Roadmap To Fall Alpha 2021July 15th, 2021 at 7:34 am
The largest PvE and ability content expansion ever, and the biggest Spring Alpha issues addressed. Come discover what’s next for Fractured!
Hi, fellow gamer and MMO enthusiast!
We know you’ve been waiting for this post for a while, and we’re happy we’ve finally found the time to deliver it to you.
Dynamight Studios has grown considerably in the last couple months, and a good chunk of the work for the next test has been completed already. As it is likely to start in the second half of September, we’ve decided to officially name the next test Fall Alpha 2021, lest we end up in the same situation of the Winter/Spring Alpha 2021 😉
We’ll soon be able to open up on the business news we’ve been hinting to for a while. For now, however, let’s stick to the roadmap!
We’ve got a huge elephant in the room here, so… let’s address it first!
If you’ve followed or read about Fractured, you likely know that our plan for PvP on the Human planet Syndesia is for it to be largely “guild vs guild” and “city vs city” business. Random player killing (PKing) is also possible, but should be rare.
The last test was the first one to feature the proper PvP ruleset of Syndesia, and things clearly haven’t worked out as intended. Player killing was rampant, due to several factors:
- Bounty hunting and jailing, while a heavy punishment, didn’t actually discourage large groups of PKs, who are very unlikely to die when attacking new players or small PvE groups.
- Conversely, being “red” (evil) was the only option to partake in guild vs guild PvP, and many players disliked the possibility of being punished for that.
- The progression system of Fractured forces players to kill all types of creatures to gain Knowledge Points (KP) and discover their abilities. These creatures are often located in specific points of interest (POI), which were haunted by PKs who knew they could always find some victims.
In the end, player killing was just “too easy” for large groups in the last test. We want to make it way more risky and less rewarding, while incentivizing “healthy” competition between skilled guilds.
So, have a look below for the changes to alignments and item dropping that we are implementing to rectify the situation on Syndesia. As always, don’t forget that alpha is the best moment to test things out, so if these changes prove not to be enough (or conversely, too much), we’ll be ready to correct them.
Players with an Evil alignment can perform hostile actions against everyone, just like before. All actions against non-Evil characters cause a Karma loss. Also, as before, Evil characters drop all the items they have equipped on death.
The big news for Evil characters is that they are no longer allowed to interact with any city service such as banks, marketplaces and crating stations, aside from those in Lawless cities and those of the city they are citizen of. Do note that Evil players can still enter Lawful cities, where there can be no PvP aside from duels (when implemented).
Given all these changes (and what’s explained below), the Evil alignment is now strictly for players who want to take the PK route to act as bandits, killing merchants or other unwilling players running low/mid level content. For competitive players willing to engage with other competitive folk in high-level scenarios, a new, consequence-free alignment has been introduced: Neutral.
A character with positive Karma can now choose a new alignment when interacting with a shrine: Neutral. This option was part of the original design for alignments, but has been changed conceptually. We expect it to be the most common pick of competitive PvP players and guilds.
A player with Neutral alignment can perform hostile actions against Evil players (like Good players can), but also against other Neutral players. Neither cause Karma loss! A Neutral character can also gain Karma normally by killing monsters and become a Bounty Hunter.
Being under the patronage of Galvanos, the god of Knowledge, Neutral characters are now the only ones able to summon Legends and receive Lost Tales when defeating them. This means that if you’re usually a Good player, you can choose whether to go Neutral if you want to run one or more Legends in the open world (you’re not allowed to stay Good and free-ride the summoning efforts of other groups), or just buy Lost Tales from other players.
Neutral characters drop 3-4 pieces of equipment on death, chosen at random among the ones they’re wearing.
Nothing has changed here, aside from Good players now only drop 1-2 pieces of equipment on death. Do note that inventory is always dropped in full, like before.
While last test was heavily focused on PvP, the development focus for the Fall Alpha 2021 is largely on PvE. As such, we’re bringing to life the largest content expansion ever, featuring 20+ new creatures, 40+ new abilities, plus a ton of points of interest and world events!
Below is a list of what we’re trying to achieve in the Fall Alpha 2021.
- The continent of Myr should be varied and full of interesting locations, which should…
- …make exploration way more exciting than it used to be;
- …give new characters plenty of locations to gain Knowledge and new abilities at, avoiding busy areas where the chance to meet a PK is higher.
- Character progression should last much longer.
- There should be plenty of viable character builds, both in PvE and PvP and for both mages and warriors.
Let’s see how we’re doing it! For clarity, we’ll be giving you hints on the Challenge Rating (CR) of the new creatures, a metric ranging from 1 to 10 which we’ve always used internally for monster balancing.
Random monster spawners in the world are fine… but there’s much better than that!
Starting with the Fall Alpha 2021, the whole continent of Myr (aside from POI and city areas) is going to be filled with random world events. The structure of each event for now is fairly simple – in a nutshell, various types of mob encampments, usually including a loot chest. Once the camp is cleared, the event disappears after a few minutes, and a new one is eventually spawned in a different point of the map.
World events are great for solo players or small groups who want to stay clear of POI because of the PK danger. Later we could expand them introducing chained events, escort missions, treasure hunts, and more!
Oh yes, we’ve just mentioned chests. What would an RPG be without chests?
In the Fall Alpha 2021, locked chests are going to be found both in POI and in world events. Here’s how they work:
- Opening a chest requires lockpicks, which are produced from metal in the Forge.
- Each player has a Lockpicking score, which depends solely on its DEX and can be raised (in %) through equipment properties.
- Chests have 5 levels of unlock difficulty. The success chance of opening one (or whether a character can try at all) depends on Lockpicking.
- Every successful attempt consumes a lockpick. Failed attempts can make a lockpick break as well.
Chests mostly contain coins and gems, which now play a key role in the economy of the game, as explained in the paragraph on Imbuing below.
Ogres are the first new family of monsters we’re introducing in the Fall Alpha 2021. It consists of mid/high level creatures only (CR 6-8), which inhabit a large portion of Western Myr – the area to the North of the Vale of Shadows, to be exact.
These are the 5 Ogres that are planned for now:
Notwithstanding their dumb looks and powerful smell, the Ogre society is an advanced one, particularly as they are masters of the art of metalworking. Within their land, they have erected two large cities, each one a massive POI roughly as large as the Goblin Hills. Steampunk vibes all the way!
Spread to both the Eastern and the Western sides of Myr, the Bandits are the second and largest creature family coming in the Fall Alpha 2021. They’re mostly low/mid level creatures (CR 3-5), and absolutely the best challenge for new players together with the goblins of the Fire clan.
Within the lands they ravage, the Bandits have built 3 large encampments – once again each one a gigantic POI! Who are they exactly? Here’s the full list!
- Archmage Outcast
If you’re familiar with the Knowledge System you know this already: in Fractured, new monsters mean new spells… and a ton of new monsters means a ton of new spells!
Here’s a list of all the new abilities that are coming, grouped by school:
- Assassination (8): Blinding Dust, Debilitating Strike, Glitter Dust, Nimbleness, Pierce Through, Rend Armor, True Strike.
- Hunting (6): Barrage, Guided Shot, Pin Down, Volley.
- Leadership (3 – NEW!): Charge, Intimidate, Shields Up.
- Warfare (12): Bloodlust, Counterstrike, Execute, Flurry of Blows, Lunge, Overpower, Ram Through, Shield Slam, Slashing Wave, Split Earth, Swipe, Vicious Attacks.
- Abjuration (6): Dispel Magic, Globe of Spell Protection, Pierce Magic, Protection from Acid, Protection from Cold, Protection from Electricity.
- Alteration (13): Barbed Skin, Entangling Roots, Eruption, Explosion, Expose Vulnerabilities, Icebound Blast, Ignite, Incinerate, Lightning Rush, Magnetize, Petrify, Shivers, Weaken.
- Conjuration (6): Acid Rain, Burning Pillar, Lighting Strike, Permafrost, Spit Venom, Thunderstorm.
- Enchanting (4): Burning Arrows, Chilling Arrows, Fear.
- Illusionism (2 – NEW!): Mind Strike, Shimmering Sphere.
- Invocation (5): Burning Touch, Chain Lightning, Energy Blast, Fan of Flames, Pyroblast.
- Necromancy (3): Death Circle, Life Drain, Mana Drain.
- Restoration (5): Cure Poison, Cure Wounds, Healing Burst, Mass Cure Wounds, Physical Recovery.
Given there are more than 70 spells listed above, it’s likely some won’t make it by the launch of the Fall Alpha 2021. If so, they’ll be live in the following tests!
During the Spring Alpha, we once again had the confirmation of several issues related to equipment progression in Fractured, namely:
- Item quality made too little of a difference to be significant. Plus, once the relevant city researches had been completed, creating Excellent items took zero effort.
- Materials also didn’t matter enough, as enchanting was so good that two players could have been equipping two sets of metal armor made with different materials, yet have exactly the same final properties.
Ultimately, equipment progression was so fast a player wouldn’t even feel it, and there was nothing “aspirational” and “exclusive” for expert players to always strive for. We’re not talking about “artifacts” and items with huge power gaps here – just little steps upwards that aren’t relevant for the regular PvE player but enough to make competitive PvP players want to seek them for special occasions.
Other than a massive rebalancing then, below are the two main differences you’ll find in the Fall Alpha!
Implemented back in Alpha 2, Enchanting has allowed players to add properties to pieces of equipment on top of those native to the item type and the material used.
In the Fall Alpha 2021, the system is renamed to Imbuing, and no longer allows placing properties on equipment directly. Instead, the Imbuing Table (formerly Enchanting Table) is now used to add properties to Gems, which can later be socketed into equipment.
Each type of gem (diamond, ruby, sapphire, topaz, emerald, amethyst) can only receive a specific set of properties. Moreover, the tier of the property depends on the tier of the gem (chipped -> 1, regular -> 2, flawless ->3).
This change opens a big market for both raw gem and imbued ones, which can be searched up by property on the marketplace!
The word “enchanting” is now used to describe the way you can increase the power level of a piece of equipment. The old concept of “quality” is gone, replaced by 4 tiers of enchantment, ranging from +1 to +4. Each tier changes the color of the border of the item’s icon and its name.
Item enchanting is performed in a dedicated crafting station in player cities. The higher the tier of enchantment you want to apply, the more coins you have to spend to complete the process.
Enchanting an item has the following effect according to the item’s type:
- Weapons: increases base damage and the intensity of the weapon’s innate properties (if any).
- Armor: increases base resistances to physical damage and the intensity of the armor’s innate properties (if any).
- Jewels: increases the intensity of the jewel’s innate properties.
The increase provided by each tier of enchantment is about 25% of the base value of the parameter. This means a tier 4 item is roughly twice as strong as a tier 0 item – a much larger increase than what Quality used to provide.
Here’s a list of other significant changes coming in the Fall Alpha 2021:
- Backend engine (SpatialOS) upgrade. Way better performance at a much reduced cost (for us, eheh). This will be coupled with the first technical steps towards supporting multiple worlds (needed for continents, planets, asteroids).
- Jewelry. Make rings and amulets in the forge!
- Tech Tree. Restructured to promote actual city specialization.
- Marketplace. It’s now way more sophisticated, featuring buy orders, automatic order matching when trying to buy/sell, the possibility to view other marketplaces, etc. Basically a AAA MMO marketplace.
So the roadmap ends. Keep an eye on our blog, social media and newsletter, as new videos are coming to preview some of the changes described here… and, as always, let us hear your voice in the comments!