Involved in Development
Eric Heimburg - Citan
- His Birthday is August 19th!
Sandra Powers - Srand
Ryan Fritz- Silvonis
- Silvonis is a member of the Project Gorgon Development team with the title of Producer.
Conor Brace - Wyrmrider
- Conor Brace is a composer, sound designer, and game designer from Austin, Texas. Check out his personal website for clips of Project Gorgon music, and more information.
Aaron Victoria - Aviticus Gladius
- Aaron is a friend and development partner of Eric Heimburg. Aaron is working on his own MMO, Legends of Etherell: Antavia. His company has provided art assets in exchange for programming support for Legends of Etherell.
- Interview discussing partnership with Project Gorgon
EMs & Moderators
If you are listed here as a moderator and would prefer to remain incognito (or want to be listed here), feel free to edit yourself out.
- Auriel is the game's only Event Moderator. She sometimes runs organized live activities and can do some snazzy things such as teleporting players, resurrection, and is almost invincible.
- Mortitia was listed as a Moderator on the 2014 forums.
- Nimor was listed as a Moderator on the 2014 forums.
Citan's 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 Older information may be outdated.
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 Older information may be outdated.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.
Silvonis's Forum Posts
The Current Forum
The following are not all of Silvonis's posts, just those that answer important questions, not related to tech support. Please note that newer posts are listed higher in this list. Older information may be outdated.
The Second Forum
The following are not all of Silvonis's forum posts, just those that answer important questions, not related to tech support. Please note that newer posts are listed higher in this list. Older information may be outdated.
- Attention: These forums will be closing and will become read-only on Monday, January 9th, 2017. At that point, the new forums will become the official forums of Project: Gorgon! Please register there as soon as possible.
Birthday on new forums?
- We are legally required to get that information, but it is kept private and is not shared unless you choose to make it available in your profile
- We don't have an NDA and as such you are free to stream. We are listed on Twitch so you can set the game to Project: Gorgon. The only thing we do add is that we are currently in alpha and that may be relevant information for your viewers.
- We use a professional CDN Distribution Network with servers located around the world. The download speed will vary depending on the person's location, their internet speed and the connection to the closest CDN server. There is nothing really to troubleshoot because we don't control the factors outside of choosing the CDN and we don't plan on changing that. Hopefully it improves for you.
- It will be instanced.
Item rarity colors
- As previously discussed, we will focus on this specifically as it fits within the upcoming GUI redesign. We are actively working on the new GUI, so just hang in there with us.
- We are friends with the SotA team and I've been speaking with Dallas and Richard about our Project for quite some time. I discussed this with them and I'm honored to have their support!
- We are starting with a horse mount, but you never know what mounts we will see in the future! As for character customization, yes there will be more options for character customization. As for the last question, there are many players who've obtained currency and loot through unintended game mechanics and players are essentially twinking out their characters because they view the current level cap as max level and are stacking their characters. Once the game has been released, most players won't have stacked gear at this level as they will be moving through at the normal rate of progression.
Change the game Engine ? (No)
- Thanks for your feedback, but won't be changing game engines. While we are pushing the boundaries of the Unity Engine, it's on a similar level to those that you linked. I won't be going into specifics, but changing engines wouldn't necessarily fix the issues you mentioned. I'm going to close this thread because we don't plan on changing engines. Thanks again for your feedback.
Current Game Levels
- As I'm reading through this thread, I thought that it would be prudent to point out that we are currently dealing with mid-level dungeons, mobs, bosses, etc. What's that have to do with anything? Well, since we are in development there is an artificial stop in progression so this stage is being viewed as "end game" and players have spent a considerable amount of time and effort in leveling skills and getting gear.
- In short, players are over powered and that's not reflective of what to expect at release. At this stage, upon release, players will be working their way through skills and gear as natural progression dictates. Skills and gear levels will be different and those two factors significantly effect difficulty and group make up.
- I just wanted to put that out there so it can be taken into consideration as these conversations develop.
- As to the topic in general, we never intended for non-interrupted AFK connections. There are various reasons, including: unattended skill accumulation, crowd control, lag control, etc. When you have a lot of people accumulated in certain areas it can cause unnecessary lag, and as the community grows the issues will compound. That said, please continue to post what you enjoyed about having uninterrupted AFK access so that we can see if there is any way to accommodate those activities.
- We are still in the alpha phase of development. The point of having players in-game is to provide bug reports and feedback. An important part of the development process is receiving and reviewing game metrics and those who intentionally choose to abuse bugs and exploits have a significant impact on those numbers. It's a serious issue, and we have no tolerance for those who intentionally choose to take advantage of bugs and exploits. It's a serious issue and the consequences need to be serious.
- We encourage everyone to follow us on social media, but if you don't want to join you can still read our Tweets.
- We have a CDN that has numerous locations around the world! It really depends on your location and the slow speed could be temporary.
- I wouldn't recommend running mules, especially on multiple accounts unless the players doing so are okay paying for the extra accounts. I'm also aware of players working around guild requirments for storage, but that's not going to be an option forever.
- I don’t want to get into specifics, but it is probably fair to note that there are likely to be changes to speed modifications as we proceed towards launch. I do think horses will alleviate some of the concerns, not just because of the speed benefits but also because of the storage capabilities. Of course that’s just one example, there will be other things that connect with some of the concerns previously mentioned.
- We encourage everyone's feedback, new players and veterans. Telling a new player not to provide feedback because they aren't experienced enough would be like us telling Veterans not to provide feedback because certain functions or game systems are yet to be implemented. We get feedback all the time for things that we have plans for. An example would be the Storage System, there are complaints even though there are features and systems planned that may alleviate certain concerns. For example, the time it takes to go from place to place will be reduced once horses are introduced. I think the bottom line is everyone just needs to remember that we are still in alpha and that there are interconnected systems that have yet to be implemented. That doesn't mean we don't want your feedback, it just means you should keep that in mind when you are pushing for significant changes.
- We've said it numerous times, but storage is intended to be limited. If you want to save every item that you ever find, that's fine but you will have to work to maintain proper storage. If you want to complete every crafting skill, that's fine but you will have to work to maintain proper storage. If you want to max out multiple skills and have multiple armor sets, that's fine but you will have to work to maintain proper storage. The bottom line is that it's not an issue on whether there is enough storage, but rather the work involved in order to maintain it.
- If you find yourself spending significant amounts of time on storage management, then it's by choice. There is a mentality that you need to keep everything because it may become valuable or you may need it at some point in the future. If you are finding yourself having storage issues, I would suggest clearing out any item that you don't use on a regular basis. If you do that, you would be surprised on how much space you actually "need".
No Wipe at Launch 2.
- That was my quote, but yeah...hold Eric liable. [Evil Laugh]. Seriously though, that's always been the plan. We may have area specific resets - but we don't plan on a server wide wipe. Who knows though...there may be a benefit for characters to start fresh? [Second Evil Laugh]
- Steam will be the only way to play, at least for the immediate future. We do anticipate offering an avenue to play outside of Steam, but that will come sometime after launch.
Order of release
- But we typically have several items concurrently being developed and some are easier to roll out than others. In this example, the GUI has been in development for months and the camera system required a complete overhaul. During that time, we are able to roll out several bug fixes, updates, etc - but that shouldn't imply anything other than big items take longer than the smaller ones.
- We plan on adding additional customization options to character creation in the future.
Vendors and Language Complexity
- . Starting with the vendor interface, if it's too complex - we need feedback on the specifics so that we can take a look. Keep in mind (everyone, not just Khay), if something is confusing because english is not your native language - feel free to share that but remember that this is an English release. The second thing I wanted to address was the vendor space concern. We will other available locations, so the fact that the first area is full wouldn't necessarily be indicative of how it'd go upon release. Thirdly, not everyone will necessarily be able to have a vendor stall - it's a somewhat limited feature. As for the storage and auction house questions, I know they are directed at Citan, but I do know we've both mentioned the reasoning here and there on the forums previously. Instead of retyping, perhaps I'll see if I can find the originals.
Auction House? (No)
- We've planned on implementing vendor stalls (and more) for a long time. We've also said we don't plan on any type of global auction house. Since the stalls were just implemented, we'd appreciate as much feedback as possible and please keep an open mind - you just might like it.
- A great feature of the non-centralized trading system is that players actually have a chance to find great deals and traders actually have the ability to establish relationship with buyers. There are a lot of benefits to this type of system and we are really excited to see it in action!
- I also wanted to add, just to give context, that bonuses are intended to be...well, bonuses! That means, they are likely to be randomly activated and they will be time limited. As they were recently implemented, we have been testing them frequently - but I wouldn't expect them to occur with any certain frequency or pattern moving forward.
- Just a reminder, as I have been reviewing crash logs, 32-bit Operating Systems are not currently supported due to RAM limitations. Using a 32-bit OS can cause your game to crash and a host of other issues. We hope to support 32-bit systems in the future once optimizations occur, but until then they are not officially supported.
Too many players in an area
- We are actively tracking this issue, but the specific issue in this case is farming an area that you won't be farming once the game is released. The problem is that people are playing rather than testing, thus they are farming these mid-game areas as if Project: Gorgon was a finished product.
- Instancing is not an option, but we will definitely keep an eye on the issue and this thread for feedback.
Testing before a patch
- We do test and check updates, but we don't have a QA team to check every single possibility. In fairness, this is alpha so YOU are our tester along with everyone else. Submitting detailed information is helpful, thanks.
- At this early stage of development, Project: Gorgon has yet to go through a full optimization process and that likely will remain the case until later in development
- We always work hard to ensure detailed patch notes, and tonight will be no different. As for the spam, bots are a significant problem throughout the world of gaming and especially in multiplayer games with a central chat area. There isn't a simple solution, but rest assured that we are working to minimize those interruptions.
Where is the UI overhaul?
- Yes! We are working on a major UI overhaul, but it is still a ways out. It will offer much requested flexibility and customizations.
- We aren't quite ready to discuss the specifics, but I do plan on having a formal write up on it in the future.
- There are many circumstances that are involved when you develop a game. When that was posted, we were still developing under Unity 4 and since that time have transitioned into Unity 5. That is not a small feat in itself. We are currently in the process of a major UI overhaul, but we don't have any specifics to share at this time and as such I have temporarily removed the above mentioned album.
- Since we are in alpha, development shifts frequently and sometimes rapidly. If you think the current state is "bare bones", then you probably haven't been around long enough to notice the significant changes since alpha began. If you are unhappy with the level of progress, you are free to rejoin us when we officially hit beta or when we officially launch.
When will X skill be updated?
- We don't usually give specifics on when "x" skill will be raised or when "x" will be updated due to the nature of development. If we do have a "sneak peak" to share it will usually be posted here on the forums or on social media.
Where is the Chat API at?
- We shifted focus, so this has yet to be released. Once it does, we will be sure to make an announcement. No ETA at the moment, but thanks for your interest.
Do you read everything?
- We read and log every in-game submission, even if you don't receive a response. It's definitely not automated.
- This is not directed at anyone and is more of a general statement but if you are relying on one or two abilities for 99% of your damage output then you are probably going to face issues as combat (and those abilities) are fine tuned. It has been the case that those who rage at ability changes are those who overly rely (and base their entire build) on only a handful of abilities. In the end, I wouldn't count on a rotation that relies entirely on one or two abilities.
Is this a typical alpha?
- First, we are not running a typical "alpha" as indicated by several unique circumstances - the main one being: no planned complete character wipe at launch. As such, there will be unique circumstances and requirements. Second, as Citan has already mentioned, we are not going to have a free for all or "anything goes" during testing. If you don't like that concept, then these early phases may not be for you.
- Being in alpha, there are many game systems that are in their infancy and as such there will be many more changes forthcoming. What we need from testers is constructive criticism - that is, feedback grounded with the understanding that the game systems are going to undergo significant changes and sometimes those changes correlate with other changes not yet in place. We can't put everything in place at once in a live alpha such as this.
- That said - we do want your feedback on this topic, but the changes have been in place for less than 24 hours. We need players to go out and actually TRY the system before embarking on a quest to have the changes scrapped. Could we change the system? Sure. Will we? Maybe. In the meantime, I would ask that people actually play and give feedback on what they’ve experienced.
- The Code of Conduct applies to the players, not the NPC/Game dialogue. ^.^
- We don't plan on allowing reversal of permanent choices, even as a one-time exception.
- I realize that many testers are playing as if Project: Gorgon is a released title and are growing attached to their characters - but we are in early testing and many skills will be reconfigured, revamped or completely changed. That's the nature of testing, and it's usually not an issue due to character wipes at launch. As to that, just because we don't plan on a complete wipe at launch, it may still be beneficial to re-roll at launch due to the numerous changes that your character will go through.
Email verification issues
- Occasionally, usually with foreign email providers, there have been issues with receiving emails. As of now, the best resolution is to create a free email address at a provider like GMAIL. We can manually approve her account, but she will need to email support and include all the details related to the issue. Again, creating a new email address with a different provider will ensure all emails are received including email registration, password resets, etc.
- This issue is likely to be resolved in the next month or two, but until then the above suggestion is the best solution.
- It's a bit too soon to fully discuss DLC and Expansions, but I can say that we will have post-launch content updates in addition to your standard bug fix patches. As for full-fledged expansions, it's a safe assumption that there will be fee attached to obtain them.
- At this point we don't have anything further to announce, but stay tuned for future updates.
Dropping "Project" from Project Gorgon?
- We feel that Project: Gorgon is a "proper" title and we don't have any intentions of changing it at this time.
Re-downloading the entire game
- There is an engine limitation that requires a significant portion of the game to be re-downloaded whenever there is a patch. We've worked to optimize the process and will continue to do so as development continues.
- As previously mentioned, we plan on reworking it - but we don't have an announcement as to when that will occur
Accomplishments & Loot
- We have a vision for Project: Gorgon and that includes how different functions come together to create the final product. Give us a chance to get there - and you may just be surprised!
- Regarding skills and gear: When someone levels a skill to max level, that should be an accomplishment. When someone gets a good or better set of gear that fits their unique skillset, that should be an accomplishment. We are talking about single skillsets here - multiple skillsets and corresponding gearsets are going to be a "wow, that's an accomplishment" moment.
- There are many MMO's that don't allow the player to specify the exact type of gear that they are going to get from drops. The inability to do-so shouldn't deter the player from trying. I've certainly raided consistently, in other games, for the chance of rolling on an item that fits my desired playstyle. When I finally got the prized piece, it was that "Yes!!" moment. We want players to have that sense of accomplishment.
- Anyway, the TL:DR is that we want leveling skillsets and obtaing gearsets to be an accomplishment. It's a tough balance when working on a loot system, but it's still a work in progress so give us a chance to get there.
Loot distribution system.
- The loot distribution system will see further changes as development continues, but the belt system as previously implemented wasn't the permanent solution. Thus, the previous incarnation of the belt system is not likely to return.
When implementing a loot system, there are a lot of factors to consider and a unique balance has to be struck. Without going into great details, loot distribution will be tightened/refined moving from alpha->beta->release. It's definitely not advised to get your heart set on any game system at this point of development as everything is subject to change.
Size of bat players.
- The Project:Gorgon world is separate from our real world. Just because something is "X" in the real world doesn't mean it will be "X" in Project:Gorgon.
Long flight times.
- I wouldn't grow accustomed to perma-flight or even prolonged flight. There's going to be certain limits on flying in general.
Availability of high-end gear.
- As for high-end gear, it is always going to be difficult to obtain - especially if you are looking for specific mods for a particular skill set. That's not to say we won't continue to adjust loot distribution as development continues, but it's safe to assume that getting high-end gear with the exact mods that you are looking for will be difficult and feel like an accomplishment when it happens.
- Since the patch just dropped, I would like to see more statistics and hear more input based on different group sizes, skill sets, etc before making significant changes. I am not saying that your concerns are not legitimate, but I would like to see more feedback and see the numbers. That said, I'd love to hear more feedback on the dungeons and mob difficulty. Please be sure to submit your feedback in-game!
Restrictions on some skills.
- We appreciate your feedback, but as far as limitations go - every MMO has them. In other games it ranges from restricting classes based on race to end game gear restrictions. The reason we have such requirements in Project: Gorgon is because we feel it allows us to give significant bonuses, but at significant cost. Players will need to determine if it's worth it to them.
Is there PVP in the game?
- Just a quick note: there is limited PVP in-game now, which is essentially a consent based system that promotes dueling. We don't have plans for forced, open world PVP.
Is there a set timeline?
- Since we are so early in development, we aren't going to lay out the specifics/timeline. There's numerous reasons for this, but mainly because development is fluid and announcing anything specific (or even vaguely) can cause players to get their heart set on a timeline and if the timeline changes it can cause issues. This is especially true at this stage because we may have plans for "x" then decide to do "z" instead. If we announced "x" and instead went with "z", there could be disappointed players - and we don't want that!
- The stretch goals and other skills will not be arriving in the immediate future. They are a ways off, and the same is true for major changes to crafting.
- As for Steam, we are working on getting ready for early access and we will have more on that shortly.
New Belt System
- The belt system and the new system is intended to boost the chances of getting items beneficial to your unique skill combination. The system is not intended to give you exactly what you're looking for everytime. We have many different skills thus making the loot distribution a challenge. The drop system could have been left random, like a lot of MMOs, and that would make it a significant challenge to get exactly what you wanted. It's a unique balance of allowing you earn the gear that you want, while not handing you everything exactly as you want it.There should be the excitement of getting that perfect piece that you spent the time and effort obtaining.
- We'll continue to work on the loot system and appreciate the feedback.
- Ignore the warnings at your own risk. (Devil Face Emoji).
- As you mentioned, we are in alpa so it's not necessarily easy just to "change the mechanics". We do not allow exploitation, and that's been mentioned on numerous occasions.
- As for having rules and a full set of terms of service - they're coming, soon! In the meantime, if it seems like your conduct could be called objectionable: don't do it!
Why are there so many changes to the game?
- Being in alpha, players should expect major revisions, complete system changes and completely new aspects - as development continues. Updating graphics and adding character races will come, but those will come as part of the developmental process.
- I'll add to what Citan posted above, we are in alpha. Major changes will happen. Systems will be unfinished or feel incomplete. If you are playing like it's a finished game then you're probably not going to be happy with major system changes and be upset when certain systems aren't where you want them. At this point, we just need testers to explore and focus on the content with the knowledge that they are playing an alpha that's most definitely going to evolve.
What type of payment model will this game have?
- Just as an fyi, VIP pricing is not yet set - the pricing is not final (as mentioned above). That said, it could be slightly higher, but we are confident that it will be $10 or less a month.
- We will post more information on the VIP Subscription and the details related to how everything will work in the future.
- We appreciate the discussion, suggestions and thoughts surrounding implementation though.
- As to whether you will be able to purchase additional copies for friends, that shouldn't be a problem and we are already working on making that possible.
How about more Citan Asks?
- We aren't necessarily going to post a new one every week. It is more likely to be sporadic as we need information on certain subjects.
Why are some skills hard to obtain and level?
- There are certain skills that are going to be harder to obtain - and progress - than others. Fire Magic takes effort, like most skills, and it's not a skill that you are going to bull rush through. The items can take effort to find and obtain, but they are not "ultra rare". It really depends on your luck with drop rates and whether you are looking in the right areas.
VIP delivery time
- We have discussed the potential of having the VIP subscription start during alpha/beta for those who elect to do so. That said, certain VIP benefits and other reward items are going to be implemented at different times throughout the development process. The official "delivery" time is listed as December 2016 on Kickstarter and is subject to the official release date.
Can I get a horse if I missed the Kickstarter?
- You will still be able to get a horse, but you will have to work for it! There will be more details about that in the future.
Upcoming Chat-Interface API
- We will also have Terms of Service with a specific section for the API, and I expect that you will see that in the near future.
View on Feedback
- We love feedback, but it seems like a lot of people are approaching Project Gorgon as if it was a fully released game and they are providing feedback with that mindset.
- We are in early alpha, and it's important to remember that game systems/features will go through changes. We need players to approach it as such, because having players skip content and farming for loot is not what testing is all about. I'll be posting a testing guide soon, hopefully that'll give more insight into what we are looking for.
Why do you not post all of the game updates on Kickstarter?
- We will be posting an update soon, but we aren't going to focus on Kickstarter as a source of news. I'll make that clear in the next update. We want people here and on our official pages.
Can I stream Project Gorgon on Twitch?
- Project Gorgon is listed as a supported game, and I just checked it and it's working here. I've seen other streamers using it as well.
- Taking advantage of a bug or exploit, even if reported, can result in a character having skills reset, inventory/currency reset or even a permanent ban. We aren't going to be lenient on those who knowingly take advantage of a bug/exploit. If you find one, report it. Don't take a chance.
32bit Operating Systems?
- "We don't officially support 32bit Operating Systems at the moment, but do hope optimizations in the future will allow for it.
- The problem is that Windows 7 32bit has a physical memory limit of 4GB. So, even if you have 8GB the system can't access it. That's the root of your issue and upgrading to a 64bit OS is your best bet for now."
- "When we say something is permanent or has disadvantages, it needs to be taken seriously. If you don't want to take a risk, even if it's not in-game yet, then I would suggest being conservative with your choices.
- We are in alpha, there will be changes and unfortunately some of those changes could negatively impact your character. Sadly, that's the burden of testing an MMO. Especially one so early in development.
- Traditionally, in MMO development, there's a wipe at launch so it doesn't really matter. Here, we aren't planning that route but we are also not planning on letting you remove permanent choices or negative consequences of skills.
- There are a couple options:
- 1) Choose carefully, heed warnings, and don't expect skills to remain the same. Don't expect the ability to drop anything because of negative changes.
- 2) Play like it's an alpha, test everything, and create a new toon at launch. That way you'll know what you want and what you don't want."
Lycanthropy Removal (Not going to happen).
- " If it says its permanent, then move forward with that understanding. We won't have a way to remove Lycanthropy as it's designed (coded in a way) not to be.
- Animal forms may also be permanent once leveled past 50, but that's not yet final.
- Skills and animal forms are designed to have certain advantages and those come with disadvantages. We can't have really great aspects of a skill or animal form if people can easily take advantage of them and avoid the negative at will.
- TLDR: heed the warnings and don't assume otherwise."
- As we have previously stated, we don't plan on complete skill wipes.
How can I email you?
Terms of Service
- "We will be posting the Terms of Service in the future.
- Meanwhile, intentional trolling, spamming, disruptive behavior, vulgar or racist language can and will result in a ban.
- If you are unsure if what you are doing constitutes a violation, error on the side of caution."
- We review ban appeals on a case by case basis and the review is initiated by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The review process can take time, and spamming the email account or our accounts on Twitter, Facebook and on Kickstarter won't make it happen any faster.
- Steam will replace our current launcher through testing and onto launch. We may have a custom launcher sometime after launch, but I wouldn't worry about Steam as our early build doesn't show any memory leaks!
- Windows 10 is supported, so any issues are very likely to be user specific or group specific. For anyone reading this looking for help, please follow the basic steps in the link that I posted previously in this thread.The log file is critical in solving issues. Thanks!
Can I Stream?
- Please feel free to stream! We are already setup with Twitch, so you will be able to select Project Gorgon as the game being played. We just ask that you do acknowledge that it is early alpha, but other than that we don't have any restrictions on streaming.
Permanent Animal Forms
- In order to make animal forms a truly unique experience with benefits, the choice really does need to be permanent. I understand, from a player perspective, that it would be great to have a toggle but from a developer perspective that would defeat the purpose behind animal forms. When you become an animal you will face difficulties normal players won't, but you'll also have unique abilities and experiences. If there was a toggle it would completely defeat the balance. As a side result, players may be more willing to create alt characters instead of trying to cram every possible experience into one character.
Why can't the game be free?
- "I understand many people want Project Gorgon to be free, and I understand that there are AAA titles going free to play. There are major differences between Project Gorgon and those other games. First, we don't need hundreds of thousands of players to survive. Many of those major titles do, that's why they open the flood gates to get people in game. 2) Generally, ""Free 2 Play"" is not truly free to play. Typically there are several pay gates to access the full features of the game, not to mention true pay to win cash shops. We don't want Project Gorgon to be that type of MMO. Pay one price and then play the game. The VIP is optional and does have beneficial features but you can definitely experience the game without it.
- I know everyone is hungry for more information, and we'll be posting details soon. Stay tuned."
- "We've talked about storage space a lot in the past and I don't want to rehash everything, but having constrained non-centralized storage is a specific intentional element of the game. Players have to earn that extra space and even still you will have to make tough decisions on what to keep. I understand that it's become the ""norm"" to have nearly limitless storage in other games, but we have specific reasons to avoid that in Project Gorgon.
- That said, we are still early in development and storage will continue to go through the development process. Keep the feedback coming."
Second Chances & Cheating
- Generally, the principle of second chances is one that I typically agree with. However, we will not tolerate cheating in Project Gorgon. We gave warnings, both in-game and out. We are in early alpha and everyone who plays is helping us test and shape the development of Project Gorgon. When someone cheats to give themselves an advantage it doesn't just hurt the other players, it hurts the development process in numerous ways. We don't ban players lightly. When players knowingly break the rules, especially in such an egregious manner, we have to step in to ensure that the integrity of Project Gorgon is protected.
- Just a reminder, we don't allow discussions that relate to cheats, hacks, etc. As you know, Project Gorgon is in early alpha and the data we collect helps shape the future game design. When people manipulate the system that data is skewed and it really does hurt the development of the game. If you notice someone cheating, please report them immediately.
Why can't the game be free (again).
- "I think that it's sometimes easy to overlook the fact that a lot of the top MMO's that transitioned into F2P (no mandatory subscription, limited non-subscription content) have or had an initial purchase cost. That also includes expansions. It is extremely difficult to have a completely f2p model with no upfront cost and just optional subscribers.
- Sadly, there are certain decisions that some people just won't like. It seems we have a wide array of opinions on the matter and we appreciate the feedback. That said, we have a vision for Project Gorgon and all will be revealed in due time."
- Project Gorgon is absolutely separate from Valiance as both are developed by separate organizations. The confusion likely derived from the fact that we both are affiliated with the SHOGN network, which works to promote and assist indie developers. We have allowed the Valiance team to use our MMO engine solution as part of our SHOGN network affiliation, but again they are a separate project. I hope that clears up any confusion.
The First Forum
No information can be gathered from the first forum for the game.
Srand's Forum Posts
The Current Forum
This table does not contain all of srand's posts, but most of them. Please note that newer posts are listed higher in this list. Older information may be outdated.
The Second Forum
This table does not contain all of srand's posts, but most of them. Please note that newer posts are listed higher in this list. Older information may be outdated.
Extra Character Slots
- Unfortunately, adding new slots for each testing scenario isn't something we can do. But since this is a throw-away character just to go through and test the dungeon, you might make a second account for it.
Buff without name.
- That's the buff that keeps your floating gem floating. It's supposed to be hidden (since you don't really need to know about it or have it cluttering up your buffs), but it got unhidden by accident in this last update. We'll hide it again as soon as we can!
- (Great screenshot by the way! My first question would have been "Are you wearing a floating gem headpiece thingie?" but with the screenshot I didn't have to.)
- Now I am picturing cows with beards.
Legacy Loot, Free Loot #2
- Good question! If the extracted mod has changed, the augment will automatically change - not to something random, but to the new version of that mod. (Tech details: The underlying ID of the mod, which is what the augmengt stores, hasn't changed in many cases - just the text, effect, stats, etc - so it looks entirely new to you but not to the augment.)
- HOWEVER - and this is important! - in some cases this can leave you with a mod that is normally impossible - say, a foot-augment for something that now belongs on hands. If you apply this augment, the item you apply it to will become Legacy. So you'll want to be very careful about that. Check out the new version of the mod before you apply the augment!
- By the way - and this is also important - it is possible that because of the massive changes to mods, some items may be marked Legacy when they really shouldn't be. If this happens to you, don't panic! The new Alpha Tester golem who trades out Legacy items for random new items will tell you (before you do the final trade-in) exactly why he thinks your item is Legacy. If you think he's wrong, send us a screenshot of that info and we'll check it out. And hold onto the item in the meantime, because if he is wrong the item will become un-Legacy when we fix the problem. (This info will be in the patch notes also, so don't worry about it being hidden down in this thread.)
Don't whack people with free beer!
- Well, perhaps not completely free in the classic free beer sense - you not only need to show up, you also need to take a whack or two at something (which is something you shouldn't do to someone who is handing you free beer, by the way), or get in a group with someone who is whacking. As it were. But I've been told that the events are very liberal with loot. In other words, you shouldn't have to work too hard to get yourself equipped with a decent suit of the updated stuff.
- Err ... I think my analogy went way off course, there. Sorry about that. Did I help at all?
Legacy Loot, Free Loot
- Way, way back in the September 15 Dev Update, Citan talked about a preliminary plan for handling the major, major changes coming to abilities and treasure. It involved an NPC who could help you adjust your old equipment to meet the new 2-skill requirements by turning non-Generic effects into Generic effects for free.
- After extensive testing, we've thrown that plan out.
- Why? Because abilities and treasure have so many changes - in base stats, in mod effects, in the equipment slots that a mod can fill, in everything important - that merely changing your old equipment to fit the new requirements is mostly going to leave that old equipment in a sad, sad state compared to the new loot. It's just not worth it for you - you'll be much better off with new loot - and it's not worth it for us to spend more time testing this NPC when you won't want to use her anyway.
- So here's how it's going to work instead:
- When you log in after the update, any equipment you have that doesn't meet the split-skill requirements (described in more detail here) will become Legacy - which means it will keep working for 30 days only. After that, it can't be equipped.
- Starting with the update, we'll be running one or more exciting (and probably Halloween-themed) events that help everyone get new loot. If you remember last year's Halloween event, for example, it involved a way to summon horrible undead - of various levels - that dropped a lot of very shiny loot. We'll leave the events running long enough for folks to gather a decent set of equipment - not only to replace any Legacy gear, but to get a start on all the sexy new mods too.
- But! - you say - But! How will I fight the legions of doom when my old equipment sucks? What if I can't log in during the events and I don't get any shiny new loot?
- Well, here's the thing: Because a lot of mods have changed slots, a lot of players will find themselves doubling up on mods (intentionally or not) as they change out their equipment. In other words, during the 30 days after the update, some of you are going to be a bit overpowered. And that's okay - because we expect you to use that power for good, to help your less fortunate brethren get themselves up to date. This is alpha, but it's also a community - and it's a damned good community.
- Now this *is* a complication with testing - it's harder to get good data during a major switch-over like this - but in the end we decided that this was the best way to handle the situation without completely screwing you folks over. And as I've said before, we try hard not to deliberately screw you over when we can. :)
- So that's the plan. Tell me your thoughts, ask me questions, and I'll do my best to answer!
- I think some of the confusion here is coming from the source - what you've got so far is a couple of sentences in a somewhat stream-of-consciousness (sorry, Citan!) blog post.
- I can tell you that the goal isn't to tie you down to an set order of operations, but in fact just the opposite: to let you choose different treasure effects that work with your own ability choices in different situations.
- But I know that just telling you the goal doesn't really help until you have some details - to see if you think we can reach that goal with this change.
- As I understand it, if you want the 'organic combo bonus' to Fire Bolts + any Core Attack, you'll be giving up other treasure effects that are potentially more useful to you - depending on how you choose to use your abilities. (And you may well have multiple load outs, with and without that treasure mod.)
- However, having said that, I will see if I can get a better example out of Citan to illustrate what he is thinking and/or has coded this week - in the next blog post, at least, if not before. Hopefully that will help lay some of your fears to rest, Roekai. (And if not, we'll see what we can do to address them!)
- In the meantime, this part of the discussion doesn't have enough info to keep usefully going at this time - so I'd ask you to drop it for the moment and wait for more details. (And, as always, let's keep the all discussion calm and polite!)
- If you have any questions about specific moderation actions, please contact email@example.com. Thank you!
- Wow - it's been a long time since I thought about MajorMUD! I played a Kang Witchunter.
- I'm enjoying this thread, learning about what you like and don't like with mining. PG is all about iterating, so having "this is good, that could be better, and that other thing is really tedious" is very helpful when it's time to tweak the system. (Just remember that those tweaks can take a while - so many, many systems to iterate!)
- I'll see if it's feasible to hack something in for now, but if not we will definitely address this after the UI update.
- Nope. The inhabitants of Animal Town are well aware that those sneaky druids can turn into birds. So they assume all talking birds are druids and (therefore non-animals) when they see them.
- I just wanted to clarify that. :) And I do believe there are other non-druid group activities in the same vein coming, as well as hordes of skills and ... specializations? Is that the words I want? ... that haven't made it into code yet. You have to start somewhere, after all.
- But I wouldn't be too worried about non-druids being left out just yet.
- Ack! I didn't even think about this, and I apologize - but Citan just reminded me that client.projectgorgon.com uses a completely different machine (in a completely different data center, even!) than the main game server. If you are having problems getting the launcher to connect, client.projectgorgon.com is the thing to tracert to, but for in-game disconnects it doesn't tell us as much. I am terribly sorry I didn't think about that when I first responded.
- I did poke the data center for the website/launcher, but Citan is following up now looking at connection status for the main game server
- I wasn't sure this would work, but there is a preferences file in a different location that you can delete to set prefs back to the defaults. The file (on Windows) is "C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\LocalLow\Elder Game\Project Gorgon\GorgonPrefs.txt".
- Note that that's in AppData\LocalLow instead of AppData\Local, so it's not necessarily deleted with an uninstall. (Which is probably a bug.
- First off, I want to say right up front that disconnecting a player after they have been inactive for a certain period of time - henceforth 'the AFK timer' for the sake of brevity - changes the way that some players have been playing the game, and changes it in a way that takes something away from current players. In that sense, it's a nerf. And some players are rightly quite annoyed about this nerf because it's not obvious why you were nerfed. Alpha is all about changes - nerfs and buffs and experimental new systems that don't always work the way they should - but when you get nerfed, it can feel really malicious if you don't at least have some idea what the hell the devs were thinking.
- Aside: I had mentioned in Global chat just after the update that I hadn't spent much time thinking about the AFK timer. That was me personally, by the way, not the dev team! But the fact is that I hadn't thought about it much personally because I'm used to playing games that log you off after a period of inactivity. I knew it was on the to-do list and would happen eventually, and I didn't consider it a big deal. Again, that was me personally. Reading all the comments here, I can see that I was missing a lot of the finer points about how players were using a limitless AFK. I apologize for that. I have a much better idea now why some folks are feeling attacked by the change. Since the update I've talked to Citan extensively about the AFK timer and his design goals - and it became very clear to me that he had done a lot more thinking than I had, especially in the context of performance skills and other game systems. (I'll get to that in a second.)
- So let's start by talking a bit about why we implemented an AFK timer, as well as why we didn't:
- The AFK timer and the druid events are entirely unrelated.
- The AFK timer is not directly related to the implementation of the new dance skill. That is, we didn't add an AFK timer in order to force you to level dance the 'right' way. The timer is indirectly related to the larger goals of the performance skills - again, I'll get to that in a second.
- The AFK timer isn't specifically intended to help with server lag. As Silvonis said, it can help with crowd control - that is, how many people gather where doing what - and that can help a lot with client lag. That's not the only reason that this change happened now, but it is a common reason that most games log you off after some period of inactivity, and a big part of the reason that the timer was on our eventual to-do list from the beginning.
- Okay, so what about the AFK timer and performance skills? Isn't it kind of mean that we made a system that encourages you to stay online AFK and then nerfed your ability to do just that?
- I touched on this briefly in another thread, but basically the goal for the performance skills was to be a fun social activity. More than that, gathering a bunch of folks to be social, play music, and dance was supposed to be an event. Not a druid-event kind of event, but a weekly-poker-night kind of event. A social event. We really didn't intend that you feel obligated to have a full-power music buffs in place every time you went out hunting. But as many of you have pointed out in this thread, that's exactly what is happening right now. You need people playing in town, even if they are AFK, so you can get your buffs and be as effective as possible in combat. (Or gardening!)
- The current system isn't what we were trying to achieve, and in a lot of ways it's just not fun. In fact, a lot of the feedback in this thread is really about the weaknesses in the current performance system, and why those weaknesses make limitless AFKing the logical way to play.
- So given the current state of performance skills, there are three tacks we can take:
- 1. Nerf the effectiveness of the performance buffs so they don't feel obligatory. (Of course, then they'd be worthless.)
- 2. Accept the fact that performance buffs are obligatory and nerf XP across the board, so that the planned leveling curves aren't thrown all out of whack by the buffs. (Ouch.)
- 3. Change the performance skills to move them closer to the original goal of a fun, voluntary social event.
- In case it's not obvious, we're aiming for #3. :)
- Okay, you may be saying, but given all that - why did we implement the AFK timer now instead of waiting until we had a better performance system ready to go? There were logistical benefits to adding the AFK timer now, but much more importantly: it's really hard to judge the success of a change when that change is overshadowed by the existing system. Iteration is the heart of our development process; every system goes through many iterations as we try things out, find out what works and what doesn't, and decide what needs to go back to the drawing board. There are almost certainly going to be many more iterations on the performance skills before we're satisfied. But if everyone is doing their normal obligatory-AFK-music-buff thing, then any changes we make as we iterate are going to be so overshadowed by players' existing behaviors and assumptions that we won't know if we're getting closer to fun or not.
- I hope that helps explain why we implemented an AFK timer in this last update. I've actually really enjoyed reading through all your comments and suggestions and I learned quite a bit, not only about how you play the game but also how you think about it. And that's really valuable. We can tweak the timer a bit if necessary. What's going to be harder - and what's going to take a lot of testing, feedback, and patience from you - is getting the performance skills right.
- Minor thing, but I just found this out and thought it might be useful to clarify: pretty much any sort of client interaction will keep the server from marking you as AFK, including in-game chat. (We can't tell if you're babbling away on Discord, unfortunately.)
- I'm not surprised that the druid events are causing some consternation. They are intricate and complex code, this is their first contact with the enemy, and - let's be honest - there are some major bugs!
- We're not going to rip druid events out immediately and for good. We're going to fix the bugs as you folks find them, fix the rough edges as you folks report them, and then see if there is a fun event under there.
- This discussion is a good start! Just remember that there are bugs, and lots of room for tweaking.
- I'm really enjoying this discussion. Since I haven't played a tank myself, I especially like to hear the about how it feels to you folks who have - what you like about being a tank, what you don't like, and how that works or doesn't work with where the game is right this second.
- Because you know we're not going to suddenly rip the entire concept of tanking out of Project: Gorgon - at least I hope you know that! - so getting a solid feel for what you folks are finding fun, or not, is the best place to start talking about any changes that may need to be made.
- Feedback is good. Constructive feedback is even better. I know the knives are causing some consternation, from reports and from the forums. I know a number of other crafting changes are as well. But what I need from you is not bitching (as you said) but details about how these changes are affecting you.
- And I know you, McNasty, have sent me some specific reports on this already, so this isn't aimed at you in particular - but I've also gotten quite a bit of reports that can be summed up as 'you suck' and not a lot else. (I don't mind the 'you suck' part so long as it's not egregious - people get passionate about things they love - but I do mind reports without any details!)
- This is an alpha. You know first-hand how much gameplay - combat and crafting and skills and everything else - can change. You also know - I hope! - that we aren't trying to screw you. So please, if you would, set aside the feelings of betrayal and give us substantive, detailed feedback on how the changes affect you so we can move the discussion forward in a constructive way.
- I also wanted to say a bit about the /afk timer. As I understand the design, music and dance are really intended to be a fun social activity to do during your downtime in town. We didn't really expect players to spend hours AFK playing music - and honestly, we really don't want to make hours of AFK time feel 'obligatory'. We'd much rather have this system be a fun, social (that is, present at the keyboard!) activity.
- Of course, what players actually do is rarely a perfect fit for how a system is designed. :) We don't really want you hanging out for hours AFK, but there was a reason people were doing that - so now the discussion can center on the reasons players were doing that and ways to make that work better for everyone.
- Btw, I'm not ignoring the other things brought up in this thread so far - I just wanted to drop this quick comment before I go back to juggling bugs. Remember to send an in-game bug report for all the bugs, possible bugs, and oddities you see. Feedback and suggestions on the changes are also a huge help for us, but may not get a lot of personal response from us until we get the blocking bugs out of the way. Feel free to start discussions with your feedback here on the forums - preferably in a new thread so I can keep track pf the topics better! - or use the in-game suggestion if you have thing you'd like to discuss less publicly. (Just remember to be polite!)
Guild Quest Rewards
- I just wanted to clarify that the current rewards were set more for ease of testing than anything else - so we could more easily back-calculate the progress if something blew up during early testing. (Which it did!) I expect those rewards to get tweaked again (and again and again), but at the moment they are especially egregious.
Bugs, Exploits, and You
- Note: This post is rather long. You can skip to the bullet point list at the end if you like - unless you plan to argue with me, in which case I strongly suggest reading the whole thing. :)
- In the May 23 update, we fixed a bug that allowed monsters to "see through walls" in many situations. That fix involved rewriting the entire monster-visibility system, so we knew it would probably have a lot of bugs at first.
- And we were right - there are a lot of bugs with monster visibility right now! For the most part, though, these bugs are less about monsters still seeing you when they shouldn't and more about monsters failing to see you when they actually should - like when you are right in front of them but at a slightly different height, or you've been knocked back into a wall, or you are standing in a bush ... or standing on their head.
- Yeah ... Monster AI isn't all that intelligent at the moment.
- Now most of you have been excellent about reporting these problems whenever and wherever you see them and then moving on with your regular gameplay. That's excellent! We love that! You rock!
- Some folks have been a little less forthcoming, though, and some folks have actively exploited these bugs to let them kill stuff fast and easy. This is a problem, not just because deliberately exploiting will get you banned - which it will - but also because we are currently gathering combat metrics to help with balance tweaks and planning the next set of combat skills and abilities. So if players get sneaky about hiding their exploits, then the data we get might show people killing stuff way above their level - and we may end up thinking that we need a major combat rebalance that we don't really need and screw up the fun for everyone.
- Now we know you can't avoid these buggy situations all the time, and we're definitely *not* saying that we will ban someone who stumbles into a buggy situation or one they can't avoid. But deliberately exploiting bugs like this for your own benefit is another thing entirely. This is, first and foremost, an alpha. We trust you folks to help us make the game better for everyone by reporting bugs instead of taking advantage of them.
- And let me assure you: We *are* working on fixing these monster visibility bugs. It's important. It also complicated and running smack into another priority, which is integrating the new UI system so we can fix some of those really bloody annoying UI bugs.
- So, to sum up:
- Do not *deliberately* exploit obvious monster visibility bugs like standing in a bush or fighting from a slightly different elevation.
- If you do, you will be banned.
- If you run into a monster or a location that is obviously bugged:
- Send us an in-game bug report with the monster name and a short description of what's happening - for instance: "It's on a hill," or "I got knocked into a bush and it can't see me." (The location is included in the bug report.)
- Most people are already doing this. Thank you! Did I mention that you rock?
- If you see someone who seems to be deliberately abusing a situation:
- Send an in-game abuse report with the name of the player and what they are doing - for instance: "He's hiding in a bush!"
- Don't get into fights with possible exploiters - just report them! But if anyone seems unclear about any of this, you should definitely refer them to this post.
- Well, I don't know what Citan will say but I think it's a great idea!
- (Disclaimer: I am not responsible for new features.)
- On a personal note, I need in-game bug reports with specific details - skill levels, abilities used, pets used, pet attacks used, equipment mods, and autopsy reports are a great start! Getting some comparisons between correct-ish behavior (if and when you see it) and buggy behavior would be helpful also.
- And please do submit them in-game rather than on the forums - it makes it a lot easier for me to track all the variables and respond to you when I need more specific info.
- (And a big thank you to those who are already submitting reports. We're a bit behind in responding but nevertheless actively compiling the info.)
The First Forum
No information can be gathered from the first forum for the game at this time.
Blog Posts & Long Forum Comments
- Alpha, QA - and why we need you!
- Posted by srand on Saturday, January 21, 2017
- Dev Notes, January 16
- Posted by Citan on Monday, January 16, 2017
- Dev Notes, January 2, 2017
- Posted by Citan on Monday, January 2, 2017
- Dev Blog, December 22
- Posted by Citan on Thursday, December 22, 2016
- Dev Blog, December 9
- Posted by Citan on Friday, December 9, 2016
- Dev Notes, November 23: On Balancing MMOs
- Posted by Citan on Wednesday, November 23, 2016
- Dev Notes, November 13
- Posted by Citan on Sunday, November 13, 2016
- Dev Notes, November 3
- Posted by Citan on Thursday, November 3, 2016
- Dev Notes, October 28
- Posted by Citan on Friday, October 28, 2016
- Dev Notes, October 20
- Posted by Citan on Friday, October 21, 2016
- Dev Notes, October 11
- Posted by Citan on Wednesday, October 12, 2016
- Dev Notes, October 3
- Posted by Citan on Tuesday, October 4, 2016
- Dev Update, September 24
- Posted by Citan on Saturday, September 24, 2016
- Dev Update, September 15
- Posted by Citan on Thursday, September 15, 2016
- Quick Update, Sept 6
- Posted by Citan on Tuesday, September 6, 2016
- Quick Update, August 21
- Posted by Citan on Sunday, August 21, 2016
- Developer Info Round-Up
- Posted by Citan on Saturday, August 13, 2016
- Quick Update, August 7
- Posted by Citan on Sunday, August 7, 2016
- Quick Update, July 30
- Posted by Citan on Saturday, July 30, 2016
- Animal Handling Revisons
- Posted by Citan on Tuesday, July 19, 2016
- Citan's notes 5/6
- Posted by Citan on May 6, 2016
- Introducing Vendor Stalls
- Posted by Citan on Thursday, April 7, 2016
- Citan's update: Enthusiasm
- Posted by Citan in 2016
- Citan's Gardening Limitations
- Posted by Citan in 2016
- Citan's Potion Belt
- Posted by Citan in 2016
- Citan's Bug Reporting
- Posted by Citan in 2016
- Website Was Down! ... New Website Coming Soon!
- Posted by Citan on Sunday, November 1, 2015
- The Pain -- and Joy -- of Alpha-Testing
- Posted by Citan on Friday, September 25, 2015
- Nighttime Update! Level 60 Skills!
- Posted by Citan on Wednesday, July 15, 2015
- January Update
- Posted by Citan on Thursday, January 22, 2015
- The Next Dungeon: Winter Nexus
- Posted by Citan on Saturday, November 8, 2014
- Rakshasa (blog)
- Posted by Citan on Saturday, October 18, 2014
- Recent Site Changes
- Posted by Citan on Thursday, October 14, 2014
- Website Death Penalties Explained
- Posted by Citan in 2014
- Website Words of Power
- Posted by Citan in 2014
- Website Damage Types
- Posted by Citan in 2014
Town Hall Transcripts
Every so often, Eric holds a Town Hall meeting. Sometimes these meetings are in-game at the Serbule Inn. Other times, they are hosted in a public chat room.
10/09/2015 Town Hall Meeting
Thank you to Aurarice for transcribing a summary of this meeting and adding a TLDR for each question.
Q: PvP reiteration…
- A: The general gist of PvP is that it’s not the main focus of Project Gorgon but we do have it in-game as a dueling concept. It’s just a matter of prioritizing things and we can’t do everything, but we should be able to figure out some systems. More suggestions is always better because we can pick and choose from the stuff that is easy and good ideas. Even if it seems far fetched, we do take pieces from peoples’ ideas and piecemeal something together, so please continue to give feedback about what you would like to see.
- As for discussions in the forums, try to keep it civil. Try to keep grudges and that sort of thing out of the forum or we’ll have to close it out. Keep it constructive.
- TL;DR Maybe. Just keep making suggestions on the forums and help them figure out some new ideas!
Q: Playing the game as a final product?
- A: The game is currently in early alpha stage and change is to be expected. I expect people want to run to that last spot and grind out gear, but that’s not what Alpha and Beta is about. It’s not about getting the best gear right now and hoarding currency. We need your help to make sure we’re testing all the content. We’ve still got a year and a half until launch. There’s no point rushing to the perceived endgame loot since that loot’s not gonna do you any good once the game’s released as far as endgame’s concerned. We’re at level 50 right now and that’s essentially midgame, so that shouldn’t be your priority.
- The main thing that we get from alpha is your feedback, so when you give feedback that’s really precious. If the feedback is on point about a particular issue that’s really useful. A lot of times people have been giving feedback that’s not indicative of the scope of where we are right now. Eg. There’s not enough monsters and people are extrapolating that there’ll always be monster density issues. Things that people think are huge, huge issues are just small points in our development process that we’ll get through.
- And to add on for Manticores, there’s been some talk about it and we’re going through the process, but those are currently the highest creatures in game. Once the game releases, those are going to be mid-level creatures, so they’re not gonna be tuned as if they were an end game creature. We do have work to do and we appreciate the feedback, but again it’s not just about farming them for good loot. It was really an experiment to figure out if we could make outdoor content that makes a group experience rather than dungeons. We’re basing it on EQ2/EQ1 type camping spots, but our game mechanics make it a little hard for us to do it in a really fair and elegant way. This stuff is essentially ‘junk’ for endgame. By the time you get to Lv. 120, you’re not even going to look twice at it.
- TL;DR This is NOT the final product. It’s still being fixed around. Don’t expect anything and just play the game like it’s supposed to be played in alpha – try everything out and put in feedback!
Q: Do we really care about reports for graphical glitches?
- A: Sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t. If you’re reporting a monster in the trees, there’s usually a spawn node at that specific spot which allows me to delete or fix it. But for things like this particular tree doesn’t look right at a particular resolution, it’s less important because we’re probably going to end up replacing all the trees anyway.
- Erring on the side of caution, giving data is always better. I try to send thanks in private messages to people when I act on the feedback. Monster position, weird lighting, pretty important. Texture resolution isn’t that important right now.
- TL;DR Report everything that seems out of place. Even if it’s not important, it might be important later on and any information is good information.
Q: Will we be have any way in the future to be able to see the total added bonus provided by gear listed in the character stats panel?
- A: I’m not sure how we’ll get there or how it’ll exactly look like. As you level up a skill, you’ll be able to see what benefits you’ve received from previous levels of that skill. Some of the gear bonuses are very hard for us to calculate because they’re all coded with special bits of code so it’s not as easy as displaying a simple number. We’re not sure how great our display will be, but we’ll certainly have more information. Eg. This ability is giving this buff, this buff, and this buff, which allows you to compare and contrast. We’ll do what we can.
- TL;DR there will be more information. We’ll see how it goes.
Q: Spider. Tailoring. Fits the theme. I don’t understand what the difference is between cloth, leather, and heavy gear. Is there any information regarding the differences?
- A: We don’t really have them hammered out yet. I’m still not 100% satisfied with how armor works, so I expect to fairly dramatically rebalance armor at some point down the road. If you keep playing, keep playing and reminding me if anything breaks in terms of spiders being able to do tailoring. I think thematically it’s fun and I don’t always make sure that animals can do those sorts of things. In the future there will be a sort of lost animals city with a few more trainers available for just animal players that will cover basics, such as tailoring and an animal version of first aid. That’ll get there.
- TL;DR Gear types will get more information later on.
Q: This game isn’t super strictly based on the trinity, and I was just curious if you had any visions for the versatility of specific skills? Do you want a skill to based in one particular role or multiple? (TL;DR Will mentalism stay the way it is? Can I use it as a support/buffing role?)
- A: Mentalism is overpowered as a damaging skill and it will get weaker as a damaging skill. It should be more clear that it’s a skill for healing and support as we go on. It does have that one damage multiplier effect that’s pretty great for DPS, it may always be something that people keep as their secondary skill in order to multiply the damage of their base skill, but I don’t want to see it be a mainline attack skill ala sword. It just means that the skill has too much variability and versatility. Are we imagining skills having certain roles – kind of. It’s a balance of how much healing vs how much damage vs how much crowd control vs how much agro a skill has, but I’m not usually sitting down and going “What exactly is this skill for?” I kind of want a floaty variability. We’re still trying to figure out how important the trinity is for the gameplay.
- The manticores were really the first attempt to make a holy trinity encounter that requires that, so you’re on the bleeding edge of us figuring out where that fits in the game. Our original goal was a lot more of each dungeon has its own scenarios or issues and when people go to a dungeon they kind of assign themselves accordingly. I think that we will have a large number of skills and some mechanics that are a little less trinity oriented. Eg. Sword will not be the best damage dealer or taunting device, but it will be the best at removing rage from the rage meter.
- TL;DR The game may or may not pull on the holy trinity of tank/dps/healer, but it will vary from content to content. Some skills may be better than others at certain roles, but there’s variability.
Q: Is there ever going be a sorting feature for storage, recipes, filters, etc.?
- A: Yes; there will certainly be (pretty soon) a sort button into storage banks. A deeper fix is giving more variable ways to control your inventory like having bags that you can put stuff in and organizing the bags. You’ll have tabs for guild storage, presumably, and those sorts of the things.
- TL;DR Yes. OCD rejoice.
Q: Is there ever going to be a centralized bank / auction house?
- A: There is already a centralized bank in the sense that you have a global storage machine that you can buy slots in, so that’s sort of the central storage area. As for auction house, we don’t intend on having an auction house. These sorts of things you’ll have to shop around from basically player stalls. For things like arrows, we’ll probably have a more general auction house for those sorts of consumables. A split of features, but no one universal auction house.
- TL;DR Yes to the bank – you already have Hulon’s love machine/storage. As for auction house, yes to certain items no to a universal one.
Q: Exploration and the death penalty – Will there be less information for where you are in the world? Eg. Not knowing where you were. Pay attention to your surroundings or get lost. Hardcore mode + This = Really hardcore mode. Ever consider taking away the map and giving us a compass? Maybe a mapmaking or directional skill?
- A: I like the benefits of those in terms of exploration, but I think it just cuts too many players out. As a player myself, I find it very hard to play with just a compass and without a map. I don’t think I’ll be taking my map away. I hope to have a more elaborate exploration tool in the sense of not giving you JPG of a map and good luck. I’m not sure if we’ll be able to fog of war or unlocking part of the map, but there’ll be more to exploration and unlocking stuff.
- Eg. Make desert 3x longer and you only have a map of the center part. Portioned control. Different things in different places.
- TL;DR Kind of. Still working on it, but there will be some degree of exploration.
Q: Account transfer box – make it the magic storage machine? Just be done with the transfer chest and have a banker in every city and make that the transfer space. The 8 spaces is just really a bummer.
- A: There will be a Hulon type person in every city for that sort of transfer chest. Some of them will have larger space than he has, but I guess that’s it.
- TL;DR This isn’t that long. Just read it.
Q: Is there any timeline for implementing the new character races? (Dwarf, Fae, etc)
- A: I’m not sure what the timeline is. The first one that will go in is the fairy race because we have the most prep work done for that one, and then the orc. After that, I’m not sure. It’ll be some months before we get to the dwarf.
- TL;DR Fairy then Orc then months before Dwarf. Patience.
Q: What is the next step after the Kickstarter ends Sunday? (How long will people be able to play before Steam starts?)
- A: There’ll be probably a week I would guess. When the Kickstarter ends, we will send out a poll to users to tie their account name to their Kickstarter reward package and make sure the account is flagged for continuous access. It’ll probably take a week to make sure everyone gets their stuff in, so until then the game will stay open, but after then people will need to be able to log in with their authorized accounts. After that, I’m going to kick the dirt off the implementation of the Steam interface and expect to get that up in a month or so.
- TL;DR About a week of free play for everyone while they get all the accounts linked to the Kickstarter, then it’s byebye. Steam interface gonna get booted up soon!
Q: Vampire hype? What if we don’t hit the kickstarter goal?
- A: We’re so micromanage-y of our cash assortment that I don’t know without that 5 piddly thousand I don’t know if we have the art money to actually get it done. I can’t say we won’t do it, and I’m confident to say that we’ll do it in an expansion pack if nothing else, but it’s just a matter of timing and scheduling things.
- TL;DR They need the money because they manage every dollar to hit every goal.
Q: Is there anything that you could elaborate on for your vision for the Vampire?
- A: I’m still playing with some ideas. Let me reveal it a little bit later. I don’t want something with a huge downside and a huge upside – it’s really tedious as a game experience. We’ll get back to you.
- There will be a Project Gorgon twist, but it’s still something we’re gonna work through. Daytime/Nighttime buff/debuff.
- TL;DR Please don’t let this be Twilight. If I sparkle I’m going to cry.
Q: Will there be 10 or 25-man specific raids?
- A: The current plan is 6-9 man larger sized raids, but we don’t currently have any plans for gigantic scope raids. Not enough feedback about that, and we’ve gotten diverging feedback about that. Basically when we’re getting to the midway of beta, we’ll have a more concrete answer. A lot of the game’s design is wait and see, so we’re gonna find what’s most fun.
- TL;DR Not yet. FEEDBACK!!!
Q: Chatrooms : Multiple useful rooms are not being populated because people aren’t autojoined into those rooms. Can we do that?
- A: We’ll end up doing that pretty soon. It’s just a matter of getting the code, we’ll get there pretty soon.
- TL;DR Yes.
Q: Everyone can do everything to a max, but then people have to do other things to add more levels to them. I was wondering if you were going to add masteries, or pinnacles, to get toward the end of a skillset? Get to a certain “end” point – specialize certain masteries.
- A: We’re not planning on doing that right now – perhaps in the very long term that could be the case but getting from 100 to 125 is already a pretty slow process that you’re going to want to focus on. It’s an incredible amount of resources. It’s kind of hard to lock people in too much without locking people down to one character per world or something like that. The important thing to keep in mind is that it’s expensive to level the last parts of those skills in order to unlock the highest tiers of recipes/crafting. I intend it to be something that people grind 1 or 2 of rather than max all of them.
- TL;DR Maxing a skill is going to be very, very difficult/tedious/expensive. If it gets to the point where people can max out multiple skills, there might be something.
Q: Is crafting going to be changed so that gear is going to be proportional to what is dropped at endgame levels? Crafting VS Endgame Gear
- A: Right now crafted gear is underwhelming, but I expect crafted gear to end up very similar in power to loot gear. You’ll always be able to craft gear that is useful, but crafting’s claim to fame will be augmenting gear. (Eg. Adding pockets)
- **A lot of the game’s systems and specific skills: Will it change? Probably. Don’t be surprised if things change several times.
- TL;DR Crafting gear has certain niches that it fills that dropped gear won’t.
Q: Is there going to be change to vendor mechanics? If you have a character that you can get the favor up and make an alt (Spend ~10k get that favor up), you now have a loop of 500-600k gold per character.
- A: If it turns out to be really efficient to level an alt to have millions of gold available, we’ll look into it.
Q: Are there any plans to disallow people for maxing out everything?
- A: Not currently. The first 50 levels of a skill are the easy levels, and then it gets slower and slower. I don’t think it’ll be a big problem right now.
Q: Will fairy boots be dye-able?
- A: Yes.
TL;DR PornStar is happy.
Q: Will we see any more zone bosses added?
- A: I’m going to end up doing some preliminary version of the Druid world bosses very soon. We’ll see how those go. Stay tuned!
Q: Will there be a mega server or individual servers?
- A: Eric has a big interview style article on MMOCentral coming out soon that delves into it. (It’s not going to be a megaserver.) (Maybe a PvP server :^) )
- TL;DR Individual servers probably. Maybe a PvP server?
Q: Is [x] system going to change?
- A: Yes, but we don’t have a timeline right now. Please give us the feedback!
- A: Yes, in the future at some point. See 1st Q&A. (Aurarice transcribed it :^) )
Q: Animal stretch goal – any cool ideas it COULD be?
- A: I think the animal forms are special in that they are more focused on a particular role than a typical skill is. Eg. Cow is supposed to be a very tanky skill, the deer is an offtank with decent DPS, the pig is supposed to be crowd control which it’s not doing too terribly well now at now, so the new animal form is going to be another take on crowd control or a non-tank pet. Spiders pretty good at DPS. I’m hoping we can fit some other kind of strong roles.
- TL;DR CC animal or DPS animal incoming.
Q: Is there going to be any sort of legendary item quests/title system?
- A: There is going to be a title system, but as far as legendary weapon quests…
There’ll be quests to get really good loot, but as for EQ-style: Probably not. Random loot is where it’s at in Project Gorgon. The sorts of things you’d get instead would be an, for example, and enchantment oil. Just keep reporting things. Don’t skip content – get us valuable information and get it set for later on!
08/09/2015 Town Hall Meeting
Thank you to Aurarice for transcribing this meeting.
(0:00) Q: Are there any plans to increase dungeon difficulty in order to promote more grouping while leveling combat skills?
- A: Yes! We’re still trying to figure out the difficulty curve. Dungeons are supposed to, more or less, a three man experience. One of the big problems we’re having is that equipment is wildly imbalanced – the higher level you get, the more difficult it is to balance the content. So, you know, normal alpha problems. The plan is to make most dungeons a group experience.
- There are a few dungeons, like the Goblin dungeon, we’re trying to make either solo or duo and experimenting with that because people want to solo a fair amount of the time. But we’re trying to make those less rewarding. I think right now the Goblin Dungeon is too rewarding so we’re tweaking that now.
(2:01) Q: PvP. Tell us your thoughts on that and basically the short form version.
- A: Basically, it’s not a PvP centric-game. There’s a lot of those, and they’re fun, but this is a different experience. PvP is not really the goal of the game. Frankly, we just don’t have the kind of resources to make balancing for PvP good. The game is so wide open and there’s so many skills, and there’s so many ways you can build your character, it’s already a very difficult challenge to make PvE fun, interesting, challenging, and compelling. Doing PvP well is really going to hamper the PvE experience, and I don’t want to do that.
- In the short term (Through launch), we’ll adapt after we want. Initially, we’re basically looking at: Yes, there’s PvP. No, it’s not very important. Arenas, dueling, etc. If we have enough people to really have an exciting and large PvP experience, we can always set up a PvP world and have a dark-type anything goes kind of experience or any kind of rules people want to explore there.
(4:50) Q: Just a followup question on the dungeons, what sort of range of group sizes are you aiming for?
- A: We had originally been planning on 3-man groups being our target. That’s probably still going to be the case for most content through leveling up because it’s a lot easier to get 3-man groups together and working. 6-man is currently our plan for large, sort of epic dungeons. We kind of have one in game right now that’s a bigger, more elaborate experience. As the game gets closer to the level cap, it becomes more a 6-man and maybe larger experience. We’re seeing how the alpha and beta testers enjoy the different sizes, and we’ll scale from there. So 3-man for most, and 6-man for the epic stuff.
(6:42) Q: I was just curious about the Steam integration and any updates to that. Maybe when we might see an ETA.
- A: I don’t have an exact ETA. We’re basically looking at a month after the Kickstarter ends.
(7:27) Q: Are there any plans of having randomly appearing bosses or special events that happen randomly in the open world?
- A: Yeah, if you’ve found the Druids, they already mention that there are occasional world-shattering nightmare monsters that come from different places and have to be stopped by the druids (And really anybody that doesn’t want to be murdered by giant nightmare monsters.) So there’s a fair amount of those sorts of thing that will show up. We’ll also do live events and hopefully a fair number of story-driven events. I haven’t really planned those out too terribly yet, but we have the tools and the system to do them, so we expect to do them a bunch.
- And to add to that, if you’re talking about bosses, there’s certainly a lot of game systems that can result in bosses. (E.g. Eltibule – you can dig up treasures, and you can occasionally dig up a giant boss monster.) At higher levels those could be a serious problem that could act as a call-to-arms.
(9:33) Q: My question is: Any questions to redesign werewolves? (Skills, art, choice to decide to walk on hind legs or all fours, etc)
- A: We do have a bunch of skill changes planned. Things like their howling system or metabolism system are going to be revised a bunch. I’m not sure what kind of art we’re looking at, but I doubt we’ll have a two-legged werewolf to launch.
Q2: So if I put like a hundred extra dollars on my kickstarter you can’t… ;)
- A2: Well, I mean, I hope to make the actual model of the wolf look better. I don’t think we want to do a bipedal werewolf because the mechanics of the game are more oriented to running in packs. We’re trying to make werewolf packs more powerful than solo, and you don’t have use of your hands. Being more wolf-like conveys to that idea. That doesn’t mean we won’t have bipeds – I’m guessing that would be kind of an expansion kind of thing where you can unlock a more lone-wolf sort of “mode”.
(11:17) Q: Are we going to improve the graphic system smoothing forward through development?
- A: (Citan): Yes. The major parts of the funding from the kickstarter are going towards improving graphics. That will definitely be a huge part of what we’re doing the next year and a half.
- (Silvonis): We definitely will be improving the graphics, but we’ll also be optimizing. At the early state we’re in, it’s to be expected for people to bring it up. However, Project Gorgon isn’t all about graphics.
- (Citan): There’s essentially no art in the game that’s definitely locked down. We definitely plan to do another pass on character models. I’m not sure if it’ll be a 100% redo, but we’ve found quite a few flaws we need to fix. Along with a lot of terrain art and that sort of thing. We’re trying to figure out ways to make transitions more elegant rather than blue-swirly-portal on the ground.
(13:11) Q: Do you have any skills that you plan on adding that have the Project Gorgon twist?
- A: Yeah? There’s around 10 or 12 more combat skills in the pipeline. I’m just going to step back and say the ship goal is a milestone and we expect to continue working on it after that. So I can’t say for sure how many of the almost dozen more combat skills will make it in before that, but they’ll get in. We’ve got Weather Controlling, various Animal Forms, Dark Geologist, Demonologist, Vampires… I don’t think we’ll be hurting for skill choices.
(14:56) Q: Will there be any chance that we will see stealth any time soon?
- A: (Citan): That’s a really good question and I don’t really know the answer. I would like to do stealth. We have a few very simple mechanics that are “stealthy” - like if you’re a deer, than other deer don’t run from you and animals don’t care about you. There’s an underlying idea that there are ways to avoid detection and I would definitely like to explore that more. I don’t have a skill planned out yet, so I’m still poking at that.
- (Silvonis): I would just like to add that we’re big on player feedbacks. If there’s an interest or something like that, we consider everybody’s comments. We’ve already made dozens of changes based on player feedback.
- (Citan): The Gorgon engine that we’re using is really optimized for adding these sorts of mechanics, so I expect there will be a very large number of mechanics like that. I don’t have all of them 100% planned out because we really do like to iterate on them and see peoples’ opinions on them.
(17:15) Q: Is there any chance to see additional storage for characters on top of what’s already available?
- A: Yeah there’ll be more storage. Basically it goes by major cities. We’ve hit the storage that’s going to happen in Serbule, but there are four more major towns and several more minor towns planned so there’ll be four-times or more storage in the final game.
(18:04) Q: So, a lot of games nowadays come out and they have a bunch of glitches that can be exploitable. Is there any chance that you could potentially create a test server in order to implement the changes beforehand and have a small group of people extensively test that so when it rolls out to the live server there won’t be any issues?
- A: We’ve used a test server before. During the Kickstarter, we’re using the hardware to make sure there’s not any hardware limitations. We had to normally use a test server to test things that are more elaborate in terms of combat mechanics.
- Right now my main goal is to really understand how higher level combat mechanics work so I’ve been iterating that on the test server. As we get further down the road and have more players involved, it’ll become more important to test a lot more stuff on the test server. Right now, it’s usually more efficient to throw up a build and if someone says “Hey it doesn’t work” or some other edge case, then I can turn around and update it as opposed to spending an extra week on the test server.
(19:52) Q: When we report bugs (Account Status on the right side), does that also send our System Specs in case that could be an issue?
- A: Yes, but they’re not shown on my console yet. They will be, but right this second it’s probably a good idea to mention your Operating System.
(20:42) Q: Will cooking be improved in the future and with effects? Will there be new foods? (Eg. Cupcakes, cakes, etc.)
- A: I think right now I have three and possibly a few more subskills of cooking. For example, fire mages can unlock a special kind of flame cooking. There’s also baking and cheesemaking. I expect there will be a very large number of recipes. In terms of their mechanics, I’m not sure what they’ll be, but we’ll just keep iterating on them so that they’ll be more compelling and useful. My goal at the higher level is that players pretty much have to eat and drink routinely so that players who choose not to eat or drink will be noticeably underpowered. People who want to be chefs will have a target audience so people will want to buy their food.
(22:30) Q: Will there be raiding? (Think WoW-esque)
- A: We don’t actually have any planned right now and that’s because when we started developing this three years ago, the audience that we gathered at the time didn’t sound very excited about it. But we’ve basically kept the mechanics open so that as we get closer to beta, we can make a decision about what kind of content will be at the higher level. I’m certainly not against doing raids, and we have some interesting tools in our toolkit to make raiding an experience that’s pretty interesting. But right at this very second, probably not more than 6 or 9 people expected at the high level. But we’ll see what people are excited about.
(23:46) Q: How flexible would it be on the Archduke as far as having vendors and being able to charge tax?
- A: (Citan): I hadn’t considered taxes. Basically the idea that you could give descriptions, names, and personalities for NPC’s is absolutely part of the bundle. In fact, if you wanted to do a dosier of all the people in town and hand that over that’d be cool. Sometimes I enjoy not having to invent hundreds and hundreds of NPC’s. As far as making money from them, we can talk about what would be the most reasonable way to do that that isn’t super cheesy but still worthwhile.
- (Silvonis): On that Archduke level, we are willing to discuss specific requests as long as they’re not game breaking. Some very specific requests can come from that, but the main thing that can come from that is that they’ve gotta be fair and not gamebreaking.
- (Citan): Fair is sort of relative. In one of our earlier Kickstarters, we offered you the ability to smite other people which kind of freaked people out immediately. But when they played the game for awhile, they realized it wouldn’t be gamebreaking at all because if you have a limited number of people you can smite per week, and smiting gives people Death EXP from a new kind of a death, people might actually be lining up to ask you to smite them just because of the way game mechanics work. It’s often possible to make things that seem a little abusive seem fun.
- The whole point of the Archduke thing from my point of view as a developer is it’s kind of an opportunity to get other peoples’ ideas and kind of run with them and work with them. Right now, it’s kind of an echo chamber. There’s not as much collaboration. It’s a fun time for me to get ideas and kind of collaborate. I’m talking several back-and-forths and making things happen that way.
(27:22) Q: If when we report a bug, does it include our coordinates?
- A: Yes.
(27:33) Q: What’s most helpful for you in the bug reports that can fix the bugs? What information would you like to see to fix the bugs?
- A: (Citan) If you find something that’s weird in the world, getting as close as possible to it and then reporting it is great because I will actually teleport to the coordinates on my test machine and see what’s going on there. That’s definitely a major thing – be as close as possible. Sometimes people will leave the area and the coordinates end up being someplace completely unrelated, so that can throw me off a little bit.
- (Silvonis): We have to ask you guys – please don’t use the stuck feature to abuse the system. It records every time you do it, and we go through those. I’ve had to tell several people to stop doing that.
(29:09) Q: Are there any plans to change the report system – will there be the possibility of people adding on to the same report ticket?
- A: We’re actually planning to do an integration with a third party bug tool. One of the problems is that it’s just time consuming to make sure the bugs don’t have sensitive information with them. Yes, it’s a little more complicated than we expected, but yea we will have a system for where you can come and see the reported stuff.
(30:40) Q: Will there be a hide button for the helm slot and will there be satchels (separate inventories) for seeds, meat, wood, etc.?
- A: The helm slot thing we’ll figure that out. I don’t know if it’ll just be a GUI option or if we’ll come up with an ingame mechanic. The inventory system in the game right now is the alpha inventory system, and I’m expecting to add a bunch more features to it including separate bags that are essentially like WoW backpacks/bags so you’ll be able to organize your stuff as you see fit.
(31:48) Q: Are there going to be any major changes to the crafting skills as far as the modifiers? Are there going to be any significant changes to the crafting skills?
- A: During Alpha, every single number in the game is not permanent. We will definitely change the stats on every piece of equipment that gets generated probably 3 or 4 more times in the next 18 months. So yes, you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll see your stats go up, you’ll see your stats go down. It’s a rollercoaster - that’s development. We’re still trying to figure out what’s going to be fun in terms of different kinds of armor (Eg. Plate v. Cloth) and from there we’ll extrapolate appropriate stat mechanics. We do expect to have more differences and more craftable stuff.
(33:49) Q: How’s housing going to work? What’s your vision?
- A: We have a pretty conservative plan. Players will be able to buy apartments, which are sort of instanced indoor areas that they will be able to configure as they see fit. Guilds will have a bit more complicated system and they’ll have guild halls that are physical large buildings that people can meet in. (If the guild wants to let non-guild members enter.) The non-instanced part of the guild hall has stalls so that guild vendors can set up shops and other services as they see fit, and there’s also a back part of the guild that has a lounge and storage.
(35:36) Q: What would have to happen to have open world housing?
- A: It’s just out of our budget right now. The world needs to be a lot larger in order to accommodate a lot of houses. There’s a lot of tech involved, so right now we don’t have the room to support more than a few hundred houses, and if we added the room to support the houses than we’d need a lot more players. It’s really a matter of money, funding, and time. If you want to send me a million dollars, I will get it done. In the meantime, we’re basically keep it conservative. If the game is a runaway hit, we can approach this with expansions and make it happen.
(36:55) Q: Will there be any benefits to having a house?
- A: You can store your stuff there and you’ll have a way to teleport to your home. There’s also a bed there that you can sleep in and use various crafting surfaces. One of the weirder mechanics we’ve been talking about is that there’s a favor level that’s above the favor level in the game right now. Right now you can get your NPC’s up to Soul Mates and above that is Married. The idea behind that is that certain NPC’s you can marry, and they will appear in your instanced apartment and have their own entire set of mechanics and basically live in your house.
(38:12) Q: Will housing be an in-game feature or will it be something affordable for a new player? A:
- (Citan): Somewhere in the middle. Think early WoW where you had to save up pretty hard to get a mount – you’re not expected to have to grind months and months but you don’t expect to get it in the first few weeks either.
- (Silvonis): Housing’s still one of the things that we have a ways to go on. It’s certainly a subject that brings excitement to the players, so we definitely want to encourage feedback. Specifically on the forums, if you want to talk housing that’d be great. Just remember we have to work within a budget here, so just remember that when you’re giving suggestions.
(40:25) Q: Will there be a quest/rework to allow for better tanking? (Holding agro better, maybe a shield rework?)
- A: I’m not sure that a rework is completely necessary. There will be stat changes to make Shield a more tanky skill. We have another skill called the Dickweed skill that is a subtype of Combat Psychology which is focused on getting monsters’ attention and making them hate you a lot. I’m not sure if we’ll move that into the game or move it into currently existing skills, but we’ll make sure that tanking will be viable.
(42:26) Q: I was actually wondering how camps will be handled? (Pretty much Killstealing)
- A: (Citan): I don’t expect to have a Play Nice policy. I think it’s kind of antiquated. I think the problem is more of a mechanics problem. I’m not sure where you’re being KS’d from, but we should probably be able to solve that in mechanics. As you know, the bosses in the game are group lootable so everyone gets their own copy of loot from the boss so there’s nothing to steal there. There might be ways that people could abuse solo monster stealing, but I don’t know if the play nice policy would really be enforceable there. On the other hand, if someone’s just being an asshole, we’ll just ban them. We have the right to make that happen. If the players are just abusing constantly, than that’d be sort of a play nice policy. Or ban the asshole policy.
- (Silvonis): We do have logs of everything that happens in the game, and intentionally griefing people will not be acceptable. We do see it, and we do address it if it does happen.
(44:45) Q: Would you be releasing an API if we could create add-ons or interface upgrades/modifiers?
- A: Unfortunately I don’t have that on the schedule at the moment. What we’re kind of hoping is that someone will solve this for us in the Unity Assets store and we’ll be able to integrate some sort of modifiable pack for GUI’s. The answer is probably not but we’ll keep our eyes open.
(46:24) Q: Can players have their own NPC’s to sell their stuff?
- A: We do plan to do that, actually. If you go to the back of Serbule there’s that weird indoor area that’s where we were going to prototype stalls that players can buy. There’ll be an area that players can rent and have an NPC shopkeeper who will be randomly assigned to them and they can give instructions and inventory to. We also have mechanics to make shops memorable. (Ex. Inscribing)
(48:20) Q: How would we accommodate the rush of players coming in from Steam? (Eg. Dungeons getting cramped)
- A: Basically I need to sit down and look at the data we’ve been gathering and see where the big bottleneck points are. It’s hard to know how many people will show up at a given moment at the Steam Early Access. A few more hundred players we can definitely accommodate. If we have a runaway success, we just start up more servers (“shards”). Before we launch on steam, I’m hoping we’ll have a better understanding of where the problems are and to address them with some wider content.
(49:57) Q: What are your thoughts on emergent gameplay and will there be any tools for player driven content?
- A: We don’t want to do instance that won’t fit the world, so you won’t be able to make your own dungeons. But we do want you to be able to make your own content – what that means is that you could be able to add stuff to the existing world. Eg. Adding quests to existing NPCs.
- We do hope to have player generated quests and content of that kind. We’ll be rolling it out as we can, and be prototyping some of it in early beta.
(51:23) Q: Will there be more jumping-type puzzles added to future content?
- A: Each of the dungeons we have now are different in that they have different things they are trying to test. I don’t know if people have been real excited about jump puzzles so far, but we’ll do a few more tests and see what people say. It’s a pretty wishy washy answer, but I just want to make fun content and we’ll have to see what people think is fun.
(52:43) Q: Will there be any twists on the standard MMO features like having a barber or a way to change your looks?
- A: Definitely. I will also probably do a one-time reset mode for people in Alpha so they can re-tailor themselves once they have more faces and hairstyles to pick from.
(53:40) Q: Followup to the griefing question earlier, I’m ok with getting kill stealing to a certain degree and I like the idea of having to compete for it, but at the same time it could dissuade newer players from doing certain things. Would there be a chance of having separate channels?
- A: We have that kind of setup so we could run another copy of Serbule, but the vendors wouldn’t quite set up. The various kinds of permanence we have that aren’t in other games kind of cause some wrinkles in that. We do have that possibility, though. That’s one of the tools in our toolkits to handle surprise influxes of population.
(55:30) Q: TL;DR Powerleveling – Detrimental or nah?
- A: It is allowed, and it is sort of a game where I think it’s fine. It’s not really that broken to be able to powerlevel to a certain point. One of the problems right now is that you can get to level 50 pretty easily. The final game goes to level 125, so it’s not a very high level. It’s not that big a deal to me that you can jump there. It becomes a big deal if newbies are powerleveling to the endgame so that’s something we can think about more. I don’t really want to deal with that. Powerleveling everyone to the midgame is fine if they wanna do that. If you guys really hate powerleveling, it’s really a matter of what the userbase ends up liking. (Mention that on the forums if you don’t like it!)
(57:53) Q: Right now all we’re able to tame are rats and cats. Will there be a limit to certain breeds or kinds of animals we can tame? Also, will we be able to have more than just one pet out at a time?
- A: Not all animals in the world will be tamable. Lots of animals are mod-marked as sentient. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to tame certain monsters, such as bears, which have skills that are fine for fighting players but broken for fighting other monsters. The animal handling class is designed around one animal, so you won’t be able to have multiple animals out.
(59:25) Q: Is there any chance you could make Mr. Squeaky non-sentient so that I may tame him?
- A: I can’t lobotomize Mr. Squeaky, sorry.
(59:50) Q: Would we be able to see the ability to have players create their own music or paint their own paintings?
- A: Someone pointed me to a sort of textual language that a few games use for player driven music and it’s not like there’s a library we can just plug in to make that happen so that’s a fairly elaborate thing. I’d like to eventually allow you to write your own music and have some endgame jam session music. I’m still exploring what it would mean to let you do your own painting. We’ve been prototyping a mechanism for a painting skill that lets you take screenshots in game and turn them into pictures, but it’s kind of boring. It might be fun to let you upload little images, but then there’s the issue of uploading inappropriate content. I’d like to do some more things to let players be creative, though.
(1:03:02) Q: Guild/Friendlist ETA?
- A: (Silvonis): Working on it. Will have improvements on the Friendlist. As for ETA, we’re looking for sometime after the Kickstarter ends. Sometime around the Steam Integration, 2-5 weeks. The guild features were part of the reason we did the Kickstarter, so you will see those relatively soon. Definitely keep the suggestions coming. We already have some ideas that we’d like to do.
(1:05:12) Q: All the skills seem to be much interconnected. Will this dependency tree ever be toned down so that certain groups of skills can be received without having to get a bunch of unrelated skills?
- A: I don’t think the skill tree is that complicated at the moment, so I don’t think so. I think 150 is my goal of additional skills, a lot of them being crafting and utility skills and they do kind of clump in interconnected groups. I don’t know if they’ll be less complicated than they are now, but you will have to learn several different skills to learn other skills. That’s just the kind of game it is.
(1:09:29) Q: Will there be a dancing skill?
- A: Yes! Just haven’t gotten to it yet.