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Transcript of Developer's Chat, June 20, 2002

Img bar On Thursday June 20, 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 in AsheronsCall says: Welcome everyone to another edition of the Asheron's Call 1 Developer's Chat. My name is still Ken Karl, Program Manager at Microsoft for Asheron's Call. With me as always is Ken Troop, Producer at Turbine who will introduce the whole gang (who I have the privilege of sitting with live this time).

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: Greetings everyone. With us tonight are Kim, Les, Allan, Sean D., Sean H., Brandon, Sandra and Todd.

mrquazarr_MS in AsheronsCall says: Great. Lets get on with the first question of the evening.

Raide_Duku in AsheronsCall asks: Will the Grievver Nest dungeon expand next month?

Spd_turbine in AsheronsCall says: Well, there does seem to be a deeper cave in the dungeon. You will just have to wait and see. . .

Alua in AsheronsCall asks: How's the progress on Tinkering coming along? Is it going to be ready for next patch?

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: Tinkering is coming along nicely. Early next week there should be a detailed letter put up on the Zone describing the system. We expect that at least part of the functionality will be in for July, if not everything. Also, the skill/xp credit for assess skills will definitely be in for July.

Astroth1 in AsheronsCall asks: Hi, in the next patch, you have given a hint about fixing dagger to be more fair to the game. Is that change indeed nerfing triple strike?

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: Here are our long term plans for weapons, including dagger. Please keep in mind that these new systems are still being designed, and are subject to change, perhaps drastic change. Our ultimate goal for tinkering is to allow players to "imbue" random loot melee weapons with various special dynamics. For example, I could try to make any loot generated mace I found, a double-striking mace. Now, each time I attempt to imbue a weapon, I risk destroying it. And I can only imbue a weapon once, I can't "double-imbue" a weapon.

The exact list of "imbue" characteristics is still to be determined. But such dynamics as double-strike, perhaps triple-strike, a weapon that randomly casts a certain spell, etc. are all being considered. One important thing about these new imbued weapons, is that their effect will never work 100% of the time. So that even if you did have a triple-strike spear, for example, the number of times you successfully triple-strike would depend on the type of weapon, and your skill level. If and when we do implement this new dynamic, our thought right now is to remove all hilts from the game. So that all weapons follow this new dynamic. Until we introduce this feature, however, double-strike swords, and double and triple-strike daggers will not be changed at all.

bytor13 in AsheronsCall asks: Is anything going to be done about the Kailndan? It is the hardest quest weapon in the game to get, and almost unusable.

Orion_Turbine in AsheronsCall says: There are a host of quest weapons from the past that we are looking into enhancing. This process will take time.

Jff_1 in AsheronsCall asks: Will the war spell economy be put back in?

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: Our primary reason for taking the economy out was, with the duration changes, the vastly superior nature of creature/life buffs vs. arcane lore buffs. With that in mind, we are working on implementing a system for putting a new "skill-based" bonus for War spells only. This would be exactly like the system we had originally conceived of, detailed in the dev chat two months ago, but again, for War spells only. The exact details are still tbd...but you should expect this change in August.

EvilMavi in AsheronsCall asks: Will Prismatic Taper Peas ever exist? If not, is there any chance that perhaps you could make Prismatic Tapers a part of monster loot so they drop like other components?

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: We are looking into increasing the stack size for the prismatic tapers to 500 or more. At this time, we have no immediate plans for prismatic taper peas to be sold. At some later point, we may introduce prismatic tapers dropping off of creatures. The stack size change is occurring in July.

drobb68 in AsheronsCall asks: If/when can we expect more storage/hooks to become available for RQ's, Villas, Cottages, Etc.

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: Not anytime soon, if ever. While we have been very excited in the past to implement features that give players more storage options. Right now our primary concern is server stability, which increased storage for characters could jeopardize. So, we will be rolling out RQs slowly and if we feel like everyone who wants a house type has one, and the servers are still performing well, then we will look into increased storage options. There are no current plans for any additional hooks for any type of dwelling.

Robbie1986 in AsheronsCall asks: Are you guys going to fix fast-casting?

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: We're working hard on fixing this. Right now our best estimate is August. It is a difficult fix to do right, and we want to minimize the potential of us having to revisit the change.

crazy_town420 in AsheronsCall asks: If/when hilts are removed from the game, would the players lose the swords/daggers they hilted? kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: No. There are still a number of things we have to determine about how we roll out this system. But players would not lose these weapons. At worst, they would just become un-hilted.

Just a general point. Every change that we've made over these last 6 months: from deadly arrows and new weapons, to the endurance changes, and to the magic and now drain changes ----- all of it has been done because we feel strongly that these changes make the game of AC better. More fun and more compelling. Yes, we know that some of these changes hurt established playstyles and characters. Sometimes very harshly. But we have not taken any of these changes lightly. And each time we undertake to "balance" a system, we try very hard to introduce new and exciting dynamics to the system being changed. Ultimately, our main focus and purpose--the reason why we are paid--is to make AC a better game.

Paradox27 in AsheronsCall asks: Will we ever have the functionality to multi-selecti tems, or select items by type? This will reduce selling time in towns.

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: While we would love to do it, it is a very difficult task given our UI code. So unfortunately, no.

Ganondorf99 in AsheronsCall asks: Will Arwic ever be rebuilt?

Orion_Turbine in AsheronsCall says: You never know what the Queen will do. She may well be having those masons in the Arcanum thinking about rebuilding Arwic at this moment. But like all things they take time.

Shiloh_MS in AsheronsCall asks: What's the reasoning behind the drain changes, don't you think it's a bit late in the game life?

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: Primarily it was because Drain Health 1 should have been fixed a long time ago, and we finally decided to do it. Also, while we were at it, we also wanted to partially address some PvP and macro issues, although we don't think our changes are a solution to either of those issues (macroing or balanced PvP). People should keep in mind that our end goal is to have a system that is fun and works...and that we've shown that we're willing to continue to tweak the system if our changes require it.

Finally, one last note on the changes in general. If AC were to continue to stay the same, and never change, it ultimately would die. We agree that unrestrained "nerfing" is a horrible idea. But we aren't doing that. We're attempting to create new systems and new forms of play, that hopefully will allow AC to continue as a fun game for far longer than it would otherwise. Of course, we continue to welcome feedback, whether positive or negative, to ensure we're staying on that course.

AC_Tandy_HG in AsheronsCall asks: Will the attributes that tinkering skills will be based on be the same as the current appraisal skills? If not, what attributes will they be based on?

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: For Magic Item tinkering it's just Focus.

For Weapon Tinkering its focus + strength /2

For Armor Tinkering it's Focus + Endurance /2

For Item Tinkering it's Focus + Coordination /2

(For all of those it was (att. + att) /2

RolandoMartinez in AsheronsCall asks: Currently PvP has been nearly impossible, and far more frustrating and annoying than it is worth. The game has been nerfed over and over till we are at the point where no one can kill anyone else. Do you plan to fix this or are you content to let PvP die?

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: We think that with the return of the war economy, and two other changes, the PvP dynamic will allow for easier deaths. These 2 changes are:

1) increased hollow weapon damage, for all hollow weapons (and new hollow arrows) and new "armor-hollow" weapons and arrows (that will not be nearly as good as war spells, but still have some impact))

2) We will be looking at adding a logout timer for PKers as well as making sure that all "recall" opportunities take a significant amount of time. We're planning on introducing this in August.

Angel_Uriel in AsheronsCall asks: Will there be more color dye's for the Neo GSX???

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: No, there are no plans for new dyes for the neo gsx.

SpongerX in AsheronsCall asks: Will banes ever be made less powerful? I believe that melee users are not doing near enough damage in PVP with level 7 imperil/vuln as they should.

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: We're thinking about changes to banes. Right now, the primary thought is to limit banes to 2.0 effectiveness. Once we decide, we will let the players know before we introduce it in an Event.

LifeguardAC in AsheronsCall asks: Will creatures follow the same rules regarding the new drain spells as players?

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: Yes, although for right now, no creature will have the ability to cast the new life bolt spell. Also, keep in mind the new lifebolt spells have no prot/vuln, although they are resisted by Drain Resistance.

DarthDakhanavar in AsheronsCall asks: Will you balance out the "tinkering" of weapons with the skill credit cost? For example will Unarmeds triple strike (6 skill credits) be more powerful than swords(16 credits)?

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: Yes, our primary goal is that the higher the skill cost of a weapon, the more effective it is. That goal has not changed.

Strike_Line0 in AsheronsCall asks: I noticed a weird building in the water SE of Aerlinthe Island, there doesn't appear to be any way up or portals near by, What's the deal with this place?

Orion_Turbine in AsheronsCall says: My favorite thing about working on Asheron's Call is that we get to tell an Epic story. The appearance of this Citadel is grounded in stories that have been part of Asheron's Call for some time now. The ultimate purpose of that place will become more apparent as this storyline unfolds.

Caarth1 in AsheronsCall asks: Is there going to be new ways to get writs, soon?

Orion_Turbine in AsheronsCall says: Yes.

cb377 in AsheronsCall asks: Will tinkered items be no drop and/or no give?

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: No, tinkered items will not be no-drop or no-give. The tinkering skills are both for personal use and for trade.

FWH_Spinky in AsheronsCall asks: Now that you have determine the fact that the "Wi Flag" DOES exist, can you give us details as to why we've spent the last 18 mos. collecting thousands of deaths? I'd like to know exactly what made me the target of most monster's hostility.

kentroop_turbine in AsheronsCall says: Look for the details in our July Letter to the Players, it's a juicy story. Well, at least if you're a geeky coder, it's juicy. But all the same, we'll reveal all the sordid details in the letter.

mrquazarr_MS in AsheronsCall says: And now its time to end our chat with our Trademarked "Totally Irrelevant Question on the Night."

valkyrie509 in AsheronsCall asks: Are you the muffin man?

Orion_Turbine in AsheronsCall says: The muffin man?

les_turbine in AsheronsCall says: The Muffin man?

mrquazarr_MS in AsheronsCall says: the muffin man

Payson_Turbine in AsheronsCall says: Who lives on Drury Lane?

les_turbine in AsheronsCall says: Yes, I know the Muffin man!

Spd_turbine in AsheronsCall says: The Muffin Man?

Payson_Turbine in AsheronsCall says: Pop Goes the Weasel!

les_turbine in AsheronsCall says: The Muffin man!

Sean_Turbine in AsheronsCall says: She's married to the muffin man...

mrquazarr_MS in AsheronsCall says: I am the Muffin Man

Orion_Turbine in AsheronsCall says: Pop goes the weasel, cause the weasel goes Pop!

Sean_Turbine in AsheronsCall says: Doctor Who Roolz!

Spd_turbine in AsheronsCall says: Yeah

les_turbine in AsheronsCall says: Yo, da Weaz know de Muffin Man

Orion_Turbine in AsheronsCall says: Good Night all!

mrquazarr_MS in AsheronsCall says: Night

Spd_turbine in AsheronsCall says: Goodnight

Sean_Turbine in AsheronsCall says: Nighty-Night!

les_turbine in AsheronsCall says: Good night

Payson_Turbine in AsheronsCall says: Night all