The present and future of Ember Online

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NiteHawk
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The present and future of Ember Online

Postby NiteHawk » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:00 am

EO has been a little project of mine and I wanted to throw up a little post about where we are at. Generally, it's been about a year now since the game was created, which was virtually a chat box with a room. We've come a long way in a small amount of time and I just wanted to mainly push out some information on what is coming.


Code Issues

First let's talk about the coding of the game. EO was created mainly for myself to learn more. I love to code, and generally that's why I am doing it. However, there is a pretty steep learning curve when it comes to certain things such as multi-thread coding and providing a way for scripting (LUA) to exist in our game. Recently, as I've learned more about multi-threading and scripting I've realized that I've mucked up on a few core aspects of things, which was causing some crashes and random script issues here and there. The result is I need to recode a large portion of the scripting system, which is a big task to do but is needed in order to continue. If we had more people the errors and crashes will get worse. It needs to be solved 'now' rather than later.

A second bug is to do with packets (messages) not being received properly. I don't know why this is yet, but I'm sure you've seen issues where you 'miss' messages. They could be for example, an actual attack or move message you missed, or the minimap not updating. This also involves recoding how data is sent and received, but this is less of a problem than then scripting issue, and will probably be adjusted 'when I decide too'. Most likely when I release the new client I will look into this rather then revamping the old client.

I took a week off since I detected the above in order to think up a plan on the scripting system bug, and I think I have a good idea on what I should do. There however will be a couple things above this though in order for the game to keep progressing while I am doing this.


Player Mentality

Next, let's talk about the mentality of the game. I think there is a issue with how many players act and it needs to change. There is a lot of toxicity between some players, and I'm not saying some rivalry is bad, but it gets to an extreme point every now and again and it needs to be sorted. I obviously know that no game comes without it's drama, and drama is OK, but there needs to be a limit.

We have been working on revising the TOS and still are. I think this is needed and we need to ensure that they are being followed. I know a handful of new players that have left due to how players conduct themselves. A players first couple hours are CRITICAL to the game, everyone wants to feel like they are apart of something grand, they don't want to be in the middle of a flame war or getting harassed. They also don't want to look on the boards and see constant flame posts against one another (and is the reason why we've been deleting dumb posts now.).

If we want to excel, we need to make sure new players are welcome and feel welcome. We could have the best game with amazing content in the future, but if we have a toxic community, no one will stay. I'm still looking for ways to improve on the new player experience, and I'm open to suggestions here. We've already increased the non-PK level to 16, and we've attempted to try to 'push' players into guilds with a system that says 'Hey, you should join a guild, here are the current 3 guilds with players on them!', and making the tutorial area. I don't think we should go past level 16 when it comes to not being PK'd either, the game is heavy on PK and generally will always be.

Staff handling also needs to be improved with things like this, and we may attempt to bring in a warden or two who focus on this so that builders and event staff can do their jobs without issues. It's hard to pick people however, so I'm thinking about how to do this.


Content

Content has been 'OK' but I think the builders get burned out from time to time. I will probably be looking at grabbing another two builders to offset this. It would be good for the game overall and OAD areas are very important right now. We are still revamping some areas as we see fit, but I think the main world is good for now and can be left alone for now while other things are complete.

There are a couple main issues right now that have stopped OADs, one is to do with the scripting documentation which doesn't exist. A couple of our builders have made some amazing OAD areas, but they also require a dozen or two of scripts. The issue is that I cannot do this for them as it takes up too much time, so we have a couple large OADs on the back burner. The solution is to finally release the scripting system (which I am working on) so that they can create their own scripts. Scripts virtually make OAD areas UNIQUE. They give life to areas, monsters, and items. To me it can make the game really evolve. Eventually I'd love to see some more fun and unique weapons too.

Once I get the scripting documentation complete, we should have some more OADs coming out. This is actually on the top of my list, even before the scripting bug issues.


The future

This next year I want to focus on a few thing:

-Builder Tools: Such as the scripting document. This is a large document, with over 500 functions that need to be written and explained in details, down to what the function does, each variable, and the return you may get. Other things would be working with Metz to ensure that the build system he created works well with the game itself and makes it seamless and less painful for the builders. Happy builders = More content. He has already done a good job with a lot of things so far and it's really helped some of the builders get their areas out.


-Bugs/Optimization: Fixing the bigger bugs before adding a large amount of coding content into the game. It's time to actually sit down and make sure the game is 100% stable for everyone.


-Trade Hall and Trading Functions: The trade hall will be browse-able online. It will work as both a simply buy/sell tool. You should be able to search for specifics (item type, humming, enchant, level, etc) and you can purchase directly from the browser (or in game browser), long as your 'selected bank' has the funds to do so. It will appear in a telegram right afterwards like awards can be, which you can claim. Listing items will have to be done IN game directly. The trading functions would involve a simple in-game trade window with 6 slots and a gold amount which both players can pick and choose items, and then both must accept for the trade to be valid. Any changes to the trade window will reset the 'accept flag' and they will have to re-accept. Simple.


-End game content: Gettings OADs out and OAD items. Getting some more world walkers in the game (Like the Crimson Dragon) that will give more content throughout the day.


-The new client, social media sites, and advertising: I am aiming to get the new client at least to a working state, though this is at the bottom of this 'to-do' list. I am aiming to make the client work on all OS and tablets to start. A facebook client will most likely require another coding though it might not. It's tough to say right now. I think releasing the game to facebook or in the android store will help get players largely. It will help booster the player count a great deal. We will also see about advertising on specific sites to generate some new players too.


-MR balances, class tweaks: We need to balance MR out, and also give some tweaks to the current classes to help them along. I don't think we are at a bad spot, but MR does need a overhaul. I already have an idea on what I am going to do for it and we will attempt it in the near future. I also expect to add things like thief traps that are missing from the game. EXPECT THIS.


-30 is the new 25: I want to split up the XP to 30 levels instead of 25 levels. This will help feel like you are progressing more. The damage/HP/etc will be the same as it is now, so level 30 will have the same values as level 25, but it will feel more progressive as the XP will be split more, specially at higher levels.


-Level 25+ (30+): Once we have hashed out the balancing, I want to bring in level 25-50. I will have more details on how this works in the future, but generally what will occur is that you will 'reset' your character, but with bonuses. XP wise it will be different, but not much,
Why reset rather than keep going?
1. We can reuse all the areas currently. I think the world will be too huge if we have to add 25+ right now. We will add more areas as they are needed, but for the sake of ease it's better this way. This does not mean there won't be level 26+ areas though.
2. Not resetting furthers the gap towards pking making it less enjoyable for new players. There is no way a level 50 is going to die to a level 17, or 25 for that matter.
3. It makes level 25 characters still useful if you decide to stop there. 26-50 will obviously have the advantage, but it doesn't mean they'll 100% lose all the time. It does further a player who does do it vs not though in terms of survivability, etc.

For the basic effects, I'm thinking something like 5% or 10% bonus to your stats, 1-2 more stat points, or both. Their class effects might be increased as well, such as rangers being able to tame better with a level 50 character over a level 25, or maybe a zerker will have a easier chance to get into rage every now and then. It's still mostly up in the air and I have ideas for these things. I know people want to bring in non specific class skills, but that something that I think is not needed just yet.


-Accessories: I want to release accessory gear. Accessories will be hard to obtain, but give you bonuses to your class that regular gear will never do. It is bound to one slot only and will most likely have a expire time, which could be 1-3 months (I am thinking more 3 months.). They could give effects such as 10 more armor, 1 strength, 1 agi, 100 more HP, etc. They may even give a 'set' of bonuses, maybe one item can give '0.5 strength, 0.5 agi, 5 armor, can see in the dark'. Wouldn't that be cool?


-New classes: I want to bring out a 2 new classes, these aren't set in stone however:
Elemental Archer: This class would be geared towards bows and crossbows. They will be able to imbue their attacks with special elemental magic which can have some effects, like burning (fire), slowing (ice), etc. They may have additional skills as well that boost precision for damage (or maybe other way around), etc.

Second would be something similar to a Red Mage (Red Wizard) or a Blade Mage: A bridge between a warrior and a sorcerer. They will be able to also add effects to their weapons, but be able to cast decent damage spells. May be locked to daggers and claw weapons (or dual daggers) but it's still up in the air.


-PP Store: The PP store is almost complete, expect this soon. You will be able to purchase items to start, but you may be able to use it to do additional things in the future, such as change your name, change your image (monster pics anyone?), etc. We may bring in other ways to gain PP as well as it goes at a low rate.


-Houses: Pretty simple. A customizable house. They will allow you to store more items in them like a bank vault does. Locked to your account. (Sorry, they will not be sharable to start!). You can still invite people to your house though. There will be a limit to houses, but for apartments I might make a unique system that allows anyone to get an apartment. Most houses will have leases and you can pre-pay several months if need be. You can design the room in terms of image and description to whatever you like. Not a big deal, if someone wants to be silly, let them.


-Guild Halls and Global Shards: This is a big one and I want to talk about it more in depth. Guild halls would simply be a guild area to call your home. But there was more than that when it comes to global shards and guild halls.

Global Shards:
This was talked about in the past, which can be viewed here: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=59&p=511&hilit=global+ember#p511 The simple idea is that there would be global shards that give bonuses to a guild, such as 10% more XP, or maybe 0.5 more strength. Little bonuses but bonuses you'd want to have. There would be a maximum amount of global shards in the world, and these shards would have a expire timer on them, lets say a month. Different shards can be spawned when a slot if available and it could be to anyone, or it could be a reward. They would be stored in your guild vault.

To promote PVP, I was going to allow guild vaults to be raided. There would have to be some conditions however to this. At first I thought a schedule that the attackers or defenders make up, but I think that would be a hassle. I'm going to implement something very simple, called a vulnerability timer which I've seen in some games. This means that a guild can set when they can be attacked/raided. During this time, a guild should be on to defend. There might be some extras where they don't need to sit around and will get a message when someone begins to attack/etc, but generally they are free to be attacked then.

The vulnerability window will not be large, but I would say the BIGGER your guild, the more vulnerability you have. This will promote smaller guilds but also you'd have to choose where the fine line is. Having a low amount of people means less attacks, but if you are attacked, you might be screwed. A large guild may have alot of defenders, but maybe one day none of them log in during one of their vulnerability timers, and they get raided. I'm thinking somewhere along the lines of 5 members (accounts, not actual players) = 30 minutes of vulnerability. Again, this can be set where you feel and if you have several hours you need to place (lets say you have 30 members, which is 3 hours), you can place one hour a day for three days at 12:00 PM, or you could do one day from 3-6PM, PER WEEK, etc.

You will also be able to hire NPCs and build 'walls/locked reinforced doors' in order to hinder progress. You can't go straight for a guild hall in 1 minute flat. They will need maintenance after a raid and these is where guild gold comes into play, and obviously again the larger guild you are, the more attacks you may take, the more gold you will need to fix things, which to me, is fair.

The guild vault will require a thief to pick. It will be the only real class requirement when it comes to raiding. Once a guild vault has been picked, which will take some time, it will either unlock to everyone or only to the thief. I am unsure yet what way I will go here. The first option obviously is subjected to stealer, but the second one is more safe, but limited. Either or, once a guild vault is broken, they can take 1-2 global shards max, or gold. though if gold is allowed, I will have to adjust how you can actually 'take out' gold.

That is the GIST of it. I think it will make alot of end game content fun and interesting. I am not sure how death will be exactly handled yet on both sides but we will see.

Guild Halls:
I explained global shards first but guild halls is where the raids are in. Guild halls for the most case are 'safe' to you. You can build them as you like, but every room needs to be attached and accessible. You can place reinforced doors, hired NPCs, etc, to help you out. There will be special rooms you can purchase too, such as MP or HP rooms, shops, a vault, tavern, etc. There will be a maximum amount of rooms and room types you can obviously have too. Obviously someone making a guild hall completely full of HP rooms wouldn't fly. Taverns will be the 'safe haven'. Only guild members can enter, making it 'safe' and possibly a good last line of defense if placed near a vault.

The bigger your guild hall, the more maintenance it requires in gold per week. Call it a rental fee. Not paying this fee will disallow access to the guild hall, and any global shards will be removed from your vault.

For example:

Code: Select all

--Rooms--
Regular Room: 5k buy per room. 50 gold maintenance per week.
Tavern (max 2): 50k. 500 gold maintenance per week.
Light HP Room (max 1 HP room of any type): 75k. 1k gold maintenance per week.
Light MP Room (max 1 MP room of any type): 75k. 1k gold maintenance per week.
Heavy HP Room (max 1 HP room of any type): 350k. 5k gold maintenance per week.
Heavy MP Room (max 1 MP room of any type): 350k. 5k gold maintenance per week.
Shop (max 3): 200k. 2k gold maintenance per week.

--Doors--
Wooden Reinforced Door: 10k, 50 gold maintenance per week.
Steel Reinforced Door: 100k, 500 gold maintenance per week.
Magical Steel Reinforced Door: 250k, 1500 gold maintenance per week.

--NPCs--
Thug (max 10): 50 gold per week.
Assassin (max 5): 500 gold per week.
Magical Flame Turret (max 4): 1000 gold per week.
Gatekeeper (max 2): 2000 gold per week.


...etc

You get the point. There can be different types too. Let's say a light HP room heals 5HP per tick, and a heavy HP room heals 25HP per tick. Things like that. NPCs I'm not sure where I will go with it, they cannot handle a full party on their own but certain NPCs will make it very hard to break through, but you'll have a limit to how many of each NPC you can place and the total amount of NPCs you can have.

-----

Hopefully I can get a good portion done this year though. I will be working on the scripting document first so builders can keep doing what they are good at, then the scripting system revamp. Next, I will be working on the PP store with Lav (she is just completing the city that houses the store), trade hall, and end game content (guild halls/global shards).Rest will follow. New Client will most likely be before level 50 but after balance fixes.


Thanks!

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Mujahideen
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Re: The present and future of Ember Online

Postby Mujahideen » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:32 am

Cool.

Lvl 25+ sounds cool.
Troll. I am here to create the issues that plague the game, I will push your buttons and like the outcome.

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Folder
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Re: The present and future of Ember Online

Postby Folder » Wed Mar 08, 2017 1:37 pm

Thanks for the update, some pretty cool things are planned!
<Silhouette>

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JadeFalcon
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Re: The present and future of Ember Online

Postby JadeFalcon » Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:49 pm

Weeeee :D

Awesome, awesome awesome!
I think this is really exciting - first let me thank you for all your hard work, its really appreciated.
Second, I would ask you to consider a more commercial aspect of the game. I.e, stuff for me to give you real money. I understand this is a sort of hobby for you, but i think it would do no harm, far from it, to mix business and pleasure.
Third - I swear i am only a jerk to people i sort of know!!!!!
Don't take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.

Proud member, Halfling Appreciation Club

HAC Tip of the Week:
Roast Halfling leg with rosemary, garlic and white wine. Ideal for that family dinner!

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Folder
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Re: The present and future of Ember Online

Postby Folder » Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:06 pm

Maybe he will trip over his monitor again then all your donation desires can come true :D
<Silhouette>

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Mujahideen
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Re: The present and future of Ember Online

Postby Mujahideen » Wed Mar 08, 2017 4:52 pm

Second, I would ask you to consider a more commercial aspect of the game.


Charter membership :)

#whereismybrillticket
Troll. I am here to create the issues that plague the game, I will push your buttons and like the outcome.

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NiteHawk
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Re: The present and future of Ember Online

Postby NiteHawk » Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:22 pm

I don't mind it, it might be something to help fund me, as right now I'm a bit on the struggling side of money, but I don't want it to ever be pay to win though. Aka if you can get X item by purchasing, you can get Y item in game, though more rare. Kind of thing. But I don't know yet on how that should be done. Technically dustin pays the server and money would prob need to go to him first for doing that anyways.

Though houses or something are on the table, maybe easy way to get monster pics, etc.

Kismet
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Re: The present and future of Ember Online

Postby Kismet » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:28 pm

You only mentioned monster pics, hawk of darkness. Are custom ones also going to be a thing?

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NiteHawk
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Re: The present and future of Ember Online

Postby NiteHawk » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:27 pm

Kismet wrote:You only mentioned monster pics, hawk of darkness. Are custom ones also going to be a thing?


By custom do you mean being able to upload your own image? If that is the case then no as if we attempt to make money doing it, it would be illegal to use art randomly from sites for the most case, most aren't free commercial and I would be the one getting slammed for it. Normally its something like a $1000 to $10000 fine and that's nasty :D

In the case of artists actually doing images for people, I don't really know. This would actually involve artists doing it, and it's not an automated thing anymore. I could see it maybe as a special event type thing, but defo not 'for the masses' thing. It's hard enough getting art as it is, and if our artists go on a break or decide not to work on the game anymore it pretty much leaves the option useless. I prefer in any case to ensure most of this can be done without our intervention, aka automated.

Kenichi
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Re: The present and future of Ember Online

Postby Kenichi » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:54 pm

NITEHAWK U JUST WENT ALL DM ON US.

ASSMUNCHER

<3


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