The Immersive World Environment of Ashes of Creation

Ashes of Creation is a fantasy MMO where players take part in an evolving game world: help a rural village grow into a metropolis, fight in large-scale PvP wars, and establish a strong network of trade for valuable resources.

The game itself opened an entirely new world. I was actually able to participate in a real way, with worlds I had only read about or imagined… Later in life, I was exposed to the joys of pen & paper RPG’s such as D&D. But there was something about video games that stuck.

Noting or relating to digital technology or images that actively engage one’s senses and may create an altered mental state.

Over the past 30 years, developers have constantly tried to enhance the immersive nature of MMORPGs. There are endless components to making an MMO immersive, to name a few including:Story, Music, Sound, Mechanics, Player Agency, Physics, Risk/Reward and Environment.

Ashes of Creation gives it life and meaning. Not just with a few visual effects, but with actual mechanics that reflect that life. You can see the world affect the player’s actions. To influence a decision that you may or may not make. And I am not just talking about weather here. I am talking about zones that follow a cycle of seasons. Perhaps seasons that persist or change based on community activity in the world.

In Ashes of Creation the world will change on a regular basis. Zones will progress in a seasonal cycle, which will alter the very nature of the environment around you. Snow may block pathways that are accessible in warmer months, spring may encourage creatures otherwise unseen to come to the surface, and fall might be the only time that certain crops thrive. This cycle can then take in the state of the world’s Nodes and shift depending on their progression. What happens if there’s an unexpectedly long summer and a far too short autumn? We’re not entirely sure ourselves, but we do know there will be plenty of stories that begin with “I remember when…” I want these cycles to affect a wide array of mechanics, including; NPC generation, boss content, dungeons, drop tables, Node progression, combat, skill use, gatherables, trade routes, NPC appearances, and weather. How you approach the world will depend on the world’s mood at that time. Certainly you might re-consider your approach to that dungeon if it’s fall rather than spring.

Most importantly, I want you to “feel” the difference in the world around you. I think Ashes to immerse you in the sights and sounds of the forest you are moving through and the ridges of that canyon you desperately cling to. If it’s winter, I want you to feel its icy fingers. Summer should bring that sticky-hot sensation that makes you just want to take it slow. The world must have a palpable texture to it, and we’re going to do that not just visually, but through music, sound, and story which together will complete that sensory tapestry. Those details are imperative if we want to illicit an emotional response that feels real.

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