Blaaagher Invasion 2 – The Transcript
For those of you WAR fans that stepped away from the Internet for a week or so and didn’t hear about it, a handful of us bloggers were invited out to BioWare-Mythic again last week.
The good news is, this time around there wasn’t a huge billing fiasco…so we’ve got that going for us.
Apparently the bad news is that we, and by we I mean some of us bloggers, told people about it. ~gasp~
This, of course, led to flaming forum posts and even a piece on the subject over at Massively…which still has me confused. But moving on…
While Werit, Bootae, Erdknuffel, Karic, Mykiel (Part 1 / Part 2), and Ekalime have posted some information as well as their thoughts on the day, I wanted to get people as true a look at the conversation we had at one point in the day as possible via a transcript.
Please keep in mind, as with all my transcripts, I do the best I can to give you an accurate look at what happened. However as with any speech-to-text conversion, what I put in print lacks tone & visual cues as well as the feel of a live conversation between a group of people who sometimes like to talk all at the same time…
Ima let you finish reading the transcript, but first I just wanna say… This picture cracks me up. I still don’t understand why Steven has his head on my shoulder…I think I need an adult…
Anyway, it almost didn’t happen at all. We were literally on our way out the door to head to the airport and were running behind but just decided to try to grab anyone who was in the room at the time and pile them into a big picture. For the record, three of the people in the picture are us bloggers and Mykiel is the fourth holding the camera. Everyone else works for BioWare-Mythic but in no way does this represent the entire team/studio. What it does represent is a mix of Warhammer Online Producers, Artists, Designers, Developers, Community Team, Story-Line and Sound (and QA!). I’m told there’s no Engineers in the picture because they
keep them chained in the basement are in a different area of the building.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch…
Blaaagher Invasion Part 2 – The Transcript
(Preface: The Devs we were with did a very good job of taking notes during this discussion, even though, at times, it was a bit off-track. And away we go…)
Steven: K, you’re burning daylight. Let’s go.
James Casey: So the idea behind this first meeting, is you’re all here…you all blog about (WAR) …so we all wanted you to come in…wanted you to find out what’s going on with (WAR). I didn’t make you guys a presentation. I didn’t go all out on it because, honestly, the idea wasn’t to come here and sell you. The idea was to have you just come in, talk to you a bit about what we’re doing and get some feedback from you guys. Kinda make it more of a discussion. The same idea that we try to do somewhat on the forums but try to make it more open. You guys are pretty vocal and a good part of the community so we wanted you guys to be part of that.
GG: Why you lookin’ at me?
Sean: He did say vocal…
GG: You say vocal and Steven’s like.. ~turns head slowly and stares~
JC: Well, some people just put random photos up for no reason.. ~turns head slowly and stares at Mykiel~
JC: So did you guys get to talk last night about… I know one of the things you were planning to talk about was what you felt about the last six months of (WAR). Did you guys talk about that much at all?
~Chorus of No’s~
(Ed. Note: We all got in the night before and had dinner with a couple of BioWare-Mythic people before calling it an early night and getting rested for the next day…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
Steven: We talked about SWG at one point…Gaar and I…
Nate: I’m shocked and amazed…
Mykiel: I spent a good amount of time making fun of Steven…
Nate: I’m shocked and amazed…
JC: Well…we could spend all day doing that but…so let’s start with that. Over the last six months, we’ve made a number of changes leading out of 1.4.0 essentially which was the first paid content essentially. I’d like to know from you guys what you think the best thing and worst thing over the last six months was (in your opinion).
Mykiel: Best thing: Changing the Renown Rank on gear in the lower levels and extending the Renown Rank so you could go double your Rank. Seriously, that was always a big issue with me when I’d work on an alt. I’d hit RR22 and I’m Rank 22 and than I’d hit 23 and then ~ding~ RR23 and I’m hosed (and have to grind out another Rank before getting more RR). So yeah, that right there plus the gear in the lower sets while at the same time not modifying the Scenario weapons made the lower Tiers a lot more fun.
JC: What about the worst?
Mykiel: Worst: Renown ticks galore for everything.
JC: You just felt it was too much free candy?
Mykiel: Yeah, it’s too much free candy.
JC: Any particular spot?
Mykiel: Any of the Tiers. Like, if you’re gonna do the lower Tiers for a Live Event, I leveled two toons through Tier 3 taking the time to level them up and get as much Renown as possible and I only had two Scenario pops, one on each toon, during that entire time. Plenty of people, but it’s a side effect of the Renown that you have massive amounts of people that literally just hang out in the warcamps in lower levels to just get as much Renown as possible. It’s free candy.
JC: OK..Ekalime…Best and Worst.
EK: I think I’m going to have to agree with Mykiel: doubling the Renown Rank cap in lower levels. That really helped a lot of players and it really helped narrow down (the RR gap) in Tier 4. However, for the Worst, I’m going to have to say fighting in Tier 4 for a third year. It’s really gotten dry. I mean, I love Dragonwake, but…
EK: I do Scenarios mostly because ORvR is just the same thing I’ve been doing already for three years.
JC: Sure. So you’re looking for something different to do essentially?
EK: Looking for new places to fight.
GG: Mine’s different. So, for me, my focus is different. I like the fact that we finally got a new Live Event. To me, that was the best thing (in the last six months). It wasn’t the greatest Live Event in the world…
GG: But at least it was a new Live Event and it was the first one we’d had since 2009.
JC: Anything we did to other ones were just revamps or little things.
GG: Yeah. It was like “OK, we’re going to change one Task.” There were no new rewards, no new titles, no new nothing for all the people that have played since Launch…we didn’t have anything to do. And that’s kind of the worst thing too…for all the people that have played since Launch…there’s nothing to do. I’ve done all the PvE in the game…a Live Event, to me, creates some more PvE-type stuff I can do sometimes, depending on what the Event has…so those are always nice, but we didn’t have that and there’s nowhere new to fight…I’m fighting in the same Scenarios since the game launched…
JC: Yeah…OK. What about…as far as the new Live Event…the concept of focusing more of the gameplay around a familiar, but new, concept like the College of Corruption. Good or bad?
GG: I like that there’s a new place to fight. If you have a Live Event that takes you somewhere new, then that’s good. Like with The Wild Hunt, you added a new Dungeon. With Sigmartide, you have the College of Corruption that you get to fight in.
JC: So it doesn’t bother you that the College existed before, but…
GG: It existed just to walk through or, in the old version of the City Siege, for Destruction to fight in.
JC: Yeah, I just wanted to make sure because there are a lot of nay-sayers…
GG: Well, yeah, but their argument is you’re recycling content, but it wasn’t content. It was a picture. It was a place you could walk through and look at, or that Destruction could fight in, but Order never fought in. So, to me, I don’t have a problem with that. As long as it’s done in a way that is different than it was before…
JC: And as long as someone remembers to make the initials a little better…
JC: And Werit: Best and Worst.
Werit: I’d say the Best is the added progression. A lot of people may have had issues with how much or whatever, but it’s always nice to have somewhere ahead of you to go. I enjoyed that even though I just got into the 80s kind of recently. But I’m a slow player when it comes to that.
Mykiel: ~old man voice~ “It took me four years…”
Werit: And the Worst I would say is the ORvR changes. It’s just too much. It’s the same thing in every zone and there’s really no reason to defend. So…I haven’t had in good Open RvR in a while cuz either there’s no defense or there’s no help when I’m trying to defend. So it’s kind of like “Well, I may as well just do Scenarios.” Cuz I know I’ll get a fight there.
JC: OK. Let’s see…before we get into some of the other stuff we wanted to talk about…
Steven: (@Gaar) Did you say something negative?
GG: The 80s called, they want their collar back. (He was wearing a shirt with a collar and he had it popped.)
GG: (@Steven) What were you saying?
Nate: See, I gave him flack for only having one…
(At this point, it broke down into about four different conversations at the same time about things completely non-WAR related including DAoC, Game of Thrones, babies with wings and Steven’s repetitive clothing choices. And you thought keeping a warband focused was hard…like herding cats people…)
Mykiel: I was watching Gmae of Thrones and immediately thought back to the beginning of WAR where people were making Alliances to hold zones and Keeps and all of a sudden people would backstab their own side. All the petty little stuff and people fighting over control. I do miss that.
EK: Can I add something?
EK: I think the biggest thing that upsets me is how easy it is to get the RvR Gear. Because, when I leveled, getting Annihilator was damn hard. Now, all the RvR Gear is thrown out for free. People don’t have to work for anything. And that same mentality transfers over to Open RvR. There’s no need for Realm unity. People aren’t trying to take Keeps together to gear up their guilds…there’s no more Fortresses…there’s no need for unity. The City can be done by unorganized rabble. A Rank 30 will win Warpforged and a Rank 100 will win Warpforged…
GG: Yeah…I think my Rank 40/RR20-ish Rune Priest did the City once and got a Doomflayer piece and I was like “?!?!?! I’m nowhere near that and probably never will be!!!!” To me, that was more of an issue with even allowing people of that Renown Rank in.
JC: Sure. Before we get into specifics of things for short and long-term of what we have on the plate, let’s do one more quick question. If there was one thing that you want us to focus on over the next six months to a year, what would it be? It doesn’t necessarily have to be the worst thing on your list or whatever, just one thing.
Werit: I’d say Open RvR for me. Just needs to be more compelling…more reason to go in the lakes…more actual fighting instead of people taking zones and just getting the loser reward.
Sean: As a counter to that, what, in your mind, would make Open RvR more compelling?
Werit: I’ve always been a fan of having Guild things to hold like we used to. If you could have some sense of ownership over something, you’d fight for it..to defend it…things like that. Now, everything is so temporary. It’s “Rent-a-Keep” and no matter what, it’s gone really soon cuz it has to be to get to the City. You have to lose it
And just more reasons to be in small groups. You need big fights sometimes, but you also need small warfare other times.
GG: Content. Stuff to do to change up the pace. Like..the Weekend Warfronts, to me, it seemed like the idea was to kind of change where everyone was fighting a couple days a week, but we’ve been in all of them. New people, I’m sure, it’s cool cuz they get to do something they’ve never seen before. But, I need something more than that. I have to have something to do…to keep my interest, I have to be doing something other than just fighting, fighting, fighting all the time and I don’t have any PvE content left…I need some kind of episodic content that I can go and say “Oh, I get to do this this week” and my break is to be able to go and bash heads.
EK: This may go against Gaarawarr’s PvE, but for me, no one really does PvE anymore. Personally, I think a lot of the PvE content is some of the most amazingly designed locations in the game. And I really love the PvE locations. They’re really places you want to defend. If you look at the Battlefield Objectives in the game, they’re a pile of rocks…a tiny building…they don’t seem significant. For me, I would really like to see the RvR lake, particularly in Tier 4 because I can see the necessity of Tiers 1-3 needing PvE so people still have the option to level through those Tiers, but in Tier 4 where I really don’t see anyone doing those PvE encounters, Public Quests and whatnot, I’d really like to see some of those locations incorporated into the RvR lake. I really think that they would make RvR really different.
JC: But do you want to open them up as part of the existing RvR and spread out the population or were you thinking more of like alternative ways to do the campaign? So like, instead of this Tier being open it’s this area…or something like that.
EK: It really depends on how the Tier 4 system…if it’s maintained in its current state…which I’m not a big fan of…cuz I know the original design for it was…it was more for busting up the zerg and I don’t think it did that. I think the zerg gets funneled into a Keep and we all look at a door, which isn’t terribly thrilling, and sometimes a little Squig Herder pokes his head over the wall and I can shoot at him, but overall the Keep siege, everyone’s funneled into one area. Sometimes groups split out and go defend Battlefield Objectives, but that’s not really the focus. For me, if you re-included the Battlefield Objectives into some mechanic for locking the zone, so you don’t forget about them once you take the Keep you need to hold them still…it doesn’t have to be for a timer cuz the timer was a little bit draining on the community…but if you did have to hold them then you could get rid of the Battlefield Objectives in the existing RvR lake and expand them to different locations. Like I said, there’s a lot of interesting locations that would offer pretty unique opportunities.
Rowland: So like transplanting some of those? Literally moving assets?
EK: Yeah, for example, Chaos Wastes. You have Chokethorn Bramble, it’s designed around the vines. You could relocate that location into the RvR lake and have the same scenery but it’s a lot more chaotic and would provide a different opportunity for people to fight in. I’m just tired of…the RvR lakes are all very funneled. You look at Caledor, there’s no strategy. You can’t branch off to the side and try to surround someone, you go from the west to the east, straight down. Maybe you can go to the Keep and take the flag to the warcamp, but in the end it’s still a funnel.
Mykiel: Basion Stair, Lost Vale, Mt. Gunbad, Blood/Bile, Sigmar Crypts…take all of that and intertwine it with the campaign and make it RvR-based to where it’s either a bit Scenario or a point to fight over. So instead of it being an Objective flag you have to capture, people have to go in and fight over it and it’s open only for a period of time. Not that it’s unlocked, but that it’s open…Destruction won it..it will unlock in 45 minutes. The fight inside might last 30 minutes. But you’d have Bastion Stair for Empire/Chaos, Mt. Gunbad for Dwarf/Greenskin, Lost Vale for High Elf/Dark Elf. Along those lines. You take the PvE areas and give them some kind of flavor to where people are fighting in them because those areas are really cool and there’d be a lot of great fights. Like in Hunter’s Vale, the first time I saw that I thought “This would be a cool place to fight”. So you do that and you take the PvE Gear that drops there and you award that for the rewards that people fight for. A lot of people want to get that gear but they complain about it because you have to PvE to get it. This way you are fighting other players in specific parts for your gear. So like the first wing of Lost Vale could be attached to Caledor, the second wing to Dragonwake, etc. But you’re fighting other players and instead of getting the RvR gear, you’re getting the gear from the actual Dungeon. Now, with a couple dungeons you’d have to change up the armor, but you’d be allowing people access to that gear (via RvR) and it would expand the campaign instead of being just mindless zerg-on-zerg.
JC: Alright, so…1.4.4 and 1.4.5 and beyond. Bunch of stuff to go over. We’ll get part of it done now and we’ll probably have to come back to the rest later.
For 1.4.4, we’re looking at probably an August time-frame. We’re keeping with a two month schedule roughly. We’ll do all the normal stuff we’ve been doing like getting bug fixes in and we’ll do another Scenario switch-up with a Dev Discussion, etc. One of the things that I’d like to do, but it’s very…potentially…risky is opening up Scenarios for the 6v6 ones cuz I know people loved the Gates of Ekrund 6v6 but I think it’s a combination of potentially bad things as well because it has the potential then to dominate the pops and also be a domination thing based on pick-up groups too. One of the things that I would potentially like to do, if we do one of those, is actually make the pop-times on 12v12, the amount you need to get into them, a little lower so they’ll pop more often and then make the minimum before a 6v6 pops slightly higher so that there’s a little more overlap so you don’t always get 6v6 if you “Join All” all the time.
Werit: Yeah, I definitely like it if there’s variety. But if it’s 6v6 all week, I just won’t queue anymore. If there’s variety, then it’s fine.
Steven: We’re also toying around with the idea that people have suggested, creating a 6v6 that doesn’t have the rewards that the other ones do. So if people want to go do 6v6, you can go do it, but you’re not going to get your Scenario Weapon Tokens…you’re not going to get the added bonus…if you want to do 6v6 and test your mettle that way, you can but you’re not going to get the rewards like you do in the others.
Werit: It would be interesting.
GG: Well, yeah, cuz whenever you get the Eternal Citadel for a weekend, it’s just a Token-Farm. You go and hop in that one cuz it’s over in a few minutes.
Steven: Yeah, it’s like a 3 minute battle which is the reason it was suggested. Don’t put rewards there and see if people will still do it.
GG: Yeah, cuz that’s why everybody queues for it. Nobody cares if they win or lose, just gimme my tokens every 3 minutes.
Steven: That idea has been tossed around different places. What do you guys think of that?
GG: I don’t think people will like it.
~lots of agreement~
GG: It’s that whole same thing with the dueling issue. We always said if you put in the /duel command and you let people fight but you don’t give them Renown, XP, or any loot drops from it….how many people are going to go out there and do what they said they were doing. “I’m just testing my skill.” How many people are going to be there? A hell of a lot less and it would be the same thing with the 6v6 Scenarios. They want to say “Oh, I just want to go in with my group and see how good we are” but if you didn’t have the rewards they’d say “This is stupid.”
Mykiel: Which was proven by the decline of dueling after you all changed the drop rates on Tokens so they were harder to get when you were solo.
~lots of agreement~
GG: Yeah, I mean, I think that should be the place where if you want to go 6v6 you’re gonna get a fun fight cuz it’s smaller and it’s more balanced. I think pick-up groups work better in 6v6 as opposed to where people say pre-mades dominate. I think you can go in there with a pick-up group and you can end up without a healer and still do ok.
JC: We don’t have the technology at the moment, but what about the idea that 6v6 would become just pick-up groups? (no pre-mades allowed to queue)
GG: I would love it.
Mykiel: No, because it alienates people.
JC: Oh, it does, I agree.
Mykiel: The big part with that is…I still stick by: If you want a healer in your group, queue with one.
JC: What about the opposite? Pre-made only.
Mykiel: No at the same time. Because then people will not queue. And if you made it pick-up group only I guarantee you within a week someone will have an addon that links up QueueQueuer so that you queue solo together and get in as a group anyway. I guarantee people will do it because they were doing it in WoW for the longest time.
GG: I still think 6v6 gives you a better ability to fight against…
Mykiel: It has nothing to do with 6v6, it’s the Scenario. A pre-made running Eternal Citadel…
GG: It’s not…it has to do with the number of people. When you run 6v6 the amount of total damage that can be focused on any given person is less than in a 12v12 Scenario. You get split up, you’re on your own, you don’t have enough healers, etc…
Mykiel: Facing a pre-made in the Eternal Citadel or Reikland Factory compared to Gates of Ekrund…
GG: Lowering the numbers makes it more forgiving…
Mykiel: Gates of Ekrund was pick-up group friendly against a pre-made because of how the Scenario was made.
GG: I’m not saying design can’t help, I’m just saying it’s a lot more forgiving to have smaller numbers fighting smaller numbers than it is to have larger numbers fighting larger numbers because if only half of your group is there because of the way you respawned and that entire 12-man team comes rolling in…you’re toast and there’s nothing you can do. But if it’s a 6-man team running against 3, you’ve got a lot better odds of surviving that damage.
Steven: Now, is it pick-up group friendly just because it’s point-capture and avoiding the fight gets you points?
Mykiel: No, it’s the actual design. It’s both side start on either side and you have ranged that can sit up and fight here and jump down and move around…
Steven: So it’s a terrain thing where you have different options…
Mykiel: You have lots of options compared to other Scenarios like, say, Maw of Madness where there wasn’t a lot of areas for you to run. Yeah, you could run around this pole…but in the end one side is getting pushed. With Gates of Ekrund, you can run around the side and up and then come in from the opposite Realm’s entrance if you want to. Each side has areas near their spawn where they’re safe but they can fire on the enemy in case the enemy is spawn-camping them. You have multiple different ways that can help out in the Scenario that does make it pick-up group friendly vs. pre-made friendly but at the same time it works really well as 6v6. I was surprised by that, I figured it wouldn’t.
JC: To that end, what about…because design would be in consideration…what about a weekend where instead of a Warfront we make all the Scenarios 6v6 or 12v12 or 18v18?
Mykiel: That’s exactly what I asked on the forums…is there anyway to make a Scenario where it’s regular during the week but changes to something else during the weekend? So during the week it’s 12v12 to handle Werit’s queue issues but on the weekend it’s 6v6.
JC: Sure, but my question is more towards, would you rather see Gates of Ekrund go 6v6 for the weekend and then back during the week or would you rather see all of them go to a particular size at the same time so they don’t have any…
Steven: So you still have variety…you can queue up and still get into them.
Mykiel: It comes down to design.
Steven: Nordenwatch 6v6 might not be good.
GG: In some cases, it might be better.
Mykiel: Yeah, switching Gates of Ekrund to 6v6 on the weekend might be great, but realistically, there’s only so many Scenarios you can do that with.
GG: I don’t know. I’m still of the mind that if you turned them all 6v6, they all become more viable because they become more friendly to not needing pre-mades. You can run into more situations where you don’t have a healer and you can be ok. (Ed. Note: I keep bringing up the healer issue because I got stuck in multiple City-Sieges where out of 24 people, we didn’t have a single frackin’ healer…anyway…)
Mykiel: A lot of the Scenarios you’d have to change the ruleset for though, like Phoenix Gate. You’d have to change the ruleset there. You’d have to change Serpent’s Passage around.
GG: What do you have to change in Serpent’s Passage? Everybody just camps the spawn anyway while one guy runs the part. How is that gonna be any different?
Steven: Well, that one person is more important in a 6v6 than in a 12v12.
GG: Yeah, but nobody cares if you run the part. You can just sit there and camp it regardless.
JC: You do have a better chance of potentially breaking a spawn camp with less people in the Scenario.
Steven: Yeah…let me have my 12v12 camp…
Mykiel: If you made Howling Gorge a 6v6, that’s a big Scenario…Serpent’s Passage is a big Scenario.
JC: Yeah, some of them are too big.
GG: I don’t know that it’s too big. I think it creates the situations that some people want which is a 1v1 or a 2v2 where no one’s going to be able to show up and help. Like your zerg isn’t going to come out of nowhere and save you.
Mykiel: Hey, if you wanna duel, go play WoW…
GG: I’m not talking about dueling, I’m talking about for three days giving people a chance to do something they don’t get to do the rest of the week.
JC: So there’s some division on this…
Steven: Werit’s got a good idea…
JC: Go ahead.
Werit: Let’s try it? Can’t we just try it for one weekend?
Steven: There…stop arguing…stop the fighting…I hate when Mom and Dad fight…
JC: Yeah, we can definitely do that on a weekend.
GG: I’m still waiting for my all-chicken Scenarios.
JC: Oh, I know.
GG: I need my chicken Tome unlocks!
JC: We’re still trying to work that out…we had some other good ones like the chicken-with-your-head-cut-off one where you’d just run really fast and then you’d die. So…let’s see…1.4.4 we’re going to finish up some of that. We actually want to finish up the Grovod Caverns art and I can actually show you some of that today, we’ll do that a little later cuz we’re running out of time.
Mykiel: Did you say Grovod Caverns or Grovod Canyons?
Steven and JC: Caverns.
Mykiel: Oh, ok, I thought he said Canyons.
Steven: He mispronounces things. We don’t know if it’s on purpose or if it’s just…
GG: “Grover Canyons” it’s the new Muppet porno.
Steven: It’s the new 6v6. It’s the size of an RvR lake…
JC: I’m just gonna go through the rest of the stuff for 1.4.4 real quick. We’re examining some new Scenarios based on old areas ala College of Corruption. We’re basically seeing what we could potentially work in based on…I don’t know that we’ll have one to work in for 1.4.4 but we’re trying to get a bunch of different places for it. There are a lot of places if you look in our game, and I think we’ve noted on this, they would not only work good as Battlefield Objectives or whatever, but they’d work good as just places to fight that would be somewhere new which College of Corruption was a good example of. For example, the Library in the Land of the Dead.
GG: Or just the antechamber in the Tomb of the Vulture Lord.
JC: Exactly. There’s lots of little places like that that would work well in a concentrated fight versus just saying “let’s just take it all and make it a fight”. It’s still about a “get people together” thing where we want to focus the fight. And there’s a lot of other zones where we have thrown out the ideas of having one of their Dungeons being used, whether it’s tied to the campaign or a Battlefield Objective or a Scenario or just some kind of Event, the idea is that we can re-use some of these wonderful areas in a way that makes it fresh.
We’re doing some little things, we have some additional helpers doing some little things like…we started working on the warcamps, and Scenarios to some degree, to make sure all the guards are consistent because we still get that occasional thing that will pop up where someone says “Yeah, I can get into your spawn and camp you”. We took care of some of that with the “area kill” thing now but there’s still some random guards that are just inconsistent and wander too far and we’re trying to clean that up.
One of the things we want to do for the Open RvR campaign in 1.4.4 isn’t a huge thing but we’re working on a way to re-introduce a defensive-win so that there’s a way to encourage defense. Keaven’s not here this week, he’s off at the beach doing…
Steven: Probably hating life. He’s not a beach person.
JC: He’s not a beach person and they don’t have Internet or TV.
Sean: And they spell things wrong there.
JC: They don’t have anything apparently. But anyways…he’s gonna be working on that and one of his key points right now is having it evolve around the ram. I know there was some talk and discussion, we did the feedback discussion on the forums before about tieing that into the Battlefield Objectives as well in some fashion and where you are in the Keep campaign will affect how easy it is to attack and defend. You’ll have some reason to defend and get a benefit out of it other than the “oh well, it’s too late now, just run”.
One of the things we never did go back and finish PvE-wise was there’s a lot of quests revolving around Scenarios that became obsolete or semi-obsolete and we’re doing the rotating playlists to keep it fresh. So we’re going to try to revise some of those and make them better so they’ll work and you’ll always have some kind of additional quest out there you can do regardless what’s going on Scenario-wise.
Combat and Careers focus…Steven is…you can talk about that a little bit. He’s working on ranged classes at the moment.
Steven: Well, it’s very concentrated on the Shadow Warrior right now. It is trying to remove the reliance on Vengeance of Nagaryth and some of the conditionals on the abilites that have “If you are affected by”…I’m trying to roll some of those into the abilites, change around everything, make Vengeance something that you can actively press. It’s not a 2-minute cooldown. You can time it better. Not all of your abilities rely on it.
A couple things I’m doing for Magus and Engineer is removing the cast time on the Land Mine because I believe that’s causing most of your issues with the “Invalid Target”. So by removing that, I should be able to eliminate some of the issues you’re seeing with having an invalid target when trying to place it. Also looking at doing something with Flak Jacket, trying to figure out how to do it to allow it to stack with other buffs, at what point can we do that? Can we do it something that makes it permanent until you do instead of the 20 hits, which means other things that are involved like the armor that makes it 10 more, it means looking at that as well. Going down the rabbit hole, seeing how deep it is to fix that, that’s another thing. But right now, it’s mostly on Shadow Warrior that I have things for.
Mykiel: Can you be more specific on the Shadow Warrior? Are you giving me “Everything has 100% Armor Penetration”?
Steven: No, I’m not…I’ve actually…that’s one of the biggest points of contention on the forums right? I don’t think that’s something that’s manageable for the future…to just keep adding Armor Penetration because eventually just…what’s the point of armor if we keep adding different ways to penetrate, different ways to ignore…that’s just basically ignoring the problem in general. I don’t think that’s something that’s manageable for the future of the game.
Mykiel: Are you looking at stances?
Steven: I’m looking at them…some not…I believe, and Nate can correct me, a lot of that is (linked to) animation too. (Ed. Note: Which means it’s not a simple tweak, it’s major coding effort.) So some of which just cannot be helped at this time.
Mykiel: I don’t mind if my guy is just standing there like this… ~strikes a pose~
Steven: So not so much with the stances…trying to make Scout a little more attractive which means looking at the takedown/knockdown, moving that and keeping it in the Skirmish line but then making Scout more the ranged anti-healer and having the double-debuff in Scout so you can debuff both incoming and outgoing healing in the Scout path…that kind of stuff. Just rearranging things to make Scout a little more attractive and have a little more focus.
EK: Would you consider dropping some of the stance-restriction on some of the abilities?
Steven: That, again, depends on the animations with the cast time…it just depends on the what kind of cast time and animation it’s using. It’s on a point-by-point basis on whether or not we can change it.
JC: One last thing that we’re going to be focusing on in 1.4.4, most of this will be design at this point but it should be an interesting topic and there will be a Dev Discussion and I’m sure you guys will want to weigh in on it…we’re actually going back to what we can do in the Fortresses which is actually a combination of things. It’s not that we want to tie them into the campaign like they were before, we want to make them work a little differently to where they’re actually an alternate way to fight very similar to, if you want to think about it as the relic raids in Camelot, they weren’t necessarily tied to the…I mean there was a campaign element to it but it wasn’t tied just to that. We’re looking at if there’s a way we can tie back in possession of those to guilds as well.
Werit: That sounds pretty cool.
JC: We’ve made a lot of improvements with the lag and technology we’ve had over the years in the way of bigger battles and the general Open RvR work we’ve done. We’ve kind of pushed people around…and another thing is there isn’t as much population unfortunately at some times…and we’re not going to make the mistake we made before and we’re not going to make it a focal point, at any given time, where everybody has to go there which was the problem before. That problem had us trying to solve it in weird ways and eventually we just took it out of the campaign. The idea is that it will be something that either happens at the same time (as the campaign) or at certain times but will not force people to go there for their campaign push.
Steven: And ultimately the goal is not to have something that is completely on rails, like you have the issue right now with the Cities where you get tired of it because it’s always happening. If the Fortresses are always happening…
JC: We’re gonna wrap up for the moment but we’ll return and get you other cool stuff on WAR.
For the record, we did return to this conversation a while later and spent a good majority of it talking about Fortresses and how they might get re-introduced to WAR. Unfortunately, this conversation wasn’t in the audio file I have. :( I’m not sure if it got recorded or not, to be honest. However, if you can imagine a discussion about Fortresses, Camelot’s Relic Raids, Realm buffs, item transport across three zones, etc…then you know what we talked about. They made it very clear that there would be a Dev Discussion on this topic on the forums in the future, so get your ideas ready in the meantime so you can join the discussion when it happens.
I’ll leave it at this for now. If I can get hold of the rest of the audio, I’ll do another transcription but I’m not sure there is any more. We’ll see.
Make sure to check out the other bloggers posts for their views on the day. I may even post my own personal views on the day as well…dunno. Not my usual MO, so we’ll have to see. ;)