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  1. #1
    Turbine, Inc. Vyvyanne's Avatar
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    Default DDO Producer's Letter July 2014

    Hello! I’m writing today to tell you more about our plans for DDO in the coming months, and introduce you to a few folks you might not know. We’ve made some adjustments to our “road map” for 2014 that we think you’ll be excited about, and we’ve added a few folks to the team that we want to introduce you to.

    For those of you who missed my letter written for DDO’s 8th anniversary, my name is Athena, and I’m DDO’s Franchise Director. I’m the person heading up the DDO team, working with our partners, producers, and teams leads, and making various business decisions that keep the engines running. We’re really pleased to have added Design Manager Severlin to our team in recent months, and I notice that you’ve already been seeing his design leadership in action in the Official Discussion Forums (and in the game!) Severlin comes to DDO from Asheron’s Call, where he served as Producer (and wore many hats) for quite some time. Additionally, we’ve added two other members of the Asheron’s Call team to our staff: NoWorries and Kintani, who are working on items, quests, systems, and more! Of course, it takes a huge amount of creativity to keep DDO going, so I also want to thank the many other developers, quality assurance, production, operations, art, and community people I work with every day for all of their hard work – thank you!

    When Rowan spoke with you back in December, we outlined a plan for 2014 that we’ve delivered so far (like Epic Three Barrel Cove, Haunted Halls of Eveningstar, etc.) However, we’re making a few changes to our calendar for the rest of the year, and I want to make sure you are up-to-date on our plans. Initially, we were considering creating Anauroch for Update 23, and raising the level cap to 30 in Update 24. Rowan also talked about the concept of “Sentient Weapons” in his letter, although that wasn’t assigned to an update. You can expect all of these things to happen! But, our team has been looking at alternatives, reading your ideas on the forums (and Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Twitch, etc.), discussing our plans with the Players Council, and gathering their feedback on what they’d like us to work on. We’ve been talking amongst the team as well, assessing what it is we’d like to do, and when the right time to do it is. In that context, we’ve shifted our plans slightly.

    Update 23 will bring Epic Orchard of the Macabre to DDO, along with a new Epic raid! While the raid will share some locations and similarities to the current Accursed Ascension raid (“Abbot raid”), our team will bring a whole new series of challenges to adventurers brave enough to enter. We’re not simply “adding hit points to the Abbot”, but are rather re-thinking the raid space for an entirely new battle, with a new story line, baddies, loot, and more! One of the things we’re looking to do in the coming year is to provide more high-level questing and raiding to DDO, and we think an Epic Orchard of the Macabre fits nicely with that goal.

    Besides newly Epi-fied versions of the quests found in Orchard of the Macabre, we’re also planning to make sure the Orchard itself is ready for high-level adventure with exciting battles against rare enemies, werewolves (yes, in Eberron!), new loot, and more! We’ll be talking a lot more about the Epic Orchard of the Macabre in the coming months, and I can’t wait for you to see what our devious devs have planned.

    Update 23 will also feature a series of improvements aimed at making sure heavy armor-wearing adventurers feel powerful and ready to go toe-to-toe with some of DDO’s toughest enemies, updates to improve the Paladin class, and other changes that will give our melee players a boost. We’re also creating new Augments for our Crystal Cove event that higher-level players can slot into their favorite weapons, armor, and items, and expect to bring those new Augments to you when Crystal Cove reopens after the release of Update 23.

    Update 24 will round out the year with new quests, new Festivult cookies, and a new event that centers on something we can all agree on: looting chests! We’ll be continuing our work on the Anauroch Desert (in the Forgotten Realms), planning for Sentient Weapons, and developing another Classic Dungeon like the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar. We expect these to be something you’ll see in the first half of 2015. We’re pushing out the level cap for now to make sure we have plenty of questing to support your journey through the highest levels of DDO. Hitting level 30 will be a big milestone for DDO, and we want to put it out when the timing is right, and make sure its design keeps up with the way you, the players want to play DDO.

    And these are just the tip of the iceberg that is our whiteboard. We are constantly reviewing our ideas and your suggestions, and making adjustments based on your changing needs and requests as well as our own excitement on new ideas for you to play with, so you may see a few more surprises pop in over the next year as we get closer to releasing our updates.

    Thank you for reading, and I look forward to hearing from you about these plans, and anything else you’d like to see happen in DDO! Happy adventuring, and we’ll see you in Dungeons & Dragons Online!

    Cheers!
    Athena “Vyvyanne” Peters
    Franchise Director – Dungeons & Dragons Online

  2. #2
    Community Member Phidius's Avatar
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    I love the Orchard, but I was really hoping for Epic Twilight Forge. Oh well, maybe in 2015...
    "I require a reminder as to why raining arcane destruction is not an appropriate response to all of life's indignities" - Vaarsuvius, OoTS #674

  3. #3
    Bwest Fwiends Memnir's Avatar
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    Nanu Nanu!
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    .

  4. #4
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    So two more updates in 2014?

  5. #5
    Community Member mezzorco's Avatar
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    Game balance changes, such as heavy and medium armors adjustment and paladin enhancement, are greatly appreciated and surely needed before aiming to new game content.
    I truly agree with your decision and I wish good work to you all!

    p.s.: I hope that update 23 will include spellsinger/warchanter overhaul, too :P

  6. #6
    Hatchery Founder Glenalth's Avatar
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    The continuing increase in level cap without the content to support it was my biggest problem with the game. I'm glad to hear that something may be done about it.
    Glenalth Woodwalke ■ Preston the Ranger ■ Brisqoe the Dentist ■ Prescription Liberator
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  7. #7
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    Default Raid and Raid Items

    My hopes are that we get an Epic Version of The Ascension Raid ( with epic versions of old items, an a new raid with new items, if you do this, this update will be great and nobody will care about pushing the schedule one update with something that for some will be a refill.
    three more things, i would like to see is more news on the random loot tables ( we were told you guys were working on them but its been a while since we hear any news), keep the communication going allowing Council members to talk about somethings after a while could be a good way to do it without using developer time. And what i think is the most important...
    Create a new way to attract new players and keep them hook to the game, the game need new players, maybe you should just make some of the old packs free those low lvl packs that are not run or bought often but will keep players interested in the game enough time that they want to put money on the game...
    And welcome Hope you will stay longer with us

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vyvyanne View Post
    ...developing another Classic Dungeon like the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar.
    WATERDEEP! Please, Athena. Pretty please?!?!?!
    The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it. - Edward R. Murrow (1964)

  9. #9
    Community Member Schwarzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vyvyanne View Post
    We’re also creating new Augments for our Crystal Cove event that higher-level players can slot into their favorite weapons, armor, and items, and expect to bring those new Augments to you when Crystal Cove reopens after the release of Update 23.
    Will you also fix the Crystal Cove Items that were broken? Specifically the Cavalry Plate and the Ornamented Dagger, both were excellent Items since then got the status of vendor trash.


    Also Epic abbot sounds kind of frightening, even though the biggest danger in that Raid was lag on the invisible bridge, not the soon-to-be-god-Lich Also, one of the coolest Raids in the game since it wasnt only a bash down and enforced good teamwork to succeed. And some very unique loot items in there aswell.
    Last edited by Cordovan; 07-01-2014 at 10:28 AM. Reason: community guidelines
    I am no native english speaker


    Other Toons: Siaphas, Kelderian, Kelras, Keldi, Kelmons

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by R1ncewind View Post
    keep the communication going allowing Council members to talk about somethings after a while could be a good way to do it without using developer time. And what i think is the most important...
    Aye, the push back of the level cap rising to 30, is something pressed by some members of the player's council.

    Myself, I made a rather large list of potential augments,
    including some I know you folks have asked for in the past.
    Hope things go well in that area.

    I am really enjoying Sev, Varg, and Steelstar interacting with the Player's Council.
    There is a lot of back and forth feedback behind the scenes and I am enjoying it.

    Which pack to epicfy next was centered around several threads,
    including a discussion of what our expecations of certain packs might be.
    So there was a lot of thought in the matter.
    This in turn probably resulted in the push back of level 30 to next yearish.

    I really feel like the Player's Council is helping guide the Devs,
    and that the Devs are listening much more to the players this year.
    The Bard, Pally, and potential someday Barbarian changes are much needed,
    imho, I hope we can make them work out, love for those classes without overpowerness.

    Create a new way to attract new players and keep them hook to the game, the game need new players...
    Under discussion, brought up by the Player's Council.
    Seeing some potential sideways direction that may help possibly coming, if things work out.

    And welcome Hope you will stay longer with us
    Aye.

  11. #11

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    Looking forward to 30 but I'm happy to hear it has been pushed back.

    All kinds of good news in the OP.

    A new event, looting chests? Sounds intriguing.

  12. #12
    Community Member Arnez's Avatar
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    As much as I like the idea of Epic Orchard- there were others that I'd like to see Epic'd first:

    1. One of the best stories in the game: Sharn Syndicate should be epic'd so we can enjoy the story at high levels.

    2. Epic Catacombs. One of my favorites when I first started, now we just run once for favor.

    3. Epic Restless Isles. Let's be honest- does anyone even play this pack anymore? Might as well be free. Overhauled or Epic'd if you want to keep charging TP for it.

  13. #13
    Community Member Vellrad's Avatar
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    I'd prefer to have new item type instead of sentient weapons.

    For example, characters get 4 slots, and they can be filled with class artifacts.
    Artifacts gain levels, but they can't exceed class level (so for example, 17cleric/2fighter/1wizard/4epic can equip holy symbol that is cappped at 17, sword sheath that is capped at 2 and spellbook that is capped at 1, and generic epic artifact, capped at lvl4, while barb20/epic 8 can equip barbaric fetish capped at 20 and generic epic artifact capped at 8, with 2 other slots permanently locked). When character loses levels (i.e. reincarnates) items are deleveled, but their progress is not lost, so at lvl1 your artifacts are capped at 1, but as you level character, they level up with you, without having to regrind their XP.
    They should be made in a way that higher level opens better upgrades, so equipping 1 lvl20 is better than 18+1+1 (small, but noticable and original boost to pure classes).
    Also, they gain augment slots: lvl1 colorless, lvl5 yellow lvl10 blue lvl15 red (applies extra damage to all weapons held) lvl20 choice between purple and orange and green. They stack, so at max level character gets 1 extra slots of each color.
    I don't like one weapon to rule them all, one weapon to find them and in darkness bind them, because it makes all other weapons in game worthless.


    Off topic wall of text apart, I wonder how is Turbine going to make any money this year?

    We had:
    u20: free for all
    u21: 1,2k TP for premiums
    u22: free
    u23: free
    u24: not this year

    So, in order to buy all new things this year, premium player must spend $15 or do 2 or 3 true reincarnations.
    This means, there will be more new p2w items in the store.

  14. #14
    Community Member Lonnbeimnech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vyvyanne View Post
    Hitting level 30 will be a big milestone for DDO, and we want to put it out when the timing is right, and make sure its design keeps up with the way you, the players want to play DDO.

  15. #15
    Community Member arminius's Avatar
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    Yay to level 30 cap releasing later.

    Everything else seems good too. Please consider adding in Epic Tempest Spine in there too, somewhere. I don't think it would need a new class of item or anything, the fact is that quest is just FUN. It became a pain to run in heroic because of the quality of pugs, and I think people will bend over backwards to run it on epic just for the sheer fun of it.
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  16. #16
    Intergalactic Space Crusader Livmo's Avatar
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    Default Ty!

    TY for the post!

    My RL has been all doom an gloom lately. This was some much welcomed good news and a nice break from today's storms.

    Thanks for the ray of sunshine on a cloudy day!

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vellrad View Post
    For example, characters get 4 slots, and they can be filled with class artifacts.

    Artifacts gain levels, but they can't exceed class level

    (so for example, 17cleric/2fighter/1wizard/4epic can equip holy symbol that is cappped at 17, sword sheath that is capped at 2 and spellbook that is capped at 1, and generic epic artifact, capped at lvl4,

    while barb20/epic 8 can equip barbaric fetish capped at 20 and generic epic artifact capped at 8, with 2 other slots permanently locked).

    When character loses levels (i.e. reincarnates) items are deleveled, but their progress is not lost, so at lvl1 your artifacts are capped at 1, but as you level character, they level up with you, without having to regrind their XP.

    They should be made in a way that higher level opens better upgrades, so equipping 1 lvl20 is better than 18+1+1 (small, but noticable and original boost to pure classes).

    Also, they gain augment slots: lvl1 colorless, lvl5 yellow lvl10 blue lvl15 red (applies extra damage to all weapons held) lvl20 choice between purple and orange and green. They stack, so at max level character gets 1 extra slots of each color.
    An interesting idea, thank you for it....

    Off topic wall of text apart, I wonder how is Turbine going to make any money this year?
    I know I spent some astral shards making my tiny guilds airship look nice?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by arminius View Post
    Yay to level 30 cap releasing later.

    Everything else seems good too. Please consider adding in Epic Tempest Spine in there too, somewhere. I don't think it would need a new class of item or anything, the fact is that quest is just FUN. It became a pain to run in heroic because of the quality of pugs, and I think people will bend over backwards to run it on epic just for the sheer fun of it.
    Yes.

    I'm also interested in the devs' plans for Sentient Weapons. Throw us a tidbit of info soon?

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  19. #19
    DDO Central The_Human_Cypher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sebastianosmith View Post
    WATERDEEP! Please, Athena. Pretty please?!?!?!
    Yes, I have been asking for Waterdeep for some time now. But as an entire expansion area, not just a single quest.

  20. #20
    Community Member TrinityTurtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sebastianosmith View Post
    WATERDEEP! Please, Athena. Pretty please?!?!?!
    If I'm remembering my geography right, Waterdeep is over in the area near Neverwinter and Baldur's Gate, to whom a different company owns the license. It's probably not on the table.
    Sarlona: Turtel, Turtley Wrath, Tortoisse, Waterssong, Sabretuth, Victerr Creed, Utahraptor, Velocaraptor, Minddancer, Alirial, Loggerhead, Matamata, Sulcata, Seaturtle, Stegosaurus, Pteradactyl, Panncake Tortoise, Sierrann, Turtts

    I have too many toons to fit them all, those above are the ones I play most often. I can always be found on the Sarlona Help Channel if I'm online. Everyone welcome!

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