Skyforge Interview – Part 2 With Eric DeMilt | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Skyforge Interview – Part 2 With Eric DeMilt

 

 

Today we are continuing our interview with Eric DeMilt, Development Director at Obsidian Entertainment about their upcoming free to play MMO Skyforge. If you missed Part 1 you can find it here

Is there PVP in Skyforge? How about you tell us a little more about the player vs. player combat in the game?  There is PvP in Skyforge! Fans of PvP can look forward to both small-scale and massive PvP events spread across multiple game modes, including several objective-based scenarios. Some of our PvP maps and modes which players can look forward to checking out in beta include:

• Free For All – 6 Players

• Team Death Match – 3v3

• Control Points – 8v8

• Payload – 8v8

• Capture the Flag – 12v12

For those who enjoy guild PvP, Skyforge will also feature Pantheon Wars, which offer players a mix of complex PvPvE battles that require players to fulfill certain role assignments in order for their guild to have a chance at being victorious. We’ll be discussing more about Pantheon Wars in a future reveal.

I’m aware that you’re very interested in hearing what the community has to say about Skyforge as it’s in beta, but after the beta, will you still be listening to the suggestions of the community?

Yes of course! As an MMO, Skyforge is ever-changing and is constantly being developed & improved. If wewant it to be successful we will absolutely need to continue listening to the community post-launch.

 

 

Everyone loves being able to customize their character, how extensive will Skyforge character customization be? Character creation is fairly involved in Skyforge. When you create your character, you’ll be able to choose from the standard gender options (male or female), but you will also be able to change more minute details, including various parts of your character’s body shape. Within the game, players are free to collect cosmetic items and customize their character’s look independently of their current gear thanks to the in-game style room. Separating character stats from customization and look gives our art and design teams a great amount of freedom in the outfits they’ve been able to create. What will classes be like in Skyforge? I heard that Skyforge doesn’t limit you to your class; you can apparently change it later? How about you tell us more about that system? Skyforge will feature at least 10 classes at launch, with more to come soon after. Unlike other traditional MMOs, Skyforge does not limit your character to just one class. At the start, players have access to three initial classes, which they can swap between and progress at their leisure. Thanks to the Ascension Atlas, as a player progresses they’ll unlock new, more advanced classes to utilize, giving them more class options to choose from depending on the situation at hand. Players can either choose to work on these newly unlocked classes or they may simply focus on whichever existing classes they find most appealing.

Furthermore, as players progress their character core attributes such as strength and stamina that progression will be applied to all character classes. This means that if the player has spent a lot of time developing one class and decide to try out a different class, the new class will already benefit from the progression the player has made.

Can you tell us more about the “Ascension Atlas”? The Ascension Atlas is what ties all of Skyforge’s character progression together. It’s comprised of a vast network of nodes that gives a player the flexibility needed to develop their character in a myriad of ways depending on their preferred play style. From the moment a player sets foot into Aelion, they’ll be able to easily navigate the Ascension Atlas in order to view each node’s properties and plan their character’s progression path accordingly. Unlocked nodes provide a variety of benefits to the player’s current class including new skills, talents and even additional stats. Because the Atlas is broken up into multiple “layers”, a player can simultaneously work towards earning special perks or additional classes altogether while still retaining their character’s global progress. It is important to note that the character’s prestige, reflects their overall development, not any one specific area, so characters of equivalent prestige will be combat viable against one another regardless of the individual choices they may have made. For example, if I found that I really loved the Paladin right from the start and chose to focus my development on its matrix while my friend explored each of the three starting classes a little bit, but we’d both completed the same adventures, and had the similar prestige, then we’d be fairly matched against similar PvE content or against one another in PvP. As I’ve said, free-to-play MMOs are popping up absolutely everywhere and they keep getting more and more advanced, but at the cost of in-game purchases and upgrades. Does Skyforge plan on taking that same route? Will there be a purchasable subscription that offers added features? Will it be 100% free-to-play? We have not yet gone into a great deal of detail about our monetization plans and will discuss these more at a later date. At this point, we can say that we are committed to providing a fun, satisfying, and balanced game experience for players who do want to play for free and for those who want to pay.

 

How do you think the industry will react to yet another F2P MMO? That’s an interesting question. I don’t think I’ve really thought about it in terms of “industry reaction”. To be honest, I’ve mainly been focused on how players will react and on doing everything we can to make the game as good as possible. On the industry side of things, the saying “A rising tide lifts all boats” comes to mind. I think that the entire industry benefits from good games on any platform or in any genre. When Archeage moved to America, its servers were bloated for the first few weeks before the team could get more server space, creating long wait times to actually get in game. Do you expect Skyforge to have high interest, and have you already planned on encompassing enough space for interested fans, or will the initial release of Skyforge result in hours of waiting for a chance to get in? This is a difficult problem, but as a developer it’s a great one to have. We obviously are super excited when we have high demand for our games, even if it means things are blowing up we spend a lot of late nights scrambling to make fixes and expand capacity. We definitely hope and expect that Skyforge will have a high levels of interest in beta and at launch. The Allods Team has a lot of great experience developing and deploying MMOs, so we’ve put a lot of time and effort into making sure our servers and game services scale well. To elaborate on this, we’ve actually implemented server tech which allows us to use only one dynamic server per region, effectively negating the need for additional separate servers. Having said that, although we fully expect to be able to handle multiple thousands of players at once, there is still no silver bullet for this problem. It is something we’ll be working hard to solve, and will take steps to minimize the negative impact on players if problems do arise. How is the developer work being spread? What is Obsidian Entertainment contributing to Skyforge and what is the Allods Team contributing? The collaboration between Obsidian and the Allods Team is a unique partnership. The Allods Team is the primary developer and has done much of the “heavy lifting” on the engine and tool development. The team here at Obsidian is a little bit smaller, working on: development of additional player classes, development of additional instance content, development of raid content, and supporting localization and culturalization of game content. Day-to-day, we work as an extension of the development team, collaborating with our development counterparts working with the same tools, in the same builds, etc as the team in Moscow. And lastly, the question I’m sure desperate fans are dying to know, do you have a predicted release date for Skyforge yet? While we are not sharing a definitive release date yet, we are planning on releasing Skyforge to the masses in 2015. And keep an eye on our announcements about upcoming beta tests. So to sign up for CBT right now at sf.my.com would be a right move 

 

 

We would like to thank Eric for taking time out of his busy work schedule to answer our questions, and we are all looking forward to playing Skyforge soon.