Level scaling

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Levels or skills will not be scaled to allow low level players to participate in dungeons with higher level players.[1]

  • There will be a mentorship program where upper-level players are able to benefit from partying and/or helping lower level players; and getting them situated in the game.[1]
  • Certain node buildings and organizations offer quests that can be initiated by a mentor to assist new players. Rewards are offered to both the mentor and the mentee upon completion.[2]

There will be activities that are present for higher level players to mentor lower level players. Let's say you have a friend who joins later on and you still want to do things with them, there will be things to do. Will you he be able to enter a dungeon of your level and participate? No, because we don't want to inflate or deflate characters and manipulate that type of skill or power. We want that to be something that makes sense for them in a progression standpoint.[3]Steven Sharif

The mentorship program provides individual quests that can be initiated by the mentor based off of what node that they are part of. So these are like quests that are determined by either certain buildings and or organizations or the mayor; and there are specific ones that are available for mentors to provide mentees; and they can also participate in some of those quest lines as well: Whether that be leading your mentee through a dungeon or providing a location for them to arrive with you at, or escort quests for the NPC caravans. These types of things, when done together with your mentor will provide benefits both for the mentor and the mentee as well, so you're incentivized to participate with new players.[2]Steven Sharif

Stat growth

Stat growth proceeds in the following order:[4]

  1. The race "seeds" a player's base stats.[4]
  2. The primary archetype grows the base stats.[4]
  3. The secondary archetype (class) does not contribute to stat growth.[5]
    • This is a revision of the earlier statement.[4]

Different races have different stat compositions. Those stats can be important, but we also don't want them to dictate any kind of meta for what classes are best used with different races.[6]Steven Sharif

Choice of profession does not affect a player's stats.[7]

Gear has approximately a 40-50% influence on a players overall power in the game.[8]

Level cap

The level cap at launch is expected to be around level 50.[9]

The developers anticipate max level should be attainable in approximately 45 days if you play roughly 4-6 hours per day.[10][11]

  • Lower level characters will have usefulness in mass combat (such as Node sieges) that is not directly dependent on their level, such as manning siege weapons, helping repair fortifications, bringing proximity-based buffs to key positions, using stealth or scaling walls. These types of things are relevant to the tide of battle and do not require the player to be max-level or have high combat stats.[12]

The idea is not to be a game where somebody can essentially no life for a week and be max level. The idea is to incorporate some significant chunk of time but still respect the casual player, because you know the way we respect the casual player is not everything is driven in our game through the adventuring progression line. Not everything is driven through your class level per-se. There's a lot of different progression paths that are available and make you relevant within certain systems and mechanics within the game; and some of those paths are more casual friendly and some of those paths are more hardcore friendly. So with regards to the adventuring class, the idea is to make sure that investment needs to be pretty significant and that the reward then is respective of that investment.[10]Steven Sharif


  • Experience gained from killing mobs and bosses when in a group is divided by the number of party members based on damage done by the group (compared to any other parties attacking that mob or boss).[13]
    • A multiplier is then applied that increases with the number of party members. The multiplier is between 1.3 and 1.4 (approximately).[14]
    • Experience gained is not affected by looting rights.[13]
  • Experience gained from quest rewards is not shared with other party members.[14]

Game difficulty

People who put more time and effort into it are definitely going to get more out of it but that doesn't mean that person who logs in once a week won't be able to have fun so it's just a matter of the scale of stuff that you're going after... Running a caravan is not gonna be the same thing every time you do it. You might be able to find like a super secret path that nobody knows about... and you exploit it for a while and nobody knows and then eventually somebody sees you and suddenly that route becomes a lot more difficult so you know that's kind of the way we really want that emergent gameplay to kind of come out of those options that we give you guys; and a lot of it is gonna come down to other players making it more or less difficult for you.[15]Jeffrey Bard

There's a ton of room for difficulty on whatever scale... In a living world everything becomes much more difficult.[15]Peter Pilone

PvE difficulty

The difficulty of PvE content, such as raids and dungeons will adapt based on the performance of the raid or group against previous bosses in that encounter.[16]

  • Higher performance in earlier phases will increase the difficulty of subsequent phases of the encounter.[16]
  • The higher the difficulty, the better the loot tables will be.[16]
  • Bosses and mobs will not auto-scale based on group size.[17]

Learning curve

Ashes of Creation will be easy to understand yet hard to master.[18]

My stance on participation trophies is that things should be hard, people should fail, the bitter taste of defeat is what makes success that much more rewarding. Helping other players learn encounter strategy, and fine tuning their play style for high end content is an important part of eliminating participation trophy. Growing together is a good thing, and that include failing together as a means to drive for success together.[19]Steven Sharif

Target demographic

I think our target demographic, obviously we have a very high graphic fidelity in the game that's attractive to younger players, but at the same time we have a very roleplay game orientation - a kind of a play back to that pen-and-paper Dungeons & Dragons feel that perhaps younger generations may not know but is very near and dear to the hearts of older gamers. So I think we have a broad appeal from a demographic standpoint.[18]Steven Sharif

Player types

Ashes of Creation will cater for a variety of player types; from Raiders or PvPers to Role players and Crafters.[20]

A guy who wrote a book on game design, called Bartle, breaks gamers up into different categories. We will often talk about the different categories of gamers and trying to satisfy their needs.[20]Akil Hooper

The most compelling design argument for how those different sects of gamers interact with each other is dependant from the design standpoint of interdependencies in the systems. So, for example if as a Raider or as a PvPer you're looking for the best gear, you're going to devote your time towards leveling up and going out and participating in the things you enjoy like pvping, perhaps going for caravans or sieging cities and castles and all that type stuff. If you want the best gear, you're going to have to to rely on a person who's devoted their time towards crafting potentially; and they may not be a PvPer but they have a place in your wheelhouse because you need their services. And then that crafter is going to need a person who is either a gatherer or plays the economy as a merchant in the nodes with the auction houses that are regionalized. They're going to have to work with a person who specializes in trade that takes caravans with either mercenary groups or other guilds that are PvPers between the nodes to get the resources they need. Building dependencies on different groups or factions of players that exist within a large world like this MMORPG is what kind of solidifies the bonds that allow for them to exist either harmoniously, or at least in a way that they know you need those types of players.[20]Steven Sharif

Casual vs. hardcore players

Casual players will have an impact because what they do is necessary for the health of the server.[21]

There are events that are happening in the world in the game that you won't need to be a hardcore player to impact and join. For example, the triggered events from the PvE standpoint against the cities; the trades of the caravans; those natural battlegrounds that exist; the castle sieges you can login for. There is a lot of systems that are at play where a person can simply log in, participate, have fun, be impactful and then log out.[21]Steven Sharif

End game

There is not going to be a typical end-game in Ashes of Creation.[1]

Part of the whole experience with nodes is that there is no real end-game, in that the world is constantly shifting every day. Month one is going to be really different from month two; and that's for the level 50s and level 1s.[1]Jeffrey Bard

We want the game to be a living game, which means that all content should be relevant at all times. I’d say that we try to make as little distinction between the leveling up experience and the end game experience as possible. The whole journey is important to us, in order to maximize the fun people have during different stages of the game.[22]Sarah Flanagan


Repetition will not be part of progression in Ashes of Creation.[23]

  • There will be no "grindy" quests.[23]
  • There will not be repetitive quest lines through a single dungeon to obtain gear.[24]
  • The aspiration is to have more things to do in the game than a player has time to do.[23]

AFK leveling

There will not be AFK leveling in Ashes of Creation.[25]

We want this game to be played. If there are things that you can do to not play the game and still progress, we've done something wrong.[25]Jeffrey Bard

See also