Hobo Gamer: Ashes of Creation

Navigation
1. Origins / Overview
2. Nodes / World Events / Politics and Housing / Sieges
3. Player versus Player / Caravans, Trade, and the Economy / Storytelling
4. Seasons and Weather / Combat / Characters and Classes
5. Monetization / Referral Program / Funding and Kickstarter / Closing Thoughts

Seasons and Weather

That’s right – in addition to weather cycles, the game has actual seasons. The current plan is for an in-game season to progress once a week during scheduled downtime, meaning you’ll see a full year cycled over the course of about a month. We’ve even seen in-engine concepts indicating that some of the game’s creatures will change their appearance according to the season.

Best of all, the changes aren’t just cosmetic. While we don’t yet know the full extent of the impact, we do know that it will have some effect on the terrain (the lake in the above video freezes over, snow is said to block certain passages), it will vary by zone in accordance with biome, and that it will have some effect on crop rotations in the game’s farming system (of which we know little more than that it exists).

I want these cycles to affect a wide array of mechanics, including; NPC generation, boss content, dungeons, drop tables, Node progression, combat, skill use, gatherables, trade routes, NPC appearances, and weather. How you approach the world will depend on the world’s mood at that time. Certainly you might re-consider your approach to that dungeon if it’s fall rather than spring.

– [Our Immersive World Environments]

It’s all part of the game’s broader commitment to immersion as a core pillar of its design philosophy, and while it’s not something I’ve never thought I needed before now, I’m certainly not going to say no when I’m offered it. These types of systems can make a big impact on your ability to lose yourself in a virtual world, so as long as they aren’t coming at the cost of core game systems, I’m fully on board.

Combat

Which brings us to combat, somehow relegated to here, all the way back on page 4. The truth is, we don’t know all that much about the specifics of combat yet, which is decidedly odd consider some of the things we do know – like governmental procedures for different metropolis types. All things considered, it’s probably because it takes a lower level of technical preparedness to do sweeping shots of cities while talking about conceptual systems than it does to show off a combat system that actually looks good, but still, I’d definitely like to know a lot more than we do.

What we do is that the game uses some sort of tab targeting system with action elements like dodges, positional attacks, targeted skills, i-frames (skills which grant invincibility), and if the dungeon gameplay test video at the top of page 3 is any indicator, skills with a high level of environmental interactability. You can see a tiny bit of combat in the video above, but remember that even though the art assets are pretty amazing, this is still pre-alpha footage, so it’s better to go in with pre-alpha expectations.

Where exactly this falls on the great spectrum of MMO combat systems remains to be seen, but I think the general expectation is that we’ll see something that plays similarly to Guild Wars 2. However, whether or not that expectation is actually anywhere in the ballpark remains to be seen.

Characters and Classes

Ashes of Creation’s character advancement system is a fairly traditional vertical leveling affair, with players choosing from one of eight staple fantasy archetypes to begin their journey: Fighter, Tank, Rogue, Ranger, Mage, Summoner, Cleric, or Bard. However, it’s not without its own twists on the formula.

At a certain point in their primary archetype’s progression, players will be able to add a second subclass from any of the remaining archetypes, enabling them to augment their original archetype’s skills with effects from their secondary one.

A fighter has a skill called “Rush”, that allows him to rush towards a target and upon reaching the target, deals x damage with a chance to knock the target down. If that fighter were to choose Mage as his secondary archetype (Spellsword), he would gain access to certain augments that he could apply to his primary skill tree. Let’s use his Rush skill as an example; As a Spellsword, he could choose to apply a teleportation augment to the Rush skill, which would allow the skill to now teleport you to the target, eliminating the charge time on the skill. Each skill in the primary tree will have several augment options from your secondary tree.

– [Interview: Ashes of Creation Wants to Bring the Virtual World to Life]

In total, this results in 64 unique combinations of classes, though the degree of variance we’ll see subclasses creating between those combinations is unknown at this time.

Continue to page 5 to talk cold, hard cash…

4 thoughts on “Hobo Gamer: Ashes of Creation

  1. Pingback: The Dungeon Crawlers Podcast, Ep 008: Send Nodes + Interview w/ Steven Sharif of Ashes of Creation | The Errant Penman

  2. Hi Mate, glad to see you writing again.

    Just some thoughts on the resources question. We know they are finite, we know resource nodes expire and we know all goods decay and break. We cant visualise how to get around this issue as we simply replace old for new now days. BUT….this wasnt always so. We use to spend most of our time repurposing and recycling materials and goods. Thats because materials would be hard to come by or obtain through difficulty or lack of funds. Thats alien to our modern throw away and never reuse society.

    So my impression (which could be way off mark) is that the economy will be based off a predominant recycling system. There is only so much of any material, so if you want to create something, you must destroy something else first. The raw material nodes will be there to contain the initial bank of raw materials to create everything with. But once they are expended, you’ll need to make sacrifices.

    This is where it gets really interesting from the sacrifice and reward aspect. Will you sacrifice all of your peace time tools and equipment, to enable you to create war time weaponry and equipment ? How do you create weapons without manufacturing tools and craft ? This is the kind of conflict of interest that AoC appears to be trying to drive. It is not about easy choices. Its about equally viable options where the choice between on or the other is a very very fine then.

    Anyway. Thats my thinking. Thanks for the post. As always.
    Mick

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  3. Just some further thoughts on the subject.
    Would steven design the game to make gatherers redundant ?
    Because in a recycling economy they become surplus to requirements.
    That would no doubt be epically bad.
    So how can you keep them in the loop…..pardon the pun.

    It occurred to me that stuff can be created or repaired, so why not raw materials.
    Throughout history, sacred lakes have been littered with broken weapons and pottery.
    A votive offering, returning what was borrowed, back to whence it came.
    So it seems fitting to apply that hear as an offering to the gods.
    Which is where we begin to descend down the rabbit hole.

    We know that our incursion into this new world is rather irritating to that world.
    We know that the more we progress the more the world fights back.
    But is it our mere presence that is so offensive…or our theft of its materials ?
    This is when it dawned on me, that what we have here is a closed system battling over resources.
    Its is an equation with those resources in either the possession of the world or the players.
    The more we take, the more the system will fight back, but the more we can make.
    The more we return, the less hostile the world is, but we have nothing to work with.

    Thus those PvE monster incursions, might be the worlds way of plundering the resources in our posession.
    And thus returning them to the world….the world that we plunder.

    Anyway, enough rambling 🙂

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    • I like your thinking! I don’t think that’s really how I imagine it playing out, but it would be really interesting to see a game try a closed loop system like this at some point.

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