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We may have some story arcs down the line where you're killing some well-known NPCs, but we got to build it up: we got to make you either love them or hate them before you get to that point.[4]Margaret Krohn
During sieges or during monster events those venders, the non-combat NPCs, are usually provided for through a particular building type, unless they're general NPCs. If they're general NPCs currently, I think what we're doing is we're despawning them if they're not combat-oriented and if they are a service building like a constructible, if that building becomes damaged, then the NPC is disabled post the event, or post the siege until the building is repaired; but they're not present to be killed as part of the siege event. If they're a combat NPC, such as a mercenary or like a captain of the guard whatever: they're present, they can be killed and they have ramifications for doing so.[5]Steven Sharif
  • Some NPC movements and behaviors are dictated by time of day or other rotational cycle, others will be static.[9]
Where we place the NPC rotations that are relevant- those would be rotations that exist perhaps within an hour, not so much within a day so-to-speak. So there might be five minutes of some changing of an organization's acolytes in a temple or something; and that might be because obviously there's a quest related to that rotation.[9]Steven Sharif
  • NPCs will behave differently based on a player's reputation.[10][11][12][13] Otherwise, branching dialog trees are not currently planned for NPC interactions.[10]
Q: Can you influence NPCs or mobs when interacting with them by using your knowledge of their unique personalities/routines/lore or general knowledge of the world state?
A: We haven't planned for any type of branching dialogue personalities that give insight to those types of things and I don't believe that's planned for our narrative design, no. There is however some potential faction-based reputations that can be had and those reputations might send the NPCs down different behavior trees; and that is something that is incorporated. But if I understand the question correctly it's more along the lines of catering specific dialogue responses that will send down different dialogue branches and that's not planned.[10]Steven Sharif
Elite monster 3D turntable.[14]

It's a really big dude and the idea behind him is you're gonna see big monsters- I think that the character comes up to like his elbow maybe, or just beneath the elbow I'm not sure- but you're going to see these big elites just roaming and wandering through the world. They're not assigned any to to any particular hunting ground, they just roam; and I think that component is pretty cool especially when you have an open world where you can see something unique that's not matching the monsters you're hunting in a certain area but just strolls by.[14]Steven Sharif

Goblin 3D render. 3D model by Chris Atkins.[15]

There are going to be different types of "Goblinesque" creatures; and this one has not skipped out on his leg or arm day, which is a good thing for him because he's probably going to be in a lot of fights.[16]Steven Sharif

There will be a mix of different monsters and difficulty levels throughout the world that are tied to the development of nearby nodes. As nodes advance, mobs will present new and increasing dangers that players can participate in.[17]

In the world naturally there will be locations that are going to have a mix of different levels of monsters and difficulty levels; and then those spawn tables relate to the development of nearby nodes. So as nodes develop they'll be changing the spawn tables around them to reflect their further development in the world, presenting new and more difficult dangers that the players can participate in.[17]Steven Sharif
  • Not all creatures are immediately hostile to players.[18][11] Some creatures may hunt other creatures.[19]
We've talked about this a little bit in the past when talking about taming and/or certain types of like creature gatherable resources there are herds that exist out there. There are big game that exist out there, where they're not going to aggro and attack you per-se. Also lower level monsters and certain type of like social monsters may not attack you off the bat.[11]Steven Sharif
We will have flying monsters but essentially what that means is there's going to be rotations either in the behavior tree that might make them inaccessible to targets, or they might do some like swooping attacks; they might come and land on the ground and fight you. But generally monsters are going to be accessible from on the ground, so we're not creating content for the limited number of individuals who are going to have access to a flying mount.[20]Steven Sharif
Leashes are relevant. There's other gameplay implications that happen when you're able to actually move populations around. We don't want to really give that to the players perspective.[22]Steven Sharif
  • Named mobs will usually have a unique character appearance.[23]
There is something to be had there about those types of screen-shake effects. We want them to be present when we're emphasizing certain things, but we don't want them to be a nuisance, or annoying, or too plentiful; and having screen-shake apply to every step would probably be too abundant. Will players have control over those on-screen type effects? Yeah I think so. I think that's something we want to provision as a customizable option for players to be able to turn off, because it can be somewhat nauseating for certain groups of people and a distraction from what's happening in the world.[24]Steven Sharif

NPC types

NPC variants

There will be variants of the monthly cosmetics for NPCs and Mobs.[31][32]

We've mentioned this before about what the cosmetics do, but all of those pre-order pack items allow us to create the world. They're the NPCs in the world. They help us make NPC variants. The clothing and costumes are costumes that we'll be putting on NPCs. You're actually helping us create the world.[33]Margaret Krohn

NPC races

NPC racial interaction

Depending on the cultural influence of the node activates certain types of quest lines and/or sponsors. Some of those are shared, some of those are general. Some of those relate to a progression path that is a first time user experience. Those will be constant across all culture types. Some of them, however, are predicates that spawn when certain story arcs and/or events, or commissions or buy orders become present within the node; and those might change based on the cultural influence of the node. So there is a separation between those populations.[37]Steven Sharif

NPC languages

The race of a NPC influences its language and nomenclature in terms of its dialogue tree.[36]

Hired NPCs

Hired NPCs are able to be utilized for specific functions.[39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49]

Node-related NPCs
Player-hired NPCs
Those are specific types of NPCs that have specific functions; and for example, on the freehold, we've always talked about in the past having certain NPCs that are capable of rotating crops or planting and/or watering, doing certain process-oriented functions that are available to the user to acquire. We still have those plans. Those plans will follow a similar pet system functionality, core system functionality, where they'll have actions that can be dictated by the user.[39]Steven Sharif
Q: How advanced is it going to be? How advanced is going to be the system of hiring and customizing?
A: Relatively advanced. I think there's a few paths that you can take when it comes to training up those types of NPC aids. What things that they can do. I think there's going to be different tiers and costs associated with higher level assistance on the freehold. But the same is true for mercenaries that nodes can hire, or castles can place with regards to sieges and/or wars and/or events. Like you have a very base functioning level of mercenaries with set of equipment and skill rotations and behavior trees that are possible at a fundamental level. And then as you upgrade the node's barracks, as you might upgrade- you might achieve certain Relics that you gain or enact certain policies that allow you to dial up the stats of those mercenaries. The same thing is true for the NPCs that can exist on freeholds, except those might be more predicated to service buildings that relate to artisanship. And that might be one of the reasons why it's beneficial to own a freehold in one particular node versus another- is based off of what amenities are now available to your freehold as a result of that node selection.[52]Steven Sharif

List of hired NPCs

Farmhand NPCs

Based on node type and progression, players will be able to hire NPCs to work as farmhands on their freehold farms.[39] Players will be able to command these farmhands in-game as well as potentially offline via an application (mobile app) or web interface.[39][49][48]

Mercenary NPCs

Mercenary NPCs can be hired to participate in objective-based situations.[42][43][44]

  • Varying tiers of mercenary NPCs may be unlocked based on the investment made in their progression. Highest tier NPC mercenaries are referred to as heros.[56][57][42][43]
  • Players can assign mercenary NPCs, but won't micromanage them, in a similar manner to pets.[44]
There are mercenary NPCs that can be assigned to players. We've discussed about that before and those will follow generically... a pet system even adopted majority of the pet system with the added bonus of objective based points of interest that you can assign them to. But we don't want to inundate the field with these mercenaries they'll be few and far between. They'll be assigned specifically like let's say for example as the mayor of a node during a siege you'll be able to assign these two specific players that are citizens within your node and then they'll have those they'll spawn during the during the node siege; or vice versa and the castle siege guild leaders can assign mercenaries that are available based on the progress of those subsidiary nodes around the castle siege whether or not you have those available to your defense or your attack.[44]Steven Sharif

Tavern NPCs

The way that the tavern NPCs are going to work is you'll have patrons of either in-node taverns that will have the ability to list items as part of that NPC's merchant store and those items will mainly be around food and drink; and those types of craftable things that are relevant to these taverns; and those items will grant buffs based on proximity. And then additionally players can build taverns on their freeholds- we've discussed this in the past- they will list their craftable foods and drinks and whatnot with their NPC at that tavern as well; and players who interact with that can purchase them- have a drink at the tavern, eat some food at the tavern; and that'll give them a buff for a period of time as long as they remain proximity of that freehold.[40]Steven Sharif

Tavern NPCs ("bartenders") are merchants that are present in Taverns in nodes and on freeholds.[40][45]

  • Tavern NPCs sell food, drinks, and other crafted items that have been made for that tavern. Consuming these items will grant buffs for a period of time, providing the character remains in proximity to the tavern.[40][45]

You're going to probably want to sell items to other players more than necessarily tavern merchants but they'll be there as well.[40]Jeffrey Bard

Player stall NPCs

Attendant NPCs may assigned to occupy a player stall while that player is not online.[41][46][47]

  • Player stall NPCs may be an "image" of the player.[58]


Good actions, such as completing buy orders, commissions, and caravan trips, can cause a character to gain positive node reputation. Bad actions taken, such as failing certain quests, may result in gaining negative reputation. This reputation is gained or lost on a per-node basis.[59][60][12]

Whether you're a citizen or not, you can establish reputation within a node; and the way you establish that reputation is by completing buy orders, completing commissions and quests, and even completing caravan trips there or out of there. Different interactions that you would do with the node can yield you reputation within that particular node.[59]Steven Sharif
  • Negative reputation may open up certain quest lines that the darker, seedier side of the world are interested in.[12]
The more good aligned or civilization building aligned tasks that you complete, you get higher positive reputation. But if you get low or bad reputation you could be deemed enemy of the state of a node. You could be deemed a bad actor and it might raise prices for you, but it also might open up certain quest lines that the darker, seedier side of the world are interested in.[12]Steven Sharif

Certain NPCs and node vendors will react differently to player characters based on their reputation within the node or with "factions" within the node (such as social organizations).[10][11][12][13]

Node reputation is a separate mechanic that also deals as a predicate for the vendors that you have access to as a player. And so you can establish that node reputation by doing certain activities within the node, by progressing within certain social organizations, or certain religions within the node; and then that predicate serves as your access either to items granularly within a vendor's access table, or to just vendors as a whole. It just depends; and there's different thresholds you have to meet across different vendors.[60]Steven Sharif
info-orange.pngAz alábbi információk némelyikét a közelmúltban nem erősítették meg a fejlesztők, és előfordulhat, hogy nem szerepelnek a jelenlegi fejlesztési ütemtervben.
  • NPCs will add a player to their hate list if that player heals, buffs or otherwise assists any player on their hate list.[62]

NPC perception

NPC perception is intended to have different sensory types, ranges, and angles.[63][64][65]

  • NPCs will have varying fields of view. Some will have the ability to perceive sounds.[63][64][65]
We are talking about things like unique abilities played by characters that extend the perception radius, or sounds and different types of walking that are angular from the mob's perception perspective to be unique, different types of creatures that might be of three-dimensional in space, whether it is in water or birds in the sky that have a downward cone angle type perception as well. Those are things we want to do, but we haven't yet spent the time on the AI behaviors there.[64]Steven Sharif
Q: How far away from hostile targets will be before they act aggressively towards us? More specifically, will creatures watch us murder their friends in the open world with no reaction, will they try to kill us in retaliation, or will they run away in sheer terror?
A: Obviously as MMO Gamers we're accustomed to the concept of social aggro. When I hit a target out in the field, they're going to aggro other creatures nearby. We have similar functionality. Obviously however we also have this concept of a more puzzle-oriented level design, where you have different patrollers that might be moving around the world. So that dynamic is always changing the creatures that are near each other might be something that you need to be cognizant of as you begin to navigate those areas. And there might even be certain faction types, where you may have dedicated aggro social tags between certain creature types; and that might be like goblins with their goblin dogs. They could be far away but they send off an alert to those nearby enemies when you aggro another target. And then you also have these perception radiuses; and there's a number of different perception radius types that we incorporate as part of our AI. Those things might be a forward-looking perception cone that represents sight-based perception; and then you might also have a rear perception radius that might represent kind of sound; and those perception types might even interact with unique stats. So, as a Rogue you might have a stealth ability, or as a Ranger you might have camouflage ability: Those are going to dampen those stats which are checked by those perception radiuses; and then you might even have different creature types that fly above the battlefield, or beneath the battlefield, and they may have downward cone type angles. The whole idea is that that navigating the world should be like a puzzle as you move throughout.[63]Steven Sharif
  • NPCs in certain encounters may be aware of their local environment and can seek cover behind obstacles, for example; but this will not be prevalent in general AI designs.[66]


Az NPC-k szinkronizált köszöntéssel rendelkeznek majd.[67][68]

  • Narrált küldetésvonalak jelenleg nincsenek tervben.[67]
  • Később szinkront a játékhoz adni egy egészen kinézeti változtatás.[67]

Is it difficult to add voice acting later? No, it's definitely not... It's a fairly cosmetic change.[67]Steven Sharif

Voice acting is a fun luxury to have, but it is not only a costly one, but it is also one that takes a lot of logistics.[69]Steven Sharif

Artificial intelligence

Jermaine Torment of Illwind boss mob.[70]

You can see how we utilize some of the different armor pieces- you've probably seen some of these pieces on different outfits like that toast Corvid Castigator cloak is on him.[70]Margaret Krohn

Ashes of Creation utilizes an adaptive artificial intelligence (AI), meaning different encounters with similar mobs and bosses will yield different player experiences.[71][72]

  • Some NPC AI behaviors may be randomly selected at the time of initial engagement causing them to make decisions dynamically during an encounter.[71][73][74][75]
    • Higher frequency of AoE attacks depending on how many players are participating.[73]
    • Unlock rage, recovery effects and buffs.[76][73]
    • Supporting other monster types or classes nearby.[76]
    • Additional adds and add classes.[73]
    • Some NPCs may attempt to seek cover behind obstacles during encounters.[66]
  • NPCs performing "idle actions" to make the world seem more alive has been discussed by the developers but is not confirmed.[77]
Part of the NPC encounter design is not always going to be the same behavior tree. There will be purposefully behaviors that exist for the boss that are rolled at the time of the initial engagement; and so that is in an effort to keep things emergent, to keep things different, to try to not keep a static monotonous engagement idea.[71]Steven Sharif

There are AI systems that don't relate to controlling NPCs.[78]

There are some additional AI parameters that are set that don't relate necessarily to controlling NPCs. There are AIs with regards to the development of the borders for nodes in the direction and also the decisions that are made of which lower nodes to enslave as vassal states. There's AI that relates to a little bit of the stock market that's going to be present in the economy. There's some AI systems that are going to be announced also that are pretty innovative I think with regards to the MMORPG genre and that's going to make the triggered event system very interesting I think; and that's with regards to how nodes develop and the environment reacts to that development by spawning these triggered events of a horde of zombies attacking a city or a legendary raid boss coming out of the mountain. I think there's a lot of opportunity for some of the innovations that's been in the AI sector of game development too to come out in Ashes.[78]Steven Sharif




  1. Élő adás, 2020-02-28 (47:45).
  2. Élő adás, 2020-07-31 (1:54:45).
  3. Interjú, 2021-02-07 (31:37).
  4. 4.0 4.1 Élő adás, 2024-02-29 (53:17).
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Interjú, 2023-07-09 (1:32:45).
  6. Élő adás, 2022-03-31 (1:13:00).
  7. Interjú, 2020-07-08 (57:46).
  8. Élő adás, 2019-11-22 (17:59).
  9. 9.0 9.1 Podcast, 2021-04-11 (15:55).
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Élő adás, 2023-07-28 (1:19:55).
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Élő adás, 2023-02-24 (1:22:04).
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 Élő adás, 2021-12-23 (1:26:36).
  13. 13.0 13.1 npc rep.jpg
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Élő adás, 2021-03-26 (54:26).
  15. Élő adás, 2020-07-31 (1:45:40).
  16. Élő adás, 2020-06-26 (1:14:42).
  17. 17.0 17.1 Élő adás, 2017-05-26 (24:33).
  18. Video, 2023-05-31 (4:17).
  19. Video, 2023-05-31 (5:01).
  20. 20.0 20.1 Élő adás, 2021-06-25 (1:28:02).
  21. Interjú, 2023-09-10 (28:15).
  22. 22.0 22.1 Élő adás, 2022-05-27 (1:00:23).
  23. Élő adás, 2023-01-27 (1:10:12).
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 Élő adás, 2023-05-31 (43:04).
  25. Élő adás, 2023-05-31 (40:52).
  26. Video, 2022-06-30 (24:18).
  27. jqWtRci.png
  28. steven-mob-ttk.png
  29. Élő adás, 2023-05-31 (45:26).
  30. 30.0 30.1 Élő adás, 2021-05-28 (1:49:24).
  31. steven-cosmetic-variants.png
  32. steven-cosmetics.png
  33. Élő adás, 2021-04-30 (6:46).
  34. Types of Events on Verra.
  35. 35.0 35.1 Podcast, 2018-04-23 (29:56).
  36. 36.0 36.1 Élő adás, 2022-03-31 (4:57).
  37. 37.0 37.1 Interjú, 2023-07-09 (1:35:28).
  38. Élő adás, 2020-02-28 (47:45).
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 39.5 Interjú, 2023-07-09 (1:37:34).
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 40.4 Élő adás, 2021-01-29 (1:11:29).
  41. 41.0 41.1 Élő adás, 2020-10-30 (1:04:59).
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 42.3 Élő adás, 2020-08-28 (1:41:24).
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 43.3 Élő adás, 2020-06-26 (59:11).
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 44.3 44.4 Élő adás, 2019-11-22 (1:14:23).
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 Élő adás, 2018-06-04 (14:13).
  46. 46.0 46.1 Élő adás, 2017-05-10 (16:36).
  47. 47.0 47.1 steven-player-stalls-shops-online.png
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 48.3 Élő adás, 2017-11-17 (11:00).
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 49.3 Élő adás, 2017-05-09 (28:57).
  50. 50.0 50.1 Élő adás, 2023-08-31 (2:08:54).
  51. 51.0 51.1 Élő adás, 2023-08-31 (2:06:21).
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 52.3 Élő adás, 2023-04-07 (1:19:41).
  53. Élő adás, 2022-08-26 (1:17:04).
  54. Video, 2022-03-31 (18:47).
  55. Élő adás, 2023-05-31 (58:25).
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 Élő adás, 2022-05-27 (1:18:09).
  57. 57.0 57.1 57.2 Élő adás, 2021-04-30 (1:01:10).
  58. Élő adás, 2017-05-10 (35:16).
  59. 59.0 59.1 59.2 59.3 Élő adás, 2024-02-29 (57:27).
  60. 60.0 60.1 60.2 Élő adás, 2023-08-31 (1:06:01).
  61. Élő adás, 2020-02-28 (1:14:38).
  62. Élő adás, 2017-11-17 (29:45).
  63. 63.0 63.1 63.2 63.3 63.4 Élő adás, 2024-02-29 (3:12).
  64. 64.0 64.1 64.2 Élő adás, 2023-11-30 (1:36:32).
  65. 65.0 65.1 Élő adás, 2018-06-04 (29:28).
  66. 66.0 66.1 Élő adás, 2022-02-25 (1:03:32).
  67. 67.0 67.1 67.2 67.3 Interjú, 2018-10-20 (2:22:09).
  68. Élő adás, 2018-04-8 (AM) (25:12).
  69. Élő adás, 2018-04-8 (AM) (24:14).
  70. 70.0 70.1 Élő adás, 2021-06-25 (21:24).
  71. 71.0 71.1 71.2 Interjú, 2023-09-10 (34:51).
  72. About Ashes of Creation.
  73. 73.0 73.1 73.2 73.3 Interjú, 2021-06-13 (22:20).
  74. Élő adás, 2017-07-28 (43:57).
  75. Élő adás, 2017-05-05 (11:55).
  76. 76.0 76.1 Élő adás, 2022-07-29 (1:23:56).
  77. Élő adás, 2018-04-8 (PM) (3:56).
  78. 78.0 78.1 78.2 78.3 78.4 Podcast, 2018-05-11 (24:23).