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

Dana Massey | 16 Oct 2007 21:25
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Emily "Domino" Taylor returns with her second installment of her EverQuest II: Rise of Kunark developer diary series. Every Tuesday, we bring you chronological focused behind the scenes diaries on a specific aspect of the expansion pack. This wee and last have focused on Taylor and Tradeskills.

EverQuest II: Rise of Kunark Developer Journals
"Tradeskills" by Emily "Domino" Taylor (Designer)

Monday, October 1, 2007
Had a surprisingly fabulous weekend, as my ex-boyfriend surprised me for my birthday by arranging to fly my best friend from university, who lives up near Toronto, down to spend the weekend with me. I hadn't seen her in 4 years, so we had a great time playing tourist and catching up. Of course, I made her try out EverQuest II while she was with me -- she created a Fae fury and played around in the Nursery area for a while. She's not an MMO player, but I always like to stick the word "yet" on the end of sentences like that ...

After I dropped her back off at the airport on Sunday, I checked in to see how beta testing was going and discovered that a couple of the recipe books that were causing a crash to login screen last week, had (a) escaped the fixes I did last week -- thought I caught them all, but grr, a couple slipped through! And (b), were not just crashing the character to the login screen, they were in fact crashing the ZONE. Since I'd placed the tradeskill beta buffer in Kylong Plains to sell the books, thinking the crashing was fixed, this was unfortunately resulting in Kylong Plains being a bit unstable as eager crafting beta testers bought all the books they could and attempted to scribe them. Zoltaroth happened to be online and was kind enough to kill the beta buffer on Sunday afternoon as a short term preventative.

Monday morning was therefore devoted to tracking down the couple of renegade books that were causing the issue, and ensuring they are fixed! In the process I discovered a couple of other inconsistencies that needed fixing (mainly books scribing at the wrong skill level) and fixed those also. Then it was time to look at some of the more irritating beta bugs that may be preventing the community that's slowly developing on beta from testing things - in particular, recipes weren't recognizing a couple of the harvested materials properly. This turned out to be because (a) I forgot to check one file in, and (b) in another case, because I can't spell. All fixed and checked in now, but due to the schedule of updating the beta server, today's fixes won't be updated to beta server till Wednesday morning. I feel bad about all the bugs that everyone's suffering, though I guess it's a normal part of being in the early beta testing process, and the player community is being very helpful and supportive in testing things and submitting /bugs and posting information on the forums. Still! Wouldn't it be nice if everything were perfect the first time around?

In Monday afternoon's design team meeting it was announced we're going back into crunch hours (mandatory 10-hour days Monday through Thursday) starting today. I've actually been crunching already to get the recipe books done, so no big change in routine -- tonight I'm watching Bridget Jones Diary on DVD with the French soundtrack while looking over tradeskill reaction arts. (I don't like the voice they chose for Bridget Jones in French, it sounds a bit too old; but the guy dubbing Hugh Grant's voice is really good, almost the same as his real voice.) It's nice to be able to do some work from home when work needs to be done late; in my previous job as an IT manager, there wasn't that much I could do from home, so I spent a lot of late hours in the office, and even a couple of complete nights. I remember one night I spent setting up a new email server in Buenos Aires, where the operations manager and I stayed working long past when all the other staff went home, and were rather concerned that we had no idea how to call for a taxi when we needed one, since neither of us spoke Spanish. Fortunately as it turned out, we ended up working so late it was 7am by the time we left and the early morning taxis were out and easily available on the streets outside.

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