Underrealm

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Alpha-0 Underrealm environment.[1]

One of the aspects of the Lore behind the Tulnar was that in the pantheon of gods that exist- having foretold the future through the Goddess of Fate to the Goddess of Creation- these areas in the Underrealm were created in to allow for refuge for which the gods knew would be left behind that couldn't make it to Sanctus. So that was a pre-thought there in the creation of the Underrealm to facilitate that realm where refugees could seek.[2]Steven Sharif

Alpha-0 Underrealm Sharptooth cat mob concept art.[1]

We plan to have the Underrealm really pervasive throughout the game itself, a part of the open world. It will introduce some unique elements such as the type of monsters you see, the type of crops you can grow and houses you can have.[3]Steven Sharif

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.[4]

  • The Underrealm is estimated to be 100 km2 in area.[5]
    • The underrealm is not contiguous across the entire map. There will be areas that are obstructed by chasms or other features.[6]
    • 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.[6]
    • 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.[6]

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.[7]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.[6]Jeffrey Bard

Underrealm environment

Alpha-0 Underrealm environment.[1]

Underrealm environments are vast.[8]

  • Caravans should be able to operate as they do above ground.[8]
  • If there's insufficient room for Dragons, another mount type may be utilized.[8]
  • Burrowing mounts are being considered as an alternative to flying mounts in the Underrealm.[9]

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.[10]Steven Sharif

Seasons above ground will affect the Underrealm.[8]

  • 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.[8]Jeffrey Bard

Underrealm resources

Resources will be different in the Underrealm.[8]

  • This will affect Farming and Animal husbandry professions.
  • Since players may only have one Freehold, they must choose their Artisan specializations accordingly if they wish to place it in the Underrealm.

Underrealm nodes

Underrealm nodes and nodes directly above them are considered adjacent but do not exist in the same ZOI.[11][12][13]

  • There will be "bleed over" between underrealm nodes and surface nodes in terms of influence and interaction.[12]
    • There may be visual queues above ground that indicate influence from underrealm nodes in that area.[12]

That might be a little bit of a departure from our design in the past. I know originally you know like two-plus years ago we were discussing how those would be independent of each other, but I think as we further defined the layout of the world map itself you know it made more sense for those to have some interaction and influence that's combined.[12]Steven Sharif

Roads

Alpha-1 early preview roading.[17]

Our road system in-game is essentially driven by pre-placed routes that lead to this main artery of what was once the ancient highway system of Verra; and from there there are roads that become exposed when nodes advance; and we call those veins. They come off the main artery and then as nodes advance there are points of interest as Jeff was discussing earlier. These POIs that exist around the world and some of them share coverage with multiple nodes, but depending on which node advances to the stage that activates the point of interest it'll create these capillary roads so to speak that then stem off of the node itself. So you go from the main artery ancient road that's large- that kind of runs through different zones and whatnot- and that breaks down into the veins that lead to the specific encampments and villages and towns that then spawn off separate capillaries that lead to the points of interest in these areas that are hunting grounds. Those are not exposed initially and they come online as players advance the world.[18]Steven Sharif

Roads in Verra are both pre-generated and player influenced.[18]

  • The largest roads are referred to as arteries. These are remnants of what was once the ancient highway system of Verra.[18]
  • As nodes advance smaller roads, referred to as veins, connect the arteries to the nodes.[18]
    • Roads will upgrade as nodes advance. Different roads will dictate the speed and type of caravan required (off road vs on road).[19]
  • Depending on the stages of node advancement, capillary roads will stem off the node to connect to points of interest.[18]
  • Roads or pathways are not worn into the landscape by repeated traffic over the same area.[18]

Different seasons and events may affect access to various roads.[20][21][22]

  • Pathways that are open during summer may be closed during winter.[22]
  • Seasonal affects may cause obstacles or blockages to the transit of goods via caravan.[20][21][23]
    • Some events may cause specific roadways to be blocked off.[20]
    • Obstacles may present barriers on roads that players must remove to allow transit of goods.[22]
  • Water turning to ice in winter, enabling players to walk over the water but blocking access to what is underneath.[22]
    • Ice will make roads bumpy and slippery.[24]

Underrealm routes will open or close dynamically (based on node states).[6]

Freeholds may not be placed in close proximity to roads.[25]

Tulnar

Underrealm concept art.[4]

The Tulnar society has more of a caste like system, where based on what physical features you show, based on where your ancestry and lineage lie between the races that came together to make the Tulnar, kind of determines your order in that caste system to a degree. So when players get to create their characters and determine whether they are going to have heavy influences of reptilian, mammalian, humanoid; that's going to kind of determine their reception from NPCs as well when they interact with those Tulnar PCs.[26]Steven Sharif

Tulnar is a playable race in Ashes of Creation.[27][28] The Tulnar fled to the Underrealm to escape the Corruption that befell Verra.[29]

They're a culmination of the leftover races, not just the leftover major race populations, but the leftover minor races as well; and that's what gives them their attributes that are bestial, or reptilian, humanoid; and that players can use sliders to influence the visual representation of. But in a similar fashion, their cultural markers are also going to be a culmination of different influences, so they're very differently constructed culture than what is found in the other eight races.[30]Steven Sharif
Were the Tulnar a result of corruption in their creation, or was it purely a kind of you know crossbreeding between the multiple minor and major races that existed in the Underrealm during the after the apocalypse? They are not a result of corruption. So there is no corruption that was that was taken into account during their creation.[36]Steven Sharif

The Tulnar race will be in place before Alpha-2. Concepts and early works are expected at that time.[39]

Tulnar starting area

Points of interest will exist that represent Tulnar npc structures. In the similar fashion that the starting areas around divine gateways will include expeditionary npc settlements not tied to the node structures but serve as initial quest origination points.[40]Steven Sharif

Tulnar have a starting area that does not involve a divine gateway.[41]

  • Points of interest exist that represent Tulnar NPC structures in a similar fashion to the starting areas around divine gateways.[40]

Tulnar have the same option of starting at any of the divine gateways. Their civilization, though within the underrealm, has also begun to explore the surface.[42]Steven Sharif

Unlike the other races, the Tulnar won’t be returning to Verra, instead they will be returning to the surface from the Underrealm for the first time in generations.[29]

Lore

Concept art showing the citizens of Verra escaping a besieged city through a divine gateway.[44]

In Ashes of Creation there is a primary antagonist that exists within the overarching storyline and these antagonists are The Ancients. When the Apocalypse occurred and the Harbingers arrived in on Verra and those conduits opened from the center of those Harbingers, the Ancients flowed out of these Harbingers and started really conquering the Verran planet. But more importantly their desire was to essentially manipulate and pervert the creation of the gods as an affront to their endeavors; and in doing so they created monstrosities essentially any portion of nature just was completely manipulated by their corruption, which is the negative aspect of Essence.[45]Steven Sharif

Long ago, the world of Verra was besieged by a great calamity (also called the Fall, the Apocalypse, and the Exodus), brought about by the primary antagonists of the world: The Ancients and The Others.[45][46]

  • The apocalypse began with comet-like celestial bodies called Harbingers arriving on Verra. The Ancients flowed out of the conduits that opened at the center of the Harbingers and started conquering the planet.[45]
  • Their desire was to pervert the creation of the gods (the Seven) as an affront to their endeavors; and in doing so they created monstrosities by manipulating nature with corruption, which is the negative aspect of The Essence.[45][47]

Granted by divine intervention from the Goddess of Creation[48], much of the population fled Verra through towering gateways, seeking refuge in a world void of magic.[44] The world of Sanctus.[49]

Soon after the exodus, the gateways dimmed and became dormant. Centuries turned to millennia, burying them beneath myriad calamities. Over eons, history became legend, then even the great legends were at last forgotten.[44]

The Tulnar is a combination of four major races and many minor races that were left behind on Verra after the apocalypse.[31][32][28]

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World size

480 km2 (square kilometers) is the approximate world size at launch.[52] This includes water and land content.[53]

  • Water area is considered playable area, but the exact area of land versus water is not known at this time.[54]

I don't know the exact the exact amount that is land versus water but the water is playable area as well and it's gonna have content...[54]Steven Sharif

480 square kilometers; which is pretty large comparatively to other MMORPGs out there. Now that does not include the lapped spaces: So that is the Underrealm and the portion of the world that it encompasses, which could probably easily take up an additional hundredish square kilometers I would imagine.[5]Steven Sharif

  • It is anticipated that a mounted player can traverse the entire map in a matter of hours.[55]

The Alpha One map will be many islands and mainland area, roughly 100sqkm.[60]Steven Sharif

Artwork

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ashes of Creation - The visuals.
  2. Interview, 2018-10-31 (6:00).
  3. A chat with Ashes of Creation's Steven Sharif, 7 June 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kickstarter $1,750,000 Stretch Goal Unlocked, 13 May 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Interview, 2018-08-17 (10:43).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Livestream, 2020-10-30 (1:19:13).
  7. Interview, 2018-10-31 (5:43).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Livestream, 2017-06-01 (24:30).
  9. Interview, 2018-08-17 (8:57).
  10. Livestream, 2018-01-18 (14:00).
  11. Livestream, 2019-03-29 (58:14).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Livestream, 2019-03-29 (29:17).
  13. Livestream, 2017-05-05 (37:52).
  14. Livestream, 2017-05-26 (31:44).
  15. Livestream, 2017-05-26 (42:45).
  16. Livestream, 2017-05-24 (31:39).
  17. Livestream, 2021-01-29 (55:44).
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 Livestream, 2021-01-29 (1:13:04).
  19. Livestream, 2018-02-09 (45:48).
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Podcast, 2021-04-11 (23:36).
  21. 21.0 21.1 Livestream, 2020-06-26 (1:29:06).
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Livestream, 2017-05-08 (20:27).
  23. Our immersive world - Environments.
  24. frosty-roads.png
  25. Livestream, 2017-05-19 (32:23).
  26. Interview, 2018-10-31 (5:03).
  27. Livestream, 2017-05-30 (16:51).
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 Kickstarter $2,500,000 New Player Race Achieved.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Livestream, 2017-05-17 (5:49).
  30. 30.0 30.1 Podcast, 2021-09-29 (16:51).
  31. 31.0 31.1 Interview, 2020-07-20 (15:18).
  32. 32.0 32.1 Livestream, 2018-04-08 (23:04).
  33. Livestream, 2017-05-26 (39:34).
  34. tulnar-eats.png
  35. Podcast, 2020-11-15 (31:13).
  36. 36.0 36.1 Livestream, 2019-11-22 (24:33).
  37. Podcast, 2020-11-15 (40:24).
  38. Podcast, 2020-11-15 (1:03:17).
  39. Livestream, 8 April 2018 (AM) (2:17).
  40. 40.0 40.1 steven-tulnar-pois.png
  41. Livestream, 2017-10-16 (53:58).
  42. 42.0 42.1 tulnar-gateway.png
  43. underrealm-gateway.png
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 Unreal Engine Interview, 23 May 2017.
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 45.3 Livestream, 2020-11-08 (9:51).
  46. Interview, 2020-07-19 (50:10).
  47. Ashes of Creation - A world with consequences.
  48. Interview, 2020-07-20 (13:33).
  49. Interview, 2018-04-20 (5:46).
  50. Livestream, 2018-09-27 (6:22).
  51. Livestream, 2018-10-31 (36:59).
  52. world size.png
  53. waterlandsize.png
  54. 54.0 54.1 Livestream, 2020-01-30 (1:18:12).
  55. February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
  56. Livestream, 2017-10-31 (24:00).
  57. Livestream, 2018-09-27 (9:08).
  58. Forest of Erinthia.png
  59. Livestream, 2020-11-30 (22:43).
  60. 60.0 60.1 alpha-1-map-size.png
  61. steven-a1-map.png
  62. Livestream, 2020-11-30 (25:45).