Rejoice dear ashlings, Ashes of Creation has now officially entered Alpha 1 Phase 1, and with that the NDA has been completely lifted. This also means that all Alpha 1 backers have been invited to test the battle royale combat mode (~ 10 000). In addition, all Alpha 2 backers have been invited for this weekend test as well. In the coming weeks they will also be inviting beta backers, all Alpha 0 backers, and eventually all registered users on the Ashes of Creation website.
Steven Sharif said:
We are happy to announce the testing is going very well and we are collecting a lot of useful data. Everyone at Intrepid cannot thank our Glorious community enough for their help in making mmos great... once more."
I was one of the lucky 250 to gain access to alpha 1 stress test on Sept. 7. Here's a few thoughts on the game's battle royale mode and visuals...
The game mode was a standard battle royale last Man standing. We were only allowed to queue for solo. If you've played fortnite or are just familiar with the genre, you know how the game mode goes. Special abilities like high jumps or explosion arrows were locked to the weapons. Some armor dropped with camouflage specials which did seem like a major cheat mode.
The visuals on the other hand were out of this world. My game defaulted to epic settings causing a minor stutter, which was corrected by dropping shadows down. Playing on lowest graphic setting didn't hurt the visuals much at all, even looking better than other AAA games on max settings. Every element of the game looked beautiful. Plants to trees to water. The weapon effects...
Last night at ~0300 CEST, the Alpha 1 stress test for Ashes went live. The stress test will include a limited number of testers, which will increase each week. The first week only has about 450 testers (but this may be increased), the second will increase that to over 2000 testers, and finally 5000 testers for week 3. The point of this stress test is to test their server backend, login-system, matchmaking, etc. All those underlying mechanics that need to be working properly before they open the gates for all those with Alpha 1 access.
The participants are chosen from Kickstarter backers, then summer backers, and finally the pre-order pack backers. If you are not selected in these weeks, don't be alarmed: After about 3 weeks of stress testing, Alpha 1 will be open to allthose with access to that phase.
Today Volker at My.com posted an official statement on the Ashes of Creation Discord channel, in an attempt to calm the worries of the community in regards to customer service, pay-to-win, server stability and account security. I personally think that this is promising, as it shows that Intrepid and My.Com is taking this very seriously. Of course, only time will tell if this actually holds true, but I think EU fans of AoC should relax and have faith in Intrepid and their strategy. You can read the full statement from Volker bellow.
"As previously communicated, we at My.com are, and remain, fully committed to supporting the creative vision that Steven and Intrepid Studios has for Ashes of Creation. Their vision appeals to the desires of western MMORPG fans, and we are fully committed to bringing this non-Pay-to-Win...
Good news today! Lately the community has been worrying that we may not be able to chose ourselves what region we want to play on. (as some from Europe might not want to play on EU servers..) Thankfully, today's update from Steven, on the official Discord, puts that to rest. There will be no region or IP blocking. He also confirmed that Intrepid will handle the game client packaging, so my.com won't be doing that either.
Yesterday he also dropped a small update, reassuring fans that the game will stay subscription based, with no box cost, and a cosmetic-only marketplace, the same as in NA.
Today the announcement was made that My.com would take over publishing duties for Ashes of Creation for Europe and Russia via my.com and mail.ru respectively. The duties will include billing, server infrastructure, community and customer service. Originally Intrepid Studios had made public that they themselves were planning to publish Ashes Of Creation in Europe.
The announcement was met with an uproar from the Ashes community. Many European players are already familiar with My.com from recent MMOs like Revelation Online, Warface, Skyforge and many more. From accounts of community members on this site and reports online, the publisher My.com does not have a quality track record. From leaks of customer credit information, to poor customer support and unfinished localization's of launched games.
Intrepid Studios is coming to Europe at Gamescom in Germany (21st August 2018).
Name Reservation will be available sometime during Alpha 1 Phase 2 (Hopefully).
Alpha 1 Testing Phase Breakdown:
The Ashes of Creation Alpha 1 is set to begin during the third week of September and will go on for almost 7 months. The Alpha 1 test will focus on three major tests:
Open world Battlegrounds
Castles and Sieges
City 'Horde' Mode
Open world Battlegrounds:
Offering variable combat modes with testing upto a 100 players. They'd like to provide consistent Battleground testing where players will be able to complete a match and instantly queue up for another to ensure heavy testing of the feature. Focused on Matchmaking...
Finally we got the newsletter from Intrepid, which provided us with some great information. The biggest news is that Alpha 1 phase 1 is confirmed starting week 3 of September! Phase 2 is planned for early Q2 2019.
As announced previously, Alpha 1 sales in the store is closing soon. They have currently over 8500 participants so far, of the cap of 10 000 participants. The last day for Alpha One pre-order packs ends on August 15th, which is also the day the pre-order cosmetics updates on all the packs. So if you want to upgrade your pack to get Alpha 1 access, this is the time.
Phase 1 of Alpha 1, coming in the 3rd week of September, will be focusing on action combat and PvP related mechanics in the game. Testing action, siege systems, adaptive AI in the horde mode and more.
Confirmed so far: