Game Director Letter – November 2014

Game Director Letter – November 2014

Hello everybody,

First of all, thanks for taking part in our Halloween event.

As the year winds to a close, the team has been settling into a new rhythm as we implement hundreds of achievements in the game. There are, naturally, technical difficulties to solve such as how we reward things retroactively and how we track player speeds as they complete challenge runs in the dungeons.

 

Achievements

The Achievement system, as a part of update 4.5, will be the first wave of many achievement updates. We will continue to expand the functionality of the system, including adding lore, in future patches.

We’re currently attempting to categorize the timed trials for the time based dungeon achievements. As you can imagine, we need a wealth of data to help us to create these achievements and we’ve set up a thread on Testlive here.

There are rewards for anyone who helps us out:

  • A random social pet through the Menagerie Sample item on the live server as a /claim when the achievement system is patched to live. You can receive more than 1 of this item.
  • The group with the fastest time for each individual dungeon or encounter will receive a unique title for the Live and Testlive forums.

Please jump on Testlive and help us out.

Click here to see a quick video which shows off a couple of Panoramas.

Lore

Today I wanted to ask for the community to help us decide on the direction we want to take with the lore. In honor of this, there are two samples of lore provided. Both of them relate to the Vanir – but with wildly different tones. Please note that the content of these is not considered final.

One is more factual and written as an entry for an encyclopedia. One is written from a character perspective. In both cases, we will provide direct quotes from the work of Robert E Howard where appropriate as a preface to the lore section.

Which would you prefer? Please let us know on the forums.


Vanir Lore Example 1

The red-haired Vanir live a life that revolves around battle and war.  It is their livelihood, their religion and their culture. Aggression is considered a desirable quality and the Vanir chase battle with boundless enthusiasm, laughing and singing even as they fall.

The Vanir are physically imposing, both men and women, and the women often defend the villages from raiders while the men are off on raids of their own. Their weapons of choice are broadswords, axes and spears – often decorated with intricate designs of dragons, bears and other wild animals.

The greatest warriors among the Vanir deck themselves in the spoils of their victories, sewing coins into their clothing and armor and melting down treasures to create jewelry that can be worn. Hiding wealth is considered cowardly and shows an unseemly fear of thieves.

Vanaheim has many kings – each village considered a kingdom unto itself. Royalty is established through might and might is established by gathering a following of warriors and keeping them well paid and well honored.

Conan of Cimmeria was born during a war between Vanir Raiders and Cimmerians.

Vanir Lore Example 2

Have you seen it? The utter desolation of the north. The white illimitable plains beneath a frosty sky. That is where the men of Vanaheim make their home.

A curse upon that land and those red-bearded bastards! Battle runs in their blood and they howl like wild demons when they bring slaughter to the villages of Cimmeria and Asgard. They sing as they slay, a song as cold and piercing as the metal in their spears and swords and axes.

I’ve seen them looting the corpses of their fallen enemies, tying coins into their armor and clothing and weaving them into their beards. I’ve seen them crudely attempting to trade by hacking golden bracelets from their wrists and demanding that the merchant make change.

Every warrior among them with a few followers calls himself a king and they fight among themselves with as much vigor as they raid other races. This alone is our salvation – to imagine a tide of these blood mad barbarians flooding the kingdoms of the south is to imagine the end of civilization as we know it.

Word is that Conan himself was born in a clash with Vanir reavers, torn from the womb while his clan fought for their very lives. Born to blood and battle.

Please let us know on the forums which you prefer and why.

 

The World Boss Revamp

As I mentioned last month, we have always been remaking the world boss event in preparation for the new version of the event. Additional changes include the following:

- Health values have been adjusted for PvP servers

- Abilities that were unbalanced or frustrating have been tweaked to provide a more  entertaining experience.

- Two of the less popular bosses have been replaced

- Bosses will now drop a Portent Relic token once per month, per character. A new vendor in Old Tarantia will be available to accept these relics.

Okay guys, thanks for your time. Next letter will hopefully come before the holidays and will take a look back at the updates this year, and then in January we’ll be talking crafting.

See you on the battlefield,

Joel