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Earthrise Dev Chat

The folks from masthead Studios dropped by over the weekend for a chat with MMORPG.com readers. Today, we post this transcript of the chat.

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MMORPG_Kunou: Howdy and welcome to MMORPG.com's Live Dev Chat on irc.coldfront.net! I'm your host, MMORPG.com's Community Manager Richard "Kunou" Cox. Joining us today are members of the Earthrise dev team!

MMORPG_Kunou: Our guests will do their best to answer as many questions as possible, but due to limited time and a high volume of inquiries, they may not be able to answer every single one. Users are limited to one question in the queue at a time, and you will be notified if your question is rejected or discarded. Feel free to add another question to the queue once yours is either asked or rejected.

MMORPG_Kunou: To submit your question, please /msg MMORPGBot yourquestionhere. If your question was deleted, it's probably because someone else asked the same thing first.

MMORPG_Kunou: This room will be moderated during the chat; if you want to talk during the chat, feel free to visit #earthrise.

MMORPG_Kunou: Now it's time for introductions! Feel free to start sending your questions to MMORPGBot while our guests introduce themselves!

Ostiak: Hi, everyone, my name is Atanas Atanasov, CEO of Masthead Studios and Producer of Earthrise

RaynerTheApe: Hello, my name is Apostol Apostolov, a.k.a. Rayner Ape from the Earthrise Forums, and I am the Lead Game Designer of Earthrise MMORPG.

Moll: I'm most commonly known as Moll, your friendly community manager and merger of threads! Search button ftw! :)

ecarter: Hi there! I'm Emily, Media Coordinator for Earthrise

MMORPG_JelloB2000: Excellent, lets start with the questions

User Question: Kamodo asks, "Will this game be f2p or p2p?"

Ostiak: Earthrise will be pay to play. The game design and the experience for the players will be for such type of game just like the top MMO titles

User Question: RAMChYLD asks, "When will the game be released in Closed Beta?"

Ostiak: We will start the closed beta sign up process by the end of this year and start inviting players for it. It will be a limited closed beta, but invitations will expand as we go further into development

User Question: DJPenguin[TOP] asks, "What's the "gist" of this game about? Give a quick synopsis."

Ostiak: Earthrise is a post apocalyptic science fiction MMORPG set in the distant future.

Ostiak: The main features of Earthrise are fast-paced Combat featuring dynamic targeting; skill based system, meaningful PvP with territorial conquest and defense that matters, sophisticated crafting that lets players design and manufacture unique items from customizable Blueprints and high-tech enhancements; player-run, market-based economics and open, realistic environment with no instances.

User Question: tennispro94 asks, "how much is the game itself and how much per month?"

Ostiak: it is not decided yet, answer will be given just before release

User Question: bludkraze1 asks, "what type of weapons will there be and whats leveling systems will we see?"

RaynerTheApe: Earthrise will feature a wide range of melee and ranged combat arsenal fully customizable by crafters, from the typical to the sci-fi genre to unorthodox ones. The game will not use traditional leveling system but instead allow users to develop their skills through use and freely develop various combat, crafting and social skills.

User Question: meatbo0t asks, "is the game feature complete yet?"

Ostiak: No it is not. We are still adding features and will not release the game until all of the main features are ready.

User Question: Mironov asks, "Since Earthrise is a fraction game your clan has to choice the same fraction to be in the same pvp clan?"

RaynerTheApe: Players of various factions - Continoma, Noir or neutral players - can group together in a Guild and play together; there's no artifical restriction in your way. But every member's actions will affect the affiliation of the Guild towards the Factions and Guilds with conflicting interests will not have access to various faction rewards.

RaynerTheApe: Moreso, such Guilds risk to fall victim to personal interests, as one Faction members are encouraged to PvP against other Faction members.

User Question: RAMChYLD asks, "What features will the game have?"

Ostiak: Post-Apocalyptic sci-fi setting, skill based system, PvP that matters, territorial conquest on one map, no instances, sophisticated crafting that lets you build your own designs, a lot of skill customization, online advancement of all skills and offline professions, which is type of social advancement for the player

User Question: Ekaros asks, "Will this game contain "twinking" as you could with knowledge and skill get better equipments equip, before they are targeted to your skill level?"

RaynerTheApe: Earthrise is not a level based game that sets artificial restrictions on its players and forces them to "grind" in order to achieve more powerful equipment. It is possible to develop your character for use of good equipment early on - but such player won't have the skills to make the full advantage of his gear and will make a profitable prey for his looters.

User Question: HellScream[VE-Gov] asks, "How "multi-player" will the game be?"

Ostiak: When making Earthrise we planned for the very beginning to make a game which is really massive. Imagine a huge world with thousands of players in it and no instancing, everyone will play on one map, that is the island of Enterra.

User Question: crfog asks, "It had been announced that all items in Earthrise will be crafted/craftable. When it comes to clothing/armor, will the stats of the armor be controlled by a separate crafting mechanic than the appearance?"

RaynerTheApe: The appearance of every item is set in it's base template, the Technology that the crafter will learn through Crafting Skills. Additional customization will be available through crafting, allowing players to change the colors of the item they want to manufacture. Also, the item's statistics are modifiable by the crafter through use of Designs, implemented into the Technology.

User Question: Klotz[Greece] asks, "How do you think Earthrise will compete with other MMO's such as EVE-Online and World of Warcraft?"

Ostiak: Just like every MMO there are players who like the style and the gameplay and those who don't. Everyone who likes the features of Earthrise and the sci-fi setting will not be disappointed. Games like WoW and EVE offer different gameplay.

RaynerTheApe: Earthrise is a completely different experience from all MMOs on the market today. We strive to provide players with dynamic combat with very customizable and broad ability system, a living, breathing player-run economy rooted hard on the ground rather than set in the vast space, and a new look at socially engineered society very different from the traditional fantasy games on the market.

User Question: sg-Madison asks, "Will combat in Earthrise be more towards click-and-wait or twitch based?"

RaynerTheApe: Definitely twitch-based, and we work hard to please the fans of dynamic, adrenaline-pumping third person action. Even with the choice of action combat system where player skill is important, we don't forego a complex, customizable ability system that puts as much on reflex as on tactical combination and team-play.

User Question: Berzul asks, "Since some MMos were successfully survive the test of time, some of them didn't, what will Earthrise become in the months after the release, how are you playing to add contend to your basic idea."

Ostiak: The more we advance in development, the more assets and features we are able to deliver. It is not just the employee experience, but the internal tools, which are getting better and better. We have lots of great ideas that will be implemented after release, but we are not talking about them because we want to focus your attention on Earthrise upon launch. There will be expansions in the future for certain.

User Question: Ltldogg551 asks, "will the game have forced alignment or be faction based where the players actions decide rewards/repercussions?"

RaynerTheApe: Unlike games where you choose your Faction and live with your choice unless you make an alternative character, Earthrise will allow you to switch your affiliation throughout the game. It's not a free choice with no consequences however - you will lose a lot of rewards you've invested into and you will be marked as a traitor and won't be able to switchback unless you work hard to clear your name.

MMORPG_JelloB2000: Emerald22.1 asks, "Will guild bases be player designable? i.e. to make their own layouts and floor plans at expense of more or less resources allowing for unique archetecture designs and defensive tactics,also to paint clan colours n logo's? What other features will we see in bases, defences and facilities etc too"

Ostiak: Players can design their own guild bases as they like, just like in the strategy games. Features that you can expect include, but are not limited to building different economic buildings, military structures, facilites that help the gameplay of guild members such as easier access to market, bank, teleportation

User Question: Mironov asks, "Since the game doesnt have char class selection with binded skills can our char envolve forever like skills development?"

RaynerTheApe: Yes, your character can theoretically learn all the combat skills and all abilities, unlock all crafting technologies and master all social skills - it will take a huge amount of time but it is possible.

RaynerTheApe: Still, ultimate knowledge will make characters extremely flexible, not too powerful - as many restrictions limit what skills are available at a given time and with all skills learned and unlocked, your character will have a solution to every situation possible.

User Question: Guest2734 asks, "will any meta game systems like fishing or bounty hunting be implemented"

RaynerTheApe: We have to pass on fishing for now, but Bounty Hunting will definitely be a part of Earthrise PvP and will provide wannabe headhunters with a player-run bounty system that has a lot of rewards and PvP challenges to offer.

User Question: gamedever asks, "Will there be player housing?"

Ostiak: Not upon release, but if check my answers above, you will see a hit what we are planning to do in the future. However, the guild bases will offer a lot of customizations and possibility to call them your new home. And you will not be lonely, that's for sure :)

User Question: Caedes asks, "Since the game will be full loot pvp, how easy/hard will it be to acquire good/excellent gear?"

RaynerTheApe: It will be both easy and hard because this time you won't have to deal with a monster who've been set up to drop it, but players who have to craft it for you if you haven't specialized in that item manufacture and design yourself.

RaynerTheApe: In a player-run economy where almost all useable items come from players, it will depend on whether there are enough crafters willing to create it for you on a price you feel is comfortable. If no one is made the item you want, no sweat - there's always the opportunity to become a crafter and create and sell it yourself and make a killing profit from it.

User Question: sansan asks, "wich races will we find in the game?"

Ostiak: Players can play human races only, but there will be a lot of mutants that you will fight with, so many and so different, just wait to see them in game :)

User Question: Ekaros asks, "How complex is the item/equipment system?"

RaynerTheApe: Earthrise will offer its player a complex item system. Every item will have Quality statistic that enhances the item's longevility and carries on as the item is used for crafting of other items or is deconstructed to get ingredients from it. All combat items will have Durability statistic that will lower as item are used or soak damage.

RaynerTheApe: Most items in the game will be customizable with Designs upon crafting, allowing the crafter to achieve specific item builds that give an edge in different situations.

User Question: Kuhal asks, "Moll, any luck finding those googles?"

Moll: Heh! Yes, thank you for reminding me to update my status on the never ending goggle saga. :D Between this and the scooter suggestions, you all are quite helpful.

Moll: For those not in the loop, check out the forums where the fun takes place :)

Moll: http://forums.play-earthrise.com/

User Question: NotEleet asks, "could you further explain the ingame insurance system."

RaynerTheApe: When a character dies in Earthrise, unless he have insured his equipment and inventory, he will lose these items unless he pays dearly for their automatic recovery. Such enormous risk of being full-looted looms over every character and therefore insuring your item against being looted is extremely important in the game.

RaynerTheApe: Insurance protects items against since loot opportunity; once resurrected, the character must reinsure his property once again. It will be a straightforward and easy operation, but is will make sure your most important asset - your items - are fully protected.

RaynerTheApe: pusnah go

User Question: AnubisX asks, "Is this game going to be like every other MMORPG out there with massive griding and long time leveling and no realistic death penalties and boring quests?"

Ostiak: while we wait for Apostol to answer, I would like to send everyone a link to a new screenshot from the game, which we took this week during our internal testing

Ostiak: http://images.mmorpg.com/features/2498/images/2498_1.jpg

RaynerTheApe: Lemme check the plan... Massive grinding? Optional, with many of the end game features freidnly to upper-mid players. Long Time Leveling? For hardcore completists only. No realistic death penalties? You may have to walk away from combat in your underwear. Boring quests? You be the judge, when the game is out.

User Question: Satal asks, "Hello devs, and first can I say how much im looking forward to this incredible game! Can you give a more detailed explanation on the dynamics of territorial conflict and capture?"

Ostiak: The territory conquest is something everyone in the team is very excited about. The answer is too long for this discussion, but to put it in short, the best example is a strategy game where you build and operate a base and attack and destroy the base of your enemy. The only difference is that this process will be much slower in Earthrise and will take days to build your base rather than minutes and the units will not be controlled

Ostiak: But the conquest itself will be very dynamic and may take only minutes and no more than 1-2 hours.

User Question: bludkraze1 asks, "I would like to know if there will be a big pve aspect to the game as well as pvp?"

RaynerTheApe: PvE gameplay is definitely there with the original setting providing incredibly deep and involving lore, but the core focus of your efforts it the PvP experience and we will make sure that the PvE complements, rather than overshadows the freeform sandbox atmosphere. You will not be disappointed, but at the same time we do not promise a PvE-centric game.

User Question: silverwhispe asks, "Is this game built on an existing engine or does it run on a whole new engine design?"

Ostiak: We are developing our own engine from scratch and it is designed to meet all needs of the Earthrise gameplay - huge persistent world with no instances, great graphics, which you can see from the screenshots and lot of internal tools, which cannot be purchased on the middleware market. To put it in short, the Earthrise engine is quite powerful, oh and we will still improve the visuals significantly as we want even better looking gam

User Question: Knucklehead asks, "Other than purchasing designs from NPC's how will players be able to attain new designs (Like disassembling an item and learn how to create it through that process)?"

RaynerTheApe: Access to Designs comes from two sources - basic/common Designs will be unlockable through learning crafting skills, while the more powerful and monopolized by the various organizations designs will be attainable in physical form (as blueprints) only through gaining high reputation towards that organization.

User Question: Afwoosh asks, "What made you decide to feature skill development after the player has logged off? This has been ridiculed as rewarding the player for not playing when used in EVE online."

Ostiak: The offline advancement in EVE is quite different than the one we plan to implement in Earthrise. All skills necessary to play Earthrise while you are online will be raised online

Ostiak: the only offline advancement is for the so called professions. Their only purpose is to generate a very small income for those players who don't have the time to be online for long. Think of the offline professions like a small reward or bonus. Some games for example give it as a XP boost, uf you have been offline for a long time

Ostiak: it is pretty much the same in Earthrise, you gain some income while you have been offline.'

User Question: Switch asks, "When will be a video or trailer avaibable and whats your itents for advertising?"

Ostiak: As I previously mentioned, we will still be working on improving the graphic quality of the game. We will show the first gameplay video when we are satisfied with the result. Right now the whole team is working on gameplay and stability, which is priority at the moment.

User Question: crfog asks, "The combat and crafting skillsets appear in other games and everyone probably understands what to expect from them. What types of skills will we see in the social set and how will they influence the game? Are these skills restricted to helping a player when they are advancing offline only?"

RaynerTheApe: Social skills will be tightly incorporated in the offline profession system and will allow characters to achieve better paying and rewarding professions. More is planned for them but we will keep topic secret for a while - we want to surprise our players when the right time comes.

User Question: Emerald22 asks, "In base fights, will they have spawn points for each side? or will they have to take 5-10 min walks between deaths. if yes, While waiting to spawn do you intend that players can select a loudout from their guild supplies so they spawn ready to fight? Will their be Adv Medics able to ressurect fallen troops?"

Ostiak: There will be different spawn points for each side. Attackers will be able to quickly come back to fight, although defenders might slow them down if they are able to capture the closest spawn points to their base. One of the defenders' spawn points will be their base of course.

User Question: Dingo asks, "Is there greater background plot?"

RaynerTheApe: Yes. But we won't tell you. We won't tell anyone until the right time comes. Which is, obviously, not now.

User Question: sic162 asks, "How does targetting work? Will the reticule "autoaim" at a target sort of like Tabula Rasa, or will it be 100% free aim like FPS games, or something different?"

RaynerTheApe: Without going into much detail at the moment, Earthrise will feature a mix of hard and soft targeting which will aim to please both groups - those who favor shooter's player skill involved in targetting and fans of soft and asissted aiming very similar to Tabula Rasa. Different weapons will provide different level of assistance, balanced against their lethal capabilities.

MMORPG_Kunou: Ok folks, we've actually gone into overtime here since these guys were so enthusiastic about answering questions, so five more questions and we're gonna call it done!

User Question: Timme asks, "is there a place we can go to look at items from the game and what it takes to make them"

RaynerTheApe: Your Crafting Skill ingame dialog will provide access to all Technologies and Designs, unlocked or yet to be unlocked and the statistics of the items they can be used to manufacture or modify. By playing with various builts of Technologies and Designs, you will be able to see how their statistics change to provide the needed result for a specific item.

User Question: Nicrox asks, "What extent will decay play in ER will everything decay even after pk'n someone"

RaynerTheApe: Every usable item that is not immediately consumed upon its use will decay through use and eventually will become unsuable, even if properly maintained through repair. Killing an opponent won't cause his equipment to decay as this is different from use; only items that decay due to soaking damage (such as armor) will take durability damage.

User Question: percon asks, "Will ER's core lore change as player guilds start taking over territories, and are there specific plans to consider influencial guilds/players to become part of the this lore; i.e mentioned in story line and/or provoke non-player "system" events from time to time."

Ostiak: As we have mentioned multiple times Earthrise is a sandbox game and players can actually change the world. We will certanly include events and lore based on the actions of the players.

User Question: Caedes asks, "Will you somehow moderate the Economy? Things like price fixing, monopolis and some other things bother me somehow in such a economy."

RaynerTheApe: No economy can survive on it's own without being at least closely monitored and controlled to a degree - just read the business news these days and somehow we don't want certain things to happen ingame.

RaynerTheApe: Still we won't be removing the player factor from the game by price fixing and breaking monopolies - we actually expect players to try and game the economy and create new and insteresting economic situations. Just not some bad things. Really. So we will be watching closely.

User Question: Capop asks, "So then, ETA?"

Ostiak: When the game is ready and all promised features are in place.

MMORPG_Kunou: This concludes the MMORPG.com Earthrise Dev Chat! A huge thanks to all the fine folks behind Earthrise for your wonderful time and expertise! Thank you Coldfront for hosting us! And thank you everyone for joining us! Logs will be posted on MMORPG.com asap.

Ostiak: and before we end today's chat I would like to post one more screenshot for all of you. It is fresh from this week's test, you can see some players from our team on it :)

Ostiak: http://images.mmorpg.com/features/2498/images/2498_2.jpg

Moll: A little treat for you all to enjoy! :)

Ostiak: Thank you all for coming and see you on the forums and inside the game soon :)

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