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All Posts by JC-Smith

All Posts by JC-Smith

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326 posts found
Originally posted by Thorkune
There are no other games with an open world with complex crafting, complex resource harvesting and a complex housing system. So, I'll just wait until you eventually create a PVE server due to a diminishing population. Look at Darkfall, and Mortal online and you will see that PVP centered games are a short term success. When people want hardcore PVP, they typically flock to games like LoL. PVE players, and most importantly crafters, don't participate in PVP and will jump ship eventually when the ganking and corpse camping gets horrible like it always does.

Your comparing very different games if your comparing our PvP with those games PvP. Your comparing team based, optional PvP with free for all, full loot PvP. Our hardcore rule set is similar to that, the standard rules are much more tame.

Originally posted by Thorkune
Your rundown definitely made my mind up to not play The Repopulation. I leveled my first max level WoW character on a PVP server due to friends playing on one. It's more than ego damage to be corpse camped and ganked endlessly when you are trying to quest or harvest resources. The prospect of a potential SWG type game had me excited, but it's looking to be a misleading description. You could have massive scale PVP in SWG and still enjoy the entire map without the PVP element. I'll remain hopeful that you implement a PVE friendly system at some point.

While we hate to see any player go, especially without trying the game, the truth is if you try to appeal to everyone, then you risk appealing to nobody. You have to pick your market, know what you want to achieve, and then stick with it. As I illustrated above, in order to move to a flagging system to appeal to anti-PvP players we would have to sacrifice the open world benefit which appeals to a much larger percentage of players. You have to pick your poison and these are the choices which we've made. We've made a lot of moves over the past year to try to make the game as appealing as we can to those players, with the addition of Open World PvE Housing, player vendors, etc. But there's only so much we can offer without taking away from the games unique features. There's plenty of other games out there that do what you want them to do, hopefully you find a home someplace.

Originally posted by Thorkune
Then give us the ability to flag ourselves for PVP if we choose to do it. That way it opens the map up for everyone to enjoy. PVPers can enjoy 100% of the game while PVEers are restricted to portions of the map. 

You already can flag yourself. But you can't unflag yourself in a contested area. You can't have meaningful land control or open world PvP if players can unflag themselves in contested areas. Because players would simply turn the flag off, move to where they want to go and then turn it back on when they get to where they want to go.

To give an example of what I'm talking about here. In the contested areas there are control points and player cities who can be owned by different nations. There are security forces to protect their cities, and the control points automatically spawn for the least populated faction to provide some guard and NPC assistance in random locations throughout the wilderness (these are also conquerable by other factions). There is a war going on between the two factions and building cities or controlling control points in strategic locations not only provides nations with protection but also provides players with supply or adventuring points that they can compete over.

So in that system (our system) you can use those locations as launching points to control resources. You can form alliances and hostilities towards other nations. Any player from your faction or a nation that is friendly with your nation can not attack you, even in contested territory. However, rival nations can. They can cut you off from important resources or desirable hunting locations by controlling those points and having a presence of players. They can offer allied players safe passage inside of their cities, etc. They can create blockades or choke points to cut off friendly areas from hostiles. There are many extra elements of gameplay that just automatically happen because of auto-flagging in the contested areas.

For those who just don't want to ever participate in that, they can just stay in the protected areas (which I'll say again are very large). I'd guess the majority of players will split time between the two regions. venture into contested areas when they have the urge for PvP or have a group and want access to resources or bosses with less competition. But if they don't want to deal with it they'll stay in the protected areas. That's how we envision Repop at launch. Meaningful PvP that isn't forced or necessary.

Now let's say that PvP became optional even in those areas. If you disabled sieges like you would on a PvE server then the control points become the only thing to compete over as part of the ongoing war, but with rewards existing for those control points, your likely looking at a situation similar to Ilum at TOR's launch. Sides just taking turns conquering the control points for rewards.

But let's say you instead go with a hybrid approach. You do allow for some sieges which would auto-flag players only when they are in the siege area. Well now, because players can turn off the flag until that point all of the element of battling for resource control or land control is pretty much thrown out of the window. Players will turn their flag off, walk to where they want to go and then let it auto flag them when they are ready, or find some other player who was dumb enough to leave their flag on, and now they can wait until they are ready to pounce and then turn theirs on when they have the initiative which always puts the other player(s) at a disadvantage in PvP.

So while that solution does allow the players who would never venture out of their faction's territory a chance to safely explore the areas that they wouldn't have otherwise, in order for them to be able to accomplish it, it also removes any chance of having any meaningful PvP.

That having been said, there really isn't much reason to fear the contested areas. Yeah, occasionally your going to get ganked. It may not be a fair fight, gank squads typically hunt in groups and often have the initiative. It happens. You aren't getting looted, the only damage is to your ego. Just write it off as, "oh well" and continue about your business or if you get frustrated retreat to the protected regions or teleport home. That's a pretty simple solution compared to what your asking PvP types to sacrifice so that you can avoid it.

Originally posted by serialMMOist
$40 is a tad steep. Should have been 20$ and sold twice as many copies. Better deal for us and better deal for them.

I have no insight to the company or logic, and I'm not all that familiar with LiF so I could be completley wrong here. But if I had to guess they probably don't want TOO many players right off the bat. If it's an indie development team they may only have servers which can support X amount of players and while setting the price low might be the smart long-term strategy, setting it higher initially reduces the initial surge of players while providing them with money to add hardware as necessary.

@Lanfea: I can't speak on the data your referring to, but that is very much in conflict with what we've seen. Publishers generally have data from their own supporters, there are third party resources, then things as simple as public or private polls.

Very few people prefer PvP only. PvE is always the most important aspect of gameplay no matter who your metrics are. Even most hardcore PvP types view PvE as very important. But over the years the average player has gone from disinterest in PvP to enjoying it.

I can't discuss any private external metrics, but I can share with you our own metrics and refer you to some publicly available poll data.

First we can start with a poll here at MMORPG.com which had 16k voters. This was simply asking what is the most important aspect of the gameplay PvP or PvE, but it gave a wide range of response options. The results:

PvP: 5.6%

PvP Focus With Some PvE: 10.3%

PvE: 14.7%

PvE Focus with Some PvP: 35.6%

Equal Parts PvP/PvE: 33.8%

Only 14.7% of those players did not feel that PvP had at least some importance, and that was 5 years ago, with the trend of more players enjoying PvP.

From our own internal metrics with several thousand players we asked players to rate the importance of PvP to them on a scale of 1 to 5. Only 12% of players rated PvP as a 1, and another 13% at 2.  That leaves 75% of voters at 3 or higher with 3 and 5 having nearly identical votes, and 19% of votes being placed as 4.

Some other interesting data bits from our internal metrics showed that far more players (don't have those numbers in fromt of me but I believe it was 16% to 2% of those polled) selected that they felt that open world PvP was important vs. instanced PvP, and similar but slightly closer numbers indicated that players wanted some type of a consequence (land control, etc) in PvP as compared to those who said that no consequences being more desirable.

PvP isn't for everyone. Some players don't enjoy it, and we don't want to force them into it, so we set up a system of rules that allows them to completely avoid it and still have plenty of do in the game. But the vast majority of players do have at least some interest in PvP.

I believe the video linked there is the original Greenlight video. There was an issue with the original and it needed to be replaced. When that happened the old link was removed. The current video link for that video is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2R8rtrr0YF8
Yes, alpha is now 24/7. We moved to weekend schedules for new testers when Alpha 3 began, but we then moved back to 24/7 around June unofficially, and officially in August.
Originally posted by Greymantle4
Thanks for your post but I'm still confused about a few things. Here is what I want from a MMO and you tell me if i can have it in yours. I want a house in the world non-instanced that lets me run my business out of it. (no pvp) The most important thing to me is i want to feel like I have a place in the world to run my shop and meet people that visit it to expand my business and or friendships in game. This is where SWG got it right with all the inter connection of game mechanics.

If I can have this my biggest concern is the auction house. If everyone can just one stop shop I don't see the player shops having much traffic which would kill the most important part I'm looking for in a MMO.  Maybe I'm missing something here could you please explain more about how your auction house will work? 

You can have a house like that with an NPC vendor in Repop. It was a stretch goal on the Kickstarter campaign that was reached. The new open world housing system ties into that. The original design of the game was in fact to have cities in the contested areas only with instanced housing in other places. Many players requsted open world PvE housing though. That was introduced into the alpha a few patches ago (though the vendors haven't been yet). Here's how it works.

A certain portion of areas is set aside and marked as Housing capable. When you enter into those areas you will be able to claim any unclaimed bits of land by using a crafted item which creates a square region that your character now owns. You can place houses, crafting machines, banks, plants, and soon vendors onto your plots. These plots of land are grouped together in most cases (though there are some smaller more isolated spaces) so players can form PvE towns which can not be sieged.

The auction and work order systems allow you to easily post and browse goods and avoid traveling to locations. There is a fee for purchasing with them, however. You can bypass that fee by walking to the vendor and purchasing it instead. You can use the auction system to find things, and then visit the shops to get a discount. That may not matter for some items, but for others it could be a large chunk of change.

Originally posted by oldschoolpunk

This sums it up well. I got a email from someone that works on The Repop and they said that they don't want to add player cities to the PVE side of the game in fear of nobody would pvp. You could use the same answer for a pve server.

I sent a reply of why force players to do something they don't want, to enjoy something they do. I got no response from my reply.

It's really sad too because I REALLY looked forward to this game...now it will be just another desolate wasteland of griefers....don't companies want to make money???  

It's perplexing.  There is a survey they have though and I would tell all the PVE lovers to fill it out and say NO to open PVP.

The reason there is no PvE server planned (though we are leaving the door open for one if there is enough demand) actually has nothing to do with that. I'm not sure who sent you a PM or when it was, or what exactly it said, but I will address the PvE server concerns once again here.

The reality is that a PvE server sounds a lot more attractive to players than it should. The standard ruleset in Repop is a game that the vast majority of players can enjoy, even pure PvE types. The people who are freaking out on these forums about the PvP are all people who have not tested the game. The people who have tested the game understand that the PvE land mass is very large, and has everything that you need. And that this aspect of the game has gotten friendlier and friendlier towards PvE players throughout alpha. There is land set aside for housing and forming what we wouldn't consdier a player created city (because those are nation tied in our terminology and subject to siege) but which is basically a protected city where you can have vendors and npcs. Those areas have the full compliment of resources and boss tiers. You do not have to leave that area ever. And of course with expansion there will be additional planets, which can each have their own sets of rules based on what the players demand. We feel that a PvE server is not necessary, because the standard rule set is already optional PvE.

So why not just make that the whole world? Well because the vast majority of MMO players also feel that PvP is important. But how many games out there have sieges? How many of them have open world PvP with alliances and meaning? Not many. And of those that do exist, the majority (if not all) of them feature looting, FFA, etc. Those are features supported on the hardcore rule set, but the standard rule set views PvP as an optional and fun activity that we want to encourage players to participate in because we feel that a lot of them will enjoy it if they just step out there and give it a chance. But for that to work you have to sieges. You need to have some meaningful opportunities for politics, for alliances, and things of that nature that you just won't see in a pure PvE game. So we set that to happen in the center of the map where players can avoid it, or if they wish to participate they can cross into the contested areas and play. But there is a higher risk here, so there has to be some extra reward. In our case this is player created cities. While they don't have much over the PvE Housing areas, there is more of a coolness factor when those areas officially belong to a certain nation, when security forces can be built, arenas, and things of that nature to attract other players. And since there will be some players who simply won't venture there, it should be easier to locate resources or boss opportunities with less competition over them.

This is a game that plans to expand post-launch though. With each planet that is added the number of players that we can support per server will rise. It's a lot easier to distribute player populations across space or planets than it is to do it in a fully seamlessly connected world. Our number one priority is to make sure that we have healthy servers and that we don't launch too many servers so that we thin out our population. We feel like most MMO players can enjoy the standard rules, that the hardcore PvP crowd will be able to enjoy that server. But to us a PvE server is a watered down version of the game. You take that last paragraph and just erase it from the game. The (PvE) tag though will likely attract some of those fringe players, the ones who like some PvP but don't want to do it all the time and who generally see a (PvP) tag as meaning that there is forced PvP. Those players would enjoy the normal rule set in our opinion, but their habit is to play on PvE servers where they can participate in things like battlegrounds, because MMO players are generally creatures of habit. So now you lose a percentage of players from the regular server, who are experiencing a watered down version of the game, and they never get a chance to experience the nation and siege related features of the game as a result of it. The end result is that the standard server (where we expect the majority of people to play) is now split in half, with half of them missing on some of the key features of the game. It not only creates a watered down experience on one server, but it damages the population of another. If there is the player population to support it then it may be a worthwhile risk, but it's certainly not a trivial thing to jump into.

Our goal is to launch with as few servers as possible because we have an expansion plan post launch as mentioned earlier. That having been said, if there is a high enough population that we need to add additional servers we will examine other rule set types when we do. But whatever decisions we make, we always think them through. It's not as simple as just tagging a PvE title on something. What do you do with the content in those areas? How do you put nations in competition? What's the role of instanced or PvE Housing now? The truth is that in order to do a PvE server properly requires some major adjustments to those systems. Will supporting that rule set attract the other 12-30% percentage of players who feel that PvP is less important? Yeah maybe. But it will also likely suck a percentage of players who would enjoy the normal rule set away from the normal server, and would prevent those players from experiencing what we feel is one of the most fun aspects of the game and thin out server populations. From our own metrics on this 12% of players felt PvP was unimportant, another 13% felt it was only marginally important. But 75% felt it was moderately to extremely important, and those numbers fit into other marketing data that has been published or shared with us. So from our standpoint we may lose 12% of our audience not having a PvE server, but if we add one we can probably guess about 25% of the population from the standard rule set will move to the PvE server. The pure PvE audience is generally a theme park oriented audience (there haven't been many pure PvE sandboxes) who may not enjoy the game to begin with. So there are some dangers that we need to be conscious of in supporting a PvE server.

That isn't to say there may not be a PvE server at some point, but it's a much more complex decision process to support a new server set than most players realize. We've spent a lot of time analyzing market data, our own metric data, and current trends, and as a result of that we feel that the route we are taking is in the best interest of the game. My last suggestion to PvE only players would be to wait until the game launches and try it. You may be surprised.

@Greymantle: Players will be able to build homes with vendors in open world housing, which is not in contested areas. There were in fact Auctions in SWG with the benefit to not using them being a discount, which is also how it will work in Repop.

Originally posted by doodphace
My entire point is that sandboxes were tried in the begining, and the audiance just wasn't there (compared to themeparks), so AAAs stopped making them...your response to that is asking me to "name you modern ones"??? I agree there are no (or very few) modern ones. The reason why there are no modern ones is what we disagree on.

I figured that was pretty clear, but I guess not.

UO created the MMO market and was a huge success at the time. It had PvP issues that drove away a lot of would-be players, and the fact that it was 2d at a time when 3d accelerators were just taking off hurt it's potential but it was a big success. Everquest surpassed it and as typically happens MMOs after it generally tried to clone EQ. How many AAA sandboxes have there really been in those 15 years? There was SWG which shipped before it was ready, and never achieved the success some hoped it would gain. But if you go back to mid-2003 when SWG had 300k subscribers, the only games larger were Everquest and Lineage (primarily in Korea). It was the third largest MMO on the market.

Then WoW hit, and the market expanded. Everyone was now cloning WoW instead of Everquest and that's the state the MMO genre has remained in until recently.

Originally posted by tirwen

You mention DAoC, but I disagree with analogy. In the initial version of DAoC, the realms were separated. You fought on a battleground that was separate from the rest of the game. You could not go from one faction's area to the other. I might also add that there were co-op servers as well, where you could group with members of the other faction. Later expansions made it possible to raid into some areas of the opposing realm on some servers.

I was a very early tester in DAoC when there were only a few areas available and you had to use slash commands for many of the features. The standard servers are very much like DAoC's system. I can't speak of anything in DAoC after Trials of Atlantis. Having spent a lot of the time in the game through it's first couple expansions though I can give you an accurate comparison of the two at that time.

In DAoC you had three factions, each with their own landmass, which is pretty much exactly how Repop works for the two main factions. It's a large space that you never really have to leave. The third faction in Repop is similar to how guilds were handled on DAoC's PvP servers (Mordred, Andred) except there's more customization to it. Rogue Nations are in essence their own faction with configurable relationships with all other nations.

If you wanted to PvP in DAoC you'd go to the frontiers and it became Team PvP with sieges on preset locations. Again that's how it works in Repop, just without the preset locations. Repop will have both player created cities that can be sieged, and also points of intrigue which will randomly sprout up throughout the world and offer benefits to whoever controls them. So while the actual parts you are fighting over are a little different, it's the same basic mechanic, if you want PvP this is where you go.

Where they differ is that in Repop you can continue on into the opposing factions territory if you wish. You can't attack them though, and if they choose to attack you they will flag themselves (for a minimum of 5 minutes) as being active PvP so that you can fight back against them. Players are fully protected in those areas unless they flip on Active PvP and both sides need to be Active in order to attack one another. The only place where that restriction does not exist is in the middle regions (the PvP areas). Sieges are another difference, it's going to take a lot more to steal a city in Repop than it is to take a keep in DAoC. You have to declare ahead of time, and there are chances to opt out with diplomacy during the siege. This was designed to combat the 4am sieges when your rivals are sleeping.

Where 3/4 of the world was faction oriented in DAoC and you could only explore your own factions (meaning you had 25% of the protected world +25% in the frontiers if you partook), in Repop everyone can explore the whole world, and are fully protected in over a third of it, partially protected in another third. You could play forever and never participate in any PvP, if that's what you want, and you'd be able to kill the high tier bosses and collect high end resources just the same.

@Tiller: There is already a flagging system that works very similar to what SWG did, except that it toggles on your pvp flag when you enter into the contested areas. Active and Reserve military. Both players need to be Active in order to attack one another. The active flag is temporarily turned on when you venture out of your factions territory. In opposing factions territory you are Active, but they still can not attack you without going Active themselves which it will force on for 5 minutes. The PvP area belongs to neither OWON or FPR and as a result it both sides get forced to Active and your always vulnerable to attack by non-friendly nations.

@Phry:  Repop is not a forced PvP game. If you are completely phobic of PvP you could still explore 2/3 of it risk free if you had two characters. And as mentioned earlier it's really quite a bit more than that because the protected areas are larger than the pvp area. If you don't like PvP, don't go to the PvP areas. Even in a pure PvE theme park game, there are generally areas that you can't go to because they are owned by a faction hostile to you.

@The PvP vs. PvE Poll Guy a few pages back: It's definitely true that almost all players feel that PvE is important, because even PvP people enjoy PvE. It's the most important thing to get right. However, the vast majority of players (that's the 70% number I threw out) also feel that PvP is important, and that number has risen significantly over the years. The majority of players enjoy PvP to some extent. But the sad reality is that PvP in most MMOs is battlegrounds. Repop was designed to provide Open World PvP which has meaning, without forcing it on players. That's rare in this genre. But you can't have true open world conflict, territory control, etc and allow players complete safe passage. There's nothing to stop a large mass of players from turning off their flags, moving to a spot and then turning them on at once.

A couple other quick notes. I think some players didn't realize about the PvP aspects until later, but it has always been a cornerstone in the game's design. In the features section for the 2012 Kickstarter Campaign the Nations section is the first of the features discussed and these are the top three lines under that section:
  • Unique three faction PvP system, where the third faction is allowed to set its alliances on a nation by nation basis.
  • Featuring both a Standard and a Hardcore rule set for PvP on separate servers. Standard rules include large protected regions where players can avoid PvP completely if they wish, and no player looting is allowed.
  • Build cities in the open world or besiege the cities of your enemies.
Those were key parts of the design with the center 1/3 of the world really being where the PvP action takes place. But it isn't set up as a gankfest either. If you use the two starting factions then you are guaranteed to have a significant number of allies. Rogue Nations could really go either way. Some I'm sure will embrace the us against the world strategy and others will go Rogue for the ability to ally with nations on all sides. Being able to pick sides, control territory, and things of that nature though are important features, because they allow for player created opportunities and responses.

Now we do realize that a percentage (about 25-30% based on most polls I've seen) of players simply do not like PvP at all. As a result we designed the world so you have over 1/3 of the world where nobody can touch you. That part of the world has the full compliment of resources and content tiers and is fairly large. When we use the 1/3 of the world comment that is simply dividing the world into three sections. the truth though is that the OWON and FPR areas (which are the protected areas) are larger than the Rogue/PvP area, and there are some protected pouches in rogue territory.

Repop supports PvE players. If you look at the two years since the Kickstarter campaign things like Open World Housing, Player Vendors, etc were put in place specifically to allow PvE types to experience some of the things they are missing if they choose not to expose themselves to PvP. That having been said we are hopeful that many of those players at least test out the PvP areas, because they may find it's not nearly as daunting as they might anticipate.

Some clarifications on Repop PvP.

There are two rule sets: The Standard rule set and the Hardcore one. There is only looting on the hardcore server.

The normal rule set has factional PvP, with the two main factions having 1/3 of the world that is protected from PvP. The middle areas belong to nobody and are not protected with the exception of some sporadic Rogue controlled areas. Rogue Nations are the third faction and can set their relationships with nations from every side. This means that diplomatic Rogue nations can maintain friendship levels with both sides provided they can get that acceptance from other teams. You are unable to attack anyone who is friendly to your nation on either side, which means that normal servers are not FFA as is often assumed, it's faction based Rogue Nations in essence creating their own factions.

The set up is similar to how Dark Age of Camelot worked. If you don't wish to partake in any PvP and don't even want to expose yourself to it ever, then you have a very large protected area where you can avoid it completely. There are also Rogue cities in that middle 1/3rd of the map that you can reach which are PvP protected. The vast majority of the PvP though will happen in the center 1/3rd of the world.

Those who are wondering why not just have a Protected server. It's something that has been discussed. But the focus is first on having two healthy servers, and then if the demand is there we can explore it. We do feel like most players will be able to enjoy the standard rules as they are though. We'll see if the demand is there post-launch.

I think after Wow's runaway success a lot of MMO gamers have a unrealistic view on what is a success and what isn't. I'm sure a game like TOR for example may not have reached the potential that a lot of people had it pegged for. But it's been a profitable game that I don't see going away any time soon. That's a success. For some development studios having 10,000 players is enough for the game to be a success due to having smaller budgets and lower expectations.

That doesn't necessarily mean that gamers won't be inevitably disappointed with a lot of successful titles because they don't match up to the players expectations of them. Nor does it mean they will live up to the publisher or developers expectations. But to me, if a game is still around with a healthy player base a couple years after it's launched it has been a success.

A new video was released today which can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QM2DhfItMU
My first MMO was UO. It was a pretty advanced sandbox world, fluctuating economy, so many things you could do. I couldn't help but think ahead to how advanced future games would be by giving you more options, etc. Unfortunately the next big thing was Everquest (which I also loved) and its success morphed the genre into a different direction. Not to say that there weren't advantages or reasons for it to go that way, but it wasn't what I anticipated.
Originally posted by Holyavenger1
I really like and want to support that point of view, JC, and given past posts and interviews I've read/seen about the game, I believe what you're saying but... Even without a publisher, at some point, won't economics catch up with you? I mean, employees, servers costs : if you don't constantly get a steady influx of new backers, you'll need to open it up to the general public and chance they will start spending -- the root of your F2P model to be sustainable.

We've been pretty conservative about our budget, and have no concerns of running low or out of money. We're going to begin expanding our staff in September, in preparation for beta, but I wouldn't expect it to happen until late in the year. There's lots of reasons for that. In addition to the ones which have already been mentioned, there is also the impending Hero Engine 3 release. Ideally we'd like to make that transition before beta and with our timelines being about equal, we'd probably hold off after feature completion until it is ready provided it is ready this year and take that time to work solely on bug fixes and polish.

It should be noted that any speculation on launch date is just that, speculation. There's no official launch date, never has been. That having been said 2015 is more realistic than 2014 at this point. Our target is to have all backers beta testing later this year. They will be a part of the decision on when the game launches, there's no hard dates as there is no publisher. When the game is ready, it will launch.

Nevermind that there were 20 other options including the opposite of that one.
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