Dune Awakening discusses MMO size, PvP and PvE, the deep desert, and getting rid of Funcom ‘jank’


Funcom’s Joel Bylos was among those in attendance at this year’s GDC, which is the stage where he answered questions about the upcoming Dune: Awakening that involved the game’s population size, its activities for PvP and PvE players, and its plans for release as chronicled by Wccftech.

We’ll jump to that release timing question first, as Bylos noted during the Q&A that he wants to ensure the survival MMO will arrive when it’s free of Funcom’s infamous levels of jank:

“We don’t want to ship it till it’s ready. I don’t know how many of you have played Conan Exiles. We have a reputation for interesting ideas and some jank. I would prefer to get rid of the jank. I’d like to launch a game that’s really polished from Funcom. We’ve grown as a company. I think we can deliver a really polished survival experience.”

As far as the rest of the roundtable, here are some of the major highlights that are the most important to us here:

  • The game’s MMO size is still fairly robust according to Bylos, but it won’t support the “thousands of players” that Funcom noted previously. The game’s world will be split up into three maps: the regular desert that provides the bulk of the gameplay experience, the FFA PvP deep desert region that lies beyond the Shield Wall mountains, and a social hub. Each can support hundreds of players and will be instanced based on server demands.
  • Speaking of the deep desert, that’s where most of the major resource pools will be found. The aim, according to Bylos, is to have PvP focus mostly on fighting for resources rather than “kicking down other people’s sandcastles.”
  • PvP will have the usual full-loot rules, but Bylos also brings up the game’s political system as a means to compete against others without necessarily slaughtering everyone. Additionally, bases within the survival desert will be shielded and significantly harder to destroy, and players will see warnings if they enter a PvP area.
  • PvE will be available for players as well, primarily in the ecology labs that serve as Dune Awakening’s dungeons. Bylos also claims that players can progress in the game without engaging in PvP whatsoever.
  • A business model has not been decided yet. “I mean, it’s an MMO, so we’re gonna keep it running, which means we’ll probably have some form of monetization post-launch,” Bylos said. “I don’t think we’re ready to talk about the details of that yet.”
  • Yes, there will obviously be sandworms. No you cannot ride them at launch, but it will be coming sometime post-launch; sandworms are otherwise intended to be a constant threat that players will need to navigate, and sandwalking will be a skill players need to eventually learn.
source: Wccftech (1, 2)
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