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MMOFPS | Setting:Sci-Fi | Status:Final  (rel 02/01/10)  | Pub:Hi-Rez Studios
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Interviews: Q&A with Todd Harris

By William Murphy on October 08, 2010

Q&A with Todd Harris

It’s been a while since Hi-Rez Studios decided to go the F2P route with Global Agenda. Can you tell us how that’s been going, and what the response you’ve seen from the community as a whole has been?

Todd Harris:

The response has been very strong. Players have a lot of gaming choices these days and it seems that removing subscription removed an obstacle in some people's minds for joining the game or even trying the game. With no subscription AND a free trial, players interested in Global Agenda can easily check it out for themselves.


One of the newest additions to the game is the optional “Boosts” which can be bought by players via real-world money. They offer experience, token, and credit boosts and last anywhere from 10 to 90 days depending on the “Boost” the player buys. Is this the main form of micro-transaction Global Agenda is shooting for, or more of a test run to see how the community responds?

Todd Harris:

Boosters have been very popular and they are currently our only form of micro-transaction. All items within Global Agenda can be earned thru game play. But Boosters do allow you to level faster and acquire items faster and many players have opted for that - particularly when leveling up alternate classes. As you know, in Global Agenda your alt characters share the same name and share in-game currency. So with a Booster you can more easily enjoy multiple characters and all those characters share the boosted in-game credits and tokens. So, it is a form of micro-transaction that really fits our game design.

Is Hi-Rez going to be experimenting with any form of DLC? Say for instance purchasable Open Zones or PvP Match Types? I know I can’t be the only one who would gladly shell out a few bucks for some more Open Zones when they’re ready to be played.

Todd Harris:

We're working on additional Global Agenda content including new OpenZone content. If we are successful enough with Boosters we'll be able to deliver more of that content free to all users. But DLC for some content update is not out of the question.

Can you talk a little bit about the new Achievement and Badges system? There’s definitely a trend in gaming towards the “bragging rights”. Why will players want to grind out and complete achievements in GA, other than to get a badge to say, “I did this”? Basically, are there other benefits in terms of gear or stats for completing achievements?

Todd Harris:

We try to avoid any major stat advantages thru grinding. But prestige items are popular in Global Agenda because they do give high achieving players a visible way to "brag" while not upsetting the PvP game balance and that is important to us. In the recently introduced Achievement system you earn a unique badge, you can inspect the badges of others, and you can see exactly how many other players have earned that badge - they are actually sorted by rarity. For the more extreme Achievements we also grant in-game items. In the 1.37 version all our award items were holographic helmets - items that look great but don't affect stats. In the 1.38 version we're introducing additional cosmetic awards types.

You recently also added craftable items that are of a limited nature, like the Elf-Goggles (which makes the player see all other players as elves) and the Prestige Pet. Are there plans for more of these sorts of items, perhaps tied to seasonal events? I have to wonder what Christmas in Global Agenda would be like.

Todd Harris:

Yes. We're definitely introducing more seasonal items and you won't have to wait until Christmas because Global Agenda Halloween is just around the corner! For a few days before and after Halloween we're going to have a special mission in rotation that drops Halloween masks - 13 different items to be exact!

Lastly, I would be doing our readers a disservice if I didn’t take time to bug you about what else is coming up for Global Agenda. Care to give us some hints about what’s coming down the line content wise and when we might see it?

Todd Harris:

Sure. Coming this month we have another free update. Version 1.38 includes the Halloween event masks we spoke about but also a few brand new player melee weapons! PvE fans will find those dropping from some specific Desert Dwellers and Recursive Colony bots out in the existing Sonoran Desert OpenZone. For our competitive PvP players we are introducing a Challenge feature so pre-made groups can battle one another on demand and to support community organized tournaments. And for our Agency vs. Agency players we're improving a few meta-game rules including a change to eliminate bid-locking. Also, the holographic helmet prestige items have been so popular that we're introducing new holographic prestige suits accessible to AvA winners. All that arrives within a few weeks and then more PvP maps and PvE content coming after that!

William Murphy / Bill is the Managing Editor of, and lover of all things gaming. He's been playing and writing about MMOs and geekery since 2002. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all of his pointless rambling.