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Environments

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Alpha-1 environment.[1]

We are a high fantasy game... That means that outside of the traditional sorts of environments you're going to start seeing some pretty crazy and wild stuff that will also change based on seasons.[2]Jeffrey Bard

Alpha-1 Oasis environment preview.[4]

This is a second one of two of the large water oasis areas that we incorporated into the tropics biome.[5]Michael Bacon

There are approximately 18 biomes (environments) in Ashes of Creation.[5]

We just wanted to represent just about every biome type under the sun really and just have enough diversity over the world that like when you went from area to area you know, you really just got a contrast of different biome types.[6]Michael Bacon

Climate

Some environments (Biomes) have fixed climates and others are variable.[8]

  • There will be dynamic weather that varies in intensity.[10]
    • For example: Drizzle to/from storm, or Blizzard to/from snow.

There are climate effects that occur from a buff standpoint. They can also affect skills like, let's say you're using a frost bolt in a winter climate. There's the ability for those effects to be enhanced and/or stronger in those climates.[11]Steven Sharif

Seasons

Ashes of Creation Seasons – First Look (Pre-alpha).[12]

We want to really make the environment immersive and actually affect gameplay.[13]Steven Sharif

Seasons affect different zones (environments/biomes) based on their location in the world.[13]

  • There will be regions of the map with seasons that are less (or more) temperate.[16]
    For example: Northern, Southern and Tropical regions.[16]
  • Events may radically change the current season a zone is in, or elongate it.[9][17]
  • There will also be magical seasons where you might be in a tropical zone and suddenly it's snowing.[16]
  • Items, crops, buildings, and crafting mechanics might gain certain buffs or debuffs in certain seasons.[18]

Winter might have a spawner that activates on a road that spawns at large fallen tree and players who see that will have an opportunity to go up and exert some type of one-time action that helps in removing that tree and it might require you know X number of people to do that before the tree gets removed; and that you know as an example is not beneficial for the transit of goods because as you know caravans require- well they don't require but they move better on roads and if that tree were present let's say blocking you know a road that led to a bridge per-se that they would have to off-road.[13]Steven Sharif

Different seasons may affect access to various roads.[9][17][13]

  • Pathways that are open during summer may be closed during winter.[13]
  • Seasonal affects may cause obstacles or blockages to the transit of goods via caravan.[9][17][19]
  • Water turning to ice in winter, enabling players to walk over the water but blocking access to what is underneath.[13]
    • Ice will make roads bumpy and slippery.[20]

Seasons change on a weekly basis during scheduled downtime.[21]

  • Each month in real-life will effectively be a full seasonal rotation in the game.[21]
  • Environmental seasons are not to be confused with PvP seasons, which last for six months.[22]

In Ashes of Creation the world will change on a regular basis. Zones will progress in a seasonal cycle, which will alter the very nature of the environment around you. Snow may block pathways that are accessible in warmer months, spring may encourage creatures otherwise unseen to come to the surface, and fall might be the only time that certain crops thrive. This cycle can then take in the state of the world’s Nodes and shift depending on their progression.[19]

Day and night cycle

Early Alpha-1 dynamic lighting example.[23]

This has been some of the work done on the dynamic aspect of not just the clouds and the skyline, but also the different times of days that will be experienced through the world... We are not going with a 'baked' lighting aspect; we're going with a dynamic lighting aspect. So it can be a little bit costlier, but at the same time it really adds a type of mood that you would come to expect with the aesthetic you are seeing here in a game like Ashes of Creation.[24]Steven Sharif

There is a day/night cycle in Ashes of Creation.[26][27]

Fifteen minutes may be one hour in game time.[30]

Darkness

Pre-alpha Mage's detection utility skill casts light and reveals magical explosive hazards.[31]

Darkness as an environmental obstacle is being considered as part of the game mechanics.[32]

How deeply we take this though is really going to come down to how much fun it actually is, which we’re still in the process of discovering. As long as we can nail some interesting mechanics, and it’s not more frustrating than fun, make sure you bring your torch.

Artistic style

Ashes of Creation will have a higher graphical fidelity than most western games. It will not be too stylized or "cartoony".[33]

We can push the limits a little bit on the graphical fidelity, especially using Unreal Engine 4... My desire was not to see very cartoony games. I'm not a big fan of highly stylized art.[33]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 environment

Map of Alpha-1 preview testing zone.[35]

The Alpha One map including nodes, dungeons, quest givers, POI, teleporters, and camps will be explorable! Note that this is only a small portion of the world of Verra.[36]

Alpha-1 testing tropical zone featuring a war beast and a tribe of pigmy goblins.[37]

This is a rather large tropical area; and what we use some of the creatures for is kind of like establishing character for different parts of this tropical place. So that even though it's the same biome, it feels different when you are going from place to place based on what's there and how those things are interacting with the environment.[38]Jeffrey Bard

Alpha-1 testing takes place in a zone to the north west of the world map.[39] This zone has many islands and a mainland area.[40]

Elements

There will be elements (such as Air, Fire, Water, Lightning) in Ashes of Creation each with their own resistances.[48][49][50]

  • Other elemental influences may include Darkness, Light and Planar.[50]
  • Elements may have more influence in certain seasons and climates. For example, frost abilities may be stronger in winter. This affects both PvE and PvP.[11][51]
  • There may be ley lines and strong magical places in the world that change or alter the way spells work.[52]

We've discussed a little bit about how the seasons and biomes will react with different types of skills. Like if you have a fireball and it's summer it might be a little bit different. If it's winter and you have a frost ability it might be different.[51]Steven Sharif

We want to get a nice spread of abilities that that are influenced by what's going on your zone.[51]Jeffrey Bard

Landmarks

200 foot tall Pyrian statues in Alpha-1.[53]

Landmarks are scattered throughout the world, allowing players to judge their position on the map.[53]

From a lore perspective these statues have been around for a long time; and they are representative of the civilizations that existed once on this world before.[53]Steven Sharif

Major visual landmarks. You can look all the way across the horizon have an idea where you're going or where to meet friends or where to meet just based on these huge landmarks in the world.[53]Mat Broome

Underrealm

Alpha-0 Underrealm environment.[54]

One of the aspects of the Lore behind the Tulnar was that in the pantheon of gods that exist- having foretold the future through the Goddess of Fate to the Goddess of Creation- these areas in the Underrealm were created in to allow for refuge for which the gods knew would be left behind that couldn't make it to Sanctus. So that was a pre-thought there in the creation of the Underrealm to facilitate that realm where refugees could seek.[55]Steven Sharif

Alpha-0 Underrealm Sharptooth cat mob concept art.[54]

We plan to have the Underrealm really pervasive throughout the game itself, a part of the open world. It will introduce some unique elements such as the type of monsters you see, the type of crops you can grow and houses you can have.[56]Steven Sharif

The Underrealm is a rich environment where bio-luminescence abounds in the fauna and flora that exist here. These deep caverns and underground valleys provide new destinations for civilization to develop. Bringing the node system into the depths of the world may awaken darker creatures than the surface.[57]

  • The Underrealm is estimated to be 100 km2 in area.[58]
    • The underrealm is not contiguous across the entire map. There will be areas that are obstructed by chasms or other features.[59]
    • 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.[59]
    • 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.[59]

The expansiveness of the Underrealm itself is quite large. It does persist across across a lot of the playable game area that's above ground. So there are alternatives in the Underrealm for passages and traversal throughout the world.[60]Steven Sharif

We've also talked about node states affecting what openings are open and what things are closed. So not all entrances to the Underrealm will be open at the same time. So that configuration can shift and different routes will open up and be more advantageous than other routes.[59]Jeffrey Bard

Environment

Alpha-0 Underrealm environment.[54]

Underrealm environments are vast.[61]

  • Caravans should be able to operate as they do above ground.[61]
  • If there's insufficient room for Dragons, another mount type may be utilized.[61]
  • Burrowing mounts are being considered as an alternative to flying mounts in the Underrealm.[62]

One of the important aspects of color play is going to be the distinguishing factor between different Underrealms and the regions that exist in the world: Their color influences set them apart from different regions.[63]Steven Sharif

Seasons above ground will affect the Underrealm.[61]

  • This will not be a one-to-one correlation: for example, it won't snow in the Underrealm.
  • Tunnel flooding and other effects will be related to the weather above ground.

The seasons above ground will kind of inform what happens underneath. I mean, it's not going to be a direct one-to-one correlation right, not like it's going to be raining in the underworld, but you will see the effects from above happen down below: You might find tunnels being flooded.[61]Jeffrey Bard

Coastal and island nodes

Pre-alpha naval concept.[64]

There will be nodes along the coast and on islands.[65]

  • These nodes will have specific water oriented influences and abilities, services, questlines, that relate to the seas.[65]
  • Coastal nodes change the spawn tables of the nearby water content and can also trigger specific events.[66]
  • Harbors in coastal nodes will have quest lines that relate to the ocean and nearby islands.[66]
  • It may be possible to siege a coastal city by sea.[67]

Island chains are part of Ashes of Creation naval content.[68][69]

Underwater

Underwater content will be accessible, not cumbersome.[72]

Underwater nodes

Underwater points of interest that have NPC structures may appear to be like cities, but they will not be nodes.[74]

  • There won't be nodes underwater or in the water.[65]

Foliage

House plants may be available as housing decor items.[77]

  • The developers have discussed potentially adding mechanics to potted plants that yield unique items if the plant is properly maintained.[77]

One of the big directives for the environment team- and I know Mia has been amazing in this regard- is each of the biomes really need to have a a fairly eclectic selection of plant life, of vegetation, of foliage. These help to create the atmosphere that you are really immersed in this different climate zone and that that's obviously something that we as players enjoy when we get to see a significant diversity of plant life, because it does lend itself to the immersive nature of the world.[78]Steven Sharif

Destructible environments

Destructible castle.[79]

This is the castle siege destruction props. It's variable areas of exploded stuff. You can't completely destroy the castle or you wouldn't be able to get to the top of it.[79]Michael Bacon

Destructible environments will be a core element of how players interact with the world, in both Ashes of Creation Apocalypse and Ashes of Creation the MMORPG.[81]

We want destruction to be a very core element of how players make their way through the world.[81]Steven Sharif

  • Attackers may not be capable of destroying a node during a siege. Instead they may carry out precision attacks to disable specific service-oriented buildings within the node. These buildings can be targeted with siege weapons and bombs.[82]
  • Node buildings (including player housing) have hit points and can be damaged during sieges. If buildings suffer more than approximately 25% damage, any NPCs or services offered by that building will not be available until the building is repaired.[83]
  • If the node still exists after the siege has ended, citizens will need to obtain the resources needed to repair and rebuild any damaged infrastructure.[83][84]
    • Larger more advanced buildings will require more resources to repair them. In-node housing will likely require the least resources to repair.[85]
  • Player housing that is destroyed during a node siege can no longer be sold.[86]

There will be ways to repair destructible structures (such as walls and gates) and also repair (or re-craft) siege weapons that were damaged during sieges.[89]

  • This is a long term design goal that will not be present during Alpha-1.[89]

You could be more precision oriented in the decision to attack a city. Let's say it's a rival node that's trying to reach you know a node stage five or something and you want to disable their ability for the religious system to progress so you target the temple during the attack, or you want to disable their scholars academy from reaching a higher level so that your nodes can; or you want to disable multiple buildings that allow for experience and quests to be undertaken by its citizenship, which prevents them from keeping up in pace of experience gained with your node. These can be more precision oriented and don't have to effectualize an actual takeover of the node.[82]Steven Sharif

Artwork

Videos

See also

References

  1. steven-volcano-guy-quote.png
  2. 2.0 2.1 Livestream, 1 June 2017 (29:33).
  3. verran-environments.png
  4. Livestream, 25 June 2021 (55:39).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Livestream, 29 January 2021 (21:55).
  6. Livestream, 25 June 2021 (53:15).
  7. Video, 30 May 2017 (0:01).
  8. 8.0 8.1 Livestream, 18 July 2017 (36:47).
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Podcast, 11 April 2021 (23:36).
  10. Livestream, 28 July 2017 (41:25).
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Livestream, 30 September 2020 (1:04:56).
  12. Video, 22 January 2017 (0:02).
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 Livestream, 8 May 2017 (20:27).
  14. Ashes of Creation Instagram. May 1, 2020.
  15. Ashes of Creation Facebook. March 19, 2020.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Livestream, 27 September 2018 (41:33).
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Livestream, 26 June 2020 (1:29:06).
  18. Livestream, 26 July 2019 (1:32:40).
  19. 19.0 19.1 Our immersive world - Environments.
  20. frosty-roads.png
  21. 21.0 21.1 seasons.png
  22. Interview, 18 July 2020 (16:34).
  23. Livestream, 30 November 2020 (41:49).
  24. 24.0 24.1 Livestream, 30 November 2020 (24:51).
  25. Ashes of Creation - Screenshots.
  26. Livestream, 25 June 2021 (29:58).
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Livestream, 12 May 2017 (57:41).
  28. day cycle.jpg
  29. Podcast, 11 April 2021 (15:55).
  30. time.jpg
  31. Video, 7 February 2017 (0:02s).
  32. Interview: Ashes of Creation on Building Their Virtual World, 13 April 2017.
  33. 33.0 33.1 Interview, 20 October 2018 (2:17:43).
  34. Interview, 20 October 2018 (2:28:08).
  35. toast-a1map.png
  36. Guide to Alpha One.
  37. 37.0 37.1 Livestream, 30 November 2020 (12:09).
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 38.4 Livestream, 30 November 2020 (22:43).
  39. 39.0 39.1 Livestream, 30 November 2020 (9:51).
  40. 40.0 40.1 alpha-1-map-size.png
  41. Livestream, 26 March 2021 (16:05).
  42. steven-a1-map.png
  43. Interview, 19 July 2020 (1:21:49).
  44. Podcast, 11 April 2021 (53:01).
  45. Livestream, 30 November 2020 (25:45).
  46. steven-pi-not-alpha-island.png
  47. Livestream, 29 January 2021 (26:38).
  48. 48.0 48.1 Interview, 18 July 2020 (1:05:04).
  49. Livestream, 24 May 2017 (27:47).
  50. 50.0 50.1 Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (26:19).
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 Livestream, 1 June 2017 (20:23).
  52. Livestream, 26 June 2020 (1:32:16).
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 53.3 Livestream, 17 August 2018 (10:01).
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 Ashes of Creation - The visuals.
  55. Interview, 31 October 2018 (6:00).
  56. A chat with Ashes of Creation's Steven Sharif, 7 June 2017.
  57. Kickstarter $1,750,000 Stretch Goal Unlocked, 13 May 2017.
  58. Interview, 17 August 2018 (10:43).
  59. 59.0 59.1 59.2 59.3 Livestream, 30 October 2020 (1:19:13).
  60. Interview, 31 October 2018 (5:43).
  61. 61.0 61.1 61.2 61.3 61.4 Livestream, 1 June 2017 (24:30).
  62. Interview, 17 August 2018 (8:57).
  63. Livestream, 18 January 2018 (14:00).
  64. Livestream, 17 August 2018 (58:53).
  65. 65.0 65.1 65.2 Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (1:01:28).
  66. 66.0 66.1 Interview, 19 July 2020 (48:05).
  67. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (37:51).
  68. Livestream, 17 May 2017 (30:53).
  69. Kickstarter - We Just Broke $1,500,000!
  70. 70.0 70.1 Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:42:41).
  71. Livestream, 29 January 2021 (1:00:57).
  72. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (38:46).
  73. Livestream, 30 September 2020 (55:39).
  74. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (AM) (18:29).
  75. Livestream, 31 July 2020 (1:39:00).
  76. Livestream, 29 January 2021 (56:58).
  77. 77.0 77.1 Livestream, 30 October 2020 (44:22).
  78. Livestream, 30 October 2020 (43:01).
  79. 79.0 79.1 Livestream, 31 October 2019 (36:20).
  80. Video, 28 May 2021 (23:45).
  81. 81.0 81.1 Livestream, 28 June 2019 (31:15).
  82. 82.0 82.1 Livestream, November 22 2019 (16:56).
  83. 83.0 83.1 Interview, 8 July 2020 (57:46).
  84. Livestream, November 22 2019 (17:59).
  85. Interview, 8 July 2020 (59:38).
  86. 86.0 86.1 Livestream, 26 June 2020 (1:02:12).
  87. Livestream, 18 July 2017 (40:14).
  88. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (47:10).
  89. 89.0 89.1 Livestream, 28 May 2021 (1:04:29).