Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Hey Crow buddies,

It’s Billy Garretsen, UX design lead, with an update on some forthcoming changes to the character creation flow.

At the beginning of the year, we unveiled our initial approach for creating characters. It started in the game at one of our “Divine Temple” environments. Players could approach any of the available archetype statues and interact with them to dispose of their previous vessel (if they had one) and create a new character with the corresponding archetype.

Now that we have separated archetypes into dedicated races and classes, we have revisited character creation and opened it up to reflect the greatly increased number of choices. This will also affect the temple interaction, as players will approach the Hero statue in the center rather than seeking out one of the smaller statues in the archetype system.

Once you’ve started character creation, the process will be divided into three major steps: Race & Class Selection, Appearance and Advantages & Disadvantages.

CC RC 1 Default-1024x640


This initial step is reminiscent of many MMOs you may have played: the left column shows the available races and the right column shows the corresponding class combinations for the selected race. As you change the race selection, the class column will dynamically update, making it very clear what your choices are at any given time. Get information for each race and class via tool tips that will include a summary of racial powers and class-specific capabilities.

CC RC 2 RaceInfoTooltip-1024x640

For the time being, we will provide “default” vessels (bodies) in the temple. At some point in the future, you will be able to use custom vessels, obtained through Necromancy or player trading, that carry unique stats and attributes.

CC RC 3 CosmeticCustomization-1024x640


Once the race and class have been decided, the next step is setting cosmetic preferences for your new vessel. These cosmetic options will vary depending on the race and class that were chosen. Some combinations offer the ability to change gender, hair style, face and head shapes, and a variety of custom colors for each. Since these options are purely cosmetic, they will be one of the later aspects of character customization to surface during testing.

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Once the look is settled, it is time to alter the character’s stats and attributes through Advantages and Disadvantages. Every race and class combination will yield a pool of Creation Points that can be spent on Advantages to provide stat benefits in various categories. Alternatively, you can opt to apply Disadvantages that will decrease your stat values but grant you bonus Creation Points that can be applied on further Advantages. For example, “Eagle Eye” will grant increased accuracy with ranged weapons, while “Dim Witted” will lower Intellect, but grant points that can be spent to further increase Strength.

We are still designing the specifics of this portion of character creation, but the goal is basically unchanged since we announced this system during our Kickstarter campaign. We want to give players a chance to further match the character to their playstyle. Now that our other systems (Race/Class/Disciplines) have come online, we have opened up a lot more options in this regard. Advantages won’t just be limited to affecting skills and max attributes; they can offer other benefits like new powers, passives and additional slots for them.

Taken altogether, the vast degree of options are going to make this one of the deepest MMO customization systems yet.

In terms of timing, the team is making great progress adapting the old archetypes to use “racial” runestones and translating the animations and powers over from one body to the others. This will be a phased roll-out; the new screens will come online first with limited options, and then we’ll start to fill out the “tree” of combinations over time.

Stay tuned over the coming months as we implement these features for your enjoyment (and constructive criticism!)

See you in game!

Billy Garretsen
UX Design Lead, ArtCraft Entertainment

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