Guild Chat - Episode 65
Guild Chat - Episode 65
Mike Zadorojny: Hi, everyone. Before we get started with today's Guild Chat, I wanted to address you, the fans and the players of Guild Wars 2. With this Tuesday's launch, we had an exciting episode of Living World come out, and as many of you noticed, there were a number of hiccups that happened along the way. A bunch of these happened on our live server that we did not see or anticipate happening, that we could have seen on our dev or stage environments as we were prepping this build to go live. And it's unfortunate for that. A lot of it, the crashes reports that we saw coming in had some red herring data in there that kept us running around in circles for most of the first day. We've now stabilized the issue. We've spun up another two dozen servers around the world to make sure that you all can have the prime experience with the content that we expected on that first day. There's still another issue that we're looking at in the background, but at least for now, it should be invisible to you, the players.
Mike Zadorojny: We've also now gotten a chance to look at the first round of feedback as players are going through the epic journey for the roller beetle, and through the meta events, and through everything else in terms of the story and the overall content of the new map of the Gandaran Fortress and everything else. So, for us, we have as I'm speaking right now, a build going out to make acquisition of the roller beetle a little bit easier. Anything that was a percent drop right before, at least three of these have been jumped up to 100%. The alpha beetle in The Silverwastes is now going to be a champion group event so that more people are gonna have access to be able to get it and tag it and receive the rewards. Over 30,000 of you have already unlocked the roller beetle, and we want to see that number get even higher. So a lot of what we're doing right now is looking at the feedback that's coming in and making adjustments. Thank you for your patience, and we'll get back to Guild Chat now.
In the recording studio [8:08]
John DiMaggio: Joko.
Kari Wahlgren: Praise Joko.
Kimberly Brooks: Praise Joko.
Liam O'Brien: Praise Joko.
Mara Junot: Praise Joko.
Sam Riegel: Praise Joko.
Sonya Leslie: Praise Joko.
Steve Blum: Praise Joko.
Tommie Earl Jenkins: Praise Joko.
Palawa Joko: Joko's bored. Let's pick up the pace.
John DiMaggio: Praise Joko!
Courtenay Taylor: Praise Joko!
Kari Wahlgren: Praise Joko!
Kimberly Brooks: Praise Joko!
Liam O'Brien: Praise Joko!
Mara Junot: Praise Joko!
Sonya Leslie: Praise Joko!
Sam Riegel: Praise Joko!
Tommie Earl Jenkins: Praise Joko!
Steve Blum: Praise Joko!
Guild Chat studio [8:53]
Rubi Bayer: "Praise Joko", I guess is the thing to say now. Hi guys, and welcome to Guild Chat. Thanks for giving us a minute to talk with Mike Z., our game director. And we're gonna hop into Guild Chat now and talk about the rest of this week's episode. I'll let you guys hop in and introduce yourselves. Keaven, you're closest, so you get to go first.
Keaven Freeman: Hi, Keaven Freeman, game designer.
Peter Fries: Hi, I'm Peter. I am a writer.
Nick Hernandez: I'm Nick. I'm the POCQA for this episode.
Rubi: Thank you, guys, for all your extra work this week, for everything that you did. Keaven, can you talk a little bit about what your role was in this content?
Keaven: I... Let's see...
Rubi: Hahaha! It's been a week, you guys.
Keaven: It's been a very long week.
Rubi: It's okay.
Keaven: Uh, so, I-
Rubi: I have notes if you want help.
Rubi: Awesome. Peter, what about you?
Peter: So I was one of the many writers that worked on this episode. Neil Pollner was the lead writer, but pretty much everybody on the narrative team touched this episode at some point. I was one of many.
Rubi: What about you, Nick?
Nick: I am, like I said, the POCQA for this stuff, so I was responsible for trying to make sure that all the content was super clean. Along with that, I did a lot of the map exploration implementation and some of the events and stuff like that.
Rubi: Why don't we start by talking about some of the release highlights that were especially fun for you guys to work on? Keaven, there was, well, okay, Forearmed is Forewarned: it took me two days of it being in the open world for me to get the pun about the arm. And then I had to see somebody say it on map chat. Was that you?
Keaven: No, no, no, that was not me, that wasn't me. That was the brainchild of one of our writers, changing that.
Peter: The good writer. Not me, I mean.
Nick: Clearly not Peter.
Rubi: Okay, but you did work on the alert system for ... I'm gonna get this right, I have to keep looking down, the FTT system. There's a turret that you made.
Keaven: Yeah, the Field Tech Turrets. This is one of those things that I haven't seen people play around with that much on live yet. So I don't want to spoil too much of it for those who haven't discovered the Field Tech Turrets, but it's an achievement collection system for players to be able to deploy their own turrets on the field and configure them however they want. I mean, configure them in one of a handful of ways if they've unlocked them, and upgrade and repair to help assist in combat.
Rubi: Awesome. What did you name it?
Keaven: One of them, each turret type is named something that tells you kind of what it does. The last one was my favorite. It's the Gravimetric Tunneling Field Oscillator. And-
Rubi: Nobody's gotten this yet.
Keaven: Nobody's gotten the joke yet, which I find both frustrating and funny, but, yeah, it's "GTFO". What it does is it lets you teleport back, even if you're in the middle of combat, it will teleport you back to get you out of whatever messy situation you got yourself into.
Peter: What else can "GTFO" stand for?
Rubi: So, I'm gonna go...
Peter: Over to Nick.
Rubi: Right. Nope, sorry, dude, you just put yourself in the hot seat.
Peter: It stands for "Get The Kitten Out".
Rubi: Yes, you wanted to say "kitten" on this episode so bad.
Peter: I did.
Keaven: Kitten, done.
Rubi: I know everything was a huge group effort, and you had mentioned that a ton of writers worked on this. But, do you wanna talk-
Peter: Well, you were there for some of the recording sessions.
Rubi: Yeah, I was, that was where everybody was screaming, "Praise Joko".
Peter: Praise Joko.
Rubi: Forever and ever. That was a tiny cut down of what we had, you guys. But no, do you wanna talk a little bit about how this storyline came to be? Not the entire storyline, but this particular episode, because there were some table reads and there was a lot of fun beforehand.
Peter: Yeah, so are we able to talk about ... can we put the spoiler alert on?
- SPOILER ALERT!: [klaxon sound effect]
Peter: , All right, now I don't have to worry about spoiling-
Nick: Now we don't.
Rubi: Yes, this episode, full of spoilers, everybody.
Peter: So early on I was in on some of the planning for this season, and the entire season had sort of a different sort of take originally that we scaled back a little bit and changed around. I'm not gonna talk about most of the paths not taken because you never know if we might-
Rubi: That just hurts feelings.
Peter: ... we might use some things later. One thing that I feel like I probably can talk about is that we originally ... there was a feeling that Joko wasn't a threatening enough villain, so we wanted to make him seem formidable enough that it was somebody worth taking on. There was the idea that you would be facing a series of Awakened assassins that he would be sending after you, starting with Episode One. We were going to have him kill and Awaken people who got closer, and closer, and closer to your circle of friends. In the original version of Episode Three, you were gonna have to face some of your friends that were Awakened. It was a dramatic and sad moment when you finally saw what he had done to these people that you cared about. But I guess I don't know if I want to say who they were gonna be. At one point we had a dry erase marker board with a list of everybody. It could have been literally anybody.
Rubi: My brain is going such terrible places right now, and I'm sad over something that never happened.
Peter: I guess it doesn't matter now, because it didn't happen. We had pretty much everybody on there.
Peter: It was gonna be ... the season was gonna be awash with corpses, originally. It didn't work out that way.
Rubi: This sounds a lot like the MO that you've become known for.
Peter: Yeah, I was real excited about-
Rubi: Awash with corpses.
Keaven: Awash with corpses.
Peter: At one point I thought it was gonna really be the instance that had all this death happening in it, and I was kind of, you know, rubbing my hands together. I would have broken a lot of hearts, but it didn't work out that way.
Rubi: That's an interesting thing though because Palawa Joko historically, I mean in original Guild Wars, he was just comic relief guy. I had so much fun watching him bicker with Mad King Thorn, but it wasn't that he was terrifying.
Peter: We did a lot of work in Path of Fire, hopefully, to build him up as a villain, for at times, that's a dictator in charge of a country where he's misinforming his citizens and making them doubt their own reality. He's been doing a number on them for generations now, by the time you finally confront him in his own kingdom.
Rubi: You guys have turned him into someone who I've had a lot of moments where... he's really messed up and terrifying, oh my gosh.
Peter: You get to find out in this episode just how messed up he really is.
Rubi: Seriously. I'm gonna do spoilers, Mark, if you want to do the Spoiler Alert, if it makes you happy.
- SPOILER ALERT!: [klaxon sound effect]
Nick: Wow, audio effects too.
Peter: This is a double spoiler alert.
Rubi: It is a double spoiler, but I came across the guy who's wife was run through and killed, I came across him, and I'm just standing in the doorway watching Joko berate him. It's like you don't even want your wife to be awakened. It's like you don't even want he to rise again. He's weeping over her desiccated corpse.
Peter: Oh man, did we have fun with that stuff.
Rubi: That was some dark stuff, and Joko's taking such joy in this that you've turned him into somebody. You got the job done, even after pulling back a little bit.
Nick: You should tell them about the writer's room, and how that all came together when it came when it came to the Joko lines, because that stuff is-
Peter: Don't tell me what to do.
Rubi: No, do what he says.
Peter: He's my boss, so I have to.
Rubi: Surprise, happy promotion.
Peter: Some of the most fun times I think I've had here were on this episode. We had a writer's room of just everybody piling on and coming up with things that Joko would say. We probably had, I don't know, 300 lines, or something, for Nolan to do as Joko, by the end with all this monologuing, and his taunting you all the way through the chapter. Somebody, I don't remember if it was Neil or who it was, that had the idea of these statues that would be all around the map that-
Rubi: The statues are amazing.
Peter: Joko's projecting his voice through these statues so that he can berate his citizens. And it's pretty great. Yeah, the iterating on those lines was seriously ... I wish we had that on video because it was so funny.
Rubi: There's some ... again, it can be dark and creepy, especially if you stop to think about it. But it is hilarious, too. There's that line about, "Thank Joko for your life, and your death, and your afterlife, and your afterdeath." He just keeps going and going. He's so pleased with himself.
Keaven: I was-
Rubi: There was ... oh, go ahead.
Keaven: I was going to say, speaking of monologues, that last monologue is just brilliant. Whatever confluence of people came together to make that a reality, it's just, oh my gosh, applause and pats on the back. That is just stellar.
Peter: It was pretty great stuff.
Rubi: I remember being completely stunned, and I know we keep saying, "Spoiler alert, spoiler alert, spoiler alert," but even now I'm kind of hesitant to say what happens. He's monologuing and he's actually getting you to the point where, "Oh you've got a point, we've done some garbage things. Oh no." It's his moment of victory, just wham! I remember how stunned I was the first time I saw that. It's just so well done.
Peter: The cinematics team did an amazing job with that whole monologue, but even the motion capture acting that was done for Joko was pretty amazing, when he's pulling all his bones back into place, and everything.
Keaven: Those noises.
Peter: So great, the audio team did a great job.
Rubi: The audio team knocked that out of the park. I was talking to them about a Guild Chat that's coming up in the future, and one of the things we were talking about was we should talk about how you got his bones to make those noises. It's not as gross as you would think.
Keaven: The noises. Ugh.
Rubi: That means-
Keaven: They did a really good job, bones breaking. Ugh.
Rubi: And scraping.
Keaven: Oh my.
Rubi: We could just do this for awhile, this is cool.
Nick: Just the entire Guild Chat is making Keaven squirm.
Rubi: Let's talk a little bit about the open world map because that was something that I think all of you had a hand in, some way or another.
Nick: Yeah, definitely. Are you-
Rubi: So we're just gonna look at Nick.
Nick: Just look at Nick.
Peter: It's Nick's turn to shine.
Rubi: What were some of the things that you especially liked about working on that?
Nick: I think with this episode, there's something about our team specifically where we tried to add as many easter egg-y secret things as possible. At least, one of my favorite events, and I guess this might be a pseudo-spoiler, but Robert Land, who was the designer for this event, he made a Choya dance-like event. I don't know if you guys have seen it.
Peter: Spoiler alert.
Nick: Spoiler alert.
- SPOILER ALERT!: [klaxon sound effect]
Rubi: Mark's busy.
Nick: Basically, what it is is you stumble upon this area where there are all these Choya that are just dancing. And there's a researcher up in a building somewhere. And you go talk to this researcher and you're like, "Well, what's going on?" He's like, "I'm trying to study their language." He's trying to figure out if they're communicating in some fashion. So what he does is he turns you into a Choya and you get the ability to actually do the same dance as the Choya. And you kind of communicate with them that way. You sway with them. You jump around. You beat your chest and roar. You do things like that.
Nick: We've been watching the community play through these events and it's kind of fantastic because they're doing things that we both wanted them to do and weren't expecting. They would all line up with the Choya to keep the circle. All the Choya are lined up perfectly. It's like, Choya, person, Choya, person, Choya, and they're all just swaying along. There are also other people that are dancing along with it. It's a really fun easter egg-y kind of event, and we have a lot of those in this map, alongside the very grimdark war things that we've got going on like trying to stop Joko's plague from being better developed within the meta, trying to help keep the thorn wall stable for your army, and your base. We tried to find a nice balance of good fun things while still keeping the narrative and giving things for people that want to explore, if that all makes sense.
Peter: Everybody wants to play as a Choya.
Nick: Oh god, yes. Who doesn't?
Peter: They make all those gross noises.
Rubi: I really just like listening to them talk. I could just sit there and listen to them mumble and chatter. Right? I should go to the audio team and be like, "Could you just do that for me for awhile because it's funny?"
Peter: It's so great.
Rubi: And I like it. The grimdark with the fun things peppered in, it seems like a really hard balance to strike, but I have had those moments where I've laughed at things that are happening. Then I turn around and suddenly I'm telling these starving people, "No, you can't go near your crops. I'm sorry. You can't harvest. Yes, I understand that your baby is hungry, but I'm gonna go set them on fire now." The crops, not the ... that came out badly.
Nick: It is a good point, though. When we first started this episode, we really wanted to hit on it dark. We wanted to make sure that you could feel the pain that Joko is putting within this land. It's where his main base is. We wanted to make sure that we really hit on the fact that this is not a good place. This is not feel good. The people here are suffering, and we need to help make it better. But when you do a narrative like that you want to make sure that it's not just dark, dark, dark, dark, dark all the time because that can not be as fun. Adding in those light, fun moments kind of help quell, and help stabilize the dark narrative throughout the episode, which is necessary and useful. But you're right, it is hard to strike a good balance between the two.
Rubi: Speaking of dark, Faren's getting serious. All of a sudden, he's less of a buffoon.
Peter: Faren is great.
Rubi: Let's talk about that.
Peter: We love Faren.
Rubi: Faren is awesome.
Nick: Faren is awesome.
Rubi: And bless his little heart, he tries his best.
Peter: Nick made his new armor. Is that a spoiler, the armor?
Nick: Not in-
Peter: Spoiler alert.
- SPOILER ALERT!: [klaxon sound effect]
Rubi: You guys just want to make the noise, now.
Rubi: But no, he does, he's got a new set of armor, doesn't he?
Nick: Yeah, he does.
Peter: He's going into battle.
Nick: He is going into battle and we wanted to make sure he looked fantastic. On top of that, there was actually a lot of back and forth because originally, just like all of the rest of the episode, we wanted to turn Faren into a more serious, more brooding-
Nick: Heroic, yeah, thank you. I would say brooding isn't the right word. He wanted to take his place, and in one of the narrative lines that Peter was talking about we had something tragic happen that pushed him into this action. Which of course we later revisited to make sure that, "Hey, everything's too dark. Let's keep Faren one of the light parts of the episode." We did also make him more serious. A lot of the iterations that we had for his armor ... there was one where he looked like what he looks like now, and during the early development everybody was like, "This is too Faren, it needs to be darker," so we made other darker versions.
Nick: Yeah. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find the pictures for those ones, but he was wearing all black armor. I don't know if players know this but the Phalanx set, there was a lot of pieces of that stuff. But as we steered the narrative back we were able to put him back into something that fit Faren. And so far, people seem to like it.
Rubi: It does work for him. It's a little more serious. Yes, I'm going into battle, and I will be protected, but it is going to be ornate because "I'm rich, you know".
Keaven: Yeah, exactly. It still is very much Prince Moneybags riding in on his white stallion going into battle.
Rubi: He will forever be Prince Moneybags to me because it's such an appropriate name.
Nick: One of the things that I like the most from reading the Reddit, spoiler alert-
- SPOILER ALERT!: [klaxon sound effect]
Nick: At a later point in the episode, Faren actually gets injured and Rox and Braham, and all of your other leaders have to save him. Somebody posted on Reddit, "Typical Faren," and it was just a scene from, I think, Star Trek, and it was basically like, "Oh, I see you've managed to take your shirt off again," because he's laying on there on the ground.
Peter: It was Galaxy Quest.
Nick: It was Galaxy Quest, sorry.
Keaven: Get out.
Peter: How dare you not know what Galaxy Quest is. Were you alive when Galaxy Quest came out?
Keaven: Hahaha! Oh my god. No, he wasn't.
Nick: I probably wasn't, no. It's typical Faren trying to always remove as much clothing as possible.
Rubi: Because of course he does.
Keaven: That was funny. I see you've managed to take your shirt off again.
Peter: That was Alan Rickman.
Rubi: We can berate Nick about Galaxy Quest after the show.
Peter: Just one of many things.
Keaven: Right, yeah, send her to the chompers.
Rubi: I do want to talk about the story instances. Don't be scared, it's okay, no, come back, it's okay.
Rubi: Steve was talking about some of the things that we've been working on this week, but it was ambitious, and there was a lot. I appreciate that it's not just go in there and whale on things until you've cut down all the hoards. There was some strategy. And I know it's not for everybody, and that's okay. But the design was interesting.
Keaven: Thank you. Thanks very much, I appreciate that.
Rubi: You're very welcome. And I mean that in a good way, not like, "Oh, this new food is interesting."
Keaven: "Oh, how interesting."
Nick: "It was quite delicious."
Rubi: How did you get there?
Keaven: Well, as has been mentioned many times already, there were many storylines that got cut and rationales behind why things were happening. But we ended up with the Commander needing to scout out that area, making sure it's safe, and setting up some-
Peter: Thorn walls.
Keaven: Right, the thorn walls, and making sure that the armies that are gonna be coming in are safe, won't be ambushed. So we decided to go with this stealthy, kind of infiltration feel. In order to accomplish that, we've got the whole stealth-versus-detection counter system, was probably one of the more ambitious things that I've done here so far. To just experience it to run through the instance, I'm hoping that it all feels rather seamless. There are a lot of moving parts going on in the background. Like, there's an alert system that is the entire area level. There's a smaller alert system for each individual creature, and then the players all have a cloak-versus-spotted system running on them at the same time. They all have to be pinging each other constantly to see-
Peter: Are you a tree?
Keaven: ... Are you a tree? Hahaha!
Rubi: That was fantastic.
Peter: Are you currently a tree?
Keaven: I am so happy that, one, the tree actually made it through to live, because that was threatened a couple of times. Two, that it has been so well received by the player base. So many people seem to really like running around as a tree, and that jut tickles me to no end. I'm so happy.
Nick: The pictures and the memes are just all so spicy. It's so great.
Keaven: I love the Joko statue with the palm trees on his palms. It's so good.
Peter: I like the Awakened guy that's just saying, "Was that tree there before?"
Rubi: I saw that. When you're getting the instructions, "Trees don't move." I love that he has to explain that to you, the Commander.
Keaven: I think it was Neil who wrote a lot of those lines, making sure to tell the player "trees don't move". Because we put so much emphasis on the difference between the player motionless, mechanically, between the player motionless as a tree versus moving as a tree, that we wanted to make sure that was called out to let them know that there is a difference, but still make it not feel forced. I think that was Blish, being funny about it was a great way to go.
Peter: Good ol' Blish.
Keaven: Good ol' Blish.
Peter: He'll lend you an arm.
Nick: On that note, I want people to think about the fact that, remember, these are all Blish's skills. So Blish turns himself into trees. He has the ability to turn himself into a tree. Think about why. I'm just gonna leave that there.
Rubi: Let's talk about this later because I haven't had time to think about it now and I need to go back and think about Blish for a little while.
Peter: You just spoiled our tree episodes.
Nick: Oh no, I'm sorry.
Peter: Spoiler alert. Mark, hit the button!
Keaven: I will say, when we were testing it-
- SPOILER ALERT!: [klaxon sound effect]
Rubi: God. When we were testing it.
Keaven: When we were testing, a funny little anecdote, when we were going through playtesting of this, the tree that you turn into with this skill is one of the trees that is also out in the open world. That was complete happenstance, complete serendipity. I picked the model.
Rubi: Don't you love happy little accidents?
Keaven: Don't you love happy little accidents? I picked the model for the tree long before the map artist populated the area with trees. So the first time the trees suddenly have appeared in the open world, a bunch of us are running around the open world and are going, "What? Wait? Who's? Who's camouflaged as a tree in the open? That's not supposed to be available in the open world!"
Rubi: And why are there 40 of you?
Keaven: It was great, that was kind of funny.
Rubi: Oh my gosh, that's amazing. Did you guys have an argument?
Peter: Why do trees suddenly appear?
Keaven: Oh my gosh.
Rubi: Every time-
Keaven: Well done, well done.
Rubi: Very nice. Did you guys get into an argument over who saw the tree first? It's my tree.
Keaven: It's my tree.
Rubi: I do want to go back a little bit about all of these things pinging off of each other at the same time. Have we done something on that scale before with all of these self mechanics, and the spot mechanics?
Keaven: We've done-
Rubi: Because, that's complicated.
Rubi: And you made it work.
Keaven: There are a couple of different places where we've done stealth before, and even stealth versus detection. To my knowledge, it hasn't been as long term as what is done in my instance. You do it for the entire time, or not, up to you. You can do whatever you want. You can not do the stealth if you don't want to.
Peter: It's your story.
Keaven: It's your story.
Rubi: Wait, I have something, I have a story about this. I was playing through at home the other night with a guild mate who is more tanky and aggressive, one might say. I'm tiptoeing around, I'm stealth, I'm like, "Oh god, I have to be a tree, hold on." He lasts like 30 seconds before he just goes in there sword swinging. He's, "I have no patience. No. No. I will kill them." I'm like, "Come back, we have to stealth. Where are you going?"
Keaven: I saw somebody on-
Rubi: We didn't match up well in that instance.
Keaven: I did read a post about somebody saying they only did the stealth for as long as the quest objectives required them to, for that very small intro to the instance. After that they never used it again. But again, play it your way.
Keaven: I intentionally made it so that it would be easier to accomplish all of the goals using the stealth mechanics, but not necessary.
Rubi: If you don't like them-
Keaven: If you don't like them, you can certainly sword and board your way through. That's totally acceptable, and it's possible.
Rubi: Not with me.
Keaven: It's just gonna be more difficult.
Rubi: Yes, don't do it with me. I'll get impatient and I'll stand back there and I'll yell at you the whole time. Well, it's good to acknowledge that not everybody loves that, and to allow for it. So good work on that front.
Rubi: Also, a quick note, there are some questions coming in and we're going to wrap up towards the end and take those questions, and try to answer some of those. Do you guys want to ... well, probably mostly you, do you want to talk a little bit about the next instance? Who did the where Joko's messing with you and pulling you through all the puzzles?
Keaven: No, no, that wasn't me. That was Taylor. Taylor Southerland did that, amazing job. Amazing job. He sits right behind me and there I'll be, "Oh, what?" There would be times when I would just turn around and see him working on his stuff and just be like, "That's brilliant." With the laser beams, crosshair things, and you have to jump through the ... yeah, great work.
Rubi: Yeah, I cannot stress enough how much of a team effort all of this was. I mean it's not like, "So, let's talk to the three guys who made this episode."
Peter: Yeah, it was mostly Nick, though.
Rubi: Yeah, mostly Nick.
Nick: That's not true, at all.
Peter: It was like 97% Nick.
Rubi: Well, that instance really was a good illustration of how much Joko is enjoying tormenting you, and stringing you along, and playing with you. And there was one where I went in to trap him and he was like, "I thought you'd smell more like a s'more." I'm over here with Faren going, "He is messed up! Oh my gosh, this is hilarious to him."
Peter: It's good.
Nick: It's so good. Some of those lines are fantastic. I love-
Rubi: He's taking such joy in the whole thing.
Nick: He is yeah. One of my favorite parts of Taylor's instance is when he does a verbal fake out and he's like, "One of these statues is the real Joko." Then the way that Taylor scripted it was like if you stayed in there for long enough he'd be like, "Ha! Fooled ya."
Rubi: He's just enjoying messing with you, just poking a stick through the bars of the cage.
Rubi: Nick, you did not do everything.
Nick: I did not, no.
Rubi: You did a lot of things, though.
Peter: I don't know that that's true.
Nick: I wouldn't say I did a lot of things. I did some stuff.
Rubi: We haven't talked about Petey yet, and that seems like an oversight because Petey's the star of the show.
Nick: Go, Petey.
Rubi: You made Petey all by yourself. Wait, no.
Nick: No, that's not true. It's definitely not true.
Rubi: You did do a lot of the work on making sure he was polished up and worked the way he was supposed to.
Nick: Definitely a shout out to Matt Pennebaker. Matt Pennebaker and Jessica Croft, because they're the ones that really nailed hard on the collection part of it. Shoutouts to Joel Helmich and Roy Cronacher, they're the ones that really worked on the mounts specifically. Of course, I'm missing a lot of people: like our animators, our creature artists, things like that.
Rubi: The audio guys.
Nick: The audio guys who did a fantastic job.
Peter: They started the roller beetle all the way back in Path of Fire, right?
Nick: Pretty early, yeah.
Peter: We knew we were gonna do this like a year ago, probably.
Nick: Roy and Joel have been hammering away at the mount, specifically, just trying to get its core systems, and stuff like that, going on since we shipped Path of Fire. Do you want more the mount side of things, or the collection side of things?
Rubi: We'll start with the mount side of things.
Peter: It's your story, Rubi.
Rubi: It's my story, just like Keaven said.
Nick: I am but an NPC.
Rubi: Here, I have a lot of crap I want you to buy.
Nick: Oh god, don't have that much gold.
Rubi: So the mount side of things.
Nick: Yeah, the mount side of things. Definitely we wanted this thing to end, as I'm sure everybody has seen, behind the scenes for the roller beetle mount. If you haven't, definitely go check it out. It's fantastic, it highlights a lot better everybody's roles in it than I ever could voice here.
Nick: But n the mount side of things, I'll give you a quick summary. We really wanted to make sure that this mount felt unique. We wanted to make sure that it had its niche that would work, but also something that players would love and have fun with. And so far they seem to really enjoy it, and we are so ... I can't say enough how elated we are that everybody seems to be loving the roller beetle, both the visuals and the mechanics and functionality of it.
Rubi: Watching everybody zoom around on it is so much fun. Raise your hand if you've gotten your roller beetle on live yet... We've been busy.
Nick: We've been really busy, yeah.
Rubi: I have goals this weekend.
Keaven: I have it on test.
Rubi: Yeah, I have it.
Nick: I think we all got it on development branches.
Rubi: I have not been able to pick it up on live yet. I'm on my beautiful griffin, and just looking there going, "Oh."
Nick: On the roller beetles, yeah, it's really nice. What I love about it is seeing everybody ... There's something about Petey himself that is so big and adorable. So seeing everybody with all their different colored Peteys crowding around each other, zooming around, drifting and stuff like that, it's just absolutely beautiful. And Petey allows for a very unique memeing moment in the game. I was sitting there with my tag up, in game, and somebody on Petey rocketed right by me and nailed something to say chat instantly, I could see it just fast enough to be able to read it but not respond. It was basically them thanking us and telling use that we did a great job, which is fantastic. But just that moment of: here, they're gone, what?
Rubi: Yes! It's perfect.
Nick: That is absolutely fantastic.
Rubi: You've got the chat bubble zooming past.
Nick: We wanted him to go fast, and he goes fast.
Rubi: He does. While you were just getting him polished up and doing the QA part of it, he did go fast, but in the wrong direction sometimes.
Nick: Yes. He-
Rubi: I really want to talk about that because it was amazing.
Nick: Yeah, go for it. Are you talking the gravitational thing, right?
Nick: With Petey, we definitely did a lot of things. We had to change a lot of the physics that we have going on with mounts because he goes super fast and he's a giant ball, and those two things don't really play well together with our physics engine. So what we had to do, we had to change the size and shape of his collider, then add a lot more ray casting to make sure that as you're moving forward, if there's a rock that's here, and Petey is here, and he hits it, is this rock high enough for him to go over it? Is he supposed to launch? Is he supposed to stop? Things like that. During one point in our development, the way that mounts work is that you're always being gravitationally pulled down, something happened in the code while we were messing with it where that got goofed and it didn't work anymore. You would bank off and just fly into the sunset like ET.
Peter: Over the horizon?
Nick: Over the horizon, yeah. It actually happened to all the mounts. You'd be running with your raptor, then you'd jump off the cliff, then you're just flying like Aladdin on the carpet. It was absolutely fantastic.
Rubi: Accidental flying mounts.
Nick: It was so good. I don't know if Mark's got a clip of that.
Rubi: Yeah, we can't actually see the monitor.
Peter: Go to the clip, Mark.
Keaven: Oh my gosh. Oh my goodness.
Nick: Spoiler alert.
Rubi: I feel like.
- SPOILER ALERT!: [klaxon sound effect]
Rubi: I feel like we're used to Peter at this point. So we're just like, "Oh, whatever."
Peter: I'm sorry.
Rubi: I want our new Spoiler Alert to be Keaven sticking his head in frame and-
Nick: That would be fantastic.
Rubi: ... and just doing it.
Peter: Spoiling that he was gonna be in the episode.
Rubi: So do you guys want to take a couple questions from people?
Rubi: Well, you're gonna.
Keaven: Oh my.
Rubi: I will let you guys think. We've got some up there and I'll let you guys pick out ones that you like.
Peter: There's one by The Almdudler. Am I pronouncing that right?
Peter: "How and when did Joko escape from the Domain of the Lost?" I've seen this actually come up on Reddit and some other places. The intention was the minute that Balthazar died, his curse that was keeping Joko there was lifted, he was pretty much free from that point.
Rubi: Good job, us.
Peter: Path of Fire originally ended with Joko walking out of the Domain of the Lost. Likem, there was an epilogue that we were originally gonna have with him definitively walking out, like, "Hahaha." Yeah, we cut that. I guess it probably wasn't as clear as it could have been, how he got out, but that's how he got out.
Rubi: Now you know. We did this. We caused this.
Keaven: I did not know about that epilogue.
Nick: And now you do.
Nick: There's one there that's talking about the story behind the confetti room in Kourna. For those who don't know, there's this secret room under the map that is just this giant box that's got some messed up gravity. There's just confetti everywhere.
Rubi: Well, sure.
Nick: In early development when we were doing the roller beetle stuff-
Keaven: People can get into there?
Nick: Not planned.
Keaven: They're not supposed to.
Nick: They're not supposed to, but-
Peter: Naughty people.
Nick: ... there's a very good thing.
Rubi: Why is it there?
Nick: It's there because of the fact that during the roller beetle collection. one of our early iterations. had Blish futzing around with the saddle that he made, and accidentally doing something incorrectly which caused a wormhole to open.
Peter: A wormhole with confetti.
Nick: You get sucked into the wormhole and you're supposed to be flying around this cosmic fractal-looking space world. Of course, we didn't actually have ... that got cut early one so we didn't art it out, so we used temp art which was confetti.
Keaven: Confetti room.
Nick: That's what it was. You were supposed to be there just floating around in space, and Taimi was supposed to be like, "Um, uh, I don't know. I don't know what's going on, but we'll fix it."
Rubi: You could hear her say that.
Keaven: We were also, then, after that got cut we were going to reuse that area as-
Peter: Joko's party room.
Nick: His sexy Tyria—
Nick: Spoiler alert.
Keaven: Oh man. No, we were gonna use that as the Mists for you to walk through. That was one of the ways that you were gonna get there originally, in one of the versions that we went through. You would travel through the mist to get to Gandara.
Peter: Oh, that's right.
Keaven: We were gonna use that room to avoid having multiple load screens. But that didn't happen either.
Rubi: Now it's a confetti room.
Keaven: Now it's a confetti room.
Peter: Side tangent.
Rubi: I'm terrified. Let's see what happens.
Peter: Back when I was a level artist, I was working on Divinity's Reach and we had one of our early, early promotional videos. We had some footage of the Eastern Commons with all the confetti flying around. You think you only see it for a couple seconds in the clip, but I made the confetti animation that's in the game, and it's one of the few things that's left from all the many iterations of art that I worked on. So I'm really happy about that.
Nick: Your confetti's fantastic.
Peter: The confetti particle effect is mine.
Rubi: That's your legacy.
Nick: "I did that."
Peter: From like 2009, or something.
Rubi: It's one of your legacies. All right, what else?
Peter: Is Blish named after science fiction author James Blish? I don't think so, but yes.
Rubi: Thank you for the definitive answer.
Peter: I don't actually know. I remember Gorrik's name was originally Glubber.
Rubi: I like "Gorrik" better.
Keaven: That's right.
Peter: We reiterated that.
Rubi: Why? Not why did you change it, but why was it Glubber?
Peter: I don't know what he went with Blish, do you remember?
Nick: I do not. I remember why we named Petey, "Petey".
Peter: I objected to Petey, by the way.
Nick: It was... I don't remember the exact reasoning.
Peter: He was the fifth Beatle.
Nick: Fifth Beatle, thank you. There we go.
Peter: Also before your time.
Nick: That's not true at all.
Rubi: Oh my gosh.
Peter: People probably were wondering in Episode Two, why we introduced a character that was an entomologist. Hmmmm.
Rubi: All those things.
Peter: Almost as if there was gonna be an episode that had a roller beetle and a scarab plague and marshmallow beetles in it.
Rubi: Oh, the marshmallow mites. I was freaking out over the marshmallow mites.
Keaven: We had this big argument... "argument"... about why they were called marshmallow mites. Are they mites that eat marshmallows that have never been mentioned before in Tyria? Are they marshmallows that are also mites? Are all marshmallows in Tyria also mites? Is that a gross thing that happens?
Peter: I think they have a percent chance of being infected or infested with mites.
Keaven: I don't know.
Nick: Or marshmallows.
Peter: Which are pestilence and not a plague.
Rubi: This is an important distinction.
Keaven: Let's be clear about this.
Rubi: I'm just now realizing that I feel like somebody was hungry at some point while this... because I mentioned earlier that Joko was talking about s'mores.
Keaven: That was in the first one.
Rubi: Joko's talking about s'mores, and we've got the marshmallow mites, and I feel like somebody was just, "Hey, we're having a campfire tonight."
Peter: Just take a walk by Neil's desk, and it'll be covered in snacks.
Nick: He's always got snacks, yeah.
Rubi: Has anyone told Neil about the kitchen?
Peter: Oh no, that's where they're from. He's just constantly getting snacks from the kitchen. I sit next to Neil, so one of the funny things about him is while he's writing the dialogue, he's acting it out. He's muttering under his breath all day long. It's pretty funny.
Nick: All day long, yeah.
Rubi: Is it Neil who took all the seaweed snacks?
Peter: No, that was Samantha.
Peter: Yeah. She's eating all the seaweed, right?
Keaven: Oh, called out on live television.
Rubi: Okay We're gonna start arguing over Neil's snack desk.
Peter: This is from Ed Pedrero [verification requested], am I saying you name right? I'm sorry. "When will Hero-Tron and return?" I happen to have it on pretty good information that you'll be seeing Hero-Tron possibly under a new name, in some upcoming content.
Rubi: Spoiler alert, spoiler alert.
- SPOILER ALERT!: [klaxon sound effect]
Peter: But in the meantime, there is a funny video with Yuri where he's talking about enjoying playing Hero-Tron and when he was talking about playing Faren. Am I spoiling, also, some of your promotional material?
Rubi: I'm trying to remember if you're talking about something that we already released, or is this like an old video?
Peter: The interview with him? Did you already release that?
Rubi: Hey, guess what, everybody?
Rubi: I mean, everybody knows, it's pretty common knowledge that we were down there and we talked to a lot of the actors while we were doing voiceovers.
Keaven: You're not using this thunder, are you?
Rubi: Hahaha! No, but we are working on interviews that we did with a lot of the actors down there that we'll be releasing in August. Apparently, Yuri's first.
Peter: Yuri is great.
Rubi: Oh my gosh...
Peter: On a side note, Yuri is every tengu that's in the game is Yuri.
Peter: Yeah, there's only one tengu voice role, so he's-
Rubi: Yuri is all the tengus? Well, there's... something has happened.
Peter: Oh wow.
Keaven: Everything is all jumbled here.
Peter: Fix it.
Rubi: Okay, so we're trying really hard to read these questions.
Peter: "Given the origin of Petey in Guild W"...
Rubi: What?! Okay, there we go.
Keaven: There it is, there we go.
Peter: Would you say that as "Kossagy"? Kossage.
Rubi: Like Koss?
Peter: I've always wondered that because I've seen that name. "Given the origin of Petey in Guild Wars 2 being based on ..." Should I be reading these out loud?
Peter: "... based on mutation in the collection, how did the roller beetles of Guild Wars 1 come to be without asura tampering?"
Rubi: How do you know there weren't asura tampering?
Peter: How did they come to be? Well, some terrible thing must have happened to them in between the two episodes.
Peter: Between the two games. In that 250 years something horrible must have happened to the original roller beetles, and the asurans were able to bring them back by growing them in their shoulders.
Keaven: As you do, as you do. You know Gorrik.
Rubi: Anybody else got Jurassic Park vibes right now?
Peter: I hope so.
Rubi: Should we do this?
Keaven: Nature finds a way.
Peter: Go see Jurassic Park.
Rubi: Do not, it's terrifying. Okay, sorry, what else we got?
Nick: Is beetle rolling on a flat surface slower than a raptor or other mounts, from Damien. Hi, Damien. So the way that the roller beetle works is that it starts off at a lower percentage and then it builds up to higher than raptor. It's like nnnnnnr, and then it speeds off. But the way it works is that we start out much lower than raptor, and then we push you much farther.
Keaven: Much farther.
Nick: The roller beetle takes a little bit longer to get started or get to that base run speed, but after that it will far exceed any other mounts in speed.
Rubi: It's a momentum thing.
Keaven: Is that with or without the boost?
Nick: That's without the boost. If you've got all of your endurance filled up, you can go from zero to 100-
Rubi: Zero to raptor?
Nick: Zero to 100 in a matter of a second, but that's if you just start rolling, which, fun fact, we actually clocked the roller beetle, in real world. My guess is this is mentioned in the BTS for the roller beetle, but it goes about real world equivalent to about 120 to 140 miles an hour max. If you were wondering why it's so hard to control sometimes, it's because you're going super fast.
Rubi: And it's a ball.
Nick: And it's a giant ball.
Peter: It's an uncontrollable ball of speed.
Rubi: So, like my cats. Exactly. Or your dog. Are you guys good?
Nick: How much time do we have left?
Rubi: There's some stuff that you can ... I don't know if there are things that you cannot answer.
Nick: As for from Matthias, "Are there going to be roller beetle races in the game soon?" Which of these cameras is ... is it that one.?
Peter: I don't know.
Nick: Stay tuned. I hope it was that one.
Rubi: Alternate between all of them.
Peter: Could be on Rubi's camera.
Nick: Stay, stay, stay tuned.
Rubi: Just lean over.
Nick: Walk over to Rubi and be like-
Rubi: So what about the roller beetles?
Nick: Oh, they're asking if there are gonna be roller beetle races in the game soon. Stay tuned.
Rubi: I like stay tuned.
Nick: Stay tuned to a theater near you.
Rubi: That's a good answer.
Peter: This is ThatOtherGuyOI. "With Gandara being an iconic location from Nightfall, what were some things for Season Four, Episode Three that didn't get into the live final build for the Moon Fortress?" Was there originally something on Bokoss Island?
Peter: Do you remember?
Nick: Yeah. Bokoss Island was gonna have a meta-boss. The golem that you see within the meta right now-
Peter: That's right.
Nick: He was gonna be his own fixture, his own entity, inside the Bokoss Prison. But due to just the development cycle and time constraints, we needed to cut that area. So we cut the boss, moved him over to the through-line [verification requested] narrative that you see now within in the meta, then reimagined the Bokoss Prison into what it is today.
Peter: I know that there were POIs and some of the landmarks that were shifting around until-
Nick: They were, yeah.
Peter: ... minutes before live, because I remember naming stuff a few times that shifted all around.
Nick: There was a lot of iteration that went into Gandara.
Peter: Aaron Linde came in late in the episode to help with some of it. I had moved on to a upcoming content release that I guess we can't talk about yet.
Rubi: Probably not.
Keaven: [klaxon sound]
Rubi: I love my job. Please don't cause me to lose it.
Nick: There should be Spoiler Alerts, and there should be Peter Alerts. Those are two very different things.
Rubi: "He's here."
Peter: So Aaron came on and did some of the last minute text things at the end. He was the one-
Rubi: Thank you, Aaron.
Peter: ... having to iterate on some of these POI changes. I wanted to make sure that we called out where the Koss Dejarin's Estate used to be because I thought that was fun that it was all in ruins now and populated by these awful frogs, the desert frog guys.
Rubi: How much fun is it remaking some of these familiar places?
Peter: It's kinda fun because I worked on some of those level, the maps, originally in Nightfall. It's kinda neat to see them again.
Nick: It's also kinda sad thought, too, because the world changes within the hundreds of years that go through it. So some people might have these predisposed expectations because of GW1. It's like, we're doing this new thing and we want it to be this best version of itself, and sometimes it's like we might not be able to deliver on that as much as we went because of this. It's changed drastically within the past 250 years.
Rubi: It's just time passing.
Peter: Although, it's funny. A lot of times it has been the same map artist working on some of these maps. So it's been interesting.
Rubi: That's neat.
Nick: So I think it was, like, Josh Foreman, didn't he? He's worked on GW1 and GW2 maps consistently.
Keaven: I remember that being, in and of itself, kind of a hot topic in the office, what the Gandara area was going to look like today? How did diverting the river effect the lower plain area? How much-
Peter: Yeah, because this was originally the mouth of the Elon river meeting the sea.
Keaven: Right. How much of this area would have changed? How would it have changed? How would that have effected the local wildlife, and the people who use to live here? Would Joko be using that to his advantage, or would that be a disadvantage? Just reconciling the two maps was a huge job in and of itself.
Nick: And also, Joko, it being his main fortress area. How would Joko mess up a place? You've got things like the Bone Wall. How is he gonna decorate it to his liking? Now you see what he did.
Rubi: That's how. And maybe explode parts of it. Okay we have time...
Peter: Do you want me to answer this one too?
Rubi: ... for one more question. Are you all right?
Rubi: Yeah, we have time for one more, go for it.
Peter: Notfounderror007: "What exactly is the reason why the bugs don't effect the human player character? Why do they care if you've died or not?" Why shouldn't they care?
Rubi: I don't know, that's the question? I'm looking at the writer.
Peter: I think the explanation we arrived at in game is that the scarabs want to be in living hosts, so they aren't attracted to you because you stink of death.
Rubi: I see what you're saying, because we smell funky.
Peter: As the player character, this is a reverse spoiler, but during Path of Fire, you die during Path of Fire. So now you've got-
Keaven: [reverse klaxon sound]
Peter: Can you play the Spoiler Alert backwards?
Rubi: No, don't.
Nick: Or just Keaven doing that. That's all you need.
Keaven: But in terms of why they care, I would assume, correct me if I'm wrong, but my interpretation of that is that the bugs kind of instinctually know that they can't reproduce inside of something that's dead. And so if they think that you are this undead thing, then you are not worth their time, burrowing inside of you and planting eggs under your skin.
Rubi: Stop, stop. Ew!
Peter: Maybe Joko built that into them so that they wouldn't effect his Awakened soldiers.
Rubi: All right, that works, I'm down. There we go, that's perfect.
Peter: Also, Joko himself. Who is-
Rubi: That would be such a cruel irony.
Nick: He did have to Awaken his Inquest, just saying. Who knows?
Rubi: All right. Thank you guys very, very much for your time.
Peter: Thank you, Rubi.
Rubi: As always, I appreciate it. Thank you for the fun. Thank you guys for spending some time with us today. I will let you guys-
Peter: Thank you for the Spoiler Alerts.
Rubi: Thank you for the Spoiler Alerts.
Keaven: Thanks for having us.
Nick: Yeah, thank you for having us, it's been a pleasure.
Rubi: I appreciate you guys and we will see you on the next Guild Chat. Bye.
- Guild Chat Episode 65 - Living World Season 4 Episode 3 "Long Live the Lich" on ArenaNet's official channel on YouTube