Q1 2020: First quarter our primary goals are: Episode 2 Overworld Map: live in a real way with POTs moving in. Halls of Balance (HoB): This is the working title for a new scene that is the Episode 2 version of the Challenge Dungeon AKA “Compendium of Pain and Suffering”. This will be a primarily linear dungeon that gets progressively harder. The idea being that it will get so difficult that players will never beat it completely. The reality is more like they will beat it and we’ll make it tougher or add more rooms at the end and it will continue to help us identify what really is the upper limit for encounter difficulty. This will also be used to drive some new in game rankings in the existing player rankings. Bard skill tree: This will be a new tree in the strategy section that will be music driven skills. Major combat balance pass: This is long overdue and very important to existing high end players. While an initial pass will be made in January, even more passes will be done over time based on finding from the HoB. Prospectors Canyon: Working title for a new mine scene. Current plan for this is not to make it an underground mine scene but rather more of an ore rich, branching slot canyon or ravine that snakes and winds through a large scene. Miners need more fresh air! Custom NPC Convos: Player written branching dialog trees for NPCs using the Ink markup language. This should go live in January and continue to receive updates to allow more flexibility and options over time. Major loot and reward overhaul: Currently one of the top concerns for existing players and will be a large part of our focus for Q1 and into Q2. Misc: Other minor additions include more server ranking categories, second ring slot, improved deco item scaling options, Lua feature expansion, GM feature expansion Tiered subscription options: More options for subscriptions Maps: We will be restoring the more feature rich web based SOTAMap system back in place with community driven map content creation but in a faster delivery system than before. While Catnip Games will host the system, we plan on turning this over to be under the control of the community. New creatures: Big Cats, Koala Bear Pet (charity item for Australia fires), plus secret Party Size: Expanded party size for up to 24 players in a raid sized party along with toggle for condensed party UI. Depending on what challenges we encounter with this, there is a chance this could slip into Q2. Verbose mode options for combat: This will give a very detailed log of combat showing behind the scenes calculations that were done to reach the final numbers. Attenuation: Attenuation removed after a couple of scenes receive a balance pass. For Release 74 in January, this will be changed to only attenuate players over level 100. Going forward, our goal is to remove this system completely and instead improve the content and skill balance to be within our design ranges for experience rewards. Build System: Moving to a more robust build system, delivery system, and publishing practices. While this isn’t directly visible to the players the results will improve the quality of the game. It means we will always be able to keep QA up and current, that patches through our system will be smaller and faster to download and install, and that patch frequency and quality will both improve. With our old extremely long build process, we rarely rejected builds due to issues because we knew that would mean no patch for the players for almost a full day. Our goal is to make our start to delivered process under 2 hours. Progress was made over the Christmas break but some more work is still needed. Q2 2020: Second quarter vision: Looking for Group: Expansion of the Looking for Group system to include some queue features for scenes and PVP. Our current plan is to expand upon the existing system and allow players to join scene queues for some scenes rather than just joining parties. If this ends up not being the right way to go, we’ll work to introduce a separate queue system. Weather: Weather system updates for more control, more variety, improved visuals, and also weather effects on combat. Having snow for Christmas was fun but reminded us of how much we need to do to improve the system. Both in terms of visuals and also some of the quirky behavior like snow moving with the player and snow falling in some indoor scenes. Quest System: Shroud quest system 2.0 initial release for developer created content. This will be in the early stages but will be based on our new, 100% bug free *knocks on wood* system for player quests and NPC dialog. Steam purchase options: Currently between 1/3rd and 1/4th of our player base plays on steam BUT we make them jump through a lot of hoops to purchase things on our website. POT Customization: Expanded POT customization options and tools to allow for some mild terraforming to flatten some lumpy areas or paint new ground textures. Lua: Expanded Lua options to include limited execution of server commands through Lua scripts and more UI options. Skills: Expanded skill trees with roughly 40 new skills and combos. This will start happening in Q1 but we hope to wrap this up but Q2. We will be adding at least 2 skills per tree to help add a tier 6 level skill plus at least one additional skill to help balance the tree based on what it is most lacking. Theater system: This will actually be done by completing a few new tools like placeable exclusion zones that block some players out of a volume, silence zones to limit certain types of chatter, voice extenders for the actors, more donation box options, light and dark volumes, new decos, and a few other key items to help theater-goers. Port’O Bones: new episode NPC port town build on connected atolls, reefs, floating platforms, and wrecked ships. Snowshears: story related overworld adventure of mostly snow and ice that will reveal some of the main themes of the episode 2 storyline. POT Templates: Two new “High fantasy” POT templates plus one new POT template based loosely on Port’O Bones New Home Styles: New architecture set based roughly on the style of the new Lord of the Isle mansion. This will include some NPC builds and also some new player houses New Creatures: Wendigo , Yeti, plus secret. These will be completely new models and combat mechanics and will include multiple variations on each one. Find Items: Global item find to track down your misplaced items. This is as much to reduce the teams work load as it is to benefit the players as this is a common support issue. We have the tech for this already and just need to figure out how to expose it to the players. Pet and tamed creature improvements: This includes support for multiple combat pets at once, improved response time, improved behaviors, and a heavy balance pass. Our goal will not be to make them significantly more powerful (though some summons will be improved) but rather make them more interesting and less frustrating.