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Q2 2018 Schedule Update

Discussion in 'Shroud of the Avatar Discussion Hall' started by SotA Stratics, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. SotA Stratics

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    [From a forum post by Starr “Darkstarr” Long]

    Greetings Avatars,

    After several incredibly successful years of Early Access, we have launched into full Live mode! Now we will move fully into acquiring new users with a dedicated marketing campaign and a steady slate of press and public appearances.

    As we have stated previously, we intend to publish quarterly schedule updates detailing our monthly releases and those monthly releases will continue just as before, on the last Thursday of each month. Even though the goals outlined in these schedules are likely to change somewhat as we react to feedback, we feel it is important to periodically provide you with an updated roadmap.[​IMG]

    Our priority continues to be to deliver new content to our players regularly, so that you can give us feedback that will help us to iteratively improve Shroud of the Avatar. This collaborative process continues to benefit the game, and often results in sweeping changes such as the recent balance passes to combat. As you have seen in previous releases, the flexibility inherent to this process means that we sometimes push things out, but we also often pull new things in.

    Q2 Top 10 Priorities: As mentioned previously, we keep a running list of our Top 10 priorities at all times that we use when building our schedule and prioritizing where to allocate our team’s resources. We often refer to it when making decisions about the project. While it has a VERY strong influence on what we work on at any given time, it does not mean that we only work on something that is on the list. It just means that if someone can assist with something that will help address an item on the list, then we will make sure they do that first before working on anything else. Sometimes team members cannot assist with anything on our top priorities, so they work on other tasks such as visual polish, combat balance, or content that helps us raise funds. Q2 will focus on performance, localization, loot, and shipping the physical goods.

    1. Performance: In Q1, we made huge strides forward in performance with three steady months of frame rate improvements. While the game is much more playable now, we feel there is still more to be gained so in Q2 we will continue making code and content changes to improve performance.
    2. Localization: In Q1, we made significant progress in all our languages but we were unable to get fully localized versions. In Q2, our goal is to complete this work.
    3. Physical Goods: We made the decision in Q1 to spend more development time to increase the overall quality of the physical goods promised during the Kickstarter, including the cloth map, manual, runic card, etc. We now plan on shipping all physical goods no later than the end of Q2. The components have now all been designed, we are just working on final fulfillment.
    4. Improved Reward Cycle: In Q1 we added lots of new in-game rewards, including Virtue Armor, Virtue Banners, barbarian armor, recipes, patterns, emotes, and more. In Q2, we will significantly expand these rewards with more decorations, more armor, and most importantly, player-crafted items as part of the loot tables.[​IMG]
    5. User Interface Polish: In Q1, we polished various UI elements, and we will continue to do so during Q2 with a focus on consistency across UI elements while also improving merchants and vendors.
    6. User Acquisition: Now that we have moved out of Early Access, we are ready to start our campaign to acquire new users through marketing, press, and convention appearances. To maximize the impact of these efforts, we will be optimizing our website, store, and other first time experiences for the user.
    7. Clearer Player Direction: We will continue improving the in-game mapping service with Linux support and Localization.
    8. Story Polish: In Q2, we will continue to add more compelling experiences that put you in situations that will hopefully make you care more about the world, and at the same time provide you opportunities to either fulfill or turn away from the virtues.
    9. Improved Enemy Behaviors: Most of our enemies have very simplistic and repetitive behaviors that can be easily gamed and do not require a high level of coordination nor planning. We hope to improve on this so that enemies have markedly different behaviors, resistances, and also weaknesses. For bosses in particular, we want to introduce patterns of behaviors that change over time as the battle progresses.[​IMG]
    10. Repeatable Content: Right now there are not enough good reasons to revisit areas in the game, nor are there enough repeatable activities, especially for high level players. In Q1, we started to address this in small ways with things like the reward blessings. In Q2, we hope to start solving this with dedicated features like Castle Defense Scenarios.

    As always, all dates, durations, and deliverables are subject to change as we adjust our designs based on direct feedback from you, our players.

    RELEASE 53, April 26, 2018

    • Story: We will continue to work on adding side quests and polish to the Paths of Truth, Love, and Courage. Also, we will continue to add and update maps for the in-game map system. We will also add backer NPC conversations to Northwood and Brittany Wharf. Finally, the scenes Tenebris Harbor, Eastmarch (town), and Penmawr Island will be rebuilt from scratch.[​IMG]
    • Performance: Performance work will mainly focus on improving frame rate and reducing hitching during gameplay. Work will also continue to be done on load time reduction on the few outstanding scenes that are not meeting our 15 second load time target.
    • Looking for Group: A tool to help players find a group to adventure with will appear in the game.
    • Crafting & Economy: We will add more loot to the game like Worn Armor (to complement the Rusty Weapons) on humanoids. We will also introduce the system where player crafted gear sold to merchants will start appearing as loot in the game. Finally, in Offline Mode the drop rates for rare items like artifacts and rare components will be greatly increased.[​IMG]
    • User Interface Polish: We will make various improvements to the in-game map system, including support for localization and Linux.
    • Combat: A pass will be made on combat balance looking at different combat and magic schools.
    • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.

    RELEASE 54, May 31, 2018

    • Story: We will continue to work on adding side quests and polish to the Paths of Truth, Love, and Courage. We’ll continue to add and update maps for the in-game map system. We will also add backer NPC conversations to Brittany Central. Finally the scenes Shaminian Hills, Westend (town), and Upper Tears will be rebuilt from scratch.[​IMG]
    • Performance: Performance work will mainly focus on improving frame rate and reducing hitching during gameplay. Work will also continue to be done on load time reduction on the few outstanding scenes that are not meeting our 15 second load time target.
    • Crafting & Economy: The crafting system will expand to include the ability to brewing alcoholic beverages. We will also continue to expand the amount of loot in-game with more patterns, recipes, and gear as well as a large amount of decorations as loot.[​IMG]
    • User Interface Polish: Various elements of the UI will get polished for usability as well as improvements to information displayed.
    • Character: Polish passes will continue to be made on the Male Peasants and Pledge Servants.
    • Combat: Chaos magic will be expanded with new spells and better balanced against the other schools of magic.
    • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.

    RELEASE 55, June 28, 2018

    • Story: We will continue to work on adding side quests and polish to the Paths of Truth, Love, and Courage. We’ll continue to add and update maps for the in-game map system. We will also add backer NPC conversations to Brittany Alley. Finally the scenes Norgard Fens, Bramble (town), and East Vauban Foothills will be rebuilt from scratch.[​IMG]
    • Performance: Performance work will mainly focus on improving frame rate and reducing hitching during gameplay. Work will also continue to be done on load time reduction on the few outstanding scenes that are not meeting our 15 second load time target.
    • Physical Goods: Physical goods including the cloth map, box, trinket, manual, lot deeds, etc. (and the signed versions of each) will ship.[​IMG]
    • Crafting & Economy: We will continue to add more loot to the game. We will also work on improving the controls for player vendors to better allow sharing of vendors as well as improving the entire stocking, restocking, pricing, and repricing experience.
    • User Interface Polish: Various elements of the UI will get polished for usability as well as improvements to information displayed with a focus on the quest journal.
    • Castle Defense Scenarios: New scenes will be created similar to our control points where groups of players can fight over control of a fortress in order to gain temporary ownership and therefore gain benefits from that ownership like access to special areas, merchants, and quest givers. Work on this system will also help improve the existing control points.
    • Character: Polish passes will be made on the Spiders and a new seasonal creature will be introduced: The Jingo!
    • Localization: All interface text and quest dialogue will be fully translated into our launch languages, including English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
    • Player Towns & Player Housing: Updates to Dynamic Player-Owned Towns (POTs) that have locked submission forms will appear in the game.

    We continue to be incredibly thankful for the support we receive from this amazing community. While the financial support you provide makes all of this possible, it pales in comparison with the faith you have in us, the feedback you provide us, and the content you are making for everyone to enjoy. We are humbly grateful, and we are always excited to see you each month in New Britannia!

    Sincerely,
    Starr Long
    Executive Producer
    Shroud of the Avatar

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