Player flagging

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The open world PvP flagging system is designed to deter people from griefing other players.[1]

  • Players can participate in open world PvP with one another without having to resort to murder.[2]
  • The penalties are intended to be severe enough to deter any type of spawn camping.[3]
  • Summons follow the same PvP flagging rules as players and share the player's flag status.[4][5]

pvp flagging diagram.png

There are three levels of flagging for world PvP in Ashes of Creation.[6]

  • Non-combatant (green)

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.[9]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.[11][7]
    • 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.[6]
    • Non-combatants who heal, buff, or otherwise (positively) interact with combatants or corrupted players will be flagged as combatants.[13][14]
    • Players can kill combatants without repercussions, and are encouraged to do so, since dying while a combatant has reduced death penalties.[7]
    • Players are not able to manually set their flagging status to combatant.[11]
    • Players remain flagged for a period of 90 seconds following their most recent attack on a non-combatant or another combatant.[15]
    • Players cannot log out while flagged as combatants.[16]
  • Corrupted (red)
    • If a combatant player, or their summon, kills a non-combatant player, the player's character will be flagged as corrupted.[4][1]
    • Corruption multiplies death penalties and reveals a corrupted player's location to bounty hunters.[1]
    • A player’s corruption score increases with each non-combatant player killed.[6]
    • If a non-combatant attacks a corrupt player, the non-combatant will not flag as a combatant.[7]
    • Corrupted players may kill bounty hunters without acquiring additional corruption score.[17]
    • There is a 60 second timer to logout while corrupt.[16]

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).[18]

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.[18]Steven Sharif

A player may not flag on members of the same party, raid, guild or alliance.[19]

Sieges, caravans and guild wars do not use the flagging system.[20]

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.[21]Steven Sharif

Hunting grounds

You are on the prowl, and notice an unsuspecting player chopping trees. What would you do?[22]

Hunting grounds are open-world PvP corruption-enabled areas that encompass most of the map.[23]

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.[26]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.[25]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.[27]


An affiliation tree determines which entities can participate in attacks against other entities within its hierarchy.[28][29]

There's node citizenship. There's guild. There's alliance. There's party. There's raid. There's family. All of these types of affiliations have a hierarchy. The highest of which is your node affiliation: So your citizenship is your greatest superceding relationship, which means if you were a part of a guild and the guild has multiple nodes in which its members are citizens of, if there was a war between two of those nodes, the members of those nodes would be first and foremost citizens who defend that node, even against their own guild members.[28]Steven Sharif

All of these things have some hierarchy; and within that hierarchy there's the ability to participate within certain systems. So for example, if you have a node that has fallen under your vassal state and you're a citizen of the parent node, then you could participate in a siege against the vassal node but if you're a citizen of the vassal node you could not participate as an attacker against the parent node; so there's a hierarchy, unless you were to renounce your citizenship.[29]Steven Sharif

Player corruption

Corrupted player in the Alpha-1 preview.[31]

When you gain that corruption you have the potential of losing your completed items, your weapon, your armor, stuff that is very difficult to achieve; and then the other aspect of that is, that in order to deter basically players taking alternate characters and saying this is my PK alt, the more players you kill, the more corruption you gain, the higher your combat efficacy in PVP diminishes. If you're out there and you killed you know 20 players... you will not be able to perform in PVP any longer. You will need to take that character and go work off that corruption. The other aspect of corruption is that if you kill another player, who is a non-combatant and the level disparity between you and that player is great, you will gain a higher amount of corruption from that single kill. To the point where you should not be killing a level one character.[32]Steven Sharif

If a combatant (purple) character, or their summon, kills a non-combatant (green) character in Open-world PvP, they will be flagged as corrupt (red).[4][1]

You can't necessarily time perfectly the damage or understand even the health of the player. Unless you were in their party you cannot see an opponent's health as well, so that's another component that adds risk..[33]Steven Sharif
  • A player's corruption score (corruption value) increases with each non-combatant player killed.[34][35][6] Corruption score has a scaling impact on the efficacy of a character's skills in PvP combat.[36]
Reward without risk is meaningless... Corruption is just another word for risk.[37]Steven Sharif
  • The wider the level disparity between the players, and the higher the attacker's PK value, the more corruption they gain.[34][35][6]
Corruption value from PK'ing a non-combatant is based on level disparity along with the PKer's cumulative PK value.[34]Steven Sharif
  • Corruption penalties occur as the corruption is gained.[38] The higher the corruption score:
    If you go on a murder spree and you have 10 pks under your belt then you might start feeling a significant dampening to your skill effects against other players. I don't want to give necessarily a number or curve for players to extrapolate prior to us having the ability to actually test these ideas and where those numbers are going to lie; but I would say what is the intent behind that dampening: The intent isn't to limit the fun of the player, the intent is to provide a give-and-take or a risk-versus-reward; and the risk of continuing down the road of accruing corruption is not only the loss of your gear and amplified death effects but also your ability to perform in that activity.[42]Steven Sharif
    The more corruption you gain, the less effective you become in PvP and there's going to be a certain period at which point you have gained enough corruption that you're going to be gearless and you're also going to have a massive reduction in your PvP efficacy.[39]Steven Sharif
Q: Will there be any large-scale consequences when many players in a group guild region religion etc become corrupted frequently or for an extended period of time?
A: There are not group dynamics or mechanics that revolve around mass murdering people in the world. The corruption system is intended to deter mass murdering, not to provide incentives by which players can go out and gain corruption.[46]Steven Sharif
Q: If my guild has no one corrupted and your guild is like always killing people and always corrupted, will your guild have repercussions because they're corrupted versus my guild?
A: No I don't think so either. And the reason why is we want to deter it, but we don't want to make the system meaningless; and if the deterrent becomes too heavy-handed then it's a system without a purpose. And I think that the intent behind the corruption is that like during a rise in passion and like anger and whatever you want to make this decision and do something and you'll suffer the repercussions later. But if those repercussions are just overwhelmingly bad and even anti-social in the sense that like your guild is like hey man you went corrupted and this gives us like corruption points on the guild, and like you're out of here, then people just aren't going to choose to use it; and then at which point might as well just take it out. So I think there's a healthy balance between the type of deterrent used.[47]Steven Sharif

Players do not lose gold upon death, no matter their corruption level.[48]

info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
  • Corruption has a visible effect on a player’s appearance.[49]

Removing corruption

The primary means to remove corruption is through death. Multiple deaths may be necessary to remove all corruption.[51][7]

  • Dying removes a significant portion of a player's corruption score.[52]
  • Gaining experience will also slowly reduce a player's corruption score.[51]
    That creates a fun kind of experience for the bounty hunters to try to catch you while you're working it off.[51]Steven Sharif
  • A quest may be utilized to reduce the player kill (PK) count of a corrupt player in order for them to accumulate less corruption score in the future.[53][52]
    • This is a design shift from a religious quest being used to directly reduce the corruption score.[54]
  • Corruption duration is reduced in military nodes.[55]

Player death

Player death in an open world dungeon in Alpha-1.[56]

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.[21]Steven Sharif

When a player dies they disintegrate into ash. The ashes contain any items lost by the player due to applicable death penalties.[57][58][59][40][60] These ash piles are immediately lootable by any player.[58] Player flagging is not triggered by looting.[10]

  • A non-combatant (green player) who dies suffers normal penalties, which include:[40]
    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.[63]Steven Sharif
    • Dropping a percentage of carried gatherables and processed goods.[59][40]
      • This also includes a percentage of the certificates a player is carrying.[60]
      • 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.[65]
      • If a player's mule dies its corpse will contain the same percentage of lootable items as the player.[65][66]
  • A combatant (purple player) who dies suffers these same penalties, but at half the rate of a non-combatant.[40]
  • A corrupt (red player) suffers penalties at four times[35] the rate of a non-combatant, and has a chance to drop any carried/equipped items based on their current corruption score. This includes:[35][40]
    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.[72]

Death penalties (mostly) do not apply to objective-based events (such as caravans, guild wars, and node sieges).[73][74][75]

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.[75]Steven Sharif

Death penalties do not differ between PvP and PvE, but this is subject to change.[76]

Death by falling is possible.[77]

  • 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.[77]

Death by drowning is possible.[78][79]

  • Players that drown will respawn on shore.[78]

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.[65]

Players do not lose gold upon death, no matter their corruption level.[48]

At the moment, the plan is for players to not lose gold upon death, no matter their corruption level.[48]Cody Peterson

Siege participation

Non-registered combatants are not permitted on the siege field in castle or node sieges.[80]

  • Players may choose to respawn at their HQ as long as they are registered.[83][86]
    • Non-registered guilds are not granted the ability to take ownership of the castle if victorious.[83]

Lower level characters will have usefulness in mass combat that does not depend on their level, such as manning siege weapons, helping repair fortifications, bringing proximity-based buffs to key positions, using stealth or scaling walls. These types of things are relevant to the tide of battle and do not require the player to be max-level or have high combat stats.[88]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 pvp flagging.png
  2. Livestream, May 12, 2017 (24:52).
  3. pvp camping.png
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 steven-summons-pvp-1.png
  5. steven-summons-pvp-2.png
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 MMOGames interview, January 2017
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Interview, April 27, 2017 (0:17).
  8. PvP.jpg
  9. 9.0 9.1 Livestream, July 30, 2021 (1:10:34).
  10. 10.0 10.1 Podcast, April 11, 2021 (34:41).
  11. 11.0 11.1 Livestream, November 30, 2020 (1:09:06).
  12. Livestream, October 31, 2018 (44:12).
  13. 13.0 13.1 Interview, April 22, 2019 (54:40).
  14. 14.0 14.1 Livestream, November 17, 2017 (29:45).
  15. steven-flagging-duration.png
  16. 16.0 16.1 steven-flagging-logout.png
  17. 17.0 17.1 Interview, April 27, 2017 (1:18).
  18. 18.0 18.1 Interview, July 8, 2020 (1:05:27).
  19. pvp flagging lockouts.png
  20. flagging.jpg
  21. 21.0 21.1 Podcast, April 23, 2018 (49:21).
  22. Twitter - What a glorious day for ganking!
  23. 23.0 23.1 Livestream, July 9, 2018 (44:56).
  24. Livestream, November 17, 2017 (45:17).
  25. 25.0 25.1 Livestream, June 1, 2017 (35:42).
  26. Livestream, May 19, 2017 (24:17).
  27. pvp about.png
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 28.5 28.6 28.7 Livestream, March 29, 2019 (17:10).
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 29.4 29.5 29.6 29.7 29.8 Interview, May 11, 2018 (58:07).
  30. 30.0 30.1 Livestream, July 29, 2022 (1:07:20).
  31. Video, May 31, 2020 (5:29).
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 Podcast, April 23, 2018 (51:31).
  33. Livestream, January 30, 2020 (1:40:48).
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 steven-corruption-value.png
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 35.5 35.6 Interview, July 18, 2020 (41:54).
  36. steven-corruption-score.png
  37. corruption2.jpg
  38. 38.0 38.1 corruption.jpg
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 Livestream, May 22, 2017 (42:33).
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 40.4 40.5 40.6 40.7 40.8 40.9 Podcast, May 5, 2017 (43:05).
  41. Interview, May 11, 2018 (5:05).
  42. Podcast, April 11, 2021 (38:31).
  43. 43.0 43.1 Livestream, November 17, 2017 (35:20).
  44. 44.0 44.1 steven-bounty-hunters-1.png
  45. 45.0 45.1 Livestream, April 30, 2021 (1:14:49).
  46. Livestream, August 27, 2021 (1:20:09).
  47. Livestream, August 27, 2021 (1:20:51).
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 vaknar-gold.png
  49. Interview, February 1, 2017 (39:33).
  50. Livestream, July 9, 2018 (20:41).
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 Interview, July 18, 2020 (44:35).
  52. 52.0 52.1 Interview, July 19, 2020 (30:51).
  53. steven-removing-corruption.png
  54. Livestream, June 4, 2018 (2:18).
  55. pvp corruption duration.png
  56. Livestream, March 28, 2020 (1:58:24).
  57. Livestream, September 24, 2021 (51:20).
  58. 58.0 58.1 Livestream, March 26, 2021 (1:07:33).
  59. 59.0 59.1 a419c5398b542a713545e4f393d67215.png
  60. 60.0 60.1 Interview, July 18, 2020 (27:11).
  61. Livestream, May 19, 2017 (13:37).
  62. Ashes of Creation Forums - Former Lineage 2 PvP'er wanting to discuss PvP loopholes.
  63. 63.0 63.1 Interview, February 7, 2021 (13:14).
  64. Interview, July 29, 2020 (16:46).
  65. 65.0 65.1 65.2 65.3 Livestream, January 29, 2021 (1:24:27).
  66. 66.0 66.1 Livestream, September 27, 2018 (47:46).
  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. Livestream, May 28, 2021 (1:50:50).
  73. 73.0 73.1 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (1:14:52).
  74. 74.0 74.1 Livestream, August 27, 2021 (1:22:56).
  75. 75.0 75.1 Livestream, December 22, 2020 (1:13:51).
  76. Livestream, May 15, 2017 (36:23).
  77. 77.0 77.1 Livestream, February 25, 2022 (1:06:45).
  78. 78.0 78.1 Livestream, April 29, 2022 (1:08:27).
  79. Livestream, July 28, 2017 (50:22).
  80. siege-combatants.png
  81. steven-siege-zone.png
  82. Livestream, April 30, 2021 (41:18).
  83. 83.0 83.1 83.2 83.3 Podcast, April 11, 2021 (49:40).
  84. Blog: Creative Director's Letter, April 14 2021
  85. siege-barrier.png
  86. siege-respawn.png
  87. siege-stragglers.png
  88. Interview, July 8, 2020 (1:12:51).