[Beta signup] After the first Q&A session a couple of weeks back, the development team behind Skyforge has released yet another new Q&A document, with questions provided by the community. Developed by Team Allods and Obsidian Entertainment, there will be more Q&A sessions.
Will I be able to use 1) gamepad 2) Oculus Rift or another 3D helmet with the game?
We are considering gamepad and have successfully experimented with it in the early stages of development, but most MMO players play on PC, and they are used to playing with the mouse and keyboard. Therefore, at the time of the launch there would be no such support. And support for virtual reality helmets is entirely dependent on their success and distribution.
How important is PvE and PvP in the open world? Will they be replaced by arenas and instances? Is there open world PvP at all?
Skyforge gameplay takes player’s personal preferences into account. There are generalists among players who feel equally comfortable in all modes. There are also pure PvP-ers who get bored of fighting mobs very quickly, and pure PvE-ers that find aggression towards a “living” person disagreeable.
The game offers a wide selection of all types of activity and does not force players to participate in any of them. You can occupy yourself as you see fit without risk of losing anything, as with both types of activity you gain the same resources for character development.
There is enough variety within either type. Small instances, huge locations, plot-driven adventures, competitions; solo, group, raid, and guild activities. There are many things happening on Aelion right now, and players can decide for themselves what to do.
What are the incentives for participating in PvP? What are the rewards for killing players and death penalties? In most new games the incentives to kill in PvP are quite insignificant, mainly a certain kind of currency that can be used to buy mediocre things. Will there be unique items that can be obtained by killing players?
We understand that besides the “storyline” needs, players have other more important needs. Therefore, PvP (just like any other activity) directly affects the development of the character, their equipment, characteristics, etc. For a player that wants it to be so, PvP can become a major source of development points and resources.
And, just as in other gameplay modes, the penalty for death in PvP will be very mild. By MMO standards, it is practically non-existent. We want to give the player a chance to experiment and not be afraid of the consequences. Losing in PvP is sufficient penalty in itself, so why aggravate it with unnecessary mechanics.
Will the skill in PvP be displayed (ranks, tables, ratings, arenas?)
Yes, of course.
The game looks a lot like “..Insert the name of the game here..” Don’t you think the project is going to be just another variation of it?
The MMO genre is by no means young, and it has a certain set of components. But many things in our game are done “differently”. While the substance might be recognizable, the implementation will often be non-classical. Of course, it is impossible to completely avoid parallels with other games.
Does the game really have an open world? Or just a lot of large locations with invisible walls?
Skyforge take place on a planet named Aelion and players have access to numerous regions on its surface. There are large open locations, and there are tiny instances. We decided not to make the world seamless for gameplay reasons, but we are not going to deny players a sense of travelling and exploring.
Is there physics in game? Interaction with objects? Weather influence?
The game has physics for characters, water, fabric, and many other things, but the gameplay is not built around it, as the number of bugs and artifacts in such games is beyond an acceptable amount. The game features different locations at different times of day and with different weather conditions, but there will be no dynamic change for now.
Will there be massive player confrontations (eg 200×200)?
This is a topic that we are still discussing, but I will share a bit of information. Large PVP battles are epic and appealing… until you are in the middle of them. The contribution of the two hundredth player in a battle like that is invisible. You can hardly demonstrate tactics in a crowd (it shows on a larger scale, but playing one unit in an RTS is not fun), the skill is negated by “focus” and “one shots”.
Throwing a huge number of players together in one fight is bad in terms of gameplay. However, there is always a compromise, and we found it. Without revealing details, I will just say that for successful participation in guild battles your company will need at least 100 active players.
Will the opinion of the players be taken into consideration after CBT (eg change some aspects of the gameplay)?
Of course, since that is the purpose of such tests. And not just opinion – we collect statistics, monitor players’ behavior, and analyze the actions of social groups and associations. And this is true not only for CBT, but also for OBT, and for the game after it has been released.
Are there any games in development right now that AO team views as their competitors?
Today’s player is not a one game at a time person willing to kill Deathclaws around New Reno for years. These days every game has to compete with a huge variety of activities on different platforms: other online games; mobile, console games; TV shows, movies, social networking. It’s not about competition anymore. It’s about beating with the rhythm of modern man.
Speaking of the scale of the game world, what are the dimensions? Can you compare its relative size to other projects?
It is hard to give an exact answer, but some time ago the total area exceeded 50 square kilometers.
It was said that the project would have one server. Does this mean there will be multiple channels, or you are actually planning to keep a huge number of players on one server?
All players from the same region will play on one common shard. This is possible thanks to the server system (which can run on a large number of machines), location system (that uses channels), and many interesting technical findings of our wonderful programmers.
Earlier it was mentioned that there would be third-party applications on smartphones and tablets that could be used to access the game. What are they like?
First, it is a gaming portal accessible via the browser of any computer (including smartphones, tablets, etc.) It contains a knowledge base for the game, a built-in social network, and some of the game mechanics. We will be revealing more about it at a later date.
Will it be possible to fly?
Yes, where needed for the sake of gameplay.
Will there be any property? Houses at least?
That’s another topic that bears discussion and demonstration. So as not to break any promises, and not to leave you hanging at that, I’ll keep it to this: gods have their own piece of “property” and it’s larger than a hut.
How thorough is the customization in the game? Are there many options for altering character’s appearance?
Gods are supernatural entities. They can assume various forms, and they are not restricted by limitations of mortals. They do not have to wear armor to protect themselves, and they can choose how to appear to mortals. Therefore, you can customize your appearance and clothes regardless of your class.
Don some realistic armor, dress as an extravagant magician or find an unusual piece of clothing that reflects your personality. While developing the character customization, we paid particular attention to what is most noticeable in the game: physique, proportions and so on. But that doesn’t mean that we disregarded faces and other “hidden” features.
Will there be a stealth class?
Yes, and you will learn more about it in the near future. Given the fact that one of the directions of continuing development post-launch is “classes”, there might be quite a lot of them over time.
Will there be craft, and how will it work?
In Skyforge, there are several mechanics similar to craft systems from other games. You can simply combine items. You can also improve your equipment. Many locations have a close analogue of “collecting”. But the principal “craft” mechanic is a large and unusual part of divinity which we will talk about in the near future.
Are there any intermediate stages between a “regular player” and a god? Do you need to establish a cult in your honor or just acquire/occupy some location/building/trinket to attain the status of a god?
The player learns about their immortality very quickly – literally in the first several minutes of the game. But to become a god you will need to pass multiple tests. To take a thoughtful part in the fate of Aelion. To earn the respect of other gods and mortals. And last but not least in this process is your followers, and that‘s twice now that I’ve wriggled out of discussing it. Stay tuned for updates.