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Now that we have established our plan for regular every-other-week updates, we want to discuss our plan for the first quarter of 2015.
Tomorrow, the EE2 build will go live on the Test Server and notes about EE2 will be posted to the goblinworks.com forum. A week later, EE2 will be pushed to the Live Server and we'll post a release notes blog about it.
As a preview, we can tell you that player husk looting is the marquee feature of EE2. You will be at risk of losing inventory when your characters die, and other characters will be able to loot some of your inventory if they can get to your husk before you do!
This is a pretty big feature. It may not be typical of every release. Some weeks the update may be mostly bug fixes or even client/server improvements that players won't be able to see directly. Of course, we will have plenty of new feature releases as well!
We are going to allocate our development time in Q1 roughly 1/3rd to new features and 2/3rds to bug fixes and polish. The line between a bug and polish is pretty fuzzy - for example, improving the search functionality of the Auction House, or making the Charge actions work better. We added so many features to the Alpha that we think we have a window of time when it makes sense for us to work on making all of those features work better as a priority ahead of adding a lot of new features.
For Q1 we are focusing new features on persistent impacts by player characters to the game world. It was one of the commitments we made to our community that the world would change in response to player actions. One of those changes is the ability to construct buildings that become a persistent part of the environment.
In Q1 we are going to deploy the Base Camps and Small Holdings you can buy now in the store. Of course, those features include a number of related features like changing how Power regenerates and establishing consumption rates for Settlement bulk resources, and many other related systems.
We have heard you loud and clear: You need us to improve the Auction Houses. That will be one of the first things we work on in Q1. We are going to add a filter to exclude items that have no open auctions, and we are going to extend the time of the actions to 7 days.
The team is also talking about ways to help bootstrap the coin economy. Currently a lot of exchange is happening through barter or through allocations by Settlement leadership. We need to get items circulating in the markets and we need to get the velocity of coin transactions to increase to help send accurate price signals. We are going to implement some short term changes to low-level items and Auctions relatively soon once we have worked our way through our internal analysis of what we can do with the time and resources available.
We have also heard your concerns about monster encounters being placed to close to resurrection Shrines. We are going to alter the process of generating those encounters so they should not threaten newly respawned characters.
We are also thinking about ways to address the holes some of you have discovered in the terrain. They are an artifact of Grome, the tool we use to generate the huge landscape of the Crusader Road. There is an interaction between hills and roads that sometimes causes a point to be displaced from the terrain near road bends in hills, causing a pit. The team is investigating several short term and long term ways to address these pits.
We wanted to remind our readers that if you purchase Early Enrollment and make your first character before the end of the month that character will have its XP backdated to the start of Early Enrollment!
We also want to remind any Settlement that has not yet contacted us that we need to know the name of the Company that will lead the Settlement so we can complete the set up process. Please email the information to customer.suppot@goblinworks.