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Comprehensive Schedule Update

[note:  we made a date correction to the start of Early Enrollment - start will be October 30]

Alpha Enters Extended Testing

Last week we planned to deploy the last major feature which needed to be tested prior to the start of Early Enrollment, local storage and Auction Houses. That deployment was unsuccessful. Despite a lot of incredibly long hours and Herculean efforts it just wasn't ready for testing when we had hoped it would be.

Our original plan was to deploy that feature last Thursday, then conduct a week of Stress Testing on the Alpha prior to commencing Early Enrollment this Thursday.

At this time we are not ready to start Early Enrollment as scheduled and we are going to an alternative plan. This Thursday (the 25th) we will deploy the local storage and Auction House feature to the Alpha. Following that deployment, we will begin the Alpha Stress Test, which we are extending for 4 weeks. All players with Alpha, Early, Explorer or Open Enrollment will be able to participate in the Stress Test. As we described last week, for Early, Explorer and Open Enrollees notification will be sent when access to the system is made available and we ask that you not make inquiries to customer service about your access until those notifications are sent.

Early Enrollment Begins on October 30th

We are rescheduling the start of Early Enrollment for Thursday October 30th. During the period between now and the start of Early Enrollment the team is going to complete a number of tasks which will improve the stability of the server and the client, polish several existing features already in the Alpha, extend the account management system with new features, and complete work on several back office tools for customer service and live operations management.

We're focused on making the start of Early Enrollment an awesome expierence for our customers.

PvP Updates and Rescheduling War of Towers

We are also going to move the start of the War of Towers forward to keep the same timing as we described in our previous update about this feature. War of Towers will be deployed 2 weeks after the start of Early Enrollment, on Thursday November 13th.

We are not sure yet when the PvP Updates previously described will be deployed. They will be in the game no later than the deployment of the War of Towers, but they may be deployed with Early Enrollment on the 30th. We will provide more guidance about this feature when we've decided what the best timing for its deployment will be.

Both the PvP Update and the War of Towers will begin testing on Zog, our test server, in September. We will be updating the community about how that testing will be conducted and who will have access to Zog (and how to access it) it a future blog.

Our Thanks to the Community

We're deeply appreciative of the support the community has shown over the past several weeks as we've moved through the end stages of Alpha Testing. We know that it is frustrating to be expecting to start play on a certain date and then have the game release be rescheduled.

Starting a new MMO is a really, really hard task. At every stage we've tried to do our best to estimate our remaining workload and our ability to execute on that task list to hit our target dates. This is a very large, very complex engineering task and there are a lot of unknowns and uncertainties in the process which make such estimates always subject to to change.

In the push to get to Early Enrollment this Thursday we have put some excessive stress on our team and they've really gone above and beyond the call trying to get all the tasks on our checklists complete to hit this week's deadline. We need to pull back from that pace for a bit to give them time to catch up on sleep and depressurize which is why we're extending our release date 4 weeks and not 2 weeks. The additional time will result in everyone on the team being able to continue to deliver their very best work.

As always we will continue to update the community on our planning both on the Paizo.com and Goblinworks.com forums.

You can discuss this blog entry on this thread in the forums.