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Massively goes to Dragon*Con: Funcom Q&A Part 2

Q: Is stability a problem at all?
A: It depends on what kind of system you are playing on. The tech guys are working almost full-time on those memory leaks that cause a crash. People do experience them. Age of Conan has eight million lines of code? It's a big game. Hopefully the performance is improving. It's not just one big leak somewhere. Unfortunately, it's dozens of very small memory leaks that cause the client to run out of memory. But in terms of server stability, it's rock-solid. It's amazingly solid.

(regarding spam messages) How many of you have actually bought gold in an MMO? No one, ever? Unfortunately, it's one of those things where you think you have methods in place, but you can never completely shut these out, and I hate to say that, but what you can do is make it more difficult. At lot of places, this is what they do: they don't play the game, they find the loopholes and everything. So, we're concentrating on the game, we're concentrating on many many areas to try and improve customer service, improve the game, everything else. Their only job is to find that loophole. So just when we think we've covered our bases, it'll lessen up, then oh! there's a loophole. But we are actually working on throttling the amount of mail that players can send out. We do have ways to detect when players are spamming. And we're using that and setting up automatic processes to check the accounts and get them off the system. And also delete the emails directly from the database. So unfortunately, it sort of a learning curve for us, because every time we come up with something to fix it, they go "Oh, we're just going to change our methods."

They use roaming IPs to create new accounts, they purchase mass accounts, we see a lot of Visa frauds, a fraud Visa card can buy a hundred digital boxes, or whatever. And that means as soon as we shut down those accounts, they have new accounts to start all over again. So we are very aware of the problem, and it's actually been a pet peeve of mine for actually a long long time. Some people ask, "Why does it take so long for certain processes to happen?" It's because we're checking those to make sure they're not fraudulent before that player gets in. So unfortunately, it does affect some of the player base, and we apologize for that, but in the long run, we think it actually makes the experience of the game better.

For mail spam, the developers have been considering doing numerous things like not being able to mail the user unless you're on their friends list, or looking at the ignore list.

Q: What are you all using for a videocard? (at this presentation)
A: GeForce 8800. Anything above a GeForce 6 runs the game pretty well. I run a 7900 at work. I run it on dual monitors. It runs fine. You don't have all the bells and whistles with a 79 series, but once you get to the 8 series, everything can be on. Not the lower-end ones, but the 8800s.

Q: Alchemy. It costs me more to make anything for my guild members than it costs to buy them from a vendor.
A: We have a new guy on our tradeskills, and his job is to make tradeskills awesome. And he's got a long-term plan and he's been looking through our systems and looking through the player experience. He's working on it. He's got a lot of really cool plans on what he wants to do with Alchemy.

Q: There was mention a while back about a couple new movies involving the Conan storyline. Are you going to be drawing anything from them? Or are they drawing stuff from you?
A: From what I understand, they're looking at our game as a source of inspiration. I'm not certain that we're going to -- we're going to work together to make sure that we don't conflict, but I'm not designing things thinking "Gee I wonder if this will be in the movie". The movie guys are gonna take what they want from us.

Q: There's a limited amount of stuff to do at 80. Are you planning on adding anything to endgame content?
A: It's a double-prong question because A) One of the focuses of the dev team at the moment is making items more meaningful, and that includes the drops that the bosses have, and so forth, we wanna give people more reasons to go into the dungeons, into the content that we have. It's a two-prong question: are we adding more level 80 content, PvE especially? Absolutely. So I'm working on this sort of stuff, and we've got just a team doing dungeons at the moment. I believe there's five dungeons they're working on at the moment. This stuff will come in the next four or five content.

And also the item team, focusing on making items more useful for people. People want items to be more meaningful and more balanced as well.

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