Grummz's /r/PCmasterrace Reddit AMA Recap (January 27th, 2017)

Discussion in 'Ember Art & Design Updates' started by Chronofox, Jan 27, 2017.

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  1. Chronofox

    Chronofox Deepscanner

    I decided to gather up all the questions and answers that were made in the recent (January, 27, 2017) AMA that occurred in /r PCmasterrace in which Mark Kern (grummz) answered some Ember and Firefall related questions

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    1. Favorite navel?

    (Grummz): Tifa, hands down, best navel.

    (Old joke about PAX bans on aggressive navels)

    2. How large, compared to Firefall's world, are you planning to make the world in EM-8ER?

    (Grummz): Much larger, and much simpler. I know that's a funny thing to say.

    Firefall in beta mainly took place in New Eden, but we plan to have several zones the size of New Eden. Each one is more of a battlefield where you can:

    1) Invade to fight the Tsi-Hu aliens and clear them out of the zone.

    2) Establish player bases through the zone

    3
    ) Mine for resources and craft all your gear

    4) Upgrade the bases

    5) Fight off invasions from the Tsi-Hu

    Instead of creating each zone by hand, we're using Unreal's terrain tools along with World Machine to generate large 4km x 4km or up to 8km x 8km zones to fight over.

    3. First, thank you for the Firefall founder refund. That goes a long way to building faith in the new I.P. Question about EM-8ER, is there a time frame of when you will be opening up your crowdfunding for the next stage of development?

    (Grummz): We do crowdfunding very differently. We do milestone based funding, just like a game dev does with a publisher. Smaller amounts over shorter amounts of time. Each step we layout the progress we intend to make in the game. If we don't deliver, people won't fund the next milestone. Just like a publisher.

    We've had two fundraisers so far, our next one will be after we complete the current goals:

    1) Deliver a print and PDF "vision" book outlining lore and scope/vision of game.

    2) Deliver an in-game art-demo of the THMPR mining mech

    3) Deliver an in-game art/movement demo of the player Omniframe lite-mech (this was a second milestone but we raised enough money to do 2 milestones in the last fundraiser).

    We don't have a timeframe, except that we want to do these pretty fast.

    4. I know it's not a question, but I want you personally to know that I'm moved to tears by your project and your reimbursement (of kind) for firefall founders. As a commander myself, I highly appreciate what you are doing, as a whole, and wish you all the best and success to the project!

    (Grummz): Thank you very much. I did it to apologize for how things went on Firefall and to get people aware that I still want to deliver much of that original vision in Em-8ER.

    5. How diverse will the weapon/skill choice be? And will there be a weapon like firecat's from firefall before it got changed

    (Grummz): So unlike Firefall, which had over a dozen frames, Em-8ER will have three Omniframes: Light/Medium (aka Standard)/Heavy

    What abilities and weapons are available to each frame is dependent on its pool of blueprints. There are a set of blueprints unique to each frame type, and a common set that you can draw upon.

    Weapons are part of those blueprints. We'd like to offer enough variety where, for example, you can tweak the light from from being a sniper to more towards an engineer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
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  2. Chronofox

    Chronofox Deepscanner

    6. What makes you think that this time you'll be able to nail the large-scale open-world aspects of your proposed game? This isn't meant as a "gotcha" question; I want to know what makes you more confident this time around. Better engine selection, perhaps? (Outset was always giving you headaches, from what I hear) New server tech?

    Essentially: Firefall always chugged in larger-scale encounters. How confident do you feel in your ability to pull it off this time, and why?

    (Grummz): This is a great question. Back when we started Firefall, there were no engines that had good support of open world or MMO games. We licensed a renderer called Offset, and had to build everything ourselves up from that. In hindsight that was a mistake, as the original company that did the engine stalled in dev, nearly died, was bought by Intel then shut down.

    This time we're running Unreal 4. Compared to our Firefall tools, Unreal 4 is soooo much easier to create content for. But your question was about networking. Well, Unreal 4 out of the box isn't going to work for large scale encounters like in FF. So we hired one of the Nostalrius devs, Ekiator, to help me develop a new kind of server based on the Unreal source. We're completely changing many things on the back end that should enable us to handle larger encounters and also smooth melee attacks with little lag.

    But Firefall had another big issue. The invasions there were focused on one city at a time, and everyone from other instances would pile into the one instance with the invasion running, creating a huge crowd concentrated in a tiny space. Very bad lag.

    Em-8ER does it differently. For one, our invasions are spread out through the whole zone instead of any one location. You're not defending a city, you are pushing back at a half-dozen fires throughout the zone at any given time. That alone spreads people out. It also turns out to be a lot more fun. The best times in Firefall beta was when the servers came back up and the zone wall filled with Chosen that you had to "sweep" off the map. Em-8ER invasions are more like that.

    The other thing we're doing is seamless phasing. I played a lot of the pre-Legion world events prior to that expansion for WoW. Multiple crowds would be fighting a demon invasion without realizing they were phased from each other. It was very nicely done and I think we will borrow from this idea if things are still too congested.

    7. As I'm sure you're aware, the MMO industry is not what it used to be. Firefall, Wildstar, LEGO Universe and City of Heroes are some examples of MMOs that have struggled to gain traction or have been shut down, along with Warcraft having its lowest number of subscribers in years. How do you plan to tackle the lack of enthusiasm for MMO games?

    (Grummz): We're not an MMO, and our focus is much more instant action and instant gratification. A lot of the issues with MMO as a genre is that people have less time these days and just want to get entertained in a half hour. With our focus on "pick a map, invade it or defend it, hop out" its much more like a large scale shooter than an MMO.

    There are more persistent elements like using your THMPR mining mech and gathering resources to build your gear and establish or upgrade basis, but its very streamlined and even the mining is very action-oriented.

    8. What games have inspired you the most in last few years?

    (Grummz): The new and improved Starbound (not the original) has been interesting. Also been really into Doom 4's visceral feel. I know people are split on Doom 4 but I find it entertaining and I try not to compare it to the original Doom series. Instead I'm more focused on how they integrated melee and finishing moves and gunplay. I'm looking for more of that kind of feel with Em-8ER.

    9. What relative fidelity are you planning for the game? Current AAA, current AA? If the game is a service of sorts, how much sustainment through content creation are you planning?

    (Grummz): We will be at the higher end of indie. I think you can see from our first art test screenshots, that the quality is very high for an indie game.

    I like to think of it as "small scale AA" where we deliver a really polished but narrow set of features in installments, and as we grow players and do fundraisers for the next installment, our scope grows alongside support. If we don't get that support, we still have what we've built so far for players to enjoy.


    10. This may be a bit too much to ask. Coming around from this time of year, Are you sure there is the technology to make this game come to fruition? Will it be truly Open World and not of instanced based? How do we know you won't change to F2P later on like Defiance and Wildstar did if you are doing B2P?


    (Grummz): Sure, I explain in the other post our approach to some of the networking issues. We're having a single server world, but the world isn't seamless. It's hostile environment that needs to be terraformed. Zones open up when new zones get a terraforming pocket opened, and you have to take a "boat ride" via shuttle to get to other zones.

    The zones themselves will likely be phased. But invasions will happen for that zone at the same time across all phases, so that we don't get people instance switching to try and hop into an invasion. That was a big issue in Firefall beta.
     
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  3. Chronofox

    Chronofox Deepscanner

    11. So when can we expect a playable demo?

    (Grummz): See our approach to crowd-based milestone funding elsewhere. First art-exe demos will be going out to backers soon.

    12. So we know what kind of frames we will have but what will be it role. Like only light frame can heal or heavy have biggest DPS tl;dl can i be a tank and support at the same time

    (Grummz):The idea is that, within a frame type, you can create roles for yourself in that frame:

    Light - Sniper/Engineer/Healing Med - Assault/Etc. Heavy - Only one with a hand held shield, make Dreadnaughts, "Gunmechs" etc.

    The role is created BY YOU, and the abilities, upgrades and weapons you outfit for that frame type. Then you get to name your variant. Share your recipe online with others. A little bit like deck construction lite.

    13. will THMPR be a priv item or sqad/guild item i have some concern with them runing all over zones and braking immersion. will we have a Dubstep omniframe Fooni is asking

    (Grummz): THMRP calldowns are somewhat restricted, just like Thumpers were in FF. So one squad will probably decide whose THMPR they want to drop. But during invasions, the "leadership" of the Reaper Teams will authorize full deployment and the cap will be greater, allowing people to fight alongside their THMPRs.

    We'll have Dubstep Omniframes just as soon as we finish the Trap Omniframes.

    14. Will you be able to switch between Omniframe weight classes? If so, will it be at set locations like in Firefall or at will like in games such as Skyforge?

    (Grummz): Oh you can build as many as you like. So you can have multiple variants of light Omniframes, med and heavy. You'll be able to name your variants too. Right now, switching will mean getting to the nearest player built base/respawn. But later we might do frame calldowns where your new frame lands, you hop out of the old one and run across to get into the new one. That would add the "risk" element needed to prevent spamming changes during combat.

    15. What is your favorite game to play on pc?

    (Grummz): Of all time? X-Com. Currently no real favs but playing the new Starbound, Doom 4, just starting Battlefield One, Titanfall 2 and want to get back into Witcher 3.
     
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  4. Chronofox

    Chronofox Deepscanner

    16. Did you play the Diablo 1 "re-make" in Diablo 3 this month? If you did, what'd you think of it?

    (Grummz): Nope, could not get into Diablo 3. Heard it got a lot better.

    17. My aging computer doesn't enjoy having a game, and Skype/Teamspeak etc. running at the same time. Do you have any plans on adding voice chat to Em-8er?

    (Grummz): Yep. We just joined the Discord developer program. They are rolling out SDK's to let us embed chat and voip from Discord directly into Em-8ER. That's going to be great, since Discord has some of the best features and ease of use around for both chat and voip. Guilds can have their own servers, etc, and it ties into the larger Discord community.

    18. I am wondering what type of progression system you have in mind. Very limited vertical progression? What about levels of players, one of the failings of firefall was player segregation due to lack of levels and or gear.

    (Grummz): Well, in beta, there wasn't as much segregation during the tiers era.

    Em-8ER strives to be much more like that. There are tech tiers (but no branches you are forced to go down). Tiers contain a set of blueprints drawn from 2 pools: Those common to all 3 frames (light/med/heavy) and those specific to that frame.

    Blueprints are passive frame upgrades, active abilities, and weapon systems. Not all blueprints are immediately available. Some are needed to tech up through a simple linear progression, or as components to other blueprints. Some blueprints need to be researched from alien artifacts from the Tsi-Hu.

    Power creep will be fairly shallow but will exist. Everyone starts at Tier 1 tech. Nobody can progress to Tier 2 tech until enough zones have been captured and "terraformed" to be habitable. In this way, progression is a world event as well as a personal event. We hope it brings people together on a server like superglue and fingers.

    19. What happens if all tiers are reached? Do you just have a massive near unbeatable wave of enemies come in and knock people down?

    (Grummz): When all tiers are unlocked we will hopefully be ready with the next "episode" of the game with another tier or two.

    20. A question from Discord :) "is it just for pc or will it support mac, linux too?" And what about consoles?

    (Grummz): This will be on PC initially. Linux is probably next, followed by Mac (since the graphics chips are really lagging there now...used to love Macs).

    Since we are on Unreal, consoles are a distant possibility. It's all up to players. We can set up goals for each of these as milestones.
     
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  5. Chronofox

    Chronofox Deepscanner

    21. Hi there, One of my fondest memories of Firefall was being with my friends (closed/open beta era) and finding an area that could fit a few spaced out thumpers, dropping flairs, and trying to survive the hilarity that ensued (and getting all those sweet crafting mats). Lately it feels that there was a forceful shift to grinding the same mini-objective over and over.

    So my questions is: will there be the ability to have 'make-your-own-fun' events like I have described, in addition to quests/objectives that are bound to occur?

    Also: Shout out to Xeevis who spent about an hour troubleshooting my founder transfer this morning.

    (Grummz): Yes, thank you Xeevis, the amazing community member who coded up a bunch of web stuff for us on Discord and also did the site for the founder verification! He's been super amazing!

    Since THMPRs work a lot like Thumpers, the emergent gameplay that you had with them should work for THMPRs. So you could really escalate things that way if you liked.


    22. What skill-based techniques will we be looking forward to in this game? Will it feature ground and air assaults combos?

    How much emphasis will be put on having a balanced team of the 3 different types of mechs? Will one mech be good for a specific enemy and bad for another?

    (Grummz): This is the hardest question to answer because, being in pre-alpha, we haven't really fleshed out the abilities and weapons of all the frames yet. Right now we're focused on delivering a single playable THMPR encounter with a single fixed frame. We're a couple of milestone fundraiser from that, but we've already built the THMPR and have it in-engine and are working on terrain and the Omniframe next.

    My goal is to really let people craft different options for the three frame types and create very distinct loadouts. The combination of passive upgrades, active abilities and weapons will play out to support different kinds of roles. I suppose players will eventually "solve" a tier to come up with the established optimum within any frame type. When that happens, of course we should update the enemy to have new encounters that have different solutions.

    Group play will be important. It's not really a solo game. Its a war with many players within an area, so I'm comfortable saying roles have to support each other and some kinds of synergy will exist.


    23. What kind of cosmetic customization will there be?

    (Grummz): Frames have changeable plates, color areas, and decal layers. We'll probably sell decals and patterns.

    THMPRs do not have this type of customization in game, but we will probably sell THMPR skins and personality packs. The THMPRs are designed to be very personable characters.

    For players inside the frames, they can be visible or covered ("hard driver mode"). We're not sure how much customization there will be for characters. A lot depends on what the characters role will be outside a frame, which is still being debated. We are in pre-alpha so many things are open to change.

    24. Interesting, never heard of the series but I would love a introduction and a summary!


    (Grummz): Firefall in beta and Firefall shipped were 2 different games. A creative difference between myself and new management caused a rift. It used to be much more of an open world MMO shooter (true shooter) with a focus on resource gathering and invasions. Afterwards when it shipped it was translated to a leveling WoW clone with guns and level restricted zones, quests and raids.

    Em-8ER is my attempt to bring things back to my original vision of what Firefall should have been.

    (User) Nice! I commend your faith to being creative and working on something that isn't just a boring 'ol clone of a popular game.

    (Grummz): There was never anything quite like FF in beta, and there still isn't. I think going back to a hyper focus on invasions is the missing ingredient. In FF beta invasions were events, in Em-8ER they are a constant. Some zone, somewhere is always in need of defending or invading by players. Hop in/Hop out warfare. If you need a break, go to a quiet zone and mine for resources with your THMPR or donate resources to improves bases or spawn new ones.


    25. What do you believe Planetside 2 did wrong? As you share a market niche with players looking for an MMOFPS to play, I'd like to hear your opinions on Planetside 2 and how it relates to yours, even though Em-8ER is a PvE game.

    (Grummz): Wow...I used to play Planetside 1 a long time ago and enjoyed it. I tried 2 for a little bit, but not that much. From my brief play it feels like they never really solved the problem of the "why" in the metagame. You'd chase each other around a map, taking over a continent and then being swept off it just as quickly. At launch when I played, it seemed like a rotating game of tag. But I didn't play it enough to comment on the classes or weapons or tactical play. I do remember being spawn camped in bases a lot, however.

    But that feeling I had in Planetside 1 when an entire army was geared up to roll out was awesome.

    Em-8ER really isn't like Planetside (I've made the comparison before, but only to evoke the feeling of large scale shooter battle), because you're fighting an NPC army that is designed to (ultimately) die and be defeated for your entertainment. That's very different than a game that' designed to be balanced and competitive. Em-8ER is more over the top and let the players do fun things to win against the AI enemy. To me, that means we can have much more "fun" abilities than in a PvP game.
     
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  6. Chronofox

    Chronofox Deepscanner

    26. When did you leave blizzard? I know it was prior to Burning Crusade but did you finish out all of Vanilla including raids and such? Or what? I've always wondered because I'm such a fan of vanilla. Also do you play on elysium or any other private servers?

    (Grummz): I left Blizzard six months after shipping WoW. I surprised the CEO who called the next day to see if they could do anything to keep me. But I was very tired. WoW was like no other project in terms of energy. I wasn't even sure I was going to do games.

    I'm not playing Elysium but I do hope into their Discord channel where I have a honorary badge. I like to chat with peeps there from time to time. I'm waiting for the dust to settle on the core swap before I decide if I will play.


    27. On the subject of UE4, how much are you planning on using Blueprint for gameplay logic? Are you using any of it to automate the smaller content creation tasks (editor Blueprints, rather than gameplay Blueprints)?


    (Grummz): The demo will be blueprints. The server is C++. The final game will be much more C++ than blueprints because of the speed issues.

    Blueprints for content creation are a very good idea. Art and content are the most expensive parts of creating a game. We should look into that.


    28. what kind of soundtrack will be build in ember something like FF or something different. personally prefer synth-wave XD


    (Grummz): Oooooo...this will cause waves. I'm looking to do a anime-opening theme song sung in Japanese. Rock or Metal. I would even love to find a way to do Japanese VO for the game as an option (for flavor).

    For in game music, not sure yet. Michael Bross is willing to do the music there and I love his stuff. (rachet and clank, oddword) http://www.bross.com/

    29. Since this is about "refunds" - I did pre-order FF but there is no badge available for that on the forums. We got an exclusive pet with the packs and some Digital Deluxe downloadable content. What would you accept as a proof? Maybe a short video with the frame and the pet or screenshots?

    (Grummz): Over 1M people registered for Firefall. Our team is very small. It's heartbreaking to me but I can't manually verify people. I can only go with the public data available on the Firefall forums. We don't have access to actual account data. That's why there is a minimum $10 reward just for being on Firefall forums.

    30. What did you do on WoW?

    (Grummz): I was the team lead for vanilla WoW. Blizzard was going to cancel it after we lost the original lead and tech (who went on to form Arena.net). I stepped in and convinced them to continue the project and eventually became it's lead. I was not the lead designer but I was a part of all the overall direction and goals of the game and responsible for it's overall failure or success. I reported directly to the CEO, was number 2 in the credits behind him. It was A LOT of work.

    (USER): Blizzard nearly canceled WoW? Damn!

    (Grummz): Yes, I wasn't on the team then, when it was very small. I was overseeing producers on all teams across the company. When the leads of all the teams left to form Arena.net, they called a meeting and said "We can't continue with wow. It's all newbie devs and we have no tech lead and no team lead. We're going to cancel it."

    I said I would transfer to the team to help lead it, and find a lead tech they could believe in. I found John Cash and recruited him out of Id and the team and I went about proving ourselves to the rest of Blizzard that we could do it. People were very skeptical.
     
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  7. Chronofox

    Chronofox Deepscanner

    31. Aren't you the guy who got fired from Red5 for using company resources for personal projects or something?

    (Grummz): There was a lot of misinformation spread here by the new management that they felt was necessary to eject me so they could control the game and change it to WoW with guns.

    I'm often cited for spending money on marketing, and having it called personal projects. To be clear, the Board of Directors wanted me to spend about double what I actually did, and were always asking me to do grander and grander things. They wanted to compete with WoW, which I though was a mistake, and draw in big licensing deals.

    In hindsight, many of the marketing spends I made are now seen as best practice. I was the first to do "direct to gamer" marketing at PAX, when everyone thought we should be at E3 where booths are 3x more expensive. Now everyone is at Pax.

    I was also asked to spend a huge sum on banner ads for months, millions. AAA marketing budgets are often equal to the game's budget, so a 50M dollar game has a 50M marketing budget. Instead of spending 5M on banner ads, which I felt were useless, I created 2 things and spent half as much as they asked...a video platform to draw gamers in general into our Youtube channel to advertise Firefall, and a focus on Twitch and streamers to get the game's name out there. At the time, this was called by the marketing dept "A huge waste of time/money." But I correctly saw the rise of video for marketing and have been vindicated since. We also had stats that showed we were attracting millions of viewers (correction, views, not viewers) to our channel, had 3x the click rate, a 10x the stickiness of our banner ad campaigns (which nobody looks at anymore). So no, doing Youtube marketing and Twitch marketing instead of spending 2x that on banner ads was not "a personal project"


    32. Can we have a cockpit view with VR support?

    (Grummz): Don't think it can be a priority for our small team. VR rigs are still very expensive and there is a lot of complexity to VR UI and fighting nausea. We don't have the resources to pursue it right now.

    33. what kind of hostiles will we find besides the main alien race? like, what kind of thmpr cannon fodder will there be? local wild life, or maybe even other AI merc teams?

    (Grummz): So the primary adversary will be the Tsi-Hu. They are a race of shape-shifters. They have a humanoid form, armed with guns, but they can also shape-shift into a armored beastie on all fours that moves very fast and melees. Kinda inspired by the creatures in Live. Die. Repeat (or Edge of Tomorrow as its called other places).

    The Tsi-hu are native to Em-8ER before it was destroyed by time and age. At that time great beasts roamed the land. Giant Kaiju and small Kaiju. The Tsi-hu learned to tame and enslave the smaller ones and eventually use tech to control the larger ones.

    So expect the enemies will be a mix of all these.

    BTW, The planet is long dead and only remnants of Tsi-Hu civilization remain. The Tsi-Hu you encounter were actually left behind and imprisoned on the planet in a time loop after a great civil war thousands of years ago. But now that humans arrived they are "bleeding through" the time lock and can phase in anywhere.
     
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  8. Dzzel

    Dzzel Member

    Thx for the Recap :D
     
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  9. Mahdi

    Mahdi THMPR Inbound - Gatestrider - Firstclaimer

    I love seeing the truth hammer get dropped.

    But good questions on covering lots of material and great to see the responses. Truly appreciate the effort it had to take to get all of this posted here. Great job, Chrono and thank you!
     
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  10. NightStroke

    NightStroke Deepscanner Base Commander

    Dang it, didn't see this post until 18 hours after the AMA >.>
     
  11. Wyntyr

    Wyntyr Firstclaimer

  12. zdoofop

    zdoofop Terraformer

    it's about time we had an FAQ.
     
  13. Wraithbane

    Wraithbane Terraformer

    Thanks for taking the time and effort to do that Chronofox. It turned out much better than I'd expected, given my past experiences with Reddit... ^^
     
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  14. RaZoR

    RaZoR Deepscanner

    Love the story sofar. Great insight on storyline and concepts.
    Will the Tsi-Hu advance as well, as we gain Tiers?
    Could we play a Tsi-Hu in the future, if we decide to defect?
    Nice work Chronofox. :cool:
     
  15. Faeryl

    Faeryl Firstclaimer Base Commander Greeter

    Thanks @Chronofox for putting this together and on the forums!!! :cool:
     
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  16. Krhys

    Krhys Player One

    Grummz, you do not need to apologise for how things turned out in FF in any way. In the words of one of life's great philosophers - sh1t happens. Look to the future with Ember, it's what is on the radar now for the ex-FF community.

    What you and 'The Man' Xeev did was an extremely nice bonus for ex-FF founders, no-one saw coming. Please keep your and the team's focus on delivering Ember and not dwell on the past. You've all done some substantial ground work in the designing artwork and THMPR model, keep the ball rolling and every ex-FF player on these forums will back you all the way.
     
  17. SomeUnregPunk

    SomeUnregPunk Emberite

    That reminds me of the opening of the zone in firefall where players needed to mine a certain type of crystite and shove it into a collector so that after a good amount was put it, the shadow cloud thing was pushed back. Or the variation on that idea in the first event Hazardous Wastes. That was fun. Because the players needed to be in unison to beat off attackers, collect stuff and shove the stuff into collectors. I was hoping they would expand on that idea since it seems like people enjoyed doing stuff like that.

    I know you used to have it set up where certain missions required something mined just to unlock it. That sounded cool.

    Unlocking bases and doing stuff that could change the world in meaningful ways was fun in the Amazon. They just didn't go far enough with that idea.
     
  18. Krhys

    Krhys Player One

    Some of the best times was colaborating with loads of players doing the 3 missions in order to get all the parts for the BWA key. Even after gaining the key those missions were still awesome.

    Having to work hard to gain something great is worth the effort and promotes community teamwork. Having something handed to you with no work because the devs just want 'brownie points' from the masses is just poor.
     
  19. DiBBz

    DiBBz Member

    ahhh man i missed it. was going to ask about customization but i guess hes kinda all ready answered it.

    it would be great if ember differentiated itself from firefalls micro transaction customization's, i feel a full body customization would be a great way to expand and also provide more revenue for people wanting to personalize their frame.

    almost in a sense on how warframe does it, butin this case. decals / painjobs / armor pieces (IE: head / chest / shoulder pads / legs / boots etc)

    great ways to expand upon customization. they could sell individual pieces or sell them in bundles,

    if the game is going to be F2P that could be a great source of income, and the same goes for if it was B2P.

    but well just need to wait and see.... one man can dream for the future to come :)
     
  20. Dreamin

    Dreamin Member Base Commander

    Quick reply should have read more first ;-( just wanted to add my twist to DiBBz post.

    Pick texture at time of crafting...and for purchase or event reward, tradable [game economy] re-texture token.

    Provides ability to place choke points on token availability and player market flux of crafted items due to having to choose texture at time of craft.
     

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