Transcript of Developer's Chat, September 2001
|| Recently, the Turbine team met to discuss current issues with Asheron's Call and the world of Dereth. This dev chat continued to follow the question-first and queue-clearing format, allowing as many people to participate. The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity.
kentroop_turbine: Hello, folks, Ken Troop here. I'd like to take this time to talk about a few of the changes that the Turbine AC team has undergone recently.
First, David "Crowley" Javier, after a year of distinguished service as Content Lead for Asheron's Call, will be moving on to the greener (well certainly prettier) content pastures of the sequel to Asheron's Call. Cardell Kerr, long time nemesis of all good and decent people, is stepping up to become the new Content Lead. Also, we have two new additions to the Content Team: Kim Payson and Les Nelken, both designers who worked on Asheron's Call Dark Majesty, will be the new Content Designers contributing to our monthly props for AC.
Da_HumAn: Will the new spawns stay or go back the way it was before sometime? =)
cardell_turbine: That is largely up to the Virindi. But to give you some insight, do Drudge Raveners ever become Prowlers again? Generally, once the Virindi fiddle with something, it stays fiddled with--look at Martine.
Nocuous asks: What is being done to ensure people on the east coast of the USA have no advantages in buying houses than the people on the west coast? Timewise. /me has bad feeling the house I want will probably be taken by the time I wake up.
kentroop: There are a couple of different ways that people won't have a time advantage due to such things as west coast/east coast time differences. First, only some houses will be available as Dark Majesty is released, with more available throughout the month. Also, it will not be quite as easy as first-come-first-serve, once the new houses do become available.
You'll see as it unfolds. Finally, we are committed to providing new housing in each of the successive monthly props, at least for the next 4 or 5 and quite possibly beyond, so even if one does not get a house immediately, [other] ones will open up in the market
joncw: Hello, I am Marognoth Of Frostfell, my question is, do you believe that the lag issue is fixed and if so, why do people still have problems with it? Also, can you give a date of when Dark Majesty will be released?
kentroop_turbine: We think that we've addressed the majority of lag issues that people were experiencing during the month of August; however, we are aware that some people are still having problems, and we have identified a couple of other problems that we hope to have resolved in the next patch. I don't want to mention details until we are sure of the fix, but if you are still having problems, then I encourage you to use bugs.zone.com to report the problems and conditions--the more info we have, the more likely we are to pinpoint the problem. Finally, lately the nimda virus has taken its toll recently on the Internet and some people are seeing some problems due to that... this does not mean that all problems are a result of this, but we have seen some slowdowns because of it.
AgronaAushora: When will you stop people from hacking the client to remove the jump timer? I play on DT and this is very frustrating for many of us. Thanks in advance.
kentroop_turbine: We are actively aware of the problem, and we are considering a fix. We want to move quickly but at the same time we want to make sure our fix works and does not further destabilize the game. We are well aware how frustrating this issue is for many of our players, especially on Darktide, and we are treating it accordingly.
Red_Belly: I saw a few houses and noticed strange crystal objects by them. Are these lifestones?
kentroop_turbine: No, they are not Lifestones.
Ethangar4: For those of us who have to order ACDM, will there be a delay between the release date and the opening of ACDM content so we all get a fair chance at grabbing our new homes and other quests?
kentroop_turbine: Generally the availability of the quests and content and housing will be available when Asheron's Call Dark Majesty hits the shelves. However, housing has been implemented in such a way that there is not necessarily a time advantage to being the first one to buy. We were aware of the sensitive nature of some people feeling like they were left out of the housing market because they bought the game later than other people and we actively designed around that limitation. The content is much less structured however, and generally the first people to buy the game will be the first people to experience the new content.
Saeyt: Will October have a full update? Or will that month's prop be toned down due to the release of DM?
cardell_turbine: October will be as full as it can be, considering the fact that Asheron's Call Dark Majesty will be released during it.
I would love to give you details, but we all know how that works. Needless to say, expect to have a relatively full plate to keep you warm until the ship of the Expansion pack.
Guest_Cosmette: It has been more than 3 months since the Quiditty raids appeared and we are still very much in the dark about why/how the raid. Any lore/more details on this occurrence?
cardell_turbine: Quiddity raids are fairly easy to figure out. If you are searching for a deeper meaning as to why the Virindi are doing what they are doing, you should search for extra lore.
Guest_Aesop: Are there any plans to have a "house recall" spell with the release of Dark Majesty? Or can you not comment on that?
kentroop_turbine: Yes, there are plans to have house recall functionality.
Squeegeeman1: Hi, are the Tundra Matty Robes supposed to protect the head, or not?
cardell_turbine: Yes, it is a bug.
LordXanthan: I realize that unless you purchase the Expansion pack you will not have access to the new dungeons, or have the ability to purchase housing. But will items from these Expansion pack dungeon be tradable to people who haven't purchased the expansion?
kentroop_turbine: Some will, some won't.
JadeWisp: Great game, guys! The question I have regards the new housing in the exp pack. When will we actually be able to purchase a house, after the pack is installed, or after the next patch after Dark Majesty is released?
kentroop_turbine: If your character meets certain criteria, you will be able to buy a house during the patch month in which you buy the expansion.
Just to clarify on that last question, people will not need to wait for another patch for any of the expansion functionality after they buy the expansion. Everything will be functional during the month the expansion hits the shelves.
Lord_of_Fire6: Salutations I am Hosagi Matissmo on Thistledown. i have a few quick questions: What is being done bout the dead zones people find in game? Where does the Portal at the bottom of the Villas and mansions go? and when will Larry the Rabbit Master be fixed?
kentroop_turbine: We're discussing what you meant by dead zones. As for the other two, I'll answer the last one. . . soon, we hope. Real soon? Larry is very reclusive, it takes a lot of work to coax him out of that shy shell.
Guest_Lalledusken: This question has been asked hundreds of time on the Community boards and never answered: Is there a chance to lower the cost of Plat Scarabs?
cardell_turbine: There is always a chance. But I highly doubt it.
Greymalk: When do you plan actual Mace Love? The current Items have caused us Macers to sit here baffled as to why they where even implemented in the first place. Lugian Sceptre/Fang Mace/Assualt Mace have all been useless to us as a whole. PS: We Need T.W. LOVE!
cardell_turbine: We've talked about Mace Love for a while now, and we were thinking about something. I can't give you specifics, but I think macers will appreciate it.
Dataway: This was the best patch yet. I was wondering, though, if Arwic will ever be rebuilt? The Tufa residents are moving back into the crater, but the Arwic NPCs are still scattered about.
cardell_turbine: The denizens of Arwic have the tenacity of roaches. I'm certain they'll come up with something. They've taken the worst that the Shadows had to offer. I'm certain they'll rebuild in time.
kentroop_turbine: You know, I can't believe you would insult Ketnan like that.
cardell_turbine: Ketnan = King Cockroach.
maxfli_86: What is being done to improve in game support? Is it really 24/7 support?
mrquazarr_ms: We are always looking for feedback on our in game support system. We never want to just accept the current level of support, but improve. We are working on tools that will allow us to do just that. If you have suggestions, feel free to submit them via the web response form. As for 24/7 support, yes, there are admins available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Depending on load, it could take them several minutes to get to your call.
_Tailmonkey0: Was the Bone Mace (pictured in the screenshot teaser) accidentally left out of this patch? Or just not discovered yet? (gasp! Something not found on patch day!?)
cardell_turbine: It's there. Waiting to spring out! Oddly enough, it hasn't been discovered yet, hrm.
Aesthethynol: Will the actual expansion go live as DM hits the store, or will DM hit the stores first and go live after, let's say, 2 weeks after DM hits the stores?
kentroop_turbine: The expansion content will be live before the expansion pack actually hits the shelves, but the content will only be available to those who have bought the expansion.
Guest_Stripehawk: Is there an opportunity to make books any lighter? I am a mage, and like to read the books, but I have low strength, and I am often encumbered due to literature.
cardell_turbine: Hrm, who needs books in combat? Well, we've already made some things lighter, like crowns and gorgets, why not books? We'll see.
Guest_Berthold: What's the timing on the shipping of the Asheron's Call Dark Majesty?
mrquazarr_ms: We are not at a point of giving out actual dates yet, but it's fair to say the dates you are read on the pre-orders at gamestop and EB will be pretty close to actuals.
Val_Poncho: Soon as we get the expansion on our doorsteps, will it be safe to go ahead and install it and run it?
Guest_StirFry: I just want to say, whoever thought up the Simulacra items and the Asteliary orb was brilliant, good items. However, I have yet to see a definition on the timer for the orb/imbue gem quest. Can you release that information?
cardell_turbine: I would have to say that the timer is comparable to the one on the Broken Virindi Mask, but don't quote me.
Snipe_X_WE: Hey peeps. Any chance of getting bookshelves for houses, that way we can have our own Lore Library?
kentroop_turbine: We talked about that specific idea for a while actually, (the bookshelves), but ultimately we didn't follow up on it for tech reasons. However, we will be actively adding new dynamics and items that interact with the houses over the coming months, so this is something that we might revisit. We think it's a great idea.
Th3On3: What's up with the rare spawns? Will they stay rare?
cardell_turbine: As for the rare spawns, they will stay rare, and in game for an indeterminate amount of time. If anything, even more may be added one day.
Guest_Gelid: Up to what month will the Expansion CD have? Will we have to download the 74 mb patch for this CD or will it include the latest updates in the CD?
kentroop_turbine: The CD will contain up through the September 2001 patch, so one should never have to download from before that.
OptimShi0: Will all the "hooks" available in homes for decorations, will we be able to display no-drop items such as the Sword of Lost Hope on these hooks?
kentroop_turbine: This will be an ongoing dynamic for the Live Team. Not all items will be able to be placed on hooks, but in the successive months we will add more and more "hook" functionality to many of the items in Dereth.
Guest_Haruka_MT: Can you start a new account with ACM?
kentroop_turbine: Yes, the expansion is stand-alone for new players, or just an expansion for existing players.
mrquazarr_ms: There is one question we have seen a lot of recently that we have yet to see tonight, but we feel it is important to ask and answer--Will Asheron's Call Dark Majesty be available outside of North America? Yes, we will be making an International English version available a few weeks after release in North America. At this time we can confirm that it will be available in the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
And yes, North America DOES include Canada.
We would like to thank you all for coming out this evening and we look forward to doing this again soon. Asheron's Call Dark Majesty is just around the corner and we are just as excited as all of you to get in and play! Thanks!