Live Forum Q&A Richard Garriott – Shroud of the Avatar

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  • Ambrose99Ambrose99 Palmyra, NJMember Posts: 72
    New Britannia, is that what the land is going to be called? If so, how much flak from EA do you think you're going to get, considering they are the rights holders? How much of previous Ultimas will there be in SotA?
  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXMember RarePosts: 2,082
    Is there going to be non static spawning of resources and NPCs.  Will exploration allow one to find untapped or hidden fields of resources?   Will objects (or at least especially good objects) made by crafters have their names attached to them.  ie, 'This is a Muramasa blade!'

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • rgarriottrgarriott Lord British Austin, TXMember UncommonPosts: 26

    superconductin: MORE of a sandbox... more but not all. Plenty of rides to pull you to explore.

    YES housing will also be available POST launch. BUT starting in a couple weeks (April 8th our 1 year anniversary) the "Tax Free" lots are going away!

    Many are worried about housing costs! For backers who back us in this first year (ending April 8th) the lots they are buying will be “tax free” forever! That is why they are worth and selling for such high values. Once the game launches lots may be far cheaper, but will require “upkeep” at a rate TBD of in game gold. BTW – buildings can be owned and managed by individuals, families marked as “kindred”, and Guilds as well. This will make the huge castles and such in reach of well-coordinated groups without spending a lot of real money.

    In game, the tax free "deeds" will can be traded and sold between players, this MAY be a good investment, as with EVERYONE in the same shard, tax free prime lots will be worth it if all goes well.

  • RusticDragonRusticDragon Austin, TXMember Posts: 4
    Originally posted by Arglebargle
    Is there going to be non static spawning of resources and NPCs.  Will exploration allow one to find untapped or hidden fields of resources?   Will objects (or at least especially good objects) made by crafters have their names attached to them.  ie, 'This is a Muramasa blade!'


    Hello ArgleBargle! Richard hinted at the last part of this question on the previous page:

    "n Game Economy: We are working to make an in game economy that is almost WHOLLY player driven. For example ALL tools and equipment can and will be player made. Crafters will start with raw materials and make all tools and equipment other players use. The game will spawn only the desperately needed, basic resources, which players need. All weapons and armor will have known makers and known histories. The sword you find in a dungeon, won’t be game generated, it will be something created by a real player and sold or lost in a dungeon previously. In this way we hope to make a truly thriving player economy, and less crafting cheap stuff repeatedly as a leveling mechanic you then need to dump."

    So, with respect to names attached to objects, yes! :)

  • AstrobiaAstrobia SydneyMember Posts: 23

    Richard I found the card based combat system proposal interesting and alarming.

    I liked the idea as you described it as building a deck being similar to going through combat drills so those manoeuvres come more easily to mind, but the system proposed in the last megapost doesn't seem to be true to that idea.

    Hypothetical scenario, say I am a master of Ice and Fire magic and I am on a quest that has me entering a volcano, so I prepare a deck full of ice magic spells on the assumption the denizens there will be weak to ice magic. This works well and I happily confronting a swarm of fire monsters when an enemy player shows up and summons an ice imp or some equivalent (which he would also logically have prepared) to harras me. One good fireball would take it out but I am still under assault by a bunch of fire monster so I don't want to stand there and switch to a fire deck to cast one spell and then stand there while I switch back.

    It doesn't make sense in the context of the original pitch anyway as I wouldn't stand there and do combat drills in the middle of a combat situation. As a master of fire magic, I should have the presence of mind to be able to cast a fire spell when face with an ice monster, even if I had mentally prepared myself to face fire monsters. The idea of having one fire spell in the ice spell deck and hoping luck would have it come up by chance when I need it is also incredibly tacky... I don't think you will ever be able to convince players that as fully luck of the draw based system will be as flexible and fun as the move selection based interfaces that made up the combat system Ultima Online was so acclaimed for.

     

    Is there any chance we can convince you to consider moving the system closer to the original pitch and having careful deck preparation give you an advantage without restricting your ability to react to unanticipated changes by actually allowing players to bind and use any move they want at any time, albe it at fair delay compared to the random drawn deck moves which are springing more readily to mind? 

     

  • rgarriottrgarriott Lord British Austin, TXMember UncommonPosts: 26

    Ambrose,

    As you may remember in Ultima IX Britannia was "destroyed", as EA had made it clear to me, they would allow me to make NO MORE Ultimas.

    So, Lord British (which I own) is forming a NEW Britannia, which no one can own the trade mark for, not even I.

    While New Britannia will not disagree with the history of ANY Ultima, it will also not use ANY.

    We will not refer to any EA IP, we will be VERY careful about that.

    Other than Lord British, and NEW Britannia, the most recognizable aspects that goes back to my roots are:

    1) Deep Sandbox play: EVERYTHING in the game should be interactive and interdependent as possible

    2) Virtue Based Stories: Truth, Love & Courage are universally used as a principle triad of Virtue

     

    So, while we are being very careful NOT to tread on EA's rights, no one will doubt, that this is the spiritual successor to my earlier work! (I hope.)

  • jtripperjtripper Santa Monica, CAMember UncommonPosts: 115
    Originally posted by rgarriott
    Jtripper: the PvP is FULLY integrated into the MAIN story! it is NOT leader board or such driven. While I don't want to TIP the story, know that good and evil PvP both exist in game, and both are essential to the main story! Though hard core PvE'ers will neither be forced into PvP, NOR feel like they have missed without being PvP. Hard to believe I know... and we may striggle with it, but I think the core of the game / story makes it work... We will see!

    Ok, that's good to hear!  But perhaps my followup question you can't answer:  if good and evil are essential to the story, does that imply that evil can win?  If so, what sort of impact could that have on the world if enough evil players tip the balance?  Will it make more towns accepting of evil doers?  Will it cause more evil monsters to spawn and roam the world, sieging city after city?  Will it cause changes to the world such that there are more lawless / evil areas (e.g. PvP zones)?

    If you can't answer that, it's ok.  It's reassuring to know that PvP is integral to the main story, so looking forward to how this plays out.

  • Aron_SwordmasterAron_Swordmaster Member UncommonPosts: 141

    Hail and well met my Liege,

    I'm currently inside Shroud testing basic combat, and I wanted to say just how much the game is starting to come together and looking like a solid product. My main question though is about the Overworld map; do you have plans to add more interactivity there, as currently it's a little spartan and pointless. Will we see the rumoured sieges of cities forming up out there, say? Monsters to track and fight? Gypsy caravan's to follow in their wanderings...?

    Secondly, and less seriously... how long do you plan to prevent my whisking away poor Mertyl Moo Cow in Owls' Head? You've given her an impressive range of Moos and Meurrghs, even if they don't yet travel the distance they should and be heard from coast to cowst... but this lack of cow-solidification is really a scandal. Also there's a distinct lack of cow rideables, or the crafting and trading of a range of healthy dairy products. Sort it out at once, sire! Do so and you can be the first to taste of my cheese... it's not poisoned or anything. Why is it under that wooden cow sign? Advertising, that's all. Just come stand under it and eat of the blessings of Mertyl...!

     

  • rgarriottrgarriott Lord British Austin, TXMember UncommonPosts: 26
    Astrobia, I agree with YOU. The military drilling desert warfare before entering desert combat is the metaphor I like and hope to capture. I am also concerned about just the cycle time, pace and feel of the moment to moment fight. IF we can solve the moment to moment fight, I think we can make it seem rational... I am honestly more worried about the moment to moment. But we won't settle until its right!
  • superconductingsuperconducting Rochester, NYMember UncommonPosts: 871
    Originally posted by rgarriott
    superconductin: MORE of a sandbox... more but not all. Plenty of rides to pull you to explore. YES housing will also be available POST launch. BUT starting in a couple weeks (April 8th our 1 year anniversary) the "Tax Free" lots are going away! Many are worried about housing costs! For backers who back us in this first year (ending April 8th) the lots they are buying will be “tax free” forever! That is why they are worth and selling for such high values. Once the game launches lots may be far cheaper, but will require “upkeep” at a rate TBD of in game gold. BTW – buildings can be owned and managed by individuals, families marked as “kindred”, and Guilds as well. This will make the huge castles and such in reach of well-coordinated groups without spending a lot of real money. In game, the tax free "deeds" will can be traded and sold between players, this MAY be a good investment, as with EVERYONE in the same shard, tax free prime lots will be worth it if all goes well.

    Thanks

    I was trying real hard not to ask about the housing costs, but as you obviously are aware of the criticisms surrounding it you kind of already answered it for me. Smart you are :)

    Remember, many of us would agree that non-instanced housing is the best way to go. The technicalities surrounding equitable cost and distribution, I guess that's where most of the debate lies.

    image
  • rgarriottrgarriott Lord British Austin, TXMember UncommonPosts: 26

    jtripper,

    Very insightful!

    There is a clue in the backstory "Blade of the Avatar" being written by Tracy Hickman and I.

    The rise of dark forces is a key aspect of the backstory... and the in game story.

    Players will be allowed to play many roles... shall we say.

  • RusticDragonRusticDragon Austin, TXMember Posts: 4
    Originally posted by Aron_Swordmaster
    Hail and well met my Liege, I'm currently inside Shroud testing basic combat, and I wanted to say just how much the game is starting to come together and looking like a solid product. My main question though is about the Overworld map; do you have plans to add more interactivity there, as currently it's a little spartan and pointless. Will we see the rumoured sieges of cities forming up out there, say? Monsters to track and fight? Gypsy caravan's to follow in their wanderings...? Secondly, and less seriously... how long do you plan to prevent my whisking away poor Mertyl Moo Cow in Owls' Head? You've given her an impressive range of Moos and Meurrghs, even if they don't yet travel the distance they should and be heard from coast to cowst... but this lack of cow-solidification is really a scandal. Also there's a distinct lack of cow rideables, or the crafting and trading of a range of healthy dairy products. Sort it out at once, sire! Do so and you can be the first to taste of my cheese... it's not poisoned or anything. Why is it under that wooden cow sign? Advertising, that's all. Just come stand under it and eat of the blessings of Mertyl...!  

    With respect to the map, Richard metioned

    "...Right now you only see yourself, but fear not, you will soon see party members, guild mates, conflict zones and pop up battles as we get it better refined. Frankly we barely got this in for this update. This update has been harder than any so far! We hope that trend does not continue... but this is game development!"

    So to answer your question, there will be lots to see, ultimately.

    As for the varied mooing, Owl's Head is a very cosmopolitan city, as you know, with denizens ranging from peasants to Lords of the Manors in grand estates. Given this, it's only natural that Mertyl's cowcabulary would be very wide and ranging. ;)

     

  • rgarriottrgarriott Lord British Austin, TXMember UncommonPosts: 26

    superconductin,

    You get it on the housing.

    We CANNOT provide a non-instanced house for ALL people in a SINGLE SHARD reality.

    Thus they will be valuable. But that can be beat through SHARING.

    GUILDS can control whol castles that would equate to 16 vilage home sized lots, and then share that space among a guild of ANY size. since only 10% of any group is online at a time a HUGE guild could comfortable use 1 castle.

    Likewise a large family or small guild could make a VERY nice home together in the world.

    Still the exact supply / demand curve will not be known until we go live.

     

  • superconductingsuperconducting Rochester, NYMember UncommonPosts: 871

    Regarding Britannia Manor:

    Do you have any more plans for secret rooms or levers? I thought that was the coolest thing on that house touring video I watched on youtube in the past.

    image
  • rgarriottrgarriott Lord British Austin, TXMember UncommonPosts: 26
    BTW - Property ownership rules will grow in complexity and usefulness. For example, a family can all buy & sell property IN the house, IF its flagged that way by the principle owner. Likewise for a guild. Rooms could be let out in a massive castle by patrons or guilds. We are exploring "keys" to rooms, and such to offer SOME security from your guild mates, but likely NOT as good as owning your own home where you set the flags to "keep out".
  • rgarriottrgarriott Lord British Austin, TXMember UncommonPosts: 26

    superconductin,

    My 1st Britannia Manor, was 30 years ago in New Hampshire, the first hosue I built, and it had a few secrets,

    Britannia Manor Mark 2, is the house most people think of, and is full of many secrets,

    I had started, and hope to later finish Britannia Manor Mark 3 in Austin. But it has been on hold since the 2000 stock market crash, and I chose to spend all my remaining wealth on a trip to space instead. :)

    But I also now have a Britannia Manor Mark 4 in NYC, as I got married to a New Yorker, and HER business is here, while MINE is in Texas.

    THEY ALL have secret passage, and I continue to expand them.

    But I have SOLD Britannia Manor Mark 1 (to pay for Mark 2), and I am selling Mark 2 (To help Pay for Mark 3)

    Whew.

     

  • rgarriottrgarriott Lord British Austin, TXMember UncommonPosts: 26

    Thanks everyone for your questions.

    I look forward to seeing you in New Britannia.

    For more information, go to www.shroudoftheavatar.com

     

    We are open to backers THIS weekend, starting NOW!

    So if you are, or become a backer, see you in the game!

     - Lord British

  • RusticDragonRusticDragon Austin, TXMember Posts: 4

    Thanks everyone, these questions were great! If you have any questions about Shroud of the Avatar that you can't find the answers for at our website, please feel free to send me a direct message in the SotA forums. I'm Rustic Dragon over there as well. :)

    See you in New Brittania!

  • Ambrose99Ambrose99 Palmyra, NJMember Posts: 72
    Thank you. :)
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