege when it comes to those node progressions in the preceding weeks: Those are all going to be balanced considering all things being equal between the two sides. But obviously we're not going to control the state of gear acquisition that one side might have as an advantage over the other. There might be a much better geared team over there. There might be a much better coordinated team. There might be a higher number of individuals who are part of the attacking or the defense. Those are components that we aren't necessarily going to put on railroads so-to-speak. But the aspects of design that we can talk about like the hit point health of a particular wall or door, or mercenaries that can be hired; what's their cost, what's their damage output: Those are things yes we're going to balance. But obviously anything that's player dependent or that has player interaction and activity and determination you can't always balance; and you don't want to balance. Those aspects you leave those to the players. – Steven Sharif
Declaring a node siege
Node sieges are declared directly by any player who completes the prerequisites for the siege initiation. Sieges are started via a siege scroll, which is acquired through a quest that scales in difficulty with respect to the level of the node. A substantial investment is required to attain the siege scroll.
- Siege scrolls are specific to the node that is named on the scroll.
- The lifetime of the scroll begins when the node is named on the scroll.
- The Mayor is notified when their node is named on a siege scroll.
- The method right now is when you complete a quest line and you're going to receive the scroll, you must stipulate the node that that scroll is valid for and then there is a lifetime on the scroll. – Steven Sharif
- Once the siege scroll is brought to the node and is activated, the declaration period begins and a countdown is initiated for players in the region to see. This countdown runs for a number of days equal to the stage of the node being sieged.
- Once the countdown is complete, the siege begins.
- Siege scrolls are not able to be modified after they are obtained.
The questing that is incorporated as part of attaining that particular scroll is very particular to the type of scroll you're attempting to acquire and that is inclusive not just of the materials required as part of that questing but also the time associated with completing that quest, because we want there to be a reciprocal relationship between how much time it takes to stand up a node of the particular size and the types of quests that are required in order to attain the siege scroll. So there won't be a method by which you can first attain a scroll for a lower level node and then increase or augment or change that scroll after you've completed the quest. You'll have to go through a new quest again for the type of level of node you want.
- Siege equipment will need to be crafted based on the stage of the defending node.
- Mayors/governments allocate resources, taxes, and quests to help develop node defenses.
- This was previously stated to apply only to nodes advancing to Village (stage 3), not higher stages.
There are new functionalities and mechanisms that come online when a node advances and you want to provide both time for elected governments to take place, which then have direct consequences and choices to be made over defensive capabilities and also gives provides time for that node to collect and receive resources through taxation and/or quests for its citizens to participate in, so that it has available treasury funds and/or resources to allocate towards defensive structures and other types of defensive systems. So it would make sense that if there were to be an occurrence where node advances within that window, that window is reset again for the new stage because there are new correlating services and functions available. – Steven Sharif
- The player who originally declared the siege cannot exclude anyone from joining the attack.
- Citizens of the node or provincial nodes being attacked are automatically registered as defenders.
- Players do not need to be citizens of the node in order to register as defenders, but they cannot be citizens of a node that is at war with the node they wish to defend.
- Citizens of allied nodes cannot register to attack.
- Once a siege is declared, players are prohibited from moving goods out of depositories within the node.
That incentivizes even further the necessity of players to contribute to the defense of a city. It also elevates the need for that city to politically gain allies among other nodes so that they can protect the collective goods of the citizens. – Steven Sharif
- During the siege virtually all services are suspended.
- If a node levels up during the declaration period, the level up will affect the node system for neighboring nodes, but the leveling wont occur until a short time after the siege.
Objective-based PvP events such as node sieges, castle sieges, guild wars, and node wars will occur within a prime-time window somewhere between 3PM and 9PM server time. This is subject to testing.
- Guild wars and node wars can be declared at any time, but the objectives will only spawn during the prime-time window.
- Castle sieges.
- Node sieges.
- Legendary world boss spawns.
- Mob attacks and Monster coin events.
- Dungeon opportunities.
- Local events
- Local events (such as caravan PvP) may prompt players via the UI asking if they wish to participate or not.
- Other local events may offer audible or visual cues without any UI notifications.
- Local events that have not been addressed may start to expand regionally or even globally.
- One important thing to note about events in general is notifications are sent to the players. Players can opt into these events in a similar way that you would into a quest. You're going to be presented with a 'would you like to participate' but they might not always be that way. You might hear trees falling in the forest and that may be an audio cue to tell you something's happening over there. It's out of the ordinary. This is not normally an audio cue that I hear in this area and i'm gonna go investigate that thing. So it might not just be always that kind of UI window represented with a 'participate or not' but I'm going to go investigate and in that sense it could be stage driven. So you might have the more local stage where it is just the visual or audio cues and you get to go participate in that stage; and then when it advances, or if you don't answer the problem in time, then it starts to expand regionally and then it might send out particular notifications to either citizens of the node from which it falls under its purview or even broader than that. It could be global driven events and then it could have things that are are visual cues that are really big like a giant blizzard that's affecting the zone, because the event hasn't been addressed; and that can affect the crop rotations or it can affect passages and roads and how caravans move. There's a lot that the predicate system informs to the event system and then the event system reacts to those types of predicates. – Steven Sharif
- Node-based events
- Certain node-based events will be broadcast to node citizens, others, such as caravans, will not be announced and will instead rely on player word-of-mouth.
- Node advancement notifications will be broadcast depending on the node's stage.
- New citizens of a node may be announced in a dedicated node citizen chat channel.
- Election notices will be mailed to the accounts of citizens.
- 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
- For node sieges, citizens of the node or provincial nodes being attacked are automatically registered as defenders.
- There are many reasons to participate as an ally in the attack or defence of other nodes.
- Social bonds.
Many incentives exist that can benefit your node and yourself personally by participating in the attack or defense of cities. These range from titles, to items, to materials, to money. Additionally, aiding others may help you strengthen bonds when your assets are threatened. – Steven Sharif
- Progression pathways within alliances.
- Guilds sharing common services with alliance members.
- Alliances can toggle relationships with nodes.
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. – Steven Sharif
- Alpha-1 castle sieges are located in a separate zone that is accessible via a NPC teleporter.
- Players may choose to respawn at their HQ as long as they are registered.
- Players could potentially intercept stragglers with the guild war or flagging system en route to the siege field.
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.
- Certain siege mechanics may be gated for specific size groups during sieges.
- There will not be a deserter debuff for leaving a siege before it is complete.
- More will be revealed in an upcoming blog entry.
Part of this endeavor of sieging a player-held location (or non-player-held location) is time to prepare; and that includes gathering and crafting these mega weapons or collecting the resources: Whether it be gold or specific quest items to purchase from NPCs. – Steven Sharif
- Varying tiers of mercenary NPCs may be unlocked based on the investment made in their progression. Highest tier NPC mercenaries are referred to as heros.
- Mayors are able to allocate treasury funding to hire mercenary NPCs to defend their node during sieges.
- Nodes can invest in upgrade paths that give a greater selection of roles and quality (gear level) of NPC mercenaries used for caravan defense.
- NPC mercenaries can be hired to participate in castle sieges based on the allocation made by the governing castle and how successful they have been defending their castle nodes.
- These mechanics are subject to change based on testing and priorities.
- Players can assign mercenary NPCs, but won't micromanage them, in a similar manner to pets.
- There are mercenary NPCs that can be assigned to players. We've discussed about that before and those will follow generically... a kind of pet system even you know adopted majority of the pet system with the added bonus of kind of objective based points of interest that you can assign them to. But we don't want to inundate the field with these mercenaries they'll be kind of few and far between. They'll be assigned specifically like let's say for example you know as the mayor of a node during a siege you'll be able to assign these two specific players that are citizens within your node and then they'll have those they'll spawn during the during the node siege; or vice versa and the castle siege you know guild leaders can assign mercenaries that are available based on the progress of those subsidiary nodes around the castle siege whether or not you have those available to your defense or your attack. – Steven Sharif
The dragon will have a lot of capability in PvP. It's primarily its purpose, because as it relates to Castles and the sieges they're in, or Nodes and the sieges they're in. We want dragons to have large scale ramifications against player raids. – Steven Sharif
There may be instanced locations within otherwise open-world castle and node sieges, where specific groups can participate in small, short duration objective-based battles that will affect the overall outcome of the siege.
- What we were talking about was how during castle sieges or node sieges, you're going to have certain instanced locations where it's only going to be a group that's designated to participate versus another group while the siege is happening. And I know in the past we talked about well how do you plan to incorporate these more objective-based waypoints as part of these larger events; and say that not only is it going to be a complement of numbers or in the overall grand kind of battle perspective, but there's also going to be opportunities for smaller more niche groups to participate in more focused objective capturing. And a part of that is going to be small very short, kind of ten minute long instanced battles where groups can go and participate against other groups that are defender versus attacker; and the outcome of which will influence certain aspects of the overall battle while that's still occurring in the background. – Steven Sharif
- Districts are taken by defeating a "raid boss" guard NPC in that district.
- If attackers take over a district, they gain that district as a respawn location.
- Attackers can kill the quartermasters to increase the respawn times of the defenders while reducing their own respawn times.
Defenders can assault the outposts of the attackers to hinder them.
Attackers may not be capable of deleveling a node. Instead they may carry out precision attacks to disable specific service-oriented buildings within the node. These buildings can be targeted with siege weapons and bombs.
As the attackers are sieging a city you know they have obviously a win condition- a win objective- but additionally there can be casualties from a structural standpoint during that process. So let's say if the... attackers were to not succeed in completely destroying the node they could still affect damage across multiple types of buildings that are present within the node, which disables services for that those citizens and also will require some type of reconstruction effort on behalf of the citizens. – Steven Sharif
Completing a siege
- Defenders will be required to hold a central point in the node for the duration of the siege or they must destroy the hedquarters of the attacking army.
- Attackers will need to gain access to the node then reach a central point where they must channel a 5 minute cast on the defender's flag. This cast can not be interrupted by CC but can be interrupted through death of the caster.
If the node survives, there will be a cooldown before the node can be sieged again:
- Destroyed nodes revert to stage 0 (wilderness) after a successful siege.
- Any modified terrain will revert back to its original state.
- Players lose their node citizenship after their node is destroyed.
- The warehouse debris will contain a portion of all Materials (crafting components) and Gatherables that were stored in the destroyed node.
- The reliquary debris will contain a stockpile of material components of the relics that were once stored there.
- The town hall debris might contain tax-oriented certificates that were held within the vaults and in the treasury.
- The stables debris might contain mount certificates that can be added to caravans in the future or sold on the auction house.
- What happens when the node gets destroyed is there will be stockpiles of spoils... A whole host of what is centralized within a regional economy like the node system becomes- a portion of that becomes available to the attackers who participated in the siege and they can go and interact with those with those debris fields and attempt to claim things. – Steven Sharif
- This includes gatherables and processed goods that were stored in in-node housing and apartment storage chests. These do not become lootable if the node survives the siege- even if the housing buildings are destroyed or damaged during the siege.
- Players are prohibited from moving goods out of depositories within the node following a siege declaration against that node.
- Attackers who participated in the siege will have exclusive looting rights for period of time following the node's destruction.
- Any loot remaining after this period will be open for anyone to loot.
- The looting rights have a period of time in which the attackers have loot rights essentially. So these are people who participated in the attack- they were flagged attackers during the siege and they have first dibs; and then if after that period of time... that looting right dissipates then it becomes open.. – Steven Sharif
Node building destruction
- NPC-driven events that are a response to story arcs or node atrophy.
- Node sieges and node wars.
- Hazardous events such as tornadoes or hurricanes.
- Players must repair damaged buildings (or rebuild destroyed ones) in order to reactivate the services from those particular buildings.
- Node governments must clear any rubble on plots before any buildings can be reconstructed. Any prerequisites for the building reconstruction must be satisfied beforehand.
- Buildings also live within a prerequisite system. So in order to build down the tech tree of what these buildings provide, as the node grows larger to access stronger building types, you may get a kink in that chain if it's destroyed and you'll have to stand that back up in order to support the service again. – Steven Sharif
- If the node is destroyed by a node siege, the debris field will contain spoils that are lootable to the victors of the siege.
Impact on player housing
- Blueprints are mailed to the player to utilize for future placement.
- Destroyed freeholds are subject to material loss.
- Certificates will track major milestones (such as Furnaces and Homesteads, for example).
- A possible design idea is for items such as furnishings to be boxed in crates that are accessible inside the new home.
Impact on in-node housing
- If the housing was purchased at a higher advancement than the node currently is then it will be destroyed, otherwise the housing will be scaled back.
Impact on apartments
- If their building was destroyed during a node siege, even if the siege was not successful.
- If a mayor built extra apartment buildings at Town (stage 4) or higher and the Node deleveled below that stage.
- If the mayor decides to destroy apartment buildings all items and layouts will be mailed to the owner.
Impact on freeholds
- Players and their allies may defend their freehold for this period of time.
- Structures and guards may be obtained to defend freeholds during this period.
After the two hour period of open combat following a successful node siege, any remaining freeholds will exist under a grace period for roughly 1 week where another node may take over the zone of influence of the freehold.
- The freehold owner will be required to undertake a quest process to have their freehold adopted by a new node if one exists.
- At the end of the grace period, if the freehold does not reside within the ZOI of a stage three (Village) node or above, it will be destroyed.
- Players who are registered as a defenders of their node cannot loot their own destroyed freeholds.
If a siege is successful, then the Node is brought down to Level 0, and anyone who was a citizen of that Node is no longer a citizen. Freeholds within the Zone of Influence are subject to a period of vulnerability. These Freeholds can be destroyed by other players during a period of roughly 2 hours after a successful siege. Destroyed Freeholds are subject to material loss, and blueprints for them are mailed to the player to utilize for future placement in order to allow the player to keep their Freehold’s layout and structure. Once the vulnerability period is complete, any remaining Freeholds will exist under a grace period for roughly 1 week where another Node may take over the Zone of Influence of the Freehold. – Margaret Krohn
- Different races becoming primary contributors.
- Design elements determined by different governments.
- Reactions and interactions with other nodes in the world.
- The only way to remove an elected mayor prior to the end of their term is by destroying the node.
Impact of monsters and world bosses
Monster coin events (Bosses) cannot destroy or delevel nodes. They can disable certain buildings, services and NPCs within a node. Node sieges are the chief mechanic for destroying nodes.
- Monster coin events do not occur before sieges.
- Monster coin events do not occur during sieges.
- Destruction of certain buildings during a monster coin event could have local, regional, or even global economic impacts.
- For example, if the service building that got disabled was a blacksmith's building that housed a workbench, which was the only workbench in the region capable of crafting a t5 (or tier 5), or high-tier quality equipment, then of course that would have ramifications economically, as those pieces of equipment that are already readily available would raise in prices; and because there would be a issue within the supply chain of those items being introduced into the economy, you would potentially have some supply and demand changes economically and that could span regions: that could be global even. – Steven Sharif
Impact on player stalls
Node atrophy (deleveling)
- 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
These are the types of systems that we want to put in place where groups of a single primary archetype can come together to summon these types of effects that play off of what the identity of that archetype is. – Steven Sharif
- A siege summon will have an incremental size based on the number of summoners participating in that summon activity, with a maximum of eight.
- The number of summoners participating in the summon will determine its overall size.
- All summoners must be in the same party and the party leader must be a summoner.
- The party leader initiates the summon and then takes control of it.
- Once summoned, the party leader cannot be changed.
- If the party disbands, the summon ends. There will be a grace period to handle disconnects.
- The party may also contain non-Summoners.
If eight Tank archetypes each use one of their summon wall abilities it might construct a larger wall that can divide two raids in a moment; and would require damage and block skills and abilities for a momentary lapse of battle between those two raids. – Steven Sharif
- This mutually flags the citizens of the warring nodes, including their allies, as combatants.
- Vassal nodes cannot declare a node war on their parent node or any of their vassals.
- Node wars can be declared at any time, but the objectives will only spawn during server prime-time.
- Players can kill each other at any time during the war (not only during server prime-time).
- 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. – Steven Sharif
Encounters are designed to have meaning in terms of how boss skills and abilities relate to group compositions, tactics and strategies. Zerging is not experiencing content. There are different ways to make a fight more difficult for larger sized groups without relying solely on stat buffs or making the boss a "damage sponge".
- Raid and dungeon bosses have specific mechanics and abilities that players need to learn and react to. Zergs that are not aware of these mechanics or react to them appropriately will be wiped.
- There may be environmental hazards and AoE effects that cause more damage based on the number of players present.
- There is a give-and-take for guilds that want to see a larger number of members as opposed to a more focused group that may be a part of an alliance.
We're very cognizant of the fact that we don't want to see zerging be a mechanic that's utilized by guilds to accomplish content or just to steamroll over sieges... There are specific mechanics that we are working on that will be seen through the testing phases that relate to a degree of understanding of certain systems that can't just be overrun with numbers. – Steven Sharif
The best way that I found in games I played previously to take down a zerg is to cause drama from within... It's that conflict inside of the politicking that happens in that big organization. If we provide opportunities for division to occur then it also provides stability to keep a server healthy away from that zerg mentality also... If we approach the castle siege and we've destroyed the walls and we're in the throne room and we're about to cast on the penultimate thing and I at this time am just so excited from what's happening that I'm like "screw it I'm gonna go for it". It's gonna be mine. I'm gonna take the taxes for the next month. I'm gonna take all the gear from the castle. I'm gonna take everything... We kind of want that political intrigue to be present in the game. – Steven Sharif
Objective-based game play helps to balance the zerg mentality.
I always feel that if you balance based on groups that in your balance focus is to incorporate features that play well from a player versus player perspective as well as a player versus environment perspective: Having support classes, having DPS and tanks that can obstruct movement and/or create you know bottlenecks on the field and stuff like that. I think a well-rounded raid it will perform better against a non well-rounded raid, however then you incorporate the second aspect of numbers; and that's where again mobility, organization, leadership tactics. Having objectives in gameplay that make those important helps to balance the zerg mentality that a lot of guilds can tend to have. – Steven Sharif
- There may be instanced locations within castle and node sieges where specific groups can participate in certain objective-based waypoints.
Zerging is always a problem in a lot of these MMORPGs where you really can't control the number of participants in certain open-world systems; and in that sense instancing is a great tool that designers can sometimes use to curate a particular number of participants that you want. But the predominant amount of content within Ashes of Creation, over 80% of which is is open-world content, so instancing is very limited. – Steven Sharif
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- Blog - Know Your Nodes - Advance and Destroy.
- A reactive world - Nodes.
- Twitch Bustin - Practice Sieges?
- Livestream, December 22, 2020 (1:13:51).
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- Types of Events on Verra.
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- Official Livestream - May 4th @ 3 PM PST - Q&A
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- Livestream, February 26, 2021 (1:11:13).
- Livestream, October 30, 2020 (39:17).
- Livestream, May 24, 2017 (52:39).
- Livestream, May 24, 2017 (40:50).
- Livestream, June 28, 2019 (1:26:14).
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- Livestream, April 29, 2022 (1:07:20).
- Livestream, October 16, 2017 (59:39).
- Interview, July 8, 2020 (1:00:15).
- Interview, July 8, 2020 (1:04:05).
- Livestream, November 22, 2019 (41:02).
- Podcast, May 11, 2018 (49:20).
- Livestream, May 19, 2017 (10:06).
- Livestream, 2018-04-8 (AM) (28:01).
- Interview, August 17, 2018 (14:59).
- City hall.
- Interview, July 19, 2020 (24:34).
- Blog - Know Your Nodes - The Basics.
- Video, April 5, 2018 (41:48).
- Livestream, May 5, 2017 (23:26).
- Livestream, May 19, 2017 (25:18).
- Livestream, November 30, 2020 (1:16:09).
- Livestream, May 22, 2017 (57:37).
- Interview, May 11, 2018 (44:20).
- Interview, August 8, 2018 (11:52).