May Producer’s Letter
Testing continues! May saw 24 hours of testing from May 20-21st and two ad-hoc tests. We caught some issues during the ad-hoc tests that took place on May 10th and 12th, which helped us identify the problems and get them fixed up for the full 24-hour pre-alpha run on the 20th.
June’s Pre-Alpha test runs from 10am PDT Saturday, June 10 through to 10am PDT Sunday June 11. If you are a tester, remember to keep an eye on the Tester Discord for ad-hoc tests which pop up from time to time.
We saw two new Pantheon streamers at this month’s Pre-Alpha session. Retired8404 opened up Saturday with his 3 hour stream, followed by another 3 hours of Pantheon fun, streamed by Zaide. And remember, if you are interested in getting in game to create content, you can sign up at our Streamer and Content Creator Program page. We invite streamers for every scheduled pre-alpha session, happening monthly. And, if you’re not a content creator, you can still get into Pre-Alpha either through pledging or entering our monthly giveaway on Twitter.
Onto production, as mentioned ViNL optimization continues, and we were able to get a good part of this done this month. Crafting is also making big strides as players have been able to craft some items and we have even seen some up for sale in the game channels. The economy is budding!
Let’s take a closer look at the roadmap.
Roadmap to Alpha Progress
Programming & Design
NPC Combat Awareness: Complete
What it is: Support for advanced NPC decision-making and tactics based on their knowledge of the surrounding environment.
Asset & Terrain Streaming: Complete
What it is: Development of technology to support performant streaming (both client and network) of game assets, visuals, and server data.
HDRP Conversion: Complete
What it is: Conversion of our existing project to a new rendering pipeline to allow for higher definition graphics, more powerful rendering tools, and improved client performance.
Classes & Combat: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Implementation of remaining core class and combat components such as unique resources, mechanics, and UI.
• Decreased the resist tier scales overall (I.e. players are less likely to get partially resisted with appropriate casting skills in relation to their target).
• Further balance adjustments to dungeon NPC stats and damage output.
• Thronefast NPC population updates, including updated ability kits, for the clifftop Gadai encampment and the Goblin caves
Network Overhaul: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Development of a custom network solution to enable performant player concurrency and server-side calculations on the required scale of an MMORPG.
• Key post-ViNL functionality still pending includes:
• Local Weather Profiles.
• Dynamic Entity Spawning Systems (Pets, Adds, Event-driven Spawns).
Pets: To Do
What it is: Development of the systems and user-interface required to support permanent and temporary player-controlled minions.
Ability Loadouts: In Progress
What it is: Development of a tool to allow players to save and load pre-defined hotbar configurations.
• Support for managing multiple loadouts is in development.
Gathering and Crafting: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Development of supporting tools, UI, and infrastructure for the implementation of Gathering and Crafting content, gameplay, and progression.
• Fixed a bug that would cause players to get kicked out to login while trying to loot after gathering.
· Tuning and balancing changes:
• The damage values for the rare/looted gathering tools (such as the ancient mining pick) have been increased slightly.
• The chance to find celestium dust or celestium shards while gathering has been slightly reduced.
• Gathering technique tuning changes:
• The damage component of Unyielding Strikes has been reduced slightly.
• Upcoming additions:
• Crafted gathering tools.
• Harvesting node implementation (Harvesting is the name of the Gathering sphere that allows players to harvest special plants, flowers, roots, etc.).
• Skinning and Harvesting Techniques that can be used while gathering.
Perception System: To Do
What it is: While we are able to support preliminary implementations of Perception content, additional development is needed for supporting tools and UI required to implement Perception and its related features and progression on a larger scale with the quality intended for Alpha and beyond.
Faction: To Do
What it is: While the Faction system is fully integrated and working, additional development is needed to support leveraging Faction for other aspects of gameplay, such as gaining access to specific Tasks, Storylines, Merchants, etc.
Climbing Improvements: In Progress
What it is: Refinements to the existing Climbing system to introduce a climbing-specific resource and related UI, associate Climbing with an improvable skill, implement new surface types with different climbability challenges, and improve climbing animations.
Swimming: In Progress
What it is: Implementation of a swimming locomotion system including support for Z-axis movement, the creation of a new suite of swimming animations, and implementation of a water system.
• Breath meter has been implemented.
Acclimation: To Do
What it is: Implement improvements to the Acclimation user experience by improving the audiovisual components, improving the UI and Glyph acquisition/equipment systems, and implementing additional climates.
Dispositions and Traits: In Progress
What it is: Develop systems required to improve the support for Disposition and Trait spawning rules, as well as dedicated UI components to display Dispositions and Traits to players.
• Several new traits have been incorporated into the overland dungeon areas of Thronefast. These include:
LFG Tool: To Do
What it is: Develop a UI and supporting infrastructure to allow players to list themselves as looking for a group, or looking for additional members, using specified criteria in order to find other players to pursue shared gameplay goals.
Basic Guild System: To Do
What it is: Develop a UI and supporting infrastructure to allow players to form guilds with a private chat channel, basic hierarchies, and membership management commands.
What it is: Develop mechanisms for the storage and retrieval of items and currency via NPC interactions.
Improve Starting Experience for New Players: In Progress
What it is: Develop tutorialization to introduce players to gameplay basics. Add and refine content in starting areas to provide a robust and engaging early-game experience.
Zones: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Develop game zones to support planned content and gameplay. Convert greyboxed zones to sculpted terrain and develop with unique props and environment art passes to realize aesthetic goals.
Player Models: In Progress
What it is: Rig remaining player race models (Skar, Dark Myr, Archai) so they can be animated and conform all non-Human races and genders to our entity outfitting system so they can equip/unequip armor dynamically. Ultimately, finalize playable character models.
NPC Models: In Progress
What it is: Develop new NPC and creature models for use in world population and content development.
• Gas Bat final texturing has begun.
General 2D/3D Assets: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Develop 3D assets for equippable weapons, armor, and various non-environment world props.
• Concept Art completed for:
• Stormwing Griffin.
• Woodlands Griffin.
• Concept work has begun on the Kingsreach wolf species, including Forest, Arctic, Volcanic, Plains, Desert, Corrupted and Spectral variants.
• 3D Model and Texturing completed on additional Platemail armor set.
Animations: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Develop player and NPC animations to support locomotion, combat, emotes, and other gameplay.
• Work on One Handed and Dual Dagger animation updates has begun
• Improvements to character animations when equipping items (no more hitching). Fixes for locomotion animations when movement speed is slowed down or sped up significantly.
• Fixed an issue causing animations to “pop” in certain situations. Also fixed an issue causing other players in view to appear to slide around the world instead of running/sprinting.
Audio: In Progress UPDATED
What it is: Develop environmental soundscapes, create unique sound effects for players and NPCs, and introduce ambient and signature music.