As promised earlier this month, Community Manager Julia Fredrickson, Leader Designer Thomas Foss, and surprise guest Software Engineer David Anderson (miasmat) gathered on Perfect World’s Twitch channel yesterday for a “State of the Game” stream. We have attached the full video below, but in case you don’t feel to listen for the full hour, we’ve summarized the most important things. Enjoy!
Feedback and Streamer Support
Julia and Thomas started with a lot of general chatter about common challenges and stuff they’ve learned throughout the last year. Recently a lot of devs switched to other projects in-house and they hired new people for Neverwinter instead. Obviously they have to train them first and learn to work together, which takes time.
Community engagement remains on their short list of things to improve as well and they stressed multiple times how valuable feedback is. The devs only have so much time on their schedule testing themselves, which makes Youtube videos of issues or gameplay super valueable resources for example. Julia also wants to work closer with streamers, but made it clear she will focus on a healthy and constructive community. Or as KaliGold would say: “Asskissers!”
Kidding aside, it comes to no surprise that Julia as official representative would like to handpick “their” streamers.
Foundry Issues Explained
On of the reasons why players might feel that they are not heard is internal prioritization. They take care of “show stoppers” first, and only few stuff falls into that crucial category. As example Foss names the current loot issues at Ras Nsi, which they are actively working on. They also try to give all platforms equal voice before tackling stuff.
Another example of major bugfixing hiccups they brought up (and David Anderson in for) was the Foundry. While it might seem that nothing is done for it because it’s been down like forever, they are actually working like crazy on it. David shared some insights on why it is so hard to deal with the Foundry:
- With each major update, all missions (600,000 total) have to be republished.
- Republishing the featured (about 500 projects) takes 1 day, republishing the “important” (100+ plays, 4+ star rating, about 2,000 projects) takes fours days, republishing everything else takes weeks.
- If an issue occurs during the republishing, they have to stop it, incorporate a fix and redo it. So even a minor fix takes at least a week to make.
- Recently, the Russian profanity filters changed, breaking many quests.
- Additionally the support of a 64bit client broke parts of the Foundry that was set up for 32bit.
- Last but not least, they removed some old code they didn’t know was required by the Foundry.
At least they confirmed that Chult assets will be available whenever that things goes up again.
Still looking back at last year, Foss emphasized how great of an experience Rocktober was. It was “huge and a smashing success”. They did not only work on feedback from players, but also had their own list of bugs to fix. A lot more stuff got handled behind the scenes like a full collision pass and better lighting. According to Foss, it was also a great event because it was one of the rare occasions where everyone got scheduled time to play the game and the devs directly communicated with the playerbase. It will hopefully happen again.
Looking Ahead, Roadmap, Events
For the future players can expect a lot more crossovers with the D&D brand and its personalities. Foss mentioned Chris Perkins doing voice acting for Volo was just awesome, and Matt Mercer was also thrown around as name. The team likes bringing in “star power”. It was so important to them that they even had to cut an instance and queue group from Soshenstar River just to be able to free resources for the Perkins stuff.
This year they’ll be focusing on events, have reworked a bunch already and will be introducing new ones. The five year anniversary will be big and Julia said that March and April will be “crowded” as well. Generally the story will continue to incorporate “oldschool” D&D content, like Chult and the “Tomb of the Nine Gods” did. They are also scratching the “b” modules and will incorporate those quality-of-life changes into their main releases. The plan is to do three modules per year.
Subscribe to Blog via Email Random Queues and Marauders
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Foss admitted that Random Queues only partially delivered what they were supposed to. While overall AD earned per account has gone up, they actually wanted to give player more choices, but know that it feels like you can no longer freely pick the content you want to play. They are currently thinking about a new queue setup, but changes are unlikely to happen until a new item scaling method will have arrived. The team is currently testing a new algorithm for scaling content, which probably means that level 70 characters will no longer be so powerful when scaled down.
The other thing they acknowledged was that the Marauders event hasn’t worked. The design was intended to fit different guild sizes and strengths, but led to lag and the rewards being subpar. They didn’t say anything about lag, but the rewards will be tweaked soon.
In terms of PVP Foss hinted at a new map, but it was very vague. Apparently they have something lined up for quite some time, but would need to resume working on it. Didn’t sound like there’s something imminent.
Classes and Balancing
There also will be no new class in the “next few releases”. They however have some guys looking into the Trickster Rogue and Scourge Warlock right now. Part of the reason why class balancing took so long was that nobody in the studio really knew how to do it. They first had to train someone since the last dev with massive knowledge in that area left a while ago.
Other random stuff:
- They can’t tweak the +5 Ring achievement on consoles.
- They are looking into performance issues due to procs.
- Dying weapons and disabling enchantment effects is still on their list.
That’s our summary of the “State of the Game” stream! Are you satisfied with the things said, or didn’t they touch your most pressing topic? Share your thoughts on our social channels, in the comments below, or the corresponding thread on our message board!
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