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Ashes of Creation's first pre-alpha gameplay footage shows MMO wizardry and pretty autumn leaves

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Intrepid Studios has sent over the first pre-alpha gameplay footage of their upcoming MMO, Ashes of Creation (opens in new tab), and there it is, right above this sentence.

It's a classic, though slick, look for an MMO—a mage dealing with a hotbar and damage numbers and a horrible spider-man—though it should be noted that the UI is currently a placeholder. Like a few MMOs I've seen recently, one of Ashes of Creation's aspirations is permanent change.  

"As the world’s NPC structure is established in real time, players will have the ability to destroy what they’ve created, paving the way for new development, new populations, and real change," reads the latest press release. "Political strife and intrigue will play a very real role in the structure of your world. Gone are the days of static worlds, change is here to stay." 

I mention leaves in the headline because another of Ashes' touted features is seasons, which can shift based on what players are up to. The hope is that unusual cycles—a long summer, for instance—will generate unique stories, affecting "NPC generation, boss content, dungeons, drop tables, Node progression, combat, skill use, gatherables, trade routes, NPC appearances, and weather." It reminds me a little of the fictional game described in novel 'The Three-Body Problem,' in which players must navigate chaotic seasons of extreme heat or cold guided by an unknown force.

Another system involves caravans. Players will be able to profit by sending caravans full of goods between cities, but will have to defend their loot in the PvP zone that forms around the procession. Any time there are real stakes to PvP battling—rather than, 'hey, I'm just feeling aggro right now'—my interest is piqued at least a little.

Ashes of Creation isn't open to all just yet, but alpha and beta access is currently being doled out raffle-style. You can enter your name here (opens in new tab), and find more videos on the official site (opens in new tab).

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.