Ashes of Creation Release Date: When is the MMORPG Launching, and What can we Expect?
It has been a long time since I discussed Ashes of Creation, and there’s a completely valid reason behind that.
My last video on it was back in August 2018 – yeah, 2 whole years ago.
Ashes of Creation
Since then I’ve pretty much left the game alone – this is due to two reasons. The first is the fact that they showed an unusual obsession with their Apocalypse Battle Royale game mode.
I’m not a fan of Battle Royale games and as such, this provided nothing of interest to me. Or to a lot of you since you guys backed the game for the MMO aspect.
Second is due to the fact that they just really hadn’t done much nor did they have much to show for the MMO.
Now, in August 2018 I did a video where I discussed my thoughts on the game, especially after they had announced a partnership with My.com at the time to publish the game in Europe.
A lot has changed since then and with the reveal of a brand new almost 2 hour long gameplay trailer, I thought it was the ideal time to delve a lot deeper into this.
To actually take some time to research it as opposed to taking 5 minutes and throwing my opinions based off of that.
Before we go any further though, I would like to preface this by stating that the footage you’re seeing – the footage that has been released from Intrepid Studios is Pre-Alpha footage. This isn’t the taken from the full Alpha, this isn’t taken from the functional version of the game that we’ll receive.
And you know what? Honestly.. it’s shaping up to look pretty solid. It’s come a long way from the Apocalypse footage that I last saw of the game.
What is Ashes of Creation?
So for those of you unaware of what the game is, Ashes of Creation is an indie-developed upcoming subscription based medieval MMORPG. One of the highest anticipated Western MMOs on the horizon, actually.
The game initially rolled out onto Kickstarter in 2017, and over the course of the campaign, went on to raise almost $3.3 million dollars. That is probably the most money I’ve seen raised for an MMO outside of Star Citizen.
The devs claimed that the game would bring the “Massive back to Massively Multiplayer,” providing players with an incredibly detailed, large open world with endless freedom to do what you want, to play how you want, without the constraints present in MMOs in this day and age.
The world lives and grows around you, there is consequence to every action. Towns, cities, entire civilizations are run and ruled by players, the economy is directly influenced by us. Everything – the entire game, is player-driven.
And that’s why the game garnered as much attention as it did and why players have been anticipating the game with bated breath.
And while that all sounds great on paper, how is it translating into the game itself?
Ashes of Creation Graphics
Alright, let’s start off with the obvious, first: Graphics. Graphically, the game is beginning to look pretty good. It’s a far cry from competing with an Eastern MMO for sure, but the goal with Western MMOs has never been nor do I believe will ever be to be graphically competitive with an Eastern MMO.
However the environments that I saw during the video were better than pretty much any other indie developed MMO. But that’s the environment – the character movements have always been an issue to me.
Back in Apocalypse, the character animations were pretty bad, and while they’ve obviously improved since the early-Apocalypse look, I can say with certainty that both running and combat animations need quite a bit of work. As do the flying animations – or, rather the mount animations in general.
Monster movement seemed to function pretty well and the special effects for abilities and spells looked fantastic. So graphically, the game definitely has a lot going for it. The environment, even the armor reminded me a lot of an Elder Scrolls game.
I’m not sure if you guys get a similar feel – maybe it’s just me. Iunno. But that’s not a bad thing by any means.
Ashes of Creation Classes and Combat
Steven, who’s perspective we’re shown in the video was playing the Mage class. There are currently 8 classes available: The Tank, Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Ranger, Bard, Summoner and Mage.
I can’t say with certainty what the other staff are playing, but from what I’ve gathered concerning the game, and from what is visible in the gameplay trailer, the combat is definitely tab-target and I guarantee you a lot of people are going to be highly triggered by that.
I mean the combat doesn’t look bad – but then I’m a fan of WoW’s combat, and I don’t find an issue with Final Fantasy XIV’s combat at endgame. Early and mid-game? Sure. Endgame? Not at all.
And from the perspective of the Mage, it looks as though you have enough AoE abilities where the tab-target aspect of your class really won’t be much of an issue.
I know, I know. “Why use tab-target in an MMO releasing after 2020?” “Tab-target combat is dead!” “How will this compete with games like Black Desert?” That’s what the comment section is filled with.
That’s what Reddit is filled with. The amount of hate some people have for the tab-target genre, when 2 of the largest, most populated MMOs are both tab-target is unreal.
Honestly, the combat is probably one of the better looking parts of the game right now, with the spell-casting animations still needing a lot of work. Especially for the melee classes.
Ashes of Creation Social Aspects
During their video they wanted to touch on the social and political facets of the game.
We got to see one of the many towns you’ll no doubt see around, got to see an instance of player housing, we got to see some of the political functions like citizenship, construction of the mayor office, building of the city itself, voting, various crafting NPCs and buildings like the Blacksmith.
Granted, a lot of the game and a lot of the features are still heavily under construction, so while the features are definitely present, they’re far from fully functional. As one would expect.
Ashes of Creation PvP
Not much in the way of PvP was shown, unfortunately. There was the Caravan escort that ended up being ambushed by other players, forcing Steven and his group into PvP. And from what I saw, either Mage is incredibly overpowered, or Steven was.
But judging from how the Mages seemed to 2-shot every class, I’m a little concerned balancing in PvP is definitely going to be a prevalent issue. Balance, especially regarding Mage classes in MMOs is always an issue.
I can’t say I know an MMO that has fair balancing in PvP. Other forms of PvP weren’t shown, but it functioned primarily like any PvE encounter.
And since it happens out in the open-world, you also have monsters to deal with as well, making for some pretty intense PvPvE action.
Ashes of Creation Dungeons and Raids
At one point in the video, they’d opted to tackle an open-world dungeon. I believe the Elder Scrolls Online does something similar as well, providing players the ability to group together and tackle dungeons with other groups that aren’t partied together.
This is a very interesting mechanic, one that outside of ESO I’ve never actually participated in. I’m not sure what the maximum number of players are per instance, but it seemed as though they were quite a few grouped up at the beginning.
After the dungeon, they decided to go ahead and fight the Pyroclastic Wyrm raid boss. For this I’m going to assume they had 40-players as the raid itself and subsequently the raid boss requires 40-players to fight.
I can’t imagine them scaling the boss down for a smaller group in the Pre-Alpha test, but from what I could see the raid looked pretty traditional. I didn’t see any real mechanics outside of “keep hitting the boss while avoiding his flame breath,” so I’m hoping that they have mechanics planned for bosses.
Learning and mastering boss mechanics are some of the most rewarding experiences you can have while Mythic raiding in WoW or Savage raiding in Final Fantasy XIV from what I’ve seen.
But again, as this is Pre-Alpha, their goal could very well have been just to show off exactly how much of the game they’ve managed to complete up until this point.
Ashes of Creation World Bosses
One of the final things they showcased in the trailer was the Brood Queen world boss – Yup, what would an open-world game be without a world boss or ten, right?
Much like the Wyrm, the Brood Queen didn’t really do much, and was downed with little to no effort, which is a little disconcerting for me. There was an AoE it would do and adds would spawn, but otherwise, it pretty much stood there meleeing whoever was tanking.
All in all, I can definitely say that the encounters need work – at least pertaining to the difficulty, but the AI is probably far from complete, once again. And judging it based purely off of this early-stage of development would be a very poor choice.
Ashes of Creation Release Date
Ashes of Creation was expected to enter Pre-Alpha testing in 2017. Since then, Ashes of Creation: Apocalypse took precedence over the Ashes of Creation MMO development, forcing the Alpha testing of the MMO back to 2020. Beta testing is expected at the earliest in 2021, with an expected release date for Ashes of Creation in 2022. Yes, that is correct. Ashes of Creation is expected to launch in 2022.
In closing, I can say this: Ashes of Creation is definitely coming along quite well. A lot better than I had originally thought it would.
It definitely still needs a lot of work, but that’s to be expected considering the point in development it’s at.
I’m excited to see how development on the game continues over time, and to see the kind of game it ultimately ends up becoming if they ever finally manage to complete it.
My main concern is the business model, though, as pretty much every MMO outside of WoW or Final Fantasy XIV has had to adopt a non pay-to-play model to survive, and I don’t see Ashes of Creation ever dominating either of the aforementioned games.