EverQuest II: Weekly Developer Diaries
EverQuest II: Rise of Kunark - Weekly Dev Diaries, Tradeskills

Dana Massey | 9 Oct 2007 21:42
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Once the recipes appear to be correct I check them in, and move to the books. I've created blank recipe books for each class but I still need to put the recipes in them. I have another spreadsheet open where I plan the layout of the recipe books: columns are for crafting class, and rows are for recipe book level. I've copy/pasted the list of recipe names in here also and sorted them out so that the recipes are distributed between levels in what is hopefully a somewhat reasonable way. Where it seems appropriate I'm trying to keep the same general layout of recipes, so that if tailors are always used to getting their cloak recipes at level 33, 43, 53, 63, etc. then they should also get recipes in the level 73 book I create. In other cases though some things have not made much sense and I've rearranged the recipe order, or perhaps the recipes I'm giving them have changed so the old recipe order no longer applies. Just working out how to distribute the recipes takes a while, but when I have them all divided up by recipe level, I start adding the appropriate recipes into the appropriate books; 243 recipes and 20 "normal" books, plus some additional books that will be earned in different ways. It's a lot of clicking. I think the process could be automated more, with better spreadsheets and cleverer perl scripts to save more time, but with this short time before beta starts there is simply not enough time to try and get clever. I hope that by next expansion I'll have had time to streamline things a bit more. But there's still quite a long tradeskill "wish list" to fill up my time after the expansion is out of the way!

When the books are done I will check their names and other details like the level at which they can be scribed, and then check those files in also. I also update my recipe layout spreadsheet into our local documentation system so that QA will be able to refer to it and see what recipe is supposed to be in which book. Finally, I send a release note email listing what books were created and giving any special instructions to QA, who will start looking at the books and making sure they contain the recipes they're supposed to contain, and that the recipes work. And then I start all over again on the next class!

imageAfter several hours of staring at these spreadsheets my eyes start to go cross, so I try to take regular short breaks - just looking out the window, or walking to the kitchen for some tea, or checking what mischief people are getting into on the forums. My officemate Jason (Fyreflyte) loads up the new monster or weapon models every time the art team send out a release note with a new one, so we take a quick break to ooh and aah over whatever fantastic new beast or weapon they've come up with now. Today we were looking at the dragons, and I have to say Xygoz is pretty amazing. It makes me wish I had any artistic talent!

It also makes me want to get back in game, which I haven't had time to do for over a week since my evenings have been filled with recipe book spreadsheets instead. I'm leveling up yet another alt, nearly 50 now. However, that is going to have to stay on hold for a while, as my spreadsheets are calling and I need to finish off these books, lest I be hunted down by packs of angry tailors waving sharp pointy needles!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007
imageFinished up the woodworker recipe books last night while cooking birthday cake... Today is Ilucide's birthday and Wednesday the 26th is mine, so what a great excuse for some home made tradeskilled goodies to keep everybody going on a sugar/chocolate high!

Today was carpenter recipe day, slightly problematic as only about half the carpenter items are available -- much of the art work for those items is still being made. Still, I needed to get the recipes that already exist into books so they can go onto the beta merchant and start testing.

Also discovered this week that somehow, the provisioner recipe books I created last week crash the player to desktop when examined ... go me! Who knew that was even possible. With Silverfrost's help today the culprit was discovered to be a stray line in the recipe files, which shouldn't have been there. Unfortunately this means I now have to check all the recipes I've made to this date to make sure the problem doesn't exist in them also. Started on this, fixed the provisioner books, but decided to finish the remaining recipe books first before going back to check the rest.

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