Servers

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The world 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.[1]

There will be a multitude of servers located throughout the various regions of the world.[3]

  • Post launch, users will be able to select their server by the ping or the region that's notated next to the server.[3]
  • Ashes of Creation Apocalypse server selection is driven by the party leader. Whatever region they have selected will apply to their friends and squad.[3]

We'll have a multitude of servers located throughout to the various regions of the world; and those servers will be good connection points for- and will be driven by- I mean there's two types of servers I'm sorry: For the alpha-1 arena those will be driven by the party leader right; and wherever whatever region they have selected if they invite friends to their squad or whatever, they'll be able to play on that region. With regards to live launch when the server's go live, you'll be selecting a server to play on; and that will be your character's home; and that server you'll be aware of where that server is located usually by either a ping or a region that's notated on next to the server.[3]Steven Sharif

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.[4]

Regions

Ashes of Creation will launch with the following server regions:[5][6]

At this stage we do not have numbers on how many different servers will exist for different regions. We've said in the past 8-10,000 concurrent users per server is what we'd like to aim for. Obviously, the number of servers that exist in a region are going to be dependent on the population that's playing.[13]Steven Sharif

Other server regions will be considered based on interest.[7][6]

  • South America is under consideration due to traffic from that region.[14]

Once we get closer to launch we'll update this information, which may include additional regions.[7]

Certain regions will have "harmonized" subscription prices that better reflect their local economies. These regions will be segregated from other regions.[15]

  • Players will be able to make characters on any server they wish. There will be no region locking (outside of harmonized regions).[16]

Folks have always been able to make characters on any server they wish. We are not region locking anyone.[16]Margaret Krohn

Localization

Ashes of Creation is aiming to be available in the following languages: English, French, German, Russian, Italian, Polish, and Spanish.[17][18][19][20]

  • Previously it was stated that English, French, German, and Russian will be supported then Italian, Polish and Spanish be added later.[18][21]
  • Other languages are being considered based on interest.[17][19][20]
  • User interface localization tools are available in the chat window.[22]

Ashes of Creation is aiming to be available in the following languages: English, French, German, Russian, Italian, Polish, and Spanish. Although this may not be the final list of languages we support, as we are still looking into which other languages the game may be translated into.[17]

info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

Servers won't be language locked.[19]

  • There may be separate servers in the EU region based on language type.[18]

Alpha-1 servers

Alpha-1 servers are provisioned in the following regions.[23]

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-1 servers will support 1,500 concurrently connected users per server.[25][26][27]

Testing server wipes

Alpha and Beta servers will be wiped prior to launch.[28]

  • Alpha-1 testing phases will include full wipes.[29]
  • Servers may also be wiped between individual tests, unless the developers require progression to be saved for certain spot tests.[30]

As a general rule, if the testing phase contains the word Alpha, it is safe to assume there will likely be wipes.[31]Steven Sharif

Server population

Population limits will be enforced on each server.[32]

  • Around 8-10k concurrent users per server is projected.[33][13][34][35]
    • Initially there will be a limited number of registered accounts (approximately 15,000) per server to help mitigate login queues.[36]
    • This limit will increase over time to around 50,000 registered accounts per server.[36][37][38]
  • The developers intend to carefully manage server populations via the use of character creation throttles to avoid the need to merge servers.[37][39] There may be queues to get into high population servers, but the aim is to avoid excessively long queues.[38]

Part of the equation of essentially watching to make sure that we don't over populate the server selection, but at the same time making sure that there's not a queue system in place that's so long it's detrimental to the concurrency of the player's will to play so to speak. It's a tough balancing act.[38]Steven Sharif

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.[4]

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.[40]

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.[40]

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.[40]Jeffrey Bard

Server reservations

Server reservations allow guild members as well as unaffiliated players to reserve character slots on a server starting in the Beta testing stages of the game.[41]

This would likely be utilized more so by guilds than that would be solo or unaffiliated players; and I believe that the solo player they may have friends that they want to play with. That's fine, they can also still with those friends do the reservation system, but the player who is just joining the game fresh and doesn't have a community that they're part of, I don't think they really mind in that regard and will not utilize that system.[41]Steven Sharif

Name reservations

Name reservations were rewards for backing at the Pioneer level and higher and are currently available through the Voyager plus pre-order pack.[42][43]

  • Accounts will have name reservation tokens, that entitle its holder to reserve a name on a specific server when the reservation time comes.[44]

Server prime-time

Objective-based PvP events such as Node sieges, Castle sieges, Guild wars, and Node wars will occur within a prime-time window somewhere between 3PM and 9PM server time. This is subject to testing.[45][46][47]

Server transfers

Server transfers will not be possible initially. The developers intend to assess the impact on housing and other systems closer to launch.[44]

Server instancing

There won't be server channels (sharding) on a server.[48][49]

Dungeons and Raids

Alpha-1 open world dungeon entrance.[50]

80% of the content that will exist in Ashes of Creation is open-world and there's a specific reason for that. So because of the way that friendships and or enemies are forged in the game and people have the opportunity to create their own friends or foes. We want that to play out from a contesting standpoint as well. So a lot of these hunting grounds or raid bosses that people are going to have opportunities to kill, they're going to be essentially contested potentially by your your enemies that you've created in the game or you can work together to create alliances in order to defend those contested zones.[51]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation will be a seamless open-world experience.[52]

  • No loading time or loading screens between regions.[52]

There will be an approximately 80/20 split between open world vs instanced encounters.[51][53][54]

  • Castle and node sieges may contain instanced locations where specific groups can participate in certain objective-based waypoints.[55]
  • Dungeons and raids will maintain an open world feel while also capitalizing on the benefits of instanced mechanics.[56]
There will be some open dungeons that have bosses at the end of the dungeons. There will be some open dungeons that just have a multitude of dungeon bosses, not necessarily world raids or something; and there will be lots of different rooms and they'll be progressive in the sense that in the earlier parts of the dungeon they'll be lower level and then at the later parts of the dungeons deeper down they'll be higher level and more difficult; and that creates again I think an ecosystem of where players across a multitude of levels have an opportunity to coexist within certain areas of the world; and that's good from a social dynamic. It's good from a recruitment dynamic. It's good from just a liveliness and relevance of particular areas. So that you don't end up with these locations that once you pass a certain level like it's empty.[58]Steven Sharif

We're probably going to do instancing only in certain dungeons and in arenas. You probably won't see instancing too much anywhere else. What you see is gonna be what you get.[52]Jeffrey Bard

The PvP flagging system presents an opportunity for open conflict.[60]

Q: When you reach the bosses in [open world] dungeons can you be jumped?
A: For the most part if there are bosses at the end of dungeons, it is possible for you to get jumped.[58]Steven Sharif

PvP Arenas

Arenas are instanced PvP scenarios and are not part of open world PvP.[62][63]

The arena system as we've spoken about before is going to have ladder systems where people can progress within certain seasons based on their win/loss ratios. The importance of arenas are obviously that players have an opportunity to participate [and] practice out certain builds from a PvP perspective and can compete with one another within the system.[62]Steven Sharif

Server vs server

info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

The arena system may support cross-server combat.[69]

  • There may be monthly competitions where the winning server and winning team receive beneficial buffs for the month.[71]

We definitely like cross-server play. I think it's cool because it is something that players get to participate in.[72]Steven Sharif

When you're talking about Arena play especially, one server might not be able to support that depending on what's going on with it, but across all the servers then we've got a really great pool for matchmaking.[72]Jeffrey Bard

Metrics

Ashes of Creation gathers tracking data to facilitate achievements, titles and other accolades on a server.[73]

Visibility of those types of things on the server help to promote a competitive atmosphere. If there is an attainable impression that you can work towards, so that others know your success, you have more drive to succeed.[73]Steven Sharif

Leader boards

info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

There will be dungeon and raid leader boards.[74]

Server types

PvX

We like to really refer to ourselves as a PvX game, because in those systems of PvP, PvE, crafting they're all intertwined: They're interdependent on each other... Our system of development really requires some interdependence there between those things. You're going to need a crafter to give you the best items. You're going to need PvPers to secure cities and castles. You're gonna need PvErs to take down those world bosses for those materials to craft.[78]Steven Sharif

Ashes is a comprehensive game. It is not a PvP focused or a PvE focused, it is a comprehensive PvX game and as a result these systems are all interconnected and have to coexist with one another with certain types of mechanisms that can provide that give and take, that push and shove.[79]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation is a PvX game. Players will naturally encounter both PvP and PvE elements.[79][80][81] It is unlikely that a player could purely focus on just PvP or just PvE.[81]

We're very clear with our objective and philosophy on the game and we understand that they may not appeal to everybody. But you know it is an important reciprocal relationship between the content that's related to PvE and the content that's related to PvP and they feed off of each other. They're catalysts for change: Their progression, their development. It's things that people can value when they see something earned and they see something lost. That elicits an emotional response from the player: That they've invested time in to either succeed or fail; and PvP allows for that element to be introduced into gameplay. And we're very clear that is our objective: That risk versus reward relationship, that achievement-based mentality. Not everybody's going to be a winner and that's okay.[84]Steven Sharif

Headstart servers

The number of head start servers is estimated to be three. This is subject to change.[85]

  • There will be an OCE headstart server.[86]

Server maintenance

Scheduled server downtime will occur on a weekly basis.[87]

Server-wide announcements

Goblins attacking a Town (stage 4) node due to a triggered event.[88][89]

Enemies can only really grow stronger as the node grows, becoming outposts essentially for exiled or rivals of the existing order.[90]Steven Sharif

There will be local, regional, or global (server-wide) announcements/notifications of important events.[90][91]

Event notifications will utilize different methods depending on the stage (scope and level) of the event.[90]

  • Local events
    • Local events (such as caravan PvP)[95][96][97] may prompt players via the UI asking if they wish to participate or not.[90]
    • Other local events may offer audible or visual cues without any UI notifications.[90]
    • Local events that have not been addressed may start to expand regionally or even globally.[90]
One important thing to note about events in general is notifications are sent to the players. Players can opt into these events in a similar way that you would into a quest. You're going to be presented with a 'would you like to participate' but they might not always be that way. You might hear trees falling in the forest and that may be an audio cue to tell you something's happening over there. It's out of the ordinary. This is not normally an audio cue that I hear in this area and i'm gonna go investigate that thing. So it might not just be always that kind of UI window represented with a 'participate or not' but I'm going to go investigate and in that sense it could be stage driven. So you might have the more local stage where it is just the visual or audio cues and you get to go participate in that stage; and then when it advances, or if you don't answer the problem in time, then it starts to expand regionally and then it might send out particular notifications to either citizens of the node from which it falls under its purview or even broader than that. It could be global driven events and then it could have things that are are visual cues that are really big like a giant blizzard that's affecting the zone, because the event hasn't been addressed; and that can affect the crop rotations or it can affect passages and roads and how caravans move. There's a lot that the predicate system informs to the event system and then the event system reacts to those types of predicates.[90]Steven Sharif
Whether it be like a siege or a triggered event against a city or like a unique dungeon opportunity... those types of things are going to involve notifications. Especially to the citizens of the city; where you'll be informed of an impending event. Basically it will give you time.[94]Steven Sharif
  • Regional or global events
    • Wider events may be broadcast regionally or even globally.[90][91]

Server history

The history of each server will be tracked and visible to players in a node's library.[101][102]

  • Scribes may be able to collect and record information about the events of the world as they see it from their point of view.[103]
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.[102]Jeffrey Bard

Libraries

At Village (stage 3) the scientific node's unique building is the Library. Players can use the Library to access information, including (but not limited to) the following:[101]

Reports of information to the library may expire after a period of time (say one week). After which new reports will be required to update the existing information.[104]

You'll get that shroud of war functionality for the week after a report but if it doesn't receive a follow-up report after that expiration period then it will not be updating real time.[104]Steven Sharif

Unreal engine 4 (Custom back-end)

Unreal Engine 5 walkthrough.[105]

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.[105]Steven Sharif

unreal-engine-logo.png

Unreal Engine 5 is the graphical engine for Ashes of Creation.[105][106] The game was originally developed in Unreal Engine 4.[107] 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.[108][109]

  • Unreal Engine 5 enables improved forms of locomotion/animation (motion warping), such as crouching, tilting and mantling.[110][111]

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.[110]Steven Sharif

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.[117]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.[112]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.[108]
    • World partitions also enable Unreal Engine 5 maps to exceed the map size constraints of UE4 (~20 kilometers squared).[108]

Q: How does this upgrade to UE5 affect the Ashes of Creation release timeline?[108]

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.[108]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.[118]

  • The networking solution dynamically distributes processes and scales up necessary server instances to accommodate player density across the world.[119]

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.[120]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.[121]

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.[121]Steven Sharif

  • As of January 24, 2020 all teams have moved over to Unreal Engine 5.[122]

Procedural generation

Ashes of Creation will predominantly have curated content, but procedural mechanics will be leveraged in a places where they don't appear to be 'procedural'.[123]

Wherever we can leverage procedural mechanics in such a way that does not appear procedural we should. There's a healthy blend between the things that we do in having defined parameters for it and then incorporating a procedural component; and in that sense it will be perceived well, but where we the predominance of what we're implementing should be curated or by design.[123]Steven Sharif

Server hosting

Ashes of Creation servers are being hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS).[130]

See also

References

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