EverQuest II: Weekly Developer Diaries
EQII: Rise of Kunark - Tradeskills Diaries #3

Dana Massey | 23 Oct 2007 20:10
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Friday, October 5, 2007
I'm not quite sure what happened to the week, I swear it should only be about Tuesday, maybe Wednesday at the latest. Feels like I blinked and missed a week. It's been incredibly hectic this week, and I thought I was busy before! But with just a couple of weeks to go till we have to finalize all the content, everyone is flat out busy. There are so many things I need to be doing at the moment that I don't even know where to start sometimes. I'll get started on one thing, discover something else that needs doing before I can finish the first thing, then discover something else that needs doing before I can finish the second thing, and so on recursively until it ends up time to go home and I have 1,397 changed files to check in but still haven't managed to complete the thing I started doing first thing in the morning!

Yesterday we had a lunch time playtest, which means that instead of us hunting down our own lunch, they ordered in sandwiches for us and we spent lunch playing certain zones. Most people were in Kylong Plains testing out the new expansion content, but one group which included me did another run-through of the Shard of Fear which is due out with the next Game Update. I have to say the zone looks fantastic, graphically, and people who were familiar with the Plane of Fear in EQ1 will definitely have some reminiscent moments when they see the place. After we finished our playtest, we all had to write a summary of what we did, what we liked, what we thought could be improved, and any bugs we came across. This helps the designers actually working on those zones to identify possible problem areas, and I also find it just generally interesting to read everyone's comments. It lets me see how different designers approach a zone and what features they look for and highlight. It's particularly interesting seeing what some people spot that I completely missed, or maybe didn't miss but didn't find worth commenting on, and vice versa. As tradeskill designer, I haven't actually designed any zones myself nor do I expect to be doing so in the near future, so it's also kind of a glimpse into a new area of design from what I'm used to. (If I can really claim to be "used to" anything, having only been here 6 months and still quite the noob.)

Theoretically this week I've been looking at the tradeskill reaction arts, and I have got a good start on them, but I got sidetracked into fixing a bunch of bugs and also getting a start on the tradeskill writs for level 70-80. So far this has involved filling out a gigantic spreadsheet full of item file names and recipe file names. I have all the basic recipes and items in there now but I still need to lay them out to match into the writs, and then figure out how to get the script to magically generate them. This will probably take a while longer still. I finished up the basic lists this evening at least so it's a good start.

Tomorrow is Saturday and in the morning I play a RPG called Traveller with a bunch of people via an online client specially designed for RPGs. The GM is a guy I met years and years ago in EQ1, we were in the same guild together (along with 2 other of the players in the group) and have kept in contact ever since. Traveller's a space-based futuristic game and we've been playing it on and off for about a year now. In the evening, I've been invited to join a Call of Cthulhu RPG campaign that's just starting up (an in-person game this one). Should be interesting, I haven't played that before but the rules look interesting, and definitely different from Traveller! In between I hope to get a bit more progress done on the tradeskill writs. If I can get those mostly done over the weekend then next week I can aim to finish up the reaction arts. Once those two things are done, I need to create some new items for the weaponsmiths, and add some more faction quests to Kunark, and create a couple more recipe books for special recipes, finish tweaking the tradeskill tutorial, add some fuel merchants into the Danak area of Jarsath Wastes, and then I hope ... and pray ... I will just need to focus on bug fixing. Hm ... all that in about 3 weeks. Ambitious ... but we shall see!

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