Meditating on the near future

Greetings former and future denizens of Agon.

Since our last update, we have done some good progress on correcting flaws that could impact the economy, but this week we’d like to talk about more positive things than anti hacking.
Before we had to pull everyone to work on security, we were preparing some surprises for you guys and today we’d like to announce what will be in our Patch 2 and more!
Stay tuned till the end.

Patch 2: our first performance update.

Our refactor team has multi-threaded more parts of the client, has removed many unnecessary memory reallocation and has switched nearly all assets to be asynchronously loaded. This is not yet the end of the load lag, but it should make it a lot less noticeable, and it should improve performances for most players. We are also certain of what is causing the load lag, but that will demand a much more in-depth refactor and it will come later down the line once we can assign resources to it.

In our testing, we’ve noticed that just running around and playing the game normally, we had some FPS gains, and more importantly, more stability.
Of the various computers we have tested on, here are the worst results:

  • Maximum FPS has increased by at least 5%.
  • On HDDs we’ve seen at least 30% lowest FPS increase.
  • On SSDs we’ve seen at least 15% lowest FPS increase.

This means that FPS drops are much less noticeable. And these changes should have a large impact on siege performances as well since they are targeting what caused most large scale combat performances issues. It has also decreased the loading screen duration on our systems.

This has been ready for a few weeks, but we won’t be releasing these changes with Patch 1. We’ll make them their own patch in order to have metrics of how the game runs before and after their implementation.
With this data we’ll be able to know if we have indeed improved average performances for the end users, and by how much.

Coming along these changes, we’ll also patch in some security checks to validate more player actions server-side.
Here again, having metrics before and after with a live population will help us know if reactivity and latency has been deteriorated or if our changes didn’t have a negative impact on the game’s fluidity. This is something where we’ll also need the players’ feedback because it is very much about “feeling” the game.

Patch 2 is, for now, scheduled to be two weeks after the launch of the stress test. This should give us the time to hotfix any issues discovered by a live population.
Of course, we’ll push forward or delay Patch 2 depending on our launch stability. We’re looking forward to see how well it goes!

On meditation balance.

Another thing that will be in Patch 2 is some meditation system balancing.
While we were doing the QA of our meditation system changes, we noticed that the overall system is quite obscure and we would like to balance it with more cohesion. Something that can be easily explained to players and be min maxed effectively to promote game play.

First off, we will unify how much meditation points(mp) gets consumed to 100 per offline hour. This means 2400mp consumed per day per meditation queue.
Later, we’ll add a second queue to allow meditating for a clan or for titles, which means a player will be able to spend 4800mp per day offline.
A daily dungeon quest provides around 3500 -4500 base mp depending on the monsters involved. If we factor in the alignment system modifiers, one daily will provide meditation points for up to 2 days. This should allow casual players to keep up.
There are around 90 starter city quests, with each one providing at least 550mp. This will provide a comfy 50 000mp starting amount for new players to grow.

We will also reduce the complexity of how much total meditation points a skill needs to be maxed out to a much simple tier system.
For example, a spell in necromancy will take more mp than a spell in witchcraft which would take more than greater magic which takes more than lesser magic.

Finally, we would like to open a discussion on how long should spells, skills or attributes take to max out using the meditation system alone.
Keep in mind that the goal will always be to keep active gameplay faster than offline skilling, but it still has to allow PvP players to grow their characters in a reasonable time frame.
Please, let us know in the discussion thread.

Ho and, by the way, we almost forgot! We’re planning to open the gates on June 28th at 2PM Paris time. See you then!

Link to discussion thread.