Guild Chat - Episode 59

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Guild Chat - Episode 59

Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire Story
Rubi Bayer
Mike Zadorojny
Tom Abernathy
Connie Griffith
Scott McGough
Bobby Stein
Connor Fallon
Matthew Medina
February 2, 2018
Official video

The following is an unofficial, player-written transcript of the episode. The accuracy of this transcription has not been verified by ArenaNet.

Guild Chat episode 59 aired on February 2, 2018. Rubi sits down with guests from the Guild Wars 2 Narrative Team to learn more about the story of Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire.

For Fans By Fans merchandise ad [6:23][edit]








Guild Chat studio [6:54][edit]

Rubi Bayer: Hi guys, and welcome to Guild Chat. I'm your host Rubi and we're gonna talk about the Path of Fire story today. I'm really excited to share this with you and our dev guests. But there's something else I want to talk about with you first. Some of you have heard us talking here and there about how we're going to celebrating you, our community, throughout February, and I want to start the show by telling you how we're going to do that. The community, you guys, are one of the highlights of Guild Wars 2. And we're going to spend February celebrating that. The way we're gonna do that: we're asking you to share your stories of relationships that you've made in Guild Wars 2, platonic or romantic, by sharing those with us on text, video, pictures, however format you prefer. And you can send those to us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, using the hashtag #GW2FriendShips. (laughs) I've been trying to say GuildWars2FriendShips the whole time. #GW2Friendships. And they note, if you share on the Facebook page, that needs to be a post directly on the Guild Wars 2 Facebook page's wall, because Facebook Search is weird. We're going to start showcasing those on the Guild Wars 2 page pretty soon. But there's a little something else that we have for you. You've heard us talk about how we want you all to feel like you have a friend at ArenaNet. So, through the month of February, we're going to have a little gift from one friend to another starting this Tuesday after the game build. The first time you log your character into Lion's Arch, you'll have a little gift in your mail that's an Endless Friendship Tonic. This is an effect that you put on yourself, on your own character, by double-clicking it once, and you will double-click it again to turn it off. This is good the entire month of February, so whenever you have a chance to log in, that will come to you, and this is good every February from here on out. So those friends of ours who haven't started playing Guild Wars 2 yet don't miss out in future years. So that gift is coming to you next week. But there's a little bit something more. We've managed to round up some prizes to go with this event. If you would like to enter a random draw for some prizes, use the #GW2FriendShips and add the hashtag #GW2Giveaway and at the end of the month be entered in for a random draw for one of fifty $10 off coupons at our friends at For Fans By Fans for some Guild Wars 2 merchandise. So we have fifty of those, but there's something else. After we draw those fifty winners, we're going to keep drawing, and five of you will get the chance to work with one of our creative partners to have a commission done of the in-game character of your choice plus another character of your choice, presumably your character and that of your favorite adventuring companion. So we're going to give that to five of you. But there's a little something else, and I have to keep looking at my list for this one. We're going to draw two more winners after we draw all of those. And those two winners will get to take a friend and come visit your friends here at ArenaNet. We're going to give you and a plus one round-trip travel to Seattle during the weekend of PAX West. We'll give each of you PAX West badges for all four days, six days and five nights in a hotel; one or two rooms, as you and your travelling companion prefer, and a $50 per diem for each of you to cover your food and general traveling around the city for a day. So, we're going to start with that today, and we'll get to hear all of your stories, and thank you all for being part of our community here in Guild Wars 2. So. And now we're going to

about the PAP fire story with our Guild

Wars 2 game director Mike I'll let you

introduce yourself and talk a little bit

about your history here at every minute

hi I'm Mike Siddhartha I'm the game

director on Guild Wars 2

I've been with the Reno net just over 12


like two weeks ago yeah so I started

here in the Quality Assurance team

mostly just testing gilbert factions

before it originally came out and it was

a small dedicating about eight testers

and it was a chance for us to prove that

what in a dedicated group in-house could

really do for the studio and then it

just kind of blossomed from there so got

hired on full-time after her factions

launched and then during after nightfall

i was able to take over the team and

then when the studio was like hey you

know we want to go work on Guild Wars 2

they left me in charge of production for

the Guild Wars 1 live team so I worked

with Lindsey Murdock when she was

originally the lead designer of it and

then John stung me shortly there

afterwards so I spent probably three or

four years working on Gilbert's wand and

kind of crafting the Gilberts beyond

kind of experience for the players and

helping make sure that we were shipping

regularly for them and then I jumped

over to Guild Wars 2 so I joined the

content design team over there and just

had a wonderful time working on maps

like Snowden drifts fields of ruined her

Athey hinterlands

and then after Gil was - shipped I got a

chance to kind of take over again more

of the leadership role so I started

becoming more of a design POC working

with the living world teams working with

like the super venture box team with the

fractals team and kind of helping that

make sure that we were hitting a

consistent bar for quality that we were

still continuing to innovate on all the

the game spaces that we wanted to with

Gilberts to eventually start moving

towards working on some systems so I

redesigned the achievement reward system

or the daily achievement system and then

worked on the login reward system and

this is about the time that we were

working horns so I got pulled back into

that so I did the mouth of mordremoth

encounter in dragon stand it was huge

yeah that was about four or five months

worth of just dedicated development

working with the artist to kind of craft

how the experience was going to be kind

of what we wanted the the overall fight

to look like and how we wanted really

the players jumping from platform to

platform and really kind of being able


make it a much more dynamic in Kara than

some of the other large-scale bosses to

be able to do in the past and then after

that it was about okay well now new

seasonal living world and path afire so

I stepped up and led the design team for

path afire worked with a hundred plus

dedicated people who just had amazing

passion and vision and just so much love

for the content and the franchise and

you're gonna hear a lot of their stories

here later today and it was it was a

wonderful experience everyone just

really wanted to bring a new light and

you know really envisioning and read the

exploration of Guild Wars 2 and it was

just a wonderful experience and now

that's out of the way it's okay now

we're doing another season the living

world we're continuing the storyline

where we left off

and so I've stepped up and I'm now

replacing Michael Bryan as the game

director and really just kind of

continuing that legacy there's been a

number of people who've been in this

role before that are giants these are

legends in in the Guild Wars 2 community

and in MMOs in general and so just

really kind of being able to pick up

where they left off and carry that torch

but then also being able to expand on it

as well so not just with living world

not just with you know world versus

world updates in PvP and raids and

fractals but we've got some more in our

back pocket that we're kind of working

on and just most recently we've kind of

been a little bit more open with

communication like with the world

restructuring plan for world versus

world and some of the balance updates we

have that are coming next week with some

of the design there changes for Mesmer's

and phantasms so it's it's all just

getting started it's really exciting

yeah whirlwind 12 years and it's you

know we're just getting started so it's

it's it's super fun it's great people

and I love this place so I know it's

been a super long road that doesn't feel

like it has slowed down at any point but

as to more open communication I know you

guys really appreciate that and it's

good to hear that we're gonna keep we're

gonna keep doing that ya know it is one

of the one of our goals to kind of you

know like you said we want people

feel like they were friended ArenaNet so

how best do we do that through kind of

the the constant messaging the the let's

play stuff that you guys were doing the

other day with the world versus world

team out there and you know I'm I'm

constantly in the game just because I I

love it I love the fans I love our

community I mean even this friendships

initiative is you know you pitched it to

the design team and and and just design

in general or the the like human general

and everyone was super excited because

someone once told me that we don't make

games we mailed communities and we just

do it the best way possible which is

through games and I totally believe that

Guild Wars 2 would be nothing without

the community and without the

interaction and just the love and and

the generosity of the people that are

out there it's very true and so for us

it's just it's being able to continue

this legacy and be able to work with

them and and communicate with them and

have this lasting impression

because even some of the stories that

are going to come out during the

friendships like it's this matters more

to us than like anything else that we do

because it means that what we're doing

actually matters that there's there's a

point that players are connecting to and

being able to being able to touch

people's lives in that way is just so

unique that it's one of the reasons why

I got in this business is I wanted to

tell stories and I wanted to be able to

leave an impression and a legacy to kind

of the people that are playing the games

that you know Guild Wars to success or

failure I think is gonna be like years

after we've already shut the game the

server's down many decades in the future

where like players can still remember

fondly those experiences and the

friendships that they made and and kind

of what the game has meant to them and

so that's kind of where I want our

legacy to be and where we're going and

that those relationships in dirt exact

we've seen that and it's an amazing

amazing thing so thank you guys for that

alright well would you like to get us

started and introduce the path fire

story and we'll move on to our first

round of deaf guests so yeah a lot of

the stuff we've talked about path afire

story development before in the past a

lot of this is going to be much more

behind the scenes and we can kind of go

back and talk about some of the things

that maybe didn't necessarily make it in

the final cut because there's there's a

lot of really cool stories in school

and again this is these are all people

who were very dedicated over 18 month

period to kind of build in such a a

monumental experience for this and

really push the bar in terms of what we

did for storytelling for Guild Wars 2

and so this is just the starting point

so I hope you guys all enjoy this we

definitely had a lot of fun and a lot of

love put into this project so for us

this is just another chance for us to

kind of give you a glimpse behind the

scenes some of the decision-making

process how we thought about some of

these things and showing once more like

you know the love the passion the even

the friendships between us in some cases

like we're not even co-workers we're

more friends than we are at that level

and so yes enjoy and we'll see you

in-game all right we will be back in

just a couple minutes thanks Mike




all right we are back with our first

round of deaf guests and we're gonna

jump right in I'll go down the line let

you guys introduce yourselves and talk a

little bit about your role here to

reading it and what you worked on for

pacifier story my name is Tom Abernathy

I am the studio narrative director and

in a general sense what that means is I

oversee a team about 20 writer narrative

designers editors vo folks and the main

part of my job is sort of helping

everybody sort of understand the quality

bar they were trying to hit help

everybody continue to hone their craft

and make the narrative aspects of Guild

Wars 2 and you know as good as it can

possibly be and on path a fire actually

started about a year ago almost and so I

kind of came on in the middle of path of

fire so most of my involvement was sort

of from roughly the middle of of this

you know whole thing to the end

basically in Connie's area way I am one

of the designers on pacifier I joined

the project about a year and a half

before launch by the time I've gotten

here the broad strokes had been stored

decided and it was my job to take the

little corner that have been assigned to

me and work with these guys

Tom and uh Tom it's got to really bring

it to life and yeah create a exciting

new chapter for Guild Wars fans and I'm

Scott McGough I was the narrative lead

for path afire I was one of the people

who helped lay down the broad strokes

before full production started and then

we took things as far as we could and

then very talented people like Tom and

Connie joined us and helped us bring it

across the finish line

I was responsible for the overall lore

and story both the instant story linear

story that you tell with the commander

and the world story all the stuff that's

going on in the crystal desert region

with Joe go missing and everything else

that's going on there well let's start

with some fun stuff and talk about some

of your favorite things that you've

worked on and put in the game and now

it's a free-for-all

I don't care well I actually really

enjoyed working with Scott I had the

great fortune to actually be able to sit

directly behind Scott so I'd constantly

like turn around be like hey Scott right

and ask questions so you heard all those

things I muttered to myself yeah it was

really fun for me to create the Flint

crystal memories which is something that

we ended up kind of running with in path

of fire and just being able to kind of

delve into the lore and really get into

like the mind of the great crystal

dragon glint and sort of explore the

things that she might have been thinking

and feeling it's a sort of depth that

you don't really get to do it's outside

of gameplay but it's so important it's

giving life to events that happen off

screen and it was a really fun

collaborative effort with the writers so

I'm I'm pretty proud of that and I will

second that emotion it was a really fun

collaborative effort between narrative

and designers on this project we worked

extra hard at the very beginning of the

project we all sat down the entire team

variety writers artists designers

animators marketing anyone who had

anything to do with path afire and we

just brainstorm what could happen in the

crystal desert region what sort of

things do we want to show what do we

think players want to play and see in

this and so we generated this mountain

of ideas that we me and several of the

other of the people who were in the

position sort of sifted through tried to

focus it down narrow it down to these

are the things we want to work on but

from the very beginning it was a hugely

rewarding and collaborative process yeah

I mean we created vast crystals also as

well that's something you get to see and

eight yeah and I can talk that the

question was what are you proudest of

working on the the last crystals was one

personal favorite parts because we knew

we were going to introduce blasts and

that he was going to die fairly in a

fairly short order which can be

frustrating but it was meant to sort of

illustrate the tragic nature of the

character he didn't have a lot of the

advantages that we hope to give or een

as a young baby dragon and so he wasn't

ever socialized properly he never had a

champion and so he was this tragic

figure he didn't connect with mortals

the way Clint had and the way we hope

Orion will and so since he didn't show

up and die so quickly I was really happy

we had the chance to get his character

out there so people would understand

better where he was coming from what his

mindset was and what his role was in the

crystal desert in the grand scheme of

glints legacy what was his part to play

and perhaps indicate how unhappy and

frustrated he was with that part because

it wasn't all he hoped it would be so

tragic character with a tragic end but

this led us put his thoughts on stage

and let people see why they should care

about this tragic character as a player

I really appreciated that because we

hadn't really met Flast I mean we kind

of knew back in the background that he

existed but because of what you guys put

in there I really cared when he died and

that was that was a key point in the

story for me them I really felt thank

you very much I'm glad to hear that

that's what we were shooting for it

despite the fact that he had limited

screen time if you cared that he died

then we did at least we did our job

right thank you for hurting me I mean I

think that's a general philosophy that

Tom can speak more to this as well is

that you know story telling story in

video games is very interesting and the

maxim show don't tell is even more

important especially since we have tools

to bring things to life that we can't

necessarily do just seeing a book or

something like that right just text and

that that's definitely something we

tried really really hard to do

I definitely think like chapter 7 that

was the the chapter that Tom came in the

whole got the corner reveal I definitely

gonna let Tom kind of tell his bit when

he came in the fire so to speak yeah I

was drinking from several different fire

hoses but thank you not a problem but

fortunately I was prepared for it I

given ample information and was ready to

run as soon as I hit the ground yeah I

so - my favorite things I love the

Cormier chapter particularly and that

was a scene that went through a lot of

iteration Moe got very hands one by Moe

rediscovered I think his joy in in

developing on path of fire and so he was

really a big part of the process with

with that scene specifically as well as

some other stuff and so that was that

was really cool and fun to work on and

hone and get it to where we wanted it to

be I really love the the branching

speech that the commander has at the end

at the party which basically I mean

that's not something that we do a lot of

but the reason that we made that choice

was that we we all had slightly

different ideas of what we wanted to

hear the commander's say at that point

and and so rather than choose one we

decided let's sort of give voice to all

of them and and let the play or sort of

find their way through it and and pick

the one that feels best to them and then

of course you get you know different

reactions from people afterwards

enduring actually you know based on what

on which path you're taking and so that

was you know that that was cool those

are always fun to do and the other thing

that I really loved and I give them oh a

lot of the credit for this honestly is

immediately following the the Cormier

chapter you know we knew that in terms

of the story

what Cormier basically has said to you

is we're we're out we're not going to

help you because we feel like we messed

things up whenever we try to and so this

is your world this is your problem go

deal with it yep might drop nice out and

and and so story wise the character the

commander and and and everyone with the

commander are put back in the world

without a solid sense of what they

should do next

and in game design this is weird for

it's a very dangerous thing yes it's

almost like like like the conventional

wisdom is that you never leave the

player without a sense of what they're

supposed to be doing right that you

always want to be giving them

information about how to play the game

and what their what their next objective

is how they can go about trying to

achieve it and everything and and Moe

really argued forcefully for not doing

that in this case he said he said you

know the the the characters have been

given nothing to go on let's give the

player nothing to go on let's just plop

him down in the desert with the vaguest

of direction and let them make you know

make them basically have to figure it

out and and I thought that was really a

stroke of genius and I don't know very

many people in his position or my

position for that matter who would it

would have been brave enough to sort of

take that chance but I think it paid off

I think it's really cool did and I am i

I am aware that it works but I still

have like residual stress no it was

you're right it was a very bold choice

and I'm I'm glad it worked out and it

plays into what Connie was saying about

show don't tell it was yeah it's that

kind of meta moment where the player and

your fictional player their avatar that

you play like you have a coinciding

moment yeah Scott there was a something

that you had mentioned me earlier that I

wanted to call back when you guys were

planning all of this and running down

how you wanted the story to go there was

a moment when you were trying to figure

out you had this confrontation with

Balthazar right you didn't want to like

step all over the final fight yeah it

was it was a real challenge because we

had set up Balthazar in the previous

season of living world so people

understood he was gonna be the


and we had we had powered himself and so

we have the commander the player taking

on a god and we knew this was gonna be a

tall order you don't want to have

everything the big final confrontation

happened in the first ten minutes right

so we hit up on a few devices we're

gonna give him a herald that'll help him

introduce the character and sort of set

what his agenda is in the crystal desert

and then we thought but we can't we

don't want to keep Balthazar offstage

for the entire middle part of the story

and then how how do we have a

confrontation with Balthazar without

spoiling the ending of what the big

final fight against Balthazar would be

and so we had some conversations and we

hit on the idea

when you first meet him he is much more

powerful than you anticipated and so he

basically wipes the floor with you and

your whole team that was after the last

confrontation Balthazar basically levels

the entire party and leaves you

wandering on the ground wondering what

happened and we were happy with that and

we had set up a series of meetings where

we were talking about okay so how do we

bridge that with the big final

confrontation at the end and we had some

ideas and we tossed them back and forth

and nothing seemed to be coming together

and then tip of the hat to Matthew

Medina who I believe you'll be seeing


Matthew Medina love working with Matthew

we have worked together for years and

years on heart of thorns and paths of

fire and Matthew has a verbal tick that

you need to be aware of because during a

meeting Matthew will say here's a crazy

idea and the next thing that comes out

of his mouth is usually genius and

Matthew said here's a crazy idea what if

you go up against Balthazar and he kills

you and there was this moment where

everyone in the room stood a pause and

our eyes got really big and there's a

quick yeah oh yeah then you have to come

back from the dead you have to fight

your way back and earn your way to

another for a rematch against the God

who wiped you and your whole party out

and then killed you and so that became

one of the really powerful story hooks

we were able to hang the structure on

after you get killed by Balthazar its

dismal what are your chances and then

you have to sort of scramble and come up

with a strategy and implement that

strategy and out-think and outfight him

and that became the avenue we pursued i

think to some success because it was

really uh people weren't expecting to

die once they died they didn't know it

was gonna happen to them and we had

mapped all that out beforehand because

Matthew said here's a crazy idea okay so

when Matthew says that we need to listen

yes my takeaway here definitely it did

it did work out well the first time I I

went through that and again speaking as

a player I had that moment of huh

well that that sure did happen take that

didn't go as planned

it's not this is not supposed to happen

but yeah the whole the whole track to

the end world and all of that was first

of all it was a really fun callback

which I always loved and actually want

to talk about that with you

yeah I was like I enjoy that yeah

they're there I would say pacifier it

presented a really exciting opportunity

because we were revisiting the crystal

desert a place that had so much

significance for Gilmore's players and

there was a lot of that like how can we

how can we bring people up to speed

right people who only played Guild Wars

all these amazing stories this world

that we have already built and retell

them I thought that particular instance

was was definitely one of them right

like being able to wander through the

underworld and see all the highlights of

what had happened to you as the

commander the designers that put that

together Jeff Vaughn just really leaned

into it and that's how you know you have

a good idea when everything just like

yeah let's let's keep doing it I'm sorry

oh yeah no yeah but in terms of broad

strokes that was one of the guidelines

we tried to follow when we were drafting

the story and the world story of what

was gonna happen in the region yeah we

wanted we didn't want this to be just

one long series of callbacks to Guild

Wars 1 we wanted to follow up on stuff

and give people updates on the things

that had changed and so at the same time

introducing these elements to people who

had never seen them before but paying

them off for people who had while

simultaneously advancing the story we

are currently telling about the Elder

Dragons and Balthazar and there were

lots of good examples where we succeeded

really well I think Glen Slayer I think

the underworld various other bits and

pieces but that was one of the guiding

principles we had and we stride to stick

to it as much as we could because

otherwise we would have gone down the

rabbit hole of look at all the cool

things there are here from Guild Wars 1

and not to say those things aren't cool

and shouldn't deserve screen time but we

had to focus on what is the story we're

telling now and move this current world

forward that's right you have to let the

story motivate those choices that you

make we we we do like incorporating

those kinds of callbacks for people

who've been playing the game for a long

time but there has to be a reason for it

and and I think to excuse me um you know

what you're probably hearing at this

point is sort of a recurring theme of we

really spend a lot of time asking

ourselves what can we do that we haven't

done before that's going to challenge

players expectations that's going to

surprise them and

hopefully and and I mean that's that's a

mindset that we really that was here

when I walked in the door and it was it

was very gratifying to see that because

I really believe in that strongly and

and we've certainly tried to keep that

moving into into the current season yeah

something that you had commented on part

of the callbacks and again the callbacks

are great I feel like you guys struck a

good balance part of it you felt like

you were opposed to at the start and oh

yeah I am actually this might be

interesting for people but I actually oh

god I'm gonna say this on camera

I was very opposed to doing the whole

Cormier scene in Chapter 7 yes well

there were there are some scope reasons

for that right but in the beginning I

was really concerned I went back I

watched the Guild Wars you know

nightfall ending I talked with some of

the designers that were there at the

time and I really tried to get a sense

and feel and I was like you know what

this is never going to be as good as

people remembered right and we are

effectively going to be rebuilding this

like critical scene within the Guild

Wars 2 engine right like all this stuff

like I spent hours building the

composites for that scene and it was a

lot of research asking designers that

had been here at the time to send me

stuff and it was just one of those

things where it's just like I didn't

want to disappoint players right like I

didn't want this to be like oh hey this

is going to be a cameo but as I started

doing it mo really drove that and I was

like okay I'm willing to try and working

with artists working with you know our

incredibly talented writers you know I

got one over that actually happens to me

a lot I like to me that I like to be the

ordering cus it's like about that but

you know the proof is in the pudding

right like you build it and you go you

know what this could be this could be

really great like this could be really

meaningful and as someone who actually

didn't play Guild Wars 1 it people later

told me like oh my I can't I can't

believe that you rebuilt the the ending

of nightfall in this entire scene so I'm

not afraid to admit it I can see how

that I can see how it would be


style your glasses are super super

powerful yes and that would be scary but

I think it's really really good to have

and it says a lot for the team that

there's someone who will speak up and

say hang on I don't know if this is the

best idea and that people can do that

and work with it yeah absolutely so it

does it does say good thanks and I'm

glad it worked out well yeah I would I

would say that one of the great things

about this team is we're all really

strong passionate people

we are definitely butt heads every now

and then but it's always because we care

it's always because we want to tell the

best story and I think that Guild Wars 2

is a better game because you know the

game is forged in this this this fire of

passionate people that are trying to

argue for certain things and push one

thing over another and the end it's just

you know it becomes where it's better

than anything I could have come up on my

own you know it's it's better it is the

better for the conflict and something

that all six of you have said to me is

that there there was so so much

iteration in the in the process of

creating the story of path of fire and

you also had a moving target to work

with and that's something that we talked

about on previous shows is that the open

world was changing yeah and you kept

having to there was just the iteration

of the story itself and then you also

kept having to it just to accommodate

the changing open world but it sounds

like you guys came through that

relatively intact you all seemed as sane

as fact that Cormier chapter you know we

have these like sort of like moments

where we evaluate if something is ready

to ship we we were tweaking seven the

audio everything all the way till the

last minute that like after the game

came out one of our producers mark sends

me mimosas congratulations your chapter

past events I did not want to know that

this is the day after yes I remember

just going yeah yeah that's amazing but

congratulations so there are a couple of

other things you were involved in a lot

of the vo work down in Burbank weren't

you yes I was and I've been fortunate I

have a background as an actor a theatre

director film maker before I got any

games and so I have a lot of experience

working with actors both live and in

recording studios it's a very specific

skill set voice actors have it's not the

same as on-camera acting or just a jack

ting at all although obviously there are

some skills that are in common the the

thing that was most I think interesting

about about some of the vo process for

path of fire is that we had not to be

perfectly frank done a great job

previous two paths a fire of

representing as diverse voices it's

technically in in the game as I think we

should have I think we would all

acknowledge that as as we should have

been doing and so the fact that we were

going to do an expansion pack set in

this part of the world meant that that

was an opportunity for us to really

correct that right so not only were

there you know tons of faces of color on

the screen who needed to be voiced by

people of color but it wasn't just you

know named characters who were important

in this story it was even the generics

we didn't we didn't have I don't if we

had any non-white generic act actors who

did generic parts before that and so

which is dumb I mean it's it's

short-sighted and and and it's it wasn't

malicious it was just you know a blind

spot right and so what's great about the

vo process for pacifier is we now have a

much bigger stable of actors that we

work with on a regular basis which is

net which is much more diverse because

of it and

you know that was that was a very

gratifying thing to be a part of because

I think it's a true statement in media

in general certainly in our industry

that that there is not always as much

diversity of representation as there

ought to be both on the screen and

behind the screen and you know any

anytime we can find an opportunity to

remind ourselves that that's what we

should be trying to live up to you know

for me is a great thing it makes you

feel good it certainly added to the

quality of the of the thing now there is

one exception which is kind of a funny

it's the it's the exception that proves

the rule if you will which is agent keto

because and this happens this is gonna

be shocking today I'm gonna say but

sometimes we don't communicate as well

with other departments as we perhaps

ought to and so it's a big building and

there are other departments right I mean

the art department is enormous and and I

don't get nearly enough of an

opportunity to interact with most of the

art department below Horry as level and

so what happened was Quito evolved out

of a generic character generic character

was was given lines cast with an not an

actor of collar and then evolved into a

named character who became more and more

important to the story both empath fire

and and in this story and mmin the

season end and the thing is Eve who did

the castle primarily hadn't didn't see

the model she didn't know oh that

because she wouldn't she had yes she had

cast it originally uh again you know

assuming without any information to the

contrary contrary and this is as I said

a blind spot that it would be a probably

a white character and and never knew

that it needed to be otherwise until we

had already recorded it and so that's a

bit of our process we're gonna try to

tighten up at the future but we did go

back and rerecord some voices to make

sure they read that that actually is

true with a lot of people yeah because

when we started very caring yes

right yeah I think I think we didn't

realize at first until we started seeing

it right how many faces of color there

were on the screen which was awesome and

yes the voice recordings we had the

actors that we cast in some cases you

had Caucasian clearly Caucasian voices

coming out of clearly non-caucasian

mouths and and it didn't make sense and

we did go back in and rerecord a lot I

would like to just further call out a

veteran Bakr rvo product production lead

she put in a lot once we may had that

realization that this wasn't working the

way we intended because of that blind

spot you've put in some serious extra

time to correct that generating

scheduled and organized so that we could

address that situation and make it right

yeah he's a hero she's so great and and

and also I was it you know Moe very

quickly he said yeah I'll green like the

money to do that

there was no reason everybody was like

oh my gosh yes that's something we need

to do I do remember during development

some of the vendors outside of M noon

Oasis interacting with them on my

character and just going that sure is

what you sounds like later and catching

the new voices yes so and that's one

thing that I do love about us as a

company is that we are constantly trying

to get better yeah and it was a blind

spot and I am I'm very proud that we are

working to correct about yeah yeah it

was a blind spot and to be very clear

it's it was something that was not in

line with what we know our values are

yeah I mean that's not like we're a

company that that actually values that

kind of diversity a lot and so we all I

think felt a little dumb that that was

not that we missed that and and we were

glad that there was time to correct it

it's allowed yeah so yeah but yeah it

was it was an interesting part of the

iteration process and an interesting

part of development just catching and

that's like I said I caught this one

little Bank of NPCs outside of one city

in one tiny area and I know it was more

widespread than that so it was

interesting to just see that part of the

process I spent some time talking to

Josh Diaz about that and Josh I know

Josh put a lot of work in a lot of study

into this region in our

oh yeah I mean it was scrupulous right

because it's it's I mean today it's a

minefield potentially if you do if you

don't do it right and and we really

wanted to make sure that our treatment

of the area was not didn't feel like nod

to specific cultures but rather was sort

of a kind of amalgam of a general sort

of pan-african feel and and that we

stayed on the right side of being

respectful and treating people and

cultures with dignity it's not an easy

thing to do I've seen many examples in

my career of games doing it wrong but I

but I I really feel like we have

succeeded in this case and pacifier in

the new season with that and and and

that's that's great that we can do that

and shout out to all our voice actors

and they're awfully talented people yeah

so speaking of voice actors I know you

guys need to get back to work there's

one more thing that I wanted to mention

you worked on the timey communication

system yes yeah those checkpoints were

had the option to go contact thaimee

remotely who time II was being back in

rata Novus she was being pushed out of

her lab by Flint the Soraa arcane

council had decided that they needed to

take over an eminent domain her work so

time he wasn't part of this story but we

wanted her to be a part of the group and

it allowed us storytelling wise it let

us cover some of the events that were

happening off screen so you could keep

up with the fact that what what time he

was doing in the lab and how Orion was

doing as things went downhill what was

Keith up to and the fact that Orion had

left because we didn't want to Orion to

just show up literally out of a clear

blue sky we sort of gave you a heads up

oh she's a dragon that's true yeah but

perception wise so we had that series of

updates from time II and then time he

joined the player during the epilogue

and after that awesome modular speech

that the players are given a chance to

make and this was something I

collaborated with closely Conor Fallon

the designer of that last story instance

we decided we wanted to have time he

make one last call back to the lab and

so I believe after the second to last

Orion since if you try to call back lab

flaunt answers and says I thought we

turned off all the progenies machinery

there - what is this

tiny herself how her makes a after the

after the speech after the party time he

makes a crank call back to her lab

pretending to be a charm and I don't

want to spoil it for you but she kind of

bricks slumped over the coals a bit in

this char persona and I was in the

recording session I actually was able to

write the lines they were reviewed and

approved but Debi Derryberry was behind

the mic

she is art the voice of timing she is

excellent and I said okay Debbie what we

got here is time he's making a prank

call and she's pretending to be a char I

want to do this two ways first I want

you to do it in your normal time a voice

that we will then add traditional char

processing to to make you sound more

like a char or I also want you to do

timey doing a char impression and

between us and our audience I had no

doubt at all which one I wanted to use

but I felt we had to have coverage just

in case and suffice to say Debbie ran

through the straight time he read that

we were gonna put processing on no

proble at all sounded great but then

just a thing of beauty to hear at Debi

Derryberry in real time doing timey

doing a charm it was so awesome she

knocked it out of the park and I love

this is one of my favorite things about

writing vo dialogue as an undergrad I

read a lot of plays and I was always

thrilled when I write a line and I think

to my head that lines brilliant that's a

really great cap to this scene this

couldn't be better and then I hear the

actor perform it and they add shades of

meaning to it and they improve it beyond

my wildest dreams

and this was one of those cases I

thought those lines were funny then

Debbie read them as tiny as a child and

I fell out of my chair crying so so

wonderful that was really one of the

real high points was that session and

then the results those of you who if

you've played that instance and not

heard tae mi's prank call go play it

again it's right at the end you get the

chance it's it's it's glorious Debi

Derryberry is awesome thank you for

giving her that to work with ya so on

that note I will let you guys get back

you guys don't go anywhere because we

have three more devs to talk to so stick

around and we will be back in just a





hi welcome back we have three more of

our devs from path fire I'll let you

guys go down the line introduce

yourselves talk about your role here

during it and what you worked on for the

past hour story

sure I'm Bobby sign I'm the associate

narrative director at our internet and

for pathify are helped with the story

team for about the last year of

development I helped with script

revision rewrites things of that nature

very nice thank you I got it specially

for today hi I'm Chad on to my barber

sorry kick back a nickel for every new

customer alright

hi I'm Connor I was a game designer on

pacifier I worked on lay of the land

enemy of my enemy and small victory so

basically all the am-noon and oh and

awaken content that came up in the main

story i wanted my title to be below a

joke apologist but apparently they

decided to say i was a game designer

which is also true we checked your

business cards and oh sorry but yeah hi

i'm matthew

oh wow i can't top that i was the

straight as I lead find out that you ran

the entire thing running is that's

giving me more credit

take it ticket yeah no so for my role I

not only did I do

three of our chapters basically the

first three well no three of the first

four because you did chapter two so I

did the three of the first four chapters

implementation and and story design work

and then I also was the team lead so I

oversaw Connie Connor and our other

story designers and liaison with pretty

much everybody else cinematics and audio


narrative team so it was sort of my job

to keep make sure all the pieces were

coming together and make sure that

everyone's on track for what their

chapters were meeting see that's not

taking too much mine okay well here's a

crazy idea tell us can we can we like

sit on the floor doing high now okay so

do you guys want to talk about some of

your favorite things that you worked on

for the story sure let's see well man we

rehearse this the other day and I know

you have no favorites I have something

for you you do oh yeah that is certainly

my favorite College photo spring break

yeah so actually that that was a kind of

a funny thing that you know in the very

beginning of path of fire firing shows

up in the you know first story instance

and lion's arch and you know this kind

of a funny exchange it's totally

optional so I mean a lot of players

probably didn't even talk to him they

just ran out but the player no idea so

if you do talk to Ferran he kind of

mentions hey listen I'm ready to come

and you know join the fight and the

players like why don't you stay behind

in the guard the docks you know kind of

keeps Ferren out of the picture but he

does show up at the very end in the

epilogue and and I had the fun task of

working with Connor on the like a lot of

the optional kind of ambient stuff in

the final story and since mostly like

the conversations that you can

optionally have and you know we have

this funny Conor actually supplied a

list of hey you know bare minimum we

should have these characters so he

separated it into three tiers got all of

them yeah I'm looking at this list and

I'm like wow you know I didn't work on

some of these instances I don't know who

any of these characters are so I'm like

do I do the research or I just um no

dice so at any rate over the course of a

couple of weeks he kept bugging he's

like did you do the thing yet I'm like

so finally I spent a couple of days just

going through playing those other

sections getting familiar with the

characters and then writing I think you

know probably the bear man then I

thought would you get away with

the funny thing is right at the bottom

in tier 3 was Lord Fair and I'm like if

I just put this guy in like in the first

pass and don't do any of the other ones

Connors gonna be like well so it was

quite apparent so well long story short

I think Connor put him in pretty front

and center in the party and we were

joking we're like yeah he's got to be in

his in his in his speedo and you know

it'll be hilarious and you know I get

there's no end of the enjoyment that I

get up having fair and show up in his

underwear but not everybody thinks it's

all that funny so mo is just like what

the hell is this we just put them

somewhere else so that like mo doesn't

see him and like cuz most cool with

basically it's fine to have this other

stuff in the game just make sure you're

very particular about what's in the

golden path right so yeah so anyway

shuffle the Moran and Connor will talk a

little more about this yeah the funny

thing about Ferren is he's still in the

middle of the party yeah like buffet

table by the way which I don't think a

sanitary people just keep running by him

and the reason is cuz I deliberately did

all the other optional characters you

can talk to have little like markers

above their heads so I think players are

looking for those markers for characters

to talk to you totally and also like he

is like if you're just running forward

he's like around the corner so like yeah

he's standing there's a bunch of people

looking at him and he's like by the

fountain like yes Here I am

but it was it is it is amusing to me how

well-hidden he is for literally standing

in the middle yeah yeah wearing is

underwear yeah that's probably I mean

there's other things but I think that's

the most fun and then the only other

thing would be getting a hang out with

some of the voice actors in LA so we've

been recording audio for Guild Wars for

almost 10 years now and we've made some

friendships with some of our actors so

yeah here's we went out to dinner with

Julian Courtney who were in the cast and

yeah that's a bunch of folks who went

down for the vo so that's having an


I feel like dinner of Julie's hair in


with the appetizers yeah so I wish I

could remember I think what that place

is Commonwealth it's in Burbank anyway

it was a great time and yeah really

thankful for the cast and the

friendships that we've made over the

years so some of my favorite things I

have I have a quite a few because I had

I had the privilege of working on

content that was vastly different so I

love different things for different


mechanically one of my favorite things I

did was chapter 10 The Mummy commands

where like you can you're controlling

individual units to get them to do stuff

that took a lot of iteration but people

seem to have really liked it for more so

much fun yes yeah and then Tom brought

this up earlier but the speech in

chapter 13 we had to so chapter 13 sorry

small victory the very the very end of

the game and thing yes the end thing

it's too late but so originally the

continent we were didn't emphasize the

consequences of killing Balthazar quite

as much and so in early drafts at the

party it was just straight up upbeat

like everyone's like this is wonderful

you're the greatest and and what

happened is once we started emphasizing

that like no there's gonna be fallout

for this - and unlike mordremoth and

unlike sight an you know going in that

there's going to be consequences this

the party became kind of like we really

want to have the sequence we're like you

had a chance to decompress but the it

became weird because suddenly like

you're like well now everyone's trying

to throw this maybe this party and I

know everything's doomed or everything's

bad right not already weird with Ferran

in his underwear sorry and there's a lot

of I mean it is it is it is

I'd say it's it's dark comedy a lot of

it right cuz the way that people respond

to your speech and like you know that my

favorite one is the dude who's like if

you give a speech that's really

depressing that if you get off the stage

and walk by him he's like well you

really sucked the

fun out of this shindig like ammo at

position yeah it's the moment you get

off the stage but um the speech was

introduced because there was that that

conflict between what the player knew

and what people on the part the party

wanted and as tom was saying like

different people were there was

disagreement about how much the

commander should be a downer and like

ruin the party so yeah that true and

yeah we rewrote yeah we rewrote the

script multiple times and finally I was

just like well I mean well you know what

it's like last minute but I think we can

turn this in the gameplay and we

literally implemented the speech like in

the last stretch series but it but it

was a really good closer so I was very

proud of that yeah and you know it was

it was a lot of a lot of very close work

with narrative to make it happen but

what about the DLC that you put in for

that oh yeah honestly feel a little bit

bad about how that hi so originally this

is podium for the speech and there was

so I remember like a couple weeks in

there was a reddit thread that was like

this this podium is an insult to Asura

commanders everywhere and should be

executed and I'm like oh and there's the

screenshot of the podium and like the

literal Asura ears are like just barely

sticking up behind the podium I'm like

right right that's the thing and so I

you know reached out and I'm like I know

you know I figured out like how to place

a box that only showed up if you're an

asura and then the art went all out and

gave me like a custom box it's like an

upside down apple cart and I there's a

patch note that was just like added a

box for certain commanders to stand on

during a key story step and everyone

immediately knew what it was about and

there were all these other important

things in the patch notes but the thread

was just like oh my god there's a box

now like I don't know really like that

box I'm just picturing your desk going I

worked so hard on so many other things

it's it's a good thing to be provide I

mean yeah they were all the other stuff

it had its time in the limelight but the

Box became like it was was the highlight

of that big long patch up for a lot of

people was fascinating the Apple boxes

Thomas Mann yeah yeah how about you

Matthew uh you know in rehearsal I give

a really Pat sort of bland answer so I'm

gonna change it it was bad but go ahead

okay this the crazy idea no that was

cool so I won't repeat what Scott said

because that that was one of the funnest

meetings I think that we've ever had

here at you know ArenaNet for for Guild

Wars 2 story because sometimes I do have

these ridiculous notions in my head that

I think there's no way anyone's gonna

agree to this right like but I'm like

wow what the hell we're all good buddies

and let's find out we just hang out and

you know have fun in these meetings a

lot of the time I mean there are story

breaking means or some of the funnest

things I mean believe me I've seen the

whiteboards oh gosh yeah I wish we could

share some of them but they're often


I've seen those too yeah so for me I I

think the the one that now sticks out

for me is at the end of your first

encounter with Balthazar when you when

you climb up on the plateau and you see

him there for the first time and the

last time you'd seen him he was just

sort of like you know wrecking

everything and then he peace out and

you're like okay clearly there's

something you know this is going to be a

massive confrontation so you're

preparing for it and the herald gets in

your way and you know you kind of you

have a nice boss fight with her and you

you you get past it but when you first

are sorry when you first see this all

taking place we had talked with our

Cinemax team about now we're gonna have

this awesome cinematic here because we

want to deliver this awesome moment and

we knew it wasn't going to be a fight

with Belser so we didn't want to let

players in on too much yeah so we

thought cinema a

good sense here and then Moe comes to

the project and he says we have too many

Cinemax we need to do all this stuff in

game and we were like oh okay

sure let me just go talk to a half-dozen

people but I mean it was it was an

awesome experience of how do you do

something that we had we had spent a

fair amount of time on this cinematic

already and I actually think somebody

digged it out of our data file so you

unofficially can go check it out if you


I feel encouraged yeah yeah but it was a

was a fully produced in vacuum it was

getting close to finished and so there

was a lot of work done on it so like how

do we replicate that in game yeah

thankfully we we have a team of awesome

wizards here on the arc team they worked

together prop artists map artists and

the cinematics team and the animators

and they all basically said all right

let's extract this let's import this

bring this together put this in we make

a gadget out of it

you can spawn the gadget in the world

click play and all of a sudden we've got

a cinematic running in real time in the


it created a little bit of a shenanigans

for me in terms of now we have to

Balthazar's in the world because we had

the one that I had spawned for the

encounter and now we have the cinematic

version of him and they're sitting

beside by side and so I'm like oh that's


so I had to move her a lot of things

around to make that happen but it's one

of those things of like yeah I love that

we're a company that constantly

challenges ourselves to say hey yeah

that's cool because I mean the cinematic

is awesome it's beautiful um but to be

able to say yeah that's awesome and

beautiful I'm not gonna ship it do it

again let's make you in a different way

yeah because and ultimately in the end

that was absolutely the right call

because you being able to come up on

that scene and run into it and

experience that you know awesome yeah I

mean you lost a little bit of like

obviously you don't lose player camera

or see you have to turn your head to

look at it

but that's where we had map art make

sure that you're looking right at it and

making sure that all the sight lines


guiding you towards this moment yeah

it's one of the things that really

worked out really well and that goes

back to what we were talking about in

the last segment with there was so many

there were a lot of changes and there

was so much iteration and everybody came

together to make it work yeah you guys

should be super super proud of that hey

I realized I should have brought this up

when talking about the speech because I

failed to do it during the rehearsal but

do we have the image of the percentages

of what people did we do actually of

course now I can't find it but yeah

there were there were so many choices

yeah so the way the speech was actually

calculated was again there are different

values most people gave upbeat speech

which of course worked out great for

them when the storm showed up like two

seconds later I'm sure they felt great

about their choices

a couple people gave super downbeat

speeches the way it worked is there was

a point value assigned to each thing and

if you had a majority upbeat I think the

last one was worth two and all the other

ones were worth one okay have you added

majority upbeat you got an upbeat speech

hidden majority downbeat you got a

downbeat speech if you get it had to be

like majority yeah it had vague had to

be like it had to be even the most

overall right in order to be vague and

then confusing was if upbeat and

downbeat were tied everyone was just

like that I don't know what you're

hoping yeah but that's the one where

people are like if you were running

around out in the party after the speech

people like I don't I don't know what

you were trying to say but it's a bunch

of muckety-muck and am-noon the amnion

choices well we tracked what we picked

different things only 18 percent of

people pick joke or for some reason the

floor yeah glorious leadership but the

thing that's cool is we had these all

tract we were able to call back to them

in living world in episode 1 and I

actually helped out with a little bit of

that and like it very rarely post core

game have we had things that we were

able to track and loop in to future

content so it was nice to be able to do

that again

having the having some of the living

world or having some of the core story

things yes lead out into the open world

is an element that we've added that I've

really enjoyed yes so yeah that was that

was my big thing with the chapter 2

choice I have some people is really a

choice for EM noon rather than a choice

for yourself so like some people are

like why didn't it cause my commander to

do radically different things but it did

change the tone of the city forever and

would and I really uh I really enjoyed

the fact that like even now whenever I

watch a stream like when someone runs

through Avenue and I'm like I know what

you did did you sold the city out to

joke oh are you like you you you went

with the Sun spirit even though there's

only like three of them but the and then

tie me contact points which I also

worked on where another instance right

it's like there are these things in the

open world that advance as you progress

with the story and the idea of just like

a blurring those lines a little bit

right between like the what is happening

in the instances and what is happening

outside of them so yeah learning Arcana

Bureau out with another one change your

water flags and doing things like that

and I think it's pretty cool to have the

city feel different based on what you

chose and to have an ambient

conversations and all these other things

that respond to what you do we actually

changed it post-launch because we didn't

have the ability to phase out use actual

characters they were gadgets pretending

to be characters originally and then we

got that tack Myers and I went back I

know I know Impostors and I went back

and changed them all and now actually if

you look outside I'm noon occasionally

you'll see whatever faction you chose

fight off forge protein city so you feel

like they're actively contributing to

the city not being overrun like

everywhere else and path of fire is yeah

that's awesome

Mathews something we had talked about

callbacks in the previous segment also

and I wanted to talk about the herald of

Balthazar yes so when we Scott had

talked about earlier when we decided

that yeah we didn't want to have the

first confrontation with Balthazar the

first 10 minutes of this expansion but

we knew we were too building to that we

wanted to have this character there

Balthasar and initially that was just

who you know we were planning to have

her be herald number fourteen yeah just

a force who happened to have risen to

the rank of herald and as we started to

get deeper into the story I kind of felt

that it would be better for us if we hid

the the identity of this character as an

actual character from Guild Wars one and

so we talked about who that could be and

I had pitched this idea that it would be

davana DiBona if you don't know if

you've not followed Guild Wars one she

was one of the henchmen in the early

game she would come with you on your

adventure she was a great hero wielded a


sometimes she had a sword and shield but

she was a warrior and so she was one of

the people who would come out with you

in the instance maps of the original

game and so in thinking about it I was

sort of struck by the fact that as a

warrior she would absolutely have been a

follower of Balthazar clearly it's been

and I presumably had gone into the mist

to fight in the eternal war yeah

alongside Balthazar so when Balthazar

returns and begins and goes to make his

forged army it would make sense for him

that he would draw from that ghostly

army to take those spirits and put them

into forged bodies and so and it was

also the case so we didn't really have

any other examples of forged who we

could identify with so we kind of wanted

to have her be somewhat of an important

character but not be upfront in in your

face with it so we constructed this you

know sort of secret identity if you will

and I was able to lay lay in some little

Easter eggs that ended up being an

achievement and one of the story

instances that sort of confirms her

identity and we didn't say anything more

about it

and we try to keep it a secret and let

the fans and the players who dig deeper

and and kind of put all the pieces

together and I I it it was only a couple

months I think before the first person

through Devon his name out and

like they're onto it it's funny I think

I don't know when we officially

confirmed it but like the wiki page is

rich in like it's like here's the bonus

story and at the bottom it's like devs

davana is based on speculation to me

this means now now it's okay say it

actually is devoted and yeah I remember

I we had talked about how you didn't

want to be super super overt about it

right and I remember I was I had I was

running through it with a couple

different guild mates a couple different

times and I was trying so hard to lead

them without telling them I was like

what is she feeling listen to what she's

saying oh god you guys come on

yeah that was one of the ones that we

one of the specific clues was we we had

we took lines that she had specifically

said in guilders one because they had

battle chatter back then and so we threw

that in as a specific line that she says

again and in this just as another you

know sort of over callback without it

being too over like you had to get

really deep in the lore and understand

the character and have spent a lot of

time with that character to probably

have keyed in on it but we wanted to

have that connective tissue yeah and you

pulled back a little bit on that like

with her hammer I had heard yes in the

original version of the fight the final

fight with her on the on the top of the

plateau you she would sometimes drop the

hammer and you could run over and pick

it up and smash her with it and we will

we like that from a mechanical

standpoint at least on paper because we

wanted you know she had spent two

instances smashing you over the head

with a mirror like we definitely want

you to have that moment of like no you

get a taste of your own seriously

and it's very Witcher yeah all of our

weapons at least on the back end for us

we have a name field who can fill it in

so I put I made the hammer named

Mordecai after her father because I

thought that's exactly what she would

name her hammer she had a good

relationship with her father it was it

was you know they had a nice repartee

and then in the back and she was always

sort of devoted to her father so I

thought it'd be fitting and so while we

had that in the game it's not something

we ended up shipping because there was a

lot of

problems with the hammer specifically

players carrying it outside the instance

against our wishes so we couldn't

protect against that in every case so we

get yanking it out but why we're really

if you looked in the combat log which a

lot a lot of people don't necessarily

look at the combat log while they're

fighting especially for PvE but you

would have seen you know you were doing

damage with Mordecai for certain skills

so it could have been this might be more

for you but again calling back to the

iteration and working through bumps in

the road during development her voice

acting was a little bit off and we had

to work yeah yeah well yeah her Wow that

character was really hard to get right

or as close to right as we needed her

dialogue went through I don't know how

many rewrites you know because she was a

really important character in the first

the first then what the fourth story

chapter that first third and fourth yeah

so you know she's around enough that we

really need to make sure that when

whatever she has to chime in not only is

she saying the kind of things that we

need her to to progress the story and

but also just sound good to the ear

let's just say and well I think first we

had a different I don't remember if we

had a different accurate recast yeah

precaster we recast her and then this is

an act an actor who we had used a long

time ago and I don't think we had had

back but we figured that she had played

in noir and I think previously so we

brought her back to do a human voice and

yet there was a lot of rewrites and yeah

I gotta say that I'm glad that we spent

a lot of time trying to get it right

because I think if we hadn't done that

that that amount of extensive revision

it would have been not good I think that

definitely calls back to what tom was

talking about earlier regards to I think

it's that's another case where I think


communication probably was not ideal in

that we probably didn't properly sort of

convey who the herald was a character

yeah enough for them to cast her proper

rank because what we got back was very

different from what I think any of us

had envisioned and I think it's just we

had never gave it welcome a that well to

be fair I think her character evolved a

lot in that it did we were working on it

did well so like her actual like

personality and how devoted what she was

and how happy she was to be murdering

all these people there's a point where

she's like yeah murder people's great

this is my duty right yeah this is a

matter of Honor

and I think that was also part of the

Devonta change but yeah when we decided

hey this is going to actually be Devon

because I had floated that and it was

sort of on the fence for a long time out

by the way we'd actually pulled the

trigger on that and we decided yeah

let's we're okay with this

that was definitely when we were like

okay we can't have her be bloodthirsty

in the same way like she is still you

know a forged and so she has to have a

certain lethal nough stew her but this

is somebody who has been corrupted and

perverted from what her heroic status

was so we kind of had to find that nice

balance I think we struck it I think we

needed to get at the fact that deep down

inside this shell of a armor it was

somebody kind of struggling to get out

and it didn't really want to be doing

the things that she was doing yeah geez

down yes my I mean I love the moment

where at the end she's like she finally

breaks down and is like show that you're

better kill my god right like that

moment would not have worked if not here

all those iterations however if we do

have a Davone align about yeah killing

people is great I would love to have

that I'm sure we got it somewhere

we've got that actual line somewhere in

VO if you could give that to me later I

would love that I'm sure we haven't been

the depot somewhere please

continuing on the theme of iteration

mummy command right changed

yes so mummy command has quite a lineage

and I need a credit everyone involved so

it started out as the the the original

mechanics were like you said create a

ohi's and any the mummies will attack

anything in the AoE that was made by

lisa davis who was very talented

designer who worked on the open world

lena who was here and as a designer I

basically took oh it ended up taking

over a lot of her content yeah actually

uh she then was like this is great and

you know we've got this chapter that is

about you know taking taking control of

the awakened I am going to lift these

mechanics and modify them and put them

in and then I came on and I'm like I'm

gonna blow it up and do it

same idea originally it was in the in

the when I inherited it it was more

tower-defense II like the fort's were

coming towards you and then you you just

were trying to get them keep them from

going into Hogan's camp okay but we

reversed it so that you're leading the

to do a raid on the Forge because that

felt more active and then we modified

the mechanics so you had more

fine-grained control because we really

wanted you to feel like yeah I'm giving

a orders to these individual awakened

and so the metaphor we pay I picked was

Pikmin this sort of like you find

mummies around and you collect them and

then the more mummies you have the

stronger you are and and then mechanics

continue to evolve from there mo is big

on the idea that like hey like yes this

is like one instance but like if you've

got the all these different things I can

do I should need to use all of them and

so the fact that we introduced like

forged that had like you know like

magnetic Forge that repel like ranged

attacks right and added a bunch of

things to really like forcing you to

engage with the mechanics as as deeply

as you'd want and then the big one was

we it was a big debate about whether or

not we should have a heal skill because

eventually we removed it but like it


bad to have your mummies die for a long

time and so but but having a heal skill

resulted in you standing around and like

healing all your mummies after every

small encounter and that didn't feel

very good so we wounded up really

leaning into the mummies are disposable

right like they're they're weak they die

easily but you can you can get more if

you like backtrack or press ahead and

that wound up being the right balance so

yeah in dancing dancing was shortly

after path fire came out someone

uploaded a music video of I don't know

the actual name of the song but it's

something about like as it talks about

being like an li d of OT or something

but that might actually be the name of

song but it's just the great thing about

it is other players also get turned into

mummies so they had the other players

doing dance moves that the mummies don't

do normally like off in specific

positions like the moment when I figured

that out was so much fun playing because

I'm okay they're falling into position I

mean there's a very specific line up

yeah formations are very wonder and I

had that moment of we did it we actually

did it so yeah there's a dance Easter

egg in chapter 13 - yeah yeah yeah

there's specific place where if you

dance in the party every sub buddy else

at the party starts even like it be

awakened if you pick the joke olfaction

turn towards you they watch you for a

little bit and then spreading outwards

from you they all start dancing where is

this place

it's in front of the stage where the

band plays yeah yeah alright I haven't

tried that but I will yeah figuring out

what to do with other players in on

instance owners was a whole thing

because we like again like in but when

you die when one of our chapters is

literally the main character dies what

do you do with everybody else yeah I

struggled with the one I had the most

trouble with it with and I'm I I think

what we did was was okay was in another

part of chapter 10 that the Beast catch

where yeah yeah where am i jumping ahead

yeah you know whatever yes the Beast

catch basically there's this thing where

like the main character needs to you was

designed so they have to drain enemies

in the environment in order to catch up

to this creature that's particularly

fast I actually had the max speed for a

creek no not yet no I actually had the

max potential speed for creatures raised

because I had to get the creature that

was faster than the mounts in order to

make you have to speed up to catch up to

it yeah there is holiness there's this

whole like there's this whole life look

into look into the code and see if the

game would explode if we raised max

creature speed and she's like it was

that it was a horrible ordeal to making

time in our run ahead yeah I might still

explode yeah maybe I maybe in a couple

weeks someone will pull me into an

office and be like you destroyed guild

wars I'll be like I'm gonna give you my

own call schedule but one of the things

we had to do was other players couldn't

just mount up because they would just

wouldn't be fast enough if I gave them

the same drain ability then they would

kill could potentially kill the things

the main character had to drain before

they got them and also just clogged with

screen and make it harder to see the the

thing that they actually needed which it

was worst yes so I decided to transform

them and I tried into like basically

ghosts that could run really fast or

creatures that can run really fast and

originally they were the same sort of

wisps as in chapter 9 sorry the when you

die yeah but the problem with that was

when you're going that fast if you have

no direction-- you're facing you end up

veering off course and running into

walls a lot and people generally had a

miserable time then I tried human ghosts

which is actually what we wound up going

back to and chipping human ghosts that I

call crackdown ghosts because they can

the whole like if anyone's played

crackdown them one of the defining


you can jump insanely high and like land

and you feel super powerful about that

so there's basically ghosts that could

run insanely fast and uh and jump

insanely high but you know there was art

had the comment which is fair that like

these characters have legs and their

legs were not designed to go that

quickly the animations are like did it

right yes so I tried some other

creatures turning you into some other

creatures and as the video spoiled one

of the attempt mark yeah yeah it's a

good we tried ghost Toya because Troy is

start rolling when they move you can't


yeah the issue with it is like they

didn't really roll all the time they

sometimes so sometimes they just wobble

around yeah you can see there and then

when they rolled it look great it's so

real um and when you use the skill which

you can't see here but it was originally

called the chorus of ghost Toya or like

cheetah skill or encouragement of the

ghost joy at it then it gave a speed

boost in your Troy would like bang on

their chest

narrative didn't like it for some reason

and well you remember you tried to sell

this one is like how do you feel about

you know I don't remember how you phrase

it ghost joy I say I didn't beat about

the bush I was just like how do you feel

about ghost I'm like how do I feel about

them being used how you know and then it

was this whole thing I'm like do we

really need I'm like I know when you

kill them they explode into like fruit

slices we're not really sure

for them being what's their afterlife

about I'm like do we really need to be

answering this question oh you know what

have them like yet but there's as fun as

that would be I just really don't think

it makes a lot of sense and ghosts

humans worked fine it goes trial would

have been too goofy but I am I'm glad we

tried it because it was hilarious will

you try gin - yeah I tried gin and Jim

can't jump probably because they don't

have legs but like yeah like if I

transform you into a gin like about my

solution was I my first thought was like

well if the legs look goofy when you're

moving too fast I'll just turn you into

something that doesn't have lesser legs

but then like you were just stuck on the

ground and it felt really bad and also

the gin when they attacked they did this

like I don't know like ever about to do

a dance

and their arms stayed up for like way

too long okay like I yeah so ghost the

ghost didn't do anything weird like that

I feel like you've read so many

obstacles over the course of like two

weeks yes like it was there was a thing

of like I mean when you we do design

story content for single-player first

because most people play it one person

right but then we really want to still

make it an enjoyable spirit experience

when other people are coming in and it

just so happened that that chapter was

one of the harder ones to figure out

yeah for how to hit both of those things

yeah you could just spawn more like

creatures to drain you know use the

event scaling or something like that

yeah I maybe but like then it's like

there's still the problem clogging up

the screen well those are they yeah yeah

yeah we do have performance perfect yeah

I remember those tests those were super

fun oh god they were not just in case

your sarcasm was that clear notes perf

was super fun guy well is there anything

else that you guys want to cover because

I know you also need to get back to work

and I've made you wait even longer did

did we

I can't we didn't talk about this in

rehearsal do we get the been so long

yeah I mean I could talk about it but I

donno if we have the video for the

Balthasar one-on-one we don't have the

video talk about it anyway because it's


so yeah yeah as we alluded to earlier

when we first come up on Balthazar we

obviously didn't want to have the player

have any sort of really meaningful like

we didn't want that to be the boss fight

because like you don't want to have the

boss fight with the main bad guy of your

game you know before you been getting to

the first third so we came up with a lot

of different ideas and it was

frustrating it was there was a lot of

back-and-forth a lot of design work and

narrative and MO and you know there was

just a lot of competing sort of thoughts

going on and

I was kind of frustrated and it was it

was late one day and I was like you know

what I like you know fun goofy stuff too

so I just in my test map whipped up a

very quick example of Balthazar and a

dance-off and so in my test map you can

do slash dance and you know you point at

Balthazar and then you call him out and

then he points back at you and then the

music drops and then the two of you

basically just do it that's right at

that point he was on the human rig yeah

he had all the human yes all the human

dance moves yeah although waiting is all

synced up and everything all the

awakened are on the Norn rig which made

like that's why they turned into

awakened you can do all the emotes which

is a lot of fun yeah oh you know I did

have something I wanted to mention um so

the stuff on the cutting room floor in

terms of the story structure we went

back and forth I don't know how many

times about where to do certain reveals

in the story like chapter 7 you know

when you go and meet Cormier originally

was I think a cinematic and that got cut

and we had to knock our heads together

with you with Connie but like well how

do we take this gigantic moment and you

know pace it out and and all that so but

I think the one thing that really sticks

out is writ Locke man we had to fight to

figure out how best to get him to come

clean with the player and I think I

think originally we it was in something

like either in chapter 6 or chapter

seven as you're going through in the

tomb he's like by the way I'm going to

tell you about something that's

completely unrelated to what we're doing

now and because it was we kept

struggling to find a good moment and I

think we decided to just spread it out

between you know a couple of different

chapters so we're now I think the moment

comes across a lot better where you're

in this showdown with Balthazar and you

know players basically getting up in his

face and Balthasar is like alright you

know I'm gonna kick your ass and oh by

the way char you all spare buddy you

know and the players are your cool

what's he talking about like fret and

then lights everybody up and I think the

way that

kind of came it felt like it he didn't

actually come out of nowhere we did a

couple of things to lead up to that

moment but I think it was a lot more

powerful that we put it there and got it

done and out of the way yeah totally

rather than stringing it along really it

was yeah it was a big struggle to figure

out what like it was there's there's

talk of cutting that cinematic and we

were like that's that's our reveal of

like yeah that one

yeah well you can see how RIT Lockwood

feel awkward about saying this yeah and

I'm the bad guy out yeah and just hear

me out

so to be clear I'm not throwing you out

as long as you want to tell secrets I'll

listen yeah but if there's if you guys

have covered everything I'm also good

yeah I mean I'll just chiming on that

one in terms of like yeah that one moved

several times like it started I believe

in seven we pushed it back to six

no we pitched it back to five where he's

gonna confess after you defeat the in

glints lair yeah and then I didn't feel

right because it was like what does that

have to do with glint and all that like

there was just so many things they were

like alright well then let's just get it

out of the way let's put it in one and

he's just gonna confess spontaneously we

tried putting on six as well well yeah

right before we going in the myths it's

like wait yeah I have something to tell

you before we go yeah that's right do

some friends uh-huh

yeah yes I mean we had rational

decisions from all these steps but no

we're like we never really ever moved to

the point where Balthazar says I'm gonna

spare you and so it's like okay that's

the point at which I think we absolutely

just everything kind of all like and

relaxed not the kind of guy who would

belabor a point right like he's very

upfront straightforward so like the

minute you confront him about it he I

think he's all right I was gonna say it

if you didn't thank you for calling me a

liar again you could see how he'd feel

awkward about saying it yeah what a mess

my dot belaboring the point it wasn't

important until that moment and true yes

I think he had run out of room

well yeah he kept he kept ghosting

players on that whole thing what

actually that was even at the start of

chapter at the end of chapter happened

in Chapter 1 yeah and first meet ret

lock and you see him for the first time

and back in the desert you're like oh

what are you doing here right like

interesting like we didn't have and I

kept pushing to put this in that moment

of the player I want I always want our

commander to kind of speak on behalf of

the player who's my keyboard as well

because like I think a lot of our

players I don't ever want to feel like

I'm insulting their intelligence they're

going to want to have certain things so

like as a player I'm like there's no way

I'm not going to call him out yeah like

the first time I see him after you know

him being dragged away I'm like you need

to come straight with me so you know but

we obviously didn't want to have that

moment there so when you do that he's

like look I get it you're gonna know

right like because I wanted to make sure

that players knew at the end of chapter

in the 6 p.m. and they wouldn't have to

sit too long for it yes they'd already

waited long enough I think oh it was

funny too because they played the the

demo and yeah they're like way to slap

us in the face a met Jesus again yeah

and you know we were kind of sitting

here like no no but yeah I do

I appreciate the player character in

that case speaking on behalf of the

player behind the keyboard saying you

know you've you've been saying later cub

for a very long time and it's time you

need to you need to stop putting us off

yeah yeah I do you feel like do you feel

happy with the way that concluded I do I

think it was as well as we could execute

on that moment I mean I've seen multiple

streams where like people are playing

the game and they're enjoying it and

then during the scene with RIT lock

they're like oh this there's their soul

you know like that it's the first it's

been it's a good beat of them being like

there's some the characters are

seriously tied to this story or some of

them yeah it's it's more woven yeah as

opposed to just a series of events

you're what there was talk about start

doing it as a playable experience but

that ran into so many

crazy ad like play Israel yeah and

because no sort of like okay we've done

that before where we portray uh Keith

but like we had a mechanic why that was

the case that you were you know planting

these memories seeds and like that

doesn't work for char like so what is

that is it we didn't want to just do a

flashback barren oh god yeah not soon

enough crazy idea I know a guy

yeah so here's a crazy idea let's do it

as a fractal oh did I okay I'm I'm happy

because I really like that idea well you

know okay we can always go talk to that

team after this you do that I will be in

the opposite direction

why isn't there enough Lord Ferran

cosplay I'm just wondering putting that

out the community to work and a lot of

tanning oil that is correct I'll Orin I

could come as that for Karen not the

costume contest so yeah let it let a

core muscle work yeah no I believe

middle aged Ferran there you go I don't

have the hair though thank you guys very

very much thank you at your time thank

you all for spending some time with us

and we will see you on the next game