Session Start: Wed Jan 14 18:00:01 2004
<Replex> ****The time is now 9:00 PM EST, the developers chat will begin shortly****
<Paraduck> Tonight's chat is mainly on the subscripton price increase, the new servers and the allegiance pass-up changes. You all have a TON of great questions and we'll try to get to as many as we can. We have most of the AC1 Live Team here tonight, as you can see and we thank them all for coming! With that said... onto the first question.
<Paraduck> Some players feel that the increase in the fee is also because of the development costs of an expansion. Can you shed any light on what the graphics upgrades included in the expansion will consist of?
<JessicaM> Bear in mind that the following could change later on, as we continue our R&D on this one:
<JessicaM> The current plan we’re investigating is to basically quadruple the size of the textures and make some changes to the engine to make that possible. That will allow Scenario and other artists to do some really interesting things. You’ve seen what Scenario can do already with a 4 year old engine; imagine what he could do if he had twice depth with which to work. It will also allow people with older machines and video cards to still access the gam
<JessicaM> After that, we have a decision to make: Do we replace the thousands of textures in the game, or create new lands using new, enhanced textures? Each has advantages, but that’s where we’re at. We’ll be coming to the players later on and asking for opinions, when we have a better idea of just what we can do and still get the expansion out before the heat death of the universe.
<JessicaM> Why, yes, I DO type that fast. Why do you ask?
<Paraduck> Vn_lubomirii AKA Death Cometh of Darktide asks: Is the new server going to provide something the others do not? The other servers are not that overloaded with people on login from the "glory" days. What is the reason FOR the new server now?
<JessicaM> In the main, the new server is planned so that people who want to start over without competing with XP chains, have a place to do just that. It is a thorny issue, with players on both sides of the debate, so it made sense with something this important to provide a choice.
<JessicaM> Another reason is to show our commitment to the game, that we aren’t about sucking the life out of it and then burying the corpse. Frankly, we think the glory days of the game are ahead, not in the past, and that means investing in growth. I know that reads as corny and just so much marketing fluff, but live and work every day with that thought in mind.
<JessicaM> We can’t do everything at once, of course, but we have to start somewhere. This seemed like a good starting point.
<Paraduck> What are the player conflict settings of the new server (i.e., will it be a regular world, PK, or PKL only?)
<JessicaM> It will be a regular world.
<Paraduck> Zedon AKA Red Huntress of Frostfell asks: Will there be more resources in place with the coming of the new server to enforce the CoC?
<JessicaM> One of the things we are determined to do is raise the bar on customer service and that includes CoC enforcement. That is NOT a knock on Microsoft or the way they do things now, by the way.
<JessicaM> But if we’re going to bring the game home, why would we settle for the current standard? If we’re not going to at least try to raise the bar, what’s the point?
<JessicaM> So you can expect more CoC enforcement. I caution that it won’t all begin overnight or all at the same time; we still have a whole customer service infrastructure to get in place and that is going to take some time.
<JessicaM> How successful we are in that enforcement… well, each of you will have to determine that for yourselves.
<Paraduck> Ufhamlet AKA Montezuma's Revenge of Harvestgain asks: Can we anticipate new ways to level non-combat viable characters (trade-skill and tinker mules, particularly?)
<JessicaM> I'll let srand and the team answer that one.
<srand> There are already several ways to level non-combat characters in the game. These include trophies that give XP and some crafter-oriented quests, for example. In addition, the changes to the allegiance XP system will actually provide a boost for targeted leveling of characters, including non-combat tradeskill characters.
<srand> And, no doubt, we'll be expanding on the non-combat choices in AC in the future.
<Kaltemar> 04In case you're wondering folks, we're kicking people with offensive names
<Paraduck> Or those that harass devs via PMs :)
<Dev_Nexx> Thanks para, whew
<Paraduck> <Black-Metal>: Question: Please explain the increased costs or at least touch base on what they are.
<Kaltemar> 04DO NOT USE YOUR NICK LIKE THAT
<Kaltemar> 04 <Black-Metal>: Question: Please explain the increased costs or at least touch base on what they are.
<JessicaM> Can you elaborate? If you're wasking what the increase is for, we covered that in the message Monday.
<JessicaM> The costs in general have gone up across the board...
<Paraduck> I believe that's what was being asked, thanks. :)
<JessicaM> good hardware, software licenses, salaries and wages, benefits... about the only cost that has really come down in the last 4 years...
<JessicaM> is bandwidth, and that still isn't cheap.
<JessicaM> Also, if we're to expand the customer service and raise the bar, then we need more people, and that is the most expensive part overall, in the long run...
<JessicaM> then, we are going to basically double the size of the dev team to build the expansion pack.
<JessicaM> So, that is the general answer. Did I give you the info you were lokking for?done.
<Paraduck> (We also know that the IGN client is hard to read. There's unfortunately nothing we can do about that. However, there WILL be a log posted after the chat. We apologize for the inconvience.)
<Kaltemar> 04 Please do NOT PM us or Devs with questions!
<Kaltemar> 04<B_W> With the new server and price change, will we have a chance to see more admins ingame? the ucm policy has been very very slow lately, thanks to all the plugin alerts. Is there any plan to fix that?
<Pyro-Elf> Feel free to PM me, I'll only laugh then go back to reading this...
<Kardon_Seph> Anything that breaks the VN board CoC or any inappropriate names are being served with bans.
<JessicaM> Yep, we'll see more admins and more hours in general being put to CoC enforcement. It is a high priorty for us.
<JessicaM> Bear in mid, however, that we can't hit everythng all at once.
<JessicaM> We're still outtting the organization together, :D
<Replex> <|WarCry|> Question: With the Fee increase will we see more DEV interaction, and Live Events take Place?
<srand> Sorry, got distracted there. :> We're always striving to keep a goodly ampunt if interaction between the devs and the players.
<srand> And we know how much you guys like live events.
<Mayseth> Buncha idiots so far eh?
<srand> We'd like to concentrate more resources on these in the future, although, as Jessica said, bear in mind that we can't do everything at once.
<JessicaM> OK, let's get something straight....
<JessicaM> We don't hate DT. Heck, half of us play our mains on DT...
<JessicaM> But as I said before: We can't do everything at once.
<JessicaM> The best choice for the new server world was a regualr world.
<JessicaM> when the time is right and the usage warrants it, we'll cnsider a secind PK world.
<JessicaM> Again, just give us some time.
<srand> I'm going to jump in here real quick ...
<srand> One thing I've seen a number of people ask about is a special rules server. Maybe one with no XP passup at all, or with a level cap of 50, or perma-PKL, or even just one that gets wiped every three months.
<srand> Right now, we're just opening the one new server, and it'll be our first one in wuite a while, so we wanted to keep things simple. But in the future, as we have a chance to open more servers, we definitely would like to open some with special rules.
<Kaltemar> 04Ignore that
<Kaltemar> 04Something has gone wrong with the IRC. Please don't all change back your names at once
<srand> Of course, before we'd open a server with special rules, we'd open a new PK server.
<Yrsa> Thank you.
<Replex> We are sorry for the delay. The dev chat will continue as normal within minutes. Thank you.
<Yrsa> While we wait, how about an impomptu question: Is there a name for the new server and do you have a date for opening?
<Paraduck> <@Pyro-Elf> With the fixing of the experience chain, will we be able to swear to lower levels (IE: 126s to 100s)
<JessicaM> On the name and date for launch of the new world....
<JessicaM> we haven't decided on a name yet.
<JessicaM> And we don;t know exactly when the new world will launch, but we're ordring the server racks as we speak...
<JessicaM> so, Speing, lord willin' and the creek don't rise.
<srand> Well, I can take the other one. :> We're not considering changing the level restrictions on swearing allegiance at this time.
<Paraduck> <Xada> What possible negative impacts of the XP changes were/are being considered by Turbine, and is there concern for the future of the game?
<Serge-chan> I have a better idea, May.
<Ibn> I can grab this one
<Ibn> We discussed these XP changes internally quite a bit, and considered many of the impacts
<Ibn> For example
<Ibn> In the article that was posted, we noted that monarchs of allegiances may see their passup XP decrease
<Ibn> In addition, those allegiance that place a heavy concern on passup may seek to reorganize, which could be challenging
<Ibn> We've run the math on a number of different scenarios to try and find how some may try to exploit this system
<Ibn> So, yes, we have considered many possible negative impacts
<Ibn> However the positives greatly outweight the possible negatives
<Ibn> Regarding the future -- the future of this game is always one of our main concerns. We want this game to stick around for a long, LONG time. 8)
<Ibn> It's starting to get late, so we'll only be able to do another two questions.
<Paraduck> <Bink> Question XP Chain : With the changing of how xp is made, guilds will deviate from the typical linear patern to a more mushroom like pattern, exluding many people from the bonus of having a rank chain at the bottom, will this be addressed in anyway?
<Kaltemar> 04If you didn't notice: <Bink> Question XP Chain : With the changing of how xp is made, guilds will deviate from the typical linear patern to a more mushroom like pattern, exluding many people from the bonus of having a rank chain at the bottom, will this be addressed in anyway?
<Ibn> Got it... typing... 8)
<Ibn> If a guild wants to reform to maximize XP passup, at the expense of rank, that would be their choice.
<Ibn> There is probably a middle way...
<Ibn> It should be possible for allegiances to maintain their rank concerns -- such as for a mansion -- while still having passup XP
<Ibn> Although the passup may not be 100% optimized
<Ibn> sorry, one more thing
<Ibn> Please keep in mind that patrons with active vassals will likely see MORE passup XP than before
-Serge-chan:#asheron- We are tired of the stupid nicknames. Failure to use a decent nickname will be punished by a swift and permanent server ban. Consider this your one and only warning.
<Ibn> So some players may not want to reorganize
<Ibn> There are many choices available. 8)
<Ibn> ok, now actually done
<Ibn> OK, time for the last question...
<Paraduck> Okay, and for the last question... What additional enhancements are you planning for Monarchs and Monarchy management?
<srand> Oooh, I can answer this!
<srand> Well, I can tell you some of the more likely stuff we've talked about, anyway. I don't think I can tell you everything we've thrown about. :>
<srand> Anyway, one of the first things we want to get operational is the notion of a 'banned' list for the allegiance. In other words, the monarch or officers could specify characters or accounts that they don't want to be able to swear in, no matter what.
<srand> This should help a bit with managing the allegiance. In addition to that, we'd like to expand on the idea of 'speaker' and make real officers for the allegiance -- so the monarch can appoint people to help them with a variety of different tasks.
<srand> Another task we'd like to get done soon is more control over allegiance chat. We're introducing a basic chat, but there's a good many refinements that we'd like to add, especially in terms of the monarch & officer's control over the chat environment.
<srand> We've even done some preliminary work towards allowing players to name their allegiances, although that feature is still quite a ways off if we can get it working. And we've discussed some cool ideas with heraldry -- but we have no specific plans for that yet, we're still just batting around ideas. Okay, they are telling me I'm babbling now. *grin*
<JessicaM> OK, folks. That does it for tonight. Thanks for sticking through the split.
<Paraduck> Okay, thanks for coming out to answer the questions! I'm really sorry about the net split, the text, and other problems that occured tonight. There will be a log posted shortly.
<JessicaM> We'll be doing more dev chats, and we thank you for attending this one.
<ArKane> 12ty all
<Ibn> Thanks everyone!
<JessicaM> If you have more questions, please don;t hesiatet to post on ACDm, Vault or Warcry....
<JessicaM> or other fans sites that we cover.
<JessicaM> and pardon the spelling typos.
<PrismaticShimmer> so many pwople
<srand> Thank you everyone!
<Ibn> G'night all!
<Kaltemar> 04Thank you devs!
<Zyrca> Have a good night :)
<Kaltemar> 04We hope to see you all again
<Replex> Thank you srand and other devs for coming today, answered some of the needed questions!
Session Close: Wed Jan 14 19:16:03 2004