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MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Early Access  (est.rel Q3 2016)  | Pub:Black Eye Games
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Improving the User Experience

Gloria Victis Developer Journals - By Guest Writer on January 30, 2016

Improving the User Experience

As Gloria Victis is moving closer and closer to the long-awaited Steam release, improving the newcomers’ user experience becomes a key goal of the development process. It means not only improving the performance or fixing issues of any kind but also introducing the players into the gameplay mechanics in an intuitive, user-friendly way.

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Over the past two weeks the emphasis has been put on bringing the first places visited by new players to life with the expansions of the start locations and implementation of the dynamic events system. Let’s start with the latter.

The upcoming update introduces the basic mechanics of the dynamic events system. The very first events have been implemented in order to introduce new players to the game, showing them the vast majority of the gameplay mechanics since the very first moment. Therefore newcomers will smoothly learn how to gather resources and hunt wild animals, as well as survive their very first encounters against the outlaws who keep sneaking close to the settlements to rob their citizens.

In the nearest future the dynamic events system will be greatly improved. Dozens of new events are going to be implemented within the next few weeks, including events for developing the locations controlled by the players’ nation, defending them when they are under attack, and reclaiming the lost structures. It’s worth to mention that groups of various NPC enemies will be able to conquer the player-controlled locations as well, changing the political map of the world on the run. Additional events will be widely spread all around the game world, becoming the interactive points of interest, filling up the locations with life and encouraging the players of the entire nation to co-operate. Moreover, results of the actions taken by players will affect the further events – for example, a defeated band of brigands would flee to the nearest hideout, while after a victory they would aim their main encampment in order to prepare to raid and pillage a nearby settlement.

But in Gloria Victis the dynamic events will go beyond a simple scheme of saving the world, touching much more subtle dilemmas. Let’s explain it on an example of a group of poachers collaborating with a tribe of heathens living in the nearby marshlands, and supporting them with animal skins, fangs and claws or specific trophies required to perform the forsaken rites. Activity of poachers has an impact on the life of the common people, as there are less animals to hunt, so it’s in their interest to get rid of the poachers. However, if players did so, nearby settlements will be attacked by the heathens, enraged after the loss of their suppliers. Therefore players have to keep an eye on the recent events and react quickly, just as the world itself.

Another important change which is being made at the moment in order to improve experience of the newcomers  to Stoneholm island is redesigning the very first locations visited by players – factions’ main settlements. For example, Mereley, a fortified village pillaged and held by the Ismirean raiders from the frosty North, will grow in size about thrice with fishing docks, a marketplace and farmlands. The currently existing wooden fort on the hill is also going to be reworked – buildings inside will be be replaced with ones which fit better to the Ismirean architectural style. Therefore new players making their first steps in the game will get a much more intuitive layout of a town, while the suburbs – which are also going to be expanded soon – will continuously be filled up with numerous dynamic events.

Midlanders’ port town, Dunfen, will also be expanded in the nearest future,  giving players more space and making it better organized with separate districts: the noble, merchant and poor quarters, as well as the trading docks. Dunfen outskirts will be expanded as well with vast farmlands, cottages and camps of travelers.

The mentioned world expansion comes along with the significant improvements of the graphics quality, including various adjustments done to color palette, numerous textures and shaders. Therefore the currently existing locations will get a breath of fresh air as well, becoming even more immersive, as creating a credible, living open world still remains the primary goal of Gloria Victis development.