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Skyforge Developers Answer Your Questions Part VI

Today we held a Live Q&A with Skyforge Development Director Eric DeMilt on Gamepedia.com. We spent a few hours there answering all the questions that were posted by the community. Here is a summary of all the questions and answers from the Q&A:

Question from Elveone: Hello, just wanted to pop up and say that the game looks awesome so far, not only visually but feature-wise as well!

I also wanted to ask a couple of questiions related to the group mechanics - we already know that Skyforge has abandoned the standard trinity party system and replaces it with tank/dps/support trinity, which is somewhat similar at first glance but when looked into it can be very different. So the first question arises - is it mandatory to have that kind of group structure to finish group content through the game or can we go as a group of tanks or group of only supports and expect to finish the mission successfully? Also is one class limited to one particular role or can we expect DPS and supporting paladins, tanking gunners, etc?

Answer from Eric DeMilt: Thanks! That's great to hear.

It is not mandatory to have a balanced group structure. Some content may be easier or more challenging depending on your group composition but we want players to be able to play the way they want to play. If your Thursday Night Group all want to play Berserkers, go for it. You may be missing a support ability like a Battle rez, but that doesn't mean you aren't viable and cannot complete content.

Although classes will typically have a primary role, which matches what you'd expect from it's archetype, all are viable in combat as well as their primary role. In addition, the Ascension Atlas gives you tremendous freedom in how you develop your character and classes to support your play style and allows you to accentuate your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. So if you like playing a gunner, and want to invest in skills that make you a better tank you can. This doesn't mean you'll necessarily be as strong a tank as a "tanking" class, but you can develop yourself in that direction.

Question from ozewa: Is there any sort of kicker reward or heightened visibility for queues that have been enqueue for a while (more than 2 minutes) and if so do these rewards increase the longer the queue is active (say at 2 minute intervals up to 5 times, maxing out at 10 minutes)?

Or are there other designs in place to accomplish that goal of expediting queues?

Answer from Eric DeMilt: Good question. Our main design to expedite queues comes from our server architecture. Having one server per geographic territory supporting all players helps us ensure robust and fast matchmaking. The player population for a given game event or type is not subdivided or restricted by "realm" so we are able to put you together with everyone in your region of the world, looking to play that type of content at any given time.

Question from ozewa: There has been a lot of talk about hardware requirements and hard drive space. Any chance we can get this on cloudlift or some similar service?

As far as gameplay, I notice that the main focus is Aelion and that other gods are trying to invade. Where do these other gods come from and are going to be able to take the fight to them?

Also, it is obligatory to ask "When can I play it?"

Are other regions going to be behind the russian servers patch and launch schedule?

Can you stick up some artbooks and lithographs for purchase? The concept art is of unusually high quality.

Answer from Eric DeMilt: Streaming is interesting tech but to meet our goals of visual quality and responsive game play we are focused on delivering the game experience via a traditional PC client and sever model.

At launch Skyforge will focus on the players battles to protect their home world of Aelion from invading gods and their armies. These gods and armies come from other worlds in the Skyforge universe. Initially players will fight to drive them back. Taking the fight to them and exploring new worlds is something we'd might explore in future content updates.

We've not announced any beta dates yet, but sign up for beta, and stay tuned to our news and social channels to hear when we do announce kick off dates for beta and launch activities.

Currently Russia is the lead territory for the game but we have not yet announced our final plans for launch and patch schedules.

Thanks for the art book suggestion. Our team loves to her the community asking for stuff like this!

Question from locbo31: There is one interesting question. We know that party will be unlimited in number. But what about guild? They will be unlimited or restricted by size?

Answer from Eric DeMilt: Guilds will have size caps, and systems for raising those caps as your guild grows. We are still working on figuring out exactly what those numbers should be.

We have numbers for quild caps that we are looking at internally. We'll be talking about guilds in more detail down the road, and look forward to getting input on what you think of our ideas when we roll them out.

Question from Allacore69: I just want to know if it will be Pay to Win. I am supporting this game very much and would like at least a little reassurance that the "cash shop" will NOT contain Pay To Win items. When I enjoy a game I spend a lot of money, like I did with Neverwinter. Pay To Win would just ruin it for us gamer's.

Answer from Eric DeMilt: Please see my answer to a similar question below. And please keep feedback and input like this coming.

Question from EdgarJC: Looks like a cool game. Are you going to create luck boxes, combat mount or other type of items that modify PVP(cash) like Allods Team did in Allods Online? Honestly We dont want it

Answer from Eric DeMilt: Thank you.

We haven't announced any details about our business model including luck boxes or other items which modify PvP, but feedback like this, from the community, is very important to us and will help us make the game better.

Question from Ornstein: The game looks great and fun the only thing i'm worried about is if we will have to repeat the same lvl or area and grind gear just so we can play the next area

And also are there going to be races or just humans and will there be skills that summon pets?

Answer from Eric DeMilt: Thank you! We are really glad you like how things look so far.

I wish I could promise you a game where you would never have to replay any content, but I'm afraid I can't go that far. What I can say is that we are working very hard to create a game that does not lock you into grinding out a specific area or type of content before you can progress. The Divine Observatory is an example of one of our steps in this direction. Being able to see all the content open to you, and the rewards for completion, give you the ability to pick what you want to do and to find alternate paths to the the same goal.

In addition we are taking steps to make replaying content less of a grind and to provide varied rewards and difficulty to make these experiences more fun.

At launch, humans will be the only playable race. I think you'll like what we do with the "god forms" though. We'll go into detail on those at a later date.

Pets are something we'll talk about at a later date as well.

Question from Pioneerjd: According to the FAQ, Skyforge will be only on PC but my PC is awful. Any plans for console ports?

Answer from Eric DeMilt: Right now there are no plans to port Skyforge to any other platforms. We will work hard to optimize the game to run well on as broad a range of system specs (including low end) as possible so hopefully we will run well on your "awful system". We may look at other platforms down the road, but for now we are focused on the PC.

Question from yuujif: Skyforge is semi instance , open world game which is quite unique haha , but can we pk in those hour long maps , and can we intrude in instances that other players are doing . What are you plans about pk and rewards from it , Could you possibly gain all those prestige just by doing pve

Answer from Eric DeMilt: Skyforge includes both instance and open-world content. We haven't gone into a lot of detail about PvP systems yet, so I don't have a clever answer for your PK questions. You will be able to progress your character by just doing PvE but we offer compelling rewards for both types of activities.

Question from yuujif: skyforge offers a seamless world .. we have huge amount of instance , and need not mention maps which would take us hours just to explore...oh and graphics they are really amazing .... but in the end it adds up to client size . What are you expecting the final client size ,or the client size of alpha . Also can you share what sort of pc spec would we require to run skyforge

Answer from Eric DeMilt: You are correct, making a game this big does mean we use a lot of HD space. We have not yet announced tech specs for client size or system requirements so I don't have a lot of detail to offer you. We are focused on making sure the game runs well and looks great on a wide spectrum of systems from high to low end. For client size, it is safe to assume that we will have a similar client footprint to other AAA free-to-play games in the market.

Question from Skyblade: Also what are my chances of getting a beta key when I sign up? Expanding on that, will there be early-access packs to buy, such as a lot of games are doing lately?4

Answer from Eric DeMilt: Your chances are excellent. Beta sign up is there to build the list of people to send keys out to when we are ready to go into closed beta. We typically also look to invite the most active members of the community into our earliest beta events.

We haven't announced any details about our launch plans yet but it is safe to assume that we will have ways to reward early adopters like early-access and founders packs.

Question from Skyblade: what will be the biggest selling point for Skyforge? If I had to give a pitch to my friends in 2 sentences, what would I tell them?

Answer from Eric DeMilt: For me there are 2 "biggest selling points"(I can't do it in two sentences though...).

1) Action combat! This was one of the biggest draws for me early on in the project. Combat is a lot of fun, right from the start and gets better and better as you progress your character and unlock new classes.

2) Become a god! Really. Not just get a title at end game... but gain followers, build your power and eventually become a god where you get an over-the-top "god form" that you can go into and show off. The god system is a system that is deeply embedded throughout the game not just a cosmetic thing we give you after playing enough hours.

There are a ton of other great things, that I love in the game, but these are my top 2.

Question from sirus999: Oh and one more. - any chance you'd allow players to create their own missions? Like with some kind of ranking/approval system so players can create their own content? The Divine Observatory seems a good platform for entry for that kind of thing :o

PS - Allods is still one of my favorite MMOs that I've tried, can you give us any more input on what kind of ideas might be ported to Skyforge? I particularly enjoyed raid ships, and the Melee healer continues to be one of the more unique classes/specs I've played in a game.

Answer from Eric DeMilt: That is a great idea, but right now we have no plans for player created missions. That doesn't mean it's not something we wouldn't look at down the road.

Thanks. I'm very glad to hear you enjoyed Allods. The team is very proud of game and love to hear that people enjoy it

Question from CrsBenjamin: Hi Eric!

Recent MMOs have put a lot more emphasis on accessibility and 'on the rails’ gameplay. To a large extent, this has had a very negative impact on player freedom and social engagement. What will you be doing with Skyforge that might break away from this trend?

Answer from Eric DeMilt: Wow, good question. I really think this is a challenge all game genres face as they evolve/mature. As you reach a broader audience you want to smooth out bits of the game which can lead to player frustration. Sometimes this can lead to hard decision points. How do you avoid player frustration in a open game environment without taking out the fun of "exploring the unknown" and "connecting with other players" for help.

In Skyforge, we have decided to provide both types of content and to make it clear to players which type is which. In the Divine Observatory, you can see the content open to you and pick what you want to do. Do you want a short, linear play experience or do you want to explore a large open-world zone?

In addition, we have made improvements to the open-world experience to make it better suited to the exploration play style. There is no good reason that the monsters you kill while exploring the mountain passes in a large zone should not give you quest credit until you've gone into a village and spoken with Farmer Ted. In our open-world zones, content is pushed to you as you get near it so you are free to go where you want to go, without the fear of missing a critical link in a quest chain.

I hope this answers your question!

Question from sirus999: It looks like PvE and PvP are on fairly even footing, you guys seem to be providing ways to progress through the game via both outlets -- do you have any plans to develop one more than the other though? IE: Will this be a more PvP or PvE-focused game, or do you think as development progresses it will continue to show both in the same prominent light?

" It’s up to you to decide whether you would like to develop your character for PvP or PvE and then quickly jump into the content you prefer."

Is this a permanent character development decision - will players need to have separate characters for PvE and PvP?

Answer from Eric DeMilt: At this point PvE and PvP are on fairly equal footing. They are both very important for us to "get right". They can be both polarizing, some players who love PvE never PvP and vice versa. Or they can be the exact opposite, an activity enjoyed from time-to-time by the same player. As a result, it is hard to definitely say we'll be more PvP or more PvE focused. We need to appeal to both. As development progresses, we will put our focus into the activities players enjoy and want more of. We anticipate this being a balance of both, but you never know.

Regarding the permanence of character development decisions. Our Ascension Atlas gives you a great deal of freedom to develop your character in a way that best suits your play style and the content you like to play. You will be able to develop a class towards PvP-focused play while at the same time developing another class towards more PvE-focused goals. Being able to switch from one to the other, when out of combat, gives you the utility to develop both without abandoning your overall progress in the game.

Question from C_2_B: I'm a bit unclear on if westernization entails that Obsidian will be doing the localization as well? If not, who will be responsible?

Answer from Eric DeMilt: Westernization is a broad term we use to describe a much larger role than "localization". Localization itself is handled by language experts at Mail.ru and the content is reviewed by both the Allods Team and our team here at Obsidian. Westernization is more about ensuring that the game content resonates the way we want it to with players in other territories. As an American, the games I develop and the ideas and touchstones which resonate with me are very Western. These same touchstones may be meaningless to players from a different cultural background. The same is true for development teams in other territories. When they looked at what we needed to do to help ensure Skyforge was a success worldwide the Allods Team felt collaborating throughout development with a like-minded developer in the west (our team here at Obsidian) was the best way to accomplish this goals.

Question from AlexDanger: The world looks beautiful btw! I can't wait until you reveal more so we can see more of that sweet, sweet environmental fidelity. I just had a couple questions about instancing and gear if you'd so kindly entertain my materialistic MMO tendencies.

Firstly, it seems Skyforge is going to be instance-based with less emphasis on an open-world style of gameplay which tons of other new titles herald as the future of MMORPGs. As an older school of gamer myself I don’t mind a ton of zoning given the game was built around that, but are you afraid newer generations of players might see it as a drawback to Skyforge?

Secondly, I've always been somewhat of a "phat loot" fanatic in MMOPRGs, so my question is this: The Ascension Atlas empowers players by increasing their stats and the number of abilities they have available… does this mean that outside of vanity, your gear and appearance will have no influence on how well you do in battle?

Answer from Eric DeMilt: Thanks. It's great to hear you like the look of the game.

Skyforge is designed to offer a mix of both open-world and instance-based content. We believe the upcomming generation of MMOs needs to offer a solid mix of content for both gamers who have time to play 5+ hours a night, and for players looking for fun, short session experiences.

With "phat loot", although I am also a huge fan of getting drops off the creatures I fight, we found this often be in conflict with the goal of looking and feeling cool when you play. It felt odd to see players dressed like hobos to get the stats they wanted and then to have a separate system that allowed them to look the way they wanted. We felt it was better to separate the two systems, stats and power, from visuals rather than have them constantly be in conflict for the player's goals of being powerful and looking epic.

Question from CrsBadger: In an interview you mentioned you were working with Allods to help contribute to a couple of in-game features, one of them being “Westernization”, does this mean the game was originally meant to look a bit different? And if so, was the supposed “westernization” to appeal to a broader audience?

Answer from Eric DeMilt: The Allods Team has always a strong vision for the game. Our role in "Westernization" has been to help ensure the game appeals to a broad audience, not just one in tune with the touchstones of the developer's native territory. This type of thing is much easier if you collaborate along the way than if you try to jump in at the end, evaluating a completed game, and recommending changes or adjustments very late in the process. For example, certain cultural visual touchstones like what a Paladin class might look like. Should it have a shield, a war hammer instead of a sword, etc. are easy to discuss during development but can be very costly to change once a game is complete.

07/02/2014