Producer Note: December 4th, 2008

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Producer Note: December 4th, 2008

Post by Zimoon » Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:41 pm

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Dotanuki wrote:Guten Tag, Konichiwa, Sveiki, and Hello,

To begin with, let me thank you for your generally warm reception of Hoth. The team was very happy to see all their months of hard work appreciated by so many people in the SWG community. It was an exciting Chapter to create and we're very proud of the results.

So, with the giant Hoth beastie out of the way, it's time to focus on the next batch of upcoming releases.

Our last release of 2008 will be Life Day. Life Day will return mid month; in fact, it should be up for public testing any time now. A lot of the content this year is directly inspired by the Star Wars Holiday Special. I'm sure most of you have found a way to see it and... well, it's certainly special. Loche and I sat and watched the whole thing all the way through when we started planning for Life Day this year. I wouldn't recommend this to anybody as I'm still bleeding from both eyes months later. That said, we did find a lot of fun inspiration in it.

Our main new gameplay mechanic for this year (destroying presents / decorating trees) was directly inspired by the scene of the Imperial troops smashing Lumpy's presents; many thanks to Blixtev for that idea. A number of the gifts this year are lifted directly from the special such as the pocket aquarium, holographic table, and proton chair. Other gifts, like the first home wroshyr tree to be given out since the 2003 and the Kowakian monkey-lizard house pet, are there to satisfy fan requests that we've heard over the years. Last month someone mentioned that they wanted Ackmena to make an appearance. While Ackmena could not be booked for the occasion this year, Saun Dann is on hand and desperately needs your help. The reward is well worth it so be sure to seek him out.

On to 2009...

We are going to reorganize our Updates a bit over the first few months of the year. Don't worry, nothing is being pushed off, we're simply adjusting the timing on a couple items to be sure we can give them the attention they need. Over the first portion of the year you can expect to see the following updates:

Update 6
AdeptStain, being the sneaky engineer that he is, managed to find a way to get the often-requested Appearance Tab done while we were all finishing off Hoth. Since it's nearly ready to go, we wanted to get it out for you folks sooner rather than later. That is, we didn't want to hold it until the Spy update was complete, which is going to take a touch longer. Again, we haven't pushed Spies out a full update; the Spy update will come at the same time it would have if the Appearance Tab had not existed, we just didn't want to hold Appearance Tab. Thus, Update 6 has become Appearance Tab.

The Appearance Tab is a new entry on the Game Menu bar. It essentially allows you to wear whatever armor or clothing you feel best enhances your stats yet you may appear as though you are wearing a completely different outfit. We hope that this will inject a great deal of visual diversity and customization into the game as players will now be able to wear whatever they like without negatively affecting their stats. Do you think a Padawan Robe looks cooler than the Shatterpoint Cloak? No problem; you can now wear the Shatterpoint Cloak and receive all the stat bonuses it applies while your outward appearance shows the Padawan Robe. Of course the usual rules still apply. If your character couldn't equip it before, they can't appear to wear it now. For example, Jedi cannot appear to wear armor.

Update 7
Update 7 is where the Spies will get their love. Shadowbrak is working on this update right now (with some Hanse input). While we may not be able to fulfill every request made, we are looking at the Spy Top 5 (PvE, expertise tree, etc) as well as the list of bugs that Spies would like fixed.

Update 8
We have moved Player Associations and Player Cities to their own update to give them the amount of time we feel is necessary to accomplish what we would like to do. I will have more details on the refinements to be found here in the coming months.

Ewok Festival of Love
February will see the return of the second annual Ewok Festival of Love. The chocolate fountains (bathing pools) will be back along with a few new mini-games for you folks to enjoy.

Lastly I wanted to discuss a new reward program that will be introduced early next year by our team (including Marketing!). Starting with our next re-entitlement we will be instituting a loyalty reward program. Loyal players who are subscribed (active and in good standing) before the entitlement is announced, and still subscribed/in good standing when the entitlement period closes, will receive a deluxe version of the reward the returning players receive for re-subscribing. This should hopefully keep the discontent that arose from Hoth's re-entitlement hologram at bay as well as help us to reinforce the value we place on you, our loyal players. We intend to do this for all future re-entitlements... yes, really.

The first of these loyalty rewards will be a Sarlacc Trash Can. Players who have let their subscriptions lapse and are eligible for our next re-entitlement program will receive an awesome Sarlacc Trash Can decorative item for their homes. However, loyal players who are subscribed before the re-entitlement promotion is formally announced, and still subscribed when the re-entitlement period closes, will receive the Deluxe Sarlacc Trash Can. The Deluxe model is not only a great decorative item, but also has an extra feeding feature. Feeding the Deluxe Sarlacc junk items once per week for four weeks will award the player a random collection item. We're not ready to announce when these excellent new items will be premiering, but it will be in the first few months of next year.

There is plenty more coming down the pipeline as well, but the items above are all I can divulge as of right now. I think we have some really neat stuff in store for everyone in 2009. Stay tuned.

I hope you all have a great holiday!

-Dotanuki
Notice that he only mentions GUs, not chapters, if that makes a difference.

Noticeable is that Traders seems to have gone under the radar :(

/Zimoon

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Zbignew
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Re: Producer Note: December 4th, 2008

Post by Zbignew » Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:00 pm

"Noticeable is that Traders seems to have gone under the radar :("

Zimoon


Under the radar? Seems more like under the bus!!
That said, it does seem as though some good things are coming, just not for traders. Oh well, been waiting for years, what's a couple more :wink: .

Zbig
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Re: Producer Note: December 4th, 2008

Post by wrackspurt » Fri Dec 05, 2008 6:50 pm

Yeah, I had my hopes up about Hoth, but apparently it's only for high level combateers. Nothing really there for ents or traders. But at least we know where we are in the timeline.

Kind of strange though, because I'd assumed that huge barren region on Endor was because of the 2nd Death Star blowing up. They probably ought to skip ahead in one of these chapters to the fall of Coruscant or something. I know on our server, Rebels outnumber the Imps anyway.

All in all though, this looking like stopgap measures until Kotor arrives. Doesn't really seem like a lot of enthusiasm from SOE on this MMO.

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Re: Producer Note: December 4th, 2008

Post by Monty Burns » Fri Dec 05, 2008 7:48 pm

wrackspurt wrote:Yeah, I had my hopes up about Hoth, but apparently it's only for high level combateers. Nothing really there for ents or traders. But at least we know where we are in the timeline.

Kind of strange though, because I'd assumed that huge barren region on Endor was because of the 2nd Death Star blowing up. They probably ought to skip ahead in one of these chapters to the fall of Coruscant or something. I know on our server, Rebels outnumber the Imps anyway.

All in all though, this looking like stopgap measures until Kotor arrives. Doesn't really seem like a lot of enthusiasm from SOE on this MMO.
One of the biggest problems with this game remains the lack of small group content, the Meatlump theme park was a good addition but it was no where near enough and to a large degree it is compounding the problems of the under populated servers.

In my opinion it has been almost impossible to get returning players to stay for any length of time on a low pop server because they simply run out of things to do, instances are for solid groups and returning players struggle to get into instance groups because they lack the knowledge, gear or access to them, which pretty much leaves a poorly equipped level 90 character with bugger all to do but repetitive missions.

What this game needs is an expansion based on EQ's Lost Dungeons of Norrath to provide genuinely instanced dungeons tied to missions.

In terms of what can be done for traders well to me the best thing they could do is give us more customers.

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Re: Producer Note: December 4th, 2008

Post by wrackspurt » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:08 pm

Either that or we could all just convert to Free Realms, harvest mushroom zombies, turn them into fertilizer for gardens and sell Floral Resources to people.

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