Skip to content

Blaaagher Invasion – The Rest of the Story

April 14, 2010

So…yeah…the other bloggers made me look bad today by getting their posts up so quickly.

Not that it’s that hard to make me look bad.  😉

Anyway, I finally finished transcribing my questions and answers, as well as some other pertinent ones, from the 4+ hours of audio we captured while at the Mythic HQ.

Each of us (Werit, ShadowWAR, and Mykiel) will be posting the questions we asked and their answers.  Some of us had more questions at times than others, so make sure to hit up all their blogs to get the most complete look at what we found out.  Keep in mind, there was a lot that was discussed that we’re still not able to share.  However, full 1.3.5 patch notes should hit the Herald Soon (TM).  So keep your eyes open as it’s bigger than even I expected…

(Obligatory – That’s what she said.)

Enjoy!

~Gaar

As mentioned in my last post about the trip, we talked to a lot of different people.  Here’s a quick recap:

Round 1 – RvR and Content Team

Corrie “The Silent One” Treadway
Keaven “Like Heaven but with a K” Freeman
Amber “The Title Maven” Turner
Mike “Answer Man” Wyatt

Round 2 – Combat & Careers and Itemization

Nate “OK” Levy
Steven “Bright Light!” Engle
Sean “Items Guy” Bosshardt

In both Rounds, James “Hello I’m Carrie Gouskos” Casey and Andy “Rhythm of the Night” Belford were there as well.  Paul “This is the Moment” Barnett joined us for a moment as well.

And away we go…

~We didn’t have the audio recording right away, so we missed the introductions. /sadpanda  It started once we got into questions though.  I let the other bloggers start off and joined in later with…~

GG – In each City (during the new Sieges) there’s this funny little off-spot, like in Altdorf it’s on the South Docks.  You don’t need it, so what’s it there for?

James – So that one’s kind of an interesting thing.  Let’s say you took the top two, but you’re getting close on time…  The third one is additional time, and a respawn point, and it also represents additional bonuses in Stage 3.

GG – So it adds a little strategery…

James – Yeah, you can ignore it, but…

Mike – You get extra rewards during Stage 1 and 2 as well if you control it.  So in this new City, Invaders could control all six points and still lose, just because the defenders held out time-wise…

GG – …or they’re horrible…

Mike – Yeah, or they’re horrible.  So the winners get the PQ Bag Drop and the losers get X amount of reward depending on how many points they controlled.  It’s kind of like how we did with the scenarios where we’re rewarding people for their effort.  So, if you want extra payout, then you want to cap that point.

James – And then in Stage 2, the amount that you own is probably also going to affect how fast the Warlords get to certain locations too.  Because if they have to actually stop and capture it, that’s going to slow down the Warlords at that point.  So it’s a strategy element at that point:  “How many do I take in this Stage knowing it will help now and later?”

GG – Right, so obviously you’re removing a lot of the different (PvE) instances (in the City), so the means by which everyone was getting loot before is now gone.  People liked a lot of those things, like the Warlord weapons and the sub-boss drops in the King instance and the mythical “King Weapons” that were rumored to be in the game…if all that is going away, are those items still going to be obtainable in the new City?

Mike – Well, you definitely want to talk to the next group about that as they handle all the itemization and rewards and everything.  However, last I remember talking to them, they said “Yes, they’re all in.  They’re in the PQ Bags if you don’t win the Gold Bag.  They’re in the others.”  So, all the equipment should be there, it just drops in the PQ Bags now.  I don’t know about the mythical King weapon thing…

Andy – The King weapons are not, and have never been, in-game.

~the other bloggers got some questions in here~

Werit – Is every instance guaranteed to get to Stage 3 or can it end earlier?

Mike – They’re all guaranteed to get TO Stage 3 but…Stage 1 will have a definite “winner” every time just because the timer is a condition.  Stage 2 can end on a “draw” where no one really wins.  There’s no PQ Bag, there’s no Warlord loot.  It’s everyone kind of gets the…

GG – …finger…

Mike – …they get the “I lost” prize which is how many points you control and the same with Stage 3.  If the timer runs out on Stage 3, the invading force’s King calls for a retreat and no PQ Bags drop in that instance.

Werit – Nobody gets the Sovereign-type stuff then?

Mike – Correct.

James – You’ll still get Crests as kind of the “loser” prize, but yeah, you won’t get the “oh somebody got an item”…

GG – What kind of Crests are we talking about?  Just because it’s Stage 3 are people going to be getting Royal Crests or is it…

James – Yeah, they get Royal.  Sean (Bosshardt) will be the guy to talk to in the next meeting to get a little more of what we’ve set up reward-wise there.

Mike – It should be Royal Crests on Stage 3 (Stage 1 – Invader, Stage 2 – Warlord).  Oh yeah, it is.  I hooked that up even…

GG – Don’t you look bad?  hehe

Mike – …yeah…

~everyone laughs~

Mike – It’s based upon the number of Champions you’ve defeated.  So if you kill all four Champions, you get two or three, somewhere along those lines.

Werit – So if you decide to stick with the instance and play through the whole thing, you’re guaranteeing yourself at least one Royal Crest?

Mike – Yeah.  The absolute minimum you can get is one Crest per Stage.  We have the Reward Lockouts, because we don’t want to lock people out from participating in the City, so instead what we do is we have a force-opt-out of the PQ Bag drop and you get Crests instead.

~I let the other bloggers get some questions in again.  Aren’t I nice?~

GG – Ok, so while we’re talking about warbands…can you queue in groups?  Can you enter as a warband?

Mike – It behaves exactly as it does now.

GG – So it just kind of opens up spots and people fill them as they enter?

Mike – Yeah, there’s gonna be the problem where warbands are going to get split, unfortunately, and they’ll have to try to juggle around and get people in the same one.  There’s going to be that problem.

GG – Well, that brings the question of…well, it’s a cascade of questions…one of you go, I’ll ask later cuz they’ll hate me afterwards.

Mike – We hate you now.  😉

GG – I didn’t ask, did I?  😦

~Werit asked one of my cascading questions in the interim.  I’d like to thank him for taking some of the heat off me…~

GG – So one of our fellow WAR players would like to know if there’s going to be some way around strong groups.  Like leaving and rejoining as in scenarios.

Mike – This is the one where my gut reaction was to just penalize the crap out of people for doing that…

GG – ~whispers~ Go with your gut!

Mike – …but then it screws the people who went link-dead and came back or crashed, whatever the case may be.

GG – No one crashes in WAR…

Mykiel – Get better internet…

Mike – Yeah…call your net provider, flush your DNS cache…

~all laughing~

Mike – Yeah, so…right now I’m going to give people all three lockouts if you leave the City early.  But there is the other option of giving them the “you can’t do any City battle for two hours” or something not like the 5-minute Coward! debuff.

GG – Yeah, the semi-pointless one…I didn’t say that.  ~looks at Mykiel~  Why’d you say that!?!?!

Mykiel – I didn’t say anything!

GG –  So technically, if someone is there and they don’t really care about the loot and they don’t like that group and they just want to get their RvR on, then they can leave and find another instance.

James – Sure.  They can still get Crests, but they’ll get the lockouts.  You just don’t get to roll on the PQ Bags.

Mike – Now when I say Crests, I mean “Crest”.  Stage 1 for example, the invaders get four points and the defenders win.  The defenders get the PQ Chest and other prizes if they didn’t win a bag, so all their rewards are divvied out.  The losers, if they don’t have their reward lockout, gets four control points worth of reward.  Now, if you have the lockout, you only get one Crest.

James – It’s very similar to opting out of a normal RvR PQ roll.

~We bloggers started arguing over who got to ask questions next.  I tried to get more questions answered from the questions being sent to me via Twitter (yeah, that’s what I was doing…) but I was vetoed.  😦  I got more in later though.~

GG – In the entirely, completely unlikely chance that nobody shows up to defend…or attack I guess, because we could swing this question either way…if the new City is entirely RvR-driven, what if the other side doesn’t show?

Mike – You can do the whole City with zero opposition currently.

GG – How long will it take?

Mike – Umm…  ~a short discussion ensued about the different aspects~  Somewhere around an hour to an hour and a half.  Somewhere in there.  Everyone will still get the lockouts applied to them, so it’s not like you can just churn these all day long.

~I let Mykiel get in a question.  Iron Rock 4 lyf!…lol…then Werit snuck one in, but I jumped in quickly~

GG – Another questions from Twitter – Are there any thoughts on destructible walls?

Amber – Actually, we love destructible walls and destructible things.  They’re fabulous and awesome.  Unfortunately, there are lots and lots of art problems that come with trying to make destructible fixtures.  So, any time we want to think about that, there is a long thumb-wrestling match that ensues down with the Art Department.  So right now, no.

Mike – Most of it has to do with lighting.  It’s really difficult to get the lighting right on a destructible piece because they’re not baked in.  So you can tell that wall is destructible because it’s not lit right.

Amber – Basically, we have the argument of “It would be cool!  Players aren’t going to care!  It will just be cool!”  “No! We can’t do that because it won’t look right!” “But it will be cool!”  “No!”

Andy – “But I used to play DAoC and I loved it in DAoC!”

Amber – Yeah, I tried that.

Mike – It’s one of those things that’s acceptable in small quantities.

Andrew – So what’s the argument at that point?  In re: DAoC.

Amber – Well, that’s when I get glared at.  Basically, the only times we’ve been able to do destructible-type stuff, we have to do it in very specific instances where they’re actually able to create the entire thing as a fixture so they can make sure that it works correctly.

GG – Like blowing up siege engines?

Mike – That’s more “smaller scale”.

Amber – I’m talking Land of the Dead where the floor falls out.  (See: World Boss encounter and one of the PQs on the Order side of the river.)  That’s actually one fixture, that’s not terrain.  They actually built that specifically.  So when we’re talking about Keeps that have walls that fall apart and towers that fall off, their eyes start getting really big and they start backing away from the table because it’s just, it’s not doable technically, in a timely manner.

GG – So I’m going to rephrase this next Twitter question to try to get their intent across.  One of my favorite things to do in the Inevitable City when fighting other players is to punt them into the Abyss.  ~giggle~  Is that still going to happen?  In Altdorf you can punt people into the water.  Are those things staying?  There’s no way to get out of those places.

Andy – Well, currently when you’re punted into the water, you drown.

Mike – Or at least you should.  You should be dieing when you fall into the Abyss as well.

GG – Depends on where you land. 😉

Mike – Yeah…you’re supposed to be dead.  But yeah, you can still do that.

Amber – Do we have a Title for that yet?  For punting X number of players?  If not, we should.

GG – There isn’t one.  I would have it by now.

~all laughing~

Amber – I’ll get on that.  It should be named the “Heavy Hitter” or something.  No, that’s already in there.

GG – Just make the final one, for punting 1 million players, should just be “The Boot”.

All – Das Boot!

~all laughing~

~again, I was nice and let the other bloggers get some questions in…well, like one maybe~

GG – Speaking of Ward checks, so…are Wards going to be useful in the City?  Do they serve a purpose?  Or is it just that you’ll be checked for them when the Champions get chosen?  I mean, if you get a bunch of people in there who are in their 30s and half your instance is in the 30s and half are high-RR, are you going to be able to kill the King?

Mike – The King still has his Ward on him, so do the Sappers and Warlords.

GG – So if you get the unlucky instance and two of your groups don’t have any Wards whatsoever, are you going to be able to kill the King or are those 40s just screwed?

Mike – It’s going to take a lot longer.  The King’s not a 10-minute fight or anything.  Fully-Warded players could take him down in around 3 minutes.  So that goes up based on lack of Wards.  You could theoretically run out of time if no one has enough Wards to do significant damage to him.  Hopefully we don’t see a lot of that.  We have a lot of numbers and hit point stuff…we need to witness player behavior before we tweak values.

Keaven – And the Champions would be able to attack the King too.

Mike – True, and they would do good damage.

~I let them get more questions in, cuz I’m cool like that~

GG – Scarybooster wants to know if the new City system will change the Tiered Open RvR system at all?  Is there any affect on the “outside world”?

Mike – Nothing.

GG – So, we saw how with Stage 2 in the current system, you unlock it and then the Campaign opens back up.  Is that going away?

Mike – When the City leaves Contested state, the Campaign resets like it does now.  Now, if someone’s instance is still going on, they stay there.  We’re not kicking them out of their instance just because the City reset.  But everyone else can go back to the Campaign and Scenarios.  However, scenarios are off during the Contested City.

~they snuck some more questions in on me, sneaky gits~

GG – So some people want to know if we’ll be able to burn down the City again.  That was one of the fun parts of invading, as annoying as it was as a point mechanic, it was cool to just light shit on fire.

Mike – Not right now.  We run into problems because that’s a performance hit.  Before, when those things were in the Cities in the past, there were so many of them that it hit the cap so the game would stop rendering things.  So you’d have invisible things and they picked them at random so it could be something you needed to interact with and it just wouldn’t show up.

GG – So would burning buildings down fall under that category of destroying things?  Like the building would have to be “rebuilt” to burn down that way?  Because there are wonderful tents in the ‘Traitors Watch” PQ in Dwarf Tier 1 that burn so beautifully…

Amber – Oh jesus…yeah…yeah, that was fun.  That’s another long conversation with the Art Department.  That was the original idea was to have stuff in that people could just break and blow up, but again…  Glad you like it.

~Werit snuck in the F-bomb here (Fortresses) and after they answered, I snuck one in from Twitter~

GG – Any new ways to avoid spawn-camping in the Cities?

Mike – Well, right here…

(The entire time we were talking, more or less, we were watching them run through the various stages and areas of the new City Siege on a giant big-screen.  It was awesome!)

…you can see I have set up the infamous “Random Barrier of Light”.  It’s a one-way click.  So when you click it, it ports you to the other side, but you can’t click back in.

GG – So it’s like Grovod Caverns.  But if say, all of Order is standing right here at the barrier and Destro is just click-popping in and getting farmed…

Mike – We were going to remove the “I can respawn whenever I want” and have it work in waves, but other than that, no.  If you get to the point where they’ve pushed you back that far, there’s no means right now to negate that.  The Champions cannot be behind those barriers.  So when you get picked as a Champion, you get X amount of seconds and then it ports you outside the barrier and you can’t go back in because that would be horrible.

(Obviously, it’s to your Realm’s benefit to rally around your Champions and if you’re to the point where you’re getting farmed at your barrier, the fight is basically over.  Other Stages are handled differently.)

~at this point, the first Round was over and the next group came in~

Introductions:

Nate – I’m Nate Levy.  I’m the Design Lead for Player Systems, mostly Combat & Careers, Itemization and Trade Skills.

Steven – I’m Steven Engle.  I’m Nate Levy’s understudy.

Nate – And he writes about himself in the third person.

Steven – Yes.

Andy – If Nate ever dies, Steven is right there to take his place.

GG – And probably the first suspect in the murder investigation.

~all laughing~

Sean – I am Sean Bosshardt.  I am the Items Lead, I suppose.

GG Spizzy Spose? ~chuckle~

Nate – We have like eight different hats, so the Title depends on the hat you’re wearing.

Steven – And it also depends on what question you’re asking.

GG – All the hard ones go to Nate…

Andy – Pretty much.

Nate – I don’t know about that one.  I think he should kill me, then he’d get all the hard questions.

~Werit, the sneaky git, snuck in a question from Twitter before anyone realized we were starting questions, but then Andy stopped us and made us introduce ourselves.  Mykiel tried to pretend he was me.  They weren’t fooled.~

Werit – Wood to repair doors…right now it doesn’t stack.  Is there a reason?

Mythic – I have no idea why it doesn’t stack honestly.  I can certainly look into stacking it.

GG – Cuz when you’ve got good wood, you only need one?

~the laughing starts~

Mykiel – He’s right.

Andy – Oh wow…well…you should only be able to buy one every thirteen minutes anyways, right?

GG – And it’s used up in 8 seconds?

Andy – It’s got a 5-second cast-timer.

~at this point, the entire conversation devolved into uncontrollable laughing~

Nate – This is already a problem.

GG – Always a good time, always a good time here.

~we got serious after that and hit up the questions from Twitter, most of which you’ve seen the answers to already, others you haven’t~

GG – Will the bonuses from Sovereign gear be adjusted to make them more worth wearing?

Nate – I’ve mentioned in the past a few times during the Ventrilo Q&As that changing gear is always really, really high risk.  Because as much as people don’t like some of the stuff, there’s someone that does like it and no matter how you change it, you’re not going to get to a place where everyone is happy.  That said, we certainly agree that a lot of the bonuses are not that great.  So we have learned that lesson and we will definitely improve that going into the future.  As time permits, we’d like to be able to go back and fix some of the old sets.  However, like I said, it’s a very high-risk change to make.

GG – Grimnir wants to know how we’re getting phat lootz in the City.  Player drops, PQ Chests, Divine materialization… How’s it gonna work?

Sean – Strictly through Public Quests.  So each Stage is going to award…Not sure how much of this stuff you heard from the other guys…

Andy – They threw you in front of the bus.

GG – Yeah, they bussed everybody they could.  It’s like you guys get training on that or something.

~all laughing~

Sean – So the new Stage 1 is going to be the Invader Stage and at the end of the Stage you get a PQ Bag with Invader gear.  Stage 2 is Warlord and 3 is Sovereign.  During each of the Stages, you’re also awarded currency of that type as well as all of the instance weapons that previously dropped.  They’re still there.  But it’s all going to be through PQs and player-drops as usual.

GG – So they kind of tried to explain how it’s working, but they said that you’d have to answer this, so…with the way the bags work, you’d be able to pull all the old stuff out of the bags but the Gold is just the Armor Set.

Sean – Right, so it works exactly the same as all the other RvR PQs where you don’t inherit all the other bags with the Gold Bag.  So if you get a Gold Bag, you get the Sovereign gear or you get tokens.

GG – One of the reasons people ask that specifically is that you get a lot of people that go into the City and don’t opt-out of the loot roll specifically because they want that Purple bag.  They don’t give a crap about the rest, but then they take all the Golds from people that need it.  In this current system, that’s alleviated a bit with the ability to Master Loot, however in the new City that’s not an option.  So…

Nate – In a lot of ways, that’s more the general way the PQs are set up overall.  It’s not specific to the Cities.  It would be great if we had a more granular opt-out and it wasn’t just Yes or No, you could opt-out of Gold or opt-out of everything, but that’s not something we have coming in right now.

Werit – It just makes it weird cuz people are upset about winning.

Nate – Yeah, it’s kind of strange.

GG – Yeah and I think that kind of links into somebody else’s question which is are we going to be able to use tokens for more things.  I think people would like to be able to take those Invader and Warlord tokens and spend them on the Invader and Warlord weapons/jewelry/etc.  Is there a chance we’ll see that in the future?

Sean – So we’re actively looking at adding things to both the scenario “stores” and the RvR “stores”.  So in 1.3.5, we’re putting two new Talismans on the RvR merchant that are temporary.  One is a permanent run-speed and one is a AP Cost Reduction.  There is going to be one for each Tier that you can spend your tokens on and you’ll have that buff for X amount of time (before the Talisman decays).  That’s the type of thing you can expect to see in the future.

GG – Semi-consumable type stuff?

Sean – Yeah.

Nate – Yeah, because the rate that the tokens are coming into the game is pretty high and we don’t want to put stuff on the store that costs a million tokens.  At the same time, filling it with more potions is kinda boring because people go “Wheee…a potion…whoopee…”  So the short-term repurchase-able stuff we think is a good middle-ground.

GG – So…I’m totally dominating the discussion here but I don’t care…

~Nate laughs at me~

Andrew – You’re going to once I take you out back…

GG – A lot of the things we buy now with tokens are combat-based, is there a chance that we’ll see things that have nothing to do with combat be purchasable with RvR tokens?  Like say Dyes or any kind of crafting materials…

Nate – Yeah, that’s possible.

GG – So spreading things out so you don’t have to go PvE to get some of the stuff that you want.

Nate – Sure.  We want to keep the whole token system expanding constantly as we go forward so that’s something that’s entirely possible that we’ll throw on at some point.

~Werit snuck one in on me and asked about the changes to tokens and how they’re getting multiplied in 1.3.5 which queued into another one of my questions~

GG – So is this the reason we see the cost of Armor (Invader/Warlord/Sovereign) increasing in 1.3.5?

Nate – Yeah, it’s largely a non-change in most cases because they cost more but you’re getting more.  The big advantage was that it lets us reward people in the Cities who were losing, but in a very granular scale because we’ve given ourselves more room to work with.

~Andrew then interjected with “Ok, to take away from Gaarawarr for a minute here…” I can’t help it if people were sending me lots of questions via Twitter.  😦  I let him have his one question then jumped right back in, cuz I had to represent my Twitter-followers!  Yeah, that was it…~

GG – While we’re talking about people rejoicing everywhere in happiness…

Nate – He just wanted to take the questions back…

~all laughing at me~

GG – Well, he leads right into mine.

Andrew – Yeah, we’re actually a team, you just don’t realize it.

GG – Yeah, so…armor debuffs.  Currently, they do stack.  You can stack Corrosion and Dissolve and sometimes each of those with career-based armor debuffs.  Are we going to see that adjusted?

Nate – The ones we’ve looked at have never stacked that we’ve found I believe.

Sean – If there’s definitely one-offs, we can look at it.  The ones that we’ve looked at, we’ve either fixed or they didn’t stack at all.  If there are some out there, we can definitely take a look at it.

GG – We were testing it last nite as my Alliance-mate got the 880 armor dissolve proc weapon off the King sub-boss and it was stacking with his Warlord set bonus to effectively give some people zero armor.  He was having fun with it all last nite in scenarios.  hehe

Nate – Yeah, I wouldn’t doubt that there are a couple here and there that are still broken and stacking that way.  Either put in bug reports or post on the forums with the specific ones.

GG – So it is specific items or debuffs as a general rule?  Do we need to report the items?

Nate – Both of them help because the debuff can be lots of different things and if we know which item it came from, it helps us narrow it down.

GG – OK.  I think everybody would be happy if, as a community…well, we enjoy it ~giggle~, but the people we’re killing would be happy if we got that fixed for them, so thank you.

~I backed off and let the other bloggers feel good about themselves…errr, I mean ask some questions. hehe~

GG – So, everybody wants to know, with the new changes to the City, along with keeping the old items, are there going to be any new items available as drops and/or rewards for killing your opponents in the face?

Sean – Currently no.  Anything we add will probably be onto the RvR store.

Nate – And we may continue to do City Revamps and add new things, but for the initial step of getting the RvR-driven City IN, we’re carrying over the existing loot.

GG – Besides the Goblin Fanatic, which was a wonderful post by the way, what new classes are soon to be released?

Nate – We’re not introducing any new classes in the foreseeable future.

GG – Any tongue-in-cheek comments?

Nate – No.

~and again those pesky bloggers got a few questions in.  Just a few though, I have standards to uphold!~

GG – Another Twitter question – Are there important changes to the Squig Herder in 1.3.5?

Nate – Well, we fixed their armor buff.  That’s really the big one for the Squigh Herders.

Andrew – That’s going to make a lot of people very, very happy.

Andy – Yay…more melee squigs…

GG – And another Twitter question – Any chance in the future of the combustion/dark magic mechanic being changed in any way, shape or form?

Nate – The only thing I’m really going to say about that is, like I said, Bright Wizards and Sorcs are too good.  We all know it.  We’re looking at whatever we need to do to make them more reasonable.

~Andrew tried to ask a question to Sean at this point and directed it with “Items Guy”…and they wonder why I ask most of the questions…hehe. In the laughing that followed, Mykiel snuck a question in instead.  Once done, there was an ominous silence that I broke with…~

GG – You gonna get your question in now Andrew?

Andrew – Oh..umm..yes…

Nate – He was waiting for your permission.

Andrew – Yeah, I was waiting for permission since you’re dominating this.

~they all laughed at me again~

GG – Just wait, I’ve been nice.

Andrew – Great, now I’ve lost the question…

GG – Twitter question – Alright then, so is there any chance of a tank on the Order side getting a tactic where they can’t be detaunted?

Nate – Probably not…seeing as we just removed it from the Black Orc.

GG – Twitter question – Will the Chosen + DoK morale-stacking be fixed any time soon?

Steven – That is definitely some of the things we’ve been looking at.  Sprout Carapace has moved to a Morale 4.

Andy – So they have to choose between that and Immaculate Defense.

Steven – Yes.

GG – Twitter question – So, since the Magus is quasi-mirrored with the Shadow Warrior, the Engineer and the Squig Herder, why don’t they have the same Morales and ranged Auto-Attack?

Nate – Well, the Magus is mirrored to the Engineer, he’s not really quasi to the others.  In general, casters not having ranged Auto-Attack was an early design decision that we made.  It’s one of the things I’ve tossed around on and off but haven’t pulled the trigger on yet because it’s pretty significant potentially and we’re not really at the point where we need to do things like give ranged Auto-Attack to Bright Wizards and Sorcs.  It would feel a little weird if we gave it to Magus and none of the other casters, because then the Archamges and Shamans would be going “What about us?”  So it is a bit of a bigger picture.

GG – They don’t DPS…

Nate – There’s no DPS Archmage and Shaman anywhere.  Ever.  You know you all have one.

GG – I have one.  Actually, my AM is a pure hybrid. I keep his Willpower and Intelligence equal and bounce back and forth as necessary and absolutely love it.

Mykiel – I’ve got a Toughness of 1.

GG – You’ve got an Intelligence of 1 too.

~everyone groans~

GG – Twitter question – Are there plans for the Shaman/AM mechanic change totally scrapped now?

Nate – The changes we had discussed previously we’re not going ahead with at this point.  We think that the changes we made to them got them to a much, much more viable place.

~Andrew staggered me at this point and got a question in.  I knew I should have picked up that Renown Ability!  Werit followed him up as I was still unable to attack.  Mykiel then knocked me down and got one in as well.~

GG – Twitter question – So is the Black Orc mechanic going to be reworked at any point in time?

Nate – No, they’re not going to be totally reworked.  They are a little more limiting than we originally wanted, but I don’t have an answer (other than that) for you right now.

GG – Twitter question – Any adjustment to Witch Elfs coming?  Specifically in regards to finishers?

Nate – Not slated for 1.3.5/6 I don’t think.

Steven – Umm…no….  ~long pause while we wait for him to finish~  …yeah, that’s all I got.  I’m eating a cookie.  It’s good.

~all laughing~

~Andrew took this opportunity to get a question in as my attention had been diverted to the plate of yummy-looking cookies on the table.  I got right back in after that though, cookie-less~

GG – Twitter question – Are you looking to make it just as useful for Shamans to be Green/Gork spec and put out heals that will actually keep people alive?

Nate – We’d like to.  Certainly, if you’re not heal spec, you’re not going to heal as well as someone that is.  That’s part and parcel of going heal-spec: you get to out-heal the other people.  If you take a damage spec or hybrid damage spec then your healing is going to take a hit and that’s the whole intent of picking a specialization.

~Werit tried to get a question in at this point, but he was unaware that I had already started the cast-timer on my summon-able group stagger, aka: Paul Barnett.  He showed up and derailed the entire conversation, as is his wont~

Paul – Is this the moment?  This is the moment, right?  This is the moment where you have access to the Career people.  This is the bit.  Like the box can come out now and you can go “Oh really?  I DO have questions..”

Nate – There are no questions about Careers.  No one cares.

GG – We haven’t had any at all.  The internet doesn’t want to know about Careers.

Paul – Balancing and Careers isn’t important.

Andy – Tweet out that Paul Barnett is in the room and see if anyone has questions for him.

Paul – Oh, we’re blogging live?  Wow.

~the bloggers attempted to break my group CC at this point and got some more questions off.  During which time, I ran out of AP and my summon of Paul Barnett ended and he left the room~

GG – Twitter question – Any chance on adding more group survival abilities to the Ironbreaker since Gromril Plating has been adjusted to self-only?

Nate – No, we’re not adding anything right at the moment.  There’s nobody that can say with a straight face that Gromril wasn’t overpowered and they know it.

Mykiel – Gromril wasn’t overpowered.

Nate – You are such a liar!  And you can’t say it with a straight face cuz you’re already laughing.

GG – I’ve been an IB since launch and it was overpowered when damage was mitigated before hitting it.

Nate – Especially for a Morale 3.  There’s just nothing else comparable at Morale 3.  It blows everything else out of the water.  So that one had to be changed because it just had to be changed.  We’re not adding anything for them in 1.3.5.

~Mykiel tried to ask a question from Twitter, but it was a bit confusing in the way it was worded, so I translated~

GG – With some of the classes and their Mastery Paths, it looks like there is only “one true way” to go with your points.  Were those classes designed that way and the other paths were just added in as filler?

Nate – No.  Our intent for all the Careers is that all three Mastery Paths are equally as effective.  Obviously not effective at the same things.  If you’re a healer and you spec damage, you’re not as effective at healing.  But, our intent has always been that all three Paths are viable.  Obviously it didn’t entirely work out that way and to an extent it never will because someone will always find that one particular spec that does 2% more damage than all the rest and then everyone will do that for their 2% damage increase.  But if the others are close, we’d be thrilled.  Right now, some are just far above and beyond the rest and that’s something that we’re not happy with.

~Andrew asked a personal question about Shadow Warriors which I then used as a segue to another Twitter question.  Man I’m good at this~

GG – This doesn’t come from me but it’s totally about me, so that’s great.  Will Sword & Board tanks see any more CC/debuffs/etc added in the future so there’s more of a reason to stay alive as opposed to going two-hand spec?

Nate – Not in 1.3.5, but it is a general direction we like of defensive tanks having more CC because that’s a defense.  But not specifically in 1.3.5.

Steven – I’d like to preface that we don’t want to ADD more CC, it would be more of possibly moving it around to get the defensive tanks where we want them.  Just not adding, adding is bad.

GG – I don’t know, you can feel free to add stagger to Ironbreaker…  ~giggle~

~Mykiel attempted to cast a question and got set-back, but made a quick recovery and succeeded.  Nice save man.  I then interjected again~

GG – Twitter question – Cloaks from Tome Unlocks…any chance to make those patterns that are selectable like the Title system.  To overlay almost like Guild Heraldry?

Sean – No plans to do that.

James – Interesting idea though.

~all Devs agreed~

Sean – We can definitely look into it.

Steven – Yeah, give them a kudos.  They just made a whole group of Developers perk up.

~Werit and Andrew got a question in and then I grabbed another one…sensing a trend here? hehe~

GG – Twitter question – Will classes that use pure two-handers, they use Archmage as their example, ever be able to weild anything other than two-handers?  Like say two one-handed items like some other classes?

Nate – Not in the foreseeable future.  Partially because that is a MASSIVE change to their animations on the scope of which you cannot imagine.  So not in the foreseeable future.

~I was enjoying the “one for me, one for you” alternating question format so let it continue with Werit getting one in then back to me~

GG – Twitter question – Itemization question in general, will “useless” gear ever stop dropping in dungeons?  ie: the phantom Marauder that has his full set twice over by now…

Nate – So you mean, career-specific loot that drops but isn’t for someone in your group and is Bind-on-Pickup?

GG – Right.

Sean – So we, I specifically, have been looking at that.  I have looked into doing something with that extensively and I’m continuing to look into something.  I’m not going to promise anything obviously, but it is being looked at.

Werit – Will that be part of the Economy changes?

Sean – The Economy stuff largely doesn’t affect the dungeons and we did that on purpose because it’s a much larger-scope change.  But it is something we do want to look at in the future.  The Economy stuff is more for World-drops outside of dungeons and for PQ drops.

~Yeah, Werit snuck a good follow-up in, so I let him get another after that.  I’m telling you, I’m not as bad a guy as they make me out to be…~

GG – Twitter question – So someone says Archmage needs a Melee Staff Mastery Path.  Are we going to see that any time soon?

~all laughing~

Andy – Yes, with the Bright Wizards.

Nate – Sure…not so much.

Andrew – Well, they showed it in the video…isn’t that what the follow-up is all the time?

GG – Yeah, Archmage vs. Witch Elf duels is specifically what they want!

Steven – I want to see the complaints on Archmage Auto-Attack Haste stacking…

~all laughing~

~after that comedic interlude, the other bloggers got a bunch of questions in…I was still giggling too much.  The conversation trended towards crafting and onto the topic of Hybrid Seed drops…yes, they do drop, yes they are extremely rare…so I interjected with this~

GG – So since it is so hard to loot them and the person that actually gets lucky and sees one drop while in a group of people may not be a Cultivator, are there any thoughts on making them Bind on Use so they can fuel the economy?

Sean – We’ve talked about it, but we don’t have any plans of actually going through with that right now.  It is something we’ve been talking about for a long time.

~Andrew asked a question about token drops in RvR and at the conclusion of the discussion Steven just randomly tossed out this comment due to the way the camcorder we were using to record audio was pointing at him~

Steven – I feel like a god-damn Mogwai… Bright Light! Bright Light!  Jesus…

Nate – There you go: New Career.

Steven – That’s my favorite Career: the Mogwai.

Nate – After the Goblin Fanatic, we can do the Mogwai.

GG – Bright Light! Bright Light!  As he runs around.

~ah, the hilarity…moving on~

GG – So there’s always been a fun little war between Salvagers and Scavengers…

~all laughing~

Nate – …a fun little war…

GG – Yeah…so…currently if you Scavenge 100 NPCs, you’re going to end up with 5 or 6 purple fragments.  If you Salvage 100 items, you’re lucky to get 1 purple fragment.  Are we going to see any more adjustment to this system because Salvaging is now the red-headed bastard son of the crafting world.

Sean – There are no major changes like that for crafting in the works.  Crafting is something I’m constantly looking at, as I told you before.  So that is definitely one of the things I’d think would be an improvement to the system as a whole.  Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all I can say.  I’m trying, but there’s a lot of things fighting for priority and it all comes down to where can we make the biggest impact on the game.

~we bounced around quite a bit after this and lots of topics were covered by the other bloggers, not to mention some things that shall never be repeated…lots of humorous tangents and what-not…I finished strong though, in my opinion…let me know what you think~

GG – So can I get an off-the-record question in?

Nate – Depends on what it is, doesn’t it?

~all laughing~

GG – <off-the-record question>

Nate – <off-the-record answer>

Werit – I’m still astounded by that off-the-record question…

~I’m pretty sure Werit’s sentiment is echoed by everyone there.  I really dropped the bomb on them.  The stunned looks on their faces were priceless.  I’m SO good at this~

Now, I’m off to transcribe more interviews…oh joy!  We talked to Carrie Gouskos and Andy Belford again on Friday, so I’ll get what I have from that up as soon as I can stomach putting the headphones back on and watching the little slider move across my audio program while typing constantly…yeah…isn’t blogging fun?

Until then, hit up the Offical Forums and the reveal on the new RvR-driven City Sieges!

~Gaar

~We didn’t have the audio recording right away, so we missed the introductions. /sadpanda  It started once we got

into questions though.  I let the other bloggers start off and joined in later with…~

GG – So here’s a question I asked on the forums but never got an answer to.  In each City there’s this funny little

off-spot, like in Altdorf it’s on the South Docks.  You don’t need it, so what’s it there for?

Mythic – So that one’s kind of an interesting thing.  Let’s say you took the top two, but you’re getting close on

time…  The third one is additional time, a respawn point, and it’s also additional bonuses in Stage 3.

GG – So it adds a little strategery…

Mythic – Yeah, so it’s like you can ignore it, but…  You get extra rewards during Stage 1 and 2 as well if you

control it.  So in this new City, Invaders could control all six points and still lose, just because the defenders

held out.

GG – …or they’re horrible…

Mythic – Yeah, or they’re horrible.  So the winners get the PQ Bag Drop and the losers get X amount of reward

depending on how many points they controlled.  It’s kind of like how we did with the scenarios where we’re rewarding

people for their effort.  So, if you want extra payout, then you want to cap that point.

And then in Stage 2, the amount that you own is probably also going to affect how fast the Warlords get to certain

locations too.  Because if they have to actually stop and capture it, that’s going to slow down the progression at

that point.  So it’s a strategy element at that point:  “How many do I take knowing it will help now and later?”

GG – Right, so obviously you’re removing a lot of the different (PvE) instances (in the City), so the means by which

everyone was getting loot before is now gone.  People liked a lot of those things, like the Warlord weapons and the

sub-boss drops in the King instance and the mythical “King Weapons”…if all that is going away, are those items

still going to be obtainable in the new City?

Mythic – Well, you definitely want to talk to the next group about that as they handle all the itemization and

rewards and everything.  However, last I remember talking to them, they said “Yes, they’re all in.  They’re in the

PQ Bags if you don’t win the Gold Bag.  They’re in the others.”  So, all the equipment should be there, it just

drops in the PQ Bags now.  I don’t know about the mythical King weapon thing…

Andy – The King weapons are not, and have never been, in-game.

Werit – Is every instance guaranteed to get to Stage 3 or can it end earlier?

Mythic – They’re all guaranteed to get TO Stage 3 but…Stage 1 will have a definite “winner” every time just

because the timer is a condition.  Stage 2 can end on a “draw” where no one really wins.  There’s no PQ Bag, there’s

no Warlord loot.  It’s everyone kind of gets the…

GG – …finger…

Mythic – …they get the “I lost” prize which is how many points you control and the same with Stage 3.  If the

timer runs out on Stage 3, the invading force’s King calls for a retreat and no PQ Bags drop in that instance.

Werit – Nobody gets the Sovereign-type stuff then?

Mythic – Correct.  You’ll still get Crests as kind of the “loser” prize, but yeah, you won’t get the “oh somebody

got an item”…

GG – What kind of Crests are we talking about?  Just because it’s Stage 3 are people going to be getting Royal

Crests or is it…

Mythic – Yeah, they get Royal.  Sean (Bosshardt) will be the guy to talk to in the next meeting to get a little more

of what we’ve set up reward-wise there.  It should be Royal Crests on Stage 3 (Stage 1 – Invader, Stage 2 –

Warlord).  Oh yeah, it is.  I hooked that up even…

GG – Don’t you look bad?  hehe

Mythic – …yeah…

~everyone laughs~

Mythic – It’s based upon the number of Champions you’ve defeated.  So if you kill all four Champions, you get two or

three, somewhere along those lines.

Werit – So if you decide to stick with the instance and play through the whole thing, you’re guaranteeing yourself

at least one Royal Crest?

Mythic – Yeah.  The absolute minimum you can get is one Crest per Stage.  We have the Reward Lockouts, because we

don’t want to lock people out from participating in the City, so instead what we do is we have a force-opt-out of

the PQ Bag drop and you get Crests instead.

~I let the other bloggers get some questions in again.  Aren’t I nice?~

GG – Ok, so while we’re talking about warbands…can you queue in groups?  Can you enter as a warband?

Mythic – It works exactly as it does now.

GG – So it just kind of opens up spots and people fill them as they enter?

Mythic – Yeah, there’s gonna be the problem where warbands are going to get split, unfortunately, and they’ll have

to try to juggle around and get people in the same one.  There’s going to be that problem.

GG – Well, that brings the question of…well, it’s a cascade of questions…one of you go, I’ll ask later cuz

they’ll hate me afterwards.

Mythic – We hate you now.  😉

GG – Hey!  I didn’t ask, did I?  🙂

~Werit asked one of my cascading questions in the interim.  I’d like to thank him for taking some of the heat off

me…~

GG – So one of our fellow WAR players would like to know if there’s going to be some way around strong groups.  Like

leaving and rejoining as in scenarios.

Mythic – This is the one where my gut reaction was to just penalize the crap out of people for doing that…

GG – ~whispers~ Go with your gut!

Mythic – …but then it screws the people who went link-dead and came back or crashed, whatever the case may be.

GG – No one crashes in WAR…

Mykiel – Get better internet…

Mythic – Yeah…call your net provider, flush your DNS cache…

~all laughing~

Mythic – Yeah, so…right now I’m going to give people all three lockouts if you leave the City early.  But there is

the other option of giving them the “you can’t do any City battle for two hours” unlike the 5-minute Coward! debuff.

GG – Yeah, the semi-pointless one…I didn’t say that.  ~looks at Mykiel~  Why’d you say that!?!?!

Mykiel – I didn’t say anything!

GG –  So technically, if someone is there and they don’t really care about the loot and they don’t like that group

and they just want to get their RvR on, then they can leave and find another instance.

Mythic – Sure.  They can still get Crests, but they’ll get the lockouts.  You just don’t get to roll on the PQ Bags.

Now when I say Crests, I mean “Crest”.  Stage 1 for example, the invaders get four points and the defenders win.

The defenders get the PQ Chest and other prizes if they didn’t win a bag, so all their rewards are divvied out.  The

losers, if they don’t have their reward lockout, gets four control points worth of reward.  Now, if you have the

lockout, you only get one Crest.  It’s very similar to opting out of a normal RvR PQ roll.

~We bloggers started arguing over who got to ask questions next.  I tried to get more questions answered from the

questions being sent to me via Twitter (yeah, that’s what I was doing…) but I was vetoed.  😦  I got more in later

though.~

GG – In the entirely, completely unlikely chance that nobody shows up to defend…or attack I guess, because we

could swing this question either way…if the new City is entirely RvR driven, what if the other side doesn’t show?

Mythic – You can do the whole City with zero opposition currently.

GG – How long will it take?

Mythic – Umm…  ~a short discussion ensued about the different aspects~  Somewhere around an hour to an hour and a

half.  Somewhere in there.  Everyone will still get the lockouts applied to them, so it’s not like you can just

churn these all day long.

GG – Another questions from Twitter – Are there any thoughts on destructible walls?

Mythic – Actually, we love destructible walls and destructible things.  They’re fabulous and awesome.

Unfortunately, they’re are lots and lots of art problems that come with trying to make destructible fixtures.  So,

any time we want to think about that, there is a long thumb-wrestling match that ensues down with the Art

Department.  So right now, no.

Most of it has to do with lighting.  It’s really difficult to get the lighting right on a destructible piece because

they’re not baked in.  So you can tell that wall is destructible because it’s not lit right.

Basically, we have the argument of “It would be cool!  Players aren’t going to care!  It will just be cool!”  “No!

We can’t do that because it won’t look right!” “But it will be cool!”  “No!”

Andy – “But I used to play DAoC and I loved it in DAoC!”

Mythic – Yeah, I tried that.  It’s one of those things that’s acceptable in small quantities.

Andrew (ShadowWAR) – So what’s the argument at that point?  In re: DAoC.

Mythic – Well, that’s when I get glared at.  Basically, the only times when we’ve been able to do destructible-type

stuff, we have to do it in very specific instances where they’re actually able to create the entire thing as a

fixture so they can make sure it works correctly.

GG – Like blowing up siege engines?

Mythic – That’s more smaller scale.  I’m talking Land of the Dead where the floor falls out.  (See: World Boss

encounter and one of the PQs on the Order side of the river.)  That’s actually one fixture, that’s not terrain.

They actually built that specifically.  So when we’re talking about Keeps that have walls that fall apart and things

that fall off, their eyes start getting really big and they start backing away from the table because it’s just,

it’s not doable technically, in a timely manner.

GG – So I’m going to rephrase this next Twitter question to try to get their intent across.  One of my favorite

things to do in the Inevitable City when fighting other players is to punt them into the Abyss.  ~giggle~  Is that

still going to happen?  In Altdorf you can punt people into the water.  Are those things staying?  There’s no way to

get out of those places.

Andy – Well, currently when you’re punted into the water, you drown.

Mythic – Or at least you should.  You should be dieing when you fall into the Abyss as well.

GG – Depends on where you land. 😉

Mythic – Yeah…you’re supposed to be dead.  But yeah, you can still do that.

Do we have a Title for that yet?  For punting X number of players?  We should.

GG – There isn’t one.  I would have it by now.

~all laughing~

Mythic – I’ll get on that.  It should be named the “Heavy Hitter” or something.  No, that’s already in there.

GG – Just make the final one, for punting 1 million players, should just be “The Boot”.

Mythic – Das Boot!

~all laughing~

~again, I was nice and let the other bloggers get some questions in…well, like one maybe~

GG – Speaking of Ward checks, so…are Wards going to be useful in the City?  Do they serve a purpose?  Or is it

just that you’ll be checked for them when the Champions get chosen?  I mean, if you get a bunch of people in there

who are in their 30s and half your instance is in the 30s and half are high-RR, are you going to be able to kill the

King?

Mythic – The King still has his Ward on him, so do the Sappers and Warlords.

GG – So if you get the unlucky instance and two of your groups don’t have any Wards whatsoever, are you going to be

able to kill the king or are those 40s just screwed?

Mythic – It’s going to take a lot longer.  The King’s not a 10-minute fight or anything.  Fully-Warded players could

take him down in around 3 minutes.  So that goes up based on lack of Wards.  You could theoretically run out of time

if no one has enough Wards to do significant damage to him.  Hopefully we don’t see a lot of that.  We have a lot of

numbers and hit point stuff…we need to witness player behavior before we tweek values.  And the Champions would be

able to attack the King too and do good damage.

~I let them get more questions in, cuz I’m cool like that~

GG – Scarybooster wants to know if the new City system will change the Tiered Open RvR system at all?  Is there any

affect on the “outside world”?

Mythic – Nothing.

GG – So, we saw how with Stage 2 in the current system, you unlock it and then the Campaign opens back up.  Is that

going away?

Mythic – When the City leaves Contested state, the Campaign resets like it does now.  Now, if someone’s instance is

still going on, they stay there.  We’re not kicking them out of their instance just because the City reset.  But

everyone else can go back to the Campaign and Scenarios.  However, scenarios are off during the Contested City.

~they snuck some more questions in on me, sneaky gits~

GG – So some people want to know if we’ll be able to burn down the City again.  That was one of the fun parts of

invading, as annoying as it was as a point mechanic, it was cool to just light shit on fire.

Mythic – Not right now.  We run into problems because that’s a performance hit.  Before, when those things were in

the Cities in the past, there were so many of them that it hit the cap so the game would stop rendering things.  So

you’d have invisible things and they picked them at random so it could be something you needed to interact with and

it just wouldn’t show up.

GG – So would burning buildings down fall under that category of destroying things?  Like the building would have to

be “rebuilt” to burn down that way because there’s wonderful tents in the ‘Traitors Watch” PQ in Dwarf that burn so

wonderfully.

Mythic – Oh jesus…yeah…yeah, that was fun.  That’s another long conversation with the Art Department.  That was

the original idea was to have shit in that people could just break and blow up, but again…  Glad you like it.

~Werit snuck in the F-bomb here (Fortresses) and after they answered, I snuck one in from Twitter~

GG – Any new ways to avoid spawn-camping in the Cities?

Mythic – Well, right here (we were looking at the King stage of the City) you can see I have set up the infamous

“Random Barrier of Light”.  It’s a one-way click.  So when you click it, it ports you to the other side, but you

can’t click back in.

GG – So it’s like Grovod Caverns.  But if say, all of Order is standing right here at the barrier and Destro is just

click-popping in and getting farmed…

Mythic – We were going to remove the “I can respawn whenever I want” and have it work in waves, but other than that,

no.  If you get to the point where they’ve pushed you back that far, there’s no means right now to negate that.  The

Champions cannot be behind those barriers.  So when you get picked as a Champion, you get X amount of seconds and

then it ports you outside the barrier and you can’t go back in because that would be horrible.

(Obviously, it’s to your Realm’s benefit to rally around your Champions and if you’re to the point where you’re

getting farmed at your barrier, the fight is basically over.  Other Stages are handled differently obviously.)

~at this point, the first Round was over and the next group came in~

Introductions:

Nate – I’m Nate Levy.  I’m the Design Lead for Player Systems, mostly Combat & Careers, Itemization and Trade

Skills.

Steven – I’m Steven Engle.  I’m Nate Levy’s understudy.

Nate – And he writes about himself in the third person.

Steven – Yes.

Andy – If Nate ever dies, Steven is right there to take his place.

GG – And probably the first suspect in the murder investigation.

~all laughing~

Sean – I am Sean Bosshardt.  I am the Items Lead, I suppose.

GG – Spizy Spose or?

Nate – We have like eight different hats, so the Title depends on the hat you’re wearing.

Steven – And it also depends on what question you’re asking.

GG – All the hard ones go to Nate…

Andy – Pretty much.

Nate – I don’t know about that one.  I think he should kill me, then he’d get all the hard questions.

~Werit, the sneaky git, snuck in a question from Twitter before anyone realized we were starting questions, but then

Andy stopped us and made us introduce ourselves.  Mykiel tried to pretend he was me.  They weren’t fooled.~

Werit – Would to repair doors…right now it doesn’t stack.  Is there a reason?

Mythic – I have no idea why it doesn’t stack honestly.  I can certainly look into stacking it.

GG – Cuz when you’ve got good wood, you only need one?

~the laughing starts~

Mykiel – He’s right.

Andy – Oh wow…well…you should only be able to buy one every thirteen minutes anyways, right?

GG – And it’s used up in 8 seconds?

Andy – It’s got a 5-second cast-timer.

~at this point, the entire conversation devolved into uncontrollable laughing~

Nate – This is already a problem.

GG – Always a good time, always a good time here.

~we got serious after that and hit up the questions from Twitter, most of which you’ve seen the answers to already,

others you haven’t~

GG – Will the bonuses from Sovereign gear be adjusted to make them more worth wearing?

Nate – I’ve mentioned in the past a few times during the Ventrilo Q&As that changing gear is always really, really

high risk.  Because as much as people don’t like some of the stuff, there’s someone that does like it and no matter

how you change it, you’re not going to get to a place where everyone is happy.  That said, we certainly agree that a

lot of the bonuses are not that great.  So we have learned that lesson and we will definitely improve that going

into the future.  As time permits, we’d like to be able to go back and fix some of the old sets.  However, like I

said, it’s a very high-risk change to make.

GG – Grimnir wants to know how we’re getting phat lootz in the City.  Player drops, PQ Chests, Divine

materialization… How’s it gonna work?

Sean – Strictly through Public Quests.  So each Stage is going to award…Not sure how much of this stuff you heard

from the other guys…

Andy – They threw you in front of the bus.

GG – Yeah, they bussed everybody they could.  It’s like you guys get training on that or something.

~all laughing~

Sean – So the new Stage 1 is going to be the Invader Stage and at the end of the Stage you get a PQ Bag with Invader

gear.  Stage 2 is Warlord and 3 is Sovereign.  During each of the Stages, you’re also awarded currency of that type

as well as all of the instance weapons that previously dropped.  They’re still there.  But it’s all going to be

through PQs and player-drops as usual.

GG – So they kind of tried to explain how it’s working, but they said that you’d have to answer this, so…with the

way the bags work, you’d be able to pull all the old stuff out of the bags but the Gold is just the Armor Set.

Sean – Right, so it works exactly the same as all the other RvR PQs where you don’t inherit all the other bags with

the Gold Bag.  So if you get a Gold Bag, you get the Sovereign gear or you get tokens.

GG – One of the reasons people ask that specifically is that you get a lot of people that go into the City and don’t

opt-out of the loot roll specifically because they want that Purple bag.  They don’t give a crap about the rest, but

then they take all the Golds from people that need it.  In this current system, that’s alleviated a bit with the

ability to Master Loot, however in the new City that’s not an option.  So…

Nate – In a lot of ways, that’s more the general way the PQs are set up overall.  It’s not specific to the Cities.

It would be great if we had a more granular opt-out and it wasn’t just Yes or No, you could opt-out of Gold or opt-

out of everything, but that’s not something we have coming in right now.

Werit – It just makes it weird cuz people are upset about winning.

Nate – Yeah, it’s kind of strange.

GG – Yeah and I think that kind of links into somebody else’s question which is are we going to be able to use

tokens for more things.  I think people would like to be able to take those Invader and Warlord tokens and spend

them on the Invader and Warlord weapons/jewelry/etc.  Is there a chance we’ll see that in the future?

Sean – So we’re actively looking at adding things to both the scenario “stores” and the RvR “stores”.  So in 1.3.5,

we’re putting two new Talismans on the RvR merchant that are temporary.  One is a permanent run-speed and one is a

AP Cost Reduction.  There is going to be one for each Tier that you can spend your tokens on and you’ll have that

buff for X amount of time (before the Talisman decays).  That’s the type of thing you can expect to see in the

future.

GG – Semi-consumable type stuff?

Sean – Yeah.

Nate – Yeah, because the rate that the tokens are coming into the game is pretty high and we don’t want to put stuff

on the store that costs a million tokens.  At the same time, filling it with more potions is kinda boring because

people go “Wheee…a potion…whoopee…”  So the short-term repurchaseable stuff we think is a good middle-ground.

GG – So…I’m totally dominating the discussion here but I don’t care…

~Nate laughs at me~

Andrew – You’re going to once I take you out back…

GG – A lot of the things we buy now with tokens are combat-based, is there a chance that we’ll see things that have

nothing to do with combat be purchaseable with RvR tokens?  Like say Dyes or any kind of crafting materials…

Nate – Yeah, that’s possible.

GG – So spreading things out so you don’t have to go PvE to get some of the stuff that you want.

Nate – Sure.  We want to keep the whole token system expanding constantly as we go forward so that’s something

that’s entirely possible that we’ll throw on at some point.

~Werit snuck one in on me and asked about the changes to tokens and how they’re getting multiplied in 1.3.5 which

queued into another one of my questions~

GG – So is this the reason we see the cost of Armor (Invader/Warlord/Sovereign) increasing in 1.3.5?

Nate – Yeah, it’s largely a non-change in most cases because they cost more but you’re getting more.  The big

advantage was that it lets us reward people in the Cities who were losing, but in a very granular scale because

we’ve given ourselves more room to work with.

~Andrew then interjected with “Ok, to take away from Gaarawarr for a minute here…” I can’t help it if people were

sending me lots of questions via Twitter.  😦  I let him have his one question then jumped right back in, cuz I had

to represent my Twitter-followers!  Yeah, that was it…~

GG – While we’re talking about people rejoicing everywhere in happiness…

Nate – He just wanted to take the questions back…

~all laughing at me~

GG – Well, he leads right into mine.

Andrew – Yeah, we’re actually a team, you just don’t realize it.

GG – Yeah, so…armor debuffs.  Currently, they do stack.  You can stack Corrosion and Dissolve and sometimes each

of those with career-based armor debuffs.  Are we going to see that adjusted?

Nate – The ones we’ve looked at have never stacked that we’ve found I believe.

Sean – If there’s definitely one-offs, we can look at it.  The ones that we’ve looked at, we’ve either fixed or they

didn’t stack at all.  If there are some out there, we can definitely take a look at it.

GG – We were testing it last nite as my Alliance-mate got the 880 armor dissolve proc weapon off the King sub-boss

and it was stacking with his Warlord set bonus to effectively give some people zero armor.  He was having fun with

it all last nite in scenarios.  hehe

Nate – Yeah, I wouldn’t doubt that there are a couple here and there that are still broken and stacking that way.

Either put in bug reports or post on the forums with the specific ones.

GG – So it is specific items or debuffs as a general rule?  Do we need to report the items?

Nate – Both of them help because the debuff can be lots of different things and if we know which item it came from,

it helps us narrow it down.

GG – OK.  I think everybody would be happy if, as a community…well, we enjoy it ~giggle~, but the people we’re

killing would be happy if we got that fixed for them, so thank you.

~I backed off and let the other bloggers feel good about themselves…errr, I mean ask some questions. hehe~

GG – So, everybody wants to know, with the new changes to the City, along with keeping the old items, are there

going to be any new items available as drops and/or rewards for killing your opponents in the face?

Sean – Currently no.  Anything we add will probably be onto the RvR store.

Nate – And we may continue to do City Revamps and add new things, but for the initial step of getting the RvR-driven

City IN, we’re carrying over the existing loot.

GG – Besides the Goblin Fanatic, which was a wonderful post by the way, what new classes are soon to be released?

Nate – We’re not introducing any new classes in the foreseeable future.

GG – Any tongue-in-cheek comments?

Nate – No.

~and again those pesky bloggers got a few questions in.  Just a few though, I have standards to uphold!~

GG – Another Twitter question – Are there important changes to the Squig Herder in 1.3.5?

Nate – Well, we fixed their armor buff.  That’s really the big one for the Squigh Herders.

Andrew – That’s going to make a lot of people very, very happy.

Andy – Yay…more melee squigs…

GG – And another Twitter question – Any chance in the future of the combustion/dark magic mechanic being changed in

any way, shape or form?

Nate – The only thing I’m really going to say about that is, like I said, Bright Wizards and Sorcs are too good.  We

all know it.  We’re looking at whatever we need to do to make them more reasonable.

~Andrew tried to ask a question to Sean at this point and directed it with “Items Guy”…and they wonder why I ask

most of the questions…hehe. In the laughing that followed, Mykiel snuck a question in instead.  Once done, there

was an ominous silence that I broke with…~

GG – You gonna get your question in now Andrew?

Andrew – Oh..umm..yes…

Nate – He was waiting for your permission.

Andrew – Yeah, I was waiting for permission since you’re dominating this.

~they all laughed at me again~

GG – Just wait, I’ve been nice.

Andrew – Great, now I’ve lost the question…

GG – Twitter question – Alright then, so is there any chance of a tank on the Order side getting a tactic where they

can’t be detaunted?

Nate – Probably not…seeing as we just removed it from the Black Orc.

GG – Twitter question – Will the Chosen + DoK morale-stacking be fixed any time soon?

Steven – That is definitely some of the things we’ve been looking at.  Sprout Carapace has moved to a Morale 4.

Andy – So they have to choose between that and Immaculate Defense.

Steven – Yes.

GG – Twitter question – So, since the Magus is quasi-mirrored with the Shadow Warrior, the Engineer and the Squig

Herder, why don’t they have the same Morales and ranged Auto-Attack?

Nate – Well, the Magus is mirrored to the Engineer, he’s not really quasi to the others.  In general, casters not

having ranged Auto-Attack was an early design decision that we made.  It’s one of the things I’ve tossed around on

and off but haven’t pulled the trigger on yet because it’s pretty significant potentially and we’re not really at

the point where we need to do things like give ranged Auto-Attack to Bright Wizards and Sorcs.  It would feel a

little weird if we gave it to Magus and none of the other casters, because then the Archamges and Shamans would be

going “What about us?”  So it is a bit of a bigger picture.

GG – They don’t DPS…

Nate – There’s no DPS Archmage and Shaman anywhere.  Ever.  You know you all have one.

GG – I have one.  Actually, my AM is a pure hybrid. I keep his Willpower and Intelligence equal and bounce back and

forth as necessary and absolutely love it.

Mykiel – I’ve got a Toughness of 1.

GG – You’ve got an Intelligence of 1 too.

~everyone groans~

GG – Twitter question – Are there plans for the Shaman/AM mechanic change totally scrapped now?

Nate – The changes we had discussed previously we’re not going ahead with at this point.  We think that the changes

we made to them got them to a much, much more viable place.

~Andrew staggered me at this point and got a question in.  I knew I should have picked up that Renown Ability!

Werit followed him up as I was still unable to attack.  Mykiel then knocked me down and got one in as well.~

GG – Twitter question – So is the Black Orc mechanic going to be reworked at any point in time?

Nate – No, they’re not going to be totally reworked.  They are a little more limiting than we originally wanted, but

I don’t have an answer (other than that) for you right now.

GG – Twitter question – Any adjustment to Witch Elfs coming?  Specifically in regards to finishers?

Nate – Not slated for 1.3.5/6 I don’t think.

Steven – Umm…no….  ~long pause while we wait for him to finish~  …yeah, that’s all I got.  I’m eating a

cookiee.  It’s good.

~all laughing~

~Andrew took this opportunity to get a question in as my attention had been diverted to the plate of yummy-looking

cookiees on the table.  I got right back in after that though, cookiee-less~

GG – Twitter question – Are you looking to make it just as useful for Shamans to be Green/Gork spec and put out

heals that will actually keep people alive?

Nate – We’d like to.  Certainly, if you’re not heal spec, you’re not going to heal as well as someone that is.

That’s part and parcel of going heal-spec: you get to outheal the other people.  If you take a damage spec or hybrid

damage spec then your healing is going to take a hit and that’s the whole intent of picking a specialization.

~Werit tried to get a question in at this point, but he was unaware that I had already started the cast-timer on my

summonable group stagger, aka: Paul Barnett.  He showed up and derailed the entire conversation, as is his wont~

Paul – Is this the moment?  This is the moment, right?  This is the moment where you have access to the Career

people.  This is the bit.  Like the box can come out now and you can go “Oh really?  I DO have questions..”

Nate – There are no questions about Careers.  No one cares.

GG – We haven’t had any at all.  The internet doesn’t want to know about Careers.

Paul – Balancing and Careers isn’t important.

Andy – Tweet out that Paul Barnett is in the room and see if anyone has questions for him.

Paul – Oh, we’re blogging live?  Wow.

~the bloggers attempted to break my group CC at this point and got some more questions off.  During which time, I

ran out of AP and my summon of Paul Barnett ended and he left the room~

GG – Twitter question – Any chance on adding more group survival abilities to the Ironbreaker since Gromril Plating

has been adjusted to self-only?

Nate – No, we’re not adding anything right at the moment.  There’s nobody that can say with a straigh face that

Gromril wasn’t overpowered and they know it.

Mykiel – Gromril wasn’t overpowered.

Nate – You are such a liar!  And you can’t say it with a straight face cuz you’re already laughing.

GG – I’ve been an IB since launch and it was overpowered when damage was mitigated before hitting it.

Nate – Especially for a Morale 3.  There’s just nothing else comparable at Morale 3.  It blows everything else out

of the water.  So that one had to be changed because it just had to be changed.  We’re not adding anything for them

in 1.3.5.

~Mykiel tried to ask a question from Twitter, but it was a bit confusing in the way it was worded, so I translated~

GG – With some of the classes and their Mastery Paths, it looks like there is only “one true way” to go with your

points.  Were those classes designed that way and the other paths were just added in as filler?

Nate – No.  Our intent for all the Careers is that all three Mastery Paths are equally as effective.  Obviously not

effective at the same things.  If you’re a healer and you spec damage, you’re not as effetive at healing.  But, our

intent has always been that all three Paths are viable.  Obviously it didn’t entirely work out that way and to an

extent it never will because someone will always find that one particular spec that does 2% more damage than all the

rest and then everyone will do that for their 2% damage increase.  But if the others are close, we’d be thrilled.

Right now, some are just far above and beyond the rest and that’s something that we’re not happy with.

~Andrew asked a personal question about Shadow Warriors which I then used as a segway to another Twitter question.

Man I’m good at this~

GG – This doesn’t come from me but it’s totally about me, so that’s great.  Will Sword & Board tanks see any more

CC/debuffs/etc added in the future so there’s more of a reason to stay alive as opposed to going two-hand spec?

Nate – Not in 1.3.5, but it is a general direction we like of defensive tanks having more CC because that’s a

defense.  But not specifically in 1.3.5.

Steven – I’d like to preface that we don’t want to ADD more CC, it would be more of possibly moving it around to get

the defensive tanks where we want them.  Just not adding, adding is bad.

GG – I don’t know, you can feel free to add stagger to Ironbreaker…  ~giggle~

~Mykiel attempted to cast a question and got set-back, but made a quick recovery and succeeded.  Nice save man.  I

then interjected again~

GG – Twitter question – Cloaks from Tome Unlocks…any chance to make those patterns that are choosable like the

Title system.  To overlay almost like Guild Heraldry?

Sean – No plans to do that.

James – Interesting idea though.

~all Devs agreed~

Sean – We can definitely look into it.

Steven – Yeah, give them a kudos.  They just made a whole group of Developers perk up.

~Werit got a question in and then I grabbed another one…sensing a trend here? hehe~

GG – Twitter question – This comes from the community and I will read it exactly as written…

Nate – Uh oh.

GG – Third Faction ~cough cough~

Mykiel – Why does it say it’s from Gaarawarr in Twitter?

~all laughing~

GG – Dude, that says @Gaarawarr…

Nate – No, we’re not putting a third faction in.

~and people say I don’t ask the hard questions…I let Andrew get one in after before striking again~

GG – Twitter question – Will classes that use pure two-handers, they use Archmage as their example, ever be able to

weild anything other than two-handers?  Like say two one-handed items like some other classes?

Nate – Not in the foreseeable future.  Partially because that is a MASSIVE change to their animations on the scope

of which you cannot imagine.  So not in the foreseeable future.

~I was enjoying the “one for me, one for you” alternating question format so let it continue with Werit getting one

in then back to me~

GG – Twitter question – Itemization question in general, will “useless” gear ever stop dropping in dungeons?  ie:

the phantom Marauder that has his full set twice over by now…

Nate – So you mean, career-specific loot that drops but isn’t for someone in your group and is Bind-on-Pickup?

GG – Right.

Sean – So we, I specifically, have been looking at that.  I have looked into doing something with that extensively

and I’m continuing to look into something.  I’m not going to promise anything obviously, but it is being looked at.

Werit – Will that be part of the Economy changes?

Sean – The Economy stuff largely doesn’t affect the dungeons and we did that on purpose because it’s a much larger-

scope change.  But it is something we do want to look at in the future.  The Economy stuff is more for World-drops

outside of dungeons and for PQ drops.

~Yeah, Werit snuck a good follow-up in, so I let him get another after that.  I’m telling you, I’m not as bad a guy

as they make me out to be…~

GG – Twitter question – So someone says Archmage needs a Melee Staff Mastery Path.  Are we going to see that any

time soon?

~all laughing~

Andy – Yes, with the Bright Wizards.

Nate – Sure…not so much.

Andrew – Well, they showed it in the video…isn’t that what the follow-up is all the time?

GG – Yeah, Archmage vs. Witch Elf duels is specifically what they want!

Steven – I want to see the complaints on Archmage Auto-Attack Haste stacking…

~all laughing~

~after that comedic interlude, the other bloggers got a bunch of questions in…I was still giggling too much.  The

conversation trended towards crafting and onto the topic of Hybrid Seed drops…yes, they do drop, yes they are

extremely rare…so I interjected with this~

GG – So since it is so hard to loot them and the person that actually gets lucky and sees one drop while in a group

of people may not be a Cultivator, are there any thoughts on making them Bind on Use so they can fuel the economy?

Sean – We’ve talked about it, but we don’t have any plans of actually going through with that right now.  It is

something we’ve been talking about for a long time.

~Andrew asked a question about token drops in RvR and at the conclusion of the discussion Steven just randomly

tossed out this comment due to the way the camcorder we were using to record audio was pointing at him~

Steven – I feel like a god-damn Mogwai… Bright Light! Bright Light!  Jesus…

Nate – There you go: New Career.

Steven – That’s my favorite Career: the Mogwai.

Nate – After the Goblin Fanatic, we can do the Mogwai.

GG – Bright Light! Bright Light!  As he runs around.

~ah, the hilarity…moving on~

GG – So there’s always been a fun little war between Salvagers and Scavengers…

~all laughing~

Nate – …a fun little war…

GG – Yeah…so…currently if you Scavenge 100 NPCs, you’re going to end up with 5 or 6 purple fragments.  If you

Salvage 100 items, you’re lucky to get 1 purple fragment.  Are we going to see any more adjustment to this system

because Salvaging is now the red-headed bastard son of the crafting world.

Sean – There are no major changes like that for crafting in the works.  Crafting is something I’m constantly looking

at, as I told you before.  So that is definitely one of the things I’d think would be an improvement to the system

as a whole.  Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all I can say.  I’m trying, but there’s a lot of things fighting for

priority and it all comes down to where can we make the biggest impact on the game.

~we bounced around quite a bit after this and lots of topics were covered by the other bloggers, not to mention some

things that shall never be repeated…lots of humorous tangents and what-not…I finished strong though, in my

opinion…let me know what you think~

GG – So can I get an off-the-record question in?

Nate – Depends on what it is, doesn’t it?

~all laughing~

GG – <off-the-record question>

Nate – <off-the-record answer>

Werit – I’m still astounded by that off-the-record question…

~I’m pretty sure Werit’s sentiment is echoed by everyone there.  I really dropped the bomb on them.  The stunned

looks on their faces were priceless.  I’m SO good at this~

Now, I’m off to transcribe more interviews…oh joy!  We talked to Carrie Gouskos and Andy Belford again on Friday,

so I’ll get what I have from that up as soon as I can stomach putting the headphones back on and watching the little

slider move across my audio program while typing constantly…yeah…isn’t blogging fun?

~Gaar

Advertisements
17 Comments leave one →
  1. shadowwar permalink
    April 14, 2010 2:23 pm

    Stunned is right. It’s still making me giggle thinking about it.

  2. Chris permalink
    April 14, 2010 2:33 pm

    When does off-the record become on the record (if ever?)

    • Chris permalink
      April 14, 2010 2:33 pm

      Oh, and thanks very much for that giant write-up!

    • gaarawarr permalink
      April 14, 2010 2:45 pm

      In most cases, it doesn’t. Even when they come out and release the info we asked “off-the-record”, there’s really no point in us then going back and saying “Hey, that’s what we asked X months ago everyone!” Serves no purpose. lol

  3. April 14, 2010 2:35 pm

    Great write up GG, do you think you will ever be able to share the “off the record” question?

    Disappointed that Nate said that Magus can’t have a ranged AA to be equal to thier mirror because Sorc/BW/Shamman/Archmage would whine. So its ok to be unbalanced with your mirror. Too bad thier are such large descreptancies left between identified mirros, the tactics, morale abilities, and Ranged Autoattack the Engy get are far and away better than the magus.

    • gaarawarr permalink
      April 14, 2010 2:48 pm

      “Mirror” is misunderstood by people. It’s in reference to the Mechanic, not really anything else. They’ve stated this multiple times.

      As for balance, which is more what you’re referring to, we’re seeing them address things like this constantly, just not always as quick as the players would like. However, the new adjustments to the City, Champions in particular, will most likely throw imbalances in stark contrast to each other and drive many balance changes.

  4. April 14, 2010 2:36 pm

    GG – So I’m going to rephrase this next Twitter question to try to get their intent across. One of my favorite things to do in the Inevitable City when fighting other players is to punt them into the Abyss. ~giggle~ Is that still going to happen? In Altdorf you can punt people into the water. Are those things staying? There’s no way to get out of those places.

    Andy – Well, currently when you’re punted into the water, you drown.

    —–

    I still have to point out, When we was fighting in Altdorf before the current changes I was never able to punt ppl in the water.. You can’t even jump into the water in the Reg Altdorf unlike IC where you can jump into the abyss.

    • gaarawarr permalink
      April 14, 2010 2:50 pm

      So maybe that’s changing? It sounded like it was an option from their point of view. Test it once it goes live. However, they made many statements about how the Cities are definitely two different battlefields and they do their best to arrange the fights to be equal. However, they never will be simply because they’re two different maps.

      That being said, if you don’t want to be punted into the Abyss, it tends to be easy to prevent it. I’ve only been punted in once in the last half-dozen IC trips I’ve been on, yet I’ve punted the same person in repeatedly. At some point, the player is to blame there. lol

  5. Riprock permalink
    April 14, 2010 2:49 pm

    Nice Job Gaar. This is a good read after reading the updates to the City Siege on the official forums.

    Thanks!

  6. Kesarin permalink
    April 14, 2010 3:24 pm

    I’m still a little miffed about their answer on seeds. There’s rare, and there’s “I only see seeds drop in the Eternal Citadel”. Maybe I’m just cursed, but seeing as how I’ve been running LV, TOVL, and RvR for all the time that I’ve been a cultivator, I somewhat question how rare they intend seeds to be.

    /bitter

    • gaarawarr permalink
      April 14, 2010 5:26 pm

      Very, very rare. They’re strong items. The problem doesn’t lie in the drop-rate, the problem lies in the fact that we compare it to how it was broken before and how easily we could get them.

      They’ll look at it again I’m sure. We may see a change in the future. For now though, it’s not a game-breaking issue.

  7. Mark permalink
    April 14, 2010 7:06 pm

    24 v 24, in one instance.. isn’t that… not Massively Multiplayer.. it’s more like “above halo 3” just…

    hell even MAG on the PS3 can manage 250.. it feels small. Look at the competition WoW as a side game can support 40 v 40 in 2 BGs and 200v200 in WSG… with more coming in the expansion.

    WAR is currently BASED on RvR and.. we’re getting 24v24.. doesn’t that feel like “fail”.

    • gaarawarr permalink
      April 14, 2010 7:54 pm

      Not really. Massively Multiplayer refers to everyone playing the game at the same time and how many people are in the world. Tier 4 RvR has large-scale combat quite often. Even the City in its current incarnation is 48 vs 48. The problem there lies in the issues that arise if you’re outnumbered even slightly. With 24 vs 24, you still get a good-sized fight, but if you’re missing a couple people it’s not the end of the world.

      Additionally, it allows for a more epic feeling experience to know that you, as one person, had a large part in the victory since there’s only 24 of you. In a 100 vs 100 fight, whether you were there or not really wouldn’t matter to the success of your Realm. That would feel like fail imo.

  8. Krosuss permalink
    April 15, 2010 12:14 pm

    Very good stuff! Sounds like you guys had a great time. Thanks for pulling together all this information and sharing it with us.

    Like many I’d love to know what the “off-the-record” question was … nice of you to throw that in at the end. You knew it would make everyone all “what … what … WHAT??!!??!!”.

    What caught my eye was your question around adding in new careers. You referenced the Goblin Fantatic post. What post? Is this an April Fools or are we going to see a new MDPS for the gobbos?

    • gaarawarr permalink
      April 15, 2010 1:27 pm

      In re: Goblin Fanatic. There was a post on the Official Forums where Nate hopped in and made a comment about how they had tossed around the idea of a Goblin Fanatic at one point. Very comedic post, definitely worth looking up just for the hilarity factor.

Trackbacks

  1. Public Test Server Q&A, 8/6/10 « Gaarawarr Gabs
  2. » Blog Archive » Public Test Server Q&A, 8/6/10

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: