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February Live Stream: What We Learned

By Robert Baddeley on February 12, 2018 | Columns | Comments

February Live Stream: What We Learned

On February 9th we all got a treat around 11:00 AM when the Ashes of Creation Twitch account started streaming again.  We were promised a dungeon run (and got a little more) and along the way the team answered several questions from the community in an effort to continue with their transparent development process.  If you missed the live stream you can still check it out on the Ashes of Creation Twitch Page.  I’m going to keep this article brief so read on for the cliff notes!

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Dungeons

We learned a little more about dungeons during the live stream.  As we already knew the dungeon was open world and un-instanced.  While it presents a concern for some the developers assured viewers that dungeons will be big enough for multiple groups to get lost in.  The word ‘expansive’ was used and during the second dungeon the group explored the team revealed that dungeons are very much three dimensional when they dive down a hole in the ground to a completely different area.

Abilities

In regard to abilities I think the biggest thing we learned is that there will be abilities specifically bound to certain weapon types.  If you’re a ranger using a two-hander for instance you may have plenty of abilities to choose from, however some may be unavailable to use unless you’re wielding a bow.  The same was mentioned for warriors, who have abilities bound to the use of a shield.  This makes perfect sense from a continuity standpoint but may result in the dreaded ‘cookie-cutter’ class specs that so many games try to avoid.  It was also revealed that crowd control (CC) abilities will operate under a diminishing return mechanic but not much detail into specifics. 

Lastly we learned about ability/skill augments.  These will operate as a way to change a skill (similar to the original way the World of Warcraft glyph system operated) and it was stated that there will be four possible augments per skill.  I, for one, am excited to see how this plays out as it adds a tremendous amount of potential for uniqueness if they are properly balanced.

Nodes

We learned more about nodes in this live stream as well.  Nodes will be tied to events, quests, dungeons, and more.  In the video we witness the Sorrow’s Hunger event where a demon-like monster rampages through a forest node in it’s village state.  It indiscriminately slaughters NPCs in the town until stopped by players.  Events like this in a node will continue to function until stopped by players and can even serve to penalize the node in some fashion until the threat is neutralized.

Relics were briefly discussed and more info was promised in a later blog post.  The basic gist is that relics will unlock as a node is advanced and allow the crafting of legendary items or open quest lines to get legendary items.  How this exactly plays out wasn’t touched on, but the idea of quest lines being tied to a nodes advancement and maintenance serves as a way to keep players actively involved in node management.  It a game that strives to be as dynamic as Ashes of Creation it’s important to keep players involved - but I will admit that I’m a little scared it will devolve into a faction grind of sorts.  We will have to see how it plays out.

Miscellaneous Notes

Here are some takeaways from questions asked during the stream that didn’t necessarily have enough information to warrant their own sub-section:

  • There may be danger in harvesting nodes. Mobs can be disguised as a node and ambush you when you get too close.
  • Roads will upgrade in relation to their connected nodes.  Caravans will travel faster or slower depending on the caravan make up and road type.
  • Housing is account based so multiple characters can use the same housing.
  • Sharing of housing with friends and others is still being discussed.  Maybe just be a permission based system.
  • There will be cosmetic items with their own slots that can be turned on and off.
  • The development team plans on staying true to their kickstarter vision and don’t seem to plan on pandering to the “vocal majority”.
  • The video is not representative of the content that will be seen in Ashes of Creation.  Alpha Zero is a technical test meant as a proof-of-concept of sorts for mechanics and other technical features.
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