Developer Q&A with Robert Gutschera Summary

Community Managers Andy and Julia sat down on Twitch today with Lead Systems Designer Robert Gutschera to answer some questions from the peanut gallery! You can watch the full hour here, or read the most interesting stuff in our summary!

General / Mixed Questions

What do you do?

Robert is the Lead System Designer. Design is split into to general sections, Systems and Content. Content makes the story and maps while Systems is a big mix of designing items, powers, critters and boss fights. He also has a math background and does some backend numbers stuff.

Maybe an interesting side note: Robert is former WotC and worked on Magic. So he might help with the Magic MMO as well at some point?

Things you’d like to change without rewriting the complete game engine?

The answers can mostly be summarized as “correcting little things”. Like powers not proccing correctly, or too often. He mainly praised the engine here though. Compared to others it’s really is fast and pretty good. Robert can’t understand why players are constantly complaining.

Editor’s note: “Engine” is a common term that can mean different things. When players complain about “engine”, they mostly refer to lag and graphical issues. Robert is more talking about how the engine makes it easy to manage and script the game.

What things can’t you do although players want it?

Players always want buffs, but devs normally can’t deliver it and go for nerfs to get balance. Nerfing is less work, because buffing sets a new base that everything has to be brought up to. Another thing Robert touched on was the reward disparity. The devs are aware that some rewards feel inferior and especially Spellplague could be tweaked.

They are looking at this big picture and feel new dungeons lack new rewards. That’s why they’d like to add more unique items for specific content going forward.

Loyal Companion Gear

This one is weird and was made incorrectly. The gear says item level 420, but is actually 840. That’s why they can’t simply bring it back, but no nerf will come either. Would make more people mad than happy.

Bonding Runestones

Bondings are on the radar. There’s too much money from players involved, so they are being very cautious with it. It’s hard to nerf them to the ground, but reasonable changes might be coming. Guild boons being a similar issue. They are overpowered, but players invested too much time getting them to just take it away.

Missing Transmutes

Name them, they might make it happen. Community Moderator created a thread to post your suggestions in.

Class Questions

General Balance

Robert agreed they have not invested enough time in class balance. The reason is that it’s hard to assign resources if it’s not a module feature. In the past they went for the overarching revamp, which lead to postpones. Now they try to tackle the biggest things first, baby steps. They definitely want to find a better balance between adding new stuff and fixing old one.

Trickster Rogue

The TR has it tough. It should have best DPS on single targets because of its lack of survivability, but they are not quite there yet. Robert went into a lot of specifics on the debuff revamp, but bottom line is that it should help TRs down the road. They are also always looking at the suggestions on the forum, but it might help to point them to older threads whenever they specifically look for certain feedback in the preview section.

Feats

Feats could and should be situational and not necessarily a permanent buff. Robert also doesn’t mind if some feats help more in PVP or PVE, but classes as a whole should be equally viable. He also wants to get rid of feat trees that are universally bad.

Paladin vs Other Classes

The Paladin has multiple roles depending on the Paragon Path. It’s a great design, but not going to happen for other classes soon.

PVP

Next Module

What’s coming is already being discussed on the feedback threads. Making Tenacity an environmental stat should make it easier for them to adjust to PVP in a game which is first and foremost designed for PVE. It sounds like they are still in an early phase of evaluation and need feedback. There are a lot of problems, so currently it’s fixes before new game modes.

Permanent Solo Queue

It’s coming. He didn’t went into details, just said they needed to work on it and that’s why it took so long.

Broken Items for PVP

Robert said Drains were not something he would have made. They couldn’t just rip it however because it was tied to Strongholds. Ambush Rings on the other hand were a case of PVE messing up PVP. Same issue with the Ring of the Curse Bringer, but there was no specific comment on how they plan to deal with it. He agreed they need to pay more attention to PVP to get rid of catastrophically broken stuff.


That’s it guys! A lot of questions went unanswered, but there’s a Reddit AMA coming next week where they’ll hopefully be able to answer a lot more. What’s you opinion on the Q&A? Informative, alarming, meaningless? Share your thoughts in the comments below and visit the corresponding thread on our message board.

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