Welcome to Project: Gorgon!

Project: Gorgon is a 3D fantasy MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role-playing game) that features an immersive experience that allows the player to forge their own path through exploration and discovery. We won't be guiding you through a world on rails, and as a result there are many hidden secrets awaiting discovery. Project: Gorgon also features an ambitious skill based leveling system that bucks the current trend of pre-determined classes, thus allowing the player to combine skills in order to create a truly unique playing experience.

The Project: Gorgon development team is led by industry veteran Eric Heimburg. Eric has over a decade of experience working as a Senior and Lead Engineer, Developer, Designer and Producer on successful games such as Asheron’s Call 1 and 2, Star Trek Online and other successful Massively Multiplayer Online Games.


Augmentation and Transmutation Changes

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Augmentation and Transmutation Changes

We've been gearing up for Steam launch, and one important thing we need to do is make sure that new players aren't constantly competing with higher-level players for resources. There will always be some sticky points -- in fact, having a few shared resources is fun. But right now the game encourages higher-level players to buy up (or farm) low-level gear for Transmutation and Augmentation skills. This update fixes some of that problem.

This is, incidentally, the reason that there's a new kind of Phlogiston every 15 levels (Shoddy Phlogiston is for items up to level 15, Rough Phlogiston is for items leveled 15-30, etc): so that level 60 players aren't trying to obtain the same phlogiston as low-level newbies. But the Augmentation skills didn't have that protection -- a high-level Armor Augmenter really did use the exact same Chest Baubles and Leg Baubles as low-level augmenters. These skills now give out different stuff every 30 levels: Small Chest Baubles are for items level 0-30, Medium Chest Baubles for 31-60, and Large for 61-90. This means there's new recipes every 30 levels; the first two tiers of augmentation recipes are taught by the initial trainers (Syndra, Poe, Gribburn, and Malgath) while the third tier is taught by Kohan and Ufkar in Rahu.

Similarly, everybody needed the same Prisms for their work. And it was not at all uncommon to see high-level players buy out entire stocks of newbie gear in order to decompose it for prisms -- not really a big issue right now, but it'll be a BIG problem when there's a lot more players! Prisms are actually a tricky topic -- I'll talk more about that in a sec. But anyway, prisms are also broken up into 30-level ranges. Small, Medium, and Large Prisms are for level 0-30, 31-60, and 61-90 Transmutation, respectively.

XP Changes

Using different stuff at higher levels helps a lot, but there's still another big reason for high-level players to buy low-level gear: the XP. The XP requirements have been fairly flat for these skills, so sometimes buying newbie gear has just been the most cost-effective way to level a skill. I've tried to address this problem too, by using big jumps at each tier break. We'll use Transmutation as the example. The level 1 Transmutation recipe to distill a low-level Uncommon item still earns 50 XP. The level 31 version (for distilling level 31-60 gear) earns 400 XP. And the level 61 version (for 61-90 gear) earns 3200 XP. The XP tables are changed correspondingly. You still need the same number of distillations -- going from level 31 to 32 would need 14 Uncommon items distilled, etc. -- but now they'll need to be level-appropriate items, because the lower-level recipes are just a drop in the bucket.

The Augmentation skills' recipes and XP tables were changed in a similar fashion.

[Actually, the level breaks are a little more specialized, to avoid people getting stuck in weird situations. The level 31 recipe I mentioned actually gives so much first-time XP that you immediately reach level 32 after only one use -- not 14 uses -- because I want you to hit 32 quickly to unlock the corresponding Rare-item distillation recipe. But you get the general idea!]

As usual when we change XP tables, your existing skill level stayed the same. Only the XP needed for your next level (and future levels) changes.

Legacy Materials

All existing prisms, contraptions, beads, baubles, and ornaments have been turned into Legacy Prisms, Legacy Contraptions, Legacy Beads, etc. These items can't be used in recipes, but you can take them to the Legacy Golem in Serbule to trade them in for whichever tier of item you need.

Side Effects and Leftovers

One nice benefit of this change is that the Augment-Extraction recipes no longer have that quirky "note: this recipe also takes [some other item] from your inventory" clause. I needed to do that because the same recipe was used for all levels of the Augmentation skills, so the exact number needed couldn't be predetermined. But now that there's three tiers of the recipes, I've changed it so each tier just uses 20 of that tier's thing. For instance, to extract a power from a level 0-30 helm, you need 20 Small Helm Contraptions. To extract from a level 31-60 helm, it's 20 Medium Helm Contraptions. These are shown as normal recipe ingredients, so that's one less thing to forget or screw up!

A weird leftover artifact of this change is augment removal: that is, un-installing an augment from an item. I want this to be an option, but it's not something you do every day, so I didn't bother making tiers of those recipes. The augment-uninstallation recipes just use low-level materials regardless of what level of item you remove from. (But I changed them to not give any XP after the first-time use, to avoid any chance that they could give high-level players a way to farm newbie gear.)

More Sources of Prisms

Let's talk a bit about prisms. They're an important commodity for Transmutation, and I expect every player to eventually pick up Transmutation, so prisms are important for everybody! Now there's three tiers of prism, and that helps avoid high-level players fighting newbies for gear. But there's another supply-and-demand problem here.

See, the way you GET prisms is via the four Augmentation skills. Prisms aren't used by Augmentation; they're just a valuable byproduct of the Augmentation recipes. Right now, many high-level players feel compelled to learn those recipes just to get prisms. But I really don't want every player to have to learn the Augmentation skills -- they're really supposed to be a crafting line, like smithing, and only a portion of the player base should need to learn them. My hope is that when we have more players and the economy moves more fluidly, augmenters can sell their prisms to non-augmenters. That doesn't work right now due to low population during alpha, though.

So in the short term we need more ways to get prisms! They have now been added to the loot tables for many monsters. We'll try to keep an eye on things and see whether enough are dropping. When the player economy is more robust, we'll lower their loot drop rate, and eventually remove them from loot entirely, if things go according to plan.

Also, Sona and Makara have new barter options: they'll trade large prisms for smaller ones. This way if your Transmutation is lower than your combat skills, you don't have to go kill low-level monsters to get the necessary prisms. (The "exchange rate" is slightly better than 1:1... It's 3:4.) These barter options DON'T go the other way – you can't exchange small ones for large ones, because that'd defeat the entire point of breaking up the prisms in the first place, namely to keep high-level players from melting newbie gear.

Future Feature: Making Augmentation More Accessible

If you've learned how to apply Augments to your gear, you've had to deal with Nightshade, the "legendary Business-to-Business consultant". He charges a very high fee to teach you how to install augments. And that's all fine and good, but if he's a business-to-business consultant, shouldn't there be other businesses that offer this service? Yes! One of the future improvements we have planned is that every armor/weapon vendor NPC will have an option to install – or uninstall! – augments from gear. There will be a high fee, but not as high as learning the techniques yourself from Nightshade. Over the course of a long character life, learning the skills yourself is obviously going to be more cost-effective, but at low level, just having Joeh install the new augment you bought will be much more practical.
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Project: Gorgon