Answers from the eight Q&A thread: 1. How are the two man bikes in the RTS going to be handled as pay to look cool instead of pay to sidegrade? BRENT: Primarily in that they don’t really give you an advantage, they’re just a convenient/fun alternative to spawning two bikes or a full transport when you only have two people. I don’t think you’ll ever hear about a battle in Eternal Crusade that was lost because the enemy had Attack Bikes… 2. Are you starting to give more unique aspects to loyalists and traitors to make them look more like unique faction? expect for the estethics, the only thing that distinguish them atm is just the apothecary and the AS, where the latter still has to show abilities that make him unique... BRENT: The Aspiring Sorcerer is basically only implemented visually at the moment – the next step is to add the Psychic Power system which will change him completely. This is something we’re working on right now. As for the classes that the loyalists and traitors share, we will be adding their more unique components when the proper loadout/accessory system is in place as well as the expanded weapon roster. For example, Space Marine Assault characters can get access to Storm Shields. Chaos units generally don’t use shields, so instead if you want to be more survivable you should instead invest in a Nurgle Mark, or if you want to be better at charging into melee without getting killed along the way you should equip a Khorne mark. The core units of Space Marines and Chaos ARE similar in the IP, so the differences between them will come more from the specifics than their general role. 3. Will there be Crowd Control effects from any load out wargear or psyker powers? Roots, Stuns, Disorenting (blind/unsteady camera or some sort of hallucination grenade/psyker power?) Snares, throws, pulls, knockdown, knockup or Frenzy (forced to attack anyone including teammates)? BRENT: Yes absolutely, but because of the action focus of combat, crowd control effects are much shorter than in a traditional MMO. If you stun a character it’s more of a stagger that lasts a second or two, for example. One of the most common is the suppression effect that comes from heavy, rapid-fire weapons like the Heavy Bolter, scattering your aim and making it more difficult to see. More will be coming in the future with the psychic system, but you’ll never be fearing someone for 10 seconds like in World of Warcraft. 4. A spawning system was mentioned vaguely in the final Twitch of last year. Is it possible to have a more detailed explanation of how you want spawning mechanics to work? Or is it still to early to say? BRENT: This is something I’m working on this week so for now all I’ll say is that we’re moving away from the infinite-spawning-all-the-time system of Planetside 2 and toward something that supports more interesting gameplay situations like sieges. You’ll always be able to spawn somewhere, and we’re actually making it easier to spawn with your group, but we’re trying to avoid the clown car situation where an entire army can continuously stream from a small box. 5. In recent years I've noticed a shift in Black Library when it comes to the portrayal of Chaos, I was wondering if the narrative of Eternal Crusade will be continuing this progression towards deeper motivations and such, or go for the more classic "hate fueled traitors" with little to no redeeming qualities? Or in other words, how do you intend to represent Chaos in this game's storyline? David Ghozland: This is more a question for Ivan, but I can already say yes Chaos space marines are more than mindless and soulless corrupted mass of muscles. They have their own agenda and their own motivations. They think they are right and that they made the right choice. From their perspective the loyalists are the mindless ones and the ones who haven’t understood the big picture yet. Ivan Mulkeen: Well, without giving away any secrets that we’re waiting to reveal, I can say this much about the Chaos portion of the narrative: “It’s definitely not the case that our Chaos narrative is about “hate fueled traitors”. The first year story-arc for Arkhona is very much a narrative driven by the Chaos faction. There’s a power struggle, and the actions are extremely personal—not random chaotic acts simply done for the sake of doing. The particular character I’m thinking of is methodical and driven. None of this “he believes he’s on the right side”. He doesn’t care about any side other than himself (and his god, of course). He’s conflicted, and he’s got some extremely difficult choices to make; choices the Chaos players will no doubt influence in one way or another. Whether he succeeds or becomes daemon food will be largely up to them. He’s not someone you should cheer for, though (unless you’re the kind who’d cheer for Doctor Doom or Darth Sidious). He’s a true sociopath —a cross between Prospero, with a dash of Gromph Baenre, and a pinch of Ramsay Snow. Chaos will have its own heroes (or anti-heroes), but these are the ones who, as David said, believe that the Loyalists are blind sheep who follow a false God. And of course, the Chaos community will build up its own heroes!” 6. How will we play the module? Like, will it work similar to other matchmaking based games (lol, cod, tf2 etc?) or will we just join a random game? Similar to that, will we be able to invite our friends from the forms to join us in battle? ie: guild members? David Ghozland: We are thinking about that right now. The first iteration will be more of a random matchmaking system, than an open-world MMO; but we will do our best to bring some social and community features in this module. It would be nice to play with your friends, wouldn’t it? 7. In the future are capture mechanics going to be more involved than standing around a capture point? BRENT: We’re modifying the capture system to put more of a focus on tactical/troop units, so we’re considering giving some sort of tool to those characters. In that case, you’d use your tool to initiate flipping the point but you’d still need to defend it for a certain amount of time (although you would no longer be required by the mechanics to stand next to it). 8. Can you guys talk about HP, size and movement speed differences between factions/classes? Will we see armour or HP differences between classes on the same faction? for example assault and devastators should have the same stats, both are SM and both have the same armour, will you change that for balance reasons? BRENT: Accessories define your character’s survivability stats and certain accessories are locked to particular classes, so that can potentially affect any class. As for speed, anyone carrying heavy weapons (such as a Heavy Bolter or Reaper Cannon) is going to be slower. And the Eldar will overall be faster than the rest. 9. When will we be seeing the update to the website that will allow guilds to be added? MIGUEL CARON: We’re aiming for Spring. 10. For continents, will we being seeing more natural shapes, or are we going to have Planetside 2's squares, which ruined believability IMO. Steven Lumpkin: We’re currently aiming for more natural shapes, while striving to use as much of the heightmap as possible. 11. Power Armor. There was some discussion a few months back and comments made by the Behavior staff about moving away from THQ's and Behavior's current model which acts more like a Conversion Field or Kustom Force Field and moving more towards an damage mitigation model that better represents how Power Armor actually works. Something more along the lines of how armor performs in WoW, Age of Conan, Warhammer Online, "insert MMO here". Are there still plans to move away from the regenerating conversion field model and more towards a traditional damage mitigation model where incoming damage can be totally mitigated depending on armor values versus incoming damage source or the damage shared between your armor and health if the damage source is greater than the armor values? BRENT: Eternal Crusade is not a traditional MMO like WoW or Age of Conan. Armour in Eternal Crusade DOES have a mitigation value (“toughness”), which reduces incoming damage. The regenerating bar currently in-game is an abstract representation of continued damage against a point on your armour over a short period of time, which we are still playing with to get the right feel. Our biggest challenge in finding an alternative system is making sure it promotes the right kind of behaviour in players that is both fun and mimics “real” (or at least, cinematic) combat behaviour. It also needs to be intuitive and easy to read in a split second while under fire. We’ve had many internal discussions, evaluations and prototypes on the subject already, and while we are making some changes there are reasons why this system is the best we’ve found for our gameplay… thus far. 12. What do you think will be the biggest obstacle or challenge to overcome before you can be a 100% sure EC will be fully released? David Ghozland: The biggest challenge on our side is the technology to achieve massive battles of the scale that we really desire. We are working very hard to design in a way that will make things easier on the tech side. But we might have to take some difficult choices in the near future in order to achieve our goals or accept some sort of delay. The answer might be in between.