Group dynamics

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Group dynamics aim to bring players together.[1]

One of the main philosophical pillars behind our design was that PvE must be impactful and inclusive. We want solo players, small groups and large groups to all have a home within our system.[2]

Ashes of Creation is in development. These systems could change through playtesting and player feedback.[1]

Group sizes

We're not creating a solo game, but it doesn't mean that we don't offer gameplay that is solo centric as well: It lives in addition to the social aspect of What MMOs provide; and so part of what we do in order to to give that element of gameplay is we have quest lines that are devoted towards solo players. We have hunting grounds. Obviously one of the benefits of being a solo player is you get to keep everything that drops. You don't have to share loot with a party or with friends; that's one benefit of being a solo player. But it's going to be more difficult to overcome challenges; and those individuals who are up to taking that additional level of of difficulty are going to excel perhaps in their character progression a bit faster than those who are more group-centric. It's going to be a little bit of a roll of the dice there because there are loot tables, there are reward tables that accompany that, but it's important to note that from a content perspective Ashes of Creation is looking to fulfill both that solo-oriented mind in gameplay as well as the group and social experience; and a lot of times those paths diverge: They move apart, they come back together; and that process is going to be seen throughout the leveling in Ashes of Creation where you'll have more opportunities for solo gameplay and some opportunities for group gameplay.[3]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation is designed for solo players as well as large and small groups.[3][4][5]

The idea behind an 8-person group is to allow us to really amplify party roles, and to create a need for each of the archetypes in every party.[1]
  • Raids will have 40 man groups.[6]
  • Content will be tailored for 40, 16 and 8 person group sizes.[7]
  • Arenas will have 1 man, 3 man, 5 man and possibly 20 man Free-For-All (Deathmatch) group sizes.[8]
    • There won't specifically be guild vs guild arenas but team-based matchmaking allows teams to face other teams.[9]
  • Castle sieges are expected to have at minimum 250x250 players to be on a single battlefield, with the possibility of increasing this to 500x500 over time.[10][11][12][13]
The minimum goal is 500 players on a single battlefield. I think we will be able to hit 500vs500 but we shall see.[13]Steven Sharif

Solo players

Ashes of Creation provides gameplay options for solo oriented players.[3]

For those solo players who don't really care about finding a community to play with but they want to have one when they need it, there's going to be a lot of opportunities from a dialogue perspective, in-game chat options; you can join as part of citizenships: there's a lot of pseudo factions there- social organizations that give you an in to other players without the strong bonds that typically come with guild-oriented organizations; and I think that that's a comfortable medium between the two.[3]Steven Sharif

Balancing

Balancing in Ashes of Creation is group focused not based on 1v1 combat.[17][18]

There will be match ups in 1v1s where one class will be superior to another; and that application should be a rock-paper-scissors dynamic. We want there to be counter-play between the different classes... Instead it's going to be a group focused balance, where as long as you have the diversity of classes present, that's going to be an equal level playing field. It's going to be very dependent on skill and strategy.[18]Steven Sharif
From an engagement or encounter perspective, obviously we do a finger-in-the wind balance pass, but a lot of that stuff from our encounters team doesn't get done until populations are in place and those encounter designs get a little bit more time to bake.[20]Steven Sharif

The sixty four (64) classes are partitioned into eight primary archetypes. Balancing of active skills only relates to these eight primary archetypes.[17][21]

  • There are four primary groups of augments assigned to each base archetype. Balancing of augments relates to the four augment groups for each of the eight archetypes.[22][23][24][21][25]
Even though augments do radically change the way your active skills provide you abilities, there's still a primary focus on the base archetype itself and not the 64 whole classes.[17]Steven Sharif
We're not really talking about 64 true classes, we're talking about eight classes with 64 variants... There isn't as much variance between the 64 classes as you might expect. It's not like there are 64 different versions of... radically different classes.[17]Jeffrey Bard
Certain archetypes are capable of moving the gap between their counterpart per-se. If I am a Tank archetype and a Mage is my counter, I can take a Mage secondary and bridge the divide slightly; and then move my identity that direction ever so slightly.[26]Steven Sharif

Group finder

There will not be a generalized group finder in Ashes of Creation, instead Bulletin boards are used to encourage localized grouping.[27]

Bulletin boards

Bulletin boards are available within nodes[27] and player taverns.[29]

Loot

Loot tables (drop tables) of world bosses or dungeon bosses have a small RNG chance of dropping gear (completed items).[36][7]

Loot tagging

Looting rights (also known as Loot tagging) is based on a blended tag and damage done system.[55][56]

  • The first party to obtain a tag (on a mob or boss) will gain an approximately 5-10% edge over competing parties in terms of the total damage done when determining looting rights.[55][56]
    • These numbers will be balanced based on testing.[55]
  • At the end of the fight, the party with the highest damage done, including first tagging bonus, will be granted looting rights.[55][56]
We have a blended approach of damage done and a tag benefit. So if you tag the boss first, or you tag the loot- whatever the loot target is first- you're gonna get a benefit in the damage overall determination. So if you need to have 51% of damage done in order to qualify your raid, or the plurality of damage done if there's even three or four raids, then tagging first might give you a five or ten percent edge. We'll play with that number- balance it based on testing, but generally that's our approach in competing loot rights[55]Steven Sharif
Q: If looting rights are based on a blended tag and damage done system, will there be any mechanics in place to ensure roles like tanks and healers have an equal shot even when they haven't dealt as much damage?
A: That's the reason for the blended approach. The reason that we're doing a hybrid system between tag and damage done is for the purposes of those classes who may not be as DPS oriented as other classes. The tag system- all classes are going to have a sprinkling of immediate effects- of instantaneous casts and they can use that to tag a target, and that'll give them a modifier on the looting rights: So plus 10 or plus 15 will balance that, but it'll give them plus 10 to 15 on overall damage done if they tag the target and then their damage will make up the remainder of that percentage completion. So if I do 50 damage to a target but someone else has the tag I'm not going to be able to claim that looting right. They'll have done the other 50 plus 10 or 15.[57]Steven Sharif

Master gatherers may have the ability to "spoil" a boss' loot.[58]

If you want to be able to get those mats from the boss, they're just not going to drop for anybody. They will only drop for a master gatherer who is capable of extracting those resources from the creature itself... The reason why we say there's a lot of interdependencies between the crafters of the world and the raiders of the world and our PvPers of the world is because we don't want to house the capability to attain these things all within the adventuring class. We want there to be an influence necessary from the craftsmen's guild to come in to either come and participate and spoil the boss and gather the goods or something along those lines.[58]Steven Sharif

Loot rules

Alpha-2 looting UI preview.[35]

In the group loot obviously there's a lot of functionality here that parties have the ability to customize. There can be loot master, there can be round-robin, there can be need/greed/pass that's applied on a per rarity basis depending on the party's choices.[35]Steven Sharif

Alpha-2 vote to change loot allocation method UI.[59]

Ashes of Creation intends to use traditional loot rules, selected by the party or raid leader.[60][56][1]

  • Group loot rules are defined on a per-rarity basis.[35]
  • A majority of party members must vote to approve any changes to group loot allocation changes.[59]
  • The developers are considering using a double-tap interaction to loot all containers within a close proximity radius.[61]
  • There won't be auto-looting pets.[62]
  • It will be possible to kick a player from a party prior to them acquiring loot.[63]
Yes, technically it would be possible for you to kick a player prior to acquiring loot. However, again because we are a game that relies on social interactions, there are reputations to be had; and if you acquire a reputation as a raid leader, or as a party leader, of doing something dirty like that, then it's unlikely you'll be able to Garner the support of future party members and/or raids to lead efforts against these raid bosses.[63]Steven Sharif
Free-for-all.[1]
  • Whoever is first to loot gets the loot.[60]
Lootmaster.[35][1]
  • A master looter (or lootmaster) is a player designated by the party leader to decide how loot is distributed in a dungeon or raid party.[1]
Round-robin.[35][1]
Need or greed.[35][1]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
Bidding system.[1]
  • Intrepid are investigating a potential bidding system, which allows players to bid on items instead of rolling for them.[1]
    • The highest bidder wins the item.[1]
    • The gold then goes into a pool that is split among the rest of the party members.[1]

Party roles

Ashes of Creation has the traditional trinity of Tank, DPS (damage dealers) and Support (healer or non-healer) roles.[65][1][66]

We have our eight base archetypes; and the trinity is a pretty strong influence with regards to the eight base classes. However the area in which we actually begin to play with that line between the trinity is in the secondary classes that you can pick. That's where we begin to blend those spaces and allow people a little bit of influence over their role and whether or not they fit perfectly within a particular category within the trinity.[67]Steven Sharif

Target markers

The UI will potentially incorporate target marker symbols above player's heads that are visible by other party members.[68]

Alliances

Ashes of Creation may have specific content that revolves around Alliances.[69]

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 channels of bonding between the different guilds or players, the more sustainable that relationship.[69]Steven Sharif

Guild alliances

Guild leaders can create an alliance at a later stage in guild progression by completing a quest.[71][72]

  • Once created, the leader can invite up to three other guilds to this alliance, but this is subject to change.[71][73][72]
  • A guild may only be a member of one alliance.[74]
  • There is no member cap in an alliance, only a maximum of four guilds.[72]
Will the largest guilds segment off into different chapters of their guild that are part of small guilds? Absolutely that will happen; and the way that we combat the efficacy of doing that always is through how we design our encounters and our events to incorporate the use-case of where smaller guilds and their passive abilities are necessary to overcome certain challenge ratings. Will it always be most beneficial for larger guilds to do that? No, not always. It depends on what they're encountering, but you absolutely will see some guilds leveraging that for sure.[71]Steven Sharif
You can only invite a number of guilds to the alliance before you must form a new alliance; and then those alliance can have a de facto friendship but they won't have any game component of connection. What the alliance system would allow is pooling of resources into by guild leaders into an alliance guild alliance bank. Will allow certain participation in different quest lines. It will allow common area chat for members and it will allow affiliations and gear that can be attained as well.[75]Steven Sharif
  • Guilds may enter into trade agreements.[76]
We have a specific system that relates to being able to invite another guild into an alliance that sets a flag on those characters with regards to being able to combat them, being able to share a chat system with them, being able to participate in specific types of quests and/or alliance warehouses and guild homes; with regards to the relationship of castle sieges and participating in node warfare and node activities. If you're not in an alliance with someone, you're in a neutral state so to speak. You can have trade agreements between different guilds and then you can also have Guild Wars which shows a state of war between you guys. I think that's the baseline of how we're going to develop interaction between guilds.[76]Steven Sharif
  • Due to the lack of fast travel, guilds will need to plan to have people in the right place at the right time. Alliances with other guilds will help enable that.[77]

Siege alliances

When a siege begins, temporary alliances are formed among attackers and defenders.[78]

  • For node sieges, citizens of the node or provincial nodes being attacked are automatically registered as defenders.[79]
  • There are many reasons to participate as an ally in the attack or defence of other nodes.[80]
    • Titles.
    • Items.
    • Materials.
    • Money.
    • 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.[80]Steven Sharif

Affiliations

An affiliation tree determines which entities can participate in attacks against other entities within its hierarchy.[81][82]

There's node citizenship. There's guild. There's alliance. There's party. There's raid. There's family. All of these types of affiliations have a hierarchy. The highest of which is your node affiliation: So your citizenship is your greatest superceding relationship, which means if you were a part of a guild and the guild has multiple nodes in which its members are citizens of, if there was a war between two of those nodes, the members of those nodes would be first and foremost citizens who defend that node, even against their own guild members.[81]Steven Sharif

All of these things have some hierarchy; and within that hierarchy there's the ability to participate within certain systems. So for example, if you have a node that has fallen under your vassal state and you're a citizen of the parent node, then you could participate in a siege against the vassal node but if you're a citizen of the vassal node you could not participate as an attacker against the parent node; so there's a hierarchy, unless you were to renounce your citizenship.[82]Steven Sharif

Intuitive grouping

There are systems such as quests, events and monster coins that lend themselves toward intuitive grouping, but no specific decision has been made to include this functionality.[84]

See also

References

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  78. siege alliances.png
  79. siege auto defenders.png
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  84. Livestream, May 15, 2017 (29:30).