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Dancer Top Issues - Update and Info
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Xyrdre
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Update!
 

As things turn out, I'm very glad that I decided to come in to update our Top Issues thoughts when I did. TH has just asked the correspondents for new issues lists to be tackled, and as a result of this poll we've got updated info ready to go.
 
The downside is that he wants these lists fast - so there isn't time for me to post my top issues findings here for community review before turning in the list. Still, the top issues this time around are no real shockers... they're things that have topped our lists for a long time, so I don't think anyone will be surprised by the big ones.
 
 
The Top Issues that You've Reported:
 

I've gone through the thread and tabulated all responses, and here is how the numbers play out. I think it's a reasonable representation of what the Dancing community sees as our biggest issues/bugs/etc. No real surprises here, but listed for your viewing pleasure:
 
  1. AFK/buffbots, and the ability to fully automate all game mechanics aspects of the Dancer profession,

  2. Broken/incomplete dances; including base dance display issues with Formal 1 & 2, Lyrical 1 & 2, and Theatrical 1 & 2, and the lack of 8 unique flourishes in all dances,

  3. Buffing issues; including inability to self-buff, bug preventing music and dance buffs to be applied simultaneously, lack of interface/feedback to measure buffing progress,

  4. Entertainer Missions; scalability with level, payouts, gameplay value, and,

  5. Dancer Fall Rates **
** Coincidentally, yesterday I began an extensive test to get hard numbers on our fall rates, in order to prove one way or another what those actual rates are. Early results of this testing indicate that I may have a very strong argument to take to the devs, backed with data, to show that these fall rates are excessive. Don't hold your breath, film at 11:00, etc., but I'm currently working on this one in particular as a good candidate for a quick-fix.
 
These 5 topped the overall list by a wide margin. Honorable mentions for responses go to:
 
  1. Dance rewards for all species/genders,

  2. Dancer loot from non-combat sources,

  3. General lack of content / build on the Entertainer Quests,

  4. Art issues - clothing/jewelry clipping, etc.,

  5. Lack of group start and change dance commands, and,

  6. Player theater issues - the "outside vs. inside" problem that disallows ent healing/buffing and items to be placed on stages
 
There are other issues, bugs and ideas that were mentioned in the Poll thread. The above lists are the ones that received the most frequent mention from polled Dancers.
 
 
Reporting Our Issues
 

So... bunch of stuff there. Some of the issues are bugs, some feature requests (devs love to distinguish between those two... more on that in the future), and some are things that we see the current implementation of design as being incompatible with fun gameplay in practice. Okay, we've got a pretty good list of things to choose from.
 
Here are the elements of the scenario. We're being asked for a Top 3 this time. We have new devs added to the team (per Tyrant's Studio Update thread) to be able to tackle more issues than they have in the past, but there are 30 + professions, and other aspects of SWG gameplay, competing for those dev resources. We have a Dancer/Entertainer revamp coming, though no solid timeline for that other than mention that it would be part of the non-combat profession revamps coming after the Combat Upgrade.
 
Some of our issues are pretty huge deals, that would indeed require significant development time and dedication. Others are things that could be knocked out relatively quickly. Some are so significant that we expect them to be something that likely couldn't be addressed unless we had some undivided dev attention, such as with a revamp. Others still are major issues that are not just ours alone, but also spill over into other areas of SWG, such as unattended "play".
 
 
Your Correspondent's Strategy
 

Given the above elements of where we are realistically, I will report the top 3 major issues as outlined, in order to keep the devs aware of the overarcing issues that our profession still faces. I will also focus on elements of those issues that might make better candidates for fixes that can be accomplished in the short-term. The idea being that if I hit them only with issues that are gigantic, sweeping things, we're less likely to see that issue selected to be addressed now. I'm looking for a balance between a constant trickle of smaller fixes while building up to sweeping change with our revamp. Reasonable?
 
And... I'll sneak a few more related issues in, especially if they're things that I think may hook a dev to say "hey, we can do that fast... let's do it and knock it off the list". My goal is to grab up anything that we can get - if we can attract attention to a major overhaul, even pre-revamp, that's great... but if not, I'll take even quick fix parts that knock a few things off our list. For Dancers, I want the world, but I'll take any part of the big picture that I can grab for us, one step at a time.



Deila Karlossi , Blue Glowie of Dancers, and become more powerful than you could possibly imagine...
01-08-2005 05:40 AM  

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Re: Dancer Top Issues - Update and Info
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kirah_ashlin
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*Gives Deila a hug, then steps back, folds arms across chest and waits to see what and if anything happens this time.*
01-08-2005 05:51 AM  

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Schardour
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Xyrdre wrote:
 
I'm looking for a balance between a constant trickle of smaller fixes while building up to sweeping change with our revamp.

Thank you!  (I mean, thanks for the rest as well, but this is how I've been thinking any change to our profession for a while now.)
 
 


T
IL KI SMETA

lTlSlCl
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but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
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01-08-2005 05:51 AM  

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Re: Dancer Top Issues - Update and Info
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Else-Whira
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Well looking at the list... Two of our "top issues" are art team and three are dev team.

Art team top issues;

Falling art
Base dances not appearing correctly
Clipping for clothes

Dev team top issues;

AFK encouraging game mechanics
Buff interface/buff mechanics
Mission payouts



Colonel Else Whira - Entertainer and Ace Pilot

Kallie - Trader (structures)


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01-08-2005 06:46 AM  

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Xyrdre
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I don't think that the fall issue is art team, as it's not a request to add or alter the art, but rather to do something with the formula for frequency of falls. The fall animations are done - and that's what should be art team.

 
To be honest, what I'm shooting for with the fall stuff is to do away with them completely. The falls, as they are now, are a penalty without a contrasting chance at a benefit for the Dancer... so it's just a losing proposition, and isn't fun gameplay to be under the gun for random falls like that. If it were generally seen as fun, we wouldn't have so many people brandishing weapons while they dance.

 
Buuuut, as a side bonus (which would take more work on their part, but I thought I'd ask anyway), I'm asking them to give us an added /flourish fall command to call up those fall animations as needed for roleplay or other reasons. This too is something that has been long discussed here in the Dancer forum, and I'm going for it. Worst they can do is say no, right? Can't hurt to ask.

 
This isn't the first time, by a longshot, that the falling issue has been brought to the devs. I may be entering some perilous waters by drudging this one back up, but in my mind we're fully justified in pushing for some 'fall reform'. And as I've said earlier, I'm starting to collect the hard numbers to back things up. Yes, we have some bigger fish to fry in the grand scheme than doing something about the falling, but this one just might be attackable now, not later, so I'm pushing hard.
 
 
Long and the short... we'll see how it goes.



Deila Karlossi , Blue Glowie of Dancers, and become more powerful than you could possibly imagine...
01-08-2005 07:22 AM  

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Panthu
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Xyrdre wrote:
 
 
This isn't the first time, by a longshot, that the falling issue has been brought to the devs. I may be entering some perilous waters by drudging this one back up, but in my mind we're fully justified in pushing for some 'fall reform'. And as I've said earlier, I'm starting to collect the hard numbers to back things up. Yes, we have some bigger fish to fry in the grand scheme than doing something about the falling, but this one just might be attackable now, not later, so I'm pushing hard.

The key there may be to explain that we'd welcome real game-like challenges (like you have in some of your proposals and are floating around all over the place in here), but the falls don't fulfill this need since there is no visible tactic to handle them.  Meh, you can word that better than me, but you know what I mean.

Good luck with this batch! It's always tricky when they change the format on you. O.o


P A N T H U Y GlitterUsagi
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01-08-2005 07:30 AM  

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Else-Whira
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Xyrdre, think you could ask them if falls are just a part of the dance art or if they are a seperate file that can be bypassed?

I get the feeling that they are integrated into the /flourish artwork (just the visual) since they have no negative impact on healing or experience. AND this would explain why certain weapons never show a dancer falling.... because there was never an animation of a dancer falling drawn for those weapons



Colonel Else Whira - Entertainer and Ace Pilot

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Caution! Reading my posts can lead to this.
01-08-2005 07:38 AM  

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Xyrdre
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Panthu wrote:

The key there may be to explain that we'd welcome real game-like challenges (like you have in some of your proposals and are floating around all over the place in here), but the falls don't fulfill this need since there is no visible tactic to handle them.  Meh, you can word that better than me, but you know what I mean.



That's my backup plan. In the event that the devs are just completely married to the idea that Dancers should fall, we'll be getting into the nuts and bolts of it. Not the least of which would involve my pushing for changing the math around for fall chances, and likely having some active way to prevent them other than the weapon-equip bug )mini-game). And you'd better believe that I'll be after some actual benefits on the other side of the equation. Right now it's a Neutral - Lose scenario. And that sucks.
 
Trouble with asking for a 'fall mini-game' right now, as I see it, is that it turns it into an even larger feature request, which then is more likely to get the "wait for revamp" response. My approach now is to point out that there is no benefit to Dancers to contrast the cost (falls), and that the whole idea just isn't working out. Again... we'll see what happens.



Deila Karlossi , Blue Glowie of Dancers, and become more powerful than you could possibly imagine...
01-08-2005 07:38 AM  

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Xyrdre
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Else-Whira wrote:
Xyrdre, think you could ask them if falls are just a part of the dance art or if they are a seperate file that can be bypassed?

I get the feeling that they are integrated into the /flourish artwork (just the visual) since they have no negative impact on healing or experience. AND this would explain why certain weapons never show a dancer falling.... because there was never an animation of a dancer falling drawn for those weapons


As I understand it, the fall animations are treated just like any other flo clip. An animation clip that is called up under certain circumstances.

In other words, if you attempt a flourish, there is a check roll. If the roll comes up as a success, the flourish animation you invoked plays out normally. If the roll is a failure (indicating a fall), your flourish animation is pre-empted for the falling clip. Something about holding a weapon while dancing appears to be preventing the fall animation from triggering, and instead the base dance will continue to display.

Examples and supporting evidence could be seen in some of the dance animations that were extracted from the .tre files, but are not yet in game. In all of those cases, the falling animation was treated just like any other flourish, as a seperate clip.



Deila Karlossi , Blue Glowie of Dancers, and become more powerful than you could possibly imagine...
01-08-2005 07:43 AM  

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Aynianu
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Good top 5 id personally go with 1 + 2 as they are then add more dances.
But aslong as number 1 is fixed im one happy twilek

01-08-2005 07:53 AM  

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Re: Dancer Top Issues - Update and Info   [ Edited ]
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Panthu
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Xyrdre wrote:
 
Trouble with asking for a 'fall mini-game' right now, as I see it, is that it turns it into an even larger feature request, ...

With out going into any details out here that will get us in trouble, there is an answer to Ravenmist from youknowwho in youknowwhere saying that falls are meant to be a "challenge" for Dancers. RM said they weren't fun and the answer back was "they are a game challenge." Sooooo, I think you may have to show that they aren't anything like a mini-game now because I think someone is under the impression that they are. *cough* If that's too cryptic, im me.

I personally don't want a fall mini-game, I'd like to see them be on queue or something that might be used in a larger real Dance mini-game, but in it's current form, I don't think it's game like at all. I agree that the chances are better to have them scrapped for now than to have them do anything new and cool with them. Maybe in the revamp that could happen?

 
nvm, you got it.

Message Edited by Panthu on 01-08-2005 12:49 PM


P A N T H U Y GlitterUsagi
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01-08-2005 09:44 AM  

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Xyrdre
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Panthu wrote:
...

All over it.   I know the old issues, and have brand new reasoning. Not to mention some fresh, hard data in the works. I started doing actual fall rate testing on TC yesterday. Interesting results thusfar, to say the least.

We'll see.... we'll see.



Deila Karlossi , Blue Glowie of Dancers, and become more powerful than you could possibly imagine...
01-08-2005 11:46 AM  

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Groovymarlin
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I don't think the falling issue is hopeless. No, it's not an art issue, it's a mechanic issue. As you said, there's a roll, and if it's success you flourish, if it's fail you fall.

I don't think I'm speaking out of turn to tell you that I PM'd Runesabre after the FanFest to ask him about falling, since I didn't get a chance to at the panel discussion. He was kind enough to reply and told me that they realized it was a problem, and wanted to look at it at some point, perhaps reducing falling as a reward for master dancer or entertainer. But he said he wanted to check with the other designers and developers to find out if it was originally introduced as some kind of balance mechanism.

I think we're headed in the right direction. It's hard to imagine what kind of "balance" falling is intended to provide, especially since experience gain and healing are unaffected by it, and musicians have no corresponding "failure." I really can't imagine why it was introduced at all, except somebody had the animations done and thought it would be "cute" or somehow more "immersive" to include falling. Well as we've seen, falling is generally annoying and excessive. Perhaps it's broken. What would be nice is, as you have said, to include an optional command to fall when desired, for roleplay reasons, but otherwise to get rid of this unnecessary "cuteness."

Reading what Panthu alluded to, I can't even imagine what kind of "game challenge" falls are supposed to be. Now if they caused a macro to break, or dancing to stop...that would be an interesting challenge, wouldn't it?

Anyway, good list Madame Correspondent!

La'lepa Ofo

Master Dancer :: Master Swordswoman :: Force Sensitive
AFKing is not entertaining - support real entertainers
01-08-2005 11:54 AM  

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Panthu
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Xyrdre wrote:

All over it.   I know the old issues, and have brand new reasoning. Not to mention some fresh, hard data in the works. I started doing actual fall rate testing on TC yesterday. Interesting results thusfar, to say the least.

We'll see.... we'll see.


Yeah, I saw after I wrote that, heh. I didn't understand the answer to RM until it was explained to me at FF, but you got it. It's so easy being one of your glowies, I only ever have to cheer, lol.

/cheer Deila


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01-08-2005 12:38 PM  

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Maisland
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Xyrdre wrote:
 
To be honest, what I'm shooting for with the fall stuff is to do away with them completely. The falls, as they are now, are a penalty without a contrasting chance at a benefit for the Dancer... so it's just a losing proposition, and isn't fun gameplay to be under the gun for random falls like that. If it were generally seen as fun, we wouldn't have so many people brandishing weapons while they dance.
Buuuut, as a side bonus (which would take more work on their part, but I thought I'd ask anyway), I'm asking them to give us an added /flourish fall command to call up those fall animations as needed for roleplay or other reasons. This too is something that has been long discussed here in the Dancer forum, and I'm going for it. Worst they can do is say no, right? Can't hurt to ask.

Definately.  Falling as it is is no fun...  but if we could fall on command (as it were) it would be.

I survived the CU


I can not survive the NGE

01-08-2005 01:47 PM  

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