Information and Frequently Asked Questions for The Yellow King.
Q: What is The Yellow King?
A: The dark horror MMO inspired by the writings of H. P. Lovecraft. Infinite dungeon exploration, boss raids, guilds, PvP, leaderboards, and the destruction of your soul by an uncaring immortal elder god devouring the universe.
Q: When will the game be released?
A: Early Access will begin February 5th, 2020. A full "1.0" release will be later on. A Road Map and your input will guide our ongoing development and future focuses.
Q: What will be the initial focus of Early Access?
A: Our focus will primarily be on Combat and the Infinite Dungeon system at first, but we plan to rapidly expand the game once we're happy with the core game. Our Road Map will help communicate upcoming content and features. Early additions will include Lore, Magic, many overworld maps, city zones, guild halls, and PvP content.
Q: What kind of game is The Yellow King?
A: It's hard to classify The Yellow King; it pulls from many genres. It definitely has Rogue-like/lite elements, but it's also a MMORPG with hack-and-slash gameplay and some puzzles for you to solve!
The Infinite Dungeon system comes in three types: Solo, Group, and Guild. Each of these Dungeons are tuned and scaled for those numbers of players. The Infinite Dungeons will "collapse" and reset every 24 hours, and a new Infinite Dungeon will replace it with a different layout. The Leaderboards will track and report everyone's progress to see who can delve the deepest and defeat the most bosses! The first Dungeon is The Lost City of Carcosa, populated with cultists who follow Hastur, The King in Yellow. These Cultists have discovered The Reagent, invented by the Reanimator; now Carcosa's halls are filled with The Tomb-Legions.
Future Infinite Dungeons will be of different themes and feature new enemies and boss encounters!
There is also an Overworld which is more like your traditional static MMO sandbox, with respawning NPCs and loot. You'll find entrances hidden around the Overworld to access the dungeon instances mentioned above. At release there will only be one Overworld map, as we want to focus on the Infinite Dungeons, but we have many more already built and ready to deploy when the time is right!
There will also be additional smaller Overworld maps scattered throughout the over-encompassing world. There will be hundreds of caves, mines, and buildings which lead to static and finite, non-instanced exploration. Some of these are *extremely* well-hidden -- You might be the only person in the game who finds a little rock to shove aside, which turns out to have a 30-room cave system behind it containing unique loot, special bosses and encounters, etc.
Q: What will be the payment model for The Yellow King?
A: There will be a single up-front purchase to buy the game, and there will be a Day 1 discount for our earliest Early Access players. There may be a subscription plan, but we have no details to share on this yet, and it will come much later. Anyone buying the game during Early Access will have a permanent lifetime basic subscription with no additional costs upon release, expansions, etc. Subscriptions might include bonus cosmetic items, pets, etc. We currently have no plans for additional DLC content after release; updates and new features will be added-to and contained in the main game.
Q: What in-game currencies will there be?
A: The Yellow King will feature two currencies: Runestones and Gold. Runestones will be used to upgrade Skills. Gold will be used to unlock vanity items. Both are dropped by monsters and found by smashing crates, breaking barrels, and opening treasure chests. We plan on selling Gold for Cosmetics (pending player feedback) at a later time. We will also be releasing new cosmetic sets as time goes on; these cosmetic MTX will help pay for our ongoing server costs and future game development.
Q: Will The Yellow King be released on consoles or other platforms? If so, will there be cross-play/cross-save capabilities?
A: The game will be launched for Windows first. Mac, Linux, and Mobile (iOS/Android) releases will come later. Servers and Accounts will be cross-platform, and will use your Spellbook.com account to log in. We have no plans to release the game on consoles, however that could always change based on demand!
Q: What will player progression feel like?
A: There are character levels, but they do not currently gate any mechanical systems like combat or dungeons. If you can find (or later, make) a weapon and have the skill for it, you can use it. All players are on equal footing except for what weapons and magic trinkets they have discovered. This makes for a more player skill-based model than progression-based one; accomplishments will be measured by how good someone is at the game versus how long they have been playing it.
Q: Can you explain the game's Death Penalties?
A: There are essentially two forms of death in The Yellow King. A "real" death occurs when you lose all of your health and a "fake" death happens from getting stuck in a trap or foolishly jumping into a pit. Upon "real" death, you will drop some of your Gold and Runestones, but you will not be kicked from the dungeon or drop any items. Anyone nearby can pick your currencies up, and you can return to where you died and recover them if nobody took them. During "fake" deaths, you simply teleport to the last room entrance you came through, and can continue playing.
When you experience a "real" death, you are turned into a ghost! As a ghost you can continue to help your team out by startling or stunning enemy NPCs, discover secret hidden rooms and treasure, and scout ahead to help your team navigate mazes and puzzles. If your team's dungeon has enough Total Lives remaining, you can respawn at the last Checkpoint as a corporeal being, and rejoin your group.
Q: Are there races?
A: All players are human...for now. However, there is a planned "skin" system that will let you appear to be a demon, zombie, cultist, or other monster. It won't be ready upon Early Access release, however. Skinning players with different avatars is easy, but working it into game mechanics and lore is the bigger challenge.
Q: Are classes in game?
A: The Yellow King does not have a traditional MMORPG class system. Your abilities will be determined by what weapon you have equipped, with every weapon having different abilities and behaviors.
Q: How will weapons work?
A: You discover them around the world while exploring. They will have a rarity system and skill requirements. For example, using a Dagger would require One-Handed Weapons and Piercing Weapons skills. Dual Wield skill would also be required to fight with two of them. Skills are trained on the character sheet using Runestones currency, which drop as a loot from everything -- particularly bosses.
You can carry two weapons or weapon sets (e.g. sword and shield) with you at any time, and switch between them at any time, even in mid-combat.
You can drop carried weapons and pick up new ones as you find them in the world.
The gearing and weapon system in The Yellow King is intended to be more dynamic than traditional MMOs.
Q: Are there unique or special weapons?
A: There is an "ultimate" weapon rarity rank which you will only be able to find is special circumstances, like a reward for a PvP arena victory or killing and extremely difficult boss. These items will be dropped when you die and can be picked up by other players, but may also be stored in your Guild Hall. (note: both PvP Arenas and Guild Halls won't be in the game in early Early Access.)
Q: How many weapons will be in the game?
A: Early Access will be limited to about 15 melee and ranged weapons. Melee weapon archetypes and types will include: 1-handed, 2-handed, dual wield, spears, polearms, clubs, swords, and axes. Ranged weapons will include heavy crossbow, dual crossbows, light bow, heavy bow, throwing daggers, and throwing hatchets. We have over 50 different weapon types planned and developed (including Magic Weapons,) and they will be released when we're comfortable with their animations and performance.
Q: Are shield available as an available weapon/armor type?
A: Shields are picked up as loot in the same way weapons are. You have one shield at a time, which is stowed if your current weapon is 2-handed. It will be used automatically when you equip a 1-handed weapon. There will be 4 shields available at launch. Shields can be used to block attacks and shield bash to stun enemies.
Q: Will there be magic spells/abilities?
A: A lot of work has been done on the magic system, but those will not be available until later. Some NPCs will have access to magics, so beware! Magic Weapons will include wands and staves, and magic types will include ice, fire, poison, death, life, and nature.
Q: What kinds of status effects from magic will there be?
A: Magic applies various status effects. Currently there is Stun, Haste, Bloodlust, Burn, Bleed, Curse, Poison, Weakness, Drowning, and Frozen.
Each is associated with a different circle of magic or an ability on a particular item. They might be applied on a physical hit (like a large club stunning), or something like a gas cloud hazard (thrown vial of poison), or a magical bolt shot from a staff. All of them can result from different systems and aren't limited to a specific delivery mechanism.
Some NPCs will be capable of applying status effects ON YOU during Early Access.
Q: What kind of Actions can my Character perform?
A: Dodge/Roll, Strafe, Jump, and Crouch. You can super-jump by holding down crouch then jumping. You can also sneak past enemies by crouching and walking past them slowly; just don't get too close!
PvP - Player vs. Player Content
Q: How will PVP work?
A: PvP in early Early Access will be a low priority. There will be one PvP-enabled Overworld map at launch. However, no important PvE content is gated through PvP areas, so it's 100% optional. For now, that means PvP is basically guilds killing each other in PvP Overworld maps and taking whatever drops. Later in development, a more robust system is planned with structured arenas, tournaments, and gambling.
Q: How much is PvP a part of the game?
A: It will be optional. There will be dedicated battlegrounds PvP maps, and we'd like to emphasize (organized) Guild vs Guild PvP.
PvP is a really good way to test weapon types out and practice fighting, so it's there may have some early "freeform/open" PvP with no real goals or rewards (outside of Leaderboard stats.)
Q: Are there PvP Battlegrounds?
A: Yes, with the ability to queue up from anywhere. We would like to have our first Battleground released by April, 2020.
Q: Will there be PvP gear?
A: PvP Battlegrounds will have their own equipment. So you won't lose anything inside them, but you also don't bring your "real" gear into them either.
Q: Will there be PVP in dungeons?
A: Currently, no. We have some ideas on how we could do this (such as Instanced Dungeon "merge" rooms) or Encounters where one group takes on the roll of cultist faction, but this is not anything we're actively working on.
Q: How much lore will there be in Early Access?
A: The early phases of Early Access will not contain much lore, quests, dialogue, or story (sorry!) Combat and the Infinite Dungeon will be the primary focus, so the initial experience will be a small slice of the full-game concept. We do have some lore written already, but no way to introduce it to you in-game yet, excluding boss encounters and NPCs you find in the game's first Infinite Dungeon.
Q: Are there pets?
A: There are currently about 50 pets, and they're awesome! Discussions are still taking place on how to get them to players. They will be vanity items, and will not give any combat advantage. Some pets may be unique to Early Access to reward those people who support the game from the begining! There are a lot of variations, too -- many breeds of dogs, cats, and birds (including flocks!) There are also raccoons, bears, moose, foxes, lions, tigers, and pumas. Pets will have their own behaviors; they'll run about and explore your environment. It's possible we might let them find and dig up treasure or locate hidden rooms for you.
Q: Will there be mounts?
A: No mount system is planned at this time, and we don't feel it's necessary.
Q: Will there be a Faction system?
A: Guilds are the faction system in The Yellow King. In PvP areas, everyone is your enemy except your group and your guild. That said, there will be PvP battleground scenarios where your Team overrides your Guild membership; so, you may end up matched up against friends in PvP.
We've discussed adding a system where a Guild pledges loyalty to an Elder God (thus becoming cultists in their own right,) and collects Souls to show their devotion to their God. Their God then would bestow his followers with particular....bonuses. However, content like this won't be available in early Early Access.
Q: Can you explain the Leaderboard system?
A: There will be a very rich Leaderboard website with breakdowns for day, week, season, and lifetime rankings. The top players will win prizes each day when the Leaderboard expires and then resets. Categories include max dungeon depth explored, bosses killed, experience gained, players killed, etc. As the Infinite Dungeons reset daily, it is our hope that racing the Leaderboard each day will be a fun part of the game for everyone (but even more so for those of us that are competitive.)
Q: What kind of crafting can we expect?
A: There isn't a crafting system, but we may add one at a later date. Weapons are only discovered in the game world; but may be traded from other players or picked up in your Guild Hall (note: Guild Halls are not available at Launch.)
PvE - Dungeons / Raids / etc.
Q: What is the infinite dungeon system like?
A: Dungeons will be infinite will scaling difficulty and rewards as you go deeper. There are procedural maze and puzzle systems, but also hand-crafted content like "World of Warcraft" style boss fights which appear regularly. The dungeon map will show you what types of rooms are nearby, so you can skip puzzles or bosses if you want to focus on normal NPC fights, as an example.
Q: Are dungeons set to a specific player amount, like 5-man dungeons or 40-man raids like in more traditional MMORPGs?
A: Dungeons will scale based on how many players are in your group. You can enter dungeons solo or with 5, 8, 45, 100 players, etc. More players will cause more NPCs and treasures to spawn, while also ramping up general difficulty like trap damage more quickly. There are also components of boss fights that might only appear in a raid situation which solo players won't have to deal with.
Q: Will there be "hardcore" dungeons?
A: It is likely that hardcore modes of each dungeon with their own leaderboards where death kicks you out of the instance, will be introduced eventually.