Game Director Letter – November 2013
November started off with a bloodthirsty howl as the Halloween Event - By the Light of the Moon - ran through to its conclusion. I'd like to thank everyone who participated - everybody on the team was happy to see so many budding werewolves roaming around slaughtering everything that moved in the Field of the Dead.
By the Light of the Moon was an experiment in both storytelling and mechanics. Obviously we took an existing area (Conarch Village) and repurposed it with an event that told a story and involved a series of new characters.
We're interested in more feedback on this type of event. Would you like to see more stories that take place in and around familiar areas of the game? Would you like to see more content that tells a specific story and weaves around characters that exist?
Let us know how you feel about this type of content on the forums.
World Boss Events
In earlier Game Director Letters, I mentioned the possibility of the World Bosses from the anniversary returning. With the next major patch we'll be adding in 12 new bosses over a yearly cycle - with a quest chain that spans the entire period and rewards you with legendary items.
Our senior designer, Matthew Bennett (CirithGorgor), has provided a brief write up of what this entails:
The next content patch will see the introduction of a permanent World Raid Boss system. It will work similarly to the World Raid bosses which so many of you faced during the 5th year anniversary event this summer.
There will be 12 bosses in total, some you might have encountered before during the anniversary event and some are totally new (and yes we have removed the Kraken from Khemi). Each boss will spawn during a one week period each month (a different boss each month) and will have spawn locations distributed over either 1 or 2 outdoor adventure playfields.
We can change the spawn cycles of these bosses as we see fit, but currently we are looking at the first Wednesday of every month as being the start of a new boss spawning week.
The exception is our first boss, which will be making an appearance on the 25th of December and the 2nd boss which will follow immediately after on the 1st of January.
We've also provided GMs with the ability to spawn bosses outside of the allotted time zones, but this will be a much rarer occurrence.
Bosses are designed so that any player of any level range (providing they have access to the corresponding playfield) can participate. Rewards will drop for any player providing they have been registered by the boss and are still in the playfield when its killed. From a technical perspective this works by tracking everyone on the bosses threat list every minute and one final time when it dies, so as long as you stay alive for at least 1 minute on that threat list you will be getting loot.
Each boss will drop item caches (similar to the anniversary bosses) but there are also epic versions of these item caches which can drop and provide better rewards. The main reward however comes if you manage to kill each of these 12 bosses, where we are excited to announce the return of a legendary tier! You can find out more about this loot over on the Test Live forums.
I don't want to spoil the fun and tell you what these bosses will be and where they will all be spawning, but look out for hints closer to their respective spawn dates and also from the quest giver when he makes his appearance outside Tarantia's Great Library.
I've talked a lot about tradeskills in the last couple of months, so today I will stick to providing you with some details about the new gathering system.
I have already touched on salvaging which involved breaking down loot into components that can be reused in the crafting system. However the complementary system to salvaging is the gathering.
When the tradeskill revamp was being designed, the team wanted to address several of the flaws with the current gathering node system.
Firstly, they are static, permanent nodes which makes them a target for bot farming. Secondly, due to their prevalence in the Resource and Building playfields, players are able to create their own private instances for farming the nodes.
It hurts the economy of the game when resources are infinite and uncontested and farmable by robots. So, when we enable the new tradeskill system, there will be some major changes to the way that resource nodes work.
They will become random. This means that nodes will appear in random locations across playfields. Players will need to hunt for them and you can expect them to be contested on PvP servers.
We will remove *all* nodes from the resource and building playfields. No longer will people be able to create their own private farming instances.
We understand that this is a large change but for the health of the economy, we feel like this is the right call to make.
I am also happy to announce that we have recently added the functionality for account-wide bag unlocks in the Item Store. This means that if you have already purchased a bag for one of your characters, you can unlock it across all of your characters for an additional 25% of the base cost.
We are looking into additional options to increase player storage as the tradeskill revamp grows closer and account wide bag unlocks is the realization of our first initiative in that area.
I think that covers everything for this month,
See you on the battlefield,