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.