After lunch I had the option to attend one of three different breakout sessions. I decided to attend the Support Breakout hosted by Sanya Thomas and Linda Robbins since the catacombs session was PACKED. The opening 5 minutes of the session was a bit rocky. People in the group thought it was going to be another presentation instead of a question and answer period. Once people figured it out, they warmed up to the idea. Here is the list of questions and answers from the support breakout session that I attended:
Q: What is the status of the Skald Team Lead position?
A: We are still reading applications.
Q: Are you still considering doing Memorials in the game?
A: They are still on the list; however they are not a high priority.
Q: What does Linda look for when she picks team leads?
A: (Not in any particular order)
- Realm Rank Five. This is nice but not the number 1 priority
- Well played. They don’t want a team lead that has only played 3 days (My take on the answer since they did not give a specific time played.)
- Played more then one class. They want well rounded players.
- Have read the guidelines to become a Team Lead and more importantly has FOLLOWED THEM.
- Has good writing skills
- Linda also reviews the ticket history of the person who is applying.
- Linda reads the applicants posts on the boards. She does not want a ranter (someone who complains all the time.)
Q: The final question was lack of CSR’s able to help players in the game?
A: This was argued about for about 15 minutes. The person who had this question had a Master Level (ML) Raid go bad (Pet Killed Mob.) He thought the CSR should fix it on the spot. The bottom line came down to…it takes at least 2 days to pull server log files which means it’s not going to happen. The bottom line I heard from the answer was simple. Don’t use pets on ML Raids.
We switched rooms at this point, so I moved over to the programming breakout session. This session was hosted by Scott Jennings who is a Senior Programmer that worked on Realm Abilities, Artifacts, and the Housing Search engine. He is no longer working on DAoC other then Bug fixes. Our other host was Georgia Wall who programs the Herald, Emotes, and Internal Tools. Finally, the main spokesman was Dan Dunham a Programming Lead. The questions started right away.
Q: What are you doing about falling through floors problems?
A: Keep logging the holes in the world and fix some on every patch.
Q: Can you add new sounds to the game?
A: We add sounds when our resources allow it. From the sound of the answer new sounds outside of catacombs will not be coming in the near future. If there is a broken sound appeal it so they can fix it.
Q: Where did the sounds for the Iconnu Male come from?
A: The sound guy was at home one night and had 2 friends over. They went to his basement and recorded the sounds for the Iconnu Male and Frostalf Female.
Q: Can we get an option to turn multi-spears/hammers back on?
A: The short answer is “No”. The long answer is if they added an option to undo all of the changes in the game the option list would become extremely hard to understand and unusable.
Q: What coding language is DAoC written in?
A: The client is written in C++ and C. The server is written in C.
Q: What Database do you use?
A: The database is a flat file database. They do use MySQL for internal tools to access the flat files.
Q: Will there be XML links to modify more aspects of the UI?
A: They are on a tight time frame for Catacombs. It will not happen anytime soon.
Q: When are we going to get Jewelcraft in the game?
A: It is still on the list. My take on this is it will not happen anytime soon.
Q: Will crafters ever be able to add glowies to weapons?
A: No, not in the games current state.
Q: Can we get a way to duel people in another realm?
A: In the short term, not going to happen.
Q: Will we ever be able to talk with the other realms on normal servers?
Q: Will DAoC ever support official cross realm alliances?
Q: Will you increase the amount of item storage in houses?
A: Answer is No. They had to draw a line in the sand somewhere and they are happy with the current line.
Q: Can we get multiple hot bars in the game?
A: They will look into it.
Q: Can we get more than one action on the same macro?
A: No. Macros are a fine line in the game. They are happy with how macros are working currently.
The hour went fast and we where soon moved into the catacombs break out session, but only after they gave us some ice cream. I was glad I went to the catacombs break out session last since they let it run long. Our hosts were Mike Lescault; part of the design team in charge of class balance, Destin Bales; content lead in charge of quests, encounters, and items, and Walt Yarbrough; content producer for Camelot (Sorry if I got your name wrong Walt, I pulled it from the web since I didn’t catch it in the original meeting. The questions started when Mike returned from having his ice cream break and getting trapped by players asking questions.
Q: The siege weapons in the lower level battlegrounds cost too much. Could you either lower the cost or remove them?
A: They wrote the suggestion on a piece of paper and said they would look into it.
Q: There doesn’t seem to be many new players in DAoC is this the case?
A: With a fresh install of DAoC a new feature prompts the user to choose specific servers and realms that are under populated. It tells the new user that most new players are playing on “Server/Realm”, would you like to join them? About 60% of new users say yes to this feature. This is one way how Mythic is trying to balance servers and realms. They also stated that a lot of new accounts are signing up.
Q: What type of quests will be in Catacombs?
A: Catacombs will have your normal quests like the rest of the game as well as mini quests. Mini quests will consist of 2 or 3 steps that take an hour to complete.
Q: What type of items will be in Catacombs?
A: Catacombs items are PvE based, compared to Trials of Atlantis items that are PvP based. An example of a Catacombs item bonus would be; “Experience penalty reduction on PvE death.” Mythic wants a different focus for the different item types. They want crafted, dropped, and quested items to not to be a copy of each other.
Q: Can you level from 1 to 50 in the Catacombs expansion?
A: Yes, catacombs will have zones for all levels.
Q: Will there be artifacts in Catacombs?
Q: What do you look at when you create new characters?
A: Mythic looks for a style of play that does not currently exist in the game. They do not want a rehash of the same classes already in the game. Most of all, they try to create classes that are “fun” to play.
Q: Will there be crafter “Love” in catacombs?
A: No. Any upcoming crafter “Love” will be patched into the game.
Q: How long will it take to get through the new instanced wings of the dungeons?
A: It should take about one hour for an instanced dungeon. Once you kill the creatures, they will not respawn in these dungeon types.
Q: Will Epic Armor be updated in Catacombs?
A: No they will be patched in. Mythic is not sure when, but it is still on the list. They have 2 goals in mind with epics. They want to make the rewards worth it and they don’t want you to bounce all over the world while doing the epic quest.
Q: Can you add a way to add back durability to items?
A: They want to add a way to do this, however, they have not figured out the best way yet.
Q: Will crafters ever be able to add different skins to armors.
A: This is in discussion. It’s not even on the list yet.
Q: Will catacombs change Master Levels?
A: Master Levels have as much impact on the game as Mythic wants, actually more impact than was intended.
Q: What are the 2 new Hibernia Classes?
A: They thought this question was funny. They know it was already leaked through the code so it was like cough….Banshee…cough….Vampira…..Cough… There will be a Gamespot exclusive on this sometime during the next week (last part of September 2004).
Q: Can we get different animations for a dead character?
A: The short answer is No. The long answer is: When you run up to a character, the system sends back information concerning the characters current state. The three states are Dead, Alive, and Sitting. To add more death animations they would force a change to the state engine. Therefore, it is not going to happen anytime soon. The same answer goes for a character lying on his back.
Q: Will there be dungeon maps for Catacombs?
A: They are trying to work through it. More then likely they will not be available for the release of Catacombs.
Q: Will there be player controlled horses in Catacombs?
A: No. The art team is too swamped to do this, but it is on the list. By the way, the art team is so swamped that they were forced to stay at work and not come to roundtable and do their break out session.
Q: When we get player controlled horses will you be able to use them in combat?
Q: Can you add fishing to the game?
A: This goes back to the art team being swamped. Not any time soon.
Q: Will there be trophy mobs in catacombs?
A: Trophy mobs will not make it into the release. They will be patched in much like Trials of Atlantis was. This also goes back to the Art team not having the time.
Q: Can we get stackable potions?
A: We do not want to make potions a necessity for RvR so we are not going to make stackable potions.
Q: Will Catacombs raise the Realm Rank level?
A: We are looking at raising the Realm Rank level to 15 in Patch 1.72
Realm Rank Expansion post on the Herald:
Posted By: Sanya Thomas 2004-09-28 17:12:45
On Saturday at the Roundtable, the guys on the Catacombs panel announced that we were going to extend the Realm Rank levels to fifteen. We warned everyone at the time that things can and will change between then and launch - and here's the first change: After a discussion today, the design team decided to extend the system as far as twelve, not fifteen. I should have the full details of the new system to post for you all tomorrow.
Q: Can we get a respec for Catacombs?
A: It would be a though sell, so I doubt it. There will also be no respec stones in Catacombs.
Q: What type of drops will there be in Catacombs?
A: Catacombs is going to have what is called Aurulite drops. These Aurulite drops will function similar to the Darkness Falls stones that could be used to purchase equipment.
Q: Will there be new armor skins in catacombs?
A: The art team is working through all the old armor skins first, and then they will add new ones. They expect to be able to add 2 new armor skins.
Q: Will there be new weapons in catacombs?
A: The art team will not have the time for new weapons.
Q: I missed the original question….but the answer is:
A: There will be no Autotrain for the new classes.
Note: When this article was posted we said "You will have to level your new character from level 1." This statement has been removed. It was an error. I am not sure what this really means.
Q: Explain the Zealot Class.
A: I only caught a few notes on this (I’m not an Alb)…They will have cloth armor, small shields, and no evade.
This was the end of the break out session. I did not stay for the contests since I had a long drive home.
Catacombs Presentation by Matt Firor
All the nitty gritty details you've been waiting to hear about the upcoming Catacombs expansion.
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