Archive for 'News'

Stashgiving = Thanksgiving on Stash!

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Join us for Stashgiving to celebrate Stash’s first Thanksgiving weekend!

BEGINS: Wednesday, November 23rd (~4pm EST)

UNTIL: Monday, November 28th (~11am EST)

  • +25% XP – Combat, Crafting, and Gathering XP
  • Double Party XP Bonus – Based on party size: 2: +40% xp / 3: +80% xp / 4: +120% xp / 5: +160% xp / 6: +220% xp
  • Double resource drops from nodes.
  • Pumpkin Pie: Delicious holiday food item that will randomly drop from all mob types. Max Health and Mana healing possible for level, and trains all stats!
  • Chat 2.0 – Revamped chat system with tons of new features (clickable links, emotes, and more)
  • Rolling Stone Inn – a social gathering place in Askagard with a magical hearth that provides health and mana regeneration.
  • Leaderboards – the debut of leaderboards that allow you to compete in many categories (level, crafting, gathering, and more) for all time, monthly, and weekly!

And a very special, 2 hour event during Stashgiving:

Saturday Night Stash

Saturday, November 26 from 8pm to 10pm EST.

The primary goal of this event is to get a lot of people online at the same time to get to know each other, make friends, invite people to clans, and meet people you can party with. We know this time doesn’t work for people in every time zone, but no time would so we are going with a known popular time for this first experiment.

WE WILL DEFINITELY DO EVENTS IN THE FUTURE AT DIFFERENT DAYS/TIMES FOR PEOPLE OF ALL TIME ZONES!

For this first, experimental SNS, this is what we have planned:

  • Giant Riding Pokka – Just for attending the event you will receive this unique mount that is 300% speed.
  • Stash Development Roadmap – I will share the roadmap for upcoming development on Stash. What’s coming next? What’s coming over the next few weeks?
  • Developer Q&A – Ask questions and we will do our best to answer.
  • Meet Your Fellow Players – This is probably the most important thing about this event.
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Threshgiving = Threshold Thanksgiving Celebration!

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We have a lot to be thankful for this year. We have a tremendously cool world story event happening right now that has brought back so many long time players with historic characters. That calls for a celebration.

BEGINS: Wednesday, November 23rd around 5pm EST.
ENDS: Tuesday, November 29th around 8am EST

  • 4x EXP – QUADRUPLE EXPERIENCE. We’ve never done more than double XP. This is total insanity!!!!!
  • 1/4 Lvl & Glvl Coin Training Costs. Complements that Quadruple XP quite nicely, no?
  • 2x World Drops – With PIE added to the world drops.
  • HRPT – Highly Recommended Playing Time – Monday, Nov 28 will be another HRPT with massive world story developments. DO NOT MISS IT!
  • Massive Amounts of Roleplay will be happening throughout the event. NPCs of all varieties will be interacting with players to spur along the world story. The event will also get tons of people online which will further add to roleplay opportunities.

Browser client:
http://play.thresholdrpg.com

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8 Cosmetic Armor sets in Stash

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We currently have 8 cosmetic armor sets in Stash.

  • Elementalists:
    • Teal Cloth Set
    • Chaos Cloth Set
  • Healers:
    • Cobalt Leather Set
    • Green Leather Set
  • Hunters:
    • Scarlet Leather Set
    • Forest Leather Set
  • Warriors:
    • Verdant Chain Set
    • Xornet Chain Set

Many more will be added over time, as well as many more tiers and varieties of every armor type to find in the game. At level 30, Healers gain access to chainmail, Hunters gain access to ringmail, and Warriors gain access to platemail.

In addition to different magical modifiers and armor ratings, you should be able to create your very own unique look!

If you or a friend don’t have Stash yet, you can get it right now on Steam!

Click image for full size detail.

Click image for full size detail.

 

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Our Philosophy on F2P and Microtransactions

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This was originally a section of one of our Kickstarter campaign for Stash, but it is a pretty good explanation of our philosophy on Free-to-Play and microtransactions.


Pay What You Want (PWYW)

Our Take on Free-to-Play

For over 20 years Frogdice has used some variation of this payment model. We want to make it easy for people to play Stash and enjoy playing it with all of their friends. Our philosophy has always been: “Make the game fun enough that people play long enough, and eventually the money will take care of itself.”

We have a virtual currency called Medallions that is used in Stash and other Frogdice games. Medallions can be used to purchase a wide variety of completely optional things. The Medallion shop is primarily for cosmetics, convenience, and customization. Anything that provides in-game power will also be obtainable by playing the game.

Examples of things you can buy with Medallions in Stash:

  • Pets.
  • Mounts.
  • Cosmetic items for your costume slots.
  • Temporary +% XP boost potions (saves time).
  • Instant teleport consumable to your BOO (saves time).
  • Decorative house items.

Things we don’t do:

  • Require purchases to continue character advancement.
  • Create intentionally frustrating things you have to buy your way out of. (like “energy systems”)
  • Bait and switch tactics or things that trick you into spending Medallions.

Ultimately, this is a matter of trust between developer and player. Our 20+ year history of using this type of model ethically and responsibly shows we do it the right way.

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Stash wiki hosted by Gamepedia!

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We are very excited to announce that the Official Stash Wiki is being hosted at Gamepedia by the amazingly talented folks at Curse.

We hope this will be a valuable resource our players will visit (and contribute to) regularly.

gamepedia_light_transparent

stashwiki

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Quick Tour of STASH video

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We put together a short video giving a quick tour of Stash that shows off combat, BOO (Base of Operations) building and decorating, and crafting.

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Scavenger Hunt Participation Challenge

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During Stash Alpha #3, players were given a list of items to seek out and find in the world. They had to take a screenshot of the item and then write a caption.

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Check out the entire album on Facebook.

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CEO Hartman interviewed by Kentucky Innovation Network

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Frogdice President & CEO, Michael Hartman, was interviewed by the Kentucky Innovation Network at the Idea State U pitch competition about one of his rules for success: know your identity.

 

 

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Stash Developer Insight – How we iterate over multiple passes: Pegs!

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At Frogdice, we follow the design and development model of getting a working prototype going as fast as possible, then we iterate on it repeatedly until we are happy with the final result.

One of the more challenging examples of that in Stash has been the peg, miniature, or figurine, that represents your character on the world and dungeon maps. I am numbering these incarnations of our peg system 1 through 5, but there were a numerous smaller versions in between.

Peg Incarnation #1

OldPegs_01

This was one of the first. It was kinda cute and got the job done but was never considered anywhere near complete. I am pretty sure it was never even used in a playable build.

Peg Incarnation #2

OldPegs_02

This is a variation on #1 with more detail and more gear. This was one of the first versions that was actually put to use in a playable build of the game. If I recall, this is the version you saw in the original Kickstarter video for Stash.

Peg Incarnation #3

OldPegs_03

We really weren’t happy with our pegs, so we decided to go back to the drawing board, think outside the box, and start experimenting. We tried a number of different things that were wildly different from #1 and #2. At one point we were experimenting with chibi-like figures and here we were also taking inspiration from Pop! dolls.

Peg Incarnation #4

OldPegs_04

Ultimately we didn’t like any of those experiments, so we wen’t back to our traditional board game piece concept. We worked to improve upon it and give players more control over the shape and material.

Peg Incarnation #5 – A Quantum Leap Forward

Pegs-02

We still weren’t happy. As in #3, we once again decided to start over with an entirely new concept. This time I think we nailed it and I really love this version. Players will get to customize the terrain on the base, their character’s pose, and the gear on their figure will reflect the actual gear they are wearing. You can unlock more poses and base terrains and change them as desired.

We feel this still maintains the table-top/miniature gaming feel on the world and dungeon maps (which is really important to us!) while remaining very immersive. Hopefully you all agree!

So That’s How It Works!

I hope you enjoyed this brief look behind the curtain of how video games get made – at least here at Frogdice.

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STASH: Not your typical MMO. We are re-imagining the genre.

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Stash will make you fall in love with MMORPGs again.

When MMOs first became a thing, there was enormous excitement. They were going to totally change gaming and society. Sadly, the excitement faded and MMOs quickly fell into some bad habits and clone-ism. With Stash, we are hitting the reset button on that. We are re-imagining the genre and bringing back the magic.

1) Turn based combat.

This is one of the most immediately obvious differences between Stash and most MMOs. It is time to shake things up and have an MMO where tactics and strategy play a bigger role in combat.

2) Death to Bind on Pickup.

Bind on Pickup (BoP) is one of the worst concepts ever invented in MMOs and video games in general. It is incredibly anti-social. It is anti-community. It is anti-market. Basically, all the things that make MMOs special are negatively impacted by the concept of BoP.

In the history of RPGs, one of the most basic ways you could help other people was to give them an item that would help them out. BoP kills this. Sharing items is the MMO equivalent of people breaking bread and sharing meals together. With very few exceptions, BoP should not exist.

3) No Quest Grind

Remember when the word “quest” referred to something really epic? Like the “Quest for the Holy Grail”? In modern MMOs, quests tend to be about as epic as blowing your nose. This is a darn shame.

Quest obsessive games can be anti-social, anti-climactic, anti-exploration, and anti-fun.

  • You have to make sure everyone in the group has the same quests and you constantly have to monitor everyone’s progress lest someone accidentally miss a step.
  • Exploration is less fun because events won’t happen and bosses won’t have loot unless you have the appropriate quest.
  • You barely pay attention to the cool world around you because you’re just following a yellow arrow or monitoring your quest tracker.
  • Story? With thousands of quests you need to grind, you ain’t got time for that! So you click through the text or escape out of the cut scene to keep on grinding.

In Stash, if you are given a quest it will be something epic with a great story. You will WANT to read the quest text or listen to the NPC. But most of the time, you will enjoy the world for everything it has to offer. You will look forward to the surprises around the bend in the road or corner of the dungeon. You will set your own goals which are always more meaningful than what a developer tells you to do.

4) No Level Cap: Focus on the Whole Game, Not Just “End Game”

The typical MMO obsession with “end game” at the expense of the rest of the game is a real shame. Players in these MMOs often consider the majority of the game’s content to be pointless drudgery rather than something to enjoy. It is merely a barrier between them and the “real fun” of the game.

Our focus with Stash is to make the entire game fun at all levels. Furthermore, our current plan is to have NO LEVEL CAP. That’s right. You can play Stash for 20 years and keep leveling up and developing your character. That’s how it works in our 18 year old rpg: Threshold. It has worked brilliantly.

5) Character Development Through More Than Just Loot

We find it very disappointing when character development is almost entirely about gear. Gear is awesome. Loot is awesome. Of course gear should be a big part of character development and customization.

But your character is a mighty hero, villain, adventurer, or craftsman of epic proportions. You will be able to defeat fancy dressed scrubs with one hand tied behind your back and a bent twig as your only item. Gear is a big deal in Stash, but your character’s abilities and skills are just as important. Player skill is also important to succeed in the tactical, turn based combat.

6) Interactive World You Can Meaningfully Change

Why have most MMO worlds become so incredibly static? Barely anything changes and very little can be interacted with. In Stash, the world is alive with its people and evolves based on their actions. This starts with thousands of years of lore and history developed over the last two decades. It also includes a wealth of gameplay features.

  • Conquerable outposts.
  • World events: Staff run events that advance the story and react to player actions
  • Interactive objects. Levers, buttons, puzzles, secret doors, etc.
  • Environmental objects that can be used in combat. Exploding barrels, oil slicks, cave-ins, and more.
  • Monster camps that can be exterminated or left alone eventually triggering…
  • Invasions.

7) Solo and All Group Sizes Are Viable

When you want to play Stash, you may not always have friends online or you may not have a full group. That’s fine. No matter what the size of your group, there is fun, challenging, and rewarding content to enjoy.

If you are solo you may want to stick to dungeons that are close to your level. Once you pick a few people up, you might go to a harder zone or crank up your difficulty settings. If you get a full group, perhaps you max out your difficulty and go to a region even more above your level and really challenge yourselves. If a few people have to leave, just lower difficulty and keep going.

This is the flexibility you have in Stash. It is not “stand around bored spamming LFG/LFM to fill your party” nor is it “enter an auto-party-filling system where nobody knows anyone and relationships and reputation don’t matter.” There are perfectly challenging and rewarding dungeons and regions to explore regardless of your party size, gear level, and skill.

(NOTE: The above post originally appeared in our Aug/Sep 2014 Kickstarter.)

This Is Only the Beginning

There are other differences between Stash and typical MMOs, but these are some of the highlights. We love MMOs and there are some spectacular MMOs out there right now. We play or have played most of them. We are not trashing the entire genre or anything of that nature. We simply believe there are features that have been overdone and others that were a mistake from the beginning (I’m looking at you, Bind on Pickup).

Stash is bringing new ideas to the genre and resurrecting old ones that were wrongly forgotten. If you’ve become disenchanted with MMOs or simply want something new and fresh, this is definitely the game for you.

Jump on board now and you can get Alpha/Beta access and be part of the community early.

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