- Mayoral caravans are used by Mayors to transfer resources between nodes that have established trade agreements or alliances.
- Caravans are initiated from and arrive at caravanserai node buildings within Village (stage 3) nodes and above.
- Nodes answering these resource requests must have a trade agreement or alliance with the requesting node.
- Once the requesting mayor accepts a fill order from another node, a system driven caravan is spawned to transit the goods.
- Players can participate in helping to defend the caravan if they wish.
- Mayors who need certain resources that either they don't have enough of, or that they're prospectively investing in: they will initiate a mayor request, and any node that sees that request on the mayoral caravan drop-down menu will have an opportunity to attempt to fulfill the trade request. In order to fulfill a trade request, a node must have a certain level of relationship with that requesting node. At a minimum it has to be a trade agreement relationship; and then there's a limited number of those trade relationships that you can have; and that scales up to eventually alliance perspective. And then, once the node requesting mayor accepts a potential fill order, then a system spawned caravan is generated and the transit is completed. Players can participate in helping to defend that or not. – Steven Sharif
System driven caravans
- These are initiated by players with a diverse choice of routes and launch windows, making them difficult to zerg.
- Initiating a caravan from one node to another will create a PvP objective that players will need to defend while it moves along its chosen route to the selected destination.
- Roads will upgrade as nodes advance. Different roads will dictate the speed and type of caravan required (off road vs on road).
- The caravan system is designed to be initiated by the player. Which means, information of the caravans launch time and route, should be a closely guarded secret. Routes will also be diverse, and the world is large, so it might behoove you to scout the route ahead before a launch. Fast travel in our game is also limited, which means unless the guild had knowledge of your plans before hand, it is likely that they will be unable to organize and travel to a location. As far as mass guilds securing trade routes, there is always a bigger fish in the pond. Also caravans will have limitations on carrying capacity and launch windows that will segment mulitiple caravans by several minutes, which would space out the caravans, making it difficult to "zerg" a defense. – Steven Sharif
Personal (Self-directed/player driven) caravans are initiated by the player, who essentially "becomes the caravan". These are land-based and water-based (naval caravans) that the player drives and directs.
- These are currently designed for a single driver.
- Personal caravans are initiated from a caravanserai building at a Village (stage 3) node or higher.
- Personal caravans are capable of transitioning to/from naval caravans.
- Personal caravans will come in varying sizes and capacities.
- By default player caravans will have a racial appearance that influences the types of animals that are moving the caravan.
- Unlike merchant ships, naval caravans are capable of transitioning to and from land caravans at the point of intersection of land and ocean.
- Naval caravans come in varying sizes and capacities.
- By default naval caravans have a racial appearance. Players will be able to apply caravan skins to change this appearance.
- Naval caravans can not be hijacked. The cargo on a trade ship will be similar to caravans in that the ship must be destroyed in order to capture the loot from its wreckage.
- The caravanserai is a default building type that is present in every node (of Village (stage 3) or higher). This building can be upgraded to add additional beneficial features.
- When you want to launch a caravan you have must first have a caravan that's constructed at the caravanserai. – Steven Sharif
- Caravans are constructed at a caravanserai from components. If components are missing, default versions with lowest stat values will be applied to the caravan.
- In order to construct caravan at the caravanserai, you go to caravanserai and you say hey I've got all these components and I want to construct a caravan; and the caravanserai will accept the components that you have: It will use those components. If you don't have components for certain parts of the caravan it will give you default versions, which will be lowest stat value that that caravan can then have. – Steven Sharif
- Once a caravan is constructed it will be hosted at that caravanserai. Players will be able to select from a list of available caravans via a UI screen, which will show the available storage compartments for each caravan. These compartments can be assigned to members of a party or a named interest.
- When the caravan is constructed it will be hosted at that caravanserai; and if you want to launch a caravan you will select the caravan you have available at the caravanserai. You will then be provided with a UI screen that shows you the compartments of availability for storage that the Caravan has. You can assign those compartments to members of a party or named interest. You can apply insurance if you want for any pieces of those storage and it can go into escrow; and if the caravan ever gets destroyed, that escrow will go to the named player and that's how we... facilitate that transaction between players if they want to do those things. – Steven Sharif
- Insurance can also be requested (if this is enabled by the caravan owner) which will go into escrow. If the caravan is destroyed, that escrow will go to the named player.
- There is a system driven way for players to co-op caravan trips; and essentially you have the driver or the owner of the caravan preps the caravan for launch at the caravanserai, which is the node building that launches the caravans, and he can make a selection to allow designated players or members of his party to reserve space within the caravan; and they may then upload their goods into the caravan at the caravanserai by interfacing with the UI there; and there can even be an agreement for insurance should the caravan be destroyed. – Steven Sharif
- Once a caravan is prepared it is in a launch-ready state and can be launched whenever the caravan owner is ready. Launching a caravan will display an overhead map view of the node with a 360 degree line circling the node at between 100 to 150 meters from the node where the caravan can be launched. Once a launch site is selected on the line it will take between two to five minutes to launch the caravan depending on upgrades to the caravanserai. During that time the caravan owner and members of their party can teleport to the launch site. Once completed the caravan will be ready to mount.
- If you prep your caravan it's going to be in a launch-ready state and you can launch a caravan whenever you want, keep it in the launch ready state. If you click to launch the caravan, your perspective will leave to a world map perspective that sits above the node and you will have a 360 line that lives outside of the node area at a good distance, roughly about 100 to 150 meters from the node, and you will spawn the caravan there; and it will take about two to five minutes depending on some of the upgrades that the caravanserai has for that caravan to spawn outside the node at that location. During that time you can teleport to that launch location, which is just outside the node- from the node itself. That way people can't follow you, see your node- see your caravan that's about to leave or whatever; but you can let your players know "hey if you're part of my group you can also port with me and we'll spawn at the location that the caravan's getting constructed at. Once the caravan little construction site is finished, your caravan is ready to to mount and you're ready to move along the way with it. – Steven Sharif
- Caravan drivers will see a visible perimeter around nodes that represent a disembarkation line. This will be similar to the launch line, and its radius is also based on caravanserai upgrades. When a caravan crosses this line it will no longer be able to be attacked. Guard NPCs will spawn and escort the caravan to the node's caravanserai.
- As you approach cities, caravanserais will confer a radius around the node; and that radius will be something visual to you in the world as you're approaching another node; and you will see a line- a disembark line where when you cross that line you've reached the safety zone; and that line cross is outside of the node in a similar distance, but also based on caravanserai upgrades, that the placement of the caravan at launch is; and so you only have to make it to that line, and once you do the events surrounding the caravan and the ability to attack that caravan stops and it gets auto-moved into the caravanserai. Guards will start to materialize around it. They'll grab the reins of the horse and begin to move the caravan slowly to the caravanserai and now you've reached a pit stop; and at that pit stop this can either be your final destination or you can relaunch it again. You don't have to stop at nodes along the way to your destination. If you want to keep going you can keep going: You want to cross rivers, you can cross rivers. You want to go out into the ocean with a little raft caravan, you can do that too; and you can go to a destination and you can stop there and unload there. But if you're running into trouble, if you're under assault, if you're a near attack and there's a node nearby with a caravanserai that you can stop at, you can start directing the caravan towards that node and all you got to do is make it to that finish line outside of the node; and when you do the caravan auto will move towards caravanserai. – Steven Sharif
- Caravan components obtained from caravan builders will have stats according to the skill of the artisan.
- Mounts bred through the animal husbandry profession.
- NPC guards.
- Armor rating (damage mitigation).
- Hit points (health).
- Movement speed.
- Turning radius.
- Turning speed.
- There will be small, medium, and large crates. The higher quality the crate, the greater its capacity.
- Commodities are provided in sealed crates, which can become unsealed if the caravan or merchant ship transporting them is destroyed, or if the crate is dropped on the ground and broken into.
- Crates will be required to transfer supplies between caravans and storage points.
- Crates will undergo testing and iteration during Alpha-2.
- Transported goods by caravan require crate capacity first and then can translate into storage capacity within a warehouse inventory management system or a personal inventory bag management system. – Steven Sharif
Quest driven caravan initiation
- The resources it will carry.
- If it is initiated for a specific quest in a nearby node.
- If the goods are intended for trade or warehousing in a regional market.
- The recipient of the caravan (e.g. a Temple within the nearby node).
- When you initiate a caravan you're going to be able to determine the resources of the caravan is going to have in it. You're going to be able to determine whether or not this caravan has been initiated for a specific quest in a nearby node. You're going to be able to deliver goods for trade or to just warehouse in a new region, so that you have access to that local market. – Steven Sharif
- When you're in a nearby node that you need to drive caravan to... you're going to have an option from the NPC within a nearby node to dictate the caravan launch as a recipient of the temple yeah. – Steven Sharif
Personal caravan initiation
- Previously it was stated that personal caravans can be launched from any point of storage.
- Personal caravans are capable of transitioning to/from naval caravans.
- There will be a delay of one or two minutes while the caravan transitions while a conversion structure spawns. This introduces a small window of vulnerability.
- The conversion structure does not benefit from damage mitigation points of land or naval caravans, so it's a very weak position to be in.
At the point in which your character or model intersects with an ocean it will spawn a conversion mesh or a conversion structure; and there will be a period of time, up to several minutes depending on the capacity of the caravan with the resources and/or materials that is necessary for the conversion to take place; and then the naval caravan will be available; and you can intersect that line again with land to try to convert back to a land-based caravan – Steven Sharif
- Players will not be able to see the exact contents of a caravan before they decide to attack or defend, however there will be some visual hints to the cargo of the caravan, such as gold, silver, or iron visible on top of the caravan.
- Players will be able to state their intentions to attack, defend or ignore via a user interface window.
- The proximity that the UI window appears is determined by the player's performance as either a defender or an attacker in previous raids.
- A group will be required to successfully attack a caravan.
- Basic attacks will not slow caravans, but certain items, attacks, or status effects can slow or block caravans.
- A caravan will persist in the world for a period of 5 to 10 minutes from the time its owner logs out or is disconnected from the server.
- Each caravan is its own bespoke event. Players can't participate in more than one caravan event at a time, but running decoy caravans is a valid tactic.
- It's still intended from a design standpoint to be a window that is presented to the player based on proximity; and that proximity it can be greater depending on your performance as either a defender or an attacker in previous raids. – Steven Sharif
- Death penalties (mostly) do not apply to objective-based events (such as caravans, guild wars, and node sieges).
- There is a level of risk that comes with the attacker. We have progression paths that exist for bandits and that exists for defenders; and if you choose to opt into a caravan attack- you sign up for that attack and you fail that attack- it is detrimental to your path of progression down the bandit area. That's one thing: Two is of course you have gear decay. You have degradation that can be suffered if you die. That is a cost. And then you also have a reputation; and if your reputation precedes you when you want to transit goods across the world; and you see somebody who's doing it and you want to participate as a defender or a participant, they might say hey screw you, you were just murdering my people last week and I saw that you're like on the top of the bandit list for killing caravans. So it has repercussions in the sense that it locks you out of certain player groups. It provides decay to your armor. It has deleterious effects on your progression, and the attacking- and the bandit progression of caravan attacks or defense. – Steven Sharif
- A quest system will track a player's successful or failed defenses and attacks. This will provide rewards that scale up over time based on the player's history.
- The caravan defender role is going to have its own progression questing and rewards associated with it that are going to attract a certain subset of players and then vice-versa wise we're going to have incentives that appeal to the more highway brigand type players; and you might not always be on one side or the other: that might change depending on what your interests are in the at the time. But obviously those types of systems need to have robust consequential type rewards and benefits associated with them in order to compel the player; and that's something obviously we're going to test in alphas and betas and see how performant it is in actually attracting players to participate and make sure it's not just one-sided so-to-speak. – Steven Sharif
- Varying tiers of mercenary NPCs may be unlocked based on the investment made in their progression. Highest tier NPC mercenaries are referred to as heros.
- Mayors are able to allocate treasury funding to hire mercenary NPCs to defend their node during sieges.
- Nodes can invest in upgrade paths that give a greater selection of roles and quality (gear level) of NPC mercenaries used for caravan defense.
- NPC mercenaries can be hired to participate in castle sieges based on the allocation made by the governing castle and how successful they have been defending their castle nodes.
- These mechanics are subject to change based on testing and priorities.
- Players can assign mercenary NPCs, but won't micromanage them, in a similar manner to pets.
- There are mercenary NPCs that can be assigned to players. We've discussed about that before and those will follow generically... a pet system even adopted majority of the pet system with the added bonus of objective based points of interest that you can assign them to. But we don't want to inundate the field with these mercenaries they'll be few and far between. They'll be assigned specifically like let's say for example as the mayor of a node during a siege you'll be able to assign these two specific players that are citizens within your node and then they'll have those they'll spawn during the during the node siege; or vice versa and the castle siege guild leaders can assign mercenaries that are available based on the progress of those subsidiary nodes around the castle siege whether or not you have those available to your defense or your attack. – Steven Sharif
Performance in various PvP systems (such as Caravans, Arenas, Guild wars) is measured over the course of 6 month PvP seasons. At the end of each season, a player's cumulative score may unlock various rewards.
If a caravan is destroyed (becomes a wreckage) it will drop a portion of the goods it was transporting. The remainder of the caravan's goods are sunk (lost) when the caravan is destroyed.
- The caravan becomes a wreckage upon destruction and that wreckage is an interfaceable item that players can come up to and they can receive certificates for a portion of the goods inside the caravan. Now the idea with that certificate is that it must be taken back to the point of origin, or at least a region within that point of origin. We'll see about that last part because there's a few things I want to test in the Alpha from a gameability standpoint. The reason why for this is because what might happen is you may have some type of collaboration within a guild to game that system. Hey I'm gonna reach this caravan just to the border of the region and then we're all destroy it, collect the goods and take it to that region's warehouse; and have to skip out on the last half of the way. So it must successfully reach its destination before the goods can be considered a part of that region. – Steven Sharif
- Anyone may loot the caravan's wreckage.
- Caravan components may also drop when a caravan is destroyed. These components may be salvageable by the caravan owner or by other players, in the case of high grade components.
- Caravans drop certificates for heavy goods that are redeemable at the origin node for a portion of the goods.
- Q: What is the reason for requiring the destruction of a caravan by the attackers as opposed to the attackers gaining possession of the caravan?
- A: With caravans we really want to emphasize this idea of not necessarily stealing the vehicle, but being forced to achieve victory through destruction; and when you do you then have the logistical issue of how you're going to transport those goods on your own rather than servicing the transport of that by just hijacking. – Steven Sharif
- Roads for the transit goods via the caravan system.
- You might have a mountain pass and during winter that mountain pass is always closed and so the trade routes on land change with caravans and that's something that can not only exist on a cyclical level but also dynamically based on player activity.
- Economic relationships between nodes established by Mayors or node citizens.
- From a diplomatic standpoint the ability for the mayor or citizens to set up NPC routed trade routes between nodes as a trade agreement or as a diplomatic process. – Steven Sharif
- The largest roads are referred to as arteries. These are remnants of what was once the ancient highway system of Verra.
- As nodes advance smaller roads, referred to as veins, connect the arteries to the nodes.
- Depending on the stages of node advancement, capillary roads will stem off the node to connect to points of interest.
- Roads or pathways are not worn into the landscape by repeated traffic over the same area.
- Pathways that are open during summer may be closed during winter.
- Seasonal affects may cause obstacles or blockages to the transit of goods via caravan.
- Water turning to ice in winter, enabling players to walk over the water but blocking access to what is underneath.
- Ice will make roads bumpy and slippery.
- The location of Underrealm entrances throughout the world is focused around natural geographic choke-points that exist above ground. This provides alternate subterranean routes that can be used by caravans, raids, and other player activities.
- Not all entrances to the Underrealm will be open at the same time. This can shift dynamically (based on node states) that cause different routes to open up, which may be more or less advantageous than other routes.
Guild castles have three adjacent castle nodes in close proximity. The guild must develop those nodes to enhance the defenses of the castle. It will be possible, but very difficult for a single guild to fully develop these nodes. They will likely need assistance from the broader community.
- Castle nodes exist outside of the node system. They are independent of anything that's happening outside in the world with other nodes shutting off certain nodes from progressing.
- Castle nodes are excluded from the normal Citizenship, Zones of Influence, Freeholds, Node governments, and Social organizations systems.
- Castle nodes cannot exceed stage 3 (Village).
- Castle nodes are always military node types.
- Each of the dedicated castle nodes is barren at the start of the castle ownership period.
- Mercenary NPCs of different types and strengths can also be hired to participate in castle sieges and defend caravans during these events based on the allocation made by the governing castle and how successful they have been defending their castle nodes.
Once the castle is owned by a guild that's when the supporting castle nodes start to come online and spawn each week prior to the fourth week castle siege. They'll have to form alliances, they'll have to get support, they'll have to get resources, they'll be able to allocate funds that have been collected through taxation in order to strengthen the defenses as well as hiring additional NPC mercenaries. – Steven Sharif
- Levelling castle nodes is a hastened process compared to regular nodes.
- At the end of each week leading up to a castle siege there is a period of time in the weekend where NPC generated caravans start moving toward one of the castle nodes carrying castle taxes from the nodes that fall under the castle's purview.
- During this time it is incumbent upon the owning guild, its allies, and citizens of the nodes to escort these caravans to the castle node.
- The enemies of the guild have incentive to attack these caravans to reap the rewards from the caravan and to sabotage the tax collection, which will reduce the defensive capability of the castle nodes and hence the castle itself.
- Citizens of nodes that fall under the purview of the castle are automatically registered as defenders of these caravans and may not participate in attacks against them.
- Completing these quests unlocks services and functions that are useful to the occupying guild and its allies as well as boosting the defenses the castle.
- Only members of the occupying guild are citizens of these nodes.
- This citizenship is different to normal node citizenship. Castle nodes don't operate like normal nodes.
Artisan supply chain
Artisans within Ashes of Creation must choose a path in their artisan skill tree. This inter-dependency establishes a supply chain from raw materials to finished product. Each stage of the chain may require caravans to transport goods from one artisan to another.
- Obtaining raw materials:
- Refining the raw materials with the Processing profession.
- Crafting the finished product using its crafting recipe.
As a crafter you're going to want to know where certain recipes can be fulfilled; which nodes have the capability of creating what you've processed material that you've gathered for; and then you're going to want to plan out your route to either transit the goods there or make sure that you're situated in the area so that you can go out collect and build in that area as well. So there's a lot of planning that's going to be necessary. – Steven Sharif
- The skin changes the appearance of an in-game mount and in-game caravan that are hooked up to each other.
- The caravan and mount components of the skin are not able to be utilized separately.
- Building, ship, caravan and mount cosmetics require an in-game item to be obtained first to apply the cosmetic.
You'll need your own creature and caravan hooked up to each other, and then the caravan cosmetic skin goes over all of them to make it look like what's pictured. you're not able to split out separately that caravan mount skin, hence why you'd want the separate mount skin if you wanted to ride it independently. – Sarah Flanagan
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