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Thread: STATE OF THE GAME: December 2012

  1. #1
    Dawn of the Dragons Developer Dahrizon's Avatar
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    STATE OF THE GAME: December 2012

    State of the Game: December 1, 2012

    Greetings again West Krunans!

    We have just entered the final month of 2012. This year has seen many game changes, updates, and improvements, both minor and major.

    Here are a few of the more notable things:
    • The introduction of the current Duel system and a revamp/update of the Colosseum.
    • PvP levels and tiers were adjusted for better matchups.
    • New item drops were given for PvP victories.
    • Introduction of Rhalmarius as a guild raid with a new loot format.
    • A new Daily Award system.
    • Dragon Lairs became social events with their own dedicated groups. Derek the Daring armor set was introduced into the Lairs. The Greenleaf armor set was later added.
    • The Drake-Death armor set was joined in the Lineage line by the Master-of-Arms, Mighty Callissa, and Glorious Dragonite sets.
    • World Raids saw major performance increases after many technical hurdles.
    • There was a major increase to all equipment stats.
    • Display of BSI and LSI on profile page
    • Display of Duel and Colosseum Power, Damage, and Deflect in the equip screen
    • Our proc/effect system was completely revamped.
    • Legion bonuses were boosted through the Scrolls of Dahrizon zone.
    • Legion Power was changed to Legion Damage for more transparency.
    • Legion Commander and Equipment were added to Legions.
    • Generals and Troops had a stat increase to make way for future updates.
    • Some older generals had increased stats and procs through use of the new proc/effect system.
    • The Perception stat was added and had questing implications.
    • Random encounters were added to all quest zones. Some with special item drops.
    • Craft drops were increased in all quest zones. Some zones received huge increases.
    • Item Enchanting was introduced.
    • Technical performance enhancements occurred throughout the year.
    • Opening of Dawnofthedragons.com with chat and character stats
    • Expansion to Kongregate.
    • Expansion to Armor Games.
    • Armor color/design contest and inclusion of armor in game.


    Where are we going next year?
    Three of our highest priorities currently are:
    • Workshop
    • Achievement system
    • Communities


    Workshop
    The Workshop will allow you to take equipment, break it down into components, and then use those to Enchant other equipment. Even PC items will be able to be broken down and will provide some of the highest quality enhancers. So, if you have 6 pair of those Dead Man’s Boots, don’t despair. There will be a time when you can break some or all of them down and increase the power of other pieces of equipment with a considerable boost. The goal is to have Enchantment and Workshop in the same interface. At that time, we’ll be able to tweak Enchanting more and hopefully add on some of the original design features that did not originally make it in to the game due to technical details.

    Achievement system
    A revamp of the AP system has been planned for some time and is a feature of interest to many people. The new system will scale more appropriately with the health differences of raids like Nightmare Horgrak and Nightmare Valanazes. Players will be able to personalize their character by ‘purchasing’ selected awards and bonuses in multiple areas of the game. While we see the benefit of waiting until some supporting systems are in place to allow the rewards we had planned, with the recent changes in the proc/effect system, I believe that we can achieve the same intended results but in a different fashion. The achievement system will start to receive even more directed attention very soon. For those with current Achievement Points, you will not lose what you have. The new system will be completely independent of the existing system.

    Communities
    Communities are planned to be in-game gathering places for meeting and sharing with other players. Our current goal is for Communities to have their own raids, events, stats, and possibly contests. Communities are not meant to replace guilds. Communities will be a much larger gathering than guilds and have different types of interaction. There are some things that we will be able to do with Communities that would not fit small groups, but would also not be desirable for open, public participation.

    Priority of Features
    There are many other features that we want to get done. Just because they are not included here does not mean they have been forgotten. We are going to put up a poll soon that will ask what feature is a priority to you. In the January State of the Game post, we will include more information on all of the system that we can and talk about those items that receive the most votes.

    Other Items
    Three things that players have often requested is a “Loot All” button, more Equipment sets, and a better way to find and change Legions.

    A “Loot All” button is the least likely of all these to happen at this time. This is mostly a technical problem, but stems from a design issue. There are players that accumulate thousands of raids per week. There was recently a player that had over 18,000 completed, unlooted raids. The technical issue is that if even a few players like this used the “Loot All” button, the server is going to have to evaluate, determine loot, and enter every piece into the character’s inventory. The amount of database hits could cause lag, but of even more consideration, if this were done just prior to a server restart and the entry of all these items took too long, it is possible that the player could lose all of the loot. The design issue stems from a person needing to have this many raids. That is not something that is an easy fix, but something that we are constantly evaluating and working on.

    The Equipment sets in your profile screen are something that we call “Equipment Racks”. We understand that players want more slots, and I want to give you more, especially with the variety of equipment versus specific types of raids, for questing, or for PvP. There are more technical implications to this than just in adding the slots. It is something that we have discussed and will continue to look at.

    It would also be great to change your Legion as you move from raid to raid and use a legion that is specific for that raid. Legion favorites and filtering, and the display of Legion bonus items were actually planned for the Commander and Equipment update, but did not make it due to time constraints. I would still like to see this change happen, along with in-raid selection of legion formations. However, this would require a tech change and some new UI work. As with everything we do, each has to fall in line with other priorities.


    Time Well Spent
    Some of the updates/revamps of the past year did take away time from new features, but we consider it time well spent in preparing for the future of Dawn. I’d like to see Dawn of the Dragons around for many, many more years and with continual improvement. The equipment stat update, the technical proc revamp, the changes to bring out Legion bonuses, commander, and equipment, the addition of random encounters, all of these are things that we will not have to do again. The time spent designing, programming, and implementing these features and more can now be put toward other updates and new features.


    Closing
    At its core, Dawn of the Dragons is a social game. As such, enjoyment of the game comes equally from social interaction as character progression. A new player that starts today will never know the experience of slaying that very first Erebus the Black. Even when Dawn of the Dragons moved onto the Kongregate and Armor Games platforms, that initial experience was not the same.

    I strongly believe that Dawn is as much about where the story is as where a player’s personal progression is. New players should always be able to have hope of progressing to a point that they can enjoy the game alongside current veterans. Dawn allows a committed player to jump in fresh and work toward the goal of at least being in the same category as older players within a reasonable amount of time.

    I never want to diminish the efforts of players who have been loyal to the game and played any length of time. It is not our intent to make new players equal to veteran players. However, it is advantageous in a social game to get new players involved in the community at present progression. They still have to go through the early zones. They will still hunt the old legendary items. They will still have to build their character stats. But with the items that they may acquire, through present raids or PC purchase, they are able to fasttrack their progression to be more in line with the community as a whole.

    Many of them will achieve status and then remain in the middle of the pack. Some will surpass their peers and strive to achieve greatness so that they may walk alongside the present ‘Legends’ of DotD. A few will push past all boundaries and become the next great names and future Myths of West Krunan.

    In 2013, look forward to more community interaction and more progression of the epic tale of the Dragon-Rider.

    As always, we appreciate your feedback.
    Thank you for joining us here on the forums and for being part of the fantastic Dawn of the Dragons community.
    What is steel compared to the hand that wields it? Look at the strength in your body, the desire in your heart. THAT is Power.

  2. #2
    Farmhand
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    Thanks for the info about future plans. Any idea when they will take effect? I know specific dates will be nearly impossible, but for example, should we expect to see the additional Achievement system within the first 2 months of 2013, or will it be when DotD Anniversary happens? So do you think you can give us within a couple of months of when to expect these features?

  3. #3
    Dawn of the Dragons Developer Dahrizon's Avatar
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    One day soon, we will post a poll asking players what features are a priority to them.

    In the January State of the Game post, we will include more information on all of the systems that we can and talk about those items that receive the most votes.

    At that time we should be able to give a more accurate time frame for implementation of different features. We are not likely to give any dates before that time.
    What is steel compared to the hand that wields it? Look at the strength in your body, the desire in your heart. THAT is Power.

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    Silver Arrow
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    If a "loot all" button is unfeasible, what about a "loot without showing me the window" button, which would still reduce the number of clicks in half? For glyph farms and the like, I don't really care about seeing the loot window, I just want to get through them as quickly as possible. And especially for raids with 0 damage, opening the empty loot window is a pain.

  5. #5
    Dawn of the Dragons Developer Dahrizon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zorblak View Post
    ...And especially for raids with 0 damage, opening the empty loot window is a pain.
    We've talked about automatically removing those raids so you never see them.
    What is steel compared to the hand that wields it? Look at the strength in your body, the desire in your heart. THAT is Power.

  6. #6
    Sargaash the Mighty equal
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahrizon View Post
    One day soon, we will post a poll asking players what features are a priority to them.
    Please consider any such poll an advisory rather than a mandate. Polls like this are more about what players want than what the game needs. Sometimes the two are the same but most of the time they are not. Fix the things that need fixing first.
    If you want to "ignore" someone on the forum just click their name, click profile, and beneath their avatar you'll see an ignore link. Comes in really handy at times when you don't want to deal with that certain someone's constant negativity.

  7. #7
    What about GVG? seems thats been dropped from the list of priorities/updates

    Also will there be anyway in the future of sorting raids by health left? I mean the screen shows %age left so it "should" be possible?
    Last edited by Ginginc; 1st December 2012 at 18:52. Reason: update
    Lv4047 -
    Demigod (Drake) contributed 132,745,861,286 damage. Beast-King contributed 66,372,931,584 damage. Feedback contributed 16,872,496,128 damage.
    Pumpkin Night contributed 33,186,463,744 damage. GingincONE dealt 273,902,716,003 damage!

  8. #8
    Dawn of the Dragons Developer Dahrizon's Avatar
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    Ginginc,
    Quote Originally Posted by Dahrizon View Post
    Priority of Features
    There are many other features that we want to get done. Just because they are not included here does not mean they have been forgotten. We are going to put up a poll soon that will ask what feature is a priority to you. In the January State of the Game post, we will include more information on all of the system that we can and talk about those items that receive the most votes.
    What is steel compared to the hand that wields it? Look at the strength in your body, the desire in your heart. THAT is Power.

  9. #9
    Silver Arrow
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    what i read is
    1) more equipment racks --> more equipment switch --> more server load
    2)easy legion switch --> more legion switching--> more server load
    3)loot all --> sudden server load
    maybe it is time for buy some new server
    if it really cause more load,we may spent some PC for this UI because time is more expensive

  10. #10
    World Mender
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    I appreciate your candor and honesty in all things. Keeping us updated with useful and informative posts is one of the things that keeps me playing. Weekly updates with new stuff is also a bonus.

    That said, it seems to lead to issues I'd like to talk about.
    1) Vetting of updates: The recent UI update (since rolled back) seemed like a week or more of wasted update time. It was rolled back almost as soon as it was added. While I didn't have much issue with it in general myself, a lot of the comments people had were informative. Why was it done? Did it add content? It hurt touch screen players. Was it passed to the council first? I know from other websites that people get use to something and don't like change. One has to weigh the benefits of the change vs a change for change sake. From the little I used it, the update didn't seem to streamline anything and to me, that is why an update should be made. If I can click just a little less on a clicky game and have just as much fun, that is the kind of update I want.

    2) Testing the updates: After many updates, we see an update the follow week fixing the earlier update, hot-fixing or rolling back the update. I understand that you need thousands of people pounding on something to find some of the deeper hidden bugs but some of them not so much. Examples would be "adding a new starter pack a large portion of players can't buy" or "upgrading all the generals but for getting a couple (even if only visually)". Things like that seem like they should be caught way before we see them.

    3) Keeping up with the updates: Updates happen as a great speed here. If all games did that, many people wouldn't quit them as fast as they do. There is more content here than many know what to do with but at the same time, content or features will get added and sort of get ignored. Look at perception; it was added but really it was forgotten. As someone who added over 10k to it, it has actually made my game play LESS fun. On high levels, having that extra click to get rid of the perception drop box can be frustrating when I just want to spend my energy. Some great ideas on how to fix that have been posted but seemly ignored. Perception was supposed to have wide effects in the game (raids, loot, etc) but so far, none. Another update would be the stand alone site. It use to have really useful info on new raids you had joined but not damaged, unfinished raids (but you attacked) and finished raids. Now, it does not.

    4) Known issues: This seems to be an odd thing on the weekly update. Its odd to me because the things on there tend to sit there a while and the list rarely seems to change. Every week, at least once a week, there is a thread about colly power; "I have more than my enemy but I still lost". This is a known issue and has been for as long as I can remember but it's not on the list. Seems like if there are known issues, those are the things that should be dealt with first on the list of things to fix.

    5) Fixing things I want! I wrote a nice but above, all generic and things that I see as global. Here are my top personal wishes:

    a) Make Auto Assign actually work better; with 3 premium generals and 2 premium troops, this feature is essentially broken at the moment. Related or alternative fix would be to add a drop down next to the clear for "All, troops, generals, commander". I often finding myself wanting to clear just the troops when I get new ones to update them but don't want to because I don't want to mess with the general section when I have it "just right" (at least I hope it's just right).

    b) I need a better way to spend stamina: It is sometimes hard to find enough raids, especially when a world raid is going on. The world chat is decent but I find myself seeing the same raids over and over there plus, they are a bit of a pain to load since you can't right click them and the flash crashes for me a lot more when I am there than when I am playing regularly.

    c) World raid and bigger hits: I know, greater than 20 stamina will break the game. Please find some way to allow us to have bigger hits and not break the game.

    d) Make perception useful and incorporate the perception pop up on the page so we don't have to do an extra click to get rid of it.

    e) Probably 10 more things that are important to me but many of them are already mentioned and I know you are tired of reading...

    I look forward to 2013 and to what this game brings us. I think polling the community even if only to give a better idea on where a small % of developer resources should go is a great thing.

    Generic question: What's going on with the council? Are they still doing things, discussing things? I think it would be nice to get a council update every so often.

  11. #11
    Town Guard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahrizon View Post
    We've talked about automatically removing those raids so you never see them.
    Yes, please!

    Quote Originally Posted by TitoBandito View Post
    Please consider any such poll an advisory rather than a mandate. Polls like this are more about what players want than what the game needs. Sometimes the two are the same but most of the time they are not. Fix the things that need fixing first.
    Agreed in full!
    Game bugs that have been on the unresolved list and other interface improvements (imo) should be top priorities before any new features are added unless of course the new feature corrects the existing problem.

    In my experience games have a bad habit of adding new features that create more problems rather than stabilizing the existing features.

    I appreciate that you guys don't generally function that way.

    Thanks for all your hard work!

  12. #12
    Town Guard
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    Actually, out of all the interface changes that I would like to see I would very much appreciate if you could change the way the pretty much every scroll box works.

    Currently if you're in the New Raids list and you scroll through a long section of raids to find one in the middle of list the whole list refreshes back to the beginning when you close the raid you entered.
    Why can the list not just stay put?
    I seriously hate wanting to hit a set of raids that are in the middle of the list no matter how I sort them and having to re-scroll through a long list of raids every time I enter a raid or find out the raid is full or find out it was dispatched before I could hit it...

    I just want the list to stay where I was when I stopped scrolling.

    The same thing happens in Guilds when looking through the user list if you're pruning AFK players.

  13. #13
    Farmhand
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    Dahrizon, what about a loot 5-20 button or a side list where you check bella's and it selects all bella's and loots them so on and so fourth, are those not viable?

  14. #14
    Golden Garden Monk HPisBS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syner View Post
    Dahrizon, what about a loot 5-20 button or a side list where you check bella's and it selects all bella's and loots them so on and so fourth, are those not viable?
    I was just about to say that lol (assuming i'm reading it correctly)

    Instead of "Loot All," raids could have a "Loot 5" or "Loot 20" or whatever in addition to the regular "Loot" button (or possibly a system like in the Craft section?) -- then, you'd only have the loot from that one variety of raid calculated at once, and only a limited number of those.

  15. #15
    Farmhand
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    Thank you for doing that lol, I was thinking that might be hard to read...

  16. #16
    can yall increase the current limits on AP things? IE, killing Bellas and Ebbys no longer give me AP. I still use them for some stat farming.

  17. #17
    Farmhand
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erisian View Post
    can yall increase the current limits on AP things? IE, killing Bellas and Ebbys no longer give me AP. I still use them for some stat farming.
    they are making a new AP system so technically they are making new AP limits, but they are gonna be completely separated. with that being said doubt they will add anything beyond orange in terms of AP.

  18. #18
    Farmhand
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    Generally love the game, but there is a change I really, really would like to see made.

    I have an older system and use the latest version of Firefox.
    While playing the game, especially in PVP, it starts to really suffer from what I'm guessing is a memory leak?
    Eventually I have to use the task manager to blow away the plug-in manager so I can refresh the page.
    So, I'd like to have an option to play using a "flat" set of graphics instead of an animated one, assuming you
    can't fix this.

    Also, sometimes it takes a long, long time for the images to load in. Perhaps we can download them locally
    one time so it does not need to repeat?

    Thanks.

  19. #19
    Farmhand
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    Quote Originally Posted by dacomb View Post
    Game bugs that have been on the unresolved list and other interface improvements (imo) should be top priorities before any new features are added unless of course the new feature corrects the existing problem.
    People who are not bothered or affected by those issues then feel like there is nothing new in the game for them, so they leave (and likely stop buying PC). A balance is needed between prioritizing bugs and introducing new content and features.

  20. #20
    Farmhand
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahrizon View Post
    A “Loot All” button is the least likely of all these to happen at this time. This is mostly a technical problem, but stems from a design issue. There are players that accumulate thousands of raids per week. There was recently a player that had over 18,000 completed, unlooted raids. The technical issue is that if even a few players like this used the “Loot All” button, the server is going to have to evaluate, determine loot, and enter every piece into the character’s inventory. The amount of database hits could cause lag, but of even more consideration, if this were done just prior to a server restart and the entry of all these items took too long, it is possible that the player could lose all of the loot. The design issue stems from a person needing to have this many raids. That is not something that is an easy fix, but something that we are constantly evaluating and working on.
    I think this is rather an architectural/implementational issue than a game design issue, I mean guys, data loss, lag, amount of DB hits? Haven't you heard about transactions? Stored procedures? Jobs? Triggers? Threads? Connection pools? Such a thing as looting should be covered by the DB itself anyway, completely excluding the back-end. Please don't tell me that you tend to restart the DB server as well

    Nevertheless, I'd have a quick-win temporary solution with which you wouldn't need to redesign anything:

    I would suggest to implement an Auto-loot functionality instead of Loot all. What do I mean? You implement it in the UI, the user can fire a cancellable automation that fetches the lootable raids list then it loots them one by one by waiting for the previous loot response before sending the next loot request completely synchronously just like the user would do by clicking on them one after the other. This way you wouldn't encumber the server more than the user would and the client-side machine would do the work but at least the user could go take a p1ss until the automation loots the raids for him/her.
    Last edited by curse; 1st December 2012 at 21:28.

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