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Early Development Roadmap

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by MWTaylor, Mar 3, 2016.

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  1. MWTaylor

    MWTaylor Black Knight
    Staff Member

    Sep 12, 2015
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    Today we are happy to present our development roadmap for our early development stages. Our initial focus is on areas of the game that help with the new player experience as well as changes that have high impact on the game but require lower development cost. Some of the changes will be fairly straightforward, while others will require a larger effort and some research to assess how feasible they are early on. This document does not represent all of the most important issues, but we plan to focus on areas that make the most sense early on.

    It is important to note that all of these changes will go through testing and we will be relying heavily on your feedback. We have the great benefit of seeing how some of these changes play out with you, our community, during the development phases and we plan to take full advantage of that. Your feedback and support through this process will be pivotal in our ability to squash bugs and make the kinds of changes needed to improve on the game.

    Here is our initial focus for alpha and closed beta in no particular order. Priorities for all of the following items will rise and fall as the development team familiarizes themselves with the project as well as many other factors. Although this document will provide some basics of the planned changes, finer details will be included in actual patch notes.

    • Transportation - The way you travel around the world of Agon is a key aspect of the game experience and we felt needed some modifications right away. Changes like the ones listed below could have a big impact on how, and how often, some of these features are used. The values we ultimately decide upon will be evaluated and tweaked as needed during development.
      • Boats
        • Increase acceleration and top speed of ships across the board
        • Lower material costs for Launch
        • Remove astrolabe requirements for some of the smaller boats
        • Add ability to name boats (1 time per boat)
      • Mounts
        • Increase all mount speeds on roads.
      • Warhulks
        • Increase all warhulk speeds.

    • Power Gap and Grind - One of the key areas that needs to be greatly improved upon is the way a new character progresses and ultimately how much of a grind, and in turn power gap, that character has to overcome. The changes below are designed to begin tackling that issue, but are certainly not all of the changes we plan to make.
      • Consolidate many skills that are considered passive with no sensible active way to raise them. Their full effects will be “built in” to a starting character. For those passives that have a requirement and need to be bought, that will stay the same (with requirements adjusted where applicable), but when you buy it, it will have it’s full effect immediately.
      • Adjust all skill magnitude curves, which could be referred to as “front loading”.
      • Adjust stat effectiveness curve, which could be referred to as “front loading”.
      • Increase leveling speeds of self buffs, heal others, buff others and debuffs.
      • Remove offensive spell skill-ups from other players.

    • Hotkeys - These changes are part of the effort to make playing the game more intuitive and to improve the experience for new players.
      • Consolidate melee and ranged ability hotkeys so that only one key will be used for each attack. One key for all whirlwinds, one key for all power attacks, etc.
      • Implement a toggle for auto-sprint
      • Explore the feasibility of implementing a spell stacking mechanic / hotkey (for rays, r50/90 cycle)
      • Implement a single key for Sword and Board

    • System Messages - We’re going to experiment with disabling some of the system messages during early development. This is designed to create a more regional feel when it comes to city raiding and sieging and opens up the possibility for scenarios that weren't possible prior. It provides the opportunity for solo players and smaller groups to penetrate city walls without alerting their enemies and makes politics and player interactions more important in regards to sieges.
      • Remove tripping messages for enemies
      • Remove harvesting messages for enemies
      • Remove global siege drop messages
      • Remove global siege reminder messages
      • Remove wall damage messages for enemies
      • In all cases (city, harvesting, etc) self messages will not be affected by these changes.

    • Portal Chambers / Portals - During early development we’re going to experiment with the instant travel system. To do this, we need to disable portal chambers as we currently know them. This allows us to test other things that we have in mind as we work towards a more regional territory control game as it was in the early years.
      • Disable portals during alpha to experiment with other potential ideas
      • Leverage existing portal mechanic (dungeons) and experiment an above ground portal system. (aka Wilderness Portal Network)
      • Explore feasibility of other options involving portal chambers from a technical standpoint

    • Villages - We plan to implement a few changes to villages during early development outlined below, but this will be an area of the game with continued focus throughout.
      • Add a chance for random reward to village captures (think chaos chest)
      • Update housing taxes to be in line with house type
      • Increase default guest bind spots on House, Villa, Large Villa and Keep
      • Add a time between leaving a house and when you actually drop off as a tenant (think same mechanic as leaving a clan, but shorter)

    • Soft Siege Windows - This will be our first “test” implementation of a soft siege window system which will involve a few factors that we can tweak as the need and feedback arises.
      • Specify time period window which would be your clan’s “off hours”
      • Clan Stone health increased significantly during that window
      • Siege wager increased substantially during that window
      • Attacker’s ability to place siege stones limited to one large or two small.

    • Chaos Chests - We all loved them, but they were kind of boring most of the time. Our goal is to find ways to enhance this mechanic to make them more rewarding, or more chaotic.
      • Explore feasibility of a spawning mechanic (mobs) on open
      • Greatly Increase variance in the loot table so that every drop will be much more interesting. (Much less frequent will be the drops of 50g and a large pot, for instance)

    • Harvesting/Nodes - The changes in this section may seem extreme, but we feel that harvesting was uninteresting and promoted AFK activities. We’re trying to change that so players will get more resources actively harvesting, which will eliminate the pressure players felt to harvest afk. The secondary effect we see these changes having is adding the need for players to venture out further from their holdings to harvest, which means more world activity and resource conflicts.
      • Decrease node capacity moderately
      • Decrease time to harvest considerably.
      • Add visual indicator on an empty node
      • Add mechanic to spawn enriched nodes randomly in the world
        • Will be rare (think chaos chest mechanic)
        • Will contain considerably more resources
        • Will disappear after emptied
        • Will look different and be easily identifiable

    • Crafting - We think these modest changes will have a big impact on crafting. The first one will ease the crafting process, while the second will instantly make all hamlets full-service and as livable as a city.
      • Add a mechanic to specify a target bag for crafting output
      • Add missing crafting stations to layouts of all hamlets

    • Combat - While we aim to be really careful about combat changing mechanics there’s a couple that most people can agree need to change. The following changes will be heavily tested to ensure that we get them right, as will any changes to combat that are made.
      • Reduce fizzle rate to 0 except when tongue rotted and look at balancing armor with effects such as increased draw/cast speed or increased stat cost
      • Reduce the surging mechanic primary effect (damage) to negligible amount

    • Misc - The remaining ideas below do not warrant a separate section for the purpose of this document, but are worth mentioning anyway. Many of them are things we need to actually spend time in-game assessing before we can proceed with any changes.
      • Add ability to look at inventory of an incapacitated player
        • Able to take items
        • No equipped items will be lootable(You'd have to gank to get what they have equipped)
      • Buffing or healing a red/grey will make the caster grey, will cause temporary rogue status the same way damaging a blue player does.
      • Add nexus entrances and exits to high end mobs as a rare drop
      • Review default bindings and shuffle as needed to be more intuitive and fluid.
      • Change meditation to work online
      • Experiment with increasing max party size and evaluate client/server impact
      • Explore feasibility of adding optional visual UI cooldowns and timers to potions, food and spells
      • Evaluate distributions and uses of rare ores
      • Evaluate mobs in starter zones for increases (loot and spawns)
      • Disable newbie protection (for now)
      • Review values and uses of enchanting materials for potential balancing changes

    Please head over to our Discussion Thread and share your feedback!
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    #1 MWTaylor, Mar 3, 2016
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2016
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