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.


Dev Blog: Say Hello to Playable Fairies

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Say Hello to Playable Fairies
We've long planned to add three "advanced" character races to Project: Gorgon: Fairy, Orc, and Dwarf. Unlike the standard races (Human, Elf, and Rakshasa), the advanced races are unlocked by completing quests in-game. This is important because these races are harder to play. They require more experience and knowledge than the other races and aren't suitable for brand new players -- you at least need to understand the basics of the game first.

The next update includes the soft launch of our first "advanced" character race: fairies! Why a soft launch? Because my plan is to create a different play experience for each of these three races. Each will have different trade-offs and new opportunities, and that's going to be tricky to get right the first time.

Fairies in particular are fragile and small, but magical and dangerous. As true immortals, they have a very strange relationship with death. Their experiences are very different from the other races - and so are their game mechanics.

Let's look at the unique game mechanics for fairies.

Fairy Physical Attributes
First off, fairies are significantly smaller than the regular races. They can't carry much, but they can fly. We've modeled this with a couple of attributes:
  • They can fly with a default speed about the same as other basic flight, e.g. raven flight.
  • They have reduced inventory space -- 16 fewer slots than other races.
  • They are slightly more susceptible to knockbacks. (They are knocked slightly farther away.)

It's useful to think of these as "physical attributes" because they're tied to physically being a fairy. If a fairy gets cursed and turns into a cow, for instance, these things go away, replaced with whatever physicality the new form has. In other words, fairies turned into cows do not naturally fly!

Fairies and Death
When fairy characters physically die, they respawn at their lifestone in the fae realm. In game terms, this means that when fairies press the "Respawn" button after death, they respawn in the fae realm, not in whatever area they died in. They also can't "Enter the Light."

This ironically makes fairy deaths more punitive than other player deaths. Story-wise, other races don't "really" die: they're saved from death at the last instant by a mysterious force. (You meet him when you Enter the Light. The mysterious force's name is Richter.)

But story-wise, fairies aren't prodigies and don't have this protection. When fairies die, they really do die -- except being immortal, they're reborn at their lifestone. This aspect of being a fairy is true regardless of what physical form the fairy has. A fairy turned into a cow is reborn as a cow in the fae realm.

There are many ways for fairies to prevent this. Fairies can benefit from all the regular resurrection methods available to anyone, such as the Resuscitate ability from First Aid, or eating Eternal Greens. Fairies can also use their Fae racial powers to create an item that lets them respawn in the local area like other races would.

Skill Bonuses for Fairies
That covers most of the bad stuff involved in being a fairy. Let's look at some of the good stuff!

Story-wise, new fairies have had a convenient memory-wipe like new-player humans, elves, and rakshasa. But thanks to thousands of years of practice, fairies still retain some combat memories.

Fairies start with four combat skills at level 30: Ice Magic, Knife Fighting, Animal Handling, and Mentalism. They also get special bonuses for each of those skills -- some bonuses are small, some large. Let's go over each.

Ice Magic: Since the fae realm is controlled by the Winter Court, fairies are currently very in-tune with Ice Magic. It comes quite naturally to them. For game purposes, this means fairies don't have to perform research to learn new Ice Magic spells. Instead, they automatically learn a new Ice Magic spell each time they level the skill, and a few spells are learned from fairy trainers.

Knife Fighting: Fairies can create "crystal ice" with their racial skill (see below) and use it in knife-throwing abilities like Hamstring Throw and Fan of Blades, so they don’t need to carry metal throwing knives. They also learn an alternate version of the ability Slice which uses thrown ice. There are also a few new treasure effects that may be useful to knife-fighting fairies, although those are available to all races.

(Note that the in-game prototype skill "Ice Conjuration" has been obsoleted; fairies don't have to turn their crystal ice into "Ice Throwing Knives"; they just throw the ice directly. Less inventory hassle.)

Animal Handling: Fairies start the game with two free pets already in their stable, a bee and a wasp. These pets weren't mind-wiped like the fairy was, and they still remember how to fight! They are level 100 pets with maxed loyalty Bond Levels. (Animal Handling pets are capped to the player's Animal Handling level, so at first they behave as level 30 pets, since fairies start with level 30 Animal Handling. But they don't need any training or bonding time; whenever the fairy levels up, the pets can immediately be re-summoned at a higher level.)

The bee and wasp pets are similar to ones that are found in the fae realm. So other races CAN tame these pets, but not until they reach a pretty high level.

In addition, fairies can choose to resurrect dead Animal Handling pets using their fae racial magic instead of needing to use First Aid Kits.

Mentalism: Saving the best for last, perhaps: there's a new combat sub-skill for Mentalism called Fairy Magic. (Note: "Fairy Magic" isn't the same as Fae racial magic!) Fairies can put both Mentalism abilities and Fairy Magic abilities on their Mentalism bar, mixing and matching as desired. Fairy Magic has new abilities such as Fairy Fire, Astral Strike, and Fae Conduit, plus new treasure effects. Fairy Magic adds more diversity to the types of builds possible with Mentalism.

Fae Racial Skill
Lastly, there is a new racial skill for fairies, representing things that only fairies can do. This involves several new mechanics. Fairies have a new energy meter for Fae Energy, similar to the Metabolism meter. They can use Fae Energy in several ways, usually in conjunction with two new material resources, Crystal Ice and Fairy Dust.

Fairies learn how to turn junk items into Crystal Ice, and how to turn unwanted magical equipment into Fairy Dust. As a side-effect, these transformations also generate Fae Energy to fill up their energy meter.

Fairies can use Crystal Ice directly as thrown weapons (with the Knife Fighting combat skill). They can also directly consume Fairy Dust, which acts as an instant healing item and a flight-speed buff. But the most impressive fairy tricks involve combining ice, dust, and fae energy together. Fairies eventually learn how to create temporary items such as health kits, utility knives, short-lived food, and more. This "fairy stuff" is made partially from ice and so eventually melts if not used, but can act as sources of common items, or at least backups.

The fae racial skill is also where we've stashed other "fairy things" ... powers and abilities that magical beings like fairies ought to have. Some powers are basically cosmetic, such as summoning colored lights or changing the color of their wings. Others are precious convenience features, such as being able to teleport without needing expensive materials.

Fae can also craft a few unique items that other races may want, such as potions that randomly (and permanently) change hair color or beard shape.

Balancing Pros and Cons
All told, fairies have to be more careful when fighting, and they have to travel a bit lighter than other races. But these negatives are offset by positive benefits and unique combat tricks. My hope is that playing a fairy feels like a fresh way to play, with different things to think about and consider. There are a lot of different aspects to the race's balance, so it's likely to be a bit bumpy at first. But we'll work out the kinks over time.

Being a low-level fairy is also notably harder than being a high-level fairy. That's just sort of how it goes, I'm afraid: since fairies get new tricks as they level up, they can eventually take more risks and have less downtime. I'm trying to counterbalance that a bit by giving low-level fairies some extra gifts from quests. For instance, some "pocket pants" help newbies cope with reduced inventory space, and there are alternative ways to unlock a few skills early on (such as Transmutation).

But even after unlocking the later tricks and features, fairies will always need to be more careful than other races. So if playing a fragile yet powerful spellcaster -- or a tiny flying knife-wielding maniac -- sounds fun, then this is the race for you!

Combat-Balance Blog Soon
There are also a bunch of combat-mechanics changes coming in the same update as fairies. This includes changes to pets, to monster stats, and to monster behaviors and traits (such as the "Thick Armor" monster trait). I'm working on a blog post about those changes which should be ready soon!

The actual update will be ready "soon" too, though, so if the update arrives before the blog, I'll just work some of the background info into the patch notes. (I'm hoping to get both things done by the end of February, but testing and tweaking is taking a while, and the patch may end up being in the first week of March instead.)

(Discuss this blog post on the forum!)

Updated 02-21-2020 at 04:41 PM by Citan

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Project: Gorgon