Earthrise Interview on Guilds and Territory Conquest

Scanning the horizon for upcoming MMO releases, one title that stands out from the crowd is Masthead Studios’ Earthrise which will offer a distinctly sandbox approach to gameplay. While...

the horizon for upcoming MMO releases, one title that stands
out from the crowd is Masthead Studios’ href=""
target="_blank"> style="font-style: italic;">Earthrise
which will offer a distinctly sandbox approach to gameplay. While a
compelling PvE setting will certainly be present, it’s the
title’s open PvP and player-driven economy that take center
stage, offering players true control over their experience in the game
to a degree rarely seen in today’s market.

Hot on the heels of our recent href="" target="_blank">VIP
interview, Ten Ton Hammer took
the opportunity to speak with lead game designer Apostol Apostolov to
delve deeper into certain aspects of guilds, resource gathering and
territory control in Earthrise.

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href="" target="_blank"> style="width: 200px; float: right;" alt="Earthrise Exclusive 01"

Ton Hammer: Could you explain how zone control in style="font-style: italic;">Earthrise

will work? For example, when a guild takes over a specified area in the
game do they retain control until a rival guild challenges their
holdings, or will there be any kind of time limit imposed before the
area is essentially “up for grabs” again?

Territory Conquest is all about actual player control over small,
important parts of the game world rather than a timed advantage. When a
guild takes over a territory, if they can provide the cooperation and
coordination needed to ensure a strong defense, they could keep control
for long enough to make a sizable dent in the world’s economy.

Ton Hammer: Once a zone has been captured by a given guild, will it
remain open to attack from outsiders at any time, or will there be
specific windows (player created or otherwise) in which it becomes
vulnerable to attack?

In order to allow for guilds to maintain control over their
territories, we will provide flexible protection against outsider
attacks at any time. We are currently in extended internal testing of
different solutions and we will chose the one that benefits both sides
of the equation without putting too much strain on a guild to protect
their territories.

Ton Hammer: In Ten Ton Hammer’s recent VIP interview, you
touched on some of the ways resources will be gathered in style="font-style: italic;">Earthrise
With some of the rare resources in particular, will they be spread out
over numerous controllable zones to help prevent a single guild from
claiming too much control over the market value?

Apostol: Each controllable
territory will allow guilds to mine only a subset of all rare resources
available in the world. Guilds will be encouraged to carefully plan the
resource market they want to enter and how their territories conquest
plan will be laid out in order to gain an advantage. Still, it is
possible for very powerful guilds or guild alliances to gain control
over the majority of certain resource productions and manipulate it to
its own advantage, although not enough to take the server’s
economy out of balance.

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href="" target="_blank"> style="width: 200px; float: right;" alt="One Big Gun"

Ton Hammer: Will there be special crafting facilities that players will
need access to in order to create items - specifically with
Manufacturing, though this could apply to the Design process as well
– or will the system allow for a certain amount of autonomy?


Realistically, high-tech gadgets and equipment do not require
facilities such as factories or construction terminals in order for
crafters to turn construction parts into a usable item. Crafting
won’t be autonomous or allowed just anywhere in the game
world, although some field actions such as repair won’t
require facilities (still, facilities will be an option that provides
superior services). Players will have a wide choice of factories, each
equipped with various production units required by technologies (a.k.a.
crafting recipes). Crafters need to choose from all available Factories
that support the type of item they want to create, and then plan which
of those locations would give them the best chance to come up with
superior production. A lot other choices are involved too such as
security, logistical problems (distance, enemy territory, etc.).

Ton Hammer: Recently you addressed community concerns that combat might
not be as fast-paced as had been envisioned. Could you talk about some
of the fine tuning you’ve been doing to the combat mechanics
to help keep the pace faster or more fluid?

The early builds that have been shown to the public are still using
early stable, but unpolished, combat system. A lot of changes have been
made in both the underlying system and the visual presentation of
combat. Many weapons have been bumped up in speed while others are
getting a visual punch with spectacular effects.

Ton Hammer: Will style="font-style: italic;">Earthrise

have any type of live events that might encourage participation in
certain aspects of the game, or are the current plans to essentially
let the players themselves define the course of events on the island of

The moment the first players walk on the island of Enterra on the
launch date and time, they will encounter a sleeping economy in crisis
under the mutant attacks that have cut down resource mining facilities.
Players will have to “unlock” the resource market
on their own and work together – from newbies to eventual
end-game players alike – to keep the prices low and resources
abundant. Then players will proceed to gain power and gather in guilds
in order to have the manpower to take over the first conquest
territories that will unlock the first mass mining flow of rare
resources that will bump the technological tree forward. Players who
come to Earthrise early will be able to experience a lot of initial
development that on later date will step back to allow for
developer-ran live events.

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href="" target="_blank"> style="width: 200px; float: right;" alt="Earthrise Exclusive 03"

Ton Hammer: How extensive will the guild UI be? Will there be any
special tools to help larger groups coordinate their efforts for things
such as resource gathering, or setting up times to attack rival guilds

Guild UI is built on a scalable concept that allows simple, unobtrusive
growth of features and additions from the very start. It’s
early to say too much else about it but we will provide all of the
basic features that players are used to, with an extensive ranking
system with privileges that will give guilds the ability to build their
own social infrastructure of their members.

Ton Hammer: Will guilds be able to have a unifying symbol or color
scheme that identifies them as part of a larger whole? Also, would this
be handled through armor customization options, or will there be any
special items such as tabards or flags that will achieve this effect?
style="font-weight: bold;">

Guilds will be able to customize their weapons and armor via the
crafting system, although the exact method is still in development.

Ton Hammer: How extensive would you say the tutorial in style="font-style: italic;">Earthrise

is? Will players unaccustomed to the freedom synonymous with
‘sandbox’ gameplay have an easy transition into the
game, or will they need to fend for themselves fairly early on?

tutorial is very extensive, although fully optional. It encourages
players to go beyond just learning basic controls and getting hold of
the game. It will give them a taste of some of the signature skills and
abilities of all Skills in the game before they make their own choice.
We like to think of it as the “orientation zone”
for players to make their skill choices prior to entering the main
island territory.

Ton Hammer: From the images we’ve seen of style="font-style: italic;">Earthrise

so far, there truly are some horrifically mutated monsters scampering
around Enterra, suggesting a fairly rich PvE experience. Will players
be able to advance purely through PvE gameplay or will a certain amount
of PvP be necessary at some point? Alternately, will advancement purely
through PvP be possible?

Players will be able to advance from the start to the end solely on PvE
experience, although avoiding PvP in a PvP-centric game would be a
difficult thing to pull off. While PvE will concentrate on providing
the comfortable minimum needed to advance to the ranks of end-game
veterans, the lure of being able to loot others (and the harsh
realization of being looted yourself) will be very hard to resist for
most players. As for advancement solely on PvP, such players might need
to do some PvE in order to develop their skills.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Earthrise Game Page.

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