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Personal caravans

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Caravan speed is affected by caravan components and the type of roading.[1]

There'll be different variants of each of the components, with the wheels for example, would have variants that will excel perhaps at off-road over on-road and vice versa. So right now we have caravans that are set up more for the on-road portion, but you will travel faster over roads, but that obviously comes with the increased risk of running into other players or monsters that are blocking the road.[1]Chris Justo

Personal caravans of different tiers deployed outside the Winstead node in Alpha-2. 3D models by Hal Anderson.[2]

Personal caravans (also referred to as Self-directed/player-driven caravans) are utilized by players to transport cargo across Verra. These are land-based and water-based (raft caravans) that a single player drives and directs.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

  • Caravan drivers receive a significant defensive buff while they are driving a caravan. This reduces CC effects and increases damage mitigation significantly.[13]
  • The caravan owner is able to grant permissions to allow other players to drive their caravans. If these permissions are not activated by the owner then anyone can drive their caravans. If the caravan driver is killed or otherwise removed from the caravan then any player will be able to drive the caravan for a period of 15 to 20 minutes before the caravan despawns and becomes a wreckage.[13]
    • A caravan will persist in the world for a period of 5 to 10 minutes from the time its owner logs out or is disconnected from the server.[14]
  • Caravans have collision, so other players could jump on the caravan while it is being driven.[13]
    • Players or mounts trying to block caravans will be pushed out of the way.[15][16]

Personal caravan initiation

Deploying a personal caravan in Alpha-2.[17]

It's important for me to find a place that's relatively obscure so as not to attract any unwanted eyes.[17]Steven Sharif

Personal caravans prepared and launched at caravan master NPCs located at caravansary service buildings that are present at Village (stage 3) or higher nodes.[3][4][9][10]

When you want to launch a caravan you have must first have a caravan that's constructed at the caravansary.[9]Steven Sharif
  • Once a caravan is constructed it will be hosted at that caravansary. Players will be able to select from a list of available caravans via a UI screen, which will show the available storage compartments for each caravan.[3][9]
  • All types of cargo can be shipped in caravans. The only constraint is available size (in the Tetris inventory system).[19]
  • Once a caravan is constructed and loaded with cargo, it is in a launch-ready state and can be launched in the caravan master UI whenever the caravan owner is ready. Launching the caravan will place a caravan item in the owner's inventory.[3]
You're going to have a little caravan item and when you right-click it you're going to be in deployable mode for you to be able to place that- it's a representation that you're summoning the caravan so that people around you know that you are launching a caravan.[3]Chris Justo
  • Once launched, caravan owners will see a visible radius around the node, beyond which the owner can begin deployment of their caravan.[3] Deployment takes approximately two minutes by default, but can hastened through upgrades to the caravansary building.[20]
    • Previously the concept for launching a caravan involved an overhead map UI of the node.[9] The developers moved away from this in favor of a more immersive in-world approach.[21]
  • Personal caravans can also be summoned in the open-world from caravansaries in nearby nodes. This will also begin a deployment process that will take an amount of time based on the distance from the caravansary, the caravan's components, and any benefits or buffs from upgrades, node policies, or relics.[11]
  • Previously it was stated that personal caravans can be launched from any point of storage.[22]

Raft caravan initiation

Raft caravans are capable of transitioning to and from land caravans at the point of intersection of land and water.[23][24][25][7][12]

  • There will be a delay of "a few minutes" while the caravan transitions while a conversion structure spawns. This introduces a small window of vulnerability.[23][24][25][7]
Part of this transition process is again the risk that you're introducing for the reward of having greater flexibility in movement through the land and that risk is basically you're a sitting duck here for lack of a better term.[23]Steven Sharif
  • The conversion structure does not benefit from damage mitigation points of land or raft caravans, so it's a very weak position to be in.[26]
There's two kinds of methods to crossing rivers: One of them is with bridges, which are constructed by mayors and players, but the other method is via a transformation into a raft... It'll make you a little bit of a sitting duck while you're transitioning. Once you're in the water you'll get a nice speed boost from the currents; and it's a alternate means to getting stuck on the choke points that are bridges.[24]Chris Justo
Skill Icon Base skill
Convert to Caravan Convert to Caravan Icon.png Allows the raft caravan to turn into a vehicle that can traverse land.[ citation needed ]
Convert to Raft Convert to Raft Icon.png Allows the caravan to turn into a vehicle that can cross calm waters.[27]

Caravan stats

Alpha-2 Tier 5 caravan stats UI.[4]

If I am utilizing components that might give my caravan a significantly higher stat of speed, it's unlikely that I would also at the same time be able to select components that were to give an equitable amount of benefit in the stat of, let's say, cargo or health. It's going to be tradeoff in that sense.[28]Steven Sharif

Caravan stats are derived from caravan components. The higher tier the components, the better the stats.[4]

Core stats
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

Caravan skills

Caravan components grant passive and active skills to a caravan.[4]

Caravan active skills

Skill Icon Base skill
Collect Cargo Collect Cargo Icon.png Pick up cargo nearest the mouse location and add them to your caravan's storage if there's enough room.[34]
Convert to Caravan Convert to Caravan Icon.png Allows the raft caravan to turn into a vehicle that can traverse land.[ citation needed ]
Convert to Raft Convert to Raft Icon.png Allows the caravan to turn into a vehicle that can cross calm waters.[27]
Healing Aura Healing Aura.png Provides healing to nearby defenders over time.[35]
Repulsor Blast Repulsor Sphere T3 Activate.png Blast away nearby attackers.[36]
Speed Boost Speed Boost.png Gives the caravan a temporary speed boost.[37]

Caravan passive skills

Skill Icon Base skill
Caravan Trail Speed Bonus Trail Speed Bonus.png Minor speed boost for travelling on a simple trail.[38]

Roading

Road blocked by an environmental hazard due to a caravan event in Alpha-2.[39]

Our road system in-game is essentially driven by pre-placed routes that lead to this main artery of what was once the ancient highway system of Verra; and from there there are roads that become exposed when nodes advance; and we call those veins. They come off the main artery and then as nodes advance there are points of interest as Jeff was discussing earlier. These POIs that exist around the world and some of them share coverage with multiple nodes, but depending on which node advances to the stage that activates the point of interest it'll create these capillary roads so to speak that then stem off of the node itself. So you go from the main artery ancient road that's large- that runs through different zones and whatnot- and that breaks down into the veins that lead to the specific encampments and villages and towns that then spawn off separate capillaries that lead to the points of interest in these areas that are hunting grounds. Those are not exposed initially and they come online as players advance the world.[40]Steven Sharif

Roads adjusting to adjacent node progression.[41]

As nodes advance, these pre-laid road spots that exist connecting every possible route between certain node structures is going to adjust and adapt, both its material presentation, the type of roadwork that's present: It'll move from dirt road type, to perhaps a brick road, to perhaps some super ornate beautiful metropolis style road that will adjust around the world according to how these node structures begin to populate and advance.[41]Steven Sharif

Roads in Verra are both pre-generated and player influenced.[40]

  • The largest roads are referred to as arteries. These are remnants of what was once the ancient highway system of Verra.[40]
  • As nodes advance smaller roads, referred to as veins, connect the arteries to the nodes.[40]
  • Depending on the stages of node advancement, capillary roads will stem off the node to connect to points of interest.[40]
  • Roads or pathways are not worn into the landscape by repeated traffic over the same area.[40]
  • The quality, safety, and maximum transportation speed of roads is influenced by node building upgrades, policies, relics, and the level of nearby nodes.[42][24][43]
Q: Could you upgrade roads in the node to upgrade the roads and speeds of caravans?
A: Absolutely. So that buff that you saw is a buff that can be changed in the world based on the world state. Some of those world state interactions include certain types of relics that the nodes which govern your area might have access to and might be actively employing. Some of it might have to do with policies: You might be able to extend the guard influences across the road radius further out for certain nodes if you have certain policies. You might be able to enhance and empower those guards through itemization choices that are granted by building upgrades that the node selects to build.[42]Steven Sharif

Different seasons and events may affect access to various roads.[44][45][46][47]

  • Pathways that are open during summer may be closed during winter.[44][47]
  • Seasonal affects may cause obstacles or blockages to the transit of goods via caravan.[44][45][46][48]
  • Caravan events can cause roadways to be blocked off or hostile mobs to spawn to attack the caravan.[39][45]
    • Obstacles may present barriers on roads that players must remove or bypass to allow transit of goods.[39][44][47]
  • Water turning to ice in winter, enabling players to walk over the water but blocking access to what is underneath.[47]
    • Ice will make roads bumpy and slippery.[49]

Underrealm routes will open or close dynamically (based on node states).[50]

  • The location of Underrealm entrances throughout the world is focused around natural geographic choke-points that exist above ground. This provides alternate subterranean routes that can be used by caravans, raids, and other player activities.[51][50]
  • Not all entrances to the Underrealm will be open at the same time. This can shift dynamically (based on node states) that cause different routes to open up, which may be more or less advantageous than other routes.[50]

Caravan components can be utilized to improve on-road or off-road speeds of caravans.[1]

You will travel faster over roads, but that obviously comes with the increased risk of running into other players or monsters that are blocking the road.[1]Chris Justo

Freeholds may not be placed in close proximity to roads.[52]

Caravan PvP

Caravan PvP in Alpha-2.[53]

One of the most important aspects of caravans is that there is no reward without significant risk in Ashes of Creation; and the caravan system is of particular risk, because it is how materials and commodities are transited within the world of Verra; and it's difficult to navigate the world of Verra: It's a large world and the terrain is not always kind, especially to large vehicles like a caravan.[54]Steven Sharif

UI message when opting in to join the defenders of a caravan PvP event.[55]

Caravans create an objective-based PvP event in the open-world that players can choose to attack, defend, or ignore via a UI window.[55][56][57][58]

  • Only the caravan owner and those in the caravan's raid group will be able to see it on the world map.[59][60]
You will only be able to see the caravan if you are a member of the caravan's raid or if you are the owner of the caravan on the map. If you are not one of those, then you will not see it on the map. If you come within proximity of the caravan you'll be prompted through an event UI to participate if you wish as a defender or an attacker.[59]Steven Sharif
  • Players that choose to attack or defend the caravan will be flagged as combatants.[61]
    • The UI notification will include the caravan owner's name and guild.[62]
    • The proximity that the UI window appears is determined by the player's performance as either a defender or an attacker in previous raids.[56]
    • Once registered as a defender, a player can't switch to attack the caravan.[63]
    • The proximity radius for notification of nearby caravan events can be increased or decreased based on the caravan's components or a player's progression in the highwayman system.[64]
At a certain proximity to the caravan, any player will receive the event notification to participate either as an attacker or as a defender. That proximity radius can be augmented either through players advancement within the Highwaymen system, which is for defenders or attackers you can increase the radius, but also the components can increase and or decrease the radius of that event notification as well.[64]Steven Sharif
  • Players can be registered participants in a caravan event involving multiple caravans.[68][63] It is not possible for a player to participate in more than one caravan event at a time.[69]
As a player you can participate in events that have as many caravans collocated as you want. So if you have 20 Caravans that you're trying to move all in a single caravan raid with all of your players you can join all 20 of those caravans into the same caravan defense group; and that is that is the intent of the system. The same is true for the attackers. The attackers can join against all of those caravans.[68]Steven Sharif
  • Players or mounts trying to block caravans will be pushed out of the way.[15][16]
As it stands currently it would be difficult for players to be able to block the caravan. Now that's not to say that certain types of effects cannot be applied to the caravan through ability use, such as slowing effects, or pause effects, stun effects, against the caravan itself, not the rider. But right now we do have a collision priority system which means that vehicles move players and mounts. Mounts and players cannot stop vehicles from moving the vehicle. Its collision has priority; and then ships have the ultimate priority. Nothing can move ships or block ships.[15]Steven Sharif
  • If a caravan's driver is killed or otherwise removed from the caravan then any player will be able to drive the caravan for a period of 15 to 20 minutes before the caravan despawns and becomes a wreckage.[13] A caravan will persist in the world for a period of 5 to 10 minutes from the time its owner logs out or is disconnected from the server.[14]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
  • A group will be required to successfully attack a caravan.[72][30]

Caravan PvP incentives and risks

There will be incentives and risks for both caravan attackers and defenders.[73][74] These will be tested and refined during the alpha and beta testing phases.[75]

There is a level of risk that comes with the attacker. We have progression paths that exist for bandits and that exists for defenders; and if you choose to opt into a caravan attack- you sign up for that attack and you fail that attack- it is detrimental to your path of progression down the bandit area. That's one thing: Two is of course you have gear decay. You have degradation that can be suffered if you die. That is a cost. And then you also have a reputation; and if your reputation precedes you when you want to transit goods across the world; and you see somebody who's doing it and you want to participate as a defender or a participant, they might say hey screw you, you were just murdering my people last week and I saw that you're like on the top of the bandit list for killing caravans. So it has repercussions in the sense that it locks you out of certain player groups. It provides decay to your armor. It has deleterious effects on your progression, and the attacking- and the bandit progression of caravan attacks or defense.[73]Steven Sharif
  • Other incentives and risks are social and are created (informally) between players.[73][75]

Mercenary NPCs

Mercenary NPCs can be hired to participate in objective-based situations.[81][82][83]

  • 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.[84][85][81][82]
  • Players can assign mercenary NPCs, but won't micromanage them, in a similar manner to pets.[83]
There are mercenary NPCs that can be assigned to players. We've discussed about that before and those will follow generically... a pet system even adopted majority of the pet system with the added bonus 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 few and far between. They'll be assigned specifically like let's say for example 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 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.[83]Steven Sharif

Caravan destruction

Caravan destruction in Alpha-2.[86]

This caravan was loaded with a combination of, it looks like commodity crates and material crates.[86]John Collins

If a caravan is destroyed or it despawns it becomes a wreckage that contains a portion of the cargo it was transporting.[87][86][88][70][72][89][90] The remainder of the caravan's goods are sunk (lost) when the caravan is destroyed.[88][91]

When a caravan gets destroyed it creates a wreckage. That wreckage will have a number of the supplies that the caravan was carrying; and when stolen by attackers those supplies become essentially stolen glint, or corrupted glint, and stolen resources that the caravan was hauling. If they are commodities they can maintain their commodity type, and players will have to summon a caravan from a nearby node that would be empty in order to haul those crates back. You can also break into the crates or the cargo itself instead of hauling the cargo as a completed shipment. Doing so reduces the number of total resources that you can gather from the crate. So a portion of it is sunk to the system; and then a portion of it gets sunk further if you choose to break open the crates versus attempting to haul them back.[88]Steven Sharif
  • Anyone may loot a caravan's wreckage.[91]
  • Caravan components are destroyed if the caravan is destroyed.[96][70] Previously it was stated that components may drop when a caravan is destroyed.[97]
Q: What is the reason for requiring the destruction of a caravan by the attackers as opposed to the attackers gaining possession of the caravan?
A: With caravans we really want to emphasize this idea of not necessarily stealing the vehicle, but being forced to achieve victory through destruction; and when you do, you then have the logistical issue of how you're going to transport those goods on your own rather than servicing the transport of that by just hijacking.[98]Steven Sharif
  • In an earlier design iteration, prior to the introduction of cargo crates, it was proposed that destroyed caravans dropped certificates for heavy goods that were redeemable at the origin node for a portion of the goods.[99][90]

Caravan types

Tier 5 personal caravan on route from Winstead to Miraleth in Alpha-2. 3D model by Hal Anderson.[100]

There are different types of Caravans in Ashes of Creation.[101][8]

Visuals

See also

References

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