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Ask Your Producer: Valentine's Day 2015

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  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsPosts: 2,485Administrator @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited February 2015

    Josoul said:
    What is the general policy when releasing new areas? 'world emote/shout and have them all run for first dibs' vs 'contact through a denizen a specific person and give them first dibs' vs 'release area, wait till someone stumbles upon it'.
    Any chance to see the 3rd option in an upcoming area?
    Depends on the area! There's no hard and fast rule about how it gets introduced - areas that have a strong RP storyline usually need to have a more flashy introduction to prelude into that. We've done the third option a couple of times, but usually it consumes far too much admin time just waiting around for someone to find the area so they can continue with the introduction, and all of the post-introduction work we have to do.

  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsPosts: 2,485Administrator @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Herenicus said:
    Tecton said:

    Herenicus said:
    I would like to know your thoughts on continuing to use XP loss as a means of enforcing realistic choices and consequences. Some would point out that because dragons lose so little in death relative to others, it feels as if realism and consequences are only for levels 98 and below. Is there any chance we could make XP loss affect everyone or no one, equally? 
    I'm ok with XP loss being a real consequence, I think people get into the mindset that "I need to be max level to play the game" from the rest of the MMO industry, but we offer pretty much all of our content long before then. The capping does work oddly in reality, but we haven't found a really good solution that doesn't overly punish the higher levels at this time - definitely something that I'd like to find a more consistent solution for in the future.
    Just spitballing options you've probably considered already, but maybe bursting/dying in an enemy city could result in significant XP loss or an increasingly-prohibitive disfavour from that city's Patron? Renouncing grace, inking starbursts, and resurrection stat drain could be made to take longer or hit harder. I just think it's fair that if raiding has consequences, dying in the attempt should too. Appreciate your thoughts on this.
    Definitely agree that there should be consequences, that's one of the primary reasons for the "Eye of Proteus" debuff that raiders gain, that doesn't just disappear when they finish raiding, it takes a fair while to fade off (and doesnt decrement while offline etc.)

  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsPosts: 2,485Administrator @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Talysin said:
    Are Jesters going to have one of their skills replaced? Was that "roaming Jester" using charms on people foreshadowing a change?
    No plans for any massive changes to Jesters as part of the tradeskill split, sorry!
  • ShirszaeShirszae Caer WitrinPosts: 2,790Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Is there any particular bit of achaean lore/history that you are specially fond of? And if so, which?

    And you won't understand the cause of your grief...

    image

    ...But you'll always follow the voices beneath.

  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsPosts: 2,485Administrator @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Just a quick note that I'll be wrapping this thread up in 2 hours (2100 GMT/1600 EST) - so please get any last minute questions in before then!
  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsPosts: 2,485Administrator @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Shirszae said:
    Is there any particular bit of achaean lore/history that you are specially fond of? And if so, which?
    Big fan of the Black Wave/War of the Deeps section of the Lore!
    Shirszae
  • SilasSilas Posts: 2,529Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Sarapis said:
    Silas said:
     but there really needs to be some mechanical backing to theft and espionage 
    On the espionage front, the only conceivable way to add mechanical backing would be to tokenize information such that you have some kind of item that represents your character (not you) knowing something, and thus its transfer could be completely governed by the game rules, and there could be no OOC transfer of it.

    In practice though, this is pretty unsatisfying, and the tokenized information, by its nature, has to be pre-defined (at least in its scope) so that the game knows what the information the token represents means. That turns espionage into more of a separate 'theft' kind of game than anything that would feel like espionage, since none of the actual discussions among, for instance, city leaders could be tokenized. 

    As a trivial example, say I buried treasure A in room X. The game could tokenize that info. Easy to say, "If Bob-the-adventurer has this token, then Bob-the-adventurer now knows where the treasure is buried." When we could have some process whereby Bob can "tell" another character about that token, creating a copy attached to the new character. And then you could mechanically listen in during the process, and overhear them, also gaining a copy of the token.

    That's not even a good example, of course, because the player of Bob and the other characters could just go on skype and effectively copy that info from Bob's player to the other players that way, and then there's nothing stopping them from going to room X and just digging up the treasure.

    The only way tokenizing info like that works is for situations where we're willing to restrict character actions based on not having a particular token, and I'm sure you can see how that effectively means that in Achaea, the only info that would be tokenized for this purpose is really trivial stuff that is very 'formatted' and already pretty much purely mechanical (so, for instance, nothing to do with politics, planning raids, etc etc). And then why bother? It's espionage about stuff that isn't really important to anyone, and it won't even really feel like espionage. 

    It'd feel more like theft, as it so happens, which is interesting...except that the tokens would represent knowledge that in Achaea doesn't really matter, and so you're stealing stuff that is a bit pointless.
    I fully appreciate these points, and I can see how difficult it would be to create theft/espionage mechanics, given the ready availability of OOC communication. However, you could still do what you can to facilitate things IC, without tokenising information, by just allowing other methods of communication (parties, letters, some channels, maybe even messages) to be intercepted so that it can be used by other people.

    You can argue that this will push people into using OOC communication, but I don't think the fact that some people will game the system is an argument against introducing a system.

    Theft is more difficult, because of the sheer amount that someone stands to lose for no practical reason other than because the thief wanted to make a few credits at somebody else's expense. I've not looked at pickpocketing much, but I have seen that there's just not that element of danger anymore, on a general level, that there was when you could be robbed blind.

  • PrythePrythe Posts: 428Member ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Tesha said:
    A few weeks ago I asked about the possibility of replacing alchemists with forestals for Targossas, and the reply was that it wasn't currently being offered. I'm wondering about the rationale for that. I know for Targossas at least, the decision was made for us when the city was founded. I'd love to have forestals, they have much better synergy with devotion than alchemists. Is this just a policy thing or would it be excessively difficult to code?
    Given the merger of the skillsets, and the fact that anybody can now learn "concoctions" (and alchemy) which was the primary distinguishing factor (between "Forestals" and everybody else) this "Alchemist or Concoctionist but not both" ruleset no longer has any rational basis.

    - To love another person is to see the face of G/d
    - Let me get my hat and my knife
    - It's your apple, take a bite
    - Don't dream it ... be it


    Tukio
  • AntoniusAntonius Posts: 4,200Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Tecton said:

    Neftarys said:
    I read something about a Liquid Rift here a while back. Is such a thing planned? If so, when might it be expected?
    We like the idea, and have the back-end infrastructure in place, we just haven't found a really good way to handle it from the front-end. When we get that figured out and coded, it'll be live.
    Does that potentially mean refunds on artefact vials?

    If so, any plans to introduce new artefacts? (*cough*knightspecchangeartie*cough*)
  • JulesJules Posts: 2,169Member @ - Epic Achaean
    edited February 2015

    What is it about Achaea that makes XP loss a necessary and beneficial "consequence"?  For me, this consequence means that I am always incredibly cautious about involving myself in any sort of PK related conflict - and for the most part, I do it very rarely in Achaea.  I thought about taking a plunge here after another conversation about this topic, and I just can't stomach grinding Jules back up to level 80 if I start dinking around and lose it.  So she'll probably continue to sit mostly dormant, bashing occasionally - very cautiously, and always things that are "safe", because in that same conversation it became clear that when you're trying to get any sort of net gain at higher levels, you have to take all death very seriously. 

    I've learned more about combat in less than a year over in Imperian than I did in 10+ years in Achaea, because my fear factor was removed - which meant logs with one or two things I could look at (not 50), and access to people who know things when I have stupid questions about said logs.  I'm still terrible, obviously, but I'm light years ahead of myself at any other time and place.  I think you were actually their producer so this probably isn't news to you. 

    I don't think I am remotely alone in this reticence predicated by fear of having to try to grind back up to where I was (much less eventually get a net gain again), although it's true that some people won't take the plunge even with XP loss not being a factor, due to a weird sense of pride, mainly, from what I can tell.  But some people really will take that plunge given the chance to do so without crushing XP loss (and just being constantly hunted because of our infamy system). 

    The only thing I can come up with is that for whatever reason, it makes sense to keep players like me almost completely segregated from PvP.  A possible explanation is that maybe you are worried there would be too much "zerging", which seems like it could be a problem, but a problem which also seems to have its own solutions.  Maybe there are other reasons, but one of the effects really is two populations that are so segregated they really might as well be playing two difference games on the same server much of the time (which may be the intent and a feature rather than a bug as far as you are concerned). 

    Multon
  • VrassVrass Posts: 8Member
    edited February 2015
    Not sure if this has been asked before, but what's the rationale behind making shouts unhearable while deaf even with mindseye?

    How many (inactive) characters are still Outcasts?

    thanks!
    BluefTibitha
  • TekkTekk Posts: 272Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited February 2015
    Thanks for doing this!

    Edit question: What's your favorite music to listen to while doing an arduous task?
  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsPosts: 2,485Administrator @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Antonius said:
    Tecton said:

    Neftarys said:
    I read something about a Liquid Rift here a while back. Is such a thing planned? If so, when might it be expected?
    We like the idea, and have the back-end infrastructure in place, we just haven't found a really good way to handle it from the front-end. When we get that figured out and coded, it'll be live.
    Does that potentially mean refunds on artefact vials?

    If so, any plans to introduce new artefacts? (*cough*knightspecchangeartie*cough*)
    Depends on the implementation!

    There will probably be an artefact to change knight specs at some point in the future
  • NimNim Posts: 2,015Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    What are your thoughts on 1) why you guys hide a bunch of the internal mathematics surrounding the game's mechanics, 2) players that strive to model or discover these game mechanics, 3) the large waves of misinformation surrounding game mechanics, and 4) some players keeping the information private while others (eg @Sena) going public with a lot of it?
    JulesJosoul
  • MelodieMelodie Port Saint Lucie, FloridaPosts: 4,565Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Do you have a general timeline of what you want to do this year, and when/what order? I know the various renaissances is a big one, finishing rolling out tradeskills (and thus adjusting skills of some classes like forestals and serpents), continuing (and possibly implementing?) multiclass, continued classleads to adjust things, and Some Roleplay(tm). What else do we have to look forward to and what sort of timeframe are we looking at?

    For those considering Celani sometime in their future (for me, definitely not for years, but still), are new/revived/recreated Gods (say you wanted to do... I don't know, combine Miramar and Mithraea into this sun justice Goddess that has no alignment but kicks your ass) a possibility? I ask because the ratio of female to male gods is kind of annoying, and if I ever wanted to go Celani and did all the work but got a "Sorry there's no female roles for you to take over" I'd probably have a nutty. Even without that, though, I'm curious about it in general.

    Would you possibly consider, for out of subdivision houses, not doubling upgrade costs? You still have a doubled cost to make rooms, and of course getting the land itself is rare and very expensive. I think doubling the upgrade costs just turns it from "expensive hobby" to "absurd to even pay for". I've gotten a single house upgrade because of it and I'm hesitant to do any others, as much as I'd like some of them. Thrown a lot into the house and would like to continue to do so, but this one change alone would do a world of good.

    Puppies or kittens?

    Any fun hints to surprises we might have sometime?


    "You have had an extraordinary adventure, my dear. Extraordinary! One that few people could ever imagine. Treasure it. Keep it safe and secure, tucked away in some special place in your heart. 

    But... don't spend the rest of your days chasing a ghost."
  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsPosts: 2,485Administrator @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Jules said:

    What is it about Achaea that makes XP loss a necessary and beneficial "consequence"?  For me, this consequence means that I am always incredibly cautious about involving myself in any sort of PK related conflict - and for the most part, I do it very rarely in Achaea.  I thought about taking a plunge here after another conversation about this topic, and I just can't stomach grinding Jules back up to level 80 if I start dinking around and lose it.  So she'll probably continue to sit mostly dormant, bashing occasionally - very cautiously, and always things that are "safe", because in that same conversation it became clear that when you're trying to get any sort of net gain at higher levels, you have to take all death very seriously. 

    I've learned more about combat in less than a year over in Imperian than I did in 10+ years in Achaea, because my fear factor was removed - which meant logs with one or two things I could look at (not 50), and access to people who know things when I have stupid questions about said logs.  I'm still terrible, obviously, but I'm light years ahead of myself at any other time and place.  I think you were actually their producer so this probably isn't news to you. 

    I don't think I am remotely alone in this reticence predicated by fear of having to try to grind back up to where I was (much less eventually get a net gain again), although it's true that some people won't take the plunge even with XP loss not being a factor, due to a weird sense of pride, mainly, from what I can tell.  But some people really will take that plunge given the chance to do so without crushing XP loss (and just being constantly hunted because of our infamy system). 

    The only thing I can come up with is that for whatever reason, it makes sense to keep players like me almost completely segregated from PvP.  A possible explanation is that maybe you are worried there would be too much "zerging", which seems like it could be a problem, but a problem which also seems to have its own solutions.  Maybe there are other reasons, but one of the effects really is two populations that are so segregated they really might as well be playing two difference games on the same server much of the time (which may be the intent and a feature rather than a bug as far as you are concerned). 

    Mortori used to be the Imperian producer, yeah.

    We do offer a slew of zero-loss options for PVP. Things like arenas and the like have been around for years, and let you get comfortable and familiar with your skills and combat in general at the cost of a minute amount of gold (or none, if you pick which events you want to join!)

    I can definitely see where you're coming from though, and we are considering some options in terms of better handling of experience and death. It will just be finding a solution that balances "making realistic and conscientious decisions" vs. "I'm so scared of dying that I'm not going to do anything", rather than moving to a full zero-loss situation.


    Jules
  • NimNim Posts: 2,015Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Oh, also, are programmer roles and god (or just general celani roleplaying) roles completely separate, or do some staff members take on both? Although I continue to have no plans of volunteering, I ask this as someone who enjoys both programming and roleplaying.
  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsPosts: 2,485Administrator @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Vrass said:
    Not sure if this has been asked before, but what's the rationale behind making shouts unhearable while deaf even with mindseye?

    How many (inactive) characters are still Outcasts?

    thanks!
    1) Not sure what the original rationale was there, was that way before I started as a player! Probably something we'll adjust when time permits.
    2) 28 Outcasts still alive
    NimMelodieAchimrstBluef
  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsPosts: 2,485Administrator @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Tekk said:
    Thanks for doing this!

    Edit question: What's your favorite music to listen to while doing an arduous task?
    If I'm really focussed on a task, I like silence, just because I dislike breaking my train of thought to go change whatever random song just started on my playlist!
    Oceana
  • EldEld Posts: 3,946Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Nim said:
    What are your thoughts on 1) why you guys hide a bunch of the internal mathematics surrounding the game's mechanics, 2) players that strive to model or discover these game mechanics, 3) the large waves of misinformation surrounding game mechanics, and 4) some players keeping the information private while others (eg @Sena) going public with a lot of it?
    And on a related note, what are the general criteria for deciding what information regarding mechanics you'll hand out and what should be found by in-game testing? For example, from your answers to @Josoul earlier, we have that entity balance scales with int, with diminishing returns above 16 and a cap at 19, but that the actual capped value is something to be learned in-game. What are the relevant differences between those pieces of information? General relationships versus specific numbers? High-level information that's more likely to influence race/spec/trait/artefact choices versus details that are more likely to impact specific strategies once those decisions are already made? Some sort of perceived gap in people's ability to take advantage of the information?
    NimJosoul
  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsPosts: 2,485Administrator @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Nim said:
    What are your thoughts on 1) why you guys hide a bunch of the internal mathematics surrounding the game's mechanics, 2) players that strive to model or discover these game mechanics, 3) the large waves of misinformation surrounding game mechanics, and 4) some players keeping the information private while others (eg @Sena) going public with a lot of it?
    We're an RP game, the main reason we don't publish formulae and the in-depth information is we don't want it to turn into more of a min-max game where people feel like they're forced to play a certain class just because someone theorycrafted that it is 2.942% better on the forums. Players should build their characters because that's the way they want to play, and we'll keep working on making sure that the classes are balanced as well as possible.

    If people want to try and math it out, that's their prerogative, we're not going to outlaw any talk of it or anything like that! 
    ShirszaeAchimrstNizana
  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsPosts: 2,485Administrator @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Melodie said:
    Do you have a general timeline of what you want to do this year, and when/what order? I know the various renaissances is a big one, finishing rolling out tradeskills (and thus adjusting skills of some classes like forestals and serpents), continuing (and possibly implementing?) multiclass, continued classleads to adjust things, and Some Roleplay(tm). What else do we have to look forward to and what sort of timeframe are we looking at?

    For those considering Celani sometime in their future (for me, definitely not for years, but still), are new/revived/recreated Gods (say you wanted to do... I don't know, combine Miramar and Mithraea into this sun justice Goddess that has no alignment but kicks your ass) a possibility? I ask because the ratio of female to male gods is kind of annoying, and if I ever wanted to go Celani and did all the work but got a "Sorry there's no female roles for you to take over" I'd probably have a nutty. Even without that, though, I'm curious about it in general.

    Would you possibly consider, for out of subdivision houses, not doubling upgrade costs? You still have a doubled cost to make rooms, and of course getting the land itself is rare and very expensive. I think doubling the upgrade costs just turns it from "expensive hobby" to "absurd to even pay for". I've gotten a single house upgrade because of it and I'm hesitant to do any others, as much as I'd like some of them. Thrown a lot into the house and would like to continue to do so, but this one change alone would do a world of good.

    Puppies or kittens?

    Any fun hints to surprises we might have sometime?


    1) We do! The big ones, you probably can guess, but many of the not-so-obvious ones, you'll have to wait and see!
    2) For the most part, Celani are encouraged to fill an existing godroles. There's a couple of reasons for this: 
    • Those gods already have established backstories and a place in the world. I'm loathe to return to the situation it was in the past where we have so many minor gods that didn't really fit in anywhere.
    • Most of the old minor roles were really tailored for the original designer and had little appeal to anyone else. When that person quit, there was little interest in anyone else wanting it. 
    • It's not fair to you guys if you spend your entire life devoted to a dormant god.
    That's not to say we're never going to consider new godroles, but for now, getting the existing ones filled is the priority.

    3) Would I consider it? Sure, I consider thousands of things a day :)
    4) Puppies!
    5) Hints...

    Cooper dies in the end.

    Yae
  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsPosts: 2,485Administrator @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Thanks for all of the awesome questions, this has been a lot of fun!
    Bluef
  • TectonTecton The Garden of the GodsPosts: 2,485Administrator @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Nim said:
    Oh, also, are programmer roles and god (or just general celani roleplaying) roles completely separate, or do some staff members take on both? Although I continue to have no plans of volunteering, I ask this as someone who enjoys both programming and roleplaying.
    Oops, missed this one!

    There's been some cross-over in the past (including myself), but all of our current coders are dedicated ones.
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