April 19th Golden Feather Livestream Transcription
– Steven joins The Golden Feather on their podcast and discusses his inspiration for the MMORPG and specific lore and game mechanics.
Stream Hosts: ChibiBree, DJvirtek | Stream link
Q: So the new forum QnA series, what’s that about?
A: Yes our objective is to get feedback from the community.
Q: What is your favourite part of AoC’s development?
A: I would probably say its a tie between first and foremost, reading the discussions in chat and interacting with the community, especially meeting the fans at events like PAX, secondly I enjoy getting to walk into a studio each day and be surrounded by other passionate people. The two of them are definitely my favourite parts of development.
Q: If you could be an animal what would you be?
A: I would like to be some sort of bird so I could fly a lot. If a mythological creature, then a Sphinx.
Q: Was there ever a sandal in Apocalypse?
A: Yes there is a sandal, one in the lobby and one in the world, nobody has found it yet. I cant give too many clues, but it is in the world. No, not in the sky.
Q: Could you give us a brief rundown of your life before and your life now?
A: I’ve always been playing video games since 6-7 years old and started my first video game as an MMORPG, Neverwinter on AOL, my first experience was getting in trouble for the 6$ an hour bill at the end of the month. From there I played console games, strategy, RTS, but I always enjoyed the social aspect on games such as the CIV series. But even as I was working throughout my late teens and twenties, my social attraction was always towards the MMO community. I ran a pretty large guild and would not have met the people I did and that’s a cool aspect of MMORPGs. As i grew older and got retired by 28/29, I was disappointed by the games I was playing and hence I decided to make my own studio since I had the funding to do so. I firmly believe in the passion that we’ve pooled together in the studio.
Q: What do you do in your leisure time?
A: I enjoy, and enjoyed social aspect of gaming. I love DnD and pathfinder, tabletop RPGs. I used to play a lot of warhammer fantasy and loved the old style where we had large battalions and could customize your characters with weapons and whatnot.
Q: Where did you draw the inspiration for the 24 hour verra campaign from?
A: Many years ago I created a homebrew pathfinder campaign. I wanted to move away from traditional campaign worlds with well established history and lore, instead I wanted to make it more about building the world up. So I created this story about returning to an unknown world with artifacts and history to discover while exploring. And that was kind of the driving force for me, then as I would play with my pathfinder group, I would flesh out the backstory and the antagonists, gods and religion of the Verra mythos, a lot of it derived from Deep space 9. I then put it together around 2008.
Q: If we hunt down some of Steven’s old pathfinder buddies, we can get llore leaks?
A: All my old pathfinder buddies have signed NDA’s
Q: You plan to have sinks in the game even though its a sandbox?
A: We have sinks that evolve with the life of the server.
Q: You’ve been very firm on the Anti-P2W stance as well
A: From a stability standpoint and population, One of the things I didnt necessarily like was the access to those things as it becomes a necessary feature from a competitive standpoint, especially near the upper echelon of end-game features like castle sieging or guild wars or competitive raiding etc. Which is why I think when we have a strong subscription model, players dont have to worry about their confidence being subverted by the outside company.
Q: You mentioned wanting players to discover this lore by themselves
A: So there’s venturing into the wilderness, then you’re going to make the choice to continue that wanderlust objective to discover places off the beaten path in order to try to find those benefits.
Q: With some creatures being tameable and some being exclusive, can we find a wild Pridestalker? If so, it wont be exclusive. Since you can customize mounts, how does that work?
A: So you will not be able to find exclusive cosmetics in the world, even through professions such as animal husbandry, however that’s not to say that there wont be similar creatures out there. Part of the animal husbandry system is to reveal – even the exclusive cosmetics will be customizable via animal husbandry.
Q: Speaking of pets and such, the dragon eggs in the wild, do they have to be raised or do they just spawn full grown?
A: So royal pets, even from legendary bosses, have a hatching period that they exist in and require several different quest lines and materials to raise the mount to adulthood where it may be rideable. We may include phases where its land mount for a period of time and flight when full adult. It’s just an idea for now though or might show up in an expansion. But yes, the egg will require tender love from the player.
Q: We really like the ideas and concepts of the rewarding
A: So the core concept or gameplay loops in Ashes are what deviates us from other projects. We embrace the investment and return for your time. You’ll find that philosophy present in many of our systems. We have ideas that range from casual players that can only spend several hours a week to hardcore ones. A lot of games believe they should cater to the casual audience only to get significant return. But we’re willing to take those risks as a studio.
Q: Love the idea of raising the dragon from an egg and it being a baby hatchling.
A: Lineage 2 had a dragon which you could fly if you had a guild hall or if you were a guild leader of a castle. It was ineffective and was just a status symbol and cumbersome and couldnt use it in battle. But before you could spawn the dragon, you needed a strider which was a land dragon and then turned that into the dragon. So the idea behind the royal mount is to provide a relevant mount that is powerful in combat and is the best you can get.
Q: Will there be a period of time before I can be revealed out of stealth in sieges?
A: The setting will not dictate the cooldown for skills like stealth, however combat with another player will disable stealth or turn it off.
Q: Are there any lore blogs coming up in the future?
A: We dont want to give away too much of the story before release.
Q: Are skins like the Eldritch model in the BR, is it limited to only a certain class of swords?
A: There will be a few crossover types that they can apply to, like one-handed maces
Q: Can we know if there are japanese weapons/armors?
A: There is some Japanese influence in some of the cultures in Ashes of Creation, you wont see a 1:1 but you will see some aspects of them in game.
Q: Are all cosmetics able to be dyed and are they able to be dyed in different parts?
A: No, not all of them. But the ones that are capable of being dyed, those have a range of applicable cosmetics that can be dyed. And for those cosmetics there are specified highlights/textures which can be dyed.
Q: Can you dye the kickstarter racial wings?
A: No you cannot dye the kickstarter racial wings.
Q: Since resource points can deplete, can they be completely depleted? Respawn timers?
A: There’s 3 different types of resource node points. These resource nodules that exist are of different types, like Herb beds can be depleted and can spawn in different places in the world. Then there’s Veins and others which can be excavated completely and spawn elsewhere requiring travel.
Q: If a resource module is depleted, does it respawn nearby? Like an iron node/vein?
A: They will spawn elsewhere in the world. The idea is that there’s a plethora of locations that have nodules for resource spawns, so when one is depleted it will spawn elsewhere in the world, when its depleted there, the previous site becomes available. The idea behind them though is that they’re a large collection of resoruces before they get depleted. The reason behind that is to centralize the social aspect of the gameplay. We dont want a tiny dots of resources, more like huge chunks so people all group up to gather there and safety in numbers etc.
Q: With the mastery, can you master all trees or is the mastery locked to specific types?
A: The artisan is broken into 3 trees and you can only be a master of 1.
Q: Is smithing broken up into 3 parts as well or only 1 type of armor?
A: We have a couple of thoughts on this for alpha, but we’re thinking of lumping it into 1 or breaking it into specifics, same for weapon crafting, but we’ll talk more about this closer to alpha.
Q: Besides the monetary gain of nodes, what about guild hall vs guild fortress?
A The guild hall is purchased within a node built on a guild freehold Once a guild reaches a certain level the guild leader can build a guild hall on a freehold. The fortress is kind of competition based and the design might be on the shelf. It’s meant to be a competitive guild hall that needs contending on a regular basis, whereas the guild hall is a freehold structure. Fortresses are a separate idea from castles, they were like mini castles, but as I said it might be shelved. The castles however offer taxation and much more, its scheduled for one of our upcoming blogs.
Q: Can you sell cooking items on your freehold?
A: You can sell cooking items, vendor presence to sell crafted goods to avoid taxation of the node, stuff like that, quest hooks that can be accessed from your freehold.
Q: When a metro is destroyed by a siege, can the node leadership communicate with their citizens in some way to co-ordinaten to move to another node?
A: Once the siege is complete and the metro has lost the siege, there will be a destruction state where you have loot mechanics for the attackers, destruction and attack mechanics against freeholds outside the node but under ZOI, etc. As the city burns, you still have your communication system online. But once that period is complete (which could span several hours, currently 2 hours) those systems will cease to exist, all citizen systems will cease to exist, they will have to co-ordinate in other ways.
Q: How does stealth work out of combat instead of in-combat? Does
A: You cant have stealth in combat, once in combat it dissipates. So when out of combat, your stealth period is the length of the skill duration. In Apocalypse it was 30 seconds. There could be augments that increase the time of the stealth with your secondary class or racial/society augments.
Q: When a player dies by a mob after a player brought them low, how does corruption work?
A: No, the player must kill another player in order to gain corruption. It does allow certain griefing mechanics, so unless you’re in party, you cannot see the health of another player. So right now, when you select a player, their nameplate will be damaged depending on their health status, but it doesnt tell you what HP they are at. If you heal a corrupted player, you become flagged for PvP at which point players can kill you with no penalty.
Q: Regarding the remote developers on Intrepid, how are you countering the cohesiveness of the team as a whole?
A: First off we have individuals working from home, there’s a very small handful of those, less than 5. Secondly we have groups like the one in France which are at studios which have management etc. As a general rule, im only hiring full time employees who are capable of coming into the studio as I believe the cohesiveness and collaboration of them being in-house is important.
Q: Will character creator let us make tulnar similar to Kobolds?
A: I wouldnt say exactly, but yes.
Q: Do the royal mounts have skill trees and armor sets?
A: Yes there are definitely bardings for royal mounts and there’s some skills they can acquire that we’ll expand on in our mounts blog.
Q: How is the new studio going?
A: We are still constructing that one, but we’re adding 17 more seats into this one which is making it cramped. We can fit upwards of 70 in this studio, but we need to make that much larger in a quick period of time.
Q: Will we be taught how the game mechanics work through the game and not tutorial?
A: The idea behind introduction to complex mechanics is to give you an early taste through levels 1-10 and then expand on that as you level. So we’ll touch on those vast systems early and you’ll explore more.
Q: How different will the classes be from each other like Highsword/Spellsword?
A: They should feel very different as it comes down to your archetype providing a primary role that you can customize and move based on how you build out the skill tree. And then the secondary class augments which radicalizes the taste/feel/role of the primary archetype. So either moving it further or doubling down in the established role of the archetype. Short answer, they are intended to radically change the base archetypes.