When we released the Chaos and Order Mystery Box we received a huge amount of positive feedback about the Ultimate Chaos and Pure Light Armour Sets featured in that box. We are really happy with how these sets turned out and wanted to shed some light into the design and development process used when creating microtransactions.




Most of our microtransactions have a certain role to fulfill, whether it be as part of a supporter pack, a reward for a challenge league, content for a mystery box, or even just to be sold in the store by itself. This role will often drive the direction of a microtransaction, but we also look at which microtransactions are popular, and try to create microtransactions that complement them. We want to give supporters the opportunity to develop a certain 'look', if they want.

In this case, the Ultimate Chaos Armour Set was designed in the context of the Chaos and Order Mystery Box. With this mystery box we were interested in trying something new; instead of creating one theme for the box, we wanted to create two complementary themes. We discussed many potential themes, but ultimately we landed on Chaos and Order as we felt had a nice overlap with the themes of the Fall of Oriath expansion.

To create a consistent visual theme we carefully selected black, white, and red as the predominant colours. These have proven to be very popular previously, and had nice parallels with the style of Oriath.

The Order side would be mostly white, and the Chaos side mostly black, with splashes of red to unify them. The silhouettes and shapes of each 'side' were carefully curated, with circles and curves on the Chaos microtransactions and straighter lines representing Order. We tried to inject a sense of foreboding in both, as Chaos and Order are not inherently good or bad.

After these style 'rules' are determined, the process is similar to developing other microtransactions. A description, or in this case a crudely drawn representation, is given to the concept artists to work with. Jaan, one of our concept artists, worked on this particular armour set and expanded on these ideas in a way that fit the existing world of Wraeclast. You can see his process here:






In this case the concept art process was quite fast and straight forward. There was some iteration to make the spiral pattern large and prominent on all pieces before it was sent off to be modelled. First a very high detail model is created. This "high poly" model is then used to extract texture detail for use on a more efficient and textured "low poly" model.





Next up is rigging which is where the armour is made to deform correctly when the character moves. Each of our player classes requires some customisation to make the armour fit well. During this step the back attachment cloak was setup to work with our physics system.


Once the models are complete, they are passed on to the Visual Effects team to further enhance the look. Armour sets often gets some glow or other material effects added (edge glow, extra metal shininess and so on) Some microtransactions (like the Ultimate Chaos Weapon effect) and some skill effects are purely made by the VFX team and require no 3D model.

In this case, we wanted to keep the effects on the armour quite simple as the set was designed to accompany many other microtransactions from the mystery box. The aim was to make sure the set was complemented by the other microtransactions without becoming overly saturated by them.

For this armour deep red spiral glow was added, and the armour was darkened overall to increase the contrast. Some subtle movement was added to the glow to make things more interesting.



Erik, our Creative Director, supervises each stage of this production. When the model and effects are hooked up and available to be viewed on our internal testing client then things will be reassessed as a whole and may be passed back to artists for further tweaks. This is usually the stage where the microtransaction will receive its official name.

Once he's happy with it, the task is handed off to Ashley, one of our 2D artists, who will create the inventory icon and shop art for the microtransaction. Once these ones are made, Ashley passes it on to Eben who will create a video that showcases the microtransaction.

The microtransaction videos are relatively straight-forward, but there are a few things we try to keep in mind when creating them. We try to use a different class in each scene to show off the difference shapes and sizes the armour set takes. We also try to show a few different types of movement and action. Most videos will have around four scenes: One showing the character front on, one running in a gameplay perspective, one in action with monsters, and one that is cinematic.

The scenes vary from microtransaction to microtransaction, but are broadly the same between microtransaction types. For example, skill effect videos are shown exclusively in gameplay scenes but with variations similar to the ones outlined above.

However, because the Ultimate Chaos Armour Set was created for the Chaos and Order Mystery Box, it first had to be included in the full cinematic trailer, which is a much bigger undertaking than a normal microtransaction video.

Eben creates these while collaborating with Erik, Chris, Jonathan and myself. The trailer process starts with Kamil making a captivating soundtrack that creatures a structure for the video, with an introduction sequence, a good pace for displaying a series of microtransactions, and then a climactic ending and ambient outro.

With this trailer we wanted to double-down on the Chaos and Order theme and denote their competing traits. For this purpose, we opened and ended the trailer with the two armour sets in battle. For the microtransaction showcase, we heavily featured both armour sets and showed each microtransaction type in pairs. Check it out below!


There are various levels of testing happening throughout the microtransaction development pipeline which culminate in a final test before the microtransaction is merged into a patch and deployed to the live realm. The testing process looks at many aspects of the microtransaction, including its video and shop entry.

The checklist is too long to include here, but to give you an overview, it includes some obvious checks like making sure it appears correctly in all places (the shop, in-game, in the microtransaction stash) has the correct name and price etc. Some of the more obscure checks include how it looks when ignited, shocked and chilled and whether or not it has the correct shadow.

Once the testing has been completed, it's ready to deploy to the world!


As you can see, there are many levels involved with the creation of each microtransaction. This process varies slightly depending on what the microtransaction is but most follow the same rough pattern.

Some microtransactions may take many months to complete, while others can be done very quickly. The Ultimate Chaos Armour Set, alongside the other microtransactions from the Chaos and Order mystery box took approximately four months to make its way along the development queue from concept to deployment.

We've already begun development on the next mystery box which will also include two opposing themes, but you'll have to wait until 3.1.0 later this year to check it out!
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Grinding Gear Games
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must and will be removed (✿ =‿‿=)
PogChamp
Reminds me of Dementia and Mania from Shivering Isles.
I've fought mud crabs more fearsome than you!
Last edited by VendettaMachine on Sep 4, 2017, 8:11:51 PM
Chaos and order are probably the best mistery box until now, saving my money to buy these pieces when they go live.
I do really enjoy the contents of these boxes, I didn't get any chaos armor though, just light. I know what to wait for a sale of....
Support a free Hong Kong.

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with
sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
-Galileo Galilei
Too ugly, too thicc, no more Blizzard style trash pls. Most of us came here to get away from that.
It's a bit too thick, bulky, and "blizzardy" for my taste. I much prefer the sleeker, more realistic armors. It's what drew me into Path of Exile, and that whole gigantic shoulder pad bullshit is what chased me away from Diablo 3... Hopefully this doesn't become a trend...

Glad to see they're not all like that though. That new Desert Armor... for instance. Bloody awesome looking. As soon as I upgrade my fund situation from "not broke", I shall acquire it.
Grant us eyes.
Last edited by Gibbevex on Sep 4, 2017, 8:24:52 PM
Love the game. Lots of the mtx look awesome. Hate the pricing! Hate that the game IS that good that I did spend $ on it. Regardless, the wallet would be more willing to open when the price of a set didn't cost the price of a game or 3.

With this talk of roles mtx play does anyone know what the role is the lightning scorpion that costs 55 dollars MORE than the other 2 insanely priced $55 ones that share basically the same thematic tier?

Most expensive free game you'll ever play.

Those box sets do look cool tho.
Can we please get a way to delete/reuse/break down duplicates? I don't buy boxes just because you guys have no way to deal with duplicates and I don't want three pairs of gloves showing up in my MTX options.
delete all lootboxes
Last edited by Timbroslice on Sep 4, 2017, 8:29:06 PM

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