Well, it's been awhile folks. Been busy going to job interviews in and out of my state, as well as dealing with family, friends, and re-playing/trying out games I've been meaning to get back to. Still had some spare time to come back and double check to make sure no one's vandalizing the wikia, but not much time to actually edit, or post new information.
Well, today, I had some time on my hands and decided to go check out if there was any new news items about 38 Studios, whether Rhode Island has set a date to sell/who's interested in buying KoA, and anything more I can find out about Project Copernicus. Well, I've found out something interesting about the last item.
According to Curt Schillings:"“We were going to be the first triple-A, hundred-million-dollar-plus, free-to-play, micro-transaction-based MMO. That was one of our big secrets,” he told to Boston Daily reporter Jason Schwartz. “I think when we eventually showed off the game for the first time, the atom bomb was going to be free-to-play. When we announced that at the end, that was gonna be the thing that, I think, shocked the world.”
Schilling was initially against being free to play, but after having viewed other such games like Aion, Everquest, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings Online, etc. etc. having gone from subscription to free to play, as well as the fact that EA's Starwars MMO was switching over to free to play changed his mind and he did an 180 degree turn.But, in an interview late in July, Schilling had stated that he felt the game "wasn't fun." Citing that 38 Studio's employees weren't even playing the game in their free time.
But during the middle of August, an unnamed former 38 Studios employee came out and said that Schilling was wrong about the game, and why they didn't play it every free second they had. Sending an email to Kotaku.com, the employee wrote:
- "I'm a previous employee of 38 Studios and I would like to set the record straight about something Curt said in an interview. It's true that we were not playing the game during our lunch breaks, and that employees playing the game we were making was rare. It is even true that the game was not fun for the longest time. What is not true, however, is that we did not want to play the game.
- Figuring out which servers we were "allowed" to play on was a nightmare, and half the time if we did want to playtest, we couldnt as those servers were reserved for private demos. Playing during lunch was not a possibility for 90 percent of the time. When we could play, some of us would come in on the weekends.
- Heck, at one point six of us all logged on to run through the first dungeon of the game, and it was really fun, and we said as much to the rest of the team as well as giving constuctive feedback about the game. There would be frequent groups playtesting the game outside of regular work hours, and from my experience at least, it was thoroughly entertaining.
- It played very much like World of Warcraft, which earned quite a lot of ire from some of the dev team. But where it differentiated itself was with the abilities and their uses, which were original and fun (and you never had more than 10 abilities, some with multiple contextual uses).
- For instance, the Sorcerer was a marriage between the WoW Warlock and the Diablo Necromancer, summoning up to eight pets to heckle enemies. You could make the pets explode, dealing acid damage, have them tank targets, sacrifice them for health and cast spells of their own. The Sorcerer himself (or herself) had to manage mana as well as potential backlashes from powerful spells, dealing damage to the player. So it was a balance to try and keep as much power as possible, boosting your own damage (until you floated above the ground with arcs of lighting around you) or potentially got overloaded and shorted out.
- It was a fun class, as were several of the other complex ones, different classes delivering different play styles and difficulties. The combat was all about the player feeling powerful, and having the combat feeling tactical and visceral, it was about enemy manipulation and tactical use of your abilities. As a player, you would never fight enemies 1v1, it would always be 2 or more.
- The last playtest of the company, literally two days before this debacle happened, was immensely fun. It was the first time PvP was in the game and many of us did not want to stop playing. It was the first time that there had been a company playtest where we had to force ourselves to get back to work, where the game was really fun, the servers were smooth and the quests and zones were starting to feel polished (not all the zones). As for the quests and zones, all the 1-25 zones had the base story and quests in, but only 2twowere close to a polished state with full scripting and NPC interactions, and those areas were hugely immersive and fun as well.
- When Curt said that the game was not fun, and that we were not playing the game, it was not for lack of trying to play and the last time we all played it we enjoyed it thoroughly. If we had the last nine months we needed to finish, it most certainly would have been at the very least entertaining, if not downright fun."
The anonymous 38 studio employee also sent three videos that were captured while he and his fellow co-workers were playing the game. Check out the Kotaku link up top or here.
And that is about all I have found that I've missed. Also, if you all want a more indepth look into what happened with 38 Studio's, then Jason Schwartz's article called "End Game" is very indepth and informative.