The Silk Games staff fields a lot of different questions every day, but many identical questions pop up pretty regularly. This post is an attempt to answer some of those frequently asked questions so that in the future I can provide a link instead of typing out the same answer over and over!
Why aren't there 4 person parties?
NEStalgia's 3 person parties aren't due to any sort of limitations in the capabilities of BYOND or my DM knowledge; during the design process I simply made a decision to go with 3 players instead of 4.
Why is that? First and foremost, it's much easier to balance the game for parties of 2-3 players as opposed to 2-4 players. Two strong characters can probably handle monsters geared towards regular parties of three... but if all of the fights were meant to be difficult for 4 players, then most 2 person parties would likely be useless.
I also considered the fact that on a low-population server it can be hard to find other players around your level to party with. It's obviously easier to find just 2 other party members instead of 3.
Finally, with only 3 people in a party, players are forced to make much tougher decisions about the class makeup of their group, not to mention the strategies they use in battle. As anyone who has played the game knows, PvP and boss battles in NEStalgia are all about strategy and tactics; not simply overpowering your opponents.
At any rate, I'm happy with my design decision and I'm sticking with it.
Why don't you add _______ to the game?
We've got a long list of stuff that Spiff and I want to add to the game. The dilemma is how high of a priority a given feature is vs. how much time we have to actually spend working on the game.
I always appreciate suggestions, and occasionally players come up ideas that we implement almost immediately. Most of the time, however, great ideas get put on the back burner until we have time to sort them out. Other times your idea may be great, but it's not necessarily the direction that we want to go with NEStalgia.
Can Admins see all communications?
We see what you see when we're in the game, but we keep a log of all communications (except GuildSay). This is for moderation purposes - since we can't be on 24/7, it's nice to be able to go back and investigate reported incidents or to occasionally skim the logs to make sure people are being civil.
What is the formula for _______?
We learned our lesson awhile back about giving people the actual formulas for how things are calculated. Without the context of how everything else in the game works, players tend to take those tidbits of information and make crazy assumptions about how out of balance something is. I'd rather keep my focus on developing the game and not debating with players about damage formulas that they don't understand.
There is a very comprehensive list of what each statistic affects on the NEStalgia wiki. Apart from that I'm happy to answer general questions, but rarely will I give out actual numbers.
Do Admins have an advantage in tournaments?
Absolutely not. What would be the fun in that? It's childish to hold the belief that we would create a game simply to cheat at it and brag about our skills. The Admins don't have better gear, we can't see your communications, and we certainly don't have OMG GM COMMANDS that let us cheat.
The funny thing is that I've personally competed in over half the tournaments, and I have yet to actually be part of a winning team.
Who uses the "SilkGames" key?
All of us use it (Me, Spiff, Balzack and Cable Monkey). The Silk Games key is the only account that has access to certain debug Admin commands; we keep all of the power on that key as an extra layer of security.
So yeah - if you see the Silk Games key log in, it's not necessarily me.
Why is there Open PvP?
This was another deliberate design decision that we are sticking to. I believe that open PvP makes the game more interactive and more exciting, especially since we're dealing with a small community of players.
There are many different built-in system to prevent PvP griefing, but if you just flat out hate Open PvP then NEStalgia probably isn't the game for you right now... and I'm okay with that. In the future if NEStalgia becomes more popular and there is enough demand for it, I'll be willing to consider the idea of hosting a separate PvE server.
If you have any other questions that haven't been answered here, feel free to ask in the comments.