Yesterday, we published a detailed interview with Ethan Casner, one of the devs behind Star Wars Galaxies-inspired Divergence Online. The response was more or less as expected: a comment section debating the merits and flaws of its open PvP system, something SWG very definitely didn’t have. More than one of you was heard to say you’d be interested in the sandbox (and its crowdfunding) but for those plans for open PvP.
And by “was heard to say,” I literally mean heard. Stained Glass Llama has announced that in response to this feedback, it will add a stretch goal for its Indiegogo campaign that if met will enable a second server with a TEF-based (temporary enemy flag) consensual PvP server akin to SWG’s. The stretch goal is $20,000, $5000 more than this particular campaign’s overall goal.
Casner explained the decision to our commenters:
“As much as I don’t consider myself a businessman, I’m also not a complete idiot, and with as many people essentially saying “I would contribute but.. open-pvp”, it would be silly to completely discount the potential to bring in funding to the game that it definitely needs, while simultaneously proving to those new to the project that here is a developer who listens to the community. […] We round-tabled about it for a good part of today, reading comments, spitballing ideas and figuring up what all would be entailed in a hypothetical scenario where we ran two servers simultaneously. The result was that we decided to take the advice of one of your commentators, Mr Quincha, and indeed framework a stretch goal for our campaign that would, in fact, result in the creation of a secondary server with consensual (TEF) pvp.”
Well done, Quincha.
There are some caveats, though — namely, that it will still split the playerbase, and specific “story events and GMs playing notable NPCs and faction leaders” will be reserved for the FFA server.
Casner has given Massively OP permission to reprint the dev diary that went live today explaining exactly why and how he came to this decision and what the stretch goal and server will entail. After all, you folks were one of the catalysts here. Read on!
The game, as it sits right now, has no PVP. Remember, that’s the point of this IndieGoGo; To add top-shelf combat to our top-shelf crafting and other awesome features.
We’ve decided to officially announce our first stretch-goal as an additional “PvP-Optional” server. The new server will have some PVP, but it’ll be consentual unlike our primary server. Players on the new server can either spend their days harvesting, crafting, dancing, playing as non-combatants, or flag themselves for PVP with a “TEF” and engage in an afternoon of RvR fun.
What’s a TEF?
A “TEF” or “Temporary Enemy Flag” occurs either intentionally, by flagging yourself via chat command, or by performing certain actions. A few of those are:
- Healing or buffing factionally-combative players in a state of PVP.
- Killing or harming faction NPCs, such as town guards of an opposing faction.
- Being forcefully ejected from a player city or establishment where you are unwelcome.
Essentially, if you’re playing just to craft, harvest, dance, or even if you’re healing or aiding other players (so long as they are not recently engaged in PVP), you can no longer be harmed, debuffed, or otherwise negatively affected by other players.
Won’t this require your current game code to be changed, and how soon would this be available?
Running a secondary “PVP-Optional” server will not require significant changes to combat, since that’s already the focus of our IndieGoGo, there is none! It will simply require more resources to be directed at developing the aforementioned “TEF” system. This is something we’re more than prepared to do for the players, so long as we don’t have to detract money from the overall development of the game to do it. Therefore, what we decided to do was add a brand new stretch goal to invite the players to make it possible for us to develop this “optional PVP”.
What we hope this’ll do, is give all those people who write us and say “I’d contribute but… Open PVP” a way of putting their money where their mouth is. while simultaneously funding both the game itself, and the style of gameplay they prefer. We could bring it online even before our Steam release for testing.
Will there be any other differences between the Primary server and the secondary “PVP-Optional” server?
There will be a few minor differences between the two geared mainly to gently nudge people towards our primary server, such as story events, and GMs playing notable NPCs and faction leaders on the primary server, but as far as game mechanics and features are concerned, they both get the same content. Additionally, we’re experimenting with the idea of allowing characters to transfer between servers if they meet certain stipulations and even keep their character names, so long as it can be done in a manner that neither rewards nor penalizes the practice.
What if people contribute specifically to make the PVP-Optional server happen, but then it doesn’t meet that stretch goal?
In that case, depending on how close it comes to the goal, we’ll either elect to do the PVP-Optional server regardless of that fact, or we’ll offer refunds to those people. Basically in either scenario, you can’t lose :)
Thanks again for all your support guys, and let’s make this damn game happen!
-Ethan Casner, Creator of Divergence Online