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. #11
    Member BetaNotus'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 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!
    I'm not a serious in-game craftsman by any definition, but I think the freedom to decide one day to stop gathering materials for Leatherworking and heading to <dungeon> to gather different materials for <other skill> is important to break up feelings of repetition in gameplay. I know in the past you mentioned subskills for crafting skills, giving examples such as Haberdashery (mentioned in patch notes on 6/19/16 as a skill that will take over crafting of tailored animal headgear). I think these sub-skills provide the solution, not as the rail tracks themselves, but as distant stations players will hope to someday visit. Taking it a step further, what if the endgame subskills were developed similar to Sushi Preparation? Sushi Preparation requires multiple skills to unlock, but not high levels in either prerequisite skill.

    Suppose Blacksmithing caps at Level 80 or 100, then players must make a long-term choice. Will they specialize in the armorsmithing subskill, or weaponsmithing? Whichever they pick, the "get a skill to X level" proposal before they can work on the other applies. At the same time, the same choice applies to other crafting skills. Will the player specialize Tailoring into Haberdashery or Modiste? Will Leatherworking become Saddler or Cobbler? I think people would be more accepting to a limit on the number of these subskills, with players only being able to pick 2-3 of them at a time and 1 from any parent skill at a time.
    Last edited by BetaNotus; 05-08-2020 at 05:58 AM.
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  2. #12
    Member overtyped's Avatar
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    Should go back to wow maybe. I don't want anything to change with the way the game is. In fact since this is perhaps the only mmo on steam with mostly positive reviews, i think that speaks for itself.

    The thing with quality of life changes is they are not just that. They change how a game is played. Look at retail world of warcraft and classic wow. If you strip retail of all it's quality of life things then you get classic. They play like they are different games don't they?

    The only thing that could use changing if any is the graphics and optimization, not anything about the gameplay itself.
    Last edited by overtyped; 05-08-2020 at 06:14 AM.

  3. #13
    Member Silkt's Avatar
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    Just my take on 2 points:
    1. Initial inventory size; I have always stated even back before we had Serbule Hills that the start inventory was too small for the amount of items that don't stack. Solution I feel the inventory size during the bonus events feels about right, possibly the starting inventory could be increased by 15 or even 20 slots but inventory increases obtained as you progress, could be reduced so at around level 50 or 60 you are still the same size as current.

    2. Locking the number of crafting skills: 100% dead against this idea, unless the requirements for augmentation are removed or it is done in stages, as in 2 skills to 25 for augment training, unlocks the option for the next 2, to get the 3rd pair you need 2 skills at 50 and 2 at 25 and crafting skills not used in augmentation are untouched.

  4. #14
    Junior Member Roccandil'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 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!
    Hmm. I feel like the favor/training system is already rails enough (if not too much). The need to unlock skill tiers and training imposes a restrictive structure:

    - I need money
    - I need to get favor with the appropriate NPCs

    My current gameplay revolves around those two points. I'm not feeling a lack of direction or goals; I actually feel the opposite: like my options are limited if I want to progress.

    More precisely, I think it's because meaningful combat progression is restricted more by NPC gates than by actually getting exp. Any skills I can level while fighting/exploring (combat skills, foraging, skinning, butchering, pathology, mycology, first aid, armor patching, etc.) I easily max them out, just while trying to get what I need to unlock high-level training at NPCs.

    Crafting skills are very different, however. For most of those, getting exp is much harder due to lack of materials to grind with (tanning excepted). I don't feel NPC-bound so much with crafting skills; I tend to unlock crafting NPCs before getting crafting skills to the point where I need the unlocks. (Note that the resource limitation problem is exacerbated by NPC favor needs: many of the materials I might have used for crafting exp I've instead spent on favor.)

    Crafting, though, doesn't really seem necessary unless you want to build industry exp or start crafting your own gear instead of relying on drops, making it more of an endgame skillset.

    TLDR:

    Crafting skills are not the issue: I'm not so NPC-gated there. Any skill that can be raised during the combat process, however, feels NPC-gated. My combat-related exp progression has smashed into an NPC wall, forcing me onto NPC-driven rails if I want to unlock more combat progression.

    My suggestion? Remove training requirements for levels (you can grind combat exp straight to level cap).

  5. #15
    Senior Member Yaffy's Avatar
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    I think an issue with the favor/gifting system is that it presents itself as a major hurdle for newer players, but just an extra form of payment to more experienced players. The problem stems mostly from how gifting is easily the fastest way to gain favor when simply purchasing gifts for the NPC (Essentially converting money to favor), but can appear as a huge grind when you try to collect the items yourself, ESPECIALLY when the items available to you are low value, due to how gift favor is based on item value so heavily. Let's use Marna in Serbule as an example, as many players say she's one of the more useful NPCs to raise favor with early.

    If you're an experienced player, raising favor with Marna is incredibly easy. If you know about how item rarity affects favor, you can get Marna to Soul Mates just buying a few yellow fire staves from Joeh or Elahil's used tabs. Otherwise, you can go to the player vendors and buy a bunch of middling vegetarian meals like Baked Beets or Broccoli Florets (Or the ingredients to make them). Both of these options are incredibly fast and will only cost you around 5-7k to get to Soul Mates, which is pocket change to an experienced player. Even if we're talking self found items only as a last resort, you could grind in Wolf Cave or Gazluk for skins and do it yourself in about 10-30 minutes of grinding, depending on your farming speed.

    If you're a new player though, you don't know any of these strategies. You probably don't have 5k to throw around, and even then new players aren't going to risk their money buying favor items because they don't know how much favor they'll get out of it without outside help. When a new player wants to raise favor with Marna via gifts, they will try to collect those items she wants themselves.
    Here's the problem though, at that point in the game, the items you can grind for Marna are practically worthless for favor, due to their low vendor value. Let's say you try cooking your own vegetarian food, so you start growing potatoes and make some potato dishes... and you get about 3 to 5 favor per food item. Skins aren't any better, with shoddy and rough skins only offering 1-2 favor. At that rate, it'll take you an hour or two of grinding at best just to reach friends, never mind soul mates.

    This is exactly why the favor system can be so polarizing, because knowing how to optimally gift an NPC is so important, and because vendor value has such a major effect on gifting. It might sound silly to use Marna as an example because she's a "Low level" npc and experienced players should have her maxed out already, but favor works the same for every NPC in the game. If an NPC in a level 100 area had similar tastes to Marna, everything I said about Marna would apply to them as well.
    You can definitely argue that there are some benefits to this system, for example the two hour grind is an excuse for beginners to level up their other skills and by raising those skills they can raise favor faster, but it appears as a ginormous grind to people starting out, and this repeats every time the player finds a new NPC who demands new items. This is why the favor system turns off so many newer players.

    Thankfully, NPC favor quests mitigate this grind somewhat in the early game, but favor quests are limited, especially as you go further through the game. Instead of just adding a lot of extra filler quests, I would like to offer some suggestions to make the favor system a bit more natural, play better and a bit more fun:

    1. Give NPCs "Levels" which make them easier/harder to gain favor with, so that lower level NPCs are generally easier to raise favor with and higher level NPCs are harder. One way of doing this for example could be making lower level NPCs "Less picky", so for example Marna gives an extra +3 favor for any skin while Sirine in Rahu will only give you a +3 bonus for Great Skins or better and a -3 penalty for low level skins. (The minimum for the bonus could be based on vendor value). This would make it more worthwhile for players to collect gift items in the area around the NPC. You can still gift higher rarity skins, but that +3 bonus doesn't matter much for an already valuable item, while it means a lot for a low level gift making it more cost efficient.

    2. Normalize the favor value of items around an average, so that extremely cheap items are still worth something while very valuable items aren't worth a ginormous amount of favor. It makes sense for NPCs to like more valuable items, but vendor value is far too important, and it can still take a lot of effort to collect low value items (For example the shoddy skins with Marna). It's hard to come up with a perfect formula that works for everything, so my suggestion would be to add a flat amount of favor to each item while lowering the vendor value multiplier. For example all skins could be worth +3 extra favor, but the vendor value only gives 80% of its current value. (Just for reference, I believe it would make shoddy skins worth 4 favor up from 1, while Great skins are worth 19 favor down from 20).

    3. Add more "Easy" forms of passive favor over time. Something that would make it feel like my relationship with an NPC isn't based on how many mushrooms I throw at them would be the ability to gain favor passively as I interact with the NPC. Some of the best interactions with NPCs is when you can gain favor for choosing different speech options, or even being a certain race, and I would love more like this since it adds a lot of character. One example of a system like this would be a little free daily favor just for talking to an NPC, possibly a little extra for small talking with them. The amount of favor gained could be different depending on factors like the NPC or the player's status. For example, friendly NPCs would love having someone small talk with them and would give a bit more favor, while more judgemental NPCs will give favor only to players of their race/form. This would not only make the NPCs feel much more alive, but it could also be a way of making early game favor a bit easier to gain. For example Marna is pretty friendly, so just saying hello to her each day could offer +10 favor which could help some slower players get through that early game slog. This could also be used as a method to slowly but surely gain favor with NPCs if the player cannot manage to gift them properly, although higher level NPCs should generally be a bit more stubborn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Citan View Post
    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.
    I think a lot of that stems from beginners not wanting to spend money if they can acquire items themselves (Which means they are reluctant to buy materials from other players and would rather be "Self reliant" and learn the skills to collect said materials themselves) and also from issues with NPC favor. A pretty common problem in the game is that players want to train for skill X, but the NPC who does said training doesn't have many quests and demands items from a different skill for favor. If the player isn't open to buying those favor items, then they'll try to learn the skills required to earn those items themselves. If that other skill's trainer also has that problem, you end up with those giant skill learning trains where you end up learning 4 skills just so you can use one. There's also some cases where the NPC in question wants precious resources for your skill and doesn't offer you much favor for them so you want to find alternatives instead. For example Lamashu trains you in carpentry and wants wood as a gift, but you want to keep your wood because you're doing carpentry and she doesn't give you much favor for it, so you'd much rather give her onyxes instead which are from surveying.

    I'm not too sure at the moment the best way to encourage players to be more open to buying items from other players, since that's a very important thing for PG and many players aren't used to doing it outside of an auction house in most mmos nowadays. However I do believe that improving the way NPCs gain favor will fix the "Skill train" problem to some extent, especially for the early game where it's the biggest issue.
    Last edited by Yaffy; 05-08-2020 at 09:18 AM.

  6. #16
    Junior Member Mr. SEv3N's Avatar
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    ehh. Not much to say, but that everything becomes MUCH easier to manage as you level and gain knowledge about the world. You'll find better ways to make gold, a lot more storage spaces.. etc. And it might not be right away, so just know you'll have to put in the time. But you'll be better for it!

  7. #17
    Junior Member Henrycc265's Avatar
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    so on point , I will have to mark this
    rarely have developer have such vision anymore
    I bet I am your only fans in Hong Kong , lol ... china people tend to only play on rail automatic mmo festered with in app purchase thats why even world of warcraft / everquest aren't welcomed there

  8. #18
    Junior Member Henrycc265's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citan View Post
    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!
    so on point , I will have to mark this
    rarely have developer have such vision anymore
    I bet I am your only fans in Hong Kong , lol ... china people tend to only play on rail automatic mmo festered with in app purchase thats why even world of warcraft / everquest aren't welcomed there

  9. #19
    Junior Member Vintus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citan View Post

    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?
    New player here, and I'm beginning to feel the strain from having to earn everyone's favor. To me, gifting itself isn't where the problem lies.

    The problem is there is rarely meaningful or useful interaction before a certain favor level is reached. Unlocking skills almost always requires at least comfortable, which would make sense in real life, but also takes away all the fun from meeting new NPCs (and from exploration without checking wiki first), as new NPCs = more running back and forth and a sense of incompletion. Quests to unlock (like the ice magic quest) would probably work as it offers a sense of direction, and a player may feel that they have at least made some small progress by discovering and accepting a new quest, instead of "I should have looked it up and brought oranges."

    Alternatively just make the first few recipes, the skill unlock, and the first tier of storage always available. Players would still have to earn favor as they progress in the skill or need more storage, so it wouldn't make the favor system any less important.

    To sum it up, the way it's implemented currently feels like a punishment oriented approach, while most people would probably prefer a reward based system where you get something (and a reasonable vendor price) from just meeting these NPCs, and get more from befriending them.
    Last edited by Vintus; 05-09-2020 at 03:05 AM.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Aionlasting's Avatar
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    Honestly I think the burn out , in my opinion, would be helped, by having less crafting materials. This games item count is bloated mostly due to the crafting professions and every vertical tier having more and more unique items needed. If you prune that a bit, you'll bring down the item count required for crafting allowing for more players to have things they need or to share among themselves by trade or sale and you'll reduce the amount of anxiety around the inventory as you've reduced the total number of unique items thereby decreasing the rate at which players become overwhelmed with inventory management stress.

    Crafting can still be fun, "repetatitive" (not "grindy"), with less materials and without compromising the whole system.

    I'd love an explanation as to why the crafting reagents need to be bloated the way they are...



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