Friday with Means - May 1st, 2009
With today being a national holiday I will have to be content with time at home with my family and a possible trip to the beach...after the required daily trip to look at tractors to make my son happy.
To briefly sum up our efforts this week:
Metaing was in town this week (he is the only Designer at Funcom who works remotely) having flown up from Copenhagen to spend some time face-to-face with Genele working on focusing our balancing efforts for the 18.1 update. I think it is important to clarify at this point there will not be a "armageddon-uber-patch" that fixes every issue in the game for every profession. This would get huge and unwieldy and would likely result in unnecessary delays. We are going to work on small, concise and more importantly FAST updates. Going forward with every update we will be focusing in on a few very specific professions and profession issues and do our best to plan and implement a reasonable set of solutions. 18.1 will include specific adjustments to: Fixers, Ranged Adventurers, 1hb and 2hb Enforcers/Blunt users, and pistol users. First versions of these adjustments should be on TestLive enxt week so I will be wearing my peril-sensitive sunglasses and flame retardant teletubby costume as I follow the discussions on the changes.
After discussion with the players our current plan is this: Pandemonium will be BOTH instanced and exist in its current state.
Pande raids will be able to run at the same time as they do now. Exactly the same. No locks, no change in respawn times.
A second "door" will exist for those who want an additional guild/team shot at Pande and the Beast that day. Pande will be broken into two instances: Pandemonium Instance and Beast Instance.
Having a detailed look at Pande has given us a chance to really dig into the potential to add more interesting encounters to the area...it won't be in 18.1 but I look forward to further flushing out this area with end-game content in the near future.
Enno and his evil team of coders continue to beat their forheads savagely against the horrible code that is the old AO engine. Standard workflow is that new features/optimizations are developed and worked on in a "sand-box" type environment to avoid long painfull compile times and to better isolate the area they want to work on. As they get closer to a ready state, new work is merged into the full development client to see how it fares. This week work was done to bring in some optimizations of the animation and statel rendering systems to the "full" development AO client.
I spent one evening this week in game personally banishing spammers from the face of RK. Thanks to those who kept me company as I gagged then burned, exploded or extreme knockbacked these annoying people to oblivion. Was nice to meet you Hopscotch...one of our super-longtime fr00b players indulging his alt-itis on newbie island. Amazing how persistant the spammers really are. I feel better knowing that there is increased support team action on banning their accounts (70ish this week...I don't have the large credit figure here at home.) Work is also continuing on an automated gag system for this behaviour as well as a client side chat filter that will put the power back in the communities hands in 18.1. Right-click ignore in the chat is also in 18.1. *ahem*Hail Macrosun!
Have great weekend everyone!
Colin "Means" Cragg
This friday with Means can also be found in the Anarchy Online Forums.