I hope everyone, at least in countries where the holiday is celebrated, had a safe and fun Halloween! It’s on my personal top three favorite holidays list. It’s also one of the few that I actually look forward to every year. Today’s update is not one bit spooky and it is a bit of a change-up from the one that I was intending to post, though I think it is also one that our Community will like.
As part of our commitment to make Camelot Unchained a great game, during the Kickstarter I told our Founders that CSE and myself would stay actively engaged with the Community after we successfully funded. As those on the forums can attest, we’ve done just that. Between our bi-weekly updates, discussion threads, and Piercing the Veil; it is safe to say that we have more than kept that promise. While we have a number of other initiatives going forward, I want to start the first of many “Something to think about…” updates. These updates will be focused on a specific idea(s) that we, as the title suggests, would like our Founder’s feedback on. These updates will be followed by polls and surveys (emailed and/or on our forums). This update paves the way for future updates of this kind over the next two years.
Today’s StTA was inspired by a question that was raised on our forums about how a race like the Phouka and/or mounts could fit in with and not devalue the previously announced inclusion of a speed class. I have been thinking about this for a while (mounts, not the Phouka of course), and some additional thoughts have crystallized over the last couple of days. I would like to share them with our Community and then get your feedback. As to what was originally going to be in today’s update, take a close look at the piece of art below and let the speculation (and hopefully joy-joy feelings) commence!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Next week we’ll cover the current sprint, have a new TDD Becoming™ tale (hopefully with some awesome artwork) and more. As to what the next tale will be, look to the piece of art at the bottom of this update for a clue
Something to think about: To Phouka or not to Phouka, that is the question…
For our inaugural “Something to think about” I want to talk about how a race like the Phouka (as well as the concept of them as mounts) could fit into the world of Camelot Unchained. One of the most important considerations with this type of race is to ensure that they do not devalue the speed class. In addition, they must fit within the framework of not having mirrored races/classes. Finally, they must not put an unduly heavy burden on the development team. After reading this piece please head to our forums to discuss and/or simply vote in the poll that I’ve created there.
Let’s start with the assumption that the Phouka are going to be a playable race. The first thing to think about is how we can deal with a shape shifting race in terms of the, above-mentioned, additions to the workload for the art and programming teams. My initial thoughts are that when they are human, they have access to all their human skills and equipment but when they change into a horse (or other shapes) they lose those human abilities and have a separate (and very limited) set of equine skills and abilities. All of their equipment would be carried as a pack (with their own carrying capacity). They would move at a faster pace than humans and their speed could be leveled up with use, like any other skill. Another concern is how to avoid making them OP. One way of dealing with this is when they switch back to human form, they would have to put their equipment back on. This would prevent people from switching back and forth quickly to gain an unfair advantage in combat. One of their other limitations is that since their natural form is equine, the longer they remain in human (or other) form, the harder it is for them to switch back to equine form. There is no danger of being stuck in one form, yet there is an increasing cost (time) if they spend all their time as something other than as a horse.
In terms of classes, in their human form Phouka would be able to play any class but the one that they excel at is the speed class. Please keep in mind that all races can play a speed class and for the TDD, some of their races’ speed buffs are determined by their race (not class as is typical for MMOs). For example, perhaps if you are playing a Phouka speed class, many of your speed spells revolve around you summoning other Phoukas for your companions to ride. You would also have other magical buffs that you can only use in equine form. Those buffs inspire your party to move even faster (no, this will not be the equivalent of “cattle prods” for the TDD ☺). Other TDD races would function the same way. For example, the Hamadryads would be able to summon insects whose wing beats would help propel party members along their way. Now, as per our FPs, there has to be some limit to these abilities. In the case of the Phouka, you couldn’t summon additional Phoukas if you were in the Depths. Also, these creatures wouldn’t suddenly appear at your location. They would have to run to where you are. This adds a bit of realism (plus a cool visual) and balance to these abilities. The Phouka’s speed buffs might be the fastest in the game but they would be balanced by the fact that they are not instantaneous and can’t be used everywhere in the world. Now, before people start screaming “TDD are so OP now! They can always run away!” please keep in mind that this is a) not even close to confirmed/definite; b) something worth discussing; c) also subject to snares, in-combat limitations, etc. To contrast that with another realm, the Arthurians, might use the more traditional bard/minstrel type class (as our gargoyle race suggests) and while their speed buffs might not be as powerful as the TDD, they would have their own advantages and disadvantages. In terms of the Vikings, think of how our version of “The ride of the Valkyries” would look in game.
Besides the aforementioned points, there are lots of positives and negatives associated with the inclusion of the Phouka or Phouka-like race. Think about how you could transform into a Phouka and then act as an advance scout or be loaded up with supplies to aid your realm mates during a siege in a “Balto” moment. Players might also be able to hop a ride and you can take them out to battle. It’s interesting to think about isn’t it?
This is just an idea, not BSC but a slightly different way of looking at the interaction of races and classes, as well as having a speed class and shape-shifting race in the game. Again, this is not definite/confirmed and there are a number of issues that need to be worked out. Let’s start the discussion and see what our Founders think about it before we actually began exploring the possibility of adding them to the game. I do think that while there are some problems associated with them, if there is enough interest in them and this kind of dynamic, then they are worth talking about. If there is enough support for them we could add them as a “stretch goal” race. As always, when on our forums please be civil and respectful toward everybody whether you love/hate or are simply “meh” on this idea. Your feedback is going to be so helpful, especially when done in keeping with our forum etiquette on these potential “hot button” subjects.
Starting later this month, we will begin taking surveys from our Founders/Backers about additional ideas. When those surveys appear, please take the time to answer them. We’ll keep them short and tightly focused but there will be a lot of them and of course, we will publish the results.
That’s it for now. Again, your feedback is important to us. As I used to say back at A.U.S.I./Mythic, I/we might not agree with everything our players suggest, but we will listen to what they say. Hopefully these past few months and updates like this confirm that I haven’t changed this approach.