I take my eyes off the forums for a moment and look what happens – a new Producers Letter! A thing as welcome as it is overdue!
Excitement builds as I click the link to see what is inside … shall we look together?
As we kick off summer, many things are going on behind the scenes in Dungeons and Dragons Online, and I wanted to talk about some of the fun things coming up for the game.
We have been doing a lot to combat lag in the game, and though we have improved the experience we have work to do. We are still looking into long lag spikes which we need to solve, and we are also working on some fixes for stacking effects that could be causing individual characters and the party they are traveling with to lag. Our investigations into server performance continue and this is our number one priority.
Well then right to it! This is the first Producer Letter I can recall without a congratulatory preamble explaining just how awesome things have been since the previous letter.
And lag should be priority number one. No, that’s not right, since it has been two or three months since the fateful server move, the lag should be conquered. But as long as it is not, it should definitely be the one thing that concerns everyone the most.
The next thing I wanted to talk about is some upcoming content; we are currently working on bringing you a new classic module experience! We are hard at work on our adaptation of Assault on the Slave Lords, originally presented in the A1 to A3 series of modules. We remember playing through the Slavers series fondly, and we want to bring these modules to life for our players with some of our own twists and turns. The dungeons will be offered at level 8 on Heroic, and will also have a CR 32 Legendary version as well.
I do not recall Assault on the Slave Lords, somehow missed that series back in the day. A quick bit of research indicates it could be a fun series of quests, where maybe we will get some new insectoid monsters?
In a later response to questions, Severlin confirms that Assault on the Slave Lords was not the original choice to be the next classic D&D dungeon. It was supposed to be something more halloween-y. But “some resource shuffling and we had to push out our original plans a bit“.
As you probably know, we have already begun discussing the update to Cannith Crafting. Ever since we updated random loot players have been asking for an update to this crafting system, and the project is in full swing. It is a big system that will provide a good way to fill in gear holes as you level.
Players have asked about class passes, and the next two classes to be looked at will likely be Monk and Favored Soul. We are currently looking into the core code behind unarmed attacks and hand wraps to see if that needs to be revamped. We are also looking into giving Favored Soul its third tree. Both are big tasks, but we wanted players to know these are the next classes we are looking at once we are past Cannith Crafting.
We’d also like to offer the players another open enhancement tree (like Harper) at some point to open up more build options, and we are looking to see where that might fit in.
I don’t think these are really class passes. Fighter did not get a “class pass”, fighter got a modified Kensai tree. So I am assuming, by “Monk class pass” they only mean they are going to do something with handwraps, and by “Favored Soul class plass” they only mean the new tree.
Which is not bad. Handwraps have been borked forever. And Favored Souls are kind of dusty and hard to play right now.
We were fairly happy with the Night Revels festival in the fall last year, and this year we will be looking to add more haunted dungeons a maybe some other surprises. The festival was fairly popular so we’d like to expand on it a bit. We would also like to revamp the rewards for the mimic festival and bring that back; maybe with rewards, based on player feedback, that are less random.
Yay for festivals! I saw Cordovan talking about the difficulty that would be involved in bringing back the Mimic festival and it confused me. Frankly, it still does. This is a very recent festival, constructed entirely by the current dev team. No archaic code, no old hidden bugs, just sparkling new(ish) code, yet already confined to the “to difficult to reuse” dustbin? I am pleased to see it pulled out of said dustbin and placed in the queue for reappearance.
Yay for festivals!
Another system we want to tackle is the augment system. Players have been asking for new augments, but the current incarnation of augments are created by hand as crafting interactions. We will be looking into the feasibility of moving existing and future augments into a new system that will work like the slotting system that our Legendary Greensteel crafting system uses. The technical complexity comes with how we will allow players to convert existing items to use new augments. If we can tackle these problems, then we can do some interesting things with augment slots and more regularly include augments as part of our ongoing loot.
I am sure this is exciting to the programmers, but it isn’t doing anything for me. I mean, I like augments, and I like the idea of them appearing in chests and so forth, but … this is also a new(ish) system and it is annoying to me to see that they are already having to refactor it before they can use it.
The far future has a lot of promise, and looking past the end of the year we would definitely like to bring Tiefling and Aasimar to our players at some point. Tiefling in particular is a popular race for Dungeons and Dragons and we would like you to have those races as options for your characters. We will need to determine whether we plan on including tails on Tieflings, and how the horns of the race will interact with helmets. Both of these are interesting problems to tackle and we have already had some discussion about them even though these races would be fairly far into the future.
We just wanted to talk about the long term plans we will be looking into, and we wanted to say thanks for joining us in game.
So … some good, some meh, some bad. Just like every other Producer Letter. Am I a little dismayed that they are once again talking about way more systems work than they are content? Hell yes I am. Very dismayed.
But – and this is an important but – but they are still talking. About work. In DDO. Stretching into at least next year.
And that is the best part of all.
🙂 😀 🙂