The world of Verra features an in-game viewable world map. This map is not randomly generated, and begins covered in a fog of war. Players will not be able to see the world until they have explored it or gathered information about it. The world is also full of imperfect information, which will require the player to act on it for verification.
For example, you may hear a rumor in a tavern that tells you the location of a cave full of weak Kobolds, but this was not accurate as the rumor was started by well-equipped bandits in order to waylay overconfident adventurers.
- These points of interest are determined by Node progression; and not every server will share the same map, as player decisions will vary server to server.
The map will have geographical choke points (such as Mountains) that are not traversable by players.
Even though we're an open-world that doesn't mean that from a design perspective, especially with the way our economic systems work, that we will want to create Geographic choke points. – Steven Sharif
- 1 Alpha island
- 2 Verra
- 3 World size
- 4 Nodes
- 5 Economic regions
- 6 Castle regions
- 7 Roads
- 8 Points of interest
- 9 Landmarks
- 10 Procedural generation
- 11 Mini map
- 12 Battle maps
- 13 Bounty hunter maps
- 14 Starting areas
- 15 Alpha-1 starting area
- 16 Zones of influence
- 17 Coastal nodes
- 18 Ashes of Creation Apocalypse map
- 19 Climate
- 20 Treasure hunting
- 21 Servers
- 22 Artwork
- 23 Community guides
- 24 See also
- 25 References
- 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.
Verra was created to house four separate... divine races and they're called divine races because the remaining seven gods imbued their characteristics within each of these different races. They didn't put all of them into one and make the same mistake. They had focuses really that these races took essentially. – Steven Sharif
Shape of Verra
- The Verran planet is not flat. You may not see a curvature on the horizon in this, but from a lore perspective the universe in Verra does adhere to some basic physics and laws of physics that we experience in the real world, which means it is not flat. – Steven Sharif
- There will not be world wrapping in Ashes of Creation. – Steven Sharif
- Water area is considered playable area, but the exact area of land versus water is not known at this time.
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. – Steven Sharif
|Testing phase||Map size (approximate)|
|Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale||6.25 km2.|
|Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale Forest of Erinthia||1.25 km2.|
- There were 9 node locations in Alpha-1.
You can show the initial territories on the Verran map of what these particular nodes have governance over, or their Zones of Influence as we like to call them... As the simulation of this begins to advance and nodes begin to expand their territory and they begin to take over nearby nodes as a result of their of their growth, you start to see these power level ratings that are applied here on specific nodes that determines what type of takeover power it has and and what it pushes back against for other nodes that are looking to take over new territory as they advance. – Steven Sharif
- It also simulates events, such as NPCs attacking and disabling certain node buildings and services. Failure to successfully respond to these will reduce the node's "health ticker", which will slow down the XP gains from the node.
It also simulates events: So each of these nodes will have a health ticker: when that health ticker is impacted it'll stop gaining power or gaining or slow down in its gaining of experience; and that's because certain events can affect a node by disabling certain services, disabling buildings. Players don't respond to that horde of zombies that have come out of the nearby ravine then those zombies can attack stables, they can attack service buildings, and prevent particular types of quests or activities and services from happening until it's repaired. – Steven Sharif
- Node sieges are simulated, with successful sieges destroying the nodes, and where unsuccessful sieges won't destroy the node but may result in disabled buildings or services, similar to events.
It simulates the sieges if a particular node has a certain frequency that's set where we want to see randomization of how nodes get affected by sieges. Sometimes they'll be destroyed in the simulation. Sometimes they'll have disabled services again, similar to an event, because they didn't succeed necessarily at sieging the node but they did succeed at disabling some of the buildings as part of that siege. – Steven Sharif
- It simulates what outcomes may happen in the live game as a result of player activity, such as splitting up a particular ZOI across a waterway, or having territories expand out to islands or across continents.
It simulates what players could potentially do as well when the game goes live; and that might include things like splitting up a particular Zone of Influence across a waterway, having your territory expand out to an island, or across continents. These are these are the types of things that we want to see players do eventually obviously but this tool provides the design team the opportunity to see it repetitively and over a fast period of time so they see these different types of outcomes. – Steven Sharif
- Castle regions are larger and encompass multiple economic regions.
- Nodes are the glue that hold castle and economic regions together in potential synergy or chaos.
- Castle regions, Economic regions, and Node ZOI (Zones of Influence) can overlap.
- A castle's region is 1/5th the game world.
- Castle regions, Economic regions, and Node ZOI (Zones of Influence) can overlap.
- Castle region boundaries are static.
- Castle taxes are carried via NPC generated caravans from the nodes that fall under the castle's purview to one of the castle nodes at the end of each week leading up to a castle siege.
- In addition to taxes, Castles also influence crop yields, resources and events within its region.
- Part of the tax and resources gathered are applied to the castle for improvements.
- The remainder of tax income can be used by the guild for whatever they want.
- When castles change hands (following a siege), some taxes stay with the castle and some stay with the guild.
Castles have the ability to allocate taxes collected from nodes under them toward certain benefits that go back to the node. Or they can be more selfishly governed that treasury more towards the guild that owns it and that obviously is going to have some political implications, because it could- if you're not using it for the benefit of the people in the region they might rise up and help take you out from that that position of owning that castle. – Steven Sharif
- The largest roads are referred to as arteries. These are remnants of what was once the ancient highway system of Verra.
- As nodes advance smaller roads, referred to as veins, connect the arteries to the nodes.
- Depending on the stages of node advancement, capillary roads will stem off the node to connect to points of interest.
- Roads or pathways are not worn into the landscape by repeated traffic over the same area.
- 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.
- 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.
Points of interest
- Additional buildings will spawn.
- Additional mobs will spawn.
- Content difficulty will change.
- Dungeons will be unlocked when certain nodes advance to certain stages.
- Drop tables in areas and dungeons will be tied into the progression of certain areas.
- POI events are events that relate to specific points-of-interest (POI).
Certain dungeons and other points of interest across the map will all be affected by the server’s node development. Some dungeons will only be unlocked if nodes are developed to certain stages. The storyline objectives for players inside dungeons will also be dependent on the story arc paths chosen through the node system. The drop tables in area and dungeons will also be tied into the progression of certain areas. For example, let’s say that the humans have developed a node in Region A, and a storyline has opened up that leads players to inspect the ruins (dungeon) of a nearby area. And let’s say that this node was developed in a scientific (crafting) zone… Well before the node developed, this dungeon was accessible… But now the dungeon has propagated new monster assets that include a drop table catering to a crafting emphasis because of the development of that scientific node. And perhaps, a new boss appears in different rooms of the dungeon that includes different adventure quest starts, like a mysterious item with a storyline that can only be progressed if a node develops to the metropolis stage in a certain region, across the world. Our system is so vast, when it comes to interconnectivity and how the world reacts to the players.
- As nodes advance and expand they will influence nearby points-of-interest such as dungeon bosses, regional bosses and Raid bosses.
- The difficulty level and loot tables of these encounters will change based on this influence.
- Harbingers that exist on Verra as dungeons are where The Ancients are capable of pushing into the material plane. They can continue to do so under the guise of the effects of corruption as it spreads.
- These are sources of NPC events that players need to address before they grow out of hand.
- Players need to participate in these events to stop the spread of corruption and hold back the intrusion on the material plane.
- If players fail to address these corrupted areas, the frequency of NPC events against their node will increase. These can lead to node buildings and services being disabled, increasing the node's vulnerability to node sieges.
- Corrupted areas do not confer corruption onto a player.
There are certain things that can happen, such as the spawning of dragons or hordes of zombies that are going to come out and attack those installations, those nodes, those points of interest; and... communities that don't respond to those in an effective way might see the disabling of certain services, the reduction of certain quest lines for particular organizations. The idea is to keep this as part of a believable living response from world, so those can get pretty significant the bad effects that can happen for the community. – 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
- Verra's map will not be procedurally generated, but starting resource points may be different on each server.
- Node locations and types are predefined and are the same on each server but they will develop differently on each and drive different narratives and storylines.
- Node layout and style is determined by several factors, such as Environment (biome) and location, Node type, and Race.
- Roads are both pre-generated and player influenced.
Wherever we can leverage procedural mechanics in such a way that does not appear procedural we should. There's a healthy blend between the things that we do in having defined parameters for it and then incorporating a procedural component; and in that sense it will be perceived well, but where we the predominance of what we're implementing should be curated or by design. – Steven Sharif
- Some resources will be one-time gatherables that will randomly respawn at a different location once collected.
- Other resources will exist as a cluster (also called vein gatherables). These will last until the full resource is depleted.
- Like a large mine that's present and has a vein of mithril ore in it, or a herd of some type of animal that you can collect fur or wool from. – Steven Sharif
- Resources won't be locked to the node system.
- Some unique resources may be monsters in disguise or have monsters defending them.
- The goal is to allow pings and other forms of communication tools via the mini-map.
Battle maps allow players to strategize, gain bonuses on planned attacks, and see the blueprints of attackable points. Whether attacking a node or castle, players will be able to discern defenses, analyze possible weak points and gain tactical advantages before the battle begins.
- Battle maps might not fit into lower level or smaller sized taverns.
- Battle maps are not currently on the official roadmap for launch.
Battle maps offer an interactive command map instead of the standard World map. The system would be accessed through City hall or battle planning center. Battle maps work similar to a Risk board, with the node siege map laid out with moveable pieces that would represent defenses. Moving pieces would create buff zones that would give active siege players access to special items or perks. The map does not show the currently active battle: pieces will have to be moved before the battle commences. The idea is to make sieges more strategic and avoid simple zerg tactics.
Bounty hunter maps
Players with a high enough corruption score will be visible on the world and mini maps. These players will have markers posted on the map by an NPC from a Military node of at least stage 4 (Town), and will only be granted to players who have the Bounty hunter title. The accuracy of bounty hunter maps is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.
Taverns are one of the locations that bounties will be posted. As players gain corruption, taverns may offer bounties to eliminate those players; or have a specific area cleared of problem players, thus giving a POI (point of interest) on the world map.
Bounty hunter Pathfinding ability
|Skill||Icon||Rank 1||Rank 2||Rank 3|
|Pathfinding||Reveals corrupted player locations on the bounty hunter's map. Activating this ability will flag the bounty hunter for combat only to corrupted players for a period of one hour from the time of activation. The pathfinding ability can be toggled on or off.||The accuracy of the pathfinding skill is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.||The accuracy of the pathfinding skill is determined by a player's progression in the bounty hunter system.|
- Starting areas are located near one of the four divine gateways where players spawn into the world.
- Each race has its own starting area.
- Starting areas include expeditionary NPC settlements that serve as initial quest origination points. Lore-wise, these settlements represent scouts that were sent ahead of the main expedition back to Verra.
A problem that a lot of MMOs have is that those starting areas become just kind of vacant of players and it's so sad because the greatest aspect of an MMO is that community that you get to experience, so one of the great things about the node system is that it really works from new player acquisition standpoint, where these nodes tend to develop larger near the starting location areas around the world; and it brings these players back to those locations if they're citizens and want services within those cities. So, as new players enter the world they're going to actually be surrounded most likely by more population because people are coming back to those larger nodes. – Steven Sharif
Alpha-1 starting area
- Divine gateways are where players first arrive in Ashes of Creation.
- Players can choose their starting gateway. This choice is not restricted by their choice of race.
- The divine gateways were created by the Goddess of Creation in response to a warning from the Goddess of Fate that The Ancients and The Others would return from exile and seek retribution for their defeat at the hands of The Seven gods.
Where players start, they enter this portal from another world called Sanctus. Sanctus is a place of no magic, low technology; and players are the first expeditioners that are coming through this portal into the world of Verra. – Jeffrey Bard
Zones of influence
The main thing that differentiates us from other MMOs is that we have a living, breathing, reactive world... Our world is separated into zones, which are then separated into what we call nodes. Nodes are sort of invisible zones of influence that listen to everything that a player does; so as players gain experience from killing things, gain experience from doing quests, gain experience through crafting things, the node is also gaining that experience. Once a node gains enough experience it levels up and then starts to attract NPCs to it . – Jeffrey Bard
- By undertaking familiar activities, such as questing, gathering and raiding, players have agency in determining which nodes in the world will develop.
Each Node can form into towns, but are limited by their neighbors. The Nodes have different levels of advancement. There can only be so many of each level. Think of this as advanced settlements needing more elbow room. Nodes encompass more land as they grow and will require more effort to be sustained. This system is a main driver for change in the world because it creates scarcity. As Nodes advance in stages of growth they will lock out neighboring Nodes from progressing, and will absorb their zones of influence.
- Underrealm nodes and nodes directly above them are considered adjacent but do not exist in the same ZOI.
- Up to one fifth of the world will be encompassed within the ZOI of a Metropolis. The many vassal nodes within a ZOI's "border" could end up looking like a country or nation.
Zones and progression
Dungeons, Raids, World bosses, Mobs, Quests, Events, Resources, Narratives and other content within a node's ZOI will have a diverse level range; but will scale with the advancement of that node and its racial influence.
We don’t have a strictly level 25 zone. Instead, that zone might have some level 10 creatures near the road, some level 20 creatures deep in the forest, and some level 30 creatures up the mountain. These ratios will change based on the Nodes that inform them, becoming generally more dangerous as the Node grows. All this civilization attracts the attention of Things-That-Should-Not-Be. This does not mean that wilderness areas are safe, by any means. Some may be safe-er, but all will have dangers that even the most experienced traveler needs to watch out for. – Steven Sharif
- 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.
Ashes of Creation Apocalypse map
Forest of Erinthia map
- Breakwater Quarry
- Chillmouth Outpost
- Coldwind Township
- Dream Spire
- Erinthia's Shame
- Hallowed Vale
- Icebound Lookout
- Icecap Thicket
- The Spirit Vault
- City of Alerynn
- City of Gant
- Creation's Rest
- Crystal Canyons
- Farstrider Outpost
- Fionne Vale
- Fort Ryll
- Karthmere Keep
- La'sai Village
- Nyliann Academy
- Rotweald Forest
- Sa'kaan Fens
- Sky Mesa
- Spire of Eremus
- Town of Grimsale
- Town of Valenn
- 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
- The more treasure a player finds the better maps they can create.
- Hints are given through rumor mills, interaction with different NPCs, and gaining access to potential dig sites.
- Treasure hunting will be a "way of life" rather than a profession.
- Servers will be named after the champions of the great battles that led up to the fall of Verra.
- Post launch, users will be able to select their server by the ping or the region that's notated next to the server.
- Ashes of Creation Apocalypse server selection is driven by the party leader. Whatever region they have selected will apply to their friends and squad.
We'll have a multitude of servers located throughout to the various regions of the world; and those servers will be good connection points for- and will be driven by- I mean there's two types of servers I'm sorry: For the alpha-1 arena those will be driven by the party leader right; and wherever whatever region they have selected if they invite friends to their squad or whatever, they'll be able to play on that region. With regards to live launch when the server's go live, you'll be selecting a server to play on; and that will be your character's home; and that server you'll be aware of where that server is located usually by either a ping or a region that's notated on next to the server. – Steven Sharif
2022-04-28 2021-09-25 2019-01-12
- Blog: Creative Director's Letter
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- Node series part I
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- Kickstarter - We Just Broke $1,500,000!
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