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Dev Chat Transcript

Richard Cox Posted:
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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 Quest Online dev team to talk about their upcoming game Alganon!

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. Feel free to add another question to the queue once yours is either asked or rejected.

MMORPG_Kunou: To submit your question, please /msg

MMORPG_Kunou yourquestionhere. If your question was deleted or skipped, it's probably because someone else asked the same thing first.

QOL_DavidAllen: Evening everyone.

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

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

QOL_DavidAllen: I guess I'll go first.

QOL_DavidAllen: I'm David Allen, founder & creator of Alganon, however Alganon has grown far beyond what I've designed, and it's not just my baby; it has become others as well. My role is lead designer, manager, and slave driver :)

QOL_Hue: I'm Hue Henry, I am Lead Data Designer - I am responsible for all of the data that goes into the game. That is all the mob data, item data, the text dialogs and lore. If it's data, it's mine.

QOL_Dyster: Jason Blood. Director of Development, which basically just means I'm in charge if the client & server devs, and spend most of my time writing code for the client & server.

QOL_JDSmith: I'm JD Smith, Lead Web Developer, in charge of our various web presences. That includes alganon.com, MyAlganon, the Library integration, our corporate site, etc.

QOL_Berek: I'm Mathew Anderson, Community Manager - I am responsible for you, the community :). I post daily news, respond and direct discussion in our forums and any Alganon related discussion at mmomrpg.com, setup interviews and output articles, and generally try to gauge your feelings and interesting in our game. Thanks everyone here for attending!

QOL_Ilan: I'm Ilan Prudhomme, I am the Lead Database Developer/DBA - I'm responsible for all things database, including the Alganon game data storage, and the Alganon.com, MyAlganon.com websites.

QOL_DavidAllen: I do want to thank everyone for joining the chat here; this is the first real time you guys will have the opportunity to ask the devs about Alganon, our plans, etc.

QOL_DavidAllen: We started Private Beta a few weeks ago.

QOL_DavidAllen: and are getting plenty of Feedback.

QOL_DavidAllen: We are still a ways from Public Beta; we're probably looking @ July rather than June, but it depends on how quickly key features get integrated.

QOL_DavidAllen: While we have Studies in and working, we are integrating the in-game Library interface, and other support systems such as Kudos, Guilds, etc.

QOL_DavidAllen: We are also testing the core server infrastructure, which is going very well.

QOL_DavidAllen: We decided to go 100% C++ for our server system (scripting languages such as Python and LUA are just too slow at 70-100x slower than C++)

QOL_DavidAllen: So we've got a pretty rock solid MMOG foundation with what we've built.

QOL_DavidAllen: So, let's get the Q&A going here.

boognish75: Is there going to be long epic quest lines to delve you into the storyline and hide the grind of leveling?

QOL_DavidAllen: Our designer, Hue, is going to answer that.

QOL_Hue: Yes. The world of Alganon is very immersive - don't expect to complete a quest and then never hear about that situation again. Everything that happens in Alagnon is related to everything else, and the deities are the threads that tie them all together.

QOL_DavidAllen: Hue is actually undercutting himself and the work he and his team have done :)

QOL_DavidAllen: The amount of work that has gone into the quests and lore of the game is immersive.

QOL_DavidAllen: Compared to other MMOGs we decided to take it to the next level; really get players involved in the game through very engaging story-driven quests.

QOL_DavidAllen: (Hue is typing up a bit more :) )

QOL_Hue: As a good example, many of the characters you meet later in the game have heard of the heroics you performed at earlier levels and treat you like the hero you have proven yourself to be.

QOL_DavidAllen: We also have numerous quests tied into the Studies systems too; allowing players to unlock studies that make a big difference later on in the game.

sofia: Looking at your promises for the PVP side of the game, what sort of endgame rewards do you plan to include upon release?

QOL_DavidAllen: Hue - go for it :)

QOL_DavidAllen: One thing I will do is open with this; fun MMORPGs that people really enjoy have a VERY strong PvE system.

QOL_DavidAllen: (at their base)

QOL_DavidAllen: this is what we're focusing on first and foremost.

QOL_Hue: At launch, our focus is on PvE, so our rewards will be PvE centric.

QOL_Hue: However, we also have a strong belief that there is more than just combat - we will also have social and cosmetic rewards available to players.

QOL_DavidAllen: The initial design of Alganon

QOL_DavidAllen: for Endgame focused (beyond instances and PvP battles) on Domain Control and Crusades.

QOL_DavidAllen: Each domain has its own control system in place (unique) that all players can participate in.

QOL_DavidAllen: Control of the domains will give boons to players, and also give adjustments to those who worship a particular deity.

QOL_DavidAllen: (one example)

QOL_DavidAllen: OFC Instances, difficulties, etc. will be a big part of that as well.

QOL_DavidAllen: Studies really makes a huge difference though.

QOL_DavidAllen: Even though a player can go through the content

QOL_DavidAllen: of a dungeon/instance/domain system, etc.

QOL_DavidAllen: the studies allow a player to truly grow seperate from their 'gaming actions'

QOL_DavidAllen: which opens many doors over time

Micronut: Can you give us some info on the games travel system for example porters - mounts - recall items ect.

QOL_Hue: One of the things we've found as MMO players ourselves, is that "running around" is not exactly the most entertaining part of the game. So, we've put a lot of design into reducing the amount of "meaningless travel" needed.

QOL_Hue: So, our quest chains will lead you to exactly the location you need to be when the quest is complete.

QOL_Hue: And transportation from major area to major area is via teleportation. No waiting for the boat or drawn out flights.

QOL_Hue: ... and, of course, the teleportation system is directly related to the lore of the world.

QOL_Hue: Everything is tied together with lore and story.

Dravokx: Will the current Development team stay on with Alganon after release, through the expansions, or will most of you pass the torch and move on to other projects?

QOL_DavidAllen: Well what's interesting is the overall game design ended up being much larger than I thought.

QOL_DavidAllen: For example, Asheran Forest is ~4x larger than a good sized WoW area

QOL_DavidAllen: so the world we've designed with Ardonya and Harraja is actually a game world that will evolve over years.

QOL_DavidAllen: We already have more than two years of plans for Alganon mapped out.

QOL_DavidAllen: Including domain, race, class, and features.

QOL_DavidAllen: We will continue our focus on enhancing Alganon for awhile.

QOL_DavidAllen: Obviously based on the success of Alganon, QOL could grow to the point of taking on multiple projects.

QOL_DavidAllen: But once Alganon is released, that's just a step for QOL; not a completion. Alganon has years more of expansions planned.

sofia: What kind of server hardware are you looking at for your shards? Can you give us any estimate as to how many users per server, and how many you plan to run at release?

QOL_DavidAllen: Actually the Server Hardware is pretty simple; for non-blade Dell 2950 Series III's works great (which we use quite a few of at our datacenter) but as things expand, we'll evolve to blade systems.

QOL_DavidAllen: We're looking @ supporting 3,000 players per world concurrently @ release. Drakus: What has the biggest challenge been for QOL while developing Alganon?

QOL_DavidAllen: Finding exceptional people to join our staff. We're currently 42 people strong, and in month 40 of game development.

Dravokx: We know the Deities will be a living part of the world, but will they be something that can be raided and killed?

QOL_DavidAllen: Hue is going to answer that one.

QOL_Hue: I don't think the deities like the idea of being killed.

QOL_Hue: The deities in Alganon are very powerful - they can throw mountains across the ocean. They can wipe out entire races.

QOL_Hue: In fact, it's a bit taboo to discuss if they are even capable of dieing. The Warpriests of Zanyana and the Blades of Ghazmok would strike you dead for even thinking it.

QOL_Hue: But that doesn't mean it's not possible. Alganon has a long future, and after years and years of growth and advancement, things may change.

LowRes Studies seem to be a really important part of your game. Can you expand on the types of Studies that will be available to players (Combat Studies? Crafting Studies?) and what kind of rewards a player will get for completing Studies? How will I be able to learn or discover new Studies?

QOL_DavidAllen: Yes, Studies are one of our strongest features.

QOL_DavidAllen: Rewarding the players for subscribing, and alllowing them to grow their character in real time vs. having to power level, etc.

QOL_DavidAllen: There are numerous core study types, some focus on combat, some on magic, some on crafting/tradeskills, other on leadership capabilities.

QOL_DavidAllen: As a player grows in studies, they will receive benefits.

QOL_DavidAllen: For example, a player can study Humanoid Anatomy, and get (for example) 1% additional crit per point.

QOL_DavidAllen: The best part of studies is they progress whether or not you're online.

QOL_Hue: Another interesting aspect of studies is that they can open alternate means of advancement. If you hate large group raiding, but want the same rewards, studies can open up the opportunity to get those rewards. We don't want players to be forced to do something they hate so they can get what they need to do what they love.

QOL_DavidAllen: Exactly.

QOL_DavidAllen: This allows a player who has a character 1-2 years old to have access to things no power gamer who maxed out their level in 5-6 days can get.

QOL_DavidAllen: It's a balancing mechanism in many ways.

Micronut: As i am a very avid crafter i am interested if items such as weapons/armor will have item decay and diminished returns on repairs and if yes will crafters be able to repair them.

QOL_DavidAllen: Well Studies play an important role in crafting.

QOL_DavidAllen: PvE doesn't have item decay. You don't want to lose what you worked so hard to get.

QOL_DavidAllen: The cool thing about our crafting system is we are going to keep it simple, yet allow players (through studies) to plan out (sometimes months) on what they want to specialize in.

QOL_DavidAllen: So there will be true craftmen on the server.

Zippy: Do you plan on having any community interdependent events similar to what horizons did with having crafters tunnel through mountains to reach new areas, community projects such as bridges to reach new islands and other ideas that bring people together.

QOL_DavidAllen: Well the first thing I wanted to do with Alganon was create a MMOG that addressed some of the weaknesses of other games.

QOL_DavidAllen: One of the main areas was community.

QOL_DavidAllen: This is why we have created the MyAlganon system.

QOL_DavidAllen: An online community based system that ties directly into the game.

QOL_DavidAllen: With SMS messaging and more.

QOL_DavidAllen: So via Alganon->MyAlganon, you can (for example) have SMS messages sent to guild members remining them of raid events.

QOL_DavidAllen: Or even broadcast achievements.

QOL_DavidAllen: We do have collaborative crafting in Alganon.

QOL_DavidAllen: Which is pretty cool; this will require people to team up to make more complex items.

QOL_DavidAllen: And pushes people to become specialissts.

QOL_DavidAllen: and those specialists can be in high demand.

QOL_DavidAllen: (paid well for their services)

QOL_DavidAllen: Hue anything you want to add?

QOL_Hue: The deities are very also much involved in the world, and will serve as a tool we can use to expand the world. (Argon can move mountains, Xukiss can open new intellectual pursuits, etc.) However, these deities have personalities and players may need to come together to convince them to act in the way the players want.


If you have 2 years of expansions planned out, how often do you plan on releasing a new one?

QOL_DavidAllen: Every 6 months

Drakus: How will QOL distribute Alganon? If there is a boxed version will there also be a collectors edition? If so, are you able to give us any details on what will be included in the CE?

QOL_DavidAllen: The initial release of Alganon will be Digital Distribution, but we will also be releasing a Retail version (probably v1.5). Fervent: Will you be limited to the trades you can perform, or can you train multiple skills?

QOL_DavidAllen: Players will have to choose from a limited number of tradeskills per character, but keep in mind, Studies play a big part in that.

Micronut: Will alganon have player/guild housing and if so can you elaborate on how he system will work.

QOL_DavidAllen: No, Alganon will not have Player/Guild housing. We want players out and exploring and growing their characters instead of hanging curtains :)

MMORPG_Kunou: Come on folks, lets have those questions! /msg


Drakus: If all of the classes were available to play at release which class would each dev pick to play as their main character and why?

MMORPG_Kunou: Don't let Drakus steal all the limelight! ;)

QOL_DavidAllen: I don't need to choose. I have /god mode! :-P

QOL_DavidAllen: hehe actually the class I'm really looking forward to is Prophet.

QOL_Hue: I'm definately a fan of the Ranger. Their core role is support, and one of their possible secondary roles is tank... those are my two favorite roles.

QOL_Dyster: I always have been and always will be a Magus! I love setting things on fire :)

QOL_JDSmith: I'd be playing an Assassin more than likely, I've always liked the stealthy stab-em-in-the-back and kill 'em fast style gameplay.

QOL_Berek: I like being the Healer because I like to take care of my group and keeping them together when the *$)@ hits the fan :).

MMORPG_Kunou: And don't forget to hop over to #alganon if you want to chat with each other during the event!

QOL_Ilan: I'll likely be a healer... but may alt as a Magus

: what are server configurations you planned to face the launch of the game without lag?

QOL_DavidAllen: Well, it's not as much server configurations as it is how well our server code works.

QOL_DavidAllen: We've learned a LOT from other MMOGs

QOL_DavidAllen: we have plans on how we want to function at launch, but talking about it won't make it so; BETA will really prove how robust our core tech is.

boognish75: is there going to be the basic group roles, like tank, dps, ect, and can you mix up the roles and become a mix of tank/mage?

QOL_DavidAllen: Hue is going to get that one.

QOL_Hue: Yes! Our classes are designed using a "dual role" system.

Obu: Would all classes be balanced out to do whatever they desire to do? Or will one be more advantaged in Tanking, Support, Dealing damage, etc...

QOL_Hue: What this means is that a class has a core role -- something that all members of that class can do well.

QOL_Hue: So, for example, a Soldier's core role is "Boss Tanking" --- every soldier can tank a boss.

QOL_Hue: However, they can also choose a second role to go into.

QOL_Hue: So that same soldier can become a multitarget tank, or a DPS specialist, or a support class.

QOL_Hue: And all this is without losing their primary role. They do both.

QOL_Hue: There are a ton of great benefits to this, but it would take hours to go through them all here. Check out our forums for more.

Fauxkon: What kind of community support from QOL will players be able to access? Forums, email, live chat, phone support even?

QOL_DavidAllen: Well something Algnaon has is a unique community system. I don't think many players realize the power of MyAlganon, the ties it has into Alganon, and the Library system.

QOL_DavidAllen: (whcih is in functional beta)

QOL_DavidAllen: One thing I want to cover is the power of the Library.

QOL_DavidAllen: For those of you who play WoW, etc. Think of having Thottbot/Wowhead in the game, queriable any time, but in addition, we allow players to Scry their findings in the Library.

QOL_DavidAllen: So players can get credit for defeating mobs, finding unique items, so on and so forth.

QOL_DavidAllen: As for actual 'game support' we will focus mainly on online support.

QOL_DavidAllen: Our GOD CSGM tool has many powerful features planned, including Deity embodiment.

QOL_DavidAllen: So in Alganon, you may be walking through the forest all alone and worn out, and suddenly the goddess Triasha may appear to you.

QOL_Hue: When Zanyana steps in to solve your problem, it gets solved.

QOL_DavidAllen: This is part of the interaction/interface we want our players to experience.

QOL_DavidAllen: LOL yes

Oak: Will the classes be nerfed/buffed/changed like in WoW? Or will they be set in stone like in SWG?

QOL_DavidAllen: One cool design feature of Alganon is actions are built to have different scripts based on PvE or PvP.

QOL_DavidAllen: This means we can create core actions that behave one way in PvE and another way in PvP. This allows us to focus on refining things for one play style or another without destroying the play style.

QOL_DavidAllen: Obviously the classes will grow over time and evolve, but they will change in a fashion that doesn't destroy one portion of the game or another (i.e. PvP or PvE)

Drakus: Can you explain how the Consignment System will work for those in here who aren't familiar with it?

QOL_DavidAllen: Jason, you want to go into this one?

QOL_DavidAllen: Sorry, had to ask him to put his beer down.

QOL_Dyster: The consignment system is something I've always wanted in an MMO (as I've played them all), but our library system is what really makes it possible.

QOL_Dyster: Think of times you've needed an item for a quest, or just because it was something you desired, But you couldn't make it or obtain it yourself...

QOL_Dyster: Just post a request and wait for someone to fill it. In essense, it's a reverse auction house. Request items rather than see what is available already.

Aonaran: How can we become individuals in Alganon. Am i going to be identical to every other Frost Magus out there with the same armour and staff with same output damage etc etc. Apart from a players own skill what will differentiate us all from the masses??

QOL_DavidAllen: Excellent question; Hue do you want to go into class customization with abilities, studies, items, etc?

QOL_Hue: Since advancing in a study area is time dependant and exclusive (you study one thing at a time) there will be a great number of possible paths people can choose to study.

QOL_Hue: In addition, the ability trees that you use to choose a secondary role can be varied.

QOL_Hue: So, a player can choose the secondary role of Frost Magus, but still choose a different set of abilities.

Noam: Do you have any plans for guild advancement like guild leveling, guild abilities, etc?

QOL_DavidAllen: Absolutely. We have a very in-depth guild system defined, which is why it's not in yet. Guilds will be able to achieve special access via the things their members accomplish through achievements, kudos, etc.

Drakus: Will craftable items be able to complete stat wise with items found in dungeons by utilizing the Study system?

QOL_DavidAllen: Yes. One quick note; in order to study all of the studies in the game, it would take years of real time :)

Micronut: As the MMO market is very full of all sorts of titles how has the experience been on sticking to your core vision of the game and has it been difficult getting the word out to the masses.

QOL_DavidAllen: Yah there's no question the market has been saturated with mediocre MMOGs (many F2P, etc) and it's hard to get noticed among so many games; however, if a game is good, people will play it, tell their friends, etc.

QOL_DavidAllen: As we enter public beta, that's when things will really begin to move for Alganon.

QOL_DavidAllen: Hue did you want to add something?

QOL_Hue: Also: we've focused a lot on rentention -- things that will keep players loving the game.

QOL_Hue: Design wise, we've been more excited about keeping people around because they love what we've done than we are about making crazy promises to lure them in.

QOL_Hue: That's why we need community help to bring people in. Tell your friends. :)

QOL_DavidAllen: Evening folks; we're about to wrap up the moderated Q&A session.

QOL_DavidAllen: Many of us will be staying around to chat with you.

QOL_DavidAllen: I wanted to wrap up by saying Alganon is growing on a daily basis. Each week, the BETA gets stronger and stronger with more and more features.

MMORPG_Kunou: Thanks for all your great questions folks! I'm going to un-silence the channel, several of the gang will be sticking around to answer questions more informally and just chat in general.


Richard Cox