Friday with(out) Means - Aug. 15th, 2009: Now with 60% more content!
This week our intrepid stand-in Kintaii talks about roleplaying, new shinies, and prays that he lives through the night...
Part #1: In Which Our Writer Is Critted For Max Damage - AimshotThe conversation went a little like this:
<Me> Did you have a chance to call Colin yet?
<Macrosun> Yeah, he had a few instructions to pass out.
<Me> Ok, cool, hit me.
<Macrosun> First off he wanted some stuff taken care of on the Funcom site for us, but I've already got that under way.
<Me> Awesome, what else?
<Macrosun> Some other stuff about the code push we're going to go for - Need to get a few links updated here and there.
<Me> Easy enough, I'll poke the Operations guys about that tomorrow. Anything else?
<Macrosun> Oh yeah, we need to do a build for Testlive. He wants to get the nightclub and the code changes out...
<Me> Cool, we can do that
<Macrosun> ... and the Aimshot changes.
<Macrosun> Yeah, he wants us to ship it out to Test so we can make sure the mechanic works.
<Me> ... and he wants us to do this while he's not around.
<Macrosun> Pretty much.
<Me> You know what's gonna happen, right?
<Me> I hate him.
<Macrosun> And they're gonna hate you.
<Me> I'm gonna post his number to the forums.
<Macrosun> He said he was turning his phone off.
<Me> ******. Fine, I'll give 'em his number anyway and they can leave a voice mail.
<Macrosun> He said he was going to toss it in some wet concrete.
<Macrosun> And then throw it in the ocean.
<Me> .... isn't that a little overkill?
<Macrosun> We're changing Aimshot.
<Me> Good point.
So yeah. We're gonna toss some Aimshot changes onto Testlive. BEFORE YOU GUYS BREAK OUT THE PITCHFORKS AND TORCHES, HEAR ME OUT ON THIS ONE. The change itself, for those who aren't aware, is that we're looking into altering the way that the locks for Aimshot, Full Auto and Sneak Attack work - With the new changes, once one of these three special attacks has been used, neither it or the other two may be used for the duration of the lockout. Meaning that if you use Full Auto you cannot use Aimshot, Full Auto, or Sneak Attack until the Full Auto cooldown has disappeared - Same if you use either of the other two specials.
Breathe. Breathe. I promise this isn't as bad as it sounds in the long run.
Ultimately this is something we're looking at in-line with some of the upcoming balance changes. As it stands, implementing this change to the Live dimensions would effectively destroy the viability of several classes. This change will not be going to Live any time soon. We're pushing this out to Testlive at the moment to ensure that the change itself will actually work and not completely break the game. As we're going to be looking into this mechanic for future balance change implementation, we need to ensure now that the mechanic itself will work and not b0rk up everything - After all, we all know how this goes. So before you guys call for my head on a pike, please, please, please understand that this is not gonna be hitting Live right now, and will certainly not be hitting Live by itself.
Seriously, leave the voodoo doll stuff for Means. I've got enough problems in my life. ><
Part #2: Guns, Drama, and Cat-Like Reflexes - Roleplaying
Soooo... Guess I'll go ahead and get this out of the way.
Hi. My name is Brad, and I'm a roleplayer. That's right, I'm one of them. Those people who run around and talk about nanobots like they're real and get into political arguments based around Omni-Tek leadership. I've written more in-character technobabble than I like to even remember, posted stories to the Buzz forums (from my play characters, mind you), and otherwise spent more time in-game debating about the differences between coffee from The Cup and Rompa's than I really care to admit.
Most of you guys here who've seen my name before most likely associate me with the design work I've done on AO since I've arrived. But there are a few of you out there who might remember me from my time in ARK. During the years I spent volunteering for AO, most of my time was spent dedicated to the ARK Events team, with my main role being a Coordinator for the ARK Events Storyline team (basically the guys who handle all the storyline-based directives passed down from FC). Though I usually don't do the whole "name dropping" thing, lemme toss out a few nicks: Dante Karall, Kochren Cord of D6, Korbensen, Keelee, Aideen Landau - These are some of the more recognizable characters I've played in my time with Events, though the odds are that if you took place in any event between the launch of AI and Lost Eden, you probably interacted with me in some fashion or another. And if you've ever been mobbed by an entire sea of zix while hanging out in Old Athens or Omni-Entertainment? Yeah, sorry about the chain-death thing.
So that's where I've been before. A dedicated and devoted member of the ARK Events team, as well as a fairly hardcore RPer with my play characters. To say that I like the storyline and setting of AO would be a bit of an understatement - To me, the Anarchy Online universe is one of the more fascinating sci-fi settings I've ever come across, and I have a deep love for the game world. But what does all this mean for you guys?
As most of you know, I recently returned to AO after a brief stint elsewhere inside the building. When I came back, Means and I spoke quite a bit about where we wanted to go story-wise with AO. After a few conversations with him and some various other people, the decision was made for me to basically step up as the 'overseer' of the AO storyline, taking over for Aythem (who I'm sure is quite happy not getting all the email spam that I now receive on a daily basis XD) in terms of guiding and implementing storyline for the game. Part of this also means that I will now be overseeing the ARK Events department, acting as a liason between FC and the Events guys, aiding them out in whatever way possible.
Personally, I'm very excited by all of this. Devdas and I have worked very closely together in the past and have forged a great working relationship with each other - Likewise, what I've seen out of the current Events department has been nothing but impressive. People like Pheats, Ninanna, Theoretician and Nashedra - All incredibly hard workers with a great love for AO and it's storyline. The Events team is going to be very, very busy with a lot of things - We here at the Oslo office have Plans™, and I myself am really looking forward to the chance to help the Events team over the coming months.
But as with all things, there's a price. Nothing comes for free, after all, and we're going to be working hard to provide you guys with some interesting events, cool storyline information, and good times in general. So what do we need from you? Well, only one thing, really, but it's also the hardest thing for anyone to supply - What we need is you. Over the next while you'll be seeing more from the Events department and from the AO storyline in general, but we can't make things work without the support of you guys out there. I'm not asking for much - Just asking for involvement. There are tons of great roleplayers here in AO, people who I've had an absolute blast playing with, but those numbers are starting to dwindle over time - There's plenty left, don't get me wrong, but more is always better. So for you guys out there who have an interest in getting into the AO storyline, now is the perfect time to start digging into some RP. It may take us a little while before we're up at full steam, but no sense in waiting around for us. ;) Go forth, play, interact, and have fun - These are some amazing times for AO in general, and I don't want it to be any different for the RPers among us.
Part #3: News, Info, Updates - ACTUAL CONTENT OMG
A bit more work was accomplished this week by the team, particularly now that everyone is back from vacation (except Means, obviously). MstrBstrd and Flaptoot have been sequestering themselves away in the artist's corner working on various and sundry tasks - Flaptoot mostly has been focusing on making sure the new nightclub is ready for launch, while MstrBstrd and Genele have partnered up to bring you guys a sneak peek at what we're working on for the Atrox head revamp. MB's also working on a few other nifty little things in his spare time, one of which I'll be teasing you guys with in the attached screenshots.
Meanwhile, Genele and I got together to make a nice little update for the front page with some talking points about the new content headed in-game soon, namely her 150-range playfield titled "Dark Ruins" and the new nightclub. While we've been doing this, Lindelu has been hard at work cranking out designs for the new daily missions we're looking to put in-game soon. We've got some really interesting ideas for content with these, and I think you guys are going to be intrigued by the end results.
Balance discussion continues on, though some things are a bit stalled at the moment - There are often issues that pop up in discussions like this which can only be resolved by Means, and without him around to offer the final say on some of our plans there isn't much we can share with you guys right now. But, we're working hard on ensuring that we at least have a good, sensical roadmap for the upcoming changes - Knowing exactly where we're going is invaluable in a process like this, as it ensures we can focus on things in a proper, logical order. Bouncing around and trying to do piecemeal fixes to various things often ends up just wasting time in the long run, so having a good plan is really vital in things like this.
Something else I want to talk to you guys about real quick is the new engine. No, I don't have anything shiny to show off just yet (though I'm hoping for a pretty awesome 'grand finale' to Fw(o)M next week), but I do wanna let you all know that we're going to start taking some information from the game client fairly soon regarding the types of computers you guys utilize - Ram, graphics card, processor; hardware specs in general. The client will send feedback to us here at the office on these specifications so we can get a better idea as to what sort of systems our playerbase is using - This is pretty vital at this stage of the game as it lets us determine what the 'bottom' baseline requirements for the new engine should be. Obviously we don't want to create something that only 5% of our playerbase can actually run on their machines, so this gives us a great opportunity to ensure that the new engine will be as compatible as possible for all you guys. So anyway, nothing major, but I did want to make a note of it so it wouldn't be a surprise to anyone. =)
Let's see, what else... what else... No real news from the coder's arena this week, as Macrosun has been mostly busy taking care of various fixes that needed to get shipped out, while INSERTGMNAMEHERE snagged himself a well-deserved week of vacation time. Our other engine coder, though, is still hard at work, and there's while there's been progress it's (yet again) a little hard to deliniate to you guys. I was actually half-way thinking about doing a little 'interview' with INSERTGMNAMEHERE next week about the new engine - Maybe something a bit more in-depth than the previous tidbits we've tossed out before, to keep you tech heads happy. We'll see how time permits, though.
And as for me? Well... let's just say that I've been kept busy. ;) Particularly by you guys - You've all really taken to some awesome debates and discussion points in last week's edition of Fw(o)M, and it was really cool to see all the various viewpoints on display. If anything, watching you guys debate and discuss content design really hammers home how important it is that a game like Anarchy Online has a unique and diverse array of content - No two players are the same, and everyone gets different things out of their experience. Our job up here is to try and cater to all of those players, be they PvPers, PvMers, RPers, explorers, soloers, teamers, you name it. Everyone has a place in an MMORPG, and we hope that we can give all of you something you enjoy sooner or later.
Anyhoo, that's about it from this end. The preview page for the upcoming content is live and on the main site - You can hit it up at this link: http://www.anarchy-online.com/wsp/anarchy/frontend.cgi?func=publish.show&template=content&func_id=2526&table=CONTENT . Meanwhile, down at the bottom of this post, you guys get a few peeks at the new Atrox head (which, for the record, isn't *quite* done yet - it needs to look a wee bit older than it does right now, but it's a great start) and that super-secret sneak preview of MstrBstrd's new hotness. Hope that tides you over until next week. ;)
Take care, guys!
PS: Make sure to vote for your favourite nightclub name in the poll up at the top of the forum post - Voting is open until the next Friday with(out) Means. We'll also announce the winner of our lulzname contest next week, so stay tuned for that as well. =) Thanks again to everyone who suggested names - Some great choices in there. Can't wait to see what you guys pick as the final name. =)
PPS: Thanks to ARKs Heimes, Verony, Phisenda and Theoretician for helping Waldgeist out with the translation efforts for the DNW peeps - Really, really appreciated guys. =)
--Brad L. McAtee / Kintaii
You can read this post on our official forums at the following address: http://forums.anarchy-online.com/showthread.php?t=559357