DOFUS Donjons

Introducing DOFUS Dungeons

Hello everyone,

First of all, I’d like to welcome you to this new blog. The most avid followers have heard me say in a tweet (or two) that we’re going to be taking a new in-house direction. A lot of messages have gone back and forth, and no sooner did I mention our thoughts on these new directions than hundreds of tweets flowed… A veritable tidal wave that I couldn’t take part in as each of my words were put through the internet wringer.
It’s a bit crazy to see that some topics, which we had announced as « being considered », found themselves transformed into what the players wanted to see. Topics shifted from « under consideration » to « under development » in the minds of some, and the blast wave grew to sometimes uncontrollable proportions. Oddly enough, the only solution to calm down this type of « buzz » is to not reply. Yes, friends, that is sometimes our only option – and that’s scary. To clear the air rapidly and prevent things from snowballing, we’ve decided to start this blog and communicate with you more quickly than planned regarding what we want to do in the coming months.
I mentioned a new direction, a desire to reinvent ourselves, and the intent to take our discussions with you even further.
I won’t prolong the suspense any longer. This new direction is called DOFUS Dungeons, and I’m going to explain our ambitions for this « new » project (« new » in quotes because we are going to use the DOFUS engine to offer you this new experience).

First, before getting to the heart of the subject, I want to explain why we want to communicate on this blog rather than on the DOFUS.com website or somewhere more « official ». Those of you who’ve been following the evolution of Dofus Cube have for now been turning to my personal blog – https://tot-prod.blog – for information.
That blog, created last October, came from my need to get back to the simple (but remarkable) discussions of the early days. As you know, over the years, Ankama has grown considerably and progressively lost certain values. The fundamentals are certainly still there, at the roots, but lost under the mass of things to do… Everything has become more complex, slower, and more cumbersome.
When I launched my own blog, it wasn’t out of a desire to do an end run around everything we set up in recent years, but rather to reconnect with my creative side – reconnect with myself and with you to talk simply, like we did so long ago. Over the past several months, I’ve gotten a lot of pleasure from talking about the projects that we are working on.
I wanted to start a new movement around the DOFUS MMO, and so I naturally thought that the simplest way would be to use this format. Obviously, I hope that things will go as well as they have on my blog, and that constructive discussions will happen.
Finally, and before going any further in explaining our project, I feel it is important to say that I won’t tolerate any insults, aggressive messages, or other bad behavior. Here, be respectful or go elsewhere.

What Is DOFUS Dungeons?

DODO (to use its in-house nickname) is a game mod based on the DOFUS engine. You’ll be able to access the project by starting up your favorite MMO. DODO will be available like a regular server, and available among all its little friends. There won’t be a new game to install, which should ensure that you have the same level of technical accessibility and performance. When it comes to gameplay, you’ll play the same classes (even though there probably won’t be more than 10 upon launch) with the same spells and same mechanics (guilds, groups, etc.). We are, however, wondering whether we should offer the spells currently in DOFUS or the spells from 1.29, or even work on a combination of the two. We’ll make this decision in discussion with you and in light of your feedback. As its name indicates, the game will be based on (new) dungeons with (often) new families of monsters. This mod is therefore focused above all on PvM. It’s so PvM that there won’t be any professions. There also won’t be an « open world », but rather many small instances. I suppose that all this information leaves you with more questions than anything else. Don’t worry; this blog will give you updates on the project’s progression several times a week. We promise there will be another post at the end of the week talking about the project’s MACRO level design.

Background

In terms of background, I won’t hide the fact that it will be rather light, even though the goal is to introduce a new, very important character. When it comes to the universe, this game mod should be seen more as a huge dimension separated from the rest. Initially, I would like to avoid huge quests full of text. The idea is to develop something relatively new with a narrative information system integrated directly into the fights. That is to say that your opponents will give you information while you fight them.
In DODO, you should also know that you’ll find all the heroes from our universe. We’re preparing a scenario based on parallel worlds that will tell you more about that.

A New Artistic Direction (to Unite Them All)

We are also going to take advantage of the occasion to present a new graphic style. One of our developers is currently working on 3D acceleration for the game, which should allow us to add new effects, more lively animations, life in the scenery, etc. I’ve mentioned this often and I think we’ve got it this time. We’re going to try to progressively merge the various artistic styles of our games. Obviously, that would be done gradually and with your agreement. We even think it will be possible to make the older graphic style coexist alongside the new style, in the worst case. We need to examine this subject concretely, because it is a major stake for us. In terms of industriousness, I’ll let you imagine the creative possibilities if we can bring together the artistic teams. Rather than having 3-4 animators per team, we could have 12-15 animators who would produce singular content for all our games. My opinion has never wavered on the subject: DOFUS, WAKFU, KROSMAGA, etc. are all part of one and the same universe where adventures happen during different time periods. My dream is a unified ensemble, even though I know that it’s a divisive subject. The « DOFUS Dungeons » mod will allow us to offer you something new, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that you’ll like it. Just so you know, the idea is to stick as close as possible to our cartoons.

Simplification and Back to Basics

One of the major intents of this project is to get back to the root of DOFUS. You might say, « that’s well and good, ToT, but after 13 years, those aren’t roots anymore, they’re a forest! » And you’d be right. For me, the « roots » are above all simple, fun gameplay through loot at the heart of the game, rapidly accessible zones, and faster/more accessible combats.
Why make DOFUS Dungeons a mod?

This is likely the biggest question you’re asking yourself. The aim is, really, to conduct major experiments that cannot happen in your current DOFUS because they’d be « too risky ». Here’s a list of what we want to test (and I insist heavily on the word « test »).

  • Free to Play: There’s no need to be a subscriber to play DOFUS Dungeons. We’ll see if the mechanics we offer are viable (economically speaking). Based on feedback, we will be able to think about adapting some ideas with our existing game.
  • Artistic Direction: Complete change of AD for scenery and characters. As I explained above, this is one of the major areas of work, but it will let us save time later.
  • Character Classes: Class spell adjustments based on your proposals. Difficult to do in the classic MMO, but much less risky in this mod. We will decide which option to use: keep the current spells, revert to the former spells, or offer new spells.
  • 3D Acceleration: Development tests and verification that everything works well. The goal is obviously not to re-make DOFUS in 3D. 2D will stay in the spotlight, but will have better performance.
  • A New Way of Communicating: I’ll talk about this below because it’s perhaps one of the most important subjects.

As you’ve understood, most of these points are virtually impossible to launch in your existing MMO, and we are going to use this mod to test them. The idea is obviously to include what works in DOFUS later.

Ankama and Its Community

With this project, we would like to develop a new way of communicating with you. Each week, we’ll present our progress to you here. But above all, I’d like for us to be able to offer you working groups and use the ideas we come up with together. For example, for two weeks, we’ll discuss the subject of « loot ». The goal will be to reflect on new ideas around this feature and develop them. How can a feature that’s been around for such a long time be made new again? I’m sure that we can find hundreds of ways. We’ll take the best ideas and list them, and then implement them in the game.

Obviously, that can’t happen without a minimum of order and a maximum of respect, and we’ll delete any message that isn’t constructive or doesn’t have anything to do with the topic at hand.

Regarding DOFUS

I’ll close this last message by speaking a little about the DOFUS and WAKFU MMOs. Having been through this type of situation before, I know that we’re going to hear things like « and while that’s going on, you’re not going to work on your flagship games. » So, I think it’s important to tell you that the rhythm of the games’ updates will slow down slightly. But that doesn’t mean we’re doing nothing – far from it. We are going to be working on new features (more about that soon) and above all spend several months thoroughly debugging the games. In addition, you need to understand that all the tests we are going to run on this mod aim to prepare the ground for our existing games.

When it comes to timing, we are going to do everything we can to present the first trials some time in July. We do not know exactly where this new mod will be by then, but the idea is to move fast and experiment.

Thank you for reading this. Talk to you again soon,
Tot

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