Next Update + Future Plans

Smalusion

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May 25, 2020
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Hi.

The gamemodes, as they are, don’t seem sustainable for growing the server. We’ve seen discussion about this and have been planning on what to do next. We also thought that involving the community in what’s going on behind the scenes would be a good idea.

So here is what is up, my fellow gamers.

Starting with our current gamemodes:

Search and Destroy, the main attraction of Athios and nostalgic link to many for a server long gone… doesn’t cut it.

By its base design, it needs a decent amount of players for maximum fun -- 20 or so, ideally more… Ember Hours helps, but that’s more of an event than a gamemode.

It is not friendly to new players at all. Most kits have something special about them that can only be learned from repeated trial and error. Learning all these kits wouldn’t be too difficult, but there are no respawns. Make one mistake and it’s over, which is very easy to do as a new player. It’s not very encouraging. It’s something experienced players have gotten used to, but a new player is far more likely to play a more forgiving or fast-paced gamemode.

We struggled with content creators on this as well. Even when we managed to tear one away from Hypixel’s talons, they either struggled to understand and play the game themselves, or their viewers did. Again, not an encouraging system.

SnD needs players, which we couldn’t get for that gamemode. Okay, what then?


Our next move was to revive Disasters.

We planned that it’d be playable and fun, even with only 1 player. And I like to think that’s still true, though it does get lonely. It’s more fast paced compared to SnD as well, with games taking 3 minutes at the most. The base objective is fairly simple as well. Things happen. Survive them! The disasters have quite a bit of variety to keep it fresh every round, as well.

But it hasn’t popped off either. So what’s the issue? It could be a lack of endgame goal or something else to grind for. There wasn’t any real meaning to winning or losing beyond what you gave it. No reason to keep playing. It’s very much a minigame, rather than a gamemode.

Finally, on a server of our current scale, there’s always downtime between games. If you lose, you need to wait for the rest of the current game to end. If you die in the beginning, which isn’t unlikely for a new player, it can be a long wait… Compare this to a big server, where you can join and start a new round within 30 seconds at most.

We could keep trying new content creators, but this does pose a financial risk without guarantee of returns.

So what’s next?

We wanted to make a gamemode that would address the key issues we identified with SnD and Disasters:

Playable solo or with few players
Easy to learn/simple objectives
Longterm/endgame objectives

Here’s what we have to offer on that end.

Project Pinion
(Placeholder name)

A hybrid survival/roguelite gamemode.

  • In the center of town lies a tower which stretches forever into the heavens, offering fortune and danger to bold climbers.
  • Gather resources in the wilds and bring them into the tower for a stronger initial advantage.
  • Inside, face custom enemies and acquire special loot.
  • Use your experience and items to aid in future runs.
  • Buy and upgrade a house or free build on a plot in the town.
  • Play solo or party up with friends.

Here’s some more details about the tower:

We plan on it being split into multiple themed sections. Climbing the entirety of the tower in one session is not advised.
As you ascend, enemies get tougher and loot gets more valuable.
Floors within sections will be procedurally generated.
Should you die, you will be sent to the tower’s entrance with only what you brought.

We’ve got a lot more planned, but who knows what’ll happen during the testing cycle. Don’t want to promise something we can’t keep!

On that note. Something we do want to have in the future is a beta for this project, at least the tower portion. We’re planning to get you a playable beta by Summer 2022.


What does this mean for SnD and Disasters?

Both gamemodes are in a mostly balanced state, though balance patches are of course possible. Bugs are also there. To be fixed. There is currently one major update for SnD currently being worked on, focusing on modernizing its aesthetics with titles, subtitles, action bars, and all that fun stuff. (Note: Can be disabled via /prefs) Let’s face it. SnD was a gamemode that came out sometime before 2013 and it sure looks the part! We’ve already fully planned out on what changes will be happening, so you can expect the Aesthetic Update in the “near” future.

Once this is done we’ll be focusing all attention on Project Pinion. SnD and Disasters will continue to be maintained and balanced, but we aren’t planning on any more major updates for a while. Expect to see map rotations continue, as we’re still accepting submissions for both modes.

Additionally, since we expect Project Pinion to have a longer development time, we’re committing to consistent design and development updates. We want to keep you all in the loop and get your feedback along the way.

This is a big move we’re making. We started as a small community of gamers who grew up on SnD, and we’ve grown to have some big goals. Thanks to everyone who’s stuck around so far, and to everyone who’s joining us on this. We’ll see you in the Tower!
 

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