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[Interview] Divergence Online: Divergence Online's Proud Papa

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,622MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

We have spent the last three weeks finding out all that we could about Divergence Online. In this week's Independency, we finish our exclusive interview with Ethan Casner. See where the conversation takes you before heading to the comments.

Lisa: First, how many years of your life has been dominated by the development of Divergence Online? Was it an inspiration nursed from childhood? Or college age? Or the womb?

Ethan Casner: I guess you could say the seed was planted during Anarchy Online “back in the day”. I loved working with the story, the two factions and was very happy at what it had to say about sci-fi in general. It took until 2006 before I started to notice the emerging trend of making indie MMO development closer to a reality. Although back then, engines which are free now were still running a $1M license, at least progress was being made towards that end. This was where I finally decided it was time to start putting it together and in times of surplus or times of famine, it’s been my life every day since.

Read more of Lisa Jonte's Independency: Wrapping It Up with Divergence Online's Ethan Casner.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • JeroKaneJeroKane OsloPosts: 5,353Member Uncommon

    FFA PVP with no Safe Zones. I wish him all the best of luck.

    I just say... even EVE Online needed High Sec space or CCP would have been out of business long ago.

  • LivnthedreamLivnthedream Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 555Member
    Waste 4 years on the c4 engine? How many "donated" dollars did he waste? He has been begging for cash for nearly a decade now (and getting it) all the while promising the "90%" done game will be out soon.
  • benasatobenasato zohar modifierPosts: 193Member Uncommon
    ^^^ This..
  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by JeroKane

    FFA PVP with no Safe Zones. I wish him all the best of luck.

    I just say... even EVE Online needed High Sec space or CCP would have been out of business long ago.

    Exactly.  All I see is a recipe for a game that won't be around long at all.  Even the people who wrote Darkfall finally figured that out.

  • Fallbreaker1Fallbreaker1 MelbournePosts: 15Member
    Originally posted by JeroKane

    FFA PVP with no Safe Zones. I wish him all the best of luck.

    Safe zones haven't been ruled out. Ethan has taken a lot of inspiration from EVE and the way the faction system will work in Divergence is critical to this. If a player kills another player, not in self-defence then what ever faction the victim belonged to will become hostile to the murderer thus giving him negative consequences. All actions in Divergence will have direct consequences.

  • Fallbreaker1Fallbreaker1 MelbournePosts: 15Member
    Originally posted by Livnthedream
    Waste 4 years on the c4 engine? How many "donated" dollars did he waste? He has been begging for cash for nearly a decade now (and getting it) all the while promising the "90%" done game will be out soon.

    There have been no fundraising campaigns until the indiegogo campaign. The game has been self-financed and for a very short period of time, privately financed.

    The devs received about 25K through the indiegogo campaign and the game is well on it's way into development. Camelot Online however has received 2 Million and no graphics engine or demonstration of a working game/world. and yes Ethan is having another fundraising campaign, but he'd have to ask for 100x the amount he did last time to even get close to what CO asked for. Who's really taking all the money with little to show?

  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,533Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by JeroKane

    FFA PVP with no Safe Zones. I wish him all the best of luck.

    I just say... even EVE Online needed High Sec space or CCP would have been out of business long ago.

    Some people like that kind of thing.. Darkfall had players right up until it closed down.. AV should never have made two servers and if they had stuck to 1 then the population would have been healthy and they would have made money.

    FFA PVP games are niche and that's the end of it.. trying to dumb them down and making them a bit easier leads to games like DF:UW.. the origional fans don't really like it anymore and the themepark lovers wont like it because its still too hardcore for them.

     

    So sure you might not like the sound of this but others will, and will happily play it, but FFA PVP will never be for the masses..

  • DocBrodyDocBrody EldridgePosts: 1,820Member
    Glad I backed this. Can't wait
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Caldrin
    Originally posted by JeroKane

    FFA PVP with no Safe Zones. I wish him all the best of luck.

    I just say... even EVE Online needed High Sec space or CCP would have been out of business long ago.

    Some people like that kind of thing.. Darkfall had players right up until it closed down.. AV should never have made two servers and if they had stuck to 1 then the population would have been healthy and they would have made money.

    Are you suggesting that the average Darkfall player is part of the Divergence target audience?

    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

  • JeroKaneJeroKane OsloPosts: 5,353Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Caldrin
    Originally posted by JeroKane

    FFA PVP with no Safe Zones. I wish him all the best of luck.

    I just say... even EVE Online needed High Sec space or CCP would have been out of business long ago.

    Some people like that kind of thing.. Darkfall had players right up until it closed down.. AV should never have made two servers and if they had stuck to 1 then the population would have been healthy and they would have made money.

    FFA PVP games are niche and that's the end of it.. trying to dumb them down and making them a bit easier leads to games like DF:UW.. the origional fans don't really like it anymore and the themepark lovers wont like it because its still too hardcore for them.

     

    So sure you might not like the sound of this but others will, and will happily play it, but FFA PVP will never be for the masses..

     You don't get it.  EVE Online IS a FFA PVP game with Full loot!

    Yet it's a financial success due to it having High Sec space, where most people reside, when they don't feel like being endless ganked in low sec space.

    The human race cannot handle FFA PVP with Full loot and no safe zones.

    There are way too many low lives on the internet to make sure such a game will kill itself within no time.

    DarkFall 1 was a total flop! Sorry.... but it was. Otherwise they wouldn't have shut it down and came with DarkFall 2 so quickly.

  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,533Member Uncommon

    DF was not a total flop it ran for a good few years and allowed them to make a new game as well.. YEs sure it never had millions of people playing but they had a good solid player base up until the point the put out rumors that there would be a character wipe.. people kind of lost interest then.. Darkfall 2 was suppose to just be an exp pack btw and thats all it basically is..

     

    Eve is is not really full loot at least it was not the last time i played sure if you get killed you can drop some stuff but i dont think its everything.. could be wrong tho. Plus that kind of system makes sense with EVE but thats not the reason its doing so well.. its doing so well because people enjoy the game.

     

    The human race can handle FFA full loot games just fine but its not for everyone and thats the way it will always be.. If there are low lives sitting around killing people... well umm group up with others and go kill him thats what its all about.. Dont get me wrong having some kind of system in place to discourage ganking is a good idea.. but to stop PVP in certain areas is not the best choice..

     

    Myself I love the thrill it brings to a game.. knowing that i could be killed at any point and loose all my stuff.. I find it hard to play a game without full loot pvp these days as i find it missing something. Thats what made me play darkfall until it shutdown..

     
  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,533Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Caldrin
    Originally posted by JeroKane

    FFA PVP with no Safe Zones. I wish him all the best of luck.

    I just say... even EVE Online needed High Sec space or CCP would have been out of business long ago.

    Some people like that kind of thing.. Darkfall had players right up until it closed down.. AV should never have made two servers and if they had stuck to 1 then the population would have been healthy and they would have made money.

    Are you suggesting that the average Darkfall player is part of the Divergence target audience?

     

    Hum well we where talking about FFA PVP games in general.. but i am an average darkfall player and it appeals to  me...

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Caldrin
    Originally posted by Loktofeit
    Originally posted by Caldrin
    Originally posted by JeroKane

    FFA PVP with no Safe Zones. I wish him all the best of luck.

    I just say... even EVE Online needed High Sec space or CCP would have been out of business long ago.

    Some people like that kind of thing.. Darkfall had players right up until it closed down.. AV should never have made two servers and if they had stuck to 1 then the population would have been healthy and they would have made money.

    Are you suggesting that the average Darkfall player is part of the Divergence target audience?

     

    Hum well we where talking about FFA PVP games in general.. but i am an average darkfall player and it appeals to  me...

    JeroKane was talking about FFA PVP with no Safe Zones in Divergence. Based on the features discussed and resented so far for Divergence, Darkfall is a completely different type of game for a different type of audience. I don't doubt you might be looking forward to this game, but are you looking forward to Darkfall gameplay in this game? If so, I also wish Divergence the best of luck in their endeavor as they will certainly have their hands full trying to balance FFA PVP witn no Safe Zones and the rest of the gameplay.

     

    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

  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,533Member Uncommon

    No im looking for something new and more sandboxy than Darkfall and this seemed to fit the bill quite well. I know they are a lot different but that's a good thing as we certainly don't want a bunch of sandbox pvp games being the same.

     

    Anyway there are ways to to stop all out carnage without having safe zones.. a murder system with a bounty reward is one thing they could do.

    So you have a player who kills a lot of low lvl players or new players whatever the base it off.. that said players gets marked as a criminal/murder and local government in that area be it a player based guild, NPC run faction whatever place a bounty on that person head.. now he becomes the hunted.. of course thats just a very quick overview of one possible system that could be used but there are many other things that could be done without full out stopping PVP in certain areas... so yes it might not 100% stop noob killing but it wont happen as much..

     

    I just dont think that stopping a big part of the game in certain areas is the best option.. I will still play if they do go with safe zones dont get me wrong but I  think FFA PVP done right can work fine.

     

     

     

     

  • LivnthedreamLivnthedream Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 555Member
    Originally posted by Fallbreaker1
    Originally posted by Livnthedream
    Waste 4 years on the c4 engine? How many "donated" dollars did he waste? He has been begging for cash for nearly a decade now (and getting it) all the while promising the "90%" done game will be out soon.

    There have been no fundraising campaigns until the indiegogo campaign. The game has been self-financed and for a very short period of time, privately financed.

    The devs received about 25K through the indiegogo campaign and the game is well on it's way into development. Camelot Online however has received 2 Million and no graphics engine or demonstration of a working game/world. and yes Ethan is having another fundraising campaign, but he'd have to ask for 100x the amount he did last time to even get close to what CO asked for. Who's really taking all the money with little to show?

    Yep, no begging like can be found in these right? http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/269/view/forums/thread/281992/LOL-Still-trying-to-get-private-investors-to-give-them-money-while-even-their-forums-are-shutting-down.html or the publicity stunt here http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/233412/We-Give-Up-On-MMORPGcom-Divergence.html

    Its been the same "its almost done" story since nearly the start. The fact that he is claiming fully Havok enabled trees at high rez with view distance of a kilometer with no framerate drop and is explaining that away as a "trade secret" is absurd when you consider the current engine being used. If they honestly have that tech he can sell that alone for many times what he originally asked for without ever "gutting" his game. He is another Appleton at best.

  • TwinklewolferTwinklewolfer Chicago, ILPosts: 1Member

    If Divergence Online is ever delivered, I will eat my hat. The fact of the matter is that Ethan has proven himself to be incapable of finishing this game, and he has demonstrated a complete lack of professionalism in the past that has done nothing but piss off the engine developers who were trying to help him. I was on the C4 forums when he was using that engine, and I was amazed at how much the C4 devs tried to help out when they were under no obligation to do so. They added a ton of new features to their engine because Ethan asked for them, they helped him with debugging, and they posted screenshots of D.O. on their web site. But they never got so much as a "thank you", not once. All they got was some pompous jerk complaining about stuff he's not qualified to speak about (he's not an engineer) and telling everybody that he's the most important person there. Yes, Ethan actually made a post saying that his game was more important than everybody elses and that the C4 devs should cater to his requests first. Ethan ended up getting banned from the C4 forums because his behavior was so bad over a long period of time and he couldn't get his act together after repeated warnings.

     

    C4 is actually a very professional engine with very well known and well respected developers. D.O. took a big step down by going to Esenthel, which is an OK engine for hobbyists but definitely not in the same league as C4 for a real commercial game.

     

    Mark my words: Divergence Online will never, ever, EVER be finished, and any money donated to the project will disappear with nothing to show for it. The $24,000 raised on Indiegogo isn't even 1/100th the amount needed to make this game. Seven years have already gone by. How long will it take before you're convinced that I'm right?

     
  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,533Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Twinklewolfer

     

     

    C4 is actually a very professional engine with very well known and well respected developers. D.O. took a big step down by going to Esenthel, which is an OK engine for hobbyists but definitely not in the same league as C4 for a real commercial game.

     

    Mark my words: Divergence Online will never, ever, EVER be finished, and any money donated to the project will disappear with nothing to show for it. The $24,000 raised on Indiegogo isn't even 1/100th the amount needed to make this game. Seven years have already gone by. How long will it take before you're convinced that I'm right?

     

    Well Esenthel technically is a better engine.. its capable of a lot more graphics wise and with other features.. but the interface for it feels like it was made 15 years ago and thats its big let down.. C4 is getting better but it still cant compete with the more established engines.

    Why do you think it costs so much to make a game?... he already has the engine and done a lot of the work, sure with more money it could be done a lot faster by bringing more people into the project. He is mainly working by himself so yes its going to take a long time as its a lot of work to make an MMORPG. I was happy to give a bit of my spare cash as i would like to see this game get released.. if for whatever reason it never makes it then wow i lost a few £.. Plus MMORPGs are never finished anyway..

  • WizardryWizardry Ontario, CanadaPosts: 8,456Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by JeroKane

    FFA PVP with no Safe Zones. I wish him all the best of luck.

    I just say... even EVE Online needed High Sec space or CCP would have been out of business long ago.

    Yes i agree but i did a lot of research on the person as well as the game.

    I think  it just fits his persona,this is the type of game he wants to play,it is not as much about making money as reason  most games are developed .

    CCP was just like WOW all about timing and lack of competition.That is back when all the homes across the world now had affordable DSL and the game industry had 10-20 million new gamer's over a 2 year period.That will never happen again,ever so every game now needs to broaden their mind set.

    This is my opinion of course but i feel you need to think on behalf of everyone,what could work for everyone.I do not feel pvp and pve players mix,not at all,so you do need to separate them.Since this is going to basically be a pvp game,you need to think what works for all pvp players,including noobs down the road.

    If you ignore noobs and new players down the road,you will slowly die as a game because you will not get new faces.This is the problem all devs are showing me,they are so worried about  keeping their core ,they alienate everyone else.Your community will only get smaller each and every day.If you design a game that does offer some safety and REASON to go outside the safe zones,then imo you keep everyone happy.

     


    Samoan Diamond

  • polySurfacepolySurface SydneyPosts: 72Member Uncommon
    I’ll be back in 4 years’ time to read the next installment in this saga.

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

  • DavarisDavaris SydneyPosts: 2Member
    My post was flagged as "spam". How do I contact an admin to get it reviewed?
     
     
     
     
  • AmanaAmana New York, NYPosts: 2,552Moderator Uncommon
    Originally posted by Davaris
    My post was flagged as "spam". How do I contact an admin to get it reviewed?
     
     
     
     

    Seems like you were trying to post a lot of links. Maybe try again without as many and just point to the correct pages in your text.

    To give feedback on moderation, contact community@mmorpg.com

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Caldrin

    DF was not a total flop it ran for a good few years and allowed them to make a new game as well.. YEs sure it never had millions of people playing but they had a good solid player base up until the point the put out rumors that there would be a character wipe.. people kind of lost interest then.. Darkfall 2 was suppose to just be an exp pack btw and thats all it basically is..

     

    Eve is is not really full loot at least it was not the last time i played sure if you get killed you can drop some stuff but i dont think its everything.. could be wrong tho. Plus that kind of system makes sense with EVE but thats not the reason its doing so well.. its doing so well because people enjoy the game.

     

    The human race can handle FFA full loot games just fine but its not for everyone and thats the way it will always be.. If there are low lives sitting around killing people... well umm group up with others and go kill him thats what its all about.. Dont get me wrong having some kind of system in place to discourage ganking is a good idea.. but to stop PVP in certain areas is not the best choice..

     

    Myself I love the thrill it brings to a game.. knowing that i could be killed at any point and loose all my stuff.. I find it hard to play a game without full loot pvp these days as i find it missing something. Thats what made me play darkfall until it shutdown..

     

    Not true, Darkfall was foundering when they pulled the plug.  Maybe you can't figure it out, but Adventurine sure can, safe areas are highly important to any FFA full loot games.  Most people can't even name one game that is ffa with full loot they are so obscure.  I played UO for years and always lived in felucca, but adding Trammel really helped the game and it's subscriber base.  It made UO a better game.  Game companies are in the business to make money and a small subscriber base just does not do that.

  • DavarisDavaris SydneyPosts: 2Member
    Originally posted by Amana
    Originally posted by Davaris
    My post was flagged as "spam". How do I contact an admin to get it reviewed?

     
     
     
     

    Seems like you were trying to post a lot of links. Maybe try again without as many and just point to the correct pages in your text.

     

    Thanks Amana, but it would take me too long to do it all over and it probably isn't worth it anyway.

     

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Stone Mountain, GAPosts: 13,669Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Wizardry

    CCP was just like WOW all about timing and lack of competition.That is back when all the homes across the world now had affordable DSL and the game industry had 10-20 million new gamer's over a 2 year period.That will never happen again,ever so every game now needs to broaden their mind set.

     

    Here are some of the sci-fi MMOs out during EVE Online's release

    • - NeoCron
    • - Anarchy Online
    • - Project Entropia
    • - Star Wars Galaxies
    • - Earth and Beyond
    • - Shattered Galxy
    • - Hostile Space
    • - Vendetta Online
    • - Planetside
    • - Allegiance
     
    Whereas Anarchy Online, Planetside, SWG, EnB and a few others were advertised (some rather heavily), EVE had little or no advertising. Both in options and awareness there was an undeniably high level of competition in the sci-fi MMO market. This is also before the whole sandbox/themepark thing where people pretty much just considered an MMO an MMO. The only real divide in perception was PvE vs PvP/PK environments.
     
     
    Regardign an explosion in a market/platofrm and "That will never happen again..."
     
    It's happening right now with mobile and more than likely will happen again in five or six years when we see what console and tablet devices evolve into.
     
     

    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

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