February 28th Livestream Transcription
– Intrepid studios shares GDC update and status of the Alpha 1 preview due in March.
- Intrepid will no longer be attending GDC. But will still present the Alpha 1 preview on livestream.
- Will still be having partner meetings over call instead of physically at GDC.
- Had great success bringing on additional talent to the studio.
- The new studio tour will be done once the move has been completed.
- We are still intending to move away from Xsolla, but it’s a process.
Design Team Update: We’ve been pushing for the March GDC milestone for a while now to showcase the state of the game and where we’re currently at. We want to have hybrid combat mostly figured out. The combat will still be weapon based as we dont want to cement anything in yet. We’ve also been working heavily on monster behaviour and how the monsters interact with nodes. The node levelling tech experience switch from level 2 to level 3 is getting some testing to get the feel right. The alpha 1 will be a broad swathe of most of our systems. There’s a few that wont be there, but not all of them. There will be some crafting, some gathering, etc. It’s about figuring out the core gameplay loop before we flesh it out. Later in the year when we announce the date for Alpha 1, we’ll be ramping it up in single day testing, weekend testing and so on based on phases. The Alpha 1 walkthrough will start in a starting area, accepting some quests, progressing to a node, levelling the node up. Taking up quests, scary monsters, maybe some dungeons and maybe a PvP fight. Jeffrey is most excited about the public event stuff that we’ll be showing off next month.
Character Team Update: Chris Atkins (Lead Character Artist) is brought on stream. We’re working on polish right now while pushing for this upcoming March milestone. The new starter outfits are in. We usually push models into our environments to gauge how their colours look and whether they need tweaking. The NPC models are also being worked on. I’m most excited to showcase the variety of characters and creatures that will be seen across the board. Carson and Jincy have been doing some amazing work pumping out the models along with everyone else.
Environment Team Updates: Michael Bacon (Lead Environment Artist) is brought on stream to supply candy to the stream. We’ve been doing some great work on the Nikua architecture. We have new additions to the environment team. Excited about having elevation added to the cities as the nodes level up. We did run into some issues with the skybox in Apocalypse. It resulted in laggy instances to the point where the design team wanted to get rid of the clouds. But thankfully we’ve gotten some new skybox tech and it should ensure the sky looks beautiful in the Alpha 1 preview. I’m incredibly excited to showcase the new Dwarven stuff next month, both the Duniir and the Nikua.
Community Team Updates: Lt. Toast (Community Manager) is brought on stream to handle the QnA Session.
Q: Can you please elaborate a bit on what benefits guilds get from being patrons of a node?
A: Guilds that claim patronship can unlock certain benefits like specific emblems that can be applied to guild armor. They can participate in that node’s stock market. They can undertake certain guild based missions to progress the guild levelling and development. They can also allocate points for node development to unlock some abilities. Nodes also let guilds inhabit guild halls and in order to partake a in-node guild hall, you must be a patron of the node. You can always have a freehold guild hall, but more perks in the in-node one.
Q: Has there been any discussion of reducing the guild cap below 300 if the Castle Sieges end up being capped at 250 vs 250?
A: Not necessarily, because you wont always have 300 online in my experience as a guild leader. If I have 2 or more characters in the guild, it will take up more than 1 slot. Obviously when we test during the betas we can change the numbers from a data standpoint as there is an opportunity to change. So expect things to change.
Q: Regarding the combo system, if the combo is made of 3 attacks for exemple, does using skills reset the combo, or can we use it between skills where we left it ? Like attack-1 > attack-2 > skill > attack-3 > skill. And if yes, how much time can we hold it before the combo resets ?
A: Right now, yes. Using an ability will reset your combo. We plan to have procs that reduce the cooldowns of other skills.
Q: It has been said that the purpose of the Dev Discussions on the forums are to spark conversation between the developers based on community opinions. Were there any memorable developer conversations in reaction to that thread (that can be disclosed) that raised any new points or changed any developers opinions on class themes or mechanics?
A: Off the top of our head, regarding deserts, many players hated desert biomes as they were too bland/empty. Our deserts are planned to be filled. Deserts can be interesting if designed well.
Q: Will there be plot characters that will follow us through the main story line? Memorable characters like Arthas, Garrosh, Sylvanas, Anduin are all a big part of the WoW universe – but how can you fit in such characters with the dynamic world of Verra?
A: The goal is- Yes. From a storytelling standpoint, characters offer a cornerstone to anchor you and invest you into the story.
Q: How many raids and dungeons will the game have at launch?
A: Many. As many as we can get done.
Q: Once a player is corrupted, how will town guards react to them? Or will they not notice one way or the other?
A: They will Kill on sight.
Q: Will some archetypes have some other resources rather than mana? For instance, will rangers/rogues have something like focus/energy? Will fighters have something equivalent to rage? Or will everyone use mana for spells? It would be very cool if everyone had something different, as it would add an extra flavour to each archetype.
A: We have talked about it- Right now the answer is no. But that may change later. When we first implemented our initial combat system we had a resource called focus, but we ended up veering away from it due to community feedback.
Q: Can you clarify this statement from Know Your Nodes: The Basics? “Vassal Nodes … are able to have their own Vassals, as long as they fit within the Parent Node’s Zone of Influence.” Wouldn’t that mean a node could lose some of it’s Vassals when it becomes a Vassal to a more advanced node, if the parent’s ZOI does not extend as far as the Vassal’s ZOI?
A: No, the Zone of Influence is directly tied to the ability of the advancing. The algorithm would never say X is an acceptable node while cutting off others.
Q: How is your choice of Class going to affect noncombat content? For example will an enchanter get benefits for doing the profession enchanting, or does a assassin have to pay more at public locations because now one likes assassins?
A: Outside of the narrative, there wont be restrictive content behind classes. It does affect utility skills, but even then if you cant do something with a utility skill, you can do it in another way.
Q: Are there any plans to add in combat without the need of weapons, such as fist to fist, or fist to weapon combat?
A: We’ve talked about it a lot, its something we want to do. But maybe in the future, not for launch.
Q: Is there going to be a whole underworld for the people that want to play the role of the mercenary or villain? For example black markets, illegal brawling clubs, lawless island for pirates etc or is the thieves guild the only “clandestine” kind of content that is planned for now?
Q: What should we expect to see at the GDC?
A: You’ll be seeing that next month.
Q: How much progress will be account based versus character based?
A: Most will be character based. Outside of the cosmetics that you can allocate to a character, there’s nothing you can share across characters.
Q: Will there be the polymorph ability in Castle Siege?
A: Right now it is not.
Q: What did you learn from the last Dev Discussion, regarding your favorite and ideal classes?
A: We heard how you guys want variety in healing classes. Tons of love for support classes that are not direct healers like the bards. We also discussed scalable content, which I am not a huge fan on.
Q: Are there any plans for speech bubbles or other instruments (best solution optional, because some love them as me, but also some doesn’t like it) to the the local (say channel) written text above (or near) the character.
A: Not right now. When there’s a lot of people in one area it gets really messy.
Q: Part of the kickstarter was in depth economic metric and systems. Like items listed on the auction house, will we be able to see the price history on a chart, and perhaps use moving averages and draw trend lines?
A: There’s going to be a progression path within auction houses in economic nodes.
Q: Because the environment always reacts to action taken, there is a chance something will be permanently missing or cant be obtained, how will you balance out for those who start the game 3 or 6 month or more after the game launched?
A: The goal is to have tons and tons of content. The person that missed out, will miss out. But there will totally be tons of stuff for them to acquire. This is not the type of game where you can clear it 100%. There’s linear historical progression, so there’s a story to tell.
Q: Which class has been your favourite to play during the A1 closed testing? and why?
A: Cleric for Jeffrey. The Ranger class is being massively overhauled into a skirmishing type classes to weave in and out of combat while maintaining range.
Q: Which kickstarter goal is going to be the most challenging to develop successfully and why?
A: The most challenging would be the expanded Naval content. It is basically a separate game. We’ve made lots of progress on the physics and buoyancy, but it is challenging.
Q: Will there be weak spots for NPC’s?
A: We want to have directional importance. Susceptibilities for certain types of attacks.
Q: Since the mounts will have abilities and stats, how will they gain experience and levels?
A: They will share progression EXP with the character and a separate experience table for the mount specific questline system like ‘training’. It might include getting certain types of items/foods or achieving certain tasks and more.
Q: Will all freeholds be the same sizes for the start?
A: All freeholds will be the same size.
Q: What will be the main focus of end game? PvE, PvP, Wealth, Fashion, or Community?
A: Fashion. Jokes aside, there will be plenty of stuff to do. So many projects use player driven content as an excuse to not make content. But our idea is to use the player driven mechanic with a plethora of content to accommodate it. Not any one specific category will be poured into. Your fellow player will have a hand in influencing how that experience looks to you.