It’s been a long time since we saw a truly original MMORPG break through the genre’s increasingly stale and crusty exterior and reach new creative bounds. Promises have been made, hearts have been broken and disappointment has been aplenty in a genre overpopulated with auto-play, cheap gacha mechanics, and a seeming lack of will to see something new and novel.
Finally, all of that seems slated to change with Intrepid Studios’ highly anticipated Ashes of Creation.
What is Ashes of Creation?
Ashes of Creation is quite possibly the most ambitious MMORPG project ever imagined (discounting notable scams) and one seemingly coming to fruition, slowly and steadily. The game is set to feature the most dynamic, energetic worldbuilding ever created through its unique Nodes mechanic, an absolutely gargantuan map, and one of the widest and thoughtfully developed spectrums of PvP and PvE content you’re likely to see for quite awhile.
Why is Everyone So Excited?
The Nodes mechanic is the source from which all of the incredible depth of Ashes of Creation flows. The almost 500km map is divided up into about 100 “nodes” that develop independently from one another and feature their own unique characteristics. As players spend time in a node, hunting, completing quests and other activities, it contributes towards that Node’s civilizational progress. On launch day, the world of Ashes of Creation will be utterly empty; but soon those empty, undeveloped Nodes will become villages, then towns, cities, and eventually a glorious, bustling metropolis. Other than a few starter cities, the entire world and everything in it will be entirely shaped by player activity.
And that’s just scratching the surface of the Node system. The way in which the Node develops is dependent on who develops it. If Orcish players contribute more towards a Node’s development, the next stage of civilization will take on an Orcish aesthetic, and so on and so forth with the other races. Nodes come in four types: Divine, Economic, Militaristic and Scientific Nodes, each of which have different effects on the landscape and content in its zone. Players can also be elected as mayors of nodes, responsible for their management and oversight, setting laws such as taxation and making management decisions regarding construction and Node development.
As a Node grows and develops, it directly impacts the direction the world takes. Dungeons, quests, events — everything depends on the Node, and not all Nodes can grow to maximum size nor are they ever static fixtures of the landscapes. Unlike other MMOs where major cities, landmarks, and areas are there to stay, that giant city on the hill or village hidden in the forest can be destroyed forever. Instead of a linear path that ends with the server being full of max-level nodes and nothing else to do, Nodes can be assaulted and everything in it sent to the afterlife. It’s pretty wild, there’s lots of reasons you might want to do that, and the large-scale player-driven means of accomplishing both developing and destroying a node involve mechanics of a magnitude hitherto unseen in any online game.
Again, this is just scratching the surface of just one mechanic at play in Ashes of Creation — albeit the most important one. And it sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Makes you wonder, when will Ashes of Creation be released?
Ashes of Creation Release Date
With many MMORPG fans over the moon with what Ashes of Creation has the potential to become, the question reverberating throughout the internet is “when will Ashes of Creation come out?”
And the answer is, fortunately or unfortunately, not for a while. Despite several years of coverage and ongoing updates, the game is currently still in Alpha and we could easily be as far as two years from a real Ashes of Creation release date.
But don’t despair! There’s a lot to be positive about. Intrepid Studios has made a commitment to transparency throughout the process and is as engaged with the community as any MMORPG fan could ask for. The team has seemingly ramped up production this year too, with enormous amounts of in-game footage showing the successful operation of many of its ambitious mechanics from real-time Node development to player elections to PvP content.
There are even regular monthly live streams that players can tune into to see the latest in testing as it happens so you can make sure we don’t have another Chronicles of Elyria on our hands. Intrepid is incredibly open about their process. So much so, it seems to be a core principle of development; openness, regular feedback, and consistent engagement.
Ashes of Creation Price: Will It Be Free to Play?
Ashes of Creation will not be free to play, and will instead come with a $15 dollar a month subscription in the style of WoW. There will, however, not be a box price to purchase the game, and Intrepid has made a firm and repeated commitment that Ashes of Creation will always and forever be free of any traces of pay-to-win anywhere in the game. For further monetization, there will be an in-game store featuring only cosmetic items with no effect on gameplay whatsoever.
How to Follow Ashes of Creation Development
With intrepid ramping up development this year, and doling out larger and larger chunks of footage, it’s pretty easy to stay up to date on the goings on in the world of Ashes of Creation. If you’re as interested as everyone else in keeping a close eye on what’s happening with the game, considering donating or participating in testing, we’ve compiled a few useful links for you to check out.
- The Ashes of Creation Kickstarter
- The Ashes of Creation official Youtube channel
- The Ashes of Creation Release Schedule
- Discord (currently down)
- Ashes of Creation subreddit
There’s a No-NDA Alpha planned for later this year, meaning that content creators and testers will be able to release real in-game footage and present it in whatever way they want. So, if you’ve somehow managed to remain skeptical of any of Intrepid’s content thus far, keep your eyes peeled because before year’s end we should have an unvarnished look at where the game is and a better idea of how long we have to wait to step foot in the lands of Verra.
Pumped for Ashes of Creation? So are we! Make sure to follow along with us as we keep an eye on Ashes of Creation’s further development, and keep your fingers crossed that it lives up to its potential — because if it does, Ashes of Creation will be an MMORPG for the ages.
Special shoutout to TheLazyPeon, whose video on Ashes of Creation is a great place to learn more about the specific mechanics of the game, from Nodes to its combat system and developmental history.