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Update One Q&A

Interviews 0

The live team leads answer our questions about the first update

Editor's Note: Unfortunately, due to the busy schedule at NetDevil and my recent vacation, this interview can only be posted today, a full week after Update One was introduced. The questions and answers are from the time of the update and provide a glimpse into the minds of the developers at the time. Our apologies on the delay.

The interview contains answers from Lead Designer Dan Russett, Lead Systems Designer Brian Booker and Project Lead Harmann Peterscheck.

MMORPG.com: Update #1 added twelve new level 80 missions with “epic rewards;” can you give us an example for one of these rewards?
Dan Russett:

Everyone will have access to three mission arcs. At the end of each mission arc is a unique high-end chassis. The only way to get one of these chassis is to complete the mission arc - a task that is extremely challenging. We expect that few players will be dedicated enough to do this, but those dedicated few will have a powerful, unique chassis that virtually no one else in the game will have. Luckily, for the less hardcore players, there are other rewards that are somewhat easier to obtain. One such item is the “Scales of Justice,” a powerful ornament that gives a huge boost to combat and perception.

MMORPG.com: Will there be a level requirement for the newly added faction chat, or is it open to everyone?
Dan Russett:

There’s no level requirement. Faction chat is open to all!

MMORPG.com: How do the new missions added in Update #1 fit into the storyline?
Dan Russett:

There are a bunch of new missions, so to tell you how all of them fit into the story line would be quite a lot of information. Generally, though, they tell smaller stories within the larger story arcs of the three factions. The new missions we added were mostly to fill in levels where we didn’t feel we were offering quite enough content to the player.

MMORPG.com: How will the respecs work? Do you respec all your skills at once, or buy points back one at a time? How much does it cost?
Brian Booker:

There are retraining terminals available in most major towns in the game, including Tocado, Upside, and Fort Logan. Accessing the retraining terminal will give the options of retraining attributes, skills and crafting research skills. You can opt to retrain any combination of these. When you do, INC charges a fee and your character will respec. Basically your points are given back and abilities reset to base. You can then respend your points in any way you wish. The system knows how many points you have from leveling up and through mission rewards, so you will not lose anything you gained - only the ability to respend them in whatever way you want.

The first retraining is free and mandatory, while all future retraining will cost an increasing amount of clink. The first five to ten retrainings are inexpensive, but it does become increasingly expensive. After twenty or more retrainings, the fee climbs to four hundred script and remains fixed there. You can retrain your character any number of times, but there is a forty-eight hour delay between retrainings.

MMORPG.com: Are you planning on raising the level cap someday? Any other plans for more high-end content?
Brian Booker:

Our game system has been planned out beyond the 80 levels possible in the game today. Based on the population of players hitting level cap and the demand for new, higher level content, we may raise the level cap and introduce new, post-80th level content at some point. There are some really interesting options available to us fictionally, such as exploring the Xeno, and Justice factions, along with introducing other new factions and game locations beyond Ground Zero. For example, many players have wondered what the inside of the Xeno spaceship might look like. Currently we do not have any announcement of post-80 content to make, although the option is available to us in the future.

MMORPG.com: Has work started yet on Update #2? What can you tell us about that?
Brian Booker:

There is a significant amount of work already completed on Update #2. As people have already seen on the Play Test Server (PTS), there is a hint of a new "Coliseum" map where you can fight waves of enemies. We have multiple new arena maps in development and at least one of them might be completed in time for Update #2. We are continuing to improve stability and address issues related to missions, items and skills while we continue to efforts to enhance frame rate and performance in towns.

MMORPG.com: Any new vehicle types added/planned for? We heard talk of hovercrafts - any progress on that?
Hermann Peterscheck: We are constantly working on new vehicles (both player and non-player.) We're also investigating ways that players could customize their cars in addition to the existing modifications. There were bugs during beta where cars would sometimes draw without wheels. Does that count as a hovercraft? :). Seriously, although things like flying cars, hovercrafts and so on would be interesting additions, we have to consider all of the ways something like that could impact the game in major ways. That's not a no, but it's certainly a ways off :).

MMORPG.com: How where motorcycle physics changed?
Hermann Peterscheck:

Vehicle physics is an ongoing job as we struggle between fun and realism. In driving sims, you want an ultra-realistic model. This doesn't work as well in Auto Assault where you have very different types of vehicles in PvP, in Convoy groups and so on, and they need to have similar speed and handling capacity. Also, in Auto Assault, you spend a great deal of time off road. Real cars, and thus, real car physics do not play nicely in this kind of situation. (Try taking a mid-size car up a steep rock cliff and then jump off a 20' embankment and see how it behaves :) ). Consequently, we spend a great deal of time working within those kinds of constraints. In terms of motorcycles, this is even more difficult as they are even less forgiving under these conditions. In order to prevent things such as constantly rolling or wiping out we put artificial constraints on the vehicles in order to make them easier to control. Most physics changes to vehicles tend to be in this area so that we can make it feel responsive without making it impossible to drive.

MMORPG.com: How popular is the arena and tournaments?
Hermann Peterscheck:

Arenas and Tournaments were always an integral part of the game. There are people who really love them, including people here in the office. It's also a really nice area to put repeatable content. We hope to expand on this in the future. Some things that have been discussed (and wished for by many players) are racing maps, capture and hold maps, spectating and betting options, though we don’t have any firm plans in motion for those yet.

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