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All Posts by JC-Smith

All Posts by JC-Smith

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411 posts found
A new video was released today which can be found here:
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.
I don't think there's really any way to get rid of bots completely in MMOs. There's a market for them, people will create them. The development teams can be active in banning bots, but its a tricky situation. You don't want to ban false positives.
I normally avoid these threads, but since you seem to be posting every couple hours I am going to tackle this one.

If you don't like Repop, fine your entitled to that opinion. It's certainly not a game that will appeal to everyone. But to call it a rehash of other games shows a lack of knowledge about the game. I'll just walk through a few features.

Yes, the game has a generated mission system. It's easy to say that's just the same as mission generators in SWG or AO, but it doesn't at all work the same. The mission generation system in Repop works like normal missions. They can range from simple kill or delivery missions to very complex tasks with 15+ goals in a single mission. But the items, NPCs, locations can be randomized. These provide an endless stream of adventuring opportunities for those who wish to do them and include missions covering all aspects of the game not only combat. Moreover the mission are not typically obtained by walking around looking for ? over NPCs heads, they are instead mailed to you as job offers that you can accept or decline. Those missions are generated based on filters which means that as you play a certain way you open up for certain mission types. If you do shady things, you'll receive shady missions. There is also a filter to be able to filter out what missions you do and don't receive.

There is an inquiry system which allows you to engage into conversation with most of the NPCs in the game. You can ask them about subjects they know about. These can provide backstory, directions to NPCs or far off destinations, information about current and recent events in the area your currently in or other areas the NPC knows about, background information on other NPCs, etc. This works based on a knowledge system so as you do more things you gain access to additional questions. Missions can be hidden inside of these, as well.

Players can create cities in the open world. Those cities can be besieged by other nations in the PvP aspects of the game. PvP is three faction but the third faction's relationships are dictated by the players. Each nation can set their relationships to the other nations. Large parts of the world are PvP free though, with the center contested regions being where PvP takes place.

The harvesting system features two types of harvesting. One is the SWG style harvesters though the system works very differently. The other is more traditional whack-a-node harvesting. Nodes have limited supply, and can have randomized locations. Players can enrich an area improving it the quality of its results in a way that is shared by other players, encouraging group harvesting.

The crafting system is a beast onto itself, and the bulk of the games economy is tied to it. It's a complex system that offers a ton of customization including mastery levels of each recipe, and being able to get different results from single recipes by using different branches of components. Everything in the game is tied into this system though. It's what drives the economy. Again our system is far from a clone of some other system.

There are upgrade systems for robotics, allowing you to not only create a variety of robots but to them customize them to your liking using the socket system. Vehicles are also getting a similar system in the future. Some vehicles also have combat capabilities.

Engagements are similar to public quests but they have a number of extensions to that system. They can spread through a parent<->child technique, and many of our engagements are area wide longer term objectives that are designed to make areas different on successive visits based no how the players have been playing. For example, we have a village that is located outside of one of the native speaking species lairs. There is an uneasy peace there. If players can curb their desire to turn the Faugea home into a dungeon then the Faugea will have less of a presence outside of it, and will send in an Ambassador into the city who you can do quests for to learn the language and befriend their species. If players continue to prey on the Faugea the system escalates. They start having a larger focus on the area, and eventually will send a huge raiding force to the town, creating fires and spinning off into other directions. Numerous areas have similar story arcs which have random selection and branch based on player actions.

Content in general is very generated. You won't always see the same mobs in every location. Camps sprout up in random locations and grow is unchecked, spawning boss or mission opportunities for players as they do. The rules for those can also vary quite a bit. Some dens will expand and become more difficult as bosses are killed. Others grow stronger if left unchecked. Some stop when a spawning object (such as a den or a camp) is destroyed, and others are independent of it. Some of these events change location based on metrics of what players are doing in those areas. It's a very dynamic system.

There is a calendar and season system which alters weather patterns and can include seasonal resources or opportunities. Winter just began on alpha and it's been interesting to hear players in chat noticing rain for the first time in some cases. After is rains in some areas you will find shrooffles (like mushrooms) which tie into world events and missions nearby. Combat allows you to switch between RPG mode (traditional MMO combat) or Action Mode (more like a first/third person shooter). You can switch between the two at any time and under the hood they work the exact same. NPCs can move around, and close shops at night, you can entertain in the pubs, focus on any of three different types of pet systems, etc. Many of the features in Repop there have been titles that have done these things before, but they are rare occurrences. Other things are completely unique.

Repop won't be a game for everyone. It's a very different experience from most titles. Many players will enjoy that, but others will not. That's to be expected. But one thing you can certainly not say is that it is a clone title.

I wanted to touch on this for a moment. While the strippers and coke joke never gets old, the reality is that the amount of money generated from these things is more in the range of being able to hire a couple additional hands. I wanted to tackle the reasoning here though.

Why Charge For Alpha?

We originally did not allow players to buy into alpha because the game was in a very early state at that point and we needed experienced testers Now it's closer to the end of alpha testing and we needed more eyes on the game. We moved some of the previous backer tiers to gain access and then we needed more testers so began allowing a $150 option to buy in. Why have the barrier at all? Because we don't want thousands of testers at a time right now. The game has a lot of bugs that need fixing still and there are some features that are still being refined, as well as some areas that lack content. You'd rather not have as many eyes on the game until you resolve most of those issues because to today's player beta = open beta. The average player isn't used to alpha testing and dealing with works in progress. So having that barrier allows us to a) generate money to hire additional help, and b) to limit the number of testers which would quickly get out of control if we say sold that access on steam for cheaper.

Why Would Players Want to Pay?

I'm not here to sell people to buy into alpha. The truth is, if you are easily put off by bugs, your better off waiting until beta or launch. The value of being in at an alpha stage for players is the chance to provide their feedback when the game is an early stage. As any of our testers would probably tell you, we do listen to player feedback and there are adjustments that are made based on it. That's a lot easier to do and experiment though when there are less players. By the time the game reaches beta it will be strictly in refinement and content mode. If that's something you desire then maybe it's worth it for you as a player. If it's not then you may want to wait for beta or launch. The option is there because some players want it, but it isn't meant for everyone to hop in and purchase it. For some players it will be worth the cost of admission, others would be better off waiting.

Originally posted by Kangaroomouse
You got guaranteed early BETA access with a $50 Kickstarter Pledge which i got about a year ago.

Now they are milking it for ALPHA which is a little weird if you ask me since the original Pledge was $50 and BETA and now it's suddenly Alpha.

And you still do, but the game isn't in beta. It wasn't in beta before. There was also no way to purchase alpha access at that point. At that stage the game was in very early testing and hand picking experienced alpha testers from the testing pool.
Just a friendly reminder here for alpha testers that the game is still under NDA (accepted in the installer). An NDA lift isn't too far off but it will likely remain for the rest of alpha until feature refinement ceases. We're mainly trying to avoid people talking about features which are still in flux currently to avoid confusion from players later.
Can't say that it's unexpected but it's still sad to see Mythic go. DAoC was a very important title for MMOs, it showed that PvP was viable.

For me it's UO and Everquest. UO because you could just do so many things. It really showed you what an MMO could be. From taming, to housing, and mounts, the crafting and harvesting systems. UO felt like a virtual world.

EQ didn't reach as far as UO but it addressed the rampant PKing and put it all in a 3d world. I've enjoyed many games over the years but those two were the grandaddy's of the genre and I had my largest enjoyments out of them personally. SWG and DAoC also had a big effect, but not to the same level as those two titles.

[quote]If they are still taking money for extra features, don't you think this might imply the game isn't ready for launch?[/quote]

By that logic there should be no such thing as pre-orders for any game, right?

Will Repop be ready to launch in 7 months? Guess we'll have to wait and see. Players will have a part in that determination of when the game is ready to launch. If it's not though it would be pretty close to it. By that point there would already be large numbers of testers in the game to help make that determination.

With regards to features, I think there's a big misconception here. There are only a handful of features that are missing from the game, and the bulk of those are things that were from the recent Kickstarter campaign. An honest version of where the game is at right now is largely complete, but lacking content and in need of a lot of bug squashing. There's still a few features which need to appear before launch, though none are huge undertakings. What there is a lot of is refinement to existing features. Taking systems which are complex and making them easier to use for the average player. Tightening up the balance, improving polish, getting content into some areas, and above all else squashing bugs.

Been in hardcore grind mode and hadn't checked in here in a while. With regards to store credit. That level received $60 in store credit and a $60 membership package. So your getting $120 in value, in addition to the other perks (Beta 1, Tokens, Headstart, Title).
Couldn't help but notice the Hero Engine logo on the installer screen to TeSO. So it's still using Hero. My guess is they replaced the renderer kept the server code.
We're fans of the Rift and do want to support it. I'm not sure if it will happen at launch or not though at this point. It will very likely happen at some point though.
I don't think a reduced number of players is really an issue. In TOR's case where you ran into problems was Ilum and that was rendering related and not network related.

I just had a few comments here with regards to Hero Engine. The $99 and 30% royalties deal is a relatively new thing. At the time when Bioware licensed Hero Engine it wasn't really an engine that was being built as a licensed engine, it was being built for Heroes' Journey and in an unfinished state. When we licensed hero engine the price was $5000 + 15% royalties. I can't tell you what the full license price is because I don't know, but I'd guess it was in the $750k range for no royalties. I believe what happened is that they realized that many indie developers wanted to work with the engine but $5k was a lot of money for more casual people to scrape together. So they instituted the $99 + 30% plan. There is also currently a $75k + 7.5% royalties plan, and a buy out option for $100k if you start on a 30% plan and then want to move to a full source license before shipping.

In my opinion Hero Engine has been a great thing for the scene. It is a good engine for what it does: make MMOs. The problem is, it's hard work to make an MMO. It's easy to underestimate the amount of work that goes into it and that's why so many projects start and then never reach significant development. It's really no different than what we saw with Torque, Unity, and more recently UDK and Bigworld. Something like 90% of indie products will never get close to complete as a result of this, even small scale single player games have this same issue. It's magnified with MMOs because they are so much larger projects. The tools are out there though now to give indies a fighting chance, and that's all they can ask for. The rest is up to them.

Everyone talks about this supposed and mythical "WoW Clone" even though there isnt a single game that is a clone of WoW weird. Sure there are a lot of games that share some similarities with World of Warcraft. Just like World of Warcraft shares similarities to the MMO's that came before it. But in order for a MMO to be a "WoW Clone" every part of it must be exactly the same as World of Warcraft, and sadly no MMO fits that description.

I think in general when people call something a WoW Clone they are usually referring to theme park style of gameplay that WoW popularized. The biggest difference between WoW and games that came before it was that quests became the main way to level. It also made gameplay easier and more soloable in previous games. No game is a clone of WoW of course in that regard, but I think those are the main points that people mean when they call something a wow clone.

Those features existed in previous games, but on the same level as WoW. After WoW, they became the standard.

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