The following is the log for the Stratics House of Commons Fallen Earth Developer chat held in December 2008.
<@Brannoc> Welcome to today's House of Commons chat with the developers of Fallen Earth!
<@Brannoc> Questions may be submitted to directly to me by typing /msg Brannoc my question here! Please try to stick to the subjects of pvp and crafting.
<@Brannoc> We'll begin with a brief introduction from our guests and then jump straight into the questions. The full logs will be available at http://www.stratics.com shortly afterward.
<@Tiggs> Hiyas! Tiggs here Community Director for Fallen Earth
<@FELee> Hi, I'm Lee Hammock, the lead game designer on Fallen Earth.
<@Quisno> Hello Im Quisno, one of those in game moderators
<@[FE]Wordmender> Hi, I'm Brandes Stoddard, a systems designer on Fallen Earth.
<@[FE]James> Hey, this is James Lowe, a writer and one of Lee's minions.
<@Brannoc> *_Corpse_* When crafting weapons/armor is there any phase that you well get to experiment to increase certain stats of the item like in SWG?
<@FELee> We don't have an experimentation angle to the crafting system, but we do have a huge amount of crafting recipes so players can make a wide variety of stuff already. We do have a research system where players can unlock more powerful recipes through spending time and resources doing research.
<@Brannoc> *[WSX]ZtyX* Does Fallen Earth have vast areas of open land where you can do Free For All PvP?
<@[FE]James> We do have some areas of open PvP in addition to large tracts of land surrounding many of conquerable conflict towns.
<@Brannoc> *Anon447* will moving of resources from one area to another be a gameplay aspact for traders? For example buy low sell high depending on the local resources. Thus enabling the need for caravans or trucks to move more resources.. which may need to be protected through more active pvp zones?
<@FELee> We are in the process of adding a Social skill to the game where players can develop their bartering skills get better deals from merchants. So players will want to move around to get better deals from differnt merchants, plus some merchants will be able to buy larger ticket goods than others. Also some resources will only be available in certain areas.
<@Brannoc> *[WSX]ZtyX* What are some of the rewards players can look forward to in Fallen Earth when they kill another player?
<@FELee> Players get faction when they kill each other, which allows them access faction gear, special abilities, etc. Also we're working on a death toll system where players can amass points for killing other players and get special gear for doing so.
<@Brannoc> Questions will be answered first come first serve, so send those questions in now by typing /msg Brannoc my question here!
<@Brannoc> *Buxaroo* Hello, I am a longtime player of EVE Online (member of Band of Brothers). I have heard of Fallen Earth and saw the videos of it about a year ago but haven't heard much about it sense then. I wanted to ask about the pvp element and if it has any kind of penalty when you die?
<@[FE]James> Currently the main loss in PvP is time and a "cloning sickness." Cloning sickness is debuff that gets worse every time you're killed while under the effect of cloning sickness.
<@[FE]James> In addition, your equipment does decay on use, but we don't have the "I lose everything in my ship... and my ship" penalty.
<@Brannoc> *[WSX]ZtyX* Regarding Ranged Vs. Melee combat balancing. Could you please tell us about some of the things youRve done to make sure melee players are not helpess against snipers or other powerful ranged combatants?
<@[FE]Wordmender> Melee weapons are balanced to kill a given target faster than most ranged weapons. Rifle-wielders take major penalties to their defensive skills as well. Pistol-wielders don't generally have the range to dominate a melee combatant. Oh, and melee means never having to reload.
<@Brannoc> *_Corpse_* Well there be item decay and if so well it be perma decay till item break and well there be any tradeskills to repair said decay?
<@FELee> Item decay happens on death and through usage. Players can repair items using repair kits, which can be purchased or made through crafting skills, but if an item is allowed to become too damaged and is not repaired regularly it can be destroyed permanently.
<@Brannoc> Thor Newstead - Does the PVP system take into account selfdefence? (That question is from the forums)
<@FELee> Currently our PvP system does not take self defense in te sense of "he attacked me, I can kill him without repercussion" into account. The factions are far too petty for that.
<@Brannoc> From the Forums: Toresh Can you elaborate on how factions affect the tradeskills I can or can't have?
<@[FE]James> Players are not limited by the tradeskills they learn, but some factions will have better access in faction towns to the knowledges required to learn them. There is also some special craftable faction gear that will obviously require faction affiliation to craft and use.
<@Brannoc> From the forums: AllenJB Will there be some sort of alert system to let the owning clan / faction know when one of the goals they own is under attack?
<@FELee> We are working on a new UI element for conflict towns and hope to include that functionality in it.
<@Brannoc> *Anon447* will crafted vehicles include flying vehicles such as helicopters? and will these vehicles allow passengers?
<@FELee> No, no flying vehicles for the forseeable future. While we could do it technologically, it would be a major change to the dynamic of the world. I'm not saying it will never happen but not for a good while.
<@Brannoc> *Drifter* Clarification on the Melee vs ranged : so pretty much a melee player should charge a ranged player then the ranged player is pretty much screwed ?
<@Tiggs> ****News Break **** First 5 people to private message me with a valid email address will win an alpha key invite :)
<@[FE]Wordmender> There are some ranged weapons that are competitive in melee range but ineffective at longer range. Generally, though, the melee combatant should dominate the fight once he has successfully charged the gun-wielder. Also, if the ranged combatant significantly injures the melee combatant before he can close, the ranged combatant may well win out.
<@Brannoc> *[WSX]ZtyX* IRm curious as to how the developers view on crafters who PvP. How are they in strength compared to those who go all out on combat skills only?
<@Tiggs> We have our 5 winners :)
<@FELee> Crafters will have to split their APs somewhat compared to characters who go straight combat. It's not going to be a huge difference, but characters who go all out for crafting will not have the width of combat skills that those who do not enjoy.
<@Brannoc> CanyonTrader: Will the game artificially force PVE-centric players and crafters into PVP zones for 'better' resources and to be fodder for PVP players.
<@[FE]James> Resources are pretty spread out. There may be high-concentration of harvesting or scavenging areas inside protected areas of conflict towns, but you should be able find non-PvP areas to find most resources.
<@Brannoc> Toresh: What do you see as the end game?
<@FELee> The end game is a mixture of purusing high end crafting, working to advance your faction, PvP conflicts over town control, and pursuing storylines that players missed earlier. We also have a very aggressive plan for content expansions, both in terms of free expansions and boxed expansions.
<@Brannoc> AllenJB: With regards to PvP goals, how will you prevent "ninja" attacks, where people go and find an unguarded town or other goal and take it with just a couple of people, then disappear before help can arrive?
<@Tiggs> First Clan leader to IM me will get their clan members invites :)
<@[FE]James> Our conflict towns are not something that you should be able to conquer quickly with few, quickly winnable goals. They are long-term takeovers. Conflict towns are on timers to only be "flipped" to neutral or a faction every so often, determined by each individual town.
<@Brannoc> *[WSX]ZtyX* How big of an impact will mutations have on PvP in Fallen Earth? And are they better than simply going to fight with normal weapons?
<@Tiggs> Grats to Buxaroo for a clan invite!
<@FELee> Mutations are designed to primarily be a support and assistance tool rather than a primary combat weapon. You're not going to see a lot of people using it as their primary damage mechanic, but instead will see folks use mutations to stun people so they can shoot them, infect them with dieases to to reduce their stats while smacking them around, etc. And of course their are mutations to help heal or increase your allies abilities.
<@FELee> So they are useful in PvP but not game winners. And people without them will still do well.
<@Brannoc> AllenJB How do you expect factions, alliances and clan wars to work out? Will it be possible to have large wars with large numbers of players with a wide range of skill levels? (eg. as a level 10, can I join in a clan war with level 50s and just try to do as much damage as I can, even if I can't take anyone down)
<@[FE]Wordmender> Some PvP regions will support open level-range play. Others have PvE threats throughout the area, and those may be sufficient to weed out very low-level characters. With the huge level-range you describe, of course, the low-level character will see many of his attacks land for reduced or "glancing" damage. The other major barrier to such play is low-level players traveling into a high-level sector. If you have enough support
<@[FE]Wordmender> ...from your guildmates to overcome these obstacles, though, the rules do not stop you from competing.
<@Brannoc> *[WSX]ZtyX* It sounds super cool when you say you have aggressive plans for content expansions. Care to elaborate on that, Lee? =)
<@FELee> Uhhh, I can only elaborate so much, but we have plans to introduce entire additional sectors of game play within the first year of release in addition to more content in the existing sectors. Expect the max level to increase substantially in the first year of release.
<@Brannoc> Thor Newstead Will it be possible to level primarily (and effectively) through crafting?
<@FELee> You can level just through crafting you will level, but slowly. Crafting is an additive form of XP in Fallen Earth, meaning you can do it while earning XP through other methods. So it's best done in addition to antoher activity, such as harvesting so you can craft more stuff. We really see harvesting resources (for which you get XP) as part of the overall craftings system, so in that sense you can level effectively with crafting
<@FELee> also harvest to get yourself resources, but if you just make items you'll be a bit slow.
<@Brannoc> AllenJB How frequent will GM-run storyline events be? How much will players be able to alter the outcome? (I've seen some games where the outcome is annoyingly predetermined and GMs will obviously spawn more mobs for the losing side if they want them to win)
<@FELee> We're shooting to give players events they can decide the course of, and one of the major storylines in the game involves that, but we're still working out the status of the Live Team and how much they will be running events. We hope to do a lot and are already planning holiday events and the like.
<@Tiggs> Speaking of holiday events -- Stay tuned to the Fallen Earth forums for December's contest!
<@Brannoc> *Jeerota* Expanding on what AllenJB said what sort of support are you planning for roleplayers such as chatboxes, emotes, and features to let roleplayers run events within the game world?
<@FELee> We do have a lot of emotes in the game and I have to say an awesome selection of dances (both the Charleston and the Carlton). We've also tried to leave areas open in towns so if players want to move in and claim a building or bar they can do so. We indeed have chat boxes so it's easy to see who's talking.
<@Brannoc> AllenJB What's the most unexpected thing you've seen in the game and/or in the community so far?
* Tiggs giggles
<@FELee> The house gun. Really. It shot houses.
<@[FE]James> Giant turtle on a golf course.
<@FELee> As in hosues instead of bullets.
<@[FE]James> And he gave you stuff.
<@Tiggs> Walking into a local chat section and interupting a sexting conversation
<@Tiggs> They realized what tells were for very quickly :)
<@[FE]James> Also... attack of the 50ft merchant
<@[FE]Wordmender> The metal "bar." As a weapon. Someone had some kind of punning fit, and it was a building to distribute alcoholic beverages that moved around you when you clicked to attack.
<@Brannoc> Last chance to get those questions in to me! /msg Brannoc my question here
<@Brannoc> How does the PvP system work with regards to Neutrals? Example: A neutral decides (foolishly perhaps) to travel in a contested area (PvP area). He is shot by an Enforcer. Will the Enforcer suffer any kind of reputation loss for attacking a neutral?
<@FELee> Killing neutral players does not inflict faction loss with the core factions. We may do something with other factions if the player is really highly ranked with them, like Franklin's Riders.
<@Brannoc> *Bee* Can someone solo or duo through most of the content of the game and will they have to deal with pvp ?
<@[FE]Wordmender> You'll be able to solo or duo while completely avoiding PvP through half to two-thirds of the game's content. That's enough to level through the game several times without really seeing much of the same content twice.
<@Brannoc> *Anon447* will vehicles be able to carry passengers
<@[FE]James> Not at release.
<@Brannoc> *TheSlayer* What are the current plans to promote Fallen Earth in the coming months? I think its fair to say the forum has been very slow lately, and even the lack of people attending this chat scare me. It would be nice to know there are some serious plans to promote FE, and insure it has a strong player base.
<@Tiggs> After the New Year you will start to hear a lot about Fallen Earth all over the place. We will also start doing exclusive interviews and providing some websites with exclusive screenshots. Remember we are still in the Alpha stages :)
<@Brannoc> *Jeerota* If a group of say four low level characters, level 1-5, decided to team up and go to a higher level area about what level could they take on before they got torn apart?
<@FELee> Depends on character builds, but it's safe to say 4 5th level characters would be just fine in a 10th level area and probably be fine in 15th level area if they were careful. But they couldn't take on, say, a 15th level boss.
<@Brannoc> *_Corpse_* Whats the max range of a sniper rifle compared to how far out you can see someone?
<@FELee> The top in sniper rifles have a range ofabout 100m. The distance you can see someone varies according to a number of things, but I will say with most human sized things you don't see them far beyond 100m normally. Also without a sniper scope making those shots against anything that is moving is darn difficult.
<@Brannoc> Ok folks, that's it for tonight. Be sure to join us a month from today right here for another great chat with Fallen Earth!
<@Tiggs> If you want to talk with us we are in the #fallenearth channel
<@Brannoc> The developers will be sticking around in #fallenearth for a bit, you're welcome ot join them.