2.5 Initial Release - Feedback Requested

Taryth

Administrator
Staff member
So here we are about ready to start 2.5 beta, and we're working out some logistical concerns.

First off, one thing we are noticing is that there are still quite a few kinks to work out - it's pretty surprising just how much code changed while the gameplay, overall, remains relatively the same. That said, the game seems playable enough I think to warrant getting player input and prioritizing those broken things. But right now, there are still some gaps that, while they shouldn't be too hard to bang out, require some time. But getting all these listed and sorted is really important. We don't want to drag 2.5 out forever.

What this means is we're thinking about doing a two stage test - the first is really more of an alpha test where we know we've still got a lot wrong (strings, for example, are right now pretty busted up because they are all out of alignment between the two clients). For this "alpha" test, we'd ask for a subset of beta testers who REALLY want to help stabilize the game before a broader beta test. One way we thought about approaching this is to provide test characters (pre-leveled to various degrees, with known equipment) and allow people to do some work with those. The drawbacks to this approach are obvious, but it means less worrying about reimbursing gear and such while we expect there may be problems. Another approach is just the brute-force method of character copying and letting you use your live characters. This may sound more attractive, but bear in mind there's the chance of things like equipment loss and AAs and such not working initially.

Once we stabilize it in the alpha round, we will do proper character copies and link up experience and such so that you derive real benefit from participating in the beta. Hopefully that "alpha" round is short and we can move into beta quickly.

So with that, what do folks think? Do you prefer one over the other? Are there folks willing to truly brave the crazy initial release and provide feedback? We're asking a lot of you certainly, but hopefully the rewards of a new client and all the additional things it will allow us to do will be worth it.

My goal, time willing, would be to open up a few slots as soon as this weekend, with more people getting invited after the bonus exp week. But for folks who want in on that first round, we're very much looking for people who would be ok with putting in detailed bug reports, having zones crash on them on occasion, needing to get an item reimbursed, etc.

Anyway, post your thoughts on these topics here! I will follow up as we figure things out.
 

Lolani

Dalayan Beginner
My 2 copper

I'd be happy to help. To be quite honest, I have recently stopped playing because of my first person combat graphic glitch. I planned on taking a break until 2.5 was released but I'd be more than willing to assist any way I can to help you get there more quickly and smoothly.

As far as being reimbursed for items, AA's, exp, etc., I'm not concerned with those things. There are other players that probably are, and that are more vested in their toons, and there's nothing wrong with that, but I'm not. Personally I play the game to have fun and am not worried about freely donating some of my time to help out. That's not a dig to anyone else, that's just my attitude about how/why I play. I'd have no issues with playing a pre-made testing character because like you mentioned, my reward would be a new client, plus I'd have fun helping in the process.

I don't have an endgame character so I am admittedly ignorant of the raid mechanics, etc of those fights simply because I have not seen them. If there are things you need tested and a player to go places and do specific things, and make reports about the results, I'd be happy to help.

I previously submitted an email for beta testing after seeing the initial posting on Facebook a couple months ago asking for people, but never received a reply. I know you've all been busy with other things, so I wasn't concerned with not hearing from you. I mention it only to say that it should still be on file with my information. If you'd like me to help, let me know.
 

Breigon

Dalayan Adventurer
I think that whichever method gets the (Alpha -> Beta -> Release) transition happening the quickest would be the best. If that means copying characters to see how all of the varying setups work on the new client or just using stock characters, I would imagine either would be fine.

<3
 

trilibi

Dalayan Beginner
I wouldn't mind trying out the crazy alpha tests =) Adventures in code/questing for the win.
 

dunnelloncannon

Dalayan Beginner
I would be willing to work on Beta

Before SOD, and many moons ago. I was a permanent player on the Test Server on EQ Live. My char is in the 10 year anniversary video, for being one of the main testers for EQ Live.

My character name is Fugpug

Sadly, I have been super busy with clubs at school, work, graduation, and trying to get into the University I want, so I havnt had the time to devote to Fugpug, but I do have some spare time to devote to testing. If you like me, hit me up at [email protected]. Fugpugs phone number is 352-322-8457
 

Daffie

Dalayan Pious Diety
Before SOD, and many moons ago. I was a permanent player on the Test Server on EQ Live. My char is in the 10 year anniversary video, for being one of the main testers for EQ Live.

My character name is Fugpug

Sadly, I have been super busy with clubs at school, work, graduation, and trying to get into the University I want, so I havnt had the time to devote to Fugpug, but I do have some spare time to devote to testing. If you like me, hit me up at XXXXXXXXXX. Fugpugs phone number is XXXXXXXXXX

I am overly cautious because I know the Internet is a horrible place. Even though our community is a good one, I'd take down your phone number...
 

Taryth

Administrator
Staff member
I gotta say, it's great to see the enthusiasm. Between folks just saying "I don't care about loot/exp/whatever, just make this happen" and the influx of new beta apps, well it really makes me glad we're doing this.

Now we did hit a bit of a snag - for some reason, certain zones are consuming massive amounts of CPU. Get a few of those going, and the system basically becomes unusuable. So we're tracking those down as we speak, but we need to get those resolved before we can open things up. But at this point I believe that's the only thing holding us back from alpha, and I still want to try and get this hashed out by the weekend. If it looks like it will take longer, I will post here with an update. But definitely stay tuned, alpha is imminent.
 

Haynar

Dalayan Adventurer
If the new server uses the .path system there are some buggy path files by default with eqemu.

Also, have to be careful with spell sets given to npcs in eqemu base code as their self and other npc buffing is out of control easily. Having fixed thise bugs before, they can really spoil a zone and hog cpu cycles.

Haynar
 

Taryth

Administrator
Staff member
So we found the CPU-eating problem - yay! That's all happy.

The strings are turning out to be a bigger pain than I had thought - we need to smack those down. I apologize we're running a bit behind on this, just some unforeseen things coming up heh.

So gimme a couple days, I will see where we're at again. Again, I apologize we're a little off schedule.

-t
 

Taryth

Administrator
Staff member
Nope, completely unrelated. I did some profiling of the code and learned quite a bit along the way.
 

Furrygamer

Dalayan Adventurer
@hayner, Don't think Tar will have to worry about default path bugs because SoD doesn't use them (to my knowledge which is none). Also how is it any more buggy than pathing is on Live? :p
 

Taryth

Administrator
Staff member
Heh, I think the pathing should be substantially similar, at least as far as I can tell. But honestly this is why we need alpha testers - we can only test just a small fraction of the functionality, and devs are notoriously the worst testers of their own stuff.

I got a ton of strings fixed tonight, still have a lot more to go, but now the game is at least usable for those who know what to expect during gameplay. We're down to a HP/mana bar discrepancy and some behind-the-scenes service management stuff before we can kick this to the first round of folks.
 

Taryth

Administrator
Staff member
OK, I think this is what the plan is, subject to last-second change. :)

We're going to open up two commands to beta testers that will allow you to set your level to anything 1-65, and also instantly refill your mana. This will hopefully make testing easier. We're also working on having merchants that will sell you a bunch of various level gear for 1cp so we can test combinations of things without you having to buy or hunt for them.

Spells are a little up in the air yet - we've got two options for doing it. The goal again is to not make testers need to run all over searching for spells and memming them. We may either create an NPC that automatically does them for a given level, or again provide a command to do this. We'll probably decide this in the next day.

I have an email written up to the alpha testers that I need to finalize. We're going live with a few big issues that will need some explanation in that email. Overall though, I think we're ready.

A few other details. We'll be using this forum to handle bug reports that can't be done in game via /bug. The server will also be locked to those not specifically invited to do testing, so don't bother handing out the new patcher or URLs to your friends if they aren't on the list :). If you weren't, please be patient, we're going to try to expand to beta as quickly as possible and will get to the rest of you as soon as we hit that point.
 

Pecannius

Dalayan Elder
Any update on the broken zones, Murk/Athica in particular? I heard rumors that people can petition to have individual characters moved out of said zones, is that confirmed?
 
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