Will most missions in Black Prophecy be solo-friendly? Will there be varying tiers of difficulty in achieving mission objectives that will require large groups?
Yes to both questions. For example, the story missions will tell the story of your character, and are thus played solo. We want to tell an ongoing story in Black Prophecy's world, and these story missions are our means to do just that. We are planning to release new chapters of the story with updates and expansions, and maybe we will also be doing team-based missions at a later date. Apart from that, all the Jobs in the open game world are missions for single players, but nothing speaks against doing them with a little help from your friends. Be it that they are doing the missions themselves at the moment or that they just want to help you.
"We want to tell an ongoing story in Black Prophecy's world, and these story missions are our means to do just that."
What kind of grouping options will players have when taking on missions?
The "splitting up into sub groups" is a good example of our grouping options. When playing a team based mission there will often be special slots or positions which have to be filled by a minimum amount of players. In our terms: teams may include multiple wings. Before accepting a mission, the leader will have to assign each player his or her wing. In case of PvP Missions, a counter mission will then be generated for the opposing faction. On deciding to "counter" this mission, the leader of the opposing team can then place his members into the wings for his team.
Will PvP missions be strictly about killing X number of other players in combat, or will there be PvE objectives thrown into the mix as well?
Sure. As they are missions, there will be other stuff to do besides killing the enemy. Of course there will be missions which satisfy the desire for standard team deathmatch encounters. But the PvP missions will make use of the same dynamics the PvE missions use, with different objectives the players have to fulfill to progress the mission in their favor. As for winning a mission, it will not directly matter which team killed more of the enemy in most cases, but of course it makes things easier. It will often be a tactical decision: do you and your team attack the enemy team directly, or do you split up and let one wing tackle the enemy while the other tries to complete objectives?
How will player numbers affect PvP missions -- will there need to be an equal number of players on both sides for the mission to begin?
No. We have a system which will handle most of the team balancing for PvP. It will calculate the strength of the teams based on certain factors. These include the level or amount of players on one side. For example, there could be a Genide team consisting of a level 25, a level 19 and a level 15 player, competing against two Tyi of level 30. So to start a mission both teams have to be roughly even. There will be several factors, some general, some set by the mission itself, like the minimum or maximum player count, or special positions that have to be filled by players.
Will Black Prophecy's mission content vary by race?
Yes, for the story Missions there will be different paths the player will have to take. In case of the Jobs and dynamic missions we will also present different missions with different goals depending on whose side you are on.
Will missions in Black Prophecy, whether PvE or PvP missions, be the primary activity you're making available to players?
Playing missions will not be the sole activity for players in Black Prophecy, but it is an essential part of the gameplay. For us it is important to give players a common starting point from which they can journey through the game content and enjoy it as much as possible. The mission system supports this approach quite well as it prevents you from wandering around helplessly looking for something to do. Playing missions is of course not the only thing you can do in Black Prophecy. There are many other features that enrich your daily gameplay such as the clan system, exploring the game world, ship building, trading and much more.
Thanks for speaking with Massively, Lorenz!