Hi everyone, following ProducerRowan’s letter, it seems like an opportune time to re-introduce myself to the community. You probably already know a bit of me from the dungeons I’ve created: Partycrashers, the Delirium dungeons, Blockade Buster, Undermine, I Dream of Jeets, Schemes of the Enemy, and Belly of the Beast (proper credit should also go to Keeper and Enosity for the visuals they made.)
I was lead of the content creation group while making some of those dungeons, but earlier this year I also became the lead of the design group as a whole.
As lead, I work with Producers Rowan, Glin and Vyvyanne to figure out the strategies of who works on what and when. That’s a bit tricky, since we know that some players want nothing but content, while other players advocate new classes, or enhancements, etc. It helps that we have so many developers that are so proficient in their specialties – rather than having all the developers tripping over each other by working on the same thing, we’re organized into different teams to work on different features at once.
So here are what the different teams are working on:
- Enhancements & Epic Destinies
- The developers who specialize on character advancement systems are concentrating on addressing the Enhancement issues that the community's submitted through the bug-tracker. There are currently developers spending all of their time addressing these bugs. Looking at the numbers of enhancement bugs we're fixing compared to what's coming in through the bug reports, we're hopeful that enhancements will soon reach a point where the vast majority of players feel it’s stable and complete.
- We know that for a lot of players, “complete” means more enhancement trees. We have goals to make more trees for specific classes - we just released the Eldritch Knight for example. While we’re trying to fix as many enhancement bugs as we can for each release, we’d like to make sure we take the time to create each enhancement tree correctly, so you’ll see the trees trickle out at a slower rate.
- And, we’ve already started a similar process to crush Epic Destiny issues. There are multiple developers working on fixing the reported ED bugs, and we’re planning out how to finish out remaining trees for everyone to feel that the system is complete. Piloto has already made posts to poll the communities for ideas on the next ED.
- Treasure improvements
- Simultaneously, we have a different team dedicated to treasure features. They’re currently focused on resolving the “ghostbane” issues. Some of you may already have seen DrOctothorpe’s posts on that topic. He and the rest of the treasure team are making changes to address as much player feedback as they can for patch and Update 21, and then they’ll move on to develop new treasure to go along with the new Update 21 content.
- Some of the guys are overlapping with the character advancements team to look at the number of Commendations of Valor we’re giving out. We know that there are complaints that we’re giving out too few, and we’re working to address that. Some of what’s making it complex is that we want to give out the right number not only for the immediate short-term, but that it’ll stay the right number 6 months from now or 2 years from now.
- New dungeons
- Yes, we also have a whole separate team busily making brand new content too, as well as fixing bugs in old content. We know this is the bread & butter of DDO, so this is our largest team.
BTW, I haven’t stopped working on new dungeons. I’m about to go back and put some more work into the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar. Working with Ed Greenwood has been a blast, and he’s certainly set an ambitious target. The Haunted Halls already has more gameplay than what I put in any of my previous dungeons and there’s still much more to go!
Aside from the efforts going into those priorities, there is also planning and setup work going into the future features that ProducerRowan mentioned. Don’t worry, it’s not our intent to simply ignore systems such as Housing or Crafting either – we’ll get to those once we’re through with our current pushes with core features like Enhancements and Epic Destinies .
A final thing before I head back into dungeon work – we’re really trying to keep the flow of communication going. Over the next few weeks, developers from each of the disciplines will be talking about what’s happening in their particular specialties. This is to give the players the information you’re asking for, but it’s also to help the developers get the feedback they need to properly take DDO where everyone wants it to go!