It’s been a few months since the end of Alpha 1, and while Alpha 2 is getting closer, we still need time to get it ready. Here is what we have been doing since Alpha 1 ended:
Nearly all of our time has been spent designing the world of DEO. This process has been especially difficult considering art assets have been limited due to budget and delayed due to the pandemic, but it’s really starting to take shape! I’d love to show some teasers here, but as this isn’t a process we want to show in stages, you will have to wait – 😲 – to take a peak until Alpha 2.
The remainder of our time has been spent designing quests and dungeons, usually intertwined, to go with the world we are building. Alpha 2 will likely only contain a subset of these to ensure we thoroughly test the systems behind them before we start to really dig in. We have gone over what to expect a few times, but here’s a quick recap:
- Quality over quantity. You will need to complete a series of tasks/challenges per quest instead of having to spam a bunch of “micro” quests.
- Non-linear. You wont be forced down a main quest line, each quest (with some exceptions) will be standalone.
- Rewards worthy of your time. As quests will be limited, giving you worthy rewards is at the top of our priority list.
Dungeons are a work-in-progress but here’s a quick recap of what we have mentioned previously for world dungeons:
- Public, non-instanced.
- Series of “farm” rooms where you can work on your combat attributes.
- Rare “alpha” versions will spawn that drop keys to the “Prime Encounters”.
- Prime Encounters require 1 (one) key per attempt and are instanced to your party.
- Prime Encounters will take many forms including, but not limited to:
- Survival challenges
- Time challenges
In my opinion, one of the best parts of MMORPGs is the social experience. However, this experience just isn’t there in modern games. For the most part, developers are offering the tools to make your own social experience, but something ends up lost in translation. Since the beginning we have been working on ways to force social interactions through game design, such as player shops replacing auctions or excluding a party-finder tool, but we want to do more. As your first impression of DEO won’t be in-game, we are working on improving each of the main entry points – the website and Discord.
Obviously we won’t have all of these social features ready for Alpha 2, but hopefully this provides a little more insight on the direction we are taking social experiences in DEO.
The website is being completely rebuilt from the ground up using a MERN solution stack. That is a lot of letters, but the main takeaway should be that the website will be cleaner, faster, and built specifically to cater to DEO. Here is a few of the features:
- Discuss: modernized, fast, forum solution.
- Exchange: merchant listing solution to aid in-game buying and selling.
- Guide community-driven knowledge base to aid you on your adventures.
- Compete: leaderboards to show off your progress.
- Organize: clan pages, or “micro” sites for verified clans to call home. Clan owners will have full access to editing.
While some form of all of these features will also exist inside the game client, the “game” experience comes first and you can’t always be in-game. It is also difficult to persist social experiences from play session to play session. By connecting these features to the website, we hope to keep players connected. Lastly, as the website is exclusively a “companion” application for the game, we can expand these features as far as we want without bloating the game client.
Discord can be a fun way to interact with the game in real-time and we want to take advantage of that. Here is a few of the features:
- Sending and receiving chat to the game client.
- Discuss (forums) feed integration.
- Leaderboard integration (i.e “!leaders [stat name]”).
- Item linking (i.e “!item [item name]”).
- Shop linking (i.e “!shop [hero name]”).
- Guide (wiki) integration (i.e “!help [quest name]”).
- Party bot for organizing parties through Discord.