Zone of influence
Each Node can form into towns, but are limited by their neighbors. The Nodes have different levels of advancement. There can only be so many of each level. Think of this as advanced settlements needing more elbow room. Nodes encompass more land as they grow and will require more effort to be sustained. This system is a main driver for change in the world because it creates scarcity. As Nodes advance in stages of growth they will lock out neighboring Nodes from progressing, and will absorb their zones of influence.
The main thing that differentiates us from other MMOs is that we have a living, breathing, reactive world... Our world is separated into zones, which are then separated into what we call nodes. Nodes are sort of invisible zones of influence that listen to everything that a player does; so as players gain experience from killing things, gain experience from doing quests, gain experience through crafting things, the node is also gaining that experience. Once a node gains enough experience it levels up and then starts to attract NPCs to it . – Jeffrey Bard
Citizen and non-citizen player activity (questing, gathering, raiding, etc.) within a node's ZOI counts toward that particular node’s advancement (progression). There are six stages of node advancement.
- Expedition (Few hours)
- Encampment (Many hours)
- Village (Few days)
- Town (Many days)
- City (Few weeks)
- Metropolis (Many weeks)
- Nodes advance to the first stage quickly. This enables NPC services such as vending or banking items.
- The more advanced the node is, the larger its ZOI becomes.
- Less advanced nodes (referred to as vassal nodes) that fall within a more advanced node's ZOI can still gain XP, but must remain at a lower advancement stage than the dominant node.
- A node does not receive XP from the nodes within its ZOI until these nodes have reached their cap.
- Players are moved to safety if they intersect with newly spawned assets during node advancement.
- Citizens of one node can contribute to the advancement of other nodes.
- The exact percentage of advancement from obtaining items or killing monsters is not going to be explicitly known to avoid "gaming" the system.
Different people have different resources invested in nodes progressing and it would be a little "gamey" if you could know exactly what was necessary at that point because that would disincentivize people from participating. – Steven Sharif
- Caravan routes will go underground.
- Node sieges occur in the usual manner.
- There will be underrealm Metropolises.
480 square kilometers; which is which is pretty large comparatively to other MMORPGs out there. Now that does not include the lapped spaces: So that is the Underrealm and the portion of the world that it encompasses, which could probably easily take up an additional hundredish square kilometers I would imagine. – Steven Sharif
- The Alpha-0 map is a 4km x 4km area (16 km2).
- The Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battlegrounds map is 2.5km x 2.5km2 (6.25 km2).
- The Alpha-1 map is 120 km2.
- Node series part I
- Ashes of Creation FAQ.
- Interview, 20 April 2018 (7:22).
- Interview, 11 May 2018 (55:16).
- Livestream, 9 July 2018 (39:32).
- A reactive world - Nodes.
- Livestream, 16 October 2017 (50:20).
- Video, 20 April 2017 (0:02).
- Node series part II – the Metropolis.
- Livestream, 17 November 2017 (55:27).
- Livestream, 26 May 2017 (28:16).
- Livestream, 5 May 2017 (37:52).
- Livestream, 26 May 2017 (31:44).
- Livestream, 26 May 2017 (42:45).
- Livestream, 24 May 2017 (31:39).
- Kickstarter packages.
- Interview, 17 August 2018 (10:43).
- Livestream, 31 October 2017 (24:00).
- Livestream, 27 September 2018 (9:08).