Some more info from my visit to Aventurine:
The new, faster mount looks great. It has a sleek, horse/zebra/something look to it. No idea on its stats, but unless something has changed, it will arrive with the upcoming expansion.
In addition to some of the mob changes I mentioned before, the plan is to also make mobs drop regs according to what spells they cast, similar to how they today drop weapons/armor based on what they use. If you see a mob spamming fireball often, you can bet it will drop sulfur, etc. Keep in mind that in addition to some mobs receiving an overhaul (like the Spotlighted Sarlids), other ‘families’ of mobs will receive new members to fill out their roster as well. Among the few that I saw, the newly revamped beastmen (which also look awesome) are getting some help. Let’s hope they skin for more beastmen teeth.
Speaking of that Sarlid Spotlight, did anyone notice how detailed the new mobs look? Don’t worry though; the detail is thanks to better textures, not more polygons, so the better look does not come at a heavy cost in performance. Seeing some of the models without textures was very interesting as well, as its crazy just how much ‘depth’ the textures add to otherwise ‘plain’ looking models.
I asked about the player character models, and unfortunately those will debut in the DF2010 expansion, not this upcoming one. While most of the models themselves are done, animation work is still ongoing, plus the models will be introduced with the new armor system.
Oh right, that. When I asked if the plan was to continue giving races unique looks to their armor (bone armor looking different for every race) vs making things more standardized (think scale gloves), AV revealed a rather interesting bit of information. Assuming things stay on target, one of the big changes coming in DF2010 is how armor looks between races. Instead of a bone chest changing looks based on what race is wearing it, the new system will set a look based on the race of the crafter, so a human can equip a dwarf-made bone chest and still have it retain the dwarven look. Think how mounts work today, with every race being able to craft something different, but all races being able to use each mount and retain its look while the stats remain constant.
Obviously this not only expands the uniqueness of crafting between races and allows everyone to ‘dress up’ a bit more, but also means AV can allow different races to craft different armor while still allowing all players to wear it. So for instance dwarven crafters might get a special set of armor that has better melee-based stats, while alfar crafters might be able to create better magic-related items. (Just examples I created btw, AV did not confirm WHAT the items may be, just that with the new system something like this is now possible.)
My follow-up question after learning this was what they had planned in terms of the economy, but I was not able to get a whole lot out of them on that topic. It was mentioned as an area that could use some improvement, and one that IS going to see significant changes not only in DF2010, but in this upcoming expansion as well. My take on things is that given AV’s style of implementation (releasing something like Trade Routes in a phase one, phase two, etc fashion), it’s difficult to reveal the ‘master plan’ for the economy with so many parts still in motion and midway into being fully fleshed out. A rather frustrating situation for economy-minded players who wish to do serious work right now, but hopefully things will improve soon, and really get cranked up with DF2010 (hey look, I sound like Tasos now, answering everything with “DF2010”, but really, that’s just how massive that update will be, not only in terms of overall addition, but in how it will make sense of many of the games current systems).
Boats will be better able to handle enemy swimmers, as AV is aware and unhappy with swim teams being able to overtake a ship. They would not reveal how, or when (I suspect this coming expansion), but good news regardless.
Fun Hulks: The name is a touchy subject at AV, but the overall point behind the addition is to get more use out of the basic warhulk mechanic/coding, and allow more players to experience controlling one. With more players using them, obviously more data gets collected about warhulks and how best to improve them going forward.
Finally, and this is very rough, but we will soon be seeing some race-neutral NPC factions around Agon that will be moving the overarching story along. How this will all work is still tentative, but it will factor into the overall PvE enhancements that AV has planned (new quests, new reasons to go to certain areas, etc).
That’s about it I believe. I’m sure I’ve missed some stuff, but what I’ve covered are the items I can remember right now. Given just how small the dev team is, it’s rather crazy what they have planned for Darkfall, and just how extensive their plans are for the game. Compared to many other MMOs, who’s future plans are to just add ‘more of the same’ and bump up the level cap a bit, AV is clearly looking to make Agon a fully fleshed out virtual world with many interacting systems, all working together to drive the overall player experience forward.
Patience is a virtue and all that, but DF2010 (DF2.0) really can’t come soon enough.
Chuck-o-the-day: In the time it took you to read this sentence, Chuck Norris destroyed four thousand acres of rainforest.
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