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Points of interest
- Additional buildings will spawn.
- Additional mobs will spawn.
- Content difficulty will change.
- Dungeons will be unlocked when certain nodes advance to certain stages.
- Drop tables in areas and dungeons will be tied into the progression of certain areas.
Certain dungeons and other points of interest across the map will all be affected by the server’s node development. Some dungeons will only be unlocked if nodes are developed to certain stages. The storyline objectives for players inside dungeons will also be dependent on the story arc paths chosen through the node system. The drop tables in area and dungeons will also be tied into the progression of certain areas. For example, let’s say that the humans have developed a node in Region A, and a storyline has opened up that leads players to inspect the ruins (dungeon) of a nearby area. And let’s say that this node was developed in a scientific (crafting) zone… Well before the node developed, this dungeon was accessible… But now the dungeon has propagated new monster assets that include a drop table catering to a crafting emphasis because of the development of that scientific node. And perhaps, a new boss appears in different rooms of the dungeon that includes different adventure quest starts, like a mysterious item with a storyline that can only be progressed if a node develops to the metropolis stage in a certain region, across the world. Our system is so vast, when it comes to interconnectivity and how the world reacts to the players.
The world of Verra features an in-game viewable world map. This map is not randomly generated, and begins covered in a fog of war. Players will not be able to see the world until they have explored it or gathered information about it. The world is also full of imperfect information, which will require the player to act on it for verification.
For example, you may hear a rumor in a tavern that tells you the location of a cave full of weak Kobolds, but this was not accurate as the rumor was started by well-equipped bandits in order to waylay overconfident adventurers.
- These points of interest are determined by Node progression; and not every server will share the same map, as player decisions will vary server to server.
The map will have geographical choke points (such as Mountains) that are not traversable by players.
Even though we're an open-world that doesn't mean that from a design perspective, especially with the way our economic systems work, that we will want to create Geographic choke points. – Steven Sharif
- Starting areas are located near one of the four divine gateways where players spawn into the world.
- Each race has its own starting area.
- Starting areas include expeditionary NPC settlements that serve as initial quest origination points. Lore-wise, these settlements represent scouts that were sent ahead of the main expedition back to Verra.
A problem that a lot of MMOs have is that those starting areas become just kind of vacant of players and it's so sad because the greatest aspect of an MMO is that community that you get to experience, so one of the great things about the node system is that it really works from new player acquisition standpoint, where these nodes tend to develop larger near the starting location areas around the world; and it brings these players back to those locations if they're citizens and want services within those cities. So, as new players enter the world they're going to actually be surrounded most likely by more population because people are coming back to those larger nodes. – Steven Sharif
Alpha-1 starting area
- The largest roads are referred to as arteries. These are remnants of what was once the ancient highway system of Verra.
- As nodes advance smaller roads, referred to as veins, connect the arteries to the nodes.
- Depending on the stages of node advancement, capillary roads will stem off the node to connect to points of interest.
- Roads or pathways are not worn into the landscape by repeated traffic over the same area.
- Pathways that are open during summer may be closed during winter.
- Seasonal affects may cause obstacles or blockages to the transit of goods via caravan.
- Water turning to ice in winter, enabling players to walk over the water but blocking access to what is underneath.
- Ice will make roads bumpy and slippery.
- As nodes advance and expand they will influence nearby points-of-interest such as dungeon bosses, regional bosses and Raid bosses.
- The difficulty level and loot tables of these encounters will change based on this influence.
List of notable dungeons
Major visual landmarks. You can look all the way across the horizon have an idea where you're going or where to meet friends or where to meet just based on these huge landmarks in the world. – Mat Broome
- Harbingers that exist on Verra as dungeons are where The Ancients are capable of pushing into the material plane. They can continue to do so under the guise of the effects of corruption as it spreads.
- These are sources of NPC events that players need to address before they grow out of hand.
- Players need to participate in these events to stop the spread of corruption and hold back the intrusion on the material plane.
- Corrupted areas do not confer corruption onto a player.
There are certain things that can happen, such as the spawning of dragons or hordes of zombies that are going to come out and attack those installations, those nodes, those points of interest; and... communities that don't respond to those in an effective way might see the disabling of certain services, the reduction of certain quest lines for particular organizations. The idea is to keep this as part of a believable living response from world, so those can get pretty significant the bad effects that can happen for the community. – Steven Sharif
- There won't be nodes underwater or in the water.
- Castle regions are larger and encompass multiple economic regions.
- Nodes are the glue that hold castle and economic regions together in potential synergy or chaos.
- Castle regions, Economic regions, and Node ZOI (Zones of Influence) can overlap.
- A castle's region is 1/5th the game world.
- Castle regions, Economic regions, and Node ZOI (Zones of Influence) can overlap.
- Castle region boundaries are static.
- Castle taxes are carried via NPC generated caravans from the nodes that fall under the castle's purview to one of the castle nodes at the end of each week leading up to a castle siege.
- In addition to taxes, Castles also influence crop yields, resources and events within its region.
- Part of the tax and resources gathered are applied to the castle for improvements.
- The remainder of tax income can be used by the guild for whatever they want.
- When castles change hands (following a siege), some taxes stay with the castle and some stay with the guild.
Castles have the ability to allocate taxes collected from nodes under them toward certain benefits that go back to the node. Or they can be more selfishly governed that treasury more towards the guild that owns it and that obviously is going to have some political implications, because it could- if you're not using it for the benefit of the people in the region they might rise up and help take you out from that that position of owning that castle. – Steven Sharif
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.
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. – Steven Sharif
You can show the initial territories on the Verran map of what these particular nodes have governance over, or their Zones of Influence as we like to call them... As the simulation of this begins to advance and nodes begin to expand their territory and they begin to take over nearby nodes as a result of their of their growth, you start to see these power level ratings that are applied here on specific nodes that determines what type of takeover power it has and and what it pushes back against for other nodes that are looking to take over new territory as they advance. – Steven Sharif
- It also simulates events, such as NPCs attacking and disabling certain node buildings and services. Failure to successfully respond to these will reduce the node's "health ticker", which will slow down the XP gains from the node.
It also simulates events: So each of these nodes will have a health ticker: when that health ticker is impacted it'll stop gaining power or gaining or slow down in its gaining of experience; and that's because certain events can affect a node by disabling certain services, disabling buildings. Players don't respond to that horde of zombies that have come out of the nearby ravine then those zombies can attack stables, they can attack service buildings, and prevent particular types of quests or activities and services from happening until it's repaired. – Steven Sharif
- Node sieges are simulated, with successful sieges destroying the nodes, and where unsuccessful sieges won't destroy the node but may result in disabled buildings or services, similar to events.
It simulates the sieges if a particular node has a certain frequency that's set where we want to see randomization of how nodes get affected by sieges. Sometimes they'll be destroyed in the simulation. Sometimes they'll have disabled services again, similar to an event, because they didn't succeed necessarily at sieging the node but they did succeed at disabling some of the buildings as part of that siege. – Steven Sharif
- It simulates what outcomes may happen in the live game as a result of player activity, such as splitting up a particular ZOI across a waterway, or having territories expand out to islands or across continents.
It simulates what players could potentially do as well when the game goes live; and that might include things like splitting up a particular Zone of Influence across a waterway, having your territory expand out to an island, or across continents. These are these are the types of things that we want to see players do eventually obviously but this tool provides the design team the opportunity to see it repetitively and over a fast period of time so they see these different types of outcomes. – Steven Sharif
- Node sieges.
- Castle sieges (potentially).
- Objective based guild wars.
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. – Steven Sharif
- Livestream, 26 March 2021 (50:33).
- Livestream, 26 March 2021 (22:53).
- Livestream, 17 November 2017 (36:22).
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- MMOGames interview, January 2017
- Blog: Creative Director's Letter
- Interview, 22 May 2017 (22:54).
- The mighty beard!
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- Livestream, 26 June 2020 (1:25:11).
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- Livestream, 9 February 2018 (45:48).
- Podcast, 11 April 2021 (23:36).
- Livestream, 26 June 2020 (1:29:06).
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- Our immersive world - Environments.
- Livestream, 30 October 2020 (1:19:13).
- Livestream, 19 May 2017 (32:23).
- Livestream, 25 July 2020 (46:08).
- Livestream, 17 August 2018 (10:01).
- Livestream, 26 March 2021 (50:03).
- Livestream, 8 November 2020 (12:47).
- Livestream, 25 June 2021 (1:13:30).
- Livestream, 25 June 2021 (1:32:24).
- Livestream, 8 April 2018 (AM) (18:29).
- Livestream, 8 April 2018 (PM) (1:01:28).
- About Ashes of Creation.
- Blog: 10 facts about castle sieges in the MMORPG.
- Livestream, 30 April 2021 (1:01:10).
- Livestream, 28 August 2020 (1:39:02).
- Interview, 19 July 2020 (19:35).
- Blog - Know Your Nodes - The Basics.
- Interview: Ashes of Creation on Building Their Virtual World, 13 April 2017.
- Livestream, 24 September 2021 (30:26).
- Livestream, 5 May 2017 (14:26).
- Livestream, 19 May 2017 (45:14).
- Podcast, 11 April 2021 (49:40).
- Livestream, 30 April 2021 (41:18).
- Blog: Creative Director's Letter, April 14 2021
- Livestream, 17 November 2017 (45:19).
- Livestream, 22 December 2020 (1:13:51).
- Video, 30 April 2017 (5:31).