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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 12:35:58   #41
Solaar
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@New Producer: Here's something for you to think about:

Which game's more successful: The one that outlived its short hype phase already, or the one that's running for 12 years almost and still has a very active community?
Just if you're looking for a hint about what to prioritize...

P.S.: Start playing the game.
- Finish at least one 220 char fully on your own. Only support allowed is an org which is not Funcom's. No GM help whatsoever. No telling who you are.
- Then create a PvP Twink, same support rule applies.
Then, only then, a producer for AO you can be. Before that, you're just another clueless manager, i hate to say.

</rant>
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 12:36:20   #42
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:-) Impressive work.

After 5 years after the first ingame video of the new engine, they managed to get the grass working!
( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRmk0hZam7A )

Quote:
I think having someone come in with fresh ideas and a new perspective can do the game good in the long run.
Hmm.. i hope you're right, but if you look back on AoC and TSW, i'm not so sure about that statement!

Oh well, best of luck (Both you Joel and Dave). Hopefully everything will just go upwards from now.
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 12:39:45   #43
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My once-deep reservoir of faith in the handling of AO is exhausted. Death, death.
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 12:43:31   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solaar View Post
@New Producer: Here's something for you to think about:

Which game's more successful: The one that outlived its short hype phase already, or the one that's running for 12 years almost and still has a very active community?
Just if you're looking for a hint about what to prioritize...

P.S.: Start playing the game.
- Finish at least one 220 char fully on your own. Only support allowed is an org which is not Funcom's. No GM help whatsoever. No telling who you are.
- Then create a PvP Twink, same support rule applies.
Then, only then, a producer for AO you can be. Before that, you're just another clueless manager, i hate to say.

</rant>
You missed one stipulation. It must not be soldier,bureaucrat, doctor or enforcer either. The failure that awaits.
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 12:45:22   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solaar View Post
Before that, you're just another clueless manager, i hate to say.
If you think he needs to grind through the game to manage the game you are pretty clueless yourself. :P

Do not underestimate the power of fresh thoughts on things.
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 12:55:00   #46
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Originally Posted by Noer View Post
If you think he needs to grind through the game to manage the game you are pretty clueless yourself. :P

Do not underestimate the power of fresh thoughts on things.
Or in other words you'd like to have a total noob decide the future of AO? Well, i'll leave it to the audience to decide about who's clueless.
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 12:55:24   #47
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Farewell Dave - we'll be missing you! thanks for your great work and good luck to you in future!
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 12:55:52   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nusquam View Post

As such, the benefits of a shared team solution for Anarchy Online are limited to the art and quality assurance side. The core of the Anarchy development team still exists (pending various contract negotiations) and remains focused on developing Anarchy. Obviously their specialized knowledge of Anarchy and all of the idiosyncrasies of the game is a massive boon in keeping the game moving forward.
confirmed: all resources diverted to TSW


EDIT:

Quote:
It doesn't change my role on The Secret World - the shared new team means that updates for The Secret World will continue like before – and we have plenty of exciting things coming up!
- http://www.thesecretworld.com/news/g..._february_2013

looks like ao's getting put on the backburner!
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 13:01:31   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nusquam View Post
As such, the benefits of a shared team solution for Anarchy Online are limited to the art and quality assurance side. The core of the Anarchy development team still exists (pending various contract negotiations) and remains focused on developing Anarchy. Obviously their specialized knowledge of Anarchy and all of the idiosyncrasies of the game is a massive boon in keeping the game moving forward.
Uhm, the core of the AO dev team is gone no ? (Macro, genele, vhab, mstrbstrd, parsed, Michi?) Are any of these staying then ?

Last edited by Pennypacker; Feb 26th, 2013 at 13:05:00..
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 13:17:48   #50
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Goodbye Ilaliya and thank you for your work. You did well keeping the game on track.


Welcome Nusquam, you start by saying stuff we're interested in. You have the blessing to have a very dedicated community here, feedback us professionals relay to the dev team is well thought because players really care about the game.

We are however quite washed out, waiting for YEARS on a promise that the game would come back on the AAA field. But your first post is promising.

Quote:
After that we plan to finish the engine upgrade and have it in beta as soon as possible.
Finally, a sign that there is a goal to meet and that the team will push toward it. I'm really glad to read about betas, increasing the game's population and revenue. A new point of view will do wonders to AO.
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 13:17:56   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solaar View Post
@New Producer:<snip>
P.S.: Start playing the game.
- Finish at least one 220 char fully on your own. Only support allowed is an org which is not Funcom's. No GM help whatsoever. No telling who you are.
- Then create a PvP Twink, same support rule applies.
Perhaps the level-on-your-own would work best after the New Player Experience is done, to get better picture what needs changing. Currently theres a lot But other than that, bump for this. It might be a bit too time consuming to do with his job, but would give some much needed experience. Anyway, most importantly: play the game! I mean actually play - some of the current/past devs had toons, but somewhere tl4-5 range I think, logged couple times a year (Edit: with the exception of Vhab ofc). You don't get how people actually play that way.

Start a real toon, level it yourself as much as possible, cheat a little if time is a problem, but try to experience the process. Make a (lowbie) pvp toon too, tl4-5 best. Play with the players. Join the bot(s) for raids and wars. Get/sell stuff in market, etc. You avoid quuuite a lot of screw-ups this way, when you actually know how people play.

@Dave/Ilaliya: Good luck wherever you are heading after FC. Hope you get a little less.. stormy position
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 13:24:13   #52
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Ilaliya, sorry to see you go.

My one or two rants were not about your job but about decisions taken upper than you.
Hope they give you a lil bonus for what they (and us) made you go through.

Love the grass. I was a little skeptic about spending time on it, but it really does a great job covering landscapes that became a lil dull 12 years later.

The lightning is very nice and so are the shadows.
I'm a little worried that you didn't use a new character model for the video and hope that doesn't mean there's lots of work left there.

Anyway, loved the vid.

Good luck in your new endeavors .

To the new guy:
- welcome on board.
- stay focused on delivering. You need to get the server merge done quickly and then focus on getting the new engine out. Don't postpone stuff for ages for some reasons, because we really aren't receptive to reason anymore and getting stuff out, even if not perfect will make the project more manageable for you. But mostly, it will make players believe in the game again. Simultaneously managing different versions (especially with 2 clients, which I still think is an error) is hell. Get it out and work incrementally from there.
- people are asking for work on rebalance, but don't dilute your team's work. If there is something really ruining the experience for lots of players, then do a lil quick temporary tuning but apart from that, server merge and new engine full steam.
- good luck

To fc:
- stop firing people working on ao and moving them around the globe. The ao community extends to the people working on ao. You want to cut costs, look at your board of directors.
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 13:27:52   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nusquam View Post
Anarchy Online is not Age of Conan or The Secret World. The shared codebase of those games branched away from Anarchy so far back in the past that it is comparable to the genetic difference between humans and a banana (I'll let you decide which represents which, dear community.)
It's not nice calling TSW a banana !
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 13:35:28   #54
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Originally Posted by doctorgore View Post
You missed one stipulation. It must not be soldier,bureaucrat, doctor or enforcer either. The failure that awaits.
You must not have watched his videos prior to TSW release. He will obviously choose MA, and introduce an /iknowkungfu emote.
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 13:41:58   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nusquam View Post
keeping the game from moving forward.
fixed to represent AO mentality.
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 13:49:49   #56
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First thing is welcome!

Now remove Rather cheap ring, solid gold bracelet, fancy frippery, dull omnimed pearl, and a few others that could use cleaning up. Enable all those goodies that are in the database!

Nice job on the grass. In my town they call that weeds if you let them get that tall.
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 14:09:30   #57
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Congratulations on your new role, Joel! As a lifetimer for The Secret World, I've enjoyed following your communication with the community there, and even if I no longer play actively (it just didn't have the long-term hook I was looking for), I believe you've done an excellent job of playing with the hand you've been dealt.

Anarchy Online is special to me, as I'm sure it is to everyone else here, and the idea of someone who has never played it - and whose experience lies primarily with more modern titles - now taking the reigns is understandably going to be received with mixed reactions. On one hand, I believe that the game is in need of a fresh perspective and new development priorities. On the other, Anarchy Online is one of the last vestiges of old-school gameplay on the market. Games like EverQuest and Dark Age of Camelot have undergone significant changes since their release, and could now be classified as some strange amalgam of old and new, no longer satisfying those who yearn for an experience that no longer exists but neither modern enough to compete with the titles of today.

And let's face it: even with a new engine, Anarchy Online isn't going to be competing with modern titles. Its strengths lie in the things that make it unique: buffing, twinking, NCU management, implants, the skill system, and the old school charm of a title that feels more "virtual world" than game. I'd honestly be pretty bummed if you decided that the game needed to be more like AoC or TSW to regain traction.

Instead, I think the game needs to first focus on resolving long-standing issues in its core systems so that it can return to a state of "zen", and create a foundation that makes existing content more enjoyable to current players, while also giving you a better platform on which to create new content. Primarily, this means addressing the profession rebalance (which we've heard nothing of since...2011, I want to say?) in order to resolve gross imbalances, as well as taking a look at the system in place (or rather not in place) for leveling, and what paths players currently take, or are encouraged to take, to reach level cap.

Beyond those things, I think it's important to look at the haphazard development cycle of the past half-decade and strive to make changes so that new patches are more consistent, and build towards a big picture. I think your experience with TSW will really come in handy here; for a long time now, Anarchy Online's patches have felt like token gestures and additions of self-contained content and stories that seem as though they've only been added for the sake of pointing them out and saying "look, we still develop this game!".

Anarchy Online's sense of story has been lost. Once upon a time, it was a really special thing, and the story was being driven forward by patches and even player actions. Live events - truly live events with NPCs controlled by ARKs - are another of those things unique to old school games like AO that have diminished greatly in recent years. I'd like to see Anarchy Online's story come back to the forefront as the driving force in creating new content, and I'd like to see that story made more accessible as well. As much as I appreciate the opportunity to go digging for lore, it's felt as though AO has tried too hard to lock much of its story away in obscure fragments. Again, I think your experience with TSW would help greatly here, as that game seems to strike a good balance.

On another story-related note, I recommend reading Prophet Without Honour if you haven't already. It's a fantastic story and sadly has never been followed up on. I know that it was written when AO was originally meant to be a time-limited affair, but that's no excuse to abandon such fantastic premise and characters. Give Ragnar a call, and sort out how to bring people like David Marlin and Roland Drake back into the story, and into the game. While you're at it, can we get Phillip Ross back? I feel as if the game's political intrigue went into a coma along with him.

I'd also like to warn against a few changes that I imagine any developer in your shoes would be tempted to make. For one, I'd hate to see AO's questing problems resolved by the introduction of some linear "golden path". It will take some creative thinking, especially because players are almost always going to choose the path of least resistance, but it's really important to me that Anarchy Online remains a place where player advancement is open to multiple paths like rolled missions, dungeons, or mob-hunting/grinding. It would be interesting to see things like hunting "bonuses", not an outright kill x of y quest system, but special rewards or increased exp gains for hunting in specific regions that change daily. Look at EverQuest's daily/weekly hot zones for a good example.

The other thing that I'd hate to see would be turning Anarchy Online's myriad dungeons into a single-party instanced affair. I know it's the hot thing to do right now, and AO already has it's fair share, but open world dungeons are just so difficult to find now, and if anything I've always been disappointed that their development was practically abandoned since the Crypt of Home. Going forward, I'd like to see a dungeon like this introduced for end-game players, and if there's really an urge to go back and change all the old dungeons to instanced, finely-tuned experiences for the sake of new players, I'd rather they be alternatives to current dungeons, "scenarios" taking place in each zone with the same or similar enemies and their own stories, without completely diminishing the drops and exp found in their older counterparts.

Lastly, now that all three games are all under your supervision and Funcom has centralized its offices, I think it's time to look at offering a combined subscription package for all three games, ala SOE's Station Access. I know I'd happily pay $20 if it meant having subscriber-level access to Anarchy Online, Age of Conan, and The Secret World...perhaps knock $5 off of that price as I'm a TSW lifetimer. As it stands, I don't sub to AO anymore because the pace of development and missed deadlines don't inspire me to offer up $15/month, and I don't sub to Age of Conan because I've never agreed with how things have been locked behind a paywall there. But offering all games for a nominal fee would certainly change the perceived value for me, and you'd not only be getting money I'd not spend on either game, but an active player which, in a game like Anarchy Online, is not to be underestimated.

Anyway, one wall of text later, thank you for taking the time to read this (if you did!) and good luck with your new role. I eagerly anticipate seeing what direction you take things in.

Last edited by Vayde; Feb 26th, 2013 at 14:13:45..
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 14:13:17   #58
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^ Good post.
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 14:14:11   #59
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Originally Posted by Delerium View Post
It's not nice calling TSW a banana !
Yes, you are absolutely correct! .. Lemon would be a more suitable comparison.

Sad to see people leave our dev community, I wish you well.

Pleased to see some movement on the server merge and the engine update, thank you for that.

Horrified at the imminent mess that will be bot reconfiguration, character preferences and mostly, backpack bag naming/organisation.

Intrigued at the evolution that will be our brave new world ... and to be involved with some of the stronger personalities whilst trying to decide which bots rule which raids will take some bravery!

But overall I feel both sadness and joy. Sadness at the end of an era, no more RK1 and RK2 which have been around for all this time. However joy over the fact that this is quite a successful MMORPG, by virtue of the fact it has been around so long, and still alive(tm). Whilst many other MMORPG's have come and gone, AO has stood the test of time, not too dissimilar to another game made by a snowstorm that everybody seems to celebrate for its longevity. So I feel with this in mind, we should celebrate too ... and if anybody is off to the bar, make mine a pint please!
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Old Feb 26th, 2013, 14:14:47   #60
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Thats very rude you guys didnt give us any time to prepare ourselves for server merge. I have characters on both servers and if character limit isnt high enough ill just loose items and money that were on those characters i wont make playable. Money and items id transfer if i knew the merge was coming ... Thats really horrible beginning of a new GD. Would it be possible to make characters back to inactive status via petition system once we transfer items from them if you insist on those "suprises"?
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