Exclusive Allods Online IRC Q&A: Darren Allarde and Shelby Goad take on your questions

Seraphina Brennan
S. Brennan|07.12.10

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Exclusive Allods Online IRC Q&A: Darren Allarde and Shelby Goad take on your questions
Last week we were able to get Darren "CHOMP" Allarde, associate producer of Allods Online, and Shelby "Miss_Sadie" Goad, the Allods Online community manager, from gPotato into our chat room and into the hotseat. The topic: Allods Online and their latest patch, Revelations of Gipat!

Our editors fielded questions from the chat room audience, and you put the Allods associate producer and community manager to the test! But, for those of you who didn't make it, never fear! We've got the entire interview right here for your viewing pleasure, with witty banter and all!

So if you're an Allods fan or just want to find out what they've been doing with their game, hit the continue reading button and get ready for our Allods Online live community Q&A transcript! And don't forget to join us tomorrow to play with Darren, Shelby and more of the gPotato team in Allods itself!
Seraphina Brennan: So, I have the first question here from CrakaJ. He asks: After seeing a large percentage of the players leave the game, has this affected plans on how the game will continue to develop? Will you revert back to the patch before 1.1.0 or is there a plan to do something entirely different?

Darren "CHOMP" Allarde: Straight to the tough ones. :]

Seraphina Brennan: Yeah, they didn't waste any time.

Darren: I've been following the forums since we released the patch. I've even stepped in to help moderate and delete all the non-constructive feedback we receive. The one thing I'll say about the first question is that it's definitely an assumption. There's a lot of metrics that actually get quite granular which I see and analyze frequently -- I can definitively say that there is no mass exodus occurring in Allods.

Some might say, "Well CHOMP -- it's so empty in game!" -- My comment to that is to keep in mind that people are still patching. What I'd like to do in the future is offer the new version installer and patch earlier so that people can get it ahead of time -- hopefully we can make that change later.

Historically, after a new patch -- it just takes a few days for the rest of the Allods population to catch up and download the game.

To speak frankly regarding the second question -- No, there will be no rollback to the previous version. I know there's been a lot of comments made about the new cursed items system, incense mechanics, etc -- but please give this patch an honest shot. I'm saying this as a gamer -- Patch 1.1 is a major step in the right direction despite the systems that people may disagree with.

Hope that answers those two questions, if you guys want to delve further in the details, feel free to do so.

Larry Everett: Wafflesarus asks "When you play the game on secret alts, what is the feedback you're hearing about the new patch?" also "Waffles or pancakes?"

Shelby "Miss_Sadie" Goad: I don't actually see too much negetive feedback in the game regarding the patch. It's mainly just "CHECK OUT THIS SWEET MOUNT!" Also, waffles.

Darren: I haven't had the breathing room to hop in with my main and legitimately play the game with the new patch on production! I know that when I play the game normally, it's all business. I'm usually in a party with a few randoms helping me quest here and there. If I talk in zone chat it's to chime in to help answer questions other players might have or to look for a group.

On my GM account, I do see zone chatter. Some of the forum chat has tapered off to zone chat. I must admit, I'm still bewildered by the, "Allods is empty" comments. I just don't see it both as a GM in-game and a person staring at the data. Also, waffles for sure. But oddly, I eat more pancakes than waffles, maybe cause they're easier?

Seraphina: I'm a personal fan of waffles myself. They're just tastier.

Bree Royce: French. Toast.

Bree: ILOVEJoo and Skatrzoo have concerns about the melee nerfs. If they won't be undone, how does the team justify the 200% melee damage nerf, especially given how much damage NPCs can do? And IISoulReaverII would like to know whether the team will be listening to player feedback, even if they won't be rolling back the patch.

Shelby: We're always listening to the feedback that the players give. But we like for all regions to be uniform, so it may take time for your suggestions to be implemented into the game - just like chat bubbles, Y-axis, and target-of-target. That was all thanks to the feedback that NA players were able to give.

Darren: ... like a big miss, but I do want to let everyone know that all teams, both gPotato and Astrum Nival do work very hard to make sure we have everything in working order.

In regards to the 200% nerf, I can't say for certain if that's the correct number if it's event true for all melee damage. It definitely sounds plausible per the feedback we've received. However, when coordinating this type of data and making sure all publishing groups are aware of it -- it's a giant task.

From afar it sounds practical and simple. "Just copy the patch notes from Russia and translate them into English!" Unfortunately, it's not that simple. The creation of patch notes isn't perfect at the moment. An additional point I'd like to make is players sometimes jump to claims that we're manipulating patch notes, perhaps massaging them to sound better... I don't know how much more clear to make this - We try very hard to make all changes as clear as possible.

Seraphina: YoRu asks, "Can the GM's shed some light on the reasoning behind the cursed item system?"

Darren: Prior to Cursed Items, Fear of Death was the penalty. Because of feedback we've received from players we moved towards a death penalty system where we didn't have 40's standing around for 50 minutes doing nothing . Cursed items was introduced as an alternative death penalty as well as a new monetization strategy for the game.

Did anyone want [me] to expand on that?

Seraphina: YoRu wants you to expand upon the permanence of the cursed items versus the Fear of Death, which wore off after a while. Why the choice to move to a more permanent penalty?

Darren: This is a tough question. As I mentioned earlier, there are new monetization ideas involved with Cursed items. Though, as a game mechanic -- while permanent, a cursed item is smaller penalty as it only affects one item. FoD is temporary though more severe and affects everything.

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