Here is my labor of love for our hearing-impaired community. Sourced from Spotify. Dreamweaver: Hey everyone. Welcome to Episode 10 of Kander's Candor. As I am, by the minute, day, hour, week, month, and any other timeframe, your friendly neighborhood Community Manager, here with Kyle, "Kander", our Creative Director for Everquest 2, and we're going to answer some questions this week. I know last week was kind of, or the last episode, I guess, you listened to, was kind of a different sort of episode, where we had one of our other developers on - Gninja - and he kind of went through some raid philosophies and things like that, and design, and kind of answered some general questions, and hopefully we'll have him on again in, you know, the next few weeks or months, or you know, the next few episodes. But for now, we're going to get back to our regular type of podcast where Kander takes a look and answers some of your questions. I know we did have sort of a break - there's lots of other world stuff going on. But that's why we say weekly -ish for this podcast, or as I've learned, working on Everquest 2, Soon Trademarked. Soon TM. Kander: Soon TM. Dreamweaver: Soon. TM. So we're going to tackle the first question here, right away. The question from Acuba, on the forums - they say "We don't really like to admit it, but as everyone's rig gets better tech, we're all getting older. With each higher resolution, the text is getting smaller and harder on our (sadly) aging eyes. So, I was wondering if there were any plans to look at updating the scaling of the UI for higher-res monitors, or at least a way to resize more of the windows and text, much the same way as bags, hotbars, tooltips, and chat bubbles do now?" Kander: Yeah. That's a good question. We definitely agree with the UI thing, but we have a super customizable, well, not customizable...our, our engine is highly custom, so updating it is really out of the scope of anything we can do fast, or have a ton of resources to do. We could definitely, like, we're willing to take suggestions for the most important, you know, window and we could work on making, you know, one more window scalable before the end of the 2020 year. That's about how, how, how fast we could do it. But yeah, it's been...I know that Jen's been investigating replacement for the UI with a stock UI engine. But we have a lot of other stuff going on, so, the short answer is not really, but the long answer is we could possibly, you know, if everybody like, says there's one really important window, we could work on making that window scalable before the end of, the end of the year, and then try on something next year maybe. That's my answer. Dreamweaver: OK. I mean, yeah, it's one of those, it's one of those answers I think, that we're like, 'Oh no, that's not the greatest answer in the world.' Kander: Yeah, I mean, I'm sure everyone would love to hear, 'Yeah, we sure can! And woo-hoo! It's easy!' But not, not this one. Dreamweaver: Yeah. Kander: Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of future thought in developing EQ2. There's a lot of things like that, that are just, you know...it wasn't...EQ2 is in this unique position where we, we thought we were going one way and we went another. I'll leave it at that. Dreamweaver: You know, after saying that, other people are going to ask what you're talking about. You may have to answer that eventually. I just wanna say, you, you're being vague, and you don't have to answer it now, but you're going to spawn a bunch of questions with that. Kander: Yeah. Dreamweaver: Alright, so Bludd asks, "Were the translated voices for the Akheva recorded for Blood of Luclin, since this was the expac where we learned their Fleshless Tongue, or was it recorded previously and just not used?" Kander: That's a weird question because I believe we recorded the VO for Akhevans during Altar of Malice because that was their first appearance. When we first heard about, you know, the Shissar, and Luclin and stuff like that, so back then I don't believe we were even recording the translated stuff. Like, is he talk-, I'm kind of confused on what he's talking about. But we used to do, so everything used to have like, VO and then stuff would have like, the garbled VO, which was them talking in their own language and you didn't understand it, and then when you learned the language, you could understand it and then you would hear, you know, the regular things they say. But we haven't done that in quite a while. So...we, we tried to spend, the...VO is very expensive and we try, we try to spend that money on other stuff that we feel is kind of a bigger bang for the buck. We have tried to do VO for like, certain important NPCs every expansion, and like, bosses every expansion, and like, you know, like, if the...the focus of the expansion is Mayong Mistmoore, then we would try to get, like, you know, VO for him, for like when he's giving a speech, or when he's talking to everybody or...But we don't, we don't record en masse like we used to. In fact, we haven't done that I think, since...I wanna say Expansion 6? I remember cause I remember writing all that...all the VO lines and scripts into a giant massive Excel sheet and sending them off to be recorded and stuff, so I did, I did a bunch of that. But, yeah, so...the quest-, the answer is I'm not really sure what he means, but I'm pretty sure that, you know, when we recorded VO for those mobs, the Akheva, we only ever recorded regular speak. But I could be wrong. Dreamweaver: OK. I mean, I'm, I'm certain that'll qualify and we'll revisit. Kander: But I did give you a whole bunch of really intriguing information about, about VO. Dreamweaver: Yeah! Even if the specific question wasn't answered, there's now a bunch of additional information. Which, we really have to work on that, cause I, I feel like, just with the previous question, now they're going to ask a bunch of follow-up questions. Kander: Well like, well like, back in the day, we wrote VO for everything! Like, every quest NPC was supposed to have VO and all this stuff, and when we launched the game, we didn't even have it all done! So they were still recording VO and having VO sessions and hooking it up, cause I remember like, one NPC that I had, like, got VO like all the sudden, like six months later. So... Dreamweaver: You were like, 'Oh guys! Hey look! It's got VO now!' Kander: Yeah. So it's like, yeah, it's been one of those things where I wish we could be like Fallout 4 and everything has VO and everyone has VO, and record 60,000 lines of VO, but yeah. We try to spend, we try to spend the money on places where it's, you know, bigger bang for the buck. I mean, we spend, try to spend money on music, which you know, stuff like that. And we try to, you know, cause...but I know a lot of people are going to say they play with their sound off anyway. So then you don't need music or VO, do you? So... Dreamweaver: Yeah, I was gonna say, and anyone who does that...yeah...OK. Let's see, the next question is going to be from Breanna. "Will the in-game browswer ever get fixed?" Kander: Yeah. So, there's no current plans to upgrade, upgrade the in-game browser. I was told it's extremely high corporate licensing costs and we also have a severe lack of engineering time to port things... Dreamweaver: OK. Kander: So the answer is no, probably not. Dreamweaver: I'm, and this is more, just maybe, not really a question that you can answer, but one I'm gonna ask the players, cause I am curious, and I, I'd like to hear why, why do you think they liked the in-game browser? Kander: Well, I mean, I could speculate all kinds of different ways...I know that when we first put the in-game browser in, you could file tickets from it, so like you could contact CS and stuff like that, but I don't believe you can do that anymore, so that would be, you know, one reason hypothetically, but like, I don't know maybe they like watching YouTube while they're farming. I have no idea. Dreamweaver: I mean, we're all just speculating. I, I just like, I'm curious. Like, it's not something I ever got any use out of, and I'm trying to think of, like, the one or two other games that have in-game browsers. I don't think I ever utilized them, and I'm just interested what people liked them for. Kander: Yeah. It probably should be on the list as one of the things we should just pull out, cause we, we pull out things that like we've done in the past, like, like, for instance, SOEmote, which everyone thought was really cool and we spent a whole lot of time on it, and then everybody used it for a week, and then no one ever used it again, and then eventually everybody stopped using it, so we pulled it out. So... Dreamweaver: *laughs* I mean, I'm sure pulling stuff like that would help something a little bit. Just... Kander: I honestly believe that like, it's like, you know, when you're, you're flying an airplane, you know, and you're trying to save fuel, you just start throwing heavy stuff out the door. *laughs* Dreamweaver: *laughs* Kander: You know, cause it, cause it saves on fuel, so it's like, 'Oh, there goes the luggage!' But yeah... Dreamweaver: I mean...I, I...the only issue I have with that metaphor is that I don't think we're a plane that needs to save on fuel. But besides that, I know what you're saying. Kander: Well, um, maybe you're right. Dreamweaver: *laughs* Alright. Ah, let's see. Who's the next question? This question is from Vibrid33: "New Question. Is there any chance that we'd be seeing another server merge in the future? I just feel like it would be better for everyone to have less, but more populated servers, so groups would be easier to find and there would be less for Darkpaw to maintain." Kander: So, we don't have any plans to merge any servers right now. In fact, a lot of the servers are very high population. I would say the lowest population regular server is Antonia Bayle, which is kind of ironic, because that was the highest population server for years and years and years, besides actually Nagafen, the original Nagafen was probably one of the highest population server for years and years. The only thing that I could see us doing is maybe merging Isle of Refuge into Rivervale, or vice versa. But that would be a ways away. I know that there's some people on Rivervale that like the state of their server, so we don't really have a plan to do that, but that's the only thing I could see us merging in the future or any time soon. Dreamweaver: Ok. Alright. Kander: What's crazy about, what's crazy about like, Antonia Bayle, is Antonia Bayle has a lot of European population and players from other places, like there's Japanese players, so even though Antonia Bayle has a pretty high population, it's, you...there's people on it all the time. So if you logged in at 3 AM Pacific Time, you'd be like, 'Holy crap, there's a whole bunch of people playing'. So it kind of feels like there's not as many people as Maj'Dul or Halls of Fate, but you know, it actually has quite a few people. Dreamweaver: Ok. That's interesting. It's just, it's more, it's pop isn't as focused on...prime times. Kander: Prime, prime...Prime time America, right? Dreamweaver: Yeah. That makes sense. Kander: Yep. Dreamweaver: Ok. And then, these have been a lot of, a lot of really quick answers. This one might be a little bit longer, cause it's a two-parter. Finally, last question for this episode, is a question from Ankou, and it starts with, "Kander, this is a two-part question, and a request for some quality of life improvements on two different issues that could help raiders going forward. First, flawless buffs - could we please make this a buff in the Knowledge Book so that we could recast without going back to the Guild Hall," and then we'll go to the...oh, no wait, here's the example. "Example: Person A has to swap mid-spec, has to swap specs for mid-raid for Reason X, but now must go back to the Guild Hall, potentially wasting everyone else's time in order for them to retrieve the buffs so they can perform to their max potential and is it possible for this to please be account-wide flagged once it is achieved on one character. Going back through tons of previous tier content isn't fun to do on multiple characters and is getting increasing difficult to get these buffs on any character that doesn't already have them." That's the first question. Kander: Yeah, yeah, so, that whole thing I'm going to, I'm going to agree with something that my, my lead mechanics designer is a very slippery slope, and also, there's, there's probably a hi-, several reasons why we wouldn't put it in your Knowledge Book. One of the reasons is that we throw it at your Knowledge Book, and then next year it's is old and it's still in your Knowledge Book and not quite useful. We would have to put in something to remove those. And then, you know, I mean that's like having, 'Now I have four flawless buffs in my book, and I have a pre-order house clickie, and I have a Sig Line reward and I have all this other stuff', which is also not, not cool. Adding, adding spells to the spell book is more additional load time. Also, sending people back to do old content to get old buffs is really not cool and lame. There's, there's, there's a whole lot about the flawless system that I'm not happy with, and I would love to change. We've had discussions about ripping it all out and putting in something that would be much easier to use, much easier to move around, and much easier to get for your alts. Like maybe a flawless adornment, like we make a rainbow slot on your breastplate, and the flawless adornment, you get that, and then you can put it on that and just move it around, and then you can buy extras for your alts and stuff like that. And I chose rainbow because we have so many colors, and also I like rainbows. So, but, so something like that where it's easier, and then, like having it so that it's on a merchant and you can buy it for your alts, and then the next year, we could put in an upgrade, right, and you can keep buying the one you already have until the upgrade's available, and when the upgrade's available you use that on your rainbow slot, and you can buy those for your alts. Something like that, and also, adornments and stuff like that don't put in the massive, like, server load, right? They don't, they're not constantly adding to the footprint of your character. Adornments are very light. They're very easy, you know, and plus, you can take it off, and you can put it somewhere else. It's one of those things where...we've been talking about doing, like, like weapons like that too, where weapons only have base stats, potency and something else on them, and then you could buy a set of stat-, like, you could buy a caster set or you could buy a tank set, or you could buy a melee, a, you know, a DPS set that goes on your weapons and then adds those extra stats to it so that it's, so you could customize your own stuff. So there's like lots of different stuff we have been talking about. We definitely want to do something different for this year. It's like, putting flags on stuff for, for alts, and flags on your character, and flags all over, flags, flags, flags. It's bloating the heck out of our UDS server and exceeding any theoretical limit that we thought would cause a problem by many, many factors, and so...that's, that's my answer. Dreamweaver: Ok. Kander: So, we want to do it differently, and we hope to do something differently with the expansion this year, Expansion 17. We have a lot of stuff that we're trying to fix, make better, make more efficient - for raiding in particular - and lots of other things this year with Expansion 17. It's kind of a, Expansion 17 is kind of a soul search for us. We're hopefully working on a very large AA reboot. Well, not going to say hopefully. We're working on a very large AA reboot, and doing AA's differently and hopefully some real decent class balance with that also, because, you know, there's a lot of things we could do with an AA reboot, so....whew! Dreamweaver: *laughs* Well, there! There's, there's sort of the answer. It may not be the answer that Ankou was hoping for, but I mean, it's, it's definitely a lot more information once again about where we hope to move things, and where we're hoping to shift things, over all. Kander: Yeah. Simpler. Simpler is better. Dreamweaver: Simpler with more customization for players, which I think is pretty cool. I think giving those options, personally, I, ah, it's kind of the sort of the thing that I prefer. I know a lot of people feel differently, but it's definitely something that I kind of like, where like, the initial thing is simple, and then the, the breadth of the thing, or the depth of it, is much later and you can do a lot of things with that. I think that's pretty cool. Kander: Yes. Dreamweaver: Let's get to the second part of their question, and I think it's something related to food...there it is! Second is, "Please make it so snacks auto-consume." Kander: Yeah, so... Dreamweaver: You say, you say yeah, and it's almost like it's gonna be the answer, and then you go into the answer. I'm gonna say, it's gotta stress some people out. *laughs* You're like "Yeah!" Kander: How about, how about I'll just answer, I'll just answer directly? Snacks are, snacks are potions. Potions cannot be auto-consumed. So, it's a... Dreamweaver: Well there you go! Kander: They have a predicate on them so that they actually cannot be auto-consumed. So the answer is that it's unfortunately nope. Needs... Dreamweaver: So it... Kander: Someone to cast them. Dreamweaver: Is there a reason that snacks are potions? Was it just like ease of use, or the way we codified things back then? Like, is there...? Kander: It was most likely a way to do something that's kind of like food but also stacks, and I know that you know that we've had a lot of problems with food and drink as of late, the way that food and drink works, and the fact that it is auto-consume, and there's also some weird things you can do to consume it, which has caused us all kinds of problems. So yeah, it was done differently to not be that. Dreamweaver: Ok. Kander: And so yeah, they're going to remain that you're going to need to click them to cast. That is the answer. Dreamweaver: Yeah, well that makes sense. Alright, well, I think that's all the questions we picked for this week. Please continue submitting questions so that giant question thread - I go through it on a regular basis, and I, I try and pick out ones that haven't been answered before, I know that we can answer, so there's not a lot of me or Kyle just going "Uhhhhhhhhh" on the podcast. Kander: Yeah. Dreamweaver: Which sometimes that's unavoidable. But as always guys, thank you so much for submitting questions, on all the ways you guys submit questions. It's, it's truly super encouraging to see how passionate everyone is about this game on a regular basis and I just wanted to say that. I don't think I have anything else this week. I would do a... I do know that Kyle, you promised hints for the upcoming expansion pack that you would be dropping. Do you have a hint this week? Because last week, I really feel we just toyed with their emotions... Kander: I feel like the hints I'm trying to come up with are on the dark side of things, and that it's kind of left an echo in the caverns and I'm not really sure what to say. Dreamweaver: *laughs* Well, you know what? I think that's a good place to end it guys. So thank you everyone for listening to Episode 10 of Kander's Candor. As always, I'm here with Kyle, 'Kander', our Creative Director, and I'm Dreamweaver, and we'll see you in game.