September 27th Livestream Transcription
– Intrepid studios shares details on MMORPG progress and special promotions for Apocalypse.
- Apocalypse is now available for 24×7 play on both Intrepid website and Steam.
- The creative director’s letter will most likely come out the first week of October.
- We’re going to be setting up October contests to win Peripherals.
- We’re working on Leaderboards for Apocalypse.
- If you are participating in Apocalypse, you can earn the Emberstorm Dragon this weekend.
The beautiful thing about large processes is when it all comes together. Even though we’ve got many industry veterans, its one thing to have personal experience but its another to work with a brand new team in a brand new studio. Funny story regarding the Tidebreaker Mount, when it was originally modelled it was the size of a shoe. Steven actually suggested they should keep it at that size and give players hundreds to make it a dog sled, but then they decided to scale it up and make it bigger.
Engineering Team Updates: Alex Khudoliy (Programmer) is brought on stream. Used to work as a software developer before, this launch is smoother than the previous launches I’ve been a part of. We’ve been incredibly busy this past month to rework the combat system, lots of work into multi-hits per swing, 360 swings, variable damage per combo, variable stamina, variable structure damage. We got bots set up to stress test the servers which helps a lot with the QA testing side of things.
All of this testing for apocalypse serves the building of the Alphas/Betas of the MMORPG. All of these hiccups and fixes go into ensuring that these issues can be avoided in the MMORPG. We know the BR is not reflective of what the MMORPG is, however many of the backend stuff does translate into it. You’ll see how from the August 20th test to the EA launch now how much the combat has changed. Alex’s team was key in building the new variables for the melee combat with multiple checks which are instrumental to building the hybrid combat system for the MMORPG. It’s one of the reasons why even though you may not enjoy the BR, you get to experience the changes throughout development to build the MMORPG. Mark has been working on scaling things horizontally so the servers can handle larger group population, no crashing/lagging, every server stands up. We solved some issues where we had rubberbanding, we’ve got most of it down and now there’s just a small number of matches experiencing it. We’ve updated our block mechanics, it consumes stamina like before, but if you reach 0 stamina while blocking you get stumbled/staggered. We’ve also improved our gap closing. If you have no enemies in front of you, you are able to perform acrobatic leaps to move around.
So for the MMORPG, this helps detect when players are in front of you to trigger variable animations for different classes that we have planned. We’ve also worked on our HLOD’s, lets say you’re coming down on your gryphon in apocalypse, what you see are low poly objects that look good from afar, but if you get close they look like playdough. But you never see this as when you come closer it swaps out for the higher textures. Many games use this system but we’re tweaking it for the MMORPG and play with these values to make the experience better on your graphic cards, all of this stuff is getting refined in Apocalypse. We’re also working on the destruction mechanics, so when you destroy a wall and walk away, it should not be there and should be removed from the HLOD, etc. The patcher is currently being torn apart and rebuilt – Its very important for us to have a good patcher for the MMORPG.
Design Team Updates: Terrence Yee (Senior Game Designer) is brought on Stream. We’ve had a lot of changes to combat based on the August 20th playtest. Mostly to the animation and the combat system. (Brian is exposed as Harambe) Recently we’ve been working on getting ready for Early Access. We also have been working on the new skillsets for Castle Siege, many of them will carry into the MMORPG. It’s important to distinguish what we can take into the MMO, we need to figure out which skills can make it into the hybrid system to ensure it can be with Tab target as well, match the tempo etc. Many of you would have seen Hybrid systems in other games that are really one or the other. So when we sat down and decided to make a next generation hybrid system, we had some doubts on whether or not it would be possible. So one challenge has been ‘Can action combat – True action combat, exist besides Tab-Target’.
We have to monitor TTK and heatmaps, to see how fast people are dying, where people are dying, popular zones where players drop and more. One of the more important design decisions that we came to was that the TTK (Time to Kill) has increased. You’re seeing players at the final circle be much more near the end. Match sizes are being varied currently as we’re working on the servers but when we scale it up to 100 players we’re interested in seeing how the final circles play out. The important aspect of time is that strategy becomes more important. If fights end in 3 seconds, the data is lesser, so higher TTK means more data for the MMORPG’s hybrid combat.
Funny story – Immediately after the August 20th test, I pulled in the Design team for a meeting and said we need to make these changes in 2 weeks and everyone’s faces were filled with horror. But they came together and made a very wide change to our action combat systems in apocalypse. What you see in the BR is a small taste of what you’ll see in the Alphas/betas for the MMORPG. Even if you dont want to test the combat in apocalypse, you can still see the environment stuff.
Animation Team Updates: Brad Constantine (Senior Animator) is brought on Stream with a Sword. Quick shoutout to the character team. So regarding mounts we break them down into various skeleton types for the animations so that they can be applied to different creatures. Most of our work comes down to the Design team giving us various times for different weapons and then it’s our job to come up with beautiful animations for those times. You would have seen some quarriors and little critters running around in apocalypse. For those of you that are unaware you can domesticate quarriors in the MMORPG on your freehold, the quarriors stick their tongues into the ground and eat and turn their feed into gemstones on their body. They dont have a digestive tract. So you need to harvest the gemstones from their body.
Here’s some examples of the Pridestalker which is a variant of the Dawnbreaker. You’ll be able to customize your mounts using the husbandry system and tweak these. Even now, all Braver of Worlds backers can log into Apocalypse and try out the Dawnbreaker mount. We cannot stress enough how important apocalypse is for testing out the animations and stuff because the BR forces the players into a tight space against each other.
Everyone that achieves level 7 by September 30th will receive an Emberstorm Dragon. We have another announcement saved for after this weekend. We want to make sure you understand the amount of help that Apocalypse provides our combat testing and backend testing for the MMORPG and we want you to come in and participate on that. We also want to reward you for helping us test and this dragon is part of one of those rewards. Action combat is hard, which is why a lot of games dont do it. It’s why we’re committed to make it work. We’ve done tab target for 20 years, we know how to do it, but to combine it with Action takes a lot of work. We appreciate all the love and support, shoutout to Fooshy and other PI members for sending all the love and support.
Q: Are there any plans to add innovative features to the tab target for the MMORPG
A: Not all tab targetting will be the same, the controls will be based on what the ability does. We dont every class/ability to play the same.
Q: Will the new acrobatic leap/lunge be in the MMORPG or the Siege mode?
A: Not in its existing format, no. It will be present for example in the class skill trees, its different for the BR so we wanted to give players the ability to move around.
Q: Do you have any events planned for October?
A: Yes, stay tuned.
Q: Do you have plans for low level raids (lvl 10/20)?
Q: What variety of mage skills can we expect besides elemental ones?
A: There’s radiance/darkness, standard elemental stuff and some stuff in Alpha/Beta that is driven based on lore of energy types.
Q: Are there any chances we’ll have ship/naval combat in apocalypse?
A: We’ve brought it up as its the perfect place to test that stuff, so we’ll see. The whole purpose of apocalypse is to syphon and silo out individual systems into their own game modes for testing and data collection. Naval combat in a system of itself can stand alone as a game mode particularly. There’s a chance it could be in apoc yes, same for horde/action combat testing. All of them are systems that can be plucked from the MMORPG and focus test them. When you test a game you have different types of testing – Prototyping which is very bare bones. Then you have QA that tells them what’s broken/not working. Then you have Polish where broader QA sees it, and then the live audience sees it. With an MMORPG there’s a lot of things working together that are dependant on various other systems. So what Apocalypse is – It does this whole process from prototyping to live audience to figure things out. This way we dont need to test it for the MMORPG, we can test it in an isolated mode and then drop it into the MMORPG as a polished system.
Q: Will Metros form military alliances and declare a world war of sorts?
A: Yes. You can set a war/alliance peace status with various other nodes.
Q: Will ships have wind mechanics and manual controls like sails or cars on waters?
A: We dont want riders on ships to sit and do nothing, we want to have mechanics on the ships besides the captain so interacting with sails/weapons/utility items/defensive mechanics and more. Will we be simulating actual sailing with wind and stuff? Probabaly not.
Q: Can we weild shield + spear?
A: Yes we will have 1 handed spears.
Q: Should we choose to forego the ranged weapon slot, can we spec further into our melee weapons?
A: No those ranged weapon slots will be particular to the ranged weapons.
Q: How may a patron diety be particular to a player or appearance/augments?
A: Religion itself will dictate the augment ability that is provided based on the temple you are part of and the system within that determines what augments can be unlocked within that tree. So followers of that religion will have stuff that can be worn or applied to armors and stuff so Yes.
Q: Will the game support 21:9 aspect ratio for monitors?
A: We’ll get back to you.
Q: Will many or any of AoC’s quests have pop culture references in AoC?
A: Not really. We want to keep most stuff immersive. Would we put stuff in for nods and winks, yes, but flavour and context.
Q: Can we have sub groups within our guilds?
A: Yes, you can name contingents within groups and assign leaders with special chat priviliges. As a guild leader myself it was a dying wish to have that function. We’re guild focused so.
Q: You’ve wanted to limit RNG, so how will you limit this?
A: We view RNG as a lever that can be reduced based on time committed. The higher quality input you have to the process, the more you can mitigate the RNG aspect of it. There’s a sense of RNG that will occur regardless but your skill level and stuff will matter. So regarding animal husbandry, if you have a component that is one half of a process, that pedigree is a value in our backend, the higher that number the more impactful it will be against the RNG process. We want to ensure quantity is not only manually induced but also RNG induced to make it more special.
Q: What kind of out of combat skills can we expect from the different classes?
A: Uhh, a lot. We’ve shown stuff at PAX etc for quests and certain markers and things housed in different classes. There will be out of combat skills for explorers/tanks and different playstyles. It goes back to our foundation of straying away from fixed paths – exploration, playing the market, adventuring classes and more, we want to make sure there is representation for each.
Q: How many stat attributes can we expect to see? Enough to make a spreadsheet?
A: We have a base set of 6, then waterfall stats that derive off of that. We want it to be crunchy enough to be interesting. Min-maxing is part of the fun. We dont want a sheet to be necessary, but if you want to really get into it, cool.
Q: With so many complex systems in the MMO, are there plans for a tutorial?
A: Yes. We will have an onboarding experience for the players. Besides the UI tooltips, we’ll have the first 5-6 levels taking you through and touch every system that you will later experience in-depth.
Q: Will there be advantages to using a one hander without a shield?
A: That will be something you build towards, there will be passives and stuff that will promote certain fighting styles.
Q: On a scale of Archeage to BDO how bustling with NPC’s do you plan to have towns be?
A: There will be a good amount of NPC’s that will scale with each stage of the node. The idea is that you’re repopulating this world. Will there be an NPC at every corner? No.
Q: Can we expect constant fixes/updates for apocalypse and siege?
A: Yes, yes, yes. Squads and duos will be up soon.
Q: Will you be able to show off your rare boss kills as freehold trophies?
Q: Will different weapons of the same types in the MMO have different attack speeds?
Q: Will there be a class combo that is pure buffing/debuffing?
A: Depends on how you spec it. Depends on the archetype as well, some will be more capable at that than others. All about your build.
Q: The elves in the underrealm of vera, what do they call themselves?
A: We will reveal more of that specific lore as we move forward on those minor races.
Q: How are you addressing the issues with EU launch in terms of My.com?
A: We are in constant communication with My.Games. The Game center client is up for play and the Steam EU executable is up as well to login and play.
Q: What happens if I am in the middle of a quest that is in relation to a stage of a node and the node changes?
A: The quest will go dormant, depends. For example main storyline will have alternate paths. Upgrades on nodes will not have any issues, it’s only destruction that will require alternate paths.
Q: Are the class kits for castle siege going to be the same for Horde mode?
A: No those class kits will be different.