GW2 Long Live the Lich Developer AMA Summary
GW2 Long Live the Lich Developer Reddit AMA Summary.
- The skill variance in our players can be quite large. If you know your profession really well, and how it combos with others, you can output something like 5x the damage and sustainability that an average player could
- Gen 2 Legendaries: More Lore about Gen 2 legendaries – we would do similar for upcoming legendaries, and if there’s interest we could see about adding it for other existing legendaries.
- Tutorials: We are investigating what we’d need to do solid tutorials for things like the break bar. Don’t expect it in the immediate future, since it’s still in the design phase and a quality tutorial will need voice acting and a lot of testing to make sure it actually teaches the skill, but it’s on the radar.
- Beetles: Petey will not be forgotten as we go forward in the rest of the season.
- Would definitely like to add rollerbeetle-tuned races in Core Tyria. There could always be some kind of disaster stopping it, and I want to take the time to get it right, but it’s very much on the table.
- Beetle race tracks – Not immediately, though this is something I want as much as you do. I want to make sure we do it right though – I love seeing all of the player-created race courses in the meantime!
- One of the design requirements I was given for the beetle was that it not displace other mounts for everyday short distance travel needs. Short of cutting the top speed of the beetle, which I considered a non-viable solution, starting the mount in a state where it couldn’t immediately boost was the best compromise. The zero to full charge time was tuned to be about right for the delay between successive boosts, and from internal testing with stakeholders it was decided that it was also the correct delay before boosting after mounting up. Now that the mount has been live for a bit and players have had time to use it extensively, I’ve been comparing player experiences with our own internal notes. While I can’t promise anything, it’s possible there are some ways to soften the pain points of using the beetle while still keeping the other mounts desirable.
- Since the launch of the roller beetle, we’ve seen some players asking whether we’ll update previously-released mount skin packs, such as the Branded Mounts Pack or the recently released Awakened Mounts Pack, to include roller beetle skins. We will not be retroactively adding the roller beetle to previously released mount packs, but we will provide options for roller beetle skins in the Gem Store and will provide details in the future.
- We wouldn’t have central-line content depending on having a roller beetle, but there can be extra things you can do and find, or different ways to experience things.
- Crashes: When we announced that we were initially delaying the episode, enough of the content was not stable enough or polished enough for us to feel comfortable releasing it. When we felt we were in a good enough spot, we gave marketing the thumbs up to release the trailer. Internally we were excited and we were building momentum for the release.Fast forward to the morning of the patch, initial runs through the episode by internal QA before we distributed the build and external players looked good, but quickly started crashing in a way that we didn’t see in our development or staging environments. When the map would crash it took down every instance or map running on that server. To protect the rest of the game we isolated all of the new instances to specific servers which contained the crashes, but blocked everyone from getting into the new map. The rest of the day we were investigating the crash reports which gave us completely bogus data and was a red herring to the server issues. It took us some time to realize that as we’ve been increasing the size of content inside instances the way we’ve been calculating the required resources on the server was no longer accurate enough to predict performance. The system to protect us was actually making an assumption that the development team hadn’t considered.Once we knew what the problem was we rolled out new servers around the world that night to make sure we could stabilize the game in such a way that people could make it through the story and into the new map. We’ve made some changes on the content side to help with the issue but continue to investigate the core problem and other anomalies we saw in the reports that should prevent this issue from happening in the future.
- Gandara meta: We’ve made a couple changes already to the Meta to better reward players for their efforts and are continuing to talk about different options regarding the map as a whole moving forward. Sadly I don’t have anything concrete that I can announce at this time.
- There are discussions happening about changes we can make, nothing that I can announce yet. Part of the reason why you can’t explore the entire city was because of the time necessary to art out the entire fortress. When (not if) players figure out how to break out of the map, you’ll see that much of it is lightly placed props but not nearly detailed enough for players to run though.
- Design Adjustment: A lot of what we were doing was to change how we were developing content and when we were syncing with the teams at large. The stories that we are telling are complicated enough that when you span across multiple teams that are all in flight at the same time in different parts of the production process, it meant that sometimes things were getting missed, or we had to course correct on things fairly late in development and it was painful for teams to adjust. This episode specifically lost time due to these types of corrections that forced us to look at the scope of the episode. When teams review their content with leads and directors has also changed to allow the team better visibility in to how their work is progressing and how their content lines up with the teams before and after them.
- Collections/Wardrobe: Due to how the wardrobe works, it’s extremely unlikely that accessories will be added. In the long term, I’d like to have a solution for the legendary accessories (turning off the effects if you don’t want them, and ways to acquire additional accessories for alts), but it probably won’t be through the wardrobe system.
- It is exceptionally likely that you’ll see collections in the future take you back to core tyria maps. As for core-tyria-only collections, it’s possible (I’d even say likely) that we would make some, but probably not as part of a Living World episode.
- The wardrobe doesn’t actually track items, but rather the art that they reference. Backpacks are in the wardrobe, because they have a model, while other accessories don’t. Aurora, along with the various jewels and infusions with visual effects are set up in a different way that doesn’t interface with the wardrobe
- Luck sink: This has unfortunately been low priority, since there are a lot of players who don’t have their Luck maxed, but I agree, the system needs something to use your excess Luck for.
- FTT Turrets: They were designed to be part of this map exclusively. They had a little more integration in the story early on, but some of that was lost. We had started discussing allowing them in other maps, but at the point the discussion happened it was too late to do it with the amount of testing we deemed needed for such a change. That said, we are discussing the possibility of loosening the restriction in the future.
- Joko’s Future (Spoiler): We had other story debt we needed to pay off this season, and a limited number of episodes in which to do it. We kept him around as long as we could justify to tie up his arc from PoF, but we couldn’t make him the main threat this season.
- Challenge motes for story instances: I’m a fan of challenge motes in story instances but it does at scope to a release. I would love to see more of these in the future for players who want additional challenge. We create a lot of instance specific encounters that I would love to have players engage more with. Motes add more testing, and more time for iterative balance, so the teams have to weigh those costs.
- Next raid is essentially done, and only waiting for late-stage development assets, like VO for example
- Fractal reworks are still a thing for us, absolutely. For minor tweaks, we do them as there is time, then find a suitable window to bundle them up for shipping. The larger reworks take more time and effort to design and then get through the approvals process. Ben is working on a redesign for a couple fractals that need to be brought up to current standards right now, actually.
- New fractals are absolutely prioritized above reworks
- We’ve committed to one fractal every two episodes, regardless of scope. This one happened to be smaller scoped so didn’t require the full dev cycle. We’re already deep in development for the next fractal as well as instability changes that we hope to ship around the same time, as well as a possible rework.
- Challenge modes were not intended to be for every fractal, and are only planned when we have something really special.
- We wanted it to be an easier fractal after a slew of hard ones. As with all fractals balance patches are on the table, but we wouldn’t heavily boost the difficulty. Replay ability and fun are more important.
- Do you have any plans to change the current tier system to allow for more fractals, or will ther be limit of 25 – I would love to fill out all 25, and honestly we don’t have any concrete plans for what happens after. Whatever we do we’ll just keep trying to improve fractals, whatever that means.
- Raids and Fractals are the same team working on two different products. Our cadence is currently integrated with Living World episode releases. You’ll see the next raid before the next fractal, as that is how we have staggered development.
- I’d like to see that cadence improved as well, and it is something we are actively being discussed internally. You’re not the only one that wants to get new raid wings out the door more regularly
- The teams have been merged for well over a year now. While they’ve merged, the products have dedicated designers so that one of each is always in development.
- I wish I could give you numbers on cadence, but I will say that the third raid wing for this season is already in early production.
- At one point we were working on a competitive fractal system but scrapped it because it was pulling way too resources away from core fractal development, leaving many of the major problems to rot (swamp of the mists).
- Pitching a feature used by a relatively small minority of the community – though IMO valuable one – is difficult. Personally I think as a rewardless mode it could work but there are still many questions to answer and it has not seen anything close to a formal pitch internally.
- A dungeon rework is a considerable resource investment, as it essentially involves rebuilding all of the scripts, which is time better spent making something new and shiny
- It would be really easy to just dump a quick golden fractal relic sink out there, such as a conversion to relics, but I have dreams about a certain fractal reward that isn’t even properly pitched, and it would be great for that, so if I added the sink, people would be miffed they sold all their GFRs. Don’t sell your golden fractal relics, they are valuable. If one day there ends up not being a good sink for them, we will add a simple one like a conversion, but it may be a while.
- There is no PvP legendary armor. We’re getting an updated skin in the future, but I’d never compare it to a legendary skin.
- Stronghold revamp, we are looking at internally, but it’s not a high priority right now. We have some ideas for it, but it’s going to be a while.
- We have several new maps in development. A new desert themed conquest map, 2 additional small arena maps for custom arenas and a large arena map for custom areas.
- As far as game modes, my usual reply is that we have no current plans outside of special tournaments.