Everquest 2: Mounted Combat is saved after SOE listens to players.

You’ll recall that yesterday I wrote about Everquest 2’s new producer, Smokejumper, making this statement on the removal of mounted combat:

Well, I guess it’s time to stick my head in the dragon’s mouth. Here goes nuthin’.

I’ve played with the system as it is currently on Live (rather extensively). I’ve also played the system that is on Test now.

It’s basically a change about “what looks best”.

The fact is, the Live solution doesn’t look very good. Especially if you’re playing a character with radical animations, like a Monk.

Also, we already have the conceit in the game, for things like climbing and swimming, where your mount turns off/on.

Additionally, there is no way that we can add the literally hundreds of necessary anims and hunks of code to make combat look spectacular while on a mount. (At least not with our existing task load for future features.)

So, the solution is to turn off the mount while in combat. You may ask, “When does the mount off/on occur?”

1) It doesn’t happen if you’re just aggroed. It only happens if YOU attack something.

2) We’re going to massage the code a bit (soon) so that your mount doesn’t immediately pop back in until a few seconds after you destroy your current opponent. That way, if you’re not using AoEs, the mount doesn’t keep popping back in before you can switch to a new target and continue fighting.

This system allows you to continue seeing the great combat animations and makes the game more visually appealing for all players.

Regarding the “/showmount” request…that’s not something we want to do either. If you’re getting the speed boost, other players should know why that’s occuring.

Regarding a graphics option to show the mount even while you’re in combat, we’re not doing that either. This is an aesthetic decision that keeps the game more attractive for all players. The currently munged animations that occur while riding look like (well, actually “are”) a bug. Since we don’t have time to create all the extra anims required to fix that in the perfect way (which would also make it *much* harder for us to create new mounts in the future because they would need all those extra anims also), we’re going to have to go with this solution.

We fully realize this won’t please all players, but it will result in a better looking game for most players, so that’s why we’re making the change.

Things looked dark, with the idea of a /showmount command or player-controlled switch being ruled out entirely.

However, we’ve just had this second Smokejumper post:

Late-breaking news on this feature! Basically, we hear ya. Here’s the details:

1) Mounts will still be suspended while in combat…by default.

2) However, there will also be a new graphic option that lets you set your view of mounts to one of three settings:

a) Default (mount disappears during combat, reappearing 5 seconds after you are out of combat).

b) You never see mounts at all. (Useful in raid situations or for low-end machines that are trying to get better framerate.)

c) You always see mounts, even during combat. (Useful for folks that like the way things look now and want to continue seeing things that way.)

NOTE: The mount settings are client-only, so they only affect what *you* see, not what everyone else sees. Their view is affected by their own personal setting.

Make sense?

Firstly, obviously it’s fantastic that we get to keep mounted combat. More importantly though, it is encouraging that he has shown himself willing to listen to reason, and put the extra effort in to create a solution that will leave everybody happy.

Now we just have to save the Isles. Perhaps we can persuade him to take the sensible player-choice-orientated approach to that too.

7 comments to Everquest 2: Mounted Combat is saved after SOE listens to players.

  • […] April 29, 2010 by Ysharros Arkenor once again gets the credit for actually paying attention, so this is really just a linky. […]

  • Well hot damn! This is actually pretty neat all round. One, it’s the best optiony-giving option (more choices = good); two, it seems the community can make its point relatively calmly; and three, it seems the devs are listening and willing to reverse decisions if it doesn’t cost too much {insert resource}. Lovely jubbly.

  • Indeed. It’s actually an improvement on what we have now, which is exactly what it should have been in the first place. I’m really rather happy, and I hope lessons have been learned all round. The lesson I learned is that we should never give up trying to make our case, even when told that things are set in stone.

  • Greg Spence

    As I’ve said in the past, we’re always willing to listen to concerns, but it works out much better if those concerns are delivered in a thoughtful and respectful manner rather than flames and insults. It’s called Test Server for a reason and rarely are things set in stone. But keep in mind that we don’t create the game by committee, so some decisions are made and can’t be changed. But in general, we obviously want to do what’s best for our current players as well as new players that have yet to experience the world of Norrath.

  • I truly am sorry if you feel I have been unduly harsh, but it is largely unavoidable if I’m going to be truthful about my feelings. I try to be as civil as circumstances and my nature will allow. I certainly don’t want to upset anyone personally, but obviously folks aren’t going to like it when their life’s work or decisions are criticised by some random bloke with a blog.

    But on your side, it would help if there was less of the “Developer always knows best” thing. We both know that’s not always true. I mean, we were told, as written above in the first post, that we were wrong and that it wouldn’t be changing. It’s right there. That’s not really conducive to a good-tempered and open exchange of ideas. If, instead, it had been written in a way that did not seem to be dismissing us and was still willing to listen, there would be less of a feeling that we need to yell to be heard.

    Anyhows, if I’ve offended you or your co-workers, I really do regret it, and you have my apologies.

  • Sounds like good stuff all around. :)

    Best wishes to the devs for their hard work!

  • […] MountGate – Options R Us by Ysharros Last week I reported (mostly via Ark’s Ark) that the Powers That Be had decided that mounts wouldn’t — be that is, at least in […]

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