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Dev Diary 18 :: 2016 :: April
Hey folks,

Recent Update

Man, this last week was really awful with the database crashes. I was hoping the migration could wait a bit longer since the crashes were once every 2-3 days, if that, but they suddenly pushed up to 4-5 times in the last 24 hours! I won't go into a bunch of details as I have in Discord Chat, but the db would randomly spike and all transactions would start failing. Time of day, amount of users, etc, nothing seemed to matter.

We decided to push back some things and focus 100% on the update today to migrate a good portion of the database over to the new (stable) database, and while I shouldn't jinx it, but things appear to be running incredibly smooth now.

The actual game servers themselves have been extremely stable. We haven't had a single game-server crash yet. There's definitely some bugs that we can work towards cleaning up, but this new design (not talking about the database) has been a good success.

We do however have one known issue with the latest update that was an oversight when we migrated the whole party/matchmaking system, and that is that full parties still update and add onto the open party listing, so many players are attempting to join already full parties, and it's failing. Sorry about that - it will be fixed in the next update, which is likely sooner than later.

Challenge, Challenge Expansion, Offline Gains?

Every time the db would crash it would set things back by hours on my end. With the frequency of the crashes, adding it up, i'm easily 3 days behind at this point, and while the new, more difficult challenge is ready, I felt it wasn't a great idea to push it on the stability patch.

Here's what we will do....we'll watch how the database goes over the next day, and if things keep calm, perhaps i'll release the new challenge with a couple fixes tomorrow (Apr 7th).

-With Jay back, he'll be working out the final piece to the migration, and assisting significantly with the Offline Gains system.
-I'll be working on the new unlimited challenge difficulty system, and starting up on pet balances with the new upgrade map finally. 

Dates! When? What? You already said Wednesday for the new challenge!

As mentioned, new challenge tomorrow is possible. Friday almost definite if things are more stable nw.

Giving a date was dumb of me considering the database crashes were beginning to speed up since the weekend. I'm set back obviously but I think if things remain stable we can release the new challenge expansion before the actual full migration. In any case we are anticipating 'some' big update by Sunday, April 10th or 11th. 

The pet rebalance and PP Upgrade Map expansion....I can't give a specific date yet until I begin full scale work on it.

Isael (The artist) is almost finished with the last task that I gave him, so I will likely be getting him started on Fishing.

I really appreciate how patient people have been with the ridiculous maintenance frequency from the database crashes. Trust that I can relate and sympathize with the frustration and in any case, i'm really expecting this latest patch to reduce the occurrence many folds, or all together until we fully migrate soon enough.

Hey there, hi there, ho there.

Would like to give a progress update on the plans over the next while, and there is an insane amount in the works right now that i'm very excited to share.

The New Challenge Expansion
Lets start with the weakest of the topics....This was quite a rough release with the maintenances...between DB issue (which will be rectified after DB migration), bugs and lag it has been difficult moving forward on other things before looking back at things.
  • Things are not intuitive and it's very confusing the way the challenges work now. This was known even before releasing, but to change the flow of things will take a time investment i'm just not willing to put forth until the UI rehaul is in order.
  • Filter for challenges :: Yes I know this is wanted. We will see if I can squeeze some time in for this - no promises.
  • Lag :: I've made a lot of changes to the servers for the upcoming maintenance today. I'm hoping it alleviates lag a bit, and will further assist us in understanding what is going on with the little sweat-shop workers processing your room.
  • "No one is ever going to beat gold" - never say never. I also never mentioned the challenge balance being permanent. I'm sure i'll tidy up some balancing down the road, but for now, I suggest trying to get as many completed as you can and be on with your idle day in the meantime Wink

Offline Gains
Unlike recent  patches being pushed in a rush (mostly to resolve backend issues), this is one major system that we are tinkering with nice and slow. Gathering peoples hourly rates based on dps and comparing with different formulas. Once we feel comfortable with a formula, this system will kick off. Please keep in mind, as I have discovered most people are misunderstanding what is going to happen with this system in that these gains will be both for ONLINE and OFFLINE. DPS will simplify gains in EXP/GOLD so you no longer have to worry about being on the most ideal creature, or whether someone's internet (including your own) loses connection, or a troll dragging you down to snakes.

Now for the more exciting stuff..

Planning is complete, and now Isael will be a very busy beaver with this one. Fishing is going to be a huge feature, probably the most in-depth feature within the game to date by far, and I have a feeling people will love some of the tiny extra feature details in it.

While this doesn't count as the full game-mode coming up, it just might be comparable. 

In Short: Assets are in the works, which means full development on this will be in the works as well before the end of the month.

New Game Mode I
Planning is finally in the works for this.

I'm looking at a massive ship & space challenge system. We aren't talking asteroids, but an IOU take on galaxy control.

I'm looking at mixing several aspects into this system, and due to the complexity of that, it will be pretty crazy trying to integrate into the game as a whole. Some of the aspects being taken into account:

  1. Gold needs a use again. This is a big possibility here.
  2. Guild vs Guild
  3. Friendly Player vs Player (Possibly player vs player ai)
  4. Something to work towards for years
  5. Integrating bonuses from both the existing game, and this new mode. Your existing character to empower your ship, and this new system empowering your character in battles. This is likely where gold gets taken into account.
New Game Mode II
I'm looking at a second slightly smaller (more just as important) expansion to the existing battle game mode, with a long series of end-game bosses that players can kill daily or weekly to improve their strength towards the next major boss. Please note this is not yet in the works, but being planned for this summer.

Art & Arthouse
The arthouse in charge of taking care of the new monster rehaul, and ui should be starting any day now. I'm pushing for a deadline date so I can offer you guys more information on this, and hopefully samples. 

I know most don't care about monsters and backgrounds being redone, but keep in mind improved consistency means a more promising new player rate, which means a continued large community in the long-term.
The other part that i'm sure some of you DO care about is the UI rehaul. I can't believe IOU's success considering how crappy the existing UI flow is, but when this comes up, you can finally expect those window improvements for better interaction flow. I'm having a hard time fitting all my ideas into systems because of the UI limitations - i'm not an artist by any means and this causes some serious complications for me during development.


There was arguments about an EP rehaul since f2p can't keep up with players who make purchases. I won't be tackling this topic just yet, but have plans, depending on how the new pet upgrade map goes, to give a different onset of choices and purpose to EP.

Everything in IOU is earnable, and purchases need to have a value on time. We can discuss this more, as it seems the argument can't ever be won since purchases buy time and time can't be caught by F2P without falling behind in being able to keep up with friends sometimes. This is an entirely different issue and we can tackle that more realistically by finding a balance in co-operative game-play.

On another note, i'm looking at potentially making events permanent. I'm not 100% sure how i'd like that to work yet, but it's in the subconscious process.

There may be a delay before the next event so I can focus on fishing and other guaranteed permanent features within the game.

Pet Rehaul & Upgrade Map
Pet rebalancing is easy, but the upgrade map is far more complicated. This has to wait until we migrate the database to even be remotely possible with how much will be going into this.

The importance of the upgrade map to me, personally, is very important because it will tell whether this is the route we move to with upgrades or not, for a more long-term and fulfilling approach.

Anyways I think that's it for now! It's a busy month ahead and hopefully I have more updated statuses on these topics soon to share with you.


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