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Legends of Norrath Dev Chat Log

By Laura Genender on November 07, 2007 | Interviews | Comments

Legends of Norrath Dev Chat Log

MMORPG_Taera: Greetings and welcome to MMORPG.com's Live Chat on irc.forthegamers.org! I'm your host, MMORPG.com's community manager Laura "Taera" Genender. Joining us today is the Legends of Norrath team!

MMORPG_Taera: Our guests will do their best to answer as many questions as possible, but due to limited time and a high volume of inquiries, they may not be able to answer every single one. Users are limited to two questions at a time, and you will be notified if your question is rejected or discarded.

MMORPG_Taera: Now it's time for introductions! Feel free to start sending your questions to DevBot while our guests introduce themselves!

[SOE]Merakon: Paul "Merakon" Dennen here, Senior Game Designer at SOE Denver.

[SOE]Merakon: I jumped the gun earlier. :) * [SOE]Scarlatch is Scott Martins, Dir. of Development for SOE Denver.

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[SOE]Paladon01: Hey there, I'm Kyle "Paladon01" Heuer - Associate Producer here at SOE Denver

[SOE]Acadia: Hiya! I'm Acadia, Associate Producer - SOE-Denver.

[SOE]Acadia: Hello all, I'm Minerva, Communtiy Relations Manager - SOE - Denver.

MMORPG_Taera: Leedsboi86 :asks: Hi Sony, So this is a new Card type game, What makes you think it will take off? With other rivals such as Pokemon Card games failing what will make yours shine? [SOE]Scarlatch: SOE Denver has developed a number of online collectible games and online trading card games. Legends of Norrath is already taking off for us - it's going really well, with a strong player base from EQ and EQII. [SOE]Scarlatch: And we've got some cool announcements coming up this week about a high-end organized play program, as well as the next set, that we think people will be interested in.

MMORPG_Taera: neschria :asks: are new scenarios in the works?

[SOE]Merakon: Yes, neschria, with the release of the next expansion will come brand new scenarios.

MMORPG_Taera: Scorn_Arkane :asks: What feature,area,, part of content are you, as the developers, most looking forward to seeing players use in action?

[SOE]Merakon: I'm most looking forward to multiplayer games.

MMORPG_Taera: Thornpaw :asks: Are there plans to increase the normal drop rates of boosters in EQ and EQII? [SOE]Scarlatch: Probably not increases to the day-to-day drop rates, but we are looking at tuning the rates for our promotional weekends.

MMORPG_Taera: Thornpaw :asks: The long times it takes to fill out a tournament makes playing them not an option for alot of people. What changes can we expect to make these pay tournaments more viable for players.

[SOE]Scarlatch: We've got a pretty diverse player base for LoN, which we think is great. A lot of MMO players who haven't played TCGs before are getting into it, and aren't quite ready to make the leap to highly competitive play. That said, we'll be introducing booster draft format within a couple of weeks, which should be appealing to a lot of players. And we think the announcement and the prizes being offered with it will attract a healthy tournament playing p

MMORPG_Taera: Spellshaper :asks: Hello all, you make a good work with LoN. There is still main problem for outside US people. So is there any solution for long term, because you surly all feel that 1EP tournaments nad tourney packs arent real or long term solution for non US players?

[SOE]Scarlatch: We're still looking into options for international players, but it's not a straightforward issue, unfortunately. We tried to address the bulk of the initial complaints by making the tournament-only promos available in the store (The Lucan Promo Pack is currently in the store this week) and by providing a competitive environment that international players could participate in.

MMORPG_Taera: Cerivel :asks: Are there any plans to address the overpowered early damage combos involving the Damage Elf avatar and 0 cost tactics that exert abilities?

[SOE]Merakon: As I mentioned a while ago before we changed the Power Wood Elf and Gnome Quester avatars, looking at avatar balance is going to be an ongoing process. So, we're looking at the "Damage Elf" but nothing to announce there. Actually, our recent tourney results have been fairly mixed as far as avatar usage.

[SOE]Merakon: We're a lot more conservative when it comes to changing the cards that you purchase, collect, and trade for. So far, we don't see anything that needs changing.

MMORPG_Taera: Corvine :asks: Isn't the loot card addition to the LoN card game rewarding players for spending more money in real life than another player? EQ1 in specific, has always been very resistant to the secondary market and real money transactions, and this is a direct real money to in-game reward benefit. How do you feel about this, and does this signify the end of the even playing field for all players?

[SOE]Scarlatch: So we're actually not on the EQ and EQII teams out here in Denver, but the folks on those teams are very sensitive to those concerns and champions of keeping things fun and in balance. They've done a great so far job at creating cool items that are primarily cosmetice and don't create real balance issues. We view it as fun stuff that you can opt in to if you want.

MMORPG_Taera: Leedsboi86 :asks: Other then adding new cards how do you intend to improve the game in the future to keep it fresh?

[SOE]Merakon: New scenarios and stories, new features like multiplayer modes, and new play formats (some for tourneys, some for casual play). Look for some of these soon...

[SOE]Scarlatch: There's a ton of new cool stuff coming in the next set. :)

[SOE]Scarlatch: Spoilers start Friday.

MMORPG_Taera: Guanaco :asks: Is there anything in the works to allow us more then 50 items in the trade window and only being able to request 16 of a single item? Why was this requirement set as it is anyways? It is such a hassle for traders that are buying cards in bulk or wanting more then 16 boosters for their more sought after items.

[SOE]Scarlatch: Not currently. The biggest reason these 'features' are in place is to help manage fraud, to not make it too easy to exchange too many cards too quickly. It has the downside of making it a little more inconvenient for day-to-day usage, but it's there to protect everyone.

MMORPG_Taera: Lefty :asks: when draft tournies go live?...any guildchat command/window planned?....

[SOE]Paladon01: We are very excited about draft tournaments and have been testing them this week (and I'm undefeated at this point lol). They are scheduled to go live on Friday the 16th - so stay tuned for some more detailed info. As for the Guildchat information... it's something we are looking into, but we don't have a timeline on it

MMORPG_Taera: Kane :asks: Hi I'm new to the idea of LoF I know of another mmorpg I'm sure you know of MTGO. What makes your game so special since MTGO did ok but not that well for a virtual card game.

[SOE]Scarlatch: M:TGO has done well over the years. Aside from great gameplay, the biggest thing we've got going for us with LoN is the strong tie-in to the EQ and EQII communities. We've got a fun game that supports varied play styles that's familiar to a lot of the community. People seem to like it so far. :)

MMORPG_Taera: Thornpaw :asks: I come from EQ and have found myself playing LoN more than EQ lately. However i have found that inside EQ, there are many people who view LoN as a nuissance. what can we expect to bring more people from the EQ community into LoN?

[SOE]Scarlatch: We actually think that the multiplayer features (2v2 and 1vX) are going to be a big draw to EQ and EQII players. It'll support bringing friends in, playing together on a team vs. other players or AI, shepherding and teaching your friends through a game while playing on the same side. It's kinda the way that MMO players are used to playing.

MMORPG_Taera: Guanaco :asks: I am very anal about my trading details. Any chance of getting some kind of history as to what was sold and for how much? Not sure what kind of database issues there would be, so go easy on me. Right now I mark everything down in a spreadsheet, so I know what my trade was that I left in posted.

[SOE]Merakon: Exposing your personal trade history in some sort of UI is definitely something we're looking into, although it's not on the known feature timeline yet.

MMORPG_Taera: Thornpaw :asks: The promotional weekend is going to happen again this weekend, will the drop rates be the same as last weekend, or will hey be boosted?

[SOE]Scarlatch: They're going to be the same as last weekend - we can't change them w/o a patch to EQ. They will be bumped on an upcoming patch though. We did want to give EQ players a little more time on it though.

MMORPG_Taera: Abcnai :asks: Are there any plans for private tourneys to play with friends or guilds?

[SOE]Scarlatch: Guild-based tourneys and inter-guild tourneys are something we'll be looking into for future expansions, for sure.

MMORPG_Taera: Abcnai :asks: Are there plans to give private matches the options that we have seen in tournoments. Like sealed deck play, or no-rare play?

[SOE]Merakon: Sealed deck play: no. Kind of hard to implement that in the casual rooms as their free/constructed nature is the opposite of sealed play. But stuff like 'No Rares' we could implement easily enough.

[SOE]Merakon: To be clear, we'll be doing sealed deck play in tournament room.

MMORPG_Taera: Arge :asks: Currently, rush decks are extremely powerful... is there anything being done to make games longer so the high cost spells are more effect. Also, currently I think rares are really weak... most rush decks consist of mostly (okay most of my decks) commons and uncommons are there any efforts towards improving this? Also, the multiplayer that is rumored of coming is how will it work?

[SOE]Merakon: Good question. The next expansion will offer most archetypes improved defensive capabilities. This in turn should allow games to last longer, which in turn will allow for more of the high-cost cards to be seen, even in competitive play.

[SOE]Merakon: I can't give out details on how multiplayer will work at this time. I can say that I'm excited about it. :-)

MMORPG_Taera: Spellshaper :asks: A few months after release we can see ppl from EQs only wanting loot cards. I can see that affect game "economy". Playing cards are almost worthless and there are no good rares (Us, Cs) in trade there are only number of Rares important (not their game usefullnes). Dont you think ist bad for card part of LoN itself, any steps against this or its intended and predicted?

[SOE]Scarlatch: It was anticipated to some extent. One side effect is that the TCG itself is relatively inexpensive to play, and people primarily interested in the TCG can get a lot of cards and packs for the loot items that they pull.

MMORPG_Taera: Liberi_Fatali :asks: How do we go about making use of the "custom/unique avatar" option located in the Avatar section of the Preferences window? I'm assuming there will be a way to obtain or add special pictures?

[SOE]Merakon: There will be ways, in the future, of "collecting" or "winning" special lobby avatars. They don't exist yet, but when they do, that option will be a useful way to filter out the normal avatars so you can just take a look at the special ones that you have unlocked.

MMORPG_Taera: Gorehammer :asks: Currently, Skirmish mode is severely limited when trying to test out one's decks, and Tutorial A.I. makes very unwise unrealistic moves also. Is there any way/plan to allow players to customize an opponent deck (instead of facing a Starter Deck) as well as perhaps a checklist of A.I. strategies to use? Ex. "Focus on avatar vs. avatar cards"

[SOE]Scarlatch: We're looking into AI improvements. The checklist and custom deck options are something we can look into down the road, but haven't worked on yet.

MMORPG_Taera: The chat will be continuing for another 15 minutes, but we will no longer be taking questions so we can get through the backlog :)

MMORPG_Taera: Thornpaw :asks: how often can we expect to see promotional loot tournaments?

[SOE]Scarlatch: We'll have Loot Tournament Weekends every month.

MMORPG_Taera: Cerivel :asks: Would it be possible to add a feature allowing players to receive tells from inside a game or the deck builder?

[SOE]Scarlatch: Definitely from the deck builder. We're looking into increased communication features across the board.

MMORPG_Taera: Thornpaw :asks: why is it that destroying HP items takes away from actual HPs and not just the max. this was an issue in eq long ago when you could die by taking off an item. Paladon killed me first round of the first test tourney that way lol.

[SOE]Merakon: Health is an attribute that means "when I've taken this much damage, I am destroyed". Damage is tracked as a separate statistic. So if I take 4 damage and have 10 health, then play Crown of King Tranix (+2 health), I now have "8 current health" (10+2-4) but "current health" is a calculated attribute, not a real attribute.

MMORPG_Taera: Gorehammer :asks: In Posted Trades, it's very annoying to have the program freeze as it attempts to display thousands of trades. Do you still intend to allow the option to have the drop-down menu remember it's last search settings? I also suggest being able to search as "Show Trades From the Previous (#) Day(s)" so users can cut down on the lag of older posts.

[SOE]Scarlatch: The # of days suggestion is a good one - we can add that and the search settings menu w/ the next release. Paladon is making filing it :)

MMORPG_Taera: Darte :asks: Tournaments, in their current form, are fairly expensive ventures for any regular player. Does SOE have plans on making less-expensive tournaments or perhaps free tournaments for a lesser amount of "prize support"?

[SOE]Scarlatch: They're actually pretty cost-effective, if you're planning on buying cards. We've always taken a participatory approach to handing out prizes (some other games only give prizes to the top half of the bracket, for example). We've effectively positioned tournaments as an alternative way to buy cards, and have some entertainment value while you're doing so.

MMORPG_Taera: Guanaco :asks: The 10 EP promo tournament was a huge success. Right before it happened and since there has been a great decline of players and the trade channel is dead at times. During that weekend it was bustling with loads of action. Any chance on making more events like these happen? I don't play EQ or EQ2, so when there is a promo that has cards dropping ingame, it pretty much singles us LoN only players out.

[SOE]Scarlatch: We'll be having Loot Tournament Weekends with new promo and loot cards every month.

MMORPG_Taera: Darte :asks: The only avatars currently available are starter-deck avatars and player-created ones. Does the Dev Team have plans to create more avatars for either booster packs, tournament loot or promotional drops?

[SOE]Merakon: Based on experience with other games, we're actually happy with the way that we DON'T distribute avatars in randomized booster packs. Players aren't generally happy finding a card in a pack that they only need 1 copy of. We've already got quests that fill that annoying role, so having another would be suboptimal.

[SOE]Merakon: However, rewarding players will unique avatars as prizes/achievements is definitely something we can look into.

[SOE]Scarlatch: We've got one of those planned as part of the MP environment in the next set, as a matter of fact.

MMORPG_Taera: Diet_Canada :asks: Why are starter decks so worthless! people wont even trade 3$ boosters for em yet these cost 9$!

[SOE]Scarlatch: The biggest reason why is that we initially used them as a free entry point and gave out -tons- of them, so we were a little conservative about how they were constructed. We're revamping them for the next set. They'll contain some starter-ony Quests and some random rares.

MMORPG_Taera: Diet_Canada :asks: Will promo cards from last lon weekend happen again? i put in 15 hours of farming that weekend and got nada in promo cards.

[SOE]Scarlatch: We are redux-ing (is that a word-ish thing) last weekend's promo drops on EQ this coming weekend, since the actual drops were lighter than we expected. And we'll be looking at increasing the drop rates on future promo weekends, which we're planning for once a month at the moment.

MMORPG_Taera: Corvine :asks: Do you think it would be healthier for the long term health of LoN to not use Loot cards as an incentive to play? Shouldn't the game be able to stand on it's own two feet? Or is the long term plan to continue to introduce more and increasingly powerful loot cards? Do you have any input on this?

[SOE]Scarlatch: As I mentioned earlier, we don't have a lot of input into the actual loot cards themselves - the EQ/EQII teams handle that. They are very sensitive to and champions of making sure things stay balanced, and I think they're doing a good job with it.

[SOE]Scarlatch: In terms of LoN standing on its own, the LoN dev team is actually pretty excited that we've had an opportunity to expose so many new players to this kind of game. A lot of EQ/EQII players seem to like LoN and probably wouldn't have tried it without the hooks going both ways in the respective games.

MMORPG_Taera: Liberi_Fatali :asks: are there any plans to create an extremely good AI w/ a randomized (yet well created) deck to give our own decks a thorough beating before playing them against others? [SOE]Merakon: I just asked our AI guy about that. He's extremely enthusiastic about getting on that! I think he's going to figure out how to create a replicating machine first, to build an army of clockworks who will work around the clock on the AI problem. That way, he can get some sleep.

[SOE]Scarlatch: Heh

[SOE]Acadia: :)

MMORPG_Taera: Thank you for joining MMORPG.com and forthegamers.org for the Legends of Norrath Dev Chat! Round of applause for our guests from Sony Denver - and that's all folks! :)

MMORPG_Taera: Logs will be up asap on MMORPG.com!

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