October 31st Update Part 2
Ok now for the Darkfall community update:
As you know we’ve been conducting the first phases of the Darkfall beta, specifically the hardware configuration testing. This is where we test that Darkfall runs on most hardware configurations without problems, and we also test the absolute basics. We’ve been putting the testers through the motions: they download the client, log in, patch, create a character, enter the game and run around long enough to make sure that they’re not experiencing any weirdness and that everything is running smoothly. All this needs to be done so that in the next phases of testing a greater number of testers won’t experience any problems with the basics and so they can focus on other important testing. These have turned out to be very productive and useful testing phases. During this time we’ve addressed various hardware compatibility problems, compatibility issues with programs running simultaneously with Darkfall, we identified and corrected some patcher issues, some login server problems, and various small issues around the game world. At the same time, it’s business as usual with our internal testing.
Let me give you an idea of what’s been happening during these first testing phases: Right now, the entire Darkfall world is up on its servers. It’s being kept up most of the time. We’ve been running a methodical and functional testing environment. We started the hardware testing with the minimum of options enabled. Since then we’ve been enabling and disabling features needed to be tested. This is done so that we have the minimum noise in case something happens on the server side and we need to isolate it. We’ve been wiping characters as often as once a day, usually within 2-3 days. This is because we’re not testing character development yet, and we’ve been making some optimizations in the way that things are stored. We’ve been enabling features gradually and we’re to the point where most are enabled. Some of the things we still have deactivated are mobs outside the starting areas, most of the dungeons, most of the clan city building locations. Another thing worth mentioning is that during testing, testers have options and tools available to them that they won’t have during the retail stage of Darkfall.
Our goal during this testing phase is that the important things work perfectly as we move all the way down to the polish during the subsequent testing phases. The game had always been in a state to be run in its entirety, but this would have been a huge waste of resources and would have hindered this early testing. This is where Darkfall differs from other MMOs. We could have easilly had it running full featured if this was a railroad game, but it’s not. Darkfall is a sandbox game and there are infinite paths that players can follow. This is not some quest driven game where you could go through the motions quest after quest until you’re ready to actually play a few months down the road. You actually play Darkfall from day one. So as you understand, there’s no single path of testing. Player behavior in Darkfall varies wildly and we need to try and predict all eventualities.
This is what has been happening until today. The reason we’re mentioning all this is to familiarize those of you who aren’t in the beta already with our testing philosophy, and to catch the community up with what’s been going on.
Moving along, and we’re about two weeks behind schedule announcing this, but we’re going to start opening up the beta to more and more testers on or around November 10th to coincide with the next phases of our server deployment. We will be enabling a lot of the features we currently have disabled – as needed and dictated by our testing needs. Again I must stress that this beta period’s purpose is for us to get Darkfall ready for release so we’ve been operating under strict directives. Having said that, I can’t help mentioning, that even in this current stage of testing, the game is a lot of fun and we hope to see all of you enjoying it while helping us test during these next phases.
Thanks for reading
Last edited by Tasos; 10-31-2008 at 19:30.