Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mythic talks about WAR Preview feedback

Mark Jacobs made a brief post about the top issues coming out of WAR Preview Weekend:

(1) Client Crashes
  • I’ve talked about this as one of the reasons why we didn’t release the NDA until recently. Here’s the current status
  • Just a little too many currently. While we are better off than we were in beta, we must do better still before release.
  • A number of players will lower spec machines had more CTDs than higher spec machines.
  • Number of fixes already in pipeline. They are working their way through our testing servers and will be pushed to the players once they have been vetted internally.
  • Engineering time for CTD issue has remained heavily committed; our top engineers are working on the various issues.

I had a few of these, but nothing I wouldn’t have expected out of a new game. In fact, I actually thought as far as a beta goes, this wasn’t all that bad. I would EXPECT this to be priority #1, so it’s nice to hear they are working diligently at it.

(2) Monster Pathing and AI
  • Well, what can I say other than not even all of King Tut’s wealth could have made us feel better for messing up on this one. Well, maybe all his wealth.
  • “Yes, that monster seems to be behaving a little oddly”. Monster responsiveness was very sketchy, odd pauses and tethering issues.
  • “Oh, was I supposed to go in that direction?” Pathing sometimes wonky - mobs get stuck or go in wrong direction.
  • Utter confusion at times as both monsters and pets will engage and disengage seemingly at random
  • Internal server optimizations last week broke the pathing/AI. And I mean really, really broke it. This truly was a “Opps, we broke this code” moment for us and we don’t have many of them.
  • Going to ensure that this problem is fixed this week. As I said in my first Preview Weekend, this is a major concern for us. Fortunately we have no underwater combat in this game or some of the NPCs may have been appropriately dubbed land sharks.
This was very noticeable. A number of bloggers have talked about it. I still think it was AI code, likely something to do with the flee/attack state the NPC was supposed intended to be in rather than pathing.

(3) Pet Responsiveness
  • With similar issues to Monster Pathing and AI, this was not our finest hour.
  • Need to transfer "combat responsiveness" fixes to pets - have pet move immediately on button press.
  • “Oh no, Mr. Bill!” Pets suffer from same pathing and lack of response as general monsters. Pets hopping around like they were headed to Del Staters.
See above. It’s partly that pets experienced the same issue that leads me to believe it was AI rather than pathing related.

(4) Global Cooldown Timers
  • This seems to be a hot topic for players to talk about. However, things aren’t always as they seem.
  • Reality and perception are two different things, Warhammer has a GCD of 1.4s, WoW has 1.5s
  • “Ability not ready” messaging needs to be improve, a sound effect if Global Cooldown in effect, maybe more cowbell?
  • Need to improve on the feeling of sluggishness of the GCD and UI. Bug with display where our timer shows 2s when it is really 1.4
  • The next best thing to a queue is? We will add in better "slop timer" to allow players 0.3s extra to pre-queue a second ability followup.
Nothing to see here. I didn’t think any of this was a big deal. There were a couple of visual things that were funky with the UI (kinda sorta mentioned above) but more quirky than OMG! OH NOES!

(5) Better animations
  • So much more coming in the next two versions of the client. We are currently incorporating serious amounts of new animations into the game. Hopefully nobody will sneak a coneheads model into the game.
  • Look at what my XXXX does now? Over the next month we will address many class-attack specific issues across all 20 careers.
  • “U think you can dance?” Nope, but we have added new racial animations for movement, fidgets and redid some emotes.
All I can say is that I got used to it, but it was noticeable. I think the complaints in this area are valid, if perhaps a bit overblown. Of all the things that I noticed, the most bothersome was this one animation bug where my guy shot this beam from his hand and in some RvR situations, it never went away. It was like I was linked to the other enemy player until either he died or I died.

(6) Texture Blurring
  • Textures are currently cached in a manner that results in blurriness on entering a region.
  • We will look at adding a client scalar.
I have no idea what Mark is talking about. No clue. This was not observed by me.

(7) Client Performance
  • This is one of those issues
  • Need better scalers on effects, sounds, graphics, etc to help lower end machines (already lots of additions to coders)
  • This thing loves memory like Dan Aykroyd loves bass. We have already improved the memory consumption of the client and taken 100M out of current test best.
There was a “custom” option to adjust video settings that did nothing. I can only presume that he is talking about adding these things into the game to actually allow, well – custom settings. LOL. I figured while in beta that they wanted everyone running things in pretty much the same mode to get as a control test. I still think this was the case.

(8) Targeting, Camera, etc
  • Currently our targeting system differs from many MMOs in terms of our features and how we go about things. We will identify and make a more standard initial setup but allow flexibility.
  • Will add additional keybinding selections to allow flexibility
Rohan talks about Targeting in WAR and WoW quite a bit today. The default settings in WAR are superior, but the flexibility (particularly with UI customization) in WoW is a lot better thus far. It would be nice to see some better functionality in this regard, although I do think addons will address some of it.

(9) Renown rank gear
  • Unfortunately, a new bug (well an old bug we fixed and then managed to break again) which allowed Rank 10 RR 6 players can go to Tier 2 to get better gear and then come back to Tier 1 and own scenarios. We are currently working on a fix.
Heartless_ had this complaint. I honestly didn’t know that this might have been a reason I was getting pwned by some people until Monday.

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