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Monthly Development Update - 30th April 2014

Genele brings you the latest news from the AO team.

Forum post can be found here.

Monthly Development Update – 30th of April, 2014 
 
Hi 2 u!

I'm back with another monthly update and the past month we have a very interesting highlight. First I want to talk about the You decide, first edition poll and the results.

As you might know, the "New Shadowlands Mission" initiative won the poll by only 7 votes. If this initiative goes well and we continue to get a lot of positive feedback, we will make sure to continue this plan in the future and set up a new poll once the winning project of the "You decide, first edition" is delivered. So that the losing projects could become winners the next time we set up a poll.

We have already started working on the winning project and the first area in Inferno has been created. The quest starts in Inferno garden and Clanners need to talk to the "Essence Hunter" and Omnis need to talk to the "Soul Devourer". Players will be sent to a portal within the garden which will take them to a secret outdoor area of Inferno. I have attached a screenshot to this letter so you can see the area. (The screen shot is a raw "work in progress" screen shot.) There will be a lot more action when we have set up the spawns and paths. 

Both missions will be the same; to defend an ancient relic while the opposite side attacks in waves. The redeemed will protect the relic for its religious values, while the unredeemed wants to extract it and bring it back with them to obtain power. After x waves, the opposite side will be defeated and the defenders will get their mission reward. I am still unsure if I want to make this mission type hard core mode and that dying while participating in this defense, will make you fail the mission. Maybe we will make one hard and easy mode.  We have also considered adding a random boss that might or might not spawn during the defense, defeating this boss while defending will grant a handsome reward for the team that manages to do it.

If this mission type is a success, we will create similar missions for Penumbra and Adonis too, so we give players of different level ranges the opportunity to test their abilities as well. You will see the Inferno version on Testlive when we have gotten the 18.6.12 patch shipped to the live dimension. I hope to see many of you on Testlive when the time comes so we can get proper feedback in regards to the quest’s layout and design. 

As for the other initiatives we have worked on this past month, we have made one patch for the Live dimension and one for the Beta. The Live patch is currently on Testlive, but we will have to patch Testlive once more before we push this to the Live servers. Both the 18.6.12 Live patch and the 18.7.0.11 beta patch contains mainly small bug fixes and exploit fixes.

I also want to talk about one of the new exciting features we have added in the 18.7 branch this month: A new set of spawn points that we can enable/disable without patching the servers. Once they have been placed and the playfield has them, the spawns will be disabled until we activate them. When we decide that the spawns should stop spawning, we disable them and all the spawns will disappear instantly. This will be especially handy for us in regards to seasonal content as we can decorate cities and place spawn points without ending up having sneaking holiday content linger in the game world for months after the actual event. Not to mention that the spawning will be a lot less cluttered and we will avoid stacks of Uncle Pumpkinheads standing on top of each other. With this we could also make various events that we can randomly enable/disable. We will be testing these spawn points on the beta servers the next beta patch (which is 18.7.0.12). The Phasefront/Funcom Shop display dungeon will be opened this patch and will display seasonal special items when we enable them. (Well, unless something goes wrong that is...) 

As mentioned previously, the 18.7 branch is getting really close to a Testlive state and when patched to Testlive, everyone will get to see the new ICC HQ, the new player experience, the shop changes and various systems changes that have been made in this branch. As a reminder, the new engine client will remain accessible exclusively to the participants in the closed beta, even though we patch out 18.7 to the Live dimension.

Well, that’s it from me this month. Until next time!