The latest subscriber Town Hall is here! Featuring questions based off the Persistent Universe with Chris, Erin, Todd, and Tony!
As per usual, anything said during the show is subject to change by CIG and may not always be accurate at the time of posting. Also any mistakes you see that I may have missed, please let me know so I can correct them. Enjoy the show!
[0:38] Q: Will individual planets have unique terrain and how will this contribute to gameplay?
A: Planning a lot more ecosystems and variety than was shown in the Homestead Demo. There will be different challenges in terms of weather, wildlife and resources, more variety of ecosystems than Star Wars
If you crash and set of a distress beacon might have to survive for while until rescued: hunt for food, search for water, find resources for repairs
Environmental variability is not just cosmetic: it directly benefits the types of gameplay available. Reduced visibility from weather, impaired navigation due to radiation, etc. "Natural gating" i.e. limiting what a player can do due to their equipment
Trying to make it systemic (versus scripted) so when they build environments everything just works. They’ll have a large number of really well constructed environments and ecosystems that will be interesting to explore
[6:31] Q: How will you handle landing and exploration on planets like with cities like ArcCorp?
A: Landing on a planet like ArcCorp, or even in a normal city, you’ll have to land where Flight Control tells you, following a flight-path provided.
[8:50] Q: How will logouts/disconnects on multi-crew ships work?
A: If you logout or disconnect, your ship will persist for a period of time before it, too, essentially logs out. If there are other active players on your ship, then it will persist as long as they’re on it.
[11:05] Q: How will the game handle multi-day or multi-week guild run campaigns in the PU?
A: Tying into the previous question, you’ll be able to log out in safe spaces and pick things up later. At the same time, there has to be persistence, and consequence, to everything. Your ships can be stolen, and sold at the grey market, but you will have control over security systems, and be able to designate who takes control of your ship, should you logout or disconnect.
[19:30] Q: How will mission and NPC spawns work in the PU? Will it be like the current PU Where it scales based off players?
A: No, currently what’s in the game is a very simple linear scale, whereas the mission system will take into account how many people are in your party, the ships and what they’re capable of, your reputation and what you’re actually carrying to generate missions for you.
[20:56] Q: What sort of environmental risks can we expect to see in the PU?
A: You can expect to encounter radiation leaks, oxygen leaks, and have to suit up to fix those issues as they arise. There’s also the risk of wear and tear on your ship and needing to fix it during or after combat as well as long trips will take a beating on your ships and exploring long distances will require you to stock up on parts to make sure you can fix whatever is broken. Maintaining your ship will be an essential and regular part of gameplay that by having a good crew will keep your ship running smoothly.
[29:43] Q: Will it be possible in the distant future to ‘retire’ your character to a planet for a quiet life? Like a mini game ala Harvest Moon.
A: There’s always the possibility of leading an isolated life but with thousands of players in game there will always be that danger of being found by the more nefarious type players.
[31:59] Q: Will other races or factions use different currencies and will there be variation in exchange rates?
A: Starting out there will just be UEC but longer term there may be currencies for Xi'an and Banu although player’s probably wouldn't trade in those. Much longer term, (i.e. if/when there are playable alien races) it would probably make sense to have currencies for those races. Even then we probably won't have an identical translation mechanism everywhere which provides opportunities for arbitrage, etc.
[33:41] Q:Will people/ships get the capability to activate a distress beacon of sorts that broadcasts their location to nearby ships?
A: Yes, there will be different sorts of beacons. Ex: 1)Distress beacons to authorities/security forces that might be around you. 2)Distress beacon to other players. 3)Service beacons that you can use to hire people for jobs. These service beacons will be set up with specific criteria to filter out the types of people who can actually respond to you.
Erin Roberts (ER): Hi everyone, welcome to this special subscribers Town Hall. Today actually we have a nice selection of people to answer the questions for you. We have Todd papy on the far right here, and my brother Chris Roberts, Tony Zurovec and myself I’ll be asking the questions because when we go into depth about design which is what these guys will be answering so thanks you all for joining us and i’ll kick off with the first question
[0:38] Will individual planets have unique terrain? How will this contribute to gameplay?
ER: So Chris you want to kick that one off?
Chris Roberts (CR): Yeah, no, I mean, that’s one of big focuses we’ve shown little bits of it when we’ve done the CitizenCon presentation. We showed some ecosystems in what was … we called the “Homestead Demo” but it had rocky, mountainous areas; open desert plains ... we’re planning to have a lot more ecosystems and variety than we showed in Homestead. The concept is that they would have their different challenges in terms of longer term weather, even wildlife or resources that would be there.
So it’s pretty exciting and we’re building the toolset to allow the artists and the designers to have fun and … You watch Star Wars and you go “Okay, yeah, it’s Hoth. It’s the ice-snow planet. And Endor’s the forest moon or whatever. And we’re definitely going to have different planets, moons even, that would have those sort of different feels. And in some ways maybe have more of a variety of ecosystems because obviously Star Wars tends to be very like “Here’s the snow planet. Here’s the forest planet.” And I think that would be cool.
And I think longer term we’re hoping to make it so there’ll be gameplay and challenges related to the actual ecosystems themselves. And we could even see a point where you could crash land on a planet, and you have to get a distress beacon out, and you’ve got to survive for a little bit of time before someone comes and rescues you. And so you got to maybe hunt some wildlife or find some water to drink or find some special type of mineral that you need to do to repair your ship.
Tony Zurovec (TZ): Yeah, but that’s the important thing, which is that the environmental variability is not just cosmetic: it directly benefits the types of gameplay that we’ll be able to have the players engage in. Everything from reduced visibility from snowstorms, sleet, fog, etc.; impaired navigational capability from sources of radiation: all of these different types of mechanics come together and allow us to present new and different challenges.
We can force the player out of their ship to actually walk or drive across the surface of the planet because there’s something that throwing off too much interference so their ship, in close proximity to the planet, can’t actually navigate how it normally would. And a variety of things like that.
So all of this variation on the planet is not only going to present you with a lot of just visually different looking scenarios and stuff, but it’s going to greatly increase the types of gameplay that we can put out there.
Todd Papy (TP): From a player’s standpoint I think of this as “natural gating” or … versus traditional MMOs or something like that where “Oh, you’re not level eighteen you can’t go there.” Like this is our natural way to gate players of “Oh, you don’t have the right equipment to go into the extreme cold or extreme heat or radiation or something like that.” So it’s a way for us mess … to take tools away from players that they might be used to, whether that be the radars or affects the way sensors work in their ships, or even like the flight.
CR: And I would say that’s one of the reasons we’re doing all this systemic approach, right? So, in terms of you as, say a character or a human being in the role that you are playing, like you need to breathe oxygen. So if there isn’t an compatible atmosphere you would need to have an environmental suit. Or perhaps you’re in a place that has too much radiation: you need to have some shield from that. Or there’s really bad wind storms so … sand storms ... so during that you’d have to find shelter.
So we’re trying to make it systemic so that when we build the environments it just works. As opposed to we just program specific actions based on you being in this area but not with the right equipment. The equipment allows you to survive the environments. Essentially. And so you should … if you’re going to explore you should probably ...
TP: Have the explorer suit!
CR: Have the explorer suit, have the land vehicle: all the things that let you get down close because, like Tony said, there may be case which was what we were showing or hinting in the Homestead Demo was that ... the idea is there’ll be areas you’ll not be able to fly your spaceship to so you may have to get out on foot or get out and use a ground vehicle. Or sometimes you’d have to land and take shelter. So there’s all these great sci-fi where you see the approach, like Aliens, and they’re going down to Hadley's Hope and they go through the buffet of the atmosphere.
So we’re all going to try to get all those aspects in there and really give detail to the different locations. So even though we may not have a billion procedurally generated moons or planets, we’ll have a huge … we’ll have a very large amount of actual planets and moons that have a really well constructed set of environments and ecosystems that should be challenging and interesting to explore.
TZ: That’s the part that’s most interesting to me which is unlike, even more so than in space, we’ll have the capability at the local scale to be able to change the environment such that, yeah, scanning is more difficult, or force you out of your ship, or finding an area - planets are enormously large things and so since we’re not going to basically just have the magical button that you can push and all of a sudden things are revealed to you - it’s like if you’re talking about things hidden in plain sight then just the sheer size of these things. And then once you start to add in forests and mountain ranges and snowstorms and fog and rain …
CR: Well you think how long it’s taken us to explore Earth, and there’s probably some areas …
TZ: They’re still finding pockets of oil and everything …
TZ: … else. That’s exactly it.
CR: Yeah. And so there’s seven billion of us here. So, yeah absolutely.
[6:31] We as backers are obviously all excited for planetary landings in 3.0, but how are you planning on handling on-foot and in-flight exploration of a planet like ArcCorp that is completely covered in factories?
And I guess, what they’re kind of asking is, you know, what is the gating for people to be able to go to a large civilian population and for them to just start walking around the planet.
TZ: Ok, so, we’ve talked about this in the past and basically the idea is that you’re going to have, when you approach you know, any of these major landing zones, an air traffic control siystem, and you’re going to be slotted in and given permission to land, and at that point they’ll plot a course forward for you, and you need to stick fairly close to the path that they give you, or else you’ll be auto-piloted in. At the same time, on some of these planets
CR: Just to be clear, I”ll also say, so, it’s not like we’re going to take over control of you unless you deviate from the, but it’s like landing here in Los Angeles, or landing in London, there’ll be a flight path that you’re given that you need to stick to. If you deviate from it, then you know, they, your autopilot of your ship will sort of be taken over and they’ll land it, but you know, for instance there certainly will be a level on ArcCorp that you’re above, you know that you can fly over Los Angeles at 30,000 feet and that’s okay, it’s just going, coming down close…
TZ: Yes of course, it only applies to you coming in close proximity
CR: and it only applies to the sort of the big landing zones, the cities that people … crash into
TZ: The problem we’re trying to solve is we don’t want people setting their ships down in the courtyard of Area 18. We don’t want people doing combat strafes through the city, that kind of thing.
CR: Don’t want to see what happens when Idrii, you crash an Idris into the main planet
TZ: Exactly. And so the same concept applies on those planets like Hurston, to where you actually land on 95% of the planet. If you actually happen to go close to the city, Lorville, then basically you’ll just have certain gated entrances to the city to where you’re forced to basically go through those just as you would
ER: There’ll be ground in there so basically, you go, you could land and walk to a gate and go in, or you could actually just land..
TZ: Yup, that’s exactly it, and on cities that actually have customs, you’d go through a ground-based customs just as you would coming through the airport.
ER: Ok. Cool. Next question. Basically just I guess it’s more of a technical issue in how we’re going to handle it, and I guess I’ll chuck this one out to Chris, but…
[8:50] How will the PU work during logouts/ ISP disconnects on a multicrew and player interaction basis?
CR: Well we actually had a, we were out in Austin a week or so and this was actually one of the things we were talking about, but the concept we’re going with is that if you disconnect for instance, your ship and character will persist for a little bit of time to allow you enough time to relog or reconnect. Also if you’re on a multicrew ship and there’s other actual players on the ship, even if you logout or disconnect, the ship will still persist with the other players on it, as long as there are actual acting real live players on it. And then, if everybody’s gone, everyone disconnected or everyone’s logged out, then we will at that particular time sort of persist the ship for a little bit, and then, if no-one’s around, we’ll basically save the position off, and when you log back in, it should bring you back with the ship in that position. There may be other stuff around, we’ll obviously have to have some logic that would make sure you don’t get spawned where there’s another ship right now, but essentially we would sort of save your position or state and let you, let the ship come back, get respawned, in that particular position, and that’s sort of the idea also if you’re like flying, you’ve got a bed, and you find some area that there’s no-one really around and then you can sort of save your game in the, you know, that’s the whole idea of having sort of beds aboard your multicrew ships, is that you can sort of make it a save game…
TZ: And that’s the whole reason why, the fact that your ship hangs around for some period of time after you’re gone, that you don’t want to be doing this, you know, when you’re right in the middle of combat, so that basically we can have a little safe-zone, your ship goes out, and you’re good to go.
TP: And we also spoke about it being actually on the planets, so it’s the same system no matter what, whether you’re on the planets or in-space.
ER: So I actually want to tie to that, there’s another question here which is, which I’ll jump forward to cause I think it’s rather what we’re talking about, and it’s
[11:05] How will the game handle multi-day or multi-week guild run campaigns in the PU?
Which obviously we’ve just talked about how we’ll handle that instance, but also the thought in terms of, you know, something which stretches a long time, and people are not going to be just disconnected but they’re going to be actually logged out, and how we’re going to handle that.
CR: Well I mean, I think that would be kind of the same thing that we discussed, so if there’s a bunch of you on a ship or something and you’re flying together then, you know, you could take shifts like you would in real life, some people could be flying while other people have logged out, and the ship would still carry on its mission. If everyone sort of says okay we’re going to play from 6pm till 9pm, and then they all log out at 9pm, then we’ll probably save off the state of the ship, you know after, there’s a little bit of time and then bam, if you’re safe, it’s okay it’ll get saved and we’ll just respawn when you log back on. If something happens when like you’ve disconnected or you’ve logged out, or, we mention that, and the ship does get destroyed, then you would essentially, it would, it would respawn you at the closest sort of respawn point that we’ve sort of, you know, it’s the kind of like Death of a Spaceman mechanic, where you come back, you wake up in the medbay, and your body’s been recovered from space, and then you’d probably have to have an insurance claim, so your your key is, if you’re going to logout, you should make sure that you’re sort of logging out when you’re not near any hostiles or enemies, because there will be a period, if there are hostiles or enemies, your ship will still persist and will persist there until the hostiles, enemies, are either gone, or your ship is, you know,
TP: Blown up
CR: Been destroyed.
TZ: Well we’re, we’re trying to split that fine line between giving you the convenience to actually be 20 minutes out from some major city in an asteroid field doing something and you log off, you can continue back the next day, but at the same time we need to prevent players from exploiting this functionality such that they’re in the middle of you know combat and basically just logging out and their ship goes immediately.
CR: Yeah yeah, we don’t want, I mean like, there’s got to be some, there has to be persistence, there has to be consequence, or else you, everything you earn will mean nothing, so, there needs to be some like, ‘I need to get to an area where I’m safe and then I can log out’. That’s what we want, we don’t want you going, we don’t want people rage, pulling the internet cord, in the middle of a battle they know they’re losing just to essentially escape losing their ship, cause that wouldn’t be cool at all, so when you get into a situation, whether it’s AI or another player, fighting with, you’re at risk to lose your ship there, and yes, it would suck if you got disconnected at that very moment in time, on the internet by no fault of your own, but I mean we can’t really, we can’t tell when someone rage disconnects or someone gets their internet service drops on them, so we’ll just persist the ship, and hopefully they can reconnect back in and get back into it. And if you’re flying a bigger ship like a multicrew ship, those are going to be tougher, probably more, tougher than we even have right now…
TZ: They wouldn’t, but your NPC crew on those larger ships, you’re probably going to have a healthy contingent of other players helping you, or other NPC’s, and those people would continue..
CR: Would still be active so yeah, to be clear, if you disconnected and you have an NPC crew, that ship would still exist, the NPC crew doing stuff, and then if you reconnect and you’re back in there on the ship, and we’ll keep it in that state for a while to allow you to reconnect, so the key is really just to make sure that, if you’re travelling, and you want to save, you’ve just got to make sure you’re saving in an area where it’s fairly safe, you’re not going to be under threat of attack.
ER: So I know, there’s absolutely mute questions that come from this conversation, I know we’ve talked about it, so, I just want to bring it up, is the question of you know, you’ve got your crew of hopefully friends and you disconnect, and now your friends are running your ship. What’s to stop them from, you know, I mean, basically there probably isn’t anything but the question that’s been talked about is what happens then, as long as they decide to take your ship somewhere else without your permission…
CR: Well, what can… I mean at that point, I lend you my car and then…
ER: No no, I agree, just the point…
CR: You decide to take it on a rally and
ER: Right, so basically
TZ: I see this as being more like, this is the exact same that we’re going to encounter over and over again that we’ve talked about which is, if somebody boards your ship, can they basically just sit in the pilot seat and go, and that’s the way it is right now, but eventually we’re going to have much more of a security system concept, and so irregardless of the fact that I allow other players onto my ships, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I as captain have basically given them the keys to the thing, so I disappear…
CR: You may not give them the permission…
TZ: That’s exactly it.
CR: To use the helm, they may have the permission to walk all around or use turrets or whatever, but…
TZ: So I could see
CR: they won’t have the keys to the ignition.
TZ: I could see the captain, the owner of the ship, basically designating who can do what, if i’m disconnected then my navigator
TP: Or SO yeah
TZ: whether it’s a player or NPC can basically assume, you know, control of piloting the craft, but I in advance basic ally said how I want the ship to, how I want the crew to be able to respond in this particular scenario
ER: Also the issue where at the end of the day you’re going to have to basically trust the people you put on your ship because you’re going to assign that stuff
TP: But even I mean we’ve talked about reputation hits and, I mean, bounties and all sorts of other things that would hopefully help mitigate that issue
TZ: Yeah and that’s a huge part when you’re hiring other players and you see, you’re not going to be doing this blindly. We will be tracking a number of different statistics and attributes that will allow you to get some sense of how they’ve been performing in their…
ER: Just see it as part of the gameplay and you just need to make sure that before you go and do that with your ship, you say, yeah you guys can fly around while I'm away for a week on holiday, that you have to understand that stuff can happen.
CR: Yeah and basically you shouldn’t, yeah you know, your ship or various equipment, it’s your possessions, and your possessions can be destroyed or stolen by other players. There'll be certain things in place to help prevent that, and there’ll be certain things when forced that not happening in law abiding areas, but you’re always going to have some risk of things, you know, being destroyed or stolen by other players, and there will be a black market so for instance, a ship’s a good example of, you kinda need to transfer title to sell it pretty much anywhere, but if I steal say your constellation, so I probably couldn’t go to ArcCorp and sell it cause I don’t have the papers for it, even if I just took it over, you know i found it sitting there in an asteroid field, no-one was in it, but there’s probably someplace I could go that I could talk to a kind of chop-shop, shady person, who’ll pay me less than you would normally pay for a legitimate second-hand connie, and then I could get some money that way, so we’ll have those sort of systems in, and if you’re flying a ship that is being denoted with the, it’s a stolen ship, and you’re in a law-enforcement area, and the law enforcement scans you or a bounty hunter running around can see that you’re tagged you’re in a stolen ship, then they would have the ability, or the authorization, to engage in, if they’re a player, PVP against you, to sort of bring you to justice, so we’ll sort of have some of that balance, but yeah you should think that your possessions, in general, can be destroyed and can be stolen, that’s one of the reasons why you have insurance, but we want to make it so it encourages you to hold onto your stuff, it encourages you to repair them and maintain, we don’t want you to fly out there, get a scratch on your constellation, and go aww, this is, I don’t like it now, I’m going to smash it into an asteroid field and brow it up and then I’ll respawn and get another constellation instantly, which is what happens right now in the baby PU, in Crusader. So as we move towards a much more persistent, proper game, which 3.0 is really going to be that, we’re going to try to disincentivize you and incentivize you to keep your ship running, keep it maintained, keep it repaired, and try to keep it out of situations where it can be damaged or stolen.
TP: Ideally build a relationship with it, but then, I mean I would love to see the awkward conversations that would come out of that like, your brother steals your ship or takes your ship, and then you’re having those conversations of, what did you do with my stuff kind of thing.
ER - That never happens. Anyway, next question is..
[19:30] How will the PU handle instancing of missions and the NPC enemies that spawn around them? In the mini-PU now we have a direct correlation between the number of players in the area and the number of NPC pirates that spawn. I realize this is just a temporary solution, but will the final PU use a similar process to scale the difficulty of the mission based on the number and quality of the players accepting it?
TZ: Yeah what we have right now is actually far simpler than what we’re going to have very shortly as soon as the mission system makes it debut. Right now it’s just a simple linear relationship to scale the difficulty, whereas what we’re going to be able to do is take into account not just your specific capabilities in terms of the number of people in your party, the ships, the capability of those ships, what your reputation is, what you’re actually carrying and all of these things will be factored into this database of you know, possible missions which is also able to take into account what you should be seeing in that area such that if you’re a freighter and you’re carrying loads and loads of valuable cargo through a dangerous area and you have no escorts, that’s going to make you particularly attractive to pirates that are looking to make a quick buck.
So what you’ve seen thus far, there’s really no comparison. This is basically functionality that was put in to give a little bit of ramp of difficulty to make it playable but the real system is far more playable.
[20:56] Could any of you comment on any of the environmental risks that we can expect to see in the likes of in the PU?
TP: Well as we talked about earlier, like with the power system and basically with the environments that we’re building, where they have power, oxygen, or life support, then gravity as well as possible other leaks or radiation leaks and so when you’re running around in those environments, from a design standpoint we want to be able to create different scenarios. So you either come into a derelict where you come into one that’s fully powered and fully operational, so for us it’s more about creating situations that will allow players to investigate and try out and deal with the appropriate or find ways to solve those those problems.
So whether it’s radiation or oxygen leak or something like that, then you need to go get your suit on, you need to basically have enough oxygen to survive what you need to do in that area or if it’s too close to a sun or something like that then you’re going to be dealing with a certain amount of heat, but those to me are spices that you know, our underlying mission system would be kind of like, let's say the bland food and we use these...
CR: You’re gonna get Tony upset about his missions being called bland.
TP: Sorry! That we use these different spices to basically make the missions a lot more interesting and unique for the players run into.
TZ: Yeah and in that regard it’s very similar to what we were talking about for the environments to where it gives you this systematic ability to be able to present the player with all this different potential diversity and allow them to figure out their own unique solution as to how they want to chart a course through that.
CR: Yeah and the other thing I would say is we’re kinda… people really haven’t seen it yet, but multicrew ships are going to be a large part of the, in my opinion, the fun gameplay. You and a small group of friends or even a bigger group playing together and you don’t really see that now because right now you can either pilot or perhaps you can man a turret and the turrets still need work, they’ve sort of not had much love because we’re waiting for everything to shift to item system 2.0 so we don’t really want to fix the old turrets, we want it for the new turrets, but they’re just a small part because really for us when you’re flying, it’s you know not just piloting, there’s things like the scanning, the radar, the communications, engineering.
So adjusting the systems on the bigger ships, and we’re also going to have the concept of you know, we talked about it, it’s not in but it’s apart of the item 2.0, but the items or the different components of your ship will have age and wear, maintenance, wear level and the idea is that if you’re not really keeping it up and they’re getting old and depending on the quality of the components because we have different quality ratings for them, they can break down. So then you’re gonna have to fix them if they break down, you’re gonna have to replace them and we have smaller items, so like a power plant may have different fuel rods or there may be fuses on power nodes and these things can break down, maybe you’re powering up for quantum drive and you’re going for long distance and I think we have some plans to make quantum drive not be just automatic and things can short out and you’ve got to run and fix it.
Also in combat as you’re in combat, the concept should be that the multicrew ships which is what I was saying they’ll last longer in the future in the PU if you have a crew on it working together, like basically fixing the leaks, replacing the fuse break so constantly almost running around inside repairing it. Like you see in all these science fiction movies, you can extend the life of your multicrew ship in combat which will be important because generally the multicrew ships won’t move as fast as the single seat fighters and everything, but they’re much more tanky because not only are they bigger and not only will they have more armour, power and shields, but they’ll have an active crew be able to run around and fix things as they’re breaking, whereas if you’re on a single seater ship, you can’t really stop in the middle of dogfight, get out, EVA and repair the shield generator that blew a fuse or whatever so there will definitely be stuff to be done in combat, but even on long distance travels.
If you think about going from one system to another system, maybe during the course of it you’ll have to do some maintenance for your engine or repair fuses and I think that sort of gameplay that could, because we are going to have some transit times on the longer distances where you’re not going to be quantum for a few seconds, you’re going to be in quantum drive for you know, minutes or 10’s of minutes in the longest cases so there will be some aspect of maintaining your ship and keeping it going and making sure you’ve stocked up on items. I think there’s a lot of real potential for gameplay that comes out of this whole idea of these systemic components or items that all interact together that need to be taken care of, that need to be maintained to run right and the people that know how to do it and balance it and juggle it will be the more successful ones out there.
TP: And also with that system I mean, when I was talking about environments, it’s used in the same system that he’s talking about right now. So now it would be filtered even down to basically the planets or the planetary outposts that we’ve shown as well as satellites and everything in our universe will be using power plants or solar arrays or some sort of power generator, but it is basically using the same power system.
CR: Yes It’s the same system underneath it all for all for it and so we’re hoping that, it’s probably a bit more than you would normally see in a game, but it’s one system that goes across everything whether it’s down on the ground or on the ships, satellites you were mentioning and once you learn the interaction and the use of it, it hopefully should be fairly intuitive and be a simplified version of what you get in the real world and then from that there’s a lot of possibility because you can not only have to maintain stuff, but you could actually actively disrupt stuff to prevent someone, like say you’re boarding this ship, you as a someone who’s trying to take over a ship, take over a space station, or take over an environment on the ground can also use these things intelligently like cut someone's power off to you know, seal them in that area.
TP: You want to have those counter plays.
TP: That people can have.
TZ: Well I would add to what you’ve said that people haven’t seen the true potential of multi-crew and what it's actually going to mean in so far as the gameplay, and one of the areas which is going to a take I think dramatic leap forward is going to be when we actually start to incorporate the crew. Right now you tend to basically take over a ship of any size and there’s one player or maybe he’s got another person or two, but it’s just, you kill one or two or three guys and now you own the ship and it’s going to be dramatically different when players have the ability to go out and for example: since they want to guard against exactly that, they spend a little bit more money, they hire NPC, could be player characters with a particularly high combat rating and then basically anyone that wants to board that ship and take it over is first going to have to get through all those crew members before they can actually even have a chance at basically seizing control and taking the ship and then even after they do that they're gonna face all the impediments that we were talking about as far as the law is basically going to be on them if they’re in a secure zone and a variety of other things and so all of a sudden you can start to see the act of trying to take some of these larger ships, it’s not going to be something that plays out in a minute or two, it’s going to be these long drawn out battles to where you basically got probably one well organised force of players potentially with NPC backup fighting against another entrenched group of players whose ship has probably been disabled, but now they’re able to fight to repel these boarders and what you’re going to get is a chunk, you’re going to get a gameplay experience that's going to be unlike any we’ve been able to put forward thus far.
ER: So on that sides of things I can move straight over to questions that go to the complete other side of the spectrum and since we’ve gone through the violent side, let's go through a bit of the more pacifist side and talk about farming. So basically one of the questions is.
[29:43] Now with farming coming in the distant future, could it be possible in the far distance future to retire with our Character and do some farming. Like a mini game, ala Harvest Moon and having a small house on Goss, a field and a garden.
TZ: I would say it’s not really the concept of being tired, all these different occupations that you do and some will be, you know, peaceful, you know farming. There’s a variety of other ones…
ER: So the answer’s yes?
TZ: Yes, but you kinda have to qualify in that the way that you go about…
TP: They still have to work.
TZ: If you want to not deal with any of the combat…
ER: They still have to defend their homestead.
TZ: If you go find some distant locale to where there is very little bits going to draw over there, you know, more nefarious elements and basically then you do your mini game. Just like you could do over in a busier area of the system but because the potential payout is less or because the density of other farmers or transit pathways or whatever is less, you’ll just attract less attention. The key point there is though that you’re not off isolated, you’re still in the same universe, it’s just that that solar system is an enormously large place and so it would be very easy for those players that really want to do these self contained, isolated activities to basically go find a little area and you know, do their own thing… but there’s always the possibility that someone’s going to find them and if they’re actually..
CR: Yes, you log out and you come back and your homestead’s razed by the bad guys and you got to come back and track them down for vengeance.
TZ: It’s the same thing with mining you can just picture that will certainly be well known fields of very valuable elements that, you know, that loads of players are being drawn to and extract and that draws all the guys who are looking to making a quick buck and you’re going to see a lot of freighter traffic. There will also be little pockets of value here and there potentially that you found yourself and so it’s possible but very unlikely someone else would find that within the same, you know, small periods of time that you’re out there exploiting those natural resources. So I think just from the sheer size of space, a lot of the players that want isolation, you know, they're going to have that but there’s always that danger, they never really know for sure because they’re going to be in a universe with thousands of other players.
ER: Ok, so just a couple questions left. I think this one’s probably a pretty quick answer.
[31:59] Will there be multiple currencies, perhaps used by different races? If so, will there be any variation in the exchange rates between those currencies?
CR: Well … so starting out it’s just going to be the UEC. There most likely will be a currency for the Xi’an. Most likely be a currency for the Banu. But that’s a longer term aspect and you probably wouldn’t trade in it. So you would … basically everything would be translated to UEC and we would just trade from there. And then maybe down the road if we got more into “Hey, future expansions” - which by the way we have a huge amount of work already but we’ve talked long term about being able to play another race like the Xi’an and the Banu - in that case it would probably make sense that you would have currency for those particular races.
CR: But until … while you’re playing Human you will trade in UEC and there’d be just a … basically a currency … just like now if I’m in dollars and I’m in Europe I can pay in my card in dollars even though they’re translating it from … exchange rate from Euros.
TZ: We likely wouldn’t have an identical translation mechanism everywhere which means for the more economically orientated players it presents some interesting opportunities in terms of arbitrage and things like that. It becomes a commodity like anything else to where the value is one thing here and it’s slightly different there and therefore you can basically accept a contract and transfer that value via whatever mechanics we come up with then ... you could make some money.
ER: Just to be clear this is a stretch goal this one.
ER: It’s not going to be any time soon. And then the last question I’ll put to you Todd is … though I’m sure other people will interject … is ...
[33:41] Will people/ships get the capability to activate a distress beacon of sorts that broadcasts their location to nearby ships? This could be a risky thing due to it attracting pirates and such, of course. In the PU as it stands, there are missions with ships that have distress beacons, yet players have none of yet.
TP: Quick answer is, yes.
TP: So, longer or more in depth answer would be yes and there’s different caveats to it. So there’d be the distress call so that you can actually pull in more like the authorities or the security forces that might be around you. Then there’s the actual, you know, I want to come out and save me, my ship has been blown up. Then there’s the possible, you know, hey I want to use this to hire people… so like the mercs or anything, you know, I’m going to fly through this area so I’m going to turn on this service beacon sooner than later and then find out, you know, if I want…
CR: Cause the idea of a service beacon, right, is basically you’re broadcasting say…
TP: I’m looking for something.
CR: I’m looking for you someone to do this for me, which the simple case we’re talking about here is, I’m looking for someone to come and save my ass cause I’m stuck in space…
TP: Correct. Or refuel or…
CR: Yeah, or looking for someone to refuel, I’m looking for someone to come defend me, I’m looking for someone to come fly on my wing. It’s all part that same system that we’ve called the service beacon.
TZ: Yeah, it’s a dynamic job board that allows players and/or NPCs to sync up with one another assuming the terms meet when I basically have a guy to refuel me or come to escort me, while I’m going to put it in... I’m going to have a various filter or criteria. What’s his reputation, you know, how much...
TP: How much am I going to pay.
TZ: How good is he, what am I willing pay, how quickly can he be here… all these things are going to be, you know, elements you can put, you know, within your basic job description and then only people who have compatible interest can potentially see that. Further you’ll be able to isolate the number of people, the types of people who can actually respond to these things so that you can only engage in this type of, you know, in this type of contractual, you know, transaction between friends or players in your organization or just anybody who has compatible interests and then it’s up to players to basically figure out, you know, how far they want to extend their trust.
ER: Cool, okay, well I think that’s it for the questions. So thanks a lot for sitting with me and answering all the questions.
ER: And I’d like to thank …
CR: Everyone out there.
ER: … everyone, absolutely, everyone out there especially the subscribers for supporting this whole endeavour. Thank you very much.
CR: Thank you guys. Bye.