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 Mythic Q&A

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Mookie
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PostSubject: Mythic Q&A   Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:45 pm

Are auction houses and the rest of the trade skills going to make it in before release?

Josh Drescher: We actually have the auction houses working internally, it will probably be one of the last things we talk about before launch. It's one of the things we definitely want to try and get in before hand but we won't put it in unless it is actually working correctly. It is one of those things, that when you are developing an MMO, you kind of look at the schedule and say to yourself, okay we have this many years to do this much stuff and I hope it all works at the very very end there. The auction house is one of things where you need to have the items in, all the itemization done, have to have the economy working, have to have the currency and maps working, then you let people sell things. This one of the very final things we're going to be working on. The additional additional trade skills we're working on internally we're just getting ready to put them in soon.

What significant fixes or additions can we expect between Closed beta and the live game, in crafting, in time to kill PvP, in balance, in UI, and in the Tome of Knowledge?

Josh Drescher: To be honest the biggest things that we're working on right now, is stability. Obviously the experience you have when you are with a thousand people, you find different things when you're testing with 50,000 people. So at the moment we're working a lot on things like server and client stability, memory management, all the boring of things that no one actually cares about, but are actually the most important things to be working on. So we have a lot of engineers working on that at the moment.

Additional UI changes will be coming in between now and launch, again, a lot of that stuff is already in on the internal clients. It will basically be one day, we'll flip it on, and you'll see everything that is different.

Regarding the graphics, and scalability, are the graphics the best we'll see?

Josh Drescher: Well, performance is a big deal at this point. One of the things we've been doing is trying to set it so the system can procedurally dictate based off the hardware spec you are currently using, what the best settings are for you. Pretty standard for any game like this. We are also working hard to make sure that when we get a large number of avatars on the screen especially during things like city siege and so forth when you expect to have hundreds of player on the screen simultaneously, we're working on intelligent technology that will intelligently scale so that you don't sacrifice graphic quality unless it's absolutely necessary for performance.

A lot of that is done procedurally. For example, if there are a certain number of avatars on the screen, once you get past a certain threshold it will start removing some of the bones from the animation sets for things like your hands. So you'll actually notice that there are a larger numbers of characters on the screen, it starts to simplify some of the motions to speed up framerate, to reduce lag, and to make sure your performance and feedback with the UI stays high.

While graphical quality is importance to us, performance is actually more important to us. With MMOs you are always looking to guarantee that the performance, the feedback and the performance of the game is paramount, over whiz bang graphics. In terms of the overall graphics I think you'll notice, especially between the most recent beta and now. As we continue to implement the lighting system, as we continue to implement some of the final textures and some of the overhauls to the environments, you're going to notice a continuing progression of quality.

That comes down to when you are building these games, there are a lot of things that take a very long time. Our lighting system is the best example of that. Every point of light in the game had to be hand place by an artist, they had to choose the color of the light, size of the light, the ambient value of the brightness, what direction is it pointed in, what sorts of things is it reflected off of, and then you have to run the overall system and say, do all the math. You're look at millions of points of light in the game, thousands of hours of art integration, and an additional thousands of hours of processor time rendering it all out.

Which is why for a long time when you looked at some of the older videos the world looked a lot more washed out. We just didn't have the lighting engine turned on. Once we turned the lighting on, everything gets all lush and organize and it loses the 2d feel.

What is the clear definition of open RvR server ruleset?

Josh Drescher: We're still working that out with some of the internal elder testers and some of our EA testers, primarily that's going to mean a lot more open field RvR. One of the things we're looking at right now, is do we keep the chicken mechanic in, if so, where, how do we implement it. We want to do it in a way that is sensible, but we don't want to turn it into chaos where it it's nonsense the entire time. We don't want to waste resources it will take to put up servers like that, and then have it turn out as something nobody actually likes playing on.

The easiest answer is you flag everyone for RvR all the time and leave the chicken in, but we don't know what actually feels right for what that type of server is going to be. We'll probably end up trying three or four different versions and see what the community thinks.

Are there any plans to be able to turn off leveling, or experiance?

Josh Drescher: Not at the moment.

Regarding the API for plugins, this close to release, why has there been no documentation or real discussion among testers?

Josh Drescher: Because we don't feel the need to release that documentation.

Does Mythic have any plans on adding an estimated wait time during scenario queuing?

Josh Drescher: That's definitely one of the things we want to get in. We have it working internally, but we want to make sure it's actually correct.

Will there be more choices for the customization in the character creation?

Josh Drescher: We have been adding more character creation options over the past couple of weeks, some of the are really creepy. One of the artists started making versions of all the faces where an eyeball is missing. But they went too detailed and so you can actually see the light reflecting on the back of the eye socket. Things you'll see are things like tattoos over the eyes of the dark elves, additional weird jewelry options, crazy chaos stars in the beards of the chaos warriors, new hairdos, that's one of the things that is easy to continue to add, even after launch we'll continue to options like that in the free patches and so forth.

Since trophies were always touted as ways to customize your character, how many possible trophies are there for each career?

Justin Webb:There's a bunch of different types of trophies, some trophies are career specific, some are race specific, some are realm specific, For launch there will be of the order, 40 completely unique trophies that you can get for each career.

What will be the upgrade path from the beta or open beta, to the head start, will users just have to patch? What about in the EU?

Josh Drescher: The intention is going to be patching. Even after gold master, we will continue to develop content for the game. But we have internal target for how much data we're going to be okay with for a patch on launch day. Users, right up until the point where we go live, we'll continue to patch. Now depending where in that process you are, if you're with us on head start, or preview weekend, that will be different than if someone who is pulling the box off the shelf and installing it. But there will probably be a small patch for users on launch day.

Does Mythic stand committed to patching, launching and having expansions being the same time in the EU as the US?

Absolutely.

Since communication with GOA is so important, how does GOA plan to roll out their open beta process?

That's a question for you to better ask them directly.
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