Friday with Means - June 19th, 2009 - AO Complexity
With a super-update in the works for release next week and multiple discussions already undeway about the changes I feel like sharing a quick peek into this Wednesday's work day here in the office.
Quick note first:
Balacing efforts that begin in this update should be viewed as temporary. The larger system changes to Aimed Shot and other specials in the very near future are going to have much larger effects on game balance. The changes to perks and weapons in this update are a small step in the right direction...I think these should more be viewed as a good indication of our commitment to make the hard decisions and do what is necessary for the balance future of AO. The FA buff associated with new Fixer weapons will not be working correctly at launch of this update...we are continuing to work on it...but we did not want it to delay this update...especially with the larger changes upcoming in the very very near future.
Case Study: Anarchy Online - Complex Team Game-Play Interaction Systems
Short Title: How many devs does it take to get an Alien Ship invitation after a city raid?
After discovering an issue with Alien Ship access after instanced city raids...code was cleverly adjusted by Macrosun and we set about running a city raid to try out the invite fix.
I ran the city attack myself and was surprised when 20 minutes later the ship left without giving me an invite.
Facepalm one: One player is not enough to get a ship invite.
Dual-logged I tried again. No invite.
Facepalm Two: Two players is not enough. Had a coder check. 4 Players are required. Crap.
Macrosun and I run an attack..both of us Dual logged.
Facepalm Three: Genele laughed at us and mentioned we all needed to be on the General's hatelist to get an invite. Possibly 10 seconds after the death of the General.
After waiting for Genele to leave the room and lowering her desk an mind-screwing 4 cm.
Four characters..all on General's hatelist.
Facepalm Four: One character was a GM. GM doesn't count apparently. Insert sailor profanity here __________.
With the help of Genele and Lindelu supervising we run the city attack...and miraculously get a ship invite. The code works! W00t!
Friday at 18:00
If we could get out of normal mission ACG's this code would be perfect. Start the build again!
Insert Karma Here:
The painfull irony of this day was that I wrote the rules and conditions for getting on the Alien Ships almost four years ago. While this frustrating exercise did make us laugh...it was an excellent reminder of the reason we will be spending so much time and effort communicating with you, the players, moving forward into the future of AO.
A great many of you have been with us long enough to for it to be considered a "career". Thank you all for all the expert consultancy work.
Have a great weekend!
Colin "Means" Cragg
This friday with Means can also be found in the Anarchy Online Forums.