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Magicosm FAQ
Posted Thursday, April 26, 2001

Q: What will happen when a character dies?
A: We would like to offer people several methods to chose from, all deemed by us to be equal in penalty, but which will fit different playstyles. For example some people could choose to be returned to their home town with no loss of items and equipment, but cut off from any transportation magic for a period of time. This effectively takes them out of the adventuring portion of thier evening, but lets them work on their trade skills, or do some training. Some can chose to pay their god for a full ressurection, in return for "possession slavery" for a time. In this appraoch their spirit would be placed into the body of a NPC far from their body or home territory and given a task to perform in that form. When they have completed the task (could be timebased, like defend this spot, or attack this group, etc) they would be placed back into their body and resurrected with no penalties. If they want the ressurection at the temple, then the period of enslavement will be shorter than if they want the ressurection to happen where they died.

When a character dies, what happens will depend on what measures they have taken in anticipation of possible death. The option above is one thing that could happen, but depending on what spells or items were in effect on your character at time of death, your standing with the gods, what options you had prayed for with your god, etc. different things would happen. Another option, of course, is for a priest to cast a resurrection spell on your body.

Q: How common will death be?
A: Depends if you go looking for trouble or if trouble finds you. Monsters that initiate an attack against you will generally knock you unconcious for some time, or let you crawl off to recuperate. Monsters you attack might kill you or let you live, that will be dependant partially on how much they hate you (faction, race, etc). Also, we plan on imeplementing the concept of capture, providing we can work out all the various and sundry abusive conditions. But with capture you (or your group) would be given the option to surrender. If you accept, the you would be bound and marched to their camp, dungeon, etc. Then you can send a message to friends to mount a rescue

Q: How will characters advance?
A: Experience and skills. Many things will give you experience. One example will be that exploration will give you experience. The first time you * find * locations you will get experience. Quests and combat will give you experience. You can get experience also by escaping from combat, or even losing combat, with the condition that we deam that any specific encounter is either new to you, or has not happened in a while.

Skill use also plays into that to some degree. Your level will determine (more or less) your capacity to learn skills, and usage of the skills will determine how you put that capacity into use.

Q: How will skills be handled?
A: Magicosm is primarily a skill based game, not en experience/level game. There will be a very large and complex skill tree.

Q: Will skills atrophy?
A: Yes. We see your skill trees as having counter balances, time and training on some trees reduces skills in other sub-trees. We see you being able to juggle proficiecy in more skills the more related they are. We think its reasable for a wizard to be able to slowely master many different forms of magic, just as a knight slowely being able to master many different kinds of weapons. The more "mass" you have in a skill tree, the less likely it is to be easily affected by training and activities not related to your skills. It is reasonable for a master wizard to take some "courses" on alchemy, or even fishing. Just like in real life, I can pick up hobbies or take some cooking classes or learn to sew without it really impacting my primary professional capabilities. But if I start to improve, enhance and deepen my knowlegde of something like that, I had better do it over a long time, and balance it with continued training in my primary professions or else it will effect it. For example, a doctor trains from age 7 to age 26 before he is a doctor (counting all education) he can then start taking cooking lessons, but it might be 30 years before he is a gormet chef calibre cook AND still a great doctor. No way he could compress the cooking stuff into 5 years without it seriously impacting his skills as a doctor. But he could have several specialties in his primary field easily.

Q: Will characters be able to accomplish any tasks while the player is offline?
A: Yes, most absolutely. One example is letting their char sell their items as a merchant, setting prices and even setting up items they want to buy and the price they are willing to pay. We also are considering the ability for magic users to set up their char to sell enchantments to players, like pay for a dispell or a buff. We also are considering allowing crafting to continue, so you can have your character work on his/her orders while you sleep. Many crafted item will take a * long * time to build. It never made sense to us that people could take materials and build a breastplate in 1 minute.

Q: Will characters be completely persistent?
A: Well if by that you mean their avatar is never logged off from the game then no. The user will have the option to completely log off, leaving no avatar behind. If they do leave their avatar in-game to buy/sell/etc then we will probably still log them out when the character sleeps, then back on when they wake up (by this I mean the character sleeps, not the RL person). Characters will be immune from PvP and PvE in these situations

Q: How realistic will the economy be?
A: * Laugh * as realistic as we can make it without making it tedius or repetitive. We realize balancing the economy is difficult, but we are going to * try * to make it work. This means an economy from raw materials through to buying and selling finished goods. We will have item decay and use-based decay.

Q: How will you handle inflation?
A: Mostly through several mechanisms. The first is item decay. Weapons and armor can break down, be repaired, break down again and eventually be rendered useless. Food can spoil, more rapidly if not cured/seasoned/dried/etc. How fast raw materials become available can be controlled by us. We plan on implementing throttles on raw materials... for example a lumberjack will only be able to cut down a tree, limb it, cut it into lengths and transport it only so fast in real-time.

Q: Will monsters drop gold?
A: Depends on the monster. A fully mature dragon (which will only live once per dragon) will have a hoard what will have gold. Younger dragons might not have much. But by and large you won't see much gold in the game. The currency is : platinum royal 10, golden eagle 1, silver talon .1, copper penny .01, and iron sheckle .001

Q: Have you considered a resource environment similar to what is typical in an RTS game?
A: Not to the same degree as a the SIM series, but like I said, we plan on managing raw resources as one mechanism to control the econemy and stave off inflation.

Q: Will empire building be possible? How would it work?
A: Well.. you know the basic problem, 50 percent of MMORPG players what to be either the Hero or the King or both. We will have player built towns and cities. And yes, player housing. We will have "owned" territories, including town and guild owned land. We will provide mechanisms for players to elect/fire town mayors though server regulated voting. We will provide automatic taxation for citizens into the town bank account and automatic payroll for NPC gaurds. We are not sure how much further we will take it than that... there is more we could do.. but we would prefer to implement the minimum amount of technology and depend on the players for the rest... we have to be real careful here though and play testing will show us a lot.

Q: What goals will players pursue in your game?
A: Well thats relative and personal to each player. We plan on making adventuring, social and econimic lifestyles all viable. I personally want to see Bakers get as much love design-wise as battle wizardry.

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