Vanguard Developer Chat Log

WarCry: Welcome to the Vanguard WarCry Dev Chat. I hope the Spirit of Glorian has been good to you all. We thank you all for stopping by tonight. If you haven’t already done so you can send your questions to @[QT]QuestionTaker. General chat is available in #warcry and we will have a log file up shortly after the chat at

WarCry: And now onto our honored guests to introduce themselves! w00t!
Ellyra: Hi everyone! I’m Julie “Ellyra” Burness, the Community Representative for Vanguard. I’m thrilled to see so many of you in irc tonight, and cannot wait to see what questions you have for the team!
Head-GM-Moonlite: Hi there! I am Sharon “Moonlite” Morris, Senior Customer Service Manager. I am responsible for all your in-game petitions, and the GM team ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad to see you all here tonight!
Phathom: Hello everyone, I am Thom Terrazas, Producer for Vanguard. Thank you for coming. Lets get this chat on the road!
Gebron: Howdee folks! This is Ryan “Gebron the Demented” Elam, hub of blame for Vanguard. It’s great to see everyone show up. The frame rate is great in here!
GlipSOE: Hey all, I’m Nick Parkinson, aka the most handsomest production gnome to have ever lived. I’m kinda like a mini-Thom only way cooler. ๐Ÿ˜›
Phathom: cooler as in less hotter
* Head-GM-Moonlite rolls her eyes
GlipSOE: I’m gonna take the high road /nod
Gebron: Nick is so cool, we keep drinks in his office instead of the fridge.
Ellyra: For those of you that read the interview with Nick, you also saw the photo of him “locked” in the fridge.
GlipSOE: I was just testing it out. I could get out whenever I wanted

WarCry: elGrim: I can’t be here tonight for the chat… can someone ask them to make flying pigs? That would be a fun mount.
GlipSOE: We need elGrim’s contact info so we can hire him on our marketing team. I think they could get behind that ๐Ÿ˜›
Silius: Evening all
Silius: Sorry I am doing a couple of things at once here
Phathom: thats ok… we still love ya
Phathom: ๐Ÿ™‚

WarCry: Tusk: Will the expansions add new levels or AAยดs to vanguard? Or will the level cap stay at lvl 50 for some time to come?
Phathom: Currently we do not have an expansion slated that addresses new levels nor AAs. However, we are planning on these items being placed in our development calendar for the next year
Phathom: As far as level caps, we do have the a level increase planned this next calendar year as well.

WarCry: Nemoen: In recent months there has been a push towards attracting a new playerbase for Vanguard’s future. With all the focus on attracting new and old players alike, are they any plans in the works for rewarding those of us who have been here since the very beginning and never stopped? Anything unique in game?
GlipSOE: We definitely want to reward players who have been with us for a long time. We’ve already started handing out veteran rewards with each update and that will only be expanded to include more things in future updates. We’ve actually got some pretty cool plans on how to give things like veteran rewards for players that you’ll start seeing next year. Stay tuned!

WarCry: Toreg: Will group content offer comparable gear/progression to raid dungeons, or will raids be the only means of progresion at end-game?
Gebron: As someone who plays both group and raid content personally, I can definitely understand someone’s concern that “raid gear is the only gear”. However, what you get from your group experience plus the rare items that crafting can generate definitely supplements any lack of raiding you may do.
Gebron: Most of the upper-eschelon raid gear really helps the raider do more… raiding!

WarCry: Starocotes: Work on diplomacy was susspended for update 3. What have you planed now that update 3 is out and when will we see work on diplomacy started again?
GlipSOE: We did indeed kind of put diplomacy on the side for a little while to focus our attention on the main issues related to Update 3. Its funny you ask that though, because I actually just got out of a meeting before coming to this chat where we were discussing the plan for diplomacy for next year.
GlipSOE: So we absolutely plan to pick it back up (and to be fair, we’ve been fixing bugs the whole time, so it was never truly put down) and start adding new content. I really don’t want to get into too much detail about what that new content will be yet, but I can say that if you’re an adventurer or crafter – its stuff that you’ll be motivated to do.
GlipSOE: To answer the last part of the question, we’ll start serious work on it again when we come back from the holiday break. However, don’t expect tons of stuff to go in right away, we’ll need to pace ourselves.

WarCry: teviko: will they ever split the RP server back out into its own server again? The merging of non-rp servers with the one and only RP server kinda killed it for us RP’ers
Phathom: It is possible. What that will entail is population increases first. So what we are currently doing to the game is working on promised or unfinished game features as well as optimizations and performance increases.
Phathom: Additionally, we will be putting in new features and will be leveraging our work towards attracting players back with new players. When the populations increase, it will give us the best shot to gain more servers.

WarCry: Hid_Sartok: In the past people were told that an update to Unreal3.0 is possible and could happen in an Expansion, is this still planned ? what would such an update imporve in the game ?
Gebron: As you may have already noticed, there is a big difference between the Unreal 2.0 that you may have played in the past, and the Vanguard engine of today. At this stage, we don’t have a pressing need to convert over to Unreal 3.0, but it was never something that we considered “off the table’.
Gebron: Today, with the resources we’ve gained from SOE, and the talented team of graphics programmers we have on the team now, we are already greatly improving the fidelity and feature set of the graphics features of the game.
Gebron: Check out the Dynamic Weather for a case in point!

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WarCry: Lumio-VGVault: What is the devs favorite “About Vanguard” Comic? and Why?
GlipSOE: I like any of the comics that make fun of the designers. I also appreciate the effort that goes into drawing me. I realize its hard to capture my beauty on mere (digital) pen and paper, so I applaud the effort that goes into attempting to do so.
Gebron: It’s easy to draw Glip… he already looks like a cartoon. =)

WarCry: Akroma_Sartok: Will the UI ever have contextual menus that allow us to harvest without looting and other normal stuff that wasn’t included in the Vanguard UI?
GlipSOE: Currently, there isn’t a plan for that – but I’m not going to say that its never going to happen.

WarCry: schug: How do you plan to remedy class balance issues that arise on the pvp server?
Phathom: PVP – good question! During the next few updates, we will be evaluating classes and balance within the game. First and foremost, this will put classes in a categorization that we hope to hold every update to this categorization. For example, do we want druids and mages as the only classes that do additional teleportation from this day forward…
Phathom: bad example maybe but we need to ensure that PVP is at the top of the list when we evaluate the balance between classes

WarCry: Ardenya: the issue that interest me and my guild the most is: what future plans does the dev team have addressing the ping issues weve been facing in APW? I understand the problem is a complicated one but when can we expect this issue to be resolved and APW being playble with multiple guilds in one shard at primetime?
Gebron: Okay, yeah, feel free to throw tomatoes at me for that one. We tested APW over several months to make sure any potential lag issues were known and fixed, and obviously we missed some. The team has been doing everything in their power to come up with both short and long-term solutions. We’ve also had some guilds in-game helping us with diagnosing the issue.
Gebron: We do know that guilds are able to improve lag by logging off and back on when it gets really bad. That seems to help quite a bit. We’ll be announcing the fix as soon as we have it on test, we just want to make sure that our fix does not negatively affect gameplay.
Gebron: And I’m both amazed and honored at how much guilds have collaborated to mitigate some of the lag issues. Excellent community we have, to be sure.

WarCry: Alex: When can we expect the paladin and dreadknight revamps to be completed? And will they be as viable as warriors in tanking raids?
Silius: The Dreadknight revamp is pretty much done and Paladin is on its way. The goal is that all tanks can do their primary job equally well.

WarCry: AnnraThannar: When will trial island be ready and is trial island also dedicated for old buddy key owners. I hope so, because it may help reducing spam.
Phathom: Trial Island is a name that has a poor association with it at the moment. The Trial Island was started with the intention of having a stand alone client that new players can try out. Our current intention for the Trial Island is to use it as the new starting location for most of the races and new players.
Phathom: The Isle of Dawn is the actual name now “Spoiler Alert”
Phathom: We plan on restarting work on the Isle next month and expect to have it out to you near and around April
Phathom: Spam — We are looking at issues at the moment with this but we want you to be able to get your friends back in the game to experience a much better starting experience
Phathom: and allow you to be there to share the new experience without having the content too low for you to play. We’re still working out the details

WarCry: Edge: With all the efforts in recent updates to give players the potential to gain XP faster through adjusting leveling curves and rested xp, is there any chance we will be able to turn xp off for those of us who like to progress at our own pace?
GlipSOE: We’re looking into adding something like that. Though the bigger goal isn’t to stop players from progressing but to make sure they have plenty of fun things to do as they progress.
WarCry: gavalin: So now that update 3 is live, whats next?
Silius: Gavalin – Update 4 will have the flying mount quest and a revamp of the riftway system.

WarCry: trolane: How big is the VG team now and why are updates so slow? Why hasn’t the in the works page been updated since milestone 2 ?
Phathom: SOE has a policy where we do not discuss headcounts but I can share a little bit about the slow update. Update 3 was scheduled many moons ago and to be honest, we lost some important people and moved the team down to San Diego at the same time that slowed down the build. In addition I think we bit off too much in the beginning and were unable to trim the update down. We were a little anxious and realized we had a little bit more wor
Phathom: that ? is supposed to be a ๐Ÿ™‚
Phathom: We shot high and now we are focusing on planning an scheduling to get updates out in a timely manner

WarCry: Silencexx: Hey all over telon theres problems with the world like caves are missing for some ppl and cant go in without falling to china =
Head-GM-Moonlite: Hey Silencexx! Thanks for the question! This began today and caused everyone to look like this O_o when it was first noticed! If you do fall down and die, just petition and the GM’s will refund your lost experience and find your corpse if you need them to! Development and QA have identified the problem, fixed it and at the latest will push out the fix to live servers tomorrow, if not tonight *fingers crossed* ?

WarCry: Chantillary: My wuestion is — wat is the timeline we’re looking at until diplomacy clothing can be deconstructed again?
Silius: Chantillary – There are currently no plans for diplomacy clothing deconstruction to be turned on again. Once we start evaluating the sphere as a whole we will determine where this fits in the grand scheme of things.

WarCry: darlonten: first off has any work been done on the helm and tail graphic’s in game ??
GlipSOE: Helms, yes. Tails, no. Update 4 will likely have the beginnings of helms.

WarCry: Starocotes: In contradiction to the original announced principle “risk versus reward” most high quality items in Vanguard are obtained via long grinding. Are their any plans to return to the “old” principle?
Silius: All games have risk versus reward it is kind of built into the whole idea of achievement oriented gameplay. All MMOs also have grind elements to them and we will not be at a point where we will have 0 grind. We do want to make sure that whatever you are doing in the game that you do get a reward commiserate with the effort you put in

WarCry: PsiKoTicK: Are there any plans to make clickable effects (such as rings, cloaks, racials, etc) NOT break stalk for rogues?
Silius: Yes

WarCry: Pansy_Sartok: Since a new island is in the works and we hope to have a large influx of people, how will new people be shielded from the hordes of lowbie campers on the PVP server?
Silius: The island will not allow PVP until you exit. That is the current plan.

WarCry: Monarky: Why was the fungle lord taken out of the game This morning we was looking for him and he wa
Silius: He was removed due to bad data being pushed live. That should be resolved when we patch tonight or tomorrow morning.

WarCry: Krazymagic: Are there any plans to look at smoothing out character animation? Currently, if you sit back and observe characters running around it appears very “Jerky” and “stuttery” animations do not appear fluid and constant. This is one of the “ugly’s” of vanguard. Is this something that could be fixed?
Phathom: I was going to prepare for this question but it got posted very fast
Phathom: ๐Ÿ™‚
Phathom: so the short of it is…. We are going to work out a plan where we evaluate all of our animations
Phathom: figure out which ones are the best and which ones need to be fixed or changed
Phathom: we will generate that list and will be working with other Art teams to assist us with these to get down to a core set of animations that we can be proud of
Phathom: and instead of 1000 so so animations, we want to start back with 200+ awesome animations and build upon that
Phathom: Hope that answers that question

WarCry: Zathris: Some features were left out at launch due to time constraints. Do you see any of them returning, such as the Inquisitor adv class or the Alchemy craft class to name but two things?
Silius: There are currently no plans to add inquisitor or alchemy to the game. There are many things we have to focus on that are currently there adding new classes or trades is not something I want to think about until we get a handle on what is there already.

WarCry: whitetiger: will you be adding raid targets to already exsisting zones and mobs that have no content or loot what so ever?
Silius: Possibly

WarCry: Ginil: Is regional trade gone from the game forever, or is it just a long way off?
Silius: Regional trade was never actually designed or part of the plan for Vanguard. Since the designer who wanted to do it no longer works here we have no documentation on what regional trade was or how it was supposed to work. So the short answer is right now there are no plans to implement it.

WarCry: StaticX: Will more customizations for characters be implamented any time soon?
Phathom: More anytime soon? Not actually. We’re working on adding helms for update 4 and with that addition, we will be removing a small amount of facial animations. We originally thought it was going to eliminate a lot of customizations but as we have found out after further review, we will not need to remove very many at all.
Phathom: Obviously, very many doesn’t equate to a true number but we will follow up soon with the customizations we are removing with a list of the benefits you will recieve when this goes live

WarCry: Gadareth: Will saddlebags have their capacity increased to at least match that offered by bags ?
Silius: Should already be live

WarCry: schug: What steps have you already taken to hinder or completely stop the use of third-party programs? What do you plan to do in the future that you already haven’t done as well?
Head-GM-Moonlite: Hey schug! Excellent question! If you play on Sartok (Hi Sartokians!) you’ll know that recently big holes have been made by the GM team in collaboration with the coding and programming teams to catch those using third party programmes! ?
Head-GM-Moonlite: I can not tell you certain things, because then the cheaters will know what we have implemented, but I can tell you this is one of the top priorities for both customer service and coding teams. These programmes change constantly, and get more clever all the time, but we are all working hard to stop this. I will let you all into another secret…SOE has a policy where we do not discuss action against accounts that you do not o
Head-GM-Moonlite: We also don’t spam to the servers every time someone had action taken against them, but there are plans in the works to release weekly the numbers of people we catch. I can tell you today alone we banned12 accounts for teleport hacking.
Head-GM-Moonlite: ๐Ÿ™‚

WarCry: Akroma_Sartok: With MMO’s like Warhammer and AOC on the horizon, how do you plan to not only keep the current playerbase but also increase the amount of players in Vanguard?
GlipSOE: The answer is pretty simple really, we plan to just keep making the best game possible. We’ve got a lot of really fun things planned for next year and even though other games may be “newer” we’re gonna have some pretty neat features going in as well that I think will keep us very competitive.

WarCry: Caspin: With Vanguard being out for almost a year and GU3 and 4 being geared to high level players, it appears that you will be switching to push updates to attract new players and raise server population after GU4, do you expect that you will have enough time after GU4 to push out additional high end content after you finish your plans to attract more people to avoid stagnation at the end-game?
GlipSOE: There’s certainly a balance that we need to strike in order to satisfy both sides of the player base, but having just gone over next year’s schedule today I think we’ve got them spaced out pretty good. We’re never really getting away from either for more than an update at a time, if at all.
WarCry: Nemoen: With the release of APW, the level 50 crowd has new content to focus through. Yet
it is a matter of speculation on how long it will last. Are they any plans in the works to give Vanguard an Alternate Advancement System similar to EQ, or for that matter a raise in the level cap?
Phathom: During the next year, we are planning on adding alternate advancement system(s) as well as adding more high end content with more high level raid-dungeon encounters and overland raid encounters.
Phathom: Obviously, if players are leveling faster than the content we are putting in, we have a big problem. So we’ll be focusing on giving more high level content to the player base, adding more raid content, AA’s, etc…
Phathom: Level caps are slated for the next year as well but we have a bit of planning before it is implemented
Phathom: we want to make sure we do it right

WarCry: Starocotes: When will there be a community-service that informs early WHY and HOW LONG servers are down? maybe in launcher or on website ?
Ellyra: We will always attempt to inform players as soon as we are aware of any downtime or server maintenance. The Vanguard Announcements section of the forums should be updated whenever servers will be unavailable, as well as the VGPlayers page.
Ellyra: In addition to this, Customer Service will often broadcast in-game whenever they can to inform players of unexpected downtime. The SOE Knowledge Base also has information regarding downtimes.

WarCry: Hid_Sartok: are you going to make houses rest areas ? why can i camp in a town and get more xp, but when being in my house i dont get . . . ?
Silius: Yes

WarCry: Lumio-VGVault: Any plans to expand the content for oceans, as of now they are vast and empty
GlipSOE: Right now we’re focused on making sure the content on dry land is as finished and fun as possible. I think we still have plenty of room to add content above the water before we go too far below it. So currently there isn’t any under water stuff on the schedule, but it is something that I know several devs are itching to do.

WarCry: Zathris: Are there any plans in the works for human run dynamic quests sometimes known as GM events?

Head-GM-Moonlite: Hey Zathris! I like this question too! Over Thanksgiving the GM team ran some GM events. There are two kinds of events actually…in the old EQ they had pre-scripted ones where they were already wrote up and everything was done for you etc…Vanguard doesn’t have that yet, so we have to work on it ?
Head-GM-Moonlite: The other kind are ones where the development team has scripted code and the GM’s press a button and BOOM! ? But, that requires dev team, and as you know they have been rather busy!
Head-GM-Moonlite: In all honesty…since SOE took over we have all been focusing more on giving you all great customer service in a reasonable amount of time, and the fun things like events have taken second place. Once we’re satisfied we have everything else top notch, then we will get you some I promise!

WarCry: Ardenya: In regards to Trial Island/Island of Dawn: If you really make it a starting location for most races, what happens to the different newbie experience we have now in the different starting locations? Will players be able to chose where to start? In my opinion, losing those starting areas we have now would be a huge step backwards towards generalism, reducing replaybility and the fun trying out other races
Silius: All races will start on trial island. The other newbie areas will be revamped to either become dungeons or to raise the level of the content and revamp its reward structure.

WarCry: Hecubus: When will the guild interface get a revamp, and what do you plan to implement. like privaleges for certain ranks. much like EQ2. Can you add more notespace for guildpoeple, make the column resizable to view the content written in the notes. Longer GMOTDs, Guild wide Mail. View our guildsite in a little window tab, next to the roster. and invites into to guild coming in at the lowest rank rather than the 4th
Silius: Guild stuff is supposed to get luvin later next year.

WarCry: Well we must now let the devs get back to work. We appreciate their time and look forward to the next time.
Phathom: So Glip – Is this a good time to talk about your Chicago Bears? ๐Ÿ™‚
Ellyra: Oh dear.
Phathom: Oh…. we’re done? ..ahhhh…
Silius: Goodnight all see you in Telon.
Phathom: Thanks everyone!
Head-GM-Moonlite: Thank you all! Great questions ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope to see you in game ๐Ÿ™‚
Ellyra: Thanks everyone for your great questions!
GlipSOE: Thanks all! (except Phatom)
Phathom: of course cause you are not welcome
Ellyra: Have a wonderful holdiay and stay safe (in Telon and out!)
Phathom: Glip is soar about something ๐Ÿ™‚
GlipSOE: I’m always soaring. I’m certainly never sore though.
WarCry: The log file will be up on with the next 15-20 minutes
Zathris: Thanks everyone

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