Jan 262017

I am still basking in the rosy glow of Severlin’s latest DDO Producer Letter.

Normally I graph these things in a variety of ways. I especially like weighted word clouds like the one above, as pretty as they are informative. But something is wrong; the graphing is not working.

Or I should say, it is working, of course it is working, graphs always work. But I don’t think the result is correct. It seems to indicate that Severlin’s letter was mostly about systems work, again, and not so much about content.

The word “New” makes a big appearance, naturally, and “Update” (and it is so refreshing to hear him talking about multiple updates in one letter!). But mainly, the graphing seems to indicate that the letter is about difficulty and reaper and challenge, all of which are systems work, as the letters have all been about for the last two or three years.

Maybe we need to try another tack.

How about if I break the letter into vertical segments by topic and then measure the segments? Like this?


I’ve never heard of vertical pixel count as a metric, but I guess there has to be a first time for everything. This is certainly not 100% scientifically accurate, Severlin could alter it just by double-spacing his signature. But we are not going for 100% balls-on accuracy, we are trying to find generalities, and it should be is an adequate way to discuss the letter content even if only in general.

Except it yields the wrong answer too. Here, look at the pixel counts as percentages:


Still more systems than content.


Maybe they are not going to actually slow the rate of systems delivery. Maybe they can’t – perhaps they have become addicted. That would explain a lot.

But now, rather than systems instead of content, it will be systems in addition to content? At the same time? Both?


Magical computers that double your work effort? Magical days that contain 48 hours? Magical programmers that convert caffeinated beverages and pizza into working software? Wait, scratch that last one, all programmers convert caffeinated beverages and pizza into working software.

The math does not agree with me, but I so want the emphasis to be on content that I am happy to ignore any and all indications to the contrary. And frankly, I don’t care. If they really deliver the 13-20 new quests mentioned in the letter, if they really do that, they can wrap them all in class balancing and new weapons and whatever other systems their little dev hearts desire. I will still be happy.

Content it is, 13-20 quests and at least one raid! Full speed ahead, all power to the engines, make it so!

Content, yummy content.

I can’t wait.

🙂 😀 🙂

  6 Responses to “Producers Letter, Again, Day Two (it is just that good)”

Comments (6)
  1. Geoff? Time for the meds again mate 🙂

  2. Just remember…breathe deeply

  3. Do agree though…moar content!

  4. I would suggest that perhaps they way you’re actually ‘measuring’ may be part of the issue. If you go on strict ‘word count’, it does not surprise me that ‘systems’ are indicated as the bulk of the content. “Systems” would, I think, in general, require ‘more words’ to explain, not to mention how many words does it take to present ‘more content’ w/o details? I think maybe if you focused not on the number of words, sentences, or even paragraphs, but perhaps try counting the different subjects in the letter. Yes, there may be one or two relatively large paragraphs talking about ‘Champions’ and ‘Reaper mode’, but that’s still only (2) subjects. But when you count the ‘new content’ in the small paragraphs of the updates – U34, U35, U36, and U37 or U38 – that’s (4)* different subjects.

    But then, I’ve always felt that sadistics, I mean, statistics, can pretty much be manipulated to express whatever you want them too – it just depends on how you ask the questions or present the data.

    * Since it’s either U37 *OR* U38, that’s only (1) and not (2) separate subjects.

  5. Just going to leave this here:

    I think we’ve talked about the end game content pacing for this year already? But endgame content looks more like this:

    Released with Dragonborn: Raid, 2 dungeons
    Released with Stonelands: Dungeon pack
    Released with Halloween: Festival content
    Released with Ravenloft: 10+ dungeons, 2 raids.

    We would like to actually have the expansion for Halloween and have content later in the year as well, but I don’t know if we can bring enough resources to bear in time for that timetable. That’s what we are discussing now.” -Sev https://www.ddo.com/forums/showthread.php/482803-Third-U34-Lammania-Preview-1-24-17-1-26-17?p=5926413&viewfull=1#post5926413

What do you think?

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