Dark or Light

Finding a Hero's True Strength

Robert Lashley Posted:
Interviews 0

Saga of Lucimia is chugging away in its development. We took a few minutes of Tim Anderson’s time to catch up and find out what’s new. See what he had to say in our exclusive interview.

MMORPG: Hi Tim. It's been a while since our last chat. Since then you have completed some changes with your lighting system. Lighting appears to be a lot more than just cosmetic in nature in the game. Can you tell us what effects lighting has on the world and the characters within it?

Tim Anderson: We’re getting there. Obviously we’re still in early alpha, so there’s a long way to go for the final form, so what you see right now (and in the upcoming build on April 30th) isn’t finalized in terms of light density, colors, intensity, and etc.

Lighting is a major component of our game, and factors heavily into the mechanics of exploration and combat. As the first entries into our recent Darkness series show, you can’t see to navigate without a light source of some kind, and while the moon and stars can help in certain situations, what about in the depths of a dungeon or the depths of a forest, where there is zero natural light?

Which leads to light sources being a required aspect of exploration if you plan on being out in the wilderness during the night. Whether it’s man-made or magical in nature, you’ll need some way to light your path, because without a mini-map and no way to see landmarks, how will you know whether or not you’re about to stumble off a cliff or the like?

While players might be able to up the gamma on their screen in outdoor settings, this won’t help them in dungeons or deep forests where pitch black = pitch black. And that leads us to the next part of the equation, which is combat.

You can’t hit what you can’t see. And while you might be able to adjust your settings to see a little better as a person, as a character, your avatar is still blind as a bat when it comes to fighting in the dark. No infravision here; you’re all human, and that means being unable to see at night without some form of a light source.

Your character will literally swing and miss if trying to land on a target when they are fighting in the dark. Which makes having some form of a light source vitally important. It also leads to scenarios such as: do you remove your off-hand weapon or shield and use a light source while leading your party? Is someone in your group the designated light-bearer for the party? What if you are in a dungeon and you need multiple light sources? What if there’s an effect that eliminates light? What about underwater?

Torches and lanterns might provide light, but they don’t provide DPS; lanterns will shatter when smashed against a target, and torches will have a high chance of being snuffed out upon impact with something, such as a body. So using your light source as a weapon isn’t a viable option when it comes to combat.

There’s a lot more we’re doing with light sources, such as lunar runes that can only be seen by the light of a certain moon, and Relic items that have magical light, but the bottom line is that in our game, darkness actually means something, as do light sources. More on this in the April 30th build and beyond as we continue the Darkness series on YouTube!

MMORPG: We've also read that there is a Wandering Hermit in the game that can give out quests that start server-wide events that provide unique rewards. What kind of events will he spawn?

TA: He’s an integral part of the overall game in that he provides a major element in relation to lore and storyline. The plan at this point is that he’ll be both a dynamic NPC with programmed paths and quests that he’ll offer, but also be controlled by team members when needed to provide a Dungeon Master type of character who can guide players in certain directions for world events.

There are a variety of events he’ll start, depending on where players find him, and what time of the year it is, as well as the current state of the server in terms of progression.

Things such as a quest that can only be done during the month of October, 2018, because the mouth of the cave is only reachable during that time of month because the light of the moon or position of the stars lower the magical barriers at the cave entry, and once you enter the cave you find the hilt of a Relic sword, and clues to the rest of the pieces, which then sends you on a several-months-spanning epic questline with multiple dungeons and raids required to complete the weapon.

Or a world event to learn a certain long-lost language that will only be available during a certain month of the year, or access to a special underground cavern where a magical forge allows for recharging of certain Relic items, many of which have limited charges since we’re still living in a time of zero magic. Or there might be a server-wide plague that affects player characters and only he knows how to find the ingredients for the cure.

MMORPG: What type of unique rewards will he provide?

TA: The goal is to only provide uber rare, one-of-a-kind items. Think EverQuest style of Epic Weapon rewards; his quests will be of an equal length and challenge to complete, requiring groups and raids, and the rewards will be of an associated level of epicness.

It’s worth noting that he won’t repeat quests or rewards. Once he offers something, that’s it. He won’t offer the same quest or reward again in the future.

MMORPG: Aren't you concerned that most players will see this as sour grapes that they can never earn an item like this for themselves since it is once per server?

TA: Not everyone gets to have a Porche 911 Carrera RS from 1973 to 1974. That’s just the nature of rare items: only certain people will ever get to obtain them.

And for us, that’s also why it’s so important to be an active member of the community. In our eyes, it’s inspiration for players to work together at completing these once-in-a-game-server events. If players want to have the once-in-a-lifetime items, they need to get out there and earn them, and that means playing well with others and being part of a team, part of something greater than just yourself and your own sense of entitlement.

Remember world events and GM events back in EverQuest? That’s what we’re going for here; that level of global affect where players from all around the world and all around the server come together to work towards something.

It might only be a small percentage of the server population, or it might be a large portion. It just depends on the community and level of interaction between players.

In the real world, you don’t get first-place medals for simply existing. You have to earn them. The same rule applies in our game. Completionists who want to experience every aspect of the game will put in the time and effort to earn the special rewards, and should have the right to them. Not everyone deserves to be rewarded equally.

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Robert Lashley

Rob Lashley is a Staff Writer and Online host for MMORPG.com. Rob's bald and when he isn't blinding people from the glare on his head talking in front of a camera you can chase him down on twitter @Grakulen or find him on YouTube @RobUnwraps.