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Alpha-1 early preview roading.[1]

Our road system in-game is essentially driven by pre-placed routes that that lead to this main artery of what was once the ancient highway system of Verra; and from there there are roads that become exposed when nodes advance; and we call those veins. They come off the main artery and then as nodes advance there are points of interest as Jeff was discussing earlier. These POIs that exist around the world and some of them share coverage with multiple nodes, but depending on which node advances to the stage that activates the point of interest it'll create these capillary roads so to speak that then stem off of the node itself. So you go from the main artery ancient road that's large- that kind of runs through different zones and whatnot- and that breaks down into the veins that lead to the specific encampments and villages and towns that then spawn off separate capillaries that lead to the points of interest in these areas that are hunting grounds. Those are not exposed initially and they come online as players advance the world.[2]Steven Sharif

Roads in Verra are both pre-generated and player influenced.[2]

  • The largest roads are referred to as arteries. These are remnants of what was once the ancient highway system of Verra.[2]
  • As nodes advance smaller roads, referred to as veins, connect the arteries to the nodes.[2]
    • Roads will upgrade as nodes advance. Different roads will dictate the speed and type of caravan required (off road vs on road).[3]
  • Depending on the stages of node advancement, capillary roads will stem off the node to connect to points of interest.[2]
  • Roads or pathways are not worn into the landscape by repeated traffic over the same area.[2]

Different seasons and events may affect access to various roads.[4][5][6]

  • Pathways that are open during summer may be closed during winter.[6]
  • Seasonal affects may cause obstacles or blockages to the transit of goods via caravan.[4][5][7]
    • Some events may cause specific roadways to be blockedoff.[4]
    • Obstacles may present barriers on roads that players must remove to allow transit of goods.[6]
  • Water turning to ice in winter, enabling players to walk over the water but blocking access to what is underneath.[6]
    • Ice will make roads bumpy and slippery.[8]

Underrealm routes will open or close dynamically (based on node states).[9]

Freeholds may not be placed in close proximity to roads.[10]

Trade routes

Mayoral caravan launched by a mayor to establish a trade route with another node.[11]

Trade routes in Ashes of Creation refer to.

Seasons blocking roads

Ashes of Creation Seasons – First Look (Pre-alpha).[14]

We want to really make the environment immersive and actually affect gameplay.[6]Steven Sharif

Seasons affect different zones (environments/biomes) based on their location in the world.[6]

  • There will be regions of the map with seasons that are less (or more) temperate.[17]
    For example: Northern, Southern and Tropical regions.[17]
  • Events may radically change the current season a zone is in, or elongate it.[4][5]
  • There will also be magical seasons where you might be in a tropical zone and suddenly it's snowing.[17]
  • Items, crops, buildings, and crafting mechanics might gain certain buffs or debuffs in certain seasons.[18]

Winter might have a spawner that activates on a road that spawns at large fallen tree and players who see that will have an opportunity to go up and exert some type of one-time action that helps in removing that tree and it might require you know X number of people to do that before the tree gets removed; and that you know as an example is not beneficial for the transit of goods because as you know caravans require- well they don't require but they move better on roads and if that tree were present let's say blocking you know a road that led to a bridge per-se that they would have to off-road.[6]Steven Sharif

Different seasons may affect access to various roads.[4][5][6]

  • Pathways that are open during summer may be closed during winter.[6]
  • Seasonal affects may cause obstacles or blockages to the transit of goods via caravan.[4][5][7]
  • Water turning to ice in winter, enabling players to walk over the water but blocking access to what is underneath.[6]
    • Ice will make roads bumpy and slippery.[8]

Seasons change on a weekly basis during scheduled downtime.[19]

  • Each month in real-life will effectively be a full seasonal rotation in the game.[19]
  • Environmental seasons are not to be confused with PvP seasons, which last for six months.[20]

In Ashes of Creation the world will change on a regular basis. Zones will progress in a seasonal cycle, which will alter the very nature of the environment around you. Snow may block pathways that are accessible in warmer months, spring may encourage creatures otherwise unseen to come to the surface, and fall might be the only time that certain crops thrive. This cycle can then take in the state of the world’s Nodes and shift depending on their progression.[7]

Freehold placement on roads

Freeholds may be placed anywhere within the ZOI of a stage 3 node (or higher) so long as they are not in close proximity to any of the following:[10]

Freehold plots will require a certificate from the parent node in order to place the plot.[25]

The more advanced a node is, the more freeholds can be built within its ZOI.[26]

  • Ample space will be available to place freeholds in the ZOI of a village node.[27]

Collections of freeholds placed together are considered part of their parent node and do not become a separate node, other than via roleplay.[28]

Caravan pathing

Quest driven caravans are used for trade routes between nodes. These caravans are system driven.[29]

  • These are initiated by players with a diverse choice of routes and launch windows, making them difficult to zerg.[30]
  • 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.[31]
  • 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).[3]

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.[30]Steven Sharif

Trade agreements

Node governments can enter into trade agreements with other nodes. Each node entering into the agreement can designate caravans with materials to be sent to the other; improving the economy of both nodes. This gives experience to all involved, contributes to the node’s growth and helps to construct buildings.[32]

Mercenary guilds will be a viable way forward for different organizations. I think there will be a lot of business to be had with that; and one of the systems in our trade agreements is creating an escrow for those particular type of arrangements that we're looking into.[33]Steven Sharif

Points of interest

Alpha-1 preview pirate themed dynamic point of interest.[34]

This is actually a dynamic POI. This one will evolve as players evolve the node that it's attached to. So this is kind of its final state.[34]Jeffrey Bard

Alpha-1 preview pirate themed dynamic point of interest flythrough.[34]

One of the core functions of these points of interest across the world is that dynamic level up. As the world grows, these points of interest grow: Additional buildings will spawn, additional monsters and leaders, and quest hooks. All of these things start to grow with the world.[34]Steven Sharif

New points of interest (such as dungeons, world bosses, and corrupted areas) spawn as nodes develop.[35][36] This content adapts to the node progression of the zone it is in.[34][37]

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.[38]

Corrupted areas

Work-in-progress Alpha-1 preview corrupted area on Alpha island by Mia DelCasino.[35]

How the world kind of reacts and changes to the nodes, you see these intrusions of corruption beginning to pervert and infest the lands; and these are obviously going to be sources by which NPC events are driven based on player progression within the world. And these sources of evil need to be addressed by the players, or else they'll grow out of hand.[39]Steven Sharif

All of our POIs and kind of just the world in general can react to the node- we don't have to but we can- and this is one of those places where as civilization grows this will grow kind of in contest with it.[35]Jeffrey Bard

Corrupted areas (zones/points of interest) can dynamically evolve with the progression of nodes.[39][35]

  • These are sources of NPC events that players need to address before they grow out of hand.[39]

Underrealm routes

Alpha-0 Underrealm environment.[40]

One of the aspects of the Lore behind the Tulnar was that in the pantheon of gods that exist- having foretold the future through the Goddess of Fate to the Goddess of Creation- these areas in the Underrealm were created in to allow for refuge for which the gods knew would be left behind that couldn't make it to Sanctus. So that was a pre-thought there in the creation of the Underrealm to facilitate that realm where refugees could seek.[41]Steven Sharif

Alpha-0 Underrealm Sharptooth cat mob concept art.[40]

We plan to have the Underrealm really pervasive throughout the game itself, a part of the open world. It will introduce some unique elements such as the type of monsters you see, the type of crops you can grow and houses you can have.[42]Steven Sharif

The Underrealm is a rich environment where bio-luminescence abounds in the fauna and flora that exist here. These deep caverns and underground valleys provide new destinations for civilization to develop. Bringing the node system into the depths of the world may awaken darker creatures than the surface.[43]

  • The Underrealm is estimated to be 100 km2 in area.[44]
    • The underrealm is not contiguous across the entire map. There will be areas that are obstructed by chasms or other features.[9]
    • The location of Underrealm entrances throughout the world is focused around natural geographic choke-points that exist above ground. This provides alternate subterranean routes that can be used by caravans, raids, and other player activities.[9]
    • Not all entrances to the Underrealm will be open at the same time. This can shift dynamically (based on node states) that cause different routes to open up, which may be more or less advantageous than other routes.[9]

The expansiveness of the Underrealm itself is quite large. It does persist across across a lot of the playable game area that's above ground. So there are alternatives in the Underrealm for passages and traversal throughout the world.[45]Steven Sharif

We've also talked about node states affecting what openings are open and what things are closed. So not all entrances to the Underrealm will be open at the same time. So that configuration can shift and different routes will open up and be more advantageous than other routes.[9]Jeffrey Bard

See also


  1. Livestream, 29 January 2021 (55:44).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Livestream, 29 January 2021 (1:13:04).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Livestream, 9 February 2018 (45:48).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Podcast, 11 April 2021 (23:36).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Livestream, 26 June 2020 (1:29:06).
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 Livestream, 8 May 2017 (20:27).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Our immersive world - Environments.
  8. 8.0 8.1 frosty-roads.png
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Livestream, 30 October 2020 (1:19:13).
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Livestream, 19 May 2017 (32:23).
  11. 11.0 11.1 Video, 15 July 2019 (2:12).
  12. Livestream, 17 May 2017 (30:53).
  13. Kickstarter - We Just Broke $1,500,000!
  14. Video, 22 January 2017 (0:02).
  15. Ashes of Creation Instagram. May 1, 2020.
  16. Ashes of Creation Facebook. March 19, 2020.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Livestream, 27 September 2018 (41:33).
  18. Livestream, 26 July 2019 (1:32:40).
  19. 19.0 19.1 seasons.png
  20. Interview, 18 July 2020 (16:34).
  21. Video, 25 May 2017 (0:02).
  22. Livestream, 26 June 2020 (1:52:33).
  23. Livestream, 9 May 2018 (40:24).
  24. Freeholds.png
  25. stevenclarification.png
  26. Node series part II – the Metropolis.
  27. steven-housing-numbers.png
  28. Livestream, 26 May 2017 (34:21).
  29. Livestream, 28 July 2017 (19:43).
  30. 30.0 30.1 caravan zerg.png
  31. About Ashes of Creation.
  32. City hall.
  33. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (AM) (18:59).
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 34.4 34.5 34.6 34.7 34.8 Livestream, 26 March 2021 (50:33).
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 Livestream, 26 March 2021 (22:53).
  36. Livestream, 17 November 2017 (36:22).
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 37.4 Livestream, 17 November 2017 (18:29).
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 MMOGames interview, January 2017
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 Livestream, 26 March 2021 (50:03).
  40. 40.0 40.1 Ashes of Creation - The visuals.
  41. Interview, 31 October 2018 (6:00).
  42. A chat with Ashes of Creation's Steven Sharif, 7 June 2017.
  43. Kickstarter $1,750,000 Stretch Goal Unlocked, 13 May 2017.
  44. Interview, 17 August 2018 (10:43).
  45. Interview, 31 October 2018 (5:43).