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my name is Fido and i am the operator of "Let´s Play ArcheAge - The german video magazine" on Youtube. At first I want to thank you for being our "interview partner" tonight. Don´t worry, i´ll make it short, the other guys here will ask enough questions about ArcheAge
1. A few months ago the german ArcheAge community ArcheAge-Online.de held the community event "A letter to Trion Worlds". Some of the letters were handed over to your ArcheAge team at the E3, the complete collection was sent to you by air-mail from Germany. At the time the event happened you didn´t work for Trion Worlds I just wanted to know: Did you ever get these letters?
2. More an invitation: If you´d like i invite you to be my guest in my Let´s Play series, some chatting and chiling in the sun of Ark included. We can do this in english language of course
Greetings from Germany,
Let´s Play ArcheAge - The german video magazine
I love Rift, thanks for coming back to keep steering our game. We have just seen Shard Unification take place and I keep reading Daglars statements over and over but the wording implicates more than states so my main questions is:.
Is this the beginning of the possibility EU & NA shards becoming one region?
I am also a fansite for Dimensions - riftdreamdimensions.com - and thoroughly appreciate all concepts. Thanks so much! My other inquiry is with Raiding. This current tier of content is so awesome but because of how long it took to get here we have lost many endgame guilds. I fear we will have no hardcore raiders left soon because this content will also be conquered shortly. My inquiries are:
Will there be any changes in the pace of 20 man content being released? Is there any hope for current raiders to keep playing into 2014?
Thanks for taking the time Scott and Aloha Grakulen, Chief & everyone at Insomniac Gaming especially Kel
Originally posted by syriinx Hey Scott, best of luck in the new position at Trion Worlds Question: What did you learn from Rift's first 2 years and what (if anything) would you do differently if you could do it over again?
Originally posted by syriinx
Thanks! It's funny, just seeing that question floods with about 100 things that I've learned. You actually locked my brain up for a solid minute there. I'll pick one part - While I'm thrilled at the way the game turned out, back in the time I first arrived, I'd have pushed us harder on the events and dynamic content layer, to see if we could have had more iterations on that.
Originally posted by dakotaaoc08 What direction do you see Defiance heading in the near future as well as long term? With the tough launch and constant delay's of DLC 1 a lot of players left Defiance and many other future players are refusing to give it a chance, what if any are the plans to help bring those old players as well as entice new players to return to the game? What are the plans for Defiance in the off season? Are there any plans for other races to become playable? Thank you for your time, Joseph
Originally posted by dakotaaoc08
The Defiance folks will be getting a crack here too -- Their state of the game ( http://community.defiance.com/en/2013/09/13/state-of-the-game-update/ ) sums up a lot of what we think about the current and where it needs to go (some of which has already rolled out) -- http://community.defiance.com/en/2013/10/16/making-weapons-more-fun-in-defiance/
Ever since introducing the trial, we're seeing a ton of new PC players, and have both usability and gameplay improvements in the pipe for all platforms.
Originally posted by jfoytek Scott, I feel like I am part of a Playerbase that has been ignored for quite some time because of the success of theampark style games like World of Warcraft. That's Right I am a Sandbox player that enjoys robust crafting (Like SWG and Wurm Online) I also enjoy open world PvP and No instancing.... We are seeing some Sandbox's on the horizon but while they are exciting they are not hear yet so I like many others are skeptical.... Honestly the Last great Sandbox other then Eve was SWG Pre NGE.... As has been proven by a large follow base on this sight alone. There is a large un tapped market of guys like me, waiting for the next UO/SWG. Does Trion have any plans to investigate this genre and market in the future?
Originally posted by jfoytek
Hi Scott I wanted to thank you for being our guest tonight.
Now for my question the last news I heard about the release date for Archeage was the end of this year beginning of next. Is there anyway you can give use a more concrete release date?
Any status on the memory leak that plagues the PS3 Defiance players?
Disconnects, Lag, and Lockups are not fun.
The game is pretty awesome though. It also got me interested in Rift.
Defiance is one of the most fun MMOs I've ever played. However, the DLC releases are way too slow! You can only run around the map killing random enemies and engaging in sieges for so many hours after completing the main quests.
What are you doing to speed up DLC development for Defiance?
Originally posted by Ultima2 As CEO of Trion, what does your average day entail? Do you spend most of your time handling the business end of things, or do you end up being the final arbiter of any game design decisions? Has it been hard to adapt to being CEO rather than a designer?
Originally posted by Ultima2 As CEO of Trion, what does your average day entail? Do you spend most of your time handling the business end of things, or do you end up being the final arbiter of any game design decisions? Has it been hard to adapt to being CEO rather than a designer?
I've learned that there really isn't any such thing as an average day. The same day can consist of ...
* talking about what to put into a celebration for all of our games (like this past week, planning out the celebration week that's just kicking off)
* reviewing a pre-alpha prototype and offering gameplay feedback
* Looking over a 3rd party game in a different language that a potential partner has asked us to review
* Meeting 4 bankers and giving them a board meeting style presentation/Q&A
* collaborating on a press release
* talking with our business intelligence dudes about straightening out the way we track how our ads are doing
* getting introductions to new potential engineering candidates (...we're hiring those btw., if you know any!)
* looking over a couple mails in our generic contact mailboxes and replying to a couple customer questions, because that's kind of fun
* ...then being on a conference call with a partner late into the night
I arbitrate very few game topics, other than how we choose to spend our time when it comes to things that need to touch many parts of the company.
The way Trion's set up, each game has its arbiter (we call them the owner, but same idea), and they're good at what they do.
They ask me for my thoughts from time to time, and we talk many times daily anyway, since we're within feet of each other -- but in the end, they're the ones living and breathing their particular game - I'm seldom if ever going to say that my perspective is absolutely better than theirs.
Originally posted by Hartsman * Looking over a 3rd party game in a different language that a potential partner has asked us to review
You´re not talking about Black Desert, do you?
Originally posted by muchavez any word on the status of archeage? Its been radio silence for the past few months. I am really excited about this game. Hoping for more info.
I have a lot of words on the status of ArcheAge. So many that I may have anticipated this question and written something last night.
It's absolutely brutal on development teams even in the best case. Having gone through it multiple times myself, even if you've done it before, you forget exactly how stressful it is, how hard all hands will end up having to work, and how long they'll have to do it.
The whole time, you're dealing with launch tech issues, and gameplay systems that didn't turn out the way they did in alphas and betas, and trying to figure out the best solutions to everything.
The whole time you're doing this, things have stayed that difficult for months in your first launch, and you hope to get into a solid cadence of being live, so you can start supporting other efforts.
With three other locale partners (in China, Russia, and us in the West), XLGames didn't have that luxury of going immediately from the Korea launch into locale launch ramps for all three partners. Hell, immediately launching into full simultaneous support for three other partners would have been practically impossible when a game's launch goes flawlessly, and we know that the initial Korean launch faced many challenges of its own.
We've been in touch with them the whole time - The relative quiet has been for a couple reasons:
1) They needed time to sort out what's best for their game, so it can be the biggest success possible in ALL locales
2) It's important to us to not be the kind of publishing partner that applies undue ship pressure to force them to make bad decisions. That happens a lot in games. We're not that.
Their team's now confident that they've got a solid path planned out for improvements to ArcheAge, that will benefit all of their partners. We think they do too. Since they already have live customers, they're going to be addressing their plans for their existing live game very soon. The head of AA on their side is actually doing his first interview about this today as well.
That's the real trigger for us. We look forward to the coming weeks of reopening discussions with our communities about ArcheAge and its future here in the west.
Expect them (and us) to start talking about things like: How their updates are going to be bigger, more stable affairs. How they're ensuring that all gameplay systems are fun and rewarding, so people aren't funneled into playing one optimal way. And how they're making the game experience more approachable, while keeping a solid level of difficulty that maintains that tension we all feel as we're playing through a dangerous world, gaining power and becoming more successful as we go.
Both Trion and XL feel strongly that these are vital elements that all of our audiences want to experience, and that's the direction everything's headed.
Some of you have probably noticed that over the past few weeks we've kicked off a regular posting series on our existing games' sites of what's going on inside of Trion in all of our games -- I'm extremely happy to announce that as of this next set, we'll be adding ArcheAge to the mix that we'll be openly communicating with you about on a regular basis. Some updates are about the games themselves, others are about what's going on inside from groups you seldom hear about who are just as vital to shipping and running our games.
You can sign up for those updates as well as the beta at http://www.archeagegame.com
Dear Scott .
I want to ask you a specific question that's a little different then most others you may get here today. I believe there is a great deal number of people who are really looking for this one answer above all else or details about specific games.
Here it goes.......
We want to know if you and Trion are something we can "Believe in". A Person/Company we can trust and stand behind .
We are tired of being mislead , lied to, deceived, and let down, we want a Company to "Believe" in and support.
HOW WOULD YOU ANSWER THAT QUESTION TO GAIN OUR TRUST? < Give us something to believe in. Say what you mean and Mean what you say, no BS! >
I personally played rift in beta and 1.5 yrs more, and play defiance since beta. You becoming CEO is the only reason i still want to give trion a chance for my long term game playing dollars. If you had not come back to lead trion i would no longer be playing anything by them. I hope you can give me and others a statement to give us the Hope we want, then Deliver on it in the near future. This is how your foundation is being built as a CEO. What you do and say that ,we the players, believe of it, is how you will be future judged on all things.
I Thanks you for reading this and await a reply....
dear mr hartsman,
1) when do we get back the necessity to socialize in mmorpgs?
nowadays mmogs are more solo centric games and its easy to hook up with some random people for half an hour to do some group content. even as part of a guild the majority of people tend to do log in f.e. twice a week to gather for raids or for a hour a day to do the daily quests. there isn't that much need to bond with people. but the socialisation through f.e. a big long term goal for a group of people can make them stay in the game.
2) after f2p opened the door to the two-class-society (poor and rich) why don't take publishers one more step and offer f2p and p2p servers for the same game?
well, don't see this question as cynicism or critic to capitalism ... with my students we took a survey last semester about mmogs and surprisingly 53% of 750 interviewees would choose the p2p server if they would have the opportunity.
3) at which point will investors get that quality makes more money in a long run?
if you let aside the gear grinding as endgame content ... in sw:tor casual gamers were done with the content within 6 weeks; rift in 3 and defiance, sorry to say, 2 weeks (to be honest for a b2p game not so bad). eve online has still growing numbers in payed accounts and i bet if someone would reanimate SWG pre NGE with a f.e. state of the art grafics engine they easily would get a constant 6 digit subscriber number.
4) if you, trion worlds, intent to develop a new mmog (read some rumors about) how would you compensate the explosion of costs (i guess it nearly quadruplicated in the last ten years) to present us a high quality game?
lets have a look at neverwinter. come one, cryptic did a better job on animations back in 2003 when they launched city of heroes. everquest II set a standard in grafics back in 2004. everquest next looks like that the same pc from back then can run it in high quality. that had to do something with the budget.
Reporter: What's behind Blizzard success, and how do you make your gamers happy?Blizzard Boss: Making gamers happy is not my concern, making money.. yes!
Originally posted by BeckAltarr Hi Scott, Beck from K-TAM Radio.
Originally posted by BeckAltarr What kind of a relationships would you like to see between Trion and fan Sites such as K-TAM who have the means to create and distribute story and lore content at no cost to Trion and do so effectively?
I'm a big fan of productive collaborations with sites. It's really powerful and amazing when it works. The key is that it needs to be a positive interaction for both parties - I've had both kinds of experiences in the past.
Originally posted by BeckAltarr I realize SyFy Owns the IP, as stated by Grant Bowler at the NYCC and that you hare hamstrung by that relationship. If you could distribute story/lore to the fan sites would you? Would you trust us to do it justice? Do you think giving fan and community sites any info on story and lore would help with player retention?
I wasn't at NYCC and can't speak to whatever may have been said there. Sounds like a misstatement. Happens. IP is a complicated topic that isn't really compatible with simple statements. They own the same TV elements they always have, and they kick ass with it.
Honestly? Yep, I'd absolutely trust sites. I think a lot of it comes down to evaluating: With a given site, is there a genuine mutual respect, in a healthy partnership? Are they a net add not just to the external players, but to the people on the inside working to make sure they're taken care of? If so, there's great potential there.
That said, when it works well, I've seen it have a fantastic impact in previous games.
Originally posted by BeckAltarr One last question: When would you like to be a guest on K-TAM to speak openly with the community for an interview and Q&A session? I know you said you needed to catch up on things a few weeks ago. Just looking for an update.
Very likely when I stop working obscene numbers of hours each week!
Originally posted by Kinya Concerning Defiance - any plans for this game to go F2P? - when do you think social aspects of this game will be changed / improved (chat, searching for clans in game or even taking screenshots)?
1) Not this instant. Right now, the team is busting ass on DLC2 and live gameplay improvements, while solidifying the dates for DLC3-5. (We have them approximated, but need to make sure that all partners agree ot them.) The team's entirely focused on delivering on that commitment first.
2) This is the first time I've worked with a console MMO - I think the biggest difference to me is the rate at which one can update clients. On a PC only title, it would be easy to say: "Yes, and here's when," because we control the end-to-end delivery. The rules in the console world are a lot different.
The social aspects are important to us, and prominent on the roadmap, but since we can't update console clients at the same rate as PC clients, and have to keep the entire game in sync, the timing will likely occur along with one of the DLC updates.
First off, glad to be participating in this! I met you once at a gaming convention when some other reporter was talking to you about WoW having such an advantage over RIFT, you mentioning how proud you were of your team, and I kinda stepped in, not immediately recognizing you, saying that I felt like WoW just had the time advantage and that I honestly felt it was Blizzard that was having to catch up to you guys. You just turned to me and said, "Let me shake your hand" and it totally hit me who you were. I was super embarrassed at the time, but obviously it's a memory for me.
Anyway, big ArcheAge fan here. I was wondering though, if Trion would give any preferred treatment to a certain fansite that's been the center of ArcheAge news since before you guys signed up to localize it. I know they've got a lot of experience with the game in at least Korean, and some of them have played several versions of the game too. Would bringing them in to test before closed beta to the general public perhaps help speed up the game's development and localization?
[Rift] What are your plans for PVP in rift, it's something you said would be supported at the launch of Rift but it hasn't been. In fact it's fair to say that hardly any support has been given to it. Daglar spent a "few" hours on it a few months ago on his day off, is that the type of support that PVP has got to look forward to now?
At the current we had a Dev talk about melee changes that was like 20 odd days ago.
Thanks for your time
Originally posted by Melancholyx Dear Scott, nice to see you around! Speaking for the German fans of ArcheAge I want to ask you two questions: Question 1: When Trion announced to bring the game to the West we were really happy to get a publisher with such a good reputation. However, over the the past year our happiness turned into huge disappointment because we feel left alone by Trion. You got any words of love to share with us? Question 2: Are you taking the recent drama regarding mail.ru's presentation of the free-to-play model in Russia taking into consideration in your decision about the payment system of ArcheAge?
1: I bet that the 1000 words of love i replied with earlier on the subject might answer your question!
2: Yep, we read the same Internet you do. We've been talking with both mail.ru and XL regularly. Everyone wants the same thing, which is great: A great game that's accessible, fair, and enjoyable to the largest number of people possible. Truly.
Everyone wants a great experience. From there it's a matter of making sure that it ends up that way.
Scott, i've got a personal question to you:
Which games are you playing in private?
Have you already play ArcheAge?
Originally posted by MarkJW Mr. Hartsman, here are my questions condensed into short form:  Why hasn't Trion been showing us more of ArcheAge's localization process?  Why aren’t Trion employees on fansite forums (not general purpose websites like this one) attempting to solicit feedback directly from the most knowledgeable potential customers?  Why isn't there dedicated community managers for each of Trion's game properties? Is it too expensive?  Why isn't Trion bringing ArcheAge to more conventions like Gamescom and PAX? Is the event budget being cannibalized?
Hi, Mark! Thanks for the easily quoteable version:
1) Hopefully answered in the large AA answer a bit ago.
2) While we read them, we haven't had time to participate while in this quiet period of transition. That'll change soon.
3) There are more community folks than there are games. It's just a different structure.
4) Conventions are a blast - I love them. I was raised walking distance from GenCon and practically grew up at that show, have worked every E3 (save one) since the first one existed, and even worked a PAX 3 days after a knee surgery. Hired one of our engineers from one. I like them too - Promise.
That said, the cost of doing the big convention blowout has gone through the roof over the past few years - They're the second least effective way a company can spend its money. (The least effective being throwing it into a pile and burning it.)
Realistically, there's a balance based around finding ways to participate without doing the expensive all-encompassing blowout. The shows are great, especially the ones where we get to interact meaningfully with players. Expect us to be doing more of that in the future.
I'm curious what you have to say about other games. Recently in a video interview with MMORPG.com you had some interesting things to say about what MMOs are (Civ had just been released). You mentioned how many games and platforms are MMOs even though we wouldn't traditionally think of them as such. Raph Koster, the last AMA, reflected on how we players keep clamoring for the same games and how devs/pubs keep delivering pretty much the same MMOs.
With the potential of Red Door publishing, Indies, and niche games, what potential do you see there? What do you think you and Trion could do to promote more niche mmos, different kinds of online games, and how online games could be different or how the concept of MMO could be stretched or reimagined? Basically, what would you like to do with Trion / Red Door that isn't just publishing the next DIKU reskinned (not that previous themparks or dikus are bad, just I think we're ready for something else)?
1.Your company (Trion) basically set the new pace for content patches in themepark mmos. Do you think this is something that will continue to evolve? Has it created a quantity over quality issue in the industry? What are your thoughts on dev created content versus player created content? How much of the reigns would you be willing to share with your customers as an mmo evolves over years?
2.Rift is an example of an extremely adaptable mmo. Over the course of the game's life so far, you've added entire systems such as 3 faction pvp, housing, more than doubling land masses, the ability to set your level to fit zone content, wedding ceremonies.The game started relatively small compared to other mmo launches. I know there seems to be a lot of demand for mmo premiering with months of content already made. When you look at say The Old Republilc, which launched with 17 planets, 8 unique single player campaigns, and a space mini game it is a stark contrast to what Rift launched with.And yet both games ended up finding success in a free to play payment model.So is it better to start small and work your way up to something bigger? Or start big and ride the wave?
1) Is TRION considering a f2p model for Defiance?
2) are there going to be more and continuing support for solo content gameplay?
3) What is your view about all the latest online game development like MOBA like League of Legend, instanced pvp games like World of Tanks, online ARPGs, and so on .. and will TRION gets into those?
Originally posted by Serelo - Will Defiance on PC ever get a suitable interface with a full chat like in RIFT? - Are there plans to make RIFT's world events more interesting? At the moment they are all a lot of grind and not very fun. - Will German and French players get new Community Managers (not only translators like atm) with live streams and community events like Kahuna did with us? - Any plans for a TRION party on gamescom next year? - Are there any RIFT 3.0 mayor features in work that you can talk about?
Originally posted by Serelo
I can't get too much into what the RIFT and Defiance folks want to talk about, but I have heard much excitement around the idea of making defiance chat behave more like one would expect chat to behave.
On the CM and tradeshow topics - I'd like to do all of that. And at the same time, calling them only translators isn't necessarily fair to them - While they do translation, there's significant CM experience there as well. It's a matter of finding the right balance. We'll find the best one!
Originally posted by Soki123 First of all, I love Rift, but have missed your input in that game, we could tell you were gone. I see there is a new Conquest map coming, are there plans for more, and different styles of play. I would also like to know if Dimensions are getting worked on , in where we could grow gardens, fight off enemies etc. Sorta a mini game within the game. Also is there any chance Merc type things, ala EQ2 will come to Rift. I would love to be able to tackle dungeons with my wife and our mercs, like we do in EQ2. We have subbed to EQ2 for awhile because of this feature. I know some people don t like the idea, but people are busier these days, and I think it s a nice option.
Originally posted by Soki123
I don't want to ignore, but at the same time - I know the RIFT folks will be doing one of these, and don't want to get into spoiling anything they may be able to share then!
Originally posted by shifue I am in the Archeage boat as well i kinda got a few questions as well. 1) Are we going to hear about a release plan/date as this game is highly awaited and we have not hear anything concrete or really anything at all. 2)The westernization as mentioned above will be be just on looks and not changing aspects of the game? And if it's changing gameplay what changes are being made? 3)What is the payment model looking like for archeage as this has been a big area of discussion giving attitudes about the russian model,p2p,b2p and f2p and i know a lot of the big concern here is f2p being a botfest with gold farmers,hackers,and usually includes a fair amount of pay to win (ex items not gained in the game without someone paying real cash for that gives huge advantages) russia new model seems better but i like the buy to play myself with a fluff shop so what system is going to be in place? and details please price etc
Originally posted by shifue
1) Answered part of it in the first big, big AA answer.
The best I can tell you is that we're planning on applying a similar order of events that worked exceptionally well for us with Rift - Ensuring we have a 24/7 alpha running for stability and ongoing update testing, then expanding it into the beta, then into events, then setting the launch date once we're confident in the betas. A good number of the same people on our side are fulfilling the same roles for ArcheAge that we did in Rift's launch.
Given the now-firmed-up plans on what XL is doing with the core game, the teams just yesterday began the process of locking down the dates for the different stages.
2) Think of it this way... It's less about looks and gameplay, and more about languages (3 of them, remember) and operations.
On one layer, there's the mass of technical integrations and operational infrastructure work to be done. One example: Not all companies' patcher frontend and patch server backends are created the same. There's a dozen different ways to solve that problem. Their way is perfectly good, but we need a way that ties into our update server infrastructure. Multiply that kind of work across about 20 or 30 technical topics.
The next layer up is translation localization - MMO's tend to have around 2mm words. We have 3 languages, so, let's say 6mm words. MMO's also tend to have a whole lot of proper nouns. Proper nouns in Korean look a lot different than proper nouns in English, so new words frequently need to be invented, and be made to be consistent across the entirety of the game. Dictionaries need to be made and you need to make sure everything's consistent and cohesive in its new form.
The layer up from that is there's business model and accounts integration - The game needs to integrate with our account backend, and needs to integrate with our billing system, in a way that's compatible with a) the tech on both sides b) desires for business model from both us and XL and c) the gameplay itself.
That's really what we've been focusing on. That's a massive amount of work on its own.
We are making gameplay comments after observing the existing locales, and finding that most if not all of our observed issues are already on the list of things that XL plans to address for all locales.
We don't currently have any blanket gameplay requests specific to our locales. If there ever were any, it would result based on playtesting with western players playing the game, on our service
3) Details will be coming - We can all agree that pay to win is bad, though, that's for sure. The best things must always be earned/played for. If they're not an enjoyable part of the game, there's a far bigger problem than business model!
At the same time, I think there's a lot of undue concern around bots, assuming that one protects and manages their game correctly. Granted, there have histtorically been a few MMOs that haven't done a great job here, so some amount of concern is absolutely valid.
We'll be sharing our security and anti-botting techniques with XL if they'd like us to. That tech has been extremely successful in RIFT. In terms of running the service, and ensuring our CS has the same access to immediate data that they have in our existing games, they'll go at it with the same discipline in managing-out bot accounts -- The goal being to ensure that no matter what the specifics of the model are, we're in the best shape we possibly can be.