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Viewing dev posts for topic: /forums/general-discussion/topics/Weekly-QA-Technical-Producer-GELETRON
Jerichow on 04/29/2016, 11:27 AM - view
Okay, so I want to ask, since obviously at this point in time there is another 'event' going on that is getting some uh.... massive negative backlash.

Yes, I'm talking about the Triple Enchant event.

Is your team responsible for any part of this? Are you guys able to create events like this, and by that regard, are you able to make changes to events like this? I'm only asking because the community has pretty much gone into full rage mode after Treeshark revealed that it does not affect awakened enchanting.

Hi Jerichow. The enchanting events are controlled by game code and my team is not able to modify them. The kinds of events my team typically work on are the events that replace the welcome message, in-store events, and community events like Bamkiller and Skyring Slam.
Calla on 04/29/2016, 06:19 AM - view
I'm not sure if this has been asked yet, but I'll take a stab anyways.

Q: Are there any plans to re-release older cosmetic items that we haven't seen for a while? Such as dyeable arins costume, or the blue halo that was released back in 2013. If not, are there any plans or would it be possible to implement an item that allows the unbinding of cosmetic items (while rendering them untradeable so the market doesn't get killed) so that we can use items that haven't been available for a long time? I could foresee this being a great thing for the limited time hello kitty costumes as well.

Hi Calla. I can't talk about release plans for specific items, but I can say that we do re-release older cosmetic items that are not currently available from our in-game store.
SweetThing on 04/29/2016, 05:50 AM - view
How do you plan to improve the game without taking Events into consideration? Lets say "Event" (etc) is an unknown word. Do you think youve (team) achived enough? If not? why not, look how far we are. If yes, why? Are they still ways to go?

Hi SweetThing. There are still a lot of things my team can do and are doing to improve TERA both inside and outside of the game. I've already talked a little about our plans to update our game launcher, improve our in-game store, and launch new forums. We are also looking at better uses for the welcome screen and finding new ways to connect our players and to make it easier for them to share their in-game accomplishments.
KAJINOFE on 04/29/2016, 05:12 AM - view
This is most likely a BHS question but I wanted to ask just in case you guys have any information on this. Is there any plans to port TERA to Linux maybe via steam?

Hi KAJINOFE. You are correct, that is a Bluehole question. I can say my team has not been asked to build a TERA launcher for Linux.
DetectiveMitten on 04/28/2016, 03:56 PM - view
Serious question time now, do you have upcoming or have you got in the works another form of in game event that hasn't ever been shown? And also (if you help work on it) 'Blast from the past' will we ever see the return of it or a newer version of it?

Hi DetectiveMitten. There are plans for new in-game events, but I'm not able to talk about them. The best source for information on those events is going to be on our Friday Twitch streams, on our web site news feed, and on our social feeds. I also want to call out the great job Spacecats has been doing with his random acts of in-game shenanigans.

My team didn't work on the 'Blast from the past' system so I can't say if it will return to TERA.
PoppyTheStout on 04/28/2016, 03:35 PM - view
Thanks for answering the question on the forums.

Did you make any changes to the forum search engine?

We are using the search engine provided by Vanilla forums in our new forums. One change that was added that I really like is the ability to search within a thread.
Yumiaaa on 04/28/2016, 03:28 PM - view
Hi Geletron! Thanks for answering so many questions so thoughtfully, I'd thought I'd give my own Q.

Will it ever be possible to unsoulbind items, or otherwise move them inbetween characters? I for one, own alot of costumes bound to characters whom were deleted or no longer in use. Will Tera ever see an 'unsoulbind' item in the account services in the future? Thanks for any reply :)

Hi Yumiaaa. I do not know if an item exists or if an item will be created that will allow players to re-soulbind cosmetic items. On the code side of things rebinding cosmetic items is limited to tools that Bluehole provides and that our customer service team uses when support tickets come in. Unfortunately the tool does not provide API access that my team could use to create an account service to rebind items so there currently is no plan to add a service like that to our web site.
Kirine on 04/28/2016, 01:56 PM - view
Up for one more? :)

Under the loot box section in the Tera Store (browser version) is it possible to implement subsections (eg. mounts, cosmetics,other)? Or an overall better searching and filtering option for the Store?

The merging of different weapon skins into a smart box was excellent(!), but in some sections we have 10 pages worth of things to select from and browse through and I feel with the constant addition of new things, it will increase and makes harder to arrange similar things next to each other and compare them.

We are planning an overhaul of our web-based TERA store. We are happy with a lot of the changes we were able to get into the in-game shop, such as item search, related items, filtering, and purchasing multiple items, and we are planning on getting those changes into the web TERA store as well.

As for when, well there are still some changes I would like to get in the in-game store first before we redesign the web TERA store. Namely, making it so buying stacks of items delivers a stack of items and getting EMP purchases available in game.
Kirine on 04/28/2016, 07:17 AM - view
I really like your style Geletron :)

Q: Are there any plans on making more account bound items, aside from mounts like costumes, weapon skins and accs or pets from the EMP store?

We already have the Steam-Powered Pack for reference :) so more packs?
Even some non-dyable versions of the costumes would be nice.

Hi Kirine. Account bound items are kind of an interesting topic, at least to me. Up until last year we had a limit to the number of items we could designate as account bound because a limitation to how account bound items were stored in our systems and on TERA's servers. There was a real concern that we were going to run out of space so we didn't create too many account-bound items. Last October we deployed some changes that added some additional space and that make it easy to add more space when needed.

We have offered some weapon skins, costumes and pets as account bound items so it certainly is a possibility we will offer more in the future.
Kiraboshi on 04/27/2016, 09:24 PM - view
One simple but BIG question many players have mentioned a lot: Is it technically possible for NA Tera to activate dungeons that have been disabled in Ktera? The reason for this is because one thing that pisses a lot of people off and makes them leave the game for BnS/BDO or whatever is the constant unnecessary removal of content by BHS that happens every major gear patch. It may make sense to remove some dungeons that are completely outdated, but BHS often removes dungeons that are still very relevant which often causes a negative effect on the economy. For instance, Akerons inferno was removed for the last gear patch even though the drops of schisma and inferno ore were still very relevant. Inferno ore ended up spiking in price on the broker because of a lack of ways to get it.

Next with the ninja patch comes the highly unnecessary removal of FIHM and Dreadspire. This is, again, a poor decision by BHS. Dreadspire drops VM6 mats, Dreadnaught, ore, and BoE Starfall, all of which are still going to be relevant next patch. FIHM drops chests and VM6 mats, which will also still be relevant. Neither of these should be removed from the game, and their removal is pretty much guaranteed to result in negative feedback from NA Tera just like this practice has done in the past. A great way around this problem would be if we could have a permanent "Event Dungeon" system similar to what we have with ABHM, that cycles an old dungeon with updated drops weekly. Or if NA Tera can just simply keep Dreadspire and FIHM with the Ninja patch. Either of these would be great.

Hi Kiraboshi. As far as i know, we can't activate dungeons that have been disabled in Ktera. I know our production team has been sharing our player concerns with Bluehole about removing dungeons.

I'll ask Treeshark if he can give some more info on this thread.
LessThanNone on 04/27/2016, 09:22 PM - view
That moment when you accidentally guess the url to the new forums...

Anyways, on to my question. I'm not sure if you're the appropriate person to answer this but since you said you worked on the game stores I'll ask it anyways. Have you ever considered having different currency options for buying EMP/elite other than just the American dollar (with adjusted prices to fit the current exchange rate etc.)? I know a lot of us Canadians are rather hesitant to purchase in American as our credit card companies love to give us the worst possible exchange rates along with charging foreign exchange fees.


Hi LessThanNone. We have been working to get additional payment providers on our store so that players have more purchasing options than just PayPal and credit cards. We are working with a vendor now that will allow region specific payment options, bank transfers and gift cards. I don't have an exact date when this will go live (I know, it's surprising :) ), but parts of the integration are being tested now and I do plan on having it available in May if everything goes well.
Ginjitsu on 04/27/2016, 01:26 PM - view

Any plans of adding features to Tera Launcher? It would be nice to allow multiple instances of the launcher. But the feature I mostly want is being able to enable auto-login (not interested in linking Tera account with Facebook or Steam). If there's concerns about security, just force Account Armor for auto-logins.

We have a lot of features we would like to add to the TERA launcher. One of the challenges about being a technical producer is only being able to do about 20% of the projects you would like to do. In the long term we would like to build a universal launcher that would make it easier to manage your account, sign up for beta tests, and download all our games from one spot.

Here are the features I would like to add to the launcher in the short term:
* Security token so you only have to log in once every couple of weeks
* Ability to enter promo codes directly in the launcher
* Ability to see the number of open CS tickets you have as well as a direct link to the support site
* Ability to start patch downloads without logging in

krypticgamer06 on 04/27/2016, 07:29 AM - view
Hello Geletron, ive been following teras talks updates past 7 months since school has kept me busy but im still watching how tera moves forward and i see great hope for its potential

- My question
back in the day X1-2 years ago i used to play tera 24/7 and my greatest ally as a new person to it leveling more and more getting higher up was the IOS APP made by some person called tera it was up to date and it was amazing till reaper came and as much i emailed them to please update they wouldnt its pretty out of date now what plans do you guys think you might have for bring out a IOS app that provides info on the game and helps you manage your account? Thanks so much Ps- Do you watch anime and if so whats your top favs?

Thanks for the question krypticgamer06. I'm not familiar with the iOS app that you are talking about. We have talked about the possibility of developing our own mobile application for a while now, but there are no concrete plans. Ideally I would like to find ways to make APIs available for the community so they can build their own web and mobile applications. I see so many great tools that the community has put together, such as the glyph calculator, that I don't think we would have the resources to build. Creating APIs to make it easier to get the data, however, does seem more doable.

I do not watch a lot of anime shows. For movies, my favorites are Akira and Ghost in the Shell. I was able to watch a showing of Akira in the Cinerama theater last year and that was a lot of fun.
CSalv on 04/26/2016, 07:05 PM - view
Ever considered switching out of Zayo as a service provider? The latency while on their network is unbearable.

Hi CSalv.

We use a number of ISPs in our office and out of our collocation center including Zayo. We always look for vendors that can give us a good combination of coverage, service, and price.
Ultemecia on 04/26/2016, 03:31 PM - view
I wish I had some more questions to your job, but they've all been answered. I also love your ideas for event loot boxes and grand prize items.

My only question is how big is your network team, what are the job requirements and are there positions available. XD

Hi Ultemecia. We currently have 5 people on our network team. Each member focuses on different aspects, such as server configuration, network maintenance, setting up hardware in our office and in our collocation center, and working with various ISP and CDN vendors.

In general we look for people with the following attributes:
- Gamer or industry-level knowledge of MMORPGs
- A passion for PC and Console online games
- 2-4 years experience in the position for which they are applying
- Good communication skills
- Experience in the MMO industry (this is a plus, not required)

We are looking for a Database Developer (http://www.enmasse.com/jobs/d601) now and we do post new positions from time to time.
PoppyTheStout on 04/27/2016, 02:18 PM - view
There has been talk several times about a new forum So what is the status of new forum?

What is the most important change you want to see made to the forums?

To Space Cats and all you folks at EME you guy just keep getting better, did someone at work purchase a bunch of Deming's Books? :)

They exist:

Right now we are finishing up the configuration, adjusting the design, and testing features. Some TERA players have been helping us test them and pointing out to us changes we can make to improve the experience. The plan is to have them rolled out before the Secrets and Shadows update goes live in May.

DetectiveMitten on 04/25/2016, 10:58 PM - view
Cat or Dog person? :D

Definitely a dog person, DetectiveMitten. I got a golden retriever lab mix puppy from the shelter a few months ago named Poe and now my Instagram feed is full of puppy pictures.

Unfortunately I'm allergic to cats and they seem to know it. They follow me around the neighborhood.
Banim on 04/25/2016, 05:33 PM - view
Not sure if this is an area you work on, but just in case: what is the reason KTera's UI is less laggy than NATera's? Since not long ago some people have found that replacing the NA UI files with the korean client ones eliminates a lot if not all of the lag when opening, closing and using interfaces in-game.

The issue with the laggy UI has been brought up for years since the game released in NA, so it'd be interesting to know if this is due to something not working properly in our client or if it's simply because Korea's build is more updated (since they are a content patch ahead) or optimized. Whatever the cause, I hope NA can enjoy, at some point soon, the same better UI performance as KTera without players having to replace files.

Apologies if this is the wrong Q&A thread (in that case, can this be forwarded to the people who could know what's going on?). Thank you.

Thanks for the question, Banim. I don't have an answer to your question, but I do have a technical contact at Bluehole and I will forward it on to him. If I hear something back about this issue, I'll post an update to this question.
Zoknahal on 04/26/2016, 12:10 PM - view
Hello Geletron!

Since it is you and your team who supervised the creation of the Kyra Potion Shack, the Golden Gift Box system and the launch of TERA on Steam, is it safe to assume your team also worked on the creation of the TERA Rewards system and the TERA Emporium? If yes, how do you plan to improve it in order to be attainable for more players who do not spend EMP (lets face it, the current system is way too EMP based and loyalty doesn't exist only in buying EMP). If no, Do you have plans to tweak the current events your team created, and activate em on more Holidays?

Hi Zoknahal. Our work on the TERA rewards and Emporium system was mostly confined to integrating the reward points and reward credits portion of the systems with our account management and GM tools. I know the production team is reviewing player feedback from the forums and the TERA subreddit on how we can improve the program and make it a little more accessible to our free-to-play players, but I don't have details on specific changes we are going to make nor when those changes will be added to the game.

One really cool change that was developed for the TERA rewards system is on how items are delivered. Traditionally we have not been able to deliver stacks of items to players unless the stack of items is configured as its own SKU in game. That is why we used to sell stacks of loot boxes as separate items on our store. We worked with Bluehole to develop a new API that would allow us to deliver stacks of items so we could send one stack of 150 credits instead of 150 stacks of one credit to a player's item claim. My next goal is to update our in-game store so we deliver stacks of loot boxes instead of individual loot boxes when you order more than one.

We do have lots of plans on how to tweak Kyra's potion shack and gifting, though not all these plans have made it onto the development calendar. Here is a brief list of some of the changes I would like to make (all of these are subject to change):

1. Add the golden gift-box center to the in-game store.
2. Change our event RNG boxes so that your chances of getting the best items are increased if you have already opened some boxes without winning something.
3. Add grand prize items to our event RNG boxes so we can do stuff such as give away 3 Alienware computers or something along those lines.

We would also like to find ways to make it easier to bring back some of our older events such as Bamkiller and make details for those events visible in-game.
Maxog on 04/26/2016, 11:35 AM - view
Gonna quickly answer this one: Look up Scaleform UE3, it uses single threaded (most CPU's have 2+ cores aka dual threading or x-threading) CPU (newer games use the GPU due to it's free resource allocation and specialized peripherals [graphics cards]) rendering for TERA's UI (something constantly updated). Combine these 3 things and you get TERA's UI as a bundled, unoptimized mess.


Onto my question:
I imagine since you handle login, web, and server client loads Geletron that you probably dabble in the hardware field equally as much as the software side of things. How up to date is TERA's hardware for the web server, login server, client server, etc?


(On a side note, I really dig these weekly asks Spacecats, they're pretty good at keeping the community in touch with some of the lesser known members of the dev/production team which is EXACTLY what the community has been asking for for the past 1 and a half years)

Hi Maxog. We have an operations team that maintains our servers and network, but I can answer your question.

We have spent the last couple of years modernizing our infrastructure. The web servers, login servers, and other services are virtualized so we can spin them up and down as needed or move them to a new data center in case of an emergency.

TERA game servers are a little more complicated. TERA was designed to run on physical servers (about seven or so per world) and some of the hardware has been running since before launch. The physical servers are really expensive to set up which is one of the reasons we have avoided setting up a dedicated public test realm.

We are installing new hardware in our data center in the next couple of months to which TERA will be migrated. I don't have an exact date on when everything will be migrated, but that does mean we do have a few more extended maintenance windows coming in the future.

On a side note, we are also experimenting with virtualizing TERA. At this point we have run every part of the TERA infrastructure on virtual servers. It was one of the reasons why we didn't have as much lag last time we ran a double-drop weekend.
StarSprite on 04/25/2016, 11:56 PM - view
Why did it take so long for Tera to be released through steam? What was the most challenging part of that process you can tell us about?

Hi StarSprite. The most challenging part about getting TERA on Steam was working out the billing system. We figured out how to integrate Steam and En Masse accounts a couple of years ago when we published ZMR on Steam.

We were initially going to publish TERA on Steam in 2014 before ZMR, but we had to delay when we realized that we didn't have a way for players to sign up for Elite Status using Steam subscriptions. You are not allowed to redirect players to a subscription site that doesn't use the Steam wallet when players launch the game through Steam.

The compromise that we worked out with Valve was to offer the Elite Status vouchers. We worked with Bluehole to get them added back to the game for the release last May.
Angellys on 04/26/2016, 08:58 AM - view
Hi, I had no idea what to ask about the game so here's a personal question: what were your childhood dreams and why you decided to pursue this career?

That's OK Angellys.

My childhood dream was to become a research scientist. I'm a naturally curious person and I though it would be awesome to get to do experiments all day in a lab. I got to work as a research assistant at a cancer research lab while I was in college, but I had to find something new to do because working around chemicals all day triggered severe migraines for me.

As for how I got into the video games industry and why I chose to pursue this career, pull up a chair and old Geletron will tell you how that happened:

I wasn't allowed to play video games at home as a kid since we were poor and my parents thought it was a waste of money. I used to sneak over to my friend's house or my cousin's house to play games since they had Atari 2600 and NES game consoles. When I was older I saved all my money and bought a Gameboy portable console.

I really started getting into video games in college. My dorm floor used to have LAN parties and play Warcraft II or Starcraft when it came out. In those days only one person needed to have the disk and you could spawn copies for multiplayer.

After graduating I tried to get a job in the industry, but it turns out no one wanted to hire a fresh college graduate with a degree in English and a background in chemical engineering and organic chemistry.

Eventually I was hired as a variable data print operator at a print company because I knew how to use VBScript to manipulate data in Microsoft Excel. At night I read technical manuals and taught myself how to use Photoshop and how to build web sites using a text editor. I figured the only way I was going to get into the games industry was to become a web programmer so I focused heavily on learning about that.

For the next 7 years as a web programmer, as an iOS programmer, and as an Android programmer for an engineering company in Minneapolis. I was also keeping an eye out for interesting job opportunities in the video game industry.

After a particularly harsh winter in Minneapolis, I decided I needed to move. I chose to move to Seattle since I grew up on the west coast and since so many technical companies have offices here. Luckily En Masse had a job opening available as a front-end web developer and since I had a lot of web and mobile programming experience, I got the job.
Aulon on 04/26/2016, 05:05 AM - view
One of the draw backs of TERA is to get it to run smoothly one must optimize it themselves, simple things such as changing files to tell TERA to use more cores of your CPU, reducing particle size, ect. With out doing this the game is near unplayable at the higher level. That and the amount of memory leakage, why has this not been addressed and fixed in four years? If there are no plans on fixing it why not set up walk throughs on these forums for those that want to enjoy the game on the higher level, show a sign that yes it is an issue and En Masse can not fix it but would like to help in every way possible?

Hi Aulon. I really don't have a good answer for you since my team doesn't work with the source code, but I will ask our support team if we can put together a knowledge base article on game performance optimization. If there is already a resource that the TERA community has put together, we can add a link to it from the community page on our site.
Derpty on 04/26/2016, 12:13 AM - view
Gee one could wonder why people bother to write page long (and more) "rants". What you mean - judging by last thread - is:
No hard questions. That people really care about. No questioning issues with services. No ridiculous inconsistent censorship questions. No state of PVP questions.

Some won't apply to GELETRON ofc, but it's for future sake.


Question time, i'll break the rule and go with 2:

1. Is the "GM" support team outsourced?

2. Did they ever play TERA?


Ps. What? It wasn't mean towards GELETRON. And judging by the
service we non paying players get it wasn't mean at all.

Ps.2. Since you build tool for them i thought you might know.

Hi Derpty.

1. Is the "GM" support team outsourced?
A. Not at this time. We did have an offsite support team in Austin last year that helped answer support questions, but now all support is handled by a dedicated support team in our office.

2. Did they ever play TERA?
A. Yes, though some play TERA more than others. Playing TERA is actively encouraged at work. If Spacecats can convince one of our customer support team to do a QA session, he or she may be able to give a more detailed answer.
All hail the mighty GELETRON!!!

This week's chat will be with En Masse Entertainment's Technical Producer. Ask GELETRON questions all week long (until end of Friday.) For the sake of having a fun and open discussion please adhere to the following guidelines:

* Prime Directive: Be polite to GELETRON! Despite having the forum handle of an intergalactic overlord, he's a human being with feelings.
* One question per post. This is a new guideline, but I think it will make things so much nicer for our guest, plus it significantly increases the chances you'll get an answer.
* Be succinct. No rants. This kind of goes along with the "be polite" Prime Directive. This isn't the place to post long rants or giant lists that hijack the thread. Please make your own threads for such things.

Here are some questions I've asked GELETRON to get the conversation started:

Please describe the kind of work you do.

I manage the development team at En Masse Entertainment. Our development team is responsible for building and maintaining all our web sites, our account management system, our customer service tools, our game stores, and our game launchers. We also work with game developers to make sure our platform can communicate with their game and to assist getting them integrated with third party services, such as Steam.

How does your work specifically affect TERA?

Beyond the day-to-day stuff of making sure players can log into the game, purchase items from our store, and receive items in item-claim, we try to find new ways to engage our players. My team built the Golden Gift box system, Kyra’s potion shack, the in-game store, and we launched TERA on Steam.

What classes/races do you play in TERA?

My highest level characters are a level 60 Reaper, a level 61 high-elf gunner, and a level 58 human male lancer. In most MMOs I play a tank class so my usual game play is to plant in place and punch things in the face. TERA is a little more complicated so it has been challenging to find a class that fits my preferred play style.

What other games do you like to play?

When I’m not collecting creatures to battle in Pokemon and Puzzle and Dragons, I am usually flying my ship in Star Trek Online, or playing my Paladin in World of Warcraft. I also love big single-player RPGs and strategy games so I’ve logged a lot of hours in Civilization, Starcraft, Fallout 4, and Skyrim.

What shows are you currently watching?

Game of Thrones just started season 6 so I’m really looking forward to watching that again. I just finished re-watching all the Rick and Morty episodes from iTunes. I’m a sucker for the super hero shows like Flash, Agents of Shield, and all the great Marvel shows that Netflix is producing. The last few Supergirl episodes frustrated me so I’m going to give that show a break.

If you were stranded on a dessert island, what would you do when not eating your sweet and delicious surroundings? What savory food would you miss the most?

I think I would panic. Even though I love tasty treats, I don’t like being sticky. Having all my surroundings having a strong probability of being sticky when exposed to moisture is kind of scary. I would miss bacon.

Would you rather fight a dozen Elin-sized Kumasas, or a single Kumasa-sized Elin?

I think I would rather fight a dozen Elin-sized Kumasas. They have a predictable attack pattern that seems manageable. Elin are too unpredictable. She would either beat me to a pulp or try to RP with me. Both thoughts are scary.
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