Here is a (very long) post from Darkfall developers about where the game is headed. It also includes details of how Relic, Specialization, and New Player Experience will be implemented.
We’ve spoken before about our vision for ‘Darkfall: Unholy Wars’ and the direction we intend to take the game in, and today we would like to expand upon that, by providing some insight as to how we aim to realize that vision.
What we want to present here is our medium and long-term vision for Unholy Wars, as we feel that an important step to moulding the game into the experience that we all want it to be is to define where it is that we want to go; it is this vision that we would like to include you all in today.
What follows is a relatively “high-level” overview of related/interconnected aspects of the game, and mechanics, that we feel should be tweaked, enhanced and developed in order to take Unholy Wars in the direction that we want. Future updates/announcements will delve much deeper into each area, to provide further details about specific mechanics.
We would also like to point-out that we do not see this as another change in direction, or shift in focus. What we are presenting here is our long-term goals, a continuation of our previous announcements. All our immediate goals and focuses, as laid out previously, remain in place; such as enhancements to the function of the GUI, improvements in client performance, increased fluidity and responsiveness in combat, economy and loot re-balancing and increased holding desirability.
So, without further ado, in no specific order:
Fully Localised Economy
PvE and AI Improvements
Alignment, Factions and Play-Styles
In order to make Agon a place for all types of players to find their own way to flourish, we intend to introduce several inter-dependent systems to allow players to make their own choices (with appropriate risks, rewards, benefits and consequences) about how they find their own place in the world. This focus includes far more than simple alignment and factions, but reached into other aspects such as increasing competitiveness and individuality for all players.
Freely Placed and Fully Crafted Housing and Holdings
With new ship mechanics, and new types of ship, we want to see land-based wars and rivalries continue out on the open sea. With more aquatic monsters, and the potential for player made floating holdings, we want the seas of Agon to be as exciting and dangerous as any part of the main-land.
Conquest and Territory ControlWith the move to player defined/constructed holdings, we aim to make our territorial control system far more dynamic and volatile, by providing mechanics to allow players to more directly influence the areas-of-influence, along with more, and more types of, siege engines, and a re-evaluation of the siege mechanics themselves, our aim is to make the systems that support conquest dynamic and player-controlled, removing (wherever possible) the reliance on timed-events. While we it’s clear that a free-placement and player-crafted holding system will have a huge impact on “holding value”, before and for this, we also intend to include player-controlled, dynamic, mechanics to enhance holding value, and present opportunities for real, rewarding, raids, that are fun for both parties.
Character CustomizationWe want all players to have the ability to truly express themselves, and live out the life they choose in Agon, and this expression has to extend to the choice of character; as such, we think all races should present unique choices, from new player models, and a greatly expanded ability to alter a character’s appearance, through to unique racial abilities. Our goal is to allow characters to more fully reflect the vast array of players, and play-styles, that play the game.
With Agon becoming a far more dynamic world, we intend to use all the supporting systems to enable the generation of dynamic events, both locally and globally, and to also provide more tools to enable players to create their own events and tournaments.
We realise this is a lot of information to absorb, but we felt, at this time, it was important to present to you, our community, our long-term vision for Unholy Wars in as much of a “complete picture” version as we can, to begin the process of discussion and feedback on specific features and decide, together, which areas should be focused on first; and also to ensure we’re all aligned on our vision for the direction of the game.
|Proposed Relic system here|
Improving the experience of new players by easing them into the game world and introducing them to the core mechanics in a more involving and entertaining way.
With quests our intention is to give the player specific objectives once they exit the vale, probably even while they are still in it, that are aimed at replacing the starting feats in guiding the player’s first steps in the world.
We are planning to have various quests that teach the player different aspects of the game. This also complies with a community suggestion for a modular tutorial that will make it easier to change a specific quest line or quest step about, lets say, skinning, when and if we decide to change that mechanic in any way. These quests are to be straightforward but present to the new player the various possibilities within the game.
Introducing these quests means we can remove the starting feats as the primary means of directing the player. While they will still be there they are to be adjusted and optimized as their purpose will be to complement the experience, rather than guide it.
This is an idea we have discussed internally that adds a new help system to the game that is context sensitive, meaning it reacts to what the player does and provides more information about it.
This system can help where the quests conceptually can’t. For example, teaching a player how the map operates and what the different filters do is not really something a quest should be doing. This system will provide all the mechanics information that the players need and it will do so when the player interacts with something for the first time. It would also replace the current tutorial GUI element that is present in the vale.
This system would teach you all the basics in the Vale.
- It would pop up every time you open a new GUI window and explain the basic functionality.
- It would pop up every time you interact with something new, like a bind stone or vendor, to teach you how to use these objects and what you can do with them.
- It would pop up the first time you experience something special like getting knocked down to explain what is happening, what the progress bar represents and what your options are.
Mentor system improvements
The mentor system is providing a way for new players to take advantage of the experience of veterans but some improvements are required.
- Language selection - Both mentors and apprentices will be able to select a preferred language. The system will take this into consideration when pairing players and do the appropriate matching.
- Cancellation changes - The case of mentor-ship cancellation will be considered equal to any other form of mentor-ship completion. Regardless of whether the mentor-ship is canceled by the mentor or the apprentice, a popup appears to the apprentice prompting him to rate the mentor. The pop up remains available for 3 days. If the apprentice does not rate the mentor within that time for any reason, the mentor is awarded a rating of 4.5. Additionally, a minimum mentor-ship duration can be enforced to reduce hasty cancellation cases although there is a concern about making players feeling they are "stuck" with a less than ideal mentor or apprentice.
- Notification pop up - A pop up to inform mentors when they have been assigned a new apprentice.
- Do not show again option - An option to permanently close the "Find a mentor" prompt every time the player logs in. A mentor can still be assigned through the appropriate tab in the social window.
- Messaging notification - A notification when a mentor messages an apprentice and vice versa so that the private messages are not missed.