CM diary #22 - 01/23/2022

“Oh, hi!”, quoth the Conrad.

This not-too-brief, but very special diary comes with a few different notes and news, including where you, dear reader, can contribute to the project’s course. So, here we go.

Making plans

First, a very quick heads-up; we seem to be getting a new skill planner! Our resident Seadee is working on one, and we’re absolutely thrilled to see that.

If you’d like to keep up with that, or even contribute yourself, I hear there might be a forum post on this soon-ish. Until then, there’s always our Discord server where you might catch up on how it’s going.

Wonder times 5000

…it’s a reference, you see, for wonderful times.

On to our stuff then, patch notes are finally available – if you haven’t seen them yet, you may find them here. This one won’t quite dethrone 1.5.5 in my heart as the most extensive, polished patch we’ve ever released, but it’s a close second.

This one too brings a ton of new things to see, do, and adjust to; the good, and presumably the bad and the ugly as regards some inevitable nerfs. But this classification I’ll leave to you to judge, dear reader.

What I may do here is one, note what we’ve learned through this patch’s cycle, and two, clarify a few things on our end. The latter are strictly to avoid some avoidable confusion that sometimes seems to take hold.

The former, then:

  • We’ve added more data safeguards. Mistakes slipped through over time, as you’ll notice with item repairs, for example. With these safeguards, we’ll minimize such issues moving forward.
  • We’ve become more comfortable with retroactive changes. This you might notice with Naturalism/Spiritualism affix changes being retroactive; by memory, the first such instance post-Beta that’s not RoF changes. We’ve become more accustomed to how exactly this kind of application works, so we now have this card to play if need be.
  • We’ve grasped events. Probably the highlight of the patch, we’ve finally made our own event. This experience was also invaluable, and will certainly help us design more events for special occasions in the future. Say, Easter egg hunts… ?

Now, the latter part. This bit is rather specific to clearing up specific bits of our course, and explains how we work as a team. If that’s very secondary to you, which is perfectly logical, you may safely skip ahead to the next exciting section.

For those who don’t:

  • We’re a team. First, I need to stress this; we’re a team that functions as one. We have different perspectives on different issues, and we vote on changes. Please don’t assume any single one of us is dictating our course – least of all me, half-a-content-dev (#not-a-dev) Bryan. I seriously just work here, and all my opinions are my own unless stated otherwise.
  • We’re a very busy bunch. This is absolutely not to excuse any oversights at any point; I simply highlight this to explain our patch schedules and communication frequency. This should halfway explain our work’s focus as well; roadblocks along the way need specific people’s time to tackle, so the rest of us workaholics need something else to deliver on. It’s this kind of situation that often creates wide-reaching patches, where one might wonder why they weren’t broken down into smaller pieces.
  • We have testers. Finally, to address this general concern that I fear will emerge again in light of the Evoker nerfs – we have testers in our active CMs and Shady Ones. This I need to bring up to clarify that our choices never come in the dead of night, but are always examined carefully by our testers to the best of their ability. We will certainly miss the mark here and there, because we neither have the time nor can we perfectly emulate live conditions to anticipate every change’s exact impact. But we function as a team in this regard as well, which I feel bears repeating here.

Finally, on the subject of keeping an eye on the (live) ground, my question on surveys still stands. Please, if you’d like to have your voice heard and your feedback noted, state your interest and we’ll extend a willing ear.

Voices!

Not a Disturbed reference, honest.

Speaking of voices, then, this I think will excite some of you dear readers. I’ve actually been contacted about this before, which really pleased me.

So, as the patch notes noted, we’ll be focusing much more heavily on solid expansion-esque content. Our needs are fewer right now, but will expand over time to animation, model design, what have you – as long as our tools keep up with our creative cravings.

For now, however, there’s the endgame expansion to look forward to. For it, we have new characters who need new voices. And here is where you might come in!

We will soon craft something more official than a diary entry on this, but the gist will be simple; we’ll need to record the typical 1-to-5-second NPC lines for, well, new NPCs. Those will need to be somewhat faithful to the characters (ie gender, personality, general tone, perhaps plot-related tidbits), but creativity beyond these basics is always welcome. So, if you’d like to contribute your voice lines for other players to love, hate through endless repetition, or meme into stardom, you will soon have the opportunity to do so.

Please let us know if this does interest you down below, and we’ll be in touch when the time comes.

Where the time goes

Finally, speaking of time, this bit is where I make this my personal blog and announce my resignation.

No, not even. It’s just a break. Rest assured, there’s plenty ahead.

But it is indeed time, to maintain a logical flow here, for me to finally take my step back. This too is rather personal and lengthy, so this too you may skip at your leisure.

For the rest of you, I’d like to briefly explain this choice and what’s to come.

If you’ve followed the link above, you pretty much know the basics. But that diary is dated, so here’s the full timeline of this phase of my Hellgate journey.

First, after modest work over months past, we got deep into work over the summer. This was where pressure first mounted, as I took on a more active role in actually getting things done. Then, as fall came, we started facing the October 30th deadline; the game’s anniversary was coming, you see, and we wanted to commemorate it appropriately.

And then came freedom, hm? No, not at all.

That dreaded patch, for all its merits, came with flaws. Hotfix time then, and now we’re done. No, not even; you see, that hotfix included the drop rate buff reversal, my personal blunders (hello Australia), and some other oversights. Back to work then, quoth the Holloway, to fix the hotfix. And what’s that, digging unearths more issues to address.

Fast forward, and here we are. January’s ending, and I can’t wait to finally stop for a bit.

See, I want to have the time to actually play through the things we’ve made. I come on the live server pretty much always as a GM, and very, very rarely as a player. Frankly, I don’t have the will to play the game I’m endlessly working on on my free time too.

Second, there will actually come a time when I do need to mostly resign. Life only gets busier over time, and at some point there won’t be a 25th hour in the day for Hellgate. So I really want to make my time here count while I have it, because there are a few substantial milestones I’d like to see through.

It’s for those two reasons that I’m taking a break now. It’s not about player backlash; after 5 years and counting it’s pretty much a guarantee of life. It’s not about the team fading out either; those of us who can be here are here and are working, or there wouldn’t be this diary.

Still, I’ll still be here and on Discord. You’ll still get the diaries, at most with some help from my colleagues, and all the casual banter and semi-useful support I bless our server with.

It’s just that I’ll slow down the pace, for just a bit. And then comes more, why yes.

Cheers!

Slightly better than “FIN”, hm?

So now I may leave you, dear reader. I hope that you enjoy the patch, and that perhaps you’ll find the opportunity to voice some characters intriguing. Finally, I hope you’ll enjoy what the future holds, when the time for new adventures comes.

Until then, all the best!

2 Likes

Whoop! I also work on a “not my full time job and have a family” schedule, but together I think we can get something working pretty quick, then expand it into more than just a calculator… Maybe?

Also

I would be happy to lend my voice, I’ve a little “homestudio” thing set up, have an at2020 mic (not USB) and have minor (for voice clarity purposes) experience using audio editing.

2 Likes

We can most certainly relate :stuck_out_tongue:
Still, something sometime is infinitely better than nothing and uncertainty. You’ll definitely have our full cooperation with this, so let’s get there at whatever pace works best.

Excellent, very glad to hear that. Pun not intended.
I’ll probably try too, but I doubt I’ll get release-worthy results. Eh well.

1 Like

“1.5.7b patch notes.”

“Note: This patch is not live yet, but it will be soon.”
H i, Bryan.When to expect a patch?I’m burning with impatience!Week, month, year? :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi Kole, our testers are making sure everything is in order as we speak. So this weekend would be my guess.

I have read the patch notes, and I thank all of you for the hard work you have put in,
But I did have a thought, the 10 second cooldown on summoner elementals might
be a little too much, in future updates the team might consider reducing this cooldown
a bit. This is not a protest, just a request

Hi, great to see you back :slight_smile:
It seemed to be fine on our end, really - and I’m very openly a Summoner at heart, so I’d be iffy about it if it weren’t.
But in either case, we’re always keeping an eye on such changes, like with the new Ele Master skills we introduced. If it does turn out to be too much we’ll definitely revise it in the future.

H i, Bryan.I got acquainted with the changes in patch 1.5.7 and was a little disappointed.I once wrote about the awards for
lines of special quests that the player is not interested in doing them.The reward is very small.Nanoshards and analyzers!This is ridiculous.They can be easily bought for a meager price.I was hoping that something would change with the release of the new patch.But, alas.Then Australia.Not only are there 30 level rewards, there are also other items that can be bought in unlimited quantities in the store.If there was something more substantial, I would have gone to Australia and passed special quests.It seems to me that I am not the only one who thinks so.Good luck. :skull_and_crossbones:

Hi Kole, I’m on the phone so please excuse the formatting.

I’m sorry to hear you’re disappointed. We had our hands quite full to make such changes too, even if we collectively agreed they were needed.
Now, these quests are meant to be optional activities, and the nanoshards they award are a valuable crafting resource you cannot buy from vendors. You may by all means skip them if you don’t need them; these were not meant to be “forced” on players.
The same applies to Australia. It has both lower items, as you say, and higher items depending on your level; its exclusive drops are split between two tiers so that both early and midgame+ players can get something there. Those items I feel are valuable, as even some lower ones have unique properties that are endgame-viable. Still, if you don’t find them useful you can by all means skip the dungeon; it’s meant to be an optional activity, not an obligatory meta encounter.

In either case, thank you for the feedback. I won’t be able to act on it for a while, as I’ll finally take my break once this patch goes live, but I’ll pass it on for review.

I said I’m A LITTLE disappointed.This does not mean that I am COMPLETELY disappointed.There are many other interesting things in the game after the release of the latest patches!There is something to work on for me.So I do not detract from your merit in positive changes in the game.Even, on the contrary.If there hadn’t been these changes, I would have left the game a long time ago.Sincerely, Nikolai. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Oh, isn’t that the same thing?


My character is level 50, rank 18.Ah, the seller’s items, as you can see, are 30 levels.Or do I not understand something?Sorry for the importunity.Essence, too, is not a deficit.And blocker.I don’t know about the other classes, the guardian has no such value.This, of course, is my opinion.Maybe someone needs it.But that’s all, too, you can buy in the store.All the best.




I see, thank you. It does seem I misunderstood your comment then, as I thought that was your overall take on the new patch.

Now, on to the other points, as I’m now more available.

Yes, but the reason they’re available on the market is because they’re available as drops and rewards. Surely, they’re not useless as a resource - even as one you may collect to sell on the market yourself.

On this I meant to say the dungeon’s items themselves are valuable. For quests, like in those screenshots, lv30 was chosen so that midgame+ players could use them immediately and endgame players could use the Forge to make them usable. They won’t hit the (Forge) cap of 52, yes, but their point is to be usable before the cap (ilv50 is still very decent) and sellable to others who are not there yet.
This point also applies to essences and skill tokens. Essences have many uses now, and players don’t seem to always have an abundance of them. Skill tokens too are always useful to new players and new characters, and this provides another source for them both to make their acquisition a bit easier.

All in all, these quests I find an excuse to run the dungeon itself. Being daily quests for a lv15+ area they needed to find some way to be useful to everyone, but still optional. So this solution seemed to tick the boxes sufficiently, with the market in mind.

However, when completing quests, throughout the game, you can easily collect a lot of essence needed to visit locations in Stonehenge (Wake Hallow), + nanoshards from bosses.And, also, it will remain for sale.So, if it’s not technically difficult, it would be good to appoint another award in Australia.Moreover, the quests in it are very interesting.(new animals, furniture).This is my opinion and, as I understand it, it does not count.I’ve told myself many times that it’s useless to argue with you, and I’m arguing again.Okay.All the best.Maybe someday I’ll get tired of it.P.S.Sorry for the ugly translation in Yandex.

Essences are also used for recipes, access to Dawn, and so forth. They’re an ingredient, and so are nanoshards, so offering them as a reward should surely make some sense.
Now, whether they remain for sale because of low demand is secondary. We can’t possibly be changing rewards depending on market trends; if there’s not enough demand for them farmers may skip farming them. These are meant to be optional quests, after all.
Moreover, we can’t incentivize every quest with desirable rewards anyway, especially when different players want different things. For example, skill tokens were chosen directly because of player feedback; changing them to satisfy someone will dissatisfy someone else.
Still, what we could certainly do is discuss adding another quest or source for the rewards you feel those should have. What rewards do you have in mind?

It’s not that it doesn’t count, or I wouldn’t be engaging with you all this time. Of course it counts; we have discussions, I forward them, they’re reviewed by the team, and changes we agree on are made. That’s the only sustainable way this can work, and that’s how we approach all feedback we get.
Of course it can’t “count” in the sense of us just making the changes you request, for the reasons I always bring up. Some things can’t be done, some we don’t believe should be done, and some contradict what other players want.
I’ve written pages of suggestions over the years myself, that were rejected for the same reasons. It’s not that those suggestions didn’t “count”, but simply that not everything I like could or should be done. Others did go through, as many player suggestions always do too.

No worries, perfectly understandable. And if there is some misunderstanding we’re adults who can work past it :slight_smile:

I don’t think it will be easier to add a quest with a certain reward than to change the reward for completing an already completed quest.For example, the quest that Ken gives out at Stonehenge is “The Foreboding Wild”.I have a character “Guardian”-always has been and always will be.But Ken’s reward is the paint-“Firing Accuracy +20”, which is useless for the “Guardian”, because the “Guardian” mainly works with swords, a shield, Nova Gun, grenade launchers, where accuracy is practically not needed.There are also vorpals, but with their rate of fire, accuracy is also not really needed, if I’m not mistaken.The quest is great, the location is huge, but the reward is narrowly focused, for a certain class.Maybe I don’t understand something, but if I change this paint to one that suits all classes?Or change the paint every day.The quest is repeated.And, again.At the initial levels, the reward for some quests was mods of the same level as the character.Why not do so in this case?Shrapnel mods would be just right, especially since they are difficult to get.Or retrainers-attributes, expertise.All the best.

It is, for a few reasons:

  • The old quest reward that some players wanted stays there
  • The new reward for other players becomes available to both
  • Players who have already completed the old quest don’t miss out on a new reward they can’t get

If you mean practically, yes, we could replace items in a player’s inventory with new items. But that’s both too aggressive (ie us intervening on players’ inventories) and too risky (ie replacing worn items).

The intent was for all of those dyes to be useful to all classes. Yes, they can’t all be so; +minion stats are useless to 4 out of 6 classes, for example, but we can’t not make +minion dyes. But firing accuracy too intends to be useful to gunslinger Templars too, and it falls in line with our Order armor changes in this regard.
Now yes, it’s not as needed as other properties. But it is useful; for example, in this Discord post a Gundian player found it useful enough to replace a nova with it. We do believe these properties should be useful, and making that happen means we have to also promote it across other sources - like dyes, in this case.

This I do agree with, and it could see use. That’s why we added a dedicated onhit mod (that does work for Gundians) to soloable enemies in Lolth’s Ritual, for example - so yes, this could work for other quests within reason.

Those on the other hand definitely don’t fit such easy quests. Retrainers are a valuable resource that players farm endgame bosses for, we can’t just make them accessible through killing minor enemies that scale to player level.
That said, we’ve been improving their supply for a while, and more Retrainer NPCs might come in the future. So it’s not that I absolutely deny more Retrainer options - I was the one who made the tutorial questline for this reason. I just don’t find them appropriate for such easy quests, or repeatable quests even more so.

I don’t think that with a full set of shrapnel, shooting accuracy +20 will play any role.I once wrote that with 50% of the bolts on the worpals, Moloch was killed in 10-15 seconds.This is also real for other bosses, in particular “Quavontavius”.Of course, not 15 seconds, but you can kill.I’ve seen the effect of bolts on enemies.

That particular player found it useful because a lower spread allows for more nova procs. Others might prefer one more nova in that slot, but even discussing it means there are options - which is our main goal with this affix.
In either case, I won’t argue what’s good gameplay-wise and what isn’t here - that’s very subjective anyway. My only point was that that dye can be useful to Guardians, as that example shows.

I will say one thing:- "Every version needs to be verified."And I’m going to check it out.But, to do this, I need to collect at least 50% of the bolts for the worpals, because without them I will not be able to check how useful this paint is.Agree, with this weapon it is useless.And this is the best I have.



Tested in operation. :slightly_smiling_face: