Alpha, Beta and Post-launch Wipes
We pay close attention to all the questions and concerns raised by the players across multiple forums including In-game, Discord, Steam, Facebook and Twitter and even on our own official forums. Most of them revolve around the whens and what, especially regarding the potential Server wipes. We recognize that this is an increasingly valid concern amongst all players and we can begin to address a few of these questions now and open up discussions for later on as well.
Types of Server wipes:
During the development there are multiple types of wipes that can occur. For The Repopulation we are going to be concentrating on two types, Partial and Full, these are explained below with how we plan to use them.
Partial System Wipe:
A partial wipe is exactly as it sounds, a wipe targeting a certain aspect of the game. This could include anything from resetting a particular skill to clearing player housing data. At this time, we have several partial wipes planned; this is necessary because many of the game’s core systems are being rebuilt. These partial wipes will occur when we have finished a key system and we need players to fully test the new system with a fresh start, so as to not cause any conflicts with the old system.
An example of this would be the revamped crafting system: To fully test the new systems from items to crafting to the skills, we will need to do a reset of all current crafting skills. We do not want the new system to conflict with any of the old data and to avoid writing additional scripts to convert all current over; which will take up way too much time for us and for you. Therefore, starting over fresh and putting in place some mutable data fields (editable fields not hard coded which allows us to edit on the fly) to allow players to avoid a whole new grind will be easier and more thorough on both of our parts. This will help ensure that all the other working parts of the game work and mesh well with the new system.
We will make sure any partial wipes are properly communicated, as to when and exactly what.
Full Server Wipe:
We remain open to the possibility for one full wipe to occur at the end depending on how testing and development goes. Although the probability of a Full Server Wipe is low,, we do want to make sure that we have only the clean systems and the best game play for the last phase prior to launch. The decision will be taken based on the testing and results from all of you, we will know more when we reach our RC (Release Candidate) phase. With normal development, there is usually at least one last wipe before the game goes into its RC phase.
Typically for most MMO’s, this will be done right before launch and will be visible on the new server. However, this will only wipe your characters; your accounts will be preserved, so any perks you are entitled to, or any pre-launch purchases you may have made, will still be present.
Please note that this information could change, however we do want to preserve your progress the best we can. By opening up a new game server, as you can read below, will help give us and you a good comparison between the old and new, and allow you to keep testing post launch.
Future of the Servers:
Here is our current “plan” for wipes and servers concerning The Repopulation in the future: We also understand the need to start fresh when we do launch the game officially, so it gives everyone a clean and fair start. After several discussions and many ideas, we have come up with a plan that should work well for most and give players the option of how they want to progress after launch.
Remember, this is a long way out, but we wanted to give everybody a heads up on what we would like to do and get as much feedback as possible early on. How we do the official launch is determined on the direction of GM and Dev tools we create now and throughout development.
For the current server: Novus
We consider this server to be the Alpha/Beta Server and over time it is going to receive a number of wipes to specific systems. We will attempt to stay away from complete wipes and have catch up mechanics where possible. These partial wipes will happen over time and help us test systems.
This server will remain up even past Launch, but as a test server. Everyone who currently owns the game will have access, along with anyone who purchases during a short period after launch. When we need to start limiting the access to this test server, we will give a warning that purchase no longer includes access and notify players of any changes.
Defining a launch date at this point in time is a little difficult. It's worth mentioning that launch is considered when people can access the game after the Beta Stages have finished.
For the Launch Server: Unnamed
When launch happens there will be another server opened, and this will be considered the game server where everyone starts fresh, and there will no more planned wipes to this server.
For all intents and purposes, this means there will be a full clean slate at launch, but older characters can still be accessed on the Test server. When we get near that point, we will be putting up a post with a poll so players can vote on the new name.
Perks and Micro-transactions:
This is another concern that is definitely tied to any idea of game and server wipes. There is nothing worse than claiming a Perk or making a purchase from the in-game store only to have it gone at launch. This will not be the case in The Repopulation.
Backer and Repurchase Perks:
All Perks will be linked or tied to the player account. This simply means that before the game goes live, we will be tying your perks to your account, so they will not be lost on neither the current or the new post release server. These will be available to you no matter where you go.
This is something that has not been developed yet, but we do plan on having this complete and begin testing during the Beta phase of development. Delaying the full development of the Perk account system also allows us to get your feedback on the systems that will be going through an overhaul, so we make sure that we can keep to our promise of honoring your perks whether you were an early backer with ABT or purchased the game during the last year.
As we move through the new systems we can also begin to tie in specific perks or perk types to your account and improve upon the GM tools as well to assist where needed.
By creating the above systems and tools, we will begin to evaluate different business models, which will include the Package Tiers for purchase. We have not begun to decided yet what will be available in what Package, however, this is a discussion we plan to open to the community on the forums as we enter Beta.