Dev Chatter: Late April through end of May

The following conversations were taken from the Rift Community Discord and Dimensions Skype channel from the end of April until the end of May.  As a reminder, Discord is more than just a pure voice service, it also serves as a text chat service similar to IRC and old style chat rooms, but far more modernized.  This is primarily how it is used for Rift.  If you haven’t yet, come join us on discord here: https://discord.gg/BQJnPQ6.

As usual, these have been anonymized, and edited for topic flow and some minor grammar tweaks.  We got talk on a few topics, including upcoming new dimensions and dimension items, some class discussion for primalist and rogue, some eternal weapon concerns, and some rationale for the removal of CQ.  

The purpose of these dev chatter posts is to summarize the general thoughts of Rift’s dev team.

All details are subject to change, and should not be taken as 100% guaranteed to happen.

Q: The graphics of Curved Brilliant Blue Crystal Node are still messed up. [Any plans to fix this?]

[We] had art investigate, and as far as they can see, it is a low poly model that has always been a low poly model.

 

Q: Any other Dimension updates?

[We] found, due to a peculiarity with our tools, a chunk of assets, primarily plants, that did not come up in my previous asset searches.  Like the reeds, foxtails, and lily pads mentioned a few days ago in the dimension item request list.

Which means [we] can add them. [We] can’t say where they will show up yet, just they are primarily plants since they are things without collision.  Some, [will likely]  get added to [the] landquarium plans.  Others might find other means.

Not planning on adding them to the new minion rewards though.

 

Q: Landquarium!?!

Yes, the 4.2 box – Landquarium.  Plants.  Lots of plants.  So many plants.  (and some rocks and garden statuary – basically it is a terrarium theme).

Some of the plants might even be somewhat mobile

[Landquarium Dimension, too]

 

Q: To replace [the] alittu [dimension boxes]?

Yes, it will be the next box after Alittu [in 4.2].

 

Q: Is the landquarium going to be for max level guilds only?

It is the key in the next Mystery Box.  Not a guild dim.  No guild dim for 4.2.  Unsure about 4.3 yet.

 

Q: Here’s an oddity – when you enter Haunted Terminal, it unlocks the Porticulums to TB Plaza and Canals

It is because porticulum unlocks are normally based on map areas now (something [we]I changed about a year after Rift came out).  So the Haunted Terminal is still a part of areas in the non-dim game that unlock the TB portals.  It doesn’t really break anything so [we] have never tried to investigate a way to stop it.

 

Q: [Any other 4.2 or future dimension news?]

An Iron Tomb dim for Autumn Harvest.  The expert version of the map that makes a complete loop = perfect for making haunted houses.

 

Q: We’re gonna need ghost npcs fyi!

Yep.  [We] will likely put out a call for AH themed dim requests at a later date.  We just had our kick off meeting today [April 25th] to start planning AH.  Yes, these things get worked on that far in advance.

 

Q: I LOVE THE DOOR! [can we get more details on it?] (EDITOR’S NOTE: on PTS there is a test for a working door for dimensions)

The current door is a test of effort (time) needed to make them on my end and whether or not the functionality as it is is desired enough with the restrictions that exist (can’t be scaled, will default to closed when placed, etc).  Other aspects like cost, exact art asset, etc are all placeholder.

Video Demonstration of dimension doors:

Q: I’m curious – why can’t it be scaled?

Basically anything interactive in a dim is not being placed in a dim directly.  This includes NPCs, anything clickable, anything with scripted behavior.  Basically anything with any level of real interaction.  Simple items are placed directly into the dimension.  Interactive items place a proxy.  That proxy, upon placement, gets replaced with the contents of an “event” file.  It is the same type of file that contains quest scripting, mob populations, rifts, etc. These are all in files that get loaded into the world.  Interactive dim items work the same way.

So scaling fails, because the item you would be trying to scale never actually exists in the dim.  It is just the vehicle for loading the file contents.

 

Q: Any of this technology from Simon’s dungeon?

Nope.  It’s just us pushing the ways this stuff can be used.  Perhaps beyond the original intent.  

 

Q: No way to store scaling data alongside the event file? or does it get messy at that point?

So in the case of the door, the proxy door loads up the real door, which has an added usable component, which then triggers the scripting on use to transition to the next animation state and also to enable or disable the invisible collision plane that makes the door “physically” closed.

 

Q: The replacement can use the position and rotation of the proxy, but not the scale? Or is it that NPCs and interactive items don’t support scaling anyway?

Different things scale in different ways.  NPCs in particular.  Also, those files loading with the rotation intact is just a nature of how that tech was built.  It was not built with scaling in mind.  The scaling is both more complicated – because sclaing of objects vs NPCs is handled differently, PLUS the relative distance of the file contents would all have to be adjusted by the scale value as well, or else the various contents of the files would lose their positional spacing.  So it is both a more complicated requirement than respecting rotation, plus not part of how the tech was built, so it would also get shoe-horned in after to do so.

 

Q: [We noticed that there are new dreamweaver recipes on PTS to create Planar fragment boxes.  Are we really going to have to craft fragments now?  I’m afraid of crafting these boxes and getting nothing.]
Don’t bother yet.  It is WIP.

The loot table on the crafted boxes is the same as the existing notoriety boxes, but that is just placeholder.  The real tables for those frags are not yet made.

Cost is also not final as [we do not have] the real frags yet.  

Those mats involved are going to be the mats involved, but the quantity is TBD.

 

Q: [are these crafted fragment boxes] something for 4.2? or later
Or sooner.  Who knows?

 

Q: I like the core sink
That is part of the intent, yes.

 

Q: I find it odd that [Primalist] hybrids are still better than 31, i guess it wasn’t on purpose?

No, it was not.  Overall primalists are competing with everyone else on pts as far as I’ve heard (after sin and tempest got slapped down a bit)

 

Q: [It’s] not as much of a complaint, but i do miss 31 points souls.

Primal Lord will mostly only work as a 31, Predator too.

 

Q: Any thought to reducing the CD on eternal buffs? so we don’t lose them after one run in TD?

Not particularly on the CDs.  If players could be trusted, they could be a little more open. We aren’t lowering the CD so people can’t use them for wildly aberrant behaviors

Just that the fact that players do exploit means a good chunk of [our] time is preventing exploits. It prevents lots of fun designs  Exploiters and PVPers break more cool designs than anything else

(Editor’s Note: Summary of the technical reasons for this) Eternal weapon buffs are tagged to be removed upon exiting an instance or logging off.  This is to prevent selling the eternal weapon buffs to other players, an undesirable behavior that happens in MMOs that allow shared buffing.


The only option to prevent this, with Rift’s current buff system, is to make the buffs an Aura, which will really make the servers slow in the long term when the number of players with eternal weapons gets really high, OR to implement new tech that allows a buff to fall off once the caster leaves the group, OR to just turn the click-to-cast buffs into personal buffs and remove the CD that way.

Dev Response: Yes, that’s a good TL;DR [We are considering changing these to self buffs.]

 

Q: [What are these Rogue Nerfs I keep hearing about?] (NOTE: these changes are already live)

[Nightblade] had [its] target caps restricted to 3 (down from Unlimited, 10, and 5). Certain buffs in their [soul] were improved to compensate. Before this went live I was made aware of a bug that allowed them to still do wildly too much damage in aoe and cleave that wasn’t intended. [This] has been fixed on pts

 

Q: From what I understand, Nightblade is for ST/cleave consistent damage.  Ramp up, keep damage steady.  Assassin is ST Spike damage, and Shadeborn is Cleave Spike damage, or something along those lines, [correct?]

It’s not quite that strongly delineated, but close enough. As a general rule, outside of AoE/ST (with some gradient for cleave potential) most DPS should just feel like “dps”.  This makes the game more accessible and helps prevent the vast majority of players from being “required” to play certain specs.

Experts will always gravitate towards whatever is on top, even if it is marginal, so [reducing] their range of choices is generally ok. In an ideal world, all the DPS would be generally competitive with each other, although this is impractical for a number of reason.

 

Q: [Can we get details about why CQ was removed?]

[We’re] not gonna go that in-depth on the CQ reasoning because that [Port Scion] post took [Vladd] 90 minutes to [write, proofread, and edit].

But here are a few off the cuff reasons…

1) Participation in CQ in the early days was largely driven by CQ power. If you wanted to be a bleeding edge raiding guild, you kept your CQ power maxed. At this point, you are really crossing the streams when it comes to PVP players and PVE players. To the point that the “rewards” for CQ became PVE-centric.

2) When we removed CQ power, participation (as expected) plummeted.

3) CQ, behind the scenes, is a nightmare of scripting and code. [You] could make an analogy of duct tape and chicken wire here and it would almost be completely accurate. As such, maintaining CQ through expansions became more and more of a drain on development time because it was a massive mess. With the rather poor participation numbers, it was hard to justify putting forth the resources into an activity that didn’t have a great return on investment.

[In short], Any mode that combines pvp and pve elements is a constant drain of development resources because the power level and incentivization of the pve part means constant rebalancing unlike pure pvp (which is partly self-balancing) or pure pve (which gets left behind as the power / leveling curve passes it).  And when you have high cost (in terms of dev time) and low participation, the math says cut it.

 

Forum post on why Port Scion was removed: http://forums.riftgame.com/general-discussions/general-discussion/495168-regarding-rift-4-1-hotfix-6-5-3-2017-a-3.html#post5304647

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