Ashes of Creation goes back to basics with node education


Confused about “nodes” and how they feature into Ashes of Creation? Your poor schooling probably is not to blame, as Intrepid Studios only started to explain it a long time ago and then stopped to focus on development. Well, now the studio is starting up once more with a series that aims to explain and educate on one of the core features of the game.

In the first part of its “Know Your Nodes” series (which totally sounds like a health class elective, by the way), Ashes of Creation tackles the basics of how these pre-set and fixed points in its game world can be influenced and evolved via player activity. The studio said that there will be 103 nodes at launch, with each able to transform from plain wilderness into settlements as basic as a camp or as elaborate as a metropolis.

There are four types of modes (economic, military, scientific, and divine) that each offer specilized services and NPCs. Gradually, evolved nodes will establish parent-vassal relationships with other nodes to form de facto countries.

“All quests, dungeons, raids, events, NPC spawns, resources, and narratives are determined by both the node stage and the influential race,” Intrepid Studios said. “Additionally, the layout and architecture within a node’s development area are determined by influential race.”

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Jeremy Barnes

I don’t see how they can work a persistent node system into a battle royale.


I guess its just wishful thinking to get a fantasy game that feels like SWG pre-cu. You can give me modern movement and graphics, but please, give me the SWG crafting and sandbox elements.

Ive damned near given up MMOs til this is a reality.

Robert Mann

Nodes are actually one of the things that worries me here. A number of potential problems for the game design, breaking other systems, were present in the early information.

Whether or not they can resolve those problems, make the nodes viable without being part of a mega-PvP zerg, and all… will be critical to the success or failure of the game itself.

To be quite blunt, nodes are one of the biggest potential problem areas, and they didn’t seem worth the issues to me at any point so far. Maybe there’s more planned, and they will be good, but it’s something I am very much at “Wait and see how this turns out” over. A lot of the game seems to have solid potential, but there’s plenty of evidence that a few bad choices can turn an otherwise great game into something that’s largely ignored even in the bargain bin.


Warhammer Online was chock full of good ideas like public quests. It won numerous game of the year awards. Look at it now. Couldn’t even afford to keep it’s license.

Just goes to show that a game company needs more than to copy WoW and add a gimmick or two.

Public quests got absorbed into the fabric of the MMO universe and is now fairly commonplace, Rift is even based on the concept.

This “Node” gimmick looks to follow a similar path to me. If it can provide entertaining game play, that players enjoy, it will be co-opted and incorporated into existing and future games made by the bigger companies


Ok I’m on the opposite end of this one.

First off nodes are one of the original systems designed for this game and the stuff that came later would have been designed around them. Another thing is that not all nodes can be raised to max level which will make them both a point of conflict and cooperation, an actual organic reason to fight.

As you might have guessed nodes are my main point of interest in this game as without them this game would be just another pretty generic mmo.

Matthew Yetter

I agree with silverlock. For more than a decade now, the idea of an organically evolving world driven by player action has been considered one of the holy grails of MMO development. Nobody has come even close to cracking that chestnut. What Intrepid is doing seems to me to be the first design that actually has the potential to do this. It’s not fully organic because the development is linked to predetermined points. However, it will allow each server/realm to be a very different world depending on how that server’s players have played.

For me, the catch will be finding a way to allow a real sense of individual player agency. If you feel like you’re just one of 5,000 people filling a bucket then it’s not going to be very engaging. But if there are a number of different ways to contribute toward filling that bucket, with each being built around unique playstyles and interests then it will allow people to feel like they’re making a difference, with a sense of individual accomplishment.

Regardless, I’m rooting for Intrepid on this. Look at mobile phones. For YEARS, they were limited, with smart phone capabilities being hideously awkward. Then Apple released the iPhone with a totally different way of doing things and revolutionized the industry. Other companies have since refined those initial systems and come to dominate the industry but today’s superior systems are all because one company dared to take a different route. So more power to Intrepid, in my book!

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Bývörðæįr mòr Vas´Ðrakken

Clearly I am feeling all of my forty five years of age, not everything started as a video game.

The node system that is above is very much the system that risk, and the later real time strategy games use.

There are two ways to use level of influence, one quests unlocking content by stage, expansion or reputation with a faction, or like the system above and games like civ 4 and age of empires, a unit which in this case sounds like a player running to a point and starting to generate influence.

I am curious to see how they end up actually resolving the opposed influence checks. The nodes gain by players generating xp in them is clear but what happens when someone want to advance past the node that is declining? Do the nodes have events that cause them to fail if there are not players around, does the server even load them if no one is there?

Then again I am one of the people that is tried of seeing MMO fail because they are built one zone at a time, with no idea how to refresh the content without rebuilding the entire game a zone at a time. Seeing MMO where the stupid fedex quests are converted to dailies and each zone is dynamic based on a zone story that is not linked to every other zone yet can influence the zones around them is the better direction. Some companies may be stuck a zone at a time, because they still have to figure out the data center back end, but the triple A studios the ones with a couple MMO under there belts should know that they only way to make content last is to create some parts that are static from expac to expac, some parts that change daily or weekly, and some parts that are seasonal. that is only going to work by using a milestone system no matter if it quests or xp in an area or what ever other systems developers come up with that are advanced by playerʻs interacting with the world.

The public quests in warhammer were a great thing but instead of being staged to result in an event, they staged to a two sided war between the players where they had to fight over who got to keep questing. that was the mistake that killed war hammer. no matter how many friends you got into a section to get to that part of the story, others players were trying to do the opposite not to grief you but because they wanted to see the content that was locked behind worse design than a pay wall. I was playing with dreams of darkness and we crashed the server trying to finish a quest because the other faction had just as many players and I think I still have screenshots of a wall of players fighting in a pvp area to unlock the group size content in a story that was part of the main story arc.

what people want is a series of increases to their playerʻs standing that does not require them to fight the griefers over it, and a pvp area where they can get loot from kills. Most people prefer not having the loot be the player they are fighting if for no other reason that it creates grudges, where there would otherwise be fun.

As to yetter unlocking the gates in wow was as simple as collecting cloth from mobs that dropped it and using a character with first aid to turn them into bandages and ranking up in PVP, everyone on the server worked on that event and that was not the task of one person but guilds were racing over who could donate the most cloth or get the most points from PVP, which is where the old pvp rank titles can from.

Robert Mann

The PvP side is… actually the least of my worries around them. Where I do think that there may be a few issues there, I don’t think they will be any worse than the status quo by any means. Some of the things they have said nodes will do as they level, on the other hand, I fear will break other things quite thoroughly.

As I said, if they manage to make it work without that result, great! I just think that a lot of what has been noted as planned will not work out well. I’ve been wrong before. I’ve been correct before. What happens, is what happens.

Rick Mills

Hoping it’s not another shiny to PvP over…

Robert Mann

In part, it is.


It’s both which to me is what makes it interesting. When I was playing LiF the players who stayed with the game where the dedicated crafters not the PVPers but I would have loved to have PVPers who just showed up for JH in our guild someone to use all the gear we made and help protect all we built.

In short you should be able to find a guild that will be more then happy to protect you as a PVE crafter.

Rick Mills

So, Black Desert.
I am not looking for conflict with other players (maybe I’m looking in the wrong game yet again, sigh…) but cooperation with other players (again, not cooperation that involves conflict with other players).
I guess I’m just tired of PvP being the main draw.


Ashes design is heavily influenced by ArcheAge, so it’s pretty conflict heavy.