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Developer chat Nov 2008

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The following is the log for the Stratics House of Commons Fallen Earth Developer chat held in November 2008.

<@Tiggs> Hiyas!! Tiggs here, Community Director for FE =)
<@FELee> Hi guys, I'm Lee Hammock, the Lead Game designer on Fallen Earth.
<@FEJames> I'm James, content writer and designer... One of Lee's minions.
<@[FE]Wes> I'm Wes, one of the game designers working on Fallen Earth. Longtime support of the Landshark. Down with the Captain! Also: Pie over cake.

<@Brannoc> *Olly-* whats the game about ?
<@FELee> Fallen Earth is a post apocalyptic MMORPG with an FPS based combat system and rpg style mechanics. It is set in the Grand Canyon and uses a classless advancement system.

<@Brannoc> *bM`Noun* The FAQ states that there is no PvP at the beginning of the game, will PvP ever be a core part of Fallen Earth?
<@FEJames> PvP will be supported in PvP zones in Sector 1, but really ramps up when the players join factions in Sector 2. In conflict towns, players will be able to fight alongside their faction for control of towns, giving them access to more missions and resources.

<@Brannoc> *Avinalaff* Will a Workshop (if it exists), allow you to run more than one project at a time? As in could one person build wheels at the same time as another person builds a chassis, etc...
<@[FE]Wes> Multiple people can work on projects in a single workshop. So, if you want to build a chassis, your friend can build wheels at the same time. However, players can't work on more than one thing at a time individually, with or without a workshop.

<@Brannoc> *Zebranky* How much will players be able to affect the setting or the future development of FE through their actions in the game?
<@FELee> We have a number of storylines that involve player decisions in the overall story of the game, such as players influencing the decisions of those who control the technology behind the player clones. Plus players can help decide the development and territory of different factions through PvP conflicts.

<@Brannoc> *{DeM}wintergate* What will leveling be like in fallen earth?
<@[FE]Wes> Leveling in Fallen Earth is rather unique, as you can do it by completing missions, scavenging, and even crafting. These avenues make leveling feel a lot less like a grind.

<@Brannoc> *Quavis* If tradeskills/harvesting doesn't require you to spend any AP to learn, whats is the point of the tech faction in general? Won't absolutely everyone be harvesting anything they come upon anyways? This is very quickly going to make material and resources, and eventually finished products absolutely worthless?
<@FELee> Tradeskills don't require AP to learn directly, but do require AP to master since you have to raise your attributes to master tradeskills. Also each faction only has access to certain skills, so Techs will be able to learn Science while the CHOTA are out of luck in that regard. Also the Techs are the only faction in the game that teaches Geology, allowing them to harvest more metals and refine metals than other factions.
<@FELee> Lastly characters can reasearch new knowledges to unlock recipes that can only be gained by research and are never available from vendors, so crafters have a definite advantage in teh game. All the best stuff comes from crafters.

<@Brannoc> *flora* For crafting, when gathering materials, if you take the time to gather while doing quests/doing PvP, will the generally be enough to sustain a moderate progression of crafting. Or will we have to go out of our way to collect materials?
<@FEJames> Harvest nodes and materials are found through quests and are often scattered near points of interest and mission locations. You'll often find that your path toward your goal in a mission will bring you near materials you need for crafting. It's like finding little presents along the way.
<@FEJames> In PvP, if players take some conflict towns, they may have access to even more resources.

<@Brannoc> *Timothy* Will Fallen Earth use a hitbox to calculate damage or will it be rock, paper, scissors based like Planetside?
<@FELee> Fallen Earth uses hit boxes, skills, weapons, and armor to calculate damage. Base damage is determined by weapon and is modified by hit location and Rifle/Pistol/Melee vs. Dodge/Melee Defense and is then modified by armor. So it's toally FPS in hit determination and a mixture of FPS and RPG in damage determination.

<@Brannoc> *AllenJB* How frequently do you see big ingame storyline events happening? Will player characters be able to affect the storyline? To what extent?
<@[FE]Wes> One of the cool new features we've been working with are town events in Fallen Earth. Players complete missions, which escalates the situation around the town until players have to save the day.
<@[FE]Wes> We've also got storylines that focus on the history of GlobalTech and where the clones come from. Between the town events and the big storylines, players get to make their mark in the world.

<@Brannoc> *matrex0* so is the game set across the whole world or just america?
<@FEJames> The game is set in the Grand Canyon region of Arizona, known at the time of the Fall as the Grand Canyon Province, which is under control of the GlobalTech corporation. It is one of the few remaining truly habitable zones left.

<@Brannoc> *Olly-* what was the high concept for the game?
<@FELee> Really we wanted to do something very Mad Max-esque. We wanted to do a very stereotypical 80s post apocalyptic sort of thing. Desert, mohawks, cars, sawn off shotguns, etc. There is a deep cultural identitification with that imagery among computer gamers and the scarcity of post apocalyptic setting works wonderfully with a gear oriented MMO.

<@Brannoc> *[WSX]ZtyX* Is there a maximum level for tradeskills/crafting in Fallen Earth?
<@FELee> Yes, sort of. Players can advance to 45th level until the first content upgrade and we have a extremely aggressive expansion schedule. Crafting will continue to advance with every expansion. Players can craft up to 55th level gear in the release content if they concentrate on it.

<@Brannoc> *Hapless* What are going to be the penalties for pvping in FE? Item drop, exp loss, temp stat loss, ect.
<@FELee> PvP results in temp stat loss, item degradation (and eventual destruction). LifeNet pods are not in PvP zones, but are nearby, so if you don't have a buddy with a trauma pack it can be a walk back to the fight.

<@Brannoc> *[WSX]ZtyX* And here is one more question: What would be the most important thing for someone new to know about crafting?
<@[FE]Wes> To my way of the thinking, the most important thing to know about crafting is: You're going to need to conserve pack and vault space for materials. And scavenge and harvest as much as you can to get the raw materials you need!

* Tiggs would like to congratulate the following people who now have won an alpha key....
<@Tiggs> noun, evoke, jekai, kitro, monto, oozy, squatch, yami, briped and ghost
<@Tiggs> Please message me with a valid email address to send your key too and congrats!

<@Brannoc> *[WSX]Rivers* How is stealth a factor in Fallen Earth?
<@FEJames> We have stealth skill that grants abilities such as a reduction in aggro and even disguising oneself as a member of opposing factions.
<@FEJames> Right now, we have a stealth system in the works that includes generation and detection of noise, but exactly how it will work is still to be determined.

<@Brannoc> *Arkon* How focused on roleplay is the game intended to be? Will it be an enforced roleplay, no roleplay, or roleplay if you want system?
<@[FE]Wes> I think we can expect a roleplay-if-you-want approach, although we're certainly going to police names for appropriateness. I'm a fan of immersive roleplay, but we also recognize that casual gamers aren't always the same way.

<@Brannoc> *flora* Hypothetical scenario, yey! I log in to Fallen Earth, my character is at the level cap. What can I look forward to doing that play session.
<@FELee> You can look forward to gather components and crafting, working with your faction, PvP, following storylines, and pursuing content you missed previously. Most players will only see 1/4-1/3 of the content on a single play through. It's a huge environment to explore. We hope to have additional content out quickly after release as well.

<@Brannoc> *[WSX]Rivers* What was your desire, as a development team, to show the MMO gaming community with Fallen Earth?
<@FELee> Show that just because a game has some complexity to it that doesn't mean its not fun. Our crafting is very indepth, our advancement system allows vast customization, we have 6 factions players can switch between, etc.
<@FELee> Also we wanted to do something without elves. Stupid elves.

<@Brannoc> *[WSX]ZtyX* And one more question: Is there going to be weapon and armour customization? More specifically: Damage/Armour/resistance bonuses?
<@Brannoc> (woo stupid elves!)
<@FELee> First of all there is a vast variety of items available, so players will have multiple choices at any given point for what to wear or use. Some of these have multiple versions based on color, designs, etc. Each of these has its own resistances, so you can have switch out your heavy helmet for a gas mask as the situation arises.
<@FELee> Players more customize their gear by switching or making new items as opposed to modifying the stats on their items.

<@Brannoc> *[WSX]Carnifex* Question for Fallen Earth: How does taking over Towns work ? Is it "Hold a certain point for a certain amount of time", or "Annihalate the enemy", or maybe a different system ?
<@FEJames> Our conflict towns have a few different ways of going about it, but the central mechanic is that the players must assist, through NPC missions, the takeover of towns.
<@FEJames> In some conflict towns, you may be fighting to remove a villain faction from taking over a town (and thus gaining that town for your buddies) through NPC missions. Others demand that you gather resources and craft to support the economies of the town, making the locals more friendly.
<@FEJames> All of these conflict towns have one thing in common, however. Other players will be able to shoot you. That always complicates things.
<@FEJames> Either way, once your faction hits a certain threshold over competing factions, your team gains control, giving you access to additional content, resources, and merchants.

<@Brannoc> *[SF]Rein* How many hitbox locations are there?
<@[FE]Wes> We've got six hitbox locations: Both arms, both legs, torso, head.

<@Brannoc> *[WSX]ZtyX* One more question Brannoc: The Scavenging/Harvesting system sounds really cool. I can see some people complaining about it though.. Could it happen that you revamp it?
<@[FE]Wes> Scavenging and harvesting might be tweaked - nodes might take longer to respawn, they might be fewer in number. But I don't expect we'd revamp the fundamentals of how they work and the purpose they serve in the game.

<@Brannoc> *[SF]Rein* Will there be a FFA pvp server?
<@FELee> We currently are not sure how many servers there will be. Due to our immense world we're hoping to be able to have a lot of people on each server, thus having few servers overall. That said, if we do have multiple servers we are looking at doing different rule sets on them.

<@Brannoc> *[LoD]Sabbath* At what level can a player PvP?
<@FEJames> Fort Forgotten and Slaughterville are PvP areas that you can run to immediately upon entering your starter town.

<@Brannoc> Here's a question from the forums...
<@Brannoc> 1. How reliant will crafters be on other crafter? For instance, if I'm doing ballistics and want to make Gangster Gun X, will I never/rarely/sometimes/often need crafted components from somebody who has a comparable science skill?
<@FELee> All characters can learn any tradeskill, so ultimately you can cover all the bases if you want to work on it. That said, most people will end up concentrating on a few skill due to limited resources and time. Tradeskills do have crossover needs: for example for making bullets you actually make the bullets with Ballistics, but you make the gunpowder used in the bullets using Science.
<@FELee> Also you may put the parts for a Steel Auto Action together using Ballistics, but you may need to refine the some scrap gears to salvaged gears using Science or refine some salvaged steel to common steel to do so. These last two examples are common components that can be found through salvaging or harvesting as well.

<@Brannoc> *Quavis* One of the recipes thats been released, the dune buggy, seems to require and extrodinary amount of resouces to construct. Will there be enough room in players banks to store all of this material. This is also likely to be a group/guild project. Will there be some sort of clan/guild bank to store materials for a large project like this?
<@FELee> Yes it will fit in your bank, you can but you won't be carrying it all around at once. The parts you're not working on direclty will probably be in your vault, or with your buddies. Clans do have access to clan vaults.

{{ChatLine|@Brannoc| 2. You've stated before that characters will be able to queue and create their crafted items over night but at a slower rate than when they are online. You've also stated that crafting while online can be expedited faster by doing so in a "workshop." If you log off in a workshop, will your items queue faster than if you log off anywhere else on the map? Also, has anything changed with this mechanic and can you guys give us a more nume
<@FELee> Quick correction: we had to change the system so offling and online crafting speeds are the same.
<@FELee> If you log off in a workshop you get the speed bonus for the entire time you are logged off. Generally the bonus is a 25% reduction in crafting time. Some particularly items will require workshops, but generally the workshop is only required for a small percentage of the total time spent building the item.

<@Brannoc> *[WSX]ZtyX* One more question Brannoc, I'm asking for a whole community lol: What sort of amounts of resources will we see regular crafters go through to level fairly high up? 100s, 1000s 10.000s?
<@[FE]Wes> In order to reach the more advanced recipes, players are going to go through a pretty astonishing amount of resources. It'll take time, patience, and perseverance. And lots of vault space. Maybe even the trunk of your car.

<@Brannoc> 3. As to the teaching skill, will players be able to teach one another recipes/schematics?
<@FELee> The Teaching skill has actually been removed from the game, but all the functionality remains, just under each individual skill. Players can teach what we call basic crafting knowledges to each other. They cannot reach researched knowledges that players have to research themselves, but can share other crafting knowledges.
<@FELee> So crafters have to learn how to make the best stuff on their own, but can learn to cover the basics from their friends.

<@Brannoc> *AllenJB* Are we going to see some more videos soon?
* Tiggs sneaks in and says the first 10 people that havent won a key to message me with their email address will get a key to the alpha test.
* Brannoc lol's as tiggs is flooded
<@FELee> Yes. We're shooting to have some very soon, including a preview of our post-tutorial cut scene

<@Brannoc> Will items wear down with use at a rate comparable to fallout 3?
<@Tiggs> i have 10 people!
<@Tiggs> oops i need one more hurry!!
<@FELee> Weapons won't wear down as quickly, but the concept is similar. I'd say the wear down rate is about half as fast. You use repair kits instead of other weapons.

<@Brannoc> *Hapless* Are there going to be any significant pve encounters in the game or will it be mainly based around Pvp and crafting?
<@Tiggs> sorry we have 10 now
<@FEJames> There's a LOT of PvE content. You'll have faction storylines, backgrounds into villain factions in the game, and just guys who want you to help them get revenge. Each town has many hours of PvE content, and we'll launch with at least 70 different, fully-fleshed out towns.

<@Brannoc> Will players be able to repair items (fallout 3), or be forced to buy new ones (star wars galaxies) once the durability is gone.
<@FELee> Players will be able to repair items using repair kits, but if they don't repair items regularly the items will become unuseable, unrepairable, and good only for salvaging.

<@Brannoc> *[LoD]Sabbath* Will there be player cities and asset destruction?
<@FELee> Players will be able to take control of conflict towns through PvP conflict, but they will not be able to build towns of their own yet. As such, there is no concept of destroying such player assets at this time.

<@Brannoc> *flora* When you die in PvP your goal is to make the trip back costly. Do you feel like this may be an issue and cause PvP to be too sporadic ie: people abandon it quickly upon dying? Thoughts?
<@[FE]Wes> PvP won't be that huge a hassle if you're in a party and someone in that party has an item that can rez you on the spot. If anything, it stresses the importance of PvP with a team rather than going solo.

<@Brannoc> Will players get to experiment during crafting and create custom parts to weapons/items, or create new weapons altogether?
<@FELee> There are literally thousands of recipes so players have lots to discover, but all the crafting is done through preset systems so there is currently no experimentation portion. There's still plenty to do for crafters and lots for them to research and pursue.

<@Brannoc> Is there a crafting system out there that you could compare FE's to?
<@[FE]Wes> Actually, there's not a crafting system out there that reminds me of what has been developed for FE. We've gone out of our way to develop something that stands apart.

<@Brannoc> *Avinalaff* Will females have as many customizable options as the male characters? They often get overlooked!
* Tiggs waits on this one
<@FEJames> They use the same types of clothing and armor, so there everything is equal. As for the visual customization,
<@FEJames> Instead of beards, female characters get some makeup options.
<@FEJames> Instead of body hair as seen on the male, female characters get belly piercings. The same number of options, but different things.
<@FEJames> The hairstyles are different, also, but they have an equal number of options.

<@Brannoc> *Goune* will your NPC's use a blasted wastes version of english 'Fracking this' and 'nuken that' or other similar language?!?!
<@FELee> Sort of. We curse up a storm. F-bombs and everything. We do have lots of slang, especially among the Travelers.

<@Brannoc> *flora* You've talked briefly about guilds being able to level up and choose abilities to differentiate the guild. Can you talk about that in more detail, such as requirements, what kind of abilities, etc? Is this idea still around (for launch)?
<@[FE]Wes> No, we're not going to have the guild-leveling feature at release.

<@Brannoc> *[WSX]ZtyX* Is it possible to craft houses and furniture in Fallen Earth?
<@FELee> Not for launch. We have plans to do that eventually, but not initially.

<@Brannoc> *flora* What's the game plan for players to find out your goals and provide feedback post day 1. Are there going to be more chats? Is the question of the week going to return? What, if anything, will be our way to provide feedback and ask questions of you?
<@Tiggs> Currently on the Alpha forums we have a section set up for feedback on missions and other game aspects. Moving forward to launch we will still have a feedback forum process to gather information on game play and mechanics.
<@Tiggs> The QoTW is going away for now and will be replaced by Monthly HoC chats. As you can see we get many more questions responded to and its easier to follow up on responses.

<@Brannoc> *Avinalaff* How will the FE-team deal with bots/macro's/goldfarmers?
<@FELee> We do have some advantage in our combat system, due to its FPS component and verificvation systems, is not as easy to bot as other games. That said, they will find a way and we're working on puting in stringent methods to locate such problems. Folks found using bots and macros will be banned, and gold farmers will be hung.

<@Tiggs> As an added bonus we will be giving the first two guilds to sign up with over 20 members access to the alpha. Email with the members names,email addresses and guild name
<@Tiggs> We are also accepting guild sign ups for guilds of any size and play styles
<@Tiggs> You can sign up at the same email address

<@Brannoc> Ok folks, that's it for tonight! Thanks for joining us, keep an eye on the Fallen Earth website for more information!
<@Tiggs> Thank you everyone for coming! It was a lot of fun!!
<@FEJames> Good night, everyone! Thanks for stopping by!
<@Brannoc> The logs will be up on shortly.
<@[FE]Wes> Night, folks! Thanks for having us.
<@FELee> G'night everyone! Try the veal! Thanks for your time!
<@Morgana> night everyone

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