Podcast Transcript (Disclaimer: all heavily, heavily paraphrased, and I totally tuned out after the longer replies).
Can we please have more aliens? I wouldn't say no to some martians, especially if they were for a War of the Worlds parody.
Yeah, I like that.
How about a badge for losing? Like if you get beaten up X total times in battles you get some sort of sympathy badge meant to encourage you.
The lazy boy badge is kind of like that. Probably should have added that with Too Hard. Too hard stuff still has unfound badges though. I'm considering more too hard heirloom content...
What do you think of this quest idea: a villain finds out your character's secret identity and tries to blackmail you? It's a common theme in the superhero genre.
We don't really have significant others in the game. But that would be cool, more of a window into [the character's] life at work.
I've really enjoyed the last quests and right now seem to be stuck in the never ending "this is too hard" run.
Glad you enjoyed it! Yes, Too Hard is hard.
I was wondering if there were any plans to revamp the PVP system. It would be awesome do something that would draw more players to that area of the game. More attack and defense gear would be cool too. Something that would make you trade off a positive for something negative, or some effect that would persist and do you good in the main portion of the game.
I have plans for PvP going forward, a bit larger than that. Next big project is either PvP, or Stalker quest (takes place after Mad Scientist), or retouch on "Go Fish" (I have an idea for a pretty cool thing for it and other under the sea content) [drops cheesiest possible Little Mermaid reference here]. For PVP, if you recall the old IoTM Hero Dash Trainer, I had an idea related to that... some kind of timed competition for a heroic quest. Something weekly, with balancing, rewards etc. The current system is kind of isolated from the game, which is both a good and bad thing. But I would like integration.
Any relation between near-impossible-to-defeat female mad scientist Dr. Zomadeus and equally-impossible-to-defeat female mad scientist Dr. Nano?
No. They are similar though.
What's the deal with Doctor Somnus showing up in Shiloh's petting zoo if you haven't completed the last nostronomian quest? Part-timing for her fellow impossible-to-defeat female mad scientist?
A little bit of text in there says she's involved with the experiments in Shiloh.
Huh, now that I think about it, the mad scientician is also female and the most dangerous enemy in the Rooftops of Downtown...
Sounds like a conspiracy...or Girl Genius. Blame the Heterodynes.
Any plans for late-game content? New League opponents? I believe most longtime players are level 50 and over at this point and it's pretty much at that level that one starts to breeze through most non-scaling opponents.
New League opponents is something major on my plate. The non-scaling opponents for 50+ are not a problem. Players are pretty spread out for challenges still, I think. Plan is more quests for level 14 onward, not quite level 50+. More zones for high level is a possibility, but less likely. High level content is a challenge to satisfy everyone with, for various reasons. Retcon is most of the game's content, though, really.
Also, in my opinion, the game starts to feel less heroic as you get into more and more remote and high-level areas. In particular in the space station and most of the range 4+ areas, save for Hyde Park, which are utterly devoid of civilians to save or interact with. Spending a lot of time in those areas kind of feels like standard "enter enemy lair, start trouble" adventuring at that point, rather than classic superheroics where you end trouble. Do you have any thoughts on that?
I disagree with the Space Station part, it's pretty spelled out. The [higher-level quests] should take care of part of that, though, and establish those areas. But some of them are intentionally just enemy lairs, like Hundenswein. No civilians there, because it's a bad guy place. Not quite sure, because the decisions were made before my time, and the zones went in first before characterization, so I can only guess why.
Story is still catching up to content, so adding more content would increase that imbalance, tying back into last question. Rather not have more empty zones. League content is nice though, because it's kind of self-characterizing. But yeah, solution is more high-level quests/lore, like the stalker quest.
How do you decide when to do irregular recurring events? I believe frank's ballpark coincides with the world series and snow days are probably based on actual weather in your areas, but what about the others? Do you simply wake up and roll out of bed with an incredible urge to make buzzkill puns?
Yes. When I feel it's been a while since the last such event.
1 - As usual, what have you been working on? (other than the quest that was just released)
Donation items, catching my breath after mad scientist. I'm pretty hyped about what i have planned. Maybe add some league bosses, interface stuff, small things too, in the meantime.
2 - Have the advertisement numbers been crunched? IMO more numbers to crunch would help the game a great deal if the budget allows it atm.
Budget does not allow it atm. We're not in danger, but we need more if we want to advertise. Overhead is fortunately low for [various reasons]. [Talks about personal finances], and also (slight plug here) I'm going to Washington DC June 4 for something. If you're in the area...
3 - Leagues have a lot of potential, but that prestige has been piling up for years with nothing worthy to spend it on, what about a zone you have to pay weekly to access or facilities with benefits we can purchase/rent?
We could have a Danger Room [like X-men]. More enemies and stuff, I want to add more ways to spend Prestige and add more League bosses. No promises, though.
4 - I share penguinpyro's opinion on the high level end of the game, I understand why they were made, but they don't feel very heroic
See my answer(s) to his question.
5 - Not much of a question, more of an idea, what do you feel about implementing a few recurring events, like TH's monthly fair or the weekly wandering salesman (silly I know, but he brings stuff from other cities!) to break the game's routine every now and then? They'd spice things up and if every iteration had a few randomly changing elements (some recurring, some unique) it'd add a feeling of freshness and something to look for in the short term (what new flashy thing did the quack doctor/ con artist came up with in this month's fair to deceive us with?) that really doesn't need much effort in the creative side (me thinks, contests can help with creativity )
Certainly a possibility. PvP stuff I mentioned could speak to that. Semi-random recurring stuff is certainly one good way to keep things moving. I don't want to quite say "Procedurally generated", because of the implications, but sort of.
6 - I know I write too much, sorry everyone
We still love you.
(1) Thank you for the new quest. I'm enjoying it, especially the miniboss fights, the Goldbergium puzzle, fighting ZOMega...well, everything really. It has a nice epic feel to it.
I am very glad to hear that. Some credit to Ryme who did a lot of work behind the scenes. I'm releasing content in smaller chunks more often, as I don't like the idea of spending a year for a large thing. I work in "sprints". [Analogy about allocating resources to and from RAM and HD], so it's kind of like that. Winter did a number on me, so hopefully spring is better. [Aside about climate in Columbus OH and Russia]
(2) Speaking of quests, I think that one under-used game mechanic is crafting. That is, I don't think there are any quests that require you to craft something, besides the suggestion about making high-jump boots in the NCI Live building.
[Aside about kittens] Don't tempt me, I love crafting [Aside about MMOs] [seriously it is a really long aside]
(3) Funny thing about the punk pickle is that I was going to suggest something similar, with kimchee (found in Yang Blvd) granting extra fire damage.
[Aside about weird carny stuff] Kimchee is clearly a crafting thing... I made sauerkraut [in real life], it's good. [Aside about food and sauerkraut]
(4) In a past podcast, you mentioned revamping PVP. Before you roll that out, maybe you should warn us when our lambda tokens and other PVP items will become obsolete (unless you decide to keep those).
Yeah, definitely warning, maybe overlap. The new PvP thing will be very unrelated, it may not even disrupt the old system. New PvP will come gradually, should be okay.
(5) I hope the Secret Service doesn't force you to change the game when if Donald Trump gets elected president.
Haha, yes, I knew Trump was a supervillain before it was cool. If we were actually worried about the Secret Service, it would put us in good company. In the 1990s, Steve Jackson Games [aside about GURPs], had some problems with a raid and lawsuit involving the Secret Service.
(6) I may be a retired submarine sailor, but it has been a few years since my last intelligence briefing. So, is the image for the ZOM-C submersible based on a Russian Kilo-class submarine? Or did you just grab a random result from an image search?
I... do not know. Russian Kilo-class submarine actually rings a bell, so I'm 85% sure yes, ZOM-C is that one.
Thank you all very much for listening to me ramble on, for an hour and 15 minutes. Thank you for playing and donating and I hope you look forward to what we've got going on next, the next big project and the other stuff I'll get out in the meantime. Let me know if you have questions. See you next time!