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Live Forum Q&A Starr Long -- Shroud of the Avatar

Darkstarr9Darkstarr9 Shroud of the AvatarAustin, TXPosts: 30Member

Hello Everyone,

My name is Starr Long and I am the Executive Producer for Shroud of the Avatar. I am a twenty year+ veteran game developer and led the original Ultima Online team back in prehistory when 28.8 modems were state of the art.

Feel free to ask me anything about Shroud but please understand we are only 6 months into development. Many systems are still being designed (like PVP) so details about those systems will be sparse. You can start posting your questions now and at 7 PM ET I will start answering questions for one hour. 

Thanks,

Starr Long aka Darkstarr

«134

Comments

  • LumTheMadLumTheMad Round Rock, TXPosts: 29Member
    Precasting? (Y/N)
  • RecoreRecore Posts: 5,095Member Uncommon

    Hello, thanks for coming.

     

    1. How are you all doing character progression?

    2. What type of class system will you be using if any?

    3. Will there be open world pvp?

    4. Will there be some kind of territory control and politics?

    5. Is the world going to be open and seamless with open world dungeons and no instances?

    Raptr Gamercard
  • superconductingsuperconducting Rochester, NYPosts: 843Member Uncommon

    Hi Starr. Thank you for taking the time to do this.

    Let me start off by saying that I am a big supporter of SotA and have been following the project very closely (same goes for my brother).

     

    Sorry to begin with this question but I figure I will get the hard one out first :). To put it plainly, I and quite a few others are a little distraught by the current housing situation, which as you know seems to be a rather large part of the game and offers quite a few benefits to players.

     

    As it stands now, backers can either upgrade their pledge to citizen-level or higher for $500 or settle for an add-on store lot deed for $150 in order to get land. Citizen-level properties are the real deal but are quite cost restrictive, especially for an average fellow like myself. The next best thing are add-on lots, in which case cost is less of an issue but the following major concerns arise:

    (1) If I understand correctly, anyone with enough time and effort can obtain, using in-game currency, the exact same lot and be in the exact same situation as someone who paid real money for one.

    (2) The lot reverts if someone defaults on taxes for just one month (for instance because of real-life obligations). This person, having monetarily supported the game, would then potentially have to wait ages before finally being able to re-acquire some land.

     

    What is your response to these concerns?

     

    Thanks a lot. I love what I see in this game! It’s just that I really want to experience it in its entirety :)

    image
  • grnarrowgrnarrow Jupiter, FLPosts: 14Member
    MMOs often have social hubs centered around auction houses or important vendors, and this is often where players meet for trade or to form groups.  With many players in SotA acting as vendors based from their homes, which are going to be scattered across villages, towns, and cities, what will encourage players to gather at a social hub, and where do you see those hubs being?
  • superconductingsuperconducting Rochester, NYPosts: 843Member Uncommon

    I have little doubt in my mind that Richard Garriott tried to get you on board the project early on; and I could not be happier of the fact. So my question is- what did Richard say to you, or what events took place, that ultimately convinced you to join?

     

    Another question is- what's the dynamic been with Richard there so far? Have you been keeping him on his toes? I ask this because if I have my history correct, it was your bright idea to push for Ultima as an online experience and look how that turned out!

    image
  • VahraneVahrane Alpharetta, GAPosts: 375Member

         I was wondering if you could confirm or deny the existence of a reagent based magic system in SoTA? If reagents are in could you give any details e.g. rarity, how they can be obtained, do all spells use them, etc? I've looked over the small amount of information concerning the "Sigil of Magic" and the various different schools therein, but couldn't find anything about reagents thus far. I fully understand if it's not something you can discuss at this time. 

         

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,365MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by LumTheMad
    Precasting? (Y/N)

    Just popping in to say this made me chuckle.

    My question: Often lately, we're seeing a lot of studios and publishers avoid the term "MMO".  Why do you think this is, and is it necessarily a bad thing?  How do you think Shroud of the Avatar fits into this argument?

  • propugnerpropugner brooklyn, NYPosts: 1Member
    I would like to know what type of mechanics are being proposed for stealth... any news or updates on this? This also applies to thievery :)
  • ArmikionArmikion park forest, ILPosts: 1Member
    what is the best thing you seen so far in the game? ( combat, crafting, etc etc )
  • kilhwchkilhwch Culver City, CAPosts: 3Member

    Hi Starr,

     

    I have some questions re: combat and skills:

     

    1. Given the randomness envisioned for the Active skills, what steps are being taken so the player is not 'playing the UI' ?
    2. Can a player dual wield weapons? Sword main hand, axe off-hand? Two swords?
    3. Can a player switch between player-made Active skill lists in combat? (ie: swapping 'decks' mid-fight)
    4.  How does a player initiate skill combos? Do they hold down one button and press another?
    5. Can a player combo more than 2 skills together?
    6. Can a player combo with another player's skills?
    7. What kind of collision is planned for the game? Can a player block an attack meant for an ally with their body? Do players collide with each other?
    8. Do any combat skills require position (flanking, rear), or conditions (following a successful block, parry or dodge)?

     

    Thank you for your time,

    Kilhwch

  • superconductingsuperconducting Rochester, NYPosts: 843Member Uncommon

    How destructible will the environment be?

    (I guess we have to ask this one after we heard about EQNext :D)

     

    Thanks!

    I want to also take the opportunity to say the involvement you guys have had with the community is just wonderful! There are not many developers out there that actively listen to and even incorporate the ideas of fans.

    image
  • Darkstarr9Darkstarr9 Shroud of the Avatar Austin, TXPosts: 30Member

    Originally posted by LumTheMad
    Precasting? (Y/N)

    Lum, still trolling after all these years. Oh and you do realize you work for me right? :P

    Originally posted by VastoHorde

    Hello, thanks for coming.

     

    1. How are you all doing character progression?

    2. What type of class system will you be using if any?

    3. Will there be open world pvp?

    4. Will there be some kind of territory control and politics?

    5. Is the world going to be open and seamless with open world dungeons and no instances?

    1. Currently character progression is done via earning XP which levels you up. When you level up you get skill points you can use to train skill from various combat, magic, or crafting schools.

    2. There are no classes in Shroud. Players can spend skill points in skills from any school as long as they meet the requirements for that skill (usually a preceding skill in that school).

    3. PVP is still too early in design to answer this.

    4. Guilds can feud with each other

    5. The world is not going to be open and seamless. We are a small indie team and we want to be able to add content to the game iteratively. These factors moved us towards dividing the world into discrete maps (aka zones). 

    Originally posted by superconducting

    Hi Starr. Thank you for taking the time to do this.

    Let me start off by saying that I am a big supporter of SotA and have been following the project very closely (same goes for my brother).

     

    Sorry to begin with this question but I figure I will get the hard one out first :). To put it plainly, I and quite a few others are a little distraught by the current housing situation, which as you know seems to be a rather large part of the game and offers quite a few benefits to players.

     

    As it stands now, backers can either upgrade their pledge to citizen-level or higher for $500 or settle for an add-on store lot deed for $150 in order to get land. Citizen-level properties are the real deal but are quite cost restrictive, especially for an average fellow like myself. The next best thing are add-on lots, in which case cost is less of an issue but the following major concerns arise:

    (1) If I understand correctly, anyone with enough time and effort can obtain, using in-game currency, the exact same lot and be in the exact same situation as someone who paid real money for one.

    (2) The lot reverts if someone defaults on taxes for just one month (for instance because of real-life obligations). This person, having monetarily supported the game, would then potentially have to wait ages before finally being able to re-acquire some land.

     

    What is your response to these concerns?

     

    Thanks a lot. I love what I see in this game! It’s just that I really want to experience it in its entirety :)

    I will answer this by talking about why we want taxes. We want the world to feel full and alive and not feel empty. Since most villages and towns will be comprised mostly of player houses it is critical we actively keep people engaged. A simple way to do that is to require them to pay an upkeep. If life takes you away from the game then just make sure your bank account is flush with gold and we will automatically draft from your bank account. If you think you won't have enough money for a longer term absence then work with your friends and/or guildmates to help you out by designating them kindred.

    Originally posted by grnarrow
    MMOs often have social hubs centered around auction houses or important vendors, and this is often where players meet for trade or to form groups.  With many players in SotA acting as vendors based from their homes, which are going to be scattered across villages, towns, and cities, what will encourage players to gather at a social hub, and where do you see those hubs being?

    The center of each town will have central services like the bank and a crafting area with the best quality crafting tables. While vendors in your house will scatter some people there will still be items like this that will draw people to center.

    Originally posted by superconducting
    I have little doubt in my mind that Richard Garriott tried to get you on board the project early on; and I could not be happier of the fact. So my question is- what did Richard say to you, or what events took place, that ultimately convinced you to join?

    "I've got this great bottle of Port you should try..." 

    It was actually a conversation over dinner about the project and game development in general. We quickly fell into a familiar and exciting pattern of back and forth that resulted in a few of the game designs you see now. That ease of working with someone as brilliant as Richard and how he can bring out the best in me is what drew me in.

    Originally posted by Vahrane

         I was wondering if you could confirm or deny the existence of a reagent based magic system in SoTA? If reagents are in could you give any details e.g. rarity, how they can be obtained, do all spells use them, etc? I've looked over the small amount of information concerning the "Sigil of Magic" and the various different schools therein, but couldn't find anything about reagents thus far. I fully understand if it's not something you can discuss at this time. 

         

    Yes there are reagents and every magic spell requires them. We have not yet released the list of reagents or their relative scarcity.

     

  • SomeguynotSomeguynot columbus, OHPosts: 12Member

    Starr,

     

    For the "card based" combat system...are you guys thinking about using some form of CAPTCHA (ala form registration) to help prevent scripting?

  • Darkstarr9Darkstarr9 Shroud of the Avatar Austin, TXPosts: 30Member
    Originally posted by propugner
    I would like to know what type of mechanics are being proposed for stealth... any news or updates on this? This also applies to thievery :)

    There are several stealth skills in the game. Some are part of combat skill. For instance there is a camouflage skill in light armor that increases your stealth when standing still. There is also a stealth skill in Moon magic

  • rrashintoastrrashintoast Metamora, MIPosts: 26Member Uncommon

    I have been playing Ultima Online for over 15 years, and Ultima single player for longer.

     

    I have one important question, Will I be able to customize each individual wall like in UO, or the Sims style.

     

    If not, I am in full support of this, and would LOVE to see it in the game!

     

     

    Thanks for taking the time to read ^.^

     

         -Lord Toast

  • SomeguynotSomeguynot columbus, OHPosts: 12Member

    Starr,

    Since you guys are able to create basements 5 stories down, is this the limit for unity (5 stories)?  If so, could you also create 5 story houses above ground?

    In addition, why don't player houses have rooms and doors on the inside?

  • rrashintoastrrashintoast Metamora, MIPosts: 26Member Uncommon

    The only other burning question is, Will there be full loot?  

     

    If not, I also fully support this, and want it somewhere in the game :)  

     

    Maybe just one area or island that is dangerous and you lose everything your carrying? :)

     

    Cheers!  ^.^

     

    -Lord Toast

  • Darkstarr9Darkstarr9 Shroud of the Avatar Austin, TXPosts: 30Member
    Originally posted by kilhwch

    Hi Starr,

     

    I have some questions re: combat and skills:

     

    1. Given the randomness envisioned for the Active skills, what steps are being taken so the player is not 'playing the UI' ?
    2. Can a player dual wield weapons? Sword main hand, axe off-hand? Two swords?
    3. Can a player switch between player-made Active skill lists in combat? (ie: swapping 'decks' mid-fight)
    4.  How does a player initiate skill combos? Do they hold down one button and press another?
    5. Can a player combo more than 2 skills together?
    6. Can a player combo with another player's skills?
    7. What kind of collision is planned for the game? Can a player block an attack meant for an ally with their body? Do players collide with each other?
    8. Do any combat skills require position (flanking, rear), or conditions (following a successful block, parry or dodge)?

     

    Thank you for your time,

    Kilhwch

    1. Great question and our biggest concern. We are experimenting with where the UI is placed on the screen as one way.

    2. Yes there is dual wield of bladed weapons

    3. Yes you can switch but it will cost focus

    4. Currently that is how combos work but we will go through a lot of iterations

    5. Yes combos can be more than 2

    6. Great idea but not in current design

    7. No player collision at this time. Trying to solve for the griefing it can cause is crazy big problem

    8. Some skills do require position and some require conditions

  • grnarrowgrnarrow Jupiter, FLPosts: 14Member
    Will there be crafting recipes that are only discoverable by trial and error as opposed to purchasing from vendors and trainers or through loot?  If so, what percentage of them?  How many craftable items are you shooting for at launch?
  • DyraeleDyraele Tucson, AZPosts: 200Member
    What exactly is Selective Multiplayer? Can you explain more about this?

    AKA - Bruxail

  • SomeguynotSomeguynot columbus, OHPosts: 12Member

    Starr,

     

    Can you give any further information about stealing?  During the hearth of brittania telethon, Richard Garriott had mentioned something about player homes being stolen from depending on what level of protection they had.

  • kilhwchkilhwch Culver City, CAPosts: 3Member
    Originally posted by rrashintoast

     

    I have one important question, Will I be able to customize each individual wall like in UO, or the Sims style.

     

    Check out this housing demo on placing objects:

     

    Short answer: you can place stuff anywhere on the walls.

  • rrashintoastrrashintoast Metamora, MIPosts: 26Member Uncommon

    yeah, I've seen that video.  

     

    Nothing about customizing walls individually or full loot areas. ;)

  • Darkstarr9Darkstarr9 Shroud of the Avatar Austin, TXPosts: 30Member
    Originally posted by Someguynot

    Starr,

     

    For the "card based" combat system...are you guys thinking about using some form of CAPTCHA (ala form registration) to help prevent scripting?

    Interesting we had not thought of that but it would be a good script blocker although it could be super annoying too. Have to ponder.

  • SomeguynotSomeguynot columbus, OHPosts: 12Member

    Starr,

     

    Has there been additional talk about a player bounty system?  If so, what can you tell us?  Please say yes, and then tell us a lot.

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This discussion has been closed.