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Early questions about the game

Early questions about the game

Postby piotras » Mon Nov 10, 2014 12:47 am

So, what I understood is that RPS (and maybe other sites) surprised you by picking up some of your tech show-off which granted you some visitors, like my humble self, on the forums. Good news, I guess? I've also found that you had a Kickstarter under the name of Legends of Firestorm (hope it goes better next time!).

Personally I'm quite pleased to see another western isometric-like aPRG popping up, especially that Diablo 3 was kinda disappointing and Diablo 2.5 (Path of Exile) caters for a type of player base that have the time for the grind that some of us simple mortals (i.e. working busy people) find unbearable (there are more of course, but that's what I found worthwhile in the aRPG genre of late).

The 256-big phase mode and your tech sound very interesting but some more info would be nice! Would you mind answering some of the questions below? I understand that due to the nature of the game production and PR you might not want to disclose or simply don't have a clear vision yet, but any hints and teasers would be nice!

Starting off, how do you want to position yourself against other titles out there? Especially against Path of Exile, since it's a F2P western isometric aPRG too. Is the 256-players per world the big thing? Is that supposed to shine in PvE co-op raids, large PvP matches or both or something else?

My initial impression, which of course might be very off, is that you aim for a slightly more approachable game? I say that by your decision of going with the browser-powered approach and having only 3 classes (or is it only the beginning?) and I also found some reference to using skill-trees (I remember trying to bring two friends of mine to play PoE, explain their skill web was quite a task plus they didn't really find it fun having to come up with a build before actually understanding what the game is about..).

Speaking of player builds, how is that going to look? Will there be some class archetypes that one can choose by simply following a single skill-path, or a skill-tree with multiple branches or complete freedom to make (or break) your character as you wish? Are you planning on purely skill-based player builds with items viewed as peripherals or will they be also necessary for making a certain build? Are you planning on making 'situational' skills which promote the use a range of skills in balanced builds or will we see builds bill around the use of primarily a single skill? Are any 'charge up' or 'cool-down' mechanics planned?

In combat I've seen that there was a lot of rolling and dodging. Are you aiming at making the movement and positioning equally important as the lvl of your skills? Also, your range class is supposed to work based on 'fps style weapon switching', which suggest that a bit of gameplay shifting from stats to twitch skills - am I right?

What are your thoughts on the in-game economy? Generation of currency, currency sinks (or lack of them), looting, trading (if any), crafting (if any) and their interplay?

Level of humour/seriousness? Are you aiming at a lighthearted parody of generic fantasy setting or trying to create an epic story of your own?

What about quests and grind? Will there be any randomly-generated content or other things that do not involve clearing out the same dungeon over and over until your eyes bleed or killing an X of Y to get Z gold?

That's for now in terms of burning questions :)
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Re: Early questions about the game

Postby organista » Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:01 am

I think that will be hard to answer some of your questions in this early phase of the game, however, i would like to know the answers aswell. Well, if you already created a topic with questions, I would like to add a few others.

- First of all, if there's any way to support you guys? I've read that you had a campaign on Kickstarter, but that was more than a year ago.
- How you want to compete with your biggest opponent, which is Drakensang Online in my opinion? It's via www hack 'n' slash free2play game which in practice is a pay2win game.
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Re: Early questions about the game

Postby Frankie » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:53 am

Great questions, Pete is away from the computer for most of today so will wait for him to get back this evening or tomorrow before we give proper answers. Generally though, yes we wanted a more approachable game and also to put emphasis on player skill in combat. We've put a lot of effort into the combat systems and animations so glad it's been picked up on!

There's no way to support us financially right now, probably the most useful support until we're ready to set that up is honest feedback on the game when you get a chance to play. I expect we will run some small scale tests with people active on this forum before we're ready to get larger scale alpha testing going (although not sure when either will happen yet)
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Re: Early questions about the game

Postby Pete » Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:54 am

Ok let me try to answer these:

piotras wrote:Starting off, how do you want to position yourself against other titles out there? Especially against Path of Exile, since it's a F2P western isometric aPRG too. Is the 256-players per world the big thing? Is that supposed to shine in PvE co-op raids, large PvP matches or both or something else?


Tbh our main hope for the large player count is to be able to get a bit closer to the social feel of a real MMO (like World of Warcraft for example) I used to be really into these games and loved the way you could just meet people in the world while playing the game casually. I don't imagine in raids and other instanced material we'll go above 10 players and I'm not even sure we'll go above 4 as I think the most exciting element of this kind of game play is learning to act in sync with your team to complete encounters where everyone needs to take on different roles (such as kiting adds, tanking bosses in cycles, group healing etc). However the end game is open to change at this point so this may change depending on how well we can practically make different mechanics work with our combat and view.

Basically we're trying combine some of the best mechanics of Bayonetta, World of Warcraft and PoE!


piotras wrote:My initial impression, which of course might be very off, is that you aim for a slightly more approachable game? I say that by your decision of going with the browser-powered approach and having only 3 classes (or is it only the beginning?) and I also found some reference to using skill-trees (I remember trying to bring two friends of mine to play PoE, explain their skill web was quite a task plus they didn't really find it fun having to come up with a build before actually understanding what the game is about..).


These are very astute points. So yes basically! We want our game to be more approachable certainly than PoE and this is why we've left skill trees so late in development. We definitely want to have *something* but I don't think PoE or even Diablo 2 style would work for us. In these games the player effectively has to google a build before starting the game, or risk ending up with an unusable character. I think we're going to investigate doing something on the lines of the skill system from Batman Arkham Asylum and the sequels as these seem more forgiving and fit better with our style of combat.


piotras wrote:Speaking of player builds, how is that going to look? Will there be some class archetypes that one can choose by simply following a single skill-path, or a skill-tree with multiple branches or complete freedom to make (or break) your character as you wish? Are you planning on purely skill-based player builds with items viewed as peripherals or will they be also necessary for making a certain build? Are you planning on making 'situational' skills which promote the use a range of skills in balanced builds or will we see builds bill around the use of primarily a single skill? Are any 'charge up' or 'cool-down' mechanics planned?


Ok so I think TBH we're likely to have less customisable characters than you may be used to in a game like Diablo or PoE. We'll certainly try to add as much flexibility as possible but a downside of having very polished animation driven combat is that it's a lot more time consuming to add many variants of the characters. If we wanted to for example add a 2 handed weapon berserker, in wow that would likely be a variant on the warrior class, however in our game we'd probably make this an entirely different character as the amount of work to integrate him into the tank would likely be similar to just making a new class from scratch!


piotras wrote:In combat I've seen that there was a lot of rolling and dodging. Are you aiming at making the movement and positioning equally important as the lvl of your skills? Also, your range class is supposed to work based on 'fps style weapon switching', which suggest that a bit of gameplay shifting from stats to twitch skills - am I right?


Yep it's a bit of both TBH we do have stats but they're relatively simple we may add some additional stats as we polish more for end game. We do definitely need to be able to gear check the player in some boss encounters so that a particularly skilled player can't just clear out the content in a day :D

piotras wrote:What are your thoughts on the in-game economy? Generation of currency, currency sinks (or lack of them), looting, trading (if any), crafting (if any) and their interplay?


We have 3 in game currencies. Gold, Energy, Gems (Premium).

Gold: Ths is found in the game world and can be used to buy new items from vendors. You also get gold from selling items you find. We'll balence this so that gold is actually quite valuable. By avoiding trade we should be able to keep quite tight control over how valuable gold is and make sure we don't end up with hyper inflation. You cannot buy gold with premium currency.
Sinks - TBD

Energy: This is used to resurrect in place when you die, and combined with various ingredients to craft items. Every item you craft uses a bit of energy. You get energy every time you kill a monster. Energy is likely to be a bit of a grind but no more so than crafting in other games. You can buy energy with premium currency
Sinks - death / potion crafting / consumable mount crafting.

Gems: These are used to unlock episodic content a month early. Buy additional character slots and to buy energy. We will almost certainly add additional premium items but we really want to avoid adding anything that will significantly alter game balance.
Sinks - Energy

Crafting: I want to use crafting to create journeys for the player through the game world. So at least in end game crafting will likely require you to gain items from a variety of different encounters. I also want to add some items that disappear when your character dies, and some items that disappear after a set time period to try to make this more exciting. We also talked about adding a mechanic where players can grow plants around the game world and come back and harvest them a few days / weeks later :D lots of ideas we'll see what makes it into the game

Looting: We'll try to get this close to World of Warcraft as that's been my favourite game for loot experience. Where you can hunt for specific items intelligently and are blocked by raid locking. I want to avoid the Diablo model where you just endlessly farm the same content for totally random items.

Trading: None

Level of humour. Probably a bit varied I'm writing the story and I don't think I have the right kind of personality to keep it humorous throughout :D. I think due to the awesome feedback we've had on here we'll try to get a couple of builds up for forum members only in the coming months and you can see what you think. I don't want to give too many spoilers here!


piotras wrote:What about quests and grind? Will there be any randomly-generated content or other things that do not involve clearing out the same dungeon over and over until your eyes bleed or killing an X of Y to get Z gold?


I'll post up a thread in dev for more details of end game since the ideas are rather work in progress at the moment and I don't want them to be miss represented by random people browsing the forum as final selling points of the game :D


organista wrote:How you want to compete with your biggest opponent, which is Drakensang Online in my opinion? It's via www hack 'n' slash free2play game which in practice is a pay2win game.


I've not actually played Drakensang Online I'll give it a go and get back to you on that one specifically! Thanks for the heads up
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Re: Early questions about the game

Postby Pete » Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:16 pm

piotras wrote:Are you aiming at making the movement and positioning equally important as the lvl of your skills?


Sorry I miss read this a bit I just want to note that UP does not use a diablo style skill system at all. Your core attacks are based on level and you always have them fully unlocked as a combo based character with half their combos missing is just not fun at all. The game play is more like a fighting game or perhaps a bit like the batman games, and bares little direct resemblance to d3 / PoE etc. It's much faster and more dynamic and you use different attacks by timing your button presses i.e.

Left, Left, Left, pause, Left -> whirlwind

We are planning to add some utility skills to the tank which will be a little more diablo like. These are likely to include things like a short range charge to help move between groups of monsters quickly. A defensive mode where your right mouse button attacks become a block. And some large AoE attacks perhaps. These skills will use a rage style resource but I want to reiterate that they will not form the core of the game play, but rather be small supplements to make it more fun!
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Re: Early questions about the game

Postby piotras » Sun Nov 16, 2014 6:32 pm

Cool, thanks for the response, I really like the direction this game is heading. Looks like casually playing with no-so-dedicated friends will be slightly more straightforward which is also good news in my book!

Speaking of premium currency etc., do you consider memberships or monthly content+membership combos? Personally I prefer to go for membership that grants me passive bonuses that accumulate value over time rather than buying something outright.
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Re: Early questions about the game

Postby organista » Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:01 pm

I have another question, whether monsters or players will have skills such as freeze, stun, paralysis, poison or silence? I saw a knockback on gif with slimes but seems like character wasn't stuned or proned so i just wondering, if stronger mobs can use skill mentioned above.
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Re: Early questions about the game

Postby Pete » Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:05 pm

organista wrote:I have another question, whether monsters or players will have skills such as freeze, stun, paralysis, poison or silence? I saw a knockback on gif with slimes but seems like character wasn't stuned or proned so i just wondering, if stronger mobs can use skill mentioned above.


We don't currently have a debuff system (Such as in WoW where the player has a list of modifiers that effect various movements). This is something we've considered adding at various stages and will probably revisit while working on character secondary skills and unlocks. UP is generally focused on being fast paced and action oriented so if we do do anything here i'd expect it to be more on the lines of Diablo (with a couple of fairly simple debuffs) than on the lines of wow (with lists of complex debuffs and timers)

In terms of knock-back this isn't a debuff or ability it's just the result of our loosely physics based combat. In general the knock back is based games like Bayonetta and God of War and our combat broadly aims to play more like these games than like Diablo (At-least on the melee character)
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Re: Early questions about the game

Postby Pete » Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:09 pm

piotras wrote:Speaking of premium currency etc., do you consider memberships or monthly content+membership combos? Personally I prefer to go for membership that grants me passive bonuses that accumulate value over time rather than buying something outright.


While i'd be for a membership option i think it maybe in-practical for a team of our size to set it up as i don't think recurrent billing is trivially supported through the main payment providers. It's something we'll review nearer to release but our expectation is that we'll probably not offer membership.
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