Player corruption

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Corrupted player in the Alpha-1 preview.[1]

When you gain that corruption you have the potential of losing your completed items, your weapon, your armor, stuff that is very difficult to achieve; and then the other aspect of that is, that in order to deter basically players taking alternate characters and saying this is my PK alt, the more players you kill, the more corruption you gain, the higher your combat efficacy in PVP diminishes. If you're out there and you killed you know 20 players... you will not be able to perform in PVP any longer. You will need to take that character and go work off that corruption. The other aspect of corruption is that if you kill another player, who is a non-combatant and the level disparity between you and that player is great, you will gain a higher amount of corruption from that single kill. To the point where you should not be killing a level one character.[2]Steven Sharif

If a combatant (purple) player kills a non-combatant (green) player in PvP, they will be flagged as corrupt (red).[3]

  • A player’s corruption score increases with each non-combatant player killed.[4][5]
  • The wider the level disparity between the players, the more corruption will be gained.[4][5]
  • Corruption penalties occur as the corruption is gained.[6] The higher the corruption score:
  • Corruption has a visible effect on a player’s appearance.[10]
  • If a non-combatant attacks a corrupt player, the non-combatant will not flag as a combatant.[11]
  • A corrupt player’s location is revealed to bounty hunters on their world map.[4][3]
  • Corrupted players may kill bounty hunters without acquiring additional corruption score.[12][13]
    • Corrupted player's combat penalties do not apply when battling bounty hunters.[12]

The more corruption you gain, the less effective you become in PvP and there's going to be a certain period at which point you have gained enough corruption that you're going to be gearless and you're also going to have a massive reduction in your PvP efficacy.[14]Steven Sharif

Reward without risk is meaningless... Corruption is just another word for risk.[15]Steven Sharif

You can't necessarily time perfectly you know the damage or understand even the health of the player. Unless you were in their party you cannot see an opponent's health as well so that's another component that you know adds risk.[16]Steven Sharif


Player corruption is expected to be implemented in Alpha-1.[17]

Removing corruption

The primary means to remove corruption is through death. Multiple deaths may be necessary to remove all corruption.[19][11]

  • Dying removes a significant portion of a player's corruption score.[20]
  • Gaining experience will also slowly reduce a player's corruption score.[19]
    That creates a fun kind of experience for the bounty hunters to try to catch you while you're working it off.[19]Steven Sharif
  • A quest may be utilized to reduce the player kill (PK) count of a corrupt player in order for them to accumulate less corruption score in the future.[21][20]
    • This is a design shift from a religious quest being used to directly reduce the corruption score.[22]
  • Corruption duration is reduced in military nodes.[23]

Bounty hunters

Bounty hunter maps

Players with a high enough corruption score will be visible on the world and mini maps. These players will have markers posted on the map by an NPC from a Military node of at least stage 4 (Town), and will only be granted to players who have the Bounty hunter title.[24] The accuracy of bounty hunter maps is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.[25]

Taverns are one of the locations that bounties will be posted. As players gain corruption, taverns may offer bounties to eliminate those players; or have a specific area cleared of problem players, thus giving a POI (point of interest) on the world map.[26]

Bounty hunter Pathfinding ability

Skill Icon Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Pathfinding Reveals corrupted player locations on the bounty hunter's map.[27][28] Activating this ability will flag the bounty hunter for combat only to corrupted players for a period of one hour from the time of activation.[27] The pathfinding ability can be toggled on or off.[27][29] The accuracy of the pathfinding skill is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.[25] The accuracy of the pathfinding skill is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.[25]

Corrupt players killing bounty hunters

Corrupted players potentially gain rewards for killing bounty hunters.[30]

NPC guards

Guard uniform.[31]

NPC guards will kill corrupted players on sight.[32]

Player flagging

The open world PvP flagging system is designed to deter people from griefing other players.[3]

  • Players can participate in open world PvP with one another without having to resort to murder.[33]
  • The penalties are intended to be severe enough to deter any type of spawn camping.[34]

pvp flagging diagram.png

There are three levels of flagging for world PvP in Ashes of Creation.[5]

  • Non-combatant (green)
  • Combatant (purple)
    • Non-combatants entering an open world battleground are automatically flagged as combatant and remain flagged for a period of time after leaving that battleground.[5]
    • Players are flagged as combatants if they attack another player when carrying out a forced attack. If the attacked players fight back, they are also flagged as combatants, otherwise the attacked player will remain flagged as a non-combatant.[11]
    • Non-combatants who heal, buff or otherwise interact with combatants will be flagged as combatants.[36]
    • Non-combatants who attack a player using combat pets (or any other player-controlled entities) will be flagged as combatants.[37]
    • Players can kill combatants without repercussions, and are encouraged to do so, since dying while a combatant has reduced death penalties.[11]
    • Players are not able to manually set their flagging status to combatant.[38]
    • Players remain flagged for a period of 90 seconds following their most recent attack on a non-combatant or another combatant.[39]
    • Players cannot log out while flagged.[40]
  • Corrupt (red)
    • If a combatant player kills a non-combatant player, they will be flagged as corrupt.[3]
    • Corruption multiplies death penalties and reveals a corrupt player's location to bounty hunters.[3]
    • A player’s corruption score increases with each non-combatant player killed.[5]
    • If a non-combatant attacks a corrupt player, the non-combatant will not flag as a combatant.[11]
    • Corrupted players may kill bounty hunters without acquiring additional corruption score.[13]
    • There is a 60 second timer to logout while corrupt.[40]

A player may not flag on members of the same party, raid, guild or alliance.[41]

  • Players will be able to opt-in (via a checkbox) to allow their beneficial or non-beneficial AoEs to hit flagged players. If this is checked then AoE heals or damage will affect flagged players. If it is not checked then the AoE will not damage or heal any flagged players, and as such will not cause the caster to be flagged themselves (if they are not already).[42]

If you have that check-box for flagging with your AOEs and heals available then you will flag. If you do not have that box checked then on completion of the skill it will not flag you because the check was made at the start that there was a flagged party member; and then he will not he or she will not receive the beneficial effect as a result or the damage, if it's an offensive spell.[42]Steven Sharif

Sieges, caravans and guild wars do not use the flagging system.[43]

You're not going to see griefing in the game very often; and that's because our flagging system. The corruption mechanics are based around disincentivizing a griefer or PKer but still offering the opportunity, should the occasion arise, where the benefits outweigh the risk, you have the ability to do so. If you gain corruption, which is killing a non-combatant - a player who is not fighting back basically - if you gain that corruption, your world has changed. It is not going to be a very beneficial place to be and you have the potential of losing your gear. Your combat efficacy decreases based on the amount of corruption you accrue. It is a comfortable balance between player agency and grief and basically removing player agency for other players.[44]Steven Sharif

Player death

We don't have deleveling, instead what we have is experience debt. Now the more experience debt you accrue, the greater the detriment to your character; not to the point where you can not get out of the debt. There will always be a way forward to remove your debt.[44]Steven Sharif

Death penalties do not apply to objective-based events (such as caravans, guild wars, and node sieges).[53]

There will not be death penalties applied to event-based deaths. The penalties are in the outcome of the event. So your number of deaths is likely going to impact your ability to win that particular event and that's going to be the penalty. This is it to encourage players to opt in to the events right because the more participation we have the more fun it can be; and we understand that the community at large- there's already a risk versus reward component to these events. We don't need to stack on additional risk versus reward to inhibit kind of- to increase the barrier to entry for players who may not be as interested.[53]Steven Sharif

Death penalties do not differ between PvP and PvE, but this is subject to change.[54]

Death by drowning is possible.[55]

Respawn lore

There is a storyline that relates to how and why characters respawn and the locations in which they respawn. This will be revealed as players explore the game.[57]

See also


  1. Video, 31 May 2020 (5:29).
  2. Podcast, 23 April 2018 (51:31).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 pvp flagging.png
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Interview, 18 July 2020 (41:54).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 MMOGames interview, January 2017
  6. corruption.jpg
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 Podcast, 5 May 2017 (43:05).
  8. Interview, 11 May 2018 (5:05).
  9. 9.0 9.1 Livestream, 17 November 2017 (35:20).
  10. Interview, February 2017 (39:33).
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Interview, 27 April 2017 (0:17).
  12. 12.0 12.1 steven-bounty-hunters-1.png
  13. 13.0 13.1 Interview, 27 April 2017 (1:18).
  14. Livestream, 22 May 2017 (42:33).
  15. corruption2.jpg
  16. Livestream, 30 January 2020 (1:40:48).
  17. Interview, 8 August 2018 (18:55).
  18. Livestream, 9 July 2018 (20:41).
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Interview, 18 July 2020 (44:35).
  20. 20.0 20.1 Interview, 19 July 2020 (30:51).
  21. steven-removing-corruption.png
  22. Livestream, 4 June 2018 (2:18).
  23. pvp corruption duration.png
  24. Interview, 20 January 2017 (06:12).
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Livestream, 24 May 2017 (48:00).
  26. The mighty beard!
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 steven-bounty-hunters-2.png
  28. 28.0 28.1 Interview, 27 April 2017 (9:28).
  29. corruption toggle.png
  30. Interview, 20 October 2018 (15:51).
  31. guard-uniform.png
  32. Livestream, 28 February 2020 (1:14:38).
  33. Livestream, 12 May 2017 (24:52).
  34. pvp camping.png
  35. PvP.jpg
  36. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (29:45).
  37. Livestream, 31 October 2018 (44:12).
  38. Livestream, 30 November 2020 (1:05:22).
  39. steven-flagging-duration.png
  40. 40.0 40.1 steven-flagging-logout.png
  41. pvp flagging lockouts.png
  42. 42.0 42.1 Interview, 8 July 2020 (1:05:27).
  43. flagging.jpg
  44. 44.0 44.1 Podcast, 23 April 2018 (49:21).
  45. Livestream, 28 March 2020 (1:58:24).
  46. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (13:37).
  47. Ashes of Creation Forums - Former Lineage 2 PvP'er wanting to discuss PvP loopholes.
  48. a419c5398b542a713545e4f393d67215.png
  49. Livestream, 27 September 2018 (47:46).
  50. Interview, 18 July 2020 (27:11).
  51. Interview, 11 May 2018 (15:41).
  52. Interview, 11 May 2018 (3:43).
  53. 53.0 53.1 Livestream, 22 December 2020 (1:13:51).
  54. Livestream, 15 May 2017 (36:23).
  55. Livestream, 28 July 2017 (50:22).
  56. Ashes of Creation Store: Death's Bastion.
  57. Podcast, 11 May 2018 (51:39).