Roadmap To Fall Alpha 2021


    Read through the update. The following opinions of mine are based on playing PvP and PvE MMOs since 1995.

    The PvP changes will not be enough, as dozens of similar MMO's since M59 have proven dozens of times. Your only real solution to retain enough players, customers, subscribers, whales, etc, will be to have separate servers where PvP is either 100% prohibited or limited to a very specific unnecessary area of the map(s).
    As this is extremely unlikely in the face of your public design goals, no-one I know is intending to actually play Fractured, ever. Why not?

    Because they will not pay or play (for free or not) or pay to play any game where any other customer can negatively affect their gameplay experience and personal progression. They will not pay, or play (for free or not), or pay to play any game where their role is to be an unwilling victim for any amount of time. The only way myself and those I know have any intention of even trying Fractured will be if there is exactly zero chance of being ganked involuntarily. Otherwise, you're looking at another PFO (Pathfinder Online) and we all saw how well that worked out.

    These types of abuse-able flagging and alignment mechanics were barely tolerated in UO when there was almost no choice for customers because of a limited set of online games. Now? There are too many choices. These days, when given the option of leaving to go to another game, for any reason, that customer is gone. You need to give them reasons to stay, not to leave. Much of what I've read in this roadmap just describes more reasons to leave, from the perspective of myself and those in my guild. The continued inclusion of involuntary PvP overshadows all of the other positive milestones so much, they might as well not even be on the roadmap.

    Given history, none of what you're attempting, with respect to 'curbing' mechanics will curb anything. Using the sheep/wolves analogy, there will never be enough sheep for the wolves, and there are always too many wolves for the sheep. You would have to pay the sheep to be unwilling victims. That's how little appetite there is from the largest group of paying customers for this type of negative social interaction.

    The most valuable shared resource all of your customers have is time, and the mechanics you've outlined permit one group of your target demographic to steal time from another. As long as that's true, history says you will have less success than failure in this implementation. Having said all that, bon chance, mes amis.


    @r6G4596Y7G9AwD0TzJTxFSZx there is the beast planet where no PVP allowed, as along as there is high level and end game play in this planet, and its not just bait to force you to go PVP later on, you will have fun and will have place in the game.
    i seen some started to say this hatred notion of "HIGH RISK - HIGH REWARED", and that will be the death of the game, same as many games before, it should be "high skill - high reward" or "high investment - high reward" or both.... but never "high risk - high reward".

  • Content Creator

    @r6G4596Y7G9AwD0TzJTxFSZx not sure what games your counting as MMOs in your claim.

    I know some said Neverwinter Nights was an MMO, but it really wasn't. The number of players it could handle in a session was finite, and definitely didn't count as 'Massive.' I did love the game and beta-tested it before it came out, but it wasn't an MMO.

    MUDs were the precursors to MMOs, and could handle far more simultaneous players than NWN, but they were not really MMOs either. I must admit to never having played or seen M59, but it came out in 1996 going into 1997, and Ultima came out in 1997, so I have to assume your counting either MUDs or NWN in your claim. That's fine, different people hold up different criteria for what they Count, but in the established gaming world, the first Official MMO was Ultima Online, followed by EverQuest. I played a little of UO, but it wasn't until EQ that I found a game that really spoke to me as an MMO.

    regardless, I think you may be mistaken as far as how successful Fractured can be based on the current changes. I think a lot of those changes will appeal, and as some have pointed out, there will be the All PvP world for those who want Rampant PvP, and there will be the No-PvP world for those who don't want even a chance at being ganked by other players. Syndesia is meant to be that middle ground for those who want there to be a chance, but also want to mostly play PvE, accepting the risks involved, as long as they feel the risks have been mitigated sufficiently to keep the game fun.

  • All of these changes are interesting and I am looking forward to playing with them in the fall alpha!

    However a problem to note about the progression of the game as a whole is the bosses, as I've seen so far they are all pretty boring damage sponges with lackluster rewards. I know the devs are particularly against equipment boss drops with significantly better stats so the question becomes what could this boss possibly worth the time and effort.

    If the answer is knowledge points I'd rather just farm POI for abilities that my character lacks and knowledge points seeing as it takes a quarter of the manpower than some of the harder bosses and takes less time to prep.

    Are there plans to add special abilities or modified abilities that only farming the boss would give?
    Are there plans to add bosses that actively encourage groups of players to fight them?

    Are there plans to make bosses more interactive or re-playable, or are they going to be left as is?

    (Perhaps bosses would threaten a specific town with active mob raids until the boss is defeated, maybe offsetting the threat of the boss with access to large amounts of materials? While this specifically may not be a good idea, overworld events that encourage people to kill bosses would be good way to increase interaction without necessarily increasing the rewards.)

    Bosses are central to the MMO experience so I hope it doesn't become just some enemy who takes more time to kill.

  • Content Creator


    If by bosses, you mean the Legends, I think they are fine tuning them right now, and pretty much drop what they are meant to drop. Rarer materials, Gold and Gems possibly, and Lost Tales, which are both big chunks of Knowledge points, and also snippets of game lore for those of the more Role-play mindset to collect and read/experience. There may end up being some Boss Exclusive Skills that you would want to Max out your attacks against them to obtain100% knowledge for as well in the future..

    The real 'Bosses' and massive game events are planned to be the Asteroids. Now, we have yet to see what those are going to entail, but we can assume these will be those kind of threats that mandate a larger group raid format to take on, so that small groups/solos don't feel obligated to join in raids if they don't want to, as they are happening outside the main worlds, and they won't put the big and small groups in direct opposition for their gameplay. You can't exactly farm an Asteroid event for PvP, not knowing what the PvP rules will be on a given asteroid, how long it will be available, and what size of group will be mandated to clear one.


    @r6G4596Y7G9AwD0TzJTxFSZx I also mistakenly read the roadmap as server wide changes. These are only for the human world since this is what the test is about. If you read through the FAQ as was pointed out there are three worlds: beastman (PvE), deamon (PvP), and human (mixed). I do tend to agree with the assessment that if you force players into playstyles that they do not like you are only forcing them to choose to leave or not. As UO pointed out PvE and PvP players are like oil and water and do not mix. Setting up the knowledge tree so players are forced to play on planets they do not want to be on will force those players into deciding if the points are worth playing a way they do not want to play. For those players that wish to complete the knowledge tree they will have a real choice to make on whether to continue their play experience or not.


    @Farlander said in Roadmap To Fall Alpha 2021:

    ... For those players that wish to complete the knowledge tree they will have a real choice to make on whether to continue their play experience or not.

    Yep, that's why we won't be playing without significant design goal changes. Unless the entire knowledge tree can be completed without PvP, the entire premise of the game is bait and switch, from our perspective.
    It's like this: You can play 1/3 of the game without PvP, but don't worry, the other 2/3 of the game requires you to be an unwilling victim. Just like UO, but worse! Great? Not so much.

  • @r6G4596Y7G9AwD0TzJTxFSZx
    As of this past spring alpha you can achieve 100% mob knowledge and even clear easy to mid bosses totally without pvp and solo (with moderate effort and tweaking of builds). There was even one or two players that set out to solo some of the hard bosses.
    As such it is currently totally possible to learn every skill, max out the talent tree, and equip your self with max tier equipment (with 3 T3 enchantments) without ever seeking out pvp. It will not be quick, easy, or cheep (tho the switch to imbuing may reduce the high cost of T3 enchantments through item loss).

    You can even visit the other worlds (but will be at high risk while doing so).

    The only thing you might be missing out on is the experience of playing the pvp world (Tartarus) character types. And even then you -could- make alts there to try it out. As a comparison I would wonder how many WoW players had characters on both the horde and alliance side and played each of the character types. I would wager that the vast majority fiddled around, found their happy place, and stuck there without worrying much about the other potential content they were choosing to not engage in.

    I would be very surprised if there were many players who liked each world and character sets enough to level up each to max. Most likely people will try each of them and find their happy place and then fully enjoy that play style while maintaining the ability to make alts or visit the other worlds and experience some of that playstyle which they deemed not to their tastes.

    I also maintain that the human world is not going to be one where 'unwilling victim' is going to be the standard. Even in the worst griefing phase of the last alpha I only got ganked 3 times and lost mediocre equipment which was easily replaced. It was simple for me to identify the high activity areas and avoid them when support populations (sheriffs) were not online and instead worked on farming skills and materials from the other 80% of the island and mobs which did not have pvp activity.


    I have read some great comments so far. It is incredibly hard to balance a pvp system and retain people that have no interest in it. Here is what I like so far:

    • Bounty hunting and jailing - cost to leave
    • Pks can't interact with any city services

    Here is what I do NOT like:

    • I don't like the idea of "choosing" alignment. Ones' actions dictate alignment.
    • Item/loot dropping differences between alignment

    Here are some suggestions:

    • When a pk dies by a player or mob they receive perma health loss that can NOT be restored at a fireplace. (as opposed to temporary health loss that is currently in the game)
    • When a pk is captured, not only do they go to jail and/or pay to get out, they receive a curse that reduces their attributes (STR, DEX, INT, PER, CHA, CON) by 1 or 2 or 3 etc. The curse stacks for re offenders.

    This will eventually require that the person delete and re-roll another character. The game is built on the commodity of time. When a player that seeks to do good dies and loses weapons/armor/resources - they are losing time. When a PK has to to create another pvp-ready character - they are losing time. They will undoubtedly consider the options more careful when there is a measured penalty.

  • Why not allow PVE players to play through all of the alpha testing without having to engage in PVP if that is their wish. I am in a guild that plays a lot of MMO's, and most of those players are not coming back to the game. At present in the Alpha testing phases since the "Spring Alpha" one of the main things that the dev's are doing is pushing people away from the game before it has even started. Is that a good business model? The fact that people are discussing it here, shows that people are leaving not joining.

    The spring alpha was fun until your safe hours expired. If you wanted to explore and try the high end PVE areas they were constantly camped by Evil groups. No access to high end game areas for solo players or small groups. Do you want to spend 20 minutes of time travelling to a high end combat zone, spend another 20 minutes fighting to the fun content, maybe play for 20 minutes in the zone, than get jumped by PK'ers and get teleported home. 1 hour wasted, and nothing to show for it.
    Has anyone played Albion? There is a large number of zerg guilds who control elements of the game, you can join them or just die a lot.

    If the devs want to retain the playerbase they have to allow for PVE only in the test phases or customers will just leave.

  • Content Creator


    I'm a PvE player, and even I know this theory is erroneous, and here's why:

    They need to get the actual mix of PvP on Syndesia balanced, and thus, a major thrust of the Alpha Testing is on that very principal. You don't ever run an Alpha test purely to make the game appear fun for a group of players...that is never the goal. Too many people are treating the Alpha as just some early access to the game, and considering it by that standard because they have no idea what it means to Alpha test a game in the first place.

    In the Alpha Stage, that's when you make the hard choices for the majority of the playerbase. This is when you try and discard ideas that will either make or break the game, and as such, you cannot coddle your playerbase in the process. If people are leaving the Alpha test, that only goes to show they aren't Alpha Testers. The truth of the matter is, testers are not going to be the ones who want to be coddled, they are the ones who are going to want to exactly what you just mentioned, travel 20-60 mins across the continent to a Hot Spot, Battle in said Hot Spot for an hour or so, then Attempt to bring back their loot safely through PvP infested waters as it were. They are going to want to see how creative they can get to avoid the PvPers, they are going to want to test the limitations of their builds in defending themselves, or getting themselves to the Quick Teleportation Harbors and thus to safety.

    Testing is done through adversity. When the game fully launches, we already know there will be the Beast World where no PvP is possible, and thus the purely PvE who don't even want the possibility of PKing will stick to that world, just as the Pure PvP players will go to the Demon world where it will be a giant King of the Hill battle constantly with every other player group in the area.

    Then we have Syndesia. For Syndesia to be the best it can possibly be. To be that ultimate middle ground where both PvE and PvP players can play together, not exactly in harmony, but with a mix of Risk and safety, they have to make the hard choices right now and test test test and re-test until they get the rules for Syndesia balanced correctly.

    Alpha testing, surprisingly enough, is also NOT the period when player recruitment and retention is a focal point. You in fact don't want to worry about that much at all in the Alpha stage, because you don't want your players falling in love with a Testing phase that's just going to change when the game goes into Beta and into final release, you want them to be involved with the decision making processes along the way. That is the appeal of being an Alpha tester.

    If we want this game to be the best possible game it can be, we have to let the game go through its growing pains, and not worry about fluffy clouds and rainbows, per se. They will sprinkle the tests with non PvP content, of course, so there are things the PvEers can fight to try to do unharrassed, and so they can also get these elements right, but now that the PvP testing has started in earnest, just flat opting out of PvP will only be an option if that ends up being one of the paths they consider making available in the final game, after testing all other permutations. Right now, that option is set aside for the Beast World.


    @GamerSeuss said in Roadmap To Fall Alpha 2021:

    They need to get the actual mix of PvP on Syndesia balanced, and thus, a major thrust of the Alpha Testing is on that very principal. You don't ever run an Alpha test purely to make the game appear fun for a group of players...that is never the goal. Too many people are treating the Alpha as just some early access to the game, and considering it by that standard because they have no idea what it means to Alpha test a game in the first place.

    its seems that you do not understand the point of games, if the game isn't fun in alpha, he will not be fun after release....
    the point of testing, makeing sure the game is balance in a way that is fun for the players.

    and you constantly replaying to people like you one of the devs, and not a good dev, you only try to defend old notion of thinking, and lame outdated gameplays that failed in the past...
    maybe try to let the dev answer ?


    Can'y wait!!


    For all of those that don't want to PvP right now: just don't do the current testing phase. Having a game ruined by alpha and even beta is why I don't even do testing any more. I prefer to wait for the actual game to get my thrills from it. You are always going to be let down when you are in the testing phase. That is why I was so vocal when the devs asked if they should launch on Steam as an alpha release. No way! When the game isn't ready to go you just drive players away and give your game a bad name. The test team should be dedicated testers, not people wanting to be entertained.

    Also OlivePit if players are expected to go to the demon world to complete POIs for the knowledge tree then absolutely no can you complete the entire tree without PvP. I haven't gone through the entire tree to see what is required but I know there was talk that many of the points would be located on each world to force players to visit them. Maybe that has changed. It would be nice if players could complete their knowledge trees entirely from the world they choose to live on. Otherwise you are not giving players the choice of their playstyle.

  • Content Creator

    @grofire I answer as a long time Alpha/Beta tester, and a Game Developer, not one of THE developers of Fractured.

    I actually teach Game Design as a Merit Badge Counsellor and what I'm talking about are still considered a big part of the industry. Are they outdated, or tried and true? Different people will respond differently, however, Alphatesting is NOT where you gather a huge player base. Alphatesting is where you can start to spark interest, but those Alphatesting have to realize you are testing, not looking at QoL changes and a fully functioning game meant to be fun and to consume hours of your time. It is a good reason that the Alpha phases are generally only about a Month long. By the end of a Month, generally, its time to go and start implementing changes to be tested, and everything changing over and over again and only getting to sample the game in small morsels is why Alphatesting is not everyone's cup of tea.


    Wow! this sounds like some incredible additions, super excited to try some of those new abilities.


    @GamerSeuss well since i am teaching programing, and been 15 years in the game industry, im not saying that alpha test isn't a test, and yes there is no QOL mechanic, but alpha test point is to test the core mechanic, to see if people enjoy playing them, its early enough to make this base system change if people hate them... you do not check for miner bugs, you check your game to make sure is fun and enjoyable.
    and if so many people leave or give you bad comments, then something is wrong...

  • Content Creator

    @grofire As up until recently, Alpha Testing was done in-house/closed, while Beta-testing might be more open, it is in Alpha that you don't worry about enjoyability as much as you worry about the mechanics working, then in Beta, you worry about it coming together in a pleasing package that retains members. That's the big difference between Alpha and Beta. Alpha is a mostly unfinished, unrefined product with more technical focus, Beta is more the market research area when you worry about customer enjoyment.

    Shoot, in a lot of Alphas, they aren't even exactly 'Playable' and are rather just snippets or instances. You're testing the fighting, you have an Arena style Alpha set up. You're testing crafting, you just have people using the various crafting interfaces without necessarily incorporating them in the crafting tables or whatnot they will finally appear in. Fractured is going one better and kind of making their Alpha more playable than most, closer to a completed game, but at the same time, remember, it is an Alpha, everything, literally EVERYTHING can change.


    @GamerSeuss it only partly true...
    Its true that in the past alpha was usually close, but was teated in house for the same staff that it test today, and it is the base machanic enjoyabelty, and yes its true it was usually base machnic without the need to combined them, or make them for a full system that you can play as a player...
    While beta might be open more* its usually was way too late to change base machanic since its meaning more badaget and returning to alpha stage.

    *By the way since i done games 15 years ago, i can tell you that in the past beta was in house too, the indestry changed a lot from the days i started, but the basic didn't: alpha is base machanic enjoyabelty, beta is patching it all up and fixing bugs and QOL features.

  • Content Creator

    @grofire I've been actively Beta-testing since the mid-90s, with an occasional invite into an Alpha run thrown in.

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