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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Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Today was supposed to be reaction art redesign day; however, I was only able to spend a couple hours looking at them (mostly spent making a spreadsheet of what they are now, and trying to get my head around the best solution for what they should be). Around mid morning Haohmaru, aka Tim our lead environment artist, stopped by to let me know that I should browse through the placeable objects art has now completed for the Kunark zones and assemble a list of what I'd like to have globalized so they will be available as house items.

The objects haven't been available for long and the zone designers have only just started placing them out there in the world, so I hadn't seen most of them yet. Some of them are pretty cool looking and will certainly make desirable house items. He told me to pick about 30; but of course, by the time I had gone through all the folders, I had a list of closer to 60. Then I had to make the tough decisions and try and thin that list down, and put them in order of priority. I'm very keen to avoid the situation where a house item carpenters make ends up looking the same as a collection quest reward (as has occasionally happened in the past), so I have checked with Kander, the dev who is doing this expansion's collection quests, and will be making his quest rewards for him at the same time as I make the Kunark furniture. I've picked out some pretty cool looking stuff for his collections and I hope we'll be able to get them all globalized, plus plenty cool stuff for the carpenters too.

Rijacki popped up on my instant messenger this afternoon to send me a link which turned out to be the "eat your brains" song from Shaun of the Dead -- she thought I might need some light relief. Since I was a reasonably vocal part of the tradeskill community as a player before I was hired here, several of the other tradeskill-focused players including Rijacki, Calthine, and Niami already had my instant messenger address as we used to discuss tradeskill changes and happenings, and they've all been very supportive since I took the position. And of course, I know that if I start doing something silly, there are three members of the player tradeskill community who know exactly where to reach me and will not hesitate to give me a sanity check!

Back on the beta forums, I noticed Slippery, one of the beta community, had spotted that somehow sages didn't have any inquisitor spell recipes from 70-80. This was a bit mysterious, but further investigation revealed that somehow inquisitors had been left out entirely when the sage recipes were created. So, another good portion of my afternoon was spent tracking down that problem, creating those recipes, and adding them in to the books. QA are hard at work testing out the recipes also, but they hadn't reached the sage books yet so that was a good catch. They have, however, been working through the other books and in between the time I left the office (about 6:30) and the time I logged back in from home (about 7) I was horrified to find I had over 30 new bug notifications in my email.

My tradeskill apprentice, Olihin, has been hugely helpful in getting things like the quests finished up, and I've passed about half the bugs on to him also to start looking at. It's hard to imagine how I'd be getting through a lot of this stuff without the extra help from him, not to mention all the stuff QA does for us! When I think back to old computer games I enjoyed as a kid, and realize only one or a small handful of people made the games, I'm amazed at how they managed to do it. Admittedly they were far less complex than EverQuest II but I'm still pretty impressed. I feel a bit overwhelmed when I just consider the amount of care and attention tradeskills alone need to have. When I was just a player, I didn't appreciate just how much work went into making every little aspect of a game. I definitely have a much healthier respect for the quantity and quality of work done by everyone in the game industry now, whether or not I happen to like the particular game they're making.

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