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ACE Development Partners
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Everything posted by raeshlavik

  1. From what I remember on my account page, the medium and large castles came on 9 cells of land (3x3, or 768 meters on a side, which would take a Centaur about 1.8 minutes to run across) while the Imperial Palace comes on 25 cells of land (5x5. Which is 1280 meters on a side and would take the same Centaur about 3 minutes to run across). The reason for this is that, apparently, these structures are intended to support lots of player houses and other buildings around them - something like an entire city in the case of the Palace - not just the actual castle itself. Which is indeed a bit odd if everyone has a giant personal castle and no one wants to live in a 'lowly' house down the street from the tavern. I think what will prevent everyone from living in their personal giant castle is the upkeep involved. No one is really sure what the costs of an EK will entail just yet, but ACE has mentioned both 'upkeep' and 'taxes' when talking about EKs. My guess (and this is just a guess, YMMV) is that each cell of land, being a CPU, storage, and bandwidth resource, will have some sort of monthly reoccurring cost for hosting it (taxes). Additionally the buildings on each cell will experience some sort of slow decay and require the expenditure of resources as maintenance (upkeep). So while everyone may have a private castle, the question might be "can they afford to live in it?"
  2. I'm not sure if this is trolling, or just someone so tightly focused on their gaming ideology that no other concepts or opinions can possibly exist - to the point of borderline narcissism - but I'm going to heed Scree's post from elsewhere and just skip he-who-shall-not-be-named from here on out. Life's too short to be facepalming this hard.
  3. My point will apparently only confuse you, so skip it. Ultimately though, I'm actually reassured by the fact you just don't really seem to be able to grasp Crowfall's potential scales. It means that it's a true departure from the common MMO. Umm, no? Reading comprehension FTW... No mention of numbers, just organizational groups. An alliance could be two guilds of 5 players deciding to team up. A coalition could be two ten-man alliances deciding to fight for the same god... You really just cannot separate numbers from organizational groups. It's actually quite interesting to witness. Let me see if I can help: If I put 5 apples in a box, or I put 2000 apples in a box - it's still a box. If I put 5 players in a guild, or I put 2000 players in a guild - it's still a guild. If I put two 5 player guilds into an alliance, or put fifty 1000 player guilds into an alliance - it's still an alliance. if I put two alliances into a coalition, or the coalition is made up of two dozen alliances - it's still a coalition. This was a discussion about how to organize guild-level hierarchies, until you rolled in with the assertion that "2000" is too small for an alliance.
  4. There's a well known saying about assuming. There's also a well known bit of psychology regarding projecting... But to break down your statement: I was pretty active in the IAC from founding to when it collapsed right after we lost the bottleshop (Christmas 2006). IAC's core was about 60 people, and the alliance was roughly 30 10-20 man corps (on average). Certainly not 'thousands and thousands", and we arguably held our bit of 0.0 (Eve's 'Dregs') for longer than pretty much any other alliance to this day... This was achieved entirely through diplomacy and the forging of agreements with other groups (like the aforementioned Goons) who we could bribe/pay/blackmail into helping out when and where we needed it. They weren't IAC, they were just friendly because we knew how they worked, what they wanted/needed, or what brand of beer to offer someone at the FanFest... And friendly can be a fickle thing; IAC was destroyed in 2008 when the new leadership screwed with those friendly forces. But the crux of the discussion here is 'numbers', and while everyone reads about the giant fights in Eve with thousands of players - the real meat and potatoes of interstellar warfare is waged with 10-20 people at a time. So when I can send 10 of my 600 along with 10 Goons in their signature disposable tacklers and 5 of the best torp guys from AAA to a location, that means I can do the same for a dozen other locations with cherry-picked teams to counter the strengths of whomever is there. That's the power of an alliance - it's not about being able to field a thousand people in one fight, because that's stupid. The same applies to Crowfall; the flow of battle in a campaign will happen at the platoon level. And while some players are positively convinced the numbers of a single campaign are too small to form alliances, I'm planning out what I will need to do to form these alliances - at the persistent EK level... Because alliances mean having a huge pool of talent available to field cohesive companies that will have the tools and skills needed to win protracted wars, not just single fights. It's just a scope of perspective thing; some players are mano-e-mano esports types looking at the best way to beat up that one dude over there in the next 45 seconds. I'm a guild leader looking at the unit compositions and supply chains needed to dominate thousands people over the next six months. So TL;DR; comparing Eve's Alliance structures to Crowfall is not only apropos, but it's probably the best example for such a thing one can draw from currently running MMOs.
  5. I'm pretty sure there will be tons of alliances and rivalries, no worries there. And as mentioned, the UI elements to support this have already been seen. Even though the campaign worlds are time-limited, that's only one side of the game. The persistent side exists pretty much to support the inter-guild rivalries and 'ForumBane" of yore. Imagine, if you will, that one of my guild's platoons wants to head down to some new rule-set campaign, but platoon strength just isn't enough to make the ROI worth it. So I call in help from another guild I am allied with, and they agree to field another 30 people if I agree to supply them once they get there. Once these two 30-man groups arrive in the campaign, a guild that my ally is at odds with notices their guild colors running with mine, which puts me on their KOS list as well - and now we have some rivalry going that will probably carry over into the persistent game. Crowfall isn't really like any other PvP game, and none of us really know how it's going to work as most of the mechanics outside of beating each other over the head are emergent - so anyone who tells you "this is how it'll be" is probably trying to sell you something.
  6. It's probably just like most MMOs these days; you can either just buy paid time with your day-job, or if you have the spare in-game currency you can buy paid time off the in-game market... The 'pay to win'ness of this depends entirely on what paid time or in-game funds gets you... For examples, look at Eve Online (plex) or even World of Warcraft (wow token). Typically the ability to convert real cash into game cash only serves to inflate the costs of in-game goods and doesn't appreciably affect the balance of power. It also helps to keep the Asians from farming your game (and your players) as an uncontrolled third party that people will use if you don't offer some kind of controlled RMT. I expect Crowfall will be more Eve-like than Wow-like for the simple reason that stuff breaks in Crowfall. In WoW you buy a token for like $20, sell it for 25,000 gold, and buy nearly top tier gear with it that you can use until you replace it with raid/pvp gear: once you buy it, it's yours forever. In Wow you can only wear stuff you have the level to use, which can speed up the act of leveling - but ultimately gold cannot really buy levels so that's the balance. In Eve you buy a plex, sell it for ISK, and spend that ISK on all kinds of stuff you'll eventually lose. Unlike Wow though you can buy stuff with ISK that can accelerate your ability to acquire character skills (implants). Luckily, as a PvP (player skill over numerical advantage) game, the value of a skill is pretty flat... You can get a "4" in a skill in a few days, and a "5" in a few weeks - but the difference between 4 and 5 is only a few percent and really only unlocks other skills/ships. So while you can fill your head full of tech (that you will lose when you get killed) that will shave weeks off of some of the stupidly long train skills, it ultimately doesn't amount to much except a smaller investment of time. So in both examples it's really "pay to level faster" - which only matters if the time investment to level greatly matters. The way I look at it, as a user of RMT in most games, is that I'm trading money for time... I work roughly 60 hours a week, so I don't have solid ten-hour blocks of time to dedicate to my game of choice in order to stay level or market competitive with folks who have nothing but free time - but what I do have is cash. So if I can leverage cash to remain in the same ballpark as folks with infinite free time, it balances out.
  7. Thanks! Thanks. I hope it pans out as well. The EK thing is still really up in the air as far as what we will ultimately be able to do with them, but I have faith in ACE. Yeah, I could have have (and was going to), but the general consensus is that I shouldn't have to pay for everything. Even with numbers like the Imperial Palace, Crowfall still works out cheaper than Second Life over the long term - scarily enough... In SL you get one 256x256 meter island (parcel), that you are the ultimate supreme being of, for a mere $1000 setup cost and $295 a month. That's currently about as close as you can get to the Eternal Kingdoms idea of letting players build their own quasi-MMO world. Granted you can do more in SL as you're not limited to a specific set of assets and you can raise mountains and carve rivers on a whim - but you really pay for that. I estimate that with my current pledge package and the palace, and the average 'tetris piece' of Crowfall being (I think) four 256x256 areas, that I have roughly the same landmass to play with in Crowfall as the entire "mainland" area of SL. I'm pretty okay with that.
  8. *turns a pixel castle into pixel cash to buy a bigger pixel castle... What a time to be alive! Question though, can store credit be applied to layaway items?
  9. I agree completely, but the way it generally works out in PvP is that mechanical muscle-memory is the easier path to victory. Hence the profusion of aim trainers... It's the primary function of a combat simulation to subtract numbers from numbers, and it does this with no real tactical input because tactics are almost impossible to quantify as a number. So PvP will generally be a game of who manages to subtract first (element of surprise) and has the better subtraction algorithm (high alpha build). This is why during combat testing most comments will be all about the responsiveness of combat and not the actual combat abilities themselves - unless the combat ability has a completely broken subtraction algorithm. This is because the player-now-tester isn't getting past the tactics of hit first, hit harder that comprise nearly all PvP. Often in game design the only option to increase 'tactics' is to break the mechanical advantage, which is why highly tactical games have turns or the combat system is slower and offers a lot of challenge/response mechanisms. This is to force players out of the button mash mindset. The only reason I bring this up is in the hopes that some of the 'reaction' complaints in this thread are being driven by ACE trying to add some tactics to the gameplay. I've not done any real play-testing myself,as invariably the test will be while I'm at work, on a plane, in a meeting, or otherwise engaged in 'making a buck' - so I'm relying on you guys.
  10. The guild I run bought one, because Crowfall is actually a Tycoon game and we are playing to crush... The real reason is we plan to offer some 'meta' PvP with it, based on the current EK assumptions of the owner being able to essentially build a semi-persistent quasi-MMO setting however they see fit. That and it helps fund the game... We're this odd mix of a hardcore military-themed PvP guild and a long-term RP guild, and we want to have some structured GvG at a pretty big scale. So any guild wanting to play along can work out terms (numbers and levels, and a reward amount of materials that we will match), and then they can have a go at assassinating our "king" over an agreed period of time. There is a House Guard, a Palace Guard, and a general city militia to contend with though - so it's not exactly a cakewalk. If they're successful, they get the material reward and I retire the 'king' character and replace him with someone else of the hereditary line - perhaps sparking some internal 'political conflicts' for us to deal with along the way. For us this is groovy on two fronts; one it's GvG, so we can build some cool relations with the folks we share Crowfall with. And two; we have this RP 'empire' we've been running for a long time (think of it as a lore guild from Shadowbane) and this is a chance to really play with some of the history and stories, and to add depth and some persistence to inter-guild relations outside of the campaign worlds. Might be fun, might suck eggs - either way we decided to spring for the palace. If all we do is have massive keggers in it and wreck the place every week, that's good enough too.
  11. It was mentioned somewhere in there (motions to the wider forum) by a dev that the linkage between guild member's EKs could possibly be some sort of gateway to walk through. This would, of course, result in a load screen as it takes time to transfer character assets from server to server, but I get the impression moving from EK to EK is pretty trivial - it's all in how they elect to show the transition point in-world. The other issue is, as Ryse pointed out, just keeping track of it all. If every player gets an EK, that could be (conceivably) a million or more EKs. I like the visibility by size... But this will result in cries of "pay to win" if I, having bought a Palace, am guaranteed better market visibility - because all of the persistent economy appears to run out of the EK at this juncture. I could also see a monetization angle of offering a central searchable system of EKs, and allowing people to offer an image, a brief write-up, and 5-6 keywords. Then selling placement for a fee. If you plan to host some kind of EK event, drop $15 for a day of 'featured' on the system.
  12. It's been my observation over the last two decades that most hardcore MMO PvPers use the element of surprise and ultra-high alpha-damage as their play style, and the discovery of the best alpha-damage build and the best lower-skill player choke point are the primary skills used to perform competitively. The Art of the Gank, if you will. Ultra-high alpha damage tends to involve a series of split-second ability cues to front-load a single attack with as much bonus as possible. This usually has to happen during a 3-5 second positioning phase as well; which is about all the time they have to get to the target and unload before the target realizes they are there and can mount a defense. The setup and positioning for this sort of play style is critical, and leads to a heightened perception of UI and positional timing within the client/server exchange that drives a lot of commentary on game forums about the state of the game's combat. It also leads to FOTM builds when someone finds a better class/skill/weapon combination that generates a bigger initial spike of damage. This in-turn drives 'nerfs' to try and normalize damage output with the remaining percentage of players. This play style also leads to a lot of the 'zerg' talk, as you mentioned... Any numerically superior force is quickly labeled as a 'zerg' to discount any skill advantage working in a structured group may have over this surprise ultra-high alpha burst solo/duo play style. Ultimately, I agree; MOBA/FPS/RTS systems will continue to be the king of PvP, because the narrow scope of the format ensures that the entire playerbase is somewhat playing the same game. MMOs, by design, have an immense scope (PvE and PvP are just the polarized tips of the iceberg) and trying to filter out what the majority of the playerbase really wants though the vocal minorities of the various tribes is hellish. For me? I'm hopeful that the pace of combat in Crowfall is such as to greatly diminish the Art of the Gank. Where even if you have the jump on someone, you have to pause and make a tactical evaluation of your chances versus just knowing if you twitch first you'll deal 80% of their health. But, full disclosure, I'm more of a tactical wargamer than a jumping around like a ninny noscope headshot FPS player - which totally makes my point.
  13. My theory is that JamesGoblin is actually a fully functioning superhero operating from a satellite base on the far side of the moon... When he's not on any of the MMO forums for a time, it's because he's been called to some distant world to save them from a galactic calamity. Seriously! Ever notice how his absences always coincide with NASA showing off pictures of distant supernova? I don't think it's a coincidence at all...
  14. Then you'd better hurry before all of the good planets are taken...
  15. Considering you would have needed to be a 'bloodstone' backer during the kickstarter or 2015 pledges, which is the $10,000 level, to get access to the palace in the first place - $4000 seems like a pretty good deal.
  16. I have some passing experience with castle building, and will offer my services as chief architect and mason - for a small fee of course, nothing outrageous mind you... You see, I am in need of some specific materials from the Dregs in decent quantity. The agreement is simple; you procure them for me, and I shall build you a kingdom to rival even the gods.
  17. I'm going to have soooo many castle pieces to play with... I guess I should start making plans to build the great wall of (insert kingdom here)
  18. Any/All: You guys have collectively built some of the best MMOs ever made - and thank you for that, by the way. But, given your rather unique viewpoint, where do you see the MMO genera heading over the next 5-10 years? Will VR be a thing? Will we continue to see systems dumbing down? Will the LoL-style preference for 'pre-made' characters become more prevalent? I guess that's several questions... Feel free to consider the additional ones as prompts.
  19. I love this. Given the wide selection of 5 test food items one would not be blamed for thinking that eating will be onerous... But if we look further down the road to crafting, and the potential for players to make things that can dramatically offset this, or even add perks and bonuses - I'm super happy to see it.
  20. This is where Tyrant pops in and types two words: "Derek Smart" And runs off giggling as we tear the place apart.
  21. I'll go with NCSoft... They always seem to turn up when an MMO is in development.
  22. "A partnership announcement," - Not sure if I should be afraid...
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