We’re going to be breaking up what is traditionally called ‘questing’ into three different categories: Narratives, Events, and Tasks. We want to avoid going down the path of trying to force narrative into gameplay where it doesn’t really fit (ie: filler stuff that doesn’t really relate to what’s happening in the world).
- 1 Events
- 2 Tasks
- 3 Narrative quests
- 4 Daily quests
- 5 Racial quests
- 6 Class-specific quests
- 7 Quest driven caravans
- 8 Mayoral quests
- 9 Soloable quests
- 10 Collection quests
- 11 Quest givers
- 12 Quest sponsorship
- 13 Removing player corruption
- 14 Adaptive content
- 15 Theft
- 16 Lore
- 17 Screenshots
- 18 See also
- 19 References
Events are things that happen in Ashes of Creation as the result of development in the world. They can take the form of quests, pop-up triggered quests or other story lines that happen throughout the world. Events are public quests that are scaled to fit local, regional, and global needs.
- Some events incorporate random story-driven interruptions to the normal flow of the world, such as blocking off specific roadways, having a random raid boss appear unexpectedly in a zone, leading to change of climate and changes to crop rotations.
- Events that are taken care of successfully have positive consequences.
- Events that reach a fail condition have negative consequences, such as natural disasters.
Events are where you’ll find your public quests, though these will be scaled to fit local, regional, and global needs. They’ll also have consequences locally, regionally, and globally, for good (if they’re taken care of successfully) or for ill (if a fail condition is reached).
Events... can be local, regional or global, and consist of boons or banes. They’re triggered based on a lot of different variables, and some may be one-off Events that occur once, and never again. If an Event is handled successfully, then something good happens to the local, regional, or global area. If it fails, then something bad befalls the local, regional or global area. They’ll relate to the overall Narrative, but don’t fall into its overall structure (for the most part). These are the things that will be written into history, and we imagine that as time grows, each server’s history will diverge more and more.
There may be one-off events.
- If events don't occur within a certain time period, they could occur randomly.
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. There are events that lead to the spreading of corruption that players will have to fight back against. When these events that occur players will need to participate to keep the intrusion on the material plane back.
Monster coin events
Sometimes the disturbed beings could take the form of packs of dire wolves, hordes of zombies roused from their graveyard, or even, rarely, an epic-tier dragon flying out of a volcano once a node reaches its maximum level. In any case, the disturbed monsters have to tackle a series of destructive objectives, which can either be handled by the the AI or, more interestingly, by a player. The player in turn would attempt to complete all those actions much as in a multi-objective quest, hopefully before other players brought him or her down.
- They are structured in a way to prevent groups from gaming the system.
- Monster coin events are triggered by activity in the world, such as node advancement, defeating a boss or constructing certain types of buildings within a node.
- Server messages appear for players in the vicinity of these dynamic events.
- Drop tables are disabled for player controlled monsters.
- The Ancients are not going to be part of the monster coin system.
Traditionally, the Ancients are not going to be part of the Monster Coin system. These are the primary antagonists of the story. From a lore perspective, and one of the reasons why they're not a part of the Monster Coin system, is because their souls have really developed almost to the point of perfection in manipulating the Essence for more corrupt uses. They haven't quite gotten there, and who knows if they ever will, but that kind of attunes them out of the possibility: The reason why the monster coin system is possible with other creatures. – Steven Sharif
- Tasks refer to node-based objectives that are narrative based.
- Tasks come and go in regional areas; and react to events in the world.
Tasks are hyper-local to individual Nodes, and will be centered around developing the Node that they belong to. If you want to go kill five wolves, this is where you’d do it. You can kill five wolves on your own, and that will count toward Node progression, but if a Task is offered to kill five wolves, then both the Node and your character will get bonus XP when that task is completed. Tasks will be numerous and varied, and will reflect the different gameplay styles that players can engage in within Ashes – there will be crafting, exploration, combat, and gathering oriented tasks (among many others).
What you find in the Narratives category is where you’ll find most of what you might call traditional quests. Because we’re jettisoning filler, we’ll have the resources to craft a really excellent story, with gameplay that reflects the scope of that story.
The world of Verra will be the same on each server, but Nodes will develop differently. Different servers will have different narratives. Things that happen on one server may not happen on another.
We want as many people as possible to experience the main server Narrative. These will branch at different scales, but largely at the personal level. Where things change is at the Node level – different parts of the story will be unlocked based on where and when Nodes grow. Unlocking a part of the story in a certain way locks out progression of the story in a different way. You’ll see different antagonists, different NPCs, and different calls to action depending on what’s happening with the server at that time.
It kind of redefines what the players will experience in an MMORPG to come into a wilderness that is devoid of really any structure outside of what the community creates themselves; and then what can be created can be changed, if they want to experience a storyline that's been seen on another server, but you know you're fighting a dragon because you're near a mountain and the other server's fighting a Kraken because they're near the coast and you want to fight that Kraken because of its drop table. If you want to meta it or because you just want that under your belt: to be the server first to take out that Kraken and you have yet to develop the node there, you know it's incumbent upon you to manifest that in the game. – Steven Sharif
- Personal quest lines.
- Cultural quest lines.
- Regional quest lines.
All of the events are based around storytelling. All of the the narrative quests are based around storytelling. All the organizational quests are based around storytelling. You know the game is built from a story basically, so we want to make sure that there's context and relevancy for all of the actions that you're doing in the game. – Jeffrey Bard
Even player driven mechanics will still have story components. There will be a reason why the player driven mechanic is available or required of the player; so you know every system that's created touches a story. – Steven Sharif
Every stage a node develops it's unlocking narratives, storylines, it's changing the spawn population of the area around it, changing what bosses exist, it's triggering events where you may have legendary dragons attack the city. It's basically writing the story of the server based on the actions and determination of the players. So, you may experience a dungeon one month earlier and have a completely different story that relates to this location the next month, because something has changed either geopolitically or from the node standpoint. – Steven Sharif
- Mayors require certain resources.
- Buildings are required within a node.
- Social organization tasks need to be completed.
- The ability to retry a failed quest depends on Node progression.
- Quests involving citizens from multiple nodes are unlocked based on the alliances and other relationships between the nodes and their progression.
- Quests may differ based on the stages of nearby nodes, seasonal influences, and events such as world bosses.
There will be many different quests that actually have stages of the storyline; and these stages can actually be failed. You can actually fail a storyline; which sucks when you think about it, but at the same time that risk makes your investment that much more important. – Steven Sharif
There is a small RNG chance of looting rare and legendary items or crafting materials from mobs based on the level, status and type of mob. This also applies to harvesting resources with a gathering profession.
- There is a much higher chance that materials and unique recipes are dropped that can be used to craft items of equitable value.
- Legendary equipment is only dropped by Legendary world bosses.
- Legendary equipment will have a roughly 6-12% improvement in base stats, subject to testing and balancing.
At each stage from Gatherer to Processor to Crafter you are required to have certain prerequisites before those elite types of materials can be essentially gathered, processed, or crafted. – Steven Sharif
- Gatherers must have high quality tools to gather rare resources.
- Processors must have high tier processing buildings on their freehold to produce rare materials.
- Crafters must also satisfy certain prerequisites to craft legendary equipment.
The amount of effort needed and interdependencies across the different types of players – between raiders and PvPers and crafters and even role players and the taverns and businesses: the processors and gatherers – all of those systems will likely have a component that lends toward creating or crafting that legendary item... We want to stay away from the highly RNGd system, and instead take our multiple progression paths that we are offering the players and put the construction components for achieving these legendary items within them so it encourages communities to work together because it's going to be difficult for just one person by themselves to gather everything. Not to say that they couldn't in an economic sense, by buying those components, that's possible. But achieving them from a time investment standpoint we want it to be considerably less RNG focussed. – Steven Sharif
There are absolutely legendary items and they're not items that are attained easily nor are they granted out in a volume. There might even be items that are single items that will exist on the server at any given time.
It will be a very ornate and detailed weapon, more so than any other weapon or piece of equipment in the game. It will also include some awesome looking effects that won't too gaudy, you know they won't be too bright and shiny so that it doesn't look good, but they will be subtle and people will notice it and know wow that guy has this weapon. – Steven Sharif
Legendary items are not intended to be temporary.
The fact there is only one of them... or very very few of them depending on what it is. I think that in and of itself is a balance component right and you need to make sure that the players who are striving for those legendary things and who are devoting the time energy, resources in order to achieve them are accurately rewarded... We do not intend on having legendary items that are temporary. – Steven Sharif
We're gonna keep track of the history of the world so that we can tell people the story up to the current day. A player who's brand new, who's come in at the six-month mark can take a look at each server, what each server has done, how each server has tackled the storyline; and they can decide for themselves what community they want to join; what version of the world that they want to take part in. – Jeffrey Bard
- There will not be an obligation to log each day.
- Will likely not be RNG based.
- Focused around how changes in the world relate to a player's opportunities.
- Location matters due to the lack of fast travel.
I don't think those will be RNG based. Those will be probably- you will see the reward structure for those types of quests. Will they be dailies? No they won't be in the sense of what we've experienced dailies in the past where you feel so obligated to log in and like you'll miss these things. It's more gonna be focused around like how the world is changing and how the changes in the world relate to your opportunities; and then you know if your location's gonna matter because fast travel is not a thing, where you're located at is going to determine your you know the risk versus reward opportunities that are present; and then depending on the time that those occur. – Steven Sharif
- There will be no "grindy" quests.
- There will not be repetitive quest lines through a single dungeon to obtain gear.
- The aspiration is to have more things to do in the game than a player has time to do.
There might even be different directories of the quest that exist for specific races, and even though you're sharing a quest to kill a boss, if you're human and I'm an elf, I will have a different arc potentially that leads in a different direction than you, even though we took the same quest; and this can relate to who the primary cultural contributor is to a node unlocking different arcs for cultures that share the primary culture of a node - not that locks out content but it gives a flavor in a different direction so that not everything is so cookie cutter. – Steven Sharif
Race matters because narratives have paths that also are influenced based on the primary contributing culture to the node... If you're a Niküa and you have you're in a Niküa node that's predominantly Niküa, you're going to have certain services and/or abilities as a member of the Niküa race that other races may not have access to... They may have alternative quest lines, but they won't have specific ones. Now those specific Niküa quests will then relate to the meta-narrative that's present in the world and they'll start to direct some of that meta-narrative; and that'll be beneficial for your kind because it will unlock certain content for your race that other races haven't unlocked yet. So there is an incentive there to see progression along that line now in order to curb the progress of a dominant race. – Steven Sharif
There's going to be a lot of shared quests but there's also going to be class-specific quests; and the reason for that is that some classes are better at others than doing certain things and that'll play itself out through the general community quests. That's fine, but there are certain periods from a designer's perspective where you want to make an encounter be the antithesis of what a player is good at. It also gives them perspective because we have a more fluid class combination system where you can play the line in your traditional role by adding a secondary class that's different from your primary classes role. The benefit of having these class-specific quests early on especially in an archetype is that you can come to a determination and have greater experience for the things you're not good at. So you know how to progress your class in the future with the things you have access to that are different from what you're good at.' – Steven Sharif
- Quests will be relevant to the player's class progression via their choice of primary and secondary archetypes.
So you want to give them storyline that's relevant and make sense for them to their class progression. If I'm a fighter I should be going to a barracks and learning from this dude early on. Later on if I want to take on that mage secondary and I'm more arcane in the things I do, or more based in the essence, then yeah it makes sense for my also again for a catered quest to me that lets me focus on that route in the narrative. – Steven Sharif
Quest driven caravans
- These are initiated by players with a diverse choice of routes and launch windows, making them difficult to zerg.
- Initiating a caravan from one node to another will create a PvP objective that players will need to defend while it moves along its chosen route to the selected destination.
- Node-based caravan stats and capabilities scale with their node's advancement.
- Roads will upgrade as nodes advance. Different roads will dictate the speed and type of caravan required (off road vs on road).
The caravan system is designed to be initiated by the player. Which means, information of the caravans launch time and route, should be a closely guarded secret. Routes will also be diverse, and the world is large, so it might behoove you to scout the route ahead before a launch. Fast travel in our game is also limited, which means unless the guild had knowledge of your plans before hand, it is likely that they will be unable to organize and travel to a location. As far as mass guilds securing trade routes, there is always a bigger fish in the pond. Also caravans will have limitations on carrying capacity and launch windows that will segment mulitiple caravans by several minutes, which would space out the caravans, making it difficult to "zerg" a defense. – Steven Sharif
Mayors are able to initiate quest-driven systems that non-citizens can participate in. The mayor can use a portion of their node's treasury or goods as rewards for quest completion. Players will be able to interface with the node to view the quests that are available to them.
- Quest givers are identified by a green shimmer on their nameplates.
There will be subtle ways that players will acquire knowledge that something is to be done in an area.
- There are not going to be obvious quest markers such as question marks and exclamation marks telling players where to turn.
Removing player corruption
- Dying removes a significant portion of a player's corruption score.
- Gaining experience will also slowly reduce a player's corruption score.
- 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.
- Corruption duration is reduced in military nodes.
- 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.
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
- There may be quest related actions that involve some form of stealing, but not of actual items from a player's inventory, where the player is identified as the quest's target via a title or some other means.
That kind of emergent gameplay is obviously the objective behind how can we accommodate a non-static quest-line; and the way you do that is you can apply a flag to a title and whoever holds that title becomes the target of that quest segment. And this can change too because that title can change- you know different people might rise up in the ranks of different societies and organizations. – Steven Sharif
- Players are not able to be robbed while occupying their player stall inside the limits of a node.
- It is possible for some storylines to relate to a darker/evil path, if a character should choose.
We're keeping lore very close to the chest and the reason for that is because it is very rich. It is diverse. It will have applications outside of just the MMORPG. We intend to take it much further, but I want it to be something that the players get to reveal themselves, that's not just handed to them and then the experience is lost. They should feel when they're experiencing this that it relates to them on a personal level. – Steven Sharif
It is about mythology and discovering what truths mythologies are talking about and finding out what really happened on this world so long ago; and that's part of that discovery process; and we want people to feel that throughout the game, not just in terms of lore but in terms of the world itself. – Jeffrey Bard
- Video, 31 May 2020 (6:25).
- About Ashes of Creation.
- Video, 31 May 2020 (5:25).
- Livestream, 15 May 2017 (20:58).
- MMOGames interview, January 2017
- Blog: Creative Director's Letter, October 16 2020
- Livestream, 26 March 2021 (23:33).
- Podcast, 11 April 2021 (23:36).
- Livestream, 3 May 2017 (46:18).
- Livestream, 26 June 2020 (1:29:06).
- Our immersive world - Environments.
- Livestream, 8 May 2017 (20:27).
- Livestream, 30 January 2020 (1:32:12).
- Interview: Ashes of Creation on Building Their Virtual World, 13 April 2017.
- Podcast, 11 April 2021 (54:35).
- Livestream, 8 November 2020 (12:47).
- Livestream, 5 May 2017 (40:36).
- Video, 25 May 2017 (0:02).
- IGN: Ashes of Creation first look: An MMO that lets you be the boss.
- Livestream, 26 May 2017 (22:19).
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- Podcast, 15 November 2020 (47:12).
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- Livestream, 26 May 2017 (48:48).
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- Livestream, 17 November 2017 (36:22).
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- Interview, 19 July 2020 (19:35).
- Livestream, 15 May 2017 (30:53).
- Blog - Know Your Nodes - The Basics.
- Interview, 7 February 2021 (16:05).
- Podcast, 5 May 2017 (43:05).
- Interview, 7 February 2021 (19:00).
- Livestream, 16 October 2017 (59:39).
- Ashes of Creation Press Kit.
- Interview, 7 December 2016.
- Livestream, 26 May 2017 (15:37).
- Video, 5 April 2018 (37:50).
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