Wyatt Cheng continued his fan media tour with an appearance on the Westmarch Workshop Wednesday night. More than just storytime with Wyatt, this is hostage time with Wyatt, as he stuck around for a full two hours, chatting on a wide variety of topics.

    We haven’t had a chance to listen to the show yet so no additional notes as of yet. Leviathan did provide one nice bit of transcript, with Wyatt talking about the development of a new feature that will replace the much-maligned Realm of Trials. Click through for that excerpt transcript, and if you have time to listen to the whole podcast, feel free note the time of any key topics or new infos in comments.

    WYATT CHENG: The Trials are not good. We don’t like them. I don’t like them. I would hesitate to say I hate Trials… I would say that they are–


    A vote from December.

    NEINBALL: Can we say it for you? (laugh)

    WYATT CHENG: (laugh) I think it’s part of the natural iteration process. It solved a problem that we had before. And, I don’t want to defend Trials; I’m not going to defend Trials. I think that it is the latest in a sequence of events… and Trials will be getting removed from the game. I can’t tell you when. I can tell you that we already don’t have Trials in our internal builds. We’ve been playing around with it and testing it, and we are committed to removing them. But there were some problems that came up. I don’t want to go into all the details that we have because it’ll sound like I’m defending the Trials system, I just hope that people can respect that we are working on it. Johnny Ebert, he is hard at work. He’s working with Roger, the Gameplay Engineer, to remove Trials.

    And some of the problems that we’ve had, just scratching the surface, is what does legendary gem upgrading look like if we don’t have Trials? What happens is– so, in the very first version where we took Trials out, we’d say “well, how do I decide what grift to do?” and it’s like, well, what if we just let you pick? Just like, crazy crazy idea, what if there was just this arbitrary– or what if it was based on your personal best, that gets mentioned a lot, too.

    So let’s say that I can do– normally I do grift 40 comfortably, but I happen to get to grift 50 in a 4-player party, and then I go back to solo and my legendary gem is 48. Well, what grift do I wanna do by myself next? I can kind of comfortably do 40, there’s no way I’m going to be able to do 48, 49. And yet to upgrade my legendary gem, I’ll be incentivized to pick 48 or 49. And it’s going to be an absolutely terrible run, it takes 30-40 minutes to clear, but you do it anyway because that’s how you get your 60% chance to upgrade your gem rather than a 2% chance. So we said, okay, that’s no good. So, we iterated a little bit, we made it so that you have to beat the timer in order to upgrade your gem… [Editor’s note: this was still part of the hypothetical ideas. It should not be implied that this timer change is coming.]

    Anyway, there was kind of like– it sounds like I’m defending Trials, at least maybe some people think that– that’s not my intention. I want to say that– I’ll keep my answer short. We’ve gutted Trials internally, we’re working on it, there were some issues, it had a bunch of downstream effects, and we are still working on it. But we recognize that people are not happy with them. Asking for them to be removed isn’t going to make it happen any faster. I wish it could! If I could make it happen faster I would say everyone should talk about it all the time, but, you know what, everyone talks about it all the time already, and unfortunately it just doesn’t speed up how fast we can get them out.

    The devs have said much the same in past conversations, and the issue of “how else do you slot players into an appropriate GR level, since upgrading LGems is a reward” has always been the main debate point. Like most of you guys, I look forward to our bold and Waves-less future, but I still regret that the devs have let the “perfect be the enemy of the good” for so long.

    Fans have long suggested fixing the Realm of Trials by simply letting us convert more than 1 key at at time. That seems like a minor tweak some programmer could have implemented in an hour, many months ago… And yet here we sit in v2.2, still doing Waves one at a time, at least 4 more months of Waves in our future, while half the dev team toils away on some pie in the sky perfect system to replace Trials that may or may not arrive in time for *next* season.

    I have confidence in their designing talents and think the replacement system will be an improvement, when/if it finally goes live, but srsly… perfect = enemy of good-enough. Sometimes quick bandaids are fine, while the massive and lengthy surgery continues in the background.

    Also, amusing to see the devs agree with the community, from our poll on Realm of Trials, posted a few months ago:

    How do you feel about the Realm of Trials?

    View Results

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