This Game is in No Way Small
This past weekend the crew behind Trials of Ascension did a live AMA where they covered a lot of information that hasn’t previously been discussed. While the AMA was being streamed, it felt more like a developer play session that it did an AMA. The reason I say this is because the developers talked among themselves more than to the audience. But that’s not a bad thing. As the discussion progressed they delved deeper into topics at hand, instead of providing simple short and concise answers.
With the game still being in the Pre-Alpha phase some of the topics they talked about weren’t really detailed and they didn’t sound confident in their answers. However, instead of saying no comment, or providing a very vague answer that would ultimately lead to the viewer’s speculating on what the answer meant they provided their ideal view with the caveat that this might not be what the end result will be. Now, while some people will think this is bad business, providing potentially incorrect information, I personally think it is good business. It shows that not everything is written in stone, it shows that they are building the game the way they want the game to be built and not going by some pre-built scheme.
If you want to watch the entire one hour long video you can watch it here on the Forged Chaos LLC YouTube Channel (Skip to 22:45). If not, let’s break down everything they discussed.
Housing / Settlements
I think this is one of the most exciting features that ToA has, primarily because it brings back a feature that is lacking in the MMORPG genre, community. Building houses in ToA isn’t going to be something you’ll want to do solo, you could if you truly wanted to spend the mass amount of time doing it, but it’ll be a lot easier and a lot more fun with other people. In order to build a house in ToA, you’re going to need “a lot of money, a lot of time, and a lot of people” – Brax. The a lot of money part is because you will either have to pay people to make your materials for you, or you go out and buy them directly from a crafter. For example, you will need wood planks and stone to build the foundation of your house, along with the structure as well.
To get the wood planks you’ll need to go chop down some trees, smaller trees are easier to chop but yield less wood, whereas larger trees take longer but yield a larger amount of wood. As I said, ToA is trying to bring back the social and community aspects to the genre and to help with this they made it so you can chop down trees as a group. While larger trees take significantly more time to chop the more people you have assisting you the less time it takes.
Once you’ve acquired the wood, you’ll need to either be a woodworker or hire one to take the raw lumber and form it into planks or another refined building material that you want. Same with the stone, while you can go and mine the raw materials, you either need to be a mason or hire one to create the formed stoned that will be used for your building or walls.
As you can see building a simple house isn’t as easy as taking the icon from your inventory and dropping it in a specific place and boom you have your house. No no, it takes a community to build it, or a very long time to do it yourself. Just like in real life, it takes less time to build a house with a team than it does by yourself.
This all ties to Settlements as well. While there may be one overseer, the Lord or Lady, they won’t be able to build an entire settlement themselves, most of all protect it. The walls will need to be constructed, the gates, all created by the members of that settlement. This systems provides a lot more meaning to your game play. It gives a lot more meaning to who you decide to play with, and where you decided to call home. This system will instill a form of loyalty within its players, if all the players spend time and work together creating the settlement, and defending it, they will get to know each other and will most likely become a stronger force within the game. This is the community aspect that is missing from “modern” MMOs. ToA isn’t making a Single Player MMO. They are creating a world, a world that you will feel a part of, a world you have friends in, a world you’ll want to visit as often as you can. Not to complete a daily, but to see how much has changed since the last time you logged in and to see if your friends need help with something.
The houses and some aspects of the settlements are all modular, which means you control how to build your house. You’ll have a rough blue print for the piece, but you’ll have the freedom of placing the foundation and building it the way you want it. For explanation purposes I would say it’s similar to Minecraft, as you have the freedom of placing the modules where you want them to be. You place the foundation, the doors, windows, floors, roofs, you have the freedom to build it how you want.
One thing to note is height does play in as a limitation. If you wish to build an incredibly high house, with many floors you’re going to have to build scaffolding in order to reach all parts of the building.
Through the innovation system you’ll discovery newer and better ways to build specific items. Allowing you constantly be upgrading house or settlement fortifying or beautifying it, or both. Just remember that should a Dragon ever reach the Ancient level status they could potentially wreak havoc on your house or settlement as they would have the ability to damage structures.
Permissions / Locks
People will be able to break into your home. Nothing is ever secure. However, you can place locks on your doors providing some security. These locks won’t have keys, they are combination locks. So you won’t have to carry around an item in your inventory or have to worry about losing your key. You’ll just need to remember your combination. If you feel your combination may have been figured out, you can always change your lock by purchasing a new lock from a lock crafter.
Brax goes and discusses that inside the building you’ll be able to set up permissions for people. So perhaps you’ve built a house with three rooms, you can give permissions to specific people. For example perhaps you want to give permissions to one person to enter that room, but not the other two. Brax says that if someone tries to go into the room they do not have permission to access, they are “essentially breaking the permission system” I don’t know if this means they won’t be able to access it, or the owner of the house will have a notification saying that someone has entered a room they do not have access to, and you get to decide that persons punishment.
I like the two different types of permissions. Combination locks on the primary door allows me to not have to write who can enter and who can’t. In a MMORPG trying to filter out who has access and who doesn’t can be a pain. Worst of all is if I’m out in the middle of nowhere and a good friend who I trust wants to go into my house and get something out a chest, I don’t have to be there to edit the permission list, I just give him the combination and continue on my way. While inside the house I can set up room specific permissions for guildies or friends. Hopefully they’ll also allow us to put combination locks on our chests so I can also lock that up without having to worry about permissions.
There is nothing special about the fact ToA has a Day/Night cycle, virtually every MMO has this. However, what they don’t have is a true night cycle, typically in MMOs “night time” is just a blue shaded version of the day, you can walk around at night able to see almost as much as you could during the day.
ToA has a much truer definition of night time. As night time falls in TerVarus it will go from bright day light to dusk, then to complete darkness. Ideally they want the night cycles to offer slightly different levels of darkness, basically different cycles of the moon offering some light to absolutely no light.
They want you to be scared of the night time. Not only is it completely dark, but the game offers yet another unique feature, nocturnal creatures. So now, we will only be able to see what our torch illuminates for us and we will have no idea what is lurking in the shadows. It could be anything from the settlements drunken hobo, to Raknar creeping slowly towards the warmth of your torch or even an ancient dragon flying above you zeroing in on your light. Oh in case you didn’t know, you can play as a dragon.
So night time is going to completely change how you will play the game. Do you venture outside in the complete darkness? Do you use your torch and risk attracting everything to your location? These are just a couple things to consider.
Not many games offer this time of game play, but ToA isn’t like many games. ToA is the first MMO to offer a non-bipedal race that can be playable by players, Dragons, Raknar. Both the Dragon and the Raknar are better suited for the night in ToA but that doesn’t mean the humans are at a disadvantage. It just means the human will need to outsmart the Dragon or Raknar.
Another way ToA is trying to promote playing with others and building a community, banding together to play at night will be advantageous in keeping all players in the group safe . Even though you are more than welcome and have the ability to do so, it is not recommended to travel TerVarus alone, especially at night.
Traditional End Game PvE?
The question was asked if ToA will have “Traditional End Game PvE”. What the person wanted to know was will ToA have large group content with a singular goal for players to group up and focus their assault on?
ToA offers dynamic spawning and GM run events which means the “traditional end game” could start at the beginning of the game. There will be constant opportunities for you to find new encounters, new dungeons. The GMs could set up camps of enemies and let them grow, if they are left unhindered and grow large enough, the GMs could embody some of the enemies and raid a settlement. They could open up unexplored dungeons, which could have a large creature right at the start. The world is ever changing as it acts like a living breathing world.
Yet another reason why traveling throughout ToA should not be done alone.
Just with these few examples that they’ve spoken about you can truly see how much emphasis Forged Chaos is putting on bring back old school community driven features. I’m an old school gamer, I loathe modern features that cater to instant gratification need that is growing, at what feels like an unstoppable rate, within the MMORPG gaming genre. I can’t be alone here either, how many other people enjoy the idea that a game is trying to bring back the concept that made MMORPGs so great, social driven gameplay.
Trials of Ascension maybe an indie game from a small company, but this game is in no way small. Hurry up Forged Chaos and get this game published, or least get it in Alpha testing and send me an invite.