Nodes

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Alpha-2 Village node flythrough.[1]

Nodes are a pre-set location, wrapped in a zone of influence, in our world that can form into towns of different sizes. These sizes range from a small camp to a sprawling metropolis. The size of the towns depends on the contribution by players and how far they’ve advanced the Node. Players do not create the footprint of a Node, but within that footprint they do have the ability to own land. Players who are part of the government for a specific Node will have the ability to modify building types and services further, but for the most part, a Node will grow along its own specific path (think about this more as NPCs building these towns out, rather than PCs individually putting buildings and walls up). A Node’s contribution area is larger than the actual town itself, allowing for players to adventure while building upon the town. We call the contribution area the Node’s “Zone of Influence,” and it’s the area where players help to advance the Node they are in.[2]

Encompassing each server realm are carefully placed points of development called Nodes.[3] There will be 85 regular node locations at launch with 15 additional castle nodes (5 castles x 3 castle nodes each)[4][5][6] for a total of 100 nodes.[7]

We have moved from a 103 nodes to 85 nodes; and there's a few reasons for that. One, when we were doing the calculations behind how- in Alpha 2 and in the game- we want these vassal structures to exist, we had more nodes than what felt meaningful and we wanted to condense some of that those curated story arcs and hooks into the environment and realm around the areas to be more bountiful at a lesser node value: meaning bringing down the node count so that we can increase the richness of each of those nodes more than what was at 103.[7]Steven Sharif
Nodes are the heart of the world, they create the ebb and flow of life. At their core, Nodes are pre-set points in the world, wrapped in a Zone of Influence and surrounded by geographic areas that change over time based upon player participation. The world map is divided into regions, with each region containing multiple Nodes. As a Node advances, it influences the types of content within itself and the surrounding areas. Players do not create Nodes, but if they are a part of the government for a specific Node, they have the ability to influence diplomacy, and modify building types/construction and services within that Node.[8]Margaret Krohn

Node types

Pre-alpha Metropolis node.[15]

Nodes exist all throughout the world and the location of said node will determine its type; but this type will be... seen at the first stage of development when the first stage when a node propagates real-time assets in the world; is basically these NPCs, these merchants that come into an area and they offer services and/or of stores or whatever the deal may be. You will see the flavor of the node from those merchants. So if it's a military node you'll see military people. If it's... an economic node you'll see merchants. If it's a scientific one you'll see scholars; and if it's a divine one you'll see priests and clerics. So players will have a very firm understanding of which node is which type in order to know how they want to progress.[16]Steven Sharif

Nodes are assigned one of four (4) node types, each of which contain unique specializations.[8]

  • Players will be able to identify the type of a node at its first stage of development (Expedition) based on its NPC population.[16]
Node type.[8] Specialization.[8] NPCs.[8] Currency.[17][18]
Divine nodes Faith and skill/equipment augment focuses Priests Favor
Economic nodes Trade and merchant focuses Merchants -
Military nodes Combat and class training focuses Guards Honor
Academic nodes Artisan and construction focuses Scholars -

Ashes of Creation allows you, the player, to decide the fate of the world around you. With each Node Type, you can change the flow of resources and goods in the world. Will you grow the largest Economic Metropolis and help guide the riches of Verra, or will you choose another path unlocking new stories filled with allies and enemies?[19]

Node types are predetermined and are the same across all server realms.[8]

For example, if a level 4 Scientific Node is destroyed, it will become a Level 0 Scientific Node. It will never be any other Node Type other than a Scientific Node. The location of these Types relates to the influences of the area around the Node.[8]Margaret Krohn

Node types affect various services and systems at each level of node advancement.[8]

Node types will be definitive during the Beta testing stages.[20]

Beta testing will require that the node types be definitive; and that's because of how node types are integrated into the relating and corresponding neighboring points of interest and those quest lines. So it's not something we can swap very easily.[20]Steven Sharif

Node benefits

Each node type has a superpower (ultimate ability) that becomes unlocked when the node reaches Metropolis (stage 6).[19]

Divine node benefits

Divine nodes at Metropolis (stage 6) may unlock a procedurally built "mega catacomb" dungeon beneath it that connects to its divine vassal nodes. These may house unique bosses with unique drop tables.[22]

Economic node benefits

Economic nodes that have reached the metropolis stage unlock the linked economy superpower. Economic nodes with this superpower share their Auction house listings with all others.[19]

Economic Nodes that have reached the Metropolis Stage unlock the Superpower “Linked Economy”. Any Economic Node with this Superpower unlocked shares Auction House listings with all the others, meaning that the items listed in one Linked Economy Node can be bid on from any other Linked Economy Node. Linked Economies also connect a Metropolis and any Vassal Economic Nodes belonging to that Metropolis.[19]

The Linked Economy Superpower has the potential to create a massive market that spans the world. This will allow players to attain and sell goods with ease, providing those who have access to these Economic Nodes a faster path to fortune in the lands of Ashes of Creation.[19]

Military node benefits

Military nodes enable Bounty hunters and (potentially) reduced duration of corruption.[24][25]

Academic node benefits

Academic nodes that have reached Metropolis (stage 6) unlock teleportation within their vassal network, which can extend across seas, and also include islands.[26][15][27]

  • If there are multiple scientific metropolises, then an airship will provide faster travel between those scientific metropolises for citizens of those nodes and their vassal nodes, so long as the metropolises are not at war.[28]
  • Previously this was stated to be limited to citizens of metropolis academic nodes regardless of the stage of the vassal node, so long as the vassal node is not at war.[28]
This will allow Citizens and Vassals of Scientific Metropolises to do things more quickly than others, as fast travel is limited in the world of Ashes of Creation. They’ll be able to exchange goods and information with ease and get to locations in the world at a quicker speed in order to gather crafting materials to create recipes, as well as participate in limited-time events.[28]

Node citizenship

Node citizenship.[29][30]

Citizenship is, aside from nodes existing, one of the most important parts. So you as a player will get to become a citizen of these nodes: you're going to need to acquire some form of housing to be able to do that within that node's jurisdiction, it's zone of influence.[30]Chris Justo

Player housing grants the ability to claim citizenship of a Village (stage 3) node or higher.[29][30][31][32][24] Gaining citizenship through player housing is not automatic. It must be claimed.[31]

When you become a citizen you enter in at a certain citizenship due structure; and citizens pay taxes to their node in the form of both property taxes based on what type housing as well as citizenship dues, which are necessary. And as you enter later into the stage of a node's development, you will pay a higher value on the citizenship dues or vice-versa: if you own a property later, you will be entered into a property tax that is higher based on where you enter that property ownership within the node's history. So those help to form a soft cap. Now, if payers are willing to pay more to be a citizen of a particular node, they have that option, but at some point it becomes restrictive.[34]
  • A player can only claim citizenship to one node at a time.[31][35]
You can declare citizenship to only one node and when you declare that citizenship. Let's say for example, one guild perhaps wanting to take all their members and have them all declare the same citizenship to a location. The longer a node exists the higher the prize it is to take and some systems with regards to crafting progression and/or rewards and bonuses or the reliquary that we haven't really touched on a lot, those systems are going to be so enticing that from an incentive standpoint it will compel other groups to either potentially break alliances or siege the city in order to take the goods that are potentially in it. So, from an incentive standpoint we have that at play. Additionally, we don't have a cap per-se that we've announced yet on the citizenship aspect of being in a node, but we do have soft caps. It becomes costlier the higher number of citizens each time one new person wants to join to be part of a node. So, there is sort of a soft cap on how many citizens one node can have and it might be that not all in the guild can participate in that area. So, there's a natural divide: A pseudo faction, so to speak between who is a part of that node and who is not.[34]Steven Sharif
Your account is bound to one declared citizenship per server, which means that if you have two alts and your main character on one server you may only be a citizen of one node between those three... If you have an alt on a different server, it could be a citizen of a node as well.[38]Steven Sharif


info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

Citizenship benefits

Node citizenship grants a number of benefits.[24]

For example there may be merchant tables that only citizens have access to. Those merchant tables might relate to specific types of enhancement stones or specific type of stat migration abilities. You might have access to mundane crafting benches but the upper-tier crafting benches are for citizens. Citizens only have access to the reliquary and the achievements that the node has from its citizens nearby areas and content like raid bosses that they might kill. They may have a weekly allotment of what specific type of core material they can access from the reliquary and only citizens can do that... You might have access to certain types of buffs that occur during like events; and only citizens can have access to those types of buffs. There are obviously going to be title structures within organizations, within religions and stuff that relate to these events and procedures that only citizens can be part of. That title structure for that specific node.[45]Steven Sharif

Non-citizens will have access to generic node services, mundane crafting benches, and standard rewards from node quests.[45]

There are limited functions and services that non-citizens can gain access to as a result. Obviously you want to attract traffic. You want to attract commerce. You want to track taxation. That's possible because those are the means by which the node continues to grow; and in order for that to be attractive you must offer it to non-citizens alike... We don't want to necessarily be super lockout on content per-se, so most quest-lines are still going to be accessible from non-citizens and citizens alike, however the reward tables for those quests might be higher for citizens. You may have additional rewards that be granted based on quest completion and progression.[45]Steven Sharif

Zone of influence

Nodes are pre-set locations, wrapped in a zone of influence (ZOI).[2]

Every Node is given purview over a predefined geographic area called a Zone of Influence (ZoI). No matter where you go in the world, whether you’re questing, gathering, or raiding, you’ll be helping determine which nodes will develop, and what Zones of Influence will expand. Any area that a Node controls is considered its Zone of Influence, including Vassal Nodes, and all Vassal Nodes exist within the Zone of Influence of their Parent Node.[8]Margaret Krohn

Every node is given purview over a predefined geographic area called a Zone of influence (ZOI). Player activity within the ZOI is weighted and counted toward a particular node’s advancement.[2]

The main thing that differentiates us from other MMOs is that we have a living, breathing, reactive world... Our world is separated into zones, which are then separated into what we call nodes. Nodes are sort of invisible zones of influence that listen to everything that a player does; so as players gain experience from killing things, gain experience from doing quests, gain experience through crafting things, the node is also gaining that experience. Once a node gains enough experience it levels up and then starts to attract NPCs to it .[47]Jeffrey Bard

Each Node can form into towns, but are limited by their neighbors. The Nodes have different levels of advancement. There can only be so many of each level. Think of this as advanced settlements needing more elbow room. Nodes encompass more land as they grow and will require more effort to be sustained. This system is a main driver for change in the world because it creates scarcity. As Nodes advance in stages of growth they will lock out neighboring Nodes from progressing, and will absorb their zones of influence.[2]

There is not a space where you will move in to do something and no node will get that experience.[49]Steven Sharif

Node simulation

Simulation of node interactions.[54]

This representation does show 111 nodes as part of this particular simulation. I'm not sure what the tick frequency is on this video. It might be something on the magnitude of like every second is probably 12 to 24 hours. So over time you start seeing these larger node systems building up to eventually where you might see Cities and Metropolises after some period of time; and what this allows the design team to do from a tools perspective, as they simulate this idea of how the world is going to progress, is it gives an opportunity to see strange happenings or something that we couldn't necessarily predict but was a possible outcome based on the variables present.[54]Steven Sharif

The developers have created a simulation of node interactions in preparation for Alpha-2 deployment of the node system.[54]

You can show the initial territories on the Verran map of what these particular nodes have governance over, or their Zones of Influence as we like to call them... As the simulation of this begins to advance and nodes begin to expand their territory and they begin to take over nearby nodes as a result of their of their growth, you start to see these power level ratings that are applied here on specific nodes that determines what type of takeover power it has and and what it pushes back against for other nodes that are looking to take over new territory as they advance.[54]Steven Sharif

  • It also simulates events, such as NPCs attacking and disabling certain node buildings and services. Failure to successfully respond to these will reduce the node's "health ticker", which will slow down the XP gains from the node.[54]

It also simulates events: So each of these nodes will have a health ticker: when that health ticker is impacted it'll stop gaining power or gaining or slow down in its gaining of experience; and that's because certain events can affect a node by disabling certain services, disabling buildings. Players don't respond to that horde of zombies that have come out of the nearby ravine then those zombies can attack stables, they can attack service buildings, and prevent particular types of quests or activities and services from happening until it's repaired.[54]Steven Sharif

  • Node sieges are simulated, with successful sieges destroying the nodes, and where unsuccessful sieges won't destroy the node but may result in disabled buildings or services, similar to events.[54]

It simulates the sieges if a particular node has a certain frequency that's set where we want to see randomization of how nodes get affected by sieges. Sometimes they'll be destroyed in the simulation. Sometimes they'll have disabled services again, similar to an event, because they didn't succeed necessarily at sieging the node but they did succeed at disabling some of the buildings as part of that siege.[54]Steven Sharif

  • It simulates what outcomes may happen in the live game as a result of player activity, such as splitting up a particular ZOI across a waterway, or having territories expand out to islands or across continents.[54]

It simulates what players could potentially do as well when the game goes live; and that might include things like splitting up a particular Zone of Influence across a waterway, having your territory expand out to an island, or across continents. These are these are the types of things that we want to see players do eventually obviously but this tool provides the design team the opportunity to see it repetitively and over a fast period of time so they see these different types of outcomes.[54]Steven Sharif

List of nodes

Node stages

Illustration of node advancement from Wilderness (stage 0) to Metropolis (stage 6).

Nodes advance by collecting experience from the actions of players nearby. As players complete content inside of a Node’s Zone of Influence (the area around the node), they contribute that experience toward the Node’s development. The experience given to the Node may then be modified based on certain Events and Accomplishments. When a Node reaches the experience required, it undergoes the process of advancing to the next stage. There are a few exceptions where a Node cannot advance even though it has the required experience - most commonly, a Node can not advance if a Node is a Vassal of another Node and would advance to the same stage as its Parent Node.[40]Margaret Krohn

Nodes have seven (7) stages of advancement, with experience thresholds for each stage. When a Node reaches the experience required for its current stage, it advances to the next stage.[8]

Node stage.[3] Symbol Alternate name.[55] Timeframe to advance.[3] Player housing.[56]
0. Wilderness -
1. Expedition Expedition symbol.png Crossroads Few hours -
2. Encampment Encampment symbol.png Camp Many hours -
3. Village Village symbol.png - Few days Small houses
4. Town - Many days Medium houses
5. City - Few weeks Large houses
6. Metropolis Metro Many weeks Mansions

Node advancement

Citizen and non-citizen player activity (questing, gathering, raiding, etc.) within a node's ZOI counts toward that particular node's advancement (progression) to a higher node stage.[40][3]

The advancement of a node unlocks its unique content, which comes at the cost of locking out an increasing ring of neighboring nodes from progressing to the next stage.[58]

  • Nodes advance to the first stage quickly. This enables NPC services such as vending or banking items.[59]
  • The more advanced the node is, the larger its ZOI becomes.[15]
  • Less advanced nodes (referred to as vassal nodes) that fall within a more advanced node's ZOI can still gain XP, but must remain at a lower advancement stage than the dominant node.[60]
  • Certain quests, such as story arcs, may not be able to be turned in after a node has advanced.[63]
  • The territory expansion algorithm takes into account the nearest coast, neighboring nodes, and the heatmap of players in surrounding areas over the last weeks or month.[64]
    • Due to the way the progression algorithm calculates territorial (ZOI) expansion during node advancement, there is a small possibility that two nodes of the same stage end up being close to each other.[65]
The way that the algorithm expands the territories takes into account a few things: One it takes into account the coast like where's the closest coast. Two it takes into account the neighboring nodes so it can take over and essentially vassal state those nodes, but what's more important is essentially the initial population based on like how players choose their races. Because we have nine different races and four different starting points that branch out, each server's population density is going to dictate essentially the first few nodes that are highly populated and then that initial seed is what's going to determine the node structure as it moves inland into the into the world essentially; and based on the performance and successes of different sieges will determine which nodes that got locked out from the previous the initial advancements what nodes can now be available to advance further. So I really think that with so many variables that are present in the equation of how nodes advance and stay existing with the more variables you have, the higher likelihood there is for there to be a significant diversion in world progression.[64]Steven Sharif
Normally the algorithm that's applied to the node territorial expansion will prevent significant nodes from being in close proximity to each other... There could be a perfect storm where all of the algorithmic progression of territory leads to having these nodes very close to each other because there's certain requirements that should that need to be available to satisfy node vassal takeovers; and it's possible that two nodes would never take each other over as vassals and end up close together and spanning their territories in opposite directions: The Tale of Two Cities thing.[65]Steven Sharif
  • A node does not receive XP from the nodes within its ZOI until these nodes have reached their cap.[60]
  • Citizens of one node can contribute to the advancement of other nodes.[66]
  • Node experience gain opportunities will be equitable across the four node types.[67]
    • The exact percentage of advancement from obtaining items or killing monsters is not going to be explicitly known to avoid "gaming" the system.[68]
Different people have different resources invested in nodes progressing and it would be a little "gamey" if you could know exactly what was necessary at that point because that would disincentivize people from participating.[68]Steven Sharif

Node advancement spawns a series of animations and visual effects (within the footprint of the node).[69][40]

  • Players within the node are teleported to a safe location, likely a respawn area near the node.[69][70]
  • Supplies will spawn around the node and system driven caravans are spawned to bring these supplies into the node. These caravans are not able to be attacked.[69]
  • NPCs will begin construction activities.[69]
  • Players outside the node will see the new facade of the node pop into existence as the node advances in stage.[69]
The Development Area of a Node is where civilization will appear as the Node advances. As the Node Stage increases, different buildings, NPCs, and services will become available in the Development Area. The higher the Node Stage, the more complex and populated the Development Area becomes. Development Areas will also vary depending on the Node Type - Economic, Military, Scientific, or Divine.[40]Margaret Krohn

Vassal nodes

Vassal node structure.[71]

This vassal mode structure tells you what it looks like for a sovereign at a level six metropolis stage; and what it can control at a maximum vassal network is two level five nodes, of which a level five node can control one level four and one level three as direct vassals; and then the four can control a three; and every three can control a one or a two. Now if the three gets removed through siege, the one or the two is removed as well. So that's an important distinction between the three's vassals, which technically isn't really a vassal relationship because there's no citizenships possible. Those vassals don't exist between three and X, but they do exist between four and three, five and four, and six and five. And what this also allows is that because there are 85 nodes that are within the world, we have a buffer zone of about 20 nodes that lives in a max server state. So if you had maximum five metropolises form in a world, you will have a number about 20 nodes that can live alongside those metropolis networks; and when or if a metropolis falls, that extra cushion of nodes around the five metropolis structures allows for the map to be redistricted in a way that is unique. It doesn't mean that one of the fives is just going to pick up where the last six left off and form the same exact metropolis structure. From a territory perspective it has ancillary nodes to play with and expand towards that redistricts the map, so that if a metropolis falls there's a significant difference in the layout of the world and the layout of these almost nation-like territories.[71]Steven Sharif

Village (stage 3) or higher nodes enslave nearby nodes, converting them into vassal nodes.[8][62]

There is a layer of intricacy between how the neighboring nodes advance and what potential parent structure they have in the vassalship tree.[72]Steven Sharif
  • Vassal nodes gain benefits from their regent node (also referred to as sovereign node or parent node) even if the node type of the parent is different to the vassal.[73][74]
It is not a bad thing to be vasseled, it is a good thing to be vasseled. It brings many benefits from the Sovereign, which is the ultimate parent of that vassal network down to the vassal node itself; and it allows that vassal node to even live outside of its normal mechanics. You get to adopt some of the benefits that the node type of your sovereign is, even if your node type as a vassal node isn't the same.[74]Steven Sharif
  • Regent nodes collect taxes from their vassal nodes. These taxes cannot be taken by the mayor or other players.[75]
  • Vassal nodes give excess experience to their parent node and may have their own vassals; so long as they fall within the parent node’s zone of influence.[75][8]
    • If a node is capped and is both a vassal and has its own vassals, any experience earned from itself or its Vassals is first applied to its own deficit. Experience beyond that is then sent to its parent node.[40]
When the vassal reaches its cap it overflows experience up to the parent; and so it can be very good early on for parents to get vassal nodes that are very productive- that have a lot of traffic.[75]Steven Sharif
  • Vassals are subject to the government, alliances, wars, taxes, and trade of their parent node, and are able to receive federal aid from them.[8]
  • Vassal nodes cannot declare war on their parent node or any of their vassals.[8]
  • Citizens of vassals are bound by the diplomatic states of the parent node.[8]
If a Node is a Vassal Node and is capped from advancing further, it first applies any experience earned to its own deficit (see Node Atrophy section), and then applies excess experience earned to its Parent Node. If the Parent Node advances and the Vassal is able to grow, it becomes uncapped. If a Node is capped and is both a Vassal and has its own Vassals, any experience earned from itself or its Vassals is first applied to their own deficit. Any experience beyond that is then sent to its Parent Node.[40]Margaret Krohn

Adjacent/Neighboring nodes

Adjacent nodes (Neighboring nodes) starting from Expedition (stage 1) may block (lockout) the growth of their immediate neighbors.[61][62]

Zones and progression

Dungeons, Raids, World bosses, Mobs, Quests, Events, Resources, Narratives and other content within a node's ZOI will have a diverse level range; but will scale with the advancement of that node and its racial influence.[76][77][8]

  • Portions of the spawn tables (for mobs and resources) are static and other portions are dynamic and adapt to node development.[78]
We don’t have a strictly level 25 zone. Instead, that zone might have some level 10 creatures near the road, some level 20 creatures deep in the forest, and some level 30 creatures up the mountain. These ratios will change based on the Nodes that inform them, becoming generally more dangerous as the Node grows. All this civilization attracts the attention of Things-That-Should-Not-Be. This does not mean that wilderness areas are safe, by any means. Some may be safe-er, but all will have dangers that even the most experienced traveler needs to watch out for.[79]Steven Sharif

World manager

The World manager is an algorithm in Ashes of Creation that controls dynamic world elements. It acts as both a throttle and an incentive system for various activities to ensure certain parameters are within acceptable thresholds.[80]

A world manager is a technical term to define a server process that lives alongside the game server; and when the game server needs to do things- communicating with other game servers within that grid- it tells that manager and that manager sends it down to the appropriate server.[81]Steven Sharif
For example if you know iron is being used as a raw resource for a specific crafting path that might drive up the price of mithril or silver; and that will incentivize the market to course correct a little bit. The idea is to provide soft incentives that help to alleviate the demand and also to prop up the supply that might not be present from the economic systems.[82]Steven Sharif

Node atrophy

info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

Nodes accumulate an experience deficit each day based on the node's level, called node atrophy. The deficit is subtracted from any experience earned that day. If any deficit remains, then this is subtracted from the node’s experience pool.[40]

  • An atrophy system may be implemented, where accumulated atrophy points will progressively disable services within a node. The node may be destroyed if a significant points threshold is reached.[65]
  • A previous design concept was that nodes could delevel based on accumulated atrophy.[65][40]
There are intrinsic problems with reducing a nodes level as opposed to removing the node and it may be possible I'm just gonna say now that we don't actually atrophy nodes to delevel but rather accrue atrophy points that must be replenished over time; and if not it begins to disable services and further compound the atrophy problem; at which point when it reaches a certain atrophy point then the node would just disappear.[65]Steven Sharif

Node leadership

Alpha-1 winner of Mayoral election.[83]

There are a number of different seats that can exist within a node, and carry different responsibilities.[84]Steven Sharif

Node leadership positions (also referred to as Node government positions) are attained through seasonal titles that grant special powers and benefits within a node.[85][86][84][87][24]

There are other node-based positions. Most of them relate to social organizational structures like the temple and the social organization building that the node might construct. Those are ladder systems of achievement that players can work through on a seasonal basis to achieve the highest level of that for the particular node; and by doing so they will then have titles bestowed upon them, which grants certain types of powers and benefits.[86]Steven Sharif
Skill Icon Position Description
Bolster Vitality BolsterVitalityIcon.png Mayor Applies Bolster Vitality to all citizens in a large radius.[90]
Invoke Power InvokePowerIcon.png Mayor Applies Invoke Power to all citizens in a large radius.[91]
Node Defense Node Defense Icon.png Mayor Apply Hold The Line to all citizens in a large radius.[92][93]
Node Physical Power Node Physical Power Icon.png Mayor Apply Rally Strength to all citizens in a large radius.[94][95]

Mayors

Depiction of a mayor.[96]

Mayors have a unique ability to elicit change within the node proper, either through the destruction of certain buildings that have been constructed previously, because there's a limited number of slots that buildings can be constructed within, or the kickoff of additional projects, or the certain types of policies that can be enacted, like... the changing of a tax rate. They all have a unified source of energy requirement and the energy requirement is a mandate.[97]Steven Sharif

Mayors are chosen through different election methods according to the node's type.[15][8]

  • Previous mayors won't have any special system driven bonuses to help them get reelected.[98]
Q: What stops a player from renouncing their node citizenship of an enemy node then bidding on your economic node mayorial election just to grief it after they get elected?
A: That sounds like a strategy! There are obviously going to be certain mechanics that when a mayor engages with its node, requires buy-in from the citizenship. So, the mayor is going to have a certain amount of mandate energy and that mandate energy can be spent on promoting certain policies, electing certain buildings to be constructed, choosing, certain trade agreements and alliances; and many of those things require the citizenship to buy in, through either voting or engaging with those systems to determine whether or not the mayor can successfully do those things. So there's a bit of a relationship between what the citizenship wants and what the mayor wants.[99]Steven Sharif
  • Players will be able to view a historical listing of mayors of a node.[100]

Node elections

Alpha-1 node election user interface.[101]

The village stage is a unique stage because that's when the government system comes online and all other stages past village there will have already been a cadence for the election system and it will follow that cadence, but after the initial village stage is completed there will be a one week period where players have an opportunity to establish citizenship at the village that also provides for the cooldown time that is- that would be present on players leaving another node to participate in in this particular node leveling up. But that after that one week period then there will be a one-week election process and then from that point moving forward will be the one month cadence that the node experiences elections on.[102]Steven Sharif

Once a node has reached Village (stage 3) there will be a one week cooldown period before node elections begin.[102]

  • This cooldown period allows players to establish citizenship at the village; which may require them to relinquish previous citizenship at another node.[102]
  • Following the initial cooldown, there will be a one week election process, then from that point on, elections will follow a monthly cadence.[102]
  • Node sieges may not be declared for 21 days following a node advancing to any stage.[103]
    • This was previously stated to apply only to nodes advancing to Village (stage 3), not higher stages.[104]

Node elections occur on a monthly basis.[102][105]

Leadership powers

Alpha-1 Empyrean city node information panel.[55]

The government has a lot of say in the direction of the node's development. Directing assets, building projects, tax allocation, defensive ability etc. Players have the ability to not only create these cities, but they have the right of self-governance.[24]

Mayoral leadership powers are granted to mayors via the use of mandates.[97][88]

We don't want mayors running around in Ashes of Creation just perma flagging the whole world into a state of PvP, well it's going to cost you some resources to do that.[119]Chris Justo
  • Mayors will have an emblem generation suite that allows them to create their node flag.[131]
There definitely are differences... Some of the things that mayors can do are more universal, but then some systems have very specific if your node has a certain dominant race, or your node is a certain type, or it's in a certain biome. So there's even differences between where it is too.[132]Chris Justo
  • Some decisions require the mayor to be present in the ZOI of the node. Most do not.[133]
  • If a mayor does not make certain decisions within a set period of time then the system will make a decision for them.[134][135]
Q: The idea behind all these nodes are awesome, but I wonder how it will actually play out in the live version. The problem is having player run or the problem with having player run towns is that people come and go in video games. So, will towns die out etc?
A: We incorporate as part of those designs certain fail-safes, certain protections, certain automated progression that takes over when some of those decisions are lacking or are not made; and those decisions can be defaulted. Now, of course, that would have a deleterious effect on the direction that a particular node might want to go, because they're going to be doing default behaviors, or default actions, as opposed to something that might be in line with the strategic objective of that particular node, or the specialization that the node has previously been attempting to do. But that is why we have a regularly recurring election period where players can take the reins of power and can elect someone else to come in and participate and and re-right the ship, so to speak. So it is absolutely a component of having player-driven mechanics that there is an opportunity for things to be less than ideal, or less than strategic when certain bad-faith actors or people leave, but there are safeguards in place.[134]Steven Sharif
  • Mayors cannot de-rank their node to avoid war.[136]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
  • Choosing a node name from a predetermined list.[137][138]
  • Guilds do not control nodes.[139][140]
    • Guilds hold separate roles in the direction of the node than the roles held by private citizens.[24]
    • Only a certain number of guilds may participate in these roles.[24]
    • Separate guild roles are reserved for small, medium and large guilds.[24]

Node taxes

Alpha-2 Node treasury work-in-progress advanced node taxes UI.[141]

As the node levels up, you're gonna get access to deeper controls on the taxes, so that you as a Mayor can incentivize players to come to your node to do certain things. If you're a node that loves smithing, you're probably going to want to lower your taxes on artisanship to incentivize players to be here. But then you might want to drive up taxes on other avenues that players aren't necessarily coming to your node for, but are using out of convenience.[141]Chris Justo

Mayors are able to set a generalized node tax rate as well as overrides for different activities within their node. Mayors gain additional taxation controls as their node advances.[141][111]

Regent nodes take a cut of taxes from various activities that occur within their vassal node structure.[75][145]

  • This tax doesn't necessarily impact the individual citizen, because citizen's tax levels are determined by their node, but the node's finances are affected by the taxation levied by its parent nodes.[145]

Node wars

God Spike Scholar PvE objective during the Harness the Godspike node war event.[146]

Scholars are going to spawn across the POI. They'll be marked on our map and they're going to increase the time it's required for the enemy to channel; and drop a hefty amount of the materials we need to turn in to be able to channel ourselves.[147]Chris Justo

Node war map icons
Miraleth Node Icon.png Friendly node
Winestead Node Icon.png Enemy node
Node War Objective Icon.png Node war objective
POI Blue Node Controlled.png Controlled POI

Mayors may declare war on another node and rally citizens to the cause.[119][110][120]

We don't want mayors running around in Ashes of Creation just perma flagging the whole world into a state of PvP, well it's going to cost you some resources to do that.[119]Chris Justo
  • Node wars are structured into phases, and each phase consists of events. Winning phases and events offer long-term and short-term rewards.[157]
A war contains phases and phases contain events. So, there are conditions to win a phase and then there are conditions to win a war. Winning a phase gets you some amount of in-the-moment rewards and some more long-term rewards. Winning events gets you some amount of in-the-moment rewards and long-term rewards. And then the war is the massive objective that you're competing to towards.[157]Chris Justo
We have conditions that you can set between nodes with regards to either nodes being friendly with each other and acting trade alliances, or they can declare war on nodes similar to how guild wars may function in different games, where those citizens become hostile to each other based on the player government that's elected in the particular node. So those systems all cater to allowing a conflict that's meaningful and that also provides a non-imbalanced relationship between stronger guilds and not as strong guilds.[34]Steven Sharif
Q: Are there any plans to have upkeep cost to war in addition to the initiation costs? It would be incredibly compelling to know that crafters and gatherers would have to work double time to ensure that the war can go on, or even stop supporting the war if they find it unnecessary.
A: Not necessarily within the war context, however I think the crux of that question is, how do we include material resource requirements, active artisanship, engagement, all of these other gameplay systems: How are they interconnected with a political event like war? And the way we achieve that is obviously there are things that can enhance your war preparedness or your war efficacy through the use of unique weapons during war. Unique upgrades to your guards by supplying resources to the barracks so that you have stronger guards at your headquarters, or weapons and shields and armors that can be utilized through the barracks system. In addition, vehicle support for sieges. There's a lot of different ways where crafting and artisanship plays a role as enhancing, not necessarily maintaining, a particular war or feature.[158]Steven Sharif
Q: Will there be a scoreboard detailing the most active participants achievements during the node war. Things like: players KDA, damage, healing done, objectives, etc.
A: You'll be able to see yours for sure and you may be able to see others if they opt-in.[159]Steven Sharif
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

Internal conflict

There won't be a civil war mechanic within nodes but there will be scope for internal political conflicts; such as undermining the current leadership and disrupting trade.[160]

We want consequences to matter and if that person got elected then you need to work within the means of the mechanics to get them unelected.[161]Steven Sharif

Alliances

Ashes of Creation may have specific content that revolves around Alliances.[162]

Content that revolves around alliances specifically and progression within the development of that alliance; and the ability to share some common services between guilds that are part of that alliance. I think that additionally allowing alliances to toggle certain relationships with nodes as an interaction is beneficial. That's going to provide an interesting dynamic for players who are either members of the particular node that has the relationship established or members of the Alliance. So I think that obviously building systems is is about creating the channels by which these players can form bonds and the more layers you have around those channels of bonding between the different guilds or players, the more sustainable that relationship.[162]Steven Sharif

Node quests

Commissions

Alpha-2 commissions board user interface at the Miraleth node.[164]

This is a commission board. Every mode has many different commission boards depending on what service buildings are installed there; and commissions are basically these teeny tiny little single objective quests that are like appetizers or quick little digestible things to help you get out into the world and start progressing both your character and your node contribution.[164]Skott B

Commissions (previously called Tasks) are simple types of system-generated quests with singular objectives that enable characters and nodes to gain XP.[166][164][167][168][169][170][171][172]

Everyone sees the same commissions relevant to their level range. Some commissions you see are more rare than others and will require sufficient reputation within the node in order to accept.[173]Steven Sharif
Node commissions have dedicated commission slots that are categorized by such things as; node type, buildings constructed, social org, religion and policy.[176]Steven Sharif
  • Commissions are assigned rarities, which scale the rewards for their completion. More developed nodes will offer rarer commissions that are available to players with sufficient node reputation.[173][166][164]
The rewards basically grow quite a lot depending on the rarity of the commission that gets dealt; and these get dealt for everybody... You can improve your chances of getting rare commissions for your node depending on how you develop your node.[164]Skott B
  • Commissions respond to (and can influence) different conditions in the world, such as weather, time of day, story arcs, and events. Commissions (along with other Node systems) attempt to lead players into areas where relevant content can be found.[174][175]
Every 30 minutes or so the board will refresh. The server will query a bunch of different information about the world; and this is from ranging from story arcs that are active, story arcs that have been completed, weather, time of day- a whole bunch of different range of factors. The board will attempt to deliver commissions that are relevant to these areas and they will try to lead you into areas where more content can be found.[175]Tyler Carroll
  • Player characters may only have 20 active commissions at one time (subject to change based on Alpha-2 testing). This does not include other quest types, such as side quests, or story arc quests.[177]
Q: Will commissions include tasks or quests that are reflective of the node type that they are issued in, or the nodes affiliation with a specific social organizations?
A: Yes. The answer is yes. Nodes will reflect the theming that the node has and that theming can be influenced by things such as the identity of the node from a node type perspective, what social organizations, what religious organizations, even what policies the node has chosen to enact. Those will all be represented in the types of commissions that the node has to pull from; and so in that way you are solidifying the identity of that node; and again the dynamic state of the world that gets represented.[178]Steven Sharif
  • Commissions can be completed without returning to the commissions board.[177][179]
Mayoral commissions are specifically chosen by the mayor, which is similar to the regular commission system, but that system is more system generated.[169]Chris Justo

Mayoral commissions

Alpha-2 Mayoral commissions board outside City hall in the Miraleth node.[180]

Mayoral commissions serve as a strategic decision base for the mayor. What issues am I facing? What issues do I believe I will face? How is this aligning with my strategy? And then how will my citizens help me help participate in accomplishing these goals so that I'm best set strategically for what I intend to do with those commissions?[181]Steven Sharif

Alpha-2 Mayoral commissions UI panel.[182]

These are much like regular commissions that I think we've shown off in the past. The difference here is the Mayor is picking which ones are going to be available to players and when enough players complete them, the node gets a reward.[183]Chris Justo

Mayoral commissions are simple types of quests with singular objectives that are able to be initiated by mayors.[183][29][109][107]

  • There are a limited number of commission slots available to be set by the mayor at any one time.[183][169][109]
    • The list of commissions available to the Mayor resets daily. Completed commissions will go on cooldown and won't be able to be selected again until the cooldown period has ended.[184]
    • More mayoral commissions will become available as the node progresses; and the commissions that are available will change based on how the node is built.[183]
  • Important commissions, such as War Preparations, will require large numbers of dedicated players to successfully complete.[185]
    • It has not yet been confirmed by the developers if these will be restricted to node citizens.[186]
My inclination is that for certain types of node actions that grant the mayor certain node powers that we will expect only citizen participation at a certain threshold, but it's something that obviously we're going to be testing in A2.[186]Steven Sharif
  • Mayoral commissions can be conducted by both citizens and non-citizens, but only citizen contribution will generate mandates for the node.[169][109]
Q: Is participation always going to be greater for larger nodes by default, or can a small node with close to 100 participation still greatly benefit from them?
A: That's gonna come down to what commissions the mayor is initiating. Level three nodes aren't going to be initiating mayoral commissions that require thousands of players to participate, because they don't have access to those; where Metropolises that have a huge citizenship base will get access to those kinds of commissions. So the rewards will be proportionate to the node level and the expected amount of citizens.[187]Chris Justo

Node reputation

Good actions, such as completing buy orders, commissions, and caravan trips, can cause a character to gain positive node reputation. Bad actions taken, such as failing certain quests, may result in gaining negative reputation. This reputation is gained or lost on a per-node basis.[166][188][189]

Whether you're a citizen or not, you can establish reputation within a node; and the way you establish that reputation is by completing buy orders, completing commissions and quests, and even completing caravan trips there or out of there. Different interactions that you would do with the node can yield you reputation within that particular node.[166]Steven Sharif
  • Negative reputation may open up certain quest lines that the darker, seedier side of the world are interested in.[189]
The more good aligned or civilization building aligned tasks that you complete, you get higher positive reputation. But if you get low or bad reputation you could be deemed enemy of the state of a node. You could be deemed a bad actor and it might raise prices for you, but it also might open up certain quest lines that the darker, seedier side of the world are interested in.[189]Steven Sharif

Certain NPCs and node vendors will react differently to player characters based on their reputation within the node or with "factions" within the node (such as social organizations).[190][191][189][192]

Node reputation is a separate mechanic that also deals as a predicate for the vendors that you have access to as a player. And so you can establish that node reputation by doing certain activities within the node, by progressing within certain social organizations, or certain religions within the node; and then that predicate serves as your access either to items granularly within a vendor's access table, or to just vendors as a whole. It just depends; and there's different thresholds you have to meet across different vendors.[188]Steven Sharif
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
  • NPCs will add a player to their hate list if that player heals, buffs or otherwise assists any player on their hate list.[194]

Node buildings

Alpha-2 Service buildings.[29][195]

The important thing with the service building system for us is that it's a way to shape your node like a character; and to give you an exclusive niche that you can carve out in the world; or a niche that you fight over. If you go down this weaponsmithing path and you build your node to be this mecca of weaponsmithing and the node three doors down builds it, there's reason for you to conflict over it. They're taking your business. Or maybe you are in a zone and there isn't a weaponsmithing thing anywhere near you, and you do want to start to carve that path for yourself to make your node a place people visit and come to.[195]Chris Justo

Service buildings within a node are either default buildings that come with the node, or they are constructed buildings, which are initiated by the mayor and built by players.[29][195][196][197][198][199][200] Service buildings are further broken down into two main types:[29][195]

Constructed service buildings are available to every type of node in every location. Where the uniqueness comes in is in some of the default buildings like your node-type building.[201]Chris Justo

Service buildings are upgraded by expansions, which are unlocked through the placement of passive service buildings.[29][195]

  • Building expansions unlock higher tier workstations at the cost of dedicating service building plots.[73][198]

Service buildings incur a regular maintenance cost of node commodities and gold from the node treasury in order to continue operations.[29][204]

Node layout and style

Racial architecture of the same Village (stage 3) node on different server realms. 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.[8]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.[40]Margaret Krohn

Node layout and style is determined by several factors:[205][206]

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.[207]Steven Sharif
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.[208]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.[206]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.[214]Steven Sharif
  • The rest is determined by the node's mayor.[206]
    • It should be possible for a node to complete several building projects within a mayor's one month term in office.[215]
Q: How long would you say it will take players on average to fill/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 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.[215]Steven Sharif

Racial influences

Alpha-1 Village node layout.[216]

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.[209]Steven Sharif

Cultural influences manifest in many ways, from node and gear aesthetics to NPC languages and lore.[209][217][40]

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.[218]Steven Sharif

NPC racial interaction

Depending on the cultural influence of the node activates certain types of quest lines and/or sponsors. Some of those are shared, some of those are general. Some of those relate to a progression path that is a first time user experience. Those will be constant across all culture types. Some of them, however, are predicates that spawn when certain story arcs and/or events, or commissions or buy orders become present within the node; and those might change based on the cultural influence of the node. So there is a separation between those populations.[220]Steven Sharif

Unique node buildings

Each node type has a unique service building associated with it that can be activated at Village (stage 3) of node advancement.[201] The unique building plays a central role in the progress of civilization for a server realm.[19]

Reliquary

Node relic.[222] This is a protective relic that is preventing an attack. Once stolen, it enables a siege against the metropolis.[223]

The reliquary is a node building in Ashes of Creation that is used to house relics.[224][225][226]

  • Benefits will also be conferred to those who capture, steal or sabotage relics held the reliquary.[227]
When the node is destroyed, the reliquary's contents become available for spoil amongst the attackers; and now even though they weren't citizens might have access to what they wouldn't have access to before, because they weren't a citizen. They'll have access to grab a number of those instances of that material and that's going to be an important aspect because relics are going to be important as part of the whole crafting scheme. So this incentivizes- it acts as an incentive for players to want to engage and battle with these nodes and try to take what they have.[225]Steven Sharif

Node building destruction

Destructible castle.[228]

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 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.[229]Steven Sharif

Node buildings (including player housing) have hit points and can be damaged or destroyed by different systems.[203][230]

Mayors will also have the ability, if they want, to demolish constructed buildings. So if they if they so choose they can destroy a building if they don't think it's needed anymore. But this will have mandate cost and a player buy-in votes. So we want to make sure that [the] mayor can't just go and blow up the whole node if they're trying to grief or something. So this is very important and impactful decision.[29][204]John Collins

If building maintenance is not paid, or a building is damaged as the result of an event or siege, the building will enter a state of disarray.[29][204] Any NPCs or services offered by that building will not be available until the building is repaired.[197][230]

If a node siege is successful, or if buildings otherwise take significant damage, they are destroyed and appear as rubble on the plot they occupied.[29][204][203]

Player housing

Player housing racial styles.[241][242]

Players will have the ability to survey and develop land anywhere in the world. Be a pioneer deep in the wilderness, build the home of your dreams, and work the land to cultivate resources and supplies. Alternatively, stick with civilization and safety in numbers – purchase a home within the confines of a village and watch your investment grow as that village turns into a city. Homeowners in our game will have the ability to develop their plot of land as they see fit. Focus on farming, animal husbandry, or own your very own smithy. You’ll be able to specialize your land to maximize your profits or your comfort – be sure to choose wisely.[243]

Player housing is player-owned accommodation in the form of Apartments, Freeholds, Inns, and Static housing.[30][15]

A player may own up to one of each type of housing simultaneously.[244][245] Static housing and Apartments are one per server; Freeholds are one per account.[246]

Player housing Type. Availability. Starting count. Limit.
Apartments Instanced.[15] Village stage and higher.[247] 50.[248] One per character per server realm.[246]
Freeholds Open world.[15] Village stage and higher.[15] Low thousands per server.[249][250] One per account.[246]
Inns Instanced.[251] Starting areas and Nodes.[30] Most accessible.[30] -
Static housing In-node.[15] Village stage and higher.[15] 8.[248] One per character per server realm.[246]
If you were to think about the level of exclusivity between the different types of housing that we have, obviously the most exclusive when it comes to a quantity is going to be Freeholds, followed by In-node housing, followed by Apartments, then followed by Inns.[252]Steven Sharif

Static housing

Static housing provides non-instanced player accommodation within a node, also known as in-node housing.[15]

Apartments

Apartments provide instanced player housing functionality on a rental basis.[256][15]

The mayor may additionally construct apartment buildings when the node hits stage 4 at one of the building plots in the node, along with cities gaining additional static housing and apartments by default as a normal part of the leveling process.[247]Steven Sharif

Freeholds

Alpha-2 Freehold concept art.[242]

Three main purposes that freeholds provide are allowing players an opportunity to express themselves in a highly customizable fashion. So these are plots of lands that you have access to. You can build different types of buildings on. You can create housing and place furniture; and you can grow livestock and you can just own this piece of land. And one unique thing about allowing the players express themselves through this manner in Ashes of Creation is that it's in the open-world, so it's not an instance or a phase location that you are customizing. You're actually leaving a mark on the world that's representative of you as a player, as a character. Something you can you can roleplay. But importantly enough, when it comes to the economy, freeholds also provide the highest level of processing that's available; and processing is one of three primary branches that exist within the artisanship system. Processing is the intermediary step between what you gather in the wild and what you eventually craft via recipes. The the other primary purpose of freeholds is that they allow you to offer certain types of business services, because we don't just want to make freeholds delegated to the individual owner. We want it to have capabilities to interact with other players as they're walking past your freehold- as they're going to these hunting grounds and participating in quests or events that might be existing around; and that means that location matters for the freehold, because it's important to the business.[257]Steven Sharif

Alpha-2 freehold walkthrough.[258]

We got some sheep; we got some cows and pigs; and we got some chickens back there; and we have a lot of space for different farmables. So we have a wheat here, corn, and then tomatoes over there as well.[258]John Collins

Freeholds are sizable player housing plots that can be situated in baronies within the Zone of influence (ZOI) of a Village (stage 3) or higher node, including the ZOI of any of its vassal nodes.[249][259][260][242][261][262][263][15]

The idea is that we're not reserving freeholds for the top 10 percent of levelers, we're reserving freeholds for the top 10 percent across the multiple different play paths that exist within the game; and this spreads out that ownership across different playstyles.[271]Steven Sharif
Housing takes several forms in the world of Verra. However, Freeholds are the highest tier of player housing available. Acquiring a Freehold is a major accomplishment, and it will take a large amount of effort and strategy to get a Freehold of your own. Since there is a limited amount of space available to place Freeholds in each node’s region, these are symbols of prestige for those who are able to acquire and maintain their Freeholds.[249]
The number of Freeholds on a server will vary on a number of factors, such as how player actions advance nodes. At the moment we are targeting the low thousands for Freeholds on a server, but as we continue to test these systems during Alpha Two, we anticipate making adjustments.[249]
  • Blueprints are required for the construction of the freehold buildings that are used to process resources into crafting materials.[277][278][279][280][281]
    • The best processing can only be carried out on freeholds, so obtaining a freehold will require a large amount of effort.[282]
    If a player wants to achieve a freehold they can achieve the freehold, however the amount of effort resources and time that's required in order to achieve that freehold is a large amount. It is something that is a monumental achievement for you to to get that freehold; and the reason why is because freeholds tie in very heavily to the processing artisanship aspect. Some processing can be done in nodes, but the best processing is done on freeholds; and we want to make sure that there's a little bit of a throttle or gate on the amount of effort that's necessary to achieve that influence over the processing market.[282]Steven Sharif
    Just because the freehold is very difficult to attain doesn't mean that you don't have a space for housing and furniture that you can achieve through our apartment system or an inn or the static in-node housing. Those are alternate methods as well but they do not have that aspect of the best processing is done on the freehold.[277]Steven Sharif
  • Events do not target personal belongings such as freeholds.[284]
  • The spread of corruption in the world does not impact the freehold system.[285]
  • Players are not able to adjust the terrain of their freeholds. Sloped terrain will result in stilts beneath placeable structures (to keep them level).[286]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

Buying and selling (Real estate)

Players buy the deeds for housing from the node itself, or may buy and sell properties from other players.[287][288][289][24][15]

  • The developers are considering an auction-based method for listing new properties that become available for purchase when a node advances.[290] Currently freeholds may be acquired via auction.[249][259][260][265][242][261]
    • A grace period will occur before the housing becomes available for auction.[290]
    • Bids will then be accepted starting at a minimum reserve value that is based on the number of citizens in that node.[290]
    • At the end of the auction, the highest bidder will win the house.[290]
  • Housing will have a base price that scales with the number of citizens in the node.[291]
    • There is no cap on the price of player-originated housing sales.[255]
    • In-node housing will be at a premium, and is expected to be hotly contested.[15]
    • The more apartments that have been purchased in a node, the higher the price scales.[292]
We're establishing a real estate market that players can invest in and then sell within the in-game economy, but also they are a resource that's subject to removal through the sieging system as well, so there's a bit of risk implied there but the idea is that this is something for players to strive for.[264]Steven Sharif
  • Housing ownership can default back to the node if the owner fails to pay their property taxes. A balance and penalties will be charged to the new purchaser of the home in the manner of a "foreclosure process".[291]
  • Players will not be able to exceed their allotment of housing in the game.[295]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
  • Rental and leasing concepts are under consideration.[295]

Node sieges

Node sieges (Pre-alpha footage).[296]

As some areas in the world grow, others will fall. This is the foundation of the living, breathing world that is Ashes of Creation, where players will have the ability to make important decisions that matter in the longevity of an area becoming a city, or whether to siege a rival town. Rise above the ashes, create the world around you, and be a part of the story that unfolds because of your actions and decisions.[40]Margaret Krohn

Node sieges enable players to destroy nodes starting at Village (stage 3).[40] This paves the way for new development and access to the locked content in surrounding nodes. Due to this dynamic, political strife and intrigue play an important role in the structure of the world.[3]

  • Sieging nodes will not be an easy task for the attackers. Cities and metropolises will have a considerable defensive advantage.[3]
  • There will be systems that mimic some of the mechanics of sieges, but there won't be practice sieges.[297]
If you own a home in a node and you don't want to see that home destroyed, you need to defend that city![299]Steven Sharif

Read more...

Node destruction

Nodes can be destroyed starting at Level 3 - Village Stage, and are destroyed through sieges. Sieges are started via an item which is acquired through a quest that scales in difficulty with respect to the level of the Node which is being targeted for the siege. Once the item is brought to the Node and is activated, the declaration period begins and a countdown is initiated for players in the region to see. This countdown runs for a number of days equal to the level of the Node being sieged. Once the countdown is complete, the siege begins. There is a cooldown between sieges, and players must wait a certain amount of time after an unsuccessful siege before a new siege can be declared. The higher the Node level, the longer the cooldown between sieges. If a siege is successful, then the Node is brought down to Level 0, and anyone who was a citizen of that Node is no longer a citizen.[40]Margaret Krohn

Nodes can be destroyed starting at Village (stage 3) following a successful siege against that node.[40]

It is a normal process of the world to see PvP be a catalyst for change. That is one of the defining elements of our world building approach and being a PvX game is that PvE builds the world and PvP changes the world; and as these nodes get destructed this should be a normal habit that players are accustomed to seeing that landscape changing over time, because it is the breath of renewal that then is allowed as a result of that action.[39]Steven Sharif
Those are like open-world battlegrounds that spawn on the footprint of the node after a successful siege. And these are opportunities that previous defenders have to salvage certain materials and/or equipment from the destroyed node, or that attackers have to do the same. And there's interact points that live within that environment that take time in order to interact with, which makes those individuals susceptible to potential ganking or fighting. And you can control those areas; and that exists for some period of time. It's like an open-world arena system.[233]Steven Sharif

Impact on player housing

Player housing designs and decorations are retained and can be placed again later if the housing is destroyed during a node siege.[249][239][240]

Impact on in-node housing

info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

Following a node siege, static housing will be scaled back or destroyed based on the advancement of the node.[239]

  • If the housing was purchased at a higher advancement than the node currently is then it will be destroyed, otherwise the housing will be scaled back.

Impact on apartments

Apartments may be destroyed in the following circumstances:[239]

  • If their building was destroyed during a node siege, even if the siege was not successful.[232][239]
  • If the mayor decides to destroy apartment buildings all items and layouts will be mailed to the owner.[307]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.

Impact on freeholds

Freeholds may be attacked by any player for a period of two hours following a successful siege against its parent node.[308][309][40][310] Freeholds can also be lost by foreclosure for not paying property taxes or other fees.[249]

  • Players and their allies may defend their freehold for this period of time.[310]
  • Structures and guards may be obtained to defend freeholds during this period.[310]
When it comes to losing Freeholds like this, one person’s loss is another person’s gain. While there aren’t enough Freeholds in the world for everyone to have one at the same time, this cycle of players losing Freeholds creates opportunities for other players to acquire one.[249]

After the two hour period of open combat following a successful node siege, any remaining freeholds will exist under a grace period for roughly 1 week where another node may take over the zone of influence of the freehold.[309][40]

  • The freehold owner will be required to undertake a quest process to have their freehold adopted by a new node if one exists.[309]
  • At the end of the grace period, if the freehold does not reside within the ZOI of a Village (stage 3) node or above, it will be destroyed.[249][40][309][311]
If a siege is successful, then the Node is brought down to Level 0, and anyone who was a citizen of that Node is no longer a citizen. Freeholds within the Zone of Influence are subject to a period of vulnerability. These Freeholds can be destroyed by other players during a period of roughly 2 hours after a successful siege. Destroyed Freeholds are subject to material loss, and blueprints for them are mailed to the player to utilize for future placement in order to allow the player to keep their Freehold’s layout and structure. Once the vulnerability period is complete, any remaining Freeholds will exist under a grace period for roughly 1 week where another Node may take over the Zone of Influence of the Freehold.[40]Margaret Krohn
Q: How many times a year do you suspect that most players will be moving residence based on nodes being eliminated from sieges?
A: There are a lot of variables that influence that answer. I'm not sure I can give an average, but what I would say is that depending on the political dynamic of a server: if a server tends to have more combat and/or sieges against nodes, that is going to increase the amount of opportunity for freeholds to be removed from the world and then replaced. I'm not sure I have an average. what I will say is that it is very important to remember that Ashes is not a PvP game and it is not a PvE game. It is a PvX game and that has a very specific meaning. It means that as these systems are developed as they are designed and they are integrated with each other: they are done so from a competitive viewpoint and how that system relates to both PvE and PvP. Freeholds are one of those systems very much so and it's because of the cyclical nature that we're attempting to achieve with the development of nodes and the destruction of nodes, the world is a rapidly and dynamically changing place really. So it's intended to be something that is constantly recycling and is leaking out different types of content and new content that revitalizes the player interest and stimulates new points of conflict or cooperation.[312]Steven Sharif

Node redevelopment

A node that was successfully destroyed by a node siege may develop differently due to the following influences:[205][313]

Underrealm nodes

Underrealm nodes and nodes directly above them are considered adjacent but do not exist in the same ZOI.[50][51][52]

  • There will be "bleed over" between underrealm nodes and surface nodes in terms of influence and interaction.[51]
    • There may be visual cues above ground that indicate influence from underrealm nodes in that area.[51]

That might be a little bit of a departure from our design in the past. I know originally like two-plus years ago we were discussing how those would be independent of each other, but I think as we further defined the layout of the world map itself it made more sense for those to have some interaction and influence that's combined.[51]Steven Sharif

Coastal/island nodes

Pre-alpha naval concept.[317]

There will be healthy amounts of sea content within the coastlines of the continents that does not fall into the "open sea" area.[26]Steven Sharif

There will be nodes along the coast and on islands.[318]

  • These nodes will have specific water oriented influences, services, and questlines, that relate to the seas.[318]
    • There is a healthy amount of sea content within the coastlines of the continents that does not fall into the open sea area.[26]
  • The open sea does not contribute to the advancement of coastal nodes, even if it falls within the ZOI of the node. This is subject to change during Alpha-2 testing.[319]
  • Coastal nodes change the spawn tables of the nearby water content and can also trigger specific events.[320]
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.[321]Steven Sharif

Underwater nodes

Underwater points of interest that have NPC structures may appear to be like cities, but they will not be nodes.[326]

  • There won't be nodes underwater or in the water.[318]

Patron guilds

Patron guilds unlock the following benefits for their members.[327]

- Whether an organization is the patron of their node means it contributes the most amount of work to the node from its members.[328]

Any number of guilds can be in a node, but the number of patron guilds within a node is limited by node stage.[329]

Sharemarkets

Stock exchanges (also called Stock markets and Share markets) enable players to buy and sell shares in Nodes, Guilds and Social organizations.[330][331][332]

info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
  • There is no regulatory commission to restrict the purchase and sale of stocks.[333]

Visuals

Community guides

See also

References

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  236. 236.0 236.1 236.2 Livestream, April 30, 2020 (1:14:44).
  237. 237.0 237.1 237.2 siege spoils.png
  238. 238.0 238.1 238.2 Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:02:12).
  239. 239.0 239.1 239.2 239.3 239.4 239.5 239.6 Livestream, July 18, 2017 (40:14).
  240. 240.0 240.1 240.2 Livestream, November 17, 2017 (47:10).
  241. Livestream, June 30, 2023 (22:05).
  242. 242.0 242.1 242.2 242.3 242.4 242.5 Development Update with Freehold Preview.
  243. About Ashes of Creation.
  244. Interview, July 9, 2023 (42:11).
  245. player housing limits.png
  246. 246.0 246.1 246.2 246.3 246.4 Interview, May 11, 2018 (50:47).
  247. 247.0 247.1 247.2 247.3 Steven Sharif - Clarification points from today’s stream.
  248. 248.0 248.1 248.2 248.3 248.4 steven-housing-numbers.png
  249. 249.00 249.01 249.02 249.03 249.04 249.05 249.06 249.07 249.08 249.09 249.10 249.11 249.12 249.13 249.14 249.15 Blog: Exploring the Boundless Opportunities of Freeholds.
  250. 250.0 250.1 steven-freeholds-per-server.png
  251. Livestream, August 31, 2023 (22:32).
  252. Livestream, August 31, 2023 (18:13).
  253. Video, May 31, 2020 (38:50).
  254. Livestream, May 19, 2017 (33:57).
  255. 255.0 255.1 Interview, July 8, 2020 (33:34).
  256. 256.0 256.1 256.2 256.3 Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:50:50).
  257. Livestream, June 30, 2023 (9:09).
  258. 258.0 258.1 Video, June 30, 2023 (5:41).
  259. 259.0 259.1 259.2 259.3 259.4 Livestream, June 30, 2023 (1:12:07).
  260. 260.0 260.1 260.2 260.3 Livestream, June 30, 2023 (14:09).
  261. 261.0 261.1 261.2 261.3 Video, June 30, 2023 (21:22).
  262. Livestream, April 29, 2022 (1:03:44).
  263. 263.0 263.1 263.2 Livestream, May 19, 2017 (32:23).
  264. 264.0 264.1 264.2 264.3 Livestream, June 30, 2023 (1:15:34).
  265. 265.0 265.1 265.2 Livestream, June 30, 2023 (13:10).
  266. 266.0 266.1 stevenclarification.png
  267. Podcast, July 15, 2023 (11:21).
  268. steven-freehold-quest-level.png
  269. steven-freehold-quest.png
  270. 270.0 270.1 steven-freehold-sales.png
  271. 271.0 271.1 271.2 Podcast, July 15, 2023 (15:14).
  272. steven-estate-auction-currency.png
  273. Interview, July 8, 2020 (45:23).
  274. 274.0 274.1 Livestream, October 16, 2017 (56:42).
  275. steven-freeholds.png
  276. Livestream, June 30, 2023 (30:21).
  277. 277.0 277.1 277.2 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (1:09:29).
  278. Livestream, February 25, 2022 (1:12:27).
  279. Podcast, April 11, 2021 (40:20).
  280. Interview, March 27, 2020 (9:00).
  281. Livestream, May 5, 2017 (34:15).
  282. 282.0 282.1 Livestream, June 30, 2022 (1:08:02).
  283. Livestream, June 30, 2023 (26:23).
  284. Livestream, April 7, 2023 (37:56).
  285. Interview, July 9, 2023 (49:48).
  286. Livestream, January 31, 2024 (1:24:57).
  287. 287.0 287.1 steven-selling-freeholds.png
  288. 288.0 288.1 Livestream, June 26, 2020 (47:32).
  289. Livestream, June 26, 2020 (54:03).
  290. 290.0 290.1 290.2 290.3 Livestream, May 12, 2017 (55:01).
  291. 291.0 291.1 Livestream, June 26, 2020 (53:41).
  292. Livestream, May 12, 2017 (52:01).
  293. Livestream, June 26, 2020 (56:08).
  294. Livestream, June 30, 2023 (1:20:20).
  295. 295.0 295.1 Livestream, May 30, 2019 (1:23:41).
  296. Video, December 4, 2016 (0:02).
  297. Twitch Bustin - Practice Sieges?
  298. Livestream, December 22, 2020 (1:13:51).
  299. Video, April 30, 2017 (5:31).
  300. Livestream, January 28, 2022 (17:50).
  301. 301.0 301.1 Livestream, July 28, 2023 (1:26:16).
  302. 302.0 302.1 Podcast, September 29, 2021 (15:46).
  303. Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:48:43).
  304. nodes-delevel-to-zero.png
  305. steven-looting-relics.png
  306. Livestream, June 26, 2020 (1:00:57).
  307. Livestream, March 26, 2021 (59:21).
  308. Livestream, November 19, 2021 (54:26).
  309. 309.0 309.1 309.2 309.3 Livestream, August 28, 2020 (2:04:00).
  310. 310.0 310.1 310.2 Livestream, May 19, 2017 (28:04).
  311. Livestream, May 19, 2017 (29:34).
  312. Livestream, June 30, 2023 (1:39:22).
  313. 313.0 313.1 313.2 313.3 Livestream, May 24, 2017 (52:39).
  314. Livestream, May 26, 2017 (31:44).
  315. Livestream, May 26, 2017 (42:45).
  316. Livestream, May 24, 2017 (31:39).
  317. Livestream, August 17, 2018 (58:53).
  318. 318.0 318.1 318.2 Livestream, 2018-04-8 (PM) (1:01:28).
  319. Livestream, March 29, 2024 (2:26:40).
  320. Interview, July 19, 2020 (48:05).
  321. 321.0 321.1 Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:18:49).
  322. Livestream, October 14, 2022 (58:46).
  323. Livestream, May 19, 2017 (37:51).
  324. Livestream, May 17, 2017 (30:53).
  325. Kickstarter - We Just Broke $1,500,000!
  326. Livestream, 2018-04-8 (AM) (18:29).
  327. 327.0 327.1 327.2 327.3 327.4 327.5 Livestream, February 28, 2020 (1:06:51).
  328. Podcast, April 23, 2018 (24:47).
  329. 329.0 329.1 329.2 329.3 329.4 Livestream, June 28, 2019 (1:27:23).
  330. 330.0 330.1 steven-stock-markets.png
  331. 331.0 331.1 Livestream, May 17, 2017 (11:27).
  332. 332.0 332.1 332.2 Stock Exchange.jpg
  333. 333.0 333.1 Interview, October 20, 2018 (5:51).