February 9th livestream, breakdown with images and Q&A notes!

Another month, another official AoC livestream. Steven and the crew played for about 1 hour, answering a few questions along the way. They showed us a few different instances, with some boss fights, the underrealm, an elvish node, and topped it of with a quick PvP session! Spoiler: Steven did not win the PvP! I have taken several images during the stream, check them out below!


AoC loading screen.

Stream starts with the amazing looking Dünheim instance, an old dwarf city that got corrupted. The monsters there are pretty strong. The visuals are great, especially when you consider this game hasn't even reached the first official alpha state (alpha 1, estimated ~Q3 2018). We also get a look at the UI, character screen, loading screens etc. Of course things might change, but it is cool to see how it looks now. Steven got some basic gear on his character, and he swaps weapons a few times during the stream from bow to staff. Remember that there are no "class locks" on the weapons. Any class can use any weapon.


Character info screen.


Dünheim boss.

After getting wiped a few times, they decide to go outside in the forest, and then check out a nearby elvish node. Depending on the people that gain experience for the node (in this case many elvish), it will reflect upon that with elvish themed buildings and more. They received a quest, to kill a boss monster that has been "set loose" upon said node. As mentioned before, events will occurs as the node progresses, for example a big boss being unleashed upon the node influence area. The players will then need to rally together and fight off the threat. Or the node might be significantly damaged and set back.

elvish node.jpg

The elvish node.


The boss attacking the forest node.

They then decided to visit another nearby dungeon, this one a bit easier. Pretty smooth combat animations, it really looks solid. The UI is also a nice combination of informative, nice looking, and not to small or big. The only thing I found to be really out of place was the character name, it really is a bit big on the size. But those are details. Killing some more bad guys in the instance, as well as Steven getting an unexpected problem so he had to reconnect, which gives us a glimpse of the character selection screen and loading screen.


Very scary looking bunnies in the second instance!

character selection.jpg

The character selection screen.

One thing that was noticeable during the instances was the insane respawn rate, you barely had time to progress as mobs behind you started spawning pretty fast. I suspect this definitely will be adjusted for later play phases. Then as a final section, we got a quick PvP fight! They disbanded the party and did a small FFA fight to the death. Very nice of them to end with that, as many has asked about them showing PvP. Looked fun, we should join them! Hopefully soon :smile: That was all for now, make sure you check out the full 1 hour video, it is well worth it!


Steven getting ganged up on by two other fellow dev members.

Here are the questions that got asked during the stream, and of course the responses from the team:

Q: I'm curious about the stealth system. Let's say there's a player using a stealth skill in front of me, will I be able to spot him if I look carefully at my screen, or do I need a skill to spot him?
A: So it's a little bit of both. I think we are going to go for kinda like a pseudo predator kinda style stealth. If you are paying attention to what’s going on, there will be indicators that will help you to kind of feel out where a stealth person might be. But then, also classes like a ranger will have tracking abilities that will help also, in that it will make it a little bit more apparent . It will always be important to have a ranger or something like a ranger in your party to make sure you’re protected from the stealth side of things and of course that is all build based. So not all Rangers will be good at detecting scout stealth but some Rangers will be. -Jeffrey.

Q: What steps are being taken to identify duplicated items, remove them from the game, and to deal with those who exploit bugged mechanics to duplicate items on a large scale?
A: Duplication is not the only kind of exploit that we're looking at, We are looking at all sorts of different exploits and we're actually building a game around that idea. I know we’ve said this before, but I think it's always good to repeat it and let people know exactly how serious we’re taking this. People who are caught duplicating items will suffer pretty severe consequences. -Jeffrey.

Serious as permanent ban from the game? Anybody caught duplicating items or cheating in that way is going to be banned from the game absolutely, And we do have metrics and systems in place to make sure that that's quickly caught and dealt with. -Steven.

Q: Do Caravans scale up and down in relation to the node which launches them. For example does a City Caravan have more guards, is it faster? Can it carry more goods?
A: The answer to that is yes they will. Again there's two different types of Caravans. Player-created ones will kind of really just depend on what the players are doing, but for the ones that are launched by the city or the town themselves, they will upgrade as the node upgrades too. -Jeffrey.

Q: Will there be diminishing returns on crowd control? If so will it be for PVE, PVP, or both?
A: There will be diminishing returns on crowd control actually. And that is something. Obviously those diminishing returns and how they work is something we will be testing in Alphas and Betas. But yes, there is intended to be diminishing returns. We don't want, you know, in PvP or PVE any scenario that's going to result in like stun locking and stuff like that, Because it's just not strategic, it’s not fun for either party, gets a little dull. -Steven.

Q: What will be the incentives for keeping a node leveled after beating the content associated with it? Why won't we want to siege down our own node to gain access to new stuff? Will we lose access to rare resources associated with that node or something?
A: That's a good question, and the answer is that nodes as they develop, unlock additional Services, features, progression of buildings in the node, a lot of things that are beneficial to citizens of that node, or players who may make a home or Freehold in that area. Obviously if the node is destroyed those advancements are lost. Additionally, something that we will touch on in a future blog, is a relic system that I won't go into too much detail here. But relics are achievements for the node that unlock over time and allow the ability to craft specific legendary types of items and or progress in specific legendary quest lines. So not only does nodes development at location determined spawns and access to Dungeons and quest-lines, but it's advancement over time also unlocks further features. -Steven.

So in other words, there's a lot of push-pull between wanting to raise a node and wanted to kind of maintain it. We really want the people who call that node home to want to maintain it. So there's going to be plenty of stuff for people to call home and want to defend it. -Jeffrey.

Q: My question to you is, how much of your vision will you remain true to and how much will you change to satisfy a player-base? I've been on your forums and there are many people ranting about the same things they complain about when every other game comes out trying to make it like that other game we all know but won’t mention.
A: The answer to that question is I will stay 100% true to my vision. And obviously player feedback is important. And you know the vision here is to create principles, ideals, specific game design. It is beneficial for us to get player feedback, because ultimately our player base is what's going to be playing the game we make. That is why we are going through many phases of alpha and beta testing. -Steven.

Q: Looking forward to the animal husbandry system. Will breeding be for only cosmetics or will there be mount abilities to breed for, such as higher jumping, stamina, move speed or agility?
A: Breeding will actually change the stats of the mount that you breed. It will affect those different things and you can get better mounts through the animal husbandry profession. -Steven.

It’s definitely not going to be just cosmetic. There's going to be actual gameplay purpose for it. -Jeffrey.

Q: When you augment your classes abilities will you be able to choose from multiple augments or is there only one augment per ability?
A: The augment tree is determined by your secondary class choice. Each secondary class choice will have a base minimum of 4, at this time, we will be testing this, but they will have four augment choices. -Steven.

Q: Question concerning group content. I know Alpha is not the example to base off, but open world doesn't seem suited for group content at all. Will there be large areas where groups will find a challenge? Will Dungeons have room for multiple groups to get lost in and/or contest?
A: Absolutely. There will be. And I would be careful as we show, because we have such a transparent open development, I'd be careful to read into anything you're seeing here with regards to content. Our test for Alpha 0, this pre-alpha test was not a content test it was a mostly technical test. -Steven.

Yeah, I know none of this stuff is tuned really for groups in the open world. We wanted people who were coming in to test to actually be able to kind of do stuff solo. So, it's not what it was really built for. All the group content right now is just in our Dungeons. And that's totally going to change when we go live. There will be plenty of places in the open world for groups to kind of tackle and experience and explore together. So don't you worry about that! -Jeffrey.

Q: Is the dungeon from the playthrough instanced or open world?
A: Open World. All dungeons in Alpha 0 are open world. -Steven.
All these things are multi groups if you want them to be. -Jeffrey.

Q: Wow, so multiple groups can run a dungeon?
A: Yes, multiple groups will be able to run dungeons. Dungeons will be vast. They will be very large. They'll be able to house multiple groups. -Steven.

Q: Is there a way we can change or upgrade the roads so our caravans get the best and will there be HP for the caravans so you need to repair them?
A: The roads actually do upgrade as the nodes upgrade. And then, their connections are sort of based on what nodes are near them and are connected to them in a trade route sense of way. Different roads will offer different travel speeds for different Caravans. You can spec your Caravan out to be an off-road vehicle or on-road vehicle and that will determine how quickly and what kind of route to take when you’re driving your caravan. So yeah, there will be a road system that is in place when we launch. -Jeffrey.

Q: If any class can use any weapon does that mean that the ranger has no bow specific abilities? (Asking for my inevitable two-handed warhammer ranger build)?
Nice! Some abilities will require a ranged weapon to be available. -Steven.

But some abilities won’t. There will certainly be a place for your two handed Warhammer Ranger build. That's kind of where we're going with the way the class system works. Similar to like tank. The tank will have some Shield specific abilities but they’ll also have some specific abilities for two handed weapons. It'll all really kind of depend on how you kit your class out for yourself. -Jeffrey.

Q: Will player housing be shared between all your characters? Example: if already have a house/freehold on one character will my other characters be able to use that house/freehold?
A: Housing is account based, Yes. -Steven.

Q: Will cosmetics be seperate costumes to the armor or will it be skinned onto the armor?
A: The way we are picturing it is that you will have basically like a paper doll that you get to dress up and put your Cosmetics on in separate slots from your actual armor. And then you can toggle that on or off depending on what your settings are. You wouldn't be skinning like an actual specific piece of armor. You will just be having it in a specific Cosmetic slot. -Jeffrey.

Q: Will we be able to share freeholds with another player if you and the other player desired to do so?
A: That's something we are currently discussing and we'll be testing it in alpha. -Steven.
It's very likely wee'll do some kind of permission based system. And then, how you guys deal with taxes or whatever will have to be kind of a gentleman's agreement between you two. -Jeffrey.

Credits for the Q&A transcripts goes to Mykkala.
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