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Fan Faire 2006

The 2006 Fan Faire in Atlanta was a ton of fun, and I've a huge amount of notes to go through, including some that will be tacked on at the end regarding non-tradeskill news. Hold on to your hats, this is going to be a long one, but hopefully worth it!

First, however, comes the traditional grumpy redhead disclaimer, since I have seen lots of examples of misreading and misquoting things in the past. Time estimates are guesses based on current workloads, and don't take into account being sidetracked by high-priority emergencies, troublesome code that just doesn't want to do what it should, etc. They're not hard and fast deadlines, but their "best guess" based on the current situation. So, if you give some dev grief, quoting some "deadline" you read here as if it was some sort of contractual life or death deadline that they failed to meet, I'll be more than happy to loan them the Rolling Pin of Doom with which to defend themselves. ;)

Where's My Revamp?

Let's just get this out of the way now, as I'm sure all of you are asking this. Repeatedly. Ben wants to have the revamp out by LU25 at the latest. He is trying for sooner than that, and really hopes to have it ready sooner than that, but remember, the revamp itself is not "just" converting recipes over, but also the items folks approving the new armor stats to be in-line with what SoE wants to see, and redoing all the potions and poisons totally (removing the old ones, putting in the new ones), and changes to food/drink to get them into the same sort of duration/stat progression we see in T7 foods and drinks. Lots and lots of details that need to be ironed out in order to get it done properly the first time, and it's not the only thing on his plate. Here's praying that it is sooner, rather than later!

Stabilizing Sales

By now, I'm sure we've all run into a time or three where offline sales were totally disabled, and we've been given some details on why that happened, and what's being done to replace the system.

The current offline sales system had a lot of exploit potential. The sort of "a lot" that turns it into a fulltime job, and then some, to babysit it, find the exploits, plug those holes up, deal with the worst offenders, etc. Not fun for the players trying to legitimately buy and sell from the broker or for the SoE folks.

The current system is in the middle of a complete rewrite of the sales system, that they hope to have done somewhere around the time of LU24.

  • House vault sales will totally go away (but your room size/location will still be important, keep reading!)
  • You will be able to obtain merchant "containers" that are placed in your home (number you can place seems to be determined in a lot the same ways house vaults are currently determined, but I didn't think to ask for confirmation/clarification)
  • These containers include NPCs, generic containers that can hold anything sellable, and specialized containers that can hold larger amounts of specific items. The example used several times was an armor rack for armorsmiths.
  • Once this system is in place, with these containers in your home, even when you are offline, folks can bypass the broker fee by visiting your home and buying from them. (The benefit being that folks will have more chances to show off all the hard work that they put into decorating their homes.)
  • Those who don't own homes, or don't want to deal with market board, containers, etc., etc. will have the option to visit a specific NPC/broker and list a few items directly onto the market.
  • There will be some mechanism put in so that you can claim your sales money when you wish, instead of having it weigh you down on a hunt, etc.

Working on Writs

The current tradeskill writ system has many issues, and we'd heard noises that it was going to be worked on. They announced at the Fan Faire that the existing tradeskill writ system would be totally going away, and that in the new system, you would be able to take items that you made (including stacks of items, so long as you made every item in the stack, and it still had your name on the made by tag on the stack) and sell them to specific merchants for guild status points. No ETA was given, and they're still working on details such as limits on how many could be handed in per day and such. However, it will give those that are grinding items to level an alternative way to make what they want to make and contribute to their guild at the same time.

Hijinks in Harvesting

This is another one with no ETA, so we've no clue when it will be ready to go live, but here goes: There are plans to reduce the number of nodes in some areas BUT increase what is obtained off from each node. The plan is to let you harvest multiples off a single pull of a node. The example used was that the rare harvest might be one rare and 10 normal items. (This is just an example of a possible result. Actual numbers have not yet been determined.) Additionally, there are plans to add a high-end woodworker-made item that will go in the charm slot that will be a 2-second reduction to the current 5-second "cast" time for harvesting. (i.e., down to 3 seconds)

Fun with Furniture

First things first - The plan is to get T6 carpenter rares out sometime before the tradeskill revamp. Depending on how many of the forty-ish items that are currently waiting for Art approval for use, he also hopes to add a few items here and there to expand the look of carpenter furniture, especially in spots like the tier 6 commons, where certain things like the orcish meat bucket were a bit, um, underwhelming. :) To reword, so nobody misunderstands and misquotes, there are many furniture items awaiting art approval before the recipes are being added. This "many" includes not only rares for T6, but also some common items that will be added here and there if all goes well. It is NOT forty-ish items just for T6 rares. Not. Not. Not. That having been said, it was confirmed that a fireplace and the oft-whimpered-for ornate counters are part of the list.

Creative Clothing

There were lots and lots of requests for more street clothes, coloring options on existing clothes, guild cloaks or tabards, etc., etc., etc. and I'm going to lump the whole thing together because it is all part of a larger issue. With the current mechanics for character models and wearable items it is a massively huge issue to add even one single new wearable item, as it actually requires the creation of something insane like 30-some versions of the item in order to get it to work right on all character models. It is just not a happy thing. They are working on redoing the system to make it easier, but until they do, a lot of these requests have to go on the back burner. It doesn't mean some of the lovely ideas won't happen, or that the devs are against it, but that any such plans will have to wait until after they sort out the character model mechanics first, which is still going to take a while. (Sometime in the next year.)

In the meantime, they may consider the possibility of taking some of the existing items and allowing them to be crafted in a couple of colors. That is only a maybe, though.

But Wait, There's More!

Now that I've covered some of the higher-visibility issues, here's a ton of shorter blurbs on various items, including some non-tradeskill stuff at the end.
  • betrayal quest for tradeskills - there have often been requests for ways to reset your tradeskill profession choices. There was some cautious agreement that this might be something they'd be willing to look into, but that if it happens, it would likely be a respec down to a level 10 crafter.
  • provisioner supplies in specialized instances - currently, when working on a task for your craftsman society or for guild writs, you have to obtain baking supplies from the wholesaler society first. Ben says that getting those items added to the professional society vendors, and Ironforge Exchange and Coalition of Tradesfolke will be a quick fix that he'll see about getting in right away.
  • provisioner raws in T7 - there was a complaint about the increase in raws per final product needed by provisioners. With subcombines going away, there was a desire to increase the difficulty of that single combine and to bring it a bit more in-line with other tradeskills.
  • racial armor request - while there was a request for racial armors, it's not something they currently want to address due to the sheer number of possible race/class combinations
  • Common vs rare potions/poisons - in some few cases, there's not enough of a difference between the T7 common and T7 rare version of a potion or poison (INT was the example used). This is unintentional and will be looked into. It'd be good if we could provide him with concrete examples.
  • T7 armor stats - are in line with what they envision for the armor progression. I know that's not what folks want to hear, and they will continue to look into it more, but ...
  • Master drop rate affecting spell-making - there were complaints that master drop rates were affecting the market for adept IIIs. This is something they watch carefully. If you see a zone that seems to drop too many masters, post on the forums with details.
  • T7 rare issue - he's looking into the imbalanced rare demand, especially for things like moonstone (and moonstone vs acrylia, etc.).
  • examine info on spells, poisons, potions - if your crafter is not the proper level/class, you are unable to tell what the actual results of the item you made will be (damage/buffs are totally incorrect, etc.). They'll look into the possibility of adding a tooltip to show what the item would look like to the proper level/class.
  • "salvage" for tradeskilled items? - there was a request to be able to break down crafted items into raw resources. While there has been discussion of this, there's a lot that would have to be worked out, so this wouldn't be something we'd see any time soon, if it is even done.
  • weaponsmith love - thrown weapons were taken from weaponsmiths, leaving them with mostly one-time sales per tier. Ben is planning on adding some other items for "renewable" sales. No ETA or details available at this time.
  • loaming at the mouth - and loam out the ears, etc., etc., etc. It was brought up that it seems that there's a lot more T7 common loam coming off the nodes than there is adamantine, when adamantine is needed in many more recipes (and in far larger volume) than the loam. Ben will take a look at it.
  • declaring a profession issue - since launch, if you declared your tradeskill profession after you were already ready to level (i.e., 120% through level 9 or level 19), you had to speak to the NPC, who told you that you were registered as that profession, then go back to your wholesaler instance and make one more item before you could actually "ding" into the new profession and join their professional society. Since there is now at least one quest that grants tradeskill experience (meaning that there is code in place that can do that), I suggested to a couple folks that it would be a happy thing to fix those two quests to grant 1 point of tradeskill experience or some other very small amount, so that those ready to ding into their new profession could do so with minimal confusion. They'll look into it
  • no trade loot popup - currently, when you are soloing and loot a no-trade item, you receive a popup asking if you really want to loot it, but when you're in a group, you don't receive the warning. This is the reverse of how they wanted it working, they'll get it fixed.
  • server events - there are currently some quests and such being written for use by the guides so that they can run more server events.
  • DFC and Zek orcs - did you know that much of the lag that you run into in DFC and Zek is because of the above-mentioned issue with character model mechanics and the armor that the orcs wear? Sometime soon, you'll find that the orcs in these two zones are going to end up being funded by the Rujarkians (so that they're not wearing a hodge-podge of armor that increases the lag in those zones equivalent to multiple raid forces being in the area.)
  • guild houses - yes, they know we want them, they want them to. However, they want them to be done right from the start and that takes considerable time, involving multiple teams, to give guilds a house that isn't just a rehash of any of the existing room layouts and such. (Sure, they could just make the current status mansions have an option for a guild to buy them in the interim, but that would just be a stopgap, and they want these to be far better than that.) When/if the guild houses are implemented, they would be added as a live feature, not something tied to an expansion
  • "6 month expansions are dead" - the old plan of an expansion every 6 months is no longer in effect. They'll be extending the dev time a bit, extending beta, etc.
  • there was a request to make the guild vault logs and guild event logs be able to be exported to a file. They'll look into it.
  • adventure packs - yes, they do plan on releasing more adventure packs, but they do not have any set schedule for them at this time.
  • better item labeling - a lot of achievements require that you equip items of certain types, but the items don't indicate what type they are when you examine them (symbol, staff, etc., etc., etc.) They've got it on the list as something to be addressed.
I suspect that I missed quite a bit, but this at least covers the high points of various talks and discussions regarding tradeskills. The Straightjacket of Tradeskilling has been stored away once again, and the Rolling Pin of Doom (RPoD) doesn't have a single dent in it ... yet. The last of DenMother's Trail Mix is being nibbled on now, and it's almost time for me to find a comfy pack to take a nap in.

Created: 2006-04-10 12:46:52          
Last Modified By: Niami Denmother          
Last Modified on: 2006-04-10 01:07:47          

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