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ACE Investor & Tester
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  1. Part of the Trusted Trader program: AnsheX Markee DragonI think these might be what you're after.
  2. I've had the same sort of (very personal, I might add) positive experience from Gordon - whom I assume is quite busy! Thanks ACE.
  3. I run a really big software team (about 120 engineers), and I can tell you schedules are notoriously difficult keep to in this industry. The fairly straight forward stuff like verification are easier to predict, but design and development are not. You can take a punt at how much head scratching you will do trying to design your feature set, but estimating how long it will take to solve a problem can be close to guess work. Add to that scrap & rework and technical snags and it can be a nightmare. If you are off track there are a couple of options, depending on what commercial pressures are upon you (i.e cost of non-quality or non-delivery). You can try to reduce the scope of work and cut features, accept defects or accept delays. Often times it is simply managing your customer and communicating the problem to them (they frequently don't know what they need)! In my industry, quality is not negotiable (safety critical flight control), scope generally can't be reduced (the feature set is necessary for safety of flight). So we often have to accept the challenge and simply throw more resource at the problem. When you are one of several projects in trouble, even that can be impossible, so your only option is to be late. The best you can do in that position is communicate with your customer - but they'll challenge why you treat customer X better than customer Y and things start getting really fun. Drink helps at this point! ACE will have their own reasons for not wanting to commit features and release dates, because until they do they have a little freedom, but they will want this to be a success for many reasons, not least of this many have staked their money, time and professional reputations on it. For me, I have one (albeit very tough) customer to appease - ACE have thousands, all with different views on features vs bugs vs schedule. We're lucky to be allowed to be part of this, but we can also contibute to its possible failure if we demand the wrong thing. Getting this game out on time seems like a low priority to me - it's different enough to have it's place in the market. Getting it out early and unfinished or full of bugs will kill it stone dead. I can think of very few MMOs that have survived a botched launch.
  4. Pledging to this effort buys you a seat at the table, and even a voice. I think you are right to raise any concerns on what's being done with your money versus any commitments that were made... but rude is just rude, and in my opinion, not very constructive.
  5. I don't dislike the skill trees or the implementation of them, nor am I saying it should be changed. I'm just asking a question. It's actually rather gratifying when you log in and you're presented with your progression message. I just know changes that affect established players to encourage/accomodate new ones (SWG NGE/CU springs to mind) just let everybody down. (Same is true with business models as with game mechanics I reckon). I guess I'm worrying because a lot of these games burn brightly and depend on a critical mass population, beneath which they just stop being fun. Of course we don't think it will be an issue - we'll likely be at the top of the skill tree so it's happy fun-times, until being there isn't fun because there is nobody joining the game anymore. It's easy to ignore potential problems like that and I think not dealing with (or even daring to question) it would be folly. Maybe it can be dealt with through the server rule-sets, that would be an elegant solution. Trying to define a character system and then seeing how the emergent bahaviour plays out amongst 10,000 individuals is tricky, I guess :-)
  6. If you're going to do it keep in mind it can take a couple of days to wire the money internationally. I used TransferWise which was pretty cheap (£7 I think), but it took a day or so for them to email me the link. Still, with the stretch goals already achieved, it must be tempting!
  7. Hi all. Whilst I am a fan of the skill progression system, I worry that it might bcome a turn-off to people late to the party. Good ideas often require many iterations to get right (as seen with the harvesting redux), skill progression is one of those areas where the outcome of the design may take years to see - by which time it's too late to change/fix. So, two or three years post-launch, will potential newcomers be deterred by the fact they are years behind the curve with no way of recovering or competing with day 0 crows (Cf. EVE Online)? So much clever work has gone into designing a game that retains people - it would be a shame if it failed to attract them in the first place because their was no way to feel "Epic".
  8. Kess from TCO here. Seems like A long time ago...
  9. I certainly think it's interesting - not necessarily because of the specifics, but because of the broader implications hit hints at. I can see the EK's and the players occupying them being slliced across several orthogonal dimesions, with players moving between them as suits. Many EK's will naturally be guild focused, possibly with alliances forming and occupying the same space. Ideas like Kraahk's based on geographical commonality will be popular I think, whether shared or exclusive. EK's based on trade and professions may form organically for convenience, albeit over a longer period of time. I guess it will mirror real life in some respects. Live and socialise in one area. Work and trade trade in others. I hope we'll see quite a lot of multi-occupancy and social migration, with many starting out as small groups and individuals taking advantage of open government systems like Kraahk's and then setting roots by placing a small footprint in others, or one day their own.
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