We want things to be more fluid and one of the ways that we make them more fluid is through our triggered event system. That is one of the methods by which we make these more spontaneous. We make them more accessible to a wider audience. You can be just in the city and not normally be a part of a raid team, but now get to participate in this organic event that's kind of popped up around the city and if you are not participating then buildings are gonna get destroyed and NPCs are going to die... It's not just how fast can we do it, how will we get it done in its schedule, but oh my god this thing popped up if we don't kill it we're not going to access to our stables this week and we can't get our animal husbandry certificates... It's that risk versus reward that gives you a sense of adrenaline. – Steven Sharif
Raids will also have dynamic elements that can change from session to session.
- The types and numbers of bosses and mobs present in the raid and their skill repertoire.
- Variables are manifested based on node progression.
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. – Steven Sharif
- Multiple phase boss fights.
- 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. – Steven Sharif
- Animation tells.
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. – Steven Sharif
- At each stage there is increasing difficulty.
- This may be parsed out into different time periods and be behind a wall of development.
- A single digit percentage of the population will be capable of defeating certain content.
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. – Steven Sharif
- Number of successful siege defenses.
- Number of successful siege assaults.
- Number of PvP kills.
- Raid participation points.
- Number of firsts.
Visibility of those types of things on the server help to promote a competitive atmosphere. If there is an attainable impression that you can work towards, so that others know your success, you have more drive to succeed. – Steven Sharif
Trophy park is an area within Town, City or Metropolis nodes that has available spots for trophies. These trophies show the character names of players who are the first to complete world bosses and dungeon bosses that were spawned as the result of the development of that particular node.
- Server announcements and achievements are designed to encourage groups to experience new content.
- 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.
- 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.
- The highest bidder wins the item.
- The gold then goes into a pool that is split among the rest of the party members.
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.
- Loot tables will favor dropping crafting materials as opposed to trash items.
- Loot tables are disabled for player controlled monsters.
- The developers intend to test dynamic loot tables during the test phases.
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. – Steven Sharif
The dynamics of who has the authority to gather the loot will be decided based on testing.
- 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. – Steven Sharif
Raid voice controls
- Toggle (global) mute on the entire raid.
- Assign speaker roles allowing party members to globally mute other members.
Raid members will be able to (locally) mute other members.
If you are joined in raid where you have multiple squads that have connected into a raid for the castle sieges, the leaders of those squads will be able to communicate across all members of squad. So let's say you have five teams of four, for a total of twenty people within a particular raid... there are five that have global speech capacity; and then in those individual parties they'll also have their own inter-voice communication. So party leader will be able to hear their party members and the party members will hear each other, but they'll also be able to hear other party leaders speak as well. – Steven Sharif
- No loading time or loading screens between regions.
- Instancing is only going to happen in certain dungeons where the desire is to have greater narrative appeal. Outside of these and arenas there will not be too much instancing anywhere else.
- Populations will change.
- Content difficulty will change.
- The content may be different altogether, depending on what is developed and how.
- Different types of antagonists with different story lines.
- Some dungeons will only be unlocked if nodes are developed to certain stages.
- Storyline objectives for players inside dungeons will depend on the story arc paths chosen through the node system.
- Drop tables in areas and dungeons will be tied into the progression of certain areas.
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.
- The party size is eight (8) players for a single group.
- Raids will have 40 man groups.
- Content will be tailored for 40, 16 and 8 person group sizes.
- Arenas will have 1 man, 3 man, 5 man and possibly 20 man Free-For-All (Deathmatch) group sizes.
- Castle sieges are expected to have at minimum 250x250 players to be on a single battlefield, with the possibility of increasing this to 500x500 over time.
The idea behind an 8-person group is to allow us to really amplify party roles, and to create a need for each of the archetypes in every party.
- Mechanics exist within larger conflicts for small groups and even solo players to impact the battle.
- This includes systems that will likely focus on single group sized participants while the larger battle is occurring.
Ashes of Creation Apocalypse group sizes
- Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale will have party sizes of up to 5.
- Guild mode will have parties of raids of up to 20.
- Ashes of Creation Apocalypse castle sieges will have parties of 5 within a raid, with 5 raids for each of the two teams.
- Ashes of Creation Apocalypse horde mode will have a party size of 5 with a total of ten groups, making for 50 players.
- Raid and dungeon bosses have specific mechanics that players need to learn and react to. Zergs that are not aware of these mechanics or react to them appropriately will be wiped.
- There is a give-and-take for guilds that want to see a larger number of members as opposed to a more focused group that may be a part of an alliance.
We're very cognizant of the fact that we don't want to see zerging be a mechanic that's utilized by guilds to accomplish content or just to steamroll over sieges... There are specific mechanics that we are working on that will be seen through the testing phases that relate to a degree of understanding of certain systems that can't just be overrun with numbers. – Steven Sharif
The best way that I found in games I played previously to take down a zerg is to cause drama from within... It's that conflict inside of the politicking that happens in that big organization. If we provide opportunities for division to occur then it also provides stability to keep a server healthy away from that zerg mentality also... If we approach the castle siege and we've destroyed the walls and we're in the throne room and we're about to cast on the penultimate thing and I at this time am just so excited from what's happening that I'm like "screw it I'm gonna go for it". It's gonna be mine. I'm gonna take the taxes for the next month. I'm gonna take all the gear from the castle. I'm gonna take everything... We kind of want that political intrigue to be present in the game. – Steven Sharif
Objective-based game play helps to balance the zerg mentality.
I always feel that if you balance based on groups that in your balance focus is to incorporate features that play well from a player versus player perspective as well as a player versus environment perspective: Having support classes, having DPS and tanks that can obstruct movement and/or create you know bottlenecks on the field and stuff like that. I think a well-rounded raid it will perform better against a non well-rounded raid, however then you incorporate the second aspect of numbers; and that's where again mobility, organization, leadership tactics. Having objectives in gameplay that make those important helps to balance the zerg mentality that a lot of guilds can tend to have. – Steven Sharif
There is guild affiliation, there's party affiliation, there's a raid affiliation, alliance affiliation, there's a citizenship affiliation, there's society affiliation, there's religious affiliation. All of these things have some hierarchy; and within that hierarchy there's the ability to participate within certain systems. So for example, if you have a node that has fallen under your vassal state and you're a citizen of the parent node, then you could participate in a siege against the vassal node but if you're a citizen of the vassal node you could not participate as an attacker against the parent node; so there's a hierarchy, unless you were to renounce your citizenship. – Steven Sharif
- Livestream, 4 May 2018 (20:00).
- Livestream, 4 May 2018 (21:20).
- Podcast, 23 April 2018 (27:14).
- Podcast, 9 July 2018 (22:24).
- Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (1:14:01).
- Livestream, 22 May 2017 (49:38).
- Podcast, 4 August 2018 (1:39:47).
- Podcast, 4 August 2018 (1:42:14).
- Podcast, 4 August 2018 (1:47:21).
- Podcast, 4 August 2018 (1:35:58).
- Livestream, 18 July 2017 (58:50).
- Livestream, 15 May 2017 (44:10).
- Group dynamics blog.
- Livestream, 24 May 2017 (44:14).
- Livestream, 3 May 2017 (35:25).
- February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
- Podcast, 4 August 2018 (1:44:54).
- Interview, 20 October 2018 (5:30).
- Interview, 6 December 2018 (2:57).
- Livestream, 16 October 2017 (11:51).
- Livestream, 22 May 2017 (20:59).
- Livestream, 19 May 2017 (24:17).
- Livestream, 17 November 2017 (36:22).
- Livestream, 17 November 2017 (18:29).
- MMOGames interview, January 2017
- Livestream, 9 May 2017 (34:38).
- Livestream, 26 May 2017 (48:12).
- Livestream, 8 May 2017 (28:48).
- Interview, 17 August 2018 (18:53).
- Blog: 10 facts about castle sieges in the MMORPG.
- Livestream, 5 May 2017 (23:26).
- Livestream, 19 May 2017 (25:18).
- Livestream, 22 May 2017 (57:37).
- Interview, 11 May 2018 (44:20).
- Interview, 8 August 2018 (11:52).
- Interview, 11 May 2018 (58:07).