This week was the long-awaited response to the question of melee damage by female characters, which had only been peripherally acknowledged up until last week.
Unfortunately, I don’t seem to be able to see the Voice of Crom on the US forums. Also, the devtracker tab results claims there are no matches and right-clicking Sharum’s name to find further posts from him only works on the European servers. So I have been limited to the Euro forums for my information except where someone has given a direct link to a post on the US forums. I hope this is a blip and not intentional!
Sharum cross-posted the details of the Male vs Female attack-speed issue to the Euro and US forums on Monday afternoon.
Let me begin with saying “yes, we here at Funcom agree with you; this is an unacceptable bug”. We never intended for any character to be stronger/weaker than another based on its gender, and we have been working on making the necessary adjustments to correct this issue for quite some time already.
He explained that some 800-1000 animations that are affected and warned people not to expect to see a fix for another three to four weeks.
And finally, I have to stress that even with our internal goal set and everything currently proceeding on schedule I cannot currently promise that this will be patched to Live at the projected date. There’s a lot of stuff that, while totally unrelated, might cause a certain patch to be delayed or even pushed out without containing this data. What I can promise though is to return with another update about a more specific patch date as soon as possible.
Sharum then gathered up questions from the resulting feedback threads and posted answers, including these interesting points:
Originally Posted by Sennacherib
Will only female combo damage be affected, or will this result in different damage output for everyone, male and female?
Almost every combo-finisher will have its length adjusted during this process. In most cases the female ones will be made shorter, but in some cases (if we are unable to make the female version short enough without impacting the visual quality) the male counterpart will be lengthened. Once the animation-length has been finalized every combo will then be re-balanced based on this new value.
Originally Posted by gurgelstock
Sorry but I still dont understand how this could have happened in the first place and therefore my tolerance is very low regarding this matter. How did this happen, what where you thinking, “lets just animate all females at different speed than males and see where it takes us”?
Because, as stated previously in the post, not a single movement or combat animation in the game is hand-animated; it’s all MOCAP data.
So MOCAP (motion capture) is the cause of the difference in length as opposed to some over-enthusiastic artist carefully hand-drawing each movement as I had imagined: shame. The net result is that Funcom are going through all the combos again for every class and gender.
As of today, news was good:
Originally Posted by eafreak
Hehe, anyhow, just trying softin up the mood. As a 3d animator, character animations is a real pain to fix up. However, on a production side of things, fixing one animation (which is by all means do-able), could mean a great moral / balance boost to the community. I am sure that the community will support you in this.
Probably, but we also risk causing more strife by unbalancing things further with this type of approach; which is why we decided to just do it all in one big bulk. It looks like we’ll be done with the majority of the tweaking during this week, so we’re actually slightly ahead of schedule for the time being
Reaction seems to be mixed, ranging from “yet another nail in the coffin of a game released too soon” to the positive glow of seeing game issues addressed directly. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of other bizarre bugs to be complaining abut while this one gets fixed.