Design Discussion: Dragon Changes

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by Elyssia, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Elyssia

    Elyssia Community Manager Staff Member

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  2. Elegost

    Elegost Artisan

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    It is interesting how much things have changed since I first came here, looking at an insanely difficult, complex, and hardcore MMORPG.
    I never have been an elite player and I doubted I would succeed much in the MMO that was planned but I loved it and knew I would try anyway.

    Now though...I'm not really criticizing the new design choices, they make sense and they are easier to actually create and manage.
    I'm just a little dazed that this is the same dev team that at one point was all about X-treme hardcore game-play and little mercy. :p

    I knew ToA-Exile would be simpler and more toned down than the original design.
    I just didn't expect the quite substantial changes to the core features of the game.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
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  3. BowenTheKotoc

    BowenTheKotoc Master

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    As a dragon enthusiast, I'm glad dragons are getting easier to play. As a player, I'm worried they'll be too easy now (despite assurances).
     
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  4. Mata

    Mata Journeyman

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    I very much think Dragons need to be difficult as I'm sure a very large majority of the community would rather play as dragons than any other race. That may just be my opinion. I'm not saying they aren't difficult, but I hope the team will keep this in mind. Dragons should have a level of difficulty that matches the glory and shine of playing as a giant flying reptile. I believe a large number of players choosing to play as humans would be necessary to keep servers interesting--it would be plain if it was just dragons and raknars building up their characters only to duke it out and see who survives. I want to sit by and watch a daring colony grow while fighting off the occasional beasts. I want some form of difficulty while playing the dragons that rewards me by allowing short periods of times where I can relax and enjoy the view. This is just what I want, though, and what the playerbase wants might be much different.

    I also think I would miss the idea of having a horde. If molting begins to depend on nugget consumption alone and the horde requirement is taken out, I think we can expect that "defending your horde" and "raiding other hordes" would fade as necessary game mechanics. What's the point of stockpiling your nuggets when there is no benefit to doing so? Not only that, but I think taking out the dragon's food requirement leaves too little difficulty and would make playing as a dragon just... too simple.

    My suggestions? I think there should be something in place that allows you both to have a horde and also opportunities to roam and hunt. I remember you guys said something about "gem traps" that you could use to defend your horde while you were gone. If the island really is too huge for you to remember where your horde is, maybe some sort of client-side marker should be put in place?
    I also think hordes should be more of a necessity (with them being a low necessity during the young stages, and a huge necessity during the older stages), and that humans should also be allowed to raid them. I expect nuggets will be precious to humans so they would probably be motivated to raid a dragon's nest--which of course would inspire player conflict and crossracial interaction.
     
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  5. Elegost

    Elegost Artisan

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    I'm not particularly upset that the game is getting changed in such ways. I actually think this will allow more people to play well. (Like myself)
    I'm just surprised that they are doing this, given how unyielding the team was in the past.

    Anyway, the different breath attacks never did make any sense to me. :D I actually like the amount of fuel rather than the type of attack.
    Of course, you COULD allow Dragons to govern how much fuel they use at a time, which determines the amount of flames they breathe.
     
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  6. Elyssia

    Elyssia Community Manager Staff Member

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    Dragons haven't been made any easier mechanics wise. The only thing that is easier for them is communicating with one another. There were a few key points to the molting process that I did forget to mention in the article.

    1. Food still is a requirement for molting. The dragon must have its belly 90% full to initiate molting. Food is also a part of basic survival and needed to keep the dragon alive. If testing shows that dragons go too long without eating, we can increase the rate they consume their food stores.

    2. Though dragons need to consume their nugget hoard rather than have them in the nest for molting, they have limited inventory and won't likely be able to keep the required quantity of nuggets on them. Not only that, but death with your nuggets in your inventory would make them vulnerable to looting by others, or a despawn timer if you can't get back to it.

    3. Molting takes much longer than the original design. Originally the dragon would interact with the nest to molt, a short timer would count down, and they would be the next growth stage. NOW it takes much longer, and as the molting progresses the dragon grows weaker and weaker until it is finished.

    I hope that clears up a few concerns.
     
  7. BowenTheKotoc

    BowenTheKotoc Master

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    That clears up a lot, thanks. Can you describe more about the current molting process, please?
     
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  8. Iauquai

    Iauquai Veteran

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    Woo! Tail attack is in! Oh, I didn't notice anything in there about Gem Traps, they are still in there for hoard protection right?
     
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  9. Elegost

    Elegost Artisan

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    Far as I know there was always going to be a tail attack. It was the wing buffet that was being debated somewhere.
     
  10. Holmes

    Holmes Veteran

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    I definitely understand the value of these changes, but I must admit the "spark" of the design is less than before. The previous design was lofty and brave and unrelenting. More and more the design choices are understandable and traditional.

    I don't want to say this is bad - again, I totally understand from the perspective of investment (time and money), fairness and programmability. But the edge, the unyielding relentless and the just-crazy-enough design choices really made this Dave tiresome world full of life and energy. It just feels more like a game now.
     
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  11. PeskeyPixie

    PeskeyPixie Artisan

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    I don't think the design changes are all that bad actually. Besides the investment of time and money to get the game to market that needs to be balanced, so does the challenge of gameplay and fun need to considered. I don't think they are making these changes on a whim but probably have the ability to make adjustments as they learn how the game plays. I think the FC developers will learn a lot about how their designs work as they enter the testing phase and receive our feedback. They have already proven they listen to our feedback and make adjustments to their original designs.

    Kudos to the FC Devs for making such great progress so far and for taking the time to ask us for our opinions and really listening to what we have to say! Great Job!
     
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  12. Mata

    Mata Journeyman

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    Ah alright! That definitely clears up the concerns I had haha.

    I have a lot of questions about the future of dragons if you'd feel like answering them. I really love the idea of dragon hoards, but I'm wondering if there are going to be any visuals involved. Like a stack of gems appearing around the nest or in a cave (I assume most dragons would make their nests in a cave) that gets bigger the more gems there are, or is it just a normal, average-sized nest that you dump your inventory nuggets into like a chest?

    I also want to know if you considered making hoards raid-able for humans who seek to get nuggets in a more predictable way than just digging around
     
  13. Elyssia

    Elyssia Community Manager Staff Member

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    We want to give dragon nests the ability to blend into their surroundings, so we won't be using visual effects or displays to reveal how full they are, or what they contain. And Dragon nests ARE totally lootable in the design already. They have to be damaged to break open. Hatchling nests can be damaged by regular weapons, while Adult nests will likely require siege equipment to damage enough to access the contents.
     
  14. Methos

    Methos Artisan

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    Ooooo This is getting better and better as time go's on..
     
  15. Iauquai

    Iauquai Veteran

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    Cool, I like that siege equipment would be needed for a sufficiently built up nest. It even makes more sense for large Dragons being able to damage siege equipment.
     
  16. Elegost

    Elegost Artisan

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    Well, a large Dragon is pretty much a flying siege engine with flaming projectiles. :p
    They can do siege damage so it makes sense that their nest would need to be really durable to withstand the Dragon in question.
    I also apologize for my earlier complaints. I realize that they were necessary and are much smoother than previous ideas.
    By the way, what you are accomplishing with the land is quite clever given that you are using Unity....
     
  17. Ildefonse

    Ildefonse Master

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    Been a while since the last newsletter, good to see progress being made over the past year.
    The drafting video looks pretty neat, and things are looking much more polished and "complete" than they used to.
    Great work team, don't forget to create a Mac version.
     
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  18. Elegost

    Elegost Artisan

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    Mac!? What about Linux? Linux deserves a ToA client too! :D Seriously though, I hope they reach all the way to the PlayStation and X-box.
    The Windows Version is first, probably Mac and Linux much later, and then once the game has had a lot of patches, the consoles.
    The console world is a cash basket as far as I know. I don't actually have one, but I know a LOT of people do and the simplistic UI of this game makes it perfect for a controller.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2017
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  19. achilles2511

    achilles2511 Artisan

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    All this mention of a dragon attacking a human, and none of humans using nuggets to lure a dragon into a trap! After all, (I'm unsure if this has been stated, but it does make sense) humans would be able to get plenty of useful materials from a dead dragon. But if the dragon proves too tough for the humans, it gets a well-earned reward of mass destruction. Oh, and those useful nuggets.
     
  20. Iauquai

    Iauquai Veteran

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    Humans are the trap, they have a tendency to kill everything that is not Human and then when they have killed almost everything else they turn on each other. A smart Dragon will stay way from those overgrown monkeys and only bother with them once the Dragon is at least Adult.
     
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