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Alganon Developer Roundtable #19


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#1 Tork

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 10:39 AM

Recently the Alganon community was asked to provide questions for the developers of Alganon. We now have the answers to some of your most anticipated questions.

Read on for the selected community questions and the developer answers.

1. Will gear have prerequisites and if so what form will they take? -Cerwyn

Yes! In Alganon, gear is one of the ways your character can progress, so there are many different requirements that a gear can have. Some gear has level requirements, players must reach a certain level to equip the item.

Some gear has study requirements. For example, there are many magical fire-themed items that require players to study Embermancy before they can use them. Players who choose to run the group content will find similar-level items without these requirements, but players who don't like to play in groups, but find themselves in need of the stats these items provide, can choose to study Embermancy and thus bypass the content they don't enjoy. There are also cosmetic elements that require studies. For example, the Hogsnout-head masks that our players were able to to test for us this Halloween will be available to players who may miss these holiday events, but choose to use their studies to get similar rewards.

Gear can also have prerequisites of faction, only friends of the Peacemantle can wear their tabard; or skill level, only an artisan blacksmith can wear the Apron of Argon; or even things as diverse as having completed a certain quest, being a certain class or race, having a certain stat, and a couple of "hidden" elements we can use to make different gear available to players who made different choices. We will use these requirements to provide alternate ways for players to get gear that, in other games, is only available through a single method.

2. How many "gathering" or "harvesting" type skills can one player have at any given time? -Cerek
In Alganon, there are 4 gathering skills (Herbalism, Mining, Salvaging, and Skinning) and 5 crafting skills (Blacksmithing, Leatherworking, Tailoring, Alchemy, and Novice Crafting). All players are granted Novice Crafting automatically, and can choose any two additional skills, for a total of 3 trade skills. These trade skills are highly interdependent, so players should expect all of the crafting skills to use materials from all of the gathering skills.

3. Am I going to have fun? -Kram59
I hope so. That is the reason we are making this game. Every member of our team is an avid MMO player and we are as excited about playing the game as the other players are!

4. Will there be plenty of instanced dungeons and end-game raiding ? -Fabled
Yes. This content will be unlocked by our players after the game goes live. A large part of the event we call "the Dawning" will be the unlocking of the first few instances for all of Alganon's players. The players who participate in the Dawning content will be able to tell future players about how they, personally, took part in an event to open the instances.

5. I see a docked ship at Westport. Will there be ship rides ? boats ? I know we have mounts and teleports, but is anything else planned for means of transportation ? -Cerek
At launch, just mounts and teleporters. We found that the Ourobi and their portals provided all of the "taxi" services we need, at a faster rate than waiting for a boat or preset flight. Fortunately, it is still fun to sing "I'm on a Boat" while the boat is docked, but we may add additional methods of transportation if other such opportunities arise.

6. Will there be some kind of mechanism that allow dungeons to scale depending on the party/raid size? -magtoch

We do not have plans to have dungeons scale automatically. Generally, these systems fall back on "more hp, hits harder, more of them" mechanics, which doesn't always translate to "more fun." We want to be certain our dungeons are the most fun for the number of players that enter them. Instead of an instance automatically adjusting for the number of players, we plan to respawn and adjust the AI of creatures in instances to create multiple versions of the same instance, each one balanced for different party sizes and/or level ranges. We are looking at creating instances balanced for groups of 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 players.
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#2 Eldaran

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 11:42 AM

Very cool! Thanks Tork!

P.S. by the way, I accidentally deleted you from my friends again. :sweat:
Eldaran Silverhand - Human Mystic - Alchemist/ Herbalist
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#3 Gargothen

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 12:31 PM

Fortunately, it is still fun to sing "I'm on a Boat" while the boat is docked, but we may add additional methods of transportation if other such opportunities arise.



Can I be T-Pain?

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#4 Radium

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 12:52 PM

We do not have plans to have dungeons scale automatically. Generally, these systems fall back on "more hp, hits harder, more of them" mechanics, which doesn't always translate to "more fun." We want to be certain our dungeons are the most fun for the number of players that enter them. Instead of an instance automatically adjusting for the number of players, we plan to respawn and adjust the AI of creatures in instances to create multiple versions of the same instance, each one balanced for different party sizes and/or level ranges. We are looking at creating instances balanced for groups of 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 players.


We are hearing that the instances we unlock will be scale for either level 50 characters or lower level characters. Is it possible some information can be provided on how that is going to be done? For example will the party leader pick an easy setting because the group is low level and if they are higher level pick another setting, or is the instance going to figure out on its own how hard the instance should be?

Also along these lines can we be told yet what levels the different instances of the dungeons will be? Will there be a level 20 version and a level 50 version of the same instance, or does it break apart differently?

#5 morphene

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 01:15 PM

We are looking at creating instances balanced for groups of 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 players.


Please reconsider this approach. Speaking only for me, what this game desperately needs is some solid, playtested, exciting and polished content that people can honestly enjoy and to show off to those who aren't yet playing. If that ended up being only one instance to repeat at 50, I'd be far happier than with many options, with few being used and none meeting a high quality standard.

Pushing for 3+ dungeons, at 2 level ranges and 5 group sizes per dungeon is only going to reduce the quality of any one of the instances, and probably push out the entire content drop for everyone. 24 and 36 player dungeons don't fit the game population in the least, the highest size even being dropped by your far more populated inspiration as being way too much of a hassle to be fun. These multi-group dungeons if launched will go almost entirely unused and more importantly nearly entirely inaccessible to virtually all of your player base.

Please stop the scope creep. Your team is not that large. You'd honestly be far better off focusing on a small amount of content, play testing it and removing all the exploits that will otherwise exist and adding entirely handcrafted loot instead of relying on RNG crutches. Release just that as soon as it's available and then start on the next dungeon.

Delaying things further, and reducing the quality for everyone to add just a few instances that will seldom if ever get spawned is just going to make the hole you're in deeper.

If you want to spend your time on low use content once there is more than enough high quality stuff for everyone then so be it. But please do it in phases at least.

#6 Soupdragon

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 01:30 PM

Delaying things further, and reducing the quality for everyone to add just a few instances that will seldom if ever get spawned is just going to make the hole you're in deeper.


First rule of holes; Stop digging!
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."Einstein

#7 Radium

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 01:56 PM

While I personally am not a hardcore raider type I do see the actual need for the larger raid content. There are people who look for that when they are purchasing a game, and right now they will not even consider Alganon. We need a much larger player base for the game. I am not sure that it is that much more work to create an instance over again that is going to take more players. I am sure it is easier then starting from scratch.

I would like to know about drops though. If we are killing names for drops and the same named mobs are dropping the same items whether you are running 3 people or 36 there will be no reason to run a 36 since you could have ran 12 groups of 3 with the same numbers and got far more drops from named. Maybe we will not know this until it goes live, but if this happens the raid group idea is a waste of time.

#8 morphene

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 02:47 PM

I'm all for raid content, hell I'd be first in the line if it was possible for me to attempt. But lets be realistic. 36 people is far too large when I log into the largest realm on the largest server and there are less than that playing total. There are only two guilds in the game that could even attempt it, and I'd say yours is unlikely.

The reason people aren't buying alganon isn't because there isn't a leveling dungeon that's been rescaled to 50 and then rescaled to accept 6x the number of players it's designed for. Would a 36 player dungeon even get play tested? It seems highly unlikely.

Focus on doing a few well, please. If that means you'll only do one 3 person scale, one 6 person scale, and one 18 person "raid" scale that won't see much use than so be it. But please do them well, don't shovel 20+ copies of the same instances at us.

#9 Seatstaken

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 02:53 PM

Very helpful information. Looks like they are heading in the right direction after the Dawning is over.

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#10 Radium

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 07:03 AM

But lets be realistic. 36 people is far too large when I log into the largest realm on the largest server and there are less than that playing total. There are only two guilds in the game that could even attempt it, and I'd say yours is unlikely.


My guess is that unless we grow where there is the capacity, in numbers of players, to do the 36 player raids none of us will be playing Alganon.

#11 Eldaran

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 08:34 AM

More content = More People

the problem is we are fighting against the clock. It wont be long until the second month blues starts to set in and people all go back to the games they came from. I want to stay here for a long time, but I tend to get bored when there is nothing left to do. I really hope we can see some real progress soon.
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#12 Soupdragon

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 01:55 PM

More content = More People

the problem is we are fighting against the clock. It wont be long until the second month blues starts to set in and people all go back to the games they came from.


Unfortunately the "second month blues" are already here. I can't play at the moment as I am away from home, but I can and do read the forums and believe me, there ain't much Christmas cheer left out there.
Most of the comments are negative or resigned to a slow death of this game. Some of those comments from long time and staunch supporters of Alganon.

It is not a happy read.

The morale of the troops is flagging in the face of server crashes, client crashes, bugs that have been reported until we are blue in the face but still present in game, new players downloading the game and unable to play, sheer lack of information, the list goes on, unfortunately.

Your troops need to be rallied!

I am not demanding an answer, just merely politely asking one of the devs to take some time out of their busy schedule to read the forums and get a feeling for the players worries, talk to the other devs and then to maybe throw us a carrot, maybe even a "state of the nation address" if you will.

I bought a years sub to this game but, to be honest, I am beginning to wonder if it's going to be around that long. Which will be a crying shame given the games potential, the devs vision and sheer hard bloody work that has gone into this project.

The cold, stark reality is that the game needs more players, a lot more players (if just to make it feel like a viable world) but it won't get those players if the product isn't more stable and polished.

One of the main reasons I decided to take the plunge and buy a years sub was because the sense of community was amazing and a breath of fresh air after playing many other MMOs.
It seems, however, since launch, that the community has dwindled severely to the point that some days there is barely any chat in game for hours upon end. I realise a lot of folk from beta didn't buy the game and just moved on to the next beta.
I think that being a European player doesn't help here, but even when I slog on into what are the wee small hours for me and American time zones take over, there is still not that much being said and very little sense of community anymore.

I know a way to fix that and I know you aren't going to like it.

Bring back the dev channel, let us all talk to each other again. Bring back that sense of cameraderie that was so volubly present during beta. Slowly build on that sense of community we once had, let that sense of community be a shining beacon for players to come to Alganon. Until we get more players in game and you could think about turning the ability to speak to anyone off again.
Although to be honest, I never really saw the point in preventing cross faction chat, apart from the PvP aspect obviously, and well... we ain't going to be seeing that anytime soon so why turn cross faction chat off?

One of the main marketing points for Alganon was the sense of community, I firmly believe that bringing cross faction chat back will boost that sense of community invaluably.

Dare to be different to those other MMOs and your players will come, maybe slowly at first, but they will come.
Alganon could be a haven of community in the wilderness of "asshattery" provided by other MMOs.

Thanks for giving me the space and means to get that off my chest, apologies for my lack of eloquence and if I have stepped on anyones toes and offended them it was not intended.
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."Einstein

#13 Hakiem

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 06:01 PM

SoupDragon... I have to agree with ya.

I go for hours on end with no Chat on the main channel. And I play on Adrios Human side which is suppose to have the largest population?? unconfirmed of course.

I've been leveling 4 characters and they are now all level 20 with my soldier about to hit level 30. I'll then go level the other 3 to 30 as I progress in a silent world where the only time I hardly even see another player is in the Bank at Asheran and then it's usually a OTG guild person. Out in the world it's quiet ---- very quiet.

It'd be nice to have the World Chat back. At least then occasionally someone talking might raise me out of my stupor.

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#14 Mystilla

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 11:29 PM

Even though I do agree that the lack of players is worrisome, and the once tight community we had during beta is waning, I am not suffering from Second Month Blues. I find that our guild chat is very active. I even have turned off Regional so it doesn't interfere. I never feel "alone". I guess that we are more worried about working as a team, whether it be helping guildmates level, group up for bosses or talking strategy for the Dawning craft-fest. And if there is a bit of silence, then I know everyone is busy.

The majority of the players in our guild are going to wait it out till the Dawning. We have plenty to do getting ready for that. Once that is over I will see how things pan out. If the Dawning is a success, with great instances and cool new content I will be here for a long time because I know QOL is doing the right thing. If it is unfinished/unplayable or just plain stupid, then sadly, its probably best to move on. But no one will know till then.

Even though I didn't buy a year's subscription (3 months for me), I still feel that I put all my eggs in one basket. There are no games out there that I want to play anymore. Been there, done that. If Alganon dies, it will be a sad day indeed. But, no time to worry about that. I gotta keep grinding for dreadweave cloth and items to salvage. Never a dull moment. :wacko:

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#15 Kelody

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 06:35 AM

I too would like to see some form of Dev chat returned. The most active Regional Chat is the 1-30 area. Once you go on to Haggon Marsh you can no longer use that. This is splintering the few people that do want to chat and possibly making it harder for younger players to get answers to questions they have.

#16 jpo

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 06:49 AM

Yeh....bring back the Dev chat....and merge the servers. This game can't support two at the moment.
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#17 Eldaran

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 06:53 AM

Human side on Hokk chat has been great. I would really like a faction wide chat channel though as some people are not in the Asheran Forest zone anymore and can't hear our Region chat. I spend a lot of time talking to all of the newcomers and there are several of us answering questions and such. It really takes everyones effort to say hello when they come in game. It usually sparks some conversation.

I just made up this quote to summarize my post.

"Don't wait for chat to start, start your own." - Eldaran :thumbsup:
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#18 DeLang

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 09:09 AM

With the current number of players, I'd love to see the regional channels merged into a faction channel.

I'd also love to see the re-emergence of the dev channel. We had so much fun in beta with that and it really helped to solidify the community. There's no PvP here for a long time so why not?

#19 Chadeaux

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 09:21 AM

: ( dbl post ack laggg
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#20 Chadeaux

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 09:22 AM

With the current number of players, I'd love to see the regional channels merged into a faction channel.

I'd also love to see the re-emergence of the dev channel. We had so much fun in beta with that and it really helped to solidify the community. There's no PvP here for a long time so why not?



I heartily agree <3
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---@--- Jayaha Talrok Magus | Chadeaux Human Ranger | Adrios & Hokk ---@--- Posted Image




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