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Alpha-1 open world caravan PvP.[2]

Player combat in Ashes of Creation is both vast and intimate. It spans many aspects of the game itself. From great political battles held on the fields of massive castles, to open world conflicts fought for the pride of Guild Leaders. A player can choose to participate in the fate of the world by swaying the tide of battle with his or her combat prowess. 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.[3]

PvP (Player versus player combat) is the catalyst for change in Ashes of Creation.[4] Player combat is intended to be meaningful, ranging from Caravan battles to vast open world conflicts fought for the pride of Kings and Queens.[5]

Because players are motivated by different things, because they want something from the game that other players don't want, that's going to cause people to butt heads. Different players are going to want different experiences and the conflict between the two of them will create a bigger and better thing. Out of strife comes rebirth and that's a core symbol, it's a core theme that occurs throughout the game.[6]Jeffrey Bard

There are many reasons to engage in open world PvP in Ashes of Creation.[7]

Just because our flagging system gives corruption to pkers, doesn't mean PvP won't happen. There is plenty of reason for PvP to occur open-world. Scarce resources, open world hunting grounds, caravans, sieges, guild wars etc.[7]Steven Sharif
Q: Have you considered a high-stakes loot drop PvP zone/area in Verra?
A: We have not; and the reason for that is our current PvP systems already allow for material risk essentially that's either through the flagging system or through other event-based pvp opt-in systems as well.[11]Steven Sharif

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.[12][13][14]

  • Guild wars and node wars can be declared at any time, but the objectives will only spawn during the prime-time window.[15]

Combat revamp

Alpha-1 split-body melee weapon combat sneak peek.[16]

I can move while swinging on this guy. I can back up then continue to attack him. Just have complete control over my character while attacking.[16]Steven Sharif

A revamped combat system will be rolled out during and post Alpha-1 testing based on player feedback.[17][18][19]

  • The goal is to give more agency to the player and achieve a more fluid flow of combat with greater mobility when using abilities.[20][21]
  • The current hybrid tab and action combat system will remain after the revamp.[20]
  • This revamp will not represent the final form of combat, but will set the general direction that combat will be taking.[22]
  • The revamp will be iterative and will be rolled out to testers in different phases.[21]
  • The developers will be testing whether or not to use global cooldowns GCDs on different types of abilities during Alpha-2.[23]

The revamped combat system will feature split-body animations, where the character's upper body can be locked by weapon attack animations while the lower body is free to continue moving.[16][24][25]

You'll be able to move forward while swinging your weapon; and this will allow you complete control over your weapon attacks for melee.[16]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 combat was focused on core functionality rather than combat balance.[25] Alpha-2 combat will include archetypes, significant ability support, augments, split-body combat, weapon attacks, and many additional items, among other things.[26]

  • Changes that allow templated abilities to apply to 3D positions in the air or water will be prototyped and may be included in Alpha-2.[27]


There are no predefined factions in Ashes of Creation.[28]

We present the player with these soft friction events and then that determines who your friends and your foes are.[29]Steven Sharif

Because we are non-faction based, you want to grant the user the ability to either do things that are "evil" or "good", so there has to be a plethora of choice on the evil side for them to participate in.[30]Steven Sharif

Threat assessment

You decide to gank the player, but find out that you have been ambushed![31]

Players will have a buff on their nameplate that indicates the gear set they are wearing. Other players will be able to see this buff by targeting that player at a distance.[32][33][34]

You can target a player. You're going to see what type of armor they have based on a buff they have available to them because obviously cosmetics can change appearance. You might have different silhouettes as a result of that.[35]Steven Sharif
  • The border will indicate the level and quality of the tier set.[32][33][36]
    • This also indicates if the gear is enchanted, along with visual effects associated with enchanted items.[33][37][36]
  • The developers believe that inspecting gear to obtain an exact equipment list or gear score may lead to "unwelcome behavior".[38]
When you see a player approaching you and they're wearing a transmog you know you don't know if that person is a high damage mitigation against physical damage or against magical damage and essentially the way we overcome that is through you being able to target a player at a distance and they will have a buff that's present on them that you will see, which indicates that essentially the piece set that they are wearing. It is important for players to be able to ascertain from a threat assessment standpoint you know what they're going up against if they're actively checking that and that will be available.[34]Steven Sharif

Player health

Health is a stat in Ashes of Creation.[39][40]

With regards to seeing another player's health: As you know their name plate will deteriorate or give you an indication of like hey they've taken damage they're significantly injured, but you're not going to get a percentage. You're not gonna get an exact bar value, unless you're in their party or in their raid.[40]Steven Sharif

Character nameplate

A character's nameplate is displayed above their head.[43]

  • This can be the first, and optionally last name (surname).[43]
  • The name of the character's Guild is displayed next to their name.[44]
  • The character's nameplate will deteriorate to give an indication of how much damage they have taken.[39][40][42]
  • An icon will identify the character's class.[32]
  • Hovering over the user's nameplate will show information such as level, their class name and archetype combo.[32]
  • A buff icon indicates the character's gear and grade.[32][33][34]
  • The developers are internally discussing ideas relating to hiding or disguising nameplates.[45]

Summoner summons' creature type appears in the nameplate above the summon. This cannot be changed by the player.[46]

Open world battlegrounds

The Event system will also create a variety of PvP situations in the open world. From small skirmishes that lead into sieges to battles over capture points during a node or castle siege, PvP objectives will play a crucial role in determining the tide of battle.[47]

Battlegrounds are objective-based events where PvP battles occur in the open world.[48][49]

My definition of what a battleground is- and it's non-traditional. It's not typically something that is defined in the same way in other MMORPGS, but I kind of view them as these small skirmishes that might lead up to a siege or to a war and they might have capture points during node and castle fights; and these PvP objectives may be more relevant for smaller groups than for giant raids; and you might have concurrently running objectives during a particular event where you have to dispatch groups simultaneously to go address these objectives in order to complete one particular type of event or one particular type of of success condition.[48]Steven Sharif
We will have limited functionality where players can spectate from either ghost camera from fixed positions at certain battlefields; some of which might include castles.

The following open world PvP events will flag participating players as Combatants (purple).[48][51]

Non-combatant (green) players entering an open world battleground are automatically flagged as combatants and remain flagged for a period of time after leaving that battleground.[58]

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.[6]Steven Sharif


Caravans facilitate the transfer of goods for players wishing to turn a profit.[3]

The caravan system is an open world PvP system that revolves around opportunity and risk. Caravans facilitate the transfer of goods for players wishing to turn a profit.[3]

Caravan PvP

Caravan PvP in Alpha-1.[66]

You won't be able to see inside specifically but as part of the caravan structure itself there will be little hints as to what the the cargo is. So for example if you've seen some of our recent footage with caravans you kind of see sitting on top of the caravan there's some gold or some silver or some iron.[67]Steven Sharif

Caravans create an open PvP zone that flags players for combat (purple).[68]

  • Players will not be able to see the exact contents of a caravan before they decide to attack or defend, however there will be some visual hints to the cargo of the caravan, such as gold, silver, or iron visible on top of the caravan.[67]
  • Players will be able to state their intentions to attack, defend or ignore via a user interface window.[69][70][71]
    • The proximity that the UI window appears is determined by the player's performance as either a defender or an attacker in previous raids.[69]
  • A group will be required to successfully attack a caravan.[61][72]
  • A caravan will persist in the world for a period of 5 to 10 minutes from the time its owner logs out or is disconnected from the server.[73]
It's still intended from a design standpoint to be a window that is presented to the player based on proximity; and that proximity it can be greater depending on your performance as either a defender or an attacker in previous raids.[69]Steven Sharif

There will be incentives and risks for both caravan attackers and defenders.[8][9] These will be tested and refined during the alpha and beta testing phases.[74]

There is a level of risk that comes with the attacker. We have progression paths that exist for bandits and that exists for defenders; and if you choose to opt into a caravan attack- you sign up for that attack and you fail that attack- it is detrimental to your path of progression down the bandit area. That's one thing: Two is of course you have gear decay. You have degradation that can be suffered if you die. That is a cost. And then you also have a reputation; and if your reputation precedes you when you want to transit goods across the world; and you see somebody who's doing it and you want to participate as a defender or a participant, they might say hey screw you, you were just murdering my people last week and I saw that you're like on the top of the bandit list for killing caravans. So it has repercussions in the sense that it locks you out of certain player groups. It provides decay to your armor. It has deleterious effects on your progression, and the attacking- and the bandit progression of caravan attacks or defense.[8]Steven Sharif
  • A quest system will track a player's successful or failed defenses and attacks. This will provide rewards that scale up over time based on the player's history.[8][9][74]
  • Other incentives and risks are social and are created (informally) between players.[8][74]
The caravan defender role is going to have its own progression questing and rewards associated with it that are going to attract a certain subset of players and then you know vice-versa wise we're going to have incentives that appeal to the more highway brigand type players; and you know you might not always be on one side or the other: that might change depending on what your interests are in the at the time. But obviously you know those types of systems need to have robust you know consequential type rewards and benefits associated with them in order to compel the player; and that's something obviously we're going to test in alphas and betas and see how performant it is in actually attracting players to participate and make sure it's not just one-sided so-to-speak.[74]Steven Sharif

Caravan destruction

If a caravan is destroyed (becomes a wreckage) it will drop a portion of the goods it was transporting.[61][76][77] The remainder of the caravan's goods are sunk (lost) when the caravan is destroyed.[78]

The caravan becomes a wreckage upon destruction and that wreckage is an interfaceable item that players can come up to and they can receive certificates for a portion of the goods inside the caravan. Now the idea with that certificate is that it must be taken back to the point of origin, or at least a region within that point of origin. We'll see about that last part because there's a few things I want to test in the Alpha from a gameability standpoint. The reason why for this is because what might happen is you may have some type of collaboration within a guild to kind of game that system. Hey I'm gonna reach this caravan just to the border of the region and then we're all destroy it, collect the goods and take it to you know that region's warehouse; and have to skip out on the last half of the way. So it must successfully reach its destination before the goods can be considered a part of that region.[77]Steven Sharif
  • Anyone may loot the caravan's wreckage.[78]
  • Caravan components may also drop when a caravan is destroyed. These components may be salvageable by the caravan owner or by other players, in the case of high grade components.[79]
  • Caravans drop certificates for heavy goods that are redeemable at the origin node for a portion of the goods.[80][77]
Q: What is the reason for requiring the destruction of a caravan by the attackers as opposed to the attackers gaining possession of the caravan?
A: With caravans we really want to emphasize this idea of not necessarily stealing the vehicle, but being forced to achieve victory through destruction; and when you do you then have the logistical issue of how you're going to transport those goods on your own rather than servicing the transport of that by just hijacking.[81]Steven Sharif



Castle sieges

Alpha-1 castle siege gameplay.[1]

Throughout Ashes of Creation, the player has an opportunity to participate in massively multiplayer siege warfare. Since castles are likely the world’s most limited resource, it will be a task to secure and hold them. Involving hundreds of players on a single battlefield, our sieges will employ many moving parts and intricate design features. Because of the difficult nature of taking and keeping a castle there are great rewards available to the players for their efforts. Castles will allow players to exert control over nearby lands and allow for the development of unique buildings in the nearby towns.[3]

Guilds participate in Castle sieges in an effort to capture and occupy one of the five guild castles in Ashes of Creation.[82]

  • The minimum goal is for 250x250 players to be on a single battlefield. It is hoped that this can be increased to 500x500 over time.[84]
  • There will be systems that mimic some of the mechanics of sieges, but there won't be practice sieges.[85]
  • There may be instanced locations within otherwise open-world castle and node sieges, where specific groups can participate in small, short duration objective-based battles that will affect the overall outcome of the siege.[86]

A guild that captures a castle will own that castle for a month before it is sieged again.[87][88]

Each week leading up to the siege week... is a week that's dedicated to one of the three castle dedicated nodes. So around the castle there are three nodes. They represent week, one, two, and three; and then the fourth week is the siege against the castle. Those can only be elevated up to stage three. We've discussed this in the past and there's definitely information out there on the community ran wiki.[87]Steven Sharif
  • In the first three weeks that a guild occupies a castle they will need to level up each of their castle nodes to Village stage through questing.[87][88]
    • Each of the three castle nodes have a siege against it at the end of each of these three weeks.[88][89]
  • The fourth week is declaration week, where other guilds have the opportunity to lay down their declaration flag or to sign up as a defender of the castle.[87][88]
  • Depending on how well the guild defends their castle nodes results in better defenses for the castle.[88][89]
  • Different siege weaponry will grant the attackers the ability to destroy walls, doors and sections of the castle in order to gain access to the inner keep area.[90]
  • When castles change hands (following a siege), some taxes stay with the castle and some stay with the guild.[91]
There will be benefits to attracting people... even if they're not in your guild or alliance – kind of a feudal like system, where you can attract other players who are just independent of this whole politic. They will have things to do there - benefits to receive - and there will be a reciprocal relationship between who you can attract, what they do for you; and how that benefits you and them.[88]Steven Sharif


Node sieges

Node sieges (Pre-alpha footage).[92]

As some areas in the world grow, others will fall. This is the foundation of the living, breathing world that is Ashes of Creation, where players will have the ability to make important decisions that matter in the longevity of an area becoming a city, or whether to siege a rival town. Rise above the ashes, create the world around you, and be a part of the story that unfolds because of your actions and decisions.[93]Margaret Krohn

Node sieges enable players to destroy nodes.[93] This paves the way for new development and access to the locked content in surrounding nodes. Due to this dynamic, political strife and intrigue play an important role in the structure of the world.[94]

  • Sieging nodes will not be an easy task for the attackers. Cities and metropolises will have a considerable defensive advantage.[94]
  • There will be systems that mimic some of the mechanics of sieges, but there won't be practice sieges.[85]
If you own a home in a node and you don't want to see that home destroyed, you need to defend that city![6]Steven Sharif


Guild wars

Guild war features are currently still in the design stage, but the overall goal is for guild wars to be objective-based with great risk for each side.[95]

  • Guild war objectives are designed to be more fluid than castle siege objectives.[96]
  • Guild wars can be declared at any time, but the objectives will only spawn during server prime-time.[15]
    • Players can kill each other at any time during the war (not only during server prime-time).[15]
  • Guild wars will not be permanent. Definitive victory conditions exist that are based on the level of the warring guilds and the assets that those guilds have.[97]
I can't really define exactly what those features are yet because that design stage is still up in the air from a discussion standpoint. There's a lot of different ideas that relates to how those two can come into play, but I will say that in every MMO I've ever played guild wars are very binary. They're very like 'Okay you've declared, you have a number of kills to deaths and the guild war's over, thank you...' My objective to kind of change that dynamic is to include greater risk for the sides to initiate the war and also to make it more objective-based than just a binary kill death ratio; and the fortresses and guild halls come into that type of facilitating that change.[95]Steven Sharif

Guild war objectives

Guild war objectives spawn in the world based on the level of the guild war and the assets available to the guilds, whether it be a guild hall or guild fortress.[95] There will be default objectives and then there'll be objectives that relate to the activities that a Guild has participated in.[96]

  • For example, if a guild has recently become owners of a guild hall on a freehold, objectives might be related to capturing a quest item in or around the guild hall that is only visible to the warring guild. Capturing this objective may require channeling time.[96]
  • There might be objectives to steal one of the quest items that the guild may have received from completing a raid.[96]
  • There may be bounty objectives to kill a particular guild member. The target may have increased damage mitigation and/or health against the warring guild and can call for help.[96]
If you have a guild hall and a certain type of guild war is declared that is maybe a higher stakes kind of war, some of those objectives will be centralized either at your guild hall, at the opponent's guild hall; could be a progression step towards the guild hall. It might be a specific a period of time that accumulates into into a central battle at the guild hall for an objective.[95]Steven Sharif

Death penalties do not apply to objective-based events (such as caravans, guild wars, and node sieges).[10]

Guild war mechanics

Guild war mechanics include.[98]

  • A war declaration period.[98]
  • Objective based components.[98]
  • Victory and surrender conditions.[99]
  • Guilds may war multiple guilds/alliances at a time.[99]
  • Guild wars operate outside the PvP flagging system.[99]
We're taking guild politics to a whole new direction in regards to playing those conflicts out.[100]Steven Sharif


Hunting grounds

You are on the prowl, and notice an unsuspecting player chopping trees. What would you do?[101]

Hunting grounds are open-world PvP corruption-enabled areas that encompass most of the map.[102]

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.[104]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.[100]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.[105]


Naval PvP

Operators of a ship's weapons platform can initiate naval PvP against another ship in the following three cases.[106]

Another important change that has occurred is the open seas is now an automatic flagged location. So when you move off of land we have a flagging system that protects and the open seas are international waters where you need to be careful; and there is a lot of opportunity at Sea; and because there's a lot of opportunity that's unique to that content- that's unique to that sea: that's treasure finding; that's NPCs; that's a lot of different stuff there needs to be risk associated with opportunity.[52]Steven Sharif
  • When the ships move into an open sea (open waters/deep ocean) area. This will automatically flag players as Combatants (purple).[52][106]
    • Players entering an open seas area will be notified by the UI ahead of time.[107]
We have a very intuitive UI that that as you approach the border between open sea and coastal area you are notified of that. You are warned ahead of time. There's a countdown when approaching. We interpolate the distance travel and speed you're moving and you get to see "I'm entering open waters"; and when you do you have this big trophy call out on screen that says "You have entered the open sea. Territory fraught."[107]Steven Sharif


Arenas are instanced PvP scenarios and are not part of open world PvP.[109][110]

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.[109]Steven Sharif


Player flagging

The open world PvP flagging system is designed to deter people from griefing other players.[118]

  • Players can participate in open world PvP with one another without having to resort to murder.[119]
  • The penalties are intended to be severe enough to deter any type of spawn camping.[120]
  • Summons follow the same PvP flagging rules as players and share the player's flag status.[121][122]

pvp flagging diagram.png

There are three levels of flagging for world PvP in Ashes of Creation.[58]

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.[41]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.[126][123]
    • 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.[58]
    • Non-combatants who heal, buff, or otherwise (positively) interact with combatants or corrupted players will be flagged as combatants.[128][129]
    • Players can kill combatants without repercussions, and are encouraged to do so, since dying while a combatant has reduced death penalties.[123]
    • Players are not able to manually set their flagging status to combatant.[126]
    • Players remain flagged for a period of 90 seconds following their most recent attack on a non-combatant or another combatant.[130]
    • Players cannot log out while flagged as combatants.[131]
  • Corrupted (red)
    • If a combatant player, or their summon, kills a non-combatant player, the player's character will be flagged as corrupted.[121][118]
    • Corruption multiplies death penalties and reveals a corrupted player's location to bounty hunters.[118]
    • A player’s corruption score increases with each non-combatant player killed.[58]
    • If a non-combatant attacks a corrupt player, the non-combatant will not flag as a combatant.[123]
    • Corrupted players may kill bounty hunters without acquiring additional corruption score.[132]
    • There is a 60 second timer to logout while corrupt.[131]

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).[133]

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.[133]Steven Sharif

A player may not flag on members of the same party, raid, guild or alliance.[134]

Sieges, caravans and guild wars do not use the flagging system.[75]

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.[135]Steven Sharif



An affiliation tree determines which entities can participate in attacks against other entities within its hierarchy.[136][137]

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.[136]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.[137]Steven Sharif


Player corruption

Corrupted player in the Alpha-1 preview.[139]

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.[140]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).[121][118]

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..[40]Steven Sharif
Reward without risk is meaningless... Corruption is just another word for risk.[144]Steven Sharif
  • The wider the level disparity between the players, and the higher the attacker's PK value, the more corruption they gain.[141][142][58]
Corruption value from PK'ing a non-combatant is based on level disparity along with the PKer's cumulative PK value.[141]Steven Sharif
  • Corruption penalties occur as the corruption is gained.[145] 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.[149]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.[146]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.[153]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.[154]Steven Sharif

Players do not lose gold upon death, no matter their corruption level.[155]

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.[156]

Removing corruption

The primary means to remove corruption is through death. Multiple deaths may be necessary to remove all corruption.[158][123]


Player death

Player death in an open world dungeon in Alpha-1.[163]

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.[135]Steven Sharif

When a player dies they disintegrate into ash. The ashes contain any items lost by the player due to applicable death penalties.[164][165][166][147][167] These ash piles are immediately lootable by any player.[165] Player flagging is not triggered by looting.[125]

  • A non-combatant (green player) who dies suffers normal penalties, which include:[147]
    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.[170]Steven Sharif
    • Dropping a percentage of carried gatherables and processed goods.[166][147]
      • This also includes a percentage of the certificates a player is carrying.[167]
      • 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.[172]
      • If a player's mule dies its corpse will contain the same percentage of lootable items as the player.[172][173]
  • A combatant (purple player) who dies suffers these same penalties, but at half the rate of a non-combatant.[147]
  • A corrupt (red player) suffers penalties at four times[142] the rate of a non-combatant, and has a chance to drop any carried/equipped items based on their current corruption score. This includes:[142][147]
    Any amount of corruption allows a player to drop equipped gear upon death. The higher the corruption the greater the chances.[174]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.[179]

Death penalties (mostly) do not apply to objective-based events (such as caravans, guild wars, and node sieges).[8][9][10]

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.[10]Steven Sharif

Death penalties do not differ between PvP and PvE, but this is subject to change.[180]

Death by falling is possible.[181]

  • 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.[181]

Death by drowning is possible.[182][183]

  • Players that drown will respawn on shore.[182]

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.[172]

Players do not lose gold upon death, no matter their corruption level.[155]

At the moment, the plan is for players to not lose gold upon death, no matter their corruption level.[155]Cody Peterson

Safe zones

Player stalls

Players are not able to be attacked or robbed while occupying a player stall.[187]

Player stalls may not be renewed during a siege declaration.[187]

Player housing

A permissions system will enable an owner to grant access to specific parts of their housing.[188][189][190]

A property has a single owner.[188]

It'll be a single owner based system for those types of properties- for properties in general, but it doesn't prevent players obviously from you know collaborating and pooling resources in order to achieve certain achievements in the game.[188]Steven Sharif


Players cannot steal from a freehold under normal circumstances.[197]

  • Items stored in a Freehold may become lootable after a successful siege against their parent Node.

Players cannot PvP while inside (the footprint of)[184] a freehold (except following a successful node siege).[185][186]

The freehold is intended to be a protected area unless there is a siege and the town gets destroyed. If the town gets destroyed, the freehold's up for grabs and it becomes a PvP area.[185]Steven Sharif
  • NPC guards may be available for hire to defend freeholds after a successful node siege.[199] NPC guards that permanently exist on a freehold are not a planned feature.[186]
Q: We were discussing in chat earlier about freeholds and whether or not a person would be safe in their home or within the entirety of their freehold from getting player killed?
A: I think our initial testing is going to revolve around the footprint of their freehold and then we'll take into consideration the metrics gleaned from that testing.[184]Steven Sharif

Permission to decorate a freehold is restricted to the owner of the freehold.[191]

  • Previously it was stated that permission to decorate but not take anything from the house would be able to be assigned to other players.[189]

PvP seasons

Performance in various PvP systems (such as Caravans, Arenas, Guild wars) is measured over the course of 6 month PvP seasons. At the end of each season, a player's cumulative score may unlock various rewards.[109][200]

Gear enhancement rewards

Gear enhancements (power stones/runes) can be applied to weapons to add elemental or energy types of damage.[201][202]

We are very likely going to have a rune system and then we'll have the ability to sort of enchant weapons outside of that too... That's not always going to be like a vertical progression... Some of it's going to be giving up something to get something else; so maybe I do less physical damage but more magical damage, that kind of thing.[202]Jeffrey Bard

It's not as though you're going to necessarily acquire these once and then you're set for your PvP enchantments, but instead you'll have to continually perform month after month in order to keep having those slotted enchantments.[204]Steven Sharif


Ashes of Creation gathers tracking data to facilitate achievements, titles and other accolades on a server.[205]

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.[205]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.[207]

Arena ladder

The arena ladder system records a player's progress within PvP seasons based on their arena win/loss ratios.[109][111]

  • Titles can be received from arena play.[114]
  • Other rewards will be revealed at a later time.[113]
  • Arena points that can be used to buy gear is not currently in the design.[114]

Guild ladder

An inter-guild ladder will rank guilds based on their performance within competitive activities:[210][211]

When the guild participates in guild wars or they participate in sieges, you'll be able to climb the ranks of your inter-guild ladder as well so you get bragging rights amongst your friends.[211]Steven Sharif

Trophy park

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

Trophy park is an area within Town, City or Metropolis nodes that has available spots for trophies. These trophies show the character names of players who are the first to complete world bosses and dungeon bosses that were spawned as the result of the development of that particular node.[212]

  • Server announcements and achievements are designed to encourage groups to experience new content.[212]


Duels may be initiated within a freehold or node.[198][213]

  • Dueling is a self-contained event that requires opt-in by all parties.[198]
    • There will be a way to auto-decline duel requests.[213]
  • Dueling is not considered a part of the flagging system.[198]

Duels won't be considered a part of the flagging system. The duels are going to be a self-contained event that gets opted into by the inviter and the participants.[198]Steven Sharif

Time to kill

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 Ashes of Creation MMORPG will have a time-to-kill (TTK) of around 30 seconds to a minute.[214]

In the MMORPG we really don't want to see any one-shots. The time-to-kill needs to be strategic and tactical.[216]Steven Sharif


The developers are testing different approaches to accommodate varying hitboxes between the races.[217]

  • There may be a single unified hitbox with some exceptions or some special collision rules as opposed to having different sized hitboxes.[217]

More than likely we'll have some sort of unified or unified-ish hitbox. But again it's going to probably have a unified hitbox with some exceptions or some special sort of collision rules based on them as opposed to kind of just making it smaller for one and not the other.[217]Jeffrey Bard

There aren't separate types of hitbox categories in the Ashes of Creation MMORPG as there were in Ashes of Creation Apocalypse.[217]

We don't have separate types of hitbox categories, for example. There's no head hit box in the MMORPG like there was in APOC. So from a critical standpoint you're not going to see a greater risk of critting for a larger hitbox.[217]Steven Sharif

Headshot mechanics

There are no headshot mechanics in the Ashes of Creation MMORPG.[217][218][219]

Stat growth

Stat growth proceeds in the following order:[223]

  1. The race "seeds" a player's base stats.[223]
  2. The primary archetype grows the base stats.[223]
  3. The secondary archetype (class) does not contribute to stat growth.[224] This is a revision of an earlier statement.[223]

Different races have different stat compositions. Those stats can be important, but we also don't want them to dictate any kind of meta for what classes are best used with different races.[225]Steven Sharif

Choice of profession does not affect a player's stats.[226]

Gear has approximately a 40-50% influence on a players overall power in the game.[227]

Equalized PvP

There will not be equalized PvP in the open world. There may be equalized PvP in certain arena battlegrounds under specific circumstances.[228]

Bounty hunters

Players can acquire the bounty hunter title through a quest available to citizens of Military Stage 4 (Town) nodes and potentially their vassals or affiliated nodes.[229][58]

  • Bounty hunters can activate their Pathfinding ability to reveal corrupted player locations on their map.[230][176]
    • This will flag the bounty hunter for combat only to corrupted players for a period of one hour from the time of activation.[230]
    • The pathfinding ability can be toggled on or off.[230][231]
    • It is possible that bounty hunters will be permanently flagged versus corrupted players with the pathfinding ability toggled off. This design change will be decided based on testing.[232]
  • The accuracy of bounty hunter maps is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.[233]
  • Corrupted players may kill bounty hunters without acquiring additional corruption score.[151][132]
    • Corrupted player's combat penalties do not apply when battling bounty hunters.[151]
  • Chief bounty hunter is a node government title that grants special access to NPCs in a node.[234]
  • Credit for killing a corrupted player goes to the bounty hunter who lands the last hit (killing blow). This may be changed to damage contribution in future.[235]

Bounty hunter maps

Players with a high enough corruption score will be visible on the world and mini maps. These players will have markers posted on the map by an NPC from a Military node of at least stage 4 (Town), and will only be granted to players who have the Bounty hunter title.[236] The accuracy of bounty hunter maps is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.[233]

Taverns are one of the locations that bounties will be posted. As players gain corruption, taverns may offer bounties to eliminate those players; or have a specific area cleared of problem players, thus giving a POI (point of interest) on the world map.[237]

Bounty hunter Pathfinding ability

Skill Icon Rank 1 Rank 2 Rank 3
Pathfinding Reveals corrupted player locations on the bounty hunter's map.[230][238] Activating this ability will flag the bounty hunter for combat only to corrupted players for a period of one hour from the time of activation.[230] The pathfinding ability can be toggled on or off.[230][231] The accuracy of the pathfinding skill is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.[239] The accuracy of the pathfinding skill is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.[239]

Corrupt players killing bounty hunters

Corrupted players potentially gain rewards for killing bounty hunters.[240]

PvP/PvE gear

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.[241]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.[149]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation is a PvX game. Players will naturally encounter both PvP and PvE elements.[149][119][242] It is unlikely that a player could purely focus on just PvP or just PvE.[242]

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.[246]Steven Sharif

PvP/PvE servers

Gameplay videos


Community guides

See also


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  4. pvp catalyst.png
  5. Ashes of Creation FAQ.
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  11. Livestream, March 31, 2022 (1:12:27).
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  14. Interview, July 8, 2020 (22:37).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 steven-wars-prime-time.png
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  18. steven-combat-revamp-update.png
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  20. 20.0 20.1 steven-combat-revamp-update-2.png
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  56. 56.0 56.1 Blog: Creative Director's Letter, April 14 2021
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  68. caravan zone.png
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  70. caravan UI.png
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  80. Certificates.jpg
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  82. 82.0 82.1 castle nodes.png
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  84. castle-siege-scale.png
  85. 85.0 85.1 Twitch Bustin - Practice Sieges?
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  101. Twitter - What a glorious day for ganking!
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  120. pvp camping.png
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  122. steven-summons-pvp-2.png
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  144. corruption2.jpg
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  193. steven-personal-storage-access.png
  194. Livestream, January 29, 2021 (1:13:04).
  195. Livestream, February 9, 2018 (51:57).
  196. Livestream, June 26, 2020 (59:11).
  197. Livestream, May 17, 2017 (1:03:23).
  198. 198.0 198.1 198.2 198.3 198.4 Livestream, December 23, 2021 (1:29:27).
  199. Livestream, May 19, 2017 (28:04).
  200. 200.0 200.1 200.2 200.3 200.4 Interview, July 18, 2020 (16:34).
  201. Livestream, June 4, 2018 (1:11:19).
  202. 202.0 202.1 Livestream, June 4, 2018 (21:37).
  203. Livestream, March 26, 2021 (1:15:57).
  204. 204.0 204.1 204.2 204.3 204.4 Interview, July 18, 2020 (14:22).
  205. 205.0 205.1 205.2 205.3 205.4 205.5 205.6 Podcast, August 4, 2018 (1:47:21).
  206. 206.0 206.1 steven-pvp-metrics.png
  207. Livestream, July 18, 2017 (58:50).
  208. Livestream, May 15, 2017 (44:10).
  209. Livestream, August 23, 2017 (16:44).
  210. 210.0 210.1 210.2 210.3 Livestream, June 25, 2021 (1:12:37).
  211. 211.0 211.1 211.2 211.3 Interview, July 29, 2020 (14:28).
  212. 212.0 212.1 Podcast, August 4, 2018 (1:35:58).
  213. 213.0 213.1 duels.jpg
  214. 214.0 214.1 Interview, October 20, 2018 (3:25:46).
  215. Livestream, November 22, 2019 (5:51).
  216. 216.0 216.1 Interview, October 20, 2018 (9:10).
  217. 217.0 217.1 217.2 217.3 217.4 217.5 Livestream, October 30, 2020 (1:15:59).
  218. steven-headshots-1.png
  219. 219.0 219.1 steven-headshots-2.png
  220. 220.0 220.1 Interview, October 21, 2018 (9:10).
  221. Interview, October 20, 2018 (3:25:31).
  222. 222.0 222.1 222.2 Livestream, September 27, 2018 (34:49).
  223. 223.0 223.1 223.2 223.3 Livestream, July 18, 2017 (35:58).
  224. Livestream, November 22, 2019 (1:4:56).
  225. Livestream, 2018-04-8 (AM) (25:52).
  226. Livestream, July 18, 2017 (37:25).
  227. Interview, July 19, 2020 (53:59).
  228. Livestream, May 15, 2017 (34:59).
  229. Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:50:24).
  230. 230.0 230.1 230.2 230.3 230.4 230.5 steven-bounty-hunters-2.png
  231. 231.0 231.1 corruption toggle.png
  232. steven-bounty-hunters-3.png
  233. 233.0 233.1 Livestream, May 24, 2017 (48:00).
  234. Livestream, July 26, 2019 (1:20:48).
  235. Livestream, June 25, 2021 (1:06:22).
  236. Interview, January 20, 2017 (06:12).
  237. The mighty beard!
  238. Interview, April 27, 2017 (9:28).
  239. 239.0 239.1 Livestream, May 24, 2017 (48:00).
  240. Interview, October 20, 2018 (15:51).
  241. Video, April 16, 2018 (1:32).
  242. 242.0 242.1 242.2 242.3 Livestream, May 5, 2017 (33:25).
  243. pvx stats.png
  244. 244.0 244.1 MMORPG Interview, 2016-12-12.
  245. Livestream, May 15, 2017 (14:05).
  246. Livestream, June 1, 2017 (37:39).
  247. Livestream, May 5, 2017 (35:27).