Note: The how Nodes will work and grow is still under development. Information in this
article can and will most likely change over the next year. We will update it as quickly as possible.
The world of Ashes of Creation is split into Nodes. Each Node has a single, pre-set location where a settlement can form. These can be anywhere. On the mainland, underground, or even on an island. The settlement can evolve from a small camp to a sprawling metropolis.The area surrounding the Node's settlement point is its area of influence.
Any action of players within that area of influence advances the Node level and thus the Node's settlement. A developed Node that loses activity below a specific threshold, will trigger a PvE siege event that can potentially reset the node if successful. At the same time, players can also attack the Node and devolve it back to previous steps or even its starting condition.
Players do not create the footprint of a Node, but they have the ability to own property in the settlement's area or within the zone of influence (Freeholds). Not all nodes look the same either. With 8 races, comes 8 architecture styles. The style of a particular Node will be based on the majority of racial markers provided by each individual player developing the Node. The more markers that the node registers of a specific race, the more influence that race will have in the architecture during growth.
Players who are part of the government for a specific Node will have the ability to modify building types and services further, but for the most part, a Node will grow along its own specific path (think about this more as NPCs building these towns out, rather than PCs individually putting buildings and walls up). A Node’s contribution area is larger than the actual town itself, allowing for players to adventure while building upon the town. The contribution area outside of the node is called the “Zone of Influence,” and it’s the area where players help to advance the Node they are in.
How long does it take a node to develop? Well that depends on the actions of the players, but this is a general expectation:
- Stage 1: Expedition (Few hours)
- Stage 2: Encampment (Many hours)
- Stage 3: Village (Few days)
- Stage 4: Town (Many days)
- Stage 5: City (Few weeks)
- Stage 6: Metropolis (Many weeks)
Each Node can form into towns but are limited by their neighbors. The Nodes have different levels of advancement. There can only be so many of each level. Think of this as advanced settlements needing more elbow room. Nodes encompass more land as they grow and will require more effort to be sustained. This system is the main driver for change in the world because it creates scarcity. As Nodes advance in stages of growth, they will lock out neighboring Nodes from progressing and will absorb their zones of influence.
Nodes are formed through players doing things in their Zone of Influence. If the player does something that gains experience, the Node gets experience too. The main way for players to contribute to a Node is by being active. If players are questing, gathering or gaining experience in any way then the Node grows. Groups of players may move to an area because of a quest and indirectly form a camp, or players may specifically move to an area and aim to form a city. The larger the group of players working on a Node, the faster the Node advances.
Everything about the world is reflected by the advancement of the Node system. Where towns form will dictate which raid boss appears, which dungeons are available, which quest lines become unlocked, and how the tale of the server unfolds. The story will change and grow with the decisions of the community.
Node Types Edit
There are four types of Nodes, each with a different strength. The four types are: Military , Divine , Economic , and Scientific . The locations of these nodes are predetermined. Players will be able to tell which type of node they are building on by the NPC's that are in the area. The types also determine the perks that could potentially become available within the 'zone of influence'.
- A Military Node will have combat oriented benefits. Stronger walls, combat buffs for citizens etc.
- The NPC's will be soldiers.
- Perk: Reduce the debuff time of Corruption.
- The Divine Node will have priest NPC's and will be a religion hub.
- Perk: Not yet known
- An Economic Node will have traders and merchants.
- Perk: Shared auction house
- A Scientific Node will have scholars as NPC's.
- Perk: Air travel within the ZOI
Players do not own hubs but they can influence their development. Players will run the economy and politics, and they can own land within the Node's area. The more players in a specific hub, the better chance it has of growing. Same way you would expect a village to evolve. Everything starts out small, but with teamwork, can grow into something massive and self-sustaining. Of course, with growth comes the less enjoyable struggles, like taxes and power struggles. Conflicts between outsiders and insiders will occur and residents could find their city under siege.
If a Node is unable to advance any further and open land is scarce, a conflict could become necessary.
The Government System is all about letting players take control of the world they make. A group of players with common goals and interests form a community with plenty of room for growth. If a Node becomes a city, leaders can be elected. How the election occurs will depend on the type of Node the city resides in (Divine, Economic, Scientific, Military). The four processes are: Election from citizens, election by gladiatorial, election by revenue, election by service. How long players will stay in office (provided their city is not currently under siege) has not yet been determined. A month long reign is currently under consideration by developers. Bad or unproductive leaders can also be removed from power prior to the end of their term, and Nodes that are abandoned Castles are under a different type of government and will be explained in that article.
Leaders will choose which buildings to build, expand (level up), and demolish. Naturally, as in any government, leaders may not always agree on such things which can lead to strife within the ranks. How players choose to handle decisions or arguments will either help the Nodes within the governing City Hall grow, or potentially destroy everything from within.
Not all conflicts start within a single Node, however. Leaders of one Node may decide to plan the destruction of others, much like one tavern or guild might decide to do whatever it takes to remove the competition. Political rallies might be used to draw players to their cause. Leader personalities will become more transparent as time goes on. A mishandled political uprising can easily cause a strong bureaucratic system to implode.
The City Hall system can also allow leaders the option to make foreign citizens of specific cities an enemy of the state, rewarding local citizens for bring them to justice. They can even declare war, but a leader who does and fails to gain support, won't be in power for long.
A City Hall doesn't exist just to protect boundaries and declare war on those outside it. The government should strive to build relations with other Nodes and it's citizens. Trade agreements are essential for improving the economy. Developing caravan routes between cities and protecting them gives experience to everyone involved. Economy provides the funds needed to construct additional buildings and stronger defenses. It's things like this that will attract more travelers looking for somewhere safer to settle.
There are other ways as well to bring more players into a Node, and this should be a goal for City Hall and it's leaders. Line the streets with festivals which will provide the players (citizens) with buffs to experience gain, crafting, and other benefits. As important as it is to make sure the streets are safe, equally important is the need to keep the locals happy and the city growing.
Taxes are used to assist the development of a Node. The taxes collected from a player will depend on the number and type of structures that are currently owned by that character. Taxes collected can only be used in specific ways that are pre-determined by the Node type. For example, a Military Node may need more barracks for guards, where an Economic Node may need to expand or enhance the trade areas or establish trade routes.
There will be mechanics available in-game that will allow the government of different Nodes to work together for common goals (siege of another node, economic trade agreements, etc.). Details are not yet known.