Apr 082016

Stateless Of The Game
Normally, we get a producer letter about once a year. An annual “State of the Game” address. Sometimes we’d get slightly more, as in those years where we had more than one producer.

But setting aside introductions, we’d get one big producer letter every year. Generally the letter talks about how awesome the previous year was, and how many things were accomplished, and then give us information about the upcoming year.

Not very informative information, but still, stuff that we can parse and dissect and try to decode so we have some idea what to expect. Not always to useful end;  sometimes the game undergoes a direction change and things that were mentioned in the letter are never actually pursued.

[Cough][cough]desert of Anauroch[cough][cough]

Severlin changed all that. First, he stopped being all coy and hinty and  started just telling us what was coming. A nice change!

Then, he stopped telling us a year in advance and started a new path of giving us much smaller letters that cover only the next quarter. A not-so-nice change.

Then, he stopped doing that too.

Or maybe he is just a little late. Or maybe I am just a little anxious. But for whatever reason, we are now into entirely unprecedented territory where we have no idea what is coming, in what order, or when, or really, anything.

No idea.

The game is stateless. Update 31? 32? 33? Will these even exist?

I vaguely remember something about another classic D&D module being done up as DDO content. But I don’t remember why I know this, and I can’t even find a source to link that mentions it.

Between twitch sessions and videos and facebook and twitter and DDOCast and the chat channel there are a lot of ways to learn what Turbine is planning for the game. Too many to consume them all.

Way too many.

Bring back our producer letter!

🙂 😀 🙂


  10 Responses to “Stateless Of The Game”

Comments (10)
  1. I think it’s fair to assume that the data center lag issues are at the top of Severlin’s list of things to do right now. I played on Wayfinder last night and the lag there is tragic. On Argonnessen, a little later, I soloed a quest with my rogue with no lag but then that’s solo and after peak time. I’ll take a look at it again tonight, but Argonessen (and, I assume, Sarlona) are actively being worked on (as related by Cordovan in forums) and there appears to be improvements. Dev engagement on forums and elsewhere (i.e. Cordovan) is the best news right now because players were and are frustrated with the lag.

    As for retro content, White Plume Mountain anyone? S1 – S4 modules?

    I haven’t heard anything, either, but if it were me running things at DDO right now, I’d probably focus new content releases in Fall 2016 at this point. Game play issues crushed my dreams of seeing new early 2016 content. I just want to be able to hop onto any server, anytime, and play again. I want to be able to raid and party and see servers crowded with happy players.

  2. I liked the cut of Severlin’s jib right from the word go. If there’s any reason for the lack of communication I’d suspect no small part is down to the negativity and downright abuse from a minority of clowns on the main forums with an over-developed sense of entitlement. All of the goodwill that Severlin brought to the community has been gradually chipped away, which is unfortunate as the majority of people want the same things – more content, more storylines and a tighter overall game experience.

    Now having said that, I’m not saying that Turbine have handled recent developments in the best way possible. Introducing too many changes at once – let’s take random loot, Legendary content and the level cap increase as examples – without going back and refining some of the older items or completing things like the enhancement pass hasn’t helped. The whole lag debacle despite the blatant and obvious lessons not being learned from the exact same datacenter migration with LOTRO beggars belief.

    What the game needs is a steady hand at the tiller. A storyline roadmap showing where our next adventures are going to be. A clearly defined update path, of say 2 updates per year with teaser trailers of what’s coming will keep people on board. Give Jerry more leeway to talk about the reality of games development. Give us a dev preview of some of the Anauroch resources that were created – we know they’re not finished and won’t be any time soon, but let us see what people have worked on. During the anniversary interviews with past devs we were teased with some details of The Pit originally being much larger and more deadly – what other resources are tucked away from the days when there was a much bigger dev pool that can be added, not as the focus for an update, but just as bonus extras.

    I would give the devs a huge amount of slack if there was an announcement that we were getting a UI refresh – a fully detailed character sheet, spell and SLA tooltips that are consistently detailed with accurate DC and damage information. These are things that we need to take the game forward for the next 10 years.

    I think Severlin is the right person to take things forward. I’d rather he learns from whatever mistakes have been made and puts things right. We don’t need a tearful mea culpa to the masses. Just start laying things out as they should be and ignore the detractors on the main forums who exist only to whine.

  3. Well the next letter will probably be the one that tells everyone that we’re going to maintenance mode.

  4. Reasons to make just a small (tweet size) producer letter:

    – Make suspense. I don´t like it but others might, is a possibility.
    – They have nothing really planned at the time of the letter. I´m Uruguayan and is part culture (more like my civic duty) left everything for the last moment. Maybe they are still in the “drawing board”.
    – We’re going to maintenance mode. I have dream that announcement a hundred times and one day will become true…

    I don´t know what will happen and i don´t think we can change it for good or bad.
    I see you in the game guys and girls.

  5. Update 31 is coming soon and I would assume that it is set in the Forgotten Realms as this area has been neglected recently. Update 31 will also bring Umber Hulks to DDO. There should be an Update 32 and 33 this year but no more than that. The next classic module will be released around October and be Halloween themed in some way. That is all I know.

  6. I’m pretty sure the DDO staff is relatively small but nevertheless they could use consistent, organized communication. They lean heavily on Cordovan, and while he is the community manager, he shouldn’t be the overwhelming voice in all things. I’m sure the message doesn’t flow from him alone but still. I would like to see more consistent communication and engagement with audience especially during difficult times. Stay on point. Don’t say you want to provide quarterly updates and leave the time frame vague, then not even follow up with a single update since making the claim for instance.
    Also, while players have been claiming doom since 2007, with all the current problems and very real concerns now about maintenance mode, license renewal, etc. they really should address that.

  7. EP Severlin talked about the “classic dungeon” In the interview I did with him back in November – http://ddoplayers.com/2015/11/21/ddo-players-news-special-4-a-chat-with-executive-producer-severlin/ YouTube version is about 1 min and the Audio version is about 1:23ish..

    and I do know that Cordovan has stated that EP Letter will be end Late April or Early May.. so maybe we don’t have too much longer to wait…

  8. Slow news day.

  9. Let it be known that even if the unthinkable happens, I will still be lurking on this site like the lowly kobold, telling my stories to anyone who will listen.

What do you think?

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