Node advancement

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Illustration of node advancement from Wilderness (stage 0) to Metropolis (stage 6).

Nodes advance by collecting experience from the actions of players nearby. As players complete content inside of a Node’s Zone of Influence (the area around the node), they contribute that experience toward the Node’s development. The experience given to the Node may then be modified based on certain Events and Accomplishments. When a Node reaches the experience required, it undergoes the process of advancing to the next stage. There are a few exceptions where a Node cannot advance even though it has the required experience - most commonly, a Node can not advance if a Node is a Vassal of another Node and would advance to the same stage as its Parent Node.[1]Margaret Krohn

Citizen and non-citizen player activity (questing, gathering, raiding, etc.) within a node's ZOI counts toward that particular node’s advancement (progression).[2] Nodes have seven (7) stages of advancement, with experience thresholds for each stage. When a Node reaches the experience required for its current stage, it advances to the next stage.[3]

Node stage.[2] Alternate name.[4] Timeframe to advance.[2] Player housing.[5]
0. Wilderness -
1. Expedition Crossroads Few hours -
2. Encampment Camp Many hours -
3. Village - Few days Arrendamientos, Static housing
4. Town - Many days Arrendamientos, Static housing, Apartamentos
5. City - Few weeks Arrendamientos, Static housing, Apartamentos
6. Metropolis Metro Many weeks Arrendamientos, Static housing, Apartamentos

The Development Area of a Node is where civilization will appear as the Node advances. As the Node Stage increases, different buildings, NPCs, and services will become available in the Development Area. The higher the Node Stage, the more complex and populated the Development Area becomes. Development Areas will also vary depending on the Node Type - Economic, Military, Scientific, or Divine; we’ll go into further details on each of those Node Types in future posts in this series.[1]Margaret Krohn

Conceptual illustration. Nodos that are in the ZOI of more advanced nodes have their progression capped by the more advanced node.[6]

Beginning at Node Stage 3, when a Node advances, it enslaves nearby Nodes and makes them into its Vassals. Vassal Nodes are owned by a Parent Node and must always be at least one Node Stage below the Parent Node. This means that the Vassal Node cannot grow until the Parent Node advances in stage. Vassal Nodes give excess experience to their Parent Node, and are able to have their own Vassals, as long as they fit within the Parent Node’s Zone of Influence. They are subject to the government, alliances, wars, taxes, and trade of their Parent Node, and are able to receive federal aid from them. A Vassal Node cannot declare war on their Parent Node or any of its Vassals. Citizens of Vassals are bound by the diplomatic states of the Parent Node.[3]Margaret Krohn

The advancement of a node unlocks its unique content, which comes at the cost of locking out an increasing ring of neighboring nodes from progressing to the next stage.[7]

  • Nodes advance to the first stage quickly. This enables NPC services such as vending or banking items.[8]
  • The more advanced the node is, the larger its ZOI becomes.[5]
  • Less advanced nodes (referred to as vassal nodes) that fall within a more advanced node's ZOI can still gain XP, but must remain at a lower advancement stage than the dominant node.[6]
  • A node does not receive XP from the nodes within its ZOI until these nodes have reached their cap.[6]
  • Players are moved to safety if they intersect with newly spawned assets during node advancement.[9]
  • Citizens of one node can contribute to the advancement of other nodes.[10]
  • The exact percentage of advancement from obtaining items or killing monsters is not going to be explicitly known to avoid "gaming" the system.[11]

Different people have different resources invested in nodes progressing and it would be a little "gamey" if you could know exactly what was necessary at that point because that would disincentivize people from participating.[11]Steven Sharif

Vassal nodes

Nodos greater than stage 3 (Village) enslave nearby nodes, converting them into vassal nodes.[3]

  • Vassal nodes must remain one node stage below their parent node.[3]
    • Vassal nodes first apply any experience earned to their own deficit (see Node atrophy). It then applies excess experience earned to its parent node.[1]
    • If the parent node advances, the vassal is once again able to advance.[3]
  • Vassal nodes give excess experience to their parent node and may have their own vassals; so long as they fall within the parent node’s zone of influence.[3]
    • If a node is capped and is both a vassal and has its own vassals, any experience earned from itself or its Vassals is first applied to its own deficit. Experience beyond that is then sent to its parent node.[1]
  • Vassals are subject to the government, alliances, wars, taxes, and trade of their parent node, and are able to receive federal aid from them.[3]
  • Vassal nodes cannot declare war on their parent node or any of their vassals.[3]
  • Citizens of vassals are bound by the diplomatic states of the parent node.[3]

If a Node is a Vassal Node and is capped from advancing further, it first applies any experience earned to its own deficit (see Node Atrophy section), and then applies excess experience earned to its Parent Node. If the Parent Node advances and the Vassal is able to grow, it becomes uncapped. If a Node is capped and is both a Vassal and has its own Vassals, any experience earned from itself or its Vassals is first applied to their own deficit. Any experience beyond that is then sent to its Parent Node.[1]Margaret Krohn

Nodos

Pre-alpha Metropolis node.[5]

Nodes are a pre-set location, wrapped in a zone of influence, in our world that can form into towns of different sizes. These sizes range from a small camp to a sprawling metropolis. The size of the towns depends on the contribution by players and how far they’ve advanced the Node. Players do not create the footprint of a Node, but within that footprint they do have the ability to own land. 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. We call the contribution area the Node’s “Zone of Influence,” and it’s the area where players help to advance the Node they are in.[12]

Encompassing each server are carefully placed points of development called Nodos.[2]

Nodes are the heart of the world, they create the ebb and flow of life. At their core, Nodes are pre-set points in the world, wrapped in a Zone of Influence and surrounded by geographic areas that change over time based upon player participation. The world map is divided into regions, with each region containing multiple Nodes. As a Node advances, it influences the types of content within itself and the surrounding areas. Players do not create Nodes, but if they are a part of the government for a specific Node, they have the ability to influence diplomacy, and modify building types/construction and services within that Node. There will be 103 Node locations at launch, each with its own impact on the narrative and development of the world.[3]Margaret Krohn

Node atrophy

Nodos will experience atrophy and will require continued player activity in order to grow. If a node loses too much activity, then it may result in a PvE siege against that node.[16]

All Nodes have an experience deficit that accumulates daily. The deficit is based on the current level of the Node; experience earned is applied to the deficit, then any excess is added to the Node’s experience pool. At the end of the day, any remaining deficit is subtracted from the Node’s experience pool. If the deficit would cause the Node to drop under the required experience for its current level, certain flags will appear to notify the citizens that all is not well in their Node. After a short period, if the atrophy is not addressed, the Node will then delevel.[1]Margaret Krohn

Storyline quests

Storyline quests can have multiple stages. These quest stages can actually be failed.[17]

There will be many different quests that actually have stages of the storyline; and these stages can actually be failed. You can actually fail a storyline; which sucks when you think about it, but at the same time that risk makes your investment that much more important.[17]Steven Sharif

Node development

Racial architecture styles in an Alpha-0 village node. Empyrean Elven influence (top). Kaelar Human influence (bottom).[18]

The layout and architecture within a Node’s development area are determined by influential race. For example, a stage 3 Node with the majority of player contribution being Py’rai would have a Py’rai village with Py’rai architecture. Most NPCs would be Py’rai elves, and offer questlines within the Py’rai narrative.[3]Margaret Krohn

Each player’s contributed experience is flagged with their character race and other identifiers. When a Node advances, the race with the highest experience contribution determines the Node’s style and culture. This style and culture change can happen at every Node Stage. For example, if a Node advances to Level 2 - Encampment Stage and 51% of all experience was earned by Ren’Kai players, the Node will be a Level 2 Ren’Kai Node. If that same Node advances to a Level 3 - Village Stage Node, but the Py’Rai contributed 62% of all the experience earned, then the Node will be a Level 3 Py’Rai Node. Cultural influences bring more than just the aesthetic and storyline changes - benefits are granted to the dominant culture within that Node’s Zone of Influence.[1]Margaret Krohn

Node layout and style is determined by several factors:[19]

Some parts are determined by the area it's in. Some parts are determined by the type it is. Some parts are determined by the race it is; and then the rest of it is determined by the mayor.[19]Jeffrey Bard

All nodes whether they're associated with a castle or associated with normal node structure has cultural influences that replicate over to the buildings that are produced and the NPCs that are present.[22]Steven Sharif

There is an attrition mechanic that affects experience and influence to curb a single race from dominating the entire world.[23]

There is an attrition and that attrition on experience and influence is heightened based on the performance of the race in the world. So if all these nodes are Orc nodes then their attrition rate is very high to compete with the cultural establishment of new nodes because they have more influence in the world and a popular opinion is against them in their outlying regions that they do not have influence in.[23]Steven Sharif

Taxation

Mayors/Node governments allocate resources, taxes, and quests to help develop node defenses.[24]

Parent nodes take a cut of all taxes from the housing and any services that occur within their ZOI.[26]

  • This tax doesn't necessarily impact the individual citizen, because citizen's tax levels are determined by their node, but the node's finances are affected by the taxation levied by its parent nodes.[26]

Player housing

Player housing comes in the form of Static housing, Apartamentos and Arrendamientos.[5]

Player housing Type.[5] Availability.[5] Limit.[29]
Apartamentos Instanced. Town stage and higher. One per server.
Arrendamientos Open world. Village stage and higher. One per account.
Static housing In-node. Village stage and higher. One per server.

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Trophy park

Trophy park is an area within Town, City or Metropolis nodes that has available spots for trophies. These trophies show the character names of players who are the first to complete world bosses and dungeon bosses that were spawned as the result of the development of that particular node.[30]

  • Server announcements and achievements are designed to encourage groups to experience new content.[30]

Adaptive content

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New points of interest (such as dungeons and world bosses) spawn as nodes develop.[31] This content adapts to the development of the zone it is in.[32]

Certain dungeons and other points of interest across the map will all be affected by the server’s node development. Some dungeons will only be unlocked if nodes are developed to certain stages. The storyline objectives for players inside dungeons will also be dependent on the story arc paths chosen through the node system. The drop tables in area and dungeons will also be tied into the progression of certain areas. For example, let’s say that the humans have developed a node in Region A, and a storyline has opened up that leads players to inspect the ruins (dungeon) of a nearby area. And let’s say that this node was developed in a scientific (crafting) zone… Well before the node developed, this dungeon was accessible… But now the dungeon has propagated new monster assets that include a drop table catering to a crafting emphasis because of the development of that scientific node. And perhaps, a new boss appears in different rooms of the dungeon that includes different adventure quest starts, like a mysterious item with a storyline that can only be progressed if a node develops to the metropolis stage in a certain region, across the world. Our system is so vast, when it comes to interconnectivity and how the world reacts to the players.[33]

See also

Referencias