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Player death

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

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.[2]Steven Sharif

When a player dies they disintegrate into ash. The ashes contain any items lost by the player due to applicable death penalties.[3][4][5][6][7] These ash piles are immediately lootable by any player.[4] Player flagging is not triggered by looting.[8]

  • A non-combatant (green player) who dies suffers normal penalties, which include:[6]
    When players die and they take durability loss, our durability loss isn't like other games where it's a gold sink so to speak. It's a combination of both a gold sink and a material sink. So in a sense, even if you only have completed items, when you take that durability loss you are losing out on materials. It's just a debt to the materials that you are losing instead of the active loss of that material in your inventory. So now you are accruing a material debt if you want to repair and increase again the performance of those particular items that take that durability loss.[11]Steven Sharif
    • Dropping a percentage of carried gatherables and processed goods.[5][6]
      • This also includes a percentage of the certificates a player is carrying.[7]
      • If a player dies there will be a period of time before their mule despawns. Other players must kill that player's mule to be able to loot it.[13]
      • If a player's mule dies its corpse will contain the same percentage of lootable items as the player.[13][14]
  • A combatant (purple player) who dies suffers these same penalties, but at half the rate of a non-combatant.[6]
  • A corrupt (red player) suffers penalties at four times[15] the rate of a non-combatant, and has a chance to drop any carried/equipped items based on their current corruption score. This includes:[15][6]

Experience debt will scale to approximately 2 or 3 percent of the total XP for a max level player. These numbers are subject to change based on testing.[21]

  • As of May 28, 2021, the experience debt in Alpha-1 testing is "completely off mark" and will either be changed or disabled prior to the next spot test.[21]

Death penalties do not apply to objective-based events (such as caravans, guild wars, and node sieges).[22]

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.[22]Steven Sharif
  • Death penalties do not differ between PvP and PvE, but this is subject to change.[23]

Death by drowning is possible.[24]

Respawn lore

Player death animation (WIP).[3]

The lore behind how death and resurrection exists within Ashes of Creation is the concept of this Avatar of the Phoenix being represented of the Goddess of Creation, from which all life on this plane has has come from essentially... Because when you do get reborn it's that connection with your soul to the essence that binds you with the Goddess of Creation that brings that spark of the of that Avatar of the Phoenix back and brings you to life through that manipulation of the essence. So this is a little update on the ash effect.[3]Steven Sharif

As players enter into the world of Verra they are empowered with the spark of life that comes from the Goddess of Creation. This spark houses a portion of what represents their soul and their conduit to The Essence.[3][4][25] When a player dies they disintegrate into ashes, in accordance with the mythology of the cycle of life, death, and rebirth that is associated with the celestial avatar of the Goddess of Creation, the phoenix.[3][4]

  • The ash pile conveys the location of the body, so that the player may be selected for resurrection.[3]
  • The ash pile is also interractible to allow players to loot any dropped items.[3][4]
    • These ash piles are immediately lootable by any player.[4]
    • Player flagging is not triggered by looting.[8]
  • This effect applies to players and not mobs.[3]

The reason for why respawning occurs, as you guys know, the avatar of the Goddess of Creation is the phoenix; and the phoenix obviously has some very stable mythological lore to it with regards to the cycle of life and death and rebirth; and that type of thing. As you enter into the world of Verra you are in a way empowered with the spark of life that comes from the Goddess of Creation herself, and in that sense you're able to house a portion of what that represents in your soul and your... conduit to the essence.[4]Steven Sharif

Respawn locations

Non-corrupt players always respawn at the closest active respawn point (to their death).[19]

  • Corrupt players respawn at random locations in the vicinity of their death, not at regular spawn points.[18]
  • Events in progress may disable certain respawn points in proximity to those events, which might cause players to respawn further away.[19]

That has to do with the lore behind death and resurrection and what it means to have your soul connected as a conduit of that spark of life given from the Goddess of Creation, being that phoenix type of avatar; and if corruption has moved into an area and an event has started, the access to those kind of ley line oriented respawn points may be obscured- might not be accessible. So that could create some additional distance that needs to be traveled as part of these types of events.[19]Steven Sharif

Removing corruption

The primary means to remove corruption is through death. Multiple deaths may be necessary to remove all corruption.[27][28]

  • Dying removes a significant portion of a player's corruption score.[29]
  • Gaining experience will also slowly reduce a player's corruption score.[27]
    That creates a fun kind of experience for the bounty hunters to try to catch you while you're working it off.[27]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.[30][29]
    • This is a design shift from a religious quest being used to directly reduce the corruption score.[31]
  • Corruption duration is reduced in military nodes.[32]

Durability loss

There is item durability (item decay) in Ashes of Creation.[33]

If you allow it to get to certain stages, or to get to a destructed stage then it requires a lot of material components in order to return back to its former glory.[35]Steven Sharif

The decay system is not going to be some worthless "Oh I'm just going to throw some gold into this and it's a simple gold sink". It's actually going to require some base materials in order to repair decayed items; and decay occurs from death and also the destruction and disable system. For the weapons over the over-enchanting will require those materials as well. So creating that dependency I think is healthy for the crafting economy.[12]Steven Sharif

There is durability in the game... It's not going to be a trivial durability. There is a potential to destroy gear (weapons and armor), but there is also an ability to reforge that destroyed gear using a portion of the materials necessary as well as finding an item creator who can reforge it.[33]Steven Sharif

Player flagging

The open world PvP flagging system is designed to deter people from griefing other players.[42]

  • Players can participate in open world PvP with one another without having to resort to murder.[43]
  • The penalties are intended to be severe enough to deter any type of spawn camping.[44]

pvp flagging diagram.png

There are three levels of flagging for world PvP in Ashes of Creation.[45]

  • Non-combatant (green)
    • All players start as non-combatants.[28]
    • Non-forced attacks (such as AoE) will not hit non-combatant players.[46]
    • 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.[47]

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.[47]Steven Sharif

  • Combatant (purple)
    • Non-combatants entering an open world battleground are automatically flagged as combatant and remain flagged for a period of time after leaving that battleground.[45]
    • Players are flagged as combatants if they attack another player when carrying out a forced attack. If the attacked players fight back, they are also flagged as combatants, otherwise the attacked player will remain flagged as a non-combatant.[28]
    • Non-combatants who heal, buff or otherwise interact with combatants will be flagged as combatants.[48]
    • Non-combatants who attack a player using combat pets (or any other player-controlled entities) will be flagged as combatants.[49]
    • Non-combatants will not be flagged for looting bodies.[8]
    • Players can kill combatants without repercussions, and are encouraged to do so, since dying while a combatant has reduced death penalties.[28]
    • Players are not able to manually set their flagging status to combatant.[50]
    • Players remain flagged for a period of 90 seconds following their most recent attack on a non-combatant or another combatant.[51]
    • Players cannot log out while flagged as combatants.[52]
  • Corrupt (red)
    • If a combatant player kills a non-combatant player, they will be flagged as corrupt.[42]
    • Corruption multiplies death penalties and reveals a corrupt player's location to bounty hunters.[42]
    • A player’s corruption score increases with each non-combatant player killed.[45]
    • If a non-combatant attacks a corrupt player, the non-combatant will not flag as a combatant.[28]
    • Corrupted players may kill bounty hunters without acquiring additional corruption score.[53]
    • There is a 60 second timer to logout while corrupt.[52]

A player may not flag on members of the same party, raid, guild or alliance.[54]

  • Players will be able to opt-in (via a checkbox) to allow their beneficial or non-beneficial AoEs to hit flagged players. If this is checked then AoE heals or damage will affect flagged players. If it is not checked then the AoE will not damage or heal any flagged players, and as such will not cause the caster to be flagged themselves (if they are not already).[55]

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.[55]Steven Sharif

Sieges, caravans and guild wars do not use the flagging system.[56]

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.[2]Steven Sharif


An affiliation tree determines which entities can participate in attacks against other entities within its hierarchy.[57][58]

There's node citizenship. There's guild. There's alliance. There's party. There's raid. There's family. All of these types of affiliations have a hierarchy. The highest of which is your node affiliation: So your citizenship is your greatest superceding relationship, which means if you were a part of a guild and the guild has multiple nodes in which its members are citizens of, if there was a war between two of those nodes, the members of those nodes would be first and foremost citizens who defend that node, even against their own guild members.[57]Steven Sharif

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.[58]Steven Sharif

Mounted combat (death of mounts)

Certain mounts will have combat abilities.[59][60]

  • Players can't use their class skills while mounted.[59]
  • Mounts can be targeted separately from the player while mounted.[61]
  • Mounts can be killed by players, but can be resurrected after a certain cooldown period.[61][62]
    • Potions obtained from the Alchemy profession can be used to reduce the cooldown.[35][61]
    • Mounts that die a certain number of times within a set period might gain a debuff that requires a different material component to assist with their resurrection.[35]
    • If a player dies there will be a period of time before their mule despawns. Other players must kill that player's mule to be able to loot it.[13]
    • If a player's mule dies its corpse will contain the same percentage of lootable items as the player.[13][14]

Full loot

There will not be a full loot (full drop) system in Ashes of Creation.[63]

There will not be a full drop and the reason for that is because you know our intention when it comes to progression within the world is we want it to be meaningful and you know take some investment on behalf of the player; and if even if from a design standpoint we're like yeah but they have to choose to go to the area; we don't want a choice that a player can make where they delete their character so to speak.[63]Steven Sharif


See also


  1. Livestream, 28 March 2020 (1:58:24).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Podcast, 23 April 2018 (49:21).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Livestream, 24 September 2021 (51:20).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Livestream, 26 March 2021 (1:07:33).
  5. 5.0 5.1 a419c5398b542a713545e4f393d67215.png
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 Podcast, 5 May 2017 (43:05).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Interview, 18 July 2020 (27:11).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Podcast, 11 April 2021 (34:41).
  9. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (13:37).
  10. Ashes of Creation Forums - Former Lineage 2 PvP'er wanting to discuss PvP loopholes.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Interview, 7 February 2021 (13:14).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Interview, 29 July 2020 (16:46).
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Livestream, 29 January 2021 (1:24:27).
  14. 14.0 14.1 Livestream, 27 September 2018 (47:46).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Interview, 18 July 2020 (41:54).
  16. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (35:20).
  17. Interview, 11 May 2018 (15:41).
  18. 18.0 18.1 Interview, 27 April 2017 (9:28).
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Livestream, 25 June 2021 (1:15:37).
  20. Interview, 11 May 2018 (3:43).
  21. 21.0 21.1 Livestream, 28 May 2021 (1:50:50).
  22. 22.0 22.1 Livestream, 22 December 2020 (1:13:51).
  23. Livestream, 15 May 2017 (36:23).
  24. Livestream, 28 July 2017 (50:22).
  25. Podcast, 11 May 2018 (51:39).
  26. Livestream, 9 July 2018 (20:41).
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Interview, 18 July 2020 (44:35).
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 Interview, 27 April 2017 (0:17).
  29. 29.0 29.1 Interview, 19 July 2020 (30:51).
  30. steven-removing-corruption.png
  31. Livestream, 4 June 2018 (2:18).
  32. pvp corruption duration.png
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Podcast, 13 May 2017 (25:55).
  34. Livestream, 28 August 2020 (2:05:07).
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 Podcast, 29 September 2021 (32:35).
  36. player stall repair.png
  37. Interview, 19 July 2020 (51:11).
  38. Livestream, 28 May 2021 (1:53:04).
  39. Durability.jpg
  40. Interview, 29 July 2020 (15:04).
  41. Livestream, 5 May 2017 (20:41).
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 pvp flagging.png
  43. Livestream, 12 May 2017 (24:52).
  44. pvp camping.png
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 MMOGames interview, January 2017
  46. PvP.jpg
  47. 47.0 47.1 Livestream, 30 July 2021 (1:10:34).
  48. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (29:45).
  49. Livestream, 31 October 2018 (44:12).
  50. Livestream, 30 November 2020 (1:05:22).
  51. steven-flagging-duration.png
  52. 52.0 52.1 steven-flagging-logout.png
  53. Interview, 27 April 2017 (1:18).
  54. pvp flagging lockouts.png
  55. 55.0 55.1 Interview, 8 July 2020 (1:05:27).
  56. flagging.jpg
  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 57.3 57.4 57.5 57.6 57.7 Livestream, 29 March 2019 (17:10).
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 58.3 58.4 58.5 58.6 58.7 58.8 Interview, 11 May 2018 (58:07).
  59. 59.0 59.1 Livestream, 5 May 2017 (22:44).
  60. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (AM) (12:34).
  61. 61.0 61.1 61.2 Interview, 19 July 2020 (1:05:41).
  62. Livestream, 5 May 2017 (38:27).
  63. 63.0 63.1 Livestream, 26 July 2019 (1:22:50).