Dev Discussion #17 - Non-Progression Content

LieutenantToastLieutenantToast Moderator, Staff
edited April 10 in General Discussion

Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.

Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!

Dev Discussion #17 - Non-Progression Content
What are some of your favorite things to do in online games that aren’t progression-related?

Keep an eye out for our next Dev Discussion topic regarding class demarcation!


  • FooFooFooFoo Member, Phoenix Initiative, Hero of the People
    edited April 10
    This is tough. When i think of non progression, i think of changing costumes, and mix matching stuff. Other things like min maxing the space on my freehold? Jumping on imaginary squares in-game, guess just shooting the "shit", having a good time talking to other players. Playing some tavern games.

    Honestly going to go with decorating a freehold, petting some pets, changing up my color pallet on cosmetics, dueling other players and gaining nothing but skill?
  • Gathering and exploring simultaneously. I also enjoy crafting goods and playing the economy. I really like it when there are robust markets and mechanisms for a player based economy. Players vendors, auction houses, etc.
  • FreezmanFreezman Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited April 10
    Yesterday we had our 'first' Last Oasis tourney and this happened:

    Didn't record the full thing unfortunately =(
    Shoutout to @Drakehiro for this beauty and the sports commentary beforehand.

    As to how it relates to design - can make some sort of simple tournament bracket system. You get a popup, you accept and your name is pooled in with everyone, the system randomizes the bracket and tracks duel wins. BO3 per duel. Would be cool.

    Maybe entry fee - 1st, 2d, 3d, get the winnings. Betting system. Etc.
  • I usually have the most fun doing silly competitions with guildmates or friends. Things like timing solo dungeon runs or 'Fashion Souls' (in this case, decorating your personal house) are my favorite things.
  • hawiiftbllhawiiftbll Member, Braver of Worlds
    I have a habit of trying to climb up as high as I can on things when waiting for friends or other reasons. Looking for little secret easter eggs is fun too.
  • botbot Member
    edited April 10
    I consider the most enjoyable aspect of any game regardless of genre to be my personal progression in skill. I enjoy improving my mechanics, knowledge, and game sense as a PvP-centric player. Many games I've played throughout my gaming history had no formal leaderboard or ELO/ranking system. People played because they genuinely enjoyed the game and sought to improve following a loss to a better player. Progression is honestly the last thing I care about in a game since it just creates a made up reward for your time that has no real value. Never been into achievement hunting or the idea of gearing up just to have gear for example. If for example you lost your account, all of your progression went to waste. If your progression was improving at the game itself, you never lose it and can apply it to other games as well. This is also why a good combat system is vital to the success of any game that hopes to have long-term success. If there's no payout to improving, then you lack that intrinsic desire to play when you run out artificial goals like getting the best gear or mount for example.
  • NephinNephin Member, Braver of Worlds
    I love to explore everything, look under every stone, find every point of interest, enjoy the game world, taking screenshots as a tourist :) , search for lore pieces, make my house a cozy place... usually this means my friends progress much faster in games, but I don't mind, am confident my experience and enjoyment is much richer. :)
  • vahrovahro Member
    Roleplay :smile:

    Find a group of roleplayers, have wonderful stories and evenings with them, combine this with pve and pvp activity and end it in a tavern. So I need roleplaying stuff and support in this game :wink:
  • I enjoy playing minigames like cards, dice, or mahjong if available in game. I've never seen a game that lets me play checkers or chess in game yet. That'd be cool if it was a tavern game.

    I also love to explore environments that are particularly gorgeous. My favorite areas are ones with amazing sunshine or weather effects.

    I also like to fly around randomly, but I know that's not entirely going to be relevant. The gliding will be fun I'm sure too.

    If there was a way to sweep around town or house/inn/tavern for cleaning up the place, I would probably be the OCD person that would love to walk around with a broom, especially if it changed the way something looked.

    Lastly, I enjoy herbalism and gathering. If I could pick flowers specifically for show in a tavern or house that would be excellent. Or maybe fishing up fish that I can then have in a fish tank. If that makes sense. Particularly noteworthy fish for size or type or flowers for rarity or something.

  • JahlonJahlon Member
    Exploring the landscape is one of the best things to do in any game.

    Having seen the landscape in APOC I know the environment is going to be something I dig into during alpha and beta.

    Make sure to check out Ashes 101
  • zenniazennia Member, Braver of Worlds
    I'm definitely a "stop and smell the roses" type.

    I love gathering professions in most MMOs simply for the pleasure of getting to wander across the countryside and explore at my leisure. The best games are the ones that reward behavior like that by including bits and pieces of lore out in the wilds to delight enterprising explorers.

    For evenings that I just want to de-stress after work, housing based crafting like gardening or farming really hits the spot and is also a favorite lazy evening activity.
  • MarkleMarkle Member
    My favorite pastime in games, not linked to progression, are things like farming and gardening. Or home and guild hall building and decorating.

    In fact, games that let you enjoy most of the side features, like professions and mini games, without having to necessarily progress to end game are the ones that keep me going longest.

    Mini games are always good. Card games or something linked to professions are always great. Maybe festivals that the player base contributes too, such as night markets and faires.
  • zephariazepharia Member
    edited April 10
    I have played many mmos and various genres of games and some of the things I usually enjoy on the side are finding ways to make fashion that doesn't feel generic, playing/making music, learning details about the game, and exploring/messing around with unknown parts of the map. For example in Destiny, I find in the raids in any of the parkour areas even simple ones, they place many mysterious platforms that may or may not lead to secrets, hidden puzzles, or hidden rooms that make you always want to explore. I embrace buggy areas in games like WoW and spent many hours trying to break the game and escape the map or explore strange areas I didn't feel many people got the chance to. I also enjoy things like playing my own music in games like Archage, Maplestory 2, Mabinogi, etc. It is one of the few times that I feel like staying in town(or even in dungeons >:D) and just mess around for awhile. Since I'm not the kind of person into roleplaying or anything, it is about as close as I'll get. I am also the kind of person who spends a fair amount of time trying off-meta builds, meaning I enjoy spending time in some kind of training area or areas I can learn the ins and outs of each class and just how the game works in general.

    Some of the most memorable moments though are the huge group events, be it people dragging huge bosses into towns in WoW, finding a large group of people trying to do a pvp air raid on unsuspecting towns from above, giant circles of people dancing/playing music, a random duel circle in the middle of nowhere, or things like 20 harpoon clippers in Archage flipping around inside a town. The most memorable things often come from moments that were created by the freedom that allows the players to use the many various features of a game in unexpected combination. >:)
  • Personally I love to sit in a free-pvp zone after a hard days grind...if you didn't know free-pvp is a zone that has no penalty for lose or death... where you can run into an enemy and free kill and that kill can turn into an all out fight but your gear doesn't degrade and you can 1v1 all you want, or just chat....maybe it's just personal preference
  • NarysNarys Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    Sailing around the oceans or exploring the world was one of my favourite downtime pass times in ArcheAge. Alongside that having social events in game was also fun.
  • Looking for the next great adventure!
    No matter the danger, death only gives the whole experience some spice, I will always try to find the next mountain peak or deep cavern.
  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men, Early Alpha One Tester
    Lore, lot and lot of lore hunting

    The dead do not squabble as this land’s rulers do. The dead have no desires, petty jealousies or ambitions. A world of the dead is a world at peace
  • edited April 10
    Farming for special outfits or other appereance items. I remember much from Blade and Soul where you sometimes would be with your group of people and decide to spam a dungeon many times a day on the free time between progression just to farm for that pretty special outfit, or just for collection really.

    Another thing is the arena fights. While it can be a progression for some in the PvP spectrum, for other people it's just the fun of fighting 1v1 with a number of different players randomly that was nice. Tags 3v3 were also fun. Also the 6v6 non arena battles with a few objectives. All these offer what i mentioned, a fun PvP spectrum for both progression and just fun.

    Also I would like to add:
    Things such as unexpected events that could happen randomly and possibly rarely, such as fireflies or butterflies invading a city something like that could be awesome too. Maybe sometimes the night sky could show special events too, like a comet, or shooting stars.

    Please don't forget moon phases if possible xD Having a static full moon blooming every night is pretty, but makes it a bit less appreciative sometimes.

    3rd edit cause so many ideas hehe
    I remember Lineage 2 had arena horse races be a thing at some point in the game, where people could bid on the fastest horse they thought would win, it got underappreciated after a while because it never offered anything back other than some gold. But, i think it can be a good addition to let people build those sorts of games outside cities calling for such events. To make it appreciative and fun you could make it so that the players choose a horse and ride it, while other players bid on the fastest player, and add that rng to it. Many fun times can come from that, and many cringe too xD
  • sebassebas Member
    Exploring the world for the smal bits that give the worlds more depths like smal details. But also just trying to find weird spots
  • I always loved world exploration! Little tid bits about the lore of certain places if you discover points of interest. I really like how FFXIV did it where you had to emote at the right spot. I made sure in WoW to get my explorer title by revealing the whole map. That kind of stuff.
    When just hanging out with friends, we almost always found ourselves doing some kind of parkour around the towns or in our housing areas. Everyone loves jumping around so it'd be awesome if there were some little challenges to hop on while talking to friends or maybe to get to that special point of interest?
    Otherwise fashion and house design to a smaller extent as well!
  • avoxiaavoxia Member
    This might sound corny but just spending time with my hubby and friends, the ability to get married and decorate a home together is what I'm most looking forward to! Other than that just a relaxing ride on my mount through the environments or a boat ride to a small island with a beach to party on.
  • Without progression? Mmm, I did do RP for a time and that was fun until people started getting dumb. But sometimes just sitting back and watching the world with some friends is a nice touch.
  • RintaRinta Member
    Exploring the landscape, observing beautiful views (if they are present in game). If it is a 3D game like Ashes are going to be - then climbing mountains, including ones not specifically intended for climbing. Just trying to climb literally any rocky hill all the way up to the top. It is especially great when there are some little tidbits left there for you to see that have no relation to game progress but add flavour. Skyrim (while not MMORPG) was really good at it, tons of "scenes" left around the world to find, skeletons in odd situations and such, each would "tell" a little story of their own and gave additional satisfaction from random exploration. Zelda:BotW took it to extreme with Koroks pretty much always sitting in high spots, that made it grindy instead of satisfying (also unimaginative!), don't do that.

    Hanging around party search areas and chilling. If there's no world chat / global party search chat / god forbid an LFG menu - people naturally pick some spots in the actual game world to gather, group and trade, which creates potential for actually meeting people during their downtime. Unfortunately technology killed the porches, nobody sits on them anymore.
  • SarevokSarevok Member
    Wait, there are things to do that aren't progression related in online games? Theorycrafting and testing damage output based on gear setups. Dueling with friends and working on combos or trying new combos out (or is this progression in my skill?). This is tough as I don't RP or care to decorate player owned housing. If I am on the game it's to progress. If I am not progressing I have better things to do IRL.
    Looking for a future PvP guild in AoC? Want to learn from vets and git-gud? Check us out at
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty
    Exploring, pvping, and hanging out.

    Always fun to pick a direction and start traveling with no goal in mind. Back in vanilla WoW, i spent a decent amount of time trying to get into places i wasn't supposed to like Mount Hyjal and the caverns of time.

    I find myself spending a decent amount of time playing around with my appearance. I like thinking about how i can combine different items and/or dyes to create interesting looks. If the game requires it, this causing me to spend a lot of time trying to farm for the items i need to create a look.

    There has been several games i have played where i participated in and/or ran community pvp tournements. Always liked getting people together for a tourney and hanging out. Got to know a lot of people this way.

    Hanging out has become something i do less in MMOs. Hoping Tavern games are interesting enough to justify hanging out in game. It would be fun it led to meeting more people in game or pulling more people into the game.
  • MarzzoMarzzo Member, Leader of Men, Early Alpha One Tester
    I love doing open world PVP with my friends.
    I also love exploring, but it requires an interesting world worth exploring.
  • ilisfetilisfet Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited April 11
    Taking in vistas, scrambling up cliffs that you're not intended to scramble up. I'm an explorer, so I do explorer things when I don't need to hit the grind. I'll run aimlessly around town, across rooftops, into fields, through oceans, so long as it's someplace new or an old place from a new perspective.
  • Roleplaying is always a good time, as is pursuing the highest art of any multiplayer game: Fashion
  • I have been playing MMOs for years and while pvp/pve were always fun, the strongest most memorable memory I have from playing games was in BDO. My friend and I were coming back to a remote town in the forest of Behr with our horses so full to the brim that they could sprint anymore.That feeling of going through the beautiful forest after a hard day of collecting was the most satisfying feeling I have ever experience so far.
  • gaeleathgaeleath Member, Braver of Worlds
    Just sitting in the middle of a busy Place-of-interest and watch people do their thing. Makes it feel like the world is really alive. Also just talking to random people, social activities etc etc. In short, not only playing the game, but really living the game. However weird that sounds.

    And of course Fishing ;)
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