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Alpha-1 harbor early preview concept.[1]

Harbors that are located in specific areas around the world along the coast and those are points of interest that get adopted by a node when they reach certain levels in proximity to that harbor, or if the node gets vasseled by a parent or sovereign node in relationship to their vassal owning that harbor.[2]Steven Sharif

Harbors are points of interest that appear in proximity to coastal nodes.[3][4][5] Harbors have a significant amount of influence over the waters.[6]

  • Harbors have a disembarkation zone that merchant ships can cross to be guided into the harbor.[2]
    • Merchant ships can only be launched and received at harbors in a similar way that land caravans can only be launched and received at a caravanserai.[2]

Coastal nodes

Pre-alpha naval concept.[12]

There will be healthy amounts of sea content within the coastlines of the continents that does not fall into the "open sea" area.[13]Steven Sharif

There will be nodes along the coast and on islands.[14]

  • These nodes will have specific water oriented influences, services, and questlines, that relate to the seas.[14]
    • There is a healthy amount of sea content within the coastlines of the continents that does not fall into the open sea area.[13]
  • Coastal nodes change the spawn tables of the nearby water content and can also trigger specific events.[7]
We've gone back and forth a little bit on whether or not the design intent for sieging of nodes is intended to include, for certain nodes, the naval component. The concern there was that it would be a difficult thing to balance around that particular node having accessibility from the water for those types of defenses. So what we've presented as an opportunity where harbors are the focal point of those naval interactions; and during sieges you are aware that nodes have certain objectives, which have ramifications and can influence the outcome and/or the ongoings of a particular against a node. And if one of those objectives is a naval objective, because that node might own a harbor, which is a point of interest that gets adopted by a node which advances far enough around it. So you might have one harbor and five nodes that can own that harbor. And the first to hit the village stage adopts the harbor. Then that can become an objective point during a siege that has naval interaction. So that's the direction we've moved towards, rather than allowing the naval component to interact directly with sieging the node itself as opposed to being a part of the objective-based gameplay that exists for a node siege.[3]Steven Sharif


Tea transport PAX East 2018 exclusive cosmetic ship skin.[17]

Sailing will be pretty in-depth and it's going to be based on the size of the ship that you're using. So there will be components for seamanship that other players you will need to have on board if you want to operate a vessel to the best of it's abilities: Let's say in combat or traversing just the world.[18]Steven Sharif

Ships are owned by the player who has the ship item in their inventory. Only that player can summon the ship.[19]

  • Ship creation is generally delegated to players. There won't be many non-player-owned ships.[20]
    • Quest lines may have NPC driven ships.[20]
    • NPC ships will be present on the ocean that are adversaries or monsters that will be targets for players to try to raid or hunt for treasure.[20]
For the most part all ship creation will be delegated to the player. You have to build up a ship or find somebody who has one if you want to get across the seas.[20]Steven Sharif
  • There won't be mechanics for players to hire NPCs to carry out tasks on ships.[21]
  • Permissions will be present to allow other players to access ship functions who are in the same party or raid, such as weapons, anchors, utility items, and the ship's helm to navigate the ship.[19]
  • Players will have quests that navigate them toward creating a personal vessel at around level 10-15.[22]

Ship building

Naval concept art.[24]

Ships are going to also have classes. Those classes are going to dictate the type of of attachments that can be applied and in what quantity. A military vessel type may have more capacity for weapon based attachments. A transport ship might have more capacity for defensive based attachments. And then you'll have more versatile ships that can share across those types. So in that sense you are constructing a componentized ship for the types of activities you intend to do: Are you a raider? Are you a mover of goods? Are you an adventurer? These types of things are going to inform your decision of what the attachments you're going to have in those three categories.[25]Steven Sharif

Ship building can be carried out by any player in possession of the right components, recipes, and an advanced enough node with a harbor.[8][26][27]

  • Various professions can craft ship components.[8][26] These components can be sold to other players.[4]
    • Previously it was stated that players utilize the ship components that are crafted by ship builders.[4][7][5][28]
Ships are built in adherence to a recipe. That recipe requires components. Those components adhere to different crafting professions that require a player to intersect and/or craft or purchase those components from the different professions and then once they have those accumulated they can do the construction process through the recipe system at a harbor.[26]Steven Sharif
  • Players can choose which "joints" get populated with either offensive weaponry, defensive, or utility attachments they want on their ship prior to construction completion.[25][29][30] The types of attachments that are available are dictated by the ship's class.[25]
There are absolutely attachments that can apply to the ship and some of those are decorative in nature. There are also slots that have utility aspects to them as well but are also decorative.[32]Steven Sharif
  • Ships will likely not have closed spaces or internal compartments such as Captain's quarters.[33]
We are trying to stay away from internal compartments within the ships because that presents a whole different type of user interface and flow that can be a bit cumbersome and problematic, especially in combat and in closed spaces. So we're trying to stay away from that under deck aspect and keep things all on deck for better readability on the player side.[34]Steven Sharif

Ship classes

Ships are divided into classes of vessel, which relate to their size and capabilities in battle and in transportation.[36][37][38]

Size Type Usage.[38] Crew.[39]
Small Personal vessels.[22] Solo/personal content.[36] 1-3
Medium Frigates.[6] Group content.[36] Group size (8)
Large Galleons.[7][40] Raid content.[36] Raid size (40)

The amount of crew required in order for a ship to be effective depends on the ship's class.[41]

  • All ship classes minimally require a captain to drive the ship.[41]
  • Certain ship classes will have the ability to render Crowd control (CC) effects on other ships, such as a harpoon effects.[42]
Ships have their own class of vessel and the class that is related to the vessel has a certain purpose both in battle, in PvE raids, in transportation.[37]Steven Sharif

Summoning ships

Only the player who has the ship item in their inventory can summon that ship.[19]

You can summon your ships up but you'll need to summon them from land, which means that if something happens to your armada out at sea you won't have backups to just summon immediately in the middle of the fight... They'll have to do so from shore somewhere from some port or harbor.[45]Steven Sharif

Naval caravans

Alpha-1 Niküa naval caravan 3D render.[47]

Caravans are capable of transitioning from land to naval caravans. So if you start out as a land-based Caravan and you move to the coast and you want to move into the water there's gonna be a little transition period there; it's gonna be a little construction site: You're not gonna have to do anything it's just gonna be a timer right so that you can't quickly move between land and water. It's gonna be probably in the matter of a minute to two minutes. There's a little bit of vulnerability in that regard.[48]Steven Sharif

Naval caravans (also referred to as raft caravans)[49] allow the transportation of trading goods.[50]

Naval NPCs

Naval NPCs exist in and around the oceans.[6]

There's an NPC structure that exists out in the oceans. These take the form of sailing NPCs, fortresses, whether that be large frigate or galleon based ships, and they take the form of raid bosses. They take the form of general sea-based NPCs. There's treasures that you can find on land and explore out at sea, as obviously one of the missions is why you would be going out to sea. There's escort missions that you can participate in... Some of those are straightforward and interact but with an NPC to receive a quest for; and some of those have to be discovered at sea. So these are all things that are make that type of area in an MMO exciting. You don't just want to have water for water's sake. You want to have water because it's a different experience from a content perspective than what's on land; and in order to be a different experience you have to have that content.[6]Steven Sharif

Naval content

Naval content refers to content above and below the sea.[6][15]

Enhanced naval content was unlocked as part of the $1,500,000 Kickstarter stretch goal.[16]

There will not initially be naval content (such as a Dark Lake) in the Underrealm, but this may be something that gets added in future expansions.[55]

There won't be class abilities that are specific to naval content, but some utility skills (such as underwater breathing) may be of some benefit.[56]


See also


  1. Livestream, March 26, 2021 (48:42).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Livestream, August 26, 2022 (1:26:58).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:18:49).
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Livestream, July 25, 2020 (1:59:09).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Livestream, July 9, 2018 (30:35).
  6. 6.00 6.01 6.02 6.03 6.04 6.05 6.06 6.07 6.08 6.09 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 6.19 6.20 Podcast, April 11, 2021 (36:43).
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Interview, July 19, 2020 (48:05).
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:20:33).
  9. 9.0 9.1 steven-ships-2.png
  10. 10.0 10.1 Livestream, October 14, 2022 (58:46).
  11. 11.0 11.1 Livestream, May 19, 2017 (37:51).
  12. Livestream, August 17, 2018 (58:53).
  13. 13.0 13.1 steven-stream-clarifications-august-2022.png
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Livestream, 2018-04-8 (PM) (1:01:28).
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 Livestream, May 17, 2017 (30:53).
  16. 16.0 16.1 Kickstarter - We Just Broke $1,500,000!
  17. Ashes of Creation Store: Tea transport.
  18. Livestream, October 31, 2018 (54:21).
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Livestream, May 28, 2021 (1:52:15).
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Livestream, September 24, 2021 (1:26:46).
  21. Livestream, January 27, 2023 (1:32:00).
  22. 22.0 22.1 Livestream, July 30, 2021 (1:14:04).
  23. steven-shops-on-ships.png
  24. steven-twitter-background.png
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 Livestream, February 25, 2022 (1:15:50).
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Livestream, October 28, 2022 (1:39:25).
  27. steven-ships-1.png
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Livestream, May 19, 2017 (50:45).
  29. Livestream, October 29, 2021 (1:15:57).
  30. Interview, August 17, 2018 (36:29).
  31. 31.0 31.1 Podcast, November 15, 2020 (23:30).
  32. 32.0 32.1 Livestream, September 30, 2022 (1:19:27).
  33. Livestream, September 30, 2022 (1:19:59).
  34. Livestream, September 30, 2022 (1:20:06).
  35. Livestream, September 30, 2020 (40:45).
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 Podcast, September 29, 2021 (59:29).
  37. 37.0 37.1 Interview, May 11, 2018 (11:51).
  38. 38.0 38.1 Livestream, July 28, 2017 (47:53).
  39. Livestream, June 28, 2019 (1:12:08).
  40. Cygnus.png
  41. 41.0 41.1 Livestream, July 29, 2022 (1:10:22).
  42. shipclasses.png
  43. Livestream, April 29, 2022 (1:08:27).
  44. 44.0 44.1 Livestream, May 29, 2020 (1:28:38).
  45. 45.0 45.1 Podcast, May 11, 2018 (11:51).
  46. boats-rivers.png
  47. Livestream, April 30, 2020 (56:58).
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 48.3 Livestream, April 30, 2020 (58:05).
  49. 49.0 49.1 Livestream, August 26, 2022 (1:20:17).
  50. 50.0 50.1 Livestream, 2018-04-8 (AM) (15:46).
  51. Livestream, May 29, 2020 (1:28:38).
  52. Livestream, September 30, 2020 (40:52).
  53. Video, November 9, 2017 (0:01).
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 54.3 Livestream, August 23, 2017 (28:22).
  55. Livestream, January 28, 2022 (1:09:00).
  56. Livestream, February 25, 2022 (1:04:29).