Friday, June 29, 2012

Annual Survey results and June Development Letter

Well if this ain't just an interesting set of results. First and foremost, you can read the full breakdown HERE . I won't regurgitate the results for you. I will let you as the reader interpret the results. Instead, I will offer my opinions on where I think the game is going.

PvE: We will probably see more solo instances and dynamic solo instances being rolled out in the coming year. This isn't a bad deal. It offers interesting things to do for players who enjoy solo content. More 6 mans and 6 man hard modes will additionally be rolled out. We may see less and less of the full on raid content. This will of course allow smaller guilds to see more action together with comparable rewards for their efforts. I don't see this as a bad deal, though I enjoy the big raids personally. There are plenty of main line raids at this point and really some of the epic gear being dropped from the 6 mans is comparable to a lot of the T2 gear, possibly T3.

The big revamp seems to be Onyx Chamber, with Sanctum and Black Rock Castle being 2nd and third.

What bothers me is the results for crafting. Especially since they have put such a huge focus on the crafting revamp for late this summer or early fall. I hope they still maintain a focus on it. If they half step, it really will be kinda a let down to me as I have been looking forward to the crafting revamp for quite some time. It is my hope they don't completely drop the ball on this.

Small things like player housing etc seem to have been low on the priority listing of the dedicated player base that answered the survey. Again, my own opinion is that player housing is a cool thing for the Immersion player/ RP play style.

Guild related stuff is also taking a backseat. I dunno about this, I think it is important to bring guild members together that allow everyone from different levels to participate in activities.

Class Balance: Well, HoX and Conq still rates last on the list for balance with other classes. Hopefully the dev's will rework the class to make it more viable and flexible. I'm a fan of the conq class. I hope they do more for the class a whole.

PvP: Mini games seem to still rate high on the list. I don't understand this as it's very rare for mini games to even pop. I don't think more of them will solve the issues of pvp content. As a matter of fact, I think it will be wasted resources. Interestingly, this is not at all what is reflected by the forums. Now, I grant, those posting there seem to be a very small but very vocal community, as is their right. What I gather from this is that the majority are probably PvE orientated players that want to see more minis pop. I don't think they understand that just because you have more fields, doesn't mean you will have more people participate. Sieges, which I thought would figure huge, seems to not play first fiddle here. There was a big indication that if the number of players were capped lower that more would participate. That is a possible fix, especially since the population of PvPers has dropped significantly over the past 3 years.

In a nutshell, what we see on the forums is largely different from what we see on this survey. Many are already calling the survey skewed but without us seeing the raw data, there is no way to judge it. We only get the final results. I have no way to judge the facts except what we see by the results. I will say I did take the full survey myself. For the record I personally voted for more open world pvp objectives, less minis, fix sieges, player housing, more dynamic solo instances, more 6 mans, revamp of crafting, and a strengthening of the Conq class over all.

Now, it appears their team will take the summer off, so I am wondering when the crafting revamp will be released. I don't expect to see another Adventure pack to open till close to December. While it seems a noble statement that they will take more time with AoC once the release of TSW is finished, I doubt it. On the technical end, I guarantee that they will need a ton of code support to deal with the inevitable bugs that will drop once the game goes live. Don't expect the support that they seem to project, that's just simple business and not them being callous.

Anyways, those are my thoughts on the whole subject. I am betting the forums to light up in a chaotic blaze any second now. Oh, for the next Xpac, check this image out:

 Now, I'm thinking we are heading back down to Stygia. Three Temples with a Eye of Set seems pretty obvious. The artwork kinda looks a little Mezo American which I thought interesting. But I'm guessing back to old Stygia. I never was fond of that sand blasted area, but it may prove to be interesting for awhile.

As an update, just got done with a quick tweet with Mr Morrison:

also is there a projected date before fall for revamp of crafting/sprint mechanic?
In terms of sprint that will depend on testing. Not going to rush it out. Crafting is still in progress

 That at least tells me crafting is a priority AND they are being smart about the sprint mechanic, not rushing it's release before more testing is facilitated. I'm ok with this.

Well, that's it for now. Guess the future will hold a lot of changes for us. Here is to drinking with fine friends, fighting and spilling blood of our enemies and having every bit of a righteous time as we can in Hyboria!

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