AoC - Kickstarter w/ DocGotGame

Livestream on May 8, 2017
Ashes of Creation is interviewed by special guest DocGotGame. Then, stick around for Q&A from the community.

NOTE: 43:25 Reddit and forum questions

  1. As the first major MMO gaining traction with the Unreal Engine, how do you guys feel you are going to hold up in the technical aspects of MMO design?

    1. Lots of technical background in the team, very confident that UE4 will allow them to build in their own code to support their backend
      1. Have yet to run into any major issues so far, very flexible engine.
  2. How communicative will the team be when they introduce changes to the game/ garnering feedback from the community? Will you be transparent?

    1. The most important aspect in Steven’s mind is the community, he wants to pull that back into MMORPG design. He hasn’t really experienced a huge amount of transparency from previous developers, and he intends to do the opposite.
    2. Wants to be very connected the community, as a developer. Talk with people on Reddit/Discord/Twitter/Other SM aspects.
      1. Difficult to do, takes work, they are willing to put in the work needed.

  1. What will the content release tempo be post game release? How often can we expect to see updates, both major and minor?

    1. Very often. Subscription model allows them to constantly push out content, coupled with the node system means they have a way of releasing that content regularly. Constantly adding to the already built in systems.
    2. Currently fairly undecided, they are thinking ~quarterly big updates, with minor ones in between. Difficult to tell pre-release.
      1. Possibly minor ones every month, depends on the flexibility of the node system.
  2. Why PvP in AoC? What benefits outside of the Node system are there for including PvP?

    1. Primary goal/tenet is that the player/community develops the world (Node System), bring civilisation back to the world. That’s PvE. The PvP mechanic is necessary to catalyse change, create a dynamic system. Node system allows doors to open, but sometimes closes other doors. PvP is their method for going back to those earlier doors and allow players to make different choices.
    2. Necessary to promote meaningful conflict.
    3. Previous games PvP didn’t bring real meaning, AoC wants to change that.
    4. Change is the big word. Node system relies on PvP, without it things would just infinitely expand, there needs to be a method for destruction/tearing things down. Keeps things fresh/new.
  3. Battlegrounds? Arenas? How do? Rewards?

    1. Do intend to have battlegrounds, arenas, ladders, competitive systems within those. In addition, they have open world battlegrounds, organic conflicts, see the caravan system.
    2. Castle system that can exert control over the world around it and be a source of additional protection for nodes/caravans.
    3. Sometimes with games you just want short, round based conflict, that’s what arenas are for.
  4. Can a bad guy/pirate person flourish in the game.

    1. To a degree. Developers don’t want a gank box/murder box, hence flagging system. Deters outright PK’ing of random people. Don’t want to incentivise the murder of random non-combatants, via the corruption system. Corruption BAD.
    2. Corruption decreases combat effectiveness, so don’t want to randomly murder everyone you see.
    3. Should be plenty of space for meaningful PvP conflict.
    4. Assurances that the flagging system will prevent things like spawn camping.
      1. Also the Bounty Hunter system, will make targets of those random PK’ing people.
    5. If you want to just go out and murder people, the caravan system enables that, but with meaning.
    6. All about risk and reward, want everything to come with a cost, and risk associated with potential gains. Gives meaning to accomplishments, as well as those looking for foil those accomplishments.
  5. Is there RNG when crafting/upgrading gear? Breaking while upgrading, for example?

    1. Recipe based, no RNG.
    2. Will involve going out and finding rare items, killing rare monsters, epic bosses that make epic gear.
    3. Deconstructing that epic gear to learn how to make it yourself.
    4. All about the synergy between the different artisan types.
    5. Might be some RNG with upgrading/over enchanting items.
      1. Comes with a risk, +10 sword?  There will be some potential rng to that.
      2. No comment on whether it can be destroyed or just RNG to succeed.
    6. Monsters will have drop tables, which will involve RNG.
  6. Mounts. Is there going to be mounted combat? Can mounts be killed?

    1. Mounts can be killed
    2. Mounts will have abilities that some mounts will have. Some might have combat applications.
    3. Won’t be able to use class skills while mounted.
  7. How will the game empower small guilds? How will you prevent zerg groups overpowering things.

    1. AoC is being designed with a focus that applies on small groups, while also allowing larger groups to do different thing.
      1. Small groups can do some things better than larger groups.
        1. Sieges will have things that smaller groups have an advantage in.
        2. Same with building things out in the world.
    2. Zerg play is empowered by fast-travel, removing fast-travel will help mitigate this.  Meaningful travel times will prevent zerg play for being so much of an influence.
    3. Guilds should have to plan to have people in the right place at the right time, alliances with smaller guilds will help enable that.  Having people spread out all over the place will be beneficial.
    4. Guild leveling?
      1. Intricate guild system, guild quests?
      2. Advancing guilds will allow them to expand on niche focus, or get bigger?
      3. Membership slots will be traded off for advantages, a larger guild won’t have access to power boosting guild ability slots.
        1. Alliance system may be a key part in creating a larger “guild”
      4. Larger guilds can siege fortresses?  World specific locations.
        1. Mechanics that are geared towards larger guilds and smaller guilds
      5. All this is pre-Alpha design, will need testing. Getting this right will require work, will require feedback from the community.
  8. Solo play vs. Group play. Can a solo player thrive, or is group play the best way to play AoC?

    1. Always focus on micro/macro, want to make sure that solo players have a good experience/role. Doesn’t mean they can ignore other people, but nothing should be locked behind guilds.
    2. Playing an MMORPG means you are part of a community anyway.
    3. Macro systems that include solo players anyway, whether they want to or not, like the Node XP system, or working on buildings, or doing raids/dungeons and stuff. Doesn’t rely on guild membership. Can be a solo player by taking part in those activities.
    4. Motivations differ between players, solo players just want to go out and do things? They are still affecting other players gameplay experience. Important to include them.
  9. Guild Skills. What tools will guild leaders have to bring people together? Will there be guild missions? Just down to what players are doing?

    1. Lots of tools for guild leaders.
      1. Steven has a lot of experience here, lots of wants.
      2. Knock our socks off, so many tools, wow, YUGE tools.
        1. Activities, leadership tools, passives, all kinds of things! No real details.
      3. Robust tool set, really focusing.
        1. Guild leaders should have recruitment tools, management tools, communication tools, motivating people to do things. Again, no real details.
  10. PvP. Can someone play the game and only do PvP? Nothing else, just focus on PvP the entire time.

    1. First inclination, no, not pure PvP.  Players will naturally come across non-PvP aspects that they will need to deal with. Questing, killing certain monsters, stuff like that.
    2. Large parts could be built on the arena system, banditry, depends on what the server is actually doing.
    3. Some servers will be especially PvP focused, while others might be calmer, just because their player base has different motives/personalities. (player driven?)
    4. Lots of avenues to PvP, depends on how super PvP aspected people want to be.
    5. There will be give and take between the different facets that will dictate how fast you can progress in the game
    6. Same is true for PvE players, PvE players should be able to have lots of activities that don’t have a huge PvP influence.  Healthy balance is the target, both that have to have a lot of tender love and care during development.
    7. Players should stay away from purely focusing on one aspect.
  11. How will multiple servers work? Are you locked into a server, will there be shards?

    1. Server locked, not instanced map spaces within servers.  Each server will have their own population, with no crossover between.
      1. Node system requires it because of the differences between servers. Differences between servers will mean no crossover will be possible.
    2. Each server should tell a different story, be dynamic.
      1. When a young kid, Steven loved Goosebumps, specifically Choose-Your-Own-Adventure. Always had a choice, wants to have a similar story telling feeling to each server.
        1. Doesn’t understand why it hasn’t already been implemented
          1. So cool, wow.
          2. Enabled lots of player stories, lets people on different servers regale each other will awesome stuff from their server.
          3. These are the experiences that people remember from MMORPGs.

  1. Last question: Will there be autorun, ala BDO.

    1. Waypoint system? Probably not.
      1. Wait, yes? Yes. Maybe. No answer yet.
      2. You will maybe be able to run to a town gate, hire a horsey that will run you to another nodes town gate. y

Post Q&A Discussion/Reddit Questions

  1. BigOneKris; Will races affect your classes?

    1. Yes, plays into archetype system. You will have racial augment that can apply to primary archetype skills.
    2. Races will have different stats, game relies on different stats to measure things like damage/defence/other stuff.
    3. Race should be an identity, not a skin, and this will be a part of it.
      1. Some classes might work better with different races, but nothing enforced.
  2. Muino; What will religion do? Multiple religions?

    1. One religion at a time, religion will work as a class type, like race?
    2. If you change religion, you will maybe lose your progress in the first religion.
    3. Religions will have a ranking system within it
      1. I want to be Pope!
    4. Strong religions might gain augments for primary skills.
    5. Religion should be a big motivator in the game, not an aesthetic.
  3. Anamnesis007; How difficult will it be to get to the different starting points of the game so people can play together?

    1. Issue they understand, don’t want fast travel to be a thing, travel should be meaningful.
    2. Haven’t fully discussed it internally, might be possible for people to outright choose their starting portal, rather than it being race bound.
      1. Probably where they will go.
  4. S-a-n-d-a-l; Will there be an early access client that will allow people to test systems pre-launch/test their computers/mess about with character creation?

    1. If they have enough time, yes. Depends on development time line.
      1. Achievable, but not in a position to say yes or no quite yet.
  5. Zoot101; Will characters have surnames?

    1. Yes.
  6. Anon; Can we expand on the character customisation/emoji packs available during KS?

    1. Sure!
      1. Hairstyles, tattoos, scars
      2. Race emoji packs, class emoji packs?
        1. Just additional flair.
      3. Wide array of character customisation
        1. Eye colour, skin colour, hair colour, stuff like that.
          1. Not locked to the KS packages.
      4. Robust upfront, KS packs will be building on top of that.
  7. TacoMan2014, will AoC have epic quest lines, similar to Everquest?

    1. They won’t have a system exactly like that, but there will be epic quests.
    2. Probably won’t be for specific items, might be to find gated content, will enable different experiences/content.
    3. Definitely want to reward participation in epic/legendary quests.
  8. Nykos86; Will players be able to easily swap between builds?

    1. Players will be able to swap between secondary archetypes.
    2. Primary class not decided yet, reasons for and against. Not sure which way they will go yet.
  9. Ravix; What are the available loot distribution mechanics? Need/Greed, Captains?

    1. Yes! Probably doing the standard thing, include most the usual options.
      1. Might be specific things for events/bosses


  1. Will resources be replenished in game? Finite resources?

    1. Combination of finite and infinite, cooldown based.
      1. Won’t be locked in node system.
      2. Vein of ore might have a supply, once that vein is mined out, it’s gone. Might respawn somewhere else.
      3. Always be something there, but maybe not where you thought it was.
  2. Will there be a Baconator something something? Raid boss?

    1. No comment.
  3. How many people need to be in a guild to own a castle?

    1. Don’t know, dependent on the rest of the server, no hard locked minimum?
    2. Could just be a few if nobody else is competing for it.
      1. As small as 30, to as big as a couple of hundred, depends on the politics.
      2. Scaled.
  4. What will you do to Make Orcs Great Again

    1. Orcs were always cool. Big League. YUGE!
    2. Vek are designer mans favorite.
    3. They will be great, wow.
    4. More lore announcements soon

      Transcript Source: Pkfyre: Google Docs


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