User:Linsey Murdock/Journal/Archive 2009

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Monday, July 27th 2009

Cape Trims are out for the July Tournament. Under Pressure [uP] has opted to not accept the Bronze cape trim they earned this month. If I messed any trims up, let me know!

Monday, June 29th 2009

Cape Trims are out for the June Tournament. If I messed anything up, let me know!

Friday, June 19th 2009

Yay the skill balance is out and the response has been largely positive. This was the first time that I really drove many of the changes and Izzy assisted rather than Izzy driving and me assisting. I was pretty nervous to see what people think, so the positive comments have been a nice boost. Unfortunately there have been a number of issues with the build that we are looking into.

Here's what we are looking at:

  1. Xunlai Tournament House not distributing points - I don't really know where to start on this, but suffice to say we are talking about it quite a bit.
  2. The Tengu Accords balance after the Ritualist changes - Togo uses duped skills, so I thought we were good on this, forgot that some of the enemies do not use duped skills and got seriously buffed from the update. I'm working on restoring it's original balance now.
  3. Some Wells having incorrect descriptions - looks like some skills had their descriptions incorrectly updated, a fix for this is being worked on now.
  4. "We Shall Return!" not effected by Frozen Soil - I've got a fix for this on Dev, being verified now.
  5. Flux Matrix hitting everything - Joe has identified the issue and is getting the fix onto Dev now to be verified.
  6. Defensive spirits not applying their effects when stolen with Signet of Spirits - Joe is looking into this one now, but a fix for this might take some time and there is no ETA as yet.
  7. "Brace Yourself!" causing a crash when equipped in a PvP outpost - we've identified the issue and a fix is on Dev being verified now.
  8. Order of the Vampire only stealing health for the caster - we have a fix for this on Dev and it has been verified.
  9. Not being able to turn in Random Arena Zaishen quests completed prior to the update - we've gotten a report of this, but have not yet been able to verify if it's true. Joe is looking into it.
  10. "Incoming!" (PvP) description is incorrect - I don't know if this was introduced in this build of if it's been wrong for a while, but we are looking into it now.
  11. Signet of Spirits recharge is 10 seconds on Live – looks like the change to a 20 second recharge somehow did not get pushed up to Live during the Live build process.

If there are any other issues introduced that I have not listed, please post about them on my talk page as soon as possible. We are looking at doing an emergency build today with as many fixes for this stuff as we can. There is no ETA yet on when the build will be posted to Live.

Monday, June 1st 2009

Cape Trims are out for the May Tournament. If I messed anything up, let me know!

Sunday, May 31st 2009

I forgot to post about this on Friday, so I wanted to make sure to do it before I forget again!

The Live Team is hiring a designer! I mentioned that there were some organizational things coming up, and this was it. We've posted a job listing on the website, here is a copy...

Design - Live Team Designer
Location: Bellevue, Wa
ArenaNet, creator of the block-buster RPG, Guild Wars, is looking for game designers with a passion for online games and mission design to work on Guild Wars as a member of the game design team. Candidates must have extensive game playing experience across a wide variety of genres, and be able to script missions and quests using our in-house editing/scripting tools. For information about our team and products, please visit

Other duties may be assigned.

  • Give input on design issues
  • Scripting of Missions and Quests using our in-house tools
  • Writing of quest and mission text including NPC dialogue
  • Writing of formal messaging to communicate design to the community
  • Play through Quests and Missions and take feedback to tune designs
  • Drive systems playtesting: setting up and running the tests, gathering feedback, and driving task lists to iterate upon
  • Communicate with artists, programmers and other members of the design team


  • Understanding of how game play affects the end user experience
  • Creative writing ability
  • Experience using game level and world building tools
  • Experience with scripting languages
  • Familiarity with Word and Excel
  • Must work well in a creative team environment
  • Must be a hard-core gamer with extensive experience playing games
  • Passion for Guild Wars and a deep understanding of Guild Wars mechanics
  • Strong communication skills, both verbal and written
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Strong problem solving abilities

You can apply for the job through the [NCsoft Website]

I'm pretty excited about this and hoping we are able to fill the position soon!

Tuesday, May 19th 2009

I know it has been a while since my last post, but I'm still going to try to keep this short. I haven't had as much time for wiki stuff lately for a few reasons. Live Team is busily working on "what next?" and that isn't an easy task. There is so much we want to do for Guild Wars, prioritizing what we can do, what will be best for the game and best for it's player base, is a pretty difficult undertaking. There are also some organizational changes being made to the Live Team that we are addressing as well. One thing that was pretty clear from working on the Anniversary build was that we could really use some more people doing design and writing. I am but one woman and I have found myself doing the work of many for this role. Design has a lot more to it than one might think at first glance, so we are in the process of getting me some help with it (more details on this will come later). But this is all work stuff, and you all know that my time on the wiki is supposed to be done outside of work responsibilities, which it generally is, but I won't deny (as I type this during work hours) that I often spend time on it from work.

After the Anniversary build was published to Live, I've found my personal time being taken up by two things and keeping me away from wiki work. Most importantly, I've been spending time with Friends and my Honey, both of which were sorely neglected during the builds production. I've needed this pretty badly to help me, sort of, de-stress from all the madness that was the Anniversary build. And the second thing is that I've been playing a lot more Guild Wars lately. As anyone else who has been playing as long and as Hardcore as I have, you know that breaks are some times needed and I'm coming off of one of those. I went through a super active phase when I first started on Live Team, leveling up a character of each profession to 20 and getting my favorite armors for them before taking another break. Towards the end of the Anniversary builds development, I started getting really excited about playing GW again. For a while, Emily, John, Sean and I all set up our computers in Sean's living room and we played through Zquests together almost every day after the build, often grouping up with Joe in game when we could catch him, but then Sean had to go out of town on business for two weeks, so I've just been squeezing in my playing alone where I can until he gets back.

To my dismay, I keep having to put myself on DnD as I seem to have become a little too well known for my own good. The moment I log in, I instantly get messages from people. Most are just saying hi, but I still get a lot of questions, bug reports or support issues and these are all things that make playing difficult. I know everyone means well, but juggling 6-10 people messaging me at once while trying to be a major damage dealer for my team, is REALLY hard. So I find myself having to go DnD or set myself to offline almost immediately after logging in now, just so I can play with a little peace. It makes me feel really guilty, so I'd like to apologize for that. So if you see me on DnD, I'm either in a mission/EA/questing/dungeon (actively playing) or I only logged in to check on some stuff or do research for work and don't have time to chat. Oh yeah, and you guys might have noticed that I changed my main character's name from Leitha Ambrai to Linsey Murdock. So now, if you see me on as myself, I'm likely playing the game.

Anyway, once I've finished resetting my mental state outside of work, I try to figure out how I can schedule some time for the wiki on a more regular basis, but again I'm going to remind you all that I do this on my own time. Even if I am doing wiki stuff from work, that time needs to be made up by working late or on a weekend. So every moment I spend on this, is time that is taken away from my personal activities and I can't always do that. Inactive times will happen. It doesn't mean I've given up on GW or the community, just that I have my own things to take care of and wiki work is having to take the back seat while I do that. I'll be back, don't worry, just be patient.

<3 Linsey

Friday, April 24th 2009

/grins with satisfaction

Our big Update is finally out after months and months of hard work. Really hard work. We started working on Storage and the Stylist in the fall of last year, when I also had the idea for the Zquests, the Menagerie idea was last summer, and Nicholas the Traveler has been a pet project of John Hargrove's for almost 2.5 years. It's been a long time coming and the team is feeling incredibly upbeat and satisfied by all the overwhelmingly positive reactions.

Regina and I will be doing an in-game chat in international dis 1 GtoB and Martin will be in the German districts pretty soon, though there are some celebrations going on here so we aren't sure when we'll make it in-game, probably between 11am and noon PST. I'm going to run and join the festivities now, I'll check in again later!

EDIT: oh yeah and why aren't more people geeking out over the amazing new Nicholas and Yakkington Wallpaper??? It depicts when Nicholas and a very young Prof. Yakkington first met and weathered out a storm together. Cutest thing EVER!!

Friday, April 10th 2009

Hello folks! Regina, Martin and I are about to do an in-game chat in GtoB international district 1 to talk about the announced 4th Anniversary Update plans. We will be answering questions and discussing the update in greater detail. See you there!

Thursday, April 9th 2009

He's coming...
He's coming...
He's coming...

EDIT: He is here.

Saturday, March 28th 2009

Ok, so I'm posting to shed some light on how much effort is going into April's build. I've been talking a bit on my talk page about how much I've been putting in, as many have seen. Since most of the other people who are working on the build aren't active on the wiki, you guys have only been hearing about my work and I think some are getting the wrong idea.

Generally when people think of the Live Team they only think of me and Joe Kimmes, our content programmer. But there are a lot more people that are either working full/part time, weekend warriors, throwing a couple hours worth of work into the build here and there or even just giving feedback on design/issues (which is a valuable service and takes time and thought). So I decided to post an informal list of credits (so far) so that you folks can see how seriously we are taking this project called Live Team and how much we all still love Guild Wars!

In no particular order:

Joe Kimmes
Mike Zadorojny
Regina Buenaobra
Emily Diehl
Chris Lye
Daneen McDermott
Scott McGough
Andrew Patrick
Elijah Miller
Mike O'Brien
John Hargrove
Sean Ferguson
Kim Chase
JoAnna Frazar
Egan Hirvela
Steve Hwang
Ryan Scott
Isaiah Cartwright
James Phinney
Matt Tate
Randy Price
Stephen Clark-Wilson
CS Lim
Kevin Ehmry
Jason Yu
AJ Thompson
Austin Spafford
Brett Vickers
Bob Green
Michael Hradek
Justin Fawcett
Susan Jessup
Mathew Medina
Reagan Wright
Shawn Sharp
Chuck Jackman
Curtis Johnson
Pat Wyatt
Mark Young
and countless others I can't think of at the moment as well as various remote teams and folks around the studio who do "white-glove" testing (that last round of testing for the polished product before it goes out).

So you can see, it's not just me and Joe. Live Team isn't being abandoned and neither is Guild Wars or its community of players! Joe, Regina, Daneen and I all moved into our own pod last week and we have more people who'll be joining us in the coming weeks. A lot of people are putting in extra hours on this but we all choose to work in the game industry knowing that it can come with some late nights and weekends before a release. This is a labor of love.

The point is, Live Team is flourishing and as long as you guys continue to support us, we'll be able to continue supporting Guild Wars and that is a win:win for everyone! :D

Hopping back to work now, hope this puts peoples minds at ease on at least this score!

<3 Linsey

Friday, March 27th 2009

Holy monkey, everyone! I *just* realized that today is my third anniversary at ArenaNet! I almost completely forgot and missed it. So with that in mind, I thought I would take the opportunity to do a journal update since it's been quite a while.

The (still to be named) April content update is only around a month away. For me, this is the home stretch which means a lot of time in the office, but since design is generally done a bit before everyone else, it shouldn't be too much longer like this. Besides, people always say I'm crazy, but crunch like this is always my favorite part of the development cycle. Plus, this week the Live Team got to move into our own pod! Yay! Right now, I have a nice, luxurious command center which is quite the change from being in with the GW2 Systems Designer, all crammed into a little room with 8 other people (I'm sure they are happy to get the space back too). Sadly, I won't get to stretch out for very long. It's likely that more people will be migrating into the Live room in the next couple months. :D

There is lots of stuff going on in the upcoming weeks. The Live Team members have been nose to the grindstone and people from all over the company are rallying around us, taking on extra work in addition to their already full GW2 schedules. It feels good to see things starting to come together but being in thick of it all makes for stressful days.

Lately, we've been working on polishing up a lot of the projects planned for the build but some are still in design. This weekend is going to be a big one for design as 1.5 of the major build projects need to be handed to code this coming week to get the finishing touches in so that QA can pounce on it. I can feel them in the room next door, crouched and ready to pounce!

We've been working on getting things ready to start publicly talking about the build. There have been a lot of discussions lately about how to do this and when. I hope it will be soon!

We are all learning a lot about this new process. What has worked and what hasn't. How we can improve next time. The beginning is always bound to be rough, but I know that we will only get better and better at this.

And before I get too distracted, I need to get back to work! <3 Linsey

Friday, March 6th 2009

[rawr] and [zero] have both had their cape trims restored. Rebel Rising has had their permanent gold cape trim restored and Survival Rate has been giving the silver trim they earned in the last monthly.

Tuesday, March 3rd 2009

I just finished giving out Cape Trims for the last monthly and taking away the temporary ones. Both [rawr] and [zero] did not receive their trims today as the one month removal of their capes isn't up until Friday. I'll be sure to log in and hand out those two trims on that day.

Friday, February 27th 2009

Alright folks, I've unlocked my talk pages, try not to flood them heh. I know that some people have been getting really annoyed with my pages being locked and with me not able to communicate more with the community. I am very sorry that it took me so long to get things taken care of, but please remember that I am human and there is only so much I can do at once. I have been completely slammed with work and some serious family issues so I haven't been able to spare any time for the wiki. I haven't even been able to get to bed before 2-4am in 2 weeks. So please cut me some slack.

I've put up some rules for posting to my talk and I'm afraid I will have to be pretty strict about them. I have a much heavier workload now than I used to and it's pretty obvious that I can't keep up with you guys as much as you want me to. Regina and I have talked about this a bunch about how she can lighten my load so there are going to be a few changes. I'm not going to answer topics on subjects which do not have to do with Design and the work I do. That means any code related subjects need to be brought to Regina instead of myself. That way instead of me needing to stop working and track down the right programmer to talk to, Regina can do it. This isn't going to stop the flow of information since all I was really doing is saying that I'm not a coder anyway. Also, I'm not going to respond to bug reports anymore unless they are directly related to an update which has been released within a week or two of the posting. I've already got a ton of post-it notes on my monitors and posting a bug on my page isn't actually going to get it fixed quicker than putting it on the appropriate bug reporting page. Our QA department checks those pages and documents the bugs there into our internal database.

I took a picture of my desk so you guys can see where I work and how many post-it notes I really have. Yes, they stretch across all three monitors and down the sides. Don't bother trying to read what's on the notes, I scribbled them all out. Oh and yes, that jar is full of crumpled post-it notes. Once a task written on a post-it gets completed, I crumple it up and put it in there. Been doing it since Nightfall crunch.

My desk

Friday, February 20th 2009

Just a quick note about my talk pages. As you can all see, I've been cranking away on all that archiving backlogged and each of my locked pages are under 20 topics now, with the big ones being under 10. I'm sure some of you are thinking that they are ready to be unlocked. Well, I'm not going to do that just yet and here is why. First, I sort of want to get every topic taken care of so we can have a nice fresh start. Also, I want to work out rules for posting to my talk pages. I think it's pretty obvious that my pages have become more popular than I can really handle in addition to my already VERY FULL work schedule. So I'm going to be instituting some rules for what I am willing to answer and what kind of stuff should not be brought to me. Once I have those things worked out, we'll get them posted up and my pages will be unlocked for the masses. Sorry that this has taken so long, I fit in as much time for the wiki as I can manage.

Wednesday, February 11th 2009

Just a quick note for the people working on a list for me of dysfunctional mob bars due to skill updates. I am not looking for any feedback on Henchmen or AI issues. What I am looking for is monsters who have had their skill bars rendered obsolete due to skill updates changing functionality. AI issues can be reported here and as for Henchmen... well that is another story to be dealt with at a later date. Thanks for your help!

Monday, February 9th 2009

Did some question answering on my talk. I didn't get around to archiving all the stale subjects in the Holding Tank but I am tired. I was up until 5am last night generating text strings and text for this thing we are doing in the April build. Plus I did my taxes today too. Lame. Yeah so I'm going to go relax now. I'll get some more work done here soon.

Friday, February 6th 2009

I've just gone through and given out all the cape trims for last months ATS as well as executing the punishments for [rawr] and [zero]. I've included our official announcement on this matter below. Just as a note, I will be taking care of all cape trims after the monthly from now on. Izzy got me all set up, so if it has been a little while and no trims, a gentle reminder to me would not hurt. I expect that I will be doing them on or around the day of the Monthly Maintenance Build each month.

Tournament Ruling - 06 February 2009

In the most recent GvG tournament, Rebel Rising [rawr] and Survival Rate [zero] tied against each other by coming to an agreement and choosing not to fight while the timer counted down. Forcing a draw at that stage of the tournament guaranteed both teams a place in the Top 16. Based on documentation and reviews of the event, we observed both guilds willfully and knowingly conspiring to intentionally draw the match in this way. It was very clear that both guilds broke tournament rules, which state that participants may not engage in any form of ladder manipulation or unsportsmanlike conduct. Both guilds agreed to tie the match, and they did so knowing that they were breaking the rules.

As a result, both guilds will have their cape trims removed. Rebel Rising [rawr] will have their permanent gold cape trim removed for a period of one month. Survival Rate [zero] will not receive their silver cape trim for placing in the Top 16. The guilds’ rankings will remain the same.

We feel that removing status (cape trims) rather than resetting their rankings sends a stronger signal to the guilds involved, while still being lenient in this first offense. Future offenses of this type may be treated in a stricter manner, including temporary or permanent bans for any players involved.

We are working on updating the ATS mechanics to further discourage this type of ladder manipulation in the future. We will also be updating the tournament rules to provide more clarity on this issue.

If you have any comments or feedback about this decision, please contact the Community Team at community or through one of the other methods listed on my user page.

Wednesday, February 4th 2009

After a lovely weekend of bedridden illness with two days out of work following, I am finally back in the office and able to get back on the wiki. Hopefully I'll be able to unlock my talk soon.

As I'm sure you can all guess, I am a little behind on design for the next update at this moment since I was sick. Not the end of the world. See, the funny thing about design is that it all needs to get done (or at least to a certain point) before anyone else can work on something. If the coders don't know what it is they need to code, it's pretty hard for them to do it. And forget QA testing anything! Or loc, localizing! Etcetera and so on. So my schedule is pretty tight right now, but as I hand things off to code it loosens up... until it's time to spawn... oh yeah and then there is the bug fixing... well so basically I am always pretty slammed and if I'm not it is a precious day, days or week. Enough whining, I guess I'm trying to explain why the wiki takes a back seat sometimes. I hope you all understand and know I still <3 you. I just gotta take care of the stuff you will really care about; game updates! Huzzah!

So that was the Linsle update *takes off personal hat*, here's the Linsey update *puts on work hat*:
We've been steadily working away on April's update. I've already handed off the design doc to Joe for one of the larger items on our list and have been working on two other items pretty heavily. One of which is the whole question of storage; character and account. We have been having a lot of meetings, compiling even more data and weighing our options to find the sweet spot between what is best for our players and what is best for our code base.

It is important that we find the right balance in how much data we store as it relates to storage and everything else we add to the game. It directly effects what we are able to do as far as updates to the game goes so it can be quite important that we don't put too many bits into something as it could mean not being able to do something else down the road. All a delicate balance, you see?

I digress. As usual. I'm a tangent kind of person.

So we have been making good progress on storage but there is still a lot of discussion and and research to do.

Joe has been diligently diving head first into his various tasks and accomplishing things that continually impress me. Racing ahead of me as always; I can't design fast enough for this guy!

Today we had a short discussion with James on the Account-based changes to the Hall of Monuments. Since James was the lead designer driving the HoM, I don't have as clear a vision on the feature and Joe is wanting to get started on it. Like I said, way ahead of me! I know the HoM is going to be a little bit of a challenge for Joe since he was never the programmer dedicated to it not to mention the fact that these changes were originally going to be done by one of our lead programmers, MarkY, anyway. BUT I also know that Joe is a freaking ninja, so once he familiarizes himself with the code it will all work out well. He may look young but that man is very good at what he does.

The last two weeks, there have been a lot of discussions between myself, Izzy, the Community team and others on the subject of this past Monthly ATS and the controversy of Rebel Rising [rawr] and Survival Rate [zero] intentionally forcing a tie in the final Swiss round in order to secure Top 16 spots for both teams. We have gone back and forth on this a lot, having at least one discussion on the matter every day I have been at the office since the incident. We want to truly understand the different facets of the issue and make sure that every one feels comfortable with our response to it. I have a decent amount of experience in dealing with a player base and addressing the violation of stated rules as I was a part-time moderator on Magic Online for around three years. This gives me an interesting perspective on this case and how it should be dealt with. An announcement on the subject should be made by the end of the week. We are trying to have it coincide with the Monthly Maintenance Build but like I said, we want everyone involved in the discussion to feel comfortable with the planned response before we make it. There is also localization time needed for the announcement itself. These two things may mean a day or two delay from the builds release but that still remains to be seen.

Speaking of the Monthly Maintenance Build, we also worked today on getting everything ready and over to the staging servers for this build. Unfortunately, some technical issues with those servers prevented us from finishing the testing/bug fixing which is needed before we can push it Live as planned. If the troubles persist for too long into tomorrow we may need to push the build back to Friday so that the proper testing passes can be completed and the content is signed off as ready to publish. These little bumps do crop up on occasion.

Right now my main task at hand is working on another one of our lists larger items as well as quietly working in spare moments on the high end design for another possible update to come later this year. This is while I wait on getting back some data needed for storage design. I've also been doing a lot of correspondence with our Web and Marketing teams to plan out the schedule for this Content Build's release and it's promotion on the website. Speaking of scheduling, I've also been working closely with Mike Z (Guild Wars Live Producer and QA Manager) to assess our resource needs for the year as he undertakes the approval process in securing said assets for the Live Team.

All this planning for the year ahead keeps me hopeful and excited about the work before me. I'm especially excited and proud of the positive attention the Live Team has been getting from the player base, and more importantly, from within the company. I really love that we are getting more resources allocated from throughout the company to expand the Live Team and by default, what we are capable of accomplishing. Of course, I have been accused of being overly excited about stuff that you guys don't care about as much but hey this work is a big part of my life. I can't help but get super excited about it!

So that is most of what has been going on for the Live Team lately. Man, this post has gotten so long! If you are still reading this, you must be either bored or crazy. :P

I know that some folks are desperate for detailed information on what is coming and I am being pretty vague on a few points discussed here but please have patience. It is really hard for us to talk about things that are still so up in the air and we really really don't want to get peoples hopes up or set expectations for something which is then put on hold/cut from the build/had design changed radically or any number of other things that can happen and end up with a boat load of upset players. That situation is never desired or intended. So, when we feel like a feature is to the point of being really solid enough in design and implementation that it is safe to talk about it, we will certainly talk about it. All in due time. With this post, I just wanted to give you all an update on some of the day to day stuff since I've been silent for a little while.

I hope this satisfies the curious.
<3 Linsey

/end epic wall of text

[EDIT] oh monkey! I forgot one thing! Even though I haven't joined the discussion on the building of my FAQ page, I have been reading it! Keep up the good work guys, and I'll try to join the discussion soon! Exclamation point!

Thursday, January 15th 2009

Today the Live Team made a big announcement. Needless to say, we are all very excited about these changes and what they mean for Guild Wars. The little tidbits we listed are just the beginning and certainly not all we have planned for April. <3