We just wanted to represent just about every biome type under the sun really and just have enough diversity over the world that like when you went from area to area , you really just got a contrast of different biome types. – Michael Bacon
List of biomes
- Corrupted areas
- Flood plains
- Snowy mountains
- Tabletop mountains
- يلفسلا ملاعلا
- Volcano area
- The way that the node system is built is that they can exist across a spread of 18 biomes, but at the same time have to represent the cultural influence of these cultures that are intrinsically a part of a specific biome. – Steven Sharif
- Environment (biome) and location of the node.
- Nodes will adjust the local topography to fit the aesthetic and mechanical requirements of the node.
- Currently the way that the platform system is set up, is it's capable of adjusting the topography of the node's footprint, regardless of the surrounding terrain. So the reason for that is we want to have flexibility in the presentation of the node's layout and how it is essentially both from an aesthetic standpoint as well as a mechanical standpoint with node sieges- how it's constructed and that construction should have the ability to take on a variance of different types of topography. So it shouldn't be dependent on the surrounding area. Now that's not to say that the surrounding area isn't going to have some influence over. So for example... we're experimenting a little bit with the platform tech and putting up a node up against the side of a mountain or on the edge of a cliff or something that has a beautiful vista. Those are things that we're going to test out obviously as we continue to work on the node tool and how that platform system works, but the idea is to have the node independent of the surrounding terrain. – Steven Sharif
- Some parts are determined by the area it's in. Some parts are determined by the type it is. Some parts are determined by the race it is; and then the rest of it is determined by the mayor. – Jeffrey Bard
- Race that contributed the highest percentage to the node's advancement will alter the racial appearance of its buildings, NPCs, and props.
- All nodes, whether they're associated with a castle or associated with normal node structure, has cultural influences that replicate over to the buildings that are produced and the NPCs that are present. – Steven Sharif
- The rest is determined by the node's mayor.
- Q: How long would you say it will take players on average to fill/build up a node completely from wilderness to metropolis?
- A: It's one thing to get a node to a certain level: it's another thing to develop the node; and I can't really give you an on-average expectation, because there's a lot of variables at play. There's how many citizens does the node have attracted to it; what's the type of traffic that the node is attracting to it based on things like its tax rates, or the specialization that it chose to spec into, based on the building types it's chosen to build. All of those things are variables that can affect the quote-unquote "average build-out time" of a particular node. So it's difficult to give you an average when there's so many variables along those lines. But the idea is that if there is a particular project that players are interested in in developing based on the node stage, that they would have the ability to complete several of those projects as within a single term of a mayor; and a term of a mayor is one month. – Steven Sharif
- During those weather events, the area of effect that the event is occurring in will likely have its climate descriptor overridden by whatever the event is specifically. So tornadoes might be windy, blizzards might be cold. And if an arctic dragon comes into a temperate climate it brings the cold weather with it; and that can be interacting with skills and abilities or other functions like farms. – Steven Sharif
- There will be dynamic weather that varies in intensity.
- For example: Drizzle to/from storm, or Blizzard to/from snow.
- Certain abilities and also professions (such as Farming) may be enhanced or hindered during certain climates and seasonal weather events.
- There are climate effects that occur from a buff standpoint. They can also affect skills like, let's say you're using a frost bolt in a winter climate. There's the ability for those effects to be enhanced and/or stronger in those climates. – Steven Sharif
- Weather conditions also affect gatherables, vehicles, mounts, ships, resistances, targeting, and boss mechanics.
- They affect crops and gatherables, vehicles, and mounts, ships, creatures; and loot tables change: their behaviors might change. Resistances and weaknesses or synergies might be relevant in certain seasons or weather systems. Targeting might change the AoE radius might grow for a fire effect if you're in the middle of summer, or it might shrink if you're in the middle of a storm. – Steven Sharif
- A majority of environments will experience either two or four seasons, excluding corrupted areas, which is considered a "season" itself.
- Some biomes will have seasons that are less (or more) temperate. For example: Northern, Southern and Tropical regions. Other biomes will have fixed climates.
- Events may radically change the current season a zone is in, or elongate it. This includes weather changes.
- There will also be magical seasons where you might be in a tropical zone and suddenly it's snowing.
- رصانعلا, crop cycles, buildings, and crafting mechanics might gain certain buffs or debuffs in certain seasons.
- Ocean and underwater areas will not have seasonal changes.
- Winter might have a spawner that activates on a road that spawns at large fallen tree and players who see that will have an opportunity to go up and exert some type of one-time action that helps in removing that tree and it might require X number of people to do that before the tree gets removed; and that as an example is not beneficial for the transit of goods because as caravans require- well they don't require but they move better on roads and if that tree were present let's say blocking a road that led to a bridge per-se that they would have to off-road. – Steven Sharif
- Different seasons may affect access to various roads.
- Pathways that are open during summer may be closed during winter.
- Seasonal affects may cause obstacles or blockages to the transit of goods via caravan.
- Water turning to ice in winter, enabling players to walk over the water but blocking access to what is underneath.
- Ice will make roads bumpy and slippery.
- Seasonal flooding is something the developers are talking about internally, but will not be present in Alpha-2.
- They might last longer if you don't deal with the dragon, or if you keep that relic active, but these on a cycle on a cyclical perspective as a normal season transition might be exist within a one week timeframe right and then it transitions over a period of hours. – Steven Sharif
- The weather systems, the season systems, that's going to be a obvious point of testing for Alpha 2 of course. We're going to play around with the different cycles and and times and how they impact the economy, the rotation of resources, the movement of goods: all of those things play into the purpose- one of the purposes of having seasonal systems. So that is something that we are going to play with during our Alpha 2 testing and will land on what feels both most comfortable- is visually appealing, but also has the impact on the economy that we desire to see on the design side. – Steven Sharif
- In Ashes of Creation the world will change on a regular basis. Zones will progress in a seasonal cycle, which will alter the very nature of the environment around you. Snow may block pathways that are accessible in warmer months, spring may encourage creatures otherwise unseen to come to the surface, and fall might be the only time that certain crops thrive. This cycle can then take in the state of the world’s Nodes and shift depending on their progression.
Day and night cycle
- Day and night cycles occur over the course of a few hours.
- The day night cycle is tied to server time, yes. So there is a number of hours that exist between each of the cycles. That's something that we'll be fine-tuning of course during Alpha 2 as well, but it is intended for players to interact with certain systems even based on in-game time as well. – Steven Sharif
- The developers requested feedback on the intensity of illumination and darkness that will be present in Alpha-2.
- Based on feedback the developers increased the nighttime darkness.
- NPCs and mobs may be awake or have varying behaviors at different times of the day. This might also influence abilities and/or buff/debuff vulnerabilities.
- Certain creatures will react differently. Certain spawns react differently during night times and different day/night cycles. Those might also influence things like abilities and/or buff/debuff vulnerabilities. You'll have to find out based on the type of creature you're experiencing. – Steven Sharif
- The developers are requesting feedback on the intensity of illumination and darkness that will be present in Alpha-2.
- In more survival oriented games you're expected to have really dark night times because you utilize instruments like torches and lights that can be present, but when you think about an MMORPG and you think about the types of player numbers and player count you're expected to have in certain locations and dungeons, you need to be able to accommodate those types of visibility lines and those mechanics around that large multiplayer environment. So when you guys are giving feedback think about whether or not you want the outside night time to really be very dark, or if you want that to be reserved for specific locations in game, like certain dungeons and towers where we can utilize mechanics like different types of lighting mechanisms in order to facilitate that more dark feel. – Steven Sharif
- We can push the limits a little bit on the graphical fidelity, especially using Unreal Engine 4... My desire was not to see very cartoony games. I'm not a big fan of highly stylized art. – Steven Sharif
- It's not to say that people can't do steampunk well. I've enjoyed some steampunk stuff. I'm a very high fantasy oriented type of storyteller; and the inspiration for Ashes obviously comes from my pathfinder campaigns that I ran long ago; and those are always set in a high fantasy world. So it just compromises what I believe is the perspective of the storytelling in the environment. – Steven Sharif
- We do not use AI for production, except in unique internal cases when communicating fast reference material. – Steven Sharif
Major visual landmarks. You can look all the way across the horizon have an idea where you're going or where to meet friends or where to meet just based on these huge landmarks in the world. – Mat Broome
The يلفسلا ملاعلا is a rich environment where bio-luminescence abounds in the fauna and flora that exist here. These deep caverns and underground valleys provide new destinations for civilization to develop. Bringing the node system into the depths of the world may awaken darker creatures than the surface.
- The Underrealm is estimated to be not too much bigger than 100 km2 in area. It is not contiguous space across the entire map. There will be areas that are obstructed by chasms or other features.
- The expansiveness of the Underrealm itself is quite large. It does persist across across a lot of the playable game area that's above ground. So there are alternatives in the Underrealm for passages and traversal throughout the world. – Steven Sharif
- The location of Underrealm entrances throughout the world is focused around natural geographic choke-points that exist above ground. This provides alternate subterranean routes that can be used by caravans, raids, and other player activities.
- The Underrealm is intending to be bespoke segments of Underrealm territory that are available around areas of choke-point in the world map that are above ground, which are provided for caravan transit across the world. So those caravans as they're approaching these choke-points on land, they will have alternate route options to go down into the Underrealm and to try to traverse that space, as opposed to the choke-points. – Steven Sharif
- Not all entrances to the Underrealm will be open at the same time. This can shift dynamically (based on node states) that cause different routes to open up, which may be more or less advantageous than other routes.
- There will be bodies of water such as rivers and lakes in the Underrealm that house unique species of fish.
- There won't be boats and other water vehicles in the Underrealm.
- There will absolutely be Underrealm lakes and rivers. Those will be locations and very important ones for unique material goods like certain types of fish that players will be able to go down and fish with. But there will not be the use of boats and vehicles within the water- water vehicles of the Underrealm, at least not for launch. – Steven Sharif
- لفاوقلا should be able to operate as they do above ground.
- If there's insufficient room for نينتلا, another mount type may be utilized.
- Burrowing mounts are being considered as an alternative to flying mounts in the يلفسلا ملاعلا.
One of the important aspects of color play is going to be the distinguishing factor between different Underrealms and the regions that exist in the world: Their color influences set them apart from different regions. – Steven Sharif
- This will not be a one-to-one correlation: for example, it won't snow in the Underrealm.
- Tunnel flooding and other effects will be related to the weather above ground.
The seasons above ground will inform what happens underneath. I mean, it's not going to be a direct one-to-one correlation right, not like it's going to be raining in the underworld, but you will see the effects from above happen down below: You might find tunnels being flooded. – Jeffrey Bard
Coastal and island nodes
- These nodes will have specific water oriented influences, services, and questlines, that relate to the seas.
- Coastal nodes change the spawn tables of the nearby water content and can also trigger specific events.
- Coastal nodes are not directly siegeable by sea. Instead, harbors offer objective-based naval gameplay during node sieges.
- We've gone back and forth a little bit on whether or not the design intent for sieging of nodes is intended to include, for certain nodes, the naval component. The concern there was that it would be a difficult thing to balance around that particular node having accessibility from the water for those types of defenses. So what we've presented as an opportunity where harbors are the focal point of those naval interactions; and during sieges you are aware that nodes have certain objectives, which have ramifications and can influence the outcome and/or the ongoings of a particular against a node. And if one of those objectives is a naval objective, because that node might own a harbor, which is a point of interest that gets adopted by a node which advances far enough around it. So you might have one harbor and five nodes that can own that harbor. And the first to hit the village stage adopts the harbor. Then that can become an objective point during a siege that has naval interaction. So that's the direction we've moved towards, rather than allowing the naval component to interact directly with sieging the node itself as opposed to being a part of the objective-based gameplay that exists for a node siege. – Steven Sharif
- Characters are able to utilize their abilities while in the water.
- Stamina does not limit swimming, however breath does.
- Navigational instruments are available to allow ships to detect movement under the water, such as aquatic mounts.
- There won't be nodes underwater or in the water.
- There will be player collision with foliage.
- As you move through a plant you're not just gonna go straight through the plant. It will move around on the client for you: you'll see that plant move because you intersected with it and passed through it. So there's collision with foliage there; but I'm not sure if it's going to be as granular on blades of grass. We do have footprints and footsteps... you can see them on the dirt surfaces; you can see them on the snow surfaces. – Steven Sharif
- Different growth states will have different collision profiles.
- Later stages of game polish will address quality-of-life issues, such as foliage blocking the player's camera.
- Q: Folks were wondering about foliage as it seems like it could hide your character from your own camera. Can it do something like turn transparent to you, so you... don't lose yourself in the grass?
- A: Absolutely. Those are literal higher fidelity types of polish that we get around to when we're out of guts of building core systems and abilities and archetypes. So, part of watching our game in development is understanding that a lot of the quality-of-life or polish-oriented features that you would typically see in a launched game are not yet worked on from our perspective. We're very much still on the core aspects of our feature development. – Steven Sharif
2023-01-17 2022-09-08 2022-08-27 2022-03-24 2021-03-21
- This applies to buildings, siege weapons and other structures (such as walls and gates) during events, such as sieges.
- The terrain itself is not destructible.
2023-01-17 2022-12-03 2022-09-22 2022-09-08 2022-08-27 2022-07-29 2022-06-08 2021-06-30 2021-06-05 2021-04-23 2021-03-29 2021-03-23 2021-03-21 2021-02-11 2021-01-30 2020-12-01 2020-12-01 2020-09-10 2020-05-17 2020-02-28 2019-10-12 2019-06-28 2018-08-19 2018-07-11
- 2016-12-04 Video - Environment First Look
- 2017-01-22 Video - Seasons - first look
- 2017-05-16 Video - It's a beautiful world
- 2017-05-30 Video - Winter wonderland
- 2017-05-31 Video - A diverse world
- 2017-07-28 Video - Pre-alpha environment
- 2018-01-23 Video - Alpha-0 Underrealm Preview
- 2018-07-09 Video - Ashes of Creation - Alpha-1 Environment Preview
- 2019-01-11 Video - Ashes of Creation Apocalypse Siege Maps Preview
- 2021-01-29 Livestream
- 2021-02-01 Video - Tropical Biome in 4K - Alpha One Zones Preview
- 2022-07-29 Video - Ashes of Creation Alpha Two Desert Biome Preview
- 2022-12-02 Video - Ashes of Creation Alpha Two Night and Day and Other Heavenly Things
- 2022-12-23 Video - Meet the Devs and Year-in-Review
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