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All Posts by JC-Smith

All Posts by JC-Smith

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297 posts found

Unless you make everything one or two shots, combat is never going to be realistic. You justify it with armors and energy shields, because longer fights give room for more strategy. Either that or you embrace the one shots and play it as that. Either way your giving up something.

Repop combat is strategic. You need to deal with things like positions, momentum, energy (you balance how much is spent to shields vs. armor), openings, diving/rolling, and cover. That would all go out the window if the first time your hit with a flame thrower you writhe around in pain and are unable to control yourself until you die, or if when you poke your head out you will be one shot. There's certainly merit to both game styles, but in general MMO combat isn't anything close to realistic. You try to find the style that works best for your game.

I can't really speak for how much Bioware did or did not modify the engine. In general everyone will start with an engine and heavily modify it. So I'm sure they did a ton. But it would be impossible for me to speak about how their renderer performs in comparison to Hero 2 because I just don't know. I don't even know how much their renderer resembles Hero 1.0s. Bioware certainly has capable programmers and I'm sure they customized it for their needs.

I did have a contract to build a database for TOR when it launched though. So I did snoop a lot of the client files while digging out all of the data. From that, I'd say that it was mostly the same as what I see in Hero Engine with some extensions added. The animation system used XML rather than AAS scripts, and I was impressed by the sheer number of animations they had. I think they did a great job there. They used a Hydra system that was new. The FX and particle systems also had some extensions but the bulk of those would plug directly into hero engine, just that there were some things they added (it's been a couple years now I don't recall the details) things they clearly added on their own and would not work. The spec system and area files were pretty similar to Hero Engine's stock files (I didn't notice any differences on those but I didn't spend a ton of time on it).  But hard to say how similar the renderer is, or what changes they made on the server side, as I only looked at the client site data and my focus was on digging out the quests, items, npcs, etc. It was a fun job though since I was already working with the engine at the time, one of my more enjoyable database builds. Without knowing the extent of their renderer changes impossible to say. Either way, Hero Engine 1.x had improved quite a bit also between TOR and the time we had our hands on the engine. The seamless support that is currently in the engine did not exist in the TOR era, and I'm sure there were a number of other things that took divergent paths as Bioware's renderer went with things that made sense for them and Hero Engine was improving completely detached from one another.

I can definitely discuss the difference between Hero Engine 1.x and Hero Engine 2.x as I was able to see those changes taking place. The 2.x renderer is a big improvement and included HDR Rendering, improved Shader support, better shadows, performance improvements, instanced materials, stereoscopic rendering, better font support, etc. It was a pretty significant upgrade.

Originally posted by Phry
Bioware had to do 'massive' amounts of work on the engine itself just to do what it does with it, and while this is using an earlier version of the engine, even after all the work they did, it still doesnt scale that well, so much so that open world PVP is a huge problem, and we're not talking even about 'hundreds' of players, but just a few 'tens' of players in an area.

Couple notes here. First Bioware bought a version of the engine that wasn't ready to be sold. It was being developed for their in-house game (Hero's Journey) and Bioware approached them about licensing it. They knew they were getting an incomplete engine. And while Hero Engine continued to be developed for years from that point, Bioware didn't receive any of the updates as they had forked out on their own and stopped taking updates, as is common practice.

That having been said, the issues that TOR had with Open World PVP have little to do with Hero Engine. They have to do with Bioware's design decisions. Bioware put a huge amount of customization into TOR and used poly counts that were much higher than most other MMORPGs. There was nothing wrong with those design decisions. Their target audience was solo and single groups of players, small raids. Given their target audience their decision made sense. Players want customization. They want the models to look good. It wasn't a game that was really designed with Ilum in mind as a focal point.

Of course all that customization does come at a price. There are a lot of state changes, and a lot of textures being used. If their focus was open world PvP they probably would have given less clothing options and used lower polygon models. Keep in mind in an MMO your dealing with multiple parts to make up your appearance, and those parts are generally each using their own texture. This makes instanced rendering of characters difficult, and instanced rendering is much more efficient. This problem grows multipliciously, so the more customization you have the less likely it is that players will be sharing the same models and textures, and the less efficient it gets for each additional character on screen.

As a developer you can't really have both, it's a compromise. The more customization and the higher resolution textures you use, the less efficient you will be rendering, but the better you'll look. If you go the opposite direction you will render much more efficiently, but players may complain that your game looks dated. Or you can try for some place in between. That's a balancing act that you the developer needs to make. I think TOR's decisions made sense for their game. They catered to what 95% of their players would be actively doing most of the time (questing, leveling, small groups). But those decisions also are a big part of the reason that the game chugs in a busy Ilum. Yet Ilum is generally what gets brought up when people criticize Hero Engine. It's just not a fair evaluation.

Last but not least. It should be noted that while Hero Engine has its own renderer, that's just a small part of what it is. It's the other features that make it an MMO engine and not a rendering engine. If like in the OPs situational post he had $10M to work with, he could if he so desired replace Hero Engine's renderer with Cry Engine, Unreal Engine, or whatever other tech they desired. It would be a bit of work, but the point is that rendering is just one of the things that the engine does. When people criticize TOR's performance in Ilum it's general the rendering that they are referring to, and Hero Engine 2 has a vastly improved renderer from when TOR was released. Not to mention TOR did a number of their own changes to the renderer.

I think in general, your best off using a licensed engine than you are building your own engine these days. If you have specific needs maybe its worth the time to build your own needs, but most everyone licenses these days for a reason.

Having had a lot of experience with different engines, I do feel pretty strongly that Hero Engine is your best bet as an MMO engine. There are better rendering engines, no doubt. Hero Engine is adequate as a renderer but certainly not cutting edge. But when your talking about the overall package, it's a great engine for an MMO, and I'll explain why.

The largest draw is the collaberative design. That's huge. Being able to have your artists and programmers in the game while they do all the work is big. You can have people critiquing what you are doing, as your doing it. And there are a number of useful tools to make the design easier when in-game. For example, if there's a spot with a seam in the terrain, or where players are getting stuck you can use the GM Notes system to leave a note that other players can click on and it will take them exactly to where you were standing and facing when you created the note. Even better you can draw and scribble on the screen to point arrows to the problem points and leave a full description on what the problem is. You can also make these types of changes while the game world is running, doing live changes as players are playing.

The scripting system though is also a big draw. HeroScript has some odd symantics but it is a solid scripting engine. But what is really cool about their set up is how you can compile and submit your scripts within seconds and have the effects immediately applied to a running world. It makes it easy to tweak changes. In an engine that isn't designed as an MMO, this is often not the case. I can tell you from past experiences, we used to spend so much time commiting changes, restarting area servers or world servers, waiting for them to load, relogging in, etc just to test these types of changes.This one small simple thing saves you SO much time and allows you to be more productive.

There is a good frame work for handling MMO specific functionality like specs, spatial awareness, dynamic parts, and seamless areas. Each of those things is a reasonable sized task to build on its own. And you at least know with Hero Engine that these features have already been through years of testing and evolution. That's important.

They also provide you with some good working examples of how to common MMO tasks, which is helpful in the early going. It's a complex beast so expect a steep learning curve initially. Once you get past that though it's pretty easy to work with.

I normally avoid these types of threads. Someone linked this to me so I wanted to come in and give some quick information about the "Why a second kickstarter?" question. It's a valid question. I think in general people do need to do their research any time when they do a Kickstarter. I think there are a lot of good projects out there, and there's also a few bad ones that will hurt the reputation of others. There's nothing wrong with people being skeptical about a product they haven't personally played.

It's become commonplace now for crowd funded games to have an on-site shop. They all pretty much do that after their campaign ends, and for good reason. There is a demand for it. Players want those pre-order perks and want to help support products. Players ask for it, so sites support it. We began doing the same with our Early Adopter program for those very reasons. We received a steady dose of emails or posts by people who missed the Kickstarter and wanted to back the game.

This Kickstarter campaign is really about stretch goals. Those stretch goals are all features that either are requests on the web site or things that we personally had planned as post-launch goals. These get brought up and our answer has always been that we'd like to do it but probably don't have the resources to do them at launch, but that we'd squeeze them in if we could. These are all great features though that would enhance the game if we had the budget for them, but that wouldn't be worth delaying it for. Now we could have done a stretch goal system using an in-house store, but the problem is that if we want to guarantee something for launch it needs to start being worked on now. If we had a stretch goal on the site and it was reached 4 months from now, there would be no way we could get that into launch, there simply wouldn't be enough time.

Kickstarter fits well into that approach due to its short campaign window. It allows us to figure out what type of budget we'll have to work with and to lock down our features by the end of January. Any goals that aren't hit here become post-launch goals. So in our case, I'm not sure why people would find concern with a second Kickstarter. It began and we turned off our on-site shop. The difference between this and the in-house shop though is that it allows us to provide our players with a more accurate roadmap more quickly than we could otherwise, and the Kickstarter also helps expose the game to new players who may not have been aware of it.

One last comment on vaporware or pitching an idea. It should be noted that this game has been in testing for a while. It's been at three major shows, with playable versions on the floor at PAX Prime. Where most projects do enter Kickstarter as ideas looking to raise funding to build the game, this is already a developed product. Every single feature on that Kickstarter feature list is already functional in alpha testing.

Is it worth taking a chance on? That's really up to the end user. I can understand people being hesitant. There's nothing wrong with that. But I hope this post clears up a few questions.

Originally posted by Ringbus
  Carmack?

That irrelevant hack? The only people who care about John Carmack are silly little fanboys who for whatever reason lap up his self-promoting PR about himself.

There are a lot of important people in game development these days. Carmack ain't one of them.

Carmack certainly isn't as relevant as he used to be when it comes to driving cutting edge graphics. But his importance in the history of game development can not be understated. For a solid ten years you always looked forward to the next Carmack engine because you knew it was going to blow everything else out of the water. From BSP trees, to modding, multiplayer, dynamic lighting, it was revolutionary feature after revolutionary feature, which much of the rest of the industry copied and learned from. And as I said in my previous post, when everyone else was hording trade secrets, he was freely speaking about how they worked and helping the industry as a whole.

Ironically he was a guy who pushed heavily for 3d acceleration and embraced it and other technologies, and those technologies reduced his edge over the competition. The larger teams and more modular approach today draw the spotlight away from individual brilliance. But it's rare to find a game developer who doesn't have a ton of respect for the guy.

To me Carmack jumping on board a few months back spoke volumes. It tells me that Rift is legitimate.

Carmack drove gaming to smooth first person shooter states (Wolf3D), then to a more true 3D with Doom, and to the next level with Quake. Then he pushed heavily for 3d acceleration, GLQuake is really what helped legitimize 3d accelerators and make them commonplace. It also streamlined modding. And what you have to love about the guy is he always gave back. Back when his technology was head and shoulders above the competition, he was allowing guys like Michael Abrash to write books on how it worked, and releasing the source code to older techs. Perhaps he sees this as a chance to push the limits once again.

Just a quick note. You will not be able to buy real equipment or resources as someone had suggested earlier in this thread. The equipment you can purchase will be shells, which are purely cosmetic.  Stats wise they are the same as what you can start the game with at character creation. The stats in Repop come from fittings which will not be for sale.
Originally posted by moonrunner

then closed beta so open beta not  likely til late 2014 and more kickstart streaches and I don't see it's release till 2015.

The stretch goals are intended to bring on additional staff as to not interfere with the games release schedule. The funds for each stretch goal will be used to bring on additional staff, some of that will be exclusively for those features, and the rest will be going towards the content development team. So the stretch goals should do the exact opposite of this. The bottleneck for the Repop is adding enough content to a very large world.

As far as beta dates. Beta previews are starting in March. In a nutshell those are backer openings during the last phase of alpha testing. They will be used to stress test the servers. Each week the number of players will be boosted significantly. This will be a short phase of testing before moving into closed beta. There is no firm launch date, and never has been. Once beta has begun the players will be a part of the input process as to when the game is ready. When players and the staff feel that the game is good to launch, it will launch.

You do not want to rush an MMO to market, it's completely counter-productive in an MMO. Too many promising titles have been down this road in the past, and the results speak for themselves.

I just wanted to address the stretch goals issue.

The bottleneck for Repop right now is content. It's a huge world, and while a lot of generation is in place, a lot of things still need to be done by hand to get the most out of them. Tihs process has gone slower than expected because we've found that writers and content people have struggled to understand how to use the mission, engagement, world event and den systems correctly.

If you pay attention to the stretch goal amounts once this campaign goes live you'll find that the money for most of the attainable stretch goals is split in a way that it allows us to bring on additional hands. Much of that will be used for the stretch goal itself, and the rest will go into content. They won't slow down development at all. If anything they'll speed it up because while part of those funds are going to hire programmers or artists to work on the stretch goals themselves, the rest is going to the content of the existing game.

That having been said, I'd like to address the 2013 release talk. This all stems from the 2012 Kickstarter. Kickstarter requires you to give an estimated delivery date. This isn't a set in stone date, but it's your best guess. At the time of the Kickstarter we felt about this time of year the game would be complete, so that was the estimated period. But when asked about it we always mentioned that it would be ready when it's done. That was our estimate of when that would be. It was obviously off by quite a bit, and there's numerous reasons for that.

There are some situations where things that sound good on paper don't work out as well when it comes to testing. We had certain features that we polled players about and that we gave lots of discussion to and seemed like it was the right approach. For example, the mission system. Many MMO players have grown tired of the theme park oriented treadmill of leveling. They complain about quest markers, and missions being too easy in general. I know I'm one of them. Our original mission implementation was very much a throw back in that regard. Very few markers, often giving players very subtle clues and expecting them to solve it. Then you add things like day/night NPCs, etc. The problem is that most players are now conditioned by the easier missions. And slowly over the course of testing we began having more easier missions, more markers, etc because we found that even many of the players who said they didn't want those things, realized that once they had become conditioned to use them when they were taken away. So our concession was to mix it up, a mixture of easy and more complex missions, and a slew of usability features. To someone just reading the monthly reports, they might look and see these improvements one month and think that we're getting feature creep. But the reality is that the majority of the games additions in the past year have been a direct result of tester feedback. Sometimes that means that you may lose weeks or even months doing reactionary changes, and that also sets you back. The entire world was also rebuilt during the course of alpha testing, as we were running into performance bottlenecks caused by memory consumption and larger numbers of players causing older boxes to run into 2 gig memory limits. That probably set us back about 6 months, but it needed to be done. Those type of situations will sprout up from time to time, and they happen to everyone, from the largest teams to the smallest. The alternative would have been to stick to the previous specifications and launch the game before its ready, but the result would have been a bunch of disappointed players and a product that would spend the next year trying to undo some of the things post-launch and never reach its potential because it already had lost many of its followers due to the launch issues. That benefits nobody.

Most of our staff is unpaid, and the paid staff is all paid well below market value. They work on the title because they believe in it, and it's a labor of love. The problem with this type of set up of course is that sometimes people's situations change and they lose much of their free time. Sometimes they get a great job offer which has a no-compete clause and they have to move on. Over the years Repop has had roughly a $250k budget spread over a few years, and a sizable amount  of that from our own pockets. Your average AAA MMO staff would go through that in a month. I'd say that we've been pretty efficient. But a lot of that efficiency comes from the fact that people are working for free or for cheap on often erratic schedules, and sometimes you need to deal with the fact that you may lose a key member for months at a time. We've had some a couple of setbacks as a result of that, but certainly nothing out of the ordinary for an MMO. EQ: Next for example was announced before Repop, and will ship after it. Wildstar was also announced before Repop. Those are larger studios with deep pockets, but you don't seem to hear the same complaints that they are taking too long to reach market that we've seen from a number of people on here. It's been 18 months since our Kickstarter campaign, that seems like a long-time, and we understand the feeling. But it should be noted that most MMOs don't hit their initial projection dates, it's tough to estimate with all of the moving parts and separate teams.

Obviously having a larger budget helps with this, due to being able to keep key staff under contract. This is where the Early Adopter programs and upcoming Kickstarter come in. This has been pretty par for the course for other crowd-funded titles in the past couple years. Many players were not exposed to the game during the initial Kickstarter. In the couple weeks since we closed our internal store in preparation for this campaign, we've had many posts, facebook messages, or emails asking when the store would be reopening. So there are people out there who would like to back the project. Running these campaigns allows them to do so, which benefits the game as a whole because that money all goes into development.

If you are not interested in backing, that's understandable. We can understand people being skeptical about spending money on an unfinished product. Especially an indie one. But it would be foolish of us to not allow those who want to back to be able to do so. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, their contributions allow us to deliver a better game which benefits everyone (backers and non-backers alike). Without any backers, this game would have still been completed, but it would not have been the game that it has evolved into. Most likely it would have shipped with a trimmed down world and features, and attempted to implement most of those things post-launch. There is certainly some merit to that approach, but in today's competitive MMO market many players will only give you one shot. So the better you can be at launch, the healthier your game will be long-term. That's our primary concern. We'd rather deal with complaints that the game is taking too long to market, than complaints that the game rushed to market, because in the longrun it will be better for the title. But that certainly doesn't mean that we don't want the game out as soon as possible. But we'd rather trade the short-term for the long-term. Three years down the road people won't care if the game shipped today, or a year from now. They'll either still be playing it or they won't. It's readiness at launch will be a large factor in all of that. We certainly don't want to pooch that.

Originally posted by IG-88

There are many games that encourage or require you to group and work together, but few that succeeds in creating a good community with player interdependancy, like SWG did.

Take SWTOR, you group for a specific mission, but disband when its over and you never hear from them again

That's always been a problem in the theme park MMOs. Questing became the primary form of experience, it was the means to an end. I think questing for exp is superior to what we generally did before (grinding for exp). But with theme parks you made questing the fastest way to go, and you made most of it solo. With a laid out line of progression.  As a result, players generally only care about what they are working on. Where in the old games, grouping was far and away your best way to gain experience, and there was very little benefit to helping someone else with do a quest you didn't have, when mob experience became worth a lot less.

It's designed to be a social game. Lots of ways it's encouraged:

- Engagements are a type of Public Quest, and aimed at larger collections of players.

- Missions have a reward bonus when you are grouped, other players in the group get a chance at loot that is separate from your own.

- Missions have a bonus buff system that you gain from completing missions, and the entire group gets it when grouped. Because your group will be able to complete missions faster, it goes faster.

- You gain a bonus to the rate at which you gain skills when grouped.

- There is an auto-grouping system which can group you automatically with other players in an engagement area. This can be disabled and also has options to stay in the group after the engagement ends or not.

- Everyone who contributes to a kill gets their own chance at private loot. While they don't get the full chance as though they killed the mob solo, there is a generated bonus chance when multiple players killed a target. The end result is that you will have more chances of getting loot when you are grouped, and never have to worry about other players being greedy and pressing need on everything.

- The Entertainment system is there to encourage players to visit a camp, bar or other resting area when they are near one to get buffs, or enjoy the show. The entertainment abilities are designed so that if the entertainers are working together properly you will get more potent and longer lasting buffs. The higher echelon of the buffs there require multiple entertainers working in tandem.

- The openings system rewards players for coordinating their attacks. When an opening is present all other players (or NPCs) can take advantage of it. Many abilities are more effective when a particular opening exists. This rewards players for grouping up and for working well together.

- There is a mix of solo, group and raid content. Group and raid oriented targets typically will give additional skill gain bonuses due to being considered a dangerous activity. Bosses have generated special abilities which means that groups or raids will need to adjust their tactics on the fly.

- The housing system is not privatized so you can showcase your stuff to other players.

- PvP revolves around Nation vs. Nation combat (nations are like guilds), and includes city building and sieges.

- Content can optionally scale up or down based on the number of players nearby. This is optional on a per engagement or per den basis. There are a number of dens that work similar to the old ring of ___ events in Everquest 1. If you can't kill X amount of mobs or the boss in X amount of time, it goes back to the default state or stays at the same level. If you have enough players that you can take down the boss, then a tougher one will come in the next wave, etc. They are also commonly used to reduce the spawn times based on how many players are in an area. This helps to adjust for crowding, and is very helpful to keep an even amount of content for groups.

- Crafting and Trade skills are very dependent on other lines. There is mastery for every harvestable type and style of crafting recipes. The grade of your results is tied to your skill, your mastery level of that recipe, and the quality of the ingredients used (which in themselves are refined by someone else with the same checks). While it's technically possible that someone with a lot of time on their hands could eventually (years down the road) master everything, it's would be an epic grind and something that simply raising the skill cap or mastery cap by one rank would set them back again. Crafting is set up to encourage specialists. If your a casual player who only has time to master a couple recipe types, then focus on component building or refinement, be able to produce A9 components or materials and you'll always be in demand. If you have more time you could certainly master more things, but it's a grind just mastering all the recipes in a single trade skill. I think in general what you'll see is people mastering a few things that are important to them and then buying components from other players for most things.

 

@shirlnt: 

The items sold in the cash shop are cosmetic shells. Those are not items that crafters would be doing for themselves for a profit in general. While shells will be craftable, there won't be much of a market for them. The market in those items is in the fittings.

Repop uses a shell/fitting system where the base item (armor piece or weapon) simply determines what type of item it is. It gives it the baseline values which won't be any different on a newbie item, a hard to find shell recipe, or on a shop item. They will all have the same stats. One type of a sniper rifle might be slower firing than another, for example, but they woulds both do the same DPS and have all the same stats otherwise. Shells do not take damage, and are basically just used to determine how something looks and its basic functionality. All shells are created equal.

Where the customization comes in is with the fittings. Shells generally all contain slots for 5 fittings. That's what people will be crafting primarily. Fittings are where all your stats come in. A firearms crafter could make a sniper rifle, but there won't be a lot of market for those because they are available as drops, from vendors, etc. They are easy to obtain, unless its a rare type. Their money market comes from making the five fittings for each weapon though. Those have a progression, they decay, there will constantly be a market for them.

Cosmetic items should not have any affect on the economy. If you bought yourself a new weapon shell, yeah your going to have a cool looking weapon. It's going to be the exact same weapon that another character could have gotten from doing a tutorial or newbie vendor in all other aspects though.

With regards to company motivations for going F2P, companies need money to stay afloat. If a game is going to stay online and have continued updates it needs to be profitable. Many of the games that went F2P were struggling as subscription games, then saw their profits leap significantly by going F2P. That has allowed those games to keep operating and to keep improving the games. Even if you make less money per player in F2P, you'll generally have a healthier game because you have more players, and MMOs need players. The MMO market is more competitive now than it's ever been. There are so many choices for players, and most of those games are now F2P. If you charge a subscription, your creating a barrier of entry for new potential players, where those other games are not. Unless you have a significant amount of money being pumped into marketing, that's a losing strategy.

Originally posted by Tamanous

There are massive differences between how a p2p and a f2p game is made. It affects all areas of the game, how you access content and how content enters the game. There is absolutely no possibility that a p2p community can be the same as a f2p community.

That really depends on how you approach the f2p aspects. In your examples, that's often what happens when P2P converts to F2P. They generally try to go the Freemium route, which involves gating off content and selling it to players piecemail. In many Freemium games the free player is basically equated to an extended free trial. They give you a taste test but try to give you enough incentive that you will subscribe, which generally unlocks everything.

The biggest problem I have with that approach is that it splits the community based on what players paid for what content. Then based on how many other restrictions are placed it can make free players feel inadequate. It just depends on how you approach free players. Are they there solely to encourage players to pay? Or are they beneficial either way? I personally feel the latter is correct. 

Originally posted by Vapors
In this video you could see, that he needs "Player Credit" for building or placing items into his house. I'm pretty sure this "Player Credit" are just available with purchashing them with real dollars:).

Or atleast you would not get so much from just playing.

It should be noted that the term credits is just the name of the in-game currency (rather than Gold, Platinum or Dollars). It not cash shop related.

You can purchase certain structures with Nation Credits (assuming your nation has given you permission to do so) or Player Credits. Player Credits are your personal credits, where Nation Credits are credits set aside for members to use when building cities,etc. There's a variety of settings which determine who has permission to use them and who does not.

 

A few notes @reaperuk:

- MMOs take time to build. This game was announced a little more than two years ago with a typical MMOs development cycle being 3-5 years. By contrast, EQ: Next was announced a year earlier. Everyone wants the game to get out as quickly as possible, but rushing an MMO never turns out well.

- There is in fact a PvP flagging system (Active or Reserve) but if you go out into the contested regions, you can still be attacked. It's similar to DAoC in that aspect. It is NOT FFA PvP unlesss you play on a hardcore server. Otherwise it is team-based PvP with over 1/3 of the world being completely protected.

- The comment with regards to resources is false. The full compliment of resources exists in protected areas.  This has been stated again and again.

- With regards to player shops, they weren't a part of the original game design at all, and neither was instanced housing. They got added based on player feedback. There's only so far you can go though without taking away from the PvP aspects, and sieges, player created cities, have always been a big part of the game design. The reality is that the game was designed with a focus on faction and nation based PvP. It has been at the top of every overview of the game from the very get go. It isn't forced on them however, an there is are no penalties associated with it. The game is designed so players can participate in PvP, or they can stay in the protected areas if they do not wish to, which are very large. Those areas feature a full compliment of tiers. But you also need to give players incentive to participate in those features of the game.

 
 
 

We've posted the end of November progress report. You can find the official link here: https://therepopulation.com/index.php/news/123-end-of-november-2013-update or a mirror of it's information below.

November is in the books, and our focus remains polishing the game and getting it ready for beta testing. Similar to last month, this resulted in a large number of bug fixes and minor tweaks. But as is generally the case, we squeezed in some new features along with them. Let’s take a look at the most important additions this month.

Structure placement in the housing and nation systems received a significant upgrade with a new Structure Placement UI allowing objects to be scaled and rotated. Along with full control over the objects, you can also copy/paste/reset the object’s rotation and scale values making it easier to quickly place a bunch of objects at the exact scale and rotation needed. We should have a feature video out very soon featuring the new updates in the system so stay tuned for that.

A new calendar system was introduced. You can mouse over a new icon on your minimap to see the time and date, in both local time and in game time. The calendar system is tied in to many of the games systems, allowing us to have special events which are fixed during certain seasons, or date ranges. You can expect to hear more about these events and features in future updates.

We expanded the inquiry system so that with some Diplomacy skill you can now obtain information on an NPC’s current dilemmas or the cause of those dilemmas. This allows you to inquire with NPCs and find out who caused their current predicament if it was another player or NPC and the name of the cause. This can be used for hidden inquiry or mission opportunities.

Combat balance was under the microscope this month, with most of the weapon types in the game receiving significant balance related tweaks. We also implemented a new optional recoil system for players who enjoy their screen shakes.

We also pushed a bit further into world development. Many new contested (PvP enabled) areas were introduced, along with quite a few new locations which allow cities to be constructed. The FPR faction also received a large tutorial revamp to bring them in line with recent changes that OWON has undergone.

In other news we introduced a new Backer's Portal on the web site. This allows our Early Adopters to be able to monitor pledges and the perks they have qualified for.

Calendar

  • Added a persistent calendar system to Rhyldan. The calendar varies slightly from Earth and it changes years every three weeks. The date and season will help determine weather effects, in-game holiday events, and seasonal resources or spawns.
  • Mousing over the time button will also display the current Day, Month, and Year in Game Time.

Combat

  • Implemented an optional recoil system for players. If you wish to display recoil effects you can enable this from the options. Recoil effects will make your screen shake when firing weapons.
  • Camera Jolting can now be isolated to a single target.
  • Damage Flashes will now display a camera shake on the target if you have camera shakes and damage flashes both enabled.
  • When you attempt to PvP with a player that you cannot engage in PvP, it will now explain why in a text banner.
  • You can now use the Middle Mouse Button (rebindable) to switch in and out of Action Mode. Q and CTRL-A bindings also work.
  • Unarmed combat now has client side FX for when they swing at nothing in action mode, to bring them in line with weapon abilities.
  • Adjusted visual attack distance between players and certain mobs.
  • Placed a short delay on weapon firing FX so that the player has a chance to raise their arms to aim, if they were not already aiming.

Graphics and Animations

  • Impact animations properly play based on the type of weapon/stance you are in now.
  • Introduced numerous new melee weapon models.
  • Added new snow-themed models for Kaavo.
  • Adjusted the placement of the fully automatic rifle as it wasn't quite oriented properly.
  • Improved damage FX for Rifles, Handguns, and Automatic Weapons.
  • Setlangs have all new models.
  • Created several new variations of Particle Lights. These are not true lights but work in a similar way to a lightmap for efficient rendering of lighting that works well for certain situations.
  • Added new cave environment models.
  • Crawler bots received a completely new model and animations.
  • Added background mountains and a skydome to the housing areas.
  • Tactical Vest 2 set for the male are now Tint-able.
  • Tactical Vest and Composite Pants 2 for the male are now Tint-able.
  • Added collision mesh to energy wall/force field models.
  • Composite Set 3 Armor for male is now tint-able, both shirt and pants.
  • The Merc Outfit for the male is now tint-able, both shirt and pants.
  • Added numerous new female NPC Outfits.
  • Decorated more shops in Plymouth City.

Housing

  • Housing now has rotational options along all 3 axis along with proper grounding checks to allow for them to be placed flush along the ground of the target object.
  • Added an icon size option to the Housing Window. It now defaults to medium which is about half of the previous size. The original size is now listed as X-Large and there are 2 other options making it easier to stack a lot of icons or get a better idea of what it looks like.
  • Updated the Owon Housing Area with more trees and foliage.
  • Increased the awareness distance for housing units fixing an issue with some housing units not being marked in the back of the housing instance area.
  • Added a housing minimap marker making it easier to find your housing plot.
  • Added new placement/scaling/rotating options to nation structures so they work just like housing structures. This includes the copy/paste commands, reset, and all of the mode adjustments.
  • Placing/moving/manipulating housing structures now has 6 modes that make it easier to accomplish certain tasks such as fine detail movement, rotation, and scaling of objections.
  • Shift+C and Shift+V when actively using a structure will now copy their scale and rotation settings.
  • CTRL+R added to reset the scale and rotation back to the defaults. The object needs to be actively selected and the current mode (scale or rotation) has to be active to reset it.
  • Nudging a housing structure in a direction moves it less than before making it easier to do fine adjustments on position.

Inquiries

  • Inquiring to tell you about an NPC can now also result in information on their current Dilemma and the cause of that Dilemma, which can be either a player or an NPC. It will require some skill in Diplomacy before you obtain this information commonly.
  • Characters are now given a message to let them know when they have gained a new piece of Knowledge, though it doesn't specify what that knowledge was.
  • If you are aggro to an NPC they will no longer offer you inquiries. This was occurring on missions or engagements when friendly NPCs would turn hostile.
  • Increased your chance of having successful inquiries.

Items and Fittings

  • Created new regional treasure specs to allow certain items to be isolated to certain areas.
  • Sweeping adjustments to weapons reducing the energy costs of ranged weapons, automatics retuned to be a bit more useful against medium and heavy armor, as well as firing rate changes.
  • Most melee weapons have had their models replaced with completely new models.
  • Added a new item reward category for use in missions and engagements. This category will reward the player with random books of knowledge. Along with this, many new readable items were added in-game.
  • Added a new readable book: Southeast of Freedomtown. This is a guide book of the area. This book grants a new mission when read which rewards you for visiting important places in this area.
  • Added a new readable book: Letter From Command. This book will grant a small but permanent boost to the Leadership skill of the first player who reads it.
  • Added a new readable book: Letters to a Soldier, and populated it into various loot tables. The first person to read each copy of this book will grant a small but permanent boost to your Entertainment skill.
  • Introduced a new readable book: Encounter with a Setlang. This book will grant a small but permanent boost to your Unarmed Tactics when read.
  • Added a new readable section from the Journal of Henry Hudson. Reading it for the first time will give a small but permanent boost to your Trap Knowledge skill, and it is also a part of a separate mission series.
  • Added two new readable books, each of them being a piece of Galvart's Journal. Each piece gives two pieces of Knowledge when read. Reading both books will result in some hidden achievements and a couple of abilities if you did not already have them.
  • Activatable items can now each have their own custom script, if necessary. This can be used to give them complex functionality that may not otherwise be available through normal means due to being a rare and special case.
  • You can now gain Knowledge from reading in-game books. This knowledge allows you to then inquire with NPCs about new topics.
  • Added a new readable book: Cold Silver, which is a philosphical look at the notion of clones. This book will grant the first person who reads it a small boost to their Entertainment skill. It is a random rare drop on human NPCs.
  • Introduced a new readable book: Freefall. It covers the landing of the Northern Star. The first person who reads any instance of this book will receive a small but permanent Diplomacy bonus.
  • Added additional items to various loot tables.
  • Optimized the loot/personal generation code significantly in some cases where there were not many items in the loot tables but a minimum loot limit was set.
  • New characters now begin with Tactical Armor equipped by default.
  • Added a new type of Composite Armor Sleeves to the possible starting gear choices.
  • Removed the Citizen's Hoodie and Citizen's Pants from the starting gear choices to avoid players choosing them without realizing they offer no protection. They are still available elsewhere.
  • Heated weapons have new and improved particle effects.
  • Fixed some issues with banks eating items.

Missions

  • Generated kill missions that have optional bonus goals will now display (Bonus) next to those goals when they become available. Bonus goals can be skipped if desired, but you will gain additional rewards if you complete them.
  • Generated Missions will now generate more frequently.
  • If a mission has many marker locations, such as you would have on a patrol or escort mission, it will now only display mission arrows to the first and last point.
  • Added new OWON oriented missions to Plymouth City. These are derivative missions that require you to have completed previous missions in a series to reach. They have increased rewards to compensate for this.
  • Added seven new generated mission templates centering around OWON's watchful eye.
  • Many mission opportunities have been added to the Fal Sept regions.
  • The Covert Operations tutorial series no longer requires you to have completed Unarmed Combat training first.
  • Sprinkled One Time Mission opportunities throughout Fal Sept.
  • Improved the locations of hostile generated mission markers in the Plymouth area.
  • Streamlined the Keeping Busy tutorial that you receive upon entering your starting city. It no longer sends you to the north gate at the start, and the tips are now easier to follow.
  • Privatized more parts of the special FX and communication in The Awakening tutorials.
  • Added a short radio transmission at the end of the Dissecting Corpses tutorial to make it easier to know that the mission is over

NPCs

  • Introduced a new tameable insect species: Barca. This species features a wide variety of color variations.
  • Introduced an FPR specific version of Guide Bots.
  • NPCs in the Dead City are a bit livelier than was previously the case.
  • Updated the background information for numerous NPCs in the Plymouth area. This allows for more detailed information in inquiries.
  • Altered a number of NPC personality traits in the Plymouth area to make them able to qualify for more generated missions.
  • Factional Bounty Collectors will no longer aggressively pursue enemy players.
  • Slightly reduced default NPC sight detection distance.
  • Setlang will now aggro players from a shorter distance than most other mobs.
  • Found an issue that was causing only ranged NPCs to be able to sprint to close the distance to their target. This has been corrected and melee NPCs will now close the distance a little faster.
  • Mobs spawned through non-standard means now support custom NPC scripts.
  • Created a new Metallurgist vendor type, and spread them throughout the world.
  • Jason Jackson now sells machine parts in Plymouth City.
  • Blad Dwyd has moved inside of the Plymouth Towers, seeking shelter from the rain.
  • The basic attack of Vulture Queens will now do Biochemical damage.
  • The Guide Bot near the engagement in the OWON Training Facility has been moved slightly. He is now standing just outside of the Cloning Facility. This makes him easier to spot after completing the Awakening series. Some players were missing him since he was up against the wall just outside of the bunker.
  • Created a new Peacekeeper Patrolman NPC type. These will spawn to enforce the law if someone sets off a security alarm through Thievery or trying to hack into a security system. These can be found in Plymouth City.
  • Some of the NPCs in the Clone Cafe's feet have grown tired, so they have taken a seat.
  • Adjustments were made to NPCs in the Clone Cafe in the OWON Training Facilities.
  • Created a new non-tamable variation of T'Seef for placement in shops in town as a moving decoration.

Pets

  • Tweaked the group formation used for pets, to allow them to follow in better formation.
  • Added new pet summoning effects.
  • Crawler bots have all new models.

Player vs. Player

  • We have introduced shuttles that will take you between Sept Falls and Freedomtown or Plymouth City. These allow players to jump into the action more quickly. This is for testing purposes and not indicative to how it will be at release.
  • A lot of work was done in the contested region of Fal Sept. This includes many locations set aside for player created cities, and new PvP opportunities.
  • Added new PvP loot items. These are rare random treasures that you can receive by killing your enemies.

Skills and Abilities

  • Introduced a new hidden skill. While all characters can unlock this skill you will need to find the NPC required to teach it to you. He spawns randomly throughout the world using the world spawn system. He can only be up in one place at a time, however. He spawns in hard to find locations which will require some exploration. Upon learning this skill you are also trained to use it's first ability.
  • Effect and Fitting Mods now add together instead of multiply. This is to help in processing speed and to prevent stacking abuse.
  • Dodge chance has been modified to be impacted by armor type for both players and NPCs along with the NPC's difficulty.
  • Getting caught stealing in Plymouth City will no longer result in instant death. Instead a very tough Peacekeeper will attack you, along with the usual loss of reputation.
  • Aim High (Automatic Weapons) had it's AoE Radius increased and now utilizes your weapon's range rather than a preset range.
  • Panicked Spray (Automatic Weapons) had it's PBAoE radius doubled.
  • Spraying Assault (Automatic Weapons) had it's AoE radius increased.
  • Covering Fire (Automatic Weapons) had it's radius increased and now utilizes your weapons effective range, instead of a hard coded value. It also now features a more appropriate description of it's capabilities.
  • Frenzied Fire (Automatic Weapons) had it's AoE radius increased.
  • Stopping Power (Automatic Weapons) had it's AoE radius increased.
  • Twirling Trip (Axes) is now a PBAoE ability, rather than single target. It still has a chance to knock your opponents down or off-balance.
  • Make it Rain (Aerosol) had it's AoE Radius increased significantly.
  • Heavy Gust (Aerosol) is now a Spread AoE ability.
  • Increased the damage on the Maximum Release ability (Aerosol).
  • Made significant adjustments to the fitting code to speed up processing of fittings.
  • Ability Training Cards have a new icon.
  • Player created camps now include a camp fire with heat wave effects.

Trade Skills

  • Added the following harvestable resources to the Southern Pass: Fish, Iron, Mika Berry and Saverous Tree. In addition to this random harvester extracted mineral ore is also available in the area.
  • Added the following harvestable resources to Eastfal: Lilac, Chromite, and harvester extracted Mineral Ore.
  • Added harvestable Geflech Tree, Albus, harvester-extracted Mineral Ores, and Melanko resources to Eastfal Valley.
  • Added Calibrite, Lilac, Fish, and Abandoned Bundle resources to the Northern Trails. Harvester extracted mineral ore nodes were also added.
  • Added new resource spawners for Geel Flowers to Sept Falls.
  • Added the following harvestable resources to Eastern Fork: Copper, Hok Weed, and Rue
  • Placebo Plant can now be found in a wider area and greater numbers in around the Pond in Plymouth.
  • Adjusted the rate at which you gain SI from harvesting.
  • Crafting Training Manuals have a new icon. Converted all existing manuals to use it.
  • Added many new crafting material icons. This includes a variety of new food related icons, as well as chemical icons, and weapon components.

User Interface

  • Created a new movement GUI for the nation/house building.
  • You can now enable optional recoil animations from the Combat Options menu. They are disabled by default.
  • Improved the visuals of the health bars that float above an NPCs head. These have new graphics, and the difficulty indicators have also been tweaked. You can now disable the Show All option in Nameplate Options to only display nameplate for your currently selected target.
  • The City Control Panel GUI has received a number of upgrades. It was upgraded to a new appearance, and is now fully tintable. The text alignment was altered to make it more attractive, and now drops a shadow. It is also now opaque, and can be closed.
  • Large radius mission markers now appear as a target on your map or minimap, rather than as a red circle. This primarily affects combat missions within a large radius. They also now adjust their size based on the map's zoom factor.
  • Added a new option to the pop up menu for Ability Bars which allows you to open a new ability bar without using the interface options.
  • Introduced a new option to the pop up menu for Ability Bars which allows you to close/hide this bar automatically. This option is available on all bars except for bar one.
  • The Group Window is can now be tinted, similar to other GUIs
  • The Group Window saw various minor visual improvements. Those include a new backdrop, transparency and rearranging the bars and control icons.
  • Re-organized the Video Options window. Anti-Aliasing is now referred to as such, rather than MSAA. There are now tooltips for more features. And some options have been moved close to similar options to make them easier to locate. A Light Quality option has also been added.
  • Added a new check button to the mission tracker window which can be pressed to quickly toggle off tracking for that mission. This will disable markers on the minimap and any arrows to that mission. You can re-enable tracking for that mission later from the mission window, if desired.
  • Added a new Light Quality flag to the Video Options. This flag will allow you to select from three different options. These options will determine the amount of lighting in a scene.
  • Mission names longer than 20 characters will no longer have part of their text overlapping past the corner of the tracker window.
  • The Mission Details Window will no longer display very long mission names on two lines. It instead cuts off at a certain point, with an appending ...
  • Book items will no longer display the book's text in tooltips. Instead they ask you to right click the item to open the book.
  • Right clicking on readable items will now open up a GUI where you can read the the entire book. This GUI supports a scroll bar rather than the traditional page based view in most MMORPGs.
  • The event panel which displays things like the flashing mail event has had it's size doubled to make it more noticeable.
  • Flying Text for damage numbers or other combat messages saw a number of visual improvements. The background has been removed, and the text is instead colorized based on the type of message. Rather than scrolling upwards smoothly it now arcs upwards and then back downwards, exploding from the center into a random direction on the sides.
  • The Outfit Panel when you select your starting armor now includes a brief description of the differences between the different armor types armors.
  • The Minimap Options menu now supports filtering of the following additional types: Collection Missions, Tutorial Missions, Harvestable Resources, and Harvestable Clusters. These are in addition to the previous filter options. You can access this menu by right clicking on your Minimap.
  • Added tooltips to many window buttons which did not previously have them such as the Options Windows.
  • Added a new Time of Day button to the Minimap. This button will display a sun if it is day time and a moon if it is night time. Hovering over this button with your mouse will display both the current game time and the local real world time. It should be noted that Rhyldan has a 20 hour day. So 10:00 would the equivalent of Noon.
  • The minimap filters now pluralize the Show Quest NPCs and Show NPCs options to make them uniform with other filters. In addition to this, Show Quest NPCs has been renamed as Show Mission NPCs.
  • Mousing over a housing structure now displays a normal cursor instead of the Attack cursor.
  • Mail event warning icons are now larger and flash to make it easier to spot them.
  • Made some adjustments so the crafting icons don't cause a FPS hit when highlighting
  • Improved the layout and spacing of NPC Tooltips.
  • Re-skinned and rearranged the Delete Character confirmation dialog.
  • Readjusted the difficulty indicators on health bars to reduce the appearance of scaling.

Voice and Audio

  • Improved music mixing and fading support.
  • Adjusted the sound levels of various sounds to balance out audio volume.
  • Imported 10 new audio tracks and plugged them into the music system.
  • Removed the sound effect that was played when you select your character.
  • Performed a fresh pass on area specific music. Areas should be receiving appropriate music in most cases.
  • Audio should now properly adjust for intensity.
  • Theme music is now played at character selection and creation, assuming you have it turns in through Audio Settings.
  • The pubs in Plymouth City have livelier new music.

World

  • The FPR Training Facilities have received a significant number of upgrades. You may now seamlessly walk between the Cloning Facility and the Training Facilities. There is now a short "waking up" sequence, and the tutorials have been updated to the modern standards, as well. The layout of the area has been significantly altered. New buildings have been added, and the area has been condensed to be easier to navigate.
  • Sept Falls is now a neutral safe haven in contested territory. This will be the Rogue Nation's city, but it also allows OWON and FPR characters to visit it without fear of being persecuted. As part of the transition there are now now separate shuttles between Sept Falls, Plymouth City and Freedomtown. It also features new crafting stations and banking terminals. A reasonable number of new NPCs have also moved into Sept Falls. The city is becoming a hub of activity and numerous missions are now available from inside its wall. There is also a Lost and Found, and Bounty Collectors for each faction.
  • Added some sporadic mobs to the Lower Basin. This is primarily a city area and has a relatively small space for mobs. They are however used to provide hunting and mission opportunities for those in the city.
  • Introduced a new contested area just north of Sept Falls: The Northern Trails. This area takes its name from the many forking trails in the area. It features one of the pools that drains into Sept Falls.
  • A large new city plot can be found in the recently opened Ravine Fal. This is a contested area.
  • Introduced a new contested area: West Bend. This area includes a large space for a player created city, and is west of Sept Falls.
  • A new contested area has opened it's doors in the Fal Midlands. This area features a medium sized space for a player created city.
  • Introduced Eastfal Valley in the middle-eastern portion of Fal Sept. This area has room for a medium sized player created city, and a well traveled road.
  • Introduced a new contested area by the name of Eastfal. This area is on the borders of Fal Sept and the Doma Highlands, and features a medium sized player city space.
  • Introduced a new contested area: Vista Doma. This area borders with Doma Highlands and has a medium sized space for a player city.
  • Introduced a new contested area: The Southern Lowlands, which features a huge city plot.
  • Fal Canyon, a new contested area just south of Tralus Plains is now available. It features a huge city plot.
  • Aemar Mine received a complete visual overhaul.
  • Added an exploration point for the Lonely Lagoon in the Northern Trails. The first time you visit this location you will receive a small but permanent boost to your Fishing skill.
  • The area to the east of Sept Falls has been named the Eastern Fork by the locals. This is a contested area and PvP is enabled.
  • Introduced a new contested area: Lower Basin. This area is in the southeastern portion of Fal Sept and features a large player created city plot.
  • Populated the Northern Trails with mobs. These are controlled by multiple dens and tier 3-5 content and includes Brachura and Okolat primarily.
  • Populated the Eastern Fork using several dens. This includes a mixture of tier 1-6 content ranging from solo to group content, and is controlled from multiple dens.
  • Populated Southern Pass with mobs. This area is a mixture of tier 1-4 content ranging from solo to group content. It is controlled by multiple dens in the area.
  • Populated Eastfal with missions and mobs. Most of this are is taken up by city space, but the areas surrounding it also have content. The content here ranges from tier 3-4.
  • Populated Eastfal Valley with mobs. The bulk of this area is relatively safe, but it becomes more dangerous at night time.
  • A Housing Travel Agent has been added to the Landing Pads section of Plymouth City to make it a bit easier to figure out how to get to the housing area. A similar NPC added in the housing area as well.
  • Added a new exploration point/point of interest Southeast of Freedomtown: Lurker Lake. You will receive a small but permanent boost to your Fishing skill the first time you visit this lake. This is the first of a series of exploration books that will reward players for visiting points of interest in the local area.
  • The Southern Pass is a new contested area, which lies to the south of Sept Falls.
  • The areas south and southeast of Freedomtown have been opened up to allow for more inhabitable space.
  • There are now many more locations where you can access Wailing Chasm from the Freedomtown area.
  • Added God Rays back into the world lighting.
  • There is now a path from Fal Sept's Nation Area "Vista Doma" to the Doma Highlands "Dead City".
  • There is now a path from Doma Highland's "Doma Hills" to Timbertol's "Pontoc".
  • Adjusted the old PvP Teleporter to be a Sept Falls Ticketing Agent. Placed Sept Falls Ticketing Agents in Freedomtown and Plymouth City. Sept Falls is a neutral city where all nations are protected from PvP. Once you leave it's vicinity though the neighboring areas are all contested and PvP is enabled.
  • Added new points of interest to Sept Falls. These will indicate important locations on your map.
  • The roads around Plymouth City are now a little safer than they were previously.
  • The Sept Falls region now has it's own weather rules and conditions.
  • Lighting tweaks were made to the OWON Cloning Facility.
  • Altered the cloning locations in Plymouth Pond so they are in safer locations. Rogue Nation and FPR forces now have their own unique spawn locations, as well.
  • Added many new lights to Plymouth City. Most of these are only visible in High or Maximum Lighting Quality.
  • Redecorated Anna Kelly's shop in Plymouth City so that it looks more like a bakery.
  • Camp Taak can now see rain in heavy weather conditions, though it is rare.
  • Added new light sources and light models to Camp Taak. These will switch on at night, and turn off automatically at night.
  • Upper Oasis Valley has been renamed to the Arches of Oasis.
  • Night time has been shortened for NPC spawning purposes, and day time oriented shops will now stay operating for a little bit longer.
  • Redecorated the Clone Cafe and Crafter's workshop in the OWON Training facility.
  • Added new bank terminals to various locations throughout the world.
  • Added new lootable corpses to Eastern Fork and Eastfal Valley.

World Events

  • Added World Event support to the Fal Sept region.
  • Created a new world spawn event which will move randomly from one spot of the world to the next. It will stay in each area for fifteen minutes before choosing a new location. This event results in a new hidden skill.

Miscellaneous Minor Changes

  • Banking terminals are once again functional (OK this one isn’t exactly minor).
  • Reworded a number of tips to make them more concise and to the point.
  • Removed the warning when starting as an FPR character, and re-enabled the randomized starting faction.
  • Smoothed some of the paths in Plymouth City.
  • Moved the Vulture Infestation engagement locations and FX around a bit to better suit recent world changes.
  • Cleaned up the melee animations so the damage pops up sooner and there is only 1 impact animation.
  • Removed the Training Chit rewards from the FPR Training Grounds, to bring it in line with the OWON Training Ground changes.
  • Upgraded the weapon container models in the Training Facilities.
  • Added location information for the second generated NPC in the Contacting a Friend generated mission template.
  • The mouse Y axis is no longer inverted by default.
  • Marked the furniture in the indoor portions of the OWON Training Facility to render on the world only and not on the map, resulting in a minor optimization.
  • The Lost and Found Manager should no longer be attackable by anything.
  • Altered the Department of Community Support generated missions so that the ordering of the optional goals is a little easier to understand.
  • Updated the Action Mode tip to better word some parts, and to indicate that you can now use the Middle Mouse Button to toggle between Action and RPG modes.
  • Added new achievements which are obtained by reading books.
  • Updated the description of the Just Give Up! ability (Intimidation) to better describe the ability.
  • Altered the descriptions for the following Automatic Weapon abilities: Spraying Fire, and Panicked Attack.
  • Minor optimizations were made to the NextTarget command, which defaults to the tab key.
  • The Nearest Target command (defaults to Y) will no longer target corpses.
  • Various minor NPC Menu related optimizations.
  • Material optimizations.
  • Updated the goal text in one of the steps of the Awakening tutorial to better describe where you need to walk.
  • The lockboxes in the OWON Training Facilities will now fade in their LOD a little later.
  • Reduced falling damage.
  • Reworded the description for the Dirty Fighting ability: Low Blow.
  • Fixed an issue with housing placement/rotation of existing structures when having the housing window open.

Bug Fixes

  • Stitched together some terrain seams South and Southeast of Freedomtown.
  • Fixed an issue in the Covert Operations tutorial. This was causing one of the branches to complete early, when it should have been opening a new goal.
  • Fixed a bug which was preventing a number of inquiries from returning information.
  • Fixed a typo in the entertainment branch of the OWON Training Facilities Guide Bot objectives.
  • Fixed a bug that could occur when aborting missions with multiple watched abilities.
  • The Purifying Water tutorial no longer refers the Workshop Supervisor by their old name.
  • The Taming tutorial no longer refers to the old method of obtaining Training Chits as a possibility.
  • The Taming tutorial is now working properly if you choose to use a credits charge, rather than using a chit.
  • Shortened the length of the Taming Success radio broadcast so that it fits the GUI properly.
  • Fixed some scaling issues with some of the older FPR Training Facility NPCs.
  • Corrected an issue that was causing the panicked recruits to not play their animations if you were the first player to enter the area.
  • Fixed an issue where deleting an item may not have deleted all of the fittings it contained from the database.
  • Fixed a server side memory leak related to pathing.
  • Server side optimizations related to a bug in the NPC item visualization code.
  • Fixed an issue that could occur in the Training Facilities if your character loaded in before the NPCs, and caused some missing chatter.
  • Corrected a typo in the Contacting a Friend generated mission template.
  • Double clicking while in placement mode would result it in selecting or exiting out of placement mode. This commonly happens with right clicking as you use it to rotate the object.
  • Fixed an issue that was closing the Character Sheet after swapping equipment.
  • Vulture pets are now using the latest model upgrades.
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing Learning Stimulators from functioning correctly.
  • Fixed an issue with nation structures not setting their y position (height) properly when being moved.
  • Nation structures lost their physics if you moved them via mouse placement due to a physics bug. This was fixed.
  • Fixed a target issue with nation structures causing in some cases the wrong object to be adjusted.
  • Fixed an issue where sometimes clicking on a structure in housing or nations the structure would now should up and you had to exit out and then place it again.
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing Hokfig to be used for hostile generated missions in some areas.
  • Corrected a bug in the shadow update code which was causing time to get slightly out of synch.
  • Fixed a bug in the NPC menu system.
  • Fixed a player city structure placement bug related to scaling.
  • Muzzle flashes for players were not being aligned properly for other players viewing the flash and causing other cascading issues as the flash is used as a starting point for other parts of the FX.
  • Fixed a typo in the description for the Disrupt and Counter-Move abilities (Counter-Attack).
  • Players now properly show up and disappear from the minimap if they are visible to other players.
  • Fixed a typo in the Den of the Dragon achievement.
  • Repaired an issue that was causing your action mode firing FX to not be firing at where you were aiming when moving your firing location around quickly. This was caused by a mistimed position tracker in some recent changes, and not updating the FX to compensate.
  • Fixed an issue with jumping not being displayed properly over the network.
  • Fixed an issue when in combat the turning animation would be played and there is none for combat. It now will just rotate the player or human npc instead.
  • Corrected an issue with the music mixing system. It was fading in old sounds when it should have been fading them out in some cases, allowing them to play forever.
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing Vultures from playing sound effects.
  • The Setlang Attacks mission will now correctly hide the kill steps after they have been completed.
  • Fixed a bug that caused your action bar's next and previous page menu to have a 1 pixel break at a certain scale.
  • Fixed an issue where ability bar 1 had a slightly different size than ability bars 2-8.
  • The Travelers in the Ambushed by Bandits engagement should no longer be damageable by players.
  • You should now see chat bubbles during the intro sequence.
  • Reduced the amount of health that the Sim Assault Mech in the Training Grounds has.
  • The Sim Master Sergeant has a new look to make him easier to identify in the Training Grounds engagements. He also has had his health increased to make him a bit more difficult.
  • Fixed a bug that was sometimes allowing you to miss the trigger when exiting the cloning facility and not advancing your Awakening mission as a result.
  • Corrected an issue that was sometimes causing the Sim Master Sergeant in the Training Grounds to ping pong and be difficult to hit.
  • Beefed up the turrets in the Training Grounds as they needed slightly more range and firepower to keep the engagements from getting overrun.
  • Repaired a babble related error that could occur if the babbling NPC died while speaking.
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing the concrete footstep sounds from playing when in the cloning facility.
  • Fixed an issue that was causing the Inventory tip to not word wrap properly. This was making it impossible to read some of its text.
  • Fixed a performance issue with certain sounds not being destroyed causing memory and fps issues.
  • Numerous weapons had their hand placement adjusted to better fit to various models.
  • Action mode was sending mouse and target events to the server when there was no need creating extra server traffic when it was't needed.
  • Action mode would target the heightmap causing issues with close range combat and changing targets. This was resolved.
  • Target Nameplate now shows up in action mode like it does in RPG mode so you can see their stats in the upper left hand corner along with any effects.
  • Fixed one of the Fisherman spawn points in Plymouth Pond which was underwater with recent pond changes.
  • NPCs should no longer try to walk across pillars above ground or on top of tents in Plymouth City.
  • Guards now have their level set properly if they were spawned as a result of picking another NPCs pocket.
  • Guards spawned as the result of picking the pocket of an NPC will now properly attack the player.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing NPCs spawned from certain missions to not have their combat rating set properly.
  • Fixed a bug that could occur after a long-range teleport, where you would still have waypoint arrows from your last location.
  • Ability and Combat Effect icons will no longer have a ghost on their time remaining shadowing effects. This was caused by an improper alpha channel.
  • Corrected an issue with the Patrol to the Pond generated mission template. It had an incorrect check point flagged so could only be completed if you crossed through the wrong gate.
  • When crossing a seamless border it will now properly clear out mission, destination and radius markers from the previous area.
  • Fixed a bug when loading into a new area, it still had old mission waypoints cached and pointing to an unreachable area.
  • Fixed multiple bugs in the Rotten Meat generated mission template.
  • The Refund for Maggoty Meat in Plymouth City (mission related) is no longer referred to as 's Refund.
  • Repaired some Z-Fighting issues on some of the neon signs inside of the Plymouth City pubs.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing some of the player to NPC specific mission interactions to be said in the Say channel instead of in the Mission channel, which prevented them from being filtered with the Mission chat filter.
  • There should no longer be two Jason Jacksons up at a time.
  • The Engagement and Mission Tracker windows are now the same width.
  • Adjusted some furniture that wasn't properly aligned in Plymouth.
  • The tree climbing Peacekeeper near the East Gate in Plymouth City has been grounded.
  • Fixed an issue where very long mission descriptions on the mission detail window were cutting off the bottom of the text. A scrollable panel will now appear for long mission descriptions.
  • Fixed a bug that was not always clearing the overhead Mission Icon from NPCs after you advanced a goal from them.
  • Fixed a bug in some of the code that turned friendly NPCs hostile for a mission or engagement. It was setting the character as the target in some cases, but not adding them onto the NPCs aggro list.
  • Pulled the Peacekeeper Headquarters sign a little further from the wall to avoid Z-Fighting graphical glitches at long range.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause your generated mission timer to stop ticking in some cases.
  • The Stop the Shakedowns mission will now hide it's Defeat the Lowlives goal once it has been completed.
  • There should no longer be any cases where there are two Carlo Amante's in Plymouth City.
  • There is now a text banner at the end of the Amante's Collection timed mission, to make it easier for character's to know that the mission is over.
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing Stealth from activating.
  • Corrected some Z-Fighting issues at long range for the Mayflower Pub's main entrance sign.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing you to keep waypoint markers to certain types of mission goals after the goal had completed.
  • The Contacting a Friend generated mission template now provides directions to the location of the first generated NPC to contact, if available.
  • Fixed a generated mission bug that was causing you to have some mission details stuck to your screen due to an error during the translation process.
  • Shortened the email subject in the Unpopped Setlang Eye and Encrypted Delivery missions so that they are properly aligned in the mail window.
  • Made adjustments to the spawn locations of some of the wall-leaning NPCs in Plymouth City so they were not leaning on thin air.
  • Fixed a bug with the /reply command where it was indexing some system message text as being a reply target.
  • Unarmed human NPCs now will play an attack animation.
  • Fixed a bug that was being caused when missions were trying to check a Done icon which didn't exist in some cases and causing an artifact on your user interface.
  • Removed the "A Nice Opportunity" mission from the generated mission tables in Torn Mist Valley as it was bugged and not working correctly. A correctly working version of the template entitled "Drake Hunt" is in it's place.
  • Fixed some stretching issues on one of the Heavy Armor sets.
  • Smoothed a jagged spot of terrain behind the Crafting Center in the OWON Training Facilities.
  • Fixed an issue that was preventing the Gust ability (Aerosol) from knocking down opponents.
  • Latest astronomy and time changes are sent to the client whenever they first enter the world. Previously it was waiting until the first tick to send them and resulting in a delaying period where they would be set incorrectly.
  • Fixed a client/server movement sync issue with NPCs that were moving and then went into combat.
  • Fixed an issue with derived stats on the Character Sheet not updating when you equipped or unequipped gear.
  • Reversed the Invert Mouse option to match the settings of most other recent game titles.
  • Fixed a minor precision issue with the Astronomy system which was causing a slight synchronization issue between the server and client in the day/night transitions.
Originally posted by Iczer
So, if my character ran the longest stretch of the game (24 km you said) from one end to the other in a strait line, how long in real time would it take?

We haven't timed it but a pretty long time. I'd guess most players traveling that far will probably be using a vehicle which would significantly reduce the travel time. But walking, I'd guess something around 90-110 minutes, in a vehicle 30+ depending on the speed of the vehicle.

In general though you'd never really walk from those extremes as one is the starting area for one faction, and the other the starting area for another. It's possible to do it, but your going to be going through a long ways of hostile territory to get there. From your starting city to the edge of the contested areas would be roughly 1/3 that distance, and to the edge of your rivals 2/3 of that distance.

@Lahuzer: There will be no beta until some time early next year. With regards to Kickstarter, they enforce an estimated date when you run it, was our best guess at that point, but it's not ready for beta testing at this point. We expect it to happen though early next year.

It's tough to answer the world size question accurately because the world is not square. It's sort of diagonally laid out with some ocean space around some edges. If you were to walk the smaller parts of it from say Plymouth City to the Aza Shores (all OWON controlled area) it would be roughly 8km in a straight line. Moving diagonally from Plymouth City to Freedomtown though (other tip of the world) is roughly 24 km. Each area is approximately 4 square kilometers and there are 12 major land based areas. Then there's some additional ocean space.

However there is also a significant amount of underground space. In the last video we showed some bits of Plymouth's Underbelly which is a pretty large cave structure. The caves under Timbertol dwarf it however, spanning multiple seamless areas.

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