User:Linsey Murdock/FAQ

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Linsey's Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to several of the questions that I hear all the time from players. If you would like a question added to this list, please post about it on the discussion page.

Why aren't our questions being answered?

Why aren't all the questions on this page answered? Why aren't you answering questions on your talk? Why are you being so inactive?
A: Right now Live Team is in crunch mode on the next build. Some days I don't even have time to eat or sleep, so finding time for the wiki is tough. You guys should be going to Regina more than me right now, since she is the Community Manager and this is more of a side-project for me.

When are we going to get news about Guild Wars 2?

When are we going to get news about Guild Wars 2?
A: I don't work on GW2 anymore, so I'm not very in the loop on that stuff. I assume it will go out when they are ready for it to go out.

Zaishen Quests/Rewards

Will Zaishen Quests ever be made account based?
A: We tried making these quests restricted on an account basis and ran into way too many issues to make it worth doing.


Will there be any adjustments to the rewards for Zaishen Quests?
A: We are monitoring the rewards for Zquests and if we feel it is necessary, changes will be made, however this system was designed as a long-term system so it will take time for it to settle. No decisions will be made until that time

In game auction house/marketplace

Will you add an auction house or in-game marketplace to Guild wars?
A: An auction house is pretty much out of the question. The expertise required to develop that technology is far more than the Live Team can handle. Even if we seriously beefed up the Live Team, we could not handle a project like an Auction House since it would require a huge amount of time from our very TOP programmers to develop and that just isn't something we can afford to do. I'm not sure what constitutes as a "Marketplace" but anything that would involve the automating of trade transactions would require "a huge amount of time from our very TOP programmers" and isn't likely to happen.

New playable content

Will there be any new missions/dungeons/realm of the gods/explorable areas added to Guild Wars?'
A: This is a tough question to answer but if I had to distill it down to one word it would be "maybe...?" said in an unsure, questioning kind of way. I detailed out a bit of what it takes to make a new zone here. It's a bit vague, full of guestimations, long and certainly incomplete, but a good read for those who are interested. Here are a couple little tidbits of information for those not wanting to read all that...
  • Building a new map (just the map terrain with vegetation and structures) the size of Underworld or Fissure of Woe takes ~50 days of work and that is using all existing assets. It does not include making any new props, cladding, terrain textures, or anything else required to create a new aesthetic. It also doesn't include QA's time or concepting time.
  • A single quest takes a designer ~1 month from concept and design to polish and that is for a quest using existing assets. It does not include QA's time, programming time, or any additional assets needed.
So knowing that, imagine what it would take to design, implement and balance an entire new zone or mission complete with new mechanics, lore, etc. We are easily talking about 6 months or more for a small team (like what we have) with the assistance of up to two dozen additional developers. So I think the question really is: will there ever be enough of the needed resources available to build a new zone filled with content? And the answer to that question is: I don't know and likely will not know unless we are deep into the development on said zone. Until then, even if we have plans to do a new zone it could always get canceled and we can't say anything about working on a new zone until we are super freaking positive that it will get released. Which means that you folks aren't likely to find out about development of any new zones until it is pretty darn close to release and we make some kind of official announcement about it.


Will there be any additional festivals or new content for the existing festivals?
A: I don't think we'll do any more new festivals, but I don't think it's out of bounds to do new content for existing festivals like we did with Wintersday 2008 and Halloween 2009.

Friends list/Ignore list/Guild roster

Will there be any changes to the friends list or ignore list such as increasing their size?
A: The Live Team is currently looking into the feasibility of this and will post here when we know more.


Will there be any changes to the Guild Roster like additional Guild Ranks, increasing the size cap for a guild, or adding an Alliance Roster?
A: The first issue with all of these things is technical feasibility. I don't know if they are technically feasible but let’s assume they are for the sake of argument. They are all features which are not in Joe's area of expertise and would need to be done by our server programmers. That alone makes it less likely to happen since server programmers are an expensive commodity and they are all working on GW2. So that covers Guild Ranks and an Alliance Roster. The second big issue with increasing the size cap of Guilds is a balance concern. Increasing the max guild size has some major implications for controlling towns in Factions and that is something that I am not sure I want to mess with.

Titles

Will there be any new titles added to the game?
A: I am very hesitant to add more titles to the game. There are already a lot of titles in the game and adding more would mean changes to the KoaBD title track which is something I really don't want to do. It would also likely mean adding to the HoM which is again something I really don't want to do. That isn't to say it won't ever happen, just that it isn't likely.


Will "insert random title here" be made account wide?
A: No. I have already evaluated the titles in the game when developing the big title update in November 2008 and I have decided that there aren't any reasons compelling enough to warrant additional titles being made account wide. That includes the Drunkard, Sweet Tooth and Party Animal title tracks.

Leeching & Syncing

Will any action be taken to prevent leeching in Fort Aspenwood and Jade Quarry?
A: I am unsure at this time. We are aware of the issue (isn't everyone?) and have had a number of discussions on the topic with various people in design, support, programming, community and QA. We very much would like to find a good way to stop leechers but it's a difficult thing to track. We are exploring some of our options now but this likely needs to start with better ways for our GMs to identify people who are leeching.


What is your stance on synchronized entry to 'random' PvP formats? Will you do anything about it?
A: I don't like it and I think that it hurts the arena. We are investigating how to fix this but the work needs to be done by the server team which is very busy right now working on GW2. I'll update this when I learn of any progress.

Armor & Weapons

Will there be any new armors or weapons added to the game?
A: Like I always say, getting Art is difficult. I can say with some certainty that we will not ever do more armor sets as a single cycle of armor takes a senior character artist almost a full year from concept to polish and that certainly isn't likely to happen. A weapon cycle takes much less time, but it is still not a small or easy task.

Allegiance

Will any of the restrictions associated with choosing Luxon or Kurzick be lifted?
A: Right now, I'm not super inclined to do this, but we'll consider it.

Art issues

Not only does my Blindfold clip with my hair, but it also can't be dyed. Will this be "fixed"?
A: I was told when we first made the blindfold that we technically cannot make it dyeable because it passes through player hair. I'm not a programmer so I don't know why that is the case, but that's just how it is. We cannot make it dyeable as much as we may want to. That is "can't" not "won't". UPDATE: I've looked at how dye masks work and sure enough, I don't see how we could make it dyeable if it passes through anything (including hair). I'm not sure how much time it would take to have more blindfolds made in different colors but I'll look into it as something we could possibly use for future rewards.


My "insert armor piece here" clips with my "insert body part here", why has this not been fixed? Will you fix it?
A: General clipping issues are usually considered minor and don't often get fixed after release. Right now, all our artists are working on Guild Wars 2 and when we do get artist time, we'd generally like to use it for making cool new stuff.

NPCs

Who is Bahltek and what is his purpose?
A: Only time will tell when it comes to Bahltek. I'm going to choose to be as mysterious as he on this one.

Game industry/ArenaNet

I'm interested in getting into the game industry, do you have any tips or suggestions? How did you break into the industry?
A: Before I continue let me say that I encourage everyone to go to college, stay in school and have a contingency plan in case your career of choice doesn't work out. I was a fine arts major in college, hardly applicable to my job now (though I did put it to use designing the UI for the Stylist), and I dropped out of school to move to the Seattle area in hopes of getting into the game industry. I had no real plan other than wanting to get a job at Wizard of the Coast as a customer service rep and no job lined up out here when I left which makes the whole thing pretty dumb on my part, but lucky for me it worked out. I do NOT recommend this approach. I spent the first 9 months here unemployed, playing GW all day long and repeatedly getting turned down by WotC. I was lucky enough to meet the GW design team and get into the Alpha Program (from all that playing while unemployed) and this is what led me to my job at ArenaNet. I can't even put into words how nervous I was interviewing for this job. As a fan, as a completely under qualified applicant and as someone expecting to get an entry level job in the industry and have to work my way up into design; I was petrified. Yay for me, I aced the design test and they decided to take a chance on me. So as you can see, it is possible to get into this kind of position in unconventional ways. When people ask me what the career path for getting into game design is, it's really hard for me to answer because there are infinite paths you could take which lead to game design and they do not all start with college. It's different for programmers and even artists because there are special languages and tools that a company could need you to be trained in for you to get a job and you get that kind of training in school. Game Design does not always have these kinds of needs. For the Live Team design position, I am much more interested in how much an applicant has played GW, their design sense, or their ability to write and communicate than what kind of schooling they have.
Going to college for game design can open a lot of doors and I do recommend going to college if you want to get into the game industry in general, I'm just saying it is possible to get in without a degree or a relevant degree. For programming, you are almost certainly going to need an education in the field to get a job. Game design can be different though. However, getting into the game industry can be VERY difficult. A lot of people are wanting to do that now, so it's really competitive. Me getting this job was basically like winning the lottery. People do get in through unconventional methods like I did, but very few manage to pull it off and it doesn't happen often. I know a bunch of other people who basically tried to do the same thing I did and have spent years beating their head against a wall. The game industry is very similar to the film industry when it was first getting going. These are all competitive fields to go into and there are a lot of people who might spend most of their lives trying to "make it" in the industry only to never reach that goal. That's why I said to always have a contingency plan.

Community

Why aren't you a Community Relations Manager like Regina?
A: Community Relations is near and dear to my heart for sure, but I love working on game design far too much. Had I not started out in design, I would certainly be interested in working in Community Relations, but I don't think I could go back now.

Character Selection Screens

Will you ever add the functionality to allow you to choose between the four styles of character select screen that have been seen over the years? Could it at least be changed to use one of the older versions? How about making a new one?
A: No, no and no. There are major technical limitations that prevent us from doing the first two. The third would require far more art assets than I am willing to dedicate to such a minor thing.