Portal:News/IRC Transcripts/24 September 2010

From Telarapedia
Jump to: navigation, search

24 September 2010 Developer IRC with Will Cook, Andrew Krausnick, and Larry Boles, focusing on the Rift events and invasions.


  • Abigale: Got a little surprise for you, if you already haven't guessed. We have 3 devs here today. :)
  • Abigale: I think it's pretty cool. I had arranged for Will to be here and the other guys just really wanted to join in. I told you this team loves community :)
  • Abigale: Ok, folks, it's just about time to get started :)
  • Abigale: Welcome our Rift team :)
  • Will Cook: Hey there everyone
  • Larry Boles: Hey gang
  • Andrew Krausnick: hello hello



  • Will Cook: I am the team lead, so I oversee the feature design and event creation of our dynamic content
  • Will Cook: Andrew and Larry are the pod members who make my life much easier
  • Will Cook: the rest of the team is hard at work, but glancing over our shoulders at the chat and shouting out answers



  • Larry Boles: Thanks Will, as for me I work on the Rift events, monsters, and their abilities while dabbling with other tasks on the side.
  • Andrew Krausnick: And as the systems designer on the rift events team I handle systems like contribution/rewards as well as continued development on rifts and invasions.



  • Start asks: Hi, I have a quick question for you if you don't mind. Okay so, we know that if two rifts becomes foothold and are of different types they will attack each other. However, if they were to be of the same type what would happen? would they join forces and just attack players/towns and whatnot?
  • Will Cook: So a quick clarification on how the system works
  • Will Cook: Invasions can come directly from rifts or from footholds
  • Will Cook: So rifts are sort of the open faucet, and invasions venture out into the world in order to create satellite areas from which more invasions can spawn
  • Will Cook: tears>>rift>>invasions>>footholds>>invasions&other nastiness
  • Andrew Krausnick: also about the second part of the question - rift invasions of the same type will assist each other if they're in the same area, so if they're both attempting to take over the same location they'll definitely work together to do so
  • Will Cook: and of course attack each other if not from the same plane



  • Chronibis asks: how will some of the bigger rifts(raid needed) work as far as storytelling and keeping the lore involved?
  • Will Cook: Awesomely.
  • Larry Boles: We are working with our lore team on making sure that each rift event ties in with the zones various stories. The raid events will be a great oppertunity to tie in some loose ends from the zone, or multiple zones, story lines with the extraplanar threat.



  • Arithion asks: In regards to the 20 man raid forces. Will there be Raid sized Rifts and Invasion - and if so how will these operate. Will they simply appear and be a raid Area until it's cleared or will you know when they're a tear if they're Raid sized?
  • Andrew Krausnick: as you might assume from us answering the previous question: the answer at least to 'raid rifts' is: YES
  • Andrew Krausnick: we're actually developing a lot of this functionality right now, so I don't have specifics: but philosophically we want them to be both rifts and raids, we want there to be the sense of social gameplay and 'jump in and play' while also having the level of challenge and coordination you'd expect from a raid encounter



  • WarpCode asks: Since the rifts are dynamic and can spawn anywhere, are there mechanics in place to prevent multiple rifts from opening up on top of each other?
  • Will Cook: yes.



  • Ancient asks: How is the dynamic content contained in zones that are less populated ( high end zones at release ) Are they population based?
  • Will Cook: We use coordinators that measure activity throughout the game world so that we can make sure to increase or decrease the frequency of events
  • Will Cook: based on not only populations, but also player activity (are they bothering to participate in dynamic content today?).



  • Ancient asks: When will we beginning to see the other rift types
  • Larry Boles: We're already working on them! So far you've seen rifts in their most basic form. Soon we will have events where you can have defense objectives and deadly lasers chase you around!



  • eqisow asks: To what extent will planar invasions be allowed? Will there be automatic checks, or must they be kept in control by players?
  • Andrew Krausnick: At this point it's all players
  • Andrew Krausnick: it's important to us that players are in control of freeing their world from the planar menace
  • Andrew Krausnick: there are ways to get NPC assistance, but it comes down to the players



  • Ciovala asks: Any plans to use the Rift and invasions 'system' for other types of events? Is it extensible in a way that allows you to do so?
  • Larry Boles: The system will work not just Rifts. We can use the tech for all sorts of dynamic content.



  • Arithion asks: Are Rifts and invasions going to provide viable items as a reward and so enable characters to outfit themselves not necessarily just through quests?
  • Andrew Krausnick: absolutely
  • Andrew Krausnick: they are a source of equipment so if a player loooves rifts and just wants to play rift content they won't fall behind
  • Andrew Krausnick: (although we do encourage and support all types of content, and you'll get better overall gear by taking part in all content)



  • Molochai asks: How will balancing work on multiple rifts from the same plane? Obviously, if you have 2 of opposing types, you'll have slightly less to deal with if you attack one foothold as, I assume, the opposing rift type will kind of "help out". Two of the same plane will team up and change that balance slightly.
  • Will Cook: Dynamic content is dynamic after all
  • Will Cook: We have done a lot of work to make invasions work for the solo experience as well as group play
  • Will Cook: obviously, seeing 4 like-minded invasions on your map is a group-oriented experience
  • Will Cook: but that sort of craziness makes for the best water cooler moments



  • Unforgiven asks: Can you please explain how contribution will work in the dynamic events? Thx :)
  • Andrew Krausnick: contribution is actually pretty complex since there are many factors to deal with in a system like this, but I'll try to answer as simply as possible:
  • Andrew Krausnick: players earn 'effort' by using abilities that help defeat the rift (or invasion or foothold)
  • Andrew Krausnick: the more effort you put forth, the more contribution you earn
  • Andrew Krausnick: as you earn contribution you move up 'ranks' which will give you better and better rewards at the end of the event
  • Will Cook: It's pretty clever overall
  • Will Cook: competitive and inclusive



  • Draegan asks: On Invasions: It's been mentioned that when two different planes come near each other they will often fight each other. When three come together, how do you determine who fights who? Or is a free for all?
  • Larry Boles: All of the planes are out for themselves so if multiple invasions come together only two words will suffice: Battle Royale!
  • Andrew Krausnick: also, this is a good time to use AEs and rack up some sweet loot



  • Ciovala asks: Do Rifts spawn in set locations and do invasions follow any predefined sets of paths?
  • Will Cook: So, not to look too much behind the curtain
  • Will Cook: but, we have a placematting and highway system that is pretty sweet
  • Will Cook: we can run events off of a more handcrafted placemat
  • Will Cook: or even off a single reference point
  • Will Cook: depends on how "sticky" the area is (a lot of rocks in the way?)
  • Will Cook: the highway system is for dynamic events that travel
  • Will Cook: like invasions
  • Will Cook: it's their preferred way of getting around, and it's more realitstic than just having the mobs path over mountains
  • Will Cook: between the placematting, highways, and mobile scripting we use for dynamic events, our dyanmic content really never gets location-locked



  • AutomaticZen asks: Does healing and buffing count towards 'effort' points in the dynamic events?
  • Andrew Krausnick: absolutely
  • Andrew Krausnick: there are some checks in place (specifically for buffing), but they do count



  • Anasazi asks: will there ever be a time you can step through a rift and enter the other side?
  • Larry Boles: At the moment, the rifts will only open up their invasions upon Telara for the players to battle. This does ask questions about planar geography that we would love to address in the future.



  • Nalerian asks: will the dynamically generated geometry be "real" ? Can a player stand on a rock created by a fire rift or will they pass through it?
  • Will Cook: I wish we had Brian Clarke in for this one (earth-o-matic) on the forums (best handle for a terrain artist ever), but I'll do my best
  • Will Cook: the assets that materialize as part of rifts have collision
  • Will Cook: most people like climbing up the huge rock spires in the fire events?
  • Will Cook: but the water and life events are crazy with all their plant-tentacles whipping around



  • Unforgiven asks: What kind of special loot will only drop in rift invasions?
  • Andrew Krausnick: there are collections and equipment you can only get by defeating invasions



  • Ciovala asks: When an invasion takes out a quest NPC, does it come back automatically at some point or does the invasion have to be defeated for this to occur? (or something else completely different)
  • Will Cook: This question touches on consequences, which I think is the most important thing for making dynamic content feel real
  • Will Cook: we do have the ability to suppress/modify normal spawning behavior when dyanmic events are around
  • Will Cook: in the case of a town that get assaulted and taken over by an invasion, the NPCs will most certainly be absent until players take it back
  • Will Cook: making sure these hubs are fun to take back is the challenge for us, but so far so good.



  • Nalerian asks: How will loot/rewards from Rifts be comparable to (group/raid) instances? Same/similar, lesser, better?
  • Andrew Krausnick: same, but different - we're building our rewards with multiple content paths in mind, and in order to max out your character at any given level you'll want to be doing all types of content available



  • Maser asks: will rifts only open in overland zones, or will they allso appear in dungeons/instances?
  • Will Cook: Rifts are the major theme of our story, as well as a gameplay system, so you'll see them showing up in all sorts of places



  • Ciovala asks: Do you guys work in one of Hal Hanlin's pods? If so, what is it like working for such an andorable guy?
  • Will Cook: Hal Hanlin is actually a space alien
  • Andrew Krausnick: Built to make video games.
  • Will Cook: hence the preternatural adorableness
  • Abigale: He must be. He is always in a happy mood. Just not normal ;)
  • Will Cook: Hal works with all the content teams and pods, making sure this game gets finished on time



  • Nalerian asks: will there be unique abilities/tactics used by mobs from the different planes? How different will it be fighting fire mobs versus water mobs versus air, etc?
  • Larry Boles: We do have general themes in mind for mobs of each planar type, so to use a very base example: If you fight mobs from the plane of fire they may be hitting you with a lot of fire themed abilities like fire pits you need to avoid where if you were fighting mobs from the plane of Earth you may find they tend to knock you around a bit due to their size and mass.
  • Larry Boles: But the themes are not limited to these for each planar type.



  • Mercury asks: Is there a cap on number of participants in a rift/tear event?
  • Andrew Krausnick: there is not
  • Andrew Krausnick: however, there is a limit to the number of 'quality' rewards that a rift will give out
  • Andrew Krausnick: normally player ranking doesn't matter for getting rift rewards, but if the number of players pushes over the number of quality rewards a rift has to distribute
  • Andrew Krausnick: the highest ranked players are the ones who will get the payout
  • Andrew Krausnick: also: to answer another question - there is no 'random roll' as a part of this



  • Nalerian asks: will Rifts be soloable at higher levels? Or will they be leaning towards the more social side and requiring multiple people to be "successful" ?
  • Will Cook: Short answer: absolutely
  • Will Cook: longer answer:
  • Will Cook: (and there always is one with me)
  • Will Cook: MMOs have seen a lot of success ensuring that the solo player has something to do, and that's something we want to make sure we preserve. Luckily, we have designed our dynamic content to have hooks for the solo player as well as groups of varying sizes
  • Will Cook: we've talked about raid rifts, and all this stuff is taking place in the open world, so you know we're also considering the likely situation that 100s of people descend on an event in attempt to break our servers and their own machines.
  • Will Cook: it should all be tons of fun
  • Larry Boles: I have terrible times finding groups when I play my squishy casters, so I definately want soloable content!



  • Quesa asks: Speaking of rewards for these Rifts, how will said rewards be dispersed, first one to the corpse or will everyone in a raid/party get a reward (dependent upon their actual participation).
  • Andrew Krausnick: since these are social events and we're not expecting players to always be grouped, it's never a corpse rush
  • Andrew Krausnick: the rewards you earn are given directly to you and based on your own performance



  • Maser asks: Let's say a rift opens up in a level 20-ish area, and a few players around that level start fighting it. are those players at risk of some really high-level players coming in and "ganking" (as the kids say) their rift and taking all the best loot?
  • Andrew Krausnick: effort is agnostic to your 'per ability output' (aka, better gear or higher level doesn't play into it)
  • Andrew Krausnick: this was important because we know we'll have a range of players in a zone and in situations like that, and it is more important that we track how much effort (that word again) a player is putting in, rather that how much dps they're putting out.



  • Unforgiven asks: I'm worried tanks and healers will have a hard time when it comes to competing for "quality loot" from crowded rifts. Can you explain why I shouldn't be worried? lol
  • Andrew Krausnick: same reasons as above, we aren't tracking performance as much as we're tracking what you're doing in a rift
  • Andrew Krausnick: so as long as you're using your abilities to hold aggro, or using your abilities to heal as a healer you're getting the same credit as a dps class
  • Andrew Krausnick: there are some 'tilt' values which are basically tie-breakers which will focus on what your numbers are you're putting out
  • Andrew Krausnick: but the fundamentals are that as long as you're doing stuff to help win the rift, you'll be seeing big gains in contribution and earning rewards



  • eqisow asks: You keep referring to rifts as social events. Does this mean there are design decisions and/or mechanics that encourage actual communication and grouping when fighting rifts, as opposed to just fighting beside somebody?
  • Will Cook: There are a few things that make rifts social:
  • Will Cook: 1) Other people are the key to getting into the unstable (bonus) stages
  • Will Cook: 2) Unstable stages are more difficulty, get you into higher contribution categories, and have the best rewards
  • Will Cook: 3) Major Rifts pick up where Minor Rifts leave off, requiring partial groups to start, and more and more people to finish all the unstable stages
  • Will Cook: 4) Major Rifts will spawn naturally, and you'll want to get a group together to go after the great rewards in these larger rifts
  • Will Cook: 5) The consequences for dynamic events affect shared spaces, like player hubs, which all players will want to help out with
  • Will Cook: 6) Raid rifts!



  • Unforgiven asks: Are rift mobs more vulnerable to their opposite elemental type damage? for example, would a fire mob take more damage from a water based spell that from a life based spell?
  • Larry Boles: Generaly the mobs are set up so most classes should be able to handle them on an roughly equall footing. But there may be some slight differances that will make some builds have a more interesting fight on a specific mob. And multi-classing (ever think you'd see that term used outside of D&D?) REALLY helps to balance out your character.



  • Ancient asks: that brings us back to dynamic loot will high lvl players in low lvl zones be awarded zone lvl gear or character lvl?
  • Andrew Krausnick: event level gear (so a level 30 rift gives level 30 rewards)



  • eqisow asks: Will there be a danger of high level rifts opening up in lower level zones? (For myself, I think the element of danger and the high/low level player itneraction could be a positive thing, but am not sure how it'd be handled during initial server conditions)
  • Will Cook: The element of danger is something we want
  • Will Cook: Unplayable content is something that we don't necessarily want
  • Larry Boles: Yea, a rift spawning mobs 10+ levels higher then you (or the surrounding content) isn't fun, its aggrivating.
  • Will Cook: However,
  • Will Cook: a big invasion coming down the road at you, like the Nazgul coming after the hobbits in Fellowship--that's something we definitely want
  • Andrew Krausnick: Right - Invasions are a good example of this, we start off the game with invasions mostly sticking to their level range and then they start to get to spawn at wider level ranges as the game progresses. So there's some danger, you want to evaluate before you charge in, and you might want to get out of the way in some cases if you see an invasion headed your way.
  • Will Cook: "Get off the road!" has been shouted more than once in our office
  • Will Cook: but unlike the rift that is 10+ levels higher than you
  • Will Cook: the invasion is something that is worth tracking
  • Will Cook: so you'll following it
  • Will Cook: msg your friends
  • Will Cook: and then gank the thing when it hits the guards at the nearest town
  • Will Cook: or even better:
  • Larry Boles: There are lots of signs when its nearby so you will be hard pressed to miss it.
  • Will Cook: when it hits another invasion
  • Will Cook: we also have friendly "invasions"
  • Will Cook: which gets into "what else can we do with these dynamic content systems"
  • Will Cook: If you're a guardian, there are many situations in which you can call for defenders (a friendly invasion force) to make their way to your position and help you out with a particularly obstinate foothold
  • Will Cook: so our dynamic content systems are not fixed-fuctioned
  • Will Cook: it's just a matter of how much time we have to come up with robust varieties of content to create with it



  • Abigale: Well, folks, that's about all the time we have for today. I want to thank Will, Larry and Andrew for taking the time to be here. They will probably have to work late tonight to pay for it. So I really appreciate them visiting us today. :)
  • Will Cook: Hopefully, we can do it again soon when we can talk about more things. We love talking about this stuff.
  • Larry Boles: Thanks guys, it was a fun chat. I just hope Will removes the lock for the doors now :)
  • Andrew Krausnick: Thanks everyone for coming out everyone, always great to get unchained from my desk for a bit to interact with the community!
  • Will Cook: ::locks the chains back on::
  • Abigale: Thanks for joining us, everyone :)
  • Abigale: Ok, folks, I have to run as well. Was great to see you all! :)

Raw logs at Replay IRC - here.