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Questions & Answers [summary]


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Summary of the recent monthly Q&As.
POI: Point(s) of Interest
EK: Eternal Kingdom(s)
CW: Campaign World(s)
SWG: Star Wars Galaxies
UO: Ultima Online
 

Q & A   J U N E   2 0 1 6


Is Zerging something ACE wants to encourage or discourage

 

ACE definition of Zerging: A group of people grouping into a big ball, tightly packed with all the AoE heals hitting them, and that achieves to annihilate everything. There are many elements of gameplay in Crowfall that discourage Zerging: physics powers knocking players out of this big ball, some powers like the Aurora Emitter and Chain Lighting that punish players who stay too close from each others, the player colliders that limit the number of characters that can physically stand in a single spot, etc. However, there is an advantage to larger numbers, just like there's an advantage to being skilled. Ballistas, which are about to come online, are specifically made for hitting a targeted group of people and to kill them rapidly, just like the Aurora Emitter that deals damage to all the characters standing nearby.

 

ACE is working on scaling up the number of combatants. The number of players fighting in a small area is pretty small right now, but very soon this number should dramatically increase.

 

Can we have more details about the promotions

 

As ACE has been building combat for a while, the promotion classes were put on hold. Recently they've started working on it more and tried to figure out the Archetypes and their counter Archetypes (which ones could defeat the other ones). ACE has been wondering what is the best way of approaching the promotion classes, if there should be a universal rule, for example always have 3 promotions per Archetype. They realized that it wouldn't be the best solution since they wanted variability. What is important for ACE is, first, that each of those promotion classes feel different from the base Archetype and the other classes of this Archetype and second, to give a way for the players to further specialize in their preferred play style. ACE will focus on strong ideas rather than creating 3 promotion classes that may end up feeling weak. What ACE has promised during the Kickstarter is the foundation of the game that may exist for many years to come and more promotion classes can be added after launch.

 

Did ACE vision on promotions change since the time they were originally announced

 

The promotion classes weren't set in stone at the beginning and generally the details from a system are always going to change. Things that initially seemed very interesting may not work in the end and new ideas also emerge while the team explore certain systems. It's very difficult to design far ahead of the curve because the developers have to be constantly playing and adapting the game to the new information and technical challenges. (e.g. number of animations to make new bodies, discipline slots vs. body, too much animation data, etc.) It's always a question of balance. With a giant animation and character pipeline team, ACE could make everything custom and unique. However ACE doesn't have a budget close to projects that spend $100,000,000 on development. It's not possible to have a similar number and quality of animations with a tenth of the budget. ACE wants to find the balance point between the coolest content, replayability and customization, and the resources and money that they have.

 

When will the mini campaign begin

 

The first mini campaign will probably not feature seasons. It will have victory conditions and will be played very fast. ACE believes that there may be an additional milestone between now and the first mini campaign because there are several changes coming online soon to make the world bigger, which means more exploration and a longer duration. It's a major technical challenge to transform a 20 minutes long match into a 72 hours long campaign. ACE will announce this intermediary milestone soon when they have figured out some of the details.

 

ACE considers that it's now the time to build the real game rather than constantly pushing smaller updates for functional testing. There are some big challenges that the studio is facing like supporting a large number of combatants or large worlds with contiguous areas that are dynamically loading and the developers consider that it's better to start working on it as soon as possible. It may have an impact on the order that the players will see things coming. In an upcoming announcement, ACE will explain what are the features that are coming sooner and those coming later. Hunger Dome and Siege Perilous are still available for testing and will continue to receive new additions (e.g. the Druid in Siege Perilous, pieces of siege equipment, balances, etc.)

 

Will there be any fast movement feature in the Campaigns and Eternal Kingdoms

 

An example of fast movement feature would be the summoning spell in Shadowbane, with which certain classes could summon people across the world. There won't be something similar to that in Crowfall. There will be some teleporters on the maps but they will not be common since ACE wants players to physically travel and carry their resources around the world. One solution discussed by ACE would be to have teleporters that can transport people and their equipment, but not the resources they're carrying. ACE believes that summon spells are always problematic. (e.g. in Shadowbane some players achieved to get to the GM testing island that was far away in the ocean by summoning each others repetitively right before drowning)

 

Is there room in the backstory to allow for more worlds and modes than what is currently planned

 

Absolutely. Todd has ideas he would like to try in the future. (e.g. trying to bridge the gap between Eternal Kingdoms and Campaigns) However he wants to be careful to not promise new things between now and launch, because ACE promised a lot already and have to deliver on those things first to fulfill their promises. ACE does have a larger grand vision for Crowfall and if the base of the game is fun, with enough monthly customers to support the game, ACE is willing to keep building this game for a very long time. Todd would love to just work on this game for the next ten years.

 
Q & A   M A Y   2 0 1 6
What is the difference between attributes, skills and stats?  
Attributes comprise Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Spirit and Constitution. Attributes filter down in sub-stats. (e.g. Dexterity impacts on Critical chance and Critical damage) Ways to raise an attribute: picking an Archetype (base stats), adding disciplines and choosing advantages & disadvantages. No character levels in Crowfall, therefore there's no stats increase upon leveling up.
 
Regarding crafting, what are the quality levels of items and reagents? How will the stacking rules work? 
Inventory system similar to Diablo: grid of items, items have different grid sizes, items can be combined to create stacks via crafting to take less space in inventory. No real stacking rules similar to Minecraft. (e.g. 6 stacks of 100 units taking 2x2 spaces could be compressed into 1 stack of 600 units taking 4x4 spaces) Breaking a stack apart means losing some units, unless it is done in a particular POI, in that case there's no loss.
 
Can we have more information about emotes? 
Emotes are fun but not currently on the priority list. They will be worked on after the core animations are all done.
 
What is the purpose of the Assassin's wings? Can this Archetype fly? 
The Assassin can glide and feather fall, but can not fly. (e.g. jump off a cliff and slowly drift down) Possibly some super leap to get over a wall or a power to get really high and then glide forward.
 
Any plan for a training area to practice attacks and powers on dummies? 
No. Maybe after launch there could be something similar to put in the EK.
 
Is it possible to increase the performance of the client by having a dedicated physics card? 
No, it doesn't work with server-side physics. In Crowfall the servers are authoritative to prevent cheating. It would work in games where the physics calculations are made on the players' computer. It is possible for ACE to requisition better machines from Amazon to run the servers but it would cost additional money. It's more effective to focus on optimization of the software first and then upgrade hardware later. Client and server optimization to deal with large number of players are the next step.
 
Is there a proximity chat in Crowfall, with chat bubbles like in SWG and UO? 
No. It would not fit stylistically with Crowfall. Development time will rather be spent on the chat system which is more important for the type of gameplay that will exist in Crowfall. (e.g. "Let's take over that castle." "Let's hit this POI." "Let's take this caravan.") 
 
Q & A   A P R I L   2 0 1 6 
Do the POI get placed by a designer after the terrain parcels go in? How do you determine things like spacing and density for the POI?  
The POI, like a quarry, a mine or a mill, is embedded in a particular type of parcel. Parcels of the same type of POI will be different from each others. The buildings scattered around the POI are placed procedurally. ACE declares what type of parcel a POI can go on. (e.g. a quarry will not be placed in a riverlan or swamp parcel) Experimention will be needed to find the correct spacing and density. It is still unkown how big the CW will be.
 
What are the next few Archetypes? 
The next Archetype will be the Druid. The next big milestone is going to be the Throne War Module. This module is very feature-rich so ACE will then likely pick a feature-light Archetype like the Templar that uses pre-existing systems and functionalities. A lot of tech have been developed for the first Archetypes, some of them can now be reused.
 
Are players locked into campaigns? Can crafters or bulk movers join more than one campaign? 
Initially, the idea was that one character slot would be associated with a specific campaign. Now, with the Vessel system, players can potentially change characters during a campaign. The account is locked to the campaign. There may be an unlock mechanism, but it wouldn't be free or frictionless. Bulk transfer is not planned, the goal of the import rules is to limit the amount of items players can bring in the campaigns. Crafters will be utilized in-between campaigns, in the EK and in the CW. Crafters will be crucial to create everything needed to supply war. Merchants can bring items to sell in a campaign, but have to go through the export to get items out, which is based on if the team wins or loses.
 
How will the new cell size change the Kingdom dimensions? 
The cell [lot?] is 8x8m, a factor of 2, which now fits the cell with its dimension of 256x256m. A lot of elements remain to figure out to determine the final dimensions of the EK. The size of the worlds will probably change. The FAQ will be updated once ACE figures out the appropriate dimensions.
 
Why not invite prominent PvP guilds to test Crowfall? 
The backers have paid large sum of money to test Crowfall and it would be very disrespectful to invite a bunch of people who haven't supported the project financially. ACE does not want to devalue the purchases made by the backers. Backers are the priority. Anyone can sign up on the website to get in the later phases of the Beta tests. 
 
Q & A   M A R C H   2 0 1 6 
What are the key elements of Crowfall social gameplay that are different from what we see in recent games?  
Recent MMO games have gotten extremely solo friendly, which means extremely convenient for players, but that takes gameplay away from other kinds of plays. ACE likes solo players, but thinks that it's important for players to form communities, to come together and work together. (e.g. A famous crafter who makes the best longswords should acquire a name of reputation, players should rely on him and supply him with goods.) What is interesting about the massively multiplayer environment is to have those kinds of interdependencies. PvPers want to have the best supply lines and the best support network. ACE is working on systems that are going back to the roots of that style of gameplay.
 
What are the soft touch and hard touch in social systems? 
Not all the social contact is heavy. Players sometimes do not have hours to play. A healer with whom a player regularly plays, needs to be meet often to fight and practice would be a high touch. On the other hand, a crafter who repairs armors, scouts looking for the best locations would be a lighter type of connection which doesn't require hours long sessions.  Light touch interdependency still weaves a community together and gives the impression that players are operating in a larger context with hundreds of people.
 
How does the more solo oriented gameplay seen in recent MMO games impact on player retention? 
The more connections a player has with other players, the more likely they will be to stay. It doesn't need to be online friends, only people to chat with. If players start vanishing because of the lack of connections, the guilds may become empty and the towns deserted. It's then harder to find players to do things with, like sieges. The more a game has light connections and the longer players will stick in the game. ACE wants this kind of community and longevity in Crowfall: mutual loyalty and friendship. 
 
Q & A   F E B R U A R Y   2 0 1 6 
What is the progress on the test? What specifics regarding combat need to improve before Pre-Alpha 2.0?  
It will continue to improve a lot. In December, ACE decided to continue to work on the responsiveness of the combat and delayed the destruction milestone, pushing it from February into March. The responsiveness has improved but there are still work needed on some powers. Still many things to deal with like fallout damage, which is not the same as fall damage. Fall damage now is really high and scales on maximum health rather than current health. During the combat revision, most of the team is working on Siege Perilous.
 
What happens at the end of the world? 
At the edge of the parcel, ACE envisaged several options like a big cliff where players would fall off. Ocean looked like the best solution since it's performant compared to mountains that require a lot of polys. It opens up the opportunity to possibly revisit ships and naval combat after launch.
 
Regarding the EK, are vassals worth anything? 
Yes. It is a social system that would have a similar value as a grouping system. The vassal system makes it easier to manage the social connections. Other elements could be added to it, like the taxes. Initially ACE will start building the system with the hierarchy of social connections and then will tie in the EK and the guilds.
 
What are the EK world building tools? 
The world building tools will be used to create dozens or hundreds of unique worlds. This pipeline allows worlds to be created very quickly made out of constituent parts, like Lego kits. The kits work on two levels: the macro level with the land parcels (mountains, valleys, rivers and forests) and the micro level (castles walls, towers). Worlds can be procedurally generated using the different land parcels or created by the players. Tremendous progress has been made on the world building tools. The whole pipeline works but it's still rickety.
 
What does skill mean to ACE? 
The way ACE looks at skill in the game is in an abstract, high-level way. It's based on currencies and effort. A currency is anything a player can do or use. (e.g. hit points, mana, decay of items, rage, skills or everything that has a fluctuating numeric level) Real-time would be the ultimate currency, the input from which everything else flows. Actions can be equated to a currency transfer. Using a power converts rage into damage, then the damage causes weapon decay and a depletion of enemy's health. At a high-level, the game is about the players' ability to accumulate and transfer currencies more efficiently than other players. Skill means learning a system well enough to be better at doing more efficiently the currency manipulations than other players. Crowfall allows players to become really good in a specific area of the game. (e.g. turning gold into longswords) Skill is related to twitch skills and efficient amount of effort. Simple repeatable tasks will not grant big rewards. Passive training will still require skills: choosing the right path, knowing the diminishing returns. Some players will make better choices than others. 
 
Q & A   J A N U A R Y   2 0 1 6 
Will there be changes in regards to character movements, animation lock and strafing?  
ACE considers Crowfall to be an experimental project and have been explaining it to the backers since the beginning. The developers try things out, some of them work and others don't. The goal is to find a game that is really compelling and that people want to play. For their Kickstarter campaign, ACE was looking for backers who also had this spirit of exploration and adventure. Things are highly likely to change. The developers are thinking in terms of long-term strategy for the development of Crowfall, to grow the game over time, rather than building it to meet a specific shipping date. What is considered the launch is more the moment when there's no more progression wipe and a critical mass of features and content. Nothing is ever finished.
 
Will the choice of god be more complex than the choice of the side players may be playing on? 
Yes and no. It will vary depending on the campaign. The god selection is not done when the account is created, but rather when a player joins a campaign to allow guild mates to play together even if they do not follow the same god. The same decision was made to not bind an archetype to a certain god. ACE wants to avoid creating artificial boundaries that would make some players unable to play with others. (e.g. God's Reach: Order, Chaos or Balance, Dregs: players may choose nobody, Shadow & Infected: a particular god or just work with a faction) ACE tried to make it as open and flexible as possible and make sure that the god selection ends up being a min./max. decision. (e.g. races or gods that give specific bonus) At the end of the campaign, there may be benefits based on how well players served their god. It could be possible to browse for certain buff and join campaigns offering them. Members of the same guild could be in different factions. ACE needs to try it to figure out how it may work best: things are subject to change, even on a campaign by campaign basis.
 
In the Hunger Dome, why do some weapons double the damage? 
The values were increased for the purpose of testing the core fundamental systems. In the campaigns, the numbers will be really different. The Hunger Dome was created to test the systems and to have a fun environment for the testers to entice more people to participate. With some raw system tests it would be more difficult to retain the testers and data from multiple players is often needed to the developers. Most of the things in the Hunger Dome are going to be stripped out and rebalanced. In the next milestone, Siege Perilous, there will have a new set of numbers that are also subject to change.
 
What is the purpose of monsters in the EK? 
ACE is going to update the EK FAQ soon with information related to the monsters.  
Edited by courant101
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Summary of the May 5 AMA on reddit. 
 
Is ACE considering a Goblin race? 

It may possibly be envisaged.

 

When will Siege Perilous make way to the mini campaign? 
There will be an announcement soon. The general pattern is 3 months of development followed by one month of polish for every milestone. The mini campaign will likely be more challenging.
 
In how many campaigns can an account or Crow participate simultaneously? 
Three campaigns at any one time and a player can only play in one at any moment.
 
Are there still plans for thievery similar to the functionality seen in Shadowbane? 
Todd loves rogues and wants to see that playstyle in the game. He is leaning more towards making it a Discipline, so that it isn't restricted to any particular archetype(s). Gordon considers that thieving bastards must die. =P
 
How is the current stance on split body mechanics? 
ACE is experimenting with the different solutions and have added split body animations to certain powers. They are trying to find a balance between making the game feel as responsive and mobile as possible without it becoming a chaotic twitch game. There isn't any "one right solution" that everyone is going to love. What is important is to find a solution that everyone is OK with and that feels responsive and great.
 
If Crowfall had a budget similar to Star Citizen (+$100M), what would they add to the game? 
The vision for Crowfall doesn't need a budget like that and ACE wouldn't take this money even if they were offered it. With a huge budget, the game has to become very big to be considered a success. If ACE keeps its scope small, the game can succeed with a small and loyal playerbase. In the case that it was magically appearing without raising the cost, Todd would want to have biomes and architecture sets. (e.g. elven castles, stoneborn citadels) That kind of things could be added over time if they achieve to make a solid experience for a core following. ACE wants to start with a small, manageable, solid foundation and grow the game over years.
 
What tech in the next testing environment is ACE excited for? What tech will we be most excited for? 
ACE has more work to do in combat, movement and destruction. The next major items are going to be dealing with a large number of characters on screen (frame  rate), larger scale worlds and larger number of players on the servers.
 
What is the estimate for the target fight size? 
The tech that is currently being implemented should allow the game to support hundreds of combatants in the same vicinity. The goal is as many as possible.
 
What do we receive when we purchase parcels and strongholds from the store? 
Originally, the plan was to give players a single asset that included both the parcel and the stronghold. Now, we give the players the parcel and a "kit" that includes pieces like towers, gates and walls that allow players to build and reconfigure the stronghold. The walls of the Keep in Siege Perilous are a bunch of individual pieces that fit together, sort of like a digital version of the "dwarven forge" castle builder set.
 
Is the game progressing the way the team thought it would to this point? 
Overall the progress has been great, especially considering that the team is only ~20 people. There are some areas that are critical to get right, like combat and movement, that were tackled first because ACE wanted the maximum amount of time to iterate on them before launch. That was absolutely the right decision, because the early iterations weren't good enough and pushing them forward has allowed the team to continue improving them every milestone. These systems still aren't where ACE wants them to be but Todd believes that they are on a solid trajectory to get them there before launch.
 
How many players will be in each CW? What is the cap on a single CW? 
It is unknown at this time. There are some target numbers but this is an area where game design, world building, technology and how play patterns emerge all have to synthesize. The team will be iterating to the final (for launch) answer. The expectation is high hundreds to low thousands simultaneously and probably 3-4 times that many subscribed to a campaign.
 
Will we have free housing like in WildStar or only $300 or $600 houses? 
Any house that can be purchased in the store can also be built with resources in-game.
 
Will combat be smoother at launch? 
The team is currently working on making the combat smoother. Usually players do not get to see the combat this early in development. 
 
How is the Forgemaster coming along? Any new information about its abilities? 
The team discussed a lot about moving this Archetype from "Forgemaster" over to "Battlerager". ACE does not want to force every crafter in the game to be a dwarf. The thought is to move the crafting skills and recipes out of the archetypes and into disciplines. Todd is a fan of dwarven warriors and he thinks they could make it fit the narrative really well.
 
In regard to the upcoming Archetypes, what tech is ACE most excited for? 
Todd is really curious to see where the team will end up with the Guinecean. They have some ideas but being smaller and a rodent makes him an interesting challenge from both a powers and an animation standpoint. Todd is also excited about the Stalker and his reverse legs for the same reason.
 
How many of the remaining archetypes can be created by reusing the existing tech? 
In terms of tech re-use, ACE is getting a pretty good return now on every new archetype. However, they want every archetype to have a very unique feel. Today's update will cover the play style and powers of the Druid in some detail, which is very different. Todd believes that it's a very cool take on "healer" that will require a lot more skill than the traditional MMO firehose healer.
 
What are ACE expectations for guild sizes in Crowfall? How many players will a guild need to be self-sufficient? 
Most guilds are actually smaller than 200 or 500 players. ACE wants to support guilds that are in the 20 to 40 range, because that's where most of them will fall. In terms of "self sufficiency", it really depends on the guild's goals. If a player wants to support a massive EK, then he will need guildmates and/or a very successful economy to support that much land and that many buildings. If the goal is to create a smaller, more polished area, it will be fine. It really depends on what the guild wants to do.
 
Does ACE have any plans to release APIs that could be used by 3rd party community sites? 
ACE wants to give the community as much as they reasonably can. They will see what fits in the schedule but Gordon is not currently super optimistic. ACE wants to have as much of this available on the web as possible, however it takes time and energy.
 
How does ACE plan on dealing with lore? Will there be lore to be found in-game? 
This is difficult to answer. Todd has some systems in mind that will tie into the lore, specifically the role of the Gods in the universe. However ACE doesn't have the budget or time to focus on these things before launch. It will depend on how well the launch goes and what resources it opens up.
 
Are there any news on the hide or stealth mechanics? 
This functionality will come online with the Assassin. It is unknown at this time when the Assassin will hit, but the next archetype after Druid will likely be one that is content heavy and tech-light. ACE needs to focus on scalability issues next, which means that the engineering team is going to be pretty busy.
 
Will some Dregs campaigns allow imports? Is "guaranteed equal footing" a design principle for the Shadow and the Dregs? 
The "guarantee" means that players will have options where the import knob is turned to zero. ACE will come up with various campaign settings and it will be up to the players which campaigns they want to play. If the players want Dregs' rules with some import, ACE will give it to them. Otherwise, they will turn the knobs and give the players the settings that they want.
 
Can we customize the face of our characters, for examples the hair, skin color and beard? 
Yes. It will come later in development though, ACE is currently focusing on getting all the archetypes in first.
 
What are the major differences between the Dregs and the Shadow world bands? 
Originally the idea was that the different bands were logical groups of particular 'knob settings' for a campaign. Like the difference between playing a game on 'easy' versus 'hardcore' mode. Then, ACE realized that the easiest way to explain it was to refer to the way teams are broken out. (e.g. God's Reach features 3 teams or factions) Team selection therefore became the defining knob for each band. The Dregs and Shadow are more free-form and resemble more Shadowbane. It makes it more complicated to differentiate them. The guild system is still in development so Todd has been putting off the distinction between the two until he can see how the guild system "feels". The other alternative would be to combine the Shadow and the Dregs into one band while still offering the same variables / knobs as before. The team mechanics are the same which could justified this merge. High profile changes like that are complex and ACE has wait before making this decision.
 
What is the estimated cap on concurrent players per server at launch? 
1000 concurrent is ACE minimum for a campaign world. 2000 would be great and anything beyond that is probably unnecessary.
 
Does ACE expect smaller communities like Japan and Australia to play shorter campaigns with lower population? 
It is unknown at this time. The challenge will probably be that ACE partners will have some say in who gets to play together. Letting everyone playing together isn't an easy solution. It's extremely complicated legally and logistically. ACE really wants to allow cross-play but it's currently undecided. It could possibly make sense to have smaller campaigns of shorter duration.
 
How is it going with Unity3d? Did it meet ACE expectations or another engine could have been preferred? 
So far, so good. It certainly has saved ACE more than a year. Every engine choice has pluses and minuses. Gordon is happy to date.
 
Does ACE plan to make the pilots of siege weapons visible and able to be attacked? 
ACE decided to start creating them that way, but they are not satisfied with it. They will get back to showing the characters at some point in development.
 
How many customers will comprise a successful launch? 
50,000 monthly payers would give ACE the resources they need to continue making the game indefinitely. They feel like more players was better for the health of the game, since effectively those players are content, and it's the reason why they came up with the Buy to Play model. If the game sells roughly as well as Shadowbane did, this number would be pretty reasonable. ACE wants to make a great game for a core following that will hopefully enjoy the game enough to stick with them for years.
 
Are there any other victory conditions than the passage of time? 
Yes, eventually. ACE want to have victory conditions that allow campaigns to end early. The "time based" condition is a great starting place. If campaigns are ending too early and causing people to bail out, then they will add other victory conditions. There are systems in place to discourage players from bailing out. ACE will keep a close eye on this matter.
 
Can we have more information on the potential European partners ACE is discussing with? 
No because these discussions are under non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements.
 
Will the EU and US players be able to play together outside of playing on the other server? 
It is unknown at this time. Everyone ACE is talking to agrees that the right solution is to let EU and US players play together. It's better for the guilds and for the individuals. It also means more campaign options and fuller campaigns. However this solution is extremely complicated legally and logistically (e.g. supporting multiple currencies that fluctuate in real time, ensuring that no arbitrage opportunity opens up for gold farmers, fraud issues, user data privacy laws)

 

What have been the main issues faced by ACE with the larger number of backers participating in the tests? 

The performance issues which ACE hadn't prioritized very high up until now. Optimization usually comes later once the systems are more settled. With more players it has caused them to re-prioritize those issues. The developers will pay more attention to systems that allow them to scale up the number of players and will focus more on framerate and latency going forward.

 

Any plans to connect EK to EK with portals? 

There are ways to visit different EK, should the monarch allow it, but the specifics of this are not finalized. We don't have any plans for CW to CW travel.

 

Any plans to connect CW to CW with portals? 

ACE has discussed in the past about using CW-to-CW portals as a way to bring in "reinforcements" to campaigns that are growing stale. Todd believes that there is something to this idea, but they may have to wait after the game has launched to revisit this idea. They would like to find a way to use it as a "balance loading" mechanism, another way to offset the risk of players bailing out of campaigns early.

 

Any details on what type of system we will be using to gain new powers when they promote? 

None yet, ACE wants to give Archetypes a few new powers when they promote.

 

How do we gain new powers? 

Mainly through the Discipline system, exploring skill granted ones as well.

 

How many powers do you expect to be available at launch? 

It is unknown since the designers have started building Archetypes with multiple power trays.

 

How many powers can we swap onto their hotbars? 

Eventually it should be all of them.

 

How many powers will archetypes with 2 hotbars be able to swap? 

All of them, but ranged powers will be locked to ranged tray and melee powers to melee tray.

 

What is the role of specialists? Do they have an important role or special abilities that can affect siege gameplay? 

Some archetypes are called specialists because of what they can do in relation to other archetypes. It is not solely limited to Siege.

 

How is the stealth tech coming along? 

It has been pushed off until post Throne War.

 

Will there be some kind of tutorial campaign to introduce new players to the game? 

Crowfall definitely needs something to teach new players how to play.

 

Can we have more information about the Duelist? 

His weapon set is unique with a pistol and rapier. Firearms should be very short range. It is unknown yet whether or not he'll need duel power bars. He'll end up with a burrowing power to let him get under castle walls. The Guineceans are the most "advanced" culture in the game, but Todd doesn't want them to go too far down the line of science and become a gnome/tinker/steampunk race, since it would stray too far from the narrative vision.

 

When will ACE release more information about the archetypes? 

The website is always running a bit behind since it's not core development. Every archetype page starts with a little information and narrative. In the weekly updates, ACE releases a lot of information about the classes. However, that information doesn't flow back to the website easily. Until more information is added to the website, Todd's advice is to watch the "news" section to find the available information on the Archetypes.

 

When will be the next media creation contest? 

ACE will be running more contests in the future, about one every other month.

 

Will the promotion classes or discipline rune stones be presented before all the archetypes are in? 

It's going to be the case for the promotion classes but it is  unknown for the disciplines.

 

How will the Guild/Alliance hierarchy work? How will those relationships be portrayed? 

There will be an update about this subject once ACE is ready to show the UI.

 

How will food mechanics work? 

Eventually ACE goal is to turn on a survival-game style hunger mechanic named "Warmth" to avoid confusion with the Hunger that plays a big role in the narrative. Food is a harvesting mechanics and scarcity of this resource can be adjusted through the course of the campaign. It opens up new tactics like torching fields.

 

When will we see the 'Advantages and disadvantages' for vessels? 

In terms of system priority, ACE approach is to move the more "risky" systems forward. (e.g. combat, movement, destruction, physics) These things are risky and difficult so the team decided to work on those systems from the beginning, which leaves time to try again if the first versions aren't good enough. Doing so means that they are de-prioritizing the systems that aren't as risky. (e.g. crafting, chat, trading, advantage/disadvantage) ACE will get to them once other, more critical, things are solid.

 

Is a console version of Crowfall in the plans? 

It is unknown at this time. There are a lot of difficulties from a business, technical and design standpoint.

 

How many people does ACE expect to have in big fights? 100v100? 200v200? 

It needs to support hundreds. ACE hasn't worked on supporting large number of combatants yet. The priorities were the movement and the combat. The team just started working on scaling up the number of combatants and the early results are extremely promising. Some big gains are expected in this area in the next few months.

 

What are some plans to curb gold/item selling and blackmarket RMT? How will spam be dealt with as well? 

The upfront cost won't stop them but it does dramatically reduce the problem. It also provides additional resources that ACE can use to monitor and fight the issues. The team doesn't have a magic bullet for this but they are trying some things like the trusted trader program that will hopefully help.

 

Are there any plans for flying mounts / Aerial combat? 

No plans for flying mounts at launch.

 

Which configuration does your Amazon's server run on? 

Currently it i the 4XL with 16 CPUs.

 

How will the sieges in Crowfall work? Will it resemble to Siege Perilous? 

The mechanics will be similar to Siege Perilous but on a much larger scale in terms of number of players. ACE can play with the rules in terms of capture points. Varying the number and location of the siege camps or Banewood Trees does change the player flow and make sieges feel different. For the next big milestone, ACE will talk about the siege window handshake mechanism, how do players trigger one and how to set the timing. Generally it will be similar to the Shadowbane system.

 

Are there any plan to improve the lighting engine? Will the look of the game remain the same? 

The game needs a full lighting and colorization pass. The next big change will be environmental detail. The environments don't have the same level of shader support as the characters and that will improve the visual quality.

 

Have the founders decided to not publish Crowfall in Europe by themselves? 

ACE plans to work with a local partner. The studio doesn't have the capital to do it by itself at the level it would like it to be done. The challenge is finding a partner who shares the brand, game and community vision.

 

In regard to world issues, politics, alliances and wars, will Crowfall generate the kind of buzz surrounding EVE Online? 

For Todd, it's the single coolest thing about a game like EVE Online, Shadowbane and hopefully Crowfall too. The other players and the interactions between player organizations are what add the magic to an online experience. Other players doing the unexpected is what allows a game session rise to above the mundane and become something memorable. The designers themselves can't create those moments and all they can do is create an environment and the tools, and then let the players create.

 

Which existing or future Archetype is the most exciting for ACE from a design or fantasy perspective? 

Post release, Todd really wants to go back and visit the existing races. He wants to see more sides to the elves and the stoneborn and possibly a Centaur archer.

 

When will skill training move to the account level? 

Pretty soon.

 

Will the Assassin be able to use those wings for short bursts of flight? 

As a minimum the Assassin will have a glide or feather fall.

 

Will the Duelist be able to burrow under walls? 

Yes.

 

Are there still plans to have the Forgemaster damage keep walls? 

There will be handheld siege weapons but it is not decided yet how it will work. They will probably not be locked to any particular archetype.

 

Will we see an EK building module before the first campaign? 

The order of those two milestones has been swapped and the first campaign will be ready before the EK building module.

 

Will the Ranger gets the "hide" mechanics? 

Hide won't come online until ACE released the Assassin and the stealth.

 

When will the ammo system get adjusted to put more pressure on conserving arrows in combat? 

Ammo system is in place, but since there aren't any meaningful mechanism to get or create ammo, ACE puts in really high ammo numbers for now to make it a non-issue. Those numbers aren't meant to imply anything about the availability of ammo in the eventual game.

 

How will ACE balance the long term arrow management with the short time combat arrow management? 

Disciplines can add additional inventory grid squares. These can be item-type restricted. (e.g. taking "Alchemy" might give a player +6 2x2 grid slots, but each of these can only contain a potion) One of the ideas that the team had for the archery discipline was to give players a "quiver" that increases the inventory size but can only contain arrows.

 

Will ACE ever consider in game voice chat? 

Some of the developers at ACE have tried it in other games and considering its high cost it's not really feasible for a small studio like ACE.

 

Can a guild as an entity, say the officer council, own and operate an EK as a collective holding body? 

Yes, there is an inner council, and they have the right to do almost everything. Ultimately a single owner, the monarch, is needed to deal with administration conflicts.

 

Should we expect a name-reservation system and a web interface for managing guilds anytime soon? 

ACE cut back on the web work to focus more on game features this year. They're adding some resource this summer on web so they hope to first catch up their backlog there and then start adding more web features, of which guilds are a major one.

 

How will ACE tackle UI clutter like bundling non-equal items? 

The "variable components" design of the crafting system was done to cut down on UI clutter. Players don't have a different recipe for "iron great helm" versus "steel great helm". Instead they have a recipe for "great helm" that takes a variable reagent (metal) and the resulting item adjusts based on what type of metal you use to craft. ACE is making inventory management a core part of the game and it shouldn't be a big issue in terms of the database. Players will have to be more careful in curating what item(s) and reagent(s) they want to store. One of the benefits that a discipline can provide players is additional inventory grid space that is restricted by type. This system could be used for harvesters, with the "Mining" discipline that gives players a satchel that allows them to carry more stone.

 

What are the differences between Pre-Alpha and Alpha? 

Alpha would be a pretty significant subset of all the game loops in one experience. For Gordon, Pre-Alpha means they are testing a subsystem of the game and Beta means all the game systems are in and working and that they may be adding some final content and polish features while debugging and scaling. ACE invites more backers in because they want more testing hours and participants. It's also a cool reward for the backers to get in earlier.

 

Will ACE make design decisions to prevent people from using multiple accounts? 

It would be a problem that we can't really be designed around since it originates from outside the game.

 

Is the studio planning to get more funding? 

Yes, ACE will continue to do some fundraising. The budget is really small compared to traditional AAA MMO budgets and they're trying to keep the costs as low as possible. If they can supplement the budget to make the game better, they will.

 

How will the statistics get gathered and presented? 

ACE is usually very transparent, but if users have valid reasons to not want some data being shared, the developers would help to hear about them before making decisions about this matter.

 

Will there be weapon procs in Crowfall like in Shadowbane? 

Yes. Todd loves weapon procs.

 

Is it still 3 disciplines per vessel? Do they drop from PvE? 

Yes, probably via all forms of potential collection like finding, crafting and PvE drops. Todd doesn't want farming to become a core activity that players need to do in order to be competitive, so they will need to be careful with rarity.

 

Anything cool or unexpected in Siege Perilous caused by the testers? 

The evolution of tactics and strategy has been fascinating.

 

When will the melt and trade of package functionality be available? 

Very few items will be convertible into credit. ACE may run time limited credits trade-ins as they introduce new items. The vast majority of the items can be traded between backers.

 

Will there be a web portal to change skills? 

Todd would love to have a web portal or a mobile app for skill training. One idea that the developers discussed was making this a benefit of VIP membership.

 

When can we expect the first "Trusted Trader" to surface and how does it work? 

Very soon and it's not going to be a bidding system. It is unlikely that there will be layaway payment method.

 

Any chance a 3rd part voip could be integrated into the CF client to allow voip? 

There are no plans to have an official in-game VOIP. It is beyond the scope they can afford.

 

Any ETA on the crafting system? 

Crafting will come later in the process. ACE really wants it but it is less risky than combat, movement, destruction or physics so that puts it lower in the development priority list.

 

Will you wipe all the characters at the end of Siege Perilous? 

The skill data persists between SP matches but there will be a wipe for the next milestone and many more before launch. When Crowfall gets to the point of the "final wipe", ACE will tell us!

 

When can we expect more info on the crafting aspect? 

Blair should make an update on this subject in the future.

 

Are there some kinds of fire arms like rifles? 

The Duelist will have a pistol and it will be very short-range. No plans for rifles.

 

Will ACE be selling cosmetic items for real money or allowing transmogrification of gears? 

ACE could possibly sell skins that don't affect game balance after launch. Our worn equipment doesn't follow the traditional pattern of "plate is better than chain is better than leather", it rather depends on the play style and how players want to customize their character. If ACE created a "Kingsguard" version of the Knight's plate mail, it would look more ornate but not particularly more "powerful" than the other plate armors. Regarding the Kickstarter's reward that alter the appearance of gears, the plan is to give recipes that will allow players to take a weapon and craft it into another equivalent weapon that looks different.

 

Any upcoming graphics changes to make it look better? 

There's a bunch of improvements coming like environment, lighting and shaders. However the game is going to stay stylized. It's never going to look like the next Assassin's Creed since Crowfall budget is way smaller, but it will definitely improve quite a bit between now and launch.

 

When will we see siege towers? 

Pretty soon.

 

Are Australian servers confirmed at launch? 

It can not be confirmed at this time. There are tests in Australia but ACE would set up servers in this region at launch only if there is a critical mass audience. It is definitely a challenge because ACE can't commit to the cost without knowing it will pay off.

 

How many developers are working on improving the combat? Do they know what they want to achieve? 

About a quarter of the team works on combat pretty continuously and they know what they want to achieve. If the process of watching the iteration toward those goals is irritating, it could be better to check in only at the end of major test cycles.

 

How smooth and fluid the combat is going to be? 

Incremental improvements are expected as we go through development. Our goal is to have it near where we want it by the end of Alpha. ACE will add more non-rooted powers very shortly and will continue to work on movement and animations around both combat and movement.

Edited by courant101
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Thanks courant! If it's ok for you, I'd like to translate and repost those questions for the german community - while giving you credit for the work, obviously! :)

Let me sing you a song / Of a world that just vanished / Of a story that ended to soon
Let me bring you a cup / Make a toast to the living / And a toast to the legends we share

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sooo...did a little translating and summarizing - thanks again to courant for his work!

for all of you who want/ need to read it in german, try here :)

Let me sing you a song / Of a world that just vanished / Of a story that ended to soon
Let me bring you a cup / Make a toast to the living / And a toast to the legends we share

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sooo...did a little translating and summarizing - thanks again to courant for his work!

for all of you who want/ need to read it in german, try here :)

 

I think the correct link would rather be that one : http://www.crowfall-community.de/index.php?/forum/topic/530-reddit-ama-zusammenfassung :P

Edited by courant101
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Omfg x'D looooool

I'm sooo sorry guys! We did a little bit of Cards against humanity yesterday with the community, so I was a little....distracted xD

 

Thanks courant, I'm eternaly in your debt for saving my reputation and sanity x'D

Edited by Akineko

Let me sing you a song / Of a world that just vanished / Of a story that ended to soon
Let me bring you a cup / Make a toast to the living / And a toast to the legends we share

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