EverQuest II: Weekly Developer DiariesEQII: Rise of Kunark - Tradeskills Dev Diary #4EverQuest II: Weekly Developer Diaries - RSS 2.0
Emily "Domino" Taylor, the Tradeskills game designer for EverQuest II: Rise of Kunark, continues to pen a series of journals for the site that recount the course of development for her.
Article by Emily "Domino" Taylor (Game Designer, EQII Tradeskills)
Monday, October 8, 2007
Had a pretty good weekend, though they seem to be over so fast! In my Traveler game I turned a cool profit of close to 2 million credits on a trade deal; in the Cthulhu game we managed to finish the scenario without any of the party going insane or dying, though there were some close calls. And the San Diego Chargers won the football on Sunday by a ridiculously large score, so the whole city seemed pretty content. I got the spreadsheet for the 70-80 tradeskill writs all filled out by the end of Sunday so I was feeling pretty good about coming in this morning, running the script to convert the spreadsheet into the individual files for each writ, and then moving on to tradeskill reaction arts. But of course, it's never quite that simple!
First I discovered that the spreadsheet I'd been using didn't include the icons, so every item in every writ looked like a scroll. That required modifying the spreadsheet to include the icon information, and then modifying the script to accept the extra columns for icons, and then spending quite some time looking up the icon number for each item in each writ and putting that into the spreadsheet.
Once the icons were working, I discovered that the script was out of date in a few areas -- it was obviously created when tradeskill writs were first made, and a number of things have changed since then. For example, back then, there were far less starting cities than there are now, so I had to modify the script to award faction and status to people in the cities that have been added since the writs were first created. While doing that, I was suddenly struck by the thought that Gorowyn is our new starting city, and nobody had mentioned anything to me about tradeskill NPCs or factions in that city. What if I were supposed to be doing that and I hadn't realized!? It was a horrible thought, I was almost afraid to ask for fear of what the answer would be ("why yes, you're supposed to be creating and populating the entire crafting area of Gorowyn, didn't you realize? You should have been done 2 weeks ago!"). In a minor panic I checked with Cronyn, who is doing the population and furnishing of Gorowyn, and fortunately he had most of it under control. Whew! The only thing that wasn't accounted for was a tradeskill faction merchant, so I sent some instructions on that Of course, that did make me realize I need to dig up some furniture to put on the Gorowyn faction merchant, which I hadn't though of till now. But that's a relatively minor thing, and if worst comes to worst, could always be added after the expansion launch.
Once that minor crisis was under control, I realized I still needed to add the coin reward to the writs. This reward - we call them "coinpurses" -- is supposed to cover the fuel costs plus just a little bit extra. Of course, in order to create the coinpurses, therefore, I have to finalize the fuel costs. So the next detour was testing and setting fuel costs, and while I was looking at it, adding them in to the merchant lists of the normal fuel vendors around the world.
Then it was time for our Monday afternoon design team meeting, and following that, I got distracted from writs into fixing a few bugs for GU39. I also logged in to Beta server briefly to grab a screenshot, and ended up with a number of desperate tells from various people who were stuck in Chardok and needed to be summoned out -- apparently you can currently zone IN, but you cannot yet zone OUT, making it a rather one-way trip unless you can find a friendly GM online to extract you.
Back to the writs, I also realized I still needed to change the dialog options for the NPCs who actually offer the writs so that they'll offer the new higher level ones. This is 18 more files to change, and looks as if they all need to be done manually, so that's going to take a while. It's amazing how there's always so much work involved in getting everything done than I expected... between setting the cash rewards for the writs, changing the NPCs' dialog options, and adding in Gorowyn to the factions, there's probably another half day's work to do tomorrow despite spending most of today on it.
By this time it was getting late so I headed home to feed my cat. Every day when I come home late, she's sitting at the front door waiting for me, and informs me in no uncertain terms that she's lonely, bored, neglected, and abandoned, not to mention starving, and hadn't I better feed her and play with her all evening? My apartment is on a corner - the front door faces west, and the balcony faces south, and normally when I walk from my car space to my front door, I pass along the path that leads under the balcony. Today however I detoured via the mailbox, so I didn't walk under the balcony. And when I went in the front door there was no cat. There was, however, a sudden meow from out on the balcony and she hurried inside to tell me the usual story about how neglected and abandoned she is. Ha -- I think she just didn't see me in time to get into position. I'm fairly sure she lies around the balcony perfectly happily in the evenings, and only runs inside to sit by the door and look pathetic when she sees me coming. I'm going to have to try sneaking in from unexpected directions more often. Currently she's lying on my legs while I work, and helpfully shedding into the keyboard. Kunark tradeskills, whatever else they may or may not have by the time they're finished, are definitely not going to be short of cat hair.