Friday, March 23, 2012

Future Developments in AoC

So, I trotted on down to and listened in on a live stream interview with Graig Morrison,Joshua Doetsch and Lidia di Zazzo. It was an hour long live stream that allowed players to ask questions of the designers and get some feedback. Over all, the first 32 minutes of it was a recap of Deadman's Hand which is good for those just coming into AoC and want to know about the Turan Xpac. Since I already had this particular xpac, I skipped ahead to the future developments. For details, go to this interview.

What I got out of it was the development team is working to add new content within the next year that will appeal to all players. So lets get a quick recap here and you can go on over to get all the details. If I missed anything, or you have comments, by all means drop them in.

~ PoM Revamp- this is about to go live with the next patch. In my opinion it will mean relearning the class and looking at builds all over again. This isn't necessarily bad, but it will take a dedicated PoM to get into it and learn how to use the class to best advantage. I may try out a PoM from the start again to see how this pans out, then revisit my opinions.

~ Crafting Revamp- This one should come out around summer time. I am really looking forward to this. According to Mr Morrison, those folks who have horded rare materials should still have use for them for crafting though not necessarily in the same way. Materials that no longer have use are supposed to be given equivalents...well they will try their best too anyhow. There should be some new armor skins and looks to add in. I am pretty stoked about this. Hopefully they will be careful about release and make sure it doesn't totally bork the game up. 

~ New Content- This won't happen for a hot minute but they are trying to make some of the old dungeons at lv 80 for revisit. They are also trying to figure out a way to make some of those old favorites into scale-able instances so they can be revisited by teams as they progress in levels. I like this idea, but I don't expect too many to be created. Most likely they will release one to see if it works out correctly and then go for more.

~ PvP/PvE single server technology- Here is an interesting topic, but I don't expect to see results till Fall or Winter (MY OPINION). They are working towards allowing players to toggle pvp/pve on and off. so anyone can play in both on the same server. IF it works, it would allow greater populations and perhaps more interest in pvp. I see clouds looming though. The unfortunate tendency for players is to find exploits to personal advantage. It could mean quick and easy escapes for those on the loosing end. It could also mean griefing and utter annoyance for PvE folks who don't want to be harassed by PvPers looking to pick a fight. I dunno, I'm a little mixed on this. There are good and bad points to it so I guess we will see. They are also looking at making cross server switches easier to obtain for different players. This might be a good idea, we will see.

~ PvP Open World Content- Well, Craig had a point on this, with the failure of Bori, it is extremely difficult to create open world objectives that actually make sense and will appeal to the pvp community. They are working on it, but I think they lack direction at this point. This is a wait and hold item. They weren't very forthcoming on it but Mr Morrison did state he wanted to keep pushing his dev's to come up with valid ideas for this type of thing to come about. Personally, I think if they completely fixed the issues with Sieges that would solve a huge chunk of the PvP needs off the bat. The quick fix is to attempt to create more mini's. I dunno how many capture the flag sets with different maps I could bother handling. They were working on open world bosses, but Craig admitted that the feeback was mixed at best, so they are going back to the drawing board on that. The biggest problem I see though is, what exactly is meaningful objectives for PvPer's? I see a lot of wanting objectives, but no real valid ideas on it in the forums of hatred.

~ Duel Speccing- Yes, this is something they are working on coding for the near future. My bet is on summer/fall time frame before release. Most likely fall. They want to make sure this works so one can have a pve/pvp spec handy as well as different spec utilities for specific raids. What they don't want to see is being able to switch mid raid/instance to easy kill different fights. They also don't want it to be exploitable to fast switch during open world conflict. It's in the works to make though so I am looking forward to it.

~Future Expansions- YES, Hyboria will expand with new adventure packs possibly by the end of this fiscal year. I'll be very interested in what new lands we will see. But the developers aren't closing shop. They will release new stuff.

Ok, that's my recap. Get on down to the interview to get more detailed information. Remember that timelines are always I wouldn't hold my breath. But I would give the game developers a chance to get new stuff out. Remember, I invite all discussion, but keep it civil and constructive.


  1. Regarding the PvP/PvE thing- it's already been done other places. In fact, the late great Star Wars Galaxies used a three-tiered system for characters of Alliance or Imperial faction.

    An active duty where player characters were able to fight opposing PvE factions. A special ops status that enabled PvP, then the off duty status where you were more or less underground. I don't see why this would be hard to implement.

    1. @Kiri~ Oh I think it can be done, but since it wasn't in the original design, the problems with coding will be the largest challenge. SWG which was one of my all time fave's prior to NGE revamp (game crusher) was a lot simpler in the coding with less technology involved. I do believe it can be done,and they are planning on it down the road...but it will take time to implement correctly. Remember, AoC has no major faction like Empire vs Rebels or Horde vs Alliance. Its a free for all, so the trick will be to implement a system that is maintainable for folks to join. I hope it happens, but I understand the issues with both technologies and a formula for it to be actioned on.

  2. Thing is, mobs in most zones are either neutral or hostile in AoC, with the Khitai zones being a bit more complicated since that's mostly faction out there.

    There is no faction between players so you're really flipping a PVP switch on or off. Yeah, I'm sure there's coding issues to overcome, but I have no real nagging doubt they can pull it off.

    Oh by the way- speaking of Galaxies. It really looks like SWGemu (pre-NGE) is coming along outstanding. I've been 'window shopping' the Galaxies community since December, and this is really looking promising.

    1. I agree with the toggle portion. According to Craig, they are just trying to fit the coding in as well as make sure the toggle feature isnt exploitable. I for one think it would be pretty wicked to see a little pvp back on Wiccana. They are also trying to set pvp group ups for open world as well. I am hopeful on this and I think projecting it out onto summer and fall is a safe bet, so here is to hoping.

      The SWG Project is a blast from the past lol. Thats pretty cool stuff!

  3. I think simply fixing sieges and making sure they run flawlessly will do a great deal for AoC and make many folks return happily.