Prime Live Dev Stream #4: My notes and thoughts

Another Friday and another Prime: Battle for Dominus live Q&A/Info dump.  Unfortunately, no gameplay video yet again this week but still some good information from the Pitch Black Games team.  I was able to attend the stream as it was live this time (instead of missing it by one hour) and I really like the connection it creates with the community and a small dev team; it personalizes the development experience and lets people feel included.    I wrote down my notes while watching and pasted them in for you all below.

Only about 30 people got online in the beta and due to some issue with servers being at an old location the connections were not stable. They’re working on bandwidth issues on their end.  Pings from as far as the UK were ~200 or lower.  The “gear” they’re using is “world class” now in the new location and they seem quite confident in how things will perform going on.  The beta itself appears to be, in my opinion, more of an alpha testing experience as they still get their hardware set up and test minutia.  No complaints from me since I think it’s impossible to over-test a MMO.
– Guild Pages and Signups should be done early next week.

– Set locations.  Can’t just build anywhere.  Can choose what is built at them, though.
– No Siege Engines
– Can’t claim a base without destroying it.  Each faction’s bases look different.  “Not just one type of base”.
– Only takes one person to claim a base and build it up.  Good luck defending it, though.
– Bases do not have shields or domes protecting them, so a fleet of jet packers *can* jump into them. Turrets are mean, though.
– 7 Kinds of things that can be built in bases. Not ready to reveal these just yet.
– No Vendors or NPC guards protecting bases.  Just turrets.  (Subject to change.)

– Profession made items are the best items in the game.
– All items are homogenous together.  There is no “PvP gear” seperate from “PvE gear”.  Crafted gear, bottom line, is best.
– 50-70 types of minerals being tested.
– Abundance of minerals changes and won’t always be the same.  This detail was a little fuzzyily explained.  I assume they move around the planets, perhaps weekly.

Random Mechanics/Features
– Open world, go anywhere, do anything. Standard “see a mountain and go there” stuff.
– Lava = instant kill
– World bosses can be static (in one place) or patrolling.
– Line of sight is fixed at a “pretty far” distance for everyone.

My question(s) that did not get answered: Do guilds, alliances, individuals, or factions claim bases? Who has control over what is built?  Like in DAoC a guild claimed a keep.  Can I claim a base and not let anyone build or harvest in it?  Bottom line, who manages the base once it is claimed?

If anyone knows and can give me the info, that would be great.  I feel it’s an important enough detail.  I’m hoping that a base is claimed for the entire faction to use.  I’m skeptical that this is the case because of the ability to add various things to the base.  Someone has to have control of what is added, unless each base can have ALL of those things and it’s up to the entire faction to work together to build it up.

I’m adding “PvP/Combat Video” to my list of want-to-see’s for next week.  Once they iron out the tech issues it would be great to see even a 20 second clip of players fighting each other. More nitty-gritty details on how server community politics play out, like those alluded to in my question above, would also be welcomed.

Watch the video of the live stream by reading on. (more…)


Prime Stream #2: My notes and thoughts

Jetpacks would definitely help here.

The Pitchblack Games guys, Warren Weems and John Kennison,  held their second stream offering another infodump and Q&A for Prime Battle For Dominus.  I’ll include a link to the 30 minutes video in the read more section if you’re interested in watching the whole thing as I have done, but for those simply interested in the juicy details you can read my notes below.

[0:00-8:30] Quick looks at scenery.

The game appears to be quite open and pretty with varying scifi settings from jungle to crystalline.  11 different planets.   No mobs were in the game at all so it was extremely empty and even bland, but the idea is there.  Terms like “world boss”, “6-man instance” and “raid” were thrown around.  I’m interested in how open-world PvP is incorporates into these planets.  I assume at least 1 planet is reserved for each of the three factions as a starting area, but are the rest purely up for grabs?

[10:00] Alliances ~ Macro Guilds.

This caters perfectly to me. I have a group of friends that I enjoy playing games with and have for nearly five years. Unfortunately, we’re a smaller group. Alliances acting as macro guilds would allow for us to have the resources of a larger guild while maintaining our autonomy.  There will be visible rosters for the whole alliance and ways for you to branch out and incorporate members of other guilds within the alliance into your own circle of friends.  In other words, if you’re like us and can only get 5-6 people on but need 10 people to do something you’ll be able to grab a few more from the alliance.

[12:30] Guild Leader Channel

This feature creates a channel only available to leaders of guilds (5 members+) to coordinate. I’ve participated in custom channels like this where prominent alliance leaders and guild members communicate. It really does improve the community when your guild leaders can get your guild into the action with other guilds not necessarily in your alliance.

[22:48] Bounties on players

I thought that this was a nice touch.  Not much was said other than it was only on players and not entire guilds.  If anyone wants to share additional details with me I would welcome the info.

[23:00] Vehicles “not ready to talk about”

[24:25] Endgame objective: Stop enemy factions from getting the prime element.  Further your faction.  Get together as a community and beat the other guys.

Compare this with the endgame in so many other games being “get better loot” or “beat the dungeon” and it’s a breath of fresh air.  This ‘feel’ is hard to accomplish since many claim this to be their goal yet develop their game in clear contrast.

[25:00] No DAOC relics, but you’ll know who controls bases.

[25:30] Hold bases to facilitate faster mining.

In the first video something that actually made me really interested in Prime was the harvesting.  I think it’s important for people to have a tangible method of obtaining materials with a sense of “place” in the world attached to them.  Having cities on these bases/platforms that harvest give you a reason to want them.

[26:15] Multiple types of bases with various benefits that serve different purposes relegated to areas of the world they can be set up on.

[27:50] *NEED CLARIFICATION* “snipe kill” vs. “Planned siege” I think the dev misunderstood the question or didn’t explain it well enough.  Can bases be attacked -any- time or must a physical vulnerability window be respected?  From what I have gathered it’s a very open and free system, but it won’t be easy enough for like one guy to run in and take it.

That’s the gist of the video.  I’m really hoping to get more PvP details from their next stream and I hope that they’ll give us some more combat and crafting info.  One of my main concerns is how combat will work.  They have jet packs and a lot of freedom to move but it looks like a tab targeting system.  In the first video I saw melee weapons and my mind jumps to SWG’s use of melee weapons vs. ranged weapons and how both had clear advantages and buffs for your character.

Honestly, I still can’t quite figure out how the whole game will work out.  I have this awesome image in my mind of jet packing over walls and a full on blood path of lasers and mayhem everywhere while one faction defends their base harvesting elements they want to maintain control of while the other two factions duke it out to not only kill each other but seize control of the minerals.  Seeing ‘arenas’ in the PvP section of the official website unnerves me since instanced pvp like battlegrounds nullifies open-world pvp.  Enough rambling, though.  Prime is on my radar until Pitchblack gives me a reason to look away.

Catch the video by reading (more…)


New SWTOR PvP Details

The folks at Darth Hater run a nice SWTOR fan site.  I definitely recommend them as a place for legitimate SWTOR news and development content.  In today's entry they've published…