Hello Reddit! I’m Michael Ferrier, indie game developer behind 2002’s “War of Conquest”, an early real-time strategy MMO, where thousands of nations battled for supremacy on a single huge map. In the late 90s I worked on one of the first MMORPGs, “Asheron’s Call” at Turbine Games. I then teamed up with another ex-Turbinite and created the original “War of Conquest”, which was online until 2011. Now I’m running a Kickstarter to launch a new, much improved “War of Conquest”. I’ve been making games for 25 years; along the way I’ve illustrated comic books, studied cognitive neuroscience and raised a flock of chickens.

Proof: http://warofconquest.com/reddit-ama/

War of Conquest: http://warofconquest.com/

Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2002513369/war-of-conquest

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/warofconquestgame/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ironzog

EDIT: Thank you everyone for the great questions! I'm off for now, but I will check in later so post any new questions you come up with.

Comments: 151 • Responses: 63  • Date: 

AsheronHimself15 karma


Why did you kill me? Why wont you help save me? Please help me Michael!

mrferrier5 karma

I was greatly saddened to hear about your passing, Asheron. I want you to know I had nothing to do with it, and if I could keep you alive I gladly would have!

BigJohnOlson7 karma

Did you actually need to learn cognitive neuroscience to raise chickens or is your bio misleading? I only ask because I don't want to be under qualified to raise them, Thanks

mrferrier4 karma

lol of course, and you'll need to illustrate comics before you can study cognitive neuroscience, too. Chickens are a big commitment. ;-)

An-Adventurer6 karma

Hello Michael, I'm here via your cross-post to the Asheron's Call subreddit.

While you were at Turbine, what role did you have in the development of Asheron's Call? Are there any specific systems that you designed or content you created?

mrferrier6 karma

Hi! I worked primarily on user interface and tools. I designed the user interface primitives, programmed the character creation process and many of the panels, inventory system, readabe books, chat, etc. I worked closely with Chris Foster (UI designer) and Zach Shukan (UI artist). I also created several tools that were used internally, such as a "Dungeon Creator" that allowed designers to make dungeons by placing pre-made tiles on a grid map, and a "palette editor" that made it easy for artists to create different colored variations of the same clothes, armor, etc.

An-Adventurer4 karma

Thanks for the reply.

Who was the other ex-Turbinite that you created the original War of Conquest with? I assume it is the "zog" in ironzog?

shukanimator5 karma

Me! Zog was short for Zogblaster, my professional alias at the time.'

Edit: Me = Zach Shukan

Mike and I were roommates during the Asheron's Call days and then for a few years after, when we created the original WoC

mrferrier3 karma

Hi Zach! And yes, during the Asheron's Call days, I literally lived in Zach's closet :)

ShonyWocGod5 karma

Did you ever come out of the closet?

mrferrier5 karma

Yes, after about 1 year of hearing variations on that joke ;)

mrferrier2 karma

Yes -- that is Zach Shukan, AC's UI artist. After we left Turbine Zach started a web dev company called "Zogblaster" and I had my own company called "Ironworker Studios" so we combined the two to create "IronZog" when we started working together.

An-Adventurer6 karma

Another Turbine related question:

I have been digging through turbine's site from the Asheron's Call beta (http://www.zogblaster.com/tweb/asherons-call/index.html).

There are a few news items about Turbine developing a game for the Sega Dreamcast. I couldn't find out much about it, other than it was going to be online and have a sci-fi setting. The game was never released.

Do you remember any details about this second game turbine began to develop? Did it have a title? What genre of game was it going to be? And finally, what caused the project to end?

mrferrier5 karma

Yes, I worked on that game for a while. I don't recall it's title (if it had a final title). It involved strange creatures that the player could create by combining from a large variety of different body parts. In that way, similar to the more recent game "Spore". It also was going to involve the Dreamcast's main display, as well and a sub-game involving the controllers (which had a built-in display). If I recall, there might have been plans for Pokemon-like battles between players using their controllers (separate from the console), but I'm not 100% sure about that. I worked on the character creation system for that, and did some early UI work for it. I don't think the game was cancelled yet when I left Turbine in early 2000, and I don't know why it was cancelled.

ShonyWocGod-8 karma

This is WOC related questions. Get out of here with this crap...

An-Adventurer6 karma


mrferrier6 karma

Please feel free to ask questions about AC or anything else. This is an AMA.

mrferrier3 karma

It is an AMA and I'm open to answering questions about anything. I cross-posted to the Asheron's Call subreddit specifically because I thought some people there might ant to ask AC related questions.

Hubbell2 karma

That's why he literally cross posted this to the asheron's call Reddit himself right?

mrferrier2 karma

Yes, exactly.

negedgeClk3 karma

Please save AC. Thanks?

mrferrier3 karma

I would love to... unfortunately I have no say in the matter. Afaik there are only 2 people still working at Turbine from the days when I was there. And sadly they are not the people who would decide these things. I'm also very sorry to see AC go, and don't understand why they couldn't work out a deal with a fan group to allow them to host the servers.

tactics142 karma

I remember being about 12 years old and Googling "how to make money playing video game".

Your game came up on a list of games with cash prizes and I gave it a try and immediate fell in love. I sunk all my free time into your game trying to get orbs with the dream of getting rich playing video games.

I never made any money but I had all sorts of fun.

I just want to say thank you for creating one of my favorites games - donated to the kick starter and I am so excited for the beta to be available.

Question - when are you creating /r/warofconquest?

mrferrier1 karma

That's really great to hear! :)

There already is a /r/warofconquest -- I didn't create it, but I've posted there once or twice.

An-Adventurer2 karma

I have another Asheron's Call related question for you.

You said you left Turbine in early 2000, which would be shortly after the game was released. Did you (or Zach) play on the retail servers? If so, how long were you a player? Were there any quests/events that you particularly enjoyed?

mrferrier1 karma

I played some on the beta server, but I don't think I played much on the retail server. I've always tended to prefer strategy games over RPGs personally. As I recall, a lot of the good story content was being added to AC just as I was leaving. I'm friends with Chris L'Etoile ("Stormwaltz") who did a lot of the early story content for AC, and I remember he hadn't been there too long yet by the time I left.

GameToThrill_Eric2 karma

What was the hardest part of the coding process for the game?

What is currently the biggest challenge of development going forward?

mrferrier2 karma

Unity saved me an enormous amount f work and made all kinds of things possible that I couldn't have done with such a small team otherwise. Most problems that came up were easily solved by looking through Unity's community forums and Q&A sites. But there were a couple of tricky problems that were rare enough that they hadn't been addressed by Unity yet, and that took a while to fix or get around. You can see a few here:

http://answers.unity3d.com/questions/1144203/how-to-force-android-to-use-a-24-bit-depth-buffer.html?childToView=1144779#comment-1144779 http://answers.unity3d.com/questions/1140870/gui-elements-sometimes-flicker-or-flash-briefly-sh.html http://answers.unity3d.com/questions/926851/why-do-terrain-splat-maps-look-different-in-web-pl.html

The problem with Unity being a black box is that if you run into a problem that not enough other people have run into, it may be very tough to get around.

Besides that, it's been smooth sailing. The server side largely uses the same Java code used for the original War of Conquest, so I dealt with the many tricky issues of socket connections, race conditions, etc. back when I wrote that code originally.

Going forward, the biggest challenge will be balancing the game during testing. Getting all of the techs and resources to have well balances stat bonuses, setting the prices and power of the various purchasable boosts so that they are useful but don't make the game pay2win, etc. Then I'm sure there will be challenges in testing and polishing the mobile versions -- they work now, but I'm sure there will be graphics issues that only afflict certain devices, for instance.

The final problem will be attracting enough players to make the game fun for all (being an mmo it needs a critical mass to be fun). That will be done by using several platforms such as Steam and app stores, making it available for reviews by gaming press, etc. No doubt, with all the games out there, this will be a big challenge.

Spencetacular042 karma

If you were brand new to learning how to program / design video games - where would you start?

mrferrier4 karma

For a child, there are lots of systems like Scratch that teach the basics concepts of programming.

For an adult, I think I would start with Unity -- follow the beginner video tutorials and start by making simple games. Then come up with ideas of how you'd like to change how they look or work, and learn what you need about programming to make those changes. Do that a few times and you'll be able to dive more deeply into programming, which is really necessary if you want to make a game that isn't more or less a clone of others. For me it all starts with coming up with an idea that I'm excited about, and then learning what I have to learn to make it a reality. If I'm excited about the idea to begin with, it will motivate me to push through the difficult bits.

As for game design (coming up with how a game should play, as opposed to actually making it work) there are a lot of books out there, but a lot of it comes down to playing games and seeing what kinds of elements make it fun for you, and what problems can get in the way of it being fun.

TheRaptorCaptor2 karma

What's your bird's name?

mrferrier1 karma

"Juno". We thought he was a girl at first, but turned out to be a boy. (It's hard to tell with young birds, the vet had to do a DNA test to find out.)

An-Adventurer2 karma

During the development of Asheron's Call, were there any features/mechanics/etc that you wanted to implement but couldn't?

mrferrier3 karma

As far as the work I did goes, I recall that there were a few UI features that the designers would have wanted, but that would have taken too much time in our already far-behind schedule to implement. I don't remember specific examples though. As far as the game overall goes, a big limitation was that all of the characters were composed of a hierarchy of rigid objects, and would animate by having these objects move relative to each other, instead of deformable objects that could animate by changing shape (as is now the norm, and was becoming standard even back then). That severely restricted what the artists could do with animations, and gave AC characters that sort of "action figure" appearance.

goodnewsjimdotcom2 karma

Do you have any idea why Turbine bowed out of the MMO buisness? I had more fun in Asheron's Call than WOW because AC had stuff so scattered to collect, the action oriented combat of dueling and jumping, and the patron system. If I considered that if I ever make a MMO, I'm going to have it so you can craft equipment that when people kill stuff with it, you gain some exp(so you want to equip noobs with em).

I just don't get why Turbine would stop doing MMOs and do lesser forms of games like MOBAs. I'm still hoping someone out there does an action oriented MMORPG, maybe like Tekken or something. I tried myself since 2003, and still trying.

mrferrier3 karma

I don't know the specifics of why Turbine stopped doing MMOs, but I expect it was Warner Bros' decision since the Turbine people obviously wanted to continue working on them (pretty much the whole DDO and LOTRO teams split off to form Standing Stone and keep working on them). MMORPGs are very expensive (there were about 40 people working on AC when I was there) and so they are a huge risk, they can lose a lot of money of they don't catch on. And Turbine never had a hit of the scale of Everquest or WoW. It could be Warner just tired of funding such risky projects for little or no returns, and decided to go with less expensive (and unique) projects.

I really like that idea of getting XP for kills made by equipment that you craft!

jrr6415sun1 karma

the last few years of AC there was maybe 1-2 people working on it, and the last year or 2 with no updates no one was working on it except to maintenance the servers. There is no way that it would have been that expensive for WB to continue it.

Thanks for doing the AMA and answering all our questions, great read.

mrferrier1 karma

Yes I'm sure there would have been virtually no cost to continuing to host AC; I have no idea why they shut it down, and why they failed to license it out to either Standing Stone or fans to host it themselves.

RonUSMC2 karma

Hey Michael! I was wondering what you guys thought about looting ... and in a more general sense, what did you guys think about all the politics, like xp chaining? Was it fun to watch and think you guys designed your own cosmos? Also, what is your best memory of AC (ingame) and AC (out of game)? Thanks!

mrferrier3 karma

A lot of thought was put into AC's social mechanics, the fellowship and allegiance systems, and the idea was to motivate people to band together and help each other out, especially new players. One of the few mmorpgs that came out before AC, Ultima Online, showed how unrestricted PvP and no incentives to help new players could make it a terrible experience for newbies, just getting killed over and over. AC's designers worked rally hard to add incentives to help each other out, and I think they were successful. The politics and organizations that formed were great, it was a big part of helping make the world feel real and alive.

In game, most of my experience with AC was during testing -- I didn't play it much for fun, I think partly because I was so familiar with it that the sense of mystery and discovery that I like to have in games wasn't so much there for me. I wandered around, ran across the continent to see what I'd discover, things like that. I remember going invisible and following a group of players around in beta, to see what their experience of it was like. It was great seeing people experience it with fresh eyes and have fun, after having put years of work in not know whether people would like it.

Outside of the game the high point was mostly the great bunch of people I worked with. I got to be good friends with the UI artist I worked closely with, and with several others... I survived many late nights on ramen noodles, learned to juggle and lost a ball belonging to one of the programmers inside a wall (I bet it's still there), made a hidden easter egg version of "pong" in the game (that Atari later had Turbine remove), helped a good high school friend get an interview there and now his wife is someone he met in AC,... lots of good memories.

Minaro_2 karma

How are you?

mrferrier2 karma

I'm doing well, thank you, a little chilly as I'm sitting outside and the sun's gone down. How are you?

An-Adventurer2 karma

Hey Mike, one last Asheron's Call question for you.

I seem to remember hearing somewhere that AC was based on a dungeons and dragons campaign. Is there any truth to that?

Thanks for answering these questions about a 20 year old game today. AC was really something special, and its nice to see that the old devs haven't forgotten it.

mrferrier3 karma

Hmm... I don't remember hearing that. AC was originally the brainchild of Jon Monsarrat, who got something like $40,000 as a settlement from being hit by a car, and decided to use that to hire a few Brown and RISD students to help him make a massively multiplayer 3D RPG (which hadn't yet been done at the time). He had been working with a small team that grew to about 15 after about a year, when I joined, in early '96. By that point some of the creatures and story already existed, I remember Olthoi and Lugians were in there. Toby Ragaini was lead designer and I think there were 2 other designers at that time, Eri Izawa and Nick Atlas. Around 97 or 98 Jon, though the founder, left the company. So if the story did have roots in a D&D campaign I would guess it might be Toby's. That would be a good question for him. Over the years a lot changed, the game was called "Portal" internally at Turbine until maybe 97 or 98, when a lot of different title ideas were bandied about on the company e-mail list and someone in the design team suggested Asheron's Call. (Turbine at the time I started was called Second Nature, but had to change it because there was a toilet paper company with that name!)

I know that huge contributions to early AC lore were made by several different designers (and even some interns!) so it certainly wasn't received as a complete work from any one person or D&D campaign. Some elements or ideas might have started that way though; I don't know.

Glad to answer questions, thanks for a lot of good ones, and it's amazing to see that AC affected peoples lives so much that they're still interested all this time later.

BigJohnOlson2 karma

If i offered you 10k cash, what stake of woc would you be willin to part with? Serious question...

mrferrier5 karma

None, at this point... until the game is released, there's no way to tell what any stake in it would be worth. 10k could end up being way too much or too little for any size stake. Ask me again in 6 months and I might have a firmer answer :)

project-mystic2 karma

Where you for or against Asheron Call dev choice to refactor spell power away from being based on usage/popularity. I really enjoyed AC, great job to you and your team. Bonus question, is WoC your game of choice to develop/passion project of sorts, if you had unlimited resources would this still be your baby, or would you be kickstarting a different game?

mrferrier2 karma

I remember thinking the original spell system was very clever; it motivated people to experiment and discover new and potentially more powerful spells, automatically balanced spells that were too useful by making them less powerful, and gave a sense of an underlying magical substrate that all spells worked from, adding to the depth of the world.

I recall that a new, more typical spell system was introduced later, but that was after my time there and I no longer played AC, I don't know much about it, or why the change was made.

Yes, WoC is like a puzzle for me, I feel like a massively multiplayer 4x strategy game hasn't really been done right yet. You know how in AC you feel like you're in a vast living world with lots of other people. I feel like most strategy games cut players off from most everyone else, just letting them maybe form a 'clan' with a few others or go one-on-one with matchmaking. The closest I've seen to what I'm going for are some space games like Eve Online, but they tend to have the opposite problem of being so vast that you're still mostly alone. So yes, WoC is a passion project, a kind of game that I feel hasn't been done right yet so I'm giving it a shot :) Right now, even with a lot more funds, I'd still probably be doing WoC, but I do have other ideas for the future, that I'm still working out the basics of, that I hope to get to -- and that will require more resources.

Spitfire100002 karma

Is it one nation and username per device? Can you be in multiple nations ?

mrferrier1 karma

Yes in the new War of Conquest there will be no restrictions on how many nations you can be in. But only one username per device. That username can switch between different nations though if you'd like.

ShonyWocGod1 karma

Can my boyfriend and I play in the same nation at the same time under the same ISP? We love to game together a lot.

mrferrier1 karma

Yes, you'll just need to be on two different devices. Same ISP is fine, same IP address is fine.

anotherterrror2 karma

Hi Mike, Will the game have CASH prizes like the old version?

mrferrier3 karma

No cash prizes -- the orbs will pay out credits (game currency). The U.S. laws on cash pries in games have tightened a lot, and PayPal actually stopped processing payments for the original WoC back in 2011, because they thought it was too close to gambling (even though it was a game of skill rather than chance). That was one of the immediate reasons why the old WoC shut down. There's some possibility that in the future some kind of real world prizes could be introduced, maybe using Bitcoin, but not right away anyhow.

Spitfire100001 karma

Why not allow a "fake" in game currency $ amount for orb payout and have a disclaimer stating its not real money?

Having the orbs pay credits could mean the lists could have ridiculous amounts of numbers attributed to them.

mrferrier2 karma

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here... how could payouts in credits lead to ridiculous numbers?

Spitfire100001 karma

If Orb of Fire pays say 100 credits an hour, if one nation holds it for a long time it would say 100000 next to it, as oppose to if it paid an "in game currency" it could pay less and the numbers wouldn't appear high and that currency or points can be converted to credits. Similar to the old WoC.

Which is my question, I don't understand why the game has to veer away from a $ value if the dollar value has no actual real life value behind it and if there is a disclaimer stating that then how can it be considered gambling especially if it doesn't pay out to people?

mrferrier6 karma

I don't see how it makes a difference whether it says $100 or 10,000 next to the nation's name in the ranks list... to me 10,000 is a bit better because it's more impressive sounding, and doesn't break the fictional reality by bringing in real-life currency "$".

ShonyWocGod2 karma

Is Mele still on your team? Most of us hated that witch. Also will there be whales in this new version or nah?

mrferrier1 karma

Mele and I are still friends but it's unclear whether/how much WoC related work she'll want to do. She's very busy with other things these days.

cursed_man2 karma

What was Kete games? What kind of agreement did you have with them? What were they adding to the game? Why did they buy out WoC? What happened to them?

mrferrier3 karma

At the time I was in grad school and didn't have the time to put into WoC dev that it needed to keep doing well. So, I licensed WoC rights out to Kete, so that hopefully WoC would be able to come back and keep going in some form. Unfortunately Kete didn't have an opportunity to pursue that. So years later when I has time again I talked it over with Kete and we decided that I would go ahead and create the new WoC, and they still have an option to create an alternate version (based on Classic WoC) in the future if they'd like to.

sirdallas11 karma

Why did you name it IronZog? Anything behind the name?

mrferrier3 karma

After we left Turbine Zach Shukan started a web dev company called "Zogblaster" and I had my own company called "Ironworker Studios" so we combined the two to create "IronZog" when we started working together.

ShonyWocGod1 karma

Hey Mike! Shony here. Will the new Woc still have Fire,Destiny,Shadow, and noons? Or are the orbs now called something else equally epic?

mrferrier1 karma

Hi Shony! Yes, There will be the four original types, plus a new one -- the Orb of the Void!

Spitfire100001 karma

How many Orb of Voids are there?

mrferrier1 karma

If I recall correctly, 5 or 6. It's the 3rd rarest type, after Fire and Destiny.

ShonyWocGod1 karma

Is it pink? You should really think about allowing pink orbs.

mrferrier1 karma

lol why not? Plaid might work too. But no, the Orb of the Void is black/purple.

TrippyHippy181 karma

I am curious about the mobile version of the game. Will it be a seperate server from the pc version? If not will the accounts be linked like i can check my nation at work? Also how long after the initial release will mobile be available

mrferrier3 karma

The plan is for the PC, iOS and Android versions to all share the same server, so that you can play the same nation on different devices if you want.

Spitfire100001 karma

Will the test version of the Android be available right up until the initial launch of the final version of the App?

mrferrier1 karma

That's the plan, yes.

Spitfire100001 karma

1) Can you still farm with agriculture?

2) Will Android will be ready during beta?

3) Will fog of war levels change as you gain more levels?

4) What is the limit for Republics?

5) Will you have Insurgency?

6) Is there a cap on how many structures you can build and have functioning? Say the caps 8 and you steal one from another nation, could you operate 9?

7) Do orbs and resources move in the new woc?

8) Will people be able to join other peoples nations during the beta?

9) How big is the new map?

10) How many types of resources are there?

11) Is there a limit to how many walls you can have?

12) How does the game determine how many points you get per attack, like Innovation in old WoC?

13) How many technologies are there, and can you cross between the 3 tech paths?

14) Are there Temporary and Permanent Purchasable techs again?

15) How do Alliances work, is it similar to old WoC?

mrferrier1 karma

Oh my... this may take a while... :)

1) No, though that may change in testing... I found that agriculture motivated nations to grow extremely large making the game world difficult to move around in. It may be possible to solve that issue without eliminating agriculture, though.

2) The final Android client won't be ready. But a test version will be available in beta.

3) You'll be able to view on the map a little ways beyond a bounding box around the place in the map that your nation has been. The size of the area around that box won't increase, but as you increase in level you'll be exploring more of the world so you'll be able to see a lot more of it.

4) No republics limit. Instead, there will be a limit on how often a nation can unite (eg. one per week).

mrferrier1 karma

6) The number of defensive structures you can have operating depends on how much energy your nation has, and the rate at which it generates it. Each type of structure uses energy at a particular rate. If you run out of energy, some of your defensive structures will become "inert" (inactive) until you get more energy. Also, if you steal defenses from another nation they become inactive, they do not become useful for you. The other nation can take them back, or if you hold them for long enough they are destroyed.

mrferrier1 karma

7) Orbs and resources don't move, but nations will be able to build objects where they store some of their manpower or energy. Building such an object will increase the nation's max amount of manpower or energy they can hold. But if another nation captures one of these objects, they get some of the manpower or energy that it held. So in that sense, there are objects to pursue with positions that will vary.

mrferrier1 karma

8) Yes -- no limit on number of players per nation. 9) The map will be easily re-sizable. It won't be too big for beta, but as the number of players increases and at release, it will become much bigger (without changing the areas that are already there). No definite size is chosen, it depends on the number of players it will need to fit.

Spitfire100001 karma

What is the square by square count?

Like 1,000x1,000?

mrferrier1 karma

The current map being used for testing is 800x400, but that will increase when it needs to accommodate more players.

Spitfire100001 karma

And like you said when that time comes, the map already available won't be changed? Just the edges will expand?

Also will mains need to be as large as before?

mrferrier1 karma

Yes, the edges will expand. Mains won't need to be as large as before, and won't be able to be, because there is a network of mountain ranges all over the map, with empty gaps between them for main. Mains will still be useful for keeping a nation's geo eff high.

mrferrier1 karma

10) 15

11) Yes, same limit as for other defensive structure, the rate at which your nation produces energy. Walls use less energy than other structures that have counter-attack capabilities.

mrferrier1 karma

12) The number of points you earn for an attack is based on the number of hit points that the square you defeated had. This is multiplied by an "XP multiplier" stat, the equivalent of Innovation in the old WoC, that can be increased with certain tech advances and resources. 13) About 360, and yes you can go all in on one of the 3 branches, or divide however you'd like between them. 14) There are temporary, so far no permanents.

mrferrier1 karma

15) Alliances will be similar to the original, but allied nations won't share techs/stats, they'll share a common pool of energy with each other.

duk3nuk3m1 karma

Hi Mike,

I was a long time on and off fan of War of Conquest. Very excited to see that you are trying to bring it back now. Backed the Kickstarter and I will keep following to see how progress is going.

As for my question, you mentioned on the Kickstarter comments that the new WoC rebirth will be optional. Can you explain how rebirth is changing?

mrferrier1 karma

In the old WOC we'd force a nation to rebirth by starting a timer when the nation reached a certain level. They'd rebirth when the timer reached 0, and there were some ways to delay it.

The plan is to try using a "carrot" rather than a "stick" for this in the new WoC. A nation won't be forced to rebirth, but will be able to once it's reached a certain level. After rebirth, it will start at level 11 rather than level 1, and it will take as many XP to get from say 11 to 100 as it took to get from 1 to 90 the first time around. So, after rebirth the nation will be able to get to a higher level with the same amount of effort, as the first time. Each time they rebirth it will hike up another 10 levels, so by choosing to rebirth a nation can potentially end up much more powerful than nations that choose not to rebirth.

Spitfire100001 karma

Will you get rebirth credits when you rebirth?

mrferrier1 karma

Currently no, but that could change.

sirdallas11 karma


Congratulations on the Kickstarter. Just wondering, is buying the $29 Scholar poster package also get you to reserve your player and nation name? It doesn't list that.

mrferrier1 karma

Hi -- no it doesn't -- but you can add the poster as an "add-on" reward to any of the reward tiers that do include reserving player and nation name.

TrippyHippy181 karma

Awesome! Thats what i was hoping for. Any eta on how long after intial release that it will be available? Ill volunteer to beta test the mobile. My job is very demanding so im not always home a lot. This mobile feature will be my best friend

mrferrier1 karma

The test Android client will be available during beta. The finished Android and iOS client, I would guess about 3 months after PC release.

Spitfire100001 karma

How does the server distinguish the difference between your credits and other players credits if they both buy in the same nation?

What if you want to protect the credits you buy, there should be a player account credit bank and the player can choose to transfer credits to the nation if that player pleases for everyones use.

mrferrier1 karma

Credits will be very quick and easy to buy, even in small amounts, so rather than add the complexity of having a player "bank" of credits that they then transfer some to their nations as they choose, they can just buy small amounts for their nation whenever they choose. Once you buy credits for your nation they get added to the nation's common pool of credits. If there are players in your nation that you don't trust to spend credits, assign them a lower rank so they can't do anything that costs credits.

Spitfire100001 karma

When will we get to see pictures of the Void and Fire orbs, and Resources?

mrferrier1 karma

Within the next few weeks -- I've been holding them off to have some interesting updates to send out.

[deleted]1 karma


mrferrier2 karma

:) I'm very grateful to have been a part of creating something that touched so many peoples' lives.

[deleted]1 karma


mrferrier3 karma


juancuca1 karma

Hi Mike, I really loved the original WoC. Back in the day you posted the Combat Algorithm and the Geométric Efficiency fórmula in the old WOC forum. They were truly a work of art how well balanced they where. Is the new combat algorithm similar to the old one? They used to be a dozen tech specialties.

mrferrier1 karma

The algorithms are similar to in the old WoC, but not the same. Once we're in the testing phase and the new forum is going, I can post the new ones there too. There are fewer stats used in combat in the new WoC, but they interact in a more complex way. There are only Tech, Bio and Psi now. They have a rock-paper-scissors relationship, so that say you're strongest in Tech and you're attacking a nation with Tech of 10, then it is effectively 10. But if you're attacking a nation with Bio of 10, then their Bio is effectively only 5 because Bio is weak against tech. And if you're attacking a nation with Psi of 10, then their psi is effectively 20 because Psi is strong against Tech. The server determines which stat is used in combat by the attacker and the defender, choosing the most effective one for each of them. Combat is no longer win/lose; when you attack you take away some number of hp from the square you're attacking, so you can attack repeatedly to chip away at it until it's defeated. Unless it restores hp faster than you can reduce it, in which case you'll only ever defeat it if you get really lucky.

Geo efficiency is basically the same but a little simpler than in the old WoC. It is the ratio of a nation's interior area over its number of border squares. This is then bounded to be no less than 25% and no more than 300%. That is then used as a multiplier on the nation's rate of generating energy. (Energy is used to support walls and other defensive structures.)

SpitfireJB1 karma

Hey Mike. Will the hall of fame from the original game be available in the new one? Would be a nice recognition to those of us that enjoyed/wasted a few years of our lives to get there before the little green alien ripped it up. Thanks!

mrferrier1 karma

I don't know if I still have the ranks lists as they were from the old game, I'll have to look. But if I do there's no reason they couldn't be posted on the site for posterity.

tupe121 karma

How different is the game then when it was in early development?

mrferrier1 karma

I'm not sure if you mean War of Conquest or Asheron's Call? That's okay I'll answer both :)

For the original War of Conquest, it was at first going to be written in Javascript, with a Php server. I soon realized JS wasn't up to the task yet (it would be now), and switched to Flash for the client. Once the client was done it became apparent that the Php server was too slow, so I rewrote it entirely in Java. Then a year or so after WoC was released I rewrote the client in Java also, for increased speed. Throughout all the versions though, the look of the game and the features remained mostly the same. The new WoC of course is quite a bit different, with a new 3D Unity client. Some of the server code is the same as in the original, but with a lot of modifications.

For Asheron's Call, early milestones were when Chris Dyl and Jay DeMarrais, Turbine's graphics geniuses, would add a new feature to the engine. When Chris got "portals" working, not the kind that teleport you but the kind that are at the heart of the 3D engine and determine what is and isn't visible, we were suddenly able to have large interior spaces and dungeons, and later see into buildings and dungeons as if the inside were directly connected to the outside (they actually were very separate). Then Jay got the landscape system working and we had a huge world to run around in. Slowly as the artists and game systems people add features we got combat, random encounters, vendors, quests, and everything else. It was amazing seeing it take shape. It was frustrating seeing the deadlines constantly slipping though; it was finished a couple years later than originally planned. But thankfully it did finally ship.

maaboo1 karma

Do you think that there are too many "Wars" and "Conquests" in modern games? :)

mrferrier1 karma

lol yes... but "War of Conquest" was first, back in 2002! Everyone else is just a copycat! :)

rickmuscles1 karma

Did you see the documentary "chicken people"?

What kind of chickens did you raise? Why did you stop?

mrferrier1 karma

No I haven't, just watched the trailer and I'd like to see it :)

We didn't stop, we still have 15 chickens -- we raise them for eggs (and amusement), but don't put them in shows. We have a bunch of different breeds: two Orpingtons, a Welsummer, an Easter Egger, a Blue Andalusian, a Faverolle, a Golden Laced Wyandotte, a Silkie rooster, and a few mutts who are half Silkie and half one of the others.

Leeiteee1 karma

Are you sure this is what you want in your life?

mrferrier1 karma

No, my life is a work in progress and I'm gradually finding out more of what I do and don't want in it. This is what I want right now though.

drchopsalot1 karma

Pineapple on pizza or no?

mrferrier3 karma

Pineapple is good but I prefer it without the ham that usually goes with it. My favorite is clams though.

drchopsalot0 karma

Clam...... Pizza....uhhhhh. excuse me, I'm running late for my existential crisis.