The host of small improvements and tweaks that result in a better operating game client and a more enjoyable user experience can be just as — if not more — important than a new zone or class.
Crowfall’s team knows this, which is why it has devoted April’s developer Q&A video to quality of life concerns. Topics up for discussion this week include default castles in Eternal Kingdoms, combat logs, user interface scaling, and even possible plans for a phone app. As for the last item, the team said that it’s not a launch feature but it is definitely on the list of projects that should be addressed following the game’s release.
Check out the full Q&A video after the break!
Don’t be fooled by the PvP nature of Crowfall — the game world (or worlds, plural) will feature many NPCs to add flavor and interaction in these campaign settings.
For the March 2018 developer Q&A video, the team sat down to talk about its creation of NPCs, from their brains down to their powers. “From musk hogs and hellcats to risen and spiders, Crowfall has an aspiring medley of creatures in the world. Each type of creature needs its own brain, a set of instructions on how it should act and react,” the team said.
It’s definitely the rare video that satisfies both fans of giant spiders and giant spreadsheets, so check it out below!
Do you have any burning questions about Guild Wars? No, not Guild Wars 2 — the original, the one that has long fallen out of the public eye? ArenaNet Studio Tech Director Stephen Clarke-Willson, who goes by SCW on the forums, posted an open AMA on Reddit for those still curious about the old game.
And before you ask, no, the studio isn’t going to be making any content changes to this maintenance mode title. “It’s hard work just to get the art tools up and running, so making content changes are pretty unlikely,” he told one player. There are also no plans for an HD version.
He does go into a lot of the details of the server structure, the creation of the technology behind the game, and how ArenaNet streamlined the title to make it accessible and low cost.
You have questions and Crowfall’s dev team has (some of the) answers. For example, “How are you going to keep me from getting killed the second I log into the game, which is kind of a bummer?”
This question and more were fielded by ArtCraft in the March Q&A video. Topics covered in this month’s 14-minute video include the speed of skill acquisitions, additional cooking options, the general frustrating nature of walls, and the effectiveness of bleeds.
By the way, the answer to that first question? Players now have a 20-second window in invulnerability as they log in, as long as they don’t take offensive action right away. Should be enough breathing room to get your bearings before jumping back into the fight!
Don’t go taking any time off work in April with the hopes of playing Legends of Aria’s early access program. In an Ask Me Anything session on Wednesday, Project Lead Derek Brinkmann said that the team is evaluating the progression of the game’s closed beta and may not be able to make the April target for early access.
“There is a very good chance that our Steam release date will slip,” Brinkmann said. “It is really important to the team that we deliver the absolute best experience possible on that day of the final wipe because we only get one shot at it. Expect an announcement about our release date in the coming weeks with a more specific answer.”
Have questions about next month’s RIFT
Prime server? You and everyone else, buddy. With the rapid rollout of the progression server ruleset, Trion Worlds is scrambling to catch up in the information delivery department. The studio recently put out a more extensive Q&A video to supplement the skimpy announcement FAQ
that it released.
While the team doesn’t give a fixed schedule or end date for the server, it did reveal several important points. Players can roll up to two characters, will experience a different login calendar, and will have to scramble to grab names when the server launches. Trion said that there is no chance of this server continuing indefinitely.
If you’re looking for a boiled-down transcript, MMORPG has a good rundown of the salient details.
Interested in Path of Exile
but lacking copious amounts of free time to pick through a messy AMA session
with the devs for relevant quotes? How about we do that for you with this new Q&A batch that centers around the recent Xbox One launch
- On Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4: “It’s a lot easier to port a game to Xbox than PS4. This is because the APIs and tools for PC and Xbox One are the same.”
- On Xbox trade chat: “Unfortunately a controller isn’t really great method for text input, so we don’t really see an easy way to do something like that.”
- On adaptation difficulties: “One of the really hard parts was actually gem management. And I think we still haven’t found a perfect solution for this as well. Moving gems around to different items is a bit of a pain.”
- On Xbox One X: “We fully support the Xbox One X and Path of Exile will be playable at 4k/60fps on launch day. We’re going to investigate other enhancements like HDR also.”
With the release of Conan Exiles on Xbox One’s game preview program, there are plenty of questions from this new audience about the rollout of the survival sandbox. Funcom’s team was on hand yesterday for an AMA that ranged from crafting to crashes (“our number one priority”) to camel punching.
Funcom revealed that it is working on creating voice chat (in a similar fashion to ARK: Survival Evolved). It also hinted that PC and Xbox players may one day be able to share the same servers: “That is something we are still considering. Crossplay is complicated.”
The team also addressed the controversial omission of nudity on the console: “There is a nudity DLC for European territories (it’s free), but this DLC is currently unavailable due to a last minute issue with the Xbox Store. Microsoft is currently investigating a solution to this issue. In the meantime, all territories will be limited to partial nudity.”
As Crowfall continues to be developed and fans become more familiar with the game as a whole, interest turns to the nitty gritty details of specific systems. And there’s no one who loves to talk about nitty gritty details than the developers who are creating them.
The team compiled a list of questions from the community for another ACE Q&A session this week. Topics ranged from CC immunity, the reason behind specializations, the durability of blueprints, and players resurrecting each other.
So what about grabbing that name that you’ve been toting around for decades now? As names in Crowfall will be the same as your account name, there is some concern over how this will work. The team said that players will not be able to buy names ahead of time and that they won’t lose them for going inactive over a period of time.
Check out the 10-minute Q&A session after the break!
It’s a big week for the zombie survival title Fortnite, what with it coming out on Steam early access and all, and the developers are taking advantage of the increased attention to talk up their game to interested parties.
On Reddit yesterday, the devs hosted an ask-me-anything session that covered the making of the game, how the team acted on feedback, heroes, crafting, outposts, and future plans. The team stressed that everything is in “early iteration” right now, so expect things to change over the course of the year.
So what was the hardest part of making the game? “The biggest challenge we had was how do we make a robust building system that was usable in high fidelity third person combat. So controls and complexity become a real challenge. If you wonder why we don’t have crouch… this is why.”
The team said that it plans to release Fortnite later this year after testing, polish, and content additions. Past that, there are plans in the works for different modes, like iron man and an open world, so you might see this small title getting a lot bigger over the coming years.
With Knights of the Frozen Throne
coming to Hearthstone
next month, excitement is reaching a fever pitch for this already-popular card title. Game Director Ben Brode
took advantage of this interest to raise awareness of the game and answer community questions in a recent AMA session
Among the topics covered were minion placement, the collection manager, the expense of the game, and confirmation that the team is experimenting with a new ladder format.
Possibly the most exciting news is that the team is working on both a Druid and Warlock hero, although Brode indicated that we shouldn’t be expecting a new class anytime soon. “I think we are already having trouble carving out awesome space for nine classes,” he said. “I want us to find more unique things for Warlock to do, for example. I think adding a 10th class makes this problem much more difficult, as we could be using that space to make our core nine classes more fun.”
Do you like numbers? It’s summer, you shouldn’t have to think about math! That’s OK, the Crowfall team will deal with that for you. In this week’s new dev video Q&A, Design Lead Thomas Blair and Senior Game Designer Mark Halash take on the recent “number squish” and how to display numbers that matter during combat and crafting.
Of course, it’s not only counting really high. The devs also talk about an overhaul to the character sheet, how resource drops works, the progression model, the difference between disciplines and classes, and how they are restructuring skill trees.
Check it out after the break!
In the hopes of attracting and encouraging more player investors in Shroud of the Avatar, Portalarium took to Reddit for a Q&A session that did not leave everyone quite satisfied.
During the AMA, Portalarium explained why it’s not doing a wipe before release, responded to those upset at the slow rollout of the single-player version, promised more user interface polish, and addressed frustration over players not being able to find certain NPCs. The studio said that right now there it is seeing around a 500-player concurrency, although it expects this to increase as they start promoting the game more.
So how is the team planning in attracting new players to the game as it heads toward launch? “We have been testing out our free trial system for the last few months and in the next few months we will begin promoting this more and more as the game improves to bring in new players. To keep players around long-term we will be working on more high-end content around the end of the year.”