November Q&A – Area Changes, Money, and More!

by Lyseri on November 22, 2011

in Q&A

November’s Q&A talked a lot about our building plans and the changes we’ve been making to standardize items currently in the game and the availability of money. We answered a few miscellaneous questions about skills, races, and religions, as well.

Will we be seeing more of the restructuring changes to areas soon?
We always work on Valve Time, so soon is relative. At the moment, our big goal is to finish building the Bay of Lesd’vha, which is our new adventuring zone. We have been working on it for about a year now since it is full of new, complex programs to make it an exciting area to explore. There are currently more progs than rooms (173 progs and counting) and half the things in the area aren’t what they seem at first glance.

We are also in the process of revamping the Hawkwind Inn area. After the Bay comes out, we are hoping to turn our attention to revamping Seria and adding in territories to significantly expand the city. We are slowed down by having so few builders; we would love to have new people to help!

Will there be better bags in the Bay for my shiny, heavy armor?
We won’t be making bags better since they’re already very nice now. However, we have been thinking about putting in item storage as a gold drain. Pay gold, store items, more valuable items cost more per day.

Are prices of items generally equivalent to the ‘strength’ or usefulness of the item? I.e. is a 300+ gold axe in a shop better than the one you can get in a small group from the battlefields?
Yes and no. If the shop’s been standardized, it’s probably worth the coins. Otherwise, no. Most of the expensive shop items are special in some way. There’s still random things that give 20 mana and cost 50 gold, though (lots of gold for very little bonus). At the moment, there are a lot of items in shops we have standardized and also a lot we have not had a chance to yet. As a way to tell if we’ve gotten to a shop yet, if everything in a shop is cheap except one item, it’s probably 90% chance it’s been standardized. On the other hand, if everything in a shop is in the 50+gold range, it’s probably not yet standardized. We do post in our building log (HELP BUILDING UPDATES) when we update areas, including their items and shops.

Something we’re excited about for the distant future is seasonal shopkeepers. These will be wandering merchants who are only available at certain times of the year. They will have very expensive, but very desirable merchandise, so it will be well worth saving up to buy things from them. We’re hoping to have a few of these in with the revamped Hawkwind area.

What do the Imms think is an expensive item? What is a reasonable amount of gold for players to be able to accumulate in a given time period?
Something that costs 100ish gold in a shop is a lot. Anything that much or higher, players can expect to be a powerful/very useful item from a shop, as long as the shop’s been standardized. It should be a decent bit of work but not difficult for players to get about 100 gold. We don’t want to see players farming up 500 gold in an hour and unbalancing the economy we’re trying to create. Something like farming 150 gold in an hour is what we’re aiming for, and the worth of items that can be obtained and sold is being adjusted accordingly.

Being in a clan is a good source of money, especially if you put in a lot of time online to receive wages. Players can also sell services. Pay me to fight with you, reinforce your things, enchant, tailor, etc.

After the Bay, are there plans to make Alandis bigger?
Yes, we have plans to eventually expand and/or revamp a lot of Alandis. Seria will be bigger and areas farther away from the city will be more dangerous. Walking along the western road will no longer involve only typing wwwwwwwww.

Will people not be able to go out exploring by themselves in the future, then?
People will no longer want to go to the far reaches of the world alone. The areas closer to Seria will be safe for solo exploration, but the farther from Seria you get, the more dangerous the environs will be. We are planning to have gates or something on the roads to noticeably mark when the areas turn dangerous so people will not be walking into their deaths without warning. Right now, most dangers can be avoided by using the scan/look functions. Infravision is very useful for exploring to avoid walking into dragon dens and the like. Even if you walk in on an aggro mob, running away will usually save your life. The key is to keep running rather than fleeing and stopping only a few rooms away from the angry mob. Carrying recall potions and using the backtrack and cover skills are also very good ways to avoid dying to aggressive mobs.

Is it possible to change flee so you can choose the direction you run in?
We have talked about revamping flee a bit, but we mostly think that running in a random direction is part of the risk of needing to flee and should be something you strategize around. If we added a way to choose the flee direction, it’d be harder and more costly to try to flee. However, we consider it part of strategy to learn the area you’re fighting in and choose where you fight so that you can control where you flee. If you die, use that time as a safe way to explore and learn about areas so you’re better prepared to fight in them in the future. Even if we do decide to change how flee works, it would be very low down on our list of things to do.

Will there be seasons and other weather around like snow?
We are hoping yes, but it is low on our list of things to do. We have been wanting noticeable seasons for quite some time now. One of the barriers to us adding this in is the way weather code currently works. Currently, weather changes across sectors rather than areas. Casting control weather in a forest-type sector in Haphen will also affect every forest-type sector everywhere else in the game. Obviously, this is not conducive to having different seasons in different climates in the world, so it will be a fairly large undertaking to change when we do work on code for seasons and weather.

Is the Find ability sector-based, too?
Yes and no. It can only be used in thief sector types such as city or garden and it only searches the current area you’re in. That means if you’re in the general “Seria” area it will not pick up anyone in the “Serian Shops and Taverns” area. If you put the area name in your prompt, you can see how Seria is divided into many smaller areas despite all being one big city. This is good and bad for thieves in different ways. They can use untargeted find and narrow down where someone is without giving the echo from using targeted find. It’s also easier to find someone in a smaller area than in the entire city, especially if the target is going to move after seeing the targeted echo. It does mean thieves have to move around a lot to use the skill effectively, though. As a note, a ranger’s search skill works the same way, but with ranger sectors.

Avians can’t seem to fight well. Is there a reason for that?
Avians can fight quite well. However, most of their available classes are mage classes, and those are fairly weak when newly at level 50. Avians make good mages and mages make up for their physical weakness with spells and the unique things having magic allows them to do. Regardless of class, it takes time to have a character be powerful. Once mages get some better equipment and learn to use their spells effectively, having lower hp and less physical strength no longer matters as much. Characters can also be boosted by exchanging experience for hp/mana/move and by getting skills and spells to 100%. Everyone dies easily at newly level 50. Older characters get very strong because they’ve invested time in strengthening their character. Level 50 is not the end-game for a character; it is the beginning of fully developing what a character is able to do.

When do Imms find it annoying for someone to pray?
We only find prayers annoying if they are constantly asking for us to come do things for a character or if they are the same thing repeated over and over again. Characters do not need to pray every day, but we do like hearing them from time to time to know that the religion is not being forgotten. Prayers don’t need to be formal or only about super important events. Pray when you feel it’s necessary or something interesting for your chosen god.

What about asking for guidance from a god like Lyseri, whose helpfile says she has her own plans for things?
Generally, we view such things as the gods may have their own plans, but they want their followers to have their own plans, too. The gods can work around their followers’ plans; go do your own things for us and we will tell you when we want your help. We would much rather see someone take their own initiative than always sit back and wait for us to tell them what to do. Being proactive rather than reactive is, on the whole, more fun for both staff and players.

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