19 November 2007

Kunark Rising

I've really been enjoying the new expansion. As a developer, playing it while under development really isn't "fun": you're looking for bugs, only a few people are in the zones, you're trying to take notes and not really enjoying the content. That all changes after the expansion launches.

Some things that I'm really loving:
  • Zone Art - I'm only level 69, so I've been hanging out in Kylong Plains. The art here is amazing. The spires at Teren's Grasp are amazing and ridiculously tall and the transition from the warmer lowlands to the frigid area is great. Plus, I can see my character's breath in the snow. The new environmental system that we put in is really making a great debut in the intra-zone transitions as well as POIs like Karnor's Castle.
  • Increased Quest XP - I love quests more than level grinding. The new quests are fantastic and have great rewards. The Quest Designers are using the relatively new item-association system that I put in and it's helping in some very subtle but effective ways. Also, this is a great time for me to brag about my Quest Sharing system. I've been adventuring with some pick-up groups and sharing quests has REALLY helped out.
  • Smooth Launch - I talked about this a bit in my previous post, but this launch had to have been one of the smoothest EQ2 launches we've had. The team was in great form and we really cranked on getting the last few issues wrapped up before launch.

Some programming-related things that I (and others on the team) have noticed and we're looking into:
  • Memory Usage - Those big zones aren't cheap memory wise. I'm currently looking into new ways to save memory.
  • Quest Sorting - If you're in one of the additional instances of the big zones your quest journal isn't showing quests for the current zone at the top.
  • DB Issues - Some of our larger servers have been under additional stress from the popularity of Kunark. The team is working hard to resolve these issues.

Happy Kunarking


Sean said...

Quest Sharing seems fairly self-evident, but what does the item-association system do?

Joshua Kriegshauser said...

Basically, designers can associate an item with a quest to either make it offer or indicate that it's required by a quest. This information appears in the tooltip: "Offers the Quest `Dwarven Work Boots'" or "Required by the Quest `The Journey is Half the Fun'". It helps you look at your inventory and understand what items are used for and also controls other things like when they drop for kills, etc. Previously for items the designers would have to have the item open a dialog and a response to the dialog would open the offer quest window. Or there was a huge amount of work to get their items to drop only when on a quest. Now it's all very simple for them :)

Sean said...

Very nice! Those designers must love you. :)

Lars said...

Plus it helps me clean out my inventory when I finish a quest and the quest items stick around! I love it!