It is with sadness that I write to you this month, as many good developers, and dear friends will be leaving Funcom this fall. A sad time for our otherwise very happy family. You can read the official statement here: (http://www.funcom.com/news/funcom_re...t_world_launch
For Anarchy Online, this means that we will not be able to continue growing our team right now, as we had hoped. The work will however continue as scheduled with some exceptions; some of the additional features for the new player experience, like the new character creation, will be down prioritized until we have the play experience feature complete.
The silver lining is that the AO dev team has always been a small but very talented team, even while producing booster packs, so our team is in control and AO will remain strong!
Our Dreamworld engine upgrade is still one of our top priorities! We believe this is an important step in evolving AO and building for the future, and as this work is done in parallel to the rest of our commitments, we do not have to delay any other content because of this!
AO-Con was a huge success! Over 50 people showed up to celebrate a joint love for this game and our community! We were very happy so see Cube and Michizure hold a Q&A session and a small presentation to show off some of the things we are working on. This is available on youtube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCNVxykCwLs
). Some of the screen shots of this presentation can be seen on (www.AO-Universe.com
We’ve tried a new strategy regarding seasonal content this year, finishing all of the Halloween and Christmas assets in July! This means we will not be pressured to release patches in October and December, as this content can be easily turned on “on the fly”! Previously seasonal content updates proved a little stressful for the team, but now we will be able to kick back and just enjoy these times with you! If you want to help test this content or maybe just get a sneak peek you’re welcome to ask for it on Test Live.
The New Player Experience
In August we patched a soft release for the New Player Experience on the Test Dimension. Together with some of you, we play tested the freight shuttle and the new system that allows for a profession specific experience, and we got lots of good feedback. We’ve fixed most of the issues reported and we’re ready to begin the beta testing phase in the next version. If you are interested in playing this, please create a new character on Test Live and talk to Hank the Peacekeeper located in ICC.
The next part of this content is being tested internally as we speak, and I expect a little more time before it’s ready for Test Live. We’ve rebuilt ICC completely from the ground and up, with the addition of little unique spots for organizations to claims as “theirs” and unique possibilities for travelling via whom-pa’s, the grid, a space elevator and various shuttles to all the remote outzone locations!
Pack of Noobs
I had the pleasure of attending the org meeting of “Pack of Noobs” on RK2 last week! Their agenda to recruit and help new players and returning players is really cool, and they brought up some very good questions about how we as a Dev Team plan to address concerns that new players may have. We discussed the possibilities of re-purposing older content, something that both designers and players have wanted for a long time, and we talked about letting froobs and paid accounts play together as one community! The full interview can be found here:
The transfer service from Die Neue Welt to Atlantean and Rimor has been re-enabled! If your have a character that is eligible for transfer, you may use this service directly from the AO account page. This service will be enabled indefinitely until we announce otherwise! Everyone that reported having characters stuck on DNW should have been contacted via email already.
Systems Changes/Profession Balance
The healing power from the MA proc Disharmory was boosted for PvP in the previous Live Update, but not for PvE. We’re working on addressing this in the next version, boosting the healing amount for PvE. Thank you for reporting this!
We’ve had the pleasure of being able to update our developer tools further this summer due to the addition of Vhab! Our work environment has been very neglected the past years due to having such a small team, and with the addition of only 1 man, we have accomplished great things!
The most important thing is that we’re now able to import all data that was previously not accessible, into our tools. We were technically prevented from improving many of our items and fixing bugs due to this, and now this is finally possible thanks to our eminent coders.
In addition to this, we will be able to remove nano formulas from the game, meaning we can finally rid ourselves of redundancy nano formulas that just take up space and cost creds without giving you much of a gain. The NT nukes line is the best example I can think of, where you have literally more than 100 nukes to chose from. Instead we can scale the power of the ones we keep based on your skill, giving you the same functionality as you have now but with way less nanos you need to buy and keep track of! We feel this will go a long way for any new player that wants to get into the game and enjoy it! Plus, hoping to reduce the huge time sink that setting up your character hotbars currently is.
So many people have sent me PMs and asked about PvP, and I wanted to tell you a little about my own experience.
When I started playing Anarchy, I did not like PvP. I thought it was a little stupid and frankly terrifying to have someone else that I didn’t know shoot at me. The stupid part came from not understanding the fun in it, and I was terrified because I thought the PvP population were a bunch of griefing jerks who only cared about crushing other people. Then something happened, I got to know someone who enjoyed PvP. I looked up to this friend, he was always looking out for others, and as we started doing more and more things together, and before I knew it, I found myself agreeing to a duel. I got my ass handed to me of course, but it wasn’t so bad. (:
From that point, we started hanging out behind one of the tall buildings in one of the major cities and take turns fighting each other to 25%. We were both of the same profession and level, but he killed me every single time. I don't know what fascinated me at that point because I just died a lot, but somehow I started learning to stay alive longer and longer, until one day where I stayed alive for so long – that I killed him! I was so caught up in the moment that I forgot to stop myself at 25%. It was no longer a game, it was his life or mine, and we fought for over 20 minutes.
After that, we started to enjoy it in a different way, we started to try find ways of surprising each other, find tools and gear to counter the other's tricks, and tip the numbers to our advantage. Not long after that I found myself often engaged in the Tir Arena, practicing my newly found skills on different people, and what I found was nothing I had expected to find! I found a community, Clan and Omni and Neutral alike, just as eager as me to learn and improve, to laugh and to have fun!
We exchanged tips or simply hung out, and sometimes, when the occasional griefer came to gank one of us, he often found himself chased across Rubi-Ka by the rest of us. I started participating in the wars, to protect our towers and our allies towers and even sometimes, our “enemy allies’'” towers, only for that sweetness of owning the land and seeing our side xp% go up. I’m one of these people that surely like to save the world together with others!
The old title level system was a large part of the fun for me, as you learned to fear certain people and it was just really satisfying to win to those who had a better title than I had, and to finally get that Novice title. The Glyph of Archana, and the concept of lootable objects is also something that I enjoyed in PvP, but I can understand how it’s not for everyone.
As a development team, there are many things we would like to do with PvP, but with the current commitments we will not allow ourselves to prioritize this right now. We have initiated discussions with several of you, to hear your suggestions and hear about what you enjoy about PvP!
Please never hesitate to send me a tell when you see me in game!
Fia “Lindelu” Tjernberg