Thursday, October 21, 2010

We're Famous!

Ok, not entirely famous, but it's a start. We have our first reviewed and edited article on an external web site:

Mudding Communities Are Alive and Well in Alter Aeon

The site BrightHub is a large site with articles about nearly everything, and people who act as dedicated editors to make sure that articles pass a minimum sanity check before being posted.

This is important because articles like this can be used to bolster notability in Wikipedia, and get AA out there to a much larger audience. Stop by and take a look, and spread the word if you've got any friends that might be interested!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Necromancer Class Open Beta

The necromancer class is officially in beta test on, port 4000. There's basically no rules on this port, other than to respect others, and give testing priority over anything else. So if someone's trying to run a real test, don't screw with them. One additional note: pk balance is completely off, and I have no intention of fixing it until the mob balance is halfway sane. Don't submit bug reports having to do with pk balance issues.

Pretty much everything is implemented except for the Demonlore skill tree, and what I'd call four problem spells/skills:

Lvl 16 consumption
Lvl 16 bone wall - already have wall spells
Lvl 21 flesh wall - already have wall spells
Lvl 27 skeletal dragon - already have craploads of minions

Consumption was supposed to be some kind of corpse eating thing to recharge your undead, but so far with the way they're working out that doesn't make much sense. The wall spells are really problematic, as I have to come up with something very different from icewall for them to make sense. And for skeletal dragon, well, the last thing we need is an even more powerful minion.

The Demonlore tree is problematic because I can't really see any interesting way to make it different from the 'Raised Undead' skill tree. The both create various minions, using control and soulstones, and have the same kinds of skills. I really hesitate to just make a skill tree that's effectively a different mob type copy of some existing tree.

Beyond that, things appear to be going well. The class seems to be quite a bit too powerful for now, but at the same time all the testers are five-class level 33, so perhaps I'm seeing a side effect of that. I think in the long run, the only real way to get legitimate test data is to boot in the code and see what people do with it for real.

One thing I am really surprised about is just how terrible most people are at testing. I have one tester that typically sends me 20 messages overnight with comments and questions about the class; the remainder have yet to send me 20 questions total for the entire time the port has been open.

As a result of this, I probably need to rethink my beta testing strategy. Maybe the thing to do is to autoupdate everyone on login so that their levels come out in some mangled, pre-determined format; for example 32/27/22/17/12, with the classes picked at random. I think having everyone be 5x33 just leads to people seeing what it's like to have that many levels.