It’s that time of the month again so here are some answers to user questions from the forums.
Q: Will there be new maps being added to Demigod?
A: We think so. Stardock plans to work with Gas Powered Games to either create new maps there or have Stardock create them. In addition, we are hoping the modding SDK (which is part of the v1.2 update series) will make it possible for users to create maps. However, making maps is not easy. Unless you have a very good understanding of 3D Studio you will want to leave it to others.
Q: What is happening with regards to Demigod online stat tracking and generally improving the multiplayer experience?
A: The version v1.2 series is aimed at that. Most of these improvements will be the responsibility of Stardock (as opposed to developer Gas Powered Games).
Starting next week, users will be able to go to a user’s pantheon page:
And write notes on a particular user. We are still debating whether the public should be able to see all notes or only that user. If we let the public do it, then we will end up having to moderate them for abuse. We’d like to hear from you.
Secondly, these notes will be able to be seen in the Demigod lobby from the connection dialog.
Thirdly, the connection dialog will display the # of games that person has played as well as their win % as well as what % of the previous 25 games that person has had one or more of the same teammates as they do in the lobby.
We intend for these features to show up in the next week or so.
We are also eliminating multiplayer skirmish in order to focus on the online experience on custom games and pantheon. The pantheon tournaments will only go 24 hours between the start of new tournaments.
The stat system has already been updated so that custom games now get counted as part of your overall stats (previously only pantheon and skirmish did which was not intuitive to many players who believed the stats were hosed).
Q: What was the coolest demigod ability that was removed for balance reasons?
A: I seem to remember that the Queen of Thorns used to be able to burrow in the ground and come up somewhere else but that could be my imagination.
Q: Beyond v1.2, what kinds of new features do you envision there being in Demigod?
A: The game’s continued sales success has opened the door to a lot of future options.
However, what specifically that means depends on who you talk to. A surprising number of people play Demigod single player and that is something I personally would like to see further developed but it is very expensive.
Others would like to see more multiplayer options which are also very expensive.
I do know, however, there’s a lot of interest in adding new favor items, improving the existing items, and just generally improving the overall game.
What I would (personally) like to see will be the creation of improvements by the community itself in the modding area: http://forums.demigodthegame.com/forum/622
Q: What are Stardock/GPG’s plans to promote Demigod more in the future as new features get added?
A: There’s two particular ways we plan to significantly enhance the online player base.
First, once we’re happy with v1.19 (the early of the v1.2 update series) we’re going to be contacting the Demigod user base which we haven’t really been doing for awhile.
Second, we are going to be focusing the Ready to Play beta for Demigod users as our focus. This will start next Tuesday to make it easier for people to get games going with friends.
Q: What are the plans for making it easier for clans and teams to get together?
A: That is part of Demigod: Clan Wars. Originally that was going to be developed this Summer but it became clear that people wanted Replays and Modding more (based on feedback) so Clan Wars got pushed back until those two features were ready.
Increasingly, the plan is shaping up that more and more of the enhanced multiplayer features like this will be handled by the Impulse overlay since Elemental is going to be sharing the same code.
Q: What is the biggest issue you see Demigod having to overcome that hasn’t been discussed as much as you think it should?
A: Two words: Mystery lag. That is, the case where the sim time seems fine and the ping time looks good but there’s still lag. This is something that we think is a big deal. It doesn’t happen often for most people (based on talking to regulars) or for me but I have seen it and I think it’s a big deal and needs to be looked at more.
Q: Will Stardock or GPG give their blessing to community made mods and distribute them?
A: I can’t speak for GPG but I know we favor it.
Q: What improvements to the minion user interface do you imagine?
A: Well, there’s a few things that I’d like to see. I want to know how many of my minions are left from the UI. I’d like to be able to more easily control types of minions from the UI (or at least hot keys). There are no specific plans at this moment to do anything about it (which merely means we haven’t submitted this request to GPG yet formally).
Q: Is Cataract going to be tweaked so that you can’t take the dark side’s gold flag from outside tower range?
A: Shhhh! Seriously though, yes, it’s something on our list.
Q: When is Epoch 3 going to come and what stats are going to be changed?
A: Epoch 3 will likely come with v1.2. Favor points will stay but the actual win/loss and other stats will be reset (still accessible as Epoch 2 though).
Q: What is the future of the Queen of Thorns?
A: We have a request in to buff her.
Q: What is the status of the 2 new Demigods?
A: The scripts are written, the artwork is getting there. My understanding that the artwork is taking longer than anticipated.
Q: How do you (Frogboy) see Demigod “competing” in a world with other “Dota” like games coming out?
A: Well first off, one thing people often don’t realize is that various rivalries that gamers often have with their favorite game don’t typically exist between game developers. For instance, Stardock people play League of Legends. We like Riot Games and want their game to succeed.
Demigod is designed as a game that people can sit down and play without a lot of training. The real skill in Demigod comes from knowing when to engage or retreat, knowing when to buy what items and knowing what parts of the map you need to control and when. From there, the next level is how to interact with a team.
As Chris Taylor and myself have said on countless occasions, the market has been saturated with RTS’s for the hard core that require the player to memorize a bunch of units and spend many hours getting up to speed. Demigod is designed to be much more approachable. And we think it succeeds pretty spectacularly. It’s certainly not a “casual” game but it’s also not “hard core”. It is, in my opinion, just right in terms of the right balance.
Another thing people not familiar with Stardock don’t realize is that we support games long-term whether we develop them ourselves (Galactic Civilizations) or publish them (Sins of a Solar Empire). We work with our development partners to keep these games going.
So yes, Demigod will still be being actively improved a year from now and probably beyond that and because of that, it will maintain a decent online community that is still welcoming to new players because of its nature.