Hi everyone, this is Steven Sharif, Creative Director here at Intrepid Studios. Welcome to part 2 of our Node series. If you haven’t already, I’d recommend you take a look at Part one in our 4 part video series on nodes, it’s a great introduction to the system’s overall purpose and design.

Node Series – Part 1

The Metropolis

The Metropolis. The pinnacle of civilization. A symbol of the power and ingenuity of the People. It is wilderness conquered, mastered, and remade in your own image.

The Metropolis is effectively the culmination of the Node system – it’s the biggest thing that players can bring into being, and the final level of civilization’s development on this forgotten world. The Metropolis requires a large amount of resources to develop and maintain, and because of how Nodes relate to one another, there can be no more than five in existence at any time.

So you might naturally ask, what does it do?


To answer that question, we need to know what civilization offers in general. Every stage of a Node’s development comes with additional services and benefits, and these services really start to pick up at stage 3, the village stage. One of the foremost services that a Node offers is housing, and through that, citizenship, and citizenship is a big deal. There are three primary means of acquiring housing, the first is our in-node housing.

It’s here that players can begin buying static housing. These buildings belong to the Node, and as a Node levels up, this housing levels up with it. A player will be able purchase a small one room house, at the village stage. When the Node advances up to a town, so does that house. The owner enjoys the benefits of a suddenly larger home – his property size increases, his house is located more toward the center of town, and the square footage of his home has gone up considerably. There’s new property available at the Town Stage, but this new property is more akin to what was available at the previous stage, small and modest. Now when the Node advances up further, this time to a Metropolis, this all happens again. The player’s house, already sizable, grows into a mansion, The number of mansions in a metropolis will be the same number of small homes that were available in this metropolis’ village stage. Only those houses that existed at the Village level will ever become these main street mansions. So effectively at each stage the node advances, you will see the existing homes advance as well. This makes getting in early for a node, pretty important. And introduces a real estate aspect to owning in-node property. I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is yes, you CAN sell these properties.

These in-node housing options are at a premium, and we expect these to be hotly contested. But if you want to be a citizen and there are no more in-node housing spots available, you do have some options! For instance, at the Town stage and above, your Node’s politicians will have the option to open up instanced apartments. These are internal only spaces, which can be decorated to your desire. Different price points will offer different sized apartments, and apartment rentals will also offer citizenship. They won’t have external spaces to build out, and they aren’t quite as prestigious as in-node housing, but they’ll still offer some housing functionality to those who really want to be a citizen of a specific node. The prices for these apartments will fluctuate depending on the number of units already sold in the city.

The final type of housing available are our freeholds. These pieces of property can be built anywhere within a Node’s Zone of Influence, and only after a Node reaches stage 3, the Village stage. These are sizable plots of land that all sorts of structures can be built on. Inns, taverns, forges, smelters, lumber yards, mills, stables, are all things that you might find on a Freehold. These plots of land are where a player can really get creative with their buildings. Because they’re built within a Node’s Zone of Influence, they grant citizenship as well! The larger the Node, the bigger its Zone of Influence is, which means more Freeholds can be built!

Node Types

As you may know, nodes have 4 different types, Scientific, Economic, Militaristic, and Divine. These types unlock different buildings at each level of Node progression, contributing progressively larger benefits at each stage of a nodes development. At the Metropolis stage, these benefits are so wide reaching that a Scientific Metropolis is going to feel very different from an Economic Metropolis and a Divine Metropolis will feel very different from a Militaristic Metropolis. Not only will these cities feel different, but the regions these giant cities belong to will feel different as well.

Different types of Metropolises will have specific ultimate bonuses. For example, a Scientific Metropolis will offer fast travel to Nodes within its zone of influence, this is big because there is very little fast travel in the game.. A world with even just one Scientific Metropolis will feel and act much differently than a world without it. Similarly, an Economic Metropolis brings world changing functionality to the table. Normally markets are local, and players can buy from and sell to only those players who are in the same Node. Economic Metropolises break that convention, and they have the capability to build a market that integrates with all the Nodes in their zone of influence, providing for a far larger market than any other Metropolis could hope for. Divine and Militaristic Nodes also break world convention in one way or another – in other words everything changes once a Node reaches the Metropolis level.

Along with those benefits, node type also determines the type of government that a Node has. The most traditional government comes from the Scientific node, which allows the citizens to come together and choose their leaders. The Divine type, allocates its leaders through service oriented quests, quests that directly help others and their Node, quests that prove their faith and dedication to the node. Economic type governments are run by an Elite Oligarchy. These positions can be bought and sold, so if you want to rule an Economic type Node, make sure your coin purse is heavier than your competition. Finally, the Militaristic type is rule by combat. Whoever are the last ones standing have proven their worth to lead, by iron fist and sharpened blade. These warriors can only be removed from office by citizens who are better and more bloodthirsty than they.

Once a leader is chosen, they have a lot to do. Outside the basic services that a Node provides, leaders must choose what other service buildings to construct, which means they should have a clear plan for what they want to accomplish during their tenure. Some buildings might simply provide a zone-wide bonus to their citizens, others might provide expanded markets, some may increase a Node’s ability to defend against a siege. There is only so much space for these kinds of buildings, so the leadership will need to choose well in order to keep their citizens happy. Along that same line, leaders will need to tax their populations to provide these services, to construct these buildings, and to keep Node atrophy at bay. Too much and their populations will abandon them, too little, and the Node will decay and de-level. Savvy leaders can supplement their Node’s income with trade routes and trade agreements with other Nodes (be sure to provide some armed escorts for those caravans!),. Absentee leaders need not apply, as every leader can be replaced in the next election cycle.

Citizens and only citizens reap the reward of the Metropolis, gaining the benefits that their taxes pay for. Additionally citizens can gain titles according to their position within society. Most of these are reserved for those who have been with the Metropolis longest, but late comers can earn their way to the top with enough effort and guile. Only Citizens can participate in government, and the different election processes. If their leaders have built marketplaces, Citizens can set up shop there by purchasing time from the city, and paying taxes on the goods they’ve sold.


In Ashes of Creation, what is built can be destroyed, and Metropolises are no different. But we feel that the effort to destroy something must be equitable with the effort to build something. Because of this, the higher level a Node is, the more difficult and challenging the task of initiating a siege is. That means that sieging a Metropolis will be an act of epic and world shattering proportions. The success or failure of that siege will be written into the history books and likely impact every person on that world. Should it succeed, the Metropolis will be deleveled, or even destroyed, erasing the global benefits that it once provided while at the same time opening up the opportunity for another Node to take its place. Maybe one of a different type, maybe one lead by a tyrant, or maybe none at all. Should that siege fail, that means that the hopes and dreams of the attackers (who should be legion in number) have been thwarted, and the status quo will endure.

As I said in the beginning, Metropolises are the pinnacle of civilization. They represent this through their size, through their systems, and through their citizens. Their weight is felt across the world, and once one is established everything will change. For the better, or for the worse? Well, that’s up to you.

I hope you have enjoyed this overview of the Metropolis. We have so much to share with you about Ashes during our development. Everyone here at Intrepid Studios is so appreciative of the support that you have shown us, and it means so much to have you with us along the way. Please subscribe to our social media outlets, and make sure to register on our website for updates.

Our Kickstarter begins on May 1st, we look forward to building Ashes of Creation into the MMORPG that we can all be proud of.

Author Yaviey
Categories Blog
Views 32276

Comments (23)

  • Talkingwalls
    April 21, 2017 at 10:48 am
    i have never backed a game before. But from what i have seen from this I want to see it work! This looks amazing. Look forward to seeing this in action
    • Marioreluna
      April 22, 2017 at 4:27 pm
      where can i install the game??
  • TerrifiCC
    April 21, 2017 at 11:13 am
    This is just what I have always wanted in an MMO, an ever-changing world with players controlling it..
  • Solaris
    April 21, 2017 at 11:28 am
    I'm throwing money at this the second that Kickstarter goes live. RIP my savings account.
  • Apocalyypse
    April 21, 2017 at 12:27 pm
  • Officialshotz
    April 21, 2017 at 1:07 pm
    Game is looking amazing keep it up devs.... I will definitely be supporting you on may 1st
  • Flurp
    April 21, 2017 at 1:53 pm
    I love anime
    • TjMOTS
      April 25, 2017 at 3:41 am
  • Jmerriex
    April 21, 2017 at 2:24 pm
    SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! Not gonna lie, you had me with bards and nodes.
  • Loluserious
    April 21, 2017 at 3:19 pm
    What happens when the game comes out and people already have all the houses available? That makes this keep seem somewhat dull also, are there any dungeons/bosses that you're able to over take with friends/solo?
    • Callidus
      April 21, 2017 at 10:56 pm
      There will be an immense amount of both PvE solo and party content, Steven said he wants the raid bosses to be EPIC and the raids to be AMAZING. This node system is just one of the many unique things about this game. There will be open world dungeons, along with some instanced dungeons, and the PvP content will be intensely amazing, there will be sieges of metropolises, with 100's or even 1000's of players, Arenas with a ranked system, and World PvP everywhere including raiding caravans. There is so much more about this game than just Player housing and Nodes. There will be guild wars, epic bosses, amazing story, intense PvP, and above all... a ton of fun. To learn more and more about this game join the AoC community discord and check out the faq which will explain the basics... you are welcome to ask questions to the developers themselves in the ask_intrepid channel! And there are plenty and plenty of knowledgeable people in the ashes_discussion channel that will attempt to answer any question you have, including me! (Nerve). I hope you are able to join us in the community discord! Here's a link to join now, but it might expire although I did set it to never expire: https://discord.gg/jzZjC6Z . If that doesnt work just click on this link and go into the description, you can join using this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xkupil0DHww&t=16s . Good Luck! Hope to see you in the Community with all of us!
    • EgoSingularitas
      April 22, 2017 at 10:01 am
      @Loluserious If you watch the video, they explain that although your housing, if bought from Stage III, or IV, will grow into the next stage and will occupy the next stage of housing in that part of the developing nation, when full, the government can opt to enable rent space/buildings which will also grant citizenship; that is besides the fact that you can buy plots around town which also grant citizenship and you can decorate them to your leisure. As per the dungeons portion of your question. Although no specific detail has been laid out on that area, through the Node 1 video you can see that as the Node(s) levels new things emerge in areas around that node. If those things are too difficult for one player, there is always underdeveloped parts of the world which without a Metropolis can be easily traveled, harvested, or used as a base for other things you may not be able to in more developed nodes. I'm sure more information will continue to pour forth. Patience is the key as development continues.
  • Zentrility
    April 21, 2017 at 8:32 pm
    So much yes! I'm definitely going to back this game on Kickstarter! =)
  • Amanthul
    April 21, 2017 at 10:46 pm
    This looks really interesting. I'm especially looking forward to finding out more about housing - but I have to say, the way that housing is integrated into the world makes a lot of sense. The way the world's systems interconnect is really well thought out. So there we go, I really have high hopes for the game and will be on your Kickstarter right when it comes up. Have a great time developing Ashes of Creation :-)
  • Khan
    April 22, 2017 at 6:13 am
    Sorry for my pessimistic comment but all this seems too good to be true. What we have seen up to now is the amazing weather/seasons system and the node system, both very impressive but in my opinoin not enough to jump to the band wagon all gaudy. I have payed in advance (alphas and pre-orders) for triple A titles to get screwd nicely in the past. I know it is kind of reductive to call them indie, both due to the people involved both due to the infrastructure they have, they stand above most indies creators anyway before supporting an "indie" title I'd like to see more progress and more solid information about the PvE/PvP and how the combat system will be: combat for me make up to 50% of the game if it is all clunky and static I'd rather play another mmo with less advanced systems and content but that will keep me engaged while going around fighting. I'll wait and hope. Good luck.
  • Lokenwow
    April 22, 2017 at 12:48 pm
    I am part of a stream team and Youtube community and literally all of us have been following this game. We are all ex wow players (mostly from vanilla) and this is the first MMO that's had us even remotely excited to get into the genre. Please don't be a bad game :D
  • Santrasa
    April 23, 2017 at 4:33 am
    I hope a leader of a village/town/metropolis has a communication channel available to reach their citizens even if they don't all log in at the same time. And it would be kinda nice if the citizens could leave petitions to their leaders.
  • Drogir
    April 24, 2017 at 11:11 pm
    I so want to test this game... It has so much potential, such a good variaty mixed into one single MMO, this could be the legendary WoW Killer!
  • Tutupower
    April 27, 2017 at 3:55 pm
    This game is going to be great and I will throw money at it too. But could we please stop with the wow killer thing, every new MMO of the last 5 yeah has been the wow killer but wow still here, Unfortunately and the hot new game are just a big steaming pile of garbage that not worth playing. So for the love of god can we just not doom this awesome game please.
  • Misteryparker
    April 28, 2017 at 4:39 am
    What will determine the type of the node? Will it be influenced by what the players choose to do, while developing the node from scratch (level 0 and onwards)? Is it determined when the node goes to level 1 (system decides) ? Can we recognize what the end stage of a node will be ? What makes me a bit anxiuous is the fact that If an economic node leadership can be bought, I hope you will have procedures in place to prevent people from throwing real live money at it (goldsellers) and buy the leadership that way.
  • Anonim
    May 7, 2017 at 6:36 pm
    I am a Blizz player and for so long I'm looking for a game to be happy I hope from my soul to be ashes of creation. I play wow, diablo, hots, Overwatch, and I have no more satisfaction when playing. Blizz games are very beautiful but I want something new. I hope that the game of ashes of creation is at the height of expectations. I wish success to the team and ideas to impress us. Until now I am impressed.
  • Xavier93
    May 11, 2017 at 6:40 am
    If a metropolis has an area of influence where other nodes can't be developed, then the Economic node is useless by definition? Can you be a citizen in more than one node at the same time? What if all the developed nodes happen to be far away from the starting points/portals where the new characters appear? Will they be able to reach civilization without dying (which would send them to their respawn)?

Comments are closed.