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We like to really refer to ourselves as a PvX game, because in those systems of PvP, PvE, crafting they're all intertwined: They're interdependent on each other... Our system of development really requires some interdependence there between those things. You're going to need a crafter to give you the best items. You're going to need PvPers to secure cities and castles. You're gonna need PvErs to take down those world bosses for those materials to craft.[1]Steven Sharif

Ashes is a comprehensive game. It is not a PvP focused or a PvE focused, it is a comprehensive PvX game and as a result these systems are all interconnected and have to coexist with one another with certain types of mechanisms that can provide that give and take, that push and shove.[2]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation is a PvX game. Players will naturally encounter both PvP and PvE elements.[2][3][4] It is unlikely that a player could purely focus on just PvP or just PvE.[4]

  • There is a balance between PvP and PvE in Ashes of Creation.[4] Around 80% of the content is open-world, where healthy competition is an instigator for player friction; for potential cooperation; for the ability to yield alliances; and the political theater that comes with it. This is an intended part of the PvX design of Ashes of Creation.[5][6][7][8]
  • There won't be separate PvE and PvP servers but some servers may be more PvP focused than others.[3][10]

We're very clear with our objective and philosophy on the game and we understand that they may not appeal to everybody. But you know it is an important reciprocal relationship between the content that's related to PvE and the content that's related to PvP and they feed off of each other. They're catalysts for change: Their progression, their development. It's things that people can value when they see something earned and they see something lost. That elicits an emotional response from the player: That they've invested time in to either succeed or fail; and PvP allows for that element to be introduced into gameplay. And we're very clear that is our objective: That risk versus reward relationship, that achievement-based mentality. Not everybody's going to be a winner and that's okay.[8]Steven Sharif


Alpha-1 open world caravan PvP.[13]

Player combat in Ashes of Creation is both vast and intimate. It spans many aspects of the game itself. From great political battles held on the fields of massive castles, to open world conflicts fought for the pride of Guild Leaders. A player can choose to participate in the fate of the world by swaying the tide of battle with his or her combat prowess. Our PvP mechanics follow a flagging system, as well as static PvP zones at certain points of interest; fight for control over cities, castles, caravans, or hunting grounds. Our PvP is designed to offer the players a well-balanced and fair world to shape through the pen, or sword should they choose.[14]

PvP (Player versus player combat) is the catalyst for change in Ashes of Creation.[15] Player combat is intended to be meaningful, ranging from Caravan battles to vast open world conflicts fought for the pride of Kings and Queens.[16]

Because players are motivated by different things, because they want something from the game that other players don't want, that's going to cause people to butt heads. Different players are going to want different experiences and the conflict between the two of them will create a bigger and better thing. Out of strife comes rebirth and that's a core symbol, it's a core theme that occurs throughout the game.[17]Jeffrey Bard
Just because our flagging system gives corruption to PKers, doesn't mean PvP won't happen. There is plenty of reason for PvP to occur open-world.[22]Steven Sharif
Q: Have you considered a high-stakes loot drop PvP zone/area in Verra?
A: We have not; and the reason for that is our current PvP systems already allow for material risk essentially that's either through the flagging system or through other event-based pvp opt-in systems as well.[32]Steven Sharif

Opt-in PvP battlegrounds

The Event system will also create a variety of PvP situations in the open world. From small skirmishes that lead into sieges to battles over capture points during a node or castle siege, PvP objectives will play a crucial role in determining the tide of battle.[34]

The majority of players will experience PvP through opt-in objective-based battlegrounds. These are high risk and high reward encounters that do not utilize the corruption system.[19][20][21]

The majority of PvP that players will encounter- the vast majority- will be through consensual systems, meaning opt-in systems like sieges, like caravans, like wars, or going out into the open sea. These are conscious decisions that players will make knowing the risk profile- assessing that- and they will opt-in to those things..[19]Steven Sharif
In a sanctioned event- sanctioned meaning that this is something you have the option to opt-out of. That's a castle siege, that's a node siege, that's a caravan, that's a guild war, that's a node war. You can drop your citizenship. You can drop your guild tag. You can drop participating in one of those things. In any of those types of opt-in and opt-out events, the death penalties do not exist. These are sanctioned. They're intended to allow people to engage in PvP. Now if I die to an NPC while I'm out hunting, or if I die to another player through the flagging system, those are where death penalties come into play; and that's where debt experience can be earned; and that's where corruption can be had. So it's important to separate those two realms.[27]Steven Sharif
During PvP events such as caravans, guild wars, and sieges, the death penalties are disabled between participating characters on opposing sides. Attacking and killing players on the opposing side doesn't trigger the purple and red flags, nor does dying drop any resources or loot. However, you can't hide in this state as a Red corrupted player either. If you are Red, you'll still be Red in the siege or caravan and open to anyone to kill you and drop your loot, regardless of the side you are on. Being Red trumps everything.[37]
We will have limited functionality where players can spectate from either ghost camera from fixed positions at certain battlefields; some of which might include castles.
Our castle system, our sieges against nodes, the caravan system, battlegrounds that exist, guild wars: We want there to be a meaning to this conflict. We want players to actually have some skin in the game when it comes to participating in PvP.[17]Steven Sharif


While Ashes of Creation took inspiration from Lineage II (and other games) it has also addressed several flaws in the implementation of those games.[39][40][41][42] The approach of the flagging system in Ashes of Creation is to further disincentivize griefing while still allowing the system to keep risk relevant in the open-world setting.[39]

First and foremost, PvP in Ashes exists in both opt-in systems and events, as well as our open world flagging system. And while it is true that I enjoyed and took much inspiration from games like Lineage 2, we have innovated and adapted our approach to Ashes’ flagging system in order to further disincentivize griefing while still allowing the system to keep risk relevant in the open world setting. The overwhelming majority of player’s experiences with PvP in Ashes will be through consensual systems like caravans, sieges, wars, the open sea and other events. Players will make a choice to participate in those systems or not. And if they choose to participate there will be significant rewards for success.[39]Steven Sharif

In the open world, when competing for the scarcity of resources, raids, dungeons and or hunting grounds, an important element of risk vs reward is introduced through our flagging system. Players must be aware of their surroundings and the reputation of other players who may be in proximity. The flagging system is intended to always provide an element of risk in all settings, but also architected to ensure that griefing and PK’ing is almost never worth it. The subtleties of this system are complex, which is of course why it will require considerable testing and feedback.[39]Steven Sharif

  • Corruption gain takes into account level disparity between the attacker and the player that was killed. The greater the disparity the higher the corruption accrued.[40][43][44][45][36] Corruption penalties occur as the corruption is gained.[46]

These are all things that I've changed in the system that help to safeguard some of those loopholes. Now of course, as we said, we can't and we don't want to 100% remove the ability for that risk to be alive- for that risk to be realized. But what we do want to do is make sure that those occasions are few and infrequent, and are not the majority of a player experience, let's say in the open world; and we do so by incorporating all of those risks and costs into a decision to gain corruption and then PK another player in the open world. It's just not going to be done often and that is my expectation and opinion. It's also the goal of the system is that griefing is not a viable option or play style. And as a result of that desire for the system, we will fine tune it in such a way through testing that that outcome is achieved. And that is the intent and purpose of the design.[47]Steven Sharif

  • Non-combatants can attack corrupted players without flagging themselves as combatants.[47][49]
  • There is a 60 second timer to logout while corrupt. Force-disconnecting the client during the cooldown will leave the character in-game.[47][57]

Hunting grounds

You are on the prowl, and notice an unsuspecting player chopping trees. What would you do?[58]

Hunting grounds are open-world PvP corruption-enabled areas that encompass most of the map.[59]

One of the interesting components of Ashes of Creation and our flagging system is that it presents the potential for two conflicting parties to have open conflict in the open world over pretty much anything that they may want or disagree with; and if that pertains to a hunting ground, not just the caravan or the castles or the nodes or whatever, it can exist in that area.[62]Steven Sharif

Outside of PvP for certain things like caravans, sieges of nodes and/or castles is that you're going to have those open-world hunting ground fights that may occur. You're going to have resources fights that may occur. You're going to have political fights that may occur between members of guilds; and we're taking the guild politics to a whole new direction in regards to playing those conflicts out.[61]Steven Sharif

Our PvP mechanics follow a flagging system, as well as static PvP zones at certain points of interest; fight for control over cities, castles, caravans, or hunting grounds. Our PvP is designed to offer the players a well-balanced and fair world to shape through the pen, or sword should they choose.[63]

See also


  1. Video, April 16, 2018 (1:32).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Podcast, April 11, 2021 (38:31).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Livestream, May 12, 2017 (24:52).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Livestream, May 5, 2017 (33:25).
  5. Livestream, April 7, 2023 (55:22).
  6. Livestream, March 31, 2023 (1:00:16).
  7. Livestream, October 28, 2022 (32:52).
  8. 8.0 8.1 Livestream, June 1, 2017 (37:39).
  9. pvx stats.png
  10. MMORPG Interview, 2016-12-12.
  11. Livestream, May 15, 2017 (14:05).
  12. Video, May 28, 2021 (25:44).
  13. Video, May 31, 2020 (1:09:50).
  14. About Ashes of Creation.
  15. pvp catalyst.png
  16. Ashes of Creation FAQ.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Video, April 30, 2017 (5:31).
  18. 18.0 18.1 Livestream, October 28, 2022 (1:41:55).
  19. 19.00 19.01 19.02 19.03 19.04 19.05 19.06 19.07 19.08 19.09 19.10 19.11 19.12 19.13 19.14 19.15 Livestream, October 28, 2022 (24:28).
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Livestream, April 29, 2022 (41:27).
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.6 21.7 21.8 Livestream, May 5, 2017 (14:26).
  22. 22.00 22.01 22.02 22.03 22.04 22.05 22.06 22.07 22.08 22.09 22.10 22.11 pvp meaningful.png
  23. 23.0 23.1 Podcast, April 11, 2021 (49:40).
  24. 24.0 24.1 Livestream, November 17, 2017 (45:19).
  25. 25.0 25.1 Livestream, August 26, 2022 (1:00:14).
  26. 26.0 26.1 Livestream, April 30, 2021 (1:06:41).
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 Livestream, February 24, 2023 (1:29:45).
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (1:14:52).
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 Livestream, August 27, 2021 (1:22:56).
  30. 30.0 30.1 Livestream, December 22, 2020 (1:13:51).
  31. Livestream, October 28, 2022 (13:53).
  32. Livestream, March 31, 2022 (1:12:27).
  33. Livestream, October 14, 2022 (51:25).
  34. 34.0 34.1 Types of Events on Verra.
  35. Livestream, May 19, 2017 (45:14).
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 MMOGames interview, January 2017
  37. 37.0 37.1 jindrack-pvp-events.png
  38. Twitch Bustin - PvP Spectating.
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 steven-asmon-open-world-pvp.png
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 40.4 40.5 40.6 CC effects do notapply to non-combatants.png
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 steven-l2.png
  42. 42.0 42.1 Interview, August 24, 2018 (8:35).
  43. 43.0 43.1 steven-corruption-value.png
  44. 44.0 44.1 Interview, July 18, 2020 (41:54).
  45. 45.0 45.1 steven-corruption-score.png
  46. corruption.jpg
  47. 47.0 47.1 47.2 47.3 47.4 Livestream, October 28, 2022 (26:48).
  48. Interview, July 18, 2020 (44:35).
  49. 49.0 49.1 Interview, April 27, 2017 (0:17).
  50. steven-healing-corrupt.png
  51. Interview, April 22, 2019 (54:40).
  52. Livestream, November 17, 2017 (29:45).
  53. Podcast, April 23, 2018 (51:31).
  54. Livestream, May 22, 2017 (42:33).
  55. Podcast, May 5, 2017 (43:05).
  56. Interview, May 11, 2018 (5:05).
  57. steven-flagging-logout.png
  58. Twitter - What a glorious day for ganking!
  59. 59.0 59.1 Livestream, July 9, 2018 (44:56).
  60. Livestream, November 17, 2017 (45:17).
  61. 61.0 61.1 Livestream, June 1, 2017 (35:42).
  62. Livestream, May 19, 2017 (24:17).
  63. pvp about.png