View Full Version : Ask the Devs 10 Transcript from DDOcast and Sympl

01-04-2010, 11:53 PM
Thanks everyone involved in Ask the Devs, and thanks for listening and contributing questions. I've finally wrapped up work on the Ask the Devs transcript for Episode 148. Thanks Sympl of the Knights of the Silver Dragon on Thelanis for his transcription.

Transcript available for download HERE.


A Sympl Transcription

From Episode 148 of DDOcast, recorded for December 19th, 2009

Available for free download at DDOcast.com.

Note: If you have a question you would like asked on “Ask the Devs”, please send Jerry Snook an email at ddocast@gmail.com. Please include a name (character name or real name, whatever) in your email.


Jerry Snook: Hello, and welcome to the 10th edition of “Ask the Devs” here on DDOCast. Your chance to ask questions and get 'em answered by the developers and community folks and producers and everyone that's involved in the making of Dungeons and Dragons Online. We've got a whole bunch of people from Turbine with me this week and it’s great to have them all on the show. I really do appreciate it and I know all of our listeners do as well. Let's get to the introductions. First up is Tolero, how you doin' Tolero?

Tolero: Not bad, how are you doing?

Jerry: Excellent. Did you guys get a lot of winter weather?

Tolero: Eh, you know we got our first snow and then it kinda got rained out, so...

Jerry: Yeah.

Tolero: It's been chilly, but not bad.

Jerry: I'm looking at a temperature of negative three right now and it's not a whole lot of fun.

Tolero: Yeah, nothing like that here yet.

Jerry: bBut it's always warm in Stormreach. Actually no that's not true...

Tolero: Yeah, that's right.

Jerry: ..you could be in Aussircaex's Valley, but...

Tolero: Well, if you go South in Stormreach you start hitting a lot more ice than where Stormreach proper is. Stormreach proper is far like northeast of the continent.

Jerry: Well, you don't have to wear any heavy coats. You can still get away with your regular armor.

Tolero: Yeah.

Jerry: Also with us is producer Glin. How you doing Glin?

Glin: Doing good, Jerry, thanks.

Jerry: It's always great to have you on the show. I really appreciate it. We have a new person to the “Ask the Devs” collective here and a relatively new designer brought in to DDO. This is
Genasi, how you doing Genasi?

Genasi: I'm doing well, Jerry, thanks.

Jerry: Ah, just to introduce yourself a bit folks, you are a systems designer. Do you design any systems in particular or is it sort of all around?

Genasi: That's correct, I do system(s). And primarily I do work on the hireling system, but I also do a lot of bug fixing and spell creation. You know pretty much anything that needs doing.

Jerry: Oh fantastic. I bet it's a very interesting job.

Genasi: It is, yeah.

Jerry: And , relatively new here, I think someone said maybe within the last couple of months you were brought into the fold here and anything...you want to say 'hi' to the player base?

Genasi: Yeah, basically, hi everybody I'm glad to be working on the game, and I look forward to feedback from people and to improve anything I can.

Jerry: Oh, fantastic, thank you for being on the show.

Genasi: No problem.

Jerry: Also with us is design director, MadFloyd. How you doing?

MadFloyd: I'm doing great Jerry, how about yourself?

Jerry: Doing very good. Anything new I guess in the game world for you. We were talking off the air a little earlier – I've been playing some new Super Mario Wii, of course in addition to all this great DDO stuff. You got any big games you've been playing?

MadFloyd: I've got a few games that are still shrink-wrapped that I haven't even broke the seal on yet because believe it or not I've been playing DDO mostly.

Jerry: Yes, well I've been playing as much DDO as I can as well. Finally with us is content designer Knockback. How you doing Knockback?

Knockback: Good, Jerry. Long time listener, first time caller.

Jerry: Oh, fantastic. Yeah, I wasn't sure if you'd been on “Ask the Devs” before or not, so, but no and this is a new one.

Knockback: Yep. My maiden voyage.

Jerry: Also, we should note, that this is going out the weekend before the big Christmas holiday and actually just a couple of days, well actually tomorrow, I think, with the release of Update 2.

Tolero: Yep

Jerry: So, this is being recorded before Update 2 goes live. I just wanted to wish you guys all the best of luck in getting that Update out there and the new Dreaming Dark stuff is fantastic.

(Various): Thanks.

?: Cool.

Tolero: Thanks.

Glin: Yeah, in fact, people will be able to enjoy it because by the time that this is out you're going to have a little XP boost and some other holiday promotions going for the next few weeks.

Jerry: Cool.

Glin: Half of them will be already mailed out to everybody but there's a few more coming out over the holiday, through the end of the year as well. So it's a pretty exciting time to be online. I hope some people have some time off.

Jerry: Yeah, absolutely, it's always tough on the holidays, you know. Especially that week of Christmas. A lot of people just aren't at their computers, but you can play on a laptop and you can be at home too. There will be lots of people playing, I'm sure. Let's get to the questions.

First question comes from JackLee7 from Khyber. He asks about new rituals. He says:

“We have a seldom used Adamantine Ritual. Is it possible to add other metals as well? Cold Iron, Silver, Mithril, or even the woods. +5 Plate is just +5 Plate, but if you can add a Mithril ritual to it, then it becomes more useful. This is a phenomenal +3 holy Khopesh of Greater Evil Outsider Bane, but it would be much better if it was silver. What's the likelihood of making that wooden shield glass instead so those Rusties can't eat it?”

Genasi: Ok, I can actually take this one. Basically, I'm going to start off by saying we do have rituals, at least that can be done on the epic item customization system that have DR bypassing effects. So you can get a weapon customized that it can bypass the DR of enemies that have, say, resistance that can be bypassed by Adamantine or Cold Iron, Silver, etcetera. It won't give you the other properties of these metals but it will bypass enemy DR.

Jerry: Cool.

Genasi: So we do have that. In terms of being able to “mithrilize” a piece of equipment for instance...we don't have plans for this yet, unfortunately.

Jerry: Aww...

Genasi: Mostly I think due to balancing issues. Mithril's a very coveted metal.

Jerry: It sure is.

Genasi: For obvious reasons and this is something we don't have plans for right now, but I will say we're always considering adding more rituals and expanding the Stone of Change item modification systems – so you never know what you might see.

Jerry: Well, you know one possibility where I could see that kind of adding mithril might be possible would be a situation where you like, maybe, the skin of the armor very much especially like say in some full plate but it doesn't have an item maybe you could “crunch” a set of mithril full plate into it or something so that you would essentially already be having one and destroying one in the process. That might be kind of something to...that might work.

Genasi: Quite, quite possibly, yeah. I guess we'll see.

Jerry: Yeah. Ah, anyway, yeah, just speculating here. Uh, thanks for that, let's move on to the next question:

“Why not implement, and I think he means raid completions, in the adventure compendium? We already see the favor, etcetera. This way there's no need to always check with the command line.”

This question comes from Korset.

Glin: Yeah, we have a few things in the UI that we want to be changing over the next few updates. I think that just kind of touches on some of the backend commands that we've had in-game for a while that we don't really have forward-facing...like there's a guild invite option that's in the wack commands that we don't have a UI for, but I think that MadFloyd actually has some ideas for the adventure compendium, do you want to talk about that a little bit?

Jerry: Oh, neat.

MadFloyd: Sure. Yeah, we've had our eye on the adventure compendium for a while now. There's a lot of things we'd like to do to it. It's just a matter of time before we actually, you know, get our hands on it and do a little bit of an over-haul, but raids is a great example.

We'd like to see a lot of different progress information in there and right now it’s kind of limited. I think it can be improved as a tool to really figure out which content that you wanted to do next and so we, uh, hopefully in the near future we'll see a revision there that will be a lot more informative and thorough.

Jerry: You know I know you guys say have at least some web interaction with things like, you know, the DDOStore and that. Maybe there's a way you could kind of have a more interactive kind of compendium where you could figure out where the NPC is. You know especially, I imagine a new player, when you're faced with a quest you know who you're supposed to talk to, but you don't necessarily know where that person is, you know what I mean?

MadFloyd: Exactly.

Jerry: Ah.

MadFloyd: Absolutely agree.

Jerry: Well that's excellent, thank you. Next question, and I know that Samius has been wanting to get this one asked for quite a long time, so I'm glad that we're able to bring it in this weeks show. He writes:

“Can we please have the Practiced Spellcaster feat? Please, please, please? I can make waffles.”

Then there's a second part too, but why don't we get to that next. Do you guys know about the Practiced Spellcaster feat? Any thoughts?

Genasi: Uh, I do actually.

Jerry: Ok.

Genasi: I have, actually, for these two questions have good news and bad news, and unfortunately the bad news comes first on Practiced Spellcaster, which is: We don't have plans to implement it. This is another balancing issue similar to Mithril augmentations. Basically it's just...it's a very powerful feat, for those who aren't familiar with it, it allows you to essentially cast spells from one of your spellcasting classes at a higher level than you actually have levels in that class.

Jerry: Hmm.

Genasi: So if you're a level 9 character, but you only have 5 wizard levels, you could get up to 4 extra wizard “spellcaster” levels even though you only have, you know, 5 levels in wizard.

Jerry: Sure.

Genasi: So right now this is something we think is potentially unbalancing so we don't have plans to do it.

Jerry: Ok, yeah, I can understand that. Second Question here is:

“All the summon monster spells have a much wider range of options than one guy when cast, and at each level there's a range of different monsters of different alignments. (Jerry: I assume he's talking pen and paper here.) I find it very sad that my lawful good cleric summons a hellhound from a moral standpoint and my wizard, soloing in Aussircaex's Valley can't use summon monster VIII to summon 1d3 effreet. Can we get some options at each level? Maybe a good/neutral/evil alignment at each level, or let us summon, say, a certain amount of the level below. Just some options, he writes, for one of the best rules in the pen and paper game that didn't necessarily port over quite as strong.”

Genasi: Ok, so I'll answer this one now, which I have better news about.

Jerry: Ah, good.

Genasi: Summon spells – definitely undergoing some changes in the near future. We are experimenting with extending some of the durations, so for certain ones, we'd like to make them permanent until they are killed. Which I know would be nice. And we'd like to improve some of their behavior and have them basically follow the caster – even if you go someplace unreachable, like up a ladder, which is, you know, an issue right now.

We've also been trying to cure some of the long cooldowns on some of the spells, but basically it's quite possible in the future that we be able to have a selector on some of these spells and you can choose different kinds of monsters or potentially multiple monsters of a certain type as requested here, so it's very possible we'll see some of these changes.

Jerry: Ooh, that’d be great. I love it, thanks.

Glin: Yeah, this is one of those things I think we had kind of hinted at when the hirelings came in about a year ago now, that we would want to start rolling out some of the same, you know, player support/advancement. After we do hirelings that those summon monsters would be next and this is sort of a step in that direction.

Jerry: Yeah, I imagine so. It would make a lot of sense and I think he's right that its a strong kind of core part of the pen and paper game, ya know? That it would be good to bring some of that, maybe, more than it is now, into DDO, so...excellent.

Genasi: Yeah, definitely.

Jerry: Alright, well thanks, let's move on to the next question. This comes from Helthf...Health?...from Aundair, or Health Aundair from Khyber. That's right. He used to be on the Aundair server, name is Health – question is, two-parters, first,

“Do you guys/gals ever plan on letting us change our last name?”

Jerry: And second, any chance that the plat cap could be raised from 4,294,967 to, say, 10 million? <chuckle> I know that both of these have been long requested by quite a few folks out there, so what do ya think, any chance to change the last name, is that possible?

Tolero: The last name thing - it's actually a limitation in the tech so we're – we'll be exploring stuff like that for the future. I don't have any announcements or, you know, dates or anything to give you – but it is something that we have looked at it and there is a reason that it doesn't happen currently but that doesn't mean that it couldn't ever happen in the future.

Jerry: Sure, and what a raise of the plat cap?

Genasi: I actually talked to some of the systems guys about this and, um, unfortunately it doesn't seem likely that we'll be increasing the plat cap any time soon.

Jerry: Ok. I've never had to worry about that one.

Glin: Another limit to that, too. I think that the cap is directly related to – it's 32-bit and if we go higher we have to actually change the code to be 64-bit just for the currency system, just to support the math.

Jerry: Oh, very interesting. Very interesting, I didn't know that.

Glin: But that's a little, just a little technical, you know sidestep. There’s also, you know, we're really not that motivated to change the plat cap because it's a pretty high number. Not that people don't hit it, but it's a pretty small group.

Jerry: Sure. Alright...

Knockback: Spend your money!

Jerry: <chuckles> Give it to me. Yeah, ok, the next question comes from Xiloscient:

“Dear Devs, do you plan on adding a lifetime payment option for DDO, like it is on Lord of the Rings Online?”


Glin: Yeah I think the answer is we...

Jerry: I don't think you guys offer it that much, do you right now?

Glin: We already did that. You can play for free. That's sort of a short, snarky answer, I guess, but the free option is something that we had planned to do until we ended up changing the business model options – it's actually just not a better option than the ones that are out there. It's possible for a player to kind of customize their own package and buy all the content on the upright. But there's...it's kind of a player preference thing – if they think they are going to play for a short amount of time and play off and on then they're better with the subscriber model. If they want to buy just the content packs, they essentially are getting the VIP services without some of the perks, like early access to content and things like that. But, I don't think that the lifetime subscription was something that was in our overall plans as sort of a “best option” without making the options too confusing – too, too vast.

Jerry: Sure.

Tolero: And I think a lot, you know, with the system right now – you can set up your lifetime account in the way that works for you. If you're the kind of person that doesn't plan on, you know, rolling low-level characters, then you're not really interested in buying those low level packs, necessarily. If you're a person that likes to reincarnate and run lots of different alts, then, maybe you're going to want to buy more adventure packs – it's just whatever amount is comfortable for you. With the LOTRO lifetime – that system's very stringent. It's either all or nothing. You're either, you know, a subscriber or you're lifetime. But even if you're lifetime, every time there's a new expansion pack...

Jerry: Yeah, I was just going to say that...

Tolero: ...you have to buy the new expansion.

Jerry: That's true. You know, there's something to be said though for just having a premium sort of once and done thing. Like, you know, if way back even in 2006 or whatever if you guys had said, you know, 400 bucks, lifetime sub, I probably would have done it. Ya know? And I'd probably do it today if – well, probably not 400, but, ya know, if it was, say, 2-300 bucks or whatever, like you see, I mean...it's kind of a nice option.

Tolero: Well, you can pretty much do that right now. You just go into the Store and just pick the content packs you want and buy them in bulk.

Jerry: That's true. Although you do have to buy them (separately), you see, that's what I'm saying.

Tolero: Well, you still have to...

Jerry: Give you the credit card and hit the little button and then you're done.

Tolero: When you're paying for the lifetime subscription – I don't think people really think about that it is – it's a bundle, basically..

Jerry: yeah, yeah.

Tolero: ...and the only difference between it and the DDOStore is that the DDOStore has ‘you put your items in the basket rather than having it packaged in a little bow.’

Jerry: Do you know what your problem is? Your DDOStore doesn't have a “Buy All” button.

Glin: Yeah.

Tolero: There you go, exactly....

Jerry: We need a “Loot All” button for the DDOStore.

Tolero: ...it doesn't have a loot all button.


Jerry: Nice!

Tolero: It doesn't mean you couldn't, you know, eventually get some different bundles of some kind..but, uh..

Jerry: Yeah.

Tolero: ...you know if you're asking for a “Loot All” button for the Store, you're – that's a little different.

Jerry: Sure, sure. Thanks. Next question comes from Oakheart. He writes:

“Will Searing Heights be given any quests like Cerulean Hills? As I think they're great quests and isn't Searing Heights now the only wilderness area without any quests?” He also writes, “Will more NPC speech be added to the game like the stuff we see in the tutorial? Even for quest chains or raids? I think it's cool.”

Again, that's from Oakheart from Devourer.

Knockback: So, Oakheart has a keen eye. We've been thinking similar things about the Searing Heights, and Keeper and I have been busy adding something to the Searing Heights that you'll see in an upcoming update – a new evil organization will be setting up shop in that area. Coming soon!

Jerry: Neat.

Knockback: When it comes to NPC voice, I think everybody was very pleased with how the voice came out for the tutorial, and I think we would all love to do more of it if we had, you know, the right super-special event or dungeon to do it for.

Jerry: Sure. Yeah, and it also brings a lot of personality, I mean, Jeets Shimis, (I think that's how you pronounce it), is kind of become a bit of a NPC celebrity in the game, in part because of his witty comments and nice dialogue, so it can add a nice element, I think, to things too.

Glin: I think his appearance in the spa in Ataraxia's Haven also gives him a little bit of celebrity status.

Jerry: Ah, that's true, too.


Jerry: Well, very cool...

Knockback: Not to mention his “Bacon Mine”.

Jerry: I love Searing Heights. Oh, sorry, go ahead. His “Bacon Mine”, That's right, that's right! And I love Searing Heights so I very much look forward to any quests you might bring in there. I think it would be pretty neat, or whatever it ends up being.

Next question comes from Dr. Firewater, a very timely one:

“What could you hint,” he says, “what teasers could you hint at about Dreaming Dark? Many of us only play regular Dungeons and Dragons and haven't ventured into Eberron or maybe have just plain never heard of it outside of the announcement. Why should I be excited?

Knockback: Well, for folks who aren't familiar with Eberron, the Dreaming Dark is an organization of creatures from the Plane of Nightmares and long ago they almost conquered all of Eberron, but were defeated in a war with the Giants and you first ran across these guys if you played the Path of Inspiration – the previous content pack. And now, in the Dreaming Dark content module, you get to take the fight back to these creatures, and actually you get to travel to Dal'Quor, the Plane of Nightmares and see what that's all about, up close, yourself.

Jerry: Cool.

Knockback: In terms of the, go ahead...

Jerry: Oh, no, I just..I want to say that I did put together my video preview of the Dreaming Dark on YouTube here, and so I've run these quests a number of times now, and they're very, very cool, too. I think they're kind of like a part two to the Path of Inspiration in some ways.

Knockback: Yeah, it finishes up the Path of Inspiration storyline and also as you know from putting together that video, in the last dungeon you get to do some fun things in the Plane of Dreams...

Jerry: Yeah.

Knockback: ...that you don't necessarily get to do except during Festivult time otherwise.

Jerry: <chuckle> Yeah, very cool stuff, and just a nice adventure pack series, so..but he's right though I don't know a lot of the...

Glin: In addition to the fun stuff that you get to do player-wise, there's the additional things you can do to unlock the suppressed powers. Which are on the items from the first series, so a little bit of expansion on the content that you're getting from that series, which is high level content, but not requiring you to run a raid to get it. So, for those that aren't running raids and are doing regular, you know, small party quests – that's another good series for them.

Jerry: Cool, cool. Alright, let's get to question ten here. This one's from Will. He says:

“I've been doing the Beta and I just jumped into the normal client and it was quite useful – notice this was a bit of an older question – it was quite useful, he writes, to note a lot of the minor UI changes. Overall it's a great set of changes although I wish they were not so strict with DDO Unlimited. In fact, if you wouldn't mind – and that's why I'm including this question here – at the next “Ask the Devs” would you ask them if they would consider giving people a little more AFK time, as we seem to get logged out pretty quickly. Maybe 150 or 200% of the currently allowed AFK time.”

And this is from, uh, he goes by Brightshadow instead of just Will, there. So, Brightshadow, hey. What do you think?

Glin: Well, I'm guessing that this is someone who has experienced either the free player 5 minute timeout and then...

Jerry: Yes.

Glin: ...for people who have made purchases like the Premium players – the ones that get the additional two character slots when they make a purchase – they'll have, I think it's a 10 or 15 minute timeout. I don't recall. But our subscribers are getting an hour. They also get first chance to get into the queue, so that if there are wait times, which has happened on a few weekends actually until we opened up another server a few weeks back, the VIPs will get in through the queue faster and then they have less time to logout. So the reason that it's there is the people who are playing for free have to be in-game and active, otherwise we're going to ask them to leave the server to make room for someone else to come in. So it's really just about the population control.

Jerry: True.

Glin: And those people who are paying customers, well we want to give them the extra perk and as a, you know, a privilege to stay in and to have a little bit more time for that bio break.

Jerry: Still, though, 5 minutes, that's not a whole lot of time. I mean, you know, that IS a bio break and, yeah, I don't know...<chuckle>

Tolero: I mean, you don't even have to...

Jerry: I've never experienced it...

Tolero: If you want to be a Premium user to get to the higher tier of the logout timer, even the smallest point bundle purchase qualifies you in the Premium tier, like so just the first time you do it – you're Premium.

Jerry: Oh, ok. Cool, cool. Well, that's excellent and I think that's about all the time we have for you guys. Anything else about Update 2 or the Dreaming Dark you guys may want to bring up or mention here that we haven't covered yet?

MadFloys: Um, I thought I might mention that, in case anyone was wondering about epic content – because we've...it's a fairly new feature that we've had and people might be wondering why there's no more epic release with this Update, and given that it's a high level content pack, we didn't actually make an Epic version of it. It really didn't seem to make sense, but it's our hope going forward that every Update will have some sort of Epic content so there will always be something for the high level players.

Jerry: Very cool.

MadFloyd: So you can look forward to that in the next few updates.

Knockback: Uh, I'll just toss in that the Dreaming Dark content pack does contain one unusual dungeon, which is a solo only dungeon. So, if you're a high level player who is looking for something to do while you're waiting for your friends to get online – or if you plain just don't like people, then there's now a high level quest for you.

Jerry: Or if you like to see a lot of traps.

?: Exactly.

Jerry: Potentially. You know I didn't want to spoil it too much because – but I guess this isn't going out til Saturday, but I tried it two ways. I tried to barrel my way up through all those traps and then I did it the, you know, much easier and probably more correct way to do it. But I wanted to see if I could do it – and the answer is: Almost, but that last corner, with the...

?: Yeah.

Jerry: ...air boost really kind of gets ya.

Knockback: I will say that the developers in the solo dungeon HIGHLY recommend that monks make use of Abundant Step.

Jerry: <chuckles> Very much.

Knockback: Not because it'll work, but because it's hilarious.


Jerry: Cool.

Tolero: Lump Favored Souls into that, too.

Jerry: Well, that's going to do it with our 10th edition of “Ask the Devs”. Thanks very much for listening and thanks very much for all the Turbine folks for their time and effort to talk to us here this week.

Just a note that if you have a question that you want to ask the developers you should send me an email at DDOCast@gmail.com. Again, that's DDOCast@gmail.com.

If you would, it makes it easier if you just say, put “Ask the Devs” in the title or something. It helps me keep it organized. But not 100% necessary.

You can also ask a question for “Ask the Devs” on the DDOCast forums. I've got a place 'sticky-ed' where you can do that if you want to sign up and do it that way instead, so, let's say our goodbyes.

Tolero, Glin, Genasi, MadFloyd and Knockback, thanks so much for being on the show. Good Luck this week on Update 2, have yourselves a Merry Holiday-Festus-Season Time and we'll see you guys soon.

Glin: Merry Festivult.

Tolero: Merry Festivult.

Knockback: Happy Festivult to all!

Genasi: Merry Festivult, guys.

MadFloyd: Bye-bye.


DDOcast is distributed under a Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial license. Feel free to post any or all of this document on your web site, forums, etc, but please let people know that it came from DDOcast. In terms of the “non-commercial” license, if you aren’t trying to sell this stuff on CD or make an unethical buck off of it, don’t worry about it and distribute this transcript as much as you would like.
– Jerry Snook, host DDOcast
Transcript by Sympl, thanks!

Additional formatting, transcription and title work by Jerry

Published 1/4/10

01-05-2010, 10:01 AM
Thank you Jerry, DDOCast, and the DEV's for another great show!!!!

01-05-2010, 10:14 AM
I was wondering what Sympl was doing all weekend! :)

Thanks Sympl and thanks to DDO cast and the devs!

01-05-2010, 02:10 PM
I was wondering what Sympl was doing all weekend! :)

Thanks Sympl and thanks to DDO cast and the devs!

Heh, actually, Sympl got me the transcript just before Christmas, but I've been too busy over the holidays to do the remaining work before publishing it.

But yes! Sympl is a life-saver.

01-06-2010, 12:13 PM
Perhaps the Devs should be asked this question:

We've been asking this since the Auction House was introduced, and not a word from Devs about this. Shame!