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Community Q&A

Aion EU starts a new Q&A vidcast

Fantasy, Video, Aion, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Community Q&A

Aion's EU dev team has released the first episode of a new vidcast called Ask Aion. It follows a pretty familiar Q&A format, with the questions pulled from fans via Twitter.

They include bits about player events, possible server merges, and even an angry rant directed at publisher GameForge which prompts Aion's EU product director to strangle a plushie on camera. See for yourself after the cut.

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Dark Age of Camelot takes aim at group finder and bug fixes

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dark Age of Camelot, Bugs, Patches, Previews, PvP, Community Q&A

daoc
An end-of-the-year community Q&A at Dark Age of Camelot revealed that the team has a lot on the docket for Patch 1.117, including the long-awaited casual group finder and a heap of bug fixes.

"We think that focusing our development resources on bug fixing for an entire patch cycle is something that hasn't been done in a long time and is something that will make everyone's gameplaying experience that much better!" Broadsword posted.

Other topics discussed include freeing up space in quest logs, plans to update the patcher, and ideas to help out starter guilds. The Q&A even revealed that there will be "official Broadsword player reps" and "scheduled raids of all sorts" for trial accounts, although details on those will be coming later.

WoW's garrisons aren't a guarantee in future expansions

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, News Items, Community Q&A, Subscription

Create your own personalized garrison!  Which you will then abandon.  Who cares.
It was open season for World of Warcraft fans yesterday as the development team opened up with an AMA session on Reddit. The eight-person team taking on player questions included director Tom Chilton and lead designers Ion Hazzikostas and Cory Stockton, meaning that fans got plenty of in-depth answers to almost everything. Whether or not you liked all of the answers is another story altogether, but there's a handy-dandy summary of answered questions and links to the full answers that should save a great deal of scrolling through comments.

Chilton confirmed that there are currently no plans for queued scenarios in Warlords of Draenor, although they're not off the table for future expansions. He also stated that there may or may not be Garrison-like elements in future expansions and that there will be "a surprise" regarding the last boss of the expansion. Check out the full summary for more quick links; there's a lot of information in there.

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR and the transparency dilemma

Sci-Fi, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Community Q&A, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon
This past week on The Republic, I talked to prominent community members about transparency and broken promises in regard to Star Wars: The Old Republic. Both Heather from Corellian Run Radio and Redna from Ootinicast agreed that BioWare's community team has communicated too little and too infrequently with the players and has actually driven people away from the game because of that lack of dialogue.

Also this past week, former Operative Class Representative Snave interviewed Community Manager Eric Musco, asking why the community team has been so quiet as of late and why it promised to deliver information by the end of September but it didn't. Snave also asked why there hasn't been more transparency from community team, especially when Musco specifically said that one of the things that he wanted from the community team was more transparency. Snave accused Musco of speaking out of both sides of his mouth when he said that he wanted more transparency but then wouldn't reveal what was going on with the announcement.

Compounding recent events was a kerfuffle over the ongoing Cantina Tours. Players became upset when the Cantina Tour date for Las Vegas was moved from November 7th to November 15th, even though back in February, Community Coordinator Courtney Woods posted the planned dates of the Community Cantina Tour with the caveat that they were "subject to change."

As a community, SWTOR players don't seem to be happy with or without transparency. The SWTOR community team cannot, as the saying goes, win for losing. What is the solution here? Let's discuss the details and maybe a solution or two.

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Destiny knows you want a looking-for-raid tool

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Endgame, PvE, Consoles, Community Q&A, Dungeons, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

In Destiny's latest letter to the playerbase, Bungie Community Manager Deej says that a looking-for-raid tool might be on the table. "You've been heard," he tells a player asking for raid matchmaking. "We're having conversations about how Matchmaking might support the more challenging activities in Destiny." He suggests that PUGs for dungeons thought mostly un-PUGgable are already happening.
You don't need to sell us too hard on the value of Matchmaking at Bungie. It's something we helped to pioneer. Yet, we understand its limitations. In the recipe of a Bungie game, Matchmaking has always contributed the ingredient of a team built to play one match of competitive multiplayer. As you've probably witnessed in recent weeks (or years), many of those fresh allies have failed to go the distance together.

The Raid was designed for solid teams of killers who have made a commitment to solve a dense and explosive riddle. Most of the raiding parties who have emerged victorious from the Vault of Glass have sworn that one weak link would have doomed their chain. There have been other stories, of course. We've heard tell of Guardians who met each other just outside the door that leads into that vault. Strange tales have reached our ears - tales of total strangers who have banded together to see the Raid all the way through to a triumphant finale.
After announcing that he wouldn't be fielding queries about rumors, Deej also addressed the companion app, factions, feedback, and class balance. "The next batch of enhancements, refinements, fixes, and tweaks," he says, will be released "very soon."

Camelot Unchained celebrates new website and forums

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, Community Q&A, Dev Diaries, Camelot Unchained, Subscription

cu
Camelot Unchained is now boasting a shiny new website and player forums, according to the game's second newsletter.

That's only the tip of the wordy newsletter. A brief community question and answer section addresses a few in-game topics, such as boat travel and caravan details. Then it dives right into a treatise on world game design and how the team is still attempting to figure out how large Camelot Unchained's landmass should be and how quickly players will be able to traverse it.

"In our case, we are making what is essentially a medieval fantasy war game conquest map, which means things like territory and resource control, logistics, and force projection are extremely important considerations, but things like good quest flow are less so," the team said.

The art department also piped up to say that it's working on the Tuatha Dé Danann race, the Arthurian Storm Rider, and pre-alpha testing support.

Final Fantasy XIV Q&A teases future content and pacing

Fantasy, Classes, Expansions, Final Fantasy XIV, Community Q&A, Dev Diaries, Subscription

ff14
Final Fantasy XIV has been a little pokey in rolling out major new systems. Will this be the case going forward? Not so much, according to a new producer's letter Q&A, in which the team says that future updates should be coming more frequently.

"Due to scheduling issues and circumstances surrounding implementation, we've been prioritizing the implementation of party-based challenges utilizing the duty finder whenever possible," the letter states. "As a result, we were a step behind in implementing systems that make use of the open world, or those that require time but can be completed at one's own pace. With the introduction of zodiac weapons followed shortly after by the Hunt, it may seem as though we're shifting focus toward time-consuming systems, but rest assured this is not the case, and we plan to strike a balance with party-based activities as we move forward."

Other topics of discussion include the upcoming Rogue class and Ninja job, the approximate release window for Patch 2.38 (about a month), word of a new expansion release, and hints about the expansion and new race.

Trion clarifies ArcheAge's head-start housing situation

Betas, Fantasy, Economy, Game Mechanics, Launches, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Community Q&A, Livestream, ArcheAge, Sandbox, Housing

During its livestreamed pre-launch discussion of ArcheAge earlier this week, Trion Worlds clarified a number of issues that will affect players early on when the game enters its head-start period tomorrow. Top priority in a sandbox? Where you hang your hat. Housing will open at the beginning of the head start period, so early players will naturally secure the best properties. There is no limit to the number of houses an account can own, although accounts are taxed "exponentially" after they acquire three and up.

Also of note:
  • The game plans to launch with the eight ten original beta servers.
  • The "patron" subscription is indeed $15; 1250 credits cost 1 APEX or $10. For scale, consider that a character slot costs 1000 credits.
  • Trion vowed to continue its efforts to deal with chat spammers and botters.
  • Everyone, even F2P players, can access the auction hall.
As to the controversial labor point system, Trion says all characters will begin with zero points.

[Thanks, JunkiesNation.]

The Repopulation's new alpha trailer features pets, housing, and the open world

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Previews, News Items, Community Q&A, Sandbox, The Repopulation

The Repopulation
Above and Beyond has just released another alpha teaser video for upcoming sci-fi sandbox The Repopulation. The two-minute trailer sweeps through panoramas and highlights riding mounts, dual-wield electricity-sword combat, fishing, pet taming, dancing, and building and decorating houses in the open world, a set of activities no doubt intended to appeal to fans of a certain other sci-fi sandbox -- not that we're complaining.

The team has also promised another live giveaway and question-and-answer session with fans on Twitch coming up this weekend on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. EDT.

The video is below.

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Star Citizen answers a new round of subscriber questions

Sci-Fi, Video, News Items, Community Q&A, Sandbox, Star Citizen

Thanks for subscribing to an unfinished game concept!
Ready for another round of answers about Star Citizen's mechanics? Because that's what you're going to get in the video just past the cut. Chris Roberts picks out 10 questions from the game's subscriber base, talks a bit about the community, and then answers all of them in as much detail as he can provide. Rather fittingly given recent events, he starts off with questions about electronic warfare, data hacking, and stealing data from ship databases and the like.

Other questions ask about being able to take jobs on NPC ships, using rovers on different planets and for different purposes, and the encounter slider for ships crewed by players who prefer different sorts of content. There's also an in-depth discussion of some of the guiding principles used to make decisions and solve problems when crafting the game's fictional environment. Hop on past the break to watch the full video, although you may want to wait until later if you're pressed for time right now (it's nearly half an hour).

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World of Warcraft's Draenor Q&A, Grommash Hellscream lore

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Lore, News Items, Community Q&A, Subscription

WoW
World of Warcraft generated plenty of news this past weekend! First, our sister site WoW Insider published an overview of last Friday's developer Q&A. The studio confirmed earlier reports that Warlords of Draenor was being worked on before Mists of Pandaria launched, as well as clarified Draenor's timeline (35 years in the past), noted that some garrison buildings will be account-wide, and promised no rep or PvP grinds for legendaries.

Second, Blizzard posted up the another entry in its five-part series discussing the lore of major NPCs in Draenor. This video entry, included at the end of this post, covers Grommash Hellscream, chieftain of the Warsong clan.

Finally, a Venturebeat piece showed WoW's soft side: A WoW-playing Alabama woman, stricken with a terminal illness, was showered with funding and support from both Blizzard and the WoW community in her attempt to attend this year's BlizzCon.

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World of Warcraft gears up for its Arena tournament with a $250,000 prize pool

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, PvP, News Items, Community Q&A, Subscription

This guy will be your constant companion.
Still hoping to prove you're the best World of Warcraft PvP player around? You're in luck; qualifying rounds have just begun for the 2014 North American Arena Tournament, which will be held at BlizzCon this year. Qualifiers are open to 3v3 teams who are ranked at or above 2500 on their home realm. The best of the best will face off against seven other teams for a chance at a $250,000 prize pool, so there's certainly motivation to smash some faces.

If that's not your thing, you've still got something to look forward to. A special live developer Q&A session will take place on Friday at 1:00 p.m. EDT with lead game designer Cory Stockton and lead narrative designer Dave Kosak, answering player questions on everything from world design to Garrisons. There's no prize involved there aside from information, but if that's what you're tuning in to get, you'll probably be happy with it.

Roberts discusses Star Citizen's inventory system, balancing, and factions

Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, News Items, Community Q&A, Sandbox, Star Citizen

In summary, Libya is a land of contrasts.
Star Citizen fans can get some answers from Chris Roberts, assuming that the questions they have match up with the five questions featured in the latest video. There's nothing fancy about this one, just Roberts sitting down and answering top fan questions about the game as collected from the game's Reddit directory.

Roberts starts off by discussing inventory and how it will be influenced by player outfits, along with the different inventories for ships, player characters, and the like. He also talks about balancing with weapons and items in the present and in the future, the interplay of organization membership with enemy NPC factions, ship durability, and the details on the Caterpillar. If you want to hear about all of that, jump on past the break to watch the full video; it's only eight minutes long, but it contains plenty of information for fans to consider and discuss in depth.

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War Thunder dev diary explains battle rank and more

Historical, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Community Q&A

Have you ever wondered what, exactly, the battle rank statistic governs in War Thunder? If so, Gaijin's latest dev diary video is worth watching. The clip is the first in a planned series called Developer Answers. It runs for nearly nine minutes and explains, in part, how BR is the average efficiency of a given vehicle in all battles as opposed to the efficiency of a given vehicle against another specific type.

Various War Thunder devs explain how this relates to the WWII flight sim's matchmaking mechanics, too, and they also address several other questions pulled from community members and social media channels. You can watch the full clip after the cut.

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Tree of Savior delays closed beta, talks classes

Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Community Q&A

tree of savior
Classes are the hot topic for this week's Tree of Savior community Q&A, with many of the questions concerning the different roles that players will assume in the upcoming title.

The Q&A was coy on a few specifics, such as which class only has five skills, but was more open on other topics. The Alchemist was singled out as a class that synergizes well with crafting, the Wugushi was noted as a class with a strong poison bent, the Pardoner was shown to be a scroll-producing Cleric, and the Peltasta was revealed as a sword-and-shield fighter.

For those hoping to get some beta action in this summer, we have bad news: It's been delayed. "We focused on the development so that we can launch CBT within this year's summer, but more time was needed than we had expected on the overall balancing of the game so we think CBT will be delayed a bit," the devs wrote.

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