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Old 06-08-2012, 02:23 PM   #1
Sace
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Thumbs up Producer Q&A - Answers!

The following are the re-formatted questions and the Producer's answers derived from the Producer Q&A - Ask-A-Question Thread. Note that some questions were merged, reworded and/or grammatically corrected for efficiency and clarity, and also that some questions could not be answered for various reasons. Thank you to everyone that submitted questions, and enjoy the read!

NCsoft West Lineage II Producer: Nicolas Coutant, also known as Cryo

Your Job at NCsoft

Q: When did you start working as Assistant Producer? Any reason this change was not said on the forum when Moxie became Producer?
A: I started working as Assistant Producer early last year around the same time Moxie was promoted Producer. We usually do not publicize internal staff change unless the person is a public figure or the change directly impacts the player community.

Q: Which regard do you have on the QA team now that you are the Producer? How do you understand them, and how do they understand you?
A: I worked in the QA department before so I am familiar with the team and I have daily communication with them.

Q: What is your role related to the main team of Lineage II in Seoul? How do they work, how do you work with them?
A: By “main team” I am assuming you are referring to the development team. We have a liaison contact here in Seattle who is very knowledgeable about the game (with both the Korean and NCsoft West version) and is basically “crossing the bridge” for us by working directly with the development team. We also have regular reports and conference call with various Lineage II team members in Seoul.

Q: What is the thing which makes you very happy about everything you did about Lineage II?
A: Some of the GM events we did in the past were pretty fun although it was quite a challenge to organize. I’m thinking specifically about the Trick or Treat event for Halloween 2010; it involved a lot of personal work and we got to spend some time with players which I thought was great. Despite that we were not able to reach all that many players, we had a lot of positive feedback from those we could.

Q: Do you think that the current method of getting free R-Grade Soulshots and Blessed Spiritshots is a nice thing, or a big flaw economically-speaking?
A: Possibly both, but it was important for us to release the Mentor System without any delay when Goddess of Destruction launched. Since then, a lot of other projects overtook priority on this but I am sure you know it won’t last forever.

Q: Do you think you will, one day, create a department like the Lineage II Laboratory in South Korea?
A: We have had several discussions about that internally but currently we do not have the resources or bandwidth to do something like that. This is not to say it will never happen, but not in the near future.

Q: I played 2004-06 but left until now. I remember the PvP-won Clan Halls simply sitting empty on most servers, as the effort needed to get them (and the recurring cycle) was never worth the resulting benefits. Similarly I remember skills that were useless (some of the cubics) and the Manor System never seeing much use. What is your position on taking an active role in making sure game mechanics are used and enjoyed instead of sitting and gathering dust?
A: The Clan Halls have been vastly improved over the years with exclusive buffs, skills and items. I can’t remember when was the last time that they were empty on any of the servers. I believe the skills you mention have been reworked as well, however the Manor System didn’t change much since it was introduced. We are always providing feedback to the development team on game mechanics that are aging and not being used much anymore, but they have to prioritize their work and find a good balance between reworking existing game systems and adding new content. They are perfectly aware of the situation with the Manor System and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a revamp of that game system in a future game update.

Q: Do you plan on removing outdated areas, quests and systems (like Manor) and making them 85+, or will you let them be even though some of these haven't seen a player for many months?
A: Similar to the above answer, yes, we are constantly revamping old areas, quests and systems. You will see a good example of this in our next major update, Tauti, where the Execution Grounds hunting area which used to be a low-level zone (25+) has been revamped into a level 95+ zone. The Castle Siege system will also have a big update.

Q: Any chance that the game could be altered to be more playable by players that only have a few hours to play daily? For example, the old Vitality system allowed players with little time to catch up to those that had lots of time. Currently it seems Lineage II only caters to players to have lots of time and lots of money. Can you consider making a method that allows me to make progress while I’m offline, or maybe control it through a web-based interface outside of the game? Or, is there already a way to progress through the game faster without spending time and money?
A: When we designed the Truly Free model, our intent was to provide a faster progression for players willing to spend money in the store in order to help players with little play time enjoy the game as much as those that prefer to play long hours. But we are also doing a lot of XP events for free (recently you could get a double XP bonus for 2 weeks). Overall, we are trying to provide balance, options, and something enjoyable for everyone, while at the same time generating enough revenue to keep the game running.

Q: What do you think you have as advantage upon the previous Producer?
A: I have been playing the game since its release in 2004 so I have all the history of the game engrained in my memory. This really has helped me and my team a lot in day-to-day operations.


Lineage II and Truly Free in General

Q: Will the Public Test Server ever be used again to allow players to test the features of a future update before it makes it to the live servers? The lack of a Goddess of Destruction PTS screwed over a lot of people (taking the wrong skills, awakening to a class they disliked afterward, or not knowing the best set-up to go for). Also, it costs a lot of Adena to gear up a PvP toon in this game, so it's really important that we get at least a week of PTS to just try out the new content.
A: I understand that not having a PTS for Goddess of Destruction was a painful blow for many players, however due to the transition to the Truly Free model and the introduction of NCoin we were not able support a PTS at the time. We will not have a PTS until we are able to provide one that meets the quality standards we set for player enjoyment and experience.

Q: Will you ever lower NCoin prices to be more reasonable, or at least consider lowering them? Lately it seems the events and the store items only cater to players that have a lot of money to spend, and as a result they are more empowered. Also, the prices at Innova and even on the Korean servers are better deals. I find this unfair. I think lowering the prices to cater to players with a more typical income would benefit you. However, I suggest if you do this you should remove things like Destruction Enchant Scrolls or lower the success rate on them (I’m not talking about the ones in Hero Treasures Chests).
A: Thanks for your feedback. We are always reviewing and evaluating our item pricing and may do some changes based on players’ feedback and our own data. In regards to events related to the store, we only really had one event (Valentine’s) which had one of the rewards tied to the Store, and it is not accurate to say that lately events only cater to players with money to spend. Every other event we have run since Truly Free conversion (Save the Holiday Trees, Tersi’s Light, Anniversary Letters) have all been 100% free and with pretty sweet rewards.

Q: I find that jumping from 85 to 99 level cap was a bit hasty as it’s made the gap between casual players and hardcore players much larger. Now if it’s not the ++++weapon that will kill you, the 10 levels of difference will. It seems there isn’t much to do in-game after level 85—the Path to Awakening gives good goals and there are many ways to progress, but after Awakening options are limited and one can only level up decently fast by doing instances over and over. Because the cap is 99 now, no one bothers to do anything but grind XP and that is their only goal. Before Goddess of Destruction there were tons of activities to cater to all different playstyles and you’d never get bored. If the new cap were lower, say at 90, people would have reached that already and could focus on other activities. What are your thoughts on this?
A: I think things will settle down in a few months as more and more players reach the end-game content that Goddess of Destruction focuses on most. Also, I would venture to say that there’s actually quite a lot to do after level 90, and the next update will add even more content at that level. There will also be a new daily PvP event, which should add some spiciness to your daily activities.

Q: Will the Kartia entrance NPC be added to other towns and locations in the game world, so we don’t have to stand in a lag-heavy area for it?
A: We have already requested that to the development team, but I don’t have an ETA on when this will be implemented.

Q: Is there any possibility that Lineage II will be re-written to adapt to a more recent game engine and graphics platform? It seems it could be done by importing the existing database. Unreal engine is so old and it might be responsible for a lot of the game’s shortcomings, including lag, and possible cheat detection issues. Also, having a computer that plays Lineage II (on this old game engine) is expensive.
A: Technically this topic is something that my role as Producer has little to no visibility on.

Q: Now that the financial reports are out for NCsoft 1st Quarter, everyone can see that your Sales from Truly Free have been consistent since Goddess of Destruction was released, but are lower than when game had a lower population pre- Goddess of Destruction and was paid by subscriptions. What are your thoughts on this? Financially speaking, do you feel the Truly Free system is more profitable than the subscription model of the game?
A: I would like to note that the report doesn’t break down revenue by game in each territory. What I can tell you by looking at our numbers is that we have brought thousands of more players into the game since launching Truly Free and are in fact generating more profit since we made the transition.

Q: Will you ever forbid multiboxing in game? It’s really annoying and harmful to party play. I could understand allowing people to have more than 1 character logged at a time, when they for example sell something in town, but I wouldn't allow it in any other case.

A: Lineage II has a long history of players that enjoy multiboxing and we don’t want to take that away from those who enjoy that kind of gameplay. Although I understand the pros and cons on each side of the argument, the player community is deeply split on this matter and no decision will please everyone. For now, no changes are planned.

Q: Is there any plan to remove the malware known as Pando Media Booster that is forced upon us to keep our client up to date?

A: We would not be providing this software if it could harm your computer in any way. Pando Media Booster is widely used throughout the industry, and it allows us to provide a better download quality and speed efficiently.

Q: Do you have any plan to make all dimensional items tradable within one account? I am thinking about Birthday packs and its contents, the Power Shirt, special items, and so on.
A: I’m a bit confused by the question. All dimensional items can be shared on the same server and same account by definition. We never had a Birthday pack but we did sell the Birthday Potion—yet that item was never dimensional in the first place, and nor was the Power Shirt. If you’re referring to making all store items dimensional in general, that’s something we have been working on, but certain items can simply not be made dimensional because of game design.

Q: Why are game updates such as Harmony forced upon us? I find that the update was a downgrade to the game. Also, why were the Power Shirt and other controversial items invented in the first place?
A: It is not possible to “skip” updates or stay on older versions of the game. When an update launches in Korea, all official versions of Lineage II in all territories have to be updated to it at some point. Personally I feel the Kartia’s instance is pretty popular, and that the additional enhancements to the Mentor System were definitely not a downgrade. Items are designed to provide fun and added value to your gameplay, but everyone will have a different opinion on how valuable some items are. We thought the Power Shirt was a fun item and although it was controversial our results show that it didn’t have any lasting impact on the game balance, and was in fact quite popular.

Q: There’s a lot of free stuff given through the Path to Awakening so crafting market and general economy have declined. How do you feel about this?

A: I think the Goddess of Destruction changes to the 1-85 leveling progress had more impact on the crafting market than the Path to Awakening did. A lot of the gear given through the Path to Awakening is now readily available in-game from vendors for cheap. The faster progression through the 1-85 levels in Goddess of Destruction also means that players are going through gear grades a lot faster than before, therefore lessening the need to craft of buy crafted gear at those levels. However, Subclasses still need gear, and since the Path to Awakening gear is time limited and does not apply to Subclasses I believe there is still a decent market for crafted and enchanted gear below R-Grade.

Q: Are you thinking about a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th chapter of the Awakening client series, or instead producing Lineage III before 6th chapter is out?

A: Chapter 2 is called Tauti and will be released next week! Unfortunately I do not have any insight on Lineage III development at this point; that would be a different game and is therefore outside of our range of involvement.

Q: Why is the "Fate's Whispers" quest so hard and cannot be soloed (to get a Subclass)?

A: I have good news: this quest has been revamped in Tauti and you will be able to solo it! The same can be said about the Noblesse quest.

Q: Will there ever been an option to buy a smaller amount of NCoin or a system that allows a player to choose exactly how many they want. Not everyone needs 1,000 NCoin; sometimes 80 NCoin is enough.
A: Due to the processing fees that we are incurring for each transaction, there is a limit on how low of a price we can set for NCoin. However I do not know how low that limit is, so I will forward your feedback to our billing team and see if that’s something we can consider.

Q: Diversity used to be one of the most impressive features this game used to have. Many armor sets per grade, many different party setups, and many different classes. Now classes are narrowed down to 8, armor sets are 1 per level range and party setup is the same in all or most cases. Why were the classes reduced to just 8? Are there any plans to restore that diversification that used to make Lineage II so special compared to other MMORPGs?
A: While I don’t have first-hand knowledge of all the reasons behind this design change, I know that one of them was to improve PvP balance. It was nearly impossible to keep 32 classes balanced in a PvP environment, and this even caused issues with PvE. I don’t think there are any plans to change the current class system in the foreseeable future, but the development team is always looking into making each class highly customizable to encourage gameplay diversity.

Q: In August 2012, Korea plans to release a really huge update—maybe bigger than the Goddess of Destruction was (cross server war, new awakened classes, new engine, extended character customization, new epic boss dragon etc). I guess this update will get maybe bigger hype/popularity thanks for those contents what will arrive to the game. Do you think this update will be available in our region by December or Christmas time?
A: It is impossible to give a release date for something that has not even been released in Korea yet. But I think you can get a pretty good idea of the timeframe by looking at our previous update history in comparison to Korea’s own release dates.

Q: With Windows 8 being released to manufacturers in July 2012, and to the public in Fall 2012, what are you planning to do to fix the GameGuard errors in Windows 8 that prevent gameplay? (New computers bought in July 2012 will have Windows 8 on them.)
A: This is still months away but it is something we’re looking into.

Q: Will you add other payment methods, such as PaySafe, in the future?
A: We are currently looking into alternative payment methods. Stay tuned.


NCsoft in General

Q: May I ask why NCsoft West doesn't communicate with Support Team in NCsoft Korea so much? I’ve been waiting for over 6 months for fix one bug.
A: We are in constant communication with our Korean counterparts. When a bug is reported it is assigned a priority level by the development team depending on the severity of the bug, and indeed sometimes it can take a while to get fixed. Oftentimes if there are workarounds for an issue and it is not game-breaking, it will be given a lower priority, but a fix comes eventually.

Q: This question was already asked but I want to reiterate: what is the reason that there is not so good communication between the development team and the Lineage II western staff? First of all I do understand here, that you haven't information about an update or expansion other than what is officially posted on the Korean site for their players, but you still haven't information. Sometimes it is a little interesting, that we players know about it much more as you members of the Lineage II team.
A: We are in constant communication with the teams in Seoul. We do get the information beforehand but we cannot necessarily release it right away. We first have to make sure the translation is accurate and decide on terminology on new game elements. We then have to verify the changes on our version of the game and make sure everything is working properly. At the same time we have to figure out if our update includes more patches (it usually does), and go through the same process for those extra patches. Lastly, depending on the update’s size and impact we may have to keep some information private due to exclusivity deals with press entities.


Tauti & Future Game Updates

Q: When roughly can we be expecting the dagger hotfix as well as Tauti, if you're allowed to say?
A: Some of the changes that have been made after Harmony and before Tauti will be included in the Tauti update, which launches in less than two weeks. That includes the Othell Rogue skill changes.

Q: Will we have a PTS for Tauti? A key feature in Tauti is the new Siege System, and 5 QA testers simply cannot successfully loot/defend a Tribute Caravan, not to mention take an NPC-held castle and then try to reset it. Testing these aspects of the game requires a great number of players, i.e. a PTS.

A: I appreciate your concern but our QA team has the ability to run such tests. The PTS never was a substitute to the QA department. I’m afraid that we currently cannot support having a PTS for Tauti, as was recently announced

Q: Will there be any new content in the future that makes leveling after 85 more interesting than just doing Kartia and Seed of Annihilation over and over daily?
A: Yes, a lot more content is in development, but I can’t give specifics now.


Servers with Other Versions, Support in Different Languages

Q: While Goddess of Destruction and Truly Free has drawn in numerous new players to Lineage II, it has also alienated most of the original crowd. I know most players would agree that the new combat system, new world, and the lack of end-game classes make Goddess of Destruction feel un-Lineage II. For better or worse the game has changed but was there any ever thoughts by developers and producers to create any servers that would maintain original Lineage II characteristics such as before Freya, Interlude, Chronicle 5, etc...? Of course they would be Truly Free, and NCoin would exist on them. Thanks!
A: This is a question that comes up all the time. The short answer is no, and the reason is that it is technically not feasible nor practical to support multiple versions of the game.

Q: Anyway we could see a new pay-to-play server without the L2 Store in the future? Such a server could offer improved GM support service, no store (or at least a cheaper store), exclusive events, etc.

A: I am afraid that is not being considered at the moment. Switching from pay-to-play to Truly Free was a huge undertaking, and we want to focus on making it the best experience for our fans.

Q: Have you seriously analyzed the chance of establishing servers localized to the location they are set to time-zone-wise, and/or to the larger player demographics? I do think that there’s a niche especially in South America, and the opening of the Truly Free Lineage II official servers has been a living proof of that.
A: We are currently evaluating such options.

Q: Any chance of having servers in the actual world locations they cater to? I chose the EU server to have low ping, but then I found out that I got to a server which is physically in USA and I have got ping over 200, which results in worse gameplay.
A: NCsoft West officially only supports Lineage II in North America and therefore our servers are located here only. Lineage II servers exist in Europe but they are currently being operated by Innova, who offers a different business model. Players are not forced into either version, however; one can choose which territory to play in according to their physical location as well as their business model and community preferences.

Q: Have you analyzed the chance of hiring more GMs such as Latin Americans, Europeans and some others, so players can ask questions and solve doubts in their natural language? It is clear that there are several people here that cannot communicate with the GMs because of the "English only" barrier established here. I know that setting up a "Language Forum" is not feasible (because of the amount of languages you have to keep updated and maintained), but having 2-3 localized GMs could help.
A: Again, we officially only support the game in the North American territory, but it’s possible this could change in the future. If we decide to support other languages in the future, we will have localized support teams as well as localized versions of the game, forums, and website. It would be no small feat.


Policy Enforcement

Q: You saw the bot problem as a QA Senior Tester, as an Associate Producer, and as a Producer. Did your opinion about it change? Does it become a more stressful issue? (Note that there are some programs that are pretty hard to detect.)
A: It has always been a very stressful issue and something we are constantly working to mitigate.

Q: How well are you aware of "PvP programs?" Some of these programs are also very hard to detect. Did you already play such programs as a random player?
A: No, I’ve never used such programs, but we have a team that tries them out internally in order to understand how they work and how we can crack down on them.

Q: In the MMORPG.com interview you and Sace were asked about the botting and the RMT problem. I think it was Sace that said "RMT is a sign of a healthy game." Granted you can't remove all RMT'ers or bots. But in my view having a game loaded with RMT'ers and bots is only a sign of a short-term healthy game, and not a good sign for a long-running game like Lineage II. After the bots started showing up back when the game was pay-to-play it was a long downhill death of server merges and a lack of live players to keep the game alive. I see the same thing going on now: the botters are growing in numbers while the live players are slowly leaving the game. Can you please expand on your view point that bots and RMT'ers are the sign of a strong healthy game for the long run? So that I can more understand why you feel it won't end up killing the game like it did before.
A: I think you are looking too much into this; Sace didn’t mean RMT isn’t bad (it’s evil!), it was just an observation on the correlation between a successful game and the amount of RMT activity. Indeed since a few months after the Goddess of Destruction launch, some players began to leave, but it is speculation to say that RMT and bots was their reason for leaving. In general with all games, the population bloom surrounding a major launch or re-launch is followed by a moderate exodus that separates the passionate players from those that chose to leave for any number of personal reasons. Following this trend, you’ll likely see a population increase with future game updates and major turning points. Overall, RMT and bots are not the guaranteed death of a game, but we do acknowledge that they are detrimental to the overall game experience and are constantly removing them from the game.

Q: When this server will be free of bots? Why aren’t they being banned?
A: Rest assured that bots are being banned every day. However please also note that we do not ban simply because a player was reported as a bot; there is a lengthy and detailed verification process before we can affirm with 100% certainty that a character is in fact using a 3rd-party program, and then the player is banned.

Q: What does a GM actually see when the Bot Report button is used? How often are bots investigated?
A: When you use the Bot Report button, a log is generated about the reported player. The support team looks at the logs several times per day, and investigates the reported players.

Q: Why are we not allowed to publicly name bots and cheaters?
A: It is not good business to publicly point fingers and name names whether a player is guilty or not. This rule also serves to keep the forums, our official sites, and game a friendly and welcoming place; therefore reports are asked to be done using the provided confidential services.


Forums, Website, Advertising

Q: Is it possible that in the future the forum users will be controlled with a stronger hand? In my personal experience, I find that many users just come to forum to make drama and trouble—maybe they don't use bad words, but they still give negative effect to Lineage II’s and NCsoft’s players’ morale.
A: Indeed Lineage II has quite a passionate following. I’ve previously spent time as community staff, and from also seeing Lineage II’s own community personality, I find that the internet is as the internet will be: everyone has a different opinion on almost everything. We’re happy to be able to offer official forums to our players—some games don’t even have them!—and meanwhile we strive to maintain a balance between encouraging feedback and freedom of speech while still enforcing the forum rules and the game’s Rules of Conduct to make it a fun experience. We do revise the rules and change our methods if need, so perhaps you will see a “stronger hand” in the future, or other changes.

Q: The live stream interview was mostly popular at the community. Is it possible that we get same kind of interview more often in the future? Will the same kind of interview or video be released for the Tauti update?
A: Yes, we would like to do more of those in the future.

Q: Many of us miss the advertisements for the game through Google. Do you plan to bring back this advertisement model again in the future?
A: We are currently exploring different mean of advertising, so this is a possibility.

Q: Nowadays a very popular thing to do is make various YouTube videos about a video game. Like, talk the details of an upcoming update or make a video record how do you work on a day at your office etc, do you plan to use this type of thing to communicate with the players and make also some free promotion to the game?
A: As much as time allows. I also like the idea of podcasts or videocasts to promote a game update so we may do more of those in the future. We are also looking at doing more videos about in-game activities such as castle sieges.

Q: Can you please ask Korea to start sending you translated patch notes as they roll them out, so we can see changes made as they happen in Korea? I know Korea publishes them on their website, but using Google Translate isn't really the best solution.

A: Although it’s always exciting to read patch notes, it’s not sound strategy to post inaccurate notes for an update that won’t arrive on our servers for months to come. They would be at least partly inaccurate because patches are applied differently in different territories: while Korea is able to roll-out small changes easily and often, we usually get “bulk” patches that are several weeks’ worth of patches. And, to complicate things a little more, sometimes they need to remove newly introduced content for a while until it is fixed, and it will effectively appear to us as if nothing had happened (since the bulk patch will contain the change as well as the removal of the change). We have to take all of that into consideration when making our patch notes, and more. While we work on delivering the patch notes that describe the changes you will personally see on our servers, we encourage players to focus on what is going on in-game now instead of that which is seen further in the future.


Personal

Q: Where are you from? You seemed to have a small French accent during the live interview.
A: Touché.

Q: Since you started working for the Lineage II crew inside NCsoft headquarters in United States, did you learn a bit of Korean? Are you fluent in it?
A: I wish I was fluent, but I’ve barely started learning to read. I just can’t find the time.

Q: What is your current desktop wallpaper?
A: http://www.lineage2.com/en/content-images/misc/wallpaper_37_1600.jpg

Q: Do you still have time to enjoy Lineage II as a random player? If yes, what did you love the most since the Goddess of Destruction patch?
A: Yes, but not as much as I would like to. I think the Mentor System was a great addition to the game and one of the best additions in Goddess of Destruction.

Q: Are you now a full corporate and business man, or a gamer that is still hiding somewhere under the suit?
A: I am and will always be a gamer. I’ve started playing videogames at age 3 and never stopped since.

Q: Did you play Exteel (another NCsoft game)?
A: Yes, and I had a lot of fun playing it.

Q: What’s your preferred Awakened class?
A: Iss Enchanters, for their versatility.

Q: What kind of content would be what you would put to the game?
A: I want new epic dragons! I think Antharas and Valakas are some of the most impressive monsters in the game and would love to see more of their kind.

Q: What kind of content would you would remove from the game?
A: I wouldn’t remove it, but I’ve been clamoring a revamp of the Manor System for a while now. I think this system is clever but its implementation could use a re-design.

Last edited by Sace; 06-08-2012 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:52 PM   #2
Elrohir
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

That's a lot of answers. Thank you!
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Old 06-08-2012, 02:52 PM   #3
SoulMagicX
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sace View Post
Q: Will the Public Test Server ever be used again to allow players to test the features of a future update before it makes it to the live servers? The lack of a Goddess of Destruction PTS screwed over a lot of people (taking the wrong skills, awakening to a class they disliked afterward, or not knowing the best set-up to go for). Also, it costs a lot of Adena to gear up a PvP toon in this game, so it's really important that we get at least a week of PTS to just try out the new content.
A: I understand that not having a PTS for Goddess of Destruction was a painful blow for many players, however due to the transition to the Truly Free model and the introduction of NCoin we were not able support a PTS at the time. We will not have a PTS until we are able to provide one that meets the quality standards we set for player enjoyment and experience.
I can understand this, but for me personally a PTS is absolutely necessary. I would be happy with just the PTS, cats and such and no gm participation or events other than making sure we get new gear and enchanting/elementing items and such, just so we can test the new content and how it might affect us. (well one siege maybe for this update )

I'm assuming you already put up a PTS for Q&A so it wouldn't take much to open it to players?

and Thanks for your in depth answers!
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

a lot of responses to hot topics especially bots and adena sellers. I honestly think there is effort being put into that problem especially with the chat restrictions and new player quest adena payouts. If there wasn't obviously these issues wouldn't have never been addressed at all. I would say I agree that people need to keep reporting because it does create a log for attention to that player. How long they are allowed to keep doing it is the issue. A player can be reported for weeks and there they are doing the same thing they were 3 weeks ago and that's what the real question is. Why haven't they been investigated and further more STILL botting?

I'm happy that the servers are making money to stay open that's good to know,but I was disappointed to read that offering a paid premium server is not possible to do. I suppose the game is rather old to run up costs to offer it.
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Old 06-09-2012, 04:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

Thanks Cryo for the answers and thanks Sace for typed this long interview.

Well really good to know, that someone control the Lineage 2 now in our region who play the game since 2004.

I guess we already got the answer to everything what was real question to the players.

As I see you have many work and plans to near future.

Also from now I do understand why the NCwest staff doesn't really talk about the Glory Days and the big update what will follow it.
These little patches often make huge differences like Harmony Update 1.0 and Harmony Update 1.1.
Personally I think would be better to say the players if they ask about any upcoming update, that "I haven't public information about it", like "I haven't information about it".
Mostly this is the reason why the players I guess felt, that the NCwest didn't communicate enough with Korea.

I did miss only one thing from this Q&A. You were talking in the MMORPG.com interview about some upgrades against the cheaters and, that we players will can see it soon.
I thought we will know any news about it in the Q&A.
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Old 06-09-2012, 07:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

Great answers, thank you for the time spent answering it
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sace View Post
Q: Have you seriously analyzed the chance of establishing servers localized to the location they are set to time-zone-wise, and/or to the larger player demographics? I do think that there’s a niche especially in South America, and the opening of the Truly Free Lineage II official servers has been a living proof of that.
A: We are currently evaluating such options.

Q: Have you analyzed the chance of hiring more GMs such as Latin Americans, Europeans and some others, so players can ask questions and solve doubts in their natural language? It is clear that there are several people here that cannot communicate with the GMs because of the "English only" barrier established here. I know that setting up a "Language Forum" is not feasible (because of the amount of languages you have to keep updated and maintained), but having 2-3 localized GMs could help.
A: Again, we officially only support the game in the North American territory, but it’s possible this could change in the future. If we decide to support other languages in the future, we will have localized support teams as well as localized versions of the game, forums, and website. It would be no small feat.
I liked these responses, thanks for taking the time and actually answering them
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Old 06-11-2012, 01:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

Q: Why is the "Fate's Whispers" quest so hard and cannot be soloed (to get a Subclass)?
A: I have good news: this quest has been revamped in Tauti and you will be able to solo it! The same can be said about the Noblesse quest.

happy about this part
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sace View Post
Q: Is there any possibility that Lineage II will be re-written to adapt to a more recent game engine and graphics platform? It seems it could be done by importing the existing database. Unreal engine is so old and it might be responsible for a lot of the game’s shortcomings, including lag, and possible cheat detection issues. Also, having a computer that plays Lineage II (on this old game engine) is expensive.
A: Technically this topic is something that my role as Producer has little to no visibility on.
It is more similar to an excuse as even to the idiot it is clear that the producer doesn't understand a technical part. However I think he in a course on what hardware game slow down, and on what flies. And.... I think about SSD it too in a course (if certainly knows that this such).

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Old 06-12-2012, 03:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Freeman View Post
It is more similar to an excuse as even to the idiot it is clear that the producer doesn't understand a technical part. However I think he in a course on what hardware game slow down, and on what flies. And.... I think about SSD it too in a course (if certainly knows that this such).
For this question all that could have been said in addition would have been personal speculation or personal opinion. That would not have been a helpful or promising answer. Technical issues such as this are indeed out of the sphere of business of a Producer for a publishing territory, as they are developer concerns based in headquarters. It does not mean there will not someday be changes to the game client-- it simply could not be answered here and now.
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:30 PM   #11
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Freeman;
It is more similar to an excuse as even to the idiot it is clear that the producer doesn't understand a technical part. However I think he in a course on what hardware game slow down, and on what flies. And.... I think about SSD it too in a course (if certainly knows that this such).
Personally, I think it was a fine and honest answer. I have more respect for someone who admits that a question is not within their pervue than someone who just give a BS answer. Just because you don't like the answer doesn't make it a bad one.

Full disclosure, I felt the answer to my question was BS, but that's a personal opinion...
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:01 AM   #12
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sace View Post
It does not mean there will not someday be changes to the game client-- it simply could not be answered here and now.
Someday...yeah. That is never, because this problem exists many years, and the producer even has nothing to tell about it. As though it also isn't present. And after all indeed, people play that, complain but play.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:12 AM   #13
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Freeman View Post
Someday...yeah. That is never, because this problem exists many years, and the producer even has nothing to tell about it. As though it also isn't present. And after all indeed, people play that, complain but play.
Cryo is a producer, not a developer.
And since developers are Koreans, this question should have been asked to the Korean developers, not Cryo.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:40 AM   #14
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

U guys should stop make drama and go check out SOA dager bots in Chronos server O W8 WAT ? aaaaaaand they r there from monts naw.
And ty for all answers , great.
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Old 06-14-2012, 10:34 AM   #15
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sace;
Q: Is there any plan to remove the malware known as Pando Media Booster that is forced upon us to keep our client up to date?
A: We would not be providing this software if it could harm your computer in any way. Pando Media Booster is widely used throughout the industry, and it allows us to provide a better download quality and speed efficiently.
Then why does it require you to close your web browsers before uninstalling (it should have absolutely no interaction with web browsers)? Also, why does my anti-malware software go bonkers EVERY time there is an update to L2? Not a single "false positive", but every time.

Have you googled Pando and read what is written about it on technical sites or do you just read Pando's brochures and cash their checks?
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:37 AM   #16
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

Have to BUMP my old old post, since you said to me that all this will get answered in the Q&A...

So what is allowed and what not?
And at which xp spots/pvp spots can we use it?
And you HAVE to do a ig announcement about that.
In my clan i am the only one reading the forums and we have more then just me being 90+

Seriously this is the biggest bs since a long time
Reflect dmg buff worked since c2 or c3 on mobs. Been done all the time.
So what is with the following things?:
-Stun players while they pve
-DOT's to noneflagged players while they pve
-Train mobs to them while they pve
-Flag and run into their Mob train so that they get flagged while doing AOE
-Buff mobs/Raids while others fight them
-Hellbinding players while they pve
-Healing mobs
-Buffing Fort/Siege NPC's
-Healing Fort/Siege NPC's
-Fear to noneflagged players while they pve
-and more
WTF is going on with NCWest?
PS: In Korea it got changed that you can't buff mobs. So why is it even bannable ? How could something be bannable if it shouldnt bepossible at all?
Means we are free to demand things NOW for us on NCW cos NCK has it already?
So all the coming Othell Changes not working here are bugs and you will fix em NOW?
And what about 85+ Nukers/Wynns that zone lock DVC etc. and DOT/Fear any1 pre awakend there so that they die to mobs?
The answer above from you is just invalid bs.
You don't care about what is going on at NCWest, the only reason why you say "its bannable now" is cos Korea changed it.
But how do you deal with all the DOTing etc. that we have here?
Ignore it and allow it, cos it doesn't happen that extreme at Korea so it is legal HERE ?

And dont just keep silence again pls.
Also we w8 for an official answer about the "more graphic option" talk


PS: Care to reply to the Question of Elro above me?
(Cos he is totally right)
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:36 PM   #17
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sace View Post

NCsoft West Lineage II Producer: Nicolas Coutant, also known as Cryo

Your Job at NCsoft

Q: What is your role related to the main team of Lineage II in Seoul? How do they work, how do you work with them?
A: By “main team” I am assuming you are referring to the development team. We have a liaison contact here in Seattle who is very knowledgeable about the game (with both the Korean and NCsoft West version) and is basically “crossing the bridge” for us by working directly with the development team. We also have regular reports and conference call with various Lineage II team members in Seoul.
For reference later.

Quote:
Q: I played 2004-06 but left until now. I remember the PvP-won Clan Halls simply sitting empty on most servers, as the effort needed to get them (and the recurring cycle) was never worth the resulting benefits. Similarly I remember skills that were useless (some of the cubics) and the Manor System never seeing much use. What is your position on taking an active role in making sure game mechanics are used and enjoyed instead of sitting and gathering dust?
A: The Clan Halls have been vastly improved over the years with exclusive buffs, skills and items. I can’t remember when was the last time that they were empty on any of the servers.
This is an example of drawing a false corollary. Just because clan halls are all occupied does not necessarily mean that they don't need improvement - it does not signify that even those who occupy the clan halls are happy with their implementation.

The primary benefits that they provide are used only in a "better than nothing" capacity (buffs and 50% death penalty recovery) and have been in need of updating since the Clan Halls' inception back in what? C2? Who really uses clan hall buffs when they have better options available?

More on this later, though.

Quote:
Lineage II and Truly Free in General

Q: Will the Public Test Server ever be used again to allow players to test the features of a future update before it makes it to the live servers? The lack of a Goddess of Destruction PTS screwed over a lot of people (taking the wrong skills, awakening to a class they disliked afterward, or not knowing the best set-up to go for). Also, it costs a lot of Adena to gear up a PvP toon in this game, so it's really important that we get at least a week of PTS to just try out the new content.
A: I understand that not having a PTS for Goddess of Destruction was a painful blow for many players, however due to the transition to the Truly Free model and the introduction of NCoin we were not able support a PTS at the time. We will not have a PTS until we are able to provide one that meets the quality standards we set for player enjoyment and experience.
How does the introduction of Truly Free/NCoin affect the PTS, especially given how long it's been since Truly Free/NCoin has been introduced?

Is it a personnel issue? I mean, it's not like the PTS was really ever monitored or maintained much at all (if it went down over the weekend (which it often did), no one would even restart it until Monday).

Quote:
Q: Why are game updates such as Harmony forced upon us? I find that the update was a downgrade to the game. Also, why were the Power Shirt and other controversial items invented in the first place?
A: It is not possible to “skip” updates or stay on older versions of the game. When an update launches in Korea, all official versions of Lineage II in all territories have to be updated to it at some point. Personally I feel the Kartia’s instance is pretty popular, and that the additional enhancements to the Mentor System were definitely not a downgrade. Items are designed to provide fun and added value to your gameplay, but everyone will have a different opinion on how valuable some items are. We thought the Power Shirt was a fun item and although it was controversial our results show that it didn’t have any lasting impact on the game balance, and was in fact quite popular.
This is another false corollary. Just because an item is "popular," by which I assume you mean that a lot of people bought the item, doesn't mean that people, even those who purchased the item, don't have an issue with their introduction in the first place.

The logic of "There's nothing wrong with the item if a lot of people buy it" can be used to justify introducing anything to the game - the competitive nature of this game and its players will ensure that anything powerful will sell well.

If you introduce a blatantly game-breaking item into the store, like a one-shot death ray gun, does its inevitable high sales numbers mean that people don't have a problem with it, or does it merely mean that in a competitive game where even small differences often mean winning or losing among a player base as competitive as Lineage 2's, buying the item isn't really an option for those who wish to remain competitive?

This is similar to the above case with Clan Halls all being occupied - they aren't that great, but because your competition has one, you pretty much have to get one as well because they add just that little bit of competitive advantage that might make the difference in a long term war. Saying that Clan Halls are fine as they are because of their occupancy (the "popularity" of this "item") is similarly inaccurate.

As for your results showing how they aren't having lasting effects on game balance, you don't even have a lab like Korea to really properly test these kinds of things (and you're not getting one for the foreseeable future). How were you able to do any kind of real and thorough long term analysis in the time since the shirts were released, especially given your shortage of resources (can't even have a PTS)?

Furthermore, considering this isn't the first and probably not the last time you'll be introducing "controversial" items into the store while justifying the virtuousness of their release by their sales numbers, how about the cumulative effect of past and future "controversial" items upon balance? And are you sure that the player base, being forced to pay for more and more of these items to stay competitive, will continue to keep those sales numbers high for you to use as justification for those controversial items? Or will you simply change the justification for these types of items to some other convenient statistic if the sales numbers don't hold up?

Finally, how could you even presume to speak about anything concerning balance given the history of this game, NCSoft in general, NCKorea's constant pandering to the Korean playerbase at the expense of all other territories and particularly with NCWest having absolutely no ability to affect balance in the first place?

Quote:
NCSoft in General

Q: May I ask why NCsoft West doesn't communicate with Support Team in NCsoft Korea so much? I’ve been waiting for over 6 months for fix one bug.
A: We are in constant communication with our Korean counterparts. When a bug is reported it is assigned a priority level by the development team depending on the severity of the bug, and indeed sometimes it can take a while to get fixed. Oftentimes if there are workarounds for an issue and it is not game-breaking, it will be given a lower priority, but a fix comes eventually.
For reference later.

Quote:
Q: This question was already asked but I want to reiterate: what is the reason that there is not so good communication between the development team and the Lineage II western staff? First of all I do understand here, that you haven't information about an update or expansion other than what is officially posted on the Korean site for their players, but you still haven't information. Sometimes it is a little interesting, that we players know about it much more as you members of the Lineage II team.
A: We are in constant communication with the teams in Seoul. We do get the information beforehand but we cannot necessarily release it right away. We first have to make sure the translation is accurate and decide on terminology on new game elements. We then have to verify the changes on our version of the game and make sure everything is working properly. At the same time we have to figure out if our update includes more patches (it usually does), and go through the same process for those extra patches. Lastly, depending on the update’s size and impact we may have to keep some information private due to exclusivity deals with press entities.
Ok, so let me get this straight:

Despite your constant communication with NCKorea - the regular reports, conference calls, when you get an update like Tauti, Harmony, GoD, Gracia, etc., they don't tell you what exactly you're getting in each update, forcing NCWest to have to check each update themselves to find out what's included, delaying not only patch notes (I think someone said that we still don't even have completed patch notes for GoD and Harmony even now, and we're still stuck with "Preliminary" patch notes for Tauti (good thing we had a PTS! Oh wait!)) but also, by prolonging the testing and all other in-between steps, the actual release of updates.

I mean, wtf? Whichever intern who compiles our version of each update over in Korea didn't bother writing down which updates he/she chose to include? Didn't have a pen and paper ready at the time and said "**** it, they'll figure it out" and sent it over to NCWest in a heap of code?

Kind of explains why we have nearly 0 lead time between important announcements and the implementation of whatever the announcement was about (http://boards.lineage2.com/showpost....98&postcount=1), though. I wouldn't give a **** either if my bosses treated my product like a red-headed stepchild.

This is an example of the reasons why you were asked several times why NCWest isn't in better contact with NCKorea.

Quote:
Q: Can you please ask Korea to start sending you translated patch notes as they roll them out, so we can see changes made as they happen in Korea? I know Korea publishes them on their website, but using Google Translate isn't really the best solution.
A: Although it’s always exciting to read patch notes, it’s not sound strategy to post inaccurate notes for an update that won’t arrive on our servers for months to come. They would be at least partly inaccurate because patches are applied differently in different territories: while Korea is able to roll-out small changes easily and often, we usually get “bulk” patches that are several weeks’ worth of patches. And, to complicate things a little more, sometimes they need to remove newly introduced content for a while until it is fixed, and it will effectively appear to us as if nothing had happened (since the bulk patch will contain the change as well as the removal of the change). We have to take all of that into consideration when making our patch notes, and more. While we work on delivering the patch notes that describe the changes you will personally see on our servers, we encourage players to focus on what is going on in-game now instead of that which is seen further in the future.
Seriously, the intern in Korea can't simply write down what he/she included in our updates? It doesn't even have to be on stationary - a notepad file will do and it won't add but a few k to the file size when they send the update over FTP.

Players read translations of patch notes from Korea because we know that we can't get it from NCWest. We're in Tauti, and we apparently haven't even gotten the full patch notes for GoD or Harmony, ffs. Never mind when we're going to get anything but "Preliminary" Tauti patch notes.

And you want us to "focus on what is going on in-game now?" Wouldn't you say that, considering the treatment that we get from NCKorea, a little planning for the future by reading about what's going on in Korea is wise so that when we get our 1-day notice for our version of the update, we'll have a better chance at being prepared than otherwise?

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Old 06-15-2012, 12:49 PM   #18
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elrohir View Post
Then why does it require you to close your web browsers before uninstalling (it should have absolutely no interaction with web browsers)? Also, why does my anti-malware software go bonkers EVERY time there is an update to L2? Not a single "false positive", but every time.

Have you googled Pando and read what is written about it on technical sites or do you just read Pando's brochures and cash their checks?
+1

However, since this topic is technically something that his role as a Producer has little to no visibility on, I wonder why he felt knowledgeable about answering the question in the first place to the point where he claims that it allows them to "provide better download quality and speed efficiently?"
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:17 PM   #19
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrcZilla View Post
+1

However, since this topic is technically something that his role as a Producer has little to no visibility on, I wonder why he felt knowledgeable about answering the question in the first place to the point where he claims that it allows them to "provide better download quality and speed efficiently?"
Am I so naive that I can't read how this is malware or spyware? And no I don't work for NCsoft or Pando. Explain then.

http://pandonetworks.com/pando-media...er-support-faq
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: Producer Q&A - Answers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poopooplatter View Post
Am I so naive that I can't read how this is malware or spyware? And no I don't work for NCsoft or Pando. Explain then.

http://pandonetworks.com/pando-media...er-support-faq
Well, if you're going to limit your search to the company's website, not surprising you didn't find an explanation why it's bad lol

You can probably find the pertinent info just by searching these forums, or at least do a Google search.
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