- Each of the five castles has its own static layout. Castle siege defenses include deploying traps and blockades within the castle, as well as hiring mercenary NPCs to defend specific locations.
- While the hard structural environment is static and not able to be- you're not building a castle if you own a castle, you're inheriting a historic ruined castle that is representative of the past because it has some tie-in to specific types of powers that we haven't gotten into from a lore perspective yet but we haven't expressed to the community. That's something that we're going to leave for the community to find out when they play. But when you place mercenaries and you place those blockades and you place those traps, that affects the level design of the castle according to the strategy you might use to defend it. – Steven Sharif
- Castle sieges occur in the open world but may become instanced based on testing.
- There is one castle located on an island that is able to be affected by naval combat.
- Castles will initially be occupied by an NPC adversary. These are the primary antagonists in the storyline. Guilds have a period of time to level up in order to siege these castles.
- These Castles are occupied when players arrive on Verra, and their current inhabitants will have to be removed before any player can claim them. Castles will be dangerous and high-level raid zones until they can be cleared, and the first group of players to do so will gain the Castle as their reward.
- A castle's region is 1/5th the game world.
- Castle regions, Economic regions, and Node ZOI (Zones of Influence) can overlap.
- Castle region boundaries are static.
- Guild castles impose a tax on all revenue for the nodes within its region.
- The monarch sets the tax rate, and can use those proceeds to upgrade defenses, maintain the castle's direct nodes, or provide buffs and benefits to the citizens of that region.
- Castle taxes are carried via NPC generated caravans from the nodes that fall under the castle's purview to one of the castle nodes at the end of each week leading up to a castle siege.
- In addition to taxes, Castles also influence crop yields, resources and events within its region.
- Part of the tax and resources gathered are applied to the castle for improvements.
- The remainder of tax income can be used by the guild for whatever they want.
- When castles change hands (following a siege), some taxes stay with the castle and some stay with the guild.
- Castles have the ability to allocate taxes collected from nodes under them toward certain benefits that go back to the node. Or they can be more selfishly governed that treasury more towards the guild that owns it and that obviously is going to have some political implications, because it could- if you're not using it for the benefit of the people in the region they might rise up and help take you out from that that position of owning that castle. – Steven Sharif
Benefits of guild castles
- These benefits increase the longer a guild holds its castle.
There are levers and dials that are present to both the owners of Castles as well as the elected officials of Nodes that during their administration they have the ability to impact and influence the region around them. – Steven Sharif
- Levy taxes for the purposes of defense (additional to taxes already imposed by node governments).
- Activate events and abilities that benefit node citizens under their rule.
- Establish special relationships with Mayors to help build up the three dedicated castle nodes.
- Unlock additional types of buildings in nodes.
- Exert control and pressure over one of the five economic regions.
Guild castles have three adjacent castle nodes in close proximity. The guild must develop those nodes to enhance the defenses of the castle. It will be possible, but very difficult for a single guild to fully develop these nodes. They will likely need assistance from the broader community.
- Castle nodes exist outside of the node system. They are independent of anything that's happening outside in the world with other nodes shutting off certain nodes from progressing.
- Castle nodes are excluded from the normal Citizenship, Zones of Influence, Freeholds, Node governments, and Social organizations systems.
- Castle nodes cannot exceed stage 3 (Village).
- Castle nodes are always military node types.
- Each of the dedicated castle nodes is barren at the start of the castle ownership period.
- Mercenary NPCs of different types and strengths can also be hired to participate in castle sieges and defend caravans during these events based on the allocation made by the governing castle and how successful they have been defending their castle nodes.
Once the castle is owned by a guild that's when the supporting castle nodes start to come online and spawn each week prior to the fourth week castle siege. They'll have to form alliances, they'll have to get support, they'll have to get resources, they'll be able to allocate funds that have been collected through taxation in order to strengthen the defenses as well as hiring additional NPC mercenaries. – Steven Sharif
- Levelling castle nodes is a hastened process compared to regular nodes.
- At the end of each week leading up to a castle siege there is a period of time in the weekend where NPC generated caravans start moving toward one of the castle nodes carrying castle taxes from the nodes that fall under the castle's purview.
- During this time it is incumbent upon the owning guild, its allies, and citizens of the nodes to escort these caravans to the castle node.
- The enemies of the guild have incentive to attack these caravans to reap the rewards from the caravan and to sabotage the tax collection, which will reduce the defensive capability of the castle nodes and hence the castle itself.
- Citizens of nodes that fall under the purview of the castle are automatically registered as defenders of these caravans and may not participate in attacks against them.
- Completing these quests unlocks services and functions that are useful to the occupying guild and its allies as well as boosting the defenses the castle.
- Only members of the occupying guild are citizens of these nodes.
- This citizenship is different to normal node citizenship. Castle nodes don't operate like normal nodes.
- The minimum goal is for 250x250 players to be on a single battlefield. It is hoped that this can be increased to 500x500 over time.
- There will be systems that mimic some of the mechanics of sieges, but there won't be practice sieges.
- There may be instanced locations within otherwise open-world castle and node sieges, where specific groups can participate in small, short duration objective-based battles that will affect the overall outcome of the siege.
- I love castle-based gameplay. I love trophies. I like rewarding risk a lot; and for me it's very difficult to imagine a MMO that I would want to play where there is not competition of strategic prowess that determines the outcome of these types of events and there is not a meaningful reward both mechanically and from just a bragging rights perspective that players can aim for and try to achieve. I think that it brings a lot to the game when it comes to motivations, to excel, to level, to gain power, to engage those different progression loops when there is an ultimate goal or trophy that is not static and doesn't exist forever once you achieve it, but that you must constantly perform in order to maintain; and that's really the purpose of these castles. – Steven Sharif
- Each week leading up to the siege week... is a week that's dedicated to one of the three castle dedicated nodes. So around the castle there are three nodes. They represent week, one, two, and three; and then the fourth week is the siege against the castle. Those can only be elevated up to stage three. We've discussed this in the past and there's definitely information out there on the community ran wiki. – Steven Sharif
- In the first three weeks that a guild occupies a castle they will need to level up each of their castle nodes to Village stage through questing.
- The fourth week is declaration week, where other guilds have the opportunity to lay down their declaration flag or to sign up as a defender of the castle.
- Depending on how well the guild defends their castle nodes results in better defenses for the castle.
- Different siege weaponry will grant the attackers the ability to destroy walls, doors and sections of the castle in order to gain access to the inner keep area.
- When castles change hands (following a siege), some taxes stay with the castle and some stay with the guild.
- There will be benefits to attracting people... even if they're not in your guild or alliance – a feudal like system, where you can attract other players who are just independent of this whole politic. They will have things to do there - benefits to receive - and there will be a reciprocal relationship between who you can attract, what they do for you; and how that benefits you and them. – Steven Sharif
Kings and Queens
- Castles come with a royal stables.
- Mayors can choose to build royal stables within their node. Once chosen, the community will need to build the stables through quests.
- Royal mounts must be mounted in a royal stables in order to fly.
The royal mounts will be the only class of mounts that can fully fly in the world; and they are will be needed to be mounted while in a royal stables. Royal stables are a building that can be built in a node if elected to be built by the mayor and supported by the community building it up through the quests to do so; and castles come with a royal stable as well. So once you have a royal stable and you become that Mayor or King or Queen, you may then mount the creature there and then take it wherever you wish. – Steven Sharif
- Baronies are parcels of land that are reserved specifically for the freehold and guild hall systems.
- Only a limited subset of the guild halls available around the node are available concurrently... So you might only have two that might be available at fifth level and then three at sixth level of a node; and the guilds have an opportunity to select from the six available which three are going to be active. – Steven Sharif
- The design of guild-halls is currently subject to active iteration by the developers.
- Guild halls owned by partron guilds may have the ability to confer benefits to surrounding estates within that node by speccing into passives in their guild skill tree and carrying out a lengthy quest line.
- Guild halls may be placed on guild freeholds or within nodes.
- Guild halls are objectives in guild wars.
- A guild hall only houses a single guild.
- Guild fortresses are objectives in guild wars. These are contested on a regular basis.
- The developers will decide if guild fortresses will be implemented in the game or shelved.
- The fortress design is also something that might be on the shelf. We haven't decided yet. We're going to look into it, but the idea behind the fortress is that this is a competitive guild hall so to speak where you have to contend for it on a regular basis so to speak; or can be taken from you necessarily. Whereas the guild hall is a structure similar to freehold structure can only be taken through successful sieges against a node per-se are not taken but destroyed. – Steven Sharif
- Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:39:02).
- Blog: 10 facts about castle sieges in the MMORPG.
- Interview, September 10, 2023 (22:29).
- Livestream, April 29, 2022 (27:42).
- Livestream, July 25, 2020 (1:22:40).
- Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:33:10).
- Podcast, April 11, 2021 (49:40).
- Livestream, April 30, 2021 (41:18).
- Blog: Creative Director's Letter, April 14 2021
- Livestream, October 14, 2022 (58:46).
- Interview, September 10, 2023 (24:15).
- Podcast, April 23, 2018 (21:55).
- Livestream, January 18, 2018 (37:05).
- Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:31:11).
- Livestream, April 30, 2021 (1:01:10).
- Livestream, November 17, 2017 (49:30).
- Interview, May 11, 2018 (47:27).
- Podcast, May 5, 2017 (52:32).
- Podcast, April 23, 2018 (15:14).
- Livestream, July 26, 2019 (1:29:00).
- Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:41:24).
- Livestream, August 23, 2017 (23:00).
- Video, May 28, 2021 (25:44).
- About Ashes of Creation.
- Livestream, July 29, 2022 (1:12:14).
- Interview, July 29, 2020 (31:05).
- Interview, July 18, 2020 (13:13).
- Livestream, September 24, 2021 (52:48).
- Interview, July 8, 2021 (57:19).
- Interview, July 19, 2020 (44:28).
- Twitch Bustin - Practice Sieges?
- Livestream, January 28, 2022 (17:50).
- Interview, September 10, 2023 (25:14).
- Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:43:03).
- Video, May 28, 2021 (3:41).
- Livestream, May 26, 2017 (37:17).
- Livestream, 2018-04-8 (PM) (51:49).
- Livestream, July 28, 2017 (18:07).
- Blog: Exploring the Boundless Opportunities of Freeholds.
- Podcast, July 15, 2023 (6:25).
- Livestream, June 30, 2023 (1:48:17).
- Interview, April 21, 2019 (45:45).
- Podcast, August 18, 2018 (1:12:34).
- Livestream, February 28, 2020 (1:06:51).
- Podcast, August 4, 2018 (1:54:15).
- Livestream, May 22, 2017 (56:48).
- Livestream, May 19, 2017 (51:20).