Massively OP Podcast 2017-06-27

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MASSIVELY OP PODCAST EPISODE 123: ASHES OF CREATION’S STEVEN SHARIF 2017-05-13


Notes [1]

Intro

  1. Post-KS Comments
  2. [01:30] AoC “Elevator” Pitch
    1. Go BIG or Go Home

Q&A

[3:45] What did you like best about other MMOs?

  1. Huge fan of non-faction based MMOs
    1. Not a fan of:
      1. Here’s your friends
      2. Here’s your enemies
      3. That’s the way it’s going to be
    2. Prefer to interact with everyone and make that decision (friends and enemies) on his own
  2. Loves open world environments
    1. Not instance to instance
      1. Shortcut for developers
  3. Likes Politics and Guild Capabilities
    1. Need strong and cohesive communities

[5:45] What are your top 3 MMOs?

  1. Lineage 2
    1. Not First Love, but Greatest Love
  2. Archeage
    1. Great Potential
    2. Implementation of Monetization is Less than Desirable
  3. Aion
    1. Flying Aspect
    2. Unfortunately Faction Based

[8:55] How is the average day in the office?

  1. Relatively Quiet
  2. Open Creative Space
    1. Developers can talk with Artists
    2. Artists can talk with Designers
    3. Bounce Ideas off Each Other

[11:20] Prepared for growth?

  1. Yes
  2. Expect to grow to 70+ employees.
  3. Currently at 35.
  4. Signed a deal at another location
    1. 18k sq. ft.
    2. Having it designed and constructed
  5. Project of this size will require quick on-boarding of new talent.
  6. Getting stuff done quickly

[13:45] Why are most employees ex-Daybreak employees?

  1. Actually ex-SOE
  2. SOE had amazing talent in San Diego
  3. They have MMORPG experience
    1. Know the pitfalls
    2. Know the tools
    3. Know the timetables
  4. Out of 20, only 7 are ex-SOE

[16:00] Kickstarter: How did you break the record, with relatively unknown people in the industry? What went right?

  1. That’s the $3.27 million question
  2. Calculated Approach to Kickstarter
  3. A few points as a gamer that needed to be met before Kickstarter
  4. First Objective to alleviate concerns and stigmas
  5. Have a working idea that they could show, as a proof-of-concept
  6. There is already time and money invested, we are committed
  7. Create something compelling
    1. Mechanics have to be innovative
      1. Node System
      2. Dynamic World Events
      3. Caravan System
    2. Principles
      1. Not Pay-to-Win
      2. Not a Cash Grab

[24:30] What did you learn going through the Kickstarter process?

  1. Sleep is overrated
  2. Most important thing is being transparent to the community
    1. A HUGE boon
    2. AAA studios should look more at Indie studios and community connection
    3. Lore kept close because they want players to explore and experience it through discovery after release.

[27:50] Why was there a delay on the web store?

  1. Kickstarter has a minimum 14 day time period before the final list of processing is provided to Intrepid
  2. Then the data needs to be integrated
  3. Website needs to be upgraded to allow package upgrades

[30:35] Will you be posting total funds raised?

  1. Yes
  2. Total Backers
  3. Total Funds
  4. Requires Dev Team to implement

[31:00] Why not adding anymore stretch goals?

  1. Very aware of feature/scope creep
  2. Certain projects that haven’t conquered this issue well
  3. Backer goals are easier with minimal impact on the scope.

[32:40] Any additional funding after the 30 days?

  1. No additional crowdfunding
  2. May have limited items or virtual goods for sale

[33:10] Any mitigation on the complaints with the Affiliate referral system?

  1. Most important part of that discussion is having the right information and understanding how the referral reward system works.
  2. Aware how games come to market and spread awareness and advertisement
  3. Free-to-play comes with pay-to-win
  4. Allows the individual player do what influencers have done for years.
    1. Reduce their subscription by influencing others to join in
  5. Overwhelming successful
  6. Only a few loud voices with false information

[38:50] Internally, what are the tricks used to provide the gameplay videos?

  1. No tricks
  2. Internally, all of that was already developed prior to Kickstarter
  3. Players will be able to play at PAX Prime
    1. Fight a boss
    2. Craft
    3. Dungeon
    4. Node System
    5. Caravans

[41:15] When are we going to see more blog posts again?

  1. Wish there was 31 hours/day
  2. Yesterday began writing the next blog

[42:20] How will you time the nodes so they’re not too quick or too static?

  1. Need to find a balance between both extremes
  2. System works off of population metrics
    1. Both server and zone populations
    2. Node progression will be based on these population metrics
  3. Politics will be required to challenge and destroy a node
  4. Each progression stage will unlock more content and require far more progression involvement than the prior stage

[45:00] If I’m offline for a week, will we get an update?

  1. Change occur based on player involvement
  2. Can’t because it’s so community dependent
  3. No history notification

[46:10] What’s on the current roadmap?

  1. PAX in September
  2. Friends and Family after PAX
  3. Alpha 0 (weekly drawings) after F&F

[47:00] PvP draws gankers and griefers… how are you going to wrangle these people from being the face of AoC?

  1. Not a PvP game, but a PvX game
  2. Create reverberation between PvP and PvE groups so they are dependent upon each other
  3. Interdependent systems create a more cohesive community

[50:00] How is the community moderation team going to moderate the community?

  1. There are standards that won’t be tolerated
  2. People should be respectful to each other
  3. There’s a person behind the screen

[51:30] What systems are you rethinking for AoC?

  1. Crafting system
    1. Focus on 3 different paths
      1. Gatherer
      2. Processor
      3. Item creator
    2. Most MMOs offer Master of everything
    3. AoC will require interdependency between the different professions
  2. Class system
    1. A primary archetype
    2. Progression that add augments based on player choice
  3. Most of the content will require discovery

[55:45] How are you going to handle the land rush?

  1. Throttled behind the development and progression to unlock the potential of freehold placement
  2. Freeholds will be removed/destroyed during sieges
  3. Static houses within the node are limited.

Closing

  1. Thank you


References

  1. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1St8ZTIovsVMX7vfESkHxr0iuoQlySoQnSa2F_NZS7lI