Open world battlegrounds

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The Event system will also create a variety of PvP situations in the open world. From small skirmishes that lead into sieges to battles over capture points during a node or castle siege, PvP objectives will play a crucial role in determining the tide of battle.[1]

Battlegrounds are objective-based events where PvP battles occur in the open world.[2][3]

My definition of what a battleground is- and it's non-traditional. It's not typically something that is defined in the same way in other MMORPGS, but I kind of view them as these small skirmishes that might lead up to a siege or to a war and they might have capture points during node and castle fights; and these PvP objectives may be more relevant for smaller groups than for giant raids; and you might have concurrently running objectives during a particular event where you have to dispatch groups simultaneously to go address these objectives in order to complete one particular type of event or one particular type of of success condition.[2]Steven Sharif
We will have limited functionality where players can spectate from either ghost camera from fixed positions at certain battlefields; some of which might include castles.

The following open world PvP events will flag participating players as Combatants (purple).[2][5]

Non-combatant (green) players entering an open world battleground are automatically flagged as combatants and remain flagged for a period of time after leaving that battleground.[12]

Our castle system, our sieges against nodes, the caravan system, battlegrounds that exist, guild wars: We want there to be a meaning to this conflict. We want players to actually have some skin in the game when it comes to participating in PvP.[16]Steven Sharif

Caravan PvP

Caravan PvP in Alpha-1.[17]

You won't be able to see inside specifically but as part of the caravan structure itself there will be little hints as to what the the cargo is. So for example if you've seen some of our recent footage with caravans you kind of see sitting on top of the caravan there's some gold or some silver or some iron.[18]Steven Sharif

Caravans create an open PvP zone that flags players for combat (purple).[19]

  • Players will not be able to see the exact contents of a caravan before they decide to attack or defend, however there will be some visual hints to the cargo of the caravan, such as gold, silver, or iron visible on top of the caravan.[18]
  • Players will be able to state their intentions to attack, defend or ignore via a user interface window.[20][21][22]
    • The proximity that the UI window appears is determined by the player's performance as either a defender or an attacker in previous raids.[20]
  • A group will be required to successfully attack a caravan.[23][24]
  • 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.[25]
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.[20]Steven Sharif

There will be incentives and risks for both caravan attackers and defenders.[13][14] These will be tested and refined during the alpha and beta testing phases.[26]

There is a level of risk that comes with the attacker. We have progression paths that exist for bandits and that exists for defenders; and if you choose to opt into a caravan attack- you sign up for that attack and you fail that attack- it is detrimental to your path of progression down the bandit area. That's one thing: Two is of course you have gear decay. You have degradation that can be suffered if you die. That is a cost. And then you also have a reputation; and if your reputation precedes you when you want to transit goods across the world; and you see somebody who's doing it and you want to participate as a defender or a participant, they might say hey screw you, you were just murdering my people last week and I saw that you're like on the top of the bandit list for killing caravans. So it has repercussions in the sense that it locks you out of certain player groups. It provides decay to your armor. It has deleterious effects on your progression, and the attacking- and the bandit progression of caravan attacks or defense.[13]Steven Sharif
  • A quest system will track a player's successful or failed defenses and attacks. This will provide rewards that scale up over time based on the player's history.[13][14][26]
  • Other incentives and risks are social and are created (informally) between players.[13][26]
The caravan defender role is going to have its own progression questing and rewards associated with it that are going to attract a certain subset of players and then you know vice-versa wise we're going to have incentives that appeal to the more highway brigand type players; and you know you might not always be on one side or the other: that might change depending on what your interests are in the at the time. But obviously you know those types of systems need to have robust you know consequential type rewards and benefits associated with them in order to compel the player; and that's something obviously we're going to test in alphas and betas and see how performant it is in actually attracting players to participate and make sure it's not just one-sided so-to-speak.[26]Steven Sharif

Hunting grounds

You are on the prowl, and notice an unsuspecting player chopping trees. What would you do?[28]

Hunting grounds are open-world PvP corruption-enabled areas that encompass most of the map.[29]

One of the interesting components of Ashes of Creation and our flagging system is that it presents the potential for two conflicting parties to have open conflict in the open world over pretty much anything that they may want or disagree with; and if that pertains to a hunting ground, not just the caravan or the castles or the nodes or whatever, it can exist in that area.[32]Steven Sharif

Outside of PvP for certain things like caravans, sieges of nodes and/or castles is that you're going to have those open-world hunting ground fights that may occur. You're going to have resources fights that may occur. You're going to have political fights that may occur between members of guilds; and we're taking the guild politics to a whole new direction in regards to playing those conflicts out.[31]Steven Sharif

Our PvP mechanics follow a flagging system, as well as static PvP zones at certain points of interest; fight for control over cities, castles, caravans, or hunting grounds. Our PvP is designed to offer the players a well-balanced and fair world to shape through the pen, or sword should they choose.[33]

Player flagging

The open world PvP flagging system is designed to deter people from griefing other players.[34]

  • Players can participate in open world PvP with one another without having to resort to murder.[35]
  • The penalties are intended to be severe enough to deter any type of spawn camping.[36]
  • Summons follow the same PvP flagging rules as players and share the player's flag status.[37][38]

pvp flagging diagram.png

There are three levels of flagging for world PvP in Ashes of Creation.[12]

It's important to note that the idea is going to be that, unless a player is in your party, alliance, guild, or raid that you will not have definitive knowledge of their exact hit point values. So when you do something that's sketchy like that, where you want to bring them close to death and let a monster finish him off, you are taking the risk of overhitting and actually gaining the corruption.[41]Steven Sharif

  • Combatant (purple)
    • Players are flagged as combatants if they attack another (non-corrupted) player when carrying out a forced attack. If the attacked player fights back, they are also flagged as combatants, otherwise the attacked player will remain flagged as a non-combatant.[43][39]
    • Non-combatants entering an open world battleground (PvP event) are automatically flagged as combatants and remain flagged for a period of time after leaving that battleground.[12]
    • Non-combatants who heal, buff, or otherwise (positively) interact with combatants or corrupted players will be flagged as combatants.[45][46]
    • Players can kill combatants without repercussions, and are encouraged to do so, since dying while a combatant has reduced death penalties.[39]
    • Players are not able to manually set their flagging status to combatant.[43]
    • Players remain flagged for a period of 90 seconds following their most recent attack on a non-combatant or another combatant.[47]
    • Players cannot log out while flagged as combatants.[48]
  • Corrupted (red)
    • If a combatant player, or their summon, kills a non-combatant player, the player's character will be flagged as corrupted.[37][34]
    • Corruption multiplies death penalties and reveals a corrupted player's location to bounty hunters.[34]
    • A player’s corruption score increases with each non-combatant player killed.[12]
    • If a non-combatant attacks a corrupt player, the non-combatant will not flag as a combatant.[39]
    • Corrupted players may kill bounty hunters without acquiring additional corruption score.[49]
    • There is a 60 second timer to logout while corrupt.[48]

Players will be able to opt-in (via a checkbox) to allow their beneficial or non-beneficial AoEs to hit flagged players. If this is checked then AoE heals or damage will affect flagged players. If it is not checked then the AoE will not damage or heal any flagged players, and as such will not cause the caster to be flagged themselves (if they are not already).[50]

If you have that check-box for flagging with your AOEs and heals available then you will flag. If you do not have that box checked then on completion of the skill it will not flag you because the check was made at the start that there was a flagged party member; and then he will not he or she will not receive the beneficial effect as a result or the damage, if it's an offensive spell.[50]Steven Sharif

A player may not flag on members of the same party, raid, guild or alliance.[51]

Sieges, caravans and guild wars do not use the flagging system.[27]

You're not going to see griefing in the game very often; and that's because our flagging system. The corruption mechanics are based around disincentivizing a griefer or PKer but still offering the opportunity, should the occasion arise, where the benefits outweigh the risk, you have the ability to do so. If you gain corruption, which is killing a non-combatant - a player who is not fighting back basically - if you gain that corruption, your world has changed. It is not going to be a very beneficial place to be and you have the potential of losing your gear. Your combat efficacy decreases based on the amount of corruption you accrue. It is a comfortable balance between player agency and grief and basically removing player agency for other players.[52]Steven Sharif

Death penalties

Player death in an open world dungeon in Alpha-1.[53]

We don't have deleveling, instead what we have is experience debt. Now the more experience debt you accrue, the greater the detriment to your character; not to the point where you can not get out of the debt. There will always be a way forward to remove your debt.[52]Steven Sharif

When a player dies they disintegrate into ash. The ashes contain any items lost by the player due to applicable death penalties.[54][55][56][57][58] These ash piles are immediately lootable by any player.[55] Player flagging is not triggered by looting.[42]

  • A non-combatant (green player) who dies suffers normal penalties, which include:[57]
    When players die and they take durability loss, our durability loss isn't like other games where it's a gold sink so to speak. It's a combination of both a gold sink and a material sink. So in a sense, even if you only have completed items, when you take that durability loss you are losing out on materials. It's just a debt to the materials that you are losing instead of the active loss of that material in your inventory. So now you are accruing a material debt if you want to repair and increase again the performance of those particular items that take that durability loss.[61]Steven Sharif
    • Dropping a percentage of carried gatherables and processed goods.[56][57]
      • This also includes a percentage of the certificates a player is carrying.[58]
      • If a player dies there will be a period of time before their mule despawns. Other players must kill that player's mule to be able to loot it.[63]
      • If a player's mule dies its corpse will contain the same percentage of lootable items as the player.[63][64]
  • A combatant (purple player) who dies suffers these same penalties, but at half the rate of a non-combatant.[57]
  • A corrupt (red player) suffers penalties at four times[65] the rate of a non-combatant, and has a chance to drop any carried/equipped items based on their current corruption score. This includes:[65][57]
    Any amount of corruption allows a player to drop equipped gear upon death. The higher the corruption the greater the chances.[67]Steven Sharif

Experience debt will scale to approximately 2 or 3 percent of the total XP for a max level player. These numbers are subject to change based on testing.[73]

Death penalties (mostly) do not apply to objective-based events (such as caravans, guild wars, and node sieges).[13][14][15]

There will not be death penalties applied to event-based deaths. The penalties are in the outcome of the event. So your number of deaths is likely going to impact your ability to win that particular event and that's going to be the penalty. This is it to encourage players to opt in to the events right because the more participation we have the more fun it can be; and we understand that the community at large- there's already a risk versus reward component to these events. We don't need to stack on additional risk versus reward to inhibit kind of- to increase the barrier to entry for players who may not be as interested.[15]Steven Sharif

Death penalties do not differ between PvP and PvE, but this is subject to change.[74]

Death by falling is possible.[75]

  • Fall damage that occurs while mounted will be first applied to the mount; and if the mount dies as a result, then the remaining damage may overflow onto the player, but this will be determined based on testing.[75]

Death by drowning is possible.[76][77]

  • Players that drown will respawn on shore.[76]

If a player dies there will be a period of time before their mule despawns. Other players must kill that player's mule to be able to loot it.[63]

Players do not lose gold upon death, no matter their corruption level.[78]

At the moment, the plan is for players to not lose gold upon death, no matter their corruption level.[78]Cody Peterson


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Types of Events on Verra.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Livestream, April 29, 2022 (41:27).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Livestream, May 5, 2017 (14:26).
  4. Twitch Bustin - PvP Spectating.
  5. Livestream, May 19, 2017 (45:14).
  6. Livestream, August 26, 2022 (1:00:14).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Podcast, April 11, 2021 (49:40).
  8. steven-siege-zone.png
  9. Livestream, April 30, 2021 (41:18).
  10. Blog: Creative Director's Letter, April 14 2021
  11. Livestream, November 17, 2017 (45:19).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 MMOGames interview, January 2017
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 13.9 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (1:14:52).
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 14.6 14.7 Livestream, August 27, 2021 (1:22:56).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Livestream, December 22, 2020 (1:13:51).
  16. Video, April 30, 2017 (5:31).
  17. Livestream, March 28, 2020 (1:27:28).
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Livestream, January 29, 2021 (1:25:14).
  19. caravan zone.png
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Interview, March 27, 2020 (16:19).
  21. caravan UI.png
  22. Livestream, May 22, 2017 (40:40).
  23. Livestream, May 15, 2017 (45:20).
  24. Livestream, May 22, 2017 (40:41).
  25. Livestream, July 25, 2020 (55:32).
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 Livestream, February 26, 2021 (1:16:21).
  27. 27.0 27.1 flagging.jpg
  28. Twitter - What a glorious day for ganking!
  29. 29.0 29.1 Livestream, July 9, 2018 (44:56).
  30. Livestream, November 17, 2017 (45:17).
  31. 31.0 31.1 Livestream, June 1, 2017 (35:42).
  32. Livestream, May 19, 2017 (24:17).
  33. pvp about.png
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 pvp flagging.png
  35. Livestream, May 12, 2017 (24:52).
  36. pvp camping.png
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 steven-summons-pvp-1.png
  38. steven-summons-pvp-2.png
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 Interview, April 27, 2017 (0:17).
  40. PvP.jpg
  41. 41.0 41.1 Livestream, July 30, 2021 (1:10:34).
  42. 42.0 42.1 Podcast, April 11, 2021 (34:41).
  43. 43.0 43.1 Livestream, November 30, 2020 (1:09:06).
  44. Livestream, October 31, 2018 (44:12).
  45. Interview, April 22, 2019 (54:40).
  46. Livestream, November 17, 2017 (29:45).
  47. steven-flagging-duration.png
  48. 48.0 48.1 steven-flagging-logout.png
  49. Interview, April 27, 2017 (1:18).
  50. 50.0 50.1 Interview, July 8, 2020 (1:05:27).
  51. pvp flagging lockouts.png
  52. 52.0 52.1 Podcast, April 23, 2018 (49:21).
  53. Livestream, March 28, 2020 (1:58:24).
  54. Livestream, September 24, 2021 (51:20).
  55. 55.0 55.1 Livestream, March 26, 2021 (1:07:33).
  56. 56.0 56.1 a419c5398b542a713545e4f393d67215.png
  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 57.3 57.4 57.5 57.6 57.7 57.8 Podcast, May 5, 2017 (43:05).
  58. 58.0 58.1 Interview, July 18, 2020 (27:11).
  59. Livestream, May 19, 2017 (13:37).
  60. Ashes of Creation Forums - Former Lineage 2 PvP'er wanting to discuss PvP loopholes.
  61. 61.0 61.1 Interview, February 7, 2021 (13:14).
  62. Interview, July 29, 2020 (16:46).
  63. 63.0 63.1 63.2 63.3 Livestream, January 29, 2021 (1:24:27).
  64. 64.0 64.1 Livestream, September 27, 2018 (47:46).
  65. 65.0 65.1 65.2 Interview, July 18, 2020 (41:54).
  66. Livestream, November 17, 2017 (35:20).
  67. steven-corruption-gear-drop.png
  68. Interview, May 11, 2018 (15:41).
  69. Interview, April 27, 2017 (9:28).
  70. Livestream, June 25, 2021 (1:15:37).
  71. Interview, May 11, 2018 (3:43).
  72. corruption.jpg
  73. Livestream, May 28, 2021 (1:50:50).
  74. Livestream, May 15, 2017 (36:23).
  75. 75.0 75.1 Livestream, February 25, 2022 (1:06:45).
  76. 76.0 76.1 Livestream, April 29, 2022 (1:08:27).
  77. Livestream, July 28, 2017 (50:22).
  78. 78.0 78.1 vaknar-gold.png