Intrepid has recently come out with new information giving details on how players will run cities and help shape the world of Verra using the City Hall.
“You know that you’re entering into a truly dangerous place – decisions made here don’t affect just you, but all of Verra…”
Ashes of Creation continues to impress. Details on how the cities are managed and shaped by the players have been announced and just like the news about taverns it sounds ambitious. Here’s hoping they can deliver.
A Living City
“The rustling and bustling of the city envelops you. From your home in the lower end of town, a grizzled and gray Vaelune sells trinkets made of something that at least looks like gold. A Dunir family buys spices from a Ren’Kai with a soft smile as he gives them a deal.The buzz changes the longer you walk, people begin taking their time a bit more, the hollering and haggling ends. Where once you saw a Kaelar stooped over by age and illness, you now see an Empyrean selling fine art out of her gallery (complete with a statue-like guard to ward off wandering hands). You feel a bit out of place, but you have places to go and people to see. Every step takes you farther away from the city you knew and into the shadow of what controls it all. Looking up, you see what can only be called a ziggurat, but instead of worshipping creation it praises bureaucracy. The only thing you see above it is the sun, though even it seems to give deference to the monument before you. You know that you’re entering into a truly dangerous place – decisions made here don’t affect just you, but all of Verra.”
The Power of The City Hall
The City Hall is where the cities “ruling class” make long-term decisions on the shape and scale of each individual city. The players will be able to choose which buildings within the Node get built, leveled up, or eventually demolished. How do you make these choices? Well, you have to think it out. If your city is built on an economic Node, where everyone cares more about gold than anything else; maybe expand the market to allow more kiosks, or use resources to build a new auction house. The point is, the choice is yours. Or rather yours if you’re one of the ruling class.
The choices made by the ruling class don’t just affect the world within its walls. The ruling class can also decide which neighboring Nodes are enemies and which are friendly. City Hall can declare war on another Node and rally the people to attack them. On the reverse side of this, the City Hall will be able to notify players when war has been declared in order for players to rally and defend their homes from invading forces. City Hall will have the ability to label certain foreign citizens as “enemies of the state” too. Any player that helps in bringing these enemies of the state to justice will be rewarded, exactly what that reward is isn’t clear. It’s probably your standard gold and experience though.
If you’re more interested in cooperation with neighboring Nodes than destroying them, then this is the section for you. City Hall has the ability to create trade agreements with other cities allowing them to work together in a mutually beneficial agreement. These trade agreements will let City Hall send designated caravans with certain materials, improving the economy of both Nodes at the same time. Doing this also rewards those involved with experience, it contributes to the Node’s growth and helps in constructing buildings. Diplomacy can even lead to an alliance as more trust between the two Node’s is gained.
“We want the City Hall to be the place where big decisions are made for each Node. It should be where the “ruling class” comes together and decides what to do (these decisions can quickly make them the “old ruling class” too).”
Taxes and City Income
In most MMOs that have a player market, taxes are money that’s taken out of the economy and out of the game. It’s essentially just vanished from the world. In Ashes of Creation that money goes to City Hall. Any interaction that’s taxed has a tax rate determined by the ruling class. Just like in the real world (Ideally…) The Node needs taxes to grow and expand. It also has to be careful not to set the tax rate too high or risk people leaving the Node for greener pastures or worse, revolt. All of which are 100% decided by the players and the players alone.
Your goal as the ruling class is to grow your city. In order to do that, you need to grow your population. Other than just hope people decide to call that Node home. How can you do that? Glad you asked. You can line the streets with festivities that give players buffs to things like EXP gain, crafting, unique services and many more. The leaders in City Hall can also create quests for everyone to enjoy and take part in. The rewards for these quests will be determined by a few aspects such as the level of the Node, the type of Node and the improvements made. A Node isn’t just done when it’s populated. A whole new game begins for players with a future-facing outlook begins. Are you capable of city planning, overcoming variables like; location, warring guilds, dynamic resource spawns, and competing with other Node leaders? Then maybe you’re who we need in City Hall to make sure the citizens within the walls are safe, productive, and happy.
Will It Last?
“As you leave City Hall there’s an odd feeling of all the weight of the world being lifted, but quickly, a new weight replaces it. You walk the route you normally take in the morning, getting a sense of how your town is doing. The Ren’Kai has closed his stall after a successful day, the smile is still on his face as he thinks of going home. The streets are quieter now, all of the hollering has left the market and is exchanged with music streaming out of taverns like The Mighty Beard. Being a council member isn’t easy, but everything here is your responsibility. Every morning the streets need to be loud in the marketplace, and every night taverns need to be bursting with activity. You’ll make the rounds tomorrow before going back again to City Hall, putting your reputation on the line once more to make sure the the city you’ve helped build lives to see another day.”
The more I hear about Ashes of Creation the more I hope they can deliver. The goals they’ve set for themselves seem insurmountable, but I have hope and faith that the team at Intrepid are up to the task. With dozens of veterans in the industry on the team, I’m hopeful that this game will be the MMO that finally moves us forward from the stale, stagnant WoW format. Let’s make MMO’s Great Again and support this project!
Click on “City Hall” to read more information directly from Ashes of Creation’s website.