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April 2006 Developers' Chat Log

Posted on April 18, 2006

<@Paraduck> Hey everyone, sorry for the delay.
<@Paraduck> Welcome to tonight’s dev chat! We hope everyone is enjoying the April update and had a relaxing weekend. In case you miss some of the chat, a complete transcript will be posted on ACVault after the chat.
<@Paraduck> I'm sure many of you some great questions, so let’s get right into things. Frelorn, care to start the introductions?
<+Frelorn> Hi there everyone. Tonight we have Crowley, Kintani, Spiderbot, better know as Speed, and of course me
<@Paraduck> Up first are three questions that were submitted shortly after the chat announcement was made. After these three questions, we'll start going down the list of those of you who PM'd me before the chat.
<@Paraduck> First up...

<@Paraduck> Heather R.: I asked a while back if it would be possible for Rares (gems particularly) to be turned in for some sort of alternative reward such as xp. It was mentioned that this idea would be discussed, but I've heard nothing about it since. Was the idea considered, and are there any plans for something like this?

<+Frelorn> Crowley is gonna get this one
<+AC1Crowley> We talked about that here, yes... It's a good idea, it would just take a long time to implement because of the large number of Rare gems there are
<+AC1Crowley> so it's something we'd like to do, ideally with some kind of a turn-in timer to prevent XP abuse
<+AC1Crowley> just a question of when we'll have time in the dev cycle to do it -- but it's in the plans

<@Paraduck> OK, for our second question...
<@Paraduck> Mark: Will Turbine ever get serious about dealing with the terrible problems in chat and constant verbal abuse that gets flung around daily?

<+Frelorn> Well I guess I will take this one...
<+Frelorn> Our customer service reps are doing the best that they can. As much as we would like it, they cannot be everywhere at once.
<+Frelorn> We are working on some alternative ways we can better enforce the CoC. And as always we are open to new ideas.

<@Paraduck> And our last pre-selected question...
<@Paraduck> Brandon W.: How long will it take to implement something for PKs to fight over?

<+Frelorn> Here is another one for Crowley
<+AC1Crowley> that depends on what we decide it will be ;)
<+AC1Crowley> one proposal we had was something relatively simple -- for PKs to drop "heads" or other trophies on death
<+AC1Crowley> but there are more complex proposals on hand too, close in some ways to the land control system we were talking about <+AC1Crowley> unfortunately I can't put a date on when you can expect to have something to fight over
<+AC1Crowley> but we'll engage in the same kind of dialog that we did for the PK rebalancing when we try to implement solutions

<@Paraduck> Nice. Up first is Raui.
<@Paraduck> go ahead. :)
<+Raui> Alright.
<+Raui> My question was directed towards Server Lag versus Player Population. <+Raui> Its more than obvious that, as the player base is somewhat flattening out, the lag issues that are apparently on the server-side of white worlds (Mt, Vt, ect) are not going down. <+Raui> You'd think that, with the decrease in clients connected, the lag would be playable but often it isn't. <+Raui> My question, primarily, is..
<+Raui> Is there a more perminant lag fix coming or is what we have what we will always have?

<+Frelorn> I will hand this one over to Lupus_Argenteus who has just joined us.
<+lupus_argenteus> Well, you have bear in mind that there are several different types of lag. Some we cannot fix because we have no control over the Internet pipes between your clients and our servers.
<+lupus_argenteus> Some lag is not actually latency, but due to graphics performance. We would like to improve that as time and resources allow.
<+lupus_argenteus> And in some rare circumstances, our servers have had problems. Darktide would be an example of this.
<+lupus_argenteus> Generally, most users who have problems with lag would fit into the second category I mentioned.
<+lupus_argenteus> I would urge those users who have lag to verify they are using up-to-date drivers for their system, which will alleviate some problems.
<+lupus_argenteus> Also, ensure your machine is clear of spyware, adware, and viruses.

<@Paraduck> Up next is Elrihm
<@Paraduck> go ahead. :)

<+Elrihm> Woo.
<+AC1Crowley> thank you for your question, next! ;)
<+Frelorn> hehe
<+Elrihm> Ok, this is about the NPC you talk to for the Noble Armor in the Burun King's quests.
<+Elrihm> When's Guard Devon going to take off the bra?

<+Frelorn> ummm...
<+AC1Crowley> ha ha, I have this bug
* @Sheyla giggles
<+Kintani> Whoa.
<+AC1Crowley> I mean the bug is assigned to me
<+lupus_argenteus> You'd think this was an easy fix.
<+AC1Crowley> not that I wear a bra to work or anything
<+lupus_argenteus> :-)
<+Spiderbot> He does
<+AC1Crowley> we'll try to get it in for May
<+Turbine_Django> yeah, he does.
<+Frelorn> no comment
<+AC1Crowley> it's frelorn's bra!
<+Frelorn> So!
<+lupus_argenteus> Sure, changing the subject...

<@Paraduck> Haha. A little humor is always good. :) Crilen is up next.
<+Crilen> Due to the lack of Player Killers on White servers, could they perhaps add some kind of bonus for being a player killer on a white server to increase the red population? Also, is there a way where fans can create artwork and 3D models for Turbine to use in the game? I would like to help. Even if I didn't know what they were for at the time, it would be fun to make things and see them put to use.

<+AC1Crowley> Crilen, we'll answer your first question, about PKs on white servers
<+AC1Crowley> the first thing we have to consider is that any mechanic we put in for the white worlds -could- be exploited if not implemented properly because people can change back to NPK on white worlds
<+AC1Crowley> it's not a question we've spent a lot of time on, to be honest
<+AC1Crowley> but it's a good question, and we can start trying to think about incentivizing players on white worlds to go red <+AC1Crowley> maybe we can do something cool with the PK arenas
<+AC1Crowley> put some stuff in PK-only dungeons, that sort of thing
<+AC1Crowley> though sometimes people get upset if we put goodies in places that only PKs can get to, because they feel like they're being pushed to go PK
<+AC1Crowley> anyway, like I said, good question, food for thought, and thanks :)

<@Paraduck> Go ahead KGB
<+Kgb__Agent> When are you going to fix the mage animation hacks?? I am sick of not being able to see a mages spells when I am fighting them.

<+Frelorn> Well we have attempted to put fixes in, in the past with not so great results. That being said, we have had several people look into what we could do to improve the mechanics that allow what some people refer to as hacks.
<+Frelorn> At this point we are more focused on moving forward, but we are always trying to improve things like this along the way. <+Frelorn> We have found that alot of players tend to like the way the mechanics work and would be very upset if we changed things at this point in the game.

<@Paraduck> Just as a reminder, please only ask one question per person. Thanks! :)
<@Paraduck> Up next is Fzzt.

<+Fzzt> What's the current make-up of the live team. I know you all wear many hats but who mainly does what?

<+Frelorn> As a rule we have never given the size or direct make-up of the team.
<+Frelorn> The smaller size of the team has made it so we all have more generalized jobs with AC, rather than specific titles.

<@Paraduck> Go ahead cezuium
<@Paraduck> Er, cezium. Sorry!
<+cezium> Will turbine work on adding high level hunting grounds that could be more friendly to mage players and not as time consuming for a single kill?

<+Kintani> We are planning on adding more High-Level hunting areas in the coming months...
<+Kintani> ... and are working to balance those new areas to be challenging but balanced for both casters and melees.

<@Paraduck> Celeste is up next.
* @Paraduck pokes Celeste
* +Kintani pokes Celeste as well
<+Celeste> Sec..
<+Celeste> My question is, while the system you're currently implementing, starting with the Princely Runed weapons, looks quite nice, will it continue further and perhaps add other 'halfway items'? In other words, have you considered adding similar items for armour, potions/kits, and other such items found as Rares, and not just for weapons?

<+Spiderbot> The short answer is yes. We are going to be adding more levels of the Runed weapons and other interesting armors and weapons.
<+Turbine_Django> We've had quite a few fun ideas for this...
<+Spiderbot> We are thinking of creative ways to exploit our new weapon and armor systems and the idea of 1/2 way items is interesting and we will look into it. thanks!

<@Paraduck> Up next is cG^dub
<+cG^dub> I was wondering will we see name changes or maybe face changes in the near future?

<+Frelorn> As far as name changes fo, we are hesitant to do this, as it opens the door for people to grief and be general bad people, and with a change of names all is forgotten. So we dont have any plans for this right now, no.
<+lupus_argenteus> The tech behind face changes is tricky. We actually can't change our own faces as admins - the game just wasn't designed for it. We'll continue researching faces, but for now we cannot do it.

<@Paraduck> Go ahead, Kratos
<+Kratos_DT> Recently, Darktide lag has spiked. I say Darktide because I can connect on other worlds fine, friends across the country can as well, but still have issues on Darktide. With less than half the amount of players logged in during peak times we're seeing more than triple the amount of lag there was 2-3years ago, and we had twice the amount of players! What Gives? <+Kratos_DT> Are there any ideas on what's creating this lag? Are any attempts going to be made to fix it (soon)? I've been playing for a LONG time, and when you freeze for almost a minute going into new content, such as Sanamar, then you are suddenly standing at your lifestone with no idea what happened. I know a lot of players who have gotten frustrated to the point of playing another, newer game, just because of the lag!
<+Kratos_DT> :-)

<@Paraduck> I see two questions! Cheats!
<@Paraduck> ;)
<@Paraduck> And this question has already been answered. Sorry!
<@Paraduck> Please be sure that you're asking a question that hasn't already been asked tonight.
<@Paraduck> Up next is Lyc.

<@Lyc> Thanks for your time and effort Devs. Love AC and will play till I can't. :)
<@Lyc> I was wondering if you could look at some of the older timers while on a quest. When I take a group to get, say, the focus stone, it can take hours depending on group size. That is not as bad as some, think its a 5 min timer for the respawn. there are some that are 15 minutes or more. Some quests are great with the "boss" monster dropping multiple items.

<+AC1Crowley> that's a very good point about the older timers
<+AC1Crowley> ideally I'd love for us to go back and take a look at some of those older quests and retrofit them so that a group doesn't sit around for hours waiting for a respawn
<+Frelorn> We could start a thread about this on the forums and get a list of the ones players want done the most
<+AC1Crowley> that'd be a good start, and then we can start retrofitting quests over time, starting with the most popular ones

<@Paraduck> Paloma is next.
<+Paloma> Will we see any more epic story arcs, taking place over 3 months, with a beginning, a build, and an epic finish? Or are things like Aerlinthe and Gaerlan and the Hopeslayer things of the past?

<+AC1Crowley> we're in the middle of a story arc right now :)
<+Frelorn> This one is all Crowley...
<+AC1Crowley> part of the problem is that with six and a half years of development, and many content hands having been involved, there are a lot of plot threads that we can't necessarily all pick up and complete
<+AC1Crowley> but we've got big plans for the current Grael and Varicci story arc
<+AC1Crowley> you'll see it building and peaking in the coming months

<@Paraduck> Go ahead, THamior
<+ThamiorLC> What steps are being taken to ensure the longevity of asheron's call? Also, as a statement and not a question, give those who killed the ancient olthoi queen a reward, kthx. <3

<+AC1Crowley> Well, continuing to develop cool new content and addressing old problems (like the allegiance management features we're working on) are a good way to ensure the health of the game
<+AC1Crowley> though I assume this question is more about marketing AC, and making CD keys available online
<+AC1Crowley> all I can say is that we ran into some unforeseen delays with the CD keys, and I apologize for that
<+AC1Crowley> as for marketing -- we're talking about ways to start pulling people back into the game again, especially in light of our recent improvements

<@Paraduck> Kronis is next
<+Kronis_MT> One way I've thought of and heard others talking about to alleviate the problems with this, is to have another global channel for pk chat only. <+Kronis_MT> If done right, and the pk'ers are allowed to express themselves on this channel, then it could be beneficial to everyone. This might be done by allowing more latitude on the pk line and being more strict on the general line. <+Kronis_MT> What are your opinions? Is this feasible?

<+Frelorn> As of right now it is not technically possible for us to tie your chat into your status as a pk or non pk.
<+Frelorn> Of course we have said that before about many things, so we won't say never on this.
<+Frelorn> Just for right now it is not something we can do. We are still looking into more options to hel allevaite some of the issues players have with chat.

<@Paraduck> OK. Our last question of the night goes to Robbuo.
<@Paraduck> Robbuo? You there?

<+Robbuo> Hey All, About selling and loot. I was wondering what is being done to make selling faster (ie larger stack sizes or a money bag) and would that be alowed to move fom server to server?

<+lupus_argenteus> We probably won't ever add a money bag dynamic. We are in the process of considering larger stack sizes for pyreal and such, but we are making no promises on that basis quite yet. <+lupus_argenteus> As for moving items and money from server to server, we have no plans to do this and probably will not in the future.

<+Frelorn> Spiderbot had to run, since we were already running late. He has passed on his thanks to everyone for joining us.

<+lupus_argenteus> Before we end, I wanted to make one announcement. We are currently looking for a new AC1 QA tester.
<+lupus_argenteus> It is an in-house position, so you need to be local to Massachusetts.
<+lupus_argenteus> You can find more details on our website,
<+lupus_argenteus> Go to the Employment link in the menu bar and you should see it listed. Please be aware we do not compensate for relocation for this position, and it is a contract spot.

<@Paraduck> OK, that's it for the chat. Thanks for coming out and for the great questions. Again, sorry about the delay in getting started.
<@Paraduck> I'll drop the +m shortly and a few of the devs will be sticking around to chat.

<+AC1Crowley> thanks for joining us everyone
<+AC1Crowley> and thanks for sticking with AC
<+lupus_argenteus> I'll be sticking around, folks. Just need to relog.
<+Frelorn> Thank you to everyone for the questions and for joining us. Hopefully we can do again soon. We appreciate all of the support we get from you the players.

<+Kintani> Thanks everyone.
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