Friday with Means - February 6th, 2009
The weeks and days seem to fly by so quickly. It seems like I come in, dig into the booster, and before I know it my wife is calling me to find out why I haven't left work yet.
Everyone here is hard at work polishing the booster based on the excellent feedback we have been getting.
Tests of the Mitaar Hero instance have gone well and some mild tweaks will be in for the version in the middle of next week.
2nd Team Instance and Final 12 Player Raid
I am considering opening the additional two instances (one team and one raid) for open testing on TestLive next weekend. But we'll see...I don't like to spoil the surprise on all the new encounters...and historically we have a problem with "how to" threads being posted the day of release. It might be nice this time to have everyone struggle to victory together..so the guild that says "First" is actually speaking of a real achievement. This is a mental struggle for the following week.
Q - "Preorder..When?"
A - Imminent.™ The booster is coming very very soon. If I give the exact date marketing will want to kill me...then the feeling will be mutual. Can't have that now can we?
Q - "Instanced Pande? When, where, details?"
A - This will be the first thing we get to after the release of the booster and after the staff here have a brief chance to breathe/sleep. I'm hoping before the middle of March. Initially this was held back because we wanted to see that the instancing/raid technology worked well..and I felt that the largest raid was not the best place for testing in this area. So the wait shouldn't be long. I want it done as badly as you...the only thing that can really delay this initiative is the possibility of leaving "both" versions of Pande running..with the old non-instanced version being a new "Nasty" version requiring greater numbers for greater rewards...but again not set in stone.
Q - "How is the new Graphics Engine progressing? I know you hesitate to give an exact release date for it for obvious reasons, but do you expect it may be ready by Fall 2009 or End of 2009 perhaps?"
A - I really can't give a specific date. What I can say is that the engine is close to being "feature complete" meaning everything is in place. That being said there are a great number of effects that need replacing and a great deal of performance tuning that remains to be done. I think we can all agree that the new engine should be smooth, stable, fast and beautiful. Until those criteria are met we are going to keep working on it. Don't worry, when we get even close I imagine the video previews will be coming out of our ears.
Q - "Does FC recognize a problem with the current ability of a single character (150 fixer) to blitz up to and solo kill the bosses in Sector 10? Or is that just a game mechanic that other players have to deal with?"
A - Yes. No. This will unfortunately have to wait until after the booster to be tweaked.
Q - "How is the new perk reset system going to work?"
A - Speaking with an NPC and paying a modest fee will clear your current perk setup. You will be unable to speak with that NPC for an as yet undecided amount of time. This will at a bare minimum be 100% faster than the current time a complete reset/equip/reset takes.
The exact amount of time until the NPC is willing to grant this service again is up for discussion/flaming.
Q - "Crypt of Home, chests, wtf are in them already? Thanks."
A - Bottles of cola from the office for recycling. We never know where to put them and we never seem to have the time to take them in. I will put something more fun here at some point in the future...this kind of long term legend deserves something special.
Q - "With the profession balancing act, wil that bring new content or fix old content(ie perk lines/actions)?"
A - I'm hoping for a delightfull combination of both.
Q - "What's going on with the Sector42 and Pandemonium crashes? Do you need more information? Have you identified the problem? What is being done to fix it?"
A - We have so far been unable to determine the source of the problem. Every effort is being made to try and track it down. The upcoming update will be adding some additional server monitoring to try and isolate this issue.
Q - What evil has Macrosun wrought this week?
A - Macrosun would like you all to know he has:
Implemented a method for getting guests into instanced cities: Get key from machine in your city..give key to friend. Friend gets in!
Been using all the powers of his brain to combat BS synch issues. He has found a significant issue and fxed it. I don't understand what it was. So don't ask.
You will not be able to delete your nanos...but now you will be able to HIDE the ones you don't wish to see in your interface.
Thanks again to all who helped with great feedback on the booster this week! It really is because of your efforts that it keeps getting better and better.
You should all get cake.
Colin "Means" Cragg
This friday with Means can also be found in the Anarchy Online Forums.