State of the Game 2015

Platform & Mobility:
  1. With technology being what it is today, are there any plans to expand client support to other devices? (iOS application/Google Play or Full Mac support)
[OGC] We are moving towards a more open game by allowing other front-end clients to connect to us. We are looking at some options in this space that allow us to reach more platforms without the need for specific apps. Once we are open to all front-end clients then people are free to use what is out there or they can create their own. Before we open up the game we want to make certain aspects less predictable to make the game more interesting and reduce the impact of repetitive actions being automated.

  2. Related to what Alyce asked about mobile, will you permit user based efforts on building a phone solution?
[OGC] Yes, only the above (answer to question 1) is completed you can use or create your own client applications.

Solutions & Development:
  1. With the recent changes to the way you learn the riding skill, are there anymore changes like this in the works?
[OGC] Yes. We have been evaluating all skills and how they are obtained. Some of the “trade” skills will end up being like the Riding skill is now. Others may end up being gained in other ways. One of the goals is to remove the non-guild specific skills from the guilds and remove some of the “level” requirements from them. This way people can gain skills from completing quests and earning them at any level.

  2. With the changes to bars/inns/taverns no longer selling cut and paste items, will we also see this with clothing weapon and misc item shops?
[OGC] Yes. One goal this year is to end the concept of “copy” shops that are scattered throughout the lands. This was started with bars and will eventually cover all shops. We need to separate shops before we can really create any type of economy or specialization in shops. This is not an easy task as it means changing how players interact with shops.

  3. With the implementation of roving quests what is the likelihood of making roving shops or skill/spell trainers?
[OGC] There has been no decision on implementing these features. However, we have started discussions on the general concepts around caravan shops that can actually move.

  4. Norland, obviously isn’t the only land (Given the recent Khataran RP) are there any plans to create lands (rooms) around these settlements?
[OGC] This is tough to answer without making it seem like we are making a promise. Right now there are three main “continents” that have been built in some fashion; Norland, Zir’s Island, and Tolkania. There are other continents that have been talked about in roleplays such as Targa, Mythmere, a small one covered in ice, and now Khatar. We also have the smaller islands that are scattered throughout the sea.

What we need to really do is build-out what is already there to “play” in before we actually start building newer places. There may be small outposts if it makes sense (such as Minotaur’s on Zir’s Island), however we have not given much thought to adding the real homelands for these people. We have basic concepts for places such as Targa, Mythmere, and the Ice-Covered land, however we have no plans for any implementation until the other three continents are complete. Even looking at Norland, which is the most used of the continents lacks an entire southern portion and northern portion.

  5. Will you create additional races/classes?
[OGC] The operations team and ownership have discussed new races and classes. However, at this time we have no plans or timeline to do an implementation in this space. If we ever do decide to expand this feature of the game then we will ensure more communication here.

  6. Are there any plans to change stats/skills/spells upon character startup? For instance giving a dragon-kin fireflames?
[OGC] We have looked at the starting attributes a lot and have no plans to make changes here. We have discussed expanding “natural abilities” for races and professions, however there is nothing definite in this space yet. If we ever do decide to expand this feature of the game then we will ensure more communication here.

  7. Would it be possible to add a specific part to a pack that is only for weapons so that it doesn’t take up pack space?
[OGC] We have discussed new “slots” to store items such as weapons and more specific jewelry. However, there is no timeline for any implementation here as this is purely in the conceptual stage right now.

  8. What ever happened to Remort?
[OGC] As mentioned in the past we do not have anything “set” for this yet. We have not entirely scrapped the idea, however we continue to discuss how to make it meaningful and worthwhile. Many of the changes being made now are to allow us to have a form of remort/retrain without breaking everything else. We need to be careful that we keep the gain manageable and do not spiral out of control by adding too quickly above our possible thresholds.

  9. Any plans on a newer more difficult HoA?
[OGC] No. As mentioned in the past there are no plans for anything in this space. If we ever look at something similar to the HoA again it would be a very long time out.

Service & Strategy:
  1. Do you plan on making incentives (1.5x multipliers / free month) a regular thing because of its success?
[OGC] While we are looking at ways to make it easier for us to enable “incentives”, we have no set plan to do this anytime soon when August ends. A lot of our decisions in this space will relate entirely on what data we see over time. Determining “success” right now is not an easy thing to correlate to these incentives. We understand that everyone believes making the game free will increase the playerbase, however when looking at the real data you will see that over the past three years when we have done the roleplay type of events similar to what is going on this summer our numbers increase to the same levels we are at right now. In all of those other periods we did not have the incentive program active to boost numbers.

We will continue to keep a close eye on this space, however from what we have seen it is the roleplay that is the lifeblood of Terris and the amount of players we have. That combined with some platform changes made and planned we hope to keep and increase the amount of players we have.

  2. Any plans to add staff to fill the “non-closed” temples and to assist the current staff with not having to cover multiple guilds/temples?
[OGC] This is very tough to answer. We are never “not” open to new people joining our team. The trick in this space is that rarely do people understand what it actually means to become staff. From an IC perspective it is a promotion; however from a real-life perspective it is not. This is a volunteer job in every sense of the word. A person that joins the staff team represents the game and OGC and in doing so can put more than just our reputation at risk. Due to this we will not rush to fill any positions that we might need with those we do not feel are the best fit.

Those that have spoken with Deori in the past may remember him once saying that, “some of the best players will make the worst staff”. This can end up being a very true statement as not everyone is built for that role. And those that are not often need to be removed or just become inactive, which in turn frustrates the players when they see that turnover. As you can imagine we are not only looking at TLs or GMs when it comes to a possible staff position. We look at how well they can roleplay within the bounds of the position they will be in. We also look at how they will represent OGC and Legends of Terris when fulfilling their responsibilities.

When we look for people we do not only look at active players. We also do consider past players or staff that want to return and have shown us what they can do. We have had a few past staff/players return to join our staffing team; some work out and are still around (Tayrah, Shanna, Caerwyn, Omnicat, and Vespers) and others may not. Those people often find the transition from staff back to player to be very difficult.

If someone feels that they can add something to the team they can reach out to us by emailing our team at both Manager@legendsofterris.com and Code@legendsofterris.com. This is not a quick process and there are many internal discussions and votes before we allow someone to join. And yes, it does mean we will keep a much closer eye on how you act in the game.

  3. I don’t want to math right now, but in the 2014 state of the game, you talked about year 500, which I think comes up in like 6 months or something? Still planning stuff for that?
[OGC] We have been thinking about different possibilities for the past two years. Doing things for the year 500 can be tricky as we have to think about what we are really seeing. While it is known as the year 500 now, the world is over 10,000 years old. From an OOC perspective we did not start in the year 0, the oldest characters (including Doug and Deori were not born until the year 97). With us having players that claim to be over 400 years old (or even 375) it makes us treating years to be tricky.

So while we might not have a “world is ending epic invasion” happen (as happens in many fantasy series) we may do something simple like a celebration. Everything will depend upon where we are at that time.

  4. Do you feel like there are important engine changes that you, Code, want to focus on getting out, or do you feel that content changes will be the thing that wows us for the rest of the year?
[OGC] There are many platform changes that our Operations team believes to be very important. We do plan to continuously add basic content, however we need the platform changes to support new content ideas. Many of the backend changes we are doing now are to support future implementations that we need to compete with other games. Whether these “wow” the players or not I cannot say. Some implementations might just be done to put us more on-par with other games and would be “ground-breaking” in our world but not others.

  5. I feel like I see a bunch of engine changes that are billed as “this feature will allow us to do neat things in the future, but not used right now”. Are there plans to use those features? I guess I’m asking if the engine roadmap ties into the content roadmap.
[OGC] There is a three-year roadmap that is refreshed each year based upon where we are and how the landscape of the business changes. We do align the content and platform changes so that they can support each other. The roadmap itself remains between the Operations team and Ownership as we do not want to go back to the days were we provide information and others take it as broken promises when something is not delivered.

  6. Is there anything we the players can do to help you make the game more fantastic?
[OGC] Absolutely. Take part in the game as a player. Sometimes players of the game feel entitled to expected to add actual content to the game, which is not the case and should not be the expectation. There are different types of people within the game, and understanding each of their roles will help everyone know what is expected for them.
        – Legends: Entirely roleplay oriented without temple or guild affiliation
        – Heroes: Strongest mortals that have been given additional powers by Immortals over the temple they are in. A Hero cannot exist without an Immortal giving them power.
        – Immortals: The strongest of the strong. They control at least one sphere of power and have been allowed to remain in the heavens due to Deori’s will. They serve as patrons of guilds to help the GMs out as needed.
        – Behind the Scenes Staff: This consists of the Operations team, content team, and some others that assist OGC with running the day to day operations of the game. These people are OOC roles and not in-game staff.
        – Players: Anyone that is not on staff is a player of the game. They are here to roleplay and make use of the features provided. The players roleplay with the different staff members and the staff members roleplay back to the players.
        – GMs/GOs/TLs/HHLeaders: These are players that have the ability to create opportunities for fun in their organizations. Those in this role should be thinking about how to move their organizations forward through roleplay to keep things interesting and full of spontaneous fun.

Most importantly, be the character that you are. Don’t be an Assassin that wants to hang out with a Knight that follows Caerwyn. Don’t be a Warlock that wants to believe the same things as a Wizard or Monk. The experience is more fun when people can keep their OOC relationships private and not blur the lines in roleplay. Some guilds and temples should not go out of their way to always be seen hanging out together. Nothing frustrates staff and removes our ability to really roleplay with players than us not being about to figure out what roleplay makes sense.

  7. How you guys feeling? Burned out? Committed? I think there was a gap in updates for a while, was that just life things, behind the scenes work, roleplay focus, or burnout?
[OGC] Everyone, both staff and players gets burned out at times. We try to allow our staff the time to take a step back so that this does not happen. Even on our team we try to take that step back. There was a small gap in updates earlier this year for a few reasons.
        – “Life things” took over for two weeks
        – We try not to do partial implementations unless we absolutely need to
        – We do not like releasing features to production just so it looks like we are “doing something”
We have a great core team on staff and we try to cover for each other as much as possible. Our Operations team is on the same page when it comes to the strategy of the platform, the solutions, the roleplay, and the resources. This makes it easy to work together and avoid burnout.

  8. On a scale from 1 to 10, how happy are you with the game right now?
[OGC] I personally am happy with how the game is progressing. Can we “do more” as we move forward? Absolutely. But I am happy with how things are going.

  9. Do those in charge of Terris have a long-range vision of ensuring that Terris continues to exist into the indefinite future? As long as there are people here who want to be here, will there still be a Terris to come to?
[OGC] We have no plans to shut down the game or stop it from existing. The people on staff may change and those working in some behind the scenes roles may change however, the game will continue. Of course I cannot speak for what may happen three or five or ten years from now. But I can say that we are not planning on shutting down the game.