Release schedule

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JUST ANNOUNCED on our Development Update - Alpha Two is coming to you in 2024![1]Cody Peterson

The Ashes of Creation release schedule is subject to change.[2]

Prior to Alpha 2 we will test some more spot-oriented testing with some of the Alpha-1 testers and/or PI leading up to what would eventually become the Alpha-2 launch.[3]Steven Sharif
Phase Release Estimated/Actual date
Pre‑alpha Alpha-0.[4] December 15, 2017.[5]
APOC Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale stress test (NDA).[6] September 7, 2018.[7]
Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale stress test (NDA lifted).[8] October 19, 2018.[8]
Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale open beta.[9] December 18, 2018.[10]
Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale early access.[11] September 24, 2019.[12]
Ashes of Creation Apocalypse castle siege mode PI closed testing.[13] December 19, 2019.[13]
Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale testing ends.[14] March 10, 2020.[15]
Alpha Alpha-1 early preview livestream.[16] March 27, 2020.[17]
Alpha-1 limited QA testing (NDA).[18][19] May 28, 2020.[20][21]
Alpha-1 preview pre-test 1 (NDA).[22] Dec 18 - Dec 21 2020.[22]
Alpha-1 preview pre-test 2 (NDA).[22] Feb 19 - Feb 22 2021.[23][24]
Alpha-1 preview intermittent spot testing (NDA).[25][26] Mar 19 - Jul 9 2021.[25][26]
Alpha-1 preview weekend (no NDA).[25] July 9 - July 11 2021.[27][28][25]
Alpha-1 (no NDA).[25] July 14 - August 15 2021.[29][30]
Alpha-2 spot testing (NDA).[31][3][32] To be announced.[3][32]
Alpha-2 (No NDA).[3][33][34] 2024.[1]
Beta Beta-1. To be announced.[30]
Beta-2. To be announced.[30]
Pre‑release Head start for crowdfunding backers at the Founder level and above.[35] 1-2 days before launch.[35][36]
Release Launch (live) release. To be announced.[30][37]
Post‑launch Major releases (DLC expansions). Quarterly or six-monthly.[38][39]
Minor releases. Monthly.[38][39]

Testing phases

Ashes of Creation testing phases.

Ashes of Creation's core game systems are expected to be in place at the start of Alpha-2.[48][49] By the end of Alpha-2, the game is expected to be feature complete, but it will not be content complete until launch.[50][51]

The game will be feature complete before Beta... Beta really is intended to identify last minute bugs to make sure that everything is ready for launch; it's important that all features are complete by Beta-1. Alpha-2 will not be feature complete at the start of Alpha-2. There are going to be updates that are going to be incorporated as part of the Alpha-2 process and there are going to be additional features that come online that get fleshed out between that time and Beta-1. There's going to be regions of the maps that aren't going to be accessible of course during Alpha-2.[51]Steven Sharif
Alpha-2 is intended to exist up until launch. There's going to be different testing periods that we will be releasing either new content locations or zones or systems that we want to have players focus in on. In those situations, if we're having participation drought because of the length of Alpha-2, we can set them up in a more focused setting. We can even incentivize that. We can offer unique testing to potentially new testers as well.[50]Steven Sharif
  • The developers will not necessarily announce NDA testing periods.[31]

Ashes of Creation

Ashes of Creation.[54]

Ashes of Creation takes place within a medieval fantasy setting, blending imagination with cutting-edge graphics. We are putting the word massive back into massively multiplayer with unique and novel mechanics that will bring meaning to player action. Ashes of Creation will incorporate the best parts of traditional MMORPGs with innovative sandbox concepts. You will choose your fate at every opportunity. Questlines will open and close based on the interactions of the players with their world, because this is a world where choice is consequential. Monsters will roam and grow in ferocity as civilization disrupts the natural order of things. From the location of towns to the size of cities, you will determine the landscape of your world. It will be unique in culture, ecology, and economy.[55]

Ashes of Creation is an upcoming MMORPG set in a world of high fantasy where player’s choices will shape and define the world around them.[56]

Ashes of Creation is a unique take on the MMO experience. Our world structure is dynamic and built to react to the actions of our players. Cities will rise and fall, their populations based on the history of the world as the players create it. Quests will unlock as these populations gather, their needs grow, and secrets are unlocked. As the world’s NPC structure is established in real time, players will have the ability to destroy what they’ve created, paving the way for new development, new populations, and real change. Political strife and intrigue will play a very real role in the structure of your world. Gone are the days of static worlds, change is here to stay.[55]
  • The developers are hoping for over a million concurrent users at launch.[58]

Alpha-1

Alpha-1 Teaser.[59]

This is a true development alpha. This is not a marketing alpha; and what that means is as you know part of the process here in developing Ashes of Creation is being open with that development so you guys can see that progress; and it is a double-edged sword. There are going to be a spectrum of people that exists who are very involved with the game's development and those who are just completely at an arm's length away in understanding the process; and they may look at alpha one- the people who don't really understand the development process or haven't been a part of it- they may look at it and they may think oh you know this is trash, looks like trash, you know whatever it's the end-product. But at the end of the day what's important for us and what yields the best possible product is for us to include as much as possible the community in that development process with no NDA so that you guys give valuable feedback; and as we go through the iterative process in further defining the game and fleshing out that content were doing so with the player in mind and their voice in our ear. That is I think one of the key distinguishing factors between our development and many developments that you guys may have seen in the past.[60]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 preview ancients mobs.[61]

What this experience for Alpha one is going to be- that month-long experience- it is not intended to be a content experience... It is not intended to be a game experience. It is not intended to be a fully-fledged content experience. So keep that in mind.[62]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 was a testing release of the Ashes of Creation MMORPG.[64]

  • Character
    • Progression to level 15.[67][68]
      The composition of class skills or archetype skills has to tread a fine line between two roads: One we wanted to be representative of skills not just that would traditionally be found 1 through 15 but we're actually introducing some skills that might be found later, because we want to test those particular ideas and how the skill functions.[67]Steven Sharif
    • Character creator (basic).[69][70][71][72]
  • Races
    • 4 playable races Kaelar, Vaelune, Dünir, Empyrean.[77][70]
      A lot of times people ask well why haven't we seen the other races and stuff? We want to establish the quality bar and process with these races first and then when we move into further content production for the other races we have have those pipelines in place and we have the processes in place and we know how to approach them.[78]

The weapon attack is an important component of the combat system, so we want to make sure that as we're doing this combat revamp that we are essentially taking into consideration player feedback and sentiment about how they want a reactive and more mobile weapon attack system.[79]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.

Alpha-2

Alpha-2 character creator user interface (first pass).[102]

When we talk about Alpha-2's perspective, it's really focused around core systems and their ancillary counterparts. When we talk about what those core systems are, it's the siege systems; it's the guild war systems; it's the node advancements; it's the story arcs; it's the character class progression; it's the augments; it's our artisanship loops and the gathering, processing and crafting cycles; it's homeownership; it's vehicles and mounts; and any number of professions that exist there; and then also a big chunk of Alpha-2 is obviously content: The ability to ensure that the hooks for these quest hubs within the nodes; the points-of-interest are stood up and reflective of the content necessary to facilitate that those story arcs; and commissions and buy orders. That's really the CORE of what we need to achieve in order to demonstrate the loops, collect feedback from those loops and the players who are play testing them; and then make iteration as necessary based off of the feedback we've received.[48]Steven Sharif

Alpha-2 character creator intro (first pass).[103]

Alpha-2 is really the testing grounds for a lot of the more minute details of how a particular system works; and you can change a lot of those details without actually needing to change the feature that's been developed. These are variables that exist within the code that we have control over so that when we want to iterate upon it it's easy to do iterations: and some of those iterations can feel very impactful to the system overall. So Alpha-2 really is meant to gauge this initial approach and then we're afforded the ability to change that drastically by tuning and changing some of the aspects of the specifics of the system.[104]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation's core game systems are expected to be in place at the start of Alpha-2.[48][49] By the end of Alpha-2, the game is expected to be feature complete, but it will not be content complete until launch.[50][51] Alpha-2 will last until launch and will run in parallel with Beta-1 and Beta-2.[50][33]

Alpha-2 is intended to be a true functional representation of all the core systems and features.[105]Steven Sharif

Alpha-1 and Alpha-2 testers may be invited to participate in spot testing prior to the Alpha-2 release.[3][52]

Alpha-2 is known as the persistent alpha.[33][34]

Q: What systems are still needed to be rolled out before Alpha two?
A: I don't think it's at a core level that there's a particular system that has yet to be feature developed. Right now, it's more along the lines of expanding on those features, getting UI support for those features... UI, VFX, audio effects: Those are all big bottlenecks because they tend to occur at the end of the pipeline of content development; and then also ensuring that the interactions are polished and working. So from a large feature perspective- let me think about that, what large feature endeavor is still outstanding on the Alpha-2 front? A lot of it is content. I'm not sure that it's a feature one. I can't think of any large system features that haven't been stood up from a core functional perspective that don't just need expanding on, slash content development on.[138]Steven Sharif
Q: And when you say content, that's like art and implementation and so on?
A: Narrative quests, the assets, the modelling, the particular types of buildings, the armor sets, the creatures, the visual effects, audibility systems. Those are all content that accompany what the code is creating from a mechanical perspective.[139]Steven Sharif

Alpha-2 core features list.[48]

Beta testing

The Beta-1 and Beta-2 testing phases of Ashes of Creation will be short.[140]

  • The game is intended to be feature-complete before Beta-1.[51]
Content wise, beta will have nearly everything release will have.[141]Steven Sharif

Head start

Head start grants early access one or two days prior to the live launch of Ashes of Creation for crowdfunding backers at the Founder level and above.[145]

  • Head start is a means to gradually ramp up the population to avoid player concurrency issues at launch.[146]
  • Head start will also be a way to address any last-minute launch or deployment issues.[147]

The point of head start is twofold: One for testing, making sure that the live launch servers pre-wipe are good; and then Two, it's a way to stagger the population move into the game. Because if you have servers with 10,000 concurrent player capability and you have everyone logging in at the exact same time, that is a problem I've never seen an MMO tackle successfully, ever.[146]Steven Sharif

Headstart servers

The number of head start servers is estimated to be three. This is subject to change.[148]

  • There will be an OCE headstart server.[149]

Headstart limitations

The game functionality is limited during the head start period so that players cannot decide the world-scape earlier than others.[150]

  • During the head start, the node system will be deactivated.[150]
  • Head start specific servers are also planned.[150]
  • It will not be possible to secure player housing during the headstart period due to the deactivation of the node system.[150]

Head start was not a mistake, I tend to listen to my development team with regards to their vast past experiences in mmo launches and development. Advice from engineering on head starts was they are extremely desired in order to test any last minute launch/deployment issues that “always” happen. So I did as much as possible to mitigate the potential p2w elements/issues while still adhering to sound development principles. Including designating which servers are head start servers. So wanna make sure we don’t “chop” this one as a mistake or misstep. Everything done is done to ensure a quality launch/product.[147]Steven Sharif

NDA

Alpha-1, Alpha-2, Beta-1, Beta-2 releases are not covered by NDA (non-disclosure agreement).[151]

We may not always announce when the NDA testing is, because we're not definitive how that testing is going to influence the future testing schedule; and we don't want to set the wrong expectation from a broader audience perspective on what they should be expecting with regards to testing.[31]Steven Sharif

Participation

  • Alpha-0 had over 2,500 participants.[153]
  • Alpha-1 testing had approximately 9,600 participants as of August, 2018.[154][155] There were slightly over 13k participants as of May 31, 2021.[154] There were 5,300 unique logins during the 3 day weekend test of May 27, 2021.[154]
info-orange.pngThis section will be updated as soon as information is made available by the developers.

Pre-order-packs with Alpha-2 access are ending

September 2023 will be the final pre-order packs for Ashes of Creation.[159]

Why are the pre-order packs ending?
Our pre-order packs were intended to be a way for players to support the project by providing an opportunity to collect exclusive cosmetic appearances that are used in creating the world of Verra, while respecting our commitment to zero-tolerance pay-to-win whatsoever. As we draw closer to our Alpha Two and Beta testing periods, we want to ensure a glorious experience for our players who have signed up to help make Ashes of Creation the MMORPG it deserves to be. To that end, we have decided to discontinue the packs until such time as our internal and/or external testing supports the admission of additional testers. We will continue to update our community when more ways become available to access Alpha Two or Beta testing through our communication channels.[160]
When will the final pre-order packs end?
The final Pre-Order Packs will end on January 17, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific in order to ensure everyone has enough time and notice with regards to the final Pre-Order Packs’ availability.[160]
Does this include the Beta-1 and Beta-2 pre-order packages as well?
Yes. While we anticipate we will reopen the ability to purchase Beta packages in the future, these options will not adopt the same format of regularly recurring monthly exclusive cosmetics as our existing Pre-Order Packages currently offer.[160]
If I do not get a pre-order pack, does that mean I will not be able to join Alpha-2, Beta-1, or Beta-2 in the future?
Not necessarily. We will continue to engage with our community and content creators to offer various giveaways that players will have an opportunity to participate in. After our internal and/or external testing satisfies the admission of additional testers, we may provide alternate methods of purchasing access into testing periods.[160]
When the pre-order packs end, will there be other items on the Ashes of Creation shop?
We may provide cosmetic items and merchandise in the shop at a future date.[160]
I purchased a previous pre-order pack, but I like The Unseen Order cosmetics better. Can I switch out my cosmetics for these?
Previously purchased cosmetics may not be exchanged, though we do provide a 90-day return policy. If you own an existing Pre-Order Pack, you may also purchase individual cosmetics offered in the current pack a-la-cart.[160]
Can I upgrade my pre-order pack after sales for the pre-order packs end?
Yes. You will continue to have the option to upgrade your Pre-Order Pack to a higher-tier package after sales of Pre-Order Packs end. If you upgrade, it will not give you the cosmetic items of the same type (Accessory, Pet, Mount, etc.) that came with the previous pack you purchased. Only the additional cosmetic items from the upgrade to The Unseen Order Pre-Order Pack will be granted.[160]
Can I purchase add-on cosmetics from The Unseen Order after pre-order packs are removed from the shop?
Yes. You will continue to have the option to purchase add-on cosmetics from The Unseen Order, based on what your Pre-Order Package level gives you access to.[160]
How long will I be able to upgrade my pre-order pack or purchase The Unseen Order add-on cosmetics?
We don’t have a date to share for this yet, but we’ll give everyone plenty of notice before ending the ability for them to upgrade their Pre-Order Packs or purchase add-on cosmetics from The Unseen Order.[160]
What about upgrading Kickstarter packages? When do those end?
You will still be able to upgrade Kickstarter and Summer Backer Packages. We’ll give plenty of notice before ending the ability for people to upgrade their packs.[160]

Server wipes

Alpha and Beta servers will be wiped prior to launch.[53]

As a general rule, if the testing phase contains the word Alpha, it is safe to assume there will likely be wipes.[163]Steven Sharif

Milestones

December 2015 First team members were hired.[164]
February 2016 Ashes of Creation design documentation and prototyping.[165][164]
December 10, 2016 Official website was launched and project announced.[164]
January 18, 2017 Official discord was launched.[166]
May 2, 2017 Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign launched with $750,000 funding goal.[167]
June 3, 2017 Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign completed with 19,576 backers raising $3,271,809.[168]
June 2017 Game production began with a team size of 15-20.[165]
June 21, 2017 Summer crowdfunding campaign launched.[169]
July 22, 2017 Summer crowdfunding campaign completed with 2,485 backers.[170]
September 1, 2017 PAX West 2017.[171][172]
November 4, 2017 Raised $16,500 for Extra Life children's hospitals.[173]
December 15, 2017 Alpha-0 released on schedule.[5]
March 19-23, 2018 Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2018.[174]
April 5, 2018 PAX East 2018.[175]
August 15, 2018 Last day for purchases of Alpha-1 through Intrepid pre-order packs.[70]
August 20, 2018 At Gamescom with My.com.[176]
August 27, 2018 100 developers working on Ashes of Creation.[177]
September 1, 2018 PAX West 2018 panel.[178]
October 19, 2018 Ashes of Creation Apocalypse battle royale (previously called Alpha-1 phase 1 battlegrounds).[8]
November 4, 2018 Raised $20,518 for Rady Children's hospital with Extra Life.[179]
April 15, 2019 60 developers working on Ashes of Creation at San Diego offices (following disengagement with Malaysian art team).[180]
November 3, 2019 Raised $20,901 for Rady Children's hospital with Extra Life.[181]
August 21, 2020 Announced a mutual parting of ways with publisher My.games.[182]
October 17, 2020 Almost 3,000,000 registered accounts for Ashes of Creation.[183]
October 17, 2020 ~87 developers working on Ashes of Creation.[184]
November 8, 2020 Raised $88,546 for Rady Children's hospital with Extra Life.[185]
February 26, 2021 Official ashesofcreation.com website redesign.[186]
May 5, 2021 Alpha-1 sales resumed with the announcement of the Adventurer pre-order pack.[187]
May 17, 2021 Verbal NDA was lifted from Alpha-1 testing.[188]
July 9, 2021 Alpha-1 no-NDA preview weekend began on schedule.[28]
July 11, 2021 Alpha-1 no-NDA preview weekend completed on schedule.[27]
July 14, 2021 Alpha-1 no-NDA month long test began on schedule.[189][190]
August 15, 2021 Alpha-1 no-NDA month long test completed on schedule.[29]
November 7, 2021 Raised $34,485 for Rady Children's hospital with Extra Life.[191]
December 23, 2021 Announced that Ashes of Creation is moving to Unreal Engine 5.[192][193]
January 14, 2022 Over 120 people working on Ashes of Creation.[194]
November 5, 2022 Raised $77,939 for Rady Children's hospital with Extra Life.[195]
August 31, 2023 Over 150 people working on Ashes of Creation.[196]

Accomplishments

  • Kickstarter's most funded MMORPG.[197]
  • Kickstarter's #7 most funded video game.[198]
  • Most anticipated MMO – MMORPG.com's Best of 2017 Awards.[199]
  • Most anticipated early access hands-on MMORPG – MMOs World.[200]
  • Gamescom 2018: Best Independent game.[201]
  • Gamescom 2018: Best Online game.[201]
  • Best indie MMO of 2020 – massivelyop.com reader's poll.[202]
  • Most anticipated MMO of 2021 and beyond – massivelyop.com reader's poll.[203]
  • Top 10 Best Upcoming New MMORPGs For 2021 And Beyond – Forbes.[204]
  • 2022 Best MMO Studio – MMOGames.[205]

See also

References

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  130. Livestream, April 29, 2022 (25:16).
  131. Livestream, February 25, 2022 (1:10:00).
  132. Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:52:20).
  133. Livestream, January 28, 2022 (7:26).
  134. Livestream, December 23, 2021 (40:53).
  135. Livestream, December 23, 2021 (50:50).
  136. steven-bear-a2.png
  137. Livestream, October 31, 2018 (47:44).
  138. Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:11:53).
  139. Interview, July 9, 2023 (1:13:08).
  140. Livestream, October 31, 2018 (57:22).
  141. Steven Quote 4.png
  142. steven-bear-beta-1.png
  143. Livestream, August 27, 2021 (1:19:43).
  144. Livestream, 2018-04-8 (AM) (6:39).
  145. kickstarter head start.png
  146. 146.0 146.1 Podcast, August 4, 2018 (2:00:05).
  147. 147.0 147.1 steven-headstart.png
  148. Interview, August 8, 2018 (25:53).
  149. head-start-oce-2018-8-8.png
  150. 150.0 150.1 150.2 150.3 headstart.jpg
  151. Livestream, January 18, 2018 (49:26).
  152. Livestream, May 29, 2020 (31:37).
  153. Interview, August 24, 2018 (12:18).
  154. 154.0 154.1 154.2 steven-a1-participation.png
  155. Livestream, August 17, 2018 (24:07).
  156. 156.0 156.1 156.2 Livestream, November 17, 2017 (28:50).
  157. a2-participants.png
  158. Livestream, January 27, 2023 (11:05).
  159. Ashes of Creation Store: August cosmetics.
  160. 160.0 160.1 160.2 160.3 160.4 160.5 160.6 160.7 160.8 160.9 Ashes of Creation Store: September cosmetics.
  161. Alpha one test schedule, Mar 12, 2021.
  162. Livestream, November 30, 2020 (7:27).
  163. 163.0 163.1 server-wipes.png
  164. 164.0 164.1 164.2 MASSIVELY OP interview: Ashes of Creation on a new way to MMO.
  165. 165.0 165.1 steven-milestones.png
  166. Ashes Discord.png
  167. Ashes of Creation Kickstarter campaign
  168. Ashes of Creation Kickstarter.
  169. Summer Crowdfunding.png
  170. summerended.png
  171. PAX West 2017 Schedule.
  172. PAX West 2017 Map.
  173. Intrepid Studios Dev Team.
  174. GDC.png
  175. PAX East.png
  176. gamescom.png
  177. Ashes of Creation Gamescom 2018 Interview: Responding to Criticism.
  178. Newsletter, 2018-08-7
  179. Intrepid Studios Extra Life 2018 (@MediaAoC).
  180. Interview, April 15, 2019 (5:09).
  181. extralife2019.png
  182. Blog: New Adventure Awaits.
  183. Interview, October 17, 2020 (18:36).
  184. Interview, October 17, 2020 (56:55).
  185. extralife2020.png
  186. Livestream, February 26, 2021 (9:51).
  187. Ashes of Creation Store: May cosmetics.
  188. steven-a1-verbal-nda.png
  189. toast-a1-launch.png
  190. Guide to Alpha One.
  191. extralife2021.png
  192. Video, December 23, 2021 (0:00).
  193. Livestream, December 23, 2021 (19:59).
  194. Interview, January 14, 2022 (9:11).
  195. extralife2022.png
  196. Livestream, August 31, 2023 (2:16:45).
  197. kickstarter most funded MMORPG.png
  198. kickstarter most funded video game.png
  199. MMORPG.com's Best of 2017 Awards.
  200. Most Anticipated MMORPGs For 2018.
  201. 201.0 201.1 DualShockers’ Gamescom 2018 Awards
  202. MassivelyOP 2020 awards reader's poll.
  203. MassivelyOP reader's poll.
  204. Forbes: Top 10 Best Upcoming New MMORPGs For 2021 And Beyond
  205. Twitter - MMOGames.