April 15th Jahlon Livestream Transcription
– Steven goes live with Jahlon to clarify years worth of information on numerous systems, state of the company and game mechanics.
Q: How was the forum launch for Intrepid?
A: I would say it went pretty well. We discussed on the DCN stream that we didnt spend the past 3 months getting the forum up, it was actually to set up the SSO (Single Sign On) feature in order for us to do additional things in the future like with the website etc. There was a lot of stuff that the platform team was working on like the database etc.
Q: You stated quality assessment had to be done, have Sean and Ryan gotten to Apocalypse QA yet?
A: QA continues to work on Environment QA, Map QA, Items, Character art, interactions etc. that is being worked on.
Q: You wear two very large hats, you are CEO and the Creative Director, so originally it was a 100 in house 100 contractors goal, recently it’s 140 in house employees. What caused you to go from 100 in house to 140?
A: Yes that 100 contractors is going to need to increase by another 100 or so. From a creative director standpoint, I felt that some of the contractor positions needed to brought in house.
Q: Back in December it was 52 people working in, since then a bunch of people have been brought in and the Intrepid website has 44 people on it. How many butts and chairs in SD right now?
A: Just over 60 in the studio and more remotely in SD as well as we dont have enough seats.
Q: Are the 28 people in France working on AoC directly or are they from Stormancer?
A: Stormancer is an integral 3rd party component for the game. We’re using it for Interfacing with our grid solution for seamless zone travel. Stormancer is capable of working with our design for that. Malaysian team was art asset team, we have disengaged with them and are looking for other solutions.
Q: Have you done a few variants of nodes 3, has there been some gameplay changes or design changes?
A: The nodes 3 is a marketing heavy series that provides a lot of information for AoC. We need to make sure that its representative of the key marketing of the project as it’ll be viewed by so many eyes. We could put it out yesterday but it wont be representative of what I want it to have. I view the 4 part series to be an indicator of the phases the game is in. I see nodes 3 during Alpha 1 and Nodes 4 closer to Beta.
Q: What was the driving force for the game design change between castle sieging and
A: Destabilizing a node after a siege, we moved away from it as we felt it was punitive enough that an event was that effects the node should attrition take effect.
Q: Originally each of the 3 military nodes tied to the castle would be sieged each week. Is that still a thing?
A: Yes, that’s still a thing.
Q: Didnt the 3 castle nodes get reset and need rebuilding?
A: If you siege a castle you own it for a month. The first week, the guild has a week to establish defences of node A. Following the week, attackers try to siege and take it down and disable the defences. Then node B gets the next week and node C gets the third week. Depending on how well you defend, it affects the benefits and negatives which affect the final week of the castle siege itself. What’s been changed is that a node no longer de-levels through an event, instead it it affects the services/NPC’s of the node.
Q: Regarding leaks on the Discord and information going out.
A: Margaret helps us move from sporadic leaks to having well constructed flow of information. Leaks are spontaneous and arent reliable but what Margaret does is more reliable.
Q: How many times a day do you feel like wanting to jump into discord?
A: I really like Discord and it allows us to do a lot that couldnt be done before. Glad we have the forums back up as it helps keep things in fixed places. Going forward on the forum, staff created threads will be highlighted.
Q: How much of the iceberg (AoC) are we seeing? Do we have 5% of info? Or what?
A: From an information standpoint, the community is getting a good amount of information on systems and mechanics. However from a Lore standpoint, you’re getting a very little amount. Want the story to be related to individuals inside the game. From a visual Standpoint, I think when Alpha 1 hits, because its not under NDA, you’ll have a pretty in-depth look at the game.
Q: Back in the day there were no websites to pull information from and now everything is on websites. Regarding players having access to information prior to launch.
A: I think there’s a comfortable blend between not seeing it at all on day one and the modern trend of everything being available online. I dont want players to know everything about the game before they step in there. The alphas and betas will be limited and tucked away for release so players at release have fresh experiences.
Q: So we have 8 Archetypes and 64 classes, no monk and no druid. Initially you had 12 archetypes planned, would you like to talk about them?
A: There wasnt just 4 that were cutoff, there was a long list that could’ve taken those 4 spots. With the combination of archetypes, balancing becomes very important.
Q: Regarding Insects and Amphibian styled Tulnars?
A: There wont be insect or amphibians. The way Tulnar works is they have 3 influences, bestial, human and reptilian. The tulnar are essentially 3 races. When you make your character you have dials that you can turn up or down. Bestial is like fur/snout/claws etc. Humanoid bar will pull the snout, take the tranquility down, more skin, etc. Reptilian would be more circular eyes/head, scaly skin influences instead of fur etc. The idea is to give the player influence over those races.
Q: Regarding the corruption system, why can a non-combatant attack a corrupted and not get flagged as a combatant?
A: Corrupted players are basically PvE/mobs. You arent killing players from your own faction, you’re killing a being that is corrupted. Theoretically you’d have one red player in a large group, but this would have no penalty as only one player would take the blame. So what we’re doing with our corruption system is not taking away player choice. So if you want to defend yourself, you keep gaining corruption till you lose your soul.
Q: Who gets to pick up corrupted player loot when they die since they have a chance to drop gear?
A: Your corruption score determines the chance of a corrupted player dropping an item or dropping multiple items. Anyone can pick up the corrupted player’s loot. Yes your friend could pick it up for you, but also anyone else, so there’s a risk.
Q: Do personal caravan’s share the same attack/defend mechanic as node caravans?
A: Personal caravans can go beyond those node caravans as personal caravans rely on a construction effort of pieces as players create different pieces through artisan aspects. Basically crafted version of caravans which are stronger etc. And yes they still work in the same attack/defend/ignore mechanic.
Q: Who pays the reward for defending the player’s personal caravan?
A: So there wont be a way to farm that, you could have a short run, but the distance calculates the reward. The person who starts the caravan can list their own personal reward like a % of the turn in reward for defenders etc.
Q: A personal caravan can be launched from any point of storage including freeholds?
Q: Destroying a caravan drops redeemable certificate. Where do I claim these/turn them in?
A: Destroyed caravans turn into wreckages, which players can walk up to and claim these certificates, these will have to be turned into point of origin or area in the region etc. We dont want players to game the system by abusing it to move resources around via certificates, so it requires some testing.
Q: What happens to a personal caravan when its destroyed? Can you repair or is it lost?
A: We have a few ideas on that, some of the ideas relate to higher grade components of the caravan, you might recover those pieces in the wreckage to salvage and build new caravans.Alternatively,If your caravan is destroyed, you can salvage some of the component pieces. But yes it requires testing. It wont be a consumable item that restores it after X amount of time. We want to reward players for the risk they take, such as destabilizing them etc.
Q: Let’s talk notes sieges we know that the instance department building can be targeted independently during node sieges we know free hopes can be looted after a successful siege what about in node housing are there any special rules or quirks for in node housing during siege?
A: Any building within a node during a siege can be damaged. When damaged, its services, NPC’s can be interrupted for a time. You can repair them once the siege is complete.
Q: If I dont think I can win the siege, can I run through the node and prevent you from destroying buildings?
A: Yes. Even if you lose the siege, you can still try to defend things.
Q: Are airships going to be instanced loading screen or ship ride in real time?
A: The goal is to have an actual ship ride in real time. I think being able to see the world from a different perspective is a fun experience.
Q: Will people be able to see the airship moving around?
Q: Can events happen on the airship?
A: We talked about it. Right now no. But we might in future content.
Q: Will there be pirate NPC’s roaming the waters?
A: No plans for pirate NPC’s, but lots of plans for actual creatures in the waters. The other game outside of Sea bugs there was nothing.
Q: The word legendary appeared a lot during the last blog. Do you think the differences between Legendary and Legendary Unique?
A: In our game design document (GDD) we have our nomenclature, its possible as we do a review closer to Alpha 2, some of those names will change. We might do it on purpose and change them by talking to the community to reset information that players know before beta.
Q: Would you consider a contest to rename some nomenclature?
A: I dont know about a contest but they will see changes occur.
Q: Skills available on hotbar fewer than 30, any updates?
A: Nope, still less than 30.
Q: 75%/25% action/tab split, any ballpark or changes?
A: More about that during Alpha 2 as we’ll be able to present it in a testable format.
Q: Lot of discussion over what’s action and tab. How do you classify a ground target ability like the grimoire?
A: Any placeable template skill I would consider as an action ability. A tab target ability is something that must have a target in order to utilize it. An action oriented skill is anything that can be utilised through placement of the player. Whether that be placement on a reticle, placement on the ground, template directional placement, those, I consider, skill based action skills.
Q: Any chance of endow life restoring negative EXP on death?
A: There’s a few resurrection abilities that will allow for augments to restore some negative EXP gain, this requires testing obviously, we dont want it to subvert the flagging systems etc. But the idea is to create relevance in the classes that house these skills.
Q: Lifeline skill in A0, can we expect a shadowpriest or chronomancer that does healing by doing damage?
A: Best way to say is Vampiric spells that do damage and provide lifesteal, those will be spread out across a few classes.
Q: Is there a lumberjacking and tree harvesting.
A: I can confirm that there are tree gathering skills. (?) Audio cut out.
Q: Fishermen want to know about Fishing
A: I think Fishing is a great vehicle for specific material gathering as well. Like specific chemicals from certain fishes. We’re thinking 2 forms of fishing, mundane fishing in lakes and sport fishing which is deep sea.
Q: The fog of war still the plan?
A: Like recent scientific node blog, it offers certain features that address certain aspects of fogs of war. Its beneficial to be active to avoid perils of fog of war.
Q: Since locations ores and resources are shown in the library, is this meant as a way to draw players to certain node structures?
A: Yes, go to the library in-game and study. We want a flow of information to exist in the library, where information is contributed to and taken out from. We want to provide buffs from the library if they are part of that system.
Q: Player made maps still in or shelved?
A: We did a review on it 6 months ago, for now we’ve pulled out of the design for a bit, we will revisit after alpha 1. But for now, player maps are shelved.
Q: Battlemaps from taverns?
A: Still on the roadmap.
Q: You’ve talked about castle sieges, node sieges, caravans, node wars, but what about open world battleground? Is open world battleground a separate feature?
A: I would say open world battleground where you have objective based gameplay contained in an area, that is what I consider open world battlegrounds. I consider a BG to be a location that used to be instanced that has an end objective for a group of players. A lot of other games have guild war systems for player kill counts in a time period, I think those are lackluster. When you are in a raid in PvP/PvE the whole purpose of rallying the troups is to come together and establish a plan for strategic elements. Wanted to move away from bodycount and towards objectives.
Q: Has the 20-man FFA been shelved?
A: Still too early to know, I’d like to have it above the cut.
Q: Node wars/Node sieges, what’s the victory condition of a Node war?
A: Node war objectives depends on the type of node, the stage of development and the patron guilds/societies of the node. For example if you were to have a guild which is the patron guild of a node that is stage 4, that guild might have a statue dedicated to it in the city, one of the objectives might be to destroy the city. You might see a midnight run to destroy/defend the statue. If an organization like thieves guild might have an important relic, it might be an important objective to steal the relic by casting 2-minute cast on it with encumbrance while you carry it back. So these types of small gameplay loops make it interesting/fluid/dynamic.
Q: You mentioned a midnight run, that’s for a node war, but sieges are still at a set time, yes?
A: Yes. Sieges are are set server times and will always reflect upon the server’s timezone. Sieges are declared during a window. Castle sieges are also the same.
Steven: We love the enthusiasm, support and love. We’re working to make you guys proud and appreciate the support from all the content creators.
Q: Are you doing an interview wednesday?
A: Yes, an interview on Wednesday with Simurgh.