Taking a Look at the 2016 Winter Producer’s Letter

Many DDO players have been looking forward to seeing what the latest producer’s letter was going to state for the direction of game in 2016.  For many players, the producer’s letter sets the stage for them for the coming year and helps them plan for the future release of new content not to mention to give them things to look forward to throughout the year.  Basically giving us players just enough goodies to keep us playing in this great game.  With that said, Severlin released his latest producer letter back on January 15th.

Just to quickly highlight what was in the latest producer letter, Severlin mentioned some of the things that were completed and released in 2015 and also mentioned that one thing he would like to do this year is to create more than a single producer’s letter that covers the entire year.  He wants to take the direction of creating a quarterly producer’s letter.  He wants to do this for two primary reasons: 1) to continue a high level of communication with the player base and 2) to allow for better development decisions throughout the year.  In other words, the DDO development team can re-arrange their focus as the player base needs and desires change over the year and that these new developments can then be communicated through the next quarterly newsletter.  I like this approach and think that it is a good idea (but more on that later).  The next thing he mentioned was that the development team was currently working on finishing up gnomes and he provided some of the art work that was done and provided a relational picture of the size of gnomes with respect to halflings and humans.  He also mentioned that the developers are working hard on two primary things (besides gnomes) including the upgrades to Cannith Crafting and working on the 10th year anniversary for DDO.  He then mentioned that the anniversary celebration for DDO will include dealing with some of the more well known non-player characters in game as well as fighting some of the “devs.”  It will also apply the sliding level dungeon selection that has been applied to Night Revels.  Definitely sounds pretty interesting.

However, that was all that was really provided in the producer’s letter.  I thought this a little surprising myself.  A good portion of the letter was devoted to a review of what was done last year.  One  thing I wondered about, with this in mind, is if it wouldn’t have been better to develop a separate letter that basically reflected on the things that occurred with DDO in the previous year.  I’m thinking more of a retrospective letter, think of it as a debrief, for the players.  Especially those players that started to play DDO mid year or later or for those returning players who might not have seen the new releases come out and wondered when things came about.  This letter could have been released sometime in December or in the beginning of January.  I wouldn’t think it would take that hard to develop or create.  The letter could have listed out all of the updates that occurred throughout year, their highlights, and talked about other things like the new monsters that were released (in particular the slaad, but what about archons, etc..) or the new named loot items.

Erdrique and some Crawlers finishing up in the Snitch.  We are all looking forward to seeing what 2016 brings us!!

By doing this, more things could have been mentioned for what is planned during this coming quarter.  I know that the 10th anniversary celebration, gnomes, and Cannith Crafting are some very large things that are being worked on but I’m sure there are some more things coming during this quarter.  We know that another volume of the monster manual is being worked on to include the drow but nothing was mentioned about that.  We also didn’t hear/read about the possible move to the new data center, changes to the fighter enhancements, possible new trees for the druid, favored soul, and artificer, etc..  I wonder how these things are coming about.  Even if these items aren’t planned for this quarter, it would be nice to hear that they are being thought about for the year and that these topics of interest will be updated during the next quarterly producer’s newsletter.

In the end though, I’m really looking forward to this year in DDO.  Being around for 1o years is  quite an achievement that the developers should be proud of!!  I’m also glad to see what is in the producer’s letter; I was just hoping to see some more of their thoughts on those outstanding things we know is being worked on.

Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting in DDO!!

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