The latest Crowfall Q&A video changes tack about halfway through. For the first half, lead designer Thomas Blair and executive producer Gordon Walton helpfully discuss various player questions like how the team is preparing for the next major release and why they haven’t shown up frequently at conventions. But then the video becomes a journey into a side of development we all know about but rarely see – the process of hunting down and fixing bugs in the game.
Picking out specific bugs shows the full interface and the testing process, starting with the reported bug of Roasted Bloodworm causing 12 damage instead of healing it. If you think that fixing it is as simple as changing a plus or minus sign somewhere… no, first it requires hunting down why it has the problem in the first place, looking at all of the components, and so forth. You can see it for yourself in the video just below. (Fair warning, it’s lengthy.)
You might want to consider holding off on jumping in with both feet to Life is Feudal for a little while, at least. The MMO version of the game soft launched last week with its open beta, but it has been nothing but trouble since then.
For starters, an exploitable bug prompted a full game wipe and a short delay of the open beta with some limited compensation: “We had to bring running servers down and wipe them. The reason for that is that a random bug that occurred during the transfer of some characters from newbie island on the Abella has caused them to have a GM powers during the game session. Some players have used it to their advantage and damage was beyond the repair once we’ve detected it.”
If the wipe and delay wasn’t enough, numerous issues have cropped up since the launch, including crashes, disconnects, login problems, slow launcher speeds, and missing rewards. The team said that it is working on all of these issues.
At long last, the vicious mule exploits of Pathfinder Online have been addressed. No longer will players group up with their friends and attack their own mules for… some reason. Actually, it probably wasn’t an exploit in the first place, it was just a minor issue from the last patch that has been fixed now. Regardless, in-game mules can breathe a bit easier now.
The patch also brings out various other bug fixes, like no longer making ammunition messages permanent floating fixtures if your character could not fully restock and preventing the housing maintenance cost window from closing in error when paying ahead. It’s nothing earth-shattering, but players who enjoyed the various elements brought out with the last patch will doubtlessly be happy to see the array of fixes correcting issues.
If you lost your mind over Star Citizen’s procedural cities reveals at CitizenCon a few weeks ago, you definitely need to tune in to this week’s Around the Verse, where city tech is the star of the episode (if a bit backloaded).
“We are just working on human cities at the moment,” CIG’s Wai-Hung Wan explains. “I would love to see how we tackle alien cities. Is that going to be completely random? Are we going to have some or a greater degree of refinement by hand? I don’t know yet. I would hope even on an alien civilisation they have some degree of control and they would make logical, intelligent choices about where they would place specific buildings – even recreational facilities – so each time you visit that location it will look exactly the same as you left it.”
Studio Director Eric Kieron Davis says the team has checked in over 700 updates since last week (with 197 total issues, not bugs, remaining to address 3.0). “We are making steady progress to get [the 3.0 alpha] into your hands as quickly as possible,” he says.
You know that moment when you just can’t take it anymore? I am there, right on the cusp. I know many folks have gotten to their “I can no longer support <insert name here>” phases for various games and studios for a variety of reasons, but I had never yet reached such a point in my own gaming. (That one studio doesn’t count because I never supported them in the first place.) And now here I am. I don’t think I can continue to support Studio WildCard.
That is definitely a shift for me. I have been an ardent fan of ARK: Survival Evolved. I championed the game pretty heavily: I have streamed it for over two years, I personally host two servers, and this very column was born largely on the back of ARK. I have almost 1500 hours of playtime, and I own the expansions. I had praised the game and Studio WildCard for a long while, holding it up as an example of things done right.
Then things changed. The accumulation of many remarks and actions that ate away at my trust was topped off by the way the studio shows disregard for its current customers, treating them as disposable cash cows. And then came the sequel talk this very week.
By Crom, Conan Exiles is under attack by dupe bugs! Funcom hurried to push Update 31 live yesterday to deal with the issue and add a few fun new options to the game. These features include inventories for thralls, armor patch kits, new building materials, and an artisan crafting workbench.
Funcom said that it will be rolling out a series of server wipes (partial and full) to deal with the effects of the duping. The level of wipe is dependent on the vote results from each server, with only a handful electing not to wipe at all.
“To soften the blow, we’re increasing the harvesting and XP rate on the official servers for the next week, letting you quickly get your stuff and levels back,” Funcom said.
Happy Kamasylvia day
! Yep, the second half of the massive Kamasylvia expansion has dropped on Black Desert
today, though it’s not been without its issues; Kakao has noted both connection issues
and unintended mob buffs
that are being worked on post-launch. Plus? Another sweet horse.
“The next dream horse Diné will breeze its way into Kamasylvia Part 2, the Healing Light. Feast your eyes on Grána City, the glorious capital of Kamasylvia filled with new, aesthetic residences and bustling lifeforms. Venture out in the vast, open fields and dense forests like Polly Forest and Gyfin Rhasia Temple where facing off against mystical yet fierce foes will prove to be a challenge. Kamasylvia Part 2 will be filled with immersive quests, areas, and newly added challenging monsters to enhance your PvE experience to the fullest. Kamasylvian Alchemist 2 event will get you scavenging out vast steppes and forests again and also, please welcome back the familiar events like Black Spirit Adventure and Mount EXP bonus event. Go out there, explore the fairy tales, and have a shot at looting high-grade items like the Lemoria gears!”
The patch notes also rattle off a bunch of bug fixes, XP bonuses, new badges, new workers, new mobs, and a handful of class changes. It’s a big patch! And my favorite: “Toggle key for Walking has been changed from CapsLock to ScrollLock.”
After weeks if not months of the studio talking about it, Project Gorgon’s brand-new user interface finally arrived. And then it promptly left again.
In all fairness, the team had cautioned that the optional November 11th update was a “very rough preview” of the UI overhaul. So rough, in fact, that the team took the update offline for further refinements due to several large bugs and potential exploits discovered with it. The improved UI preview should arrive in the game’s alpha next weekend.
Nevertheless, the user interface revamp has a lot of players and the devs excited. Not only does the new UI look pretty slick, but it offers a lot more functionality compared to the old one, including customization, more information, collapsible skill trees, chat channel management, context menus, improved tooltips, and font scaling.
Do not be alarmed.
Your brain is now under our control, but that is a good thing. You no longer have to worry about the mundane tasks of life; all you need to do now is party. Party hard, party with a purpose, party until you collapse and feed all of your life’s energy to our party vampire!
You know who loves to party? Skoryy loves to party: “Here, have last night’s Extra Life 2017 party in Secret World Legends’ Agartha, complete with dancing CMs and giant Dreaming One mascots!”
When the bugs are away, the developers will play. Camelot Unchained’s team reported that it made significant advancement this past week on its “Saturday Night Sieges” scenarios. These are going so well, in fact, that the team sees switching to external testing on these sooner rather than later.
“The progress we’ve made has improved the stability of the scenarios, allowing us more time to run around killing each other in our office tests,” the devs said. “This means that, for some, our focus has begun to shift into combat bugs and improvements. It’s great to experience how fun things feel, this early in testing. Our goal now is to get the major issues out of the way so we’re not masking the fun with known bugs.”
Remember Warspear Online? It’s a 2-D fantasy MMO out of Russia from 2008, when it debuted on mobile devices. (This should make you feel super old.) The devs say that in bringing the game to Steam this week, they hope to “expand [their] audience by attracting desktop gamers who are lacking nostalgic MMORPGs.”
Valnir Rok is also new to Steam this fall. This week it dropped a good-sized patch, updating the “Viking-inspired online roleplaying adventure” game with a new PvP arena, an ability system, an NPC employment system, new experience mechanics, character idles, and a bunch of bug fixes.
Finally, there’s Broke Protocol, the cops-and-robbers voxelbox that’s a mash-up of GTAO and Minecraft, and it trickled out to Steam quietly a few months back, to mostly positive reviews (though no updates since). We’ve tucked trailers down below if there’s anything that strikes your fancy!
With Ship of Heroes’ beta test about a year away, fans of the sci-fi superhero MMORPG have a lot of time on their hands. Hopefully some of that time will soon be spent fiddling about with a new and improved character creation tool.
The team reported that the recent test gave invaluable feedback for the system: “The alpha showed that the CCT is a robust tool which functioned well on every computer, and that it has some amazing features, especially for customizing the face of the character. But we also found some bugs.”
These bugs and the responses of testers has prompted the team to make the character creation tool far better than before. Improvements planned include more camera views, more costume pieces, a slider for height, a larger range for waists, a revamp of the hair models, more skin options, more eye types, and the possibility of allowing players to add symbols to costumes.
I am particularly fond of the number 13. And I am particularly fond of EverQuest II. So it is a happy convergence of favorites as EQII celebrates its 13th year this week. That’s thirteen years of adventures from Antonica to Zek. Will 13 be a lucky number for this MMORPG? I sure hope so! Norrath could use a little luck going forward after this past year. It’s not that things have been especially tumultuous (do you remember the heartaches and fears from 2015?); in fact, they have been a bit quiet. Too quiet.
The past 12 months have worried me more for the future of my beloved game than even the restructuring to Daybreak did. Will EQII make it through the next year? Maybe we’ll have a stroke of luck and the game will blossom again in 2018. Luckily, I still have some hope left that it will make it through, and I know I am not alone in wanting those adventures to continue quite a while longer.
All hope is not lost because despite the worrying parts, the year wasn’t all bad. There were still bright spots and positive things. As is customary this time of year, I take some time to reflect back on all that has transpired since the last anniversary retrospective. Join me for a look back to see how the game has grown and how it has changed. Then hop in and enjoy the Heroes’ Festival anniversary celebration before it disappears next week!