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The Repopulation

The Repopulation aiming to fill the MMO non-combat void

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The Repopulation
The Repopulation dev team took to Reddit yesterday to field a bunch of questions relating to the upcoming sci-fi title. While many of the queries came from people who are newly aware of the game, it still made for an interesting discussion if you like MMO sandboxes.

Above & Beyond was pretty open about the fact that it's modeling parts of The Repopulation after Star Wars: Galaxies, particularly the latter game's friendliness toward crafters and other non-combat types.

"If you aren't a combat person, you can make your living in trade skills. Advancing in trade skills is independent of combat and does not force you into a combat role. We have a complex trade skill system which allows for a high degree of customization by mixing and matching components. It also has a high degree of interdependency on others, which we feel is going to drive the economy," the team explained.

Also worth noting is the fact that The Repopulation won't "have caps to the number or mastery of skills, so you can invest in each skill line how you see fit."

The Repopulation begins lengthy lore series

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Lore junkies are getting nearly a week-long fix beginning today as The Repopulation starts its new lore series. Chapter one of the short story Evening Star, centered around the landing on Rhyldan, was posted today, and a new chapter will be added each day this week. If you are wondering why the story is broken up, it's because this is no snippet of story; Chapter 1: Green Lights alone comes in at over 4K words. So grab a chair, settle in, and meet Ralf Hound as he starts the adventures off.

As an added bonus for The Repopulation fans, Lead Developer J.C. Smith elaborated on a variety of topics in a recent interview, including siege system alerts, crafting mini-games, AI, and the ability to build underground. For more details, check out World Factory.

[Source: Above & Beyond Technologies press release]

The Repopulation knocks out another stretch goal

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Sandbox, Crowdfunding, The Repopulation

The Repopulation
The Repopulation has met another Kickstarter stretch goal. Adversarial camps will now make it into the finished sci-fi sandbox title, and more importantly the way is clear for the next stretch goal: Points of Intrigue.

These points are an extension of the game's engagement system. The PvE versions of PoI will pop up randomly throughout the game world and they'll require anywhere from a few players to multiple groups. The PvP versions of PoI will involve capture points and Nation-based rewards. The ultimate goal of the entire system is "to provide an ever-changing list of opportunities which encourage players to work together under a common goal."

The Repopulation Greenlighted, meets first stretch goal

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The Repopulation's Rocharus mount
It's a pretty good week to be a fan of sci-fi indie sandbox The Repopulation. First off, the game is currently holding down the top stop in Massively's rotating game header. As if that weren't enough, Above & Beyond Technologies has also announced that it's reached the first stretch goal of its new Kickstarter campaign. This means that the Rocharus will be available at launch and will become the game's "first tamed mount."

The title also made quick work of its Greenlight campaign, though how and when The Repopulation will become available on Steam is still up in the air. Click through the links below for more details as well as a preview of the next stretch goal reward.

The Repopulation surpasses 2nd KickStarter goal, moves on to stretch

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While some were skeptical about a second Kickstarter campaign for The Repopulation, fans showed their support by helping the upcoming sandbox reach its goal over the weekend. Now, with 20 days still to go the focus shifts to the stretch goals, which include various mounts (the Rocharus at $60K is seen above), PvP arenas, a moddable UI, traveling shops, and more. On top of the successful campaign, The Repopulation is also receiving overwhelmingly positive support on its Steam Greenlight campagn; it's currently in fifth place.

Want to learn even more about the game? If the recent three-hour Q&A livestream wasn't enough to satisfy you, Above & Beyond Technologies' creator J.C. Smith chatted with The Noobist about ongoing world story, the horticulture system, animal breeding, trade, and much more.

The Repopulation's lead dev featured in three-hour livestream

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The Repopulation splash banner
Can't get enough info about sci-fi indie sandbox The Repopulation? Here's a three-hour livestream featuring lead developer Joshua Halls that should quench your thirst, at least for a little while.

The stream boasts a lengthy Q&A session as well as some never-before-seen footage in the form of world fly-throughs. The Repopulation is currently in closed alpha. The devs have also announced a second Kickstarter drive designed to fund additional gameplay features as well as a Greenlight campaign to increase exposure via Steam.

The Repopulation returns to Kickstarter, launches Steam Greenlight campaign

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If you still regret missing the opportunity to support the sci-fi sandbox The Repopulation during its first crowdfunding campaign, you're getting a second chance! Above and Beyond Technologies would like to offer players even more features than are currently available and has launched a new Kickstarter campaign to reach those goals. Concurrently, the studio has also launched a Greenlight campaign on Steam to expand the game's exposure beyond its current community and offer an additional payment option. So now players have two ways to show their support for The Repopulation: vote yes to get the game Greenlit and/or pledge financial support through Kickstarter.

As a thank you, those who backed the first Kickstarter campaign will receive at least one Beta preview weekend invite as well as access to the first round of closed beta. The beta preview weekends will kick off the next round of testing in March 2014.

[Source: Above and Beyond Technologies press release]

The Repopulation's housing video offers decorating tips

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Location. location, location. It applies to in-game real estate, too! The Repopulation has three locations players can enjoy housing: in NPC cities, player cities, and instanced. To give players an idea of what housing is about, Above and Beyond Technologies has released a video discussing housing options and touring the instanced housing.

The nearly 10-minute tour showcases the housing interface, complete with new structure placement bar, and the actual decorating. Some highlights gleaned from the demonstration include the abilities to lock structures/items in place so they aren't accidentally moved, to scale placed items larger or smaller (as well as a reset button), to rotate items, and to raise and lower items. Get all your decorating tips in the video below.

[Source: Above and Beyond Technologies press release]

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The Repopulation improves housing and inquiries in November

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The source of my problems is the enormous predatory cat lurking five meters away.  You didn't need to ask me about this.  It's obvious.
November is a time to go home, see your family, and quite possibly remember why it was you left home and avoid seeing your family for the rest of the year. The result is that it makes a lot of sense for The Repopulation to focus on things like hearth and home over the month of November. A status update for the last month has just come out, and it includes the usual array of incremental improvements along with some big new features.

For example, the game has a new UI for placing structures within houses and nations, allowing objects to be rotated and scaled as the placer desires -- and there's the option to save the rotation and scale settings for easy cut-and-paste placement. A new calendar system was also introduced, and the inquiry system has been expanded to allow players a chance at tracing the source of an NPC's problems via the Diplomacy skill. Players looking forward to the sandbox title should take a look at the full rundown of November updates.

Lots of Repopulation bugs were squashed in October

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Lots of Repopulation bugs were squashed in October
The Repopulation's monthly update has been published on the sci-fi sandbox title's website. Polish was the order of day for much of October, as Above & Beyond Technologies asked its alpha testers to suss out the "most annoying" bugs before it set about squashing them.

The October update focuses on AI improvement and also pays a bit of lip service to the game's maneuver and mission systems. An extensive list of fixes and client changes is yours via the links below.

The Repopulation's second alpha trailer bares it all

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The Repopulation's second alpha trailer bares it all
Our hands-on experience from PAX Prime let you know that the graphics of The Repopulation were pretty great, but now you can see for yourself. Above and Beyond Technologies has released a second alpha gameplay trailer that shows everything except the kitchen sink!

The video walks players through the natural environments of the dynamic world filled with detailed flora and fauna, with detours to show off player-built housing as well. But lest you think this sandbox is all serene, the second half blasts into combat footage. Get a glimpse of just about every available feature from character customization to resource harvesting to building to sieges in the trailer below.

[Thanks to J.C. for the tip!]

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Battle and usability being improved in The Repopulation

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All of human history has been figuring out ways to put us further from harm's way.  Someone in every game would rather get right into harm's way and punch it.  Great job, guys.
Someone always wants to play a melee character. You could give everyone in an MMO the ability to shoot something dead from two zones over and there would be at least one player rushing into melee range to smack at it. Hence why The Repopulation has made a point of upping melee's viability by improving its ability to hit a moving target; if someone's going to do it anyway, it may as well be viable. Medical abilities have also been improved, and the game's crosshairs and aiming assistance have both received an upgrade.

The other two major areas of improvement for the game's past month of development has been the addition of new content near Plymouth (including a truly massive cave network) and improvements to missions and mission templates to make the game easier to jump into. The inquiry system also allows players to collect data on the game world, and the Surveying skill allows players to figure out where harvestable resources are located. Take a look at the full patch notes for an in-depth look at how the game has changed as it moves ever closer to its beta test phase.

The Repopulation introduces new event systems in its August updates

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You've got a bit of a hole there, might want to patch it up.
One of the major design goals of The Repopulation is a sense of a world in motion, shaped by players but also influencing player actions. August's updates to the game included the implementation of the Area and World Event systems, facilitating just that sort of gameplay. According to the most recent development blog, these systems track what's going on in the world, direct players to unexpected happenings, and then start to chain new events based off of those metrics. There are also NPCs in place to direct players toward hotbeds of activity.

The game's other mechanics have also received further tuning. Cities can now benefit from new happiness-increasing structures and more flexible placement options, combat values have been tweaked, and new engagements have been added for siege warfare. There is also a variety of bugfixes and general balance tweaks, which can be found in the full patch notes included with the development blog.

PAX Prime 2013: The Repopulation hunkers down for a siege

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PAX Prime 2013 The Repopulation stays in siege mode for now
If EverQuest Next is the big dog of the upcoming sandbox MMO set, then The Repopulation is on the other end of the spectrum. The title is still in alpha testing with only a few hundred players participating, the team is spread across the globe, and the studio is looking for a publisher to help give the title the financial backing it sorely needs. Even so, the folks at Above and Beyond Technologies have an obvious passion for the project and were plainly eager to talk about it at PAX Prime.

Tucked away in the Indie Megabooth area, The Repopulation devs invited players to sit down with a laptop and take part in testing the game's siege mode. I chatted up the developers -- who are head-over-heels enthusiastic about The Repopulation, by the way -- and got my first look at what PvP a sandbox hath wrought.

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Yep, you can have a beer belly in The Repopulation

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The Repopulation has a lot of character creation sliders
Indie sci-fi sandbox The Repopulation may be in closed beta testing, but those of us on the outside can still take a gander at the game's character creation thanks to a six-minute video just released by Above & Beyond Technologies.

If the clip is any indication, The Repopulation has a healthy amount of sliders, face morphing, and other assorted options to ensure that your avatar isn't a carbon copy of someone else's avatar. The game also eschews the mandatory physical perfection that's usually on display in modern MMOs. In other words, yes, you can have a beer belly and/or a vertically challenged character! Check out the full video after the break.

[Thanks Dan!]

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