Conquest of Auroria Interview - Diamond Shores, Thunderstruck Trees, and more!
I had the chance to ask Trion some really cool and important questions about the Auroria update that launches today and here is the answers for all of you ArcheAge fans. The critical questions are about the submarine and how that is going to be handled, some quality of life questions about Thunderstruck Trees, and the ongoing struggle to find land in the world. One of the interesting tidbits is that Trion confirms what everyone thought - the "hacked" land takes up a small portion of the consumed land in the world, but hopefully today's update will help free some of the land up.
Of interesting note - we have a quasi-timeline finally (not affirmative, but it's better than nothing) for Diamond Shores and level 55! All answers courtesy of Victoria Voss, Lead Producer, ArcheAge, Trion Worlds.
It's noted on the forums that the submarine won't be coming on launch day and the community has pretty much made mention that the submarine isn't specifically "fun" on the KR servers in its current iteration. Can you share a little bit more about what's going on with the submarine, an ETA on when we can get it, and any cool details about changes Trion hopes to see?
XLGAMES did a pass on normalizing the mount speeds, and they realize that in the process they accidentally nerfed the submarine too much. As it stands, it’s rather slow and not worth the effort that goes into making it. The submarine is a cool part of ArcheAge and XLGAMES wants to make it fun to use! We really appreciate that they wanted it to be both fun and a solid investment before releasing it with us. We don’t have details to release yet as they’re still iterating on it, but we’ll definitely let everyone know as soon as we can! We know their heart’s in the right place here.
Everyone is super excited about the Farm Wagon - while not that interesting of a detail, could you let us know what major materials are going to be needed to put together this amazing 4 trade pack vehicle of farming madness?
We are too! We were thrilled when XL liked the idea as much as we did for this vehicle back when we suggested it as a part of our westernization, and keeping it quiet as long as we did was quite a challenge. The hard-to-get materials in the Farm Wagon are the Farm Cart, Thunderstruck Trees and Flaming Logs. You’ll also need some Thunderstruck logs for the Farm Cart.
Players are bummed that there isn't much land available and there is a huge argument going on in the community right now about bots, hacks, land hacks, etc. while others just believe the game is actually successful enough to have that much land claimed. Is Auroria going to have enough space for everyone?
Land is intentionally scarce. It’s important that actual players get the opportunity to obtain land when it is available, so we’re working closely with XLGAMES to prevent the bots and hacks. We have already implemented changes that have prevented some of those hacks - including one of the major housing land-grab hacks. One thing to keep in mind is that the total amount of land appropriated this way has been under a couple percent of total land grabs - The perception here is a lot worse than the reality, and enterprising explorers have been getting land legitimately the whole time. To date, on each server, there are many tens of thousands of plots, and bad actors have grabbed up numbers in the few hundreds.
Auroria adds 30% more claimable land to the game, and we expect that a good number of folks will move their homes to Auroria to be closer to the location specific resources such as flaming logs as well as to support their guilds and friends in the building and sieging of castles.
To follow up with Q3, what's the current situation with the hackers and various ner'do'wells? Do they exist? Is Trion's ban hammer going to hit more than once?
It’s very challenging to get rid of all the “ner’do’wells” in any game. They key to minimizing their impact is to make it more difficult to get their ill-gotten gains than it’s worth to them, and to reclaim them whenever we can, such that their effort is wasted.
We have a number of different systems that generate hundreds of reports every day that are specially designed to give our hacker-finding teams the information that they need to identify the hackers and get rid of them and their gains rapidly. Our teams review those reports, identify the hackers, ban away, and reclaim gains!
Our engineers are constantly reviewing logs, gathering more information, and tweaking those reports to help the teams identify hackers even faster and more accurately. The last few weeks our combined task force of our engineers in combination with XL’s engineers and management have come up with some great gains here on our live servers.
With our current report velocity, Trion’s ban hammer hits about six times per hour, for different kinds of bad activities. And that’s in addition to our GMs’ presence on servers.
We consider our vigilance and constant improvement here to be an critical part of our mission.
Archeum Trees, which are the center of a massive bot attack that Trion was able to stop, were disabled. Could you share some more information on this with our readers the heroic actions Trion has taken to stop these botters and what plans are coming up?
Sure - This was a pretty simple one to handle as far as exploits go. It was just more visible since it was taking place on Mirage Isle. It was a simple mispricing of an item that could be sold back to vendors for far more than the time investment would appreciate. Once it was discovered and reported, we disabled the exploit and pulled back all of the gold that entered the economy in real-time while the servers were running, and disabled the vendor until the pricing could be corrected which was delivered to us in our next update.
Just in general, there are people working on finding and banning hackers and botters 24x7 - both by looking at automatically-generated reports and by looking on the servers themselves.
Our Trion Worlds customer service team has grown to 4x it’s size when we launched ArcheAge Beta. We have teams that are dedicated to reviewing hundreds of reports every day to identify the hackers and ban them! In addition to the reports, we have people who are scouring logs, looking at player reports and checking out the servers themselves to identify bots and hackers, understand how to find them most efficiently, and ban them!
We also have members of those anti-hacker teams talking directly with engineers and GMs from XLGAMES to ensure that they have all of the information on what we’re finding out that hackers are doing.
We’ve already put in a number of changes that have stopped various hacks, and we’re continuing to add more. In addition, every day we are banning bad people and refining our hack-detection tools to be more efficient about catching the bad guys.
Players are beyond excited for 1.7, are we going to see some more of 1.7's updates before the actual patch hits or will this pretty much be it until we see 1.7?
We’re really looking forward to 1.7 ourselves! Translation is currently on-going for the 1.7 update and we’re looking forward to bringing it to the West. The feature patches are generally as a bundle, so we’re planning on releasing it as a single update.
While not related to this content update, Diamond Shores / Level 55 is the top of the player's Christmas wishlist, beyond more Thunderstruck Trees. I know we might not be able to snag an ETA, but any word on this?
We’re working on the final translations and QA in the next few weeks. We don’t have a firm timeline yet, but before the end of the year is definitely within the realm of possibility! We’re intentionally trying to time it to be friendly for holiday play patterns, and we’ll see if that works out in reality.
Finally, with the excitement for the Farm Wagon, will we ever be able to transmute 4 Thunderstruck Logs back into a tree, since players weren't prepared pre-launch, or will players need to double up their efforts for the trees?
Conversion of the rare harvests is one-way, so you’ll have to plant those trees to get more Thunderstruck Trees. It’s a good thought though, and we’ll bring it up with XLGAMES as an idea for the future!