Divine gateways are portals located in the ruined cities of the four ancient races of Verra.
- Divine gateways are where players first arrive in Ashes of Creation.
- Each divine gateway is in proximity to one or more starting area.
- Players can choose their starting gateway. This choice is not restricted by their choice of race.
- Tulnar characters have the same option of starting at any of the divine gateways as other races.
- 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
Starting areas (starting zones) are located in the ruined cities of the four ancient races of Verra.
- 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.
- Starting areas are not tied to the node system.
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
The Alpha-1 starting area was set in the ruins of a Pyrian divine gateway to the south of alpha island.
Alpha-2 starting area
- The Riverlands biome houses the Aelan divine gateway in Alpha-2.
Tulnar starting area
Tulnar have a starting area that does not involve a divine gateway.
- Points of interest exist that represent Tulnar NPC structures in a similar fashion to the starting areas around divine gateways.
- Tulnar have the same option of starting at any of the divine gateways as other races.
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. – 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.
- The Underrealm itself does not have a divine gateway.
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.
When information is gathered, or the player has successfully explored an area, points of interest are marked on the map.
- 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 UI will potentially incorporate player created location markers that are visible by other party members.
In addition to node progression being a factor on map generation, zones in Ashes of Creation will cater to all levels.
The map will have geographical choke points caused by non-traversable obstacles (such as Mountains).
- 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
Sanctus is the world where the people of Verra found their sanctuary.
- The Goddess of Creation created the planet Sanctus along with the Divine gateways to allow the descendants of Verra to escape their destruction at the hands of the The Others and The Ancients.
- Very little will be revealed about the Sanctus story arc prior to the betas.
A long long long time ago, everybody lived on a planet called Verra. Something cataclysmic happened that forced people from that world to another world called Sanctus. Verra is a place of really high magic. Sanctus is a place with no magic whatsoever. People escaped through these portals into the world of Sanctus. They had to rediscover technology, because so much of their current technology was based on magic, so they had to figure out how to interact with the world. Thousands and thousands of years go by. A long dark age passes. This history that I just told you falls into myth and legend. After this time passes, these portals reopen and the players are going to take the part of people who are coming through those portals once again back to the world of Verra to rediscover that magic, rediscover their history, and try to figure out what happened to this world to force them out of it. – Jeffrey Bard
Sanctus is a key story arc, that will likely have very little revealed about it prior to the Betas. – Steven Sharif
The Essence is a metaphysical energy or life-force (Chi) that can be manipulated to create what could be viewed as magic. There are different planes of existence (realms) with varying degrees of strength (of magic), determined by their proximity to the Essence. The planes of existence in Ashes of Creation are connected across bridges created by the Essence, referred to as Rivers of Essence.
- The higher up you go in these planes, the closer to the source of the Essence you really are. And that's where you can see stronger manifestations of the magical aspects of the Essence. – Steven Sharif
- Plane of the gods (Celestial plane). This is where the Gods exist, and is the most connected to the Essence.
- Ethereal plane.
- Material plane. This is where Verra exists.
- The Void is the plane that is the furthest from being connected to the Essence. Only a minute amount of essence can be found within the Void.
- There hasn't been a definitive understanding of how many planes of existence there are.
- The essence is a stream that exists across all planes of existence, but it exists at different levels of strength essentially at different levels that can be utilized; and the void is the furthest... There is a very minute amount of essence that can be found within the void. However the planes of existence that are in Ashes of Creation- they are connected across bridges created by the essence. So these ley-lines in a sense that exist within the different planes provide conduits of access and on Verra, which was a planet that was made after the ancient- the celestial battle. – Steven Sharif
Souls (also referred to as Mortal coils) are the conduits for The Essence to travel between the different planes of existence. This idea is an integral component of the broader features in the storyline.
- When you think about souls being a conduit, what are conduits used for? Conduits are passages: they're methods by which Essence can travel between realms, between planes. And there hasn't been any definitive understanding of just how many planes exist. We understand that there is a disparity between the planes when it comes to their connection to the Essence, and because Essence is so powerful; and it flows through these planes almost like a river. You can think that conduits help to maintain that flow and/or even exaggerate the flow; and there might be something at play, that I don't wanna touch necessarily, as to why one would want to create these types of conduits, these souls, this creation on the material plane: Something of significance. – Steven Sharif
- The Essence is so powerful it flows through the planes almost like a river. Soul conduits help to maintain or even exaggerate this flow.
- Souls acting as conduits is a very integral component of some broader features in the storyline. If you think about souls being a conduit for Essence and you think of the gods as masters of the Essence: If you think of the Essence being separate from the Gods- let's say they're parallel to each other- one didn't create the other, but they coexist in this almost symbiotic form with one another: almost to the point where their manipulation of the Essence is perfection: They can perfectly manipulate it and lesser beings- and I say 'lesser' in a sense of their alignment or closeness to Essence. They're still perfecting that manipulation and some never achieve perfection almost to the degree of ascendency or enlightenment- Essence being that sort of Chi that exists. In that regard, when a perfect being such as the gods- and I'm not saying 'perfect' as the correlation between sin and not sin, I'm thinking perfect in the sense of how you can control and manipulate the Essence: That control is perfection for them. – Steven Sharif
- The gods are masters of the Essence, but they are separate from it. One didn't create the other, but they exist together in a symbiotic form where the gods have achieved an almost perfect manipulation of the Essence and of "lesser beings" who exist further from the Essence.
- One of the great differentiators between mortal divine races and the gods is that aspect of mortality. And one of the ways that the divine races were created in order to interact with the Essence was through the use of a mortal coil; and that mortal coil was malleable. Your soul was malleable. It could change to adopt a greater connection with the Essence around one particular school of magic perhaps, or one type of magic that you might use Essence for. And the more you experienced that, the more adept you became with utilizing that magic. And that's because your coil would start to mold itself to best facilitate that flow of essence: whatever school of magic you were manipulating with it. – Steven Sharif
- King Atrax was the first ruler of Verra to discover the purpose of The Essence, allowing the manipulation of matter and exploitation of magic for any means.
- When you have the story of the original Ancients, the predecessor race to the divine races, their coil began to warp and change to best facilitate Essence through the use of corruption and corrupt magic, because it was in their history that they learned the most powerful use- or at least what they believed was the most powerful use of Essence was, through corrupt magic. And that's what allured them towards it. So to give you better context about why that conduit is so important is as your base character, as your core archetype continually learns and manifests things in the world of Verra through the use of the Essence. It will continue to shape and change its conduit towards that purpose. – Steven Sharif
- Now, how does the soul act as a conduit to the other races, to the other realms? Remember, that Essence is like a river that flows through the plains; and when it touches mortal coils that use it in a certain way, it has reverberations throughout the river that is felt across the plains. And that's how important the divine races are when it comes to the war over their soul, so to speak, is what impact it has across the universe. – Steven Sharif
- During the Apocalypse, The Ancients created monstrosities and perverted nature with corruption, which is the negative aspect of The Essence.
- Shape-shifting (changeling) is done so through the Essence by focusing on that specific type of magic.
Order of the Steel Bloom
The Order of the Steel Bloom was an order of Knights, specially selected by the wise Aelan queen to carry out near impossible endeavors immediately preceding the exodus.
- When the divine gateways opened, the Queen ordered her protection to leave her side and make haste to the Brighthold to ensure the success of the Lightpact's crucial mission.
Formed by the wise Aelan queen as she foresaw the impending darkness, the Order of the Steel Bloom consisted of specially selected knights strong of heart and valor. The Order was essential in carrying out nigh impossible endeavors of critical import during the last days of Verra, under the direction of the beloved and revered Lady of the Rose. When the Divine Gates opened, at great personal risk to her own safety, the queen ordered her protection to leave her side and make haste to the Brighthold to ensure the success of the Lightpact’s crucial mission. The Order would not return from the command.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Livestream, November 8, 2020 (0:00:00).
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3
- ↑ Livestream, May 19, 2017 (29:25).
- ↑ 4.0 4.1
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Livestream, October 16, 2017 (53:58).
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2
- ↑ Interview, July 20, 2020 (13:33).
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Interview, April 20, 2018 (5:46).
- ↑ Livestream, March 28, 2020 (32:30).
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Livestream, July 25, 2020 (1:03:03).
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5
- ↑ Livestream, May 19, 2017 (29:25).
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Livestream, July 28, 2017 (25:20).
- ↑ Video, April 5, 2018 (40:08).
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Livestream, March 26, 2021 (17:23).
- ↑ Livestream, March 26, 2021 (16:05).
- ↑ Livestream, May 27, 2022 (1:04:29).
- ↑ Video, May 27, 2022 (3:46).
- ↑ Livestream, May 17, 2017 (5:49).
- ↑ Blog - Development Update with New Map and Feature Discussions.
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Livestream, August 26, 2022 (46:52).
- ↑ Video, January 27, 2023 (4:39).
- ↑ Interview, May 22, 2017 (22:54).
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 The mighty beard!
- ↑ 26.0 26.1 MMOGames interview, January 2017
- ↑ Livestream, May 27, 2022 (2:33).
- ↑ Livestream, May 15, 2017 (30:53).
- ↑ Livestream, August 26, 2022 (53:26).
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:25:11).
- ↑ Livestream, October 30, 2020 (1:19:13).
- ↑ Official Livestream - May 4th @ 3 PM PST - Q&A
- ↑ 33.0 33.1
- ↑ 34.00 34.01 34.02 34.03 34.04 34.05 34.06 34.07 34.08 34.09 34.10 Livestream, April 7, 2023 (16:42).
- ↑ 35.0 35.1 35.2 35.3 35.4 35.5 35.6 Podcast, November 15, 2020 (36:29).
- ↑ Livestream, November 8, 2020 (00:49).
- ↑ Podcast, November 15, 2020 (40:24).
- ↑ Livestream, November 8, 2020 (9:51).
- ↑ Podcast, November 15, 2020 (42:22).
- ↑ 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 Ashes of Creation Store: Order of the Steel Bloom.