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Pirates of the Burning Sea HoC Devchat Log Posted!

  • Thread starter Dor of Sonoma
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Dor of Sonoma

The Stratics' IRC Pirates of the Burning Sea House of Commons Devchat was fun as well as informative tonight, as per usual! The Flying Lab Software guests in attendance for this House of Commons included CEO Russell "Rusty" Williams, Producer Michelle "Misha" Williams, Lead Designer Kevin "isildur" Maginn, Game Designer David "Taelorn" Hunt, Director of Community Relations Troy "Aether" Hewitt, Community Specialist Tom "Rhaegar" Atkinson-Edwards, and Community Intern David "Daeke" Bass. They covered a variety of topics (including new avatar combat, anticipated epic missions, the Hercules graphic, hints of impending Privateer goodness, and more) and the time flew by swiftly.

Huge thanks to everyone whom participated, for a most enjoyable eve! :)

To read the entire transcript, pray visit this link.

Dor of Sonoma

For those of you whom may be hyperlink-impaired, herewith the first portion of tonight's House of Commons chat (it's too lengthy to post in its entirety):
Due to connection difficulties, the start time for the House of Commons devchat was slightly (and unavoidably) delayed. The FLS devs were great sports however, and managed to entertain while waiting to begin :)
Gallahan: We'll be starting in a moment. Thanks guys :)
* [FLS]isildur is ungagged!
[FLS]Aether: There we go :)
[FLS]isildur: I was afraid I wasn't going to get to share my many jewels of wisdom and wit with you all.
[FLS]Misha: I was afraid of that too
[FLS]Daeke: What is the secret to a delicious pizza, isildur?
[QT]beans: bacon
[FLS]isildur: Butter or other oil on the crust. Otherwise you get dry crust. Assuming, of course, you're making your pizza from scratch, which you probably should do at least once in your life.
[FLS]isildur: go on, ask me a hard one
[FLS]Daeke: 4+3?
[FLS]Taelorn: 64!
[FLS]isildur: That's why he's in charge of numerical tuning
[FLS]isildur: it's the 'creative math' we really value.
[FLS]Taelorn: I just took the exponent.
[FLS]Taelorn: I thought, "4+3 is boring. How can we make it AWESOME? Make it 4^3. Cubed = awesome."
[FLS]Aether: You just blew my mind.
[FLS]isildur: I have so many input channels open right now. I feel flooded with information. If I start babbling about political futures trading or Scott Jennings' recent interview, that's why.

[QT]beans: Please feel free to send your questions to me while we set up for the House of Commons. Once the HoC begins I'll present the questions for consideration to the devs
Gallahan: Welome to the the Pirates of the Burning Sea House of Commons! In order to ask a question /msg [QT]Beans followed by the question. Questions sent to myself or to the developers will be ignored. A log of this chat will be posted to http://potbs.stratics.com after it has concluded. Thanks!

[FLS]Aether: Thanks for joining us today folks, we look forward to answering your questions.
[FLS]Aether: To begin, I’d like to introduce our CEO and FLS Spokesmodel, Rusty Williams.
[FLS]Rusty: Hi everyone! Happy to be here!
[FLS]Aether: Next up, our esteemed Producer and the glue that keeps this whole Pirates thing together, Misha Williams.
[FLS]Misha: :)
[FLS]Misha: wave
[FLS]Aether: We’ve also got representatives from DesignCo with us today, Kevin "Garden Gnome" Maginn, and David "Prepare to be assimilated" Hunt.
[FLS]Aether: Or Isildur and Taelorn, respectively.
* [FLS]Rhaegar loads the forum user rename tool
[FLS]isildur: Watch your mouth, buddy, or I'll come to your office and burp on you.
[FLS]Aether: He will too.
[FLS]Aether: Also on hand, members of your Pirates of the Burning Sea Community Team, Rhaegar and myself, Aether-pot-pie.
[FLS]Aether: Now let's start taking your questions!

Gallahan: *ArmEagle* So you're working on the new avatar combat system. Is there anything you can tell us about it yet?
[FLS]isildur: I can't go into a huge amount of detail, but there are definitely a few things I can talk about.
[FLS]isildur: First, it is made of 93% pure awesome, and 7% inactive ingredients.
[FLS]isildur: What I mean by that is: my focus in the revision is on making the moment-to-moment gameplay experience as fun as possible at all times.
[FLS]isildur: We're doing a lot of internal testing, and the combat looks better, sounds better, feels better, and plays better. It's more intuitive -- a much shallower learning curve -- and doesn't penalize you quite as harshly for not knowing the system inside out.
[FLS]isildur: At the same time, I'm building a lot more clear tactical options into the system, so while it's going to be easy to get started, it's going to reward a lot of careful thought and planning.
[FLS]isildur: Right now, I'm pretty happy with the progress we've made, and I suspect you will be too.
[FLS]isildur: Alas, I can't give you a specific timeline yet; a lot depends on internal and external testing, and the kind of feedback we get from that. In about 30 minutes I'm running off to a meeting about this very topic, in fact. :)

Gallahan: *jl* Any chance on finally getting a unique herc graphic complete? it was supposed to be in for 1.6... (not to mention, other unique ship models...). ,
[FLS]Taelorn: The Hercules model is a User Content project, which means it isn't subject to the typical schedule constraints. The model has been very close to complete for months, but that doesn't always translate to "ready to go live now."
[FLS]Taelorn: As of this week, the model is at the end of the review process and looks like it'll get approved.
[FLS]Taelorn: After that, there's a little more work left to get the model properly functioning in game, with additional LODs.

Gallahan: *TomSavage* Ok, sensible question, out of all the things that have been implemented in game, which one is the most dissappointing to how it ended up turning out in live? Oh and if you could improve it, how would you like to?
[FLS]isildur: Hrm. That's a tough one, and while I might answer this differently given some time to really think hard about it, I'm going to go with avatar combat.
[FLS]isildur: That's a little disingenuous though, because I knew it was going to be the weakest of our systems when we released it. I felt like it was an okay system, but really demanded a lot more polish and tuning than we were able to get it. And 'disappointed' implies that I wasn't expecting that.
[FLS]isildur: What I'm doing at this point is basically the same process we went through for ship combat -- taking the basic elements of the system, and stripping away a lot of the fluff and cruft, and really refining the core of it.
[FLS]isildur: I have a lot of other minor gripes about other areas of the game that I'm hoping we revisit sooner rather than later, but I'm kind of monomaniacal right now on this particular topic. :)

Gallahan: *Sprak* My question is: are there going to be any changes to how leveling is done? The quests are very repetitive, and killing NPCs on the sea is boring and repetitive
[FLS]Rusty: We have some plans for alternative advancement, but to answer your primary question, yes we're making changes.
[FLS]Rusty: The idea for release is that we were going for quantity. To hit that number :)1,000) we used a parameterized system to create the quests.
[FLS]Rusty: That gave us a lot of very cool quests, and they were very different. The problem is that that with an instanced world, you see the set up happening and you recognize which of X number encounters it is very quickly.
[FLS]Rusty: What we've done since launch is to scrap that system and start building out all new quests by hand.
[FLS]Rusty: That lets us customize them much more. We'll still have the parameterized quests, but as new quests make it into the system, they'll feel less repetetive as you hit more unique ones.
[FLS]Rusty: Also, we haven't been able to change the land combat quests at all, becuase we knew we were redoing avatar combat.
[FLS]Rusty: AS part of that, we have to go back in and rebalance every single one of those quests. The good news is that once we're done, the new system makes balancing/tuning much easier, which will let us generate
* [FLS]isildur has held everything up but is unrepentant!
[FLS]Rusty: more quests much more quickly.
[FLS]Rusty: To summarize, blame Isildur.
[FLS]Aether: In all things.
[FLS]Misha: It's what we like to do
[FLS]isildur: It will all have been worth it, I assure you.

Gallahan: *LoJo* I absolutly love Fortela da Luz, the whole look and feel, and the teamwork involved with completing it. I have finished the mission 50 times or more but it would be great to have some more choices to go to. Are there plans for more of these epic missions any time soon?
[FLS]Rusty: Me again!
[FLS]Aether: See? Spokesmodel.
[FLS]Rusty: Yes, but they're gated on the new avatar combat, as you might expect. But again, with the new system, what would normally take us an entire milestone to generate will take only a couple of weeks, so we'll be able to churn out more epic missions much more quickly.
[FLS]Rusty: Oh, and we should have new art coming in with the avatar combat revamp, unless I can convince them to use it sooner.
[FLS]Rusty: More jungles!!!
For the remainder, please refer to this link. Thanks! :)