- Some game aspects will be more polished than others before they are presented.
- The delicate blend between a transparent development process, but also understanding that [the] majority of your player audience will not grasp, or will not take into context, what a work in progress looks like. So certain things we have to polish to the point where they're presentable; where they can be understood- again in its own context without my verbal support or Margaret's verbal support. – Steven Sharif
- I think that we live in an age where it's easy to be transparent if you're not trying to hide something. The downside is if you're showing something that's not a completed or finished product, it is incumbent upon the viewer to understand that fact. – Steven Sharif
- The purpose of transparent development is to enable participation and feedback from the community without the need to purchase access.
- The whole purpose of our development process being transparent being open is that you don't have to buy a package actually to participate. You can be a voice from the community. You can observe people playing. You can give your experiences and feedback. – Steven Sharif
- I don't answer to a board. I don't answer to a publisher. We answer to our players; and we try to be as transparent as possible with showing our progress; and showing it in a timely manner. – Steven Sharif
- There are obviously going to be some aspects of the development that we will not reveal, like lore and some system mechanics in order not to spoil the game for release. – Steven Sharif
- 1 Design
- 2 Pay to win
- 3 Publishers
- 4 Localization/Translation
- 5 Platforms
- 6 Performance
- 7 Servers
- 8 Addons/mods
- 9 Milestones
- 10 Accomplishments
- 11 See also
- 12 References
When it comes to how MMO’s have been traditionally designed, most gamers are familiar with two distinct types of gameplay loops: the “theme park”, and the “sandbox”. The vast majority of MMO’s we’ve all seen come and go in the gaming industry have been of the theme park variety – these games put the player onto a specific path, guiding them along, with plenty of pretty sights in between the same old quest hubs, very little in divergent paths, virtually no freedom in player progression. Recently the MMO genre has seen some games of the sandbox nature come onto the scene, but despite the ultimate freedom the sandbox affords players, many are left wanting more, as there is by definition no pre built world content, no human touch, just the vastness of the “sand” for lack of a better term. Thus many MMO players often find themselves caught between the repetitive rock of the theme park or the vast dead spaces of the sandbox’s hard place. This chasm between the state of MMO gameplay loops is where we intend to inject Ashes of Creation’s Node system.
In order for sandbox mechanics to mean something, there must be curated content to accompany the player’s choices. Which means, as the developers, we must create that Themebox style content but for every possible path the community may take. – Steven Sharif
In designing Ashes of Creation, we adhere every detail to five main pillars: Engaging and Immersive Story, a Reactive World, Player Interaction, Player Agency, and Risk vs Reward. Even in the environment, everything you as the player do will tie into these pillars, while everything your guild does, everything your server does will ultimately keep the world fresh, ever-changing, and most importantly... exciting.
- Eve Online with its regionalized economy and risk vs reward in transportation.
- ArcheAge with its building systems, transportation and naval combat.
- Lineage II with its risk vs reward, castle sieges, flagging, open world PvP and guild progression.
- Star Wars Galaxies with its crafting systems.
A lot of the systems in Lineage 2 were based around a concept that got lost today in mmorpgs, and that's risk versus reward. You know this idea that the more you risk the greater potential reward should be present is a complete paradigm shift away from everyone's a winner, everybody gets a participation reward, and here you go, congratulations you're a player in this game; and that's boring. It gives nothing for a person to aspire to achieve something, or to feel the bite of loss when you fail. Those are the driving forces of why people want to play games and it's a reason why new games when they come out have such a short lifespan, because they are always competing with WOW. You don't have to compete with WOW. You don't have to be a WOW killer. You can focus on something that is different from a philosophical design standpoint; and I think that's just what a lot of studios today don't want to take the risk on. – Steven Sharif
In terms of what came before, we're trying to figure out who did what best and take inspiration from that: Move the genre forward; keep things updated and bring it into the 21st century. – Jeffrey Bard
Part of the whole experience with nodes is that there is no real end-game, in that the world is constantly shifting every day. Month one is going to be really different from month two; and that's for the level 50s and level 1s. – Jeffrey Bard
We want the game to be a living game, which means that all content should be relevant at all times. I’d say that we try to make as little distinction between the leveling up experience and the end game experience as possible. The whole journey is important to us, in order to maximize the fun people have during different stages of the game. – Sarah Flanagan
I have a very very very clear vision of all of the systems designs mechanics that are present within the game and we're sticking to that vision and we're not adding additional features and prolonging the development due to that scope creep. – Steven Sharif
Pay to win
Ashes of Creation will not be pay to win, that is our pledge to the community. One of the core principles we set forth with Ashes of Creation is a very strong desire to maintain the game's even playing field.
A lot of developers and companies have come along in the past- and I've been hit by this too- and they've said we're not going to have pay-to-win and then boom they roll out some pay-to-win. We have consistently said we won't be pay-to-win and in the pre-orders that we provide and even in the Kickstarter there were absolutely zero pay-to-win components whatsoever. So not only will we talk the talk but we will walk the walk as well. – Steven Sharif
Because we are a non-box purchase game, meaning there is no box price to play Ashes of Creation, it is only a subscription; and that's beneficial because it reduces the barrier of entry and we want a high population obviously; but at the same time one of the ways we augment the revenue flows to sustain constant updates and new chapter releases and additional content within the game is through a cosmetic-only marketplace; and that means absolutely no pay-to-win whatsoever; and that will be adhered to forever. – Steven Sharif
- There will not be level boosts or auto-leveling.
- There will not be a loot box system in Ashes of Creation.
We will not use a loot box system for cosmetics either. We currently have a cosmetic store that offers limited time, limited quantity items to help sustain game development. These items are purely decorative and do not offer any in-game benefits.
- Multiple accounts and multi-boxing on separate computers is not currently considered pay-to-win.
My definition of pay-to-win is really anything that affects the in-game economy, the in-game action pool, your abilities and/or skills... In my opinion the inventory slots and the XP potions would be considered pay-to-win. – Steven Sharif
- Q: Will there be RNG boxes?
- A: I dislike RNG. Archeage made me loath rng monetization gimmicks. – Steven Sharif
- Intrepid Studios will be opening offices in Amsterdam to help support their publishing operations in the EU (European Union) and CIS regions.
We have learned a lot from our partnership with MY.GAMES, and we wish our friends there all the best as we have mutually decided to part ways. Looking ahead, we’re excited to announce that Intrepid Studios will be opening European offices in Amsterdam to help support our publishing operations in the EU/CIS regions. We have recently posted open positions for our new EU offices, and look forward to hiring the best and brightest in true Intrepid fashion. – Steven Sharif
- Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale early access testing ended on March 10, 2020. It was previously available for download on the official website and on Steam.
- Previously it was stated that English, French, German, and Russian will be supported then Italian, Polish and Spanish be added later.
- Other languages are being considered based on interest.
- User interface localization tools are available in the chat window.
Ashes of Creation is aiming to be available in the following languages: English, French, German, Russian, Italian, Polish, and Spanish. Although this may not be the final list of languages we support, as we are still looking into which other languages the game may be translated into.
- Console support may be added at a later point.
- Native Linux support may be possible in future.
Q: Will the upgrade to UE5 affect the supported systems? A lot of people are like linux question mark.
A: It's something that we'll evaluate in the future. I haven't ruled it out necessarily- would see how much work it would take to do that, but really like less than one percent of the player base is using Linux. – Steven Sharif
The game will be highly customizable from a settings standpoint. If you don't quite have the rig necessary to run it, you can dial the game settings down.
- Highly scalable options to adjust rendering and particle effects will be offered.
- Motion blur will be togglable on and off.
Alpha system requirements
- Operating System: Windows 10 64-Bit
- Processor: Intel Core i3-2125 3.3GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 3.3GHz
- Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 or AMD Radeon 6870 HD with 1GB and DirectX 12
- Memory: 6 GB RAM
- Network: Broadband Internet connection
- Storage: 35 GB of available space
- Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
- Operating System: Windows 10 64-Bit
- Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz / AMD FX-9590 4.7GHz
- Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon R9 Fury with 4GB and DirectX 12
- Memory: 16 GB RAM
- Network: Broadband Internet connection
- Storage: 35 GB of available space
- Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
Unreal Engine 5
Unreal Engine 5 is the graphical engine for Ashes of Creation. The game was originally developed in Unreal Engine 4. Migrating to UE5 required some front-end work, but in the long run it will be easier to do so in the alpha phases of the game, rather than closer to release, or post-release.
- Unreal Engine 5 enables improved forms of locomotion/animation (motion warping), such as crouching, tilting and mantling.
What it provides in my opinion as person who enjoys PvP is it adds additional dynamics to what is possible from your opponent or from yourself. You know, if there is a ledge and jumping off that ledge is going to deal a lot of damage to me when I hit the ground and that puts me at a significant disadvantage, maybe I have an option to jump off the ledge at a point where I can mantle onto the side of a cliff or something. Now the give and take there is I won't be able to use my skills while I'm mantled. I won't be able to react easily, but I didn't have to take the fall damage per-se. Or if there's an obstruction and you know I'm going to take a significant reduction in speed so that I can crouch and make it past that, and now I have a effective line of sight has been obstructed as a result of that decision. I think it adds interesting elements to the battlefield and the key here is going to be making sure that it's not cumbersome- that it doesn't feel opposite of the flow of combat. – Steven Sharif
- Unreal Engine 5 Lumen provides enhanced global illumination and Nanite enables increased graphical fidelity in the game (without excessive overhead).
Nanite brings us really an entirely new approach to rendering and art workflows. Now we can render more actors with extremely high detail while eliminating the need to bake out normal map textures. For artists essentially what this means is that they can import high quality sculpted meshes directly into Unreal 5 without really having to reduce the poly count, making the workflow more efficient while simultaneously improving the quality of the art. – Steven Sharif
Lumen is going to greatly improve the visual fidelity and performance of the game with the reduced work and effort that's required by the art team, making Ashes of Creation much more beautiful than in UE4. – Steven Sharif
- Unreal Engine 5 features (such as World partitions and One file per actor) make it much easier for multiple developers to work together.
- World partitions also enable Unreal Engine 5 maps to exceed the map size constraints of UE4 (~20 kilometers squared).
Q: How does this upgrade to UE5 affect the Ashes of Creation release timeline?
A: While UE4 is a great engine, there are certain focuses and technological endeavors that Epic is doing on UE5 that won't necessarily be supported by UE4; and we want to make sure given the lifespan of Ashes and how long we intend this MMO to last, that when we made this decision early on during the development process that we weren't going to exacerbate the amount of effort it would take to move over later in the lifespan or after launch. – Steven Sharif
Ashes of Creation features a custom Unreal Engine back-end with proprietary networking code to enable mass combat in the open world: such as PvP, Node sieges, Castle sieges, Dungeons and World bosses.
- The networking solution dynamically distributes processes and scales up necessary server instances to accommodate player density across the world.
One of the most important things about Epic Games as the creators of Unreal Engine is the way they've allowed developers to have access to the source code. To be able to do that makes the engine very versatile. – Steven Sharif
- The upgrade to Unreal Engine 5 is primarily a change to the front-end side of the game. The custom back-end networking code remains largely unaffected.
Over October and November, that's when McP and the engineers began to do the base migration of our custom code-base into UE5 see where there were any major issues. The great thing about UE5 is that it's mainly focused around updating the renderer- giving access to Nanite, Lumen global illumination- those are big components. There's other great aspects of it, but really it's a front-end change and it doesn't affect our networking layer. It doesn't affect our back-end code. – Steven Sharif
- As of January 24, 2020 all teams have moved over to Unreal Engine 5.
- Servers will be named after the champions of the great battles that led up to the fall of Verra.
- Post launch, users will be able to select their server by the ping or the region that's notated next to the server.
- Ashes of Creation Apocalypse server selection is driven by the party leader. Whatever region they have selected will apply to their friends and squad.
We'll have a multitude of servers located throughout to the various regions of the world; and those servers will be good connection points for- and will be driven by- I mean there's two types of servers I'm sorry: For the alpha-1 arena those will be driven by the party leader right; and wherever whatever region they have selected if they invite friends to their squad or whatever, they'll be able to play on that region. With regards to live launch when the server's go live, you'll be selecting a server to play on; and that will be your character's home; and that server you'll be aware of where that server is located usually by either a ping or a region that's notated on next to the server. – Steven Sharif
- North America (NA).
- Europe (EU).
- Asia/Pacific (SEA).
- Oceania (OCE) (Australia).
At this stage we do not have numbers on how many different servers will exist for different regions. We've said in the past 8-10,000 concurrent users per server is what we'd like to aim for. Obviously, the number of servers that exist in a region are going to be dependent on the population that's playing. – Steven Sharif
- South America is under consideration due to traffic from that region.
Once we get closer to launch we'll update this information, which may include additional regions.
- Players will be able to make characters on any server they wish. There will be no region locking (outside of harmonized regions).
- There won't be separate roleplaying (RP) servers.
- There won't be separate PvE and PvP servers.
My decision is not to allow DPS meters nor add-ons. I feel we have adequate measures in place to prevent a majority of potential third party trackers. I know this subject has passionate voices on both sides and I respect the various opinions and positions many of you have expressed. – Steven Sharif
- The developers don't want addons/mods to be necessary to experience the game.
- The design of the game API is still under consideration.
- There will be integrations available for streaming services such as Twitch and a few other services, but it's not something that will be exposed through an API just yet.
- The developers believe that parsers (DPS meters) can have negative effects.
We will be providing combat data for individual players in their chat window, that players can filter and analyze for themselves. The goal is to mitigate and make the practice less prevalent through the ease that DPS meters provide. Also to place actionable enforcement for players who attempt to circumvent the decision by use of 3rd party programs, for which we will be monitoring. – Steven Sharif
|December 2015||First team members were hired.|
|February 2016||Ashes of Creation design documentation and prototyping.|
|December 10, 2016||Official website was launched and project announced.|
|January 18, 2017||Official discord was launched.|
|May 2, 2017||Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign launched with $750,000 funding goal.|
|June 3, 2017||Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign completed with 19,576 backers raising $3,271,809.|
|June 2017||Game production began with a team size of 15-20.|
|June 21, 2017||Summer crowdfunding campaign launched.|
|July 22, 2017||Summer crowdfunding campaign completed with 2,485 backers.|
|September 1, 2017||PAX West 2017.|
|November 4, 2017||Raised $16,500 for Extra Life children's hospitals.|
|December 15, 2017||Alpha-0 released on schedule.|
|March 19-23, 2018||Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2018.|
|April 5, 2018||PAX East 2018.|
|August 15, 2018||Last day for purchases of Alpha-1 through Intrepid pre-order packs.|
|August 20, 2018||At Gamescom with My.com.|
|August 27, 2018||100 developers working on Ashes of Creation.|
|September 1, 2018||PAX West 2018 panel.|
|October 19, 2018||Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale (previously called Alpha-1 phase 1 battlegrounds).|
|November 4, 2018||Raised $20,518 for Rady Children's hospital with Extra Life.|
|April 15, 2019||60 developers working on Ashes of Creation at San Diego offices (following disengagement with Malaysian art team).|
|November 3, 2019||Raised $20,901 for Rady Children's hospital with Extra Life.|
|August 21, 2020||Announced a mutual parting of ways with publisher My.games.|
|October 17, 2020||Almost 3,000,000 registered accounts for Ashes of Creation.|
|October 17, 2020||~87 developers working on Ashes of Creation.|
|November 8, 2020||Raised $88,546 for Rady Children's hospital with Extra Life.|
|February 26, 2021||Official ashesofcreation.com website redesign.|
|May 5, 2021||Alpha-1 sales resumed with the announcement of the Adventurer pre-order pack.|
|May 17, 2021||Verbal NDA was lifted from Alpha-1 testing.|
|July 9, 2021||Alpha-1 no-NDA preview weekend began on schedule.|
|July 11, 2021||Alpha-1 no-NDA preview weekend completed on schedule.|
|July 14, 2021||Alpha-1 no-NDA month long test began on schedule.|
|August 15, 2021||Alpha-1 no-NDA month long test completed on schedule.|
|November 7, 2021||Raised $34,485 for Rady Children's hospital with Extra Life.|
|December 23, 2021||Announced that Ashes of Creation is moving to Unreal Engine 5.|
|January 14, 2022||Over 120 people working on Ashes of Creation.|
- Kickstarter's most funded MMORPG.
- Kickstarter's #7 most funded video game.
- Most anticipated MMO – MMORPG.com's Best of 2017 Awards.
- Most anticipated early access hands-on MMORPG – MMOs World.
- Gamescom 2018: Best Independent game.
- Gamescom 2018: Best Online game.
- Best indie MMO of 2020 – massivelyop.com reader's poll.
- Most anticipated MMO of 2021 and beyond – massivelyop.com reader's poll.
- Forbes: Top 10 Best Upcoming New MMORPGs For 2021 And Beyond.
- A chat with Ashes of Creation's Steven Sharif, 7 June 2017.
- Livestream, 29 April 2022 (21:00).
- Livestream, 23 December 2021 (1:23:41).
- Interview, 20 October 2018 (3:43:52).
- Livestream, 4 May 2018 (39:41).
- A reactive world - Nodes.
- MMOGames interview, January 2017
- Interview, 24 August 2018 (8:35).
- Interview, 29 July 2020 (9:02).
- Video, 5 April 2018 (40:08).
- February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
- Livestream, 25 July 2020 (1:31:44).
- Livestream, 30 November 2020 (56:02).
- Livestream, 25 July 2020 (1:53:46).
- Livestream, 25 July 2020 (48:28).
- Podcast, 4 August 2018 (1:57:56).
- Interview, 13 June 2021 (48:27).
- Interview, 21 August 2018 (11:20).
- Blog: New Adventure Awaits.
- What languages will Ashes of Creation be in?
- Interview, 24 August 2018 (2:35).
- Livestream, 17 May 2017 (1:09:22).
- Livestream, 24 May 2017 (45:49).
- Interview, 24 August 2018 (3:19).
- Livestream, 23 December 2021 (48:45).
- Livestream, 26 May 2017 (38:30).
- Livestream, 24 May 2017 (23:50).
- Livestream, 23 December 2021 (1:10:09).
- Livestream, 23 December 2021 (1:08:42).
- Livestream, 24 September 2021 (52:48).
- Livestream, 17 December 2019 (51:20).
- Livestream, 17 August 2018 (1:07:51).
- Livestream, 4 May 2018 (43:35).
- Livestream, 25 July 2020 (54:10).
- Livestream, November 22 2019 (1:08:05).
- Livestream, 26 March 2021 (12:34).
- What are the minimum requirements for Alpha?
- Livestream, 23 December 2021 (49:39).
- Livestream, 23 December 2021 (42:09).
- Video, 23 December 2021 (0:00).
- Livestream, 23 December 2021 (19:59).
- Livestream, 23 December 2021 (40:53).
- Livestream, 23 December 2021 (50:50).
- Livestream, 23 December 2021 (55:32).
- Video, 23 December 2021 (23:53).
- Livestream, 23 December 2021 (54:00).
- Livestream, 23 December 2021 (52:52).
- Video, 23 December 2021 (2:54).
- Livestream, 23 December 2021 (52:58).
- Livestream, 3 May 2017 (26:50).
- Livestream, 24 May 2017 (54:54).
- Livestream, 23 December 2021 (47:51).
- Livestream, 28 January 2022 (7:26).
- Livestream, 19 May 2017 (37:03).
- Official Livestream - May 4th @ 3 PM PST - Q&A
- Livestream, 27 September 2018 (48:13).
- Livestream, 19 November 2021 (52:35).
- Interview, 8 May 2017 (22:06).
- Livestream, 24 May 2017 (40:50).
- Ashes of Creation FAQ: Where will your servers be?
- Reddit Q&A, 8 January 2019.
- Livestream, 8 April 2018 (AM) (26:41).
- Livestream, 9 July 2018 (47:54).
- Livestream, 25 July 2020 (1:21:03).
- Livestream, 5 May 2017 (35:27).
- MMORPG Interview, 12 December 2016.
- Ashes of Creation Forums - No Damage Meter?
- Livestream, 5 May 2017 (20:02).
- Interview, 20 October 2018 (6:29).
- Livestream, 5 May 2017 (21:41).
- Interview, 11 May 2018 (49:03).
- Livestream, 30 April 2020 (1:28:19).
- Livestream, 5 May 2017 (43:27).
- Ashes of Creation Forums - No Damage Meter?
- Ashes of Creation Forums - No participation trophy.
- MASSIVELY OP interview: Ashes of Creation on a new way to MMO.
- Ashes of Creation Kickstarter campaign
- Ashes of Creation Kickstarter.
- PAX West 2017 Schedule.
- PAX West 2017 Map.
- Intrepid Studios Dev Team.
- Livestream, 18 January 2018 (2:48).
- Ashes of Creation Gamescom 2018 Interview: Responding to Criticism.
- Intrepid Studios Extra Life 2018 (@MediaAoC).
- Interview, 15 April 2019 (5:09).
- Interview, 17 October 2020 (18:36).
- Interview, 17 October 2020 (56:55).
- Livestream, 26 February 2021 (9:51).
- Ashes of Creation Store: May cosmetics.
- Ashes of Creation Twitter - Alpha-1 Preview Weekend Begins
- Guide to Alpha One.
- Interview, 14 January 2022 (9:11).
- MMORPG.com's Best of 2017 Awards.
- Most Anticipated MMORPGs For 2018.
- DualShockers’ Gamescom 2018 Awards
- MassivelyOP 2020 awards reader's poll.
- MassivelyOP reader's poll.
- Forbes: Top 10 Best Upcoming New MMORPGs For 2021 And Beyond