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Public Test Server Q&A, 8/6/10

August 8, 2010

Whenever we see a new patch loaded onto the Public Test Server, it usually means there’s some Developer Q&As that will be going on as well in the Bioware Mythic Ventrilo server.  This time it was scheduled in the evening on Friday  after the Against All Odds Open RvR testing and had participants from both the US and the EU.

These Q&A sessions tend to last a while as there are usually anywhere from 50-150 players asking their allotted question and getting either an answer, “no comment”, or getting made fun of for trolling.  Always good times.  Bruglir once again captured an audio recording and posted it on his blog. As I did for the last Q&A, I made a transcript for those who like their WAR info in readable format.

Shameless Reminder: If you haven’t been coming to these sessions, don’t use this as an excuse not to bother.  It is always better to be there in person.  Not just to hear the live responses, but more importantly to ask your own questions.  It is rare, in my experience with MMOs, to have the Development team available like this to EVERYONE to be able to ask questions.  You should all be attending these just to take advantage of that singular aspect alone, not to mention getting to preview what’s coming to the Live servers soon and give your feedback.  Keep your eyes on the Herald to see when they’ll be holding their next Q&A and be sure to attend if you have questions you don’t think others have been asking.

Enjoy!

~Gaar

Public Test Server Q&A, 8/6/10

For those that haven’t been to one of these, there are certain rules as to how this all goes down.

  • Each player gets one question.
  • The question is not asked in Vent, it’s posted in your Comment.  So be specific and concise.  General questions get politically correct answers, so avoid those so as not to waste your question.
  • Troll questions are ignored and/or made fun of.
  • If certain topics are off-limits, it’s usually stated up front.  This is rare, but happens in regards to things that it’s obvious they can’t comment on at this time.
  • Unless they ask you for clarification, this isn’t the forum for a conversation about something due to the number of people that have questions they want answered and the nature of Vent.
  • Attempts to sneak in multiple questions by changing your Vent name can get you booted from the Q&A, so don’t bother.
  • Questions outside the scope of the Developers present tend to get vague/pc answers, so it’s usually better to tailor your question to who is in attendance if you want as in-depth a response as possible.
  • Questions about Customer Service are not answered as there has never been a CS representative present.
  • Andy reads off the question from your comment and then either he or one of the Developers present answers it as best they can.
  • Good to note:  Actions performed during an official Mythic event can affect your account.  Please keep that in mind.

Note:  This is not a complete, literal transcription like I usually do with interviews simply because of the nature of the Q&A.  Even the recorded version doesn’t necessarily include everything since some has to be read directly from the Vent comments.  Another good reason to show up for these.

And away we go…

Andy Belford - Remember that if you’re a European player, you can come to Gamescom where we’ll be giving out in-game item codes and maybe there will be some really cool stuff that we’re giving out at the fan gathering.

Q – Who’s going to be there?

Andy - At Gamescom it’s going to be Carrie Gouskos (WAR Producer) and myself, Andy Belford (Community Team) represeting Warhammer Online.  I’ll also be representing Dark Age of Camelot with Stuart Zissu, the Producer of DAoC.

We’ll also be at Games Day UK in September so any of you guys that go to that, we’ll be there.  This month, at the same time Gamescom is going on, we’ll also be at Baltimore Games Day for anybody that’s in that area or heading to Games Day.  We’ll be talking about some of the same things we’re talking about at Gamescom.  And of course there will be schwag at all three events.  (in-game items, t-shirts, posters, etc)

Really quickly we’ll introduce the Developers that are here in the channel tonight.

Carrie Gouskos – Hi!  I’m Carrie.  The Producer on Warhammer.

Mike Wyatt – I’m Mike.  I’m RvR Lead Designer.  And Content and Dungeons and things.

Nate Levy – I’m Nate.  I’m the Design Lead for Player Systems which is pretty much everything your character is and does.

Q – Mork or Gork?

Mike - Gork.

Nate - Yes.

Carrie - I pick Mork.

Andy - Mork it is.

Q – Do you plan on doing any other minor patches before 1.4.x?

Carrie - That’s still undecided but currently the plan is to plow towards 1.4.x.

Q – Are there any Tomb of the Vulture Lord bug fixes coming?

Carrie - Yes.  Keaven fixed a few bugs this version.

Mike - He should have fixed the door issue, that’s for sure.  Some stuff with Boss 5 I believe.

Andy - And 6 I think too.

Mike - He’s fixed a few.  I’m not sure which ones.  I know he definitely fixed the door issue though.

Q – Are there any plans to balance the potency of Crowd Control (CC) and utility for Tanks, especially between two-hand (2H) and sword & board (S/B) Tanks?

Nate - The obvious answer is of course we plan to balance it.  We’d love to balance it.  We’d love it if everything was perfect.  But if what you’re looking for really is between 2H and S/B, by intent we want S/B to have more utility than 2H because 2H has more damage.  So you’re probably not going to see us leaning towards putting as much utility evenly between them.  But if you’re talking about between the different tanks, then we’d absolutely love getting everything straightened out and parity across all the Careers.

Q – Why can we not get group credit for Weekend Warfront Tasks that only give one person credit for capturing them?  ie: capture the flag or carrying a bomb

Mike - It’s lacking engineering support on the current Live server.  We have new code that will let us do that after 1.3.6 goes Live.

Q – How do you add to end-game RvR after everyone kills the King?  Do you expand laterally or do you create a new high-end goal?

Carrie - Is this a theoretical question?  How does one if one were expanding?  I think the answer is you try to do both to some degree.  You certainly want to be conscious of not nullifying the end-game.  Obviously we’re aware that the people that have been playing the game for a while are looking for new things to do.  So you try to accomplish both…in this theoretical question.

Q – Is it intended that Heal Over Time (HOT) ticks will proc the healer 7-piece bonus for healer Sovereign?

Nate - At this point, yes.  That was intentionally set up that way.  We felt that it would be best that way and we hope that it works out that way.  If it does end up being too abusive that way, then we may change it in the future to On Direct Heal but we don’t necessarily want to go that way because some healers have perfectly valid playstyles that relies more on HOTs.

Q – Hypothetically, if we were to see something like an expansion, what might be seen as far as new content?  Would it be more Trials of Atlantis or Shrouded Isle or New Frontier style?

Carrie - Again, these are hypothetical questions/answers.  There are enough people at Mythic who’ve been with us a long time, so I think we’re not interested in going with a TOA style if anything.  But this is entirely hypothetical, so it’s hard to say what direction we would go in.

Andy - If we were, in fact, to do something like that…hypothetically.

Q – How do you intend to balance the power gap between people who are just Rank 40 and those that are Renown Rank 70+?

Nate - There’s a couple different environments that that can come up in.  When you’re talking about Open RvR, to a large extent Open RvR, if you think about it this way, is like the Wild Wild West.  It’s just a big pile where everybody goes in and we’re not going to do a lot of balancing like that because it’s such a large-scale battlefield.  When you start talking about things like Scenarios, where it’s significantly fewer people and much more focused and targeted gameplay, we do have some thoughts and plans of how we’d like to make Scenarios a little more competitive for everyone involved but it’s a little too early to get into details.

Q – Is there a fix in the work for Melee DPS still doing damage from very far away, what appears to be 35-75m?

Nate - I know the engineers have looked at it.  I couldn’t speak to a specific status of it.

Q – Can we have one massive patch of only bug fixes?

Carrie - That’s something that I’d love to do.  We get a lot of pressure from the players to constantly be putting stuff into the game.  So it’s certainly something I’d like to talk about doing probably post-1.4.0.

Q – Can we have an arena system like in World of Warcraft?

Carrie - Not in the short term.  It’s certainly something we’ve talked about, but right now we’re focusing on Open RvR which is something we think distinguishes us.

Q – Will the /duel commands ever work?

Carrie - It might work eventually.  I’ll sum up what I’ve said in the past.  Dueling is something that was kind of put into the game partially and we didn’t ever have time to finish.  Right now, we’d rather prioritize other things instead of getting /duel in the game.

Q – I know this gets asked a lot, but are there any tangible changes to melee healing in the pipe?

Nate - Unfortunately, the answer at this point is the same as previously.  We agree that melee healing specifically isn’t performing up to where we’d like it to be but we don’t have any specific answers/timeframes that we can get into right now.

Q – Do you feel the power gap in terms of itemization between Rank 40 players and higher Renown Rank players is ok or does it need more work?

Nate - There is a bit of a power gap, obviously, between a new and a higher Renown Rank player.  I guess the short answer is yes, we feel that sometimes it is a little too much and we’re trying to make it feel better for everybody at both the high and lower levels.

Q - In windowed mode, is there a way to get rid of the Minimize and Close buttons so we don’t accidentally hit them?

Carrie - In Video Settings there is an option called “Show Frame”.  Disabling that will remove those buttons.

Q – Are Warrior Priests and Disciples of Khaine considered to be working as intended or even in-line with expectations in comparison to other healers?

Nate - Their group healing is a little too good.  Their melee healing is a little too poor.

Q – For people that have been playing the end-game for two years, are there any plans to add any more end-game Cities or Zones?

Carrie - Yeah, I think I’ve finally given up and said no to the Cities.  Not because they’re not cool and not because we couldn’t possibly do them in the future, but we’re going to focus the gameplay experience on Altdorf and the Inevitable City.  That being said, we’re aware that the people that have been playing for a while would like some more options for the end-game and that’s certainly foremost in our minds.

Q – Do you have any updates on the Zealot/Rune Priest mechanic that is on the PTS?

Nate - The bugs which were plaguing us in the early PTS phase should now be taken care of.  Things should now be working correctly as we described them and we’re tracking it from here to see how it feels.

Q – Do you have any plans to add more things to buy with Insignias once you have your weapons?

Nate - Yes.  We want to continue expanding the alternate currency uses pretty indefinitely into the future.  We just want to keep adding more and more to keep the system feeling lively and fleshed out.

Q – Any chance that Spiteful Slam will become Parry+Block instead of just Block because a knockdown with the Glaive seems key?

Nate - That’s actually something that we’ve discussed internally a bunch of times.  It’s an entirely reasonable proposition which we’ve heard both internally and externally.  We just haven’t pulled the trigger on that yet because we’ve been dealing with higher priority issues, but that is on our radar.

Q – Will you allow axes to use sword skins and vice versa with the new appearance modification system?

Nate - No.  It’s pretty much type to type.  We want your overall silhouette to still be kind of similar.  So if you can’t use axes, you’re not going to be able to run around looking like you have axes equipped.

Q – Do you plan on putting Oceanic players onto just one server?

Carrie - We wouldn’t forcibly change what server people are on.  I don’t anticipate forcibly moving anyone unless it’s required.

Q – Any chance you’ll introduce Critical Hit Reduction talismans for Shoulder slots?

Nate - Maybe…

Q – Why did you make the decision to base Sovereign Armor Sets on Archetype instead of making one for each Career?

Nate - There are a couple answers for that.  Honestly, a lot of times it comes down to practicality.  On the one hand, it would be nice to do individual bonuses for every Career but that creates balance issues across the different Careers where doing it by Archetype lets us balance that a little more evenly across the board in one fell swoop.  Also, if we did it by Career it would take much, much longer and we probably wouldn’t be able to do them all in one patch unless we delayed that patch a looong time.  It’s either delaying the patch a long time or getting half the Careers their new gear and half the Careers their old gear.  Both of those are kind of crummy alternatives.

Q - How do you feel with Star Wars: The Old Republic having their own forums and WAR losing theirs?

Andy - We didn’t lose our forums.  We have combined with the Bioware Social Network.  We are part of the Bioware group as a whole.  So, this isn’t really losing our forums; granted there is an adjustment.

Q - Do you plan on reviewing Achievements any time soon?  Some unlocks have been removed but are still in the Tome of Knowledge.

Carrie - I don’t think we’re going to be reviewing that in the near, near future but we’d certainly like to review them in general.  One thing to note, because I know sometimes it comes up about the Fortress unlocks remaining in the Tome, it’s a decision not to remove unlocks that people could have gotten.  Though we probably need to do a better job of messaging things that people can’t currently get.  So we’ll certainly review that, but probably not in the near future.

Q – Any plans on incentivizing the lower-population North American Servers to encourage people to play there?

Andy - We actually have experience and renown bonuses on those Servers right now.

Carrie - We’re looking at incentivizing those Servers.  I think in the last Q&A there was a question that I answered sort of ambiguously and everyone thought that I meant that we were going to do something drastic, but that’s not what I meant by that.  We’re still looking at incentivizing those Servers.

Q (from me!) – In Stage 3 of the City Siege, is the combined Ward damage adjustment 345% damage if a fully-Warded Champion is attacking a fully-unWarded player?

Mike - I don’t know.  I’m at home right now so I can’t look up the numbers.  It’s a lot.  It’s intended for you to just get smoked (if you’re unWarded).  I don’t know off the top of my head what that value is though.

Gaarawarr - I was basing the question off the old Ward rules where someone with no Wards in PvE takes 300% of normal damage and someone with full Wards does 115% to their target.  I was just curious if it was roughly around that combination of the two.

Mike - Roughly, yeah.  I don’t think it’s set up for 300%, maybe 200%.

Q – Will we ever see cross-Server Scenarios?

Carrie - That’s another favorite question of mine.  Since we’re focusing on Open RvR at the moment, it’s not what we’re looking at right now.  It’s something that we’d like to do and if we think that it’s worth the time and the risk, we will do it.  But we’re focusing on Open RvR right now.

Q –  Do you have plans to address the possible issues with the new Zealot/Rune Priest mechanic and their ability to use CC with it?

Nate - It’s a concern, but right now we don’t think it’s really going to be as bad as a lot of the theory-crafting and panic about it makes it sound like it is.  When we tested it internally before it went to the PTS, it was actually pretty minimal and you do always have the option, because your flip-ability is off the Global Cool Down, to flip, use the CC and then flip back.  It certainly makes the Careers a little more involved to play, but that’s not really a bad thing.  If it does turn out to be too impactful to the point where the Careers can’t perform, then we do have some ideas as to how we might change that in the future.

Q – The Aura nerf which was supposed to nerf bombing has left Chosens/Knights with less DPS.  Do you have any plans to address the reduction in DPS?

Nate - Well, to clarify, the change to the Auras wasn’t because of bombing.  It was simply because the Auras were just far, far too good and they needed a reduction to bring them back in line.  That’s pretty much the extent of what we’re planning to do for their balancing at this point.

Q – Any progress on the ability for players to recognize who they’re guarding and who is guarding them?

Andy - I will say one thing…there is actually an Addon that can help with this.  Obviously we don’t believe that Addons are the end-all, be-all to solutions, but I will recommend an Addon.  There’s an Addon called GES and there’s a sister Addon to that called GDES.  If you’re a Tank, GES lets you see the health of the person you’re guarding and where they are and a bunch of other fun stuff.  GDES allows you to see the person that’s guarding you.

Nate - That is a wish-list item that we’ve had for a while, but it’s never floated to a high enough priority where we’ve been able to get it off the wish-list yet.

(GG – While I do use GES on my Tank, lately I prefer supplementing it with Buffhead2 and adding Guard to the “Always Shown” list.  Combining both of these, I can not only track where my Guarded person is and their health, I can also see who else, on either side, has Guard on them.  Comes in handy, as you can well imagine.)

Q – Do you plan on adding visually destructible environments?

Mike - Making a door look like it’s going through different stages is a lot easier to do than, say, a wall.  A wall with WAR, at this point, is rather unlikely but the door itself is not that unlikely.  It’s definitely nowhere near our radar right now, but it could happen later down the road some time.

(GG – This questions was brought up during the Blogger Invasion and answered with a bit more information in regards to how it’s an art-related issue and more difficult than we might think as players.  You can find that answer in this post.)

Q – Do you have any plans to add immunities or diminishing returns on snares?  Specifically regarding Sticky Feet and Mistress of the Marsh because you can set those down to cover a large area that you can’t get out of.

Nate - Not at this point, no.  That’s not anything we’re looking at right now.

Q – Why is the duration of the Shaman AP Drain 10 seconds when when the Archmage one is 20 seconds?

Nate - Basically, if you’re asking why they’re different, the short answer is that we’re aware that there are a lot of concerns about that and it’s another thing that’s been on our wish-list for a long time but has been clobbered by higher-priority issues for a while.  But it is on our list to address at some point.

Later ClarificationNate - It looks like Steven may have had the time to fix that one under my radar in 1.3.6.

Q – Can we see a WAR iPhone app?

Carrie - “No, you can’t see the WAR iPhone app” is the answer to the question.

Q - Any plans to improve the Looking For Group tool?  Maybe letting us see the amount of Ward Fragments people have, using it to queue up for a Dungeon, etc?

Carrie - That’s great feedback and stuff that we’d like to add.  If we were working on that at the moment, if we had time to polish up some things, we would probably do something like that, sure.

Q – Can we get a hint for 1.4.0?  I’ll make you cake.

Carrie - No.  Mike would like to give you a hint though.

Mike - 1.4.0 is a version…

Carrie - That’s a great hint, Mike.

Q – Any plans on changing the Toughness/DPS calculation to 4:1 because of the “Power” stats?

Nate - No, not at this point.

Q – Do you plan to do anything with the old Tier 1 zones?

Mike - Not at this time.

Q – Do you plan to remove the undefendable procs/talismans from Land of the Dead since they nullify so many Career skills?

Nate - We have no plans to remove them, no.  But in 1.3.6 we’re significantly reducing their durations.

Q – Can we expect any “fluff” like Player Housing or improved Crafting?

(dead air)

Andy - I’m guessing that’s a “No Comment”.

Q – Any plans to buff the Magus/Engineer pets?

Nate - I think this one comes up every single Q&A.  The short answer is we want the Magus/Engi pets to be a more impactful and crucial part of their game play and we want them to be a cornerstone of the experience of playing those Careers but we don’t have any specifics that we can get into right now on what we might do to change that.

Q – Why can the other Realm not see appearance changes?

Carrie - That was done intentionally so that people didn’t just use the system to appear in rags to everybody and hide.  There’s a good suggestion that was brought up in the forums which was to allow a person to say “I would like to see the enemy’s appearance state” but that’s probably something we won’t have for 1.3.6.

Q – Are there any plans to make the game more playable for people on less expensive computers in large-scale RvR?

Nate - The change we made in 1.3.6 to the collision detection should hopefully have drastically improved your performance in large-scale RvR.

Carrie -As well, we basically have people who work full time on performance and things like that.

Q – Are there any plans to improve pet pathing?

Nate - Pathing is one of those things that we have engineers internally looking at to see if they can find any ways to improve it all the time.

Q – Any time-frame on the Iron Rock merger?

Carrie - I guess that might be coming from the question I answered last time as a presumption that we were talking about a merger.  We’re not currently talking about that.  We are looking at incentivizing Iron Rock and a couple other Servers.

Q – Can we have the option to turn friendly characters off to improve lag in RvR (like Aion)?

Carrie - We’re looking into Player/Client options to help improve the personal Player/Client performance but we’re not quite sure what we’re going to do yet.

Q – Any plans on changing the Resist soft-caps to make them more in line with the Armor caps?

Nate - That has some pretty broad implications and we’re not ready to pull the trigger on that yet.  It’s come up on and off but each time we’ve discussed it, the scope of the change that would introduce into the game has been a bit too risky for us to try going down the rabbit hole on that.

Q – Are the Sovereign 8-piece bonuses set in stone or is there the possibility that you’ll make some changes before the patch goes Live?

Nate - Nothing is set in stone on them, no.  That’s why we are collecting the PTS feedback right now.  We would probably need some awfully good reasons for us to change them at this point, but they are not set in stone and we will look at changing them if need be.

Q – What is the patch date for 1.3.6?

Andy - Soon (TM).

Carrie - We don’t give out patch dates until we give them out.

Q – Will friendly collision be disabled in 1.3.6?

Carrie - Based on the feedback from the last test, and we’re still gathering feedback on tonight’s test, it appears like we probably will turn it off but that’s still not yet finalized.

Q – Will we be seeing any form of competitive PvP such as Guilds vs Guilds, 6v6 Scenarios with stats going towards rankings, etc?

Carrie - We have looked into stuff like this but we’re working on Open RvR right now, so that would probably come after the 1.4.0 version.

Q - Do you plan on making Dungeons drop only loot for Careers that are in the party?

Nate - That’s not a change that we’ve been talking about right now, no.  In general though, we’ve been tossing back and forth a couple different things we can do for the introduction of loot into the world and making it more and more seamless.

Q – Any plans to introduce a barbershop?

Carrie - Maybe.

Q - What happened to the plan to have a Nemesis Tome of Knowledge section?

Carrie - I don’t actually know what was said about the Nemesis system, but I will tell you that it did not go well.  It was actually in one of the versions and we had a lot of problems with it so we pulled it out and have not gone back to look at it.  But, it is another thing like /duel that is kind of sitting there almost ready.  We just need to spend some time on it.

Q – When is the Land of the Dead terrain bug abuse that allows people to enter the Expedition Warcamps going to be fixed?

Andy - I believe we actually fixed quite a few of those exploits in Land of the Dead in 1.3.6.

Carrie - We patched one fix last maintenance version.  So if there’s a new one, there’s always a new one, we can look into that.  Please report it in-game.

Q – Any plans to adjust Zealot group heal cast times?

Nate - As I mentioned a little bit earlier, probably the bigger issue there is we feel that the WP/DoK group healing is a little too good.  We don’t have any answers that we can get into right now about how we’re going to adjust that situation though.  But it is absolutely something that we’re aware of.

Q – Will Order ever see One Thousand and One Dark Blessings?

Nate - The only thing I can really say, which I’ve said before, is that in general I’d rather make the Careers, and the Realms by that nature, more similar than dissimilar.

Q – Why can’t you play on Dark Crag?

Andy - Dark Crag has been consolidated into the other Servers, so you should be able to transfer any characters that were on Dark Crag to any of the other available North American Servers.  You can do that via logging into the Account Management page.

Q – Any plans on mirroring the Witch Elf and Witch Hunter in terms of finishers or giving Witch Elves Repel Blasphemy?

Nate - Again, that’s half “No comment” and half “I’d like to make the Careers more similar.”

Q – Any info about The Eternal Citadel Scenario?  Is it only for 6v6 pre-made groups or is it open to Pick-up Groups?

Mike - It’s not limited, anyone can join.  Obviously, with 6v6, if someone is going to be in a pre-made…well, it’s going to be much more apparent as opposed to current Scenarios.  It’s part of the risk you’ll take.

Q – Why are you bringing the Careers more and more into mirror alignment?

Nate - Well, the disparity between the Careers was something of a philosophy that we were trying at the earlier (stages of the game development) and clearly it had a lot of balance issues that didn’t really work out so well.  So we’re trying to resolve those balance issues in this way to make the game better for everyone.

Q – Are we going to be able to play both Realms on the same Server like on the PTS currently?

Carrie - We weren’t going to actually make that change for all Servers.  We are going to make it for regions which are lower population or need to be moved down to one Server.  We haven’t announced which those are yet and, if so, how many slots we’d allow you to have, double what’s on a normal server.

Q - Are you making any changes to the Sovereign Loot Bags and how they’re dropping loot?  Nate?

Nate - Honestly, I wouldn’t be the best person for that, but I can mention to our itemization guru to make sure that everything is in line with that.

Q - There’s currently an issue with the Colossus weaponry.  Several animations don’t work when they’re equipped.

Nate - Please file a bug report in-game.  When I get back to work on Monday, I can talk to somebody and see if they’re already aware of that.  But please, absolutely bug report that in-game.

Q – What is the intended purpose of the Swordmaster?

Nate - With the Tanks, that’s a bit of a hazy question.  Our vision for the Swordmaster would be that they focus a little more on a two-handed weapon and a little more on magical damage than some of the other Tanks.  But, all the Tanks, kind of by necessity, play similar roles.  But the kind of lean towards 2H and magical was what we were intending with them.

Q – Are you going to address the DPS concerns for Marauders?

Nate - We don’t really have anything we can talk about for that, no.

Q - Are you going to address the concerns of Swordmaster group utility?

Nate - Swordmasters have a pretty good bit of group utility right now.  Although, I certainly acknowledge that a lot of that is kind of heavily tied into Whispering Wind.  That’s not something that’s at the top of our immediate list right now though.

Q – Any word on the Funerary Shrouds working with the Soul talismans?

Nate - I have passed that along to Sean and it is on his plate to take a look at.

Q – Do you have any intent to add more Emblem rewards to RvR lakes or something equivalent for people that do not like to do Scenarios?

Nate - We may spread the Scenario currency out a little bit more, but we definitively want the vast bulk of them to come from Scenarios.  The Scenarios are an important part of the game and we want people to be spending just as much time there as they are in Open RvR and really experience all parts of the game.

Q – Any plans for appearance armor/weapon rewards?

Carrie - We could.  I think if we have any opportunity to put appearance in the game we’ll just give the item stats as well since you can get those and use either.

Q – Any further plans to remove CC abilities from DPS Careers and moving them to Tanks?

Nate - There’s a bit of two sides to that.  The one side is we do want the Tanks to be more the CCers than the DPS Careers.  The other side is that right now, on the whole, the state of CC is pretty good.  It’s in a pretty good place and we’re not sure we want to upset that apple cart right now.  So it’s something we’re keeping an eye on, but we’re not making any changes in the immediate future.

Q –  Do you plan on bringing back Fortress Sieges?

Mike - Hopefully, at some point.  There’s a lot of problems with how we would like to implement it, usually with population density and the server not being able to handle the load.  So we’re looking at ways to bring them back in some fashion, at some point.

Q – Any plans to introduce a stat that would improve Witch Hunter/Witch Elf stealth?

Nate - Stealth is actually an oppose-check.  So it’s your Initiative vs. their Initiative.  So, the better your Initiative is, the better the chance you’ll stay stealthed.  Also, do keep in mind that in 1.3.6 we changed a bit of the under-the-hood of how stealth works.  Without changing your chance to be detected, it should now still be more consistent and reliable and you should be able to get much closer to your target on a regular basis.

Q – Do you play the game?

Andy - I can speak for myself and say yes, absolutely.

Nate - Well, not right now because I’m doing the Q&A.  But otherwise, yeah, I have an entire stable of characters across both sides and in all Tiers.  The last one I leveled up was a Marauder.  I did an Archmage before that.  I have like 8,000 different characters.  Some 40, some lower.

Carrie - Yes.  We all play.

Q – Being in the warcamp won’t give you the Against All Odds bonus, so when you’re being spawn-camped there’s no reason to try to push.  Any chance that will change?

Mike - That’s because we don’t want people sitting in a warcamp AFK and affecting the ratio calculations between the two Realms.  So it’s a necessary evil for the way it works, but there’s always other ways to get into the RvR lakes than going straight through the enemy.  Yes, I know PvE routes are not ideal.

Q – Is there going to be a fix to address people leaving City instances that are not in their favor?

Mike - We’re aware of it but we don’t have a solution to it right now because doing so would actually affect people who are actually crashing not-on-purpose.

Q – Any plans on mirroring more AP drains to Order?  Specifically things like Choking Fury and Marauder-type AP drains.

Nate - It’s possible we may go that direction in the future, but that’s not anything I have a specific answer for for you right now.

Q – Why don’t Chosen get an extra ability when equipping a shield?

Nate - At a broader scope, we agree that there’s not as much definition to a Tank when they’re using a shield that really makes the shield impactful, other than obviously being able to block.  That’s something we’ve wrestled with for a while.  We want the Tanks to feel differently between the 2H and S/B.  We also don’t want to completely just block off half their abilities arbitrarily based on what they’re wielding.  So it’s something we’ve been looking at but I don’t have any changes for you right now.

Q – What are the limitations on the new appearance slots?  Sometimes I get error messages that say “the item shape is too different.”

Nate - Generally speaking, it needs to be the same type of item as what you’re trying to put the appearance on.  If you have two items that appear to be the same, like Cloak to Cloak, or Sword to Sword, etc, and they still appear to not work that way then it’s possible that one of those items might be bugged so please file a bug report for the specific items and we can check them.

Q – Is there a 250,000 Killing Blow Title like the 100,000 Berserker Title or is it at 1,000,000 or is there any at all after 100,000?

Andy - I don’t think any of us know off the top of our heads.  There’s thousands of Tome unlocks, so unfortunately I don’t think any of us have them all memorized, including Carrie who worked extensively on the Tome throughout the development of WAR.  I will try to get you an answer to that but generally speaking we don’t give away “spoilers” for unrevealed Tome unlocks.

Q – How does Against All Odds drive players to the RvR lakes when they’re outnumbered if their deaths still hinder the Realm’s VP in Skirmish?

Mike - It’s not an end-all, be-all solution to that.  Its intent is to act kind of like a carrot to get people out there.  It’s not going to solve the problems in general.  Everyone likes to win all the time.  If you’re going to lose, it’s not going to fix that behavior.  You do get rewarded for things other than player kills as well, such as going and getting a Battle Objective that’s not near the enemy forces.  It doesn’t count things like monster kills.  But yes, I know it’s not a end-all, be-all solution but we’re hoping that it will change some of the behavior, at least encourage people enough to start forming some opposition.  We’ll have to wait and see on the Live Servers how it performs.

Andy - I’m going to try to adjust someone’s question to make it less troll-y but I’m going to say this first:  Your question has a much better chance of being answered if you ask it without commentary.  Editorializing your question with your opinion of how things are doesn’t make us any more inclined to actually answer the question.  So if you just ask the question without the editorial commenting, it will help a lot.  So just so you know, that’s why I skip over a lot of people, because they add in their own opinion at the end.  We don’t need that, we just need you to ask the question.

Random Troll – Because you don’t care.

Andy - No, we definitely care about your opinion, but this isn’t the venue to voice that though.  The forums and any time we do a feedback session…anything like that, that’s all the proper venue to voice your opinion.  It’s very important to us.  I think that we’ve proven over the testing phase and the feedback phase of 1.3.6, especially with the Sovereign Armor Sets, that we do take your feedback very seriously and I’d ask that you guys keep that in mind and please give it at the appropriate times.

Q – Why did you make the changes to Close Quarters and why are you constantly adjusting AOE abilities, specifically for the Bright Wizard and the Sorceress?

Nate - Well, the really straightforward answer is they were just too effective.  The role of AE damage in general, I’m not talking specifically but broadly-speaking, AE damage is there to apply pressure and single-target damage is there to kill.  When the AE damage is just so good that you can neglect your single-targets and use your AEs instead and even use them on single targets anyway and be just as good, then there’s a pretty significant problem and that’s something that we had to address.

Andy - I’m going to call it a night.  Thank you for coming out and testing.  Thank you for being a part of that process.  It makes everything that we do that much better.

Some of us hung out in the Bioware Mythic Vent after the official Q&A session and chatted.  After a bit, Andy joined back in as well for some fun discussions.  Just another reason why, if you have the time, you should try to make it to these sessions for both the testing phase and the Q&A phase.  Until next time…

Have fun!

~Gaar

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28 Comments leave one →
  1. Laerfric permalink
    August 8, 2010 10:48 am

    the problem however, is that for Euros, the thing starts at 1 am BST or 2 am CEST, so even turning up is an issue – especially when considering that it is a Friday night to begin with.

    I just appreciate that both you and Bruglir make the effort to get the transcript/audio out to the masses!

  2. Kyrus permalink
    August 8, 2010 12:34 pm

    I want whoever suggested Wow Arenas head on a pike in front of the Mythic’s office. That ruined Wow for a lot of people. If you want arenas go play Wow. WAR is not built to support this kind of small scale balanace.

    • August 8, 2010 4:49 pm

      Well, everyone has a different idea of what would make the game more enjoyable to them. That being said, WAR is definitely not balanced on a 1v1 or even a 6v6 level. That is not their intent. Their intent has always been to balance at a large-scale level because WAR is about large-scale fights. So the addition of any kind of arena system would result in even more complaints about Career balance at this point, which is probably not something they want to deal with for now.

  3. August 8, 2010 4:46 pm

    No problem man. To be honest though, there were quite a few EU players present, just not as many as when they did it earlier in the day. They did mention that they were looking at possibly adjusting things in the future to make it easier for EU players to take part. Maybe they’ll end up alternating times like they did the last two weeks.

    • Laerfric permalink
      August 8, 2010 5:18 pm

      Oh don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it is impossible to participate because we are eu, and that to be fair to Mythic there isn’t a whole lot they can do to change that gap without making it too early for NA players due to work etc. I am just saying I like being able to see stuff that went on.

  4. Kyera permalink
    August 8, 2010 5:07 pm

    Thanks for the transcript. A few of these answers rubbed me the wrong way, but overall it was a pretty good read.

    • Krugge permalink
      August 9, 2010 12:45 pm

      I agree also with you Kyera that a few of the answers also gave me a slight off feel but finished reading it with a positive light overall. Thanks Gaarawrr for the transcript.

  5. testpig permalink
    August 8, 2010 8:14 pm

    i would love the “aftermath” transcript that happened towards the nights end in the wee hours of the morning

    • August 8, 2010 9:51 pm

      hehe, well, not sure how many would be interested in that as the majority of it was player opinion interjected with comments by Andy. But hey, if you can get him to say ok, I’ll transcribe the bits of it I actually have recorded. I missed recording the beginning of it I think.

  6. August 9, 2010 10:33 am

    Thanks for this, Gaar. I wasn’t able to make it out to either of the sessions (sadly), and I’m glad you were able to transcribe them. Keep up the good work!

  7. Elachim permalink
    August 9, 2010 2:57 pm

    I just really wish the Q/A questioning people would all get on the same page, I keep seeing the same questions over and over and over when we could be finding out new stuff, or getting them thinking about things that they haven’t really thought about yet.

    • August 9, 2010 4:07 pm

      Like I’ve said before, it’s a necessary evil that some questions get repeated each time because sometimes the answers change. I’ve seen quite a few go from no comment to actual information over the last year.

  8. August 9, 2010 4:14 pm

    Is it just me or does Andy sound like an elitist jerk?

    • testpig permalink
      August 9, 2010 6:10 pm

      not really, it’s like 11pm and his still in the office doing a Q&A.. just trying to make things go by quickly

    • August 9, 2010 6:26 pm

      Yeah, it’s just you. ;) Anything can come off sounding that way when read in text form, completely out of context. This is not a literal transcription. If it was, it would have included lots of people trying to get in extra comments as well as a vent-bomber repeatedly showing everyone what a moron they are. ;)

  9. sulwen permalink
    August 10, 2010 4:15 am

    From a games developer point of view, those answers paint a grim picture of a heavily understaffed department. They would like to do this and that, they just simply don’t have time/resources to do so. Don’t you think?

    And my personal “argh”: Who the hell would like collision detection to be turned off?! Seriously it’s one of the most useful mechanisms WAR has. How else could I tell if my purge targets are nearby?

  10. saga permalink
    August 10, 2010 5:42 am

    This game is dead anyway. May this >$100m catastrophe serve as warning for future developers, WAR is a textbook example about how to NOT manage a MMO at whatever stage.

    rushed release, horrible balance, even more horrible balance team, riddled with bugs, god damn awful engine, total lack of future vision, halfbaked core mechanics.

    Its surprising it has managed to live this longthanks to the crowds of warhammer fantasy supporters out there, their loyalty doesnt deserve a sub-sub-sub-par product like WAR…

    • August 10, 2010 3:00 pm

      To be fair, I’m not a warhammer fantasy supporter. Before playing this game, I never really knew anything about it. I play the game because there are enjoyable things about it, moreso than other games on the market currently. A lot of people feel the same way. As for the rest of your response, it really comes off as someone who played at launch and not any time recently. Sorry.

  11. Belanil permalink
    August 10, 2010 4:50 pm

    At x-mass I’ll ask Santa to make so, that they finally give us concrete dates/answers/bug fixes.

  12. Krugge permalink
    August 11, 2010 8:32 am

    When this ‘topic’ comes up we know that the people generally can be placed in one of two categories. One being a person generally concerned with the way the game unfolded and had a bad enough experience to quit after a period of time. Then there is the other more prominent type that, if they even played a trial or promotional account would be surprising, in that they just relish in taking the time to draw attention to them by hashing over what other generated and add their two cents worth of uneducated thoughts.
    That aside the one section of this topic that I haven’t really seen much firm discussion on is whether or not Warhammer Online made money/broke even or lost money at launch. I find that no one ever gets to this part as the subject discussion breaks off and degenerates as the ‘Trolls’ start using ‘Capslocks’ to further their attention generating machinery. I would never expect EA to release any firm numbers on any product right after launch as it is a publicly traded company and reports on its revenues on an annual basis. That said I do believe that EA did make money in 2008 despite the economic crash that year, though the money generated I think was more from there Sports division. Now yes 100 million dollars for development should be considered small change but I would find it hard to think that most of that wasn’t recovered to a break even point on the initial sales. The set amount of accounts made in the first week were reported at 500,000
    (ref: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Warhammer-Online-Sales-Have-Overcome-Expectations-94348.shtml)
    What people gravitated to afterwards that allowed them the ammunition to declare a failure is many fold, missing content and bugs were there sure and had detrimental effects. Also the fact that it was right here that the “WoW’ tourism phrase was also coined, a fact that cannot be over looked in that Warhammer just isn’t a game style that some like. You know the type though, they find they don’t like said something so just have to slam the door on the way out to announce to all that they have left the building. As a money investment opportunity MMO’s I can’t imagine are seen as direct fast payout. Of course I think the sales side pitch to the board at EA on Warhammer was most likely self-inflated. Anyways, MMO’s I think are more seen as a money generator in the monthly fee’s or cash stores that can be relied upon to net a certain level of cash over a specific time frame. That equates to stability in cash flow and can affect your report earnings to your board. I could keep going on this subject but as this is not my Blog and the reads probably have stopped reading I will end it off by typing that Warhammer Online isn’t the lose that many feel it was or is, it just wasn’t the game for them. I enjoy playing the game and acknowledge that there is a lot of room for improvement but really that is just a part of life isn’t it. Sorry for the lost post.

    • sulwen permalink
      August 11, 2010 9:20 am

      Don’t be sorry. One thing: I genuinely think that our host will be happy for people writing here as it make s up for higher google rank ;) Second is the fact that it is interesting, simply because many people actually forget that those games as much as they are hobby for them are actually job and money making instruments for some other people.

      Coming back to the core of your post that’s exactly where my mention of understaffed team came from. They do want changes and see them as a good thing, but lets be honest in many development environments those decisions are not really made by developers or even their heads. They are being made by management, and those people need really hard proofs of the product to be worthwhile tu put their time and money in it. The fact that this game is up and running is a sort of encouragement in itself. If it was a total flop nobody from the investor’s circle would be interested in keeping it alive.

    • August 11, 2010 1:39 pm

      What’s a Google rank? lol. I honestly don’t know that I’ve ever bothered to look.

      I don’t mind discussion comments at all, as long as they’re on-topic and respectful it’s all good. :p

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