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Dünzenkell Crypt open-world Dünir dungeon in Alpha-1.[1]

Half the problem won't just be solving the dungeon, it will be solving other players too.[2]Jeffrey Bard

Dungeons in Ashes of Creation will range in size and will be mostly open-world.[5][6][7][8]

  • Open world dungeons will be populated to facilitate multiple groups within the dungeon.[6][2]
    • 80% of dungeons will be open world.[9][10]
  • Instanced dungeons will also be present and will cater for solo and group questlines.[2]
    • 20% of dungeons will be instanced.[9][10]
    • Some boss rooms (within larger encounters) will be instanced.[5]
    • Instances will either be individual or party instances, and in rare cases raid instances.[6]
    • Instanced dungeons and raids will utilize room locks or other mechanisms that restricts the encounter to its target audience.[5]

Different tiers and types of dungeon content will be more or less relevant to specific groups or class compositions.[6][11]

Q: With most dungeons and POIs being non-instanced, how large and intricate can we expect dungeons to be in order to accommodate many groups and PvX potential? For example, how many players do you expect the Tower of Carphin to accommodate?
A: Let me break that up into two sections. First it's important to note that while the vast majority of our playable areas are within the open world, there are some that are contained obviously within instances. Those instances being either individual instances, party instances, or even, in some rare cases, raid instances. with that being said however, part of the dynamic that a PvX game wants to emphasize when it comes to open world dungeons and playable spaces is the natural friction that occurs when scarcity is a real thing; and scarcity means that not all hunting areas are going to be the same quality. There are going to be specific loot tables that are relevant to certain hunting areas. There's going to be certain spawn rates that is relative to experience values for those areas. And there's going to be different compositions of mobs that are relevant to the areas as well; and so because there are these tiers of quality of hunting grounds, that creates a rarity value essentially to those locations, of which then there is a level of scarcity because there's limited space. So we are going to be creating spaces that are very large, to answer the first part of the question, that will host many many many groups; and we're also going to have spaces that are relatively small and might only be able to cater to one or two groups.
Second part of your question as it relates to Carphin. Carphin is broken up as a hunting area into two primary sections: There is the tower itself and then there is the wreckage of the city in which Carphin existed beneath. Now, the beneath section is the wreckage itself, is generally catering towards groups of three to five players. So it's not so much a solo area, but it is an area where you might go with a few friends. But if you went with a full party then maybe your kill rate needs to be really high; and there's a few sections that are in the wreckage area that could support that, but not the entire wreckage. Okay, so that's an important distinction to keep in mind when thinking about the dungeon itself. The tower is intended for full parties and there are I believe five levels above the base level, so six total levels that are playable; and each of those levels will support anywhere from three to four groups essentially. So it is a relatively large structure: a vertical dungeon that we're expecting groups to spend a lot of time in. And it's not intended that the groups go between levels. It's intended that they find a level and they carve out a section of that level that they're going to be hunting in; and then another group's going to be near them and maybe there's going to be some friction because they keep pulling mob from your section and you're like, "Hey what the hell dude, get the hell out of my section", and they're like "No, you're gonna die now!"[6]Steven Sharif
  • Dungeon difficulty will increase the further a player ventures into a dungeon.[12]
  • Mobs and mob mechanics will become more difficult.[12]
  • Terrain and environmental dangers will increase.[12]
Deeper darker types of interactions will be found deeper in the dungeon.[12]Steven Sharif
Q: Will open-world dungeons have a negative feedback loop for those who are busing or carrying dungeons for lower level players?
A: There is a level disparity mechanic that prevents players who are outside of 9 to 10 levels of the highest level within the party from collecting experience through their adventuring. So, to some degree there is a safeguard with regards to that; and then obviously the way that we cater the encounter experience, depending on those locations, are going to require that a party is operating at at a high efficiency level in order for it to be efficient for that lower level player to participate and gain levels in a way that makes sense. So, I think there are some safeguards with regards to that. And the other thing is that, if you're paying other players to power level you, or you're engaging in any type of RMT, we have behavioral heat mapping which will help us identify those individuals and take action.[13]Steven Sharif

There were 13 dungeons in Alpha-1.[14] Originally this was estimated to be 6 or 7.[15]

Dungeon locations

Dungeons and other points of interest are located throughout the map in-between the 85 node locations.[16]

POIs of this size do not normally attach to just a single node. Usually there are multiple nodes that can potentially influence a large POI. The theming within the node occurs around storylines or NPC spawns and events.[17]Steven Sharif
  • The difficulty level and loot tables of these encounters will change based on this influence.[18][16]

List of notable dungeons

info-orange.pngThis section contains potentially outdated information from Alpha-1 testing.

Underwater dungeons

Underwater dungeons are part of Ashes of Creation naval content.[20]

Dungeon scale

The intention is that dungeons are going to be "massive" in scale.[22]

  • Massive caverns and open world spaces.[22]
  • Places to suit larger and smaller commitments.[22]
    • Where people with 30 minutes can participate.
  • Dungeons are vast and have room for multiple groups.[23]

Dungeon bosses

info-orange.pngThis section contains potentially outdated information from Alpha-1 testing.


Dillia's diary concept art.[24]

The Ancients and The Others they found their way to Verra at some point and they came through what we call the Harbingers, which are essentially these celestial bodies- these almost comet-like structures that were traveling through space to find the location of the new creation; and within those harbingers is a very strong source of magic that essentially acts as a bridge between the Void and the Material plane where Verra exists.[25]Steven Sharif

The Harbingers are comet-like celestial bodies powered by a very strong source of magic that essentially acts as a bridge between The Void and the Material plane where Verra exists.[25]

  • The worst thing the Harbingers bought to Verra was corruption, which twists and distorts everything it touches.[29]
The worst thing that the Harbingers brought was not the Others, but the corruption that they spread. It twists and distorts everything it touches. It whispers in the ears of men, and guides their hands toward terrible ends. There does not seem a means to stop it - our prayers do nothing, our spells are ineffectual. The awful truth is that the Others could simply watch as we burned Verra to ash ourselves.[29]


Looting rights (also known as Loot tagging) is based on a blended tag and damage done system.[30][31]

  • The first party to obtain a tag (on a mob or boss) will gain an approximately 5-10% edge over competing parties in terms of the total damage done when determining looting rights.[30][31]
    • These numbers will be balanced based on testing.[30]
  • At the end of the fight, the party with the highest damage done, including first tagging bonus, will be granted looting rights.[30][31]
We have a blended approach of damage done and a tag benefit. So if you tag the boss first, or you tag the loot- whatever the loot target is first- you're gonna get a benefit in the damage overall determination. So if you need to have 51% of damage done in order to qualify your raid, or the plurality of damage done if there's even three or four raids, then tagging first might give you a five or ten percent edge. We'll play with that number- balance it based on testing, but generally that's our approach in competing loot rights[30]Steven Sharif
Q: If looting rights are based on a blended tag and damage done system, will there be any mechanics in place to ensure roles like tanks and healers have an equal shot even when they haven't dealt as much damage?
A: That's the reason for the blended approach. The reason that we're doing a hybrid system between tag and damage done is for the purposes of those classes who may not be as DPS oriented as other classes. The tag system- all classes are going to have a sprinkling of immediate effects- of instantaneous casts and they can use that to tag a target, and that'll give them a modifier on the looting rights: So plus 10 or plus 15 will balance that, but it'll give them plus 10 to 15 on overall damage done if they tag the target and then their damage will make up the remainder of that percentage completion. So if I do 50 damage to a target but someone else has the tag I'm not going to be able to claim that looting right. They'll have done the other 50 plus 10 or 15.[32]Steven Sharif

Loot tables

  • RNG drop chances will likely not be made public.[49]
Q: Can only one gathering artisan harvest resources from a single boss, or can multiple different artisans harvest different parts from a boss for different resources? For example, a lumberjack gets a special wood from Tumock's tree weapon, while a herbalist gathers the flowers from that same tree.
A: We don't have the concept of harvesting from bosses. NPCs follow a reward table format, where those reward tables are global. They're not unique to particular players. So, once the NPC is vanquished, you have access to the loot container that is its corpse; and it has a static value of either materials or items that get dropped; and whatever the party loot settings are that you might be a part of, or if you're a solo player you will be able to recover those things.[53]


Glint in a player's inventory in Alpha-2.[55]

You're hovering over an item we call Glint. [It] comes in a few different rarities. It was formerly known as the monster certificates but we have rebranded them.[55]Chris Justo

Glint rarities in Alpha-2.[55]

Glint (previously known as Hunting certificates and Monster certificates) is a bound currency that drops from mobs and players, and is offered as a reward for completing certain quests, events, and achievements. Glint is intended to be the primary method for generating gold in the Ashes of Creation economy.[56][57][37][58][34][35]

Glint serves a very integral role in the economy within Ashes of Creation. It is a material substance that is acquired through various means, but primarily hunting different antagonists within the world; and it is the physical form of Essence within the beasts of Verra. So when you acquire this it is bound to your character, and that is a very important component of the economic systems here because glint will be used to pay for certain services, such as taxation for buildings that you have, or citizenship dues that are necessary.[59]Steven Sharif
  • Glint may be traded with commodities vendors for player commodities. These commodities can then be transported to other nodes (via caravan or merchant ship) where they can be traded for gold.[37][60][34][61][35] The gold value is based on the demand for the commodity at the destination node (over the last seven days) as well as its distance from the originating node.[63][37]

Dungeon content

Alpha-1 preview pirate themed dynamic point of interest.[65]

This is actually a dynamic POI. This one will evolve as players evolve the node that it's attached to. So this is its final state.[65]Jeffrey Bard

New points of interest (such as dungeons, world bosses, and corrupted areas) spawn as nodes develop.[66][67] This content adapts to the node progression of the zone it is in.[65][68]

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 academic 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.[69]

Jumping mechanics

Jumping puzzles will occasionally feature in the world.[73]

Dungeon difficulty

Tumok the Wretched Alpha-2 world boss.[76]

Raid bosses are aware of the number of combatants within an area in proximity to them and that awareness is part of an indicator to which behaviors they're going to utilize as part of their behavior tree. So as it's assessing the types of combatants that are facing it, the number of those combatants, the position of those combatants, the abilities and totals of those combatants, it weighs certain actions in its behavior tree and then it acts on those actions; and in the scenario where you're bringing overwhelming odds to a particular fight, that might weigh heavier the AoE options that the boss has access to, where they're utilizing a lot more AoE abilities during an engagement due to that overage of players. So in that sense it's a bit adaptive. It's a bit dynamic based on the encounter scenario.[77]Steven Sharif

The difficulty of PvE content, such as raids and dungeons, will adapt based on the number of participants and their performance against that and previous bosses in that encounter. This applies to both instanced and open-world encounters.[78][77][79][80]

How does the state tree of the NPC respond to the actions of the players? Well, it weights certain actions and behaviors based off of what the players are doing and as it weights those things, it makes decisions that will be unique according to the encounter that's occurring in front of it. So, each time might be different as a result of that. That's one section. In addition, when we talk about the adaptive scaling- this isn't scaling in like power relation to the level of the player- this is scaling in the quantity of participants; and that means that it starts to weight the behaviors that include AoE actions higher than others as a result of the number of players who are present. This intrinsically increases the challenge rating of the encounter, because those AoE abilities are providing a higher return on DPS overall to the to the raid encounter for the monster.[78]Steven Sharif
  • There will be mobs who's level is above the player level cap.[83]
Both in Alpha-2 and when the game launches, there will be monsters whose technical level is above that of the cap; and the intent there is obviously again to provide some level of challenge that exceeds a comparable level challenge rating.[83]Steven Sharif
Q: How challenging will raid boss mechanics be given the given that players may need to simultaneously fight other players while also fighting the boss?
A: It depends. The great thing about our encounter system is that it has a wide scalability from encounters that some might consider easy given their composition to encounters that some might consider impossible until they get their gear level to a certain stage. The level of interaction with other players is really predicated on the encounter itself. We may have some encounters that are in instances although the predominant portion of those will be in the open world, in which case they do have the potential being contested; and these encounters, especially the big ones that might land in contention, are giving some of the best-in-slot gear you can get in the game. So it's important that they are contested because it is a significant victory point; and one of our core pillars is risk versus reward: and the higher that risk the higher that reward should be. So those two things seem fitting and then in addition we do have the concept of winners and losers. Not everybody in Ashes of Creation is going to be a winner; and that sucks if you're not I guess, but there is opportunity for you to continue to excel and become one. But it gives much more meaning to an achievement when not everybody gets the achievement. That's our philosophy.[84]Steven Sharif
Q: So it's the sort of thing where it might be, we're going do a dungeon that's oops, all fire golems, so if everybody straps up with plate armor and fire resistance, you don't have to worry about the magic fire: you've got the fire resistance for. And when you start getting punched around, that's why everyone's come in with plate?
A: The encounters design team presents a particular type of challenge rating- for those you're familiar with playing DnD or whatever, challenge rating gets informed by a few different vertical power levels, but then there's also the horizontal perspective: That is, what tools does your party have to address the challenge rating of the situation and some of the horizontal progression exists within how you kit your equipment slots. Some of those can be enhancements or stones, as you're discussing with fire resistance. Some of those are base stats that exist on a particular item, such as physical damage mitigation versus magical damage mitigation and what subtype of damage is incoming based on that. These are the ways that we emphasize that more rock-paper-scissors type of interaction with balance to where it's okay to have asymmetric imbalance if there are horizontal methods by which you achieve the challenge rating.[85]Steven Sharif


Levels, stats, or skills will not be scaled to allow low level players to participate in encounters with higher level players or world bosses.[86][87][88]

Q: Will world bosses scale when it comes to player levels and is it based on players or the zone itself leveling?
A: They will not scale based on player level, no.[86]Steven Sharif

Tutorial systems

Tutorial systems are intended to be in place for Alpha-2.[89][90]

We do intend to have and this is for entrance criteria of Alpha-2 a trigger response when players engage with certain systems for the first time, or when they are entering a certain area for the first time, or entering a node for the first time, that they will be able to be prompted with information about how they should go about first-time user experience sort-of-thing. That is going to obviously help orient players to the different systems within the game, because there are many.[89]Steven Sharif

Group sizes

Party witnessing the beginning of the An Ancient Violence Story arc in Alpha-2.[91]

We're not creating a solo game, but it doesn't mean that we don't offer gameplay that is solo centric as well: It lives in addition to the social aspect of What MMOs provide; and so part of what we do in order to to give that element of gameplay is we have quest lines that are devoted towards solo players. We have hunting grounds. Obviously one of the benefits of being a solo player is you get to keep everything that drops. You don't have to share loot with a party or with friends; that's one benefit of being a solo player. But it's going to be more difficult to overcome challenges; and those individuals who are up to taking that additional level of of difficulty are going to excel perhaps in their character progression a bit faster than those who are more group-centric. It's going to be a little bit of a roll of the dice there because there are loot tables, there are reward tables that accompany that, but it's important to note that from a content perspective Ashes of Creation is looking to fulfill both that solo-oriented mind in gameplay as well as the group and social experience; and a lot of times those paths diverge: They move apart, they come back together; and that process is going to be seen throughout the leveling in Ashes of Creation where you'll have more opportunities for solo gameplay and some opportunities for group gameplay.[92]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation is designed for solo players as well as large and small groups.[92][93][94]

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.[95]
  • Raids will have 40 man groups.[96]
  • Content will be tailored for 40, 16 and 8 person group sizes.[46]
  • Arenas will have 1 man, 3 man, 5 man and possibly 20 man Free-For-All (Deathmatch) group sizes.[97]
    • There won't specifically be guild vs guild arenas but team-based matchmaking allows teams to face other teams.[98]
  • 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.[99][100][101][102]
The minimum goal is 500 players on a single battlefield. I think we will be able to hit 500vs500 but we shall see.[102]Steven Sharif


For every play, there should be a counterplay. We often see Castle Sieges turn into zerg-fests, which really doesn’t capture the epic, back-and-forth battles we wish to see in Ashes of Creation. One of our key pillars is that Choice Matters[103], and that applies to tactics and strategy as well. A well-formulated battle plan should win out over stat sheets and bodies. Zergs will generally be difficult to pull off, and will be eminently counterable through siege weapons, traps, and other battlefield tricks.[104]

  • Encounters are designed to have meaning in terms of how boss skills and abilities relate to group compositions, tactics and strategies. Zerging is not experiencing content.[106] There are different ways to make a fight more difficult for larger sized groups without relying solely on stat buffs or making the boss a "damage sponge".[81]
  • Loot in Ashes of Creation encounters is finite and must be distributed between party or raid members who complete the encounter. There is no individual loot system that grants loot to all participants. This essentially acts to balance the lowered risk in large numbers against lower chances of gaining rewards.[107]
Q: Risk versus reward seems to be involved in all systems. Do you feel risk, such as death penalties, or the threat of being PKed during dungeon content will lead to players zerging world bosses and dungeons to minimize said risk, thus trivializing some content and experiences, regardless of that planned difficulty scaling you just spoke about?
A: Another part of our design that is more old school, but speaks exactly to this thought is that the reward is finite; and what that means is in a lot of modern MMOs, each person gets their own reward for participating; and back in the day, the one person was the loot master: they would interact with the raid boss and then there would be some guild-driven system or alliance-driven system that would determine who's next on the list to get this bow, or who's the crafter that deserves this master legendary recipe, or where does this legendary material go. It's not that everybody got your loot box because we all completed the boss together: everyone gets the auto-granted reward from the quest of completing the boss together. What people came for that reward- the reason why alliances and guilds organized the raid to go defeat the dragon, was because the dragon boat dropped, and there was only one that dropped. So, the more people you take, the more slices of the finite pie you have to deliver, which reduces the reward structure. So, if you're going to reduce risk you must reduce reward.[107]Steven Sharif
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.[111]Steven Sharif
  • Mechanics that encourage political intrigue will play a role in destabilizing zergs.[114]
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 want that political intrigue to be present in the game.[114]Steven Sharif
  • Objective-based game play helps to balance the zerg mentality.[115]
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 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.[115]Steven Sharif
Zerging is always a problem in a lot of these MMORPGs where you really can't control the number of participants in certain open-world systems; and in that sense instancing is a great tool that designers can sometimes use to curate a particular number of participants that you want. But the predominant amount of content within Ashes of Creation, over 80% of which is is open-world content, so instancing is very limited.[116]Steven Sharif

Leader boards

Players will be able to opt-in to track certain achievements on leaderboards, such as.[117]

Leaderboards may be seasonal.[118]

We have many dreams that we want to do with game-to-web and game-to-mobile in regards to showing stats and being making things shareable for you. We know how social media works; how sharing content with friends works. But those things will come in due time.[117]Margaret Krohn
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.



See also


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  4. Livestream, February 9, 2018 (4:42).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Podcast, May 10, 2024 (46:50).
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  9. 9.0 9.1 openworldinstancedsplit.png
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  11. Livestream, April 28, 2023 (1:15:22).
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  13. Livestream, April 30, 2024 (1:08:20).
  14. Alpha-1 map.
  15. Livestream, March 26, 2021 (39:08).
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  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 steven-pois.png
  18. 18.0 18.1 steven-dungeons.png
  19. steven-underwater-dungeon-leak.png
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  21. Livestream, March 28, 2020 (1:53:18).
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Livestream, May 19, 2017 (23:00).
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  29. 29.0 29.1 Week 1, entry 1.
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  44. Ashes of Creation Forums - Former Lineage 2 PvP'er wanting to discuss PvP loopholes.
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  82. 82.0 82.1 Interview, July 19, 2020 (17:12).
  83. 83.0 83.1 Livestream, November 30, 2023 (1:53:50).
  84. Livestream, May 27, 2022 (1:20:35).
  85. Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:40:41).
  86. 86.0 86.1 Livestream, May 31, 2023 (43:55).
  87. Interview, June 13, 2021 (24:14).
  88. Video, April 5, 2018 (40:08).
  89. 89.0 89.1 Livestream, April 30, 2024 (1:10:16).
  90. Blog: Creative Director's Letter, October 16 2020
  91. Video, February 29, 2024 (33:57).
  92. 92.0 92.1 Livestream, September 30, 2022 (2:40).
  93. Livestream, November 30, 2020 (1:20:25).
  94. solo2.png
  95. 95.0 95.1 Group dynamics blog.
  96. Livestream, May 9, 2017 (34:38).
  97. partysize.png
  98. Livestream, May 26, 2017 (48:12).
  99. Livestream, September 24, 2021 (52:48).
  100. Interview, July 8, 2021 (57:19).
  101. Interview, July 19, 2020 (44:28).
  102. 102.0 102.1 castle-siege-scale.png
  103. pillars-confusion.png
  104. Blog: 10 facts about castle sieges in the MMORPG.
  105. Livestream, May 5, 2017 (23:26).
  106. 106.0 106.1 Livestream, May 19, 2017 (25:18).
  107. 107.0 107.1 Podcast, May 10, 2024 (50:37).
  108. Podcast, May 10, 2024 (35:00).
  109. Livestream, September 27, 2018 (55:39).
  110. Interview, August 8, 2018 (9:36).
  111. 111.0 111.1 Livestream, May 22, 2017 (57:37).
  112. Livestream, May 5, 2017 (23:26).
  113. Podcast, May 10, 2024 (40:31).
  114. 114.0 114.1 Interview, May 11, 2018 (44:20).
  115. 115.0 115.1 Interview, August 8, 2018 (11:52).
  116. 116.0 116.1 116.2 Livestream, January 28, 2022 (17:50).
  117. 117.0 117.1 117.2 117.3 117.4 117.5 117.6 Livestream, May 31, 2023 (2:21).
  118. 118.0 118.1 118.2 Livestream, July 18, 2017 (58:50).
  119. Livestream, May 15, 2017 (44:10).