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Thread: State of the Game: December 2015

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    Dawn of the Dragons Developer Mouse's Avatar
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    State of the Game: December 2015

    Introduction
    As the turkey food-coma slowly subsides from our great feast in November, we look ahead to December and as a result, the technically final state of the game for 2015! Without further delay, let’s dive right in.

    Lag Monster: Battle Update
    As we’ve said before, lag is a tough beast to tackle. A lot of different factors come up when we investigate these issues. Anything from really old tech to something new we introduced which created an unforeseen strain on the server can cause a big spike and result in a frustrating experience for you, the player.

    However, we have made tremendous progress since we last touched on this subject in the November SoTG which has resulted in marked improvements even during world and event raids. That’s the good news, but the bad news is that because we have focused so much of our tech time into fixing this issue, it has caused several delays in other features and areas of the game that we had hoped we’d be further ahead on by now (for example, Perc 2 which we’ll talk about further into this post).

    We do feel that it has been time well spent of course, as you can’t really enjoy a feature or addition to the game if it’s so laggy you can’t even do anything, but we want to improve our communication to the community on topics like this so you’re as informed as possible.

    While we’ve won another battle against this terrible laggy foe, we will continue to monitor the situation and work towards more improvements for the future.

    Legion Additions
    Legions are an important part of your world as a player, they can contribute a considerable amount to your overall power and we’re constantly releasing new content to ensure your legions are filled to the brim with powerful generals and troops; however there’s more on the horizon to help refine your legions into lean, mean fighting machines!

    This month we’ll be introducing Siege, Support and Relic Slots! These are three new types of item slots that can be added to new legions going forward. These slots will provide a myriad of benefits depending on the procs and abilities associated with them, much like a general or troop might. The slots will be much more limited than troops or generals and will help broaden the diversity among legions as a whole.

    The plan is to release these this month (December) but we’ll let you know if that changes for one reason or another.

    Winter Kessov and Other World Raids
    December also means Winter Kessov! Complete with Bernard Bronzefist and a variety of other powerful items to aid you in your battle against whatever evils the world may try to throw at you. As with last year the Winter Kessov raid won’t be 12 days long.

    Also, now that we feel the lag is in a more controlled position, we’re going to resummon Ell’Shoaz’Dahaq this month, a raid that has often been requested and something we said we’d be resummoning this year if possible.

    There are a few more raids we had originally intended to resummon this year (The New Claw for example) but with only this month remaining it looks very unlikely that we’ll be able to fit more than Kessov and Ell’Shoaz in. Their original delay was heavily related to lag problems and then several scheduling conflicts with other events, but we know you really want these to return and hope to bring them back in the early portion of 2016.

    We also really want to take another look at the Ultimate Loot Lair, and while this isn’t a promise that we’ll have anything ready soon, it is something we’ll be looking into for 2016.

    Yule Tribe Event
    As with previous years, we intend to add the Yule Tribe Event once again. We’re going to do our best to make sure this event doesn’t feel ultra punishing as it has at times in the past. We can’t fully disclose all of the details for the Yule Tribe event this year but please be sure to let us know how it feels once it’s added, we can and will make adjustments to it if necessary even after it has been released.

    Perception Phase 2: Delays and Explanations
    A topic of much excitement but also frustration, Perception Phase 2.0 has sort of been a “white whale” for both the design team and the players for literally years now; as a designer it’s super frustrating to have this really cool idea that myself and the rest of the team are incredibly excited for, we know you’re as excited as we are annnnd we still don’t have it for you.

    Back in the day we had a clear idea on what we thought Perception 2.0 might be, we had discussed it (this was years ago, to be clear) and so we announced that it’d be coming to help get you excited and give more potential value for the Perception stat. It all seemed great, but as we continued further along in the process we just stopped, looked at each other and realized: We weren’t building something very fun, so no sense in continuing. So, we walked away to think about some alternatives and had a few other projects to complete along the way.

    Fast forward to more recent times and we’ve done a lot of research, played a lot of other games out there and had numerous brainstorming sessions and have come up with something we’re so much more excited about. We let you guys know what our general plans are and set sail for awesome town; but as we know things rarely go according to plan with something like this. Lag started getting really bad and as we continued to dig deeper into the Perception 2.0 stuff, we realize that it has a lot of functionality that if done incorrectly, could really amplify the lag problems.
    It makes no sense to fix the lag in one area of the game and then knowingly add more with another feature. So, we had to look closer, go deeper and rethink a few key points. In the mix of all that discussion and planning, the lag dam burst and the game’s performance slipped further and further. This became our absolute, number one priority as a company and while the majority of the fixing is done on an engineering level, it’s still something that we as designers also need to look at; are these procs we’re adding causing issues, is there a design solution to problem X that could be much more efficient than an engineering solution, etc. It’s a complicated problem and takes a considerable amount of time from us as a company.

    Now the lag is mostly squared away (though as I said earlier, and I cannot emphasize this enough, we’re continuing to monitor it and work on even more solutions) we’re entering the holidays. During any month we’re always careful to plan out different releases, work with our marketing department and adhere to a stricter than typical schedule for almost anything, and since we really had no idea how long the lag problems might take us, the Perception Phase 2.0 feature had to be pushed back, which means it’s simply not viable to see it this year (2015).

    We understand that’s frustrating to hear, and believe me when I say we’re as frustrated as you are at this delay. We want this feature so bad it hurts, but it can’t come at the cost of everything else.

    However, a delay doesn’t mean a cancellation and we still have every plan to get this out the door in 2016. It’s hard to provide a timetable but internally we’re looking at anywhere from January to March as a potential release window, but keep in mind that time frame is extremely subject to change, and if we run into something unexpected it could delay it again.

    Stay strong, adventurers, Perception Phase 2.0 isn’t dead, it is merely trying to find its way here and doesn’t have google maps. We’ll hopefully have more to say about this soon (2016 soon, to clarify).

    Adjusted Build Days
    As December is full of holiday-goodness, the regularly scheduled Dawn Friday builds will have two days which will take place outside of Friday:
    • Wednesday - December 23rd
    • Thursday - December 31st


    On those weeks you can expect the Dawn build with the above listed days instead of Friday.

    Conclusion
    As always, it is a pleasure to write these State of the Game Posts and we hope you’ve enjoyed this bit of extra insight into the state of Dawn now and where it is headed in the future. As I said earlier, this is the final SoTG of 2015, but 2016 looks glorious and we’re already looking ahead to what goodies you can expect in the future.

    Until next time, adventurers!

  2. #2
    Town Guard Jhump's Avatar
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    Thanks to all the hard work

    Appreciate you all listening to the people and speeding up the game! I hope we can spend our stamina bars faster also in the future This means more PC spent and more money to DOTD. I hope to see the player numbers increasing as well. Advertising could help, Lets grow and keep on surviving

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    Legion Additions
    Legions are an important part of your world as a player, they can contribute a considerable amount to your overall power and we’re constantly releasing new content to ensure your legions are filled to the brim with powerful generals and troops; however there’s more on the horizon to help refine your legions into lean, mean fighting machines!

    This month we’ll be introducing Siege, Support and Relic Slots! These are three new types of item slots that can be added to new legions going forward. These slots will provide a myriad of benefits depending on the procs and abilities associated with them, much like a general or troop might. The slots will be much more limited than troops or generals and will help broaden the diversity among legions as a whole.
    As we just bought a whole bunch of expensive legions (RD2, The Jury, etc), will we have to buy all new legions or will these slots be added to some of the newer legions. Maybe some sort of free craft upgrade?

    It will be really frustrating if we spent all these PC on things and are going to have to spend them again just for the upgrades.

  4. #4
    Sargaash the Mighty equal miztickow's Avatar
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    I assume the siege/support/relic slots are just like the engineering system from LOTS. If that's the case, thank you so much for that. I really like that system and have been asking for it here for a long time.

    ODragon, if it's like LOTS, they should be retroactively added to all legions to varying degrees.

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    Golden Garden Monk cerealis's Avatar
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    My fellow adventurers..., TO BE FAIR, when they have said November for perc phase 2.0 they did not say which November. Thank you that is all :P

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    Sister of Radiance
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post

    We also really want to take another look at the Ultimate Loot Lair, and while this isn’t a promise that we’ll have anything ready soon, it is something we’ll be looking into for 2016.
    Well, while this sounds very cool ( I know several people that would love to finally get GL growth)... can you just finally drop the wall and TELL US what the issue was with ULL in the first place? Some thought that it may be the potions making generals way too strong over time. Some thought it was because GL growth made people buy less pots for leveling. Some thought it was the bug in drake doom that made it effective against every raid type. Personally, I thought it was the bags were just TOO cool looking.

    But, even with speculation all over, you guys have been silent on this, and I have no idea why. Clearly it wasn't the lower tiers back in the day, you've dealt with that in other raids.

    We understand your desire to keep things internal sometimes, but at other times, it's just frustrating to hear things like this, but hit a wall with regards to the WHY questions. If you told us, we actually may be way more understanding, or maybe, just maybe, offer innovative suggestions.

    Sometimes the wall of corporate speak works against companies, and we have seen this happen to 5PG just as much as other companies, even though usually with this crowd, there is no reason for it. It's usually when you do something against the community people get upset, or when you decide to use corporate speak or hide so as not to have to admit mistakes. Telling us what's going on has usually resulted in a much calmer reaction overall. So, please, pretty please, just tell us.

    Thanks!
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    Sister of Radiance
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    This feature will only avaible to new legions , this feel wrong if its like that at last add it to some of the most recent legions.

  8. #8
    World Mender
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    Quote Originally Posted by miztickow View Post
    ODragon, if it's like LOTS, they should be retroactively added to all legions to varying degrees.
    That's my hope also but this sentence is why I asked:

    These are three new types of item slots that can be added to new legions going forward.

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    Silver Arrow Namagderas's Avatar
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    Lightbulb hey yo, lets go

    Thanks for keeping the game up, its nice
    Thanks for no more terror raids, its worth mentioning
    No themed month? I guess its good in its own way
    These new 3 slots for legions do not make much sense. i supose relic and siege is already covered by legion equipment, and support by troops. hope this is not half assed.
    lets try reaching january, and happy new year in advance!
    Last edited by Namagderas; 1st December 2015 at 20:41. Reason: general confusion

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    World Mender Plundarr's Avatar
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    I will be honest, I am not sure I am looking forward to this new legion slot. Especially if it is like the Legacy set up.
    Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plundarr View Post
    Especially if it is like the Legacy set up.
    Quote Originally Posted by miztickow View Post
    if it's like LOTS...
    While I don't expect it to be exactly the same, maybe you guys could give a quick breakdown on how it works in LOTS?

  12. #12
    Dawn of the Dragons Developer Mouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ODragon
    As we just bought a whole bunch of expensive legions (RD2, The Jury, etc), will we have to buy all new legions or will these slots be added to some of the newer legions. Maybe some sort of free craft upgrade?

    It will be really frustrating if we spent all these PC on things and are going to have to spend them again just for the upgrades.
    The plan right now is to only add these slots for new legions going forward. The recent legions you referenced should still have relevance and a good level of power despite not having these slots. Your suggestion for an upgrade chain of some kind is good I'll bring up to the rest of the team for sure, but that wouldn't be something that'd happen right away if we did decide to introduce it.

    Quote Originally Posted by miztickow
    I assume the siege/support/relic slots are just like the engineering system from LOTS. If that's the case, thank you so much for that. I really like that system and have been asking for it here for a long time.

    ODragon, if it's like LOTS, they should be retroactively added to all legions to varying degrees.
    It's very similar to what was introduced into Suns a long time ago, yes. The main differences would be more proc and flavor based (and some adjusted formulas). We're not applying the slots retroactively as I said above, but there will be really good opportunities for potential upgrade chains through events, raids, etc if that's something the team feels will bring value.

    I definitely understand the concern about not doing this retroactively, but the power level of recent legions should still give them a place of relevance and value for a time, just as they would've even without this addition.

    Quote Originally Posted by cryophallion
    Well, while this sounds very cool ( I know several people that would love to finally get GL growth)... can you just finally drop the wall and TELL US what the issue was with ULL in the first place?
    When we first introduced ULL we had planned out a very specific number of summons while we worked on some new tech to make the potion growth boosts work a bit better, however through some misunderstandings ULL was summoned too much and in addition to the design problems that presented, there were a handful of technical issues that could come about from that as well. We applied a bandaid for this at the time, but because ULL is such a massive one off in these regards we haven't spent the necessary tech or design time to clean it up properly in the front and backend like it needs, and instead focused that time elsewhere.

    We feel more confident that we can tackle the raid and make it summonable again now than we did back then, a lot has changed; though it might undergo some adjustments as a result. To that point, ULL is pretty neat in the way it works and once we have it buttoned up we'd love to look into raids that function in a similar method down the road.

    It's a fine balance of trying to make sure we're focusing our design and tech time where it's needed most.

    Quote Originally Posted by Namagderas
    No themed month? I guess its good in its own way
    December has its own sort of natural theme and we didn't feel we had to force something else in there to make it work. This is for flavor, but also from a design perspective it'd be a big challenge to make sure all "themes" received the proper amount of attention. There'll be more themed goodness in January (always subject to change, of course).

    Quote Originally Posted by Plundarr
    I will be honest, I am not sure I am looking forward to this new legion slot. Especially if it is like the Legacy set up.
    Could you go into some details about what you don't like about it?

    Quote Originally Posted by ODragon
    While I don't expect it to be exactly the same, maybe you guys could give a quick breakdown on how it works in LOTS?
    Effectively, in LoTS, they're a new type of item entirely and each ship has a specific number of slots for each one; for example one ship could allow a player to have 2 AI, 3 Weapons and 2 Modules but another ship may contain 4 AI, 1 Weapon and 1 Module (those are all Suns terms, for context). It allows us to design ships with a greater level of flexibility and specialization and gives us the opportunity to provide better, and hopefully more interesting, ways for players to customize and outfit their ships to suit their needs.

    We want to achieve that same goal with a very similar method in Dawn. Each of those items can have different procs and abilities, so for example most (if not all) Relics will be unique but are more likely to have something like a legion power bonus, whereas a Siege item isn't usually going to be unique but may be more likely to have a big damage proc on it or something along those lines. Much like an equipment piece or army item, these can be very diverse or highly specialized.

  13. #13
    Sister of Radiance
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    Quote Originally Posted by ODragon View Post
    While I don't expect it to be exactly the same, maybe you guys could give a quick breakdown on how it works in LOTS?
    The engineering introduced three types of slots in LoTS:

    1) AI: It was basically an additional troop slot for each AI slot in the ship except the procs were slightly higher and often added power bonus % - either specifically vs certain types or lower amounts for general use.

    2) Weapons: These only gave proc damage. No stat or ship damage bonus off these for the most part.

    3) Modules: These often added large chunks of power bonus % - higher than AI. A few even had stats so they could double as a troop. Some had procs in addition to their power bonus%. They could also do other things like prevent damage or add stamina/energy/honor.

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    Spell Slinger Exeon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    December has its own sort of natural theme and we didn't feel we had to force something else in there to make it work. This is for flavor, but also from a design perspective it'd be a big challenge to make sure all "themes" received the proper amount of attention. There'll be more themed goodness in January (always subject to change, of course).
    i would prefer a bit rest of themed months if possible
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    Sister of Radiance Ninja Flick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exeon View Post
    i would prefer a bit rest of themed months if possible
    I'm of a similar mind. A few themed months a year is plenty in my opinion, doing too many would make them less interesting/special.

    As for the rest of it, I'm looking forward to seeing how it plays out. I'm really excited for perc 2.0 but I support your decision to make sure it's working correctly before release instead of dealing with possible repercussions afterward. Game stability and QoL are much more important to me than new features.

    Speaking of QoL...is an overhaul of the crafting tab anywhere near the top of the priority list?

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    Mouse i will be honest with the legion upgrade thing, not adding them to the most recent legions will make us feel like we wasted some money on those, iam not very fond of that feeling.
    At last adding one slot of each for a few recent legion will help maintaing the ballance i think.

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    Forum Moderator Nethlion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seiken View Post
    Mouse i will be honest with the legion upgrade thing, not adding them to the most recent legions will make us feel like we wasted some money on those, iam not very fond of that feeling.
    At last adding one slot of each for a few recent legion will help maintaing the ballance i think.
    I guess it all depends on how much of an impact they will have on upcoming legions. It's a waiting game for now.

    It all seemed great, but as we continued further along in the process we just stopped, looked at each other and realized: We weren’t building something very fun, so no sense in continuing. So, we walked away to think about some alternatives and had a few other projects to complete along the way.
    Does this mean it's not the talent tree system anymore?

  18. #18
    Dawn of the Dragons Developer Mouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nethlion View Post
    Does this mean it's not the talent tree system anymore?
    It is (currently) still a talent tree system, but what it was *before* the talent tree system is what I was referring to in the post.

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    Forum Moderator Nethlion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    It is (currently) still a talent tree system, but what it was *before* the talent tree system is what I was referring to in the post.
    Cool

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    It is (currently) still a talent tree system, but what it was *before* the talent tree system is what I was referring to in the post.
    Trees? Can we, like, cut them down and, like, make things of the lumber?? :P

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