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About this blog

News and updates about the MMORPG: Level-Grind Online

Entries in this blog

 

Programming an MMORPG in C# with XNA gets a Co-Aut

I'm pleased to announce that the well-known and well-respected developer Jim Perry (aka Machaira) will be joining me in authoring the book and implementing the engine for Level-Grind Online.

For those unfamiliar with Jim he spent 3 years as a programmer in the game industry from 1999 to 2002. Now he primarily writes .NET business applications by day and dedicates himself to the XNA and game development community at large by night. Among Jim's most well known achievements and involvements are:
Microsoft XNA/DirectX MVP
IGDA XNA/DirectX Forum Moderator
GameDev.net Moderator
Author of "Role Playing Game Programming using XNA Game Studio 3.0"
Author of "Essential XNA 2.0 Game Programming"
Having Jim work on this book and engine with me is a great honor. Thanks Jim, let's make it a good one!

Discuss this news item Here!

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

Status Update

It's been a while since I posted but I wanted to write real quick and reassure people that development is continuing on the Tools & Engine, and that I'm still soliciting concept art, 3D models, sound effects, and music to be used in the book.

I'm currently in the process of relocating to Washington, in addition to finishing up my first XNA 3.1 book. As a result, updates will be a bit slow for the next month, but after June 30th (my relocation date) there will be a website overhaul including several new features, and an increasing number of screenshots and downloads made available. Among the changes to the website will be a new theme & layout, a Media Gallery so people can see concept art, renders, and in-game screenshots, a media player, so people can listen to the various background music and audio tracks, and several web-based and downloadable tools, including: NPC Generator
Item Generator
Quest Generator
Dungeon Builder
And speaking of music. Our primary composer for the project, Caglar Sahin, has put together a massive number of songs for the game and I wanted to give those of you who don't follow the forums a chance to listen in. The following is the opening track played on the title screen. Cheers!

Level-Grind Online Title Song

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

A New Logo

For those that haven't seen, Rene has provided artwork for a new logo. I've requested he provide artwork for the entire Le-GO website, so expect to see a new layout and some snazzy new graphics in the coming weeks. Here's his logo design:



(Note: Yeah, I've also added to the Journal Header)

Discuss this news item Here!

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

First Look at a 3D Render of the Continent

Up until this point we've just shown a few 2D world maps of Level-Grind Online, but thanks to community members we've now got our first 3D render of the terrain! Feel free to provide your input!

For the purpose of understanding scale, Level-Grind Online is roughly 1/2 the size of Northrend from World of Warcraft. To run from the western most edge of the map to the eastern most edge of the map would take just under 15 minutes of wall-clock time.

Discuss this news item Here!


JWalsh

JWalsh

 

List of Required Concept Art & 3D Models

Due to popular request and getting a brief moment to do so, I've added the first-draft list of required world objects which we need concept art and 3D models for. If you're either a concept artist or modeler looking to contribute to the book "Programming an MMORPG in C# with XNA" and Level-Grind Online, the best thing to do is see the below list and get started.

Once you've got artwork completed, create a new thread for it in the appropriate forums and attach it.

See the List of Required Artwork

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

New Artwork, Need Concept Artists and 3D Modelers

It's been a week or so since I posted. I've been extremely busy finishing up my other book but I wanted to take a moment and let everyone know we still need concept artists and 3D modelers... LOTS of them.

We're going to have character & creature models, in addition to armor, weapons, and a gazillion world objects which need to be modeled and textured. So if you've got the skills, get in contact with us.

In the mean time, here's the latest world map along with some concept art of the character classes, creatures, NPC's, and locations in the world, followed by some renders of some swords. Cheers!

Discuss this news item Here!
























JWalsh

JWalsh

 

The Worst Quest Ever...

After yesterday's post about needing 70 quests for LGO, the community members and I were discussing storylines and possible themes we could use to make writing quests more entertaining for the general population. The theme we've decided upon is "The Worst Quest Ever..."

Basically, all the quests in LGO will be pulled from the list of the worst things we can imagine doing, and then divided up between the "good side" and "bad side", with the good side having quests that take advantage of them, while the bad side has quests that take advantage of other NPC's.

Some example quests include:

* "My dog and I took a walk and I forgot my plastic bag at home, can you go around town and scoop up the poo?"

* "I've lost my chicken and would like you to find him. He was last seen trying to cross the road back into town."

* "Last night at dinner I somehow left my purse on the table and I'm afraid it was thrown out with the trash...can you go dig through the trash behind the pub and find my purse."

* "Every day those geeks come into the school yard and think they're so much better than everyone else. Go beat up X geeks and take their lunch money as proof."

Or the quest chain...

* "I've gotten pregnant and don't know how to tell my boyfriend he's not the father. Can you do it for me?"

followed by:

"Oh really...go kill the father..."

Which ends in:

"Sorry dear, your boyfriend left you."

As stated yesterday, you can find the Quest Posting Format here. Make sure to use that format when submitting quests to the Quest Forum. Ok, let's see what you can come up with!

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

Ready, Set, Quest!

With the separation of LGO and Chronicles of the Five Kingdoms I've re-organized the forums and made it easier for people to see what types of assets I'm looking for and where to put them.

As usual I'm still looking for any Concept Art people may wish to submit for classes, weapons, armor, environment objects, city overviews, etc... While I may or may not end up using your artwork, the website's getting hit by a couple hundred people a day right now so it's still a good opportunity to have your artwork put before others.

I'm also going to be looking for 3D modelers soon. As our collection of concept art grows more rapidly we'll need 3D environment modelers and Character modelers to turn the concept art into reality.

Finally, I've created a special place for people to post quest ideas on the forums. I know Meg and Aaron are currently in the process of coming up with a stub story for LGO, but even without that, quest ideas are welcome - just make them general enough they could fit in any world. I've created a full description of the format required for quest submissions Here. If you have a quest idea, make sure to follow the format used in the previous thread and then create a post Here.

Per the table posted in the Game Mechanics thread there will be a total of 70 quests for Level-Grind Online, divided up between 4 classes and 4 zones (1 for each faction, and 2 'contested'). The quests break down as follows:

29 Regional Quests Per Faction (x2 = 58)
3 Class Quests Per Class (x4 = 12)

If you need help coming up with ideas for your quests, Cameron posted a nice thread with different quest types Here, which you can use for inspiration.

Regional Quests
Each faction will have a starter zone which has monsters and quests in the range of levels from 1-6, and then a secondary zone which has monsters and quests in the range of levels from 6 through 10. The two secondary zones are adjacent, requiring a person from one faction to cross both contested or "neutral" zones, depending on server settings, in order to get into the opposing faction's land.

Per the chart in the Game Mechanics table the quests will be broken down as follows for each of the two factions:
Level 1 Quests (Zone 1): 1
Level 2 Quests (Zone 1): 2
Level 3 Quests (Zone 1): 2
Level 4 Quests ( Zone 1): 3
Level 5 Quests ( Zone 1): 3
Level 6 Quests ( Zones 1 and/or 2): 4
Level 7 Quests ( Zone 2): 4
Level 8 Quests ( Zone 2): 5
Level 9 Quests ( Zone 2): 5

Quests may be solitary or chained together with other quests. These can be other quests you provide, or continuations of a quest that someone else has already posted. All quests should be posted in the format listed below.

Class Quests
Each class will have three class quests, available at levels 3, 6, and 9. All three of the quests are obtained in one of the two contested zones but requires travel into the other. Which zone the quests starts in is unimportant but can be dictated by the nature of the quest or geography. Each class quest should somehow emphasize the skills of the class. All quests should be posted in the format listed below.

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

New Rogue Concept Art

After re-focusing our efforts to allow easier customization for Programming an MMORPG in C# with XNA we decided to ditch our previously defined classes, or rather, re-use them in Chronicles of the Five Kingdoms, and so we needed to come up with new ones instead. We decided to go with the standard four archetypes of Warrior, Wizard, Cleric, and Rogue.

Below is Tang's concept of the LGO Rogue. Feel free to join the forums and post your feedback Here.

And as usual, we're still looking for concept artists. So if you can do sketches or concepts in a quality on par with the following, please get in contact with us.


JWalsh

JWalsh

 

Chronicles of the Five Kingdoms and the future of

Hi Everyone,

Introduction
Over the past few weeks the designers, story writers, artists, and sound engineers have been working almost around the clock to put together an amazing project. The quality of contributors and the dedication can be seen in the concept art and audio samples which have been submitted and the number of people who are online during the wee hours of the morning discussing story and design on IRC.

With that in mind, I sat down with the project leads and had a talk with them. While I envision LGO to be a fun little MMO which people can spend 10-20 hours of time playing, the real point of this project is to develop a code-base and framework which people can use to develop their own MMO's. As a result, any effort we put towards the game is going to be discarded by the majority of people who pick up the book, in favor of integrating their own story, assets, and design.

In truth, I feel like the story that is being worked on and the people who are contributing to it deserve more than that. So ahaving concluded my discussion with the project leads I've decided to take LGO in a new direction, and spawn concurrent project instead.

Level-Grind Online/XNA Starter Kit
In contrast to our previous work, Level-Grind Online is now going to be pursued as a disposable, cookie-cutter MMO. It will have the usual features and functionality found in most MMO's, along with a collection of quests, items, spells, class, races, etc... It will also have between 10 and 20 levels of content, including a dungeon or two and a few zones to explore. The primary difference is that LGO will no longer have a deeply fleshed out story, and I no longer intend to host the game after completion of the XNA Starter Kit.

As a result, I will still be needing concept art, models, and audio to accompany the book and the MMO. However, the artwork will not be based on a rich story, and will hover around a more traditional RPG setting of Sorcerers, Warrior, Rogues, and Clerics. So if you're an artist, sound engineer, or writer wanting to get your name into the book, there is still a need and way for you to do so.

Chronicles of the Five Kingdoms
In addition to Level-Grind Online we will be spawning a new, concurrent project which I have temporarily named the Chronicles of the Five Kingdoms (Cot5K) as it most closely describes the project.

We will be using the story, art, and music which has been contributed so far and we will be putting them towards the development of a few single-player RPG's. This will be done in order to flesh out the story, give people an opportunity to become familiar with our game mechanics, and develop an IP which people recognize. These RPG's are going to be commercially available both for the PC via a website, as well as for the Xbox 360 via the Xbox Live Community Games portal.

After the completion of these RPG's and the establishment of a stable following, we plan to develop another MMO, using the base code from Cot5K and LGO.

What does it all mean? Where do I go?
It all means that the website, and the community of people who have been thus far working on LGO are invited to participate in both projects.

At present I am not setting up a separate website, as our primary focus is still on finishing LGO. However the website has undergone some changes to reflect the new, dual nature of our community. So if you see people discussing game mechanics, story elements, or artwork which seems out of place for a disposable MMO, it's likely that they are actually discussing things for Cot5K.

This is being done in order to keep the team together, and to continue to fuel the team's creative synergy. After the completion of LGO, I will move the relevant forums, etc.. to a new website dedicated solely to Cot5K.

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

Still looking for help & MORE ARTWORK!

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to post a status update. As Wimble (Meg) wrote previously we still need writers and creative individuals to help with background stories, quests, etc...

Also, we're still looking for 1 or 2 individuals to help with gameplay discussions, game balance, class abilities & spell lists, etc...

Finally, we're still looking for more 2D Graphic artists to do concept art for the game, as well as for design of the project's website.

And as usual, we've got some more concept art for you. This is work by Roderick and Tang, and are early concepts of the area around the City of Orlen, a reclusive city nestled with the swampy woods of the Eastern Wilds. Feel free to post your feedback. And as usual, if you'd like to get involved in this great project, come introduce yourself at:

http://forums.levelgrindonline.com






JWalsh

JWalsh

 

Writers Needed!

This was posted by Meg, our Lead Story Writer:

Writers needed

As Story Lead I'm currently looking for dedicated writers interested in joining our team. If you would like to lend your talent to our project, please read the requirements below and submit your application as directed.

Step one: Briefly familiarize yourself with the 3 possible backstories located in the Level-Grind Online
Backstory & Lore forums.


Russ' Backstory
Aaron's Backstory
Meg's Backstory

Step two: Develop a piece which includes some ORIGINAL lore for 1 place of interest within in the game world, 1 person of interest who influences the game world, and 1 item of interest located somewhere inside the game world. They do not all need to be related to one another (for example you may write about a small frontier town, a Cleric of note, and an item of power held by the Sorcerers) nor do they need to be epic in nature (feel free to write about a locally famous inventor) but they do need to exhibit your talent and familiarity with the world being developed. By "original" I mean developed entirely by you - please do not write about places, items or people already described in any of the backstories.

Step three: Submit your piece (maximum of 1500 words-- but we're looking for quality over quantity) in the stickied Submissions thread located in the Backstory & Lore forum. Do not reply to this topic with your submission. Do not create a new thread on the LGO forums for your submission.

Step three: please remain active on the LGO forums and/or the #levelgrindonline IRC channel for one week following your submission. We need to be assured that you will be available and willing to dedicate adequate time to the project. We're not expecting 40 hours a week, but an average of 2-3 hours per day will probably be necessary (it's fine if you only want to do weekends). Any availability between the hours of 11am - 11pm EST is preferred -- since this is generally when I am active and able to work with you.

Credit will be given for any contributions used, and your contact information will be made available both here on the website as well as within Jeromy's book, Programming an MMORPG in C# with XNA, as a form of free advertising for your talent.

I realize this may sound like a lot, especially for a volunteer project. I'm doing this for free because I truly love to write, and I'm getting great experience and enjoyment from this project. If you think you will too, please consider coming aboard!

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

Status Report, New Lead, and More Concept Art

Hi All,

We're still moving forward with design and concept art.

Over the weekend I held a writing competition to see who would be the Lead Story Writer, three people submitted back stories of the potential kingdoms.

Ultimately Meg (aka Wimble) was chosen as the Lead Story Writer. Her story, and the stories of the other writers can be found On Our Forums.

Additionally, we've now settled on 5 Unique Civilizations based on biome and adaptations. As with most games, your chosen "race" or starting civilization will provide your character small stat bonuses and racial abilities. For PvP there will be two factions, each made up of two civilizations, and a neutral civilization who can either abstain from PvP or play both sides as desired.

There's also been further concept art submitted. Below is early concept art for the Druid class and the Witch-Hunter Prestige class.

Cheers!

Jeromy Walsh
Lead Programmer
Level-Grind Online





JWalsh

JWalsh

 

Early look at two of our archetypes

Hail All!

I just wanted to post an update. Here's some artwork from Tang Chan showing early ideas for two of our classes. The first is our Cleric, a ranged offensive and healing class who uses spoken language to invoke divine wrath.

The second is our Sorceress. She uses the blood of ancients to tattoo glyphs of the divine language onto her person and then uses them as a twisted version of the Cleric's spells. She's a melee caster that uses debuffs and direct damage spells to bring the pain.



Cheers!

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

LGO Update & New Team Members!

Hail All!

Just wanted to post an update. The community members of Level-Grind Online have established a working backstory and have defined histories and game-play for the three spell-casting base classes. In addition, we have defined the mechanics for class customization which will be used by all base classes.

We feel we've made great progress and are looking forward to presenting more information shortly. At present, we are moving on to the remaining three base classes and are turning our attention to the histories and places of interest within our World's borders. We are always looking for talented and imaginative writers and designers but are especially looking for a Concept Artist to take over Lead and begin creating comps for the various classes, races, and locales.

If you're interested in more info, check out our forums at:

LGO Forums

In the mean time, I wanted to announce the addition of a new team member, Bryan Roessel.

Bryan Roessel - Lead Designer (Gameplay Mechanics). Bryan is a science teacher with an undergraduate degree in physics who's life-long passion for games had him writing text-based RPG's and board games as early as the 5th grade. As technology advanced, Bryan joined the modding community making maps for StarCraft and other games. By his high school years he was no longer satisfied with the constraints of other games and took a course in C++ programming which allowed him to build his own 2D tile-based RPG. Bryan and his friends then moved on to make elaborate implementations of games such as Risk and Puerto Rico; adding exploration, combat, and unique game mechanics. Since then, Bryan's been teaching himself PHP, hacking together web-based multi-user environments.

Cheers!
Jeromy Walsh

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

LGO Forums doing well!

Today was the first real day of the LGO forums and they've gotten off to a decent start. We've got half a dozen or so people who've signed up and are involved in discussion about the game's races, class system, ability scores, PvP, etc...

I'm looking forward to seeing how things evolve and a game emerges.

Check it out at http://forums.levelgrindonline.com

Cheers!
Jeromy

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

LGO Forums are live!

Hail All!

The Level-Grind Online forums are now live! Since this book is being written for the community of game developers, I figured it only made sense to leave the design open for the public as well.

The forums will be used to discuss design ideas and decisions for the game. Feel free to stop by and participate.

http://forums.levelgrindonline.com

Cheers!
Jeromy

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

Level-Grind Online Website Up

Hail All,

For any people following the news of Level-Grind Online (formerly Man vs. the MMORPG), the community website has now been put up at:

http://levelgrindonline.com

At this point there is just a news/announcement blog, but the forums will be going up within a couple days. I'll soon be soliciting 2D artists, modelers, sound engineers, etc... to begin work on creating assets for the game.

In the mean time, I'm looking for a 2D/graphic artist/web designer who may be interested in providing a site and/or logo design for the website.

I'll continue to mirror news updates here for a while, but will eventually move all announcements, etc... over to the community website.

Cheers!

Jeromy Walsh
Lead Programmer
Level-Grind Online

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

The New Name of Man vs. The MMORPG

Hi All,

Yesterday I said that Man vs. The MMORPG would be getting a new website and referred to it as LGO. But as some people pointed out, I failed to tell you what LGO stood for.

If I'm going to be making a miniature WoW, AoC, WAR, DR, etc...clone, might as well call it for what it is. With that in mind, as a parody on all other MMO's, the name of the game being developed is...

Level-Grind Online

Cheers!
Jeromy

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

Man vs. MMORPG Gets its Own Community

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to post real fast to give you an update on LGO, formerly known as the Man vs. The MMORPG Experiment. After receiving some encouraging emails and positive feedback here in the GDNet community I contacted my publisher and they've approved the development of a community website for the book (which I'll be putting together).

While development and writing are both under way, I wanted to make sure the book meets the needs of its readers. The best way to do that is to open up a dialog with all of you in order to determine the features and functionality which are most important to you. What design elements do you find most difficult to implement, and which subsystems cause you the most frustration? And what the hell, isn't it more fun to talk about these kinds of projects as a group anyways?

The feedback I receive here in this journal and on the community website will serve to steer the direction of development and help me better hone in the topics people would enjoy the most dense coverage of. At the same time, everyone who contributes feedback will be lending a hand in the development of a new open source MMORPG.

Finally, while the website will initially be used to provide updates to the community and to solicit feedback, my eventual goal is to use the site to post screen-shots of the game as it develops, and to release binaries for play-testing. After the game and book are complete and the source code is made available, the community website will be focused on the expansion of the game through user contributions, patches, and as usual, player feedback.

Stay tuned for more information as the community website goes online. In the mean time, feel free to post here your thoughts on the above. What features/systems would YOU most like to see covered.

Cheers!
Jeromy Walsh

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

The Return of Man vs. The MMORPG

Hail all,

It must have been over a year ago now that I began work on an experiment to determine whether I could single-handedly implement the code base for a small MMORPG using C# and XNA. Or as I like to call it, a "MiniMORPG".

My initial attempts at a design document were met with mixed enthusiasm, and right about the time I should have began programming I suddenly and mysteriously went silent. I posted no other journal entries about my development, provided no further updates to the design document, and posted no "up-to-date" screen shots of my client application. Suspect? I think so.

As you can imagine, my sudden disappearance was met with cynicism and the occasional reference to "vaporware." While I didn't contradict anyone, I did let it be known that "Man vs. the MMORPG" would some day be returning, however in a different medium than this journal/blog.

While I'm still not able to say precisely what the coverage will be, those who were interested in my work on "Man vs. the MMORPG" may be interested to know that it is indeed returning.

What's more, you can learn a bit more about it on Amazon.com. It seems there's a book being written called "Programming an MMORPG in C# with XNA"

How very curious. Seems it may not be vaporware after all. [cool]

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

Man Vs. MMORPG Suspended

Hail All,

As you've no doubt noticed by now, the C# Workshop is consuming far more time and energy than I anticipated. Whereas the first workshop had roughly 35-50 posts per week, the C# workshop had roughly 400 posts for the first week.

Combine the number of questions with writing review questions, exercises, weekly overviews, and projects and well....yeah, it's keeping me busy.

But have no fear, the Man vs. MMORPG experiment will continue at some point in the not too distant future...perhaps in a form other than this Journal. I'm hoping to have some exciting news for you in the coming weeks.

Cheers!

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

Responding to Feedback

Heya Guys,

Thanks for your feedback, positive or negative it's nice to know that people are still checking in occasionally. I did, however, want to respond to some of the feedback I got.

Yes, it's possible that I'm aiming too high, but most people do to one degree or another.

I'm curious, however, what people use to gauge "too high", "too low", or "just right." Part of the purpose of this experiment is to dispel people's negativism and tendency to discourage others...always regurgitating the "uhh, start small, maybe pong, tetris, zelda...work your way up. Eventually you'll be able to find a hobbyist team and do something real...but take it slowly..." quote that I see so often in For Beginners.

Are people thinking that I'm aiming too high because the features would be difficult to implement for you or someone you know, because you've heard others say these would be difficult features to implement, or because you've seen my code and work-habits before and thus are extrapolating that these might be too high for me this time? I don't want this to come across as sarcasm. I'm genuinely interested in why people believe I "...might be aiming too high...".



Well, then be prepared to be dazzled and amazed. [lol] Trapper's right, I don't need all this stuff to make the game great. But part of the purpose of this is for me to get something out of it as well. And to do that, I need to push the envelope of my own skill set.



I don't personally take it as discouraging. However, I can see how a junior programmer faced with "I think you might be aiming a little too high..." might take that as discouraging. I'd like to see a lot more people on GDNet offering advice on ways to help people realize their vision, rather than trying to convince them their vision is too grand. For example, how's my feature analysis progressing? Are there components missing? What questions have I not yet answered? etc....

If someone has a clearly defined path before them, try and help them make the journey, don't suggest detours or alternate routes.



For the most part, the appearance of climbing, jumping, swimming, etc...are far more difficult to implement than the reality of it. I can make a cube move vertically up the side of a hill, up a rope, etc...I can make a cube jump up and down, and I can even make a cube move through a space at a slower speed, with a non-existent or decreased impact from gravity (swimming). Once these are possible, then it's just a matter of creating/applying appropriate animations to each.

Jumping: An impulse force is applied upwards, which causes the person to be launched into the air, only to be brought down again by gravity.

Swimming: Reduce gravity to a small or non-existent amount, and allow the character to descend deeper or raise higher based on camera angle.

Tumbling: This is just a sideways movement with animation, which might have increased defensive bonuses over just moving or jumping.

Climbing: This is just changing the local axis of movement at certain locations. Normally forward means ...wait for it...forward, however when on a rope, forward could be used to mean up, etc...alternatively, the jump button, while under/against a climbable surface can mean to advance up the surface rather than to actually jump. This would leave the movement analog stick free to implement such things as "swinging" on a rope.

At any rate. I thank everyone who's providing feedback. It is good to know people are following this. I'm half doing it to practice my analysis, design, implementation, and optimization skills....but I'm also half doing it because I enjoy the community's involvement. A project like this is much less entertaining to write when no one's watching it go from analysis to completion.

I wonder if GDNet would host this MiniMORPG when it gets completed. Might be nice to have an online game community, similar to the way we have an IRC channel. Everyone could meet in one of the major cities and chat, while taking quests, etc...Given that it's C#, we could even use reflection with a well-defined interface to allow contributors to develop their own mods and add-ons for the game. Just a thought. [wink]

/discuss

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

Prince of Soul Strider Combat

Hey Everyone,

I Didn't want you to think I'd vanished. Just to give you an update, I'm in the process of defining the character controls and combat. Given that the primary purpose of this game is to explore the world and fight mobs and other players, I want combat to be an immersive and enjoyable process...highly involved.

As such I've taken a few different games which I feel have unique movement and combat systems, and am in the process of trying to elegantly tie them together.

For the time being, I've established that the game will handle largely like a Prince of Persia platformer, with the ability to move, jump, climb, swim, tumble, and generally feel very acrobatic. This gives the game more of an action-adventure feel rather than a traditional MMO RPG feel.

Additionally, I really enjoyed a classic Sega Genesis game called Strider, in which you were able to jump from ledge to ledge, grab onto larger monsters, hang from ropes, etc...this too defines my adventure-style play.

Finally, the combat system, IMO, should function like combat-style games...specifically, modern fighting games. At this point in time, Soul Calibur 2 probably best describes the fighting game genre in its current reincarnation. Although I've never actually played it (I'm more of a MK fan), I've heard great things about it's controls, requiring few buttons, etc...which is key for us, given that it must play well on a Keyboard/Mouse, and also a Game Pad.

So, we're looking for a Prince of Persia feel, a Soul Calibur-esque combat system, and the ability to interact with NPC's, go on quests, gain experience, etc...like a more traditional RPG.

I'll have more specific details about movement and combat in the coming days as I nail down an intuitive system.

Please feel free to provide feedback.

/discuss

JWalsh

JWalsh

 

Class Special Abilities

Hello Everyone!

Alrighty, based on the minimal votes provided, I'll go ahead and journal the special abilities of each class now, and return to combat system and statistics in the next post.

A quick introduction. Each class is designed to have a (more or less) niche area, and receives a new special ability every 3 levels. The levels not divisible by 3 will be advancements levels, where their previous special abilities become more powerful. Before we get into the specific abilities, lets review what the purpose of each class is.

Tanks are designed for damage absorption, survival, and in general, providing a nice meat shield for everyone else.

Healers are...wait for it...designed for healing. They have a party buff, healing, and a fear spell which gets more powerful over time, to enable them to better heal party members while being attacked.

Nukers are designed more or less for quick or AoE damage. The nukers are the ones that will generally clear out a crowd. However, because of their weak structures, they need more crowd control abilities to ensure their survival while soloing, and to help reduce aggro.

And finally, Handymen are your typical rogue-like classes. They're stealthy individuals who prefer combat from behind or from afar. They use all means necessary at their disposal to take out the bad guys, including poisons, wounding their enemies, and sneaking up behind them. In general, they rely more on their evasiveness than their strength.

So with all of the above being said, here are the special abilities of each class, and the levels they receive them.

Tank
Defensive Maneuvers (1): A defensive ability that puts the tank is a defensive stance for 30 seconds, increasing damage absorbed by his shield.
Shield Bash (3): A shield strike, which stuns the enemy for a short period of time
Counter Strike (6): A quick attack only available after a parry which always lands a critical strike.
Taunt (9): An aggro gaining ability that allows the tank to pull an enemy off of any ally
Call To Arms (12): A area of effect shout, which increases morale and grants temporary combat bonuses to all allies for a short period of time.
Whirlwind Strike (15): An area of effect strike dealing multiples hits to all enemies within melee range.

Healer
Heal (1): A single target heal.
Tortured Soul (3): A cry that causes 1 or more enemies in melee range to flee in fear. This effects more enemies at higher levels.
Rejuvenate (6): A single target Heal-over-time.
Divine Life (9): Grants the healer the ability to raise people from the dead for a short period of time after dying.
Divine Blessing (12): A Party buff, granting all members a bonus to Endurance and Agility.
Healing Fountain (15): A party heal.

Nuker
Fireball (1): A single target, high damage spell
Stoneskin (3): A self-buffing spell granting the caster increased natural armor.
Polymorph (6): A crown control ability allowing the caster to turn a single enemy at a time into a bunny.
Head Wind (9): A crowd control ability enabling the caster to slow the movement of all enemies in a cone in front of the caster.
Planar Shift (12): An ability that allows the caster blink in and out of planes, reducing the aggro on monsters.
Meteor Strike (15): A massive AoE, Damage over time spell.

Handyman
Stealth (1): Grants the handyman the ability to hide in plain sight
Backstab (3): A decisive shot which can only be made from behind a target. This ability always lands a critical strike.
Disable Device (6): A passive ability that enables the handyman to open locks on doors and chests.
Evasive Maneuvers (9): Puts the handyman into an evasive stance for a short period of time, where their dodge % is increased dramatically.
Bleeding Wound (12): An open wound ability that causes their enemies to take damage over time.
Poisoned Arrow (15): A single-target debuff, which reduces the targets strength and endurance.

Well all, that about wraps it up. I hope you find these abilities enticing. I'm very much looking forward to implementing them and seeing how they interact with each other in PvP. Also, some of these have some nifty shader and particle effects that I'm really looking forward to making.

Feel free to provide your own feedback as usual. The next post will likely be describing the combat system in-depth. Cheers!

/discuss

JWalsh

JWalsh

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