21 October 2007

Increased storage space

When we added the storage to the game, some 4+ years ago, we had 100 slots. At that time we had maybe 200 items.
Two years later, we had around 400 items, and the storage space has been increased to 200 items.
After this update is done, we'll have some 850 items in the game (about 300 of them are books).
Many players complained that they have not enough storage space, and they asked for more. Until now, it wasn't really needed, but with some 70+ items to wear, one would need a lot more storage, if he or she wants to have one piece of everything.

There were two reasons why I didn't want extra storage:
1. I was feeling that 200 slots are enough (and they were, for most of the people).
2. The storage command couldn't send more than 200 items because that's too much data (over 4KB) and a big waste of bandwidth.

Well, now things changed, and I am going to add another 100 slots either shortly after the update, or before it, if we have a long testing period.
The #storage command will also be modifed, and you will have to specify a category, and it will only list the items in that category.

18 October 2007

Tailoring skill

I got a few questions about the tailoring skill, which I am going to answer here.

Q. Will new items make it to this update?
A. Yep, about 54 new WEARABLE items for the tailoring skill alone!

Q. Will the thread and gloves be moved to the tailoring skill?
A. That won't be necessary. There will be over 70 items to make with this new skill (including dye and fabric), so there is no need to move items around. When I decided to make the tailoring skill, I didn't think we'll have so many items.

Q. Will the already existing items (adventure caps, bandanas) become tailorable?
A. I don't know yet. Possibly, but we have a lot of items as it is, so we'll see in the future. If we make them makable, they will be very high level (around 90-100).

Q. What will be the highest level item makable under tailoring?
A. With the current items we have, excluding the items currently available only from the shop, probably somewhere around level 80-90 or more. However, Roja likes making new items, so this might change to even higher levels, possibly even 120+

Q. When will the update be?
A. We still need to add those items to the client, test them, then test the mines again, have a release candidate or two.. So maybe in about a month, of things are going fine. Hopefully no later than the beginning of December.

Q. What about the PK server?
A. We'll start working at it during the release candidate testings, and will be released after the update.

13 October 2007

Preparing for the update

Our little experiment with Pawn didn't go really well. We had some unexpected crashes that were very difficult to debug, because the crashes were not in our code, and they were not in the Pawn code either. Instead, they were in various external libraries such as SDL_net.
But since we've been using those libraries for years without any problems, we are reasonably sure the problem is either in the Pawn scripting, or in our implementation (the C interface).

Either way, we decided to just switch back to Small which still has most of the things we want, and everything we need.

Meanwhile, we are preparing for the client update. We are not sure yet which features will make it to this update, but we are confident that the new sound engine will. There will also be the new tailoring skill, some support for mines (possibly not the explosions though), and MAYBE some rudimentary implementation of a shader engine where we can add shaders per materials.

I've decided not to release any server updates any time soon, and instead hold them back for the client update. The things I am working on now (landmines and tailoring) are not compatible with this client anyway.
I am also hoping that in 2 weeks we'll have some pre release candidate where people can test the new additions, and depending on the bugs found, the update might follow in another two weeks or so. Of course, this is just a guesstimate, so don't count on it.

02 October 2007

PK server

Recently, I came up with the idea of having a PK only server.
This is not exactly a totally new idea, there were some previous suggestions, but until now I didn't really consider implementing it, mainly because I didn't think we'd have enough players to actually play there.
But after posting about it on our forums, and having a poll about it, it seems that there is some interest in such a server. We have a saying in Romania: "Pofta vine mancand", the word by word translation would be "the appetite comes eating", meaning that sometimes it is necesary to start a thing, and then things will fall in their place.

This new server will be quite different than the main server, in the following ways:
1. Most of the maps will be PK, with the exception of Isla Prima, the underworlds, and the cities (only the cities, not the whole map).
2. There will be a level cap for attack and defense, at level 100. This cap might be initially lower, and increase in time.
3. Some negative perks will be removed, so that players won't be able to artificially pump themsleves up.
4. As a result of the above changes, the economy will be totally different, and there will be all kind of alliances, protection fees, possibly territorial control and fights, and so on.
5. Rostogol stones will be cheaper and less rare, and no other items will be sold from the shop.
6. Less moderation, no rules against multiplaying, however there will be a one time 5 usd fee to start playing on that server.
7. Since most of the updates on the main server are now targeted towards high level players in non combat related skills, this PK server will not be updates as often.

Now, obviously, this server is not for everyone. In fact, the average EL player won't like it much at all. But it will cover some special needs, and who knows, in the future it might work better than expected.