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Design Discussion: Beyond Survival

December 13th, 2016

Design Discussion: Beyond Survival

Last time we talked about ways that Forged Chaos plans to keep the thrill of survival going in ToA: Exile. However, as in any survival game, players will eventually overcome even the most difficult survival challenges and reach a point where they are living high on the hog. How do you keep the player playing when they have gone beyond survival? That is the question we attempted to answer with our design. I hesitate to use the term “end game” here since its meaning really refers to games with a maximum limit and specialized content for that limit, but I think you all understand that I am applying the term loosely. What I am referring to as end-game is what a player can do with their character once they have mastered survival, though they can be achieved at any time and it isn’t a requirement.

Since each of our races have different play styles, they all reach this pivotal point at different times. Dragons, for instance, will likely take longer than the other races due to their nugget requirement and their persistent nests which are susceptible to looting. Raknar will likely be the fastest to master survival due to their starting strength and evolutions. That leaves humans squarely in the middle.

For raknar, their main focus has always been on PvP combat. They are literally designed to be killing machines. Their progression mechanics through Evolution fit very nicely with their constant hunting. With that in mind we wanted to give their end game, if you will, a focus that would complement their design purpose once evolutions have been maxed. And that focus is on the creation of Hives. While Hives won’t be ready at early access, their creation will give raknar another goal once they have become the biggest, baddest bug possible.

The reality of Dragons is that their growth is their end game. With all the struggles they face reaching adulthood, we are certain that the time it takes to gather and defend the nuggets required to reach ancient will occupy a dragon for a very long time. Increased food and drink requirements that go hand-in-hand with the increased size will also make demands on a dragon’s time, even if they are large enough to destroy buildings.

Being the only civilized race currently in ToA: Exile, humans have the greatest range of end game activities. They can craft items, build structures, construct siege engines, master a wide range of skills, and become the overlords of their island. What starts out as a small collection of shacks can grow into a village, then expand into a thriving city. The alternative of a kill-or-be-killed Road Warrior-esque free for all of small groups constantly struggling against one another. It is completely in the hands of the players that rise to power.

Even though we have many different mechanics planned for players who get beyond surviving, the simple matter is that returning to a “barely surviving” state is always a possibility for all the races. A poorly planned exploration expedition, or a shortage of resources due to mismanagement or competition can bring even the mightiest character down from their pedestal.

What manner of deeds would you like to be able to pursue once you have mastered the survival mechanics in ToA: Exile? Share with us over at http://www.trialsofascension.com/forum/threads/design-discussion-beyond-survival.6003/.