Booster and Christmas Update!
Means sheds some light on the latest news with the booster and Christmas updates
Another very busy week..I hate to start with bad news..but it is important we are all on the same page. This hard decision was taken Tuesday this week.
The booster is delayed. The new target release date will be the end of January.
We have suffered more than expected amounts of delay in the last few months (This has been my first full-health week for a long time..too bad everyone else was ill!). This has resulted in the new content only beginning to be "properly" tested by players inside the last few weeks. As much as I really wanted this content out before Christmas I think we can all agree that pushing out content before it is ready is a bad idea...let alone directly before holidays when there might be less people on hand to correct any unforseen issues. We are just starting to process and implement good player feedback regarding the new playfields and the new pvp tools. I want to see at least three stable, well tested versions of the content in its entirety before we release it. We are committed to releasing content "when it is ready" and not before. The feedback we have been given by the players has already been extremely helpfull...thanks for taking the time to help us make this better!
The extra time will also allow us to implement a few more features that we really wanted as soon as possible.
- Visual timers on the shortcut bar for Perks and Nanos.(See screenshot at the bottom.) I've wanted this for a very very long time. (all hail Macrosun!)
- Reworking of Orbital Strike Mechanics. (More boom and less gloom.)
- Different models of Engineer PVP mine. ie: Snare, Nanodrain, Damage (knockback).
Christmas:It wouldn't be AO Christmas without some new Treats for the season! This year will see the Gingerbread Leets roaming the cities of Rubi-Ka handing out goodies.
Leet and Yutto Cookies, Yutto Gingerbread Tents, Snowball light pyramids will be available for all to help celebrate the holiday season.(Screens at the bottom inlcuding the RL version of the Yuttos tents made by two of our de signers Lindelu and Genele!)
Questions from this week:
Q: What is holding FC back from server transfers and/or server merges.
This is a complicated issue in AO for a couple reasons. Player cities and Towers. Players moved from one server to another would lose their towers and cities...if a true merge then EVERYONE would likely lose their towers and cities. Towers are available through combat and could be fought over, but player cities operate on a "I got here first" mechanic. The "I got here first" mechanic would be unfair to any new transfers to a server and not much fun for those who would lose their cities in a complete server merge. Rubi-Ka-1 is once again the default server for new clients which should stabilize numbers compared to RK2 over the next couple of months. I do not consider the populations of RK1 or RK2 to be low enough to consider the drastic action of server merges yet..especially with all there is for the players to lose (cities and towers). The general game population was up over the duration of November...and with the release of the booster and the upcoming engine upgrade I'm hoping that activity remains stable and some old friends come back to visit us to try out the new content and toys.
Our German server population is not what is should be at the moment...so we perhaps need to open dialogue with the players from that dimension on how they best feel the problem should be addressed so we can come to the best solution together.
Q: Thrown Grenades for Engineers.
No. All the other tools introduced with these two new mechanics are largely defensive. Engineers are not meant to be the "Charge in ahead of the Tank throwing aoe-grenades with special blockers up" class...I am sorry if some disagree. The ability to hold an area defensively is an incredibly powerfull tool..and should not be taken lightly. If the engineer community feels that mines are a horrible idea then clearly we haven't established a good dialogue to make sure our intentions are clear. This is our fault. Things have been busy and I am sorry it has been late in coming. I was hoping to have these complete for testing this week...but other serious issues unfortunately had to take precedence.
Basic ideas for the engineer mines:
AOE snares, Nanodrain and Damage(Knockback) mines triggered by hostile (other side) players passing by (or slightly over) a specific area. Invisible to opposing side..visible to ones own side. One mine can be planted at a time. Only one mine for a specific period of time (ie: one mine placed every 4 minutes. Mine triggered after 3 minutes. New mine can be placed 1 minute later.)
Feedback on this basic guidline would be appreciated. I'll be watching the engineer forums.
Q: Are the new nanos final? (I made this one up so I could answer it.)
No. I think we can all agree that there is significant tweaking and adjustment left. For example these will definitely be usable outside the BS. With the next update to test we should be able to have a better go at testing and balancing these new toys.
Thank you all again for the feedback!
Colin "Means" Cragg