Developer Chat - 2008/09/30

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Original Link - http://acvault.ign.com/static.php/devchat2008

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September 2008 Developer's Chat



7:00 Angelina Rayne: Good evening everyone! The chat will start shortly, if you would like, go ahead and submit any questions you may have for the Developers tonight.
7:08 Crowley: Hey everyone, welcome to the AC dev chat, I'm Dave "Crowley" Javier, the team producer. Thanks for joining us!
7:08 Speed: Speed here, I am a Dev on AC. I made the Carenzi Races recently.
7:09 Kintani: Look, there are Devs here! Allo everyone. Kintani here, one of the Devs.
7:09 Frelorn: Hi everyone, and welcome to the Dev chat!
7:09 Severlin: Hey I'm in here too.
7:09 NoWorries: Hello
7:10 Maverick: Hello all.
7:10 Kintani: Aww, Sev's here. I guess we can't pick on him behind his back.
7:10 Frelorn: no, we still can
7:10 Severlin: That's never stopped you before.
7:10 Angelina Rayne: No, no picking today!
7:10 Kaltemar: And you all know me. I'd like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend, and especially those of you who have submitted questions for the devs to answer.
7:11 Kaltemar: We'll be picking at the questions just momentarily.


7:13 Kaltemar: First question is from our pre-submitted variety. We don't have names on these, so I wont say who they're from.


7:13 Kaltemar: When things a obviously broken (ie Sclavus) and you have a hotfix (ie today) why don't you fix these things since they have such a great impact on new content?
7:15 Severlin: The nature of hot fixes is that we have a limited window to implement and test the changes. Because of this we have to be extremely careful to only include fixes we feel are absolutely necessary. Large scale statistical changes take a long time to test.


7:17 Angelina Rayne: Are you concerned that all of the drastic changes to the core of AC play will drive customers away?
7:19 Crowley: We don't think any of the changes have altered the core personality of the game -- dynamic gameplay, character creation freedom, deep lore, episodic content, etc. We think that some of the major changes we've made, most especially the Society systems and land control mechanics, build upon the game's strengths and enhance them, rather than change what was there.


7:19 [Comment From Athenna] I wanted to say KUDOS to all of the devs since the release of AC. I never grow bored in this game, however, the past two month's content has far exceeded anything I have ever hoped. TYVM for all your hard work!!!! My question is, would it be possible to have the new patch content stack? Pack space is all but gone since the last two patches have come into play with all the items that need to be gathered for each task, and the society gems that do not stack. THANKS!
7:21 Severlin: Content didn't use stacking because of a technical limitation to some of thye new tech, but we are removing that limitation and plan to make as many items stack as possible.


7:24 Kaltemar: Next Question... Why have you taken the freedom of choice away from the players and adopted a quest only linear type model? Most AC players still play for that freedom instead of a forced route


7:26 Crowley: We understand that people may be frustrated with the questing nature of Society advancement. The Societies have to have some kind of advancement mechanic, and so there are trade-offs -- some people may have felt negatively about a more free-form advancement model. That said, one of the beauties of Asheron's Call and our monthly updates system is that we can keep elaborating on systems that we introduce according to player feedback. There's obviously some outcry in the player community to make Society-level rewards available to players who don't want to join a society, so we can assure you we hear your feedback and we're going to keep adding new methods of advancement inside and outside of Societies.
7:26 Crowley: This means, yes, we're going to increase the flow of Shards and keys into the world.


7:29 [Comment From Grimfell] Are you planning on putting level 8 vulns into the game to counter balance the amount of protections and survivability level 8s and epics added ?
7:31Frelorn: Along with some technical limitations with the system, we want to be sure that more powerful vulns won't have a too much of a negative impact on PvP and PvE. So while we are looking into things, nothing is concrete at this point.


7:31 Kaltemar: Can we get more Soloable Quests for Mana Forge key pulls?
7:31 Kintani: Yes.
7:32 Frelorn: thank you for that detailed answer
7:32 Kaltemar: (Please be aware that the developers have literally minutes to decide on their answers to these questions, as they've never seen them before. Responses may take some time to organise)


7:33 [Comment From Og Angel] With this last patch I have really seen an increase of quests being run because of the mana keys. I think this is the right direction to go and brings back more of a community to AC. Do you plan to update more of the older quests? Maybe not with whole mana keys but with pieces of them for the easier quests because I don't want it too easy to get the keys.
7:35 Speed: It's always been our plan to keep updating old quests. You will see more updated quests in the coming months. By updated I may just mean new rewards, but yes, we are continuing to update old quests.
7:35 Kintani: Both for Solo and Group Quests.


7:35 Kaltemar: Will there possibly be an "auction house" so we dont need to have "Trade Bots"?
7:36 Frelorn: Right now we have no plans to add an auction house into the game.
7:36 Crowley: Severlin's too much of a wimp to code them up...


7:36[Comment From Flynn] Sorry, I had to ask: What are you planning for AC's 10th anniversary next year? And will there be another expansion pack?


7:38 Frelorn: So with the 10th upcoming , we are just in the early planning stages right now. As things come together a little more we will start getting more information out. Lets just say it should be fun. :)
7:38 Crowley: (Mind you, the tenth is still a year away...)


7:38 Kaltemar: What is the future of AC? Is there ever going to be new graphics engine developed for this game? Are there any intentions to have a god at AC3 and keep it very similar to the original?
7:39 Kaltemar: I think "god" might be meant to be "go".
7:39 Kintani: Aww, I wanted to be a God of AC3...
7:40 Kaltemar: Yeah, sorry about that.
7:40 Angelina Rayne: No Gods for you!
7:40 Frelorn: what about me?
7:40 Speed: /god Speed
7:40 Maverick: You wish it was that easy Speed!!
7:40 Angelina Rayne: You either Frelorn
7:40 Frelorn: Darn!
7:41 Kintani: *pouts*
7:41 Speed: /newb Maverick
7:41 Angelina Rayne: /ahem so, we had a really great questions...
7:41 Crowley: At this time it doesn't seem likely that there's going to be a new graphics engine. Just the texture upgrade we did in 2005 with Throne of Destiny involved 65,000 textures, and drove us a little crazy just tracking the number of textures that were flowing through. As for the future of the game, we can assure you that Turbine has no plans to shut down AC. It's still profitable and the company recognizes the value of having a pillar and a founding game of the genre around.


7:42 Kaltemar: And a really quick question from one of our readers: What was the name of the previous story arc, the one starting with rescuing Asheron and ending in the defeat of Aerbax?
7:43 Kintani: "Favored Sons" was the name of the Aerbax Arc, which actually started just *after* Asheron was rescued.
7:43 Kintani: Saving Asheron was it's own mini-arc


7:44 [Comment From Belwyvair] Can we see any exploration-based rewards?
7:45 Speed: Yep, I plan on adding an exploration quest using the same tech that we used for the Jester Markers Quest. I'm thinking of placing markers all over the world. I have some "secret" locations I'm thinking of. Should be fun for explorers. Other than that we may add some other exploration type quests. We have talked about it recently.


7:47 Kaltemar: I didn't see any creatures behaving differently since I joined a society. What situations can I see this?
7:48 NoWorries: The guards that spawn when a society takes over a PvP Town, the adept gateway soceity quest, and the spawning pools on moarsman city are all examples of that new tech
7:48 Kintani: Go to Northwatch Castle when someone else owns it.  ;-)


7:49 [Comment From Spork] Can we possibly get some "Easter Eggs"?
7:50 Kintani: You haven't found all of the old ones yet.
7:51 Speed: We are always adding more easter eggs. There are still some that players haven't found. There's an easter egg with the Jester still.
7:51 Crowley: We put in a little Easter Egg for the 100th Update patch, but it's not in any more. I won't say what it was.  ;)


7:52 Kaltemar: Are there any plans to update or upgrade the wares sold by the Colosseum Vendor? Specifically making the packs he sells have 30 slots rather than 26
7:53 Speed: We will continue to add items to the Colosseum vendor. As far as a larger pack goes, that may or may not end up on the Colosseum vendor at some point.


7:54 [Comment From Belwyvair] Any love for assess monster, deception, and other unused skills? Could any skills be seeing any updates in the near future? Lockpick = Disarm traps? :)
7:56 Crowley: We've had some plans on the drawing board for these. We had some ideas for the 100th Update that we ended up having to cut for time and feasibility. I will note, however, that Deception became slightly useful with the factions. But yes, we're always looking for ideas to make Assess and otehr underutilized skills more useful... Or even add new ones!
7:57 Crowley: (If we don't do that it's Sev's fault)
7:57 Severlin: I see where this is going...


7:57 Kaltemar: What will Turbine do to ensure the survival of Asheron's Call and to bring more players to the game... for example, advertising?
7:58 Frelorn: We are always looking at ways to get more players into the game. Being that this is an older game, most players today want the new shiny. That does not mean we won't continue to drive players into the game. For example we were at Gencon and PAX with AC and we saw the results of that with many new a returning players coming into the game.
7:59 Crowley: I do think that the 100th Update and the Society system we added was a great step at ensuring the long-term survival of this franchise.


8:00 [Comment From Belwyvair] What is on the horizon for AC, what has the dev's the most excited to work on in the future?
8:01 Kintani: Horrible, gnashy death mazes?
8:01 Crowley: I'm definitely looking forward to adding more sausage recipes.
8:01 Kaltemar: I can see this one getting off-topic real quick
8:02 Kintani: Hey, death-mazes are on topic.
8:02 Crowley: I didn't even mean that in a double entendre sense!
8:02 Frelorn: right
8:02 Angelina Rayne: uh huh
8:02 Speed: No Promises, but this is the stuff I'm thinking about: Monster Fights, Solo Colosseum Run, Explorer Quest (see above), BIG monster fight, more liveops
8:03 Severlin: I am looking at adding new tech to allow the devs to create game objects that can more easily communicate with each other. This should allow lots of new event driven content without stressing thye servers.


8:03 Angelina Rayne: Ok everyone, last questions of the night!
8:03 [Comment From Gedatsu] Would you rather go on a date with Jessica Simpson, or play 18 holes of golf with Tiger Woods, on the moon?
8:03 Kintani: I hate golf.
8:04 Kaltemar: You know, is that even a choice?
8:04 Crowley: I would work out some way for the Jessica Simpson date to negatively affect Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys.
8:04 Angelina Rayne: It might be
8:04 Angelina Rayne: How can you talk about the Cowboys like that???
8:04 Frelorn: Yea, I am not a big fan of golf either.
8:04 Crowley: Easy, I watch football. ;)
8:05 Speed: Jessica for sure.
8:05 Kintani: Does the trip to the moon come with a space-suit?
8:05 Angelina Rayne: No
8:05 Frelorn: Space suit not included
8:05 Maverick: Well, there isnt anything stated about having AIR while on the moon... Would be have to be Jessica due to that.
8:05 Kintani: Jessica wins twice then.
8:05 Speed: Does Jessica come with some sort of suit?
8:05 Kintani: Does it matter?
8:05 Angelina Rayne: HAHA, no she doesn't.


8:06 Kaltemar: Alright folks, we've reached the end of our time with Turbine. We'll post a write up on the AC Vault website as soon as we can. I'd like to thank you all for coming, and hope you got a bit more insight into what's going on with regards to AC. Hopefully, we can look forward to more exciting developments as hinted at within the next few months.
8:06 Frelorn: Thanks again everyone. We will do this again soon. :)
8:06 Kintani: Thanks for coming everyone!  ;-)
8:06 Kaltemar: If the folks want to continue bantering on, I'm more than happy for them to do so ;)
8:07 Speed: I'm Speed and good night.
8:07 Crowley: Thanks everyone! Thanks for the questions and thanks for playing AC.


8:07 Angelina Rayne: Thank you all for coming out!! Take care!
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