April 30th Livestream Transcription
– Intrepid showcases their new developer diary on building technology and answers community questions.
- Still no new dates. We’ll announce them when we’re ready
- No ETA on the referral system, its being worked on.
- Forum nicknames are being worked on and are nearly done. Will give you a 24 hour notice.
Mini Development Milestone: We’ve done some really fun tests and want to share some interesting things, we had a milestone last week with the PI – A first ever mayor election for a node happened last week, the system works. The mayor was cool but his helper the magistrate wouldnt show up. The magistrate is the NPC placed in the node that contains most of the accessible systems like tax rates and launching the caravans, he wouldnt spawn but we fixed it. We elected a mayor, we launched a caravan across the map, the caravan crashed and flipped over, then physics got crazy and it flew across the map, good times. We’ll be showing some footage as it gets a little more polished. We had some structure mechanics run through the internal mechanics, you could target the caravan and destroy it, the looting, we had merchant systems up and running buying/selling goods, lots of progress and its starting to feel like an MMORPG.
New Hires: We’ve been hiring more people, we brought on board a new character artist who just finished the base mesh for the dawnbreaker which we’ll be showing very soon. We have a few models and armor pieces that we want to show and some extra stuff.
Apocalypse: Lots of the backend stuff of Apocalypse is getting finalized, we’d say we’re at the last 10%. Hit detection/input feeling and UI that needs some things finalized. We’re really grateful for all the feedback.
New Developer Diaries being shown:
- Modular/procedural houses and buildings.
- Fast and easy setup by designers/artists.
- Can swap out to any race with a few clicks
- Highly optimized for large scale use.
The Building Technology tool primarily speeds up the development process. We’re pushing the limits with Unreal Engine to create the necessary assets in a timely manner. We dont want players to see the same asset over and over and over again. In the past, there may have been the technology to do so or it may not have been feasible, but we’ve built this tool so we can easily generate a lot of assets. Since Ashes of Creation is a large world, it requires a lot of assets that need to be created from the ground up. The tool helps speed up this process significantly. We can take elements of this tech and allow the players to play with specific constraints within the building system to change out the windows/roofs/gutters/interior/doors/etc. To change out aspects to make it unique and represent your own style to set yourself apart from the norm.
Currently the freehold/housing skins apply to the entire building. That’s not to say the team wont compartmentalize certain parts of the skin to re-use or adjust them, that’s the benefit of creating a modular system. As a player when was the last time you played an MMORPG with 9 distinct cultural races? We can think of a few but not one that’s as in-depth as ours. So these modular parts when slotted into specific categories, you can adjust them. So player housing will have an element of this tool, not all of it as its primarily a development tool. We also have to consider performance and how these various assets dont bog down the performance of your CPU. Since these are modular and share the same resource/tileset, its the same as having just 1 tileset. So if you walk into an area with 100 houses, it loads instantly and does not struggle to load 100 unique houses. This tool is also capable of procedurally generating houses which requires artist retouching to make it aesthetic, so this also speeds up development.
Also Steven did a bunch of interviews with content creators the past week which are all on our Twitter. Steven’s favourite interview question was on The Golden Feather on what he did in his spare time besides video games, to which the answer was board games.
Q: Will there be certain unique traits like birth sign/background etc with like small boosts like +2 int for scholars?
A: There will be progressive traits with a lot of subtle things you can achieve from a roleplay standpoint. Its something we want to have in-game. We want your character background to be influenced by religion, the nodes you belong to, the social organizations you belong to etc. We will definitely have a character sheet where you can write your own lore/info/etc.
Q: Will the buildings mayor/government choose be constructed in the same stage or the next stage?
A: They appear in the stage that you construct them in. When chosen they appear as a building site and has some requirements for citizens and non-citizens to achieve construction. So the main building is different as its not mayor elected, the main building automatically levels with the node such as the library.
Q: How much creativity can players have in their own building creation or is auto generated?
A: If you’re talking about freeholds, there is a decent amount of it. The freeholds is like a plot of land, not a housing system, its a building system where you decide like tetris what’s built on it. You dont necessarily have to build a house, you could build a blacksmiths. From a customization standpoint, as we’ve shown in the building tool, its part of us going into the process of allowing customization so your blacksmiths looks different from anothers. But the layout wont change, but the detail work/furniture/etc will change.
Q: Will there be any race crossovers for buildings?
A: The node itself will be specific to a race, one race will be the dominant race. The freeholds will not be restricted to race style. The node will however be restricted to one dominant race.
Q: Are there any plans for giving access to building tool to other users, like community building challenges etc.
A: It would be cool, but we’d have to put it into a module. If there is time and interest from the community it would be great to have and hold contests and use them in game, but right now its not on the roadmap. Things might change down the line as we go through development. We have plans for launch and plans for post launch. From a creation standpoint, we want a creature creation to go with animal husbandry etc. for players to create their unique creatures/pets. The idea is to provide as much customization as possible, it wont be in place at launch but it is something we’re looking at for post launch.
Q: So we can or cant build houses from scratch?
A: No, you cannot. You get a blueprint to utilize which you can accent and customize.
Q: What housing/decor editing will be available specifically?
A: Yes you can rotate decor in all 3 directions. Dont know about XYZ but you cannot place them floating in the air. Yes for the free placement. You’ll have a max height ceiling on your land and other confinements. Regarding Scaling, its something we have to look into, we’d have to provide constraints and need to make sure things make sense from an immersion standpoint.
Q: Will the player stalls/kiosks be modular/customizable?
A: There will definitely be flags of what you can choose to show on the counter of your kiosk. Its a great indicator for prospective buyers. We have to keep in mind all of this is in the open world and have to be careful.
Q: To what extent will buildings be destructible in the sieges?
A: We’ll be showing this in the future. It’s still being worked on as replication of the destruction needs to be synced across different players. But yes, completely destructible. There’s two prevailing thoughts – First is the traditional method where the mesh is swapped out for a destructed state based on the hitpoints of the building. So like the side of the castle wall would slowly swap out for a new mesh with a hole in it. So now what we’re doing and going to show you is new destruction where the projectile lands will actually cause the destruction, so you can grapple through it. Its real, organic destruction, so players can focus their attacks on one area and maybe create a hole to crawl through.
The idea behind sieging is that when a siege is declared, there’s preparation time and then the siege itself. During the siege, yes you can destroy buildings. So lets say Attackers realize they are not going to win the siege so they decide to just cause as much destruction as possible which will cause the defenders to have to rebuild them. So services can be disabled/crippled to hinder the growth of nodes. With regards to freeholds, they can only be attacked and destroyed should a node lose the siege. So once a node loses the siege, freeholds become vulnerable for a few hours where players can defend it. Once the timer is up, the freehold becomes invulnerable again. But if its not under a new node after losing the siege, they’ll have a small grace period to save the layout for the decor and save certain things.
Q: How are you going to deal with realtime updating of node levels from town to city?
A: Currently the way it works is that it’s all realtime. If you’re in a node and it advances, first the system checks if you’re in a collision spot, if you are, it moves you and then the node upgrades. Once we get to alpha 2 we’d like to make it a bit more cinematic with like builders showing up and a few hours for it to happen. But right now it’s instant.
Q: How much customization will there be for the inside of the home and will they be crafted or looted?
A: There will be some things that you need to hunt for, some recipes, some things you need to craft, etc. You’ll have a lot of things to populate a house with. We’ll have to make an ale pong table for parlour games.
Q: Are there any buffs/advantages for having a house?
A: In order to be a successful processor, you’re going to need some kind of industry on your freehold. If you want to run an inn, you’re going to need to generate food. Taverns are an example of freeholds that provide proximity buffs. If you freehold, you’re a citizen, which provides advantages compared to people that dont have citizenship.
Q: Can you touch on what Naval combat will be like in AoC?
A: The ideas behind Naval combat is to have classes of ships with different amounts of material requirements to construct them in a drydock space. So like if you win a battle at sea, we dont want you to immediately respawn your ship in the middle of nowhere. So a penalty for them to respawn their ship near land. Its pivotal to reward winning combat. The ships you build in a drydock, we want you to constantly upgrade it, reinforce the hull and upgrade systems. You can always re-summon your drydock and upgrade your ship.
Q: Buildings are located next to roads usually, do you already have plans for a node network?
A: Yes we’ve thought about it, its a difficult system and we’re working on it. As the nodes upgrade, a dirt path will upgrade to a better path, we even have a system for bridges as well. Linking up the different communities is a pivotal part of the world. Roads are also important for the caravan systems as they have systems for road friendly or frontier friendly. So you may choose to have specific wheels for a caravan to do better for certain terrains or armor.
Q: How are we going to prevent every part of the map be covered by freeholds?
A: Part of the reason is we wanted to avoid the ugly tetris-ness. From the onset the idea was to make it more free-hold. We want it to be more environment incorporated and immersive. 480sqkm is relatively large and is a big area. There will be considerable space between freeholds, if friends want to place their freeholds next to each other, they can and have a little hamlet. There will be certain hunting grounds where you cant build freeholds ofcourse and other areas. We have hidden a sandal every patch, which no one has found yet. And yes, you can build your freehold in the under-realm if there’s nodes down there.
Thank you all for watching and we hope you enjoyed watching all the interviews we had this month. The building technology video will be up shortly after this stream, follow us on all our social media!