Ashes of Creation is unlike other MMORPGs in that there is no singular center of operations. Your character will not be restricted to a main town and then do all their adventuring from that central point. In fact, to understand how Ashes of Creation will be different and why taverns will be relevant, I had to put together the Ashes Crash Course on World Size and Travel Times. Without understanding this concept, the purpose of taverns would be hard to grasp.
Purpose of Taverns
Since Ashes of Creation is not a theme park, it makes sense that there is more to the game than the just the rides (dungeons, raids, world bosses, etc). Instead the traveling, the physical journey, to the different rides is to be considered every bit equal content as the rides are. The World of Verra is very large, so it makes sense that you will need temporary headquarters; places where you can stop and rest for a moment, where you can regroup, and where you can get ready for another adventure. Ironically, while resting you may even find out about an adventure you were not aware of. Taverns provide this temporary headquarters.
To accomplish this, there are two types of taverns: In-Node Taverns and Freehold Taverns.
We have very few details about In-Node Taverns, we do not know who owns them, how to acquire one, or how many per Node can exist. The only thing we know is the mayor cannot turn the Node into a Bar Town with taverns taking up all the useable space. I do have a request for information in with Steven on this, but I do not think he wants to share with me, only because then he must fill all the request of all the content creators, and that would be taxing. I accept equality of information flow through all the Content Creators, and they will release information when they are ready.
Freehold taverns are as you might be able to figure out, taverns you build on your personal freehold spot. As discussed in the freehold video you need to make choices when building out your freehold, and if you want to have a tavern that is going to be a choice you must make. If you haven’t checked out freeholds yet I suggest you do that, but the short version of it is you will purchase a tavern blueprint, you will build the tavern and then you will manage the tavern like a business.
Like normal freehold rules, there will not be any co-ownership of freeholds/taverns. The tavern will have a single owner, but the owner can set permissions for the building that allows other people to assist with the day to day operation.
Taverns are player run businesses, run by the Owner, any people with permissions, as well as NPCs the Owner can hire to assist. At these businesses the players will be able to:
- Sell Food and Drink
- Lasts for a set amount of time after you leave
- Offers additional buffs if you quest/adventurer near the tavern
- Offer Rested XP if you rent a bed at the tavern
- Cooks may be able to buy recipes that the tavern discovered/unlocked
As a tavern is a freehold building it has the ability to level up, which means the services it can offer and the vertical size of the building (extra floors) become available. For taverns, leveling up is about how many customers you serve, so the more inviting your make your tavern the more customers you get; however, Tavern success isn’t just about the food and drink, its also about a lot of the other services a tavern can provide.
Quests may be obtained in player owned taverns. Some of these will come from the tavern owner themselves, where they are looking for specific ingredients (crafting materials) and they offer an automatic reward payout system if you deliver. Others may be system generated, such as the Bounties on Corrupted. We are waiting for more information on this feature.
Taverns will also have a Bulletin Board system where players can find groups looking to form, or looking to fill a missing role. This is the only sort of “looking for group/matchmaking system” that exists in Ashes of Creation.
Music and Conversation
Two features we know will be coming to Taverns is going to be music and VOIP conversations. For the Music, we know the tavern owner can choose the music for the tavern, but we do not know more than that. Some people have asked if it is a playlist or a jukebox, but we do not have more information than that. Final Fantasy XIV has an amazing jukebox system that I hope Intrepid takes the time to investigate.
The other is the chat conversations via VOIP. You will be able to directly chat to the people near you while in the Taverns. Now how this is going to work will require some finessing. If the tavern owner gets any control over who can talk we do not know. They may be able to voice ban a troublesome person, including those people who try to grief the system with yelling, loud music, strange ASMR noises, etc.
Parlor Games were a feature that was unlocked at the $1,000,000 mark for Kickstarter. These often get forgotten about but these are going to be games of chance (dice, cards, other less savory games) that players can engage in inside taverns. There are also going to be lost and forgotten games of chance that can be found in the world and then either played or even shared with other players.
Intrepid Studios wants to set it up so you can bet on these games of chance with in-game currency, with the house (tavern) taking a cut of all the winnings. This is a lofty goal considering all the various gambling laws. Intrepid has not 100% said how they are planning on making this happen, or if it is still on the agenda to happen. I want players to realize we must be forgiving if they decide they cannot pull this off due to different regional laws.
While Battlemaps are not currently on the roadmap I wanted to mention them because they have been talked about in passing once, and then they fell back off the development road map, and rightfully so. These are the only notable example of scope-creep and as soon as it appeared it went right back out of the development cycle.
These Battlemaps are designed to work like a game of Risk, with the ability to analyze Castle and Node Siege plans prior to the offensive and to place buff zones before the Siege. These Battlemap planning rooms were going to be located inside the Taverns. We do not have other details as this is not a fully flushed-out idea. It is possible this idea has died in development.