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Post Reply Trials of Ascension- a unique and innovative MMO experience
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Posted 2/21/15 , edited 2/22/15
If you’re reading this forum/thread, chances are you just might like video games .

If you like video games, you might like MMOs.

If you like MMOs, you might have noticed that the most popular recent ones tend to follow the same treadmill formula: You create a character of a certain class, go out into the world, get some quests, and kill some things to level up so that you can go to a new area and do the same thing over again, but with new scenery and things to kill. The goal is usually to get to the end game content, the raiding. But even there, you go through a static, never changing dungeon that hundreds or thousands have been through before to get slightly better gear than what you currently have so you can progress to another dungeon with even better gear to get to another dungeon, etc. Eventually the gamers with the most time have seen all the content and are stuck at the top with nothing to do until the next expansion comes out. Maybe you're fine with that model, and that's okay, it is the most successful MMO model currently on the market.

However maybe you're the kind of person that is dissatisfied with the current model and wish there was another way;

Trials of Ascension is that way in my opinion. The developers are trying to build a game where you don't experience the content, but influence and create it; where RP isn't enforced but happens naturally as a result of the game mechanics.

A way where your character can have a real impact on the events occurring in the gameworld.
• Through the creation of communities and settlements.
• Through the use of two Player controlled hostile non-human races. (Dragon & Raknar – see below)
• Through the organic development of techniques, inventions and expansions.
• Through never seeing the same content in one location twice, because player actions affect the environment.

A way where you can experience unique content that only you will see or be able to use.
• Through their Innovations system that rewards your use of skills with a chance to gain a bonus that only you have.
• This includes entirely new techniques, recipes or even unique skills, (this is what hooked me on the game idea in first place as I immediately thought “Like Kirito’s Dual Wield skill in SAO”.*)

A way where there is real risk to your character so there is a greater weight to all of your actions.
• There is a Character Mortality feature (Which again made me think “like SAO your character can die permanently although you won’t die in real life obviously”*) - but unlike most PD games you get 100 tries at it before it’s over. Then you get to use that knowledge of the game for your next character.

* Please note: This game has nothing to do with SAO, it was just my first point of reference when reading the things offered by the system.

They opened a store on their website and raised enough money from their fans to build a prototype of the full game. I donated enough via their store that I got to help test and experience that prototype and I can unequivocally say that they can deliver on what they promise if they reach their Kickstarter funding goal. I'm just doing my part to spread the word to give the KS the best chance it can have since I want to play this game as much as the developers want to make it.

Here's the link to visit the Kickstarter
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/forgedchaos/trials-of-ascension

Here's the link to their Game World Guide that describes all their features better than I could:
http://trialsofascension.com/guide/

Other features
1. Did I mention the human character progression is totally skill based - no classes or levels. You can build your character to be exactly what you want them to be, just use the skills you want to use and watch your characters abilities grow.
2. Or that you could play as a freaking DRAGON???? Yep an actual Dragon, that you have to grow from hatchling all the way up to Ancient. An Ancient Dragon is the ingame equivalent of a flying-(yeah you can fly in game as a dragon)- weapons platform. Getting to Ancient though will be the single hardest achievement in game.
3. How about that human characters can cooperate to make settlements/kingdoms.
4. That all human settlements are run by players, so you make the decisions on the direction your settlement takes. Do you;
• Ally with or/ Wage war on neighbouring Kingdoms?
• Are you a militaristic kingdom or a scholarly one?
• How much do you tax your citizens?
• How far will you expand your borders?
These and so much more are all decisions you make in game, not predetermined by content plot or decided by Gamesmasters or Developers.

And lastly here are some shots from their prototype to whet your appetite:


The three currently playable races.


Some scenery from Tervarus


Raknar on the hunt.
These things are huge and awesome to play by all accounts. They can climb/run on anything, walls, ceilings, up&down the side of sheer cliffs and more.
They apparently play like Aliens in AVP if anyone remembers those?


Raknar V Human.
Look at the size of it's front claws in comparison to the human figure in front of it - Brutal!


A Frost Dragon Roars out a challenge.
I cant wait for the chance to play one of these, being able to fly in game will be amazing.
Of course you've got to balance that with the difficulty of getting to that growth stage -(I'm guessing this is an adult, which means Ancients are going to be insanely big)- with all the factors that will be against you.


Taking a rest in the village we built.


A little bit of practice sparing.


Trying out a bit of the crafting system.


A Show of Magical Force
A Magic User is the second most difficult thing to become in game, after an Ancient Dragon. Judging by this though the effort is worth it.
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Posted 2/21/15 , edited 2/21/15
not sure if I should love or hate you... I guess it depends how addicted I become... when the computer is back from repairs I am checking into this... I shall hold you responsible if I fall in love with it.
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Posted 2/21/15

Lillith_Vecie wrote:

not sure if I should love or hate you... I guess it depends how addicted I become... when the computer is back from repairs I am checking into this... I shall hold you responsible if I fall in love with it.


I accept full responsibility.
Before your computer comes back, check out the KS page on your phone or other mobile device. There are some videos on there that I can't link to here.

The Raknar movement video is cool
The Time Lapse settlement construction video shows the testing team building a small fortified hamlet over the course of a few game days, but also really brings home the day/night cycle and how dark (and scary-there is Raknar out there after all) Tervarus nights will be.

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Posted 2/21/15
Seems too hardcore for me. I like nice and easy.
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Posted 2/21/15

PeripheralVisionary wrote:

Seems too hardcore for me. I like nice and easy.


It's only as hardcore as you make it. As there will be no 'Conning' system, PvP will be a very dangerous endeavour.
However with the mix of skills and directions you can take your character in, PvP doesn't have to be what this game is about.
Primarily it is envisioned as a RP game, the use of player run settlements will mean people will band together to overcome adversity.
Have a read of the guide and you might find a niche that you would like to fit into. Personally my first character is going to be a Medic or a Blacksmith.
Someone that doesn't have to venture outside the city walls to often, cause damn those Raknar terrify me
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Posted 2/21/15

Dylan_The_Rabbit wrote:


PeripheralVisionary wrote:

Seems too hardcore for me. I like nice and easy.


It's only as hardcore as you make it. As there will be no 'Conning' system, PvP will be a very dangerous endeavour.
However with the mix of skills and directions you can take your character in, PvP doesn't have to be what this game is about.
Primarily it is envisioned as a RP game, the use of player run settlements will mean people will band together to overcome adversity.
Have a read of the guide and you might find a niche that you would like to fit into. Personally my first character is going to be a Medic or a Blacksmith.
Someone that doesn't have to venture outside the city walls to often, cause damn those Raknar terrify me :sweatingbullets:


-snickers, scary but cool looking... hmm I tend to need both blacksmiths and media on my life...

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Posted 2/21/15 , edited 2/21/15
^
Yeah the Rak's are totally cool looking, but dang have you seen the size of them!
A full grown Warrior Raknar is about 15 feet long, it's killing fore-claws are the size of human themselves.


According to what I've heard from the other Testers, one Rak can easily take on 2-3 fully armoured humans in a straight fight.

If the design for humans works as intended, hopefully lots of people will need blacksmiths and medics (medics especially) in their lives. Hence I'm hoping to become both rich and a valuable (read very well protected) member of the settlement I'll be joining.

Edit: added RvH photo for size comparison purposes
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Posted 2/21/15
I'm officially more frightened than I should be....
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Posted 2/21/15
All mmo's promise to bring different things. Which to be honest,most of them bring something different. But it is always the same,if not similar to another mmo.

I'm not saying its bad. But if you list me the big features,i can tell you other games and mmos with similar things.


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Posted 2/22/15

MrChamploo wrote:

All mmo's promise to bring different things. Which to be honest,most of them bring something different. But it is always the same,if not similar to another mmo.

I'm not saying its bad. But if you list me the big features,i can tell you other games and mmos with similar things.




As they say there's no such thing as a new idea.

Undoubtedly there are other games that have some of the same mechanics and ideas -the Devs themselves state their inspiration for the ethos of ToA comes from old-school MMO's like UO etc- but is there any games with ALL of these features in one?

As for listing all the big features, I'll do my best: (please note these are in no particular order)

1) Character Mortality. (100 life counters and then the character you are currently playing is permanently dead)
2) Player built,controlled & run settlements.
3) Full Loot PvP. (not to everyone's tastes admittedly, but there are ways and means around it.)
4) No 'Conning' System. (you can't just mouse-over someone's avatar and see what 'level' or 'stats' they have)
5) Full naming system. ( No name appears over the person until you name them yourself...or ask them IG what their name is?)
6) Innovations. (Repeated use of a skill -plus meeting certain unknown pre-requisites-may cause you to learn an entirely new and unique to you technique/recipe/ability/item or even a skill.)
7) Playing as a Dragon. ( This is the number one hardest achievement in the game. You start as a hatchling -approx the size of a kitten-and must survive through each of the 6 growth stages to make it to Ancient status)
8) Playing as a Raknar.
9) No mini map. ( Ability to navigate the world will be based on the Direction Sense: Skill and the use of Compasses and Sextants in game.)
10) No Global Chat (IG talking is limited to Shout/Talk/Whisper ranges)
11) Classless Skill System (Progress each of the 60 skills in game any way you want to, by repeated use of them)
12) Elaborate multi-step crafting (not just click and done, the crafting system requires interactivity and monitoring by the crafter)
13) Magic (unlike most games you can't start with the ability to cast magic, it is something you must acquire through a long series of arduous and possibly deadly trials - The dev's say that becoming a mage in game is the second hardest achievement after growing a dragon to Ancient. Like Dragons it is something most-if not all-players will fail at)
14) Dynamic Spawning (You don't see the same things spawning in the same place constantly, spawn marker's are migratory in game and can be set to spawn any amount of different things, will wildly varying characteristics. From Flora,Fauna all the way to full dungeons.)
15) Humans are the only race that can craft and use Magic. (the other 2 beast races have their own unique features)

Sorry about the length of the list. I'm pretty sure this isn't by any means exhaustive of the features in game. For a better explanation of the Features than I can give please visit the Trials of Ascension Guide by clicking on this link:
http://trialsofascension.com/guide/index
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Posted 2/22/15 , edited 2/22/15
There are interesting ideas, but practically every MMO has promised the world, and failed to deliver. I hope they can actually succeed in creating the game they want, but I would temper my expectations and hopes for any new game, especially a crowdfunded title, and doubly so when it's an MMO.
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1) Character Mortality. (100 life counters and then the character you are currently playing is permanently dead)
This is kinda cool but kind of horrible. People spend years making there characters why would you want to have a chance to lose everything after spending months making them? It's a complete utter waste.

2) Player built,controlled & run settlements.
This has been promised so many times,never happens properly. Always half assed.

4) No 'Conning' System. (you can't just mouse-over someone's avatar and see what 'level' or 'stats' they have)
5) Full naming system. ( No name appears over the person until you name them yourself...or ask them IG what their name is?)
These are not special or really that cool at all.

6) Innovations. (Repeated use of a skill -plus meeting certain unknown pre-requisites-may cause you to learn an entirely new and unique to you technique/recipe/ability/item or even a skill.)
This is not a big deal. Example,All DPS's that want a skill,will spam said skill to unlock skill. Its no different then leveling to get a skill.

7) Playing as a Dragon. ( This is the number one hardest achievement in the game. You start as a hatchling -approx the size of a kitten-and must survive through each of the 6 growth stages to make it to Ancient status)
8) Playing as a Raknar.
This is a game called spore. And playing as a class or race is not special at all.

9) No mini map. ( Ability to navigate the world will be based on the Direction Sense: Skill and the use of Compasses and Sextants in game.)
10) No Global Chat (IG talking is limited to Shout/Talk/Whisper ranges)
The no mini-map seems fun,and a bad idea. This will make the game unplayable for some people and why would you want to limit your fanbase in an mmo?

No global chat is a horrible idea. At least have shouts for an area.


11) Classless Skill System (Progress each of the 60 skills in game any way you want to, by repeated use of them)
Done before a many a many times.

b]12) Elaborate multi-step crafting (not just click and done, the crafting system requires interactivity and monitoring by the crafter)
13) Magic (unlike most games you can't start with the ability to cast magic, it is something you must acquire through a long series of arduous and possibly deadly trials - The dev's say that becoming a mage in game is the second hardest achievement after growing a dragon to Ancient. Like Dragons it is something most-if not all-players will fail at)
14) Dynamic Spawning (You don't see the same things spawning in the same place constantly, spawn marker's are migratory in game and can be set to spawn any amount of different things, will wildly varying characteristics. From Flora,Fauna all the way to full dungeons.)
15) Humans are the only race that can craft and use Magic. (the other 2 beast races have their own unique features)

Nothing is a big deal here either.
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Posted 2/23/15 , edited 2/23/15
^.
I'm on my way out the door to work atm, will reply properly when I get back.
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Posted 2/23/15
600K!

Hoo boy, that's a climb. Worried it won't get funded.
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Posted 2/23/15
Ok sorry it took so long for me to reply Champloo, RL kinda got in the way for a bit.
I've had a good read through your comments and realised that the reason you might have been less than impressed by the features I listed, was the poor descriptions that I gave with them.
So please allow me to reply to your posts by amending the descriptions and giving my feedback to what you put.
I've put my text in blue so that other readers can see who's is who's.
I snipped the spoilered section off and replied directly on to your quote to prevent us ending up with the quote tower of doom.


1) Character Mortality. (100 life counters and then the character you are currently playing is permanently dead)
This is kinda cool but kind of horrible. People spend years making there characters why would you want to have a chance to lose everything after spending months making them? It's a complete utter waste.
I understand what you're saying and for certain types of game this would be a nonsense approach to take. High magic games based around high level raiding and looting are obviously not the correct type of games for a 100-and-out permadeath mechanic.
ToA isn't that type of game, There wont be raiding or endgame situations. Loot of the type you may think of as loot in other games, will be next to non-existent in ToA.
It's a grim, realistic and often deadly battle for survival in a world just recovering from a near extinction level event. Everyday will be a test of skill just to stay alive. This mechanic is there to create the realism of losing that struggle. What can your character achieve before his eventual end?
On a more mechanical note, The 100 life counters idea, is a mechanism in game to prevent top level bloat:
You might become the King of Ironfast, but your time on the throne is limited by your life counters. So it is wise to plan accordingly, set goals of expansion or treaties for your settlement to achieve under your rule, appoint an heir, have a will in place to bequeath your possessions to your next character. Achieve all this and you leave a legacy behind, you have made a significant difference to the world..one that will be remembered by the other players and in the games living history.
By the way, none of the things I mentioned above are restricted to Kings exclusively. Anyone can rise to power or notice through their actions in ToA, and not necessarily for good actions at that. Notoriety is a type of fame too.
ToA is a niche game, it is aimed at the type of gamer that likes to be challenged. Have you ever played DayZ? or Diablo3 on Hardcore? it's aimed at the type of people that enjoy that kind of game.
Game's were real risk means that reward taste's that little bit sweeter.
Games where Victory means more when snatched from the jaws of Defeat.
Games where the simple act of surviving an encounter-with out losing a life counter- is a reward in its self,
The Dev's always equate it to a story, your story. Like all good stories it will have a beginning, a middle and an end.
*What will you do with your life in Tervarus?
*Will you be a bold explorer/adventurer until you get about half way through your life counters.
*What happens then? Do you carry on, knowing that your eventual sacrifice will make travel through the world a little bit safer or....
*Do you change direction and maybe find a settlement to join and use your crafting skills to help the settlement thrive.
*What about if your settlement comes under attack, will you take up your weapons again to help defend it, even if it means the possible loss of life counters?
*Will you rise through the hierarchy of your settlement to become a person of substance?
*And Finally, how will you meet your end....one last adventure? a final blaze of glory?


2) Player built,controlled & run settlements.
This has been promised so many times,never happens properly. Always half assed.
I cant speak about other games with this feature, but ToA has it in spades. You can see it in action in the KS video entitled 'Settlement Construction: Time Lapse' .
Those are game testers building a settlement from scratch in the demo, that isn't rendered footage designed by the devs to show the building of a settlement, it is in game footage.
The Dev's gave a group of the testers the in game tools to do it, and they went at it. They didn't follow a plan or pre-designed arrangement, from the development team beyond "build a small settlement in the forest, using the same abilities that the players will have".
The video shows them doing this completely by themselves, to their own design. That is something anyone with the right resources in game , will be able to do anywhere they like in the game world. Doesn't seem that half assed to me.


4) No 'Conning' System. (you can't just mouse-over someone's avatar and see what 'level' or 'stats' they have)
5) Full naming system. ( No name appears over the person until you name them yourself...or ask them IG what their name is?)
These are not special or really that cool at all.

These systems are designed this way to aid in the immersion factor for the game. When you meet someone IRL for the first time, their name doesn't magically appear above their head along with their level and any buffs they currently have active. So why should it in game?
If you cant tell how 'tough' or 'powerful' a person is just by mousing over them...how will you react to them?
Do you rush headlong in anyway and hope for the best?
Do you observe the person stealthily and hope subtle clues point out if they will be a danger to you or others?
Do you attempt to interact socially with them to discover this information or even just to simply to find out what their name is?

Every person you meet for the first time in the world (either IRL or Game) is a stranger until you get to know them. This is what the two above systems are trying to replicate. Reality, Immersion and Interactivity.
Incidentally once you have named someone, they will always appear to you to have that name -unless you change it- so yes you can give people nicknames and that's how they appear to you.


6) Innovations. (Repeated use of a skill -plus meeting certain unknown pre-requisites-may cause you to learn an entirely new and unique to you technique/recipe/ability/item or even a skill.)
This is not a big deal. Example,All DPS's that want a skill,will spam said skill to unlock skill. Its no different then leveling to get a skill.

This one was definitely my fault for not explaining it properly. An innovation isn't the next skill in a 'tree' from the one you already have. It is an additional bonus to that skill. Here's the important part though...only you will know that innovation out of all the players in the game. It will be completely and totally unique to your character.
Each of the sixty skills so far in game, has a pool of thousands of innovations -with more to come- attached to it. No-one but the devs knows what they are. If you as a player successfully meet the requirements -(again no-one but the devs know what the pre-requisites for innovations are)- to unlock an innovation, it is removed from the pool and no other person in the game can learn it, unless you teach it to them.
Just grinding your skill is not enough apparently, other unknown (to us players at least) factors come into play to determine if the innovation pops or not.
As an example: Say you are a blacksmith in game that specializes in making one-handed weapons, and one day you unlock the innovation of making a type of battleaxe that cuts through armour twice as well as any other one handed weapon in the game. You are now the only person in the entire game world that can make this type of weapon. What will happen? Well for a start, once word starts to spread, players will be trekking from all corners of the server to buy this weapon from you...hoorah you're going to be insanely rich.
However after a few weeks in, the demand might outstrip your ability to supply. So you are faced with a choice:

1) Keep supply down and force the cost up accordingly.
2) Take on apprentices and teach them the technique of making the axe, thereby allowing you to keep up with demand.

I hope this helps illustrate how the idea of innovations is definitely a big deal, not just personally to you as a player but also how much it will impact the people, settlements and environment around you. Again Immersion, Reality, Interactivity and in this case also Uniqueness,

If an anime Reference helps, think of it like Kirito's Dual Wield Skill in Sword Art Online. He was the only player to have that skill, something very similar can happen in ToA.


7) Playing as a Dragon. ( This is the number one hardest achievement in the game. You start as a hatchling -approx the size of a kitten-and must survive through each of the 6 growth stages to make it to Ancient status)
8) Playing as a Raknar.
This is a game called spore. And playing as a class or race is not special at all.

I don't know Spore, but after reading your post I checked out the Wiki quickly and it does have dragons. Also I totally agree with you on the point that playing as a race is not special...unless of course there is something very special about the race. For ToA this is the case:

No-one can start play as a dragon straight away. The ability to have a Dragon character has to be unlocked for your account by one of your human -or much less likely Raknar- characters.

To have a chance of unlocking the dragon for yourself, you have to kill a dragon and eat its heart. This gives you -by all accounts a very small- percentage chance of unlocking the dragon race for your account, based on the age category of the dragon you killed and ate.
However isn't that a contradiction Dylan?...if no-one can play as a dragon to start of with, how can you kill one and eat it's heart?
The Dev's have stated that there will be a very limited number of NPC dragons in game at the start.
So everyone that wants to be able to play a Dragon is going to try and hunt them down, so now you not only have to fight a dragon, but you've got to beat all the other hunters to it first -or at least be the last one standing when you all meet up outside the dragons lair and the inevitable fight with each other starts.
So lets say you win the fight against all the other hunters and also manage to defeat the Dragon.
You consume it's heart and then the dice that checks against the very small percentage chance just happens to roll right and *boom* you unlock the ability to play as a dragon.
Lets also say you are the first player to gain this ability, suddenly you have become something very special, the first PC dragon!
...but unfortunately your trials have only just begun.
You start life as a Hatchling, one of these cute little fellers below:




You're about the size of a kitten. All alone in the world, trying to survive. Anything bigger than a rat, will be a danger to you. You must eat constantly, and by eating gain growth points to attain your next growth stage. Once you are full and have enough growth points, you need to find somewhere safe to moult into your next age category, you also need to collect enough mineral wealth to make a hoard big enough for you submerge yourself in for the period that you're moulting.

Did I mention that once you start moulting that you are completely defenceless and unable to move. That if you are disturbed/attacked whilst moulting -assuming you survive- the process is halted and becomes worthless meaning you have to start over again.
Also as a dragon of any size, you will be the most hunted creature on Tervarus, both by those looking to kill you for your heart so they can unlock the chance of a becoming a dragon themselves, those looking to steal your hoard or just by those who have committed themselves to slaying dragons, because they hate them.
You have to repeat this process 6 times to get to the Ancient age category, each time you have to eat MUCH larger quantities of food than the previous age, build bigger hoards and fight off larger groups of hunters.
All this is without taking in to account the natural dangers of Tervarus, like starvation, weather, other dragons and of course the Raknar.
But lets suppose for a moment, that somehow you manage to overcome all these trials and reach the Ancient level of a dragon.
Congratulations you are now the single most powerful entity in the game -at Ancient you have the power to level cities and lay waste to armies, you are the ToA equivalent of a flying nuclear weapons platform- look back on everything you had to go through to get to this stage and everything you have become and try telling me you aren't special. Still not enough? What if you were the only one at the age category? What if you where the first PC to get there....that special enough for you?

Raknar? well they are just cool and check out the video on the KS site for how they move.
Individually they are a match for 2-3 fully armoured humans, but as a horde.....they are the doom of the world.
The near extinction level event I mentioned earlier? That was the Raknar, swarming out of their mega hives, destroying the cities of man and damn near exterminating the human race in the process.
Watch how they move in the video and think about medieval city construction, with it's big walls...and ask yourself just how much protection those walls would give the humans against you and your hivemates. Still don't feel special as a Raknar?


Ok sorry about this, but I've run out of time. I'll address the rest of your points when I get back from work tomorrow.
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