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Transcript of Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty Developer's Chat


July 5, 2001

mrquazarr_MS says: Welcome to the Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty Developer's Chat.

mrquazarr_MS says: I would like to turn over the floor to the Creative Director for Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty, Chris Foster.

slapp_turbine says: I'm Chris "Slapp" Foster, Creative Director for Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty. With me are some of my teammates: Justin "Scrap" Quimby, Lead Programmer; Damon "SuperScooper" Iannuzzelli, Artist Extraordinaire, and Ken "Ken Troop" Troop, Lead Designer.

slapp_turbine says: Representing the team that will inherit and expand upon our work, we have Dave "Crowley" Javier and Cardell "Cardell" Kerr from AC Live.

slapp_turbine says: "Also with us is Ken "MrQuazarr" Karl, Program Manager for Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty."

slapp_turbine says: (whom you've already met)

slapp_turbine says: We're happy to be here and excited to discuss the expansion pack. We've been working on it for months now, and it's great that we can finally reveal everything about it! Well, except all the secret stuff, that is.

slapp_turbine says: More to the point: many details of features and content are being refined as we go forward, so we can't always go into specifics. And details of our story are being withheld, because we don't want to tell you the story before you get to experience it.

slapp_turbine says: But enough introducing! Allez cuisine!

mrquazarr_MS says: OK, lets begin...

SockPuppet_2 in AsheronsCall asks: Do you have a set release date for the expansion pack?

slapp_turbine says: SockPuppet_2, we

slapp_turbine says: we're planning (oops) a holiday season release. We're not getting more specific than that at this time.

slapp_turbine says: But we are on schedule.

LightEmpath in AsheronsCall asks: If a person has multiple accounts will they need to purchase multiple copies for each account or can they have just 1?

mrquazarr_MS says: For every one account that you use to play Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty, you will need a separate copy of the game.

Guest_doushikai in AsheronsCall asks: Can you say how much houses will cost?

kentroop_turbine says: While we won't discuss specific prices, we will say that most houses will require varying means to acquire and support

cannedviction in AsheronsCall asks: Are quests going to be a little more varied and different compared to the AC norm?

kentroop_turbine says: One of the really fun things about working on the expansion has been the opportunity to do a lot more in our quests than we are usually able to do in the monthly props. The quests for Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty are really going to push the edge both...

kentroop_turbine says: in terms of quest dynamics and quest results

GuRn3y in AsheronsCall asks: will the expansion have any new graphical enchantments, such as better rendering of 3D platforms, or new 3D engines?

slapp_turbine says: Gurney, AC: DM uses the same graphics engine as the original Asheron's Call, but its art reflects the standards we've developed in our most recent monthly props.

slapp_turbine says: So the new island will be prettier!

Dugfromtheearth in AsheronsCall asks: Will there be storage available other then in the houses?

kentroop_turbine says:. No, storage is tied directly to housing

Super_Sayjn_Gohan in AsheronsCall asks: Will my friends who do not buy the expansion be able to visit my home?

scrap_turbine says: Yes, people who do not own, Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty will be able to visit your home.

michealTD in AsheronsCall asks: If it will be 'first come, first serve' situation on the 1000 Homes per server, what is to prevent the folks on the East Coast from getting all of the properties before the people on the West Coast even get out of bed?

kentroop_turbine says: We've thought about this situation a lot, and while we won't go into specifics, we have a number of things we're implementing to prevent that kind of First Come First Serve problem. In addition, while some houses will be subject to whoever gets there...

kentroop_turbine says: first, new houses will be opening up and coming down the pipeline, creating a dynamic and fluid housing market

MericanPigdog in AsheronsCall asks: Will new types of characters be available in DM?

slapp_turbine says: There are no new player-character types planned for the game, but there'll be a few new beasties you can meet.

ElderMT in AsheronsCall asks: Please explain how we will pay "monthly rent" for houses, or at least what happens if we don't & the house is put on the market.

kentroop_turbine says: The monthly rent will operate fairly straightforwardly...we won't reveal the exact details of housing abandonment or loss, but there will be a way for those people on extended vacation or similar events to arrange to continue to pay for their house

Ramuuh in AsheronsCall asks: What will happen to the items in your secure storage if you are unable to pay the rent?

kentroop_turbine says: The current plan is that all items will disappear if you fail to pay the rent

ZuZ_IV in AsheronsCall asks: Is the Expansion Pack going to have major updates every month like Asheron's Call?

crowley_turbine says: once the expansion content is in, the live team will continue its monthly process

CorpsieAutopsy in AsheronsCall asks: Why should the players have to pay just to get an extra land mass when many feel it should be a gift to all and how would you restrict passage to this mass to those who have purchased?

crowley_turbine says: our monthly content patches will not be interrupted, and we will continue to provide content for all

crowley_turbine says: and yes, I foresee that this will include updates to the content coming in with ACDM

slapp_turbine says: The expansion pack contains features and content that the live team could afford to do while still publishing monthly updates.

slapp_turbine says: We decided a second team was the best way to get the features into the game players wanted.

slapp_turbine says: (whoops, I mean "MORE features and content THAN the live team could afford to do..."

slapp_turbine says: The expansion pack lets us deliver those features to you.

Guest_Yorlik in AsheronsCall asks: Is the "new land mass" going to be on the current AC Map?

slapp_turbine says: The new land mass will be on the current AC map. It's our largest terrain update yet, though not as large as Dereth.

IrishFaerie2001 in AsheronsCall asks: What measurements are you taking to ensure that houses are "thief-proof"?

slapp_turbine says: I measured Ken Troop, but it didn't seem to help.

scrap_turbine says: The thief question is an important one. I can't talk about code details, but if I weren't extremely sure about the code, we wouldn't be doing housing.

Ethangar4 in AsheronsCall asks: Will the expansion have new environment types (new ground textures, etc) or will it be the same old grass, obsidian, desert type scenery.

superscooper_turbine says: Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty will include new environment types that will require unique textures and art assets.

Ones_7 in AsheronsCall asks: What is going to happen to the people that buy the expansion pack and don't get to own a house? Being there is only 1,000 available I know if I don't get a house I will be very mad.

slapp_turbine says: We are committed to adding houses to the game after Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty ships.

KikiJoanofArc in AsheronsCall asks: I want AC DM, but will it be worth buying if AC II is on its way out anyway? Will AC I still be played when AC II is released?

slapp_turbine says: Yes, we have no plans to shut down AC1 when AC2 ships.

crowley_turbine says: *breathes a sigh of relief*

slapp_turbine says: So get back to work, Crowley.

Guest_Grensun in AsheronsCall asks: Will there possibly be new weapons classes in DM, such as pole-arms?

slapp_turbine says: Grensun, there are no new weapon classes in the expansion pack, but we are committed to making sure that every weapon-class "gets some love."

Talajzar in AsheronsCall asks: Can people on other accounts be given permission to take things from my house? Such as a monarchy sharing items?

scrap_turbine says: Yes, people with other accounts that have purchased Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty can be granted item storage permission.

Guest_Satarian in AsheronsCall asks: Will homes in the new expansion affect monster spawn, as they did in Ultima Online?

kentroop_turbine says: Monsters will not spawn in the house area, or right around the house area, so that is taken into consideration as we place the houses around Dereth

SheerDisc in AsheronsCall asks: Will houses be located all over Dereth, or just the new land mass?

slapp_turbine says: Houses are located all over Dereth. We have a map with pushpins in the office marking our "prime real estate."

Guest_Mest in AsheronsCall asks: You said in the expansion pack each weapon will get "love" in the expansion, does that mean we don't have any "love" to look forward to in the months before the expansion pack?

crowley_turbine says: like I said before, the expansion pack in no way affects the live team's operations

crowley_turbine says: so you can still look forward to weapon love in the regular content updates

Angle_39 in AsheronsCall asks: Will you be able to decorate your house in AC: DM?

slapp_turbine says: You'll be able to customize your house's appearance through decorations. This will involve a mixture of existing objects in the game, and some new ones designed specifically for decorating purposes.

Guest_Mike_the_Test in AsheronsCall asks: Who will develop content for the island, the XP team or the live team?

kentroop_turbine says: The expansion team is developing content for the island prior to ship. Post-ship, the Live Team will be in charge of further plot developments and quests on Marae Lassel.

merendel1 in AsheronsCall asks: Will all characters on an account have access to the contents of the house and stored items?

kentroop_turbine says: Only the character on the account who purchased the house will be have all the rights and privileges of an owner of the house...however, you can add house-using functionality to other characters of yours in the same way that you can add it to friends of yours.

AC_Zan in AsheronsCall asks: Will non-expansion pack users be able to see/use new items obtained from the expansion?

kentroop_turbine says: Non-expansion pack buyers will be able to see, and in some cases, use new items obtained from the expansion. Most of the premier items to be gained from the new island though will generally only be usable by those who have the expansion

Guest_Toomba in AsheronsCall asks: It seems AC has been hampered by a lack of marketing, what is going to be done with the expansion to turn the tide and get true new players interested in the best game on the market?

mrquazarr_MS says: With the Expansion Pack you can expect a very aggressive marketing campaign to accompany it. Expect more than a few surprises.

Thisky in AsheronsCall asks: Will you make a new server when the pack is released?

mrquazarr_MS says: We are committed to adding additional servers to meet the growing demand that Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty will bring.

Fwh_Pretender0 in AsheronsCall asks: Are there going to be a community type setup for housing or all spread out?

kentroop_turbine says: For some housing sites, it will be more of a community type set up, but there will be a number of singleton and unique houses placed as well

SheerDisc in AsheronsCall asks: What is the minimum character level to using Marae Lassel?

kentroop_turbine says: There is no minimum level needed to arrive on Marae Lassel

AC_Zan in AsheronsCall asks: Will European users be able to buy and use the expansion pack on day 1 of its release?

mrquazarr_MS says: We have not announced our plans for international distribution at this time but we expect to soon.

Guest_StayPuff in AsheronsCall asks: Are some dungeons going to have an 'Expansion' restriction on them?

kentroop_turbine says: The dungeons for Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty will be limited to those who have purchased the expansion.

Flamelord_of_Leafcull in AsheronsCall asks: Are houses going to be truly physical (i.e. UO) or more like AO (i.e. physical house, but multiple peeps can use it and have a diff house).

scrap_turbine says: The houses will be truly physical houses.

Guest_insane in AsheronsCall asks: Will most of the dungeons in the expansion set be towards higher-level players , or will it be evenly distributed ?

kentroop_turbine says: There will be a number of dungeons available in the expansion for all ranges of players, from genuinely low level players to players at the upper echelons of the game

Guest_guestman in AsheronsCall asks: Are you guys making these questions up and asking them through fake aliases?

mrquazarr_MS says: These are all actual questions coming in right now...

slapp_turbine says: David Manning says, every question you read here is real!"

UglierPorag in AsheronsCall asks: Do you pay Extra 10$ a month to play even if your a member of the current Asheron's call subscription?

mrquazarr_MS says: A player will only need to pay for an Asheron's Call subscription or an Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty subscription. Never both.

Guest_Solus in AsheronsCall asks: I play on Darktide, lvl 45 UA. With only 1000 dwellings being made available to start, is it first come first server or will everyone have a chance to get one? Would clan issued be a better way to approach it?

scrap_turbine says: We already addressed the first come, first served question earlier, but do remember that there will be 1000 dwellings per world, not per server.

scrap_turbine says: In other words, DT will have 1000 dwellings, MT will have 1000 dwellings, etc.

JerichoSkeksi in AsheronsCall asks: For how much longer can we definitely expect monthly updates for Asheron's Call?

mrquazarr_MS says: We have no plans at this time to stop doing monthly updates. It is one of the strengths of Asheron's Call and will continue to be.

JaredKinwa in AsheronsCall asks: Do you get to pick the house that goes on your property or does one just come with it?

kentroop_turbine says: The houses will already exist on locations throughout Dereth chosen by the AC expansion team.

mrquazarr_MS says: Wanted to take a moment to clarify the how much housing will be available: Initially there will be 1000 houses in each world... we are committed to increasing that number over the subsequent months.

Guest_pistofftoe in AsheronsCall asks: Will there be low-level hunting for newbies so it's not a waste for them to get the expansion pack?

slapp_turbine says: There will be both low-level hunting opportunities, and low-level quests for players on the new island.

ACSage_Amatsu in AsheronsCall asks: In case this hasn't been asked as yet, how will item decay for the decorative objects in houses be handled?

scrap_turbine says: Decorative objects in your house will not decay as long as you own the house.

Batttlespire in AsheronsCall asks: Will there be different types of houses like Castles to cottages or will they all be same type of house?

kentroop_turbine says: Yes, there will be a variety of different styles and sizes for people to choose from.

kentroop_turbine says: Some houses will be truly very awe-inspiring

Rhizobium1 in AsheronsCall asks: Are there any plans to extend the level cap of 126 with this expansion set? There are several players on each server that are approaching the cap, and it is discouraging to know that you will not be able to progress after that point

kentroop_turbine says: There are currently no plans to extend the level cap beyond level 126. While we are aware that a few of our players are approaching the cap, we will continue to focus our content and systems for the wide spectrum of our player base, for most of whom, ....

kentroop_turbine says: the level-cap does not represent a significant or realistic obstacle

Imterminator240 in AsheronsCall asks: If you drop an item in a house (not in a chest) will it still decay?

scrap_turbine says: Items not placed as decorations or put in storage will still decay

Yoshi_Solclaim in AsheronsCall asks: Can a player buy multiple houses (and become a slum lord)?

slapp_turbine says: A single player cannot become a slumlord, no.

Guest_Khan_of_Feh in AsheronsCall asks: Are we going to see new 'quest technology' to expand upon some of the things we saw in the shadow war??

scrap_turbine says: Quest technology is one of the great tools for the content team. We will be expanding quest technology.

Guest_Jaryn in AsheronsCall asks: Can an occasional player (not high level or extremely wealthy) get housing and therefore storage?

kentroop_turbine says: Yes, we are designing the housing system so that casual players, even if they are not extremely wealthy or extremely high level, will be able to get houses

kentroop_turbine says: While people who have invested the most time in AC will always see a return on that investment, housing will not be limited at all to the "elite" or professional players

Movarl_HG in AsheronsCall asks: Can we expect to see the bases of weapons and how damage bonus is figured out changed, rather then adding hilts to rebalance everything?(Which actually balances everything the way it was before. Except dagger is much better for cost vs. sword now.)

crowley_turbine says: as stated before, weapon balance is still being worked on

crowley_turbine says: we recognize that certain weapon classes need some attention, and the live team is working on them

crowley_turbine says: we've got some interesting ideas, which don't involve slapping bandit hilts on everything

NedAtomic in AsheronsCall asks: Will we be given adequate notification of prices for homes before the expansion gets released? I would like to start saving..

slapp_turbine says: We're not letting people know what the prices are in advance, as that would give some an unfair advantage.

slapp_turbine says: We're taking steps to make sure there's a level playing field for players who want to buy a house when they become available.

slapp_turbine says: Can't get into more details now.

slapp_turbine says: (BTW, Stormy just chased KenTroop away from his keyboard with a Nerf Gun...)

slapp_turbine says: (which shows how tough Troop really is )

kentroop_turbine says: why are you so mean, slappy?

slapp_turbine says: it's tough love, Ken.

ToiletDuk_SC in AsheronsCall asks: Will people who have access to your secure storage also have access to your decorations?

slapp_turbine says: just without the love.

scrap_turbine says: Only the owner of a dwelling will have access to the decorations. The owner can grant storage access permission.

Thistledove in AsheronsCall asks: Will there be unique items in the expansion pack? If so, will this mean the premium players will be able to sell them at premium prices?

kentroop_turbine says: There will be unique and very special items available through the expansion pack. However, many of these items will not benefit non-expansion pack users (or in some cases, anyone who didn't acquire the item through the quest), so while they're great...

kentroop_turbine says: items, there won't be much of a secondary market for them

mrquazarr_MS says: We would like to thank everyone for joining us this evening and we look forward to more Developer's Chats as we get closer to shipping Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty.

mrquazarr_MS says: Make sure to look for more details about Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty on our websites.

mrquazarr_MS says: The next Developer's Chat we have will be focused around AC Live and the July prop. Look for details on that date soon.
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