Firespark's Interview with Joel Bylos - Testlive, Mounts, Future DLC's, and a Surprise Announcement!

First off, you should really watch this interview. This was a quality interview, Firespark asked some great questions and Joel was very transparent and open about it all. Below are the links to the interview.

Part 1

Part 2

I wrote some notes while I watched both videos. Some of this is out of order, and I probably missed some details.

  • Weapon skinning would be the ideal thing for DLC weapon balance. But Joel said they were probably too far along to go backwords in time to implement that.

  • Joel really wants mounts. He made this very clear. He talked about that IF they can reach a happy development stage with mounts, that in order to get around the falling through the map issue on low end PCs/potentially consoles (which is why mounts were canned to begin with), that they would speed cap the low end PC’s to not be able to go past a certain speed while on a mount. Everybody else who has a decent or high end computer would have the full fleshed out mount system.

  • There was a lot of talk about the up coming testlive stuff. Mostly stuff we knew already (if you read the newest blog and testlive posts), but he talked about why the first testlive was so raw and recognized that he rushed it onto testlive probably too early.

  • Future DLC’s could be pet skins or things like that. Joel said that DLC’s would remain cosmetic based.

  • He went VERY in depth on why they didn’t delay the full release further. He was very transparent on the details on this. Basically, they did delay the release past their original release date, several times. The money guys made the final decisions on that stuff, not the devs.

  • Joel talked about how the various teams are assigned to various jobs. The Vanguard team does nothing but bug fixing, then everybody else has their own responsibilities that are geared for their skillset. You have people in animation and combat, you have the art team, you have world design and dungeon team, the community team, and then you have the bug team. ALL of the coders are in the bug team, and only ONE person worked on the pet system. The entire bug team, the vanguard, their soul job is to work on bug fixing. So all of you people who keep saying they should stop with the features to focus on bug development, that would make it so 4 other teams of people would have nothing to do.

  • Joel talked about the importance of legit, constructive, feedback.

  • World bosses and other creatures are getting further animation and combat improvements. They want to revisit World Boss balance after they finish with that.

  • Roadmap for the game is:

  1. New Dungeons in addition to the one on testlive now

  2. New Combat Animations, in addition the one ones on testlive now

  3. Powershot for the Bow is coming back

  4. Joel got interrupted at this point by Firespark to elaborate on bow stuff, so he didn’t finish his roadmap goals. GRRRRR.

  • And the most important…

Sorcery is coming out next after the pets feature! WWOOOOOOOT!!!


Did they say anything about Crossbows making a comeback?

No that didn’t come up. In the dev stream before this they said that bow combat was getting improvements but didn’t elaborate more then that.

Ah ok as in the Live stream when they talked about pets I think they said something about the light chain combo getting removed for bow as when I heard that I thought about the chance of crossbows making a comeback.

Thank you for posting this video! :heart: This was a VERY informative interview that answered a lot of questions and concerns that we express daily in the forums. He went into good detail of how the coders were actively fixing bugs and how the teams are split up.

I am very impressed with this interview, and wish Joel could have been in more recent Livestreams to better answer some of our concerns as he did in this video. Thanks again for posting this @Multigun and thank you Firespark for setting up this meeting. :grin:


Watched it earlier, I knew they would not give up mounts. Now to wait for sorcery news!

He also mentioned they planned to deploy pets to live this month, maybe still possible.

Sounded more like they were hoping to but didn’t think they would be. Which considering the bugs still present, I would hope they push it into September, which is A-okay with me. I look forward to playing once it goes live though.

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I would like you to go watch a Sea of Thieves development video, You know what. Watch 5 of them back to back. They are all the same buzzwords. Over and over and over. Then watch that one. See the difference? They actually outlined the plans, addressed issues and released new teases. Compare that too uhhh wel lyou know we can’t really tel lyou anything cause it wouldnt be a surprise now wouldn’t it. Let’s talk about now about how I am so excited to talk about the upcoming changes, they are great guys. We think you will enjoy the, See you next time!

Being serious here. They have a entire youtube channel dedicated to that. This development team is wonderful and fabulous. Everything they have done so far has been A1

You are just a impatient person who is like the middle aged woman at starbucks who screams at the cashier


Cool, all seem to make sense now, wish I knew this sooner and can’t wait for sorcery feature. Also hopefully balance all the world bosses just enough even for solo player cause I looking for proper challenge.

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It was a good interview and very enjoyable to listen to, however Firespark really should have pressed Joel on certain points, rather than just letting him give his perspective/explanations virtually unchallenged.

For example, when asked about what the devteam was doing to improve thrall AI, Joel kind of just hand-waved the question aside by saying that the AI coders were doing something, something and he hadn’t even asked them about it recently and didn’t know exactly what they were doing. This just begs a follow-up question yet Firespark’s response was essentially, “Okay, no worries”.

Fair enough that Joel might not know all the details off the top of his head to fully respond to the question (though this is concerning considering the lacklustre state of thralls), yet this is where a good interviewer can elicit more information by approaching the topic from another angle.

‘So how important is bugfixing the thrall AI in terms of priority for your team, considering everything else you are working on?’ Or, ‘Well, what is your vision for the thrall AI, where would you like it to end up? Are you simply aiming to fix the current bugs or do you have any plans to make it more sophisticated and create new gameplay opportunities and more lively settlements?’

That said, such things can be pretty hard to articulate in the heat of the moment and kudos to Firespark for the scoop. He did a much better job than many ‘professional’ gaming journalists. Also, Joel seems like a decent person who I’m happy is in charge of this game.


If there’s truth to this, then I only have one thing to say to all the people who’ve come out and said we’re never getting it, and we never should:


I feel that this interview was an opportunity for FunCom to explain a few things on their side, since up until now they just listened to our complaints.
This wasn’t as much as “we’re getting some answers” by players, as a “we’re giving you some answers” from FunCom. That’s why i think that they agreed to do this interview with another player, instead of doing a Q&A live. They answered only what they wanted to answer, to keep us satisfied with the current development of the game (not complaining, i’m liking it)

I liked the interview, they did anticipate a few things for us, and they showed us that the team that they have is currently mostly set into bug-fixing, instead of lore-development.


If this is true then it’s not really an interview is it.

I enjoyed these videos and thought Firespark did a great job. I appreciated both the way he asked the questions as well as the questions asked. I also appreciate Joel’s willingness and candor in answering all Firespark’s questions directly and not mincing words.
Thank you both. 10/10.


Thanks you for sharing this with us. And also thank you Joel for being so transparent und clearly to the Community. Best greetings from Austria. :slight_smile: Have a great time.

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