Out with the old and in with the new… website, that is. Intrepid Studios wasn’t content with the previous version of Ashes of Creation’s studio web presence, electing to overhaul the site with a brand-new version that is now live.
In the studio’s press release, Intrepid mentioned that it was hiring for at least six additional position including a senior game designer and a senior producer. The studio also said that it’s working on a pair of secret, in-universe projects as well as the fantasy MMORPG.
“Intrepid is also currently planning two unannounced projects within the Ashes of Creation universe,” the studio said. “Information on both projects will be revealed at a later date.” Creative Director Steven Sharif underscored this by hinting at “big plans” that will be revealed later this year.
Source: Press release
Have a burning curiosity about pixies, testing, and soundtracks? They might have been answered yesterday. In the span of an hour, the Ashes of Creation team tackled around 30 player questions in a developer livestream on Twitch in addition to giving viewers an early look at the first iteration of the Underrealm and Dunir dungeon.
Topics covered in the livestream include the death of the quicktime bar, Fae pets, the persistent nature of the Alpha 2 servers, class balance, tameable mounts, climbable trees, bards, bots, and gold sellers.
The team said that the next phase of its Alpha Zero testing is coming next week and will include more people on the server. So far, the “raw” test has provided a lot of useful feedback that’s kept the team busy doing “tons and tons” of optimizations.
“We are agile and we are so focused on getting things done,” Jeffrey Bard reported. Steven Sharif added that the game production is “slightly ahead or are in a better position than I anticipated we would be in at this point.”
After weeks of silence, Ashes of Creation looks like it might be gearing up for the promised December 15th Alpha Zero test. While the team hasn’t recently confirmed that today’s test is still on track to begin, Intrepid Studios did open up the game’s new storefront yesterday to sell merchandise, in-game items, and four pre-order packs.
The pre-order packs are not necessary to gain access to the launch game (as that will be subscription-only), but they do contain several advance bonuses such as in-game currency, game time, accessories, and access to the different stages of testing. The $75 Wayfarer pack will guarantee Beta 2 access, while moving to the very top, the $500 Intrepid pack will get you in to Alpha 1 and beyond.
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!
This week in MMO crowdfunding, Frontier launched Elite Dangerous for the PS4, complete with relevant adjustments for touchpad controls and a “fast headlook” mode for wireless controllers.
Meanwhile, we hosted a double round of podcast interviews with MMORPG developers, all running crowdfunded games: Ashes of Creation’s Steven Sharif and Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott and Starr Long.
Oh yeah, and there was that mess with Star Citizen fending off claims that it had been sold to a bank.
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.
On this week’s show, Justin sits down with Ashes of Creation’s Steven Sharif to talk about the game’s successful Kickstarter, handling a wild community, and the next steps for this up-and-coming sandbox MMORPG.
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
Last weekend, we ran an article covering PC Gamer’s detailed investigation into Ashes of Creation’s pledge system. At the time, PC Gamer’s Steven Messner wrote that Kickstarter had told the author that AoC’s revenue and profit sharing systems ran afoul of Kickstarter’s rules and that consequently, Kickstarter had asked AoC’s Intrepid Studios to remove Kickstarter pledges from its referral program, which Kickstarter said Intrepid had done.
Ashes of Creation’s Steven Sharif disputed that, saying that while Kickstarter asked the studio to change the language of its referral program, Intrepid had not actually changed the program itself, meaning Kickstarter pledges were still included in the referral program, which Intrepid says it believe remains in compliance with Kickstarter’s rules.
In heated forum comments about the situation, Sharif also accused PC Gamer’s writer of issuing an “outright lie” and of having an “agenda” and “combative” demeanor. “We know that he wanted to ride the hype wave with the project with clickbait titles and an article that he riddles with reddit links? Really? lol,” he told the game’s official Discord channel.
Remember kids, only devs can prevent virtual forest fires! And it’s probably a good thing that they do because apparently there are some Ashes of Creation fans who actually want the ability to light acres of in-game property ablaze for… reasons.
The bizarre query to program in firebugs came out of a wild-and-woolly community Q&A session that Intrepid CEO Steven Sharif did yesterday. Sharif fielded all sorts of questions about the game including practical (nodes, progression) and goofy (metal band music, a troll class for trolling).
The session is a little difficult to follow, what with all of the Discord pings and rambling questions from the community, but there are some interesting nuggets of info in it concerning the weather system, wider possibilities for caravans, and the depth of the crafting system. Check it out for yourself below!
As I put this piece together Thursday morning, Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter has far exceeded its $750,000 goal, surging along toward stretch goals with a promise to launch what amounts to a full-scale MMORPG with sandboxy territory and PvP just a few short years from now. But since the launch of the Kickstarter a few days ago, would-be backers have dug into the history of the company and cast doubt on the validity of the campaign.
To set the record straight, we spoke again with Intrepid’s Creative Director and CEO Steven Sharif to get clarity on his business past, the nature of the game’s affiliate plans, the state of staffing, the scope of the budget, and even some details on the PvP system and business model. Read on.
After smashing expectations by completely funding its $750,000 Kickstarter campaign in the first 12 hours, Ashes of Creation wants to keep this crowdfunding momentum going for the next month. Enter stretch goals.
The first three stretch goals for the campaign have been posted, starting with tavern “games of chance” being included if a cool million is raised. At $1.25M, enhanced mounts with group functionality will be added, and even more naval content (additional ships and underwater environments) is possible if the $1.5M barrier is breached. Didn’t know the game had naval content? Neither did we — until now!
Today, Ashes of Creation takes a big plunge into an all-or-nothing Kickstarter campaign. Over the past few months, the MMO seemed to come out of nowhere to stun us with an ambitious design, well-crafted videos, and a team of experienced industry vets who seem passionate to make the next generation of online RPG.
For this occasion, we sat down with Intrepid Studios CEO Steven Sharif to talk about the Ashes of Creation’s crowdfunding campaign, the studio’s design philosophy, and the next steps for this upcoming MMORPG. Does this game deserve your support? Will it rope in widespread interest? Let’s see if Sharif can make the case.
MOP tipster Joel let us know about an absolute trove of info flowing in the Ashes of Creation Discord channel thanks to the candor of Creative Director Steven Sharif. Sharif has been on a tear explaining game systems to the players hanging out there. Here are a few of the more interesting bits!
- “Ashes will allow medium and small guilds to stay competitive. We have specifics systems in place to accomplish this.”
- “Playing alone is complete accepted, and feasible.”
- “High customization suite for character creation will allow for fat/skinny variants.”
- “I want to see players be able to enjoy the game together, and that includes new players being able to participate in activities with their experienced friends.”
- “While we do have classic leveling mechanics for the adventuring class, there are many ways to ‘level’ in Ashes. Not everything is put behind a linear progression. We want players who are casual to be able to participate in activities with players that have more time to play.”
Now that the cat is out of the bag on the existence of Ashes of Creation, the team is charging forward in sharing its vision and design of the game with potential players. In this effort, a 25-minute question-and-answer video was posted on the site today to give a better idea of what this MMO is all about.
This marks the first time that the community will see the faces of some of Intrepid Studios’ dev team, including Senior Designer Peter Pilone, Creative Director Steven Sharif, Lead Designer Jeffery Bard, and Senior Designer Matt Reynolds. The team fielded several questions that were sent in from the community, such as Ashes’ node system, character identity, world lore, guild features, player housing, the referral system, and the game’s rejection of factions.
Give the video a watch after the jump and learn more about Ashes of Creation from our December interview!