Interview: Ashes of Creation on Building Their Virtual World

Intrepid Studios’ upcoming sandbox MMORPG Ashes of Creation is rapidly ascending my personal list of most anticipated titles. With a fairly unique design scheme promising persistent consequence at the very core of the game’s world design, Ashes of Creation is poised to scratch exactly the itch that got me into the genre in the first place.

I was lucky enough to have the chance to talk about the game with studio founder and Creative Directive Steven Sharif back in January when I first encountered the game. Now, with a few more months of development behind us, Steven is back with a lot more details on how exactly Ashes of Creation is building a world of consequence.

The Shift from Leveling Skills to Leveling Characters in MMOs

One of the biggest and most impactful changes to MMORPG design over the last decade is one that’s gotten remarkably little attention: the shift from skill based character progression to character level based progression. This was a shift that brought with it not just significant changes to the way characters are progressed and designed, but a mandate on the types of content that an MMO’s virtual world would offer going forward. As its grip on MMO design coalesced over time, I would argue that this mandate has largely resulted in consequences that did more harm than good.

The Elder Scrolls Online Gets an Expansion

Yesterday the Elder Scrolls Online announced its first expansion, Morrowind. I’ve long had a complicated relationship with the game, having played off-and-on since the very first beta we weren’t even allowed to tell anyone was happening. The relationship meandered off and on since then, from deciding to pass on the game at launch to eventually returning after, against all…