Q4 Schedule

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by DarkStarr, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer SOTA Developer

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    Greetings Avatars,

    As we stated in previous posts, once per quarter our goal is to release an updated schedule for our monthly releases. Even though these goals will likely change somewhat as we react to feedback, we feel it is important to provide you an updated roadmap periodically.

    Our goal continues to be to deliver our backers content each and every month so that we can get feedback and react to it. This has already paid off, with additional game features like jumping and swimming, as well as improvements to systems like crafting, conversations, and combat. Meeting that monthly goal is our highest priority but we require flexibility in our deliverables to meet that goal. As you have seen in previous releases, sometimes we push things out but we also often pull new things in.

    We are incredibly excited to continue sharing our iterative monthly releases with you and ultimately new backers coming to us through Steam Early Access (more on that below). Here are the details about Release 11 - 13 for the fourth quarter of 2014 (October - December). In addition to these official releases, we will also do fairly frequent incremental tests with our Developer and above backers. As always, all dates, durations, and deliverables are subject to change as we adjust our designs based on direct feedback from you, our backers.

    RELEASE 11, October 23 - 26 2014:
    • Steam Prep: We will make downloading and playing the game through Steam functional and will conduct a Steam test with our backers at Developer level (and above).
    • Maps: We will continue to expand the mainland scenes to include Solace Bridge (one of the three starting maps that is the aftermath of a village defending itself against an undead army) and the Kobold Battle Camp (one of three battle camps in the game). We will also add the Swamp biome to the game, along with a swamp scene.
    • Character Advancement: Our first pass at advancement will allow players to begin accumulating experience points and levels while earning skill and attribute points that can be spent.
    • Spells & Skills: Death Magic will expand to include summoning skeletons (formerly zombies) and liches (formerly ghouls)
    • Housing: Housing functionality will expand so players will finally be able to attach Stone & Timber and Stone style basements to their houses. This will be a first pass, so expect to see fun things like basement entrances on upper floors, on boats, etc.
    • Crafting: A first pass at cooking and alchemy will come online and gear will now take damage and will be repairable. We are also going to make a resource spawner distribution pass across most maps to add new resource spawns (reagents) and balance resource distribution.
    • Creatures: A pass will be made through the creatures to add more variety to them via skills and behaviors. We are going to target the Liches as an example and give them the ability to summon skeleton allies, stun/root players, and generate area of effect spells around them.
    • Combat: We are going make movement have an effect on ranged combat so that running will decrease the effectiveness of ranged attacks while standing still will confer a bonus. We are also removing the requirement to equip arrows in the offhand and instead will pull them straight from your inventory.
    • Control Point: Vertas Pass will become our first prototype of a control point. If you manage to defeat the Dark Elves holding Vertas Pass, then you can attempt to hold it against increasingly difficult waves of Dark Elves.
    • Customization: Hair will now play nice with helmets and hats so you will no longer suddenly become bald when you equip headgear.
    • NPC Conversation: When you talk to NPCs they will now become the focus of your screen (blurring out the background) with a dedicated chat window for the discussion.

    RELEASE 12, November 20 - 26 2014 (and then 24/7 starting Dec 1) :
    • Steam Prep: Uptime will expand to 7 days and we will conduct a Steam test with all our current backers followed by a launch on Steam Early Access Dec 1st.
    • Maps: We will continue to expand the mainland scenes to include The Necropolis (the main underground Undead area in the game), The Graf Gem Mines surface area, and the Tower of the Shuttered Eye. We will also add the Desert biome to the game along with a desert scene.
    • Character Advancement: The advancement system will expand to include Skill Trainers
    • Spells & Skills: Life and Death Magic will expand to include more spells. The combat schools of Tactics and Polearms will also expand and more combos will be added to the game.
    • Housing: Lot Deeds will be introduced to the game so property claiming will first require purchasing a lot deed in the game (just like house deeds worked in R10)
    • Crafting: Crafting skills will start to come online and be used during crafting to modify results. We will also be adding more Cooking and Alchemy recipes and ingredients including the ability to put enchantments on gear.
    • Creatures: Our creature list will continue to expand with Ghosts, Fauns, Emps and Wisps added to the game.
    • Combat: The cover system will be introduced that modifies attack and defense values when you (or your target) are behind cover. The Death System (including ghosts) will come online and PVP will expand to include an Open PVP flag players can set on themselves. Ranged ammo types will now be linked to Ranged skills. So Piercing Shot will require Bodkin Points (armor piercing) for example.
    • Customization: New armor and clothing items will appear in the game.
    • Overworld: Traveling across the overland map will incur the chance that you might have a random encounter that pulls you into a scene. We will also release the first version of the overland map for Novia (aka the mainland).
    • Guilds: Players will now be able to start forming Guilds in the game with basic functions like Guild Name, membership, and Guild Officers.
    • Pledges Tied to Game Account: Your pledge will now be tied to your game account. This means you will start the game with your pledge rewards in your bank storage
    • Banks: Players can now start storing things in the bank. This is also where all your pledge rewards will be at the start of the game so you won’t start so encumbered that you cannot move.
    • Encumbrance: The weight of items will now factor into how much you can carry. Your carrying capacity will be derived from your Strength stat.
    • Tutorials: Tutorial text will now start appearing the first time you attempt an interaction (moving, talking, crafting, fighting, questing, etc.)

    RELEASE 13, December 18, 2014
    • Steam Early Access: This will be our first update after launching on Steam Early Access on Dec 1st.
    • Maps: We will continue to expand the mainland scenes to include Brightbone Pass, Resolute, Xenos and the Paladice Shardfall. We will also add the Shardfall biome to the game along with a shardfall scene (this is the biome for our Open PVP scenes).
    • Spells & Skills: Air, Earth, and Sun Magic will expand to include more spells. The combat schools of Ranged and Shields will also expand and more combos will be added to the game.
    • Housing: Permissions for property will greatly expand to better support groups sharing property, including tools to rent rooms and set “per area/room” permissions. Property ownership will now incur regular fees (unless you are using a tax free deed from a pledge). If the fees are not paid the player will lose their claim and their possessions (including the house and decorations) will be moved to their bank. As part of all this, we will also begin facilitating storing and moving houses (with all associated decorations).
    • Crafting: Crafting will now have events that occur during the crafting process that the player can interact with to influence the results.
    • Creatures: Our creature list will continue to expand with Air Elementals, Earth Elementals, and the Phoenix
    • Combat: Stealth mechanics will begin to appear.
    • Customization: Clothing and Armor will now be dyeable.
    • Overworld: Roving encounters (patrolling creatures) will now appear on the overworld map and can be engaged (pulling you into a scene) or avoided if you wish to sneak past.
    • Player Titles: Players will now be able to display their title in the game (including guild affiliation).
    • Emote Teaching: Emotes will now be teachable to other players. Some emotes (like the ones tied to pledges) will only be teachable by the original owner.
    • Player Made Books: Players will be able to write in blank books in the game and share them with other players.
    • Localization: We will begin crowdsourcing the translation of the game into various languages

    We continue to be incredibly thankful for the support we receive from this amazing community. While the funding 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 cannot wait to see you again in New Britannia!

    Before I go I wanted to include an excerpt from my original post about our Early Release Schedule that is important to set the framework for our ongoing schedule:

    As a crowd funded and crowd sourced project, we feel it is incredibly important that we provide our backers with information and access well before game studios would normally do so in a traditional development model. Traditionally, the players are given information and access only after the development team has already decided exactly how things will be done, and at times, even after it has already been implemented. By the time the public normally has access to the product, there is usually no time to meaningfully react to the public feedback.

    Shroud of the Avatar is different than the traditional model, as we intend to offer our backers extremely early access to information and even the game itself. With that said, we also want to be very careful that we only provide access to portions of the game when they are ready for a wider range of feedback. If we can play it internally and we know it is not ready, then there is nothing to be gained by having a wider audience come to the same conclusion. In fact, it could be quite damaging to do so.

    Our strategy over the next few months is to provide you with focused and iterative releases of content. Your feedback during these releases will be critical to making the final product the best it can be, and we appreciate that you are all so willing to devote your time to helping us. With each release, we will have specific tests we will ask you all to make. As we get closer, we will send instructions on how to download, install, report bugs, etc. After each release we will review the results and reevaluate the plan including the duration of availability of each release. Please note that game data will be wiped periodically during early access.

    It is important to note that all dates, durations, and deliverables are subject to change.

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

    Sir Seir Avatar

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    So excited for character advancement and the item repair :)

    Thanks for the update, DS.
     
  3. Bubonic

    Bubonic Avatar

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    Very excited to see this!

    And a question:
     
  4. Mata

    Mata Avatar

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  5. I'm done with this game

    I'm done with this game Avatar

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    It's not until R12, but here are a few things to think about concerning pledge items.

    1. If someone trades a pledge item, what happens during testing?
    2. Should there be a warning message when someone attempts to trade a pledge item asking if they're sure they wish to do this?
     
  6. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer SOTA Developer

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    Until we "launch" i.e. guarantee persistence and completely stop doing wipes I would consider any trading of pledge item to be temporary until the next wipe. It is worth noting that while we will be going live for "24/7" we can't yet 100% guarantee persistence and we may have to wipe at least once.
     
  7. Sindariya

    Sindariya Avatar

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    yeat 24/7 opening, what a nice birthday present.
     
  8. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer SOTA Developer

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    Good question. We had currently been thinking this would be an open scene but I could see an argument for instancing it out for parties. Would love to know what the community might think is better.
     
  9. Lord Lonn

    Lord Lonn Avatar

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    Thanks DarkStarr I do spend a lot of time in game during the weekend release and try to do everything.
    Could be why my questions are in the postmortems aren't from the usual batch of common thread of questions.
    Because I try to do everything possible I can during the Release. BUT 3 days is NOT enough....
    Thanks for these post

    :)
     
  10. Bubonic

    Bubonic Avatar

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    I don't necessarily mind it being open, but it seems to me that it would be extremely difficult to find the pass in an undisturbed state to start from the beginning.
     
  11. Arianna

    Arianna Avatar

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    I thought the same :)
     
  12. Lord Lonn

    Lord Lonn Avatar

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    WOW!!! Thats my Birthday too


    sort of 28th
     
  13. Joviex

    Joviex Avatar

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    Yeah, depends on the intent Port has I think.

    LOTRO was all about control points in the PvP world, and that was completely open at all times to everyone (single instance).

    It did "suck" to load up and realize everything was already taken over; however, they resolved that with the content of the control points.

    If you had tower B, or castle A, etc... you had access to resources, bonuses for all the PvE world depending, etc...

    Sounding much like what they want to do with PvP here, except in this case, we are fighting MOBs, which is also like how the PoIs were bootstrapped in LOTRO. They were populated with controlling faction NPCs, so you at least had something to fight if no one else was around.
     
  14. High Baron O`Sullivan

    High Baron O`Sullivan Avatar

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    is everything.
    I vote for the Vertas Pass to be an "open" scene.
     
  15. Trenyc

    Trenyc Avatar

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    Careful everyone. We might open up the gateway that leads to "I vote for all the scenes to be "open" scenes that are all part of the same open scene with elves and full loot and non-consensual PvP and VR support and boats and horses and movable houses and puppies and buttercups and rainbows!"

    Nothing against any of the above-mentioned features. Except full loot. And rainbows. 'Cause you know. Lag.

    On topic, I like Vertas Pass open. It makes for a nice, chaotic playground for those people who want to play PvP and keeps action focused. True sometimes chaos can be problematic due to lag and other concerns, but I think this will be less of a problem in the actual release when, presumably, there are other control points for people to fight over. Yes?
     
  16. I'm done with this game

    I'm done with this game Avatar

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    When I visited Vertas Pass during R10, my first thoughts were 'This will be a control point, and the reason the buildings are relatively empty is because players will furnish them once they control them." Cool.

    I think this would be a great example of "limited" housing that you could keep if you could control it. This gives people that like PVP something to fight out, and if you're a huge guild that can control that area for a long time (no matter what RG and Darkstarr and Chris decide to throw at you) more power to you!

    I think it would be great to visit this area knowing that at any moment it could be raided by other players or by an NPC death squad. It would be nice however to see SOME stability after it is controlled by players (maybe a week or two where it doesn't get attacked by NPC's?)
     
  17. Violation Clauth

    Violation Clauth Avatar

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    Wow, just wow...

    Edit: Okay...

    First thought: there's too much here, how will you guys get it all done?

    Second thought: if you guys scrap stuff make it things like guilds and other things that can be role played and aren't as important prior to release.

    Final thought: If you guys get this all pulled off that would be something that should be mentioned in gaming history... I'm rooting for you guys obviously but... wow.
     
  18. Violation Clauth

    Violation Clauth Avatar

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    I think there needs to be both: PvE instances and PvP non instanced zones... for start it should be PvE only and the PvP version added after.
     
  19. Gaelis

    Gaelis Avatar

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    Really great news, thanks :)
     
  20. I'm done with this game

    I'm done with this game Avatar

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    With that in mind...please consider putting a warning message (for all player to player trades) that states exactly what you just said. This will help people avoid being scammed during testing. The last thing we want is someone thinking they're getting pledge rewards during testing in exchange for some kind of real money transaction outside of the game.