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Mockduck
02-12-2008, 06:49 AM
Hi everyone! Okay, so I'm really slow when it comes to transcripts....but the first one is done! I've taken the liberty of getting rid of some of my "um's" and "uh's", but otherwise this is a pretty close transcript of the inaugural "Ask the Devs" segment on DDOcast, which aired on February 9th, 2008 in Episode 53 of the show. I've also posted the transcript up as a pinned topic on the DDOcast forums HERE (http://z7.invisionfree.com/Ddocast/index.php?showtopic=204) as well for future reference. Not sure where exactly to post this, so I thought this would be as good a place as any. Later!

Jerry

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Ask The Devs, Episode 1
Originally aired on DDOcast, Episode 53, on February 9th, 2008


DDOcast: First episode! So, this'll be our, our "guinea pig" test run here to see how this all goes. I really appreciate everyone being here. Let me go around the room and introduce people here. First up we have DDO Senior Producer Kate Paiz. How you doing Kate?

Kate: I'm good! How are you!

DDOcast: Doing good! I really appreciate you taking some time with us here this afternoon. Also with me is DDO Lead Designer Eladrin. How ya doing Eladrin?

Eladrin: Good! Glad to be here.

DDOcast: All right, I really appreciate you being on the show. We've also got DDO Producer Glin. How's it going, Glin?

Glin: It's going good! And, hey, happy one-year anniversary to you. Long time listener, first time caller...

DDOcast: All right, (chuckles), awesome. Also with me is Quest Designer Eldorudo. How's it going, Eldorudo.

Eldorudo: It's going great, Jerry. It's good to talk to you again.

DDOcast: Yeah, GenCon was the last time I got to say hi to you! And that was awesome, too. All right, so that's the group with us here for the first segment of "Ask the Devs". We've got a big long list of questions, so let's get to it in just a second here, but just wanted to let you know that if you have a question for "Ask the Devs", just send it in to me at ddocast@gmail.com, that's ddocast@gmail.com. Be great if you would tag it with an "Ask the Devs" thing, just so I know where you want this to go, and if you want to give me a name that I can use while I read your question on the air here, that's good too. But not required. All right, let's get started here.

The first question comes from Ralg Ironfist, who says "When are we going to get another State of the Game address? And when might we see some guild amenities like guild housing and guild banks?

Kate: So, the state of the game address was meant to be something that happened on a yearly basis a lot like the State of the Nation that the President does, so I'm anticipating getting another one out to everybody at the end of February or the beginning of March so we can look back and see what we've been doing the last year and look forward and understand what's coming down the pike for us in the next year.

For the second half of that question, in terms of guild amenities like guild houses and banks it's definitely something we're talking about - it's not in active development right now, so I don't have a timeline that I can give players in terms of when that's coming out, but it is something we are really interested in getting done and we're just trying to figure out what the right implementation and next steps on that are.

DDOcast: All right, well that sounds good. I really appreciate that. I know a lot of people will be looking forward to that guild housing whenever it gets there and State of the Game - I guess, it what, makes sense. Second year anniversary here and do it on the anniversary, so...

Kate: Exactly.

DDOcast. All right, Adam writes in to say "how likely is it that we will see some ability to customize our character's look after character creation?" Ah, this person's curious both about things like changing the hairstyle, changing the appearance and the color of his armor. I can hear Rowanheal right now, "I want to change my armor to pink!" (hehe)

Kate: Basically, you know, we don't have, again, we don't have a concrete timeline around changing your physical appearance in terms of changing your hair, or your skin, or your eye color. Um, that is a request that we get a lot and it's something we are definitely interested in doing, but we have kind of a full plate for us the next six months and we're not looking to introduce that in that timeline.

But, we are looking to do some (digital blip) craft system with the Eldritch Device of allowing you to customize your armor color. So, I think that the players can look forward to seeing that, again, associated with that, but it is something that is in active development, versus the other one, which is just in "conversing" development versus active.

DDOcast: All right, so we're closer than ever to getting that pink armor then. (chuckles)

Kate: (chuckles) Exactly.

Eldorudo: Vast and Mysterios...

DDOcast: Yeah, exactly - Vast and Mysterious. Someday I'm going to have to ask about what the history of that one there is.

Glin: That's actually all Tolero, she's the one that created that term.

DDOcast: See, I suspected as much...(chuckles)

DDOcast: All right. Andrew writes in to say "Would you consider adding a difficulty substantially harder than elite to existing quests at all? For example, something like an epic difficulty setting for limited quests, so for example Tempest Spine would become a level 17 to 18 quest?"

So, I don't know. We've already seen (I think) some changes to elite, what with the shrines only being usable once as opposed to reusable on normal. And I know actually from running Coalescence Chamber on Elite, that Elite's become more Elite here with Mod 6. But, uh, what do you think? Could we see an Epic difficulty setting?

Eladrin: I think that the systems that have changed, such as the difficulty checks with traps and the amount of damage they do on Elite, and also a great amount of that desire, Elite really is becoming more Elite, especially at the higher level quests. It's already a substantial challenge compared to normal and hard.

DDOcast: Yeah, that's true. So maybe not then, huh?

Glin: Just to add to that....the devs have over the last year tried to answer some of those player requests for the variety and the challenges in the upper levels. So, I think we'll see a little more of that variety carried out in all of our new stuff. As people start to complete this latest raid in Mod 6, going into Elite is going to be a more challenging thing and that variety they are looking for will be more apparent between Normal, Hard and Elite. You also see that a little bit in the Black Abbot.

DDOcast: Yeah, I can say that's probably true.

Eladrin: Also, with The Shroud's raid, um, the experience that you have each time through will be somewhat different.

DDOcast: Yeah, that's true! I read some press there that you can see some, say, different monsters and that depending on which time you go in there. So, that's a pretty cool change, too.

Next question comes from Ray, "Are there any plans to change the flagging mechanics for VON raids, the Against the Demon Queen to bring them into line with other raids and one-time flagging (you know, the Titan and the Reaver)? Now, the new raid, they all have one time requirements, it'd be nice (this guy says) to see the other two raids retroactively changed to be the same way. So, what do you think? Could we see a day where the days of running VONs 1-4 over and over again to do the Dragon might become a thing of the past?

Kate: Well, you know, I have to say unfortunately that changing quests that are live, um, is really complicated, and, you know, given that there are a lot of people in different states we're nervous about doing that because we certainly don't want to disrupt anyone's play experience at present and we're not sure exactly how that translation will go.

So, I definitely say that in the meantime, we're focusing on building new raids, and we're focusing on building more Tempest Spine-like raids, that are sort of standalone epic feel without having to fight through all of it, but we do not have any plans to go back and retrofit the kind of the new mechanics to the old raids.

DDOcast: Sure. Adam writes in to say, "Why doesn't DDO feature animation for ranged weapons? Like, say, if you have fire arrows why isn't there fire coming off the arrow during flight? You want to please ranged players so add animation to flight paths!"

I think I actually may know the answer to this one, but let's hear what you guys have to say.

Eladrin: Much of that is actually performance-related, and also with the increased ranged weapon speeds in Module 6, you really wouldn't notice the particle affects quite as much. A little while ago, in the Marilith fight, the archers there had flaming arrows that left weapons trails, and it proved to be too much of a burden for many of the people playing the game.

DDOcast: Yeah, that's what I suspected is that it would really bog the client down and that sort of thing, or at least bog down people's computers, if nothing else, and cause some performance issues. But maybe, maybe someday in the future when us in the United States get our 50 megabyte Internet connections, maybe we could add that one in. (chuckles)

Glin: We really want to be able to please a wider audience of players and not just demand them to go out and spend more money on hardware and that sort of thing.

DDOcast: All right, uh, Blackskull writes in to say, "When are changlings coming to the game?" This has been one of his big questions for a while now, so I'm glad we could get it answered here on "Ask the Devs". So, what do you think? Are we going to see some changlings?

Kate: Uh, you know, Changelings are not sort of on our "this year" priority list in terms of development. We're definitely focusing, again, on the monk, on the half-orc, half-elf and druid. Definitely want to finish the core Player's Handbook before we drift into sort of the Eberron stuff. But - next year -we can talk about these things, so why don't we hold on that feature for a DDOcast to come, but say that definitely, unfortunately not in this year.

DDOcast: Sure, sure. Next question is for Eladrin here. Nicholas writes in to say, "many Necromancers exist in the game. Some of them are undead. They can be both good and evil. Are there any plans to add more Necromancy-type elements into the game or update spells like Create Undead?"

Eladrin: Absolutely. We're continuously adding more abilities and spells into the game and I would expect updates to spells such as Create Undead and Summon Monster to be in future modules.

DDOcast: All right, Litz writes in to ask, "What is your position on implementing Trebuchet? Either as a static NPC quest content, mobs only, something usable by players, or any combo." By the way, I looked up Trebuchet online as well and its a Medieval engine of war with a sling for hurling missiles, kind of a catapault basically, so...I don't know? Could we see things like catapaults in DDO?

Eladrin: Well, while I'd really love to have Trebuchet as a quest-giver, (laughter), fans of Trebuchets may find something to their liking in a future module, although not necessarily in precisely that format.

DDOcast: Ah, that's interesting.

Glin: I would say our prototypes of the Trebuchet actually took up fifteen inventory slots, so we just had to pull it out.

DDOcast: (Chuckles) Yeah, maybe you could actually sort of use it as a teleportation device, for the non-caster types. You know, load the dwarf up into the Trebuchet and send him into the Vale of Twilight.

Eladrin: Straight to Meridia with you.

Glin: We were thinking of a blanket toss spell as well but it just wasn't as popular in testing.

DDOcast: I think it sounds like a good idea...all right, this next one - a bit of a specific question here. Ardanroth asks, "in Beta there was a robe that looked tattered and worn, it was a mixture of brown and creams all in different strips of cloth around 2 inch long. Is this robe in the release or are there any plans to make it? Although it was designed to look rubbish, it did it very well, and was a good, bad looking robe."

I don't know, I guess I could see maybe something like this being used for role players and, I don't know, people who just want to look, uh, look a little ragged there. So do you know what robe they're talking about?

Glin: Yeah, you know, I actually know what they are talking about. It just came down to a cloth resource issue - we just had to cut them up to use 'em for underwear! (laughter) So, they actually are in the game as your newbie character starter underwear!

DDOcast: All right, hey, good deal. Gengulphus asks here, "Since the outdoor explorer areas have been a hit, what are the chances of seeing, say, something like mounts" - ya know, a more "seamless Xen'drik" this guy describes it as - he says he knows some people don't really like lengthy travel but others kind of want that.feel of big content. Those who don't want it - maybe you could just add some teleporters, this guy says, so that it would be no different than it was now. So, what do you think, could we see a half-hour walk to the quests?

Kate: You know, one of the things we're thinking of around that is the nature of the way our game works, we're not able to make a seamless environment the way, you know, other games, other MMO's especially, work. But we are going to be trying to connect more outdoor areas together, so you can walk from the Harbor, into Cerulean Hills, into Searing Heights, back into the Market, right, so that we're connecting those outdoor zones. So that while there are still teleports between them, which of course the basic mechanic of our game relies on, you'll still be able to experience more of the outdoor worlds without having to kind of go back and forth to the city. And then again, for those who aren't looking for that environment, there are still going to be teleport NPC's, and teleport environments, so they can, you know, short cut to what they're looking for.

DDOcast: Oh, that sounds great. I think that uh, that should, uh, you know, do a, do a good ways, uh, to appease this guy's, you know, thoughts there. And you know we should mention here that with Mod 6 the new Vale of Twilight, I mean, that's a really big area. It's going to take you a while to wander around that thing if you want to, so.

Kate: There's no question that the outdoor experience of our world is very important to us. You know, at launch, we had a lot of Stormreach to find, but as we continue to grow as a game we're going to continue to explore the outer areas of Xen'drik and really understand sort of how that sort of continent, you know, comes to life for our players. So this is definitely something that is very important to us. I'm glad it's important to Gengulphus and to other players as well.

Glin: It might also be another use for the Trebuchet! (laughter)

DDOcast: That's right! Trebuchet! I'm going to have to, I think that's my word of the day here is "Trebuchet". (chuckles)

One final question here and this one comes from Alexander Illusionist, and just to save some time here I'm going to just kind of condense this question down a bit. He wants to know about Druids and prestige classes, whether or not they might be able to come into the game, and, you know, basically, what's the plan to maybe get those in as quickly as he can.

Kate: You know, we're definitely looking to Druids after, um, after the Monks. I don't have a specific, again, timeline for delivery on that, though we are very hopeful, um, for sort of the first half of next year at the latest. There's no question that the Druids are important to us. Um, what was the other part of the question, I'm sorry...

DDOcast: Prestige classes.

Kate: Prestige classes is definitely an area that we're going to be looking at when we hit the level cap increase, so once you get players to (Jerry says - level 20 I believe, there was a digital blip again) then we're going to start looking into that. Again, it's sort of Monk first, and then we're going to choose between half-orc, and half-elf and druid next, and then kinda get to finishing that, and then get to prestige classes. So, it's definitely on our horizon, and we're looking into it, but we don't have concrete dates yet.

DDOcast: All right, that's our first list of Ask the Devs questions, we've got plenty more to get to. If we didn't get to your question, don't worry about it! It's still "on the list" and will probably be answered in a future episode here of "Ask the Devs".

Before I let you guys go, I just wanted to congratulate you on an excellent job on Mod 6 here, "The Thirteenth Eclipse". Really it rolled out well, you know, the update was no problem, the content is great, the raid is fantastic, got a lot of nice press as well and everything, so, I don't know. I guess, uh, should give ya guys a pat on the back and have a happy weekend here knowing that Mod 6 really went out and is wowing the players here.

You know, Mod 6 is one of those things that you've obviously have been working on it for a long time and it must feel good to know that once it's finally, say, released to the live servers and everything that, that you're getting the real nice positive response that you're getting here.

Kate: Absolutely. You know, we're really proud of the work that we've done there. We're extremely pleased how our players are responding to it right now. You know, this is going to be a great year for us: we've just a ton of plans, and this is just the beginning. We're going to keep releasing great content and really look forward to our players enjoying it as much as we have been developing it.

DDOcast: All right, just want to thank Kate Paiz for coming out for "Ask the Devs" here, I really appreciate you taking a few minutes for us.

Kate: It's absolutely our pleasure. We look forward to doing this with you for many weeks to come. It's definitely a great opportunity for us to talk to our players and kind of get the word out about what we're doing, and always appreciate your help with that.

DDOcast: Let me just say goodbye to Eladrin here. Good luck on, what, Mod 6.1 and Mod 7 and everything else you've got going on.

Eladrin: Yup. Thank you very much and I'll see you in The Shroud.

DDOcast: Sure, absolutely. And Glin, thanks for being on the show. It's great to have you on.

Glin: Yeah, thanks! We'll see you again.

DDOcast: And I just want to say thank you very much to Eldorudo for taking part in this week's "Ask the Devs".

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Dozen_Black_Roses
02-12-2008, 06:56 AM
Just wanted to let you know I enjoyed listening to this on the DDO cast. A definite plus was that it was live and it didnt seem as if the devs were given the questions ahead of time, so it was truly off the cuff and honest answers. I think it's very important for the community to have this type of interaction with the devs. Look forward to future segments :)

LA_MIKE
02-12-2008, 09:47 AM
..

GeneralDiomedes
02-12-2008, 10:11 AM
I am wondering why they don't create a graphics option for flaming arrow effects instead of just taking them out altogether. A great many of us have rigs that can handle it.

The_Ick
02-12-2008, 11:23 AM
I just wanted to throw my 2 cents out there. This was an absolutely awesome segment. I got more of my questions answered during this segment then any others to date (town hall meetings, state of the game, etc...). Even though i was disappointed with some of the answers, we got them. Wanted to says thanks to you and Turbine for that. Absolutely awesome. nice job.