Bosses

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Pre-alpha Brood Queen raid boss.[1]
Pre-alpha PvE gameplay from PAX 2017.[2]
Alpha-0 Timeless protector boss in the Dünheim dungeon.[3]
Alpha-0 cat mob from the flood plains environment.[5]

You're going to see in the world naturally there will be locations that are going to have a mix of different levels of monsters and difficulty levels; and then those spawn tables relate to the development of nearby nodes so as nodes develop they'll be changing the spawn tables around them to reflect their further development in the world, presenting new and more difficult dangers that the players can can participate in.[6]Steven Sharif

World bosses

Alpha-0 Sorrow's hunger world boss attacking a Village node.[7]

When a server downs a legendary boss, I want it to cost time, resources, dedication; and when you do that I want everyone to benefit from it.[8]Steven Sharif

Raid bosses

Particular world bosses have stages of progression, such as defeating acolytes, then lieutenants, then generals, then the world boss itself.[9]

  • At each stage there is increasing difficulty.[9]
  • This may be parsed out into different time periods and be behind a wall of development.[9]
  • A single digit percentage of the population will be capable of defeating certain content.[9]

There will be some in-depth raiding that has multiple stages that will be extremely difficult and... It would definitely be in the single digits of population that will be capable of defeating certain content... It doesn't mean that there won't be content available for the larger percentages as well... There should be a tiered level of content that players can constantly strive to accomplish. If there is no ladder of progression and everything is flat and all content can be experienced, then there is no drive to excel.[9]Steven Sharif

Raid tiers

Tiers of raid difficulty are in accordance with the world's node structure.[10][11]

The more developed a zone the more challenging the content; and we feel that's a good progression when it comes to actual adventuring class, because it will match both world development and it will also continue to allow for participation for new players, if they may go into a zone that's recently been reset by either a siege or some other event.[11]Steven Sharif

Raid strategies

Raids will have elements that can be pre-planned.[12]

  • Required composition of DPS, healers and support.[12]
  • Key positioning.[12]

Raids will also have dynamic elements that can change from session to session.[12]

One of the design elements that we're implementing into our raids is that the raid will not be exactly the same every single time. You're going to have variables that can't necessarily be pre-planned out for. You can pre-plan out for a lot of the raid like how many DPS do you need and healers and support; where the key position and all that kind of stuff; but I think the compelling aspect of Ashes raiding will be the difficulty in achieving this content and having that content change from session to session as well. We want there to be variables that get manifested by you know what type of node got developed elsewhere. Is he going to have acolytes or cultists? What will the acolytes have skills [available] to them? What kit is the boss gonna have? What available skill repertoire will the boss be able to [wield]? ... A lot of those systems are influenced obviously by world development. So the raid kind of takes into account at what stage has the world developed: Are there two metropolises now available in the world? Okay well let's activate this skill in this skill. Now you have five metropolises, well now all these skills have been activated. Are there are they all economic nodes? Are they all military nodes? That we can change things based on that stuff. And it really is a threat assessment from the environment against the players.[12]Steven Sharif

Raid mechanics

Raids contain intricate combat mechanics.[13]

  • Multiple phase boss fights.
  • Adds.
  • Random oriented skill usage.
  • Telegraphed animations, but no obvious telegraphed templates on the ground.
  • Fights will require location, mobility and strategy.

Combat itself will be pretty intricate mechanics-wise. We're going to have different phases of the bosses, there's going to be a lot of adds stuff, there's going to be random oriented skill usage. We're not going to have telegraphed templates on the ground, but we will have telegraphed animations, so it's going to be location, mobility, strategic. It will be something that can not be repeatable in the exact same way from raid to raid, but has a variance between the combat, so raiders are going to have to be fluid in thinking on their feet.[13]Steven Sharif

Telegraphs

In specific circumstances there will be telegraphs (tells) to communicate something that's happening.[14]

  • Animation tells.
  • Templates.

Announcements/Notifications

There will be global (server-wide) announcements/notifications of important events.[15]

Local node events, such as Caravans will not be announced. These will rely on player word-of-mouth.[15]

Whether it be like a siege or a triggered event against a city or like a unique dungeon opportunity... those types of things are going to involve notifications. Especially to the citizens of the city; where you'll be informed of an impending event. Basically it will give you time.[16]Steven Sharif

Artificial intelligence

Ashes of Creation utilizes an adaptive artificial intelligence (AI), which means that different encounters with similar creatures will yield different player experiences.[17]

  • Utilizing new AI technology that hasn't been seen in other MMORPG projects.[18]
  • Bosses are scripted and make decisions dynamically during boss fights.[19]
  • NPCs performing "idle actions" to make the world seem more alive has been discussed by the developers but is not confirmed.[20]

There are AI systems that don't relate to controlling NPCs.[21]

There are some additional AI parameters that are set that don't relate necessarily to controlling NPCs. There are AIs with regards to the development of the borders for nodes in the direction and also the decisions that are made of which lower nodes to enslave as vassal states. There's AI that relates to a little bit of the stock market that's going to be present in the economy. There's some AI systems that are going to be announced also that are pretty innovative I think with regards to the MMORPG genre and that's going to make the triggered event system very interesting I think; and that's you know with regards to how nodes kind of develop and the environment reacts to that development by you know spawning these triggered events of you know a horde of zombies attacking a city or a legendary raid boss coming out of the mountain. I think there's a lot of opportunity for some of the innovations that's been in the AI sector of game development too to come out in Ashes.[21]Steven Sharif

Looting

Ashes of Creation intends to use traditional loot rules, selected by the party leader.[22]

Lootmaster
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.
Round-robin
With round-robin looting, party members take turns looting.
Need before greed
This is a traditional need before greed system based on dice rolls.
Bidding system
Intrepid are investigating a potential bidding system, which allows players to bid on items instead of rolling for them.[22]
  • The highest bidder wins the item.
  • The gold then goes into a pool that is split among the rest of the party members.

Loot tables

Mobs and Bosses will drop Gold, Items and crafting materials based on the type of mob or boss. For example, a wolf is not going to be carrying a sack of gold. It may instead drop "pelts" that can be traded for gold.[23]

Loot tagging

Gatherers may have the ability to "spoil" a boss' loot.[25]

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.[25] Steven Sharif

The dynamics of who has the authority to gather the loot will be decided based on testing.[25]

  • Party leader.
  • First tagging raid.
  • Most damage done.

With regards to the dynamics of authority, you know, who gathers those things, exactly what is that: The party leader of the first tagging raid. Is that the most damage dealing. Is that the you know whatever: Those are things we've got a test in testing and see how they turn out.[25] Steven Sharif

The loot tagging system is still being finalized.[25]

Crafted items

Crafted items will be on par with best in slot items.[26]

We believe that every item that exists in the world should in some way reflect its creator. As such, there will be extreme versatility in our crafting system – giving crafters the ability to create unique items that represent their strengths and weaknesses.[17]

Mount and pet drops

Mounts and pets are dropped by world bosses on a very rare basis.[30]

Temporary mounts

Temporary mounts that drop from bosses will age and eventually die.[31]

Alpha-1

Horde mode is an Alpha-1 testing mode where 50 players defend a city against waves of incoming NPCs and player controlled monsters.[32][33][34]

  • Each wave is more difficult than the last.[34]
  • Between waves, players collect experience, money and weapons to take back to their hold to defend against the next wave.[35]
  • Monster coins enable players to join the game as part of the horde.[34]

Horde mode will include adaptive AI boss mechanics.[33] Rewards are obtained dependent on progress against these NPCs.[36]

Horde mode will absolutely include boss mechanics, so some of the ideas behind that is going to have a wave mode of a variety of NPCs will likely include some achievable cosmetics as well in that mode depending on how far you can get and those cosmetics will include pets of the NPCs that you face, so like a little miniature version of the NPC's and we'll update those as well, that you'll have in the MMO.[36]Steven Sharif

Horde mode is specifically for testing.[36]

It's a way that we thought it would be kind of fun to implement AI mechanics that we're looking to implement. Testing the you know the blackboard for the AI. Being able to have variable types of NPCs that have roles whether it be like a sniper, ranged, melee, boss, heroic you know kind of different AI focuses for those monsters during interesting situations.[36]Steven Sharif

Adaptive content

pasted image at 2017 10 26 07 13 pm.png

New points of interest (such as dungeons and world bosses) spawn as nodes develop.[37] This content adapts to the development of the zone it is in.[38]

  • Populations will change.[38]
  • Content difficulty will change.[38]
  • The content may be different altogether, depending on what is developed and how.[38]
  • Different types of antagonists with different story lines.[38]
  • Some dungeons will only be unlocked if nodes are developed to certain stages.[39]
  • Storyline objectives for players inside dungeons will depend on the story arc paths chosen through the node system.[39]
  • Drop tables in areas and dungeons will be tied into the progression of certain areas.[39]

Certain dungeons and other points of interest across the map will all be affected by the server’s node development. Some dungeons will only be unlocked if nodes are developed to certain stages. The storyline objectives for players inside dungeons will also be dependent on the story arc paths chosen through the node system. The drop tables in area and dungeons will also be tied into the progression of certain areas. For example, let’s say that the humans have developed a node in Region A, and a storyline has opened up that leads players to inspect the ruins (dungeon) of a nearby area. And let’s say that this node was developed in a scientific (crafting) zone… Well before the node developed, this dungeon was accessible… But now the dungeon has propagated new monster assets that include a drop table catering to a crafting emphasis because of the development of that scientific node. And perhaps, a new boss appears in different rooms of the dungeon that includes different adventure quest starts, like a mysterious item with a storyline that can only be progressed if a node develops to the metropolis stage in a certain region, across the world. Our system is so vast, when it comes to interconnectivity and how the world reacts to the players.[39]

Player driven narrative

The world of Verra will be the same on each server, but Nodes will develop differently. Different servers will have different narratives. Things that happen on one server may not happen on another.[40]

We want as many people as possible to experience the main server Narrative. These will branch at different scales, but largely at the personal level. Where things change is at the Node level – different parts of the story will be unlocked based on where and when Nodes grow. Unlocking a part of the story in a certain way locks out progression of the story in a different way. You’ll see different antagonists, different NPCs, and different calls to action depending on what’s happening with the server at that time.[41]

It kind of redefines what the players will experience in an MMORPG to come into a wilderness that is devoid of really any structure outside of what the community creates themselves; and then what can be created can be changed, if they want to experience a storyline that's been seen on another server, but you know you're fighting a dragon because you're near a mountain and the other server's fighting a Kraken because they're near the coast and you want to fight that Kraken because of its drop table. If you want to meta it or because you just want that under your belt: to be the server first to take out that Kraken and you have yet to develop the node there, you know it's incumbent upon you to manifest that in the game.[42]Steven Sharif

Legendary items

Discovery of legendary items will unlock further chapters of the Lore.[43]

There are absolutely legendary items and they're not items that are attained easily nor are they granted out in a volume. There might even be items that are single items that will exist on the server at any given time.[44]

A legendary weapon is easily distinguished by its visual appearance.[45]

It will be a very ornate and detailed weapon, more so than any other weapon or piece of equipment in the game. It will also include some awesome looking effects that won't too gaudy, you know they won't be too bright and shiny so that it doesn't look good, but they will be subtle and people will notice it and know wow that guy has this weapon.[45]Steven Sharif

Obtaining a legendary item will not be RNG based. It will entail obtaining construction components from various progression pathways.[45]

The amount of effort needed and interdependencies across the different types of players – between raiders and PvPers and crafters and even role players and the taverns and businesses: the processors and gatherers – all of those systems will likely have a component that lends toward creating or crafting that legendary item... We want to stay away from the highly RNGd system, and instead take our multiple progression paths that we are offering the players and put the construction components for achieving these legendary items within them so it encourages communities to work together because it's going to be difficult for just one person by themselves to gather everything. Not to say that they couldn't in an economic sense, by buying those components, that's possible. But achieving them from a time investment standpoint we want it to be considerably less RNG focussed.[45]Steven Sharif

Legendary items are not intended to be temporary.[46]

The fact there is only one of them... or very very few of them depending on what it is. I think that in and of itself is a balance component right and you need to make sure that the players who are striving for those legendary things and who are devoting the time energy, resources in order to achieve them are accurately rewarded... We do not intend on having legendary items that are temporary.[46]Steven Sharif

Monster coins

Monster coins enable players to play as monsters within the event system. This ranges from playing friends as a horde of zombies, to becoming a massive dragon.[49]

Sometimes the disturbed beings could take the form of packs of dire wolves, hordes of zombies roused from their graveyard, or even, rarely, an epic-tier dragon flying out of a volcano once a node reaches its maximum level. In any case, the disturbed monsters have to tackle a series of destructive objectives, which can either be handled by the the AI or, more interestingly, by a player. The player in turn would attempt to complete all those actions much as in a multi-objective quest, hopefully before other players brought him or her down.[50]

Monster coin events are system spawned events.[51]

  • They are structured in a way to prevent groups from gaming the system.[51]
  • Monster coin events are triggered by activity in the world, such as node advancement, defeating a boss or constructing certain types of buildings within a node.[52]
  • Server messages appear for players in the vicinity of these dynamic events.[53]
  • Drop tables are disabled for player controlled monsters.[24]

Impact on nodes

Monster coin events (Bosses) cannot destroy or delevel nodes.[54] They can disable certain buildings, services and NPCs within a node.[55][53]

Node sieges are the chief mechanic for destroying or deleveling nodes.[54]

Day/night cycle

There is a day/night cycle in Ashes of Creation.[59]

Fifteen minutes may be one hour in game time.[61]

Artwork

See also

References

  1. Livestream, 4 May 2018 (21:20).
  2. Livestream, 3 September 2017 (25:44).
  3. Livestream, 9 February 2018 (20:40).
  4. A world with consequences.
  5. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (15:56).
  6. Livestream, 26 May 2017 (24:33).
  7. Livestream, 9 February 2018 (33:50).
  8. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (1:09:37).
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Podcast, 4 August 2018 (1:42:14).
  10. raid event tiers.png
  11. 11.0 11.1 Podcast, 4 August 2018 (1:39:47).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Podcast, 9 July 2018 (22:24).
  13. 13.0 13.1 Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (1:14:01).
  14. Livestream, 22 May 2017 (49:38).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Livestream, 4 May 2018 (48:14).
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Interview, 17 August 2018 (24:48).
  17. 17.0 17.1 About Ashes of Creation.
  18. Livestream, 5 May 2017 (11:55).
  19. Livestream, 28 July 2017 (43:57).
  20. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (3:56).
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 Podcast, 11 May 2018 (24:23).
  22. 22.0 22.1 Group dynamics blog.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Livestream, 24 May 2017 (44:14).
  24. 24.0 24.1 Livestream, 3 May 2017 (35:25).
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 Podcast, 4 August 2018 (1:44:54).
  26. Livestream, 5 May 2017 (14:45).
  27. craftedbossloot.png
  28. Livestream, 24 May 2017 (24:19).
  29. craftersname.png
  30. mountpetdrops.png
  31. Mounts.jpg
  32. Interview, 24 August 2018 (13:17).
  33. 33.0 33.1 Newsletter, 7 August 2018
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 Livestream, 1 September 2018 (54:06).
  35. Livestream, 17 August 2018 (30:29).
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 36.4 36.5 36.6 36.7 Interview, 8 August 2018 (4:00).
  37. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (36:22).
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 38.4 Livestream, 17 November 2017 (18:29).
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 MMOGames interview, January 2017
  40. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (37:03).
  41. Interview: Ashes of Creation on Building Their Virtual World, 13 April 2017.
  42. Livestream, 22 May 2017 (28:02).
  43. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (44:18).
  44. Livestream, 15 May 2017 (38:08).
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 45.3 Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (55:49).
  46. 46.0 46.1 Livestream, 9 July 2018 (25:34).
  47. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (51:49).
  48. Video, 25 May 2017 (0:02).
  49. kickstarter monster coins.png
  50. IGN: Ashes of Creation first look: An MMO that lets you be the boss.
  51. 51.0 51.1 monster event spawned.png
  52. Livestream, 26 May 2017 (22:19).
  53. 53.0 53.1 Livestream, 3 May 2017 (36:25).
  54. 54.0 54.1 Livestream, 24 May 2017 (22:30).
  55. monster events.png
  56. monster siege before.png
  57. monster sieges.png
  58. Ashes of Creation - Screenshots.
  59. 59.0 59.1 59.2 Livestream, 12 May 2017 (57:41).
  60. day cycle.jpg
  61. time.jpg