Here is my labor of love for our hearing-impaired community. Sourced from Spotify. Dreamweaver: Hey everyone! This is Episode 6 of Kander's Candor. Welcome. I'm Dreamweaver, your friendly neighborhood Community Manager, and I'm here once again with Kyle "Kander" Vallee, our Creative Director. I just wanna take a quick moment at the beginning of this week's podcast and really, really just thank forum-user Mercychalice. They have been putting up transcripts for our hard-of-hearing and deaf listeners to read on the forums, and they are not only incredibly good at doing those transcripts very, very quickly, but getting them up in a just really timely manner and a bunch of other things. So if you see Mercychalice on the forums, and I don't know if they use Discord, but if you see them on Discord, please be sure to thank them for the time that they're spending on this. One, it's really cool because it's something that I wanted to do but don't quite have time to at this point, and it's just really great for our entire community to hopefully be able to engage with this content, and Mercychalice is a big part of that, so I just wanted to say a huge thank you for that, for taking your time to do that, for spending the time on it, and we're gonna get right into the questions this week, because we have quite a few. The first set is from forum-user and Discord-user Rippit. It's TLE specific. Rippit, for the first part of the question, would love to know the thought process behind removing what can easily be classified as the most nostalgic or defining part of the game, set bonuses. So, Kyle? Kander: Yeah, set bonuses are a weird kind of creature. They're, they-, I lump them in with stuff that was implemented quickly back in the day. You know, a lot of things happened in EQ2 because things happened elsewhere and someone went, "We outta do set bonuses." And so, one, set bonuses are really hard to deal with. They're very hard to work with. Two, they're completely unbalanced, and, and, so, there's a bunch of different lines of thinking, but I'll, I'll try to go through all of them, is A) already TLE players are so powerful, it's a massive effort for us to make content that's even a challenge for them and these set bonuses, like especially, I wanna, I wanna point out like, Expansion 3, Expansion 4, some of them are really unbalanced. Some of them are really powerful. So A) to balance the content with these set bonuses in game is, is very difficult and basically what you're doing is is you're, you're, you're setting up the people. If you're balancing for the set bonuses, then the people that don't have the set bonuses don't have a chance as, as you know. It's a snowball's chance in Hell of beating this stuff, and A) the balancing them and working with them is so time-consuming. Back in the day, I think I did some of the set bonuses for a specific expansion. I can't remember which one, but it took me weeks to do, and so, they're hard to work with. The ones that we, that we took out are just completely over-powered. Going into Kunark, those ones we, we've talked about putting in the, you know, the character bonus, bonuses that are basically the set bonuses that got moved to everyone's character because that was another thing, is set bonuses were so horrible and terrible, we eventually moved them to where everyone had them on their, you know, on their character, so that they didn't have to get them and, but, to do that for Kunark, it would have to be totally re-balanced. So, at this point, I'm not saying no. We'll look at it. We have discussed putting in, you know, the, the character spells and stuff that resemble the set balances, but basically, we took all the, all the set bonuses out up to level 100, and that was about where we stopped using them. So, that's the... Dreamweaver: OK. Kander: The short answer. Dreamweaver: Well, th- it kinda leads into Rippit's second question, which is an add-on to the question above about asking whether they'll see set bonuses return in the most crucial expansions, such as ROK and even more, TSO. So you kinda answered that question as well? Kander: Well, I mean, yeah. I, I do-, I don't wanna say no, but at the same time, it's, it's all about how much time we have and what we're working on. We decided that looking through all of those set bonuses from all the way up to Velious, they were extremely over-powered, especially for TLE. I mean, when they were on live, people would go back and just disintegrate the whole content, and you know, they we-, it didn't really matter that they were over-powered. Everybody just, you know? And tha-, that's another thing that's like, you know, all that stuff's that's in there...that, that, that power isn't necessary. Players are already at a point with the current itemization that making anything to stand up to them is just incredibly difficult. It takes hours and hours of, you know, I mean, literally to get it perfect. Like, well a good example is the Avatars, you know. Gninja went on and, and held those Avatars with players and got, got DPS numbers, and health numbers, and all these things and spent hours, HOURS, trying to get those balanced to where they were actually a challenge. And that is literally what we would have to do with every single mob, and with the set bonuses, it just literally compounds everything, right? It's not like back, it's not like back in the day where mobs didn't even have buff packages. You know what I mean? Up until Kunark, I mean, we started using buff packages in Kunark, but it was just hitpoints and stuff like that and you didn't have situations the people who had two, three set bonuses were literally 40, 50% more powerful than the people who didn't have them, so they're really super cool in theory, getting that extra bonus because you put together the sets, but also, we stopped using set bonuses because of that. We, we literally stopped using them because players did not want to upgrade items, so we would put set bonuses on jewelry like we did in, in Velious with Plane of War items and, and Drunder items and when we go to a new expansion, they don't want to take them off because they don't want to lose their set bonuses, so we ended up, at that time - I remember, because I did it. We ended up putting in all these extra pieces of jewelry into the set bonuses so that they could have the set bonuses on basically anything they got, which is just completely absurd in the idea of making new content, and, and having people, you know, upgrade their items, and a lot of that stuff is what led to Expansion 10, where we made a massive jump in power. I think we, I think we literally jumped up like 40% in power so that, literally the items that were dropping and the items you were getting from quests and heroics made anything, even the set bonuses, just look insignificant and honestly, what we should have done, is we should have gone back and had one person work on set bonuses for, you know, a couple months, and fix those. But at the same time, we truly believe that they're, they're not a good idea for progression and they're not a good idea for moving from expansion to expansion. So, and, and I think saying that they're a massive part of the nostalgia, I don't, I don't, I don't agree with that. I understand why they're saying it, but yeah. I mean, there, there isn't anything in Everquest 2 that we don't do just because we're lazy, where it's like, "Ah, we're just not gonna do that." We put in insane hours to, to keep the game, you know, running and try to keep people happy, and we WANT to do things. We WANT to make everybody happy, but it's, it's a matter of just, it's time, it's... I hope I, I hope I gave, you know, a good answer on that and a lot of reasons. Dreamweaver: Okay. Yeah, I mean, that's, I feel like that's definitely a pretty, pretty encompassing explanation, definitely on, on why we've removed those things and what our concerns are and like, that we're still considering maybe bringing some back in some way, shape, or form. That's a pretty descriptive answer. The final part of Rippit's question is, "Will we continue to see additional content for TLE, such as Avatars. I think this is a great addition for the TLV -E, however, to make this more successful and engaging/fun for the community, the loot should be top tier and, in their opinion, properly itemized. A defining mage weapon, for example, should not have scout stats. Kander: Yeah, so I'm gonna answer that question in multiple, multiple parts. We stopped doing Avatars and stuff like that because of that. We felt that it wasn't good game play to have the best-in-slot items on a contested mob that guilds could essentially lock down permanently, which they did. Let me tell you, back in the day, there was guilds like Meplusultra, who had a call list at any time of day or night, and they locked down those Avatars, even after they didn't need the items, just so other guilds would never see the items. In our opinion, that's just really bad gameplay. So that was where we started moving to where expansion bosses and zone bosses had the best-in-slot loot in raids and upper tiers and stuff like that and we went away from constested mobs, which essentially, I mean even on Kaladim, are content for one guild, and so they have all the best items. No one else ever gets them or sees them. The reason that we agreed to put in some of the Avatars is, yeah, they are kinda nostalgic, and we made them spawn quicker, hoping that peop- hoping that more guilds would have a chance at them. But that's really not the case. There's still one guild monopolizing the Avatars on Kaladim. To answer the question, will we be doing more? Probably not. I think that we put in, I think we have, how many do we have in now? 5 or 6? Dreamweaver: Uh....5? I believe? Kander: Yeah, so for the, for, for the current expansion, we-, we put them in for EOF because there's no raid content for mid-content. So on TLE you have, you have your regular, your season of that expansion, and then we have mid-content, so for instance, EOF is gonna be, er, you know, Kaladim's gonna be getting Shard of Fear and Unrest here, next week. And there was no raid content, so we put in, we put in those because we wanted... Dreamweaver: the Avatars? Kander: Yeah. We put those in because we wanted the raiders to have something to do and we wanted them to create a little excitement, you know what I mean? And the overall experience with it was not, not anything that we enjoyed, so we probably will not be putting in any further Avatars, but Ruins of Kunark and the next few expansions have raid content in the mid-content I believe. Putting hours and hours in for content that only one guild sees is just not a good use of our time when we barely have enough time as it is to do all of the stuff we have to do for live, for TLEs, for, we're, we're about to start working on Expansion 17 full time, so we do have, you know, a big GU planned for August, but we'll be working on expansion stuff. And trying to keep the TLE, you know, running, and we, like, for Unrest and for Shard of Fear, we did do balance passes on that stuff. We're not just tossing it out there and watching it, you know, vaporize, so, and we'll continue to support Kaladim and support, you know, the expansions that are coming with balance passes. We feel like, for Kunark, a better use of our time would be spending a good amount of time in Veeshan's Peak, which is like the premier raid for that expansion, and making sure... Dreamweaver: Hmm mmmm... Kander: Making sure, making sure that the, I forget how many raid mobs are in that zone...it's like 25 raid mobs...it's not that many, but it's a lot, are balanced and there's some good fights in there, and, and stuff like that, and then we might also look at like, Venril Sathir and a couple other bosses that we feel, you know, nostalgically, were kind of tough. But we feel like our time is better spent doing a serious pass on Veeshan's Peak. So that is the, the answer there. Dreamweaver: Ok. Alright. I think that's really all the, the, the extent of, of Rippit's questions. I do think, though, bringing up mid-tier, something that has been asked in the Discord quite a bit, are we still doing Hunter's for, the, the mid-tiers? Kander: So, we, I believe, we planned out and actually made stuff for Hunter's Quests all the way up until Velious. Dreamweaver: Oh! Kander: And, and Kunark was the first Hunter's tier, so it will absolutely have Hunter's tier for mid-content. Dreamweaver: Ok. Kander: So, the, the Hunter's tier for EOF, I'm not 100% sure on. I can't sit here and say, you know, it's absolutely going in, but we'll, we'll, we'll definitely check into it. But we did, we do have a plan to make Hunter's items for, for each expansion, so, and I know, I know for a fact that Kunark's there because we did that on Fallen Gate, or, not Fallen Gate, yeah, well whatever the last TLE was before Kaladim... Dreamweaver: Fallen Gate. Kander: Yeah, so that's actually been implented already, so that one's ready to go. Dreamweaver: Alright. Awesome. Ok. So, the next set of questions comes from forum-user Aradar. The very first one, there's a little bit of commentary before it, so I'll read that first and then we'll go into that itself. Also, thanks Rippit, for those questions. Hopefully, at least some of your questions were answered, but thanks for submitting them. Aradar asks, "Is there any cooperation with the EQ1 team when it comes to sharing good features? Here are two major things I would like to see implented in EQ2 that are available in EQ1. One, the option to filter spell effects to my spells only, group spells, my spells, and the NPC, etc. It's a better option than the current EQ2 one, and two, can we have the EQ1 loot system please? It's such a great feature in that game to have the game remember if you want to greed, need, or never loot an item again? Kander: Yeah, um..so.. Dreamweaver: I mean, the fair- first question is pretty simple though, right? Kander: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yes! Dreamweaver: There's definitely cooperation between the two teams. Kander: Absolutely. We... Dreamweaver: They talk to each other. Kander: Yeah, we work together. We plan expansions together. We do all sorts of stuff together. We also have a very, and this is not my answer, but just so that people are clear, we have a very fine understanding of what is good for EQ and what is good for EQ2, so there's like a lot of stuff we do in EQ2 that will never go to Everquest, you know. So, we- Everquest is th-, is our crown jewel and we do everything to protect it. So you- there's a lot of stuff that we do in EQ2, not because we don't love and cherish EQ2, but EQ2 has a different community and a different audience and a different, you know, ther- overall playstyle, everything. So there are some things that we've done in EQ2 that people like that we wouldn't put into EQ, but that said, I don't see any reason why we couldn't do that stuff. I think those are actually really good ideas. I'll, I'm gonna, I'm typing it out in an email right now, and we'll, we'll discuss it. We'll see if that's that something we could do. I love the idea of being able to have just your spells on and not anybody else's spells. I can't think of whether or not that would be, you know, an impossibility, because EQ2. EQ2 is so different in the different, you know, code channels and different ways, but I actually really like that idea, and the other one, they have a little bit more robust, yeah, loot system, which I would love to see in EQ2. So the answer is yes, we do communicate. Yes, we do actually look at things that EQ do, and consider them for Everquest 2, and those are both really good ideas, so we'll, we'll definitely look into doing that. That's not a "yes, we're doing it, absolutely" to be clear, but that is a "yes, we'll look into it". Dreamweaver: Awesome. Well, that, that one was pretty simple. I ca- *laughs*. Thank you for your suggestions Aradar. The third one, since, since it looks like we still have a little bit of time within the time frame I'm trying to stick for for everybody so they don't just listen to you and I talk for, probably way too long, forum-user Replay asks, they would like to know if there's any plans to expand on the guild hall amenities and the rewards for guild levels past 100 or whatever the level is that stopped giving amenity slots, and they have one more portion of their question after that. Kander: That, that's a really good question. I think at a certain point, we just kind of ran out of ideas and so we stopped implementing, like, different amenities past 100 because we just didn't, we couldn't think anything that went, that we would go "oh they would really like that or this would be really cool or..." and since then we have added a lot of stuff, since guild level 100. So what I'm gonna say is, is if anybody has any really good ideas, feel free to PM me on Discord or on the forums. A lot of people also have my email. I'm not afraid of, you know, giving out my email, if you have my email - I'm not gonna give it out here, but... *both laugh* Dreamweaver: I'm not gonna put it on the internet for just anyone to listen to, but I'll put it on Discord. (I believe sarcasm was inflected here...but it might just be out there ) Kander: Right, right right. But a lot of people do know my- if you have some really, really good ideas for guild amenities past 100, I would love to hear about them. Dreamweaver: Yeah, I, I would also say if you don't wanna do those in a message, using kind of like, a tag, on your thread on the forums that says feedback in front of it, kind of in brackets also isn't a bad way and I can pass those along to Kyle as well. Kander: Yeah, so... Dreamweaver: That's another good way to give us that feedback. Kander: So the major answer is I would love to hear everybody's ideas for guild hall amenities because we've, what are we? I think guilds are at, like, level 250 or 300 or something like that? Dreamweaver: Something like that. Yeah, it's something like that is the cap.