Welcome to the second and final round of answers for our Community Q&A #1 - Greetings! Thanks to everyone who posted their questions to us over the last several weeks, we've locked the original thread and will be opening a new one in the coming days. Please be aware that these answers are preliminary and may be subject to change in the future. - Do you guys plan on using Facebook/twitter to help promote the advertising ( one thing Fallout 4 recently did, to enter a sweepstakes for prizes they had you post a picture of your pre-order to facebook, I thought it was a clever marketing tool) - Zeb Yes, we will be using these social media sites among others, as well as several other marketing initiatives. Once the contract is signed and finalized, keep an eye on our online presence becoming much more active. Plans on... Seatower changes/VCP's frequency/Siege changes/fixes (how frequent it happens) - Zeb Yes, we are looking into possible loot changes and mechanic changes for VCPs. For sieges, we’re thinking of a soft window to give defender’s some benefits when sieged outside of their prime window, but no final decision has been made. Sea towers haven’t been discussed in depth yet, but we are going to be doing reviews of basically everything, and they are certainly included. Will be more specializations or an alternative system with trade-offs for people not interested to learn everything but only some disciplines? Yes, we are going to look into more ways to define your play style and character. The final details are still to come based on technical limitations. Being as these changes will affect combat heavily, it will not make it in the game till well into our beta/early access period, so we have plenty of play-testing and feedback time to get it right. Will there be full local banking and localized resources for every racial region? The banking system right now is planned to stay true to original Darkfall Online (Global Banking). As per localizing/regionalizing resources, that is being discussed to make areas more polarised in resources. Do you have plans to change destroyer (please don't) ? - Zoro It is possible that down the line we’ll be making a few tweaks to the Destroyer specialization, however at this time we don’t have anything set in stone. Overall, we were happy with it. Are you planning on keeping server restarts daily? Or are you planning to introduce something different? - Elunex This is probably something that is a relative necessity due to the architecture of the server system. So most likely, yes, for the time being. I'm assuming everyone has seen how poorly nerfing the gear gap in unholy wars has gone both with the community and game play. with seeing this first hand do you still plan on nerfing the gear gap in rise of agon? - iswtmio This is still up for debate, and is currently on our review list for consideration. Any changes that don't work as intended will be tweaked and reverted if necessary. Community feedback will be vital. Have you considered providing a system (ingame or otherwise) for players without scripting skills to acquire & install scripts created/distributed by other players? - Riftmaster We are considering a macro system built into the GUI, as a way of making certain aspects more accessible for players. A simple example of this would be binding a sword and shield to one key. How realistic do you think it is to balance a multitude of specs, to not create a rock>paper>scissor type game? How do you plan to monitor and maintain the balance between specs? - yewhatever There's the million dollar question! It’s definitely possible, and in the future when we’re looking at implementation we are going to do a spotlight specifically on this system. It’s too early at this time to dive further into this, but a working server to play test these ideas out will be critical. What will you do to retain more new players than AV did?- Uzik This is going to be performed in several different ways: Address the attrition points that caused people to leave, especially the power gap between new and old players. We want to maintain the sense of long term progression, while giving players the ability to be competitive/viable faster. Continuously add new content and mechanics to the game. This will not only bring in new players, but keep the existing playerbase engaged. We are looking into implementing a lucrative referral and mentoring system to encourage the community to promote the game as well as take new players under their wing. Add a better tutorial system, as well as making relevant information available through our site and new player video guides. We are looking at the possibility of adding in an optional “Newbie Island” for players who want a little more hand holding to start off. This would potentially be linked to the tutorial system. Our primary concern is to make Rise of Agon more accessible to newer players, while maintaining the hardcore essence of Darkfall. We believe this is the best plan of action to watch the game thrive. Are there more ideas in getting the community to come together like trade fairs and large pvp events like the race war towards the end? Yes, we are creating an events team which will be responsible for this. They will be both creating our own staff run events as well as assisting players with their own community events. Tournaments, trade fairs, free-for-alls, racial wars, and so on will be extremely important going forward. Players love them for a reason, and we will certainly be supporting it. Has your team considered adding in a second character slot opposed to just one? - ODB No, adding multiple character slots isn't planned or really being considered at this time. Just wondered if you planned on making any AI improvements in the future or if this is a bit too past the capacity of the team. - lahmage Yes, we do want to make some changes to the AI to address exploit issues and potentially add more advanced NPCs. This however is a long term goal and one that probably will not be looked at until after launch. Are you prepared to deal with new and existing hacks? Nothing ruins a launch better than rampant hacking... Yes, we will be using the existing security and active GMs to combat hackers, as well as some other ideas server side to prevent them from returning. We'll also be looking to expand the detection systems to automatically find those using hacks/cheats. On top of this we have long term plans to update the Java and DirectX components which will improve security against client modifications and performance overall. Our GM’s will be incredibly vigilant, and will not tolerate blatant hacking, something Darkfall Online did not excel at. What is your stance on RMT? Real Money trades/transactions are a reality of MMORPG's and something that we cannot fully prevent. That being said, RMT will be against the rules and our GMs will ban accounts for it after investigation. We are most likely going to implement a subscription item that you can buy and trade in game. This will help combat RMT by giving an official method of buying items with cash to sell in-game. Will there be a cash shop? - Alpha Mage There is no plan to implement a cash shop right away, but it is something we are going to look at for the future. It would be solely for cosmetic and/or fluff items, nothing that would affect combat if we put one in down the line. Gameplay is sacred, and should not be affected by a player’s wallet. Have you given any thought to adding some sort of taming/pet system? It might be interesting to tie a system of that sort into an NPC guard system - tame pets and post them as NPC guards for your city or whatever. Long term, I'd think. - Riftmaster A taming/pet system would present issues for sieges ,and AI systems can be complex to implement properly, so this isn't a feature we'll look at during our beta/early access. An NPC guard system is something we will potentially look at down the line. Can't find this question - What are the plans for racial characteristics? (iirc it use to be human or bust due to melee reach) We may look at slight adjustments to hitbox and melee reach on races, but until we can see raw data and perform careful tests we won't be touching this. There's a fine line between reality and perception. Races are all unique and each offer advantages and disadvantages, this unique aspect will be upheld. What do you plan on doing to combat exploits (things like devil farming with mounts, getting mobs stuck/stop moving/break AI, and all of the other ones) - What about the dupe methods etc? We're looking at some tweaks to address mob exploits. This includes geometry exploits at key spawns and AI tweaks to prevent mobs from getting stuck, despawning them if they do, etc. We can’t give a specific answer until we’ve dug into the code, but once we do, we will move forward with the most effective solution. What is your stance on bunny hopping in all forms? (stormblast, begone, battlespikes, etc) Bunny hopping added a fun and tactical movement system into the game based almost entirely on player skill. We will not be removing it, as we believe it’s a huge part of what made Darkfall as an MMORPG unique and fun. We will however be looking at the overall balance of it, and making tweaks here and there. We want to keep bunny hopping in the game, but also keep mounts and ships as the preferred form of travel. More details on this to come. What are the plans with buffs, self buffs and others?(I just remembering having to cycle between 20 buffs or so) As of now, we are looking at merging many different self buffs together, so as to make the pre-combat preparation time shorter. Buff Others may also be tweaked, but our primary goal here is to maintain the sanctity of teamwork in combat; Buff Others are a big part of that. What is your stance on city towers, their damage, how to mitigate them etc? This is still under discussion, but we can tell you that we will be removing alignment exploits via healing/buffing reds under NPC guard towers. What is going to be done to prevent people from geometry exploiting under the world to safely macro 24/7? We're looking to change levelling in such a way that should make macroing unnecessary and fairly irrelevant. Having said that, there will be several mechanics in place to prevent geometry exploiting, such as automated detective/corrective methods, and GM intervention. Are you going to be able to access enemy banks to say, remove battlespikes and black powder like in the original Darkfall? City owners will have the capability to allow/disallow bank access to certain individuals and clans. More often than not, enemies will not have the capabilities to use enemy banks. Are there going to be launches (single cannon ships) in the release of RoA, if so, can you comment on the possibility of an autofire macro for the cannon. We will have all assets and changes from the 2012 state of Darkfall, so yes. Auto-firing a cannon is something we're considering due to some community feedback in favour of it. However we're not convinced that automating this feature is in the best interest of the game. Just curious if it is possible to increase bank space. It was really annoying having to use the clan bank just to store excess items. Was the bank space limit intended or was it due to technical limitations? - The Law Yes, one thing we're looking at is increasing the number of unique items a bank can hold. The original bank limit made it difficult to stockpile crafted gear. This in turn hurt the economy by making it all about big stockpiles of resources instead of gear bags. What is the current team size of BPG, how many are professional game developers/have experience in developing and shipping a product/mmorpg? - Wonderbread We are about 40 at this time, being as we are currently a volunteer group, we occasionally lose or gain a person or two. Most have professional experience and/or college/university training for the roles they are performing in the company. Our primary coders have experience ranging from 3-5 years to about 15 years working experience. We are looking to add one more experienced programmer with C++/Java experience to the team. Our database and system admins have several years experience working in their fields as well. Our marketing team and business side all have many years of experience working in their respective fields. There's several that have worked in some fashion for MMORPG's before in programming, game design, modeling, and sound to name a few. We are all here for our shared passion of Darkfall, and what we know it can become. We've come together as a powerful and diverse group of skilled individuals to form Big Picture Games. We are extremely confident in our ability to make Darkfall: Rise of Agon succeed, and we say that as professionals and as players. - Enjoy the rest of the holiday period everyone!