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[Suggestions & Feedback Request] Desert Biome Shown During July Livestream

VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
edited August 2022 in General Discussion
Hello glorious community,

As we go through your feedback on the Riverlands biome that was seen during the May 2022 Development Update livestream, we’ve got another biome headed your way!

Making sure that each of the biomes on Verra feels unique is something that matters to us, and we want you to let us know in this thread what you’d like to encounter in the desert biome.

To help guide this conversation, here are a few thought starters:
  • Are there certain aspects of deserts that you like from other games?
  • What deserts in games stand out for you?
  • Are there certain points of interest you would like to see in deserts?
  • Are there desert tropes you would like us to include or avoid?
  • Which unique creatures do you think should be found in deserts?
  • What kind of desert weather and seasonal effects do you wish were found in more games?

Please don’t feel limited by the thought starters above. Feel free to share any suggestions you have for our desert biome.

We’ll be compiling a report for the design team on Friday, August 12, 2022, so please try to get your suggestions into this thread by then!

Everyone here at Intrepid Studios looks forward to reading all the feedback you have to share regarding things you’d love to see in the desert biome!


  • NiKrNiKr Member
    Looks amazing so far.
  • VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
    NiKr wrote: »
    Looks amazing so far.

    Are there any ideas you'd like to share for the biome? Thanks for the kind words!
  • edited July 2022
    Will there be sand tornadoes or sandstorms? Sorta like the meme yall posted on IG ;)

    Empyrean - The Superior Race
  • NiKrNiKr Member
    Vaknar wrote: »
    Are there any ideas you'd like to share for the biome? Thanks for the kind words!
    Don't really have anything that I'd add on top of what was shown. Vegetation looked nice and appropriate. Overall environment looked fitting and varied, with dunes/mountainous/barren locals. Mobs looked good too, though scarce, with Snorse being very ironic in that environment.

    The biggest thing I'd ask for is probably bigger sandstorms and overall sand blowing around, but I assumed that would be shown more once Intrepid shows us whether in this particular biome.
  • DmhofmaDmhofma Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I've gone back to play BFA storylines and stuff in wow and actually really liked Vol'dun. It's hard to put my finger on exactly what it is but I think the atmosphere and music were very engaging, and I never felt like the zone was empty because the areas consist of giant temple ruins, farms, race wars, cults, pirate zombies, etc. The zone felt varied, but also large enough to keep me in the moment of playing and the side stories entertained me as much as the main story. In contrast to this when I was playing FF, Ala Mhigo infuriated me because there was so much verticality and not enough unique ways to get around, so unlocking flying for that zone was super annoying. It really took me out of the experience of looking through the zone when I got lost and had to retrace my steps and take the long way to get to my next objective.
  • At first I thought that the Desert Biome was going to be lackluster. Barren roads w/ little substance, but I was -floored- at how beautiful it was with all of the elements included, from Cacti, to forgotten ruins and beautiful architecture. Since we've seen some really amazing weather systems in the Riverlands biome, I'm eager to see what the developers come up with for the other biomes too. Will we see sandstorms as a potential weather system? Perhaps raining glass! Some planets in space actually do rain glass! Deserts can also become quite cold at night. It would be interesting to see the breath of our characters in the desert at nightfall.

    As far as a desert trope goes...Would love to stumble across a dungeon or encampment that is a mirage, and only appears at a certain time of day perhaps? How cool would that be.
  • LeukaelLeukael Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2022
    What did I like: I like that there's variation in terms of vegetation and it isn't entirely sand. I do wish there was just a bit more of a color range but I honestly think that'll only be achieved by day and night difference maybe? The trick with this biome is it is a lot of the same palette and type of assets so it is hard. I think these biomes will require the most diverse set of creatures because of this fact.

    What deserts in games stand out: I think the creatures stand out more in the biome relative to others.

    Desert POIs: Oasis, Ruins/Temples, Cliff faces/other sources of shades, a valley of flat and low elevation where you can see the different elevations (think opposite cliff top,) canyon with striations and varying hues, and a rock or cacti forest.

    Tropes: Unsure. Definitely distortion from heat/sun visually on the landscape.

    Unique Creatures: Massive sandworm or predator insect types.

    Weather and Season: Something to convey how conversely cool it gets at night, sandstorms, the rare rainfall/cloud, dust devils, mirages, etc.
  • I think this was best desert in any game I've seen so far. The desert looks desert but it isn't totally barren and full of sand. That being said I'd love if there was traditional empty desert area as well.

    I think including sand burrowing ambush insects or such things and generic buzzard type enemies/animals would get desert vibe going. I loved all the animals/enemies that were shown in the video specifically hippos.
    With dynamic weather system I think sand storms and tornadoes would be cool and they could either drive enemies up from hiding in sand or hiding different shelters.
  • GaullGaull Member
    I loved the desert biome video. The only feature that seemed to be missing is the Sahara-like, ocean of sand scenery. There was lots of cool scenery though.
  • NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2022
    I would like to see sandstorms. Obviously resulting in heavily reduced visibility, but also changing the landscape. Like the winter ice blocking certain passages, have the sandstorm change the desert and access to areas/dungeons as well with new dunes and such.

    And nasty creatures that live in the sandstorm, and only in there, but with valuable crafting resources. Some type of sand elemental perhaps.
  • SnowElf wrote: »
    As far as a desert trope goes...Would love to stumble across a dungeon or encampment that is a mirage, and only appears at a certain time of day perhaps? How cool would that be.

    Love the mirage idea it's the perfect place to hide rare traders or secret quests.

  • -T0Mb--T0Mb- Member
    The desert biome looked great!

    I would like to see quicksand areas, pits and how wind moves sand in the desert covering routes and passages.

    Fennec foxes, jackals, lesser Egyptian jerboas and antlions could be good additions into the desert's ecosystem.
  • George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    Fucking grear. Make sure to populate with mobs those dunes and cliffs. The three developers in todays Dev Update inspared such confidence in us all. Congratz on finding ways to make your work better. Staying in the zone and avoiding all the back and forth hassles makes all the difference.
  • I wasn't entirely convinced by the idea of a huge desert zone, but watching that today just totally blew me away. It looked fantastic.

    As for inclusions, maybe something like a baobab tree that's so big you can actually go inside. Lizards, snakes, snake-lizards lizard-snakes (got my animal-mergey-Margaret-hat on there...), maybe we can even get a camel mount or something. (Ok, or a camel-armadillo or something - a camedillo?)
    This link may help you:
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I think I actually didn't like this desert.

    It's not even 'because it doesn't feel that much like a desert' because that's not true, but moreso that it felt like it was lacking something that I find difficult to put into words. Maybe it was the scale I saw it from, or the fact that there were no shots of it at night, included in the expo, but it's just too oddly 'alive'.

    The sort of thing where you can change the terrain to be greener and it will cease to look like a desert. Now, this is absolutely fantastic if that's in the plan, and I can definitely imagine, given everything else that you guys do, that if so, I'll be blown away. In a 'normal' ordinary MMORPG or similar game, I'd expect a lot of things to be out of place once that happened, like the Scorpions, but this is Ashes so I'd expect a change in the spawners too.

    Something here just isn't working for me. I'll hope it's the cinematography chosen, or the specific utilization of the assets, but something just doesn't look quite right. I can't put my finger on it yet, but I'm just going to trust in the incredible Intrepid art team that it's my own error and bias for now.

    tl;dr Looks great, I hate it.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
  • CROW3CROW3 Member
    I thought the footage looked beautiful. A few specifics / questions:
    • The desert biodiversity was cool. I liked the nods to Arizona, Jordan (Petra), Egypt, and the African savannas.
    • The verticality was intriguing - I want to climb those crags way off in the distance
    • I have no idea how that snail is going to survive in an arid climate, but maybe it's a silicon based slime? ;)
    • Will footprints in the sand be added?
    • Will there be sandstorms that limit visibility? (same impacts as darkness)
    • I'd love to see some hints of bygone life / biomes that have long since evolved into the desert
    • Will there be blooming flowers (I think of Joshua Trees in the CA Mojave) in these biomes similar to those in the Riverlands?

    Overall - well done!
  • The desert looks fantastic, they really did a great job in capturing the arid climate. Very desolate, giving off heavy Savanna vibes, along with a mixture of adding in barren dunes and typical desert depictions.

    I think adding in mirages, after staying in the desert too long, will be a great idea for immersion. Along with maybe quicksand, some Egyptian themed buildings, and simple camels will be great additions.
  • This blew my mind to be honest. The mix of dessert type details, from Egypt, Utah mid east all looks so cool to me. at least that's what i saw around today, the details are nuts!! i had no interest in the dessert but now dam i might even wanna live there.

    Id love to see like sandstorms, dustnados, floods, quicksand, Some type of serpent boss or mobs would be so dam cool to see also. Everything looked amazing so far. Being in the dessert be cool if when on high ground the sun may reflect off things in the sand and you might need to ruin and see what it is. Floods would also be cool for navy combat and transport, only certain times can you make your way someone, huge risk in the tide washes out and your ship becomes a relic in the sands
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  • VindorVindor Member
    Any good desert needs an hidden temple in a canyon in my opinion and a giant sandworm obviously
  • ChimeChime Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2022
    Gotta have some hidden treasures/dungeons and it would be cool if there were mirages.
    "Bravery only means something to those who are afraid of death."
  • Happymeal2415Happymeal2415 Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I really liked that it wasn't just dunes but there was some Zion national park vibes too
  • LinikerLiniker Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2022
    Looks amazing! loved the mix of desert types, I hope it's big enough!

    Edit: one thing is, I'd like to share the concern that others have in regards to the Render distance for the grass and foliage, terrain does look flat in the distance and my suggestion is only for you to Allow us that have high end PCs to bump that up

    If you are concerned about the performance on preset settings make it so the Ultra preset doesn't have everything maxed out - but have a checkbox with a warning message, to enable us go beyond ultra and bump the settings such as rendering distance for foliage further :)
    Recrutamento aberto - Nosso Site: Clique aqui
  • SweatycupSweatycup Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2022
    I really like the history of ancient nubia and the ancient pueblo and how they used the landscape of desert cliffs and rocks as structures and homes. With desert cliff like areas i would hope to see use of vertical space even if confines are tight. There is nothing like a beautiful view from a beautiful height looking down across the canyon and id say is always worth the climb. The use of water cisterns carved out of the rocks, intricate caverns like the ancient cappadocians who used them as both a form of defense and attack using little holes and narrow passage ways to spear intruders from above the stabby mcpoke hole. I think it looks great but if you could carve more life, paths, and obstacles/chance it’d feel much more alive besides just the wildlife and statues shown. Some other random ideas.. sink holes that fall into caverns might be interesting in certain planned areas. Sirocco weather storms would be cool. Falling boulders and possibly overtime erosion.
  • Visually this zone is amazing and I can see so much potential my head is spinning. I love the vegetation and want to see it cranked to 11 quite honestly. Right now everything shown seemed like it could potentially appear in an earth desert but I want to see some truly unique and silly vegetation. Maybe like vines that got fatter towards a water source or like some weird spiraly plants that are shaped that way for "water conservation" also more colors. Some of the most beautifully colorful plants come from deserts and that isn't a trait I'd mind seeing in game.
    The animals were all really cool, though I do hope for even more variety. More original maybe subterranian animals or hybrids like Davey's armadillo camels 😆 also Snorse ftw.
    The architecture and all of the environmental design looks superb and I can't wait to explore it all more. Looks like the team has a very clear direction and I like it and look forward to seeing more of it.
    The potential for weather here is something really interesting to me as well. Like others have said sandstorms, smaller dust devils, quicksand, and flooding are pretty cool ideas to bring in. But I'm more interested to see what seasons mean for the Desert. If things could be unlocked through the levels of the sand rising and falling I think that would be neat. A season where the dunes are extraordinary high and cause impassable terrain. Or maybe where the nights get so cold in the winter all the insects make themselves sparse and more mammals are present. There's also a potential of for climates so hot that parts of the sands glass over?
    Look forward to seeing more 😁
    Professional Skeptic, Entertainer, and Animal Enthusiast
  • TalentsTalents Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited July 2022
    My only concern with all the biomes shown so far (and it's not even a biome issue really) is the draw distance of foliage and other stuff seems to be very small. For example, there are some times where the character can see areas not too far from them, but the foliage won't spawn in until you get much closer. I understand it is for performance reasons, but atm the distance seems way too short and is honestly quite jarring.

    For example, in this image, the foliage in the immediate vicinity of the camera is visible, but to the right hand side of the image across the lake it looks barren.

    Here's another example from the Wetlands biome video. The surrounding area near Steven has foliage, but in the slight distance ahead of him, there's a tree on a small hill that looks like it has no foliage.

    But as he gets closer, it spawns

    Other than that, the biomes themselves look great and I don't have any immediate critiques.
  • I played Aion back in the day and they had a few desert biomes. One thing I really liked about one of them was a hidden oasis they had where sand was piled up all around this area in a circle and if you go to the top and look down you then see this lush green oasis that was otherwise hidden from your view. This was also where some rare named monsters spawned to get some cool unique loot.

    Overall, the work and tools you guys have create is amazing! I'm so so so impressed. No notes in that regard at all.
  • i liked it. and the music/soundtrack .... YES PLEASE.
  • SavicSavic Member
    The only games that come to mind immediately that had deserts in them are FFX and Minecraft. For final fantasy 10 I feel it was a bit story + finding random items for interest, and in Minecraft it was a sense of wonder and then stumbling into a temple with traps that could kill with rare items.

    Both kinda had a feeling and reward of you could find some special items out in the emptyness. I like the idea of either lots of enemies with a potential for a special hard enemy to appear or few enemies but the ones you do run into are on the more dangerous side. Generally I imagine a desert as a dangerous place since its not very livable.

    I think having some sort of puzzle you can find that you can fail would be a cool way to find items, or for gaining access to a high density of gatherable resources if you complete it. Probably cant let people camp in it though cause then you'd get bots in that sort of spot lol

    As for creatures and weather, I have no idea other than extremely generic answers lmao
  • ChimeChime Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited July 2022
    Otr wrote: »
    I didn't liked the snail / walking mount mix.
    If it has legs, it should use the legs all the time.
    Mixing these two things shows lack of creativity.

    I don't know about that, I think the concept showed a lot of creativity. It's a one of a kind creature. My sister and I lost our minds when we seen the snorse lol, it's great. But to each their own.
    "Bravery only means something to those who are afraid of death."
  • Has anybody had any thoughts as to what the big glowy torch thing was?
    This link may help you:
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