Citan Forum Posts
The Current Forum
The following are not all of Citan's posts, but just ones thought to be important for the future, sharing his vision, and clarifying some things. Please note that newer posts are listed higher in this list. Older information may be outdated.
Item Management, Do Everything, Grind
- Thanks for the feedback! One thought and one question. (Edit: and another thought after that, plus parentheticals.)
- To some extent, item management is just something the game will have to deal with, because that's the bones of this game. There are thousands of types of items, and probably a thousand more to come, and I can't really give people enough storage to store everything they find. (And if you think managing your current storage is bad, think of what it'd be like with 1000 more storage slots! Bad.)
- The intent is to get players to sell the items they don't need right now, and buy them from others when they need them, facilitating trades and transactions. But combined with not having an auction house (they speed up moment-to-moment gameplay but hyper-inflate game economies, so I'm using slightly-slower alternate sales systems), players feel friction in letting go of stuff they don't need right now, because they really will probably need that item some day in the future. It's just not worth the hassle to store it for the next 100 hours before you need it, but how do players know how soon they'll need this thing? They can't. I've been working hard to make that more obvious (with more improvements to the "Item Info" window being my next stab at it), but I don't think I'll ever perfectly succeed here.
- The way items work is critical to how I want the game to evolve, with new skills and areas and content being added every month or two, literally for as long as I can keep making the game. This type of free-form expansion requires a LOT of items, so that old items don't become too over-used. Actually, there are a lot of benefits to the game's item design, and only one serious down side: the "everything is useful to somebody so nothing can be thrown away" problem. I've kind of made my peace with the fact that it will always be a sticking point, because the benefits are too important. I'm not removing a thousand types of items, and I'm not giving players a thousand more storage slots, so the problem... will always be a problem. No game design is perfect. If that's the game's big flaw, eh, I'll live.
- (Just to clarify: there ARE more storage slots coming, plus more item-management tools. Mounts have a "send to saddle bag" system that I'm hoping will reduce in-dungeon item management. But in terms of the bigger picture, there will always be more kinds of stuff than there are places to put the stuff. So there will always be friction here, because players will always have to make decisions about what they want to keep and what they want to sell.)
- NPC favor, on the other hand, shouldn't feel grindy. "Grindy" just means boring. Leveling anything in any MMO is repetitive, and if you really notice the repetition it's called "grindy." NPCs favor is just a generic leveling mechanism, so the actual way that you raise favor can change. Maybe I should reduce the focus on item gifts by adding a few hundred more favor quests. (They'd naturally have to be very samey, but then, so is gifting right now.) My question is: do you think having a bunch more directed leveling goals for favor (kill-ten-monster quests, fetch-the-gizmo-from-the-dungeon-chest quests, etc.) would be worth the effort?
- (Some individual skills, recipes, etc. are too punitive or costly and need more tweaking, like bear claws not dropping enough. But those are individual balance problems and I'm talking about the general design here, which OP seems to be referring to.)
- You mentioned "everything I do seems to spiral out of control" and that's pretty much the "I want to do everything" problem: the game lets you do everything, every skill, every NPC, every city faction, every dungeon, everything. But if you try to do everything at once, it means you NEED literally everything, and that just exacerbates other game problems. The design intent is that you'd pick up missing stuff from fellow players, but since you don't HAVE to do that, players tend not to. It often seems like crafting the thing you need won't be that hard, so you just take a detour and do that. And suddenly you're mired three crafting-skills deep, nowhere near the actual skill you cared about.
- This isn't exactly the player's fault -- it's a sandbox problem, where the goals are nebulous and self-chosen, so the goalposts tend to move as you decide that no, what you really want is this OTHER thing first. No, wait, it's this other thing... etc. But there are tiers of "sandboxyness", and I think many (most?) players want the game to be a LITTLE bit more directed than it is right now.
- So the more I think about it, the more I'm tempted to add new restrictions to help here. Not as limits, but as structure, rails to help players. For instance, maybe I should let you only pick one or two major crafting skills at a time. When you get a skill to 100 (or whatever), you can add another skill and start leveling that, but you have to focus on only a couple at a time until they're "done". Just one example idea.
- I want the game to be very free-form and open, but I don't want to burn players out with a lack of direction and a lack of movement on their goals. It may seem paradoxical, but in MMO design, adding more restrictions is often the way to help players feel less frustrated and have more fun. If you have ideas about how to approach that, please share your thoughts!
Damage Vulnerability Calculation
- The attacker's damage is calculated using the steps I listed above, then that amount is applied to the target(s). The target subtracts their mitigation, then multiplies the remainder by the appropriate damage-type vulnerability.
- There are definitely exceptions and lots of special cases -- a few are intentional one-offs, but others are bugs, or works-in-progress. An example of the latter -- we recently added new vulnerabilities based on attack form: Melee Vulnerability, Burst Vulnerability, etc. You would think those would be applied at the same time as the damage-type vulnerabilities, but right now they're applied earlier, before mitigation is applied. That's a bug -- but one I decided wasn't important right now, since we barely use those vulns yet. It'll become a higher-priority issue when we use them for more stuff.
- If there's something in particular that doesn't seem to work right, it's not a bad idea to report it -- even if it's a known issue, seeing someone report it means that somebody cares about it, which raises its priority at least a little bit!
Animal Husbandry Species
- Depending on the schedule, it's possible that bees (and possibly rats) will get their genetics later on. But if timing works out right, it'll work with bees too.
Fairy Magic Items
- Thanks for the write-up, and to the first point you're maing: you're right -- and I realized it was going to be an issue, but didn't have time to rewrite the transmutation table yet. But I've got it encoding the needed info already.
- Whenever you loot or craft an item that has a Fairy Magic power in it, that information is being encoded into the item. In a month or two (when I'm next working heavily with treasure), I'll change the transmutation table to use this information. It'll look to see if an item has the "fairy magic" flag, and if so, all fairy magic and mentalism abilities will be available in all re-rolls. This will also mean you can roll fairy magic off an item, and later roll it back on, if you wanted. That will make it more practical to have two Fairy Magic abilities on an item.
- I'll also be adding a few more Fairy Magic treasure mods at some point in the future. (None picked out yet, or I'd have added them already, but there's space for a few more which haven't been filled in yet.)
- The next dev blog is still a week away, so I'll share a little info, sure.
- We're never exactly sure when all of the assets we need for something will become available, and the pandemic has made some things take longer than expected. So this next update is different than I'd expected the April update to be. But it's something I've been excited to work on for a while: Animal Husbandry!
- Animal Husbandry will let players breed Animal-Handling animals (and eventually rideable horses). We're modeling the genetics after a simplified version of real-world genes, with dominant and recessive genes, mutation rates, that sort of thing.
- This means that Animal Husbandry is a long-term skill. Even with the special gene-viewing powers we'll give you, it can still take many hundreds of generations to get the "perfect pet", and each generation takes a few days. But when you have offspring you're proud of, you'll be able to sell pet-only offspring (without breeding rights) to other players, so you can make a name for yourself as e.g. the vendor with glowing-eyed cats, or the breeder who makes the super-tiny grimalkin, or the blue-bear breeder with the extra painful bite.
- It's definitely not something every player will be excited about. But for a certain small percentage of players, I think this will be an AMAZING system, perhaps the best genetics simulation in the MMO space, which entertains for years to come. For everyone not excited by that... well, everyone will eventually reap the rewards of fancy pets and mounts when they're on the market.
- We're busy building the artificial genomes of rats, cats, and bears, and it'll be another couple weeks before it goes live. We've replaced some animal models to give us more possibilities for appearance mutations.
- Aside from Animal Husbandry, there's also various UI improvements, including a couple from the recent forum thread, some more fae stuff, and probably some more content in Sun Vale/Fae Realm if the timing works out.
- One thing that probably won't get much attention in a dev-blog, but which I'm happy about: I finally managed to repro the "cursor is stuck in the middle of the screen" bug. It is indeed a Unity bug as suspected, but once I was able to reproduce it semi-regularly, I was able to find a workaround. So the next update should see the end of that one. (This also fixes some of the "cursor got stuck as a certain shape" bugs, but not all of them, I suspect. But we'll get there.)
- I don't think trying to gatekeep opinions based on play time makes a lot of sense, because it's hard to know where the cutoff should be for feedback. In general, if someone has a first-hand opinion about a skill, I want to hear it, even if its ill-informed, because that can still tell me something. And the amount of playtime is really not a good indicator of how in-depth someone's experience is, either. But that doesn't mean their feedback is bad.
- A few years ago I remember getting feedback from an avid Druid player, who gave very detailed info on all the pros and cons of every ability, but when it came to the Healing Sanctuary ability, their only feedback was "it doesn't have listed heal amounts, so I've never bothered with it." But in fact Healing Sanctuary was even more powerful then than it is now (for then-max-level content). For a healing druid to ignore it was... crazy! In the end, my biggest takeaway from that multi-page list of feedback was: I really needed to get some numbers displayed for Healing Sanctuary. (Which I did, as soon as I could.) If even a die-hard Druid player wasn't going to bother experimenting, I couldn't expect more casual players to do so. It reinforced that I need to get as much info on the in-game ability popup as I can.
- So that was very useful feedback. And feedback that only a long-term player could have given me. And feedback that they didn't exactly intend to give me. And feedback that, if we got it now, would get attacked by other players because they obviously don't know the skill as well as they think they do.
- That's the danger in gate-keeping. I don't have a good way of protecting this sort of very valuable feedback, feedback that's objectively WRONG but still subjectively PRECIOUS because it represents what lots of players may be thinking, and needs to be addressed in-game somehow.
- So I don't want to do anything that would intimidate other players into not posting feedback. If you have first-hand experience with a skill and want to share it, I want to hear it. Hopefully we can create a culture where we can respect that feedback for what it is, rather than worry about the exact "correctness" of said feedback.
- There haven't been any changes to how loot is generated that I'm aware of. I'll review it, but I don't see anything obvious that may have creeped in. Randomness is streaky though, so it's difficult to get a picture from a handful of data points. One thing to keep in mind is that the skills are determined independently of the item's rarity, so you should keep track of the total number of inaccurate items, not just the ones that are really high rarity. If you got 50 blues and greens with correct skills and 4 yellows with wrong ones... that's just bad luck.
Anyway, I'll look further for any weirdness that may have creeped in, but there haven't been intentional changes in that system.
(Also important to know: loot-dropped augments do NOT use the same system and are MUCH more likely to be for random skills.)
Loading Crash, Force Low Res
- The usual reason for game crashes is that the video card runs out of memory. Setting the graphics to "poor" is a good start to diagnosing, but since that didn't help, the next step is to make sure no special settings are causing the problem. Next time you're logging in to Kur, hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard. The login button will change from "Enter World" to "Enter World FORCE LOW-RES". This turns off all overrides and uses "-2: Retro-Terrible" graphics settings.
- If you still crash, then we can rule out the usual causes and the next step would be to email me the output log from your crash so I can see if I can spot a problem. But usually the next step is more annoying: it will work fine in that extreme low-res mode, but when you raise it up again it'll crash. In that case I would turn off all graphics overrides (and if that doesn't help, perhaps even delete the local config file) to see if that fixes it. Changing something like View Distance can make a big difference to graphics memory used.
- There were no changes (that I can think of) to Kur in the last patch. Did you your video driver update very recently? That could also be a culprit.
Fae Magic Bug
- Yep, it's a bug that non-fae can get access to the Fae racial skill. Even though they can only access the first few levels of the skill, it's still too much, and we'll be wiping it completely for non-fae -- all levels and associated recipes and rewards will be revoked in the next update.
- Some dungeons also need their ceiling collision geometry improved. But yes, once I'm confident that the perching code is robust (which will take a while), I plan to open up dungeons to flight on a case-by-case basis as it becomes possible.
- @Yaffy - Great write-up, thanks! I'll keep that in mind as we go forward. For the record, the removal of those mods from Unarmed was twofold: at the time I felt Unarmed was a little overpowered (when taken as a whole), and more importantly, removing them made room for some Evasion mods. I figure if there is any (non-animal) skill that can focus on Evasion, it has to be Unarmed, so I wanted to at least get the basics of that slotted in for the skill. Of course, evasion has its own problems with interactivity (or lack thereof) which need improving...
Since the old mods weren't strongly themed, they can get slotted in anywhere -- I figured I'll reuse them for the last tanky skill I'll be eventually adding. Or it may make more sense to use a similar mechanic when revising the existing tanky skills.
- A quick status report, since I mentioned the next game update would be soon -- it'll be soon A few more days. It started as a quick bug-fix update but then I had to go and add new game mechanics (like the aforementioned stun-decay tweaks), which always take a ton of testing. And meanwhile Sandra's added a bit more fae newbie improvements.
- So probably Thursday, Friday if we're unlucky.
- We have to walk a fine line here. We've heard resentment from players in the past about ninja-looting during free-form events. It can really spoil the event for people and it can even create a negative impression of the entire game community. I don't want a few bad eggs making these events less fun.
- On the other hand, we can't perfectly tell who is helping "enough" and who isn't. Live events are chaotic and messy enough as it is, and sometimes we'll get it wrong. But I still suspect we should TRY to stop ninja-looting, rather than turn a blind eye to it.
- So even though we get it wrong sometimes, we'll keep trying to improve our methods and tools for live events, to make them more fair and fun for everyone. It'll take time and experimentation, which is why we test. Thank you for helping us test these events, and for letting us know how the events are working for you.
- The problem here is you're selectively ignoring convenience. A fairy ice mage has a TREMENDOUS convenience of not having to research any of their spells. That is a ton of work... and even unlocking the ice magic skill is hard. You've chosen to ignore all that and say "but AFTER all that convenience, what do they have? They suck!"
- But if you're going to completely ignore convenience, then fairies are obviously superior to other races. They lose 16 inventory slots but have a fairy-only storage spell that gives them access to 30. 30 is greater than 16, case closed. Fairies are better if you ignore convenience factors. (They can't use metal armor? That just an inconvenience while finding gear -- we'll ignore it too.)
- The point is you can't just selectively ignore convenience. If you want to argue that the inconvenience of accessing those extra slots is worse than the inconvenience of researching 100 levels of ice magic, that's an argument you can make, but that isn't the argument you're making. You have to take all the costs and benefits into account, not just "what have you done for me in the last five minutes of gameplay in this dungeon."
- In general, I think we'll have to wait some time to see how people feel about the race's tradeoffs. I count it as a win if long-term players aren't incentivized to reroll as a fairy because of obvious mathematical combat superiority. The advanced races are going to be all about tradeoffs, conveniences versus inconveniences, doors opened vs. doors closed. And I'm basically aiming for contention. Because if everyone agrees that the tradeoffs of one race are better than another, I've done a poor job balancing. If there's a fair amount of argument about whether the tradeoffs are worth it, with some players liking the tradeoffs and some disliking it... that's a sign of good balance. So I'm going to mark you in the "not good enough tradeoffs" column, but we'll see how some more players feel before making changes.
- - It's not intentional that fairy magic be usable from the sidebar, that will be fixed soon!
- - Elites and bosses use all kinds of different rage attacks besides aoes, but the fact that you only remember the aoes probably indicates just how ineffective those other attacks are...
- - Stunning IS supposed to have diminishing returns. But it diminishes slowly from a 4-sec down to a 1-sec stun, which takes a while. It was designed around a 15-second battle duration, which has never actually happened. Should be less of a problem when combat is longer, but yeah, maybe this is a system that I should crank up, at least temporarily, to move people away from stun-locking.
Elite, Thorns, Fae
- A few answers to questions/comments:
- GK elites: Previously, GK bosses received cranked-up chances for Exceptional, Epic, and Legendary gear, above and beyond what bosses already were supposed to receive. They also got bonus health (between 9000 and 15,000 extra), and a bit more damage. In contrast, GK elites received a smallish health bonus and a damage bonus, but they weren't supposed to have extra chances for high-rarity loot. The elites in question (like the yellow Lieutenants) used one of the bonus-tables intended for bosses instead of elites. So they had +9000 max health instead of the intended +6000, they dealt something like 30 more damage per attack, and also had +20% chance for exceptional, +10% chance for epic, and +2% chance for legendary gear. They ALSO had their bonus chances from just being elites (which gave them e.g. +25% chance for exceptional already), so the stacking effect really made them a goldmine. I knew they gave out too much high-rarity loot, but I didn't put together why until just a bit before the update when I was cleaning up the entity files.
- Thorns changes: I forget which thread it was in, but someone mentioned that thorns shouldn't do health-bypassing damage, and I realized that no, they weren't supposed to! Meaning that the damage-calculation spreadsheet assumes they deal regular damage. But then I implemented them as direct-health damage. So that was basically a bug fix, a no-brainer fix for me. That helped me understand where things were breaking down in my spreadsheet math. Even so, I still think thorns damage is overpowered when farming weaker monsters, and I'll have to address that at some point.
- Fae newbie area: we'll make the trolls a fixed rate spawn so that they don't overwhelm the newbie area. Will also work on the newbie quests a bit more to try to make that intuitive. We'll do another client update with more bug fixes early next week!
- Fae hives: these are definitely overtuned at the moment, meaning they are way too hard. They also have really cranked-up loot profiles, so it sort of works out, but not really. Will work on rebalancing those soon, but since these are large outdoor elite encounters, and I don't have a lot of experience making those, I expect it'll take some time to figure out how to make them flow.
- In case there's any doubt: yeah, Necro has some overpowered combinations. It's not the only skill with them, either. I do plan to fix those problems, but in this upcoming update I've had to focus on other things. So it'll stay OP for a bit, but not forever.
Purple and Gold Items, Complaining.
- Ugh. I'm tired of this petty cat-fighting, every thread seems to devolve into it, and I'm just going to start deleting posts that are off-topic. Sorry if I also delete something important you wanted to say -- feel free to repost it without snark and bitching. I know snark and bitching is natural, and I'm not really a fan of censoring, but I just can't handle it. I have to read all this stuff, and if your posts put me in a bad mood, it disrupts my day. That means I end up just glossing over certain posters because they constantly put me in a bad mood. I can't afford that. I have work to do. (Ever wonder why dev teams don't seem to read forums very often? Because it's physically exhausting. Weird but true. In other jobs, I've sometimes had producers tell me not to read the forums at all because it can sink productivity so bad.)
- Thank you for your understanding.
- I didn't make it clear enough before, but purple and gold items are inherently overpowered items. I balance around a good set of red gear (that is, red gear with well-chosen mods). That's why I said that the drop rate of purples and golds is too high in groups -- those items can break the power curve, and when you're in all gold, you're VERY overpowered.
- It feels good to be overpowered, though, and I want to let you beat the game's difficulty curve. This is a game where you SHOULD be able to stomp the crap out of enemies if you try hard enough. But I am not obliged to make that easy. And I won't be making it easy. In fact I'd sooner drop gold-tier items from the game than make gold the balancing standard. Seriously. Those items already make my life VERY difficult while balancing. (e.g. "This content is too hard for a balanced group... but if even one group member has all golds, then it's too easy...")
- Now, getting a good set of red gear IS a bit too hard at high level when you're just soloing. I acknowledge that and I'm working on it. But I'm not going to be handing out purples and yellows like candy.
- Also, please consider how you frame your complaints. If you're complaining that it's hard for a max-level player to get amazing gear, you are NOT a newbie player. If you have even one skill over level 60, you are most definitely not a newbie. I know there are other players with REALLY overpowered gear sets, and everyone wants to be like them, but their existence doesn't make you a newbie. It makes them crazy overpowered, yeah, but some of them have put THOUSANDS of hours into the game. Just... incomprehensible amounts of time. Even so, if you've played for 50 hours, you are not a newbie.
- Another framing problem: I mentioned this in another thread and I don't want to harp on it, but maybe I should: getting "only" a few hundred hours of gameplay out of an in-development MMO is GREAT by any reasonable standard. Stop trying to say that's not impressive. Stop pretending that you'll be able to play the same game literally forever. You can keep coming back and I'll keep adding stuff, but you'll eventually get bored and have to wait for new stuff. That's life. Not even WoW can keep people engaged literally eternally, so why would I be able to? Please be more reasonable with your framing.
- Yes, I would in fact say that making overpowered items is in a good place. Players need to keep in mind that legendary items are inherently overpowered. I don't balance against having legendaries -- having them means you will be doing more damage, healing more, etc. than the game plans for. You are becoming overpowered. And yeah, that takes a while. So what?
- Look, if you're bored at max level and think everything seems boring, STOP PLAYING. Take a break. If you hate grinding, then don't grind. Come back in a while. Or decide that having spent HUNDREDS of hours in this game is enough, and you're full up on Gorgon, and you can move on. All of these things are okay with me.
- Intentionally making it even easier to get overpowered gear -- and thus making it even harder for me to create some sense of challenge for you -- is not in the cards, no.
Monsters and Augments
- One of the changes in the next update is relevant here: random augments will drop in loot. (They'll be more common at low level than at high level, and at the eventual max level they won't drop in loot at all -- that's to avoid making high-level Augmentation crafting useless.) My goal with loot augments is to help players get through the tricky parts of the game's difficulty curve. It's not the only needed step, but its another step in that direction. So we'll take that step and then see what the next step should be.
- It's not intentional that solo loot is "pointless" compared to group loot -- at any level. Group loot should be better, but exactly how much better? That balance-point has changed many times during development. Right now the scale is tipped too far in favor of group loot. I intentionally cranked the rarities of group loot (during pre-Steam testing) to encourage alpha players to group, because I desperately needed feedback and data on grouping -- and it was VERY hard to find a group with so few players on, so it needed to be REALLY worth it. Now that it's a bit easier to find a group, elite monsters' rarity-chances (and/or possibly the sheer amount of equipment dropped) feels too high to me, and I may tone it down a step. (Just a step -- I don't want to overshoot the mark by nerfing too hard.)
- Solo monsters also need a bit more oomph, too, but not all monsters need the same thing. Loot is very personalized, and VERY complex. Every monster has its own loot profile, and many solo monsters just need some general tuning up: the goalposts have moved since their loot profiles were made, and newer monsters are better. I've been working on those behind the scenes in recent updates. The harder ones are the ones that need new content. For instance, a level 70 polar bear drops a single Tuft of Fur 25% of the time... that seems especially poor. I mean, when that bear drops flower seeds, the seeds are pretty high-tier. But you get the same Tuft of Fur from every bear in the game, whether they're level 40 or 70. Tufts of Fur are important for crafting across many levels, though, and its important that you be able to gather crafting needed materials in high-level areas -- I don't want to intentionally send high level players back to kill newbie bears. So fixing this bear will involve creativity, which takes time. Maybe high-level bears drop Massive Tufts of Fur, and I retrofit some recipes to use that instead of plain old tufts. (And maybe you can tear a Massive Tufts of Fur into three smaller Tufts of Fur, a la Perfect Wood. In fact, the reason we have Perfect Wood is to solve this exact sort of problem.) Or maybe in this case I decide its not worth the trouble. Maybe I can just have level 70 bears drop TWO Tufts of Fur. Does that make them worth killing for anyone, ever? I dunno. Whatever I end up doing to the bear, that'll fix one single monster. Then we need to repeat for ... every monster in the game, eventually.
- Anyway, figuring out how to improve solo loot will take time, and I'll do it in steps. The next steps are in the next update!
- Thanks, that's what I was afraid of. I don't want to add the "Lock UI" feature until I've rooted out all the bugs like the chat window moving. Because the Lock UI option wouldn't fix those bugs... it would just mean you had to unlock the UI to be able to manually fix it.
- Do you shut down the game by using the Steam overlay's quit option, by chance? (It's one of the causes of chat-window problems.)
- I don't plan to add any more new ties/binds in the immediate future; I still need to think about how the pacing will work when everyone has a mount! For now I think teleportation is in a good place, in terms of how many different places you can get to at once. We may add some more ways to get to those same points, though.
- There were no new features in UI revamp?! Prior to the big UI update you couldn't reposition most of the UI elements at all, so a "lock UI" feature would have been... a bit premature, let's say. That update also added everything from item-highlights when gifting, to right-click item menus, the ability to get more info on items, chat tabs(!), the ability to scale the UI at all(!), and that's just a few off the top of my head. I'm sorry you think its uglier, but there were definitely new features -- features I worked really hard on, and am proud of.
- And since that update I've continued to work on the UI, including the crafting panel, the group panel, dialogs, the sales screen ... my point being that I do in fact improve the UI, and I do want suggestions. So please don't tell people what I will or won't add. Let people offer suggestions.
- Elves are frank and honest about their sexuality, and in-game humans behave much as you do: with disgust. So it sounds like you should play a human and not an elf. In any case I'm certainly not toning anything down about their (honestly extremely tame) dialog. So you can deal or not, it's up to you. End of discussion.
- I closed the previous thread because this topic is not up for debate. Please stop restarting the "tone" debate, because it only causes flame wars. The tone of the game is not changing, and I'm not going to discuss it further with you.
- I'm working on relevant changes to monster stats and higher-level combat for the next update, stay tuned for more on that.
Holistic Wellness Continue Bonus
- I like this idea a lot. I don't have a way to implement it right now but I'll keep it in mind as new features become available.
- I think you're wrong that we haven't acted on your cheating reports in the past. But if you know of someone who has definitely cheated at the match-3 game and who is still playing a week later, please let me know who. (For privacy best to send in a new ticket in-game with their character name.)
- It's possible to cheat in the match-3 game by using 3rd-party software. We easily detect this (since it doesn't send the correct mid-game metadata to the server), and we routinely perma-ban for it. It usually takes a few days for the ban to happen, since I manually double-check the logs before actually doing the banning. We don't bother to clean up the scoreboards -- their scores roll off the list after a week anyway. There isn't an exploit per se: it's cheat apps. I could do more to block this type of cheating, but it's so easy to detect that it hasn't been a priority. Plus, it acts as a honeypot for cheaters, letting us detect and ban them.
- That said, the person in this screenshot claimed to use a different exploit method -- one that doesn't involve third-party software (although it registered in our logs as cheating anyway). Given the bug report, some other details, and lack of prior cheating attempts, we're investigating before taking action.
- I would normally not discuss matters regarding banning on the forum, but given that their name is plastered on the high-score lists in game, I guess it's unavoidable.
- Please report cheaters via the in-game report tool, because obviously a forum post saying "there are cheaters" isn't something we can act on. But yes, we ban for multiboxing, and we've had to ban more people for it recently, so I can understand that misinformation is spreading. Please help fix that problem by spreading correct information!
- Our terms say that you can't multibox for any reason. In the past, for people who unwisely chose to buy multiple accounts, I've given a VERY RESTRICTED permission to log multiple characters online in order to trade items. But only to trade items, quickly and efficiently.
- Some players have started twisting that generosity into exploits. I'm not even talking about using multiple accounts in combat, which is obviously cheating. I mean AFK-cheating. Such as:
- "I'm just muling... while my mule plays music in the garden". No, that's cheating.
- "I'm just leaving my mule AFK here next to this poetry podium while other people recite poetry." No, that's cheating.
- "I'm just muling while my mule gives out battle chemistry buffs." No, that's cheating.
- As those examples suggest, just being AFK on multiple accounts is often cheating. That's because it's easy to help others earn XP while AFK, and doing that with multiple characters at once is unequivocally cheating.
- It's also cheating to leave multiple characters online in order to wait out timers or debuffs (e.g. cow milking mules).
- In fact, given the number of cases we've had to deal with recently, I will go further and say: if both of your characters aren't actively trading items with each other, one of them should be logging off. That's just a rule of thumb to help you avoid being banned.
- I feel that I was being very generous even letting players item-mule between accounts. But I'm not willing to go any further than that.
- And if you see people cheating, please report them in-game so we can investigate.
- The old pre-Steam packages from over a year ago, like the one you bought, have to be manually processed and imported, which I do just before a game update -- which in this case is a weeks from now. (This manual processing step is why we switched systems!) I'm sorry it takes a while, but none of the benefits of the packages are in-game yet, so you aren't missing out on anything.
- (Edit: unless your package has a title, which IS implemented, but still doesn't happen until the next game update, regardless of which system you bought from. Titles have to be baked into the game client so they happen alongside Steam patches.)
- There isn't a hard lock on running the WN quest so it is possible to carry someone through it, probably, if they are extremely careful. However, the new-player fairy experience is not easy, and it assumes you are reasonably competent at the game. For instance, you need to make your own ice knives from frozen ice that you conjure, which means using several recipes and abilities in conjunction. This isn't super hard stuff, but a complete newbie will be totally overwhelmed and totally lost, and the newbie experience for fairies doesn't cover any of that stuff at all. (It's busy teaching you the new stuff specific to fairies.)
- A new fairy will start at level 30 in a couple of skills. There are four combat skills being developed for them, and I think you'll be able to pick two of the four. (Not quite sure yet. Could be you can pick from two skill combinations, or something like that.) After the newbie experience you can always start new skills as usual, although being a fairy means that some skills are a bit harder to learn than they are for humans, elves, and rakshasa -- while others are a bit easier. I don't want to get into what that means exactly, because I'm still fiddling with the details.
- Some of the fairy's abilities and restrictions are permanent in every form, but most physical attributes are tied to their physical form. So a fairy turned into a deer will play pretty much like a regular deer.
- We aren't designing the experience with the expectation that fairies are receiving support from other characters on the account. That said, no, we won't be adding more character slots for them, sorry. (But the eventual VIP service will include another slot or three.)
- The fairy is pretty far out there in terms of design. What I mean is, it has a lot of weird mechanics that may or may not work! But the game's in beta, and this will be a soft-launch of the race, so players just need to understand that the mechanics will probably change over time. I don't think setting up the test server will be too helpful, because I think most of the tricky changes will take weeks to gather useful feedback on. Well, maybe I'll rethink that. But right now I intend to use the main server for testing.
Blocking Stance Upgrades
- The first few tiers differ by having lower Power costs until they are free by tier 3. Tiers after Blocking Stance 3 are supposed to have a small Armor-heal (healing about 25 armor per tier), and they do in fact do that, but the display data got screwed up somehow, so I don't think the armor healing is displayed. I'll take a look at it for the next update.
Large Conch Shells
- Shells come in three sizes, small, medium, and large. Small ones are mostly what appears on the beach, and they have extremely low chances of being a Large Conch. But the large shells you find deep in the coral reefs have better chances of being large conchs.
- Not every skill needs conchs, so if you're a bard trying to make a horn, you can buy them from other players. Since this is an item that can be obtained by level 30 players, a level 80 player can just pony up some cash for a work order to get the conchs they need.
Damage Type Immunity
- Damage-type immunities are an important tool in my game-design toolbox. I started to write out an explanation, but it's turning out to be way too long. (I'm trying to post more on the forum, but my posts always take hours and I can't afford to stop working for hours... which is why I normally just lurk.) I'll try to organize my thoughts about immunities and turn it into a dev-blog at some point.
- For now, I'm not going to talk about immunities in particular, but I wanted to say a few things about damage types in general.
- The most important thing to know is that monsters' damage-type vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and immunities aren't particularly balanced yet. More content will smooth out some of the imbalances, and other imbalances will be fixed by changing monster types, but most of that type of thing will happen in late beta. In the short term, I'm mostly taking a hands-off approach because I think micromanaging this aspect of game balance would be bad. Here's why.
- Damage-type stats are broken up by "monster type" to make it easy to learn and remember their resistances. You can learn early on that skeletons are weak to Crushing damage, and that is true with both a level 1 skeleton and a level 125 skeleton. However, I haven't made level 125 content yet, so I don't know how many skeletons are going to be in it. If a lot of level 120 content takes place on Skeleton Island, then that sounds like a big buff to Crushing damage! But I won't know minutia like that until we get there.
- This kind of problem happens on a micro scale all the time: I look at an existing area of the game and say "hmm, there needs to be more herbivores here," and just like that, I'm subtly altering the "balance" of damage types based on how many of each type of monster spawns there.
- I change other types of things all the time (like ability damage, or specific gear mods, or whatever). But I feel like damage-type resistances are more broadly relevant than that. It feels like "player knowledge" that should be respected. If you've learned that skeletons are weak to Crushing, and you leave the game for six months, when you return and discover that's changed, it feels a little insulting, like the game didn't respect your previous learning. Actually, you wouldn't think twice about one or two little changes, but if the damage types are different every time you come back to the game, that just feels demoralizing somehow. There's a difference between "all the mods for Sword have been revised... again" and "all the monster damage types you learned over 200 hours of play have changed... again."
- So I don't want to constantly change monsters' damage type vulnerabilities. And right now isn't the time to focus on them. I'm struggling to explain why... how about this: imagine the game's balance as a tree. Its roots are the core game rules, the trunk is made up of all the combat skills, and the branches are all the game's dungeons and areas. The specific monsters in each area are leaves on those branches. Right now, not all the branches exist yet, and parts of the trunk are missing, and some of the roots are kinda scraggly... they may need to be replaced. Focusing too much on the leaves now seems shortsighted.
- My current plan is to make only a few surgical changes during beta, just fixing whatever is really broken. In late beta when I know more about the shape of the game's balance, I can do one big revamp of monster damage types. (Of course, I'm not planning to stop creating content, so things will likely get out of whack again pretty quickly... but it'll at least be at kinda balanced for a little while. Balance is hard.)
- Anyway, what concrete info can I give you? I can dredge up a lot of minor design goals -- the most obvious one is that Darkness and Fire damage are supposed to have more resistant/immune monsters than other damage types. But even those ideas aren't locked down and could change.
- There is one important over-arching design goal that won't change: I want the game to HEAVILY encourage players to have two damage types in their build, not just one. They can have a "main" damage type, but they should also have a secondary damage type that can be used in a pinch. Or barring that, some friends. I'll be keeping that goal in mind as I balance the game. (I have lots of reasons for that design goal, which I'll try to go into in a blog post, but suffice it to say that it isn't likely to change.)
- I also wanted to warn you that if you're choosing a damage type because very few monsters are resistant to it... I didn't do that intentionally. It may or may not be something that sticks around. By the way, I also haven't intentionally made lots of monsters resistant to Nature damage. That just happened organically, and I expect it'll work itself out in the level 100 area, which is full of demons.
- I'm open to making strategic changes to vulnerabilities right now, if a few surgical changes would make a big difference to game balance in the present moment. (I don't know what those surgical changes would be, off hand, but I'll be lurking if you have opinions.) Otherwise I'm content to wait until more of the game's content is added before making lots of broad changes.
- (And I've spent over three hours on this "short" post and I need to get back to work! I have edit-itis and I could spend many more hours trying to make this really concise and clear... but hopefully this is at least coherent! Forcing myself to stop editing.... now.)
No Character List
- Try temporarily disabling your virus-protection, my guess is something is forcefully disconnecting (or otherwise blocking) the game almost as soon as it gets the connection going. Which we've seen from some overzealous antivirus programs.
- Actually, I see a server-side error that may be related to your character -- if so, you won't be able to log in until I can fix that in a day or so. I'm sorry about that! But point being, if the virus-protection isn't the cause, then I think I know the cause, and its on our end.
Turn off camera follow.
- I don't really understand this one... if camera-follow was turned off, the camera would just show the player getting further and further away until they were off-screen. The camera has to follow you to be useful. I'm sure you mean to turn off something else, but I'm not sure what!
- This can happen if you did a Hangout with the NPC -- they will do their level up the next time you talk to them.
- Stun Trap had one nerf to its damage. ONE. The rest were mechanics fixes, in my book. The mods that give it random extra traps are powerful as hell, but not reliable -- that's their down side. But I'm willing to talk about other options, sure. Deflating those bonus-trap mods to make room for more reliable damage is an option. But before we can talk about that, though, I have to be clear: I'm not going to avoid fixing things because other things also need fixing.
- If a skill can be used to efficiently kill Elites, I'm going to fix it. Yes, that means Fire magic is probably due for a nerf also. What else needs nerfing? Help me out here, I'll fix all the big offenders at once and we can have a more level playing field. It feels like its about time to get it over with, doesn't it?
- So what else is more overpowered than Stun Trap was? What yardsticks are people comparing everything to? I need to know what those are so I can fix them too. (Edit: and yes, I really want to know what those are, or at least what people think those are, so I can look at them more closely!) I can't afford to think "Well I can't nerf THAT because that OTHER THING is SO overpowered, I just have to leave this problem FOREVER". I'm one guy trying to make an MMO balanced, along with six or seven other jobs I have to do, and it's hard as hell. I make mistakes and I have to fix them, retry things, sometimes retrying over and over and over. That's just the way it is.
- People want me to play this shitty trick on myself where any mistake I make, I have to leave it forever. "Why not just buff everybody else?" Because then I have like 50x more work to do for myself. And when everybody can kill elites, I have to add Mega-Elites and Ultra-Elites just to compete with the growing power curve. Great, even more work for me. And for what? I do tons extra work just so beta-testers don't have to suffer a small power change? How is that sane?
- The game is in beta. It needs nerfs as much as buffs. Probably MORE than buffs. So you'll need to get used to nerfs because its going to keep happening. In cases where I can catch myself and fix an obviously-overpowered problem quickly, like in this case, I think it makes sense to do the nerfs fast. But that doesn't mean longer, slower-burning problems in other skills won't get fixed eventually.
- If you want to discuss the pros and cons of different ways to change the skill, I am all ears. I'm willing to talk about how to make each skill work well. But I'm NOT playing the "other non-mentioned things are more powerful so you are forbidden from fixing problems" game.
- If so, then let's talk about options for Stun Trap. It's now in the damage range of several other skills. Maybe a little less, maybe a little more. One benefit is the ability to pre-cast. Fire Breath costs a ton of Power, and you pay that cost in combat. Stun Trap's power cost is paid out of combat, so you can just wait a few seconds before starting the fight and its like the spell was completely free. That's a big advantage. The two-second casting time more than counterbalances that, but its not something we can just ignore. That said, I'm willing to entertain other ways to organize the skill.
- My thoughts on the extra-drop-chance mods: they're VERY powerful, but they're unreliable, so that makes them much less powerful. It's super tricky to find the sweet spot for mods like this. But I think they're fun, so I want to keep them if possible.
- I'd frankly like to go for a bit more utility on Stun Trap instead of yet more damage. It's a STUN trap, after all. Maybe those mods could become something like "and the target gets stunned again five seconds later" type thing. Mrm, yeah not a lot of room there between exciting and overpowered... but the point is I'm not sure Stun Trap needs to be more DPS. It's in the proper range: it hurts things real bad. And also stuns them. I want to make sure the damage-boosting mods are worth having, but I don't think it needs to be, like, the best burst damage in the game or anything.
- About flying indoors: in some dungeons it's possible to use flight to perch monsters without any danger. We've generally just brushed those issues aside because we have bigger issues to deal with, but as I prototype the upcoming playable fairy race, it becomes more pressing. Fairies, who have access to all combat skills, make it really obvious how broken indoor flight can be. I think the sanest solution is to just turn off flight in dungeons, so that's what we did.
- As for why we didn't ground bats indoors in the first place, it was due to a technical limitation of how the giant bat flight was implemented. We couldn't disable giant bat flight indoors without stripping it off of them permanently (until they stopped being a bat and became a bat again). So we just left things kinda-exploitable until we had a better solution.
- RE: giant bat flight speed, isn't there a flight-speed boost jewelry just for them already? If not they're probably due for one. We may also end up giving giant bats an improved innate indoor floaty-jump bonus, to allow for a bit of acrobatics in-dungeons. (Stuff we're experimenting with for fairies... if any of it makes the cut, we'll backport it to bats.) I also have some fun ideas of how Giant Bat will tie into Vampire synergy... though that's farther off.
- Two random things:
- - I agree bats should be able to fly in the casino and will make that happen
- - I fixed a scripting bug with Sugar the deer, who now has the usual talk/gifting options (but no Favors just yet). It didn't make any patch notes because I edited her script live, so I wanted to document it somewhere.
Astounding Winter Leather Recipe
- It will get added soon. It just keeps getting bumped down the to-do list, but I suspect we'll manage it soon -- not in the next update (which is in QA now) but probably the one after.
Future Update Features
- Yes, as I discussed in blog posts, the mount system and the animation system have run into technical problems, so in the short term we've reordered the schedule to focus on rolling out new/updated land areas instead.
- The animation update is necessary for mounts to work, so it can't really be abandoned -- but the method we tried hasn't panned out, and we're trying a new tack. This is programming work that we've contracted out, so I don't have anything close to an exact timeline, but I can say it's not happening before the end of the year. We're going to have to switch from Unity 2017.4 to 2018.4 in order to make it work, and that's a very BIG technical hurdle that we're slowly working through behind the scenes in each update (e.g. replacing particles that aren't supported anymore in the next version, that sort of thing). And beyond that there are a bunch more steps involved before we get mounts into the game.
- In my ideal ordering of features, mounts would be added before we added tons of new outdoor areas, because obviously it's not ideal for beta-testers to have to run everywhere on foot. On the other hand, we're trying to create new content in a way that most benefits beta-testers. The next area we're working on is a complete replacement for Sun Vale, making it much larger, because the game needs more level 30 outdoor adventure areas. (This new Sun Vale will also serve as the Fey race newbie-hunting area, as fairies will start with some combat skills in the 30s.) After that, we'll be pushing on to the lands past Rahu and on to Statehelm in the first part of next year. (There's other lands beyond Statehelm, mainly the "end game" lands in the Crone Hegemony, but they're not in our pipeline yet, so I don't have any idea when those will show up.)
- There are other big technical tasks that are happening behind the scenes, too. Due to the animation delays, it's looking much more possible that the first version of instanced housing will happen before mounts do. I dunno for sure. But mounts will happen when they can, that's all I can say right now.
Kremmu the Warden
- Kremmu doesn't currently spawn, but will eventually return!
Respawns, App Focus
- Aggro didn't change in Kur at all (or anywhere else, except possibly some tweaks in the Fae Realm), so I don't really know what that's going on there. Respawns likewise haven't been changed, so I'll need more information to try to figure out what's wrong.
- If you're being surprised by spawns, do you have the recipe that gives you spawn premonitions? It sounds like that may help. (And will also help us tell if the problem is from extreme respawns or extreme monster aggro.)
- RE: app focus: here I have some bad news -- I promise that the game isn't the one changing your app focus. (The Unity engine doesn't really even give me the programmatic ability to change focus, probably because of Unity's multi-platform nature. I could write special focus-changing code that's specific to your OS, but I definitely didn't.)
- It does sound like something's interfering with the game's focus, but it's not caused by the game. It could be caused by software that came with a new peripheral, for instance... it's not really something I can debug from here, but try the usual things: shut down everything you can, temporarily disable virus protection, etc., and see if you can isolate the cause.
- Things that have a % chance to activate are pretty much always rolled separately. (Things that add a % of damage are a different story!) Having both mods that give a 5% chance to stun means you have two 5% chances. They can both trigger at the same time, which in this case does nothing (since double-stun isn't a thing). But the Heal Undead mod you mentioned works the same way, and you'd get two stacking mitigation buffs if they both rolled successfully.
Dropoff XP Bug
- It is indeed unintended that bonus levels affect XP drop-off. Another bug: hoplology, phrenology, and similar recipes are not supposed to have XP drop-off at all; they just got marked incorrectly in data, and will be fixed in the next hotfix or update we do.
- It's true, this cheese is much rarer than it used to be. I'll work the recipe into a drop sometime soon-ish, so that it can be grown like other cheeses. The recipe doesn't exist atm.
- The lag you're experiencing is specific to your computer, it's not network-related. In a nutshell, it happens when the game loads blocks of data (from your hard drive) that are too large for your computer to handle elegantly.
- Because of how scenes are built in the Unity engine, the first piece of data we need to load (the scene's terrain) is really massive, and although we tell Unity to do this in a responsive way, if your computer is slower, it can end up being unresponsive. The biggest cause of this is a slow hard drive -- using a faster drive or an SSD will make this unresponsive time much smaller or go away entirely. (The other cause is a slow video card, but in my recent experience the hard drive speed is by far the biggest bottleneck.)
- The setting that Shieldbreaker mentioned may be useful to you in reducing that time window, although it probably won't remove it entirely. The important thing to know, though, is that your computer is NOT locked up, and is NOT doing nothing -- it's just doing something that's taking so much of its processing power that it can't even get around to updating the screen. So reducing that locked-up time may paradoxically not be what you want, because it may make the total load time slightly longer.
- I think the "people are invisible except their items" problem is a bug with the SphereCull special setting, which we haven't tracked down a fix for yet. (It looks like it may need to wait until we upgrade to Unity 2018.4 later this year, but I may find a fix sooner.)
War Cache Runes
- We've patched a bug that caused some bosses to be unable to spawn portals (or do other things) when they die.
- There's another bug I've seen reported a couple times which I can't reproduce in a development environment: some people are seeing no clue-runes in War Caches, the little plates are just empty. If this happens to you, please try relogging and seeing if that fixes it. And whether or not that fixes it, please let us know in a bug report! Please report the results of your experiment whether it fixes it or not. That'll help me understand what sort of problem it is. Thanks!
- The new unarmed equipment (that buffs evasion) explicitly states that you must be using Unarmed, of course. And if it isn't working as listed, PLEASE report that, as it is obviously a bug. And if it wasn't listed that way (which it is), THAT would be a bug, too. Obviously. At least I think it should be pretty obvious... okay, I guess it isn't obvious to other people, so let me put it another way:
- If you find something insanely out-of-whack from the norm, which doesn't mention being unusual, it's probably a bug and it would be really helpful if you reported it. For instance, if literally ALL skill-specific gear requires the skill to be active, and a powerful new piece of skill-specific gear showed up without that requirement, the first thought shouldn't be "I guess this piece of gear is going into ALL my skill set builds forever! Nice!" but rather "That's a bug, I should help Eric make the game work by reporting it."
- I'm not talking about when something is EXPLICITLY different, such as the special fireball abilities that say they can be used even when Fire Magic isn't active. I'm talking about things that don't say that they're breaking the general rules, but are. If it's not explicitly an exception to the general rule, then ... it's probably a bug.
- personal insult? Give me a break. These are separate development topics. You want me to quickly remove parts of a design because you said something on the forum a few days before the update went live?
- First, you shouldn't be able to retain the powers of Telka's Teeth in an animal form; that would be a bug. So let's skip all this werewolf stuff.
- Second, like I said before, these are supposed to be rare. They aren't supposed to be something you can use constantly. In the same way you can't use Eternal Greens to just zerg through hard dungeons forever (due to a lack of said items), you shouldn't be able to use high-level Telka's Teeth constantly either. So if they do become popular the rarity will make it obvious how impractical it would be to use them every fight. And if that doesn't happen then I'll be decreasing their rarity, so they become a powerful prized possession. Something that will be mimicked in other ways for other races.
- Third, I'm working on adding the necessary counters to evasion to make it more balanced -- hence the monsters with Accuracy in this update as a starting point. A few points of evasion isn't really going to be worth rerolling a character for, at the high levels, I think. And if I'm wrong when all is said and done, I'll fix it.
- Fourth, stop with the persecution complex. I'm trying my best to be responsive, but things take time. You need to either give me space to do so or just give up on the game, because this whole "you offended me by ignoring me" thing is not okay. I value your feedback, both in the past and the future, but it should be clear by now that I'm not going to delay an entire beta update because you think it will be more imbalanced for a bit longer. I have schedules to keep; that doesn't mean I'm ignoring you. Stop it.
Secrets in Update
- There are more "secrets" in this update than usual, mainly due to experimental ideas that didn't pan out, but which left behind something interesting. Some of those are actual literal secrets (such as hidden rooms) but others are just little interactions or items that didn't merit "patch note" status. But one change that maybe should have been added to the notes: there's a book on Joeh's counter in Serbule which teaches new players how Augments are supposed to work. It gives a bit of Lore XP when read.
- I actually thought most of those Gazluk caves were full of level 70 monsters already. It's unfortunately too late to adjust much for tomorrow's update, but I'll plan on making some changes there for the update after.
Value of Mitigation
- Yeah, in retrospect I should have left this alone as I suspect it's going to derail Yaffy's excellent thread. Well to bring it back around to mitigation: one of the trickiest things is that different content will be very different. Orcs are predominantly melee martial fighters, so that's sort of GK's thing, but at higher level we'll have dungeons full of demons, snake people, and all kinds of other stuff that are less inclined to use swords and hammers. (That said, I expect physical mitigation will always be a bit more useful than the others, just because so many monsters have claws and pincers and so on.)
- Since I'm still using GK as the prototype for group combat, I've already made some changes to it for next update -- and I may make a few more based on this thread, just to make it a bit more varied. GK is a really big place, after all...
Limited Secret Skills?
- I don't think I want to move toward a "super l33t powers that are intentionally limited to a tiny group" game design. I can see why it's exciting, but from my viewpoint as a game designer it feels... well, kind of psychologically manipulative. We get everybody playing in the hopes of getting this amazing thing, and then only give it to a tiny fraction of people. In that case we might as well just implement paid loot boxes... at least I'd get money out of it that way!
- Kidding aside, there are some ways that can work (e.g. when there are scores or even hundreds of weird overpowered things, and each is super rare). But I don't think that's an approach we'd want to take for this particular game.
- I don't think I want to move toward a "super l33t powers that are intentionally limited to a tiny group" game design. I can see why it's exciting, but from my viewpoint as a game designer it feels... well, kind of psychologically manipulative. We get everybody playing in the hopes of getting this amazing thing, and then only give it to a tiny fraction of people. In that case we might as well just implement paid loot boxes... at least I'd get money out of it that way!
- Kidding aside, there are some ways that can work (e.g. when there are scores or even hundreds of weird overpowered things, and each is super rare). But I don't think that's an approach we'd want to take for this particular game.
- In terms of combat length I'm basically trying to get battles to last long enough that there can be nuance and difference to each monster. I've long since realized 40 seconds (or even 20 seconds) isn't going to be possible without a lot of annoying restrictions. EverQuest has a lot of very forceful game systems in place, including trash monsters that require grouping, punitive XP formula if a group has members with too divergent of a level range, HUGE level-up power increases combined with huge monster XP drop-offs to push people to new content every level, etc.
- Without a lot of those forceful systems, we aren't going to achieve really long fights for trash monsters. But I'm still trying to make combat last long enough that a 12-second DoT isn't "lol that's useless since the combat will have been over for 11 seconds". I don't know exactly how far I can get there, since I don't have the time to try to rebalance/redesign literally the whole game yet again. So we'll see. I will be happy if the average solo monster takes 10 seconds to kill at an appropriate level, and that is a reachable goal... but that may not be good enough if a high-level person can still kill low-level trash instantly (and has a motivation to do so). We may need more gameplay blockers like XP reduction to help with the different problems. But I only like to add restrictive systems as a last resort. There are a lot of ways you can play the game, and adding restrictions tends to make one gameplay style better, but often kills off other ways of playing.
- Anyway, the point is, I don't have an exact combat length in mind, and change is slow because there aren't any easy dials I can change to magically make combat longer. For instance, increasing monster health means players run out of Power, and increasing max Power changes... a million other things. Every change cascades into other changes, and I have a lot of hats to wear, only one of which is game-balancer. So right now I'm taking it slow and iteratively, picking and choosing when to jump into a new cascading balance problem, while also nerfing serious outlier builds that are making it even harder to move things where I want them.
- As for the existence of difficult-to-obtain-en-masse drugs with serious debilitating effects being available only to rakshasa, that's because Rahu is in the game and the other races' core locations aren't. There will be lots of weird shit for every race eventually. (Will the races be balanced? Well, let's not jump to conclusions, but we'll give it a shot!) If those potions seem wildly too powerful in practice, though, then that's useful feedback. The high-powered versions are also supposed to be pretty rare, so if you're getting enough of them to reliably run GK with them, that sounds like there's a bug somewhere...
Borghild Acid Bug
- I've heard of that but have never been able to find it. All the spawn spots look valid to me. I need to see it in game or get game coordinates. So if you see it again please stand as close as possible and send an in-game report, which will include coordinates, and a direction from there. Thanks!
- We calculate the real-world New Moon and Full Moon dates, then make those three days long by starting one day before and ending one day after the real-world date. Then we divide all the remaining days between the other phases.
- I guess I'm mis-remembering it. Here are some illuminating comments from the code. It uses a public-domain bit of code I found (and can't find online anymore, the links are dead...) that "determines the fraction of the moon's disk that is illuminated at a given time", and also tells if the moon is waxing or waning, for a given Julian date. (Presumably at midnight, but I don't really know. The formula uses a bunch of hard-coded constants that only work at the date-level.) It's based on calculations by Jean Meeus, I think this book https://www.amazon.com/Astronomical-.../dp/0943396611. I honestly don't understand any of the moon math.
- Using that code, my code just divvies the dates up, assigning a moon phase to each date.
- // we want the "full moon" to be EXACTLY 3 days. So we find the
- // most full day, and declare that day to be full, as well as the day
- // before and after it.
- // We do the same for the "new moon" and the two quarter-moons, also exactly 3 days.
- // the dates that don't have phases yet are the "leftover" phases.
- // Their length varies between 3 and 5 days depending on the month
- The "leftover" phases are WaxingCrescentMoon, WaxingGibbousMoon, WaningGibbousMoon, and WaningCrescentMoon.
- I've been thinking about this also. (Mentalism is coming up in the rotation for skill revisions.) The original goal of the waves was to let players pull off EQ1-bard-style buff interleaving. But I'm not sure that's ever going to be worth the hassle.
- Originally gear was the big limiter here, it was just too hard to gear for multiple waves. But now that most treasure effects apply to multiple waves at once, it's relatively easy to gear up for a two-Wave setup. Even so, when I playtest Mentalism these days I always end up just using one Wave over and over, because it's too hard to keep track of which one to interleave each time.
- So ... yeah, maybe it's time for that design to go.
- So why not just make them toggles? We could conceivably do that now (with a few days of coding) : just press the Wave you want, and you get that one at max potency forever. Switch to a different Wave and you get the new one at max potency but the old one ends.
- One problem here is the Power cost (and action cost): if you only have to use it one time, out of combat, who cares about the cost? The ability doesn't need to be thought about at all. And we partially balance gear based on things like power cost, casting time, and reset time... so most of the treasure effects would get weaker as a result. In many cases, too weak to be useful.
- Since so much of the mentalist's power comes from the waves, I think there NEEDS to be some interactive element, for balance purposes. It can't just be a toggle. I'm just not sure what that should look like.
- I recently tested out an idea where you toggle which wave you want, and then every 20 seconds it just "casts it for you", still charging you the usual Power cost. But it's really confusing and clunky. (You still have to wait 60 seconds before that system gets up to full power, switching Waves doesn't do anything until the next 20s time is up, and most importantly, suddenly having your character stop and cast a buff during a tricky fight is ... not always okay.)
- I could definitely change the reset time from 20s to 30s. I just don't know if that'd be enough to change peoples' minds if they thought 20s was annoying.
- So anyway, more thoughts are welcome!
- The most brain-dead simple way to "fix" the waves is to just make them last 20s, the same as the reset time, and have them be 3x as effective, so just using it once gets you the full potency for 20s. After 20s if you want to press a different one, you can. (There would probably be Power cost or potency changes as a result, but they'd stay roughly the same power.) What do you think of that idea?
Delete Forum Account, GDPR
- (We're a private non-EU company and are not required to abide by the GDPR, but by separate trade agreements.)
We don't currently offer a way to delete all of your forum posts. But if you've revealed your real name, address, or other personal information in a forum post and would like it to be deleted, please email the URL of the forum post to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- (I have no idea where you're going with this one, exactly, but I've enjoyed seeing your take on Ormorek and look forward to reading more! You made me dredge up my lore notes on him, and see how I can get the remaining important bits into the game. But anyway, I think you've got a decent read on him -- Ormorek does have some followers -- although a lot of them are really just drinking buddies -- and followers do annoy him, at least superficially, but you get the idea he's secretly pleased...)
Animal Form switching
- Animal forms are intended to be semi-permanent, so animals have access to special resources in exchange for the other resources they don't have access to. There will be more animal-only resources and opportunities in the future (to compensate for new resources animals don't have access to in the future). If I reduced the resources in animal town, then long-term animal players would be extra screwed. That would be stupid. The correct fix is to stop people from switching constantly to get the best of both worlds. So I'll do this, iteratively over time (fixing some animal pain points to reduce the need to switch, making transitions take longer or cost something to prevent idle switching, etc.)
- In other words, if you're switching back and forth constantly to take advantage of Animal Town resources, you are playing in a way I don't intend to support. That's not illegal or anything, and you have no way of knowing what my intentions are if the game doesn't make it clear. But understand that I will ultimately fix the game to be the way I intend it to be.
- Please submit in game bug reports for bugs, thanks! If you have an example of a bow with a crossbow mod please include it in the report.
Skill Switch Buffs
- When you switch skills, your buffs from the old skills should stop working. This has to be coded and tagged manually, and as you might imagine, there is a ton of complex data to configure. So I sometimes don't bother if I think the buff is short and irrelevant. Other times I just overlook it. Anyway, if you have an exploitable scenario where you can swap skills to get lots of buff stacks, please report it so it can be fixed more quickly. It is definitely not intentional!
- There is a bug with Collect Milk 2/3 that will be fixed in the next update.
- We will never have a visible timer for things like "how long til I'm a vegetarian" or "how long until I'm treated like a real cow" because needing one tells me that you are gaming a system that is not supposed to be gamed. You aren't making a life decision -- you're just trying to min/max things. I don't want that. In fact I'm considering making the duration for things like that random to help prevent abuse. Animal Town (and future animal resources) are intended for people who want to play that way. They're not intended to be cheap storage for everyone.
Take the Lead
- If you're talking about the spped boost from Take the Lead, it has a rarity prerequisite, as many other mods do. You'll need an Epic rarity item to roll the high-level versions of that treasure effect.
- Definitely the most difficult part of the War Caches is getting the combat balance right. We want them to be fun and challenging for players in the low 50s who might not have good gear -- which really means they should also be good for players in the mid-40s that have great gear. (They will obviously be WAY too easy for players in the 60s+ with good gear; that's okay.)
- I would love to hear from players in that target level range. Are certain dungeons too hard? Are they all too hard? Too easy? If you notice especially imbalanced ones, please refer to them by their letter-number combination (e.g. S-4). You can find that by looking in your quest log. Thanks!
- What I'm hearing is "I am IRATE that I was only able to solo a portion of this light-hearted weekend event! I demand that every event be perfectly labeled as to its exact details before hand or FUCK YOU!"
- Is that what you meant to say, cozycats? Because that's what I read. I can FEEL your rage seething through your words, and I gotta tell you: it's feels unreasonable, given that you're upset about a silly little live event that you had absolutely no obligation to participate in. One where you knew we were trying out brand new tech. One where you KNEW it wasn't going to be polished or refined yet.
- I had to go back to the in-game chat logs to try to figure out what the hell was so upsetting to you... but that didn't help much either, except to confirm that you were really not having fun. You complained about every possible thing. Grouping, soloing, the difficulty, the rewards. Why did you keep doing the event, when you clearly despised it? When doing so only made you angrier? I don't know.
- In this post, I can't tell if you're trying to say "live events should all be soloable" or "you shouldn't have any surprising requirements in an event" or "multi-part events are unfair" or "the Rahu sewers are too hard" or what. I do hear "I AM FURIOUS!", but that's not "actionable feedback", as we say.
- This is a brand new system we're trying to refine. We need feedback, but not the outrage. Please keep in mind who you're talking to: people. We are just people. People who are trying to make some fun times for players, for no additional fee, just because we want you to have fun.
- You didn't have fun, that's useful feedback! But that's where the usefulness ends -- I've read this post twice and I still have no clue what live event would have made you happy. All I know is how upset you are... and I really can't see why, but I do accept that you're upset. And for what it's worth, I'm sorry you were outraged. Easter Egg hunts are not intended to incite fury.
- But please be more constructive with your feedback in the future. Thanks.
- I'm sorry we lost your support ticket. That's probably on me: a lot of support situations end up requiring my time, and I can't do all of them in a timely fashion, and when something is put off for a while, it can end up falling through the cracks. This problem is why we now do most of the game-data collection (like titles) within the game, to cut down on how much work I have to do for each title. We're trying to get out from underneath this problem we created, and all I can do is apologize that it happened.
- But again, a forum post is beyond unhelpful. I sat down to think "okay! I'll figure out who this is and fix it! ..." aaaannnd nope: I have no idea who you are. Please send in yet another support ticket. It's the only way we can reliably tell who you are.
- I'm interested to hear peoples' thoughts on this -- I have my opinions but I'm not super-well versed in how the skills interact with each other, so figuring out how to balance the different support skills is tricky and something I intend to move kinda slowly on, tweaking iteratively. So I'm in a "gathering feedback" phase here.
- I want to say though that Priest is not a "cursed" class and there are no realistic down sides to taking the priest oath besides some possible one-off events -- events which could happen to anyone in any class. ("Oh no, so and so is rounding up anyone with Unarmed skill over 100 for being a dangerous vigilante... you login in a prison!" Could happen to anyone any time with any skill. Maybe it happens to Priests a bit more often, but it doesn't affect your daily or even monthly play, so it's absolutely not something I'm going to balance around).
- Druid IS a curse class, so to speak, but that doesn't mean it should be better at healing -- it should offer more diversity of builds to make it useful in more roles and combinations. It is also, on paper, supposed to have "the best debuff in the game", so I actually expect that in return it should be a tiny bit less potent at healing overall. Not saying that's where anything is, just telling you the eventual goal. The various goals are QUITE complicated and getting it all perfectly right is probably impossible. But we'll see what we can do.
- Please feel free to continue the discussion, BUT keep it civil and try to avoid hyperbole. I'm interested in your opinion about what's over/under-powered, but when there's people saying contradictory things, I have to take those opinions with a grain of salt anyway. The most important thing I want to know in cases like this is: what's the most fun thing? What aspect of each skill is inherently crazy fun? Maybe it's way over-the-top right now and needs a little toning down, but it needs to STAY somewhat over-the-top in order to stay fun. Are there things that are overpowered but not especially fun? Things that could be toned down to make room for other things?
- Keep in mind that I have to offer 60+ different treasure mods and 12+ abilities for every skill, so no skill can be too focused on any one thing. I'm not talking about turning a skill into a one-trick pony, I'm talking about more subtle distinctions. Each skill is allowed a handful of intentionally-somewhat-overpowered abilities and treasure mods. So part of what I'm trying to figure out is: what parts of the skill need to be a bit OP to really shine, and what parts of the skill would still be serviceable and useful even if they aren't as powerful as they are now.
- I'm not expecting people to give exact breakdowns by mods or abilities. The first thing to identify is: what is the really fun thing you can do with this skill? I want to avoid cutting the fun bits out of the game!
- Of course, sometimes an ability is really only fun because it's crazily overpowered. In those cases, the fun may not be saveable, if the skill has a lot of other things going on. But let me make that decision.
- So let me know what bits you think are fun, so I can do my best to keep those bits if possible. (This applies to individual skills and also to skill combinations!)
Skill Cooldown Errors
- (Edited to fix a duplicate posting, then a bit more detail)
- I think for most people, these errors are due to network synchronization issues -- the first two are due to ordinary network lag that happens in in a very particular form. The third is a more complex timing issue. Anyway, I need some fancier heuristics to prevent those false-positives, and those will happen over time. But I do think the first priority is to prevent those errors from putting the ability on cooldown.
- For the next update I've changed the error code to resync the client's timer (and refresh the Power meter, since the client would temporarily think the Power cost was still spent). There actually was code to do this already for most errors, but it was buggy -- it only worked for the first tier of each ability (e.g. it would work on Punch 1 but not Punch 2). Should work better soon!
Brambleskin, Prickly Users
- I've talked about this before and I know you understand the difference, @User. Is brambleskin overpowered? Okay, fine, it's cool -- I'll nerf it in-place in the future. No big deal. No need to knee-jerk nerf it overnight, we can wait a few months and get a better picture of how to change it.
- Now, if getting access to Brambleskin required a player to sacrifice hundreds of weapons in order to unlock it, consuming many many hours of grinding, and I knew it was going to need to be super-nerfed, I would feel a lot more pressure to nerf it immediately.
- You can tell the difference between "an ability everybody gets for leveling up a skill gets nerfed" versus "a thing you have to work really hard for gets nerfed", right? I know you can. You're not an idiot, you're a troll.
- Look, User this is your last warning. I don't need this much pointless flaming and negativity on the forum. I need to be able to read the forum without becoming depressed, and you're ruining this forum for me. I'm not a big company with a moderation team, I'm just a guy who goes to work every day and works his ass off to make the game better. Every stupid day that's what I'm doing, and it's very hard to keep a positive attitude with this... shit from you. It has to stop now. If I read another obviously trolling post I'm going to have to ban you from the forums.
- You can express any opinion you want but you can't express it with this bombastic rhetoric, as if every stupid overpowered thing is life and death and proof that I'm the devil. Actually, you know what, I really don't need to hear from you anymore. I understand that you hate the game and think I'm incredibly unfair and I'm a huge asshole. Read you LOUD AND CLEAR. You don't have to keep saying it. And in fact I insist that you stop.
Damage Types, Bug
- No combat skill should have access to all three physical damage types. That was an error and will be fixed anywhere it occurs. In general a skill shouldn't use more than three damage types, actually. Certain skills (such as Archery) have access to a wide range of damage types, but those skills have counterbalancing down sides which lycanthropy definitely doesn't have.
- Yes, that means sometimes you have to struggle to figure out how to defeat content. Hey, good thing the Winter Nexus is a GROUP DUNGEON right? Almost like one person can counteract the weaknesses of someone else.
Titles, War Caches, Small Groups, Werewolf
- - You can't get two titles because the system can't support it: you can only have one title attached to each account. If you already bought a title package, don't buy another!
- - You can't duo War Caches, and I'm not going to delay an already very long development process to try to shoehorn it in somehow, because duoing content is very underused. If you and a friend start together, duo content makes sense, but that's literally the only time duo content gets used. It just doesn't work psychologically. Nobody wants to join a pick-up-duo because it's way too stressful. A large group spreads out the blame and responsibility, and players find it much more acceptable.
I tried for YEARS in pre-alpha to make two-man groups a thing, and then three-man groups, before eventually accepting defeat and doing six-man groups. So that ship has sailed. I try to make content accessible for duoing when convenient, but it's certainly not something that I could conveniently add to War Caches, sorry.
- - I feel like the people who think there's already plenty of solo content for the 55-ish level range are completely wrong... to an insane degree, actually. There are literally no solo dungeons for that level range, and the only soloable outdoor content is quite difficult.
- - Werewolves will be fine. The updated version improves sustainability, removes annoyances, improves Trauma builds (and tosses out weird remnants like that one Piercing attack). It opens up new options besides the one dumb overpowered build everybody's using.
- If your opinion is that the skill isn't overpowered anymore, we'll have to disagree. It's still overpowered in the most extreme setups. (If you aren't using the most extreme setups, then the change won't be as dramatic, but it'll still be a nerf.) Also, comparing one overpowered skill to another overpowered skill really doesn't help your case. Other skills with gigantic burst-damage numbers will also be getting nerfed over time.
- Looking at the changes, this actually feels like a buff to the skill, but I'm not going to call it a buff because that would seem disingenuous: werewolf players WILL log in weaker than they were before (assuming they're using the OP build-du-jour), and to get better builds, they will have to remake all their gear, which is tedious and annoying. But after players rebuild, they will be fine in terms of damage and survivability. In the long term, werewolves will not be underpowered.
- And if they are, we'll fix them. And if they're still overpowered, we'll nerf them again.
- If the idea of rebuilding your entire werewolf setup is too stressful for you, I completely understand. I recommend taking a break from the game and coming back in a while! I'm not trying to be a dick with that recommendation, I'm just telling you what's worked for other players in the past. There's no monthly fee or anything, and your characters will be fine in suspended animation while you're gone, so take a month or two off. By the time you return, other people will have figured out the most-crazy wolf builds anyway and you can copy them if you like.
- As for undoing the lycanthropy curse, nope. Never ever happening because permanent choices are permanent. But I am frankly offended by the idea that I'm "forcing" you to use the skill. The beast form is forced on you, but the skill is NEVER forced on you. Have you tried a nice Unarmed/Mentalism build? Werewolves are pretty good at it. There are a dozen other skill combinations available if you really hate the werewolf skill. And as a last resort option, you still have plenty of time to remake your character before the game officially launches. :But we will under no circumstances be offering a werewolf "cure". (Or a druid "cure" either!)
Unity Physics, Terrain
- The alternative is frankly much worse: without a VERY generous physics setup, you just get stuck in the terrain all the time. This is due to Unity's worthless, worthless physics engine (which is obviously tuned for racing games and not for moving around in tiny congested spaces). It actually worked a lot better five or so years ago and then starting with "Unity 5" they shat all over themselves and everyone was constantly getting stuck everywhere, so I implemented the current workaround. I haven't looked for better workarounds in a few years and it's on my list to do, but frankly it's not at the top. I'm more concerned with synching animation to movement, that's something that can and will be improved. As for water, we'll work on it when we want to do more with it. Right now there's not a lot of underwater content and not a lot of plans for more underwater content, so there's no reason to focus development time on underwater movement.
- This thread is going in weird places...
- My screenshot shows mods having an equal chance of being rolled. That's true most of the time, but not always. My point was that you don't know when it's true or not, so the next update will show you. That's what's changing! Not the actual percentages, just the ability to see those percentages.
- I want some mods to be super common, and I want a few mods to be hard to get (and I know that upsets some people, but too bad). What isn't acceptable is for some mods to be "secretly" hard to get. I think it should be obvious when you're rolling for something that's rare -- that just seems fair. So the next update will make that clearer.
- If you don't think this small change will resolve your problem, you're definitely right! Because I'm hearing symptoms that I simply can't explain right now, so more info is needed. I expect the extra info from the next update will make it a lot easier to figure out what's happening. Then we can discuss things further.
- Guys, just to keep things on track: we're not changing armor into a totally different thing. We're DEFINITELY not going to add percentage-based mitigation to every "defensive" skill just because monsters hit too hard right now. We're going to tune the systems we have until they work. I need help on micro-ideas, not macro-ideas.
- At this point, I really don't need help inventing entirely new game systems that sound fun on paper. The problem is that actually combining a game's worth of systems is hard. It's especially hard in a game like this, with a LOT of different systems interconnected. At this point, replacing any game mechanic inevitably causes other balance problems to appear, and creates a cascade of new problems. Complete system replacement is the nuclear option.
- So my point is this: we're talking about game systems that mostly work. They just need refining and adjusting, like all game systems do. Replacing a game system always sounds sexier and more fun than doing the hard, tedious work of tightening an existing system design. But we're in beta now, not alpha, and it's time to buckle down and start solving the nuts-and-bolts balancing problems. I can't avoid them forever by just trying new stuff. Every design has a ton of weird side-effects that have to be worked out, and each time we replace a game system with an entirely new system, that just postpones the hard work.
- The current problems with armor seem like they can be solved by monster rebalancing, so that's the first thing I'll try. It sounds like monster crits aren't scaling correctly, because (obviously) there shouldn't be such a thing as "one-hit kills". So we'll work on that first. If any of the existing systems prove unbalanceable, then we'll open the floor to new ideas.
- Actually, I feel like I'm yelling and I don't mean to: there are no wrong answers to the questions here. There are just answers that are more- or less-useful to me right now. I definitely don't intend to sound upset just because you're giving me answers I can't use!
- I wanted to steer this thread toward smaller points of discussion, but really, I've already received plenty of actionable feedback in this thread. So I think it's run its course and has some great ideas, and I'm just going to close it for now. Thanks.
- Players will be able to change their character's appearance and sex at a later date. We don't currently plan to let you change your race, however. (It's much more complicated technically, and the three upcoming races will have very different play details.)
- Edit: we haven't talked about offering name changes, but I expect we'll eventually offer them in some form.
Gorgon Shop Package
- The packages are applied per-account. The VIP features (which are still very TBD) are shared for all characters on the account. Other features, such as items, will need to be claimed on a particular character via an in-game button when they're available. (It will work similarly to how the /redeem command lets you redeem gift items... in fact it might literally just use the /redeem command behind the scenes.) We plan to break the features up granularly so you can claim different parts on different characters, though -- the horse(s) and tigers don't have to be claimed on the same character!
- You don't have to (and can't!) pick which character receives each reward yet. However, for other info (such as what title you want), the little golem will ask you questions and record your answers. You can come back later to change those answers, up until we actually implement your feature.
- Custom titles are per-account, not per-character. (But if they were per-character, you could just give your title scrolls to your alts, anyway.) I think that titles are the only part of these particular packages that are actually implemented yet -- but it will still take time for you to receive the title, because we need to add the title to the permanent game data. (It has to go into a "string table" so we can eventually get your title translated into multiple languages.) So after you've given your answers to the golem, it sends us a little notification, and we'll add it into data for the next game update.
- Our game's housing is probably going to be per-account, just because I don't think it'll be reasonable to have every alt pay for their own house. But it might be per-character with a more complex roommate system... that's still up in the air. Anyway, if you get a house with the pack, you're getting one instanced house... which may or may not automatically apply to all your characters, but if it doesn't, I expect you'd at least be able to let them crash at your place.
- Oh, and yes, everyone will be able to buy a house in-game, although they will be quite expensive (many millions of Councils). We will also have a rented apartment system, or something like it, for people who can't afford a house yet.
- Similarly, everyone will be able to buy a horse in-game (and horses are per-character), but the horses included in these packs are on the high end, in terms of stats and genetics. Ditto tigers.
Critical Hits, Roots, End-Game
- There are some good discussions going on here and I'd like to keep them going! But I'd like to ask for more specifics. I don't get to participate in a lot of group combat recently. I don't have time -- I'm working 12-ish hours a day on the game, so even having time to solo is hard. So I rely a lot on feedback for group combat, and we really don't get a lot of feedback about grouping that's in a format I can act on.
- I say I don't group a lot, but I've managed to get in enough pick-up groups to know that grouping wasn't particularly difficult or engaging before we added monster crits. It was basically a cakewalk. (And it can still seem too easy, depending on the level range and group composition... but the crits at least make people pay more attention!) In fact, I do think the monster crit system has been good for the game because it changed the equation from "grouping is too easy" to "grouping is frustrating because it's too hard to control X, Y, Z things." This seems like a step forward to me. Maybe we can dig into more fundamental problems, the kind that we very rarely get feedback on.
- Monster crits were added because monsters were too predictable and they dealt too little damage. This solution addresses both problems! It's a first attempt at a solution, and I could fine-tune it (lowering crit damage, reducing the chance of chain crits, etc.), but I'm not sure that's the thing to do right now -- it really was added as a quick-fix so that I could look for other underlying problems. I'm not sure if we'll keep monster crits at all: we may want other solutions to the underlying problems.
- If you're unhappy about crits, the questions to answer are: Who was involved (levels, general combat skills type info), what did you fight, what did you do to counteract all that the surprise damage (I assume your team had sidebars full of healing/support abilities, for instance... so were those not good enough? Not fast enough to use?). I need to know how you tried to adapt to the problems, and why it was still unfairly difficult. Help me to understand the issues.
- And yes, there are situations where I won't be sympathetic: if you're trying to solo-kill a large number of monsters at once with a CC-mitigated "AoE pit", then I want the monsters to kill you a lot -- a lot more than they probably do now, actually. That's insanely dangerous and should generally result in your death. Were you trying to solo-kill (or duo-kill!) an Elite? Again, I actually want that to result in your death most of the time -- and will probably make those types of scenarios MORE difficult, not less.
- But if you're talking about a full group that gets wiped repeatedly because of crits, that's something I don't want to see. Maybe I just need to add a cooldown-timer so crits don't happen too often in a row... but I really suspect that'll hide deeper problems again. I want to dig in. Could you have countered the crits if you'd had more healing available? Are you carrying a bunch of weaker players in the group, and we need better group-composition tools? Or are you not focusing damage well, and the group needs better coordination tools? Better de-aggro? Is taunting just completely useless? Is healing too weak? Is monster detection too good?
- This provides an opportunity to improve the game's full-group issues... and I'm not even sure I know what all the fundamental full-group issues ARE. But if you have some clues, I would appreciate your insights!
- tldr: I can tweak the "band-aid fix" of crit damage -- but first I need to know it's not bandaging over a more serious problem.
- The OP from @Golliathe is a good example, and the reason I chose this thread -- those details about roots/mezzes are good insights and I would love to hear more discussion about those and related things -- things that need focus or improvement, either because they're too good or too irritating.
- RE: mezzes and DoTs: mezzes are supposed to ignore DoTs because, until recently, most DoTs lasted 15+ seconds, often lasting 30 seconds... making mezzes useless if even a single group member used DoT effects. Finding the right power curve for DoTs has been extremely challenging, and I didn't feel like DoTs needed the extra stigma of "don't use DoTs asshole, you'll break mezzes". Now that all DoTs are 12 secs or less, it starts to make more sense, but I still worry they would break too many mezzes.
- RE: monsters not picking a new target if they're rooted -- that's just crappy AI that I haven't tried to improve. I didn't really think too long about that case, because it opens a can of worms. If a monster changes targets because they're rooted, isn't that a general case of "I should change targets if my most-hated foe is unreachable"? They're the same thing, right? So where do I draw the line? If the monster is moving too slow to keep up (because the player has super-cranked movement speed), should the monster just attack somebody else nearby? Or are we talking about a specific hack for "monster is rooted = find a new target"? In that case wouldn't a 75% movement-slowdown be more effective than a full root? It gets weird. I don't know where to draw the line.
- RE: "overtaunt" -- I'd need lots more specifics here to be able to tell what's up.
- Thanks for your feedback. Also, I've mentioned this before, but since this is a contentious topic, I wanted to remind here: I really appreciate people who are able to separate their emotions from their feedback -- it makes it a LOT easier for me to process it if you aren't outraged at the same time. I'm only human, the game is made by humans, there are lots of mistakes and some of them are stupid mistakes we should have fixed a long time ago. But it's not too late -- we can fix them.
- The more you can give me info in a format like "my group did this thing, and we expected this result, but got this other thing", and the less "only a crazy idiot would think X is working", the more practical help you're giving!
- I don't consider this to be just a "quality of life" feature because it provides probability info that isn't available any other way right now.
- The system doesn't remember old mods that used to be on the item -- that info isn't stored on the item at all, and there's no way for there to be a bug where it accidentally reverts. It's just a weighted random roll. But it's weighted! It uses the same probabilities that the random-loot system uses, so if a mod is common in loot, it will be a common transmutation result too.
- So if you're seeing A-B-A-B, it means "A" and "B" have very high probabilities of showing up. The exact weights for some mods may be bugged or incorrect (and this display will help us find them). But they can be intentional too. Some mods are very common (such as base-damage mods, which are weighted 5x higher than average). A small number of mods are intentionally rare. And there are some weird cases where we use REALLY high or low weights to get different effects. For instance, if you're re-rolling a generic mod on a crossbow, the odds are like 90% that you're going to get one of the three crossbow mods. (Since crossbow isn't a "real" combat skill, the only way to make sure that crossbows have good chances for crossbow mods is to make those mods' probabilities very high.)
- The devil is in the details -- and that's where the bugs hide too -- so this update will make more of those details visible so we can see what's up.
- RE: transmute table bug, no I wasn't aware of it, but I'll look into it, thanks. (In general, if a nasty bug is long-running, please re-submit it as a bug. It probably means we lost track of it, or think it's fixed when it isn't, etc.)
- One of the Transmutation changes in the next update is a way to see what you're rolling for. I suspect one of the problems people run into is that they're trying to roll something that simply isn't available on that item, for one reason or another -- be it bugs or just misunderstandings of what can show up where. So this will help expose problems. And beyond that, seeing what's going on will let people plan better.
- Here's a prototype of what I'm working on. Basically it just pops up a custom "book" screen that lists each possible outcome, and the odds. Eventually we'll wire it into a nicer-looking UI, but for now I just want to make sure the info is available.
- There are other changes as well that are still in development.
- Realistically I don't think we are launching this year. There are lots of contracted deliverables needed, and those deliverables have often involved delays and time overruns, so I have to assume there will be more... and right now, a 2019 launch seems unlikely.
- But "launch" is just a milestone. Hmm, how to put it... how about this: remember World of Warcraft's crafting at launch? Probably not, because it was abysmal, boring, and 100% pointless. But it was "complete": WoW shipped with a crafting system, and mounts, and character customization, and everything else it was obligated to have. Then their live team spent years making those bare-bones implementations not-sucky. (Edit: with arguable success in some cases... WoW's crafting system is probably not a good example here. )
- So when I say we aren't launching in 2019, it's because there are certain big-ticket features (like mounts, housing, other playable races) that I feel have to be included to consider the game "complete", and only some of those will be ready this year. But delays give us time to flesh out the rest of the game, rework systems that suck, and generally make the game better BEFORE we launch, instead of after.
- I'm not in a huge hurry to launch the game in a bare-bones-but-technically-complete state. I think these delays can be a little bit of a blessing in disguise, allowing us to add more content, systems, interactions, and fun stuff, before we pronounce the game "finished".
- Actually, I just made some tweaks to Transmutation costs for the next game update. I was also JUST NOW taking a walk and thinking about a way to show transmutation possibilities in-game. And then came home to read this thread. Weird. Anyway, I definitely want the game to be more communicative about Transmutation. Not sure what the time table there is -- could be next update, if my crazy implementation idea works -- will have to see.
February 2019 Update
- Thanks for the feedback everyone, please keep it coming! A few notes:
- - We will be making small tweaks to the new dungeon's spawn rate. But the dungeon is designed with the expectation that you have at least the 3-second spawn premonition. It may not sound like it would help, but it helps. You need it!
- - (tagging @Yaffy in particular here, though lots of this is general.) There are no known open bugs with accuracy or evasion, meaning all old reports were closed as Fixed or Invalid. I do believe at least one actual bug report of yours was addressed in the past few months, where others were closed as invalid reports because they conflate different mechanics. There are lots of weird systems in the game that aren't connected.
- - For instance, "Miss Chance" is not the opposite of accuracy. Miss Chance is a separate chance for you to miss. It can't be avoided in any way at this time -- only something that gave you a negative Miss Chance buff could counter it, and there's nothing like that. So there's no way to avoid the Darkness debuff in the Dark Chapel, and that's by design. (This also applies to player abilities that apply a Miss Chance to enemies -- right now the debuff from Cloud Sight is completely unavoidable, even on Elites and Bosses.) You can differentiate Evasion from Miss if you are watching carefully, because the floaty "EVADE" will be replaced with "MISS".
- - Projectile Evasion is not the same thing as Ranged Evasion -- only literal projectiles (such as missiles) are evaded by projectile evasion. Attacks like Flamestrike are ranged attacks without a projectile. Ranged Evasion is a new stat that covers all types of ranged attacks. (And may eventually replace Projectile Evasion -- not sure yet.)
- - Accuracy buffs now show up on the Persona screen, so this is an easy way to make sure that the buffs are at least buffing the appropriate stat.
- - Skulk smoke screen: we'll try to find something else for it when we next look at the Werewolf skill. We can't currently do translucence for wolves (the shader won't do it), but we can probably find something else.
- Well, I was working on an email answer, but I guess I can just post that here. Please consider your email tickets closed.
- You were flagged as possibly botting. This involves a lot of factors. (None of those factors involved other players.) You then failed a simple "bot check": you ignored private messages from the admins, and when a special popup box appeared on your screen, you logged out. This is behavior we see from common botting programs, so we did the most appropriate thing...
- We reminded you that botting is not allowed.
- We didn't punish you, because failing a bot test is not "proof" of botting. It's a heuristic, a test. If you fail a bot check, it could just be a random accident. So all we do is tell you not to bot. If you REPEATEDLY fail the bot check, though, we have to assume you're botting.
- This isn't some crazy new idea we invented, either. Bot checks are the same for all MMOs. There's no 100% reliable way to detect all botting, so we use human beings to check up on people that seem suspicious.
- I know that being forced to prove you exist (by answering an admin) can feel insulting. That's just the way it has to be though. You are obligated to answer an admin when they prompt you. You can't ignore them.
- Since you aren't botting, then I'm sure this won't happen again, and there won't be any more problems. Case closed. Thanks.
- -As to policy changes, there are none here.
- -Botting is not the same as AFK howling, or AFK anything else. Botting is using hardware (such as macro mice or keyboards) or software (such as overlays, macros apps, etc.) to automate any part of the game. You were accused of BOTTING, not of doing something while AFK.
- -Bot tests are run periodically every day all the time. They are absolutely NOT "admin abuse", that's proof of admins doing their jobs.
- -The "headache" debuff you apparently received comes from regular game content, such as when completing a hangout with Yetta, or sometimes when using words of power, drinking from a Cauldron, and more.
- We'll be revising more damage-type-mod gear and recipes in the next update. (Well, not the next quick-fix update, which is tomorrow, but the next "real" update.)
- A warning about those damage-mod recipes: I expect we'll increase the potency of those recipes, but due to technical limitations we usually can't convert old equipment that already uses those recipes, so they will probably be stuck with the old (current) values. So unfortunately you may need new gear to get the updated effects. I'm sorry about that, preemptively; we try to update all gear "in-place" when possible, but sometimes it's just too expensive (in terms of dev time).
- Edit: hmm, it may be possible to do conversion for those recipes -- I'll have to see. The items don't store what recipes were used on them, so I have to write "sleuthing" code that analyzes the item and tries to figure out what happened to it. "Oh, it has +3% fire damage and it's missing 60 enhancement points, I think I know what happened here..." That sort of code gets really ugly really fast, and usually causes more problems than its worth. But given the small number of recipes involved I may be able to do it. I'm not sure.
- At the very least, you should hold off on using those recipes on new items.
Fixed Update Schedule
- The idea that I want to be here coding my ass off at 5am on a Saturday because I insist on doing everything? That's complete nonsense. I want to be the person designing, yes, but not the person designing, coding, analyzing, performing database maintenance, overseeing CS, prepping ads, etc.
- I would love to hire more people, and we definitely will. Actually I expect the first full-time developer hire may be possible soon... but I'm not hiring anyone unless I can do it responsibly.
- I realize you're all familiar with indie companies that burn their budget fast and end up successful. Minecraft (or whoever) did it, so why can't we? Because the successful ones are extreme outliers. I've been involved in a half-dozen of those projects where indie teams burn their money fast and pray it works out. It almost never works out. I'm too old for that shit, and I won't keep passing that sort of tragedy on to other game developers, or to you. Because the people that usually lose are you, the customers that buy in early.
- How many Kickstarter MMOs have failed after reaching their goal? Most of them. But I can confidently say we are not gonna fail. Really! We won't hit our time estimates at all... but eventually we will make good on our crowdfunding promises. Reaching the finish line is my top financial priority, and I won't jeopardize that goal.
- So we hire contractors when we can. And when we can hire full time people -- and give them realistic time windows to get ramped up before we expect them to pull their weight -- we will! We're watching our bank account carefully and planning when we might be able to hire more people. I'm optimistic, but I don't have a crystal ball. When we can hire, we will, simple as that.
- As for schedules, this is an MMO in development. We release updates when they're ready for testing. Your job as Early Access players is to help playtest, so we can't release them too early: when we do that, you just find the obvious bugs that we already knew about. Getting bug reports about already-known issues is a huge waste of time for everybody! We need the updates to be clear of obvious bugs or design flaws, so you can give us feedback on finished ideas.
- So why don't I just announce a launch day that's like an extra month delayed? Because we need feedback on changes ASAP. We're back here working really hard every day, and we need that new info as soon as we can. So I'm not gonna sit on a finished update for even a single extra week!
- And I don't think people want us to delay updates by a few weeks to ensure we hit the deadlines... what I think people really want to know is "why don't you work FASTER!!!!" And it's because we literally cannot work any faster. We are working as fast as humanly possible. When we can hire people to work faster, we will.
- I try to keep you in the loop on where we are in the update process. It does change a lot though, and I'm often wrong. But it's the best I've got. If you'd prefer to just be surprised when an update comes out, you can easily accomplish this by not reading my twitter -- that's usually the only place we talk about timelines.
- Thank you for supporting us while we struggle with this Herculean task. The game is finally starting to feel like a "real game", which makes people assume we're a large development team. That leaves us in a weird spot because we aren't. We're what we can afford to be. We work super hard, and we haven't stopped for years and we aren't gonna stop until the game is done. And hopefully, soon, there will be more of us doing that work.
- And you're here now to see it happening, and to help shape it. I'm excited to show you this next update, but even beyond that, we have great ideas in store for the future. Thank you for the opportunity to show them to you.
- There's a large brick building in Gazluk city, which is the actual Gazluk Keep. There's an entrance into that building.
- In the desert it sounds like you're probably at the wrong ruins, there are a couple of dilapidated cities and ruined buildings out there. You're looking for a square basement-entrance type thing that lets you get into an underground area.
- The bug you describe is not something I'm aware of, and I definitely did not see that during testing (when I made about a thousand kegs of hard liquor). That was a while ago, but I don't really see how the system could get out of sync, offhand. All hard liquors use the format of (one of 3), (one of 4), (one of 5), and (one of 4), for a total of 240 combinations, and all hard liquors use the same result set. As long as you figure out which of the new ingredients maps to which of the old ingredients in a previously-figured-out recipe, you should be able to calculate the new recipe.
- So if you have a reproducible scenario where that's not true, please report it in game with details of exactly what you're doing (which two recipes you're comparing and which things you're putting in them) and we can try to reproduce and fix it. Thanks!
Animal Tame Network Lag, Real Time
- Seeing that message while taming is definitely due to overclocking the computer. Basically the server tells your game client, "okay, now show a progress bar for 10 seconds while the tame happens", and the client says "okay I'm done"... but it's been less than 9 seconds. (More than 10% too soon.) If the client were to report in too LATE (say after 15 seconds), that could be due to network latency or a bad connection. But if the game client is finished significantly SOONER than expected, that means the client is running faster than real time.
- This doesn't necessarily mean someone is trying to cheat -- we've seen it happen especially with "CPU overclocking" and "RAM accelerator" type software that comes bundled with new gaming computers. It's a cheap trick that can make some some games feel more responsive: by making the game think time is moving 10%-15% faster, you can move faster, etc. This is fine in singleplayer games, but it's unfair in multiplayer games.
- @user - I don't know what you're referring to, but if you have a reproducible scenario please report it in-game. And of course make sure you aren't running anything that can overclock your computer It kind of sounds like you're using overclocking software that is just barely under the threshold that we check for.
- (In the patch notes, we mentioned that we removed an error about overclocking when you try to reuse a toggled ability. That's a different scenario: toggled abilities have a reuse timer like every other ability (say, 10 seconds). The game client assumed you could turn the ability off without waiting 10 more seconds. But the server assumed you had to wait the full 10 seconds to turn it back off. So if you tried to turn it off after only a few seconds, the client would be fine with it, but the server would tell you that you seem to have overclocked your computer -- because it assumed the client actually tried to wait the 10 seconds. That scenario was just a bug, and is fixed now. The overclocking error message can still show up, correctly, in other scenarios.)
- We don't plan to offer a way to change your race. You'll be able to change your appearance and sex, however.
Dangerous Weapons "Fiasco"
- A fiasco?! Hmm, that sounds like I've done a bad job managing expectations.
- Look, I know nerfs are painful. I can respect that you're angry, but let's stop pretending this is a balanced and finished game. Stop comparing your skills to OBVIOUSLY overpowered skills. You know we're going to nerf those, right? Of course we are!
- There are a lot of nerfs coming.
- To repeat, a lot of nerfs are coming.
- A LOT OF NERFS ARE COMING. Does shouting help?
- I mean, I think it should go unsaid, because it should be REALLY obvious that a werewolf who can deal a bazillion damage a second, while also healing themselves completely every few seconds, is overpowered. We all know it.
- But we also know the game's framerate isn't very good, the UI is clunky, spawns are appearing underground in some cases and some video drivers have crashes and there's too little content in various level ranges and there's tons of confusing game systems and... on and on it goes.
- We're working pretty much nonstop, and scaling up as quickly as we can, but we can't fix everything at once. And high-level balance has had to take a back seat. That doesn't mean it's not happening.
- Bottom line: I am not planning to make every skill as powerful as the most overpowered skills in the game. I am planning to nerf overpowered skills and game systems. Because that's what a true beta is: a time to get the balance right.
- So we will be nerfing and buffing repeatedly, over and over. I will try to be respectful of your time investments whenever possible. That's the best I can do. Constructive feedback is appreciated, but calling a nerf to an extremely imbalanced game system a "fiasco" ... well, if that's a fiasco, expect a lot more fiascos to come, I guess.
- So why did I nerf this, when all those other things are overpowered too? Because, again, I want to be respectful of players' time. Most of the nerfs that will be coming are in-place nerfs: treasure mods or abilities will have their numbers lowered, but they'll otherwise keep working. In this case, when I became convinced I couldn't salvage the design, and it would need to be entirely replaced, I shut it down immediately so you wouldn't keep wasting time and resources with it.
- That doesn't mean I think it was the most overpowered thing in the game. It means I want to do right by my beta testers as much as I can, and letting you invest resources into it for another few months would have been cruel.
- I know nerfs suck. I wish I didn't have to. But I do. If this one pissed you off a lot, well, this isn't the last nerf by a long shot, so if you can't tolerate them and want to come back when the game is done, I completely respect that. But complaining about nerfs during a beta is just not understanding what a beta is.
- There will be a lot more nerfs, a lot more buffs, a lot more game systems, a lot more major revisions. If you approach the game with that understanding it can be a lot more fun than if you expect everything in-game to stay the way it is now. Because it won't!
- As for the replacement to this system, it won't be a recipe at all, I think. Right now I'm playing with a system where you hand your weapon to an NPC and they apply a random permanent buff... or debuff... to the item. Very simple and approachable for the target audience of level 40-ish players.
- We'll convert existing "do nothing" items to use positive buffs from the new system. But keep in mind the system is designed for level 40s, so the buffs are in that power range. (I don't think that should be too surprising to hear, either: the old recipes consumed garbage newbie metal, they were learned in the level 40 city, and had meager level 20 blacksmithing requirements... obviously the main audience was NOT people who can mine legendary metal out of Gazluk!)
- So don't expect the replacement buffs to be as amazing as a +300 weapon, but they will still be a noticeable and useful buff to your items. In addition, we'll return some of your lost resources where it seems appropriate (e.g. refunding the price of the recipes, maybe refunding the metal in some cases, etc.)
- Hmm... hmmm. Very interesting ideas in this post, thanks!
- First Aid Kits are "ammo" for the First Aid abilities; those abilities are what you should put on your sidebar.
- I use twitter as a way to just blast little status updates before I crash for the evening -- I rarely manage to respond to tweets, so you don't really miss much by not having a twitter account!
- There aren't new dungeons in the next update -- we have several in development (some interconnected mini-dungeons and a couple of larger experiences) but they aren't ready yet, and I actually want to dive much deeper into them and make them more interesting. So they've been pulled for this update.
- The Necromancy update has taken a lot of effort. Over half of the treasure mods have been replaced or dramatically altered, and a few abilities altered/removed/replaced as well. I'm still working on it right now, actually, trying to get the zombie mechanics in a better place. Since the skill is changing a lot, I'm focusing more on finding the big picture here: which abilities do what, how do they interact, etc. The exact stat numbers may end up being too high or low, but hopefully this update will put Necromancy on a much stronger footing. It needs to be fun and rewarding to control undead minions!
- So really, Necromancy has taken up a lot of time that I expected to work on other things this week. But it's time well spent. And I think delaying these dungeons will give us time to make them a lot more special.
- (You can find hints about two of the dungeons we're working on by noticing that the Necromancy and Rabbit skills have undergone substantial improvement.)
Player Maintained Roads
- I like this idea. No real way to implement it at the moment but it's something I'm keeping in mind as we design the game systems for mounts.
Chat Channel mix-up
- that's very weird. There haven't been any changes to the config file system.
- We do have some code in there for the upcoming Demo version, and if that went wrong, it could explain why your chat channels were messed up, maybe. (The demo only has access to a few channels.) But it doesn't explain any other changes.
- Did anyone else using the linux version have problems? It sounds, off-hand, like a permission problem, as if the game didn't have permission to read the file for some reason.
Dev Question: Inventory Sort Order
- Hi guys, I've got a question I'd like feedback on. I want to improve the way the inventory sort button works. (We'll eventually have more sorting options for inventory, with a little drop-down menu so that you can sort by e.g. item value or item name. But even when we have multiple sorts, we'll still have a default "smart sort" option, which is what the current sort will become. So I want this smart sort to be as smart as it can be!)
- The current sort hasn't been updated much since it was added in pre-alpha two years ago. It's definitely got some weird stuff in it, and some weird ordering, and that can be very frustrating when you're trying to find stuff. So if you have suggestions on how to improve it, please share! I'll incorporate your suggestions when I update the sort logic.
- Here's the current way the sorting works:
- First comes helmets. If you have multiple helmets, the currently-equipped one comes first, then the ones with highest rarity, and further sorted by item value. Broken helmets come last.
- Then come chest armor, sub-sorted in the same way.
- Then leg armor
- Then hand armor
- Feet armor
- Main-hand weapons
- Off-hand weapons
- Racial jewelry (all of these equipment categories are sub-sorted in the same way as helmets)
- Next come "kits": first aid kits, then armor patching kits
- Next are healing potions
- Next are cheese
- Next are other prepared food
- Next are decoctions
- Next are other alchemy potions
- Next are Bottled items
- Magic oils
- Arrows (sub-categorized by regular, then barbed, then long, then dense, then reservoir, then snare)
- Fletching stuff
- Augment-related stuff (phlogiston etc)
- Magic dusts (e.g. fire dust)
- Maps (sub-sorted by motherlode, mineral, mining)
- Treasure clues
- Treasure maps
- Work orders
- Other documents
- Armor stakes
- Crystals and gems (sub-sorted only by crystal value atm)
- Metal slabs
- Leather rolls
- Flawless skins
- Other skins
- Carpentry items (sub-sorted by barrels, stools, benches, chairs, storage crates, other furniture, then misc carpentry)
- Other Bones
- Body Organs and corpse trophies
- Gadgets (e.g. vending machines)
- Skill ingredients not yet covered (such as inks, papers, metal slabs(?))
- Recipe ingredients not yet covered (anything else that can go in a recipe)
- Other vegetables
- Other ingredients (?)
- Game chips
- Coins and moneybags
- "Vendor trash"
- So just typing that out I see some weird stuff. Items can only be in one bucket in this list, and they go into the first bucket that matches. So the item "Evil Grass" could theoretically fit into the "grass" category, the "recipe ingredients" category, and possibly the herbs category -- whichever one comes first is the one they get sorted into. Since the "grass" category comes first, that's where they go. And that's correct! (Although the grass category should probably be sorted closer to the flowers and plants...)
- But it's a problem with fish, meat, and vegetables -- those categories come AFTER "recipe ingredients not yet covered", which means most raw ingredients fall into "recipe ingredients not yet covered", so your meat and fish and veggies are all intermixed (sub-sorted by item value). The only thing in the "meat" category is meat that isn't used in any recipe yet!
- I'm already fixing this for the next update: I'm moving the "skill ingredients not yet covered" and "recipe ingredients not yet covered" categories to be below "other ingredients". And I'm moving the "grass" category to be right below "seeds".
- So how can I make this work better? Are there new categories of items we should add to the list? Should things be reordered?
- Again, this isn't "what kinds of different sorts do you want" -- that will come later. Right now I want to make the smart-sort button less stupid.
- I realize this is a tricky somewhat-technical topic. If the above list makes your eyes water, just let me know when the sorting doesn't work for you: "I want to find my snacks, but they're sorted in with the meals", for instance. Whatever makes you go "wtf" when you're trying to find stuff.
- I won't be able to make everyone happy -- a single sort can only be so useful -- but it can definitely be improved!
Metal Armor Crafting
- I don't think it's too late for new ideas here, but I do want to make use of low-mid tier metal ingots, because they're relatively unused and will basically always be relatively unused. (Actual metal-armor-smithing is a level 80 thing, so while it'll be possible to hammer up some level 40 platemail, it's unlikely to happen often.)
- So if people have ideas for other ways to "dangerously" (riskily) augment gear, using metal ingots (possibly among other things), that they think will work better for the target level range, please share!
Notes about New Recipes
- Some notes about the new recipes:
- @Yaffy - I did see your post about the new recipes and, obviously, I disagree with your assessment. It sounds like you will never be happy with anything that might destroy a weapon. That's fine. I understand that concern -- we've had this discussion with players before during alpha, and my takeaway was that I should make certain that you don't NEED to risk your equipment to be successful. And that will remain true: you will always be able to have really amazing builds without risking your gear, even at max level. But there will be many ways to alter gear. Dozens of ways, eventually.
- These recipes are intended for about level 30-40ish players. That's obvious, right? It's in the level 40 city and has relatively easy prereqs. Yes, you can use them on high-level weapons, but you certainly don't NEED to "dangerously improve" a weapon to have a successful high-level build. In fact, players at level 70 could ALREADY be really, really overpowered. As in: soloing elites, often soloing bosses... very overpowered. Too overpowered? Yes, but not as overpowered as it seems at first glance... because those gear sets are insane! Getting 50 treasure mods that synergize takes a lot of time and work. Shouldn't it be kind of broken? It should! The exact amount of overpowered is a question we'll have to figure out, but I'm not trying to balance the game around players having perfect gear at level 70. You can get that, and it's cool, and I want you to feel like a badass for all the work you did. I do not, however, have any personal need to let you have "the best possible" gear. If the argument is that you just want to have the absolute very best stuff and it's too hard now... I don't care. But if players feel like they NEED to dangerously improve high-level weapons, that's wrong and I'll fix it. Right now, certainly, they don't.
- The new city (the casino) is for level 40s, because that's where we lose players. Somewhere after the 30s, but before the 50s, players get exhausted. There aren't (weren't) enough goalposts, so the goals feel too distant and the game feels too grindy. So the casino is a hub for new kinds of goals. Those earlier goals (like running GK, or learning Battle Chemistry, or whatever thing they're working on) are still there, and I don't want to take away from them. But there need to be lots of new goals, new ways to improve, new things to do.
- This being a casino, it's obvious that there should be some high-risk, high-reward techniques. Again, getting the exact numbers right will take time. But I think I'm right that this is where a risky technique should fit into the game, and I'm pretty sure I can make it work. (Eventually.)
- Players in this level range tend to have several weapons they've been holding on to, but none of them are very good. Adding 100 simple damage to one might make it last another 10 levels, though, and if they get one to +300 and end up feeling overpowered for a few levels, GREAT, I love that. They worked hard and they should feel overpowered for a while.
- But just to be clear: in the final game, I can't imagine anyone with legendary level 70 gear risking it in one of these recipes, because why in the everliving FUCK would they do that? That's a terrible risk for tiny reward. Keep in mind these players will probably only have one or two legendaries at that level at most, since they won't be staying at level 70 terribly long. I don't currently see a situation happening at level 70 that's comparable to what level 35 players are experiencing. But if I'm wrong and these recipes end up seeming "mandatory" at higher level, I'll limit the recipes further until they aren't. Surely by level 120 a recipe that "adds 2 simple damage with a 3% chance to destroy your weapon" is a terrible, terrible deal. There will be other better ways to enhance top-end gear.
- I still need to tweak these recipes more in the future; I'm still trying to figure out the right risk/reward, and what sorts of limitations they should have. They use a new type of damage so that I can organize the calculations in different ways as needed. When I'm happier with how they work I'll add versions for more skills, but right now it's nice to keep it contained a bit.
- (Edited to add: I might add one or two more recipes soon in order to get more data and feedback coming in. Not a lot of people are testing the Knife one, which is the one I'm most worried about, balance-wise, because you can dual-wield knives and double stack the simple damage.)
Damage Calculation Formula Feedback
- Yaffy, thank you very much for taking the time to write that all up! You are right that the way conditional multipliers work is unintended -- they should be added to your other multipliers, not multiplied by each other. I knew about that bug but I've not considered it to be a pressing one... I don't think I really realized how many mods fall into that category, or that there were lots of large mods in there (such as the knocked-down damage mod on Seismic Impact). I may try to get that fixed for the next update; otherwise the one after.
- Just to be clear, I suspect this gear+ability combination will still be overpowered even after that fix! Figuring out how to untangle the different damage sources is an ongoing process, because most of the big problems happen when players have a lot of high-level mods that synergize... and I want to fix the problems in ways that don't overly hurt people who DON'T have legendary gear. But fixing conditional damage mods is a step forward, and I appreciate the help!
- (For people trying to repeat this technique, note that it takes a whole lot of specific gear mods plus a long chain of abilities -- for this one I think you'd need to use Way of the Hammer, Reinforce, Reverberating Strike and Leaping Smash all in quick succession before finishing with Seismic Impact.)
Deadlier Weapons Recipe
- As Greyfyn said, we could use more info. I don't know how people are converting a few hundred damage into the vaguely-reported "over 10k extra damage!!!!!" stuff. I really don't see how that's possible; the damage should only multiply to a couple thousand extra, and that's only with TOP-tier level 70 gear, AND only when using the heaviest-hitting attacks in the game.
- Nobody I've asked will explain these mega numbers they're supposedly getting. I've seen people mention it in chat yet when asked about it moments later, they'll ignore me or even quickly log out. I've downloaded the characters of those people bragging in chat, and I still can't replicate it even with their exact characters. In other words, some of these people are trolling. But not necessarily all of them! So that's an open question.
- Anyway, we'd already realized it was bugged and overpowered, which is why we disabled it in the hotfix. Remember how the hotfix patch notes said:
- - the "Dangerously Improve Weapon" recipes were enhancing the wrong attribute, leading to more damage than intended. These recipes have been temporarily disabled --they can't be purchased, and if you already have them, they do nothing. They will return in a future non-hotfix update. Items that were already enhanced with the earlier recipes will be updated at that time
- That is exactly what's going to happen in the next non-hotfix update, which is next week.
- If you have one of these weapons and can get HUGELY broken numbers (instead of just somewhat overpowered), please explain how it's done so I can confirm that my fix is going to address that scenario. Thanks.
New Employee II
- You've probably seen Sims in-game or on our forum (or the reddit forum... or the Steam forum... or any number of other forums...). We're happy to have Sims join our team to help with community outreach and growth, as well as helping with customer service and in-game events. When Sims is playing in his employee capacity, you can find him as Admin Lemon. (I didn't pick that.) Please join us in welcoming him to the team!
Casino Delay, Feedback, and Minigames
- What a thread to wake up to. I'm not sure how "we are delaying the casino so we can make it a hub city worth using", turned into the idea that we're adding hundreds of minigames. So to set expectations right: there are only two actual minigames in the casino and you've seen them in screenshots. There are no others. I cut the other games because they weren't fun enough... and I did that a month ago.
- On the one hand I'm definitely still working on minigames: I spend about an hour at "breakfast" each day testing these two games, banging on them, tweaking them. And there are some other gambling diversions in the hub city that I'm trying to make worthwhile. But the majority of every day is spent making regular old MMO content.
- First, the visuals of the casino didn't pan out. In a nutshell, we tried a new idea and it didn't work: it was slow, ugly, and would be hard to improve in the future. So we had to return to our traditional approach, which is working fine, but means we we basically have to remake the whole casino layout.
- But the visuals are just visuals. Think about all the other work needed to make a good hub city: new interesting NPCs to raise favor with, new player vendors, new storage, new recipes, new abilities, new favors, new hangouts, new work orders, on and on it goes. It's a LONG list and it takes time. None of the remaining work can be outsourced, so it's being done by just srand and I. And we're crunching. We literally cannot go any faster than this, so please bear with us.
- I really hope you'll like the two minigames we're adding, but if not, there will still be stuff for you to do in the casino. If you're bored right now, I seriously suggest trying WoW for a while, the new expansion is out and it's a fun game with a ton of content. And no, I'm not back-handedly disparaging WoW -- I like WoW as a second game. I think it's great for MMO players to play several MMOs. That's because no single MMO can stay fresh forever. You need to rotate between a couple of games. Don't burn yourself out on this game. (Please!) Just take a break.
- Thanks for your support, and I'll be back soon when we have more news to share.
Spring Fairy Dye
- The color is always the same, but the lighting in the area makes it look different. The dye is applied to an underlying grayscale texture, and the part of the texture that's the "straps" has a slightly different shade of gray than the leggings, so non-ambient light sources show up at a slightly different shade. (Probably exacerbated by some outdoor areas having slightly yellowish or reddish light.)
- So it's an art issue, basically, due to how we added dye support. This suit of armor was made early on, before the dye-map technology existed, and it was retrofitted after the fact. It will probably never be perfect.
- If we ever have this armor set remade, though, we'll make sure that dyes apply perfectly.
New Employee: Rummencola
- You may have chatted with Rummencola in-game as a volunteer Guide. He's now also an Elder Game employee!
- We're still working through growing pains as a company, so we haven't ironed out his exact responsibilities or job title. But you'll see him in-game as usual (possibly on his admin alter-ego Jackencola), so please help us welcome him to the team!
- Leathercrafting and other recipe groups that generate wearable equipment don't generate profit. The idea is that they have intrinsic combat value that the NPC market can't possibly recognize. This breaks the rule of thumb that crafted items generate at least some profit. But it's necessary to make other parts of the game make sense. (For instance, similarly magical loot-drop items are not worth thousands of Councils, so there needs to be parity.)
- The early recipes that don't require gems are literally just to let you grind up XP, and they are probably a mistake since people use them much longer than intended. So I will probably remove or diminish them so that people don't grind to 70 on newbie recipes. I want to flesh out the versatility of the crafting skills a tiny bit before doing that, though.
- This is good feedback, thanks! It does sound like there's a couple of bugs in there: the high-level pocket gear should have a default Endurance prereq so that literally-brand-new players can't wear them. (That's a long-standing bug that I didn't address for a long time because we didn't have "default-prereq" tech, and I didn't want all crafted cloth gear to be saddled with Endurance reqs... but it's a bug I can and will fix now.)
- And healing is supposed to generate a fair amount of aggro... so it's probably broken for Priest in some way that I'll have to investigate. Or it could have gotten entirely broken again. Aggro is one of the hardest systems to balance and maintain, in large part because it requires a group, which is hard to emulate during development! But we'll get it right eventually.
- But anyway, thanks for the insights!
- The game isn't finished yet, which is why it's in Early Access. We haven't cut vampirism from the full game. We haven't cut dwarves or housing or horses either. We've promised things and we're delivering those things, so there is no misrepresentation here.
- I'm not going to waste my precious development time cutting new videos every month when something changes. We'll do an updated video eventually, and people will have something new to bitch about and the circle of life continues. It's never possible to make a video that people don't bitch about.
- And Spider, you know that people always complain about every game trailer... so this whole post frankly seems like just a new way for you to complain about wanting vampirism again. But it won't make it come sooner. At this point vampirism is probably six months away or more. It has to come after horses and fairies because it uses tech features from them. If I was pressed to do vampirism right now, with the tech and assets I have, vampirism wouldn't be nearly as fun and impressive as it will eventually be. Early Access requires patience.
Treasure Mods Calculation
- Generally speaking:
- If a treasure mod says there's a percentage chance of something happening, those percentage chances are always rolled separately. If you have two "10% chance to blah" mods, that's two dice rolls for a 10% chance, not one 20% chance.
- Additive bonuses for damage, mitigation, and everything else I can think of stack. (There are probably exceptions, but not for typical combat stats.)
- Multiplicative bonuses for damage and mitigation also stack. They are added together before multiplication. Two "+10% base damage" mods give you +20% base damage.
- When calculating damage, the order of calculation is:
- - additive damage for that ability (e.g. +5 to Slashing Strike)
- - additive damage for that damage type (e.g. +5 to Slashing Damage)
- - multiplicative damage for that ability (e.g. +10% Slashing Strike damage)
- - multiplicative damage for that damage type (e.g. +5% Slashing damage)
- (That's off the top of my head, and there's lots of weird cases because there's hundreds of weird stats, but that's the gist for basic damage.)
- Bubble mods ("magical field that protects") are a special case of the usual stacking. They are real procs ("procedures") in the old-school sense, meaning that each bubble adds a little bit of code to your character briefly, and that code intercepts the damage calculation to mitigate damage by X%. If you have two of those, they both apply, but since they are separate code snippets, they don't combine; they are each applied one by one.
- Example: if you have two 10% mitigation bubbles and take 100 damage, then the first 10% mitigation would remove 10 damage, and the second one would see the damage as being 90, so would mitigate 9, for a total of 19 mitigation. (If they were additive like other percentage mods, two of them would mitigate 20, not 19.)
- Bubbles, reflections, drains, and anything else that falls outside of the basic combat flow are implemented as callbacks (or procs if you prefer) that intercept the combat flow and change the results. Those are applied individually, one after the other, in the order they were buffed onto your character.
- (At the risk of making this more complicated than necessary, I wanted to add that percentage-chance-to-do-X mods are also implemented as callbacks, which is why they are each rolled separately. And since the MUD term "proc" means both the callback ("procedure") and the act of the procedure going off (or "procing"), you could say that the mod "21% chance to conjure a magical field that mitigates 10% of all physical damage" is a proc that can proc a proc. And that explains why I don't usually use the term "proc" for anything!)
Free Trial Please
- Given that there's not a demo yet, I think it's perfectly reasonable to buy the game, test if performance is good enough for you, and if it isn't, seek a refund via Steam. But please remember:
- You must request the refund before Steam shows you having 2 hours of time in the game. After that point, it's not possible to get a refund.
- Make sure you experience performance in the large outdoor areas like Serbule before making a decision, as the newbie tutorial area isn't as graphically expensive. Two hours should be more than enough time to get off the tutorial island, but if you're stuck on the island and you're getting antsy to test performance elsewhere, you can use the cheat command /leavetut (type this into the chat window and press enter). This will teleport you to the mainland; you can go back to the island later. But note that the game won't let you use that cheat unless you've already made efforts to leave on your own!
- We definitely don't ban or punish people who get Steam refunds! I don't actually think many developers do that. However, Steam has said that if you request refunds for too many games, they'll stop giving them to you. If you haven't refunded many games, I wouldn't worry about it. I've refunded a few games and my account is fine.
- It may be impossible to re-buy a game that you requested a refund for. (I'm not sure.) In which case, if you get another PC later, you still won't be able to play. (Edited to add: it seems like I can re-buy the games I've gotten refunds for, so it's probably fine.)
Hard Core Broken Gear Location
- What did it say when you right-clicked and used your broken items in the inventory window? Like Niph said, it should either tell you how far you have to go, or if you're close to your death spot, it should fix the item.
- If it doesn't do that, what does it do?
- Those names aren't very reliable yet because some dungeons are shared with others, and the group of shared dungeons currently has to share one name. And one of the server areas with the name "Caves Beneath Kur Mountains" does have the winter nexus in it.
- So if you go in there it should give you a distance. If it's insanely long distance, then it's in a different dungeon... probably one that is actually beneath Kur. (If it's a medium-large distance, it could just be in the deeper parts of the nexus, past the boss teleportation spot.)
- In terms of server performance they aren't connected. Each time you see the loading screen, you're moving to a different server area. The outdoor zones all have their own "areas". Some dungeons share an area (like, say, the two goblin dungeons, or the Serbule crypt and Serbule Sewers), and if a dungeon in a shared area gets too busy we can break it out to a new area (like we did for Gazluk Keep), but that's not what's happening right now.
- There are performance problems with monster AI, which I think I made worse in the most recent update. So anywhere there's a lot of players fighting is going to be sluggish. The next update has fixes -- and I was hoping it'd be ready for this weekend, but it didn't happen, so I'm going to shoot for the middle of next week. (In other words, in time for NEXT weekend, but with some extra time to test, and fix bugs, and sleep some).
Gorgon Shop Open Yet?
- We are integrating some aspects of the shopping process more directly into the game server so that there's less manual labor (on our parts). That integration will be done in the next game update in a couple weeks, and the shop should go online around then.
Code of Conduct Confusion
- The code of conduct is not up for debate. It demands civility, which is a social skill, and one that I realize some people have trouble understanding. But that is not my problem. Bottom line: if you don't quite know what's civil then we will tell you when you are over the line, but if you keep being over the line, then you lack the social skills to play the game and will have to leave.
- If you think you're being mistreated you can send in Abuse reports about the incident, but fair warning: I've seen your name in abuse scenarios already and I do not feel you have been mistreated in the episodes I've reviewed.
Admin message about behavior
- Yeah, I saw you were being a total douchebag in chat. What is the exact point of bringing it to the forum, though?
- (And the context that prompted that response was THIS specific bit of asshattery, from your long and tedious day full of asshattery:
':'Global: when dumb people ask the same dumb questions all day its more fun to string them along )
- Hmm, there haven't been any changes to the wolf system in a long time, but we actually had somebody with a very similar problem in the past few days. In that case, the cause was a bugged item obtained via a very weird method -- have you created and used any gadgeteering vend-o-matic machines recently? (I don't mean buying items from other peoples' vendomatics, I mean setting up one yourself.)
- That sucks, I'm sorry that happened to you. (We don't have a way to do confirmation prompts on recipes yet, but I'll add it to the to-do list.)
- It sounds like you've gotten about as much fun as you can get from the game right now anyway, so yeah, seems like it's a good time to take a break. When you come back, there'll be tons of new stuff to try out! We'll see you then.
Ability Unlock Order
- The intent is that you must learn the earlier levels of anything numbered (Ability #5 requires knowing Ability #4 ), and similarly for any recipes with clear level steps ("Decent" is a prerequisite for "Nice" recipes). When you find a case where that doesn't happen, it's just a data bug, please report it in game!
- (And yes, we've gone back and forth on the pros and cons of this during development, which is where lots of the data problems came from: different iterations of ideas. There are some quality-of-life benefits to letting you learn recipes out of order, but ultimately I decided that the negatives far outweigh the positives. For a long time I was trying to find a way to hybridize it: to let you learn the low-level recipes out of order, but then start having requirements at 50 or 60. That change is too abrupt and unintuitive, though, as this thread shows! So now all recipes should have their earlier versions as a prerequisite.)
PVP for Better Economy?
- Hey guys, we aren't going to add PvP centric features, and we aren't going to add item destruction (which is why PvP can onstensibly help an MMO's economy). Those are not the only way to make an economy work, and in my opinion they cause a million times more problems than they solve.
- We've already tried the notion of item destruction with our player base during alpha (in the form of crafting recipes that have a chance to destroy your items -- nobody used them no matter how good they were). Losing items is literally never a fun thing to happen. If the game offers any alternative methods to get or use gear that avoids a chance to lose items, players will always take those routes every single time. Human beings are loss-averse. We could MAKE players lose items by forcing universal item loss. But this is a fun game, not a punishment simulator. We are not going to be destroying players' items.
- And even if we did, PvP economies are always shitty anyway. Yeah, the crafters get more work, but players are miserable, always hoarding their best gear and never using it because it might break or get lost. Using "good enough" gear all the time, and always trying to make sure you have a big pile of shit gear to use in case problems arise. That's not fun. It's boring meta-management in order to prevent bigger losses. We already have plenty of meta-management and I'm not adding more in order to appease PvP hawks.
- That said, don't mistake the in-game item creation recipes for all of the game's crafting. Those are recipes for solo players -- or players with close friends who also play -- to create gear. They aren't supposed to replace group hunting for gear. Group monster-hunting and solo item-crafting are two alternative ways to reaching the same goal of having good gear. Neither are designed with inter-player trading in mind.
- At the highest levels of the game (which are not yet implemented), crafting will take on additional roles in the form of temporary but long-term buffs (e.g. sword makers can add +10% damage to your sword that lasts for a real-time month). Other transaction-based crafting interactions already exist, such as trading augmentations.
- Those sorts of interactions will become more critical at high level. But they will never be needed at low level because low level players already have more than enough things to worry about as it is.
- The idea that PvP or item-loss "fixes" a game's economy is based on the notion that players will stick around and suffer through a lot of punishment, literally suffering for years because the game is just so damned good otherwise. The idea that a UO-style Trammel scenario could work in a major modern game is 100% fantasy. Players have hundreds of MMO choices now, and since they don't HAVE to suffer through that shit, they simply won't. Rule of thumb: if a game design requires the constant anguish of players in order to work, it's not coming back.
- But hey, maybe there's a game design that's fun enough for that. (This isn't it.) And maybe there's a community out there willing to slog through constantly being beaten back to the stone age in order to play this fun game for years. But Project: Gorgon's community has not shown any willingness to do that. I guess more importantly, I personally am not willing to do that, so it ain't happening.
- But if you have a brilliant idea for how to make it work, a way to keep PvPers from the inevitable burnout that creates ghost-towns ("it's dead now, but it had a great crafting community for a while" being the epitaph of too many MMOs), then I encourage you to give it a shot. I'd love to cross-promote with other indie MMOs who tailor to different audiences. But please don't try to shove those ideas here where they very clearly don't belong.
Skill Wipe AMA? (No)
- That really seems like you're trying hard to read malicious scheming in there. You have not uncovered a secret plan to wipe 49% of your skills. Come on.
- We have no plans to wipe any skills. But designs change and problems sometimes arise. We've had to wipe a few skills in the past when the design changed too much, and if that happens again during beta, it happens again. But it will be a limited thing. As limited as possible, whatever that happens to mean.
- In all likelihood, the total number of skills we'll wipe will be exactly zero. But beta is going to be long. Maybe we have to wipe something. We'll do what we have to do to make the best game we can.
- I think doing another Kickstarter right now would be kind of... weird. Kickstarter is for things that probably wouldn't exist without it. And I don't want people to worry about that -- the game will reach completion! (I can't guarantee when it'll leave beta, but I'm comfortable that we'll make it there.)
- And I guess the real scary thing is it would probably need new stuff -- in my experience successful Kickstarters really need exciting stretch goals. And I really don't want to add more stretch goals to our to-do list! Since we're still heavily in development, we haven't yet delivered on most of the package features of the first Kickstarter, let alone the stretch goals.
- We'll be bringing the Gorgon Shop back soon, though, with add-on packs you can connect to your Steam account that will give you many of the same benefits that Kickstarter/indiegogo backers received (once those features are implemented). Some of the benefits aren't coming back -- I think I have to write like 20 gossips for Rita and Blanche, which is already a pretty daunting task! -- but we'll introduce some new things people might be interested in.
- The past week hasn't been especially bad. It's just been the first week that I had enough info to start isolating server performance problems, so I've been patching bugs in the server each night, then getting new logs the next day, rinse and repeat.
- So the number of server reboots doesn't indicate we're having more problems than before -- hopefully less, actually.
- This evening, though, the server got bogged down by something and had a hard time recovering. That's about all I can tell just yet. If I can fix it, or at least add more debugging info to help find it if it happens again, we'll do another server patch tonight.
Epic Crop and High Yield Mushroom Boxes
- You need to do a particular thing for those. They are his secret reward recipes, and they probably should be hidden entirely until you meet the requirements.
- The quests don't give specific directions because we are still moving stuff around and the text seems to CONSTANTLY become wrong, and it's impossible for us to maintain right now. And having wrong directions is much worse than no directions. Quests will eventually give general cardinal directions after the geography of the world is more locked down.
- Also note that as you raise your skills you will get some tools for finding quest points. For instance, there's an ability that will orient your character toward the goal spot (if the objective has a specific area). There will eventually be an ability that marks it on your map for you, akin to how surveying maps work. The quest-objective-finding feature is kind of limited right now -- for instance, if you need to get something from a dungeon, it doesn't point you in the direction of the dungeon, it just says "not around here" -- but we'll eventually make it fairly robust.
- We do plan to have a free trial. But there's a lot of questions to answer first. Some thoughts:
- Mikhaila's points about paying=investment are really important. The game requires you to pay attention, at least for the first few hours. And maybe that's a hard sell in a demo.
- We're still heavily improving the game in terms of performance, graphics, balance, content... and we'll keep improving in leaps and bounds for a long while, before we eventually settle down into more careful tweaking and tuning. So does it make sense to wait on the demo until things settle out more? Maybe... but maybe a demo is necessary sooner, to help keep server population at a lively size. It's a little too soon to tell there.
- We'll need to restrict them to a special chat room ("Demo" room) so that some asshole can't just make infinite Steam accounts and keep spamming everyone with vitriol. (Which happened a few times during alpha, but I'd like to avoid a return in beta.) But locking everything down to a single chat room will take a lot of client-side code, and it may not be a good enough solution. Do we need to separate "DemoChat" from "DemoHelp"? Do we need a "DemoLocal"? I dunno.
- Gold-farming (!!) could be possible with trial accounts unless we carefully restrict every method that trial acocunts could use to transfer their items/gold
- Assuming we've reached our target audience with this demo, I'm not 100% sure the island is enough content to let them make an informed decision. Maybe we need to give them access to a bit more. For instance, if they have access to the island and the island's dungeon, maybe there's a secret way to teleport to one other dungeon. Say the Serbule Crypt. Or that might be overkill...
- The island is also the newbie experience for non-demo players. Will having an indeterminate number of demo-players muck up the experience too much? I'm not too worried about loot items, because we already have "instanced loot" on the island -- there are certain mushrooms, spoons, bottles, etc. that are always there for every player, just to make sure there's enough to go around. But are there enough monsters? In short, do we need a separate island for demoers? Maybe make the existing island bigger, something like that? Not sure.
- Anyway, the demo version is definitely something we're thinking about. And we'll definitely have a demo -- the only real question is when, and in what form.
- If you'd asked me a few weeks ago, I would have said that getting the demo out was a top priority, but now I'm not as sure. It may make more sense to first focus on the existing players for a while, working on performance, graphics, and content first. But I may change my mind again next week.
Custom Player Music
- This has come up before, and the answer is still basically the same: probably not happening until post-launch. There's no open-source library for any of this; AFAIK every company that's produced this feature has independently implemented it. It's definitely possible to add, and it's something I'd expect will get added eventually, but engineering resources are allocated for other things (like housing, new skill mechanics, etc.) for a long, long time. The thing is, it's a big chunk of programming time with only one cool feature as a result, whereas the engineering time for something like instanced housing may result in tons of other new features and tricks.
Alpha Account Recovery
- If you send an email to email@example.com with your alpha account info, we can decouple your Steam account from the new account you made, so you'll be prompted again to enter an alpha account name. Two caveats: it takes us a couple of days (on average -- lots of tickets right now), and the characters you've made on your new account will become inaccessible. We don't currently have a way to merge characters between accounts.
- We're exploring the causes of server latency (when the server is slow to respond to interactions with NPCs or entities). That's probably the most serious kind of "lag" because it means the whole area you're in will be experiencing the same lag. However it's not immediately obvious what's going wrong. It seems that a particular "thing" people are doing is causing much higher impact than usual, and it only happens under high loads. It could be something like the poetry podium, or the player work-order board, or perhaps player shops, or... well, lots of other things.
- I may end up creating a debug build of the server with lots of logging enabled, and run that for a day or two to see if we can track it down. That will mean worse performance in the short term but hopefully will let us find and fix the culprit.
- The chance of dropping items based on your active skills is exactly the same as pre-patch. The chance of it being exactly mapped to your two skills (and not generics or randomly-picked skills) is only like 65-75% or so, and always has been, so we often get reports that it's broken after each game update. But it's just random, so give it a bit of time to average out some!
- RE: panthers - we haven't altered spawn density or anything like that since the update. Spawners have random spawn profiles, so sometimes there will be more or fewer panthers than at other times. It should average out to a fairly high number of panthers in general.
Gorgon Shop Closed
- We've just now closed up the Gorgon Shop; it will probably return in a month or so. We've discontinued the old bundles, so we need to create new ones (which are still TBD), and we're recoding the shop to remove some manual-labor steps that were making purchases very slow.
- The new Shop packages are still up in the air, but the general idea is that you can buy an "early access bonus package" that gets attached to your existing Steam account.
- And, of course, the game is for sale on Steam!
- Thanks for the bug reports!
- The mods that boost or multiply an ability's damage are calculated first -- deltas are added first, then multipliers are applied. So if an ability deals 100 damage and you have a +100 mod and a +25% mod, it'd do (100+100)*1.25 = 250 damage.
- Multipliers on a skill's "base damage" are calculated separately from other mods -- they don't stack. So in the example above, if you had a third mod that added +20% base damage, that mod would add +20. And it will always add +20 regardless of other mods.
Mouse Cursor Stuck II
- Hmm. Well, I'm still stumped, so please bear with me -- gonna be a little long-winded and try to explain what's going on and what will help me track this down!
- This must be caused by not leaving mouselook mode cleanly.
- I've double-checked the code, and there's only one time when we ask Unity to put the game into "stuck in the center" mode: when you right-click your mouse while the cursor is over the game world (not over a UI window), and drag the mouse a bit, you enter mouse-look mode. That hides the mouse cursor, and sticks the mouse in the center of the screen. Each frame we detect how much the invisible mouse cursor has moved from the center, and we pan the camera by that much. Then Unity snaps the mouse back to the center and we do it again the next frame. That's how mouselook mode is implemented in Unity games.
- When you let go of the right mouse button, it unhides and unsticks the mouse.
- The previous bug was actually a Unity bug: sometimes Unity failed to notify us when you let go of the right mouse button. So the fix was to constantly poll the mouse every frame, and if the mouse button had mysteriously been released, we un-stuck the mouse. (We already had code that did this exact thing, but it only un-HID the mouse cursor, it didn't un-stick it. That's why you could see the cursor but not get it out of the middle of the screen.)
- That hack seemed to fix the problem. Incidentally Unity fixed this bug in a patch a few weeks ago -- but I'd already added the code to constantly check, and we'll just leave that in forever in case Unity screws up again.
- So we have code in the game right now that CONSTANTLY tries to fix this condition... but apparently there's a scenario where it still doesn't work. I can't really come up with a reliable scenario where it could break, either. It seems impossible. But obviously it isn't.
- Does entering mouselook mode and exiting it again fix it?
- If your mouse cursor is stuck in the center of the screen, you should be able to fix it 100% of the time by right-clicking IN THE WORLD (not overtop a GUI screen), moving the mouse a bit so that the camera pans, and then letting go of the right mouse button. That should fix it reliably. But the problem is that if you have a GUI window in the center of the screen when your mouse gets stuck (like a corpse window), you can't do it: you can't click outside of a GUI window, because your mouse is stuck overtop a GUI window! But any other time, that should fix it.
- So, for anyone experiencing this bug: can you enter mouse-look mode, then leave mouse-look mode, and the mouse is still stuck in the center of the screen? Or, perhaps, can you not even enter mouselook mode at all while this is happening? Or does it only ever happen when a GUI window is in the dead center of your screen?
- Invisible boxes
- Now, there's one additional variable: there are actually invisible GUI windows overtop selectable entities in the world. (That's how you can click on monsters and items and stuff in the world.) But these boxes don't normally count as UI windows. After all, you can enter mouselook mode even when the mouse is overtop a monster. But we're looking for a weird scenario, so maybe they're involved.
- The reason I'm suspicious of these invisible boxes is that we recently added an optimization: when there are shit-tons of selectable things on the screen (more than 15), the invisible boxes are slower to reposition themselves -- they update every few frames instead of every single frame. That helps performance a lot. But if your framerate is low, maybe the optimization is buggy somehow: maybe a window gets stuck taking over the whole screen or something. Lots of "maybes" in any scenario I come up with, but... <shrug> maybe it's buggy.
- Another reason I'm suspicious: the bug seems to happen when there's lots of stuff on-screen, judging by the anecdotes so far... and that further points the blame at this optimization.
- That's why I'd like anyone affected by this bug to add the word NoSlowBoxes to their special settings window. This turns off the optimization! It would be really helpful to know if NoSlowBoxes fixes the issue or not. If so, then I have a much better idea of where to look. If not, then I can look elsewhere.
- External app interference?
- Brainstorming other ways this could happen, maybe there's another program interfering somehow: maybe a popup from a chat app, or the Steam overlay screen itself. Something like that. When this happens, are you in full-screen mode? Are other programs taking focus from the game around the time it happens? I'm looking for any clues that might help track this down.
- I know this stuff is tedious, and I'm sorry it's interfering with your gaming! I'm hoping the answers to these questions will give me a clue about what's happening.
Group Combat Roles
- We'll definitely see more group roles in the future... and we've had tanky content in the past. In fact, I can probably restore the "tank" role to Gazluk Keep with a single change that gives group mobs their hit points back. They were nerfed because when there were ~50 people online, there were simply no tanks available. Most players do not want to tank at all. It's not a popular role in general and never has been. And while it's definitely possible to build practically-invincible tank characters, they do take a lot of preparation. Lots of gear.
- So anyway, right now, the monsters can all be burst-DPS'ed to death, and so people do that. If I give group monsters more mitigation, armor, and health, players won't be able to DPS them efficiently -- meaning they'll have to take lots of damage in the fight -- and support and tank roles will be more useful. Lots of tuning needs to happen beyond that, of course, but often in the past what has happened is that players just choose to solo instead. There weren't enough players to form groups. We do have a lot more players online right now... and probably enough to reliably have some tanks and supports... but I'm not sure if enough are high level yet.
- So I'm torn -- I may restore GK elites and bosses in this upcoming update. That would be useful because we can see where things are at, and what needs to change. But I don't want to make GK basically unplayable again. So might wait another few updates for more players to get higher-level. (The somewhat lower-level dungeon known as the Labyrinth could also be made more tanky pretty easily, but again, pretty high-level.)
- Also: as you may know, we have another support skill, the Priest, waiting in the wings. I haven't bothered getting it ready to go because, well, no grouping means no need for healers. But it can be made to go with a couple weeks' work. Combined with the existing healing builds, that will give us lots of coverage of the basic trinity roles. I'd like to add some other roles as well, including armor-removal and crowd control. It will take iterations and lots of feedback, but it'll happen.
- If your computer completely crashes when you play the game then it's not going to be due to the game. If the game crashes, or even if the video driver soft-crashes, there could be things the game is doing... but when the whole computer reboots, it's outside of our ability to help you. There is something wrong with your machine. It is probably hardware, but it could be a driver issue.
- I'm sorry we can't be of more help -- the usual steps to try to help would be to lower the graphics and see if you could play that way -- sometimes in cases where the video card is overheating, using lower-res graphics lets you play even though your machine is damaged. But you already tried that. So unfortunately you're out of luck: there's nothing else we can do from here.
Level after soulmates?
- Nothing yet!
Moue Cursor Stuck
- So what you're seeing is that you can move the mouse, but when you try to click, it jumps back. Or is it that whenever you mouse over certain rectangles on the screen it jumps back? Hmm. That's super weird. A few more questions for you:
- Does right-clicking and dragging the camera around (then letting go) fix it for a while?
- What sort of framerate are you getting when this happens? (If you enable the FPS indicator, it'll give you a color-coded number -- I'm wondering if it's red, yellow, or green when this happens, basically.)
- Also, please try opening up the Settings window and adding the word "NoSlowBoxes" (without quotes) and see if that fixes it.
- Because we use the Unity engine, we can only support what it supports. Officially, I believe that means we can only officially support Ubuntu (and that's what we test against here). But I know other distros have been used by other players successfully. Hopefully someone who uses a different distro can comment here...
- Where does the error message appear? Is it showing up within Steam before you download it, or is it showing up after you've downloaded the game and try to play it?
- Oh, it's not a 32-bit version of the OS, is it? We need a 64-bit OS.
- We expected the deluxe purchases to be picked up by existing or returning players -- in other words, players who already had an alpha client. So waiting a few days isn't expected to be a huge burden, because you can still play, and none of the special-package features are live yet anyway. I really appreciate the purchases of people who hadn't played before now, though, and I see where it breaks down for you: you don't have the alpha version because we just rolled out a brand new front-page site which doesn't have the link anymore (since the alpha version will be going away in a couple of days).
- By using the link I posted above, you can play via the alpha launcher through this weekend, and if you haven't gotten your code yet, please use this to play now! (You will be able to transition your alpha account to Steam painlessly via an in-game screen once you get your Steam key.)
- As to the shop -- it isn't automated because it was designed to do a one-time-email burst. When the game became available on Steam, we burst-emailed everyone who'd bought a special package. But before we took the shop offline we kept getting a few more straggling purchases -- and still do -- so we're doing new mini-email-bursts every few days to process them.
I:t's obviously not ideal, and not sustainable, but the store is literally going away in a few days... so there's not much we can do with it at this point that wouldn't just be more work and more chaos during these last four days of its existence.
- (And if we have another "shop" site in the future, which is up for debate, we'll definitely fully automate it! Because this sucks for everyone involved.)
- I appreciate your patience, and I'm sorry for the lack of communication here.
- We'll find ways to address this going forward. The VIP plan will definitely be able to help there, but we'll have other ways to make muling practical for people who don't use VIP. For instance, maybe the instanced housing system will be the answer -- park your mules in your house and dump your items on the floor. I don't know yet. It's a problem we weren't really thinking about too much before Steam, and we have aggressive schedules to keep (or try to keep...) so I don't want to try to code a complex technical answer that ends up costing us lots of development+maintenance time, or limits us in other ways... but that said, when I'm confident I can squeeze a solution in somewhere, it'll happen. I understand it's a problem for you NOW, but I hope you can bear with it for a while.
Working: Connected Bug
- Those symptoms usually mean that you can't get a stable connection to our main server. The game can make a connection, but then there's too much packet loss to transmit anything, and the connection breaks. The game keeps retrying though, and eventually one of the unstable connections manages to generate some invalid data before hanging up. (That's what the 256 error is, a corrupted game packet. It's generally a symptom of the same problem as the constant disconnect/reconnects.)
- Typically this means there's a hardware problem with your internet connection. If you have 100% reliable connection to the rest of the internet, then it could be a routing problem between your ISP and our ISP, which we can talk to our ISP about fixing... but if your internet is generally flaky, the game is probably never going to be usable for you, I'm sorry to say.
- We'd usually recommend reinstalling the game at this point, to rule out version problems or corrupted downloads, but you've already done that. Please try the verifier in the launcher, though: run the launcher, click "Options..." instead of the Login button, then press "Validate Installation". If you still have problems after that, I would really suspect it's not a software problem at all. (If it was a problem with your firewall, you wouldn't get any connection at all.)
- (Edit: were you the person that sent in your log file via email? I remember seeing a log about a similar situation, but the log file just described problems keeping a connection to the server; it didn't have anything more specific.)
- Thanks for reporting it! But we still appreciate reports from other players too to help us gauge the importance of a bug. We have several thousands open bugs at any given time. (Every MMO does, including fully-launched ones.) Many are tiny issues, while others are a big deal... but figuring out which is which in a hurry isn't easy. We're a tiny team and we have no full time QA people, so we rely on player input to help us gauge priority.
- We do eventually work through all the bugs -- as long-time players can hopefully attest! Sometimes it can take a very long time, though. For something like a data bug in a mining recipe, those bugs would probably sit in the DB until we do an update that focuses on surveying, and then we'd hit all the relevant bugs at once.
- However, there's a way for bugs to move "up the queue": if we hear from a lot of players about a certain bug, we realize it's pissing players off, and we try to get to those quickly.
- So if a bug pisses you off, please report it in-game, even if you're sure other people have already reported it.
- Optimizing Serbule is definitely a high priority, and we've got some framerate improvements ready for the next game update (which will be next week, probably). But it's a complex problem with a lot of different parts, and we'll have to iterate and improve over several months to get things settled. This next update will give a noticeable FPS boost to everyone by fixing some problems in the Serbule scene itself, but there are other issues that need to be worked on.
- One issue is that our monster-movement subservers seem to become unstable when there's more than 300 people on a single map. That happened during the "poetry" player event on Sunday for the first time. Those sub-servers are designed to crash and restart cleanly, and they did so, but whenever one crashes, players in the area experience noticeable lag (and can also have weird monster behavior, such as monsters "skating" around). That lag lasts until the subserver restarts, usually less than a minute later. The Serbule sub-server crashed five or six times during the few hours around the poetry event, so that's pretty annoying.
- I'm still looking into why the subserver crashed this weekend, and fixing it will probably take iterative improvements and testing. But in the short term we'll set up dual physics sub-servers for Serbule so that they can share the work and fail-over if one crashes. That configuration hasn't been tested before but we'll set it up this week and see how it behaves this weekend when populations are highest. And, of course we'll work on fixing the underlying crash problems!
- We also need to optimize a lot of things, from LODs to animation-visibility ranges. There's a lot of work to do. But most of it isn't unknown work -- it's just a lot of work we need to do. So we will!
- Just to be clear: it should definitely be possible to have hundreds of people on the Serbule map, but having hundreds of players ON-SCREEN is always going to be expensive. I doubt it will ever be possible to have 150+ people in town without having significant framerate drops in town. Our character-customization hooks are pretty deep (for instance, every piece of armor can be dyed separately on three layers in any of hundreds of colors), so rendering players will always be somewhat expensive. However, the "OptimizeMeshes" special optimization feature is especially useful when there's tons of players on-screen, and I encourage people to test it out! (Check the patch notes for details.) We have plans to improve that further. And as we fix other problems with CPU-bottlenecks, the pressure will ease a bit.
- But part of the long-term fix is to push players to spread out more. If there's 1000 people online, they should be distributed across multiple cities, not all standing in Serbule square! To that end we've been working on making Rahu more useful as a high-level city, and we'll keep working on that in future updates, too. And we'll have to experiment with systems or content that will help player-run "events" like the poetry event succeed.
- So to sum up: we'll be trying something this weekend to address the sudden FPS spikes that happen when the physics sub-server crashes. The update next week will have some FPS improvements. And the updates after that will continue to improve things. We use an iterative approach, so it's not feasible to give an exact timeline of when Serbule will be "optimized", but it will improve noticeably in steps.
AH is Broken
- <eye roll> yes, it will NEVER EVER get that rework. Now that we're in beta, obviously everything is finished, so don't expect any more skill revisions! Except, like, in every single patch for the rest of beta.
- We'll get there. There are lots of things to do, but Animal Handling hasn't been forgotten. The next update has fixes for ability UI problems. We're also looking at damage output. As for making your pet be a tank, that will happen eventually, but there's lots of other balance stuff that has to happen first. There will never be one magic rework of the skill. It will happen iteratively over many updates.
Uniform Questing and Main Story
- So there's hundreds of quests and tons of NPCs with their own things going on. There will be lots of player choices like druidism, vampirism, plenty more, that will alter your character's story. In short, you can go do whatever you want.
- Yes, there's the beginning of a "main story" quest. I'm not sure if you're pissed because you want LESS story quests ("please take out these quests because they offend me") or MORE ("please add 1000000 unique story quests and only let each player do one"). Either way, that's not happening. Yes, there will be a "main story" quest. It has branches and choices and it differs by race, but it does exist. If you hate it, you won't be pressured into doing it. There are no major skills locked to it or whatever. Like everything else in the game, doing the storyline is a choice.
- For the record, I'm REALLY not moved by the argument that "everybody can't be the chosen one." Players aren't "chosen ones" here. But you have a shared history (you went to the same school for a while). Of course you have a shared history. What else would even make sense? You obviously aren't average townsfolk, or even average adventurers. You're fireball-throwing master swordsmen with pet bears for fuck's sake, you tower over the NPCs with your prowess and you can literally kill thousands of enemies without dying. You're badasses, and you have a badass history, and while the game won't define all of that, you deserve for the game to at least TRY to pay off on a little bit of your history, not just stick its head in the sand and go "I guess I don't know where all these thousands of immortal lightning wizards came from. Something in the water I guess lol." That's stupid. So I'll do the best I can. And if you don't like it, it's fine, you can skip all of it.
- Anyway, if the very existence of those quests is a deal breaker for you, and you've played less than two hours on Steam, you can get a refund and I encourage you to do so.
- I do feel this is kinder to new players in newbie areas, and we already use this idea in some places where it won't hamper other people (for instance, you can autopsy anything you kill... you'll just screw it up if you aren't good enough). And I might use it for low-level resources, but it doesn't really scale to high level items.
- Just as an example: suppose you completely ignore mining all through the game, and now you're in Rahu and you see a bunch of level 60 mining nodes. You've got lots of fighting skill, so you go killing monsters and using those mining nodes. But you get nothing from those nodes -- you just waste them, since you don't have any skill. You might get 1 or 2 points of Mining XP from it, but not enough XP to level you quickly. So in the mean time you are basically just unintentionally griefing people who DO have the necessary skill. And unless you want to pointlessly use a million level 60 nodes, you'll still have to go back to an earlier zone and raise the skill the right way. So it's just... pointless. And frustrating in its own way.
- But for the low-level tiers of resources, those concerns aren't very important, so we might use the technique there in the future.
- We don't yet know the full scope of what we'll be able to do in terms of major art changes. To some extent it really does boil down to how well we do on Steam, and it's a bit early to tell. (And I don't want to jinx it.) But the first thing on our list, and the thing I'm most confident will happen, is animation improvements. In fact that work began shortly before the Steam launch.
- Before we start trying to improve specific animation problems, first we have a big hurdle: a major code rewrite. We're remaking our animation system to better support fluid animation transitions and animation blending. This will fix a lot of the weirdness that happens in combat -- or, at least, it will give us the ability to iteratively improve animations by adjusting weighting and positioning in ways that we simply can't do right now with our old (5 year old!) animation system. That code overhaul is underway now, but as it's partially outsourced I don't have a timeline -- I expect it'll be ready soon, but these major code overhauls always take longer than I think they will, so we'll see.
- We'll also be replacing some of the "problematic" animations that are live now. Some of them will change in conjunction with the code overhaul, but most will be replaced iteratively.
- We've also begun fleshing out our animation list, adding missing ones that we didn't have budget for in the past. I've just ordered a batch of animations from our animator Vincent, and I expect those will show up in a month or so. This first new batch of animations includes combat animations for two skills: hammer (right now, hammer uses sword animations and it's kinda disappointing-looking) and off-hand knife (right now, knife can only be in the main hand due to animation limitations). We'll order more animations after that, although we'll need to go slowly at first while we work out the kinks in the new code system.
- We also have some plans underway for new armor shaders and, eventually, new skins, faces, etc., but that's further down the line. I'd also like to replace some of the monster models that are currently using store-bought Asset Store models. But that work will have to wait until after the new animation system is done.
- So we have lots of plans, but as usual I can't give much of a time line -- it's really hard to predict when all the pieces will line up. When stuff is ready to go, we'll get it live! In the mean time, we'll continue with our other work including new dungeons, new outdoor areas, new skills, some major skill overhauls, and major revamps to existing areas. Expect a game update every 2-3 weeks on average, the same pace as during alpha.
- Not much else to say right now, except thanks for playing and backing us, and I'm excited to show you some of the stuff we've got in development!
- Yeah, the icon changes are part of a continuous process to replace the ancient prototype icons. We don't usually bother to mention those as they fall under "miscellaneous art tweaks" type stuff, although this time around there were more changed icons than usual.
- RE: purple sugar and other weirdness: a few of those old icons were shared by multiple items and we didn't notice, so when we made the icon better represent one thing, it represents the other thing worse. We'll break them off into their own icon and fix them... unless of course it turns out to be more fun leaving them un-fixed.
- Thank you for the kind words! But I should clarify that I wasn't on the development team for AC until after it launched. In fact, I had a similar experience to you. I was in my 20s working as a programmer, but not in games. I was playing EverQuest with friends and we would spend all lunch every day complaining about the game. Then we found Asheron's Call, and it instantly changed my career trajectory. I suddenly realized I needed to be involved in making these worlds! So I applied to Turbine and almost immediately flew off to Boston.
- So my actual first work on Asheron's Call was with their monthly updates after the game had launched, and with the Dark Majesty expansion in 2001. After that I was taken off to work on AC2, and I could only help out with AC a bit on the weekends.
- My wife Sandra (well, she's my wife now... not back then) is probably more deserving of accolades, as she worked on AC1 for a lot longer. She loves the game more than anything -- in fact when she was required to switch over to work on AC2, she quit the company because she wasn't interested in the new game... and then Turbine changed their mind and hired her back to work on AC1 some more. Sandra kept working on the game's updates for years and eventually became the producer for the game. So it's safe to say it was a huge influence on her, too.
- We've both thought a lot about what made Asheron's Call special. And while this game is very different from that one, I do hope a bit of that magic can be found in Project: Gorgon.
- We have a few more important crafting NPCs to add to Rahu (for not-yet-released craft skills) which should flesh out the storage. As for connectivity, I expect the next outdoor area will be connected to the west side of Rahu and that will help with its utility. It just takes time to get there!
Map Fog and Completion
- The current max-completion percentages are just temporary -- they're based on the idea you can reach every fog square, which of course is impossible, especially in dungeons. Instead of trying to figure out exactly which squares players can reach, we're letting players figure it out for us. In a month or two we'll examine all player data and find the "real" max-completion percentages, and set them so that it's possible to reach 100% in each map.
- I'd been planning to use the package-redemption system (In other words, the /redeem command, but with a UI instead of making you type commands.) So you'd have several packages to choose from each month and could pick the one you want, when you want.
- I worry that using a special "pay currency" sends weird messages to players who are used to "pay shops" being full of overpowered gear, so I wanted to avoid that. I also want to be able to offer different items at different times, so bundles seem like the way to go. But I'm sure there are other ways to reach those goals and I'm not married to any particular implementation yet!
- I do think some level ranges in some skills are too slow right now. But we'll get there. One thing to keep in mind is that when I see a curve that's too slow, I don't think "this curve needs to be fixed", I think "we could hook another game system here to let players accelerate this curve." So while there will definitely be tweaks to earned XP, there will also be new skills and things to speed up slow spots. Finding those slow spots in advancement is very useful when I'm trying to integrate new game mechanics.
- (As a designer, I wouldn't use that rule of thumb for other games -- it's just the way this particular game works!)
Game Engine and Server
- The game uses Unity for the client graphics, but the server is our custom Gorgon Engine, which is written in Java. The game world can support up to 1500 concurrent players max (but the game's content will be designed to fit 1000 people comfortably). If we have more than 1000 concurrent players on a server for sustained amount of time we can set up new game servers.
- During the Indiegogo campaign we had 250 concurrent players without major issue (except there weren't nearly enough monsters to go around at the time), and the engine could easily have handled more. So I'm not too worried about short-term influx from Steam.
- Optimizing framerates in large-world games is always hard and Unity doesn't give magic bullets for fixing framerate problems. It always takes tons of engineering work to get framerates high. And that's a large part of what we'll be doing during beta.
- Other MMOs in Unity have the same problem for the same reason: it's hard. And Unity appeals to a lot of inexperienced developers. If the devs haven't worked on MMOs before, they may not have realized what they were getting into until it's too late. But we've done this work before for other MMOs and I'm confident in our ability to get good framerates -- it just takes a lot of iteration.
- Edited to add: we made our own server engine specifically because Unity's networking code and server system sucks for MMOs. (And the available off-the-shelf extension packages suck too.) That's another reason other indie MMOs run into trouble: if the developers think they can use a cheap networking package for an MMO, they will likely run into problems with high player counts. No commercial networking system I've seen is good enough for an MMO yet, so I had to write my own. In fact we're letting a few other indie MMO teams use our server engine, because there just aren't good alternatives.
- We'll be talking about that soon, but I can't give specifics yet since we're still discussing what's in it internally. I'm working hard to find ways to make it appealing without significantly impacting day-to-day gameplay. In general, it consists of slots -- item-transfer slots, character slots, horse slots, and so on.
- Anything in a VIP package can be considered "really unfair" from somebody's point of view, so I'm sure there'll some be people who hate it, but I really don't think it'll be seen as a huge deal to most players. We definitely don't expect players to "need" it for anything. It's a luxury.
- Ah, yes, I'd forgotten about that from the KS page. It's outdated -- I don't think we're going to do a special currency, instead we're currently talking about giving VIPs a special "gift basket" each month with items like special dyes and appearance skins -- but that post gives the general idea.
Dev Question: Renaming Vulnerable
- As you may know, monsters can sometimes "go vulnerable". The word "vulnerable" flashes over their head along with an icon and a particle. For the next few seconds, the monster is "vulnerable" and there are abilities and mods that do extra things to vulnerable targets.
- When I'm looking at what changes are needed to combat, this mechanism stands out as being especially hard to figure out. It's actually super simple -- it's either on or off -- but players don't figure it out, sometimes even after playing for many hours.
- We can add pop-up hints and stuff, but I think part of the problem is the name "vulnerable". It's very generic. "Vulnerable" can mean lots of things, such as being weak to a specific damage type. Players see "Vulnerable" over the monsters' head and go "huh, that's good... I guess." They see that abilities do extra damage "to vulnerable targets" but that doesn't really click with the word "Vulnerable" over monsters' heads.
- So I'm thinking of renaming it to something else. Right now I like "Off-Guard". You'll see "Off-Guard" pop up over monsters, and you'll see some abilities do more damage to Off-Guard targets, and I think that'll be a little easier to figure out. But before I go changing the text in a thousand places I figured I'd see if you have other suggestions!
Linux UI Scale Bug
- I've been trying to think of what could cause that but I don't have any good ideas. Unity does have problems with some linux video drivers reporting the wrong scale. I don't know whether Unity or the video driver is at fault, but sometimes Unity's GUI thinks the screen is the wrong size. (Some people reported that the UI grows infinitely big ... same issue. It's fixed by using a different driver.) However, the nvidia driver is the one I'd recommend, and you're already using that.
- So I don't have any good leads on what could cause that. I would first try using the "safe mode" setting in the launcher (or just deleting your GorgonConfig.txt) to make sure it's not a corrupted or invalid configuration. If that doesn't work, it could be that the driver is improperly configured after an update, so you might try reinstalling it. But really, those are just guesses.
Package Delivery Timeline
- No package features will be rolled out in the next month or so. The plan is for pledge rewards to be rolled out during beta -- after the game is on Steam but before it leaves "Steam early access". The features will be rolled out when they're ready in regular game updates. There's no exact timeline. Some features, such as player titles, are close to completion and I expect they'll arrive in a few months. Others, such as housing, aren't even started yet.
- Since we haven't finished coding them, I should also include this disclaimer: it's possible that certain pledge-reward features may not be available until the game officially goes live, for logistical reasons.
- For pledge rewards that include VIP time, we'll give you some control over when that VIP time starts -- either during beta or when the game leaves early access.
- To help put worries at ease, I want to mention that quite a few items on the island are actually "instanced" for each player. There's always a sword in that first backpack, and the amethyst bag is always there (in one of two places) for every player. There's always two spoons hidden around, two bottles, five mushrooms, a few other things. (Plus however many other "non-instanced" items spawn on the island.) These instanced things are only visible to the player -- other players can run right through them.
- So no matter how many players are there, it's always possible to complete the basic tasks and leave the island. We don't have the ability to instance entire areas, the engine just can't do that. But we do use this sort of pseudo-instancing in places that might be crowded.
Working Beta and Changes
- Silvonis was reminding people that the game will change during beta. This will be a working beta, not a PR beta. Lots of big games these days use the word "beta" to mean "free play time," and you can expect very few changes during those betas. But we will be working very hard on the game design so a lot of things will change.
- We do sometimes need to dramatically redesign skills, and basically reset them as a consequence. That's only happened a couple times during the game's long development time, so I expect it'd only happen once or twice during beta. But I don't know for sure. That's not even related to the "partial wipe". That's just something that might happen as we work on balance.
- Much more likely than actually "wiping" a skill is changing it to the point where it's unrecognizable. I've talked about changing Battle Chemistry very dramatically by breaking it into two skills, and that still may happen. So what you currently call Battle Chemistry may not be the parts of the skill you love; they may be moved to a new skill. And if that happens, you'd need to level up that new skill to get it back. Other skills may get reworked in similar fashion.
- And I can pretty much guarantee that your favorite abilities will change their stats, gear mods will be revamped multiple times, monsters' relative power will go up and down as we try to bring this very complex game into a basic sort of balance. (It'll never be perfectly balanced, as that would be impossible and also super boring. But it will be a lot more balanced than it is now.)
- Let me put it another way. If, during beta, we realize something needs to be changed, we will NEVER say, "no, we can't make that change -- it's beta! Too late! The players' current characters would be impacted too much!" No. It's beta, meaning that it's the perfect time to make critical changes. So please expect them.
- Also expect that we'll do our best, given the circumstances of each individual change, to lessen the impact of those changes. For instance, when skills have changed really dramatically in the past, we've given players free gear transmutations for a week to help get them back into fighting form. Or when an item is changed too heavily for the auto-updater to automatically rebuild the item, it becomes "legacy gear", which means it keeps working in its now-imbalanced state for 30 days to give you time to find a replacement. That sort of thing isn't always practical or called for, but we'll do what we can to keep beta players happy and engaged.
- But yeah, changes. Tons of changes. Often uncomfortable nerfs. That's to be expected during beta. And if you don't want to deal with that, and want to wait until the game launches, that's entirely understandable.
No Guild Wipe
- no, we aren't wiping guilds. We're wiping items to make the launch economy work better. Deleting guilds doesn't impact the economy so it'd just be dickish for no benefit.
- Yes, of course skills earned during beta will be kept. Again, we're wiping items, not skills.
- And yep, there will be more levels added during beta, that's what I meant by extending the game.
- We aren't wiping items NOW, because that the game isn't balanced yet and many of the economic features aren't implemented.
- Item wipe isn't a punishment. "Why not punish us now and get it over with?" is really the heart of your question, and the answer is: it's not being done as a punishment. It's an attempt to make the game economy work better after the game mechanics are fleshed out and balanced. It's not finished yet, so if we wiped things now we'd just have to wipe again at launch.
- I know you have lots of questions, probably more that haven't been asked yet, and I'm happy to answer them. But please start from the idea that we're trying to be kind. I'm extremely grateful for the people who've taken the time to play this very-unfinished game over the years and I want to do right by them. That's why I don't want to wipe prematurely or over-aggressively. I'm going to be as surgical as possible about WHEN and WHAT we wipe because wiping stuff sucks: most people feel like it's wasting their time, making them repeat things they've already done and don't want to do again. But we can't avoid wipes entirely, so we'll make it as minimal as we can.
Gorgon Shop Stop?
- Will you still be able to buy the packages on the Gorgon Store after the Steam release? Will you be able to continue donating after Steam release, as well?
- We don't have any reason to stop accepting donations, but at some point soon we need to stop accepting new purchases of the more expensive Gorgon Shop packages. I'm not sure the exact cutoff date. Probably right about the same time the two-week transition period ends.
- I also wanted to mention that this is not to create artificial scarcity (the game is only going to beta, not launching, so why stop offering pre-launch bundles?). It's just for pragmatic reasons: the more expensive rewards involve a lot of hand-done bits, so it's best to do the work all at once, or as close to that as possible.
- As an example, the packages that include a custom in-game title involve editing permanent data files for the game, and then carefully connecting that engine data to your in-game account after the next game-update. There's a lot of places where errors can creep in, so it's sanest to collect all the titles and do them at once, so we can test and debug better. (Plus another pass for scragglers and bugs we don't find in the first pass.)
- But we may be able to offer other pre-launch packages with nice rewards that don't involve as much customization work on our parts. We haven't talked about that yet though.
- Will multiple gorgon accounts need multiple steam accounts and how easy or difficult will it be on steam to change from one account to another ?
- Yes, each mule would need its own license of the game. And unfortunately it's a little bit slower to cross-account mule under Steam. You can't switch Steam accounts while the game is running, so you'd have to shut down the game, then switch accounts in Steam, then re-launch the game.
- So personally I would hold off on buying extra copies of the game for mules. We're busy thinking about ways that the VIP package can make muling easier (for instance, by giving your account more character slots and a bigger shared-account-storage box). I think the VIP plan will be the easiest way to be a pack-rat in the future.
- what sort of influx are you guys expecting and wha adjustments to the world are being made to be able to handle it (spawn rates, etc)
- It's hard to predict, really, but I'm expecting a modest influx that hopefully gets bigger over time.
- Back during the indiegogo campaign we had about 250% more players online than we do now. And while the game was still playable, the newbie experience was extremely cramped. That led to the complete rewrite of the newbie experience (the "newbie cave" became the "newbie island") and the addition of Serbule Hills as another low-level zone. So given that I'm not expecting a huge tidal wave of players on day one, I think we'll be fine now, and when we find new level ranges where things feel cramped, we can add new content during our regular updates.
- As a backup, we have the ability to change outdoor spawn rates very easily, so if we get a surprise rush of players we'll speed up spawns with a quick reboot of the server.
Gazluk Lag 2
- I think we've tracked down the problem with Gazluk. It's due to issues with the new 2017.2 version of Unity; they screwed up their physics engine again. The problem can cause lag in all areas, but is most noticeable in Gazluk because it's the largest area with the most monsters. We're working on a fix for the next update!
- If this update caused you to have dramatically reduced framerate in Gazluk, it may be because of the new map. The new Gazluk map image isn't any bigger than the new maps in other areas, but Gazluk itself uses a lot more memory, and perhaps the map has put your video card past what it can do without constant memory-paging. That's just a hypothesis... but if that proves to be a problem for a lot of people we'll figure out a fix.
- To test this idea, please try turning off the minimap and map, and seeing if performance improves in Gazluk!
Cursor Stuck Center of Screen
- Thanks for the video! Stuck in the dead center ... yeah, that's definitely caused by mouselook mode not stopping correctly when you let go of the right mouse button. Did this start with the most recent update (on Friday) or was it happening before that?
- To fix, you should be able to just right-click and pan the camera a bit. By explicitly going into mouselook mode and letting go, it should fix the mouse state. But I don't know what could cause that. There must be something unique about how he's playing, like chording the mouse keys by accident or something. If anybody has insight into how to reproduce that, I'd appreciate it!
EQ Assist Idea
- I'm sorry, I still feel like I'm missing something... what does the /assist command do that the key bindings don't let you do already?
- I really don't think "everybody in the group should now make a macro with my name using /assist" counts as an easy-to-use tool. Most players don't even know about critical (IMO) commands like /isearch, so I'm wrapping those commands in UI features. Although we'll add more slash-commands over time for people that like them, the golden age of that kind of stuff is long over. We need to make the game intuitive without needing to type commands or make macros. So I'd really like to understand when binding a /assist macro would be more useful than binding the assist-like command that already exists in the game. Or did I miss your point?
- (I grouped a lot in in EQ2 (early days post-launch was great grouping, though it's mostly a solo game now) and I've based lots of the commands and targeting logic on that game. I don't think we ever had /assist in EQ2, or if we did, I never used it.)
Alpha Test Title
- Actually, the title turned off a few days ago. We expected to be on Steam in early January and once we're on steam we'll be in beta instead of alpha. But Steam is still a little ways away so I'll adjust the date on the alpha title in tomorrow's update.
- First, a reminder that the item-reset happens when we leave steam early access, and that's a year away. (And that's being kind of optimistic.) So I wouldn't worry too much about it personally.
- Yes, NPC favor levels will be reset. The biggest reason we're doing the item-reset is to reduce inflation and give the game's economy a little bit of breathing room. Because favor gives you so much added money-making power, I think letting you keep your favor will undermine the point too much.
- On the other hand, your favor-quests will also be reset, and with higher level it's likely that you'll be able to breeze through a lot of the favors to easily get the first few favor levels. So you'll still have a very significant advantage. But hopefully not "potatoes are trading at 1k apiece in the first week" levels of bad.
New Player Feedback
- thanks for the feedback. What were the other straws on your back, so to speak? What else frustrated you as a new player? I presume it wasn't ONLY some jerk leaving nuclear waste in town. We can address that if it's a common occurrence (it's the first time I'd heard of that happening), but I would like to know what else angered and frustrated you as a new player.
- I don't want the game to "hold your hand" and teach you every little thing. But I DO want to improve systems that are pointlessly obtuse or frustrating to newbies -- I just don't know what those things are. I haven't been a newbie in a long time, so your feedback is very valuable!
Parse Chat Logs
- Yep, you can parse chat logs, as they aren't part of the game installation itself.
- Two relevant things to note:
- 1- As mentioned in the "Special Settings" help screen, LogChat will eventually become VIP-only. That's a ways away, after we robustify it and extend it to support other kinds of logging. But the point is that eventually players will need a VIP subscription to log chat.
- 2- we're still planning to create a system where guilds and groups can plug in chat bots to the game's chat channels, which will allow a way for two-way communication via external tools. (Although for sanity's sake, we won't allow chat bots in standard channels like Global chat, so that may not be relevant for what you're trying to do!) That's not likely to happen until mid-2018, however.
- Joeh used to be the calligraphy vendor and we'd accidentally left him set up with consignment settings for calligraphy (which includes parchment and book-like things). But Joeh's only supposed to be for equipment now.
- We'll probably set up Sammie Grimspine (the new calligraphy vendor) in Serbule Hills to do parchment consignments instead, maybe somebody in Rahu too.
- Unfortunately Unity doesn't currently have a way to do dynamic theming. Changing the "theme" involves several hours of manually editing colors in the Unity editor. I could write a theme manager, but I don't think that's a good use of limited development time... so for now, we have to settle on one color scheme for all!
Druid and Lycan
- In terms of game mechanics, you can be inducted into druidism and lycanthropy on the same character, but there are no plans for letting you use Druid+Werewolf skills at the same time. You can use them separately, though.
- There may also be future political implications for being both, because the relevant gods involved are... not friends. But who's to say how political turmoil like that will fall out.
- Ah, yeah Norton has been trouble for us before. They seem to think every new version of our launcher is a trojan horse, just on principle that it's not the same as the old version. It's very annoying.
- Norton's firewall may also be responsible for the launcher being unable to connect to the net. Since your browser can read http://client.projectgorgon.com/fileversion.txt but the launcher can't reach it at all, that tells me that either your browser is set up in a special way to access the internet (which is unlikely), or some software is firewalling the launcher so it can't access web pages. See if turning off all firewalls for a few minutes allows the launcher to work.
- The anchoring of tooltops is a very annoying problem to me because I would very much like to make people happy with their position, but I can't seem to please people.
- First: in the old GUI, ability tooltips were anchored in the top left. They could not be moved. They were about the same size as the new UI, too. (People who say their ability tooltips are "huge", I don't know what you're seeing. They're tiny little boxes for me, so I'd love to see screenshots.)
- In the first preview of the new UI, I had tooltips appear overtop the abilities directly, like typical tooltips do, but people complained VOCIFEROUSLY. As in, they fucking hated it. So I anchored those tooltips out of the way, in the upper left, like they were before. I anchored them on the character avatar since it is in the top left by default.
- Now, I can definitely anchor them on something else. But please understand here: they MUST be anchored on something. You cannot move them like regular windows because tooltips disappear when you move. And they can't be free-floating with the new UI. I MUST anchor them on something. So the million dollar question is: what do you think I should anchor them on? I picked overtop the avatar window because people already complained it was useless: it is redundant with the orbs, after all. Fair enough. But other people hate that too. So... what do you want?
- (And yes, I can add some hacky thing to let you pick. But it won't be elegant and will just be some hacky special command. Let's ignore that for now. What I want to know is: what should the DEFAULT BEHAVIOR be? Where do you think it will be out-of-the-way for most people?)
- That's still the answer, yes, we can upgrade your earlier purchase manually if you email.
Role-Play Bug Reports
- I don't know who told you to post on the forums, it's not in the short history here. If I had to guess, (and I say this because you're a long-time player who I hope can take it constructively -- I would avoid saying this to a new player), someone saw a bug report in the queue that seemed like just role-playing, and asked you to take it to the forums. And then your forum post was a clear, concise bug report, so we told you to take that to the in-game system. Concise bug reports are very much appreciated over ones that are hard to parse. While I want to encourage roleplaying, we have such little time back here. So anything that speeds up our ability to understand what's going on is great.
- We already have an open bug report on the first issue reported. It's a long-term issue that is literally never going to be fixed in the old (current) UI -- too time-consuming. It will eventually be fixed in the new UI, but only after the old UI has stopped being supported. In the mean time, when players report specific dungeons or portal drops that are "hot" (attack them before they can load) I've taken pains to clear those areas. If there's a specific area that you think should be cleared, please report it! (In-game.)
- The second issue is not one I see in the database. I also don't see anything in the code -- it does a check and uses the same variable to display the percentage when you fail. :(Assuming you are talking about the message shown when you fail, e.g. "Had a 55% chance") So that will have to be investigated.
- It's reserved for live events. We're slowly gearing up for doing more live events in the future, but since none are being run right now, it can't be obtained.
Your computer seems to be running faster than real-time
- It can happen if you have an EXTREMELY laggy connection, or just a sudden spike where connectivity drops. It means the server threw out your commands because they seem invalid, but it's not flagging you as being a dirty hacker or anything.
- I added that message text because some people don't even realize they are running clock-accelerator software, because some AMD machines come with it pre-installed. If you get this 100% reliably while meditating, it's definitely software. (Meditating takes 30 seconds, so even small clock acceleration can add up to a measurable amount.) If you get it only occasionally, it's probably just network lag.
- I think it was generally agreed that last years' event was WAY too much of a good thing. Just way too much loot -- some players ended up with literally hundreds of pieces of high-tier gear. And the Halloween event we had years prior was a bit too cruel to newbies: "town invasions" where Serbule was overrun by monsters. Some players liked it, but others were very frustrated by it.
- So I've taken a couple days off of the UI polishing to cook up something new this year. It's not going to be super huge, obviously, but we have some new tech since last year, and some fun little things laying around which I haven't found a use for in the past. I'm actually working on it right now, hoping to get it live on Monday.
- Hopefully it'll be a fun new direction for seasonal events. And if it doesn't work out, well... it's alpha, the time for experiments, and we'll try something else next time!
- This thread helped me find a bug in NPC logic! I went looking for Sie Antry's message because I realized she never displays it, but she has one written. It turns out that NPCs that are animal-friendly don't do some of their checks, including loneliness in humans and anti-necromancy sentiment. I fixed Sie Antry, but will have to find the others and manually fix them.
- Yeah, in the short term the only way to play will be via Steam. We'll eventually have non-Steam integration, but we don't have the development bandwidth to support more than one system right now, and Steam is by far the most popular storefront service for PC games.
- Glassblowing was a skill that was planned long ago, but I didn't find a way to make it interesting enough, so it's been mothballed. But I do like the notion of crafting combat beakers and flasks! Could be the way to go here.
Animal NPC Soulmates
- I don't think it makes sense to "unlock" an NPC after it reaches Soulmates, because that requires you to NOT be an animal for a long time before you can then be an animal. The conceit of most animal forms is that these are curses -- sudden, horrific transformations. (And in many cases they really are sudden and undesired, such as when you fail to defeat Maronesa and find yourself turned into a cow.) So I don't want to give extra benefits to people who do lots of legwork beforehand. Unlocking things as an animal should be done in animal form. But there will definitely be more animal-form NPCs -- and animal-friendly NPCs -- over time.
- Also, remember there will be more travel options in the future. The way Enter the Light works is temporary -- it won't always be a magical transport to the newbie town. I've left it that way until we have mounts and some of the other travel tools that are planned.
- Probably not, because the hints are stuff you can already find in the wiki. It seems silly to add a feature and then incentivize players to not use the feature! Plus, the hint text is included in the JSON we export for third-party tools, so if there was a reward for not using the hint buttons, you could just use an out-of-game tool to get the hints.
Sidebar Key Commands
- They're for the side-bar (where the miscellaneous abilities go), when it expands. You can increase the size of the sidebar via drugs or special gear or things like weekend events. It's designed to expand up to 12 slots long, although that's not actually possible in-game at the moment. So the extra 6 key binds are for those extra 6 slots, when and if they appear.
- (You can get at least one more slot pretty easily as a high-level player, via Gur-Horta potions.)
Transmutation Tiered Recipes
- The point of tiered recipes is to keep high level players from using low-level players' gear to power-level, depriving low-level players of what they need. Interfaces often get messier before they can get cleaned up, that's just how development works, and the interface will sort itself out in time. We might wire it up as a right-click auto-behavior instead of as recipes... or something else. Don't worry too much about the interface at this point -- we just have to keep evolving systems toward where they need to be.
- Thanks for the poetry feedback! Regarding the poems not showing up for some people, it's likely they were "busy", from the game's point of view. If they were, say, trading with another player or shopping with an NPC, the window doesn't interrupt them (because those are modes the GUI can be in -- interrupting them with a poetry screen would mean aborting their trade). It tries again repeatedly for several minutes, or you can just click the podium to force it. I think dancing also keeps poetry books from arriving -- from the game's point of view, dancing is an active endeavor, so I'm not sure how easy that will be to fix, but will take a look when I get there!
- If you can repro a scenario where you definitely aren't doing anything else, including dancing, and yet you still don't receive book screens, please let me know.
- RE: targeting when in a large crowd -- I think it will become less of a hassle when people can spread out some more. The new GUI will also make it easier to keep track of private message conversations (eventually). A short-term workaround might be to /invite people into a temporary group, because clicking on a group member's name in the group screen will select them. (And if they're far away, you can use a heal ability -- your character will path until they're in range to use the ability.) Definitely something we'll refine as we go forward and see what's needed!
Rage Gauge Reset
- It's coded that way intentionally, as a sort of "you can't make me stop being angry just by dying!" sort of thing. I also think it adds something to the game to see that somebody has been here before you ... and left some monsters angry about it. There are pros and cons in terms of balance (rage-control becomes more important... is that good or bad? We can't say until later in the balancing work), so that hasn't really factored into it.
I guess I feel like it's not really a big deal, but if it's causing a lot of unhappiness we can change it.
Spinning Framerate Lag
- The scenario you're describing is always, 100%, due to a sudden framerate drop on the client. To fix it we'd need to figure out exactly what causes it, which is an ongoing search, because there are likely dozens of causes. But none of them are related to your network connection at all.
- The first thing to check whenever this happens is your framerate. See if it dips, then see if it dips when you turn your graphics settings to the lowest. Then see if it happens in specifically one place.
- If you don't normally have this problem, but on some days it occurs worse than others, that's useful to report. For the "it suddenly happens/now it's gone again" scenarios, my current guess about the cause is that there's a round-off error in Unity's pathmapping system that very rarely causes monsters to get stuck in rocks or the ground. When the server is up for a month or so, the number of monsters can reach in the dozens. As you turn around, those monsters become non-culled -- the game tries to render them, even though they're in a nearby rock or whatever. And when the game suddenly has to render dozens of monsters animating, it causes a huge framerate drop for a moment, which can cause all kinds of client control issues. You can't see the monsters, but they're there, and tanking framerate. The fix is not simple but I'm definitely working on it!
- The server rebooted on Sunday due to ISP work, so it shouldn't be occurring now. If it's still occurring now, but DIDN'T occur BEFORE Sunday, that'd be great to hear too, as it might mean my hypothesis is wrong.
- For people who have this problem all the time, but only at specific places, that means there's too much graphical stuff coming into the camera view at once. It's something that can be fixed by localized optimization, which we aren't doing right now, but which we do on an area-by-area basis when we have enough reports.
- For people who have this problem all the time everywhere, that means your FPS is bad all the time. You need to lower your graphics settings; there's not really anything we can do to magically improve FPS across the board during alpha!
- Guys, thanks for the feedback, but we need more to go on than "rubberbanding/lag". This is a dirty word among MMO developers because it's meaningless. There are a thousand things that players call lag, rubberbanding, etc. But they aren't all the same problem and they don't have the same solution. Without specific details, we can't fix anything. So please tell us exactly what you're experiencing. I can tell there are at least two utterly different issues in this thread alone.
- First, know that there is no player rubberbanding. (It's been disabled for over a year, and we aren't turning it back until other development is closer to finished.) That means that the server never moves your character without your client telling it to. In other words, if your character doesn't seem to move when you direct it to, or or moves erratically, that is never due to the network. It's always, 100%, due to the game client, and usually due to bad framerate. So if that's the symptom you're seeing, the first thing to ask is, what is your framerate when this happens? Turn on the FPS meter so you can tell us. Turn down the graphics settings and see if it continues.
- If it's something else, we really need to know what actual symptoms you're seeing. Are you seeing monsters skate back and forth along the ground? Monsters, unlike players, can be moved erratically by the server. But if you see that happening often, it's not likely to be your personal connection to the game -- that would probably be on our end. Our ISP has been doing work so that's entirely plausible, but we'd need to be able to give them specifics to help them fix it.
- Another case is that monsters stop moving or slow down fighting, like they become stuck in mud. That could definitely be due to your network connection. To track that down, we'd need to know your ping to the server, what country you're connecting from, and if you experience other corroborating symptoms, like a very slow login from the character-select screen. It might not be something we can fix right now, especially if you're on a different continent from us.
- But it might not be networking at all. It could be due to a bug related to your specific character or account -- we've seen that too during alpha. There's a ton of other possibilities. All options are on the table, but we can't fix "lag". We can only fix bugs.
- The more specific you can be, the better. Thanks!
Real World Skills
- Nah, this is a case where it makes sense to have them separated. Much like we won't have one skill to make armor and weapons at the same time, we won't have a skill that augments all the slots at the same time. In some cases balance is much more important than the "fiction".
- The idea that, say, a leathersmith naturally can't also make swords is a fiction that happens to be useful for balance purposes. Leatherworkers obviously aren't metalsmiths, right? Even though, realistically speaking, the two skills will have very similar recipes.
- In this case, there's no real-world comparison to augmentation, and it seemed pointlessly complicated to try to invent four totally unique fictions. So there's one. But for balance purposes, they are separate skills and I want players to choose them separately. That's just the way it has to go sometimes to make balance work.
- While grouping should be the most efficient way to get gear, I want soloing to be viable at all levels and I agree that it's too slow to get gear while soloing at some level ranges. We'll be working on this in the future, though I'm not sure yet what form that will take.
- To repeat, again: bard is supposed to be moderately hard to level. Because we don't need 5,000,000 low-level bards in the world, so it should be something you have to work a bit for. That's how you gate things in a game where everybody can be everything: are you willing to spend a few hours to get there? If not, use Sword, it's great and it doesn't require any extra work.
- As to "what about bards requires you to grow plants", well, my idea of a bard is somebody who likes nature, so I picked nature-oriented skills. Maybe it's too hard to level right now, maybe it's too easy. It's alpha, and those are prototype prereqs. Again, we'll be revising all skill's prerequisites into their final forms in late beta after more skills are online. I don't know what the final prerequisites will be for bard, of course, because we don't know which skills will make the cut. I usually toss out about half the skills that get prototyped, so we'll just have to see. There are no planned changes any time in the near future, though we can tweak the temporary settings up or down if they've proven to be too tough.
- The reason the market stalls are chopped up the way they are is for occlusion culling. Basically, it's so that your framerate doesn't go even worse than it already does in there. When more optimizations are in place, I hope we can improve the layout, but we can't right now.
More Inventory Problems
- What are you overcoming by having, say, 10 extra inventory slots? You don't overcome anything. The inventory is still much smaller than you want it to be.
- There is no artificial shortage: I'm giving out as many inventory slots as I think players should have. I didn't make that number artificially small. I assume the average player won't spend a dime beyond their purchase price, and I want the game to be fun for them.
- But I expect we'll need continuing money to keep developing the game in the long term, so we'll give players small benefits for paying a monthly subscription. I don't know if those benefits will include inventory slots, but if so, they won't get a lot of slots. It sure won't be enough to make players happy with how the current inventory system works!
- So the difference between what you're saying and what I'm saying is not semantics: it's scope. You will never be able to buy your way out of inventory management problems! But those inventory problems are real problems with the game, and I intend to improve them in the future. I definitely don't intend to let you solve the game's inventory hassles by giving me extra money. I'm insulted by the idea that I'm making the game extra crappy in order to get extra money. I'm just not finished yet. There's a lot more work to do.
- We can talk about other topics in other threads====this one is already pretty chaotic. The short answer to "why are some skills gated by other skills" is... that's the sort of game I want to play, so it's the game I've made.
- First, there's absolutely no reason we can't reach 1000 concurrent users. That's a very modest goal. We had 250+ concurrent users TWO YEARS AGO, the last time we did a small marketing push. Those players ran out of content and wandered away a few months later, and we haven't done much to bring new users in, because the game isn't finished yet. But I am going to finish the game.
- And when the game is finished, if we can't get a measly 1000 concurrent users at peak play hour, then the game will have failed, and we will have to shut it all down. We can't even cover costs with the current user base. But I'm not fretting about it right now, because we aren't trying to bring in new players. Because the game is not finished.
- So no, I'm not going to spend any time making your life easier right now. I know Alpha is hard because there's no players to buy or sell to. You can either deal with those frustrations, or not, that's up to you.
- But seriously. Cut it with the p2w bullshit. Suggesting that a few inventory slots is p2w is VERY insulting. You insinuate you've played p2w games, but a p2w game requires thousands of dollars investment to win. It won't even be possible to spend thousands on this game after launch. So it will obviously not be p2w. And since "this game is going to be p2w" is pretty much the most insulting thing you can say to me, you need to stop, please.
- Edit: I reread your post and I think it's best that we admit this is not your game. You actually think I'm making game design decisions in order to bilk money out of people... that shows such a lack of trust that I don't think we need you here any more. Your feedback has helped in the past, but it's time to admit that this is not the game for you. Go play something fun! Something without any crafting!
Storage Slots, P2W, and Inventory.
- Actually, I haven't ruled out selling a few slots. It may happen. But if you think that's what "pay to win" means, you're wrong. Look, this thread already set me off on a bad foot by calling me Hitler -- as you no doubt know, that term "pay to win" is very offensive to game designers, and this thread is already Godwinned. Calling my game p2w shows a deep misunderstanding of what the term means.
- P2W means pay to WIN. Have you ever played a p2w game? Try beating the best players in a p2w game without paying lots of cash. You literally can't. P2W means that to be competitive, in whatever form competition takes, you have to pay more.
- That is not what's going to happen here.
- "But slots are power!" no. Stop it. That argument is nonsense. People don't seem to understand just how many items are in the game, and how many more are coming. At least 1000 more types of items.
- Let me repeat: THERE WILL BE AT LEAST 1000 MORE TYPES OF ITEMS. Probably far more than that.
- You will not be able to store all the items. Even if you send me $1,000,000 and the deed to your house.
- My job as a designer is to convince you to sell your shit. Not hoard it. I am working on tools to help, and that's a major focus on game systems going forward.
- I will have tools that show you exactly what each item does, and help you quickly determine if it's something you'll likely need in the near future. If not, you will need to sell it, and I will make it easier to sell your items.
- I will NOT be giving you inventory slots to store all the items you want to store. Not ever. I simply can't, and I wouldn't want to if I could. I want you to sell shit, because that's the only way the economy will work.
- Why more items? Because it will make your life easier in the long run. As we progress into beta, individual items will fill FEWER roles than they do now, not MORE roles. That will help you make decisions faster. Right now, say you find a piece of worthless green glass, and you know it's used in three or four alchemy recipes. You go "Eh, I may need this some day" and you spend 30 minutes trying to store it somewhere. (Hint: you don't need it.) In the future, the game will make it as clear as I can make it that you should sell it. The green glass won't secretly have a special use at level 502 that compels you to save it forever just in case. All of its uses will be listed when you right-click the item.
- I'm hoping that simplifying items' roles will help. But it will also mean there are a lot more items, because we won't reuse items as much. And there are a LOT more skills coming, all of which have their own items. So you will never be able to store all the items you want to store.
- If I add a few more storage slots as part of the monthly VIP pass, or some other little thing, it will be a small benefit, and it won't scale -- you won't be able to just keep buying slots. In other words, it will not solve many players' fundamental desire, which is to store literally every single valuable thing you find, and conveniently to boot. You will not be able to do that. If that's a deal-breaker for you, I can accept that, and you should look for another game.
- But if your main inventory concern is that it's just hard to manage, I agree, and as I've said before, we're going to improve things. We'll be addressing problems like these:
- it's hard to tell what items will be useful to you in the near term, - hard to find where you left your stuff, - hard to find a buyer for your items, - hard to clear out your inventory quickly so you can go adventuring
- Stay tuned and please be patient. We will be working on those problems in lots of ways during beta.
Battle Chem & Bard Prereqs
- Some of the existing prerequisites will probably be replaced with different craft skills in late beta, after another 20 or so craft skills come online. For now they've been chosen because they make the difficulty curve about right. Bard is supposed to be moderately hard to level.
- (This also applies to some of Battle Chemistry's leveling prerequisites.)
- You don't need carrots to use Carrot Power. All higher level veggies can be converted to rabbit treats, and rabbit treats act as carrots for the purposes of Carrot Power. You are not supposed to actually eat the rabbit treats.
- And yes, it's still a hard-to-use ability. In some ways it sucks to be a rabbit.
- Knife will in fact eventually be main hand / off hand. Daggers for main hand and shivs will be off-hand. We don't have the animations for it at the moment, and it's not really a high priority during alpha, but it will happen.
- Glad you're enjoying them! We pretty much expect to keep doing weekend events forever, or at least as long as they're seen as fun bonuses. I mean, players might get burned out on them, start taking them too much for granted, and need some time off. But I'm hoping we can create a large enough repertoire of events that we can keep them varied and interesting for a long time.
- (And we do plan to do occasional mid-week events as well, for those who can't play on weekends. But not until launch, as we don't have the time to coordinate more events right now.)
- All her trades are pretty simple stuff, like a spoon for a femur. The most useful to my mind would be either the goblin hairpin for ivory mandibles (swapping one gift item for a different one), or maybe the ones that give you crossing/uncrossing oil for favor. But they're not very impressive trades from a monetary point of view.
- The thing is that we want people to eventually GET RID of the Ursula curse -- I don't want people telling newbies that the "right" way to play to is "always get the Ursula curse on every character because of [the chance for X special thing]". So it's unlikely we'll make her trades more exciting for higher-level players.
- We might make her trades more useful for low-level players, though -- although I don't know what that would look like at the moment.
- Only the three intermediary vegetable items are being removed. We may remove fillets eventually, but probably not any time soon. The fillet recipes give scales, which are useful, while the three recipes being removed don't do anything useful except add extra clicks to the cooking process. (They made sense once, but not anymore.)
Skill Level at Launch
- At launch we expect the combat skills to scale to 100, plus 25 points of synergy bonuses, for a "max level " of 125. (There will be more than 25 available synergy points for each skill, so that you can pick and choose which ones you want to earn. But only the first 25 synergy skill points count.)
- I've occasionally talked about the possibility of skills going to 125 base, plus 25 synergy, for a total of 150, but I suspect that'll happen post-launch.
- There will be other ways to advance your character beyond that -- sort of "alternate advancement" if you like. One of the ways I've talked about is "Master Abilities", which are more-powerful versions of normal abilities, earned by killing elites. I'm not sure if that specific idea will end up in the final game -- I prototyped that idea but decided it was super dull, so it's still sitting on the back-burner -- but there will be some mechanisms, whatever form they end up taking.
- Necromancy already has it pretty good in this department -- they have Necromancy Orbs at all level tiers, plus various items with necro gems in them as an added bonus. This makes them vastly more versatile than, say, Sword, already.
- A living necromancer will always need a focus item to control the undead. Perhaps if you were undead yourself, that would be different...
Race Development Update
- Shieldbreaker's links are a good starting point for this topic. I can give some updates on the race development: basically, fairies are blocked by other things that need to be done first.
- Fae - We now have the needed fairy animations (just the bare-bones necessities of flying, landing, etc.), but I still need to figure out some of the systems involved in fighting-while-flying. Because it's insanely abusable atm. Fae also have a custom death system, and to integrate that into the game I need to finish changing the REGULAR player death system -- that is, changing how "Enter the Light" works, among other things. But I know that players use "Enter the Light"'s infinite-travel-back-to-Serbule feature as a fast-travel system, and I don't want to diminish that until we have other travel tools in the game. So I've been pushing on getting travel systems in. The biggest remaining one is horses -- at this point I think horses probably have to happen before fairies. And horses have their own set of bottlenecks -- the new GUI has to come online before horses, for instance. So I don't know when fairies will be ready. Their newbie area also needs lots more development, but that's fairly straightforward. (And interesting -- they have an unusual home place.)
- Orc - here we ran into problems with our plans of using Gazluk as the newbie area. Basically, I want to let new orcs run around inside Gazluk Keep -- but it can't be the REAL Gazluk Keep, because (for instance) there's valuable level 70 loot just lying around in there. I'd planned to make an alternate version of the place, with different spawns and stuff for the new orcs. But the tech to do that optimally ended up being tricky, because other technical features need to be completed first. Orcs are still likely to be the first new race to come online, though.
- Dwarf - not very far developed yet and will almost certainly be the last of the three to come online.
- It's true, this is a significant oversight for bats. Bats were introduced before we decided animals should have weapon-slot gear, and I guess they never got retrofitted when we redid the other animals.
- This will be addressed at some point relatively soon -- when I do the next batch of treasure mod work -- but unfortunately it's not as easy as banging out a few new items. There really are no bat-specific treasure mods for those slots, so they need to be invented, and (if it ends up like pig, cow, etc.), we'll need to shuffle some of the existing bat mods around to other slots. Which will cause gear to go Legacy. So it'll be messy, but hopefully not too disruptive.
Mushroom Box Restock
- If you return to the same mushroom box BEFORE its timer is expired, you should be able to start another crop of mushrooms. If you return AFTER the timer (e.g. on hour 13 of a 12-hour box) all you can do is harvest the existing crop. That's the intended behaviour, anyway! It may be buggy.
- We are wiping items and probably NPC favor levels, possibly favor-quests... the exact list hasn't been decided. But what we have always said would NOT be wiped is skills. Your skill levels will continue into the live game. People who say otherwise are trolling you or are very confused.
- (Edit: and we're not wiping things at Beta, only at launch. Beta will start when the game is on Steam Early Access -- relatively soon. Launch is when the game is out of early access -- probably late 2018.)
- The game balance is designed around not being able to switch weapons or gear (or combat skills or ability bars!) during combat. That's why we allow you to wield both a bow and a sword at the same time -- so you don't have to switch.
- If there are cases where you CAN switch gear, those are bugs.
- First, I want to clarify that I'm talking about the three "group dungeons". (Dark chapel, minotaur dungeon, and Gazluk Keep.) There's also lots of work to be done with the other content in the game -- especially low level content. But that's somewhat tangential here. Someone mentioned the Serbule Crypt -- that's probably the weirdest of the game's dungeons because it's literally 5 years old. It's the only dungeon from "pre-alpha 0" to still exist. It's been the testing bed for all sorts of things, so it has small group encounters, large group encounters, solo areas, quest NPCs, and a ridiculously large level spread of 25 levels (level 5 monsters in the front door and level 30 bosses at the very bottom). It's been the place we figured out how the game works. And as we understand how the game works better, I plan to redo all of the dungeon's content during beta. It'll have a much more specific level range -- maybe levels 15-20, something like that.
- So if you're concerned about low-level content -- that's completely understandable. And we would love feedback on the existing content! (Not in this thread, though, please.) We're working on a bunch of new low-level content that will be added to South Serbule soon, including several large dungeons. So even if we don't immediately change the existing content, we're taking lessons from that content as we move forward.
- So about these group dungeons -- I don't mean to say that reducing group size is a magical fix for grouping. It's definitely something I'm considering, but it's just one of a LONG list of steps I'm considering. (Beta will be chock full of changes in this area.) My point is mainly that INCREASING the group size would be steering us in the wrong direction.
- What sort of changes will we see here eventually? I'm not sure of all the steps yet. But we'll definitely see a lot of ability and treasure rebalancing. The sheer number of offensive mods a player can have right now makes the "large group of glass cannons" approach always viable, and that makes it hard to support other combat roles -- without REQUIRING those roles. (The last support skill, Priest, is waiting in the wings, because right now there's not enough "room" in groups for pure healers -- and Priests lack the offensive versatility of the other support skills like Druid.) I'd like for players to have less DPS overall, and for group monsters to hit harder and have more weird powers -- and give players more ways to counter those powers. But obviously that will require a lot of balancing.
- For related reasons, I'm considering rewriting how buffs work. Originally I expected all group content to be 3-man groups, and although that's changed, buffs are still balanced around 3-man groups! In a six-person group, most buffs are literally twice as good as I expect them to be.
- So I'm thinking about other ways to implement buffs. Instead of "everybody in the group gets 25% melee evasion", maybe it's "the first X people that are attacked get melee evasion" or something like that. I need a system that scales better, from solo up to the largest group size. I don't know what the answer is yet though.
- A lot of the steps we need to take aren't fully obvious yet because there's not enough players doing group dungeons. The group dungeons require higher-level players, and there just aren't a lot of those in the same level range at the same time. I do get some very valuable anecdotal info, but that only lets me make changes a few times. Without a constant stream of people running a dungeon -- dozens of groups every day -- it'll be impossible to keep them in sync with the rest of the game's changes. (This is also true for much of the game's economy: "needs more people".)
- That's why we're working as hard as possible to get the game ready for Steam ASAP. (Of course, the presentation needs to be the best we can manage before we put it up on Steam -- but we're working very hard to get there.) When the game is on Steam, with the new GUI in place, we'll consider the game in "beta", and that's when all the fun balancing work can REALLY begin in earnest.
- For now, these are just pain points we'll have to deal with. But it will get better. Content difficulty won't ever be as tight as it is in some games, because we're so free-form that it's impossible to predict a group's exact capabilities. But it will be BETTER than it is now. Both for soloing and for grouping!
- (Also: often when I post more than once in a thread, it kills discussion. That sucks. I don't mean to dissuade people from posting here! I wanted to weigh in, but I'd love to hear more feedback.)
Public Bug List?
- No, there's not a public list of bugs, that is a very difficult thing to maintain and we don't have the manpower for it. (We can only barely keep up with our internal bug DB, which is full of private player info, personal conversations, etc.)
- Please report any bugs that you see! Even if the bug has been reported before, multiple reports are a HUGE help because we prioritize based on the number of people reporting it. It also helps us correlate details to help track down what's going on. But really, the prioritization thing is a BIG deal. The only way we can tell if a bug is bothering somebody is if they report it.
- I'm not sure why you can't see your pins, maybe they're blending into the image or maybe they'd be visible if you made the map window larger. Anyway, there's an alpha-tester debugging command you can use to fix it: in the chat box type "/mapclear". It will wipe all your map pins from all your maps.
- But a group of six already steamrolls existing content. So I've been thinking smaller, not larger. How the heck would I make content for 8 people that's engaging and interesting when I haven't managed it reliably with 6 yet?!
- This seems like a "we can be more inclusive while we steamroll through content, yay" thing. I'm not interested in that. The point of group dungeons is to provide interesting adventures, and I need to reach that goal of being interesting and compelling.
- But don't worry, we will find other ways and places for large groups (like guilds) to have fun together later. (That's, frankly, pretty easy compared to getting small-group difficulty right.)
- At the moment we're only using TCP port 9002. (We have in the past used UDP 9002 also, and may again in the future, but we don't right now.)
- We don't have any solid plans for this, but I kinda-sorta expect to implement vanity armor slots as part of the "VIP package" -- the optional monthly subscription that gives you some little extra perks and features. I haven't planned out how they would work, but I liked the EQ2 system and thought it worked pretty well.
- Right now, I'm sticking to "personal quests", where each player gets their own copy of the quest and can complete it at their own pace. I really like the idea of "group events", and it's in the plans to support them, but right now the tech isn't ready yet. The existing "group quests" (guild quests and druid-event quests) each have some specialized code hacked in just for them, and they aren't very reusable for other activities yet. That will change as we progress with other content... and actually, I could "fake it" by using an NPC to tally completions, such as "NPC Bob needs 500 people to complete this solo quest" -- that would be a sort of hybrid solo-group activity. But for the next few events, I'm just going to stick to fairly straightforward solo-able quests.
- Frankly, you'll just have to trust me that we already give you the very best info I have available. I think some of that should be obvious. I mean, in your example about making cheese more valuable, I was summarizing my specific recipe changes. Remember the list of exactly which recipes were changed? That's what I was referring to.
- We don't give drop-rate changes in exact percentages because I don't know those percentages. The systems don't work on percents or anything like them. They're complex nested tables with complex weighting systems that can vary per player and per monster. They work well, but they're hard to talk about. So I tell you what I know: something changed by a lot or by a little. That's what we got, so that's what you get.
- In general, the answer is always the same: we're doing our best to give you info. If there are places where just a day or three could dramatically improve the info we give you... those days have already been spent. We give out detailed JSON files with a tremendous amount of game data in them. As for testing, I spend much of my time writing automatic validation, because we have no dedicated QA personnel. But not everything can be automated or easily turned into numbers. I know that more info would always be useful, but there's not a lot of big easy-to-digest tables of numbers we're secretly hoarding over here.
- This is an ongoing project, and that includes our data and analysis tools. I've already talked about various improvements coming, including more logging, more JSON files, more automated testing that will rule out a lot more bug cases. But right now, right today, this is what we have. Please give the best feedback you can given what you know. That's all we can ask.
- They come from different countries, but there's currently no in-game difference (and the eventual difference will be minimal -- backstory differences).
- The other thing to remember here is that the complexities of the game mean there's lots of manual work involved. For example, I've tried to manually adjust recipes that use cheese-based ingredients to have something else nice going for them, to justify that extra work. But it's an entirely manual process. I may have missed some, not done enough, etc. Saying "high level recipes aren't good enough" doesn't help me fix any recipes. For people skimming this post, let me emphasize that point: Since almost all of the game's content is made by hand, I can't just change a number somewhere to fix all the problems -- I need to know what specifically needs fixing. That may be the value of certain items, the rarity, the potency (when eaten or used), the gifting potential, so on and so forth.
- Thanks for the feedback! We'll look at some balancing issues in a little while -- unfortunately nothing is as simple as it looks====boosting base ability damage would lower the potency of the mods, because they're all intertwined. But base damage itself is only a small part of the puzzle, and I suspect the bigger issue is a lack of synergies with other skills. For instance, Venomstrike is really designed to work with other gear that boosts indirect poison damage. What other skills are you using with it?
- Also, the "cruel" description of the baking system comes from srand after she heard the plans. I never intentionally make cruel designs on purpose! But I want different crafting skills to fit different kinds of player personalities.
- This one's not for everybody, but I think it's actually easier than, say, cheesemaking... as long as you're patient and good at timing things.
- I've basically held off on using stuff like a Rage meter because I don't want to add yet another meter to the game. Even if you don't count the metabolism bar (since it can be turned off), three resource bars is already a lot!
- I may eventually just say "screw it" and add some more resource bars, and Rage is a good choice... but for now I'm trying to work with the bars we have.
- The exact features of ensouling are still in flux so I don't want to say much about it right now, but you can't do anything with souls right now. But you will in the future! And yeah, sentient weapons are one of the ways that can go.
- But I will spoil a tiny easter egg on that particular claw, because I'm not sure how well it works: it is supposed to be able to emote in text, making hissing sounds, purring, mewling, etc. depending on what you're doing (and whether you're paying it enough attention). It's very similar to how ur-bacon can talk. But I'm not sure if it's noticeable enough. Have you ever seen it happen? I want it to be very occasional, not more than once every hour or two, but happen enough to notice if you carry the item around a while.
- (The chance of it happening is actually higher than Ur-Bacon, but people usually carry a big stack of ur-bacon, which is why it seems so chatty... each strip has a chance of talking.)
- I should mention again that we're also planning some bigger storage-management features as well. The biggest feature is that all the storage boxes in a particular land area (e.g. Serbule) will be accessible from a tabbed GUI interface, letting you quickly manage all of them without having to run from building to building. It will be a while before that feature's ready, but we're slowly evolving things in the back end to make that possible.
- We don't have time to keep the wordpress blog software (and its plug-ins) up to date, and after it got hacked for the second time in a year, we just took it down. But we'll bring it back eventually!
Scamming, Success, and "Being a Dick"
- Since this thread seems to somehow just keep going, I figured I'd weigh in with some thoughts.
- First, I don't want scamming in the game, where players lose items or valuables to other players due to trickery. That's a form of PvP, really: it's tricking another player and causing them misery for your joy. It's a terrible fit for this PvE game.
- However, unless we're a crazy-huge success, I can't imagine having the personnel to deal with a huge number of scamming complaints. A few, sure, but a ton? No. So we'll need to do our best to make the game scam-resistant via tech. But that's often MUCH harder than it sounds, though -- for instance, letting people craft something with your materials, then give you the result, while making sure nobody steals anything or changes anything up in the process? VERY hard. Not on my immediate todo list. Maybe not happening ever. Instead, we've moved toward more scam-resistant game systems, like augment gems. Augmentation has that extra step in the middle of the process specifically to make it easier to trade them. In time I expect more systems to work like that.
- And of course, when that fails, we'll just ban for griefing. I realize that right now, someone who's banned could just make a new account, but when we're on Steam and B2P, banning is a significant deterrent.
- Lastly, I want to talk about the broader topic of "being a dick". Scamming is one way of being a dick, and it's not allowed. But there are a few ways of being a dick that ARE allowed. These are basically practical-joke level dickishness. They involve tricking other players, but they aren't scams, because there aren't huge or devastating consequences for the victim.
- An example is poisoned food. You can poison food with iocaine powder and give that food to other players. They can eat it and DIE. That makes you a dick, but it's really not that big a deal to die in Project: Gorgon. Even if you're Hardcore Mode, you'd just go get your stuff. It's a prank.
- Another example? Words of power. You can be a dick and trick people by giving them bad words of power. Trick somebody into dying with one? Ha ha, you're a dick, but it's okay. However, there are exceptions even here. Tricking newbies into saying a word of power that gives them Leprosy (a much worse fate than death)? That's not a practical joke: it might make the newbie unable to play until somebody cures them. That's way too dickish. On the other hand, tricking a level 100 player with leprosy? Eh... it's not as dickish because it doesn't impact them nearly as much.
- Some people like to say "if the game allows it, it should be okay", but that attitude is how you get shitty, limited, boring, terrible games. For instance, bad names: we don't allow you to call people names in chat. You can exclaim "motherfucker!" once in a while, we don't mind that, but you can NEVER say "you're a motherfucker" to another player. It's true that the game technically lets you do it, but that's because the alternative would be horrible draconian chat filtering.
- Another example? Stealing kills. A high-level player can follow a newbie around and steal their kills just for laughs. That's not a joke, it's griefing, and obviously against the terms of service. The game technically allows it because the alternative would be draconian locale-restrictions that would make the game suck.
- The point is that I'm not making a game for children, so I'm not willing to take out all the fun things in the game just to prevent people going over the line. That means you can't use the notion of "if the game allows it, it's okay". If you go over the line, we'll just have to ban you, even though the game technically allowed you to do it.
- I also realize that some people have a hard time with social concepts like "practical jokes". (I'm not being snide or sarcastic here -- it can be tough for some people.) If you can't tell the difference between a practical joke and griefing, you should avoid doing either so that you don't get banned. We're not going to try to list every possible joke, or where the lines are. If you don't think you can tell where the line is... just don't do it at all.
- Hundred-year-old beard hair goes up like kindling!
- An optional custom cursor is on the to-do list. It's pretty far down the list, but it will happen eventually!
- Hey guys, when it comes to the treasure system, I usually need VERY specific info, right down to the exact mods, monsters, items, and skills in question.
- I'll use the discussion about transmutation as an example. You say there aren't enough mods showing up when Transmuting? There's at least three possible causes for that:
- It could be because the item is designed for lower-level monsters but is being dropped by a high-level monster by mistake. In that case, the item's internal "points" won't be enough to afford good high-level mods, so all it can afford is a few crappy ones. If that's the case, the problem is that the monster shouldn't drop that item! I'd need to know what exact item it is, what level mods of it has, the item's skills, and what monster you got it from.
- But that's only one possibility. Mods can have rarity restrictions -- a few mods can only show up on Epic and Legendary items. If the item's rarity isn't good enough, Transmuting will never give those mods. But that's rare, since only a few mods are set up that way.
- Much more common is that its dice-roll weight is too low or too high. Each mod has its own chance of showing up, and some mods are intentionally MUCH more common than others. For instance, the mods that boost base-damage multiplier are 5x to 10x more common than other mods. So sometimes, what you're seeing is intentional. But sometimes I just didn't set a number right somewhere. To find that, I'd again need to know everything about what you're doing, and which mods you're seeing in Transmute, and which ones you think you should be able to, but are never showing up.
- There's lots of other possible causes, too. Without a really thorough report, I can't do much. I know it's tough to get all the info, but it's necessary because the treasure system is SUPER complicated. It's a huge part of the game, and it does a LOT of things! There's literally 100,000+ numbers involved in there, so finding a bad number is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
- All possible buffs and benefits will be brewable by every player. The recipes to get those results will just be different!
- Let me rein the problem in a little here: there are lots of known performance problems! But most are caused by problems with the assets or the level design -- there's too many visible monsters around the lake in south serbule, for instance. Those will get fixed in time. Even I get framerate spikes when turning in Serbule and South Serbule (more often at high graphics settings than low). But my FPS display bobbles when that happens, at least a little bit.
- prior to the April 1 update, the game did in fact load every asset it could need when you entered each zone. And with an 8gb video card you wouldn't have needed to even swap assets. After the April 1 update, it loads-on-demand for some resources, but slowdowns due to loading would definitely be visible in the FPS display. (And a little hourglass would appear in the top right for a split second -- near where the "sprinting" and "in combat" icons are.) What FPS do you get when it ISN'T locking up?
- The FPS display not hiccuping is a big clue because it rules out a lot of causes. Hm, it could be caused by constant exceptions in the client's main thread, maybe -- can you grab the output_log.txt from your installation and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org? It might have a clue. (It'll be in a subfolder of wherever the game has been downloaded to -- but NOT the patcher's output_log.txt, that's just for the patcher program.)
- I wanted to drop a note about the bat form. The old bat was a store-bought model -- we use third-party art for a lot of our monsters, and then alter them as needed -- that lacked some of the technical bits that would make it look good in the future. As we slowly evolve the game's graphical assets, we need to phase out models that lack things like normal-maps, because eventually they'd stick out really badly. SO! When the artist who made the original bat had an "upgraded" version of the bat, we grabbed it, because it has the missing technical bits. However, it wasn't an upgrade -- it turned out to be a complete remake.
- It's hard to gauge the overall popularity of this model versus the other, especially since the old one isn't readily available to look at. But I'll keep listening (in this thread and others). In the last major update, I turned off the blood on the bat's fur. Whether this is an improvement or not is up in the air -- what's your opinion?
- I'm hopeful that we can make this bat work, but if not, there are some other third-party bat models out there that might work, and of course we do have monsters custom-made for us -- though the queue for customization is pretty long, so a fully custom bat wouldn't happen soon.
- As always, we're reading even when not responding, so keep giving feedback! Thanks!
- In general the question "why does one skill work differently than another" comes down to design intent and balance concerns. In this case, I wanted to give support characters another interesting choice for offhand weapon without requiring them to drop one of their two main combat skills. If you're building a mentalism+psychology healing setup (for instance) and decided you wanted some extra ranged power, crossbow is for you.
- Remember that there will be literally hundreds of sidebar abilities in the final game and most of them won't be useful to every player. If every sidebar ability was useful to every player in every situation, then only the six "best" abilities would get used. Right? So let's not do that. Over time there will be lots of powers with different requirements and restrictions.
- Thanks guys. The ten-second thing seems like it might be relevant somehow -- there is a ten-second check in a certain situation (mainly, part of the PvP in-combat checks)... I can't see how it would apply when fighting monsters, but if it's lasting exactly ten seconds, that's a pretty interesting clue. I'm exploring that part of the code now.
- The intention is that you should stop being in-combat about 4 seconds after killing the last monster that knows about you. Regarding groups, anyone in the group who's "in combat" will keep all nearby group members in combat. That's by design to prevent exploitable situations (such as when a support character has basically infinite Power by staying out of combat the whole time). For similar reasons, if your pet is in combat, so are you, and vice versa.
- DoTs that monsters put on you are supposed to keep you in combat. But DoTs you apply to monsters should only keep you in combat until the monster dies.
- As you know, we're still working on the in-combat system, specifically in making combat end quickly. But finding the exact scenarios that cause problems are difficult. Most reports are just "I'm in combat too long", which doesn't help us any. We need specifics! We need to work out the situations where it's happening so we can fix them.
- First step is to see WHY you are in combat. Hover your mouse over the "in combat" icon at the top right of the screen. It will say, for instance, "You are in combat with Rat and two other enemies" or whatever. How long does it stay that way? Is it just one creature, far away, keeping you in combat? Does the rat ever show up? What is going on? Do you see a pattern?
- The more details you can give, the better we can work on the problems. Thanks!
- The way it works is this: "direct" damage is the number at the top of the ability description. If it says it does 500 damage, that's direct damage. "Indirect" damage is damage added on from other sources. If it says at the bottom of the ability "deals 40 damage over 10 seconds", that's always indirect damage. Direct = the attack's actual damage, indirect = anything else.
- : It's still pretty fuzzy, but I haven't figured out a better terminology yet. I considered calling all the indirect types by other names, so direct fire damage would be Fire and indirect would be Heat damage (for instance). The problem there is that we have buffs that boost all direct or indirect damage types. So giving them other names just seems to make things more confusing, not less.
- : It's still a problem I'm mulling over, I'm sure there's a better presentation than we're using now, I just don't know what it is yet.
Bug Report Time
- We're a tiny team, just a couple of people. We try to read over bug tickets daily, but we can't possibly respond to a ticket within minutes or hours or sometimes even days. And frankly, dealing with tickets like yours, that don't actually have a bug, are very low priority. This is alpha, the game is very far from being finished, and the top priority is finishing the game. So alpha testers must have patience -- that's a requirement of playing at this time.
- : We've never banned anyone due to the contents of a single bug report, regardless of what it says (so far, at least), but sending in DOZENS of back-to-back tickets is intentionally clogging up our ticket system, and that wastes our precious development time. So stop it.
- : Then you broke the code of conduct by trying to raise shit about a ban on the forums and in chat. Milking bans for drama always makes things worse, not better, so we don't allow it. This isn't some crazy new idea -- "don't bitch about bans on the game's forums" is hardly some weird new rule you've never seen before. So stop it. If you disagree with a ban you should contact email@example.com so we can review it.
- Also, just a note on "trash monsters" -- there are some trash monsters, but Elites are never trash. They drop top-tier equipment and have a chance for top-rarity mods. Even if the only thing your group can do in GK is kill elite monsters, you will still accumulate great loot and wealth, and that's by design. I know rewards are always perceived relative to other rewards, but elites are NOT trash in my book!
- Thanks for the feedback and help with playtesting this! I've made some small tweaks to the /behaviorreport command for the next snapshot, and will be adding some more functionality to make it easier to do these in the future. But I could still use more ideas regarding how to keep egregious "twinking" behavior from running rampant -- it's a shared world, so some level of interaction is going to be unavoidable even in a "challenge" contest like this, but I'd like to come up with some ways to reduce its impact, or at least tell when it's happened. (The most important "twinking" scenario being "a high-level guy goes ahead of you and kills the bosses in a dungeon, so you get credit for killing bosses without being in any real danger." And similar scenarios.) If you have ideas that aren't in the thread yet, please voice them!
- : Also congrats to Cocytus, who is the winner of the unofficial contest!
Ring of Fire
- The effects are rolled separately, so you have two separate 5% chances to take damage when you use the ability. (It's rolled per ability use, not per target). I suspect what you're seeing is just one of the mods going off (the 128 one), but your indirect boost is applied, like this:
- : 128 * 1.96 (your indirect fire mod) = 250
- : 250 - 32 (your indirect + generic fire mitigation) = 218
- Yep, you're allowed to stream the game on twitch or put gameplay footage on Youtube. We ask that you mention in the title or description that it's alpha footage====otherwise there aren't any requirements or limitations.
- Well, no system is perfect, but I actually found the opposite. As a templar in EQ2 I routinely helped out others, just for the sake of being nice, and because of the locking system, it was understood as a nice gesture instead of an attempt to steal a kill.
- : In Gorgon right now, you can "help" somebody, but if you do more damage than them against a solo creature, you stop being a helper and start becoming a kill-stealer. And since XP is split right now, many players will resent your "help" because you're inevitably slowing down their leveling.
- : I guess the bottom line is that the current system is obviously not going to cut it in the long term because the loot system heavily rewards mega-groups. Mega-groups are actually really boring, even if the rewards are good. It's not healthy for the long-term of the game. The best system I've seen is EQ2s. If you have other systems to propose, that's cool and I'm all ears! But we can't stay with the exact system we have now forever.
- Hey guys, love getting feedback but this thread feels very vague. It'd be really useful if people gave any sort of specifics. "Zerging" where? What levels are you? How many people are involved? Without specifics I can't give specific feedback. Here's some general feedback that I've posted before on the old forums (more or less):
- : Some low-level dungeons, I honestly don't care if you bum-rush them with a million people. If a high-level player wants to organize a bunch of newbies to kill Gajus? I can't really bring myself to give a crap. It's not important in the scheme of things. But if you're doing high-level content in groups of eight or ten, that's a bigger problem, one that we're aware of and that's on our to-do list to fix.
- : My current plan is to basically use EQ2's system: hunting groups have a max of 6 people, monsters become "loot-locked" (and XP-locked) to the first person or group that attacks them, and a little icon shows that the monster is locked. There are simple level-range restrictions on the group, as well, to keep a level 100 from carrying a group of 50s. This system works well for keeping the game's challenge level up. But it has down sides, mainly that you HAVE to group up in order to share loot and XP from a monster -- casual "nearby grouping" stops working. It also opens up some dumb abuse situations, like "high level guy runs to boss and keeps him perma-locked for hours just so that you that can never kill him", but in practice that's pretty easy to fix. We first disincentivize the abusive situation as best we can (e.g. after the third repeated boss kill, you get literally nothing from it), then if people continue to be dicks just for fun, we ban them.
- : But as I said in the Big Dev-Info Roundup post, these plans will come later this year. The main hold up is that I need the GUI revamp to be done first. I don't currently even have a way to show a little "locked" icon overtop monsters. I could hack something in, but I'd just have to re-code it again in the new GUI. So that's wasted work, which I try to avoid.
- : In the mean time, please try to exercise a little self-restraint. Yes, you can abuse the limitations of the alpha and run a dozen people through a dungeon. But you should understand what you're doing: you're twinking yourselves. There are literally no dungeons in the game right now where a group of more than 6 should be needed -- and most dungeons are balanced for a group of 3 or 4 -- so if you have more than six, you're playing on an "easy mode" that is only going to be available until I can change it.
- : Why should you care? Because once you twink yourselves, your feedback becomes worthless. You don't really know how hard or easy things are, so you stop being able to help me balance content. Plus, the combat metrics generated by oversized groups are worthless, so I can't balance it that way either. I know that there are level ranges where it's hard to level, and dungeons that need work, and skills that need improvement at certain level ranges... but I don't really know where they are exactly, and I need your help -- your untwinked help -- to find and fix them.
- : The game isn't finished yet, but stuff like this won't be a problem forever. In the mean time, I'd like people to use their sense of restraint. It's not hard! Try it
- Eh, okay, I'm pretty convinced that multiboxing is going to cause too much trouble in the long term. The problem is that it's very hard to differentiate "fair multiboxing" with "bot-assisted multiboxing". Detecting bots is already hard enough without giving people more wiggle room.
- : So, starting now, I'm rescinding my temp-approval. You are not allowed to multibox for anything other than item-muling. Sorry, fans of multiboxing! We'll adjust the code of conduct to make this explicit.
- : Also, just to hammer this home: botting's not allowed, whether it be multiboxing or not. Please remember to report any combat-macroers you find. We have indeed banned people for combat-macroing already. But auto-detecting it is not foolproof, especially during alpha, so it's very helpful to have your reports to corroborate the logs.
- There's no fixed duration for tombstones to exist. They clean themselves up when there's too many other items on the ground in the same zone. Hardcore players' tombstones are higher-priority than non-hardcore tombstones, meaning that they will last longer. But their duration can't be guaranteed.
- : As others have said, though, the tombstone is just a shortcut. It's the item itself that stores where its "broken pieces" are. Broken items can be right-clicked to track down your death-spot, and right-clicked again to repair the item. The interesting thing about this is that since it's stored on the item, not the player, there's no time limit: as long as the item exists, it can be repaired by going to the right spot. So you can store your broken items for later, or even give them to a friend to go repair for you -- anyone can repair it!
Hammer Bonus Levels
- It was an oversight. Most of Hammer's bonus levels will come from skills that aren't done yet, but a few existing skills such as mining and blacksmithing should have bonus Hammer levels. This will be fixed soon!
- : If there are other combat skills that don't have bonus levels (but do have abilities that can't be obtained without bonus levels), those would be bugs too, so please report them! (Via the in-game ticket system.)
- This is very cool, and it's something I imagined the "behavior badges" would eventually be useful for. For instance, if you want to do a no-shirt challenge, and you live long enough, you'll eventually get the Shirtless behavior badge, which is proof you didn't cheat. The down side of the current system is that you have to stay alive for a few weeks before the badges kick in. But it's something we might be able to evolve in a way that helps make player-challenges more enforceable. If this challenge (or challenges like this) catch on, we might give that tech a bit more priority than it would otherwise have.
- I haven't gauged bandwidth usage in a long time, so there's no official answer to this right now.
- The bandwidth won't depend on your screen resolution or other graphics settings. (It used to matter if you had "Experimental Optimizations" checkbox on, but currently no configuration options affect bandwidth.) But bandwidth WILL change based on the number of players and moving monsters in your general area. Standing in Serbule with dozens of people and pets running all around is a pretty high-bandwidth scenario. If I had to guess where the worst-case bandwidth area is, it'd be standing just outside of Rahu, where there's like 200 monsters walking around in one small patch of desert.
- In terms of BEST-case scenario, the place with the least bandwidth would probably be that little sewer you can Enter The Light to -- unless other players are in there dancing, of course. Dungeons like the Serbule Crypt are also pretty low-bandwidth, because none of the monsters in there wander around.
- The tl;dr of all that is: movement and combat are what consume the bulk of the bandwidth.
- But even in the worst-case scenario, bandwidth usage should still be good compared to, say, an FPS or a moba. I tried to be pretty bandwidth-conscious when building the networking, and MMOs in general can get away with optimizations that many other kinds of games can't.
- It's intended that you can make really good energy-shield-oriented Unarmed builds... the idea is that the shields last longer than one combat, so you can stack them up. That said, I'm sure they are wildly imbalanced at the moment, and may or may not make sense at various level ranges. It's something on the list to work on eventually.
- The very honest answer is we haven't decided yet whether multiboxing will be allowed in the final game. But I am leaning towards not allowing it. In games where multiboxing is actually hard, it's not much of a problem, but when it's easy, it creates a lot of envy and anger from other players, and I don't need that. And would it be hard here? Probably not. When I add features like auto-follow, and when you've found powerful "hands-off" support builds (a battle chemistry/mentalism combo comes to mind), it's a pretty dramatic increase in power for little effort, and it's something that has historically pissed other players off.
- Yeah, I can tweak the game to make multiboxing harder and more "fair", but I don't want to have to think "wait, what does this design decision mean for multi-boxers?" every time I make a change.
- On the other hand, when a game is older and I'm making an alt, it IS fun to multibox. I multiboxed WoW and enjoyed it. But that was after it'd been out for five years and other players didn't care nearly as much if I was power-leveling an alt. So if history is any evidence, we'll similarly worry less about this as time progresses.
- In the very short term (like today), it's fine. You can multibox during the alpha, at least until further notice. But since no launch decisions have been made, I wouldn't pay for an extra account if you only want to use it to multibox!
- So basically the areas with more of their content completed are fun, and the ones that aren't done are not fun. Thanks for the feedback.
- Seriously, though... obviously there are mechanics we're still working on, like cold weather. They take time to iterate on. You're allowed to find them un-fun, and I want you talk about them, and I appreciate the feedback when they aren't fun -- or when they are.
- Bet let's leave that aside for a moment. I can tell that you're frustrated with the game in general, based on all your insults and complaints, and here's the thing: you are completely right that you're at a grind. And that won't change until the game is more complete. It won't happen next month or the month after that or the month after that -- we'll add more content and add/evolve game systems, but the game will still be far from complete. You will continue to hit grindy areas and run into game mechanics that suck. Finishing this game will take all of 2017, and it will be evolving that whole time. That includes both the content AND the game mechanics. And the art and GUI too, for that matter.
- So either you can deal with some grinding and annoyances and nerfs while we keep working, or you can go play something else for a while. I completely understand doing so. Lots of long-time players take breaks, and I think that's healthy. Your character will be here when you come back.
- Yes, you have to occasionally find time to play during a full moon to get the most out of lycanthropy. That's not a bug, it's a feature. In exchange, werewolf players, and ONLY werewolf players, can buy their level-ups and abilities before they meet the prerequisites. They can also pay for it in "tokens", which, it turns out, are a whole lot cheaper than Councils. I'm sorry that the full moon falls pretty far from this update, though.
- Generally the problem here is that raven is not an animal form. Animal Town citizens can smell that you're still a druid, and it doesn't count. Switching any forms is also unlikely to work -- you need to stay in one specific animal CURSE form -- deer included, although it's not a curse when druids do it -- for three hours of in-game time. We'll work on making this clearer somehow in a future update.
- Thanks for the feedback! Underwater nodes are intentional, and they're supposed to be a logistical problem to figure out. I'm open to improving how things work there, but in general, I don't remove content because it's too hard -- I want to refine systems until it's achievable instead.
- So it sounds like the key problem is not having enough breath? There are ways to increase your breath meter, including randomly-generated treasure items, low-level words of power, and raising your Endurance. Are these not easily accessible, or have you found them and they're still insufficient? I can certainly add more ways to raise max breath -- in fact there should be a low-level alchemy potion for it coming soon. (The potion exists already, but can't be crafted, only found.)
- Thanks for the feedback! I consider newbie-questions to be invaluable feedback, because it shows what isn't intuitable about the game. Not everything is supposed to be instantly intuitive, necessarily, but most game mechanics should make sense within their own context. But because we change things around a lot, systems that may have made sense once don't always stay sane. Boss monster difficulty is one such area -- bosses were once easier than they are now, and while I toned some bosses down when we changed monster difficulty, it's especially hard to find the sweet spot for newbie bosses, because it's hard to tell how powerful you're going to be at that point.
- The rhino boss in the crypt is almost certainly too difficult ... or, perhaps another way to fix that is that the monsters near there need to be tougher. But probably just toning down the boss in this case. Another SUPER-unfortunate boss is 'Tremor' in the myconian dungeon. His curse is supposed to be annoying -- back when basic attacks weren't that important, it was an annoying curse. But we made Basic Attacks much more important recently, and now Tremor's curse is one of the worst in the game... and it's in a low-level dungeon. (We'll fix it soonish, but the point is just that changes do have unexpected side-effects, and I rarely find all of those on my own -- I only realize there's problems when I get feedback.)
- As far as finding research components, it's supposed to be time consuming and/or expensive. Keep in mind that other skills have other time-consuming and/or expensive aspects that aren't necessarily obvious. For instance, to make the Staff skill really shine, you need to find the Hoplology skill, which is in a difficult level 40 dungeon. Prior to that, the skill is good, but not amazing. Similarly with Mentalism -- some of the best powers will be missing for a bit until you can come back and get them from the myconians.
- But saying it's supposed to be expensive and time consuming is just the general goal. Precisely how difficult should it be? I dunno. It's alpha====we're mostly winging it based on feedback and, sometimes, metrics. And it can see-saw back and forth a bit. I suspect part of the problem with fire magic is that I recently made getting Fire Dust a bit too easy, so it seems extra-weird that the later components are so hard to get. The fix is probably to make fire dust a bit less common while also making higher-level components a bit more common. You'll see in each snapshot build's patch notes where I attempt to tackle one or two of these kinds of things each time. (How many arrows should a "bundle of arrows" generate? How hard should it really be to level up First Aid? On and on it goes.)
- Bottom line is mostly: it's alpha, I dunno, please give feedback (as you have!) when something seems amiss -- either too hard OR too easy -- nobody ever reports the too-easy stuff. We're going for an organic difficulty, where not everything is necessarily as hard or easy as everything else, and that means we don't have to make everything perfectly orthogonal, but it can also be an excuse that hides major content problems.
- I'll talk with Silvonis about setting up an area of the forum where newbies can give their first impressions about things in a safe environment -- that is, one where people don't say "learn to play noob" etc. (That doesn't happen much around here, but when it does happen, it makes newbies shut up, and that's bad.)
- In the short term, the advice in this thread is pretty good. If you have trouble with boss difficulty levels, the wiki can help. If you can't find something you need, try checking the Used tab of vendors====if that doesn't work, try using the user-requested-items board in the back of Serbule. There's no level or skill requirements there. It acts as a sort of reverse-auction-house. Try requesting 1 saltpeter at whatever price you can afford, and see how it works out. And having level-appropriate gear is at least as important as having level-appropriate abilities, so when you're stuck on one, try working on the other.
- Alpha can be a rocky time, but it definitely has its up-sides, too. Hopefully you can work around the difficulties, and if you continue to give us feedback when you find them, the game will get better as a result.
The Second Forum
The following are not all of Citan's posts, but just ones thought to be important for the future, sharing his vision, and clarifying some things. Please note that newer posts are listed higher in this list. Older information may be outdated.
- Yes. More specifically you'll buy a Steam license and then connect your steam license to your existing account. We'll have more detailed steps as we get closer, but the important thing is you won't have to start over.
- If tab-targeting doesn't work, the mystical command you want is "/zapresources icefishing"
- Thanks for the feedback! Regarding the map, we do plan to do major revisions to the map after the new GUI is in place -- doing work in the current GUI would just have to be redone, so it makes sense to wait. In the short term, however, you might find the "Objective Orienteering" ability useful -- it creates a glowing path toward your objective as long as you're in the right general map-zone. You unlock it by getting Foraging up to level 15.
- I also want to offer my condolences to Asheron's Call players who've just learned that their home is shutting down. This is a very sad bit of news for me, although ... I hope this doesn't come across callously, but I personally grieved for these games' deaths years ago, when I first learned that Turbine wasn't going to be doing more major development on them. That hit me really hard, because the way I see it, an MMO that's never going to have big updates again is already mostly-dead.
- And I think most AC fans knew the writing was on the wall a couple years ago, when Turbine started trying to help people set up community servers: it was clear that while the staff loved the franchise, the games were not making meaningful money for Turbine. I haven't worked there for over a decade and I don't know if these games got a fair shake internally or not -- it doesn't really matter. It's still a damned shame to see them go.
Staff of Leadership
- We have no plans to make the Staff of Leadership available to non-backers. (But it might happen, years after the game has been live... never say never. But probably not.)
- I also like using a gamepad to play, because after 12 hours of programming my mouse hand is sore. But making a gamepad configuration that easily handles all 18 ability buttons (plus everything else) is hard, so at the moment the best bet is probably a custom configuration of the Steam controller -- it can let you create overlays that let you choose different buttons easily. But eventually... probably not any time soon, but eventually, I want to be able to natively support other controllers like xbox one controllers. (There's some basic support built in now, but it's pretty buggy at the moment.)
- The game is designed to be run from the launcher. The launcher tells the game where to save screenshots, and if you don't run the game from the launcher then it doesn't know where to put them. It saves them in a temp folder that the OS provides. (You can still get them: it pastes the exact directory into your chat.) But the bottom line is that players should always start the game via the launcher.
- Yeah, I've said this in other threads, but we will eventually have a bar for potions and consumables, and that bar will probably also allow non-combat abilities. But I probably haven't talked recently about the flip-side of this problem. The 6-button sidebar was chosen a long time ago, when you were only going to be able to change your button layouts at certain points, not any time you want. So I expected only a few combat abilities to be on there, and the rest filled with non-combat utilities.
- Being able to change bar layouts only at designated "camp sites" was tossed out long ago because it sucked, but the sidebar hasn't been shrunk down yet. But when there's 40 or 50 additional (very powerful) sidebar abilities in the final game, I expect letting you have nine of them (six base plus three more with buffs) all at once will be way too much.
- So most likely, what will happen is that the existing bar will shrink to 3-4 slots (plus up to 3 more with buffs like Gur-Horta), only for combat abilities, and a new bar underneath it will have additional slots for noncombat abilities and items. But this is still not something that's high-priority -- and won't happen this year -- because loadouts let you switch between non-combat and combat setups efficiently for now, and until another few dozen special combat abilities are added to the game, it's not especially game-breaking to have a sidebar full of combat abilities. (As we can tell by how many people bother to use Gur-Horta regularly to get more slots! Very few do, because there's just not a lot of pressure to choose in-combat sidebar abilities yet.)
- And before anybody suggests dropping the buff items to make more room for "permanent" slots: every player wants permanent things over temporary things, but that's not gonna happen here. Consumable items are what make MMO economies work long-term, and it's important that they have a useful place in the game or they just don't work. So as more abilities are added, there will be more and more pressure for high-level players to buy and use Gur-Horta or its cousins. Those drugs are pretty much ignored right now because there aren't that many amazing sidebar abilities. When there are more, and fewer slots, it should become a useful part of the game that helps the economy thrive for years to come. It's important, and a good thing!
- If you can't open the corpse, it means the owner didn't open it to look at its loot. Since the owner still has loot-permission, you can't open it, and therefore can't bury it. Once the corpse has been opened by the killer, you can bury it if they don't.
Druid Emergency, Fun Game
- The thing I always try to keep in mind is that this is supposed to be a fun game, and we'll keep working to make it fun. Sometimes your character will take on responsibilities, like being a druid, but unlike real life, we don't want those responsibilities to be especially tedious... because, again, this is supposed to be a fun game. You may still regret your choices, because what's fun for someone isn't going to be fun for everyone forever. But the intent is that druid events should be fun. There often aren't enough players right now to tell how well the current events will work later, but we're slowly gathering enough data to make changes to them, and we'll keep iterating on them.
- Right now I'm working out technical problems with the South Serbule event; when those are worked out, I'll roll out another new event with a different pace and we'll keep trying new stuff.
- As Silvonis said, we want to make sure that responsibilities are taken seriously, because otherwise everybody would be a druid, and it loses all impact. So that's something we want to work on, too. But we'll work on it within the spirit of being a fun game. We aren't going to do something too horrific.
- As for an account-wide lock, that particular suggestion is a non-starter for me. Being a druid is a character's choice, not a player's choice, so it shouldn't affect other characters. Just like being a werewolf doesn't lock you out of all your other characters during the full moon!
Legacy Loot, Free Loot, Halloween
- When I made new treasure effects, I replaced old ones. When you log in, the old effects will automatically be changed to new effects. And that's not a problem in and of itself. BUT, as I mentioned in the previous dev-blog, I had to move a lot of treasure effects so that they go on different slots than before. Maybe 15%-20% of effects have been changed to new slots. If your item has a treasure effect that now goes on a different slot, it will become Legacy. It will also become Legacy if it doesn't meet the new dual-skill requirement. Those are the two big cases here.
- And as srand explained, we've given up trying to fix these items by randomly replacing treasure effects. So many treasure effects do new stuff now... even the ones that haven't been moved to new slots... so the odds of us being able to replace the item with one that you like is pretty much nil. You're going to need to see these new effects, play around with the way stats work now, and get a feel for which treasure effects you want. Hence the loot-party we have planned.
- But to answer questions in the thread: if your item happens to meet the dual-skill requirement and none of its treasure effects were moved to other slots, it should be fine. (Its treasure effects may do different things and you may not like it anymore, but it won't be Legacy.)
- For the skills that haven't had their treasure-rewrite yet, their slots haven't been reorganized yet either, so this particular problem won't apply to you ... yet! (Although the dual-skill requirement will still apply to all gear.) Once the other skills have been revised, we'll need some other way to help those players replace their gear. I don't know what form that assistance will take yet.
Item Stacking to 99
- During pre-alpha, there was only room for two digits on the item display. So it's kind of a leftover.
- I'm not going to change the system of unlocks. It works, and I like it. Yes, it can be annoying... if you're trying to unlock all the skills. But the secret is that I do not want you to unlock all the skills. The unlocks are there to make it non-trivial to have every skill in the game. They do a good job of it.
- The goal is to focus players on a few skill choices. Without that, everyone would become a jack of all trades. I realize players unlock most of the skills when they reach 60 because they're bored and there's no more content, but there will eventually be more content. In the mean time if you want to unlock other skills, you'll have to befriend other NPCs.
- Again, to reiterate: I do not want players to learn all the skills. I definitely do not want it to be trivial to learn all the skills.
- Yes, if you don't set a timer on the time-restricted boxes, they behave like the lower-level boxes. Higher-level versions would have longer max-times than 60 minutes (90 for the tier-6 one), but I really expect that when the population is decent (a few hundred people is all it should take), successful raffles will be pretty short.
- Raffle boxes have a special clean-up priority that's higher than most items' priority. They're designed to have a 60-minute "safe window" where it would take an awful lot of valuable dropped items on the ground before they were in danger of being wiped out. But after 60 minutes, they're in danger of being... garbage-collected, so to speak. And I can't really increase that window safely, or people would be able to grief others by dropping tons of raffle boxes!
- Other kinds of deployables, like cheese casks, for instance, don't have this problem because if they're removed from the world, they respawn themselves when you get near. But that doesn't work here, since you kind of need the raffle box to exist in the world even when you aren't around.
- The low population is why I haven't done anything else with rafflers. They're basically on the back-burner for now -- although I definitely appreciate people testing them! But I don't think any big changes are a good time investment until the population is larger. The priority system I've described isn't set in stone, but without lots of players using raffle boxes, it's hard to see what kind of usage patterns should be supported. Although if you have ideas, I'm all ears!
- I want people to feel free to explore how the game works, so I don't want to penalize them for dying while experimenting. Bosses have their own death penalty, though, and there's a "hardcore death penalty mode" which you can enable, which makes you lose items on death until you return to your corpse, and I hope to make that a reasonably appealing experience for players looking for a bigger challenge.
Questing and Factions
- It's an MMO about exploring and finding stuff, and in general I want to let players "explore by doing." Having seriously punitive consequences to NPC decisions aren't very compatible with that. It makes people less excited to try stuff out if there's a "wrong" way to do something.
- So while there ARE and will be more cases where you need to decide what you're doing very carefully because there are hard choices to make, those decision points are rare.
- I've poked around with factions, but as a game design tool, they suck. The game design benefit of factions is to make hard decisions more gradual, so players aren't broadsided by their actions. But frankly it never works out that way. Instead, you see "you lost 5 faction points with team X" and you immediately think "oh shit, I may have done something bad." And then you stop playing and you go google the factions to decide which you want to be friends with. In reality, there is no gradual process of accidentally finding which factions you want to befriend. I might as well just put up a box that says "do you want to like orcs and hate goblins or vice versa?"
- So if factions don't work for their intended purpose of easing players into a hard decision (and they don't, because they don't give enough info to make that decision within the game), then there's no real point to them besides yet another grind.
- Anyway... this came off as a bit negative. I'm not saying you're wrong or dumb for wanting hard decisions in an MMO. But that's not the main mission of this MMO, because it contradicts exploration too much.
- Heh, I'm not sure where the bee thing started, but there will indeed be bees in P:G. But not necessarily ones you want to meet in an idyllic garden... Fae Bees live in the fairy realm. They're tameable by fairy animal handlers.
Druid Event Free Loot
- Good feedback here, though I think a lot of the issues aren't really related to the druid events in particular.
- Regarding "people coming to get free loot" -- as I said in the big catch-all blog post, we'll need a general solution for this problem. Right now, players can do Manticores up to 24 times a day. The loot may be a little worse, but the sheer amount of it is overwhelming. This is the same problem as ANY scenario where there are group monsters on the landscape.
- The answer isn't "don't ever have group monsters outdoors", and it isn't "don't let them have any treasure", because both of those things are suck. The answer is a complex treasure-determining algorithm so that you can't just get free loot by running around.
- But as I said in the blog post, that's not something I'm working on right now, because there's bigger fish to fry first! Right now, with the tiny populations we have, it's absolutely not an epic problem for people to get free level 30 loot from the kraken event. Getting an inventory full of level 60 loot from the Ilmari event is a bit more troubling... but tagging along with a group to do the minotaur dungeon will get you statistically better-quality loot anyway -- and a whole lot of it.
- The point is that the "free loot" problem is not something specific to druid events, and just as I'm not going to shut down manticores or the lab dungeon over it, I'm not going to shut down druid events because of it. We'll address the issue in time. Right now I have a bunch of more fundamental changes to make before I can get to that problem.
- That said, I have nerfed the quality of loot from Druid event monsters in the next update, because it was too good regardless. Will this change keep every non-druid away? Nah, probably not. But that's okay by me. I don't want druid events to only have druids in it, as if druids are the only people who care about nature. I want the events to be druid-LED, not druid-ONLY.
- I guess I should step back... there seems to be a big misunderstanding here. Being a druid is not a curse like Lycanthropy. It's a calling. They are both permanent decisions, but they don't have to be the same level of drama.
- It seems like some of you are of the opinion that you should have a big down side for having flight forms. But the REASON you have those flight forms is to get to the druid events quickly! (That's also why there won't be any "free teleporting" to the events -- that'd be spitting on Dreva's blessing of flight.)
- But also note that bird flight is not the only kind of flight in the game. It's probably the only easy flight at level 50, sure, but high level players (in the 100+ range) will be able to get flying mounts.
- In a game with flying mounts, why should being a druid have huge negative repercussions? I don't think it should.
- The down side of being a druid is that you need to drop whatever you're doing and go flap to the crisis at a moment's notice. Well, that's the down side I need to make happen, anyway.
- It's already annoying if you log in to level your brewmaster skill and have to drop everything to flap your ass to the desert. I don't think there needs to be a "punishment" beyond that interruption. But the events obviously need to last long enough for this to be a thing you can't ignore. Most of the events right now are so short that you can probably just sit it out... or go for a coffee and come back later. That's something I want to address.
- Regarding Dreva blessings: all participating druids get the same number of blessings from an event. Really: every participating druid gets the same number of blessings from the event, whatever level they are. If the monsters are too dangerous for you to attack, you can stand back and heal, or debuff, or drop Sanctuaries, and still get blessings. That probably makes less sense when there are a hundred or more druids online at once, but I think it's probably a good approach for now.
- Sometimes newbies literally can't reach the events in time ... but hey, sometimes being a druid is a hard life. You'll level up and it'll get easier to survive some areas. And when the events are longer it'll be less of an issue.
- Please keep the feedback coming, but keep in mind that:
- - most druidic emergencies involve dangerous changes to the whole landscape, so naturally everyone can participate, not just druids.
- - the reason you can fly is specifically to get to these events more easily. There will be faster flight forms for high level druids, but there won't be a "druid teleport" that obsoletes your flight forms.
- - loot quality from druid events is going down in the next update.
- - eventually when there are 1000 players online, we'll need more than one simultaneous druid event! That's why I don't want people to fret too much about newbies fighting alongside level 60s, or level 60s being bored by newbie events. There aren't enough players online for it to make sense to have lots of different level ranges active at once, but when we have a basic outline for how these should work, we can expand it as necessary to fit the population.
- First, when talking about treasure effects that suck please include as many specifics as possible. I never sit down to make treasure effects and think "this skill's treasure should do something completely unrelated to the point of the skill." That has never been the intention a single time. So we're on the same page about intent, but not specifics. That's why details are critical! Now, talking about ones you mentioned in particular:
- The fire magic effects involving + Power were vociferously defended when I nerfed them, as being critical to survivability with the fire magic skill. That was a long time ago and these sorts of concerns fluctuate as balance changes, so it may not be relevant at the moment, but I do think it's a good idea for each skill to have some abilities that can give a small return on Power. (Could those abilities be implemented as "costs less Power" instead? Yes, and they will, but that's a polish thing, as that involves making a new Attribute for each one and it's more work. When I'm reasonably confident an ability will work that way, I do set up attributes for it.)
- When I add Health to something it's often to give it scale. If I decide that the most Power saving I can give is, say, +4 power, I may add in some Health healing to give me 6 levels of the ability. I try to have 6 or 12 levels of each ability, and sometimes that involves tossing in some extra buffs of a small variety. I also include several "survivability" effects in each skill to give players options in how they stay alive. I don't generally think of those as being a burden to players. Healing is rarely perceived as burdensome in my experience, unless you're trying to build an insanely overpowered DPS set, and in that case I don't care if I'm burdening you.
- Which brings me to one of the bigger problems with treasure right now -- "single-skill" treasure builds can be far, FAR too powerful right now, and I have to fix that problem. Having 30 treasure effects for a single attack skill obsoletes the need for survivability because you just kill everything dead.
- So I'll be taking slightly drastic action to subvert that -- I'm currently looking at completely removing the notion of single-skill equipment. If an item has more than one treasure effect, it will always be for both of your skills, not just one. And crafted treasure simply will never have only one skill on it. I need to do something drastic like this in order to push people into working out both skills relatively equally.
- I bring this up because when players are more equally splitting their gear mods between two skills, you may be right that survivability effects make less sense for combat skills -- and I may end up reducing the total number of treasure effects across the board. We'll see when we get there. Right now if I removed them, I have nothing to replace them with. In most cases, every attack already has as many murder-boosting treasure effects as it can have. The other effects can either fill out the skill's role in other ways or add survivability, or... not exist.
- As to why certain skills don't have any -- it's just a practical thing. There are certain requirements for abilities to be eligible for these tags. For instance, for "Signature Debuffs", the ability needs a reset time of at least 10 seconds. (Otherwise giving back Power when you use it would be much too good.) Some skills just don't have any abilities that meet the requirements for any of these special tags. But that's something I'll work on as I evolve the skills some more. Ideally each skill would have at least one of the set: either a Signature Debuff, an Epic attack, or a Major Heal.
- Guys I want to ask again to please report bugs in game, and if the bugs persist a month or more and they are annoying you please re-report them. There's two reasons for this. First, there is no way for me to tell that something I think is fixed ain't fixed unless it gets reported again. (I believed the screenshot issue was fixed in a Unity update a while back and I haven't heard otherwise from anyone in months.)
- Second, this helps me prioritize. If I see you re-reporting an issue, that suggests that it's hampering your play experience, so it's something I should look at sooner than something nobody really cares much about.
- Huh? You had network-latency lag. Whenever you have lag that can be felt by other people in other zones, that's never, EVER due to Unity.
- We use Unity for graphics. That's all. A different graphics engine might get us better lighting (to better show off our oh-so-beautiful artwork...) but it will do jack squat to improve the connection between your machine and our datacenter, which has been having problems recently. But these are hardware issues that we'll work out. We've had two hundred concurrent users before, with no lag -- and yet now we have lag with 50 users... that's definitely not due to the graphics engine, or the server code. It's just hardware.
- Since I presume you "read up" on these engines before recommending them, it should be obvious that we don't use the networking code in Unity, and we couldn't use the networking code in Unreal, either, because they are designed for FPSes and totally useless for MMOs. We have our own networking code. We technically use the physics engine in Unity, but it's just the PhysX library, same as most every other engine on the planet, so the physics would be the same on other engines.
- Finally, suggesting that you can just switch out engines shows a very deep lack of understanding about how a game is made. I would have to spend at least two more years to switch engines. Yes, seriously, YEARS. And the results would be extremely unimpressive, because we'd still have the same artwork. The graphics engine just shows it off.
- Unity is the most popular game engine, so it has the most vocal detractors. It also has real problems... but they all do. I promise that I have done my homework, and this engine is better suited to the game than Unreal or Hero.
- Also, this isn't exactly on topic, but I want to ask you and everyone reading this to please... PLEASE... in the future, for other games, especially indie games, DON'T make recommendations to developers to switch engines. It basically reads as a huge "fuck you" to developers. I know you're trying to be helpful, and I know you aren't trying to be offensive, but it really is offensive. It's like saying "your child is ugly, get a divorce!" It's too late for that. Even if a game really is bad because of the engine, switching is never a viable alternative. Even large teams can't switch engines once they're past the prototype phase.
- Oh come on, a "wi-flag"? That looks like a doctored screen shot to me. After all, this is from Monger, the same person who posted that clearly-fake picture of 200 deer in one place. (I mean, come on, why would all those deer stand on that little ice ledge?) Has anyone actually seen this so-called wi-flag when examining themselves?
- If there *is* some sort of "wi-flag", I'm sure it's nothing to worry about. Srand was the programmer who fixed the wi-flag in AC1, so I'm sure fixing this one would be no problem for her. If it existed. Which, of course, it doesn't.
- First, Endurance is intended to be easier to level for meleers. It is probably too slow to raise right now, even for melee users, but that's just details that we'll get worked out over time. Being a melee fighter is frankly more dangerous than being an archer, especially if you've just started playing, and you can see the proof of that in how much less Endurance XP archers get! So that's why meleers get a small benefit to help counteract that.
- It's not a huge permanent benefit, since anybody can EVENTUALLY raise the skill regardless of level. But I think it helps when you need it most: if the first combat skill you level is a melee skill, you will need a bit more help surviving than somebody who shoots lightning and uses a cat to kill their enemies (or whatever). Eventually things even out a bit more, and eventually everybody gets endurance levels.
- One of the intended benefits of Endurance is that melee users have an easier time wearing plate mail armor. That's why really heavy armor has Endurance requirements.
- But lots of other types of gear have Endurance requirements, too, and that's just because (as many people have surmised) we needed a way to gate gear so that newbies don't wear level 100 armor. But it does get in the way for higher level players. I like Ianfiniti's suggestion for these cases: removing the Endurance requirement when the item has equal or higher requirements for other skills. I think that's fairly elegant, so it's been added to the to-do list. (It won't be in the next update because it requires new tech, but it'll happen.)
- There will be other combat-related skills down the road, and I expect some of the weirder esoteric benefits of Endurance to move away to those. The extra inventory slots, for instance, are just tacked on there temporarily.
Druid & Knife
- There's some technical and practical complications right now, but the plan is (and always has been) that druid+knife will be a viable combination. But unfortunately not for a while.
- You understand correct: if you didn't participate in the Kickstarter then the way to unlock the other races is by completing quests in the game with the first three, and then making an alt using those races.
- The other three races have more difficult play styles and they aren't for novices. You will need to know how to play already in order to succeed with them.
- This has been the publicly-explained design for years, and it's not something I could change now if I wanted -- it's too late in development. But I don't want to change it: I like alts. And most MMO players like rolling alts, too. But I want my alts to play differently, so that's what the other races are: different ways to play.
- I know that lots of alpha players like doing every single skill on a single character, but I've explained over and over that that's not a reasonable thing to do in the final game -- the skill dependencies just get too broad to try to do it all at once. So when it comes time to roll an alt, the other races are variant ways to play. They aren't just cosmetic changes.
- I won't tolerate any further "the game is ruined", "dev has no sense", sort of manipulative bullshit here. Be constructive or fuck off please. This is an alpha, not a finished game, and these forums are for getting constructive feedback.
- I have lots to say about this issue and lots of thoughts on where it's headed, but it's frankly not the top implementation priority right now. This is a game IN DEVELOPMENT, which means that the order things get done is the best order for getting the final game done, not the order which is most convenient for you guys.
- So if your #1 concern is storage, kindly sell more of your shit please. I know, you want to save literally every item in case you need it some day, but you can't, so stop trying to and sell it. If you must complain about how you can't intuitively store all of the 4000+ types of items in the game without a lot of hassle, then at least do it politely.
- Will storage issues get better? Yes. Will the game always have item-management problems, given that the final game will have 10,000 types of items? Yes. I can't see why it wouldn't -- literally every MMO does. I had serious inventory problems in WoW, EQ2, AC1, every MMO there is, so why would this game be different? But we'll certainly be working on improving things to the best of the game's potential, approaching the problem from several different angles, in time.
- Finally, I want to emphasize that I'm not saying don't give feedback and thoughts about this topic -- I'm saying keep it respectful and constructive. I've read and appreciated most of the feedback in this thread, and it definitely informs my plans, both short-term and long-term. But when feedback gets derogatory or dismissive it stops being worth my time to read.
- I think croocy was asking about other kinds of were-animals, wasn't he? In terms of adding other were-forms like werebears and wereboars and werecats... eh, no, we probably won't add more animal forms that are considered "lycanthropy". In other words, you might be able to turn into a cat, but it won't be because you're a were-cat. There'll be different fiction and different rules.
- In terms of providing alternate appearances and modes for werewolves, yeah, there will be more appearances available down the road. Some more colors and some alternate models too, hopefully.
- Well, this isn't a fully free-form game, it's a game where you work within a framework. The framework gives you limitations, and part of the game is planning around those. You can use a sword and a bow together, but you can't use a sword and a hammer together. You can use druid and cow together but not druid and werewolf.
- Some of those reasons are practical (animation limitations, balance concerns, etc.) and some are driven by the eventual story, but they're all limitations to be worked around.
- In the case of werewolves and druids, I have lore plans. I also have balance concerns which aren't relevant right now but will be, eventually, I hope, if werewolf and druid both take off like I want them to.
- I'm not sure why this is popping up again, because there's been no change in our plans for quite some time... like, a year now, I think. As I've said on these forums many times, we are likely to wipe equipment and items, in order to give the in-game economy a fighting chance of taking off after launch. But we won't be wiping player skills and abilities, just items.
- (Also remember that "launch" is not "when it's on Steam" -- the game will be on Steam soon, but that will be Steam Early Access. "Launch" is when it's out of Early Access, which won't happen until next year. Once again, NOTHING is being wiped this year.)
- I understand if the idea of losing your gear is upsetting, I really do. But the items you have right now will be obsolete long before we launch, anyway -- as we raise the level cap, your current items will become junk. But anyway, if this is a deal-breaker for you, I get that. But all I can say is "goodbye for now". I hope you come back and play after launch.
- On the flip side, I understand if you think it's unfair to let players keep their existing levels, but again I'll have to disappoint because we aren't wiping characters. The levels you earn now are your "reward" for dealing with the bugs and problems associated with alpha-testing.
- RE: "why don't you just open another server?" Well, we can't plan on having enough players to do that. If we have enough players to support multiple servers, we'll be able to reconsider a lot of different plans, but until that time, we are planning around a worst-case-scenario where there's only one server at launch. It's an indie game and it'd be a mistake to assume there will be tens of thousands of active players on launch day! But fingers crossed...
- Yes, there will continue to be new resources available for animal players. Understand though that most animal curse-forms aren't really intended for newbies -- the first curse form that is "legitimately" available to newbies is the cow curse, and there will be more cow-related resources early in the game. The other curse forms come a bit later and so their resources arrive later. (You can get "pig potions" early on, of course, but as it says on the bottle, those are just for testing -- they won't exist in the final game.) So I'm not worried that pig players have limited resources in Serbule -- they aren't going to live in Serbule anyway. On the other hand, pigs have a much easier time in Rahu where very few of the NPCs refuse to serve animals.
- Druid and Necromancy will continue to work fine together, although there are lots of druids who don't like necromancers, so you may need to keep your choices hidden.
- As for necromantic form, that is expected to be a sub-class of necromancy (much like, say, rapier is a sub-class of sword), and I haven't designed it yet so I couldn't say for certain that they will 100% always be compatible, but at the moment I expect they will be.
Solo Loot vs. Group Loot
- For people wondering "why" -- why can't solo loot be better than group loot, the answer is that I need people to group! And the majority of players will gravitate to the thing that gives them the best rewards. In the past couple of months I've seen a dramatic rise in crafting, and a corresponding dramatic drop off in grouping. This makes it impossible for me to develop the game's group experience. I need players to do group dungeons in order to continue to improve the grouping experience.
- In a nutshell, my mistake was making it possible to get the best loot via a completely soloable process. I expected there to be more reasons to group -- for instance, the Combat Wisdom system, as well as some others -- but those aren't ready yet. Right now, I'm hearing (and seeing) players not grouping because it's "pointless".
- Eventually as more reward mechanisms come online, things will change, and soloing will have benefits that aren't achievable by grouping and vice versa. But we're not there yet.
- If your concern is that "grouping is too hard" or "grouping is too easy because people just get carried through dungeons" or "grouping causes bottlenecks which create player tension", those are all things I have plans for. But I can't work on them until people are grouping again. I need people testing the systems in order to make accurate changes.
- And to reiterate, I'm not removing soloing. The stuff dropped from solo monsters will continue to be good stuff. And it may be useful to know that low-level monsters are designed around Rare (blue) gear and high-level monsters are designed with well-chosen Exceptional (three-ability) gear in mind. Level 60 is mid-level for the game so I expect you to be somewhere in between. (In game-design terms, at level 60 I expect you to have 2.5 synergizing and applicable treasure effects per equipment slot.) So you are NOT supposed to need a perfect set of Epics, let alone Legendaries, let alone Max-Enchanted-Legendaries, in order to solo or to be useful in a group. Some group content will be harder, but not a lot of it. (The only intentionally-overly-hard dungeon right now is labs.)
- If you find that's not true and you can't e.g. find anything soloable even with a set of decent 3-effect gear for your level, please let me know what level you are stuck at and the skills you're using, because that's a fundamental balance problem that I still need to work on.
- Thanks for your patience, and please remember this is an alpha! You are sometimes required to play the role of guinea pigs. I try to make that painless, but I can't always make it painless.
Ability Bar Limit
- This comes up every six months or so, so I should really get a FAQ! But here goes again: six abilities for each skill is a hard limit and isn't going to change. There's lots of reasons for this. Here's some:
- - it lets me offer interesting ability choices. Fire Magic is a good example of a skill that would be a lot more powerful (in terms of total damage output) if you had just two more slots to use at once. But that's not an accident. I want to use the six-ability limitation to be able to create interesting choices, without worrying as much about "what if they just use ALL the choices?"
- - it helps players understand that they need two skills in later parts of the game. Being "just a fire mage" (or any other one skill) is going to leave you unable to effectively fight a large number of monsters later. The thing is, at low level, any combat skill is viable for all the newbie content. It's just not that hard. So the natural tendency is to want to focus even MORE into a single skill because the second skill isn't as important. But letting players do that is very bad expectation-management on my part.
- - it helps players understand that they need to spread their gear across two abilities too. Again, this is important later, when you may very well need the Mentalism side of your Fire Magic/Mentalism build in order to kill some of the monsters. If you have no mentalism gear, you're screwed.
- I need to do more to push people (and help people!) make sets with dual-skill focus -- it's something I'm working on. But letting people make single-skill builds would just set back all my effort in this area.
- So anyway, that's not going to happen. It's a very intentional design choice that you only get six abilities from only two skills.
- On the other hand, most everything else about the GUI particulars may change.
- One upcoming feature is something like "configuration snapshots", so you can take a snapshot of the abilities and gear you have at a particular moment, and switch between snapshots for different scenarios.
- I'm also exploring ways that sidebar abilities may play interesting roles. At higher level I'll probably let you put sidebar abilities on any bar slot, so if you know what you're doing and you really only need 5 mentalism abilities (for instance), you can use the sixth for a different sidebar ability. I have to avoid screwing up expectation-management with that feature, but I don't think it would cause imbalances and it may open up some interesting builds.
- Another question that comes up every six months or so: some people would prefer having one row with all twelve slots on it, so the abilities take up less vertical space. But that was the original design and we abandoned it because it didn't work well, so I'm hesitant to allow that again.
- In very early alpha, the bars were set up in one row, 1-6 then 7-12, with just tiny space between them. (And yes, it does look cleaner!) But players just never remembered to use their second ability buttons at all. When I stacked them on top of each other, the second skill started seeing a LOT more use.
- So I'm wary of reverting the progress that's already been made there. I really need to help players get in the habit of using two skills early on.
- But I dunno... we'll see how things progress there. It's not something I'm dead-set against, just something I'm worried about.
- (However, actually moving the bar out of the center of the screen, say over to the left or the right, will be possible when the GUI is revamped.)
- We have something like this planned, called "sentient weapons". You'll be able to imbue weapons with intelligence and they will take on a random personality, complete with simple "quests" (such as "I want to kill boars today"). Making the weapon happy will level it up. The exact details are still pretty sketchy (as in, they're literally sketches in a notepad) but we'll end up with something in this vein, anyway!
- (Oh, and this is a high-end crafting process, not something you'd do as you level up. That's why it's not in game yet. There will be several different ways that crafters can augment top-end gear, and this is just one of the options.)
- First off, there's a lot of rose-colored-glasses in here. WoW's jokes are INSANELY invasive and terribly un-funny. Every other quest title is a joke referencing a sitcom. Every third monster is a joke referencing a movie. Entire races seem to exist just for shitty jokes based on their stereotypes.
- Humor is subjective. You're allowed to think WoW's humor is good. But I don't, and I'm not replacing my sense of humor with yours. I can't. And even if that was a thing I could do, I don't have time to rewrite all the text.
- That doesn't mean every line in the game is locked down and unchangeable, but "replace the writing"? Come on, there's hundreds of thousands, maybe half a million words of text so far.
- But if you think particular lines are shitty, or unfunny, or offensive, or whatever, then send feedback about them and we can revise. Specific lines, though. Generalizations don't help me revise.
- Bottom line is this: if a lot of the game text really jars you, then I'd just find another game. If it's due to isolated shitty item descriptions or whatever, then help me fix it. If you want to be constructive, be specific. And if you want to rapid-fire your opinions about particular lines, that's great and appreciated -- but it's probably best to send those as suggestions in-game; doing it on the forum will probably not result in very useful dialog.
- The data-miners out there have probably already seen hints of this, but an Assessment skill is in the works. (But not ready for next update.) There will be a way to "foil" the assessment as well.
Carrier Pigeon Skill
- Yep, a carrier-pigeon skill is planned
Bug Submission System
- Yep, we do respond when we have time, and those are never automated. (And I'm glad the effort seems worth the trouble!)
- The way it works is that in-game tickets are queued up for analysis, and then one of us (right now usually Sandra) categorizes them, files them in a bug system, and closes the in-game ticket. So when you get a response, it means that we've "processed" it. That doesn't necessarily mean a fix or response will be coming right away -- there's a lot of bugs. But if you get a response, it DOES mean that we won't forget what you said. It is known.
- And yes, the in-game reports include your character name and location.
- Oh and by the way, if people can find precise locations where monsters can "see them through the walls", we could use that info. I've seen lots of reports where people say things like "I have to avoid walking too close to the walls or monsters will see me right through it and come out to hit me." But I've never been able to repro this.
- It might be an illusion -- monsters DO wander, so it may just SEEM like they're seeing through walls. (And of course if you're in combat, monsters can HEAR through walls, and that's intentional.) But if you know with certainty that a specific wall is a problem, I would love to have a reproducible location.
- (What I'd do is have the feedback window open, ready to submit the bug, and not hit Submit until you see the monster coming for you. That way we have an exact coordinate from your bug report.)
Chickens and Feathers
- There should probably be more ways to get feathers -- you can get them from spiders, and a few other places, but maybe too rare. But I don't think it'd make sense to make the NPCs care less about the chickens -- the next content update adds eggs, which come from chickens minecraft-style (occasionally popping out of them, that is). So the chickens are more important to them.
- (Elves don't believe in keeping livestock in cages, which is why even the cows have no fence, much to Sir Coth's annoyance.)
- There will never be instancing because the engine can't support it. Making an MMO engine requires compromises -- especially an indie one made by a single person. One of the big limitations is that it simply can't do instances with combat in them. (I can do instanced housing because it will have no combat.)
- However, making a fun game without instances is hardly a groundbreaking feat. Yes, there are down sides to not having instances. But there are up-sides as well. In a game like EQ2 - and this game - you won't typically "get a group together and then go to the dungeon" -- you'll go to the dungeon and get a group together. The dungeons will be much longer -- remember, this is an alpha, not a beta, an alpha, so zero percent of the dungeons are their final size -- and several large groups plus some soloers will be able to explore the same place without getting on each others' nerves too well. I've seen it done well in the early launch EQ2 content and in many ways I'm basing my dungeon design plans on theirs.
- So the answer is no, no instancing, and no amount of convincing will change that. But for indies, limitations are also opportunities. In many ways I've designed the game around this limitation, and I think this will become more clear when we have a larger population -- and a bit larger world to go with it.
Can I change character race?
- I'm sorry to say that a race change option isn't necessarily going to happen -- because of how race is implemented, it's not trivial to change.
- However, we can change your appearance and gender more easily, and we'll definitely have a way for existing characters to change that. (And maybe race too, depending on exactly how hard it ends up being.)
- The timeline for those features is late in the game's development cycle, though. None of that will be available for many months. It wouldn't make sense to implement that feature before we have new appearances in the game.
- And now something totally unrelated to these tools, a side note that sorta fits here: I've had players accuse me of explicitly gimping their character builds -- and I have done that once or twice over the past five years of development, but it's really rare. I just don't have time to examine individual characters and see how you're breaking the system.
- It's easy for players to forget that a typical MMO has at LEAST 5 engineers and 5 full time designers... and that's for a super tiny team. But I am the only full time engineer or full time designer on this game. I'm also the entire operations team, part of the customer service team, and the head of QA. I work a LOT of hours. :)
- A side effect of players not realizing this is that they can't understand why I don't focus more deeply on particular things. Why can't I focus on equipment stats and just get it right? In a normal MMO, equipment stats would be a full time job for at least one person. (A job I LOVE, by the way, and have done professionally before.) But that's just a tiny part of my many jobs, and as frustrating as it is for me, I can't focus all my time on it. Sometimes I have to half-ass it while I'm busy working on all the other things that are also in development.
- So tools like this can be a really good thing, because they can help players help me -- you can point out problems and guide me to them. And I REALLY appreciate help in this department! If I hadn't pulled my hair out years ago, this game would have turned all my hair gray by now. It's a BIG game and I am proud that it seems kinda-sorta professional -- but it's an indie game. And indie games live and die by their communities. So again, when you report broken builds or insane power sets, that helps me and helps the community, too: the longer a super-broken thing goes unfixed, the more upset people are when I finally spot it and fix it.
- Anyway, sorry for the ramble. This is a very cool tool, and if there is other data that you'd like in the client files, I may be able to add it for you easily, so feel free to ask.
Foul Mouthed NPCs
- Different people will interpret NPCs' behavior differently, so they aren't really a good guide. That's the point of a code of conduct: to codify a few behaviors so players don't have to guess.
- The NPCs do cuss, but they use it sparingly. That's basically what I want players to abide by also. Just because an NPC says "fuck" in their dialog somewhere doesn't mean you can call yourself "Fuckboy" or scream "fuck" over and over like a 14 year old that's only just stopped being under parental supervision.
- We all know people who are eager to push boundaries by stretching rules to their limits, so the official rules have to be pretty tight. I don't want to try to precisely codify all possible valid behaviors, it's a losing proposition. So the rules have to be tight enough to deal with whatever comes up -- but we can be more flexible in enforcing it. As long as you're generally being civil and helpful in chat, cussing and even occasional lewd jokes or whatever really isn't a big deal to me. But if your behavior gets out of hand then you need to stop.
- In fact there's a bunch of places where I expect we'll let these rules be bent. For instance, we currently have a hands-off approach to moderating cussing in guild chat channels -- the guild master can decide to allow more cussing if they want, or none at all. (And they will eventually have the ability to gag guild members in their guild chat channel, allowing them to enforce their rules.) But that doesn't mean guild channels can break ALL the rules -- just a few, like cussing. Those sorts of special cases are too specific to go into a code of conduct at this point, but we'll try to make some of the more important distinctions clear via in-game screens (e.g. a screen of help text for guild moderation, etc.)
Werewolf Shifting in Combat
- Werewolves shifting in-combat is supposed to be viable -- but risky -- for high-level players, but basically impractical at low level. But to answer your question, yes, that's okay.
Druid & Werewolf Clarification
- And no, you still can't use your druid skill and werewolf skill at the same time, but you can still be a druid and a werewolf -- just not at the same time. This is not a change. A druid/werewolf item has NEVER been in the game and it never will be... and I'm definitely not going to code up a reset over an item that's never existed.
Druid & Werewolf Lore
- Druid will likely not be available for werewolf form for lore reasons -- the gods responsible for druids and werewolves are not friends. (The god responsible for spiders couldn't possibly care less, and there's no gods for the other animal forms.) If there is a druid/werewolf item it'd be a difficult-to-obtain quest thing.
- RE: removing deer from druids -- right now I'm leaning toward giving druids a "spirit deer" form, which looks different than normal deer but fights the same. NPCs would treat druids as people in this form, meaning the NPCs could "see through the illusion" I guess you'd say. So druids could get access to the deer skill easily, but not deal with the down sides (or up sides) of being an actual deer.
- That's my thinking right now -- we'll see how things pan out down the road when more of the pieces of the puzzle are in place.
Focus and Specialization in Skills
- Well, I don't really think of it in terms of "focusing is bad" -- though I guess you might say focusing is the natural end-game.
- One of the goals of Project: Gorgon is to give you an interesting nest of complexity to explore. I often say the game is about "exploration", but I don't always clarify that I mean "systems exploration" as much as world-exploration. So there's a lot of interconnected systems to discover and poke at and interact with, and I hope to attract players that find it fun to find, unlock, and explore these systems.
- A good systems-exploration type of game will be bewildering at first, but then you get your bearings and think you've got it figured out... and then the game throws you curveball after curveball, so you have to keep thinking about how it all fits together. Things like special enemy abilities, curses, environmental hazards, and so on force you to learn and adapt all the way through the game.
- But no game is going to keep you guessing forever -- at some point you've seen the content and explored how it works enough to make decisions about what you want to do. This naturally leads into focusing on specific skills and gear and so on. (Some people will hit this point very quickly, whereas for others it will take hundreds of hours... it's a very personal thing.)
- At that point, instead of the pleasure of exploration, the game can offer the pleasure of mastery: of being amazing at a certain specific thing, and having ways to share that with other players.
- ... at least until the next content update comes around, where maybe some things get shaken up some more. (We expect to have them every couple of months after the game ships.)
- It's not about realism but it IS about gameplay mechanics. I want liquid resources to be "heavier" and the only way to do that is to restrict their stack size. This is important for a lot of game mechanics -- without that "weight", a bunch of the game's systems are pretty stupid.
- For instance in the desert, you need to bring a lot of water. If water stacked to 99, that's not a restriction. It'd just be meaningless busywork, filling infinite bottles. The point of the desert mechanic is that you have to bring lots of water, which means you have less room for other stuff.
- Watering and fertilizing plants is another example. Wells are never in the same spot as gardening zones -- you always have to run a few feet. Not far, but far enough that carrying more bottles at once has benefit.
- These sorts of small game mechanics aren't very important by themselves, but they make emergent gameplay possible. For instance, imagine a guild of gardeners who have one dedicated fertilizer guy and one dedicated water guy, doing that role for everybody else. Those sorts of user-invented roles can only exist if there's a tiny bit of friction in the game world. In this case, the friction is the annoyingly low stack sizes.
- I originally wanted all liquids to be non-stackable. But that was way too much annoyance. I think stacking to 5 is as high as I can go for water -- any higher and it'd lose any gameplay tradeoffs. As for other liquids like fertilizer, the jury's still out!
Animal Form Update and Animal Town
- While implementing the upcoming "Animal Town" I ended up going with a different plan. The animals in this town only talk to players who have been in animal form for at least 3 hours of game time. My goal there was to keep druids from getting too much benefit from Animal Town -- if you can just turn into a deer and instantly use the shops and storage there, it stops being a special alternative resource for animal forms and just ends up being yet another boon for druids. But on the other hand if you want to actually play as a druid deer, just stay in deer form long enough and you're good to go.
- I haven't bothered to implement the plan I mentioned where you have to re-buy your higher-level animal unlocks if you change out of the form. I'm hopeful that Animal Town will eventually become enough of a draw (and losing access to it enough of a drawback) that no other mechanics will be necessary.
- Cooking will slowly become more fleshed out as we add more content and systems. There will always be easier recipes and harder ones, but I think it'll make a little more sense in time.
- Speaking of which, there's a small step toward fancier cooking in the next update when we add new kinds of meat drops. There's nothing that changes gameplay yet, but you can see where we're headed a bit better.
Animal Form Update
- Hi guys, just a quick note about where animal form curses are heading. (There was a long and important thread about this a few months ago but I figured a fresh thread is useful here.)
- The old thread was discussing the idea of having to lock into your animal form permanently in order to raise the skill past level 50. I've thrown that idea out as being impractical, but I still want to dis-incentivize people from switching constantly.
- So the new plan is pretty simple: when you cure the curse, you'll also lose any level-cap-increases you've bought for the skill.
- Say you're a cow who has bought the level 51-60 skill-cap-increase, and you're level 57 in the Cow skill. Then you decide to abandon Cow form. If you later become a Cow again, your skill cap will be 50, not 60. You will have to re-buy the level-cap-increase from the trainer.
- However, you don't permanently lose XP. In the above example, once you bought the level-cap increase, you'd instantly go from level 50 to level 57 again.
- I like this design because it doesn't penalize people for switching when they're just trying out the curse form, but as they level up higher and higher, the penalty becomes increasingly expensive and time-consuming.
- That's the plan, anyway. We'll see how easy that is to code and how viable it ends up seeming, and change things as needed. I just wanted to keep you up to date on where things are headed.
- The first animal-curse skill to go to 60 will be Spider, because I just happened to flesh out its treasure systems enough to make it raisable. So I think that'll happen late this month. Spider will be our test case for the new tech involved in this plan.
- (Hmm, I guess using Spider is a little weird because it's the one animal curse form that's still supposed to have a permanent mode. As the spider NPC mentions, you will be able to pledge your loyalty to Akhisa, the goddess of spiders, and gain special powers in exchange for becoming a spider forever. But that decision will be separate from the leveling system -- there'll be a quest line involved for that.
- ... and, actually, we may just mothball the perma-spider thing... we'll see how things evolve.)
Bugs, Bugs, Bugs
- But please understand there are over 2000 bugs and issues in the bug database already, and there's only the one person who is working on game systems: me. I really appreciate you reminding me of the issues that are pissing you off, because that helps me prioritize this sea of issues. Of course, different things piss off different people... but I definitely focus on things people bring up.
- But reminders aren't the same as getting really upset. Please keep in mind that a typical MMO development team has 50-200 people, and we have about two and a half, give or take. Patient consistent reminders are really what I need. When there's this many jobs to do and these few people, a lot of balls are going to get dropped, but we'll pick them up when we can.
- (A side note: every MMO I've ever worked on has shipped with many thousands of open bugs. A large game like this can never really be bug free. But when there's thousands upon thousands of bugs it can be several people's full-time jobs just to prioritize what gets done when. We don't have people for that, so this is a role you help with by voicing frustrations.)
- As for skills needing other skills -- well, that's usually intentional. It's much like most every other crafting system in that you sometimes need materials that other crafters can make. Unlike some games, you aren't artificially limited in how many crafting skills you can learn, but the skills ARE designed around the idea that you only do a few at once, and get the raw ingredients from other players. If you wanted to do every step yourself, that should require a ton of time. So this is something that will get easier when there are more people crafting.
NPCs in Dungeons
- I'm torn about the general case of skill NPCs in dungeons. In the future I'll stick to soloable dungeons for NPCs like Furlak, where you're supposed to gain favor with him. But I also want to be able to put exciting rewards in group dungeons, which will sometimes mean new skills or abilities or recipes that you have to group up to get. But they'll be more of a one-shot deal, rather than a favor-gate.
- Yeah, as mentioned, the idea behind Decapitate is as an "oh shit" emergency type ability, strong enough to do major damage to an add, or alternatively, with enough healing to pull you out of a tight spot.
- With that in mind, if the damage is too high my first thought would be to increase the reset timer a bit more to compensate, rather than reducing its use in that emergency role.
- I agree that the ability to reset Decapitate's timer is brokenly powerful. I've removed it in the next update, along with a lot of other resets. I'm basically going to give up on the resets altogether because they're too powerful: they're so potent that I have to lower the potency of the ability to make room for them. Which means they're too good.
- I think it's definitely true that boss curses will cause some players to rage-quit. We know from MMO history that any death penalty with real meat to it will cause players to rage-quit.
- Giving people a "freebie" won't help anything because you will be just as pissed off if you die the second time as if you died the first. (In fact, probably more so.)
- I want to allow for the exciting highs of dangerous battles, and you can't do that if there's no real danger. The down side of having real danger is that sometimes you get frustrated and quit. That's the age-old trade off.
- I envision stalls of all sorts (and yep, the little back area in Serbule is where we'll prototype player stalls). There'll be stalls for augment gems, new sword hilts, blade sharpening, sentience upgrades for your flaming club, spring heels for your boots, and so on and so forth. I expect players will basically feel they "need" a lot of these crafted enhancements in order to be competitive at high level. But they will still usually find the initial item in loot, because that's fun.
Mules & Multi-Boxes
- I'm okay with people using two accounts to mule items. (Although soon you will need to buy two accounts to do that...) The Unity engine actually has a checkbox that would disallow multiple game clients running on the same PC, and people have asked why I don't just do that -- for one thing, you'd still be able to multibox, just with multiple computers, and for another, I don't really mind. I guess muling stuff to another account is slightly cheaty, but it doesn't raise too many alarm bells personally.
- It's more problematic to use mules to get free loot from the in-town event. I've asked mods to be on the lookout for people doing that, because the last thing we want is thirty or more dummy accounts standing around in town. Not only is that a terrible message to send to new players ("the best way to get ahead is to stand in town with six accounts") but it also hampers ping rate in that area, makes tabbing harder, and generally just makes things less fun for the people trying to actually fight.
- My preference is always to have code solutions to disallow behavior so that there aren't any gray areas, but cases like this one are very hard to deal with. If I made it so that only people who do damage can loot bosses, that would screw over healers. If I make it so you just have to heal somebody to get loot, that's easy enough to fake just by pressing one heal ability mid-fight. It makes it harder but the gray area still exists.
- Compounding this particular issue is that the Halloween monsters are scripted to not be too invasive. If you don't attack, they won't track you for long, and they don't wander away from the altar. That's to prevent newbies from being killed when they wander by, or worse, being spawn-camped.
- So although we can't enforce it reliably (at least not yet), I think this is a multi-boxing scenario that's against the rules. I'm sure there are other multiboxing scenarios that are gray areas, and we'll have to figure those out on a case by case basis.
- Of course there will be solo content and ways to play solo. As I've explained elsewhere, we're working on the group combat experience because it needs more design work than solo play does. Right after raising the level cap is the best time to work on it, because that's the easiest time to get feedback.
- So in that sense, yes, I am currently "forcing" people to group. You're helping me test, you're guinea pigs. That's the down side of being in alpha!
Expansions once the game is out
- yes, we intend to do expansions every so often. Those are important for marketing and outreach purposes because they get the game back in front of reviewers and back onto Steam lists.
- we also will be doing regular content updates every 4-8 weeks (depending on the complexity). That will include new skills, quests, items, dungeons. Probably we will save large new landmass additions for expansions, but continue to improve existing areas (and the game in general) as free updates.
Weather Witching yet?
- Yep, it's still on the schedule. It's just not going to happen for a good while due to tech requirements.
Sewer Portals and Lore
- There's no way to know this (since it's not mentioned anywhere) but that sewer isn't supposed to be under Serbule; story-wise it's under Statehelm, the capital city of the Council Lands. I expected to add Statehelm pretty quickly, but it ended up working best as a very high-level city, so it won't be in the game for a while yet.
- There were plans to add more to that encounter, and to make it a sort of "hub" where you could travel to various locations easily. Those plans are on hold for two reasons:
- One, I think that would make travel a little too easy if there were a half-dozen additional portals in there,
- And two, the sewer dungeon set I used is very crappy. It's a third-party dungeon kit from years back, and it has lots of glitches. If you were here a few years ago you might recall all the animal-form players getting stuck in there... and that's when it's just a one-room dungeon!
- So at some point I will redo it using different art. It's part of the game's overarching storyline, but the story ties into Statehelm, which isn't in-game yet, so I can't easily add those story elements yet.
- As for adding other portals, I'm thinking I'll add one or two more, but they'll require more effort to unlock or access. (Or maybe they'll change destinations from day to day.)
Role of Crafted Gear
- The intended "end game" of crafting has always been augmentation -- various ways to alter and enhance gear, whether looted or crafted. That way, crafting is important for every player, but it doesn't overshadow looting. It builds on it.
- In some cases these augments are things you'll be able to sell to other players (similar to how augment oils work now), while in a few cases you have to actually have the item on-hand in order to improve it. Some of the planned augmentations include: changing the item's appearance, adding stat boosts, adding treasure effects, adding sentience, attuning weapons to specific enemy types, and more.
- The role of actually-crafted gear is intended to be more niche. The stock leather crafted armor is very generic and isn't really optimal for anybody, but other types of armor are supposed to be useful to specific builds.
- For instance, there's recipes for evasion armor, which could theoretically be useful for a monk-type build. In that build, you minimize the amount of Armor points you have so that you can more easily get the benefit from treasure with effects like "+25% damage when you are below 33% armor". The evasion-boost theoretically helps you survive even though your armor is low.
- In reality, none of these niche armors has yet to find much use, and that's partly because the numbers aren't right. Either it's overpowered or crap, and it's hard to get the sweet spot... so I've had to err on the side of crap. I won't actually be able to nail the stats on these niche armors until six months or more from now, when I have a lot more of the game's numbers worked out.
- In the mean time, crafted armor remains sub-awesome and everybody complains about how crafting sucks.
- Yeah, I really like the idea of doing geology magic, but I haven't found a direction to go with it that I liked very much yet. I had to brainstorm some pretty off-the-wall stuff in order to get a full set of spells. It felt kind of random, as in you couldn't really foresee how the skill would play until you'd found every single spell, because they were so different in theme and utility. So I mothballed it ... and later, borrowed several of those ideas for Ice Magic. (Stoneskin became Ice Armor, Earthquake became Tundra Spikes, etc.)
- I expect it's something that will be easier to add down the road when the combat is pinned down a bit more, so that it's easier to say "ice magic is like X but with less Y, whereas geomancy is X but with a lot of Z". Right now the combat isn't hammered down enough to make that work too much.
- One skill that I haven't played with too much is warding. The combat wards could be turned into a complete skill line instead of side-bar abilities. But not a terribly good newbie experience, I think.
- I guess my posts are getting pretty derailed!
- Really, there isn't going to be any "newbie magic" that makes a ton of sense, because if magic was easy to learn then every townie would be doing it, and they aren't all tossing fireballs or controlling the weather. Fancy magic is hard -- harder than mastering a sword. But I need to make some magic accessible to newbies anyway. I have a way to do that with the new newbie island, so that it makes sense story-wise. So that's not a huge worry to me.
- In this game world, it's not too far fetched, and I think that will be more obvious as we have more content in the world.
- Undead often rise even without any necromancers around -- it's one of the major worries that townsfolk have, especially in big cities. (They don't have to worry too much about disease, but instead they worry about their grandparents passing away and then rising up to kill them in the night.) So necromancy is really just tapping into something that happens naturally, and leashing it.
- That's also part of why it's so reviled by townsfolk -- undead are people who died in unfortunate ways, and they're being taken advantage of even after death. So Necromancy is totally dickish. But not really harder than other magic -- and probably easier than Fire Magic, which requires careful manipulation of super hot matter.
- I think that distinction will be more obvious to players as the game progresses and there's more world visible. Or maybe not... hard to tell just yet.
- Animal skulls are never used for phrenology and you can safely turn them into fertilizer or whatever.
- Aberration skulls will eventually be used in aberration phrenology. Basically any sentient monster type's skulls will be useful for phrenology, so crone-kin would work that way as well.
- Demon, aberration, and crone-kin phrenology are probably only going to have recipes at high level, though (70+), so it will be a while before they're actually useful. I would sell them, personally, because there will be a whole lot more of those monster types at high level and so the skulls will be easier to get.
- Research is supposed to be a sonofabitch. I know the various parts aren't balanced right, so I'm not saying it's in the "right place", but I'll just give you the rundown on its intent. Each skill has something that's needed in order to make it work well. Every skill will have one.
- For unarmed, you have to do meditation to be dps-heavy. For sword, you are supposed to need calligraphy to be high damage. (I know, people ignore it. But they won't when we're done.) Archers must make arrows forever. And so on. There's always something else you're doing, something tied into crafting and non-combat-related materials.
- For the research skills, research itself is supposed to be the down side. After you complete the research, you are "free" of annoying down sides. You never need to craft arrows or seek out meditation pillars or any of that. So the actual process of researching needs to be slow and expensive. Otherwise it doesn't work and I'd need to replace it with something else.
- As for finding them yourself... you aren't really supposed to be able to just find all you need via playing. You should need to buy them from other players. You (the mage who needs sulfur etc.) are the reason those items are valuable commodities in the player economy. There's no player economy yet, though, so ... it's not really working yet.
- At the moment, enthusiasm determines if your pet will gain happiness when it fights. Happiness determines how much XP the pet earns from combat. That's it.
- (The pets actually have a bunch of other attributes which were used earlier, but do nothing at all right now. Since they literally do nothing, they've been hidden, but pets also have Loyalty, Intelligence, Friendliness, and Virility. These will probably be re-used with either the pet rework or the animal husbandry system.)
Objective Feedback and Bad-Faith Feedback
- Thanks guys. I appreciate the feedback, and I appreciate the specifics, Greenmeanie. Specifics are always good. But I could do without the accusatory tone. It just creates drama.
- I think this thread is going to go off the rails, and I'm about to go to sleep, so I'm going to lock it to avoid problems. (I've made power changes for the next update, so we'll need a new power thread pretty soon anyway.) Before I close this thread, let me ramble a bit about feedback.
- Bad-faith feedback is when somebody lies. It does happen. But it's not at all an epidemic, at least right now. I have a database that tracks what people kill, how quickly they kill it, and what skills they were using -- stuff like that. Unfortunately data analysis is usually a full-time job on an MMO team, and I just don't have time to dig into it as deeply as a large team would. But when I do dig into it, I have found a couple of people whose behavior definitely doesn't match their comments.
- But here's the thing: it's so rare as to be a statistical anomaly. If you're seeing it all over the forums, you're imagining it.
- The much more common scenario for "munchkins" is to shut up and lay low. The typical munchkin never gives feedback about their skills at all. They try very hard to avoid drawing attention to themselves because they don't want me to notice whatever crazy thing they're doing. This tends to work, because I don't have time to trawl my data to find people with insanely overpowered builds right now.
- If I was going to complain about "munchkins," those are the ones I'd be upset with: the people quietly min/maxing while trying to keep me from finding out. The people who tell their friends about overpowered setups and then say "don't tell the devs." Those people are Hitler. They're intentionally making my job harder, and my job is already really fucking hard.
- And sadly, among the hundreds of active players there are a couple of those. Just a couple. Most people with overpowered setups either 1) don't realize they are particularly overpowered, or 2) have sent feedback about their build, and I haven't had time to respond yet.
- The people in this thread are not hiding. And I don't have reason to doubt their sincerity. So name-calling isn't appropriate.
- That doesn't necessarily mean it's objective feedback in terms of game mechanics, however. But subjective feedback is just as important -- sometimes more important. If someone wants to tell me "I found this to be un-fun", I want to hear it. (I may choose to ignore it, but if I don't even hear the feedback, I don't have a choice in the matter.)
- Most players haven't used every skill set and every gear combo. Most players are not aware that Elites are supposed to require a three-man group and take at least 15 seconds for that group to kill. Pretty much EVERY player that reaches level 60 is insanely overpowered in my book, due to bad balance and normal player herding behaviors. (They see somebody kicking ass, they follow suit. That's not exploiting, it's Game Playing 101.)
- In this thread I'm not really hearing "I am weak because of Power issues." I'm hearing "I am running out of power and it's not fun." That's a subjective thing, and maybe it's not fair, but I still want to hear it. I have to decide on whether it's actionable.
- Bottom line: please don't get on people's cases about their motives for leaving feedback. It's really important not to scare people away from leaving feedback -- I get precious little enough as it is. If you have evidence that somebody is doing something naughty, the in-game report tool is the thing to use.
- While I'm at it: it's also not okay to accuse people in-game of intentionally exploiting. For a lot of reasons. Just report their behavior if you're worried about it. Don't attack them. Attacking fellow alpha players is damaging to the game at this point, because whenever people see drama in chat, they get turned off. I really need less drama.
- The end.
- And seriously, thanks guys for your feedback, please keep it coming.
- Unfortunately we don't plan to have other language support.
- If the game ends up being a hit and we have 100,000+ players, we will of course reconsider.
Why do you raise some skills and not others?
- Some background for people talking about specific skills:
- I only raise skills' level caps to 60 when their treasure effects profile is fleshed out. (That's why it's taking so long.) I shoot for 50-60 different treasure effects for each skill. Ice Magic has 35, so it's a little thin. I may be able to get that in before the big update, but not sure.
- Werewolf also has limited equipment. And actually I was just looking over the werewolf treasure mods (the ones that exist so far, at least) and... blah. I think the skills need some revamp. So I'm going to take the whole skill back to the drawing board a little bit. Try to get some more feeling of being a "skirmisher" to come through better. I'll probably drop the combo equipment, or at least revise them completely. Lots of stuff! BUT that's outside the scope of this rework right now. It will have to happen a bit later.
- Animal Handling and Battle Chemistry also need more fundamental work (as well as a bunch more equipment mods), but I similarly don't have time to flesh them out just now.
- The animal forms are mostly in okay shape in terms of their abilities -- with the exception of pig, who has had the most reworking and still isn't very fun. But all of the animal forms have VERY limited equipment available, and that will have to be fixed before they can be raised to 60.
- Necromancy actually has most of its equipment ready and will be raised to 60 soon. There's a catch, though: I want to turn it into a research skill like fire/ice magic. (I think I want all the "real magic" skills to use research to unlock their spells.) So that might take a little while longer.
Time is Power
- Yes, the essence of MMOs is that time = power. This is true in lots of other game types also such as ARPGs, and even single player RPGs like Skyrim really fall into the same formula. But the details matter a lot in determining if players notice the "treadmill" or not. Previous experience matters a lot, too.
- I'm reminded of the WoW beta. At the very end of the beta they slowed down the XP curve and added "rest XP". This was perceived as a punishment by beta testers because you only earn the "real" amount of XP during the rest XP period. There was a lot of shouting about how they had ruined the game. Then it launched, and the shouting was utterly drowned out, because new players didn't perceive it as a nerf, since they had never experienced the earlier levelling speed.
- Not really related to the topic, just a random thought that floated by.
Character Limit for Horse Names
Permanent Animal Forms
- Just to clarify an earlier posting: I have no intention of forcing pig/cow/deer on players who have currently raised the skill above 50 via synergy bonuses.
- My earlier plan was that you would agree to "lock in" the form when you bought the upgrade that let you raise the skill to 60. So in any case it would be a player choice, not a surprise.
- That plan is pretty much dead at this point (and animal form advancement is up in the air), but in any event there's no danger to leveling up the existing animal forms. You won't log in one day and find yourself a perma-cow.
- think that deterioration is a useful game mechanic to have in the designer's toolbox, and it solves some serious power-escalation problems, but it's not a technique that works for every game.
- The problem is a psychological phenomenon called loss aversion. People routinely assume that losses will hurt much more than they really do, and they tend to work to avoid losses much more aggressively than logic would dictate.
- In short, players hate to lose things and will work VERY hard to avoid losing things. Even if they don't really need those things. This leads to either tedium (e.g. logging in every day to avoid losing something) or risk aversion (never using your great item or skill or whatever in case it "breaks").
- So in a game that focuses on system exploration, these loss mechanics aren't a great fit because it encourages players to be more cautious, to plan very carefully, and to avoid taking risks. But in other games, that's exactly what you want players to do! If this was a PvP sandbox with town building, I'd weigh things differently.
- tldr: I like the benefits of deterioration (longevity of the world economy, dramatic slowdown of power creep, etc.) but not at the price you have to pay, for this game.
- As an aside: I've made a few small stabs at using deterioration mechanics anyway -- for instance, I had a system where you could slightly add power to an item but there was a chance the item was destroyed in the process. This system was very much despised, even though on paper it was a net win to use it. To overcome players' natural aversion to loss, I would either have to make the rewards overly large, or else force the system on players. (And you could argue that if I make the system overly rewarding, I am in fact forcing it on players anyway, at high level, because content would come to be balanced around that higher tier of power eventually.) I think this is one of those mechanics that has to be baked into the low level of a game in order to make it work well.
Economy & Work Orders
- "As I've said before, guys, we WILL have more methods for players to manipulate and interact with the economy.
- However, that would be 100% a waste of time right now. There are not enough players to even BEGIN to form a TINY BIT of a player economy. Please stop insisting on it. You can't have it without players. Hundreds and hundreds of active players.
- How many players you think need to buy level 20 stuff right now? Not very many.
- I've done this before, and I know the bare minimums necessary to make a player economy run. And we can't just achieve it right now.
- Work orders are a way to help crafters earn money while leveling up their skills. That was their goal and that is all they are for. Their existence doesn't mean there won't be other systems. If you don't like work orders, that's good feedback, and I'm interested in whether you think there needs to be other ways for crafters to make money from the game or not!
- But do not fool yourself into thinking that other players will buy your junk and give you money. They aren't there. The players we have don't need your low-level crap. That's a fantasy that can not come true at this time. Hopefully we will make it happen in time, but pining for it right now is a distraction.
- That last post came off pretty harsh, and I meant it to be ""firm"", not harsh. Let me explain why by way of example.
- Two years ago I was trying hard to figure out how to make group combat work. But nobody was grouping. There were like 15 people online. They didn't want to group. I tried making it more appealing, polishing, but there was very little action.
- You might assume that was because grouping wasn't working well, but actually it was just a lack of players. When more players came, more grouping happened, and it's letting me improve the group experience a thousand times faster than when I was working on it without feedback. I was wasting my time earlier, I should have been focusing on other things until there were enough players.
- Player economy is similar. You may think that it's not working because it's not good enough yet. But that's not the case. I can tell because there's so little feedback about the mechanics that already exist. If there was enough energy for a player economy, I would see constant complaints about how shitty the consignment system is and what I need to do to make it work better. Players would be organizing among themselves to work around my limitations, too, like doing ""craft fair days"" as they do in large MUDs. :But nobody is doing that. The consignment system sucks, yes, but almost nobody even wants to try it. I get more feedback about CHEESEMAKING than I do about economic mechanics.
- It's not that I think we're in a good place with player economic systems. It's that this is not the time to work on them. When there are players chomping at the bit to make an economy, it will be 1000% easier to get it right. In the mean time, it's a distraction.
- That isn't to say that I'm pissed or annoyed at people bringing it up. I just mean to say that I am intentionally ignoring you for now. :)
- In terms of crafting, my current concern is that it should be reasonably compelling and not seem like a huge waste of time. Because I have enough players who want to craft, mostly for personal gain, that I can kind of iterate on that and see how it's working. Will crafted items ever be the most amazing stuff in game? No, never. The high-end goal of crafting is not items, but augments that improve any kind of gear. You will eventually be able to craft super-rare augments that any player will want, regardless of what kind of gear they have.
- The actual act of crafting weapons and armor is not supposed to be better than looting. It's supposed to be more or less on par. A different way to achieve the same results. And a way to level up your skills."
- I like this line of thought, and I'm mulling how to work nonlethal "kills" into the game. Thanks!
- "Zergs are ruining the game we need instances naow" : well, there will never be instances in Project: Gorgon for the simple reason that the game server doesn't support instances.
Killing broken mobs?
- "Yes, we do consider it an exploit, though it's understandable that you can't always tell what's happening, so we don't get upset if you just kill a few before realizing they're broken. It's when you kill broken bosses that it gets problematic.
- The broken AI subservers will eventually be auto-detected by the main server, and fixed automatically (and you won't get any loot/XP from broken monsters in the mean time)... but we haven't gotten that implemented yet."
Messenger Bird Skill
- Messenger bird skill is in fact in the works
How to Pledge after Kickstarter?
- Short answer is We're Working On It! Should have a solution within a week or so. Thanks!
8/4 Character Limit & VIP time
- "By the end of the month, the most important thing to do is to get your account down to 8 (that's the VIP max-character limit). The only immediate action we'll be taking is to delete characters beyond that point. (Some players have 50+ characters on their account, and it's woefully unfair to let them keep all of those when other players have a cap.)
- At a future point, probably another month out, we'll implement the part where you only have 4 slots available unless you have VIP time on your account. At that point your other characters would get ""locked"" (but not deleted).
- The issue of VIP time is a little tricky. That's because the other perks of the VIP plan won't be available for quite a while, so spending your VIP time now would be pretty crappy -- you wouldn't get all the benefits, just the extra slots.
- I'd be tempted to say ""screw it, everybody who pledged just gets 8 slots until launch"" but I feel like that really screws over people who pledged generously. Giving the $25 pledge 18 free months of pseudo-VIP time seems like a dick move to people who actually paid hundreds of dollars for lots of VIP time!
- So I don't know of a ready solution that's fair to all parties. But I'm open to suggestions. Maybe we let you ""spend"" our VIP time early but at a better rate (so one month becomes three, since the other VIP features aren't done yet). Something like that?
- In any case, if you are at 8 characters or under, you needn't worry about your excess characters being deleted -- they'll just become ""locked"" and inaccessible. And if you're at 8 or fewer, you won't actually lose access to those characters in a month"
- "Your tombstone will last for a while. It may eventually disappear but you can still get your stuff fixed by going to where the tombstone used to be.
- Right-click on your broken items and it will tell you if you are in the right zone and how far away you are from the spot."
- "We're not a PvP-focused game, so we're not planning to have forced PvP, or PvP areas that PvErs feel obligated to go into, or anything like that.
- I suppose we might have a PvP skill or skills, but they'd be PvP-oriented, not something that PvErs have much use for."
Steam Early Access?
- "If you get the game during Steam early access we'll have a way to tie your Steam account to your existing game account. (Though it may involve emailing us to tie it together manually for you.)
- We'll probably wipe unclaimed accounts right before the official launch, in late 2016."
- As has been mentioned a few times, though (including on the forums and in yesterday's live chat), Mentalism's high damage isn't intentional and will be addressed soon, so I wouldn't go into Mentalism with the plan to be super-high-damaging. It's primarily a support skill.
Kickstarter Lord Tier
- Each qualifying account will be able to create their own title, and you'll have a special chat command to give it to others, like "/bestow Bob" or something like that. However your exact example of "Earl" is already reserved by the game. But that's the general idea, yeah.
- Vocabulary - unfortunately it's so easy to cheat at word games with the internet that I don't want to add much reward to raising vocabulary, because of the achiever-oriented nature of many MMO players, I'm effectively encouraging players to cheat. So I don't expect to tie a ton of intricate things to Vocabulary. But a modest Vocabulary skill is a prerequisite for the upcoming Bard skill.
- "The unfortunate truth is that all your builds will get broken three or four more times. I'm sorry, but that's the way it will go. Every number on every piece of gear you own? It'll change. Your gear will become useless trash overnight and you'll have to find new gear. Ask veteran testers -- it's happened many times before.
- And it's absolutely fair that this is rage-inducing, but I can't do anything about it. I can't deliver perfect balance on the first try. Or the second, or the third, or the fourth, or... it will take me another year before I have all the different attributes in some semblance of balance.
- And if this is going to make you really unhappy, then alpha-testing is not a good experience for you, because I don't want you to be this mad at a game, and I don't need the stress of people angry at balance changes that I simply must make. So I hope you'll wait a while until late beta when combat balance is more hammered out than it is now."
Spawn Camping, Stomachs, Frustration.
- "It's not an exploit to camp a spawn. Remember that levels are very fluid (a level 60 player may have level 1 skills they're trying to raise) and the content resources are intentionally widely distributed.
- Do I want level 60s camping a level 20 dungeon? No, but if that's what seems like the best thing for them to do with their time, okay, I need to know that. We can fix up the content when it's problematic. (And in fact I lowered the drop rate of stomachs and spleens from 10% to 5% in this bugfix update to make it less worthwhile to farm the corpses.)
- When I set up the loot tables on those corpses, I'd forgotten that stomachs are rare right now.
- That's a temporary thing, by the way. It's just a side effect of how the butchering and anatomy skills work. When the skills can be raised above level 50, it'll become easier for high level players to get organs from kills. Stomachs won't ever be as common as dirt, but their current extreme rarity is just an accident of how the game's content is being added.
- The point is that I don't always realize the ramifications of new content. Please communicate with us about these things! I make lots of mistakes, so please don't assume I ""must have a reason""... maybe I do, but I try to mention things in the update notes if I think they'll have a big impact on the economy.
- And please try to keep an objective view about this sort of stuff. Calling him ""greedy"", ""lazy"", ""exploiter"", etc., is over the top. I mean, he's picking up some crap that spawns on the ground.
- Now I'm NOT saying that people shouldn't be frustrated by that behavior, or by any behavior, really... if you're frustrated, that means other players will probably be frustrated too, so I want to know that. Please report what's frustrating you. We act on that kind of feedback all the time.
- What I'm asking is that you avoid getting into heated in-game arguments about whether people are playing the right way or not, especially when it's something as minor as camping a solo spawn spot. :It just can't end well."
Just for Old-School players? (No)
- No, the game isn't just for old-school MMO players -- the game won't be successful unless there's room for a large audience with many ages and backgrounds. My goal for the game is to have 500 concurrent users daily. That's not at all a large number -- hell, there are a couple of text MUDs bigger than that -- but it's still a lot larger than we are right now. So obviously we will need to appeal to more people than the ones playing right now. And also obviously, there will be growing pains as we figure it all out.
- Despite there being in-game racism, you are still not allowed to use real-world racist terms in General Chat (or Local Chat, for that matter). And if your "fantasy racism" is intentional callbacks to real-world racism ("make the deer pick our cotton!", "gas the deer!", etc.), that's over the line too.
- "I can say confidently that we'll have a non-Steam version at least after launch... but that's a ways away. We plan to launch at the end of 2016 so a non-Steam version might be as far away as 2017.
- It might happen much sooner -- I just can't promise that at the moment."
- "Thanks for the feedback! We do have some changes planned for it down the line. There are just so many things that need attention that it will be a while until we get to it. But one thing that we're failing to convey in-game is that Necromancy is not supposed to be a skill for newbies.
- Its current position is basically just a stopgap. During early testing, we had the necromancy altar out in the fields of Serbule where anybody could pick it up and help us test it. When that started to lead to newbie confusion, I moved it to the bottom of the nearby dungeon, past an encounter aimed for a couple of level 30-ish players. The goal there was that you wouldn't stumble on it until you returned to this dungeon in your late 20s, already having some other skills under your belt. I might be better off moving it to another dungeon entirely, maybe one in Eltibule.
- On the one hand, I can definitely see the fun in struggling to get the skill early. And it's fine, and fun, for higher-level players to help newbies get the skill early in their careers. But I need to find a way to show that it's a little bit more advanced of a skill.
- Brand new players are going to have a harder time with Necromancy's requirements than people who've got a few dozen hours of play under their belts. Everything from bone collection (at higher level, it's much faster to get femurs when you need them... or just buy them from newbies who don't care about necromancy!) to graveyards (you find ways to get much faster as you progress through the game) to just knowing how some things in the world work.
- The skill's early power levels are also set up for the idea that you're already level 30 in one or two other skills when you get this one, and will likely want to keep fighting stuff around that level. Maybe you don't rush back to fighting level 30 monsters with your brand new level 1 skill, but : I figured you'd not want to drop all the way back to fighting pigs and such. I figured that with the aid of your other skill (which is already level 30) you'd have an easy enough time in Eltibule.
- So the very first power you get, Death's Hold, is INSANELY overpowered against newbie monsters in Serbule. And that first tier of skeletons are ridiculously powerful against deer and such, because I expected you'd be putting them up against fey panthers and I didn't want them to be instantly slain!
- This design might have been a mistake, because newbies who get a hold of this power will perceive it as being comparatively more powerful than their other combat skills... for a little while. (And provided they aren't fighting undead.) And then it can lead to disappointment when people run into the sorts of convenience issues Dirtnap mentioned.
- (And I'm not saying the skill will always work the way it does now... maybe we'll drop all sorts of aspects of the skill, maybe we'll rework literally everything. Maybe it ends up being a starter skill for orcs! I dunno yet, and your feedback will help guide that. But right now, in the current builds, it's hard for newbies.)
- So anyway, I think it might be smart for high-level players to mention to newbies that the skill is a little more advanced. It's not as hard to get the hang of as Battle Chemistry, which is probably the most difficult skill for newbies to try to use, but it's tougher than sword or unarmed etc.
- And I might see if I can move that Necromancy altar somewhere else for now!"
Item Inscription & Crafting Marks
- The creator's name shows up on items and isn't removable. You can also inscribe a message onto items, which can be removed by someone with equal or higher Calligraphy skill than the inscriber. But that doesn't remove the creator's name, just the inscription.
D&D + Pathfinder
- "Hah! Well, I'm a big D&D nerd, yes. I play Pathfinder most weeks via Skype -- our table top group moved around the country so we make do with internet play, but it's still fun!
- As far as affecting the game's design... eh, not too much, but I'm sure there's some stuff that has been borrowed by osmosis. One of things that I can most easily pinpoint is something that came from 4th edition D&D. That game has a monster-encounter model that's a bit like ours: your heroes fight a bunch of different monsters at once, not (usually) just one big dragon or something. And each monster has a couple of unique tricks that make it stand out, and those tricks often synergize to create different combat scenarios. I didn't intentionally ""steal"" that idea, but we'd been playing a lot of 4E at the time when development started, and I did like the feel of combat, so that probably bled into the game design from there.
- RE: the face in the logo, that's Destriel, the demon lord, who we talked a lot about in the first Kickstarter, but I just realized we haven't mentioned in quite some time. Suffice it to say that he plays a big role in Project: Gorgon's main story arc!"
- "On PvP, we've talked about it a bunch in the past, so people who've been here a while already know the plans, but I guess we haven't discussed it during Kickstarter. This isn't really anything secret so I wanted to explain it before the town hall, so that people aren't unnecessarily disappointed.
- In a nutshell: it's just not going to be a PvP-centric game. The social experience I'm hoping to cultivate isn't improved by PvP (in my opinion), and the game isn't balanced around the idea of PvP. And due to the low-structured nature of the game's combat, it will already take a LOT of work to make the game reasonably balanced for PvE... adding in good PvP balance just isn't happening, there isn't room in the schedule.
- That said, there will be PvP... it just won't be a big focus. There's already a little PvP dungeon that you can find in the back of Serbule (in the mantis house IIRC). And I expect we'll eventually have basic game mechanics like duels, and some sort of simple PvP rewards mechanics (like arena events or dungeon scoreboards).
- And while we won't be balancing toward PvP, I have already set things up so that I can nerf/change PvE abilities that are insanely broken in PvP without affecting their PvE effects. So my expectation in terms of PvP balance is: stuff will be very unbalanced and it's up to you to find a workable build, good luck, but I can nerf stuff that the PvP community agrees are more detrimental to the PvP game than they are helpful.
- Will there be open-world forced PvP? Definitely not.
- Will there be an opt-in PvP flag (like the Hardcore flag)? Maybe... I'm not ruling it out, but it's not in the plans at the moment. If we have enough people to form a viable PvP community, it might make more sense to open a second world with its own rules. (e.g. a FFA PK world, or maybe an honor-system world) We'll see what the community looks like as we get into beta and will decide then!"
Can I rename my character?
- Sorry, we don't yet have a way to rename characters. Eventually! Just not yet.
- Lore-wise (so to speak), the Red Wing mantis gang is supposed to own a casino near Eltibule. We do intend to add it eventually! You're free to gamble as long as it doesn't result in the transfer of real-world money or items.
Character Races at launch?
- "The existing three races are the always-available ones. If you unlock the other races during beta, you'll keep those characters at launch, so it wouldn't make too much sense to re-lock the races on you.
- So my immediate thought is that they'd stay unlocked indefinitely."
- For level 50+ content, Gourmand and food consumption is supposed to be increasingly important. You're supposed to basically always have a food effect on (unless you're using two healing skills... then maybe you can recover health without needing food, but you might need extra Power regen instead).
- " This is for newer players that don't know: despite being in development for years, I've done very little equipment balancing. Most numbers are just guesses, and most balancing is just putting out fires (fixing stuff that is grossly over- or under-powered, fix it!) That will continue to be the case for a while.
- I know that combat numbers can change everything about a game. They can make a dungeon fun or un-fun. They can make or break entire play-styles. Good numbers can keep players playing and bad ones make them quit in frustration.
- But unfortunately, ""getting the numbers right"" is literally the last part of the systems-development process. So expect lots of ups and downs in the coming year-plus of development! I really need your patience, open-mindedness, and vocal feedback to make it all work. Which you're delivering in threads like this. Thanks!"
- "We do plan to support Linux! Earlier, Unity for Linux was just too buggy to justify foisting the game on players. But I've heard that Unity for Linux has gotten better now in Unity 5, so the big bottleneck now is my time: I haven't had time to get a decent Linux gaming system setup to figure out why our native patcher program broke a year or so ago. (My old linux machine died.)
- We still generate Linux binaries every time we do an update, which is what shardragon's patcher is downloading, so that should keep working until we do Steam integration. After that we'll need to do the Steam for Linux integration, which is a little quirkier than the the Steam for PC integration, so I don't know what the time table will be there, but it will happen."
Skill wipe at launch?
- Yep, we'll have a way to map your current alpha game account to your Steam account. (Edit: and we don't plan to wipe skills for launch. We may reset some skills during development if needed, like we did for Fire Magic a while back, but that'd be a special case.)
- "For people who haven't been here for years (when I blogged about the design goals), I wanted to explain the original intent of the animal forms. The ""pig potions"" and ""deer potions"" (and the curative potions!) were intended to be alpha-test items only. (That's why they say ""test potion"" on them.) As originally designed, pig is supposed to be pretty hard to stumble into ... until you reach the first boss in the late-game area, the Crone Hegemony. At that point, it's supposed to be an out-of-the-blue thing. ""Ohhh shit. We screwed up fighting that boss, and we're totally screwed unless somebody can help... and if nobody can help me, I guess we'll have to make the best of it."" I hadn't intended many players to stay in animal-curse forms for long-term. They also weren't especially deep. I implemented cow, pig, and deer all in three days. They had a half-dozen abilities each, just enough to fill the ability bar.
- The cow curse was in the tutorial cave because I was testing the curse system and needed a convenient place for it. I hadn't really intended the cow curse to be a low-level animal curse at all. But because it was so accessible, lots of players tried it out, and they liked it. So we added custom gear and did several tuning passes on the abilities to make them more fun.
- However, now that the cow curse is out of the newbie dungeon, a lot fewer people seem to be ending up as cows. Which is fine! (Out of sight, out of mind.) But it may mean that these curses would work better as originally designed: a surprise ""gotcha"" curse to foist on high-level group players.
- So that's a third possibility: maybe these animal forms don't go past 50 at all. They might just be tuned so that they are useful around the range the curse comes on. (For instance, if the cow boss is level 30, then the cow's power would effectively start at 20 or so, so that you have enough range to level up and break the curse, but not a full game's worth of levels.)
- The up side of this is that they AREN'T commonplace. That's okay -- not every player has to experience everything in the game. And because they aren't commonplace, it'd be a lot more shocking, funny, memorable, and concerning when your friend gets turned into a cow after a party wipe.
- I'm not saying that's the thing to do here -- I'm not even really leaning that way. But it's another thing to think about.
- And a FOURTH thing to consider here: we can always make these ""races"". Players are generally okay with making permanent decisions during character creation, so we could just have a Cow race, a Pig race, etc. To unlock the race, you'd need to level the curse form to 50, or something like that. Then you could roll an alt of that type.
- Just another option to consider.
- Lots of people here say they don't want to roll alts, but I also get a fair amount of feedback from people who WANT to roll alts, and think the current game doesn't do enough to encourage it. Alt-aholics are not uncommon, and new variant ways to play aren't a bad thing..."
Animal Forms 2
- "I'd kinda been imagining the animal-curse forms as something for alts, really, or for players who only want to experience the game in an ""outcast"" state. To me, the attraction to the animal forms is NOT being a human. It's basically playing the game on hard mode, to some extent. Maybe that's the fundamental problem -- maybe people are attracted to the animal forms for different reasons than I expect. I kind of got that impression when I heard people asking to make cow form a toggle ability.
- I think permanence is a useful step toward making the animal forms fun, because it gives me more balance room to be creative. I want to be able to give these forms some crazy powers and abilities, like giving cows the ability to let other players ride them... sure, why not (when we eventually have the tech for that)? But I can't do that if it's trivial to switch into/out of cow form. It's one thing for somebody to play a cow to high level and get that as a reward, it's another thing for literally every player to be able to carry other players as a mount.
- Or a less dramatic example -- I want to let player-spiders waltz past monster-spiders, even bosses. But if anybody can just poof into a spider, that's less a spider-player-reward, and more a trick to avoid spiders that any player can use. It lessens the impact, and just becomes a potential balance problem if everybody can do it.
- I'm not sure if I'm being very coherent here, but I guess to reiterate: permanent choices are useful in a game where you can otherwise have all the skills. It's a way to gate powers so that they aren't available to anyone else.
- So the reason I haven't added a lot of unique stuff for the animal forms (aside from lacking tech for a lot of my crazy ideas) is because those animal forms are too easy to get at this point. (And I kinda regret giving Druids the Deer form -- it makes the deer ""curse"" much less unique. If I give deer cool special tricks right now, I'm also giving every druid those tricks. Which in turn means I can't give the druid line itself as many cool tricks, because then they'd have too many. I may end up taking deer form out of there... or not, I dunno.)
- But yeah, the down sides of not having hands are pretty severe. I'd assumed that perma-animals would have a method to become true humanoids for a few minutes at a time (so they'd have hands), but that wouldn't be a viable way to e.g. level Carpentry for more than a few levels. It would let you fix small mistakes, though.
- Oxlazr - thanks for the ideas! Good stuff there. In that vein, I also want to eventually give the animal forms specialty movement tricks. Deer will have ridiculous jumping power as they level up higher and higher. Cows will (someday) be able to act as mounts. Spiders ... might be able to walk on water. (I'd like to let them walk on walls, but the tech just won't be happening, I think.) For pigs, I'd been imagining a power called Piggieport -- a short-distance teleport. These tricks may not be completely unique, but the animals would have the easiest access to them.
- Yes, there will be a couple other skills that don't require hands. Dickweed skill is the pure-taunt skill (which I'm not sure if it'll ever actually make it into the game... other skills like Psychology kinda stole its thunder). Dark Geologists just need special headgear, which could be available in special form to animals. And there may be others."
- "One thing that surprises me is the concern about Lore levels... on paper here, most players should have a lore < 10. There have been exploits and bugs that let you get repeatable Lore boosts, but those are irrelevant for balance purposes. Are people really grinding Lore @1xp to the point that it's an important stat?
- Speaking of which, I think the Lore XP for doing words of power was probably a mistake. Lore is supposed to be a reward for interacting with items as you explore, and really that's the only way I want people to level it. So I'll probably remove all repeatable sources of Lore (just as there aren't repeatable sources of Notoriety, for instance). It's tricky to fix old accounts, because Lore is one of the oldest skills in the game and wasn't coded in a way that lets me easily recalculate it. I realized my mistake in time for skills like Notoriety -- if I want to recalculate Notoriety levels, I can do so pretty easily. But for now, broken Lore levels will have to stay broken, until I have time to fix things up more. (I may end up just wiping all Lore levels, if that's what it takes -- but even that isn't completely seamless, because you wouldn't be able to re-get some of the existing Lore sources, so I have to find a way to fix all of that.)"
- "On group roles -- I don't have a ""vision"", a hard and fast rule on group composition. I think the trinity is not very popular among players -- except the DPS part. I also feel like Project: Gorgon is the sort of game where things should be more fluid than that, with different tasks being important at different times.
- So I've tried a lot of different things in different dungeons and encounters. Tanking for bosses is definitely supposed to be useful, and healing others needs to be a useful role, but in dungeons I also want Rage management to be an important group role, and dedicated crowd control to be important too. (People do have two skills each, so theoretically a three-person group could handle six roles, right? ... theoretically, anyway!)
- I also think there's lots of other roles that might be fun to emphasize in the game. For instance, in Borghild there's very intentionally a role for a high-DPS ranged-attacker (fire magic or archery); the floating death heads are cake for a fire mage but very dangerous to meleers. In Winter Nexus I tried to make it more obvious that you need Rage management. And so on.
- But there's so few people running the dungeons in level-appropriate groups that I haven't usually gotten a good feel for how well the mechanics work. The problem with having high-level players try stuff out is that when you crank the DPS up enough, all roles are irrelevant because the monster dies in 2 seconds. (This is exacerbated by bad equipment balance, etc.) So it's been hard to get much test data for those ideas, not only to see what works mechanics-wise, but what players think would be fun roles."
Power Levels & Balance
- "In the mid levels, balancing around blue gear is actually supposed to be tough! I mean, does the average player find nine useful 40s-level blues? Without buying used stuff, I kinda doubt it. But they'll have some purples from their 30s, say, which they keep using for 20 levels because they're so awesome. And they'll find that one combination of three blues that gives them a huge leg up.
- It's an organic process, or at least it's supposed to be, with several ""eureka"" moments when you get gear sets working together and suddenly you feel amazing. I think that's a really important thing, and something that a lot of MMOs miss out on because they have such smooth gear progression that you barely notice the difference between one piece of gear and the next. In Gorgon, as you're leveling up, you're supposed to power up in leaps and bounds. That means at some levels you'll feel underpowered and need to rely on auxiliary powers (mushroom bombs, glyphs, etc.). At other times you'll be kicking ass and murdering things well above your level. Because that's fun!
- So really ""balancing for blues"" is kind of meaningless. The real goal is to balance it so that you have that fun moment of finding synergistic gear, every few levels. My guess is that at level 50 a lot of players will be using purples they found in their 30s. That's fine -- gear intentionally has a long shelf life that way."
- "And this is a generous community that has been willing to help each other power up, often giving away gear for free. And the NPC vending system makes hand-me-downs very easy to come by. And the more powerful you get, the easier you can get your own gear.
- Now imagine that the game has launched, it's reasonably successful, and there are 500 players online at any given time (that's about half of a single WoW server's population). The quality of hand-me-downs will drop dramatically! There will still be lucky players who find amazing stuff in the Used tab, but more often than not they'll just see other newbies' junk. And even the most generous veteran won't be able to provide hand-me-downs for everybody.
- Plus, the game will go to level 125, so most high-level players will be farming stuff in that level range. That means their excess items won't be helping newbies anyway -- the level requirements would be far too high.
- So the question is, how powerful would you be right now if you never got any help? If you can get past a certain power point, it becomes a lot easier to get gear. (When you can solo the Nexus, for instance.) But would you have gotten to that point? I don't think so."
- "You'll raise skills up to 125 eventually, but the monsters will go all the way to 150. Those extra 25 levels come from finding better and better gear. And you'll likely be giving hand-me-downs to your guild mates at that level, helping them build sets and catch up in power just as you are now.
- So yes, the end game IS in fact balanced around purples! But the mid-game needs to be balanced around what I expect will be the average loot haul, which is blues."
- It will be! Just haven't gotten to it yet :)
Necromancer Bone Form, Vampirism
- "There's a bone-form planned for late-level Necromancers, which is technically an undead form, but nothing too exciting in terms of crazy rules.
- I'm hoping we have time to do Vampirism too, and possibly others like lichdom, with more intricate rules. I agree that doing something like ""you die if you go outside during the day"" isn't really playable. Though catching on fire during the day sounds hilarious. But it'd need to be weak enough that you could overcome it with equipment or fire-resistance potions etc. You'd also probably have a damage debuff outdoors in the sun, and maybe be repulsive to some NPCs.
- My current plan for the whole ""blood drinking"" thing is to do it offline. (Your ""hang out"" is always ""prowl for blood in a psychotic frenzy"", which means you can't ever do NPCs' hang out options... that's just a weakness of the skill set.)
- After you log off, a monster version of your character can appear around town at night, trying to kill hapless players. (It would look like you, but not necessarily have all your stats and equipment... probably would scale depending on where you logged off.) If your monstrous version gets killed, you'd log in with a Headache debuff or something. If it managed to kill somebody, you get a buff when you log in instead.
- This might have other effects, too. For instance, sometimes NPCs might give you the cold shoulder some days because ""I saw what you did last night... you're a monster!"" and you have to use Vampiric Hypnotism to be able to interact with them again. There's lots of places to take it... depending on what ends up seeming fun.
- But I don't actually know if/when we'll get around to undead forms... it may be something that ends up in an expansion after the game ships."
- "Humans have an internal stat called Community. (Well actually all players do, but it only has gameplay meaning for humans right now.)
- If you're around other players (real players, not NPCs), your community stat will slowly go up. It doesn't matter if they're human or not, just that they're real players. Going into dungeons together or just standing around in town with other players work. When your community level is high you earn +1% XP. You'll see a little icon on the top right of your status bar.
- When you play by yourself for a while your community goes down. If it gets to rock bottom you earn -1% XP. There's a little icon for that too.
- Human NPCs know when your community value is low, and if they're Friends, they'll cheer you up a little, just high enough that you don't lose XP anymore for a while. (This is a special case of the rule that it has to be real players!)
- The XP amounts are so tiny that it doesn't really matter at this stage, you can ignore it. But at higher level you'll have the ability to opt in to more racial options, one of which is higher bonuses/bigger penalties for high/low community score"
Exact Crafting Results
- "First off, I have to say ""no"" to one suggestion here: we're not going to add the ability to dial in an exact set of enchantments when crafting. That would make random loot obsolete. It wouldn't matter how slow or tedious it is to craft, either. This is just the way that players think: they'd see the perfect ideal, realize it will take hundreds of hours to craft it, and either give up and quit or start grinding away... but in neither case would they work for loot gear if there's a way to get non-random gear. To players, random is always less appealing than non-random. It's not logic, it's psychology.
- Random loot is critical to the success of the game, so we'll never be obsoleting loot by making crafted gear completely non-random. The AMOUNT of randomness in both looting and crafting, however, will go up and down as we tweak things.
- I had a long post explaining how looting and crafting are intended to live together, but I just don't have time to polish it up right now. Let me try to summarize. The basic idea is that crafting has two advantages: crafted items can fit niches better than looted items (for instance, evasion gear might be ideal for certain combat roles... when those roles exist), and crafted augments work on both looted and crafted items.
- The niches are problematic because I haven't managed to make any of the niche armors compelling yet. It's hard to make some of them interesting at this low level (for instance, the Evasion armor has mediocre evasion chances at level 50, but much higher at level 125). Others are just victims of how the game's combat meta keeps evolving. I honestly don't know if I'll be able to make any of the niche armors compelling until late beta, when the combat is more locked down. But if you have ideas, I'm interested!
- Augments are a big deal. Not just the oils, but all the ways that will come. There will be a lot of different systems to alter, adjust, and repurpose items. This is a place that crafting can really shine without detracting from random loot, and I intend to make heavy use of it. I suspect that for most players, crafting new items will be less important than crafting augments and modifiers (at high level -- again, it's hard to make those augments useful at low level).
- That's not to say that I want the crafted items to be useless -- and really, they aren't useless now. They're quite powerful! And if you've crafted a few hundred recipes, I'm 100% confident that you'd be able to defeat any existing solo content in the game, including the werewolf den. It may not be what you want, but I don't consider it junk, is my point.
- I realize junk is in the eye of the beholder: it's garbage to you unless it's better than the best looted item you've ever found. But that will only be possible when you haven't found really amazing loot items. (That's randomness for you.)
- It's also important to realize that some of the bosses, like Sedgewick, have given out really overpowered stuff in the past. For many months, the major bosses were dropping legendaries like party favors. And before the last update, the werewolf matriarchs were dumping out 300% more treasure than intended -- and all of it magical. That's not indicative of the intended balance... people aren't supposed to be walking around with a half-dozen Legendaries at level 50! I haven't worried about this boss-equipment inflation, though, because level 50 is just a mid-tier in the game. It will work itself out as we add more levels.
- I also don't want crafting to be boring, but it's hard to fix that. It already takes less time to acquire decent gear with crafting than farming solo monsters (except for some buggy monsters that gave out too much loot! And ignoring grouping, which is supposed to be more efficient than any solo activity)... but it's tedious. I don't have an easy answer for that.
- I don't want to make it faster to craft items -- it's already fast enough in general. I just want to make it more fun. But I don't want to add timed mechanics to it, and without timed adversarial mechanics it's hard to make it more engaging. (I don't want crafting to be timed because it's supposed to require less attentiveness than combat. In other words, it's a thing to do during down time, not Combat version 2. I think that ""combat-crafting"", as it's called in some MMOs, is only fun at first, and then it bogs down the socialization and relaxation aspects of crafting.)
- So I'd love to get people brainstorming on how to make crafting more engaging, without it taking more time, and without turning it into quick-time-event type stuff.
- The original intent of the survey system was that people should work together to do them. For instance you and your guild mates would all crank out maps while chatting in town, and then you'd sort them based on which quadrant of the map they were in. Each person takes all the maps for one quadrant, and you'd really reduce the amount of running-around-time. I don't know if this idea works yet, because 1) we don't have guilds yet, 2) trading items is tedious without a trade GUI, 3) inventory management still sucks, and 4) there aren't a lot of players online to work with. So I'm not saying it's a failure... I just don't know. It's too early to tell if the social aspect can be fun or not. But it's something to keep in mind.
- I have some more explanation and examples that I'll post when I can. I've dumped a lot of stuff in here without a lot of details, for which I apologize!
- Oh, about random resource drops, those are used for inventory and cash control. Right now deer have about 1-in-4 chances of giving an antler (combining the chances of getting one as a drop and finding one when butchering). If they dropped antlers every time, antlers would be worth 1/4th the current amount and recipes would require 4x as many! Even if they stacked quite high, that sort of proliferation of resources puts added pressure on inventory management, and inventory management is already tight enough.
- There's some interesting pros and cons to random resource drops, though... but I've already gone off on enough tangents. Bottom line, I think random drops are fine. The devil is in the details, though. Some random drops are too rare, and some recipes require way too many of them for no good reason. The fur coat shouldn't require six tufts of fur, for instance!
- So I talked about a dozen things here... let me sum up. The following things are especially helpful to brainstorm and discuss:
niches/builds/setups that specialty crafted gear recipes can fill. (These are hard to pin down while combat is still so fluid, but brainstorming is always helpful so I have notions of where to take it.) ways to make crafting less tedious, WITHOUT making it take significantly less time, and without adding time-sensitive mechanics.
- please feel free to point out recipes that have seemingly-absurd resource requirements!"
- At this alpha stage players are just going to have to look past some things like muddy text objectives. The landscape of Serbule has changed so many times, and will continue to change several more times, that the careful text directions (and even cardinal directions!) get obsolete VERY quickly after I add it. It makes no sense to add that sort of detail now. But it will be added when the landscape is finalized.
Dragons & Racial Traits
- "If you can be a dragon, it'd be a temporary form. Dragons are so large that they would need their own towns, and would have the whole ""cows can't talk to NPCs"" problem at an entirely different scale. I know there was that one game that let you play as a dragon, did they let you be full size ones, though? I mean, dragons in the Project: Gorgon world are bigger than most of the houses in Serbule...
- Each actual race (human/elf/rakshasa/fairy/orc) will have their own racial mechanics. You can see a little bit of that already for the three existing races. They have very small benefits and weaknesses to start, but as you level there will be more opt-in chances to dig deeper into their racial background, unlocking more racial benefits but also taking on new racial requirements.
- The other two races, fairy and orc, will have racial features too, but they won't be optional. They'll just throw you into the deep end with all the racial stuff active immediately. For that reason, they won't be available to newbies -- you'll have to unlock the races by completing quests in-game."
- NPCs will have the ability to do different things at different times of day, but I haven't decided what they'll actually do differently yet. Most vendors and shopkeepers will stay in their store through the night, ignoring the day/night cycle. But NPCs like Blanche and Rita might head to their homes and sleep. Or, head to Joeh's leather party... or whatever. I'll have to experiment and see what behaviors are fun and also cost-effective to implement.
Potential Skills & Player Feedback
- "You mention the skills, do you mean how individual skills will play out, or more generally how skills advance?
- I'm hesitant to give the specifics of too many upcoming skills because they tend to get merged and altered as I implement them -- sometimes becoming multiple skills, sometimes (really, most of the time) getting condensed down into fewer skills with more meat. I want to have hundreds of skills, but I want them to be more than just a number. We do have some ""just a number"" skills like the various Anatomy skills, so it's obviously not a hard and fast rule, but when I'm adding new skills I'm trying to see what abilities, recipes, and special features can be tied into it. And vice versa -- when I add new gameplay features, I try to see what skills can map to it!
- So in that way player feedback does drive the skills. For instance, players have mentioned a few NPC features, like being able to see what's in their various storage chests without having to run around the world. Or to see what Hangout options are currently available to them. I plan to add these sorts of features and tie them to new skills -- skills I haven't really invented yet.
- But for others, I have a list of skills I want to see happen. Most of them are not very fleshed out until I start implementing them. I had more design docs years ago, but they're all obsolete now since the game has changed so much as it's developed, so all that's really still around is the ideas. To show just how little is really designed about some of these skills, here's the notes for one of them:
- - Illusionist! You could shoot fireballs, but only sentient monsters would believe the illusion and catch on fire. And of course there'd be a Mirror Image ability -- description would say ""creates a duplicate so similar to you that only a shrewd observer would notice the difference"". But actually the mirror image would have some random difference from you, like a different skin tone, different armor, different sex, etc., so often it would be very obvious they aren't the same person. If you select them, their name would be the player's name, but just one letter changed. They would run around behind the player shouting one of the comments the player recently made in chat, like an annoying parrot.
- That's all I've got for Illusionist -- a couple of cute things that would be fun to see in game.
- When it comes time to work it up, I'll sit down and figure out how it fits with other skills. That's if it ever gets into the game... if there are other better ideas, they tend to come first. And ideas like the one above often get merged in with some other skill -- I'll grab these old ideas when I'm trying to flesh something out. But lots of them just won't make it into the game before launch because there's only so much time!
- Sometimes I add new skills specifically to help me flesh out part of the game engine or gameplay experience. I'm thinking of adding the Osteomancy skill -- bone magic -- as a useful low-tier skill that leads you to other skills like Necromancy. So in that case it's not because Osteomancy sounds more fun, but that it fits a need.
- Speaking generally about skills, the basic idea is that most skills go to 125, but after level 50 you need to unlock further advancement by completing various quests. So you'll do a quest to unlock 50 to 60, and a quest to unlock 60 to 70, etc. Most skills will have branching sub-skills that unlock after level 50. For instance, at level 65 or so, a Staff Fighter could unlock Spear Fighter. Spear skill uses many of the same abilities from Staff, but also some new ones. That's also how dual-wielding swords would work, and magic-wand usage, and lots of other stuff: sub-skills.
- There are also going to be sub-skills for the craft skills -- skills like Leatherworking let you create some basic leather suits, but the fancier pieces of equipment need more specialized skills. For instance the best leather helms might be made via Haberdashery.
- The point of sub-skills is to help players differentiate themselves from one another. I expect to have so many skills that it's not really plausible to have all of them maxed out. At least, not for years! The first part of each skill (up to 50-ish) is pretty fast, but advancing beyond that takes more time: the XP requirements are higher, and you also have to do quests to unlock further advancement. So this is why high level sword fighters may be extremely different from one another, and high leather armor crafters might have very different products for sale, etc.
- Hmm, hard to give too much in the way of specifics without more idea of what you're asking. If you have specific questions I can try to answer them!"
Equipment slots for Pets
- "Heh! Well I would love to do equipment slots for pets, but it's mostly an art budget thing. They can't wear normal armor so they have to be crafted per pet. And the store-bought 3rd party animals we use aren't actually rigged for wearing armor anyway (the cow and the wolf are custom models and can wear armor, but the deer and pig and cat are store-bought and can't really be augmented too much). So it will depend on how much of an art budget we can drum up when we're on Steam to see what sort of things like that are feasible for launch.
- That said, we do have a bunch of plans for pets. Animal Handlers will be able to practice animal husbandry, breeding animals to get stronger and more interesting offspring. And sometimes discovering entirely new art styles for pets.
- We'll also probably end up with some non-visual equipment slots (tail rings?), and possibly something silly like hats. (We can ""glue"" some items onto the models, like the top-hats on the mantises, if the art is very carefully done so that it doesn't intersect with the animal's animations.)
- Some of the other ""pet"" skills that haven't been added yet will also work a bit differently. Demon summoning, for instance, involves a live sentient demon from another dimension. When you summon your demon they'll be wearing whatever they happened to be wearing when you summoned them -- usually some armor but sometimes you catch them at a bad moment! And some have better fashion sense than others..."
- "Yep, group XP is split amongst nearby group members, and the XP should already be getting a bonus based on the group size. The current numbers are:
- 1 person: 100% of the monster's XP value
- 2 people: 125% total (split two ways)
- 3 people: 133% total
- 4 people: 150% total
- 5 people: 166% total
- 6 people: 175% total
- 7 people: 190% total
- 8-10 people: 200% total
- So it's not a huge amount, but should be noticeable! Instead of further raising the percentages, I've been thinking there might be a support role in there, like the bard class might literally boost that XP group bonus, or something like that.
- Only nearby group members count, so people that are far away from the combat shouldn't get a split (and shouldn't count towards the number of group members, above)."
- "I think they've all been mentioned at one point or another in the patch notes, so it's not exactly a secret... I mean, it's never mentioned in-game, but it's something that could find its way into the wiki.
- I like the notion of keeping them secret so players can have the fun of discovering them, but I also need people to test the badge system, so... at this moment, the possible behavior badges are:
- Hunger Artist
- Teleportation Denier
- Jewelry Refuser
- These have all been in game for many months, but I've never gotten any feedback on them. This makes sense, given that most of these are voluntary ways to make the game harder, and this being alpha, not a lot of people want to do that. But if there are people who want to try them out, let me know when you have the badge on your character!
- (I might keep the next batch of badges a secret if these seem to work without a hitch.)"
Roadmap Goals (Before Kickstarter)
- "In terms of big-picture details:
- the eventual game will have 125 levels (the current 50 levels are the newbie levels, basically)
- there will be at least three times the number of dungeons and land areas (and hopefully a fair bit more than that)
- over 200 skills (we have 100 now.)
- There are six playable races planned, including some unique racial skills and other content for each
- Many user-interface elements are slated for overhaul, including the inventory and chat windows
- The game will also have day/night cycles and dynamic weather, among other niceties that haven't made it into the game yet!"
- "RE: bipedal wolf form -- I don't have plans for a bipedal form for player werewolves. I feel like the Skyrim-style wolf form is kinda overdone, personally. But more importantly than that, it makes it much harder for players to understand the drawbacks of the form. ""What do you mean I can't chop wood?! These hands could easily hold an axe!""
- The wolf-form also helps reinforce the benefits of pack behavior, because we have images of wolves hunting in packs, whereas bipedal werewolves tend to be ""lone wolves"" in fiction.
- I could definitely imagine adding a bipedal form for top-level werewolves as unlockable expansion content, but the ""vanilla"" werewolf experience is going to be a quadrupedal form."
- "my goal for the full moon has always been for it to become a time of celebration, not a time of being pissed off. One step towards that is howling -- werewolves who Howl together in a pack get much better bonuses than ones who Howl alone, and naturally it'd be easiest to get a large howling group together during the full moon. But given the small number of players online right now, that sort of mechanic doesn't really come through too well yet.
- I'm working out the details on another full-moon mechanic which will be for level 50+ werewolves.
- Basically, during the full moon you'll have access to a bunch of tasks. Things like ""kill 50 orcs"" or ""eat 100 corpses"" or ""kill the Scion of Norala"". For each of those you complete, you'll get a point to spend on special werewolf buffs that will last until the next full moon. So, for instance, if you have three points you can buy ""+25 Max Health""; if you have 5 points you can by ""+50 Max Health"" (or if you have 8 points you could buy both!). Other things ""for sale"" include some run-speed abilities, enhanced versions of a few werewolf powers, and similar things. Maybe the ability to be ignored by monster-wolves would be something you can buy, too.
- I think the fun part of being a werewolf during the full moon is hunting together with other wolves, running in a terrifying pack of doom. So this change is intended to give werewolves something to strive toward during the full moon so that they have reasons to hunt together.
- When you can run around as a large pack and take advantage of Howling and Pack Attack and these special quests, then hopefully it will start to be a uniquely fun time, where you stop doing your usual things and start doing special werewolf stuff with the other wolves.
- That's the goal, anyway, and we'll keep iterating things until we get there!"
High Level Gear w/ Low skills
- BTW I have a to-do list item to make high-level gear not work when you're level-cap-exceeded (so that you can't use level 50 sword items when you're raising a level 1 combat skill). That will be a stop-gap solution, and eventually the items will "degrade" automatically when possible, so that your gear effectively becomes a lower-level piece of equipment when possible. But that part's way down the road.
- We'll eventually have some more tools for refining the list (e.g. filtering by equipment slot, etc.), but in the short term, the suggested "is it wearable at all" checkbox was pretty easy to add, so I added it for the upcoming patch. Thanks for the suggestion!
- "We don't want to make it easier to switch -- in fact it will become harder to switch animal forms eventually. Keep in mind that a lot of the stuff like pig/deer potions are temporary. And the cow curse won't always be as easily accessible as it is now -- it won't always be in the tutorial dungeon!
- I know werewolves and druids have it ""easy"" with wolf and deer forms, but they've taken on permanent character-altering obligations that can never be undone, which is the down side of those skills. So we might add more tools to let the other animal forms change, but only if the player makes a permanent decision that's related.
- And actually, the spider one is planned out -- players will be able to complete a ritual to become servants of Akhisa, the god of spiders and patience. For cow and pig forms, I don't have anything planned... and none of the 37 gods is particularly cow-themed. But if you have ideas, I'm all ears!
- Lastly, as Mortitia mentioned, we've been slowly giving the animal forms more accessibility. NPCs that are outside of towns are generally okay with talking to animals in any form, and I've been adding animal-form access quests to newer in-town NPCs when time permits. There will always be some NPCs you just can't talk to, but in the final game you'll be able to talk to more of them than not."
- "Sandra and I worked on it, yep! We weren't on the original development team -- we just loved the game and so we dropped everything and went to work for Turbine. That led to working on the AC1 expansions and live updates.
- Sandra became the live-update producer for Asheron's Call for many years. (She was ""srand"".) I instead wanted to ""save"" Asheron's Call 2, and so I'm mostly known for my time with that game.
- (I was the live-update producer for AC2 for a year or two.)"
- I think the chests are important for solo players, because they otherwise have very little motivation to explore solo dungeons (rather than wander outside where it's generally much safer). There needs to be "stuff" for them to find. But it's not my intention for the chest content to outshadow other sources of equipment.
Crafting & Balance
- "On randomness -- there will never be a ""make your own perfect item recipe system"". A big part of Gorgon is working with the equipment you find, which is often imperfect -- and which may lead you to use different abilities than you otherwise would, for instance. So crafted items will always have a large randomness element. At higher levels you'll have lots of ways to guide the randomness, much as you do with gems in the existing recipes, but not remove it.
- On grinding -- the thing is, the early game (including level 50) is balanced around fairly low gear standards, compared to what you're talking about in this thread. If you make it your goal to find a piece of gear with exactly x, y, z, and w attributes, then yeah that's going to be insanely tedious because of the randomness. But, of course, that specific piece of gear would likely make you INSANELY OVERPOWERED for the existing content, so that's kind of intentional. :)
- This is a tricky thing to talk about because a lot of people do have insanely overpowered gear sets at the moment, because they've been at level 50 a while and there's nothing to do but find better gear. But in the final game, level 50 is not a level where people are going to stay for months at a time. (It's a slow level, because you have to complete quests to unlock level 51, so players may be at level 50 for, I dunno, a week? But not months.)
- So I'm not balancing these low-level crafting systems around making super perfect gear. (Level 50 is ""low-level"" in the larger scheme of the game.) I don't want level 50 crafting recipes to be useless, but I also don't want it to be easy to get perfect equipment out of them. I want it to be pretty painless to get ""good"" gear, maybe with a couple of specific abilities. (In other words, good blue gear -- items with two relevant powers on it. That's what I balance level 50 content around: players wearing appropriate blue gear.)
- If you're saying, ""then what's the point of crafting?! I already have good gear, I want PERFECT gear!"" ... well, to be really blunt, you've basically reached the game's content limit at this time. You've run into part of the reason I still call this an alpha, not a beta! You've already reached an extremely-grindy part of the game, not because I want people to be grinding thousands of gems at level 50, but because... there's nothing else to do.
- I wish I could add more levels instantly, but I have to do a bunch of other stuff before rolling out the next batch of levels, so it will be months before the level cap is raised. In the mean time I'm trying to alleviate some of the grind by adding some of the higher-level skills now. The new augment oils are a good example -- they were originally slated for level 75, but I added them now to help people who are seeking ""perfect gear""."
Food Spoilage (Not going to happen).
- "Yeah we wouldn't do food spoilage, that's just too tedious. But it would sometimes be fun to do ""fresh ingredients"" recipes, if there was a way to do it without breaking stacking.
- For instance, suppose you kill a dragon and get Fresh Dragon Meat -- if you grill it right there in the dungeon, in a makeshift barbecue celebration, the meal would be super fresh and give bigger rewards. But if you just wait a while, the ""Fresh Dragon Meat"" would become ""Dragon Meat"". It wouldn't degrade beyond that.
- But as mentioned, I don't have a good tech approach for doing this that isn't annoying (due to breaking stacking), so that idea is on the back burner."
Dungeon Chests 2
- "The chests in group dungeons (e.g. Nexus) are rewards for a group. People who can solo these dungeons, even surviving long enough to train to the chests, are simply overpowered. This will take care of itself in time! I can't balance everything at once, please bear with me. (In some cases, players are overpowered because they have gear that makes them level 60-equivalent... in those cases, the problem will be alleviated when the level cap is raised.)
- The new crafting skills are intentionally diversifying. There will be a lot more craft skills in the future and you simply won't be able to do it all. That's just how it is, sorry."
Swapping Gear In-Fight
- "Being able to switch your equipment during combat is just something I haven't gotten around to fixing yet, but it won't be possible in the final game. I made it very free form to protect newbies from frustrating scenarios like ""I'm trying to use Sword Slash, but my Sword isn't equipped... oh crap, and I can't equip it because combat's started! I just have to stand here and die!"" That sort of thing can be very disheartening. But I'll find a solution that protects brand new players without letting advanced players swap their entire wardrobe out mid-fight!
- (And yeah, the idea behind the presets is you'd only switch out of combat -- possibly with a cooldown timer or something if that ends up being necessary.)"
Limited Ability Slots & Presets
- "Not much to add except that I know not everybody likes having a limited slot system, but it's crucial to this game's design. With a game that's extremely free-form, where new skills and abilities can be added every month (and will!), it's only possible to even *hope* to balance it by restricting what verbs you have access to at any given moment.
- I like giving each skill a broad range of possibilities -- broader than many other MMOs -- so that you have lots of interesting things to experiment and build with. But if every single new ability was always available for everyone using that skill, I'd really be hamstrung in the number and variety of abilities I could add.
- In a few cases more slots wouldn't really make a huge difference, balance-wise -- like having another Wave ability available wouldn't really matter a lot; they are all tied to the same reset timer anyway. But in other setups (including some Mentalism setups), six is already stretching it -- and I kinda wish I'd kept it at 5. Not that I'm planning to take the sixth button back out again, but I'm definitely not adding any more!
- Sometimes you just have to reorganize your bars for specific situations, like when you enter a dungeon. At high level you often need to change gear to meaningfully use other skills anyway. (This is an intentional design element so that the small number of ability slots mirrors the small number of equipment slots.) At some point in the distant future I expect there will be several Gear+Ability preset buttons available for each player, so you'll be able to swap into your soloing setup, or your group support setup, or your exploration setup, etc., with the push of a button."
Why does Unarmed have knockback abilities?
- "Fighting more than one opponent. At mid-level and higher the game is balanced around the notion that you will be fighting at least two enemies at a time.
- Unarmed is also a nice combination with ranged skills because of its knockbacks. Remember, you are NOT using just one skill. Your ""class"" consists of TWO active skills, not one.
- Unarmed is a skill with many useful, cheap, but low-damaging abilities, which offer interesting combination points with lots of other skills."
Metal Armor Crafting?
- "There will be an Armorsmithing skill which is a sub-skill of Blacksmithing. It's a high-level skill -- gotta have some fun stuff for higher-level players to unlock! Various weapon-smithing skills will also be sub-skills of Blacksmithing.
- (Those skills won't show up until later this year when the level cap is raised.)"
- "I wanted to mention another trading feature that's on the ""maybe get added"" list. The consignment system is sort of a boutique system for unique items, but that may become too tedious for ""resource"" type purchases. For instance, archers who want to buy thousands of arrows shouldn't have to go window-shopping. They should just be able to buy their arrows and get on with life.
- So if that sort of bulk-sale ends up being problematic, we can add a globalized resource-house.
- The unusual feature is that stuff you buy from the resource house can't be re-sold! The items will be flagged so that they can't be sold again. So if you buy a pack of arrows for $50, you can't turn around and put them back up for $100. This keeps super-rich players from manipulating the market too much.
- (In fact, we might end up flagging consigned items this way, too -- we'll see.)
- For people who want to do face-to-face trades, there'll always be a place for that (for instance, there'll be some specific crafted things that require face-to-face interaction), but I think ONLY having face-to-face transactions is too annoying for people trying to buy stuff at odd hours.
- The goal is to find a middle ground where sellers can make decent money, but buyers aren't overly inconvenienced in finding what they want. So we'll see how things evolve, and try to make that goal happen."
How do Golems work?
- "The golem does one command every 5 seconds. It goes down the list of commands, starting at the first one, until it finds one that's ready to go (and whose Conditional is met). So if the first rule resets every 4.5 seconds, and has the ""Always"" Conditional, it will always be picked!
- If you want to use the ""Always"" conditional for several different abilities, you should put the slower-reset command in front of the faster-reset command, so that the slower one gets picked whenever it's ready to be used.
- If you want the golem to randomly pick between different abilities, use one of the randomizing Conditionals on the first rule. (Like ""50% of the time"". That will mean that it only picks the first rule 50% of the time.)"
- We'll eventually have a way to let you flag recipes as Favorite Recipes so that you can access them quickly, but that feature will be a ways down the road!
- "RE: auction house; it's been discussed in the forums a few times, so I don't want to repeat myself too much (because it's long) but in a nutshell we're not adding a global auction house, we're going to rely on consignments, and later, player-owned vendor stalls. It's intentional that players have to search around a little bit for what they want, maybe travel between a few towns (and eventually visit player shops/stalls).
- This is a game that's supposed to be fun for crafters. (Not for auction-house junkies... for crafters. AH junkies have plenty of games to play, but crafters have very few.) It's also supposed to be fun for non-crafters, obviously, but those goals have to be more balanced than they are in most MMOs. An auction house isn't balanced at all: an auction house depletes the fun of crafters in order to give buyers an easier time. It forces every single crafter to compete with every other crafter in the whole universe. In most MMOs, this means that by year 2 or so, crafters literally make no money on most sales -- they just hope to recoup their costs. It's the antithesis of fun.
- Obviously crafters will have to compete at some level, but the consignment system at least breaks things up a bit by geography. As the world gets larger, that will add another angle to the shopping system. (We'll also be adding ways for crafters to compete on things besides price and geography... but those are big parts of the equation.)
- That's the short explanation.
- My hope is that we can evolve the consignment systems to the point where it's easy to use and understand, and players can use those as ""localized auction houses"" for selling rare items or expensive crafted things. Buyers won't always get the best price or have the entire world's selection at their fingertips, but they won't be stuck screaming ""WTB blah blah blah"" either.
- If your concern is that the reason there's not a lot of trade in-game right now specifically because of a lack of a global-type auction house... probably not. There's only one city in the game, so at this point, the consignment system is practically an auction house as it is.
- There are lots of things that need to happen before the game's trade economy flourishes, including:
- - having more levels (because nobody under level 40 is going to buy anything expensive on consignment... it makes no sense, the levels go by too fast)
- - having more players online (when there's like twenty people online, everybody knows everybody else, people are happy to just give their stuff away at this stage)
- - better consignment searching tools (when one NPC has hundreds of consignment items, the existing system will be completely unusable... but at this point, it's not a high priority task)
- - commodity-style items worth trading (and too time-consuming to just make all of them yourself)
- It's not going to happen overnight. And the upcoming changes aren't going to magically make trading happen (hopefully there will be *more* trades, but not a flourishing trade system just from this). That's okay... the game is a year away from being finished. This is just a step toward the final goal!"
End-Game & Why Eric is Awesome.
- "There will be traditional equipment tiers in group dungeons for level 125s to work through -- basically finding rare drops of items and hard-to-acquire special abilities -- so their effective level goes beyond 125. And presumably a dungeon or two of insane stuff for the ""effective level 140"" players to do. People who want to keep on keepin' on will be able to do so, albeit at a reduced pace. (And probably not very soloable, just because of the extreme difficulty of making ultra-high-level soloable content that isn't easily exploited, or an insane grindfest.)
- But that said, I do expect players to basically never run out of skills. Not even half the skills are in game yet, and the ones that are in only go to 50 -- the easy part of the advancement curve. As you get past 50 it starts to make more sense to focus on your favorite skills rather than trying to do them all, so that you're able to progress in those chosen skills at a good pace.
- And so players who max out their character can go back and start other skills. This is an intentional design goal because it pushes high-level players back into low-level dungeons and cities.
- There will also be content updates (think DLC or mini-expansions) three or four times a year. (I'd previously mentioned doing one a month a la Asheron's Call, but it doesn't look like that's a realistic timeline given my resources.) These updates will include new areas, new skills, and so on, and will also have ""story events"" which can result in permanent world alterations -- and possibly permanent character alterations. Think things like ""the volcano is erupting and we have to fight back the lava drakes or Sun Vale will be destroyed!"" These are PvE crafting and combat tasks that players can band together to accomplish, if they choose.
- I also intend to have a large number of minigames and other diversionary activities, so people who just want to hang out in game have stuff to do.
- I think most end-games fall flat because they are trying to change the game into something else. I'm happy to add some raid-style dungeons if players want to do them, but I don't intend to push players into raids or PvP or whatever else.
- And some times, you know... it's a good feeling to say ""I beat this game. In fact, I beat the SHIT out of it. I won!"" And then you go play some other MMO. Maybe dropping in on weekends to do some quests and say hi to friends, or perhaps just quitting completely and coming back in six months when there's new content.
- There are a million MMOs out there today, and I think it's naive to pretend that players will stick with the same one for years and years without interruption. While I definitely envision Project: Gorgon being a lot of players' ""main"" MMO, it can also fit the role of a ""side MMO"" pretty well. And I'm okay with that."
Character Wipe (From March 2015)
- PS: I don't plan to wipe characters. We'll probably wipe your inventories, but leave players and their skills intact.
- "Someone asked why I was so against camping bosses -- it doesn't make me angry or anything, but it's not ideal. In my experience, static camping burns players out. Imagine: you sit down at the computer for the fifth day in a row and think, ""time to spend another two hours standing in one room looting the same monster over and over, which poses no real challenge to me"", and... you decide to go play something else instead! A modern game needs to be more involving than that.
- At the very least, I want to make it so that groups are motivated to travel around the dungeon, going from boss to boss to boss, rather than standing in one place. That's usually how things worked in EQ2's early dungeons, and it was much less tedious than standing around idly. So that's what I'm working toward right now. I suspect I can make that work if I add enough bosses, though I will also probably have to slow down the respawn on each boss. (Because if it takes even 11 minutes to fight your way between bosses, the motivation to just stay put for 10 minutes will be very high.)"
Boss Respawn Time & "Dailies"
- "There's an old saying in MMO design: ""don't balance via tedium in an MMO, because players will do it anyway and then bitch about it."" What that means is that it doesn't work very well to make something super dull so that players won't do it. They'll do it anyway -- some even claiming that it's fun (because they're chatting with friends) -- and then get burned out and quit because it's too grindy.
- The ten minute timer is trying to find a balance between discouraging camping and also being short enough that other players have a chance to kill the monster. But that isn't working very well right now -- it's too short. But if I slowed down respawns to, say, an hour, then players would show up and be disappointed the boss is already dead.
- Chests are one way I can fix that, pushing players to move on, explore other areas, have fun, not just stand in one spot camping because it's low-risk-high-reward. (I can also make the bosses have a loot timer instead, so you can kill each boss and loot them only once -- that way I could respawn them even faster than 10 minutes. Or other variants of the same idea.) I'm trying different things to solve that problem. Right now I'm trying BOTH -- having bosses on ten-minute respawns with good loot, and also chests with good loot -- hoping that players will go do the chests, and only come back to camp the boss if they've run out of other stuff to do. But if that doesn't work, I'll try something else.
- I'm not trying to push people to do daily activities at this time. If you're perceiving them as dailies, that's just your OCD talking :) There's no way to avoid some OCD-like compulsion: ""I have to log in every day to pick a new Hangout Activity!"" Well, you can if you want, but the only person pushing you to ""have"" to do those things is you. The rewards of hanging out are intentionally low-impact so that you DON'T feel compelled to constantly log in.
- But maybe I will do dailies eventually -- I don't hate them, and if players want a log-in-every-day incentive I can do that. I'd use classic game incentives, like limited-time rewards (""get special dyes in the loot chests this month only!"") or score competitions (""who has the most chests opened this month?"") etc. It can be useful to do those things sometimes to drum up players when the game is in a doldrums -- gets people back into the game. But I'm not doing that here."
- Crafting two-skill belts: my plan with those is to make them rare drops (like some of them are now). They're the sort of thing that would make good Consignment sales items. I could even imagine player-run shops full of just rare belts. But we'll see how it goes.
What is Cheating?
- Cheating does include "escaping" dungeons, using jump-exploits or transformations or camera bugs or whatever else. If people use it to kill monsters with impunity, that's something I'd have to ban people for. Cheating would also include using dupe bugs, NPC logic bugs, etc., although of course we don't consider it cheating if you find an exploit and report it (and then stop using it).
- "I like the idea of using some sort of offloading item to allow you to store your notes. Maybe I will add a cartography skill that lets you store all your current dots on a blank map, and anyone that uses the map will have their dots replaced with the ones from the map.
- There will also be items eventually that let you boost your maximum number of map dots, and other skills that increase the number of dots and also add other options to your map.
- I actually had a large set of features planned for the map, and technically I still do... but there's just so many other things that are higher priority right now! But eventually I hope the map will be a lot more useful.
- The maps may also be one of the few places where I can easily allow user-provided content -- people could load their own maps into the game, as was done with EverQuest 2 long ago. I haven't explored the details of that yet, but it's doable with the game engine, so that might be something we try down the road."
Elves and their Vices
- "There are definitely people who will not play the game because the NPCs say dirty stupid stuff. If those people would also refuse to play a game with ""lingerie model armor"", then I can't fault them for that: they have beliefs about sexuality, and as long as they aren't hypocritical about it, that's fine by me. (If they're the sort who like women in games to be nearly naked, but to keep their mouths shut about sex, then that doesn't sit as well with me. But still, whatever. I'm not here to lecture people: play or don't.)
- The design of the elves came from seeing all the prefabricated ""elf models"" I could buy when I was developing the game. They were supposed to be mighty archers and swordsmen, but they could never take off their high heels or wear a supportive bra... it was ludicrous. So I did the indie thing and dug into why: if they look like this when they're fighting, they must have a reason, right? They wouldn't dress this way just to entertain the game player. And it became obvious that elves would be pretty into sex.
- That artwork is long gone and elves are much more modest in their appearance (which is how I want it). But they remain very ""into"" sex. I find it a useful racial attribute. Most games have elves which are just ""humans but arrogant"" and dwarves which are ""humans but stubborn"". If we have to stereotype a whole race in order to make it work in a fantasy game (and we kinda do -- otherwise they just come across as ""humans with different appearances""), we can at least give them new stereotypes!
- That stereotype also helps explain racial animosity between humans and elves, provides backstory hooks, and gives roleplaying opportunities. (Although it also has created a few unfortunate ""roleplay"" scenarios, too, so like every design, it's a double-edged sword.) As the game goes on and we see how each race approaches sexuality, it will let me highlight the differences between the races in a way that few other games manage to do. I find it interesting, and that's basically my litmus test.
- If I had to change the elves in order for to be successful, I'd just remove them. I don't really need ""humans with long ears and no other discernible differences"" in the game -- I'm an indie, and artwork costs a fortune. I need every aspect of the game to pull its weight from a gameplay point of view. Elves weren't in the original design of the game, it was going to be only humans. So I have considered removing the other races and tightening things down -- but at the point I'm not planning to do that. It doesn't seem to be a deal-breaker for most people."
Ancient Coins & Crone Hegemony
- Lore wise, the three "ancient coins" are named after different greek coins because they come from the part of the game-world that's inspired by greek myths -- the Crone Hegemony is full of harpies, hydras, sirens, gorgons... and eventually there will be a substantial part of the game set in that country, where those old coins are actually still legal tender, but Councils are worthless. So they'll prove useful in those lands.
- "For our purposes let's call PvE ""player versus environment"" and it specifically means ""killing monsters that are driven by the AI and not under the orders of other players"". PvP is ""player versus player"", which also includes ""player versus another player's AI-controlled pets"".
- It's also useful to point out that there's a ""PvP flag"" but not a ""PvE flag"" because PvP is a superset: you're always PvE flagged. (Otherwise you could wander through dungeons with impunity!) So when I want to use very specific terminology, I tend to say ""PvP"" and ""non-PvP"", because PvE isn't the opposite of PvP. They are complimentary game modes.
- Anyway, someone earlier asked why the game doesn't just have one set of numbers for PvP abilities and another for PvE. And the answer is that the game engine can already do this! But it's not actually very helpful.
- For one thing, equipment is a huge part of your character build, so I'd have to give different stats for both abilities AND every single piece of equipment. Basically, the problem isn't technical; it's time: that's an exorbitant amount of time to make it work!
- Let me try to explain how long it takes by comparison. This is a game with a fairly open character-build system, and those are already much harder to balance than games with strict classes and simple equipment (like WoW). And yet it's taken WoW a very long time to even come close to having both their PvE and PvP content semi-balanced. And they had multiple people working on it full time, for years.
- And to make matters worse, it's not just number tweaking. It often ends up that there's no numbers that can go into an ability to make it work. For instance, mezz abilities are just not fun in PvP. If I wanted to focus on PvP, it's not enough to make it ""balanced"", it also has to be tolerably fun, and that means being locked in place for 30+ seconds is not an option. Which means now there's a fundamental difference between PvE and PvP. I'd need to either make those mezz abilities do nothing in PvP, or else make them do some entirely different thing, inventing a new mechanic just for PvP. That's a very generic example, but it applies to lots of aspects of the game, from crowd control to damage to armor levels to well, everything.
- Also, I'm not really planning on the game being extremely well balanced even for PvE. I'm committed to doing a passable job of balancing the PvE skills against each other for a few common use cases (soloing, small groups, etc.). But I'm not under the delusion that this will be an easy thing, or a perfect thing. It will take literally years; the game will ship and I'll still have to make more changes periodically, just like every single other MMO in existence does.
- So given that, I can't also take on balancing PvP as well, because that will more than double my workload: I need entirely different numbers, but also entirely different scenario models (one-vs-one, two-vs-two, gang fights, etc.), and various different gameplay tweaks. I just don't have time.
- Plus, I want to be adding new content every month after the game ships. Which means new balance variables every month. I won't have time to make sure every new item or skill or pet makes sense in both PvP and PvE.
- Maybe when the game is on Steam it'll sell enough that I can stop ""thinking indie"" and instead hire a couple of systems designers to work on these tasks for me, but at the present moment, it just can't possibly fit into the schedule without throwing out other things that I think are more important to the game."
Griefing that's fine to do.
- "That doesn't mean there's no griefing! There are lots of places in the game where players can grief each other, and that's okay. For instance, even in its early state, you could:
- - trick newbies into saying horrific words of power
- - give them poisoned food
- - convince them to drink pig potions and then laugh and laugh"
Is this a Beta (No).
- "We've never been in beta; we're in alpha.
- We had a pre-alpha version during the first kickstarter in 2012; that was ""pre-alpha 2"". When that kickstarter didn't succeed, we closed down for a while, and later came back as ""pre-alpha 3"". We went into ""alpha 1"" earlier this year, and we're still in alpha 1. There will be at least one more alpha stage before we go to beta 1. But it's an indie game, so the terms are kind of wishy-washy anyway. MMOs are insanely big projects; we'll get there when we can get there!"
- "Yeah the wording here is unfortunate. Valiance isn't being done by Elder Game (my company). We're just part of a collection of indie companies that help each other out when possible. I'm letting them use my toolset and server tech, because their game design fits my engine's capabilities very well.
But Gorgon itself doesn't have anything to do with Valiance. Though there are a few things in the game that were added to help them out. For instance the Valiance team needed flying and super-jumping (since it's a superhero game), so I added basic versions of those to the engine -- and then promptly added them to my MMO too, because who doesn't like flying and super jumping!
I don't have any day-to-day contact with the Valiance team, though -- I just don't have time. Haven't for many months. The team has their own client-side engineers, and hopefully if their Kickstarter succeeds, they'll be able to pay for a server-side engineer to add some engine improvements -- which should benefit Gorgon too, since they share the same code base. Fingers crossed for them!"
Feeling Dead Inside?
- Stop killing sentient beings for an hour or so and you'd stop being dead inside. (For instance, the Serbule crypt has pretty much no sentient beings.) There will be racial jewelry which makes this much less of an annoyance / work differently.
Why Unity Engine?
- "This game's first prototype happened over four years ago, and we've evolved with Unity since then, creating elaborate custom tools for MMO content creation. Unity also got MUCH more vibrant as a community, making it easier and cheaper to create quick content.
- But it doesn't really matter, as switching engines isn't feasible. There's way too much to rewrite, and I don't have a spare year to do it! Neither game engine has anywhere near enough ""built in"" functionality to make an MMO, so I've done a lot of custom coding, some of it quite fancy, to make Unity work as an MMO.
- About Unity doing poorly: I'm not really worried. At this point it would take a MAJOR misstep to do them in. They have a strong market share and a vibrant community. So any screw ups would be due to a serious management blunder. The asset store alone does tens of millions of dollars in sales. Contrast with Unreal's community, and Unreal seems like a ghost town.
- If they really do screw the pooch, I'm sure there will be paths forward, probably by buying maintenance contracts from a second-party company. That's how the Gamebryo engine continued to be viable after its parent company died. Unity also does offer a source code license -- it's just insanely expensive -- but that would probably drop in price if people started freaking out and demanding source as a safety net.
- But bottom line: I frankly believe Unity has a healthier ecosystem than Unreal. So I'm just talking about speculative futures there."
The First Forum
No information can be gathered from the first forum for the game.