Ashes of Creation’s city halls will be the center of player politics

With a strong focus on player government and politics, Ashes of Creation is giving careful consideration with how it will structure the leadership of each city. It won’t be hard to figure out where to go if you want to vie for power and position, as the city hall is being designed for such hobnobbing and meetings.

“Our government system is really all about letting players take control of the world they make,” the team wrote in this week’s dev diary. “The first step here is deciding how the city should feel, what laws should be in place and how it’s run.”

At the city hall, player leaders can meet together to make key decisions for the local town. Possible rulings include making people of a certain node “enemies of the state,” what to build, what to tear down, declaring war, forming alliances, activate festivals, and even create quests for other players.

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43 Comments on "Ashes of Creation’s city halls will be the center of player politics"

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Reht

I am all for it if we end with like EVE-like drama! Love reading the postmortems on it.

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Fluffy Magical Unicorn

Yes! Player politics! This will go great, I am sure.

*looks at the dumpster fire of actual, national politics*

Mmmn.

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Fluffy Magical Unicorn

More seriously, I think companies tend to think of this stuff as an easy way to generate content. By leaving it in player hands, players will generate their own activity and drama. Unfortunately, unless companies are willing to take an active hand in shaking up the status quo on a regular basis, massive treaty webs, alliances, and power blocs will form that will provide ‘stability’ and ‘efficiency’ but also suck the life out of the game if they’re not careful.

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rafael12104

I really appreciate what AoC is trying to do here, but… anything left to players usually becomes a morass of drama and unintended consequences. Lol. Yup, I’m jaded. I’ve seen too many things in MMOs go awfully wrong despite the best intentions.

Kudos AoC. Let’s see how this works. But I’d keep that off switch near by and have a plan for those unintended consequences I mentioned.

Also, I hope in this world you are building you make room for PvE players who will love to play your game. Because truly, there are a big chunk of players that care little for PvP, but could help you realize an actual city/state type of game.

Bound
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Bound

Where’s the lie tho.

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rafael12104

The lie or the line?

The lie? Anytime EA is involved.

The line? I liked the way ArchAge did it.

First, there are safezones and hubs that aren’t in open world pvp areas. No PvP there at all. And these are major hubs, not just starter areas.

Then there areas that are safe unless they are at “war”. These areas have a “threat level” and as it goes up the closer to war the area gets. So like clock work, there are times when you can be perfectly safe from ganking and PvP hijinks, but if the area is at war, anything goes. There are global warnings that give you the status, so PvE only players can go in, do their business, and get out with no problem. PvP can descend on these areas in mass when wars is declared and have a blast.

And last, there is the inverse of the first. There are areas that are always in PvP mode. These are highly contested areas and designed for PvP all the time.

So, it seems to me they covered everything, and you can choose how you want to play with little impact to others who want to play differently.

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MrNastyButler

Interesting to see how a player government might work. Realistically, I think it will just be ineffective like real world governments. Though, the more interesting part will be to see how communities move about in the game once one group comes to power and the others decide they want nothing with it. I could see some potentially interesting dynamics (and drama) coming from this. While still not overly thrilled about the PVP, I’m actually pretty curious.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

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Toy Clown

It still irks me this is an open-world PvP game. Why, why, why do developers add so many awesome features RPers, crafters and socializers love, then allow a toxic PvP community to come in and take over everything? I just don’t get it.

I mean, I still have half an eye on this game. I love the features, all except the forced PvP part.

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Necromonger

And you tell me PvE players arent toxic ?

Ever run dungeons with carebears ? they are the most toxic vomit of all players.

Yeah in pvp there is alot of epeen, alot of drama between high end pvp guilds, but man you are totaly delusional if you think pve players are any better.

Also a reminder, ganking for the hell of it in this game will get you a massive punishment.
it might not stop the most hardcore grievers but at least you can eat them for breakfast once they gank 1 or 2 players making ganking for no reason a one way trip on the graveyard.

PvP when done right can be a blast, its dynamic, thrilling, needs a good pvp commander and once you are settled it will be a blast to take part in such events.

Ever done Eve online or GW2 pvp early days with a commander on teamspeak and a bunch of randoms ?
The silence and respect is a awesome, i think what you have in your head is those lame scumbags geared up with ridiculous pvp gear that play games to make life as shit as it can be for undergeared / low level players.

But dont ever mistake solid pvp guilds like VoTF / FUtilez / Harmony / Iron / etc etc as toxic communities buddy as they add alot of nice players to the game even tough some might be rotten apples but on average they are the backbones of any decent pvp game.

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Jon Wax

They are corrosive, not toxic. Totally different:

The pves are like a school of Pirana, none stand out from the rest, just a rolling ball of chaos. They jump from game to game with their whining and complaining, turn the game into a Disney Shooter, drain any long term depth out, game pop goes flat as there is less and less to do, they move on to next game and start whole cycle all over.

Wild West Online, perfect example: they don’t want survival elements, so those are out. They don’t want pvp (in a Wild West game?!) but some weird gerrymandered system wherein they can shoot and kill but not be looted but BOYYYYY do they expect to be able to loot the bad guy. They want to go pew pew from horsies and act like cowpokes in voip. So you have 30 bored sheriffs waiting for a noob to mess up and go most wanted. Noob gets attacked by school and killed. Welp…that was an exciting 3 minutes, maybe if we are lucky someone else will go wanted in the next hour.

That game will be dead 6 months post retail at best even without the eventual rdr2 pounding.

Because the casuals have managed to erode the basic elements that are needed for a healthy game.

That’s corrosive.

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rafael12104

Heh. It would have been a better argument without immediately going to “carebears.” Because there is toxic PvP and, as you point out, toxic PvE. Heh, all that you were missing was the “salty tears” bit.

Aside from that, there are games that have done a good job with PvP, RvR, FvF, and even open world. But in those games there are limits. Safezones are established so that you don’t have to watch your back every 5 seconds.

And you do get a rush where as part of an army you take or defend and opposing keep or node or PvP objective. But you also get a rush from completing your house or working in a community to have a great trade post.

But, that’s not the point. What most players want is the ability to choose. And that is why it is frustrating.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

I actually did not mind it here even though I am strongly against characterizations like this, because it contrasts nicely the misconceptions from both sides. On one side you have the PvE’ers shouting “toxic gankers and griefers” and on the other side you have the PvP’ers shouting “carebears”. And for many PvP and PvE players neither is true.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

I agree that PvE players can become very toxic as well. Any run with a chance of failure can bring out toxicity – see failed dungeon or raid runs. Any run with an efficiency factor can bring out toxicity – see PvE farming routines and gameplay (example: GW2’s recent Auric Basin multiloots and your typical “wtf gogogo comeon” ass in dungeon runs).

PvP tends to bring out the worse of one’s personality though because:
– you are tempted to gloat over someone’s loss
– your intention IS to make another player lose – competition itself results in more toxicity

In the end it is indeed the few bad apples that ruin the batch in both PvE and PvP, just in PvP games they have more tools in their hands to do so.

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Jon Wax

It’s not a few. It’s way more then that.

On both sides of the aisle.

But the comments section shows way less pvp complaints because those cats have most likely found something they like and stay playing it…

Until it’s nerfed for the pve crowd.

Any games y’all can point out that started as pve and turned pvp? I can’t think of any game that increased difficulty over time in that regard but I’ve seen the reverse happen, in that competitive game was turned into pew pew and the entire community jumped ship and the company folded.

Either both groups are right or both are wrong. Pvp players are toxic, pve are corrosive. There is no one side in this no matter how many bait articles these guys post.

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Ravven

I will never, ever understand that. There have been so many gorgeous games in recent years with animal breeding/training, in-depth crafting, housing, and tons of RP-friendly features…and open world (forced) PvP. None of my friends will play them and I play for a while but gradually fall by the wayside as well. I think Black Desert is the only one that I am still very involved in, all by my lonesome of course. :D Ideally PvP in an open world MMO would be something more interesting and involved than ganking newbs in the starting zones or hunting in groups for solo fishers and gatherers. Failing that, just leave it out or make it require flagging, please.

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Jon Wax

You started to hint at it: poor game design.

If the devs do their standard thing, you wind up with too much free time, aka dayz, thus gank fest. Most of these games suffer from lack of survival elements that throttle the behavior you speak of. Take those out and it’s the same old motto

Idle minds are the devils playground

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Dušan Frolkovič

This is exactly the reason why i highly doubt a sandbox game is still possible in this era.
Because there will always be a group of people that will do their worst to troll other players inside the game, to the degree that the developers will be forced to restrict and remove features. So as usual, game could work on paper, but thanks to humanity, no go.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

I think faction warfare mechanics could achieve this – something along the lines of E:D’s powerplay concept, but with a proper implementation, or BDO’s node wars/sieges concept (again, only the “siege/PvP in open world at these times, for that territory” concept, not necessarily the details, the rest of the flagging or the implementation itself):

– You get a safe bubble (your faction’s territory)
– You get open world PvP, but it has a specific context (war) and gankers have it harder by needing to infiltrate hostile territory. They are no longer random trolls but need to earn their kills.
– You get content for organized groups and guilds that want to get involved in GvG/RvR.

Then to make room for sandbox mechanics (crafters etc) you could have attached costs/decay mechanics in structured warfare equipment (siege weapons etc). Not sure if I am missing something.

I think AoC is opening its PvP more than this though (trade caravans PvP, flagging etc) from what I read in their webpage.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

Developers add open world PvP because there is an audience for it. Additionally, PvP does add way more dynamic and emergent game play aspects to an open world and its economy than PvE. If done right, it gives plausible reasons to fight over objectives and gives guilds/factions objectives to work towards as a group.

I agree that on average PvP playerbases are more toxic, but at the same time it surprises me that, with so many wholly PvE or mostly PvE games released, it is the PvE crowd that selfishly condemns PvP in the MOP comment sections, and wants it out of all future games (leading to some opining that MOP readers consist mostly of PvP haters, see for example comments here: http://massivelyop.com/2017/09/23/camelot-unchained-explains-its-guild-and-group-philosophy-for-beta-one/).

Doing an MMO PvE game that can stay fresh and interesting in the long run without devolving into yet another themepark sounds to me way more challenging than doing a game that includes PvP (only “Tale in the Desert” comes to mind right now).

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Jon Wax

Planet Fitness

Judgement free zone.

Unless you’re a lunk. We judge those.

Even in our advertising.

Irony level 5k

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draugris

I would not say that it is selfishly, it just makes sense. Mixing PvE and PvP just don´t work very well. The Player mindset is different, there are numerous problems with balancing, be it skills be it gear, be it progression in general. I am very happy that Pantheon for example will have PvE only servers where no form of PvP is existent so they can balance everything for that.

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Jon Wax

Pfff I’ve figured out EXACTLY how to mix the two perfectly and I’m not even a dev.

Lazy greedy code whoring is the real culprit.

If a dummy like me can figure it out, then these companies have no excuse not to.

Well…they have tons of excuses, but no reasons

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Thomas Zervogiannis

Oh I totally agree with what you say, it is really difficult to mix PvE and PvP without one of the two camps rioting. I am just wincing every time someone condemns a PvP game just because they would like it to be PvE, this is what sounds selfish to me. And it happens A LOT in this site.

PvP vs PvE is just a design choice, both routes are equally valid, PvE gamers will play PvE-focused games, PvP players will play PvP focused games. Luckily there are lots of games for both groups out there.

My understanding is that there are just not enough succesful sandbox games for either camp right now. And for a good reason, it is challenging to make one in either a PvE or a PvP context:
– PvP sandboxes done bad become gankboxes that drive even most PvP’ers away
– PvE sandboxes are hard to create with interesting long term dynamic content, without the competition driven by PvP

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MrNastyButler

As an RPer, I’m concerned about it too. But I’m still fairly curious to see how it all plays out. I have liked what I’ve see about how if you don’t attack back when a PKer attacks you, they get penalized and you don’t drop any stuff. Yeah, it can affect events and such, I do agree.

I’m also curious to see how the cycle of PVE building the world while PVP changes it affects it for RP. Often, I get bummed out when everything is too static. I’d like to see a dynamic world as a RPer. Something I have to adjust to even if can’t affect it.

I still think the PVP is going to be annoying at times, though I think it’s not going to be as bad as other games make PVP be to RPers. Though, since the game won’t have a box price it makes me more comfortable to try it out for RP.

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sigtyr

My guess is that when it goes into testing and it turns out that they did design “Mongol Horde Simulator” they will have to add PvE servers.

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Hravik

Same. I just can’t get past the open world PvP bullet point, no matter how much they claim to be designing features to reign it in. Why have it at all if you have to design a system to penalize it?

Alyn
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Alyn


“Our government system is really all about letting players take control of the world they make,” the team wrote in this week’s dev diary. “The first step here is deciding how the city should feel, what laws should be in place and how it’s run.”
I can see this..LOL…oh how I can see this!

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jay

Feels like this is the dream child of some eletist, who is at the head of a massive pvp mmo guild. Not really an mmorpg for the masses, or the common man. I can just see the leaders of the Massive guilds like Xen of Onslaught, Goon Squad, etc all drooling over the prospects of this game. Guilds that can basically populate an entire city to them selves.

On the other hand, you have players like me, who just want to have fun and adventure with the 4-10 good friends I have. Just want to have fun with my few friends. Yes, I may not be part of a mega guild, but I get the feeling in the grand scheme of things, there are a whole lot more players in my boots, than there are in the mega guild rosters….

So I guess time and money will tell how this works out.

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Jon Wax

You do realize those massive guilds are just groups of players like you who want to do the same thing you want, right?

Like, you guys understand throwing some clan tags on doesn’t make you a different species or anything?

Right?

….right!?!??

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jay

They are nothing like me, at no point have I ever wanted to be part of a guild larger than 50 people. I have no interest in running a city, or following someone who does. I’m also not an ego maniac like many in the mega guilds are.

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Jon Wax

Doesn’t matter if it’s a group of 5, 50, 500, 50000…

It’s just groups of people who want to do their thing. Just like you.

I’ll agree they are ego maniacs if you’ll agree you’re a bit of a coward?

Or we can just keep it professional and leave out subjective name calling?

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Anthony

I personally don’t think its a good idea to have the 1% have a say on a game’s politics, it would just be a continuation of real life and i don’t play games to emulate real life.

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Raimo Kangasniemi

I don’t see an in-game or development-confined reason why cities in Ashes couldn’t have more egalitarian form of government and why cities controlled by egalitarian rule couldn’t form alliances to protect each other.

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drgreenhoe

Sounds interesting.. will have to wait and see how this plays out. I may have to stay out of the cities.

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sigtyr

The risk is that the game will be very exclusionary, and that will scare off new players as they may find themselves unable to ever compete with the day 1 players and the whales. Yes player government might be styled after Boss Tweed.

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Wanda Clamshuckr

Since people paid for titles, I wonder if all these multi-thousand dollar whales, err, Leaders, Royals, and Heroes will feel entitled to rule and have their opinions on law carry more weight than a lesser plebe.

That’s only half-snarky. I’m genuinely curious how that is going to pan out.

Solaris
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Solaris

AoC didn’t sell titles. Wrong game.

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Wanda Clamshuckr

Sure they did. Here’s the link to what your money gets you.

Note the in-game title bits in the packages.

I think the $5K titled people will strut around and think they have more clout on how their town develops than the $25 nobody’s. As I said, it will be interesting how that dynamic works.

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Thomas Zervogiannis

From what I see in that link though, the priviledges are just cosmetics and fluff, not actual “social gameplay” advantages and priviledges (although this could always change further down the road to boost sales I guess). Am I missing something?

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jay

Wasn’t that CoE that was selling titles? Not AoC?

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Raimo Kangasniemi

Yes, Chronicles of Elyria did that.

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Emperor Caligula

Given that most people are shitty, the idea to let actual people control politics in a MMO always gives me the creeps.

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