Ashes of Creation – Yet another WoW Killer?

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Many games have been predicted to become killers of WoW. “Wow Killer” has even become sort of a catchphrase. Nowadays, Ashes of Creation is often characterized as a new WoW killer. This text is an attempt to understand what makes so many people speak about possible Ashes of Creation vs WoW confrontation.

Ashes of Creation – a sandbox-MMORPG?

Ashes of Creation is usually characterized as a MMORPG with sandbox elements. What does it mean? The game has a goal that has been stated since the earlier years of its development. The goal is to cross the “chasm” between “theme park” and “sandbox” types of MMORPG. Because the first one usually puts too many restrictions on players. And the second one leaves too much “sand” without a proper amount of pre-made content for players to enjoy.

The perfect example of how developers of Ashes of Creation try to cross the chasm is the Node system. The game’s map consists of equal areas. There’s a Node in the middle of each. A Node is basically a foundation on which players can build settlements with their own efforts!

Of course, even this system of a sandbox MMORPG will have its limits. But these limits are fit for the purpose of the game developers. Not to make this part of gameplay completely “sandy”, but to leave enough space for a variety within a few necessary restrictions.

For instance, there will be only four types of Nodes: Divine, Economic, Military, and Scientific. For now, they can’t be changed. They are selected at the beginning stage of a settlement building. It depends on the type of Node, what Focuses and Types of government it will have. And what kinds of NPC it will contain. And many other features, including a type of superpower to be unlocked when Node reaches the sixth stage of development.

By the way, each kind of Node has a total of six stages: Expedition — Encampment — Village — Town — City — Metropolis. A lot of features also depend on the level of a Node. From mobs, dungeons, and quests surrounding a developing Node — to the number of vassals a Node can have. (The vassalization feature is unlocked on the Village stage.)

Thus, Ashes of Creation players will be able to build whole cities to live in. Yes, literally live in, not just tie their Hearthstone to that place. There are three types of accommodation players can purchase in a city where they have citizenship. These types are Apartments, Freeholds, and Static Housing.

And if you need one more proof of how vivid the game is gonna be, two facts can speak for themselves. During the Node sieges, your beloved Freehold may be destroyed. (Although you can rebuild it with a saved design you got used to.) And, as cities of different Nodes can trade with each other, you know where the grand part of PVP activity will be. Even the most careful trade route may suddenly become a dangerous place.

It’s hard to describe even a quarter of all activities you can take part in Nodes. Internal politics, elections, intrigues, different types of interaction with NPC depending on your reputation, special tax systems, etc. But there are too many other things to discuss.

Ashes of Creation PVP

The Ashes of Creation PVP system has already been touched a bit, but it deserves much more attention. Because actually, the very nature of this MMORPG makes it extremely PVP-based. It’s already obvious judging by its Node system, but other reasons for it must be listed too.

For example, players won’t be able to stay out of the fight when it comes to conflicts for various resources. Not only caravans full of valuable loot may attract the attention of players of different Nodes and guilds, but also hunting grounds and rare resources.

There’s no need to speak much about rare resources, although this system is also well-developed. For instance, due to the constantly changing and vivid nature of the game’s world, some key farm locations may change their place or status. Like mines, that can be exhausted and become useless.

But the Hunting grounds mustn’t be confused with places where you just hunt a rare beast aiming at collecting its skin and meat. These are places where the Player’s Corruption level is shown to everyone. But what is Corruption?

It has already been mentioned that in such MMO as Ashes of Creation you can actually feel so free that… Well, NPCs in some Nodes may suddenly want to fight you. Because of your well-known bad reputation. It may remind you of the reaction of NPCs in games like Skyrim after you stole something. Or the reaction of Booty Bay goblins after you have farmed reputation with Bloodsail Buccaneers.

But Ashes of Creation gameplay will include a PVP analog of reputation. It’s going to satisfy those who have often been ganged by high-level players without any possibility of taking vengeance and seeking justice. Because the Corruption system will mark a player who killed a peaceful Non-combatant with a red flag.

And everybody in the Hunting Ground is going to see him on a map. And the more unjust are actions of the Corrupted player (the more innocent players are killed by it) — the stronger debuffs it will receive. Up to the rapidly growing possibility of losing some of its loot and equipment. If a player is Corrupted, a normal law-abiding Combatant player won’t receive any fines for killing it. And the Corrupted player will receive truly unpleasant fines upon death.

Moreover, players can receive quests with which they can become Bounty hunters. So, yes: a very PVP-based game has good instruments to balance the inconveniences that PVP usually causes to some players.

Finally, more classic PVP regimes won’t be deprived of attention in the game. Here you will also be able to fight on Arena and take part in Naval PVP fights. Well, the last one is not classic too — but yes, Naval combat is one more feature of the Ashes of Creations! It seems easier to say what feature is not in there.

Ashes of Creation Races

There will be nine races in the Ashes of Creation. Actually, it can be said that there are only five of them: Aela Humans, Dünzenkell Dwarves, Pyrian Elves, Kaivek Orcs, and Tulnar. But each of the first four is divided into two separate races: Kaelar and Vaelune, Niküa and Dünir, Empyrean and Py’Rai, Ren’Kai and Vek.

Every race has a deep and unique story. And every story is somehow tied with the depths of the complicated lore of the game. Up to the first stage of the birth of the Verra — the world where the game takes place.

In short: initially, the mystic Ten created only one race called Ancients. But because of catastrophes triggered by the Ancients, the Ten put them in exile and decided to create four much weaker and much more familiar races. They are those different kinds of humans, elves, orcs, and dwarves. And Tulnar, who appeared as a mix of not only all the playable races, but a mix of unplayable creatures of Verra too.

Ashes of Creation Classes

Ashes of Creation has an unusual class system. But it may seem familiar to those who have tested various MMORPGs.

The thing that WoW players usually call “class” is going to consist of two parts called “archetypes”. At the beginning of their journey, players choose the first unchangeable key archetype: Bard, Rogue, Summoner, Tank, Ranger, Mage, Fighter, or Cleric. On the 25th level players are to choose one more archetype out of the previous eight.

A combination of two chosen archetypes will result in an actual Class. There are a total of 64 combinations with much more original and poetic names. They can be seen in the picture:

It’d be better not to think about it as a simple combination of specialization and class. And the final skill set won’t be just a compilation of spells from two different “classes” in the usual understanding of its word. Because some spells from a secondary Archetype will work differently, depending on what primary Archetype is chosen.

Besides, a few Universal skills may appear in sets of all the classes. For instance, the Active blocking. But how can there be doubt in the appearance of such a feature?

How to play Ashes of Creations?

Although you may have already started to wonder how to play The Ashes of Creations, cool down. It’s important to remember: the game is still in early development. Not so early as it was in 2017 when it was tested through the release of a standalone prequel called AoC Apocalypse. And not so early as in the 2020 year.

But the nearest version expected to release in the upcoming years is called Alpha-2. And the Alpha-1 test lasted from July 14 to August 15 in 2021. The only encouraging fact here is that Alpha-2 is called a “persistent Alpha”. So, you’ll be able to play it until the release.

All that means that a lot of features of the game might change, and many of them will certainly be improved. Maybe not once and not twice. And that’ll most likely happen with the Universal skills, as this and similar mechanics worked oddly since the earliest versions of the game.

But even though everything is still unclear with approximate release dates, the Ashes of Creation price can already be discussed. The game will be purchased via a monthly subscription that costs $14.99 per month. But now that the product is really far from release, it’s better to consider buying one of the special pre-order packs.

Four of them are found on the shop website: Wayfarer ($75), Expeditionary ($150), Voyager ($250), and Voyager Plus ($375). Their contents can be studied on the website. Packs differ from each other judging by several factors. The number of subscription months included in packs, types of access to different stages of test stages of the product, and how many cosmetic items they contain.

As for the Ashes of Creation system requirements, it will be enough to mention that now the game is developed on Unreal Engine 5. That makes preliminary minimal and recommended requirements look like this:


So, will this game become an actual WoW killer? Only time will tell. Only time — and you. You can try to make some preliminary conclusions right now. For that, don’t hesitate to know more about the game. As there’s really much more to learn about it right now, and especially to expect from it in the future.

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