Ashes of Creation: First Thoughts

When I first learned about this game, it seemed alright. I put it on a list of upcoming games to watch and kinda moved on. Then, I heard some odd things about their battle royal mode that they kept messing with when everyone was wanting more information on the MMO and felt like maybe it was going in a weird direction. Add it to the list of probably dead on arrival games (or dead before arrival, in some cases). However, I saw this video (embedded above), a video that many, many people apparently have watched and enjoyed, including Asmongold and Summit1g. And after I saw that video, well, it’s back on the top of my interest list for future game releases. This in development MMORPG has such broad focus including: PVE, PVP, crafting, politics, religion, exploration, world building (literally). I’m going to discuss some of the things that really set this apart for me after the break.

I’m not going to get into the specifics too aggressively in this post, because honestly, LazyPeon surely did a better job in his video that I would here. I just want to highlight the things that seem exceptional to me, personally.

I’ll just hit the biggest driving factor for my interest first: The developer is a long time gamer and MMO player. This isn’t just some uber-corporation looking to cash in on a game-as-a-service model cash cow. Not to say that I’m sure Steven Sharif isn’t hoping to make money too, because of course he is, but the instigator for him was gaming, not cash. Additionally, because it’s primarily self-funded and not reliant on an outside corporation, he is able to have more creative control that a company like Blizzard could have now with WoW. He did an ‘Ask Me Anything’ a few days ago that has me extra hyped. Not so much for any new information about the game itself, but mostly because of his own anecdotes and commentaries about his gaming experience and preferences.

During this interview, he is asked a specific question about multi-boxing and if its pay to win, I don’t personally care about that aspect, but he started talking about pay to win in general. He declared, as basically every developer does, that there won’t be pay to win. This typically tells me it’s not a direct “pay for power”, but you can pay for everything else that helps you get power. Steven directly says not even pay for convenience, including no extra bag space or crafting advantages – exclusively cosmetic. Additionally, cosmetics of the same quality are earn-able in game as well, so it isn’t, as he said, like Black Desert Online. Further, because of his personal distaste in this function, quest items will not take up normal inventory slots. That’s the kind of thinking that MMO developers who aren’t gamers tend to not think about until a thousand or a million people complained about it for a year.

As far as game specifics, I’d say there’s a couple of really unique things. The first and biggest is described in that LazyPeon video at the top – their node system. The ability to dynamically build the world and world content, a true persistent world that is affected by player actions, unique server development… it’s next level. Or, at least to me it is. I’ve yet to hear of or experience anything like it.

Asmongold interviewed Steven Sharif. Aside from the little point from this I want to mention, the more interesting part was how the conversation worked. It was closer to a conversation than an interview. It wasn’t pre-determined, rehearsed, etc. This developer has knowledge and passion for his game. In this interview, they did cover the way the bosses progress as you go through a dungeon or raid. Depending how your group performs on a boss, the next boss dynamically changes. Not just health and damage, but the AI strategy and ability usage can change. This could help keep raids and boss encounters interesting far longer than normal MMOs can achieve. The Asmongold video is linked below.

I haven’t been this hyped for a new MMO for a long time. Naturally, it’s very early on, but, I’m very much going to be keeping an eye on this and will be adding new posts when I see new, interesting, things.

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