Following a flurry of blog posts, its PAX West appearance, and its crowdfunding campaign, Ashes of Creation has gone downright silent this fall. It’s probably more fair to label it “quiet” than silent, as the team is still discussing the game as it pushes hard to get it done. Apparently there’s that December 15th deadline looming ahead for the start of Alpha Zero…
This week during Intrepid Studio’s livestream, the team talked about various parts of the game and showed off 20 new images from Ashes of Creation. These included pictures of architecture, some concept art, and plenty of shots of the game world itself. The developers also took questions from the community and shared how towns will become “mini-Sim Cities” in practice.
We’ve got all of the new images plus the full livestream for you below!
Can a game that isn’t even in alpha yet have a Halloween celebration? Heck yes it can, Intrepid Studios says, and it has one such planned for Ashes of Creation, which was crowdfunded earlier this year. In fact, participants may even win keys to test the game.
“Alpha Zero keys, so many Alpha Zero keys! How do you get them you wonder? You must please the Sandal King Steven! Every day leading up to the 31st, our undead team of developers invite you to unleash your creativity upon the world. Our spookiest minions will be rewarded for their mischief with a chance to playtest Ashes of Creation this December exclusively with the Devs and their brood!”
Players can expect a “spook-a-thon stream,” a fan art contest, a pumpkin carving event, a horror short story night, and maybe the best bit, a virtual costume ball where you can submit a costume (with appropriate game logo). Damn, I’m exhausted just thinking about doing all of those. What would you dress up as for a free alpha key?
This past summer, ARK: Survival Evolved finally officially launched, ending its stint as an early access game just three days before PAX West, then promptly announced its second expansion on the first day of the convention. There wasn’t even a week between launch and the second expansion’s unveiling, and there will be fewer than two months between the two launches; Aberration is scheduled to launch in October.
While at PAX, I sat down with Studio Wildcard Senior Producer Navin Supphapholsiri, who thanked fans for supporting the game: “We really appreciate the support for the past two years. Just to see how far we’ve come along, it’s all thanks to the community.” Then we talked about the launch, about Aberration, and about the team’s focus going forward.
While the full Hi-Rez portfolio wasn’t in attendance at PAX West, Hand of the Gods was on-hand with a fan tournament as well as machines to introduce folks to the game. Devs were also available to discuss this tactical SMITE spinoff. I sat down with Lead designer Scott Lussier and Executive Producer and VP of Design Scott Zier to talk about the game’s name, its progress, the reception at the convention, and plans going forward.
In fact, one of the tidbits Lussier shared is that the Japanese pantheon is next on the list after Hindu is released later this month.
You don’t have to be a massive MMO studio to have a big showing at PAX West – Intrepid Studios proved that. The indie studio developing Ashes of Creation had a large booth with a giant TV broadcasting videos, hands-on demos for players to see what the game is about, a merchandise counter (which appeared to be doing good business), plenty of devs on hand to answer questions, and a full panel to discuss the game’s progress and plans to a large audience. And Founder and Creative Director Steven Sharif was on hand the whole time to talk about his game with everyone who came by. As he told me, “That’s our job here today, to expose more people to [AoC’s] potential.” He wants players to know that it isn’t about promises without delivery
Between a demo and a couple of interviews, I had the opportunity to chat with Sharif about the game a few different times. We talked about classes, crowdfunding, and character customization. I also got to team up with a group and run through a short PvE adventure narrated by a dev, testing out skills and exploring a few features. Then I delved into a PvP match. And yes, we also discussed the red hat controversy.
PAX West 2017 has come and gone, and though MJ is still feverishly working on her last few articles, we wanted to pause a moment to reflect on everything we’ve seen and read and recapped so far. So for today’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our writers to tackle three topics from an MMO player’s perspective: the biggest surprise of the show, the most disappointing bit, and the games that grabbed them and won’t let go.
This past weekend at PAX West, Ashes of Creation made sure to drop a few announcement bombs on its community that showed up to check out and support the game. The biggest of these, of course, was the dating of the “Alpha Zero” test for this December 15th.
But is that test and date pushing it too much for this team? Apparently not, according to Intrepid Studios. The team showed up for an hour-long panel to discuss the MMO’s development, and said that preparing the PAX West demo proved that they had the pace and know-how to get a more robust version of the game ready for later this year.
There’s a lot to take in with the panel, so we’ve got that for you after the break. As a bonus, why not check out some PvE gameplay focused on taking in Ashes of Creation? You didn’t need to do anything else productive today!
We have to admit that after years of MMOs being downgraded on the exhibit floor of PAX, it’s great to see some titles getting a nice showing this year at PAX West. One of the biggest exhibits, as a matter of fact, was Ashes of Creation, which constructed a giant portal and set up demo stations for the public to experience.
“It was really important for us to come to PAX and show the community the amount of work that’s being put into Ashes of Creation,” yelled Intrepid Studios CEO Steven Sharif over the din of the crowd.
With so much money and effort being put into this PAX showing, it makes sense that the team wants to squeeze as much mileage out of it as possible. To wit, it has documented each day of the game at the show, which you can watch after the break, then stay tuned for more as PAX wraps up today!
During the Ashes of Creation panel at PAX West, Founder and Creative Director Steven Sharif announced the exact date of the upcoming Alpha 0: Come December 15th, 2017, some players will be able to dive in and begin testing the gameplay. Con attendees have been able to get a tiny taste of both the PvE and PvP content in the game.
Sharif also offered more reveals. Although his appearance as a special guest did not work out, Bear McCreary will compose the game’s score. McCreary is known for work on a number of movies, shows like Battlestar Galactica, Agents of Shield, 10 Clover Lane, Defiance, Caprica, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
Also, in response to an audience member question, the name of the world was finally made public: Players will live their AoC lives on Verra.
Massively OP’s MJ Guthrie is at PAX West (formerly known as PAX Prime, a much catchier name if you ask me!) for us this weekend as it kicks off today, accompanied by a huge roster of stuff to see, from Ashes of Creation and Ship of Heroes to Chronicles of Elyria and Dual Universe — and a dozen more. She might get to eat lunch, but she will definitely not get to sit down!
The good news is that the con is gearing up for a much better showing for MMORPGs than we’ve had in the past two or three years, something that ought to fill you with cheer. On the other hand, what I’d like above all else is to be getting major MMORPG announcements — new AAAs, new expansions — in addition to these solid in-progress games that actually have the PR prowess and cash to show up (which is good too!). It’s a changing landscape out there, folks!
What PAX West announcement would blow you away? What would you most want to see? And of the games in attendance, what do you most want us to see and ask about for you?
If you can’t make the Ashes of Creation demo and panel at this weekend’s PAX West, don’t fret: You can still check out the game’s current state in its new pre-alpha tutorial video, almost 10 minutes of narrated in-game footage, including combat (and it’s looking pretty good, especially for a pre-alpha!). There’s a run-down of the quartet of classes that were previewed earlier this week too.
There’s more. “We are proud to announce that our Alpha Zero will begin December 15th, 2017,” the studio posts excitedly. (I say excitedly because there are two exclamation points.) “This Alpha Zero is only available to registered members on our website through weekly drawings.”
We’ll be at PAX this weekend to check the game out in person; for now, the video’s below.
With Ashes of Creation preparing for a major presence at PAX West this weekend, the team is bringing with it scads of reveals and demo stations for visitors to experience. One of the big news drops of the show has been shared in advance: details on the skillsets of each of the four classes.
Posters for the rather unimaginatively named classes will be shared at the show and contain a list of several skills that each will be able to perform. For example, the Cleric can drop a totem to damage enemies and turn that into group healing, while the Ranger can use her tracking abilities to hunt specific foes.
The team was bubbling with excitement on Discord over the show: “We are in the final moments of preparing the largest single release of information and gameplay ever seen of the game at PAX West. As well as announcing several key dates and features, with additional developers and other key information this weekend.”
We’ll be getting our hands on this game and talking with the developers at the show, so stay tuned!
The growing Ashes of Creation community is abuzz over the team’s recent livestream in which the MMO’s combat system and UI was shown in greater depth than anything seen so far. Viewers noted how smooth the animations and transitions are in combat, and the team said that all of the four current archetypes have these up and running.
Other news tidbits from the stream include word of water raids, character power (which is balanced between gear, inherent stats, and skill stats), skins and concept art for new creatures and items, and a deeper look at the PvP arena that the team constructed.
Ashes of Creation will be going all-out to get the public’s attention at PAX West in early September, with daily streams, a massive booth, PvE and PvP demos, and even a panel called “Making MMOs Great Again.”
There’s a lot to digest, so take small bites and chew on that information thoroughly after the break! If you prefer to read, the game’s wiki has a great point-by-point rundown of the news from the stream.