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Skyforge - Developer Diary III: Raids

Raids are one of the high end activities in Skyforge that become available to you once you’ve unlocked your divine form. In a Raid, ten valiant gods will explore unique and incredible locations that will test them against the strongest creatures on Aelion.

In our latest dev diary, two of our leading designers from opposite sides of the globe, Obsidian's Aidan Karabaich and the Allods Team's Vyacheslav Bushuev, talk about Raids and how Skyforge's unique features and gameplay influence their ongoing design and development.


When it comes to creating raids, artists and level designers work together to create and revise early concepts, creatures, grey box maps and play spaces, before the content is then further developed and improved. It's a long and complex process that involves the simultaneous teamwork from multiple departments of the studio.

To begin with, our developers start by brainstorming a scenario - determining who and where the players are going to fight, and work on coming up with the concepts that ensure these conflicts are interesting and engaging. From here, a gameplay prototype is created. The art team uses this as inspiration to create atmospheric and detailed concept images. Once concepts are approved, the raid’s visuals are developed, and the developers turn these into the pieces which will be used to assemble the final map. This is followed by several stages of testing, after which artists and level designers together to discuss their play experience, and decide on any tweaks and iterations to be completed before the next test.

In Skyforge, the game’s visuals are extremely important to us, so the content is created with meticulous attention to detail, under the constant supervision of both artists and the game designers who carefully watch for any inconsistencies or changes that might affect the game play experience.

Creating locations takes time, but gameplay always comes first. Nothing should distract the player and ruin their gameplay experience. Raid environments are made fairly spacious, so player's don't get stuck and always have a clear understanding of where to go and what to do next. Enemies are carefully designed and placed to make players think strategically and encourage them to work as a team, choosing the appropriate tactics and builds. Artwork is often revised after playtests to accommodate gameplay needs because a game is more than just a pretty picture.

Our whole objective is to make every raid location unique and exciting. We also put a lot of time and energy into designing the boss fights. It's going to be them against a group of 10 immortals, so we work hard to ensure that the fight itself is always interesting, fun and challenging!

Now that you know some of the details behind Skyforge’s raid development, we invite you to take a look at two raid locations that will be available during OBT once you've unlocked your divine form.

Mecanoids

Mechanoid Ship

You might have seen a Mechanoid ship in one of Skyforge’s adventure locations and wondered whether you’ll get an opportunity to explore inside. The answer is, yes! You will have this opportunity during one of your first raids.

Once the flagship of a Mechanoid fleet, the ship was destroyed long ago during an earlier invasion. Its design is of modular construction, with each element acting as a source of power which emits radiation that is deadly to mortals. This radiation also promotes growth of the Phytonides who have managed to find their way into the ruined craft and have been rapidly spreading ever since.

The ship is divided into four sections, with a boss at the end of each. Two of these sections are overgrown with Phytonides, while the others are still held by Mechanoids. Both groups pose a threat to local mortals, and who else will battle them if not a raid group of immortals?

Operation Isabella

Operation Isabella

Another mysterious location on Aelion is the floating temple island, currently in-use by gods attempting to carry out an operation code-named "Isabella". This magical geo-anomaly appeared a long time ago, during the Night of the Ghostly Fire, and has been protecting the islands against the effects of time, wind and rain ever since. One of the ancient temples here was locked with the seal of Aeli himself, who had used the building as a storage facility for Graton, an incredible fuel once used in the construction of the Celestial Fortress.

With the passage of time, the seal has weakened. Once a god of Aelion the betrayer, Nerion has sent his henchmen to destroy the seal and open the temple doors using equipment capable of melting rock. The Immortals have a difficult task ahead of them: they must stop Nerion and his templars before they unseal the storage and gain access to the Graton for themselves. In addition, immortals seeking to stop Nerion's troops, will have to fight their way in, facing extremely dangerous creatures along the way – the giant Skate and a fierce Golem - it's going to be a heated battle!

DevDiary3Raids

This is just the beginning

Raids will be serious challenges for young gods seeking group-based high-end PvE content. The Mechaniod Ship and Operation Isabella are just the beginning as the dev team will be adding more and more raids for years to come!

To successfully complete a raid you’ll need courage and determination, as well as be able to listen to your teammates and the ability to work and fight together as a cohesive unit. It's the only way you'll be able to protect Aelion's mortals and repel the invading forces.

Good luck in your adventures, future gods of Aelion!

03/11/2015