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Updated Ashes of Creation map.[1][2]

The new world map in all its 1,200 square kilometer glory. So you're gonna see some names here- a little bit of a reveal of some of these locations in these areas- and you're also of course seeing similar biomes that are present as well. But more importantly what you are seeing is the orientation of these continents and these islands that are facilitating specific types of inter-continental trade gameplay; and they support the relevance of these caravans moving across the land mass to locations that will now incorporate these harbor areas, which aren't identified on the map here... But the important part was providing a lot of coastal naval gameplay between these zones and trade routes between land base.[2]Steven Sharif

Alpha-2 work-in-progress map UI.[3]

The world of Verra features an in-game viewable world map. This map is not randomly generated, and begins covered in a fog of war.[4] Players will not be able to see the world until they have explored it or gathered information about it. The world is also full of imperfect information, which will require the player to act on it for verification.[5]

For example, you may hear a rumor in a tavern that tells you the location of a cave full of weak Kobolds, but this was not accurate as the rumor was started by well-equipped bandits in order to waylay overconfident adventurers.[5]
  • Information about the world will be presented directly to players through the world map UI as it is gathered.[6][7]
  • Not every server will share the same map, as player decisions will vary between servers.[11][12][7]
Even though we're an open-world that doesn't mean that from a design perspective, especially with the way our economic systems work, that we will want to create Geographic choke points.[14]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.


Verran map scroll.[17]

Verra was created to house four separate... divine races and they're called divine races because the remaining seven gods imbued their characteristics within each of these different races. They didn't put all of them into one and make the same mistake. They had focuses really that these races took essentially.[18]Steven Sharif

The name of the Ashes of Creation world is Verra.[19]

Shape of Verra

The world of Verra is not flat,[23] but it cannot be circumnavigated.[24]

The Verran planet is not flat. You may not see a curvature on the horizon in this, but from a lore perspective the universe in Verra does adhere to some basic physics and laws of physics that we experience in the real world, which means it is not flat.[23]Steven Sharif
There will not be world wrapping in Ashes of Creation.[24]Steven Sharif


Volcano area concept art by Ricky Ho.[25] [26]

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.[27]Jeffrey Bard

Alpha-1 Oasis environment preview.[29]

This is a second one of two of the large water oasis areas that we incorporated into the tropics biome.[30]Michael Bacon

There are approximately 18 biomes (environments) in Ashes of Creation.[30]

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 really just got a contrast of different biome types.[31]Michael Bacon

World size

1,200 km2 (square kilometers) is the expected total world size of Verra at launch, including land (480 km2) and water/ocean (750 km2), but excluding the size of the Underrealm.[2]

  • The reason given for expanding the map size was to better accommodate Naval content and to reduce the overall content density in the world.[2]
The purpose of it becoming bigger is as I said to make sure that density isn't overwhelming: that it isn't everywhere I look there is immediately something. I have no opportunity to see areas of the world that are expansive and are just wanderlust adventure feeling. Everything was sitting on top of you, POIs and nodes and houses and everything. It was like an urban area everywhere. But we wanted to expand that because a large portion of the game is a sandbox element; it's coupled with a lot of curated content but it's that sandbox element.[2]Steven Sharif
  • The shape of the continents has also changed and two new large islands have been introduced.[2]

Estimated travel times

So why is travel important? We've talked about this in the past, the reasons why. We've all existed in games where teleportation is very easy to use and sometimes that can be a detriment because you may have activities like a caravan run that's happening and one person sees you from a certain guild and they do the raid callout to their guild "everyone open your portals and come here within a split second and we're going to just mob this group". No, well instead that opportunity doesn't exist. If you want to provoke or to gank an operation of another guild, you need to have foreknowledge. You need to prepare. You need to place your forces around that area; and that is an important aspect. In addition, it makes that travel meaningful. If you are having to spend time to move to a location, you're going to think about what can I do along the way? Why am I moving to that location? How is it more beneficial for me to be in that location versus where I am now? This is also in association with the fact that you are a citizen of a particular node and that node needs your assistance within its vicinity; and if you want to move outside of that vicinity there should be a really good reason for that and there's lots of great reasons for it.[39]Steven Sharif

Travel objective Running.[13] Mounted.[13]
From one end of a Metropolis (stage 6) node to the other 2.83 minutes 1.67 minutes
From the center of a node to the center of its direct neighbor 5 minutes 3.5 minutes
From the northernmost to southernmost points of a continent 75 minutes 50 minutes

Historical map sizes

The original Ashes map from my pathfinder world of Ashes made 10 years ago. Obviously some adjustments had to be made for the mmorpg. But the main two continents and their points of interest have a lot of the same.[40]Steven Sharif

Testing phase Map size (approximate)
Alpha-0 16 km2.[41]
Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale 6.25 km2.[42]
Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale Forest of Erinthia 1.25 km2.[43]
Alpha-1 70 km2.[44]
Alpha-2 220 km2.[44]
Launch (original estimate) 480 km2 [34][35][36]
Launch (new estimate) 1,200 km2 [2]


Exploration in Alpha-1.[45]

We want to put things in the world that are dynamic, so there are reasons to keep going out and keep exploring.[46]Akil Hooper

Players will be rewarded for exploring.[48][49][50]

Exploration is a huge part of the game and there are a lot of systems that are dedicated to rewarding exploration..[49]Steven Sharif
  • Utility skills exist that can help players discover hidden paths and entrances and may lead to discovering hidden quests.[49]
  • Certain relics can only be discovered through exploration.[49]
  • Constellations may only be seen at certain times at specific locations.[49]
It's widespread how exploration can affect many different progression paths within the game; and it's not just about visiting an area once and never coming back, because timing matters as well.[49]Steven Sharif
It'll be easy for you to get lost in AoC. That is our goal from an exploration standpoint.[51]Steven Sharif
Q: Since travel times are important, what is there to discover that will distract you from going straight to your initial destination? What makes traveling adventurous in Verra?
A: Aside from threat and opportunity, which are probably the two biggest distractions that you can encounter while traveling through Verra- those come in different forms: Threat. in the form of monsters and events. Opportunities, in the forms of resources and POIs. There's also achievements that are based around exploration. There's treasure maps that can be found. There's a lot of different things that intersect with travel: The movement of resources. The storage of those resources. In which locations, what are available to be sold and purchased at different locations. They might make you detour for. All of those things contribute to why I would go somewhere and instead change my direction.[48]Steven Sharif

Treasure hunting

Treasure hunting is not exactly "cartography", but it does involve maps that help to pinpoint the location of hidden treasures throughout the world.[48][49][55][56][57]

  • Treasures (and treasure maps) will enable players to reap economic gains from exploration.[49]
  • The more treasure a player finds the better maps they can create.[57]
  • Hints are given through rumor mills, interaction with different NPCs, and gaining access to potential dig sites.[57]
  • Treasure hunting will be a "way of life" rather than a profession.[56]

Treasures may also be obtained through fishing and by exploring naval content.[58][59]


There will be 85 regular node locations at launch with 15 additional castle nodes (5 castles x 3 castle nodes each)[60][61][62] for a total of 100 nodes.[63]

We have moved from a 103 nodes to 85 nodes; and there's a few reasons for that. One, when we were doing the calculations behind how- in Alpha 2 and in the game- we want these vassal structures to exist, we had more nodes than what felt meaningful and we wanted to condense some of that those curated story arcs and hooks into the environment and realm around the areas to be more bountiful at a lesser node value: meaning bringing down the node count so that we can increase the richness of each of those nodes more than what was at 103.[63]Steven Sharif

Node locations

Node maps

Players will have access to a node map UI that will show a node's building plot locations.[69]

Node simulation

Simulation of node interactions.[70]

This representation does show 111 nodes as part of this particular simulation. I'm not sure what the tick frequency is on this video. It might be something on the magnitude of like every second is probably 12 to 24 hours. So over time you start seeing these larger node systems building up to eventually where you might see Cities and Metropolises after some period of time; and what this allows the design team to do from a tools perspective, as they simulate this idea of how the world is going to progress, is it gives an opportunity to see strange happenings or something that we couldn't necessarily predict but was a possible outcome based on the variables present.[70]Steven Sharif

The developers have created a simulation of node interactions in preparation for Alpha-2 deployment of the node system.[70]

You can show the initial territories on the Verran map of what these particular nodes have governance over, or their Zones of Influence as we like to call them... As the simulation of this begins to advance and nodes begin to expand their territory and they begin to take over nearby nodes as a result of their of their growth, you start to see these power level ratings that are applied here on specific nodes that determines what type of takeover power it has and and what it pushes back against for other nodes that are looking to take over new territory as they advance.[70]Steven Sharif

  • It also simulates events, such as NPCs attacking and disabling certain node buildings and services. Failure to successfully respond to these will reduce the node's "health ticker", which will slow down the XP gains from the node.[70]

It also simulates events: So each of these nodes will have a health ticker: when that health ticker is impacted it'll stop gaining power or gaining or slow down in its gaining of experience; and that's because certain events can affect a node by disabling certain services, disabling buildings. Players don't respond to that horde of zombies that have come out of the nearby ravine then those zombies can attack stables, they can attack service buildings, and prevent particular types of quests or activities and services from happening until it's repaired.[70]Steven Sharif

  • Node sieges are simulated, with successful sieges destroying the nodes, and where unsuccessful sieges won't destroy the node but may result in disabled buildings or services, similar to events.[70]

It simulates the sieges if a particular node has a certain frequency that's set where we want to see randomization of how nodes get affected by sieges. Sometimes they'll be destroyed in the simulation. Sometimes they'll have disabled services again, similar to an event, because they didn't succeed necessarily at sieging the node but they did succeed at disabling some of the buildings as part of that siege.[70]Steven Sharif

  • It simulates what outcomes may happen in the live game as a result of player activity, such as splitting up a particular ZOI across a waterway, or having territories expand out to islands or across continents.[70]

It simulates what players could potentially do as well when the game goes live; and that might include things like splitting up a particular Zone of Influence across a waterway, having your territory expand out to an island, or across continents. These are these are the types of things that we want to see players do eventually obviously but this tool provides the design team the opportunity to see it repetitively and over a fast period of time so they see these different types of outcomes.[70]Steven Sharif

Economic regions

We want our players to have a reason to explore the wilderness, to travel with purpose, and much of that will be driven by our resource system. Transporting these goods might just be more difficult than gathering them. Our regional market system allows players to participate in creating pocket economies that will reinforce the stability of goods in particular regions. Players will be able to move resources and set up shop in other areas to take advantage of the varied markets. With resources spawning dynamically, certain regions will naturally become important trading hubs for the transportation of goods throughout the world.[71]

Economic regions are static areas defined by geographic points of interest.[72][73][74]

  • Castle regions are larger and encompass multiple economic regions.[72]
  • Nodes are the glue that hold castle and economic regions together in potential synergy or chaos.[75]
    • Node ZOIs are fluid and change their area based on the progression of the node and its neighbors.[72]
  • Castle regions, Economic regions, and Node ZOI (Zones of Influence) can overlap.[76]

The whole map would be under the influence of 1 of 5 castle regions. However, castle regions aren't the only TYPE of region - there are also economic regions, among other things.[73]Sarah Flanagan

Castle regions


Guild castles influence a castle region around them.[77]


Road blocked by an environmental hazard due to a caravan event in Alpha-2.[83]

Our road system in-game is essentially driven by pre-placed routes that lead to this main artery of what was once the ancient highway system of Verra; and from there there are roads that become exposed when nodes advance; and we call those veins. They come off the main artery and then as nodes advance there are points of interest as Jeff was discussing earlier. These POIs that exist around the world and some of them share coverage with multiple nodes, but depending on which node advances to the stage that activates the point of interest it'll create these capillary roads so to speak that then stem off of the node itself. So you go from the main artery ancient road that's large- that runs through different zones and whatnot- and that breaks down into the veins that lead to the specific encampments and villages and towns that then spawn off separate capillaries that lead to the points of interest in these areas that are hunting grounds. Those are not exposed initially and they come online as players advance the world.[84]Steven Sharif

Roads adjusting to adjacent node progression.[85]

As nodes advance, these pre-laid road spots that exist connecting every possible route between certain node structures is going to adjust and adapt, both its material presentation, the type of roadwork that's present: It'll move from dirt road type, to perhaps a brick road, to perhaps some super ornate beautiful metropolis style road that will adjust around the world according to how these node structures begin to populate and advance.[85]Steven Sharif

Roads in Verra are both pre-generated and player influenced.[84]

  • The largest roads are referred to as arteries. These are remnants of what was once the ancient highway system of Verra.[84]
  • As nodes advance smaller roads, referred to as veins, connect the arteries to the nodes.[84]
  • Depending on the stages of node advancement, capillary roads will stem off the node to connect to points of interest.[84]
  • Roads or pathways are not worn into the landscape by repeated traffic over the same area.[84]
  • The quality, safety, and maximum transportation speed of roads is influenced by node building upgrades, policies, relics, and the level of nearby nodes.[86][87][88]
Q: Could you upgrade roads in the node to upgrade the roads and speeds of caravans?
A: Absolutely. So that buff that you saw is a buff that can be changed in the world based on the world state. Some of those world state interactions include certain types of relics that the nodes which govern your area might have access to and might be actively employing. Some of it might have to do with policies: You might be able to extend the guard influences across the road radius further out for certain nodes if you have certain policies. You might be able to enhance and empower those guards through itemization choices that are granted by building upgrades that the node selects to build.[86]Steven Sharif

Different seasons and events may affect access to various roads.[89][90][91][92]

  • Pathways that are open during summer may be closed during winter.[89][92]
  • Seasonal affects may cause obstacles or blockages to the transit of goods via caravan.[89][90][91][93]
  • Caravan events can cause roadways to be blocked off or hostile mobs to spawn to attack the caravan.[83][90]
    • Obstacles may present barriers on roads that players must remove or bypass to allow transit of goods.[83][89][92]
  • Water turning to ice in winter, enabling players to walk over the water but blocking access to what is underneath.[92]
    • Ice will make roads bumpy and slippery.[94]

Underrealm routes will open or close dynamically (based on node states).[15]

  • 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.[13][15]
  • 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.[15]

Caravan components can be utilized to improve on-road or off-road speeds of caravans.[95]

You will travel faster over roads, but that obviously comes with the increased risk of running into other players or monsters that are blocking the road.[95]Chris Justo

Freeholds may not be placed in close proximity to roads.[96]

Points of interest

Alpha-1 preview pirate themed dynamic point of interest.[97]

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.[97]Jeffrey Bard

New points of interest (such as dungeons, world bosses, and corrupted areas) spawn as nodes develop.[98][46] This content adapts to the node progression of the zone it is in.[97][99]

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.[7]

Dungeon locations

Dungeons and other points of interest are located throughout the map in-between the 85 node locations.[102]

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.[100]Steven Sharif

Corrupted areas

Alpha-2 corrupted area in the Riverlands biome.[105]

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.[106]Steven Sharif

Corrupted areas (zones/points of interest) can dynamically evolve with the progression of nodes and story arcs.[106][107][108][109][110][111][98]

  • These are sources of NPC events that players need to address before they grow out of hand.[106][113][111]
    • Players need to participate in these events to stop the spread of corruption and hold back the intrusion on the material plane.[106][112]
    • 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.[114]
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.[114]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.[115]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.[117]Steven Sharif


200 foot tall Pyrian statues in Alpha-1.[121]

Landmarks are scattered throughout the world, allowing players to judge their position on the map.[121]

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.[121]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.[121]Mat Broome

Notable landmarks

Procedural generation

Ashes of Creation will predominantly have curated content, but procedural mechanics will be leveraged in a places where they don't appear to be 'procedural'.[122]

Wherever we can leverage procedural mechanics in such a way that does not appear procedural we should. There's a healthy blend between the things that we do in having defined parameters for it and then incorporating a procedural component; and in that sense it will be perceived well, but where we the predominance of what we're implementing should be curated or by design.[122]Steven Sharif

Resource locations

Alpha-1 mine shaft.[127]

Players will be able to move resources and set up shop in other areas to take advantage of the varied markets. With resources spawning dynamically, certain regions will naturally become important trading hubs for the transportation of goods throughout the world.[71]

The location a resource is found can affect its benefits, bonuses, and other characteristics of that resource.[128]

  • Lower level resources will be abundant. Higher level resources that are gatherable by Apprentice level or higher artisans will spawn randomly but in places that make sense for that type of resource. Surveying is a mechanic that solo or group players can utilize to track these resources down.[129][130][131]
  • Some resources will exist as a cluster (also called vein gatherables). These will last until the full resource is depleted.[132][130][131][133][74]
    Like a large mine that's present and has a vein of mithril ore in it, or a herd of some type of animal that you can collect fur or wool from.[131]Steven Sharif
    • Once a vein resource is depleted from one location it may respawn in the same location or somewhere else, depending on the type of resource.[131][133][134]
    • There will be moving resources such as herds of animals that are constantly moving around the world.[132][134]
    Herds are a source of certain types of wild gatherables but they're in animal form and they're animated; and they exist in a group of the golden fleece sheep that might only spawn very rarely in certain hillsides; and only during spring. And if you can find that vein so to speak of resource you can interact with the herd and you can gather from them.[132]Steven Sharif
Certain types of resources will have a corrupt state... We have a Spirit Bloom, which is a harvestable herbalism plant, but when a Zone becomes corrupt you can potentially yield Corrupted Spirit Blooms; and those are necessary components of certain crafting recipes.[118]Steven Sharif
  • Some unique resources may be monsters in disguise or have monsters defending them.[135]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

Mini map

There is an in-game minimap and compass user interface in Ashes of Creation.[136][137][138]

  • The goal is to allow pings and other forms of communication tools via the mini-map.[139]

Battle maps

info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

Battle maps allow players to strategize, gain bonuses on planned attacks, and see the blueprints of attackable points. Whether attacking a node or castle, players will be able to discern defenses, analyze possible weak points and gain tactical advantages before the battle begins.[5]

  • Battle maps might not fit into lower level or smaller sized taverns.
  • Battle maps are not currently on the official roadmap for launch.[140]


Battle maps offer an interactive command map instead of the standard World map. The system would be accessed through City hall or battle planning center. Battle maps work similar to a Risk board, with the node siege map laid out with moveable pieces that would represent defenses. Moving pieces would create buff zones that would give active siege players access to special items or perks. The map does not show the currently active battle: pieces will have to be moved before the battle commences. The idea is to make sieges more strategic and avoid simple zerg tactics.[140]

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.[141][142] The accuracy of bounty hunter maps is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.[143]

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.[5]

Bounty hunter Pathfinding ability

Skill Icon Origin Description
Pathfinding Bounty hunter Reveals corrupted player locations on the bounty hunter's map.[141][144] 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.[141] The pathfinding ability can be toggled on or off.[141][145]

Starting areas

Alpha-1 early preview starting area.[146]

There is no railroaded driven theme park experience here. You will have the opportunity to create your own destiny in that regard, which means you don't have to necessarily follow the quest line nor do you have to participate in events or experiences around the starting area. Now it may be more beneficial to do that; and in that regard I guess there could be a meta around doing that, but you could branch out proceed to other areas and do different content.[147]Steven Sharif

Starting areas (starting zones) are located in the ruined cities of the four ancient races of Verra.[148]

  • Starting areas include expeditionary NPC settlements that serve as initial quest origination points.[149] Lore-wise, these settlements represent scouts that were sent ahead of the main expedition back to Verra.[156]
    • These settlements are designed to acclimatize new players entering the world.[156]
    • While it may be advantageous to do so, there is no requirement for players to play through any specific starter zone content.[147]

A problem that a lot of MMOs have is that those starting areas become just vacant of players and it's so sad because the greatest aspect of an MMO is that community that you get to experience, so one of the great things about the node system is that it really works from new player acquisition standpoint, where these nodes tend to develop larger near the starting location areas around the world; and it brings these players back to those locations if they're citizens and want services within those cities. So, as new players enter the world they're going to actually be surrounded most likely by more population because people are coming back to those larger nodes.[157]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 starting area

Alpha-1 alpha island starting area.[158]

There's been some significant lighting changes here in this area. There's been some work on the foliage, on the trees that are available, toned down some of the ruins, rearranged some of the tents and it's starting to look pretty good.[158]Steven Sharif

The Alpha-1 starting area was set in the ruins of a Pyrian divine gateway to the south of alpha island.[159]

Alpha-2 starting area

You'll be seeing more as we get closer to Alpha Two but this will give you a little bit of insight to the capital city of the Aelan empire prior to the Exodus. This is one of the starting areas that players enter into. This will be this one of the starting areas in alpha 2.[160]Steven Sharif

Divine gateways

Empyrean divine gateway concept art.

When you play the MMORPG you're going to be stepping through what are called these divine gateways from a planet called Sanctus and Sanctus was really a safe haven that was forethought by the Goddess of Fate and Creation as a sanctuary to provide the people of Verra who could survive the fall, the apocalypse, the exodus essentially.[18]Steven Sharif

Divine gateways are portals located in the ruined cities of the four ancient races of Verra.[148]

Where players start, they enter this portal from another world called Sanctus. Sanctus is a place of no magic, low technology; and players are the first expeditioners that are coming through this portal into the world of Verra.[164]Jeffrey Bard

Zones of influence

Nodes are pre-set locations, wrapped in a zone of influence (ZOI).[165]

Every Node is given purview over a predefined geographic area called a Zone of Influence (ZoI). No matter where you go in the world, whether you’re questing, gathering, or raiding, you’ll be helping determine which nodes will develop, and what Zones of Influence will expand. Any area that a Node controls is considered its Zone of Influence, including Vassal Nodes, and all Vassal Nodes exist within the Zone of Influence of their Parent Node.[64]Margaret Krohn

Every node is given purview over a predefined geographic area called a Zone of influence (ZOI). Player activity within the ZOI is weighted and counted toward a particular node’s advancement.[165]

The main thing that differentiates us from other MMOs is that we have a living, breathing, reactive world... Our world is separated into zones, which are then separated into what we call nodes. Nodes are sort of invisible zones of influence that listen to everything that a player does; so as players gain experience from killing things, gain experience from doing quests, gain experience through crafting things, the node is also gaining that experience. Once a node gains enough experience it levels up and then starts to attract NPCs to it .[166]Jeffrey Bard

Each Node can form into towns, but are limited by their neighbors. The Nodes have different levels of advancement. There can only be so many of each level. Think of this as advanced settlements needing more elbow room. Nodes encompass more land as they grow and will require more effort to be sustained. This system is a main driver for change in the world because it creates scarcity. As Nodes advance in stages of growth they will lock out neighboring Nodes from progressing, and will absorb their zones of influence.[165]

There is not a space where you will move in to do something and no node will get that experience.[168]Steven Sharif

Zones and progression

Dungeons, Raids, World bosses, Mobs, Quests, Events, Resources, Narratives and other content within a node's ZOI will have a diverse level range; but will scale with the advancement of that node and its racial influence.[173][16][64]

  • Portions of the spawn tables (for mobs and resources) are static and other portions are dynamic and adapt to node development.[174]
We don’t have a strictly level 25 zone. Instead, that zone might have some level 10 creatures near the road, some level 20 creatures deep in the forest, and some level 30 creatures up the mountain. These ratios will change based on the Nodes that inform them, becoming generally more dangerous as the Node grows. All this civilization attracts the attention of Things-That-Should-Not-Be. This does not mean that wilderness areas are safe, by any means. Some may be safe-er, but all will have dangers that even the most experienced traveler needs to watch out for.[175]Steven Sharif

Coastal nodes

Pre-alpha naval concept.[176]

There will be healthy amounts of sea content within the coastlines of the continents that does not fall into the "open sea" area.[177]Steven Sharif

There will be nodes along the coast and on islands.[178]

  • These nodes will have specific water oriented influences, services, and questlines, that relate to the seas.[178]
    • There is a healthy amount of sea content within the coastlines of the continents that does not fall into the open sea area.[177]
  • The open sea does not contribute to the advancement of coastal nodes, even if it falls within the ZOI of the node. This is subject to change during Alpha-2 testing.[179]
  • Coastal nodes change the spawn tables of the nearby water content and can also trigger specific events.[180]
We've gone back and forth a little bit on whether or not the design intent for sieging of nodes is intended to include, for certain nodes, the naval component. The concern there was that it would be a difficult thing to balance around that particular node having accessibility from the water for those types of defenses. So what we've presented as an opportunity where harbors are the focal point of those naval interactions; and during sieges you are aware that nodes have certain objectives, which have ramifications and can influence the outcome and/or the ongoings of a particular against a node. And if one of those objectives is a naval objective, because that node might own a harbor, which is a point of interest that gets adopted by a node which advances far enough around it. So you might have one harbor and five nodes that can own that harbor. And the first to hit the village stage adopts the harbor. Then that can become an objective point during a siege that has naval interaction. So that's the direction we've moved towards, rather than allowing the naval component to interact directly with sieging the node itself as opposed to being a part of the objective-based gameplay that exists for a node siege.[181]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation Apocalypse map

Forest of Erinthia map

Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale Forest of Erinthia map locations.[186]

  • Breakwater Quarry
  • Chillmouth Outpost
  • Coldwind Township
  • Dream Spire
  • Erinthia's Shame
  • Glimmerbrook
  • Hallowed Vale
  • Icebound Lookout
  • Icecap Thicket
  • The Spirit Vault
  • Winstead

Original map

Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale locations.[187]

  • Brighthold
  • City of Alerynn
  • City of Gant
  • Creation's Rest
  • Crystal Canyons
  • Farstrider Outpost
  • Fionne Vale
  • Fort Ryll
  • Harbinger
  • Karthmere Keep
  • La'sai Village
  • Nyliann Academy
  • Rotweald Forest
  • Sa'kaan Fens
  • Sky Mesa
  • Spire of Eremus
  • Stoneharbor
  • Town of Grimsale
  • Town of Valenn
  • Underrealm


Alpha-2 dynamic weather change caused by the Beneath the Stone Shadows event.[188]

Since you instigated this event, which changed the weather, that will also now influence spawns nearby. You could potentially be spawning- well you are spawning side quests that relate to the rain, changes in enemies that relate to the rain, and that's driven on player action. So it is like a feedback loop.[189]Skott B

Some environments (Biomes) have fixed climates and others are variable.[190][191][27] Dynamic weather of varying intensity can be triggered by certain events.[189][190][90][192]

During those weather events, the area of effect that the event is occurring in will likely have its climate descriptor overridden by whatever the event is specifically. So tornadoes might be windy, blizzards might be cold. And if an arctic dragon comes into a temperate climate it brings the cold weather with it; and that can be interacting with skills and abilities or other functions like farms.[193]Steven Sharif
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.[196]Steven Sharif
They affect crops and gatherables, vehicles, and mounts, ships, creatures; and loot tables change: their behaviors might change. Resistances and weaknesses or synergies might be relevant in certain seasons or weather systems. Targeting might change the AoE radius might grow for a fire effect if you're in the middle of summer, or it might shrink if you're in the middle of a storm.[197]Steven Sharif
  • Some weather conditions can be hazardous to mobs and players.[188]
Weather events and encounters themselves can include hazards that can appear and shake things up. They can also help too, if you can kite enemies into the lightning strikes or whatever.[188]Skott B


Community guides

See also


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