Ashes of Creation clears $1M in crowdfunding, shows off mounts, and dangles kitties and puppies

Two days into its Kickstarter campaign, Ashes of Creation has already raised over $1 million and reached its first stretch goal. This means that tavern games of chance will be added to the game’s feature set.

Next up for the campaign’s stretch goals is “enhanced” mounts at $1.25M. There’s also a brand-new backer goal: If Ashes of Creation can accumulate 6,500 backers, the team will include free puppy and kitty pets for anyone who contributes to the Kickstarter.

For those curious about all of these special mounts mentioned in the various backer tiers, the team did post several pieces of concept art to talk about these exclusive beasts. Backer mounts will include particle effects and “unique emissives,” and in the case of one particular animal, even be able to change color depending on the rider’s mood.

The Ashes of Creation Kickstarter page does boast an extensive FAQ that answers a lot of questions people have had about the project, but for all the unanswered questions, we’ve requested a fresh interview round with the devs covering everything from the allegations of past business shenanigans to the affiliate system to just how its flag PvP will work, and we’ll be happy to share that interview just as soon as the studio has completed it.

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58 Comments on "Ashes of Creation clears $1M in crowdfunding, shows off mounts, and dangles kitties and puppies"

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Rottenrotny

6,693 fools and counting.. (◔_◔)

$1,203,001 / 6,693 = $179.74 avg per backer.

I will never understand why anyone would pay that much for a game that doesn’t exist.
Gamer absurdity is not in short supply in 2017.

Tizmah
Reader
Tizmah

AoC? Age of Conan? Oh I remember Age of Conan pre-release. All the hype and how amazing AoC was going to be pvp and pve wise.

Yeah, I’ll pass on Ashes of Creation until I see something way more concrete :)

Reader
Serrenity

While I didn’t back it, they actually do seem to have a fair amount of their shit together. The tech demo on the video is pretty impressive. While it’s always a risk, I think Ashes is in a markedly better position than most other kickstarter games.

Reader
Tazuras

The mount concept art looks cool. I like that their mounts have a variety of mechanics (some can be used for trading goods, others can glide and the rarest, that can only be used be in game leaders of large cities, can fly).

I could care less about the puppy or kitty, not only are they pretty plain, but i’m not a big collector of the animated 3d models in MMO’s that are known as pets.

Glad another interview packet was sent to them, there seem to be a good number of commenters here with questions about various aspects of the business and game design.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Paragon Lost

Very cool and congrats to AoC for how well the fundings going.

Reader
agemyth 😩

MOUNTS and PETS and MOUNTS and PETS and BOATS, but first give us more money.

Liandreth
Reader
Liandreth

Cool. It’s certainly been fun watching the kickstarter. I’ve managed to etch my pledge down by $10 to the same tier, just a cheaper version. I’m still attempting to get it cheaper. We’ll see :)

Reader
Manastu Utakata

“unique emissives,”

…I read that as “flatulent” somehow. :(

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

*titters like a five year old boy.

Reader
rafael12104

Heh. Unique emissions. Lol. Makes sense to me.

Reader
Sorenthaz

Better than thinking nocturnal emissions I guess.

Reader
ogged451

These days, I usually lose interest when I encounter the words “high-fantasy”. Happened here too. My baby 5e Lore College Bard is all the high-fantasy I need at this time.
Give me more Anarchy Onlines, Repopulations, Secret Worlds (not that SWL thing though) and Superhero Cities.

Reader
Skai R

Isn’t the creator or head dude a multi-millionaire himself? Plus, he already has private investors so the KS was just for people who wanted it.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

PvP. Kittens and puppies. Go so well together.
I’m sure nobody cares but I’m never again supporting a game where PvP isn’t consensual. Hoping the devs read that, because I know I am not alone.

I don’t understand why PvP can’t be consensual. Why it must be so Dahmer-ish.

Would love to hear an explanation of that that doesn’t include “so the psychos who enjoy ganking lowbies will want to play our game”.

Reader
kelvar

Wait… they have non-consensual PvP?! That’s a big problem for me as well…

Reader
Paul

“I’m never again supporting a game where PvP isn’t consensual.” – I’ll take that one stage further “I’m never again PLAYING a game where PvP isn’t consensual, OR where the best PvE rewards are gated behind a PvP barrier (ArcheAge, Shroud of the Avatar – I’m pointing at you :P).”

Zander
Reader
Zander

Would love to hear an explanation

While I’m not a pvper to explain the motives, I want to say that I found my fears of being ganked in games like Black Desert and Archeage were overly exaggerated. As you know, in BDO there are pvp penalties for indiscriminately attacking players who are not at war. These days you have to provoke someone quite a bit or be in a hotly contested grind area to even worry about it. While Archeage was purely open pvp with no gank penalties per se, if you committed too many offenses you were sent to jail when killed, served extensive time in some cases and then became a pirate, which barred you from using the open world’s services and npc’s. Both games apply this ‘wanted’ mechanic to grievers and they would often find it just wasn’t worth being a reckless killer.

While this doesn’t explain why it can’t be consensual as a mechanic, it does explain some buffer mechanisms in place to assure non-pvp focused players that it’s not a free kill.

Reader
Orenj

my fears of being ganked in games like Black Desert and Archeage were overly exaggerated

I’d agree with the former, but not the latter–couldn’t even engage in a core mechanic of cross-ocean trade (just to get required ingredients for crafting, even…) without having to survive a constant supply of gankers camped near the trade person.

Reader
Melissa McDonald

Once I got murdered in ArcheAge, I didn’t wanna play anymore. Permadeath also happens when somebody else ruins the game for you, unfortunately.

Zander
Reader
Zander

I understand where you are coming . You seem to be knowledgeable, opinionated and strong willed, MM.
I would hope though that it’s something you can overcome. Don’t let death at the hands of another player stop you from enjoying the other great aspects of a game.

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

Last time i ventured onto BDO forums all I saw regarding pvp was how useless it was with all the penalties so I don’t think it has fans everywhere.

Reader
silverlock

The flagging system sounds on par with BDO so I’m fine with that myself.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

they’ve talked about a flagging system. with any luck the design on said system won’t be rehash of darkfall adn company.

edangerous
Reader
edangerous

As much as I like their ideas I remain very sceptical about what they will actually be able to deliver, as always words < actions. How many times have devs promised the world only to deliver something far, far less?

There's a thread on the subreddit where some questions get answered about pyramid scheme / XanGo / multi level marketing stuff https://www.reddit.com/r/AshesofCreation/comments/68tk1l/why_the_ashes_of_creation_referral_program_is_not/dh1912j/

Reader
MesaSage

Puppies and kitties? Seriously, people need to turn down the hype and turn on their spidey senses on about this game.

Reader
Henrik Boriths

The hype for this game seems like all the other 100 MMOs released the last 10 years.

Oh boy people are gonna be upset soon.

Reader
portnavi

Looking at the team composition, who’s involved, and the fact that they’re using UE4 sets off enough alarm bells that should make anyone skeptical enough to avoid dumping money into this.

But even on a surface level, it all seems fairly generic.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

what do you think is wrong with UE4?

it supports pretty sizeable seemless maps and higher popultions than other engine packages out of the box. with solid modding and scripting support.

my own project is using ue4 and it’s very very attractive for MMO type games.

Reader
kelvar

What would be a more appropriate level of hype? What do you feel they should have done differently? Should there have been no website, Kickstarter, or mention of the game at all? What’s the appropriate means of generating awareness for their product? I’m genuinely curious to hear what you think.

Tizmah
Reader
Tizmah

It’s called quit being vague, telling people what they want to hear and show what the actual game does. They just tossed a bunch of buzzwords and half-baked concepts which as already created a bunch of absurd expectations which will only lead to a massive let down. It has happened with every over hyped MMO and this is another.

Reader
kelvar

Can you clarify what the absurd expectations that other people have are? Which buzzwords and half-baked concepts are being tossed about that are certain to lead to a massive let down?

What did everyone want to hear that they’ve been told?

I realize you’re responding on behalf of someone else with… assumptions about what some group of people are expecting to hear and how they may have interpreted it but you didn’t actually answer my questions except to say “quit being vague”. Ironically, kind of a vague response.

They’ve given developer videos, interviews, demonstrated gameplay, such as it is at this stage, and so forth.

One the one hand, you say that’s hype, buzzwords, and half-baked and on the other you say it’s vague.

Well, which is it? What is the appropriate marketing / information sharing strategy that would satisfy you? Or is there one?

Reader
Van

$1 million dollars seems like a drop in the bucket for modern game development. How can all these indie MMORPG’s possibly work?

Reader
Lethality

There’s a lot more pre-fab tech and middleware out there than there used to be. They don’t have to create nearly anything custom from scratch that a big studio (might choose) to do.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

the same way more complex system and design wise but less dense on more expensive types of content wise mmo’s worked a decade and more ago.

quests, cut scenes, dungeons, etc are really expensive to fit into non sp/coop games to the density required to get 100s of hours of playthrough from vanilla base copy, let alone continue to develop post launch after the teamm are sized down, in a vain attempt to retain paying players.

generall if the feel of gameplay feels good, games that focused more on systems to push gameplay tended to retain at a much higher rate than your typical content dense themepark tends to besides wow.

teh problem we see with that sort of paradigm in this genre over the decade is most of the best retaining design tropes of the old school era are ignored in favour of trying to copy eve without understanding how eve makes it’s design tropes work, or understandign that eve is almost in defiance of good sense when it comes to it’s success in attracting and retaining players. ie what worked for eve with coprse loot and nullsec and almost nothing going on and bad controls, generally never really works for anyone else that tries to follow that route. and despite no one remembering any of these games that copy that paradigm a week after they’re announced, there’s just so many of them out there. it’s the rusts and arks that if anything have succeded in replicating eve’s success usign a similar paradigm. and word of mouth is often mixed on them.

tl;dr – mmo’s can be quite inexpensive to bring to9 market and maintain, if you don’t depend on the very expensive content density that defines the themepark subgenre of mmo’s.

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

Perhaps a discussion with the couple making Project Gorgon might help? I have no idea what budget they are using but they have done pretty awesome stuff with it.

Reader
silverlock

Project Gorgon is a passion project that’s been in development forever, I’m not sure that it is a good model for commercial development, or for anyone looking to make a buck.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

I think the comparison is a good one, tbh. This seems to be a passion project too, only the chief dude is rich in money rather than a programming prodigy.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

repop prior to idea fabrik doing their power play with all their partners is another good example.

two very frugal projects that produced some legit product in so far as other factors go.

Reader
portnavi

Seems super scammy…

Reader
Lethality

Why?

Reader
portnavi

I guess it boils down to optimism vs skepticism. But looking at who’s involved behind this game (not just Sharif, but people who worked on EQN) I find it hard to be the former.

I mean, behind any MMO kickstarter, given what we’ve seen to date, anyone should be skeptical. Even given the chance that it’s legit, why take the risk here? It’s not really promising anything amazing.

I could kind of get it with Star Citizen (even I backed that one, whoops). But eh, this just seems too transparent to me.

Reader
Lethality

Well that’s a far cry from “scummy” though.

You can’t blame the developers on EQN or any game for it being canceled… that was a business decision of the company. The employees are as skilled or as experienced as any. Like an NFL football coach who is fired, but hired somewhere else the next day – it rarely has anything to do with their actual ability.

Here’s why I take the “risk” with this and other projects – because even if they fail, I want to put my money where my mouth is.

It’s time gamers started to do that. It’s time gamers take some of the risk if they’re unwilling to buy games, or subscribe to them, or support “pay2win” or any of the other business models they’ve rejected.

You can’t have your cake and eat it… I choose to support the developer risking it all to make the kind of games I want to play. Exactly zero of them have turned out to be a scam, as well.

Reader
portnavi

I didn’t say scummy, I said scammy. Not necessarily a scam, but with all the signs of being one.

“The employees are as skilled or as experienced as any. ”

The EQN devs? Bwah? And regardless if they were “just employees”, they game they were behind was selling kits and store items up until the day it was announced it was being sold off. Even if they were skilled (which again, nothing about EQN implies that, I would think twice before backing a game they were involved in. Art and design guys btw, the ones who had the community do the work for them.

Out of curiosity, how many kickstarter funded MMO’s have you played as a released game?

I haven’t backed an actual scam either, but plenty with both gross negligence and incompetence. Gamers can’t really hold anyone accountable, we just throw money at these people with our best wishes. It’s healthy to have a large amount of skepticism regarding these games.

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

I’ll say it again: Holding rank-and-file engineers or artists or creative designers responsible for business decisions they were never party to on a game they left years ago is completely bizarre.

Reader
Armsman

https://www.daybreakgames.com/news/daybreak-president-community-letter-everquest-next-2016

For those familiar with the internals of game development, you know that cancellations are a reality we must face from time to time. Inherent to the creative process are dreaming big, pushing hard and being brutally honest with where you land. In the case of EverQuest Next, we accomplished incredible feats that astonished industry insiders. Unfortunately, as we put together the pieces, we found that it wasn’t fun.

^^^
The reasons for cancellation of EQNext don’t seem fiscal overall. Seems the creative designers behind it didn’t realize they weren’t creating a fun game (after how many years in development and various founder packages sold. Seems pretty much it is the designers of EQNext who dropped the ball here.

So, sorry, that should be a red flag to anyone because who’s to say by December 2018, they suddenly realize the same thing for “Ashes of Creation”?

Bree Royce
Staff
Bree Royce

That quote is devoid of the context you need to understand it. The quote was made by Smed’s successor, who has himself since left Daybreak and been replaced by investor figureheads. It was a PR statement widely mocked because of how absurd it is (you do not need six years and three total do-overs to figure out a game isn’t fun) and because of the obvious funding issues going on at the studio and the leaks about head-hocho infighting and the impossibility of the AI tech.

But even if it were true, rank-and-file devs — of which there were several hundred, and many more over the years — are not responsible for that. Smed, Georgeson, and then the folks who took over EQN at Daybreak are. None of those people are these people. It seems the only AoC person who worked on EQN was an engineer. (Bard worked on EQII.) You’re barking up the wrong tree in completely the wrong neighborhood on this one.

Reader
Orenj

I only played Landmark early on, but it was decidedly un-performant back then, and I seem to recall hearing that that never really improved. That was the core engine of EQN, and thus EQN developers can reasonable be implicated. N’est ce pas?

Reader
Tazuras

It depends on who decided EQN wasnt fun, how they made that decision and if that really was why they shut it down or was it shut down for other reasons or other reasons plus the fun factor and the fun factor reason is just what they told everyone.

Also, let’s say it was all the devs fault. Should we assume they are likely to make the same mistake again or should we assume they learned from their mistake and are now in a position to build a better game with a more realistic scope that is more “fun”?

The dev’s history is worth considering, but we know so little about what actually happened at Daybreak with EQN that I’m not going to put a lot of weight behind this as a negative.

Reader
Armsman

Should we assume they are likely to make the same mistake again or should we assume they learned from their mistake and are now in a position to build a better game with a more realistic scope that is more “fun”?

Given SOE’s track record (and again the the games they listed experience on were SOE games, or in V:SoH a game SOE helped Brad McQuaid ultimately release and then support) – sorry, but yes, I think their track record on games development should be considered.

For example, I played EQ from beta to around 2003. It was as successful as it was because it was the first game of it’s type to use 3D models to create a world to that degree with that many players able to access it. That said it had MANY things that weren’t particularly fun – (like named MOBs needed for quests that maybe popped once per realtime week if you were lucky, etc.) – and there was an attitude of:
“EQ isn’t successful because of SOE, it’s successful in spite of SOE.”

Then there was “Star Wars Galaxies”. Here Ralph Koster was promising and showing off many thing they could do (like ‘player run’ towns; At At vehicles, etc. that never made it into the final released product. They also rushed it (which given the time they took to make it, I’ll never understand) as 24 hours before it released we beta tester were saying the game was no way ready because to that point, they HADN’T managed to keep the Test Server up for 24 hours straight (and yes they were trying). Then you had the fact that over 2 million players did sign up and play it – but player retention in the end was awful. Yes, it did find an audience that enjoyed the game, but for me and many of the players (in RL and online I spoke to) – no it didn’t capture that ‘Star Wars’ feel overall. It seems Lucas Arts wasn’t happy about this either which is why they tried to retool it so many times and so many ways.

There’s a reason why in the long run, World of Warcraft (after getting its server situation straightened out which too about 6 months – and yes, had they launched like that in Today’s market they’d have probably had more issues getting the audience they did) grew to the numbers it did – it’s Devs (who had played EQ) were able to take what EQ did and improve on it and make it overall more enjoyable (an d less tedious) in many aspects.

It’s amazing that according you and Bree – somehow the game designers who designed developed and programmed stuff for SOE are somehow blameless for the result it had on the financial success/return on the games they did release. It must all be due to SOE upper management’s poor decisions.

The truth is – it was probably some combination from both groups in the company – but to say “You can’t fault the designers/developers/coders…” for any of the issues that lead to SOE falling behind once competition in the MMO market started to appear is just ridiculous (IMO).

Reader
Tazuras

I do believe a developers experience is relevant, I don’t think I stated otherwise, but I think it is more relevant in context, as Bree said. I don’t feel I have enough context of what each individual developer did to judge their skill as a developer.

Reader
life_isnt_just_dank_memes

so stoked people are excited for this game. wish there weren’t stretch goals though and that all of the funds went directly to the game as it is described in the kickstarter.

deekay_plus
Reader
deekay_plus

i decided on a whim to google “ashes of creation gameplay” and this came up. it’s super cut up worse than a phil defranco or jenna marbles video and has no apparent ui or targetting but maybe a bit more meaty than what’s in teh kickstarter video.

Reader
Lorgarn

“covering everything from the allegations of past business shenanigans to the affiliate system”

Yes! Fantastic, that has definitely been a thorn in my side ever since I found about these… alleged shenanigans. Great that you’ll bring up it, the more information we get that would potentially clarify these things the better.

wpDiscuz