Friday with Means - November 6th, 2009 - Back in the saddle!
After 10 days of illness and being reasonably isolated from my team it feels good to get back in the office and start digging into the project initatives we have been working hard on completing over the last few months. Thanks and apologies to all I had the chance to chat with on the live dimensions during my illness... I hope some of what I said made sense and was helpful in any way.
The Mail System
Thanks to all who have been a big help in testing and shaping the new mail system with great suggestions. So far everything seems very stable and I think we can all look forward to this long awaited addition hitting the live servers soon. This has been a "big" change to all item and inventory systems in AO and as a result has been holding back some of the other content we have been working on... having this out will allow us to push out some of the new larger experiences/changes we have been waiting on for some time.
Work is progressing very well. I was thrilled this week to come back and see proper water technology implemented and LOOKING GREAT in game. Next Friday we will be posting screenshots (at a bare minimum... I am hoping for more) to show the current state of the ongoing work. I am very pleased with the performance level of the current client given that the integration is still ongoing and the optimization efforts have not really begun... I think we can all look forward to reasonably significant performance increases despite the addition of a great new level of visual detail and effects. It is going to be great to finally leave AO's CPU crunching of DX7 behind and take full advantage of todays GFX hardware with proper optimization.
The Daily Mission System
I haven't spoken a lot concerning this over the past few months... not really fair concerning the size and work that have gone into this addition. Lindelu has racked her brain and worked through illness to offer up about 200 new things to do as alternative methods of obtaining XP and I won't spoil any of her creative surprises her except to say that in some cases I couldn't believe she managed to get these experiences to work... they look great and I know we will all enjoy having some new solo alternatives to enjoy to make the most of our playtime... even those times when we don't have the time to commit to team activities. Mass Rollerrat extermination! Dammit... Spoiler!
With me and others out of the office due to illness the "whole team" meetings involved in doing this right was mostly derailed this week. Monday will see the team back at full strength and our first priority is to get this done, communicated, adjusted and implemented as soon as possible. We need this done... we are working on it as fast as we can. More Documents and adjustments will be made public next week.
Thanks to all who have taken the time to nominate appropriate individuals for this program. We recognise that there has never been a more important time for this program to be functioning as it should and Kintaii is dedicated to make sure it gets up and running. Nominations close the 23rd of November and the voting process thereafter will be fast and efficient to get this program running to ensure proper player feedback before implementation of the balancing changes.
Remember: You must submit your nominations by EMAIL... not through any other methods.
It is great to be back! Have a good weekend everyone!
-Colin "Means" Cragg
Game Director, Anarchy Online