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Dev Diary 33 - November
Hey folks...

I haven't done a dev blog in ages as we've just been pushing out updates and announcing on discord, however I know many of you prefer a more official posting on what is going on so here it is!

I won't be doing these for a little while I don't think. I'll be working with testers and the community to handle priorities as they come until the new year, while also undergoing efforts towards things I personally feel can be accomplished in short enough time to keep these updates streamlined into the new year.

This is not to say they won't be back or used in another manner.

Forums aren't as popular these days, but I think we'll be anchoring some uses towards them again. I will be working with Lynn to get things moving here more often, including some kind of smaller Community Events going once again.

Some time next year I don't believe we'll be running the mini-game events anymore. I know some of you have your favorites (match 3, clean energy, etc), however these events are a little less practical to keep going. 
When/if we migrate the client away from flash (More info below), I'd like to have a more consistent event system that allows us to integrate new content injections as opposed to different/repeat minigames.

Also, next event coming up is global warming. It will be included with the new Orbs patch in a ~week.

Or rather, a port....I've been looking at an integration of IOU within Unity to be able to host the game on WebGL, Windows/mac/linux, iOS, Android and so forth. Localization, visual FX, patchnotes, and other more fluid features that will make IOU a little more young again, and bring newer audiences to it.

The reason? Flash is being killed off by Adobe by 2020, but jackass corporations like Google, Mozilla and Microsoft are giving some pretty hefty efforts already to kill it today without any regard for the fans of it, or the small businesses/hobbyists whose world revolves around it.

I'm getting more and more reports of people having issues with flash (especially on Chrome....looking at you Google) it's time to look at where the game will head in the future in terms of client support.

If you're interested in seeing the progression of this client over the next few months (expected time for it to be ready would be late spring, early summer), you should join us within the test channel at:

And you can access the client (connected to the test server, not live) at:

As a final note regarding the unity port, don't worry...this is not like the server migration where there's months without updates because of the required efforts. I'm only touching base on the development of this before I hit the hay every night. It's slower than it could be but it isn't really affecting the growth of development on IOU.

ORBS??? Also what is with the whispers of ascension changes I am hearing?
Yadda yadda, new orbs are coming. 5 of them in fact very soon, and another 5 down the road. The testing/development does not begin until next week so there is Not a lot of official information to give yet!

There will however definitely be a Ship Arena orb out of the five. This orb will likely come as part of an assassination on an issue that plagues Ascension upgrades. Many are focusing their builds towards Ship Arena, then vice versa...waiting months and repeating. This has been a known problem with the system without a solid non-exploitative resolution. Well..we have a solution I'm working towards. It should be as positive as any solution could be at this point.

We are looking at one of the following two changes at the same time as the Ship Arena Orb release:
  1. Removing Ship Arena Ascension upgrades all together. Refunding the points put into them.
  2. Reducing the Ship Arena Ascension upgrade caps to a feasible number where you don't need to invest heavily to maintain.
In all cases, you should be able to make use of the new orb to get back to higher states within the ship arena. I know some people are on the edge case of a build towards ship arena, thus, losing out on DPS/gains. This is why we'll ensure to refund you immediately instead of replacing the upgrade with something else, regardless of which option we go with, so you can rebuild towards your more preferable setup.

There was so many suggestions about "Charge people to reset ascension like trophies" or "give <x> faster cooldowns on point resets", but people are missing a significant point here in that the system is practically exploitative if you can switch the builds quickly, regardless of spending or not. The intent with the system was to ensure a more decisive role in your choice of upgrade distribution, however it is clear this doesn't work well with the IOU community.

After this change we'll look at any other upgrades that might have similar issues, potentially resolve those and then we can make the upgrades work similar to trophy downgrades, as there won't be any exploits within the system. I cannot, however do it before then.

Not 100% on costs yet. I know you have been smart and saving these up even since before the crystal sac option was removed.......right?

I'm sure i'll be including crystal rewards in the upcoming Global Warming event, but also will be including some new packs with the upcoming new Pack Window.

New Packs?
Yes. People have been bugging me for something new to invest in, along with currency sinks, and they are coming.

Subscription Pack
This is a far more affordable pack that gives more resources over time. Not a pack that is needed by any standard but certain a nice treat for the price:

For 30 days, Every day you receive:
-100 Diamonds
-10 Food
-1 Dynamite

Weekly Pack
A procedural generated pack that gives a fair amount of diamonds, and a mix of two other currencies. The pack will be the same for everyone and automatically change at midnight on Sundays.

Daily Pack
A procedural generated pack that gives a fair amount of diamonds, and a mix of two other currencies. The pack will be the same for everyone and automatically change at midnight every day.

AP Packs
We have some one-timer AP packs coming. Purchasing the existing will unlock the higher tier of the pack. I know there isn't a huge use for AP these days outside of the pet arena, and I wouldn't reducing the Pet Arena AP requirements in place of something more appropriate and less maintenance-consistent, but that's for another day. This pack is here anyways.

Crystal Packs
Thanks to the testers we were able to come up a generous amount of Crystals for these packs. The option is there if you need more crystals for other unlocks, outside of mining/events.

VIP Upgrades
If you haven't heard already...we're changing this system up a bit.

Level cap on VIP upgrades is now 50, from 100, however:
:: +25 to level cap after your FIRST ascension
:: +25 to level cap after your SECOND ascension
:: +50 to level cap after your FINAL ascension

This means the new cap will be 150.

Also, we've added a new Multicatch VIP upgrade that you can invest in to improve your chances to catch additional fish.

Challenges are getting old
Indeed. So is waiting for the Beast system. 

Unfortunately there's some bigger plans ahead with these two systems that require some other work to be finalized before these can be expanded on. One of the reasons I am going towards no surveys for major items for a while is this very reason. We're discussing internally some options moving forward to sincerely expand on how this content works, and other things players can work towards in the long-term to ensure these systems are less of a pain, and more of an exciting challenge towards rewards/progression.

Beasts unfortunately does not have the tie-in yet it deserves, but we are looking towards that this upcoming new year for sure.

If no beasts soon, what about Global Event?
New years is coming...and we know that one is prepared. I see no reason it won't be there with some changes/improvements.

Black Friday?
Negative. There will not be a marketing push set up for this. The new packs / pack window are coming close to it, so I don't see much reason to push marketing so heavily at this time beyond that.

Servers are acting weird?
Been getting some heads up on lag spikes and other issues. We will be working towards optimizations and digging into the cause more intensely after the orb patch.

Clients are acting weird?
Chrome...usually. Something is going on with browsers & flash lately. I mentioned this above. I have no solutions at the moment. Keep an eye on the browser console to see if there's any indications for now.

We have the bandaid on, but we're still working to improve our first aid kit on this issue.

We're looking at setting up a different ladder system for PvP, where instead of having to switch control drones and ensure you're within the top places for your tier to avoid being exploited down the list, that you'll simply need to fight people (similar to now) around your size. Defeating people of higher challenge will give you additional points towards your ladder.

You'll be given enemies based on your current ladder tier, and as you defeat them and increase your ladder (reward tier) the enemies will get more difficult. I think this can ensure players will be placed into appropriate tiers this way, leaving no limit on the reward tiers based on effort/progresion.
On top of this, we will likely have the top lists for PvP cleared every week for fresh starts. 

This isn't finalized or official yet, it's just something we are looking into. We will have things going on test likely in december and I'm sure the testing community will give appropriate feedback to ensure it's a much better system in the end.

lul. It's ready though. We have some criticism about the progression of Bingo Levels for this so we'll be looking at a final touchup on that before releasing. Bingo WILL happen.

We have several new pet proposals. We'll be deciding which ones we go with before we move ahead with a +5 pet tier cap.

We also have planned a 21+ tier cap, as food progression rises and the future will obviously allow you to surpass such tiers.

Alas, for the release of this we WILL be setting up Pet Icon selection. Don't like your tier icon? Change it.

Personal Notes
After the trophy rehaul, as much as the positive feedback I got from it was, it required reworking some hefty things that burnt me out a little bit. Since then, I want a little break on major major items. The survey selecting my workload can be fine but I'd like to work on smaller things that make the game far better in swifter releases, at least until the new year.

There's a lot of improvements coming by the new year. Stay tuned.


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