MMORPG Q&A 2017-05-22

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Contents

Notes: [1]

Intro

  1. Guest Robert Lashley
    1. Mmm, that background noise.
    2. MMORPG.com website rep.
      1. Been involved with the website for ~5 years.
  2. 10 days remaining on the KS, 2.25m
    1. No.1 MMORPG KickStarter
  3. Talk about developers shying away from the MMORPG title
    1. Think it’s because MMORPGs have been underperforming.

Guest Q&A (MMORPG)

[8:44] Say that you have enough funding for an MVP (minimum viable product). What’s your standard for your MVP?

  1. Difference between MVP and CVP (core viable product) is when a developer says MVP they don’t come to market with everything they discuss and want to have. CVP means they will include all the systems they discuss.
  2. Funding they have is enough to fill that CVP. Kickstarter was to expand on that CVP, include stretch goals.

[10:07] Concerned about 40 Years of combined MMO experience (mentioned in the KS video). Not a lot.

  1. Clarification on 96 years+ of “game development experience”.

[11:38] A lot of Kickstarters get a big surge at the end, who is in charge of the budget, what is their experience?

  1. Press release in the very near future.
  2. Until now, a lot of the work has been pipeline production for art assets, backend engine work, animations, world building, level design, character effects.
  3. Keeping everyone on budget has been Jeffery and Stevens area.
    1. Jeffery has a lot of experience in this regard.
  4. Shown evidence of good work with the Kickstarter releases.

[13:58] CU asked for 2 million, with 3 million from lead developer. How much of your own money have you invested?

  1. 2 million from Steven Sharif.
    1. Before KS
  2. Steven is dedicated to funding the CVP, expected 30-40 million required.
  3. AoC is a passion product of Stevens.
    1. Talks about his money making ventures, majority of income from real estate.
    2. Spent a lot of the past few years effectively retired, playing games.
      1. Became frustrated with the current state of MMORPGs.
      2. Decided to make his own.
        1. Screw you guys, I’ll build my own MMO, with no Pay2Win, and Blackjack, and Hookers!
  4. When you look at other MMO KSs, most others provide Pay2Win advantages as a hook.
    1. AoC has no Pay2Win items (Monster Coins?)
    2. Steven was concerned about that fact
      1. Lack of incentives, based solely on cosmetics
      2. Will people be excited enough to invest?
        1. Yes.
      3. Sends a message of a proof of the model.

[19:10] Different people play games for different reasons. Pay2Win has many different definitions. What’s your definition of Pay2Win?

  1. Wide spectrum for players, Pay2Win came as a monetization gimmick to pray on casual players who want to compete with hardcore players.
  2. If game design is sound enough, allows casual players to exercise agency, they won’t need to rely on that gimmick.
    1. Level playing field at micro and macro level
    2. Players will enjoy themselves without feeling they need to spend huge amounts of money.

[21:10] “An Open World Non-Faction based MMORPG set in a High Fantasy World”. Unpack. What do you mean by open world?

  1. No loading screens.
  2. No heavy gating.
  3. There will be terrain markers that separate zones

[21:55] Will this game world be shared by all? Shards?

  1. Different servers that represent each population/
  2. Each server will be separate, no megaserver.
  3. Instancing only in some dungeons.
    1. Arenas.
  4. Probably won’t see much elsewhere.

[22:45] Non-Faction Based?

  1. A lot of potential in the game for pseudo factions, but no hard set factions.
  2. Might be because of economy, might be because of their social org, might be due to location.
    1. Players will be able to move from pseudo faction to pseudo faction during game play.

[24:50] More high fantasy games than you can shake a stick at. How much time was devoted to world building to set them apart from other similar games?

  1. What differentiates one games elves and dwarves from another?
    1. Presentation
    2. Is it a good thing to include these things in the first place?
      1. People enjoy them, so yes?
    3. Spent a long time trying to build things differently while still maintaining the thematic niche.
  2. 4 base races, 8 total sub races within those.
  3. Doing some interesting things with the sub races to make things more interesting.
    1. Not your traditional elves and dwarves.
  4. High fantasy strikes a chord within people, brings back memories of your first MMORPG, exciting storytelling tool.
  5. Extensive story and lore behind the game. Very important part for Intrepid.
    1. Players should know their role in the world, their options, how those options have meaning.
    2. How things reflect on the history of the game world.

[27:45] What makes your Dwarves different from Gimli?

  1. Nope!

[28:02] How does the Node system work with the map? How will it become the focus system?

  1. Touched a lot on Nodes in the past
    1. Two parts of a four part video series.
  2. Backbone of the game's/worlds structure.
  3. Allows players to exercise agency over their own narrative, and the world's narrative.
  4. Nodes are location based, lock out other nodes as they increase in level. Creates scarcity.
  5. Will have a citizenship system, where players can pledge loyalty to a node
  6. Events and history experienced during node improvements.
  7. Redefines what players will experience when they join the world.
    1. What can be created can be changed
      1. Players can change the story if they really want to.
      2. One server might have a boss you want, it’s the player's responsibility to go level up a node to get that boss/destroy nodes locking it out on other servers.

[31:10] How do you address people who don’t appreciate unbalance in access to things?

  1. Risk vs. Opportunity should be a paramount focus to any system because it adds value to things players accomplish.
  2. If you want to gain something, you have to risk something.
  3. If you build a system that starts with this as a foundation, they will acclimatise to it early.
    1. As things develop, a rising tide lifts all ships.
    2. As one node levels, opportunity for content increases for everyone.
      1. Everyone can still access that nodes content, just maybe not the node that they particularly want.
  4. Not everyone can have everything, and people just have to deal with it.
    1. If there is a wall of effort needed to access things, all that does is add value to gaining access to those things.
      1. Lots of other games if you don’t agree with that, but AoC is following that design decision.
  5. No player will have everything, core conceit of the game world.

[35:54] The world is fresh at the beginning, nodes are all undeveloped. What’s your motivation to set up shop, rather than just wandering about and sightseeing?

  1. Many different kinds of players.
    1. Some will happily just sightsee, explore, find things others have not found.
      1. Basis of a conversation they have had. Is this possible?
        1. Yes, it should be. Beautiful thing.
    2. Others will want to build a civilisation, build up a node.
    3. Tried to focus on general player motivation, have tried to develop for different kinds of players.
  2. Gentle introduction to the game mechanics at the start, people will get a feel for what they enjoy, don’t enjoy, won’t just be hard dropped in.

[38:15] What if you are a civilisation builder who doesn’t want to risk what they build?

  1. No different rule sets for servers.
    1. No PvE only servers.
  2. Core pillars of the game, meaningful conflict being one of them
    1. Houses the PvP systems.
      1. Things just become stagnant if you can only build, must be room to destroy.
      2. Sometimes that means your stuff gets destroyed.
        1. That’s part of the risk vs. reward system.
  3. When you create a Freehold, and it is destroyed, placing it somewhere else will not cost nearly as much as the initial placement.

[40:42] Nodes will be at risk, caravans are also a part of that. Will I have to worry about people attacking me if I am defending a caravan?

  1. As your caravan moves through the world, it has an AoE PvP zone.
    1. Players can choose to participate in defending or attacking that caravan within that zone.
    2. Caravans will have different stats that can be customised by players.
      1. Speed, health, number of defenders.
    3. If a caravan is destroyed, it will drop a portion of the loot that’s in it at the time.
  2. TL;DR Yes.
    1. One random person won’t be able to randomly gank a caravan, should be a group sized encounter.

[42:35] Is the game world open PvP?

  1. Yes. We have a flagging system.
    1. You probably won’t see very much random ganking, corruption system should help with that a lot.
    2. You will see meaningful PvP through the world.
  2. Murderhobos shouldn’t have very much success.
    1. If all you are doing is murdering, you will gain a lot of corruption, which reduces your combat ability, which will massively reduce your PvP efficacy.
  3. If you want to murderhobo, you will need to want to gain things from your murdering due to the risk of corruption.
    1. Risk has to be worth the reward.
    2. Random murdering won’t be enough reward for risk.

[44:55] What is there available in terms of crafting? Will everything be player makeable?

  1. Depends on how much you invest into your artisan class?
    1. Each player will not be able to make everything
      1. Will be specialization within that artisan class.
      2. You will not be able to go out, gather everything, refine it all, and then craft all your gear.
  2. Co-opting the classic trinity system and applying it to crafting.

[46:06] Does the game feature the trinity system in PvP?

  1. Not exactly. There will be roles, and the ability to customise within those roles, and there will be top level roles of DPS/Tanking/Healers, but you will be able to customise within those top level roles.
  2. They want players to build interesting comps.

[47:16] Party size?

  1. 8 man parties. Not locked in.
  2. Will be heavily dependant on testing.

Forum Questions

[48:55] How short will each race be?

  1. Floors and ceilings for each race
  2. Room to adjust height.
  3. Shortest race is ~3.5’

[49:40] Will there be combat telegraphs?

  1. Probably in certain circumstances…
  2. Only if there is no other way to indicate otherwise...
  3. Not everywhere

[50:35] Will players be able to do all professions themselves?

  1. No
  2. Need to focus.
  3. You could, but not master.

[51:01] What type of guild identifiers? Guild name, tabards, mounts?

  1. Yes

[51:25] Will monster coins be available in-game?

  1. Cash shop.
    1. Primarily intended to be cosmetic rewards for succeeding in particular objectives.
  2. Rare drops.

[52:00] How will guild wars work?

  1. Will be something they will rely heavily on testing to work out.
    1. Will feature a declare phase, have a surrender function.

[52:39] Will quest givers have some sort of marking indicating that there is a quest? Giant question marks?

  1. No.
  2. Players will come across more subtle ways to know there’s a task.

[53:40] Animal Husbandry: Will there be genetics?

  1. Yes, a form of genetics… more of a breeding tree… e.g. advanced/unique mounts.

[54:32] Diverse gender options? Player be feminine/masculine regardless of gender?

  1. Body structure sliders… possible.

[55:32] How long is the siege declaration period?

  1. Depends on the node stage.

[56:32] How interactive will furniture be? E.g. Sit in a chair or lay in a bed?

  1. Yes

[56:46] Can guild halls support multiple guilds?

  1. Guild hall hostel? Probably not.
  2. No

[57:40] How will ashes deal with zerg guilds that dominate other MMOs?

  1. We don’t want zerg to be a mechanic.
  2. Specific mechanics that relate to a degree of systems, activities, and achievements for this.

[58:56] Chat RP features like dice roll?

  1. Yes
  2. Emojis

Closing

  1. [48:00] Upgrading forums… soon
  2. 10 Days remaining in KS


References

  1. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xA-frUZcYcQ4VBQ6kuecjtbTJhjm9zUqedUClxcoZJs/