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Pre-alpha Metropolis node.[1]

Nodes are a pre-set location, wrapped in a zone of influence, in our world that can form into towns of different sizes. These sizes range from a small camp to a sprawling metropolis. The size of the towns depends on the contribution by players and how far they’ve advanced the Node. Players do not create the footprint of a Node, but within that footprint they do have the ability to own land. Players who are part of the government for a specific Node will have the ability to modify building types and services further, but for the most part, a Node will grow along its own specific path (think about this more as NPCs building these towns out, rather than PCs individually putting buildings and walls up). A Node’s contribution area is larger than the actual town itself, allowing for players to adventure while building upon the town. We call the contribution area the Node’s “Zone of Influence,” and it’s the area where players help to advance the Node they are in.[2]

Encompassing each server are carefully placed points of development called Nodes.[4]

Nodes are the heart of the world, they create the ebb and flow of life. At their core, Nodes are pre-set points in the world, wrapped in a Zone of Influence and surrounded by geographic areas that change over time based upon player participation. The world map is divided into regions, with each region containing multiple Nodes. As a Node advances, it influences the types of content within itself and the surrounding areas. Players do not create Nodes, but if they are a part of the government for a specific Node, they have the ability to influence diplomacy, and modify building types/construction and services within that Node. There will be 103 Node locations at launch, each with its own impact on the narrative and development of the world.[8]Margaret Krohn

Nodes exist all throughout the world and the location of said node will determine its type; but this type will be... seen at the first stage of development when the first stage when a node propagates real-time assets in the world; is basically these NPCs, these merchants that come into an area and they offer services and/or you know of stores or whatever the deal may be. You will see the flavor of the node from those merchants. So if it's a military node you'll see military people. If it's... an economic node you'll see merchants. If it's a scientific one you'll see scholars; and if it's a divine one you'll see priests and clerics. So players will have a very firm understanding of which node is which type in order to know how they want to progress.[11]Steven Sharif

Nodes are assigned one of four (4) node types, each of which contain unique specializations.[8]

  • Players will be able to identify the type of a node at its first stage of development (Expedition) based on its NPC population.[11]
Node type.[8] Specialization.[8] NPCs.[8]
Divine nodes Faith and skill/equipment augment focuses Priests
Economic nodes Trade and merchant focuses Merchants
Military nodes Combat and class training focuses Guards
Scientific nodes Artisan and construction focuses Scholars

Ashes of Creation allows you, the player, to decide the fate of the world around you. With each Node Type, you can change the flow of resources and goods in the world. Will you grow the largest Economic Metropolis and help guide the riches of Verra, or will you choose another path unlocking new stories filled with allies and enemies?[12]

Node types are predetermined and are the same across all servers.[8]

For example, if a level 4 Scientific Node is destroyed, it will become a Level 0 Scientific Node. It will never be any other Node Type other than a Scientific Node. The location of these Types relates to the influences of the area around the Node.[8]Margaret Krohn

Node types affect various services and systems at each level of node advancement.[8]

Node benefits

Each node type has a superpower (ultimate ability) that becomes unlocked when the node reaches Level 6 (Metropolis stage).[12]

Divine node benefits

Divine node benefits are not known at this time.

Economic node benefits

Economic nodes that have reached the metropolis stage unlock the linked economy superpower. Economic nodes with this superpower share their Auction house listings with all others.[12]

Economic Nodes that have reached the Metropolis Stage unlock the Superpower “Linked Economy”. Any Economic Node with this Superpower unlocked shares Auction House listings with all the others, meaning that the items listed in one Linked Economy Node can be bid on from any other Linked Economy Node. Linked Economies also connect a Metropolis and any Vassal Economic Nodes belonging to that Metropolis.[12]

The Linked Economy Superpower has the potential to create a massive market that spans the world. This will allow players to attain and sell goods with ease, providing those who have access to these Economic Nodes a faster path to fortune in the lands of Ashes of Creation.[12]

Military node benefits

Military nodes enable Bounty hunters and reduced duration of corruption.[15][16]

Scientific node benefits

Scientific nodes that have reached the metropolis stage unlock the Teleportation superpower.[17]

  • Citizens of metropolis scientific nodes may teleport between the metropolis and any of its vassal nodes, regardless of the stage of the vassal node, so long as the vassal node is not at war.
  • Citizens of vassal nodes may teleport to their metropolis node and back.
  • If there are multiple scientific metropolises, then an airship will provide faster travel between those scientific metropolises for citizens of those nodes and their vassal nodes, so long as the metropolises are not at war.

This will allow Citizens and Vassals of Scientific Metropolises to do things more quickly than others, as fast travel is limited in the world of Ashes of Creation. They’ll be able to exchange goods and information with ease and get to locations in the world at a quicker speed in order to gather crafting materials to create recipes, as well as participate in limited-time events.[17]

Zone of influence

Nodes are pre-set locations, wrapped in a zone of influence (ZOI).[2]

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.[8]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.[2]

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.[2]

By undertaking familiar activities, such as questing, gathering and raiding, players have agency in determining which nodes in the world will develop.[18]

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 .[19]Jeffrey Bard

Up to one fifth of the world will be encompassed within the ZOI of a Metropolis. The many vassal nodes within a ZOI's "border" could end up looking like a country or nation.[20]

Zones of influence connect fully across the world without any gaps.[21]

There is not a space where you will move in to do something and no node will get that experience.[21]Steven Sharif

Node advancement

Illustration of node advancement from Wilderness (stage 0) to Metropolis (stage 6).

Nodes advance by collecting experience from the actions of players nearby. As players complete content inside of a Node’s Zone of Influence (the area around the node), they contribute that experience toward the Node’s development. The experience given to the Node may then be modified based on certain Events and Accomplishments. When a Node reaches the experience required, it undergoes the process of advancing to the next stage. There are a few exceptions where a Node cannot advance even though it has the required experience - most commonly, a Node can not advance if a Node is a Vassal of another Node and would advance to the same stage as its Parent Node.[22]Margaret Krohn

Citizen and non-citizen player activity (questing, gathering, raiding, etc.) within a node's ZOI counts toward that particular node’s advancement (progression).[4] Nodes have seven (7) stages of advancement, with experience thresholds for each stage. When a Node reaches the experience required for its current stage, it advances to the next stage.[8]

Node stage.[4] Alternate name.[23] Timeframe to advance.[4] Player housing.[24]
0. Wilderness -
1. Expedition Crossroads Few hours -
2. Encampment Camp Many hours -
3. Village - Few days Small houses
4. Town - Many days Medium houses
5. City - Few weeks Large houses
6. Metropolis Metro Many weeks Mansions

The Development Area of a Node is where civilization will appear as the Node advances. As the Node Stage increases, different buildings, NPCs, and services will become available in the Development Area. The higher the Node Stage, the more complex and populated the Development Area becomes. Development Areas will also vary depending on the Node Type - Economic, Military, Scientific, or Divine; we’ll go into further details on each of those Node Types in future posts in this series.[22]Margaret Krohn

Conceptual illustration. Nodes that are in the ZOI of more advanced nodes have their progression capped by the more advanced node.[25] ZOIs will likely be irregular shapes in the game, the circles depicted here are just for the purposes of illustration.

Beginning at Node Stage 3, when a Node advances, it enslaves nearby Nodes and makes them into its Vassals. Vassal Nodes are owned by a Parent Node and must always be at least one Node Stage below the Parent Node. This means that the Vassal Node cannot grow until the Parent Node advances in stage. Vassal Nodes give excess experience to their Parent Node, and are able to have their own Vassals, as long as they fit within the Parent Node’s Zone of Influence. They are subject to the government, alliances, wars, taxes, and trade of their Parent Node, and are able to receive federal aid from them. A Vassal Node cannot declare war on their Parent Node or any of its Vassals. Citizens of Vassals are bound by the diplomatic states of the Parent Node.[8]Margaret Krohn

The advancement of a node unlocks its unique content, which comes at the cost of locking out an increasing ring of neighboring nodes from progressing to the next stage.[26]

  • Nodes advance to the first stage quickly. This enables NPC services such as vending or banking items.[27]
  • The more advanced the node is, the larger its ZOI becomes.[1]
  • Less advanced nodes (referred to as vassal nodes) that fall within a more advanced node's ZOI can still gain XP, but must remain at a lower advancement stage than the dominant node.[25]
    • The vassal system begins when a node hits stage 3 (village), but neighboring nodes lower than stage 3 also block the growth of their immediate neighbors.[28]
  • The territory expansion algorithm takes into account the nearest coast, neighboring nodes, and the heatmap of players in surrounding areas over the last weeks or month.[29]
    • Due to the way the progression algorithm calculates territorial (ZOI) expansion during node advancement, there is a small possibility that two nodes of the same stage end up being close to each other.[30]

The way that the algorithm expands the territories takes into account a few things: One it takes into account the coast like where's the closest coast. Two it takes into account the neighboring nodes so it can take over and essentially vassal state those nodes, but what's more important is essentially the initial population based on like how players choose their races. Because we have nine different races and four different starting points that branch out, each server's population density is going to dictate essentially the first few nodes that are that are highly populated and then that initial seed is what's going to determine the node structure as it moves inland into the into the world essentially; and based on the performance and successes of different sieges will determine which nodes that got locked out from the previous the initial advancements what nodes can now be available to advance further. So I really think that with so many variables that are present in the equation of how nodes advance and stay existing with the more variables you have, the higher likelihood there is for there to be a significant diversion in world progression.[29]Steven Sharif

Normally the algorithm that's applied to the node territorial expansion will prevent significant nodes from being in close proximity to each other... There could be a perfect storm where all of the the algorithmic progression of territory leads to having these nodes very close to each other because there's certain requirements that should that need to be available to satisfy node vassal takeovers; and it's possible that two nodes would never take each other over as vassals and end up kind of close together and spanning their territories in kind of opposite directions: The Tale of Two Cities kind of thing.[30]Steven Sharif

  • A node does not receive XP from the nodes within its ZOI until these nodes have reached their cap.[25]
  • Players are moved to safety if they intersect with newly spawned assets during node advancement.[31]
  • Citizens of one node can contribute to the advancement of other nodes.[32]
  • The exact percentage of advancement from obtaining items or killing monsters is not going to be explicitly known to avoid "gaming" the system.[33]

Different people have different resources invested in nodes progressing and it would be a little "gamey" if you could know exactly what was necessary at that point because that would disincentivize people from participating.[33]Steven Sharif

Vassal nodes

Village (stage 3) or higher nodes enslave nearby nodes, converting them into vassal nodes.[8][28]

  • Vassal nodes must remain at least one node stage below their parent node.[8]
    • Neighboring nodes lower than stage 3 also block the growth of their immediate neighbors. This is intended to be tested in Alpha-1.[28]
    • Vassal nodes first apply any experience earned to their own deficit (see Node atrophy). It then applies excess experience earned to its parent node.[22]
    • If the parent node advances, the vassal is once again able to advance.[8]
  • Vassal nodes give excess experience to their parent node and may have their own vassals; so long as they fall within the parent node’s zone of influence.[8]
    • If a node is capped and is both a vassal and has its own vassals, any experience earned from itself or its Vassals is first applied to its own deficit. Experience beyond that is then sent to its parent node.[22]
  • Vassals are subject to the government, alliances, wars, taxes, and trade of their parent node, and are able to receive federal aid from them.[8]
  • Vassal nodes cannot declare war on their parent node or any of their vassals.[8]
  • Citizens of vassals are bound by the diplomatic states of the parent node.[8]

If a Node is a Vassal Node and is capped from advancing further, it first applies any experience earned to its own deficit (see Node Atrophy section), and then applies excess experience earned to its Parent Node. If the Parent Node advances and the Vassal is able to grow, it becomes uncapped. If a Node is capped and is both a Vassal and has its own Vassals, any experience earned from itself or its Vassals is first applied to their own deficit. Any experience beyond that is then sent to its Parent Node.[22]Margaret Krohn

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.[34][35][8]

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.[36]Steven Sharif

World manager

The World manager is an algorithm in Ashes of Creation that controls dynamic world elements. It acts as both a throttle and an incentive system for various activities to ensure certain parameters are within acceptable thresholds.[37]

For example if you know iron is being used as a raw resource for a specific crafting path that might drive up the price of mithril or silver; and that will incentivize the market to course correct a little bit. The idea is to provide soft incentives that help to alleviate the demand and also to prop up the supply that might not be present from the economic systems.[38]Steven Sharif

Node atrophy

Nodes can delevel based on node atrophy.[22]

  • This is a preliminary design and may change based on testing. This may be changed to an atrophy points system, where accumulated points will progressively disable services within a node. The node may be destroyed (instead of deleveling) if a significant points threshold is reached.[30]

There are intrinsic problems with reducing a nodes level as opposed to removing the node and it may be possible I'm just gonna say now that we don't actually atrophy nodes to delevel but rather accrue atrophy points that must be replenished over time; and if not it begins to disable services and further compound the atrophy problem; at which point when it reaches a certain atrophy point then the node would just disappear.[30]Steven Sharif

  • Nodes accumulate an experience deficit each day based on the node's level. The deficit is subtracted from any experience earned that day. If any deficit remains, then this is subtracted from the node’s experience pool.[22]
  • Mayors are able to initiate quest-driven systems that non-citizens can participate in. The mayor can use a portion of the node's treasury or goods as rewards for quest completion. Players will be able to interface with the node to view the quests that are available to them.[39]
  • Certain flags will appear to notify node citizens if their node has dropped below the required experience for its current stage. After a short period, if the atrophy is not addressed, the Node will then delevel.[22]
  • A node cannot delevel more than a single level at a time.[22]
    • When a Node delevels it enters a safe period, during which the deficit is temporarily reduced to 0.[22]
  • It may be possible through node atrophy for two nodes of the same stage to be adjacent to each other.[30]

Deleveled nodes return to their previous stage.[22]

If a Node delevels, it returns to the previous Stage, but keeps the racial style it had before deleveling. A Node cannot delevel more than a single level at a time. For example, a Level 2 Node would become a Level 1, or a Level 1 Node would become a Level 0. If deleveling would cause a Node to lose its Vassals, it does so. When a Node delevels it enters a “safe period,” during which the deficit is temporarily reduced to 0. Once the safe period expires, the Node can once again begin losing experience based on its deficit.[22]Margaret Krohn

Storyline quests

Storyline quests can have multiple stages. These quest stages can actually be failed.[40]

There will be many different quests that actually have stages of the storyline; and these stages can actually be failed. You can actually fail a storyline; which sucks when you think about it, but at the same time that risk makes your investment that much more important.[40]Steven Sharif

Trophy park

Trophy park is an area within Town, City or Metropolis nodes that has available spots for trophies. These trophies show the character names of players who are the first to complete world bosses and dungeon bosses that were spawned as the result of the development of that particular node.[42]

  • Server announcements and achievements are designed to encourage groups to experience new content.[42]

Reliquary

Reliquary concept art.[43]

Each city has what's called a reliquary and the reliquary begins to spawn unique items for the citizens to take advantage of based on the performance progression and achievements that those citizens have within the world. So if your citizens are part of downing a world boss or completing a dungeon in a record time or crafting a legendary item or whatever: all of these different types of progression paths for the cities could result in the production of a relic that exists within the reliquary.[44]Steven Sharif

Node relic.[45] This is a protective relic that is preventing an attack. Once stolen, it enables a siege against the metropolis.[46]

Relics are achievements for a node that unlock over time. They allow node citizens to craft certain legendary items and progress in certain legendary quest lines.[47]

  • Relics include the four ancient artifacts of Verra that were originally discovered by King Atrax in his pursuit of the power of The Essence.[48][49] These artifacts were in close alignment to the Essence on Verra due to their proximity to the ley lines of Essence spread across the world.[50] These artifacts were originally housed in the vault of Fallow's Hold, which is one of the great dungeons of Ashes of Creation, located near the capital city of the ancient Toren empire, Torall.[50]
    • The Golden Chalice was believed to bring everlasting life but was actually allowing the corruption of manipulating The Essence to enter the soul through the physical representation of drinking something.[48]
    • The Crown represented a direct link The Ancients had into the thought process of King Atrax that the Ancients were able to manipulate.[48]
    • The Sword brought unusual power through manipulation of the evil side of the Essence, which is how Atrax maintained his dominance over his people: through physical might, essentially striking down any foe that opposed him among his administration.[48]
    • The Staff enabled Atrax to project his magic across great distances, which enabled him to extend his power and manipulation throughout the lands of Verra and allowed him to maintain vigilance over his realm.[48]
  • Relics are placed in a node's reliquary.[44]
  • Limited access to the relics stored in a node's reliquary are granted to registered attackers after successfully destroying that node in a node siege.[44]

Node layout and style

Alpha-1 Village node layout.[51]

What has kind of been unlocked is the ability to do things more dynamically and more procedurally so that when a node spawns there is the opportunity to have different layouts and have different buildings and have different architectures; and each node starts to feel like its own place, so it's not the same node over and over again. Now we've got a node that kind of evolves and changes depending on where it's at and what the environment is and what race has procced it.[52]Jeffrey Bard

Racial architecture styles in an Alpha-0 village node. Empyrean Elven influence (top). Kaelar Human influence (bottom).[53]

The layout and architecture within a Node’s development area are determined by influential race. For example, a stage 3 Node with the majority of player contribution being Py’rai would have a Py’rai village with Py’rai architecture. Most NPCs would be Py’rai elves, and offer questlines within the Py’rai narrative.[8]Margaret Krohn

Each player’s contributed experience is flagged with their character race and other identifiers. When a Node advances, the race with the highest experience contribution determines the Node’s style and culture. This style and culture change can happen at every Node Stage. For example, if a Node advances to Level 2 - Encampment Stage and 51% of all experience was earned by Ren’Kai players, the Node will be a Level 2 Ren’Kai Node. If that same Node advances to a Level 3 - Village Stage Node, but the Py’Rai contributed 62% of all the experience earned, then the Node will be a Level 3 Py’Rai Node.[22]Margaret Krohn

Node layout and style is determined by several factors:[52][54]

Some parts are determined by the area it's in. Some parts are determined by the type it is. Some parts are determined by the race it is; and then the rest of it is determined by the mayor.[54]Jeffrey Bard

All nodes whether they're associated with a castle or associated with normal node structure has cultural influences that replicate over to the buildings that are produced and the NPCs that are present.[57]Steven Sharif

Cultural influences bring more than just the aesthetic and storyline changes - benefits are granted to the dominant culture within that node's Zone of influence.[22]

  • There is an attrition mechanic that affects experience and influence to curb a single race from dominating the entire world.[58]

There is an attrition and that attrition on experience and influence is heightened based on the performance of the race in the world. So if all these nodes are Orc nodes then their attrition rate is very high to compete with the cultural establishment of new nodes because they have more influence in the world and a popular opinion is against them in their outlying regions that they do not have influence in.[58]Steven Sharif

Node buildings

Constructible node buildings

Node governments decide the location and types of constructible node buildings to be constructed within sectors of a node.[61][62][63]

These are buildings that the mayor has agency over determining whether or not they should be a constructed project. Constructible buildings can be selected at open plots that are gained as the node advances. If they elect to begin construction of one of these types of buildings- one of which is the marketplace- it'll grant certain trade benefits as well as some stalls that the citizens may participate in.[64]Steven Sharif

When the building types are determined, the community will then need to bring resources into the node (using caravans) and come together to construct the buildings (via quests and the like).[61]

The government decides how to specialize their node. Once they choose certain things they won't be able to choose other things.[61]

Different governments may change the buildings within a node.[61]

And there could be regime change... If somebody doesn't like the fact that a market was built and they want to re-elect a new government next cycle, they can do so... and that market could be destroyed and a new building take its place.[61]

Pre-defined parameters limit the number of buildings at in-node locations.[62]

Unique node buildings

Each node type has a unique node building associated with it that can be activated at the Village stage of node advancement. The unique building plays a central role in the progress of civilization for a server.[12]

Racial quests

Quests may be based on a character's race.[66]

Different quests may relate to who the primary cultural contributor is to a node. This won't lock out content, but will add flavor to the quests.[66]

There might even be different directories of the quest that exist for specific races, and even though you're sharing a quest to kill a boss, if you're human and I'm an elf, I will have a different arc potentially that leads in a different direction than you, even though we took the same quest; and this can relate to who the primary cultural contributor is to a node unlocking different arcs for cultures that share the primary culture of a node - not that locks out content but it gives a flavor in a different direction so that not everything is so cookie cutter.[66]Steven Sharif

Race matters because narratives have paths that also are influenced based on the primary contributing culture to the node... If you're a Niküa and you have you're in a Niküa node that's predominantly Niküa, you're going to have certain services and/or abilities as a member of the Niküa race that other races may not have access to... They may have alternative quest lines, but they won't have specific ones. Now those specific Niküa quests will then relate to the meta-narrative that's present in the world and they'll start to direct some of that meta-narrative; and that'll be beneficial for your kind because it will unlock certain content for your race that other races haven't unlocked yet. So there is an incentive there to see progression along that line now in order to curb the progress of a dominant race.[58]Steven Sharif

Quests that are race specific, title specific, or guild specific will likely be less than 10% of the total number of quests. 90% of quests should be able to be shared by everybody.[67]

Player housing

Pre-alpha Empyrean freehold homestead.[68]

Players will have the ability to survey and develop land anywhere in the world. Be a pioneer deep in the wilderness, build the home of your dreams, and work the land to cultivate resources and supplies. Alternatively, stick with civilization and safety in numbers – purchase a home within the confines of a village and watch your investment grow as that village turns into a city. Homeowners in our game will have the ability to develop their plot of land as they see fit. Focus on farming, animal husbandry, or own your very own smithy. You’ll be able to specialize your land to maximize your profits or your comfort – be sure to choose wisely.[69]

Player housing comes in the form of Static housing, Apartments and Freeholds.[1]

A player may own up to 1 of each type of housing simultaneously.[71] Static housing and Apartments are one per server; Freeholds are one per account.

Player housing Type. Availability. Limit.
Apartments Instanced.[1] Village stage and higher.[72] One per server.[73]
Freeholds Open world.[1] Village stage and higher.[1] One per account.[73]
Static housing In-node.[1] Village stage and higher.[1] One per server.[73]

Static housing

Static housing provides non-instanced player accommodation within a node, also known as in-node housing.[1]

Apartments

Apartments are internal only (instanced) spaces within a node that offer some housing functionality.[1] There will be an initial 50 apartments available for purchase when a node advances to a Village (stage 3). Additional apartment buildings can be built at Town (stage 4) if the mayor chooses to construct them and if there is an available plot to do so.[75][72]

  • The number of available apartments increases as a normal part of node advancement.[72]
  • It was previously stated that apartments would be available at Town (stage 4) or above.[1]

The mayor may additionally construct apartment buildings when the node hits stage 4 at one of the building plots in the node, along with cities gaining additional static housing and apartments by default as a normal part of the leveling process.[72]Steven Sharif

Freeholds

Freeholds in Alpha-1.[78]

The whole goal of the freehold system is to give everything a purpose and not just have it be like "oh this is my pretty design", but it's a design towards something for your character- towards something for the world.[79]Jeffrey Bard

Freeholds are sizable player housing plots that can be situated within the Zone of influence (ZOI) of a Village (stage 3 node) or higher.[1]

The freehold system interacts with multiple other systems in-game.[84]

Buying and selling (Real estate)

Players buy the deeds for housing from the node itself.[15] Players can also buy and sell properties from other players.[1]

  • Housing will have a base price that scales with the number of citizens in the node.[85]
  • The developers are considering an auction-based method for listing new properties that become available for purchase when a node advances.[86]
    • A grace period will occur before the housing becomes available for auction.[86]
    • Bids will then be accepted starting at a minimum reserve value that is based on the number of citizens in that node.[86]
    • At the end of the auction, the highest bidder will win the house.[86]
  • Static housing and apartments can be listed and sold to other players.[83][87]

There's no cap essentially in player originated sales. Those are determined essentially by supply and demand as it is within the game and there's no artificial barrier to how high that demand can go.[76]Steven Sharif

  • Housing ownership can default back to the node if the owner fails to pay their property taxes. A balance and penalties will be charged to the new purchaser of the home in the manner of a "foreclosure process".[85]
  • Players will not be able to exceed their allotment of housing in the game.[90]

This will allow players to transfer real property goods. This includes ... static housing, this includes apartments that they may own; and they can sell those because those will have a limited and finite quantity.[90]Steven Sharif

Rental and leasing concepts are currently under consideration.[90]

Some concepts that we have is going to be rental or leases that could be had allowing players to kind of lease a property for a period of time where they will have control rights over utilizing storage based on the area, controlling the furniture or access point; all that kind of stuff.[90]Steven Sharif

Node citizenship

Player housing grants the ability to claim citizenship of a node.[92]

  • Citizenship tickets may also grant citizenship to certain node stages. This mechanic will be decided based on testing.[93]

We want these places to be populated and people to be attracted to them and so right now we think housing is enough for that. But we don't want to design ourselves into a corner where we don't have any other options, so the hope is that yes citizenship will be only gained through housing; with our caveat that if that doesn't work well we'll change it.[93]Jeffrey Bard

Citizenship can be claimed for Village (level 3) nodes or higher.[15]

  • A player can only claim citizenship to one node at a time.[94]
  • Only one citizenship may be declared per account, per server.[95][96][97]
    • This may have changed to one citizenship per account.[98]
  • Citizenship is lost if the node is destroyed. A player can then become citizen of another node.[95]
  • Node citizenship is not tied to membership of a guild. Guilds don't "own" nodes.[95]

Your account is bound to one declared citizenship per server, which means that if you have two alts and your main character on one server you may only be a citizen of one node between those three... If you have an alt on a different server, it could be a citizen of a node as well.[97]Steven Sharif

Changing citizenship has a cooldown of two weeks.[92]

  • This applies to players who renounce their citizenship in a node.[95]

You can declare citizenship to only one node and when you declare that citizenship. Let's say for example, one guild perhaps wanting to kind of take all their members and have them all declare the same citizenship to a location. The longer a node exists the higher the prize it is to take and some systems with regards to crafting progression and/or rewards and bonuses or the reliquary that we haven't really touched on a lot, those systems are going to be so enticing that from an incentive standpoint it will compel other groups to either potentially break alliances or siege the city in order to take the goods that are potentially in it. So, from an incentive standpoint we have that at play. Additionally, we don't have a cap per-se that we've announced yet on the citizenship aspect of being in a node, but we do have soft caps. It becomes costlier the higher number of citizens each time one new person wants to join to be part of a node. So, there is sort of a soft cap on how many citizens one node can have and it might be that not all in the guild can participate in that area. So, there's kind of a natural divide: A pseudo faction, so to speak between who is a part of that node and who is not.[100]Steven Sharif

Players can interact with the node board to get a list of citizens of the node.[101]

A player does not need to declare citizenship of any node. These players won't need to pay taxes but will miss out on benefits of citizenship.[102]

Node sieges

Node sieges (Pre-alpha footage).[103]

As some areas in the world grow, others will fall. This is the foundation of the living, breathing world that is Ashes of Creation, where players will have the ability to make important decisions that matter in the longevity of an area becoming a city, or whether to siege a rival town. Rise above the ashes, create the world around you, and be a part of the story that unfolds because of your actions and decisions.[22]Margaret Krohn

Node sieges enable players to destroy nodes.[22] This paves the way for new development and access to the locked content in surrounding nodes. Due to this dynamic, political strife and intrigue play an important role in the structure of the world.[4]

Sieging nodes will not be an easy task for the attackers. Cities and metropolises will have a considerable defensive advantage.[4]

If you own a home in a node and you don't want to see that home destroyed, you need to defend that city![104]Steven Sharif

Nodes can delevel based on node atrophy.[22]

Read more...

Node destruction

When a node levels up it maintains the same feeling. So it feels like it's growing out from its city center; and it has this identity that it kind of evolves; and people get to understand it. But then when it gets destroyed and it starts over again and people re-level it, it's completely different the next time.[52]Jeffrey Bard

Nodes can be destroyed starting at level 3 (Village), and are destroyed through sieges.[22]

Nodes can be destroyed starting at Level 3 - Village Stage, and are destroyed through sieges. Sieges are started via an item which is acquired through a quest that scales in difficulty with respect to the level of the Node which is being targeted for the siege. Once the item is brought to the Node and is activated, the declaration period begins and a countdown is initiated for players in the region to see. This countdown runs for a number of days equal to the level of the Node being sieged. Once the countdown is complete, the siege begins. There is a cooldown between sieges, and players must wait a certain amount of time after an unsuccessful siege before a new siege can be declared. The higher the Node level, the longer the cooldown between sieges. If a siege is successful, then the Node is brought down to Level 0, and anyone who was a citizen of that Node is no longer a citizen.[22]Margaret Krohn

Siege aftermath

We’re working on a destruction engine that should help us to make a Castle Siege that feels cinematic and visceral. Having shards of the walls tumble to the ground after a trebuchet scores a hit will feel satisfying in a way no other Castle Siege has been able to offer in an MMORPG like this. Maybe you don’t need to take down the whole wall, maybe if you blow open a big enough hole, that’ll be enough to turn the tides.[5]

Rubble will be visible for a period of time following a successful castle siege. This will likely persist until the incumbent guild develops the first defensive node.[110]

Destructible environments

Destructible castle.[111]

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.[111]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.[114]

We want destruction to be a very core element of how players make their way through the world.[114]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.[115]
  • 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.[107]
  • 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.[107][116]
    • Larger more advanced buildings will require more resources to repair them. In-node housing will likely require the least resources to repair.[117]
  • Player housing that is destroyed during a node siege can no longer be sold.[88]

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.[115]Steven Sharif

Impact on player housing

Player housing designs and decorations are retained and can be placed again later if the housing is destroyed during a node siege.[118][119]

  • Blueprints are mailed to the player to utilize for future placement.[22]
  • Destroyed freeholds are subject to material loss.[22]
  • Certificates will track major milestones (such as Furnaces and Homesteads, for example).[118][119]
  • A possible design idea is for items such as furnishings to be boxed in crates that are accessible inside the new home.[120]

Impact on in-node housing

Following a node siege, static housing will be scaled back or destroyed based on the advancement of the node.[118]

  • If the housing was purchased at a higher advancement than the node currently is then it will be destroyed, otherwise the housing will be scaled back.

Impact on apartments

Apartments may be destroyed in the following circumstances:[118]

  • If their building was destroyed during a node siege, even if the siege was not successful.
  • If the Node delevels below stage 3 (Village) as a result of being destroyed or through node atrophy.
  • If a mayor built extra Apartment buildings during Node advancement at Stage 4 or higher and the Node deleveled below that stage.

Impact on freeholds

Freeholds may be attacked by any player[121] for a period of two hours[22] following a successful siege against its parent node.[122]

  • Players and their allies may defend their freehold for this period of time.[122]
  • Structures and guards may be obtained to defend freeholds during this period.[122]

After the two hour period of open combat following a successful node siege, any remaining freeholds will exist under a grace period for roughly 1 week where another node may take over the zone of influence of the freehold.[121][22]

  • The freehold owner will be required to undertake a quest process to have their freehold adopted by a new node if one exists.[121]
  • At the end of the grace period, if the freehold does not reside within the ZOI of a stage three (Village) node or above, it will be destroyed.[123]

If a siege is successful, then the Node is brought down to Level 0, and anyone who was a citizen of that Node is no longer a citizen. Freeholds within the Zone of Influence are subject to a period of vulnerability. These Freeholds can be destroyed by other players during a period of roughly 2 hours after a successful siege. Destroyed Freeholds are subject to material loss, and blueprints for them are mailed to the player to utilize for future placement in order to allow the player to keep their Freehold’s layout and structure. Once the vulnerability period is complete, any remaining Freeholds will exist under a grace period for roughly 1 week where another Node may take over the Zone of Influence of the Freehold.[22]Margaret Krohn

Node redevelopment

A node that was successfully sieged may develop differently due to the following influences:[52][124]

Node government

Alpha-1 winner of Mayoral election.[125]

Node governments are chosen from a node's citizenry when a node reaches stage 3 (Village).[15]

Positions within a node's government are attained through titles that grant special access to NPCs in the node.[126]

There are a lot of things that you can strive for within [a node] that grant you that special treatment.[126]Steven Sharif

Mayors

Mayors are leaders of a node's government who control the development of that node.[127]

  • Coordinate the transfer of needed supplies with citizens operating caravans.[130]
    • Mayors must communicate what resources are necessary for a particular node then motivate the citizens to fulfill those needs.[130]

Only node citizens may be elected mayor.[96]

You may only ever be a citizen of a single node at a time.[96]Steven Sharif

Mayors gain new powers and responsibilities as their node advances.[8]

Node elections

Once a node has reached Village stage there will be a one week cooldown period before node elections begin.[132]

  • This cooldown period allows players to establish citizenship at the village; which may require them to relinquish previous citizenship at another node.[132]
  • Following the initial cooldown, there will be a one week election process, then from that point on, elections will follow a monthly cadence.[132]
  • Node sieges may not be declared for 21 days following a node advancing to Village (stage 3). This does not apply to nodes at higher stages.[133]

The village stage is a unique stage because that's when the government system comes online and all other stages past village there will have already been a cadence for the election system and it will follow that cadence, but after the initial village stage is completed there will be a one week period where players have an opportunity to establish citizenship at the village that also provides for the cooldown time that is- that would be present on players leaving another node to kind of participate in in this particular node leveling up. But that after that one week period then there will be a one-week election process and then from that point moving forward will be the one month cadence that the node experiences elections on.[132]Steven Sharif

Node elections occur on a monthly basis.[132][134]

Node governments and mayors are chosen through different methods according to the node's type.[1][8]

Mayoral quests

Mayors are able to initiate quest-driven systems that non-citizens can participate in. The mayor can use a portion of their node's treasury or goods as rewards for quest completion. Players will be able to interface with the node to view the quests that are available to them.[39]

Leadership powers

Government officials have wide-ranging leadership powers.[140]

  • Declare war on another node and rally citizens to the cause.[141]
  • Enter into trade agreements.[141]
  • Directing assets.[15]
  • Mayors are able to initiate quest-driven systems that non-citizens can participate in. The mayor can use a portion of the node's treasury or goods as rewards for quest completion. Players will be able to interface with the node to view the quests that are available to them.[39]
  • Governments may be able to choose a node name from a predetermined list.[144][145]

The government has a lot of say in the direction of the nodes development. Directing assets, building projects, tax allocation, defensive ability etc. Players have the ability to not only create these cities, but they have the right of self-governance.[15]

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.[57]Steven Sharif

Guilds do not control nodes.[146][147] Guild leaders (kings and queens) can become mayors of nodes.[96]

  • Guilds hold separate roles in the direction of the node than the roles held by private citizens.[15]
  • Only a certain number of guilds may participate in these roles.[15]
  • Separate guild roles are reserved for small, medium and large guilds.[15]

Guild’s also hold separate roles in the direction of the node, than the roles held by private citizens, and only a certain number of guilds may participate in these roles. Separate guild roles are reserved for Small size guilds, medium size guilds and large size guilds.[15]

Node taxes

Mayors/Node governments allocate resources, taxes, and quests to help develop node defenses.[129]

  • Tax money only goes toward funding node development.[149]
  • Taxation rates scale based on when a player joined a node as a citizen. The goal is to exert financial pressure on node populations by making taxes increasingly expensive as nodes advance, rather than putting in place hard population caps.[150]

Parent nodes take a cut of all taxes from the housing and any services that occur within their ZOI.[151]

  • This tax doesn't necessarily impact the individual citizen, because citizen's tax levels are determined by their node, but the node's finances are affected by the taxation levied by its parent nodes.[151]

Node wars

Node governments may declare war on another node and rally citizens to the cause.[141]

We have conditions that you can set between nodes with regards to either nodes being friendly with each other and acting trade alliances, or they can declare war on nodes similar to how guild wars may function in different games, where those citizens become hostile to each other based on the player government that's elected in the particular node. So those systems all kind of cater to allowing a conflict that's meaningful and that also provides a non-imbalanced relationship between stronger guilds and not as strong guilds.[100]Steven Sharif

Alliances

Ashes of Creation may have specific content that revolves around Alliances.[153]

Content that revolves around alliances specifically and progression within the development of that alliance; and the ability to share some common services between guilds that are part of that alliance. I think that additionally allowing alliances to toggle certain relationships with nodes as an interaction is beneficial. That's going to provide an interesting dynamic for players who are either members of the particular node that has the relationship established or members of the Alliance. So I think that obviously building systems is is about creating the channels by which these players can form bonds and the more layers you have around those you know channels of bonding between the different guilds or players, the more sustainable that relationship.[153]Steven Sharif

Caravans

Caravans facilitate the transfer of goods for players wishing to turn a profit.[69]

The caravan system is an open world PvP system that revolves around opportunity and risk. Caravans facilitate the transfer of goods for players wishing to turn a profit.[69]

  • Caravans can transport goods for more than one player.[158]

Caravan types

There are different types of Caravans in Ashes of Creation.[161][162]

The caravan system is another very big part of the node system. They are the main driver of economic activity and there is a bunch of different types of caravan.[162]Jeffrey Bard

Caravan PvP

Caravans create an open PvP zone that flags players for combat (purple).[164]

  • Players will be able to state their intentions to attack, defend or ignore via a user interface window.[165][166][167]
    • The proximity that the UI window appears is determined by the player's performance as either a defender or an attacker in previous raids.[165]
  • A group will be required to successfully attack a caravan.[156][168]
  • A caravan will persist in the world for a period of 5 to 10 minutes from the time its owner logs out or is disconnected from the server.[169]

It's still intended from a design standpoint to be a window that is presented to the player based on proximity; and that proximity it can be greater depending on your performance as either a defender or an attacker in previous raids.[165]Steven Sharif

Caravan destruction

If a caravan is destroyed (becomes a wreckage) it will drop a portion of the goods it was transporting.[156][170][171]

  • Caravan components may also drop when a caravan is destroyed. These components may be salvageable by the caravan owner or by other players, in the case of high grade components.[172]
  • Caravans drop certificates for heavy goods that are redeemable at the origin node for a portion of the goods.[173][171]

The caravan becomes a wreckage upon destruction and that wreckage is an interfaceable item that players can come up to and they can receive certificates for a portion of the goods inside the caravan. Now the idea with that certificate is that it must be taken back to the point of origin, or at least a region within that point of origin. We'll see about that last part because there's a few things I want to test in the Alpha from a gameability standpoint. The reason why for this is because what might happen is you may have some type of collaboration within a guild to kind of game that system. Hey I'm gonna reach this caravan just to the border of the region and then we're all destroy it, collect the goods and take it to you know that region's warehouse; and have to skip out on the last half of the way. So it must successfully reach its destination before the goods can be considered a part of that region.[171]Steven Sharif

Underrealm nodes

Underrealm nodes and nodes directly above them are related but do not exist in the same ZOI.[174]

Coastal/island nodes

There will be nodes along the coast and on islands.[179]

  • These nodes will have specific water oriented influences and abilities, services, questlines, that relate to the seas.[179]
  • Coastal nodes change the spawn tables of the nearby water content and can also trigger specific events.[180]
  • Harbors in coastal nodes will have quest lines that relate to the ocean and nearby islands.[180]
  • It may be possible to siege a coastal city by sea.[181]

Island chains are part of Ashes of Creation naval content.[182][183]

Underwater nodes

Underwater points of interest that have NPC structures may appear to be like cities, but they will not be nodes.[184]

  • There won't be nodes underwater or in the water.[179]

Patron guilds

Whether an organization is the patron of their node means it contributes the most amount of work to the node from its members.[185]

Patron guilds unlock the following benefits for their members.[186]

Any number of guilds can be in a node, but the number of patron guilds within a node is limited by node stage.[187]

Relics

Reliquary concept art.[43]

Each city has what's called a reliquary and the reliquary begins to spawn unique items for the citizens to take advantage of based on the performance progression and achievements that those citizens have within the world. So if your citizens are part of downing a world boss or completing a dungeon in a record time or crafting a legendary item or whatever: all of these different types of progression paths for the cities could result in the production of a relic that exists within the reliquary.[44]Steven Sharif

Node relic.[45] This is a protective relic that is preventing an attack. Once stolen, it enables a siege against the metropolis.[46]

Relics are achievements for a node that unlock over time. They allow node citizens to craft certain legendary items and progress in certain legendary quest lines.[47]

  • Relics include the four ancient artifacts of Verra that were originally discovered by King Atrax in his pursuit of the power of The Essence.[48][49] These artifacts were in close alignment to the Essence on Verra due to their proximity to the ley lines of Essence spread across the world.[50] These artifacts were originally housed in the vault of Fallow's Hold, which is one of the great dungeons of Ashes of Creation, located near the capital city of the ancient Toren empire, Torall.[50]
    • The Golden Chalice was believed to bring everlasting life but was actually allowing the corruption of manipulating The Essence to enter the soul through the physical representation of drinking something.[48]
    • The Crown represented a direct link The Ancients had into the thought process of King Atrax that the Ancients were able to manipulate.[48]
    • The Sword brought unusual power through manipulation of the evil side of the Essence, which is how Atrax maintained his dominance over his people: through physical might, essentially striking down any foe that opposed him among his administration.[48]
    • The Staff enabled Atrax to project his magic across great distances, which enabled him to extend his power and manipulation throughout the lands of Verra and allowed him to maintain vigilance over his realm.[48]
  • Relics are placed in a node's reliquary.[44]
  • Limited access to the relics stored in a node's reliquary are granted to registered attackers after successfully destroying that node in a node siege.[44]

Sharemarkets

As nodes develop, player governments may open a Stock exchange (also called Stock markets and Sharemarkets) where players can buy and sell shares in Nodes, Guilds and Social organizations.[188][189]

  • There is no regulatory commission to restrict the purchase and sale of stocks.[190]

Internal conflict

There won't be a civil war mechanic within nodes but there will be scope for internal political conflicts; such as undermining the current leadership and disrupting trade.[191]

We want consequences to matter and if that person got elected then you need to work within the means of the mechanics to get them unelected.[192]Steven Sharif

Artwork

Community guides

See also

References

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  124. 124.0 124.1 124.2 124.3 Livestream, 24 May 2017 (52:39).
  125. Livestream, 28 March 2020 (1:02:46).
  126. 126.0 126.1 126.2 126.3 126.4 Livestream, 26 July 2019 (1:20:48).
  127. 127.0 127.1 127.2 Livestream, 17 November 2017 (9:49).
  128. 128.0 128.1 Livestream, 25 July 2020 (1:52:45).
  129. 129.0 129.1 siege equipment.png
  130. 130.0 130.1 Livestream, 30 June 2017 (53:57).
  131. Livestream, 28 March 2020 (1:01:34).
  132. 132.0 132.1 132.2 132.3 132.4 Interview, 27 March 2020 (6:03).
  133. steven-mayoral-siege-cooldown.png
  134. Government2.jpg
  135. 135.0 135.1 135.2 135.3 Interview, 19 July 2020 (26:54).
  136. gladiators.jpg
  137. Podcast, 11 May 2018 (52:20).
  138. 138.0 138.1 Interview, 27 March 2020 (09:05).
  139. Interview, 27 March 2020 (11:04).
  140. government.jpeg
  141. 141.0 141.1 141.2 141.3 City hall.
  142. assassination.jpg
  143. Livestream, 26 June 2020 (59:11).
  144. node naming.png
  145. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (36:05).
  146. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (36:09).
  147. steven guild leader mayor.JPG
  148. Livestream, 28 March 2020 (1:03:38).
  149. Tax spending.png
  150. Interview, 27 March 2020 (0:30).
  151. 151.0 151.1 Interview, 11 May 2018 (57:02).
  152. 152.0 152.1 Interview, 19 July 2020 (24:34).
  153. 153.0 153.1 153.2 153.3 153.4 Podcast, 11 May 2018 (21:07).
  154. Livestream, 29 May 2020 (1:03:35).
  155. Video, 16 July 2019 (0:00s).
  156. 156.0 156.1 156.2 Livestream, 15 May 2017 (45:20).
  157. Interview, 20 January 2017 (4:19).
  158. Interview, 11 May 2018 (28:21).
  159. flagging.jpg
  160. Ashes of Creation Store: Ramstone Hauler.
  161. 161.0 161.1 161.2 Livestream, 28 July 2017 (19:43).
  162. 162.0 162.1 162.2 Video, 15 July 2019 (2:12).
  163. Livestream, 28 March 2020 (1:27:28).
  164. caravan zone.png
  165. 165.0 165.1 165.2 Interview, 27 March 2020 (16:19).
  166. caravan UI.png
  167. Livestream, 22 May 2017 (40:40).
  168. Livestream, 22 May 2017 (40:41).
  169. Livestream, 25 July 2020 (55:32).
  170. Livestream, 15 December 2017 (1:04:25).
  171. 171.0 171.1 171.2 Interview, 15 April 2019 (26:59).
  172. Interview, 15 April 2019 (28:28).
  173. Certificates.jpg
  174. Livestream, 5 May 2017 (37:52).
  175. Livestream, 26 May 2017 (31:44).
  176. Livestream, 26 May 2017 (42:45).
  177. Livestream, 24 May 2017 (31:39).
  178. Livestream, 17 August 2018 (58:53).
  179. 179.0 179.1 179.2 Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (1:01:28).
  180. 180.0 180.1 Interview, 19 July 2020 (48:05).
  181. Livestream, 19 May 2017 (37:51).
  182. Livestream, 17 May 2017 (30:53).
  183. Kickstarter - We Just Broke $1,500,000!
  184. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (AM) (18:29).
  185. Podcast, 23 April 2018 (24:47).
  186. 186.0 186.1 186.2 186.3 186.4 186.5 Livestream, 28 February 2020 (1:06:51).
  187. 187.0 187.1 187.2 187.3 187.4 Livestream, 28 June 2019 (1:27:23).
  188. 188.0 188.1 Livestream, 17 May 2017 (11:27).
  189. 189.0 189.1 Stock Exchange.jpg
  190. 190.0 190.1 Interview, 20 October 2018 (5:51).
  191. Livestream, 24 May 2017 (40:50).
  192. 192.0 192.1 Livestream, 28 June 2019 (1:26:14).