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Storm Chat from 2002-03-22

Storm Chat from 2002-03-22

This chat was originally posted at the now-defunct IanStorm.com [1].



Ian I would like to thank of all you for joining us here at Ianstorm. First we would like to thank the team that has allowed us to gather here tonight. We will be discussing "Onging Content". Once again, Thanks for all of you that have joined us. Send all questions to the takers that have been posted.
Kehleyr Please do not message the OSI staff, it will result in a removal from the server
Kehleyr Send your questions to me, Ian_Storm and NewtonD
Kehleyr *Oceania]Jaelk* Does the current fiction have a "story arc" and if so how long will it take for that arc to play out?
Gromm We've had a definite direction for everything in the story to go for quite some time. We've just now getting to a point internally where we're having to decide what to do next with the plot.
Gromm Mostly everything start as a fairly loose plan of "we have to get the story from point A to point B" and the fine details work out as we go
Gromm But soon we're about to have everything established the way we want it so we can get on with the evil. :)
Kehleyr *[Atl]Xena_Idoc_Queen* So guys, when's the next senerio starting?
Ignatz Scenario 4 is plodding through testing and going pretty well. We don't have a definite date yet, though.
Ignatz yeah.. I know... frustrating... but it's has some really good stuff that will make it all worth it.
Kehleyr *[Oceania]Jaelk* So does that mean that the "story" is more a group of scenarios? Or is there a larger "campaign" style plot?
Gromm Think of it as sort of an episodic series. You have the same usual characters and the same usual villains established with the same goal in mind, just every episode shows them trying to acheive it in a different way
Gromm And on occasion you see a new enemy to mix things up
Gromm But all in all there is an ongoing thread through everything, one scenario effects the next one story wise
Kehleyr *[Oceania]DarekSteele* Do you have any interesting tidbits you can tell us about the upcoming Gardening, like what type of hybrids we can make?
Augur‑OSI I don't know about interesting tidbits that haven't already been discovered that we definitely want to reveal just yet - that said
Augur‑OSI Plant system was basically designed with two main trains of thought : 1) provide a novel and fun way to introduce new "decorative" content
Augur‑OSI 2) allow for the production of new, fun, or useful "resources" from the plants
Augur‑OSI It's definitely a mini-game that players can play through and enjoy, sharing their new plant seeds and the resources produced from them.
Augur‑OSI One point I'd like to make, is that the "resources" should definitely be looked at as an extra bonus bit, not as the reason behind the plant system. When the plant system is introduced, two resources will be available
Augur‑OSI and we'll try to add more in the future where time permits.
Augur‑OSI There's lots of fun little things to discover about the best way to grow plants that I think everyone will enjoy figuring out.
Augur‑OSI And if it hasn't been stated before : there are 3 plant types with 4 different colors that you can get off of monsters.
Augur‑OSI From those 3, you can combine types and colors to get hundreds of different combinations
Augur‑OSI but all of those come from players making the new seeds through the system. ^_^
Kehleyr *{pac}tarzan* can gromm elaborate on what new enemys we might see?
Gromm From a fictional standpoint, bascially I mean that it won't necessarily be Blackthorn and Exodus causing all the trouble every time. ;)
Kehleyr *{Pac}_IronKiller* Is there anyway of making cinematic episodes like the LBR movie to introduce Scenarios?
Ignatz I wish... unfortunately we don't have the resources in-house to do that kind of thing
Ignatz though whenever an opportuity presents itself, we plan to leap at it, tie it down, and make it say, "Ongoing Content Team Rules"
Gromm I'm in charge of rope. :D
Kehleyr *[Chessy]Fignut_the_Elder* Will you do some "mini-events" in between the bigger scenerios...perhaps a Blackthorn sighting or something?
Ignatz an intriguing idea. we've talked about that kind of thing (blackthorn sightings), though not necessarily "in between" scenarios.
Ignatz nothing specific is planned at this time, but it's something we'll keep in mind
Kehleyr *[Atl]Vic_Twenty* With the imagination you've shown thus far in giving various skills new items and things to do with the scenarios, surely you could give the very restless fishing community something to include them in the fun...any plans for this?
Ignatz The next scenario has a tidbit or two for fisherman to nibble on.
Kehleyr *[Oceania]DarekSteele* Well we see Minax taking a interest in her "sons" new endevours in Sosaria?
Gromm Yes. :)
Kehleyr *Mekere_Atl* Can you give us any hints as to what new weapons will make an appearance in the next scenerio?
Augur‑OSI I think at this stage we want to keep at least some surprises left in the scenario in terms of these kinds of details.
Augur‑OSI You'll get to see soon enough! ^_^
Kehleyr *[GL]Meneliki* Will the overall "arc" of the story ultimately be influenced by the players, as far as the outcome and end result, similar to the orc/savage scenario?
Gromm So far we have to take some of the dynamic elements, like the orc fort, very very carefully
Gromm The story, at this point has to stay on a certain path because we have to make it able to fit every shard
Gromm A lot of people have wondered if there could be different scenario stories for different shards, I think it would be cool but right not it would take WAY more manpower than we have right now, and more people than you would think
Gromm We still want to make some different things happen on different shards, just like the orc fort
Gromm But we have to set limits, for instance we don't want to have an item appear on one shard and then not have it appear on another
Gromm Some people would just switch shards to get it
Gromm So we still want to have some differences, we just can't make them be HUGE plot points like a major villain dying or something like that
Kehleyr *[Atl]Vic_Twenty* Ignatz, a follow-up question about that "tidbit or two for fishers" - Is it unrelated to the new leathers on sea serpents and the mysterious tailoring resource that Hanse has mentioned fishers can/will get?
Ignatz completely unrelated. nothing to do with tailoring at all
Kehleyr *[Europa]Steveo* tribal spears where a boon for the fencers amoung us, are there any plans to make these type of weapons for the other melee skills?
Augur‑OSI Whenever we're thinking of new items to introduce, we basically take a step back and look both at skills that haven't had a new item-interaction or new use for a while (in terms of crafting type skills), as well as what type of item we haven't done for a while (weapon, magic type, resource gathering, etc.)
Augur‑OSI So, as far as specifics, no real details on what the next weapons might be - but in general, we're always looking to try and make something
Augur‑OSI for each and every skill/"class" type/game interaction we can think of in the game.
Augur‑OSI Our hope is to make new items and adventures for everyone, over time ^_^
Kehleyr *Greyface* Any possibility of a web based guide to the fiction? Between U-Prime fiction and UO2 fiction, a lot of players are confused. It'd help to have some kind of offical reference.
Gromm I agree there does seem to be a lot of confusion about our characters and the UO2 ones. I'd love to put together a guide to all of it, the characters and the stories and how they all fit together. It's just a matter of finding the time. :)
Gromm As it is I usually go up to the deadline on the BNN stories heheh
Kehleyr *[Napa]HandOfBane* will the apparently planned power scrolls be worked in as part of the ongoing scenarios, or will that be a completely separate matter?
Ignatz At this point, they are completely separate. But those scrolls will be available as something we could use if the opportunity arises.
Kehleyr *Mekere_Atl* When you guys are are testing the new material, what are the configurations/specs of the cpu's that you test on?
Augur‑OSI In terms of testing, the three of us usually just do the "Is it working how I want it to work" type of testing while we're coding
Augur‑OSI I.e. we test to make sure our system or item works, and check it in 3D and 2D, etc.
Augur‑OSI Then we hand it over to QA who does the real testing. The "is this doing anything it SHOULDN'T do" type of testing
Augur‑OSI We're they try to break it, fiddle with it, and tweak it from every which angle
Augur‑OSI on man different system configurations - from different Windows installs, to different CPU/RAM configs, to 3D and 2D, to Renaissance patched installs to LBR fresh installs, etc.
Augur‑OSI So we basically just go "My code is perfect! Look, the exploding head manipulator explodes heads flawlessly!" and naively pass it over to QA
Augur‑OSI QA then figures out that you can crash the shard if you rotate the exploding head manipulator 3 times then sit on a stool and say "Exodus" three times backwards.
Kehleyr *[Europa]Steveo* so far the cities in ilsh have been slowly moving from monster filled to either friendly or a different monster set, i.e. lakshire lost its gazers and got meer, Mistas lost is ogres and got juka, will this trend be maintained over Ilshenaur, with Montor perhaps being fielled with friendly creatures or new hostiles?
Gromm It's something we'd like to contine so that eventually it seems like the meer and juka are rebuilding their lives. I don't know how much of it we're going to be able to express in game but we really want to show some growth and change whenever we can. Anytime we can make the world feel like it's turning we want to. :)
Kehleyr *[NV]Ashe* How much will there be between the comic in LBR and the upcoming scenario?
Gromm If all goes as planned you should see the events in the comic and the game coincide.
Gromm With a few surprises. :)
Kehleyr *badlogic* there is some art that is on the LBR cd for 2d that wasnt activated (like the arcane clothing for example) will it ever be activated?
Ignatz Some new art may eventually be made available to the LBR 2d client. We can also patch new art to that client, so it's something we want to take advantage of.
Ignatz but there are some problems that will stop all of it from being available
Ignatz such as the arcane robes... the 2d LBR client has the drop art, but not the animations for your player character when wearing it
Ignatz sadly
Kehleyr *[Europa]Lyria* Arr! Is a sea-centered scenario something that the scenario team would like to do sometime?
Augur‑OSI I think all of us have had ideas with sea-centered things we'd like to do at one time or the other (I know I have since my days as a player). The problem comes with the fact that water-based stuff in UO still presents many problems because of the underlying method by which it works
Augur‑OSI (boats and how they move, the fact that, unlike land, where we can know where houses can and cannot be, we don't know where all the boats might be if, say, we wanted to place a new island or something)
Augur‑OSI The main problems, however, still sit with the way boats function (and don't function), and that much of our combat and interactions on oceans would have to be in a few limited ways.
Augur‑OSI That and any new content placed on the ocean in terms of locations would quickly get bogged up witih boats.
Augur‑OSI There's lots of problems and solutions we've thrown back and forth, but at this time, any sea additions would be limited to small encounters if anything, rather than being a large part of any scenario, I think.
Kehleyr *[LS]Ravatar* "If all goes as planned you should see the events in the comic and the game coincide." Does that mean that the towns will lose "guards" like Minoc did during the orc scenario?
Gromm I'd guard it when the time comes just in case. Dasha don't fib. :)
Kehleyr *[Chessy]Launcealot* in the next scenario are we going to be geting any new creatures to kill?
Augur‑OSI Yes, most definitely.
Augur‑OSI some weird ones, too! ^_^
Kehleyr *[Oceania]Jaelk* Has the team ever considered doing a quest/scenario reminisent of the Ultima-Prime sort of quests where information and clues needed to be discovered and riddles solved rather then the plain combat syle scenarios we have seen thus far (excluding the generators that is ;).
Augur‑OSI We've definitely tried to do more puzzles and non-combat interactions (generators & their puzzle, symbol puzzle, resource gathering for Gargoyle Scenario, etc.)
Augur‑OSI and we want to do more. In terms of Prime-style quests - at the least, we'd have to super-randomize them and have lots of differing content for each
Augur‑OSI as we have a huge # of players, and a generally staggered release schedule (so everyone would know the answer right away, once 1 person had solved it)
Augur‑OSI We have this problem already, but with more "puzzle" type interactions, we can at least more easily do randomization.
Augur‑OSI We're always coming back to trying to figure out interesting and new ways to do "Prime-style" quests, however,
Augur‑OSI like Oracle trails, where you have to hop through hoops and figure out clues
Augur‑OSI but in general, I actually find those less interesting than more "puzzley" puzzles, personally.
Augur‑OSI Simply because, without advanced AI it usually devolves into "repeat every word he says looking for the next keyword"
Augur‑OSI ^_^
Kehleyr *[LS]Ravenspyre* Will Juka and Meer clothing and armor styles become available to gain, oor craft as time goes on?

Ignatz - Not sure those would fit humans... so no plans for that at this point.

Kehleyr *[Oceania]DarekSteele* Will we ever see anymore BNN Audio Stories to come with the new scenarios?
Gromm BOY I wish. We had way too much fun making those. Unfortunately these days we would not have time to write and perform it and still keep our sanity making the scenarios.
Gromm UGRUK SMASH
Augur‑OSI *misses making dumb voices into microphones*
Gromm Right Mitch Murket?
Kehleyr *[LS]Ravatar* Any plans to integrate future scenarios with groups like guilds or factions? Such as aligning yourself with Dawn or Blackthorn?
Ignatz No specific plans for factions, but the idea of being able to side with the "bad guy" instead of just pounding him is something I'd like to see
Kehleyr *[EU_Cats_LS]Katyana* Regarding future "puzzles". Is there anyway to have the locations and solutions random from shard to shard. The last ones saw the same people go to Sonoma, locate them, solve them, return to their shard and mark runes there. Then proceed to solve most of the others on other shards as well.
Augur‑OSI We definitely want to do that. For the Puzzle Towers in the Gargoyle scenario, it was more the complexity with attempting to set up towers in random locations over multiple subservers that
Augur‑OSI made it not worth the resources that it would have taken. However, we've got new and different methods to avoid that problem without adding extra coding/QA time in the future
Augur‑OSI It's really based off of what the type of puzzle is, but in the future we're trying to randomize more of it so you don't have "spoilers" between shards.
Augur‑OSI Although I love seeing people share their info across boards, personally, you want it to last long enough for each shard to be part of the discovery process as well.
Augur‑OSI So more randomization, yes!
Kehleyr *[Chessy]Fignut_the_Elder* How would a player "just graduated from Haven" get involved in a scenerio, is it an obvious thing or would they have to search for the action to get truely involved?
Ignatz A new player can talk to barkeeps to get information about current events.
Ignatz But even more than that, we've discussed ways to have the young player quests tie into a scenario more directly
Ignatz so that a newcomer to UO can get a taste and hopefully learn how to take part more fully.
Kehleyr *Mekere_Atl* I would like to ask, Do you guys play UO when you have time? What kind of characters do you play?
Augur‑OSI I try to play UO when I can grab the time still - though currently I'm playing more puzzle games to get ideas FOR UO scenario content instead. When I play, I usually play super wussy characters because I spend most of my time RP'ing. Other past main characters were a Peacemaking bard dungeon runner, a Treasure Chest hunter character, a fighter/smith, a T2A running mage, and on and on and on.
Gromm Ghost, mainly.
Ignatz I tend to make a new character, play for a while, work gets busy - no time to play, make new character
Ignatz all types, though usually tend more towards roleplay than useful character
Augur‑OSI My first UO-Final character was a Tamer. I tried to sell people cats, because I saw the Stablemaster sold them for 900+gp.
Kehleyr only good cat is a dead one!
Gromm I still say I meowed enough.
Ignatz I was a talking house once.
Kehleyr *[Atl]Mongoose* I've spotted some Transformers references, Star Wars, and others... what other shows or movies influence you when you're writing all of this?
Gromm Oh man, everything under the sun I think is cool tilts my mind one way or another. Sci-fi, fantasy, drama, comedy, everything.
Augur‑OSI Gromm and I's office is a constant tidalwave of movie and tv show quotes. We r l4m3.
Gromm If it's animated it's somewhere lurking in my head. :)
Ignatz and if it's not, it's in the halls somewhere
Gromm And one of the strangest assortments of action figures on the planet. We actually have a toy severed head of Callandryll. Looks exactly like him. Freaky.
Kehleyr Thankyou very much to Ignatz, Gromm and Augur for taking the time to join us this evening!
Kehleyr And for Ian taking time out of his busy baseball training schedule, to help take questions :)
Kehleyr And to everyone else who helped / attended, it's been fun!
Augur‑OSI Yeah, get a Leatherface Mcfarland action figure toy. It comes with a severed Calandryll head in a bucket.