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Trion Community Team 7/26 AUAA Reddit Chat Transcript

By on Jul 27, 2012 at 10:00 am, in Article, RIFT  |  Comments: 3 comments

This week, Trion’s hosting a two-day AUAA (Ask Us (Almost) Anything) Reddit chat. Yesterday was day one of the chat, and Trion’s community team members– James ‘Elrar’ Nichols, James ‘Walsingham’ Weeks, and Amanda ‘Amary’ Fry answered a whole bunch of questions. The entire Reddit chat can be found here, but in case you want the short version, here it is, with only the direct questions and answers. That said, it’s still quite a long read, and you can definitely tell the team had fun with some answers!

Not all questions asked were given answers, unfortunately, but there’s still one more day of questions and answers to come. Today, Scott Hartsman is supposed to be among the team members answering questions from the community, so it’s possible that we’ll see answers to some of the more design and developer-focused questions then.

 

FaeblightJoker: I wish to know about MASTER MODES!! There was apparently a Master version of Deepstrike Mines that has seemed to have been put on the back burner. But Is there any work being put into creating Master versions of ALL the current dungeons? Or is this something that has been shelved indefinitely?

elrar: Master Mode DSM still had a ways to go – and we still had Caduceus Rise, Infernal Dawn, Primeval Feast, and all the dungeons and raids for Storm Legion to build!

As far as the future of Master Modes, I’m not a designer – but as with all features we look at how they’re used and if they’re worth your while, that’s why we try new things out all the time and how we direct our decisions for the future!

 

Guerilla_Imp: Are there any plans to update the rift mobile app? When it was first released it was great and there were even mini games specific to the event going on, I have not seen as much of this recently, what are, if any, the plans to make the mobile app significant.

elrar: We don’t have any new major features – in fact just yesterday Massively posted on this very thing (with a reply from our guys).

The expansion has us all hands on deck – but don’t think we’ll totally forget about Mobile App, it’s just lower on the totem poll currently!

 

ldylarke: Are there plans for more player made costumes? The new survival ones are nifty but would have thought there would be a costume set for fishing. Golashes, fishing pants that come up to your chest, a goofy fishing hat with hooks in it etc.

With the growing amount of costume items now available, bank space has become an issue for me :P Need more bank space!

elrar: I’m honestly not sure – this is something our designers involved with crafting would know. I can assure you though that absolutely you can look forward to more costumes; how and where you’ll earn them is for others to decide!

 

Draidiard: Greetings, I was wondering if we are going to see either bigger bags and/or more bag slots, RIFT keeps handing us out awesome items that the players want to hang on to, alas our bag space has stayed the same.

amary_trion: We definitely need more bag space.

 

downwitheggs: I love RIFT, and I’m curious how it stacks up to other MMOs. Can you give us an active sub count, maybe just in the ballpark?

Walsingbacon: I’ve actually been approved to give you guys the number…

Walsingbacon: One moment.

Walsingbacon: Almost there…

Walsingbacon: The answer is:

Walsingbacon: Ug. One second, I have a phone call.

Walsingbacon: No, seriously, I got called away. The answer is A LOT.

 

Rilgon: What’s the holdup on cosmetic weapon slots? Every holiday and world event seems to bring more costume weapons, and every new raid and sliver has gorgeous weapon models – when are we going to be able to show off the weapons we like best, instead of just the ones with the best stats? :)

elrar: Cosmetic Weapon slots offer a slew of technical and design hurdles – we know they’re a popular request and I’m even one of those guys who hangs on to cool looking weapons to use when I’m not fighting, but while I’ll never say never it would at least be a while before we could consider making it a priority.

 

ironwill96: This is in your initial post so i’ll ask it: When we submit feedback in-game (the same form that does bug reports) it asks “What do you like? What do you not like?” with free-text entry fields. Does anyone read our suggestions from these, do they ever make it to actual developers to implement?

Walsingbacon: Absolutely. Just as we read the forums every day. Player input is extremely important to us.

 

Draknr: Are there any dog-related flamewars regarding the delicate matter of dachshund vs corgi with dahanese and Amary? ;) And… Remember any fun-to-tell stories from the office? Does Trion harbor a lot of “clowns” who just keep making everybody spill their drinks in laughter? Also – Cheers! Great community team, great game, rock on!

amary_trion: Thankfully, dahanese and I are both open minded about stumpy dogs and both corgis and dachshunds have … similar features. We were able to come to an agreement far easier than you might think. :>

Fun stories… we have a dishwasher in the break room/kitchen. One might think that people have never used a dishwasher before based on the pile of dishes in the sink or the, uh, unique ways the dishwasher has been loaded. Then the “public service announcements” started appearing, taped to the cabinets with helpful messages in the form of internet language. ‘One does not simply… put the dish in the dishwasher’. Bachelor frog’s ‘No bowls? … CUP OF CEREAL’. It got pretty intense in there. XD

And yes, there’s a lot of humor in the workplace. Most people can’t resist trying to make witty comebacks in work chats or emails. :)

Walsingbacon: As a whole, we have an adverse fear of clowns. They aren’t allowed nowhere near the property. I think it has something to do with a childhood incident Scott had while watching Killer Klowns from Outer Space.

Not only that, clowns make it really hard to maintain a stable work environment. We had clowns at the last place I worked, and I never could get the confetti out of my keyboard. And don’t get me started on that silly string spray…

elrar: This is a place of business, we are completely serious. We don’t have time for jokes and debauchery when there is work to be done!

Spilling your beverage is also prohibited as it increases danger in the work place and distracts from productivity. To that end only a single glass of water is permitted per day, other beverages also pose as a distraction and diuretic beverages further reduce time at your workstation.

Truly we are the icon of efficiency, fortitude, and temperance.

:p

Walsingbacon: He’s not kidding. This is all we’re permitted to drink: http://i.imgur.com/Qfjxy.jpg

 

Lutharion: What are the names of the New Souls that will be launching with Storm Legion? =D

amary_trion: Corgimancer, Baconator, Meadstalker, and Whiskeyblade. O:)

 

realwords: What’s the average day like in the Trion Offices?

dahanese: Oo, I can take this one.

There is no average day in Community. Each person has a different role to fill and I’m sure they will be able to talk about what’s normal and what’s awesome and what’s difficult, but even if there’s a “standard” schedule we pretend to go by, that’s just a very loose and optimistic framework we dance around.

It’s one of the reasons I absolutely love this field. You are never, ever bored.

amary_trion: An average day around here involves discovering someone took the last of the coffee and didn’t make a new pot, catching up on emails because you never know when someone might have done something important at 2 in the morning overnight, popping onto internal chats to say hi so team members in other locations know you’re around, and then – gettin’ to whatever it is you do.

The office area we (Community) work in is a big open floor with lots of desks and dividers. Everything is fairly open and it’s easy to overhear others, so it’s an interesting mix of people generally keeping to themselves vs. jumping into relevant overheard conversations. Dev, engineering, QA, and Community all sit together in the space. Headphones usually mean someone is concentrating. :) (Lots of nice headphones around here.)

There’s very much a sense of “just go talk to someone” if you need info or clarification around the office, which is rad – not a whole lot of red tape/”fill out this request and send it via email then wait 2 days” around communicating with other departments. It’s pretty awesome. :)

Walsingbacon: Okay, seriously. I can tell you this much. You don’t dread coming in to work, and no day is average. Especially when Zyzyx is on the forums.

As dahanese stated, it’s always different, which is something that I love about the job. I oversee the forums, which includes Defiance and End of Nations, so a lot of my job revolves around that. This means answering the questions of the players, the mods, etc. I have to be very unbiased and make a lot of judgment calls. I guess you could say that get to play the part of Judge Dredd on the forums, but he’s a much nicer chap. ;P

Though I have my days of coming in super early, I am usually last to get here, last to leave when it comes to the Community Team.

I am on the forums probably more than most, but I also handle a few others things such as PTS tests and assisting with raid testing. While it might not be completely evident player facing, the forums are constantly evolving.

In a nutshell (help, I’m in a nutshell), I’m basically the guy to call if you need something done quick, but you aren’t able to get it done. The one thing that I can say about Community is that you should never expect to be caught up. So much happens that there is no such thing. It’s a very fluid environment. Took me a while to get a grasp on that.

Oh yeah, and as Elrar said. We’re always on call. Got a 4:30 AM call the other morning. :)

So, it’s hard to say. There isn’t really an average day. Today is a good example. Here we are doing an AMA. This afternoon I have a few loose ends to tie up, and then I will be killing some of you in Conquest. Tomorrow? Something new on the horizon…

elrar: My days are all over the place – sometimes they start at 6AM, sometimes 10AM and on rare occasions my day has been going since the day before.

We’re on call 24/7 in the event your game service is interrupted – we’re always on the frontline and sometimes the first to know that something is the matter.

But with RIFT those 3AM phone calls and all nighters have been rare (I’ve only stayed up 24 hours with RIFT for ExtraLife, and yes – we’re planning to do it again this year!)

Fortunately my days here can be a lot more average than other places I’ve been, though the tasks and activities I engage in are entirely different from day-to-day.

Some days I’m doing stuff like this, interacting with you or chatting in-game. Others I’m holed up at my desk getting characters geared and leveled up for events, or coordinating assets/screenshots for Facebook, website, and blog updates.

The one constant I tend to have are that I always check the forums, facebook, and twitter; it’s one of the first things I do in the morning and one of the last I do at night – while not everyone posts on the forums or social media it’s an instant way for me to ensure that all is calm in Telara, and they’re a good place to start if that ever changes!

 

DietHoney: Given a generally solid history of responding to feedback quickly and thoroughly, Why was the Conquest “over-rewarding” issue handled so slowly, and with such seeming dismissal of much of the population’s feelings?

There were weeks of threads calling for a rollback, messages left on the game’s Facebook page, and complaints registered through in-game petitions that fell on deaf ears. The general feeling in many of the posts seemed to be that by not removing the rewards from those that chose to take advantage (exploit) an oversight or unintended mechanic introduced to the game you are both encouraging the community to exploit the heck out of anything that comes along and penalizing those that had some personal objection to engaging in actions that they felt violated the ToS (or just didn’t think that spawn camping was legitimate PvP).

Many people seemed to feel that allowing players to progress through multiple PvP ranks per Conquest essentially trivialized PvP advancement. Do you feel that this sort of super-progression would be allowable in other aspects of the game (ie: advancing through multiple tiers of PvE content in a weekend due to a bug) and, if not, why was this allowed to happen to PvP progression?

elrar: We were very much invested on improving and stabilizing Conquest – the debate and those involved was very limited, remained generally constructive, and arguments of all sides were well represented.

The reality is – it wasn’t an exploit and because of this it did not demand time and attention away from further development of Conquest and the rest of RIFT.

It was absolutely unfortunate and something I have no doubt we’ll strive to avoid in the future – but it was a brand new feature and like all features players found the path of least resistance and greatest rewards. Which was an undesirable form of gameplay for anyone.

It doesn’t excuse what occurred – but we don’t feel players should bear the punishment for our original design, especially considering they broke no rules and exploited no mechanics in doing so.

We take any situation case-by-case and will act with the best discretion given the individual concerns and impact it presents.

We don’t have a blanket policy for the exact reason that there are many shades of grey, and distinguishing between an exploit and unfortunate use of game mechanics requires an independent approach – but exploits, when they are exploits, are taken seriously and handled swiftly.

 

DietHoney: Assuming the PvP and PvE facets of the game are equally respected by the developers, would an incident that allowed super-progression through PvE content, resulting in advancement through multiple tiers, be left in game in a similar way?

I’m only sticking on this point because, though you’re insisting the gains weren’t exploited, they did indeed trivialize PvP progression in the game. I have a feeling a similar scenario on the PvE side of the game wouldn’t be left unchecked for so long or even result in the same action (or, in this case, inaction) from the Rift team.

Speaking for myself, and the apparently “very limited” group of other PvP’ers that have spoken out on this issue for weeks on the forums– the whole experience has left many of us feeling like the PvP’ers in Rift are a sort of second class citizens. It’s an interesting topic, for sure, and for some it has lead to a discussion of maybe finding a different game where the PvP facet gets a bit more consideration.

If something progression-breaking for PvP does “not demand time and attention” from the developers, it seems that the discussion about the PvP community being a sort of second-class citizen does hold a bit of merit.

elrar: I did address that concern – here:

We take any situation case-by-case and will act with the best discretion given the individual concerns and impact it presents.

We don’t have a blanket policy for the exact reason that there are many shades of grey, and distinguishing between an exploit and unfortunate use of game mechanics requires an independent approach – but exploits, when they are exploits, are taken seriously and handled swiftly.

I couldn’t possibly answer your hypothetical question with a general answer – the mechanics of PvE progression are significantly different from the gameplay requirements of PvP.

PvP simply requires a commitment of time, while skill and coordination can reduce that amount of time it’s guaranteed that given enough time – you will max out your PVP progression.

But let’s hypothesize that Infernal Dawn launched easier than intended, and for some reason that lockout timer was reduced to 1 hour and not one week – allowing a constant loot pinata as 20 man raids effortlessly dispatched Maelforge.

That would still be our fault, and likely not an exploit (as long as it was designed that way) – but again, our reaction would be based on an individual assessment of the impact that issue had, and I couldn’t say definitively today what our response would be given that.

It’s really an impossible question – I’ve tried to answer as best I can, but appreciate that not all will agree with me.

PvP is an important part of RIFT – it’s not the primary focus all the time but it’s one avenue of progression and a form of entertainment many enjoy, including myself. We do our best to keep it fair and competitive as much as possible – but we’re not perfect.

 

shoey: The patch cycle for RIFT is unheard of in the MMO world. Generally, how do you approach a new patch? Is it based around the event and go from there, or add the event to a list of things you have planned to push out?

As a person who dinged 50 about 2 months ago, but plays off and on (former hardcore wow player, I really enjoy RIFTs laid back approach), there seems to be a disconnect from the “natural path of progression”. I had to search on Google what a Master dungeon was as I could not find it anywhere in the game or it was not easily known to me. Are there plans to address or quests to bring players into these content tiers so they can keep progressing without having to keep asking about it?

Also, any plans to change or mix up Onslaughts? One of my favorite things about the game but feels stale at the moment. Any plans to add objectives or tougher modes?

amary_trion:
Major update patches are based on a time cycle, and there’s a constant running list of features – both large and small – that the devs hope to get to the live game. The list is constantly shifting around in priority – sometimes a previously released feature will make something on the list much easier to achieve, other times in response to feedback from the community, etc. There’s also a group dedicated specifically to world events. Each patch cycle, the team takes a look at what’s on the future-features list and starts putting together a package of what can be completed in X time by the Y resources available, and that becomes the rough outline of “a patch”. Sometimes things take longer than expected and don’t make it into the final update, other times something pops up mid-patch-cycle and takes priority. Bug fixes happen alongside new stuff and may go to live sooner via hotfix.

If you’re familiar with project management styles, it’s similar to an agile-type system though noone here calls it that, or follows a strict ‘flavor’ of methodology. :)

elrar: While I’m not a designer and can’t provide specifics on the second part – to the first part each patch has been very different, but to me it seems we always start with one question:

What’s the most amount we can add given a reasonable amount of time between updates and the resources we have available to us?

From there we start with a list that goes from the most practical to pie-in-the-sky. As we scope in the project and production gets underway we need to make the call for what to cut, delay, and keep pushing.

It’s also important we’re able to easily communicate the update to you too in a way you understand why it’s awesome – that helps coordinate decisions as well.

Any of you who have paid attention may have noticed a number of times where this process has continued as far as PTS – where we decide a feature won’t get the resources it needs to make it as successful as we want it to be.

One of the cool things about Trion is we’re willing to let things drop on the cutting room floor, but it’s because of this willingness that we’re comfortable trying new things and always trying to deliver as much as we possibly can as quickly as we can muster.

Combine that with some truly awesome tools and a very collaborative environment and you’ve got the oil that keeps our mighty engine going!

 

trinta: When can we expect to see some actual information on the dimensions that SL will be adding? I, everyone in my guild, all of my friends, and all of their cats and corgis are dying to know.

elrar: We’re dying to show you – but the reality is Dimensions were BRAND NEW still drying on the White Board, we’re making progress towards them becoming a reality but it’s probably going to be around or after Gamescom/PAX that you’ll really get to learn more!

Tell those cats to be cool – Dimensions are imminent, it’s only a matter of time :)

 

Zyzyx_rift: What happened to community round table podcast(s)?

elrar: Good question! We wanted to spend our time focusing on the future – and we feel Live Streaming is this future. That’s why we’ve shifted gears and are ramping up the use of our Twitch.tv channel.

We do love our active podcasters though – many of which make great shows week after week like MMO Reporter, RIFT Overcast, and many others!

dahanese: Also elrar will be streaming today, so you should follow our channel and hang out with him – it will be like your own personal round table!

www.twitch.tv/trionworlds

dahanese: This isn’t the same kind of stream – this is more of a “hey, come watch and also play with us” type of deal. So: TBD on mage. Also, start time is approximately 5 PM PT.

 

ironwill96: I have always been curious what you all are up to while the servers are down for patches or maintenance. Is everyone running around at the office drinking coffee and watching the database admins work (“Go faster Jim the player base forum angst-meter is over 9000!”), or do you have other tasks you are assigned to do?

On a random game note that you can answer, what has been your favorite patch so far for each of you? Also, do you play the game any on your personal time and what is your favorite calling?

elrar: Hahaha – to be honest, it’s pretty rare that we have anything that resembles a moment of panic. Things can get fast and furious but these guys are on top of their game. And when things don’t go to plan I’m regularly impressed by how fast and precise they are at solving problems.

These guys are world-class and it’s why we have an awesome architecture and tools that allow us to do rapid deployments and have minimal impact on you guys.

Usually Amary can just man the post and we’ll keep an eye out for any signs of trouble – it’s only when we go over our ETA significantly and the cabin fever starts to set in that I have to jump in to hang out and keep you informed.

My favorite patch had to be a combination of 1.5 & 1.6 – loved Ember Isle, the World Events, the introduction of Instant Adventure but I think 1.9 is a close contender – it gave so much room for activities!

Haha, and as to my favorite calling – I love to hit stuff in the face, that’s why I have a 50 Rogue, Warrior, and Cleric I also love a decent amount of utility (played a bard for 10 years in EverQuest).

Ranged classes have always made me feel too removed from the action – but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy blowing people up from afar when I need a break from the melee, cheers!

amary_trion: The group of people involved in a server downtime are spread out across multiple locations (California, Texas, Amsterdam for Europe, etc.) – so most of the downtime drama happens in an internal chat channel. People call out in chat when they start and finish each step, and different people wait to see different completions to trigger the next action in the list.

The scary part is when something is taking longer than planned and you’re not seeing the next step callout appearing in the channel, or everyone’s favorite, ‘oops’ (okay, it’s not really ‘oops’, more like “blahblahblah engineery words/stuff/things failed”). Then there’s a troubleshooting phase and on-call engineers or DBAs may be tagged to come have a look. It’s a bit rough because we like to provide 15-20 minute status updates on downtimes but harassing people to give me an eta/status every time can actually distract them from getting things resolved. So sometimes it’s a bit of a nail-biting waiting game. :)

My favorite patch so far is 1.8 because FISHING. :D I do play and have several alts but since I usually play healers, my 50 is a cleric. :)

 

AbaddonSF: When you not playing rift, What other games do you play?

What is everyone most loved rift class?

Waffles or pancakes?

Current fav feature in rift now?

What would you like to see added to rift? or what do you think its missing?

Walsingbacon: 1) I play a LOT of RIFT, but when I’m not I am playing TSW (totally different kind of game), and I’ve just started tinkering with something called Crusader Kings II, which is utterly complex and has a ridiculous learning curve.

2) Hmmm. I am a rogue at heart, but I have recently been playing my cleric quite a bit. Hard call, but I think in the end, I would pick the rogue. Mainly because I can attain highest damage in a warfront without fan out :/

3) I’ll leave that one up to Amary

4) Bacon. What kind of question is that? But, if I had to pick between those other less significant foods, pancakes.

5) I’m a raider at heart, but Conquest is pretty fun.

6) Overall I think it’s a great game, and we’ve definitely added content faster than the speed of light. Honestly, as RIFT is here to stay, most everything I would want is probably coming at some point. Keep in mind, I started playing RIFT before I came Trion. It was already the game for me.

 

Garudabane: What happened to Neek’s voice? He sounds different now.

Can Sanctum get a shrine to Atrophinius? I think everyone likes him.

Is Ember Isle going to get raid rifts for the other 4 planes too or is it only going to stay fire and earth?

amary_trion: Neek: Not sure on that one, he may have had some lines rewritten and the original voice actor was unavailable to re-record them.

Any shrine to Atrophinius would have to be in neutral territory for maximum homage to mead. :D

As for future raid rifts, I’m not actually sure what the dev team’s plans are for upcoming ones. :)

 

Foolra56: Can you talk about some of your favorite moments in Rift’s year and a half history? It could be something the company as a whole did (a particular update) or something you did as a player (some event, boss kill, fishing adventure, etc) that you found overly fun or exciting.

amary_trion: You know, I actually think my favorite moment in RIFT history would be last year’s Pax Prime at the RIFT booth – our first post-launch prime. I had also been at the booth the previous year, before the game was released, and seeing the change to current, real players coming by to say hello, who knew who we were by forum names, etc., was seriously cool. :) It was so rad to talk to people who had all these stories to tell about what they did in the game and who they played with.

Walsingbacon: Perfect Akylios is the first thing that comes to mind that was extremely exciting for me.

Doing the secret codes leading up to Conquest was fun.

Other than that, every day is fun here. It’s more of an ongoing exciting moment for me.

 

MMO_Unforgiven: Any plans for another Rift Gamer Day for the Xpansion Like you all did Pre-launch? I was lucky enough to go to the one in San Fran, but at that time nobody knew anything about the game. Now that we all know it sure would be cool to do it again so we can meet the awesome people that have made the things we have loved for the last year+.

Walsingbacon: Only the Shadow knows what lurks in the future…

Well, that and dahanese.

 

Bottes: Will there be another Cult saga introduced (Air for example, for the upcoming expansion) or something somewhat related? Is there any Hammerknell lore for the bosses other then Estrode/RKM, Akylios/Jornaru?

elrar: The plan is to re-introduce the 1.8 World Event quest line as the Fire & Earth Saga, some additional work needs to be done to make it ready for being re-introduced as a stand-alone quest chain. Not ETA on when we’ll get it back in the game!

As far as lore goes – we’ll be taking submissions for a Lore Q&A on the forums tomorrow, be sure to drop your specific questions there for our resident Loremaster!

 

AdVerecundium: Why do middle-aged and older-aged people play MMOs? Now, don’t get me wrong as I have nothing against it but I just like to learn about people. I’m 22 and I enjoy raiding (doing new encounters, seeing new areas) and getting those ever-persistent mini-upgrades to gear. But I’ve wondered why somebody maybe 30 or older would play. Is it just a cheap hobby they can engage in after work that is not too strenuous? Or do they actively enjoy it on the same level somebody like myself would?

amary_trion: Honestly? For the same reasons someone younger would play. ;) I’ve met and known all kinds of players in all kinds of age ranges. Some may approach their gaming differently as they get older, maybe for work or kids or health reasons, but I’ve seen 20 year olds burnt out on MMOs and I’ve seen 50 year olds picking them up for the first time. My dad started playing MMOs at ~50 after I started working in the industry, and he loves them (makes birthday gifts super easy too… or “Happy Father’s Day dad, here’s some timecards!” :D).

Walsingbacon: Given that I am 41 years old, I guess I am (unfortunately) qualified to answer this. I think there are several reasons. One, we were all playing Atari and shoving quarters into machines 22 years prior to your 22 years. ;)

Secondly, most of us started in games like EverQuest or DAOC, so it’s just a continuation of something we enjoy.

Last but not least, some of us never grew up. At least I refuse to, anyway.

I think the answer to your question is, yes, we enjoy it just as much as you do. :)

elrar: I started playing MMO’s when I was 13, I’m 26 now – I imagine I’ll still be playing online multiplayer games in whatever form they take another 13 years from now.

My interests have changed dramatically – I was a hardcore raider for many years but now I enjoy these games for much different reasons.

In RIFT for example I can spend an hour or two exploring a beautiful world or busting some heads in PvP, I get to share these adventures with others and have an enriching entertainment experience I couldn’t get just by watching a movie.

It’s the experiences and thrill of helping others accomplish things together that keeps me coming back – and to be honest that’s the same motivations that drove me to raiding, but I just approach it with a different perspective now.

I hope to kill Akylios and Maelforge before Storm Legion arrives, but I’m going to stop and smell the roses on my way there.

You’re not going to hear me disagree though that it is also an awesome way to get hours of entertainment for pennies on the dollar.

Cost was a big factor for me when I was a teenager scraping change together during the school year no denying that!

 

WonderboyUK: What element of the game are you currently the least happy with?

Thinking beyond Storm Legion how do you see tradeskills evolving, if at all? Do you have new crafting tradeskills in mind for the future?

The current patch cycle is obviously draining on devs, do you see it as something you’re proud of? Do you intend to maintain the high pace into Storm Legion?

Walsingbacon:

What element of the game are you currently the least happy with?

I plead the 5th, as I love my job. But seriously, I would say that I feel some things are too easy, and some are too hard. It’s a constant balancing act.

Thinking beyond Storm Legion how do you see tradeskills evolving, if at all? Do you have new crafting tradeskills in mind for the future?

One would have to pick up Storm Legion to find out. ;)

The current patch cycle is obviously draining on devs, do you see it as something you’re proud of?

Pumping the more content into an MMORPG than anyone else in the small amount of time since its release? You better bet we’re proud!

 

total_hipster: Are we going to get another all night event?

Walsingbacon: I would keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter, and/or the Community Blog. If anything comes up, you would hear about it there first.

 

pitster03: Any chance we could get Mead Kegs to drop similar to the feast. Mama needs some Mead Love!

Walsingbacon: Well this involves MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDD. That’s Elrar’s department. For the record, we no longer allow him near servers when he’s drinking the Pabst.

 

namkotje: What are your thoughts on a Cloud Gaming service like Onlive? Have you already tested it and would it possible to see Rift on that service in a “far” future?

Walsingbacon: I’m not sure how I feel about this, personally. I’ve tinkered around with similar tech, and while I will say that the latency wasn’t as bad as I had expected, I’m not entirely sure how I feel overall. As with all things, I am sure it will be improved upon over time.

 

Coolcooties: I love Rift! Seriously though, what does one have to do in order to become a writer for lore, story, ect in the MMO community?

Walsingbacon: Write a lot. As with anything, practice really does make perfect. I know this sounds cliche, but don’t give up and don’t stop trying to make your dream come to. Knock on doors, make connections, and break down walls. Well, break down walls, but don’t scare someone into thinking you are a creeper. Those who succeed are those who don’t stop until they achieve their goals. Never give up, never surrender!

amary_trion: I’d also add – don’t just stop with writing. It’s very uncommon to have someone who “just writes”. Pick up an additional skill – scripting, gameplay mechanics design, level design, make addons, learn about server infrastructure, learn QA processes, write fiction or nonfiction for fan or news sites, etc. Be willing to take sideways jumps toward the role you want – game design, and story design in particular, are generally not entry level positions at larger companies. Startup/indie development has more flexibility but you’re still going to need to have something to show the team that says, “this is why you want to work with me, this is what I can do for you”. :)

 

cerebrix: will we ever see the rift app on windows phone since you guys already have the authenticator app for windows phone?

Walsingbacon: From one Windows Phone brother to another, we would love to provide the app on all platforms, but this goes back to dev focus and being able to provide uber quality content at the pace that we do within the game, not to mention the awesome that is Storm Legion.

 

cupperoni: Have either of you three contributed any themes/ideas/suggestions for the World Events we’ve had that had your own personal touch in it?

amary_trion: I did the voiceover for Ama Ree in Summerfest. First time I’ve ever been involved with VO/Audio work. It was a lot harder for me than expected – I’ll be keeping my day job. :)

Walsingbacon: She did a great job! So great that I’m petitioning for the second expansion to be Ama Ree: Assault of the Corgis.

Walsingbacon: I’ve had a few ideas that I would like to believe came from my suggestions, as I am sure everyone does. :) Amanda has even given her voice to bring some characters to life.

In the end, we are a team here. I know everyone says that, but we really are. Just as we listen to players, we listen to each other and constantly playtest things in-house. We have various avenues in which we can share and debate our ideas. Basically, everyone in development at Trion is someone who is here because they love to play games, so we all have input in one way or another.

 

contineo: Any plans to introduce a system like EQ2 has for guides (i.e. volunteer players who have special powers to host in-game events and such)?

Walsingbacon:
We have no current plans for this that I am aware of, but I am currently working on revving up the RIFT Ambassador Program. The Ambassador Program is one that recognizes folks in the Community who go above and beyond the call of duty in helping out others, whether this be in-game or on the forums. While these folks aren’t class leads or representatives of Trion, it is the least we can do to recognize individuals for helping out their fellow players. It is not something that they ask or volunteer to receive, but something that they are noticed for.

 

Sywyn: Who would I have to bribe or bother for more animations in game? Would really like to see a walk toggle for mounts! (And chairs that you can sit on)

amary_trion: Bribes can be directed to our very, very overworked animators. I also want sit-able chairs!

 

razyn23: You said that you can’t give out information on the expansion pack…. Does that include a release date? Even a tentative one, or a vague timeframe?

elrar: We’ve given the vague timeframe – but to repeat it, this fall!

You’re now less than 6 months away from Storm Legion at the most, yay!

 

Vethon: Is there any thing you can tell us about 1.10 or SL?

elrar: They’re both going to be pretty awesome – but yeah 1.10 as we said in the Live Stream is looking to further blur the lines between Guardians & Defiant.

Storm Legion you can look forward to the live stream unveil of the new Mage soul in just a couple of weeks!

That’s about all I gots for now :)

 

Lewichan: Will you be at the Eurogamer expo this year, show Storm Legion and have another meet up?

elrar: There are plans to be at Eurogamer – but what and who is still being decided by our European counterparts!

 

Vitrify: What are your guys’ favorite food?

amary_trion: Korean food – tofu soup, kimchi, kbbq, I LOVE IT. :D

elrar: I’ve recently decided it was Gyros. Anything that can be cooked on a grill also takes the top list.

I’m a Ron Swanson guy – if every meal starts with roasted meats, well, it’s a good start.

And now I’m hungry…

dahanese: Ethiopian. Specifically, kitfo, served raw.

NOM NOM NOM.

Walsingbacon: Ummm…..

Aside from that, pizza.

 

pitster03: Have you ever thought about or could you add an end game element to conquest, where after the final boss is dead, it becomes almost like a version of the hunger games.

Teams are non existent and it’s raid on raid, and the last raid alive gets a bonus mark? Would be a fun way to end a long PVP match, and give raids a reason to stick together and fight.

Walsingbacon: Wouldn’t you prefer more like Twilight? Everyone sparkles and falls in love forever.

 

DogGirl: Master Mode dungeons…can those be added to the LFG tool?

amary_trion: The primary reason you don’t see Master Modes through LFG is due to the additional requirements on that content that are hard to evaluate through an automatic matchmaking tool – characters are expected to have access to multiple specs, effectively play a variety of roles, understand more difficult fight mechanics. With gear progression and PA and some badass skilled players, you may have a group that blows through master modes using single specs and nobody talking in vent, but that’s a limited percentage of players. :)

Forcing people to form natural groups to take on the content also prompts them to interact, discuss group needs, available roles, etc.

 

jaspeh: Who on the team loves corgis? Any plans to implement other corgis in the game? Maybe another corgi pet that you can get from artifact rewards.

amary_trion: Honestly, at this point, I think most of the team has been infected with corgitis. They might blame me as patient zero but there were others already here, it just took a few links to find them. I don’t know of any future corgi-content plans; I kind of hope we don’t go too overboard with it though. :)

 

phfor: Is there any future plans on adding items for purchase with those coins? Or can we use them to purchase XP for PA?

elrar: There are plans to increase the offerings, but likely not until Storm Legion – so hang on to your coins! (And get ready for all new collections)

 

phfor: Event Soulbound/Account Bound Items – As the really nifty events happen we get lots of cool items, like banners, costumes and other BOP items, however, I find I have 12 snowmen and end up having to delete them, is there away we can vendor those items just like any other BOP item?

elrar: The reality is people will then accidentally sell them and it creates additional work for our Customer Support team given the rarity of the items over the course of the year.

It makes it easier for everyone if the only way you can remove them is by confirming that’s your intention :)

 

tythimo: Seeing how I can wear full costume pieces, why can’t I equip cross-class armor into my wardrobe?

amary_trion: This was originally a restriction put in place primarily for PvP purposes and being able to identify calling via gear appearance – we didn’t have the ability to display actual vs. costume armor on the fly for PvP situations or as a toggle setting for players.

That being said… I’d also love to see this. :)

 

Intravax: Whose idea was it to go with super hot Crucia as opposed to some other fantastical design?

elrar: It’s actually an important part of the lore – but I think we all tended to agree that a pretty lady and a badass dragon looks pretty damn awesome on a box cover!

 

StupidGenius: Do you have characters in guilds that aren’t associated with other Trion devs?

Do any of you Raid in Rift on a regular basis outside of work?

If so, do the raid teams know that you are a DEV/CM?

amary_trion: Yes, yes, no. :)

elrar:
-Most of them in fact!
-I used to, but not currently. Was working on getting another character to 50 and gearing him out now :)
-In all my guilds/raids I’ve never made it known I work for Trion. I like to keep my anonymity and like watching you guys figure it out for yourselves.

 

LostToApathy: What game feature, implemented or thrown out, has been the biggest point of contention amongst the Trion employees? I know Ancient Wardstones ended up being tossed because players didn’t really enjoy them, but what about you guys?

amary_trion: Hmmm…

I’m not sure I’d say ‘contention’. People here have a variety of playstyles and can also be critical because they want to put out good content. I know some of the things that have gone through a bunch of iterations/feedback loops have been Fishing, Conquest, Chronicles… Obviously the more recent ones are easier to remember but I can’t think of a specific feature that ended up causing any sort of “battle lines” to be drawn. It’s usually much more collaborative and a lot of people have had input before it even gets to that point. :)

 

UntitledHero: Are there any plans to add more chronicles?

amary_trion: Yes. :>

 

xanduin246: Ok, I’m here to negotiate!

I request one (1) of the following items: A plain horse mount with 110% speed. The Reinforced Windblown Tunic that Caelia no longer drops (I was almost done with the set too!), or a shrinking potion.

I place on the table a sacrifice of bacon to two (2) corgis. Or I will stop posting on the forums for a week.

If you made it through all that, I have a serious question that I hope hasn’t been asked. What’s it like to read 50s chat while you guys aren’t on the job? Do you ever have the desire to insta-ban some people?

amary_trion: I’m actually a fan of classic, classy plain horse mounts. :) Hmm…

Sometimes reading 50 chat is hilarious – it can be like, “oh man they have noooo idea”, or “ahahaha if you only knew”. Also occasionally, “omfg seriously? please stop talking”. :) Just remember, we have access to the same Report Player button that players do… >:)

Walsingbacon: We have folks that handle that. I’m pretty laid back, but if I see something over the top, I will file a petition just like anyone else. Most times it’s just funny. I think the main reason is because no one really knows who we are.

I can tell you a bit of a funny story. One time in guild someone was complaining and talking about me. This went on for like 15 minutes. I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. They had no clue I was seeing it.

elrar: Haha – I always love when I show up on a live shard and suddenly 50 chat goes from the depths of depravity to sunshine and unicorns.

What the usual suspects don’t know is i see their chat, heck sometimes I’m even having real conversations with you as just another joe. It’s hilarious when they try to act modest and noble as if I’m none the wiser, hahaha.

If it does go south I too will report players that I feel are crossing the line in a public chat channel – I have nothing against everyone enjoying themselves, but to that point not everyone enjoys the same topics so be sure respect each others opinions and keep it T for Teen if you want to stay on my good side!

 

RiftJoL: How does communication with European teams, including the French Community Manager, Michael “Yakkah” Servotte, flow?

Walsingbacon: We are in daily contact with our European brothers and sisters.

 

Lutharion: Rift Mounts have always been pretty epic (Nebula anyone?) but will Storm Legion take that next step and make our mounts about 20% cooler?

elrar: The mounts I have seen so far for Storm Legion are absolutely ridiculous – I want to lash them all together on my chariot of awesome!

Disclaimer: that’s not to say we are adding Chariots to the game.

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