While the actual launch date remains a secret for the time being, I wanted to give everyone a brief outlook on what our schedule looks to get us there. Each major project will have further updates explaining in greater detail what is happening.
Project 1. Events Engine. When we were re-evaluating the different events, peddles, and festivals we've ran over the years, the most consistent issue always ended up being our inconsistency. Logging in and seeing an outdated list of upcoming events, or a calendar that was a month or more behind didn't speak well of our staff's attentiveness. Our staff's time is the most valuable resource we have, and we have wasted so much of it on things that can be better managed by the game. Now that we've narrowed down the events we want to showcase going forward, we decided to build a new engine to power the game calendar of events. Going forward, the upcoming events seen when first logging in, plus the in-game calendar of events have been synced with the game world to handle things like crier announcements before an event, rotating upcoming events, opening/closing of festival grounds, adding seasonal treasure, and so much more. Now Shattered Isles fully sets the stage, giving our players and staff more time to create the magic. This project is nearing completion already and only depends on a small amount of work left for festival areas in project 2.
Project 2. Mob/NPC overhaul. Every hunting ground and area in the game is getting a makeover to handle NPC spawning. Places like the academy where NPCs and Mobs respawn in the same room time after time (a skeleton appears!) are being completely redone. This work also addresses a major flaw that sometimes prevents a Mob to spawn into hunting areas at all. There are literally dozens of other fixes going on with this overhaul, like adding color to the mob spawning entrance, better treasure consistency, new mobs that never found their way into the world, more lively pilfering opportunities in cities, and so much more. We are roughly 90% done with this project.
Project 3. Quests. Once mobs are complete we will move on to rounding out the open quest projects we have in the works. Our quest system has really grown over the years. Some of this work has already begun as we worked through the areas of the world. We've set up opportunities for events and encounters throughout the world. The main purpose of this project will be to finish out any lingering story lines, add more dynamic interactions so they don't feel repetitive, and factor in the completion of a quest towards your overall character level. Thanks to the work done in project 2, this project is roughly 30% complete and will become the main focus for the rest of the summer and fall.
Project 4. Website Update. Much of this work has been completed and outlined in a previous game announcement. We've updated security of the website and forums, simplified the instructions for getting started with Shattered Isles, and have made a number of back-end changes to improve search results and social media integration. For now this project is complete, awaiting the work of project 6 so additional race and class info can be finalized and added.
Project 5. Item Overhaul. This is easily the one I dread the most. I think at last count we have over 22,000 unique items not counting what comes from crafting. As a player, I know having your own look is extremely important. It is a way of establishing and supporting character roleplay. Looking back though, we definitely made some mistakes on the staff side by flooding the market with too many custom items. Their value plummeted with each peddle and custom order and soon we didn't feel like we could host peddles any longer as we were giving away stuff for well below cost. I will have more details on this project as project 3 nears completion, but players can expect a larger effort to build around the crafting system, better shop selection, and a cap on repairs for weapons, shields, and armor.
Project 6. Class Abilities. Saving the best for last, and also the largest chunk of time of any of the projects. We are moving all newly unlocked abilities to come from your overall class/character level (CL) instead of from other skills and spells. While I loved the possibilities of the skill tree system, it was too difficult to balance and confusing for new players. We've been shifting focus to your character's level bit by bit and feel this will reinforce the significance of advancing it. Helpfiles and the website will also reflect this information, so new players should be able to easily decide which class they want to go with and where it leads. We are also lifting the level 50 cap. A firm decision on what the new ceiling will be has not been made as of yet. Once this is all in place, and a big chunk of that work is already coded, we will finish by going through each skill, prayer, spell, and trade to tackle any lingering issues. Not everything will make the cut here. Anything removed will either get an opportunity to resurface in a later expansion of the game, or be pulled with no intent of re-implementation.
It's a lot to get done, but we've got it all mapped out and are actually ahead of schedule so far. It's been a lot of fun to officially sign off on key aspects of the game and I'm beyond excited to see what is possible when it's all working together.
This sounds fantastic. Yeah, I'm kind of a numbers person when it comes to my hunting. I hate it when I'm solo hunting and can't find enough enemies to fight. The Trogs come to mind as having this problem. I can hunt it fine in a group, but I don't really solo there for that reason.