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Buildings that offer goods and services, as well as purchasable housing are created when a node reaches village stage.[2]

Node buildings

Node layout and style

Racial architecture of the same Village (stage 3) node on different servers. Dünir Dwarven influence (top). Kaelar Human influence (bottom). Alpha-1 Non-NDA screenshot.

The layout and architecture within a Node’s development area are determined by influential race. For example, a stage 3 Node with the majority of player contribution being Py'rai would have a Py'rai village with Py'rai architecture. Most NPCs would be Py'rai elves, and offer questlines within the Py'rai narrative.[3]Margaret Krohn

Each player’s contributed experience is flagged with their character race and other identifiers. When a Node advances, the race with the highest experience contribution determines the Node’s style and culture. This style and culture change can happen at every Node Stage. For example, if a Node advances to Level 2 - Encampment Stage and 51% of all experience was earned by Ren’Kai players, the Node will be a Level 2 Ren’Kai Node. If that same Node advances to a Level 3 - Village Stage Node, but the Py'Rai contributed 62% of all the experience earned, then the Node will be a Level 3 Py'Rai Node.[4]Margaret Krohn

Node layout and style is determined by several factors:[5][6]

  • Environment (biome) and location of the node.[7][5][6]
    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.[7]Steven Sharif
    • Nodes will adjust the local topography to fit the aesthetic and mechanical requirements of the node.[8]

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.[8]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.[6]Jeffrey Bard

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.[14]Steven Sharif

  • The rest is determined by the node's mayor.[6]
    • It should be possible for a node to complete several building projects within a mayor's one month term in office.[15]
Q: How long would you say it will take players on average to fill slash build up a node completely from wilderness to metropolis?
A: It's one thing to get a node to a certain level: it's another thing to develop the node; and I can't really give you an on-average expectation, because there's a lot of variables at play. There's how many citizens does the node have attracted to it; what's the type of traffic that the node is attracting to it based on things like its tax rates, or the specialization that it chose to spec into, based on the building types it's chosen to build. All of those things are variables that can affect the quote-unquote "average build-out time" of a particular node. So it's kind of difficult to give you an average when there's so many variables along those lines. But the idea is that if there is a particular project that players are interested in in developing based on the node stage, that they would have the ability to complete several of those projects as within a single term of a mayor; and a term of a mayor is one month.[15]Steven Sharif

Racial influences

Alpha-1 Village node layout.[16]

We have essentially sets that exist across all races; and each race that dons those armor sets is going to have their own racial influence on the presentation of those particular sets. So that's something that's unique in how each of the races get diversified. Additionally, the more that one particular race contributes to a node's development, it's going to manifest in that particular node's architectural influences. You're going to see the architectures of those races become manifest within the nodes as well: That's another way that we diversify each race and we present each race's culture in the game as through those architectures, through those props that exist, through the tailoring of the armor sets that the NPC might wear, to the different factions that exist. Factions will have their own affiliation with different races as well. Each race will also have some different nomenclature when it comes to the lore, or comes to locations in the world. They're going to have their own language influences as well: The way they speak is something that's going to be distinct between races; when you have dialogue trees with particular NPCs. So all of those things really go into setting an immersive world where the cultures have their own identity.[9]Steven Sharif

Cultural influences manifest in many ways, from node and gear aesthetics to NPC languages and lore.[9][17][4]

  • Gear appearance of certain armor sets is influenced by the player's race.[9]
  • Node layout and style is influenced by the race that contributes the most to that node.[9]
    • Benefits may apply to citizens of the dominant culture but can also apply to mechanics of the node, which can also be of benefit to members of other races.[17]
    • There are attrition mechanics that affects experience and influence to curb a single race from dominating the entire world.[18]
  • NPCs will react differently to different character races.[19]

There is an attrition and that attrition on experience and influence is heightened based on the performance of the race in the world. So if all these nodes are Orc nodes then their attrition rate is very high to compete with the cultural establishment of new nodes because they have more influence in the world and a popular opinion is against them in their outlying regions that they do not have influence in.[18]Steven Sharif

Constructible node buildings

Node governments decide the location and types of constructible node buildings to be constructed within sectors of a node.[22][23][24]

These are buildings that the mayor has agency over determining whether or not they should be a constructed project. Constructible buildings can be selected at open plots that are gained as the node advances. If they elect to begin construction of one of these types of buildings- one of which is the marketplace- it'll grant certain trade benefits as well as some stalls that the citizens may participate in.[25]Steven Sharif

The government decides how to specialize their node. Once they choose certain things they won't be able to choose other things.[22]

  • Node buildings live within a "tech tree" based on the stage of the node. Each stage offers stronger services to the node but must satisfy prerequisites for the building construction.[26]
  • Different governments may change the buildings within a node.[22]

And there could be regime change... If somebody doesn't like the fact that a market was built and they want to re-elect a new government next cycle, they can do so... and that market could be destroyed and a new building take its place.[22]

When the building types are determined, the community will then need to bring resources into the node (using caravans) and come together to construct the buildings (via quests and the like).[22]

Unique node buildings

Each node type has a unique node building associated with it that can be activated at the Village stage of node advancement. The unique building plays a central role in the progress of civilization for a server.[29]

City hall

City hall is a government building within a node.[31]

We want the City Hall to be the place where big decisions are made for each Node. It should be where the “ruling class” comes together and decides what to do (these decisions can quickly make them the “old ruling class” too).

Mayors and node governments use City hall to visualize and control activities within their node. These capabilities will also be available via mobile/web inteface.[32]

Players can interact with the node board to get a list of its citizens.[33]

Node building destruction

Destructible castle.[34]

You could be more precision oriented in the decision to attack a city. Let's say it's a rival node that's trying to reach you know a node stage five or something and you want to disable their ability for the religious system to progress so you target the temple during the attack, or you want to disable their scholars academy from reaching a higher level so that your nodes can; or you want to disable multiple buildings that allow for experience and quests to be undertaken by its citizenship, which prevents them from keeping up in pace of experience gained with your node. These can be more precision oriented and don't have to effectualize an actual takeover of the node.[35]Steven Sharif

Node buildings (including player housing) have hit points and can be damaged or destroyed by different systems.[26][36]

If buildings suffer more than approximately 25% damage, any NPCs or services offered by that building will not be available until the building is repaired.[36]

  • Players must repair damaged buildings (or rebuild destroyed ones) in order to reactivate the services from those particular buildings.[26][36][38]
    • Citizens will need to obtain the resources needed to repair and rebuild any damaged infrastructure.[36][38]
    • Larger more advanced buildings will require more resources to repair them. In-node housing will likely require the least resources to repair.[39]

Buildings that take significant damage are destroyed and appear as rubble on the plot they occupied.[26]

  • Node governments must clear any rubble on plots before any buildings can be reconstructed. Any prerequisites for the building reconstruction must be satisfied beforehand.[26]
    Buildings also live within a prerequisite system. So in order to build down the tech tree of what these buildings provide, as the node grows larger to access stronger building types, you may get a kink in that chain if it's destroyed and you'll have to stand that back up in order to support the service again.[26]Steven Sharif
  • If the node is destroyed by a node siege, the debris field will contain spoils that are lootable to the victors of the siege.[40][36][41][42]

Freehold buildings

Freehold buildings can be placed on a freehold plot.[2][47]

Buildings will require blueprints and materials.[48]

  • Basements in freehold buildings are to be decided.[49]

Freehold buildings will not change in terms of footprint (within a specific tier of that building) but may increase in height.[50]

  • Certain buildings will have multiple tiers, with different footprint sizes. For example: Small, medium, large, to mansion-sized homes.[50]
    • A mansion sized home may occupy up to 50% of a freehold plot.[50]

Freehold building architecture is based on the blueprint for the building.[51]

  • Cosmetics can also be applied to a blueprint based on the type of building.[51]
  • Players are not locked into any particular race for freehold blueprints.[52]

The way we look at it is the freehold is your space so we want you to be able to make it look the way you want it to.[51]Jeffrey Bard

Freehold building placement

There may be a grid-based system that freehold owners can use to place items/props and buildings on their freehold plot.[53][54]

  • Players will need to manage how these are arranged to maximize adjacency bonuses.[54]

Depending on where your place you're freehold, you're gonna have different environmental tiles available to you and those will kind of enable or buff existing structures that you place in your Freehold... I don't know that we would put like fish farming just for a freehold that's on a river. What we would probably do is give you a buff to fishing in that area. That kind of a thing. So there'll be more buffs for existing things rather than necessarily a special buildings just for that area. But again we're not fully baked in on that system yet, so it's very possible though we end up going down that direction.[55]Jeffrey Bard

Naming buildings

Buildings will be able to be named. The custom name will appear as floating text when it is targeted.[56]

Freehold building skins

Themed freehold skins were offered as Kickstarter and Summer crowdfunding rewards and are sold through the cosmetic store.[57][58]

I had a meeting with the Design Team the other day (as they are working on further details for the Freehold System) to help clarify some of the answers to the questions y'all have been asking, and they will be sending me information. Once I receive this, I will be working on a content update to reflect that information, and going forward, we will provide those details on each individual cosmetic item. Updating all the past items to provide more clarity on what in-game item types you can place the cosmetics on will take time once this process begins, so please bare with us as we start from present to past items, updating their information.[61]Margaret Krohn


See also


  1. Livestream, January 30, 2020 (1:01:59).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Node series part II – the Metropolis.
  3. Blog - Know Your Nodes - The Basics.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Blog - Know Your Nodes - Advance and Destroy.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Livestream, October 30, 2020 (39:17).
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Livestream, September 27, 2018 (53:06).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Livestream, February 25, 2022 (41:00).
  8. 8.0 8.1 Livestream, February 26, 2021 (1:12:18).
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 Livestream, March 31, 2022 (4:57).
  10. Podcast, April 11, 2021 (29:47).
  11. Interview, May 11, 2018 (54:34).
  12. Livestream, May 26, 2017 (21:23).
  13. Podcast, April 11, 2021 (23:36).
  14. 14.0 14.1 Interview, May 11, 2018 (47:27).
  15. 15.0 15.1 Livestream, July 29, 2022 (1:13:09).
  16. Livestream, June 26, 2020 (45:32).
  17. 17.0 17.1 Interview, February 7, 2021 (33:00).
  18. 18.0 18.1 Interview, May 11, 2018 (1:00:19).
  19. Podcast, April 23, 2018 (29:56).
  20. Livestream, March 28, 2020 (1:16:03).
  21. Video, March 23, 2020 (0:24).
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 Livestream, May 19, 2017 (33:57).
  23. 23.0 23.1 Livestream, January 20, 2018 (38:17).
  24. Livestream, 2018-04-8 (PM) (51:49).
  25. Interview, July 8, 2020 (55:05).
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 26.5 26.6 26.7 26.8 Livestream, March 31, 2022 (1:13:00).
  27. Livestream, July 30, 2021 (1:10:09).
  28. Livestream, September 1, 2018 (36:28).
  29. Know Your Nodes: Economic Node Type.
  30. Blog: Creative Director's Letter
  31. City hall.
  32. Livestream, November 17, 2017 (9:49).
  33. 33.0 33.1 Livestream, October 30, 2020 (1:01:00).
  34. Livestream, October 31, 2019 (36:20).
  35. 35.0 35.1 Livestream, November 22, 2019 (16:56).
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 36.4 Interview, July 8, 2020 (57:46).
  37. Forums - Livestream Q&A 2022-08-26.
  38. 38.0 38.1 Livestream, November 22, 2019 (17:59).
  39. Interview, July 8, 2020 (59:38).
  40. Podcast, September 29, 2021 (14:21).
  41. Livestream, April 30, 2020 (1:14:44).
  42. siege spoils.png
  43. 43.0 43.1 Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:02:12).
  44. Livestream, July 18, 2017 (40:14).
  45. Livestream, November 17, 2017 (47:10).
  46. Ashes of Creation Store: Velkor's Eye.
  47. Livestream, May 24, 2017 (9:58).
  48. stevenclarification.png
  49. Livestream, June 28, 2019 (1:09:22).
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 Interview, July 8, 2020 (45:23).
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 Livestream, August 28, 2020 (2:14:06).
  52. Livestream, May 26, 2017 (44:11).
  53. Livestream, May 29, 2020 (41:27).
  54. 54.0 54.1 Livestream, October 16, 2017 (56:42).
  55. Livestream, December 6, 2018 (44:14).
  56. Livestream, October 31, 2018 (46:18).
  57. Warrior of Old.png
  58. Summer Warrior of Old.png
  59. cosmetic-levels.png
  60. Livestream, November 30, 2020 (57:50).
  61. freehold-skin-clarification.png