Here’s a shocking revelation: MMO players do not actually like having all progress reset in the blink of an eye. So you can understand why the latest post about server wipes for The Repopulation treats the topic gently, since there’s no quicker way to anger players than by telling them that everything they’ve worked toward is now gone. Not that it matters too much, as pretty much everything will be reset with the game’s full launch, simply due to the server structure.
As the official post explains, the game may do system-specific wipes, such as resetting all crafting progress, separate from game-wide wipes. Only one such wipe is planned as the game moves closer to launch, but the actual launch server will be separate from the game’s test server (the currently running server), so any progress would be starting fresh regardless. It’s also worth noting that things like backer perks are meant to be tied to accounts rather than characters, so a wipe shouldn’t affect those benefits. Get the full explanation on the official site.
The odds are high that when you walk through an MMO’s landscape, you are not thinking about art assets beyond “this looks pretty” or “this looks awful.” But the latest information from The Repopulation team covers why you should care a little bit more about art assets for forests and how they’re set up. After all, the way the game is currently set up, every tree is a different asset, but upgraded systems will make the calls for forests as a single group… thus reducing load times and improving performance as the game draws a single asset instead of many.
The developers are also improving and rescaling existing models (resulting in better collision detection and reduced loading times) and categorizing items more efficiently in the game’s databases. In short, the result should be a title that plays better while looking better at the same time. Check out the full rundown for an idea about how all of this will come together.
There are a lot of things that the new owners of The Repopulation want to change about the game, and some of those are both visible to players and under the hood at the same time. Case in point, the UI. According to the latest update from the development team, the current UI relies on outside components for much of its functionality, which is somewhat incompatible of the development vision to keep things within the Hero Engine… especially when those outside components result in some system lag, to boot.
Of course, the changes aren’t solely about removing outside files. The rework is also meant to improve functionality and clean up the interface, fix longstanding issues like bugs when scrolling lists, and ensure that every part of the UI can be moved and resized instead of allowing some parts and not allowing others. There are also plans to allow for UI customizations to be saved by character or account as players prefer. Check out the full update to see if these are changes you’re excited over.
The current owners of The Repopulation have a brand-new dev update, but maybe don’t expect it to move mountains, literally or figuratively. Idea Fabrik spends most of its words explaining why there’s no patch: essentially, that there are just too many problems in the code that need to be fixed first. The team does note it’s been working on the new starter island and repurposing the original tutorial NPCs, dialogue, and missions, as well as revamping the inventory system.
“Despite the difficulties we face as developers and as players, development is still continuing,” the studio concludes. “So this means that once we do have the patches coming out, we will have a large amount of changes coming your way over the course of a few updates. We decided it was only fair to give you additional information of what we are doing and working on since it was taking so long to get this update out. We are going to give you a snapshot of some of what is going on behind the scenes and what you can expect to see coming your way. Please do note that there might be changes, additions or removal of some of this information based on the feedback from both the testers and players. […] Our primary work has been focused on a) optimizing (art, terrain, world, environments and the time of day), b) review of all dialogue and missions and c) designing the new systems.”
The next big update for The Repopulation has not arrived just yet. It’s the same reason as before; Idea Fabrik wants to use the HeroEngine Live Push system, the game as it’s built right now causes errors with that, and so the team is hard at work hammering at the game until it will work with that system. Lest you say “just don’t use that system,” the developers also reassure fans that the work being done now would have had to be done sooner or later regardless:
Though we have another option to do a full push, this would not help us nor you in the long run. At some point we have to do this clean up so we can begin using the HE Push system as is done for other games.
On the bright side, the latest development update contains a peek at the new art coming with the new tutorial island (which will have no new content, just new art) and improvements to the game’s combat system such as fixing persistent line-of-sight issues and not swapping your target mid-combat. More of the team is apparently working on future content as well, so once the wait for this patch is over, you can hopefully expect more frequent updates. The team is also looking for feedback on the hardware owned by players for future development.
Almost every player of The Repopulation is eager to test the game’s A.00.00.00 update, but it’s going to take a little longer to arrive on the test servers. In essence, there are some issues with getting the test update uploaded and implemented, and thus the team behind the game is working on cleaning things up, including deleting a huge number of unused or temporary areas from the game’s areas. Ultimately, the goal is to change the whole push system for updates, but that change is being made in stages.
The team is also working on further updates for the next patch, starting with a cleaner version of character selection and creation. It’ll be a while before that’s ready for testing, but progress is being made. Players are also thanked for all of the work they’ve done in testing and offering feedback about the game in its current state, especially the tutorials and guidance when starting the game. Said testers will have to wait a little longer to test more, just the same.
Let’s get caught up on The Repopulation, shall we? Last week, Idea Fabrik recapped what it’s been working on in the beleaguered sci-fi sandbox, including data replication issues, desyncing bugs, the hints and tips system, UI cleanup, inventory design, improved combat targeting, and the new starter island. That new starter island in particular as well as the new targeting system for combat should land in an upcoming update.
“The new Starter Island design has been finalized and we will begin building the new terrain for this directly after this first Condorslug update is out,” says the studio. “This represents the first phase of the overall world revamp. We are expecting this to take about 8 weeks, as there are several changes to how ABT set up areas and terrain as opposed to the workflow and setup we have in place. Once this is done and we have good feedback, we will begin the rest of the world.”
Meanwhile, the studio is surveying players on a number of features, the most recent of which is a query on inventory systems.
So here we are in January, one whole year after Idea Fabrik bought The Repopulation from a beleaguered Above & Beyond. The new company got it back online last year, and how could it not, since it owns the engine, right? Today, IF’s published an annual update and roadmap to spell out just what’s coming to the sandbox in 2018.
The company says January has been focused on caching and performance, plus the new targeting system and newbie tutorial. As for the rest of the year, the team is working with an 8- to 10-week update schedule and a new patch numbering system to build out inventory fixes, a consolidated astronomy system, better harvesting and surveying, the farming and horticulture system, a unified race spec system, unified factions, updated guilds, crafting tweaks, new NPCs, a new dynamic mission system, camp spawners, the combat progression overhaul, player merchants, the auction house, the UI, and the housing revamp. It’s, well, everything.
And don’t forget the world revamp. “We want to give the players a full map instead of a partial world,” IF says, “so this will take the longest time development-wise and as a result will have a longer wait time.”
This is, bar none, the column I hate doing most on a regular basis. None of the games I highlight in here is something that I actually like pointing to; they’re games that people like, games that may very well be someone’s absolute favorites, and yet they’re also games where the future looks difficult if not outright bad. A cloudy future is never a good thing, and this particular column does not make it all right.
But we’re still here in the early days of 2018, and that means it’s still the right time to look at the games we might not see around next year. For various reasons, these are the games that already look like they’re in trouble, instead of absolute face-shattering surprises like a couple of the shutdowns last year.
How do you like to play video games? Specifically, how do you like to play The Repopulation? No, you don’t have to tell us, not even down in the comments; you can tell the designers directly with a pair of new surveys asking for details about how players want to experience the game. The concept is to just start off with two surveys but regularly add more, allowing the developers a nuanced and complete picture of how people are enjoying the game and how they can continue to improve.
To start with, the surveys ask about your experience in the world of The Repopulation and your preferred playstyle; future surveys are already planned to cover things like skill gaining, PvP, and so forth. If you’ve got opinions and want to make sure you’re heard, well, this seems like an obvious way to make that happen, doesn’t it?
Welcome to a special edition of Make My MMO, Massively OP’s regular recap of what’s going on in crowdfunded MMOs, which we do specifically for those of you who are convinced Kickstarter is the absolute worst (it’s not) and that no crowdfunded MMOs ever launch (they do). Plus, somebody’s got to keep an eye on what your money’s up to! Tonight’s edition isn’t going to be our usual recap of the last couple of weeks, however; we’re going to look at the most important MMO crowdfunding news of the entire year. Lock up your wallets and let’s get to it.
It’s a case of good news, bad news over at The Repopulation this month.
The scifi sandbox, which is now being handled by Idea Fabrik since the turnover from Above & Beyond earlier this year, released Update 10.2 today. The patch adds the player auction house, backer NPCs, and plenty of additions and adjustments to crafting. The scale of these changes apparently required a world wipe and restart for the NA server, which has now been renamed to Novus. The EU server was taken offline until and unless a larger community shows up to play.
The bad — or at least discouraging — news is that the developer said that it can’t make good on the game’s original backer tiers and will be delivering some sort of refund for them. “We are sad to announce that the purchasing of tiers will not be enabled at this time,” the company said. “We can not, in good conscience, sell a product which we can not support or provide content for. We’ll review the tiers to consider how to best compensate players. This may mean changes, but our intention is to provide you with proper compensation for your purchase.”
Idea Fabrik has a new forum post up on the state of sandbox MMO The Repopulation heralding the testing of update 10.2. There’s downside, however, as the studio says it will be wiping the servers and merging them to “enable the developers and the players to focus on community building in a single place.” That’ll mean the end of the EU server in the short term.
“Being that the wipe is occurring with this update and the populations are low on both servers, we thought it would be the perfect time to merge into one community and build upwards from there. If we decide bring up a single server, we would be disabling the EU server until later in development, after more systems are completed and the community grows again. This would allow players to make fresh characters on the server or move their current US East Characters across. We have several options on how we can handle this and would like your input now and in the future when you think we are ready to reopen the EU Server.”