An answer to all the questions:
I know we get asked “when will the server open” a lot. I’m not going to give you guys a date, and I’ll explain why, however I will give you my rough expectation for the future:
We will release some sort of version that we will call an “Alpha” shortly after the following things are done:
- Skill Overhaul: Definitely over the hill on this one, a lot of the hard work is done. This was a massive undertaking. Spending so long on such a huge internal overhaul with the skill change, all so that the end result is a firebolt does the same damage as it did previously, can make you feel like nothing is getting done. However, realistically the end result is we can quickly change, balance, or create new skills in a matter of seconds and that is a HUGE achievement. I can say in it’s current state we are actively testing various ability types that have been ported over to the new code, and that both the new and old systems exist side by side. That is very significant progress.
- Boss spawn changes: Shouldn’t be too hard, just not a priority at the moment. I want this change implemented so that new bosses will spawn as well. Several new areas are essentially ready except for monsters needing skills and bosses needing to spawn, so I’d like them done so they can be tested as well.
- Crafting changes: This isn’t a hard task, should only take a solid weekend of work. A lot of new crafting exist in the database already. We just need to add all the new NPCs to our crafting district, code to allow crafting to pull from an SQL database instead of XML files, and properly like the crafting NPCS to what they can craft.
- Website and forum: We will need this done for testers to provide feedback and discussion. We already have one essentially, it’s just not publicly available.
I can’t give a date for that Alpha because I don’t know how long the skill changes will take, as we’ve learned a lot of unexpected issues can arise. All I can say is we are making significant progress towards it and it isn’t like we are trying to fix/finish everything before we get there. This “Alpha” will not be what we want the final product to be. It’s primary purpose will be to allow testing and feedback for the skill overhaul, we want to make sure every skill in the game works and feels right and we know we can’t possibly do the kind of testing needed on our own. We will need players to play, fight, pvp, etc and give us feedback. There may also be bugs players encounter that we have not simply because we are not actively playing, and those will need to be documented and fixed. This is after all a new client that Legend and I have never actually played on.
From there, we will begin adding in what we consider to be key features. These are ideas we have fully flushed out and know we can implement, and we consider critical to be done before a perpetual live release. These include boss summon system for elites, karma changes, death matches, scheduled automated events/restarts, online candle/player systems, town invasions, PVP tower map, summon changes, etc. This is a period of time I am very excited about, as I think it will “feel” like we are making significantly faster progress since many of these won’t take very long on their own so the visible results are much more apparent. Whether we implement those while the server is “online and available” or we close down the “Alpha” for a period of time will likely depend on how much we feel running the server is distracting from development. I will say the likely hood of us keeping the server running during this time increases if we make the Alpha closed.
When we feel we have all our key features done we will definitely have a set period of time for a Beta. I imagine this will mostly involve significant balance changes as players provide feedback on everything. This is when we will be most receptive to changing how things work, how strong things are, how much stuff costs, how much money drops, how long leveling takes, etc. When we launch live, we will be significantly more resistant to changing these things for the sake of fairness.
There are a number of ideas we have placed as “future possibilities” that we may develop and include down the distant road, but those are post release at best.
Our end goal is to release a server that is very east to edit, balance, and add new content to. One that is extremely automated so that restarts are consistent and events can start and end automatically. One that players are able to accomplish the vast majority of their requests like candles, name changes, and character resets on their own through a web portal. In a perfect world, we can turn the final product on and as long as the server bills are paid the game will run forever. This is a big dream. We made a lot of mistakes in our past two server attempts and what we learned from those is you can’t release an unfinished product and expect to run it and develop for it at the same time.
If you are interested in playing Lineage now, there are several private servers currently operating. If you are looking for a “live-like” experience, then one of them is certainly a better choice for you than ours will be anyway. If you think this is some long, elaborate scam then will I guess maybe just don’t come read this blog? This project was ambitious when it started, and only became more so as it developed. Good things take time, we don’t do this for a living and do have other hobbies/responsibilities. It will get done eventually. Whether you continue to follow us here through development or not you’ll still be welcome to join us when it’s done.
P.S. On a completely unrelated topic, I am going on vacation to Japan August 1st through the 17th. I won’t be around to respond to questions or comments during that time.
Ninja Edit from Legends: Work has gotten rough for me so I have been working long hours, we are in the process of moving our headquarters to a whole new city. Have patience!