The latest podcast from Trials of Ascension was lost for a short time, but it miraculously reappeared. In this podcast, they field questions from their forums to answer. It's super short, at around seventeen minutes long, and it's dragon-based! How will you raise your horde? They also go over molting and other gross things, but the whole podcast isn't all about sloughing skin everywhere. Also, logging out does not move your hunger bars, so you don't have to worry about logging out for a few days and coming back into the game and finding yourself starving. I guess you'll need to not eat for awhile in game before the “You are hungry. You are thirsty. You are out of food and drink.” spam begins.
There are also a good amount of measures and countermeasures added in, taking power balances in account. Dragons are extremely powerful, but growing as one is merciless by design. The developers are confident that obtaining status as an ancient dragon will be super rare, and on purpose. Otherwise, there will be a super power imbalance. It will be very hard to reach high status as a dragon with more than just a few life counters left. They expect most dragons to not make it very far past the hatchling stage, and that is by design. They joke that otherwise, the game would be Trials of Dragon, but it's good to see these guys thinking this far ahead on making something this powerful so hard to get to that level of power.
At the end, they go over a minor discussion regarding balance, which is probably the most interesting part of the podcast. They aren't concerned about direct mirror balancing of “A to A and B to B,” meaning that dragons in the long run are far more powerful than humans, but getting to that point will take a lot of time, effort and caution. Most dragons will be roasted on a spit as welplings for human consumption before they can get to that point. I really like this approach and find it super refreshing.
I love the sincerity they have thanking their community. My interaction with the development team has been quite minimal so far, but these guys are super humble and extremely passionate about what they're doing. Even though this game is overall probably too hardcore for me, the more I learn about the game and the team, the more excited I get for Trials of Ascension.
I imagine dying so fast as a dragon, but I look forward to seeing exactly how fast I can burn through those one hundred lives I'm allotted. Something tells me it'll be pretty fast. I give myself a full week! I look forward to seeing what other races go in and how they'll function, but I'm extremely excited about dragons. It's likely that after my welp dies, I'll make a character to do just the opposite; fight dragons. I think it would also be fun to befriend some. Any dragons out there need a protector? There's a lot of really rad things these folks have going on, and I look forward to seeing how it all comes together.
Also, if you donated to their current crowdsourcing on the ToA website during the “Release the Dragons” campaign, the high-resolution commissioned art work by Josh Corpuz has been emailed out – check your inboxes! Currently, the crowdsourcing Forged Chaos has done solely through the Trials of Ascension website is almost to 60k, which will be when we're introduced to dragons. They're so close to having dragons in the game for launch! In the podcast, they also ask the community for input on what they'd want to see on the store, “as long as it's not pay to win.” Refreshing approaches to all the things from all the angles.