June 26th Livestream Transcription
– Intrepid studios shares new housing details, addresses node citizenship and delves into a community questions.
- Creative Director’s letter at the end of this month
- Not anticipating moving into the new office until the end of August at the earliest.
Studio Update: The studio move is planned for the end of August at the earliest, but our team is great at working from home, so much so that we’ve seen an increase in productivity. We do have a couple of new hires coming in, including an engineer that starts next week. Hiring has been a different experience as we dont get to meet the people we are onboarding in person.
Design Team Update: We got plenty of feedback from the playtest we did and the internal playtests we’ve been conducting. Things were overall pretty stable and we were really happy to see it all except the caravan issue. We’re able to get tons and tons of people on and are continuing to work on expanding this. Also been working on squashing out the bugs we came across that had come up. The new hires are being brought up to speed and we’ve been focusing on the documentation so all the different departments can work better in sync. We had some collision issues with certain objects in the node, with the limited number of people in our studio that we can throw at it, we don’t see certain issues, but when we do the large playtests, we’re able to identify issues that would have been a large concern later on and address them quickly. We’ve reached a rather large milestone on the way to Alpha 1. Ensuring all our boxes are checked so we can start carrying things forward towards the next milestone. The anticipated fall estimate for Alpha 1 is going well, we’re making adjustments based on what we’ve learned from the current testers and we look forward to having the future Alpha 1 testers as well, since it’s going to be a true alpha – It’s not going to be pretty.
The amenities offered by housing:
- Storage: Players have to essentially build containers and place them for storage. Different grades of storage have different storage capacity
- Furnishing: This is the amount of decor items that can be placed within the house
- For Sale: This states that the house can be sold again. Freeholds cannot be sold
- Gathering: The different types of gathering that can be done at this house
- Destructible: This particular house can be destroyed if the node comes under siege
- Size: This shows what size the house is (Small/Medium/Mansion/etc)
Character Team Updates: Our character’s base models and hairs are constantly improving throughout development. Work is continuing on creating a more polished output for things. When we say concept pieces, we don’t mean mood pieces etc. Our’s is more of a production concept, where our objective is to give our models a more realistic look. The armor pieces are made with modular pieces so that players can swap them around between different sets.
Q: Will you give us the ability to give permissions to friends/family for housing?
A: Absolutely, you will be able to assign permissions on a per-item basis. So if you only want them to access the door, you can do that. You want them to be able to decorate your house but not take anything, you can do that too. You want to restrict storage to deposit only or withdraw only, you can do that too.
Q: Is the house going to be furnished from the get-go?
A: These houses will come empty and its upto you to decorate them.
Q: How much will these houses cost?
A: There will be an initial set price influenced by how many citizens are present. So if there are many citizens it will be valued a lot more. On the real estate side of things, players can own things early and list them at a price of their choice.
Q: If two people are competing over a house, how will that work?
A: This is something we’re planning to test in the alphas. We’ve got a few ideas in mind, one of them involves the housing being available as an auction once the node levels, at which point the highest bidder wins at the end. Right now we don’t plan to allow freehold sales as it’s a very restrictive and achievement based development and we don’t want players to curtail that process by outright purchasing everything. Since freeholds are limited to one per account, it would be a limited system. But this might change in the future.
Q: What if two players want to buy a duo house together?
A: There will always be a single owner based system, but there’s nothing wrong in collaborating and pooling together to purchase a house together.
Q: Can we hire guards to protect our freeholds?
A: This depends entirely on the mayor of your node. If they activate certain questlines and invest in defence funding, yes you can hire mercenaries.
Q: What happens if your house gets destroyed?
A: If the house gets destroyed, you don’t lose the decor or items in it. You will also have the option to advance your house once the node levels, or choose to stick to your small house. The idea is not to make it cumbersome, but to ensure you can get up and running.
Q: Any plans to have active shield blocking?
A: That’s something we talked about. It’s problematic, so we’re not sure based on the test we played around with in apocalypse. We’re leaning towards a buff that applies around you in a traditional tab format. We’re still going to actively be testing this in future tests. Maybe the default skill might say 80% mitigation or maybe how soon you activate it might determine how much damage is mitigated, we’ll be testing it out. But we wont have an active blocking toggle key like TAB or CTRL.
Q: What about dodge roll?
A: Our plan is to house mobility controls like the dodge roll into active skills. So it wont be present outside the skills, but will be present in various forms within skills to provide various types of mobility.
Q: Looking at the world map, is the geography going to have boundaries like choke points?
Q: Previously it was mentioned that you had to own property to become a citizen, however in the most recent video it appeared to be the reverse.
Yes. Originally the intention was that housing was required for citizenship prior to citizenship, but this has now been reversed. So this is something we’re going to test but we’re not going to require citizenship to have home ownership. It does not make sense to force players to co-locate all types within one node. We want you to be able to have a summer house. EDIT: This was later clarified by Steven in the following – Greetings glorious Ashes community, today on stream I made a slightly inaccurate statement regarding citizenship and housing. It is being implemented for testing the way that was originally documented and will require housing ownership in a node before citizenship can be attained. Apologies. My mind is melting)
Q: Will power/gear/ability level increase with expansions?
A: Yes. Level cap will increase and bring new content with it. Including gear chase to continue and utilize content.
Q: How do you intend to prevent players from abusing the armor appearance or transmog systems to deceive other players in open world PvP?
A: We’re going to overcome this by being able to target a player or hover over a player you will see the type of gear they have equipped (Leather/Plate/Cloth). It’s important from a threat assessment standpoint to be able to ascertain this.
Q: Will there be events or other reasons to cause a season to be longer/shorter than usual?
A: For sure. There’s opportunities where world events can change seasons such as a world boss. Seasons will also affect caravan routes in a way.
Q: Will there be movement based advantages like back attacks or side steps or bonuses to block/parry while moving backwards?
A: Not necessarily in that way but there will definitely be position based skills/buffs.
Q: Do members of guilds need to be part of the same node to take advantage of guild passives?
Q: Are there going to be areas in the world where casting will be enhanced?
A: We talked about it during seasons/weather, but we’ll be seeing how it goes through development. You will definitely see it in siege systems as part of defense mechanisms where you place relics and more that may grant bonuses to mages.
Q: How would armor cosmetics fit into gear showing progression?
A: The thing about transmogs and cosmetics is to replace the tier based system. So you won’t be seeing silhouettes if a cosmetic is replacing it. So as mentioned earlier, when you hover over the buff that a player has, you can see the tier of the buff to see what level of gear they are wearing.
Q: Can you talk about what the first week of AoC would look like for someone in an organized PvE/PvP guild, so what can we expect in a play session?
A: If you’re starting out in a game with multiple progression paths that are reliant on each other in some way or form, you may be levelling up fast to focus on world first bosses, or crafting for your guild, or maybe acquiring funding your housing, or maybe you are focusing on your guild, or maybe you are going to focus on a node and help establish it, or maybe you may focus on animal husbandry to breed the fastest mount, and so on. There’s so many decisions that have to be made. While all of these systems are intricate, they are pretty straightforward and traditional from an understanding standpoint. The idea is not to push away players with complexity, but to provide them with the depth to dive into. Our party/raid system will have in game VOIP so you don’t have to add players over Discord.
Q: Will cosmetics look different across races?
A: Yes, they will look slightly different across races.
Q: Will mounts have an unlimited lifespan?
A: Certain mounts will. However legendary mounts will have lifetimes and the lifetime will begin once they are rideable after their egg growth state.
Q: What happens if two guilds try to drop declaration flag for the same castle for the same week?
A: Castles don’t have declaration flags. They instead have a registration/sign up window to sign up for the siege. Once your guild has attained a certain level you can register for the castle siege.
Q: Is the goal for the Phoenix initiative region to be cross region?
A: The intention is to have players port over a cross server through the town hall. However you can’t go between regions like NA/EU.
Q: Will only military nodes offer bounty hunting or all nodes?
A: We may expand that questline to include other affiliated nodes/vassal nodes or diplomatic alliance nodes which are related to military nodes as well.
Q: How realistic do you want mounts starting/stopping to be?
A: We want spawning/despawning to be quick. If you are talking about acceleration/ deceleration, those are planned too.
Q: Freeholds cant be placed near dungeons. But what about when you place a freehold at a low level node which later upgrades?
A: Essentially you will be notified that X or Y location is unavailable regardless of whether it has advanced or not.