Guild Chat - Episode 85

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Guild Chat - Episode 85

[Spoilers] War Eternal
Rubi Bayer
Alex Kain
Tom Abernathy
Keaven Freeman
Hugh Norfolk
Kent Benson
May 17, 2019
Official video

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

The 85th episode of Guild Chat aired on May 17, 2019. Join host Rubi Bayer and members of the Guild Wars 2 Team for a closer look at War Eternal, the last episode of the Living World Season 4.

hi teria and happy Friday welcome to
guild chat
I'm your host Ruby and I along with my
deaf guests are gonna be talking today
about the episode six season four finale
two Guild Wars twos well season four
Laura tone there's been a lot going on
this week and I'm just still trying to
cope with everything so yes that's
that's been it has been a lot of My Week
why don't we go ahead and jump right in
because we have so much to talk about
and so many questions from you guys that
I want us to get answered so why don't
you guys go down the line talk about who
you are what you do here at ArenaNet and
what you worked on for episode six
alright hi I'm Alex Kane I'm a narrative
designer here at ArenaNet
and I was one of the writers on
Wartortle I'm Tom Abernathy
I am the studio narrative director and I
mean I'm in the room when we're coming
up with stuff and then I watch other
people doing you do so much work and I
just point in a direction and tell them
to walk that way oh you know been busy
working Kevin Freeman game designer and
I worked on the final instance for the
this episode that was there was a lot
well why don't we start with talking
about the overarching story here clear I
love you all if you don't want spoilers
leave the way it's gonna be on YouTube
watch it later yeah we are going we're
not holding anything back they're going
to be so many spoilers do you understand
and they're not little spoilers like oh
there was a
coffee cup on the set it was it was also
not a Starbucks cup right by the way
that's right that's important yes we are
spoiling everything
so I feel like everybody is very clear
on that okay okay just roll that one
other thing you one more time just to
make sure like a klaxon in a Godzilla
movie yeah right there yes let's start
right at the beginning we've had five
months of kind of heartbreak for five
months of oh that really hurt and we had
Requiem which we talked about on the
last show we had Requiem in between to
kind of delve into that a little bit
more we talked a lot about getting to
tell those stories which felt amazing I
I'm trying to I'm trying to put this in
a way that does not sound like too
negative or positive in one way in
particular but I would like you guys to
talk about the decision to bring or in
back or Whedon's resurrection because
that was it was a very powerful moment
and I know you all have everybody has
very strong feelings about it whether it
be positive or negative nobody's like
whatever true yes that's right which is
good we like that you know arousing any
kind of passion when where the other is
a good thing yeah sure I mean so I guess
the first thing I'll say is this we
always knew that she was coming back and
frankly we we pretty much always knew
how she was coming back I mean it was
kind of a no-brainer we could have come
up with something you know MacGuffin II
that was you know or Deus Ex Dragon II
that would have you know something else
but but
was we dari we had already had her eat
Joko we didn't necessarily have her Java
with that plan in mind
frankly but we'd already had a read joke
oh and and as soon as we sort of
understood what we were going to be
doing with Irene in episodes 5 & 6 it
was obvious that that was the the escape
clause basically right
that said we didn't want it to feel
cheap and and we wanted to in episode 5
have her die in a way which was
massively heroic and and and which which
you know affected you
that was something we definitely wanted
we didn't we didn't want it to be a
death where you go oh well she's coming
back right and I think for the most part
we succeeded I mean some people you know
speculated certainly that she might be
coming back and they even speculated as
to the fact that eating joking might be
you have something to do with that the
moment the episode 5 lon that's right
like people that's right yeah but but
but I think that's natural right but but
nonetheless that people received it it
was clear watching people play it they
received it as a thing which felt
finally real in the moment because they
had believed she was going to live
because they had believed we were going
to win and what was fantastic about that
is it makes such a huge statement about
how all of the work that the designers
and the writers did to take this story
which as I said last week is sort of our
helms deep episode right and where where
the good guys are small in number and
they're up against a force that's that's
much much more massive and almost
certainly they can't actually win but
they have no choice but to try because
if they don't reality will end in the
world will will be destroyed right and
and these guys and their colleagues did
such an amazing job making that making
that feel like a real war you fought
through a real slob mean that 45-minute
or hours sort of last part in the in the
cave is is you know is wild it's I mean
it's huge its massive and and you think
that in a game you're used to the idea
that you'd go through something like
that and then you get the final thing
cuz you're in and you win and you'd
already failed to kill Crockett or one
so you figure well then I'm gonna do
that again right so that's all we had to
do again I mean because that's what
people were expecting right and I'll be
honest though I don't think even we
expected I certainly didn't for people
to be so affected by it like watching
streamers and other folks play and just
you know be devastated that the thing
that we had told them for a very long
time was gonna happen did I mean that's
a pretty great thing to be a quite
frankly and I was super proud of the
team everybody who worked on it for for
making that happen
so that was thing one and we planned
that knowing that she was going to come
back re knowing that we were that Joe
goes magic was the way she was going to
come back not giving a ton of thought to
how it was gonna happen exactly until we
were you know episode had to coalesce
that's right that's right and and the
first thing that happened was that Alex
and Neil and Lily who are the the
writers who worked on it started we you
know we we sort of we broke down what
the basic beats of the chapters were
gonna be and they started bringing in
initial scripts we have a process we've
talked about before where where writers
bring stuff into my office hours and we
do table reads everybody we read through
it just like actors and and in our bad
acting way and and and you know that's
how we that's how we sort of iterate on
stuff everybody gives feedback and we
fix things on the fly and stuff like
that and and the three of them were
bringing scripts in and and the problem
wasn't and I alluded to this last week I
think that that tonally something felt
wrong we weren't sure what and there's a
lot going on because by that point we
had decided okay we want to we want to
you know we want the period between the
end of Episode five and the beginning of
episode six we want everyone to be in
mourning include because the players are
in mourning we want the characters to be
a mourning this is it's the saddest
thing that's ever happened
and and so it felt right to us
to basically pick up in a similar
emotional moment what was harder to
figure out was how should that change
for the rest of the episode because
episode six can't just be an exact
replay of episode five which it could
easily have fallen into right sure oh
we're trying to kill crock rhetoric in
five now we're trying to heal Kronk at
work again in six that's no good
what's different about that one in this
one and what we decided was that and it
took some really like intense discussion
to sort of figure it out we decided that
whereas episode five was that helms deep
slog against huge odds and you know
you're probably not gonna win that
episode six once Irene does come back
you're sort of like you know the
football team that thought it was about
to lose the game and suddenly at the
last three seconds the the kicker for
the other team misses the field goal
that would have wanted and it said
you're going into overtime right and
suddenly you've got a second chance that
you didn't imagine you were gonna have
there's a relation between this to the
Washington Huskies and Oregon Ducks game
for those of you who are aware of how
that game played out that's my metaphor
for what this we're spoiling everything
that's right yeah everything is getting
spoiled up yeah and and once we
understood that once we understood that
whereas before it was a slog now it was
exhilaration and a second chance at life
that you never expected that really
reset everything right and that's what
we were thinking about and we were
thinking about how the thing that had
happened was we had to not Crockett ork
from the mists and therefore into not
Crockett or minus-- we had to have a
ring and to have a ring we had to bring
our ring back
yes so we said okay beginning of the
thing we start off and we're all funeral
and it's only been a few days and we're
really really super sad and she comes
back and we're off doing the fun stuff
right yeah would you let me go ahead and
address the question yes yes go ahead
okay so the question people a lot of
people have asked
why did you bring her back so soon in
that first chapter which is a totally
legitimate question and with the context
that I just gave I think the answer is
that for us all of the good stuff in the
episode was what happened after she's
back right there I mean like like we
didn't want players to be sitting around
for an hour and a half being sad about
Irene there's like like there's nowhere
to go with that really we thought it's
just yeah I just felt like twisting the
knife yes and and I really I mean there
were there were things that we discussed
like oh maybe you start you know you're
going around to the different capitals
and you're talking to people they're
like that's why in the beginning the
commander actually has that line where
they say oh you know I need to go tell
everyone but the players at least are
more astute ones who you know we're
right there at the end of Episode five
who knew that you know we'd sort of
planted that seed for a reen coming back
we're going to spend that whole time
going like just bring her back already
like we know that she's gonna come back
why are you just well you know you've
played your card already that's exactly
right so we at the time our anticipation
was that players would be anxious to get
to that part right now here's the thing
what we do is weird and part of our job
my stuff it really is part of our jobs
are weird a big part of our job involves
us mentally trying to imagine what its
gonna be like eight months in the future
or whatever as a player who's playing
this stuff for the first time and how
how we would feel in that environment
especially relative to the fact it's
been several months since Irene died and
and I've sat with that for a while and
we didn't at first know about the twine
stuff but that came a little later you
know so we have to mentally imagine the
whole experience that you guys
eventually get to play and obviously us
being human beings even though there's a
group of us who do it you know we can
miscalculate we can we can we can
imperfectly imagine what it's going to
be like and I think that that one thing
we didn't anticipate was the thing I
mentioned a few minutes ago which was
just how strongly people were affected
but by the end of episode 5 how
wrongly that hit them because they
really hadn't thought it was gonna
happen we didn't actually realize that
we thought enough people would sort of
be like yeah it's a serious possibility
but nobody did everybody was shocked in
the in the best way and as soon as so as
soon as episode 5 came out and you know
episode 6 is fairly down fairly a long
way down the road at that at that point
you know we got together and and started
talking about whether or not we had you
know miscalculated and and whether
whether people were so affected that
that bringing our Ian back in the first
chapter wasn't gonna feel like the thing
they wanted but instead was gonna be a
thing that might feel unearned in some
sense and we didn't have the benefit of
a vengers end game we didn't have the
benefit of this Game of Thrones season
there I mean you know there are lie it's
funny because there's a lot of stuff
going on in the culture right now where
there are somewhat analogous situations
right and if we were writing it now we
could look at the examples of all those
things and see how they did it and and
sort of make some choices we did talk
about like say Star Trek 3 the search
for Spock and some other stuff like that
that we thought had similar kinds of
unity of a character whose beloved who
dies and then somehow is brought back
how much times things that do that
successfully how much time does it take
do you know maybe you need to go maybe
there needs to be a quest and we need to
go find things that will make it
possible stuff like this if we had to do
over again it's possible we might make
some of those decisions you know we
might have decided to try to put an
instance in before the first one but
that wasn't you know that wasn't a thing
at that point that we could do the the
instances and open-world meta stuff and
all that was pretty well locked in and
so instead we thought well okay we'll
mitigate it as best we can and hope that
people are enough sort of with the
journey that we're trying to take them
on that that that you know not too many
people will feel like it happened too
fast and the twine pieces again were
huge part of that we talked about that
last week so helpful to let people spend
some time in the minds of the characters
in the interim between the end of 5 & 6
and we also did we we've messed with
pacing in the first chapter a bit yeah
by some polishes I mean our
our once we know that the open world is
taking place on Dragon fall and that's
where you know the lion share of
gameplay is going to take place
everything before that you know we have
to we have to figure out like okay how
long does it take to get the player to
the part where most of the gameplay is
and so you know chapter 1 that that
first instance was you know it used to
be a lot longer and there used to be
like a like a bigger speech and you know
people are watching this with our Robo
voice of course like we hadn't recorded
in any dialogue and you know people are
just like this is excruciating
no doubt absolutely that's why we're
over sucks because it doesn't give you a
good sort of you know feeling of how
things are gonna play at all and you
know we're play-acting this stuff too
you know in our in our writers sessions
and you know it did you know once we had
sort of figured out the formula for how
we were going to get players to the open
world it really just became a question
of pacing and what feels good
bringing in the zephyr require I think
was a part of that yeah that was a
recommendation come in and help sort of
explain how you know it's like is it
really just taste like pulling one thing
out that's yeah or doing the long walk
through the through the cave again sort
of reprising the the one that you do at
the end of five but now there's people
there and they they're they're talking
to you and stuff like that yeah like we
we tried to sort of extend the moment
before it happens as much as we could
both for the timing and also just to
give it some weight right some to let
you soak with that for a minute
before we get to the happy stuff yes so
something else that I feel like was
probably a consideration that I
mentioned here and there was that you
also have to keep take into
consideration that a lot a lot of
players played this back in January when
it came out months ago and they have
been sitting this with this very while
and they've been reading the Requiem
they've been participating in the twine
stories there's also a group of players
who just came back right and they were
hearing about this finale and for them
this happened like that right and how
did you how did those discussions
where you talked about walking that line
I mean the way that we we've always sort
of hand waved how time passes between
episodes because if you're if you are
playing it as they come out then there
are these multi month gaps between the
story where you know your commander goes
off and does raids and fractals and
world bosses and all that other stuff
that isn't necessarily part of the story
for this one we did want to suggest that
some time had taken place so your
character canonically does not start
inside Thunderhead keep they start
outside Thunderhead keep them there is
actually like different lines of
dialogue for if you get caves message in
the Thunderhead peaks area versus
anywhere else where you know i'll take
an airship out of lion's arch if it's
anywhere else or you just go back into
the key but the the what the commander
says is you know you know I need to I
need to tell them I need to tell them
what happened and you know the
commanders basically gone on this sort
of walkabout trying to figure out what
to do because they still don't know what
to do and that was to contextualize the
fact that as a player you may have been
spending the last four months running
around the open world doing yeah but
there is a feel weird if we told the
story absolutely but there isn't really
a whole lot that we can do to and we
wouldn't necessarily want to do this
either to prevent players from going
right from Episode five to episode six
we can suggest that time has passed that
you know weeks have passed or days have
passed since the end of five in the
beginning of six in our heads that's
what we sort of imagine with the
requiems stories you know in Kate's
story she very clearly you know says of
commanders been gone for a while I
should probably give them a call and
give them a call and you know it's it's
one of those things where you know for
some players they get what we consider
like the optimal experience with regard
to time and how that happens so if you
played Episode five when it came out and
you read the requiem stories as those
came out and then you played episode six
then I think that that feels a little
bit more as we initially intended it but
you know players players
can go right from five to six and it's
not the wrong way to play it well it's
just a different way to experience this
is a challenge for serialized
storytelling in general right especially
since the Netflix binging model sort of
came along people who make serialized
stories whether they're for television
or in games have a real challenge right
now because there are a number of
different kinds of distribution models
and in our case there is as you say a
distribution model which is basically
generally irregular in other words you
can you can play stuff as soon as we put
it out or you can wait and like play a
bunch of it at once just like you
couldn't wait and binge orange is a new
black all at once right and and I think
umbrella Academy but yes but I think I
think that's a very sort of 21st century
problem for those of us who do this sort
of storytelling because we can't
necessarily anticipate exactly how our
audience is going to be ingesting this
stuff and at what pace and so we do I
mean you know it used to be that there
was a presumption here that between the
episodes basically as much real time
elapsed as happened in the real world
while players were waiting for them and
at least since I've been here we've sort
of just dispensed with that because it
felt very impractical we like to be able
to do cliffhangers we like to be able to
do things which which could basically
pick up whatever we want them to so we
sort of just forgot about that rule but
we do I think it's fair to say our
mindset when we're making stuff is is
that the ideal way for you to consume it
is sort of at the pace that we're
publishing it essentially I mean that's
that's the way that we're that we're
writing it at very least right but you
know we were always thinking about the
other scenarios as well oh go ahead yeah
I didn't want to say kudos for the
crystal in the heart thing because when
Oren explains that that was why she
couldn't just immediately regenerate
it's an extremely time agnostic right
placeholder' took a while took a little
longer yeah yeah so kudos to coming up
with that that was a really great way to
bridge that gap
now I that I think was used somebody the
white person said we'll wait a second
how come she couldn't done it faster I
couldn't she couldn't do it immediately
we have to answer those questions right
yeah yeah take you to here what a
crystal stab and it's not just that it
stab you through the heart that's net
it's lodged in there so yeah it stayed
there yeah that's actually a good point
speaking of worryin explaining I want to
talk a little bit about our reading
being able to explain anything there was
a we talked a little bit about when she
branded Kate and she said speak through
me okay well Keith West talking but
Irene was talking to actually yeah if
you go back in that's right if you watch
that cinematic very closely and listen
very closely you will hear Nika
Futterman T Noreen speak that line I am
NOT him along with Kari wahlgren who
plays Kath and most people didn't hear
it most people heard car E and that's
because that was what we meant for the
other people listening to Keith in the
room to hear right the the re invoice is
mostly for the player probably the
people in the room don't detect it but
we had already cast Nika Futterman as as
Aria at that point we knew that we're
gonna move forward with her and so we
got that one line for her for Episode
five and and then a whole bunch more for
Episode six yeah so this is this is our
chance to introduce another new voice
actor to the Guild Wars 2 yes lineup
Nika Futterman has done a ton of stuff I
don't know about the recipe in our
household we were all very excited
because she is asajj ventress
oh right right over there super excited
well immediately was she played the
villain silhouette in my beard the very
first game I wrote Destroy All Humans
at the beginning of my big career and
and and so like my you know and I am
working with her since then actually but
I adore her everybody adores her yeah
she's she's on the loud house yeah she's
had an amazing life yep I'm not even
gonna go into it but like she's one of
those people who you're like you're like
you're just one of the most amazing
people I've ever heard about
yes it
was awesome um when I found out I texted
like my entire family I was like hey
this is this is who is going to be
working with us here's her name I will
wait screaming hit my text so we do have
a little clip of naked doing her thing
in the booth mark can we tickets go to
the tape go to the tape
now we must ride and champion the toric
from the myths I forgot her big glasses
yeah yeah so welcome Nika yep awesome
work that was something that I think a
lot of players were really interested to
know more about how we decided okay
arenas gonna have her own voice this is
how she's going to communicate with us
what were those conversations like well
I mean the first thing is our dragons
have spoken frequently right
and particularly glint and blast both of
who are relatives of yeah Vereen spoke
thank you for breaking my heart with
Flast by the way I appreciate you
hurting me
I know suzune and and so it seemed but
we hadn't yet had Irene talk I don't
know that that was even necessarily a
conscious positive act of choice we just
hadn't done it yeah we were trying to
figure out when it should happen and
under what circumstances and the thing
that's always true with Irene is she is
and I hope this gives some context also
to why we made the choice to bring her
back the that Irene is utterly unique in
the world of Guild Wars - right she is a
dragon like has never existed before
she's been raised from an egg by people
by mortals she understands mortals and
the value of mortals in a way that I
think it's safe to say the other Elder
Dragons that we've seen do not
and even flint and glass to some degree
I think don't have the same glow sorry
the blasters are blasts blasts I don't
necessarily have this the same sort of
degree of understanding and and empathy
with them that that Irene does well I
think last address that a little bit
yeah that's right he never got the
advantage of that connection yep and and
so for us that's a key part of why Irene
can be who she is and do what she's
going to do and speaking directly to the
to the factor of reviving her Irene is a
very very important character in our
story now and moving forward
I can't I'm not gonna say more than that
but important enough that Irene was not
a character we could allow to stay dead
we weren't going to do that
and so so then the question was okay
well you know what what is the right
time for her to gain the ability to
speak right and and we figured I think
that it could be that it could be a bit
of a gradual process which is why we had
her brand cave in Episode four and and
become you know gained the ability to
speak foreign basically what she's doing
sort of taking ourian's motion alone
pression x' and she's putting them into
words and some players have wondered why
we didn't sort of stick with that for
longer and that's a legitimate thing to
wonder about because I think at the time
we probably assumed we would but what we
came to realize when we started planning
episode six was oh wait we're gonna have
this long sequence where you're chasing
Crockett or writing or een and Kate's
not gonna be there and we did not want
to have you unable to communicate in any
way or habitat more to the point to have
our een unable to communicate with you
that didn't make any sense at all and so
the story that part of the story sort of
forced us to move more quickly
I think otherwise we might have waited
until after she ascends to do it but but
but we needed her to be able to do it
for this episode so we said okay she's
gonna come back with that ability and it
is a little too bad because I would have
liked to see Kate be her her voice for a
little longer perhaps you know but
sometimes your hand is forced and it
doesn't necessarily mean that she won't
still you know sir
that kind no that's absolutely true that
connection she has with with Arrhenius
very specific and clear that's true and
I don't think I mean I think the the the
crystal bloom coming back to cave at the
being the episode shows that that's not
gone away and her brand didn't go away
right she kept the brand was still there
even when was it yeah in the epilogue we
actually made a point to mention that
Kate still has this connection to or
you know directly to or eans emotions
and feelings yep persist yeah
so speaking of flying with Irene for 15
minutes that kind of takes us on farther
into the story and I want to talk a
little bit about that and just the just
the impact of getting up there with
Orion flying along and trying to take
out her own grandfather was there was
there was a lot to there was a lot to
unpack there for sure um starting with
the fact that she calls him grandfather
yes which a lot of people reacted to I
don't remember who that was but I yeah I
don't know whose idea was exactly but I
know that the moment it was suggested
the room got very excited about it it
was we were trying to come up with
something for her to say yeah when she
attacks Crockett or ik and you know
slaps him across the face knowledge and
was that was an impactful moment I think
that's right and and we were always
aware of that I mean we I mean I think
maybe glint doesn't say it specifically
but but she certainly refers obviously
to Irene as as her child and so there's
I mean you all you have to do is do the
math right and and and it's possible
that it was actually the writing of the
last chapter that may have been fluence
that because when we decided and we can
well we can talk more about this in a
while but when we get to that part but
but when we decided that Crockett or
equation not just a rabid shark and that
we wanted him to be a person are one of
our sort of slow changes to the to the
the world over this season has been
dragons are not crazed wild animals with
no rationality they are they are actual
people and Arion has our window into
that that's how we that's how the
commander and ever
but he else knows it because now they
know our een they know a dragon away
they never knew one before and so when
we realized we wanted to pardon the term
humanized croc at work a little bit that
clearly was awaited to begin to do that
and that was a that decision to
humanized Crockett or ik and we can
speak to that a little bit more later on
because that was a question that a lot
of players have was how did how did you
come to that decision and it is it is
part of a larger part of the stories yes
that takes us to knocking Crockett or
out of the mists and dragon fall which
the map we're going to address in a
little bit here with a couple of our
other deaf guests so hang out of that
one I do want to talk you had mentioned
talking about reiterating this Crockett
orc fight and how this could have felt
like episode 5 all over again and
something that I do want to address
because Kevin you worked on that final
instance and one of the things you
mentioned seriously one of the things
that you mentioned as a designer was
wanting to make this feel as impactful
as epic as awesome as the episode 5
Crockett org fight but not rehashing
yeah that was a big concern that was a
big concern when we realized that we
would actually be not just fighting
Krakatoa but killing Krakatoa in this
episode it's like well and we just kind
of did that and lost and it was an
amazing fight like that fight with
Krakatoa in episode 5 was it's fantastic
it's so good and so I
oh yes I was sitting there the same
thing oh this is so amazing yeah what
are we gonna do so it was very important
to create to create a fight that did not
even that did not attempt to overshadow
in chapter 5 a totally different kind of
fight completely different a fight how
do you have the idea for the aspects of
the of the other gods and Dragons
and so that kind of went in a number of
different directions through the course
of iteration and originally we wanted to
show we only want to use them just as
pure mechanics of fighting but here are
these things that are just inside of
them and you just need to deal with use
it against him just do the magic as more
of the as more of the narrative started
to come together with crack fighting
with himself then suddenly it became
what if these are also pieces that are
fighting amongst themselves within him
so that's really elegant I hadn't
thought of it that way that's cool it
kind of grew out of a collaboration with
with a neo a lot it was the big crock
writer yes yeah yeah that final instance
was his yeah his big is big but he was
he was the the lead on the project and
so you know it was a phenomenal sort of
collaborative environment not just
between him and Lily and the rest of the
narrative team but with design as well
every single gameplay moment had you
know that's sort of that sort of
marriage of design and narrative that we
wanted to that we wanted to hit which is
really important to us like it's it's we
we love narrative that's divorced from
gameplay or vice versa
that when they're integrated thoroughly
and they're supporting each other it's
it's just so much of a better experience
so we work hard to try to do that yeah
something that you didn't necessarily
have we have we have this luxury of good
narrative throughout our game which I
absolutely love not that Tom does
anything impaired but you had you had
less of that to work with and that you
had a lot to convey with not a ton of
dialogue did you even start it it
started with it started with the the
pillar that it was going to be inside of
Craig and it was going to be it needed
to feel like that this is a metaphysical
space that was both in reality but not
in reality at the same time and we
needed to we needed to come we needed to
have game play that really played on
this bizarro world that you found that
the player finds himself in and as
interesting as that may sound being
handed a cult a nearly completely blank
canvas like that and just do it it's
terrifying it is it was it was very
terrifying and as a matter of fact the
final instance was the was the last one
to get approved because it went through
so many iterations yeah many many
different versions of that final
instance went through the ringer before
we finally landed on what we did the
other thing too though I mean the choice
of setting it inside Krell Couture which
leads to that both real and and abstract
space thing which is which I love which
is so trippy but which created problems
before is that the at the end of it like
that's born to of what you were talking
about before in the sense of in order to
make it different from Episode five you
know what what is different about Crouch
is in Episode five he's he's you know
he's got a lot of strength and power
until he gets his head stuck in the key
basically right but in this we knew from
the beginning that you know midway
through or at the end of the first
instance basically I mean he's he's down
pinned down
chunks of islands pulled from the myths
and all that stuff and and and he's
definitely down for the count we've got
a we've got to finish it but he's we've
at that point we've accomplished a lot
of what we needed to write and so I can
imagine the the challenge that it you
know presented you guys with okay what
do I do to make that interesting a
dragon couldn't really fight back that
were right right yeah yeah and it was
almost like a counterintuitive because
you would think as crowd as he would be
spending more and more energy to fight
you off what little energy he has
logically that might seem that then the
deeper into it you get the easier it
wouldn't but that's not that's so that's
not good gameplay no and I think the
solution is really brilliant and I don't
remember when we all decided that it did
need to be a space that wasn't exactly
representational of reality but maybe
just goes along with I'm going into an
elder dragon who's as big as Manhattan
right and and and we sort of I think we
all sort of liked the idea there was a
lot of discussion frankly of at least
you know in our room in the writers room
about 2001 and everything that happens
from from the when Dave goes into this
to the Stargate basically to the end of
the movie where he ends up in that weird
Luca tours French hotel room with the
mind right like like we and I think that
that sort I think that that was a big
influence on our thinking just in the
sense of it doesn't have to be a thing
that you totally understand and it
doesn't have to be a thing that's that's
naturalistic it can be it can be
imagistic and representational and
evocative of mood and tone and which is
why you can get to what we call Crockett
orcs heart and it's a big glowing ball
it's nothing that actually looks like a
heart or it just doesn't seem to be
functioning exactly that way but it is
as they say in the in the episode the
the core of his power right yeah yeah
the heartbeat you commented that the
heartbeat was something that you could
use to contextualize oh yeah there was
there was a lot of
at one point there was a lot of dialogue
in that beginning sequence in the
instance where we are explaining lots of
exposition right explaining explaining
explaining suddenly we were like you
know there's just there are too many
words how can you get the same message
across with fewer words yes
and I'm this happened in the writers
room so I wasn't there for this so I
don't know who originally came up with
the idea but the this idea of the
heartbeat being this conveying this
information of he's not only is he still
alive but we can see how hurt hurt he is
by the by the how fast and slow it is we
can give that momentary feeling of oh we
won by it's stopping and then having it
start up again spontaneously and having
everyone react to it and so with the
heartbeat and a few gasps we managed to
convey the same as we were trying to do
with like 15 minutes of dialogue yep it
could have been audio could have been
could have been Kristin and Jason that
may have been their idea but but I mean
one of the things that that from our
point of view that motivated that is and
this is a thing for anybody who is you
know aspires to be a game writer or
screenwriter for that matter because
it's a it's a guideline that comes from
a screenwriting but something that we
talk about all the time on our team is
unless you're Quentin Tarantino or Aaron
Sorkin fewer words are better just are
there's no way around it I hate it
because I overwrite like crazy
and and I love writing dialogue too and
you know hearing people talk and it's
especially if it's exposition it's like
I mean you may as well just cut your
head off it's it's it's a hard and fast
rule and and so we're always pushing to
try to call and and make things more
concise and boil stuff down so that
every word is doing a lot of work and
and carrying a lot of information on its
own and is not in any way superfluous
that's a just a general rule we aim for
so all right so I want to get to the
grand finale
huh of the finale yeah this is this the
end of the beginning
because we also we have
a couple more things to talk about and
then we have a lot of questions and then
we have another segment this show is
never going to add it's gonna feel chap
marathon marathon we're gonna be like
rivaling we were talking about endgame
we're gonna be like rivaling it so let's
talk about the Ascension we need a new
room every time does it just crashes
through so is that is that the is that
the end that you always knew was coming
for this season yes probably I mean I
certainly certainly by episode three we
knew that would yeah arena Sims yes in
general yes we knew what that was what
we wanted yep
the actual how it would happen now yes
that that was more like we had stuff to
plot out but we knew that that's how we
wanted the season to end we wanted to
end it on an uplifting note but also
there are these little these little
these little moments that maybe you know
maybe pull that back a little bit like
no dragons meant to contain that much
that much right well there's a mystery
there there is mystery about what she's
become and what our relationship is
going to be with her moving forward
right and and there's an arc that this
season especially has largely been about
for both the commander and caithe of n
for een of of Irene's adolescence and
her going from being a baby through the
process of being a teenager to finally
becoming an adult and her parents the
commander and Kate have to come come to
peace with letting her go and I know for
Neil and and for me and and Armand I
think we're the three of the people I
can't think of anybody else who goes Oh
Bobby um who has kids but for those of
us who have children none of us have
grown children yet but but we can see
that day on the horizon and I think we
related to that for sure and and so we
knew that was sort of our eanes arc for
the season we knew by the time
we were into episode three the very bare
bones of the story we wanted to tell
beyond this season we weren't sure
exactly then what form it was gonna take
we didn't you know we hadn't we hadn't
necessarily figured out exactly what our
content model was gonna be post season
for might be an expansion pack might be
we didn't you know we didn't know we
didn't know that stuff then we those
things are still to be decided but but
we have a sense I'll just say we have a
sense of where this story is going for
quite some time and we are Julia said
last week nothing we no choice we make
is by accident I don't how many people
caught her saying that but I loved that
she said it because it's really true
yeah we are planting seeds for stuff
that won't get paid off until be are
lucky enough to have the time for a
while and hopefully as they do pay off
that that the fact of their having been
planted so long ago and come to fruition
over a longer period of time will be
something that's really gratifying to
people that's that's what we angle yeah
and that's that's something that I've
enjoyed watching us too in the past and
that I'm enjoy watching in process now
we plant these story seeds that get paid
off over it is such a long game the
whole way and it it feels amazing to
just sit back and watch sorry I mean you
know just just just to pick one detail
out the people that we I was surprised
so many people like latched on to
because frankly I expected it to go Shh
yes just before he dies
crowd Catholic says mother what does
that mean yeah I'm laughing because so
much of what you guys are all saying I'm
like oh there's a question for that yeah
yeah yeah and and like we were saying
for if you you know if you go if you go
that he doesn't say that for no reason
and if you listen to that part and
listen to what's going on orally yeah
you know you might be able to pick up
some clues yeah alright so i Kevin you
have some bugs that you worked through
that I wouldn't talk about because
they're a fun room and the best yeah and
simultaneously the one I hate
oh it's so good all right give us
context all right so picture it Cecily
so I come into work one morning and is
Napoleon's army is wreaking havoc across
Europe and I fire up our tools to start
the day's work and I am greeted with
with this bug and it made it absolutely
unbearable to just could not work that
day it was it at least not with
headphones on so with that let's go to
the tape I don't know about you two but
I feel like I could outrun a center for
some reason there was an audio bug that
caused the first line of every dialogue
to continue to play over and over and
over it didn't stop anything else
replaying what the whole rest of the
dialogue would still play sometimes it
was contextual but the first line would
definitely repeat over and over and over
stacked on top of the next one stacked
on top of the next one and then even
though the automatic ones like the the
sprint response
I can't run a centaur just over and over
and over couldn't stop it
Oh uh-huh everyone in the others like
new in that line especially I love
everyone who does our PC human female
but that line to my ear frequently plays
in context where it really isn't
appropriate and and so to hear it that
sort of taken all the way to the extreme
in that bug like freaked me
so what it's it's obviously not still
there correct although I do feel like I
hear that light as often and I like that
we had we had Alex noticed I think we
had the special little robot voice we
had robo voices yeah her voice is really
good actor yes what pronoun it
pronounces croc toric is crop a lyric
which is rights that feature a lot of
our names in path of fire the alonein
names were just oh that's right connect
yep I have said this before but way back
when we had like the echo my defenses
are in lionsearch there's and you were
arguing with like Balthasar's and he had
one line where his line was just and
here he met a robo voice was one of the
joys of my life it likes to spell Joe
sometimes sometimes it will try to do
that but sometimes it'll just be like
pp8 PPF yeah yeah I mean what yes really
yeah in my instance where the where you
walk into the ley line room and you see
all three ley lines and luck is like oh
here's ley line oh and another and
well with Robo voice he goes and another
a and D another what is he drawing it
out it's yes if it's connected to an
ellipsis that's exactly what it is Oh
ellipsis he spells it out we need like a
best-of Robo voice oh my gosh it would
be an excruciating just bugs but just
factors of the development of this
episode like temporary textures on
Krakatoa in yeah in the flying chapter
oh yeah before he got final chapters
before he got his skin he had you know
this you know this this rainbow sort of
pattern on him with little numbers and
everything for the final for the final
texture and so you're just flying
find this you know fight this like you
know five mile giant you know Raymond
dragon though it looked like a
paint-by-numbers book it was it was
majestic if you will what I want that
screenshot later I'll give it yeah
there's a screenshot if people have
never seen you know stages in the game
development process that kind of polish
comes in really late looks like crap
yeah we've showed some of the
development stuff here on the show and I
mean it goes all the way from like
crummy whiteboard drawings so like
really terrible paint messes oh shoot I
know that's what you wanted I could have
sent you a bunch of mark is giving like
huge thumbs up behind by this table yes
we wouldn't if you have if you like
scrolled something crappy and paint I
will give it to me this is what I want
there were there were little bugs for
the conversations in the open world
where when you go speak to the the head
of a camp these little contextual boxes
will open up and depending on which step
of the meta you're on they will have
different responses for you but I had to
script them myself for reasons don't you
do it wasn't so much what I did it's
what I didn't do I didn't have
conditions for all of them which meant
that when you would talk to a character
every single one of the meta avid like
one of those conversation pads would be
there simultaneously so you'd go talk to
a character and just be like can I help
can I help can I help you look like a
very overeager commander and you know I
think the first book I guys like there
are all these options to help but I'm
like yeah I know I scripted them and
then I saw the bug like I didn't script
I will find out who did that immediately
yeah so what was what was the highlight
working on Episode six for you and you
guys have this question coming so be
thinking okay oh my goodness I think the
highlight the highlight was in watching
all of the streamers played through on
opening day i sat through a lot of I had
a couple of windows open and watching
different streamers play through it and
seeing their expressions as they as they
did everything it was that that was
that's the payoff you put in all months
of hard work and then to see the joy on
people's faces as they expected to
experience it for the first time that's
it is it
it feels amazing and that's what we've
talked about before and I've said that
before when I'm when we've had you know
something is delayed or something is we
have to pause something for a second or
we have to kill switch something and
like we are that is all we want we are
dying to get this in front of you all
this is this is why we're here is to get
this in front of you so seeing all of
you I mean we're all sitting around
watching streamers we're watching people
play it and we're listening to reactions
and something that I have done a couple
of times is share around with the teams
all of like the the various social media
and forum reactions and stuff and
because it is an absolute joy to see to
finally get it in front of everybody
yeah so yeah that's a huge highlight for
me too I had a brief online chat with
her or PG on Tuesday yeah and and and
she said oh it's it's it's so it's such
a blast to to know that the devs are
watching my stream and I said well
listen believe me
it's at least as we a blast for us to be
able to watch people react to what we've
done because you don't get that in any
other medium except live theater right
you make movies you make television
shows you write books whatever you know
any other creative entertainment medium
we don't get to watch people receive the
work that we do in real time in real
time and and to have streamers that we
can watch doing that for me is a joy
I've never had it before I worked here
and it's just delightful you just
reminded me of something when we did we
did that compilation of streamers
reactions for episode
five at the end oh that's right and we
started pulling together we were pulling
together different clips and things and
I started asking around I was like hey
if anybody has something good that they
saw like if you were watching a
particular streamer let me know and I
was like I don't know if I'll really get
anything but you know we could use the
help because we're on a pretty quick
timeline and everything like throughout
the company stuff was pouring in
everybody had somebody that they wanted
to share everybody was just like oh my
god yes I've been watching streamers all
day and this is amazing you have to look
at this one and this one and this one
and this one and everybody had just been
clicking all over the place where you
know and just everybody was so excited
and it was like that for this - it was
but for the end of five ever we had I
don't know if maybe was just internal
but somebody did a little compilation
video of people see me watching the end
which it was not we showed it on the
show yeah it was so cool yeah it was so
good I think put that together that's
right lucky for us so was that if so
that was a good answer
doubt that would be a fine answer for
sure I think I think that my answer has
more to do with the fact that and I
think we talked we talked to morphus Lee
a little bit about this last week we
didn't get into details because we
because we couldn't yet but that this
episode was a particularly difficult
birth in the sense that for for the
narrative team at least dialing in
specifically things as I've said like
like tone and and figuring out we've
built up over so long not just one
season but there are things you know
from since Irene was an egg we're paying
off stuff that that's a couple seasons
and a couple of expansion packs old at
this point right and and and there's a
lot of stuff a lot of big stuff we know
that we have to accomplish which is why
you know some of the streamers are going
whoa re just got revived and now I'm
flying on a bag and I'm chasing around
still in the first cheddar what the hell
you know which is yeah we have a lot of
stuff we got to do here today that we
built up to and and episode 5 also it
wasn't as difficult to birth certainly
but it was it was big
right there's all durst I mean obviously
the last 45 minutes especially or just
like he had to play it four more times
than you want Jo sure and and and so for
six figuring out how to stick the
landing was just something that for
whatever reason didn't ever seem like it
came easy for us it was a thing we
really every day in in the writers room
we were working over material and
talking about it and trying to figure
out why we didn't think it was working
and and and you know Alex and lily and
Neal did drafts up on trial and drafts
of especially this the scene at the
beginning with our ena and also the the
stuff at the end inside Kralik I'm
trying to get that just right trying to
make sure there's not too much
exposition trying to figure out how do
you how can we be abstract in that
sequence and yet not make people go what
the hell are you doing right and which
is one reason to be perfectly honest
that we have Irene say I don't know
what's about to happen I can't I can
explain it to you but I want to share it
with you because we knew if we tried to
explain it it wouldn't make any sense
Irene is becoming an elder dragon that's
all that you need to know everything
else is straggling yeah and so so
weirdly enough though the fact that it
that it took such hard work to sort of
for the narrative part of it to emerge
and really get nailed down and be what
it needed to be in the process amazing
work an amazing leveling up of writers
that I watched not just Alex and Lillian
Neil although certainly for them too but
everybody in the room because one of the
great things about the process that we
have developed is it constantly is
making everybody in the room better
including me and boy what an incredible
gift that is I've been searching my
whole career too
a way to do that really because I always
used to tell people you've heard me say
this but that that that I wish that I
could take my experience as a reader in
Hollywood a script reader and for two
years and bottle that and give it to
writers because that's the single thing
that that was the best education for me
was reading other people other writers
bad screenplays and seeing them make
mistakes that I was making too but now I
could be objective about it and going oh
that's why that doesn't work right and
our writers room process that we've
we've developed that on a daily basis
for everybody in the room and so the
pride that I feel in arduous hard work
not only like the Kate thing we talked
about last week the the you know the the
the team just really really ground
through these obstacles and and came
through with a thing that I think just
sings and is gorgeous and is abstract
and beautiful and you can in some ways
take whatever meaning you want from the
end of it but for sure the story's not
over and I'm just I I couldn't be more
proud of them and and I love every
single one of them the ones who are
still here and the ones that are gone
for all of the incredible contributions
that they made okay top that yeah I mean
the development of the episode gave this
opportunity to see the whole team not
just narrative but design production or
engineering to see everyone at their
best there are things that we do in this
episode that we have not done before in
our game and there is one moment in
particular that I will not forget
anytime soon Taylor who was the
mastermind behind the the flying
sequence yeah in in the mists when
you're with Orion and chasing after croc
rhetoric you know he he'd been working
on this for a while and it you know it
looked stunning and different
and and and weird and awesome and
there's a moment when everything just
sort of comes together like all the
assets are in and the gameplay clicks
and everything just sort of looks the
way that you realize it's going to look
in the final game and you realize that
you know when you're making a game it's
broken until it's fixed right and that
was broken a lot for a long time it was
I mean it was and you know it was it was
entirely because we've never done
anything yeah it was so hard to pull off
and the fact that you know it was not
only pulled off but it was executed so
well by every department and tailor you
know really brought it home and seeing
it as it was you know as players now see
for the first time was absolutely
just just seeing that that moment when
it all sort of came together we're all
sort of they go oh my god am I am i
flying on our aim yeah oh oh my god yeah
and like we're all I remember like
everyone you know like I walked over
there because I could sort of see it on
his monitor and it's you know and it's
it's all it's all in and then everyone
is sort of like turning around in their
desks and getting up out of their chairs
and walking over and they're huddling
around Taylor's desk we're watching it
on his on his monitor and we're like oh
like wow like it actually it actually
looks like it's in the game now it's
amazing and it and yes yeah I mean there
were a lot of moments like that
throughout like like dragonfall the
island in particular like you know when
when the you know when we first saw a
croc in the map and we saw his tail
there we're like you know be like it'd
be kind of cool if like his tail it came
up and then like slammed into the ground
and then you know art was like yeah like
we can do that what whoa oh okay
that was just we were thinking wouldn't
it be cool in this magical world of
things we can't do yeah yeah and I mean
they were just there were there were
lots of moments like that it wasn't
really one moment it was several moments
it was many many moments it was getting
the line fly down his throat and punch
his heart until it dies into the script
right heaven very very very high and
then making sure that that's essentially
what happened
all right yes lot just lots lots of
those it was it was great okay so it's
getting late we have a pile of questions
to burn through all right I still want
to talk about dragon fall and the events
and everything and we have a couple of
guys waiting for that so let's start
going through questions we're we pulled
questions from the forums and we will
just go through these in order as you
whoever wants to answer that first one
sure it's certainly not the writers the
visual noise question sorry the question
was will there be any attempt to read in
the visual noise the last instance was
pure fleshing I feel like it was it felt
like a lot of flashing lights and
effects it was not truly pure flashing
lights I think that was the true-true of
the battle at the end of episode 5 - you
know it is to some degree an artifact of
our game yeah yeah so yeah I this was
part okay not partially this was
completely my fault so the the idea
there we have the - the kind of the dual
reality is inside during that fight you
have the you have the normal
metaphysical fighting with with the
Crockett orcs torment and then when he
goes unconscious and the brand storm
within him explodes out then you're in
like a storm reality metaphysical space
inside of so it's speaking to what's
happening it it is speaking to what's
happening but I was probably a little
heavy-handed with with bang sparkle
glitter so yeah I love I would say I
love that description so yeah me tear
that makes me happy um so yeah that was
but yeah what that was was speaking to
what was going on and yeah I see what
you're saying yeah it's it's somewhat
die jetting okay okay so why did you
choose to humanize crack at the end we
touched on
as torn up by all the magic she's
absorbed is it because croc 'is more
crystalline and set in his ways did he
just absorb more than she had are there
other dragons experiencing similar
issues man take this you man okay cuz
it's I mean how to treat this question
is somewhat delicate because you know it
would be very easy to spoil things that
we have in the works or even if their
long-term enough that they're not
necessarily already in the works but
we've thought about them so so what I'll
say is that's that's a good question to
ask yeah the the what we what we have
what we're beginning to see certainly
what we saw with Krakatoa canned I think
now everybody's aware of this is that is
that Krakatoa himself as we learn when
we were inside him and we're hearing the
argument that's going on between him and
the part of him that is tormenting him
which is really sort of the
manifestation of all those magics is the
Krakatoa key like I said is not the the
mindless rabid shark that he has seemed
to be that something has been making him
that way and what exactly know there's
there speculation from characters in the
episode that it may have something to do
with all the different kinds of magics
that he is absorbed and and I also want
to say just because there's this there's
this magic that's tormenting him it
doesn't necessarily mean that croc is
good no no that's right that's not we're
not saying he was mr. Rogers before but
you know before that happened by an
imagination you know obviously all of
our elder dragons to this point have
have have certainly had very destructive
aspects to them in terms of how whatever
they do interacts with the mortal world
yeah I mean they've just they've they've
gone through this cycle many times I've
destroyed countless civilizations so
that's right yeah and and so but but the
question of is there something recurring
that makes this problem worse than it
might otherwise be it is a good question
to ask him to think of
and it's it's a question that we are
asking and thinking about as we move
forward with the story and now that our
een has received all of his Magic's it's
a question Noreen is gonna have to think
about okay all right
did Glen realize didn't realize the full
potential that Irene had in terms of
being able to withstand multiple kinds
of magic was it really just counting on
our Enon blasts replacing the two dead
Elder Dragons and maintaining at least a
bit of balance I'm not sure if that
second paragraph it's different okay
that's a different that's a different
question yeah so I mean getting getting
into what glint did or did not know I'm
not sure how deep into that we want to
go not too deep but what I will say is
this one of the streamers I can tree
which one
I remember when Irene ascended said oh
she looks sort of like a prism and
that's an interesting thing to take note
of yes next my standard teaser answered
that's an interesting thing yes
mordremoth died half a continent away I
was crouched II absorbed enough of his
Riko a magical indigestion how do you
Asura have electronics I mean come on
really wouldn't at the end of the day I
think for us magic is not it's not bound
by most physical properties probably
yeah it's not a question we've ever
asked ourselves honestly I don't think
the the big reason we had to force
Crocky out of the mists before we
offered before we offered is because
very bad things would happen if that
magic were released in the mists how
badly damaged are the mists thanks to
Crockett Oryx rampage yeah so good
question yeah that's a very good
question and the answer is you had a
catastrophic yeah probably pretty bad
yeah you're flying through there in in
the first chapter and it's you know
there is a lot of empty
space crack has been devouring the mists
for quite some time you know after the
end of the last episode and you know
you're you're flying through it you're
ripping holes through all of these
different environments dragging chunks
of it behind you
yeah it's uh it's it's pretty bad and
you know like like we've alluded to
that's not something that we're planning
on just sort of right that's it there
are definite repercussions for
everything that's happened
in the mists not for nothing yeah we
gonna have more more questions why
didn't Crockett or just e Doreen in the
narrative team comment on why they chose
to end this episode and season on a the
end moment yes so it has been noted that
in the the verses from the book of
Balthazar that Zafira is reciting over
the trailer that the last line of last
two lines of that are for it maybe the
death is not the end but possibly the
end of the beginning and I don't think
it's telling any tales out of school to
say that you can see that or Eames
journey from being an egg to being a
baby to being a teenager and now to
ascending to adulthood in a sense and
becoming an elder dragon that that is
there's a complete arc there there's a
journey that is the beginning of her
life that is now over and she's probably
got some life left to live so something
you said earlier put me in mind of how
long this arc this journey has been way
way back when when we saw that glow
coming out of the airship yeah yeah and
yeah I mean predates me predates you
like this is stuff so I don't know
necessarily how much of what we sort of
think we know now people who were here
then making those choices necessarily
had in mind but I know that we look at
as they made and they and we go okay
what can we do with that right and so
you know with Irene we have found what
we feel like in a lot of ways is sort of
the spine of our story the the whole
story seems to have coalesced around her
over much of the history of gilworth to
post corium luncheon and so you know for
us that line was not glib it is kind of
the end of the beginning I think and
that's so that's an end but it's also it
implies you know that that you're just
getting started okay so you kind of
touched on that less that next one
Rach is going to be joining the Alma
Connie is rock showing signs of poor
health during this episode or is it just
where she pregnant somebody at yeah yes
he said I think she's pregnant she's
been raising her Cubs bran was the
father I think is Rock's going to
joining the Olmec on I mean I think
that's that's pretty clear yeah if you
play the open-world I was I know if you
played just the Golden Path first and
then the open world meted this may be a
little confusing to you but it's pretty
clear in the conversations that that
rocks has with Boudica in the open world
that that that is exactly what she's
doing she's found her war band now he's
found her tribe and she wants to go be
with them and she knows that that's not
going to be the easiest thing for bram a
guy who's always pining after family and
has just come to peace with the idea
that this group of people and dragons
watches his family that's not gonna be
an easy thing for him to hear and and
she being a lovely and very
compassionate person he's hesitant to
say it outright to him but yeah yeah and
showing signs of poor health during this
episode or is he just afraid of the
monsters I'm not sure if that's
referring to her her moments in the
escort where you're going through the
cave but that was a claustrophobic
she showed yeah so she lost her war band
in mind right that's a yes and yes
that's PTSD bases yeah so she you know
she's in this you know she's in this
space where there are you know literal
cave-ins happening around her and she's
having you know
she's having these flashbacks to that
moment where she lost her war band and
so we wanted to capture that you know
very real sort of sort of fear that
someone like that would have yeah having
gone through something like that will
Hogan be going back to Divinity's reach
to be with the Queen Jennah now that
he's been redeemed I love that this arc
got resolved by the way so do we yes
we're very very happy
as for blogan and going back to
Divinity's reach uh stay tuned mm-hmm on
the basis that the world can't end
because we wouldn't have a game that
they did good valid your thinking with
us now consideration be made to reduce
the scale of the threats in the guild
wars 2 storyline so that's a very
poignant I think very very well made
point is that you know if the stakes are
always the world's going to end you know
it's it's kind of difficult to really
show stakes because you know that if you
lose the world's going to end of the
game can't continue that's right so so
how do we how do we play with that and I
will I will say consideration is
absolutely being made yeah I mean you
know we we this season we weren't sure
when we started it two years ago when we
started figuring out what it was two
plus years ago we weren't sure exactly
what our content model might look like
after it we weren't sure exactly what
we're gonna do and we have a history
with each new season of making some
changes sort of to various things you
know sort of the scope of each episode
what the what the cadence of how they
drop and all that kind of stuff is and
and so this season since we didn't have
some of those answers it we we made what
perhaps was the the questionable choice
of going pretty big because you know we
wanted to make sure that this story if
this were really was sort of a
culmination in ways and we were gonna
move on to different storylines or
whatever that it felt very complete and
epic and I think that you know we we
wouldn't want to try to sustain that
moving forward because it's really hard
so we're talking about ways that we can
guy stuff that you're gonna even really
love but that also will will be
sustainable in a way that we can manage
and I think it probably does involve
some some considerations like that yeah
real quick I'm going to say we have time
for three more questions because we are
close to the 90 minute mark and we still
have more show yeah just like it feels
like it's been two seconds it it does
but I can see the Jerry Lewis telethon
frankly mark can you go to the next page
and I will let you guys pick three
questions yeah I think we re-entered the
third one there basically yeah yeah how
difficult do you find scaling in the
guild wars 2 storyline when thinking
about this in the story development
meetings and have there been any moments
in the past where you've wanted to do
something on the cataclysmic side and
had to reel it in for the sake of
maintaining a degree of scaling every
single story be that we come up with
needs to be realized by a team of dozens
of people across many many months
designers artists animators audio people
yeah so you know where we might start at
a very high level with these you know
cataclysmic sort of sort of things
exterior Syria explodes
yeah when when the rubber meets the road
you know you've got you know artists who
are like well I mean we can do this but
it will take this long you've got you
know engineers saying like well we can
do this but we'll have to like laughs
like tweak this thing you've got you've
got writers who are like well I mean we
can't jump from this scene to this scene
because you know that that would be that
would be you know too jarring so
eventually there is a point in the
development process where reality hits
and you know you do need to make some
hard decisions yeah although we tried to
be conscious of that we're in the
inception phase yes though the longer
that you do this the more of the more
informed you become of what you know
what is what is possible in the amount
of time that we have so we've gotten
better at it I think we touched on that
yeah but I'll just say the discussion
will we get to know more about mothers
soon don't don't expect full answers to
right away but it's a thing to think
about okay Irene having absorbed magic
for mordremoth society and Crocket organ
Balthasar whatever was left is she the
strongest elder dragon around that's a
good question and I don't I'm not sure
if we know for sure she's very young for
one thing obviously she we we don't and
I'm saying internally we're not exactly
sure historically how Elder Dragons have
been created or where they came from we
don't we haven't decided yet whether our
eeen is as a dragon who was who was
hatched from an egg who then became a
teenage regular dragon and then ascended
like it's that a thing that anybody else
has ever done before we think probably
not we think she's the first one but we
haven't necessarily come to a firm
decision on that and so I think you know
things like that that that's Lord that
for us is unsettled would inform a
question like that I think that for sure
you can bet that if she's not and if
she's not becoming that she's probably
eventually going to have to come toe to
toe with whoever is the strongest elder
dragon around so that's you know that
that's as much I think as we actually
know his head off yeah I'm sorry
it's okay maybe if we have a tiny delay
while we wait for more questions all
oh not the first one we could do the
second one can't and won't do the third
one re did the the fourth one okay so
the second process of elimination yes at
the end of the story Crockett or ik says
I hope you never have to kill what you
love is this referring to glint yes yes
yeah okay
yeah it's it's yeah I mean and that's
why well Crockett or ik is saying in
that moment is this madness compelled me
to do things that I did not necessarily
want to do and that's been a horrible
thing for him to have to bear and
experience even while he's essentially
trapped inside
you know this giant Worman
dragon body so yeah yeah Hawkeyes
regrets he's got a few yeah I know I
know but then again you don't even ask
the question no it really was right you
should never stop because you give me
like the best ear worms oh that's true
just put another song in your head all
right thank you all for the past hour
and a half because this was awesome and
informative and entertaining you thank
you for those of you who submitted your
questions I am so sorry that we ran out
of time we got to figure out a way to do
that faster like a lightning round
no that's literally why you're here but
you guys are all awesome we were so
grateful for all of the feedback you've
given us and for playing our game yes
very much
you all stick around and you let two of
you go back to work you guys stick
around we are going to talk about dragon
fall in just five minutes we'll be
welcome back and thank you all for
hanging in with us we are back with
definitely not Alex like someone new
we're gonna talk about the other part of
this release the dragon fall map which
was amazing and the events on there so
why don't you all go through and
introduce yourselves talk about what you
do here at ArenaNet
and what you worked on for this release
i'm balik's Bain I'm definitely not Alex
Kane and yeah that's really all
uncomfortable saying about that right
now okay
a hugh Norfolk game designer helped with
the creatures on the map
I'm Ken Benson normally my f QA tester
but for this release I was in a QAM
bedroll alright well let's start by
talking about the the fun thing the
methods of getting around on the map we
saw a lot of things brought back and
that was first of all thank you so much
fun yeah I mean we had like we had the
thermal tubes we had bouncy mushrooms
and I was talking before we went live
about how I played I was playing last
night with a lot of longtime guild mates
and it was it was so much fun just
sitting back and listening to them enjoy
everything on the map and people were
say oh there's bouncy mushrooms here
there's a there's a there's a ley line
I can I can glide on this ley-line it oh
my gosh there's a thermal tube and the
old car heads essences in particular
people you know well I don't even know
what we call it that there's a
spider-man spider-man spider-man's so do
you want to talk a little bit about
getting those in there and getting them
up and running to be clear I believe it
was um Jason you it was yeah Jason
Reynolds was the designer that placed
all of those things in the map my I
guess my pardon it was very kind of like
early on wall thing
are still being implemented into the map
and map art was being done during some
of the playthrough sessions we were
talking about ways to kind of like
increase player mobility throughout the
map especially with regard to just the
different sectors but also like the
final Crockett or meta and one of the
things that I brought up because I you
know as a player I also like really
enjoyed those things from heart of
thorns in season 3 of the living story I
was like you know like it's the the
whole the whole plan was that none of
this stuff had to be it had to be
optional like you still had to be able
to do and traverse the through all the
different areas with like mounts and
stuff like you normally would but I
definitely wanted to add this like
flavor and specifically for the the oak
heart essences I was like we are going
to be in the Landers domain and the oak
hearts essences were I actually went on
to the Wikipedia to like research it and
I was like yes so like this is like this
is power these are like things that are
created by the Druids and the Druids
were followers of Melander who dropped
their human forms to become like giant
like creature like tree creature spirits
so I'm like oh it's totally you know
make complete sense for these to be here
and so then and then I thought logically
progressed to you over there could be
like updrafts and lava tubes in the
fissure ov whoa because it's all fiery
and bouncing mushrooms in the forest and
and then I think later for the meta I
was brought up that uh we use the brand
Brendon twisters from episode 4 help
players get up onto Krakatoa yeah there
is having feedback and work on a game
from someone who is passionate about it
and familiar and loves it it adds a it
adds a really special something and
makes makes this kind of difference so
super investment yes like people having
people like you working on the game
is is really a good is really a good
thing for us it's really a blessing and
it is such a joy so I I appreciate that
that was some of I mean you were the
that was your early feedback was why
don't we bring some of this stuff back
what good why don't we use it players
have these ministries out of it yeah
yeah yeah and it did kind of turn
dragonfall into like this Greatest Hits
map for all the master yes I because I
like part of like what I've been doing
this week is you know keeping up with
like hot fixes and looking in just
keeping an eye on like Reddit and the
forums and one of the things is like
there's a couple of forum threads about
like bringing back the masteries and
like big kudos and I've just been like
mentally taking a giant victory lap in
that sense you should so it's a big deal
it was awesome
yes this is like this is like unashamed
and cheering at this point and I know
that every release has ups and downs and
that felt like such a victory on just a
hundred percent victory on hey here's
something that we can do that's going to
be great all the way through and adding
adding in that they're not mandatory and
you don't have to yeah this doesn't have
to be a thing it's good advertising too
because it's like if you don't have
season free and you don't have hot you
know it's like if you want to use these
things you know you don't need them but
you should check it out okay now I
really like it
so aside from that one of what were some
of your favorite things that you worked
on for Dragon Ball oh definitely the
story in the in a QA capacity I've
always been one of those I guess on the
on the QA team when let's go to people
like that my leads will go to me like
here you go do the through line and
earlier and usually early on in the
development I'll actually set aside like
a documents page where I just write up
feedback I'm like the story and instance
design or open-world story design but I
think part of it also has to do with
like having this extensive history
playing the game and Guild Wars 1
there's been a few times where I've like
bugs or made feedback for like lorry
inconsistencies or things like that and
so that's always been it's always a
little it's always a little gratifying
when you find those and but it's also I
think my favorite part of the game to
just going through the narrative and
seeing uh all these like parts come
together one of the gratifying things
was having uh I guess it's a big spoiler
but the having Gwen and Logan and RIT
lock meet that was like for anyone who's
like a long term Guild Wars fan that's
like a huge deal right um especially
with Gwen because it's like she has this
really long history or complicated
history with the char and it's like to
the point where like it's like it's
hatred and it's that sort of thing but
it's also like it's not like unwarranted
I guess in that way because a lot of bad
things happen to her when we go to my
favorite parts of the episode we're
gonna talk about that again yay yeah and
then the I think I would definitely say
chapter six just because it was like
there was a lot of like bugs issues i'll
and i was talking with kevin earlier
that uh i me and him would back and
forth a lot over the a lot of like
issues that were happening it because it
was a very complex and very complicated
instance and there were a lot of moving
parts yeah and there were there was so
many times where I would like bug things
and come across things sometimes by
accident sometimes my like testing
around other issues and he would just
there were so many moments or he'd do me
like an angry like you know frothy faced
emoji whenever I would message him or
when I'd link him a bug that I had
written that we'd go back to it there
like there was a there was even a couple
like close to like where we went to
stage integration
and right before that and kind of like
the 11th hour sort of things and he just
like stared at me like with like
expressions yeah because it's
making games is hard yeah it turns no
it's just I've heard that it's easy I've
been told so now that I've made you cry
what were some of your highlights of
working on this and getting this episode
of him running yeah so I came in a
little later
I switched teams over to help this team
out later in its development so you know
they came and they're like qb1 just jump
in there's a bunch of creatures and
because you know you worked on creatures
in the past we want you to take a look
at them I was like all right cool no big
deal I'll jump in there mess around with
some creatures and have some fun uh you
know and they're like okay hey there's
gonna be three armies three big armies
so I was like okay well let's see what
we got he with the shadow army the
underworld Army and the milenge were me
and I'm like okay cool no big deal and
we look at these guys
yeah pretty decent amount we reuse some
assets and updated them we had some new
assets you know some new creatures that
were looked really cool and I'm like
awesome well let's see so the first
thing I always do whenever I come into
an episode to help out is I'm like okay
let me just play this as a normal player
and just see what I can understand from
this this these these guys and then then
I'll kind of break them down like go
through the numbers and all that good
stuff right so like I go through and I
start with the Malayan Joe army because
that was the more reused assets and
whatnot so they're good see what they
did to spice it up right and so I'm
going through and like I'm fighting this
this nature nature spirit Eicher
elemental and I'm sitting there fighting
here and I'm like okay cool and then
like I'm I just kind of sit it I used
some test commands to make myself to
know death so I can kind of see what the
skills do and I'm kind of like writing
up feedback and doing stuff like that
and all of a sudden knocked down and I
didn't know why and I was like I was
like I did get up again and I was like
that's weird whatever and I just keep
writing up my feedback and I'm right
I'm gonna get knocked down again and I
think whatever it must be something else
I'm writing a feedback and then I get
stuck and then I get frozen and I was
like okay I can knock down again and I
was like what is happening I don't
understand what's going on I don't see
any reason why should we knock down and
I start breaking down and looking
through the scripts and there was just a
random chance actual random chance on
their auto-attack to knock you down no
and I'm like I was fighting one and I
was like okay let me go look let me go
to the episode and let me like look for
this creature this spawn and see what
maybe there's just one of them ever
right and I'm like okay let me see and
then I found like a pile of like five of
and I was like stand in the center of
this and see what happens and then I'm
just like constantly knocked down and
frozen and I'm like dying and I'm like
yeah and so I just I noticed that what
what happened was I find out later that
there was this a big episode a lot of
complexity yes a lot of people working
on it because again this was the finale
right so we kept the game I wanted to do
a lot of stuff there have been ten there
have been teams all over the studio yeah
and so you know what happens in
development like this is something when
you have a lot of armies a lot of
creatures and you're also water
instances a lot of content you know you
know you're doing this giant dragon
flight thing and you're doing all this
stuff you know they divvied out the
creatures to multiple different
designers like here you take a couple
here you take a couple here you took a
couple also you're doing for instance
also you're doing all the open-world
content also you do SoDo me there's just
tons of stuff going to designers right
and so what happens is a designer you
sit there and you're like okay cool I'm
gonna make this guy awesome I'm gonna
give this really cool thing that's gonna
be sweet but then you don't think about
sometimes what happens when there's two
of them together a three of them
together or this thing you didn't even
know about because someone else was
designing it gets matched with your
character with your creature you
designed and you have this kind of
amalgamation of an encounter that
becomes maybe over punishing or maybe
two week or maybe too long or too short
and and so when I came on this I'm like
sitting I'm like okay let me see let me
look at this guy of me by X person okay
this may be a next person maybe by
somebody else that's three different
people on the same army that's a little
okay whatever and then oh this guy went
in and adjust
these things and I see this check in
from this other designer and I'm like
well I mean this is like a patchwork
army or something lot of people's a lot
of heat on these highs right yes
again no fault to any design or anything
like that it's just when you're working
on so many things you have to be able to
jump in and help out and adjust into
things and so for me it was nice that I
was able to come in and kind of like
blank and look at everything together
I've made armies before you know I've
made creatures before it so being able
to go in and be like let me just cut out
the random stuff let me just cut out
this fourth knockdown let me cut out
this for this really long duration
cripple let me cut out these things cuz
holistically I could take it in a
spreadsheet look at it all together and
go like what's this guy's cool thing
right this guy's cool thing is X right
he he does this thing and this guy's
cool thing is this let me cut out these
other four things he's trying to do
right because the designer making one
creature come make this creature awesome
what happens is you make that creature
awesome but the net other creature is
awesome the other creature is awesome
and then when they come together you
don't feel very awesome you feel like a
little puddle right hey that was my big
contribution was just kind of bringing
everything in line as best I could with
time we had because this also I came in
kind of late to the project cuz again it
was people were trying to get this
sucker out and make this thing really
epic and I'm like okay he we need you to
jump in and help out this thing good
most whoever brought back the shadow
army by the way that was discussion yeah
it was it was a cool little addition
dude I would hear about this discussion
so it happens with the highest sort of
levels I believe it was already made
before I was pulled onto the project
fairly early on but I think that when we
started talking about the different the
three different major sections of the
map we were talking about the unique
armies that we're going to be on them
and I don't know which designer decided
to sort of pull the trigger on you know
she we should do you know it should be
the the burning forest and if it's the
burning forest that means it's got to be
the shadow army and I remember you know
sort of like
looking up you know looking into the
history of it and you know like what
were the storytelling ramifications of
that it seemed super cool because it is
a section of the burning forest that's
ripped out of the mists we didn't have
to worry too much about you know oh well
you know it is it you know is it
Balthazar's Eternals versus you know
Meng Jie's you know we're I'm gonna come
clean with you here I'm not going to
ever make the decision on what that is
I'm gonna let someone else decide
honestly I liked Menzies I did too like
it's such a like a kind of quirky name
yeah yeah yeah I don't disagree with you
I'm sorry I just couldn't not it's fine
I saw kids face tooth I'm comfortable
however you want to say we all know what
you mean Bob Bob's army oh it's not
Canon by the way well that happened so
that happened army yes we know what's
going on next season no so so yeah so
because these were pieces of the mists
that we pulled out we didn't have to
worry too much about that we could
really focus in on the flavor and to
really get the flavor of the burning
forest you had to have the shadow army
so those that that series of decisions
was sort of like the if we do this then
we should probably do this and if we do
that then we should probably do this and
then like seeing the actual like shadow
army creatures in there was awesome yeah
yeah it was a little weird at first
because the forest wasn't on fire for a
while in the last segment we talked
about how like hard assets like you know
come in in different you know in you
know in different pieces over time the
trees were not on fire until like fairly
late and so I'd constantly be like like
we're gonna like set this forest on the
burning forest is gonna be like on fire
at some point
that would be nice or one of the
interesting things that I thought
because originally the shadow army used
a bunch of it specifically like the more
humanoid creatures used like sylvari
models but then eventually they changed
them into like the based off of like
what was originally in Guild Wars 1 they
reused the white mantle skins and I'm
not sure if they use them in this case
but they looked vaguely like how they
appeared in the original games so that
was really cool that they updated those
all the armies looked awesome I was
pretty pleased with how that all came
together and they didn't hit too hard so
those monks was mushroom Stoppers man oh
those guys are you know devious yeah
it's pretty it's pretty pretty dangerous
you just reminded me of a comment that
somebody was playing with last night he
had wandered off by himself we're all
like setting the taps down he had
wandered off alone and I was helping
someone else and all of a sudden he goes
on discord I feel like I'm in Guild Wars
1 again and the monks are all healing
each other he just sounded so angry
and I was like do you need me to come
over there I'm almost done with her I
will be right there and he was like I
think I've got it I'm just so tired is
the monk thanks telling it wrong so
speaking of the armies and ripping
pieces out of the mists you had
mentioned that you really enjoyed
working on this part of Milan Drew's
little realm it was pulled out of there
talk a little bit about what that was
I'm alanders realm oh because with like
Logan and those things so yeah I spent a
lot of time in the southeast Lane
testing wise I actually will just in all
three lanes because I was heading up the
tests QA tasks and tests for the non met
up specific events and so I got very
closely and intimate with a lot of these
events and the armies and them and you
know kind of like figuring out just like
scaling and or rather that was more
pushed towards like the actual QA
testing team but like building the QA
requests and the tasks and some of the
like unique text cases for those and it
was it was a lot there were so many
events a lot of them I think it was like
over 50 non-meta specific events one of
the I think one of the challenges was as
development was going along and the meta
was changing like we had to the design
was constantly changing like were these
events or when they occurred when they
could occur how often they would occur
and so that and then was happening like
while I was building these tests so it
was like oh like you know I do and you
know making sure design documentation
was updated for the testers because it's
thank you for yeah but yeah or if it
wasn't then I would like ping them and
be like hey can you answer this question
you know because yeah but it was it was
a lot of touch-and-go
I think for all that development but
yeah it was the yeah specifically for
the southeast lane that was very
especially for um Logan and Huck and
Gwen that was for me I was really drawn
to that area to I think it might have
also been because we've as like is any
like more longer-term Gilmour's players
have you know we've been to the Fisher
what we've been to the underworld
misprints are completely new to the
Guild Wars world never been there before
so so you mentioned that you wanted to
address the whole Gwen things yeah so
that was a lot of fun one of the so I
wrote any part of the
open world that wasn't specifically tied
to the golden path through line the
actual story steps I I pretty much wrote
that was I think the thing I spent the
most of my time working on this episode
were all those little camp conversations
and all the little like every time you
updated create a camp characters say
all the little event dialogues all that
stuff was so much fun the right but the
first thing that we needed to figure out
was which characters are going to be
represented in which camps and which
characters are going to be part of the
Golden Path and really you're not going
to be interacting with them as much so
for the southeastern line for the mole
and rule and we knew so like wherever
Logan went RIT Locke had to go wherever
reluctant Logan had to go we thought
that was going to be very interesting
should hug and wherever RIT Logan went
our or Logan Locke depending hey I don't
judge but we knew that they had to be
together and we initially I believe had
them going into I think well it wasn't
Milland Roux at first I think we had the
Olmec on in the mole Andrew section
first but then we thought having nature
fight nature doesn't is not really
exciting so we bumped them to the
underworld which seems a lot more
interesting because now you have nature
against the dead and they're like what
are we supposed to do there's no life
around here that makes me think of that
one ambient dialogue in defending these
reach tree deaths the tree yes not
necessarily a callback to that yeah yes
but having then writ Locke and Logan go
down into the Milland row area and then
swapping it with the mist wardens we
realize oh if when is in charge of this
army and Logan shows up with char as his
best buddy they're gonna be some
questions about that incredibly awkward
there's like hey you know here's my
great great whatever grandmother who
like slaughtered a bunch of your kind
and also like you know your kind
slaughtered her family and you know not
particularly great
yup Allah just yeah house you guys would
like to there's a there's a lotta
there's a lot of Guild Wars 1 lore about
that that we didn't want to ignore and
so I got to write these conversations
where you know Logan and Gwen and RIT
locker just being extremely
uncomfortable around each other and you
know Gwen Quinn's trying to like you
know get a rise out of it like a little
bit red lock has to be an adult man he
hates it so much and it's such a nice
little summary of a lot of really great
yeah yeah so that was a lot of fun
having K thens ìiím together was very
interesting in the crystal bloom camp in
the northwest because you know you have
cave who's you know not really
comfortable being on the front lines not
really sure about her you know her
position in this whole thing not really
comfortable with the idea of people like
fighting for her and dying for her in
the numbers that you know that she's got
and then you have Zam who's like you
know Captain America kind of a you know
just like like oh you're gonna do great
you're you're the best I have such a
good friend
total total faith and confidence in you
yeah and so that was a fun combination
and then of course you have rocks and
bata we got to really sort of play out
the rest of Roxas o makan sort of story
a little bit her transition into into
that you know a lot of a lot of bits and
pieces about how her past sort of
informed that decision where she might
go in the future a lot of fun stuff
there that I got to play with as well
and then of course all the little side
conversations with all the new
characters I got to I got to makeup was
a lot of fun too so yeah that was that
was just like a near infinite resource
for me like like you know the bridge
people you know lived a little Asura
building little hollow bridges there
were a lot of fun little escort missions
were a lot of fun there's like the Norn
who's you know talking to her Doleac and
her dole yak is mooing in return that
was a lot of fun there's a lot of fun
little mini stories that I got that I
got to write and that was a joy yeah
getting to getting to
all of those little personal touches in
there seems like a very fun thing to get
to do on a regular basis yeah you talked
a little bit about some of the weirder
things that you found do you guys want
to talk a little bit about some of the
bugs and quirks that you work at you
first cuz you look like you have
something I'll jump start that um so one
of the things it's a and it was a very
it was actually pretty recent and it's
kind of like it was like a really major
edge case it was like one of those weird
things like that probably never happened
to like 99% of the players but it was
something I experienced I at one point
got I was testing the the lava tubes in
and I smacked into the airships I his
airship as it was flying by and my
character broke through the collision of
like the pontoon and ended up inside the
balloon and I was just like oh I guess
I've been kidnapped by Corsairs now so I
don't think I've ever portal inside like
the balloons so you can kind of like see
the area of the airship area below and
just like well just checking in amazing
so you also had one where the players
the player character got enormous oh
okay so this wasn't a bug that I found
it was one of the other keywords testers
they were doing multiplayer testing in
Chapter two
I and one of the things that they
discovered they were able to do was to
like I think if they died they could
then interact with like their usual
character UI which included novelty
mounts and but that in in that instance
it would break the transformation yeah
and like cuz you were all these little
like blue orbs on or eans wing and so
then but here's the thing I'm not sure
if I want to break the magic of chapter
2 spoilers
I just checked my notes to see exactly
how the magic it's okay so thank you I
believe is scaled down like in size so
when you were broken out of that
transformation and return to like your
regular character form you're huge by
comparison to like Orion and Crockett or
ik and which I mean everything
physically that's just everything has to
be scaled down to fit an entire elder
dragon it was because Crockett ork was
so big he was clipping the viewing plane
which you know I mean hilarious but not
optimal wait so what does that look like
it looks like Crockett or ik is missing
several pieces of himself yeah that was
just a preview yeah yeah I believe one
of our streamers found that bug oh we're
curious you don't sound like it's good I
think I know I think I noticed um though
on the forum that someone had found a
way to like get the Halloween tonic to
work in one of the areas that had
present fixed or like they found like a
mmm like a minut like opening to like
use it yeah oh that's the fun of qat how
about you so when I came on one of the
things that are always fun thing to look
at are champions champions and in armies
are always the most complex and it's fun
if I say this and it sounds so funny
but I have to remind myself
and some designers sometimes all the
moral creatures they're like we vote we
design open our creature what we list on
the board what is it trying to
accomplish bullet point one is should
die right like the first thing that any
open world creatures should be that we
should design for is it dying right
you're not wrong and it does sound funny
but you are very correct right cuz
because what happens is if you don't
think about that sometimes you look I'm
just gonna make this so hard it's gonna
be sweet there was no love it everyone's
gonna be miserable yeah exactly it's so
when I was looking at one of the
champions and I was looking at skills
and I was I only remember which one it
was but it was crazy
and I started looking at skills and
looking at everything and I'm like going
through and we have in the way it works
is we have a very pretty complex
intelligence system for creatures which
then goes and like if this happens if
this happens and this if this this
trigger hit happens then you use this
one skill right and I was like okay cool
no big deal and so I was trying to get
this to trigger and trying to get this
trigger and I couldn't get it to go and
I was like ah whatever it's probably not
that big of a deal I'll just force use
it so I just forced it to use the skill
and it did like 75 thousand damage to me
a OE huge cone obliterated me and I was
like well good thing is that's really
hard to do I guess because I've never
seen this skill and I was like well and
the first thing I always do and this is
good and bad that's like at least this
skills not on life I was like let me go
look incoming references look I was like
oh no no this this is our life this is
my life just like I was like no big deal
not an issue probably not being like
maybe it's like deprecated in some way I
go and find out it's not and this guy
has been just wrecking shop with this
skill and I fir in III I forget exactly
and I don't want to say the wrong one
because long story short I like went
over to like Z and I've always liked Z
what is the policy for me fixing a
creature that's live right and he told
me any any
and he said the same thing he usually be
tell me when he goes do what's right for
the game right that sounds great what's
right that sounds like him it's I left
it exactly actually bump the numbers up
a little bit I was like I'm making sure
so I went in it and made some
adjustments to clean it up a little bit
and then reduce the damage and it's so
funny because I did it and I was like no
one will know that I did this no one
will see it and I feel like during this
whole story there's like a narrator
behind you just going but I did I was
like what somebody who does this event
where this creature because it was a
very specific creature very strict in
P&I; spawning in I think it was a
half-hour heart of thorns map it would
it was different and I was like I was
like man that's somebody's gonna read
through that and be like man I hate
fighting that guy he always won shocks
me I don't know why that person is gonna
get hit by let's go go wait a minute
he took his ear oh ah I didn't I didn't
have a shot what is this the chance the
dream it was just so funny because it
was like it was so specific it was like
if you're on the left side with five
players that are within 600 range to 800
range and you have less than like sick
or above 65% life on all five then fire
that skill and I was like yeah but we
did a play test everyone it happened one
time I was like I gotta fix it
all right so how about you Alex for
Dragon but you've already had to give
your favorite for this story but how
about for the map so yeah I mean the
dragon the dragon tail crashing into
into the map was awesome I absolutely
loved that the the the actual so yeah
the I'm trying to pick out individual
events that I enjoy yeah sort of working
on but there are several events that I
enjoyed working on and so I have to like
stack rank them in in my brain and then
the ones that I liked more from like a
story perspective are maybe not the
most mechanically interesting ones so I
have to sort of like invert it I'm just
gonna like metallic shuffling noises
over here yeah yeah you can hear like
the fuses popping in my brain right now
I I will say at the end of the day the
moment when I think you know you you're
just starting out and you've got those
three lanes and you basically have to
pick which of the three by Connick
iconic characters you want to hang out
with for the next 10 minutes yeah it was
new oh yeah I mean I always pick Logan
and relock first but you know that's
just me and writing all the little
dialogue for when they're going through
that that escort I did not know at first
it was going to be as long a trip as it
was so going back in last minute and
writing like additional variants for
some of their dialogue it was a lot of
fun and of course the final the big
finale of the meta event you know where
you're trying to take down those three
those three enemies within the the time
gate and you know well you know you've
got that timer sort of ticking down and
you've got all the by conics sort of
like overlooking Krakatoa ik and if you
go up to them they've got their own
little things that they're saying and
relax very angry about everything
because he's pretty lucky there were a
lot of there are a lot of little moments
I think that I enjoyed the most I think
that the open the thing that makes the
open world map so interesting in general
for Guild Wars 2 is that it is built on
these little moments that you can
experience in any order at any time
depending on how you approach them and
we need to make sure that they all feel
interesting and different and unique and
you know there are there are things like
the first time you complete an escort
there is a unique cutscene that plays so
like when you're with Logan and RIT
Locke it's introducing reluctant when
when you're with the omec on it's you
know rocks realizing like why did I lead
us to a graveyard this is the dumbest
thing I've ever done I hate the undead
why why am I here
and then every subsequent time you do it
there's a different one and just sort of
thinking about all those different
possibilities and it and entertaining
the possibility space was a lot of fun
there was a lot of stuff right that that
was that could have been sure was I
think that could have been managed by
myself maybe a little better but at the
end of the day we got through everything
and felt it felt fun and felt good it
felt full that was that was an important
thing I think you mentioned the dragon
tail that was something that I was
talking about before we went live when I
was playing with my friends listening to
them on discord just experience this joy
and excitement and we were like we were
at the like at the base we were at that
first area where you first spun in back
there at spec camp and one of them just
starts very excitedly like yelling on
discord look to the left look to the
left the tail the tail everybody look at
the tail he hadn't seen that that tail
rise up and slammed down in the ground
is shaking and the tail in the distance
I had sense of yeah and the shockwaves
and that sense of how enormous this is
and what we are standing on yeah you can
hear that throughout the whole map I
liken it to I know
like Disney parks do this a lot like I
remember we like I went to Typhoon
Lagoon once as a you know when I was
much younger and they've got the the
tidal wave pool and they've got the ship
up up on the mountain they're up on the
top of this little this little mountain
and every I think like every 30 minutes
like there's this big horn sound across
the whole park and then water comes out
of the top and then the wave pool goes
you can like hear it you can hear people
screaming from like all across the park
that was I think the feeling that we
wanted to capture with Krakatoa and
audio and design did a spectacular job
yes I think they did a wonderful job
with that yeah Crockett auric is
menacing and scary as well he should be
I think it coincides too with like the
same time shoots off like a burst of
like a volley of magical projectiles
that mark around the map and like create
these area of effects like giant
Brande yeah yeah well you can see them
sort of like rise up out of the center
of the map it's super cool I will say
this I'm not sure if it's still a thing
but you should totally be on top of the
tail when he lifts it because I'm not
sure if it still does this but if you
were it would send you up into the air
just kind of like throw you especially
if you're on like a glider or a mount
you'll you go up yeah if it does do that
it's clearly a feature and don't you
take advantage of it in any possible way
you can maybe have him time it with the
airship so it smacks you into the air
show hello sorry I'm late well hello
well do you guys want to answer some
questions that we pulled from the forums
that's okay cuz you're gonna okay you
can if you want but you all did say you
would let's see first one might be for
you we've already kind of addressed it
but it's really fun so okay yeah so and
also to be clear it wasn't just me I
think that gave that feedback actually
real quick the question is what brought
about the decision to bring back the
other transit mess methods like
mushrooms Oh card essence
I like how y'all implemented it in such
a way is to provide variety but not make
it feel forced can we expect to see them
again in future Maps if it's fitting I
can't answer that second one I as a
player I would hope so I like the idea
of getting more mileage out of these
accomplishments these mechanical
accomplishments that you have gained
throughout through guild or through
playing Guild Wars 2 I feel like I guess
it would depend on what the teams decide
like what is required for each new
further you know chapter season like if
it's like will you require like heart of
thorns and path of fire for future
so that like in that instance you would
then have to have completed that but
then you would also have access to jump
bouncing mushrooms and Lateline gliding
yeah and I think the important thing
there is if it's fitting um the reason
that we you know it was brought back for
a dragon fall was because it was fitting
yeah so you know it at the very least
people notice this stuff as we're
building the maps and if it seems like
it's going to fit then you know people
will be asking like do we have time to
get this in do we have time to make it
feel right there yeah and that makes me
wonder if there's like potential for
also like re skinning some of them to be
more I guess fitting like for example
there's lava tubes but there's also the
geyser vents in a bitter frost frontier
which are basically like a water reskin
of the lava tubes like five designers
just their noses started bleeding and
they don't know why Oh heart essence
where you like flyer okay we answered
the second one yeah yeah since we saw
new mobs for the map that we're
callbacks to Guild Wars 1 do we have a
chance to see the god realms again in
the future
man yeah I will not say that we won't
I will not I'd like obviously I'm not
gonna discount you know or or comment on
future future story stuff but you know
we did have an opportunity to see those
God realms specifically because you're
flying through those oh yeah so so was
there any specific reason that Milland
rouge realm was chosen to be a part of
dragon fall aside from the fissure of
whoa and the underworld as opposed to
say the realm of torment or Dwain it's
Lissa's realms it's utterly gorgeous and
the will-o-wisps are really neat flavor
for the realm so when we're building out
the maps and trying to figure out the
best possible way to differentiate the
different realms that you're going to be
visiting the
our narrative concerns and there are
design concerns and there are art
concerns and when we started pitching
ideas for what the different biomes were
going to be one of the things that we
wanted to make sure was that they looked
very different from one another
visually and fanatically and the armies
were very different so we knew that we
wanted to do I think the very first one
that we picked was the burning forest
because we really wanted to do that we
thought that would be super cool and it
turned out to be pretty cool so that was
a good that was a good decision on
leadership sparked and then the the
underworld you know seemed seemed like a
good sort of callback location that you
know we had a lot of material that we
could play with there and it was a fun
fun juxtaposition to have that with the
burning forest because the underworld is
you know this you know this this barren
wasteland and the burning forest is just
on fire all the time everyone's at war
always and so we needed a third one
what's the third one going to be how
like like we've got you know if there's
there's like okay so you got yeah the
the the fissure wall here and you got
the underworld here maybe something
green something green and and but like
alive would be great and and yeah so
yeah the parameters were alive not on
and mole Andrew being the goddess of
nature really felt like immediately we
were like okay well that's super cool we
can do all this stuff with you know like
the magical sort of forest vibe you know
we can we can harken back to the stuff
we did in the guma a little bit you know
we can have these cool Andrew statues
and shrines everywhere we can have you
know the the elemental sort of sort of
forces and whatnot and it was it just
sort of naturally came about as a you
know as the X in the equation that we
needed to solve for and it was super
cool and we leaned super into it and I
really like how it turned out and aside
from like the imminent threat of like
and a meat jungle enemies like trying to
tear you apart it's actually a very
relaxing like area to just idle in in
the map it's that's both extremely funny
and valid you're not wrong if you can
just clear out some of the wildlife
yeah those mushrooms get up into the
canopies and just like look at the
Gotham Stoppers can't reach up to into
the canopy so no well you're golden oh
we have any more questions
we don't from the forums I do want to
loop back for a second because you did
make a point I wanted to make sure we
touched on that note that your feedback
wasn't the only feedback on adding some
of those mechanics into the maps that's
it's kind of a group effort which is oh
yeah fantastic
yeah no it was it was something that I
initially brought up and I think at the
time like they were like kind of
considering it but like it was I think
later discussions also involves some of
like the other teams and people higher
up and it so I was like when they
decided to I was just like yes okay
awesome well thank you guys very much
for your time thank you all for sticking
with us for so long this is a long show
so two and a half hours it was but this
was the season four finale we had a lot
to talk about
thank you guys for making us a map that
didn't hurt as bad thank you
so I appreciate all of you spending time
with us I appreciate you guys taking
time out of your workday and we will see
you all next Friday I'm Gil Chet

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