Question Night 9/10/2021


Dalayan Adventurer
[7:48 CST]
Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'Question 1: Any information about Season Two or a timeframe on when to expect that?'

Dev-Cole says ooc, 'We are hoping to begin Season 2 in the beginning weeks of October.'

Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'Any thoughts about opening up Runic 2 drops to other zones besides Spires?
Dev-Cole says ooc, 'No. We would like to add a pathway for fresh level 65s to progress their spells outside of raiding.'

Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'What is staff's plan to try and attract and retain new players and how can the player base help?'
Dev-Cole says ooc, 'We'd like to do some advertising but we could use some help making graphics like banner ads and such.'

Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'Is there a plan to have new higher tier zones / raids that will continue the lore of Dalaya?'
Dev-Cole says ooc, 'Yes, absolutely. We are currently laying the ground work for this. Disciplines are a good example of this. Before, our only way of rewarding a player long term was with new AAs, but the client had a hard cap on how many we could give.'
Fieldss says ooc, 'Could you explain that a little? Still confused. Are we to think the answer is "Yes, absolutely" and the rest is just added bonus to the question or disc/aas apart of the new zones/raids?'
Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'In order to make new zones, we need to be able to give players new non-loot rewards. Disciplines is a large part of this because we are limited in how many aas we can add.'

Dev-Cole says ooc, 'Is the intent for all 3 tanks able to tank content on tier. If so, how do you balance content for tanks. Any content that would be challenging for a paladin at 5&PCT; base mitigation would be trivialized by a warrior'
Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'Mitigation alone does not dictate tanking. In general it's intended that knights have more avoidance than a warriors via block from shields and provide more self healing. In the ideal world, encounters are tankable by any tank, but different tanks shine in different scenarios. '

Dev-Cole says ooc, 'How much time do you dedicate to playtesting changes before implementation?'
Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'It varies greatly on the change. If something is just being bug tested, frequently a few hours. Something larger far more; I probably spent north of a hundred hours on the weapon rebalance.'

Dev-Cole says ooc, 'I test every core change locally before a patch. This is to avoid major bugs, such as zone crashes. I would say half of all my time is spent testing changes to confirm that the change is doing exactly what we want. This can be anywheres between 10 to 40 hours in a week. Despite this, some do sneak through.'

Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'Any plans to adjust loot or difficulty of the seldom killed 6 man zones/mobs?'
Dev-Cole says ooc, 'Currently we are balancing three dungeons per patch cycle. One of the balance metrics is loot. So yes, it is possible that the rewards of seldom fought mobs gets buffed. The current metrics we use for dungeon balance are: Experience, Platinum, Quest Rewards, Loot, Faction, and Tradeskills.'

Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'What kind of testing is done to protect against bugs and test balance of changes? It feels like a lot of changes aren't tested when they are released both for bugs and for balance / playability. Is there some way players can help test things prior to patch releases?'
Dev-Immac says ooc, 'We make sure to keep our core changes small, limiting each patch to one major feature update. This allows us to easily search for bugs that pop-up. An example in the past of where we had to revert changes was when we fixed knockback, and also adjusted the way spells were reset. '

Dev-Immac says ooc, 'Both of these features were adjacent to the spell process, making it very hard to determine where the bugs were from. We only recently have access to a test server as developers. It is possible that we reach out to players more in the future for their assistance.'

Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'Are we reworking every class to have disciplines?'
Dev-Cole says ooc, 'All Melee, hyrbrid, and tank classes will be converted to the discipline system. Casters with stances will be converted to AA abilities.'

Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'Is there a mission statement available for intended class niche, and then balancing in order? '
Dev-Cole says ooc, 'Overall we would like to be more forthcoming with a class's role. Internally we discuss things of this nature all the time. You will have noticed that patch notes are more descriptive to communcate these roles to the playerbase.'

Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'Why are the recent changes to the game focusing on the amount of aggro a tank class holds instead of just letting the mitigation numbers be the main difference between tanks, and to what end?'

Dev-Cole says ooc, 'We want to bring back strong class identity. Specifically, we kept the difference between warrior and paladin single target threat narrow (within about 100 threat per second). So, although we say "X class is above Y class in threat", this distance varies.'

Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'Selfish question. What are the plans for rangers as a class? What is their intended purpose in a group or raid setting?'
Dev-Cole says ooc, 'A ranger's stances will be converted to disciplines, removing exhaustion in favor of discipline cooldowns. We would like a ranger to fulfill the role of "burst" dps more often in fights and increase their utility. We briefly discussed building out a role for limited offtank-ability. We would classify them as DPS with utility in a raid setting. A few of their less powerful spells might get improved to see more use.'

Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'AoE damage options have consistently been nerfed over the last decade, however the exp meta has not changed from mass pulling easy monsters. Are there plans to add areas for "single target" exp that is equally or more (due to increased risk) rewarding than current options? Currently OG infested tunnels is the only 6-man / exp area in the game where pulling more than 1 mob at a time poses a serious threat.'
Dev-Cole says ooc, 'This topic of internal discussion has unearthed a much larger network of complicated systems. The current experience code dates from before 2009. Last we talked it became apparent that this is a much larger discussion. We know this is something players want, so we would like to deliver this.'

Dev-Immac says ooc, 'Is there a changelog for item and content / game updates and will one be added?'
Dev-Cole says ooc, 'We have been adding increasingly more detailed patch notes every patch for the last year and a half. The playerbase maintains a wiki as well.'

Dev-Cole says ooc, 'Please give a rough outline of "The Vision".'
Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'The ultimate goal is to return to SOD's original design philosophy; giving our spin on the diverse class based MMO that everquest is. Over the years, SOD's vision shifted drastically as different people pulled it in different directions with fewer overall guiding principles. '

Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'This lead to things such as class issues being fixed via overpowered items, pushing gameplay into specific narrow bands, and class changes that didn't really line up with the classes core identity. Our goal is ultimately to course correct back to the game's original design philosophies while taking advantage of the new tools we now have access to.'

Dev-Immac says ooc, 'Can we have new treasure maps please?'
Dev-Cole says ooc, 'Yes, we would like to add more. We currently have some cool ideas for this!'

Dev-Cole says ooc, 'Can staff be more forthcoming about what they are doing with changes to the server? One of the most destructive issues with the large server changes that have occurred recently is that the changes come seemingly out of nowhere with almost no statements by staff on what their plans are, before enacting huge changes to the core elements of this server.'
Dev-Immac says ooc, 'We have been purposely making strides to improve communications with the playerbase. We often discuss what and how we can communicate changes to the playerbase. We have learned that creating feedback threads and having more open discussions before changes are good things.'

Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'Is there any possibility of SOD seeing a second fresh server, ideally some form of TLP, and particularly no-box?'
Dev-Cole says ooc, 'The only situation where a seperate server would be considered is if the player population was much larger. Currently we do not want to segment the population. We feel that seasons provide a good solution to this currently. We have talked about using TLP as a theme for a season event.'

Dev-Muerte says ooc, 'What would need to happen to make an ikisith 1.10/1.25/1.25 happen, leading up to a fill 2.0?'
Dev-Immac says ooc, 'We have been working on Iksith 2.0 on and off for the past year. We recently recruited two additional developers to assist with this work. '

Dev-Immac says ooc, 'Will 10 minutes buff duration stay indefinitely?'
Dev-Cole says ooc, 'Yes. During the last Q&A, we had a long conversation with Woldo about how past developers addressed the concerns of buffs. Back then, they originally discussed augurs, and aura-type buffs. They ultimately decided to choose augurs (buffs for cash). This was their choice in the past, and it ultimately did not solve a majority of the core problems revolving around buffs (detailed in our patch notes). After we talked amongst staff, this solidified our decision to progress with aura-type buffs.'

Dev-Immac says ooc, 'Outside of seasons, is there a desire for systems in general that would provide ways for highly-progressed players to interact with the lower-progression playspace on a more even progression-level, e.g. some form of downscaling like Shrouding, or Prestige-inspired systems?'
Dev-Cole says ooc, 'Shrouds have not been reverse engineered yet in the EQEmu community. If we decided to implement this, it would be a major workload. It would also require our inventory systems to be reworked (Shrouds put away your current inventory). Regardless, we have talked about this. We do not have a good solution at the moment.'

Dev-Immac says ooc, 'What are the plans and timeline for taking a second look at what is not working with class changes and revising according to player feedback?'
Dev-Cole says ooc, 'Once we finish the discipline conversion, we plan to circle back, address major issues, and fine tune each class. Paladins will be getting an area aggro buff and, further out, Shadowknight will probably get an medium cooldown emergency AoE aggro tool. Currently we are still hunting for ideas for enchanters. They are a unique class that would require more than just a few tweaks. Because we would like to dedicate our full attention to this, we are deciding to wait until we complete disciplines.'

Originally was going to color code based on names but it seemed easier to have yellow be questions and green be answers. Everything is copy/pasted from Discord chat. Added Fieldss' question in /ooc as it was somewhat of a follow up but filtered out the other background chatter. About 3 hours in total, thanks for taking the time! Figured it should get posted somewhere so it can be discussed with possible follow-up.
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