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MMO rants

I like to blog about things that I've found bothersome in current MMOs. So expect a lot posts about things I dislike and about how I feel they should be changed.

Author: beregar

Ashes of Creation or just Ashes?

Posted by beregar Sunday May 7 2017 at 3:11AM
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I pretty much stopped playing MMOs after Guild Wars 2 proved to be more or less a dud in the end. Even before that my gaming had gradually decreased to a point where I wasn't really playing anything for months - and even if I did it was for a hour or two at most before I decided I had something more important and interesting to do.

As far as I was concerned my gaming days were over, and they still might be, but I still checked news on the MMORPG.com a few times a month. I'm also habitual Kickstarter backer so I've backed projects like Crowfall, Chronicles of Elyria and the latest being Ashes of Creation (fyi: includes a referral link). You know on the off chance that they might actually end up being games that pull me back into gaming.

Ashes of Creation is developed by a team of industry veterans (most formerly from Daybreak Game Company) put together and funded at least partially by Steven Shariff who is himself an avid gamer. The company behind the game is known as Intrepid Studios. The game itself has been in development for about a year with aimed release date being before 2020.

 

The game promises to have a bit of everything for everyone and most importantly promises to bring together PvE and PvP players through the node system which is a core design element to provide interactive and ever evolving world. Does this sound familiar? That's because GW2 promised pretty much the same minus the bringing PvP and PvE players together part.

All elements of Ashes pretty much revolve around the node system. The idea is that players initially enter into a world void of civilization but filled with resources and ancient evils. The nodes are points of possible development which encompass entirety of the world's playable areas. Initially these are invisible to players but as players explore and do tasks in the world the nodes slowly absorb activity within its zone of influence (ZoI) and develop initially into a camp and a village and eventually into a city and a metropolis.

Supposedly pretty much all player activity within ZoI adds into development of the zone, and once the zone has reached village stage it can be sieged by other players in the form of controlled PvP. Once the siege has been declared there is a preparation period which is longer for the more developed nodes.

The incentive to siege nodes comes from limiting effect it has on surrounding nodes. Once a node has developed into a metropolis stage it prevents other nearby nodes from developing past a certain point. The activity within node also affects surrounding PvE content in that player actions may spawn events that are exclusive to that node.

Aside from node PvP there is also the castle PvP which is basically guild vs guild PvP and sieging of caravans that are used to move resources between nodes. It concerns me a bit that there appears to be nothing preventing PvP players from attackin PvE players save for the corruption mechanic. If a combatant attacks player who is flagged as non-combatant they will receive corruption which increases experience debt on death and makes it so that the player has chance to drop part of their gear on death. Something that is normally not possible. Still we all know there will be players who will kit into a throwaway gear and gank newbies. For them the corruption score will be a mark of pride.

Speaking of gear. Crafters will be happy to know that crafted gear plays important role in the game along with farming, trading and breeding. Perhaps because the game won't have fast travel outside of scientific metropolises and also lacks global auction houses without an economic metropolis.

For PvE players there is the questing system that is split into tasks, events and narrative. Tasks are simple quests such as kill 10 wolves and skin their pelts and are probably the primary method for developing node for a PvE player along with gathering. Events are supposedly things where world reacts to player actions such as spawning an ancient dragon when players delve too deep. Some are exclusive to specific nodes while others have other triggers. Finally there's the narrative that tells story of the world without being a direct part of it - so you likely won't end up as one of the thousands of Commanders of the Pact who still hunt wolves for living.

For those interested in social aspects there are positions to be filled in the node hierarchy depending on goverment type of the node. There aren't yet accurate details what benefits if any you get out of it other than supposedly mayors get get nice flying mounts and can pass laws.

Combat system is going to be a hybrid with tab targeting and positional mechanics. How that turns out will be anyone's guess. There will be also extensive character customization along with 8 races and 8 classes. Each character can select a primary class and a secondary class which augments their skills. For example it was mentioned that a fighter/mage combination would allow a fighter to add "teleport" augment to their rush skill which would be otherwise unavailable to them.

All in all the game promises a lot and anyone who backs it must realize these promises might never turn into anything concrete - that is always the risk with any crowdfunded project. I initially pledged only $40 but ended up switching to $125 package because of how enthusiastic the developers are about the game. It helps that Steven himself funds majority of the game. Oh and the game looks pretty sweet already. I think it's worth checking if nothing else.

For more information check Ashes of Creation site, Ashes of Creation Kickstarter (Ref link), and Ashes of Creation community docs.

MMORPG.com writes:
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