Dev Blog update availble for 2nd Quarter, 2015.
We just put up a new Dev Blog, going over progress on the making of Citadel of Sorcery. If you don't already know, we have run this Blog continuously since we started making the project many moons ago. We have tried to keep players informed as to what is taking place in the development of the game, and have been making quarterly (approximately) entries into the blog with a breakdown of what has happened in the past three months or so. The 2nd Quarter Dev Blog can be accessed via the www.mmomagic.com website, or by just clicking here for a direct link.
Trident3D, version 2, game engine
If you don't already know, Citadel of Sorcery is the debut game for the Trident3D game engine. Recently the code engineers at Atlantis3D, Inc. gave us version 2 of the engine. This is a complete re-write, nearly from the ground up. It has everything we used to have, plus it is now a physically based renderer,. The engine also uses a proprietary rendering system that combines different types of rendering techniques into the same engine, all done simultaneously. This allows us to have high res textures and details close up, and yet look out over vast vistas of the terrain, where every tree, bush and plant is unique, without having to fog it out in the distance. This new PBR system gives our models (and world) a much more realistic look, with much higher levels of detail. Even older art looks much better now (and due to this engine upgrade, we are busy replacing almost every piece of art to take full advantage of this new system).
Here is a comparison shot of the old engine vs. the new, using an original building so that it is a fair comparison (since the old engine can't even load the new art we are doing). The shot on the left is from the old engine, the shot on the right from the new one. Go to our Facebook page for a more detailed description and for more and higher res images, or click here to go there now.
Development Briefing: February 2015
Our next Patron Team Development Briefing took place in February, 2015, going over progress on the making of Citadel of Sorcery. Besides our overview of each department and progress, we also revealed the underlying nature of everything in the game world. This is something we have not discussed outside of the development team up until now. This affects everything about the game and how it is played, so we are keeping this under wraps for the time being, but we thought that we would get some input from players, and who better than our Patron Team? We started with the Patron 1000+ members, but we will, of course, be revealing this to the other Patron level donators, as well as all players eventually (closer to Alpha).
There was some good feedback, and some good questions. The biggest concern they had was that players would have a hard time changing from what they know to a new kind of game play and system. This is a valid concern, but one that we already anticipated. The thing is, CoS will be breaking a lot of new ground across the board. The whole idea of the game is to give players something more and get away from the standard MMO clones they have been playing, and getting tired of, for years. To do this we must offer new things; and players will have to learn a few things to play the game. In order to make this transition as easy as possible, we are designing several tutorial systems right in the game world, as part of the story. These tutorialscan be skipped, but we will highly recommend that players go through them and learn all about the new options and systems in CoS. If they still choose to skip then, so they can get to the rest of the game faster, that's OK, they can go back and do any of these tutorials at any time.
Secondly, we plan to introduce some of the advanced options in combat and other areas slowly, giving players a chance to learn a few new things, before we give them even more options. This also includes how we introduce NPC tactics. Our monsters have varying intelligence. This means that the smarter the monster, the more tactics it will employ, including starting to use true group tactics against players But we will let you crawl before you need to run. But once it all unfolds, players will have a much richer game, with more to do, including more options. We think that people underestimate players, and what they are capable of doing in a game, and we want to let the players of CoS shine.
Holiday Game: 2014
Every year we run a Holiday game to take a break from making the game and let everyone working on it have a night of fun playing a game in Citadel of Sorcery. Of course, the game can only use what we have added to the game so far, but each year that gets to be more and more. This year we did something else, we let some of the Patron Team (players who have donated) into the Holiday Game for 2014 (though it actually took place in January, 2015). So some of the Patron 1000+ Team were part of the game. This year we had four teams: The Jenemos, Human, Tyvan and Gargoyle.
Each team had a secret base, where there was a wizard who died in a battle long ago, fighting three other wizards. All four had their flesh burned off in the battle in one fiery explosion, but they still live on as skeletons due to magic they created to keep themselves alive. Each of them employed a team of the players to help them get to the treasure of Enots. To do so they had to find thg heirs of people who lived back from the undead wizards time, and obtain the pieces of a stone tablet, each one with a single word of a verse on it. Of course, they soon discovered that these stones were sentient, and would try to run away rather than be grabbed by the player. If their base was discovered by another team, that team could steal the clues they had gathered so far, but the team could also move their Skeleton Wizard to another location, or send out decoy versions of them to fool the other teams.
After gathering clues they found a secret system of caves up on the cliffs above the Citadel of Sorcery, these were filled with puzzles and traps, and this is where the clues they found earlier helped them avoid or pass some of these obstacles. Eventually they found a massive cavern with a huge palace, which led to a secret chamber and eventually to the treasure of Enots.
Congratulations to the Jenemos team for winning the 2014 Holiday Game!
Webcast: January 2015
We would like to thank the Patron 250+ members who attended the live webcast on the Citadel of Sorcery Abilities system. We went over the new design changes to the system, including how you can now obtain any of the 1890 Abilities in Tier 1 of the game, and how you can now choose to emphasize specific Abilities that you study and practice, thus diversifying player characters even further.
The video of the webcast is now available on Vimeo to all Patron 250+ team members who have signed our NDA.
Also note that we have started releasing archived webcast videos to all Patron Team members at the $50.00 level and above. Several of these are already available to watch, with more to be released over time.
The image below is a grid of just a few of the 1890 Abilities offered in Citadel of Sorcery.