29 August 2007

The astrology system is on the main server

After a few days of extensive testing, the astrology system is finally in the game. It's not 100% done yet, I still need to implement two modifiers, and the astrology reading stones, but so far it seems to work great.
Most of the players like it, although it did create a lot of confusion (which was not unexpected).

I expect the whole thing to be done in another 2 weeks (including the testing), and then I can focus on other things. I don't expect to add or modify anything related to the astrology once I am done with it, so it is important to do it well.

Once I am done, I will start working at the landmines and finish that code, so it can be tested with the CVS client for the client update (which should be somewhere in November).
Speaking of client updates, I think that it is best to keep them rare, something like 2 releases a year. Too many updates are not good, they thend to confuse some players, and the more often we update, the more bugs creep in. When the updates are rare, there is more time to properly test them and remove most of the bugs.
For the server updates, I think that 10-14 days is the best, to give time to the players to adjust with the previous changes, and to make sure that every update has enough new things/changes in order to make the players look forward to it.

20 August 2007

The astrology system and some new books.

Today I finally started to work at the astrology system. I guestimate that it will take about a week to fully implement, and perhaps another week of testing, then maybe a month or two of adjustments, depending on players feedback and stuff.

For the time being, we will have the following modifiers: chance to make rare items, chance to harvest rare items, chance for an item to degrade in combat, accuracy, attack, defense, critical to hit, critical to damage, items failure rate, and magic (attack and resistence).
Other things might be implemented in the future, but for the time being, I think this is enough.

The modifiers will go both ways, negative and positive, depending on how the planets are on the sky relative to your sign. I won't give much details about how it will work because I don't want the players to figure it out by themselves.
Instead, I am going to have an astrologer NPC that sells some special stones. One stone for each modifier. When used, they will provide information about that modifier (for example, if the current failure rate is high or low). Those stones will dissapear after each use, and they will cost probably around 100-200 GCs.

I also added some new fighting books, for some medium and high level monsters (ogre, phantom warrior, fluffy, yeti, giant, and the dragons).
The dragon books are very expensive, close to 300Kgc, but I think they will be worth it for the high level players.

12 August 2007

Back from the vacation

We just got back yesterday evening (7 pm).
The trip itself was nice, but the transportation sucked.
AirFrance managed to lose one of our luggages, where I had my cellphone charger and other stuff. What really bothered me is not that they lost it, but how they handled it. Instead of notifying us in the plane, we waited at the luggage pick up place for like 1 hour, then we went to ask WTF is going on. Only then they told us they lost it.. So we lost half an hour waiting for it, which could have been avoided.

We had Internet access most of the time, via a CDMA modem, so I was able to see what's going on in the game, and answer some e-mails. Fortunately, there were no problems with the game while we were away.

Now that I am back, I will add a few new manufacturable items, then work on the astrology stuff. There are some other small changes I plan to do, but more about them later.