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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 17:11:43   #1
Nusquam
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Funcom employee Monthly Development Update - 1st November 2013

Hi everyone,
Hope you all have been having fun with the Halloween events and gotten your hands quite a few special treats this year. Due to some small hiccups we have extended the Halloween event until the 11th of November to make sure everyone gets a chance to join in.

I wanted to give you a status update on what the guys have been working on and where the closed beta currently stands.

Firstly the closed beta. We have set up the server but we still have a couple of critical rendering bugs that we need to squash before we open it up to the public. The water shader has been giving us some trouble and has been causing a lot of strange behavior, such as making all of the water volumes in the world to blink in and out of existence when it is raining. Though the effect makes me think of 70s disco, it could cause epileptic seizures in the long run, which is not entirely advisable – even in Anarchy Online.

The limitations of DX9 have caused us another problem. Quite a lot of the animation setups for Anarchy Online have too many bones to be compatible with the new graphics engine. Just a month ago we had over 60 models that just wouldn’t work in the engine (though they looked kinda hilarious when they exploded), but our animators have been hard at work and last count there was only one model left that still required attention (croakers).

QA have been doing their best to break everything in the engine and the New Player Experience and Genele and Macrosun have been fixing all the bugs as they come in.

Quite apart from the engine and 18.7 bugs Genele has spent her time this month getting Halloween up and running. She also did some prep work for Christmas while she was digging around in the events anyway - expect to see some long forgotten quests and NPCs.

With 18.7 we will be introducing item rarity as a stat to the game. Obviously there are a huge amount of items that need to be updated, so with the first versions of 18.7 you can expect to see this only on a percentage of the items. However, as time passes, we should be able to get a good indication of item rarity across the game. Different colors will point to different degrees of rarity and the implementation will start with the items in the upcoming New Player Experience.

Macrosun has, apart from stomping around the new engine in his bug stomping galoshes, also been compiling some nice data tools for the in-game player market. Usage statistics will allow us to follow the trends in the auction house and make adjustments accordingly.

Michizure has spent some time fixing random bugs and wrapping presents for the Christmas event, reopening the entrance to the Crypt of Home and tweaking the reflect shield of The Beast so that it stops chain casting!

We have also been compiling a FAQ to go out with the beta which contains a list of what to expect from the new engine and what it brings to the table. This will make it clear exactly what will be different in the new graphics engine, what will be the same and what we will continue working on to make better.

Thanks for listening
Joel
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 17:13:37   #2
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 17:16:45   #3
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Item rarity? Are you going to make some kids game

Rarity doesn't equal quality or usefullness, I think it's kinda bad idea considering AO's unique game mechanics...
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 17:21:40   #4
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By rarity, is it a literal % drop chance from the loot table or is it going to be more along the lines of TSW's 'rarity' and give an indicator as to item power vs it's QL/equip reqs?
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 17:41:06   #5
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 17:51:35   #6
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 17:54:50   #7
doctorgore
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Where are the balances changes? When will I actually be able to have fun playing my toons? Instead you waste time/effort on rarity? Now you want to copy colored purple and blue item system from wow?? You want to copy something from wow how about regular balance and system changes. This game is not fun.....
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 17:56:56   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nusquam View Post
With 18.7 we will be introducing item rarity as a stat to the game. Obviously there are a huge amount of items that need to be updated, so with the first versions of 18.7 you can expect to see this only on a percentage of the items. However, as time passes, we should be able to get a good indication of item rarity across the game. Different colors will point to different degrees of rarity and the implementation will start with the items in the upcoming New Player Experience.
This simply needs more explanation.
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 18:02:46   #9
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18.7 - when???

P.S.
uhhm... 18.7 - sounds like new FC motto instead of "New Graphics Engine".
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 18:10:10   #10
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If anyone has missed the Freudian slip.. Where is the hope for this game?
"Usage statistics will allow us to follow the trends in the auction house and make adjustments accordingly."
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 18:13:02   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ophiuchus View Post
By rarity, is it a literal % drop chance from the loot table or is it going to be more along the lines of TSW's 'rarity' and give an indicator as to item power vs it's QL/equip reqs?

The main purpose of this is to provide an indicator to help you figure out which items you should blindly sell to a vending machine and which you should not. (I have heard too many sad stories about new players who sold grid armor to a vending machine...). This is not to help high levels or to dictate what items anyone should use. Ao is and will always be sandbox. It is about helping new players so they don't do something stupid that they will regret.

As for details: we will use the colors on the item name in the info view and in list view:

Grey - vendor trash
White - item that has a tradeskill, stats or a purpose.
Orange - items that are hard to come by or is very expensive to buy from a vending machine. This item must have a purpose or be one of the result items in a tradeskill process that eventually results in an orange item.
Blue (same color as the quest npc names) - Quest items.
Yellow - not defined yet or unknown. (Yellow is the color we use on item names today)

We have considered renaming "Rarity" to "Item Type" as QL is already a rarity indicator. This is still work in progress.
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 18:13:46   #12
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Yikes!
Edit: Quit copying WoW. If we all wanted to play WoW, we would be doing so...I highly doubt by copying other games you'll be able to do anything better than they already have...How about sticking to the things that made AO unique & stop diluting our wonderful game as you have been doing so for the last few years with these 'changes for the new players'.
Subscription rates & player activity over these last few years should show even you guys how effective things have been....
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 18:16:02   #13
Trousers
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I'm seeing a lot of changes to "Benefit new players" which appear to be of questionable value...

This color coding scheme, needless changes to the whom-Pahs...

Why not do something to truly help new players like lowering the Subscription Fee / Adjusting the EU pricing model to encourage returning subscriptions?

Experienced players will do more to help a new player than any amount of color coding.
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 18:22:06   #14
doctorgore
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Colored items are a waste of time and resources, which could be put to better use. How about purging the database of 10000s rubbish items or moding them so they are useful. Example being like every weapon/armor vendor item in the game....

What should we expect copied from wow next flying griffons instead of yalms?
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 18:48:50   #15
enfsatangirl
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when will u guys fix the 2 big problems that made alot of players cansel there accounts ?

or dont funcom care about losing paying players ?
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 18:58:29   #16
Krause
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I actually liked how AO didn't have any kind of rarity coloring, that kind of thing has a way of effecting how people perceive items worth, instead of the item doing it on its own merits.

Though if your going through the items database adding a field to all items Id love to see type fields added to all weapons so they can be fully functional in the social tab as long as they are of the same generic type as the one being used (simple stuff like 2 hand ranged, 1 hand ranged, 2 hand melee, 1 hand melee, etc).
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 19:04:53   #17
Tikra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trousers View Post
Experienced players will do more to help a new player than any amount of color coding.
Amen bro!
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 19:13:25   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genele View Post
The main purpose of this is to provide an indicator to help you figure out which items you should blindly sell to a vending machine and which you should not. (I have heard too many sad stories about new players who sold grid armor to a vending machine...). This is not to help high levels or to dictate what items anyone should use. Ao is and will always be sandbox. It is about helping new players so they don't do something stupid that they will regret.

As for details: we will use the colors on the item name in the info view and in list view:

Grey - vendor trash
White - item that has a tradeskill, stats or a purpose.
Orange - items that are hard to come by or is very expensive to buy from a vending machine. This item must have a purpose or be one of the result items in a trade skill process that eventually results in an orange item.
Blue (same color as the quest npc names) - Quest items.
Yellow - not defined yet or unknown. (Yellow is the color we use on item names today)

We have considered renaming "Rarity" to "Item Type" as QL is already a rarity indicator. This is still work in progress.
But you won't implement a better map because its "spoilers"?? "I walk the line...." Hmmm, this seems to walk the line of "spoilers" too, and on a much deeper level...?

The truth is you have more crap, garbage items in this game that will NEVER be used than is worth sitting and recolor coding. Try dumping them, and setting a base of items that are usable, creation based, and viable. They don t ALL have to be great items.. but let the player decide if they wan to vendor it or keep it to create something. There are just too many useless items that have absolutely no purpose in the data base..period!

And no offense meant, but "rarity" in this game is relative. Just because you say it is, doesn't mean anyone will care, want it or seek the item out. There are juts shop fodder items that technically are "rare".. and still get passed by when they are in chests, or found. Vendor trash is i the eye of the beholder as well. Just because you say its trade skillable, to me may be trash.

Just seems like a lot of work, and a lot of man hours spent on folly. The game will be 13 years years old. Perhaps consider changing your definition of "spoiler"s and understand what you see as a spoiler is a basic player guide these days. What you're suggesting is a spoiler to me anyway.

In that case, perhaps consider just changing the description on these items to explain to new ppl in what ways they can be use.. Your "No spoil" policy lasts all of 2.5 seconds anyway since everyone in game knows 95% of the base and data base items and info.. Players are no longer "Discovering" things but simply getting frustrated without being able to rely on an official guide to tell them whats junk and whats not.. and asking Veteran players who just spout the info out instead of saying "Oh, I can't tell you because that runs the game continuity".

Just update the description to actually BE USEFUL and less cryptic in some cases!

Last edited by Cariadast; Nov 1st, 2013 at 19:27:07..
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 19:26:55   #19
Ekarona
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So what is the balance between white and orange? ;D
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Old Nov 1st, 2013, 20:01:26   #20
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I know this belongs in game suggestions.. But.. for those who are ig.. The economy.. jesus christ!
The problem must be the cred sellers. 12 bucks for a bil... Chesus.

My suggestion is this.. Stop the froob program (I know, it hurts). And make a new sloob program. Make it cheap.. like 4.99 per month. But make the first 3 month like $12. Then the cred sellers will have to pay for each account they create. And it wont' be profitable if they have to.

Also make a shared org bank for like 500k items. And make a personal with 10k items. All searchable without AOIA.
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