Ashes of Creation snags former Elder Scrolls Online lead writer as new senior narrative designer

    
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It would be easy to assume that Ashes of Creation will be thin on lore owing to its PvP sandbox nature and its main throughline of player actions having an impact on the world. That might not be exactly the case, however, as the game has recently picked up a new hire that will very likely do something to flesh out the world’s narrative: Wynne McLaughlin, the former lead writer and narrative designer for The Elder Scrolls Online, who left Zenimax Online Studios in June of 2021 after writing for the game for nine years.

McLaughlin announced the new position on LinkedIn, writing, “I’m very excited to announce that I’ve accepted a full-time, remote position with Intrepid Studios in San Diego as a Senior Narrative Designer for their groundbreaking new MMO Ashes of Creation!”

In other AOC news, livestreamer and podcaster The Big Cheeked Giant will be hosting the 100th episode of the Discussion Round podcast focused on the MMORPG, where he will be joined by creative director Steven Sharif. The podcast will be airing on Sunday, September 26th, at 3:00 p.m. EDT, though BCGiant will be collecting player questions from Reddit, Facebook, and the game’s forums before then.

sources: LinkedIn (1, 2), Reddit
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BCGiant

Thanks for the shout out.

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Rndomuser

Cool but I hope they won’t focus too much on in-game story and lore. The best kind of stories are the ones that players themselves create through interaction with each other.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

That’s quite a hire. I remember liking a lot of the dialog and the story worked well enough. All the gross monetization aside, that game has me intrigued for its city building stuff. If they nail that part of it, that game could really have something unique to offer.

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DoomSayer

So selling purely cosmetic items is “gross monetization” now? Guess you prefer your MMO devs to panhandle on the street corner to fund their game.

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Ozzie

They’re timed exclusive cosmetic items, that’s definitely not that pure. I’m looking forward to the game, but this is absolutely something any reasonable person should look at closely (or understand why someone would), especially with FOMO being a common tactic to get $$ from gamers. They might also be talking about the referral system, which was implemented super early in the game.

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Rndomuser

They’re timed exclusive cosmetic items, that’s definitely not that pure.

Yea, timed exclusive items are indefensibly bad for consumers and for developers themselves. It only makes other people more jealous of players who have those items, which may lead the players who still want to buy these items and can afford buying them but cannot buy them anymore because developers don’t want to sell them anymore to quit in frustration and play another game which doesn’t have this “exclusive limited time only” BS.

Game developers are more likely to get more money from people if they would still allow people to buy those items later at any time but for a higher price. Plus making them limited time will only encourage client side modding where someone, for example, will make a stock mount look exactly like a store-bought mount (sure, other players won’t see client side modifications you make but for some people it doesn’t matter if others can’t see them), with developer getting absolutely 0 income from that.

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DoomSayer

You know why they are timed exclusives? Because they want people to pay money now. Give gamers a reason to give them money now. Not a year from now or 5 years from now. But now so they can keep developing the game and pay their employees and release the game.

The real problem is almost no new MMO is funded by some big publisher or company with huge piles of cash to blow on something that has a high chance of not making it back. Which is how you want your MMO’s to be funded. I have bad news for you. You might get a couple MMO’s made the old way but by and large it’s going to be funded by the gamers that want that MMO to get made. This means companies have to create some reason for you to give them money so they can build the game.

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DoomSayer

Honestly, I would love to see you guys try and make an MMO. I can see it now.

You: “I have this awesome MMO I want to make and we estimate it will cost $45 million to build. We have $3 million from some investors and saving to start the company and development. No other investors like our idea but we have 100’s of thousands of fans that want to see it made. Hmmmm, how do we fund the rest of this project? which we believe will take us at least 4 years to complete.”

Okay so let’s hear your great ideas on how you plan to raise the rest of the money without getting flamed on forums like this. Oh and by the way half the people at Massively won’t bother to give a dime until “it’s done as a finished retail game”.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

I love how you completely ignore my praise of their hire and the compliment about how their city stuff could be interesting.

Ditch the aggressive tact next time and we can have an actual conversation!

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DoomSayer

I’m just tired of reading people complaining about how MMO’s are funded. Like they are trying to scam you. Guess what? No one is making anyone buy anything. You either want to support the company making the game or you don’t. Posting on here about how evil they are or scams doesn’t help anyone and certainly doesn’t help get a new MMO made.

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Ozzie

I’m not responsible for how tired you are, or what you’ve read before. I didn’t say any of those things about scams either. I just gave context around why someone might think AoC had gross monetization, and that it’s not quite as pure as you’re saying.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

I never said it was a scam. Go back and read my comment and don’t put words in my mouth.

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Ozzie

Well, since you asked me, it’s actually very simple. Just do the same thing but without timed exclusives. Because it’s a silly and infeasible idea anyways. You still have all your alpha/beta packs, your early access stuff, etc. Maybe have some tiered cosmetic exclusives. And call it a day. They’ll absolutely get by with a more player-friendly approach and showing good gameplay.

The timed exclusives is silly because it has a bunch of bad outcomes.

One, it’s bad PR and you lose customers (probably not as many as you gain from FOMO but def an impact).

Two, you create an insurmountable amount of work from your dev team. Each month, they stack on work they will never get to in a reasonable amount of time. They won’t be able to do all this work and still have cosmetics for players when the game launches. Even if they can, this is bad financially because the amount of potential buyers when the game launches will probably dwarf the amount of cosmetics they sold in say last June, and these launch players won’t have as much cool stuff to buy. So you’re just screwing yourself over later for a dollar now.

Three, it’s going to make the game look like total crap. If you’ve noticed, each month has a very distinct theme or biome to it. They’re up to what, 26 now? Do you honestly believe the world will have 20+ biomes at launch? With the timed cosmetics being so widely disparate with buildings, costumes, mounts…it will look like a total mess if they include them all. Many of these themes will have no place in the world at all. Everything will look like a giant mess with no visual cohesion in any way.

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Rndomuser

Honestly, I would love to see you guys try and make an MMO. I can see it now.

I would if I had enough money for development. But I don’t have enough. And I am not willing to engage into questionable and downright unethical tactics to coax people into giving me money and potentially never getting anything in return for that ;-)

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Rndomuser

You know why they are timed exclusives

Of course I know. Because person who decided to implement “timed exclusives” is a sociopath who enjoys to see people expressing negative emotions towards other players (players who were literally lucky to be able to buy the timed exclusive during limited time period) and towards developers. There is no other reason. If you would tried to actually read what I wrote – you would understand that.

No sane, rational developer would base their development budget on hopes that enough people may manage to buy enough items during limited amount of time they are available. So everything you wrote after the phrase I quoted is irrelevant nonsense.

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Loopy

Pepperidge Farm remembers when MMOs simply had a box price and a sub, and everyone was getting the exact same product.

Apparently nowadays it’s not only expected to have a cash shop, but also frowned upon if you dare to question this financial model.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

If only there were other things they sold that were gross that I may be talking about. I guess we’ll never know.