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.



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  1. #1
    Junior Member Worm's Avatar
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    This game ultimately feels demotivating to me

    I figure this is my biggest problem with the game so I might as well mention it. Just the game as a whole is generally oppressive and pushes back too much against the player. It's fine for a bit but as you progress certain things start to just smack you in the face.

    Storage

    It's not just an issue of the amount but also that it's peppered around the world and often locked behind favor. Add to that the ridiculous drop tables, number of drops, and that "junk" drops replace gold in this game. Everything you leave behind is your only source of income and the game is constantly bombarding you with random drops. You won't really want to leave behind brass nails because who knows what else they go into and they're certainly not anywhere else. Invariably your inventory fills up with odds and ends that of course you want to keep because you don't want to have to farm out that Antler again. There are other problems like this like Perfect Lumber which you can't even use until a certain level of carpentry so rather than being a nice "proc" it ends up feeling like more junk in your inventory.

    Favor

    Favor isn't so bad when you start but eventually you get nothing from NPCs until you raise favor. All storage in Rahu is locked behind favor, most training seems to be locked behind favor as well. It's just so tiring to keep facing this mechanic. It's a novel idea that quickly just is turned into more linear grind and wikipedia visits. This of course feeds into your need to hoard items so you can more quickly raise favor.

    Gold costs

    Training amounts raise exponentially and with the whole game being a barter economy (i.e. monsters don't just drop gold) it's a real hassle to sell items and of course you don't know how valuable a given item is so that even adds more time as you're going to go check the player board and vendor it. Of course this goes back into the issues of Storage because you're trying to save some things that you'll need for later and you end up with tons of stuff because there are just so many materials.

    I realize monsters not dropping gold is an anti botting measure or something but it just has an adverse effect on normal play. Running around with a backpack full of viscera and unloading on random merchants(if you can) until you can't anymore just feels bad.

    Crafting
    I have really no desire to craft but Transmutation is worth having just to be able to save space. But to make your own prisms you need to learn four other break down skills which require 5 other crafting skills be at 25 before you can progression with them on top of that all those trainers are yet again, peppered around the world.

    Even though this game has a lot of modern MMO contrivances and lets you level battle skills pretty quick it somehow manages to feel more inconvenient than all of them because you have a huge number of skills, items, and no monsters just drop gold. It's unfortunate because at the start it's really fun to play but the further you progress in the game the more of a black hole it becomes.

    There's some point where after killing 30 bears and still only have gotten one bear claw I really don't care about leveling shamanic infusion anymore. Because there's no only that but the cost from taking it past 50, and leveling more favor to make the higher level inventory belt. And I keep having this experience where I just don't care about any of the incentives waiting for me and simply stop playing.

    Almost everything I do in the game just seems to spiral out of control. I realize it's most likely intentional but I figured I might as well offer my feedback. I fully expect this all to be debunked piece by piece by people who love this game and that's fine.

  2. #2
    Junior Member Roccandil's Avatar
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    As a new player, I fully agree with your assessment! The more I've played, the more I've realized that PG is almost entirely NPC-gated: behind training, currency, and favor. In a way, I appreciate PG for showing me that I don't like an NPC-centric framework.

    I'd much rather have recipes and abilities be dynamically discoverable through interaction in the game world. (After all, someone had to figure it out first!)

    But, NPC-centric gameplay is the bones of the game, so it is what it is, and I don't expect it to change. I'm still enjoying the game, and I've gotten my money's worth, so I'm not complaining. I just don't think I'll be playing PG as long as I'd hoped when I started.

    Oh, and I will say I'd pay extra money for storage! (shades of the Path of Exile stash tabs!) I don't see any gameplay reason to limit storage (it doesn't provide fun choices, at least for me), but I have to believe infinite player storage would stress the game's database, so tying that to micro-transactions seems fair.

  3. #3
    Senior Member alleryn's Avatar
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    I think your impressions are completely valid coming from a new player perspective, but i will offer a few counterpoints coming from the vantage of someone who has played for a while:

    Quote Originally Posted by Worm View Post
    Storage

    It's not just an issue of the amount but also that it's peppered around the world and often locked behind favor. Add to that the ridiculous drop tables, number of drops, and that "junk" drops replace gold in this game. Everything you leave behind is your only source of income and the game is constantly bombarding you with random drops. You won't really want to leave behind brass nails because who knows what else they go into and they're certainly not anywhere else. Invariably your inventory fills up with odds and ends that of course you want to keep because you don't want to have to farm out that Antler again. There are other problems like this like Perfect Lumber which you can't even use until a certain level of carpentry so rather than being a nice "proc" it ends up feeling like more junk in your inventory.
    For me storage is one of the best and one of the worst things about the game. I'm both a hoarder who gets obsessive about waste and someone who can get easily frustrated about micromanagement of storage. There are many many games (mostly singleplayer) i have quit because it ended up feeling like playing inventory management for most of the gameplay.

    Indeed i have taken multi-year long breaks from PG over personal frustrations with how cluttered my storage became and the need to leave behind stuff i knew i would use in the future if i could hold onto it. However, the feeling of investing into storage and finally building a sort of warehouse system where you have needs that suit various locales (e.g. icefishing supplies in kur), along with a vast centralized base of storage in Rahu/Casino where you can't keep everything you'd like, but you're far from pressed for space and keep a lot of junk you don't really need, it's a satisfying transition that really imbued me with a sense of transformation from a traveling beatnik with a knapsack to a landed lady/lord (or something less pretentious-sounding).

    Favor

    Favor isn't so bad when you start but eventually you get nothing from NPCs until you raise favor. All storage in Rahu is locked behind favor, most training seems to be locked behind favor as well. It's just so tiring to keep facing this mechanic. It's a novel idea that quickly just is turned into more linear grind and wikipedia visits. This of course feeds into your need to hoard items so you can more quickly raise favor.
    I don't really agree with this so much. Maybe it's because i can't remember just how much everything depended on favor, but i think it felt pretty reasonable to me. You need favor to sell items to vendors and to store stuff. So you go out to the dungeon, you return and -- oh no! -- no one to sell stuff to and nowhere to store it. What can i do with all this extra gear? Oh i'll give the swords to joeh and the shields to marna. Oh look! -- now i can store more stuff on joeh and marna, and joeh will buy more of my gear. Similarly i sell my extra rings to Larsan and he starts buying more of my jewelry, etc.

    I'm sure there are cases where the system isn't perfect and is too monotonous, or too much of cash --> favor, but overall i think it works well.
    Gold costs

    Training amounts raise exponentially and with the whole game being a barter economy (i.e. monsters don't just drop gold) it's a real hassle to sell items and of course you don't know how valuable a given item is so that even adds more time as you're going to go check the player board and vendor it. Of course this goes back into the issues of Storage because you're trying to save some things that you'll need for later and you end up with tons of stuff because there are just so many materials.

    I realize monsters not dropping gold is an anti botting measure or something but it just has an adverse effect on normal play. Running around with a backpack full of viscera and unloading on random merchants(if you can) until you can't anymore just feels bad.
    I got most of my gold from work orders, so i probably just had a different experience here. I never felt strapped for cash after my first month of play. As with most of these things, it's something that feels hard early on but gives a real feeling of progression that i get a dopamine (or is it seratonin) fix from.

    Crafting
    I have really no desire to craft but Transmutation is worth having just to be able to save space. But to make your own prisms you need to learn four other break down skills which require 5 other crafting skills be at 25 before you can progression with them on top of that all those trainers are yet again, peppered around the world.
    Can't really comment here as crafting is one of the things i enjoy most about PG (along with the vibrant community). So it never felt like a burden to me. I know that many feel differently (and many similarly).
    _________
    Again, i think you raise a lot of valid points, i wouldn't say you are flat out wrong about any of them. But i thought i'd offer some alternative (and quite subjective) opinions.

    I hope you are able to find a way to enjoy yourself on Alharth despite its imperfections, or if that proves impossible, enjoyment elsewhere in your life. Good luck to you
    Last edited by alleryn; 05-07-2020 at 02:15 PM. Reason: typos

  4. #4
    Senior Member Coglin's Avatar
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    To be honest, I believe the things you guys are complaining about are valid complaints for you to have. On that same note, I believe they are intended hardships. I believe the game is intended to be a fair bit less mainstream. I hope you guys are having fun, but when many core design aspects of the game turn you off, it is also reasonable to look at it with the thought that maybe this game is not for you. It certainly isn't for everybody.

    I hope you guys find fun in the game but do not feel bad if you decide it doesn't appeal to you because of the aspects you listed and seek out one that suits your needs better, play wise.
    Coglin, Master Bard, subsequent druid. - Master of all Animals that can be Handled.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Gervase's Avatar
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    I'll counter what the guy above me said and add that I feel like tacking on 'this might not be the game for you' isnt a valid response. I think anyone who comes to PG expects a more retro styled MMORPG. But there is stuff in this game that I believe just purposely forces you to timesink. Grinds are fine when they feel meaningful, which the game does alright at. Maybe they should feel more rewarding in all honesty.

  6.   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #6
    Administrator Citan's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback! One thought and one question. (Edit: and another thought after that, plus parentheticals.)

    To some extent, item management is just something the game will have to deal with, because that's the bones of this game. There are thousands of types of items, and probably a thousand more to come, and I can't really give people enough storage to store everything they find. (And if you think managing your current storage is bad, think of what it'd be like with 1000 more storage slots! Bad.)

    The intent is to get players to sell the items they don't need right now, and buy them from others when they need them, facilitating trades and transactions. But combined with not having an auction house (they speed up moment-to-moment gameplay but hyper-inflate game economies, so I'm using slightly-slower alternate sales systems), players feel friction in letting go of stuff they don't need right now, because they really will probably need that item some day in the future. It's just not worth the hassle to store it for the next 100 hours before you need it, but how do players know how soon they'll need this thing? They can't. I've been working hard to make that more obvious (with more improvements to the "Item Info" window being my next stab at it), but I don't think I'll ever perfectly succeed here.

    The way items work is critical to how I want the game to evolve, with new skills and areas and content being added every month or two, literally for as long as I can keep making the game. This type of free-form expansion requires a LOT of items, so that old items don't become too over-used. Actually, there are a lot of benefits to the game's item design, and only one serious down side: the "everything is useful to somebody so nothing can be thrown away" problem. I've kind of made my peace with the fact that it will always be a sticking point, because the benefits are too important. I'm not removing a thousand types of items, and I'm not giving players a thousand more storage slots, so the problem... will always be a problem. No game design is perfect. If that's the game's big flaw, eh, I'll live.

    (Just to clarify: there ARE more storage slots coming, plus more item-management tools. Mounts have a "send to saddle bag" system that I'm hoping will reduce in-dungeon item management. But in terms of the bigger picture, there will always be more kinds of stuff than there are places to put the stuff. So there will always be friction here, because players will always have to make decisions about what they want to keep and what they want to sell.)


    NPC favor, on the other hand, shouldn't feel grindy. "Grindy" just means boring. Leveling anything in any MMO is repetitive, and if you really notice the repetition it's called "grindy." NPCs favor is just a generic leveling mechanism, so the actual way that you raise favor can change. Maybe I should reduce the focus on item gifts by adding a few hundred more favor quests. (They'd naturally have to be very samey, but then, so is gifting right now.) My question is: do you think having a bunch more directed leveling goals for favor (kill-ten-monster quests, fetch-the-gizmo-from-the-dungeon-chest quests, etc.) would be worth the effort?

    (Some individual skills, recipes, etc. are too punitive or costly and need more tweaking, like bear claws not dropping enough. But those are individual balance problems and I'm talking about the general design here, which OP seems to be referring to.)

    ---

    You mentioned "everything I do seems to spiral out of control" and that's pretty much the "I want to do everything" problem: the game lets you do everything, every skill, every NPC, every city faction, every dungeon, everything. But if you try to do everything at once, it means you NEED literally everything, and that just exacerbates other game problems. The design intent is that you'd pick up missing stuff from fellow players, but since you don't HAVE to do that, players tend not to. It often seems like crafting the thing you need won't be that hard, so you just take a detour and do that. And suddenly you're mired three crafting-skills deep, nowhere near the actual skill you cared about.

    This isn't exactly the player's fault -- it's a sandbox problem, where the goals are nebulous and self-chosen, so the goalposts tend to move as you decide that no, what you really want is this OTHER thing first. No, wait, it's this other thing... etc. But there are tiers of "sandboxyness", and I think many (most?) players want the game to be a LITTLE bit more directed than it is right now.

    So the more I think about it, the more I'm tempted to add new restrictions to help here. Not as limits, but as structure, rails to help players. For instance, maybe I should let you only pick one or two major crafting skills at a time. When you get a skill to 100 (or whatever), you can add another skill and start leveling that, but you have to focus on only a couple at a time until they're "done". Just one example idea.

    I want the game to be very free-form and open, but I don't want to burn players out with a lack of direction and a lack of movement on their goals. It may seem paradoxical, but in MMO design, adding more restrictions is often the way to help players feel less frustrated and have more fun. If you have ideas about how to approach that, please share your thoughts!
    Last edited by Citan; 05-08-2020 at 12:42 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Niph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citan View Post
    So the more I think about it, the more I'm tempted to add new restrictions to help here. Not as limits, but as structure, rails to help players. For instance, maybe I should let you only pick one or two major crafting skills at a time. When you get a skill to 100 (or whatever), you can add another skill and start leveling that, but you have to focus on only a couple at a time until they're "done". Just one example idea.
    I don't like this particular idea, so I'l suggest something smoother: some XP bonus in these main crafting skills, and XP penalty in others so that everything is balanced. And, of course, you could change these main skills only at a cost.

    Regarding favor and quests, to be honest on my new Fairy character I completely skipped quests and focused on gifts. Unless the quest was of the "bring me X items" type. Obviously my case is special since I usually have plenty of the requested items, and can make any armor of any type and level (when the NPC likes gear of some sort, Pegast for instance).

    However, I think the real issue is not that finding gifts is easier than doing quests, but that doing quests will only get you that far. For many abilities, the mid-level version that you *have* to train to get access to what is the current high-level version will require Best Friend or Like Family. I don't know any NPC where you can go that far with quests, and you'd be lucky achieving Close Friend. So, since you have no choice but find the gifts, if they are not too hard to find (gear, gems) I can see people skipping quests. Just because they don't know how long it's going to take, and for gifts they know it.

    I would suggest therefore:
    • To provide ways to go to much higher favor with quests, for example have a "short" and "long" version, with the long version giving more XP. This simplifies creating content.
    • Give some indication of the quest difficulty. For instance, tag "The Weird Prism" as "Unusually difficult".

  8. #8
    Member Celerity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citan View Post
    Maybe I should reduce the focus on item gifts by adding a few hundred more favor quests. (They'd naturally have to be very samey, but then, so is gifting right now.) My question is: do you think having a bunch more directed leveling goals for favor (kill-ten-monster quests, fetch-the-gizmo-from-the-dungeon-chest quests, etc.) would be worth the effort?
    In general I tend to ignore most of the favour quests unless they have a cool unique reward like the unique organ knife or the eye quest in rahu. Kinda like Niph said, if I'm going to have to gather items to gift anyway, it takes a lot less time just grabbing some more to give an extra 200 or 300 favour rather than doing the quests. Nearly every npc in the game has an easy way to favour them up, so typically you're talking about spending an extra 1-2k, which isn't a problem. There are obviously a few where it's more like 10-20k but I personally enjoy the challenge here and don't see it as grindy since it's relegated to only a small % of the npcs.

    From a fun standpoint, it really depends, certain quests, such as the weird prism quest and the geometric rune charts quest are far harder than they should be and end up feeling quite boring. I'm also not particularly bothered by the "kill x mobs" or "gather y items" quests since they just remind me of everything I hated about wow, but they're obviously important when you're new to the game, and I enjoy that you can just ignore them. I did enjoy doing Ivyns quests, for example for the demon bean, Jara's for the bear in the barn and the main quest line. A lot of the quests also have some great dialogue/story so that's something to point out too.

    All that being said, I could potentially see it being useful for noobs who don't have crafting skills levelled and can't just whisk up whatever carpentry, cooking or equipment items they need for favour instantly, so in the end, maybe it's worth it? Not for me certainly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Citan View Post
    So the more I think about it, the more I'm tempted to add new restrictions to help here. Not as limits, but as structure, rails to help players. For instance, maybe I should let you only pick one or two major crafting skills at a time. When you get a skill to 100 (or whatever), you can add another skill and start leveling that, but you have to focus on only a couple at a time until they're "done". Just one example idea.
    I would personally hate this, I typically level at least 4-5 crafting skills at a time to make full use of the bonus exp from the poetry jam and other exp buffs. Also it usually takes at least a couple weeks to buy all the mats I need from player vendors/used tabs. So being forced to only do a couple at a time would mean I would either have more storage issues since I wouldn't be able to use up the mats I was storing, or I wouldn't buy the mats until I've finished the other skills, and then training the skills would take essentially twice as long as it does now.

    Also 100 would be way too invested (or even 90, 80, 70, etc.) especially when you consider stuff like you want to get alchemy, blacksmithing, tailoring, leatherworking and toolcrafting to 25 for augmentation and then you may also want 20 carpentry to get toolcrafting in the first place. The only way I could see it working was if you had to get the skill to 20 before you could add another one, since otherwise new players would be locked out of augmentation for some equipment pieces and cooking would have to be unrestricted, since that's a need for everyone. This would still have issues, training industry where you could be locked out of doing work orders for some skills and I'm not convinced it would provide that much more focus if it was only limited to 20. Even Niph's idea of bonus exp to your focused skills and penalties to the non-focused one doesn't sound good to me, just because I know psychologically I would feel bad if I trained my non-focused skills, even if the penalty was relatively minor.

    For me, I don't think I need any extra direction in the game now, but I think this is only true since I became more experienced with the game. Therefore I really wouldn't mind seeing some extra direction, I particularly enjoyed doing the tasks on the 'stuff to do' tab, so that could be expanded and I think maybe having a 'suggested content' part added to it based on your level could be good too. Stuff like, "It's time to brave the cold reaches of the Kur Mountains, see if you can reach Ukorga's inn in the North West. It's said that Hogan can sell supplies for travellers attempting to go there.", once you reach an average level of 40 between your 2 skills. Another idea could be to suggest industry to newer players once they're off the island as a way to get into crafting or display that loading screen tooltip about surveying being a good way to start crafting in a more accessible location, perhaps also hinting/telling you where you would actually go to do that. I would also like to see achievements in game which could act as another focus on stuff to do.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Aionlasting's Avatar
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    Adding more structure doesn't sound bad and might be very good. I think youre on to something. My only concern would be that , especially with crafting, every craft skill requires atleast 5 others to be leveled. So now your two skills you are locked into until they are complete become difficult or impossible to complete because you cannot start leveling the other crafts you need to complete them. So all you've done is shifted the grind from a material grind through alternate paths into a gold grind... and players can be cruel ... and gold grinds can be randomly inflated by the player base so where one required a grind of fixed amount of materials the latter requires a grind for unknown amount of gold that can change at the player bases whim... which may be good... or bad. Is that a risk we are willing to take? I'm not so sure...

    I think the openness of PG is its strength but maybe a railroad system in some other form other than limited a players amount of crafts... perhaps streamlining crafting materials... you don't want to limit the number of items in PG but maybe you can reduce the ones used in crafting? How about have crafting item categories you can limit such as "Skins, Monster trophies, Ores" and leave it at those shared across the crafting professions? You can still have all your billion of items but prune some out of the crafting tree and limit the categories.
    Last edited by Aionlasting; 05-08-2020 at 04:56 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Oxlazr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citan View Post
    So the more I think about it, the more I'm tempted to add new restrictions to help here. Not as limits, but as structure, rails to help players. For instance, maybe I should let you only pick one or two major crafting skills at a time. When you get a skill to 100 (or whatever), you can add another skill and start leveling that, but you have to focus on only a couple at a time until they're "done". Just one example idea.
    I think you know better than anyone if you ever did this you'd get a loooot of complaints, but it's important to note that people generally don't rally to the forums to sing praises about video-games.

    At any-rate, while this might've been a fair consideration earlier on, I think the game's too far along to make such a drastic change. There must be some sort of middle-ground, though: for example, what if you selected two skills to be proficient in, and they leveled significantly faster than others, had better yields, and could reach a higher cap (I.e. You could specialise in cheesemaking, which would enable you to get to 120 skill, whereas your other skills are limited to 100).

    I wonder what portion of the player-base wants to be self-sufficient in that regard? For me personally, I tend to enjoy collecting materials, then throwing them at other people to do stuff with; I can't say I enjoy figuring out prices or shuffling through my inventory - which is a lot of the game at the moment.

    As a bit of a tangent, it just recalls other games where you might see a locked chest - if you don't have a rogue in the party, it just.. stays locked. It might encourage someone to play a rogue, motivating them, or otherwise provide extra value outside of combat for a specific class. It doesn't translate well into Project Gorgon in that context, but it feels like everyone would want to level lockpicking if there were an option for it, and thus it adds that task to the list as another obligation rather than an option.

    I think that's often what it comes down to - there's no real decision making, you just sort of feel like.. well, you need to do everything.

    A lot of the time I just want to drop everything in my inventory and go on an adventure, slay a few bosses, roll the bones for some treasure & not worry about all that stuff on the side.
    IGN: Vzi



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