Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Insider - EA Town Hall Meeting 2/14

This time around MaxisGreg hosted the EA Town Hall meeting and we received alot of great information that'll clear up the cloudy future of TSO, EAL, and 'The Merge'. He gave up some information about the 4th and 5th anniversary gifts that'll get you all giddy! He also coughed up information about the next bullet train and how the merge tests are going. And we say goodbye to Betaville.

- Sims will continue to age and gain skill locks when productions cities close. Many of you know that the production cities (all cities except TC3 & EAL) will be closing next Wednesday. He said that they need to shut down west coast servers. What that means exactly, I dont know.

- Skill locks will soon be based on account age and not sim age. Good news for all the oldies who quit but are now returning for EAL and the merge.

-The Graphics team has already started on the Sims 2 characters. For more information about the new graphics skim down this page to the story called "Planning for the Future: Graphics".

- Referral program almost ready to launch.

- Neighborhood search coming, with a search/filter overhaul. This should improve our searches and property filters. I suggested that they also add a "Bio Search". My suggestion was then gobbled up by nonsense and chatter.

- Merge test are "looking good". Greg reassured many sims that he's 100% we will be merging. It's finally good to see some positive news about the merge.

- "No one working on roof bug yet". A quote that contradicts what Parizad told us at the 1/28 EA Town Hall Meeting. I'll take Greg's word.

- Fourth and Fifth anniversary gifts are done! He then added "Not 100% sure". Parizad already told us that the fourth anniversary gift will be a plaque commemorating the 4 years we've been on TSO and colored canons for our 5th year anniversary gift.

- They will be extending founder period "a couple months". This was an unexpected surprise. I always felt that the beta tester weren't the only "founders". What about the people who bought the game the first day and went on to be more successful then the founders and actually made the game what it is today. Kudos TSO-e team!

- Next bullet train Mon (2/18) or Tues (2/19) Now we know...kinda.

- Crafting prices to become 'Dynamic' EAL, New and Dynamic! It seems like everything is starting to go 'dynamic'. It may turn out to be a good thing. It'll create challenges and bring strategies to the game.

- Skilling speed and money payouts will continue to fluctuate up and down. At the time of the meeting the max skilling speed was 99%. Yikes! I predict that skilling houses' hours will go down and we'll start to see more diverse lots. Oh, and alot less AFK sims.

- Betaville closed for good. Greg told us that Betaville is not going to reopen to prepare for merge. Goodbye BV, I never liked ye. (didnt try to rhyme)

- Working on 8 sim slots for EAL. Alot of people angry because they already deleted their sims to make sure that their production city sims will make it into the 6 sim slots. EA changed it to 8 slots and players cant get their deleted sims back.

Greg gave alot more information than I thought he would. Some of it useful, and the rest not so much. It's good to know that there is some kind of work being done at the TSO-e Headquarters. Here's to hoping that we merge by Christmas!

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