Friday with Means - September 23rd, 2011: Initiative Data
Colin 'Means' Cragg provides info about coming updates, new encounters and the status of the engine work in this week's Friday with Means.
Update Coming October 5th
The next update will be coming to the live dimension on October 5th. This version will include the final Dustbrigade instance, 30 new daily missions and a host of other changes both small an significant. I will be posting more extensive update notes during the day today where they should be. The Halloween update will of course be coming very shortly after that to be in time for my favourite time of the year. You can look forward to Kintaii's annual preview of the items in a couple weeks :) Some creative fun stuff this year.
Another Mystery Solved
Imagine our horror in trying to produce a more challenging set of encounters for the new DB instance and discovering that initiative values in the game for monsters were capped at 1213. This little data cap was apparently implemented in 2002 as part of the build process due to a bug with high init values creating errors in the monsters DMS calculation that would result in the monster being chain-critted by players. Until now it has been possible to set a much higher value on internal servers, test it until we were happy, then discover to our horror that the number was different on live. As they added nanos previous to 2002 that would reduce the maximum capped-initiative value to below zero this was a perplexing decision...much like the fact that after the offending formula was corrected the cap in the build process was not removed. As much as our efforts to revamp systems has been way more work and taken much longer than we ever could have anticipated discoveries like this one make it pretty obvious that it was very badly needed and long overdue. Monsters will be having their correct initiatives in the next update...this will result in some higher damage from non-debuffed monsters...but it is quite safe to say that the overpowered nature of init debuffs will still be in force until the release of the new nanos...but not to such a great extent.
Z-Fghting of the night/day sky, the proper reflection on multiple ocean volumes AND proper display of the grass map was corrected this week. Damn fine work by Mr.Parsed and some great help from the rendering group has got us well on our way to getting something quite filmable. Flaptoot and Mstrbstrd have also been working on the final versions of the heads and are 90% complete done the 390+ heads. This has been a very long haul but it is amazing to see the strides made every week now. I am "cautiously optimistic"...let's leave it at that.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Colin "Means" Cragg
Game Director, Anarchy Online