Our Darkfall developer journal continues with its recent twist. Today, Associate Producer Tasos Flambouras answers 29 questions he gathered from the fan community.
Article by Tasos Flambouras (Associate Producer)
Continuing last week’s QA, here are 29 questions answered. I’m trying to answer everything and I’m not cherry picking as some people suggested last week. I’m just going down a list of questions. There are a lot of questions which are very poorly worded, difficult to understand their meaning and some which are just totally foreign to the Darkfall spirit and are inspired by other MMOs which we also try to answer in a Darkfall context.
Next journal ETA is unknown due to a heavy workload I need to focus on, and I hope you can appreciate that I didn’t break this week’s up into 2 installments.
Fan Question: Will the crafting system works with blueprints?
Tasos Flambouras: No, you learn your recipes as you raise your trade skills. It’s different with enchantment, and advanced crafting. In crafting you have a failure rate based on your skill level and when you fail you’ll burn crafting components. The rarer the component, the lower the chance you’ll lose it.
Fan Question: What will the construction system be like? Also, will players be able to create a city in mountains or in underground locations?
Tasos Flambouras: I’m not going to directly answer this question because we intend to show you at some point how the construction system works. Describing it here is not descriptive enough. We’ve said before that “building anywhere” is relative. In Darkfall you can’t build in any location you want, but this provides with unique clan cities built in awesome locations. So your clan city can be built on top of a glacier, have a waterfall hiding its entrance, be built on several levels on the side and in caverns inside a mountain, have secret underwater entrances, on a remote island…that kind of thing. These clan city features are not just about aesthetics, like where you ask about customizations, there is functionality in their layout. Darkfall’s clan cities are extremely impressive and no two will be the same. Furthermore their location is strategic as far as geography and proximity to limited resources, making them points of conflict.
Fan Question: If there are any regular clanstones off of the main continent, what kind of NPCs will be available?
Tasos Flambouras: Every clanstone is associated with a race, even in the subcontinents.
Fan Question: Does the main continent have chaostones throughout (i assume that silvertown has one) or does it only have regular (player controllable)clan stones?
Tasos Flambouras: There are a few chaos stones in the neutral areas around the middle of the main continent.
Fan Question: How long does it take a build city from a let’s say guild with ~80 working hour a day (with sufficient funds given)? How long does it take to tear down a city from group of ~80 who have already conquered the city?
Tasos Flambouras: I hate to estimate but let’s say you could fully build up a city if you’re working hard at it in about a month. That estimate could be way off at launch, but at least you know that it doesn’t take three days or a year. Then you can break down the city a building a day or a building section (for fortifications) a day. Of course it’s not efficient to do that when you could keep the city you conquered.
Fan Question: How much is player involved in crafting? Is it the collect items and automatic transform when you have enough skill, is it something with success %, is it something completely different?
Tasos Flambouras: Crafting is pretty involved…you have to collect, or trade to acquire the raw materials, then the crafting of complex items is broken down into crafting sessions and you have to craft the building blocks first. There’s a crafting time of a few seconds to several minutes. You have a success probability based on your skill, and the quality of the finished item will also vary from crafter to crafter. There are different considerations in enchantment and advanced crafting as well, which we’ll leave for another time.
Fan Question: Can a single character max out/top end multiple fields in crafting. IE My dwarf is an armor smith, weapon smith and enchanter maxed.
Tasos Flambouras: You can max out multiple crafting skills assuming you’re using them a lot, but it will take a long time to achieve.
Fan Question: Will farming provide a challenge or will it just be a grind fest?
Tasos Flambouras: Farms are mostly located inside and around clan cities. Farming is a harvesting and logistical exercise. You also have to control who is using your farm. You can deplete a farm’s resources but they’ll grow back, so careful management is required for maximum yield.
Fan Question: Can items be recycled (turned into gold or resources)?
Tasos Flambouras: They can be recycled by selling to a vendor or another player, by crafters modifying them, and there was a salvage skill which is not active at the moment for economy balancing reasons. We may or may not reintroduce it.
Fan Question: Will there be any way to visually detail the items you craft? i.e. If my clan had a logo or emblem would i be able to visually put it on my crafted items
Tasos Flambouras: No you cannot and this is done for practical reasons. The crafted item however has the name of the crafter on it.
Fan Question: What are the requirements to start a clan? i.e. A minimum number of players, charter fee like WoW or a combination of different things?
Tasos Flambouras: There’s a small charter fee.
Fan Question: Will ARAC and/or negatively aligned clans be able to hire guards/NPCs? Will ARAC clans only be able to bind to Chaos stones? Will Alfar be able to join clans of other races?
Tasos Flambouras: We’re working through different options here trying to make it less annoying for the players who just go into the game and choose a race without knowing the details about the clan restrictions, and then going to their clan and finding out they messed up. It won’t be optimal, and a single race clan will have an advantage within its area, but we’re making an effort to minimize the pain for ARAC clans. At the same time we’re trying to maintain the racial aspect of the game as much as possible. NPC’s are an issue and we have several ways of addressing this which will be tested in the beta.
Fan Question: Camera mode. Is it adjustable (changing back and forth between 1st and 3rd), is it forced and can we roll it around if not in combat (aka. with cumbersome system to prevent anti-sneaking tool)?
Tasos Flambouras: You can’t see your character’s face in Quake unless there’s a mirror surface or your character gets killed. In Darkfall you can see it when on a mount, or on a ship, or when you’re on your back incapacitated. We’re considering a vanity setting where you can look at how pretty your character is without compromising the gameplay.
Fan Question: What are the spell casting mechanics going to be like? Similar to wow? Different casting times for different spells or more like oblivion having them all cast instantly but dig much deeper into your mana pools?
Tasos Flambouras: You have different casting times for different spells depending on the spell. Also different mana usage, reagent burn, and recast time depending on the spell.
Fan Question: Can magic spells *fail* to cast due to skill level?
Tasos Flambouras: Yes they can. It’s not to the point of being annoying but it will happen, especially in the first few times you use the spell.
Fan Question: Bardic Spells – Are they in the game, if so what do they do? Can you explain what a “Bard” is like in Darkfall? Instruments required? What kind of instruments do you have? Can you actually play these instruments, or is it the same tune and you simply press a “play” button?
Tasos Flambouras: No bardic spells.
Fan Question: What are the current schools of magic? Anything changed inside those 12 known ones or are you willing to reveal more schools?
Tasos Flambouras: There were 12 schools that were upped to 13 schools which got cut down to 10. We may reintroduce the three which were cut (Ritual, Divine, and Wild magic). They were cut because they were redundant the way the other schools worked. The schools that are in at the moment are: Lesser-Greater – Fire – Water – Earth – Air – Witchcraft – Necromancy – Spell Chanting – and Arcane magic.
Fan Question: Is there mass disease rituals and can those diseases spread. How large is the scale of those mentioned effects, basically what´s the biggest aoe within your skill system?
Tasos Flambouras: There are disease spells but not area of effect, rather individual. They are not contagious. The largest area of effect spell we have is pretty impressive but I can’t say yet how impressive.
Fan Question: Since you have to aim spells do they have a max range and/or an arch system like arrows or do they just fly for ‘x’ amount of time. Given your proposed weather system will this effect bolt style spells?
Tasos Flambouras: There’s a maximum range, and there are spells which arch as well. The weather system doesn’t affect bolts.
Fan Question: What’s the largest successful conflict occurrence that testers have had without latency/lag issues?
Tasos Flambouras: I can’t say what the largest was but we simulate more than a hundred without problems. Keep in mind that this is before optimizations.
Fan Question: How’s the situation with prestige classes? Are you going to implement them after release, or are they dropped out completely?
Tasos Flambouras: No, we’re putting them on the backburner and prioritizing them for after release. It’s an option which would be available a bit later in the evolution of a character anyway so we don’t think anyone’s going to miss this feature by the time it’s implemented.
Fan Question: How many crafting skills are intended for release? (rough estimate? more than 10, less? more than 20?)
Tasos Flambouras: More than twenty.
Fan Question: Is there a possibility of having multiple skill levels to perform a single spell?
Tasos Flambouras: Spells go up in power based on skill level. Take a fireball for instance; there are a few points in a character’s skill progression where the spell gets a power boost until it maxes out. This boost isn’t linear. The difference between a 99 skill and a 100 skill fireball for example is really large. You get one really powerful fireball at 100 and then your skill drops to 99 again and you have to get it back up to fire it again.
Another answer to what this question may be asking is that there are skill tree-like prerequisites for casting certain spells. So you need one before you can start casting the other.
Fan Question: Can we stack spells before releasing them? like have a fireball, ice shard and lightning bolt charged at the same time before releasing them all together like a torrent of magic…?!
Tasos Flambouras: No we can’t
Fan Question: Will there be alignment hits for attacking but not killing a character of the same race?
Tasos Flambouras: As things stand right now, there is none. The attacker however goes gray to everyone of a positive alignment and can be killed without a penalty.