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 know, you really just got a contrast of different biome types. – Michael Bacon
- 1 List of biomes
- 2 Node influences
- 3 Climate
- 4 Seasons
- 5 Day and night cycle
- 6 Darkness
- 7 Artistic style
- 8 Alpha-1 environment
- 9 Elements
- 10 Landmarks
- 11 Underrealm
- 12 Coastal and island nodes
- 13 Underwater
- 14 Foliage
- 15 Destructible environments
- 16 Artwork
- 17 Videos
- 18 See also
- 19 References
List of biomes
- Environment (biome) and location of the node.
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
- 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.
- Items, crop cycles, buildings, and crafting mechanics might gain certain buffs or debuffs in certain seasons.
- 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 you know X number of people to do that before the tree gets removed; and that you know as an example is not beneficial for the transit of goods because as you know caravans require- well they don't require but they move better on roads and if that tree were present let's say blocking you know 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.
- Each month in real-life will effectively be a full seasonal rotation in the game.
- Environmental seasons are not to be confused with PvP seasons, which last for six months.
- 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
- Different monsters will spawn at different times.
- NPCs and mobs may be awake or have varying behaviors at different times of the day.
- Different emissive effects may be more prevalent on night creatures.
Fifteen minutes may be one hour in game time.
How deeply we take this though is really going to come down to how much fun it actually is, which we’re still in the process of discovering. As long as we can nail some interesting mechanics, and it’s not more frustrating than fun, make sure you bring your torch.
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
- The Alpha-1 starting area is set in the ruins of an Pyrian divine gateway.
- There are 12 different (sub)zones in the Alpha-1 testing location.
- The Alpha-1 map was approximately 70 km2 of playable area.
- Alpha island (also called Alpha-0 island) was the first open-world testing zone for Alpha-1 participants.
- There are approximately 4 biomes in Alpha-1: Flood plains, Sahara (Desert), Snowy mountains, Forest.
- Temporary teleportation points will be present in early tests until ships are introduced later in the alpha testing.
- Other elemental influences may include Darkness, Light and Planar.
- Elements may have more influence in certain seasons and climates. For example, frost abilities may be stronger in winter. This affects both PvE and PvP.
- There may be ley lines and strong magical places in the world that change or alter the way spells work.
We've discussed a little bit about how the seasons and biomes will react with different types of skills. Like if you have a fireball and it's summer it might be a little bit different. If it's winter and you have a frost ability it might be different. – 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 Underrealm 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 100 km2 in area.
- The underrealm is not contiguous across the entire map. There will be areas that are obstructed by chasms or other features.
- 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.
- 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.
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
We've also talked about node states affecting what openings are open and what things are closed. So not all entrances to the Underrealm will be open at the same time. So that configuration can shift and different routes will open up and be more advantageous than other routes. – Jeffrey Bard
- Caravans should be able to operate as they do above ground.
- If there's insufficient room for Dragons, another mount type may be utilized.
- Burrowing mounts are being considered as an alternative to flying mounts in the Underrealm.
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 kind of 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 and abilities, services, questlines, that relate to the seas.
- Coastal nodes change the spawn tables of the nearby water content and can also trigger specific events.
- Harbors in coastal nodes will have quest lines that relate to the ocean and nearby islands.
- It may be possible to siege a coastal city by sea.
- Characters are able to utilize their abilities while in the water.
- Stamina does not limit swimming, however breath does.
- There won't be nodes underwater or in the water.
- The developers have discussed potentially adding mechanics to potted plants that yield unique items if the plant is properly maintained.
One of the big directives for the environment team- and I know Mia has been amazing in this regard- is each of the biomes really need to have a a fairly eclectic selection of plant life, of vegetation, of foliage. These help to create the atmosphere that you are really immersed in this different climate zone and that that's obviously something that we as players enjoy when we get to see a significant diversity of plant life, because it does lend itself to the immersive nature of the world. – Steven Sharif
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- 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
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