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Transcript of Developer's Chat, March 12

Img bar On Tuesday March 12, the Turbine team met in the Zone Theater Chat Room to discuss current issues with Asheron's Call and the world of Dereth. The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

mrquazarr_MS says: Hello, and welcome to the Asheron's Call 1 (wow, we have to start putting the number in front now) Developer's Chat.

mrquazarr_MS says: As always, I am you moderator, Ken Karl, Program Manager at Microsoft for Asheron's Call 1.

mrquazarr_MS says: With me is my counterpart in crime...the other part of the deadly Ken Duo...Ken Troop.

mrquazarr_MS says: I will allow Mr. Troop to introduce the rest of the team at Turbine...

kentroop_turbine says: With us tonight from Turbine are:

kentroop_turbine says: Kim Payson, Les Nelken, Allan Maki, our trio of Content Designers Sean Dickinson, our Data Integrator.

kentroop_turbine says: Todd Berkebile, Sandra Powers, our engineering team, Sean Huxter, Artist at a Distance, myself, Ken Troop, Producer of AC Live.

kentroop_turbine says: and special guest: VonCheeseBiscuit, Missing in Action: A Brandon!

mrquazarr_MS says: OK, on to the questions.

Ganondorf99 in AsheronsCall asks: When can we expect to see the return of Quiddity Ingots?

kentroop_turbine says: You can expect to see them very soon.

kentroop_turbine says: As in Wednesday type of soon.

kentroop_turbine says: For those of you who don't know Turbine lingo to translate "very" as this month.

msnunrelated in AsheronsCall asks: Is there going to be more space available in house chests in the future?

kentroop_turbine says: It is definitely one of our goals to allow people to purchase more storage space in their chests...

kentroop_turbine says: using Writs, pyreals, etc.

kentroop_turbine says: At this point we do not have a definitive timeframe of when this would happen.

OmptimusPrime in AsheronsCall asks: Can you get rid of the junk loot and increase the chances of getting nice loot?

kentroop_turbine says: Another "very soon" thing.

kentroop_turbine says: At least for weapons at the high levels

kentroop_turbine says: No more flaming javelins out of a SIK chest! Or at least...a lot fewer.

kentroop_turbine says: Our dev notes/March letter to the players will explain in more detail

kentroop_turbine says: but I think the changes we made make a lot of sense, given where AC is now, 2+ years after ship.

batsumishi in AsheronsCall asks: Will March be the first installment of melee love, or the only installment?

kentroop_turbine says: The first installment. With this month, we're going to have our first "differing levels" of damage, gated by one's weapon skill, i.e. higher damage weapons with wield requirements.

kentroop_turbine says: We think this addresses some of the problems melees face in day to day life...but of course it doesn't help with others

kentroop_turbine says: Rather than wait for the second installment of these changes, which we think will have more of an effect...we decided this month to tweak the Diamond Lord and Oak Golem, to make them more...

kentroop_turbine says: warrior/archer friendly

kentroop_turbine says: And we will take a look at some of the other Boss Monsters for April.

kentroop_turbine says: In the meantime, we're working on the second stage of these installments, which we hope to get out in the next 2-4 months.

durwood84 in AsheronsCall asks: Will we ever see armor that covers the upper legs (aka that we can use with greaves)?

Sean_Turbine says: Hello all. The main reason we could not do upper leg armor at first was due to the limitations of our palette system.

Sean_Turbine says: While that system can make for some incredible number of variations, there are limitations to it.

Sean_Turbine says: However, we played with it some and discovered that we could do some interesting and fun things with it, which you saw with steel toed boots and other items that change color when you use them.

Sean_Turbine says: By using a similar system, we could make upper leg armor that changed color depending on what you were wearing elsewhere, but it could not have a set color of its own.

Sean_Turbine says: We have been talking about doing this. When it gets done, I can't say. You could ask Ken...

Particle_Golem in AsheronsCall asks: Due to their overwhelming popularity in "preview" screenshots, one can only be beyond confused when not seeing things such as the Dereth Map and Arcane Pedasel, where are they?

kentroop_turbine says: We're planning on releasing them soon, we're trying to wait for an "appropriate" content moment to release them...this will be soon. Not very. But soon.

SL_Ki_Adi_Mundi in AsheronsCall asks: Hoary Mattekars are a one month thing, correct? We won't see them after Tuesday?

kentroop_turbine says: No, they are not a one-time thing. They are permanent. They are not going away.

saturn_78 in AsheronsCall asks: What is the status of the House Item Storage Loss bug?

kentroop_turbine says: Here's the good news:

kentroop_turbine says: We had a number of server crashes during the month of February, and there were no confirmed item loss cases during those crashes, with one important exception.

kentroop_turbine says: That exception is that if a player placed an item in a hook or a chest, and then up to 10 minutes later, the server upon which their house is stored crashed.

kentroop_turbine says: In that case there is still a possibility of item loss.

kentroop_turbine says: But that possibility will always exist.

kentroop_turbine says: The bugs that we were experiencing, in which players could lose their items, no matter how long they had been in a chest or hook, when a server crashes...that has been fixed.

kentroop_turbine says: And our emphasis is now on, like it always has been, on trying to ensure that the servers never crash.

Formidable_ in AsheronsCall asks: Will there be any changes to the "Spot Tie" ability of players who have never gone through any recallable portals? This greatly increases player's ability to combat macro and "jack" other people's quests.

kentroop_turbine says: Yes. It's going away in two days.

volvus in AsheronsCall asks: Will "gimped" skills ever recieve a partial skill credit refund? The policy has always been to balance through content, but many skills have recieve nothing for too long.

kentroop_turbine says: With March's Event, users who specialized in Missile Defense will receive 6 credits back.

kentroop_turbine says: If they trained it, they will receive 2 credits back.

kentroop_turbine says: Specialized Alchemists will receive 4 credits back.

kentroop_turbine says: Trained Alchemists 2.

kentroop_turbine says: We explain more about the whys of this in our letter to the players.

kentroop_turbine says: But these skills (with the exception of certain melee skills and appraisals) were the ones we felt most needed to be balanced, and we decided that balancing it this way instead of attempting to create new content for it...was the best way to go.

kentroop_turbine says: But these two skills will be the only skills that receive this kind of fix.

kentroop_turbine says: After this, we still are going to attempt to change appraisals, and offer melee chars more options...but there will be no further shakeups/major changes

HonestRocket in AsheronsCall asks: What about the multiple ties you've talked about before? is that very soon or just soon?

kentroop_turbine says: "Real soon".

kentroop_turbine says: "Real" means about a month from now.

kentroop_turbine says: Coming in April, we are doing a number of changes to the transportation system.

kentroop_turbine says: First, everyone, regardless of whether they have Item Magic, will have the ability to recall to a Lifestone without dying.

kentroop_turbine says: Second, those with Item Magic, will get a number of new spells:

kentroop_turbine says: The ability to tie to a lifestone (so, is able to recall to 2 lifestones).

kentroop_turbine says: The ability to tie to, recall to, and summon a second portal.

kentroop_turbine says: Third, the ability to recall through a last used portal, if you haven't learned tie--that's going away.

kentroop_turbine says: In it's place will be a new spell that repeats that functionality but accessible to all Item Magic users.

kentroop_turbine says: Again, this is all planned for April.

kentroop_turbine says: Just in case my wording wasn't clear.

kentroop_turbine says: This new spell would allow you to recall through your last used portal (as long as that portal was flagged as recallable).

Deaths_Demise in AsheronsCall asks: Will a non-Life melee Character ever be able to Kill a Diamond Lord?

kentroop_turbine says: Our goal with the change to the Diamond Lord this month is intended to allow that...I won't say it will be easy, but it should definitely be possible.

FreeformTurtle in AsheronsCall asks: Will there be an upgrade to the functionality of Appraise skills?

kentroop_turbine says: It's hard to be specific about this...since there is still a lot of work that has to be done to get the appraisals where we want them.

kentroop_turbine says: Basically, the current idea is to completely rework the current appraisals so that they have little resemblance to what they are used for now.

kentroop_turbine says: Ideally, everything could be appraisable by everyone. . .

kentroop_turbine says: But the hows of what these new "appraisals" would do is still being determined.

kentroop_turbine says: In the next few months, we should have more concrete info about what we are going to do here.

GateWarrior in AsheronsCall asks: Will Bow/X-bow/Thrown Weapons gauntlets and solls be added to the loot gen this month? And if not, when can we expect them?

kentroop_turbine says: Yes, they are added to the loot gen this month. So you can expect them Wednesday.

msnunrelated in AsheronsCall asks: Will pack dolls ever be brought back?

kentroop_turbine says: There are no plans right now...but it would be nice to make them more available at some point in the future.

Evilincarnite in AsheronsCall asks: Can we expect some better places for us higher lvl chars to hunt anytime soon? Like something for lvl 100+ only

Orion_Turbine says: Over the next few months one of the goals of this team is to make sensible hunting grounds for all levels. We're going to cover, all level groups, but it will take time.

SoXx_5 in AsheronsCall asks: Will the @houses available be working?

kentroop_turbine says: Yes, this month, there will be an @houses available command, that players can use to know which houses are both open for sale, and not yet purchased.

kentroop_turbine says: We discuss this command, and the general availability of housing in our March letter to the players.

Scorpogee in AsheronsCall asks: Are the minor & major items randomly generated or fixed, i.e. as a shield is created would a random minor be assigned to it's properties? Is that why we see wierd minors on loot?

kentroop_turbine says: It's randomly generated, but within certain parameters.

kentroop_turbine says: The mistake we made with the initial implementation was that shields were counted as armor

kentroop_turbine says: So that shields received Mana C., Bow Mastery, War Magic Mastery, etc. cantrips.

kentroop_turbine says: This has been fixed for March.

kentroop_turbine says: But basically, weapons, shields, and armor, all have different "lists" that they pull from when they have cantrips.

Flipper_18 in AsheronsCall asks: Since your deleting nexus armor on DT will you be resetting the quest so someone else can complete it?

mrquazarr_MS says: No.

Anliz2K in AsheronsCall asks: Is the rumor true that we will be seeing "hookable" portals into cottages?

kentroop_turbine says: This is definitely on our "to-do" list. We'd love for players to acquire portals to place in their house.

kentroop_turbine says: It will come after residential quarters, and sometime either before or after incremental storage.

AK_Yo in AsheronsCall asks: When will the decision be made about 'portal housing' for thos of us who just want storage?

kentroop_turbine says: We're planning on releasing "Residential Quarters" either in April or May.

LowerClock1 in AsheronsCall asks: Will archers be seeing a coord 6 spell added to the sing bow this month or soon?

kentroop_turbine says: I mentioned this in a forum awhile back:

kentroop_turbine says: That I originally designed the Sing Bow a long time ago (almost a year), and while I'm sure at the time I had a reason for not putting Coord 6 on the bow (like all the other sing weapons get an attribute mastery). . .

kentroop_turbine says: Those reasons now completely escape me.

kentroop_turbine says: Maybe I thought the 10/10 made up for it.

kentroop_turbine says: Maybe I didn't.

kentroop_turbine says: So I'll look into it for either April or May, and decide what the best thing to do is.

q640 in AsheronsCall asks: Will Mages ever get another level of spells, possibly requiring a specialization in that skill, even for just one school?

mrquazarr_MS says: Nope! Level 7 is as high as the schools of magic will ever be.

msnunrelated in AsheronsCall asks: What about mage love?

kentroop_turbine says: Our current focus is on improving various melee dynamics: to empower them, and make it a more fun experience.

kentroop_turbine says: After that, we have a lot of ideas of how we want to "tweak" magic in AC.

kentroop_turbine says: Magic may be the most effective career path in Dereth, but it also is very tedious.

kentroop_turbine says: We want to revisit some of the basics of that system to make it less so.

newpongo in AsheronsCall asks: Will thrown Weapons get quest/loot Atlatls and fletchable ammo soon? (How soon?)

Payson_Turbine says: Yes, this will be added in this patch.

mrquazarr_MS says: The correct answer is VERY soon.

Payson_Turbine says: We will be adding quest atlatls (such as the Singularity Atlal) over time.

UN75 in AsheronsCall asks: Are you going to allow swords men to x3 strike like daggermen?

kentroop_turbine says: Ultimately, whatever fix we implement for melee balance. . .

kentroop_turbine says: The skills are going to have be worth relative to their skill cost.

kentroop_turbine says: That's the only thing that makes sense.

kentroop_turbine says: We are not going to outright reduce dagger's ability to compete...the challenge becomes can we tweak the dynamics such that all melee classes feel like they paid the right amount for their skill, but that also they all feel like they can compete in Dereth.

kentroop_turbine says: It's an interesting question And one we are attempting right now to address. It will be interesting...I'm not directly answering your question, but I hope the gist is clear.

Prince__Vegeta0 in AsheronsCall asks: Will our actions ever effect the storyline? Will we ever see a cool dev controlled character like Baelz again?

les_turbine says: Hi Les here. Eventually this is an experience we would like everyone to have.

newpongo in AsheronsCall asks: Are AC1 devs committed to a LONGTERM future for "Olde Derethe"? Many of us are a little nervous by directions AC2 hints at, and would love to be reassured that old dereth will not be abandoned, and CONTINUE to evolve in 2003

mrquazarr_MS says: There is no end in sight for Asheron's Call 1.0. We envision both products running very strong together.

mrquazarr_MS says: A lot of the change we are currently making is with that in mind. We want players to have fun from the minute they log in to the minute they log out. And we want them to be doing it for years to come.

Brell_Leafcull0 in AsheronsCall asks: Will the mansions soon be seing some more hook's to use. Only 25 active hooks seems rediculous for such a big house?

kentroop_turbine says: Yes, that is also on our house to do list.

kentroop_turbine says: The earliest we would see that in is May. It may take slightly longer than that.

mrquazarr_MS says: And our final question...the Asheron's Tradition of ending with Qs that lets everyone go post how lame the chat was...

newpongo in AsheronsCall asks: If players send PayPal pizza money to as a "thanks" to the live team, will they get it? We'd like to let them know we appreciate them even if they get less glamour than the AC2 team...

kentroop_turbine says: Some of us want chocolate instead, others want to know what it would take to earn "Ferrari" money instead of Pizza money

Sean_Turbine says: Ferraris - FEH! Chocolate!

Orion_Turbine says: Beer, please.

kentroop_turbine says: Thank you for the sentiment.

mrquazarr_MS says: God.. no more beer over there

mrquazarr_MS says: That's how that ones "thing" got in the game... remember?

mrquazarr_MS says: We would like to thank everyone for once again coming out. We look forward to seeing you all again next month!

kentroop_turbine says: Thanks for the chat, everyone, have a good night.

les_turbine says: Goodnight!