PAX East 2018 Steven Q&A 2018-4-6
- 1 Notes 
- 2 Q&A Sunday 11:09 AM Twitch Stream Steven Q&A
- 2.1 How will summoner pets work?
- 2.2 When will we see Tulnar? Do they Equal Furries?
- 2.3 Favorite Feature when game is launched?
- 2.4 Will there be an Undead Race? Earnable Race skins in game?
- 2.5 Can you eat bacon in the game?
- 2.6 Can we sell Ice Cream / food in game?
- 2.7 Will there be an open Beta?
- 2.8 Do you need dedicated testers?
- 2.9 How do you plan on making instanced raids competitive and hardcore?
- 2.10 Detailed breakdown of Pie types?
- 2.11 Will there be food/water to keep your healthy?
- 2.12 Will there be Nature gods? How about nighttime or the Moon?
- 2.13 When can we have an in game peak at cosmetics?
- 2.14 Will there be guild alliance chat?
- 2.15 How are mounts going to work?
- 2.16 Are we the same people that walked in portal?
- 2.17 We need Action combat and good crafting
- 2.18 When is A2?
- 2.19 Will there be hunting rifles, blunderbuss?
- 2.20 Trading goods with boat to caravan and vice versa?
- 2.21 Mutli-person land mounts?
- 2.22 Will it be possible to join an anti-gods cult?
- 2.23 Controller support?
- 2.24 Will there be underwater cities?
- 2.25 Do you believe a mercenary guild for attacking or defending trade routes will be viable?
- 2.26 Favorite enemy creature?
- 2.27 Will we be able to test out all class combinations in a like class trial system at high level?
- 2.28 What did you have for breakfast?
- 2.29 Inventory question - since base classes cannot be changed, which encourages alting, how do we deal with inventory between alts?
- 2.30 Will the game have Voice acting?
- 2.31 Free look mouse system?
- 2.32 More info on racial bonuses, general game?
- 2.33 Specific number on different servers per region?
- 2.34 Is this a theme park MMO?
- 2.35 What types of summons? How will they work together for siege summons?
- 2.36 Will there be dinosaurs?
- 2.37 Please no Mega-Stufferton
- 2.38 How many Guilds per alliance?
- 2.39 Fishing in game?
- 2.40 What reason does a mage have not to use heavy physical armor?
- 2.41 Will there be big game hunting?
- 3 Q&A Sunday 1:04 PM Twitch Stream Steven Sunday Q&A 2
- 3.1 Will Ashes be another Star Citizen?
- 3.2 Stuffintons is P2w
- 3.3 Ziz asks about getting an A0 key
- 3.4 Will the npcs do idle actions to make the world feel alive?
- 3.5 Even just the developer interactions are almost as good as playing the game
- 3.6 Will the game be released in my lifetime?
- 3.7 Biggest concern for development? What are you doing about it?
- 3.8 How much Evil will be in the game? What will Necromancers be like?
- 3.9 Tell us about character creation. How in depth will we be able to go? Can we have a blue skinned elf?
- 3.10 Will you come to the UK?
- 3.11 Will there be a Centaur mount?
- 3.12 Cambiguous: Did you guys enjoy the doughnuts?
- 3.13 Will book combat feel like using a book as a weapon? I love books as weapons but most just feel like a catalyst of magic
- 3.14 Chocolate covered bacon as a food?
- 3.15 Will the monthly clothing items from the store be dyeable?
- 3.16 How will we go about changing augments on skills?
- 3.17 What was your nickname as a kid?
- 3.18 Is alchemy a confirmed profession?
- 3.19 Tulnar what can be said about them?
- 3.20 Summoner main / Mage secondary - Can I summon something that explodes when it dies?
- 3.21 Can players compound skills from two different players, playing off each other?
- 3.22 How will crafting mechanics work, how will we get recipes?
- 3.23 Balancing will be hell
- 3.24 Talking about press stuff
- 3.25 New community manager yet?
- 3.26 Do you plan to make cross server PvP modes / battlegrounds?
- 3.27 I get bored with tab targeting can we do other stuff?
- 3.28 Are there Aspirations to make AoC an eSport?
- 3.29 What will warriors (Fighters) be like?
- 3.30 What type of combat will AoC have?
- 3.31 Why does Braver of world get A1 but not A0?
- 3.32 Can we get Bard info?
- 3.33 Can you tell us about your childhood?
- 3.34 Can you say anything about Dragons?
- 3.35 Legendary weapons?
- 3.36 Will there be an achievement rewards system for titles, rewards, mounts, etc.
- 3.37 Water nodes?
- 3.38 Making an MMO?
- 3.39 Will there be a trophy system?
- 3.40 Weekly fishing tournaments?
- 3.41 How do A0 key giveaways work?
- 3.42 Is Ashes a hype Train?
- 3.43 How difficult will PvE content be in terms of percentage of playerbase able to be at highest end?
- 3.44 Ultra-rare drop items?
- 3.45 Fishing pole progression?
- 3.46 Will you be able to have instruments and play them outside of the skill?
- 3.47 Can other players ships be temporarily hijacked? Can their cargo be unloaded by enemy players? Similar to caravans?
- 3.48 Closing
- 4 References
Q&A Sunday 11:09 AM Twitch Stream Steven Q&A
How will summoner pets work?
- Steven: Summoners will be able to summon things as described in their name. Things that they can summon will be different animals, potentially spirits, potentially corpses. You’ll be able to change appearance of summons and identities by achieving in game items that can change the appearance or cosmetics we’ll be offering. Some summoners will be able to summon multiple things. Others will be able to summon one powerful thing. Some summoners may not be able to summon ‘things’ anymore, so much as effects and temporary energies, depending on the secondary class you choose.
When will we see Tulnar? Do they Equal Furries?
- Tulnar will probably be one of the later races we work on. They were a stretch goal from Kickstarter. We’re going to be creating the core concepted races first. They will be in place before A2 though. You can expect to see concepts and early work on them before we get to A2. Tulnar do not equal furries but there are definitely some bestial components you can scale up when creating your Tulnar character. You could max that setting I guess. Whether or not that would give you something that would be considered a furry would be depending on your interpretation of what that is.
Favorite Feature when game is launched?
- I think the monster coin system is one of the more interesting things I’d like to see in action, outside of the node system. I think that’ll be a fun and unique experience for MMO players. Other games have let you play as monsters in the past, but not to this degree of influence and effect on other nodes and players.
Will there be an Undead Race? Earnable Race skins in game?
- Speculative: There may be some plans in place for, similar to the way we’ve created the other racial skins, there may be other racial template skins we allow such as ‘undead’ or stuff like that into the game - Time will Tell - No commitment on that
Can you eat bacon in the game?
- Yes you can, there will be bacon in the game
Can we sell Ice Cream / food in game?
[6:11] There will be a food creation profession - cooking - and you’ll be able to take the items you cook and you’ll be able to place them in a business if you choose - so Ice cream might be one of those cooked dishes
Will there be an open Beta?
- The beta will be closed. We are not intending to have an open Beta
Do you need dedicated testers?
- We always need bug testers. We have our alphas and betas to assist in testing. We have our QA team to assist before that. Our A0 participants are helping as well. After Pax we will then have around 2600 testers in our A0.
How do you plan on making instanced raids competitive and hardcore?
- A lot of the raids that are going to exist will not be instanced. There will be instanced raids as well. We want them to be competitive from the standpoint of needing particular amounts of people, gear quality, progression, and necessities to accomplish before defeating and have that raid be a precursor to progression into future raids, in a progression system. For us, balancing a competitive PvE scene with a competitive PvP scene is vital to the interdependencies of those two systems. We’ll be testing systems that will grant Raiders a fulfilling, fun, and competitive scene.
Detailed breakdown of Pie types?
- Interesting - there will be multiple pies in game. We’ll do an in depth blog on multiple types of Pie
Will there be food/water to keep your healthy?
- No food/water bars to keep your character healthy. We're not going with survival aspect
Will there be Nature gods? How about nighttime or the Moon?
- Pantheon that exists in AoC don’t necessarily represent different aspects of nature. Instead, they represent different aspects of the universe and feelings. For example god of creation / goddess of love. They’re not like the god of the centaurs/birds/night but more metaphysical. We have a rich lore on pantheon of gods, but something for players to discover in game, not be told about.
When can we have an in game peak at cosmetics?
- Cosmetics previously offered - those are going to be developed late in development schedule. Our main focus is developing the core aspects first. Not too much early production time on cosmetics outside of cosmetic art. Our development cycle is getting to the meat and potatoes of what will make the game first and adding the pretty frosting later, but they will be in place closer to launch.
Will there be guild alliance chat?
How are mounts going to work?
- Mounts will be items you can carry on your character and activate to summon the mount near you. Where you can then ride the mount. Mounts will be both purchasable from players using animal husbandry and taming systems in game for you to be able to create unique mounts with unique abilities as well as stats for different speeds/health/armors/energies for other abilities, no mounted combat but we will have mounted abilities.
Are we the same people that walked in portal?
- You are many generations later.
We need Action combat and good crafting
- We are balancing the different tempos between action and tab targeting. We’re offering choice between them in the skill trees so players can customize what spells they spec into the system they enjoy.
- Crafting will be unique, 3 tiers of artisan tree, people who enjoy crafting should enjoy our system.
When is A2?
- No official date, First phase A1 early Q4 2018,
Will there be hunting rifles, blunderbuss?
- No gunpowder in AoC
- There will be magical energy. Perhaps there will be magical combustion oriented things
Trading goods with boat to caravan and vice versa?
- Can trade by boat on a trade ship, toying with idea of caravan transforming through the use of ability and a delay period into trade ship at coast should you wish to move into the water
Mutli-person land mounts?
- Yes - there will be party mounts that you can use
Will it be possible to join an anti-gods cult?
- I don’t know if I revealed this yet…. Bacon disclaimer [sits close to bacon] There was a split in the Pantheon of gods early in the creation of the universe. The gods that split do influence the corrupt side of the beings that exist in the universe. It is possible through questing/player decisions to worship those gods instead.
- We’re looking into controller support. UE4 natively has a pretty easy system for converting the UI into controller support. We’ll likely work on it closer to launch.
Will there be underwater cities?
- There may be some POI and they could be misconstrued as cities I suppose, they might have some NPC structures, but there won’t be underwater nodes.
Do you believe a mercenary guild for attacking or defending trade routes will be viable?
- Yes, mercenary guilds will be a viable way forward for different organizations. A lot of business to be had with that. One of the systems for trades is creating an escrow for that particular arrangement.
Favorite enemy creature?
- So far, favorite enemy creature from a production/amazement standpoint are probably the crab/spider creations Bacon made. Even though Bacon is technically an environment artist he has the ability to model/animate/concept creatures. I watched as he created it in the office, one of the artists threw in a lot of tiny spiders they changed the size on. Incredible talent. Pretty amazing to see Bacon do all those things to get them in the game.
Will we be able to test out all class combinations in a like class trial system at high level?
- I don’t believe so. During Alpha/beta yes, no class trial system.
What did you have for breakfast?
- I had a cracker and some cheese. Bacon has not had breakfast except Orange Juice. Bacon is ageless and powerful, do not mock him. Bacon is a lesser angel.
Inventory question - since base classes cannot be changed, which encourages alting, how do we deal with inventory between alts?
- You will likely have a warehouse ability that will let you transfer non-material goods - no resources or materials that rely on trade system - between alternate characters. That helps to facilitate making transfers between alts.
Will the game have Voice acting?
- Not very much in VO. It's a fun thing to have luxury of putting into a game, but in a game like an MMO when you have expansions updates/ ideally need to use the same Voice actors or you're going to have sustainability issues. Harder to translate when accommodating voice acting - fun luxury to have, but costly and takes a lot of logistics
- Possible we may have voiced npc greetings
Free look mouse system?
More info on racial bonuses, general game?
- Different races have different stat compositions, can be important, but also not meant to dictate meta for which class is used with which races.
Specific number on different servers per region?
- At this stage - we do not have those numbers. We’ve said in past 8-10k concurrent users per server - dependent on population playing in those regions.
Is this a theme park MMO?
- Not in traditional sense - Theme park MMO's are known for vast amounts of curated content. We’ll have that, but behind doors curated by the player community. We’ll have more content than a traditional theme park, because for that content choices to be meaningful need to have choices mean something.
What types of summons? How will they work together for siege summons?
- Types of pet summons lots of types, customizable. With regards to siege summon incremental size based on number of summoners in that activity, maximum of 8, full party can fully form a giant thing. The number of summoners participating will determine its overall size, scales
Will there be dinosaurs?
- Dino like yes, no specifically T-rexes, those are inherent to earth.
Please no Mega-Stufferton
- That's actually a great idea. We’ll give Gigabear a unique cosmetic of the gigantic stuffertons. That might be interesting.
- Editor's Note: I don't think Gigabear will let Steven live this quote down
How many Guilds per alliance?
- We'll toy with that in Alpha/Beta
Fishing in game?
- Idea: Speculative: Baconzone: Can’t be used against me or quoted for truth: Something about fishing, don’t want it to be an afk activity, some games have gone that route, distinguishes real fishermen from afk fishermen. Instead we want something fun, akin to a bit of a mini-game, but something that’s not too repetitive and requires some skill. Talked to a friend about managing fishing from mobile companion app possibly. Cast fishing line on app, character throws out line in game. Whether or not we can achieve that, we'll see.
- Bacon: Possibly separate fishing system from boats.
What reason does a mage have not to use heavy physical armor?
- Heavy physical armor is geared towards physical armor damage mitigation, and if that mage is up against another mage, it might not be a good idea to wear physical armor.
Will there be big game hunting?
- Potentially, thought about it early on. It's not a core design feature. It would be interesting if we could explore that. A lot of stuff you guys talk about could implemented as updates as expansions are explored.
Q&A Sunday 1:04 PM Twitch Stream Steven Sunday Q&A 2
Will Ashes be another Star Citizen?
- AoC won’t be pay to win, we won’t sell you actual ships / ship insurance. Ashes won’t be P2W
Stuffintons is P2w
- Is it though? I don’t think it is
Ziz asks about getting an A0 key
- I like your content, you can have a key now itsZiz
Will the npcs do idle actions to make the world feel alive?
- Jeff spoke to me about that during our pre-planning, and I'm not against that, so we'll see what happens
Even just the developer interactions are almost as good as playing the game
- Thank you Vatator (sp?) Honestly, I can't tell you guys just how much it means not only to myself, but to the team as well to have so much support from you guys and the community as well.
Will the game be released in my lifetime?
- How old are you? I’ll let you know if you will have a good playable game in your lifetime. He says 34. As long as you don’t do anything too risky over the next two years you'll be fine.
Biggest concern for development? What are you doing about it?
- My biggest concern is probably how open and transparent our development process is. The decision was made early on. Risk and reward. I can understand why some studios do not have open development, with the community seeing something that is so work in progress. You’ve seen the content we’ve put out, and it looks nice/good but it’s not polished. We’re in a game development cycle, polish tends to occur near the end. Typically the downside is some percentage of the audience is viewing the game for the first time not knowing what it’s about, seeing play, thinking that’s the final product and making their decisions at that point. Sometimes they’ll see the final product later, but sometimes they won’t see the product later and you’ll have missed the "user acquisition point". There can also be negative press cemented in, they’ll go on Reddit and say things that are untrue, spread their opinion, which is fine, but it should be informed, and oftentimes it's not. That's often the greatest concern I have. I think that the rewards outweigh the risk. The reward is that even though we have some percentage of the viewership that will do that, what we've gained is far greater. And that is having an active development community that watches progress and is invested from an early stage.
- Bacon: Their like family
- Steven: Exactly, they are our family. They can give us real time feedback and we can use the real time feedback. Seeing faces of the fans, going to advents, seeing people on discord, those things outweigh the risks to me. Otherwise I don’t have much concern from a development standpoint. The team is so veteran. Our systems are not technologically challenging. They can be done. We know how to do them. We’re doing them now.
- Bacon: It doesn't hurt that our stuff already looks good
How much Evil will be in the game? What will Necromancers be like?
- Because we're non-faction based we want to grant the user the ability to either do things that are "evil" or "good". There has to be a plethora of choices on the evil side for them to participate in. We’re taking a twist on the identity of necromancers. Traditionally their evil in the sense that they corrupt death or to serve some kind of necromantic lore. I view the necromancer as a master of life and death. The way I want to implement our necromancer, you can choose to be a necromancer for good or dark and twisted things. Either is viable. If you want to work with spirits that aid, you can do that. If you want to summon skeletons/zombies/undead creatures you can do that and use them for you will as well.
Tell us about character creation. How in depth will we be able to go? Can we have a blue skinned elf?
- Elves with blue skin? No. We want there to be a lot of room for people to manifest their own identity to roleplay how they want to from even an appearance standpoint, but there will be parameters from which to customize. The culture and identity of our races will exist within a range that make them identifiable. The spectrum for elves will not involve blue skin. There will be sliding scales for Hair / facial structure / bones / height / width / body fat % / body hair on different parts of the body - hair on feet can be dialed up - female dwarven beards that will not match the male dwarven beard, not as voluminous as the males, braided, but it is some facial hair we want to identify the Dünir with, not the Niküa.
Will you come to the UK?
- Don’t know if going to UK, but we will go to Europe - haven't announced when
Will there be a Centaur mount?
- Have you ever seen a centaur baby? I’ve never seen a baby one.
- Bacon: There's a reason for that
Cambiguous: Did you guys enjoy the doughnuts?
- Yeah thanks buddy. I actually got to have breakfast this morning because of that.
Will book combat feel like using a book as a weapon? I love books as weapons but most just feel like a catalyst of magic
- Funny thing; when we were making the book for A0 one of the ideas was to have a large book with a chain and you could swing the book as a melee weapon to hit people with. Whether that comes to fruition we will see, but it was an idea on the sketch board.
Chocolate covered bacon as a food?
- Steven: (talks about how good chocolate covered bacon is)
Will the monthly clothing items from the store be dyeable?
- I don’t know if the full body costumes will be, but I couldn’t see why not. What we do with dyeable assets is we tag the portions of the asset that we want to be adjustable, to change colors. When that tag is present it affects only the tagged meshes. I don't see why they wouldn't be dyeable, outside of maybe wanting to keep some identity from a lore perspective for instance making a “white lions lore suit” you wouldn’t want that to be dyed black or blue. It depends on the costume itself.
How will we go about changing augments on skills?
- We don’t want you to be able to change secondary class or augments out in the open. We want you to make a conscious choice somewhere at an NPC somewhere to go out and venture with the chosen augments and skills. That becomes relevant because the level of node necessary for that NPC will likely be at the village stage or above. If you're far out in the wilderness, with no instant teleportation available, you need to be conscientious of your choices and not change them on the fly.
What was your nickname as a kid?
- Steven: I didn’t really have one
- Bacon: Baconator
- Steven: That is totally cool, I wish I had a nickname like that.
Is alchemy a confirmed profession?
- Yes, confirmed. All professions are housed within a specific artisan path. We have three artisan paths gathering/processing/crafting. Depending on which professions you want to utilize, will probably be taken into account when you choose which path you want to master.
Tulnar what can be said about them?
- Tulnar are a race that were added as a stretch goal. Combination of minor races that existed before the fall and major 4 races that were present co-mingling in the Under Realm of Verra as a means to survive. Influences are from mammalian, reptilian, and humanoid features. Character creation process involves dialing those elements up in one of those categories.
Summoner main / Mage secondary - Can I summon something that explodes when it dies?
- Your summons could have an augment from a school of magic applied - a sweeping attack with a claw, bite, or rush, and you took teleportation you could rush them, similar to tank teleporting to target, or claws could combust on striking target dealing burn damage. Say summon was originally a bear cat - could get a translucent flaming bear cat. That's how we want to influence the active skills with actives and that's how it would apply with summoners.
Can players compound skills from two different players, playing off each other?
- Yes, skills from different classes will have synergy. They will also have combination effects as well. For example in the elemental side of things. The idea behind magic is manipulating the elements, can be darkness, light, planar, elemental influences, fire, water, air, ice, etc... If I a ranger / mage could have a frost charge bolt - bolt might freeze for a period of time and slow speed with a debuff. If a wizard applies nuke on target and nuke is frost based nuke those two stacking elements might then either further slow or freeze the target in place. Build ups happen where two separate skills cause an ancillary effect when combined.
How will crafting mechanics work, how will we get recipes?
- Many different ways to achieve recipes. Can be granted through a lot of progression paths: While leveling can find as drops from monsters, from quest lines, societal stature, being a mayor might give community recipes to book, thieves guild or other societies can grant recipes, legendary bosses or titles might give recipes, if you’ve become a landowner and building up processing power through infrastructure, through buildings, can give recipes, religious devotion can grant holy recipes based on church your part of. We want to take crafting and house recipes throughout different progression paths so everything isn’t pigeonholed into one way forward. Multiple play styles should be viable. Spread between casual and hardcore players. May only have time in month to login several hours a week and progression path of a religion or society might be more conducive, while a dedicated player might get recipes from legendary raids. All of those types of progression will grant relevance to the world.
Balancing will be hell
- When is balancing not hell? When you have a very boring game. If you have a game with a lot of moving parts, balancing will be a primary objective. That’s why we have a lot of planned testing phases. Early on in the development, we have incorporated a lot of metrics to watch player activity in live time. That will grant an added benefit to see actions in real time. When we go live we can make sure we have a tested tried and true system.
Talking about press stuff
- Today is my stream day, I'm going to be trying to spend as much time with you guys, answering a lot of questions. Because I know sometimes in our development cycle we might get our heads down. You may go a couple of weeks or longer before you get a large information drop and then it all comes rushing out. That's part of being on a project that's developing. We have events like GDC and PAX that happen a week apart and we have a pretty strong sprint towards them.
New community manager yet?
- We do have a great culture and we are hiring. We have some job postings on linked in for those who are in the industry. For me, CM is a very important role. Why? Because, I want to make sure tone for community is not overly strict. It has become somewhat pervasive from a community standpoint that moderators / managers feel it’s necessary to be overly strict. It's difficult to find a talented / experienced community manager that both understands the MMORPG genre and understands my views on how the community should be run. That's just from a moderation standpoint. Additionally, when we do bring on a CM (and we will be bringing on a CM) there are lots of activities for team building, guild oriented, within the community to support the game development and each other. Ultimately, all rivalry aside. If it weren't for each other we wouldn’t have a game. We want to make sure rivalries are healthy.
Do you plan to make cross server PvP modes / battlegrounds?
- Speculative: Teams on server fight each other, get chosen as server rep team, might have cross server arena competition, winning server gets some sort of buff, winning team gets a further buff - trophy buff - that’s something that I like. Again we have a lot on our plate, and something like that might not make it into launch build, but might get implemented in updates/expansions.
I get bored with tab targeting can we do other stuff?
- Skill progression / allocation is determined by the player. The player can choose action or tab targeting to customize their play experience. From a balancing standpoint, as developers, we need to make sure certain abilities house certain functions. We don’t want lockdowns housed in tab targeting area, when you add added damage housed in skill shot area, added complexity of action combat could be negated by a tab targeted ally locking opponents in place. We want to make sure we don't house a lot of CC abilities in tab targeted abilities. Additionally you might not be able to fully spec into one. There might have a max differential of 75% one 25% another.
Are there Aspirations to make AoC an eSport?
- Do I aspire for it? Right now it's not a particular focus. I feel like if it’s compelling and fun it will naturally move in that direction, and then we can support it afterwards. Our first objective is to make it fun, the second objective is if it is then we can see how we can apply it in that arena.
What will warriors (Fighters) be like?
- Warriors will be the dps equivalent and counterpart of a ranger, but more so in the way of dealing burst damage for physical, as opposed to consistent damage over time that an archer might be doing. Cut through enemy lines, get to the support area, and take out enemy healers with quick burst damage. We want them to be versatile in whether they want to choose to be a ranged fighter or melee one. Up to the player in terms of weapon choice.
- Editors Note: Steven seems to have been talking about Fighters in this section. 
What type of combat will AoC have?
- Strategic - depending on movement and location. Engaging, fun - What you see in pre-alpha, we have not honestly spent a lot of time on combat. Most of the time has been spent on core technical features for proprietary back-end solutions, collecting many players in a single zone, with 4000 npcs, establishing nodes, npc systems, cultural experience, getting good server fps, establishing a connection through our launcher - combat has not been at the forefront of development. We haven't really had someone specifically focus on combat yet, apart from maybe Akil has been the closet to working on combat, just making skills work. We’re looking into the action side of combat right now and building systems for that. The reason we’re doing that is tab targeting has been a staple, Action combat is popular right now, and we really want to delve into that right now so we can better understand how to merge them together because they have vastly different play styles and tempos. We’re spending the time now to play with those things.
Why does Braver of world get A1 but not A0?
- When getting real time feedback, we want a wide sample of opinions from people who cannot afford to spend 500$ on Braver of Worlds to people who can, which is why we have a tiered raffle system. Additionally, I don’t want to sell A0. A pre-alpha experience is not something that really can be sold, in my opinion. It's often bug ridden, not dependent on play sessions, impromptu, not an experience that can be sold, in my opinion something that should just be raffled out. We want to use as a tool to keep audience interested and coming back and learning. Yeah, you paid 500$ for A1, but A1 will be awesome when it comes along and you’ll be the only ones in it. When that stage comes along the team feels confidant you'll be satisfied with that experience. We don't want to upset our A1 backers. That's why we're doing a raffle.
Can we get Bard info?
- Bards are intended to amplify a party or raids ability to perform within their own class. Not just intended for dps, but also for support / healing / taking damage / movement. What we want bard to do is not just musical. While they can be that, many bard applications may exist in just telling a story. Telling a story is going to be the thematic component for how the bard interacts with the party. That story is going to enhance player ability to perform. Similar to buffing up the party. Not just a buff bot - don’t invite to party get buffs and kick for 30 minutes. Those buffs are based on performance in combat. If engaged in combat and land a skill shot in combat or land an attack well, the Bard gives nearby allies buff based on skill used. Say bard uses a sword slashes with gladiatorial performance attack inspires nearby friends with critical multiplier for 8-10 seconds. Positioning of party members compared to the bard will matter.
Can you tell us about your childhood?
- Steven: Bacon tell us about your childhood - wait hold on we have to tick the mature audience button
- Bacon: I grew up in Portland Oregon - lived there until first job - moved to Florida to work on the Duke Nukem stuff
- Steven: I like rain, one of my favorite things in the morning, we have skylights have you been to house Bacon? Oh you should come over to dinner - you can hear the rain loudly through the house. I was born in San Diego and lived there until 5 mom was a single mom had two brothers moved to Indianapolis for 8 years till 13 then came back and moved with family to San Diego. Lived in Vegas for a while after college, but I didn’t like living in Vegas, always dry, cold or hot - not enough time to focus on what was going on in Vegas when I was younger.
Can you say anything about Dragons?
- Dragon mounts are intended to be a class of royal mounts. Royal mounts mean, people who have access are either mayors of a metropolis or kings and queens of a castle. There are only 5 of each in game. Additionally, they can be dropped from legendary world bosses with a lifespan timer, likely between 2-4 weeks, after which the mount will sadly pass away. You can get different types of royal mounts, don’t have to be dragons, can be a different type of legendary mythical creature. There will be classes of mounts, and can achieve different skins for classes of mounts, or obtain classes of mounts. PvP is the primary purpose for dragon mounts. As it relates to the nodes or sieges they are in. We want Dragons to have large scale ramifications against player raids. Royal mounts are the only class of mounts that can fully fly in the world. They need to be mounted while in a royal stable. A building that can be built in the node if recommended by mayor/supported by community through the quest to do so. Also castles come with royal stable. Can mount creature there and take it wherever you wish. There will be a considerable flight time associated with it, probably between 20-30 minutes. Will limit the range of effectiveness for that particular mount. They will be an epic scale large looking creature. People will notice you.
- There will be legendary world bosses that are dragons that are not tamable, that are only defeatable for their treasure hoards.
- Part is visual appearance, they are more ornate and detailed than other equipment. They will include some awesome looking effects that won’t be too gaudy, to the point of not looking good, subtle. People will notice the equipment. The amount of effort needed and inter-dependency between types of players, between raiders, pvpers, even roleplayers, tavern owners, businesses, processors, gatherers, crafters, etc. - Will all have a component that is lended towards crafting the item. There are two ways that games tend to make a curve with gear. Either super RNG or super time consuming. Sometimes if you’re unlucky it’s both. We want to stay away from the highly RNG system and instead take our multiple progression paths, we’re offering the players, and put the construction components for achieving these legendary items within them. So that it encourages communities to work together for them. Would be difficult for one person to achieve them all form a time investment standpoint, need a community to work together to get the thing. Won’t blow up in your hands and leave you with nothing.
Will there be an achievement rewards system for titles, rewards, mounts, etc.
- Yes. That achievement reward system is actually prevalent in a lot of systems. That’s our mechanism for rewarding time, risk, accomplishment. That is both title oriented, cosmetic oriented.
- Some other games like, one that rhymes with “See Dee Oh”, have poor looking cosmetics that are earnable in game and you are forced to acquire cosmetics from the shop to look at all good whatsoever. It’s sad from a monetization standpoint that more things aren’t offered for in game achievements and only for dollars, especially when you have a subscription component.
- My philosophy is, I want to incentivize purchase in cash shop by offering limited time / limited quantity items that won’t be offered later down in some other way. I want to make sure that equitable cosmetics both from a quality / quantity standpoint are achievable through in game accomplishment. Time and effort should let you be happy with what you can accomplish. That is important.
- Nodes on coasts and islands, not on water or underwater. There will be specific water oriented influences abilities / services / quest-lines that related to the seas for water bordering nodes.
Making an MMO?
- Making an MMORPG is a large risk. It’s the largest risk you can make in the gaming industry as a developer or publisher because it’s the largest project, with a lot of moving parts that can break in more ways than you can count. Traditionally, in the last decade, with titles that command such a large scale of the market, existing franchises command a lot of the market. They have gravity, it's difficult to pull players away from existing titles. Not that should be the objective. When you couple that from a performance standpoint with difficulty in development it's a hard equation to balance. You see developers shy away, publishers shy away, from innovating and the market becomes stale because no one is willing to risk or innovate. The benefit we have at Intrepid is that with myself funding the project and additional crowdfunding with Kickstarter. I have no one to answer to outside of my creative vision. My creative vision aligns with my experience as a player. What destabilized the experience of the communities of other games or added to it. I played a highly P2W game, that you had to pay a lot to be competitive, and I like to be competitive, some people can stand to lose but I’m not one of them. I’ve seen those systems and been forced to P2W as well, because I wanted to be competitive, but if the game was made in a way where that wasn’t the atmosphere, it would have been a much nicer experience. If there weren’t predatory aspects from the publisher of the game, the communities would have been better stabilized. Some publishers try to grab money grab as quick as you can and don’t care about attrition or retention are not in their minds. That's a really unfortunate happenstance. I’m just saying this as how I saw it as a player. My objective is to build something that is sustainable, attention oriented, and answer the call of what players want.
- The MMO community has been burned so many times in the past by various companies that it’s like a burnt dog, if you want to pet it, it’ll bite your hand off. I understand that. I was like that. I was skeptical of projects that tell me things I want to hear. The bottom line is the principles of the studio we’re trying to convey require the support of the community. We need to show that the community is behind these thoughts and not the wallets that are behind predatory cash grab thoughts. In the eyes of a board member only the bottom line counts. I have no board members. I am my own board member. My concern is creative direction. If the community can support that idea in the mediums where people listen, then we can move forward from the stagnant state of the MMORPG genre. I know that was a bit of a tirade.
Will there be a trophy system?
- I would like a trophy system for cross server PvP. I would also like it to be for legendary world bosses. I want it to cost time/resources/dedication to down a world boss. When you do that, I want everyone to benefit from it. With that trophy system it might cause everyone to benefit.
Weekly fishing tournaments?
- Would be awesome. I like the idea of having fishing style tournaments in Ashes
How do A0 key giveaways work?
- Additional entries for following on social media. Depending on which social media account your on you’ll receive a message on that social media if you win with that social media account or if on our website will receive message through that. Right now we only have a very small CS team. As we get closer to A1 we’ll bring on more CS people - those keys will likely be sent out Wednesday-Thursday of next week.
Is Ashes a hype Train?
- At PAX we have had a non-stop line around the booth every single day there has been a 3-4 hour wait to play the game. I'm telling you right now this is a no BS moment. Upwards of 90% of the people that walk away are completely ecstatic and excited about what we've shown here and what is intended to be the game when we launch. No longer a hype train, we’re now a fully moving train. Down a railroad to greatness
How difficult will PvE content be in terms of percentage of playerbase able to be at highest end?
- A lot of PvE content for all portions of the player base. You throw in an interesting variable when you use the term hardest content. What does hardest mean? Your time spent to even access the challenge or completing it itself. It will be pretty intricate mechanics wise. Different phases / adds / random boss skill usage / there will be telegraphed boss animations but not ground templates, not repeatable in exact same way raid to raid, but has variance between combats, raids have to be fluid and think on feet. What percentage should be able to successfully complete the hardest content? I don’t know if I want to put a number on that. It should be somewhat small. Philosophically, if not somewhat small, players playing need something to strive for. Where is the goal if you can complete anything? Part of that risk verses reward, your risk is your time you’re putting in to have a chance in successfully completing, and that should feel good based on how much time you devote. There is a spectrum of players and the time there, but that’s why we have many different content paths that play towards how you affect the world around you.
Ultra-rare drop items?
- Will be ultra-rare drop items in areas that are solo centric. Some people hate grinding, some people like it. A portion of gamers that enjoy old school grindy MMOs. You just want to vedge out and go to a zone and smack away on monsters. If there is no opportunity for rare reward, then you feel like you’re doing it for nothing, and that’s not fun. If there's an opportunity for ultra-rare item or mega sack of loot, then that gives them a tunnel of light.
Fishing pole progression?
- I like the idea of cosmetic fishing pole progression.
Will you be able to have instruments and play them outside of the skill?
- I’d like to include - referring to AA - they had a musical composition profession. You could either take custom music you created or songs you like from the real world, you could try to create the music, sometimes you would get errors depending on music proficiency, but then you could play it on an instrument like a sitar, violin, or whatever, in the game. I’ve mentioned the possibility of doing that before.
Can other players ships be temporarily hijacked? Can their cargo be unloaded by enemy players? Similar to caravans?
- Ships can be hijacked. Additionally, the cargo on a trade ship will be similar to caravans in sense that you must destroy the caravan. The trade ship cannot be hijacked to capture the loot. It must be destroyed to create a wreckage to capture loot.
- Hey listen, thank you guys, from the bottom of our hearts. Here at this event from the studio during this whole process. We've got about 700 people that are watching us live, whether you hate us or you love us, whether you think we're going to succeed or fail, I'm going to tell you guys we appreciate you being here and watching. We want to provide you guys the best possible MMORPG. We're working long days and nights. You are what matters. This genre is important to us. We want to perform for you guys. Thank you for your support. Thank you for getting out there and spreading the word about this game. Teaching others is hard. We don't have a marketing team. I'm the only marketing guy at the studio. I rely on the community to spread the word. We appreciate so much that you guys have done that and are doing that. We're going to keep you guys updated. You’re going to see a video, professionally done, of the event, all four days. It'll probably come out Wednesday. If you couldn't make it out, hopefully you can live vicariously through that video. Either way guys thank you very much for tuning in. I hope I got to answer some questions that mattered to you. I will chat with you all soon. Love you guys!
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