Q3 Schedule Update

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by DarkStarr, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer SOTA Developer

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    Greetings Avatars,

    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.

    [​IMG]

    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.

    Q3 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. Q3 will focus on performance, user interface polish, localization, and systems polish.
    1. Systems Polish: Polishing and improving existing systems will be a major focus of Q3. This will take priority over new systems.
    2. Bug Fixing: One of the shifts in Q3 will be to focus more on fixing bugs versus new content and new features.
    3. Performance: In Q2, we made huge strides forward in performance with three steady months of frame rate improvements. While the game is much more playable now we feel there is still more to be gained so in Q3 we will continue making code and content changes to improve performance.
    4. User Interface Polish: In Q2, we polished various UI elements and we will continue to do so during Q3 with a focus on visual improvements to the overall look of the user interface.
    5. Localization: In Q2, we made some progress in all our languages but we were unable to get to our goal of fully localized versions. In Q3, our goal is to complete this work.
    6. New User Experience: We will be revisiting the starting areas and new user experience to adjust balance, fix bugs, and generally improve the overall experience for new users.[​IMG]
    7. Tier Adjustments: In Q2, we started a long term effort where we increased the difficulty of several scenes to better match the surrounding scenes and the character's progress along the associated story paths that bring you near those scenes. We will continue this effort in Q3.
    8. Repeatable Content: In Q2, we began addressing this by adding reward blessings to maps to provide a reason to revisit them. We also began preparations for Castle Defense Scenarios with the Obsidian Trials map which allows us to test PVP, combat, and grouping game systems. In Q3 we will continue these efforts with the goal to make both the Obsidian Trials and the Castle Defenses viable repeatable fun content.[​IMG]
    9. Improved Reward Cycle: In Q2, we added lots of new in-game rewards including more Virtue Armor, more Virtue Banners, recipes, patterns, emotes, virtue effects on gear, and most importantly player crafted items as part of the loot tables. In Q3 we will continue to expand these rewards with more recipes, more patterns, emotes, and more virtue effects on gear.
    10. Story Polish: In Q3, we will continue to add more compelling experiences that put you in situations that will hopefully make you care more about the world, and at the same time provide you opportunities to either fulfill or turn away from the virtues.[​IMG]
    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 56, July 26, 2018

    • Story: Rumors of a new celestial occurrence swirl amongst the inhabitants of New Britannia. Strange portents in the sky herald changing conditions in the world around them as enemies grow stronger and stranger! We will be once again polish the starting scenes for balance and guidance. Additionally, we will continue adjusting Tier difficulties. We will also add backer NPC conversations to Brittany Alleys.
    • [​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: We will continue to add more loot, recipes, patterns, components, and artifacts to the game including more components from Unicorns (you heartless bastard!).
    • [​IMG]
    • User Interface Polish: Polish on the overall visual look of the interface will continue. We will also work on improving the friends interface.
    • Combat & Character: Several new creatures will be added to the game including Wyverns that can be tamed! Additionally, rumors abound of creatures that appear influenced by the sky portents! We will also continue iterations on the Obsidian Trials with more rulesets, currency, and currency rewards.
    • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
    RELEASE 57, August 30, 2018
    • Story: We will continue polishing the starting scenes for balance and guidance. Additional work will continue on Tier adjustments to better balance scene difficulty. We will also add a few new sidequests.
    • 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: We will continue to add more loot, recipes, patterns, components, and artifacts to the game.
    • [​IMG]
    • User Interface Polish: Polish on the overall visual look of the interface will continue. We will also work on improving the Looking for Group interface.
    • Combat: We will continue iterations on the Obsidian Trials with more rulesets, win/loss conditions and currency rewards.
    • [​IMG]
    • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
    RELEASE 58, September 27, 2018
    • Story: Tier adjustments to better balance scene difficulty will be completed. We will also add a few new sidequests.
    • 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: The fishing system will be expanded to include different water types (fresh vs. salt), more fish types, more loot, and other improvements.
    • [​IMG]
    • Castle Defense Scenarios: Expanding on the work from the Obsidian Trials, new scenes will be created (or existing scenes modified), similar to our control points where groups of players can fight over control of a fortress. Winning these contests will grant currency which can be spent on rewards like emotes, titles, gear, components, recipes, and more. Work on this system will also help improve the existing control points.
    • [​IMG]
    • Localization: All interface text and quest dialogue will be fully translated into our launch languages including English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. Additionally we plan to have the website fully localized.
    • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.
    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!

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

    Lord Andernut Bug Brigade - Bug Hunter

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  3. Market

    Market Avatar

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    Great update!
     
  4. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

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    I don't see a mention of the Vendor UI pass that was going to happen this month. Is it coming in July?

    Huzzah for fishing and Castle Defense!
     
  5. Grimbone

    Grimbone Avatar

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    Plan sounds solid. Looking forward to the continued polish and performance work in Q3!
     
  6. Jens_T

    Jens_T Avatar

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    @DarkStarr - in one of the earlier updates the redesign/rework of the quest engine was mentioned. Is this still on the development radar?
     
  7. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Avatar

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    Feels good - this will provide a solid game at end of September!

    Is (delayed) Quest Journal work part of User Interface Polish (4)?

    What about the delayed Chaos Skills?

    And: More News about Episode 2? (Q4 2018 update End of September?)
     
  8. Steevodeevo

    Steevodeevo Avatar

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    very important
     
  9. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

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    Since Static POTs have been discontinued, you probably don't need to continue noting that only Dynamic POTs will be updated.

    I do hope the Journal and Tasks are part of the UI polish pass currently.
     
  10. Arcanoxer

    Arcanoxer Avatar

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    What is going on with SotAmap for Linux?

    90% of the Q3 Schedule Update is stuff that should be fixed in the Early Alpha and not after the release of the Game.
    And the same one month release cycle with such a small team is optimistic.

    Anyway, i look forward to a smoother and more polish experience!
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
  11. High Baron O`Sullivan

    High Baron O`Sullivan Avatar

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    is everything.
  12. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

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    I hope the comet is a permanent new celestial event (predictable, continuous, etc), so it can shake up some of the ongoing series of sieges and lulls.
     
  13. amarious

    amarious Avatar

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    Yesssss, more unicorn parts.. Muwhaha
     
  14. Bubonic

    Bubonic Avatar

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    One thing I don't see....

    Are any remaining scenes going to be uncloned? Or are PRTs like Storm's Reach forever destined to be copies of existing scenes?

    :(
     
  15. Daigoji Gai

    Daigoji Gai Avatar

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  16. redfish

    redfish Avatar

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    Unicorn hair, unicorn hearts :D

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Applerust

    Applerust Avatar

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    "The fishing system will be expanded to include different water types (fresh vs. salt), more fish types, more loot, and other improvements."

    Please don't make this underwhelming. A lot of people have been waiting for this for a while now :)

    So glad it's getting some attention finally!! =D
     
  18. Beaumaris

    Beaumaris Avatar

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    Drat, no gargoyles. But this sounds like a great plan! :)
     
  19. Rufus D`Asperdi

    Rufus D`Asperdi Avatar

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  20. Stryker Sparhawk

    Stryker Sparhawk Avatar

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    Hurray for fish!

    The Castle Defense sounds great as well.