Game balance

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There will be match ups in 1v1s where one class will be superior to another; and that application should be a rock-paper-scissors dynamic. We want there to be counter-play between the different classes... Instead it's going to be a group focused balance, where as long as you have the diversity of classes present, that's going to be an equal level playing field. It's going to be very dependent on skill and strategy.[3]Steven Sharif
Balance-wise, there's a number of different interactions mechanically that you have within an ability that you can adjust in order to balance its power. The most most common ones are: Cooldown, Mana consumption, Damage done, Effect status conferred, Promotion of that effect status, Range.[4]Steven Sharif
When we move into Alpha 2 and we have a lot of data that's supporting the use of these particular abilities in combat settings, how often they're used, how often they result in death, what the average damage done by this archetype is comparatively to other damage done by different archetypes: All of that data gets logged and all of that data gets queried in order for us to refine the abilities so that they live in the environment we want them to. Now, that's not to mean that we're going to have a perfect balance across the board between the archetypes. Again, we're taking a rock-paper-scissor approach to balance, which means that some archetypes will do better against other archetypes and vice versa; and we're also not creating an environment where we want to have 1v1 balance. We are focused around group balance. Group composition is important.[1]Steven Sharif
info-orange.pngAlcune delle seguenti informazioni non sono state confermate di recente dagli sviluppatori e potrebbero non essere nell'attuale roadmap di sviluppo.
Even though augments do radically change the way your active skills provide you abilities, there's still a primary focus on the base archetype itself and not the 64 whole classes.[2]Steven Sharif
Certain archetypes are capable of moving the gap between their counterpart per-se. If I am a Tank archetype and a Mage is my counter, I can take a Mage secondary and bridge the divide slightly; and then move my identity that direction ever so slightly.[12]Steven Sharif


Synergies exist between class skills, weapon skills, passive skills, proc effects, and status conditions.[13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25] These synergies also apply to active skills from other characters.[13][26]

Q: How much do you intend for those sort of synergy things to be done within one class, one character's kit, versus how much do you intend for them to be working with the other characters, the other archetypes and specializations to promote their things, or to also make sure you don't step on their feet and accidentally promote something they're trying to maximize?
A: When we talk about status conditions or keyword conditions and the promotion of those effects, there is going to be the bread and butter that each class kid has access to; and when they're creating the type of rotation with their ability system, they're going to want to emphasize those interactions that amplify or promote a particular type of status condition. So they'll have within the kit to their own interactions that they'll be able to leverage. But then in addition to that, they're going to have keyword status effects that help to either promote other classes' keyword status effects, or are the executed promotions of other classes initial status conditions. And when you think about the intent of the design: the intent of the design is that players are servicing themselves from a solo perspective when they want to go out and solo grind and solo experience and fulfill the quests. But when they come together to form a party to encounter group content, or a raid to encounter raid content: that the interconnectivity between those classes synergizes with these keyword promotions and/or effects; and there's a way to execute on that, that is successful and is effective, or a way that's not. And that's the skill ceiling/skill cap that requires interaction and cooperation and synchronization between, because there are limited time windows in which those keywords can get emphasized or executed upon when utilizing the ability.[13]Steven Sharif
When you think about it, it's very much a musical endeavor. When you think about a symphony or a concert, those instruments working with eachother to formulate this highly effective and very visceral experience of this music chain. When you accomplish that in combat, it's going to be noticeable; and that's the desire, is let's reward- let's dopamine hit when players are effective in their skill when executing on these ideas.[27]Steven Sharif


A goal of Ashes of Creation is to emphasise micro metas that work for specific encounters, and de-emphasize macro metas that work for everything.[28]

What we're doing with this approach is we're de-emphasizing a macro meta and instead emphasizing a micro meta. And the difference between the macro/micro is that on the micro level you have metas that might form based on each individual type of encounter or experience. And in those senses, yes, there's going to be a most optimal: There's going to be a best in slot. There's going to be whatever that pertains to that particular challenge rating. But there won't we there will not be an overarching meta that says from a macro level, hey, if you got this shit, you're good to go for everything. That's boring, that's unfulfilling, that is not interesting; and it is just something that that dumbifies the experience.[28]Steven Sharif
  • Increasing difficulty ratings inspire more of a traditional vertical power progression that is common in other MMOs.[30][29]
Oftentimes you just have a very vertical power scale and that determines chase, but when you have a variety of relevance across certain types of adversaries and that variety changes over time because of player activity- and then that affects the economy and the crafter system and who was producing what for what demand- and everything gets shaken up. That's a very fun environment to exist in. It presents a more dynamic situation rather than a quote-unquote cookie-cutter type selection.[29]Steven Sharif
  • The intricacies of how nodes interact with predicates in the world means that it may be possible but difficult to achieve meta server builds.[31]
Q: Do you have any concerns on players eventually discovering a meta server build with nodes due to players heading to specific nodes and regions because they find that content more enjoyable; and if so how would you go about getting players to shift around the world to break up the meta?
A: I think it's interesting if players have a concerted effort across a server to interact with one another, learn from their actions, mistakes, successes, and effectuate that on the server. That's interesting, but I don't believe we'll see a meta form. I think that the intricacies are too great when it comes to how predicates are formed in order to elicit world state changes.[31]Steven Sharif


Ashes of Creation has the traditional trinity of Tank, DPS (damage dealers) and Support (healer or non-healer) roles.[32][33][34]

We have our eight base archetypes; and the trinity is a pretty strong influence with regards to the eight base classes. However the area in which we actually begin to play with that line between the trinity is in the secondary classes that you can pick. That's where we begin to blend those spaces and allow people a little bit of influence over their role and whether or not they fit perfectly within a particular category within the trinity.[35]Steven Sharif


We like to really refer to ourselves as a PvX game, because in those systems of PvP, PvE, crafting they're all intertwined: They're interdependent on each other... Our system of development really requires some interdependence there between those things. You're going to need a crafter to give you the best items. You're going to need PvPers to secure cities and castles. You're gonna need PvErs to take down those world bosses for those materials to craft.[36]Steven Sharif

Ashes is a comprehensive game. It is not a PvP focused or a PvE focused, it is a comprehensive PvX game and as a result these systems are all interconnected and have to coexist with one another with certain types of mechanisms that can provide that give and take, that push and shove.[37]Steven Sharif

Ashes of Creation is a PvX game. Players will naturally encounter both Pvp and PvE elements.[38][37][39][40] It is unlikely that a player could purely focus on just Pvp or just PvE.[37][36][39][40]

Ashes is a PvX game; and so in that regard, your ability to wholesale disconnect from the PvP elements of the game are likely not going to be entirely successful. Now, does that mean that you can reduce your exposure to PvP? A hundred percent; and there are multiple play paths and progression points that players can elect instead to be more PvE focused, but by the sheer nature of risk-versus-reward, and risk including not being able to predict how other players might impact your gameplay, that is an element of the innate risk that exists in the multiplayer environment of a PvX setting. So, not everybody is going to like that and we accept that; and we're not trying to build a game that everybody is going to like, because everybody it's doing that is not going to be successful, because there're just people with different interests; and you know we accept that and we're very on the nose about what we're trying to achieve. The idea is not to create a gank fest, is not to create a grief fest. That is not what PvX is; and so because of that we have certain mechanisms and systems that govern the way players engage in PvP and the majority of those are opt-in, but there is always that element of risk that's governed by the flagging system. And so, if you're interested in that I would take a look at the Wiki and look up what flagging is, and look up what corruption is. My experience tells me- and my expectations of the system are that they will signal significantly reduce a player's exposure to non-consensual PvP, but that risk is always going to be present to some degree.[38]Steven Sharif
  • Around 80% of the content is open-world, where healthy competition is an instigator for player friction; for potential cooperation; for the ability to yield alliances; and the political theater that comes with it. This is an intended part of the PvX game design.[42][43][44][45][46]
  • There won't be separate PvE and PvP servers but some servers may be more PvP focused than others.[38][39][47]
We're very clear with our objective and philosophy on the game and we understand that they may not appeal to everybody. But it is an important reciprocal relationship between the content that's related to PvE and the content that's related to PvP and they feed off of each other. They're catalysts for change: Their progression, their development. It's things that people can value when they see something earned and they see something lost. That elicits an emotional response from the player: That they've invested time in to either succeed or fail; and PvP allows for that element to be introduced into gameplay. And we're very clear that is our objective: That risk versus reward relationship, that achievement-based mentality. Not everybody's going to be a winner and that's okay.[46]Steven Sharif
info-orange.pngAlcune delle seguenti informazioni non sono state confermate di recente dagli sviluppatori e potrebbero non essere nell'attuale roadmap di sviluppo.

Power creep

The developers intend to limit power creep via item sinks, the lack of gear binding, and the absence of pay-to-win or pay-to-convenience in Ashes of Creation.[50]

Game difficulty

Ashes of Creation will be on the higher side of difficulty when it comes to engagements.[51][6][52]

Adventuring is not easy in Ashes... The intent is that encounters are difficult. The world is dangerous. It is not a cakewalk to progress within Ashes.[51]Steven Sharif

Learning curve

Ashes of Creation will be easy to understand yet hard to master.[53]

My stance on participation trophies is that things should be hard, people should fail, the bitter taste of defeat is what makes success that much more rewarding. Helping other players learn encounter strategy, and fine tuning their play style for high end content is an important part of eliminating participation trophy. Growing together is a good thing, and that include failing together as a means to drive for success together.[54]Steven Sharif

Target demographic

The developers want Ashes of Creation to appeal to both younger and older generations of MMO gamers.[55]

I think our target demographic, obviously we have a very high graphic fidelity in the game that's attractive to younger players, but at the same time we have a very roleplay game orientation - a a play back to that pen-and-paper Dungeons & Dragons feel that perhaps younger generations may not know but is very near and dear to the hearts of older gamers. So I think we have a broad appeal from a demographic standpoint.[55]Steven Sharif

Player types

Ashes of Creation will cater for a variety of player types from Raiders or PvPers to Role players and Crafters.[56]

The most compelling design argument for how those different sects of gamers interact with each other is dependant from the design standpoint of interdependencies in the systems. So, for example if as a Raider or as a PvPer you're looking for the best gear, you're going to devote your time towards leveling up and going out and participating in the things you enjoy like pvping, perhaps going for caravans or sieging cities and castles and all that type stuff. If you want the best gear, you're going to have to rely on a person who's devoted their time towards crafting potentially; and they may not be a PvPer but they have a place in your wheelhouse because you need their services. And then that crafter is going to need a person who is either a gatherer or plays the economy as a merchant in the nodes with the auction houses that are regionalized. They're going to have to work with a person who specializes in trade that takes caravans with either mercenary groups or other guilds that are PvPers between the nodes to get the resources they need. Building dependencies on different groups or factions of players that exist within a large world like this MMORPG is what solidifies the bonds that allow for them to exist either harmoniously, or at least in a way that they know you need those types of players.[56]Steven Sharif

Casual vs. hardcore players

I giocatori casual avranno un impatto perchè quello che fanno è necessario per il bene del server.[57]

Ci saranno eventi che accadranno nel mondo del gioco a cui potrete unirvi, o influenzarli, senza essere dei giocatori hardcore. Per esempio, gli eventi innescati contro le città per il PvE; gli scambi dei caravan; quei campi di battaglia naturali che si trovano in giro; gli assedi al castello a cui potrete unirvi. Ci sono un sacco di sistemi in gioco quando una persona semplicemente fa il login, partecipa, si diverte, influenza e poi fa il logout.[57]Steven Sharif

Level scaling

Levels, stats, or skills will not be scaled to allow low level players to participate in encounters with higher level players or world bosses.[58][59][60]

Q: Will world bosses scale when it comes to player levels and is it based on players or the zone itself leveling?
A: They will not scale based on player level, no.[58]Steven Sharif

Mentor program

info-orange.pngAlcune delle seguenti informazioni non sono state confermate di recente dagli sviluppatori e potrebbero non essere nell'attuale roadmap di sviluppo.

There will be a mentorship program where upper-level players are able to benefit from partying and/or helping lower level players; and getting them situated in the game.[60]

There will be activities that are present for higher level players to mentor lower level players. Let's say you have a friend who joins later on and you still want to do things with them, there will be things to do. Will he be able to enter a dungeon of your level and participate? No, because we don't want to inflate or deflate characters and manipulate that type of skill or power. We want that to be something that makes sense for them in a progression standpoint.[62]Steven Sharif
The mentorship program provides individual quests that can be initiated by the mentor based off of what node that they are part of. So these are like quests that are determined by either certain buildings and/or organizations or the mayor; and there are specific ones that are available for mentors to provide mentees; and they can also participate in some of those quest lines as well: Whether that be leading your mentee through a dungeon or providing a location for them to arrive with you at, or escort quests for the NPC caravans. These types of things, when done together with your mentor, will provide benefits both for the mentor and the mentee as well, so you're incentivized to participate with new players.[61]Steven Sharif

See also


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  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Trasmissione in diretta, 2020-10-30 (33:26).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Podcast, 2018-04-23 (59:28).
  4. 4.0 4.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2023-12-19 (1:23:00).
  5. Trasmissione in diretta, 2021-05-28 (1:13:05).
  6. 6.0 6.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2022-12-02 (1:05:51).
  7. 7.0 7.1 Colloquio, 2018-10-20 (2:40:17).
  8. Podcast, 2021-09-29 (30:04).
  9. Trasmissione in diretta, 2021-06-25 (1:05:01).
  10. Colloquio, 2020-07-18 (1:05:04).
  11. Trasmissione in diretta, 2018-02-09 (41:56).
  12. 12.0 12.1 Podcast, 2018-04-23 (1:01:01).
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Colloquio, 2023-07-09 (1:14:09).
  14. Trasmissione in diretta, 2022-12-02 (56:09).
  15. Trasmissione in diretta, 2022-06-30 (1:12:38).
  16. Trasmissione in diretta, 2022-09-30 (53:15).
  17. Trasmissione in diretta, 2022-09-30 (43:45).
  18. Video, 2022-09-30 (24:49).
  19. Podcast, 2021-09-29 (47:57).
  20. Colloquio, 2021-02-07 (49:18).
  21. Colloquio, 2020-07-19 (53:59).
  22. Colloquio, 2020-07-18 (1:07:51).
  23. Trasmissione in diretta, 2020-01-30 (1:28:40).
  24. February 8, 2019 - Questions and Answers.
  25. Trasmissione in diretta, 2018-06-04 (1:11:19).
  26. Colloquio, 2020-07-29 (55:44).
  27. Colloquio, 2023-07-09 (1:16:45).
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Colloquio, 2023-07-09 (1:43:38).
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 Podcast, 2021-04-11 (54:35).
  30. Colloquio, 2023-07-09 (1:40:41).
  31. 31.0 31.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2023-04-07 (1:15:02).
  32. Podcast, 2021-04-11 (13:30).
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 Group dynamics blog.
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 Trasmissione in diretta, 2017-05-22 (46:04).
  35. 35.0 35.1 Colloquio, 2018-10-20 (2:40:16).
  36. 36.0 36.1 Video, 2018-04-16 (1:32).
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 Podcast, 2021-04-11 (38:31).
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Trasmissione in diretta, 2024-03-29 (2:27:46).
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 Trasmissione in diretta, 2017-05-12 (24:52).
  40. 40.0 40.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2017-05-05 (33:25).
  41. Trasmissione in diretta, 2023-08-31 (20:54).
  42. Trasmissione in diretta, 2023-05-31 (45:47).
  43. Trasmissione in diretta, 2023-04-07 (55:22).
  44. Trasmissione in diretta, 2023-03-31 (1:00:16).
  45. Trasmissione in diretta, 2022-10-28 (32:52).
  46. 46.0 46.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2017-06-01 (37:39).
  47. MMORPG Interview, 2016-12-12.
  48. pvx stats.png
  49. Trasmissione in diretta, 2017-05-15 (14:05).
  50. Colloquio, 2018-10-20 (2:53:52).
  51. 51.0 51.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2024-02-29 (1:24:31).
  52. Trasmissione in diretta, 2018-06-04 (7:25).
  53. Podcast, 2018-05-11 (33:09).
  54. Ashes of Creation Forums - No participation trophy.
  55. 55.0 55.1 Podcast, 2018-05-11 (33:09).
  56. 56.0 56.1 Video, 2018-04-05 (44:06).
  57. 57.0 57.1 Video, 2018-04-05 (48:03).
  58. 58.0 58.1 Trasmissione in diretta, 2023-05-31 (43:55).
  59. Colloquio, 2021-06-13 (24:14).
  60. 60.0 60.1 Video, 2018-04-05 (40:08).
  61. 61.0 61.1 61.2 61.3 61.4 Trasmissione in diretta, 2020-09-30 (1:07:22).
  62. Colloquio, 2018-08-24 (8:52).