Archive for July, 2011

[Prime] Webcast #3 – Fade to Black

Posted: July 29, 2011 in Prime

Today’s webcast was really a Q&A.  There was some pretty insane trivia at the beginning which just proved most of the people in there are WAY younger than Warren and John. (I think someone said “Hey, I was -8 when that game came out”… ouch)

At any rate, there was a lot of good responses to the questions asked in the channel.  Onto the answers!  This is more of a stream of conscious than a sectioned off Q&A, as I didn’t have much time to go back and edit.  Feel free to hate to yourself, or take your own notes, if you don’t like them. 😉

Q&A

How do you steal schematics? Get close to the other person and do something like a pick pocket ability

How do you harvest Prime?  Harvested just like other minerals, but more scarce

What type of variation in harvesting skill? More harvesters to deploy, and they harvest at a faster rate

Do bases give you extra stats? No.  But each one of the seven types do something for you otherwise.

Can you give us info in black market?  There will be unique guns for Soldier For Hirefor black market

What’s your favorite faction: Warren: Rodon / John: “Crappy canned answer” (because Sanya told him to)

How severe is gear degradation?  Dependent upon the quality of the item. It won’t be obnoxious

Can you turn off the ability for others to loot your corpse (in same faction)?  No, but it’s limited to immediate group only.

How big is Dominus? There are currently 10 to 12 large base areas to fly between

Can you fly forever with a Jetpack?  No, but higher-level ones can take you up pretty high

Are there any flying mobs?  Yes, and some have quite a set of ranged attacks to knock players out of the sky

Are there any abilities that grand non-flight bursts of movement?:  Yes, but the beginning jetpacks are similar, as they consume lots of energy for little payoff

What’s your favorite mount? Jetpacks are considered mounts, so duh.

Do skills graphically different based on specced points?  Yes.  Higher-level abilities usually have impact on group so they changed the effects.

Are skill effects more subdued or flamboyant?  Want to make certain that animations aren’t blocked by the effect.  Sometimes effects are awesome and supposed to be visible.

Will you need a cutting edge system to make this run smooth?  No, some of the test systems are 3-4 years old in the office.  Video card needs at least 512 RAM to run smooth.  Want 2 GB memory.  Multiprocessor will help a lot

Can you knock people out of the air and disable jetpack? Yes.  Melee especially.  There are also energy drains

Is there mitigation for CC?  Yes, but not endless mitigations.  There are abilities to break out of CC.

Is the UI goinn to be changed?  Not so much right now, but some tweaks are still being made

Will there be /face and /stick?  Nope.

Can a high level player be hired by a lowbie? Yes.  That’s the point.

What are the max/min times to craft items? Varies on skill and type of item crafted

Will there be an NDA for beta?  Yep.

Will there be an insta-spawn point like fins (DAoC Hibernia thing)?  Maybe….. but not disclosed

Will there be Easter Eggs in game?  Yes, but you gotta search for them…

Where are the servers located? AZ.

Are there plans for cross-server zones? No

 Are there any vids this week?  No, there were some bugs that they wanted to fix first.

How many instances are in the game?  More than 1, less than 20.  About 5-6 guaranteed.  Some are more adventuresome, meaning it’ll take longer to run them

How many world bosses are there?  Not going to give it away.  Figure it out.  🙂

How many people are required for each boss?  They’re designed in cross-faction zones, so a lot.

Is there a con-system for enemies? Yes, you can get a relative gauge.

Are there a ton of mobs in the PvP zone?  Not really.  The Mines of Dominus will have some mobs. Areas with bases won’t.

Will GM events be announced?  Not always.  They’ll be run at different times.

Will there be server queues?  Yes, based on load.  Want a good experience.

Can you put all abilities on hotbars?  Yes, there are multiple ones.  You can cycle through and put them on the side too.  You can’t fit all 15 on one bar, though.

Any guess on server populations required to crash a server?  Only guesses, but will be testing that.

Will there be a dungeon finder feature?  No, they want you go out into the world and not just hover in one place

Is Z-Axis combat working?  It’s working better than anticipated.  Allows you to do stuff in the air like shoot people.  Evolving over time, but pretty cool

Are there big capital cities for each faction? Yes.

<<I missed 4 minutes of Q&A here, as my boss walked in to make me actually work… grrrr>>

Is there a cool-down on rez?  Yes

Will I get machine guns?  If you pick the humans!

If you are rezed in battle, are there penalties?  Health-wise, yes. Stat-wise, no.

Announcements

The guild website will be launching next week, so keep your eyes peeled.

Beta will be starting on Thursday of next week.   That’s August 4th, people.  The first round would be comprised of people who were in Alpha testing, so don’t be shocked if you don’t see an email.  The next couple of days after the 4th should see the introduction of more people (I think Sanya said around 50), so keep your eyes peeled.

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[Prime] Let There Be Crafts

Posted: July 28, 2011 in Prime

The info-dump yesterday (I’m still calling it info-dump because it makes me feel better) was all about crafting.  I’ve always been a PvP fan, don’t get me wrong.  There’s just something about crafting that pulls me in like a bugzapper.  Maybe it’s the allure of wealth beyond dreams, or the fact that someone needs me for something, or even I might secretly get a chublin from watching a little bar move across the screen.  Who knows, really.

While I was hoping for a PvP dump, I’m not ashamed to say that the crafting dump will last me just long enough to the next dump, which will hopefully be PvP.  Reading through the info, there were quite a few points that excited me.  Though I’m still currently optimistic (as should anyone be to a game that isn’t out there and playable*), here’s a few points that I thought were neat, and what might be of concern.  Here goes:

1.  Harvesting is actually a profession

What I like: Want to get rich?  This is probably how you’re going to have to do it.  Crafting takes resources and harvesters seem to be king of this.  It’s nice that they’re moving away from the DAoC model of “buy 10 things in the store” and adapting a bit of the Node Gathering ability.

What makes me nervous: With a small community split into three realms, I have genuine concerns of price fixation and market control.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a game economy that is fluid.  I just worry that with seven professions and three realms (21 segments) that we’re going to have few Harvesters right out of the door and crafting is going to be WTF expensive.

2.  Soldier for Hire looks pretty win

What I like:  The concept is always roleplayed in any game you go to.  Moving the concept out of the forums/fansites and into the game should be pretty interesting.  I don’t mind having a bodyguard if I’m going out into the field.  Solo play is nice, but someone trained to keep me from dirt napping is A-Ok.

What makes me nervous:  I’m not sure how closely this coexists with the Bounty Hunter system, but it looks like a “defensive mode only” profession.  The drawback I see is that if there aren’t any players to protect (say you don’t play in prime time), then you can’t advance your profession.  I could be wrong about this, though.

3. Open-ended professions

What I love:  (Yes love).  It’s easy to make something you know how to make.  I don’t mind doing that at all.  It makes it easy to max stats, go with the cookie-cutter design and all that pre-fab noise.  I’m completely in lust with the Inventor Profession.  It looks like you’ll be able to create custom schematics (recipes) and put them out on the market to other professions.

What makes me nervous: Given the fact you can learn new things from other players, I worry about the Inventor profession running out of stuff to do.  A helmet may decay over time, but a wiki article outlining all the recipe combinations won’t.

4. Augmentation (Biotech)

What I like: This reminds me of the spellcrafting system from DAoC.  There were slots in armor and you could upgrade each piece with a certain amount of points.  It sounds like the Biotechs will be necessary at all times, which is good.

What makes me nervous: Not a whole lot really.  I love the concept as much as my first born.

5. Different stats on the same items

What I like:  I like that PBG is breaking the mold a bit here. Stuff like this leads to quite a bit more diversity among players and can really open up a market for secondary sales.  The item I settle upon might not have exactly the stats that I’m looking for, but at that price, why not?

What makes me nervous:  The OCD in me is little scared that I won’t be able to get the same item twice.  If I have armor to support my spec, and it decays, there’s a very real chance that the replacement piece may not necessarily fill the gaps left.  It’s obviously too early to tell how much the variance will be between same-named item, but it still gives me a smidge of anxiety.

Summing It Up

I wrote a majority of this last night, but decided to sleep on it before publishing it.  It may sound like I’m coming off negative here, but that isn’t the case at all.  The concerns I voice about the crafting are just that, concerns.  They’re not founed on reality, but merely on speculation.  There’s a side of me that just wants to shout from the rooftops that this is the best crafting system ever invented.  However, it’s just on paper right now (for us outside the game studio) and they’re a complicated thing those game economies.  I look forward to getting in there, getting my hands dirty, seeing just how great this system is and allaying my concerns.  Yes, I’ll accept a beta invite, Sanya. 😉

[Prime] Webcast #2 Q&A&Mumblemumble

Posted: July 22, 2011 in Prime

This week during the Q&A, the guys at Pitch Black decided to give back.  There was a trivia contest full of old game questions.  Anything from Rogue to DAoC to some other game I didn’t know much about was game.  T-Shirts were given out as prizes.  I got the one about DAoC (I think), so woohoo.  Now, onto the webcast:

Updates from Last Week

Their main focus is getting the patcher ready.  They have made some good progress on it, and the build is compiling today.

They hope to start testing “sometime soon” but want to really start next week.

Videos of some Geography
Guilds

Guilds were the next topic up for discussion.  It seems to be a pretty typical guild system at first glance.

Ranks: Guild Leader, Officers

Chat for Officers/normal

Alliances between guilds

Alliances will be capped around eight guilds together

Guild Leaders from each guild in the alliance will have a private chat for them to converse and organize

Need to have five to form a guild

Will auto-invite you to the guild that your other characters are on.  Helps get lowbies in.

You can upload custom icon for your guild, which are displayed above your head.  These can be turned off, however.

Guild Perks : not at launch

Guild Leveling: not at launch

There are no Guild Cloaks, as there is no cloak slot.  There’s thoughts to put it on the jetpack, though.

Guild target around 200 players

Guild Web Integration

This was where things got interesting.  There will be some web integration for players.

Create a guild website on the company website

You’ll get your own subdomain’d url.  GuildName.PrimeOnline.com

Can manage roster online

Misc

No Voice chat baked in

DirectX 9b is required.

No Mac version (Hero not supported)  Hero engine peeps are talking about it.

Turrets will only attack those that you’re engaged with.  Issues with agro-fest

Single Player only for bounties, no such thing as guild bounties

Multiple harvesters can be deposited on the same deposit.

Other players can’t disturb your harvester.

Bases

Bases will facilitate faster mining.

Multiple different structures with different benefits

Set areas where bases are set to.  Varies based on faction control.

Bases will allow you to port to different areas, or respawn at different areas.

You will definitely know who is controlling the bases, and there are perks for that.

No DAoC-type relics in the game, per se.

So what’s coming next?

There’s definitely some direction toward Crafting and overall PvP as requested by the community.

More information is also coming about controlled vehicles.

(Special thanks to Pedro for helping fill in some blanks)

[Prime] Webcast #2 Today!

Posted: July 22, 2011 in Prime

In case you didn’t pick up from the last Webcast….this whole webcast thin gis going to be a weekly deal.  Head on over to the UStream site at 3PM EDT, and check out the next webcast.  I’ll be there with bells on, transcribing away at whatever the mention, so check out the ol’ blog whenever it’s over.

Here’s the link to the Ustream channel: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/pitch-black-games

See everyone there!

(PS, Today is Info release day.  Keep your eyes turned to their Facebook and Twitter accounts for info.)

[Prime] The Webcast Q&A

Posted: July 15, 2011 in Prime

Today was the first of the Q&A sessions with Pitch Black Games.  It was a pretty open format, pretty simple.  Some videos, then some Q&A.  They read questions directly from the chat and nothing felt scripted.

Char Creation

So, here’s some info about character creation.  I typed this as they talked, so pardon the paraphrasing 🙂  My personal observations are purple.

They just created the character creation video this morning.

First up was the Rodon with spikes.  Background looked pretty sweet.

Showed Salent models, but didn’t have armor on, since it was not in yet.  Armor will float above the body for Salent.

Showed Spy class human.  Very dark looking.

Then showed a heavily armored tank class (Commando I think).

And there’s a naked guy.  He had nice green boxers.  I think I have those too.

Char creation screen loaded in less than 20 seconds.  Not bad.

Salent armor is getting created now.  You can change color of the body, color of the armor, color of energy bands.

Female character are being worked on.  No boob slider. 😦

Taking some time to look at the backgrounds, and the models.  It looks clean.

There are thousands of items in the game as far as armor goes.  They start of similar, but you trick them out pretty quick.

Human starting area is the moon base pictured in character creation.

There is no post-creation customization aside from armor colors.  No barber shop per-se.

Rodon looks pretty beastly.  Reminded me of a Wolfman.  Still doing texture touch-ups.

Rodons start the game naked, but get a skin suit quickly.

Testing Timeline

Professions will be updated and fleshed out going forward.

Testing starts next week (don’t hold us to it).

They will start inviting players into the beta in groups.

Combat will be one of the first things to test.  Been working on combat.  Should be unique feeling.

They’re working on integrating a new patcher/installer from Solid State Networks.  Want to have that available when testing starts.  If they can get it done in the next couple days, testing should start next week.

Likely won’t have all the special abilities, just the basics.

Rodon Video

Butt naked to start.

There was a huge inventory 63 slots on the first screen, but expandable going forward.

Each faction has colors.  Jetpacks reflect this.  UI does not reflect faction colors.

He points where you target.  They track the target.  Shoots where you aim.

Harvesting

Harvesting is pretty neat.  You scan for what you’re looking for.  It detects them and you need to find them and rescan.

Not a typical node system. Whenever you are, it will show what resources lie under the ground around you.  Resources that show up red are further away.  Yellow semi far, green being close. Similar to Archaeology in WoW.

Throw harvester on the ground, it deploys and drills into the ground.  You can leave it there up to 24 hours and it’ll harvest for you.  You have to pick the harvester up when it’s done.  You can’t pick up one of someone else’s.  The amount of harvesters increases with skill.

There are different grades of elements.

Drills will be craft-able.  Each will have a harvest rate, and quantity it can hold.

Each toon can do all the professions, but can only max out one.

Crafted materials/items are some of the best if not the best.  It’s not just a “warm-fuzzy” thing.  There’s more to it than just money.

Harvesters are tracked on map and inventory.

No weight limit on inventory.

A lot of crafted items are openly trade-able.  Secondary market for them.

Some are going to decay.

Items are repairable.

Guild/Grouping

There are alliances for grouping guilds together.

There is a profession that will augment stats and items will do the same.

Targeting

There is a last-attacker system which picks up who attacked you last if you don’t have a target.

Don’t lose target with LOS changes.  Just can’t hit them.

They’re looking at a dual target system, no promises or commitment.

There are speed-boosting abilities. (including sprint)

Healing

Healing will be active.

Healers will spend time being involved, not just watching bars.

Resurrecting mechanic: Allows people to bring em back on the battlefield.  Can do it in-combat.

Will depend on allocation of skillpoints.

Biofuse – Insta usable ability (heal) Can use to help heal other people.

Burden of healing is not always going to be on one class.

Flying

Very viable in combat.

Death from above should be fun.  Still a range factor.

Should require some dexterity to fly and fire off abilities.  Is totally doable though.

Can’t jet-pack around forever.

Death System

Come back as a clone.

Come back to a cloning center or a forward cloning center.

Skill System

Not your typical skill-system.

More akin to a traditional leveling system.

Not going to be a train as you use it.

More than one way to get skill in the game.

Can see their skill level by clicking on people.

Leveling

Less than a month, more than a day to reach 1000.

Can start doing PvP when you’re about 600 to 650.  No need to wait til 900 or 1000.

Emphasis on exploring.  Find stuff out on your own.

Enormous amount of content.

PvE

Want the PvE to be the choice of the player.

You can be solo or do some of the lair type encounters which requires more than one person.

Built to encourage exploration.

Don’t want predefined paths.  No A to B to C.

Do not need to get into a Raid Group to get a specific piece of gear to compete.  Items will be available for purchase from other players and general commerce.

Arenas

Not in the first test.

Instanced, you can fight in it now.  Want to be able to bet on matches.

They are not integral to the game or the story.

Last Man Standing type of scenario.

PvP

Zones in each world open for PvP.  Everyone can go there.

Can all go to Dominus

You set how you want to play your class.

Mines of Dominus sounds a bit like Darkness Falls.  All factions compete for largest prime deposits in the universe.

Do not want canned PvP.  End game is to get the Prime.  Get it from the planet, get it from dead people.

UI/Add-Ons

Add-ons are not in the game right now.

UI is not really mod-able.

Can move all windows around.

Set was open and dynamic. They let the users drive it.

PDA

Can buy items from the PDA.  Need to pick them up still.

Messaging integrated.

Offline messaging (mail)

Grouping

Friends list

Stealth

Pure Invisible

Must be out of combat to enter

Instant

Jet-pack not available while stealthed.

Summary

What an abnormally informative Q&A.  They answered a hell of a lot of questions from the group.  I think we capped out at at around 100 people in there.  Above is what I got out of it while trying to type.  If you were there, feel free to correct/add to it in the comments section below.  Next week there will be another at the same time, at the same URL.  Hope to see everyone there!

-Rancid

PS: They managed to record this one.  Check it out here.

[Prime] Classes and Geography

Posted: July 10, 2011 in Prime

I can appreciate what Pitch Black (PB) is doing with their information.  While on the surface, it may seem a bit scary to release an announcement that you have a game, and then provide very little information on that game, it certainly does keep people somewhat hooking awaiting that next tid-bit of info.

Over the past couple of weeks, Prime has released two very important chunks of info.  They’re calling them InfoDumps.  That sounds… filthy.  I like it.  Onto the info!

Classes

I’m not shocked about anything here.  That’s a good thing.  There’s a tried-and-true formula out there.  The Trinity.  People blow stuff up.  People stop friends from getting blown up.  When friends get blown up, people un-blow them up.  Get it?  Got it?  Good.  Seems PB is keeping that.  Reading over the basic class descriptions, you get a sense there’s some tanks, some healers and some DPS.  There’s some basic ability info, but as with any pre-beta, you’re not getting too much info, as it’s likely to change.  Head over to the classes section for more details, but I can tell you this:  I’m excited about the Construct. Being able to shape-change on the battle field really caters to my playstyle. I like to get into the thick of it, suck up some heals and just mow stuff over.  I expect to roll this at launch and start complaining about lack of heals about 20 minutes later.

After that, I’m probably going to be looking at the Primalist. It sounds like what I wished my Shaman could be.  With ranged attacks and regenerative abilities, it might be the perfect solo class, or double as a healer.  Time will tell on this.

Worlds

I hate to compare Prime to DAoC, but you just can’t help it.  It seems that PB took a page from the old Darkness Falls of Camelot.  I loved this concept.  Fight for control of the entrance and then the world is yours to plunder…as well as any of the other poor saps to happen to be in there when control swaps.  Hopefully they’ll keep the ability to log off and keep in the zone.  That was somewhat cheeseball in Dark Age, but really kept people on your toes. If you’re going to PvE in a PvP zone, expect to get ass-jammed.  Keep yourself at near-full health and don’t blink.

The bases setup on the surface sound a lot like the Keep System from WAR and DAoC as well.  I’m hoping they tie into the entrance to the mines, or something like that.  This could be the meaningful open-world PvP we’ve been waiting for.  Again, time will tell.

This has me super excited!

You can read up more on the worlds information by heading over to the site: http://www.primeonline.com/universe/worlds/dominus/