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Scott Hartsman on the Conclusion of the First Beta

By on Dec 7, 2010 at 11:47 am, in News, RIFT  |  Comments: No comments yet

Originally posted by Hartsman (—)



Hi, everyone! On behalf of all of us on the RIFT team, and at Trion as a whole, I wanted to say thank you very much for participating in our first beta test.

We’ve been incredibly busy both through the event and in the hours since it ended, poring over all of the feedback and data and making plans for the next one. Between forum posts and in-game reports, you submitted over 20,000 individual pieces of feedback.

We’ve had developers, community, and QA folks looking over it constantly since the event began. Please do realize that your feedback here absolutely does matter.

We learned a lot this weekend. Most notably, we got answers to some critical questions.

What happens when you put the full population of a server on a single side, and effectively keep them in one or two zones for a whole weekend?

Could we patch all of those people? How well would the game hold up technically? How well would it play? How would the rifts and invasions play out?

Patching

The pre-patch that started a few days before the event was immediately extremely loaded. Many people were getting the files just fine, but a good number of you had to restart the patcher a few times to get them all.

You helped us figure out the biggest issues with this, and we updated the patcher a few times during the event. By the time the event began, the vast majority of people were seeing successful updates on the first try.

We still have a couple more improvements to make that should make the update experience even better in time for the next beta.

The Servers

Before the event officially began started, it became obvious that a lot more people took us up on our invitation than we had originally anticipated. Within the first hour of the event, we had to double the available number of servers. Those servers all remained highly active throughout the weekend.

The population of Freemarch never dipped below “more than we’ll need to support in the long term,” and the servers stayed responsive and stable throughout the overload.

Gameplay

The starting area of Terminus held up really well. People started slamming in to the point where we got a solid test of the server queues. (Thanks for putting up with that.)

During the first day, it was obvious that the quest targets in Freemarch weren’t nearly plentiful enough, and we made sure to get an update out for that as soon as we could – Based on people’s comments, it looked to have reduced quest blockages by about 95%.

By Saturday, it became obvious that our “wildly crazy active” tuning numbers for rifts, invasions, footholds and the like weren’t getting the result they were supposed to. For the first half of beta, very little of the dynamic game layer was seen or heard from.

Where we had hoped and expected to see invasions rampaging across the countryside, instead the population density had become far too high, such that invasions weren’t even getting off the ground.

We updated the game with even more insanely active tuning on Saturday night to give the invaders a chance to come out and play too, and the response in chat and submitted feedbacks was overwhelmingly positive once that started.

By the time it worked, it was a hell of a sight — Huge invasions finally freed up, setting up footholds, wiping out the local populace, and eventually being repelled by defenders.

Expect a whole lot more iterations and improvements here in the future, both to rifts and invasions. More types, more activities, and a much better tuned frequency.

We’ve spent a large part of the day today working on our plans to make sure people see obvious improvements to the dynamic layer, both in terms of frequency and diversity in time for the next beta.

From here, we’re going to continue going over everyone’s feedback, and seeing what kinds of adjustments and improvements people really want to see in the game.

We have dozens of other improvements in store, largely thanks to your comments.

Thanks again, and we’ll see you in a couple weeks!

We couldn’t have gotten here without you.

Scott Hartsman
Executive Producer, RIFT

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