Five on Friday - August 17, 2007

"What are the ore yields for type of mining spots/trees (is it now constant?)"
We did not change the actual yields in a particular spot with the patch at all, so the productive mining spots/trees will remain productive - the only thing that has shifted is what type of resource it gives.


[insert various questions about why lumberjacking and mining behave differently here]
There were a ton of questions raised about mining vs. lumberjacking - for example, why does smelting have a chance to destroy resources but cutting boards doesn't? Why does mining have a variable yield per chop but lumberjacking has a flat 10 logs?

The short answer is really that the two systems have been developed by different people, over different time periods, and we haven't actually attempted to keep them identical. There are definitely some aspects that might make more sense if they were actually the same, but making those changes would require some focused attention. We have plans to give crafting a thorough once-over, but I can't promise an ETA at the moment - we've got the 10th Anniversary to think about first!


"What's this about a customizable UI? I selected it but nothing happened!"
This is a new feature we added this patch, and it warrants some explanation. What we have added are the necessary backend hooks to allow you to customize various aspects of the UI - we did not actually create those UIs. (If we did it for you, it wouldn't be *custom*, would it?) Creating a custom UI will require some familiarity with XML and/or Photoshop - check out this post for details as to what to poke at and where.

We plan to put out more in-depth guides and instructions, plus some examples, over the next weeks, but in the meantime, we are terribly excited to see what y'all can come up with!


Perfection and luck, redux:
So, back in February we said that the code for Perfection affecting your luck stat wasn't actually working. Turns out we were wrong - we missed the relevant bit that actually used that code. Sorry for the confusion! Here's the real scoop:

Perfection is added to your luck stat for the purposes of determining the loot of the monster that you achieved perfection on. (It's not a time-based buff or anything, it's just a one-shot.) The actual amount of luck is the perfection bonus sqared, divided by ten - so, if you have achieved max perfection, you'll get a bonus of 1000 luck added to your base luck for the loot rolls on that critter.


"What is Origin actually for, if you only put builds on it for 24 hours?"
This question came up after our admittedly less-than-stellar server publish last week that required us to stay up far too late on a Friday to fix it, and it's a perfectly valid question.

Origin is our "live test" shard - it's about halfway between TC1 and, say, Atlantic. We don't put publishes on it unless we are reasonably certain that they don't have major bugs that make the game worse than it was prior to the publish, but we're not yet certain enough to push the publish WW. You folks on Origin are great at ferreting out the annoying little bugs - and the annoying REALLY BIG bugs - that we didn't find in testing, and believe me, we love ya for it.

However, we have to have some sort of schedule, which means we make some assumptions about when a build will go WW. We generally do this by looking at the changes we have made in a given patch, and assessing "risk" - meaning, we try to think about all the things that we *might* have broken and make an educated guess about how long it would take for the bugs to become apparent and for us to fix them. Sometimes we guess right - the patch is low-risk, it goes on Origin for 24 hours, then goes worldwide, and there are no issues. Sometimes we guess wrong - we put it up for a week and didn't find anything, or, and this is obviously worse, we put it up for 24 hours and the bugs weren't apparent fast enough. That's what happened last week, and we apologize.

Keeping stuff in testing longer is always the preferred option - but we don't have infinite amounts of time, so we have to use it as wisely as we're capable of. Origin is a huge help to us in that, and will continue to be so - even when we screw up :)


Town Hall: Seattle
Don't miss next week's own Hall in Seattle! We'll be talking about the 10th Anniversary and giving you a sneak peek at some new Stygian Abyss concept art, as well as the usual demos, discussion, and Q&A. RSVP now!


Farewell, Lady Silvani!
We want to wish the very best to our associate producer Anne "Silvani" Pitkin. She's been an incredibly valuable member of the team for the last seven years and we are very sorry to see her go. Smooth roads and fair skies to you, my Lady!


Can't wait to see what y'all come up with using the new custom UI tools... I'll be watching with great interest! Have a good weekend, everyone.

- Jeremy

See Also