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New Years Reflections and Roadmap
#1
* = this phrase has a clickable link

Hello everyone! I hope you all had an enjoyable or at least relaxing holidays.

We've had a lot of questions * about PWO and where we're heading, so I figured it would be good to address our goals for 2017 and reflect a bit on what we as staff learned from 2016. This is mostly going to be from my perspective but is based on several discussions I had with staff as a group and with players over the past few months.


General Stance on Content

I have asked staff that we more heavily pursue permanent content this year and we all generally agree on that. Of course, asking people to magically procure several hours of labor for other projects doesn't work, so I'm making a concerted effort to move events away from being a primarily [GE] scripter affair and more as a [GE] Mapper/CG/(me as needed) affair. This means that we will still have events that still give out the same calibre of prizes/etc (we still plan on meeting the "one big event a year" quota) but "Monthly/Weekend Events" are going to go very light on scripting. 


"Rig explainplz"

Outside of *cough* finally getting everything in gear for the likes of E4, Sevii, etc by the extra focused manpower, there are other internal reasons for doing this. 

First, testing. Frankly I and one other person (it varies) usually end up carrying the brunt of it, so when we're always having to test custom events that are around for 3 days at best, we're always crunched for time. It also takes us away from our normal duties and from doing things like testing really cool updates Donar has made but we can't implement because we don't have time/energy to test them because of events. Second, Mappers and CG groups keep operating on crunches, having to rush for deadline but then often twiddling their thumbs with few opportunities to get motivation boosts for the slowburn projects. Third, having a more stable/formatted/testing-light event schedule makes it waaay more likely we can actually announce these things ahead of time instead of people just having to hop on and hope for the best or only subscribe to our twitter. 

Outside of events having less unique script-heavy quest content every month, you guys as the players won't be losing anything. There will still be different spawns to hunt and vouchers. For those of you who spent time with me discussing on how to make events more efficient in the all or help chats, this is basically the same (if not very similar) thing we chatted about.

Other event things

We've learned a good bit from feedback of our events this year. This is mainly internal stuff, but we've taken heed from the more widespread/reasonable complaints for our content and it is now in policy to avoid those things. This includes requiring we start large events sooner so that we have more time to adjust to pre-release testing feedback instead of feeling as rushed; such policy will mean we should be able to announce ahead of time more often.

Communication and Promotion

We managed to bring on another CG (Hi Dio!) but, as is no secret, I'm looking to branch out this group. We have like 2 people in it, but already I'm looking to add or beef up the following responsibilities:

Event duties being moved from overburdened scripting group to CG group to more evenly disperse work
Direct, faster player support over general issues (IE: clarification, bugs, playerdex, handling of misinformation, etc)
General availability ingame and on forums
Interal staff feedback - representative of players

Frankly I don't think * we met our own standards for 2016 and this year I'm looking to INCREASE those basic standards as well, so this will be eating a lot of Admin and CG time just trying to get this up to par. This is actually what lead to to the above general stance, because if we start everything earlier and make the content more internally predictable, it's going to be a lot easier to communicate what is definitely going to happen with players. It would also be great if small issues/player-initiated drama didn't drag the entire staff into lengthy discussions; it always takes us too long to figure out things like compensation or proper responses, and I want that gone as it is entirely unnecessary for our mappers/NPC writers to worry over...fictional example, a GM accidentally giving the wrong person compensation or something.

On top of this I would really, really like to start being able to give EXTREMELY VAGUE release dates (maybe quarterly) for certain projects, but hammering on communication and community groups has to happen first. This section in staff has always been invaluable but also somewhat precarious, so I'm really wanting to focus on it this year. It may even lead to policy changes in higher positions and a few power shifts throughout the entire staff as a group, including Admins, so that's why I'm putting so much focus on it here in this topic.

Current Projects and Where They Are

Starting this off, we managed to meet some of our Hoenn roadmap * expectations in 2016. We are so close to crossing off Kanto/Johto for now and considering it tentatively complete. So close, you guys. We finished up the progress quests we wanted (surfboard, early quest tweaking, new tutorial). We also fixed several huge bugs that were messing up new players such as Pokemon/Item rollback issues whenever the server crashed (and other huge rewrites that I won't go into detail, because this post is long enough as is).

We didn't meet my goal for the Spawn Project, so let me talk about that for a bit.
First, there are issues with the T1 tier. It's too wide, which is off-putting. Discussions with staff and players also lead me to believe that we could adjust some T5s into T4s and some T4s into T3. Not because Pokemon rarities are too hard (high-effort rarities are a complaint to some and a drawing point to others) but because we have made too many things too hard. We're waiting to redo Dragon's Den as it had some quest flaws we really want to fix but, again, we need more hands on deck for permanent content so that we can finish this up.

Once finished up, I will probably go over all the spawns again and adjust basic timeframes so that T1s actually feel like T1s and so that rarities aren't so binary/polarizing by putting more Pokemon into a "middle ground." And no, before you ask, that will not include Eevee. It won't be as drastic as some of you might be imagining, so just wait and see before assuming. With that done, we'll basically have finished the spawn project and crossed "Kanto/Johto" off of our list for a while to come (at least until we look into storylines). Even better, I will hopefully never have to extensively touch this again in the future in any way, because we'll only have to do spawns once (THANK GOODNESS) for future maps.

Here is a poster child for why we don't announce release dates: Sevii
Sevii's quests are fully planned and fully mapped, but not fully scripted. It's been worked on for almost a year now * consistently, and we had expected it ready by summer. As you can see, that absolutely did not work out. The main delay for this is because the tools to redo our native NPC scripting language (which is a homebrew script made ages ago with features frankensteined into it as we progressed as a team) became available, becoming its own project and basically nullifying the scripting progress we had already made on Sevii. From a "visible update availability gap" perspective, this was annoying, but it's something we have to get done anyway.

This NPC Script Redo project involves such fun things as mass-updating NPCs via SQL and creating custom string split array functions. All said and done, the scripters (all 2 of them) will have to rewrite 600 NPCs line by line and this will probably have to happen before we can even touch Sevii. It will also HAVE to happen before we are able to implement Donar's other new features, as the incoming scripting language is part of the newer server code we'll be using in the future. On the plus side, using an established language for our scripting means we can actually reference outside sources for these problems and training incoming scripters should be less of an ordeal as people can now google things instead of having to rely on traditional knowledge passed down orally like the ancient plebeians we are right now.

From a management perspective I also consider buffing the CG group and balancing workload on scripters/mappers as a project, since that will possibly cause internal communication weirdness/confusion for a bit before we all get the hang of it and may require bringing new people into other ranks. Last year we started on the communication subset rank of GMs by hiring new apps you all may or may not have already met in an effort to make player/staff relations more smooth for such generally sensitive situations.

If you want to see other personal staff projects, I suggest checking out individual changelogs. Just ignore mine, I haven't updated it in a while since putting "made a forum topic about policy in staff section" doesn't make for good reading material. 

Other things I want/need to tackle but don't know when they would be possible or in what order yet:

Ability/Nature modification project (also a huge project we aren't ready to tackle yet)

Investigating Tournament options (once CGs are stabilized as a group, would this be viable as a returning event type?)

Elite 4

New Player experience (early player economy, economic gaps, effort-based economy)

Token Store Face-lift (UC Pokemon in the TS as they are now are problematic. Could we alter our server coverage plan, introduce new cosmetic options? Is Membership in an ok spot? etc etc).


TL;DR ROADMAP/CONCLUSION: 

I want NPC Redos + Sevii + Frostbite + inner staff rebalances (focus on CGs/testing) + more reliable events, event exploration, a big yearly event, and better communication standards all done by this year at the least. The year will also probably include Donar's new features/updates (after we redo all NPCs) that are waiting in the wings right now + spawn system changes I want to make based on what I have gathered from players. If we manage to do all of that, we will then tackle a project from the "other things" section or to an unplanned project if it is needed.



Have a question that wasn't covered here?

Feel free to ask below. We may or may not be able to answer depending on how the question is asked or what it is about. We won't spoil everything so asking for specific details for a future release (example: "What pokemon will be in Sevii?") is a no-no, but I'll get to as many questions as I (or any other staff that wants to jump in) can.

If people are being rude or jumping to conclusions/accusations based on the information I provided here, I will ignore or delete posts as necessary, so you have been forewarned!
You don't know the integrity of a man when in moral society, you know the integrity of a man when there is no society.

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#2
Thanks for explaining this! Glad tot hear these things ! ^_^ i wish all the staff members goodluck in their process hihi. Thanks Riguadon!
Always be yourself,  There are many others already~  Angel
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#3
gl staff but i would make a suggestion to get a good economy for the game what is you staff put some uc poke's catchable with only Ms this will be great thing

(01-03-2017, 11:24 PM)ahmedov Wrote: gl staff but i would make a suggestion to get a good economy for the game what is you staff put some uc poke's catchable with only Ms this will be great thing

and about the spawns i have a different idea why is it there t1 or t2 or t5 you can make all of them random but t5 are like increadible harde to catch this way is will be better
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#4
Ability/Nature modification project (also a huge project we aren't ready to tackle yet)


REALY? This announcement sounds, like the shovel hitting the ground ! Shame ....... Sad
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#5
what are the plans on spawns for sevii? im not asking for the names im just asking on gen 1-2 or will there be some 3 too?
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#6
Quote:REALY? This announcement sounds, like the shovel hitting the ground ! Shame .......

We had to create the shovel before we could start digging. We are now digging and have to do finish the hole before we start laying down cement for a foundation.
You don't know the integrity of a man when in moral society, you know the integrity of a man when there is no society.

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#7
I hope that the goals are won, a lot of work to be done, and good luck for the whole team.
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#8
Thanks for the info

Hoping for T5 fishing only Pokemon for Dragons Den. Anything of the sort?
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#9
(01-13-2017, 05:22 PM)Mooo Wrote: Thanks for the info

Hoping for T5 fishing only Pokemon for Dragons Den. Anything of the sort?

It is hard to say. Frankly, the current ideal is that Pokemon are only in the region(s) they belong in, barring a few exceptions like Pinsir/Scyther/Staryu/Shellder/Vulpix/Growlith being the PWO-fied versions of "version exclusives" by us making them "region exclusive." Besides, even if I wanted to answer in detail, I specifically said I wouldn't in the main post. x)
You don't know the integrity of a man when in moral society, you know the integrity of a man when there is no society.

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#10
Sounds awesome. Cannot wait to play the future expansions.
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#11
w8ting Smile
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#12
(01-18-2017, 03:28 AM)ClevelandFan Wrote: Sounds awesome. Cannot wait to play the future expansions.
 That's good because judging by what has been said its still going to be a few years before we get any new regions XD
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#13
very very nice, thank you for all these questions is are anxious to see all the progress over time. Big Grin
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#14
awesome
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#15
Amazing news.
Hope to have more post like this every Quarter, or at least two times a year.

Keep up the good work!!
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