Mythica Developer Chat (Feb 4th, 2004)

The Mythica Development and PR team was kind enough to participate in a chat with Syndicate members to discuss the game and field some questions from them. 50+ members attended and had the chance to learn about Mythica first and even to learn new, yet to be released (at that time) information. We really appreciated them taking to the time to come talk to us. The chat went extremely well.


((Dragons_LLTS)) Let me begin by saying thank you to Mark, Lila, Steve and the rest for coming here tonight. We appreciate you taking the time to come talk to us.
((Vidguy|MS)) Our pleasure!
((Dragons_LLTS)) We are currently looking for a future guild home and Mythica looks great :) Our team of 4 that attended the VIP party couldnt say enough great things about it.
((Dragons_LLTS)) So with that said, I think some introductions might be a good thing :) From our side I am Dragons, the Syndicate GM. Grif and Dargus are our two Advisors (i.e. top dogs).
((Jade_Dragonfly)) hi :)
((Jade_Dragonfly)) Lila Yee - Community Relations Manager
((MarkG)) Mark Gere - developer on Community features (chat, friends, guild, parties, etc)
((Vidguy|MS)) *waves! I'm Steve Cherrier....I work closely with Lila on Mythica and also do online PR to the big online publications such as GameSpy, Games Domain, etc.
((Corrupt)) I'm Josh Goldberg, marketing guy on Mythica :)
((Vidguy|MS)) And just in case you have been living under a rock over the past 6-8 months... we're part of Mythica... a norse-themed MMORPG that casts you in the role as an immortal..on the way to godhood...
((Vidguy|MS)) which loosley translated means "No killing rats!"
((MarkG)) Well, maybe godlike rats...
((Vidguy|MS)) and instead of giving you the PR-spiel... check out www.mythica.com for more info!
((Vidguy|MS)) Soo..unless Dragon you want to start somewhere else...
((Vidguy|MS)) I'd like to give Mark the floor for a few...
((Vidguy|MS)) and have him chat a bit about what's probably most important for you guys here..
((Vidguy|MS)) the guild systems!
((Vidguy|MS)) *stops typing :)

((MarkG)) Ok, so before I get into the guild system, just want to say that we're trying to make the Mythica a very community-oriented game.
((MarkG)) These games are all about getting together with other people, having fun, and killing a few monsters along the way, afterall.
((MarkG)) My main development responsibilities are making these community features as rich and flexible as possible so you guys can use them pretty much any way you want.
((Jade_Dragonfly)) Just to let you know, what Mark says in this chat has not been talked about publicly ANYWHERE. You guys are the first. :) W00t! W00t!



((MarkG)) I can get into some of the other things like chat and friends, but for now, I'll start with guilds and some of the things we'll offer for a guild of your size.
((MarkG)) I've been talking with Dragons over the past few weeks and getting some good feedback from him, but so far it sounds like we're going in the right direction.
((MarkG)) The main problem with guilds of your size is management, organization and communication.
((MarkG)) I have to respect the leaders of these guilds -- managing a guild this size has got to be a full time job.
((MarkG)) Kudos Dragons!
((MarkG)) What I want to do is make it much easier for the leaders to manage the guilds by providing a good way to group players and a simple interface for doing it.
((MarkG)) First of all, how are guilds in Mythica organized...
((MarkG)) There's a guild hierarchy which defines the main organization of groups within the guild.



((MarkG)) At a basic level, you have the leader(s), then the officers, then the, ahem, peons. :)
((MarkG)) This is the vertical organization.
((Vidguy|MS)) worker bees perhaps? :)
((MarkG)) Then horizontally, you organize into sub-teams and build out into each of those.
((MarkG)) In order to support this, the Mythica guild system allows the leaders (anyone with the permission to manage) to create any number of groups in an arbitrary tree layout.
((MarkG)) Just like in any major organization.
((MarkG)) Now, in this main hierarchy, each guild member can only be in one of the groups... so that's not very flexible because people have different roles and you want to represent that somehow.



((MarkG)) So the guild managers can create any number of role groups and add people from across the whole guild hierarchy into these roles.
((MarkG)) The roles can be anything -- "raid leaders", "bankers", "healers", etc.
((MarkG)) They can be used simply to describe the people in the roles and/or they can be used to give extra permissions to those people.
((MarkG)) So the "raid leaders" for instance, might have extra permissions, above and beyond what they already got from the group in the guild hierarchy, that let them write the Raid MOTD.
((MarkG)) Doesn't matter if they're in the lowest level of the guild hierarchy -- if they're in a role with the permissions, they can use those extra features.
((MarkG)) The UI will let you display the guild members by role and/or by guild hierarchy, so you can easily see the list of members grouped in the way you want.
((MarkG)) So, that's basic guild organization.



((Vidguy|MS)) Sweet...so if I'm a level 60 *ahem* peon and leading a raid..if I get the appropriate permissions..I can set a Raid MOTD, etc right?
((Dragons_LLTS)) (No.. that wasnt a planted question) ;)
((Vidguy|MS)) really..it wasn't!
((MarkG)) I mentioned MOTD because I know how important it is for guilds to be able to communicate events quickly and easily to all the members.
((Vidguy|MS))
((-- only hit level 60+ once in an MMO :P
((MarkG)) MOTDs in Mythica guilds are very flexible. You can create as many as you want with any permissions you want on them.
((MarkG)) So you can have a MOTD for just the officers, one for everyone, a special raid MOTD, etc.
((MarkG)) And different roles can have different permissions for reading and writing these MOTDs.
((MarkG)) And rest assured, you'll be sent the MOTD every time it changes as well as every time you log in.
((MarkG)) And it'll tell you who changed it and when it was changed.



((MarkG)) Ok, so I'll take a breather now and take any questions if Dragons received any.
((Dragons_LLTS)) good :) I do have a few guild related questions here...



((Dragons_LLTS)) 1) Are there going to be any game imposed restrictions that prevent
((Dragons_LLTS)) different types of players from being in the same group or guild?
((MarkG)) Do you mean like preventing different races or different classes from joining the same group/guild?
((Dragons_LLTS)) yes
((MarkG)) Or if the faction differences are too great...
((MarkG)) No, we currently don't have any plans to restrict people from joining groups/guilds based on these things.
((Dragons_LLTS)) Super :) Here is the next one



((Dragons_LLTS)) 2) Will there be personal housing at all or just guild housing? Will
((Dragons_LLTS)) housing make it into the initial release? If not, roughly how long do
((Dragons_LLTS)) you expect before it would be added?
((MarkG)) We're hoping to implement both, but don't have an ETA at this time.
((MarkG)) Our system can support it pretty easily because of the private realms technology.
((MarkG)) But we don't want to just implement an empty house that serves no real purpose, so there's some work we need to do to make guild halls and houses interesting.
((MarkG)) Actually, this is something that I'd love to get feedback on.
((MarkG)) If you have any ideas about what would make a guild hall and personal house interesting and useful to you, please let me know (we'll discuss how to let me know later...).
((Dragons_LLTS)) That, im sure we can provide :) You ask the question and im positive we can get you alot of opinions
((Dragons_LLTS)) ok 1 more guild specific question:
((Vidguy|MS)) Why don't you start a thread on your site, Dragons..and send us the results :)



((Dragons_LLTS)) 3) Will there be large quests/raids/hunts/goals that a guild can do together?
((MarkG)) Yes -- definitely!
((Vidguy|MS)) Great! Next question...
((MarkG)) There will be many opportunities for guilds to fight in epic battles.
((Vidguy|MS)) j/k..he's still typing
((MarkG)) The elder game, in particular, will require large groups of players all working together to save the world. :)
((Vidguy|MS)) Remember..only YOU can prevent Ragnarok!
((Vidguy|MS)) *plugs T-shirt slogan*
((Dragons_LLTS)) hehe ive got a personal question on saving the world but we can ask it later.. I have 1 more guild related one that was sent in



((Dragons_LLTS)) 4) Will there be any guild oriented PVP like taking over pieces of land or villages and receiving bonusses for being in control?
((Vidguy|MS)) go for it Dragons
((MarkG)) The private realms can be played by individual parties or by a guild as a whole.
((MarkG)) Sorry, that was for the last question. :)
((MarkG)) We're not focusing on PvP in Mythica -- we want to make the PvE experience the best it can be and then worry about PvP later.
((MarkG)) Although we do think that controlled PvP would be good to have.
((MarkG)) For guilds in particular, we have talked about having special arenas where you can challenge other guilds and then have a massive battle.
((MarkG)) But this will very likely be in a private realm and won't affect anyone else.
((Jade_Dragonfly)) We've been looking at different ways to reward folks who play/participate in the controlled arenas as well.
((Dragons_LLTS)) :) that is the guild specific questions I have.. I have lots more on topics all across the board if you want to get into them or move on to another area of the game to discuss
((Vidguy|MS)) I want a helm that says "I survived the Syndicate Wars" ;)
((Dragons_LLTS)) You wont survive.. next topic
((MarkG)) Yup -- lots of ways that we can reward the winners -- my favorite ideas are things like letting the guilds wager items/money on the outcome.
((Jade_Dragonfly)) lol
((Vidguy|MS)) LOL
((MarkG)) lol * Vidguy|MS notices the gauntlet on the ground ;)
((Vidguy|MS)) Mark will jump into a couple of quick things..then we can take some more Qs
((MarkG)) A couple more things about guilds...
((Vidguy|MS)) this is great guys!
((MarkG)) The flexibility of the group system within guilds extends to the point where you could even have a guild "friends list" -- or even better a guild "enemies list"
((MarkG)) You could give a certain role permissions to add and remove arbitrary players in the guild friends list.
((MarkG)) And when any of these players log in or change locations, etc, the whole guild can be notified.



((MarkG)) Now, on to another topic I've been itching to talk about.
((MarkG)) This hasn't been revealed publicly before.
((Vidguy|MS)) *drumroll...*
((MarkG)) We're going to provide a documented API for using all of these community features.
((MarkG)) This means you can write your own apps to use any of our community features, including friends lists, parties, groups, guilds, etc.
((MarkG)) You could add support to your guild web site so that it's logging guild chat 24/7, for archival purposes.
((MarkG)) Or you could make it more interactive and let them actually chat in the guild chat channel, right from the web site.
((MarkG)) And you could tie these into a friends app like, oh, ICQ, for instance and let your presence be known in game, even if you're at work.
((Dragons_LLTS)) That is an outstanding feature and im sure a ton of 3rd party apps will come from it that people can just plug into their sites etc..
((MarkG)) The API can even be used to manage the guild offline, so if we don't end up providing the perfect in-game UI (highly unlikely :) ) you can write your own "perfect" app to do it.
((Dragons_LLTS)) Parse MOTD.. look for key words "Log In Now!" and send a page to all guild members who subscribed to that service.
((MarkG)) You could even do things like have MOTD updates sent to people's cell phone or pager.
((MarkG)) lol
((MarkG)) Ok, that's about it. The API is pretty geeky, but it's something that I thought would create a neat community of developers all writing apps that do different things with it.
((Vidguy|MS)) I betcha there's a few of those..what did you call us.. "geeks" here today ;)
((MarkG)) hehe.
((Vidguy|MS)) We're open to some more Qs if you want Dragons?
((Vidguy|MS)) we still got a bit of time :)
((Dragons_LLTS)) It is definitely a very "microsoft" thing to do but also brand new to the gaming world and very cool.
((Dragons_LLTS)) Ok I have many questions :) so I will pick a few good ones and perhaps email Mark the rest later?
((MarkG)) Oh, and something that makes the API more useful is the fact that you can log in to the community services multiple times concurrently.
((Vidguy|MS)) sure!
((MarkG)) Yup -- I can stay as late as you guys want actually.
((Vidguy|MS)) he said he could be here till Midnight..didn't you Mark?
((Vidguy|MS)) *ducks
((MarkG)) I had to open my big mouth...



((Dragons_LLTS)) 5) Will you limit char names to 1 person with that name per server? If so, how do you know that I, for example, get the name Dragons and someone trying to grief me cant steal it by logging in 1min before I do on the 1st day
((Vidguy|MS)) well I'm not sure what specifics we have for reserving names..
((Vidguy|MS)) but with AC2 for example... if you pre-ordered, you could reserve a name..
((Vidguy|MS)) and I think with AC1 beta folks actually got in a hair earlier than others...
((Vidguy|MS)) but really I'm sure it will probably be first-come-first-served.
((Vidguy|MS)) but it's really still TBD.
((Dragons_LLTS)) ok :) Here is another then...
((MarkG)) Ah, I see what you're saying, Dragons. So you'd like a system where you could only take a certain name on only one server?
((MarkG)) That's an interesting proposal. I'll definitely think some more about naming issues.
((Dragons_LLTS)) ok :)



((Dragons_LLTS)) 6) Are there plans to make Mythica playable by people on Dial-Up or Satellite connections? or must you have a high speed one?
((MarkG)) We're planning to support dial-up.
((MarkG)) Satellite is an interesting problem because it has enough bandwidth, but the latency is pretty bad.
((MarkG)) Anyone here play on satellite?
((Vidguy|MS)) Satellite = teh suck for most gaming though from what I understand. :(
((Dragons_LLTS)) Kelador and trelisha are satellite players
((Vidguy|MS)) what sort of latency do you get?
((Kelador)) Direcway 6000 models, 2-4 sec delay
((Vidguy|MS)) well that certainly would suck for a FPS! ;)
((MarkG)) Wow. And that doesn't present a problem in other MMPs?
((Kelador)) Not to bad in EQ, but you can tell. *shuts up now*
((Dragons_LLTS)) hehe.. well you should be a good tester for them in the beta then to balance that
((MarkG)) heh. Ok, well I can't say how Mythica will perform in that situation...
((Vidguy|MS)) exactly!
((MarkG)) But yeah, definitely let us know how it goes in the beta!!



((Dragons_LLTS)) ok.. another question asked was 7) What sort of player owned mounts or in game controlled long distance transportation will there be? Horses? Ships? teleporters? Just your feet?
((MarkG)) Any more q's?
((Dragons_LLTS)) (err I have like 20 more)
((Dragons_LLTS)) you just tell me when you want to stop :)
((Vidguy|MS)) That's one Mark really can't answer (too bad Matt Wilson wasn't here)
((Vidguy|MS)) we can table that one for now though :)
((Dragons_LLTS)) ok.. fair enough. Several of these may fit into that category and I can just mail them along later
((Vidguy|MS)) sure thing!



((Dragons_LLTS)) 8) One problem plaguing gamers today are griefers. They come in many
((Dragons_LLTS)) forms ranging from guilds that hog spawns to players who use foul
((Dragons_LLTS)) language or steal treasure or kills. What methods will Mythica have to
((Dragons_LLTS)) control those players? Private Realms is one that addresses KSing but
((Dragons_LLTS)) what of KSing in other areas? Or foul mouthed kiddies who cant control
((Dragons_LLTS)) themselves etc?
((MarkG)) First of all, I'll say that I really like the system that Final Fantasy uses for preventing KSing, but we haven't come to a design decision ourselves yet.
((MarkG)) Would be nice if each player could turn that system on or off individually.
((Vidguy|MS)) but you're right Dragons (or whomever asked that originally).. Private Realms is really going to help that a lot!
((Corrupt)) Unfortunately, I have to leave....but these guys have you covered. Thanks for hosting Dragons and company!
((Dragons_LLTS)) Thanks for coming Corrupt. Appreciate your time
((MarkG)) But as for general griefing, we'll try to punish griefers if it can be proven (ie. was witnessed).
((Vidguy|MS)) we'll banish them to the Syndicate Arena for "punishment" ;)
((MarkG)) We'll have a system for reporting other players and a log of the chat will be automatically saved with all reports.
((MarkG)) lol
((MarkG)) So for watch out potty mouths -- we'll find you and boot/ban you.
((MarkG)) Our support infrastructure makes it very easy for the admins to handle most calls without even going in-game.
((MarkG)) The average response time will be very low -- you won't have to wait hours like in some other games. :)
((MarkG)) If you guys have any good ideas for preventing KSing, please let us know.
((Dragons_LLTS)) sure.. make me a GM.. I will handle our server personally
((MarkG)) lol
((Jade_Dragonfly)) ehehheeh
((Vidguy|MS)) Yeah..and that's the key here... we're really looking to great guilds like yours to help shape our community tools and features...after all..you guys are the end-users!
((Dragons_LLTS)) I promise to be fair.. and carry a very very big stick
((Vidguy|MS)) we're cool for a few more questions if you want Dragons (we'll try to answer general ones)... Mark has had his caffiene!
((Dragons_LLTS)) ok :) I know you all need to run soon so I can email the rest of the questions later, but I had one more I was curious about which is based on the Lore of the game since we havent touched on that much tonight.




((Dragons_LLTS)) The Lore is based around the Norse mythology we all know.
((Dragons_LLTS)) The question I wanted to know was:
((Dragons_LLTS)) 9) Is it possible (planned?) that the players lose control of the bridge.. the giants "win" and the players MUST band together to take it back? Or is "losing" never really possible?
((Vidguy|MS)) Ooooh that sounds like a "Hal" question unfortunately..
((Vidguy|MS)) but you know... I'm not so sure that giving up that info would even be in everyone's best interests....isn't part of "not knowing" half the fun? :)
((MarkG)) But rest assured, we will have rich stories and we could possibly do things like this, but I have to defer to Hal for the specifics.
((Vidguy|MS)) I remember Hal or Matt saying at one point..
((Vidguy|MS)) that players' actions could have a lasting impact on certain aspects..
((Vidguy|MS)) maybe things like this are included...but I'm just speculating
((Dragons_LLTS)) ok :) the possibility of losing.. certainly would make it more interesting.. and force some level of player cooperation. And of course the option of 'winning' is also good although a new goal would have to be quickly implemented.
((Vidguy|MS)) I'm not sure if you ever played Asheron's Call, Dragons..
((Dragons_LLTS)) I played the first one.. the second one was.. err.. less than we hoped it would be *ducks from Mark*
((Vidguy|MS)) but there was one instance where one server actually rose up and DEFENDED the big "boss" that everyone needed to kill to advance the storyline..
((MarkG)) hehe. *POW*
((Vidguy|MS)) and it had a big impact on how that server was going to progress..
((Vidguy|MS)) it was very interesting.
((Vidguy|MS)) so I don't see why things like that couldn't be possible here. :)
((Dragons_LLTS)) that kind of thing sounds really interesting and since half our guild comes from EQ, they are used to, and expect, major encounters
((MarkG)) Epic encounters are a large part of our elder game.
((Dragons_LLTS)) Ok since you have a little more time I will push on. Just tell me when we are out of time and I will email the rest



((Dragons_LLTS)) 10) Will the 6 planes be places you can travel to (or just Midgard and
((Dragons_LLTS)) Asgard)? If not initially will they be expansion packs?
((Vidguy|MS)) We want to launch the game first before talking expansion packs, but of course we definitely want to keep expanding the worlds in which to play



((Dragons_LLTS)) ok :) expanding on that then. 11) The stated plan was Monthly content updates. Are we talked "Fixed bug ABC and Nerfed class 123" or are you referring to more substantive things like new dungeons and bosses etc on a monthly basis.
((Vidguy|MS)) I'm not eactly sure if we've annouced the specific number of planes initially
((Vidguy|MS)) Hehe..with EQ you are used to the latter right?
((Dragons_LLTS)) definitely. Big things only come in expansions and some of those are... less than stellar
((Vidguy|MS)) Matt and Hal are the ones to best answer that, but it's my understanding that we will have regular CONTENT updates (that will also include fixes, etc).
((Vidguy|MS)) The FAQ states...
((Vidguy|MS)) Monthly patches will include new content as well as any bug fixes, so youíll always have new adversaries to fight and quests to complete. In time, there will also be Mythica expansion packs.
((Vidguy|MS)) so I'm sure it's more of the former part of your question. :)



((Dragons_LLTS)) Sounds good. 12) Are you planning on Mythica being one HUGE server with 200,000 people in it? Or lots of smaller servers with a subset of subscribers on each?
((MarkG)) Lots of smaller servers.
((MarkG)) There are gameplay reasons as well as technical reasons.
((MarkG)) For one, could you imagine the amount of KSing that would go on when there are that many in the world?
((MarkG)) :)
((Vidguy|MS)) We're gonna have more than 200,000 subscribers though right? :D
((Dragons_LLTS)) Spoken like a true PR guy :)
((MarkG)) It also makes more sense to break people up into smaller worlds for scalability reasons.
((Vidguy|MS)) I didn't hide behind my mask! :P
((Dragons_LLTS)) ok :) I have a few questions on Private Realms if you still have some time
((MarkG)) Guilds, chat channels, friends lists, etc are cross world though, so you can have friends on different servers and a guild that spans all servers, if you want.
((Dragons_LLTS)) (hmmm that is cool)
((MarkG)) But to clarify, only the community parts of guilds will be available cross server. No item trading or anything like that.
((MarkG)) Yup, still have time. Fire away.



((Dragons_LLTS)) ok.. Private Realms:
((Dragons_LLTS)) 12) Private Realms (i.e. instancing) exist for most quests. Are there
((Dragons_LLTS)) common areas where you adventure in and kill for exp etc? or does nearly
((Dragons_LLTS)) all of that happen in private realms?
((MarkG)) Oh yes, the public spaces are fully populated with interesting things too.
((MarkG)) Monsters, quests, etc, will be available within the public areas.
((MarkG)) And just interesting places to explore... ruins, etc.
((MarkG)) We definitely don't want a game where everyone is always in a private zone.
((Dragons_LLTS)) :) ok adding to that thought:



((Dragons_LLTS)) 14) Can friends/guildmates join you inside a private realm once you have
((Dragons_LLTS)) entered it and begun the quest?
((MarkG)) Yes, as long as they meet the requirements. You can invite people into your party or guild and they can then enter your private instance of the zone.
((MarkG)) Invitations can cross any boundaries in the game.
((MarkG)) But when they enter the private zone, they'll be at the starting point, so if monsters have respawned, you'll have to help them get to you most likely.
((Vidguy|MS)) so no pulling in the big guns at the last minute to smoke that Frost Giant! :)
((Dragons_LLTS)) :) adding to that point then:



((Dragons_LLTS)) 15) Do the quests scale in difficulty the more players that enter it?
((Dragons_LLTS)) Hmmm i broke the dev's
((Vidguy|MS)) We haven't announced specific details on that yet..but we will soon.
((Vidguy|MS)) But there will be some adjustability ...for lack of a better term!
((Vidguy|MS)) heh.. Frost Giant party notices "The Syndicate is coming" and arms themselves to the teeth!
((MarkG)) I've read your newsletter and browsed your web site and it's obvious to me that this is a guild that cares about making the experience great for everyone in the game -- not just focused on helping only the guild members themselves
((Dragons_LLTS)) I still have a list of questions :) and I KNOW im going to get many more as people read the log and digest the info. So I will assemble all of them and get them to you soon :)
((MarkG))The final thing I want to cover is the ongoing relationship between Mythica and The Syndicate. Dragons is going to designate one person as the contact point. Periodically im going to send them information on Mythica and questions on topics we want your feedback on. Please give us your feedback on those topics and that person will assemble all the replies and mail us back. Your feedback can help shape Mythica to be a better game than it would be otherwise. You can also send in questions via that same person. We are very interested in getting more ideas and feedback directly from you.
((MarkG)) Ok, that's it. I look forward to talking with you all some more.
((Dragons_LLTS)) I want to give a BIG Thank you to Lila, Mark and Steve for coming and answering questions for us :)
((Dragons_LLTS)) We really appreciate your time and the extra info on Mythica.
((Vidguy|MS)) Our pleasure (mark did all the heavy lifting!) ;)
((Dragons_LLTS)) I think its safe to say you excited alot of people and got alot of imaginations rolling here tonight
((MarkG)) It's a group effort. :)
((Vidguy|MS)) We really appreciate you guys taking the time to talk with us. We want to make a game that YOU want to come play..and this is a step towards achieving that goal!
((MarkG)) Thank you all for being here and helping us to make Mythica great!
((Dragons_LLTS)) Mark, i will get with you offline to talk about the point of contact and followup questions etc. Lila, the log will be OTW to you in 5min or so.
((Jade_Dragonfly)) thanks
((Vidguy|MS)) Thanks again..this was awesome! You got a great group of folks here..never seen a group of 40+ folks so well behaved!
((Vidguy|MS)) it wasn't even moderated..but was better than most moderated chats I've been in!
((Dragons_LLTS)) ok Syndies... that wraps this up for tonight. Appreciate all of you taking time from your families to be here for this. Now spread the word :) and look for my CZ posts with the log and asking you for additional ques
((Vidguy|MS)) Cya in Asgard soon! :)

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