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Alganon Developer Blog

Alganon is an upcoming fantasy-based MMORPG that features a rich history dominated by commanding deities, powerful weapons and armor, deadly magic, epic quests, and features such as the Library (an in-game DB), Studies (play in your sleep!) and much more.

Author: alganon

Alganon December 2009 Update by David Allen

Posted by alganon Wednesday December 30 2009 at 5:46PM
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It’s been nearly a month since we Soft Launched Alganon, and what a month indeed! As we approach the new year many may ask what is in store for Alganon in 2010? Quite a bit. First and foremost, bug fixes and refinement. Second is on “The Dawning” which is our first real expansion due Q1 2010. This expansion will include a bunch of new instances, new history and introduction materials to teach the player more about the lore of Alganon, the Asharr & Kujix, and their chosen race, as well as numerous bug fixes and gameplay enhancements for classes. The Dawning will also feature the Consignment house, a system where players can place buy orders for items, creating a whole new dynamic for those who engage in tradeskills and item hunting.

We're also working to refine the introduction of Alganon. Right now, the things that make Alganon great aren’t apparent at the start, and things don’t begin to shine until past level 10. This isn’t good for new players. We are going to change this by enhancing the tutorial system and as mentioned above, providing lore and background to the player on key aspects of the game history, and by adding a few new systems to better establish the differences of Alganon earlier on.

Also, we just finished the core LUA add-on system that will allow players to create their own interfaces and visual adjustments. This system should be going live in January.

Beyond that? Voluntary and Area-specific PvP with a unique balanced system, domain control, kudos, new races, domains, achievements, Library Scrying, and more.

The Library Scrying system is going to be fantastic, allowing players to actively participate in the gathering of information, receiving credit for their efforts and building the world knowledge base. On top of that, the Library will turn into a news repository as well, giving credit to players, characters, and guilds for their accomplishments, and then sharing those accomplishments with everyone.

Many players have forgotten what new MMOGs are like and how it takes time to refine core aspects of the game; especially with a MMOG developed by an independent studio. Right now, we are being directly compared to MMOGs that have been out for (and refined for) over five years. This makes it much tougher to hold up against the barrage of expectations by gamers. We need a bit of patience from the community as we work to refine Alganon into the great game it will become. Remember what DAoC, WoW, EQ2 and other MMOGs were like when they released, and look at what they evolved into. We are very excited about the future of Alganon, and our biggest goals are related to technical enhancements (cutting down on bugs and refining our technology), visibility (making players aware of the game), and immersion (showing players how Alganon is different and something they should be playing).

We are also planning to launch a yet unannounced feature in January related to the social aspect of MyAlganon.

A big thanks to everyone for your support; we’re working around the clock to address your requests and refine Alganon into a great game!

Message From Lead Designer

Posted by alganon Friday October 23 2009 at 5:31PM
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"A strange wind has begun to blow through Alganon. The air is full of electricity and wrath. A storm... or more accurately, four Storms are brewing. Things are about to change. It is up to the heroes of Alganon to make sure that they change for the better. It is up to the heroes of Alganon to bring about the Dawning!"

I'm sure that anyone who has thought about working on an MMO has looked at the advantages to having a large subscriber base. Lots of players means lots of money, but a small launch, with a dedicated player base that loves MMOGs, has some pretty amazing benefits as well. The fact that Alganon is an independent company, willing to start small and build over time, means that we can do things with our content that larger games could never do. A great example of this is a feature we are about to unveil - The Dawning!

When Alganon opens its doors, our players will find themselves in the middle of a game-wide event. Storm elementals, generally seen as a rare occurrence, have begun to appear around the world - not only larger in number, but greater in strength, than ever before. A series of quests, which run across all levels, from level one to endgame, will reveal the cause of these Storms. Players will learn how to part the clouds, silence the storm, and bring about the Dawning of a new era.

This Dawning will bring with it new features, new content, and most importantly, a chance to be remembered forever in the official Lore of Alganon.

Players who participate in the Dawning can obtain items during this period that will never be available again. They will unlock content that later players will view as a "normal" part of the game. Months from now, when a new player is LFG for the Howling Foothills instance, you will remember the time when you opened that instance for all players. If the newcomer needs proof, you can show them your Storm Arvak mount, or the Tabard of the Dawning, or any of the other rewards only available to players who were a part of this one-time event. If that's not enough, you can direct them to the library, as new items, instances, and world objects will be added to immortalize those who took part in the Dawning.

In fantasy novels, weapons and armor of great power, important and magical places, and even fighting styles and actions are often named for great Heroes of the past. For Alganon, we believe that the characters our players create and put into the world are just as important as the characters our developers create, and we plan to name things accordingly. Players who participate in the Dawning, especially those who are the first to complete the largest, most difficult tasks, will have a chance to become a permanent part of Alganon's history and lore.

The chance to get our players this involved in how the game progresses is very exciting, and it is something we simply couldn't do if we had millions of players. That's probably my favorite part about working on Alganon - we've made a game that has all the fun of the million-player giants, but we also get to host events that can only be done in a small community. It's the best of both worlds.

 

-Hue Henry
Lead Designer, Alganon

Alganon August 2009 Development Update

Posted by alganon Saturday August 29 2009 at 1:15PM
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We just released what I consider to be our first really solid BETA. We've more than doubled our frame rate, halved our texture usage, fixed the core network problems, and corrected a number of bugs that prevented people from completing quests and progressing without grinding. We also killed most of the crashes. The amount of changes that have been implemented over the past month are quite numerous. A complete rewrite of our server architecture and network communication system along with major gameplay changes and scripting enhancements was done as well. There have also been numerous enhancements to all data related to items, tradeskills, actions, and studies. The MyAlganon Library has also been updated with the latest information as well.

Mysterious Portal

Alganon is really shaping up; the core feel of the game is smooth, and the world both fun and inviting. We've got the new portal system in, which is very cool (allowing for instant transportation). We also have mounts and pets in now as well (although I don't know if the gameplay vendors have them just yet). Guilds, Companions, the Auction House, and other core systems will be implemented over the next few weeks as we "bring everything together". We've finalized our billing system, what features we'll offer for pre-orders and multi-month subscribers, and have also begun the first phase of our Marketing Campaign to increase awareness of Alganon. Beta is also about to ramp up even more as the key giveaways increase and our servers expand.

So much to cover! So little time! Public Beta is coming very soon, so keep your eyes open for the announcement. A big thanks to everyone for their support as Alganon finally comes to life!

- David Allen, CEO of Quest Online

A Talrok Story

Posted by alganon Saturday August 22 2009 at 3:15PM
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One of my favorite tasks as lead data designer for Alganon is writing the lore and story for the world we’ve created. There’s something wonderful about spending time in a different world, full of new places to explore, and new characters to meet.

While some of the themes and elements of the world are traditional fantasy elements – the type of swords-and-sorcery you’ll find in numerous fantasy novels and games – Alganon is full of unique characters and strange creatures that put our own spin on the fantasy genre.

One of the unique elements that I hope will really excite players is the Talrok race.

Despite what your fellow humans may have told you, the Talrok are not the stereotypical bad guys found in most fantasy worlds. They don’t seek to conquer the world, or destroy all that is good. They aren’t demon-possessed witch-kings, misunderstood native people, or former slaves seeking revenge. They are not ancient beings driven mad with power, lust, or greed.

Talrok Start

The Talrok are simply messengers of the gods. Their race was created with a single purpose: to spread the will of the gods to all of Alganon, instructing all races to work in harmony and forge a more perfect world – a world where the strong are rewarded for their strength, where life exists in a constant state of improvement, and where science and knowledge are not hidden away by fanatics who claim moral superiority.

Of course, creating such a world is not always easy. The world is far from perfect.

Rewarding the strong may require culling of the weak, rather than rescuing them. Constant improvement may mean overthrowing a popular tribal chief or conquering a smaller, weaker nation. And when it comes to forbidden knowledge, there is really only one way to know which of your grandparents would win in a fight to the death, and that’s by forcing them to battle in the arena.

If genocide, imperialism, and forcing the elderly to fight to the death will make the world a better place, then the Talrok do what must be done. “Will of the gods.” The humans, on the other hand, consider such acts to be atrocities. They seek to stop the Talrok from performing these acts of violence.

Depending on which side you choose, you will see the same world in a very different way.

As we developed, and continue to develop, the lore of Alganon, we made certain to keep this dual perspective in mind. While there is no actual Grandma Pit-fighting in the game (it’s just a humorous example to get the point across), you will find countless examples where a choice that looks like a heroic act of virtue to one side, looks like a horrendous war-crime to the other.

A great example of this is in the opening zone of the Talrok. When you start as a Talrok, you will be one of the first to leave the obsidian stronghold of Xanjuix Karr after a decade known as The Great Silence. For the last ten years, the strongest of the Talrok locked themselves inside the great city and dedicated every moment to studying the arts of magic and war. Even the gods themselves stayed within the city walls, teaching and guiding the advancement of these chosen heroes.

When the Great Silence ended, and the greatest of the Talrok returned to the world, they found it in chaos and disarray. Without the strength and wisdom of the Kujix Empire to guide them, the other races became lazy and weak. The once proud Ogran devolved into obese sloths, and fell away from the path the gods had planned for them.

As an official emissary to the Brokefist Ogran, it is your duty to return them to their former glory. You must instill in them a sense of honor, help them to find their inner-strength, and return them to their place in the shadow of the gods.

You must become their role model, a living symbol of wisdom, strength, and power. You must destroy the foul creatures that are destroying these once beautiful lands, and any who dare stand against you must be struck down without mercy. Separated from your guidance, the Ogran of Harraja have become weak. You must make the Brokefist strong again.

The humans, however, consider these methods to be inhumane. They see the culling of the poor and downtrodden as murder. They believe that the weak should be protected from harm, coddled and nursed, shown mercy and compassion.

The humans fail to understand that weakness is a plague, and all those infected must be cut away, so the vile disease does not continue to spread. Mercy will only extend the suffering to others. Justice must be swift, and blind. Only the chosen of the gods can strike with the speed and precision needed to stop this weakness before it spreads. Only the chosen of the gods can bring the Ogran back to their former glory.

Do you have it in you? Are you worthy of answering the call of the gods? We’ll see soon enough.

Hue "Hyuu" Henry
Lead Data Designer
Quest Online, LLC.

Alganon July 2009 Development Update

Posted by alganon Friday July 31 2009 at 10:25AM
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It's hard to believe August is right around the corner. So much has happened in July it's hard to cover it all. For those of you in private Beta you've seen the massive changes since the last major release nearly a month ago. We're now focusing on bug fixes and stability in parallel with features. Mounts and pets are now in, and other core features are quickly coming up. We are releasing another hotfix today that corrects the core combat issue; everyone in Beta will immediately see the numbers now making sense and challenge as part of the game; no more killing Level 7 mobs with a L2 character. Just wait until mob actions are integrated!

There is so much going on right now, not just in development, but on the business side, I find myself working 7 days a week - which is fine, I love what I do! This elusive term "vacation" does sound appealing though. Perhaps after release...

We are also beginning our first marketing push this week. We're going to start getting the word of Alganon out there. Also, for those of you who haven't checked out MyAlganon, definitely do so. We just finished adding streaming to the system, and Characters are about to be integrated. After that we'll be adding guilds. All in all, MyAlganon is a very cool community system that will serve as the central hub of the game at launch.

Public Beta is slated to begin in September, and for those of you in private Beta, the game should evolve and grow monumentally over the month of August.

One final note, we did open up a new position here at QOL for a C++ Script Programmer. You can find out the details here:

http://www.qol.com/companyCareers.php#game_script_programmer

A big thanks to everyone for their support! Here's to August being a great month!

- David Allen, CEO of Quest Online

Alganon June 2009 Development Update

Posted by alganon Tuesday June 23 2009 at 10:19AM
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It’s amazing how time blends together as the development of Alganon enters its 41st month. Client, Server, GOD (Customer Service) Tool, World Building System, Models, Animations, Sound FX, Music, World Development, Content, Data, Items, Classes, Actions, Scripts, Bug lists… and of course much, much more, all worked on each day.

The biggest upcoming change is the final Actions system which ties directly to the playability of each class. For those of you in beta, your patience will pay off; when the new system comes online (should be in the next week or two), all the classes will come to life like never before. This will affect the core playability of Alganon and begin to solidify the foundation of the game.

Other systems are also incoming such as Guilds, Kudos, Auction House, Teleportation Hubs, Mounts, and more. Alganon is a great undertaking; building everything ourselves is the right way to do it, but it takes time. The world is coming together beautifully, no question. There’s still a lot of work ahead of us, but with each weekly patch, we get closer and closer.

A big thanks to all of the beta testers for your patience and feedback. Back to work!

- David Allen, CEO of Quest Online

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