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Mockduck
07-29-2008, 09:26 PM
Hi everyone! The transcript for Ask the Devs #5, heard on this past week's DDOcast, is now ready! Wow, how did I get this done so quick, when the last four took me WEEKS to do?!?!? The answer is simple: I largely didn't do any of it!

Thanks goes out to Favorless from the Mortal Voyage permadeath guild on Argonnessen for typing this up so quick. All I had to do was get it formatted for the web site and make a few minor tweaks to it. Thanks a ton for your work!

Anyway, I'll post up the transcript below. There's a link to the transcript in .pdf format HERE (http://ddocast.com/files/82681-72328/Ask_the_Devs_5_Transcript_Final.pdf) - feel free to download it, share it, whatever!

Jerry

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Ask the Devs #5

Recorded for DDOcast, Episode 78
Air Date: July 26th, 2008


Jerry: Hello, and welcome to “Ask the Devs”, Issue 5, Volume 5, Number 5? The 5th One, anyway of “Ask the Devs” on DDOcast and I really do appreciate you guys listening to it this week. Got a bunch of people from the Turbine crew to answer your questions, so lets go down the list and introduce some folks. With me here is producer Glen, how ya doing Glin?

Glin: I’m doing good, thanks for having me back.

Jerry: You’re a nice regular to DDOcast “Ask the Devs” and it’s always great to have you on the show. Also with us is Django. How ya doing Django?

Django: Hey Jerry, it’s good to be back again.

Jerry: Cool, great to have you with us. Also is Tharagrim. How you doing Tharagrim?

Tharagrim: Doing pretty well, hope you’re doing pretty well as well.

Jerry: Yep, doing great. Getting ready to move at the end of the month, so I’m starting to look at all the thousands of books and hundreds of video games and everything else that needs to be boxed yet, but uh...

Tolero: Ugh, boxing books is the worst.

Jerry: Yeah it’s fun, isn’t it. Also with us is Thoon. How ya doing Thoon?

Thoon: I’m doing well.

Jerry: I think this may be your inaugural DDOcast episode, am I correct on that one?

Thoon: Sure is.

Jerry: Well, welcome to DDOcast, we’re really glad to have you here.

Thoon: Thanks, and I’m glad to be here.

Jerry: Also is Eldorudo, how ya doing Eldorudo?

Eldorudo: I’m doing just wonderful Jerry, thanks for having me on again.

Jerry: Cool, great to have you on, as always. Also with us is Codog. How ya doing Codog?

Codog: I’m doing great, it’s great to be here.

Jerry: And, I think that’s the crew with us this week. A couple of regulars, Eladrin I understand is out sick a little bit, so get well Eladrin and I understand Keeper, who’s been on the last couple episodes is, as we well know from the DDO.com boards, a couple of comments made. Getting ready to have a child, so good luck there Keeper. Whenever the time comes around, all of our thoughts are gonna be with ya there.

Tolero: See I’m told that Buzzsaw was wanting to have a "Name Keeper’s Baby" thread, but I have not seen it pop up yet. But Keeper says she can’t make any promises, but if you guys are gonna try to pick a name that she’ll read them over and consider them.

Jerry: Now that is a great idea. Oh actually, that’s a good point. I forgot to introduce you as well Tolero. How ya doing?

Tolero: I’m a-lurking.

Jerry: Alright, let’s get to the questions. We have a good list of questions this week and I want to get as many in as we can so let’s just get right to it. Jason asks, “Has the monk been as well received as expected? What has surprised you guys the most about the way that we, as players, play it?”

Tharagrim: In my opinion the monk overall has been generally well-received. There have been a couple bumps in the road, but for the most part, I find it to be one of the more versatile classes that are out there. Additionally, it’s kinda neat because it requires a pretty high level of player skill to be kind of in the top echelon of how we intend the specific class to be played.

Jerry: Yeah, it really is. It’s kind of funny actually. Alex Haddox does his “Inside the Monastery” bit for DDOCast which specifically looks at the monk, and I’ve been in groups with him. He’s an excellent monk player. Now me, on the other hand, maybe a little bit less so. My guy just tends to kinda run up and die. Or, you know, kill things. But it’s kinda interesting, the class really does cater to people who are really able to dedicate their skill set to maximizing the character. Although, you know, you can also just kinda "run and gun", so to speak, like you can with most of the classes as well if you want to.

Glin: Yeah that’s definitely how I play. I do go back and, I think of all the DDOCast crew spots that you have on there, I go back and listen to that one a couple of times to try to retain as much of the information as I can. That one, and the “Crunchy Bits”, that’s at least a three-play most of the time.

Jerry: Yeah I know, isn’t it great?

Glin: I get a lot from those guys. Of course I do have some of the best insight, sitting across the room from the couple of guys that actually put the stats in. But just as far as character building, I don’t torture the guys with my questions on that. I’ve been having a great time, I have a solo monk build and a group-generic human monk build and that one’s been really fun in groups. But I’ve been playing with a warforged monk and they turned out so much better than I thought. I was really concerned about them being really big and having the same animation set, but I think they’re really actually quite graceful for the lumbering piles that they are.

Jerry: Now I know Codog, obviously, you spent countless hours developing the monk here. When you get to actually see the players kinda playing the class, are there things that we do as players that maybe you were like, “Huh, you know I guess I really didn’t expect that people would be doing that with the monk.”

Codog: I’d have to say my biggest moment of joy with DDO happened when the monk was released, and I logged into the game as a monk and saw in the tavern, the Wavecrest, twenty people in pajamas all dancing. It was fantastic seeing people create themselves and then do their first couple swings.

I’ve been very impressed with the multi-classing, and the discussions about the multi-classing, and splashing a level of monk in here, or splashing a level of barbarian, and all the different fun, unique builds and personality that people are putting into their characters. So I’ve been really surprised with some of the builds that have come up, that I’ve said “Hmm, that’s kinda interesting.” It’s been just a joy reading the feedback, good and bad. It was a labor of love and I’ve been just elated with how well it’s gone.

Jerry: Great, great. All right let’s move on here to the next question.

A player by the name of Scott asks, “For screen shots, is there any chance of scrolling all the way to first person view? Also, when I hide the user interface, the party panel remains.”

So I know you can kinda simulate a first person view by going into sneak mode and then shoving that camera all the way to the front. I do that for screenshots for DDOcast, but has there been any thought about potentially not even having to do that, having maybe some kind of first person view mode?

Glin: Yeah, we have talked about it. It’s not really something that’s in the game plan. We’ve talked about some future revisions or additions to combat. It’s nothing that’s slated but it’s something that we definitely would be interested in doing, and not just for the sake of zooming in, but to actually have that perspective when you’re playing for that first person combat experience.

Jerry: I imagine it would be obviously be a lot more than just saying, “Ok, now you can suddenly move your view all the way,” because you would have to deal with all the combat issues and that of potentially not immediately seeing your character in sort of a third person perspective.

Glin: Yeah, and there’d be a lot of tweaking, the way the camera works, the way it’s attached to your character now.

Jerry: Yeah. What about the party panel that remains when you hide the user interface? Every now and then you guys have made some tweaks about what shows and what doesn’t. Any thought about getting rid of the party panel?

Codog: I would say it’s a known issue and we hope to address it in an upcoming release.

Jerry: Sure, all right.

All right next one is actually a couple-of-parter here by a player by the name of Jack. “Will the other classes like paladins, barbarians, fighters, wizards and sorcerers get 'Ways Of' enhancements, and which is the next class you’re working on?” Ya always gotta add that one there ‘cause that’s probably gotta be the most asked question of you guys is what’s the next class, huh?

Tharagrim: I was talking to Eladrin a little bit earlier, since he can’t be here I’m gonna go ahead and put across his answer. So, pretty much, the answer is yes. Our first work will most likely be with paladins and fighters. Later on, we intend to build our “Way Of” enhancements for wizards and sorcerers. It’s just something which is a little further down the line then say paladins or barbarians or fighters.

Jerry: All right, next class. Trying to think what you guys – that’s the druid, right? Pretty sure that’s what we’ve talked about I think in the past here.

Glin: Yeah, we should just have you answer that question ongoing, ‘cause we’ve definitely been getting that. Yeah, it’s still the plans, druid coming out after – it’d be about a year, but it would be the next thing that we put out. And we do still have plans for doing the half-orcs prior to that as a new playable race.

Jerry: Sure, all right. Actually, part three of Jack’s questions here, “Will The Ruins of Threnal” be added as an explorer area?

Eldorudo: We do have some plans for Threnal, Jerry. I can’t really expand too much on them but we will be giving it some love in the next several months, I believe. The details have yet to be determined, but we’ll find out as we go whether it’s gonna be a revamp like Three Barrel or if it’s going to be something along the lines of Sorrowdusk. We’ll see what’s gonna happen, but we’re definitely gonna give Threnal some love.

Jerry: You’re gonna make Coyle a raid boss, aren’t ya.

Eldorudo: Ya never know, Jerry.

Jerry: All right, the next question did not have a name attached to this, but it was kind of an interesting one. Just real quick, go around the room, no pressure here. We’re not saying you guys have to do this or anything, but this person asks, “What is the number one thing that each of you would personally like to see added to the game?”

Do you have any thoughts about, not saying, no timetables are here, there’s no pressure, it can be anything you want. What would you guys personally like to see added to the game?

Tolero: Sit in chairs! Sorry, that’s been my long standing roleplay fantasy wish, is to sit in chairs.

Jerry: We know that. There’s a good video a while back about that. Anyone else got any kinda personal wish list here, if money and time was no object what maybe you’d like to see added to the game?

Django: As a big druid player, I think it’s pretty obvious druid definitely would be on top of my list, and something else that I absolutely (??happen to work on??) would be unique animations for things such as piercing weapons that vary. I just like a little bit of flash.

Thoon: The number one thing I’d like to see added is each bard having a unique bard song. Do that for me and I’d be a very happy person.

Jerry: Yeah that would be a cool one.

Eldorudo: And Jerry, I think I just want the ability to order out food directly from the game. I think that would be a really good thing to add.

Tolero: Chipole!

Jerry: I read about somebody trying to do that with Pizza Hut once. I don’t know if that ever actually happened or not.

Eldorudo: Yeah I think it did, actually. I do recall that. If we could just get some burritos or something like that, or for Keeper, just order some guacamole if you type in /guac and get some delivered. That would be pretty awesome.

Jerry: Well, I do happen to know that there is a bar and restaurant located in Iowa called The Rusty Nail. Maybe we could do some kind of deal with them.

Eldorudo: There ya go.

Tolero: And you know there’s another one I found that was called Waterworks.

Jerry: Oh that’s right.

Tolero: Don’t know if I’d wanna eat at that one.

Eldorudo: Yeah. I doubt we’ll find a Salty Wench though, I have a feeling.

Jerry: No, I don’t think so.

Glin: I think actually that might be up in Alaska. But hey, if they deliver, that’s all that matters.

Jerry: Well ya know, with the Internet, pretty soon we’ll just be able to ship stuff, right. It’ll be just like a transporter.

Glin: I’d like to see our UI get converted over to a Flash interface, and then have player customization added to it. That’d be a nice feature.

Tharagrim: The two different things that I would have would be what Glin said, UI customization. It’s a fantastic feature set. Also I’m really looking forward to when we can put in a full-featured set of crafting.

Jerry: Oh yeah. Well we know that one’s coming, so that wish will be granted here at some point pretty soon.

I myself, I guess I would just like to see potentially upgrades to the voice chat system, finally beat that hurdle, (this would also help with podcasting), of having separate channels, multi-channel audio for both in game and out of game. Something like a voice chat system where you could have individual sliders for each character’s name. That’s maybe a personal, personal wish list there, although, you know...

Glin: Yeah on the voice chat thing too, being able to have a voice chat group like with select members in the guild, even if they had some sort of user cap. That’d be another addition to that too. It’d be cool.

Codog: Given an unlimited budget, or unlimited time, I would completely flesh out the game from a character development standpoint. I'd very much want more spells and more character abilities and full animation set for any weapon style that happens to be out there in the resource books. Having unlimited animation time, I would do amazing things with this game. So that would be my wish.

Jerry: Well, you guys do a great job as it is already.

All right, lets move on to the next question here. This person by the name of Mechfol asks, “We currently have mechanisms in place to respec both enhancements and feats. We can also rename characters and switch servers. These were all originally designed to be permanent aspects of character creation, but through the benevolence of Devs, and in the interest of player enjoyment, we are allowed to pay Turbine or Fred for the changes.

However, I would like you to consider two additional aspects of character creation and perhaps have Fred expand his services: alignment and skills. Many of us regret our alignment and/or skill choices, or have changed the focus of our characters such as a different enhancement way.”

So I guess in general do we think it possible to have alignment or skill respecs in the future?

Glin: We’ve explored all the obvious challenges on the back end for doing that. Multi-classing adds a whole layer of complexity to a lot of the options that are ideal. That’s not necessarily the final answer, I’m sure that somebody else could speak to that, but I know from our discussions that’s one big hiccup in that just the amount of time it would take to add a real respec feature for a partial reroll.

Jerry: I imagine alignment would be significantly easier than skills.

Glin: Yeah. Just have to find a willing priest to convert you.

Jerry: We could just have a system like “Do you listen to heavy metal music?” All of a sudden you’re no longer lawful good.

Glin: Right. Yeah, answer the questions correctly and we’ll covert you to our newly formed alignment.

Tolero: What is your name?! What is your quest?! What is the air speed velocity of a throwing hammer?!

Jerry: Yes, exactly. All right, next question comes from Stormanne Ragerender, who says “Are there any plans to add additional stealth quests in the game?” He actually didn’t say the additional, but I added that because we have a stealth quest in the game. “I love the idea” this guy writes “of a quest where a party must infiltrate an enemy stronghold undetected, or with as little ruckus as possible (looks glaringly at the lead-footed armor clad fighters and barbarians).”

So we do have the one stealth quest, Stealthy Repossession outside of the Wavecrest Tavern (Jerry says: yeah, I know. Should have said Wayward Lobster). Any thoughts about another stealth quest? Something specifically tied towards stealth?

Eldorudo: Well Jerry, we try to offer a lot of options for our quests. It’s really hard to cater to one specific class because it leaves out all the others, and that’s one thing we don’t like to do. Especially if we’re making a quest, we want to be able, since we hand make our quests, it takes us a lot longer than most other games to make one. So we want it to be playable by all players. So, it's not something that we typically do very often.

We like to try and add options though. For instance, we’ll add a path that a rogue can go down for an optional objective or something along those lines. But as far as creating a whole quest just for rogues, it’s probably not going to happen, but we will continue to add options for the different classes to give them that cool feeling of using their skills that are specific to them.

Jerry: I just know as a player here, not to editorialize too much, but I’ve certainly heard from some people in the groups I’ve been in that some people really don’t like Stealthy Repo specifically because it’s sorta stealth-only. So I guess you kinda need to balance out those who would love to see a stealth quest with those who really rather not see another one specifically. Ya know, I think maybe you’re probably right there about having multiple ways to go through it rather than just having to stealth.

Eldorudo: Yeah, exactly. And if one ends up being the easier method, that’s the one that’s gonna be the most popular ones, so we also have to try to weigh that as well.

Jerry: All right, just a couple more quick ones here before we wrap things up.

Paw asks, “Any chance of getting a reply button for the mail system?” Can we hit reply like we can with Hotmail, Gmail, that kind of thing? Anyone want to "reply" to that one?

Tolero: Sorry, I don’t have the button.

Glin: Yes, I was looking for the reply button. Nice one Jerry, good lead-in.

Ya know, it’s really just a matter of it’s a system that we’re not going back and revamping. If we were doing another round of revisions on mail, that’s likely a UI change we’d make. It’s just low on the priorities. It's something that's possible, I don’t know offhand if there’s any technical reasons that we didn’t add it. I think it was just the initial design was very simplified.

Jerry: All right, final question here comes from Jason who asks, “What was the funniest bug that appeared during development or in the quality assurance process?” Can anyone there think of any bugs that you found particularly amusing before they hit the servers there?

Glin: Well let’s see. I know that there have been a few that have been passed around.

One that I liked came from one of our overseas partners, where they mistakenly uploaded the wrong screenshot. So it said, the bug was just in a kind of broken English, “Game not performing as expected” and then it said “See attachment”. And you opened up the attachment and it was a screenshot for Halo 2.

Jerry: Oh no!

Glin: So we closed that by design.

Jerry: Yeah, I can imagine.

Codog: I would have to say during the development when we were writing combat for players, I got the initial combat swing to work in our rewrite for PvP, and the first thing that happened, I swung my sword and I died. And I come to find out through debugging that I had killed myself with the sword because I was targeting myself. So, suicide was one of my favorite bugs.

Also monsters, this is a great bug. So, when we first implemented the hate system for monsters, I ran up to a monster and I hit him, and he just stood there, and just stood there, and stood there. Looking at the debuggings view, as we were trying to figure out “Why isn’t he reacting?” he was in a moment of self-loathing. He hated himself because he detected himself upon logging into the game.

Jerry: Wow, you guys were very Emo there, for a while. Killing yourself, monsters loathing themselves...

Glin: And now you know the birth of /death.

Eldorudo: I’d probably say that one of the funnier ones that made it live, Jerry, was probably the infinitely splitting slimes.

Tolero: Oh yeah, that one’s classic.

Jerry: Yep that was a classic. Now that was one of the few that made it to live.

Tolero: I think my favorite one was around the anniversary. We were trying to check all the different things related to the anniversary cakes, and one of the things was originally the Djinnis were actually treated as an object, so if you would try to walk through one you couldn’t. So you could actually make multiple Djinnis, and we had a whole bunch of us together and you could just stand on top of the Djinnis and surf on them because they were solid, but they were rounded on top. So it would throw you all around. It was kinda like a little slip and slide.

Jerry: Nice, or maybe like a Pearl Jam concert from the early 90’s.

Tolero: Yeah, ya know, body surfing, Djinni surfing.

Jerry: Those are some good ones there.

Tharagrim: One of my favorite ones is when I was working on a new spell for the next mod which is Death Pact, which brings you back to life after you die.

When I first started implementing it, it would automatically stay on the character. So as soon as you would die, you would pop back alive. I was surrounded by particular monsters that I was testing on, so for like fifteen minutes I was stuck in a loop of monsters just killing me, hopping back to life, and then bouncing back and forth. It was kinda funny to watch.

Jerry: Nice.

Eldorudo: I actually thought of another one. When we were doing the big market tent event for the second anniversary, we actually had loaded it up on a test server and it didn’t quite go as planned. Right away, as soon as we loaded it up, the tent just started exploding! We were actually hoping to kinda let it play out over a few days, but right away it just started exploding. Obviously we kinda blew the surprise on the test servers, so that was kinda troubling for us. But you know, of course we recovered and all went mostly as planned.

Jerry: Oh yeah. That still has to go down as one of the coolest things. People were there, those of us who were there can remember that one fondly, that’s for sure.

Glin: Yep, live to tell about it.

Jerry: All right, well I think I’ve taken about as much time of your guy’s as I can this time around. I really do appreciate you guys checking in with DDOcast and the people here who like to ask questions of ya and get some answers. Let me just say goodbye in group here to Glin, Django, and Tharagrim, thanks very much for being on the show.

Glin: Thanks again.

Jerry: Also Thoon, Eldorudo, and Tolero. Thanks for being on.

Thoon: Thanks, great to be here.

Eldorudo: Thanks for having us Jerry.

Jerry: And Codog, thanks for being on as well.

Codog: Jerry, you’re my hero.

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