A weekend with the ashes of creation – Alpha Impressions
Two years after our first drop in Ashes of Creation: Apocalypse, Intrepid Studios finally gave us access to Verra this weekend, and we survived Ashes Of Creation’s first Alpha Preview Weekend with specific ideas on where to go. this next MMO.
This is something of a big time for upcoming MMO content. Artcraft just dropped Crowfall into Early Access, Warframe announced a new expansion, and it looks like Guild Wars 2 is increasing the hype before releasing End of Dragons. Now, left in the mud, Intrepid Studios left backers and a few lucky alpha adventurers last weekend to experience Ashes Of Creation’s first unrestricted Alpha test.
For gamers who haven’t followed the game, or who have simply put their money aside and gone, Verra is the country where Adventurers will arrive when Ashes Of Creation hits screens in the future. The mystical land was now stretching before anyone entered the first Alpha Test, and while we’re not going to go into the lore, it is certainly vast.
While there has been a lot of talk about Ashes of Creation’s somewhat procedural implementation in the creation of the world, this Alpha certainly hasn’t shown anything quite as complex. Instead, he seemed determined to prove that Ashes of Creation can support its incoming player base and tease what is certain to be a major player in the MMO market.
While many MMORPGs claim to be expansive and immersive, this slice of Creation’s ashes certainly succeeded first. Outside of the start camps, players choosing one of the 4 beginner races or 3 classes had an entire weekend to explore a world that contrasts sharply with the stylized approach of newcomer Crowfall. While Adventurers in Artcragft’s new MMO might have an aesthetic more aligned with WoW cartoon combat, Intrepid’s Unreal back designs offered a realistic range of starting environments.
This is evident from the moment the character creation screen opens. The Kaelar, Vaelune, Empyrean, and Dunir all look resplendent in their opening armor with lots of very peculiar decorations and cunning weapons, which certainly make a good first impression. As you would expect for a first look, this came with some trade-offs and the number of customizations available left a lot to be desired.
Continuing to rely heavily on high fantasy, Ashes of Creation’s bright alpha map was an awesome sight for new eyes. Medieval encampments and open glades follow one another in a mix of desert maps and unusual underground dungeons that simply invite players to take a peek. Visually, the display was impressive. While the screenshots of the game’s greenery may stumble upon some easy tropes, there’s no denying that they still shone by MMO standards.
As I set out into the wild, I was pleasantly surprised to find that some interesting design ideas, the weird slaying mushroom, and a variety of terrains suggest that Ashes of Creation won’t just be filled with the same old wizards and trolls. There were still plenty of trolls. However, the real gems lie underground. Diving below the surface, exploring wet caves and magnificent lava-soaked mazes made an unexpected change to this first glimpse of Intrepid’s intention and made the general impression that this alpha is just a taste of what that the developers of Ashes of Creation can do, especially when they stray away from the same old story.
Combat and character
While my time in Ashes of Creation was limited, character control and overall combat felt solid. Contrary to some of my criticisms of slow new world combat controls, Ashes of Creation’s mix of action combat seemed to fall somewhere between freeform position-based systems and traditional MMO tab targeting. It’s a tough system to choose at the moment, as it still felt rough around the edges. Lag, odd hitbox detection, and an inability to evade certain attacks could easily be unfinished business or a deliberate mishmash of design choices. We’ll have to wait for a more polished product, but first impressions were that the combat would be frantic and could reward skillful play on stacked stats.
Most of the systems presented by Intrepid for this alpha were a mix of well-established ideas, more modern systems, and sometimes weird choices. While combat and character control seemed responsive, keeping mounts in an inventory slot or fishing as an active effort seemed like unusual choices. for every fantastic view I found underground, at the top, it could be nice but uninspiring. We might not be convinced Ashes of Creation is going to break the MMO genre just yet, but we already know it will be worth the ticket price just to look around again. Find out more about Ashes of Creation at the official site now.