Caravans and why they are critical

Hello there, Ziltch here and today I will be talking about Caravans.
A system which I think is being underestimated a bit in some regards.

First the basics!
Caravans are a means of transporting materials around in the world, as there will be almost no fast travel, combined with the limitations of your own inventory (and mules), caravans will be the only eligible method of mass transportation of resources.

And you need mass transport of resources, why? Because you cannot feed a market that is far away easily by transporting small amounts. So there is a lot to earn if you are willing to take the risk.
I will talk about the importance of Caravans at the end.


When you initiate a Caravan, you get to decide a few things.
Is it for a Quest?
Is it for transporting Goods freely?
What resources will it transport?

Is it for transporting goods to a specific building project in a specific Node?

Do note that these are thing still subject to future changes.

Caravan PvP
The Caravan will also have a static PvP Zone around itself, so a player that comes into the vicinity of a Caravan will get a prompt asking them if they want to
  • Attack
  • Defend
  • Ignore
People who select either Attack or Defend will be in their own Flagging system, but what about those that ignore it?


Option A:
Those that chose to “Ignore” will not be able to damage or heal those participating in the Caravan PvP.
Option B:
Those that chose to “Ignore” can still participate, but as they did not flag their intentions, it might give them corruption upon doing so.

How it will work with those that ignore I do not know, but these are my two assumptions of what might be.

Now let’s talk about what happens after you have successfully raided a Caravan.
When a Caravan has been successfully raided, it does not drop the resources that are being transported. It drops “certificates” you can redeem for those resources that were getting transported. Do note that you have to go to the Caravan’s Origin Node to exchange these certificates for resources.
Oh and, not all resources being transported will drop. Some will simply “vanish”.
You can think of this as the resources being accidentally ruined during the raid, but it’s basically an item sink, which is a good thing in my opinion.

Crafting
And now, to bring back something from my previous article about Crafting.

Crafters of different professions will be able to make different Caravan components that make up a Caravan.
A Caravan has it’s base stat values from the start, let’s call it the caravan’s starter gear.

Caravan components is gear with better stats you can then equip the caravan with instead of it’s starting gear.
And, since the steeds of your Caravan are important, breeders will also be important.

Importance
Now, while it is true that you can transport some resources yourself or with mule. As mentioned before a Caravan can, as an example mentioned, carry 10 times more resources than a mule.

I have another point, but before that, let me bring up another thing.
I think there might be two different types of “Caravan vehicles”.
Namely, “Wagon”, and “Carriage”.
The differences between them is that one is designed to carry goods, while the other is designed to carry people.
The reason why I think so is because they mentioned in a stream the possibility of a Player run “Taxi System”, aka Carriages.

And the other thing I want to mention is, multiple people can take part in the same caravan.
So, with that out of the way let’s get back on topic.

A Caravan is not necessarily just one vehicle, a caravan usually refers to

“a group of people, especially traders or pilgrims, travelling together“.
This means that while you mule might carry the equal value of 100, a caravan could potentially carry the equal of 5000, if there are 5 wagons in that caravan.
And this is just one of the reasons why Caravans are important.

Three other reasons why Caravans are important is regarding to Nodes.
Nodes need resources to develop and for maintenance to avoid the Node decaying and de-leveling. The higher the stage of the Node, the more resources it needs. This need will not be easy, or at all possible, to satiate just with mules and people transporting resources. Especially since it is possible that some resources you need, will be several zones away from the Node.

The second reason in regards to Nodes is Node Buildings.
Node buildings can be planned by the Mayor, but you still need resources to construct the building itself.
And as mentioned here, one needs to bring these resources to the Node by explicitly stating, when one initiates a Caravan, that it is meant for that building project.
And even if you don’t have to use caravans, do you really think these building projects will require so little resources that it’s feasible to do it with mules and people alone?

The third and last reason, is regarding Node politics. More specifically, Trade Agreements.
You need a way to transport the resources involved in said agreement.
This will in turn open up work for Mercenaries, Guilds and related people who are in favor of the trade agreement and/or needs the resources they will get from the Trade agreement.

Now for a reason that I think some Guilds have overlooked a bit. Castles.
Castles have 3 adjacent Military Nodes that belongs to the Castle itself.
These Nodes can go up to Village (Stage 3), and the development of these Nodes directly influence the Castle’s defenses.
And how would you need to develop these Nodes? Caravans.
Guilds have to be really protective about these Caravans thought, because rival Guilds will most definitely go after them to stop the development of the 3 Castle Nodes, and in this way weaken the defenses of the Castle so that it is easier for the taking when the time for a Castle Siege comes.
Due note though, a Guild who owns a Castle will also have to divide out manpower to protect said Caravans, which means one can possibly fall a bit behind on raiding.
They could of course, hire others to protect the Caravans for them to avoid this.

And, for the final and most obvious reason. Crafting.
Crafters of all types, be it gathering, processing, crafting. They will not all be in the same place. Or there might be some but they cannot handle the materials. Resources need to flow. The less resources flow, the more limited Artisans become.
So the flow of resources is something any Artisan will want.

Conclusion
Caravans are essential to the development and continuous maintenance of a Node.

Without Caravans, you will lag far behind the Nodes who does have Caravans to support them.

Caravans are essential to Castles, attacking and defending these caravans will play a large part in how the Sieges will play out.

You can most likely avoid using Caravans for most things, but you will lose out compared to those who use them.
So it’s up to you whether the risk of losing the resources outweighs the risk of you falling far behind your competitors.


So… Beware of Bandits on the Highway.


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Last edited:
Ziltch

Tex

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Awesome work again @Ziltch !

For me, nodes and caravans are the coolest mechanics in Ashes. They are deeply integrated in all parts of the game, which I think many overlook.

I can't wait to test it out. :happyface:
 

Narys

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A very nice article, great work!
 

Zella

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@Ziltch you are wonderful 😃 all the guides ok?

All. Of. Them. 😄
 

Kleinature

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I must of been away when this thread published. Seriously good read @Ziltch ! Can't get much better than that. Keep up the good work!
 

squeetee

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@squeetee Which parts in particular? :tongueout:
Late reply but...

The whole castle node villages. I didn't even think that supplying them would be done by caravans. My guild plans to hold one of these castles eventually and I need to know how to defend it :smile:
 

Ziltch

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@squeetee That's why I said that I think this point has been underestimated and not thought of even by most people and Guilds :tongueout:
 

squeetee

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@squeetee That's why I said that I think this point has been underestimated and not thought of even by most people and Guilds :tongueout:
You directed it right at me basically lol
 

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