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Mourning Dev Chat

Richard Cox Posted:
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On August 21, 2004 Richard Duffek (Kunou) was a guest of honor at a developers chat event held by limitless horizons. Below is a transcript from this online discussion between the Mourning creators and their fans. We have colored the text of the key speakers and the fan comments are in white.

<Athos> Let me explain how this will work real quick, and then we'll get under way. The chat will be moderated, with only the Developers, our guest of honor from MMORPG.com and me having voice privileges.
<Athos> I will go through the questions that have been previously sent to me first. Then, in one hour, I will end that list whether we have gotten through it or not. It is late for our Developers, so I want to give them a chance to slip out if need be. If they decide to stay, then the room will be opened to general questions, which they can answer at their discretion.
<Adonys> We'll stay for open questions round too.
<Athos> Now, if the Developers would be so kind as to introduce themselves... then I'll start with some of the questions that have been sent to me.
<Adonys> Ok, thank you Athos.
<Adonys> I am Dan Antonescu, Mourning's lead designer, community liaison manager and press relations manager.
<Adonys> Tiamat on Mourning's boards and the one responsible for the RPG Vault's peek you may have had the chance to read.
<Athos> And, that is actually everyone that is here right now... More developers should be on their way, but they are delayed right now. Hopefully they will come in soon.
<Adonys> Egomancer is Gireada Andrei, Mourning's project manager.
<Athos> Ah, I apologize.
<Adonys> NP Athos.
<Adonys> Athos is our market manager.
<Athos> And then we also have Kunou here, our guest from MMORPG.com.
<Adonys> Snert and Deathshead are some of our community volunteers.
<Adonys> Ok, let's roll the questions please Athos.
<Valimex> Has it been announce if Mourning will be Point and Click (P&C) or directional arrow (WASD) movement?
<Adonys> Mourning will be a WASD movement game, we don't feel that the P&C system of movement is really suitable for a MMO game.
<Cik> Is there a Bounty Hunter support system? If so, what can you tell us about it?
<Adonys> Well, that will be integrated in the player driven quest system.
<Adonys> Basically there will be NPCs which will support this feature.
<Adonys> Players can go to those NPCs and post their quests in there.
<Adonys> The same for the Orders.
<Adonys> The bounties can be placed in there too.
<Adonys> The game will also provide a way to "authenticate" that the player did that quest, by offering a special loot button, which will appear on that bounty player loot window once he's killed.
<Adonys> By pressing that button he'll get a special item, which then can be handed to that NPC quest master, to complete the bounty quest.
<Chelvie> I understand you will be having a bounty system for those with negative fame, but what about those devious types of characters who want to make a name in the shadows by seeking out contracts for hire against people of good fame and neutral fame?
<Adonys> The same, players will have the possibility to put a bounty on whatever character they want.
<Adonys> This will be only restricted by the bounty player's alignment.
<Adonys> Which means that a bounty on a good alignment player can only be put on by an evil alignment NPC quest master.
<Adonys> At a quest master from an evil aligned town.
<Athos> Could you elaborate more on player's alignment? How does a player or town become aligned one way or another?
<Adonys> Well, at PC creation time, the PC will be un-aligned.
<Adonys> Actually, it will be slightly aligned according to his or her race.
<Adonys> But no more than +/- 5 to 10 % from the 0% value, which represents a perfectly neutral character.
<Adonys> From then on, his alignment will change accordingly to his deeds.
<Adonys> If he kills good aligned players, his alignment will start to become more and more evil.
<Adonys> If he kills evil aligned players, his alignment will start to become more and more good.
<Adonys> Not only the killings will change that alignment, but some other things too (some quests for example, which can ask them to choose between many paths of completion, good or evil ways).
<Adonys> A village/town alignment will be computed from its citizen's alignment.
<Adonys> And will be recomputed from time to time to assure the consistency of its value.
<Adonys> Therefore it will dynamically change accordingly to its citizen's behavior.
<Kilguren> At release, will NPCs be able to use skills like a player would, such as spells, styles, etc?
<Egomancer> Yes.
<Adonys> Ego will respond to this one.
<Egomancer> This is already implemented in the game; there are some NPC magic trainers that cast magic on you, etc.
<Egomancer> Also the monsters will cast spells.
<Gazer> Will the claiming of cities be similar to that of Shadowbane where it will require Siege engines, walls having HPs, etc?
<Adonys> Well, not really.
<Adonys> The HP walls won't make it for release.
<Adonys> The cities/ towns will be conquered via breaking down their gates.
<Adonys> Later on the walls HP will be implemented too, in a monthly update.
<Adonys> Also, those towns door breaking will require siege engines too, if you don't want to knock on them with your sword for an eternity.
<Kilguren> Will towns have a control over the resources surrounding them? Also, Will resources be localized, meaning will it be common to see a type of resource only in one part (or two) of the world and hence allow for the closest town to have a monopoly on it?
<Adonys> Towns will control the resources in their territory.
<Adonys> But not in such a direct way.
<Adonys> As the resources will be on their territory, people having opposite alignment than that town, the ones not respecting the laws or the ones having a bad faction with that town will have a hard time reaching those resources on that town's territory.
<Adonys> They can control the resources in an aggressive way if they wish to, by setting up guards near them. The guards will ask for payment from the ones gathering resources
<Adonys> Regarding the localization of resources, the resource spawning system is a dynamic one.
<Adonys> That means the resources aren't static, spawned in the same place over and over again; but they'll rather have spawning areas defined in which they can be spawned.
<Adonys> Those areas can be pretty large; on many towns' territories.
<Adonys> Of course this areas will be pretty natural.
<Adonys> Like you'll rather find metal minerals spawning resources somewhere in the mountains rather than in the fields and so on.
<Makane> What will the crafting system be like? Will players gather their own resources or will the game have mining professions, who mine and deliver resources to the crafters?
<Adonys> The crafting process, as a whole, have some steps, from which some can be completed in various ways.
<Adonys> Generally speaking, those are the following: localization of resources' spawning, identifying of those resources, gathering them, enriching the raw materials gathered, refining them, using the obtained materials for crafting item parts, combining those item parts to obtain the items, improving those items, dyeing them, repairing them, salvaging them, enchanting them, etc.
<Adonys> There's also the possibility to improve their characteristics by adding some new ones, via spellcrafting them.
<Adonys> The thing Makane asked about, ie gathering resources for the crafting can be done by crafters or by other chars who'll provide the raw materials to those crafters.
<Adonys> Either by salvaging items or by buying the resources from NPC vendors etc.
<Adonys> That's the overall idea.
<Aster> Will a character be required to be married to be able to create a child or is it something that naturally occurs at a specific time during a bloodline?
<Adonys> LOL, afraid of marriages?!! ;)
<Adonys> Marriage isn't a requirement.
<Adonys> Children can be "magically" obtained too
<Adonys> After a certain point in current's character is reached.
<Kunou> Magically obtained?
<Adonys> Yes, like praying to the Gods for example. :)
<Adonys> Only by marriage will the children will have the chance to advance faster in some of their parents best skills.
<Athos> The Lore team will RP the Gods and different feature characters.
<Kunou> Ahhh, so the opposite of me praying to the gods to take my brat kids away in real life. ;)
<Adonys> The marriage thing will have that extra benefit, as it can really help build the RP part of the game.
<Adonys> hehehe :)
<Adonys> I guess after a while some will start dream about such a feature in real life too. :PPP
<Kunou> If I get married, and then divorced down the road my wife doesn't get half of my belongings does she?
<Adonys> If you'll consider the children a belonging, then yes. :)
<Athos> Lord Dane: If two characters have a child, will both characters have access to that child? If not both, how is the player who inherits the child decided?
<Adonys> That will be settled up via their own agreement.
<Adonys> Or by randomness if they can't get to a consensus.
<Adonys> Considering what marriages are like these days, most probably the second option.
<Adonys> lol
<Archameades> If two characters with varying specialties create a child, how will the child's natural aptitude be decided? E.g. a wizard type and warrior type have a child... is it going to be naturally good at fighting or magic?
<Adonys> Well, that's a common misunderstood feature
<Adonys> The children won't be naturally good at fighting or magic depending on their parents aptitudes.
<Adonys> They'll inherit a faster than normal advancement speed for some of its parent's best skills.
<Adonys> If the children choose to follow the same "path" as their parents, then they'll advance faster.
<Adonys> If not, then they'll advance normally.
<Adonys> Regarding the inherited skill set: it's like a DNA lottery.
<Adonys> At conception, the child will inherit some of the best skills from its parents, both from the mother and the father.
<Adonys> The parents can't control this at all.
<Adonys> To assure a randomness the children not obtained from a marriage won't have this feature.
<Gravelord> Is there going to be a maximum cap for the number of Orders (Orders are equivalent to clans or guilds) in Krel or the number of people in an Order?
<Adonys> I think there won't be such a limitation regarding the number of Orders.
<Adonys> But for sure it will be one for their members' number.
<Adonys> I'm sure Alliances will provide the proper amount of spots needed for the really big guilds.
<schroed3r> How is the ratio of time going to be handled regarding game time compared to real time?
<Egomancer> If I am right a complete day/night cycle in game is 2 hours in real time.
<schroed3r> So one hour of daylight/ one hour of night?
<Egomancer> No
<Egomancer> The night is shorter.
<Treesh> Will there be the option to have music playing in towns only and not in the wilderness or will it be if you have the music on, it's on everywhere?
<Egomancer> Yes, there is such an option.
<Treesh> Thank you! :)
<Sevroth> Can you solo all the way to max level, or is grouping going to be needed?
<Egomancer> You can solo till max level.
<Sevroth> Thanks!
<Adonys> We're aiming towards allowing both type of gameplay styles.
<Sabbit> Will the sex of my child be random? If I'm used to playing a male character could I be stuck with only a female char child?
<Egomancer> Yes, the sex is random.
<Egomancer> You can try to make a child until you get the desired sex.
<Egomancer> You can make as many children as you want, but you can only keep four.
<Adonys> But as this seems to be a concern of many people, we may allow you to chose the child's sex at creation time.
<Raagnar_WaR> I read that through the fame system you will penalize players up to and including temp and permanent bans for what YOU consider grief play (noob killing, killing allies, repeat killing on same person, etc). My question is why, in an open PvP game where players can exact justice themselves or with a guild, do you consider this griefing? And more so what do you plan on doing to stop people from reverse griefing using those penalties to their advantage to adversely effect your own fame?
<Adonys> That kind of action will be a last preferred one.
<Adonys> We are trying hard to put in game all sort of systems in Order to have in-game systems to prevent, avoid and control the griefing.
<Raagnar_WaR> ok
<Adonys> Also, the fame won't be the only thing taken into consideration for griefing.
<Adonys> And the bans will be looked upon by human personnel; they won't be an automatic system.
<Adonys> Exactly to avoid those kind of exploits.
<Raagnar_WaR> So when it comes to a ban situation it won't be only fame used to determine it. It will be a more hands on GM attention kind of thing?
<Adonys> That too, but not only.
<Raagnar_WaR> Ok my concern was that solely because of being a bad guy and having an evil fame people would be banned.
<Adonys> Of course nothing can really prevent exploits and griefings, but we'll try to prevent most of them , and stop the others as soon as they're encountered.
<Adonys> No, you can play an evil guy all the way, without getting banned for that.
<Raagnar_WaR> Ok great, thanks!
<Raagnar_WaR> That was my concern. :)
<Adonys> There's a big difference between playing an evil char, and being a griefer.
<Severedhand> Will there be Pets in the game? Ones that can help you in fights?
<Adonys> Yes, for both questions.
<Severedhand> Will these pets also be able to be used as beast of burden?
<Adonys> No, at least not atm.
<Severedhand> K. Thanks.
<Adonys> We are considering some mule/mount pets, but for sure not at release time
<Adonys> YW
<PJFan> Will parents be able to see the skills the child has inherited so to chose the best child to advance their bloodline? What is noble blood? Thanks!
<Adonys> Yes, the parents will have that possibility.
<Adonys> Noble blood is something achieved via great bloodline fame.
<PJFan> What does it do? Or is it a status?
<Adonys> And also other things too (like the allegiance system).
<Adonys> The bloodline fame is the general fame of your bloodline, computed from each fame that your chars from that bloodline had at the time of their retirement.
<OBC> Often MMORPGs have quite poor sounds...
<OBC> How detailed sounds will Mourning have, compared to other MMORPGs?
<OBC> Can we hear doors opening, birds singing, animals making sounds even when not being attacked, swords clashing in distance, ocean waves etc?
<Adonys> Yes and no.
<Adonys> You can hear pretty much everything, if you're settings are aimed towards that.
<Adonys> But there are hardware limitations (like the numbers of sounds that can be mixed up via hardware without too much performance loss).
<OBC> If compared to DAoC, which one has better sounds? :P
<Adonys> There are also limitations related to the limited resources (mostly memory).
<Adonys> Those are the reasons MMORPG sounds aren't as detailed as a single player game.
<OBC> Ok thanks.
<Adonys> Another one will be the great number of dynamic ones (ie players moving, fighting in a hearable area).
<OBC> I hope they are good. :)
<Adonys> Regarding the DAoC comparison, you'll need to make your own opinion in our closed beta if you get lucky, or in the open one if not. :P
<Memnon> Regarding the taking over of towns, is the bashing down of the doors considered the end of the fight (meaning the town is lost) or are there other objectives to take?
<Adonys> There will be other objectives to be achieved, taking down doors will only open the way towards reaching those.
<Memnon> Ok, thanks
<Adonys> Usually the attackers will have to take down the wall gates, then kill the resistance from inside the walls.
<Adonys> Then they'll take down the keep doors and kill/destroy some things in there in Order to conquer that settlement.
<Kilguren> Heya :)
<Kilguren> How will death be handled? What will be the penalty for a PvM/PvP death? What happens when you die?
<Adonys> There will be temporary penalties for deaths.
<Adonys> To avoid full capability in-fight resurrections, in fact, those will still be in, but in a limited way, via on timer spells.
<Adonys> What happens when you die? Well, you'll lie on the ground and a bunch of people will walk all over you.
<Adonys> What happens after your death will greatly depend on the place it takes place.
<Kilguren> I was more thinking about if something special happens when you 'respawn'... Ghost like UO? Underground like M59? Respawn like EQ?
<Adonys> Most probably respawn/resurrection.
<Adonys> We were thinking at some special another-realm surprises for that thing, but unfortunately don't have time atm for them.
<Adonys> Also, what happens after your death will greatly depend on the place it happened. If you die in your enemies' territory, while attacking them in their own land, your corpse will be lootable in a different way than this would have happened in wilderness, or on your own land.
<Kestra_HA> Can you give us an idea of how many generations it will take to get to master or hero status?
<Adonys> Uum, dunno.
<Adonys> And no one can answer that.
<Adonys> Because the master thing won't really depend on that.
<Adonys> Neither will the hero status.
<Adonys> A first bloodline generation character can became a master if the player knows the game well.
<Kestra_HA> Ah okay, thanks.
<Adonys> YW
<KDahbruh> As some guilds use inter-Order fighting and even killing as a role-play and/or training device (Orcs, for example, are brutal and tend to be violent towards their lower-rank members, and there's warfare training where they practice fights against one another), will killing your own Order members give you a fame hit?
<Adonys> It will depend on the land's laws and maybe by the Order laws too.
<KDahbruh> Orders can set their own laws?
<Adonys> We are thinking about allowing some internal Order laws too.
<Adonys> That doesn't mean we'll do it that way, but we're definitely considering that possibility too.
<KDahbruh> But, even if you don't implement Order laws, we'll still be able to set the area laws that way?
<Adonys> Yes
<KDahbruh> Ok, good. Thank you.
<Adonys> The wilderness areas will definitely allow this, as there are no laws applicable out there.
<Adonys> YW
<Illuminatus> a) Is it possible to alter the visual appearance of a char during its lifetime, like change the hair style or even body features?
<Illuminatus> b) Is there a typical scout class (i.e. someone who lives in the woods, talks to animals and gathers animal resources etc)?
<Adonys> a) Yes
<Illuminatus> (and a humble request to Ado on a side note: Please, don't let players take the game design out of your hands, ok? Seen that too often lately...)
<Adonys> b) There are NO classes in this game, Mourning is a skill based game.
<Illuminatus> re: b) So I could design a char to do exactly that?
<Adonys> Players can do almost anything they want with their chars regarding the directions of their development.
<Adonys> Yes, excepting the second part, ie talking with the animals.
<Adonys> Though you still can do that in your own mind if you really feel like. ;)
<Illuminatus> (me: Hello! - Elk: *grmbl*)
<Illuminatus> Thank you. :)
<Adonys> We won't have pet charming in at release time, but we are considering it for one of the later periodical updates.
<Adonys> lol, YW
<HeliosNorlund> Will there be dedicated roleplay server? I know the whole game is a mmoRPG but how can MN force players to roleplay? How by game mechanics? How by GMs/Gods?
<HeliosNorlund> I know MN is a mmoRPG but a lot games call themselves this way but the RP is free (not forced). Roleplayers limit themselves and play according to the lore but non-roleplayers have no limits so they have an advantage. Will MN have the possibility for a true roleplay server where roleplay is not a disadvantage and/or is forced by game mechanics and/or GMs (as gods?). Some examples are ARAC (mixed race even enemies in lore are together in same guild) or OOC talk.
<Adonys> Aye, that. :)
<Adonys> Well, we are trying to make a true mmoRPG game.
<Adonys> And if we succeed, there won't be any need for special RPG servers, as all servers would be that kind.
<Adonys> We'll encourage RP via game mechanics too.
<Adonys> The evolving lore/plot, LGMs, quests, religion, bloodlines, allegiances, 1337 names and talking filtering, etc.
<HeliosNorlund> Is it true to say in MN a "powergamer" will be a roleplayer because this is the way to reach the most important positions in game?
<Adonys> Well, for master and hero positions they'll definitely need that.
<HeliosNorlund> Thanks for the answers, my hope is alive! :)
<Adonys> Don't thank me yet
<Adonys> The servers won't be race restricted, because, as I was explaining that to the German community earlier, that will greatly limit players' options.
<Adonys> Many want to play their preferred race, and still together with their mates, which usually prefer other races.
<Adonys> So, at the game release the realms will be indeed race oriented, but players can change that in time.
<HeliosNorlund> How can lore (where it mostly describe war between races) can be combined with a race mix in real game?
<Adonys> By joining a ‘race specific' realm with other races characters, well, pretty much by mirroring the reality and with imagination.
<Adonys> There aren't countries in which its citizens are only from one race.
<Adonys> People are free to go to whatever place they like, more or less.
<Adonys> Maybe we'll consider a server for RPG hardcore players, having realms race restricted.
<Adonys> But that is a matter which will need to be discussed first.
<Adonys> I can't give you a firm answer regarding this atm, sorry.
<HeliosNorlund> It shouldn't be impossible play an Orc together with an Human but it shouldn't be "common".
<HeliosNorlund> Thanks for trying to answer my hard questions.
<Adonys> Also, regarding your thanks, I would say to wait for the game to try, then thank us after you'll consider if we succeeded.
<Adonys> Or stick us with Luk1n's shovel in our heads if we didn't. ;)
<Adonys> YW
<Guest538> Will racial grouping be encouraged? For instance, will the game naturally encourage players of the same race to work together? Are we going to be stuck with an all out ARAC situation like in SB?
<Guest538> You just kind of answered this.. But could you expand on some of the mechanics that might encourage racial grouping?
<Adonys> well, that was pretty much answered. (See the previous answer).
<Adonys> I'll expand a little though.
<Guest538> Any ideas you might be kicking around would be nice, thanks.
<Adonys> You see, MMORPG players are, in their vast majority, a rather special kind of player.
<Adonys> They are the type of player who squeeze everything they can from the game mechanics to achieve their objectives.
<Adonys> Any kind of "little" slightly powerful feature will tend to lead to all of them using it, to can compete with the ones who did it first.
<Guest538> *nod*
<Adonys> For example, I'm sure the marriage thing will be the rule, even if many of them won't really like the idea of sharing that kind of community with some other player, that will change in time after they taste the benefits of having someone by their side.
<Adonys> But in the beginning that will be the case nevertheless.
<Adonys> Therefore, if we'll give any slight bonus for race grouped parties, the next minute you'll see all the FOTM parties will become race based ones, and we want to avoid that.
<Adonys> It's a gameplay vs. RPG situation.
<Guest538> Good point... but don't you think there are some more intricate ways of implementing it?
<Adonys> In the end, it's better to have more diversity in game than parties formed only from the same race players.
<Adonys> Well, we're open to any good suggestions.

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Richard Cox