Ictinus said: I'll make this intro as short and painless as possible so we can get into the questions. I know you're all eager to know what's what.
Ictinus said: So, I'm Sam/Ictinus, I played Aetolia 11 years ago for a while, then eventually got hired on Achaea. Most of my work has been building and event related, and I'm aiming to bring that focus and experience here to hopefully achieve great things!
Ictinus said: I've spent a massive amount of time getting caught up over the last few days. There's a lot, but I'm getting there. There are definitely going to be things I won't be able to answer yet, particularly lore-related questions.
Ictinus said: There are also likely to be a lot of "I have a plan for this " answers as well. Lists are being made, plans are being worked out, and I'm starting to get a picture of the next few weeks and months in mind and start getting some work done.
Ictinus said: With that in mind... onto the queue!
Ictinus said: I think you should be able to speak now!Aeryx asks about projects in the pipeline such as mirrors, mining.
Mjoll asks about Manifestation Apocrypha not being implemented
Aeryx said: The letter that 50 of us signed off on a few days before you came on, it was stated what we wanted was events, and story, and roleplay. Jeremy said on our stream that you were hired to give us more of that, and to put a pause on promos for awhile. All that being said, my question is, how will this impact the several features related projects that have been in the pipeline, such as mirrors, and Mining? Can we expect to see anything from these before the end of the year?
Ictinus said: Okay, as a bit of an insight into how things are looking there, one of my primary aims for Aetolia is to take back most of the administrative responsibilities, as well as handling more of the non-code legwork for new releases and systems.
Ictinus said: With Razmael and Keroc able to focus much more on their actual jobs, we should have a much more efficient working environment when it comes to getting new systems devised, coded, written, tested, and released in a timely manner.
Ictinus said: That means that there should be no steam lost on mining or mirror classes once we are settled down.
Aeryx said: Good to hear. That's it for me.
Ictinus said: I've already had a crash course in mining to bring myself up to speed with the system, and we've agreed on an end point for the implementation.
Ictinus said: I've also seen some concerns expressed that with someone new at the helm, the mirror class project is going to be abandoned or forgotten. I can say definitively now that that is not going to happen.
Ictinus said: The current two classes are both in progress. To be completely honest I am absolutely blown away by the work that the volunteer team has been doing there. They are heroes.
Ictinus said: Following up on my comment about legwork and division of labour, my vision here is really for big projects like this to be a collaborative effort that includes me pitching in anywhere that's needed.
Ictinus emoted: ok
Ictinus said: Ok!
Ictinus emoted: thank
Rhyot asks about gold sinks/prizebags, commodities, guild envoy slots
Ictinus said: Hello!
Mjoll said: Completely selfish question from me, unfortunately: April marked the release of the first Mirror Class, Revenant, but it remains incomplete. Manifestation Apocrypha wasn't given to us pending some roleplay "later". When can we have it?
Ictinus emoted: ok
Ictinus said: Ok!
Ictinus said: Sorry, I was just glancing over that and conferring on some of the specifics.
Ictinus said: I can't give you a date here, but it's on my radar now. I've put it on the list as a short therm thing to get done ASAP.
Mjoll said: Thanks!
Ictinus said: Term, rather.
Ictinus said: This is also a good opportunity for me to say that I don't consider releasing anything with bits missing as an acceptable standard. And I have no plans whatsoever for that to continue in future.
Ictinus emoted: thank
Tina asks about the commodity shortage and whether there will be new purchases requiring commodities before generation is solved
Rhyot said: I've a few things to ask, so please bare with me... You can zap me later and everyone else can target me later for it too, I'm sure.
Rhyot said: 1) There is a serious lack of gold sinks within the game, something that has been complained about time and time again. Most recently I created a thread with a few ideas (https://forums.aetolia.com/discussion/4054/gold-sinks-and-you)
. Yet, despite the complaints from the playerbase, nothing is ever changed. With Cryptic chests being removed due to obscene credit abuse, prize bags were created in their place but their introduction was met with absolute disdain because of how much crap they really are. This was due to the fact that they scale up in price, but not reward. Everyone in this game is quite aware of how lootboxes work and more times than not will invest in these lootboxes as the addictive Aetolian gamers that we are, however the prizebags aren't lootboxes. They're a gold sink for crap rewards (usually some pill, heart, or eye) and as such are not a real gold sink at all. To that end, I pose 2 questions: 1) What is your stance on creating more avenues for gold sinks? 2) How do you feel about upping the ante on the current gold sinks we do have?
Rhyot said: 2) Commodities. Oh for the love of all that is unholy.... commodities. They are the bane of our existence, mostly in how they are obtained. The farming commodities are fine, but the other more important items such as ice/ash/steel/gold/silver are incredibly difficult to obtain. Village shops are slow to produce, minimal obtainment is had during orrery time, the cities not being able to produce any at all, and Mining/Third production skill being released Soon(tm) (read: in 2023). Is there any means of better enabling commodity production or are there other plans entirely for this?
Rhyot said: 3) This is more a guild related question as well: Is there any possibility of changing the amount of envoy slots down to 70% from home city instead of 75%?
Rhyot said: Ok. Go.
Ictinus said: OK. Let's hit gold sinks first. I have this on my list along with another slew of economy related things to look into. I completely hear the need for more of them.
Ictinus said: New ones are tricky, almost always best done as a planned part of a new system or content release - that is my preferred method, rather than tinkering too much with what is already there. Nobody likes it when costs are increased, and I'd like to avoid having to do much if any of that where possible.
Ictinus said: With mining on the horizon, I'm somewhat confident that that will assuage a number of commodity woes. I know that there will still be comms left that can't be generated or obtained, but we've talked about this briefly already and it's something I want to tackle in a realistic timeframe, not some nebulous thing that's years away.
Ictinus said: Because of that, I don't want to introduce any short term band aids.
Ictinus said: Envoys is something else I've only briefly looked into. My personal stance on this is that with a precedent of emphasising ties between city and guild, that loosening things there is not ideal. I'm not against looking into it and taking action that's needed, but I'd prefer to get a better picture of population before committing to anything.
Ictinus said: Unfortunately a lot of your questions fall into the 'I have a plan' category.
Ictinus said: But I hope to win your confidence by demonstrating that those plans will manifest as a reality in a realistic time period.
Rhyot said: All ideal answers. Small note on the gold sinks... No need to increase costs of what's there if you just make the prize bags have more chances of rolling rather than 1 item at increasing costs. Otherwise, understandable.
Ictinus emoted: emote nods.
Ictinus said: Prize bags are also on the radar now, thanks for that.
Azarae asks about if future events will be cancelled like the curse event, and limiting amount of people at lessers
Ictinus said: Hello!
Tina said: I'm not sure how the other cities are doing, but I'd like to ask about commodities more. Almost six years ago now the ability for city's to generate their own commodities was disabled. At the time we were told a new system for gaining them would be released, but first they wanted to drain commodity stockpiles as part of a larger project to fix the economy of the game. Two years ago farming was released that gave us back access to four commodities, with two more skillsets in plan to be released sometime in the future that keeps getting delayed. This has led to dwindling stockpiles with personal crafters and cities all fighting over the same finite village commodities. Compounded to that is the admin's decision to randomly spring surprises on us during this six year period where we need to spend thousands or tens of thousands of commodities on essential upgrades for the city with no forwarning like the coil upgrades for the pylons. Which naturally makes us paranoid to sell stock below a certain point. Some commodities are getting to critical levels even with that, and things like keeping city sigil layouts and the like are getting to the point they just can't be maintained. There were stopgaps introduced like some commodity gain at the orrery and the ability to on occasion trade in commodities at a two to one or three to one ratio to trade in surpluss commodities for ones you are short on, but all these are bandaides on a large wound. While I know you can't give an exact date on mining and an unknown third skillset. When can we expect an actual solution to the comodities, at least to where cities can sustain themselves and regularly sell a fair amount to its citizen crafters again? Weeks, months, years? So we can plan how much longer the shortages will last. As closely as you can estimate now. Also can we get 100% confirmation on whether or not you'll be dropping more surprises on the city where we need to spend thousands of commodities at once on city upgrades, or can we think of those as a thing of the past a.
Razmael said: You appear to have cut off at the end.
Tina said: Or can we think of those as a thing of the past and actually be more lax on the stockpiles we are paranoid about maintaining?
Ictinus said: Okay. I've talked to Razmael and Keroc about this to get some background. The numbers were picked intentionally to dwindle but not end in bankruptcy. You shouldn't have concerns about selling to citizens. Putting you in a position of going bankrupt is definitely not a scenario we want to be in.
Ictinus said: I can also definitively say that we have no plans to release any new systems that consume comms before getting the generation methods out.
Ictinus said: I do understand your frustrations there. I know that expectations have been set high before and you've been burned with long waits. That is not going to happen anymore.
Ictinus emoted: thank
Saidenn asks about orgreqs, bringing a promote command to cities (i.e. guild promote adjacent), and an abandoned Archivist storyline with the megasizer
Azarae said: 1) My biggest concern I suppose would be if the staff (Or whomever makes the decision) will concede to complaints people make during future events and cancel them early again like during the curse event, which I was really enjoying, or avoid certain planned events or story lines due to concerns about people complaining about those too? I know it is difficult to please everyone and the pressure that comes with such, so I understand if this cannot really be answered. 2) More of an after thought of a question, but will capping the amount of people in lessers ever be considered?
Ictinus said: Okay, on events, my philosophy here is that we don't chart a course without multiple people taking a serious look over the plan and doing our absolute utmost to account for problems and at the same time ensure that themes and topics are tasteful and appropriate.
Ictinus said: That isn't to say we aren't going to tackle difficult topics, but one of the essential parts of event planning for are a collaborative effort to ensure we are not creating any huge blunders before anything starts.
Ictinus said: For me are, rather.
Ictinus said: With that said, I am of a mindset that once the trigger has been pulled, it's important to stick to a course. Things are always going to come up that aren't expected or that throw a huge wrench into the works.
Ictinus said: I actually think those are fun, though perhaps not while they are happening.
Ictinus said: But I don't think I have ever outright cancelled an event midway during my years in Achaea, and I don't see that changing in Aetolia.
Ictinus said: The second one is a bit easier to answer. We don't have any plans to cap the number of people at lessers, but I believe there was a new type of focus released recently that does have limited people.
Ictinus said: Another good opportunity for me to comment that conflict systems are another item on my list to investigate. There is some scope for freshening things up a bit on that score, but I don't have anything concrete in mind yet.
Ictinus emoted: thank
Ayastia skips (question already asked)
Saidenn said: Three questions.
Saidenn said: 1) Org-reqs are the way to request special attention for an org, but also infamous for time, implementation, man power to benefit, especially when volunteer or admin staff can use their time to maximize 'benefit' for more players over a specialized request specific to an org for a particular instance. What do you feel is the scope of org requests, their usage, and how is the best way we may utilize them for working with you and the Pools to benefit our orgs and those who exist within them?
Saidenn said: 2) Alongside that - The ability to promote/demote for guilds was recently added, freeing up guild favors for recognition without worrying over ranks and requirements - something that is often used as incentive in orgs. Are there any thoughts (or metadata regarding approval or not) to extend that to cities, as well, and could we get a system to tie rewards to favors if we desire so that when used we can provide an easier way to distribute additional incentives to those who contribute or participate?
Saidenn said: 3) Which of you should I bother about the abandoned storyline with my megasizer?
Ictinus said: I'll start with the orgreq system. I can start by saying I've made a start looking through these already. I know there's a backlog to get through. I'm on it.
Ictinus said: Some of your concerns about waiting time from submission -> review -> reply -> implementation should be solved purely from better organisation. Timely responses to these should become the norm once I'm a bit more caught up on things.
Ictinus said: Scope is a bit more tricky to define.
Ictinus said: I tend to be of a mindset that orgreqs should be for modest-sized requests. New denizens, shops, some additional functionality options that enhance the rp experience.
Ictinus said: I don't feel that orgreqs are a good avenue for major changes or suggestions. That isn't to say you can't make those suggestions, but when it comes to effecting big org changes in terms of identity, these almost never end well without a significant amount of committed, focused RP in a direction that the vast majority of the org is on board with.
Ictinus said: And in scenarios where that IS happening and an org IS effecting a paradigm shift, that feels like something that we as a team should already be aware of happening and have a conversation about ways we can support it.
Ictinus said: I'll need a bit more time to look into your other two questions. I'm open to reconsidering city mechanics and advancement in the future, but nothing concrete here yet.
Saidenn said: I will email you about the last if you like to give you background. It was intended to be a bit cheeky.
Ictinus said: And the megasizer problem is something I need to chase up too. It's on the list now, I'll do my best to investigate here and get something in the works sooner rather than later.
Ictinus said: Ah, that would be great, thanks!
Mazzion asks about a war system, and asks Ictinus what his Aetolian character was called
Ayastia said: First, welcome and thank you for this town hall. Second, Aeryx and Rhyot have both asked what I came to talk about, but I didn't know how to leave the queue and this isn't the place to voice my only other displeasure do you can emip me and I would like to speak with you another time.
Ayastia said: So you can skip me... sorry. Mobile.
Ictinus said: No problem at all. Feel free to send me an email with your concerns too.
Ictinus emoted: thank
Chassity asks about artisanals/bardics, other ways of earning credits, increasing the playerbase, and dormant gods
Ictinus said: Hello!
Mazzion said: Thoughts on any type of war system. We don't have a great record of the systems staying to fruition. I definitely don't expect any kind of timeline, just general thoughts on it at all. Also, care to share your Aetolian character name?
Ictinus said: I don't have anything specific to say on an actual war system yet. I have some experience with this from Achaea, so it's not completely absolutely out of the question or anything, but...
Ictinus said: I can say that I am a big fan of pk and conflict-oriented storylines and gameplay as a whole. I also prefer organic conflicts that are rp-centric, where something small like a grudge duel or a hard won bounty snowballs and turns into something much bigger, over spring-up systems.
Ictinus said: I think that rivalries and conflicts that people are invested in are important for a vibrant world. More events will help here, and freshening up existing systems will be something we do in the future.
Ictinus said: So in short, I haven't thought about war in the context of a specific system, but I definitely have peripheral conflict related things on my mind.
Ictinus said: You will have to keep wondering about my character name though unfortunately.
Mazzion said: I understand on all accounts. Good luck, thanks for investing in our community.
Ictinus emoted: thank
Almol asks about the Sect, refreshing the shop and the rankings system
Chassity said: As many know I always have lots to say so bare with me as I have a few questions.
Chassity said: I know im not as prepared as some to ask these questions but over the years of playing and most players that have been here between 15-20 years have seen numerous things come and go. Many players I have seen ask about previous things such as advertising or artisinal things. These things were greatly appreciated back in the day. I know that the artisinal stuff hasn't been touched since 2018 according to the website! thats leaving a lot of things out for prizes and the likes for people to earn rather than sinking their real life money into the game. I know that milestones were a way to help aleviate some of the burden and giving players a way to earn bound credits. That being said can we possibly see other ways of earning credits that are possibly unbound like essay contests, art contests, map contests etc etc. so that people have that chance to purchase credit valued items from other players.
Chassity said: My next question is rather simple what is your plans for trying to help increase the player base. Not just the old players creating new characters but truly new players to aetolia that can really liven things up. Back in the day there used to be promotional things to do to get people to join where there was a code that people could give out to people that used it they would get something like 5 credits for a person joining with their code. Also advertisments on medias was another promotion way back in the day. These are all ideas but we need a broader player base. Not necessarily dragging people from one realm to another but really getting the word out there to get people more interested in playing.!
Chassity said: Lastly I have to ask what is the plan with all of the dormant gods in the game. I know some just said screw this we aren't getting paid to deal with this abuse and some are like yeah I need to move on whatever the reason there are numerous rp gods that are dormant and not active what is going to be done to make them active. I ask this but understand im not asking to just throw a celani or producer into their place to make them somewhat active. I more talking about extending the pools base and making the pools more inviting to people to join. I have heard horror stories of how bad it was to work in the pools because the workload was overwhelming! Can we possible see some new faces in the pools to help lighten the load of the others? Possibly giving people a chance to really get into so real divine rp. Which has been really lacking, I mean how many divine wares have take place in the past 5 years. My guess not many if any at all. Another prime example is all of the IDEAS and BUGS that have been submitted like a prime example is the puzzle cube. I was told by Tiur to ask Razmael, which I took that as a stab at him more than a its being looked into and will be fixed when we can!
Ictinus said: I am definitely interested in a return of bardics and artisanals. I think these can be great to run alongside an event in progress or to coincide with holidays or other things going on in the game.
Ictinus said: Additional methods of earning credits via in game methods is not something I'm against either, but this is more of an IRE-centric conversation that I'd need to put more time into.
Chassity said: Oooh also promotions I know the focus is to move away from them but are the still going to happen monthly and if so can we possibly see some of the "discontinued pieces" brought back and those things that older players have that new players will not have access too?
Ictinus said: As for your second question. Referrals do still exist (HELP REFERRALS). We are doing some work on an IRE wide level to improve the website for better search optimisation, and I do think that an increase in activity and a more consistent flow of 'things' happening will naturally lead to more returnees.
Ictinus said: There's no easy solution to dormant god roles. We are never going to force or pressure a volunteer into playing a specific role that they haven't chosen.
Ictinus said: It's crucially important that when that choice is made, it's made from a place of passion and will to embody that God.
Ictinus said: And as for promos, I am committed to making these a low priority.
Ictinus said: As Jeremy said in his post earlier in the week, IRE's expectations here have been drastically overblown.
Chassity said: I look forward to emailing you more questions that continue on to these questions but I Do not want to take up so much time on the townhall that others may actually ask for me.
Ictinus said: We'll do something basic to keep a cycle going for the next couple of months, but it's not going to be any sort of a priority. There may be content in the future to line up with events and such, but again, nowhere near the top of my list.
Ictinus emoted: thank
Chassity said: I thank you for the time and hope to hear back soon on other things we have discussed in email already.
Ictinus emoted: nod
Cayden asks if some orgs fit poorly into modern Aetolia
Almol said: Two short questions. First, though, I want to echo the desire for some sort of War system. And say your answer to Mazzion's questions made my evening. Except that last one.
Almol said: Sect has a few problems. Some people feel there is no point to participate. Would it be possible to have a shop refresh or otherwise incentivize participation?
Almol said: Another problem is players occupying high ranks and fighting just enough to keep from being removed due to inactivity. The top 20 is currently rarely represented in actual sect fights. Would it be possible to speed up deterioration of sect accuracy rating or some other use it or lose it measure to discourage occupying a position without risking it. With the current ranking system it is almost impossible to climb without beating people ranked above you and if they are not fighting, you can't.
Ictinus said: We can look into the shop and other incentives, but that is something I'll need to talk over with Keroc.
Ictinus said: A similar answer for the second one on that. I gather that the ranking system is not ideal, but I can't offer anything specific here yet.
Almol said: That's fine! I just want to add something to your radar.
Ictinus said: Keroc has the unenviable job of teaching me 10 years of new PK things.
Ictinus emoted: thank
Czcibor asks about classleads and the provisioning skill/system
Cayden said: For most of my time on Aetolia, I have been part of the spirit tether, though my question likely also exists on the game's other side. A problem I have noticed is that many of its orgs fit poorly into 2021 Aetolia, insofar their lore and 'job' is considered. If I had to name names, I would say that the Sentaari, Ascendril, and Illuminai struggle with this the most. Is this a problem you would agree exists, and if so, is there a timeline on when this will be given attention?
Ictinus emoted: chin
Ictinus said: I am not sure if I do agree it is a problem. My grasp of the geopolitical climate, org health, population, and all of that is extremely slim right now, but I already have this exact thing on a list to look into 'at some point'. So, no immediate plans but once I have a better grasp, if I feel like something is way out of whack, then I'm not against addressing it.
Ictinus said: But I am also extremely mindful that, related to my earlier comment about paradigm shifts, big changes like this almost never end well. So I tend to lean towards fixing rather than breaking and remaking something that risks being worse in the end.
Ictinus said: Hope that covers that base a bit!
Ictinus emoted: thank
Mephistoles asks about the upcoming mirror classes, Ictinus reveals what classes are getting mirrored!
Czcibor said: Hi, thanks for doing this. Have a couple of questions.
Czcibor said: 1) The classlead system is suited for simpler or more isolated suggestions, but for classes generally acknowledged as being significantly over/underpowered due to core mechanics like Ascendril (as an example I'm more familiar with) where ambitious or experimental ideas have to be submitted piecemeal to be considered separately it just hasn't worked. We sometimes end up partial changes that don't really help, if not make the problem worse. There are other times where the problems are acknowledged but the solutions are not approved and we end up getting no changes at all. In either case, we are basically stuck with these changes for another 6 months before we even get another chance at trying to solve these issues. Do you have any plans for how we can have the issues with these classes be better and more quickly addressed?
Czcibor said: 2) Provisioning is something that many players I've talked to are initially excited about but quickly forget about. There are many issues with the system, but I'll list three that stand out to me in particular. Firstly, there appears to be a fixed amount of orders regardless of how many people take part. This is only a minor issue now because very few people actually take part due to these issues, but it's clear that there is no scalability in the design of the system. Secondly, the only benefit to Provisioning is to make gold. While nobody expects to be able to make millions of gold with this easily, the profits for hours of work split over multiple days are closer to the thousands, if not in some cases hundreds. Thirdly, people who got in early have a huge advantage, and this is aggrevated by the first problem, where they can take a much larger share of the already insufficiently large pie. Do you have a plan for how we can make this something people actually want to buy into and do on a regular basis?
Ictinus said: On #1, I've already talked about Classleads a bit this week, and I can say that we should be vastly more efficient with these in the future. I know the 6 month cycle/1 report is far from ideal. Definitely open to reviewing that to make it less of a hassle to get things done and problems solved.
Ictinus said: And as you mentioned provisioning I'll go ahead and talk about gaming alongside that as the answers are the same.
Ictinus said: After looking into these a bit and getting an idea of the specifics, I think the best way to approach this is just being honest about them. Both of these were Tiur's pet projects, they were half coded, released unfinished, and some of the content was deliberately obsured to conceal that from players to cover for the half-baked product.
Ictinus said: Needless to say this is completely unacceptable. They are both on the list for me to investigate and come up with a plan to fix them.
Czcibor said: Fair enough. Thanks again!
Ictinus said: And I can also add that we will not be releasing any new systems in a state like this, without the corresponding work done, testing done, and apposite HELPs created and whatnot.
Ictinus emoted: thank
Ayukazi asks about Gods in events, and a tier system for Sect
Mephistoles said: Two questions. What is the timeline for the release of the luminary mirror class? It's the mirror class I'm most excited to see. "I can't say" is an acceptable answer if that's the case. Second. A few class leads ago there were a bunch of changes to Teradrim that got approved and never implemented. It wasn't that they weren't approved or were later unapproved, things just got busy and they got forgotten. If I can document and find these for you, will you implement them as they were approved changes?
Ictinus said: I'm not ready to share a timeline on the release yet, but I can say that the team is hard at work putting them together and I'm actually excited to help. HOWEVER, I CAN now confirm what the two classes being reworked are...
Haelra said: Ooo.
Ictinus said: Indorani and Luminary.
Ictinus said: And by reworked of course I mean mirrored. Pardon that.
Ictinus said: I'll need to look into outstanding classleads, but by all means email me over the details and I'll check it out.
Mephistoles said: Thank you. I'm excited that those are the two being reworked.
Ictinus said: Me too!
Raah said: Me three!
Ictinus emoted: smile
Elene (a frog) asks about classlead cycle, regular updates on Aetolia, and mortal builders
Ayukazi said: I am quite interested in giving every organization an opportunity to RP, and giving cross-organization RP opportunities that can span through different timezones. On this matter, there are a few questions I have of varied flavors. As what Azarae brought up, the playerbase called out for multiple worldwide events, but then there were serious complaints both during and after, which caused a halt or modification on a few recent events. There are many of us that still want this opportunity for major events, which may be easier if we return to organization and cross-organization RP opportunities. Gods are a significant and important roleplay avenue with the players in Aetolia. In which direction do you see the roleplay events going with the Gods in Aetolia so that each active God has a chance to have equivalent involvement? Similarly, what types of events do you foresee to further enrich the lore of each organization? We have a lot of mirror classes coming out, and several people reaching 200, who may or may not take the same classes that are already made, so finding a way to RP this transference gives many avenues. And as you just said, there are many avenues with conflict that could arise, should our playerbase be willing to accept it.
Ayukazi said: I think also with Sect it has been mentioned among several peers that a tiered system would work better. Like a win to loss ratio for the season built tier. Everyone starts in lower tier, and as your win to loss moves up you can move up a tier, leaving you to up to three tiers, where you can also be knocked back down. This would likely mitigate people from having to fight the same people over and over again and allow more people the interest to fight more. I for one know how I have motivated those within Bloodloch's militia requires them to move up Sect to move up ranks, which means they will ultimately have to enter. They will learn to fight trial by fire this way, but a tiered system would give them an opportunity to learn better, with people their same grade of fighting. This would likely help other organizations build their War and Guild combat paths around the tiered structure as well without beating the spirit out of those learning to fight.
Ayukazi said: Ok. Go.
Ictinus said: On 1, I think that ultimately depends on the event. God involvement can be great when it makes sense, but not every event can or should involve Gods either, since player agency is such an important thing.
Ictinus said: I can reassure you though that there will be big events. I have a ton of lore and history to catch up on, but they are, 100%, my favourite part of the producer job.
Ictinus said: And even though this is a new team for me, I'm sure some of them have similar feelings to me about the adrenalin and chaos of doing something crazy that the whole game is involved in.
Ayukazi emoted: emote nods in agreement. "I'm more interested in seeing more cross-organization roleplay events. Too many organizations stay in their corners, and they could use some brancking out."
Ayukazi said: I'm more interested in seeing more cross-organization roleplay events. Too many organizations stay in their corners, and they could use some brancking out.
Raah said: That's half my reason for being up here!
Ictinus emoted: nod
Ayukazi emoted: emote coughs. "Branching."
Ictinus said: Absolutely on board with that in theory. I think that will come naturally as a consequence of more energy and time spent on events as a whole, but it's 100% something I'll keep in mind.
Ictinus said: My answer is mostly the same as earlier on the sect. I think the primary problem is addressing and incentivising the desire to participate and get involved in it, so any updates or refreshes of that system will be done with that vision in mind.
Ayukazi emoted: emote nods again. "It's an idea to ponder on. Thank you for hearing me out, if just for a suggestion."
Ayukazi said: It's an idea to ponder on. Thank you for hearing me out, if just for a suggestion.
Ictinus said: Absolutely. Happy to hear it.
Ictinus emoted: thank
Zhukov asks if vampires can embrace outside of guilds again, farkle in player houses, and if mirror Indorani will have a guild
Elene said: Short questions. Three of them.
Elene said: The backlash against our former combat lead saw the shift of classleads and changes going back to Nalus to handle. I also happen to think it was handled really badly. This has also seen open classleads being shifted from quarterly cycles to a 6-month cycle. Czcibor covered it a little with his question and you mentioned the 6 monthly/1 report cycle. Are we going to review the frequency on it, and will you share your stance on your tolerance of any future such treatment of your team members?
Elene said: Next. Are we likely to get quarterly updates on what's happening in Aetolia? It helps to give players a sense that even if we don't see it, that there is progress behind the scenes. For example, can we have some updates on the current event and the timeline of it?
Elene said: And lastly. Are you still hiring mortal builders?
Ictinus said: I am open to reviewing the frequency, but given my status as a non-coder, I want to really make sure that the division of labour problems from the past are eliminated before committing to anything along that line.
Ictinus said: No issues with quarterly or mid year updates. I'll need to see what works best there, but they'll happen.
Ictinus said: And I need to review the current staff of mortal builders but there is definitely scope to hire more and get more work available.
Ictinus said: Building is one of my two big passions alongside event handling, so you can expect me to take a big interest in it.
Ictinus said: Oh. I missed the second part of your first question. Sorry.
Ictinus said: Without having been here to have personal experience, I don't have a lot to say on the specifics of that situation, but my stance on the whole is that if there is a problem with someone on the team, you come to me and I will look into it. I have a fairly low tolerance for anyone on the team having to deal with any fallout or backlash. That should be my job, not theirs.
Elene said: Perfect. I'm satisfied with the answers. Thanks, Icti!
Ictinus emoted: thank
Ehtias asks about production skill refund when all are released, deleting packs/pack rankings, give Tekura generic attack messages. Also cups.
Zhukov said: Thanks for the chance to talk, couple of things, any change vampires can be allowed to embrace again outside the guild? Or at least the artificial limit on how many a person can sire be removed? No other guild is subjected to it, or can the guild itself be reviewed? The unique status vampires had is gone with it and it removes alot of what made the class unique.
Zhukov said: Second, farkle in player housing. Lots of us want it, can you make it happen?
Zhukov said: Third, you mentioned indorani mirror class, doesn't have a guild, will it have one on the spirit side or will be reformed fin some fashion?
Ictinus said: I've actually spent a bit of time getting familiarised with how vampirism works now, and -for now- I am happy with the options that Sanguis affinity provides to allow for interaction outside of the Dominion. I'm aware of the desire for Sire/childe RP outside of the Dominion, but no plans to consider any farther-reaching changes until I've had more time to think about it.
Ictinus said: The way farkle works makes this impossible at the moment.
Ictinus said: So that one will need to be a no for the time being I'm afraid.
Ictinus said: I can say though that the Indorani mirror will not have a guild on the spirit side.
Ictinus emoted: thank
Sarran asks if bringing someone from another game will impact policy and decisions, tensions between admin/players, the gap between PvP skill tiers, and if Icky is an ok nickname
Ehtias said: 1) Is the plan if it's even been discussed still to give a refund on a production skill when the third is released which I if I recall was stated to be the case in the original plan for these skills? 2) Also can ya'll just like delete packs and pack rankings or nuke the list of commands for it. Most of it does not work correctly anymore and I believe some of the commands are outright broken these days. I wouldn't wish fixing it on anyone. 3) Can someone for the love of all that is my sanity update tekura to have generics and not need a bunch of multistage triggers for tracking which limb you actually hit. Thanks have a nice day, replace bloodloch with a sand kingdom so my city stops trying to kill me with lava explosions.
Ehtias said: Also cups or whatever.
Ictinus said: It's still the plan to offer free swaps when the third and final production skill is released. We won't want anyone feeling like they can't take up farming (or mining), or (redacted) because of something in the future.
Ictinus said: I'm not very familiar with pack stuff yet except a very rudimentary understanding. But I always prefer to fix and iterate rather than removing something, so anything that happens there is likely to be in that vein.
Ictinus said: And 3, unfortunately isn't possible for a variety of reasons.
Ehtias said: Okie doke thanks.
Ictinus emoted: thank
Scandland asks what Ictinus' plan is to avoid producer burn out
Sarran said: I have three and a half questions. I'll start with the hardest one just to make you sweat!
Sarran said: First, do you think that bringing in someone from another game instead of promoting from within or drawing the change out over time will have an impact on policy decisions and stances that have a subjective component? Especially if you plan to shoulder largely administrative responsibilities, which most often involve those kinds of things. One easy example might be the handling of issues (though I don't know if that's something you would take over, just an example), or harkening back to Saidenn's questions about org requests. There are written rules, and then there is what people expect to be enforced or dismissed.
Sarran said: Do you foresee any significant shift in the tone or substance of decisions like that, and if so, will there be any measures to give people time to adjust or acclimate and/or very clear communication on those things prior to enforcement? Since this answer might be lengthy and my other questions equally so, should I hold onto the other questions or ask them now?
Ictinus said: While I draw up some answers for you, feel free to hit me with the third question.
Ictinus said: Or the other questions I should say.
Sarran said: Okay, question two: As an outsider looking in, the #1 recurring theme I've heard in web chat is variations of this conflict or that between this player and that admin (or variants like grumping about issue decisions, perceived favoritism, etc etc). Not like all the time, but it's notable. I know that was one of the things mentioned in your news post, or at least I assume it's related. I was wondering if you could be more specific about what you perceive the core or root issue/cause of that tension to be, and maybe some broad stroke insight into fledgling plans to address it, and finally what we as players can do to help?
Sarran said: Third, tangentially related to the recurring discussion about sect - I came in very interested in PvP, but have quickly hit a point where I don't feel like I have any mechanics or outlet to participate in that entire aspect of the game, literally at all, at my current level of skill/investment. Without some sort of segregated tier system in sect, I only ever really fight the highest end players who are deeply competitive. At leylines, my contribution is generally just follow the right person and hit with what they say - I'm strong enough to be noticed and targeted, but not strong or experienced enough to really participate meaningfully. In arena events, my only hope of competing meaningfully is to avoid the sect-going crowd and try to find others.
Sarran said: Do you collectively up in the Pools consider this yawning chasm between upper and lower tier PvP as an issue, and is there any interest in doing something to address it if suggestions are made, or even possibly some ideas already kicking around up there? If so, what broad level of priority would you say it is?
Sarran said: Finally, my friends suggested ending on something light if I'm nervous so I was wondering if we can call you Icky for short?
Sarran said: ...okay go?
Ictinus said: I think it's unavoidable that there will be a shift in tone and policy decisions on a broad scale. Teething problems here are inevitable, but I can at least reassure you that I have significant experience in this sort of thing, and I'm not looking to completely upset the apple cart when it comes to issue resolutions, language rule enforcements, or really anything at all without going over the established standard and taking it into account.
Sarran said: I understand, that makes sense.
Ictinus said: I can also say definitively that any updates to policy or rules, particularly of an ooc nature dealing with the actual administration concerns, will always be announced in advance outside of extreme cases.
Ictinus said: Assuming that you mean my remarks about healing the divide between the admin and the playerbase, my impression here is that communication has been lacking, there's been inconsistency, and above all an almost hostile attitude projected from the admin side onto you. I hope that just these few hours have put to bed any concerns about that continuing.
Sarran said: Most importantly, what can we as players do to help in fixing this issue?
Ictinus said: The obvious answer is to keep feedback constructive. It's easy for me to say that, but I'm not sure there is really a silver bullet here other than establishing a standard of mutual respect.
Sarran emoted: emote nods
Ictinus said: Closing the gap between the top tier and the lower tier in PK context is tangentially on the radar. Lowering the barrier to entry at least I think is almost always good where possible, but we have to be very careful here in what we're able to do.
Ictinus said: As far as I can tell though, there are some city clans with dueling opportunities for practice to get some experience in before stepping uo tp the plate and joining the Sect.
Ictinus said: That being said I am also a huge believer in a strong 1 v 1 culture, so I hope that there's more we can do to promote that and create more desire in the future.
Sarran said: Do you think that something that forces players to choose a tier to fight at might be a possible solution? For example, if each season in sect you had to select bronze/silver/gold and the rewards scaled on your choice, so that the most competitive people might pick the higher ones?
Sarran said: That might help to create a space for mid-tier people to play together in.
Ictinus said: To be determined. I have some thoughts, and I know Keroc has some ideas, but nothing concrete yet.
Sarran said: I understand.
Ictinus emoted: thank
Illidan asks about the level 200 plans
Scandland said: I know you're taking on a lot of responsibility here. The last thing we want to see is another producer burnt out. What's your plan to avoid that? How can we be sure that a few years down the road, we're not having this same scenario again? Also, thank you for doing this for us. Aetolia means a lot to us all, and from what I've seen so far, you're gonna do great.
Scandland said: Also, holler if you ever want to take a break. Scandland would love to have you over for tea or wine.
Scandland said: That's all!
Ictinus said: Great question. Proper scheduling and time management will be the key I think. Not biting off more than I can chew. Not making impossible promises.
Ictinus said: Maybe sleeping now and then.
Ictinus emoted: grin
Raah said: We're going to make this man sleep more.
Scandland said: Good, good! I just wanted to make sure.
Ictinus said: And really just more collaboration. I don't want either myself or the team to be in a position where any of us is completely buried and unable to get help to ease the burden.
Ictinus said: From what I've seen so far these guys are insane, so I'm not worried about having enough support.
Ictinus emoted: thank
Damonicus asks about Indorani newbies and more info on mirror Luminary
Illidan said: What are the plans for level 200 events going forward? Some players are concerned that there will be a cutoff period? Will there be, and do you have an idea of what that is?
Illidan said: When, too.
Ictinus said: I think the reality here is that it's not sustainable or realistic for us to keep making new level 200 classes as more and more people reach that goal. We've already been talking about some ways to best address this in an elegant manner, but that's still at a design/ideas stage for the time being.
Illidan said: The other I had was more closely related to lore regarding the Shamans, but I won't bother you with that one.
Illidan said: That's it!
Ictinus emoted: thank
Damonicus said: Due to the abrupt removal of the Indorani guild to accommodate the 3 guild per city system. Players are still given an option to create a character with this class set. While they currently come into Bloodloch, they are only able to get the proper class information if an individual from the guild prior or one that is in the former guilds main clan is online. Can we get those that graduate from the Academy be automatically added to the Children clan so we can give them a bit better direction at no cost to the player due to no guild support, or perhaps more in depth help files given during the academy to assist with. It seems the turnover rate for Indorani novices is high and would like to fix that. Annnd what guild is getting Mirror Luminary??
Ictinus said: Okay, firstly I think I should clarify that while Indorani being removed did satisfy that three guild per city rule, it was not the motivating reason behind their deletion.
Ictinus said: And I agree completely that the newbie experience needs to be better. I'm told Wayfarer has a similar problem. It's going on the list to come up with an answer for, but I'm absolutely pro-improvement there.
Ictinus said: Any more info on mirror Luminary will have to remain a mystery for now!
Damonicus said: Oh well, can't blame me for trying. Thanks!
Ictinus said: It was a good effort!
Ictinus emoted: thank