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Performance optimization when rendering 1300 simulated actors utilizing merged materials and meshes in Unreal Engine 5 Nanite.[1] This test was confirmed post-stream to be running on a RTX 3070.[2]

What you're seeing here showcases the new modular appearance component which can combine any set of meshes and materials into a single mesh and single material at run-time. What you're looking at is over 1300 different entities, different actors. These are simulated players essentially. Previously you saw the example they were just standing still. There was no animation, there was no effects, there was no environment and it was a thousand. This is thirteen hundred playing animations, playing effects, plus the environment which is Nanite in this example. So what you're seeing is all of these players moving around and doing something and you're seeing the frame rate at about 30 on Clayton's rig.[3]Steven Sharif

Here you see that the FPS in the top right corner is like seven or eight on average, so not too good from a rendering perspective... So by merging now you can see that the same thousand players who are wearing the same armors as previously are actually having a 300 percent increase- 300 to 400 increase- in the performance of the of the FPS. So it went from 7 to about 21 on average and that is a significant optimization point that obviously this is just the beginning of the optimization efforts.[4]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation was performing at 50-60 FPS on a 1080 Ti during early Alpha-1 testing.[6]

  • The game will be highly customizable from a settings standpoint. If you don't quite have the rig necessary to run it, you can dial the game settings down.[7][8]
  • Highly scalable options to adjust rendering and particle effects will be offered.[9]
  • Motion blur will be togglable on and off.[10]
There's a lot of bells-and-whistles that are intended on the client rendering side for these types of features that players will have the ability to scale up or down or off from a performance perspective.[7]Steven Sharif

A "default player appearance" may be automatically applied during sieges or other large scale battles to improve client-side performance.[11][12][8]

We have taken into consideration the rendering and server performance expectations with regards to our character density for events and battles. While testing will help with these performance profiles, we feel good where it is at for the moment, and do not feel we need to compromise our design goals atm.[13]Steven Sharif

User interface settings

Alpha-2 user interface settings work-in-progress UI.[14]

Player customization options are paramount when it comes to UI. That is a very subjective thing that we've all become- our own flavors we like out of certain components of the UI; and so instead of trying to force down the throat of our players a specific approach to UI, why do that when we can develop options and customization that the players can influence themselves: That includes color compositions, it includes text sizes, includes bolded, it includes options of which informations you're choosing to display, scaling.[15]Steven Sharif

User interface settings will have solid defaults along with detailed customization of Ashes of Creation for those who wish to customise their UI.[16][17][18][19]

Our mantra is really solid defaults, so most people won't need to touch anything, but then the customization for everybody who wants to.[16]Colby Marchi

Various display elements can be toggled on or off.[15]

Gameplay actors, such as foliage density will not be able to be adjusted by players.[34]

  • Highly scalable options to adjust rendering and particle effects will be offered.[9]
We will not allow players to to adjust the density of foliage actors in the world. That will be universal... There are going to be areas that are more dense than others. It's meant to be part of the a part of the world that players can utilize for certain purposes, like hiding in for PvP. However, there will be collision with those foliage actors and the player capsule. So as you might see that bush moving and think, "Huh that's odd. That doesn't look like wind. There must be something there." And that's the kind of immersion that we want.[34]Steven Sharif

Camera settings

The aim is to provide a variety of camera options in Ashes of Creation.[35]

  • A "pretty significant" zoom out distance for the camera will be possible.[36][37]
Things will render in the world out of your current vision. While the quality may change between high end and low end systems, and what settings players select, it's important to us to have the game render in an effective manner, that also adds to everyone's immersion while in the game.[36]Cody Peterson
We don't have the first-person zoom in because when you get into first-person there's a different animation set required for the holding of the weapon: The hands that you see in front of you; and we don't have those animations. So we're really focusing on third-person.[38]Steven Sharif
Q: What kind of camera distance is Intrepid using for fights? (WoW vs FF14)
A: Closer to FF14. We want people to have a wide range of view, especially since our battles will be very large. We want people to be able to visually access their surroundings.[39]Margaret Krohn

The action combat camera is tied to the to the player's targeting reticle.[40][41]

  • There will likely be a hotkey that when held down will allow free camera movement in action mode.[41]
  • In future the user will have the ability to choose from different reticle appearances.[25]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

Alpha system requirements

Alpha-1 stress testing, March 17, 2021.[44]

Funny story; So yesterday as we are stress/density testing with our NDA testers, I accidentally summoned 5k bears around our few hundred players. But hey, it didn’t crash! Can you spot Lt. Toast here?[44]Steven Sharif

These are fully operational NPCs. They have behavior trees, they have AI blackboards; you know they are functioning as an NPC would; and to my surprise, to everyone's surprise actually, the server handled it quite well: 5000 entities all within a very dense area.[45]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation alpha testing minimum system specification.[46] These system specs have not changed for Unreal Engine 5.[47][48]

  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-Bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-2125 3.3GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 3.3GHz
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti or AMD Radeon R9 270
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 50 GB of available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card

Recommended specification.[46]

  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-Bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz / AMD FX-9590 4.7GHz
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon R9 Fury with 4GB and DirectX 12
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Storage: 50 GB of available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card

Unreal Engine 5

Unreal Engine 5 walkthrough.[49]

Lumen has done a great job in really bringing to to life this area. As you can see, there's light bouncing off of the surfaces and casting into the rest of the cave... I love how you can also see the detail in the costume and the cloth that we have now.[49]Steven Sharif


Unreal Engine 5 is the graphical engine for Ashes of Creation.[49][50] The game was originally developed in Unreal Engine 4.[51] Migrating to UE5 required some front-end work, but in the long run it will be easier to do so in the alpha phases of the game, rather than closer to release, or post-release.[52][53] The developers expect that the transition to Unreal Engine 5.1.1 to be complete in February 2023.[54][55] This was previously slated for January 2023.[56]

What it provides in my opinion as person who enjoys PvP is it adds additional dynamics to what is possible from your opponent or from yourself. You know, if there is a ledge and jumping off that ledge is going to deal a lot of damage to me when I hit the ground and that puts me at a significant disadvantage, maybe I have an option to jump off the ledge at a point where I can mantle onto the side of a cliff or something. Now the give and take there is I won't be able to use my skills while I'm mantled. I won't be able to react easily, but I didn't have to take the fall damage per-se. Or if there's an obstruction and you know I'm going to take a significant reduction in speed so that I can crouch and make it past that, and now I have a effective line of sight has been obstructed as a result of that decision. I think it adds interesting elements to the battlefield and the key here is going to be making sure that it's not cumbersome- that it doesn't feel opposite of the flow of combat.[57]Steven Sharif

  • Unreal Engine 5 Lumen provides enhanced global illumination and Nanite enables increased graphical fidelity in the game (without excessive overhead).[59][60][61][52]

Nanite brings us really an entirely new approach to rendering and art workflows. Now we can render more actors with extremely high detail while eliminating the need to bake out normal map textures. For artists essentially what this means is that they can import high quality sculpted meshes directly into Unreal 5 without really having to reduce the poly count, making the workflow more efficient while simultaneously improving the quality of the art.[62]Steven Sharif

Lumen is going to greatly improve the visual fidelity and performance of the game with the reduced work and effort that's required by the art team, making Ashes of Creation much more beautiful than in UE4.[59]Steven Sharif

  • Unreal Engine 5 features (such as World partitions and One file per actor) make it much easier for multiple developers to work together.[52]
    • World partitions also enable Unreal Engine 5 maps to exceed the map size constraints of UE4 (~20 kilometers squared).[52]

Q: How does this upgrade to UE5 affect the Ashes of Creation release timeline?[52]

A: While UE4 is a great engine, there are certain focuses and technological endeavors that Epic is doing on UE5 that won't necessarily be supported by UE4; and we want to make sure given the lifespan of Ashes and how long we intend this MMO to last, that when we made this decision early on during the development process that we weren't going to exacerbate the amount of effort it would take to move over later in the lifespan or after launch.[52]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation features a custom Unreal Engine back-end with proprietary networking code to enable mass combat in the open world: such as PvP, Node sieges, Castle sieges, Dungeons and World bosses.[63]

  • The networking solution dynamically distributes processes and scales up necessary server instances to accommodate player density across the world.[64]

One of the most important things about Epic Games as the creators of Unreal Engine is the way they've allowed developers to have access to the source code. To be able to do that makes the engine very versatile.[65]Steven Sharif

  • The upgrade to Unreal Engine 5 is primarily a change to the front-end side of the game. The custom back-end networking code remains largely unaffected.[66]

Over October and November, that's when McP and the engineers began to do the base migration of our custom code-base into UE5 see where there were any major issues. The great thing about UE5 is that it's mainly focused around updating the renderer- giving access to Nanite, Lumen global illumination- those are big components. There's other great aspects of it, but really it's a front-end change and it doesn't affect our networking layer. It doesn't affect our back-end code.[66]Steven Sharif

  • As of January 24, 2022 all teams have moved over to Unreal Engine 5.[67]

Server population

Population limits will be enforced on each server.[68]

  • Around 8-10k concurrent users per server is projected.[69][70][71][72]
  • Initially there will be a limited number of registered accounts (approximately 15,000) per server to help mitigate login queues.[73]
    • This limit will increase over time to around 50,000 registered accounts per server.[73][74][75]
  • There may be queues to get into high population servers, but the aim is to avoid excessively long queues.[75]
  • The developers intend to carefully manage server populations via the use of character creation throttles to avoid the need to merge servers.[74][76]
  • The developers may occasionally release stats relating to server populations and archetype/class makeup, but there isn't going to be an official page that surfaces this information.[77]

Population based scaling

The prices that NPCs sell items for will scale based on the economic activity on a server. Prices will rise to combat inflation and fall as a population diminishes.[78]

The node system allows the developers to scale the experience needed to level a node and the attrition that affects a node based on activity.[78]

Things that NPCs buy and sell kind of scale based on the economic activity that exists on that server... As inflation rises, prices rise and everything kind of ends up being equal, even though there might be a couple of extra zeros. So that can go up and it can also go down so as a population leaves, things become less expensive and players don't have to do as much to earn that. On the other side of things we look at the node system and the node system is set up in this really flexible way that allows us to scale the experience needed to level a node and the attrition that delevels a node to scale based on activity too. So you know it's just a matter of adjusting a couple of constants and that goes up and down and the server can watch it and change those on the fly as it needs to.[78]Jeffrey Bard

Ship physics

Ship physics may be simulated to avoid performance issues.[79]

Ashes of Creation Apocalypse system requirements

Ashes of Creation Apocalypse minimum system specification.[80][81]

  • Operating system: Windows 7 SP1, 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-2125 3.3GHz / AMD Phenom II X4 3.3GHz
  • Memory: 6 GB
  • Graphics: GeForce GTX 460 or Radeon 6870 HD with 1GB and DirectX 12
  • Broadband internet connection
  • 11 GB available space

Recommended specification.[80][81]

  • Operating system: Windows 10, 64-bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz / AMD FX-9590 4.7GHz
  • Memory: 32 GB
  • Graphics: GeForce GTX 970 or Radeon R9 Fury with 4GB and DirectX 12
  • Broadband internet connection
  • 16 GB available space

See also


  1. Livestream, December 23, 2021 (1:10:09).
  2. RTX3070clarification.png
  3. Livestream, December 23, 2021 (1:08:42).
  4. Livestream, September 24, 2021 (52:48).
  5. Livestream, December 17, 2019 (51:20).
  6. alpha-1-fps.png
  7. 7.0 7.1 Livestream, January 27, 2023 (1:07:12).
  8. 8.0 8.1 Livestream, August 17, 2018 (1:07:51).
  9. 9.0 9.1 game system.jpg
  10. Livestream, May 4, 2018 (43:35).
  11. Livestream, July 25, 2020 (54:10).
  12. Livestream, November 22, 2019 (1:08:05).
  13. steven-server-performance.png
  14. Livestream, February 24, 2023 (20:11).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (48:03).
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Livestream, February 24, 2023 (28:45).
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:27:01).
  18. 18.0 18.1 Livestream, May 26, 2017 (5:06).
  19. Livestream, May 5, 2017 (20:02).
  20. Livestream, February 24, 2023 (53:48).
  21. Livestream, August 28, 2020 (1:24:29).
  22. Livestream, March 28, 2020 (1:41:42).
  23. Video, June 30, 2022 (16:39).
  24. Livestream, June 25, 2021 (29:09).
  25. 25.0 25.1 Livestream, June 25, 2021 (26:11).
  26. Livestream, June 25, 2021 (1:31:47).
  27. 27.0 27.1 Video, June 30, 2022 (24:18).
  28. jqWtRci.png
  29. Livestream, June 28, 2019 (1:22:48).
  30. Livestream, December 2, 2022 (1:03:28).
  31. Livestream, February 24, 2023 (53:05).
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 32.4 Livestream, September 3, 2017 (58:29).
  33. helmet.jpg
  34. 34.0 34.1 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (1:10:19).
  35. Livestream, May 17, 2017 (35:41).
  36. 36.0 36.1 Forums - Livestream Q&A 2022-08-26.
  37. Livestream, June 30, 2022 (52:08).
  38. 38.0 38.1 Interview, August 17, 2018 (4:31).
  39. Reddit Q&A, 2019-01-8.
  40. Video, September 30, 2022 (17:00).
  41. 41.0 41.1 Livestream, March 26, 2021 (59:21).
  42. Camera.jpg
  43. camera mechanics.png
  44. 44.0 44.1 steven-a1-stress-test.png
  45. Livestream, March 26, 2021 (12:34).
  46. 46.0 46.1 What are the minimum requirements for Alpha?
  47. 47.0 47.1 Livestream, December 23, 2021 (49:39).
  48. 48.0 48.1 Livestream, December 23, 2021 (42:09).
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 Video, December 23, 2021 (0:00).
  50. Livestream, December 23, 2021 (19:59).
  51. unreal.jpg
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 52.3 52.4 52.5 Livestream, December 23, 2021 (40:53).
  53. Livestream, December 23, 2021 (50:50).
  54. Livestream, February 24, 2023 (1:14:41).
  55. Livestream, January 27, 2023 (1:07:46).
  56. Livestream, December 2, 2022 (55:48).
  57. 57.0 57.1 Livestream, December 23, 2021 (55:32).
  58. Video, December 23, 2021 (23:53).
  59. 59.0 59.1 Livestream, December 23, 2021 (54:00).
  60. Livestream, December 23, 2021 (52:52).
  61. Video, December 23, 2021 (2:54).
  62. Livestream, December 23, 2021 (52:58).
  63. Livestream, May 3, 2017 (26:50).
  64. steven-networking.png
  65. Livestream, May 24, 2017 (54:54).
  66. 66.0 66.1 Livestream, December 23, 2021 (47:51).
  67. Livestream, January 28, 2022 (7:26).
  68. Livestream, May 17, 2017 (59:25).
  69. Livestream, October 29, 2021 (1:14:00).
  70. Livestream, 2018-04-8 (AM) (26:41).
  71. Video, September 6, 2018 (4:25).
  72. server population.png
  73. 73.0 73.1 steven-jahlon-accounts-per-server.jpg
  74. 74.0 74.1 steven-server-accounts.png
  75. 75.0 75.1 Interview, July 18, 2020 (12:56).
  76. Interview, July 18, 2020 (10:04).
  77. Livestream, November 19, 2021 (52:35).
  78. 78.0 78.1 78.2 Livestream, June 4, 2018 (39:15).
  79. Livestream, May 17, 2017 (30:53).
  80. 80.0 80.1 Ashes of Creation Apocalypse: What are the minimum system requirements?
  81. 81.0 81.1 Ashes of Creation Apocalypse Open Beta on Steam.