Corruption

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Corruption in Ashes of Creation refers to:

Corruption tarnishes the character’s spiritual essence. Their ability to utilize the Verra’s magic found within them is diminished.[3]Steven Sharif
Corruption is a representation of The Ancients' magic: The Ancients hatred. The Ancients desire to strike back at the creation of what their the gods who banished them to the void have tried to accomplish on Verra. And so corruption is this influence of The Essence that permeates around locations in the world and tries to pervert what that creation really is.[9]Steven Sharif

Player corruption

Corrupted player in the Alpha-1 preview.[10]

When you gain that corruption you have the potential of losing your completed items, your weapon, your armor, stuff that is very difficult to achieve; and then the other aspect of that is, that in order to deter basically players taking alternate characters and saying this is my PK alt, the more players you kill, the more corruption you gain, the higher your combat efficacy in PVP diminishes. If you're out there and you killed 20 players... you will not be able to perform in PVP any longer. You will need to take that character and go work off that corruption. The other aspect of corruption is that if you kill another player, who is a non-combatant and the level disparity between you and that player is great, you will gain a higher amount of corruption from that single kill. To the point where you should not be killing a level one character.[11]Steven Sharif

If a combatant (purple) character, or their summon, kills (PKs) a non-combatant (green) character, or any of their controlled entities, in Open-world PvP, they will be flagged as corrupted (red).[12][13][2] Corruption gained for killing controlled entities is a lower value than killing players.[12] Player corruption has been referred to as a status condition.[14]

There is no incentive to go corrupt... There's zero incentive for a player to go red. It actually gives you negatives for doing that- very significant downsides.[15]Steven Sharif
It is my expectation that the system will perform very well in keeping risk alive, but significantly curtailing or deterring the ability for players to grief.[17]Steven Sharif
  • A player's corruption score (corruption value) increases with each non-combatant player killed.[16][18][19][20] Corruption score has a scaling impact on the efficacy of a character's skills in PvP combat.[21][22] The higher the corruption score:
    The more corruption you gain, the less effective you become in PvP and there's going to be a certain period at which point you have gained enough corruption that you're going to be gearless and you're also going to have a massive reduction in your PvP efficacy.[24]Steven Sharif
    If you go on a murder spree and you have 10 pks under your belt then you might start feeling a significant dampening to your skill effects against other players. I don't want to give necessarily a number or curve for players to extrapolate prior to us having the ability to actually test these ideas and where those numbers are going to lie; but I would say what is the intent behind that dampening: The intent isn't to limit the fun of the player, the intent is to provide a give-and-take or a risk-versus-reward; and the risk of continuing down the road of accruing corruption is not only the loss of your gear and amplified death effects but also your ability to perform in that activity.[28]Steven Sharif
    • Corruption penalties occur as the corruption is gained.[29]
Reward without risk is meaningless... Corruption is just another word for risk.[30]Steven Sharif
Corruption value from PK'ing a non-combatant is based on level disparity along with the PKer's cumulative PK value.[18]Steven Sharif
You can't necessarily time perfectly the damage or understand even the health of the player. Unless you were in their party you cannot see an opponent's health as well, so that's another component that adds risk..[32]Steven Sharif
  • Corrupted players may kill bounty hunters without acquiring additional corruption score.[40][41]
    • Corrupted player's combat penalties do not apply when battling bounty hunters.[40]
  • There is a 60 second timer to logout while corrupt. Force-disconnecting the client during the cooldown will leave the character in-game.[21][44]
Q: Will there be any large-scale consequences when many players in a group guild region religion etc become corrupted frequently or for an extended period of time?
A: There are not group dynamics or mechanics that revolve around mass murdering people in the world. The corruption system is intended to deter mass murdering, not to provide incentives by which players can go out and gain corruption.[45]Steven Sharif
Q: If my guild has no one corrupted and your guild is like always killing people and always corrupted, will your guild have repercussions because they're corrupted versus my guild?
A: No I don't think so either. And the reason why is we want to deter it, but we don't want to make the system meaningless; and if the deterrent becomes too heavy-handed then it's a system without a purpose. And I think that the intent behind the corruption is that like during a rise in passion and like anger and whatever you want to make this decision and do something and you'll suffer the repercussions later. But if those repercussions are just overwhelmingly bad and even anti-social in the sense that like your guild is like hey man you went corrupted and this gives us like corruption points on the guild, and like you're out of here, then people just aren't going to choose to use it; and then at which point might as well just take it out. So I think there's a healthy balance between the type of deterrent used.[46]Steven Sharif
  • There are no plans currently to introduce policies or mechanics for players to designate specific areas as corruption-free or "high stakes" zones.[47][48]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
  • Corruption has a visible effect on a player’s appearance.[51]

Read more...

Player flagging

The open world PvP flagging system is designed to deter people from griefing other players without limiting opportunities for open conflict.[52][53][15][2]

We do incentivize players to fight back, or to participate in PvP through the flagging system, but not to PK. Not to go corrupt.[15]Steven Sharif
  • Players can participate in open world PvP with one another without having to resort to murder.[54]
  • The penalties are intended to be severe enough to deter any type of spawn camping.[55]
  • Summons follow the same PvP flagging rules as players and share the player's flag status.[13][56]
  • Items are not provided to players until crafting or gathering interactions are complete. Players interrupted before completion will not lose these items or resources.[57]

pvp flagging diagram.png

There are three levels of flagging for world PvP in Ashes of Creation.[20]

  • Non-combatant (green)
    • All players start as non-combatants.[35]
    • Non-forced attacks, including AoE and status effects, will not hit non-combatant players.[58][59]
    • Green players killed by mobs (the mob deals the killing blow) do not flag attacking players as corrupt, but since the exact health of another player is not known (outside of the same party, raid, alliance, or guild), attackers run the risk of killing the player and becoming corrupt.[60]
    • Player abilities with CC effects do not apply to non-combatants. The target of a CC ability must be flagged in order to suffer the CC effects. This prevents players from opening attacks that stun non-combatant players during a pull for example.[23]
    • Non-combatants will not be flagged for looting bodies.[61]
    • Players will be able to opt-in (via a checkbox) to allow their beneficial spells, or non-beneficial AoEs to hit combatants.[62][63]
If you have that check-box for flagging with your AOEs and heals available then you will flag. If you do not have that box checked then on completion of the skill it will not flag you because the check was made at the start that there was a flagged party member; and then he will not he or she will not receive the beneficial effect as a result or the damage, if it's an offensive spell.[63]Steven Sharif
  • Combatant (purple)
    • Players are flagged as combatants if they attack another (non-corrupted) player when carrying out a forced attack. If the attacked player fights back, they are also flagged as combatants, otherwise the attacked player will remain flagged as a non-combatant.[62][64][35]
    • Non-combatants entering an open world battleground (PvP event) are automatically flagged as combatants and remain flagged for a period of time after leaving that battleground.[20]
    • Non-combatants who heal, buff, or otherwise interact with combatants or corrupted players will be flagged as combatants.[21][36][37][38]
    • Players can kill combatants without repercussions, and are encouraged to do so, since dying while a combatant has reduced death penalties.[35]
    • Players are not able to manually set their flagging status to combatant.[64]
    • Players remain flagged for a period of 90 seconds following their most recent attack on a non-combatant or another combatant.[66]
    • Players cannot log out while flagged as combatants.[44]
You're not going to see griefing in the game very often; and that's because our flagging system. The corruption mechanics are based around disincentivizing a griefer or PKer but still offering the opportunity, should the occasion arise, where the benefits outweigh the risk, you have the ability to do so. If you gain corruption, which is killing a non-combatant - a player who is not fighting back basically - if you gain that corruption, your world has changed. It is not going to be a very beneficial place to be and you have the potential of losing your gear. Your combat efficacy decreases based on the amount of corruption you accrue. It is a comfortable balance between player agency and grief and basically removing player agency for other players.[67]Steven Sharif
  • Corrupted (red)
    • If a combatant player, or their summon, kills a non-combatant player, including any of their controlled entities, such as their battle pet, mount, or summon, the player's character will be flagged as corrupted.[12][13][2]
      • Corruption gained for killing controlled entities is a lower value than killing the players.[12]
    • A character's PK value increases with each non-combatant player killed over the lifetime of that character.[16][23][18][19][20]
    • The wider the level disparity between the players, and the higher the attacker's PK value, the more corruption score they gain.[16][23][18][19][20]
    • A character's corruption score multiplies their death penalties and reveals a their location to bounty hunters.[2]
    • If a non-combatant attacks a corrupt player, the non-combatant will not flag as a combatant.[35]
    • Corrupted players may kill bounty hunters without acquiring additional corruption score.[41]
    • There is a 60 second timer to logout while corrupt. Force-disconnecting the client during the cooldown will leave the character in-game.[21][44]
It's important to note that the idea is going to be that, unless a player is in your party, alliance, guild, or raid that you will not have definitive knowledge of their exact hit point values. So when you do something that's sketchy like that, where you want to bring them close to death and let a monster finish him off, you are taking the risk of overhitting and actually gaining the corruption.[60]Steven Sharif

Removing corruption

The primary means to remove corruption is through death. Multiple deaths may be necessary to remove all corruption.[71][35]

  • Dying removes a significant portion of a player's corruption score.[72]
  • Gaining experience will also slowly reduce a player's corruption score.[73][23][71]
    Any experience that's gained by the player, whether it be through achievements in crafting, or in adventuring, or through other types of achievements: All of that experience goes towards your adventuring class experience gained; and then some experience can dual purpose towards professions as well. So if I reach an achievement in my crafting profession and that grants me additional experience within that profession to rank up, it will also grant the same amount of experience over in my adventuring level; and to that point, anytime you gain adventuring experience you tick away at the corruption.[73]Steven Sharif
  • A quest may be utilized to reduce the player kill (PK) count of a corrupt player in order for them to accumulate less corruption score in the future.[74][72]
    • This is a design shift from a religious quest being used to directly reduce the corruption score.[75]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

Player death

When a player dies they disintegrate into ash. The ashes contain any items lost by the player due to applicable death penalties.[79][80][81][25][82]

It might even be the case that their particular bag space doesn't have available location for a three-by-one log; and you're a lumberjack and they see you just chopping down these trees and you're like, there's no point in me engaging with this person, because I have nothing to gain due to my capacity.[85]Steven Sharif
  • There will be a period of time following a player's death before their mule despawns. Other players must kill that player's mule to be able to loot it.[86]
    • If the mule dies its corpse will contain the same percentage of lootable items according to the player's death penalties.[86][87]
  • Death by falling is possible.[90]
    • Fall damage that occurs while mounted will be first applied to the mount; and if the mount dies as a result, then the remaining damage may overflow onto the player, but this will be determined based on testing.[90]
  • Death by drowning is possible.[91][92]
    • Players that drown will respawn on shore.[91]

Death penalties

Player death in an open world dungeon in Alpha-1.[93]

We don't have deleveling, instead what we have is experience debt. Now the more experience debt you accrue, the greater the detriment to your character; not to the point where you can not get out of the debt. There will always be a way forward to remove your debt.[67]Steven Sharif

Death penalties (mostly) do not apply to objective-based PvP (also called sanctioned events).[104][105][106][107][108]

There will not be death penalties applied to event-based deaths. The penalties are in the outcome of the event. So your number of deaths is likely going to impact your ability to win that particular event and that's going to be the penalty. This is it to encourage players to opt in to the events right because the more participation we have the more fun it can be; and we understand that the community at large- there's already a risk versus reward component to these events. We don't need to stack on additional risk versus reward to inhibit kind of- to increase the barrier to entry for players who may not be as interested.[108]Steven Sharif

Non-corrupt players suffer reduced death penalties in naval PvP (open seas) zones.[31]

  • These penalties will be less than those for a green player.[110]
Q: We know that the normal death penalty incurs a myriad of penalties for the player, but we don't know the numbers behind this penalty. For instance, what percentage of materials do players drop? What percentage of glint is dropped? How severe is the skill and stat dampening? What is the average time it will take a player to work off XP debt from one death?
A: You're asking about percentile values. You're asking about time that it takes to recoup the percentage and whatnot. Any time that we're at a stage we're in now, and that in Alpha-2 we're going to be testing this, those values are the most subject to change. So to be clear, we're going to do [a] best-guess balance pass for Alpha-2 with the full expectation and understanding that the purpose is- and take into consideration player interaction with those numbers, and what feels best. So just off the bat, those values are not what we should be focusing on at this stage; but, to give you an idea where we are: First of all, when we're talking about dropping items that are in your material inventory, whether that be glint or that be other material types, we're talking roughly between anywhere from 20 to 30% of a stack is going to be lootable on a per-death basis. Now, that is a value that can change based off of the types of bags that you are using to carry those materials. In addition, there's other progression that can allow you, and some stats I believe, that can allow you to mitigate that value also. When we are talking about the percentage that's lost, or excuse me, not lost, the percentage of your level that is accrued as experience debt from death, generally you can expect that that's going to live around three to four percent of the level in accrued experience debt per death. However, additionally, there is a way to mitigate that percentage debt; and that is through the resurrection ability that's provided to Clerics. So, Clerics have the ability to resurrect their allies, and that resurrection will return a percentage that would have been accrued as experience debt. And that return percentage is predicated on the investment into the resability [sic], as well as the stat of the Cleric that is tied to the resurrection effect as well. So those can return percentages, so you can mitigate that to a degree. How long will it take you to recover that, and what stat dampening occurs? Anywhere within a level, if you acquire 100% experience debt for that level, you max out the experience debt, essentially, you don't ever buy that down, you're probably looking around a 20% stat efficacy dampener. So on average, if you're at 100% debt for a level, and you got to work all that off before you can start progressing at the level again, you're at around 20% overall stat dampening. Time it takes you to regain that debt is predicated on the level you're at and how you exp. So, that's a highly variable value.[94]Steven Sharif
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

Bounty hunter maps

Corrupted players with a high enough corruption score will be visible on the world and mini maps. These players will have markers posted on the map by an NPC from a Military node of at least stage 4 (Town), and will only be granted to players who have the Bounty hunter title.[111][112] The accuracy of bounty hunter maps is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.[113]

Taverns are one of the locations that bounties will be posted. As players gain corruption, taverns may offer bounties to eliminate those players; or have a specific area cleared of problem players, thus giving a POI (point of interest) on the world map.[114]

Bounty hunter Pathfinding ability

Skill Icon Origin Description
Pathfinding Bounty hunter Reveals corrupted player locations on the bounty hunter's map.[111][115] Activating this ability will flag the bounty hunter for combat only to corrupted players for a period of one hour from the time of activation.[111] The pathfinding ability can be toggled on or off.[111][116]

Corrupted Essence

Corrupted Essence (commonly referred to simply as Corruption) is a negative aspect of The Essence that was spread by The Ancients during the Apocalypse.[4][5]

Corruption is a representation of The Ancients' magic: The Ancients hatred. The Ancients desire to strike back at the creation of what their the gods who banished them to the void have tried to accomplish on Verra. And so corruption is this influence of The Essence that permeates around locations in the world and tries to pervert what that creation really is.[9]Steven Sharif
  • Corruption was brought to Verra by the Harbingers, which are comet-like celestial bodies powered by a very strong source of magic.[118][119]
What does corruption do as it seeps in through the world? It seeps in a way that's responsive to player progression. So as the nodes develop, as the world becomes more civilized by society, going out and standing up these cities and these nodes and whatnot, corruption responds to that. It is an equal pushback that it's trying to achieve. And it's up to players to thwart the advancement of that corruption through achieving certain story arc quest lines, through killing certain bosses, through, participating in content that relates to that corruption seeping into the world. But corruption is not all bad, because corruption changes spawners and it changes populations and it changes resources that become available- unique resources... So there is a relevance- meaningful component of why that corruption would want to be interacted with from the player's perspective. But it's a push and pull situation. That's really what corruption is intended to provide, push and pull between the advancement of society and what was there that's more feral.[6]Steven Sharif

Corrupted areas/zones

Alpha-2 corrupted area in the Riverlands biome.[129]

We just saw a corrupt zone and that zone becomes corrupt after a period of time in which players are not addressing some issues that arise through certain events or through certain story arcs; and that corruption can spread and corruption changes the spawners for resources and for monsters; and that has a fundamental effect on the resource economy of the game.[130]Steven Sharif

Corrupted areas (zones/points of interest) can dynamically evolve with the progression of nodes and story arcs.[130][6][121][123][122][131][8]

  • These are sources of NPC events that players need to address before they grow out of hand.[130][132][131]
    • Players need to participate in these events to stop the spread of corruption and hold back the intrusion on the material plane.[130][120]
    • If players fail to address these corrupted areas, the frequency of NPC events against their node will increase. These can lead to node buildings and services being disabled, increasing the node's vulnerability to node sieges.[133]
It can be a very detrimental thing if corruption is not addressed; and that's the intent of corruption, is to present a challenge to the players that if not addressed it becomes exacerbated and a problem over time.[133]Steven Sharif
To degree your mortal coil, as we call it, or what some might consider a soul from your character's perspective within this story- can be influenced and can be changed into a shape that's more in tune with corruption; and that's through doing PvP things you can accomplish that.[9]Steven Sharif
When it enters the corruption state outside of weather, in that corrupt state, you will probably see a little bit less of the influence of the season because really it's adopting that corruption, which in-and-of-itself is a season.[134]Steven Sharif

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Blood magic

Effects of Blood magic near the Tower of Carphin.[135]

Blood magic is a school of magic that creates a certain amount of corruption in the caster. This corruption can bleed over into the environment and other things that the caster draw Essence from in order to cast these spells.[136][137]

  • The ability to wield blood magic might be considered "illegal" by certain lawful citizens and nations of Verra. There may be ramifications when players discover and experience blood magic in the world.[136]
When we say that blood magic is "illegal", we're talking about in the context of a normal everyday player who's a citizen of Verra having come from Sanctus. You are adhering to the local laws and guidance from nation governments and/or node governments to be a good upstanding citizen of Verra. You adhere to these laws. The ability to wield blood magic might be seen in some storylines we'll see. That is left to the players to experience and discover. Those types of choices might have ramifications on your character and or ramifications within story lines... Whether players will be able to wield blood magic is up to the different story lines you all explore.[136]Steven Sharif
When we talk about how do we create a blood corruption setting, well what is the associated colors, what's the shape language of blood magic. This flowing river- you saw some of them in the VFX of the zone and Carphin- you saw the mist in the deep red saturation. Each of the environments and the magics and what we create has an associated style guide that includes color wheels and palettes across different influences.[136]Steven Sharif

Read more...

Visuals

See also

References

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  105. Livestream, February 24, 2023 (1:29:45).
  106. 106.0 106.1 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (1:14:52).
  107. 107.0 107.1 Livestream, August 27, 2021 (1:22:56).
  108. 108.0 108.1 Livestream, December 22, 2020 (1:13:51).
  109. Livestream, May 15, 2017 (36:23).
  110. Interview, July 9, 2023 (38:03).
  111. 111.0 111.1 111.2 111.3 steven-bounty-hunters-2.png
  112. Interview, January 20, 2017 (06:12).
  113. Livestream, May 24, 2017 (48:00).
  114. The mighty beard!
  115. Interview, April 27, 2017 (9:28).
  116. corruption toggle.png
  117. Video, March 31, 2023 (9:32).
  118. 118.0 118.1 Week 1, entry 1.
  119. Livestream, November 8, 2020 (0:00:00).
  120. 120.0 120.1 120.2 Livestream, November 8, 2020 (12:47).
  121. 121.0 121.1 skotty-story-arc-2.png
  122. 122.0 122.1 Video, March 31, 2023 (3:32).
  123. 123.0 123.1 Video, March 31, 2023 (1:22).
  124. Video, April 5, 2018 (35:01).
  125. 125.0 125.1 Livestream, March 31, 2023 (59:10).
  126. 126.0 126.1 Video, March 31, 2023 (16:42).
  127. 127.0 127.1 skotty-story-arc-1.png
  128. Interview, July 9, 2023 (49:48).
  129. Video, November 30, 2023 (29:26).
  130. 130.0 130.1 130.2 130.3 130.4 130.5 Video, November 30, 2023 (32:36).
  131. 131.0 131.1 Livestream, March 26, 2021 (50:03).
  132. Livestream, June 25, 2021 (1:13:30).
  133. 133.0 133.1 Livestream, January 28, 2022 (1:17:12).
  134. 134.0 134.1 Livestream, March 31, 2023 (58:27).
  135. Video, March 31, 2023 (13:13).
  136. 136.0 136.1 136.2 136.3 136.4 Livestream, April 7, 2023 (1:11:14).
  137. Video, March 31, 2023 (10:51).
  138. steven-curse-of-carphin.png
  139. Transcript, November 5, 2022 (23:24:07).