intrepid studios

The PAX West City of Heroes and Ashes of Creation panels are a go

A few weeks back, we reported on the City of Heroes-themed panel coming to PAX West in Seattle at the beginning of September. With the release of the PAX schedule on Friday, we can confirm that it is indeed happening on Sunday, September 3rd, at 8 p.m. in the Cat theater, with reps from City of Titans and Ship of Heroes [update: and Valiance Online] in attendance.

“When the venerable MMORPG City of Heroes shut down in 2012, it gave rise to several projects often called spiritual successors. Each of these efforts took the same inspiration, yet have developed very different titles. Join Casey McGeever of Heroic Games, Chad Dulac of Silver Helm and Nathaniel Downes of Missing Worlds Media for a conversation a conversation about the challenges in making the game, the progress so far, and how these games will build on and stand apart from City of Heroes as something different and new while serving the great gameplay and positive gaming community that has been looking for a home.”

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Ashes of Creation talks up its PAX West public demo, hires six more devs

If you’re heading to PAX West in September, you might want to make plans to visit the Ashes of Creation booth at the show. The team will be on hand to take groups of players on a tour through the MMO’s first public demo to get a taste of what the game might offer.

“The setting is a volcanic area that has been in turmoil since the world ended. A terrible evil lies dormant within the mountain,” said the team in a press release. “Players will get their first taste of combat, escorting caravans, and establishing a village node before diving into the dungeon.”

Intrepid Studios also announced that it has hired six new members for its team: Chris Myers (Senior Animator), Chris Atkins (Senior Character Artist), Javier Perez (Senior Environment Artist), Bernard Kauffman (Game Designer), Joshua Epel (Game Designer), and Ryan Richmond (Concept Artist). The studio is still looking to fill several other positions, including a game designer, community manager, and a producer.

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Ashes of Creation gives an early glimpse of its PAX demo environment

At first glance, Ashes of Creation’s PAX demo environment looks like pretty typical desert scrub: jutting rocks, occasional patches of flora, pools of water sitting in the middle of cracked and dry ground.

But the closer you look at it, the more you recognize an alienness to the region. There are toxic vents spewing every so often and that pool has an unhealthy green tinge at its top. The trees have leaves of pink, and there’s a volcano erupting in the distance. And those plants don’t look like anything you’d ever see on Earth…

You can get an early look after the break at this pre-alpha environment that PAX West attendees will be able to experience when they attend the show.

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Ashes of Creation talks about group dynamics and shows PAX demo locales

Calling it an “essential part of the game,” grouping is this week’s focus over at Ashes of Creation.

Ashes of Creation’s team is currently planning for a default group size of eight, saying that this brings back the “massively” to the genre and “amplifies” class roles. Loot rules will be pretty traditional compared to what you’d find in most MMOs, although the team is considering adding a bidding system as well.

To help with the creation of more well-rounded groups, the team will empower players to choose “augments” that allow for more diversification in addition to their main role. Think of a DPSer having some debuff abilities or a healer that adds some buffing skills.

“We want to allow for well-rounded parties to be rewarded for diversity and inclusion when people are determining party composition,” the devs wrote.

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Global Chat: Are MMO side quests worth it?

Apparently I am a pot-stirrer. On my side blog, Bio Break, I like to throw out conversation starters every now and then, and one such recent post concerned side quests. Namely, I mused about getting rid of them altogether in MMORPGs. This generated a lot of interesting conversation around the subject among other bloggers.

In An Age said that side quests are vital for pacing: “Pacing, meanwhile, is all about enhancing the main story. How do you enhance a story? By fleshing it out. Giving context to its development. Allowing breathing room in which to digest the latest narrative bombshell. Bringing the world in which the story exists to life.”

“I’m a fan of side quests if they’re done well overall. I don’t expect every single one to be breathtaking storytelling,” said Gaming SF. And Bhagpuss goes the other way: “I have to wonder whether, rather than putting side quests on ice, it isn’t the main quest itself that should be deep-sixed. If side quests add breadth and depth to the world, don’t main quests try to put that world in a box and close the lid?”

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PAX West 2017: Ashes of Creation’s PvP demo trailer

Yeah, we’re way far off from PAX West, but so what! Ashes of Creation has released a trailer today featuring PvP arena content that will be demoing at the Seattle con next month.

“That’s right, Intrepid Studios is bringing Ashes of Creation to PAX West this September (1st through 4th), and we’re bringing a big tasty playable build for all of you. Not only will we have a full group hunting scenario on hand (details to come!), but we’ll be showing off our PVP Arenas with the gorgeous locales you see in the video below.”

Pew pew. We’ll be at PAX too — will you?

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Daybreak Game Company holds job fair, appetizers presumably delicious

Next month, big things are happening over at DaybreakDaybreak is holding a job fair in which the studio will seek potential candidates for hire.

While the games and projects related to these positions haven’t been made public, we do know that Daybreak was looking for software engineers, software architects, programmers, game designers, UI designers and programmers, artists, a marketing analytics manager, project managers, project producers, and QA engineers. Also, and we cannot stress this enough, there will be delicious appetizers.

Speculation time! Is Daybreak gearing up for a new big project or is the studio attempting to fill in the gaps of its staff after losing team members to the likes of Intrepid Studios and Amazon Game Studios?

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 123: Ashes of Creation’s Steven Sharif

On this week’s show, Justin sits down with Ashes of Creation’s Steven Sharif to talk about the game’s successful Kickstarter, handling a wild community, and the next steps for this up-and-coming sandbox MMORPG.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Ashes of Creation’s post-Kickstarter pledge store is live

Wallets at the ready, peeps: As promised, Ashes of Creation is following up its massive Kickstarter run with a more local, homegrown crowdfunding effort on its own website, live now.

“We’ve been hearing from the community that many couldn’t participate due to the payment limitations of Kickstarter,” writes Intrepid Studios. “In response to this, we came up with a campaign that benefits both new backers and those from the Kickstarter! This campaign will have new backer goals achievable by previous Kickstarter backers and new backers as they are unlocked.”

Pledges begin at $25 and run up to over $5000, with a whole ladder of rewards for all backers depending on how many gamers jump in. There’s even a trailer to talk you into the deal.

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Ashes of Creation will launch its web store next week

If you’re curious what was going on with Ashes of Creation’s promised web store to allow fans to donate even more money to its crowdfunding coffers following the game’s highly successful Kickstarter campaign, the short answer is that it is coming. Next week, in fact.

Intrepid Studios announced that the web store will go live on June 20th alongside internal email integration for current backers. The team also said that “exciting” announcements are coming during livestreams on June 16th and 30th.

Thanks to deeper pockets, Intrepid has been expanding its development team. Five new members were announced: Lead Economic Designer Rocco Scandizzo (Activision, Vivendi), Lead Technical Designer Akil Hooper (EverQuest II, Fallout New Vegas), Lead Programmer Kevin McPherson (PlanetSide 2, Shadowbane), Senior Character Artist Mat Broome (H1Z1, DCUO), and Programmer Alex (Amazon).


Massively Overthinking: MMO monetization run amok

Over the last couple of weeks, the monetization of unreleased games has become a pervasive and uncomfortable theme for the MMO genre. Just in brief:

The frustrating bit is I could go on, and this is just for games that aren’t even formally launched yet. So for this week’s Massively Overthinking, I want to take the temperature of alarm regarding these types of business models for unlaunched games. Is this all par for the course, in line with what we expect from the new MMO market? Have they gone too far yet? If not, what’s too far? How do we feel about this type of pre-launch monetization run amok?

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 120: Steaming into summer

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree welcome summer by talking about SWTOR’s roadmap, Black Desert’s amazing Steam debut, and a troubling Shroud of the Avatar announcement, as well as a mailbag question about casual gaming.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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HuffPo examines Ashes of Creation’s ‘business lessons’

How did Ashes of Creation run the biggest MMORPG Kickstarter to date? HuffPo thinks it knows. The publication has run down a whole list of “business lessons” to take away from the game’s $3.2M campaign, noting that Intrepid Studios took advantage of existing viral networks to Steven Sharif’s “surrounding himself with people that are experts in their own fields.” Transparency and plenty of game footage has been a big boost too, as it helps convince would-be backers that they’re not just pouring money down a drain.

“Intrepid Studios has created a movement in attempting to redefine the MMORPG genre and has appealed to his target audience with laser precision,” says the blog.

Oh, and it turns out that having a crapton of money also helps your Kickstarter venture. “Steven Sharif has stated that he is willing to refund the money back to it’s backers should anything go awry,” HuffPo writes. “This money will come personally from Sharif himself, something that not every young company has the luxury to afford. Nevertheless, there is a level of comfort that comes from Sharif being willing to put his money where his mouth is.”

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