User:Regina Buenaobra/Journal/Archive Oct-Dec 2008
 Winding Down the Year - 17 December 2008
This week is my last week of work in 2008. I will be out of the office starting this weekend and I will not return until the first week of January 2009.
Even though the year is winding down, work is a little busy. I am consulting on a lot of internal projects with several different departments, such as marketing, web, IT, international product, and of course my work with the GW1 Live Team.
The Live Team is preparing for the Wintersday content build this week. We're happy to see such excitement and anticipation around the event.
Regarding last week's network instability. As we have already noted, the player drops over the weekend in Europe were due to problems with one of our peering partners. A peering partner is a company through which we send our data. Because this partner had problems with their equipment, many players suffered from problems in the game. After we disabled the route through this peer, the problems cleared up.
Look for a Developer Update in the New Year to get an idea of what the Live Team has in store in 2009.
I have added another contact method to the ones listed in my user page. You can now contact me via MSN instant messenger. Please note that I do not check email at that Hotmail address at all. You get bonus points if you know what my Hotmail address references. ;-)
This Winter, I and a number of like-minded folks will be celebrating Zombie Yule by watching zombie films and eating canned food -- all in celebration of another year without a zombie apocalypse. If you celebrate any kind of special holiday this Winter (besides Wintersday), I hope you have a good one.
 Wintersday Event Page Now Live - 12 December 2008
Check it out right here. The Web Team worked hard on redesigning the page to make it more clean and organized compared to last year's event page, so we hope you like the shiny new look. To give you a bit of insight, the Web Team is trying to make web page creation easier on the backend by using more of a templating system, and this page is the start of that.
Thank you to everyone who spoke to me in-game yesterday with feedback on yesterday's build. I've relayed your comments (mostly praise!) to Linsey and the team.
 Tim Gets Dressed for Wintersday - 4 December 2008
You may remember Tim the Charr Chaot from PAX 2008. Tim was a fan-made gift to ArenaNet from some hardcore Guild Wars players. Tim currently greets all visitors in our office foyer. Recently, ArenaNet staff were surprised one morning when they discovered that Tim had gotten dressed for Wintersday. You can see his new clothes here and here. One of our artists, Katy Hargrove, was responsible for his new attire. It's awesome, so check it out.
The Live Team is currently hard at work on the regular monthly tonic and skill balance update, as well as the Wintersday update (which will be pushed separately). The Web Team is currently working on getting the Wintersday event page ready as well. There is going to be a small bit of new content this Wintersday season, but you will have to wait until the web page is live to find out more details.
 Website Server Upgrade on December 3 - 2 December 2008
Website Server Upgrade - December 3, 2008
We will be upgrading our website database servers during the times listed below.
Planned Start: Wednesday 12/3/2008 5:00 am PST (8:00 am EST; 1:00 pm GMT) Planned Finish: Wednesday 12/3/2008 6:00 am PST (9:00 am EST; 2:00 pm GMT) Impact Duration: One hour, intermittent
We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.
 Merch Sale at Penny Arcade Store! - 26 November 2008
We're having a merch sale at our Penny Arcade Store. All Guild Wars merchandise is 15% off. And if you enter the promo code "RURIK" at checkout, you will get an additional 10% off!
 Upcoming Maintenance on November 25 - 21 November 2008
This was posted to Network News today:
Upcoming Maintenance - November 25, 2008
We will be performing maintenance during the period listed below. You may be disconnected from the game and need to reconnect during these hours. You may also be unable to access the Guild Wars in-game store. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Planned Start: Tuesday, 11/25/2008 3:00 am PDT (6:00 am EDT; 10:00 GMT)
Planned Finish: Tuesday, 11/25/2008 7:00 am PDT (10:00 am EDT; 14:00 GMT)
Impact Duration: Four hours, intermittent
 Incoming Dev Update - 20 November 2008
To address a few key issues raised by the November 13 Game Update, I have asked the developers to write a Developer Update to follow-up on those points. This will be published in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian -- tomorrow on the wiki.
 Update on the November Update - 12 November 2008
The QA Manager has stopped by and he says that the team is trying their very hardest to deliver the update late afternoon on November 13. This is still subject to change depending on whether stuff comes up tomorrow, but they are aiming for tomorrow afternoon. Beyond that I do not have a more precise time for you all.
 In-Game Chat with the Community Team - 12 November 2008
Thank you to the players in Kamadan International 1 for an enjoyable in-game chat earlier today. It was a lot of fun for the entire Community Team to chat with you all at once. Thank you for keeping the chat 95% spam-free and respectful. Perhaps it's cynical to be surprised whenever I do not encounter rude and obnoxious people whenever I talk in-game, but there I was again -- impressed that everyone was pretty polite on the whole.
I'd like to compliment in particular the Spanish players present. Peter reported to me that you were all polite and well-behaved. The German players were also relatively well-behaved according to Martin. On my side, the English-speaking players were unfortunately a little bit more of a mix on that front, but maybe next time you can all improve and show our Spanish-speaking and German-speaking friends how much you rock.
To the French players present, I am sorry that we did not have a French community manager present. We are working on getting one on board, so I ask for your patience.
One player commented that having all three of us talking to you at once was chaotic to read. It was slightly chaotic on our end as well, but it was also enjoyable. In my experience it was actually a lot less chaotic than Xfire chats I have participated in and hosted, so I wasn't very stressed out about the wall of text scrolling by. :-) Hopefully people found it fun, in additon to being chaotic.
We wanted to talk to you all as a group because we thought it would be a lot of fun, and also wanted to demonstrate that we are a team. Even though I am physically separated from the Europeans by distance, I communicate with them very closely and call on them for professional advice, judgment, and support -- and vice versa.
Today actually marked Peter's first in-game chat with players, so I'm glad the majority were nice and didn't scare him. :-P
One obnoxious person loudly resented the fact that Martin and Peter were answering questions from players in their own languages, which I thought was pretty uncalled for. Guild Wars is an international game, and to show such rudeness, arrogance, and misplaced entitlement towards those who do not speak English is pretty poor behaviour.
I'm sure screen shots of the chat will be forthcoming, if they haven't been posted already.
This was the first in-game chat with all Community Team members present, but it probably won't be the last.
EDIT: Looks like one of our German Elite fan sites were quick off the mark and they have posted a summary of the chat and images here. For those who cannot read German, there are links to the screen at the bottom of that article. Summary of the chat on the wiki is here.
 November Update of Doom - 10 November 2008
There's been a lot of talk in the forums and elsewhere about the upcoming game update later this week. Linsey and the rest of the Live Team have been working extremely hard on this for weeks, often working long hours. To try and illustrate this, Linsey mentioned on the wiki that the update notes were going to be pretty long this week -- though the rumour mill incorrectly interpeted her words to mean that this would be the biggest game update ever. The Live Team is working flat out this week to prepare for the build. This week looks like it will be full of nights of long hours for our QA team, who need to comb through the game to check that every single detail works the way it should. Linsey herself was here working very hard over the weekend. Myself and other members of the Live Team just had a meeting a short while ago. The amount of testing work that needs to go into this build is pretty sizeable, and they're warning me that it's possible that they may delay the build. Obviously, delaying the build past its scheduled date of November 13 isn't something they want to do in ideal circumstances, but they also want to make sure that they don't miss any details. I'm just posting to let you know that there is a chance that the build may be delayed. I will try and keep you all updated here.
 Halloween Week - 30 October 2008
It's been quite a while. Again. I'm going to stop apologizing for being too busy to post. I'll post when I can and when I've got something to say. The fourth quarter is a fairly busy period, as you may know, since we run two contests in quick succession.
Martin Kerstein, our European Community Team Lead and German Community Coordinator, is in the office this week, and we've been having some broad discussions on community strategy, which have been productive. Martin's a cool guy and a great community manager. We're in close communication on a regular basis, but it's always great to talk in person.
Martin and Tia Paraurahi (one of the NCsoft European Community Coordinators) were hugely helpful in sorting through the Halloween Art entries. I couldn't have gotten through that volume in a decent amount of time without them. Mike Z and Emily ran out for pizza while we reviewed the entries. We only had to stay at the office until 9pm to narrow the finalists. ArenaNet is currently voting on the winners. We expect to have the winners list up early next week or by the middle of next week.
We've also been hanging out with the colleagues after work. Tuesday night, a bunch of us (Emily Diehl, Ryan Scott, and others) were all at Izzy's house for dinner. Izzy's a fantastic cook; he grills a mean steak. Mike Zadorojny brought Rock Band 2 over, and we were all rocking out. It was loads of fun. I'm really out of practice on guitar, though. :-( I think I may need to stick to bass guitar from now on, which is kind of sad, because I could play some harder Medium difficulty songs in Guitar Hero I - III. Having said that, since I've been playing so much SingStar, I'm much better at singing songs that are in my vocal range.
Wednesday night, I was working on collecting pieces for my Halloween costume, so I didn't hang out with the ArenaNet/NCsoft peeps. I'm also an early riser, so I dislike going out late at night on the weekdays. Apparently they all went down to Capitol Hill in Seattle and went to a couple of bars.
Oh, and also, NCsoft Europe gave the Guild Wars Live Team really awesome candles in the shape of a skull. The base has the Guild Wars logo on it, and underneath that, in small letters were the words "Necromancer Skull". The candle is grey. I'm not going to light it, of course. Maybe I should take a picture of it so you all know what I'm talking about.
I'm realy looking forward to the Halloween in-game event tomorrow. The new masks are pretty sweet.
By the way, it's been great seeing such a huge community response to our YouTube channel. Thank you for all the comments. Thank you also to commenters for moderating your peers and flagging abusive comments so that they're easier for us to spot and remove. It's a huge help that saves us so much time.
I was hoping for bigger response to our Flickr photostream, but I know video is more compelling in some ways than still images. Maybe I'll see if we can get some random office pictures up on there. What do you all think?
The team has also enjoyed interacting with players through our Twitter stream.
It strikes me that I need to start archiving this page. O_o
Anyway, I am off to hunt for more costume pieces.