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3D Magicbox
MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel N/A)  | Pub:3D Magicbox
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Renaissance Forum » General Discussion » New Videos and Information

4 posts found
  mike470

General Correspondent

Joined: 2/11/08
Posts: 2429

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand" - Randy Pausch

 
OP  2/18/08 12:14:04 AM#1

http://www.renaissance-mmorpg.com/english/

They came out with a couple new videos, which is a good sign to show that the game is progressing. All you have to do is click on that link, then media, ahen on videos and your there.

Came across this on the forums about houses, some good info :)

 New exclusive artwork-

http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/28545

 

Houses/Guilds-

Guild = Predetermined NPC group by "profession". For example there is the Crafter Guild, where people go to learn and exercise crafting. Every crafter belongs to the crafter guild automatically. Or mage's guild, assassin's guild etc. The guild's positions can be filled by players with time.

House = A noble family and players under their banner is a House. The title of "noble" can be gained from the king, or later from lords.

Great (or Grand) House = A House that owns land is a Great House. Land can be gained from the king, or can be conquered from other Great Houses.

Tribe = An outlaw House.

Lodge =An alliance (or community of interest) of players which, cannot own land, but can own a hideout. It can be a circle of druids, an order of knights, a den of thieves or a secret organization of necromancers.


So let's see the questions:

Can the membership in a House be secret? Can someone be in two or more Houses?
A player can be the member of one House or a Tribe, one Great House, and any number of Lodges or Guilds. Lodges can be secret, so if you are a member of one, your membership will be probably secret.

How will Houses be created?
A House can be formed by claiming the right from the King. They will be given a right to call themselves a House, when they finished some tasks for the king.
A Tribe can be formed similar to Houses, of course they can't claim their rights from the king  tongue

Will you have to be strong to be a House leader?
No, but you have to have leader and other skills to prove your competence.

Can a House take over Kingship by killing the king?
No. Actually the killing of the king can be part of seizing the throne for your House, but of course you can't just go kill the king and sit in his place.

Will Houses only have one proffession? How many members a House can have?
A House can hold as many members as wanted, regardless of race, class, profession or anything else.

Does a House have much influence on the decissions of a king?
Yes. Rather more passive, but definitely. That means, you can't go to the king and corrupt him, but he will make decisions based on actual world politics.

Are there ranks in a House? And could others see that rank?
Yes.

Will there be restrictions by ranks in the House? (rank "2" can't build houses while the rank 3 can)
No.

Could a follower challenge a House leader for control?
Absolutely!

Will there be an ability to create a House logo/ensigna and have it appear on all those part of the House?
Yes.

What special benefits could a House leader get?
To command a bunch of nerds....?  tongue And brag about controlling a bunch of nerds?

Will you need to be a member of a House to build your own house/cottage?
No, but the House, which controlls the territory, must allow you to build your house.

Will there be /guild chat ?
Not by all means a /guild chat, but there will definitely be a way for guild members to communicate. We are working on more innovative GUI solutions than simple chat, but that is not a guild-related topic.

Will there be a House MotD?
Yes, or something similar.

Will guilds (like real guilds) only have one profession?
Yes, there is a player-alliance type (Guild) which is based on the players's profession, see the top of this Q&A. Houses can have all kind of players with different professions.

So, do the players decide completly what happens in a country, or are there also aspect that will be decides by gamemasters?
Players will decide to the extent to which they could in the real world. Large scale events are controlled by gamemasters but they certainly won't tell you where to build your city hall, what resources to trade, who to attack.

Will there be a way to track fellow members of my House?
There will be ways to track anyone. I would check the Assassin's Guild first.  wink

How will the history of the House be tracked? Would there be great books after years have gone by?
Recruit a scribe and there will be.

Will there be missions for Houses?
There will be missions given by Houses, and missions for Houses.

Will two Houses be able to build a bigger city?
The size of the city will depend on the population, not the amount of the controlling guild's members.

Will there be some way to see the most popular House, most successfull House etc?
Of course.

Can houses build underground cities?
If it is technically possible then yes. Building underground is a problem we have not solved yet.

How will the city tools be?
This is not closely related to Houses, but the city building UI is planned to be similar to RTSes.

Will you be able to decorate the house/temple/castle after your own taste?
It's not related to this topic, but: By all means, just as you could your own house. You can realize all the lapses of your taste  tongue

Are houses treated as countries, so only sides in a war are houses?
Only Houses and Great Houses can declare war.

Will there be some way to see which houses influences on different parts of Chronia?.
For exampel like this map:



Absolutely YES!

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Interview (translated by Google)

 

 

 

Q: The game world Chronia was in a gigantic war destroyed and is now under construction. If we know about these Old World experience in the game, because she was obviously in its technical and advanced magic arts?

Of course, we have the Old World to learn something. Even very much. It is forgotten technology, legends and stories, items, skills, and much more to explore. Jeh more of the players from the New World learns, the more accurate it is the rationale behind the destruction, and the story of Chronia know. Many quests deal with the old world order, and restore the old knowledge to adapt again. How the players at the end of this knowledge and use, it is only in their hands.




Q: Next, the game world from four continents with gigantic one capital. These are eight different races humanoid planned. Are all races in all capital cities represented, and how are the differences between the races in the game felt?

We want the greatest possible freedom for the players, so you can, in principle, all races on all continents meet. Although each race a "homeland" has, it is the player to decide whether he or in the stranger want to live. This decision will be but a very important role to play, like his character in the world cope.

Among the racial differences: In the beginning there will be no major differences between the races. Each race will be specific "talent", which this breed in certain areas highlighted, but no race is a major advantage. One race is perhaps more associated with the water, so these characters can swim faster, but others are more familiar with plants and therefore better brew potions. In addition to the specific racial bonuses, the players from a large pool some additional talent to choose, and thus its unique character. These talents can later be enhanced or strengthened.

Has to be careful because if you unlearn a skill, he can all the other skills that he has learned after, even lose!

When a character the maximum number of his skills has achieved, it is still not over, because then comes the really interesting. But it is now still remain a secret ... ;-)

 

Q: To the craft system is still a big mystery. In addition to the standard craft occupations such as arms makers, Armorer, tailors and carpenters compounded unusual handicrafts like cartographer and animal trainer. Are there has information on how the player a craft can run and it will take more than a monotonous button press?

It will definitely fall more than monotonous keystrokes! In other games begins crafting there that one per level gets a few recipes, related resources and recipes worried so long "exercises" until it turns green. Because it is in the Renaissance to (re) discovery and development, we have the process a little bit on its head. In Renaissance man gather resources first and then tried to find out what it can produce. It may now sound a bit confusing, but it is not.

Depending on what trade skills you have, how far these skills are developed, what resources and how many of them used it, and what tools to be used, then the system with a list of possible items. It then selects from this list, what you want to produce. With enough knowledge can be a little experiment and try the properties of the items to be improved. If everything together, until the action starts. With several mini-games, you have to try the subject. In these mini-games are not only the abilities of the character, but also the skills of the player crucial. If everything goes well, is a recipe created and it can be later used as a template, sell, or with enough knowledge to develop. Several different professions can Crafting operations.

Theoretically, all equally useful items. We mus not weeks Items inferior produce and destroy in order to make progress and finally to the better times and verkaufbaren Items menu.

It is also in the group craften. You may be able to exceed 3 Crafter together in a work item. Additionally, more than two magicians help, the objects or the magical properties craftsmen more strength and inspiration. These processes are increasingly demanding active participation and the results can largely influence.



Q: The fight vs. player. Player is scheduled for the Renaissance. A special significance to the Guild membership. Equally interesting sounds the possibility of a bounty on an unpopular player. What ideas, the players still in the fight vs. player. Players?
Here, I would like to Burgenbelagerungen Guild and epic fights mentioned, but it will also be possible within the guild to intrigue and power struggles unsubscribe. Through a ranking system will make it possible to ascend in the guild, and even the head of his chair fall.
Espionage, assassination, but quite normal military service as a city guard, other keywords, which are worth mentioning here.

Redirect where it is needed. This technology has the advantage that with increasing number of players to create a new world, but only new hardware in the existing mount. As an architecture, for example. Big World.




Q: The graphics engine is significantly even programmed and first impressions are already available. Both the first screenshots as well as two videos were released. Since when can we expect further material or with the launch of the beta?

We hope at the end of February, the first character animations to show. A beta is unfortunately still very long in coming. Because we currently have the game in our spare develop everything runs accordingly slow. We hope that we will soon one (or several) investors, the project allows us to full-time work. We do have very intense discussions, but we are still on the lookout. Those interested can reach us through our website contact. ;-)







Q: The Renaissance team offers its community a broad platform for their own ideas and concepts. What chances of implementing these concepts?

Our small, but ever increasing community supports us with a lot of interesting ideas and we thank you for it! All ideas that fit into the concept and feasible, are noted and possibly also used the game! We want this game for role players develop and where it does not matter who had the idea if it is good, we will do everything possible to ensure that their way into the finished product. Naturally, we will not forget to mention the author.


Q: Finally, a few words to our community. Why should the title renaissance in mind, and sometimes a place in their assigned shelf software?
I know it is always said, but I will say it again, and I keep it that way, we are role-players and try a game of role-players. We want ourselves of the standard solutions and "old" eierlegenden Wollmilchsau concepts to remove, because we believe that the players (like us) these concepts are already at raushängen neck. Our target group is the "hardcore" role player, and he will always remain. Who no time and energy in the development of his character wants to invest, but only a half hour fast monster knocking item collecting and searching can renaissance quietly except Eight.

All the existence of a second in a virtual world want to establish are invited and welcome. For us it is not primarily about money, but for entertainment, and we are firmly convinced that if we offer Second long enough, we also get first.

It is time for a genuine "Third Generation Game".

We want to thank everyone who believe in us, motivate and support us and we thank MMOG.Onlinewelten.com for the opportunity to present to us here.

 


Attila Beke (Hunnenkoenig)

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Interview in Hungarian-

http://www.mmorpg-planet.de/index.php?page=1953401b01c107a86c9bef6b8de07df146f39d6c037cb&sub=1

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Interview with mmosite.com

 

Renaissance is set in a dark medieval fantasy world, where tens of thousands of players can play together, on one single server. The story relies on the players¡¯ actions, which will also affect the environment dramatically. Epic quests and events, involving huge amounts of players - combatants and non combatants alike - are common and determine the way, how the story goes on.

The players join in a living medieval world, called Chronia, which was devastated during a tremendous war, and the newly arrived people, who are the descendants of the ancient races, have to discover the history, rebuild the world and create a new order.

Now, we have Attila Beke, the core member of 3D Magic, he comes to tell us more about Renaissance.

MMOsite.com: To start, can you basically introduce yourself and your team member to our readers? How many people are working on this project? What are some of their previous credits? And what motivated you to get together and do this project?

Attila Beke: My Name is Attila Beke and I joined the team about a year ago. I have no professional background in the gaming industry, but I manage a few fansites and communities in the Hungarian part of the World Wide Web, so I was happy to take the tasks of the community relations at 3D Magic.

The hard core of the team consists of 5 people but there are a few others, who are working on the title if extra work is needed. All together team is about 10 people working on Renaissance. They are all long time professionals, who have 10-15 years of experience in the gaming industry. Their previous works reach from Hitman to Warhammer Mark of Chaos, but some of the graphic artists were also working on the special effects to different movies, like Termintaor 3.

Our motivation is simple: We are hardcore P&P and MMORPG players and the actual (and upcoming) games on the market do not satisfy our needs. We think, that today¡¯s games are cookie cutter products without real soul and also if they are fun for a few weeks and months, after a while they can not support the players? needs. We think, that they are just solo games in cooperative modus. We also read many message boards about MMORPGs and we know, there are thousands of people, who think the same. There are always the same ideas and topics swirling around on the net and people are crying for a real MMORPG, just like we do. So we decided: If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain.

In your own words, how would you summarize Renaissance? What will differentiate it from other fantasy MMORPGs?

MMOsite.com:

Attila Beke: Renaissance is a game for true and hardcore roleplayers. There are hardcore rules and no compromises; no nerf to make the whiners happy (constructive criticism is welcome though). In Renaissance you can really influence the world. The world will reveal itself by the actions of the community and true heroes will be always remembered in the world. You can write history in Chronia.

There is no grind. Progress and character advancement is just the way, not the goal in Chronia. There is no end game and no level cap.

We try to realize as many features, as possible, which are long time topics in every RPG board, like player made quests, a dynamic world, thievery, castle sieges, epic battles etc.

MMOsite.com: How does the project progress? You mentioned that you make Renaissance in your spare time. Does it influence the progress of the game?

Attila Beke: Unfortunately the project has slowed down in the last months. We are focusing our resources to switch from semi professional to professional state and the coding and modeling is not our first priority at the moment.

We have meetings with possible investors and partners, we work on business plans, we are looking for an office and we do all the other things, which are needed to become a professional studio.

Yes, it influences the progress and we are not happy about it, but we hope, that we can make the change in this year and we can continue the work in full time.

MMOsite.com: Can you give us some details about the storyline behind the game? How will gamers influence the story?

Attila Beke: The story takes place on a fictional planet called Chronia, which was completely destroyed in a huge world war between the ancient races. For a second chance the gods start to recreate the world and populate it with human beings and creatures. The new inhabitants (the player characters) are the new life forms of the souls, left behind after the war. These people have to try to build a new community and a new order, but the evil does not sleep either. It is a harsh world and the players¡¯ task is to ensure, that there will be no old mistakes made again.

The players can influence the story in many ways, because there are many story lines. In the first chapter they have to explore and discover the world and reveal the history of Chronia, while they build communities, conquer the lands and seas. This will be their own story line. Who discovered what, who controls which route, which kingdom is allied with whom and who is their enemy etc.

These things will be noted by the King and his decisions to govern the continent will be based on these actions. For example he may dishonor a clan and announce that everybody is free to hunt their members. A battle between two clans is not just a 2 hours fun for the participants, but it will be acknowledged by everybody and it may result in things, which can change the life of many other players.

There will be smaller story lines with smaller quests, which may only change the world in a smaller area, but there will be epic story lines too, where the community has to choose by their actions, which directions they want to go. For example the player¡¯s actions determine, if he wants to be on the good side or rather on the evil side. The balance between good and evil will influence the life of all inhabitants and the following events.

In overview, how would you describe the gameworld? Are there different types of areas? How much is instanced space?

MMOsite.com:

Attila Beke: Chronia is one seamless world with all kinds of areas. There are deserts, woods, rocky mountains, icy lands and everything you can see in other games too. Maybe there will be places, which you can not see in other games too¡­ who knows¡­

There will be as few instances as possible. Maybe we have to instance the starting cities at the beginning, but they will not be separated worlds at all. A few dungeons may be instanced too, but in another way, as known in actual games.

If we instance an area, it is just for a short time to beware the atmosphere or for technical reasons. The community in Renaissance will stay always together, because it is a community game, not a solo-group game. The boss mob has to be slain by the community and only once, also if the way to him is instanced.MMOsite.com:

Attila Beke: First of all we do not like shards and we think, a real RPG can be played in only one world.

The second reason is: the basic concept of the game does not allow to support more than one world. It would be to expensive in hardware and human resources.

"Tens of thousands of players can play together, on one single server", which is similar to EVE. What were your considerations to adopt such a mode?

 


MMOsite.com: How much leeway do players have in terms of customizing their starting characters? And can you tell us something about the classes in the game?

Attila Beke: Character customization is very important for us. You can create your character very unique. Beside the appearance you may choose your talents, but the first time in an MMORPG you may choose disadvantages too. For example, you may chose a missing leg, so you can not run fast, but in exchange you can choose one more talent, like better crafting abilities.

Disadvantages are optional. We want to allow people to create ugly characters too, not just shiny beautiful people, but if they choose this more role playing way, we want to reward them.

There will be no predefined classes in the game. You can freely choose your skillsets and based on the balance of your skills, you get titles, which indicate your "class". If you manly use fire magic skills, you get a title "Firemagician", if you mainly use protecting auras and sword skills, you get a "Paladin" title.

MMOsite.com: Say something about the combat system in Renaissance.

Attila Beke: A very difficult topic. We still did not decide how combat exactly works in Renaissance. It is for sure, that it will be a hybrid between action based combat and classical "hit-a-button-and-watch" combat.

A magician will have to cast his spells actively and a bard will play his music almost in real time (but you do not need to sign up in the local music school to be able to play a bard. )

MMOsite.com: How does magic function in Renaissance? What types are there? How are spells acquired, and does casting them require mana, runes, reagents or anything similar?

Attila Beke: Magic is based on "laws of nature" in Renaissance. It will require different types of mana, but mana is not omnipresent everywhere and in everyone. The question is not: "How long is your mana bar", but "How much and what kind of mana is in that actual area and how much knowledge do you own to use it". We call this type of mana "Environmental Mana". The flow of mana is influenced by other things too, so even if you are a great death magician, maybe you can not do anything in the moment, because you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Maybe you need somebody with other abilities, who can help you being able to cast your spells.

There are eight types of Magic: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Death, Divine, Arcane and Nature.

As I said before, the magician must cast his spells actively. It is not just to hit the spell button and watch the animation. There will be spells, which can only be cast in the group and you will need some ingredients too.

MMOsite.com: Is there much in the way of activities aside from fighting? Are there any non-combat skills or abilities?

Attila Beke: Of course there are other activities. There will be plenty of crafting in the game, because we want a really 100% community driven economy in the world. There will be also thievery, building cities, trading, mining, exploring, minigames you can play in the hostelry and of course events, events and events again.

MMOsite.com: Interaction is very important to MMORPGs, so how do you encourage teamwork, and on the other hand, how does the PK system work?

Attila Beke: Teamwork will be encouraged by different rules within the community. In Renaissance nobody can survive alone. Sorry for all the solo players, but it is so.

We want to be the first, who allow the players to do actions in group, which were strictly solo activities in other games. For example you can craft alone, but if you craft in a group (and I do not mean, that you are in a group but craft on your own!), you will get a better item and more reward.

The simplest quest will also require teamwork and interaction with other players also if you do the quest alone. Maybe you do not need a group to solve the problem, but you need a player with different abilities to solve a part of the problem.

PK is also a very important topic. In Renaissance PvP is almost everywhere, but there will be harsh rules for asocial characters. If you want to play an asocial character, you can do it, but if you choose this way, you have to count with consequences. If you kill innocent people, you will be hunted and you have to think twice about entering a city, because you may be caught and put in jail, or be punished in other ways.

There are rules, which allow people to be evil and there are rules, which try to prevent people doing bad things. It is just your decision, which way you take, but always think about the consequences and do not cry if something bad happens to you.

MMOsite.com: Anything else you want to share with our readers?

Attila Beke: Please keep in mind, that we are at the very beginning of the development. What I said may find it is way into the final game, maybe not. We have to test and try things, before we can say: It is in.

Nonetheless, if you like our ideas and want Renaissance to be a real game, please visit our homepage (http://3dmagicbox.com) and share your opinion and ideas on the forum.

Many thanks to mmosite.com for introducing our game to their readers and many thanks to the people, who visit our sites and support our work!

 

 

Answers on Devlopment

Which language are you programming in?

C++


How far the development has proceeded so far, as in, what’s there already?

We are coming along a bit slow, because we had many difficulties in the past. For example changing the engine several times, but now we are doing well.
There is the basic server and network software finished, which is getting integrated into the client software.
We will have a playable demo in the next weeks (not for public yet, of course), where you can register, log in, create a character and walk around in a test area and chat with others.
We know, it is not much, but unfortunately we can't offer more yet.


What has been the biggest challenge so far in the development of this game?

The biggest challenge is always to find the right people, who are professional and motivated, and first of all who can get enthusiastic about the concept. Then it comes to the problem with being separated and working over the internet with different time schedules.


Is the development going on in a professional manner or is it still a part time job?

It’s still a part time job, but we are trying to be as professional as possible. ;-)


Do you work on the game itself too, or are you just looking for sponsors?

We are working on the game too. The programmers are coding, the composers are making music, the artists are making arts etc.



If there will be investors, will the team get bigger? To what extent can the investor influence the development?

The team will get bigger for sure. Whether they can influence the development, depends on the sponsor. In case the investor is going to be a Publisher, they will surely want to take part of the development. We will make sure, that the sponsor has nearly the same vision, so the main concept doesn’t change too much. I am sure, we will be able to negotiate the possible differences and make compromises.


How much rights do the programmers have to affect the game concept?

The programmers can tell their opinions and ideas, like everybody else in the team. We will discuss them and if the idea is good, it will be integrated. If a programmer says, our ideas are impossible to code, he gets fired… just kidding! :-P
We will try to find a solution to put everything into it. We don’t know the word “impossible”.


What kind of software are you using and what software do you plan to buy later?

3D Max and Maya for modelling, Photoshop for textures and arts, Visual Studio C++ for programming, Grome for Terrain. The Demo is made with the Ogre Engine, but if we get the money, we are likely to buy a commercial game engine, at the moment we are favoring Hero Engine.
Other than that, we would like to buy different middle ware software for AI or Physics for example, but we hadn't decided about them yet.


How is the team partitioned?

3 Modelers / animators
3 concept artists
3 programmers
3 designers
1 sound designer
1 composer

__________________________________________________
In memory of Laura "Taera" Genender. Passed away on Aug/13/08 - Rest In Peace; you will not be forgotten

  Woopin

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/07
Posts: 1028

3/22/08 10:46:58 PM#2

Nice post made it a sticky

  mike470

General Correspondent

Joined: 2/11/08
Posts: 2429

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand" - Randy Pausch

 
OP  3/23/08 10:31:42 AM#3
Originally posted by Woopin

Nice post made it a sticky


Thanks, it has some very helpful information :)

 

Edit-  I added the state of development to the thread.

__________________________________________________
In memory of Laura "Taera" Genender. Passed away on Aug/13/08 - Rest In Peace; you will not be forgotten

  mike470

General Correspondent

Joined: 2/11/08
Posts: 2429

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand" - Randy Pausch

 
OP  5/10/08 11:09:39 PM#4

More info!

And now, let us see the questions and answers:

?There are 8 different races, which is good but represent a lot of different content to build, that individual players won?t directly enjoy unless they reroll 7 times ? that?s worth taking into account when you?ll be allocating resources, it might be worth having just 4 races with double content for each?

I understand your concern here. We just wanted to give more diversity to the character creation. Beside that, we think, it may be boring, if everybody looks the same at the starting area in the beginning. People love different races and a mixed population in their area. Additionally, the 8 races do not mean 8 different types of content, as they are paired, and two races start in the same area. Talents and appearance is the main difference between them, and the discoverable history is dependant on the continent/area, not on the number of races. This basically means that new races mostly mean only new models.

We always kept in eye that the player doesn't have to start a new character to try out other content like in other games (i.e. WoW). The characters can forget skills, so if the player is bored of being a paladin, he can just start learning magic, and forget his other skills, which system worked nicely in SWG. Also, if someone is bored or doesn't like his continent (which is not likely, as all types of environments [desert, forest, mountains, etc.] can be found on any continent) is still free to leave it and settle down on another one. Basically, if the player has chosen a race which looks sympathetic to him, he does not have to change it by any means, because there is no content, which is unreachable by any race.

?   A lot of very open aspects in the game are very fresh but seem difficult to balance :
o   Choosing talents/disadvantages : probably very difficult to balance disadvantages
?   Missing limbs, hunchbacks, limps etc : could bring a lot of extra work on models, armours, animations?.?


Talents and disadvantages are just little modifiers, which affect the numbers of starting values. So if you choose to have a missing leg, you may choose more intelligence for example. You won?t be able to run too fast, but you can cast more spells. These disadvantages can be compensated through other things. A missing leg by riding a horse; or a hunchback -preventing you to wear armour - can be compensated by additional magical shields etc.

As you can see, it is nothing more, just to handle the common mechanics ? known in other games too - in another way. We don?t like slide bars for allocating attribute points, so we want to do it in a roleplaying manner.

In any other games the player allocates points on a sheet and if he thinks, he doesn?t need too much speed, but he wants to spend his points rather into intellect, then he pushes some +/-buttons. In Renaissance he gets the feeling, why he can?t run as fast as the others.

Also we want to keep the look of Renaissance realistic dark. We think that people don?t like the fact, that in every game there are just shiny beautiful people. In Renaissance the player MAY play an ugly man if he wants, but it is not a ?must?. Disadvantages are just optional things, which can help the player to create his character more individual. It has also not always to be a missing leg or a hunchback. Lesser speed may come from an invisible disease, like rheumatism too. It is up to the player, if he chooses the one or the other (if he wants to choose one at all).

Balancing:
First of all, we think, that to balance a game 100% is impossible. You as a professional must know, that in every MMORPG there are always people, who cry for nerf and there are always things, which seem to be unbalanced and if you try to balance them, another one gets too strong or too weak.

We also think that too much balance in a game leads to boredom. If everything is balanced to the same level, should it not be enough to have one race and one class? I often watched PvP fights, which lasted for hours, because everything was so balanced, that no opponent could get an advantage on the other. Believe me, that was boring as hell. In today?s games there will be always certain races or classes, which are the alpha classes in the game, because after the actual ?balance? they became overpowered.

In our open system we can just play with variables and the player has to find the mix of these variables, which apply for him the best. Every skill and every advantage/disadvantage has an opposite part. A fireball skill is useless against a water shield and vice versa. We think, that this is the right way to balance a game, not to make predesigned classes and skills, which are all the same just with another special effect.

Another thing is that in a real roleplaying game, there is no need for balanced combat. A thief should not be an even opponent for a paladin in 1v1 fight, if the thief is spotted, he better flees. Balancing should not appear in combat skill nerfs, what should be balanced is gameplay, that everyone has the same level of fun.

The player should experiment and learn to play. We think, they are intelligent enough to find out, what is good against what and how to play a game. If there are more options to handle something, there is more diversity in gameplay and experience.

If you give them predefined skill-sets or classes, they are constricted into rules, which they can?t change and so they can?t find a better way to defend themselves. In a level based game a lower character will always be weaker as the other, because his level and his predefined skills don?t allow him to be more powerful. That is, what we try to change. We want to give the players skills and abilities, which they can choose freely and if an opponent comes with a fireball there are tens of possibilities to neutralize or weaken this fireball, but the player has to find out, how to do that. If he has a water shield to neutralize the fireball and it is still not powerful enough, than he has to practice it more or he has to find another way to get to his goal.


Extra work:
Sure, it is a bit more work to create a model with and without a leg, but it can be done and we think, that with a little effort we can get a huge plus out of the game in immersion and fun. We think, that today it is not enough to get attention by having the best graphics. Sure, it is good for the first look, because people don?t like ugly looking games, but nowadays all AAA titles have very nice graphics. If you can?t afford something else, which makes your game special, you won?t keep your subscribers just because of the graphics. So we think, the extra work is absolutely worth it.

A missing leg doesn?t mean that the model has no leg at all. It may be just a wooden piano-leg, like a pirate in old movies etc. so the character does not need an extraordinary different animation.

About armours etc.:
Armours shouldn?t be whole pieces, but smaller parts on the body. So if you have no arm, you just can?t put on bracers, but you can still wear a chest plate. Common clothes can be visualised by normal textures, which shouldn?t be too hard to be edited for a hunchback.

Another thing is, that probably no fighter will choose a hunchback or a missing arm for his character.  Missing limbs have been already realized in Star Wars Galaxies, so it is possible.
 

 

 

o   Repartition of attributes between classes:
?   there are a lot of attributes (10) and some of them are more used than others by racial specificity (intelligence or vitality are attributes for 4 races whereas piety and charisma are only attribute in 1 race each)


Yeah. We are aware of that. The attributes of the races are not final. To be honest, they were written in the very last second, just to show, how it roughly should be. We will work on it to get a better balance.

?   some stats seem quite close from one another, like strength and load

Yes, they seem to be very similar for the first look, but we were thinking about them many many hours, how to handle them and which stats are needed.

You must understand, that in Renaissance almost everything is based on variables, not actual values raised by your next level up. We want to create a system, which is as near lifelike as possible. Some stats are values, which are parts of more formulas, than only one.

The load of the character is mainly just an indicator, how much the character can carry (we don?t like carrying around 5 sets of armours, a horse and a house and 2 chests of gold in the backpack), but it has a role also in his strength and vice versa.

Imagine: You are Arnold Schwarzenegger . You are a strong guy and you can kill a wild boar with one hit, but if I bind an anvil on to your back, you may fight, but you can?t make your hits as strong and quick as without the anvil, so you need 5 hits for the boar.

You are still Arnold and you are the same strong guy, you are just disadvantaged in this very moment, because you have an anvil on your back.

Because in Renaissance everybody can do everything, a magician may think, he wants to try sword fight. He takes a long sword and he can drag it, maybe he can even make a strike, but he is not very strong, because he trained his mind to be able to cast huge spells, not his body so his sword hit won?t make any damage.

We don?t want restrictions like ?you are a magician, you can?t equip this item?.
We like funny things in games, but instead of putting work into a dancing Michael Jackson emote (like the tens of other games on the market do), we rather animate the model dragging a huge sword on the ground, because he can?t lift it. I hope, you understand, what I mean. ?

Nonetheless, we can still change it, if we think, it doesn?t gives too much to the system after trying it in practice.



?   In the end the attributes determining the amount of points in pools will probably be favoured by players

Of course. It is not different in other games too.
A fighter will always raise his health; a magician will always raise his mana etc.

But the other attributes are also important for everybody in different aspects of the game, so he has always to choose, where to spend his points.

Please don?t think in level based systems, where Lvl 20 = 300 life points.
All pools are dynamic in every situation.

It indicates only the actual value, how long you can stand the fight.
Life points are not only coming from vitality, but many other things too. Which weapon you use, which skills you have, how much damage you can make, what armour, what buffs you have, how tired you are etc.



o   Custom classes:
?   Can be tricky to balance, especially putting at the same level civil/crafting and fighting/spellcasting skills?


I don?t exactly understand, what do you mean here ?
In the main design every people has 50 slots for skills. They can be very good in one class or half so good in two classes or they can even have more classes, but they won?t be worth anything.

We want to give them the possibility to try everything, or even change class/profession without the need of creating a new character, but if they found the class, they want to play, they should stick with it.

We don?t like games, where people can switch from paladin to necromancer in seconds. We think (and most of our community members too), that in a roleplaying game people should play a role in the world and not just switch to there, where the most XP can be gained or what actually trendy is.

I already wrote about balancing. We think, that our system is pretty selfbalancing, because people can choose their skills freely. If they think, a skill is too weak for them, they can just take another one. Of course, there might be special cases, where a template can get overpowered, but it is unlikely, that a second player can recreate the exact same template in the game. So the guy, who got overpowered, will be a hero. It?s good for him, isn?t it? ?

If a general balancing problem is the case, we still can adjust it. I don?t think, that this is worse, than in any other game with an inflexible system. Our system works with formulas, just like the others. So if a formula is wrong, we will change it. It is hard to make predictions, what can work and what can go wrong, if we can only speak in theory. We were thinking hours and days about these systems and we believe, that it works, but it can be said for sure only if we?ve tried it in praxis.

The skill system works similar to Paper-Scissor-Stone. Every skill has more opponents, so there is always the possibility to prevent a strike (if we talk about fighting now. Civil skills work different).

If a player is a full fighter with 50 fighting skills and the other player has only 25 skills to fight, because he wants to be a crafter too, then it is his decision. Then he has to get a few friends or hire some bodyguards, if he wants to beat the full fighter.

We want to lead people to the cognition, that in an MMORPG not everybody has to do everything. Just because there is the possibility to craft, not everybody must be a crafter automatically and vice versa. Everybody can and should do just those things, which are the most fun for them. Other people will do the rest.



?   Title system : if I understood it right, there will be a very high number of different titles depending on players main skill groups choices? This will maybe make it hard for players looking for a specific role in their group?

The Titles are roughly the same as in other games too. For example a Title can be a ?Paladin? a ?Dark Knight? a ?Fire Magician? etc.

It is just the same system, like in other games too, but up side down. In other games you click on the paladin button and voila, you are one. Then you get your skills (if you want them or not), appropriate to your level. Skill by skill, level by level. Your best friend gets the same skills, because he has chosen Paladin too.

In Renaissance you choose skills, which sound cool for you and which you really like to use.
Every skill is signed into some different categories, which are invisible to the player. These categories are tied to titles. For example a healing skill is categorised as a Paladin skill and as a Cleric skill. If the player uses this healing skill and 20 other ones, which are also categorised into the Cleric category, then he will be a ?Cleric?. If he has 20 other skills, which are categorised into the ?Paladin? category, then he will be a ?Paladin?.

Let say, there are 50 Titles. The system checks, which category can be found the most in the skill list, and will appear that title above the head of the player.

You may have asked why the categories are hidden. Simply, because we don?t want to influence the player in his play style; and because we think, it is more fun, if you suddenly get a title as a surprise. We don?t want to tell people, what and how they should play! We want to tell them, what their role is in the game, if they play the way, they are playing right now.

If a player comes from another game, where classes were fix and predetermined and he says: ?I want to be a cleric, because I love to heal my friends?, than he has nothing to do, just to go to the guild halls, look for a healer (cleric) trainer and ask him. He will tell him what skills he may use to become a good cleric.

If a player still does not know, what he wants to do, he may ask his friends, what they need in the group. They are all fighters and magicians and they tell him: ?we need a healer?, so he knows, he has to learn some healing skills, to be able to help his friends.

It is not very different to other games. In other games the player knows, he wants to be a healer, so he chooses a predetermined healer class at the character creation screen or by a trainer in game. If he does not know what he wants to be, he probably will ask a friend, a guild mate (on the guild forum) or somebody else in game, what they still need in their group (and creates a new character with this class).

In Renaissance it is the same. If you know what you want, then you do it; or if you don?t know, then you ask around, but the difference to other games is: in Renaissance you can do everything in game any time and you don?t have to go to the character creation screen to create a new character for being able to choose a new profession or class by a trainer.

If you heal, because you love to help others, then just do it. The title is just a title. It just helps you to say: ?I am cleric? instead of ?You know?I heal around? somehow? so I seem to be something like a cleric?.

Of course every skill has a detailed description. So the player always can see, what it does and what kind of skill it is. He should be smart enough to know, if he wants to fight with swords or with pets or with undeads etc.

His role in the group - if he will be a tanker, a healer, a leader or anything else - will he find out by doing his ?job?. We don?t think, we always have to hold his hand and tell him, what his next step should be, although we want to provide him with as many information as possible to make his learning process easier. ?

o   Economy : having a realistic close circuit economy seems difficult to get flexible with player number variations, etc? It can potentially require a lot of manual adjustment.

Our main example is Star Wars Galaxies (and Ultima Online). That game we loved and we think, that was the right direction, which MMORPGs should have gone.

In SWG there was an almost 100% player driven economy and it worked fantastic. Their main failure was, that they allowed endless money to flow into the game and the inflation become uncontrollable . Player could grind millions of credits doing fighter missions in 2-3 hours and the money sink features could not get that money out of the game.

If we can learn from their failures, and design the system so, that inflation can?t run out of control, we can hold the economy flexible jus by a little adjustment here or there.

The players will create their prices and values automatically, depending on a few predetermined values, like fees and taxes etc.

Player numbers will change the prices for sure, but it should be selfbalancing. If more people come, the demand may raise and with it the prices too. If players go away, the demand sinks and the prices too.

If it seems, that the prices are getting too high, we can let new capital flow into the game or take it away again, if there is too much money in the game.

I know, it sounds simple and maybe na?ve and I am not an economic scientist, but I think, what works in real life, should work in a game too.

Prices and economy arise in every game, where trading is allowed, no matter if goods come from loot or from crafters. Every game has its high value items, which have a price, made by the players, so you can?t really make a failsafe system, which never has to be adjusted.

We just think, it?s better to let the people do it by themselves. It?s their game and it?s much more fun.



?   There is a huge amount of user-created and user-dependent content, which can be very resource-consuming to run:
o   Player made skills and quests, very open crafting : will there be a form of control on it (validation/nerfing?). If crafting is so open, with uncertain recipes, etc, how will it be implemented (will there be a random component)?


Renaissance has a strong backstory, which is the backbone of the game. There is enough static content in the game to be able to play without GM events or player made quests.

Player made quests are just a little extra to give the players the possibility to make their own roleplaying. These features, we are talking about are highly demanded features by mature players almost in every MMORP games and on every MMORPG-forum.

We are sure, if we give them the tools, they will use them and so they even disencumber the development and GM team. If they don?t use them, there is still enough content in the game, making it fun for a long time.

At the beginning player made quests are based on things only, which are allowed by the system, so there is a validating process in it, but it occurs automatically. There is no need for a GM or a control process by a real person.

Crafting:
There are predetermined recipes of craftable items in the system, of course, but the recipes have no fix values, telling you, which metal and how much of them you need, just variables.

A recipe to a simple sword can look like this:

Neded resources metal:
min 10
max 50

Needed slots:
min 2
max 4

Needed parts:
Hilt

There are resources, which are marked as metals, so you can use them by crafting a sword. The real values of the sword will be generated dynamically depending on the values of the metals and other things, explained in the document. This sword will be then created in the database and it will be just moved from player to player, when traded.

The recipes differ from weapon class to weapon class. A short sword has another recipe, than a bastard sword and maybe there are different recipes between two bastard swords too, but the recipes are not the real point. They just give the basic, what has to be considered in the crafting process. The real point is in the material, the skills, the place, the god and much more. These are all modifiers in the formula, which influence the values, the formula is working with.

Like creating two characters never result in the same character, crafting a sword never results in the same sword. Based on the same recipe, every sword is a bit different.

A similar system was created for SWG too. It was not so open, but the main idea was similar. There you could experiment on an item and change it?s values.

In Renaissance we don?t even need so many different recipes, because we don?t have to determine the values of each sword one by one. In other games you have 20 different swords made by 20 different recipes, which had to be calculated and written by a poor guy in the office. In Renaissance the basics are the same for all swords in the same category, but the modifiers make the swords different, so while you need 20 recipes for 20 swords in other games, you need 1 recipe for 200 swords in Renaissance.

Nerfing/adjusting/balancing will probably occur rather by resources and other variables, not by the recipes themselves. That means, we must nerf the stats of the resources or even the calculating values of the formulas, if some of the items get to powerful.


o   Similarly, having every item lootable and stealable can be an issue with Ebay sales : being a thief in the game could be a way to get rich in real life too?

Thievery should be PvE content in the first line, but it should be a lifestyle too. Looting and stealing items from players is very hard. It is very time consuming and interruptible. It generates bad charma and stolen items are also marked as such, until they get into the natural loot circuit.

If somebody is being caught with contraband, the item gets back to its owner, if he is known and trackable.

Items can be enchanted, helping the owner to track the item, or the item even comes back by its own to the owner etc.

Players can store their items in banks or in their houses, which can be defended by traps and other mechanisms. There are enough security mechanics, which prevent a thief to get too rich in a short time.

It has no sense to announce a stolen item on eBay, because the item is useless for others. Nobody would buy a stolen item a second time and it will make the round very quick, that a player must pay attention, what he buys on eBay. So the thief would sit on his items and couldn?t make a penny.

Players buy a special item for real money, because they can?t afford it in game. They have not enough money or no time or no desire to go for the item - which is mostly an uber loot item - by themselves.

The second thing, which is beloved on eBay is ingame currency. As written in the document, there is the XXX system in Renaissance, so a player can always have the needed money in game to get the desired item.

If everybody can always get enough money, they don?t need to buy it on eBay.

There is no uber loot item in Renaissance, so nobody can sell them on eBay. Everything comes from crafters, so if a crafter can make uber items, the player can contact him and ask for such an item. They will probably cost much money, but through the XXX system, the player can always afford the needed amount of money.

Again Star Wars Galaxies: You have never ever seen an item selling on eBay from SWG, because there was nothing, what another player couldn?t get relatively easy. From SWG the only thing on eBay was money. I think, I don?t have to explain it any further.

Of course there may be cases, we can?t estimate without a playable version of the game, but we are aware of the problem and we will find a way to solve it, if we discover a possibility for such illegal activities.

I hope, you see, we don?t just invent cool features without thinking about it twice.
We know, there are cheater and griefer and people, who try to trick the system. We are long time gamer and we know, what other gamers might think and try and exactly that?s why there are ?harsh? rules. But we try to turn these rules into fun.



?   Finally, a lot of aspect seems very harsh on players (everything can be stolen,  48 hours notice when sieges then hourly penalties ? what happens if I?m on holidays?, jail and pillory ? do I want to pay a subscription and not being able to play?, item that lose stats even when repaired ) which can restrict the game?s audience


These things may seam harsh for the first look, but they have a reason (maybe just roleplaying, maybe technical) and we try to design them so, that also if it is a penalty, it gives another kind of fun and experience.

Jail:
We need to prevent people doing certain things just for cheating or griefing. For example you know for sure the problem of PlayerKillers.

You have the standard options from other games: You don?t allow PvP or make an extra PvP server or you make level restrictions or you make non PvP areas in the game or you don?t even let opposite factions into certain areas etc.

We don?t like these options. We say, there must be in game rules, which regulate these kinds of things automatically and in a roleplaying and lifelike atmosphere. If somebody kills newbies in a row for fun, it is not good, because these newbies won?t stay long in the game, but we also don?t want to restrict those people, who want to play a killer in the world as a role. So we design laws. If you don?t like the penalties, you probably think twice, before you do something, what can ruin the game of another player, but if you want to play an evil person, you must live with the consequences.

Going to jail happens not every day 10 times. You must be a very bad person and have been caught many times to actually go to jail. You wanted it this way. We have been warning you many times.
So if you go to jail, it does not mean, you must sit there for days and you can?t do anything.
You can try to trick the guards and brake out, or you can solve riddles and find a secret tunnel or even you can call your friends, who can get you out by brute force. The jail is an instanced dungeon and like in any other dungeon, you have to fight mobs to reach your goal.

So as you can see, such things are penalties, but if you are smart or you have friends, you can make it to an extra experience and a few hours extra fun and it makes the world believable and lifelike.

The 48 hour siege thing:
An MMORPG is not only killing mobs. Renaissance should be a game, where people have to (and want to) socialize, where they can come together and just trade or talk, dance, roleplay and have fun.

A siege is a thing, which happens also not every day 10 times, but rather seldom. A siege is a very important thing and it has to have the feeling of a siege. When an army sieges a town, there has to be an army around the town. If there are 10 guys with a sword, then it is not a siege, but a simple attack.

When my guild wants to take your city, I have to make an ultimatum and there is a deadline for the fight, so you can prepare to defend your city and I can prepare for a strategy, how to attack the city. Now let say, we attack tomorrow at 12 o?clock. Ten to 12 there are 5 guys, who are interested to fight the city. Not good.

So we said, a siege is a guild thing, a big happening. If you want take the advantage your fighters have to gather around the city. But isn?t it unfair, if I am waiting for the fight since 30 hours next to the city, but Average Joe, who had no interest to come, because he wanted to grind XP, can do so and he does not get a penalty?

The next time I will come within the last 10 minutes too! But wait, then everybody comes just 10 minutes before the war begins?

If there is nobody around the town, because we don?t dare to tell the players, that there is the rule and they have to follow them, if they want to take a city from other people, than spies and diplomats and assassins can?t do their jobs.

If we are afraid of harsh rules, because we might lose subscribers, than we should also be afraid of loosing those people, whose city was taken over without any notice or possibility to prepare for the war. Or we can get rid of the idea to make a game, where an army can siege a city and make a cookiecutter game, where the player has nothing to do, just raid the same dungeon the tenth time a day.

When an army gathers around a town to siege it, it?s a perfect opportunity for traders and dancers and thieves and beggars to go there and do their stuff and get a little cash. It is an event in itself, without having to use or allocate GM power.

We think, it is more fun to follow rules and being part of a big event, than to have the freedom to do anything else, instead of defending our city or helping our guild mates. And exactly for this is the penalty. You can go and do your thing, if you don?t want to be part of the event, but then you must pay in exchange.

You see, we just want to make it fun for everyone. We don?t wake up in the morning and ask ourselves, how should we mess around with players today, but we want to make a roleplaying game, which is different and you can breath in the world and live a second life.

XXX


To summarize, there are a lot of original and interesting ideas (crafting system, XXX, children, diplomacy, bounty hunting ?) but I would be very cautious on some aspects:
?   Difficulty ? for development (optimizing resources) and for players (game complexity and harshness). The game seems to go in a very hardcore direction, which can put part of the audience off ? MMOs are very expensive so being a niche product may not be profitable.


Most of the features of Renaissance are already working mechanisms in other games. We just developed them further. So these are features with precedence.

Beside the things, we want to play in a game, our ideas are coming from Star Wars Galaxies, Dark Age of Camelot, Horizons, World of Warcraft, City of Heroes etc., and of course from many MMORPG discussion boards on the internet.

The game should be a real roleplaying game. It may seem very hardcore, but it isn?t really. It is just a virtual world, where everybody can do, what he wants to do. People are waiting for such a game since years.

You can look at the boards of Dark&Light. They have over 300 000 registered users (and those, who don?t want to talk, just read), but all of them are pissed off, because the developers messed up the game. The 10 000 preorder accounts were taken within 3 seconds(!), back the days, when people still had hope, they get a hardcore PvP game.

Ten thousands are waiting for Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, because they believe, this will be THE roleplaying game, because it comes from the maker of EverQuest.
They will be disappointed, when it comes out.
 
Thousands are waiting for Mourning, but it won?t make it, if we look at their history.
Thousands are waiting for Darkfall, but the development lasts years, because they try to make it alone, without money. The graphics look already a little bit old.

There are hundreds of fan projects, which try to make exactly this, what we try with Renaissance.

The only two big sandbox games were very successful.
Ultima Online still has a few thousand subscribers, after 10 years.
Star Wars Galaxies had 500 000 before the NGE although it was a very special setting, which doesn?t apply for all.

So complexity is not a problem, I think. There will be enough people, who would love to pay for such a game.

We believe, that nobody can make an ?Egg laying woolmilk sow? (like the Germans say). That should mean, you can?t make a game for everybody. We believe, it is more important to choose a target audience and stick with it.

We know, that World of Warcraft is a very attractive game from the financial point of view and everybody is trying to get there, where they are, but it won?t work. WoW collected all the features from other action adventure games, refined them and put them together. Nobody can do it a second time. Nobody can break this success with the same concept.

We try to make something similar with the roleplaying elements of other games. We look at the best features, refine them and put them together. Some day, the players of WoW, who don?t know any other games, because WoW is their first one, will get bored (if not already) with the endless itemgrind. They grow up and then they will look for a more mature game, which provide them another level of fun.

If somebody takes the risk now and develops a really good sandbox type game in a virtual world with fantasy setting, which is the future of MMORPGs, will be the next Blizzard and his name will be noted in the Hall of Fame.
 

 

http://www.renaissance-mmorpg.com/forum/index.php?topic=600.0

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In memory of Laura "Taera" Genender. Passed away on Aug/13/08 - Rest In Peace; you will not be forgotten