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Road blocked by an environmental hazard due to a caravan event in Alpha-2.[1]

Our road system in-game is essentially driven by pre-placed routes that lead to this main artery of what was once the ancient highway system of Verra; and from there there are roads that become exposed when nodes advance; and we call those veins. They come off the main artery and then as nodes advance there are points of interest as Jeff was discussing earlier. These POIs that exist around the world and some of them share coverage with multiple nodes, but depending on which node advances to the stage that activates the point of interest it'll create these capillary roads so to speak that then stem off of the node itself. So you go from the main artery ancient road that's large- that runs through different zones and whatnot- and that breaks down into the veins that lead to the specific encampments and villages and towns that then spawn off separate capillaries that lead to the points of interest in these areas that are hunting grounds. Those are not exposed initially and they come online as players advance the world.[2]Steven Sharif

Roads adjusting to adjacent node progression.[3]

As nodes advance, these pre-laid road spots that exist connecting every possible route between certain node structures is going to adjust and adapt, both its material presentation, the type of roadwork that's present: It'll move from dirt road type, to perhaps a brick road, to perhaps some super ornate beautiful metropolis style road that will adjust around the world according to how these node structures begin to populate and advance.[3]Steven Sharif

Roads in Verra are both pre-generated and player influenced.[2]

  • The largest roads are referred to as arteries. These are remnants of what was once the ancient highway system of Verra.[2]
  • As nodes advance smaller roads, referred to as veins, connect the arteries to the nodes.[2]
  • Depending on the stages of node advancement, capillary roads will stem off the node to connect to points of interest.[2]
  • Roads or pathways are not worn into the landscape by repeated traffic over the same area.[2]
  • The quality, safety, and maximum transportation speed of roads is influenced by node building upgrades, policies, relics, and the level of nearby nodes.[4][5][6]
Q: Could you upgrade roads in the node to upgrade the roads and speeds of caravans?
A: Absolutely. So that buff that you saw is a buff that can be changed in the world based on the world state. Some of those world state interactions include certain types of relics that the nodes which govern your area might have access to and might be actively employing. Some of it might have to do with policies: You might be able to extend the guard influences across the road radius further out for certain nodes if you have certain policies. You might be able to enhance and empower those guards through itemization choices that are granted by building upgrades that the node selects to build.[4]Steven Sharif

Different seasons and events may affect access to various roads.[7][8][9][10]

  • Pathways that are open during summer may be closed during winter.[7][10]
  • Seasonal affects may cause obstacles or blockages to the transit of goods via caravan.[7][8][9][11]
  • Caravan events can cause roadways to be blocked off or hostile mobs to spawn to attack the caravan.[1][8]
    • Obstacles may present barriers on roads that players must remove or bypass to allow transit of goods.[1][7][10]
  • Water turning to ice in winter, enabling players to walk over the water but blocking access to what is underneath.[10]
    • Ice will make roads bumpy and slippery.[12]

Underrealm routes will open or close dynamically (based on node states).[13]

  • The location of Underrealm entrances throughout the world is focused around natural geographic choke-points that exist above ground. This provides alternate subterranean routes that can be used by caravans, raids, and other player activities.[14][13]
  • Not all entrances to the Underrealm will be open at the same time. This can shift dynamically (based on node states) that cause different routes to open up, which may be more or less advantageous than other routes.[13]

Caravan components can be utilized to improve on-road or off-road speeds of caravans.[15]

You will travel faster over roads, but that obviously comes with the increased risk of running into other players or monsters that are blocking the road.[15]Chris Justo

Freeholds may not be placed in close proximity to roads.[16]

Trade routes

Mayoral caravan launched by a mayor to establish a trade route with another node.[17]

For example: this node over here might have access to cotton as a resource and when that node processes that cotton it might be some very nice type of linen that only that node, or very rarely nodes would have access to. So when you initiate a trade route, you're bringing its supplies that the mayor has requested because they're trying to build, let's say a specific type of service building, or they're trying to unlock a blueprint that they have access to now to build up their node.[18]Steven Sharif

Trade routes in Ashes of Creation refer to.

  • Roads for the transit goods via the caravan system.[19]
    You might have a mountain pass and during winter that mountain pass is always closed and so the trade routes on land change with caravans and that's something that can not only exist on a cyclical level but also dynamically based on player activity.[19]
From a diplomatic standpoint the ability for the mayor or citizens to set up NPC routed trade routes between nodes as a trade agreement or as a diplomatic process.[18]Steven Sharif

Trade agreements

Mayors can enter into trade agreements with other nodes to facilitate trade between the nodes.[22][17][23]

  • There are a limited number of trade agreements that a node can have.[22]
info-orange.pngSome of the following information has not been recently confirmed by the developers and may not be on the current development roadmap.
Mercenary guilds will be a viable way forward for different organizations. I think there will be a lot of business to be had with that; and one of the systems in our trade agreements is creating an escrow for those particular type of arrangements that we're looking into.[26]Steven Sharif

Traversing waterways via caravan

Raft caravans are capable of transitioning to and from land caravans at the point of intersection of land and water.[27][5][28][29][30]

  • There will be a delay of "a few minutes" while the caravan transitions while a conversion structure spawns. This introduces a small window of vulnerability.[27][5][28][29]
Part of this transition process is again the risk that you're introducing for the reward of having greater flexibility in movement through the land and that risk is basically you're a sitting duck here for lack of a better term.[27]Steven Sharif
  • The conversion structure does not benefit from damage mitigation points of land or raft caravans, so it's a very weak position to be in.[31]
There's two kinds of methods to crossing rivers: One of them is with bridges, which are constructed by mayors and players, but the other method is via a transformation into a raft... It'll make you a little bit of a sitting duck while you're transitioning. Once you're in the water you'll get a nice speed boost from the currents; and it's a alternate means to getting stuck on the choke points that are bridges.[5]Chris Justo
Skill Icon Description
Convert to Caravan Convert to Caravan Icon.png Allows the raft caravan to turn into a vehicle that can traverse land.[ citation needed ]
Convert to Raft Convert to Raft Icon.png Allows the caravan to turn into a vehicle that can cross calm waters.[32]

Seasons affecting roads

Ashes of Creation Seasons in the Riverlands.[33]

Part of the triggers that can create seasonal change is not just time related for each of our biomes, but they are also indicated by events that occur on the server. Whether that be certain raid bosses forming, or a relic being acquired by a particular node and being activated to change potentially the weather out of a winter state into a spring state: and the reason why a node might have interest in doing that of course is because weather and the seasons also affect skills and abilities.[34]Steven Sharif

Seasons affect different zones (environments/biomes) based on their location in the world.[35][10]

  • A majority of environments will experience either two or four seasons, excluding corrupted areas, which is considered a "season" itself.[36]
  • Some biomes will have seasons that are less (or more) temperate. For example: Northern, Southern and Tropical regions.[37] Other biomes will have fixed climates.[38]
    • Biomes that are affected by seasonal cycles may experience drastic visual differences between seasons.[35]
  • Events may radically change the current season a zone is in, or elongate it.[8][9] This includes weather changes.[10]
  • There will also be magical seasons where you might be in a tropical zone and suddenly it's snowing.[37]
  • Items, crop cycles, buildings, and crafting mechanics might gain certain buffs or debuffs in certain seasons.[8][39][10]
  • Ocean and underwater areas will not have seasonal changes.[40]
Winter might have a spawner that activates on a road that spawns at large fallen tree and players who see that will have an opportunity to go up and exert some type of one-time action that helps in removing that tree and it might require X number of people to do that before the tree gets removed; and that as an example is not beneficial for the transit of goods because as caravans require- well they don't require but they move better on roads and if that tree were present let's say blocking a road that led to a bridge per-se that they would have to off-road.[10]Steven Sharif
  • Different seasons may affect access to various roads.[8][9][10]
    • Pathways that are open during summer may be closed during winter.[10]
    • Seasonal affects may cause obstacles or blockages to the transit of goods via caravan.[8][9][11]
    • Water turning to ice in winter, enabling players to walk over the water but blocking access to what is underneath.[10]
      • Ice will make roads bumpy and slippery.[12]
    • Seasonal flooding is something the developers are talking about internally, but will not be present in Alpha-2.[41]

Seasonal changes

Right now we're getting some rain which will usher in springtime and so you'll see all the flora that's growing up right now out of the ground.[42]Brian Gans

Seasons change on a regular basis, but may also be triggered or elongated by certain events.[43][44][45]

  • Each season will be approximately one or two IRL weeks long.[43][44][45]
They might last longer if you don't deal with the dragon, or if you keep that relic active, but these on a cycle on a cyclical perspective as a normal season transition might be exist within a one week timeframe right and then it transitions over a period of hours.[44]Steven Sharif
  • The final duration of seasonal cycles is subject to testing during Alpha-2.[46]
The weather systems, the season systems, that's going to be a obvious point of testing for Alpha 2 of course. We're going to play around with the different cycles and and times and how they impact the economy, the rotation of resources, the movement of goods: all of those things play into the purpose- one of the purposes of having seasonal systems. So that is something that we are going to play with during our Alpha 2 testing and will land on what feels both most comfortable- is visually appealing, but also has the impact on the economy that we desire to see on the design side.[46]Steven Sharif
  • Environmental seasons are not to be confused with PvP seasons, which last for six months.[47]
In Ashes of Creation the world will change on a regular basis. Zones will progress in a seasonal cycle, which will alter the very nature of the environment around you. Snow may block pathways that are accessible in warmer months, spring may encourage creatures otherwise unseen to come to the surface, and fall might be the only time that certain crops thrive. This cycle can then take in the state of the world’s Nodes and shift depending on their progression.[11]

Seasonal resources

Gloomy Pross is a seasonal resource that is only gatherable in the winter.[48]

If a particular region moves into a season and that week you can't grow a particular type of good, but another region halfway across the world can grow that good; and you talk about moving those goods across regions so that they're relevant to either craft workbenches or you can sell them in the local economies: That is a major indicator of movement of goods and movement of goods carries risks; and risks can create political foes and friends... Something as simple as just a climate can have cascading consequences across the entirety of the game.[35]Steven Sharif

Seasons affect crops and other herbology resources available for gathering or planting, including how crop rotation is managed.[49][7][10][50]

  • Seasonal variations in resource availability will impact the economy and necessitate the transit of goods between different regions.[7]
One of the things that is huge about the season system and how it affects crops and the gatherables in the game is the impact it will have on the economy. When a particular area no longer is capable for a week's period of time, or even potentially longer, of producing a certain type of crop or harvestable; and that has to change across the world regionally, now the transit system of those materials of those gatherables they become more relevant, and they're subject to potential risk; and the prices might go up in certain areas. It is something that is actually very instrumental in the overall design of the economy in the game.[7]Steven Sharif
  • Seasons may not directly affect certain gatherables, such as veins of ore, but access to those resources may be blocked during certain weather conditions.[49][7]
It won't likely affect too much on certain resource spectrums like veins of ore. Those might not be affected by the seasons or weather systems, but there might be blockages to cave networks that house those types of ore veins. Alternatively it is going to be significant impact on any type of herbology or plant-based types of gatherables. It's going to have significant impacts on crops that players can plant themselves on their properties; and that they'll be able to harvest. They're going to need to time the crop placement and its maturity window so that it's harvestable and available to be harvest before the change of seasons that might adversely affect certain types of crops. And not every biome will experience the same type of effects caused by the seasonality of the world. The desert biome might instead of snow have significant more winds that pick up that could be damaging to more fragile types of crops if you have a freehold in that location.[49]Steven Sharif

Freehold placement on roads

Alpha-2 freehold placement.[51][52]

There'll be a variety of predetermined parcels of land in each node's zone of influence; and once players acquire their freehold permit they'll be able to lay claim to any available parcel in the issuing node's region so- and by region we mean... the total combined territory of a node and all of its vassal nodes. So, if you acquire a freehold permit in the metropolis of a huge region, almost 20% of the map, you'll be able to lay a claim to an available parcel anywhere within that region. So it gives you a lot of freedom if you're able to acquire the permit from a metropolis.[53]John Collins

Freehold plots require a bound deed (permit/certificate) from the parent Village (stage 3) or higher node in order to place the plot.[54][51][52][55][56][16]

That was for a time a lively debate on our design team about whether or not there should be a level gate essentially from even preventing the potential for ownership. The reason why I chose to keep it at level 50 for now is because there are alternate systems that provide access at lower levels through permission setting. So it's one thing to own the home, it's is another thing to access the contents and to continue progression. Let's say, in the processing profession, you might want to gain mastery in: that mastery process leaves the nodes at around level 30 in the leveling experience for a processing profession; and so one of the debates on the design team was whether or not we should reduce the level requirement down to level 30 so that there's a seamless transition from node-based processing progression and the Freehold capability of progression.[59]Steven Sharif
You're going to see a little bit of change and this is one of the first ones: that these are predetermined locations that exist around the node or under its vassal structure that you will have the ability to bid on; and to give you a sense there, this allows us to customize a bit of those predetermined parcels, like a Sherwood Forest type of example.[53]Steven Sharif
  • A deed holder who has won an estate auction may then claim the estate from within a barony in that node's ZOI, including the ZOI of any of its vassal nodes. Placement of the plot is enabled by using the deed item in a player's inventory to get a top-down view of the estate, then selecting the desired location for the plot.[54][61]
    • Players can manipulate the orientation of their freehold plot.[64]
    • Successful placement of a deed gives the player access to their empty freehold plot and shed.[54][65][61]
It'll basically be an item in your bag; and once you get to your parcel, you claim that piece of land and then once it's claimed you'll be able to use the item to go into top-down view and layout actually exactly where your freehold will go on that parcel of land. You'll have a lot of freedom, so a lot that will be going through looking at your whole area of land you now own claim to and then deciding where the best spot to put your freehold in there would be.[61]Kory Rice
  • Collections of freeholds placed in close proximity are still considered part of their parent node and do not become a separate node, other than via roleplay.[77]

Underrealm routes

Underrealm node concept art.[79]

One of the aspects of the Lore behind the Tulnar was that in the pantheon of gods that exist- having foretold the future through the Goddess of Fate to the Goddess of Creation- these areas in the Underrealm were created in to allow for refuge for which the gods knew would be left behind that couldn't make it to Sanctus. So that was a pre-thought there in the creation of the Underrealm to facilitate that realm where refugees could seek.[80]Steven Sharif

Alpha-0 Underrealm Sharptooth cat mob concept art.[81]

We plan to have the Underrealm really pervasive throughout the game itself, a part of the open world. It will introduce some unique elements such as the type of monsters you see, the type of crops you can grow and houses you can have.[82]Steven Sharif

The Underrealm is a rich environment where bio-luminescence abounds in the fauna and flora that exist here. These deep caverns and underground valleys provide new destinations for civilization to develop. Bringing the node system into the depths of the world may awaken darker creatures than the surface.[83]

  • The Underrealm is estimated to be not too much bigger than 100 km2 in area.[84][85] It is not contiguous space across the entire map. There will be areas that are obstructed by chasms or other features.[14][13]
The expansiveness of the Underrealm itself is quite large. It does persist across across a lot of the playable game area that's above ground. So there are alternatives in the Underrealm for passages and traversal throughout the world.[86]Steven Sharif
  • The location of Underrealm entrances throughout the world is focused around natural geographic choke-points that exist above ground. This provides alternate subterranean routes that can be used by caravans, raids, and other player activities.[84][14][13]
The Underrealm is intending to be bespoke segments of Underrealm territory that are available around areas of choke-point in the world map that are above ground, which are provided for caravan transit across the world. So those caravans as they're approaching these choke-points on land, they will have alternate route options to go down into the Underrealm and to try to traverse that space, as opposed to the choke-points.[14]Steven Sharif
  • Not all entrances to the Underrealm will be open at the same time. This can shift dynamically (based on node states) that cause different routes to open up, which may be more or less advantageous than other routes.[13]
  • There will be bodies of water such as rivers and lakes in the Underrealm.[87][88][89]
    • These may house unique species of fish.[88][89]
    • Underwater content related to traversal may be included in these areas.[87] Previously it was stated that there won't be boats and other water vehicles in the Underrealm.[88]
Underrealm will have water associated with it and there may be areas where we leverage underwater content as either a means of traversal to reach certain locations, or require use of certain vehicle types in order to traverse.[87]Steven Sharif
  • Certain Tulnar tribes were able to develop Metropolis-scale constructions in the Underrealm. These locations will not be present at the start of Alpha-2.[90]

Points of interest

Alpha-1 preview pirate themed dynamic point of interest.[91]

This is actually a dynamic POI. This one will evolve as players evolve the node that it's attached to. So this is its final state.[91]Jeffrey Bard

New points of interest (such as dungeons, world bosses, and corrupted areas) spawn as nodes develop.[92][93] This content adapts to the node progression of the zone it is in.[91][94]

Certain dungeons and other points of interest across the map will all be affected by the server’s node development. Some dungeons will only be unlocked if nodes are developed to certain stages. The storyline objectives for players inside dungeons will also be dependent on the story arc paths chosen through the node system. The drop tables in area and dungeons will also be tied into the progression of certain areas. For example, let’s say that the humans have developed a node in Region A, and a storyline has opened up that leads players to inspect the ruins (dungeon) of a nearby area. And let’s say that this node was developed in a scientific (crafting) zone… Well before the node developed, this dungeon was accessible… But now the dungeon has propagated new monster assets that include a drop table catering to a crafting emphasis because of the development of that academic node. And perhaps, a new boss appears in different rooms of the dungeon that includes different adventure quest starts, like a mysterious item with a storyline that can only be progressed if a node develops to the metropolis stage in a certain region, across the world. Our system is so vast, when it comes to interconnectivity and how the world reacts to the players.[95]


See also


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  12. 12.0 12.1 frosty-roads.png
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