Saturday, March 19, 2011

What Do Players Want?

A selection of assorted feedback from the past week:


Text: Guys i am dying for more hotbars. This game is incredible, but ten hotbars isnt enough! =)


Text: i think there should be more guards patroling new halas just for protection and to make the city feel alive


Text: please make key mobs un-despanwable for idiots like me


Text: thanks for yet more crap loot from the PQ chest. I hope your hair falls out in patches.


Text: Fighters should heal crit! :(


Text: I must say that I really love the number of easter eggs the quest designers put in - npcs that give lore when hailed afterwards, or as additional dialogue options, or even giving hints if you hail them after. This is the first expansion in which I've genuinely been interested in what npcs have to say. Great job!


Text: No difficulty nerfing please!!!!!

the game has only been out a couple weeks - it should not all be beatable right way.


Text: make an instance where each named is a froglok clone of a group member and at the end all the shadows unite and turn into a massive froglok that squashing people with his feet!


Text: screw you and the ice in the hold of rime ascent thats the stupidest bullshit you morons ever put in the damn game RETQARDS


Text: OK! I love the expansion. Love the flying mounts!! Just amazing how beautiful this game is.....can't wait to see if this post makes Dommino's blog lol.... Please can we have a "tinkered flying baloon ship" and can you also offer it as a historical Guide Quest!! Those have been so fun! This would be awsome for tinkerfest coming up.

(Hi! But I don't plan to post any other comments that say this, otherwise everyone will start to do it.)

Text: love the Guillermo Del Toro/Neil Gaiman feel of Pools in Velious :)




Text: Suggestion: Possibly a yearly event:

Camel and Flying Carpet Races in Sinking Sands where prizes are camel mounts, run speed 75 for the land bound (those who are too low a level to get the flying mounts). But there could also be sky races for prizes and for new flying carpets (really vivid color styles), that when the flying gryphon quests are completed, they can be a true flying mount (much like the Gnome aero race those btw). Race courses would be in SS and PoF for these.

There could be an Arabian Nights type of event in conjuction with it where we can get outfits like 'I dream of Jeannie' and jeweled bottles that, when placed in house and rubbed once a day will give us some special (time limited) boost for battling.

Also, awesome bejeweled scimitars could be available for our appearance slots, and turbans for the guys heads, and for the girls, a shear veil for across her face that would mysteriously enhance her make-up around her eyes and make her eyes sparkle. There could be silly silk slippers (where the toe part curls up) in various vivid colors.

Your imagination could go wild with this...perhaps an Aladdin's Cave and a sleeping dragon where a number of stashed treasure items need be be stolen from the dragon successfully to win a prize.

Thanks for considering this,

( I thought of it while here in SS and saw the Camels running by)


Text: So very cool.... these Public Quests are AWESOME and so much social time spent with many players :)


Text: I find your lack of Sundered Frontier Wisdom-based quest rewards disturbing.

I mean, a Shaman can only take so much Str/Sta/Agi gear before he goes insane. >_<


Text: I adore the developer that wrote the quests for the Othmir. Never before have I felt so involved in a developing storyline that phyiscally changed the enviroment of the people I was doing quests for. Thank you, you are a wonderful game designer and deserve a promotion to lead designer.


Text: Some new hair styles would be nice. Something between super fancy frilly and just out of the shower would be nice.


Text: Now that we have flying griffens we can ride all over the place, you guys should make some flying pig mounts!


Text: Must we really take a furniture item from each repeatable faction quest from othmir & snowfang EVERY SINGLE DAY? How many othmir hammock's does one need? Could we have an option to perhaps say 'No thanks, I don't need furniture'.

The entire forest will surely be cut down for this multitude of wasted furniture that is forced upon us. The poor Othmir must do nothing but harvest wood and craft furniture for us like sweatshop workers. And the poor Snowfang gnolls have enough problems without taking up half their day making chairs for us.


Text: Did you know: shadowknights do not resuscitate little otter pups. nor do they rescue kittens from trees. make them into handbags, maybe. make them into shoes or slippers, yes.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Egg-free Guinness Pudding

This is a version of the Guinness Chocolate Pudding recipe I posted earlier, modified so it contains no eggs.


4 tsp Bird's Custard Powder (which contains no eggs) - US residents can generally find this in import stores such as World Market
4 tbsp milk
0.5 cups sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
1.5 cups of Guinness stout beer
2.25 cups of heavy whipping cream
4 ounces of dark chocolate (I used 72% chocolate chips).  If using a solid bar of chocolate, chop or break it up into smaller pieces so it melts faster.


Pour 1 cup of Guinness into a small saucepan and set it on the stove to simmer over medium heat.

In a separate bowl, mix 4 tsp of custard powder with 4 tablespoons of milk and 0.5 cups of sugar.

Pour the remaining 0.5 cups of Guinness into another saucepan (pour slowly down side to minimize foaming) and add 1.25 cups of the heavy cream.  Mix, and set on stove over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until bubbles start to form at edges.  At this point, remove saucepan from heat.  And add the 4 oz. chocolate, and stir until chocolate is all melted and mixture is smooth.

Add the sugar and custard powder mixture to the chocolate mixture in the saucepan, stirring constantly while adding. Return the saucepan to the heat.  Stir constantly for about 5-10 minutes till it thickens.  When thickened the mixture should coat the back of a spoon dipped into it, and not be runny.

At this point, remove from heat again and divide among small glasses.  Leave at least an inch of space in each to add the topping.  This is a VERY rich pudding, so keep the glasses quite small - this will make 12 shot glasses of pudding, or fewer larger glasses.  Refrigerate for at least an hour, until set (cover with plastic wrap if leaving overnight).

Meanwhile ... the first saucepan should have simmered down to just a tablespoon or two of liquid.  (If not, keep simmering till it does.)  This is making a Guinness flavoured reduction, so you really only want a small amount of concentrated liquid left.  Pour the reduction into a bowl and put in the fridge to cool.

(Wait at least an hour to do the next step, or overnight, so that the Guinness reduction and the pudding have time to cool.)

In a clean bowl, beat the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream with the remaining 3 tbs of sugar.  Beat until soft peaks form, then add the cooled Guinness reduction and beat again until all combined.  Carefully spoon the whipped cream topping onto the top of the pudding glasses and return to fridge to cool until ready to serve. Leaving the pudding to sit overnight seems to make the flavour richer, so if there's time to do this the night before it will improve it.

(In this picture, using small disposable shot glasses from BevMo.)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Why gnomes are great

(This will be a rather short post as there is a cat fast asleep on one of my arms so I'm typing slow and one-handed.)

As I mentioned in my last post, the final day of the Destiny of Velious launch events is today, and it's a series of flying races run by those mechanically-minded tinkerers, the gnomes.  Check out this video of the races!  And here's a great screenshot taken by Gnobrin, one of our art team:

This morning when the event started and people started talking about it, I got a message from a friend asking what it was all about. When I explained, he expressed his regret that the game he's currently playing doesn't have gnomes in. And this led to a discussion that's the title of this post: why gnomes are great.

Gnomes are great for many reasons, really; I used to play one myself in the original EQ. From a game designer's perspective though they are great because they are so crazy and random and inclined to catastrophically break or change things that they can be used as an explanation for almost anything.

For example, we want to create an event that lets people try out the new flying mounts but only on a temporary basis? Gnomes can build a test course and an unstable, prone-to-disintegration mechanical flying mount! No further explanation needed. Gnomes just do things like that.

This principle can be applied to almost anything. Why did the sun explode? Gnomes! Why did sharks develop the ability to swim on dry land? Gnomes! Why did the gods abandon the world? Gnomes! Why did everyone's underwear turn purple? Gnomes! "Gnomes" is an explanation that can answer almost any question; and as such they are a wonderful excuse for a game designer to use when all else fails. And the beauty of gnomes is that it quite likely really IS their fault anyway.

Some (ie: gnomes) may call this a blog about blaming gnomes, and not about why gnomes are great, but this is clearly a nit-picky point of semantics that I will ignore. All MMOs should have gnomes, or a gnome-equivalent. Gnomes are great.  =)