Familiarize the player titles and how they could benefit your characters in Ashes of Creation.
Titles in MMOs generally hold no power and are just an aesthetic prefix or affix added to your nameplate for players to read. This is a way of displaying your proudest accomplishment in the game. There are a few games however that use titles as a way for your account to progress in power slightly. Ashes of Creation has a unique take on titles. Intrepid decided to use titles as a way of making a player stand out from the crowd, offering them bonus stats and an additional spell bar to use in specific situations. Take for example the Bishop title, it is obtained by being the mayor for a Divine node. Basically giving the mayor of a node a special role during node events and sieges allowing mayors to have that extra depth and meaningfulness to their role instead of just being your average foot soldier. All in all the title system for Ashes of Creation seems like a smooth take on adding extra benefits for special people without adding any weird and niche mechanics to their game. Instead they are taking an existing one that’s well known within the community and fleshing it out to the point of giving people a reason for wanting these titles instead of it just being a pointless aesthetic choice.
The mechanics for these titles specifically are a bit hazy as we are obviously in pre-Alpha. How they are activated is a bit of a concern as if they are just switched on and off in a UI, it might be a little clunky. People stopping to fiddle through their UI bring up a drop down menu, find the title, activate it and then your skills will appear however it just does not seem smooth enough for a game like Ashes of Creation.
The other way of activating a title could be through the building mentioned in the Mayor video https://youtu.be/yK_DRJmvcVU . The city hall is supposed to be the central hub of activity for the mayor so retreating to their city hall to activate their special title for the duration of the events could also be an option. However, what could be suggested is something that we have started seeing in MMOs a lot more in recent years- through the automatic activation using an extra action button. These are amazing ways to activate your titles as this not only gives your mayor a choice of activating the title or not, which means not making themselves a massive target during a node siege if he does not want to deal with that, it also allows for some tactical play too. By hiding in the front lines of the troops pushing them back and as they are pushed in themselves, activating the ability could transform you into a larger character model with unique armor creating a knock back effect and maybe some cool lightning. And the enemy will be obliterated by a holy beam.
EXTRA ACTION BARS
So one of the main mechanics of these special titles alongside the stat boost is the extra action bar they offer. Only the really special titles will give these. The extra action buttons are very akin to the vehicle system we see in World of Warcraft or the transforms in Guild Wars 2. They are basically the same but we are sticking with WOW for this analogy.
A player is able to enter a vehicle or use an object to transform into something which gives them a completely new UI for their resource management and spells. The spells given are usually limited to one to three, simplifying the role. This is good for balance as nothing inside the actual classes kit has to be taken into consideration when using the vehicles which would create some game breaking combos. Instead the only interaction these vehicles have with your character in terms of stats is that they scale with the power of your gear. This is something I expect to see happen with the titles abilities. Disabling your current spells for the duration of your ascendancy and balancing your new bishop related spells with the current gear you have on. So a low level, low geared mayor of a level 3 node is gonna be considerably less powerful than a max level mayor of a Metropolis node.
A game that deals with titles in quite a unique way is Black Desert Online. BDO is a game about grinding and what BDO’s title system allows for is that feeling of grinding is always contributing to something on your account. There’s titles in BDO for every single monster type in the game and each monster type has a progressing title. Each title has three or four stages. These titles individually do nothing however they are more of a collection type of thing which as you reach a certain number of titles obtained, your account gains a permanent bonus which switches up at every tier. Up top if you love this idea! It allows you to go out in the world and kill monsters you wouldn’t normally and it feels like you are not wasting your time. Additionally, BDO uses titles as an extra aesthetic choice too. Having special titles show up as a different color on your nameplate. Completing 30,000 quests gives you one grinding, unlocking all knowledge gives you on grinding, getting a large number of kills during a siege gives you grinding. And special event ones each year called Mysteries of Summer thus more grinding.
01:35 What are Player Titles?
03:03 The Mechanics
04:36 Extra Action Bars
07:22 Account Progression