Eternal Kingdoms Q & A With J. Todd Coleman May 19, 2015 10:20:17 GMT -8
Post by Chrissy The Blesser on May 19, 2015 10:20:17 GMT -8
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ETERNAL KINGDOM Q&A
The Eternal Kingdoms (EK) update generated a lot of discussion! We thought it would be helpful to consolidate some of the information Todd gave on our forum, so we’ve put together a sort of Q&A for you to answer some of the commonly asked questions.
Q: Will the EK crafting and economy be focused solely on goods for use in the EK itself, or do you envision that they will also have importance for goods needed in the campaign worlds (CWs)?
JTC: Both. Think of it as a pyramid, with the rare, high-value items at the top.
EK-based use will be the much larger sink (i.e. the bulk of the pyramid) -- not just for buildings and cosmetics and furniture, but also for weapons and equipment as well. Remember, we do HAVE PvE, it just isn't the primary focus of the game.
Campaigns will be at the top of the pyramid. As a sink, they are utilized more infrequently due to campaign lengths and import restrictions, but players WILL be inclined to use them; I don't expect that we will see a lot of unused "import" item slots in the campaigns that allow imports, because players don't like to be at a disadvantage. No one wants to be the guy who brings a knife to a gun fight.
Q: But won’t that lead to “The Uncle Bob Syndrome" where the Have Nots eventually abandon the game because there’s no way for them to compete with the Haves?
JTC: No, because (1) the players have equal opportunity to bring in items. The only players who enter a campaign at a disadvantage will be the players who knowingly choose to do so, and (2) because you could always stick with the Shadow or the Dregs–where you are dropped into the campaign with nothing–and be guaranteed equal footing.
One thing to remember: Our current player community isn't going to look the same as our launch community. Right now, we have a lot more Dregs/Shadow players than we will at launch. There are a LOT of players who will be interested in the 3-faction or 12-faction systems.
The deeper you are willing to go towards the Hunger (i.e. the more risk you are willing to take in campaigns), the more you are a supplier of goods than a consumer of goods in this system. That's by design. If you don't CARE to be a supplier or a consumer of goods and you just want to play the campaigns for prestige and fun, that works, too.
Q: It seems like a lot of overlap. Wouldn’t the better solution be to merge them, just bring the EK into the Dying Worlds?
JTC:When comparing the user flow diagrams for both EK and campaigns, there is still a huge degree of overlap in terms of system and content reuse (I'm guessing 90% or more?), so the difference is intentionally more conceptual than a means to address a technical or design challenge. And, conceptually, they are two independent game loops, built from the same base, with a simple interface layer (character transfer and import/export of items and materials) connecting them.
Q: Can EKs actually house a robust enough crafting scene and economy such that players can enjoy themselves even if they never venture into the CWs?
JTC:They CAN, yes, but the top end of that game has been purposefully hobbled to ensure that the CWs will remain a primary focus.
Does that mean that I can sit in my EK and build a merchant kingdom? I can. Can I do it without interacting with other players? For a while, maybe. But certainly not forever. Think of it as "width versus depth": the EK design has been made so that you do have a full game loop (i.e. width), but with limited advancement (depth).
Q: Will the CWs produce enough goods to feed the economy? Will there be enough demand for these goods (given the import restrictions)?
JTC: It probably won't be both, since the two problems are in opposition to each other, so let's assume it's one or the other. The good news is that we have options to address both problems. If there aren't enough materials flowing from the CWs, we can increase the campaign rewards. We can do this by increasing capacity (how much you can take out), or even by addressing flow (how often you can export). If there isn't enough demand for the materials, we'll add more material sinks (i.e. things to build) in the EKs.
There are a couple of assumptions here:
SOME players/guilds will want to participate in the campaigns. It's possible that no one will care, in which case there won't be enough flow of materials.
SOME players/guilds will want to build an empire in the EK. It's possible no one will care at all, in which case there won't be enough demand for materials.
Neither of these seem like a huge leap to me, especially since we have players concerned about BOTH ends of the spectrum (supply and demand) -- which certainly implies that some collection players are worried about (and thus care about) both the campaigns and the EKs.
Q: Will it be possible for a large guild (50+ members) to pool their land right away? Would one person’s EK be large enough to accommodate all of those parcels without having to scrape up money to cover additional costs for expanding?
JTC: Yes, guild members can drop parcels immediately, they won't need to wait to be able to do so. The goal of the system was to allow groups to build out a Kingdom by combining their areas.
Will they have enough to fill a kingdom? Depends on what they want to fill it with (not all parcels are created equally) and how they want to lay out the kingdom. The kingdom sizing is a bit in flux right now (we're thinking we may need to make it larger) but you will absolutely be able to drop your parcels to make large, unique (and cool) kingdoms.
Q: If I have a private home/house on a parcel owned by someone else and this guy evicts me, what happens to my house and its contents?
JTC: It goes back into your account bank, so you can drop it somewhere else. You don't lose anything. The land on that kingdom then reverts to "wild" (undeveloped) land, and the kingdom's monarch (or noble) can drop something else in those cells.
Q: How will we travel from one EK to another? Will it be fee-based?
JTC: No, it won't be fee-based -- unless we decide to allow monarchs to charge an entry fee (in coins). We haven't worked out the interface, but it should be painless and free, from a system perspective (meaning the GAME won't charge you.)
Q: Will EKs have taverns, inns, theaters and other facilities for public gathering places?
JTC: Yes! We are working on a host of social buildings for you to buy and place in your strongholds.
Q: Regarding the tax-free parcels from the Kickstarter pledge package, are those Stronghold Parcels or Resource Parcels?
JTC: Those are resource parcels. Strongholds don't actually have a "natural" tax rate; they apply a modifier to the buildings on them. Adjacent resource parcels affect this modifier.