Adam Cogan Q & A Installment 3

Please note: Information contained herein should be treated as speculative ONLY. Because of the fluid nature of video game development, there is no 100% guarantee that everything discussed by the dev team during this event will necessarily make it into the final game.  Enjoy!

Frey: I was going to say, piggybacking off of that question, we had a couple questions that dealt with how we acquire the different crew that we have, and how do we train them, which might be a good idea in terms of just generic idea of how savvies relate to training on crew members.

Adam Cogan: Yeah, so you have the opportunity to keep expanding your crew, and it’s a really good idea to do that. We don’t force you to do it, but as you gain levels, you can get access to larger ships, with more crew quarters and you can accommodate more people on them, which means you can expand your crew. You get to decide who you’re hiring onto your crew. If you want one captain and seven soldiers of the soldier class, you can do that if that’s what you want to do. It won’t be very well rounded, and there will be problems that you’ll run in to, but that’s up to you. If you want a crew full of Companions, you can do that too. I wouldn’t, but you could. The design allows you to do that. You find your crew at Saloons, and it’s going to be a little bit random.

Bella: MY KINDA PEOPLE!

John and Andy: *laughing*

Adam Cogan: It’s kind of like a cantina sorta situation. You never know who you’re going to run in to. You don’t decide what they look like. You have no involvement in their birth. They will come with their own names, their own looks, so if you already have, I saw someone was asking about, I think they have their own narrative involved, and they want a specific crew, you can sort of look around for someone who meets that criteria and eventually you’d find that person but I do have to warn you that they…. may….. die on you. So you might not want to… you probably will get attached. But you might not want to. Not to all of them.

Bella: Because John O’Neill shoots ‘em in the back.

Adam Cogan: Yes, because John will come along and ruin your day.

John O’Neill: That’s right. That’s what I do. *chuckles*

Rayno: Just to kind of add on here, you mentioned, this has been kind of a question that has been floating around, all over the place, so obviously with the Cortex, update 2.01 or whatever, and we were able to buy ships and paint and whatever. You mentioned, as you level your character up and whatever, you have access to more and more ships. Are those ships going to be available at the start of the game or are we going to have to get to a certain point where we can finally unlock ships that we have purchased?

Adam Cogan: well the game has not been released yet *chuckles* but if I have to answer that question now I would say, that even though you own the ship, we will probably be giving it to you when you’re ready to have it. So you won’t have to buy the ship again, it will be out there. But if it’s a level 10-15 ship, for instance, but when you get to level 10, and that’s when you would get your ship, and we would notify you, and that sort of thing. So, ships represent a huge investment, so it’s still going to be a wonderful thing, and something to look forward to. I hope that that’s going to work out for everyone. You will not have to re-buy it, if you unlocked it, you will have it. But in terms of the pacing of the game, it would break a lot of things to give you a high level ship immediately. That means that you would be able to create a gigantic crew right away, when you’re not ready to have it yet.

Bella: But the game’s not out yet, Rayno. ;)

Adam Cogan: But the game’s not out yet, and with sufficient public outcry I might not have a choice but to change my tone.

Rayno: Well, that’s just been a question that’s been floating around because it was assumed by half the crowd that they’d be available the moment you logged on and assumed by the other half that you’d have to get yourself to a certain point to play with them.

Adam Cogan: Well yeah, you have it. You just can’t get there yet.

Northtreker: So go along with what you were saying with the large crew, is there still a hard limit for the number of crew members that you can have in the action? I think it was the Captain and three crew members in combat; did I get that part wrong?

Adam Cogan: Nope, that’s correct. You can get up to eight crew members total, including captain. When you’re choosing your “away team”, going out onto the surface to explore some new town or some new location, you’re picking the captain plus three others of your crew to go with you. So you’re not taking the entire band with you everywhere you go. Some of them have to stay back on the ship, and some of them will really have to stay back because damage persists. After a fight, some of you will have gotten dinged, and the next fight you walk in to, they’ll still be injured walking in to the fight. So you are really going to want to be cycling a lot through your crew, as you go out and explore. Give others the opportunity to heal up. That’s yet another reason why you want to keep expanding your crew and get more and more members so that you’re able to do that.

Frey: One thing that ties into those questions is the discussion on multiple captains, since, in theory people can die, is there a way that we can have multiple captains that can be swapped in at different times, or is it going to be one and you play and bring them back later; how’s that going to work?

Adam Cogan: The way that the game works, as you are going through the main story and progressing through the game, you have one captain that you’re doing that with. However, we do want to give you the ability to have multiple captains. We hear that from a lot of people, that this is something that they want to do. It would be similar to having multiple accounts. So if you had another captain, they would have a different progress than your first captain will. But other than that, I do think that will be possible. They would have a separate crew, their own progression. Their own group of friends, and skills, and ships, and all that other stuff.

Andy Gore signed off at this point to much fanfare and gratitude of the Smugglers.

Shanghai Spaceman asked a question in text regarding the type of captain you can choose.

Adam Cogan: I see your chat there. You do get to choose the kind of captain that you’re going to be throughout the game. You can be sort of a …

John O’Neill: Backstabber *evil laugh*

Adam Cogan: *chuckling* You can be a backstabber through the whole thing, you can be a good guy, you can be something much grayer, so you will the opportunity to play things in little different ways, and there are a couple of different places, even in the main story, where things are going to play out a little bit different, depending on what you choose to do.

Bella: Let’s also remember that we are dealing with an independent gaming house, here, basically. We are not at the level of an EVE ONLINE per se,

Adam Cogan: or a Bioware.

Bella: we can’t actually go that far as those folks.

John O’Neill: Yeah but we love those people.

Bella: Well yeah, they’re awesome, but we just like you guys more. ;)

John O’Neill: You know, it’s kind of incredible how much, now I’m not going to talk technology, but what’s interesting about the game, we’ve danced around the idea, and the wording, of calling this “not an MMO”, but there are so many elements that are an MMO, one of the interesting things; I’ve been chatting with some very large service providers like IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, and they’re constantly amazed how, when they ask, ‘oh how many servers are you all spinning up to manage all, so many people?’, and it’s like ‘well, it’s just one world, one ‘Verse, everyone is playing in one ‘Verse’ and they’re quite astonished that we’re capable of allowing everyone to play in the same server. And a lot of what Adam has designed, what he talks about when he says “social”, we were talking about the interactions the players have, and in some other MMOs, which we referenced, you know, you only get to play with friends that are on the same world as you, whereas in Firefly Online what we’re doing is allowing everyone, you know…. If we have 10 million people playing this game, than all 10 million people should be able to interact with each other.

Bella: ….. on the same server.

John O’Neill: ….. on the same server, which is astonishing. And scary. But it works!

Rayno: I have a question from someone here, they are wondering how will Cortex accounts, or captains, map or blend into Firefly Online? For example, if someone has two Cortex accounts, are those inevitably separate in FFO, or will it be possible to roll multiple captains into one Firefly Online account?

Adam Cogan: I think that’s more of a John question.

John O’Neill: I was just about to say that’s an Adam question. *chuckle* I’m there for ya, buddy!

John O’Neill: well actually it’s interesting, it’s a great question. One of the things we did during the (SDCC) panel was kind of eluded to and actually Courtenay (Taylor, female protagonist) was trying to steal my password. She was sitting next to me and I was emailing her and she was still teasing me saying she was going to show my account off at Dragoncon. I’m not going to let her though. The Cortex account that you have now is the same account that you will use for Firefly Online. So everything that you have created… your ships, your captain, additional features as we release them, will actually have an impact in your account as it applies to when you play the game. What we have not done, and that’s kind of an interesting question, you know, is there an ability to merge multiple accounts? Right now the answer is no, those are separate accounts, and the unique account that you create in the Cortex is the exact same account that you’ll use in Firefly Online. Is there a way to migrate data between them? Eh, certainly a feature that we would like to explore because I have personally spoken to a number of members who have tried to use an account and they’ve had problems so they created a separate account and now they’re kind of in an interesting state between both and I would love to find a way to allow you to do that, my hesitation is always in not breaking the system or the 99% of the people who won’t be doing that. So, I guess, short answer to can you merge multiple accounts, the answer is no. In longer terms, I’d like to find a way to help you do that. But that’s not something we’ll do at launch.

And we are very active with people who have issues with their cortex accounts, you know, we can open up and look and see what information is breaking and try to correct that. As I say that and as everyone knows, we are a small team, so there’s only so much that we can do, but we are very, very active with regards to public outreach, support, and developing the Big Damn Game.

Adam Cogan: And I think, if it also seems like, a lot of people want this, then I guarantee you we’ll get to it. We really want people to have the best experience possible. And I can totally understand why you would want that, if you’re someone that has multiple accounts.

Check back this Friday for the last installment in this series!

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