- 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.”
q and a
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.
Hearthstone’s game director fields questions about the expansion, ladder experimentation, and new heroes
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!
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.”
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.
So what’s the deal with the rebalance? Lead Systems Designer Jeremy Randall took to a livestream to answer the many, many questions players had about the sweeping combat changes and how they’re panning out in the game. “By and large, we think that this was a success,” he said at the beginning of the stream. “However, I think we should have attempted to communicate more about what we were doing and why were doing it earlier on.”
Console players might want to log in next week for a special Crystalline Catacysm event. By defeating the Crystalline Entity (which can be done every 20 hours), players get a pile of ore, reputation marks, and a universal kit. There’s also a special one-shard project that can be activated when the rep grind is complete that awards even more goodies.
The full Q&A session is after the break (the actual talking begins at the 10-minute mark).
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.
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.”
While no groundbreaking revelations came out over the stream, Hazzikostas did spend a good amount of time answering queries about the constantly hot topic of Legion legendaries. He said that players who swap specs should find that the game will give them an increased chance of getting a legendary for that spec when there is none present. The team wants to reduce the power gap between strong and weak legendaries, although the four craftable legendaries in Patch 7.2 will be “middle of the road.”
Other topics included how Patch 7.2 will deal with catching up on artifact power and expanding relics to include two traits instead of the current one. The patch will contain artifact knowledge tomes to boost players’ alts to 30 and 35, as the team doesn’t want players to feel as though they’re doing nothing other than grinding AP for the expansion.
The expansion of World of Warcraft’s token utility continues to ripple across the entire Blizzard ecosystem, as prices remain high and supply occasionally runs out. Polygon has gone so far to posit that grinding out gold in WoW might be more efficient to get those Hearthstone packs and Overwatch loot boxes than actually playing those games.
The article contains a lot of math: “It takes about 135 hours of playing Overwatch to earn 100 loot boxes. A bundle of 50 loot boxes costs $40 plus tax, so Overwatch pays out loot-box rewards worth about sixty cents for every hour you play […] You should be able to earn the six tokens you need to buy a hundred loot boxes in about 30 hours of grinding herbs in World of Warcraft, so you earn more than four times as many Overwatch loot boxes per hour farming herbs in WoW than you’ll earn from actually playing Overwatch.”
In other World of Warcraft news, wing three of Nighthold is now open for business, so get in there and make us all proud. Today and today only is the new Hatching of the Hippogryph micro-holiday, if you’re into that sort of thing. Additionally, you might also want to catch the latest new developer Q&A livestream this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. EST.