GameSnafu interviews Atanas Atanasov, Director of Masthead Studios
1. Exoskeleton mechs can be used and crafted to transport goods, acquire resources, or provide serious firepower. Will destroying one require large amount of people?
Mecha exoskeletons will provide players capable of affording and piloting one of them, with respectable firepower that could easily tip the balance in their advantage in a small scale combat. But their benefits will be weighed by the risks of attracting too much enemy attention. Being larger than a human frame, mechas are easier to keep continuously as a target. Additionally, Mechas can not only be destroyed, but stolen by enemy players – a feat that could easily turn the tide of war.
2. How well do tactics and strategy come into play, especially when considering the surrounding landscape? How frequent are safe areas?
Areas that provide a variable degree of protection - from no protection in a Wild West sense to a controlled state close to the major cities - will be prominent enough for players to always take that factor into consideration. This makes tactical planning of player killing very important. Player killers should not only consider how to approach the enemy, but also the fastest route of avoiding the involvement of the AI-controlled security squad. Environments in Earthrise are complex and often require a lot of logistical planning when it comes to ambushes, escapes and such.
3. Are there safe areas that a player won't have access to because of a factional alignment?
Players won't be able to access their enemy faction's main city without an incredible amount of firepower. For example, Sal Vitas will be hard for Noir players to enter as guards will push such players back and other players will not think twice to attack the unwanted visitors. Aside from that, we've given full freedom to characters to decide where to go.
4. Can a player go through Earthrise by himself? Are there any advantages to doing so? How does the story line affect solo and group gameplay?
Earthrise’s PvE will be very solo-friendly and allow characters to approach almost all challenges on their own without requiring a party or raid-sized group. Only few situations would be extremely difficult or resource-consuming for a single character to take on, and those will come into play in the upper end of the mid-game to end-game spectrum. Players will have many reasons to party or stay alone as trust is a very important factor in Earthrise. Many players would prefer to protect themselves against enemies by belonging to a group, but how well do you know or trust your group? One of the advantages of solo play is that you can always trust yourself.
Some exclusive screenshots:
5. What are the various ways for players to harvest resources?
Players can approach resource gathering in many ways: Looters who concentrate on PvE or PvP can gather organic or mechanical parts that they can refine into pure materials, or they can dismantle useless items down to their ingredients (although some wear on quality applies) and sell or use them in crafting. Players can also access the resource mines, but these are constantly invaded by mutant hordes; players that defend the mines from the mutants will receive resources in exchange for their protection. Finally, guilds will have a say in what rare resources are mined in the world as they conquer contested territories, build specific mines in them and choose from a limited subset of all resources available in each territory what resources they want to provide on the world market.
6. Will players go out and find 'nodes' and harvest manually, or use harvesters that are automated?
Earthrise will feature a mixture of both. Harvesting rare resources is automated once the players build a mine in their own controlled territory. Protecting mutant-infested mines in the world is what we call "combat harvesting", as success in combat is rewarded with tokens for resources. Some resources, however, will require manual mining using specific equipment.
7. Players will be able to have vehicles to move around Enterra. Will these vehicles be 'pocketable', or persistent, and destroyable?
Vehicles are pocketable, but can be left in a persistent state without a pilot for a limited time frame. While vehicles are deserted, other players can claim ownership of them. If left for too long, vehicles will self-destruct. Time periods required for vehicle hi-jacking and for destruction are long enough to allow owners to try and reclaim their property.
8. Will the factions be interacting with each other throughout the storyline? How does it affect players, and conversely, how do players affect it?
While Factions will claim to have cut all communication with the enemy state and prepare for the all out conflict that always looms in the atmosphere of the game, the smaller organizations that are affiliated to each Faction do have leeway for communication with enemy organizations. Often Factions use organizations for their secondary, less populist goals that require a level of negotiation and compromise. This will presented to the players through the secondary storylines of the smaller organizations.
9. Will there be faction changes that affect all the players across the server, or does each player have their own contained storyline?
As we want to present players with a safe foundation to build their characters and to learn about the world around them, the storyline will be self-contained and immutable for the time being. We might introduce outside factors in quest lines, but for the most part players cannot change the storyline experience for other players.
Thanks for taking the time out to speak with us.