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All posts created by Bob

Bob
Bringslite
Is there a better time to try expanding and adding roles than when there is a smaller pop, more like a beta group?

There are definitely advantages to adding in content when there's a smaller audience that's accustomed to lots of iteration. However, we'd likely need to recycle existing art very heavily to do anything like that, and the more we do that the more noticeable it gets. And, of course, adding such things is never as easy as one hopes, and would have to be balanced against all the other things we could be working on. Not saying we won't decide to do something along those lines, but at the very least my feeling is that social features and enchanting would take priority over it, and there are quite a few other things that would give it a run for its money.
Bob
As far as ammo goes, adding ammo to Star Slinger would involve quite a bit of work (because knives don't use ammo containers) to rebalance one feat. Sometime in the future it would be interesting to talk about throwing weapons, or special divine attacks that use charges despite not having a traditional ammo container. However, cool as those things could be, they probably wouldn't make the cut for the immediate roadmap.

Minor adjustments that use existing systems, like adding a cooldown or other disadvantage, are much more feasible, but even those should only be used if Star Slinger is really causing serious problems. If it's just really advantageous in certain circumstances, but plenty of other similarly-priced options provide similar loot/time ratios for similarly experienced players in other circumstances, then there's no need to make adjustments right now.
Bob
There's a mix of smaller features/fixes we're planning to do that will affect various aspects of the game balance, but that's not nailed down enough to be able to make some kind of "final balance" decisions. Even if they were, every change has the potential to affect game balance, and MMOs are constantly changing, so you're always revisiting balance issues to some extent. At this particular point in time, we're trying to stick to balance adjustments where things are causing pretty serious issues. If something's just a little overpowered, especially if it's only overpowered in particular situations, then it's not worth trying to tweak it to perfection while things are in this much flux. If something's so overpowered that everyone wants to learn it and will regret doing so in the future, or that it's making the game less fun for everyone (sometimes even for those taking advantage of it, who can ruin their own experience in the long-term even while enjoying the resulting fat loot in the short-term), then it's worth at least taking a quick stab at bringing it back in line with the rest of the game for now and revisiting it when other systems come online.
Bob
In a sense, the end result is like you never really entered that hex, so you're back at your last known good state. Fortunately this seems to be very rare, but Cole has some thoughts on more bulletproofing he can do around both the missing structures and the unsaved progress. Hopefully we can fit those changes into the 15.x timeframe.
Bob
Sounds a little like you were out of sync while you were in Alderwag, but it's hard to be sure. I'll file a bug and we'll see if anything jumps out at us in the logs.
Bob
The servers are back up and it looks like the problem hexes are running properly again. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Bob
A bunch of hexes didn't come up properly today, so we've shut down the servers and restarted them. I'll post here again when the servers are back up and working properly. Shouldn't be more than 10 minutes, probably significantly less.
Bob
The design has always called for different builds to have different advantages over each other. There's no guarantee at all that two players with equal XP and similarly-tiered/upgraded equipment, with both having followed a well-thought-out build path for different roles, will be closely matched in PvP, or would each kill identical mobs in the same amount of time. Instead, the goal is that there are a wide variety of good build paths, and that each will be one of the better choices in some circumstances, one of the worst choices in other circumstances (not because of mistakes, but simply because that build can't take advantage of those circumstances), and a decent choice the rest of the time.

Purely from a balance perspective, feats like Star Slinger are really only a problem if the advantages they offer are so overpowered that they're on a short list of feats that everyone feels like they need to have at least one of or they're just not competitive. On the other hand, if you pay a big price for Star Slinger and it's just particularly useful in a small set of circumstances, then that's not so bad as long as other build paths are better under other circumstances.

A big part of my personal concern with Star Slinger is that it somewhat games the current AI when up against mobs that only have melee attacks. If there's still enough challenge to use it under those circumstances, or if those circumstances are rare and most of the time it's not that great a choice, or if plenty of other feats/builds have similar circumstances where they have roughly the same outsized level of advantage and can handle more/tougher mobs than they normally can in a mildly gamey way, then I'm a lot less concerned.

However, I have no doubt that there are some feats, or feat combinations, that are just plain overpowered too much of the time and need some adjustment, and maybe Star Slinger is one of them. Likewise, there are definitely some feats out there that need to be beefed up. The best way to identify them currently is to get feedback from all of you, and the more feedback the better.
Bob
Torrith
How about tying in the in-game chat channels to an outside access source? Like an online chat board accessible via a website that allows chat to and from accounts in the chat channel in the game? This would allow companies and such to communicate with members who can't be online at a given time, to keep up with news and current gossip. This would expand the social environment and keep things flowing all the time. Can coordinate adventures and responsibilities easier. And the website should allow for logging in with Account and Character combination to give access to the chats on a specific character which may be different than your other characters. Many of the other features so far in the game progress in real time; having social chats operate in real time feels like a natural step in the same direction. smile

That's a very interesting concept. I suspect it would be technically challenging and probably require more time to implement than we can spare right now, but I'll add it to the list of possibilities for us to discuss. You never know when something will turn out to be easier than initially thought, and it's always good to have things like this in the backs of our minds in case inspiration strikes.
Bob
Afflicted is generally used to represent the effect of poisons/toxins and diseases, or of things meant to feel like them, making them a pretty good match for rogues. And I believe the focus on damage-over-time effects for rogues was meant to make their combat role one of rushing in for quick attacks against vulnerable targets, then getting out and looking for another vulnerable target. There should be a corresponding tradeoff in terms of damage and other effects to balance that out, though there's always a risk that particular combinations can be overpowered.