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Forum Q&A Archives  » Live Forum Q&A Scott Hartsman - Trion Worlds

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Novice Member

Joined: 10/25/13
Posts: 1

10/25/13 6:01:58 PM#21


I am an on air personality for a Defiance themed radio First I would like to thank your community team, and Trick for spending some time on the air with us.

I would like to ask what Defiance specifically is doing to improve upon the original promise of a shared world? When i threw down my 60 dollars to purchase the game it was with wide eyed wonderment at the prospects of a game merging with an ongoing TV program. The show will impact the game, and what we do in the game will impact the show. I as a player can be a part of this world.

Through the game i found, and and joined in along with the great folks at KTAM. What could be better a fan site that does in character Defiance fiction, this will surely help me inhabit this world even further, and it did in fact make my game so much more immersive, it became so fun to insert our own collaborative fiction into the world. It didn't much matter that the game was not advancing the story it was new, and the TV show was just fantastic, plus the game had so much potential.

Then the show ended. The crossover content we received hit a high point with the plague sieges, but then it all just ended. The game stalled, and the story stalled. The contests to bring your character into the show rewarded grinding a few small events ad nauseam, and those who worked hard to be part of the world were largely ignored.

The Defiance staff are often eager to talk about the next new mechanic or the next new game mode, but the story has ended. Volge sieges were added to the game with a switch, with no explanation of why they are even here. The story of DLC 1 was a few missions tieing into the new arena mode.

What happened to the off season crossover content that was to keep the story going. Will we as players ever be able to shape our own path in the world. Can we have the social hub, and the social conventions of other games, even something as simple as chat doesn't work the way it should. When i dance i clap my hands. I cant even put away my gun.

I simply want to be able to inhabit,and enjoy this game as an MMO, to be my own character in the world of Defiance.



Elite Member

Joined: 6/17/11
Posts: 8333

10/25/13 6:02:22 PM#22

I forgot my Archeage questions:

I play AA on Korean servers and I've heard rumors that XLgames decided to do Russia and China first and US/EU last which would mean that XLGames has unintentionally delayed the US release.

Does Trion solely get to decide on US/EU release dates, or does XLgames also plan the release dates?

Also it seems that XLgames is working on adding a lot of new content (including new races, Dwarves and Warborn - yeah!) and revamping some early themepark-style elements into more sandboxy elements - is Trion and XLgames planning to have this completed first before the game is ready for US/EU?


Elite Member

Joined: 6/17/11
Posts: 8333

10/25/13 6:02:53 PM#23


In a massively interview you stated the following:

"The traditional AAA style of development and distribution' is broken"

followed by

"With any luck, we'll see more endeavors where the balance of power returns to the product creators and the audiences they're trying to serve in the most direct relationship possible -- where everyone involved is a "product person" whose sole mission is to best serve the customer. That's powerful and exciting."

It seems that the current model of crazy-expensive games that nobody gets to play until they've been in dev for years is completely ineffective and far too risky.

it's a lose/lose/lose situation when the AAA game ends up bombing:

- $100s of millions (potentially) of dollars wasted

-Years of developer time wasted

-Disappointed players (after following the game dev for years, the first beta bombs)



How will Trion change the future game development to avoid the above AAA pitfall?

When can we expect more information on that new game that you hinted at in a recent MMORPG interview "not ready to talk about yet" 



Novice Member

Joined: 10/25/13
Posts: 1

10/25/13 6:04:58 PM#24

Hey Scott,

It's Erik! ;) Are there any plans for an official ArcheAge forum and how is your community management? Is this Interview the beginning for more community work? And, last but not least: is the ArcheAge EU release still going to be accomplished by Trion?


Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/17/13
Posts: 232

PROUD P2P Elitist...

10/25/13 6:09:39 PM#25

Concerning ArcheAge:

1) Are there any plans to revert any of the crafting mechanics back to their Korean CBT state, such as item decay?

2) Has any consideration been given to different rule/server types?


Trion Worlds CEO

Joined: 12/08/10
Posts: 47

OP  10/25/13 6:10:13 PM#26

Originally posted by wrzosek
couldy you say something about date of 3.0 and 2.5?:) 

I can say a few things about them!

1) That is an excellent question for a future Q&A with the RIFT folks

2) The date for 2.5 is posted on a wall right by Daglar's desk

3) They are both dates in the future.

4) Sorry, I can't spoil specifics for the RIFT team's turn. :)

Originally posted by Freas

Do you still have to decide which payment-model you gonna choose for ArcheAge?

If yes, which one do YOU(!) prefer?

1) We're still working with XL on the specifics.  They have a lot to do in supporting four different partners and their unique billing systems, and we want to make sure it's done right.

2) I like RIFT's current model for a lot of reasons.  The zero barriers to trying and bringing in friends is the hugest advantage - People travel MMOs in packs.  Barriers prevent that behavior. 


Originally posted by Informer80

Are there any plans about Trion Worlds re-opening an European office soon/hire german and french full-time CMs

1B. do you plan to sell the EU publishing rights for your games to another publisher?

2. [ArcheAge] Do you really want to translate and publish this game at its current state or will you wait for the announced expansion in Korea including many game changes ?

3. Payment models: What are your personal thoughts about the Rift F2P change, since you weren´t part of Trion Worlds when they changed the payment system?

3B. Do you plan the rebirth of a Pay2Play model for (one of) your upcoming games?

Thank you for your time, Scott!

Edited down to just the question parts for length!

1. No plans of opening new offices right now -- We've got EU native speakers in the headquarters office, including the FR and DE community reps.  There've definitely been some bumps during the transition, but making sure it's all working the right way is a big priority.

1B.  Hell no. :)

2. We have a lot of faith that XL is on the right track with what they're doing with the game.  We've been actively translating it for quite a few months.  It's quite huge. 

3. I think RIFT's model is extremely well designed and well executed.  It's a big part of why I came back to Trion.

3B. Not at the moment.

You're welcome!



Novice Member

Joined: 11/15/06
Posts: 27

10/25/13 6:12:26 PM#27

Hello Scott,

my name is Fido and i am the operator of "Let´s Play ArcheAge - The german video magazine" on Youtube. At first I want to thank you for being our "interview partner" tonight. Don´t worry, i´ll make it short, the other guys here will ask enough questions about ArcheAge  :)

1. A few months ago the german ArcheAge community held the community event "A letter to Trion Worlds". Some of the letters were handed over to your ArcheAge team at the E3, the complete collection was sent to you by air-mail from Germany. At the time the event happened you didn´t work for Trion Worlds I just wanted to know: Did you ever get these letters?

2. More an invitation: If you´d like i invite you to be my guest in my Let´s Play series, some chatting and chiling in the sun of Ark included. We can do this in english language of course ;)

Greetings from Germany,


Let´s Play ArcheAge - The german video magazine


Novice Member

Joined: 10/24/13
Posts: 2

10/25/13 6:13:23 PM#28
As a person who has played Rift since Alpha, why is there no compelling reason to stay a patron?  I realize that the F2P model has given you new revenue streams with a lot of fluff and temporary boost items.  However, the 10% discount, the weekly/daily gift, and the 20% extra marks (on low end currencies) does not justify the subscription.  I am trying to give you money.  I want to support the company and help pay the devs salaries.  I raid, I do not care for dimensions (the sims), fluff items (the sims) and have no need for lower end currencies.  Please find a solution to players like me who want to give you money for something they see value in.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/01/13
Posts: 13

Thank you.

10/25/13 6:13:45 PM#29

I love Rift, thanks for coming back to keep steering our game. We have just seen Shard Unification take place and I keep reading Daglars statements over and over but the wording implicates more than states so my main questions is:.

Is this the beginning of the possibility EU & NA shards becoming one region?

I am also a fansite for Dimensions - - and thoroughly appreciate all concepts. Thanks so much! My other inquiry is with Raiding. This current tier of content is so awesome but because of how long it took to get here we have lost many endgame guilds. I fear we will have no hardcore raiders left soon because this content will also be conquered shortly. My inquiries are:

Will there be any changes in the pace of 20 man content being released? Is there any hope for current raiders to keep playing into 2014?

Thanks for taking the time Scott and Aloha Grakulen, Chief & everyone at Insomniac Gaming especially Kel :)

PS Sorry I started a new thread same questions then saw this.

Trion Worlds CEO

Joined: 12/08/10
Posts: 47

OP  10/25/13 6:20:28 PM#30

Originally posted by syriinx

Hey Scott,  best of luck in the new position at Trion Worlds


What did you learn from Rift's first 2 years and what (if anything) would you do differently if you could do it over again?

Thanks!   It's funny, just seeing that question floods with about 100 things that I've learned.  You actually locked my brain up for a solid minute there.  I'll pick one part - While I'm thrilled at the way the game turned out, back in the time I first arrived, I'd have pushed us harder on the events and dynamic content layer, to see if we could have had more iterations on that.


Originally posted by dakotaaoc08

What direction do you see Defiance heading in the near future as well as long term?

With the tough launch and constant delay's of DLC 1 a lot of players left Defiance and many other future players are refusing to give it a chance, what if any are the plans to help bring those old players as well as entice new players to return to the game?

What are the plans for Defiance in the off season?

Are there any plans for other races to become playable?

Thank you for your time,


The Defiance folks will be getting a crack here too -- Their state of the game ( ) sums up a lot of what we think about the current and where it needs to go (some of which has already rolled out) --

Ever since introducing the trial, we're seeing a ton of new PC players, and have both usability and gameplay improvements in the pipe for all platforms.

Originally posted by jfoytek


      I feel like I am part of a Playerbase that has been ignored for quite some time because of the success of theampark style games like World of Warcraft.

     That's Right I am a Sandbox player that enjoys robust crafting (Like SWG and Wurm Online) I also enjoy open world PvP and No instancing....  We are seeing some Sandbox's on the horizon but while they are exciting they are not hear yet so I like many others are skeptical....

      Honestly the Last great Sandbox other then Eve was SWG Pre NGE....  As has been proven by a large follow base on this sight alone.  There is a large un tapped market of guys like me, waiting for the next UO/SWG.  Does Trion have any plans to investigate this genre and market in the future?

Yes - That's a lot of why we wanted to bring ArcheAge here. 



Novice Member

Joined: 10/25/13
Posts: 1

10/25/13 6:20:43 PM#31

Hi Scott I wanted to thank you for being our guest tonight.


Now for my question the last news I heard about the release date for Archeage was the end of this year beginning of next. Is there anyway you can give use a more concrete release date?


Novice Member

Joined: 10/25/13
Posts: 1

10/25/13 6:21:53 PM#32

Any status on the memory leak that plagues the PS3 Defiance players?  

Disconnects, Lag, and Lockups are not fun.

The game is pretty awesome though.  It also got me interested in Rift.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/17/11
Posts: 462

10/25/13 6:24:27 PM#33

Defiance is one of the most fun MMOs I've ever played. However, the DLC releases are way too slow! You can only run around the map killing random enemies and engaging in sieges for so many hours after completing the main quests.

What are you doing to speed up DLC development for Defiance?


Trion Worlds CEO

Joined: 12/08/10
Posts: 47

OP  10/25/13 6:29:11 PM#34

Originally posted by Ultima2
As CEO of Trion, what does your average day entail? Do you spend most of your time handling the business end of things, or do you end up being the final arbiter of any game design decisions? Has it been hard to adapt to being CEO rather than a designer?

I've learned that there really isn't any such thing as an average day.  The same day can consist of ...

* talking about what to put into a celebration for all of our games (like this past week, planning out the celebration week that's just kicking off)

* reviewing a pre-alpha prototype and offering gameplay feedback

* Looking over a 3rd party game in a different language that a potential partner has asked us to review

* Meeting 4 bankers and giving them a board meeting style presentation/Q&A

* collaborating on a press release

* talking with our business intelligence dudes about straightening out the way we track how our ads are doing

* getting introductions to new potential engineering candidates  (...we're hiring those btw., if you know any!)

* looking over a couple mails in our generic contact mailboxes and replying to a couple customer questions, because that's kind of fun

* ...then being on a conference call with a partner late into the night

I arbitrate very few game topics, other than how we choose to spend our time when it comes to things that need to touch many parts of the company.  

The way Trion's set up, each game has its arbiter (we call them the owner, but same idea), and they're good at what they do. 

They ask me for my thoughts from time to time, and we talk many times daily anyway, since we're within feet of each other -- but in the end, they're the ones living and breathing their particular game - I'm seldom if ever going to say that my perspective is absolutely better than theirs.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/15/06
Posts: 27

10/25/13 6:31:24 PM#35
Originally posted by Hartsman

* Looking over a 3rd party game in a different language that a potential partner has asked us to review

You´re not talking about Black Desert, do you? ;)


Trion Worlds CEO

Joined: 12/08/10
Posts: 47

OP  10/25/13 6:33:39 PM#36
Originally posted by muchavez
any word on the status of archeage?  Its been radio silence for the past few months.  I am really excited about this game.  Hoping for more info.

I have a lot of words on the status of ArcheAge.  So many that I may have anticipated this question and written something last night. :)


For such a young game, ArcheAge has had a lot of excitement in its life.  We all know that a company launching its first MMO is a truly massive event. 
In shipping an MMO the difficulty ramps up and up as you open it up more - Then on launch day, you're 24/7, live, and people are giving you their hard earned money for your game.  On the inside, it feels like it couldn't possibly be the case, but the work actually gets harder.

It's absolutely brutal on development teams even in the best case.  Having gone through it multiple times myself, even if you've done it before, you forget exactly how stressful it is, how hard all hands will end up having to work, and how long they'll have to do it.

The whole time, you're dealing with launch tech issues, and gameplay systems that didn't turn out the way they did in alphas and betas, and trying to figure out the best solutions to everything. 

The whole time you're doing this, things have stayed that difficult for months in your first launch, and you hope to get into a solid cadence of being live, so you can start supporting other efforts. 

With three other locale partners (in China, Russia, and us in the West), XLGames didn't have that luxury of going immediately from the Korea launch into locale launch ramps for all three partners.  Hell, immediately launching into full simultaneous support for three other partners would have been practically impossible when a game's launch goes flawlessly, and we know that the initial Korean launch faced many challenges of its own. 

We've been in touch with them the whole time - The relative quiet has been for a couple reasons:

1) They needed time to sort out what's best for their game, so it can be the biggest success possible in ALL locales

2) It's important to us to not be the kind of publishing partner that applies undue ship pressure to force them to make bad decisions.  That happens a lot in games.  We're not that.

Their team's now confident that they've got a solid path planned out for improvements to ArcheAge, that will benefit all of their partners. We think they do too.  Since they already have live customers, they're going to be addressing their plans for their existing live game very soon.  The head of AA on their side is actually doing his first interview about this today as well.

That's the real trigger for us.  We look forward to the coming weeks of reopening discussions with our communities about ArcheAge and its future here in the west.

Expect them (and us) to start talking about things like: How their updates are going to be bigger, more stable affairs.  How they're ensuring that all gameplay systems are fun and rewarding, so people aren't funneled into playing one optimal way.  And how they're making the game experience more approachable, while keeping a solid level of difficulty that maintains that tension we all feel as we're playing through a dangerous world, gaining power and becoming more successful as we go. 

Both Trion and XL feel strongly that these are vital elements that all of our audiences want to experience, and that's the direction everything's headed. 

Some of you have probably noticed that over the past few weeks we've kicked off a regular posting series on our existing games' sites of what's going on inside of Trion in all of our games -- I'm extremely happy to announce that as of this next set, we'll be adding ArcheAge to the mix that we'll be openly communicating with you about on a regular basis.  Some updates are about the games themselves, others are about what's going on inside from groups you seldom hear about who are just as vital to shipping and running our games.

You can sign up for those updates as well as the beta at

And based on the size of this answer, I think we can consider this the first in that series. 



Advanced Member

Joined: 5/05/09
Posts: 104

10/25/13 6:33:46 PM#37

Dear Scott .

     I want to ask you a specific question that's a little different then most others you may get here today. I believe there is a great deal number of people who are really looking for this one answer above all else or details about specific games.


Here it goes.......


We want to know if you and Trion are something we can "Believe in".  A Person/Company we can trust and stand behind .

We are tired of being mislead , lied to, deceived, and let down, we want a Company to "Believe" in and support.


HOW WOULD YOU ANSWER THAT QUESTION TO GAIN OUR TRUST? < Give us something to believe in. Say what you mean and Mean what you say, no BS! >


I personally played rift in beta and 1.5 yrs more, and play defiance since beta. You becoming CEO is the only reason i still want to give trion a chance for my long term game playing dollars. If you had not come back to lead trion i would no longer be playing anything by them. I hope you can give me and others a statement to give us the Hope we want, then Deliver on it in the near future. This is how your foundation is being built as a CEO. What you do and say that ,we the players, believe of it, is how you will be future judged on all things.  


I Thanks you for reading this and await a reply....


Novice Member

Joined: 10/19/04
Posts: 221

10/25/13 6:43:11 PM#38

dear mr hartsman,


1) when do we get back the necessity to socialize in mmorpgs?

nowadays mmogs are more solo centric games and its easy to hook up with some random people for half an hour to do some group content. even as part of a guild the majority of people tend to do log in f.e. twice a week to gather for raids or for a hour a day to do the daily quests. there isn't that much need to bond with people. but the socialisation through f.e. a big long term goal for a group of people can make them stay in the game.


2) after f2p opened the door to the two-class-society (poor and rich) why don't take publishers one more step and offer f2p and p2p servers for the same game?

well, don't see this question as cynicism or critic to capitalism ... with my students we took a survey last semester about mmogs and surprisingly 53% of 750 interviewees would choose the p2p server if they would have the opportunity.


3) at which point will investors get that quality makes more money in a long run?

if you let aside the gear grinding as endgame content ... in sw:tor casual gamers were done with the content within 6 weeks; rift in 3 and defiance, sorry to say, 2 weeks (to be honest for a b2p game not so bad). eve online has still growing numbers in payed accounts and i bet if someone would reanimate SWG pre NGE with a f.e. state of the art grafics engine they easily would get a constant 6 digit subscriber number.


4) if you, trion worlds, intent to develop a new mmog (read some rumors about) how would you compensate the explosion of costs (i guess it nearly quadruplicated in the last ten years) to present us a high quality game?

lets have a look at neverwinter. come one, cryptic did a better job on animations back in 2003 when they launched city of heroes. everquest II set a standard in grafics back in 2004. everquest next looks like that the same pc from back then can run it in high quality. that had to do something with the budget.


sincerly yours



Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/23/05
Posts: 1046

10/25/13 6:48:54 PM#39
Hartsman , who's idea was to make a banner with the following message "You're not in Azeroth anymore", when Rift launched? 

Reporter: What's behind Blizzard success, and how do you make your gamers happy?
Blizzard Boss: Making gamers happy is not my concern, making money.. yes!


Trion Worlds CEO

Joined: 12/08/10
Posts: 47

OP  10/25/13 6:52:03 PM#40
Originally posted by BeckAltarr

Hi Scott,

Beck from K-TAM Radio. 

Hi, Beck!


Originally posted by BeckAltarr

What kind of a relationships would you like to see between Trion and fan Sites such as K-TAM who have the means to create and distribute story and lore content at no cost to Trion and do so effectively?

I'm a big fan of productive collaborations with sites.  It's really powerful and amazing when it works.  The key is that it needs to be a positive interaction for both parties - I've had both kinds of experiences in the past. 

Originally posted by BeckAltarr

I realize SyFy Owns the IP, as stated by Grant Bowler at the NYCC and that you hare hamstrung by that relationship. If you could distribute story/lore to the fan sites would you? Would you trust us to do it justice? Do you think giving fan and community sites any info on story and lore would help with player retention?

I wasn't at NYCC and can't speak to whatever may have been said there.  Sounds like a misstatement.  Happens. IP is a complicated topic that isn't really compatible with simple statements.  They own the same TV elements they always have, and they kick ass with it.

Honestly?  Yep, I'd absolutely trust sites.  I think a lot of it comes down to evaluating: With a given site, is there a genuine mutual respect, in a healthy partnership?  Are they a net add not just to the external players, but to the people on the inside working to make sure they're taken care of?  If so, there's great potential there.

That said, when it works well, I've seen it have a fantastic impact in previous games.

Originally posted by BeckAltarr

One last question: When would you like to be a guest on K-TAM to speak openly with the community for an interview and Q&A session? I know you said you needed to catch up on things a few weeks ago. Just looking for an update.

Very likely when I stop working obscene numbers of hours each week!

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