Kickstarted MMORPG Ashes of Creation delays alpha one slightly for infrastructure refactoring

    
32
I node what I node.

If you’re one of the folks still wondering what’s going on with Ashes of Creation since it began alpha testing a battle royale mode after a successful Kickstarter for an MMORPG, you should probably check out the massive creator director’s letter that dropped from Intrepid Studios last night. Steven Sharif explains once again that the original goal for the battle royale was to test the MMORPG’s hybrid action combat system – it was a simple and fun implementation to get people in and fighting. But of course, its existence has been the source of confusion ever since.

“During the testing of Alpha One Phase 1, it became quite unclear for those not following the project to understand that the Battle Royale was an atmosphere designed to test the aforementioned systems and services,” he writes. “In an attempt to alleviate that confusion, we decided to brand it away from the MMORPG, since it wasn’t clear enough for those less informed about the project why we were working on it, and how it related to the development of the MMORPG. This of course had a secondary effect that caused concern about the direction of the project being focused on creating a Battle Royale. Testing of Apocalypse successfully revealed the need for some architectural refactoring that we’re glad we were able to spot early on, and while development is split into separate departments that continue forward despite the needed rearchitecting (engineering, design, art, etc.), some of these issues needed rebuilding from the ground up.”

As for the MMORPG itself, Sharif says that the February open stress test proved that the game’s infrastructure needs more love in order to handle the number of players he ultimately wants in and playing together.

“As a result of some of the needed changes from what we learned in testing Apocalypse, we will be pushing Alpha One back from the Q2 goal we had previously announced. We will be working on implementing these changes so we will be ready for the nearly 10,000 testers we have in Alpha One. We will be focusing on these changes to ensure that we are hitting the goals we want prior to Alpha One, and when we feel we are ready, we will share the new Alpha One date. I know you want a new date, and we’d love to be able to give a new date now, but we don’t want to throw one out there and have to take it back. The trust of our community is dear to us, and so we must be careful in promising what we can deliver. This means that when we do give you a new date, you can be assured that it is one that we have ultimate confidence in. In that spirit, we can say that this is not a delay in terms of years, but in terms of months, and that Alpha One will be in your hands before you know it!”

In the meantime, the devs will be focused on the new launcher, backend infrastructure, performance, optimizations, castle siege development, art, systems, UI, and content implementation, as well as continued efforts on modes like the Apocalypse battle royale. New developer diaries are planned for rollout beginning this month, and there’s a Twitch stream today at 2 p.m. EST.

Sharif also addresses the game’s account systems, website, and forums, parts of which have been down since a migration in December – the new solution, including a new shop setup, is apparently still being worked on. Of note, the studio says it didn’t quite bring on 80-100 new devs last year and is doubling efforts to hire more to work in the under-construction new studio.

Source: Press release, official site. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Paradox Gaming Network

Rough time for them at the moment, but now we get to see what they are made out of. We get to see how they recover.

Easy Rider
Reader
Easy Rider

“During the testing of Alpha One Phase 1, it became quite unclear for those not following the project to understand that the Battle Royale was an atmosphere designed to test the aforementioned systems and services,”
“In an attempt to alleviate that confusion, we decided to brand it away from the MMORPG, since it wasn’t clear enough for those less informed about the project why we were working on it, and how it related to the development of the MMORPG.”

Exactly! Some people even don’t know about MMORPG. I’m really glad that they will brand away the Apocalypse mode from the MMORPG.

Reader
MrNastyButler

I didn’t back the game so I’m okay with sitting and waiting. If nothing comes out of it, I lost nothing.

Reader
BDJ

They are so full of shit, it hurts.

During the testing of Alpha One Phase 1, it became quite unclear for those not following the project to understand that the Battle Royale was an atmosphere designed to test the aforementioned systems and services.

If it was for testing systems and services, why in the world did they make it into a battle royale? Why not give us blue frogs and let us change builds , equip gears, etc. What part of testing Had to have a King of the Hill mode? Or picking up items off the damned ground? Or a damned closing circle?

“Oh GUYS! We promise that this BR , erm Phase 1 testing, is not an actual BR, even though it looks , plays, and feels like a BR. Oh , don’t worry about it being STANDALONE either or about the continuous updates for it… or about the cash shop either. Nope. Its just for testing!!!”

Its unreal.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

It is unreal that anyone believes them. I would bet lots of people defend them.

tinnis_
Reader
tinnis_

80 days since their forums [and dubious referral system] died, no eta on restoration. [or even links to the available ‘read only’ / explanation of either]

they also neglected to tweet/facebook/email about the letter…just discord as usual.

the fluffiest ~2900 word letter in awhile, that basically says nothing.

Reader
BDJ

Yea. I am pretty much 100% certain that they won’t release the MMO. They will refine and polish the BR and that is what we will get.

Reader
Jeremy Barnes

I remember getting yelled at when I said the game was going to end up being a battle royale..IT WAS JUST FOR TESTING.

Reader
Toy Clown

The biggest part of the reason AoC sold, in the beginning, was probably due to the passion of Steve Sharif’s vision for the perfect MMO. His screen presence lit the passion of everyone else who decided to follow the project – those who were tired of how bad MMOs had become. He had the funds to kickstart it himself, he hired some of the best talent in the industry and quickly began snatching up every talented dev that got laid off from other MMOs.

It’s funny: The reason was two-fold why I stopped following this MMO last year. The first was that housing could be destroyed in sieges. Of course they said you could get everything back you put into a house, but what do you do with it all when you lose the level of the town, or the town itself and have to find a new town to live in? I had more questions, but came to the realization that as much as I love housing in MMOs, I don’t want it destroyed and have to find another place to live and re-decorate every time a town is taken. That ends up in the punishing category that MMOs fall so easily into.

The 2nd reason I stopped is that he had no diversity on his team and I’ll avoid heading down that slope for this post. I left their discord, stopped reading forums and news articles and took it off my radar.

I don’t want the project to fail; far from it. I hope Steven & Co learn from what’s going on. They don’t sound like they’re being entirely honest.

Reader
BDJ

I’ll head down this slope lol.

I wish people would quit wanting diversity just for the sake of diversity when it doesn’t make a lick of damned sense.

Look, I want great games. They need to hire the best people for the job. They don’t need a damned checklist to appease people.

– X amount of Females : Check
– X amount of Men : Check
– X amount of Asians : Check
– X amount of African Amercians : Check
– X amount of heterosexuals : Check
– X amount of homosexuals : Check
– X amount of LGBTQADFASLSDGHLS : Check

Its silly at this point that this is where we go with things.

I want games to be great. If they hire 80 men and 20 women and it turns out to be an amazing game, fooking amazing. Likewise, if they hire 80 women and 20 men and it turns out to be an amazing game, fooking great.

Why must everything be “bu..bu..buuut muh minorities/equalities!”.

Pepperzine
Reader
Pepperzine

It does make sense, especially from a business perspective. Diversity of staff brings in diversity of ideas that appeal to, guess what, a diversity of potential customers.

Reader
BDJ

No, it doesn’t. There is nothing that says “diversity of race or sex = diversity of thought process”.

Lets say me and you are both caucasians. Does this mean we think the same? We probably think differently (you response shows this already).

Having a gay asian on the development team doesn’t mean that the game is going to turn out exponentially better or different due the fact that the team has a gay asian guy. It would mean that he had great ideas, regardless if he is black, white, asian, red, blue, gay, trans, etc.

Being a member of any group doesn’t mean that your mind is automatically different than another in a different group.

Na mean?

Pepperzine
Reader
Pepperzine

There is a greater potential for a larger range of ideas that appeal to different types of people to be presented when you have diversity of the people generating those ideas.

Group-think is very much real. In-group vs out-group identities are very much real and a factor in decision-making. Increasing diversity has the potential to reduce the impact these factors can have when it comes to generating ideas. There may be no gain, but there is a potential to see perspectives one group may have overlooked due to not being aware. It’s much better to be diverse than homogeneous. If diversity doesn’t change the outcome then no harm is done, if diversity does change the outcome it is likely for the better.

Reader
BDJ

You left out the negativity that diversity can cause as well. People can be petty.

Ive always been of the mind that people should get jobs on merit. It almost does people a disservice when they are included / hire just to tick a box you know?

Again though. You can have the most diverse team in the world in terms of race and sexual orientation, but this doesn’t mean that it will make something better. It could potentially sure. I agree with ya there. Its not an absolute though.

Pepperzine
Reader
Pepperzine

Hardly anything is absolute. Found these after a 2 minute search on an academic database. I’m sure there are a ton more if you want to spend the time looking into it further.

Schruijer, S. G. L., & Mostert, I. (1997). Creativity and sex composition: An experimental illustration. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 6(2), 175–182.

McLeod, P. L., Lobel, S. A., & Cox, T. H. (1996). Ethnic diversity and creativity in small groups. Small Group Research, 27(2), 248–264

Reader
Bruno Brito

You left out the negativity that diversity can cause as well. People can be petty.

True, you are most of the time.

Now, i’m being too.

See how it works?

Reader
BDJ

Don’t get al butt hurt over trolling on the interwebs bro!

Still doesn’t change the fact that I’m not wrong. Keep up the good fight!!!!

Reader
P Jones

Different is not necessarily positive or negative. It CAN be either or neither.

Reader
BDJ

Yep.

Im all for equality and being inclusive. What im not for is people wanting inclusion because they claim it would make things better or improve productivity or make a game great.

“We have to have 18 white guys, 4 white girls, 3 asian binary, 1 gay black dude, 2 trans indian females… only then will our game be successful!”

Its getting out of hand.

Reader
Eamil

I agree, which is why refusing to have anything to do with a game based solely on whether it has a certain number of people with various skin colors or dangly bits makes no sense to me.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Bývörðæįr mòr Vas´Ðrakken

Diversity of culture, means that you can guarantee different backgrounds. It does not mean they can figure out how to do anything correct.

Target audience matters more than the employee cultural diversity. If you say there are hundreds of games that do XYZ, but none that do XZa so my company want to focus on XZa, because there is a wide audience of people willing to spend money. The most important thing to remember is people want to have fun, they want to be entertained.

In USA people want to identify with their avatar it needs to reflect the personality they want to show the world. That may have nothing to do with physical features or ancestral history in life, but the identity they want to present to the world.

There was a corporation that went around filing lawsuits, based on the assumption that people hired based on skills and once they got their stogie in HR the stogie worked for that corporation to destroy the corporation until the assets could be bought cheap. Congress is finally fixing that problem finally after the corporation destroyed thousands over companies since it was created in 2000.

I have to wonder if Senator Warren is trying to go too far, since some of those companies the people have retired, or are working for the company that bought them and say there was forty people working for the company and google bought it out and moved the people into different departments do they have to go back to struggling for a paycheck verse the money google is paying them now, or worse do people who have retired have to come back to work to provide the skill set that the other people being shifted back to the recreate the company that was bought out? Interesting questions I am glad I do not have to figure out.

As far as picking stuff up off the ground, it is the unreal engine, which means that unless you build into the UI items and enemies breaking triggers a script to spawn items which fall to the ground like a loot pinata. Going from loot falling on the ground to quest givers adding items to your inventory via quests is far more coding. That said pick an MMO and killing a mob results in stuff falling on the ground.

So the battle royal which started as death match type game play on a fun size map that shrinks, that is a good way to if the animations work, if the inventory persists through respawning what says and what drops, if the building start floating, and number of other things. Is it what we expected, I doubt anyone expected that after seeing them demo the cave and the early questing.

I have to wonder if one of the things they figured out was that some people want to go around wreaking what people have put time and effort into building, some people want to build up a bulwark to defy all enemies, and some just want to play in their sand box and build their castles in the sky and have no one act like the waves at the beach.

Having the towns become nicer as people play in an area encourages people to invest in an area, and having wandering monsters attack those cities is cool but not if it happens once a day. having a build up to a wave of monsters attacking in order to get the next level of city size so when you rebuild you build bigger, stronger, larger. What intrepid does is what they get built by the time they have to launch. Showing up the development process is good for the feedback but people get bored of the game before it is out when they can not play it hands on.

Most games have about fours years of development time before anyone sees anything two years of concept art and engine design, then two years of rushed building while trying to hit publisher dead lines. People licensing engines still need to remember to concept the art before attempting to build it. Even when I sketch out a new house design I start with rough idea of how much space to work with. I do not say it needs a bath room, a bed room, a living room, a what ever… I start with space knowing that the size and shape tells me what the room needs to be. When you start with characters you start with someoneʻs face to make sure the proportions are correct. Clothing fits a body, but you start with a pattern to know the drape and fall of the cloth. Armour is built on top of the under layers. The under layers are clothing. To get personality in the clothing the armor the weapons you start with line of motion, so that the body moves with the clothing, that the weapons in motion look like they follow natural motion. Once you have built the atomically correct design then you tweak it to create appeal.

That is where having different cultures to draw from is a good idea, but assuming Caucasian is one culture and that saying the two hindi have a different culture because they have a different color skin and the two white guys have the same despite one might be from Georgia and the other from the Pacific northwest, or funnier yet compare an Estonia or Cree nation native to someone who has never gone ten miles form their home in a city. They may not even know what camping is, and the other may have no idea what a supermaket is but they know what a store is and what money is. But the culture is where ideas come from.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

“we will share the new Alpha One date. I know you want a new date, and we’d love to be able to give a new date now, but we don’t want to throw one out there and have to take it back.”

Why? You seem perfectly comfortable with wasting everyone’s time on every second previous to this point in time. Why stop now? Just make shit up – it is all you are good for.

Reader
BDJ

The BR, erm, Alpha One, was trash. They need to go back to the drawing board and try and make it better before they release it.

Reader
IronSalamander8 .

This is just weird. Here’s another one I’m glad I didn’t back.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

Don’t back any of these scams and then you never have to regret backing any of them.

Reader
IronSalamander8 .

Pretty much. The only one I ever backed was City of Titans and it was like 20 bucks or something. A lot of these MMO kickstarters just come off badly, even if I like the idea they are pitching, I want to see some actual progress first. CoT was mostly over the loss of CoH and I still went in very lightly there.

Godnaz
Reader
Godnaz

There is so much contradiction, misdirection and confusion going with this project. I thought this would be the next big MMORPG but their actions of development secrecy and media control have shown it has much to be worried about.