Node layout and style

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Racial architecture of the same Village (stage 3) node on different servers. Dünir Dwarven influence (top). Kaelar Human influence (bottom). Alpha-1 Non-NDA screenshot.

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.[1]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.[2]Margaret Krohn

Node layout and style is determined by several factors:[3][4]

  • Environment (biome) and location of the node.[5][3][4]
    The way that the node system is built is that they can exist across a spread of 18 biomes, but at the same time have to represent the cultural influence of these cultures that are intrinsically a part of a specific biome.[5]Steven Sharif
    • Nodes will adjust the local topography to fit the aesthetic and mechanical requirements of the node.[6]

Currently the way that the platform system is set up, is it's capable of adjusting the topography of the node's footprint, regardless of the surrounding terrain. So the reason for that is we want to have flexibility in the presentation of the node's layout and how it is essentially both from an aesthetic standpoint as well as a mechanical standpoint with node sieges- how it's constructed and that construction should have the ability to take on a variance of different types of topography. So it shouldn't be dependent on the surrounding area. Now that's not to say that the surrounding area isn't going to have some influence over. So for example... we're experimenting a little bit with the platform tech and putting up a node up against the side of a mountain or on the edge of a cliff or something that has a beautiful vista. Those are things that we're going to test out obviously as we continue to work on the node tool and how that platform system works, but the idea is to have the node independent of the surrounding terrain.[6]Steven Sharif

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.[4]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.[12]Steven Sharif

  • The rest is determined by the node's mayor.[4]
    • It should be possible for a node to complete several building projects within a mayor's one month term in office.[13]
Q: How long would you say it will take players on average to fill slash build up a node completely from wilderness to metropolis?
A: It's one thing to get a node to a certain level: it's another thing to develop the node; and I can't really give you an on-average expectation, because there's a lot of variables at play. There's how many citizens does the node have attracted to it; what's the type of traffic that the node is attracting to it based on things like its tax rates, or the specialization that it chose to spec into, based on the building types it's chosen to build. All of those things are variables that can affect the quote-unquote "average build-out time" of a particular node. So it's kind of difficult to give you an average when there's so many variables along those lines. But the idea is that if there is a particular project that players are interested in in developing based on the node stage, that they would have the ability to complete several of those projects as within a single term of a mayor; and a term of a mayor is one month.[13]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.[16][17][18]

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.[19]Steven Sharif

The government decides how to specialize their node. Once they choose certain things they won't be able to choose other things.[16]

  • Node buildings live within a "tech tree" based on the stage of the node. Each stage offers stronger services to the node but must satisfy prerequisites for the building construction.[20]
  • Different governments may change the buildings within a node.[16]

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.[16]

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).[16]

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.[23]

Node building destruction

Destructible castle.[24]

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.[25]Steven Sharif

Node buildings (including player housing) have hit points and can be damaged or destroyed by different systems.[20][26]

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.[26]

  • Players must repair damaged buildings (or rebuild destroyed ones) in order to reactivate the services from those particular buildings.[20][26][28]
    • Citizens will need to obtain the resources needed to repair and rebuild any damaged infrastructure.[26][28]
    • Larger more advanced buildings will require more resources to repair them. In-node housing will likely require the least resources to repair.[29]

Buildings that take significant damage are destroyed and appear as rubble on the plot they occupied.[20]

  • Node governments must clear any rubble on plots before any buildings can be reconstructed. Any prerequisites for the building reconstruction must be satisfied beforehand.[20]
    Buildings also live within a prerequisite system. So in order to build down the tech tree of what these buildings provide, as the node grows larger to access stronger building types, you may get a kink in that chain if it's destroyed and you'll have to stand that back up in order to support the service again.[20]Steven Sharif
  • If the node is destroyed by a node siege, the debris field will contain spoils that are lootable to the victors of the siege.[30][26][31][32]

Static housing development

Static housing furnishings and home decorations in an Alpha-1 village node.[36]

If the node advances players can essentially select an option on their house as they own it that they want it to upgrade to the next stage if the node advances or they can select an option not to upgrade it. So you as the node levels and larger homes become available, the town stage introduces additional medium types housing, the city stage introduces large sized homes, and in the metropolis stage introduces my mansion size houses each of which contain specific... allowances and allotments for different types of furnishings that have gameplay implications.[36]Steven Sharif

In-node housing can scale in size with the advancement of its parent node. This may be toggled on or off by the player.[36][37]

  • The Village stage offers small housing types.[36]
  • The Town stage introduces medium housing types.[36]
  • The City stage introduces large sized homes.[36]
  • The Metropolis stage introduces mansion size houses.[36]

If you choose to keep the same size then the next stage will have an occupied small home. So for instance if at stage three there are 8 small home and you own 1, then at stage 4 there are 10 new small homes of which x are owned by previous owners, and 10 new medium homes of which x are owned by upgraded small home owners.[38]Steven Sharif

New property becomes available at each stage of advancement, but it will be more akin to what was available at the previous stage.[37]

  • Only the houses that existed at the Village stage will become main street mansions at the Metropolis stage.[37]

Node redevelopment

A node that was successfully destroyed by a node siege may develop differently due to the following influences:[3][39]

Artistic style

Ashes of Creation will have a higher graphical fidelity than most western games. It will not be too stylized or "cartoony".[40]

We can push the limits a little bit on the graphical fidelity, especially using Unreal Engine 4... My desire was not to see very cartoony games. I'm not a big fan of highly stylized art.[40]Steven Sharif

Artistic influences

Character races are super important. These are the choices that we make at the onset of our adventure in an MMORPG: what race- not just mechanically aligns with our decisions, if those races have game mechanics behind them from a stat perspective, but visually and culturally and historically: What are these? What do these races represent? So it's important that visually they're distinct. And everyone's seen fantasy games do Elves, so everyone's seen them do Humans, everyone's seen them do Orcs: There's an established expectation almost behind what these traditional fantasy races represent; and there's a risk, because whenever you're creating a new IP or a new story or a new world- a new Universe; a realm in which things don't have to always be the norm, you can take a little bit of creative liberty to redefine some of the aspects of a particular race; and that can be a good thing, because it's something that is new to players. It's something that is unique to the realm that we're building- the surroundings that you have. So what we wanted to do was push a little bit more on the unique side of what the Py'rai would look like from a visual perspective.[41]Steven Sharif

You will see in the different races that are available from a player character standpoint a lot of different influences that reflect many cultures in the world: Not just European, not just Africa, not Mesoamerican. These cultures are going to be present in many of the races.[51]Steven Sharif

The idea is just to find a base component in the real world as a starting point and then to begin to fantasize.[42]Steven Sharif

See also

References

  1. Blog - Know Your Nodes - The Basics.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Blog - Know Your Nodes - Advance and Destroy.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Livestream, October 30, 2020 (39:17).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Livestream, September 27, 2018 (53:06).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Livestream, February 25, 2022 (41:00).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Livestream, February 26, 2021 (1:12:18).
  7. Livestream, March 31, 2022 (4:57).
  8. Podcast, April 11, 2021 (29:47).
  9. Interview, May 11, 2018 (54:34).
  10. Livestream, May 26, 2017 (21:23).
  11. Podcast, April 11, 2021 (23:36).
  12. 12.0 12.1 Interview, May 11, 2018 (47:27).
  13. 13.0 13.1 Livestream, July 29, 2022 (1:13:09).
  14. Livestream, March 28, 2020 (1:16:03).
  15. Video, March 23, 2020 (0:24).
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Livestream, May 19, 2017 (33:57).
  17. 17.0 17.1 Livestream, January 20, 2018 (38:17).
  18. Livestream, 2018-04-8 (PM) (51:49).
  19. Interview, July 8, 2020 (55:05).
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 20.6 20.7 20.8 Livestream, March 31, 2022 (1:13:00).
  21. Livestream, July 30, 2021 (1:10:09).
  22. Livestream, September 1, 2018 (36:28).
  23. Know Your Nodes: Economic Node Type.
  24. Livestream, October 31, 2019 (36:20).
  25. 25.0 25.1 Livestream, November 22, 2019 (16:56).
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 Interview, July 8, 2020 (57:46).
  27. Forums - Livestream Q&A 2022-08-26.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Livestream, November 22, 2019 (17:59).
  29. Interview, July 8, 2020 (59:38).
  30. Podcast, September 29, 2021 (14:21).
  31. Livestream, April 30, 2020 (1:14:44).
  32. siege spoils.png
  33. 33.0 33.1 Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:02:12).
  34. Livestream, July 18, 2017 (40:14).
  35. Livestream, November 17, 2017 (47:10).
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 36.4 36.5 36.6 Video, May 31, 2020 (47:32).
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 Node series part II – the Metropolis.
  38. steven-static-housing-same-size.png
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 Livestream, May 24, 2017 (52:39).
  40. 40.0 40.1 Interview, October 20, 2018 (2:17:43).
  41. Livestream, February 25, 2022 (49:42).
  42. 42.0 42.1 Interview, October 20, 2018 (3:47:17).
  43. dunirinfluence.png
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 Interview, May 11, 2018 (1:03:21).
  45. Podcast, May 11, 2018 (31:35).
  46. Livestream, September 30, 2022 (1:08:24).
  47. Livestream, February 25, 2022 (44:28).
  48. py'rai archetecture.jpg
  49. Livestream, October 16, 2017 (15:58).
  50. 50.0 50.1 Podcast, May 11, 2018 (31:35).
  51. Interview, May 11, 2018 (1:04:27).