Q1 2019 Schedule Update

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by DarkStarr, Dec 13, 2018.

  1. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer Moderator SOTA Developer

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    Greetings Avatars,

    2018 was a fantastic year for Shroud of the Avatar! We moved out of Early Access in March and Collector’s Boxes shipped in Q3! We made serious progress on improvements to quality of life and fixed huge numbers of bugs! In the final quarter of 2018 alone we added Player Made Dungeons, Fishing Phase 2, Pumpkin Head, and Krampus! Q1 of 2019 is going to kick us off with a bang! Envy Angel (another seasonal boss), more expansions to the Player Made Dungeons, Back Slot Item Stats, Fertilizer for Agriculture, Episode 2 kickoff, Baby Dragons and more polish!

    [​IMG]

    2019 will of course culminate with Episode 2 which will have a new story, new lands, a revamp of the Quest and Journal system, a Theater System, Treasure Hunting with treasure maps that show up as loot, Item Affinity, Taming system expansions, Customizable NPCs, and expanded permissions for containers and doors!

    As we have stated previously, we intend to publish quarterly schedule updates detailing our monthly releases and those monthly releases will continue just as before, on the last Thursday of each month. Even though the goals outlined in these schedules are likely to change somewhat as we react to feedback, we feel it is important to periodically provide you with an updated roadmap.

    Our priority continues to be to deliver new content to our players regularly, so that you can give us feedback that will help us iteratively improve Shroud of the Avatar. This collaborative process continues to benefit the game, and often results in sweeping changes such as the recent balance passes to combat. As you have seen in previous releases, the flexibility inherent to this process means that we sometimes push things out, but we also often pull new things in.

    Q1 Top 10 Priorities: As mentioned previously we keep a running list of our Top 10 priorities at all times that we use when building our schedule and prioritizing where to allocate our team's resources. We often refer to it when making decisions about the project. While it has a VERY strong influence on what we work on at any given time, it does not mean that we only work on something that is on the list. It just means that if someone can assist with something that will help address an item on the list, then we will make sure they do that first before working on anything else. Sometimes team members cannot assist with anything on our top priorities, so they work on other tasks such as visual polish, combat balance, or content that helps us raise funds. Q1 will focus on lots of polish including systems, user interface, bug fixing, loot, performance, as well as continued improvements to quality of life. We will also expand the Agriculture and Player Made Dungeon systems, add another seasonal boss, and prepare for Episode 2 development.
    1. Quality of Life: Midway through Q3 2018 we shifted focus to general improvements to quality of life by starting to remove slowdowns and annoyances in gameplay. We will continue this effort in Q1 2019.
    2. Systems Polish: Polishing and improving existing systems will continue to be a major focus of Q1. This will take priority over new systems.
    3. Bug Fixing: We will continue to focus more on fixing bugs versus new content and new features.
    4. Performance: While the game is much more playable now we feel there is still more to be gained so in Q1 we will continue making code and content changes to improve performance.
    5. User Interface Polish: In Q4, we polished various UI elements and we will continue to do so during Q1.
    6. Seasonal Content: Content to support Spring events (Valentines and Easter) will be created.
    7. Improved Reward Cycle: Q1 will continue our focus on systemic and game-wide upgrades to the quality and quantity of loot.
    8. Agriculture & Player Made Dungeons: Some of the work we did with Fishing Phase 2 will now allow us to expand the Agriculture system with Fertilizer. We will also continue to add new features and content to the Player Made Dungeons feature.
    9. Shipping Phase 2: Collector’s Boxes will start shipping to those who did not get theirs in the first round.
    10. Episode 2 Kickoff: We will prepare for the commencement of Episode 2 development in Q2.
    As always, all dates, durations, and deliverables are subject to change as we adjust our designs based on direct feedback from you, our players.

    RELEASE 62, January 31, 2019
    • Performance: Performance work will mainly focus on improving frame rate and reducing hitching during gameplay. Work will also continue to be done on load time reduction on the few outstanding scenes that are not meeting our 15-second load time target.
    • Bug Fixing: Time will be allocated to a general sweep through all systems, features, and content to reduce overall bug counts.
    • Combat: After a millennium of being unable to produce offspring dragons are finally reproducing! Baby Dragons have been sighted in various remote locations across Novia. Don’t be fooled by their size though! They are still dangerous beasts, even when young! We will also do some balance work on pet balance including summons and tamed creatures.
    • Crafting & Economy: Back slot items (cloaks, wings, backpacks, etc.) will now be able to have stats, enchantments, and masterworks associated with them.
    • [​IMG]
    • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
    • Livestream and Seasonal Content: We will add recent livestream stretch goal items and 2019 Valentine items.
    • [​IMG]
    RELEASE 63, February 28, 2019
    • Story: You may have heard of Cupid... but have you heard of the Envy Angel?
    • Performance: Performance work will mainly focus on improving frame rate and reducing hitching during gameplay. Work will also continue to be done on load time reduction on the few outstanding scenes that are not meeting our 15 second load time target.
    • Bug Fixing: Time will be allocated to a general sweep through all systems, features, and content to reduce overall bug counts.
    • Combat: A new polearm type will become available: Pronged weapons! This includes Tridents and Pitchforks.
    • Crafting & Economy: Fertilizer will now be able to be used in Agriculture to affect the outcome.
    • [​IMG]
    • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
    RELEASE 64, March 28, 2019
    • Story: The first lands associated with Episode 2 will begin to appear![​IMG]
    • Performance: Performance work will mainly focus on improving frame rate and reducing hitching during gameplay. Work will also continue to be done on load time reduction on the few outstanding scenes that are not meeting our 15-second load time target.
    • Bug Fixing: Time will be allocated to a general sweep through all systems, features, and content to reduce overall bug counts.
    • Crafting & Economy: Upon achieving Grandmaster in a crafting school you will now unlock a set of new exclusive effects for Masterworking and Enchanting.
    • Player Made Dungeons: More features and content will be added to the Player Made Dungeon System including the ability to place creatures to fight in your dungeon!
    • [​IMG]
    • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
    • Livestream and Seasonal Content: We will add recent livestream stretch goal items and 2019 Easter items.
    • [​IMG]
    We continue to be incredibly thankful for the support we receive from this amazing community. While the financial support you provide makes all of this possible, it pales in comparison with the faith you have in us, the feedback you provide us, and the content you are making for everyone to enjoy. We are humbly grateful, and we are always excited to see you each month in New Britannia!

    And remember Q1 is just a warmup for the rest of 2019 which will be an amazing year for Shroud of the Avatar players! We have much more planned including Crafting Specializations (choose your effect when Masterworking and Enchanting), more expansions to the fishing system, and more boss improvements. 2019 will of course culminate with Episode 2 which will have a new story, new lands, a revamp of the Quest and Journal system, a Theater System, Treasure Hunting with treasure maps that show up as loot, Item Affinity, Taming system expansions, Customizable NPCs, and expanded permissions for containers and doors!

    Sincerely,
    Starr Long
    Executive Producer
    Shroud of the Avatar
     
  2. ldykllr

    ldykllr Avatar

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    Good stuff, but was so hoping for crafting specialization in Q1 :( Oh well
     
  3. skeggy Media

    skeggy Media Avatar

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    Great work on this the year of launch and I look forward to next year's monthly improvements and the next chapter of content.
     
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  4. Luca Xante

    Luca Xante Avatar

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    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
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  5. Brass Knuckles

    Brass Knuckles Avatar

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    Thank you for all the great stuff you all do.

    I’m excited for the taming and summoning balance in r62, and the new lands appearing in r64.

    Baby Dragons tamable?

    Will you continue to make new tamable stuff hard to get?
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2018
  6. Earl Atogrim von Draken

    Earl Atogrim von Draken Avatar

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  7. Elrond

    Elrond Avatar

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    Thank you Darkstarr for keeping us informed :). Looking forward to crafting specialisations and the new weapon types.
     
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  8. Arkah EMPstrike

    Arkah EMPstrike Avatar

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    Super surpised nee islands will appear so soon!

    I have a feeling people will be upset that more masterwork/enchants will be added before crafting specializations. That would actually make it more difficult to get effects you want on gear.

    Unless thats a new plan that is actually gonna make it easier
     
  9. Scoffer

    Scoffer Avatar

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    In March we have:

    • Crafting & Economy: Upon achieving Grandmaster in a crafting school you will now unlock a set of new exclusive effects for Masterworking and Enchanting.
    This will actually make being GM less attractive until specialisation comes in. More options = more choices in the pool = more materials used trying to get what you want

    Edit: Damit Arkah beat me by 2 minutes....
     
  10. ErikRulez

    ErikRulez Avatar

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    Great stuff to look forward to

    Will there be snakes on the new island? Maybe some that drop scales? :)
     
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  11. Elrond

    Elrond Avatar

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    I suspect March 28 is when they add crafting specialisation with the new enchants and masterworks ? If not would be better to add the new effects with the specialisations or there will be no more crafting.
     
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  12. Scoffer

    Scoffer Avatar

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    Specialisation isn't on this 3 month plan so it will be after. If not, it would have been mentioned in those notes.
     
  13. Anendrue

    Anendrue Avatar

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    Looks very ambitious to me. However I am skeptical about the quest and journal overhaul being a whole year away. I think that fix alone would grow the world population significantly and keep players in the game. We need a quest system that leads people to and from cities to adventure areas. Implement this in a way that leads to new cities and areas along a path of advancement and we might keep all the new players from leaving. With launch and now F2P being done it's like firing both barrels of a shotgun into open air. Sure you got a few new players but you missed out on most of them because the target (questing) is missing. People want a sense of continuous accomplishment and reward for effort. Both are sadly missing and we are left with a sense of grinding and most people will not go to the lengths that very few have stayed to complete. This leaves the game in a state of triumph for very few instead of a vibrant sense of I too can achieve the pinnacle of success.
     
  14. Duke Gréagóir

    Duke Gréagóir Legend of the Hearth

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    Great stuff!
     
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  15. Arkah EMPstrike

    Arkah EMPstrike Avatar

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    [​IMG]
    *smoochsmooch
     
  16. Tila Tenderfoot

    Tila Tenderfoot Avatar

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    Yes, snakes would be great. Unfortunately, snakes are hard to make with a small team because due to their shape they require several blocks for animation. How do I know? Lord British explained it at Dragoncon.

    Maybe later, who knows!
     
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  17. Sean Silverfoot

    Sean Silverfoot Avatar

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    Thanks for the update! Look forward to the continued progress of SOTA.
     
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  18. Perashim

    Perashim Avatar

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    Fantastic! I can't wait for Release 62 and onward now! I'm especially excited for the pass on all combat pets!
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  19. Barugon

    Barugon Avatar

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    Wow!
     
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  20. Leinad Laurelwreath

    Leinad Laurelwreath Avatar

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    So, quest revamp, and all of the episode 2 story content is expected to be started and completed in the next 3 quarters?

    With current team size i don't think this is a realistic estimate, unless the scope for this revamp and Ep2 content is very limited. When could we ask or know about this, @DarkStarr ?

    I mean, things like
    • What are the new features or limitations for this quest and journal system?
    • How long time should take completing Ep2 story content? I guess we don't have 4 complete paths as we had in Ep1
    I suppose this scope has been already discussed and defined so I'd (we?) like to know more about it.
    Thanks!
     
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