State of the Game Developer Stream Summary

Yesterday Community Managers Julia, Andy and Lead Designer Thomas Foss gathered on the Perfect World Twitch channel to talk the state of the game and answer user questions. We have summarized their most important statements and provided some additional comment. Have fun with it! On the State of the Game Foss said that they are trying to actively get more D&D spirit back into the game. The Treasure Maps, exploration and choices in the new campaign are what they want to continue. The concept of replayability introduced in Underdark has also been picked up again lately. Foss mentioned the Illusionist’s Gambit skirmish as example how they envision more content to be structured. No run should be like the previous and next one. In terms of modules they will continue to do one big module (like Storm Kings Thunder) and then one smaller “b” module (like Sea of Moving Ice). In those “b” modules they work down a list of quality of life issues and tackle them one by one. Module 11b will be dealing with Guilds and Strongholds and include a new guild event and Masterwork updates. Foss added that they also want to make it easier for small guilds to get

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Parting Sean “Commander Ander” McCann Largely Shaped the Story over the past Modules

We already reported on our Community Watch Sunday that Neverwinter Content Designer Sean “Commander Ander” McCann set sails to join Blizzard in what could probably be described as next logical step in his career. Excited to start a new adventure on Monday as a designer on World of Warcraft! Looking forward to learning a ton at Blizzard! — McSean (@SeanMcCann14) February 11, 2017 Community Manager nitocris83 has also confirmed the departure of Commander Ander. We believe Sean was one of the main story designers of the game. He first actively appeared on the Arcgames forum as designer of the Elemental Evil campaign and Stronghold Quests. McCann has since been working on the story of Maze Engine, Storm Kings Thunder and the upcoming River District. “Tell Celeste….” If you are one of those that just rush through the story quests, you might have missed a large part of what he has done. Anything recent featuring Knox, Celeste, Xuna, and Makos as primary characters and their personal histories and motivations would have had his hands on it. The Ancient Dragon’s Lair is iconic, visually appealing, and was widely praised by players as feeling like a real adventure. The Maze Engine afterparty unveiled a lot of character development

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Perfect World Entertainment Lays off up to 30 Employees

Sad news everyone! Yesterday it got more and more evident that PWE had released an unknown number of employees during the week. Perfect World later confirmed the lay-offs to Massively Overpowered. Anyone in the gaming industry need a graphic designer with 6+ years of experience? Just got laid off. — Katie Kasarda (@deejaykfm) February 2, 2017 Need a senior CM with experience and a loud-mouth to boot? Hit me up. I'm in the market for a job — M (@LaughingTrendy) February 2, 2017 Two former employees took the news to twitter and it’s important to note that the layoffs seem to affect only PWE, not Cryptic. In fact, Star Trek Online pointed out that the studio is actually actively recruiting. It’s always hard to judge these things, because you would need to compare the layoffs to the hiring. The case of LaughingTrendy is an interesting one though. Just like Neverwinter’s Strumslinger she was assigned to other projects within PWE in November 2016 only to be released now. That’s especially unfortunate since her replacement as Star Trek Online’s Community Manager apparently survived. The STO community gathered on the Arcgames forum to bid farewell to their longtime companion. Our beckylunatic additionally dug up

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New Community Manager Julia “nitocris83” Starts off Working at Nice Pace

A lot of eyes are on Community Manager Julia “nitocris83” in the first week of her new job. One of the things she said during her introduction was that she wanted to improve communication and so far she definitely walks the talk. She has been all over the message board since Monday and shared the current state of many issues like the “Master of Svardborg” achievenemnt not working, connection issues with CenturyLink or the ZEN store Black Friday sales ending too early. The community was desperately waiting for quicker and more frequent responses so this is a darn good sign. This activity would outperform the one of predecessor StrumSlinger by a mile. Let’s hope it’s not just early enthusiasm but a sign of a general improvement. The game and the community needs it. Neverwinter UN:Blogged is always looking for writers to contribute to the blog. If you are an active player and search for a way to spread your opinions, analysis, diaries or reviews to more than 35,000 regular visitors, then don’t hesitate and contact us on our message board or email! We are currently especially looking for console and PVP content, but that’s not exclusive. There is no frequency

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Black Friday Charge Bonus Rewards Another Promo That Went Wrong

As expected Cryptic and PWE didn’t leave it at just a flurry of Double Events over Thanksgiving holiday, but added ZEN sales, charge promos and a ZEN store discount on top of it. What looked to be the most massive sale ever quickly turned into a disappointment for some though. Uh-oh The Black Friday Charge Bonus Rewards weren’t delivered as promised. The original news post stated that players would not only receive the item of that tier, but also all items below that. Players quickly went to the forum to report that this wasn’t the case however. First new Community Manager Julia quickly chipped in that they will be looking into this after the weekend. Andy later added that it was indeed a misworded blog post due to bad communication on their end. The promotion wasn’t actually set up to grant all lower tier rewards. Death Slaad Reloaded? Unfortunately this is not the first time a promotion has caused major pain for the players. The most popular, but not the only, fuck-up was the Death Slaad Bonus Companion Reward Promotion. It promised account-unlocked pets when charging ZEN, but only delivered one-time claimable versions. It took a massive uproar from the community

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Thanks StrumSlinger!

Community Manager Andy “StrumSlinger” Wong announced he’ll be switching into another role at PWE and taking a beackseat in terms of Neverwinter. He’ll be working Gigantic, an upcoming MOBA, and future projects. A look back Andy had been a QA team member before stepping up as Community Manager to fill in for Akromatik in April 2015. He probably was the most active CM on the forum to date and had to moderate difficult announcements like the shutdown of the Foundry, Gateway or the most recent Keygate. During his tenure a focal points was to interact with the community in events and livestreams. Although clearly on a heavy workload, he was a very reachable person and tried to forward stuff to the devs as much as he could. Additionally he founded a private bug hunting group. Dedicated members could communicate, report and hunt down bugs in a private area of the forum. The success of that group has been questioned by former members though. A look ahead Out with the old, in with the new! Julia (@nitocris83) will take over in what seems to be a larger change at PWE and Cryptic. With Andy also the Community Manager of Star Trek Online will shift into a bigger

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Q&A With the German Community Manager and Thomas “Mimic King” Foss

Thomas “Mimic King” Foss is a busy man right now. Next to moderating the mess that is “Keygate” he also answered the German Community in a Q&A last Friday. The interview is mostly English so we’re sure you’ll be able to follow. But for those that are lazy or don’t want to skip through the German parts our blog member MinMax has transcribed the most interesting tidbits. What is the job of a Lead Designer? Besides what we already know he also talks upcoming business strategies with his superiors. Mimic Kings Career Mimic King is in the video game industry since 1997. He formerly designed/build board games and presented them on conventions. Some devs played with him together and they simply asked him if he would be interested to work for them. This is how he got into it. He still has his own board game company called Skull and Crown. He later got to Cryptic and works for the company since 13 years. Cryptic is a great employer because unlike other companies who hand out project-based contracts, you have the opportunity to stick with them longterm. What is Mimic King proud of? Basically his work, his creations in video games. For Neverwinter that is Ebon Downs,

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So Who Saw the Dungeon Keygate Reversal Coming?

Ok fellas raise your hands if you had Thomas Foss and Cryptic pulling a complete 180 on the Dungeon Keygate. I honestly need to rewrite a few blog posts I had lined up. I was totally expecting some sort of half-baked excuse why the change was necessary and that they are sorry and looking into ways to improve chest loot in the future. Because that’s what they’ve always done (Coalgate). I think the only other time they really listened to a major shitstorm was back in Module 2. Originally Astral Diamonds were a hardcoded cost in the refinement system, but after tons of negative feedback they scratched it. New mentality? If that’s the first sign of a true change in mentality under Lead Designer Thomas Foss, I take it. If that’s just the community forcing the devs’ hands, I take it as well. At the end of the day it was the only decision that makes sense. Now let’s not get carried away here. This is still the same team that pulled the plug on the Gateway without a clear plan how to deal with companions, the gear from Sword Coast Adventures or the profession system. But I understand the Gateway

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Notes From the Q&A Developer Stream with new Lead Designer Thomas Foss

Yesterday new Lead Designer Thomas “MimicKing” Foss and Community Manager Andy “Strumslinger” Wong gathered on the Perfect World Twitch channel to roll initiative. And they also talked about the game a little. You can watch the video below and we also summarized the most important stuff. First of all it seems like Thomas is a likable guy. He was very genuine and seemed to care about the game. Overall he left a nice first impression although it’s clear he still needs to work himself back into the game after being assigned to other projects for two years. He often talked about stuff and experience from “back then” while crawling through his monster notes for the more current stuff. He clearly had prepared for the questions, it was nothing he could have answered because he knew. Sorry Foundry, PVP and Enchantment visuals Let’s start with the negatives, because there were actually only a few. The foundry is still dead, because “budget”. PVP is also semi-dead for at least another year. The devs want to do class balance first before they add any new content for the game mode. Also Foss said there’s no easy way to disable Enchantment visuals, because they are deeply

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According to PWE Neverwinter Hits 12 Million Players

You can’t say PWE doesn’t know how to celebrate their Double Monthiversary on PS4! Next to giveaways and events the publisher also released an infographic that shows the milestones achieved in the two months of adventuring. Next to two million players on the PS4, PWE claims to have 12 Million across all platforms. This has first been reported by VentureBeat. Although it’s kinda obvious: No, the game is not as big as World of Warcraft, which should have close to 12 Million subscribers with the launch of Legion. The infographic clearly shows registrations, which has already been confirmed by PWE to Massively OP. The true endgame population on PS4 is also much lower as only 30,000 characters have reached the level cap. That’s only 1.5% of the registrations. Nonetheless it’s good to see that the launch on Sony’s console was a success and the game keeps attracting new players.

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