Design Notes

January 04, 2013

Updated Base Class Update!

This Is Why I Never Make Plans

You may not know this but we work a lot.

You know that we update the game every week at least once with new content, quests, cutscenes, items and more. What you may not know is that we do a lot more than that, taking every chance we can to work ahead on future releases, fix existing bugs and improve the game every chance we get. 

Among other things, one of our current projects is updating the base class art to better match the quality and style that the game currently boasts. It's a pretty simple art update with no changes to the existing base class functionality. It was a pretty simple plans, but like all plans... it fell apart. That's why we roll with the punches. 

Here's the story:

  1. The new base class art was meant to go out a few weeks ago but with the holiday giving us less time than usual, the art simply got shelved for other projects. Today the art was completed.

  2. We were going to simply replace the art in the existing classes and update the files, but we couldn't do that because people would complain that they missed the old art (can't please everyone) and we knew that the collectors would like to save their old classes to show that they were here before the revamp.

  3.  Easy. We just make the old classes rare and give the new classes to all newly created characters, replace the old classes in the shops and tag them as Rare. 

  4. But wait, if the classes are all new items, then that class checks on things like paladin and the upgraded variants won't work. We can't just use the new class IDs because then the OLD classes would no longer work. Time to update the engine and make it check for any variation of old/new base classes. 

  5. Artix comes in and says that we are NOT making the old classes rare so people can still get them if they want. He's just trying to make people happy. We tweet the update. 

  6. Artix comes in 2 minutes later and announces that we are making the old classes Rare to make the rare collectors happy but releasing ARMOR versions of the original base classes to make the people who like the classic style happy. It's a very fair deal for everyone. We tweet THAT update. 

  7. Artix comes in 15 minutes later having just noticed the art, and announces that mages need robes (many players agree) so the new mage art is rejected. Dage goes back to the drawing board. We tweet that it looks like the art revamp is not coming out tonight.

  8. We decide to release the base class art revamps with the rejected mage as a placeholder, then replace the art with the new and improved (and approved) mage base art next week and release the rejected mage art at some future point. We announce THAT on twitter. 

  9. Yorumi informs us, after working for hours to get the double checks in the engine for the old and new base classes that the engine is too large and can no longer compile. He will need time to pull stuff out of the engine to make room for the new code which will take a day at least. No new classes tonight. 

  10. We decide to release the new base class art as ARMORS for the time being in the existing trainer shops just to get something out tonight. The armor versions will be permanent additions to the game, just as the new class art will be when they arrive.  

All this in addition to all the other Friday craziness that we go through to get the release out. So now you know the whole story. That's what our day has been like. How is yours going? 

Amberheat Tower (Tonight's Release)

High atop Amberheart Tower the Blades of Order keep watch over Lore for signs of Chaos. Now a chaotic rift in reality has opened but the Blades have gone missing. Now you must make your way up the tower, avoiding chaos monsters discovering the secrets of the Blades Order to light the beacon at the tower's apex and alert the realm to this new, deadly threat. 

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