Divergence: Online's Ethan Casner Here And Taking Questions!

EthanCEthanC Mattoon, ILMember UncommonPosts: 56
What's up people.

My name is Ethan Casner and I'm the senior developer for our game Divergence: Online.

It's a classic or traditional-style MMO (meaning massive-amounts of players on the same game server for the whole world) but with a host of non-traditional features that many have considered controversial. As a result, the dudes at MMORPG.com have been kind enough to set up this little QnA to address some of the curiosities about the game that have come in both on their site and ours.

For those of you new to the project, it's a hardcore Sci-Fi MMORPG based in our own universe which began life as the spiritual successor to SWG but since evolved into it's own monster.
  1. More than ten playable species and breeds
  2. Interchangeable bodies and bodyparts
  3. Nearly fifty professions that can be mixed-and-matched
  4. Open skill-based progression
  5. Both combative and non-combative progression, such as dancing and many crafting proficiencies
  6. Totally open player housing - Meaning anywhere you can find group you like, you can build homes and structures.
  7. Massive player, guild, and civic construction with high-resolutions voxels to craft entire cities from raw materials if you wish.
  8. Superior crafting more advanced than anything you've probably tried before - No two items are crafted the same unless you desire so.
  9. Advanced power-management to design and implement power-grids around your home and city, such as power generators that feed city street lights and defenses.
  10. Factional PVP between three major corporations, each with their own unique ideology.
  11. Many, many other features including the one that might be best of all; It's totally free to download and see where we're at with it in our current build of Alpha 3 to decide if you've like to contribute or not.
I'll be here to field inquiries from the general public, in addition to teaching the basics of the game to those who wish to download our current version and give it a try in realtime :)

www.Divergence-Online.com

Comments

  • ErkenErken BorlMember UncommonPosts: 6
    Are you planing to have a skillcap or can you become a master of everything given the time?
  • EthanCEthanC Mattoon, ILMember UncommonPosts: 56
    Erken said:
    Are you planing to have a skillcap or can you become a master of everything given the time?
    There's a current skill point limit of 216. Basic professions like Artisan take a large amount, usually 21, whereas the further up you go, the less points it takes. So really, the only thing that controls how many professions you take, and to what degree, is how much do you want to spread your skill points between.

    www.Divergence-Online.com

  • DeathfyreDeathfyre Las Vegas, NVMember UncommonPosts: 2
    What features might be taken away or changed from the switch between engines? Is unity going to enable climbing and things like what we had in the first alpha or will mechanics like that have to be taken away?
  • ErkenErken BorlMember UncommonPosts: 6
    Will stealth be ingame? Like in your everyday game(1 Button invis). Or do you have to use the inviorment, like arma for example?
  • EthanCEthanC Mattoon, ILMember UncommonPosts: 56
    Deathfyre said:
    What features might be taken away or changed from the switch between engines? Is unity going to enable climbing and things like what we had in the first alpha or will mechanics like that have to be taken away?
    Pretty much everything from the prototype is in game now and functioning as a "real" game would. Such as all the props that people built stuff with in the prototype are all true craftables now with individual stats. The exception is "blowing up other peoples stuff", which we aim to fund with this campaign!

    Erken said:
    Will stealth be ingame? Like in your everyday game(1 Button invis). Or do you have to use the inviorment, like arma for example?
    Stealth is completely crucial for several aspects of gameplay. For instance, permadeath characters such as Vindicator and Verrator rely on their ability to cloak to preserve their lives against their enemies. In addition, we have "naturally occurring stealth" since without extra equipment, you cannot natively see anyone's name and vitals above their head. Ennie, for instance, can be completely hidden in tall grass. If your eyeballs don't see someone or some thing, it isn't there. Until it stabs you ;)

    www.Divergence-Online.com

  • nathan8xnathan8x ILMember UncommonPosts: 1
    When the game is released do you plan on adding content to it? If so, would you do expansions (like WoW) or weekly/monthly updates? 
  • EthanCEthanC Mattoon, ILMember UncommonPosts: 56
    nathan8x said:
    When the game is released do you plan on adding content to it? If so, would you do expansions (like WoW) or weekly/monthly updates? 
    We plan on continually updating the game essentially until the end of days XD

    No expansions - Just regular updates, and by regular, I mean that for the past several months, we've been pushing new versions of the game with new content additions anywhere from 2 to 10 times each week. In fact we pushed one new version just a few hours ago that added a new play area and are planning on pushing one more update within the next two hours that updates some crafting schematics and other fixes.

    www.Divergence-Online.com

  • thetutherthetuther Member CommonPosts: 2
    Ethan when do you plan to finish 

    True Combat. True Physics. that you promised to deliver back in sept 2013 its 3 years over due.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAMember RarePosts: 14,247
    One point about Divergence Online that many seem to agree on is that the graphics are higher quality than what is often seen in small-team indie projects. Can you tell us a bit about the amount or type of work that goes into creating the characters, creatures, and the world they inhabit?

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • polySurfacepolySurface Member UncommonPosts: 79

    Unity 4 will be no longer supported from January 2016, will you be then upgrading to Unity 5?

    If you choose to stay with Unity 4, as many of the asset developer’s products used by Divergence are already no longer supporting the older version of the engine, what safeguards do you have in place for when issues with them arise?

    Feydikan sums up Divergence Online development.
    "OMG working so hard..pant pant... need sleep... pant pant.... and money... pant pant....keep faith"

  • EthanCEthanC Mattoon, ILMember UncommonPosts: 56
    thetuther said:
    Ethan when do you plan to finish 

    True Combat. True Physics. that you promised to deliver back in sept 2013 its 3 years over due.

    I'll field that.
    It's two years overdue, and you're absolutely right. The physics part we can call covered, but the combat is what we're on now. It essentially came down to "We have very, very, very little money. Less than the cost of one new car, and nobody is going to be wow'd by combat alone", so between standard-quality combat or the potential for several other features that actually were unique and nobody else had, yes we chose those features. But they're the reason there is actual stuff to do in the game right now that's unique and cool, and the rest is absolutely what we're able to fully focus on now :)

    *Now responding to Loktofelt's comment so thanks for being patient* :)

    www.Divergence-Online.com

  • muffins89muffins89 Yakima, WAMember UncommonPosts: 1,585
    EthanC said:
    thetuther said:
    Ethan when do you plan to finish 

    True Combat. True Physics. that you promised to deliver back in sept 2013 its 3 years over due.

    . But they're the reason there is actual stuff to do in the game right now that's unique and cool, and the rest is absolutely what we're able to fully focus on now :)

    *Now responding to Loktofelt's comment so thanks for being patient* :)
    like what?  whats unique and cool?  your website doesn't have a whole lot of info on it. 
  • ErkenErken BorlMember UncommonPosts: 6
    When it comes to crafting, Will you make things out of blueprints. Or do you learn by doing? If it is learn by doing, could someone eximine my item and figure out how its crafted? Or could you be the only player in the game who knows how to make the best *random crafted object*
  • EthanCEthanC Mattoon, ILMember UncommonPosts: 56
    Loktofeit said:
    One point about Divergence Online that many seem to agree on is that the graphics are higher quality than what is often seen in small-team indie projects. Can you tell us a bit about the amount or type of work that goes into creating the characters, creatures, and the world they inhabit?
    It's a massive amount of work. Typically the jobs you get stuck doing, if you are resolved to make it as an indie developer, are amalgamations of several or even dozens of job titles that major developers have whole teams of people sharing in the work of.

    For instance, on a typical day, your studio might have:
    1. 2D concept artist
    2. 3D Generalist (geometry/textures/shaders)
    3. 3D Skinning and Rigger
    4. 3D Animator
    Just to make one single character or animated asset.

    The indie developer get's stuck doing all of those things themselves, or it doesn't get done.

    The same thing going for areas such as level design. Any typical studio will have several level designers who do nothing but take the things artists have made and arrange them in the game world in a pleasing manner.

    Again, that's your job. 

    Fortunately for Divergence, a part of our game design is letting players design their own surroundings, so the only thing I had to be responsible was the simple task of becoming fluent in half a dozen softwares and languages such as shader mechanics required to create semi-believable and hopefully not-terrible terrain.

    And lastly, being overly critical of your own work is essential. The competent indie dev always looks at their own work through the eye of the worst troll in the world is going to see this - Are they going to notice that this one normal on this one vertex is messed up?"

    Nine times out of ten nobody will even notice, but if you get into the habit of self-criticism, the end result, you'll find, is positive reviews when actual players see your work for the first time, just like the one you gave :) And then, it's all worth it.

    www.Divergence-Online.com

  • corpusccorpusc Chattanooga, TNMember UncommonPosts: 1,332
    muffins89 said:

    like what?  whats unique and cool?  your website doesn't have a whole lot of info on it. 

    yes, do tell.  cuz i never heard of one unique feature that this game was planning.

    The End
    ---------------------------
    i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects

  • thetutherthetuther Member CommonPosts: 2
    EthanC said:
    The physics part we can call covered
    Can you elaborate on that some for us, as other than collision boxes. I have seen nothing that seems like physics or even a navmesh is in place.
  • EthanCEthanC Mattoon, ILMember UncommonPosts: 56
    corpusc said:
    muffins89 said:

    like what?  whats unique and cool?  your website doesn't have a whole lot of info on it. 

    yes, do tell.  cuz i never heard of one unique feature that this game was planning.
    Have you seen the videos?
    As far as we're aware, there aren't a lot of other true mmorpgs out there where you can design 200m tall skyscrapers brick by brick, arrange them together into a unified city spanning more than a kilometer of game world space and control automated machinery and defenses linked to arrays of power generation sources. Not to mention the synthetics who can swap between bodies the size of cats, or up to the military synthetics (AKA Mechs) on demand. If such a thing exists, tell me so I can play it :)

    thetuther said:
    EthanC said:
    The physics part we can call covered
    Can you elaborate on that some for us, as other than collision boxes. I have seen nothing that seems like physics or even a navmesh is in place.
    It's hard to demonstrate physics without things hitting other things and making them move, wouldn't you agree?

    The most important aspect of physics that we've taken strides to put into place is making is serverside - Which makes it authoritative and not nearly as susceptible to hacking as the vast majority of FPS games you've probably played. You can see this in place right now if you try to jump onto something that's too much of a funny angle - the server bounces you back where you were. It needs to be tuned but again, alpha.

    Regarding the question about "seeing a navmesh in place", there really isn't any way to do that dude. A navmesh isn't a "thing" so to speak, and isn't needed in games that don't have NPCs in them that need to "navigate over the terrain mesh and world objects". When we do have NPCs, you bet, but right now, not really a priority. Swinging fists and firing bullets is a priority ;)

    www.Divergence-Online.com

  • muffins89muffins89 Yakima, WAMember UncommonPosts: 1,585
    edited October 2015
    I haven't seen videos because they are not on your web page.  I never heard of this game until today.  I was wondering why I should help you make it.
    Post edited by muffins89 on
  • EthanCEthanC Mattoon, ILMember UncommonPosts: 56
    But you shouldn't help because of flashy videos. Us, or anyone else. You should help because you're on a forum directly speaking to the developer, which is a policy we've always had since the beginning. You can look at what little money we started with, the things we wanted to do, then look at what has been done and rest assured that this group is breaking its back to keep making those things happen. That's how I would look at it though, if i were shopping for games to invest in ;)

    www.Divergence-Online.com

  • MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community Manager Queens, NYAdministrator RarePosts: 6,243
    Thanks everyone for joining us! We'll be sure to do this again soon.

    Michael "MikeB" Bitton
    Community Manager
    Twitter: @eMikeB

This discussion has been closed.