community q and a

Hearthstone’s game director fields questions about the expansion, ladder experimentation, and new heroes

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.”

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Crowfall Q&A video covers number squish and the difference between disciplines and classes

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!

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Shroud of the Avatar has plans to attract more players and keep them around

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.”

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Crowfall illuminates racial bonuses and abilities in Q&A

There’s no doubt that a lot has been happening recently with Crowfall’s class and race structure, particularly following following May’s announcement that the team is separating race-bound classes to allow players more mix-and-match freedom. There were bound to be one or two questions concerning all of this, which is why the team fielded an hour-long Q&A session yesterday on Twitch.

One of the interesting reveals that came out of the chat is that each of the races will receive their own racial discipline with various bonuses. For example, humans are more versatile stat-wise and can use a side-step dodge move, while Wood Elves are trailmasters who can camouflage themselves while standing still.

The team also talked about cartography (which includes the interesting feature of being able to pickpocket other players’ maps), how it’s working to beef up healers, and what’s going on with Clerics (they’re coming soonish).

We’ve got the full Q&A session for you after the jump, and as an added bonus, we also tossed in a video with the team discussing what’s going on with the Alpha 5 build.

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Chronicles of Elyria answers player questions in a two-hour video

The Chronicles of Elyria team hosted a public community Q&A session, and players had questions. And those questions… well, they were answered. Extensively. The resultant stream was just shy of two hours long, which means by all rights it should have its own trailers and a cast poster. And now you can watch the whole thing just past the break.

You will probably not wish to do so if you are at work, however. Your boss will probably notice two hours of video.

Of course, as you might expect from a lengthy video, the topics range far and wide, from PvP penalties to combat systems to elaborate conspiracy theories regarding the shooter on the grassy knoll. (All right, that last one’s a fib.) Strap in, grab some popcorn, and if you want to do some voiceover work for the trailer you’re workshopping in your head… well, don’t tell us.

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Path of Exile has ‘a lot more expansions coming’

Pretty much every MMO player dreams of sitting his or her favorite developers down to get the honest and direct truth. While Grinding Gear Games isn’t making house calls (yet), the dev team did make an effort to satisfy community curiosity by tackling an assortment of 30 submitted questions about Path of Exile.

There was some concern over the potential for a bug flood when the expansion drops this fall. GGG said that it’s on top of it: “There’s a lot changing in 3.0.0 so there’s a lot of scope for problems to creep in unless we find them. To deal with this, we’ve expanded our QA team over the years and it’s currently the largest it has ever been. In addition, we’re running a beta for 3.0.0 specifically to find problems before they affect the live realm.”

There was no confirmation regarding a launch date for the expansion, but the team did discuss lengthening the ignore list, trade improvements, the Xbox One launch, and controller support. The team also hinted that there are “a lot more” expansions being planned for the MMO.

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You’ll need to put in about 20 hours in Albion Online to become competitive in PvP

As Albion Online barrels toward a summer release, the crew took to Reddit yesterday for a marathon AMA session to tackle any pressing community questions.

Asked how much work an average player will need to put in before being of any use in PvP, the team responded, “A general principle of Albion Online — as a game with a strong PvP focus — is that the combat power curves for gear and character progress are very flat […] When you start out a new character, you could expect at least 10 to 20 hours of gameplay before you could be considered competitive in PvP.”

What about super-experienced and -geared players taking over the game’s landscape and making it miserable for everyone else? “Of course, well-organized guilds will always have an advantage over more casual players – it would be weird if that was not the case. However, it is extremely unlikely — and has never happened in any of our tests, two of which lasted around six months — that a single faction will dominate the world.”

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Cloud Pirates hits early access and adds convoy mode

Hear ye, hear ye! Pirates are terrorizing the skies with the aid and comfort of ruthless players! So-called “early access” has ushered in an era of fear and cutthroat commutes, and experts say that this is only the beginning!

It’s true: The PvP airship simulator Cloud Pirates went into early access yesterday with Update 1.1: Gold Rush. The patch adds a new convoy mode in which a team of players work together to guard a shipment of ore as a second team seeks to steal it for their own greedy souls.

The developers took this opportunity to answer many community questions about the game, including where it will go from here. “We have several large items prepared for this year and it’s too early to share most of them, but we can safely say that the two upcoming big things are competitive (rating) battles and improving the Cloud Pirates Brotherhood (clan) system. Statistics, ladders, ratings and competitive gameplay is one of the main directions for Cloud Pirates.”

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Chronicles of Elyria might fatten up your character

Chronicles of Elyria is nothing if not bursting with interesting little ideas that you don’t often see in other MMOs. One of these, apparently, is that your in-game activities can and will alter how your character looks: “If you eat a lot and exercise little, you’ll get fat. If you do a lot of physical labor, you’ll build muscle. If you fall in a lake, you’ll wind up wet. If you don’t clean your clothes, you’ll get dirty. It’s just like real life!”

It’s good to know that we can be fat slobs in video games too, right?

Soulbound Studios reported that the work on the PAX East demo is coming along nicely and that a female character model has been introduced to the game. The studio said that it will be discussing its prologue experiences (the single-player game and the text-only MUD) with the community later this month.

The team recently sat down to answer nearly 40 fan questions about the game’s settlement system in the game (alas, there will be no underwater cities, just in case you were hoping). You can watch the 30-minute edited version below!

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Ashes of Creation unloads 25-minute Q&A video

Now that the cat is out of the bag on the existence of Ashes of Creation, the team is charging forward in sharing its vision and design of the game with potential players. In this effort, a 25-minute question-and-answer video was posted on the site today to give a better idea of what this MMO is all about.

This marks the first time that the community will see the faces of some of Intrepid Studios’ dev team, including Senior Designer Peter Pilone, Creative Director Steven Sharif, Lead Designer Jeffery Bard, and Senior Designer Matt Reynolds. The team fielded several questions that were sent in from the community, such as Ashes’ node system, character identity, world lore, guild features, player housing, the referral system, and the game’s rejection of factions.

Give the video a watch after the jump and learn more about Ashes of Creation from our December interview!

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ArcheAge Q&A covers fresh start servers and its future roadmap

ArcheAge players have no shortage of questions about the game these days, particularly post-Revelation. To answer some of these, Trion Worlds took to the forums for a large community Q&A session that tackled the new servers, upcoming changes, and other concerns.

Trion said that it’s holding off on opening an additional fresh start server out of a fear that it would be a wasteland in coming months. The studio said that the two shards should be able to handle the current demand: “In regards to tech issues, it’s important to distinguish that the problems players are reporting are not coming from anything related to server hardware. The 600% increase is well within what the server hardware is expected to perform with. But we see server stress in the high population of zones during events, hero calls, and the massive new housing zones that put additional stress on the amount of instances running at once that was not there prior to 3.0. We’ve improved it over the last three weeks, but it’s not fully there yet.”

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Crowfall answers player questions on server size and QA work

What ever happened to Crowfall’s stretch goal for a QA lead? The answer is nothing happened to it; it’s still a goal for the future, but at the moment the studio’s finances are just such that the bug-tracking needs to be handed off to people already working on the game, including J. Todd Coleman himself. The work of tracking down bugs and issues is still being done, and hiring someone to lead the hunt is still in the cards for the future. But you needn’t take our word for it, since you can watch the latest community Q&A in video form just below.

Many of this round’s questions cover more general QA or technical issues; the game is still planned to allow 1000 people per campaign world as a bare minimum, but major optimization work has not yet been done on the server structure. There’s also more information about how bugs are tracked internally and what’s next for the game’s milestone updates; check out the whole thing past the break.

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Crowfall Q&A tackles skills and ‘big world’ testing

As 2016 comes to a close, Crowfall finds itself in pre-alpha testing involving the so-called “big world.” At this point the community has many questions for the team (some 15 or 16 pages’ worth, according to ArtCraft), and today the devs do their best to address those pertaining to skills and the big world.

In the Q&A video, the devs talk about diminishing returns in skills, blacklists on personal vendors, skipping ahead in crafting progression trees, power differentials between players, and the possibility of skill training through a website or app. The devs said that they “overachieved” with the recent big world test, although they saw that the zerg issue was severe and would need addressing with safe spaces.

“Our entire approach with this project is ‘grow into your success,'” J. Todd Coleman said. “One of the things we’re terrified of, and rightful so, is building up a bunch of tech, propping it up on launch day, and having it collapse.

Your 14 minutes of roguish smiles and informative answers await you below.

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