This week's QotW feature delivered a status update and answered a couple of questions about Climate, Kung Fu, Persistence & a full preview of a Sector 1 instance, called "the Silos":
Things are slowing down around the office this week with the completion of a major deadline on Friday and the holidays coming up. As of this past Friday, all of the towns in Northfields are functionally complete save one, which is being worked on this week. We've still got some levels and such to hammer out, but we're pleased with the amount of content we've completed. This week we're moving on to Kaibab Forest with work on Docuer's Court, Dieseltown, Banker's Hole, Tannerfield, and Windfarm. Next week, we'll be taking a break from the Question of the Week and Friday Fiction for the holidays. In the meantime, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season.
Some folks have asked who writes the Friday Fiction segments; every member of the content department contributes to the Friday Fiction. Most of the faction specific ones are written by the team member working with the faction. Dan Jolley (whose work you may have read in JSA: Liberty Files, Bloodhound, and Firestorm from DC Comics or Alex Unlimited and Warriors from Tokyopop) serves as the editor for the fiction segments. He makes sure we all use correct grammar, make sense, and tell a good story. Last week's post, "A Gathering Storm," was the first in a periodic series that will highlight several of the factions and sub-factions of Fallen Earth, including how they interact with each other. The first installment of "A Gathering Storm" saw the introduction of Rabbit of Strike Team Gamma, one of the more covert branches of the Enforcers. Some of the characters you've already met will be showing up in the series as well.
Some folks have also pointed out that we've repeated some information in the questions lately, for which I apologize. After answering more than thirty questions of the week, we're bound to cover some information more than once. I know folks are still waiting for specific topics (vehicle interaction, guild functionality, town building), and I promise the information will be made available when it's ready for public consumption. What I can say is that our mail system is currently in testing, the auction house and economic system are soon to follow, NPC-run harvest facilities will be in testing soon, and pets are in progress. Plus, new content, new art objects, and new areas are being implemented.
1. What is the climate like in the Grand Canyon District in the 2150s?
Between greenhouse gases, nuclear winter, a sudden and steep drop off in pollution, and the extinction of numerous species of plants and animals, the climate of the Grand Canyon Province is right screwed. These and other major ecological changes make the Grand Canyon Province very different from the postcard pictures of our present day. While the Grand Canyon has always been more than scrubs and rock, things have gotten much weirder in recent years. Several experiments in nano-tech terraforming and ecological-level genetic engineering have created some unusual ecosystems in the Grand Canyon Province. Some are relatively benign, like the continually trimmed grass - genetically engineered to not grow more than three inches tall - of the New Gallows golf course. Others are more extreme, such as the tall grasslands of the Grainway. Some regions of the Grand Canyon Province, such as Sillers Canyon and CHOTA Gulch, are exactly what you would expect them to be.
Overall the climate could be described as erratic, with extremes of hot and cold. Seasons still come and go, but what that means in different places can vary.
2. Could you elaborate a little about how Kung Fu will work and what the higher levels will enable characters to do. Are there any "Super Powers" at the highest levels ?
While I appreciate persistence, this question has been asked about once a week, and it seems a bit much. When we have something worth saying, I promise you, we will say something. All I can tell you for now is that Lightbearers will be able to learn special attacks through the Melee skill. Several of their faction's special abilities will deal with martial arts, but what those abilities will do has not been finalized. We have a motion capture studio, and we know people at local martial arts schools, so we also expect the skills to look cool when the art and animation are complete.
3. As requested, here is some information about one of the instances in Sector 1, the Silos:
For years no one had been able to get into the bunker northeast of Watchtower. From all the metal and fences and locks. everyone was certain great wealth was inside, and mechanics, thieves, and scavengers from all around the Province came to take their crack at it. Back in the days of the Hoover Dam Garrison, Alec Masters even sent a detachment of Techs to try to open up the Silos, but none had any success.
None save the CoGs.
They came a few months back with words from their god, who knows all and shares this wisdom with its many followers. Using the knowledge of their god, the CoGs opened the Silos and found within it spirits of fire that had been cruelly imprisoned beneath the earth. With the help of their god, they sought out the launch keys and codes to free the spirits of fire so they could carry out their intended function. Luckily for the Grand Canyon Province, the CoGs are a talkative bunch...
Shortly after entering the Plateau, the first sector of game play in the Grand Canyon Province, players can find Speakers of the Net in many of the towns proselytizing about the power of the machines and their worship. In some cities, such as Embry Crossroads, they are even having worship ceremonies. While much of this is obvious gibberish, certain phrases - such as "Guns of Heaven" - attract attention, leading the player on a long journey to find out what the CoGs are doing and to maybe get their hands on these guns. This voyage takes players all across the Plateau and through a number of towns and levels of experience. By the end of the story, the players will find the Silo and discover the CoGs agenda, gaining the opportunity to enter the heart of the Silo and thwart the CoGs' plans for a second apocalypse.
The Silos are a sprawling, multi-level underground complex that houses four nuclear missiles in addition to all the living quarters, control rooms, and storage areas needed to support the original crew for years on end. Parts of the facility have been flooded by radiation from its malfunctioning reactor, and the CoGs have brought along a menagerie of mutant critters, so players have multiple challenges awaiting them. As players progress through the Silos, they will have to locate keycards to access to different areas, deal with the strange pets of the CoGs, find a way to overcome the radiation, and potentially even turn the CoGs against each other over religious schisms (and you thought that high Charisma attribute wouldn't get you anywhere).