Shattered World: Combat (Re)Design One

After giving it much thought I've decided to do a major redesign of how combat plays out. It won't effect the skills themselves, but will greatly change how you interact with them.

I came up with this sitting on the couch holding my wireless 360 controller, so you'll get to see this from the angle of implementation for that particular controller. I would also like to emphasize this doesn't mean I'm going to build it from the bottom up FOR consoles, just with a unified control scheme that won't exclude consoles.

A Button -> Skill in slot one
B Button -> Skill in slot two
X Button -> Skill in slot three
Y Button -> Skill in slot four
Right Trigger + A -> Skill five
Right Trigger + B -> Skill six
Right Trigger + X -> Skill seven
Right Trigger + Y -> Skill eight
Left Trigger + A -> Skill nine
Left Trigger + B -> Skill ten
Left Trigger + X -> Skill eleven
Left Trigger + Y -> Skill twelve
Left Thumbstick -> Move
Left Thumbstick Depressed -> Interact/Speak to object centered on screen within range.
Right Thumbstick -> Orbit Camera
Right Thumbstick Depressed -> Target Enemy centered on screen or nearest enemy.
Left Bumper -> Cycle through quick weapons
Right Bumper -> Open quick inventory (Think Metal Gear Solid)
D-Pad -> Move between channels/start text message.
Start -> { Main Menu -> Log off : World/Region Map : { Mode Swiych -> Crafting : Building : Regular } : { Options -> Video : Audio : Controller Setup } : Social Dashboard : In-Game Forums}
Back -> { Character Menu -> Inventory (Long Form) : Character Sheet }

Crafting Mode:

First select weapon or armor to make from list of parts you have materials for.

A Button -> Apply 1 unit of currently selected ore to currently selected part.
B Button -> Apply 5 units of currently selected ore to currently selected part.
X Button -> Subtract 1 unit of currently selected ore to currently selected part.
Y Button -> Subtract 5 units of currently selected ore to currently selected part.
Right Trigger + A -> Same as A on 1/10th scale.
Right Trigger + B -> Same as B on 1/10th scale.
Right Trigger + X -> Same as X on 1/10th scale.
Right Trigger + Y -> Same as Y on 1/10th scale.
Left Trigger -> Display list of possible models for current part, then possible paint options
Right Bumper -> Switch to next ore
Left Bumper -> Switch to previous ore
Left Thumbstick -> Change location
Left Thumbstick Depressed -> Display weight, Ore and Biomass totals for current part.
Right Thumbstick -> Orbit Camera
Right Thumbstick Depressed -> Display hp, Weight, balance, size and dps/armor mitigation for entire equipment.
Start and Back remain the same.

Building mode:

Camera pans out to the surrounding area and a list of buildings you can afford to build comes up.
From here it is just a matter of placing it, using the d-pad to cycle through facings, x and y to display various overlays, thumbstick depression to display statistical information, and a to lay place and b to cancel. Pressing the right bumbper would allow you to make a ghost of it show up so those around you can give their opinions before you actually place it.

What Game Designers Could Learn From Watching Porn

Artist Unknown

A ->
A bad story is exponentially worse than no story at all.

B ->
If you cannot make a good story, tack on something simple, spend 20 seconds explaining it, then get to the good part.

C ->
A story told through the characters and the environment has a profound impact on the overall experience. A story told in block text at the beginning, or through constant repetition of the synopsis by characters of the story, does not.

D ->
There will still be people who want to fast forward to the good parts.

E ->
If the sex sucks, they really won't stick around for the story.

F ->
Gaming is a fundamentally masturbatory activity. The more pleasure you can output for the least amount of user obligation with adequate marketing, the better your market penetration.

G ->
Hard Core is all about finding your niche and filling it, though some niches are bigger than others.

H ->
If you neglect the over the top responses, your product will probably seem pretty boring.

I ->
Bad music may be cheap, but you'd be amazed the jump in quality that comes with turning it off.

J ->
Amateur is about .1% solid gold, 2% comedy gold and 97.9% too shitty to bear.

K ->
Yes, you're serious acting career is over.

L ->
No, you cannot make a real movie out of this.

M ->
If at first you don't succeed, hope the studio didn't blow too much money on you.

N ->
When in doubt, remember that a sequel to a crappy game will still sell at least %50 of what the original did.

O ->
No matter how shitty the original was, someone will bitch about how the sequel ruined it.

P ->
A long series in short form is better than a short series in long form. No matter how bad your writer is, at least 1/100 will show some real ingenuity.

Q ->
Change genres every now and then, it helps you think outside the box.

R ->
Choose a look, cheap or classy. Don't EVER mix the two.

S ->
There is money in the non-pg13 market.

And that's all that comes to mind at the moment.


The Gallente Cognita: Piloting, The Overview, and You!

After running some missions with Joe, I discovered that, especially for newer players, I may need to throw out a bit more info. Continuing from my last one this is going to be about how to effectively use those Rail Guns I pointed you towards earlier.


When you pilot in EVE you will be using one of three commands, approach, orbit and keep distance. The first is pretty self explanatory, the second and third are what we're going to be using in actual combat. I can only really help you pilot like I do, though I will certainly be testing different ideas over the next few days to see what works.

So lets say you've just picked up your mission, found it in your journal and right clicked on the big yellow location name and hit warp to location. You in your Velator bravely fielding your 75mms warps in and bam four red squares are rapidly approaching. You click on one and hit approach, licking your lips in anticipation fo the coming battle... Congratulations, you have now lost a Velator, it'll be replaced for free but those guns are gone forever. Next time get insurance btw, platinum all the way.

So lets rewind to just before you went wrong, your docked at the station and just threw on your 75mms. Now what you are going to do is right click on one of them and hit show info. Run over to the attributes and tab and scroll down until you find "optimum range". The goal you're shooting for is 10K+ out to 10K there aren't any rats smaller than a cruiser that can actually hit you. But whatever it happens to be, write it down.

Now exit the station, but don't line up your next stop. Click on the station in your overview so you can see the current selection options, one looks like a circle around something, that would be orbit. Right click on it and select "set default orbit distance". Now remembre that number you wrote down, round it up to the nearest 1/2 KM, 5355m would be 5500m for instance, and enter it into the text field that has popped up.

Now we'll fast forward again, open journal, right warp omg shipz... and this time you select the nearest one and hit the orbit button! Wee you're so happy you have now learned how to orbit, right up until you die again.

"But wait," you think to yourself, "Sara you told me to set orbit and now I orbit. What did I do so wrong!?"

You didn't keep an eye on your overview.


Now your in the thick of battle you have your target out at range, and his buddies are swarming all over you. This is where your overview comes in, see all those other red boxes are telling you in nice friendly numbers how far away they are. Stay as close to your target as you need to, but when one of their friends starts to break that magical threshold of 5000-6000m it's time to select them and hit orbit. If you set your keep distance you can also use that, but I'm not as familiar with the intricate details of that particular command.

If you go out a little beyond your optimal range it really isn't a big deal. You will hit less, yes, but you will still hit. When your noticing that all your hit reports are coming back white, total misses, you'll probably want to hit your target and hit approach, it'll take you in a straight line back towards them. Keep a careful eye on the ships around you, but once you are both back in hitting range and out of the range of it's friends hit orbit again and you should be scott clean.

Final Notes

Don't buy it if you can't afford to replace it!

That said, if someone very nice who happens to play at the same time as you lends you a good 1mil isk to get started you might want to take a look at the Maulus(sp?). It'll set you back about 200k for the base frigate, so you will need a good 800k in the wallet to make certain you can afford insurance, fittings and replacement. However it has 300 shields, to the Velators 96, and a good bit more armor, it can haul around a pair of scout drones, to make up for only having two turret slots, and has a good maximum targeting range which is a godsend when you're running rails. It needs Gallente Frigate level 2 so it's going to be pretty easy to get into.


Gallente Cognita: EVE Gallante Starting Guide

So after talking a bit with Shuttler, I realised that while my knowledge of EVE barely scratches the surface, there are many players that really need to get their foot in the door. So here is my guide to starting a Gallante pilot without feeling like your brain is going to eat itself from the inside out. This guide assumes first off that you have played the tutorial. If you haven't, PLAY THE TUTORIAL!


First and foremost, EVE is not a solo experience. You can solo EVE, but you won't like the experience. Since I assume your a GAX-aholic reading this as you are, get into the MOG Army channel and stay there! Go to channels and mailing lists, join, and input MOGArmy in the prompt that comes up. You'll probably see 3-6 people sitting around \o ing and staying pretty quiet mostly. Why are they so quiet, you ask? Because they are all in Vent. Please get on vent, I hate my voice and I still get on there to work stuff out. We have an EVE channel, just keep an eye out for Foxmoon, Kaiu, and Hinkz they are far more experienced at the game than myself, I'm sure if you asked nicely they would be glad to help you figure stuff out.

In the same line, if you can get a group together for some early level 1 missions, do so! You will help each other, and you can take both take missions allowing you to chain them one after another, it's less work and time overall than taking the missions one at a time and in EVE every little bit counts.

Early Jobs

As a newbie in EVE you have your choice of a few basic jobs to collect your starting capital, mining, ratting and missioning. Mining actually requires slightly less skill investment than missioning if you start out a character specifically geared towards it. The problem is, it's boring as all sin, and especially with Goonswarm targeting high sec afk miners, getting to be a VERY dangerous profession. If you happen to get immediate acceptance into a 0.0 corp it will work out for you much better, since 0.0 is great pay-off and is far better structured allowing you to actually be safer in most cases than you would in low sec. Ratting is a constant slide down into low sec and takes pretty much all the same skills that you would need to have in order to mission, it's a good way to loose ships and really won't make you money as quickly or consistently as mission running will. Mission running, which the rest of this guide will assume is to be your starting job is surprisingly easy to get into, and can be some fun with a group.

So what are you going to need for mission running, well first let's talk equipment.

Goal 1: Fitting your Incursus

Meet your new best friend, the Incursus. Now you could, conceivably pilot a Tristan instead, and if you want to switch to Caldari ships at a latter point, the Tristans launcher hardpoints make it a good starting point. Still either one will require pretty much the same fitting from a pure Gallente stand-point so I'm just going to stick to my favorite.

An Incursus fits 3 high slots, 2 medium slots, and 2 low slots, I don't know if that'll mean alot to you yet, but it will, trust me it will. Our primary goal is those high slots, frigates don't tank(stand and recover from damage) especially well so we will focus ourselves on destroying stuff before we get hit. In those high slots we will want 3 150mm named railguns, in the mid slots we'll want an afterburner and maybe a shield extender, and in those low slots we'll want an armor repairer and an armor plate(deactivated, I'll explain later). But remember that is a "goal" so lets go over what you're going to need to get to the point of making that setup effective.


Before we talk about what to train, here is a tip on how to train. While you are on-line running missions, pick your shortest training time skills, these are usually skills that need to get to levels one and 2, and sometimes 3. When you are about to log off, check your skills that are level 3 plus, pick either the most important one or the one that will be training for the time closest to the actual of amount of time you plan to be away and set that to train. This will allow you to bumb through your low level skills while you're around to consistently change training, and then lets the highest ones go without your having to think about it too much.

As to what skills you will need... You will want to invest in these trees in order.

* This is what I call an IF skill. IF you project yourself to be running missions on an incredibly regular basis after you've been playing long enough to have all these other trees pretty much full, then you really should invest in it. IF not, don't go in beyond level 2.


These skills will decrease the time it takes to learn other skills, you should get learning itself up to level 5, and all the other ones, excepting possibly charm for the time being, at least up to level 4. The second tier learning skills cost 4.5 mil (roughly the same as a Gallente Cruiser) a book in high sec, so I don't expect you to be able to even afford them for a while yet.


Your rail guns are your bread and butter in mission running, a good 150mm railgun burst can pop a drone or light frigate instantly. Better yet, they mean you can run away from your enemies, most level 1 enemies will max their range at 10k, and keep firing at them out at ranges of 20-30k. Invest in the namesake, then hybrid turrets, then sharpshooting, then go for damage. Doing less damage at a longer range is an okay trade off especially early on and in groups.


Actually not so much the whole tree, but focus in on targetting, get that up to level 3 or 4 at least. It won't help to awe inspiring power in your turrets if your constantly hung up trying to make a new target lock.

Engineering and Mechanical

These two may be low in the list but I can't overstate their importance. The two namesake skills will increase your maximum power grid and CPU allowing you to fit more and more powerful equipment. Better yet, they are very important skills to flying battle cruisers and battle ships effectively. Once you have the namesakes down, branching out into the upgrade and armor trees will help you to fit the best possible tank.


I put drones as last because they really won't effect your Incursus too much. Still working on them early can only help a pure Gallente pilot, a lot of Gallentian power is concentrated in drone based ships. When you step out beyond scout drones, you'll also find EW drones, repair drones, scouting drones, all of which can be very important to a PvP player.


Negotiation and Social will both increase what you get back from an agent after a mission. The differences probably won't be hugely apparant until levels 4-5. Now if you're going to be mission running why not invest in mission running skills? Because if your just trying to grab some starting isk, you'll wind up with them trained while two skills that could really be a major assets as your moving into crusiers or destroyers are still waiting for some TLC. And probably just in time to be moving on to cruisers and the job you really want to take in EVE.

Important Mission Running Info

I'd say find the system Oursallent(sp?), and get over there pretty soon, it's where Foxmoon and I have been based out of so both of us are only a jump or three away. Then open people and places and enter Federation Navy in the search box, searching for corporations. You'll come up with a list, just take vanilla Federation Navy, you'll want to right click on it and show info. In the window that opens up click the agents tab, and open the sublisting for Internal Security, now you should come up with a list of available agents, what you are looking for is one with quality -17 or lower (-18, -19, -20, etc...) close to Ours. If you can take Esate Black, I highly recommend it.

These will be almost entirely combat missions, so be ready to pwn some drones and frigates. His missions will seem pretty sameish after the first three or so. If you can't access him, find the agent in the Navy that you can take that is closest to Ours. You can check this from any location in space by bookmarking the agent's location, then setting that as your destination, open the map and search for Ours, then add it as a waypoint. Go to your autopilot tab and count the number of jumps between them.

If you have any questions throw them at MOG Chat or Vent and someone should be able to answer you.


The Second 3 Game Ideas A Day

Sorry for missing yesterday. My job has decided to amp up the stress and waggle my schedule around like a car in Crackdown. If anyone reading this is head of QA, or head of design, for a major gaming studio, please give me a job...

Anyways, useless pleas for escape aside, here are todays.

Single Player
Journeys in Desolate Lands

Adventure game based on various post apocalyptic themes. You are a precog venturing around the ruined future, trying to find the catalyst of this future. Intelligence operatives constantly record every word you utter while in this dream state, allowing you to be brought back by making a verbal report of the catalyst. Each progressive future will show the changes made because of what you found, and how the government reacted.

Multi Player
Strange Rectangles

A bunch of people play rectangles that are a float in a large blue field. You're mission is to find circles of different colors and stay on top of them to suck them dry of points. Green is the most, blue is second, white is third, red is fourth and grey is fifth in terms of points given. Gameplay is actually more similar to bumper cars, with a few power-ups (larger size, energy shield that makes you temporarily untouchable, a little bouncy ball you can throw at someone) scattered about.

GOD Online

Players choose an archetype order, chaos, nature, technology, they then choose a set of 6-10 powers. Players then enter the dynamically generated instance where they and the members of their party are matched with the appropriate number of players from the other archetypes. The goal in an instance is to convert all of the people to either one archetype or two complimentary archetypes. The towns cannot follow gods of opposite denominations, for instance a town can worship both nature and chaos, but not both nature and technology. After all the peoples in a town have been converted to any of the faiths, there begins a fifteen minute countdown in which players may command their followers in bids to convert more or destroy other players followers. At the end of fifteen minutes or when two non-opposing archetypes have been completely eliminated, players take in followers equal to the number of followers they have left alive.

These followers are then used in up to eight player cooperative PvE RTS battles to capture skills and artifacts as well as advance the story campaign.
(Yes Caab I'm looking at you, and Gig too. Next time I'll be more original I swear. No Peter Molyneux I've never played your damned game.)


3 Game Ideas A Day

Need something to practice on while I try to work on SW, so I'm gonna try and post 3 game ideas a day. Single Player, Multi-Player, and MMO, one each. These have to be new even to me, so I can't just like walk into my mental library of IPs and ideas and just pick one up off the shelf and dust it off and call it new. Todays are being made up as I write them, tomorrow's may have more thought invested in them.

Single Player:
Sky Pizza!

You are a pizza delivery man working at the Cloudy Crust Pizza Parlor at the top of the Sky Works, a moving flotilla of civilian and merchant marine sky ships that has become it's own trade center. You basically para-glide from stop to stop trying to deliver your pizzas within the time limit. Meanwhile Pizza Pirates attempt to steal your cheesy goodness and block your route. You get awards for speedy delivery which will be proudly displayed at your pad, the main menu. There are also "good citizen" achievements scattered throughout the world as optional side activities to do if you think you have the time.

I Can't Believe it's Not Quake

Ironically named as other than being an FPS it has nothing at all to do with quake. Players run around with paint-ball like grenade launchers, but when shot a player switches teams, the idea is to make everyone a member of your team. Pacing should be very fast, with levels that are comprised of jumps and twists and turns. Players may pick up weapon secondary fires, like the sticky grenade which makes a certain section of the map slower to move through, the paint mine which works pretty much exactly like it sounds and the uber tub, an area of effect paint with very small amounts of ammo.

Cuddles in a Basket

Cuddles are cute little fuzzy balls with about a thousand teeth and couple mouths, you begin your cuddly life in the bottom of a basket. The goal is to get out of the basket and into the next basket, end-game consists of exploring the laundry room. You can move up by pulling someone above you down, you can move down by pulling someone below you up, you can make a lateral move by biting or gnawing your way through the local area to the next spot. A higher tier can only be founded on the backs of cuddles below. The higher up in the tier you are the more identity tokens you get per fifteen minutes, identity tokens can be spent customizing the name and appearance of your cuddle. Likewise the further baskets down the line add even more identity tokens. When you get out to explore the room, the evil dust bunnies will attack any cuddle of a certain color on a certain day. You can fight back and move them around and trap them by changing color. Raids will be ventures under the washing machine to scare away the filthy uber-bunnies, will require many different colors working in concert as they have to navigate many hurdles which require the basic team climbing needed to get out of the basket in the first place.

Projected time till players reach the endgame - heavily varies. Some servers may get out in hours, other servers may never even get out of the baskets.


Shattered World - Server Messaging Architecture

I IZ MAEK attack.getSkillID(this) ON target.getObjectID()? (A message is sent to the server that you are attacking.)
IZ I IN attack.getRange(getSkillID(this))? (Am I within range to for that attack to be valid?)
IZ I AT attack.getGoodVectors(getSkillID(this))? (Am I standing at the right angle for the attack to succeed?)
DID I HITZ? (A request for confirmation of successful attack is sent)
- IF I DID HITZ: SENDZMESSAEG attack.getSkillEffects()! (Send a message to the server to apply the damage and other effects of the succesful skill)
HAS I BEEN HITZ? (Check for incoming damage messages)
- IF I HAS BEEN HITZ: MyHealth.applyDamage(inc_message) AND ActiveSkills.checkAllValidity()! (Remove health equal to the damage taken, and check to see if any active skills are removed by being hit.)
IZ I DED? (Check against death)
IZ target.getObjecctID() DED? (Check against target death)
OMGLIKEHEALZ MY HEALZBAR! (Regenerate player health)
OMGZLIKEHEARTBEAT ActiveSkills(thisPlayer)! (Run the heartbeats on any active skills, this applies all damages over time, heals over time, and removes the appropriate amount of remaining time from any temporary skills)

Back when I was trying to be a code monkey, didn't work out too well by the way, my primary focus whas actually on messaging architectures, thus why it didn't work out. Every time you click a button your UI your character does something right!? Wrong. Everytime you click a button it asks the in-client estimation engine if it's okay, and if it is, it then writes a polite little message to the server.

If we were to read it, it would look something like 0x1AFF6BCE7700F4. When roughly translated that means, "Server, old boy, this is John Smith's client requesting that you tell Mob #255 over there that I've hit him with a spot of damage and other nasty effects. Thanks in advance, and a good day sir."

The server would of course reply, 0x1A00FF0506AC7BFCA5FF88B21AAFB3. "Dear John Smith's client, I had no problems receiving your message regarding Mob #255 and would like to compliment you on your excellent penmanship. By the by, your damage went through, but mobs #255 and #63 both hit you quite hard, and one even landed a mostly harmless DoT on you. I'd recommend you hit #255 a little harder next time, but I'll be monitoring the situation with some interest."

Which is all well and good, except for one minor issue. Each server has to support at least a thouasand players. All of whom have to repeat the process at the top of the post every time the server cycles.

I used to hang around the MV forums, and my brother is working on the development of a game using it's engine. Basically from what I could gather, their basic messaging architecture was that all messages would be stored in a global array on arrival and then each entity would have to search the array for it's messages. I'm probably wrong, but that is how I read it.

Which got me thinking on how to build a better architecture. So I set to work on my first goal, building a message handler that allowed an entity to directly contact another enitity.

I eventually programmed a simple example that worked something like this. What would happen is that the global entity list, which has to exist anyways, would also contain a pointer to the receiver of every entity. Each receiver then had a vector, a dynamically sized array, which it would use as a message buffer.

The problem was, I still had to search the list with every buffer. So the way I fixed that was by making the recipient ID of messages the items list ID rather than true ID. So this meant that I could basically just tell it EntityList[getMsgRecip()].receiveMsg(this). What this meant was that rather than search the list for an object to call, I simply called the appropriate member of the list automatically.

The message handler on an entity would simply send out Item #0 in it's send list, then process item #0 in it's receive list, automatically working them as FIFO stacks, allowing things to streamline nicely.

Unfortunately I lost all the source code in my HDD wipe.

So what is the point?

The point is that SW needs to be more than just an exercise in Gameplay. It needs to have an architecture that can support the massive load of an almost pure overworld. The entire architecture of how a game runs on a server needs to be examined and rexamined, pushed for every last nanosecond of performance gain.


Blargh Groups

Not really a full post, but still.


A group can contain up to eight people, one of whom is designated the groups Liason. If the Liason accepts a quest it is automatically filtered to all members who don't already have it. Liasons with the antenae upgrade give a bonus to damage output to all members of their group, for melee it will be within a range of 15 meters, for energy weapons it will be within a range of 45 meters, approximately.

Eight groups form a company, the Liason for the first group in the company is the Officer. The officers bonuses are applied to everyone in the company, who is in range, and are doubled in range. An officer has access to Officer Shout, which will appear as a different color and in the center of the screen for everyone in the company, as well as to Liason chat, which is a channel for all of the Liasons.

Up to twenty companies may join together to form an army, headed by a General. The General has a choice, he can either enter the fray as a triple range, triple effect Officer, or he can enter Network mode, during which he becomes immobile and adds the bonuses from his upgrades to all Officers and Liasons in the army.


Shattered World Part IX - Instanced PvE, Crafting and Economy

Instanced PvE

After much thought, I've decided that I probably will include Instanced Player vs. Environment. However, I do want to approach it from an entirely different angle than WoW, EQ2, or pretty much any game I've played thus far with true instanced content.

In other MMOs the purpose of the instance is to take a break from the questing of the overworld and run a dungeon for massive rewards. In Shattered World the purpose of an instance is to let players go kill random shite for a while, alone or in a group, and get a marginal sum for doing so. The rewards gotten from the Instance will be based primarily on distance away from the main city, giving even PvE players good reason to wander to the edges of the game space.

NPCs inside of an instance will be of level and number to make for a decent challenge for the lowest level players entering the instance, and will give a fraction of the scrip they would reward in the overworld. The lowest level instance which will be in the new players starting area will probably give only 5-10% of the scrip which equivalent world level mobs would.

Since NPCs don't give biomass until after level 300, I am debating making an NPC trade of scrip for biomass. I will go into this in the economic segment of this article though, and not here.


I've touched somewhat on crafting before, but I would like to go into slightly more detail now, but first a change from previous articles. I have decided that it would be for the best if armor was also destroyed on death. Now for those of you who haven't ever played EVE this may seem shocking, but bear with me. In a PvE focused game where you min-max for the best gear to destroy end game instance bosses, the destruction of your armor is a major frustration. In a world PvP focused game, however, it helps to stabilize the economy, gives jobs to young players, and adds depth to logistical side of the game.

Basically, with destructible weapons and armor, it changes running around with your best gear all the time from an obvious choice to an idiotic choice. It also removes the need for there to be a thousand different tiers of armor, with stat pluses and all that jazz. It means that even an armorer who isn't terribly good is still a useful part of a guild and has a chance to get paid for their work, as cheap and easily replaced armor and weapons are a must for active PvP.

With a crafting system that requires players to discover the best combinations through trial and error, or mathematical genius, there is going to be a large amount of trial and error from beginning craftspeople. It's to everyone's advantage to have those weapons still go to good use.

A fun thought for a possible addition to crafting, though obviously this is not an initial release level priority, would be armor and weapon painting. I don't mean picking up different dyes and applying them to weapons and armor, that is a given, what I mean is a brush tool that would allow you to paint armor and weapons with patterns and designs. The market for this would obviously be related to a person's real world skill as an artist, and creative talents.


There are, in fact, three currencies in Shattered World: Scrip, Biomass, and Real World Money. This has just been a post full of bad news hasn't it? Thats right there is RMT, no I'm not talking about an in-game item shop from the devs. Instead it will be an in-game item Bazaar. It is meant to be a place for the players to safely exchange their hard earned cash for whatever other players are willing to sell them. (And of course the dev team gets a small cut in the form of a listing fee so the subscription cost can hopefully remain relatively low.)

Bots will still be policed for obviously, though I certainly wouldn't discourage players form making their lives as difficult as possible. But hopefully this way we can sidestep problems with stolen credit cards and so forth.

Now I briefly discussed above the possibility of setting up an exchange rate between scrip and biomass, however with the RMT bazaar that creates certain challenges. For instance, it makes low risk instances easily farmable, and possibly well paying with a dedicated enough bot team. So how I would rather work it, is for there to be a portion of the bazaar specifically set aside to players trading between currencies. This would add the depth of a currency trade much like the real worlds, but also, hopefully, make it at least more difficult for bots to easily exchange massive amounts of farmed scrip for biomass. Of course, it is equally possible to simply remove any official exchange and simply leave it for player trades.

Back to the in-game economy though, scrip is not an entirely useless currency. Where as biomass is the currency of building, whether it be characters, buildings or equipment, scrip is the currency of hiring. The Mercenarium which can help guard your town is paid for in scrip, the vehicles used to achieve speedy transit are sold for scrip, and in fact any dealing with NPCs will primarily be scrip. So perhaps even more simply, biomass is the currency of the players while scrip is the currency of the NPCs.

Some Backstory for SW

Just wanted to give a small sample of how things connect across all of history.

Present Day:
The Serraphima looked out of the window of the control tower, watching the artillery beams landing in the feilds East of Antona, former capital of the Isobel Empire. Angels and demons were mixed together is a melee a mile long, appearing as little more than a wall of black dots from her vantage.

"Commanders from the Western Continent report mild success, while the Southern Continent reports minor territory losses along the Northwest Flank. The Islands of Raark and Shanto are still heavily contested. No significant reports from the expeditionary forces at Almony. Serraphima..."

"Yes commander?"

"We could yield this city and press to the North. It is an option."

"Not one I am prepared to take commander. We have held this city for four million years, I see no reason to walk away today."

"Yes Serraphima."

The Serraphima stretched, her four wings an iconic blue that none of the other Angels shared. They were her right, given to her by their creator. The creator who she had failed only once in defense of this citadel, the creator who she would never fail again.

4.5 Million Years Prior:
Amallee Drath leaned against the door to her dorm in the Elemental's Academy. Her wings cushioned her, but sat just on the edge of her vision.

"I'm not having this discussion, Cherlae."

"I'm just asking, why blue? Why not green or red? You're just bringing up bad memories for everyone with blue."

"And I told you, they aren't dyed, now bugger off."

The tall human woman braced herself against the door to keep her from easy escape. "They were white last week, and now they're blue, sounds like dye to me."

"They were dyed last week!"

The woman gave her a hard stare, trying to tell if she was lying.

"Good night, Cherlae!"

She opened the door wide, almost sending the human woman to her ass. The woman recovered easily and stood up straight, frowning at her. Amallee just slammed the door shut and sunk to the floor holding back tears.

Sixty Years Prior:
Sergeant Jameson moved swiftly in the dark night, carrying his bundle with the utmost care. He ducked from doorway to doorway, avoiding the spotlights that occasionally flooded the street. His heart was beating, but he kept moving, working off his memorized map.

The bundle began to squirm and a blue wing slid out of the cloth. He fixed the cloth quickly, his heart catching in his chest as he prayed silently to Alraa to keep the child silent.

Finally he found the house and walked up to the side entrance. He knocked according to the code, lay the bundle on the step and ran. It was safer for all of them this way.

A Week Prior:
Sergeant Jameson raised his rifle shakily, the solid wall of blue winged men women and children in front of him looked at him and the other men in his unit with pleading eyes. His hands just shook more.


He could hear the officer in the black uniform talking to the Captain.

"This is a great day for the cause, these are the last."

"Are you sure?"



He pulled the trigger as tear rolled down his cheek."

A Hundred Years Prior:
Jessa sat silently on her seat, her dress covered in blood and a small knife in her hand. Thorne walked over to her and took the knife from her grasp easily. He stood, mantling his white wings, and made a pronouncement to the room.

"My father has tragically died in his sleep. With all of my brothers lost in combat, it seems I am now the Emperor. Send a runner to the front, we are to plead an armistice to properly mourn our peacefully departed Emperor."

One person left the room, but everyone else stood motionless.


Once the room was empty he stood in front of her and placed his hand on her shoulder. She simply sat motionless.

"You will be moved into the country side, far from the front. I want you to raise your child far from here, in peace."

"You knew?"

"Do not mistake me for my father, I am oblivious to nothing. Dark times are coming for my people, and nothing will stop it now. You will be looked after, that I promise."

She simply nodded.

"Be proud, you are the of the line of Isobel and Tsenara. Royalty flows in your blood, blue winged one, never forget that."

Another Hundred Years Prior
Isobel, Duchess of the Southern March, Child of Al-Raab, and now Queen of the Island of Alomani, stood still as her squire secured the leather ties holding her wings. She heard her consort, Tsenara, the Frost Queen of Alomani, walk into the room behind her. The mistress of ice leaned against her back, placing her head firmly between her wings.

"If you do not return with my child, do not return at all."

She shivered, and not from the woman's icy breathe.

"I will tear down the Empire brick by brick if necessary."

The woman behind her moved away as the squire attached the massive breastplate of her armor. Isoble finally turned to look at the woman who was calmly holding the veil, the veil of the killer which she had not worn in almost a year. The womans icy fingers brushed against her cheeks as they attached the veil.

"I want to kill the Emporer myself."

Isobel sighed, then nodded. "Consider it done, my Queen."