"How many bags could a grab bag grab if a grab bag grabbed grab bags?"
Send us a video (of you) saying the above statement 10 times *perfectly clearly* in 30 seconds or less, for a chance to win a 3 month time code! Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll select our time code winner. Your video will be featured in next week's Grab Bag! Honorable mentions and hilarious failed attempts may also be included, so you won't want to miss it.
Good luck to you, and now - onto the questions! Click the 'More' link to view this week's selection!
Let's start with a note about the patch status and testing: Testing changes of this magnitude internally or with Pendragon test events can never match our observations of these changes in a live environment. Such is the nature of MMORPG development. We’re on day three of Patch 1.115 and the information and feedback we received in these three days has already surpassed the volume of feedback we’ve received over the months, and all four Pendragon versions of 1.115 combined. 1.115 will undergo more changes, and we would like you to be part of those decisions. We’ll have more avenues beyond feedback to speak with you directly, answer your questions, and provide updates.
Q: Hi, Is there any plans in the pipeline to revamp or revist PvE? As a returning player from 6 years ago, it does sadden me to see that PvE has all but died other than farming scales/Glass.
I do like the new Artifact rules, because that doesnt restore some of the PvE content, but i would like to see a little attention on PvE? Thanks
A: Short answer: Yes.
Longer answer: First and foremost - our near future plans are to observe action in New Frontiers, listen to your feedback, and tweak the changes accordingly.
Following this, we’d like to look at what we like to call the ‘top 10%’ of PvE encounters (The most difficult and rewarding encounters in the game – such as ML10, Summoners Hall, Dragons etc..) and update them with new mechanics and new rewards. We have received a good deal of positive feedback about the fully – leveled Artifacts because it makes those encounters worthwhile again. (That great idea, by the way, was submitted by a member of the community!)
We’ve a long list of changes and updates (as well as fine-tuning the updated New Frontiers) – so all of the PvE changes will not appear in one patch. We’ll do our best to make meaningful progress on this front as we move into the next few patch cycles.
Q: right now there is no point in defending the central keeps as you can still port to the new BKs via the portal pad, will there be any incentive to defend?
A: Incentives to defend all keeps and towers, not just the center keep is something we are spending a lot of time looking at right now. We knew going into 1.115 that more would need to be done on the Keep, Tower, and Relic front and so this is not at all unexpected. We have some plans already to give players a reason to defend and take these keeps and towers again. That said, we also want to observe how things go and listen to feedback for other potentially great ideas on this front. At the least, our next update will begin to address this concern.
Q: Can the portal ceremony be changed back into a simple port stone? It is a pain if one of your group misses the port, which is why I believe it was removed in OF.
A: Updates to the Portal Ceremony are currently being discussed. One of the primary objectives in 1.115 was to facilitate faster action, and while a three minute wait on a Portal Ceremony may not seem like much – we understand that it can be very frustrating while in-game, particularly if players are standing by waiting. This feedback is among the strongest we’ve received and it will not be ignored. Players will see requests for feedback on the ways we could possibly change the Portal Ceremony, and we’d like your weigh-in.
Q: Will there be an in game poll to find out with reliability whether or not the player base likes the NNF changes? I feel it would be helpful in shaping future changes, especially if the results were released.
A: Yes, as quickly as we can make it happen. Until we do, as mentioned before, we would like to open up more avenues for communication as we understand that some players do not participate on forums, and are hesitant to leave feedback. We have heard a great deal from the vocal minority – and they’ve been very helpful, but we need to hear from as big a cross section of the player-base as possible. Until we are able to implement an un-obtrusive log-in polling system – we’re going to use all of the other avenues at our disposal including social media, live Q and A’s, Grab Bags, and an AMA.
You will be heard. Count on it.
Q: It would be nice if we could get on a horse when in Shades of Mist Form
A: The increase of mount speed has been a change that people seem to love or hate. One of the reasons the mount speed increase was able to happen was because of the many balancing factors that mounts have. Being unable to dive while mounted, having to stand still to mount, and being unable to use useful shape-shifts all allow the default speed classes to keep their solid place in RvR while at the same time giving players who do not have access to a speed class to still get around quickly. In short, we do not plan on allowing shape-shifts to work when mounted.
Q: I am concerned that since NNF hit there has been little aside from Zerg action on both Alb and Mid. Obviously this is partially down to organization of a counter zerg not being a primary concern in Hibernia, but with the easier access across realm frontier borders I am worried this will become the norm. Would you consider making access to camping Portal keeps in NNF harder?
A: From what we’ve seen portal keep camping has not been a huge problem yet. Yes, it has happened, but it’s largely been a temporary thing because with the Portal Keep getting a constant influx of reinforcements any campers have been quickly overrun. We do realize that it can be annoying when it does happen though, and will be looking at ways to dis-incentivize it.
Q: With the lack of capture-able objectives in NNF there is little to draw certain groups out into RvR. Is there a chance that more towers or keeps without towers (probably ones you could not teleport to) could be added?
A: Towers were removed for a reason. The action in the Frontiers was predictable, stale, and – based on the large volume of feedback – unsatisfying. These reasons were the impetus for a Frontier revamp in the first-place.
That being said – while we’re not going to re-add the towers we’ve removed, we certainly could make the remaining towers more meaningful by increasing their difficulty, defensibility, and making them important to the Realm War beyond simple teleport requirements. Broadsword and the Dark Age of Camelot team has every intention to invest in the success of DAoC. This is phase 1 of a multi-phase update, and there is plenty of room for more exciting features!
Q: Would it be possible to make shards useable in housing zones? They take up a considerable amount of inventory and being able to use them near my house vaults would be a great help to managing them.
A: Not at this time. The way the item is /used currently prevents them being used in the Housing or Capital City zones. This can change with some re-working of the code but unfortunately this is not something high on our priority list at the moment.
Q: Are Legendary weapon updates still on the table for the next patch?
A: As some of you may remember, we’ve talked about updating Legendary Weapons. This is still on the table, and with our new resources - they may get a nice art makeover in addition to the technical updates we’re planning! We'll provide an update during a live Q and A we're planning!
Q: I am greatly concerned at the amount of PvE content that is in the NNF revamp. Is this here to stay as it is detracting from RvR in the RvR zones. If anything could those PvE objectives be moved to a PvE zone? I realize that there is an attempt to get people out into the frontiers to chase Dopplegangers but so far this is taking people away from realm defense or offence rather than promoting RvR.
A: This is another aspect of the updated Frontiers that has been voiced very clearly by players. We have heard this feedback, and are taking it to heart. We certainly don’t want the primary RvR zone to be negatively affected by a higher-than-acceptable PvE element. Expect this to be among the first changes to 1.115.
Q: Since the Picts have left and it is less easy to acquire money that way and during their time live the prices on items have inflated quite significantly on CM items. Would you possibly find some other methods of making money available? The market for player crafted items is only so big and a lot of money can be made through trinketing which is now not keeping up with the prices.
A: While we certainly want players to be able to earn the coin they need to buy or make their templates, help their friends and guilds, and to deck out that Mansion – I think most everybody agrees that the Pict Camps were not a reasonable solution. We have increased the gold rewards for RvR kills, and there still exist a number of quests in the 45-50 range which offer very reasonable coin rewards.
As mentioned before – we intend to shift some of our focus to PvE after some revision and fine-tuning to the New Frontiers. You can expect two things from the updates we make to PvE:
- A satisfying level of difficulty
- Item, Experience, and Coin rewards consistent with the difficulty level
Q: One of the changes to NF is control of the docks at this time the players have no way to know who controls what docks in what realm.. We need to have the docks reflect the realm in control of them on the war maps with the docks changing to the color of the realm in control just like the towers and keeps
A: This is a feature that is currently in the works and being tested. Expect it to be part of our next round of updates to the Frontiers.
Q: I like the portal ceremony idea, but it seems to be a bit long with how the action is flowing. Is it possible to reduce it to maybe 2 minutes?
A: This is an active discussion we are having. While we’ve acknowledged that the wait can be frustrating, one must admit that seeing a big cluster of players popping up at the Portal Keep is really a satisfying thing. It is possible that the timing isn’t right, and while changing it is quite simple – deciding on the right cadence is a bit more challenging. You say two minutes – and that’s a fair request. We’d like to know if other players agree with that time, like it how it is, or have a different preferred interval.
We’ll be reaching out to you with this question, and many more, and we look forward to your response!
Q: I noticed when I was on running through Agramon the Mile Gate Gates can still be hit by pulses and put you in combat. Is that intended?
A: This is something we will look into. It’s not an intended feature and if tested and confirmed, will be hotfixed!
Q: How many shards are there exactly or items I should say with doppelgangers?
A: Currently there are 34 possible items to acquire. As the months pass we’ll be adding in new items to these to keep them as coveted objectives.
Q: With all these new shards, is there a way to make a new command to open up house faults as well as /bank like maybe /housevault or something?
A: Unfortunately, based on how house vaults work - that’s not a possibility. We know there is basically universal request for additional inventory (Hi Larian!) but for the moment, you must make do with your pack, saddlebags, and /bank inventories. We will continue to look into how we might alleviate the inventory issue in future patches.
Q: I would like to know the reasons why?
- Bainshee pulse nerf?
- My realm buffs I paid 32 gold for go away while off-line?
- I can't log off in NNF and stay where I logged off?
- Portal pad just slows down the game?
- The pulsing mechanic of a Bainshee’s pbaoe was enabling the realm of Hibernia to complete certain PvE encounters in a way that went against our vision for the game, specifically that the mechanic allowed for inactive game play too easily. As such, putting a cap on the number of pulses requires Bainshees to be active and recast the spell again when it has run its course.
- We are currently discussing a possible dynamic change for purchased NPC buffs, but taken as a whole - this change was added as a benefit to players who log out after having used spells and abilities with relatively long re-use timers. We would like for players to be able to log-in (later on, or the next day) to find that all of their timered buffs/spells/abilities ready to go!
- With the patch, we introduced a change that no longer allows players to log out inside keeps or towers and then log back in when they are under attack. Players that do so are now teleported back to the Relic Town. We felt this went against the spirit of the game. However, there is a known issue where players that log out or go LD at the portal keeps are still being teleported back to the Relic Town sometimes. We will have this fixed in our next update.
- As mentioned before – the waves of players entering the Portal Keeps make for an interesting dynamic, but we are currently discussing how the cadence may be reduced to allow for slightly faster return-to-action.
Q: With a few good placed ST's the guards at Berk can be stopped from intercepting enemy forces at the front door of the keep. The guards have a hard time taking out the ST's. Is this working as designed or is this a bug?
A: If you mean CTs – Crystal Titans - this is something we can address. The area immediately surrounding the Portal Keeps should be considered as safe as any area in the Frontiers can be. Keep an eye on the Herald for hotfix notes!
Crystal Titan Grows!
Q: Given the state of the game, the recent patch, player base etc...how would you describe the game to someone who has no idea what it is. What are the end game objectives? What is the 'final goal'? How would you market it other than the "it's the best PvP ever" that has been used in the past?
A: Well – that would all depend on my audience. If we were speaking at a convention, or to a focus group, we’d go with what’s up on our website – but we don’t think that’s what you’re asking. If we were trying to get a friend or experienced gamer interested in the game – we’d say:
Dark Age of Camelot is a wonderful, unique MMO developed by industry pioneers who understood what was missing in MMOs on the market at the time of its release. For a 12 year old game, it holds up incredibly well and has at its heart the right mix of lore, community, challenge, and reward. While it can be said that the game may not be appealing to everybody – we believe that Dark Age of Camelot players are a special breed who welcome a good challenge, expect more from their game and its developers, and will settle for nothing less than best-in-class PvP.
There’s something for everyone, no matter what your play-style, and to truly experience the joy and satisfaction our advice would be to connect with your realm, its lore, and the community of players, in-game and out. Tap into that part of you that wants to be a part of something bigger.
Newer MMOs have tried desperately to combine the same ingredients to reproduce the magic of DAoC, but it cannot be done. It is, to many of us, the finest MMO ever created and it’s not too late to be a part of that magic. The family of Dark Age of Camelot players will always be connected, active or otherwise. It is quite simply more than a game. It’s an institution.
Thank you for the excellent questions, and special thanks to our friends at www.postcount.net for helping to gather questions and feedback.
We look forward to communication over the next few weeks while we iron out the wrinkles in patch 1.115. We sincerely appreciate the time, effort, and energy spent helping us test and revise this next stage in the evolution of the Frontiers.
Until next time, friends - be well and we'll see you in the Frontiers!!