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Experience (XP) is gained through a variety of vertical and horizontal progression paths, such as PvP, PvE, Exploration, Gathering/Processing/Crafting, Events/Quests, Grinding mobs.[1][2][3][4]

  • Experience gained from killing mobs and bosses when in a group is divided by the number of party members based on damage done by the group (compared to any other parties attacking that mob or boss).[5]
    • A multiplier is then applied that increases with the number of party members.[6] The multiplier is between 1.3 and 1.4 (approximately).[7]
    • Experience gained from quest rewards is not shared with other party members.[7]
    • Players who are 9 or 10 levels lower than the highest level player in a party will not gain XP.[8][6]
There is a level disparity mechanic that prevents players who are outside of 9 to 10 levels of the highest level within the party from collecting experience through their adventuring.[8]Steven Sharif

Rested experience

Taverns offer rested experience (rested XP) for those who rent rooms or spend time as patrons of the tavern.[9][10]

  • Rested experience allows players to gain experience at a faster rate for a period of time.[10]
  • There are no current plans to replace rested experience with another bonus for max-level players.[11]
  • Rested experience increases the rate that experience debt is paid back.[12]


Repetition will not be part of progression in Ashes of Creation.[13]

  • There will be no "grindy" quests.[13]
  • There will not be repetitive quest lines through a single dungeon to obtain gear.[14]
  • The aspiration is to have more things to do in the game than a player has time to do.[13]


Alpha-1 early iteration of the level-up effect by Jim Sanders.[15]

One of the cool abilities we all love seeing and gives us a major dopamine response is when our character levels up.[15]Steven Sharif

Leveling won't follow a traditional linear path, although classic mechanics for leveling exist.[2][16]

Leveling: the act of of going out and adventuring, of killing monsters, and combat in general is the most tactile and moment-to-moment type of gameplay that you're going to experience in Ashes of Creation; and I think at every step of the way in that adventure it should be fun, and it should be something that you enjoy doing, and it should be something that's rewarding, and it should be something that teaches you more about the immersive world that you're in and allows you to follow a compelling storyline.[17]Steven Sharif
  • Some levels may offer more rewards than others.[22]
I think you can emphasize some levels more than others and that's a great way to do progression. But I think ultimately that you should see a reward for your progress or effort spent.[22]Steven Sharif
As part of our ideals as a game we're not going to give boosts away. We're not going to auto-level up a character. You have to spend time acclimating yourself to what this game is, to what the world that you're part of is; and that's an investment- a time investment; and that plays towards our ideas of risk-versus-reward; and I've always said our game's not going to be for everybody and that's okay.[23]Steven Sharif
If I have a skill that does a thousand damage to a target of equal level I don't want my skill to do zero damage to a target that's five levels above me.[25]Steven Sharif
  • A player could in theory level to max level at a single node, providing that node was at a high-enough stage, but it would not be the most effective means of leveling.[26]

Level cap

The level cap at launch is expected to be level 50.[27][28]

  • On release the developers anticipate max level should be attainable in approximately 45 days if playing 4-6 hours per day.[29][30]
  • The developers estimate that players will reach level cap before a quarter of nodes reach Village (stage 3).[27]
  • Alpha-1 had progression to level 15.[31]
  • Alpha-2 expects progression to level 30 (subject to change).[32] Previously this was stated to be level 35.[33][34]

Lower level characters will have usefulness in mass combat (such as Node sieges) that is not directly dependent on their level, such as manning siege weapons, helping repair fortifications, bringing proximity-based buffs to key positions, using stealth or scaling walls. These types of things are relevant to the tide of battle and do not require the player to be max-level or have high combat stats.[35]

The idea is not to be a game where somebody can essentially no life for a week and be max level. The idea is to incorporate some significant chunk of time but still respect the casual player, because the way we respect the casual player is not everything is driven in our game through the adventuring progression line. Not everything is driven through your class level per-se. There's a lot of different progression paths that are available and make you relevant within certain systems and mechanics within the game; and some of those paths are more casual friendly and some of those paths are more hardcore friendly. So with regards to the adventuring class, the idea is to make sure that investment needs to be pretty significant and that the reward then is respective of that investment.[29]Steven Sharif

End game

Ashes of Creation will not have a typical end-game where content is essentially static and repetitive. Instead, max-level characters will be able to engage with many different gameplay loops that open up based on how the world progresses over time.[36][37]

Endgame to me communicates static. It is static structure. Okay, you've entered this loop, now and this is your end-game loop that you will repeat over and over. Whereas instead, the approach for Ashes is you have now reached a point where all of these loops are relevant; and the loops are present to you depending on how the community engages the world. And it's up to you to identify the most promising loops because you have a finite amount of time and resources in which you can engage with them. And that's then where strategy becomes a part of the picture: How will I choose to engage with these loops to maximize my return, or to maximize the specific benefit I wish to bring in individual, group, myself, or guild.[36]Steven Sharif
Part of the whole experience with nodes is that there is no real end-game, in that the world is constantly shifting every day. Month one is going to be really different from month two; and that's for the level 50s and level 1s.[37]Jeffrey Bard

Zones and progression

Dungeons, Raids, World bosses, Mobs, Quests, Events, Resources, Narratives and other content within a node's ZOI will have a diverse level range; but will scale with the advancement of that node and its racial influence.[38][39][40]

  • Portions of the spawn tables (for mobs and resources) are static and other portions are dynamic and adapt to node development.[41]
We don’t have a strictly level 25 zone. Instead, that zone might have some level 10 creatures near the road, some level 20 creatures deep in the forest, and some level 30 creatures up the mountain. These ratios will change based on the Nodes that inform them, becoming generally more dangerous as the Node grows. All this civilization attracts the attention of Things-That-Should-Not-Be. This does not mean that wilderness areas are safe, by any means. Some may be safe-er, but all will have dangers that even the most experienced traveler needs to watch out for.[42]Steven Sharif

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Podcast, December 3, 2023 (15:05).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Livestream, October 14, 2022 (23:15).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Livestream, May 27, 2022 (1:11:10).
  4. 4.0 4.1 Livestream, May 24, 2017 (46:27).
  5. 5.0 5.1 Livestream, July 31, 2020 (1:22:23).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Video, January 27, 2023 (30:00).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Livestream, July 25, 2020 (44:46).
  8. 8.0 8.1 Livestream, April 30, 2024 (1:08:20).
  9. Livestream, June 30, 2023 (27:52).
  10. 10.0 10.1 The mighty beard!
  11. Livestream, June 30, 2023 (1:22:32).
  12. Livestream, September 29, 2023 (1:18:04).
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Livestream, May 15, 2017 (26:13).
  14. Interview, August 24, 2018 (4:15).
  15. 15.0 15.1 Livestream, July 31, 2020 (1:05:58).
  16. leveling.png
  17. Livestream, October 31, 2023 (5:27).
  18. Podcast, July 15, 2023 (13:51).
  19. Interview, October 20, 2018 (2:53:53).
  20. Interview, October 20, 2018 (1:55).
  21. Livestream, July 25, 2020 (1:33:37).
  22. 22.0 22.1 Livestream, July 29, 2022 (1:24:58).
  23. 23.0 23.1 Interview, June 13, 2021 (48:27).
  24. Livestream, September 27, 2018 (52:41).
  25. 25.0 25.1 Livestream, July 25, 2020 (1:34:55).
  26. Livestream, April 29, 2022 (1:06:34).
  27. 27.0 27.1 Podcast, July 15, 2023 (11:21).
  28. Livestream, December 15, 2017 (58:48).
  29. 29.0 29.1 Interview, July 8, 2020 (1:07:59).
  30. Livestream, May 24, 2017 (19:25).
  31. Livestream, April 30, 2021 (41:18).
  32. Livestream, December 19, 2023 (1:41:54).
  33. Livestream, March 31, 2023 (1:24:21).
  34. Livestream, January 28, 2022 (15:35).
  35. Interview, July 8, 2020 (1:12:51).
  36. 36.0 36.1 Interview, July 9, 2023 (42:51).
  37. 37.0 37.1 Video, April 5, 2018 (40:08).
  38. Interview, July 19, 2020 (19:35).
  39. Livestream, May 15, 2017 (30:53).
  40. Blog - Know Your Nodes - The Basics.
  41. Livestream, August 26, 2022 (1:28:50).
  42. Interview: Ashes of Creation on Building Their Virtual World, 2017-04-13.