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Fury: Age of the Chosen Developer Interview

Updated Wed, Dec 16, 2009 by Cody Bye

Questions by Cody “Micajah” Bye, Managing Editor
Answers by Adam Carpenter, Creative Director of Fury, and Cameron McNeil, System Designer of Fury

Since its release in October, Fury has been under a seemingly constant barrage of scrutiny from the industry press (except for our own Jeff Woleslagle’s positive first impression review of the game). Whether it’s horribly scored reviews or rumors about potential staff layoffs, the press seems like they’re hell bent on crucifying the entire Auran development team. Still, the Auran staff has forged on and are preparing to release their first major update to the game, titled the Age of the Chosen.

With major enhancements to the armor, GUI, and general gameplay in Fury, the developers are hoping that Age of the Chosen will allow gamers to truly enjoy the Fury experience. To learn more about the upcoming expansion, the Ten Ton Hammer staff shot the Auran developers a list of questions, which Adam Carpenter and Cameron McNeil deftly answered. Check out their answers and hear about the huge number of improvements Auran is bringing to the game!


Ten Ton Hammer: There are a whole bundle of changes going into Fury: Age of the Chosen. How many of these changes and additions were in response to player feedback? What sorts of additions were originally scheduled for this update?

The developers at Auran don't plan on letting Fury die away.

Adam Carpenter: With only a few exceptions, all changes in the Age of the Chosen are based on player feedback and data gathered during beta and shortly after release.  Some of the changes like the equipment updates were directly requested by players.  Others like the introduction of Carnage and changes to combat are based on data mining and trends analysis.  

As far as what was originally scheduled, most of the Chosen features were already on the list.  As I’ve said in the past, we have far reaching plans with Fury.

Ten Ton Hammer: The Age of Chosen free expansion is coming very quickly after the initial release of Fury. Why didn’t these changes make it into the original game?

Adam: We’ve targeted the October release and a December update for a long time.  In order to meet the October date, we really needed to stop all new development about 6 weeks before release.  During the last 6 weeks, the focus for most of the team was on bug fixes and stabilization.  However, not all of the team were involved in bug fixing.  A number moved off and began to work on the Age of the Chosen update.  As we got closer and closer to release, more developers moved off of the bug fixing branch and onto the development of the AotC update or the content update that we’re developing for early next year.

Ten Ton Hammer: What can you tell us about the Carnage game type? Will players be fighting each other while combating the Bots in the game?  Can players steal blood tokens from other players, or the base of the other players?

Adam: The Carnage game type pits two player teams against each other and against a team of bots.  The goal in Carnage is to kill the bots, collect their blood tokens and then return them to your base to score points.  The emphasis in Carnage is on killing as many bots as possible, as quickly as possible.

Now, players aren’t limited to only killing bots.  You’re free to kill the opposing team members any time you want.  In fact, the best time to kill them is when they are carrying a lot of Blood Tokens as when a player is killed, all Blood Tokens they were carrying disappear.  

This creates a risk versus reward element as the longer you spend gathering Tokens before turning them in, the greater chance that someone on the enemy team will kill you.  Of course, if each time you collect two or three Blood Tokens you return them to your base, it’s very inefficient as your Blood Tokens returned per unit time drops off quite a bit.

Ten Ton Hammer: Tell us about the 1v1 matches. How are these going to play out? Won’t the melee oriented characters like the Destroyer and Guardian have an unfair advantage over the weaker, ranged classes?

Adam: Are casters really the weaker roles and in Fury?  Also, what really defines a caster?  A few weeks ago, after we made changes to the movement damage bonus, a few players were stating that casters were now overpowered.  

That aside, and to give you a more direct answer, the beauty of Fury’s character development system is that you aren’t locked into a rigid role.  You can be any kind of melee, caster or hybrid that you can imagine and change your Incarnation anytime between battles.  

If melee incarnations are the current flavor of the month, bring in abilities that will shutdown melees.  Likewise, if healers or high defense incarnations are popular, switch your incarnation up to bring buff strips and any of the abilities that shut down healing, eg. Frozen Agony.  It’s all up to players to build the best 1v1 incarnation they can think of.

Ten Ton Hammer:  Since Fury is a wholly combat-based game, any changes that are made to the combat system effect every single player. Why did you decide to implement a longer cool-down period? How will this change the general gameplay environment of Fury?

Life expectancy of beginning players was far to short, and Auran made some changes to alleviate that situation.

Cameron McNeil: One of the problems we were seeing is that the life expectancy of players on the very low end and players on the very high end was far too short. New players lacked the knowledge and experience to compete effectively against others who already understood the game. At the very high end, highly skilled groups were able to coordinate attacks and strategies well enough that an enemy’s life expectancy was far too short. Even in the mid range we were encountering problems where some elimination fights would never end.

This created a pretty fundamental and difficult problem. Many fights were too short with a player’s life expectancy measured in just a few seconds. Other fights were far too long. These are conflicting issues, and while it would be simple to address either of them individually, together they present quite a problem.

Increasing both the global cooldown and health will allow more time for players to analyze their situation and react accordingly or learn from their mistakes. At the same time we realize that creating this extra buffer may result in longer drawn out matches which is something we want to avoid. To solve this issue we decided to introduce a new Combat Fatigue debuff. This debuff slowly builds as the player takes damage and reduces the overall effectiveness healing has on them. Combat Fatigue is removed on death or if the player can manage to avoid combat for a short amount of time.

Ten Ton Hammer: Several new, free-to-equip abilities have been added to the general ability pool of the game. Why were these four particular abilities deemed necessary enough to find their way to a coveted “free-to-equip” position? What sort of alterations will these abilities make to the combat in Fury?

Cameron: Fury has a number of abilities based around controlling your opponent and while these have counters we felt that in a lot of cases this wasn’t obvious enough to new (and sometimes old) players. The goal of the new abilities is to help players better cope with traditional forms of crowd control like holds and stuns as well as Fury’s unique charge and charge manipulation mechanics.

Sprint - Temporarily increases the user's movement speed. This ability is self only.

Liberate - Using this ability will break any disruption effects placed on the user. This ability also renders the user immune to stun, root, pacify, terror, mesmerize, knockback and teleport effects. This ability is self only.

Elemental Purge - Strips the user of all their charges. A useful counter to charge manipulation. This ability is self only.

Elemental Immunity - Temporarily renders the user immune to charge manipulation effects. Charges can still be generated and consumed through normal ability use. This ability is self only.
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