Update- February 23

As we mentioned last week, our sprint was concluded and good progress was made on all tasks assigned to the teams. This week the teams held their meetings and laid down the schedule and tasks for the next 3 weeks. This sprint contains some ongoing tasks from the previous sprint, also new ones that are just commencing. In any case, we’ll keep you informed on the scope of our current activities throughout this sprint period.

The ongoing tasks mentioned above include final testing of the new lighting system which is a great improvement towards the look and feel of the game world, robe design finalization and fitting for all races/genders,  world building tasks as we finish up building the new world; these will keep going till the launch and even beyond the launch of Darkfall 2.o.

In Darkfall 2.o we’re paying a lot of attention and dedicating a lot of resources to improving the player experience, redesigning it, understanding it better, and on processes to constantly keep improving it. In this sprint we’re working on several aspects of the new player experience, also on creating systems that allow us to quantify it in order to understand how to better improve it.

Programming work for all the new training areas is close to being done. The training areas consist of a series of chambers where new players can train before they move on. Training starts with basic movement and progresses all the way up to spellcasting and combat. This training process is actually a nice adventure with an epic ending, before new players earn their pass and are transported to the actual world. The goal is to ensure that, before entering Agon, new players become familiar with the basic mechanics, as well as the essence of Darkfall, and they can do this at their own pace.

In this sprint we’re working on another one of the numerous small changes in the new game, this one is an improvement on mount ownership. In the current game players are weary of dismounting in crowded areas as anyone can hop on their mount and ride off. In Darkfall 2.0  mounts will “remember” their owners for a short time. This means that from the moment you dismount, any other player that  jumps on your mount will be flagged a criminal and you’ll be able to attack him without penalty. In tower protected areas the horse thief will be also shot at by guard towers.

The two features mentioned above, along with many others, are mainly aimed at new players and will provide a smoother, more rewarding and more entertaining experience, while at the same time preparing them for the harsh life in Agon’s lawless areas. In the current version of the game, we’ve had many occasions where the steep learning curve and initial unforgiving experience, unnecessarily kept people out of the game.

A rather important new feature for the economy that has moved on to the implementation phase, is the Market. Markets exist in all racial capitals as well as in chaos cities. Players are able to buy and sell any item in the game but also place buy and sell orders. Browsing any marketplace will reveal all buy and sell orders currently available all over Agon. If  an item is located at the market you are at, you can buy it right there and then. If the item is located in another marketplace you have two options: You can either travel to the market and buy it there, or you can pay a courier cost related to the item’s price, and have it delivered to your location. Placing buy and sell orders can only be done for the marketplace you are at. This design allows the market to self-regulate and provides many opportunities and interesting gameplay options for enterprising traders.

We’ve also been making modifications to the back-end storage. These allow us better and more efficient monitoring of live game data and while this is functionality developed for use by the administrators and developers, it will impact the game very positively in the sense that system and player activity feedback will be understood better allowing us to make optimizations, changes and improvements a lot quicker and more on target. We’ll be able to control the game world better and faster, understand what the players enjoy doing in the game most, and this gives us the opportunity to expand and enhance these experiences.  It  also gives players faster and broader control of various aspects of the game that have to do with persistence and databases, in certain areas it could also improve performance.

We’re also working on the live game on systems that the new game will inherit: We’ve deployed a monitoring system on both servers that will help us identify any issues that exist now or appear in the future that affect server stability and performance – such as the sync issue. We initially deployed this system a while ago but  results where not satisfactory so we had to modify and redeploy. The system is currently gathering data.

Internally we have also fixed two instances of the stamina bug. One caused your stamina to stop regenerating and the other caused it to regenerate even in situations it should not. We will patch this in as soon as possible, right after the monitoring process I mention above is concluded.

Thank you for reading.

One Response to Update- February 23

  1. Im so gonna play Darkfall again when you release it.. Im more excited about this than christmas :P

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