SPONSORED: A Q&A with Nathan Levine, Chimera CEO
Lux is an upcoming Survival MMORPG. Lux has received the “Projects We Love” badge as well as the Featured Project in Games on Kickstarter.
Q: The art style looks a lot like Klei's Don't Starve... was the game an inspiration of your own, and are you worried about upsetting fans of that game?
We love hand drawn art and the emotion it draws out of people.
The inspiration for Lux comes from a lifetime of gaming. In 2011, we saw the wonder of dynamically generated biomes mixed with surviving the night in Minecraft. Notch did well combining building and combat. The voxel style wasn’t our favorite and it lacked character progression, but amazing work.
In 2013, we experienced Klei’s fantastic “dark and creepy” version of sandbox survival, with a Tim Burton style twist that we love. We were still hungry for XP, levels, and loot.
Rewind back to 2004 and you have the MMO tidal wave that was World of Warcraft. Blizzard showed us how fun it could be to level up and hunt for legendary loot along side millions of other gamers. Lots have come since then tweaking and shifting things in the MMO genre.
These games, and many more, made us the gamers and developers we are today. We want people to know that we aren’t trying to clone anyone's masterpiece. We just want to create something fun for players by building on some great, familiar concepts while adding our own flare and uniqueness.
While at first glance our 2D hand drawn style may seem similar to Don’t Starve, Lux offers a different experience. Our action focused combat, character progression, dungeon crawling, and storyline will give players a distinct feel.
Q: If the Kickstarter doesn't succeed, what are the plans for development?
We’ve talked with some investors who are interested in backing this project if the Kickstarter doesn't succeed. While that’s an option, a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign allows us to make the game we truly want to make. (You can pledge at LuxKickstarter.com)
Q: A lot of MMO fans are wary of survival games, as they tend to be aimless or grindy. How does Lux avoid this?
Both the “aimless” and “grindy” feel are big things players want to avoid dealing with, so we set out to solve these issues separately.
To help prevent players from feeling aimless we have a robust storyline, a dynamic questing system, long term character progression with milestones (such as unlocking a H.U.S.K.), dungeons to conquer, and fabled loot to obtain. There is plenty of guided content players are welcome to follow, or they can choose to get off the rails and make their own way in Noch.
The grind in Lux is a different animal all together. In MMOs there is always something players enjoy doing more than others. We created NPC followers with that in mind. While adventuring, NPC followers will be drawn to join a Lux. They can carry out tasks players would rather not spend their game time doing. If someone loves dungeon crawling but hates gathering food, send the NPCs to hunt for supplies. To focus more on crafting and building, NPCs can be sent to gather resources while the player spends their time constructing a settlement. NPCs exist to do the things players don't want to do. This allows gamers to play Lux the way they want to play. We hope that in allowing players to freely do what they want, while progressing in multiple areas at once, it thwarts the grind.
It’s also worth mentioning that our expandable dynamic world is seasoned with hand crafted content. This helps us deliver strange and wonderful regions, events, and experiences to players to keep things fresh. We don’t want things in Noch to be too predictable, and have taken steps toward that goal.
Q. What is leveling up like in Lux?
Every action you perform will give you experience in the form of Lumen. You can spend Lumen to become stronger. While there isn't a traditional character level, you have access to thousands of traits, stat increases, and powerful skill unlocks through the Progression Map.
Q. What is combat like?
Lux features direction based attacks and combos in real time. We want the combat to feel visceral and exciting. When a weapon connects, we want rewarding impact. When an enemy attacks we want players to feel the need to dodge or block.
Q. Do you have stamina for combat?
In a sense. Over time your character will become hungry (losing fullness). That resource also ties into combat, in some ways like a traditional stamina bar would. Basic combat actions, such as a light melee swing, reduces your fullness by a very small amount. Actions, such as dodge, have a slightly more noticeable effect. While starving (0 fullness), your character takes damage over time, all combat actions are slower, and your attacks deal less damage.
Q. Does Lux have a stealth component?
For sure! For fans of stealth we allow characters to crouch, making them invisible to other players and monsters. Just don't let them get too close or you’ll be discovered!
Q. Are there differences between weapon types?
There are. Aside from stat and trait differences, each weapon type has its own set of attack combos and special attacks. They vary in swing speed and damage per hit, as well as charge attack effects.
Q. Are there mounts in Lux?
There are, but not in the traditional sense. We’ve taken mounts a step further in the form of H.U.S.K.’s. They’re essentially battle mounts with a wide range of appearances.
Q. Do all H.U.S.K.’s look like machines?
Absolutely not! The appearance of a H.U.S.K. could be a large armored knight with two arms and two legs, a multi-legged H.U.S.K. that skitters across Noch, or a Tree Golem with a player on its back. There are countless H.U.S.K.’s and we want players to find ones that fits their style.
Q. How do I get a H.U.S.K.?
Once you've absorbed and spent enough Lumen, you'll unlock the ability to pilot a H.U.S.K. (Heavy Unit - ΣK). These large old world mounts require constant power from one of many sources like radium, coal, etc.
Each H.U.S.K. has a specialization such as melee or ranged. They use H.U.S.K. weapons and upgrades instead of character weapons and armor. It's not just the characters you improve with Loot and Lumen... you can also improve your H.U.S.K.'s!
There are some built in bonuses for all H.U.S.K.’s. For example, collecting materials while piloting a H.U.S.K. is much quicker than doing it by hand, and traveling is much faster than it is on foot.
Q. What if my H.U.S.K. runs out of power?
If your H.U.S.K. runs out of power it becomes immobile. You can exit the H.U.S.K. and go find more of whichever fuel type it requires. If your bunker is upgraded enough, you can drop a flare and call for a transport blimp to airlift it home safely.
Q. Does equipment change how my character looks?
Yes, gear you equip will change the appearance of your character. We also have a costume slot. You can equip your characters default clothing or any other costume item you find along the way.
Q. Will everyone play in the same world?
Everyone will play in the same world, yes. We use a fairly seamless instancing system to keep friends playing together. We do understand that overcrowding is a fear and we have systems in place to combat that.
We’ve seen a lot of success with instances. This lets the persistent world grow as players venture further and further away from the Bunker, while not overloading a player's screen with thousands of characters at once. When joining friends or group members you’ll be moved to their instance.
Q. How are you handling griefing in an open PvP world?
Many at Chimera are hardcore PvE lovers and the thought of open world PvP made them ask similar questions! I think we've found a solid balance for PvP.
Lux does have open world PvP. Gloom is scary, as is the player with it. A big downside is that they also have no protection on their equipment if killed. So if you want to use that new one-of-a-kind item to grief players... You may lose that Fabled weapon.
Near the Bunker and other settlements there are bounty boards & NPCs. They offer compasses that point to the nearest source of gloom. This should help keep griefers away from highly populated areas.
To help stop PKers from camping tombstones we decided to add some nasty "anti-gloom" auras around protected tombstones. Being near one doesn't effect them much at first, but the longer they hang around the more harsh the effect becomes.
We lean on progression to combat griefing as well. As players gain Lumen and unlocks traits, they can increase the number of tombstones that are protected by Light, the "anti-gloom" effects of their tombstone aura, and increasing the damage over time it does. (Plus, special traits that have location altering effects on tombstones.)
If it's still feels a little to harsh, keep in mind that you can crouch down making it much harder for you to be detected. Sneaking back to your corpse can be a useful tactic.
The biggest thing to remember is that we want engaging real time PvP, not endless griefing. We want it to be thrilling, not agitating... And we believe we found a great way to deliver that!
Q. Will Lux require a subscription, and if so how much?
No, you will not be required to pay a monthly subscription to play Lux.
Kickstarter page: http://WhatIsLux.com