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All Posts by JC-Smith

All Posts by JC-Smith

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383 posts found
Nice to see Raph back in the MMO realm.

@Jairus: Population typically ranges between 175-650 players. More on the weekends than weeknights of course. At around 4AM after the reset populations tend to dip low on the late servers, with people playing on the other time zones. Once Silver Membership is open we expect those to increase significantly, but it won't open until after the patch.

As for if it's worth it right now. That is going to vary from person to person. You range from people who are completely sold on the game, to players who completely hate it. Then you have people in between who like the potential but don't like playing an unfinished game. It's significantly more positive than negative, however. I'd suggest players who consider buying read the reviews on Steam or web sites (there are quite a few of them) to help determine if it's worth it to them or not.

Just to note: Diminishing returns are already in game.

Originally posted by udon
EQ2 tried this same thing at launch.  In order to craft armor you needed components made from other crafters.  They ended up abandoning it in short order for the simpler crafting system they have today because it proved unworkable.  You can't depend on other crafters to always have what you want for sale for a price that is profitable. 

EQ 2 had a lot of reasons for it's poor launch, but crafting wasn't one of them imo. In the EQ 2 vs. WoW discussions crafting was generally one of their advantages. Don't get me wrong, I like EQ 2, but the problem with the game is that it rushed to try to beat WoW to launch, and players knew the issues heading into launch. The class system completely changed in the final month of development because players hated the old system. The itemization was almost completely generated and bland. There weren't enough quests, half of the content was still group content, etc.

WoW delayed after EQ 2 launched, kept polishing and the rest is history. EQ 2 then slowly began changing features to make it more like WoW, and during that process crafting was one of the casualties. That having been said, the quality of crafted items in EQ 2 was never similar to how they are in Repop. It was interdependent but it was still a loot driven game.

Originally posted by Bigdaddyx
Be my guest if you believe that Repop will change in leaps and bound in terms of animation and combat. When AAA MMOS have hard time doing it i have doubt for indi title like this one.

Any real alpha or beta improves those things over time. I'm not talking about Archage alpha where the game had already been launched for years and was just being localized, or open beta where your just trying to sell the game to people before it comes out. But real tests, like there used to typically be, and like we're starting to see more of with the crowd funded titles.By the time most players get into testing though I think what your saying is true. But it doesn't really pertain to a game like this.

This game began with two programmers, outsourcing art. Then we slowly added in house artists. But the truth is that when you have a budget, it has to be spent on various parts of the game. And for an indie project with a scope as large as ours, a big part of what we needed to show is if we can develop the game. We've said throughout (and it's on the Early Access page as well) that some art are placeholders and much is a work in progress, the UI is slated for a complete revamp with the XML interface upcoming, etc. But art is something that while expensive, is also easy to outsource, or to get done simply with an increased budget. Art is something that you can plug into a game pretty easily, where code isn't. That's what Steam is doing for us. It's increasing our budget so we can work get everything polished and ready for launch.

We've noticed three common complaints from the users who have not liked the game and they fall into the basic categories: Graphics, UI, or Complexity. The complexity is something that is here to stay. We'll keep streamlining the interface and tutorials to make things easier for people, but that's part of what makes the game unique. Some players will hate it, but others will love it. It's a tradeoff we're willing to make. There's plenty of other simple games out there. That having been said there are things that we can do to make some of the more complex features easier to learn and grasp, and that's something you'll see continue throughout testing.

Graphics and UI though, that's to be expected. If you look at our roadmap you'll see that both areas are things that are represented heavily on there. There's a whole new XML customized interface in the pipeline. Graphically, that's been our approach. The graphics improve as we go, but the reality is that artists aren't cheap and a big part of the reason you do something like a Steam Early Access is to generate money so you can hire more artists and get things done more quickly. If rough animations or graphics ruin a game for you, I'd suggest you wait until closer to launch or post-launch.

We recommend 64 bit windows as a minimum requirement. That having been said, if you are adventurous the game will run usually on 32 bit boxes, but 4 gigs of ram is required. The main problem with 32 bit boxes and Repop is that there is a memory leak in the current Hero Engine build (it's fixed in the next build) so it slowly leaks memory, and on a 32 bit system your going to run into a memory cap where the game will just crash. If you set your Dynamic Details settings to Very Low in the Video Options and have a sufficient card/processor on your 32 bit box it will be able to run. But we can't recommend it currently due to the potential crashes.
The current incarnation is multithreaded, but the heavy lifting is still largely on one CPU. Hero Engine 3 will feature improved multicore support when it does release.
Originally posted by GeezerGamer
This is my concern right here. It's not just about a direct "connection" Selling crafting mats directly from the Cash Shop. But also indirect methods such as through trading or some other way to convert cash shop items in to other stuff like crafting mats. That would undermine the economy.

Don't know how many times we can say the same thing. Won't happen.

Originally posted by rodarin
The tutorial is scary though since you need about 5 components ot make something as simple as a buf for a starter pistol. How many components and steps for something really intricate? And how many crafters will you need to make them?

Fittings are actually one of the most complex recipes due to how resource attributes and such work. That's part of why they needed a tutorial.

Originally posted by Stuka1000
This unfortunately is where the game will commit suicide.  In order for this type of system to work the game needs a large population of players and for a great number of those players to be invested in crafting to some degree.  To simplify that look at a game like Ao which now has a very low population.  It is impossible to get the various buffs needed to twink into the higher tier implants or twink into weapons and armour that are a few levels higher than your toon.  Both of these things were doable when the pop was high.  All the classes relied on each other to some degree so when the pop falls the entire house of cards crumbles.

The game will be F2P. Low populations are not really something we're concerned with.

The truth is, a lot of players enjoy the typical do it yourself crafting. But there are also a lot of games which provide that. There are very few which do what we are doing. That will be a turn off for some and a selling point for others. But in the end Repop is designed to be a social oriented game. The more ways we can encourage players to interact with one another, the better IMO.

Most MMOs come in with dreams of WoW type numbers and trying to reach the largest number of players. Obviously, player counts are important for profitability. But the truth is your competing with a lot of other studios making a game that is very similar to yours when you go that route. The route we're taking will not appeal to as large of a percentage of players, but the players who enjoy these features will generally play longer because these types of games tend to be more social (more social bonds to keep you there) and there are simply less options to jump ship to.

Originally posted by GeezerGamer

What my true concern will be, is if players can spend real money and convert it to credits either directly or laundered through items purchased from the cash shop.

Definitely not.

What exactly is the question you think I've avoided. I answered every single one I could find.  If there's something specific that I missed then please quote it so I can know what your talking about.

Where are you getting that you can buy gold from? As I said, that is completely against everything we have said. It's not going to happen. Neither is selling of items of power, resources, etc in the first place. You can't trade account perks. Not sure how I can make that any more clear. That entire premise is completely off base.

I can't say for a fact that no item in the cash shop could ever be traded, because who knows what kind of items could be come up with later which were not outside of the lines and then someone could use that quote to say they were lied to. For example if we allowed guilds to purchase a custom logo for their armor and be able to distribute copies to his nation members (not an item of power, a cosmetic item), or something of the like. There could be things that we come up with and pitch to the community which are perfectly fine by everyone. I'm not going to say a definitive no to simple "will everything be no drop" question, which could turn out to be a loaded answer, purposefully or not. It's too vague of a question for that because there are too many possibilities.

What I can ensure you though is that we won't be allowing people to buy allowing people to buy items of power or the like in the first place. If you can't buy it then you can't trade it. Allowing people to trade cosmetics is also counter-productive. They'll all be no drop. The things sold in the cash shop will be convenience items, account perks and cosmetics. I think that should be crystal clear. But all I can do is tell you the truth, if you refuse to accept that and try to turn this into some conspiracy theory, that's your choice.


I'm certainly aren't avoiding any questions, but at the same time we've already covered everything that needs to be covered previously with regards to things like pay to win concerns, or how does a cash shop work in a sandbox. Things get busy I just sort of browse through and look for things that need answering. To reitirate though for those who haven't read through previous threads.

We value free players. Pay to Win options which make it hard for free players to compete with other players are something that we feel hurts the game because it drives away free players. We've designed our cash shop system to revolve primarily around things like inventory slots, bank slots, mission slots, ability to create a nation, and cosmetic items. The game was designed with this in mind. Ways we can encourage players to spend money in the shop, without offering them an unfair advantage over other players. If you value free players you can't do things which drive them away. You encourage players to spend money because you need money to run the servers, but you can't make them feel like third class citizens who need to start paying in order to get anywhere in the game. That's important to us.

With regards to drop or no drop. Cosmetic shells, account perks, convenience items would all be NO DROP. That's generally how it's done and that's how we plan on doing it. I can't say that there would never be anything that could be traded, because who knows what kind of ideas that you can come up with later that could make sense and would be non-harmful. But I can just harken back to the point in the last paragraph because it describes here, as well.

With regards to the economy. It's been gone over before. How can you have a cash shop in a sandbox economy? Well it's simple so long as you aren't selling items of power to player. Our items of power are fittings, not shells. Shells are primarily cosmetic, and will come in both cash shop only, and player crafted or adventured only variations. We have no plans to ever sell items of power (fittings, or armor/weapon shells that have special stats, etc) in the cash shop. We don't like them. We feel they take away from the sense of accomplishment.

The cash shop has no impact on the economy, because the things you will be able to purchase from it are things that are outside of the economy. There's no in-game mechanism to unlock account perks. And there will be no mechanism to profit from the cash shop once it's implemented.

Originally posted by Boneserino
The problem with a fair F2P system is that it probably won't make you a lot of money.   Most of us are cheap and if we can play a game for free we probably will.   I like cosmetics but I probably won't spend huge amounts on them.

Early F2P games like Maple Story did well off cosmetics. Over time games got greedier. Many companies care about the financial impact above all else. It may be more financially rewarding to design games under a pay to win mechanic. Keep in mind this game is built by an indie team, and our goals coming into this weren't to get rich. It was to create a style of gameplay that you just don't see any more, as well as to add some new twists to the genre. Monetizing is important, we need to feed our families and keep the servers operational. But we don't have a parent corporation pulling our strings and we have designed our systems so that we require less staffing than other titles. Bear in mind our budget has been under $1M to date. It takes far less for us to be profitable than it does a game which starts off with an $50M+ budget.

Not directly related to this quote, but editing in here to save screen clutter, in response to some of the other questions. I think we've been very clear from the get go about our stance on pay to win games (where the guys who pay the most have a sizable advantage over the ones who don't). It's something we feel is very unhealthy for games. That having been said, a lot of people seem to have it made up in their minds that this is not going to be the case. But if you refuse to believe that for whatever reason, then there's not much we can do to change your mind. Time will tell.

Originally posted by Anireth

No idea about Repop overall, but that crafting map looks ridiculous. Like 5 steps for bandages, and 13 for a standard armor? I played several games with an economy completely provided by players. Crafting was like 3 steps usually. Get raw leather, make leather, make leather armor.  Or take cloth, make canvas, take iron bars and make rod to hold canvas, combine.

I think your reading the craftmap wrong. A Bandage is simple: Cloth + Sterilization. Those are the ingredients.

The sub-ingredients are an ease of use thing to tell you which ingredients can be used to make each. So there are 6 types of Cloth in the game and 4 types of Sterilizing Agents (one of which you can buy from npc vendors). Now the cloth can only be crafted. 

If you try to craft everything on your own, your going to make things difficult on yourself. Instead you should buy some cloth (from players) and sterilizing agents (from players or the vendors). When you view things in the charts they always look more complex.

There are some upcoming ease of use features which will make things a bit easier without sacrificing complexity. The biggest problem right now for new crafters is generally there are components and they don't know how to make them. Combine that with peoples natural instinct to try to do everything on their own, which is an uphill battle in a game like this (by design).

I'd recommend this site for anyone still finding their way in crafting:


Originally posted by Alumicard

One question I'd have at the Repop devs, someone said in chat yesterday that backers would keep their stuff even after launch. Personally I call bs but since I just joined and coudnt find anything on the website Im curious if that is true.

Whoever wrote that in chat was incorrect. There will be a wipe just before launch. Backers will keep their membership perks etc, but their characters will be wiped.

Originally posted by d_20
Originally posted by GeezerGamer ... We also don’t plan on adding items of power... That having been said, we do have to generate revenue in some way.

This part right here. This gives me a reason to pause. I will wait for a couple of months after launch to see how this goes.

I suppose if you put anyones use of words under a microscrope you can always find a lot of reasons to scare yourself. We've made it clear from the beginning this will not be a pay to win game. Can't make it any more clearly than that.

Short answer: There are some limited cosmetic clothing items but not enough and the female models can't yet wear it all. There will be a lot more prior to launch though.

Long answer: I think at the moment there are 15ish different sets of looks. They can be mixed and matched but we generally design clothing or armor in sets. There will be quite a few more, they are very good for cosmetic shop items (very important for F2P), and for variety in crafted items.

Currently it's mostly armor. There are some clothing options but they are limited. You can expect that to change though. Armor is useful for everyone, clothing is very important but not so much from a mechanics standpoint. It's more from a role playing and social standpoint. It's primarily because of how we've handled development and budgeting. We haven't had a large budget at any point, it has steadily increased over the past couple years, and Steam will help continue to grow. So our artists can only get so much done at a time. Our focus on features and art has been to get things we need in first, and then focus on things that we want.

A very important hurdle for us was  to prove to people that we can make the very ambitious title we set out to make. Anyone can contract out artwork, but it has a price tag associated with it. Anyone can come up with a list of features, but you have to actually build the game. So our focus has been primarily on getting the features into the game, and making it all functional. And then in the recent months we've turned more towards polishing and refining what we have in place. Cosmetics are something that has taken a back seat in some cases. We needed the functionality first. I think at this point we've shown we can pull off the features, there's really no substantial hurdle feature left.

It's now time to start polishing what we have. Making it easier for new players to grasp. Giving more weapon abilities FX, doing UI work, animation work, optimization, bug fixes, and getting more content into all of the areas. That's primarily what remains. But that of course means bringing on additional people, and increasing our budget. That's a big part of what Steam is about. Steam exposes the game to new players, and gets more players in game which is something we really needed. And at the same time it also generates a lot more revenue than we could generate without it. And we can use that revenue to start beefing up those other areas.

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