Producer Glin, taken while I was still able to use a camera
So there I was, Friday night at the DDO get-together, still (mostly) sober with Producer Glin cornered on a high bar stool with no escape. It was too juicy an opportunity to pass up.
Fortunately, Glin seems to be a friendly and patient sort and stayed cheerful throughout my random interrogation. Unfortunately I am no reporter, took no notes, and was drinking hand-over-fist the entire evening.
As a result, I can’t tell you everything Glin said. I want to, really I do, but instead here are my very best clouded impressions and muddled remembrances. My intentions are good! My memory, not so much.
Maybe Glin will stop by and correct whatever I am about to say wrong.
Here we go, in random order:
Glin never came out and said that gnomes were a dead issue. He never even implied it. But still, I brought them up in a couple different ways, there were lots of opportunities for Glin to talk about them, or at least to keep the hope alive, but no. Instead we talked about the difficulty in getting serious programming work done in a six-year old game. Which reminds me of another topic:
On DDO II
I am not certain I ever directly asked Glin about the possibility of a DDO II. I meant to ask, and I do remember some leading questions that were supposed to end with a DDO II discussion but I can’t recall if we ever got there.
I do know we talked about upgrading the existing DDO engine – very expensive, all of the art is inextricably bound to the existing engine and would require redo.
And we talked about other games that underwent a reboot but did not do well, specifically, Asheron’s Call II. Glin felt that ACII failed because of the way the reboot was done, rather than the fact of the reboot itself. The implication was certainly there, to me at least, that a properly done reboot could work, and work well.
I planned to cleverly work up from ACII to Everquest II to DDO II but then beer happened.
On Star Wars the Old Republic
Glin believes the subscription model is done, and claims this gave him foreknowledge of Star War’s premature demise months before it was ever released. It was doomed by it’s model. Plus it had problems with the end game, e.g. there really wasn’t one.
On Joining Warner Brothers
The WB has brought all kinds of resources to DDO that would never have been available otherwise. For example, consider voice talent. It is not a coincidence that the quality of the voice overs has been on the rise. Before WB, Turbine had to scramble for local talent, sometimes it worked well but it was always uneven. Now they get the best in the business.
Glin, and everyone else, was surprised to learn that most of the European players on Wayfinder preferred playing with their friends and guildmates on other servers; the German-language server was not as appealing as expected. On the plus side, if you want to play lag-free, go to Wayfinder.
Besides, Glin went on, DDO is not really Germany’s thing. LotRO is. Lord of the Rings Online is huge in Germany. It is like the David Hasselfhoff of MMOs (did I mention that Glin is funny?).
On Menace of the Underdark
A big success from the player’s point of view, I asked if Turbine and WB viewed the expansion pack the same way. “It depends”, he responded, “if you look at it as money spent versus income this year, no”. But that is not the only way to look at it: “if you consider how long it will be bringing in income, amortizing the expense for two or three years makes it a huge success”
Note how I used quotes to make the above seem like something Glin actually said. But I think I am pretty close; he definitely said something along those lines.
On the “Fremium” Model
Glin believes that DDO was the first game to offer Free-To-Play AND a subscription model at the same time. Or at least, that DDO was the first game to do so successfully.
He gives most of the credit for developing the Fremium model to Fernando and Kate Paiz, but admits that he was on the team and involved too (although I had to press him a little and he still would not take any credit).
The success of F2P DDO has been a big career boost for all three of them. Leading to:
On Fernando and the Face of DDO
Fernando and Kate are moving on to bigger things. I got no clue as to what, just that they are reaping the benefits of F2P’s success. Implying that this change is for the better.
Glin is getting a bump too. He is moving more and more into becoming the public face of DDO, a role that was formerly held by Fernando. It is probably not coincidence that Glin was hosting all of the media interviews and walkthroughs at the DDO booth (including at least one sage scribe who wanted to know when DDO was planning to go live).
On Aasemah Screven
Glin claims no knowledge of the uncanny resemblance between Fernando Paiz and Meridia NPC Aaseamah Screven. Yet he has never seen them both in the same room. I wonder what he is hiding?
On Being Erik
Producer Glin, who is really “Erik”, is relentlessly upbeat about DDO. He is intelligent and articulate and enthusiastic. Samius described him as someone so interesting that he would talk to him even if he didn’t work for Turbine. He is also either (1) an amazing actor or (2) genuinely happy about his DDO role and the game in general.
I think it is (2). Plus he used to do sound work with Sublime. I forgot most of what he said after that as I exploded into a useless cloud of drunken fanboi ramblings.